Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hello world I'm your wild girl

If you're into overhyped hipster bands like me, then jj is the band for you. I haven't had the chance to check them out entirely but this song wowed me. Don't let the soulful voice and the minimalist piano echoing in the room throw you off, it's actually a cover of The Game feat. Lil' Wayne .

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Escape The Fate is a one-trick-pony, but a damn skilled one!

It is pretty ironic for a band named Escape The Fate to have its nascent career marked by ill fate and death. After his involvement in a gunfight that tragically resulted in the death of poor 18-year-old Michael Cook, frontman Ronnie Radke was forced to plead guilty in court since his friend, who was responsible for the crime, committed suicide. He left the band subsequently, sentenced to five year probation in Las Vegas. Not to sound retrograde and obnoxious, but, in our humble opinion, judiciary considerations aside, Radke’s departure is a shame. Escape The Fate lost its most precious asset and one should know that there is an army of post-hardcore bands that would take the band’s place in a heartbeat. Blessed with a “devious charm” as the band’s publicist put it, the charismatic Ronnie Radke is what set the quintet apart in a sea of bands featuring saturated guitars and high-pitched singers. As a matter of fact, Escape The Fate was a talented band, as shown in the promising There’s No Sympathy For The Dead EP (2007), its first release on Epitaph records; and yes we did use the past tense since its future post-Radke couldn’t be more compromised.

The EP opens with Dragging Dead Bodies in Blue Bags Up Really Long Hills. The song title indeed drags on in what seems to be, depending on how you look at it, a jab at the trend of ridiculously long song titles that once prevailed in the scene. And this is exactly what characterizes Escape The Fate. A blasé listener might accuse the band of only regurgitating the same decades-old heavy metal clichés, never seeing past the tongue-in-cheek face-melting solos and the kitsch metal licks fired off at the speed of light. Sure, the band’s technical skills and boisterous energy largely contribute to their appeal. But beneath the fire and fury reside impressive songwriting skills, as seen in Dragging Dead Bodies’ delicious bridge, with Ronnie Radke chanting Let’s go. We’re on top of the world. The Ransom and As You’re Falling Down, endowed with infectious choruses, further prove that point. The two most hard-hitting songs, The Guillotine, which close the EP in a chaotic battlefield and the cathartic title-track make reappearance on the band’s debut full-length Dying Is Your Latest Fashion (2007), reviewed earlier in the blog, undoubtedly as a result of some pressure from the record label.

“It's awesome, it’s catchy, it’s hard, it’s badass, I don’t know if I can say that but I just did.” – bassist Max Green, on Escape The Fate’s music.

The band’s detractors can talk all they want; the world, okay maybe the scene, undeniably needs fun bands, not in a [insert any act signed by Fueled by Ramen] kind of way but more in a Every Time I Die’s guys night out party music kind of way.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Uffie never disapoints (musically at least)

Uffie, the American, Paris-based electro-rap teenage extraordinaire, posted a new song on her Myspace. This is something to get excited about given that we are still awaiting a full-length release on her part. The song is entitled Robot Oeuf and is featured on the Ed Banger Records (the French label home to gasp! Justice as well as Mr Oizo) volume III compilation, coming out May 26th 2008. And tell you what, the song is unsurprisingly badass as is the rest of Uffie's work.

Besides, we abruptly learned that the 19-year old singer got engaged. Naturally we thought it was very fairy tale-like, the fact that Uffie and long-time beau slash collaborator slash labelmate DJ Feadz were going to get married.

Except that to our horror the gamine didn't get engaged to Feadz but to a French graffiti artist named André! Word on the street is that he proposed in Tokyo, only ten days after they started dating and that the same day, they got each other's name tattoed. Yes we know, we do sound a bit like thesuperficial.com minus the drunken macho jokes about Kim Kardashian's butt or Jennifer Aniston in a bikini (what? what are you trying to imply? No really. We only read this pile of nonesense for
research purposes. Okay to laugh at Heidi Montag's horseface. Okay maybe to read about Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz's wedding. There.).

Well, it all makes sense now. In fact, we were wondering to whom
First Love's bitter lyrics were addressed to, and to our suspicions, they were adressed to none other than Feadz. Strangely enough, they were still together at the time she wrote and performed the song, since he contributed, along with Mr Oizo, to her first songs and demos. Oh well, let's push aside all this speculation in order to wish Uffie and her new Marc Jacobs look-alike fiancé much luck and happiness and pray for a debut album with some Feadz in it hopefully.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Favourite models ever!

By nature extremely fleeting and unseizable, the fashion industry is truly a fascinating one. Trends go out of fashion as soon as new ones emerge. In this world, 25 is considered an advanced age and models are "over" when their faces start to get recognizable by the public. In other words, the careers of up-and-coming models are over just as fast as they exploded. I'm always amazed at how much I have to catch upon when I forsake fashion for a while. The amount of new designers/models/trends that come out each season is overwhelming. The fashion industry is growing so fast nowadays! For this reason, my current favourite models may not be the freshest faces out there, but they made their mark and they are quite popular models, top models to say the least.

