Band of Blogs: Fight Like Apes, Chequerboard, Robyn and Snoop Dogg, Shangaan Electro

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New Fight Like Apes
First came Hoo Ha Henry and now we have Poached Egg, the second taster from Fight Like Apes’ geniusly-titled second album The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner. The song is up to the band’s usual synth-driven standard with the repeating shouty mantra of “When thumbs get split / chicks get lit”. An acquired taste maybe, but this is a band with a fervent fanbase.
Listen at Nialler9

Chequerboard
John Lambert aka Dublin’s Chequerboard has released his 2002 debut Gothica as a free download on Bandcamp.com. Grab this gorgeous slab of icy electronic soundscapes.
Download at Bandcamp

Robyn and Snoop Dogg
Swedish Electric Picnic-bound pop star Robyn is already on her second album this year and she ropes in gangsta rapper Snoop on U Should Know Better from Body Talk Part II, a Cars-esque Europop number.
Listen at Gigwise

Shangaan Electro
A genre of music out of South Africa with 180 beats per minute, sped-up vocal samples, marimbas, African rhythms, digital beats and a big emphasis on street dancing. I visited Soweto recently to meet up with the godfather of Shangaan electro, read about my experience.

Listen & watch at Nialler9

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Sites of the Week: Abbey Road webcam, I’m Dating Myself, Make This Face

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Abbey Road webcam
The pedestrian crossing from the cover of The Beatles’ Abbey Road has its own webcam. At any given moment, someone is trying to recreate the cover.
http://www.abbeyroad.com/visit/

I’m Dating Myself
Reader-submitted photoshopped pictures of couples who share the same face. Oddly sweet.
http://datingmyself.tumblr.com

Make This Face
Pictures of people making “the face”. It’s the one involving at least four fingers and your nose and teeth getting pushed in opposite directions. Yeh, that one. Stop that before the wind changes!
http://makethisface.tumblr.com

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Titanic II

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This is not a joke. Some smart arse director has decided the world is ready for a sequel. “Looks like history’s repeating itself!” Zing! Repeat: This is a real trailer.

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Kanye’s all a Twitter

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Youtube, a site that probably everybody who reads this column uses every day has launched a number of new features lately. First up, in recognition that music videos account for 57 percent of most-watch virals on Youtube, Google has introduced a music section to the site at youtube.com/music. It shows the most popular videos of the day as well as a breakdown by genre and curated-playlists. They are also promising a local music listing section in the near future. The addition follows the introduction of full-length movies (youtube.com/movies) where you can watch Animal Farm along with films featuring Jackie Chan, Demi Moore and a slew of Bollywood titles.

If the thought of clicking your mouse is too much to bear then Youtube have thought of that too. Leanback (youtube.com/leanback) is the site’s equivalent of a 24 hour TV channel. It takes videos from subscriptions and serves up non-stop programming based on your preferences.

Also in Youtubeland, the long overdue restriction on uploading videos longer than 10 minutes has been changed to 15. As a celebration and befitting of that ubiquitous Andy Warhol quote and the site’s regular carousel of viral celebrities, they asked users to make a video of their “15 minutes of fame” , which will be showcased on the homepage.

Meanwhile, in Kanyewatch, last week was a veritable feast of Jeezy info as Kanye did two things of interest. First, he made an appearance at the HQs of both Facebook and Twitter, looking dapper in a designer suit and gave acappella performances of new songs Lost in the World, Chain Gang and Mama’s Boyfriend from his forthcoming album. You can watch those videos here.

Secondly, he joined Twitter (@kanyewest)! Oh what delights! It sounds like a small thing but in truth, it’s fascinating reading and confirms the many facets of his personality. He confirmed he’s changed the title of his new album from Good Ass Job to.. something else (clever Kanye), he posted pics of his jet plane and his new massive living room projector screen (rich-ass Kanye), offered business advice (The Apprentice Kanye), ribbed himself for his passion for ancient art (humble Kanye), called himself “The King” a lot (modest Kanye), expressed frustration with being able to get what he wants “What do I have to do to get a simple persian rug with cherub imagery?” (tantrum Kanye) and misspelled Silicon Valley as “Silicone Valley” in his first tweet (nervous Kanye).

Let’s face it. Kanye West is a passionate guy and it’s only a matter of time before something happens to rival his caps lock-fueled “I’m typing so f**king hard I might break my f**king Mac book Air!!!!!!!!” blog rant of times gone by. When it does, with the ease of Twitter, it’ll also be fascinating reading.

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