Swear I'm not Paul: 14/09/2008

My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit http://www.swearimnotpaul.com and update your bookmarks.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Album Review: Kings of Leon - Only By The Night

Kings of Leon - Only By The Night UK Cover

Kings of Leon – Only By The Night

Before this album I had an opinion about Kings of Leon. It was one of those “I don’t care what you say, I’m right, you just don’t realise” opinions. I loved the first Kings of Leon record Youth and Young Manhood. Loved it. I even went to see Kings of Leon play, have the t-shirt to prove it. Then the bandwagon arrived. I took a different road. One paved with discussions of “they used to be good. When they had beards”. I still miss the beards, but this, in my opinion is their return to form.

The last two records for me were “Kings of Leon are selling out. They’re just out to make money. Radio tripe, that’s what it is. Although I wouldn’t blame them for trying to make money. I’d sell out too if it got me loads of money and a bigger fanbase.” That bigger fanbase did not include me.

However, with Only By The Night, they may get me back. I can picture the discussions now. I won’t be saying “yeah I was wrong”, but instead “see, I knew they were good all along, just took them two mediocre albums to figure it out for themselves.” Amy and Shauna should expect to be involved in this conversation.

As for the songs. ‘Closer’: “Ha, I like the way a song called ‘Closer’ is the opener. I know, I know. Close as in closing a door, but it’s still amusing. Not their best song, and had me worried, it would be three in a row.”

‘Crawl’: “this starts off like one of those theme tunes. Gavin DeGraw’s One Tree Hill yoke or something. It’s nothing special. Had the mp3 for download on my blog a while ago. It’s not really a grower. Still sounds the same.”

‘Sex On Fire’: “Great song title. Just dripping with machismo. But you know that. Gives the guys a chance to show off their muscles. Yeah, I still miss the beards. Real bands have beards. Perfect single choice too.”

‘Use Somebody’: “Best song they’ve done since ‘Red Morning Light’, or actually half of the first record. God what an album. Oh and I hated that falsetto rubbish on the last album. Bloody yelps. Like Dave Matthews on ‘Louisiana Bayou’. But that “use” yelp works. Everything about the song works. Like a cross between Arcade Fire, Coldplay, U2, and Kings of Leon. But only the best parts.”

‘Manhattan’: “Yeah, I had heard this one before too. I remember at the time thinking that the riff was like something by Dave Matthews Band too, maybe ‘Old Dirt Hill’ or ‘American Baby’. Maybe they were listening to DMB on the tourbus. Which is never a bad thing. Yeah, when this was sent out to us bloggers I thought it was decent. Still wasn’t expecting a decent album though.”

‘Revelry’: “Woohoohoo. Whiney, slurred, no instant radio-hook. Yes, this is the Kings of Leon I remember. Maybe I should have a look for that t-shirt. Won’t iron it though. That wouldn’t be cool.”

‘17’: “Starts like some kind of Christmas deck-the-bells nonsense. I’m not the greatest fan of it. It’s the kind of stuff they had on those last two albums. Alright, but nothing special.”

‘Notion’: “Yeah, a Heineken please. Oh someone requested Kings of Leon. Thanks DJ, play something a bit more lively. No-one will dance to this. No, nothing from Because of the Times. Dull. Oh sorry barman, I wasn’t minding. I was too busy giving out. Five forty? You’re kidding me. For one pint?”

‘I Want You’: “It’s alright, I suppose. I like the bass riff. Nice and neat. Could be why it’s just alright though. There’s no rawness. Guess that’s what happens when you shave.”

‘Be Somebody’: “These songs which have “somebody” in the titles truly are the best tracks on the album. Maybe if they made a concept record called Somebody, that’d be their masterpiece. The bridge is just so great. It’s like classic rock. Maybe even classic pop. Did someone just put on Rick Astley?”

‘Cold Desert’: “Should’ve been a tune called ‘Opener’, about a can opener, or something. Would’ve been amusing. Well for me at least. Ah they should’ve ended better. On a high. Switch this an ‘Be Somebody’, that’d be better. Well maybe not, people might just switch it off after ‘Manhattan’, and ‘Be Somebody’ needs to be heard. Just turn it off after that.”

“Yeah, so mine’s a Heineken. What’s yours?”

Kings of Leon - Only By The Night US cover

Album Review: Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew

Lisa Hannigan - Sea Sew album cover

Lisa Hannigan – Sea Sew

Damien Rice’s 9 was a much lesser album than its predecessor O for one major reason: a lack of Lisa Hannigan throughout. The areas where she appeared were the album’s highlights ‘9 Crimes’ for one, but the album suffered without her. It shall be interesting to see will Damien’s next album be the same, as it is guaranteed to have absolutely no Lisa after their acrimonious split. But after playing second fiddle to Damien for so long (Vivien was first fiddle!), can she cut it on her own? On the basis of first single ‘Lille’, which I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, proves that yes, she can.

