Saturday, October 25, 2014


Kele Okereke came into music lovers lives as the bombastic front man to Bloc Party. As the band displayed a Gang of Four meets New Order style of danceable punk and rock, Kele has been turning dancefloors upside down as a solo artist. During Bloc Party's hiatuses, he has managed to release a couple EP's as well as two full length records, 2010's The Boxer and this year's TRICK. With TRICK, he explores more electronic and dance music further than ever before, while still laying down very seductive and intimate lyrics. We had the privilege of speaking with Kele about his new album, how New York played an important part in his work and if or when Bloc Party will come together again.  Take a look at our interview below:

The title of your new album is called “TRICK” what does it signify?

Well I heard the term when I was living in New York. My friends would use it to describe people they had been intimate with briefly in the past. To me the title signifies the deception that occurs between lovers, negotiations in which half truths are told.

This is your second solo album, what did you do differently on this record that you did not do the first time around?

Stylistically for sure, it’s a different record but that’s because I am a different person. However I don't see as serving any other function than the function of self-expression. TRICK is what I wanted to express in 2012 to the start of 2014, that’s all. With The Boxer I was super excited about being in a studio on my own, I was sampling everything sound that I could get my hands on, I was trying every plug-in, I feel the record reflected this. With TRICK I was super conscious about space, I wanted everything to feel a little underdone.

Each record is a candid look at who you are as a person and is a different form of a expressing yourself. What is it about “TRICK” that audiences will learn this time around about you?

I don't really know. I guess it’s the first time I'm sung about desire. I was always slightly repulsed by that sort of "I love you" egotism in pop music and I'm glad with this record I've managed to avoid those pitfalls but still talk about what it means to relate to other human beings.

This record is like a time warp through British dance / club culture. What are the clubs and artists that have inspired “TRICK?”

Pop music as a principle is built on the idea of salvage and renewal, there is a constant sense of lineage to explore but there weren't really any artists I was trying to emulate. It was more the fact that I was DJing every weekend for the last 2 years. It’s kinda changed how I listened to music. It’s now more of a meditative experience. I was trying to capture that feeling on the record.

This is your first record since Bloc Party released Four, what was it like to go it alone again without the band?

It was actually fine. I love being in BP, I love the sweating and jamming and the all of it but I am also very happy to stand on my own.

Will there be another Bloc Party record?

Lets wait and see.

Aside from doing your own music, you also DJ. What is it about DJing that you have fallen in love with that art form?

Well I like how selfish it is. I mean of course you are entertaining a room full of people but you are playing the music that you want to hear. For me it’s all completely spontaneous, you are talking the club on a journey and you are in the driving seat.

Would you ever consider releasing an EDM album or a record where you would provide beats and have singers like you did with Tiesto?

I don't think I would make a EDM record, but I do like the idea of a project where I got to work with other singers. I loved producing Heartbreaker and Candy Flip on Crosstown Rebels earlier this year so a project like that would be next logical step for me.

You are associated with New York as much as you are with London. What have these two cities done to influence your career?

Well I am very receptive to my surroundings and I guess I’ve spent the most time in both London and NY. Now I actually see NY as being synonymous with my creativity. It’s where 3 of my last records were made. What I love about New York is also what i hate about New York; the speed of the city. If you have money you can do anything you want in NY, you can get whatever you want delivered to your door but I know I could never live there again. Everyone is so caught up in themselves and staying a float, no one has time to let anyone into their hearts.

RIP Beady Eye

After four years as a band, Oasis off-shoot Beady Eye are calling it quits. Taking to Twitter, Liam Gallagher confirmed the news early on Saturday, saying, "Beady Eye are no longer. Thanks for your support. LGx." Guitarist Andy Bell also tweeted about the news and said, "Thanks to all the Beady Eye fans. See you on the other side. Big Love. Andy B X."

The band, who released two albums, 2010's Different Gear, Still Speeding and 2013's BE, featured all of the former members of Oasis sans Noel Gallagher. While no official word as to what caused the split, the news has caught fans around the world off guard.

