Alex Turner’s Brits Speech Was Everything Rock’N’Roll Is Meant To Be

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys

Alex Turner’s Brits acceptance speech was everything that rock’n’roll is meant to be: unpredictable, dumb, funny, exciting and attention-grabbing. But it was so much more than that. It was a call to arms.

As Turner stood at the lectern in the centre of the O2 and delivered his sermon in front of a worldwide audience of millions, declaring that rock’n’roll “will never die. And there’s nothing that you can do about it,” he drew a line in the sand right there and then, asking every single person watching which side of it they were standing.

“That rock’n’roll, eh? That rock’n’roll, it just won’t go away. It might hibernate from time to time, sink back into the swamp… but it’s always waiting there, just around the corner, ready to make its way back through the sludge.”

Some people thought he was disrespectful. Some people thought he must be pissed or high. Some people thought he sounded like a silly bellend, while some thought that his ego had looped twice round the galaxy before rocketing up his own arse. Those people are stood on the other side of the line.

On this side of the line stand the rest of us, inspired by the words of a man who understands that rock’n’roll isn’t about an antiquated idea of “guitar music”, or about any level of genre elitism, but spirit and ethos, excitement and unpredictability; The traits that British music was always renowned for.

For the frontman of the UK’s biggest band, upon collecting the biggest prize in British mainstream music, to end the night looking like an outsider is madness, brilliance and poetic irony all in one. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. And for those of us standing on this side of the line, neither would we. The challenge has been set by Alex Turner, and now it’s up to us to act upon it.

“That rock’n’roll, eh?”

Watch: The Beatles’ last show ever on its 45th anniversary


Forty-five years ago, yesterday, The Beatles played their final show ever.

Back before elaborate album rollouts like worldwide projections or mysterious graffiti, the Liverpool quartet spontaneously previewed songs from their forthcoming album Let It Be to scores of Londoners, staging an impromptu 42-minute set on the rooftop of Apple, their label, on Savile Row.

Before Metropolitan police eventually halted the performance, filmmakers captured not only the memorable set, but also the reactions of its attendees and those in the nearby area. While the January 30th, 1969 event luckily made its way onto the Let It Be documentary, the unannounced rooftop concert ultimately signaled the last time people would see the Beatles perform together live.

Getting The Beatles to play any kind of a show during that time was surprising, considering they officially stopped touring in 1966. This was partially due to the legions of loyal fans drowning out their concerts, as well the obstacle of not being able to perform some of their new material’s more complicated arrangements live. Despite their fatigue with playing traditional gigs, the band wanted to continue premiering and recording new music.

George Harrison explained, “We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there.”

Once the band kicked things off with the rousing “Get Back”, word began to spread through the London streets. Dozens, if not hundreds congregated, crowding neighboring rooftops and balconies as well as stopping traffic and disrupting local businesses. Before the Metropolitan Police could shut down the scene, the band, along with the young keyboardist Billy Preston, got through nine takes of five songs. With George Martin, engineer Glyn Johns and tape operator Alan Parsons recording the takes onto two eight-track tapes in Apple’s basement, these early renditions of ”I’ve Got a Feeling”,”One After 909″, and “Dig a Pony” would end up on the final version of Let It Be.

Though it would be their last show ever, the band sounded as good as it always had. The aforementioned recordings were all rollicking, and despite the cold January day, everyone seemed to be in good spirits. Just as they were about to end their performance, McCartney improvised the lyrics of “Get Back” to poke fun at the situation singing, “You’ve been playing on the roofs again, and you know your Momma doesn’t like it, she’s gonna have you arrested!” The set ended with John Lennon’s famous line, ”I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.” The quote was a fitting send-off to one of music’s most important bands. The group would officially break up in 1970.

Revisit the memorable show below.

Video Setlist:
01. Get Back
02. Don’t Let Me Down
03. I’ve Got A Feeling
04. One After 909
05. Dig A Pony
06. Get Back

Full Setlist:
“Get Back” (three takes)
“Don’t Let Me Down” (two takes)
“I’ve Got a Feeling” (two takes)
“One After 909″ (one take)
“Dig a Pony” (one take)
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy” (Snippet)
“God Save The Queen” (Snippet)
“A Pretty Girl Is A Melody” (Snippet)

Lou Reed, “Perfect Day”


Stunning song. Stunning life. We were lucky to have him.

Whenever a great musician dies, it’s customary for grieving fans to look back through the body of work left behind for something movingly elegiac in an effort to say a proper goodbye. But such a task was never going to be easy with Lou Reed, who passed away on October 27 at age 71, simply because Reed’s songs were always coming from way too many angles to snugly serve any single purpose.

