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TGIF with Kim Churchill

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Up until now our TGIF series has predominantly focused on party JAMS, handpicked by the likes of Little Dragon, Royal Blood & Dune Rats that have all done their bit in helping kick start our weekends BUT every now and then a more chilled 2 day break is what the doctor ordered.

Cue Kim Churchill (You probably know him from hearing the killer Window To The Sky every 15 minutes on your radio) and his selection of tracks that are the perfect prescription for when you’re leaving your dancing shoes & sequined suit in the wardrobe. Featuring tunes from Coldplay, Nick Drake, Chet Faker, Passenger, Neil Young, Alt-j, Bon Iver, James Blake & more you’re definitely not going to have the neighbours calling the cops on this one.

Hit play on the playlist below and read on for a little breakdown as to why each track earned its spot.


Passenger - Let Her Go

Kind of jumping on a very full band wagon, but I think this song is timeless. One of the best examples of a songwriter getting stronger and stronger and more and more moving. 

Chet Faker - Love and Feeling

His sound is wonderful. I love the electronic feel whilst still maintaining a real dedication to the art of song writing. He’s got a wonderful way of singing too. 

Alt J - Taro

One of my favourite albums. It’s the lyrics in this that really get me. The vocalist really found a new place to explore in his style and in this day and age that’s tough. 

Bob Dylan - Pretty Saro

Only just released last year after over 40 years gathering dust. Some of his most mystifying work can be found on this album and this performance is just incredible. 

Daft Punk feat. Paul Williams - Touch

What a collaboration! I love this album and I think the way Paul Williams sings is immediately classic! I love the more experimental side of Daft Punk too. I’m a sucker for a good sound scape. 

Future Island - Seasons (Waiting On You) 

Just his voice! Also, so many damn good one liners.

Pink Floyd – Astro Domine (Live) 

Some of their best song writing and I love Syd Barrett’s input. This live version comes from a more polished era of Floyd and I’m a fan of the added production and performance quality to what is already one of their best songs. 

Ben Howard - Keep Your Head Up 

Just a good helpful song to remind me which way to look in life. 

Nick Drake - Road

One of my favourite guitarists and songwriters ever. I find a lot of people never get this guy, sometimes I feel it’s a fragile and narrow path to understanding his genius. If it is this way, this song is the safest route.

Neil Young - A Man Needs a Maid

I love the orchestral stuff in this and I’ve been very inspired by Neil Young’s melodic ideas. This is one of my favourites - ever. 

Bon Iver - Flume

The track that lead me into a real obsession for a long time. One of the best songwriters of our era and I also love his style of production. I think he took music to a new place. What more could an artist hope to do? 

Led Zeppelin - The Lemon Song

The godfathers of metal and the cool new kids of blues. My favourite guitarists ever and quite possibly my favourite band ever. 

Coldplay - Shiver

I got this album very early on from my cousins in England. Yeah, they have gone to a lot of places since here (and I admit I like them all), but this was a real pop masterpiece. I love how raw his vocal performances were on this album. So much emotion in them. 

Tracy Chapman - Give Me One Reason

I listened to this song every morning when I was a teenager washing dishes in a cafe. Tracy Chapman became one of my favourite artists and, as this is the doorway, I figured it was the one of hers to share. 

Pearl Jam - Once

Way to shake the world apart. I think more than anything it’s Eddie’s vocal performances on this first album that make it so timeless. My favourite Pearl Jam album by far. 

The Beautiful Girls - Learn Yourself 

Helped guide me through adolescence. Matt McHugh’s lyrics in those days were a god send. Stopped me being an angry little teen and helped me realise life was a bit less serious and a bit more kind.

Tom Waits - Hell Broke Luce

Well… I’ve just never heard anything like this. I had to include Tom Waits. I’ve spent too many hours ogling over everything he does to miss him. The whole Bad As Me album was brilliant, especially for an artist so far into his career. 

James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream 

I feel JB changed things immediately with this album. Electronic music needed a good kick of something - and it didn’t necessarily have to be a huge dance track. 

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Better Days

Live, they are phenomenal. Keep the jug band spirit alive I reckon. My favourite contemporary hippy. 


