Sunday, 31 January 2010

"Twitter is crack for media addicts." | The New Yorker @NewYorker

Every time I hear about Twitter I want to yell Stop. The notion of sending and getting brief updates to and from dozens or thousands of people every few minutes is an image from information hell. I’m told that Twitter is a river into which I can dip my cup whenever I want. But that supposes we’re all kneeling on the banks. In fact, if you’re at all like me, you’re trying to keep your footing out in midstream, with the water level always dangerously close to your nostrils. Twitter sounds less like sipping than drowning.

The most frightening picture of the future that I’ve read thus far in the new decade has nothing to do with terrorism or banking or the world’s water reserves—it’s an article by David Carr, the Timess media critic, published on the decade’s first day, called “Why Twitter Will Endure.” “I’m in narrative on more things in a given moment than I ever thought possible,” Carr wrote. And: “Twitter becomes an always-on data stream from really bright people.” And: “The real value of the service is listening to a wired collective voice … the throbbing networked intelligence.” And: “On Twitter, you are your avatar and your avatar is you.” And finally: “There is always something more interesting on Twitter than whatever you happen to be working on.”

This last is what really worries me. Who doesn’t want to be taken out of the boredom or sameness or pain of the present at any given moment? That’s what drugs are for, and that’s why people become addicted to them. Carr himself was once a crack addict (he wrote about it in “The Night of the Gun”). Twitter is crack for media addicts. It scares me, not because I’m morally superior to it, but because I don’t think I could handle it. I’m afraid I’d end up letting my son go hungry.

Anyone wanna set-up a Twitterers Anonymous charity?

Posted via web from seaninsound's posterous

“The music industry needs to die” - Amanda Palmer | wienerpost @amandapalmer

Some choice quotes from Amanda Palmer in an interview with

I heard that you are single-handedly going to save the music industry. How are you planning to do this?
I’m not gonna save anything. I don’t think the music industry actually needs saving. I think the music industry – as it is – just needs to die. It needs a complete rebuild from the ground up which obviously is already happening.
And it’s not that the music industry as we know it is dying and then a new industry which kind of resembles it is going to spring up in its place. What I see happening is that music as we know it, as we experience it, the way we find it, listen to it and connect with it, has changed completely – and will change for this whole new next generation of people.
It’s “small” – and it’s much more empowering the artists who are making it because they can directly give, make and communicate with their fans. Unlike the old days where everything had to be giant or non-existent.
And everybody is doing it themselves! They’re doing it in different ways but artists are having to just simply do that themselves. Just the way it used to be – way back in the day: you had to have supporters, you had to have patrons, you had to go from town to town with your story and hawk it – and hope that it sold.
What do you think of Radiohead’s idea to offer their album by digital download, allowing fans to pay whatever they think is a fair price? Do you think that might be a business plan for future artists?
I don’t think there’s gonna be ONE way. It’s gonna be infinite possibilities. And it’s gonna be up to the artists in question to decide how they want to exchange their goods for money. There’s gonna be an infinite variety of ways that you can have music, experience, profit, connection… There’s so many things you can do as an artist! There’s so many ways you can choose to do it.
I think some bands are gonna do it the Radiohead-way and for some bands who are at certain points in their careers it’s gonna work…
This is a quote from an article about you: “Amanda Palmer, it turns out, isn’t in the business of selling music so much as she’s in the business of selling the experience of being a fan of Amanda Palmer’s music.” Would you agree?
Well, if that is true, then it’s also true for Radiohead and any other band out there. Because it’s never just about the music. Never ever. I don’t buy that for a second. Because behind the music is always the people. And the emotion and the intention. And when you buy the music, you’re buying everything. Or when you’re downloading it for free. It’s impossible to separate the art from the artists who are making it and the stories behind them. It’s everything, all mixed up together.
Sure I can believe that that’s true – but if it’s true for me it’s pretty much true for every artist out there. I don’t think I’m special that way.
But you spend A LOT of time connecting with your fans online. Do you think it enhances your creativity or does it mean you have less time for your music?
It’s a choice I make and I often regret. But then again every artist has to make that really difficult decision about how to spend their time. And there’s everything from hiding in a cabin in Bali and playing your guitar all alone to living in the middle of New York City and doing flash gigs on Twitter every afternoon, being hyper-connected and not spending a lot of time on your musical craft.
So you got your musical craft on the one end – and on the other end you have what you’ve got to do to actually take your music to people and wave it around.
And EVERY SINGLE ARTIST I KNOW struggles with this question. I don’t know a single fucking person who makes art who doesn’t worry that they’re too much on this side or too much on that side.
The people who I know who spend a lot of time on their music are jealous of me because I’m so disciplined with my blog and I look at them and I am jealous because they are so disciplined with their playing and I feel sometimes they are so much more passionate about the making and the writing. But we’re all looking at each other going “Well, YOU’ve got it figured out.”
Yesterday you said, you never would have learned to play the piano had there been internet when you were a child.
I may have learned… I don’t know if I would have written songs. That’s a really good question.
You argued that boredom was part of creativity…
I think so. I think boredom is very important for imagination. But everything changes, right? And so I wouldn’t wanna sit here and be like this grumpy old person judging the teenagers nowadays for sitting around on the internet all day for all I know their minds are developing creatively in a new way that I never could have imagined. Because of the constant input and the constant sharing and the constant stimulus and the inspiration.
I didn’t have all that because it was just me and and the records and my thoughts. And maybe really rudimentary pac-man on my parents’ computer. That was it. No internet, no international connections, no finding fans of the bands that I loved. But I don’t think one is good or bad. You get really really fucked if you look at the world that way. I could sit here and judge and say: “These kids are all gonna be fucked and they’re not gonna make good music.” But actually that’s bullshit. I know a lot of sixteen-year-olds who are great songwriters, they practise their instruments, they’re passionate about making music, about writing, about making art. So as long as I see it existing I can’t sit here and preach that there’s some sort of artistic death going on in the next generation. It’s just not true.