The most obvious candidate, at least musically, would seem to be “Perfect Day”, the lush ballad that became one of Reed’s signature songs practically from the moment it appeared on his second solo album, 1972’s Transformer. Produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson and featuring Ronson’s swirling string arrangement and piano flourishes, it really is a gorgeous track on the surface.

Yet there’s something gently unsettling about it. Maybe it’s the eerie stillness that permeates the song or the dirge-like pace. Maybe it’s the way that Reed sings the line, “It’s such fun” as if he were being lobotomized. In any case, there’s always the feeling that this idyllic day is just a tiny oasis in a dark desert.

Still, the narrator manages to snap out of his stupor to thank the one with whom he’s spending this “Perfect Day.” “You made me forget myself,” Reed sings, slivers of emotion creeping into his voice. “I thought I was someone else, someone good.” With cutting simplicity, it’s clear that this day isn’t just a good time for this guy. It’s his temporary redemption.

As for the haunting refrain that Reed intones in the closing moments of the song, Bono spoke about its subversive nature in his tribute to Lou in the most recent edition of Rolling Stone. “It’s been sung by all manner of earnest voices, including mine and children’s choirs, since it was written in 1972,” Bono wrote. “It never fails to give me some kind of extra ache as they sing the last line, ‘You’re going to reap just what you sow,’ oblivious of the icy chill suggested.”

If you doubt the dark side of this seemingly benign song, check out the chilling way it was used in the 1996 film Trainspotting, director Danny Boyle’s portrait of young heroin users. Yet you could easily imagine it in a romantic comedy as the soundtrack to a sappy montage of a young couple enjoying a picturesque afternoon.

That’s the kind of dichotomy that was commonplace in the music of Lou Reed, so, come to think of it, maybe “Perfect Day” isn’t a bad summation of the man and his work after all. It’s beautiful, brutal, and impossible to pin down.

“Perfect Day”

Just a perfect day
drink Sangria in the park
And then later
when it gets dark, we go home

Just a perfect day
feed animals in the zoo
Then later
a movie, too, and then home

Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spend it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

Just a perfect day
problems all left alone
Weekenders on our own
it’s such fun

Just a perfect day
you made me forget myself
I thought I was
someone else, someone good

Oh, it’s such a perfect day
I’m glad I spent it with you
Oh, such a perfect day
You just keep me hanging on
You just keep me hanging on

You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow
You’re going to reap just what you sow

Lou Reed – Musician
Born: March 2, 1942, Brooklyn, NY
Died: October 27, 2013, Southampton, NY
Height: 5′ 10″ (1.78 m)
Spouse: Laurie Anderson (m. 2008–2013), Sylvia Morales (m. 1980–1994), Betty Reed (m. 1973)

Lou Reed’s Guide to New York City

Lou Reed

Lou Reed, Your Most Honest Tour Guide for Almost 50 Years

If there’s one common sentiment shared by all the Lou Reed tributes that have sprung up in the past few dats, it’s how Reed’s music felt like the sound of New York. Whether the subject matter, the ambiance or outright namedropping geography, his almost 50 years of output chronicled and reflected an ever-changing city that he loved, or that at least loved him back enough to inspire him. When I first moved to New York nine years ago, I used Reed’s referencing of different locations to aid my own navigation around the city. It is with the cathartic chance to walk his streets once more that we proudly bring you Lou Reed’s Guide to New York City.

1) “I’m Waiting For the Man” 1967
“Up to Lexington, 125
Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive.”

2) “Run Run Run” 1967
“Teenage Mary said to Uncle Dave
‘I sold my soul, must be saved.
Gonna take a walk down to Union Square,
You never know who you’re gonna find there.'”

3) “Walk on the Wildside” 1972
“Sugar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets
Looking for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo.”

4) “Sally Can’t Dance” 1974
“Sally is losing her face, she lives on St. Marks Place /
In a rent-controlled apartment, eighty dollars a month.”

5) “Ooohhh Baby” 1975
“But now you are a topless dancer working out of a bar on Times Square.”

6) “All Through the Night” 1979
“My best friend Sally, she got sick and I’m feeling mighty ill myself it happens all the time
and all through the night I went to Saint Vincent’s and I’m watching the ceiling
fall down on her body as she’s lying round on the ground.”

7) “Home of the Brave” 1983
“Here’s to Frank, hit in some bar in picturesque Brooklyn Heights.”

8) “Romeo Had Juliette” 1989
“Manhattan’s sinking like a rock / into the filthy Hudson what a shock.”

9) “Halloween Parade” 1989
“There’s a down town fairy singing out ‘Proud Mary’ As she cruises Christopher Street.”

10) “Dirty Blvd.” 1989
“A small kid stands by the Lincoln Tunnel, he’s selling plastic roses for a buck /
The traffic’s backed up to 39th Street, the TV whores are calling the cops out for a suck.”

