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9 Things We Learnt From Kanye’s Interview With Zane Lowe

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 11.25.17 amKanye West has had a remarkable few weeks. He stormed the stage at the Grammys, gave a great interview on Power 105, debuted Wolves while launching his Adidas range, performed All Day at the Brits and received a BET Honorary Award. It seems like he’s really stepped things up in preparation for the follow-up of 2013’s Yeezus, which is surely due for release very soon given his heavy promotional schedule.

Before the Brits he sat down with Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe to chat about fashion, design and of course, his new music. It’s a notably different interview to the interview he had with Lowe in 2013 in which he infamously called himself “the number one rockstar on the planet.” It genuinely feels like he’s found some kind of peace, maybe through finally finding a brand to realise his fashion vision. He seems calm, collected and happy about what’s still to come this year. Here’s nine things we learnt from hearing the new Kanye.

He’s Still Trying To Bring The Cost Of His Adidas Range Down

If you;ve been living under a rock you probably will still be privy to the information that Kanye has just dropped a clothing-line with Adidas titled Yeezy Season 1. “Adidas was a company that was flexible enough and had been used to dealing with creatives enough to allow me to create something that was very close to my heart. Original hip-hop,” Kanye told Zane Lowe.

While he spoke a little bit about the design of the range, Kanye seemed to be more interested in talking about his clothes as a way of breaking down class-structure. “The deal has nothing to do with the idea of the higher-ups in society. The idea is about the moment when I bring a shoe to a kid in footlocker and take it back to the moment when I worked at the Gap and put the shoe on his feet,” he said. He continued by appropriately referencing one of his tracks Power – “No one man should have all that power, everyone should have it.” He also apologised for the price of the range, promising that he’s working on bringing it down so it’s affordable for everyone. “Nothing should be exclusive, everyone should have the opportunity to drink from the same fountain,” he said.

He Has Revolutionary Ideas For Disney And/Or Universal

Kanye has made a number of quips about wanting to move into a deal with Disney. In the past he’s likened himself to Walt Disney and in an interview last week with radio station Power 105 he said ““In the same way Adidas supported me, I want Disney Imagineering to support my ideas.” He elaborated a little more on that way saying he’d approached Disney and Universal with the same film that convinced Adidas to take a chance of him. He said, “I showed him what I had shot n Qatar, the Cruel Summer film, that was using seven screens, the surround vision idea, which you’ve never seen online because you have to experience in its space…this is the next frontier of how you need to see film.” As of yet, Disney and Universal are yet to take the chance.

He Thinks Drake Is The Hottest Rapper In The World

Drake and Kanye are arguably the two biggest rappers on the planet right now so it’s interesting to see the love-hate relationship that is forming here. On Power 105 Kanye admitted to at one point planning a collaborative album with Drake that fell through, Drake also covered Only One and FourFiveSeconds at a show recently. Speaking to Zane Lowe, Kanye called Drake “the hottest rapper…in the game.” On Drake’s new mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Kanye said “that shit is good.” He added, “The main thing is the fact that he is delivering a level of product…to humanity that is of high-quality, it works.”

He’s Still Not Giving Much Away About The New Album

We’ve already heard that the album is 80% done and that it will be a surprise drop but apart from that there’s little we can tell about it. On All Day he raps hard, on Wolves he doesn’t rap, on Only One he sings with Paul McCartney on keys – as you can see, it’s pretty hard to determine a common thread. Kanye told Zane very little about the new album. “We’re being inventive and I’ve still got a lot of opinions and perspectives,” he said, which pretty much goes without saying. He also said on regards to its subject matter, “It’s still the struggle but the beauty from the struggle.”

The Rihanna and Kanye Tour Is Happening, Probably

Somebody sprung a leak somewhere last week that we may have a Rihanna and Kanye tour on our hands. Now it’s all but confirmed. “I don’t believe I’m supposed to confirm or not confirm,” Kanye said with Lowe adding “So that’s happening.” Just think FourFiveSeconds, All The Lights, Run This Town, Diamonds…it’s going to be spectacular.

