Monday, 27 August 2012

The Magnificent Doyal

Ahoy to all of you fantastic people who we are lucky enough to write for (according to Urban Dictionary, Durban people use the word 'ahoy' to greet each other!) Its Monday again which means that another week has flown by and a new edition of The Weekly Stew is due to hit your screens.

This week is going to be a special one because what was promised in our very first edition is finally here. Mr Dylan Royal, who is the resident designer and guitar guru, is going to be guest-listing his favourite 5 tracks. So from here on out you will be hearing from Dylan, treat him nicely because his music is going to be like some good therapy for you.

Week 5.
Doyal has taken over.
I am Doyal.
Stu says he’s tired of writing and also he hasn’t eaten in 4 weeks because he’s been so busy stalking bands and hunting down new singles (mainly the musical kind, but also some human ones) to share with his Weekly Stew-dents (see what I did there). So this week you’ve got The Weekly Doyal with 5 songs and bands of my choice, plus some secret/bonus/extra tracks. Mmmm, secrets.

1. Delta Spirit - California

So these guys have pretty much been my obsession for the last couple months. I first heard 'White Table', a sweet track from their last album sometime last year, but when they released their self-titled album early this year, I went nuts. There's so many things that make these guys cool so I'm just going to list it all for you: they have big time swag points (The lead singer, Matt Vasques, is the ultimate male), they have two drummers (say what?), they have one music video where all that happens, is the whole band beats up the lead singer, the bassist wears long-john bottoms, and the electric guitarist wears hawaiian shirts when they play live. They put on some rad performances, like this one below, just for us!

2. O'brother - Ascention

Please don't be put off by the fact that I'd describe this beast of a band as 'post-hardcore', because whatever you think they are, they're not (No really, stop thinking now). This is the kind of band that could be crazy as just instrumental, but their glorious vocals make them NEXT LEVEL. They've just released a full length album that I have yet to purchase, but from what I've heard of it, is sounding quite regal. Check out this cray cray (that was for all of the teenage females who read the blog) video, and if you dig it, check out some of their other songs like 'Oh, Charitable Thief' and 'Lo'.

3. The Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes

Jack White is a magician. Besides his solo stuff, he's in three crazy succesfull bands (The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs). Somehow he has managed to find a distinct sound with each band. The Raconteurs are known as 'The Saboteurs' in Australia because there was already a Queensland band with the same name. The Raconteurs/Saboteurs offered the Queensland Raconteurs a large briefcase filled with paper money, but the silly Aussies didn't know who it was that was asking them to change their name, so they asked for more to see what would happen, but the Saboteurs backed down. Silly Aussies. Anyway, check out this music video that's got Jack White driving a funny car and stuff.

4. Crash Kings - You Got Me

When I first heard this song on Jon Savage's Thursday night radio slot (not all radio is bad), I was sold. Despite playing with no guitars (a rock band with no guitars ladies and gentleman), these kings fuuhhhlippen rock out! There's two mental YouTube videos on their channel of them covering some rock classics with just keyboard, bass and drums that you have to check out if you have the time. The keyboardist puts his old school Clavinet through some effects pedals and has a built-in whammy bar on top of his keyboard that he uses for solo's. Basically that means, for those who are not sure what a pedal is, that he makes his old school piano sound like a guitar, but different.

5. Them Crooked Vultures - No One Loves Me & Neither Do I

Okay, you know when you watching rugby or soccer or whatever with your mates, and you start talking about a 'dream team' and which all-time greats you would put in it? Well that's basically what happened here. The music god's were like "Aah I'm bored, let's make a dream band?" "Yeah sick, there's not enough rock 'n roll in the 21st century anyway, since our Justin Bieber plans failed."
TCV are: Dave Grohl on drums (Nirvana and Foo Fighters), Josh Homme on guitar and vocals (Queens of the Stone Age) and John-Paul Jones on bass and keys (Led Zeppelin). ARE YOU SERIOUS??!
Also I think this song is about a prostitute.

