Tuesday 30 March 2010

First Anniversary RonaldSays!

Last weekend was the first anniversary of this blog. Although my first post dates to February 1st I started the blog on March 25. I just wanted some older reviews I wrote for the blog site of the company I work for Collectorz.com to make it to this blog as well so I published them with an older date. However the domain for my blog was registered on March 27 so that seems like a good anniversary day. And celebrations call for cake!

Over 100 posts found their way to my blog. It's still not drawing lots of visitors but I wasn't really expecting that with a music blog. There are just too many. So why start one anyway? Is the world really awaiting another guy with an opinion on albums, concerts and artists? I don't think so but that wasn't what I was thinking. I was hoping to draw a few regular readers that would leave comments and that way stir up some healthy music related discussions and maybe discover some new music now and then. That didn't really work. Just take a look at all the comments. But I won't give up! So whoever is reading this (you both know who you are!), feel free to leave a comment anytime. I would really like to know what you think!

So what to expect coming year? Well again many album and live reviews. Like reviews for upcoming shows I already have tickets for: Life of Agony, DeWolff, Them Crooked Vultures, Moss; festivals: London Calling, Rock Werchter and Lowlands. I decided to post short reviews in single posts instead of in a combined post. And I have been planning to redesign the site but just haven't got the time for it yet. It still looks like it was thrown together in an hour which is actually true. So it could use a new paint job. I'm planning on a new template and logo. Hopefully I will find the time soon.

Whipped cream anyone?

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Friday 26 March 2010

New single and video LCD Soundsystem "Drunk Girls" online

According to James Murphy it will be the last LCD Soundsystem album which will be a shame. But I'm sure he will come up with a new musical project after that. In the meanwhile we're eagerly awaiting the new album that will be released May 17. The first single "Drunk Girls" is now available online. Enjoy!

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Short Review: Fun Lovin' Criminals - Classic Fantastic

Fun Lovin' Criminals - Classic Fantastic (Ronald Says 4 out of 10)
We haven't heard from the cool Colombians in a while but they're back with a new album. They just forgot that we're living in 2010 now. When you listen to it all the songs could have been on any of their previous records and seem to have been written 15 years ago. That doesn't have to be a bad thing but by the time the record is over you're wondering what you were listening to. Read more!

Monday 22 March 2010

MGMT Put New Album Online

MGMT have their new album 'Congratulations' streaming for free on their website. It leaked last week and according to the band they "wanted you to be able to hear it from us". So listen to it on their website over here and let me know what you think of it. Read more!

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Admiral For President!

With a new album out 'Honey & The Knife' Admiral Freebee is touring the clubs again. A few years ago I saw this band on a festival for the first time. Tom Van Laere is the running force and frontman behind this band and a great entertainer. I was very impressed so I couldn't let this chance pass by to see them play in a more intimate setting.

Admiral Free in Melkweg Amsterdam, March 10 2010 (Ronald Says 8 out of 10)

When the lights go out and the band enters the stage they stand there for a few minutes. Obviously they are waiting for something. Then van Laere walks up to the mic and explains there's a minor technical difficulty. He continues by telling a joke. This is typical for the band. Although making serious rock songs that vary between blues, rock and country they certainly have a relaxed attitude on stage and are enjoying themselves. It's a blend of Nick Cave, Neil Young and Rolling Stones from Belgium. But most of all it's Admiral Freebee.

Singer/guitarist van Laere is the charismatic front man that adds this little extra. One time he's angrily almost screaming his lyrics reminding me of an angry Nick Cave. But later he's sitting behind the piano with only one spot light playing a beautiful ballad. The rest of the band with another well known Belgian musician Flip Kowlier on bass is merely there for support and are kind of on the background.

The first half of the set is mostly filled with songs of the new album that again shows the variation in songs. First the slow and sad 'Look at What love Has Done' behind the piano and later a swinging version of 'Always on the Run'. In the second half of the set it's time for older songs and hits like a great and long version of one of my favourites 'Get Out Of Town'.

At the end of the show he tells us about this beautiful girl he met and starts lip synching to a happy funky pop tune of which I just can't remember the title (if you know leave a comment with the title please!). The rest of the band are standing behind him doing an accompanying happy dance. Van Laere then invites everyone over to join him on stage. And so the show ends with people dancing with the band on stage while the lights are being switched on again. And like van Laere sings in one of their songs there's only one conclusion possible: Admiral for President!
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Wednesday 10 March 2010

Gorillaz On A Plastic Beach Not Suprising Enough

When Damon Albarn releases the product of one of his projects I'm always thrilled to get my hands on it. He has proven to be a very creative musician and after the Blur era he came up with a few interesting ones. His Gorillaz project has now come up with their fourth album.

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (Ronald Says 7 out of 10)

And Gorillaz sure are different: a band formed by cartoon characters that offer a blend of brit pop and hip hop and everything in between. It started out for Albarn by wanting to do something completely different as a reaction on the lack of substance on MTV at that time. But it seems it has grown past that and into something bigger.

After delivering some very nice and inspiring albums here's 'Plastic Beach'. If you would have never heard of Gorillaz the combination of that album title, band name and cover art is enough to raise some interest. Albarn continues on his hip hop and pop blend but adds a little soul and synths to it as well. This results in some nice tracks and adds to the overall mellow feel of the record. He has some pretty big names lined up to help him with it: Snoop Dogg('Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach'), Mos Def and Bobby Womack ('Stylo' a.o.), Lou Reed ('Some Kind Of Nature') and Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys and De La Soul ('Superfast Jellyfish') to name a few.

Despite these additions the record is kind of what you'd expect after the previous ones. Although that sure isn't a bad thing there aren't any real suprises on it which is slightly disappointing. On the other hand it is a decent album and still is very enjoyable to listen to. Maybe he has raised the expectations too high by his work in the past.

He sure is trying to come up with something new like in 'White Flag' that has a crazy blend of middle eastern strings and hip hop. Or in 'Superfast Jellyfish' that jumps between Rhys' signature vocals and De La Soul's hip hop. Other tracks like 'Glitter Freeze', 'On Melancholy Hill' and 'Pretty Jet' seem to be inspired by Kraftwerk's 80s electronics and are pretty danceable but nothing's really sticking out. Other tunes are leaning more towards brit pop especially when Albarn is taking on the vocals himself ('Broken') offering even more variation to the album. But maybe one of the best tracks is the one with Bobby Womack 'Cloud of Unknowing' that sounds gloomy and threatening.

Even with all of this variation Albarn seems to stay within the borders that he drew himself and where I would like him to cross those. Like in the smashing first video of the album 'Stylo' where the cartoon characters enter the real world chased by Bruce Willis I would have loved to hear him exploring new dimensions.
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Tuesday 2 March 2010

New Gorillaz video 'Stylo'

Gorillaz' new video 'Stylo' was premiered on YouTube yesterday. It's the first single of the new album 'Plastic Beach' that will be released March 8th. The video features the Gorillaz cartoon-like characters and...Bruce Willis. Watch the video here. You can prelisten the full album here:
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