Search The File Cabinet of Verbal Diarrhea

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hear it here first: The Chapman Family

You've seen it before.  The articles exclaim, "Hotly Tipped Band Ready to Take UK by Storm!", only to be followed months to a year later by, "Hotly Tipped UK Band Call it a Day."  That's the case with every buzz band.  They burst onto the scene like a house on fire, and then said fire is quickly extinguished.  But every so often, a band comes along that makes you stand up and take notice.  There's something different about them.  Enter Stockton, UK's The Chapman Family.

Despite some lineup changes since their inception, the underlying basis behind their music remains the same.  They describe themselves as "The Death of Truth," and list their influences as "Politicians, Royalty, War, Cruelty, Injustice, Poverty, Homelessness, Famine, Humanity."  The end result is music that is very raw, very emotional, and most importantly, very REAL,  When singer Kingsley Chapman (they've all adopted the Chapman surname) sings, "I feel like fucking you over...", you feel as if he will actually do it.  While it made very few "Best Of" lists, The Chapman Family's full-length debut, "Burn Your Town", may be the most important album that was released in 2011, as it signals, to this writer at least, a return to form.   In so much of today's music, you can literally hear the script, as if "scream here" was written on the lyric sheet.  You don't get the feeling that anything on their full-length debut, "Burn Your Town", was forced.   It's loud and it's angry, but dammit, it's real.

Many bands today are the product of the pop machine of the last fifteen years.  They write catchy hooks and dress a certain way because the music they grew up with told them that's how it was done.  Bands like The Chapman Family look at that formula, say, "Fuck that," and create something special.  The world needs more bands like The Chapman Family right now.

In their own words:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pulp - Radio City Music Hall - April 11, 2012

Photo by Brian Hedenberg

I will begin by stating that I am not writing this review from the view of a journalist or critic, but as a total fanboy for the band.

Pulp are one of those bands that I discovered late during their first go.  As such, I never had the chance to experience them live.  I thought a trip to New York in 2007 to see vocalist Jarvis Cocker perform his solo material would be as close as I would ever get.  Even as they announced their festival schedule in 2011, I was sure that they would not make it across the pond. 

As I sat in my seat in the third mezzanine of Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012, I was STILL in a state of disbelief.  There was no way on Earth that this was happening.  The lights dimmed, and a scrolling laser welcomed us to the show.  We were told to make noise and were asked questions like, "Would you like to see a dolphin?", which was then followed by a graphic of said dolphin.  Suddenly, the familiar strains of "Do You Remember the First Time?' filled the air.  The curtain raised, the lights came on, and there were the band in their full glory.

This was real.  It was happening.  I was seeing Pulp live in concert.

They sounded like they had never gone away, as if someone had turned the clock back to 1995.  Pulp treated us to a two hour set, most of which centered around their 1995 masterpiece "Different Class".  Songs like "Monday Morning" and "Razzamatazz" sounded just as fresh in 2012 as they did back then.  Jarvis wandered about the stage, dancing and posing as only he can.  His famous between song banter found him quoting the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Kurt Vonnegut whilst throwing chocolates to the crowd.  The band appeared to be just as in to everything as the audience was.  This was not so much a live performance for an audience as it was an experience for everyone involved.

And then, it was over.  The final notes of "Misshapes" were still ringing in our ears as the house lights slowly came back on.  Everyone in attendance knew that they had just witnessed something spectacular.  Reunions are a hit and a miss.  Sometimes, you get bands that sound like they never skipped a beat.  Other times, you get bands that were right to stop when they did.  As I mentioned earlier, I missed Pulp the first time around.  The second time proved to be just as nice.

Do You Remember the First Time?
Monday Morning
Pencil Skirt
Something Changed
Disco 2000
Sorted For E's and Wizz
I Spy
This is Hardcore
Bar Italia
Common People

Like a Friend
Bad Cover Version

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Mixes: "The 133 Mix" and "Beautiful Noise"

I thought I would start 2012 off with a couple of mixes.

The first is titled "The 133 Mix" because the entire half hour mix is at 133bpm.
Download "The 133 Mix" here (new window)

The second mix is titled "Beautiful Noise" because.. well, that's what it is to me.  Gorgeous yet aggressive at the same time.
Download "Beautiful Noise" here (new window)

Hope you enjoy both.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

El Macho's 2011 Mix

I've put together another long mix featuring nothing but songs released in 2011. This isn't any sort of "best of" thing. It's just a collection of good songs. If you like what you hear, then you should definitely check out the albums.

1. Los Campesinos! - By Your Hand (from "Hello Sadness")
2. Ringo Deathstarr - Do It Every Time (from "Colour Trip")
3. Chapel Club - Surfacing (from "Palace")
4. Mirrors - Look at Me (from "Lights and Offerings")
5. Radiohead - Codex (from "The King of Limbs")
6. Sondre Lerche - Go Right Ahead (from "Sondre Lerche")
7. Sloan - Unkind (from "The Double Cross")
8. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Body (from "Belong")
9. Sulk - Back in Bloom (one-off single)
10. The Chapman Family - Anxiety (from "Burn Your Town")
11. Wire - Smash (from "Red Barked Tree")
12. The Dears - Stick w/Me Kid (from "Degeneration Street")
13. Radio Over Moscow - Except (from "Deus Ex Robotica")
14. Kenna - Karma (from "Land 2 Air Chronicles I: Chaos and the Darkness")
15. IAMX - Music People (from "Volatile Times")
16. M83 - Claudia Lewis (from "Hurry Up We're Dreaming")
17. Gruff Rhys - Shark Ridden Waters (from "Hotel Shampoo")
18. 12 Dirty Bullets - Champagne and Cocaine (one-off single)


Thursday, December 22, 2011

El Macho's Christmas Mix 2011

Here's my attempt at a Christmas mix. There's really nothing fancy about this one. It's just a bunch of stuff that I like to listen to this time of year collected into one 72+ minute mix.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. Enjoy the mix.
- Macho


Monday, December 12, 2011

Hear it here first: SULK

Not too long after The Stone Roses vanished and Verve went commercial, Indie music took a dramatic turn. Before too long, you either had to be a synth-heavy dance band or dress like it's 1928 and sing folk songs to be considered Indie (looking at you, Mumford). Don't get me wrong. There's still some great stuff out there now, but I keep finding myself asking the same question: "Where are the guitars?"

Enter SULK, one of a few shoegaze revivalists making their mark in the UK right now. It only takes a few seconds of listening to their latest single, "Back in Bloom", to hear that they are doing their best to bring that swirling, massive guitar sound back to the forefront of Indie music. THANK. GOD.

"Back in Bloom":

There's not a lot out there about this band. There is no official band bio. They're letting the music speak for itself, and what it says to me is, "Holy sh*t, this is magic."


They will be in Austin in March 2012 as part of SXSW. I smell a road trip. (EDIT 12/14/11: I have it on good authority that SXSW will in fact NOT be happening. Oh well.)

More info:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

FEVER Friday Mix - 9-23-11 (Soundtrack Night preview)

Here's a little taste of what you'll hear at our Soundtrack Night, which is this Friday (9-23) at Tradewinds Social Club in Oak Cliff. Enjoy: DOWNLOAD THE MIX HERE

Blog Archive