We have covered nearly every aspect of this band, including all three of their New York City appearances. Take a look at those reviews and reports below:

Live at Ed Sullivan Theater, June 2011

Live at Webster Hall, June 2011

Live at Terminal 5, December 2011

Quick News

Sad News to report, former Cream guitarist Jack Bruce has passed away at 71. 

The Decemberists Colin Meloy was in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Friday, performing on a street corner to announce his band's new album, What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World. No release date was given.

The Klaxons will be breaking up after their current UK tour. The band announced that their upcoming tour will be their last.

Cold War Kids have confirmed that they will release their new album, Hold My Home, in March.

Muse have confirmed that they are in the studio working with AC / DC producer Robert "Mutt" Lange. Their new album is reported to arrive next year.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard spoke about their new album and the departure of Chris Walla. Gibbard said, "Oh, there is undoubtedly a line in the sand here. The position we're in – it's a blessing and a curse – is that people feel very strongly about the period of this band in which they got into us. We're fighting against people who say 'Why can't you make a record like the one I heard when I was 20 years old?' And the answer is we can't. We can just move forward, and create a new period."

While the entire iTunes using world got the new U2 album, Songs of Innocence, whether they liked it or not, the band may have made a full record with Danger Mouse that they just scrapped. While Mouse appears as one of the majority producers on Innocence, they apparently had a full record with him. Edge told Rolling Stone, "We realized, ’OK, we’ve actually not delivered what you might call the hallmarks of our work — the big music.” The band then contacted Ryan Tedder of One Republic, who said, "I have the utmost respect for Danger Mouse. Bono was very straightforward. He was like, ’This is how we work. You’re going to do whatever you do and get it as good as you can and then more than likely your stuff is going to get messed with by somebody else.’ So I hesitated for like five seconds and then Edge was like, ’Man, tear it apart. Do what you want.’” No word on if these songs will or have seen the light of day.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Great Soundtrack: Scream

Since it is October, why not get in the Halloween spirit with some seasonal music -- sort of. This month's Great Soundtrack feature comes from a fantastic horror film that shocked and surprised audiences in 1996 -- Scream. The indie horror flick went on to become a cult hit and while we all ask, "What's your favorite scary movie?" we look at the soundtrack that is just as hip, clever, and fun as the film it comes from.

Featuring music from Alice Cooper, Birdbrain, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Blue Oyster Cult, Republica, and many more, the music added an elevated creepy tone and fear to the film, while also being tongue-in-cheek. Coupled with a great score by Marco Beltrami, Scream had all the right elements for a classic.

Recommended Reading: Who I Am

As The Who gear up to celebrate their 50th anniversary and alleged final tour and album, we look back to 2012 when iconic guitarist Pete Townshend released his autobiography Who I Am. The critically acclaimed book, which peaked at No. 3 on New York Times best seller list chronicles Townshed's life growing up in London, forming The Who, and the pressure and pitfalls of fame and being in the spotlight. In many ways, it becomes your typical rock and roll cliche story of drugs, sex, trashing hotel rooms, and alcohol, but the mesmerizing parts of his story are when he describes coming up with his famous licks and riffs, as well as encounters with Jimi Hendrix, playing Woodstock, Monterrey Pop Festival, and Isle of Wight.

While the book goes into great detail of his life as a rock star and how he grew up, it also talks about his work as an editor at Faber and Faber, and his infamous child-pornography arrest, in the book he claims it was for "a research program for a new support system for survivors of childhood abuse." He was later given a warning from police. While he clears the air of his controversies, it also is a detailed and intimate portrait of a man who has shaped pop culture for nearly 50 years.