Amanda Palmer might not be THE FUTCHA OF MUSIC but she's asked a lot of questions like this and closer than most to answering them (or at least hinting at the sentiment of the answers) by being the canary down the mine.

15 FAQs: Some of my thoughts on the impact of the web on old media

It's that time of year again when my inbox fills up with questions for coursework and dissertations. I find it a bit odd that I get so many of these as I never studied, in a traditional sense, beyond A-levels. Anyway, as this one was lengthy and asks a lot of the FAQ's about the impact of the web/blogs/user-generated content/etc on old media, specifically music mags, I thought it maybe best to sling this online for anyone else whose sent me questions I've not been able to get back to and for anyone thinking of sending them. Feel free to ask additional Qs in the comments and I'll try to get back to as many as I can... 

These questions came from Ashley Martin

1.      How would you describe the internet’s effect on print media and music journalism in general?

I guess at first, back in the 90s, it seemed like a collection of pamphlets and places to subscribe to magazines. Then messageboards and communities turned things into letters pages, high on a cocktail of acid, meth and blue smarties. I don't think anyone really thought it would be an alternative to print, and few major publications foresaw the benefits of audio and video. The web seems to have made some publications raise their game and given the broadsheets a better sense of which bits of the paper people read, and it's interesting that the growth and investment in music coverage in non-music mags has been one of the biggest shifts.

2.      Do you think this change is beneficial?

For me, personally, of course. There's no way I would have been able to set-up something like DiS without the web. If it wasn't for the web I'd probably have gone from fanzine 'editor' to improving my writing (probably would have gone to Uni) and pitching to express my opinions and passions in other publications.

On a bigger scale, I think the web has taken away the value and point of words about music. It's less to do with the shift in media (there's probably more words available and consumed about music than ever before) but moreso a shift in the need for journalism, when you can inform yourself by listening, rather than spending 5 hours every Wednesday trying to decide your cd purchase for the week by hiding Melody Maker under your exercise book, pretending to do maths.

I'm not sure music writing in traditional music mags is as good as it was but partly that's due to them covering 70+ acts an issue, trying to compete with the abundance of the web and its endless soundbite reservoir of recommendations.

