Thursday, 31 July 2008

Big stages VS small venues

I really like small gigs, small venues where the stage is just a couple feet high, and you can stand right in front of the band as they play.

So, after having seen Red pony clock outdoors at Indietracks last weekend, i was quite excited to see them again in London, at the much smaller and intimate stage of the Gramaphone. So there I was last night, still tired and recovering from the weekend, but all charged up for what promised to be a great gig.

But then the magic didn't work, the sound was terrible at the Gramaphone , the whole thing was way too loud, and the vocals were barely audible, actually, you couldn't hear much apart from the the bass and brass. It was such a shame, because it would have been great if it was somewhere else - all 8 (or nine?) of them managed to squeeze in the small stage, and even though they had been touring for a couple of weeks, the they were full of energy, syncronizing tons of different sounds ( a couple of guitars, a violin, drums, vibraphone, clarinet, trombone, trumpet, oboe and an accordion) and dancing non stop. They were still fun to watch, but all their effort seemed wasted as most of the music was getting lost in a big loud mess that was coming out the speakers.

And then, on the other hand, I've been wanting to see Darren Hanlon at a small venue like that for ages, I missed his shows a couple of times in the past couple of years, and only got to see him for the first time a couple of weeks ago supporting the Magnetic Fields at a big concert hall, the acoustic was beautiful, but it didn't feel right. Then i saw part of his set at Indietracks, playing in the same big outdoor stage where i later saw red pony clock. And it was nice, most people were just sitting on the grass and basking at the sunshine while watching him play, but there was still something missing...

So i guess i can only keep my fingers crossed Darren will play a couple of smaller shows before he heads back to Australia, and that someday i'll see Red pony clock again, at the exact opposite kind of venue - somewhere not so small, not so intimate, and to a bigger crowd who can dance away under the sunshine.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

POPCAST # 2 - Heartbreak

Hey there,

Welcome to Popcast #2, which collects songs about breakups and broken hearts.

And even though I think that when your heart is actually broken, the songs that really get to you are the sweet happy love ones, that's a different story… for another time maybe.

This time, the tracklist is:

The Field Mice - Anyone Else Isn't You
Snowbirds - Day after day
Let's Whisper - Snowy Sunday Afternoon
Michaelmas - Winter starts today
Jacob Borshard - My sweet sky line
Electrophönvintage - Break My Heart Again
The Icicles - Sunday Song
Math And Physics Club - Look At Us Now
The Electric Pop Group - She's Playing With Your Heart
Heavenly - Pet monkey
Shermans - Ever After
Brighter - Never Never
Miniskirt - Be Here With Me
Tiger trap - My broken heart
Roadside Poppies - Cycling and crying
Go sailor - I'm still crying
All of My Brother's Girlfriends - We're Through
Club 8 - I'm Lost Without You
Comet Gain - Don't Fall in Love if You Want to Die in Peace
The Field Mice - You're Kidding Aren't You
Magnetic fields - I Don't Want To Get Over You

You can download the file here.

Hope you enjoy it! x

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Smittens new video

heeee, can't wait for the new album!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Allo Darlin Demos

Allo, darling is the Darlings’ new moniker, they had to change the band's name after a spooky email from another band with the same name.

Although they haven’t released anything under the new name yet, Elizabeth has been writing lots of new songs since their Photo ep (released on weepop late last year) and the best part is that she’s been recording them and making the demos available on her website.

There’s eight songs there now. They’re just lo-fi bedroom recordings of Elizabeth and her ukulele, but they sound really good. The lyrics, clever and quite often funny, go from sweet love songs to being uncertain of where life is going to take you, and annoying ex boyfriends.

My favourite is “Henry Rollins Don't Dance”, with its very amusing lyrics and upbeat melody, it might not make Henry Rollins dance, but it certainly made me!

Check Elizabeth’s website:
and the band’s myspace:

Monday, 7 July 2008

POPCAST # 1 - Handclaps


If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! Clap, clap!!!

If there’s something that’s almost guaranteed to make me smile when I hear a song, that’s gotta be some handclaps. So, for the first ever “Bored to hear your heart still breaks popcast”, I collected some of my favourite handclapping songs.

The tracklist is:

Land Of Ill Earthquakes - Amy's Song
The Lil' Hospital - I'm A Little Hospital
Confetti - Yes Please!
Poison Control Center - All Summer Long
Rocket Punch - pink cashmere
Eux Autres - Other Girls
Hello Seahorse! - Lost Cause Heart (acoustic)
Hefner - Hello kitten
The Motifs - Jour Defete
Kisswhistle - Let's be together today
Zipper - Un buen chaparron
Amy Linton & Stewart Anderson - The Lights Are Out
The Toothaches - Kiss Me Sweetly
Bmx Bandits – Taste
The Lucksmiths - Off With His Cardigan
The Specific Heats - Are You For Real Mehgan O'Neill
Loch Ness Mouse - My Cat & Me
Red Sleeping Beauty - It Happens
The Steinbecks - How near or how far
Tullycraft - If You Take Away The Make-Up
Colin Clary - 8 Kisses
Strawberry Fair - Why Won't He Answer
Kissing book - Sad City
A Smile and a Ribbon - One-night wonder

You can download the file here.

Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Tullycraft and the Smittens together - can anything get any better than this?

I got home from work yesterday to find the third instalment of hhbtm singles waiting for me. It had been a while since the last batch and i was excited to get it, especially because that meant two brand new songs by two of my favourite bands ever.. in the same piece of lovely coloured vinyl! That is the Smittens and Tullycraft split.

Well, it turns out neither songs were really totally brand new, both bands recorded cover versions for the single, but they both managed to make old songs sound new, fresh and addictive.

The smittens'cover is the 60s-girl-group classic "My Boyfriend's back". After having listened to it about 5 times straight and thinking to myself that it's got to be the best cover version ever, i realized it's actually not that different to the original (which is a great song anyway), but while keeping all the goodness and cuteness of the 60s pop (hey las and handclaps to spare), they changed a lot of its feeling by alternating boy and girl vocals. Both Max Andrucki and Colin Clary have very distinctive voices and they work perfectly in this song. Oh, Im totally hooked!!!

And then there's Tullycraft... Tullycraft seems to love cover versions (we even made a whole podcast of "songs tullycraft have covered" back on not quite rocket science), and they generally manage to turn good songs into even better ones. No exception here: Their version of The Pooh Sticks' "on tape" is as catchy as it gets. Again, the song itself is actually not dramatically different to the original, but they changed a lot of the lyrics, and i kept smiling as i listened, because i can identify with most of the stuff they refer to in the song, and before i knew it, i was already singing along..

The single is part of hhbtm's singles club, and although i don't think it's sold separately, the whole collection has been great so far and there's still a few subscriptions available.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Time for a new blog!

"Not quite rocket science" was a lot of fun for a year, and then it had to go and i don't think it will ever be back as it was, and even though we never used to keep it up to date, i liked making it, and i miss it a lot. I especially miss putting those thematic popcasts together...

So i guess it's time for something new and here it is. Please come and check it out every now and then.