First, let's start off with Canadian model Daria Werbowy. The gorgeous doe-eyed brunette's classic beauty allowed her to do Haute couture (Prada, Valentino) but she is very well able to do high street fashion (H&M) and cosmetics (Lancôme) due to her versatility.

The sculpturesque Raquel Zimmerman, in addition to having one of the most awesome first name know to man, is downright stunning. You might have seen the Brazilian model last year in those grotesque Viktor and Rolf for H&M tv commercials in which she portrayed a beaming bride in a bizarre world solely inhabited by twins.

And last but not least, Miss Agyness Deyn (pronounced Agness Deyn), whose first name can form a rather amusing word (!), is my current obsession. I even shamelessly stole a copy of Vogue magazine at a sushi bar one night because the British It-Girl was on the cover!

Agyness' career began in a storm, accompanied by much tumult surrounding her pseudonym (her real name is Laura Hollins) and her actual age (25) that she attempted to conceal. Her boyish looks and punk rock attitude were seen on every podium and in every magazine last season. She was very recently featured in Five O'Clock Heroes's music video for their single Who. Not only does she look absolutely beautiful in black and white but homegirl can sing!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Endtroducing..... the lovely Alexa Chung

While I should be studying for the F.I.N.A.L.S. (Fuck, I Never Actually Learned Shit), I am here blogging about nonsense. Oh well, I wanted to write an article about UK's current "It Girl", model-turned-TV presenter Alexa Chung. I am particularly thrilled about her, which is a rare occurence since I have never been a fan of any of those starlets hailed by the popular press as the next fashion icon. Indeed she's got it all, she is young, beautiful, she has a great sense of humour (meaning that she doesn't take herself so seriously) but more importantly, she is all about the rock and roll.

Alexa Chung came into the public eye in 2006 when she co-presented the now-defunct british music program Popworld, alongside darling Alex Zane, former MTV Europe VJ. She is famous for having dated many british rockers and some of her conquest include Faris Badwan of The Horrors (which is quite unbelievable), James Righton of the Klaxons (right on!) and Ian Watkins of Lostprophets (but I seriously doubt that one, come on! do I even have to explain myself here?). As of today, she is currently dating Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, yes the same band that released the fastest-selling debut album of British music history.

As far as her style is concerned, she states that she is "a very lonely shopper", that she actually like "quite classic things: cable knit jumpers, blazers, satchels, preppy long college scarves" and that she is "obsessed with the Sixties and Seventies". Here are some more quotes that I gathered, mainly from her interview with English newspaper The Guardian.

"What I hate about fashion is how it changes so much and so fast."
"Annoyingly, looking my best always happens when I'm on my own at night and I'm about to go to sleep."
"I have doubles of everything because I keep buying the same thing. I have lots of cable-knit cardigans and a variety of blazers."
"My cupboards are ridiculous. I've got too many clothes and not enough space, so I forget what's at the back of my wardrobe and I end up wearing the same thing for months, while the rest gets pushed further and further back."
"I am really bad at taking off my makeup, I go to bed with my makeup on and then scrub it off in the shower in the morning"

My jaw litterally dropped the first time I read this article. WHO is this girl, and when did she steal my personality!! No seriously, it blows my mind how she shares some of my opinions on fashion and other sutff. And you know what, her favourite stores are H&M and Top Shop (the English equivalent of the Swedish clothing company). I am utterly speechless. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that H&M and Urban Outfitters (which she modelled for by the way) are my favourite stores ever. So next time you see me (if you do), don't freak out if you see me dressed like Alexa Chung...I'm just (half) kidding! (but more about me in another article).

Anyways, I recommend that you check Alexa out on Popworld or on the more recent Vanity Lair, which is a tongue-in-cheek reality tv show that involves putting self-professed beautiful people (who rated themselves 10 out of 10) in a mansion. Most of the fun stems from laughing at the rather ridiculous (and often quite dim) candidates and the way they take this competition oh-so-seriously.

Friday, April 11, 2008

You guys are huge, huge in umh... Europe, right?

Hello darlings,
so today I'm going to write a little something about my favourite band, The Strokes!

The New York quintet's effortless and laid-back garage rock is genius but in a nonchalant way. You cannot help but feel elegant strutting down the street when their harmonious modern rock and roll rings through your ears. It is the brillant blend of contemplative lyrics, impeccable bass lines laced with melodious guitar riffs that makes you wanna put on a cropped leather jacket along with aviator sunglasses and hit the town.

