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Get Your Earplugs Ready

Two of the hosts of The Gadget Show, Suzi Perry and Jason Bradbury, took on their most embarrassing challenge to date: they each had to record a song which would be broadcast on the show and judged by industry insiders. Using the latest in home studio (Jason) and pro studio (Suzi) technology, they attempted to perfect their amateur vocal skills and impress the experts. The Results: 'I Can Be Your Robot' and 'Running'.
posted by chuckdarwin on Nov 7, 2008 - 17 comments

Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants

Oasis have been accused of plagiarizing Cliff Richard. Does 'The Turning' have a certain resemblance to 'Devil Woman'? If so, it would not the first time... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 7, 2008 - 65 comments

Don't Watch That, Watch This

A Critical Appraisal of Madness's Videos [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 1, 2008 - 46 comments

Something Of Boris

Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish of Adam & Joe fame put forward their proposals for the theme tune for the upcoming Bond film Quantum Of Solace
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 9, 2008 - 14 comments

808

808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808080808
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 8, 2008 - 49 comments

"Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones!"

The Mercury Prize shortlist for 2008 is: Adele - 19 | British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? | Burial - Untrue | Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid | Estelle - Shine | Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim | Neon Neon - Stainless Style | Portico Quartet - Knee-Deep in the North Sea | Rachel Unthank & The Winterset - The Bairns | Radiohead - In Rainbows | Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand | The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 22, 2008 - 45 comments

Well, it is what they're there for...

Bandstand Busking have decided to put liven up the underused bandstands of London by, well, you know, putting bands on in them. [more inside]
posted by Helga-woo on Jul 20, 2008 - 7 comments

Dub(step)

Dubstep is from the UK. It's typified by skittering, shuffled, syncopated rhythms with lots of triplets, dissonant and minor tonality, and most strikingly... (sub)bass. It uses a lot of effects people associate with dub. Crank your woofer and listen to the likes of Skream (who has done a pretty good introductory mix), Plastician, Digital Mystikz, and El-B. [more inside]
posted by phrontist on Jul 11, 2008 - 68 comments

Crack Lung

Amy Winehouse has Emphysema. The 24 year old artist, whose career has netted multiple awards but has often been overshadowed by her drug use, now faces a lung condition that can be slowed but never reversed, with effects ranging from shortness of breath to cyanosis and heart faliure.
posted by Artw on Jun 23, 2008 - 292 comments

Click click victorious, buzz buzz glorious, Long to reign over us, buzz buzz click click.

The first known recording of a digital computer playing music, recorded by the BBC in 1951. The music played on a Ferantti Mark 1, one of the first commercial general-use computers, and was entered via punchtape and played on a speaker usually used for making clicks and tones to indicate program progress.
posted by Artw on Jun 18, 2008 - 14 comments

'Danger Of Death'

In Bed With Chris Needham (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) A BBC video-diary documentary from 1991 depicting the trails and tribulations of a teenage metal fan as he tries to knock his band, Manslaughter, into shape for its first gig, with many digressions into his philosophy of life along the way. Some NSFW swearing. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 8, 2008 - 12 comments

We're all blue from projection tubes

UK band The Get Out Clause made their newest video by performing in front of 80 of London's approximately 13 million CCTV cameras, and then requesting the footage via the Data Protection Act. The footage was then edited together into this music video. [more inside]
posted by whir on May 12, 2008 - 60 comments

Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery

It's the story that has Britain in uproar*: Cliff Richard and General Franco: the 1968 Eurovision mystery. Did General Franco scupper the judging? Exhibit A: Cliff's UK entry, Congratulations. Exhibit 2: Spain's winning entry by Massiel, La la la. For added measure, exhibit iv: here's Cliff's 1973 entry, which believe it or not also did not win, Power to all our Friends (though Cliff's spectacular moves should not sway your opinion on the controversy* in any way). [*not really].
posted by nthdegx on May 12, 2008 - 34 comments

