Albums of Note... Dave Grohl managed to rally a group of rock’s big players together to record an album designed to accompany his Sound City documentary – about the legendary LA recording studio of the same name. Amongst the stars making an appearance on Sound City: Real to Reel are Sir Paul McCartney, Josh Homme and Stevie Nicks; the latter of whom provides one of the album’s highlights:
“[The] tracks that do command attention… are worth wading through the mire for. One can only assume, for instance, that Lindsay Buckingham and the rest of Fleetwood Mac will be kicking themselves upon hearing 'You Can't Fix This,' because this is simply the greatest Fleetwood Mac song that never was.”
Somewhat curiously, Dermot O’Leary has achieved that previously-thought-unobtainable feat of managing to juggle the task of hosting X Factor and still maintaining a vaguely credible career as a radio host. His Saturday Sessions CDs have been showcasing the talent that he’s aired on his weekend radio show, for some time now and here we have the 2013 issue of the compilation series. There are highs and lows on this particular collection. At the nadir, we have Plan B’s “ill-advised” take on Blur’s ‘Song 2, though Maverick Sabre gets things back on track with his soulful version of Alicia Keys’ ‘Empire State of Mind.’
“The artists included cover a broad spectrum, from near-unknowns to arena fillers, and predictably results vary from the terrific to the terrible.”
Palma Violets have barely been in existence for two years but already they have had a whole heap of expectation thrown their way, as they are lauded from all corners of the music press and hailed as the next big band to lead the charge for the UK’s live music scene. Having been hastily lumped with a burgeoning pile of psych-influenced bands, Palma Violets had a lot to live up to with their debut album – 180 - and although there are qualities to be spoken off, they’re not quite able to justify the hype.
“On the whole, 180 is a good album and whilst there are no particular revelatory moments it's still a cracking spin. The trio of closing tracks, including the 8 minute finale '14' … should have been lost in the edit. Less would have most definitely meant more here.”
A Week in Videos... Kendrick Lamar is another artist with the weight of expectation on their shoulders. He’s been pegged as the future of hip-hop and the production on the video for ‘Poetic Justice’ is as slick as his rhymes. Featuring a few verses from Drake (who appears in the video with a lady who bears more than a passing resemblance to a famous ex of his…), ‘Poetic Justice’ is a dark and moody number, an exploration of guilt, regret and vengeance.
Hotel owners beware! Birmingham rockers Peace are probably the kind of the band that will trash your hotel rooms. In fact, judging by the video for ‘Follow Baby,’ the destruction of rooms and furniture is something that just sort of… happens… when they are around. The song may have an underlying message of “we’re gonna live together,” as the band proudly show off their love of former Brit heroes Oasis and Stone Roses, but the same cannot be said for the soft furnishings of the room that they habit here, which gets rather swiftly destroyed.
In her bid to prove that she can be more than just a one-hit wonder, here comes Carly Rae Jepsen with ‘Tonight I’m Getting Over You.’ Starting out with home-video style footage of her beau, the video for this ‘equal parts catchy and forgettable’ glossy pop number, gets increasingly angsty, to the point that Jepsen appears to actually forget how to take a bath (No clothes, Carly! Clothes off for the bath, remember!?). It’s unlikely that we’ll see a repeat of the success of ‘Call Me Maybe,’ here: in the meantime, could someone please remind Miss Jepsen not to distract her boyfriend whilst he’s driving? Thanks.
Music in the News... Did someone say ‘supergroup’? Radiohead’s Thom Yorke’s side project, Atoms For Peace, features Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, famed producer Joey Waronker, long-term Radiohead engineer Nigel Godrich and Barazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco. To support the release of their recent, acclaimed album Amok, the band are headed out on a European tour in July, with tickets going on sale Wednesday March 6, the band are also scheduled to play Melt Festival.
After his successful night at this year’s Brit awards, taking home the Critics’ Choice award (and of course, managing to land a date with Taylor Swift), Tom Odell has just announced a major tour of the UK this October. His debut album Long way Down will be released before that, in April.
The dubiously-titled 'Kanrocksas' festival has announced its 2013 line-up. Taking place on the last weekend in June in (you guessed it… or maybe you didn’t) Kansas, at the Kansas Speedway, visitors will be treated to a pretty diverse selection of artists, including New York art-punks Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the aforementioned Kendrick Lamar and punk stalwarts the Descendents.