It pains us to say it, but Pixies’ belated fifth LP is not so much “Tame” as it is just plain old tame
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At long last, one of popular music’s greatest innovators of the last two decades finally releases his first proper solo album today. The legendary Damon Albarn‘s beautiful, dark, funky and introspective ‘Everyday Robots’ is released today, and a review of it will be coming to the ‘ALBUM REVIEWS’ section over the next few days. Some people have said the album’s closer ‘Heavy Seas Of Love’ sounds like Michael Jackson. Some say the melody during the verse reminds them of ‘Daydream Believer’ by The Monkees. What it sounds like to these ears is an upliftingly soulful moment blessed with a magnificently emotive Albarn vocal, countered nicely by Brian Eno’s contrasting guest tones. God Is In The TV will be at Damon’s upcoming date in Portsmouth on May 31, so expect a live review shortly after…
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Female-fronted Leeds based metallers Chasing Dragons trade in frenetic riffage and melodic post hardcore-esque roars, their new single ‘Broken Jaws’(out 5th of May) is a call to arms Laurie ‘Tank’ Carnan’s vocals powerfully exclaiming “We’ll shout our war cry to the hordes, we’re starting fires and ending fights and breaking jaws, not ashamed of who we are” over a juggernaut of explosive hard rock. You can now watch the lyric video for the first time below:
“This will be followed by their new record ‘Checkmate’ which will be released on 2nd June via Trash Unreal Management. Produced, mixed and mastered by Lee Batiuk (Deaf Havana).”
via Bill Cummings God Is In The TV http://ift.tt/1fsIbow
Github is the popular website among software developers for sharing code. The site hosts over 12 million open-source projects — including games, books and even fonts — making Github the largest code repository on the Internet.
Github offers another useful service called Gist that developers often use to dump their code snippets but Gists aren’t just for geeks and coders — they offer something for everybody. If you have ever heard of web apps like Pastebin or Pastie, Gist are similar but more polished, they are free of advertising and loaded with more features.
Here are some areas where you can utilize the Gist service. And you don’t have to be a geek for this.
You don’t have to create an account at Github to use Gists. Just go to gist.github.com, write any block of text in the space provided and create a Gist. You can choose to have a secret Gist that will not be visible to search engines but only to those who know the URL of that secret Gist.
When you edit the content of a Gist that has already been published, the previous versions of the Gist are also preserved. You can hit the Revisions tab to track edits made over time and there’s a built-in diff engine that will visually highlight the changes between any two versions of a gist. This can also be used for comparing text files.
While gists only accept plain text, you can use the Markdown format to publish your text in rich HTML format. You can add lists, images (hosted externally) and even Tables that are not supported in the original Markdown specification. When you are done writing the text in Markdown, remember to save the file with a .md extension.
While there exist plenty of writing engines — from Blogger to Medium to Tumblr — you can also Github’s Gist service to quickly publish your writings on the web. Create a Gist either in plain text or markdown format and then use roughdraft.io to publish that Gist as a standalone web page. It’s like integrating Readability with your Gists. And you can use emoji (smileys) too!
There are bandwidth constraints obviously but bl.ock.org is still an excellent tool for hosting your HTML through Gists. The other alternative is Google Drive.
- [x] Pick the flowers - [ ] Call John 9303032332 - [x] Cancel cable subscription - [ ] Book the flight tickets
You can check or uncheck the items and the source text will update automatically. If your Gist is public, anyone can see your to-do lists but only the gist owner can change the status of individual tasks.
The GistBox add-on for Google Chrome lets you save text snippets from web pages as public or private gists. You can even add labels, or #hashtags, to your gists making discovery easier.
Add this line to your Gists, save in Markdown format and it will add a transparent tracking image to your Gists.
Gisto is free desktop application that lets you manage your Gists outside the browser. You can search Gists, edit the content of gists, view revisions over time and also share Gists. The app is available for Mac OSX, Windows and Linux. The other alternative is GistBox which is a web app.
We’d forgive you for thinking we’d entered the realms of the ridiculous and the surreal when chance happened upon us to mention an unlikely collaboration drawing together the houses of Rowntree and Cadbury’s – seriously we couldn’t make it up if we tried.