1,000 Albums to Hear Before You Die

1,000 Albums to hear before you die compiled from The Guardian's assorted music reviewers (assisted by readers who then told them which ones they missed). You won't want to be planning to expire any time too soon with these to get through.
posted by rongorongo on Mar 13, 2008 - 114 comments

"You scumbag, you maggot / You cheap lousy *BEEP*"

Fairytale of New York... censored! No, not now... Shane will make 50 this Christmas... Sadly not Kirsty.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 21, 2007 - 89 comments

Don't Look Back In Anger

Rhino Releases The Brit Box It's hard to explain in 2007 what it feels like for music to be both uniting and important. Having spent nearly three years of the '90s living in London, it's with honest nostalgia and wonder that we examine Rhino's The Brit Box. The set's mission is rather broad: it attempts to examine the whole of UK indie rock from 1985-1999 and devotes a disc each to '80s indie, shoegaze, Britpop, and the late '90s. [more inside]
posted by psmealey on Dec 6, 2007 - 60 comments

Lucky Soul's 'Lips Are Unhappy', an unlikely Xmas No. 1 contender

Lucky Soul's 'Lips Are Unhappy' isn't the likliest of contenders for the UK's coveted Christmas number one, but this is the track (from a shortlist) selected by listeners of Last.fm to receive Last.fm's backing. Profits go to charity, as is the norm for Xmas No. 1 entries.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 26, 2007 - 13 comments

Master of the TV Theme Tune

Ronnie Hazlehurst RIP. Who? Well if you've seen any of the BBC's sitcoms and light entertainment programmes from the 70s onwards, you would have probably heard his work... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 3, 2007 - 16 comments

V Double O raps really quickly

VDoubleOrapsreallyquickly. Geezah!
posted by nthdegx on Jun 19, 2007 - 18 comments

"I'm sick of god awful tinny rap music. You are not from the hood - you are from Esher ffs."

Fed up with their bus journeys being blighted by loud music blaring from phones or MP3 players, Londoners strike back - er, by putting up posters at bus stops. Tales of woe and disaster to be found here.
posted by greycap on Oct 30, 2006 - 50 comments

Mickey Jupp

Mickey Jupp, the Father of Pub Rock and England's answer to Chuck Berry. Why havent Americans heard of him? As alluded to in the great song "You'll Never Get me Up (in one of Those)" Mickey did not like the thought of flying. Collaborated with Rockpile , Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, (who covered his "Switchboard Susan" Lowe's Labour of Lust is commanding in excess of $100 on Amazon, and Jupp's early 70's band, Legend, who sound like Bad Company command in excess of $70 frequently on Ebay. Good stuff for real rock and roll lovers ... Personell on Juppanese: Mickey Jupp, Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner, Nick Lowe, Terry Willi, Gary Brooker, Bruce Lynch , Chris Spedding, Dave Mattacks,
posted by celerystick on May 1, 2006 - 12 comments

Doherty

England's literary crackhead rockstar.
posted by Tlogmer on Apr 22, 2006 - 46 comments

Heaven knows it's Manchester now

Remember the announcement for the BBC's Manchester Passion? The full list of songs and lineup were recently announced, rehearsals are over, tonight the procession through the city will be broadcast live on BBC Three - for now you can watch trailers and interviews with the cast (only for UK viewers/proxy users).
posted by funambulist on Apr 14, 2006 - 13 comments

uk music photographers

Music photography goodness - some UK-based photographers with plenty of image galleries of rock and pop bands: Peter Hill (also see his livejournal for more pics), Ami Barwell, Michael Williams, Scarlet Page, Graham Smith (on livejournal too), Emma Porter, and the already mentioned Andrew Kendall (lj). Also UrbanImage which licenses the work of several photographers and has sections on jazz, hip hop, grime, reggae, punk, etc. as well as travel photography and other cool stuff (free registration required to access single galleries and images).
posted by funambulist on Oct 15, 2005 - 5 comments

Tagging bbc radio songs via mobile phone

Tagging bbc radio songs via mobile phone
posted by Tlogmer on Aug 30, 2005 - 7 comments

Hare lips can kiss, or so they say...

