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Video of the Moment #921: Mika

 
By on Sunday, 12th August 2012 at 10:00 am
 

Mika‘s new single features Pharrell. Yes, you’ve read that right. Just wow. I mean really, Mika has gone from ‘Grace Kelly’ to synthesisers and Delphic is leaving them behind? It’s a conspiracy, I tell you. It’s called ‘Celebrate’, and you can watch the new video for the song below.

‘Celebrate’ is the first single from Mika’s new album, ‘The Origin of Love’, out in October.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIBXTHB0QDw[/youtube]

 

Mencap Little Noise Sessions / November 2009

 
By on Sunday, 8th November 2009 at 3:50 pm
 

Following on from the amazing lineups of the past two years, the Mencap Little Noise sessions are back again this November to raise more money for the mental disability charity.

The lineup is almost complete, with a string of pretty amazing performances scheduled. Personally, I’m most excited about Editors day, along with the pop-tastic Alexandra Burke, Mika and Newton Faulkner days – all of the shows have great talent and with the promise of special guests, I say you should hop on down to Union Chapel to check out some great music. Head on over to the Little Noise Sessions website for more answers to your questions.

The artists so far announced include:

Monday 16th November
Editors
The Maccabees
Bombay Bicycle Club
Everything Everything

Tuesday 17th November
Alexandra Burke
Alphabeat
Marina and the Diamonds
VV Brown

Wednesday 18th November
Mika
Paloma Faith
Alex Gardner
Daisy Dares You

Thursday 19th November
Richard Hawley
I Blame Coco

Friday 20th November
Lostprophets
The Blackout
Egyptian Hip Hop

Saturday 21st November
Taio Cruz
Tinchy Stryder
Chipmunk

Sunday 22nd November
Florence and the Machine
Golden Silvers
Erik Hassle
Ellie Goulding

Monday 23rd November
David Gray
The Low Anthem
Lisa Mitchell

Tuesday 24th November
Newton Faulkner
Scouting for Girls
Little Comets
Stornoway

 

Mika / February and March 2010 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 12th October 2009 at 10:00 am
 

Mika has announced a new tour for February and March next year.

Tickets are on sale now priced at £25 each.

Saturday 13th February 2010 – Belfast Waterfront
Monday 15th February 2010 – Dublin Olympia
Thursday 18th February 2010 – Sheffield O2 Academy
Friday 19th February 2010 – Manchester Apollo
Sunday 21st February 2010 – Leeds O2 Academy
Monday 22nd February 2010 – Glasgow O2 Academy
Wednesday 24th February 2010 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Thursday 25th February 2010 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Sunday 28th February 2010 – London Hammersmith Apollo
Wednesday 3rd March 2010 – Brighton Centre
Thursday 4th March 2010 – Bristol Colston Hall

 

My Top 10 Albums of 2007

 
By on Tuesday, 1st January 2008 at 7:29 pm
 

This is the time of year it seems just about every credible publication is doing a “best of 2007” albums, so I thought I’d join them and do a quick top 10 of my favourite albums this past year. I’ve chosen the top 10 from the 74 albums I’ve “acquired” (either downloaded / bought the CD of / been given the CD of). Disagree? Just say in the comments below.

  • Memorable-ness – Does it have you humming it for days after? Can you remember snippets of lyrics?
  • “Car factor” – Can you put it on play and leave it going without skipping any tracks / few tracks?
  • Irritability – Can you have tracks on repeat without wanting to throw the CD out of the window?
  • Musical quality – Is it likely to be a classic / seen as a highlight of the artist’s career?
  • Enjoy-ability – Is it fun? Get you going?
  • Innovation – How innovative is it?

10. Jack Peñate – Matinee
Jack Penate - MatineeHe may just be one man with a funny swirl over his name, but his album turned out to be one of the most consistent of the year. Many of the tracks are single-worthy, fun, danceable and just the sort of thing that goes down a storm at many end-of term parties.

Tales of bitterness, nights out, missed opportunities, and images of guys in smart suits akin to West Side Story make this album the first in my 2007 top ten.

Buy the CD on Amazon

9. Mika – Life in Cartoon Motion
Mika - Life In Cartoon MotionWho couldn’t have heard Mika’s first single, Grace Kelly, which bothered the top 10 for a few months at the start of the year. Fun, simple pop tunes that live are just quality party tunes.