Kanye Can Get Emotional

At one point Kanye started speaking about one of his mentors Louise Wilson who was a Professor at the College of Arts and Design in London and somebody Kanye called,”The baddest professor of all time of any fashion school ever for not letting people stop at a 7 or 8 ever, pushing people to a 12.”  She passed away last year at the age of 52 and before that she had a conversation with Kanye. “She just wanted to give me some words of advice…she said so many students they don’t give it their all. As soon as they do something good…their parents clap. She looked and me and said “Kanye, don’t clap”,” he said. After that he broke down and had to be excused from the interview. He later returned and said, “That’s never happened to me in an interview before.”

His Collaboration With Paul McCartney Has Unlocked A Creative Goldmine

Three months ago nobody could’ve imagine Paul McCartney and Kanye West sharing a line on a single cover but now it almost feels natural. McCartney and Kanye have so far released FourFiveSeconds with Rihanna and Only One both of which are about the furthest away from hip-hop Kanye has ever travelled. Kanye said, “I like the differences of views and our approach to music like when I was sitting making music with Paul McCartney I came in with a list of complaints and he was like ..”it’s all cool though, let’s make some music”.” It seems that there are hundreds of songs that have been made by the two although it’s still uncertain how many will appear on the album.

Zane Lowe compared the music to something you would’ve heard in the mid-70s in California to which Kanye replied, “I liked songs like that when I was growing up. The type of chord-changes that Paul does I don’t even understand but to be involved with writing a song like that…meeting Paul McCartney is like meeting Ralph Lauren.” He ended with “Fusion is the future. Period.”

The Grammys Are Like His Ex-Girlfriend

Everyone should be all over at what went down at the Grammys last week in regards to the Beck situation. This was Kanye’s first Grammys in six years and he compared it to an ex-girlfriend saying, “The Grammys are like an ex-girlfriend, as soon as you get in the car with it you want to go right back home.” He also admitted to maybe have jumped the gun by critiquing Beck’s Album of the Year Grammy win. “When I was ironically having dinner with Taylor Swift the Beck song started playing…maybe I might have been wrong,” he said in what is perhaps the most glorious image of the 21st century.

taylorkanye

He Understands He Was A Bit Full On 

A few years ago you could barely go a day without hearing that Kanye is a genius or that he’d complained of being misunderstood. He’s already admitted to not really knowing how to spread his message at that point. He continued on that point to Lowe saying, “Imagine if someone said this to a lady in a bar, “Yo what up, Imma genius”…that’s who I was and that was the frustration I had. I was the 40 Year Old Virgin of dealing with corporations.”

Watch the whole interview below:

PrettyShady

5 Ways You Can Still Look Super Fly While Surviving The Sun At Festivals

PrettyShady

The sun is one of the Australian summer’s biggest draw cards. While in the UK, summer festivals are usually typified by images of wellies, mud and ponchos (hello, Glastonbury!), Australian festivals are all about the shining sun, blue skies and summer clothes.

While we much prefer the latter, there’s one fundamental problem with it. As lovely as the sun is it can be seriously damaging if you don’t approach it in the right way. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and it’s the most common cancer affecting young Australians. That’s us. The type that spend hours out in the sun at festivals and only cover up if it looks trendy.

The scary fact is that while you think you look cool for one day, there’s a chance you or your friends won’t feel so cool later on down the track. Two in three of your friends will be diagnosed with skin cancer, meaning that there’s a high chance that out of your group of festival goers a high proportion of them will suffer from all that time spent out in the sun.

These days young people, like us, have an alter-ego named ‘future me’ which kindly deals with nearly every consequence. Unfortunately, it’s this reliance on ‘future me’ that is making young people oblivious to the damage the sun can have on you later down the track.

Our buddies at Pretty Shady are tackling this problem with a sweet range of sunnies, hats, umbrellas and more which aims to inspire young Australians to be part of the generation that stops skin cancer. Stopping sun damage can prevent 95% of melanomas so we’ve compiled a few tips to keep you looking cool, staying cool and keeping yourself protected from the sun at what summer festivals are left.

Find some badass sunnies

If you don’t have sunglasses, you’re a bit behind the times. Shopping for festival sunnies is a staple summer activity but chances are that your $20 specs from ASOS aren’t quite going to cut it when it comes to protecting you from the sun. When you’re looking for sunnies, make sure they’re close-fitting and feature ‘good UV protection’ which can absorb more than 95% of UV radiation. If you’re not keen on squinting for the whole day look for polarised sunglasses which reduces the sun’s glare.