Jake Thackray doesn't have a lot of fans but the fans that he does have are loyal and devoted.

A dominant inspiration to the modern English Chanton music scene, from the end of the sixties until the early eighties, Jake was never off the television as resident troubadour on shows like the Braden Beat, and That's Life A schoolteacher and a devout Roman Catholic, his songs express an openness and tolerance for dissident sexualities that is rarely associated with modern Christianity. [more]
posted by PeterMcDermott on Apr 15, 2005 - 29 comments

RIP Tommy Vance

RIP Tommy Vance. For years the voice of BBC Radio 1's 'The Friday Rock Show' and, for TV viewers throughout the UK, the voice of a multitude of adverts, Tommy Vance has died following a stroke. RIP you gravel-throated bringer of rock.
posted by TheDonF on Mar 6, 2005 - 9 comments

Sad day for music.

Legendary radio DJ John Peel dies of heart attack at 65. Peel's contribution to modern music and culture was "immeasurable".
posted by dash_slot- on Oct 26, 2004 - 118 comments

The Scissor Sisters

The Scissor Sisters (album art NSFW) seem to be getting the attention of the two primary community-owned radio stations I have bookmarked, to the point of becoming a guilty pleasure. The band is unapologetically camp riffing or perhaps just plundering the more popular glam rock lexicon and of course the music that we love to hate, disco. Of course, it may be all over. With the recent revelation that the Scissor Sister are favored by U.K. Tory co-chair Liam Fox they might suffer what the Guardian calls, the Curse of the Thrashing Doves. The wisdom being that while it is kosher for bands to endorse politicians, it is the kiss of death for politicians to endorse bands. Still, it is interesting to me how things have changed in that the Scissor Sisters are capitalizing on the gay card early in their careers. Melissa Etheridge took two albums before coping to what had been an open secret.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Oct 5, 2004 - 14 comments

Subculture, the meaning of style

For Westerners, the index case of subculture has to be the 1960s UK conflict between the razor-sharp, tailored mods and their mortal enemies, the greasy rockers.

Difference was critical to these first self-identified youth subcultures: difference in dress, in music, in drug of choice, in the favored mode of transport...everything. This obsessive focus on not just standing out, but standing out just so - on showing the world precisely the right angle of a hat, length of a coat, shortness of hair - has defined many a subculture since. We recognize b-boys, ganguro girls, and straightedge punks by such deployments, among many, many other identifiable groups. (It's not just a youth thing, either: leathermen and the delightfully recrudescent roller derby culture are largely adult phenomena.)

To a devotee of a given subculture, such matters, far from being a "narcissism of small differences," are a matter of pivotal import in framing how one presents oneself to the world: how we want to be seen, how we want others to understand us. But I'm getting older now, and further out of the loop, and I realize that just maybe I'm losing the ability to discern these differences in the people I pass walking down the street. I find myself asking, who and where are the new subcultures? And how do they choose to present themselves to us?
posted by adamgreenfield on Sep 25, 2004 - 17 comments

I Hear A New World

Meeksville centers around Joe Meek, Britain's first independent record producer, whose DIY engineering wizardry would transform record-making during the Sixties. Five years after an international #1 hit in the Tornadoes' space-age Telstar (Windows Media or RealPlayer), he would self-destruct, in an end not without tragedy or speculation. His works--along with his trademarked name--live on.
posted by LinusMines on Sep 10, 2004 - 4 comments

Maxed out

Former rebel turned pillar of society Sir Peter Maxwell Davies turned 70 today. For those unfamiliar, his website has audio samples of his published works.
posted by monkey closet on Sep 8, 2004 - 2 comments

You gotta beat 53/70!