3.      Would you say the relationship between the music fan and the music critic has changed?

I don't think people need 'critics' any more, they just want some guidance. I think 'critics' probably only influenced others within the intelligentsia and I don't think that has really changed. People want to know what's good, maybe hear an explanation of why it's good (especially if they're unsure about something on first listen) or they want to peer into the worlds and inside the minds of their favourite artists but increasingly they can do this via artist-generated content in blogs, tweets and on youtube.

4.      Is the notion of a tastemaker critic dead?

I'd love to say they're alive and well but I think it's more a case that the tastemaker is more important than ever but the critical element (to slay terrible records, destroy demi-gods and deconstruct the things they adore) is OVA! People, especially those with influence in mainstream media, still rely on those who have searched out great things by listening to all the crap. The trouble is - with things like Hype Machine chart, BBC Sound of Polls - there are now so many 'tastemakers' that its become less about trusted individuals and more about democracy, which in my opinion is incredibly flawed as the agreeable is rising to the top, rather than the exceptional and the acts who 'win' are merely those who have the funds to invest long-term in acts, putting all the right dominoes in line....

5.      Do you think the internet has had a dumbing effect on music journalism?

In many ways, I think Andrew Keen was right about this with his book Cult of the Amateur but journopocalypse is a way off. I spent Christmas reading mags like Huck and collections of music writing like the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2009 journal, and the standards are higher than ever, especially considering what all the bullshit from people like John Harris about the death of journalism would suggest. Of course the web isn't suited to text heavy content but at the same time was VBS's Donkumentary or Kevin Rose's Digg interview with Trent Reznor 'dumb' or 'bad' journalism? I wouldn't say so. At the same time, Peter Robinson's Popjustice site and his writing about pop elsewhere is funnier and much more sophisticated and biting than Smash Hits ever was. Then there's Sasha Frere-Jones at New Yorker and I suspect there more great books about music than there's ever been (I guess technically Luke Haines and Kill Your Friends isn't 'journalism').

I suspect the lack of a troop of great writers, all gunslinging at one publication like Creem, is more about economics because writing about music doesn't pay as well as say TV or other such pop culture, which is perhaps why the likes of Charlie Brooker, Miranda Sawyer and Laura Barton aren't writing about music as much? Even Swells was writing about Football to pay his rent, etc. And from my own experience, great writers, who value what they write, don't want to do it for free but sometimes do, by writing blogs, like musicians giving mp3s away, to let people sample their writing, in the hope of or to compliment, paid work.

6.      Do music fans simply demand things that print media can’t offer?

They don't know what they want. I suspect if Pitchfork went into print it'd outsell Rolling Stone and NME, and that's not because it's web-friendly but because it covers the music people currently want to read about, in a flicking-through-the-record-racks kinda way. I mean, how many print publications gave a record like Postal Service 'Give Up' the end of decade plaudits it deserved?

Of course the web with playlists and click to play buttons, trumps comprehending some confusing description. But it depends whether you class "music fans" as web-savvy, ringtone-listening, book-hating (Twilight and Harry Potter defy this logic) 14-21 year olds, like NME/etc still does or realise, like the hugely successful The Word, that people in their 50s may be listening to Leonard Cohen and Wilco but they bought Clash and Kraftwerk records in their teens and are interested in bands like My Morning Jacket and Grizzly Bear. When I was involved in the launch of and when I signed Martha Wainwright, this was something I was very aware of.

7.      Do you think user generated content will eventually supersede professional journalism?

I think its already, er, drowned it out somewhat. The reservoir of shite has always and will always exist, I just think that, as with crap bands, the truly great stuff will always be valued and be more successful (some will miss out on the success they deserve but the often very cynically motivated hobbyist crap, which gets no interest - or, if they wanted to do it as a job, enough ad rev - as you need about 100k readers before you can quit you day job!). The reason HipsterRunoff does so well is because it's very funny, GorillavsBear is always 'on it' with their recommendations, MBVmusic looks great and has great content... Popbitch didn't destroy celebrity gossip mags. Is HuffingtonPost going to kill the Guardian or FT, I don't think so but I suspect its made them pull their socks in a different direction. For some papers the web has meant less requirement to search out stories or research them as much due to the instant resources of the web.

