Archive for June, 2012

Hip Hop on Trial Debate

Hip Hop on Trial Debate

“Success never smelled so sweet, I stink of success!” So declared Jay-Z  this weekend at a concert in London’s Hackney Marshes. The one time crack dealer was well placed to make such claims coming from ‘rock’ bottom to become one of the richest rappers on the planet.

But is rap an art form that gives the street a voice? Or is it all just money, misogyny and materialism? Is hip-hop the authentic voice of the oppressed that turns anger into poetry and political action – or is it a glorification of all that holds back oppressed minorities and hinders them from mainstream assimilation?

This week, Intelligence Squared and Google+ team up for a never-before-seen global debate on hip-hop. Taking place in London’s historic Barbican Centre and streamed live on the web through Intelligence Squared’s unique Versus courtroom format the event will showcase two brilliant advocates who will grill the panellists to build a case either for or against the motion.

Speakers will be on stage will include Jesse Jackson, Q-Tip, KRS-One, P. J. O’Rourke, Estelle, ?uestlove and many more either appearing on the big screen via Google+ Hangout.

In an exclusive London appearance, virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier will face off with critical voices Shaun Bailey, David Cameron’s adviser on youth and crime, Tony Sewell, youth charity founder, and Hattie Collins, music editor of i-D magazine. P J O’Rourke, America’s leading satirist, will be adding his dose of wit and libertarianism on the Hangout from his hideaway in New Hampshire.

When: Tuesday, 26 June, 19:00-20:30 GMT (What’s the time in London Now?)

Watch and Vote Online:
Versus YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/versusdebates and  Versus Google+ Channel bit.ly/iq2google

Comments & thoughts welcome below…


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The Griswolds - Heart of a lion

The Griswolds – Heart of a lion

The Griswolds present a giant bundle of fun with their new single Heart of a Lion. Livelier than a box of frogs, this fast paced, fresh faced Sydney five piece Sydney are creating a bit of a name for themselves around town; not least for trashing the studio in which they filmed their latest video clip. They have since been banned from returning after the shoot took 5 days to mop up. Oops!

The Griswolds have had a strong start to 2012, with support shows alongside some of Australia’s best new bands including Millions, San Cisco, Hey Geronimo, and Kids of 88. I saw them last week at Bondi’s Beach Rd hotel and they tore it up so make sure you are in attendance for their upcoming gigs.  To get you in the mood their latest track, Heart of a Lion, is available free via their bandcamp page. Dates for the Sydney gigs under the clip.

Oxford Art Factory – HAT PARTY
July 13th
w/ Made In Japan, Toucan, Tom Ugly

FBI Social – Kings Cross Hotel
July 20th
w/ City Riots and In Measures

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Friends - Manifest!

Friends – Manifest!

So this week I finally got my mits on the new album from Brooklyn based, funk-pop five piece, Friends. The much talked about and highly anticipated Manifest! album finally hit records stores on 1st June bringing with it  “the hottest record in the world” according to BBC Radio One’s Zane Lowe.

Lead singer Samantha Urbani delivers a vast range of vocal stylings with lyrics ranging from whimsical to down right punk over the twelve tracks that make up the Manifest! album. Blending styles haphazardly with a light hearted approach to music the album delivered against the high expectations and continues to receive strong reviews.

Stand out moments are provided by the wickedly nonchalant swagger of  I’m His Girl and Mind Control, the album’s funk laden crescendo. Both singles, the former a previous release the latter the most recent, are a hint of the schizophrenic fun drenched nature of Manifest! Jumping joyously from hip-hop to funk and awkward post-pop-punk the album embraces a care free approach to music making devoted entirely to your listening pleasure.

Check out Manifest! via a your nearest music outlet of choice, a solid first album awaits.

Like Friends – Check out these cats: Northeast Party House

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First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit – Blue

Here’s a little Monday afternoon treat provided by Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, better known as First Aid Kit. You might recall the girls from YouTube with their 2008 cover of Fleet Foxes, Mountain Peasant Song, or maybe you marvelled at the performance of Patti Smith’s Dancing Barefootat the Polar Prize in Stockholm last year? A performance so strong it bought smith to tears.

This year, First Aid Kit, released their sophomore album, The Lion’s Roar a record so bursting full of alternative folk rock that it sounds as though it were spawned from the loins of the dusty midwest, belying the two bashful Scandinavian women you see in the image above. The record has good reason to sound this way after being recorded mostly in Omaha and produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes fame.

The breezy pop radiation of current single, Blue, has been gaining deserved airtime in the UK and throughout Europe. Providing a stunning example of what lies in wait on the album. Fans of Joanna Newsome, Bright Eyes or local talent Faith Lee should purchase the album.The real clip is still in production but shaping up to be utterly beautiful, as you might expect.

If you like First Aid Kit – You’ll love Tigertown

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Tigertown - Witches & Lions

Tigertown – Witches & Lions

Sydney six piece Tigertown are heading back on the road, bringing their enchanting blend of folk pop to a venue near you soon. Having already built on the successes of last year that saw Tigertown support the likes of Matt Corby & Emma Louise the band look set to make 2012 a year to remember.

Armed with a new management team in the form of Rowan Brand and Catherine Haridy (Eskimo Joe) and publicity from Mucho Bravado the band have just released a stunning new single Witches & Lions with a follow up EP scheduled for release imminently.

To celebrate these activities Tigertown are embarking on the ‘Age of Winter’ tour delivering their compelling live shows, full of magical harmonies and heartfelt lyrics to a string of cosy venues up and down the East coast. Witches & Lions is a strong return to scene and a signifier of what we can expect form the EP.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the band play live a few times, not forgetting the live set they played for us on Bondi FM, and they never disappoint. Sydneysiders should come along to the Hibernian House on 21st June for a magical musical experience that will not be forgotten.

Full tour dates below the Witches & Lions clip:

  • Sunday 10th June – The Queen’s Wharf, Newcastle
  • Thursday 14th June – Ed Castle, Adelaide
  • Saturday 16th June – Pure Pop Records, St Kilda
  • Sunday 17th June – The Workers Club, Melbourne
  • Thursday 21st June – Hibernian House, Sydney
  • Sunday 1st July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane

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