Bonus Track: Grand Ole Party - Look Out Young Son

There's no special reason for this bonus track other than the fact that bonus tracks are the business. I love bonus stuff, It's like bottomless coke at Wimpy. This three-piece from California had a very short but sweet career from 2006-2009. They got a whole bag of awards, nominations and recommendations bla bla bla but decided to break up in 2009, just after recording a whole wack of tracks that ended up being released last year. Silly Californians.The lead singer is also the drummer and the guitarist is also a man. Check out their killer music video for my favourite track of their's.

That's it from me, Doyal, till next time!
Remember, life is full of surprises like stray dogs, secret ninjas and those bee/hornet things that follow you when you're trinna talk to someone important.

Monday, 20 August 2012

The Bass Is Good

Its Monday again and that means only one important thing, The Weekly Stew is back to dish you up another serving of scrumptious music! It seems that last week's post 'Magic Wands For Drumsticks' was our most popular so far, giving testament to the fact that South African music is rather fantastic at the moment. In fact, a big congratulations has to go to Mr Matt Mole who was featured on this blog last week. If you remember, I mentioned that he was involved in a Converse competition. He won that competition and is now set to play at the iconic 100 Club in London. South African music on the world stage...I will take that on any day of the week! Matt only won after he was featured on this blog, so I think we all know why he won. (Definitely wasn't because of the hundreds of votes).

This week we go back to our more traditional roots (yes we are allowed to have roots after only 4 weeks), and bring you another 5 tracks of musical bliss. This week we have harps, harmonies and bass lines to make girl's knees go weak.

1. Active Child - Playing House

Active Child is the stage name for American electronic artist Pat Grossi. Grossi is a former choirboy (amazingly not from Kearsney) who has transfixed audiences around the world with his hypnotic beats and harmonies. I was lucky enough to see Active Child live in February and was amazed to see him pull out a harp on stage and play it throughout his set while still managing to hit every note thrown at him. It really is quite a shock to see a grown man playing a harp onstage infront of an audience at an indie music festival. 'Playing House' is one of his more popular songs and as you listen, you will see why a man with a harp can still get legions of girls chasing after him.

2. Ball Park Music - Surrender

I was lucky enough to spot this beauty last week while perusing the web, it took me a while to find out who the artist was but when I did I wasn't disappointed. 'Surrender' is a future indie pop star, it's one of those songs that just get better every time you listen to it. The Brisbane locals have been causing quite a stir in Australia with their latest offering and a new album is on the way soon from the 5 piece band. This song just fills me with joy every time I listen to it so why don't you brighten up your Monday as well? The music video has some seriously rad special effects in it that kind of makes up for the freaky makeup on the lead female singer.

3. Interpol - Evil

The blog has become such a hit in Europe that they threatened to shut us down unless we featured their law enforcement agency. Okay, maybe thats a little bit of a lie. The band Interpol aren't even from Europe, they are actually New Yorkers who make some pretty fantastic music. Interpol have been one of my favorite bands for a few years now. Their bass lines are among the smoothest in the business and their vocals can give you goosebumps for days afterwards. These guys rival even The Strokes for the title of the coolest in the business! 'Evil' was the first single off their 2004 album 'Antics', and is still one of the most played songs on my ipod 8 years later.

4. Razorlight - America

Razorlight are an English band that play what I like to describe as glam rock. Big, shiny guitar riffs and squeaky clean vocals. It makes for an enticing combination that Razorlight have really run with over the years. They are the type of band that you can easily listen to an entire album from start to finish, and then start it all over again, hearing something new in their songs every time you listen. That's really something that I love to hear when I'm listening to a band. 'America' is Razorlight's marquee track, it's a little bit more chilled than most of their songs but it builds throughout to end in a veritable crescendo of musical delight. You too will probably be longing for America after listening to this song.

