Live-Fi :: Top (1)8: The Re-Up, Recoded – Lily Allen’s No Shame Tour, Buckhead Theatre

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[Lily Allen’s] understated introduction to the world was that Saturday morning wake-up from the flashy Friday night of .com 40 puffery. Fear not: all isn’t lost in the MySpace generation; for the ten thousand avastars, there is Lily Allen: the reason, that just so happens to rhyme with silly. So, allow she to reintroduce herself…




Wednesday night, amidst Atlanta’s metropolitan backdrop of ubiquitous development, and the internal company of a most eclectic motley crew of New South denizens, Buckhead Theatre became the stellar soundboard for Lily Allen’s latest iteration, No Shame.

The Scene: Lily’s setlist spanned eleven years of the Wordsworth of the MySpace Generation’s rhythmic discourses and dialogues by-way-of Pop lyricism; line by line, the audience retraced the footsteps and and soundtreks that led us through said decade of lucid chances… oscillating fame, and independent identity lost and found.

East Angelean Echoes and Transatlantic Tempos… Little Boots’ Working Girl Promo Tour, Live at The Echo

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The Siren: Victoria “Little Boots” Hesketh

The Sound: Synthpop, nu-disco, deep house, electro house… mercurial melange of old and new

The Scene: East Angelean echoes, deep bass, dark clothes, dim lighting, disco flying, summer swelter, low-key shelter, electronic dance shows, less wubba wubba, more water cooler… minimalist staging, maximalist sound, in a way that pulls facade from the corporate tower and floods the underground… america is all show business, and we cosmic dancers are all working girls…

Night in the Sweyepe: Talk in Colour, Floripa, Shoreditch, UK

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The Sirens: Talk in Colour (Chris Bangs – Cello and electronics, Dave Oliver – Drums, Kat Arney – Harp, Mary Erskine – Vocals and keyboards, Nick Siddall – Guitar)

The Stump: With a growing reputation for blistering live shows combining dirty bass lines with impressive musicianship, Talk In Colour launched their new album, Colliderscope, with a party at Floripa in east London on Wednesday 23rd May. By turns dark then uplifting, slipping effortlessly between pure instrumentals and vocal driven tracks, Talk In Colour defy easy categorisation. It’s no surprise that the band cite influences as far ranging as Lamb, Battles, The XX and Berlin-era Bowie, with a nod to Afrobeat and Alice Coltrane along the way. Together, the band blends electronic and organic instrumentation into a blistering aesthetic.

The Scene: When East London met fogo de chao – not the churrascaria, but the fire on the ground: Floripa…

Night in the Sweyepe: fIN at Bush Hall, London, UK

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The Sires: fiN (Jonny Garner – guitar, Simon Harding – drums, Luke Joyce – vocals, Kerry Lambert – bass)

The Stump: fiN played London’s Bush Hall Wednesday for the release of new single ‘Twenty Three/Eve’ on 16th April on Artisan Records. Debut single ‘The Artisan’, an almost entirely instrumental track which blends the epic darkness of Radiohead and the rock frenzy of Foo Fighters, brought fiN early adopters and began their quick succession of sell-out live shows. Second single ‘Rapture/Everybody Dies Alone’ followed earning the band glowing reviews and a packed out single launch at The Borderline.

The Scene: fiN navigted somewhere between the English Channel and the Pacific Ocean – possibly Route 66. Wednesday night in Shephard’s Bush LDR-esque oversaturated vintage Golden State reels bathed the porcelain walls of Bush Hall’s Victorian backing. Beneath chandeliers and a disco ball, heavy rich drums and lingering electric riffs drowned the tailored crowd in deliciously dense melodic metallic sound. fiN doesn’t have a bad side, or a bad angle. and they look like they sound – a meticulously motley crew of rocker types – grungy beach types, devil-may-care band with a James Dean-esque frontman donning Uncle Jesse hair #wontbehave