BBC Test the Nation: Popular Music.
UK centric [slightly] quiz in the Test The Nation series [- but allows a 'not UK' option.]
Who did write the theme from 'The Office' Handbags & Gladrags'?
posted by dash_slot- on Sep 4, 2004 - 24 comments

The Album Club

No time to pick out your own music? Still like the CD format? Live in the UK? Well has The Rough Trade Shop got a club for you. Is this outmoded on arrival or an interesting variant on old style "X-Of-the-Month" clubs? I know I sometimes find it overwhelming to keep up with what's new'n'exciting.
posted by PinkStainlessTail on Jul 30, 2004 - 8 comments

NWOBHM!!

The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM to cognoscenti) one of the lesser known but most influential movements of the past quarter century. After the innovators of Metal ran out of steam in the late 70's and were stampeded in the maelstrom of punk, heavy metal (and testosterone-soaked delindquents everywhere) found itself in a quandary). A number of UK acts took some cues from the punks, shortened the songs, reigned in the self-indulgence and speeded up the tempo, and upped the relevance and intelligence of the lyrical content, while still retaining the vocal prowess, instrumental pyrotechnics and young warrior energy that makes it Metal in the first place. Some groups became world famous. Others only big in Europe. Some great ones missed stardom by just a notch. Many of these acts have been cited as inspirations by Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Napalm Death and the thrash/death metal hordes, and even many post-punks. An interesting summary for fans, and a good introduction for non-mans who may have to recalibrate their opinion of the genre after checking some of these bands out.
posted by jonmc on Dec 17, 2003 - 17 comments

A Pop-pickers Paradise

Every single UK chart position from 1952 to 2003. EveryHit.com is a searchable database of every single artist that's charted in the UK Top 40 chart, EVER. It's fully searchable by date, artist, chart position - everything. Want to find out how many times your favourite band charted, and when, and for how long? It's all here. There's also more statistics and all sorts of trivia and records than you could shake a stick at! Win your next pub quiz armed with this information!
posted by metaxa on Nov 12, 2003 - 9 comments

Siiiiiid! What about the Farewell Drugs?

A history of UK Punk Rock from 1976-79. "Featuring an A-Z of punk bands from Adam and The Ants to The Sex Pistols to X Ray Spex, fanzines, punk girls, rare record sleeves, audio clips, fashion, punk rock lyrics, interviews and loads of pictures." It's not all about the Sex Pistols.
posted by archimago on Sep 18, 2003 - 48 comments

Dizzee Rascal

Fix Up, Look Sharp With stateside hip hop in an unprecedented doldrum, the torch has been snatched up on this side of the Atlantic by 18-year-old Eastender Dizzee Rascal. He's recovering from a stabbing carried out rival fans of a rival garage collective in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The attack took place a few days before being nominated for the Mercury Music prize. Guaranteed not to be everybody's cup of tea, but he's an interesting character and challenging music make it, and his album, worth a look.
posted by hmgovt on Jul 29, 2003 - 25 comments

Mercury rocks

The Mercury Music prize has rolled around again. 12 top artists from the UK and Ireland are up for glory. Winning is no guarantee of long term success, so frankly,what's the point?
posted by ascullion on Jul 22, 2003 - 12 comments

ARGH! GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD!!

160 million people watched the gloriously kitsch Eurovision Song Contest this year. The UK's entry [Real] scored an astonishing nul points (i.e. none of the other 25 countries thought the British song was in the top 10 competitors). The singers blame the country's worst ever result on sabotage. What do you think?
posted by Pretty_Generic on May 26, 2003 - 37 comments

Marillionm remixes

Fancy yourself as a mixmaster? Marillion are offering you the chance to remix their last album, Anoraknophobia. Tracks cost £10 per song for the masters, or £60 for the whole album. Whatever you think of the band (like/hate/never heard) this is certainly an unusual opportunity. Feel creative? There's a prize of £500 per song for the best mix.
posted by salmacis on May 6, 2003 - 16 comments

Microsoft announces music service:

Microsoft announces music service: Apple roughed up in playground, candy stolen.
posted by aladfar on Apr 29, 2003 - 37 comments

Shazam!

