Band of Blogs: Bon Iver, Dead Man’s Bones, The Drums, Radiohead

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Bon Iver’s other band
Before he goes off to record to follow up to last year’s hugely successful For Emma Forever Ago, Bon Iver has got together with some fellow Wisconsinites to record an album under the name Volcano Choir. Sample the first track Island, IS on the label site.

Dead Man’s Bones
Actor Ryan Gosling’s musical project has been signed to Anti in the US and will feature a children’s choir throughout. There’s a definite Arcade Fire vibe to the songs released so far. Keep on ear out for these guys.

The Drums
A Florida yet Brooklyn-based band who have come to blog attention thanks to their infectious summer tune ‘Let’s Go Surfing’.

New Radiohead track
“These Twisted Words” appeared on P2P networks last week without fanfare before the band released it officially on Monday through their own W.A.S.T.E store. A great track, it features Jonny Greenwood’s signature guitar sound and that trademark Radiohead dystopian atmosphere.

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Set Rayguns to cliché

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Last week a London pop band called Raygun learned the hard way that the term “viral” does not always have a positive connotation for up and coming musicians.

A Youtube clip which was picked up by sites last week featured Raygun in the standard “band sitting around describing their music” feature was rapidly elevated to viral status as people began to share the Spinal Tap-esque video on social networking sites and blogs thanks solely to the Raygun singer’s unintentionally hammy answers.

The singer’s noted nuggets include comparisons of the band to sounding like “Iggy Pop, James Brown, David Bowie and Shirley Bassey in a lift”and a Nathan Barley-esque recounting of how the band make their songs which resulted in the newly coined recording process “PsycheDelia Smith” referring to the famous English cook. There’s also a cringeworthy part two of the interview where he utters the words “”We’ll have mojitos at 11 o’ clock in the morning! I mean, what the hell, man?”. Keraazy.

The clip which was first posted with the title “Lack of Self Awareness” was hastily taken down by the band’s record label Sony but that didn’t stop people re-uploading it again for further chortle-spreading. Despite the annoying answers, the singer (who rather repulsively calls himself Ray Gun) did manage to claw back a shred of credibility in a very aware public apology last week.

In it he apologises to his fellow band members, the aforementioned Mrs. Bassey and Messrs. Pop, Brown, Bowie with the admission that this concoction would not result in sounding like RayGun – “You would have three famous singers and a dead one.” He also resolves to “take my cues from, the true masters of modesty, humility and understatement: Bono, Johnny Borrell and Kanye West,” proving he has some sense of humour after all.

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Linkage: Obama fighting a bear on his Unicorn??

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Obama and his Unicorn
Some artists paint portraits. Some artists paint landscapes. Others paint Obama naked on a unicorn fighting a bear..

Bad Hair Day
In jail, no-one will let you comb your hair if this mugshot gallery is anything to go by.

Prison Inventions
Sticking with the jail theme, see how innovative inmates have built lighters, tattoo guns, weapons and a toaster with very few resources.

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Videos of The Week

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Fantastic Mr. Fox trailer
Wes Anderson looks to have successfully transferred his idiosyncratic ways to stop-motion in this adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s novel starring George Clooney, Bill Murray and Meryl Streep.

Watch Heath Ledger’s music video
Before he died, Ledger was working on a music video for Modest Mouse which focuses on illegal whale hunts in Australia. The video was finished by production company The Masses.

Daniel O’ Donnell’s rap song
Bitches and Hoes is a vulgar look at what would happen if wee Daniel got into gangsta rap.

That Show, These Girls
Good to see some homegrown Irish web shows sprouting up like this ten minute show from Dublin-based Laura and Katie.

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Band of Blogs: The Big Pink, The Streets do dubstep & Chinese Military?

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A song a year mix
Irish music blogger Cubikmusik was set the task of coming up with a mix where every year from 1974 to 2009 was represented. The result is an impressive aural history of hip-hop and soul.

Listen to The Big Pink album
The UK duo’s skyscraping indie debut isn’t released until September but you can hear it streaming in full from their website.

The Streets Nero remix
Epic mainstream dubstep remixes are all over the place these days so it’s just as well they work wonderfully like this remix of The Streets’ Blinded by the Lights.

Chinese Military Songs
More “good to know” than essential but the Chinese military are offering MP3 downloads of military songs on their site.

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Sites of the Week

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More food fun ensues when people get creative with their lunch.

If you’re the kind of person who is fascinated by famous dead people, you can get your fix of their Twitter profiles here.

Why the Fuck Do You Have Kid?
Examples of bad parenting including selling your baby’s first name on eBay, letting a eight-year old drive and an Indian ritual of dropping babies from a great height onto a rug.

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Perfect spot for browsing

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I first wrote about the brilliant Spotify here in March and in recent weeks, the legal streaming music library has pressed itself into the public consciousness here at home with many people choosing to try out the free service via a proxy loophole.

It’s a brilliant service and one which justifiably could live up to the oft-touted “iTunes killer” tag if the company can keep its revenues flowing and keep Apple onside for the upcoming Spotify iPhone app. If there was one criticism of Spotify from a user-friendly perspective, it would be that it lacks a “browse” function. So for those times when you’re not sure what to search for the following sites are here to help.

By uploading your exisiting iTunes music library file, Spotifitunes can give you a web-based links to the artists you already listen to on Spotify. More of a Last.FM user? Another site ( will analyse the top 50 artists in your Last.FM charts and recommend you albums to listen to based on this and Last.FM’s recommendation system.

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