Take three young sisters– granddaughters as it happens – of William Cadbury – aye him of the chocolate dynasty and one Blur type by the name of Rowntree as in Dave – stepping out into the pop’s great wilds to turn his hand to the mysteries and wonders of the remix. So why The Cadbury Sisters – well in a fit of comic pique its seems the Blur sticks man couldn’t resist the chance to bring together the chocolate empires for something aptly titled ‘The Rowntree Cadbury’s milk remix’ – ‘Milk’ in case you hadn’t guessed being the track in questions name. Hilarities aside and swiftly to the music. Well this charmer should be appearing on schedules first week in May courtesy of fear of fiction and precedes a planned June release EP entitled ‘Close’. In short ‘Milk’ is quite teasingly affectionate, lilting three part harmonies dimpled in lightly strewn and breezily dreamy folk mosaics much reminiscent of a woodland dwelling siren-esque variant of the Smoke Fairies at work whittling out a somewhat lost art of spell crafting lulling love notes.
via Mark Barton God Is In The TV http://ift.tt/1pO3WmW
London-based Revere’s second album ‘My Mirror/Your Target’ is out 5th May, the band are currently on tour too (dates) below. They’ve kindly given us the first listen to their new album, you can stream it here:
“The seven members of Revere have spent the last few years crafting an eclectic, dramatic and multi-instrumented sound incorporating colliery-style brass sections. The recording of Revere’s My Mirror/Your Target; involved the careful selection process of collaborators with Ben Christophers (Bat For Lashes/ Imogen Heap/Ben Christophers) and Grammy-winning songwriter Emily Barker performing on the album track Landlock’d alongside artists Gabby Young and Jess Bryant. In addition, in 2013 alone, REVERE released three singles from ‘My Mirror/Your Target’ in the UK. Most recently ‘These Halcyon Days’ (October), one of the most driven, bombastic and riff-ridden songs from the forthcoming album; preceded by ‘I Won’t Blame You’ (May) which had Dermot O’Leary invite REVERE into his BBC Radio 2 show to record an extended session; and kicking it all off was the single ‘Keep This Channel Open‘ (March).
REVERE also continued their long tradition of inviting contemporaries to remix their tracks for the Reworked EP series (with members of groups like Florence & The Machine, Bat For Lashes, Oceansize, Biffy Clyro and Metronomy all collaborating). While overseas in October 2013, ‘My Mirror/Your Target’ got its official release on the label V2 in Benelux, to much critical acclaim.”
Revere tour dates:
Thursday 8th May: Brundell Social Club, Leeds – New date
Sunday 11th May: Spiegeltent, Brighton **
Monday 12th May: Night & Day, Manchester – New date
Tuesday 13th May: The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
Wednesday 14th May: The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Thursday 15th May: King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
Friday 16th May: The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool
Saturday 17th May: The Marr’s Bar, Worcester
**A double-bill with Gabby Young & Other Animals
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The rallying cry that “we should call out racism when we see it” is an easy one to make on the Left.
It is up there with “Tories are heartless, evil bastards” and “we should set up a political party that really represents the working class” – in making us feel all fuzzy and perhaps even mobilised to take on the world. Especially when these days you can call out racism with just an ill-tempered and carefully worded tweet. Doing it when Nigel Farage is on BBC Question Time gets you bonus retweets.
But there are several problems with this cry, especially defining what exactly constitutes racism. Furthermore, such accusations don’t always help those its intended to.
You may think this is semantics and tactics, but its not. It has real impact.
A few years ago I was invited to a round-table on the imminent launch of British Future, and a group of American campaigners on immigration had come over. They issued a stark warning: “Most of what we’ve been saying about immigration for the last 40 years has backfired, and not worked for us.”
They explained that the pro-immigration lobby had spent millions of dollars and years of campaigning to defend immigration, but had failed until recently. I wrote earlier about what they said.
For many on the Left this sounds like ‘playing politics’ than taking a .principled position’. This sort of knee-jerk thinking has infected our body politic, with little regard for outcomes or whether the rhetoric helps the very people it is meant to.