11) “Hold On” 1989
“You better hold on / I’m gonna meet you in Tompkins Square.”

12) “Rock Minuet” 2000
“On Avenue B, someone cruised him one night / he took him in an alley and then pulled a knife.”

13) “Coney Island Baby”
“Coney Island Baby”

NYC Rockers The Strokes announce they are looking to ‘return to the scene’ in 2014.

The Strokes

The Strokes

The Strokes have announced that they are working towards a “return to the scene” in 2014.

The New York city rockers revealed the cryptic news in a fan email newsletter titled ‘Fall 2013 Update’, which was promoting guitarist Albert Hammond Jr’s new solo album.

“Hey folks, while The Strokes are toiling and writing, looking at 2014 for a return to the scene, Albert Hammond Jr. has been busy on his solo EP…” it reads.

‘Comedown Machine’, The Strokes’ most recent album, was released in March this year (2013). The band’s bassist Nikolai Fraiture subsequently revealed that they have no plans to tour the record.

Albert Hammond Jr later added that there could be “10 more Strokes albums” in the future, however. “There might be times when we’re not doing things but I don’t feel like we’ll ever stop,” he said. “We’ve come to the point where we’ve been together so long and been through so much that why announce anything besides what we’re doing? We’re just together.”

Albert Hammond Jr released a new EP, titled ‘AHJ’, last week (October 8) on his bandmate Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records label. The follow-up to his 2006 debut LP ‘Yours To Keep’ and 2008 record ‘¿Cómo Te Llama?’, Hammond Jr said of the material: “It’s a combination of both previous recordings, which in turn makes it feel like it’s the best material that I’ve made so far.”

And you’ll be welcome back with open arms!

Irish Band The Strypes don’t take succes for granted – Interview

The Strypes interview – Josh and Ross (part 1)

Published on Sep 25, 2013
Josh and Ross about quitting school, writing their own songs, Blue Collar Jane, Snapshot, capturing the live energy, working with Chris Thomas, admiration, the future.

The Strypes interview – Josh and Ross (part 2)


We complain about the state of the charts and how all pop music has become pointless drivel spewed out by talentless, money grabbing twats – who only see music as a means of profit and not as art.

But when a young (lest we forget they are 15 and 16 year olds – I doubt Lennon was doing anything particularly ground breaking at that age) group of talented musicians who seem to have a genuine interest in music come along all anyone can seem to do is attack them.

The rat pack of the music industry have been salivating and doing their weasel weiner dance (insert Redfoo from LMFAO’s “wiggle dance”) over Haim, a group that seem more interested in being interviewed, playing festivals and hanging with celebrities than writing good fucking songs. It took them eight years to release an album with only four new songs written by other people!

The Strypes are an Irish four-piece rock ‘n’ roll band from Cavan, Ireland, formed in 2008 consisting of Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica), Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Pete O’Hanlon (bass guitar/harmonica) and Evan Walsh (drums). The band played the local scene with various members switching parts as they searched for their sound. They draw inspiration from 60’s blues boom and 70’s pub rock bands such as Dr. Feelgood, Eddie and the Hot Rods, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Lew Lewis and Rockpile as well as the original bluesmen and rock ‘n’ roll artists such as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter, among others. The band members’ current ages are 16 to 18 years.

Video: My Morning Jacket – Outta My System

Jim James - Frontman, singer, guitarist of My Morning Jacket

Jim James, vocals, guitar – My Morning Jacket

Since their formation in 1998 Louisville, Kentucky’s My Morning Jacket have grown from being one of America’s most promising young bands to one of the world’s most beloved rock bands. From their debut full-length (1999’s The Tennessee Fire) through their Grammy-nominated fifth album (2008’s Evil Urges) the band has taken risks which each release, always choosing the musically adventurous path.

MMJ also have the rare quality of being as lauded for their studio albums as they are for their electrifying live shows. This reputation has led them to perform on shows like Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show, as well as legendary venues such as Red Rocks & Madison Square Garden. My Morning Jacket’s eclectic reach and captivating shows have brought them to a wide array of festival stages ranging from Bonnaroo, Coachella, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival among many others.

In October of 2010, the band played a historic five-night run of shows at New York’s Terminal 5, each night playing one of their albums in its entirety. They have also been fortunate enough to perform with many iconic musicians over the years from the Boston Pops to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and everywhere in between. MMJ are currently recording their sixth album in Louisville, due to be released in Spring 2011.

My Morning Jacket is:

Jim James (vocals, guitar)
Tom Blankenship (bass)
Patrick Hallahan (drums)
Bo Koster (keyboards)
Carl Broemel (guitar)