The band consists of Albert Hammond Jr. (rythmn guitar), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Morretti (drums), who form one solid yet versatile rythmn section and lay the foundations for the lead section, which is comprised of Nick Valensi (lead guitar) and charismatic Julian Casablancas (vocals).

The Strokes constitute the perfect soundtrack to have a few pre-drinks to before going clubbing or bar hopping, but also to come down to after having been out. Their music's surprising structure and cadence create a danceable beat, yet you can definitely sit back and relax to some of their tunes. It is no wonder why the majority of their photoshoots or music videos take place in bars! And there's nothing I like more than seeing one of the boys chugging a Heineken.

Much hyped and critically-aclaimed Is This It, the band's debut album, is sheer perfection. Sophomore effort Room on Fire did not benefit from the same reception, as critics apparently failed to appreciate its maturity and poise. The band's latest release, First Impression of the Earth posesses huge hits and is very ambitious. All in all, the band proved it had incredible talent and that all those revival garage rock bands, which surfaced around the same period, did not hold a candle to it (coughthehivescough). But I am not here to trash talk about rock bands, am I! In addition to making fantastic music, the band is one of the most stylish bands ever. Granted, they do have a stylist but that doesn't take away the fact that they look superb in those vintage clothes.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Your new guilty pleasure

I could not resist the temptation to write a blog about post-hardcore band Escape The Fate. Despite their reputation of being a scene band manufactured by a major record label in an effort to target the 13-year olds niche (which is a very shrewd move knowing the profitability of such an extensive market, and trust me I'm a Business student, majoring in Finance on top of that, so I should know), it is actually a glorious band. Now, the origins of the Las Vegas band are somewhat shady as frontman Ronnie Radke himself claims, in an interview with Buzznet: "We're all friends, it's not like I met these guys on the Internet", contradicting various online sources stating that he and bassist Max Green formed the band through Myspace. But this is not the point of this post, which is actually to celebrate this band's prodigiousness.

I discovered Escape The Fate in the summer of 2006, through the Unsound Vol. 1 compilation (which replaced Epitaph's Punk-O-Rama series) that my brother had randomly bought and soon discarded for being "full of emo shit" as he elegantly put it. I enjoyed the lewd anthem that was "Situations" but didn't try to research further on the band as I couldn't shake the feeling that it was somewhat of a fake scene band. It had it all, the whiny singer who squeals at the end of each line, the drop-D distorted guitars, the hardcore riffs, the overly sexual and outrageous lyrics "I touched her ooh. She touched my aah" coupled with the "A certain girl she took my hand and ran it up her thigh, she licked her lips and pulled my hair" so reminiscent of the infamous "Can I touch your legs? Do I make you sweat?" repeated over the breakdown of Kiss Me I'm Contagious by From First to Last (another scene band for future reference).

I guarantee that upon your first few listens of their first full-length Dying is Your Latest Fashion (2006, Epitaph) you'll start hardcore dancing and singing on the top of your lungs faster than it takes to say "I secretly approve of the anti-emo riots in Mexico". The Guillotine and There's No Sympathy For the Dead will make you feel badass and ready to start a fight while songs like Situations, Friends and Alibis and the catchy Not Good Enough For Truth in Cliché will make you dance.

However, Cellar Door and My Apocalypse, to an even greater extent, are arguably the true masterpieces of this album. The former soars with the sheer beauty of Radke's macabre and disturbing imagery while the latter contains all the elements that make Escape The Fate so brilliant: slasher-movie inspired metaphors ("There's a man with an axe, standing in the rain, looked me straight in the eyes"), dual guitars, technical riffs and sick metal solos.

The lyrics of the album shine particularly due to their metaphorical quality. Nevertheless, they fall flat and sound ridiculously phony when they become literal in the appropriatedly ridiculously-named The Day I Left the Womb. In spite of that, Dying is Your Latest Fashion really hits home with its swirling screamed canons, infectious chorus and death metal licks.

Escape The Fate reminded me of why I suddenly started to like rock and roll as a kid and why I picked up the guitar in my teens. Their raw energy and their spontaneity is really communicative and exciting. And admit it, you find them sexy, all dressed up like Motley Crue, there's nothing wrong with that.

In addition, despite their cocky demeanour, they are actually one of the most down-to-earth band out there. Sure, they play post-hardcore and dress like a heavy metal band, but they are a light-years away from some cocky shitty-ass unoriginal bands. The founders of the band, Radke and Green, especially stand out due to their colorful personalities. Radke is known for his stage antics and boldness, while Green is arrogant and insolent like no other.

Unfortunately, the charismatic frontman was forced to leave the band in 2007 as he faced charges for his involvement in a fight that took place in May 2006. He was replaced by ex-Blessthefall (don't ask, it's a crap band) Craig Mabitt but he will be sincerely missed.

Put in a nutshell, you should definitely check out Escape The Fate, you'll have a blast, I can bet my money on that. Peace and be safe!