Look, Solange digs sunnies:

Image: Saint Records Instagram

Image: Saint Records Instagram

And so does Este Haim:

Image: Haimtheband Instagram

Image: Haimtheband Instagram

Get a hat

Hats are a great festival accessory but you’ve got to tread a very thin line between blocking yourself from the sun and blocking everybody else’s view. Take note that while it may be in to dress like Lleyton Hewitt and swing the hat around the other way, it’s almost pointless. Just twist it 180 degrees and the skin of future you will like you so much more.

This hat is ok for festivals:

Image: Beyonce Instagram

Image: Beyonce Instagram

This hat will block everybody’s view. Shame on you Beyonce, save it for the beach.

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Guys, Jerome LOL has the right idea here, Samo Sound Boy doesn’t.

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Image: Body High Instagram

Wear clothing that covers the shoulders

We’re not saying where a cloak to a festival but there are much more sensible options that singlets. It will also remind everybody that they are not at Stereosonic. There are plenty of T-Shirts around (surprising, I know) that will ensure that your neighbour never has your armpit in their face when that pivotal, hands-in-the-air drop arrives.

Jessie Ware. Nailed it.

Image: Jessie Ware Instagram

Image: Jessie Ware Instagram

Vic Mensa, also killing it:

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Wear sunscreen

Nobody will be able to see it but wearing sunscreen is all about the next day. Nobody wants to be attending post-festival hangs or work the next day with a red nose and a spotty back, particularly in summer. The First Aid tent at every festival also has sunscreen if you realise that you’ve forgotten it or lost it while running between acts. You can get SPF 30+ sunscreen which will be a warrior against the sun for you on the day.

Find shade

It’s unlikely that you’re going to be spending every waking hour of the festival running around acts. Grab a drink and something to eat and find somewhere shady to sit. If there are trees, they do a great job but if you’re at a stadium go and sit in the seats undercover. Nobody’s going to judge you for looking like you’re having the most relaxing time ever. It’s impractical to bring an umbrella to a festival so this is your best bet. Also you’ll sweat less in the shade. That means less body odour. Less body odour is good.

Look at Little Dragon chillin’ out in the shade:

Image: Little Dragon Instagram

Image: Little Dragon Instagram

With the aid of a special UV filter, we gathered together some (un)willing individuals, ourselves included, to see the powerful difference a layer of sunscreen can make to protecting your skin and how crucial this application of sunscreen actually is. See the results below:

 

Group-4

Group-7

Group-2

Group-1

Group-3

Group-5

Group-6

Group-8

Group-10

Group-11

Group-9

Safe to say that we’ve each already invested in litre-sized bottles of SPF 30+ sunscreen.

For more information, visit Pretty Shady.

9songs

9 Current Songs That Prove Interesting Music Can Top The Charts

9songs

When you turn on the radio and the first thing you hear is “Dear future husband…”, it’s pretty easy to get down on the state of music. The truth is that the commercial world of music is full of injustice. They play a song about “finding a cheerleader” but they don’t play FKA twigs and they’d rather play a song called All About That Bass than anything that actually has bass like say, Run The Jewels.

The fact is any successful business knows their audience and they play these songs because they’re popular or they want to make them popular. It’s a stubborn, unchangeable business but that’s why it’s all the more joyful when something really memorable seeps through. For those who have lost hope with mainstream music here are nine reasons why we should hold our heads up about what’s popular at the moment:

Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney – FourFiveSeconds

The trajectory of this song has been very interesting to watch. When the song dropped out of the blue earlier this month it was almost to a collective “what the fuck”. Nobody knew if it was Rihanna or Kanye’s song or what on earth Paul McCartney was doing with two of the biggest stars in urban music. After being performed at the Grammys, the song has risen to number one on the ARIA Charts and is on high rotation on commercial radio.

It only took about three different instruments to make FourFiveSeconds and yet it’s easily one of the most captivating songs of the year. Kanye is obviously going through a spout of minimalism at the moment and it’s worked wonders for Rihanna. She sounds the most raspy and powerful she has in years. She’s an artist who’s always looked for new things to do and it’s almost comical that it took her to strip a song to the bone to create one of the highlights of her career. This is a game-changer. You can expect more and more songs to sound like this in the year ahead.