Kim’s … Silence / Win … is available now where all good records are sold/streamed and if Vance Joy & Matt Corby are your bag we highly recommend giving it a go.



TGIF with Dune Rats


No one looks forward to the weekend more than party brat punks Dune Rats… actually… let’s be honest, the way these guys party it probably doesn’t matter what day of the week it is in order for them to get loose and cause a ruckus..

To celebrate the release their brand spankin’ new self titled album which dropped on June 1 we caught up with everyone’s favourite self-proclaimed hyperactive stoner c**ts and asked them to tell us what goes on the stereo when they party… and Jesus Christ, they can party.


1. Eminem > Guilty Conscience
I remember listening to this song when I was on the bus in primary school burning holes in the back of bus seats with a lighter thinking I was cool. Turns out I was just a shit dick

2. Violent Soho > My Generation
This was one of the first Violent Soho songs I heard a few years back, we ended up meeting the legends touring with them and becoming mates. They’re fucking top blokes, best ever.

3. Babyshambles > Fuck Forever
This was on high rotation on the iPod a few years back to the point where I can’t really listen to the song that much anymore but I played it a million times

4. Cloud Nothings > Cut You
I saw these guys at Laneway a couple of years ago because I knew they were playing with Violent Soho, I was on pingers and lost my shit. That was just after a bong video clip came out and a bunch of cunts were coming up to us on the heckle train. Classic

5. Fleetwood Mac > Dreams
Every time we use to get off talking in the car we’d chuck this sucker on, it’s a keeper.

6. Oasis > Supersonic
This sucker was on REPEAT for a solid 6 months of touring last year or the year before, it’s epic as shit

7. Kendrick Lamar > Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe
When we first toured USA with Guttermouth we would tune into the ganster radio station i think 105.9 and this song would come on literally every 3 - 6 songs. We didn’t know who it was at the time but it became a song of the tour driving around in a pimped car with blacked out windows. We drove through Compton from the airport and this was on. 

8. Nirvana > In Bloom
We’d try play this song when we’re fucking around writing the album. Bad boy drums in it

9. 360 > Hammer Head
This song is Brett’s guilty pleasure. He loves dubstep heaps so this one went down a treat.


Dune Rats debut LP is available all over the place now (Physically | Digitally | Streamablly)

TGIF with Royal Blood


UK duo Royal Blood’s stock has been on the rise ever since they exploded onto the scene late last year when they supported Arctic Monkeys on their UK tour dates.

The band have just touched down in Australia for a couple of sold out shows, which is sure to have a whole lot of people that missed out on tix with a heavy case of the FMLs.

Prepare yourself to hear about it too as from all reports these guys are LEGIT live, the kind of band that will have you looking behind the curtain and under the stage for the extra members as they pack a serious punch for two dudes from Brighton.

We caught up with the guys recently and asked them to take part in our TGIF series where they gave us a list of their go to jams complete with a few guilty pleasures (Celine Dion anyone?) and general party starting business from the likes of Jay Z, Arctic Monkeys, Outkast, Daft Punk, Michael Jackson and The Red Hot Chili Peppers which you can stream below.

 


Royal Blood’s Out Of The Black EP is out now through Warner Music and available where all good music is sold, both online (Physically | Digitally) and in the real world. We strongly recommend tracking down the vinyl EP for the best listening experience though.

Hardcore Hippies


Our buddies over at Maniacs recently caught up with Byron Bay metal band In Hearts Wake ahead of their tour with Dream On Dreamer, Being As An Ocean & Endless Heights and found out what goes on the stereo backstage at their shows.

There are definitely more than a few surprises in amongst the list, that features tunes from artists such as, Neil Young, America, Nick Cave, London Grammar & even Drake.

Gearing up for a tour and making playlists isn’t all these guys are up to though. Not only have the band just released a new album called Earthwalker, they’re working alongside Carbon Neutral on an environmental initiative where one bio-diverse native tree will be planted for every album that was pre-ordered ‘in the hope of restoring and preserving the natural beauty of our environment’.

Hardcore hippies indeed!