I have two simple rules on race-related controversies:
1) Does being outraged over it help the cause? If not, its just empty posturing.
2) Criticise the action itself as ‘racist’ (if and when it happens) rather than offering up blanket accusations of racism.
This is the definitive word on talking about racism. HEED IT
In summary: if you’re going to go around saying “we should call out racism when we see it and anyone who disagrees with is an apologist” – you should ask whether you’re doing it to make yourself feel better or actually help victims of racism.
via Sunny Hundal Liberal Conspiracy http://ift.tt/1has9KG
As you may be able to tell from recent Track Of The Day entries, there is a lot of psychedelica around at the moment. And when any genre experiences a revival, there is the inevitability of a lot of substandard groups emerging off the back of the good ones. The Danish duo The Wands are definitely one of the good ones. Consisting of Christian Skibdal and Mads Grä, word is that a debut album is on its way. It will definitely be worth checking out if this single is anything to go by. Released a couple of weeks ago and talking of “magic beans and broken dreams”, ‘The Dawn’ is a hypnotically inviting headrush reverberating with sparkling guitars and the dizzy ambience of 1960s flavours paired with the drones of late 80s space rock. The enchanting haze of the B side ‘Totem’ is also a fine moment worth a listen.
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Andy Jamieson is an Edinburgh based novelist. He also runs the website www.geekzine.co.uk
1. Andy, your debut novel was published in summer 2013. How long had you been writing before being picked up by publishers?
I first started properly writing, as in taking the craft seriously, in the year 2000, after finishing university. I explored lots of writing mediums; film and theatre scripts (which I studied at uni), short stories, then finally novels. My dream project was always what would eventually become The Vengeance Path, but I found the prospect of writing a fantasy novel quite intimidating, so I began work on another book idea. I wrote that novel to prove that I could do it, to take an idea and plot through to a finished thing. Shame it was no good! This particular book is locked away for a future revisit, but at the time I was quite pleased with it, and sent the manuscript out to agents without any success. All of that is a long way of saying it took me about 12 years approximately, as I signed a contract with my publisher in August 2012.
2. Did you ever dabble in other genres, or was it fantasy all the way for you?
The novel I mentioned in my last answer was an adventure horror thriller, which flitted between a contemporary setting, and an ancient Rome-esque setting, the idea being that they were inter-linked. There’s some good stuff in there that I want to revisit, but not for a while. Before writing this one, I did dabble in trying my hand at crime fiction, and I did start a couple of ideas, but found that I was always introducing elements of fantasy or horror into the stories…
3. Who were some of your early influences?
Before I settled into writing The Vengeance Path, back when I thought it was horror I wanted to write, I took a lot of inspiration from Clive Barker, particularly WeaveWorld and Cabal, which are incredible novels, blending contemporary horror and fantasy in spectacular ways. American Gods by Neil Gaiman, too, is a great book, and very much in this mold, being a hugely epic novel that blends horror, fantasy and noir.
Growing up, my favourite books were fantasy, ranging from the old Fighting Fantasy series, to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (still the standard), and the Forgotten Realms series. They fired my imagination up, and still do to some extent.
I have diverse tastes though, and one of my favourite writers is Barry Gifford, of Wild At Heart fame. He is definitely not a fantasy writer, but a very talented purveyor of twisted Americana noir. I’m a fan also of Cormac McCarthy’s books, and his writing style is fascinating to read. I have over the last few years become a big fan of Dan Abnett, who is a shockingly talented writer, best known for his work for 2000AD and Marvel, and Games Workshop’s Black Library publishing house.
My two favourite books are Dune by Frank Herbert, which I am very clear about being a big influence on The Vengeance Path, and Salamander by Thomas Wharton, which is a period-set adventure romp, featuring a printer hired by an eccentric count to create a book without end. It is simply incredible (but not simple) and features a clockwork castle.