Taylor Swift – Style

Who would’ve thought that such a straight-out pop album would’ve become one of the more divisive of last year (for triple j listeners at least)? The reason 1989 was so divisive is because people outside the mainstream started to show appreciation for what was a brilliantly conceived pop album. The naysayers were left wondering why they were suddenly left alone when every jumped to team Tay Tay.

Style is by far one of the highlights of 1989. It’s a slinky, immaculate pop tune with a throbbing bass-line. The song was written by Taylor Swift with Max Martin who’s made some of the biggest pop tunes of all time (Since U Been Gone, I Kissed A Girl, Shake It Off). What makes it so interesting is it actually sounds like nothing else on the charts right now. The melody is straight out of the how-to-make-a-pop-song book but the instrumental is dim-lit and brooding with the percussion taking cues from the ‘80s.

Florence + The Machine – What Kind Of Man

This may be hovering just past the top ten on iTunes’ around the world but it’s a pretty spectacular feat for a song that’s so angsty and raw. Florence has crossed over into the mainstream many time before but that was with the help of Calvin Harris or a cover, never with a song like this. A lot of its success comes from the fact that people are happy to have Florence back but this is a testing song. Her voice wails amongst growling guitars and thrashing percussion while all the while she taunts “What kind of man loves like this?”

Florence Welch has done a brilliant job over the last five years of bringing interesting, challenging ideas to a wider audience and it seems she’ll be stretching that ever more on her next album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. The best thing is, as soon as you hear one of her songs it couldn’t be anybody else in the world singing it. That’s a quality that many songs on the charts miss.

Tinashe – 2 On (Feat. Schoolboy Q)

More than a year after its release and Australian audiences are starting to catch onto this tune by US RnB singer Tinashe. It’s already been a hit in the US but radio has just put this on high rotation which is odd for such a bare urban track. You’d have to go as far back as Ashanti to find a song as minimal as this climbing up the charts.

It works because Tinashe’s melodies in the verses are so tight and she struts vocally with gusto. She’s confident and immediately gives us a whiff of her personality on 2 On. It’s obvious she’s young, it’s clear she’s cool and best of all it sounds like she’s a self-made artist. This type of song doesn’t usually seep through on the Australia charts but it could open a door for many more.

Hayden James – Something About You

Commercial radio have shyed away from many Future Classic artists in the past. They only started playing Flume’s Holdin’ On once it was a certified alternative hit and Chet Faker can owe most of his success to triple j’s build-up. It seems, however, that one artist in particular has caught their attention of late. That man is Hayden James who is currently sitting at number 24 on the Radio Airplay Chart with Something About You.

The track which appeared on Future Classic’s Teen Idols compilation and has since become a budding commercial hit. It’s warm synths and deep-house-esque beats have struck a chord with Australian audiences (he may have Chet Faker to thank for warming them up). It’s actually quite rare to find a track like this finding favour on the charts. Even mainstream Australian audiences passed on much of Disclosure’s efforts despite their obvious pop notions.

Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk (Feat. Bruno Mars)

It may be driving most insane now but don’t forget the first time you the blaring horns of Uptown Funk coupled with that infectious beat. Uptown Funk reached sales in excess of one million this week in the UK and in Australia it’s been certified platinum five times but sonically it stands by itself on the charts. Ronson was very clever in pulling Bruno Mars into this song because not only does he do a brilliant job vocally, he also brings a certain likeability for audiences that may not be so familiar with Ronson’s work.

Uptown Funk is the kind of song that demands you listen the first time you hear it. It’s almost obnoxious how in-your-face it is. It does so on its own terms though. It’s not following a mainstream trend, there’s no EDM-flavours, almost none of that typical Max Martin-sheen and no lyrics regarding forbidden love.

Charli XCX – Doing It (Feat. Rita Ora)

Charli XCX is one of the first popstars of this millenium that’s done it completely on her own terms. Nowadays jumping on an Iggy Azalea track is a planned career move but we’ve got to remember that when Charli featured on Fancy Iggy was yet to achieve any mainstream success. Charli then took her newfound fame and released a record inspired by obscure Swedish punk music. It’s an odd route to take but it’s one that have made the charts far more interesting.