5. Bombay Bicycle Club - Shuffle

For our final track this week we take you on a journey to India. We take you across vast oceans of grass and vivid landscapes to end up at the foot of towering mountains that are capped in snow. Ok maybe we don't do that, but Bombay Bicycle Club (BBC), certainly do in this song. BBC are actually in my top 3 favorite bands, which is really a high honor for a band (if I do say so myself). They are an indie rock quartet that cut their teeth in the London music scene until they managed to win a competition to open 'V' Festival. When I first heard BBC they had an extremely indie sound to them, but they have managed to alter that over the last couple of years to become a festival favorite around Europe. Shuffle is one of the happiest and most invigorating songs I have ever heard. From the jangling piano at the start, right until the funky ending you will find yourself wishing that you knew how to do the Bombay Bicycle Club Shuffle.

I trust that you enjoyed this week's playlist. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Magic Wands For Drumsticks

Its that time of the week again humans! Okay maybe that time was actually yesterday and I'm a lil' bit late with this, but The Weekly Stew is back for it's third installment. Firstly, an apology for the new post being out a day late. We were just too busy finding some new, exciting and amazing local talent for you guys to hear that we kind of forgot to do the whole typing thing.

This week's blog is going to be a local affair. We have scoured the country for some fresh local talent to set your hearts beating and to caress your ears with joy. We road-tripped from the golden beaches of Durban to the gaudy settings of Joburg, before reaching the wind and cold in Capetown, to show you good people that South African music is far from dead. It is in fact on the rise in both quality and quantity!

Its music time....

1. Gangs of Ballet - This Love
Don't worry you are not about to watch a new South African version of Swan Lake. These guys are serious. Gangs are undoubtedly one of the hottest prospects in the South African music scene right now. They hail from the lovely city of Durban and are making heads turn around the country with their particular brand of rock and roll. I'd describe their music as 'anthem rock', with a touch of class. They recently opened for Switchfoot in Joburg and have also just signed for the record label EMI. This video was shot at the launch of their EP, held in an empty pool next to the city hall, back in March. What an epic backdrop to a spectacular track.

2. Matthew Mole - Take yours, I'll take mine

Matt Mole is a bit of a musical genius. Understatement. I'm lucky enough to have spent some time with Matt over the past few months and can honestly say that he is one of the most genuine guys I have ever met. This Fish Hoek local really puts his heart and soul into his music. If he isn't making his own tunes, he's either giving lessons or recording other up and coming artists. He's studied sound engineering at a pretty rad campus in central Cape Town. Mr Mole (I'm also reminded of a certain scene from Austin Powers), is currently in a Converse competition to play at the 100 club in London. Lets hope MM takes the gold. Matt 'the music machine' has got plenty other songs on his Soundcloud profile so check those out if you want some more ministry, 'Truth Be Told' is a classic.

3. Desmond and the Tutu's - Zim Zala Bim

Thats the reaction most people have after seeing Desmond and his aptly named Tutus live. Desmond is a non-stop party machine, they are so amazing that they get Joburg jocks to bust a move on the dancefloor that doesnt involve a fistpump. Desmond have been around for a while now yet they never seem to get old, they play dancey rock and Zim Zala Bim is their latest offering. Judging by the way it gets my mates going, it is most definitely a winner. If you aren't covered in a layer of magical dance sweat by the time this song finishes (yes you girls do actually sweat no matter what you tell people), then you probably have one of those old computers that didn't come with speakers and it's too much of a mission to buy the right kind.

4. Holiday Murray -Jirey

A fairly recent addition to the South African scene, Holiday Murray are a band that I really anticipate seeing live. They flirt a bit with some folky/european melodies but still mantain an overall pop-rock sound. When I hear their songs off their self titled debut album, I can't help thinking that Vampire Weekend had a baby with Death Cab For Cutie and then put it up for adoption in South Africa. These guys have managed to build up a great unique sound that works for them, something that many young SA bands struggle to do. A creative little music video goes a long way to proving themselves.

5. Goodnight Wembley! - Time Machine

Goodnight Wembley helps us end off this weeks post with some legit rock n roll! Formed by a few members from succesful SA band Taxi Violence as well as various other local bands, these guys know what they're doing. Named after the phrase uttered by many rock gods such as the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, Goodnight Wembley! have clearly stated their influences. There's more grit in their guitars than a southern grizzly bear's back-left molar. This songs going to make you want to grow your hair long and unwashed, just so that you can look cooler when you press the replay button.