I’m also very much inspired by movies and tv shows, and even videogames. David Lynch’s Dune, most notably, is one of my favourite films, along with Laputa: The Castle In The Sky and Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind, two Japanese anime films, from animation director Hayao Miyazaki (these two very much fuelled the industrial style I was aiming for the setting of The Vengeance Path). Krull, a mid-80s fantasy film, is chock full of energy and swagger. And, of course, Star Wars and the LOTR films are close to my heart, and always remind me of how much fun and enjoyable fantasy can be.
4. Do other genres influence your fantasy writing?
I think my series, the Chronicles of Edenos (The Vengeance Path is volume one of four, or possibly five novels), is rich with potential to explore this universe I’ve been dreaming up for the best part of nearly fifteen years. There are elements in my new book that I’m working on at the moment (cheap plug: Children of War is the second book in the Chronicles series, due out after the summer) that are infused by my love for noir, and also conspiracy/political thrillers. There are elements of science-fiction and horror mingling in there too. I think due to the time period of the series, which is an industrial era setting, it allows me quite a scope to explore myriad ideas and styles.
5. The Vengeance Path has been many years in the making. How much does the published version have in common with early drafts?
The published version is significantly different – and better! One of the first things my publisher suggested in our first meeting was creating a new opening for the book, to inject a big action beat at the start, and to also totally restructure the book. In The Vengeance Path there are numerous plot strands and a huge character list, and it was a case of balancing each story thread alongside the others, to give the book some structure. George R. R. Martin uses a similar technique in his A Song of Ice and Fire series; for example, A Game of Thrones has nine viewpoints, and each chapter is told strictly from one of those viewpoints.
6. How did your deal with Thistle in the Kiss come about?
Quite simply, through a friend of mine who is also published by Thistle In The Kiss. I had been thinking about self-publishing The Vengeance Path as an eBook (after yet another rejection from a literary agent), and had read an article in the Guardian about the eBook phenomenon. I submitted the first half dozen or so chapters to the publisher and about two months later I submitted the whole manuscript. It was a nervous process.
7. Tell us about some of the innovative approaches Thistle have taken to promoting your work.
Well, The Vengeance Path was initially syndicated as a weekly downloadable serial, available exclusively from the publisher’s website, that lasted for about four months. This was a mixed bag in terms of success but was certainly an interesting experience. Thistle are an independent publisher and therefore do not have deep pockets to spend on promotion, so exposure has been limited and mainly down to my own efforts, alongside the digital/social media knowledge of my publisher and their excellent publicist, Eleanor Pender.
As an aside, my publisher took the innovative step of creating an app to go alongside the release of The Vengeance Path, called quite simply The Vengeance Path App. It comprises an interactive map (created by an illustrator pal of mine, Culprit Art : http://ift.tt/1jddyCs
), where you can click on cities and features and will get some basic information. Also, there is an A to Z appendix, that I originally created to go at the end of the book, which is a guide to all the weird and wonderful places and creatures that I created for the Chronicles series (no orcs, hobbits, or elves in this!). To top it off there is a genealogy section as well, that is a guide to the Imperial feudal Houses that make up the empire where the bulk of the story is set.
This app opened my eyes to the potential of the digital format, and I would imagine that anyone who has read and enjoyed The Vengeance Path will, hopefully, have found the app quite a nice addition.
(available from amazon.co.uk: http://ift.tt/1jddyCw
and Google Play: http://ift.tt/1rB4Rmc
8. Many writers, both emerging and established, have ambivalent attitudes towards the eBook phenomenon. What’s your take on it, and how have your views changed since becoming published yourself?
Before being published as an eBook author, I’d never read an eBook, so had very little inkling of the potential of the format. Personally, I think it is a wonderful format that has masses of potential – for example, as mentioned with regards to the app. I like the immediacy of the format. It will never replace the traditional print format, quite rightly, but eBooks have shaken things up and invigorated, to some extent, the tired behemoth that is the publishing industry (I worked as a bookseller for 8 years at Waterstone’s so have a reasonable amount of insight).
But I would love a print contract, to go alongside my digital experience. Nothing would beat seeing my books on a shelf in a big bookstore.
9. There seems to be a real appetite for fantasy in the mainstream at the moment. The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Game of Thrones being obvious examples. Do you think this is an exciting time to be a fantasy writer, or do you worry this thirst for fantasy will be a passing fad?
