Louder Than War

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Back in grade school is where I learnt to street fight

Juliette Lewis and the Licks - Comin' Around
Juliette Lewis and the Licks - Got Love To Kill

Hello music fans, I'm Katy. I'm a girl, don't be alarmed. My musical cv and case for having the right to inform you of what you should listen to goes like this: I once played guitar very badly in a punkgothpop band and yesterday I stood behind Thom Yorke in a coffee shop whilst he ordered a latte. For sure. I have obviously been sent from above to guide you, my disciples, into the land of good music. If you're feeling dead and asleep and like your heart needs a recharge, then be numb no longer! Here I bring to your attention the power that is early nineties grunge drummer goddess meeting alternative movie cult icon in a Distillers-fuelled punk pop marathon of dreams (too much?)! Yes, I bring to you the (surprising) greatness that is Juliette Lewis and the Licks.

If you haven't heard, Juliette Lewis (From Dusk Till Dawn etc etc) not content with being a Hollywood A Lister, being married to a Pro-Skateboarder and holding hands with Ville Valo in the 'Buried Alive By Love' HIM video (some people have all the luck) has teamed up with ex-Hole drummer Patty Schemel and some other semi-famous musicians for example, Kemble Walters (The Rise? Vise Versa? Nope, me neither.) and is touring the UK as we speak! After the fiasco that has been Minnie Driver recently, I wasn't expecting much from the actress-turned singer but hopefully like you will be, I was so glad I bothered to listen. This woman and this band rock a lot. It's cleaner than Schemel's musical past in Hole, it's kinder on the ears. The melodies may be nothing revolutionary but are fresh and make you want to jump around in some kind of fashion you haven't contemplated since you were a teenager. Occassionally Lewis' voice sounds a little try-hard but then this is to be expected - we know her as an actress we can only think of her as playing a part so therefore asume she is now. However, this is actually her and she is bloody sexy and should have done this ages ago.

The Licks are touring at the moment and their debut EP 'Like A Bolt of Lightning' is out tomorrow, it features 6 romping punky angsty tracks and is so worth a listen. Like a bolt of lighting indeed! For a taster, you can hear two whole tracks as soon as you enter the official website Juliette and The Licks. Go do it, it's time to wake up!

Monday, February 14, 2005

You're a stranger to me now

Ruth Theodore hails from Southampton on the English south coast, a city previously famous for producing the terrible, terrible Craig David and having a solid mid-table Premiership football team...but don't let that put you off.

Ruth Theodore - Threat
Ruth Theodore - Be Here

What we have here is an outrageously talented singer-songwriter who is just putting the finishing touches to her debut album. These two tracks in particular remind me very much of the fragility and passion of some of early recordings by Carina Round.

She has had residences at the Platform Tavern and Talking Heads in Southampton, Cabaret Voltaire and at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh and at Mean Fiddler's Powers Bar in London.

'Threat' is just her voice and a guitar, showcasing her unusual aggressive fingerpicking style. Whilst 'Be Here' features a jaunty trumpet and a cowbell (never a bad thing!).

Ruth Theodore appears at:

A Different Kettle Of Fish
Wednesday 2 March.
Upstairs at the Bristol Pear, Bristol Road, Selly Oak
Doors 7:30pm
Entry £3 / £2 if you mention Louder Than War!

See you there...

Monday, February 07, 2005

Yesterday, Matthew, I was a Factory completist

Half Man Half Biscuit - Tonight Matthew I'm Going To Be With Jesus

Attention Americans, you've probably never heard of this band, but that's OK, I forgive you. Half Man Half Biscuit are a twisted genius called Nigel from Merseyside, near Liverpool. Almost as famous for their song titles as their songs themselves, the tunes are littered with references to English popular culture, so you probably wouldn't understand even if you wanted to (I'm joking of course!). John Peel (god rest his soul) was a huge fan of The Biscuit and it's easy to see why.

Half Man Half Biscuit - Bob Wilson Anchorman

Who else could write a track about the poor quality of sports anchormen, a subject close to my heart...


Bob Wilson - Former Arsenal goalkeeper, later became a sports presenter on ITV with mixed results and much to the chagrin of HMHB. Also coached England keeper David 'I've got a slug on my top lip' Seaman.
Jim Rosenthal - Fellow ITV sports presenter, career perhaps hampered by Bob Wilson, obviously nurses a grudge. Strongly resembles a gargoyle.
Matthew - Stars in Their Eyes host Matthew Kelly.
Factory - Mancunian Record label ran by Tony Wilson featured Joy Division/New Order and Happy Mondays.

Other Half Man Half Biscuit songs for your future consideration:

Paintball's Coming Home, Twenty Four Hour Garage People, Deep House Victims' Minibus Appeal, Hair Like Brian May Blues, Tending The Wrong Grave For 23 Years, See That My Bike's Kept Clean, The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train), 27 Yards Of Dental Floss, Paradise Lost (You're The Reason Why), Ballad Of Climie Fisher, With Goth On Our Side, Used To Be In Evil Gazebo, It's Clichéd To Be Cynical At Christmas, Look Dad No Tunes, Keeping Two Chevrons Apart, Dead Men Don't Need Season Tickets, Sponsoring The Moshpits, Turned Up Clocked On Laid Off, Improv Workshop Mimeshow Gobshite, 13 Eurogoths Floating In The Dead Sea, Yipps (My Baby Got The), Everything's AOR, On Finding The Studio Banjo, Blood On The Quad, He Who Would Valium Take, Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes, 99% Of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd, The Trumpton Riots, All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit, I hate Nerys Hughes, Rod Hull is alive: Why?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Kaiser Chiefs & Bloc Party

Kaiser Chiefs - Oh My God

The Kaiser Chiefs are the finest band ever to have been named after a South African football team. Fact.

Fans of the other Kaiser Chiefs 

Touted as the next big thing by many in the British media, the Leeds-based quintet are a strange hybrid of other bands and genres. Guitarist Andrew White looks like a refugee from Ocean Colour Scene, keyboard player ‘Peanut’ is a cross between the fifth Libertine and an extra from Grange Hill. Whilst they sound like a jamming session between a clutch of classic British bands - Blur, The Kinks, The Jam and Madness.

Previous single I Predict A Riot told the tale of a violent night out in Leeds. This track, originally released as their first single, has been re-recorded with producer Stephen Street.

The Chiefs are currently occupying the opening slot on the NME tour making its way around the UK along with.....

Bloc Party - Positive Tension

Something glourious is about to happen and it's the release of Bloc Party's debut album Silent Alarm. The London four-piece etched their name onto the hearts of hip indie kids all around the UK last year with a string of blistering singles.

Bloc Party (l-r Matt Tong, Gordon Moakes, Kele Okereke, Russell Lissack) 

Banquet, She’s Hearing Voices, Helicopter and Little Thoughts are all included on Silent Alarm (released on 14 February in the UK and March 22 in the US), along with this splendid track.

The band are known for their post-punk stylings and jagged guitars, but some of their newer songs such as this one posses an epic quality that sets the band apart from the indie-rock pack

With his simple, heartfelt lyrics, frontman Kele Okereke is able to convey genuine emotion and touch the listener in a way other bands of their ilk are unable to do.