Have a listen to their Backstage Playlist below and make sure you get down to one of their shows on their upcoming tour.


TGIF with Ziggy Marley

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To celebrate the release of Ziggy Marley’s new album Fly Rasta we caught up with the man himself and asked him to take part in our brand spankin’ new TGIF series wherein we ask artists to tell us what goes on the stereo when Friday rolls around and then turn it into a handy Spotify playlist as per below for you all to enjoy.

Boogie On!


Ziggy’s Fly Rasta is out now and available where all good records are sold, both online (Physically | Digitally) and in the real world.

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Spotify…Shagadelic Or The Death Star?

Well one thing that is true, like any great film Spotify has got everyone talking. Will it be a timeless classic or just a movie of the moment? This is not a niche launch in terms of the critics, Spotify is fashionable to have an opinion on and those opinions are diverse and certainly interesting and ongoing!

The dynamic and well informed opinions are a great script for how complex the music industry can be and also how passionate the people who are part of the industry are anout creativity and great music and how we can continue to make this possible.

There have been sequels already and the debate and discussion continues as Spotify launches in new territories and artists leave the theatre or arrival, in terms PR spikes and social media conversations Spotify is never less than four stars.

When Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace removed their albums from Spotify, the debate spiked again, particularly raging over the value of streaming music services for musicians and the music industry. Not a new debate, but such an emotional debate it will continue, in my opinion, until artists (individually) can see that streaming works for them.

The greatest aspect of debates are that you may learn (should learn something) new from your opponents. In respect of this we have brought together some of the powerful, emotional opinions with the links to the original blogs/posts…yeah baby!

Join the debate…..

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The good people over at The Guardian have come up with an alphabetical guide to modern day pop, From Afrobeats to Zombie Rock and everywhere in between, It’s a comprehensive list of genres, some of which you’ll know and others that sound like they were made up 5 minutes ago.
You can head on over to the Guardian site for the full A-Z breakdown
and just in case you thought these were made up, they’ve even gone and created an accompanying A-Z Spotify playlist which gives you an audio taste of 25 of the 26 genres (Tumblrwave is just too damn new apparently) Check it out below.

The good people over at The Guardian have come up with an alphabetical guide to modern day pop, From Afrobeats to Zombie Rock and everywhere in between, It’s a comprehensive list of genres, some of which you’ll know and others that sound like they were made up 5 minutes ago.

You can head on over to the Guardian site for the full A-Z breakdown

and just in case you thought these were made up, they’ve even gone and created an accompanying A-Z Spotify playlist which gives you an audio taste of 25 of the 26 genres (Tumblrwave is just too damn new apparently) Check it out below.

Spoti-Finally!



So today sees the launch of Spotify in Australia and as a result 22 million Australian’s now have the opportunity to access all the music they want legitimately.

There will be a lot of media debate this week about whether Spotify and streaming subscription services will impact iTunes especially since there is a free service - users can listen for free in exchange for listening to three to four minutes of advertising every hour.

But we should be wary not to jump on this bandwagon and look around the world and see where streaming subscription services and iTunes operate together and where iTunes remains the dominant digital service retailer even though Spotify has launched there and been up and running for a while. It is only in markets such as Sweden, where Spotify first launched in 2008 that Spotify is the number one digital contributor – after four years!

As Kate Vale, who heads up Spotify down under cites “Our major competitor and the people we are trying to get onto Spotify are those that are illegally downloading music,” She believes there are about 2.8 million Aussies illegally downloading music every month.

Well if we can encourage 2.8million people to get with the story that music does matter and to start getting music via services that pay artists for their copyrights then that is a great thing!

And look at all the fun we can have with services like Rd.io and Spotify…



You can share tracks via Facebook, twitter in one click



And there are all the apps that are being integrated into Spotify. My favourite of the moment being We are Hunted. All these apps are there to enable us to discover music.



You can create playlists and subscribe to them to get updates…



Here’s some playlists Warner has created for your listening pleasure…follow us on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe via Facebook and we’ll make sure you get to know all the tunes we’re loving as we discover them.