The web may eat away at traditional media but most things compliment others and the process of adaption will ensure things which are popular and/or valued survive. Compromise and balance is more important than ever, for instance, if DiS just covered bands only a tiny niche have heard of, who play to 200 people, we'd struggling to get the 400k readers a month that currently visit the site. NME's website reaches more people than their magazine ever has and with sponsored awards shows and wotnot it's probably more profitable than its ever been too. ABC sales figures of the print title aren't the be all and end all. In the same way major labels are learning from what the likes of Trent Reznor is doing, Spin is learning from Stereogum...

8.      Do you personally welcome user generated material?

DiS was built upon it and will continue to be. However, we don't let everyone post our featured content (we select contributors based on quality of their submissions) and not every music fans wants or needs to voice their opinion. Our forums are hugely popular but only about 10% of those who post are active users. I started out as a music fan with no idea how to write or edit a 'magazine', and I've learnt everything by muddling through and making every mistake, so I'm still closer to being a webuser generating content, than a qualified, educated, professional journalist.

9.      Does the internet provide an engaging forum for discussion or an outlet for offensive and argumentative behaviour?

Both but mostly the latter. Within closed or selective communities things are always nicer but it's like choosing a pub, if you goto a Whetherspoons at 11 on a Friday night, it'll inevitably get rowdy.

10.     Do you think the anonymity of the internet spawns faceless or characterless journalism?

To some extents I guess it does. Lotsa people burrow themselves behind the media 'brand' and oddly even our readers still consider reviews to be the editorially-sanctioned 'DiS opinion', rather than that of the individual who wrote the review (something I'm trying to improve). I think characters are still out there writing but like trying to find a great band, it really isn't easy to find that sharp spark amongst the screaming throng of loser-generated blogs. It's very easy to throw rocks, it's incredibly hard (and takes an investment of time, which requires money, support and an element of freedom) to be Lester Bangs, Nick Kent or Charlie Brooker.

11.     Would you say the integration of social networking sites like Twitter/Facebook adds anything to online journalism or is it just a passing fad?

It makes it much easier to receive abuse! It does help great content spread and can be useful for keeping abreast of what's going on but not sure it's as important as people think. For instance, DiS has 11k+ Twitter followers, yet links we post rarely get 500+ clicks but on the flipside, we get a lot of new users from social networks. People are digesting more content but in different ways. I think music fans are spending less time coming to sites in case they've covered, say Radiohead, and spending more time looking at feeds of information, hoping to spot trends of bands being mentioned a lot, whilst waiting for a mention of Radiohead...

12.     Do you think people will ever be prepared to pay for online music criticism?

For news and pithy reviews, I don't think so. However, I think with the emergence of eReaders there's a chance lengthier articles may have a chance of being monetized. I also think people value curated content and realize that high-quality costs money, so has value. However, I think, with so many free alternatives, there's a lot less need to read to discover music or inform purchases, so it will remain ad-supported for quite some time. Should people pay for poetry? Should people pay to look at art? These are similar questions, I just think it's strange that recorded music and writing opinions about music, have similar questions based on the culture of the past 50 years, which isn't a great deal of time in the grand scheme of things.

13.     Do you think today’s audiences only want to read about stories as they break?

Sadly, I think that might be the case. It's interesting tho to see a rise of analysis of big stories in the media, led somewhat by mags like Newsweek. I think articulating an opinion on the story, to help people make sense of it (like all the fantastic Jay Reatard and Kate McGarrigle obituaries that ran lately). Been pondering this quite a lot with regard to festival coverage as a 'breaking' story but I think the people who want to read about festivals are most likely those there, unless it's Glastonbury.

14.     Does web-based writing spur as much passion for music as magazines do, in your opinion?

It can do, there's perhaps more honesty and passion online but, for some reason, it still doesn't have the same gravitas. I think there's still something to be said for the space that can be dedicated to a story in print. The web, in terms of design and shoving-stuff-in-readers-faces still hasn't achieved the same impact, so the element that most passionate recommendations which the editor decided everyone should read, isn't quite there. I think it's easy for great things to be missed or lost online, as it's hard to bring attention to things. And I think, with an air of 'maybe no-one's listening' or 'maybe i'm the only one reading this' the passion which goes into the writing or is received from it, is perhaps a little skewed but maybe that's just me.

15.     And finally do you think people today pay less attention to what magazines have to say and view the internet as a natural progression?

