Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Feature: Franco and the Dreadnought

© Janine Simone Photogprahy

Franco (aka John Blaylock) and the Dreadnought (aka DXME Martin Acoustic Guitar) have a chemistry between them that only thousands of hours of ambition-driven practicing and passionate love for music can create. This of course combined with talent of creating memorable melodies and lyrics, the journey to success can begin.

Or actually it has already begun.

Being the former lead singer for Manchester hit band International One, Franco is no stranger to success. Even Desmond Tutu has personally asked for his musical contribution to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela. The composed song was given to Mandela as a 90th birthday gift.

Last Tuesday Franco and the Dreadnought's video for debut single 'Last Man Standing' was released. For this special occasion you have the chance to win a home gig on his Facebook. Whoever wins, whether it required flying across the ocean or driving to Liverpool, he would do it. The latter option meaning that he's a huge Manchester United fan and umm football rivalry issues...

Anyways, here's the video, which also ManU legend Gary Neville (you know Beckham's BFF) is a fan of. And a free 6 track EP to download.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friday Feature: Of Monsters and Men

Rolling Stone magazine calls them 'the new Arcade Fire'. They call themselves Of Monsters and Men.

This six piece indie folk/pop group of amiable day dreamers are the winners of 2010 Músíktilraunir, an annual battle of the bands competition in their native Iceland. When Philadelphia's Radio 104,5 started playing their now hit single 'Little Talks' in 2011, it propelled the band to nationwide popularity.

With success in Iceland and growing popularity in the States, the band was signed to Universal for a worldwide release of their debut album, 'My Head is an Animal'. Having it released just a few weeks ago and tours around Europe and North America ahead, I can't wait to see if Of Monsters and Men could be as successful as the Canadians they're referred to.

There is a lot of potential.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Many levels of fun

Last weekend Campus Entertainment, the project learning environment of my degree program, opened the doors to game heaven Levels. This event offered the chance to revisit your childhood games, see the progress of technology, listen to what professionals have to say and watch how men battle against each other on miniature medieval platforms.

forget about home theatres, this is the ultimate entertainment system

Oddly enough it was only my first time to visit the event, but it was worth it! Though the thing what went through my head, as I watched people being mesmerized by the screens, was the story of a young Korean guy's heart stopping, when he played for 50 hours without food and sleep.

Anyways, here's the best game trailer I've ever seen. To be honest it beats all movie trailers.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday Feature: Shelf Nunny

 I'm not a big fan of hip hop, but there's something fun about combining I Love College type of white boy rapping with now and then N.E.R.D.ish beats. That fun is Shelf Nunny.

19-year-old Santa Cruz-based rapper/producer, real name Christian Gunning didn't realize until he started playing shows that the world could relate with him in the sense that most of the world can't relate to hip hop. Ever since, he's been playing house parties and renegades and infused 'the make fun of hip hop/Lil Wayne' technique in his tunes.

A month ago Shelf Nunny released an 8-track-album 'I Did A Lot This Year'. So, that's for example collaborating with Tree and in his own words 'I got that guy from Das Racist to say shit, but it doesn't mean I'll make it'.

If his goal out of all he does is to show that nice guys don't always finish last.. Well it's easy to believe that karma will meet Shelf Nunny halfway.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shit happens when you're not going anywhere

Lately there hasn't been much to blog about other than music. That's fine though, but I'm pretty sure many of you want to read more about what's been going on.

Nada. Ingenting.  Ei mitään.

Unless someone is interested in hearing about the joys and wonders academic research can bring to a person. No one? Good, because I don't want to either. Though if you give me a baseball bat, I could express my deepest feeling, which doesn't start with 'L'.

I promised myself to write about all the happenings in London. Would you like to go all the way back to November 19th?

I would, so here we go!

Once again I spent my Saturday being a tourist and visiting The National Gallery. It's one of the most important museums in London. Also, one of the most boring ones, at least for me, who finds modern art to be more interesting and discussion-driving than paintings of many centuries ago.

Actually it was more fascinating to study the behaviour of tourists at Trafalgar Square. Many climbing on the lions taking the same photos that everyone else takes and so on. Though the fun part is that on the square you have the Olympic counter; on the other side it tells yous how many days it is until the Olympics, and on the other how many days until the Paralympics.

Guess on which side people posed more.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Feature: Willis Earl Beal

 When Willis Earl Beal's first single 'Evening Kiss' came out in February, it immediately captured my attention with a resemblance to Elliott Smith's brilliant 'Needle in the Hay'. I could not help but to put the song on repeat and search for more of Beal's music.

Last Tuesday his debut album 'Acousmatic Sorcery' was released, and it can be streamed here (not sure for how long though..). In my opinion it offers soul-driven lo-fi folk, with both beautiful and paranoia causing melodies and lyrics. In other words, some songs take more time to hit than others.

Born in Chicago, Beal has lived through interesting and harsh incidents, like being discharged from the army due to intestinal problems and spending some time homeless in New Mexico. There he left CDs in public spaces and self-illustrated flyers in the hope of finding a girlfriend. By dialing Beal's number on the flyer, he'd sing a song to the caller. If you want to hear him sing, dial the number on his website.

With a busy tour across North America, UK and Europe ahead, there's no doubt the future will be interesting as well. Only this time with events music fans can't wait to hear about.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Princess Chelsea - The Cigarette Duet

I've been receiving a lot of good music on my Facebook page, thank you for that, keep on sharing!

I promised to blog about the ones I really liked; earlier I featured French Films, and now I want to present you this song from Kiwi Princess Chelsea.

The Cigarette Duet starts with a fairy tale melody, and that vibe continues throughout the song. As soon as the singing starts, you get captivated by the 'dialogue' between the couple.

The atmosphere on the video is the complete opposite. It has this stifled 70s setting in it, and not too many shots (I even thought that it was a one shot video). Though this concept suits the song extremely well, and you must watch it until the very end. You'll learn an interesting fact, which also adds a whole new dimension to the story.

A thank you for sharing this song with me goes to my German friend George, who I met in The Netherlands. I'll always remember our Crystal Castles gig in Belgium and when we had to stay the night at the cold train station. Hope you're doing well in Hong Kong and happy birthday again!