Cool Accidents Presents

Warner Music Presents

Neon Club Hits

Maniacs Rock Out To

Pop Mob Presents



-Beth A

Are We Losing Respect For Music?

Via The Telegraph

This isn’t a critique of Simon Cowell, the Baron Bowdleriser of Pop, the exploitation culture of talent shows, or the paucity of music in the London 2012 Festival programme. It’s much simpler than that. I’m worried about our listening habits.

Look at the panorama of music available to us today. We have access to any song we’ve ever wanted to listen to. Pay £120 a year to Spotify and you get 16 million songs, or use YouTube or one of the other numerous music discovery sites to find what you want. It’s a glorious torrent of tunes made accessible by the MP3 and higher bandwidth. The main benefit is obvious: we can listen to and discover more music than ever before. Additionally, the ease of sharing music creates communities across social networks and many older music fans have rediscovered the songs of their youth. Just last night my great uncle in San Francisco sent me a message thanking me for introducing him to Spotify. There is no orthodoxy or dominant genre; everything exists on an even playing field. With this democratisation comes the need for artists to step up their game; they have to be brilliant to be heard.

The one thing we don’t have more of is time. We cannot listen to the entire matrix of music, nor can we pay attention to, say, 100 songs, in the same way as we can 10. Our listening is often quicker, shallower and of a lesser quality, through tinny computer speakers and low bit rate streams and downloads. It is in danger of degrading and trivialising what we’re hearing. In Simon Reynolds’ words: “every gain in consumer-empowering convenience has come at the cost of disempowering the power of art to dominate our attention, to induce a state of aesthetic surrender.”

An undertow of wariness crept up on me over the last year. Albums didn’t have the same amount of significance as before, apart from those I listened to many times for work. I found myself flippantly turning my back on others that I deemed too difficult. Panic appeared at the amount of music that was on offer, often resulting in a retreat to Radiohead. I returned from SXSW, the great new music festival in Texas, feeling as if I’d OD’d on pop.

Most of all I missed the moment when a piece of music transports you to a particular time and a place. You know the feeling. Three bars in and you can smell the car seat, see the friend’s silhouette in the sun, feel the frosty night, hear the traffic of a foreign city, shudder with relief that a break-up is over. I wanted these associations again.

I’ve realised that I’m not alone. I set the question to Twitter the other day. Replies came thick and fast: “I find it impossible to fully tune in to a LP while working”; “I have a constant guilt complex I’m not listening to enough or listening long enough. The pressure to keep up is crippling!”; “I judge on first listen, rarely give anything the benefit of the doubt. Expect it to connect somewhere instantly”. Also, increased vinyl sales for the sixth year running, suggest that we’re seeking better ways to listen.

This month the electronic artist Nicolas Jaar releases his own listening alternative, a new MP3 player called the “Prism”. The silver device, stylish and small enough to fit in your hand, holds music that cannot be listened to anywhere else. No Soundcloud, no Bandcamp, no YouTube.

Jaar designed the cube to restore the idea of physicality to his music and force the listener to hear it away from, in particular, computer speakers. He told me:

We’re listening out of a computer on a YouTube link and that’s probably the worst music has ever sounded, ever, and not what the artist intended. We’re losing respect for the listening experience of music.

Jaar’s other gripe is the low quality of CDs (“It’s a product that’s been created solely for the purpose of being sold and shipped in the cheapest, easiest and fastest way possible”) – so he wanted to make something different. Encouraged by rising vinyl sales and distressed by receiving his first album – “I looked at the CD and touched the CD and realised that it didn’t do justice to what I was trying to say” – he took the matter into his own hands.

One of his priorities was that the new device would be shareable. The prism comes with a headphone jack on either side, so two people can listen to it at once. The ideal listening spot, he tells me, is “in bed with a lover”. Oo-er.

A gift for fans in the shape of a cube, a smart vinyl, or an interesting cover sleeve, such as Factory Floor’s upcoming plastic moulds, is one way for the artist to direct listening habits, or at least encourage the recipient to think, but what can we do if we feel we’re treating music, well, like a tart?

