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Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

Santa Monica Sunshine – Sweeeet

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

People often ask me why I love LA so much, when it’s seen by many as the fakest place on the planet. My answer is simple – try it for yourself! It doesn’t take much to scratch the plastic surface. Once you do and open your eyes, you discover an amazing gritty world of music, fashion and alternative lifestyle that hooks you in. I spent many an evening in grimy Hollywood bars watching some incredible bands, unheard of outside the LA circuit but more talented and innovative than what I had seen anywhere else.

As anyone who knows me will agree, I’m the polar opposite to a fashionista, but even I could appreciate the boutique stores and vintage wonderlands of Abbot Kinney Blvd and Melrose. And as for Venice Beach, I can’t imagine a more diverse and exciting mix of art, culture, people and FUN anywhere!

But the thing that really inspires me to return? BREAKFASTS! Whilst the British fry-up retains the crown, there’s no denying the Americans can rustle up some awesome breakfasts. Pancakes! Ommeletes! Sausages! Oatmeal! Coffee! Juice! MY MOUTH IS DROOLING, as yours will be when you check out the menu at Santa Monica’s Bread and Porridge!

To help inspiration for my return trip to California next year, I’ve been catching up with some of my favourite Los Angeles based radio stations.

First of all some crappy news. Due to a decision made by the bigwigs at CBS, you can no longer listen to KROQ online from outside the US. BOOOOO! This really sucks. KROQ is broadly similar to our very own Kerrang, but, well, more entertaining. Thankfully you can access The Kevin and Bean Archive from these shores, which is always a giggle.

Based in Santa Monica, California, KCRW is a great example of community supported radio, a thriving success amidst these consumerist times. And you can listen online from the UK – HURRAH!

Morning Becomes Eclectic is undoubtedly my favourite show. Although designed to ease Angelenos into their day, the globally influenced jazz and latin show is the perfect soundtrack to an early evening here in good ole Blighty.

KCRW also feature tons of live acts, including many smaller acts from the UK such as former Easyworld front man David Ford

So here’s two more videos for you as I say, roll on my return to LA 2011!

It’s My Party

Friday, June 18th, 2010

After tonight’s shambolic performance by England, I found myself desperately searching for some other form of entertainment. Quite why I don’t know, but I looked up the number 1 on the day I was born.

If I’d been a few weeks earlier or later, it would have been The Police, Queen featuring David Bowie, or Adam & The Ants. But screw those, I got WAY more cool points!!!

RIP Stuart Cable

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Very sad to hear about the death of former Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable. I’ll be honest straight away, I’ve never been the biggest Stereophonics fan aside from the “Word Gets Around” days.

But I felt I “got to know” Stuart when he began his stint as a Kerrang Radio DJ, when I would actively tune in to hear his show. It had been a long time since I’ve done that with any radio DJ.

So RIP Stuart Cable and a hark back to the good old days…

That is NOT a snake charmer

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Nothing to do with music, but this is the funniest game show clip in the world. Ever.

An Oxjam Tantrum

Friday, May 14th, 2010

So tonight I went out for a few drinks and a good ole catch up with a couple of good friends from the Oxjam Brum crew. Hurrah! We took in Island Bar, a random Chinese restaurant and headed home via a quick stop-off at the Sunflower Lounge.

The theme for today has been memories, and the Sunflower always provides those. I walked in to Time for Heroes by the Libertines, and the tunes kept on coming. Then we bumped into Josh from Tantrums, which brought back lots of Oxjam Brum memories from October! For the uninitiated, I was part of the Oxjam Brum team last year at which Tantrums headlined along with Dinosaur Pile-Up.

Tantrums are supporting CasioKids on 27th May at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath – I suggest all those reading this should buy a ticket NOW as it’s just a fiver – an absolute steal for two awesome bands. See you there :)

Anyway here’s a kick-ass song from Tantrums (great song, not so sure about the fan video!):

It’s good to sink deep inside, to my only touchstone

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Ooberman stuff from the dusty shoeboxToday I’ve been sorting out a whole heap of boxes. Boxes of stuff. Stuff I’ve had for years under the bed and in cupboards. It’s a really time-consuming job because you come across stuff you’d forgotten about and start reminiscing. In one dusty shoebox I found some flyers and vinyls from my all-time favourite band (apologies for sounding like a 14-year old girl): Ooberman. The memories came flooding back, so I’m going to explain why they are my all-time favourite band.

Quite simply, they were the act that showed me how to emotionally connect with music.

Their music isn’t groundbreaking; looking back now it isn’t even particularly great. But as a teenager there was something about the dreamy melodies, sugar-coated lyrics and sheer quirkiness that really hooked me in. That and they also gave a shit about their fans. I made a whole heap of friends through the online community and at gigs, some of whom I’m still in touch with now. Those meetings led to a couple of “Oobercamps” at Leeds Festivals in the early 2000’s complete with PANTS flag and even as I’m writing this yet more memories are flooding back. Good times indeed!

So thank you Ooberman, to the band and the fans, for showing me how important music would end up being to me.