Many people claimed Mika was trying to capture Freddie Mercury, and yes, he does sound a tiny bit like him, but is completely different: the tunes are quite possibly more girly than anything Freddie did, and his shows are far more like an acid trip than Queen could ever pull off.

His come down tunes, “Relax, Take it Easy,” “Any Other World” and “Happy Ending” are quality tunes in their own right, comedowns for the end of the party. All in all a quality mixture of pop, rock, and pure fun.

My Live Review | Buy the CD on Amazon

8.The Wombats – A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation
Wombats - A Guide To Love, Loss and DesperationI only really got into this a couple of weeks ago after the release of “Let’s Dance To Joy Division”, but it was on repeat all the way home from the US, with their amusing tales of urban English life. Songs like “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” celebrate English irony brilliantly, tunes that just have everyone dancing for the hills.

They’re knowledgeable, and the whole album is very tongue-in-cheek, which is just what modern indie-pop should be.

Buy the CD on Amazon

7. I’m From Barcelona – Let me Introduce My Friends
I'm From Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My FriendsI’ll admit it, I didn’t think I’d like this album. 29 people on a record sounds like a recipe for destruction if you ask me, but somehow they pull it off without sounding as chaotic as the Polyphonic Spree do at times.

Songs like “We’re From Barcelona” are fun, simple tunes which has all the vibe of a secondary-school band gone pro. EP song “Britney” unfortunately doesn’t make an appearance on this album, but if it did, the album would be even higher up my list.

Buy the CD on Amazon

6. Band of Horses – Cease To Begin
Band of Horses - Cease To BeginOpening song, “Is there a Ghost” is enough for Band of Horses to deserve their 6th place position on this list. A quality, haunting tune that just captures the whole vibe of the album – musically capable, listener – accessible.

The entire collection sounds far more polished and consistent than their debut, “Everything, All the Time”, which whilst had moments of brilliance, failed to capture the consistency of this collection.

Buy the CD on Amazon

5. Radiohead – In Rainbows
Radiohead - In RainbowsA suprise release, Radiohead seemed to garner more headlines for their “Music Industry ruining” way of release and letting people choose the price they wanted to pay for the download of the tracks as an MP3 file.

However, the album wa, in my opinion, one of their strongest yet. A distinctly electronic feel, they combined their solo efforts into a collection that was strong, consistent, and interesting. I wouldn’t be suprised if it turns out to be one of their strongest of their career.

My Review of In Rainbows | Buy the CD on Amazon

4. Stars – In our Bedroom After the War
Stars - In Our Bedroom After The WarI bought this one on a whim – I didn’t know much about Stars, but quickly grew to love them. Songs like the haunting “Barricade”, the danceable “The Night Starts Here” and the yearning “Bitches in Tokyo” make for a collection that builds on their previous albums (which I’ve since acquired), and makes a strong and consistent collection that I’ll be listening to for months to come no doubt.

Buy the CD on Amazon

3. Tegan and Sara – The Con
Tegan and Sara - The Con

They may be two lesbian identical twin sisters, but don’t let you think they’re a novelty act – far from it. They’re a quality duo, who make amazing short stories for the 00’s generation.

Produced by Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla, The Con is their most accomplished yet, full of drama like their previous records, but a bit more believable, and a bit more stable now that they’re settled down with partners. They seem happier, if that’s possible, which is always good.

Buy the CD on Amazon

2. The National – Boxer
The National - BoxerThe National’s fourth album, Boxer is a very consistent record, though unfortunately not quite as good as their break-through “Alligator”.

They seem to be more at home with themselves, not quite as angry as standout songs on Alligator “Mr. November” or “Lit Up”. Instead, all of the songs are accomplished, but not as much emotion, which is a shame

The National @ The Astoria Live Review | The National – Boxer – My Review | Buy the CD on Amazon

1. Bloc Party – A Weekend in The City
Bloc Party - A Weekend In The CityI’ll admit it here. I wasn’t a big fan of their debut, Silent Alarm. I thought it was crap. However, once I listened to A Weekend in the City I “got” Bloc Party, and fell in love with both albums at once.