Doing It sees Charli team up with Rita Ora for an unlikely pop anthem about “doin it like we’re doin it”. The video sees her dressed as a glamourised cowboy. It’s not pretty, neither of them look like models but it’s cool because it’s sets her apart from any other popstar. Even Beyonce and Lady Gaga’s Telephone (a video similar to Doing It) made them look like sex symbols. This does nothing of the sort but it makes pop videos look like shit loads of fun which is what they should be.

Calvin Harris – Pray To God (Feat. HAIM)

By the time you get to the drop every Calvin Harris song is exactly the same by LA singers HAIM bring something different to a classic Harris song. They build-up the track with a gospel-inspired grunt that makes you actually live for the drop. It sounds like they’re levitating towards the heavens as they sing “I pray to God I just don’t know anymore”. HAIM go EDM was such an unlikely headline but here they make it work purely because their own artistic identity is so strong.

It’s been a while since Calvin Harris has sounded inventive but HAIM’s super tight melodies and unbreakable chemistry means that the song sounds sleek and cool rather than being simply your run-of-the-mill EDM song with a guest vocalist plopped on for good measure. This is HAIM featuring Calvin Harris because they completely own it.

Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker The Berry

So often political and cultural statements that end up on commercial radio are “heal the world” mantras dreamt up by some big-wig in a large record company who’s decided that compassion sells. Kendrick Lamar is a rapper who knows how powerful his voice can be and when he’s at his best no message could be more clear.

The Blacker The Berry features some of the most powerful lines by a major label rapper for a long time and he’s completely committed to selling the cause. “My hair is nappy, my dick is big, my nose is round and wide/You hate me don’t you?”, he raps with a grittiness to his voice. He calls out stereotypes and re-writes people’s thoughts in one of the most powerful moments of his career and yet he does so in a way that is managing to climb up the charts.

silent-alarm

Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm 10 Years On

BlocParty

In the ten years since Bloc Party released their iconic debut album Silent Alarm, there’s been much discussion about how indie bands fit into the music scene. Guitar music has been declared dead and then reborn a number of times, but the truth is most of the bands that occupied that spectrum of music in 2005 have since died or faded. Bloc Party’s fourth album, released in 2012, failed to excite like their past releases and their lead singer Kele Okereke has turned predominantly to electronic music.

In 2005, twee was popular. It was cool to be British, it was cool to play a high-slung guitar and it was cool to have ironic, lengthy song titles. Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Elbow and Maximo Park thrived while the Arctic Monkeys were arriving as the coolest nerds on the planet. Of course now, Alex Turner is a high-quiffed rock god and the Arctic Monkeys have shed nearly any signs of indie tweeness that they ever had in favour of a confident, stadium-ready sound. In comparison, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and Maximo Park have fallen far from their perch at the top of the Alternative rock pyramid of 2005.

···

At this point it’s uncertain whether we will ever hear a new Bloc Party album again. Kele has just released his sophomore record Doubt and also ruled out any possibility of a Silent Alarm anniversary tour. But 10 years ago, Silent Alarm had Bloc Party pegged as the greatest indie-rock band around at that time. Pitchfork and NME both agreed (a rare conclusion) that Silent Alarm was brilliant with the latter awarding it the title of the best album of 2005. For context’s sake, Franz Ferdinand, Arcade Fire, The White Stripes and Kaiser Chiefs also featured on that list.

The indie band was flourishing. Myspace was a thing and the song you chose to play on your myspace page was just as important as a perfectly-angled profile picture. You couldn’t just choose a pop song, you had to select a song by an artist that people would think you were cool for having known or thank you for introducing them. Bloc Party fit that brief perfectly. Silent Alarm was explicitly melodic enough to please people on the surface and deep enough for music snobs to pick apart delightedly.

Let’s not sell Silent Alarm short, however. It wasn’t just an album for people’s mySpace page. It was much more than that. It was an album that stood out in a year when the music industry was flooded with indie-rock albums. It was a confident debut that was aware of what it had to do in order to impress. It was emotional, daring, expansive and colourful. As far as Okereke was concerned, every song had to sound like a single. Every song had to hit you as hard on the first listen as on the twentieth. As Pitchfork pointed out at the time, Bloc Party’s biggest strength and weakness was that they “are like one of those people who are so well-groomed that it’s hard to remember exactly what they look like.”