Bonus Track!
Al Bairre - When I Was Tall

Ok so I know the last track was supposed to be the end, but I thought I'd reward all you desperados for holding on that extra day for your weekly fix. My mates and I saw these guys in Cape Town right after the glorious Matt Mole. We could only stay for half a song on account of us being walking zombies after a casual 20+ hour drive from Joburg, but it left me wanting to dig a little deeper. Despite some bad sound at the gig and some slightly effeminate air guitaring in the music video, these vibey cats and their twin backing vocalists manage to pull out some sweet dancey numbers that will find a snug place in my iPod playlist.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Episode 2: Attack of the Tones

Welcome back to your guilty Monday pleasure. I trust that everyone has had an amazing week, despite that horror show on Saturday morning involving some big dutchmen, and that you're ready for another helping of music served out by The Weekly Stew.

I must say that I am super stoked about the response to the first blog post, I hope that it can carry on and that my standards can keep on rising to meet your demands.
Time to lay down the law.
On the Weekly Stew you aren't just going to have a list of the new play-listed tracks on 5FM every week, there will be a tendency towards more indie style music that you wouldn't get to hear on a daily basis, so get ready to listen to some funky-as beats. Along with this please don't hesitate to comment on the blog, whether good or bad, as I am learning about blogging and mistakes are bound to to be made. I want this blog to be as user friendly as possible, and just fun in general, so suggestions are welcome. On that note there have been some issues with blackberry users not being able to view the youtube videos posted along with each song write-up. We are working on this problem but for now it will be easier for you to use the blog if you access it from a computer and not your blackberry.

Well that's just about enough waffle from me for this week, lets get back to the reason you are here, the music...

1. The Drums - Lets Go Surfing

The first track this week comes from one of my favourite bands, The Drums. They're a 3 piece band from New York who are so indie it actually hurts. They really divide opinion and they're a band you either fall in love with or utterly hate. The thing they do well, is they manage to make songs that sound so happy and poppy, yet the lyrics are always bordering on depressing. Lets go surfing was their first big single and should give you a good introduction to the band. I warn you, it's chorus is ridiculously catchy.

2. Matt Corby - Brother

Matt Corby is another Australian gem. He is a former Idols runner-up, but don't let that scare you away. He has one amazing voice and in Brother, he uses that voice to its full potential. This is one amazing track that gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it. The song starts off hauntingly and just develops into one massive growl of epicness towards the end. Definitely worth a listen.

3. Alt-J - Breezeblocks

Alt-J are a British alternative-indie-pop quartet (yes that was a mouthful for me aswell) formed in 2008. This is the first song of theirs that I've heard and I'm impressed. Breezeblocks has been one of the standout tracks so far this year. The song takes you back to a forgotten age where the music was rougher and oh so sweet to listen to. You won't so easily find another band that sounds like Alt-J in music today. They manage to have an earthy rhythm that just makes you want to listen to this track over and over again until you can sing along to it from start until finish.

4. Architecture in Helsinki - Contact High

One of the best band names in the industry, and one of the best live acts that I have ever seen.
This is what Architecture in Helsinki can lay claim to. Contrary to popular belief this band is not from Helsinki in Finland, they are actually from Melbourne in Australia. Only an Australian could come up with that name right? They play 80's-esq synth, dance music. That's the best description that I can come up with. In fact, I think whoever best describes these magnificent musicians will get a mention in next week's blog, so drop a comment at the end of the blog with your best Architecture in Helsinki description. Now go grab a thesaurus and listen to the song.

5. Art vs Science - parlez vous francais

The final song this week comes from yet another Australian band. Art vs Science was started as a joke by 3 mates. The joke turned into one of the funkiest and funnest bands to make music in the past few years. When their music starts playing you can't stop your body from moving to the beat and singing along. So get yourself ready to fall inlove with Art vs Science and don't blame me when you find yourself singing 'parlez vous francais' at the top of your lungs around the house.

I hope you enjoyed this week's Weekly Stew. Comments and suggestions are welcome.