Fantasy has been kicking around as a popular genre long before it became an acceptable addition to the mainstream. Has the geek inherited the world, so to speak? To some extent, yes, and it is a good thing. What sets fantasy and science-fiction aside though (in a similar way to crime and horror fiction), is that the fans are accustomed to reading long series, and trying out new authors. In particular with fantasy, it is almost a case of anything goes. It’s a very exciting genre because alongside your standard orcs n’ elves etc, there is also some original stuff getting released. ‘Steampunk’ is an emerging genre, and that is where I find my work being classified, which is more down to my publisher than myself. It hadn’t occurred to me during the writing of the actual thing but the tag fits nicely so I am fine with it. And no, Fantasy is not a fad that will pass, due to the scope of the genre. The appetite is definitely there to search for the Next Big Thing, and I say that as a fan myself. It is the stories that are the pull, not necessarily the authors.
10. You have already expanded the Vengeance universe with The Winter Throne, what’s next?
The Vengeance Path: The Lost Brother is a prequel novella set three years before TVP, and was originally a free download that I gave away as a collectable postcard (with a QR barcode which you could scan that would take you to the ‘secret’ location on the publisher’s website where you could get the e-novella) at my event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last summer. The Lost Brother features one of the main characters from The Vengeance Path and charts his fall from grace.
The Winter Throne is a short story set nearly a thousand years before TVP and is a more traditional heroic fantasy yarn, and again features one of the more important characters of TVP, and of the series to come.
Next up is Children of War, as mentioned earlier. This is a far different work to that of The Vengeance Path, and is more clandestine in style, concentrating as it does on the aftermath to the disastrous (for the heroes, anyway) climactic events of TVP.
11. The story arc you have hinted at sounds fairly mammoth, are you planning other works independent of this, or will these characters keep you busy for the foreseeable future?
My plan is that, over the coming years (I am contracted to write four novels), each novel in the series will be followed by a novella and/or a short story that explores the wider universe (and timeline, as seen in The Winter Throne) of the Chronicles, but that also has some link to the main story thread. It is quite an audacious plan and will require, yes, mammoth amounts of planning and writing… But I love it, so it is an absolute pleasure. The money’s shite so that definitely is not a motivation! I’ve got a real passion for what I’m doing and I hope that is reflected in my work.
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Foxhound be their name, a Turin based quartet who’ve been hotly tipped and critically acclaimed in their homeland of late following glowing reception heaped upon their debuting ‘Concordia’ set. Set across eleven tracks ‘In Primavera’ sees that crucial self released difficult second album emerging and with it the pangs of expectancy and all that promise shown on their debut brings. No need to worry then as this lot despite their tender years – all aged 21 – sound like past masters well versed in the skills of crafting melodic pop nuggets at the drop of a hat which rather than going down the avenue of brash skinny jean upstarts prefer to populate their sonic spectrum in the art of seduction.
Radiating effervescence these love notes comes hardwired upon a sumptuously infectious disco dinked punk funk grooving that had we known better, at times veer ever so cleverly to some smoked fusion drawn together of Aztec Camera meets Radio 4 essences as evidenced on the sun coaxing breezily jitterbug sprayed mirror ball murmured ‘Erase Me’. Elsewhere ’I just Don’t Mind’ is dimpled in all manner of dub drilled haloes and electro shocked with the kind of irresistibly cool alt core swagger that used to at one time or another smoulder the grooves of releases bearing the name the seal cub clubbing club upon their hide (likewise goes for the subtronic art pop dashing found on the mooching ’My Life is So Cool’ unto which the merest rubbing of Mansun-esque motifs merge) while the psychotropic ’Out’ bears more than a passing nod to the much missed Jesus Jones though here sedated in Eastern vibes.
For us though nothing quite comes close to the mercurial tonalities of the teasingly brief ’Gasuli’ and ‘That’s The Sky’ – the former upon which whose sepia shrouded framing is sat a spectral noir grandeur hollowed in melancholia that summons to its torn tapestry elements of Serge, Pulp and Rialto while the latter traverses the kind of outsider environs that only the Crimea dare visit.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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