I'm not sure 'people' ever cared but an influential core are probably getting more out of the web and traditional media, than they ever were. I don't think it's an unnatural progression but it's happening so fast and I'm not sure enough people understand the seismic shift and how to get the best from it.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Radiohead: The Music Biz Could Cure Its Ills In One Week Radiohead: The Music Biz Could Cure Its Ills In One Week | paidContent:UK

“BitTorrent is very utilitarian, it’s deeply unsexy. The Richard Branson of nowadays would be able to set up a really amazing website for 14- to 24-year-olds that deals with their music ... and do something really innovative and make it really easy for people to buy music, and cheap.

“A lot of 14-to 17-year-olds don’t have credit cards, so how are they going to get music digitally? These are very, very, very basic issues - I find it staggering that the industry seems to be really dragging its heels on this - this is stuff that you could do in one week. Move quicker!

Posted via web from seaninsound's posterous

Kate McGarrigle: tributes from Rufus, Martha and Anna - Times Online

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Jan 14th 2010 - DiS mailout: Jay Reatard (RIP), Vampire Weekend, These New Puritans, Joanna Newsom...

D R O W N E D 
I N _ S O U N D


Welcome to the first mailout of twenny ten. We hope you're having a great year so far. We might say this every year but it REALLY looks like this year is gearing up to be an amazing year for music with records due from the likes of Joanna Newsom, LCD Soundsystem and various other previous album of the year list toppers!  And hopefully it'll be another great year for DiS (in 2009 we had 3,391,666 Unique Visitors and 34,440,993 Pageviews!?!), especially as we'll be celebrating our 10th Anniversary in October. But before we get ahead of ourselves, next week we'll be offering our guide to the year, with the acts and records we think you should be looking out for!

If you were busy getting tiddly before the break and missed any of our review of 2009, including our albums, singles and songs of the year, with various Spotify playlists and staff & artist mixtapes which we lovingly crafted so you can listen to what we're banging on about, cast your eyes 'n' ear 'ols this'a way

Lastly, tune in to BBC 6Music at 6PM (GMT) tonight to hear DiS' editor reviewing records on 'Steve Lamacq's Roundtable' or listen back to him (who I kidding, me, I can't ruddy afford to pay anyone to write these mailouts!) nattering about music on Radio1 with the current UK chart-topper here:

Here's what you might've missed if you've not been on the site over the past few weeks... 

New album 'Contra' is out this week, here's a director's commentary-like guide to the album by the band.

We're throwing a party with the Norwegian and Icelandic embassies, come discover some new acts and hear our editor 'DJ' on Jan 21st at the Lexington.

Single of the week from These New Puritans and lots more from the ever wonderful Wendy Roby

A new feature, listen to this week's recommended new releases. 

• BBC apologises over Coldplay and U2 promotion
• R.I.P: Jay Reatard dies aged 29
• Confirmed: Joanna Newsom album WILL be released in February, titled Have One On Me
• Autechre announce new album and UK tour
• Watch: Girls - 'Morning Light'
• Listen: Download The Ruby Suns - 'Cranberry', taken from Fight Softly
• Watch: New M.I.A. song, possibly on the album
• Joanna Newsom leaves us hanging over new album
• Vampire Weekend to play free show at Somerset House. Outside. In the cold.
• Watch: Julian Casablancas behind the scenes of '11th Dimension'
• Blood Red Shoes reveal album details
• Watch and Listen: Darren Hayman covers Vic Chesnutt
• Listen: Download Eels - 'Little Bird', taken from End Times
• Dirty Projectors release limited edition 7", make available for free digitally
• Wooden Shjips to release Vol. 2 compilation, tour
• Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody to work with R.E.M and Belle & Sebastian members for 'countryish' album
• Lou Barlow announces European and UK tour
• Peter Gabriel's song-swap album gets release date, live shows
• Lightspeed Champion celebrates Elvis' birthday with a cover
• Watch: Animal Collective - 'Brother Sport'
• Laura Marling announces details of second album
• Ellie Goulding wins BBC Sound of 2010 poll
• Liars expanded Sisterworld to feature Thom Yorke, Melvins, Bradford Cox + more
• (MF) DOOM to play London as part of 'A Taste Of Sonar'?
• Listen: Pit Er Pat - 'Water'
• Santigold to produce Devo and climb Kilamanjaro
• Iggy & The Stooges and more for Matt Groening ATP
• Listen: Stream of Vampire Weekend's Contra
• Animal Collated: The round-up of what the criticis thought to 2009