At the time I could measure how great a guitar-band’s melody was by how many people sung along to it when they track started. Still today if Silent Alarm is played for a room of people they will at least murmur the riffs of Banquet and Helicopter. The riffs were just as important as vocal hooks were and acted as a temptation to draw you into the songs within the first few seconds. Listen to the first few chords of This Modern Love and your heart immediately jumps into your throat.

···

When the album came out NME said that it was “time for anti-heroes”. Nowadays it’s almost more likeable to be a ‘freak’ than to be cool, as Lady Gaga has worked so hard to champion, but back then it was very almost unheard of for a band to be so different and yet be so cool. Oasis were cool because they were abrasive rockstars. The Libertines were appealing because they were anarchic. Coldplay fit in because they were creating stadium-rock that attached them to no type of person and as a consequence made them appealing to every type of person. NME writes, “Bloc Party are to be believed in because they are a band for the whites, the blacks, the straights, the hip-hop kids, the freaks, the geeks, the emo kids, the punk-funkers, the queers and, yes, the fashionistas.”

Silent Alarm dealt with themes of sleep deprivation, consumption and love. It’s never derogatory nor does it ever brag about bad behaviour. You won’t hear anything that would require them to shout it through a megaphone, instead they’re beautifully subtle. Okereke is gay but love was dealt with as love. None of the lyrics ever confine issues to a certain type of person. Rather the songs are about the universally differing emotions of human-beings. Those that don’t suit just one type of person. As such Silent Alarm was an album for all those people that NME listed and more. Albums that manage to do that transcend genres. You didn’t need to be a fan of indie rock to appreciate Silent Alarm. This is still a quality that drawers us to albums today. As an example, Caribou’s Our Love and Sharon Van Etten’s Are We There from last year also succeeded because they dealt with love and life in a way that was both personal and universal.

It should be kept in mind that Okereke was a gay, black man operating in an indie rock world mostly dominated by white men who made their appreciation of good-looking women almost suspiciously explicit. Not that Silent Alarm needs that kind of sentiment attached to it because it’s lyrical content was so far above being petty.

Some of the above makes out that Bloc Party weren’t incredibly cool. That’s not my intention. Bloc Party were cool. They operated in a time when hype bands had to be cool. They were well-dressed, guitar-thrashing Brits who sung about sex. But they did so in their own way. There were never stories of the band stumbling out of clubs with Kate Moss nor did they try to dress with the same rock swagger or cite The Smiths as a lifelong reference when it was in vogue to do so. Okereke admitted to Uncut that he’s only been a Smiths fan for a short time. Most people are in the same boat, but rarely do they admit it. Apparently everyone owns an original copy of The Smiths on vinyl. The point is, Bloc Party were cool on their own terms. Okereke even told Pitchfork in 2006, “I feel that’s important that I have some place to go that isn’t on the cover of a magazine. I signed up to make music. That’s it.”

···

The final point to make about Bloc Party is that Silent Alarm feels fresh. Every band was referencing bands from the past. The Strokes harked loosely back to The Ramones, then every band referenced The Strokes for ten years. Kaiser Chiefs drew influences from The Beatles and The Clash. Franz Ferdinand cited ‘80s artists Orange Juice and Josef K. Silent Alarm never felt as if the band were looking back for inspiration. There was definitely signs of inspiration from the current British indie-rock scene of the time, but if there were any influences they were modern. In the same interview with Pitchfork, Okereke said, “There’s too much rock that relies a fetishism or nostalgia for the old ways. That’s a real enemy to music. It needs to be constantly looking forward.”

···

In 2005, I flipped between Eminem, Green Day and The Black Eyed Peas because that’s what the radio told me to listen to. I loved it. But when a friend’s older brother passed Silent Alarm onto us we were transfixed. It opened up a whole different world of music to us and while most of it wasn’t as good as Bloc Party’s debut it at least showed me that there was more out there than what Kyle and Jackie O were counting down on 2Dayfm.