Tenacious D on Conan

Watch Tenacious D perform "History" on Conan!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Live Review: The Horrors @ Stage 48

Before basketball takes center stage as the biggest thing New Yorker's care about in October, it is also the time when the Big Apple preps for Halloween and all of the ghouls, creepiness, and sinister things the holiday has to offer. But, before All Hallows Eve happens, CMJ rolls into town to bring forth a slew of unsigned bands, rising artists, and established acts to play all day, every day and until the wee-hours of the morning. To kick-off the first night of the 2014 CMJ Music Marathon, England's The Horrors finished their current North American tour on the start of the festival. With the right season, atmosphere, and chill in the air, it was the perfect time for these goth-cold wave rockers to play in the city that never sleeps.

Performing inside the fairly new Stage 48, The Horrors took the stage after 10 and opened with "Chasing Shadows" off their fantastic new record, Luminous. Heavily backlit by strobes, colored spotlights and mood lighting from the ceiling, the tone was set, yet, the band sounded a bit water down. While the decibel level was high, it didn't make for a crisp audible sound to come across. Singer Faris Badwin's vocals sounded drowned out, his beautiful, yet vulnerable vocals were hardly clear until the choruses of most songs, while guitarist Jayson Hayward's licks where hardly heard. The rhythm section of bassist Rhys Webb and drummer Joe Spurgeon sounded fine, as did the keyboard and electronic tones of Tom Cowen, yet, as a whole, The Horrors sounded washed away. Badwin, who looked like a gothic Joey Ramone, would clutch his mic stand, like Ramone, for dear life for most of the night, while headbanging in parts he wasn't singing. As the band played on, songs like "Sea Within A Sea," "Change Your Mind," "Still Life," and "I See You," got the most acclaim from the crowd. With a mixture of songs from their four albums, their short, 11-song setlist, had them on stage for about 75-minutes, which was another unfortunate event, a band with so many solid records and songs should be playing longer at this point in their careers. Then again, it was the tour's swan song, they might just want to get back home.

The Horrors Stage 48 Setlist 10/21/14:
Chasing Shadows
In and Out of Sight
Who Can Say
Sea Within a Sea
Endless Blue
Change Your Mind
Mirror's Image
Still Life
I See You

So Now You Know
Moving Further Away

Quick News

After 25 years together, electronic pioneers Orbital are calling it quits. Paul Hartnoll posted a statement on their website saying: " We’ve had our ups and downs, and it’s not always been easy, but I’ve loved my time with Orbital. It’s been brilliant that we’ve been able to take our music to so many places, from local clubs to headlining Glastonbury to playing massive events across America, Australia, Japan… It’s been fantastic. It was particularly nice to get such a lovely reception when we got back together a few years ago. We made the Wonky album specifically to play live and these shows over the past few years have been a real high point in many ways. The shows and the audiences have been amazing. But nothing lasts forever and it's time to stop. Since finishing the soundtrack with Flood & PJ Harvey for the BBC One television show Peaky Blinders, I’ve now got my own new project, ‘8:58’ which I'm really excited about. It's a continuation of my work from the past 25 years but with a new vitality taking me on to something fresh, mixed with the best of what I've put into Orbital. Expect some live shows soon where I will be playing a mixture of my new music alongside my Orbital favorites."

Since the fall of The Streets, Mike Skinner started The D.O.T. with The Music's Rob Harvey, and now he is working on a hip-hop album with London rapper Oscar World Peace. No word yet on what the project will be called or when it will be released.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Flea has confirmed that Red Hot Chili Peppers have written over 30 songs for a new album and said that the band will go into the studio to record in the next couple months. As far as the direction of sound in which they will focus on, Flea said, ""It's cool. It's super danceable, funky shit and some real introspective, pretty stuff. It feels good, man, and it's fun to play it."

Before the end of the year, Chicago emcee Chance the Rapper will release a free album called Surf.

To coincide with the upcoming George Harrison box set called George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75, street artist Shepard Fairey has designed posters in honor of the late Beatle called, "The Poster for George." There are silver and red editions, take a look:

Bush on Kimmel

Watch Bush perform "The Only Way Out" and their classic, "The Chemicals Between Us" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

U2 On Jools Holland

Watch U2 perform "Volcano" for the first time live on Later...with Jools Holland!