Songs such as “I Still Remember” and “Sunday” are the standouts for me, both quality songs that deserve the huge audience Bloc Party have garnered. I’ve possibly listened to this album more times than any other album, and will continue to do so for 2008 no doubt.
My Album Review | Buy the CD on Amazon

Continue reading My Top 10 Albums of 2007

 

New festival for London: iTunes festival at ICA

 
By on Tuesday, 12th June 2007 at 3:24 pm
 

Imogen HeapThose lovely people at iTunes have set up their own “festival” in the centre of London to take place at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) throughout July, with a raft of the best in current bands playing each night.

iTunes will be recording each of the shows and are planning to make songs from the shows available via their music shop. The ICA holds about 350 people, making the shows exceptionally intimate.

The bands include, in date order:

Mika supported by Leon Jean-Marie (1)
Crowded House supported by Justin Nozuka (2)
Travis supported by The Hoosiers (3)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club supported by Nine Black Alps (4)
Groove Armada supported by Mutya Buena and Beardyman (7)
Ash supported by Ben’s Brother (8)
The View (9)
Imogen Heap supported by James Wolff (10)
Editors supported by GoodBooks (11)
Scott Matthews (12)
Athlete supported by Tiny Dancers (13)
Paolo Nutini (14)
Gianna Nannini (15)
Ludovico Einaudi supported by Dhafer Youssef (16)
The Bad Plus supported by Rebekka Bakken (17)
The Pigeon Detectives supported by The Rakes (18)
Beverley Knight supported by Raul Midón (19)
Stereophonics supported by Little Man Tate (20)
Jamie Scott & The Town (21)
Wir Sind Helden (23)
Amy Winehouse supported by The Rumble Strips and Remi Nicole (25)
Just Jack supported by Mr Hudson & The Library (26)
Jack Penate (27)
The Maccabees supported by Goldspot (28)
Duke Special supported by Tom McRae (29)
The Coral supported by Candie Payne (30)

Tickets will be given away free via radio, TV stations and band and fan websites. The specific details of which will be announced soon. Some tickets are already available from the itunes festival website.

Photo taken from Mteson’s flickr stream.

 

Bloc Party and Mika create a media storm over not very much

 
By on Friday, 8th June 2007 at 11:16 pm
 

Bloc Party on front of Total Spec magazineSo, todays Music Slut (quite possibly one of the better music blogs out there) has reported on two “talking points” shall we say that look set to divide opinions across our fair land.

First up, and its news that Bloc Party‘s Kele Okereke said in an interview with Total Spec magazine that:

“I think in the 21st Century drug-taking is something that is synonymous with life, really. All I intended to do with the songs is to capture what modern life feels like.”

Naturally, this has divided opinions as, in typical Okereke style, he hasn’t really admitted to taking drugs. Nor has he said that he thinks that they’re bad. Only that lots of people do take drugs, and that he wanted to reflect that fact in his songs. There’s a quick discussion going on over at Music Slut about this quote, though most of it appears to be going on personal opinions about Kele. Personally, I love Bloc Party. Granted, they’re not the most media-friendly of bands. But then they’re musicians. Not Paris bloody Hilton.

Mika on the cover of Out MagazineSecondly, Out Magazine has got Mika on the front, with the article and cover questioning his sexuality:

“Anyone can label me, but I’m not willing to label myself…Anybody who says that I don’t talk about sexuality or that I don’t politically sexualize my music because of taboos, because of being afraid of [not] selling records, is completely wrong. I’ve made a record that doesn’t compromise in any way what I’m allowed or not allowed to say in my lyrics.”

Music slut also has a quote from Mika’s people “who wanted to do a cover but only if it came out a few months down the road, because they were concerned about breaking into the mainstream market were Mika pigeonholed as a “gay artist” right out of the gate.”.

Why does it matter if he’s straight, gay, whatever? He makes bloody good pop music, and anything else is up to him to bring to the table. Plenty of artists have made it big by using their sexuality (Scissor Sisters anyone?) and plenty of artists have made it big by hiding their sexuality (Elton John’s first marriage anyone?)

All of it just seems to me that it ultimately just turns into some good publicity for all the artists, and gets people talking about them.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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