Tag Archives: 2010

Mercury Prize Shortlist 2010

22 Jul

The Mercury prize shortlist has been revealed and it’s a predictably random collection of albums from the last twelve months. There are a few obvious choices (The XX, Wild Beasts, Dizzee Rascal, Mumford and Sons) and a few that might surprise you (Paul Weller, I Am Kloot, villagers). The XX should win in my opinion and I reckon they probably will – I’ve been right most years in the past (last year being a shocking exception!!) and I couldn’t think of it going to a more deserving band.

Here is a list of nominees and the odds

Dizzee Rascal – Tongue N’ Cheek (4/1)
The xx – xx (4/1)
Paul Weller – Wake Up the Nation (6/1)
Corinne Bailey Rae – The Sea (6/1)
Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More (6/1)
Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can (6/1)
Foals – Total Life Forever (8/1)
Wild Beasts – Two Dancers (8/1)
Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions (8/1)
Villagers – Becoming a Jackal (10/1)
Kit Downes Trio – Golden (10/1)
I Am Kloot – Sky at Night (10/1)

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Download announcment and other festival rumours

17 Feb

The Download lineup continues to get better every year, but this time the organizers have really outdone themselves. AC/DC, Aerosmith and Rage Against The Machine will all be playing the event this June and it doesn’t get much better than that. Also playing will be Motorhead, Them Crooked Vultures, Deftones, Megadeath, Wolfmother and a fair load of tosh just to even things out. Download has upped it’s game and now the other festivals need to follow suit.

Glastonbury has also pulled out the big guns by announcing none other than Stevie Wonder, U2 and Muse for the event’s big anniversary year.

Reading and Leeds have not announced a thing yet although Blink 182 are all but confirmed (Woop!) and eveyone from Greenday to R.E.M, My Chemical Romance to Guns N Roses have also been rumoured. At V Kasabian and Kings of Leon are probably playing and Isle of White has got The Strokes, Blondie and Jay Z.

Watch this space…

Meanwhile tickets for Rage against the Machine’s victory concert went on sale this morning. The 40,000 tickets sold out instantly, the concert will go ahead in June before the band play Dublin, Rock Am Ring and of course Download.

TEN TO WATCH IN 2010 – #2 MAGIC KIDS

21 Jan

Here are a very exciting young band from Memphis who make fantastic, traditional pop songs. Magic Kids have only released one single so far but Rough Trade called it the best song of 2008, and I wouldn’t argue. ‘Hey Boy’ is an infectious sing along anthem in the style of Phil Spector or The Beach Boys. The other song, ‘Superball’,  is just as good.  Magic Kids are currently touring with Girls, and they have played shows with The Drums and Smith Westerns. As of yet they haven’t played in England but hopefully that will change this year. Lets also hope we get to hear more music from this brilliant new band.

http://www.myspace.com/themagickids

TEN TO WATCH IN 2010 – #3 BEST COAST

20 Jan

Best Coast are a lo-fi pop band who sound a bit like The Ramones playing The Shangri-las or the Ronettes. There are a lot of bands doing exactly the same thing as Best Coast (you seemingly can’t move for a hip ‘no-fi’ band in the USA), but these songs are much higher in quality than most, probably because they rely on melody and joy over gimmicks and feedback. It will be fun to see if this singles driven act can come up with an album as brilliant as a song like ‘The Sun Was High and So Was I’.

http://www.myspace.com/bestycoasty

TEN TO WATCH IN 2010 – #4 JOY ORBISON

19 Jan

Joy Orbison is impressive for what he is doing differently. Dubstep is probably the only truly cutting edge form of pop music right now, It’s basically dance but with the emotion that dance has always lacked. The dark undertones and urban influence are also quite unique. Most of it up until now has been made to sound like something you would hear late at night in a car radio, but Joy Orbison’s sound is clean, clear and euphoric. If anyone is going to lead the genre into the mainstream it will be him.

http://www.myspace.com/joyorbison

TEN TO WATCH IN 2010 – #6 THEOPHILUS LONDON

17 Jan

Theophilus is without a doubt the most exciting hip hop artist since Kanye West. His list of influences is immaculate, it’s like a roll call of my personal idols – Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Brian Wilson, Ian Cutis, Morrissey, The Ramones – even Disney gets a mention. The front cover of his latest mixtape is an homage to Elvis Costello, whilst his previous one references the Jam. This is a rapper with a unique sensibility, a unique image and unique influences. His music samples The Smiths but is actually a little more traditional than that would suggest. 808 rhythms form the back beat of his songs and his lyrics are fairly slandered fare. Nonetheless I can’t wait to hear his full length next year – recent bright young things in hip hop have disappointed when it comes to albums (Wale, Kid Cudi, Rhymefest) so here’s hoping Theophilus can deliver.

http://www.myspace.com/theophiluslondon

TEN TO WATCH IN 2010 – #7 HURTS

16 Jan

Hurts are an interesting synth pop band who sound a bit like a missing link between the bleakness of Joy Division and the euphoric synth direction on New Order. Their key belief is that pop music should be simple and this is reflected in their sound, lyrics, stage direction and artwork. I am excited to see if this will catch on because I think they could be on to something with that.

http://www.myspace.com/ithurts