The album Sea Sew furthers this. The songs themselves are nothing special, but Lisa’s voice is. It’s haunting and beautiful. It’s like a mother’s embrace, warm and caring, and extremely comfortable. Even after the last song (‘Lille’) has ended, it still lingers on.

There are elements of what I see as the neo-folk revival (c.f. Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale, and the rest) throughout. It’s like all these people finally discovered Nick Drake and Kate and Anna McGarrigle. This is no bad thing. ‘Venn Diagram’ is a splendid tune and flows effortly on from opener ‘Ocean and a Rock’. ’Venn Diagram’ ends with a trembling beauty, a sort of sadness, but a simultaneous sense of freedom. Kind of like Lisa and Damien so.

‘I Don’t Know is the best example of this neo-folk quality. It’s the best song on the album, and a certainty for a future radio album. I can envision it now advertising something where people are skipping along the road either to buy a beer or a television. It also could well be the best song by a Irish artist released this year.

The album isn’t perfect however. ‘Sea Song’ has great instrumentals, but it’s a bit too lingering as a whole, and fails to hold interest for the entire song. It seems a bit erratic throughout. There’s a nursery-rhyme quality to some of the songs, one of which is ‘Splishy Splashy’ which never seems to expand from its original concept, and stays in a comfort zone. ‘Courting Blues’ is a horrible keen of a song, and would remind you of wakes after funerals in the nineteenth century. ‘Keep It All’ counteracts these, and seems focused yet interesting, and the spidery melody is a wonderful foundation for Lisa’s voice.

The failings are minor points; overall the album is a strong debut. I was expecting it to be quite whiney, but Lisa has proved me wrong, and in the process made a fairly decent folk-pop album.

Album News: Ryan Adams - Cardinology tracklist announced

Cardinology cover art

In case you didn't see my edit of the last post. Cardinology by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals will be released on October 27th. I cannot wait.

That's also the official album art too.

1. Born into a Light
2. Go Easy
3. Fix It
4. Magick
5. Cobwebs
6. Let Us Down Easy
7. Crossed Out Name
8. Natural Ghost
9. Sink Ships
10. Evergreen
11. Like Yesterday
12. Stop

Live: The Zutons at Vicar Street

December looks set to be a busy month for Irish music fans. Never mind buying all those stocking filler X-Factor winner singles for the kiddies, there's plenty of gigs to go to. Another one announced today is The Zutons, who will play Vicar Street on December 14th.

Tickets are €29, and go on sale next Thursday, September 25th.

The Zutons - 'You Will, You Won't':

Download: The Piano Creeps - Hey Love

The Piano Creeps - The Future Blues

'Hey Love' is the first single from The Piano Creeps upcoming album Future Blues, to be released next month. You may not realise, but you have already heard a lot of material from Billy Coté, Mary Lorson and Kathy Ziegler already. Well, that's if you watch any TV. Songs of theirs have been used in The Sopranos, Skins, and Alias and Felecity. But no-one actually watches the second two, do they?

The Piano Creeps - 'Hey Love'

The album is out October 14th. While you wait, you can check out further songs from them here:

Download: The Evertronic - Dancing in Slow Motion

The Evertronic

The Evertronic are a Texas band who've been around for a couple of years, but are now only on the cusp of making it big. They're along the lines of Black Kids or Crystal Castles, so if you like either of those, I'd suggest you download this new song from their upcoming second album.

The Evertronic - 'Dancing in Slow Motion'


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Listen: Kanye West - Love Lockdown

According to Kanye himself, "Your prayers have been answered!! There's a new version of love Love Lockdown coming. We used new taiko drums and I re-sung it... it's being Mastered now....Sidebar... if you don't like autotune... too bad cause I love it and have been using it since the College Dropout!!!"

It's quite different from the previous version. So enjoy, or else complain. Whatever you want. It's Kanye. He won't care. Actually he will, but he's a big baby.

Listen here:

Watch: Ben Folds - You Don't Know Me

New video (official video) from Way to Normal. It's from the real album, not the fake leak.

And I must say, I for one, am not a fan. The fake stuff was better!

Live: Cut Copy at The Village

The Heineken Green Energy Festival is going to be great this year. Not only are TV on the Radio playing (enjoy the album Red), but Cut Copy have also announced a date.

