Categories
Odds & Sods

I’m back!

Yes people it’s been far too long since I’ve made a post on here, but with university work exploding all over me and several other things going on my time for the R and R report had dissappeared! But fear not, with uni more or less done my time to muse about music, culture and what have you is not devoted to you again!

I shall be back with more musings soon!

Ashley

Categories
Odds & Sods

Zinner photography exhibition in London

Boy, it’s been a while since I posted on here! Anyway here’s news of a rather interesting event happening in London in a few days!

On the 21st of November, Vice Magazine opens The Vice Gallery at 77 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4QS, with a photo installation and book launch by Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner. The exhibition is open to the public from 23rd November to 7th December and The Vice Gallery will be the exclusive sellers of Zinner’s book in London.

“I Hope You Are All Happy Now” (Evil Twin Publications/ St Martins Press) is the third photography book by Nick Zinner. While the first two were collaborations with two of his friends, this book focuses on the life of rock and roll through his eyes. The book spans through unseen images of his band-mates and friends, including the likes of Karen O and Conor Oberst, and everything from slept-in hotel beds, photos of fans, bloody cuts and bruises, and subtle, quiet moments in far away places. These photos of everyday things are arguably the most interesting parts of this book.

Lee Renaldo from Sonic Youth summed the book up by saying: “Nick Zinner has a rock ‘n’ roll eye for the details of life on the road, exposing YYYs rise from the gutters of NYC’s East Village, to the pages of Rolling Stone. But these are more than just casual snapshot, these pix are a personal view as to where he’s at – the faces, the places, the gore and the glory – all the highway songs along the way”.

As well as playing in New York art-punk band, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Zinner has worked on a number of other collaborative projects, including Bright Eyes’ 2005 album, “Digital Ashes in a Digital Urn”. He studied photography at Bard College with Larry Fink and Stephen Shore and also attended art school in France. He has published work in magazines such as Vice, Black Book, and Rolling Stone.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs debut album of 2003, ‘Fever To Tell’, has been certified Gold in the UK and has sold more than 520,000 copies in America where the success of single ‘Maps’ has rocketed the band from cult heroes into the alternative mainstream.

Most of the exhibited prints will be for sale.

I’m definitely having some of this!I’ll be in London doing work experience at the Observer Music Monthly during then so I’ll be sure to report on how it actually looks.

Until next time rock fans!

Ashley King

Categories
Artists and Bands

Twofold split!

It is with great, great sadness that I announce Surrey hardcore/punk quartet, Twofold, have split up.

The band, who played over 200 gigs, and supported the likes of Hundred Reasons and Capdown, are bringing an end to their five year career with a final show at The Peel in Kingston on Thursday the 13th of October, which happily coincidies with national John Peel Day.

Although they never made a full album, their blend of punk, hardcore, funk and barbershop quartet harmonies won them fans all over the United Kingdom and gained critical appraise in the country’s music publications.

Those at next Thursday’s show will have the chance to purchase their discography CD which contains tracks from all their releases (including the E.P. “Hammer to the Hornet’s Nest” and split singles with the Lucky Thirteen, Fig 4.0, Bombjacks and GAS Drummers) as well as many other tracks which were a staple of their live sets up until recently.

The CD is also available on the Banquet Records website.

Ashley King

Categories
Rock and Roll Reads

Designer Punk returns

Evening people!

I’m very excited to announce the return of British website Designer Punk!

In the two years since the site was first launched, Designer Punk, recieved over 170,000 hits from over 100,000 visitors, however the site was temporarily dismantled towards the end of last year.

However it’s now back and is desperately in need of talented writers and photographers. So if you have any album, single, concert reviews and/or interviews whizz ’em off the site’s editor, Paul Whitlam now!

I have to big up this website as it was the first place where I had any of my writing published and I really want the site to be as big as it possibly can.

Cheers,

Ashley King

Categories
Rock Biz

Remembering the mixtape…part 3

Howdy fellow rock and rollers!

Apologies for not posting here for what seems like a trillion years but I’m back with another article on the joys of making mixtapes!

Since my last article featuring the rather excellent mixtape request site,Tiny Mix Tapes , I’ve been on the look out for even more websites in which to discuss one of favourite hobbies for music junkies like yours truly! An article for Stylus Magazine sets out and advertises "The International Mixtape Project".

The project, which started in November 2003, has seen people from all over the world make, send and trade their handmade mix CD’s and tapes with each other, often people they have never actually met. The article also gives a brief description on why making mixtapes are so much fun and how the project works. Pretty much, once a month Person X makes and sends a tape to a random person on the list while they recieve a tape off another random person on the list.

In addition the article also gives many pearls of wisdom into the art of making a compilation. For example: "Cover art and messages about the mixing process are not required but always welcome!"

Think that your mix tapes /CDs are the best around? Eager to show off your ability to put Elton John, Weezer, Slipknot and Sam Cooke all on one compilation? (like I on my last mix CD!)

