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November’s tune of the month

28 Nov

Roots Manuva - Here We Go AgainRoots Manuva – Here We Go Again feat. Spikey Tee

Here’s another class tune by Rodney Smith (aka Mr Manuva) from his latest album 4everevolution. This time the UK rapper has teamed up with ragga-soul singer Spikey Tee (best known for his work with Mr Scruff, Sindecut and Jah Wobble) to produce an intense but soulful track about the childish nature of ‘street life’ and good friendships gone bad. Once again we’re hit with a deep groove and a dose of frank, genuine home truths to nod along to.

You’ll like it if you like:

– British hip-hop
– A filthy bassline
– Honest lyrics

The single is released on 4 December 2011. Buy / preview it on iTunes

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October’s tune of the month

31 Oct

ella in berlinMack the Knife – Ella Fitzgerald
Ok, so I know it’s not a new track, but I was listening to it the other day and it struck me that anyone who hasn’t heard this, should.

This recording of Ella singing live at a concert in Berlin is the perfect showcase of what an incredible performer she was. The jazz singer forgets the words as she enters the second verse but makes up some clever alternatives, with a bit of a scat thrown in, all while holding up those incredible vocals. Mack The Knife is a great song as it is, but this has to be the best rendition, by arguably the best female vocalist that has ever lived.

You can hear it on YouTube here, but the quality’s not great.

You’ll like it if you like:

– Music
– Music
– Music

Frankly, I believe you’re not human if you don’t like it. Ella, I salute you.

September’s tune of the month

20 Sep

Kill It Kid Feet Fall HeavyKill It Kid – Heart Rested With You

If you like a dose of muddy blues-rock you need to get a load of Kill It Kid’s latest single. The second track on the band’s second album, Heart Rested With You, begins with an echoey stadium sound – but don’t let these first seconds fool you. The track quickly builds into the howling, thunderous foot-stomper that it clearly is. Imagine the devil rising up through meaty chords of strum-fire in a sweaty marsh, deep in the south of America. Not the kind of music you’d expect to come out of Bath, but with artfully layered male and female vocals, a larger-than-life sound and no lack of energy, this one deserves to be turned up. Loud.

You’ll like it if you like:

– The Dead Weather
– Filthy blues-rock
– The Black Keys

I feel it’s slightly unfair homing in on one track because the whole album is pretty delicious (make sure you cop a load of Pray on Me), but rules is rules… Find out more on the band’s MySpace page.

August’s tune of the month

12 Aug

michael kiwanukaMichael Kiwanuka – I’m Getting Ready

It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally someone appears on the music scene, that gets real music lovers into a bit of a tizz. Michael Kiwanuka is having this said effect. I have so far heard two radio DJs verbally hugging the guy and frankly, I am finding it very hard to get him out of my head too. Kiwanuka has that rare mix of respect, elegance and honesty in both his music and his character, which, when mixed with his undoubtedly brilliant musicianship and big, velvet pillow of a voice, culminates in something supremely special. I’m Getting Ready is the second song released by the artist and after his first, Marvin Gayesque Tell Me A Tale, is proof that he ain’t no one-trick pony. This new tune has its feet deeply rooted in folk music, and although one may argue that his sound is nothing new I personally think that this is, in fact, its appeal. Keith Richards said in a recent interview ‘I really look at myself as more of an antenna … that thing of “I created this” … is a little bit presumptuous I think.’ So maybe our Michael is a new antenna, picking up soul and folk signals from the seventies and re-inventing them for us now. Let this track wash over you, with it’s subtle, piano and vocal harmonies while feel the warming effects of Kiwanuka’s future vintage style.

You’ll like it if you like:

– Nick Drake
– Soul and folk
– Chilled out summer songs

Find out more about Michael and his tunes here

Vintage at Southbank

4 Aug

What a brilliant, inspirational festival this is.

The Vintage Festival celebrates everything from the forties to the eighties, from live music to old films, art to fashion. It takes the best of each of these decades and looks to the year ahead with the suggestion of a ‘future vintage’. Genius.

Check out some of our snaps below and make sure you sign up to their mailing list so you can get the heads up for tickets next year: vintage website

The Vintage Issue on show on the Plastic Seconds stand

The Vintage Issue on show on the Plastic Seconds stand

Vintage Radios

Vintage Radios

The 60s Lounge

The 60s Lounge

The 80s Rave

The 80s Rave

Vintage People

Vintage People

Wall coverings at the Bad Art Bar

Wall coverings at the Bad Art Bar

Zoe Robinson

Fashion editor Zoe Robinson in THAT dress

Beach Hut on Southbank

Beach Hut on Southbank

RANT: Gaga is a poorman’s Bjork. No, hang on, that’s too kind…

3 Aug
Gaga and Bjork

No contest

Has this occurred to anyone else?

Gaga, with her tit-flashing and stick-on alien cheekbones, has none of the elegance of Bjork – and certainly does none of the musical boundary-pushing. What is it she is trying to do? Or say? I just don’t get it. Yes, she has a decent voice and can write a best-selling pop song (note: there was no use of the word ‘good’ in the latter part of that sentence) but anyone who has to shout that loud about themselves is surely a try-hard. “Look at me! I AM ART! I AM FASHION!” She screams. Where as our little Icelandic pixie-musician never shouts, she just parodies, comments and creates magical worlds around her music and art. Bjork, I love you.

See her new video for the song Crystalline here.

July’s tune of the month

15 Jul

Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi – Suzanne and I

First things first. I love seeing a petite lady strapped into a guitar like it’s a weapon. I also love hearing melodies belted out from deeper inside a singer’s gut than I ever thought possible. Anna Calvi does both of these – with gusto. Her self-titled album is available to buy now, but if you just want to dip your toes in first, Suzanne and I has to be the best track on it. Think mesmerising, powerful vocals and big, echoey drum-beats. It’s what you might get if you stuck Shirley Bassey, KD Lang and Richard Hawley into a pot and mixed them up. And yes, lads, it’s a pretty lady singing about another lady.

You’ll like it if you like:

– powerful, almost theatrical music
– hearing a melody getting ripped up, slapped about, punched in the face and generally attacked with force
– Errr, Shirley Bassey, KD Lang and Richard Hawley

Buy the album and find out more here.