Shazam! The Media have been talking about it for a while, but this Music Identification Service for British (nyt) mobile phones is finally here. For 50p, you can place your mobile phone next to any machine playing groovy unidentifiable music, and within a minute, it'll text and tell you what's playing. So far, I've worked out that it's great at identifying Sheryl Crow and Bush tracks, but it's not so good at identifying traditional Greek folk music.
posted by seanyboy on Sep 17, 2002 - 11 comments

The Bolan Tree.
Today is the 25th Anniversary of the accident in which folk-singer turned glam pioneer Marc Bolan died. The tree his car hit - driven by his partner, soul singer/producer Grace Jones - has been purchased by a fan group [T-Rex Action Group], who have also contributed a bust sculpted by Canadian Jean Robillard (with Quebec Government Cultural Attaché to Great Britain attending the unveiling today).
You may not think you know his music, but if you've seen Velvet Goldmine or Billy Elliot, watched the NBA Playoffs on TNT [using 'Get It On/Bang A Gong'], or ever wondered where the ubiquitous '20th Century Boy' [with the definitive power chord + squeal opening burst] comes from, now you know.
Marc inspired devotion in his fans, and respect from the likes of Bowie, the Damned and Billy Idol in his own lifetime - and influenced musicmakers like The Strokes & The Red Hot Chili Peppers [according to this article in The Philidelphia Enquirer].
Dandy's in the Underworld, indeed.
posted by dash_slot- on Sep 16, 2002 - 34 comments

A Chronological History of English Glam Rock! (baby)

A Chronological History of English Glam Rock! (baby) presents "a biased history of UK glam rock" from 1970 through 1975. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play my Sweet, T. Rex, and Slade albums REALLY LOUD. Talk amongst yourselves. (Warning: this site contains a rather bizarre pornographic image)
posted by MrBaliHai on Feb 16, 2002 - 31 comments

Taking a swipe at celebrity cause-fests:

Taking a swipe at celebrity cause-fests: The ever-witty Pulp (whose latest album, "We Love Life," might finally be seeing a Stateside release come spring) enlists a host of celebrity impersonators (how many can you point out?) for the video promoting their newest single, "Bad Cover Version."
posted by maura on Feb 13, 2002 - 6 comments

Will wins Pop Idol

Will wins Pop Idol - the contest to win a recording contract finally comes to a conclusion. To me, this programme just about showed how easy it is for anyone to end up in the charts. Now it's time for them to find out what the music industry is really like...
posted by robzster1977 on Feb 10, 2002 - 7 comments

Now, I've never been a BIG fan of either Frank Sinatra or Robbie Williams. Sure, I've a lot of respect for the former, and the latter's a great singer and entertainer from the UK. But last nite, I was converted. Anyone see A Night With Robbie Williams on TV in the UK last night? (more inside)
posted by wibbler on Nov 18, 2001 - 18 comments

The Eurovision Song Contest is tonight.

The Eurovision Song Contest is tonight. Being an American, I don't understand it one bit, especially since the grand prize seems to be a one-way ticket to eternal obscurity. But someone must like it. "I want to shower you with sugar lumps/and ride you over fences..."
posted by aaron on May 12, 2001 - 42 comments

UK-Dance

UK-Dance This is a long-running community website, starting life as a mailing list way back in 1992. Since becoming a member in 1997, I've found it the liveliest, strongest and sometimes most seditious web site community I know. The main tenets are dance music (from jazz, through dub, reggae but most emphatically house, techno, drum'n'bass and whatever the scene throws up), hedonism, politics and networking. You have to subscribe to take part, but if you're a DJ, producer, music fan, clubber, raver, psychonaut or revolutionary, you'll be made to feel welcome. Check it out, but beware if you're a big fan of trance music.
posted by hmgovt on May 11, 2001 - 2 comments

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