Pop savant Mark Wood made a decision to change his music habits a couple of years ago when he realised he wasn’t listening properly. One Christmas he looked at a great big pile of albums he wanted to listen to and thought “this is f—ing ridiculous”. He said:

When I was 16, that amount would have been a year’s worth of records and I would have stuck with them because it was such a big thing to invest a fiver. If it didn’t float your boat immediately, you didn’t have an option because you couldn’t just go and buy another one. Pretty much most of my favourite albums I didn’t like the first time.

Wood felt he was spending money on music but not giving it any respect. Albums were like “seeds falling on barren ground”. He found that in the last decade, fewer albums had “stuck” in the way they had done in the past, and wanted to see if this was just a symptom of his getting older. “I’d get completely overwhelmed and just play Bowie or The Smiths that I’ve loved from 15. I realised that all this choice was not really getting me anywhere.”

The strategy was to pretend that he didn’t have all this new found access, and limit himself to five albums a month. At the beginning of every month he’d wipe his iPod and load up the next batch (a mixture of new and old). He jokingly compares the first couple of weeks to heroin withdrawal symptoms, and “couldn’t believe that if something was getting on my nerves, I couldn’t just change it.”

Wood gives many examples of “difficult” albums by artists such as Fever Ray, Roy Harper, Morrissey, which he ran away from many times in the past, flicking to something easier. About Trout Mask Replica, he said: “It’s not difficult if you play it more than three times. After I had it on my iPod a week I could see exactly what he [Captain Beefheart] was trying to do.”

He lets himself listen to singles and the radio, because he needs to keep up with what’s new for part of his job. But the benefits of his detox have encouraged him to continue. He’s also regained that sense of association I’ve been missing:

Occasionally I go back to what I was playing a year ago and it’s brilliant. It almost measures time, which is what music always did. When you’re steeped in an album and you heard it five years on and it takes you straight back.

Middlemarch isn’t an easy read and Dogville isn’t an easy watch, but pleasure is found in the struggle to “get it”. The more we listen to a piece of music, the more we will get out of it. Alongside this, discovery of new detail and comfort of familiarity brings a joy rarely achieved without repetition. So if the volume of stuff we possess puts us off delving into difficult pieces, or listening with a keen and thoughtful ear, then perhaps we should try limiting ourselves. Sometimes, less is more.

-Lucy Jones

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“What was the first record you ever bought?” This used to be a common question amongst me and my friends, but if you are of today’s generation the question is more likely to be “what’s your favourite track of all time?”

As youngsters we used to talk about how many CDs we had … over the last ten years or so this has changed to boasting about how many tracks you have and how full your iPod is. The thing that we all had in common was discussing ownership and the concept of collecting. We were just moving into the digital ages for the music industry.

Those who weren’t ready to move into the digital world reminisce about the importance of touching and feeling their records; the artwork and the complete package that came with every band’s recording. Essentially this beauty was killed when we moved from vinyl to CDs, and somewhere along that journey the booklet and packaging downgraded to a bit of plastic that chipped and typically a 4 page booklet.

Whilst physical products changed at the same time illegitimate downloading became rife. People became consumed with filling their hard drives with ‘all they could ever have’, even though we only have so many minutes available to us each day and there was no way we could listen to everything.

Around the year 2000 the record industry got out their whip and took on the mission of closing down peer to peer services. Napster closed in 2001. At this point in history the focus was on the demise of peer to peer rather than embracing and legitimising amazing technology. So whilst Napster were being taken to court for millions of dollars, new start-ups took on the mighty challenge of licensing.

As the iPod generation crossed from early adopters to your next door neighbour, Apple did the greatest thing for legitimising digital music and their business. In 2003 iTunes launched their Music Store in US and a year later UK and Europe (2004) and Australia (2005) followed.

Now when a conversation happens about downloading music in Australia iTunes is the reference point. Apple, to date, have a monopoly on digital music (and film and TV for that matter) and the key reason they have this monopoly is that it works and works damn well. Whilst iTunes were laying the foundations for legitimate music services, and the adoption of mp3 players with white headphones took place globally, other entrepreneurs were trying to create a service that would scale and succeed.

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