Well then Art of the Mix is the site for you! Created in December 1997, AotM, allows people to submit, rate and even download (if on Mp3 format) their mixes and their accompanying pieces of art work that go with them. If you’re looking for a particular mix and/or song the chances are somebody’s submitted it to the AotM!

Even though it’s hardly the prettiest looking site you’ll find on the net, it’s easy to use and is much more interactive than Tiny Mix Tapes . It also includes a number of interesting essays such as: "Thoughts on the Politics of the Mixed Tape" and "References to Mixed Tapes in Popular Culture".

That’s it for now people! I’ve picked up a copy of Thurston Moore’s "Remembering the Mix Tape", which I’ll be reading as soon as I finshed the Lester Bangs biography, which I highly recommend if you want some great rock and roll reading!

Laters people!

Ashley King

Categories
Rock Biz

Remembering the mixtape…part 2

In some incredible coincedence Mark seems to have done a piece on the art of the compilation tape (or in my case complitation CD, what can I say I’m only a youngster) which is just what I was about to do!

To quote John Cusack’s character, Rob, in the ace film High Fidelity:

"The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules."

However if like me you have hundreds of CD’s, tapes and MP3’s stored on your computer creating a kick-ass compliation of your favourite songs and/or those that describes your thoughts and feelings towards the person making it and putting it onto an 80 minute CD-R, (or 90 minute Sony FX tape if you’re feeling old school) can be a slightly daunting task.

Even more so if you’re trying to be extra clever and try to make a "themed" mix tape/CD. I started a "Pulp Fiction" inspired, concept compilation CD a few weeks ago but (rather unsurprisingly) quickly gave up on the idea.

However there is help at hand for all you budding Rob Gordons! Tiny Mix Tapes is an excellent website where you just email in a request for a compilation and a team of music junkies will instantly make a tracklisting for you, with track name, artist and album. Requests on the site range from the rather sensible (‘Marry me mixtape’), to slightly more ‘interesting’ ones ("Why can’t I have a sexy illiness? Why must it be pink eye?")

However if you want to make on yourself and you need a bit of help on the rules of making one, and trust me there are a LOT of rules, then pay a visit to Kempa where submissions for advice on making tapes and CD’s are gladly welcomed. Some people’s entrants on the rules are rather silly but on a whole, it’ll give you a good idea of the Do’s and Dont’s of how to make a CD.

And lastly, as I’m in the sharing mood, here’s the last CD I made for my friend Laura. I was quite proud of it! Although at the risk of being snobbish, the one she did for me paled in comparison!

The Black Amnesias – Hope of the States
Followed the Waves – Auf Der Maur
Island of the Honest Man – Hot Hot Heat
The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
Jesus Walks – Kanye West
Hammer to the Hornet’s Nest – Twofold
Get Back (Rock remix) – Ludacris/Sum41
Emo – Blink-182
Bleed – Catatonia
Golden Touch – Razorlight
We are nowhere and it’s now – Bright Eyes
Helicopters – Barenaked Ladies
99 Problems – Jay-Z
The Dog Hour – The Fallout Trust
Teenage Lobotomy – The Ramones
It’s Not a Fashion Statement, It’s a Fucking Deathwish – My Chemical Romance
Inside Game – Royal Trux
M. Shepard – Thursday
The same boy you’ve always known – The White Stripes
Wish you were here – Wyclef Jean
Sick Happy – Hell is for Heroes
Piece of Crap – The Futureheads

That’s it for now people.

Peace easy!

Ashley King

Categories
Artists and Bands

Further news and babblings from t’other side of the Atlantic!

Hello there fellow rock’n’roll fans!

Yes I, Ashley King, your European contributor, is back once again with an update on my various musical happenings on this side of the pond!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been to far too many gigs than my bank balance can cope with, and have been taking in performances by Kate Bush loving post-punk quartet The Futureheads, punk funk heroes Hot Hot Heat, and Newcastle noiseniks, yourcodenameis:milo. All three bands (and in the most part, their support acts too) put on great shows, my finances on the other hand aren’t looking so good!

What with my gig going habit combined with my total inablility to stop buying CDs, it won’t be very long till I am completely broke. That said, what is my (monetary) loss will inevitably the readers of this site gain!

As soon as I get up off my lazy ass, I’ll havce a review of “White Butterfly”, the second album from London post-grunge trio InMe. I picked up a promotional copy of it, from one of Manchester’s best record shops, Vinyl Exchange on this Saturday. And as far as my knowledge goes it doesn’t get a proper release for at least another six weeks, so there’ll soon be an exclusive review of it here!

