suede

Happy Birthday Song of the Day: Suede – Trash

Posted on by Ricky in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

suede_trash

17 years ago today, Suede released Trash, the first single off their third record, Coming Up. For everyone who was wondering about what Suede would look and sound like post Bernard Butler, this was it.

Trash was about as far a departure from previous Suede songs as you can get. Rather then dark and orchestral, it was just… fun. It was a drastic shift in sound for the band, and commercially, it worked. Both the single and subsequent album became huge hits.

While I still prefer the Dog Man Star years of the group, the sheer pop brilliance of the Coming Up era left us with some pretty awesome songs. Trash is definitely one of them.

Happy Birthday!

Song of the Day: Suede – It Starts and Ends With You

Posted on by Ricky in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

Only a few weeks after releasing a song (but not single) off their new record Bloodsports, my favorite band Suede have officially release the music video for first single in a decade. As Frank noted on Chromewaves, they kind of released it at the same time as My Bloody Valentine released their new album. While the timing may have been shitty, the song is most definitely not.

It Starts and Ends With You is an upbeat and refreshing pop song that already sounds better then anything off A New Morning. Soaring guitars, catchy chorus and those Brett Anderson lyrics – it’s pretty apparent that the new Suede is a mix of all the versions of Suede we had come to expect in the 90s. The positive-inspirational tone of this track also reminds me a bit of the Tears as well. I probably would have used a little more budget for the music video, as it is basically a performance video, but it’s not like Suede’s been known to put out killer videos anyway, so I guess that trend continues. All in all, a great start to the year for the band.

Let’s hope they tour North America.

Obvious Song of the Day: Suede – Barriers

Posted on by Ricky in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

Always interesting when, you know, your favorite band comes out with their first new track in ten years after a successful recent reformation. Given their last release was the much maligned A New Morning, I guess most Suede fans would be correct if they approached these new releases with a sense of trepidation. Still, it’s kinda exciting.

Barriers is the first track to be released off their new album, Bloodsports which is due to be released some time this year. Not quite sure what to make of it after three listens – it’s not entirely dramatic as any of their Butler material, not as pop as the material off Coming Up or Head music and definitely not as shitty as the material off A New Morning. I can’t quite place it, although if you listened to the Tears, you could say there are some similarities. There are some soaring guitars and as funny as it is to hear Anderson sing words like ‘lipstick traces’ again, it’s still a welcome addition to my life.

Welcome back.

Listen and download this song in all it’s glory at http://suedebarriers.viinyl.com/

Should I Stay or Should I go: Coachella Edition

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Music | 1 Comment

The Coachella lineup was released Tuesday night, and as you would expect, the knee jerk reactions from hardcore music fans (including myself) ranged from “OMG I have to go!”* to “what a lineup!”* to “I would DIE if I can’t make it!”* Given the usual rush of emotions that comes when a music festival lineup is announced, I’ve decided to write a little article about whether or not you should go to Coachella. For the record, Panic Manual members have been to Coachella in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

Let’s start with the obvious – Can You Afford Coachella?

Let’s say you have 3 other friends interested in going. You are on the East coast in a major city with an international airport, then here are some costs. I am assuming you are going to take Thursday off, and Monday off. Here are some rough estimates:

YYZ – LAX: 400$ if you book early
Car Rental: 30$ a person if you are over 25, and someone has a credit card with collision insurance
Gas: 20$ a person
Accomodation: 125$ a person for four nights stay at a reasonable hotel
Coachella ticket: 280$ (absurd)
Food, Merch, Drinks: 150$ (assuming you don’t go nuts)

This ranges out to about $1000 a person for a five day trip. Not insane prices, but definitely will make you want to assess your plans. Some people might suggest you go camping. I don’t know about you, I don’t really want to camp in a desert. Maybe I’m old, but the weather at Palm Springs varies wildly (as would any place in a desert climate) from day to night. The other thing you have to realize is that music festivals are draining exercises, and the last thing you want to do after a night of music festival going is to wander into your campground, finding your tent, realizing your sleeping bag is in a weird angle and then having to fend off any potential drunk/high neighbors. If you are going to Coachella or anywhere far, might as well drop a few more dimes and get yourself a cozy hotel room with a hot tub, so you can get fully recharge for the next days adventure.