When I listen to Franz Ferdinand, The Killers or even The White Stripes now the feeling is nostalgic. I’m not necessarily interested by how good the album is, I’m more concerned about connecting to a certain period of time where, as a teen, I was discovering more than just what commercial radio was playing. Silent Alarm goes beyond that. A good melody is timeless. Personality is timeless. Silent Alarm is still listened to today because it still sounds great amongst everything else. Yes, the guitar-oriented stylings are distinctly 2005 but it still packs an emotional punch that many bands today leave behind in order to be relevant or live up to the hype. Silent Alarm is the ultimate buzz band album because it translated past that. It became a classic rather than an early millennium throwaway.

LanewayTinder2

Get To Know The Laneway Festival Artists Through Tinder

LanewayTinder

With St Jerome’s Laneway Festival just around the corner, the time has come for all you festival-goers to get up to scratch with the artists that will be on display. In order to connect with the youth of today, we thought we’d present some of the musicians in an easily-identifiable format. Swiping fingers at the ready…

[metaslider id=7964]

Swipe right for conversation with Courtney. 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/milk-records-2/pickles-from-the-jar-courtney[/soundcloud]

BANKS
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/banksbanksbanks/banks-beggin-for-thread[/soundcloud]

Mac

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/capturedtracks/passing-out-pieces[/soundcloud]
eagulls
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/partisan-records/nerve-endings[/soundcloud]
[metaslider id=7977]

Swipe right for conversation with FKA twigs. 

raury

stvincent
[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/st_vincent/digital-witness[/soundcloud]

[metaslider id=7960]

Swipe right for conversation with Vic. 

 

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/fuck-vic-mensa/down-on-my-luck[/soundcloud]

Tkay

Laneway Festival kicked off in Singapore and Auckland last weekend. For full lineup + tickets to the Australian shows, click here.  

Saturday 31 January – Brisbane Showgrounds (16+)
Sunday 1 February – Sydney College Of The Arts SOLD OUT
Friday 6 February – Harts Mill, Port Adelaide (16+)
Saturday 7 February – Footscray Community Arts Centre And The River’s Edge, Melbourne
Sunday 8 February – Esplanade Park and West End, Fremantle

tRIPLEjORtaytay

Triple J or Tay Tay: How Well Do You Know the Triple J Hottest 100 Contenders?

tRIPLEjORtaytay

With TaylorGate dividing the nation this past week, we thought we’d make a quiz so that the true h8ers can prove their devotion to this year’s triple j Hottest 100. The artists featured have been plucked from the top 20 in the Social Hottest 100, a list created by Michael George, a 34-year-old former computer science student, who has taken the liberty/time to collate 20,000 votes to formulate his predictions for the countdown. Take part in the quiz below to see if you can tell the Triple J Hottest 100 contenders’ lyrics apart from Taylor Swift’s.

Dedicated to our colourful fan, Brian xoxo <3

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[qzzr quiz=”34600″ width=”100%” height=”auto” redirect=”true” offset=”0″]
Feel free to play along with this inspired mashup of past Hottest 100 winners and Taylor Swift vocals.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/jaymeefranchina/tay4hottest100[/soundcloud]

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We Planned Your Day at Sugar Mountain So You Don’t Have To

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Sugar Mountain is returning after a break in 2014 with its best lineup yet. It’s taking to the Victorian College Of The Arts with a lineup headed up by hip-hop superstar Nas and featuring interns favourites How To Dress Well and ODESZA.

With a lineup as good as this one is, it’s inevitable that there are going to be clashes. Being that noble servicemen that we are, we’ve decided to make the tricky decisions for you and lead you through your Sugar Mountain day.

Banoffee

12:40 – 1:20pm, Car Park

We know the strong will that is required to arrive at a music festival on time. You always start the day with the best intentions of seeing every single one of your favourite acts but as another drink top gets popped, another drinking game gets announced and another, better festival outfit comes to mind, the importance of what used to be your #1 must-see act of the day slowly slips down the ladder. Don’t let this happen to you.

Banoffee is a strong contender on the Sugar Mountain lineup with an alias as saccharine sweet as the festival’s name. Don’t let the name fool you, however. Also known as Martha Brown, this Melbourne gal mashes together manipulated vocals and delicate electronica with R&B stylings, all while looking perfect and poised behind her keyboard and mic.

