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Outkast’s Andre 3000, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Blur’s Damon Albarn are all in one room. Genius ensues yes? Need I write more? Yes. It would be rude not too.
‘Do Ya Thing’ is upbeat and full of quirkiness. No, it’s not a ‘Clint Eastwood’ or a ‘Dare’, it’s more of a ‘Stylo’ (review here) in my eyes. No, it hasn’t got Bobby Womack in his immense coolness, but it has got a rhythm that will have your toes tapping at an alarming rate. “You wanna do it / but you don’t know what you doin’ baby / A-a-a-a-aha / you wanna feel it / but you don’t know what you’re feeling tonight!” What an epitomization of the wild party that Gorillaz seem to be post-‘Plastic Beach’, with Andre 3000 giving an extremely Outkast touch to the proceeding with his ridiculously quick lyrics.
The synths are classic Gorillaz: they manage to be exciting without being exciting in the slightest. However, the level of effort seems to be low at best. It’s as if the three of them just sat in a room, got a repeated beat and did their thing (excuse the pun.)
Not anything special by any stretch of the imagination, but something to be cherished seeing as it is Gorillaz and a pair of other A-listers.
This song is available free for download from this Converse link. Oddly, this song appears to be directly linked to a campaign for a Gorillaz-themed, limited edition series of Converse Chuck Taylor trainers (see more here).
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 6th September 2010 at 12:00 pm
Tomorrow night we will finally find out which album will be crowned the winner of the 2010 Mercury Prize. I’ve asked each of our writers to choose which album they think should win the gong this year, as well as which album they think was criminally absent from the 2010 shortlist. Hopefully you have watched the scene in the film ‘On the Waterfront’ where Marlon Brando says those iconic lines, “I coulda been a contendah! I coulda been somebody!” If not, watch this and you’ll get my meaning:
Like all good music reviewers, we’re an opinionated bunch here at TGTF. Continue beyond the cut for our picks…
Continue reading Mercury Prize 2010: TGTF Writer’s Choice
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 19th July 2010 at 2:00 pm
Roskilde Festival this year was my first big festival, and everyone who’s heard of it here in America has been like, ‘nooooo, you went to Roskilde? Really?’ (The most humourous/cool? A clerk at the local guitar shop who looked at me incredulous, saying, ‘I just watched a Metallica DVD and there was Roskilde footage on there from ages ago. You were there?’) Yesterday I finally cut my wristband and took it off my right wrist after showing it off, victorious, to friends Friday night. It is now safe in a box with my other festival souvenirs.
It’s been over a week since I got back from Denmark, so I’ve had some chance to reflect on the whole Roskilde experience. Physically the site is much more massive than you can possibly imagine. (Except of course if you’ve been to Glasto, as Roskilde is often referred to as ‘Northern Europe’s Glasto’.) The main festival goes on for 4 days, and at first glance, the schedule does not look all that daunting. But after drinks and walking around a lot for those 4 days, you’d be surprised to find that after a while you get lazy and don’t want to move on to the next band you have circled on the schedule because you can’t find your legs. Somehow I managed 28 bands in 5 days (2 on Wednesday the 30th of June at Pavilion Junior, part of the festival warm-up period before the main event).
The first day was the calm before the storm. I think everyone was at the opening ceremony featuring American punk icon Patti Smith and her guitarist Lenny Kaye, and rightly so, because this being the 40th year of the festival and 10 years on from the horrible accidental deaths of 9 young male punters at Orange Stage during a Pearl Jam set, those lives were celebrated as well as the continuance of the festival for all these years. I didn’t see too many bands the first day because there really weren’t too many bands playing. American emo rockers Paramore was playing at Arena, the second-biggest venue on-site and in the far southeast corner of the property, but after all the trouble of getting to Orange Stage for Patti Smith, I really did not feel like going in that direction, only to have to turn around again.
Instead I headed over to Cosmopol stage to wait for LCD Soundsystem. In the intervening time I caught Electrojuice, a Danish electronic duo, and Tim Sweeney, a New York City DJ signed to James Murphy’s DFA Records label. But it seemed like everyone had come far and wide for LCD Soundsystem. It wasn’t so cramped at the start, but then it got really rammed. This performance on Thursday the 1st of July was just 2 days before they headlined Wireless in London and this as just a taster for Murphy of things to come. At the start he was uneasy by the crowds but soon got into the groove with numbers like ‘Drunk Girls’, ‘Daft Punk is Playing at My House’, and ‘I Can Change’. Claustrophobia set in and I just had to escape, and escape I did back to Orange Stage, hoping to get a good spot to watch Gorillaz.
After the cut: this review of day 1 continued with more photos.
Continue reading Roskilde Festival: Day 1 Roundup
Following on from their pair of sensational Roundhouse shows, Gorillaz have announced details of a five date arena tour.
The press release goes on to say…
Performed by Damon Albarn, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and the Gorillaz band the live show will feature songs from all 3 albums (Gorillaz, Demon Days and Plastic Beach) and feature animation, artwork and film as designed by Jamie Hewlett.