Cut Copy will play The Village in Dublin on Saturday November 15th, with tickets on sale at a bargain 22.50. The Australian band released the wonderful In Ghost Colours to massive acclaim (and the disdain of Americans who say "color") in spring this year.

Watch 'Lights and Music':

Album News: Coldplay - Prospekt's March EP

Yes, Prospekt's with an apostrophe in there. So who is this Prospekt person? Hmmm.

Anyhow, that's what it's called, and as I previously announced it will feature Kylie (the horror), and again be produced by Brian Eno. All the material was recorded at the same time as Viva La Vida.

But the big news is the release date: St. Stephen's Day, or December 26th to all you non-Irishers.

Chris Martin also mentioned a new album in November 2009. But that's ages away yet.

'Viva La Vida' promo vid:

Oh and remember, they're playing the O2 Point in December. 21st and 22nd to be exact.

Download: The Spinto Band - Pumpkins and Paisley

The Spinto Band - Moonwink
Yay! More free music. This time it's from the excellent Spinto Band. Or should that be the excellent The Spinto Band. But that's just confusing. This tune, 'Pumpkins and Paisley' is taken from upcoming album Moonwink, which is available from October 7th. Moonwink is the follow up to their splendid Nice and Nicely Done, and is produced by Dave Trumfio (he produced Wilco, don't you know). On a side note, someone from Bray or Greystones should set up a Jeff Tweedy cover band called Wiclo!

The Spinto Band - 'Pumpkins and Paisley'

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Live: TV on the Radio at Tripod

Q magazine has only given one five star review this year (as far as I know), and that's to TV on the Radio's oh-so-good Dear Science,

But good news radio fans, or whatever you're called, TV on the Radio are set to play the Heineken Green Energy Festival, in Tripod on November 15th.

Tickets are priced €22.50 to €27.50, and go on sale next week.

Watch 'Wolf Like Me':

Download: Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

I must admit I am a fan of press releases. I like it when my inbox has loads of emails when I check it around midday. I love being popular.

I also love people who are like Randy Newman. Passion Pit are heavily influenced by him. The legend. Passion Pit's album Chunk of Change was released yesterday, and is a short seven song EP.

You can stream the whole EP here:
and alternatively download 'Sleepyhead' here:
Passio Pit - 'Sleepyhead'

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Album News: The Cardinals - Cardinology

Yet another album name change, word on the street is that the new Ryan Adams and the Cardinals record will be called Cardinology.

Also, I've heard that Ryan sings all songs, no Neal Casal lead vocal.

The best news, however, is a tentative release date. October 28th. Fuck yeah!

EDIT: Definite release date of October 28th now. And it could be by "Ryan Adams and the Cardinals" rather than simply "Cardinals". Official details on the Lost Highway page:

Album News: Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile

Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile

Nickel Creek press release:
Chris Thile has recored an album with famed bassist, Edgar Meyer, entitled Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile. It will be released on Nonesuch Records on September 23rd. The album features 12 original compositions by the duo. Included with the deluxe edition of the album is a 50-minute DVD featuring performances, rehearsals, and behind-the-scenes conversations. Meyer and Thile will embark on a 15-city North American tour beginning September 25th in Boulder, CO and that ends at Carnegie Hall on October 29th.

samples and dates up on the myspace

I for one can't wait. Edgar Meyer is a wonderful talent, and I just worship Chris Thile. Sure I even have a Punch Brothers setlist!

Album News: Britney Spears - Circus

A circus is either where Britters belongs, or else the media circus which follows her every move. Either way, Circus is an excellent title for her new album, which is due to be released December 1st.

It's produced by JR Rotem. He's produced for Destiny's Child, The Game, D12 and the like. But notably, he produced 3 tunes on Kevin Federline's splendid Playing with Fire. And by splendid, I mean utterly awful.

First single 'Womanizer' will be on MTV and every radio station that's not Phantom from next monday.

Download: Young Lords - 'Rodeo Songs'

Lords Cricket Ground
Young Lords were formed in New York, New York two years ago, and have toured withe The Fratellis. So if you like singalong anthems, this may be the band for you. I'm not the biggest Fratellis fan, but I do think the wrong band were headlining. Young Lords make pretty sweet music.

Young Lords - 'Rodeo Songs'

Hear more here:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Album News: Kanye West - 808's and Heartbreak

Kanye West - Love Lockdown
So, we now have a release date and an album title for Damn Good Job or whatever the mooted title was. We now know that the fourth Kanye West album will be called 808's and Heartbreak, and will be released just in time for Christmas on December 16th.

You can listen to kanye's 'Love Lockdown' at his blog, here: