Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More videos

I have a couple of new items brewing, but I ]haven't finalized them. A little polishing and they'll be up soon. Promise.

In the interim, why don't you check out some videos. I have added a few videos to the AEC channel favorites that are all very different, but also have one unifying strain. That unity lies in the fact that, if you are going to make a video, make it visually compelling. Force me to watch. The Black Belles is a Jack White produced girl group, Private is perfect European pop, and Delphic is Manchester art rock, but they all have delivered something interesting, and utterly watchable. Contrary to popular belief, Lady Gaga isn't the only one making cool videos.

Check them out: The All England Club YouTube Channel

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Jack Penate

Here's another early 2009 release I finally got around to listening to that I regret not giving the time earlier. Jack Penate's second release is similar to many hit indie US acts I hate, yet somehow it finds a way to be endearing, catchy and interesting without getting ruined by it's trendiness.

First for the problems... Those festive and currently ubiquitous samba drums. In and of themselves, the beats are not bad. In fact, I think everyone loved them so much in the doves "There Goes The Fear," that they have now become the go to sound to make plain indie songs sound active. Unfortunately, everyone is doing it.

But again, taken outside of the current trends, there really is something here. Whether he's channeling the singalong moments of Travis/Badly Drawn Boy or the Cure's Robert Smith's moody range, Jack is making great songs. No one is going to confuse Penate for a crooner, but that's also part of the charm. There's a sense of the shambolic here, and matched with the frenetic pace, and the subject matter of love and romance, the listener finds him/herself rooting for Jack to get the girl. This might make the songs sound cloying, but again, as with the drums, there is a deft touch here that keeps the songs from the areas Coldplay seem to wander into too often. Even when the pace slows, the production value and the inherently strong songs keep things on point. While Penate's debut leaned a bit too folk for me, this second release has really impressed.

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