Band of the Week – The Lost Dawn

Think White Stripes, minus the predictable drum beat, The Lost Dawn bring south-western america right to the heart of Cornwall. It makes me think of Louisiana for some reason? could just be me…

Their version of garage blues is something to definitely check out! It’s almost soulful you could say, but incredibly jagged at the same time. A real juxtaposition of genres that just seem to click so perfectly. Head over their myspace page to check out the rest of their tracks and their new EP ‘Keep it Cool’ – the title track of which is just below!

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MC Waddy: Cornwall’s answer to Die Antwoord

For those of you who have yet to see Die Antwoord, I thoroughly suggest you go check them out. A ‘band’, or group I suppose, of South African descent currently riding the wave of popularity, spitting out – that’s my attempt at hip-hop lingo – unusual lyrics over interestingly mesmerizing beats.

Their ‘nu zef flow’ is very much like marmite, you either love them or you hate them. It feels very much as if people are trying to work them out; they could easily be the brainchild of Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck, an elaborate trick to make everyone actually think they are for real. Or equally, and perhaps more likely, they are for real. And I am certainly not one to argue with that, as strange as they might be their ‘style’ and obvious perseverance is oddly admirable.

Anyway, moving on…

Hopefully I still have your attention (I guess those who haven’t seen or heard of Die Antwoord before will currently be sat, mouth open, trying to decipher what exactly is taking place in front of their eyes. I for one find that girl strangely attractive…..yeah, right).

Distracted myself again, sorry. DA overload. The point of this blog post was actually to bring to your attention an ‘artist’ who seems to be taking the Cornish, well, Porthleven’s music scene at least, by storm. MC Waddy is, I assume, likely to be the village’s only RnB artist, thus making him the best. His music, and from what I gather, comedic genius, bring him very much on par with Goldie Lookin’ Chain. Yes, that’s right GLC standard, whatever that means…

It’s definitely not my place to pass judgement on whether this is a comedy, or a realistic attempt at following in the footsteps of Vanilla Ice. Either way it’s a valiant attempt. What I will say is that expect a bit of T-pain vocals, a portion of offensive language, a pinch of eccentric wardrobe choices, oh and the village people and friends in the background.

That’s it from me, I will leave you lovely people to decide what you think for yourselves. Enjoy!

Peace out (sorry, it had to be done)

N.B. those who may take offence to expletives, firearms (referred to as glocks ‘in the hood’) and misogyny steer clear… those women who wish to watch, perhaps pay no attention to the lyrics?


Gregor and the Martians

GATM: Live at Finn McCoul's, Falmouth (All pictures courtesy of Anne G─ůsiorek - click to see her blog!)

Well, it has taken a while for me to finally get round to actually checking out some local music (much to my disappointment!) but luckily I managed to drag myself down to Falmouth last Wednesday to catch a band who have begun to turn heads, not just here in Cornwall but also further east in the capital. Gregor and the Martians, a band whose sound harks back to the jangle-pop bands of the 1980s, provided me with my first real experience of a scene far from the folk genre that is so often associated with this area:

In front of a surprisingly small audience, given the interest in the quartet, frontman Alex Hill’s warming, bowie-twinged vocals provided something instantly endearing to those shying away from the harsh temperatures of winter.

Their sound is difficult to put your finger on, unlike the plethora of ‘indie’ bands attempting to jump on the band wagon, GATM really stand aside. Debate over whom they are comparable to quickly ensued following the opening chords of ‘care for the weak’ and as names were slung back and forth across the table it occurred to me that GATM’s real promise comes from the fact it is almost impossible to pigeonhole them.

Hill’s vocals are backed by very tight pop-driven melodies, immediately catchy and infectious. I suppose if you were forced to, as certain music reviews like to do, list sound-a-likes in some hilarious hypothetical situation whereby 80s U2, modest mouse, the strokes, the arcade fire, the coral, david bowie coincidentally happened to turn up at a low-key open mic night forming some kind of ‘supergroup’ then you might be close to describing GATM’s sound.

Despite successes like being played on national radio and supporting British Sea Power and The Courteeners GATM are keeping their feet very much firmly on the ground, letting their catchy melodies, spacey keys and tight live performance do the talking.

Forget the Blur reunion, GATM are ushering in a new era of Brit pop. The perfect sound bite to a chilled day on the beach (with a few beers of course!).

“Music made for stadiums” was a suggestion made on the night. Lets only hope the lads make it there one day! As for now check them out playing various venues in Cornwall and London, and be sure to listen out for more on the airwaves.

Songs to check out: ‘Different Things’ & ‘Keanu Reeves’


Education Goes GaGa…

A Possible Text Book?

Sat at my computer the other day I had to seriously question whether what I was reading was indeed the truth or some kind of gross exaggeration reminiscent of a red top newspaper. This should in no way belittle the authority or importance of NME as a source of news, but I was astounded to see that a certain university (not an English one fortunately) was offering its students the chance to, in very plain terms, doss about. By this I mean a professor (of what I’m not entirely sure) has introduced a course profiling Lady Gaga – otherwise known as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – and her rise to fame.

Interestingly, it seems that the NME report was to be correct, as news outlets like The Guardian, The BBC and the Telegraph began to run the story subsequently. At a time when the world economy is struggling and millions worldwide are struggling to find employment, it doesn’t seem to me that a handful of Lady Gaga experts are going to be our saviors. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against more vocational courses and the type of education which steers away from the meritocratic knowledge-is-power ethos of certain institutions. I think it is extremely important that higher education begins to offer courses outside the confines of subjects that only one considered to be ‘intelligent’ can take.

However, I fail entirely to see the value of a course which centres around a specific celebrity – no matter said person’s popularity, talent or for any other reason. Professor Mathieu Deflem explained that the course would involve themes which considered intellectually: business and marketing strategies, the role of old and new media, fans and live concerts, gay culture, religious and political themes, sex and sexuality, and the cities of New York and Hollywood. Initially he had intended to call the course ‘The Sociology of Fame’ or ‘…of Celebrity’, using Gaga as an example. It seems however that his admiration of the outrageous and eccentric singer lead him to change his mind. Personally, the original ideas for the course may have been best left as they were to enhance the sociological education one receives from the module.

I can understand a module similar to this by virtue of the fact it is likely to be a particularly interesting course for a prospective student. However, leaving the interest aside, one has to question the way in which it will train for a particular purpose or occupation other than becoming slightly more knowledgeable about said celebrity. How long will it be before universities this side of the pond – excluding Liverpool Hope University, who already offer an MA in ‘The Beatles, Popular Music and Society’ – begin to introduce more of these vocational ‘courses’?

I am by no means disagreeing with the meteoric rise to fame of both these musical talents, I just simply fail to see the value of courses such as these to the institutions which are intended to further educate their students in the hope of entering a particular line of employment. Is there a particular line of employment someone knowledgeable in either of these subjects can specialise? Perhaps one may learn how to read her poker face? Having said that, I could be entirely wrong and the study of Lady Gaga could prove to be one of the most enthralling, visionary and important courses of the future. Lets hope not though, hey?