• Eels - End Times
• Race Horses - Goodbye Falkenberg
• Spoon - Transference
• Various - Pop Ambient 2010
• Owen Pallett - Heartland
• Various - Elevator Music Volume 1
• Malory - Pearl Diver
• These New Puritans - Hidden
• Sunburned Hand of the Man - A
• Paperplain - Entering Pale Town
• Various - Erased Tapes: Collection II
• The Whitefield Brothers - Earthology
• Kría Brekkan - Uterus Water
• Adam Green - Minor Love
• Various - Follow the Outline
• Shield Your Eyes - Shield 'Em
• Delphic - Acolyte
• Martyn - Fabric 50
• Lawrence Arabia - Chant Darling
• Vampire Weekend - Contra
• Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - The Road
• Olafur Arnalds - Dyad 1909

p.s. if you'd like a Facebook feed of our content, become a 'Fan' over at or follow us on Twitter or for a full site feed

Posted via email from seaninsound's posterous

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The crocs in the major label music biz now in full-360 death roll.

I can't wait until someone invents a 740 deal, which labels can make double the money the artist is making from all the artist revenues. Obviously own stakes in MySpace Music, Spotify, etc helps matters.
The full article is a little more revealing than that video but the video reminded me why I find major labels a bit like puffins, sticking their chests out and hoping something sticks. All these 'partnerships' are what indie labels have been doing for years but this idea that an act has to turn up fully-formed is nonsense, pretty much the only acts majors're currently signing are those who've had £30-80k invested in them by management companies. Has it always been such a high-risk business for high-rollers only?

Sunday, 10 January 2010

My/DiS' Song of the Day - Numbers 1-5 + Spotify playlist

This week, I launched a new feature on DiS. It's the bloomin' obvious concept and everyone's at it but I thought it high time we had a track/tune/song of the day on DrownedinSound. And if you add the below Spotify playlist to your playlists, you'll get the tracks automatically updated (if the songs are available).  Might have some guest choices, themed weeks and stuff like that, and will integrate it into the frontpage of the site when we have a new frontpage, which should hopefully be happening in February.

Anyway, here's what I chose for the first week of this feature...

"...a sewer of brass and into a rabbit warren of beats"

#2 - YEASAYER 'Ambling Alp'
", self-help in some back room with Purple Rain gone neon"

#3 - BEACH HOUSE 'Norway'
"huh-hur-huh ay-'ey ..soaring strings bend in twilight"

#4 - FRIGHTENED RABBIT 'Swim Until You Can't See Land'
"...the vitamin D factor... sun'n'whisky-sour-kissed bliss."

#5 - M83 'Don't Save Us From The Flames'
" a song I could happily crawl inside and die."

DiS' Song of the Day Spotify playlist:

Posted via email from seaninsound's posterous

Monday, 4 January 2010

A review of Arctic Monkeys @ Wembley that I just found in my Blackberry drafts

Arctic Monkeys
The durhhum-noo-noo-nuh-num-num-nurnur of the guitar strings twiddle and bend beneath the bullet-hail of drums, the combined to make the first three tracks sound surprisingly menace-zing. Twenny, maybe thirty feet away, beneath the spotlights and behind the smoke, Britian's best loved band take the stage...

Asses wiggle and rap hand gestures abound. Cameraphones snap-flash, hoping to create a perfect stop animation of Alex's hands alternating between strumming, mic holding and hair behind-ear-ing. The smartphone fireflies dissipate as the crowd does that changing tide push, crush and sway. Then, as a few breathes are caught, it continues anthem-ning it down! 'Brainstorm'  gets the entire arena "wuh-wuh"-ing its topline melody. Crash-crash and the bash. The thrash. The smash. Then the bang and the ass-walloping chorus of "I bet you look good on t' dah-antz-floor" which is gutturally uh-uhing from the chapped lips of every beer slingin' brawler with his eyes slammed shut, screaming "FER-ROM NINETEEN EIIIGHT-TEA FOUR-WAHHH!" Meanwhile, these geez's better-halfs point their chewed manicures stageward, poking at every offbeat of the drum riddim.

