The Pretty Reckless at the O2. From scepticism to sell outs

The pretty reckless (TPR) started in 2009, led by former Gossip Girl actress Taylor Momsen. “Raspy vocals that sound like she smokes a pack a day,” are ways to describe her unique voice, along with a rebellious, rock and roll on-stage presence.

Her bandmates, who are often overlooked are just as talented as the leading lady of the group and as a unit are quite possibly, one of the most exciting live bands you can see!

Part of the UK tour, the band performed at the O2 Forum in Kentish town, which meant that it would be one hell of a gig.

The night’s setlist was a mix of their newer and earlier material with tracks like ‘My Medicine’ and ‘living in the storm’ all being well received.

15 songs were sung all in all and with the final song (‘Take me down’), the crowd demanded an encore, chanting and clapping till TPR satiated the crowd, with a rendition of ‘Fucked up world’. With an impressive drum solo by Jamie Perkins, the TPR knew how to put on a show- with an adrenaline rush that screamed of rock.

For more on the night check out: http://mosh.hitthefloor.com/reviews/the-pretty-reckless-captivated-a-sold-out-o2-forum-live-review/

 

 

DOG IS DEAD – on tour

DiDead

So powerfully do Nottingham’s Dog Is Dead evoke early adulthood, they even appeared in an episode of Skins, singing Glockenspiel Song, which features on this debut album and goes: “We are a mess, we are failures and we love it!” They’ve been together since school and singer Robert Milton doesn’t sound a million miles from Noah and the Whale or Bombay Bicycle Club, his flamboyant voice laced with a sulky, sixth-former crackle. The real surprise comes in their broad musical vision, which is more like Vampire Weekend’s, with snaky jazz bass-lines (Get Low), highlife guitar (Do the Right Thing), nifty art-rock twists and 80s sax courtesy of Lawrence “Trev” Cole. Lyrics may operate in a relatively small sphere – breaking up, getting back together, talking through the night – but these are solid goldindie pop songs ornamented with real precision and flair. dogisdead

tour on: http://dogisdead.co.uk/live.htm

Dolce e Gabbana 4 Christmas

dg2

If he needs a new headset to listen to Chrismas carols on his way to work, Dolce & Gabbana makes these super comfy and high-quality headphones with a wooden trim—an unexpected touch even among the most sophisticated electronic gear.

Dg1

Dolce & Gabbana + Grado DS2012 Handmade Mahoganey Wood Headset, available by calling 877 703.4872.

By Caroline Grosso

 

How we made – Graham Coxon and Stephen Street on Parklife by Blur

Graham Coxon, guitarist

Modern Life Is Rubbish [Blur’s second album] was overlooked because of the rise of grunge, but we were halfway to somewhere, and with Parklife we arrived. The album was the convergence of a lot of influences: Alex [James, bassist] wanted to be in Duran Duran, I wanted to be in Wire, and Damon [Albarn] wanted to be … I don’t know. There were songs on the album we were excited about, but I was surprised it got so many awards. One or two would have been all right.

A lot of people thought it was a celebration of Englishness, but it was actually very sarcastic. The Parklife single wasn’t about the working class, it was about the park class: dustbin men, pigeons, joggers – things we saw every day on the way to the studio [Maison Rouge in Fulham]. It epitomises what Blur were about – having fun and doing exactly what you want to do.

But Damon wasn’t comfortable doing the verses – he just couldn’t get into character. He thought it would be better to get in a celebrity, so I suggested the actor Phil Daniels because we were big fans from Quadrophenia. At the line “There was a piece of my heart”, Phil said, “Should I drop the ‘h’? If I pronounce it, it’ll sound more adorable.” We didn’t want to use a forced mockney accent, so he pronounced the “h”.

I play a bit of the German national anthem on saxophone in the “vorsprung durch technik” line. It’s a very comedic song, a knees-up. Oasis were accused of being Chas’n’Dave, but we weren’t far away ourselves.

Stephen Street, producer

Modern Life hadn’t been a commercial success, but the band were still drawing a big touring crowd so the fear of being dropped had gone. We went into the studio to do Parklife soon after.

Damon was directing his attention to a very English kind of inspiration: great records made by the Kinks, and also imaginary characters like Tracy Jacks[Albarn’s civil servant in the throes of a midlife crisis]. The album was made piecemeal: we did a few songs, then they were on the road again, then back in the studio. There were no arguments.

The style of [first single] Girls & Boys was unlike anything Blur had done before, but I thought it would be Top 5 – it was so downright basic. I felt the way I had when I produced the Smiths: that as long as Morrissey was singing on it, it would be the Smiths. It was the same with Blur: they could put their hands to anything, and it would still sound like Blur.

Each song had its own sound and direction: End of a Century is completely different from Girls & Boys, and different again from Bank Holiday. I knew [the song] Parklife would connect with people, and I still often hear it played at Loftus Road [Queens Park Rangers’ ground]. In fact, a lot of football teams play it.

Phil Daniels was first approached to recite a poem over a song called The Debt Collector, but in the end it became an instrumental because Damon couldn’t come up with a poem he liked. So we decided Phil should have a go at Parklife instead. The band and I were already pretty sick of that song, but he invigorated it and we were interested again – although personally, it’s still not one of my favourites.

Interviews by Caroline Sullivan. guardian.co.uk

Boite LD120

http://www.laboiteconcept.com/en/la-boite-concept.php

Why more people aren’t doing this kind of things, we don’t know. La Boite Concept, a French design studio with a focus on electronic acoustics, has put together the above piece of laptop-loving music furniture, dubbed the LD120. It features a total of seven drivers, including a down-firing subwoofer and a stereo pair at the rear, the latter of which is intended to bounce sound off a wall and neatly into your ear canal. You’ll still only be getting 2.1 audio output at the end of it, but when it emanates from a leather-trimmed desk equipped with its own USB sound card and a cable-tidying channel in one of its legs, we’re kind of willing to overlook that little detail. We only wish we could be as blasé about the price, which at €980 ($1,300) places the LD120 strictly on our “hope someone buys us one” list.