Still, music festivals are a great adventure, and as someone who does go to these things, it comes down to the music. So here is my general assessment:

Reasons to Go#1: OMG bands

Anytime I assess a music festival lineup, you pretty much have to find a few bands there that are in the “oh my god, this is something I won’t ever be able to see” zone. These are either bands that are reuniting after a long period (not DFA 1979, who broke up not even 3 Harry Potter movies ago) or bands who rarely tour. Looking at the list, these are the only bands that come to mind:

Duran Duran
Suede (reunited in 2010)
Chemical Brothers
Lauryn Hill (released from mental institution)
Big Audio Dynamite (reuniting)
Leftfield (reunited in 2010)
Empire of the Sun (apparently put on mind blowing shows, but excessive drug use means they sometimes schedule two concerts on the same date in different cities)

Now if you are a hardcore fan of any of these bands, then by all means you should go, assuming they also don’t schedule a North America tour at the same time, or recently just flew to England to see them.

Reason to Go #2 – Haven’t seen many of these bands

Sometimes I forget that I go to a ridiculous amount of shows, and so basically, I’ve probably seen a majority of the bands playing at any festival so if you have never seen bands like Interpol, Animal Collective, Mumford & Sons, The National, PJ Harvey before and you want to somehow wrap up all those experiences in one weekend, then by all means, go. However, you must realize that festival time slots means that each act other then the major headliners will only play about 40 minutes. Do you really want your first time seeing the National to be a 45 minute affair? What if it conflicts with another band you want to see? (That will happen). Still it’s a great way to see a lot of your favorite new bands for a reasonable price. I am guessing you will see about 10 bands a day, 30 bands in total if you go there day and night.

Reason to go #3 – Never been to Music Festival

If you haven’t been to a music festival, Coachella is a pretty sweet first time festival, it’s warm, there are a lot of pretty people everywhere, they all speak English, you get to go to LA, you might run into drunk celebrities and it’s also a pretty good lineup.

Reason to Not Go #1 – You live in Toronto or New York

Let’s face it, most of these bands are going to roll through here at one point or another. You have your own music festivals in which all the bands in size 12 point font will play two or more shows and really, you’ve probably seen these bands before. The Arcade Fire played Toronto 3 times last year and aside from the OMG bands, every band on the list will be here at one point or another if they are touring/and are smart. There are better ways to spend $1000

Reason to Not Go #2 – Most bands only play ~30-40 minutes/ Crowds / Overlap

The two massive drawbacks of overpopulated music festivals is that most bands play a short set and also some major act will be stuffed in a tiny tent that will be too crowded and you’ll get pissed that you didn’t see them (ie Beck in 2004). There will also be at least one instance where you wish you could be at two places at once, although none will be as bad as having Lady Gaga play opposite the Strokes at Lollapalooza. Either way, these are probably the major setbacks of any festival, if you are one to get frustrated easily, then music festivals might not be for you at all.

Reason to Not Go #3 – Propensity for Heatstroke

It gets hot in Palm Springs. There are also thousands of thousands of people. This will raise the heat further. If you are the type who can’t handle heat or a crowd, then this is probably not a great festival for you, unless you are only interested in seeing the bands in size 10 font.

Conclusion

Going somewhere is always fun. Coachella is always fun. It also has the benefit of being the first North American festival, keep in mind there’s also Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Osheaga, Sasquatch, some thing in San Fran and pretty much every major city that happens every summer, so while you are frantically messaging your friends trying to convince yourself you need to be in Indio, remember that there are other options and it’s not the end of the world if you don’t go. Which you should..probably. I don’t know, I’m not your father.

* I just made those up, didn’t bother looking for references, assumed it to be true. Real Journalism, yo.