Featured Artists are yet to be announced but recent live Gorillaz shows have included performances by De La Soul, Roses Gabor, Bobby Womack, Little Dragon, Mos Def, Kano, Bashy and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.
Apparently tickets are priced at £45 for all seats and will be on sale from 9am on Friday, 21st May through Ticketbastard (all tickets subject to a booking fee). The event will have a “standing GA floor with allocated seating” (quite how this will work is beyond me – standing but allocated seating?!)
Friday 10th September – Birmingham NIA
Saturday 11th September – Newcastle Metro Arena
Sunday 12th September – Manchester Evening News Arena
Monday 14th September – O2 Arena London
Tuesday 15th September – O2 Arena London
Just got in from a rather sensational Gorillaz gig at the Roundhouse in London’s Camden tonight. I’ve always been a fan of their singles, but not so much their album tracks so it was with some trepidation that I trekked from Bristol after work to make it in time to see Damon Albarn’s creations.
It’s been five years since the bands last UK performances, and whilst Albarn has been very busy (what with reuniting his old brit-pop chums Blur), his alter-egos have been resting until earlier this year they released second album, Plastic Beach. Originally the “first animated band”, 2-D, Noodle, Murdoc and Russel are now relegated to just being (rather amazing) projections behind the live band.
All dressed in sailors outfits, the band (including The Clash’ Mick Jones and Paul Simonon) were joined by a raft of legendary stars (Mos Def, Bobby Womack, Gruff Rhys, Bashy, Kano, De La Soul, Roses Gabor and Shaun Ryder) from Plastic Beach. Snoop Dogg joined in a video that had him dressed to the nines as a Naval Admiral, due to his ongoing UK visa issues.
Frankly, there were so many highlights it’s hard to pick one out – so much of the music is stuff I’d never normally go and see, but yet somehow it works to see The Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music mixed with Kano and Bashy on the same track before having Shaun Ryder being his usual slightly unhinged self.
Each track had its own animations, from lush, 3D animations for “Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach” to old school war footage via animations and videos of beer going down the drain). I can’t help but feel that the whole production was better with a bigger focus on the music rather than the animations / 3D extravaganza that previously used to be the focus of a Gorillaz live show.
The band will be playing again on Friday night, and the gig will be streamed on MTV. Read the Guardian’s review here and NME’s review here.
After the jump: photos and full setlist.
Continue reading Live Review: The Gorillaz at London’s Roundhouse – Thursday 29th April 2010
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 16th April 2010 at 12:00 pm
For sure, Roskilde Festival in Denmark is special not only as being the biggest summer rock music festival in Northern Europe. You might think that they could get really lazy and bring in a bunch of Scandinavian acts. But no – you can count on them offering the most eclectic line-up around, choosing artists from all over the globe. The festival also has a conscience: the Roskilde Festival Charity Society makes sure every year the profits from the festival are donated directly to humanitarian and cultural purposes, and the event strives to be as green as possible as well, with volunteers on site helping to raise awareness of how we can help the environment.
The line-up for this year’s festival was announced yesterday with the headliners for this year’s Roskilde Orange Stage being Gorillaz, Jack Johnson, Muse, Nephew, the Prodigy, Patti Smith and her band and Them Crooked Vultures (pictured above). A surprise: Vampire Weekend has been relegated to the middle tier of bands and will not headline this event: I thought they might, since the quartet from New York City will be headlining both Rockness and T in the Park. Our picks for the must-sees at this festival? LCD Soundsystem (with James Murphy’s announcement that ‘This is Happening’ will be his last album), Kasabian, the Temper Trap and ex-Joy Division/ex-New Order Bernard Sumner’s new band Bad Lieutenant.
You might be wondering why I, as an American blog editor, am suddenly so keen on a festival that will take place over 4,000 miles away. Well, I’ll tell you. I’m going this year as one of seven bloggers chosen by the festival organisers themselves. To be honest, I’m very excited (I nearly fainted when I heard the news I’d been picked from scores of applicants) but also a bit anxious as I imagine I will be one of the few American punters (or possibly the only one who’s not in an American band or associated with one?) at the event. I’ve been trying desperately to learn basic Danish from a Berlitz CD but I’m expecting to embarrassed multiple times with my strange sounding accent. If you are attending this year, come and say ‘hej!’ (And that would mean ‘hello’ in Danish.)
The festival will take place Thursday 01 July to Sunday 04 July, plus what they are calling a ‘warm-up period’ starting Saturday 26 June. Tickets are on sale now at the official festival Web site or through Seetickets. A ticket for the warm-up plus all 4 days of the festival runs 1675 DKK (approximately £198) + booking fee, and single day tickets are 850 DKK (approximately £100) + booking fee. Parking, tent and caravan fees are extra.
After the cut: the current line-up as of 15 April 2010. Because the dates of performance haven’t been announced yet, I’ve arranged the list of acts scheduled to appear by billing from top down (by size of the fonts on the poster), then alphabetically. This listing in no way indicates Roskilde’s or even my personal feelings about each band and their merits – I didn’t think it would be useful to throw all the acts together alphabetically!
Continue reading Preview: Roskilde Festival 2010