The Sound: There’s endless love coasting along relentless rock hearkening to a freshly aged sound as golden as the beaches liberating the backdrop. Then there’s the depths as the waves crash along the proverbial shore. Pieces of the gig draw me back to Atlanta backwoods drives… damp pine-filled aromas lingering along with the beautifully ominous sounds of The Deftones… Ivory vapors of sound as tangible as the aural White Pony was eargasmic. Ever the crowd-pleasers and cognizant audiophiles, fiN covered The Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime.” “This is not my beautiful house,” vocals faded as the tone turned nostalgic from the vantage of a frontman living out every boy’s dream of being a rockstar. Childhood videos replaced Sixties propaganda films, pinup Hollywood captures, and black-and-white media clips that would make even Bernays and McLuhan blush at their own brainchildren come to life. Ushering out the political with the personal past, the aural artisans displayed a return to individuality over industry, within some capacity. “You don’t know yourself, lucky you…” closing mullings from maestros projecting shadows of a nostalgia never known, perhaps a most fitting foothold for a British Indie band on the brink.

There’s a touch of Fool’s Gold in between the Let’s-Muse-About-When-Radiohead-Fought-Foo sounds, glossed with a definite sense of Pop-Rock Yellowcard/Sum-41 feel, with some strong Alien Ant Farm undertones – an easily familiarizing American sound for an English band.

They dig their fans. They have the look. They’re kind of like if Skrillex met Lana del Ray.

Watch This Space: When “Life is Wasted on the Living” played out to archived clips of everyone from Richard Pryor and Freddie Mercury, to Princess Diana and Winston Churchill… As Joyce stood in an image not unlike Peter Petrelli – beyond pixie blonde bombshells, social architects, and Dean the Causeless Rebel himself – the crowd too believed, for a second, that we can all be rockstars; we can all be heroes.

Live-Fi: Florrie – HMV’s Next Big Thing, Barfly Camden, London

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Pop. Out. My. Ears. #yes

The Siren: Florrie Arnold

The Scene: Snow, ice, pints, and Summer Nights… on the outside: London’s first snow of the year, on the inside: the strobed sublime of HMV’s Next Big Thing – snowballs and disco balls make for a splendid sonic nightcap. Roughly speaking, Barfly hosted a beautiful melange of art gallery purveyor types, thirty-something Euro/Dance Pop aficionados, twenty-something knit hooded hipsters, Camden characters, low-key Diesel-and-cardigan donning Pop fiends, raven-haired East London teens… moustaches, brown leather satchels and black rimmed glasses, cocktail dresses, red lipstick and suede heels, scarves and sailor stripes… On the floor: an Anglophilic audience with a distinct taste for Xenomania; at the helm: a doe-eyed, denim-donning neo-disco diamond in the rough behind a pulsing pokerface bluff, and the beat of her own drum #litrally

The Sound: All the best bits of Brit-and-Synth-Pop – period. Much like a fine wine, or the Fugees break-up, Florrie’s stint as an unsigned artist yields a product that gets better with time. Saturday’s set list covered her relatively brief back solo catalogue, spanning both her Introduction (“Left too Late,” “Summer Nights,” “Give Me Your Love“) and Experiments (“Begging Me,” “I Took A Little Something,” “Experimenting with Rugs,” “What You Doing This For”) EPs, and throwing some new tracks in the mix (“Without A Trace,” “Go“).

Night in the Sweype: Toro Y Moi, The Relentless Garage, Highbury, London

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The Sire: Chaz “Toro Y Moi” Bundick

The Sound: Chillwave/Eighties Synth-Funk

The Scene: The Relentless Garage, Highbury, London, UK

Toro Y Moi graced East London with the infectious sounds of his South Carolinian synth-wave swelter on Wednesday at Canonbury’s Relentless Garage. The venue packed 600 people in a mingling of Red Stripes and sailor stripes: yuppies, hipsters, blipsters, iPhone photographers, and Instagrandmas on sway in a hazy hole-in-the-wall. The mood was mellow, the bassline ebb, beasted, flowed, and bellowed, as Chaz Bundick brought his signature Southern Hipstertality to Highbury.