Iceage

1:00 – 1:40pm, Dodds Street

It’s probably best to come to Sugar Mountain in a terrible mood and ride the moods of the day. You’ll no doubt end on a high but Iceage are a band that require you to be in a broody, intent mood. Their third album, Plowing Into The Field Of Love, is stylistically their best yet and sees them take a slightly softer, country-born aesthetic. Expect the same level of intensity live, though. This band knows how to pick one person, stare at them and send shivers down their spine. It may be a little much for 1pm but give it until 1.30pm and you’ll forget that the sun was ever shining.

BREAK

Take some time to see Leif Podhajsky’s artworks. He’s made album covers for Tame Impala, Lykke Li, Foals just to name a few. They’re entrancing, psychedelic works that will be pretty amazing to see in real life (IRL).

How To Dress Well

2:40 – 3:20pm, Car Park

If you’re following the mood wave of Sugar Mountain properly, it’s probably best you bring your tissues for this one. How To Dress Well, known to his mother as Tom Krell, released one of the most heartbreakingly, beautiful albums of last year (and placed third in our top albums of 2014). His voice could cut through ice when he hits that falsetto and his textured instrumentals are cinematic and expansive. You’ll watch on awe-struck particularly when the music drops out in Face Again when the instruments drop out and you’re left with his solitary voice. This has the potential to be the set you’ll be talking about for the rest of the day.

The 2 Bears

3:40 – 5:10pm, Car Park

When you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise. But now we’ve told you it won’t be so much of a surprise anymore, will it? The 2 Bears are a London-based outfit comprised of Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and DJ/producer Raf Rundell. Expertly combining the stylings of hip-hop, house and soul, these two released their groove-infused second album, The Night Is Young, at the tail-end of last year. Shake off your post-How To Dress Well sadness and put on your dancing shoes, as the British duo’s set officially signals the beginning of the dance portion of your Sugar Mountain timetable.

Oscar Key Sung x Cassius Select

5:00 – 5:40pm, The Theatre

Oscar Key Sung is kind of a Melbourne legend now. If you live in Melbourne and you haven’t seen him live it probably means you haven’t left the house in two years. In that case, we strongly recommend you leave it for Sugar Mountain. Oscar Key Sung and Cassius Select will showcase a rare live collaboration at Sugar Mountain, bringing together Oscar’s voice of velvet with Cassius Select’s jittery, rhythm-induced beats. If you feel like you’ve seen the pair together before, it’s probably because you have. They are two-thirds of Black Vanilla with Marcus Whale of Collarbones completing the trio.

Ariel Pink

6:00 – 6:40pm, Dodds Street

We wish we could tell you what to expect with Ariel Pink but we don’t even think that he could tell you what to expect. Last time we saw him he was high (allegedly) and dressed in a cheerleaders outfit. His latest album Pom Pom is his best album in years and 2014 saw him collaborate with Azealia Banks and Madonna, but then apparently that was a lie. Lies and all, you’ll see oddball Ariel Pink give a performance that is unlike any other on the day. He’s got charisma that can’t be replicated and we can’t wait to hear what the new songs sound like live.

ODESZA

7:15 – 8:15pm, Car Park

This American duo has Aussies enamoured with their latest album, In Return. Their sideshows around the country are selling faster than selfie-sticks and Sugar Mountain may be your only ticket to seeing them live, plus you get the benefit of an amazing location. The sun will just be setting as ODESZA take to the stage which is perfect because In Return is a dusky opus of shimmering dance-pop tunes and electronic soundscapes. Their live set-up is pretty impressive too. We predict these guys will be enjoying the same kind of success as Disclosure over the next few years aka. they’ll produce Mary J. Blige’s next album.

Nas

8:55 – 10:00pm, Dodds Street

We saw Nas at Coachella (#humblebrag) and when he dropped the first few lines of N.Y. State of Mind we buried our feet into the ground and got down low. The energy for the entire performance was palpable as everybody bounced off each other like we were all in a small club in Brooklyn. It’s pretty special for Australia to get a hip-hop legend like Nas performing one of the genres most defining albums, Illmatic. Whether you grew up with the album or have absolutely no idea who Nas is, there’s barely a change you’ll leave this performance without wanting to revisit the album over and over again. Nas has found a true passion for this album once more and delivers it like his life depends on it. 20 years since its release and it doesn’t sound a day old.

Sugar Mountain will be held at the Victorian College of the Arts on Saturday, 24th January. Tickets still available here

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