As summer sets in, it can only mean one thing… the great British rock festivals are here! Ahhh yes Glastonbury (Coldplay, Kylie Minogue and White Stripes headlining), Reading/Leeds (Iron Maiden, Foo Fighters and the Pixies), V Festival (Oasis) and Download (Feeder, Black Sabbath and System of a Down)…and how many of them am I going to? None! Once again my record buying habits have led me to become so skint that by the time I finally managed to scrape enough money to buy a ticket for one they’ve sold out. All of them! Not happy… however I will still update y’all on all the latest news from them. And if anyone wants to buy me a ticket for one them feel free!

That’s your lot for now people,

I’m off to plan my summer of rock and roll!

Ashley

Categories
Artists and Bands

Jinxed

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to catch local band Jinxed play at my local Parish Hall. Even though all of band the members are still in school, they still put on a really good performance. A review of them follows:

For some bands, what is only your second gig wouldn’t be that good.

For some bands, (White Stripes not included), not having a bass player would be a problem.

For a band made up of 13 & 14 year olds, you wouldn’t expect that good a performance.

Luckily, for us, local band, Jinxed aren’t any of the above. Although all four members of the band are still in school, and while tonight’s venue (the Waterhead Parish Hall) is hardly London’s Hammersmith Palais, they still give a performance which underlies their tender years.

Although an early case of the jitters was evident as the band opened with a cover of “All I Need is the Air that I breathe” by the Hollies, as the night’s 5 song set progressed, Jinxed clearly found their own feet.

Covers of “Come Up and See Me” and “Stand by Me” by Sultan of Swing and the Boomtown Rats respectively, followed, with lead singer, Reese clearly growing in confidence.

In fact the entire band screamed confidence. Jinxed are the first band I’ve ever seen, and trust I’ve seen a lot of bands, that have TWO guitarists (Chris and Terry) but no bass player. How they managed to do that and put in a half-decent performance I have no idea, but I was impressed.

As their set drew to a close, they covered some more recent hits, namely Green Day’s smash hit, “American Idiot”, and “Seven Nation Army” by Detroit garage idols, The White Stripes. It’s quite clear that despite this being only their second gig, Jinxed could be a name the local scene will be hearing a lot more from in the future.

Categories
Artists and Bands

Post-hardcore heroism, festival updates and student radio news from a rather over enthusiastic UK chap!

Greetings from the UK!!!

Good evening rock and roll fans! It’s Ashley King from the other side of the pond with a long overdue update of what’s being happening music-wise in jolly old England.

First things first, Welsh post-hardcore heroes, Funeral for a Friend have announced details of a UK tour in June and July in support of forthcoming second album, Hours. The band, who shot to fame in 2003, claim their sophmore effort will be more “natural sounding” and have more bite than debut, Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation. I’ve got my ticket! Any who happens to be in the country at the time is advised to the same!

As reported in a previous post the headliners for the Reading/Leeds festivals will be Iron Maiden, the Pixies and Foo Fighters. Also playing over the three day festival will be Queens of the Stone Age, Razorlight, Dropkick Murphys, Roots Manuva, Jimmy Eat World, Transplants, The Killers and The Coral.

Weekend tickets cost £125, a day ticket will set you back around sixty pounds. Reading has virtually sold out, but tickets for the Leeds leg can be found here.

Speaking of festivals, perhaps the most legendary of the British festivals, Glastonbury, has sold out in just three hours. That’s right, all of the 112000 allocated tickets have been snapped up and are already being flogged on Ebay for over £600.

Headlining this year are garage rock gods the White Stripes, pint-sized pop princess Kylie Minogue, and Coldplay, who are on the brink of returning to the rock and roll world with highly anticipated third album, X&Y.

And lastly, but by no means least, for the past few weeks yours truly has been pumping up the jams on student radio station, Frequency 1350 AM/MW. Every Thursday 1600-1800 GMT you can hear “King for a Day”. I play all kinds of stuff: old, new, metal, hardcore, reggae, post-punk, rock, motown, indie, screamo, rap, emo, New Kids on the Block (just kidding on that last one) and all that jazz! You can also listen to the show online with this link and I regularly post tracklistings of my previous shows up on mylivejournal . Feel free to email me with any requests, shoutouts, bribes from young lusty maidens etc.

That’s your lot for now guys!

Ashley

Categories
Artists and Bands

Fix up! Look sharp!

Twofold UK hardcore quartet, Twofold , are having a mega sale on old merchandise. Tshirts are going for £8, hoodies for £10, one of each will set you back £15, plus postage and packaging AND a special mystery gift! Can’t be bad eh?

Bass player, Simon Kiely, is also selling some of his old equipment and records on eBay. So bid high and buy generously to help out one of the best new bands in Britain!

The band are also performing at a benefit show for victims of the Tsunami disaster on Saturday, the 19th of February, at The Tumbledown Dick in Farnborough. The action kicks off at 7pm, should be a good night!

I’m off to interview Welsh comedy rap boyos Goldie Lookin Chain tonight, should be “interesting” to say the least.

Peace easy!