'Excuberent' (read: probably 'charlie' snaffling) pockets of the crowd are going nuts, bubbling apart like lava melting and bursting through ice as circle-pits open out and stray limbs swing, near-skanking showing themselves as deniers of their inner-Ska kid. Charged atoms thrust - skulls, hips and chests clash to the dur-dum-doom-doom of the Homme-enhanced, violence-threatening backdrop come hail of aural-projectiles.

Lightning tears of genius zap the room, yet the hollow headed chromedomes behind me yarble their "Play the fahhhkin first album-bum" yakkedy-yakking. They heckle and moan, yet excitedly spill or sling their empty plastic cups every time there's a false-ending (of which, tonight, there are perhaps a few too many). These shiny-headed Fred Perry-shirted REAL MEN are alone in their new album berating, as the skull-bashing 'n' bouncing merry ruckus on the floor below me attests. The sweaty throng bellow every sylabol. Damp fart/dark cloud of Be Here Now, this is not. No, this rebirthed, rocked-up, Badseeds indepted tomb-pop tomes, have the entire crowd - your humble scribe included - lost in awe.

The drone, the snake shadows on the walls, the steam train wooh-ooh-oohs become incantions for a collective snake hip wriggle as 'Potion Approaching' crescendos. And those drums, oh those drums, they even have the baldies behind me under their spell. 'Cornerstone' provides a moment of relative Christmas-single calm. Meanwhile, circle pit scores are settled and girlfriends cuddled.

On stage, few words are forthcoming as beers are 'swug' and guitars tuned. And on it rattles.... 'View from the Afternoon' shouldn't fit but, like a salmon-shirted man shimmying to the bar, the indie-pop jangle wrangles its way in. In fact, somehow, every track, be it via vernacular, dialectual dexterity or simple clack-clatter, fits together and coheres, perhaps not seamlessly so but it is not as scarecrow jackets as it could or should be. It's hit after hit, each one a night-we-met and warmest-party/festival memory rekindler.

Its been said a billion times before but they are Britishness destilled down to its soap scum, steamy mirrored, hungover in Whetherspoons simplest elixir. Tonight, it rolls on and rocks more than just a little until Alex sings "fool's on pah-raid, ca-vort and fook abaht" in a distant written song about the throng sweating before him - with an honourable mention to those nose-bleedin' in the gents.

Ending with an encore of 'Florescent Adolescent' which sends arms aloft, stirs the bouncey-bounce-bounce and has the room shouting " your fishnets... Night dress... Tabasco... Rascle..." before leaving the stage to my song of the decade: '505'... 

Click here to see the In Photos feature on

Sunday, 3 January 2010

A date for your new diary...

I'm hosting the above show of Nordic acts in association with the Icelandic and Norwegian music export embassies. Really excited to see Sudden Weather Change again as they were amazing at Iceland Airwaves (my review) - they're a bit like Hot Hot Heat meets Q and Not U, Burning Airlines, Les Savy Fav and all those frantic-but-fun angular party bands! Have a listen to all the bands on Spotify here.

For more details and a chance to win a trip to Iceland click here

RSVP on, Songkick, DiS, Facebook (coming soon) 

Thursday, January 21st
Ja Ja Ja presents...
7pm £6, adv £5

Leaves (Iceland)

Simon Says No! (Norway)

Sudden Weather Change (Iceland)

We are happy to announce that Ja Ja Ja will be blasting into 2K10 with another stellar line up of Nordic talent! On January 21st, 2010, at our regular establishment The Lexington, three more excellent bands will be strutting their stuff in a bid to impress the venue's upbeat mix of hipsters, industry insiders and regulars. 

Curated by Drowned in Sound editor and indie rock's man-about-town Sean Adams, the January Ja Ja Ja will showcase indie pop outfit The Leaves, Norway's fuzz-rockers Simon Says No! and dynamic Icelandic troupe Sudden Weather Change.

Posted via web from seaninsound's posterous

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