Night in the Sweype: Little Boots “Shake” Launch Party – London

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The Siren: Victoria “Little Boots” Hesketh

The Sound: Neo-Disco Electro-synth Brit-Pop

The Scene: Black and Gold, Blue-eyed synth soul… Lights, Camera, Passion in an East London Secret Warehouse… Half rave cave, half Factory foyer… Shake it ’til you make it, then make it shake… While you’re at it: shake it ’til your heart breaks and deluges limitless sonic sublime across the scape…

Night in the Sweyepe: Red Hot Chili Peppers & Fool’s Gold Live at The O2

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Standin’ in line to see the show tonight, and there’s a light on… heavy glow; by the way, I tried to say I’d be there… waiting for…

November in Britain: cold, dark, a tad bit secluded… but at the end of the day, there’s nothing more electrifying than a Chili night in London…

The Warhol Film Experience, Le Poisson Rouge

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Professor Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests – Students: Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, Nico, “Baby” Jane Holzer, Dennis Hopper, Paul America, Ingrid Superstar


… when the exhibitionists become the voyeurs…


Life in the Sweyepe: Electric Zoo 2010

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Nestled halfway between Harlem and Brooklyn lies Randall’s Island. This Labor Day weekend the islet transformed into a beautiful blend of Wonkaland and Woodstock, Sodom and Gomorah, Israel and Ibiza, Pleasure Island and Neverland – a hybrid between that Pinocchio place where lost boys find themselves and where Peter Pan’s lost boys aimlessly meander… all perpetuated by the most nourishing of all life fuels… music – electronic dance music.

Somehow, someway, the past, present, and future of music made their collective way to this halogen Haus of worship. My journey no doubt veered from the norm, but when  the clandestine is commonplace, all odd experiences are good. I was like a kid in a candy store – no matter where I went, there I was, with a sugar-rushed stranger and makeshift chaperone there to guide me along from one aisle to the next. Though the guide may not know where you’re coming from, or how to get to where you’re going, they know your destination. One second you’re lost in Manhattan, and the next you find yourself MapQuesting directions from the UES to Randall’s Island, and then you’re watching hipsters take cabs to Harlem bus stops – simple foreshadowing that no matter how far “above” those kids one is – no matter how objectively I scoff at their ways from a far more worldly and morally superior place – we’re all the same entitled Gen-Yers… making our way from decadence to debauchery by way of urban decay.

Needless to say, I had no idea what to expect: drugs, neon, iPhones, Ray Bans, Twitter handles, something, anything, nothing, everything… Needless to say, I got exactly what I expected. I’m not really sure when Electric Zoo made sense, or when I became a part of it. Maybe it was when I knew which bus was instinctively mine, the one that was  half black women – mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmas – and half NYC Prep understudies – twenty-somethings with extra time on their hands, semi-colorful cotton clothes in their closets, and the Shazaam app for when they need to Google if “that band who does that song from that commercial” is going to be at Electric Zoo. Those preconceptions and stereotypes faded as quickly as any sense of conventional reality in a cloud of smoke behind the bus.

The Devil’s Midnight Train to Georgia: Monster Ball – Atlanta

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One doesn’t review Lady Gaga: they display their point of view of Gaga. Monster Ball is built upon a forced perspective; but with one like Gaga, within that parallel universe, the rigidity of her forced perspective allows for the creative mind of a monster to roam and wander endlessly in a world all their own.

If you want a review, YouTube Monster Ball and peruse the comments – she won’t mind: “Why do you come to my show if you’ve already seen it on YouTube? I’m just kidding, I’m really glad you came to my show.”

In the words of the enigmatic Pop matriarch, Madonna:

Today is the last day, that I’m using words; they’ve gone out, lost their meaning, don’t function anymore. Let’s get unconscious, honey.

In the sea of Gagaisms you know the words, you know the lyrics, you know the soundbites. There’s plenty to say about Monster Ball, but for a proper delve, the words have lost meaning in and of themselves. So, come take a look through my lens, and let’s get unconscious.


This is the Manifesto Of Little Monsters. There’s something heroic about the way my fans operate their cameras. So precisely, so intricately, and so proudly – like kings writing the history of their people. It is their prolific nature that both creates and procures what will later be perceived as The Kingdom. So, the real truth about Lady Gaga fans – my little monsters – lies in this sentiment: They are the kings. They are the queens. They write the history of the kingdom, and I am something of a devoted Jester. It is in the theory of perception that we have established our bond – or, the lie, I should say – for which we kill. We are nothing without our image, without our projection, without the spiritual hologram of who we percieve ourselves to be, or rather to become, in the future.

When you’re lonely, I’ll be lonely too. And this is The Fame.

Love and Art
Lady Gaga

First, there’s the atmosphere; whether blurred technicolor, or crystal clear black and white, hazed, dazed, confused, or completely cogent: Gaga is, and creates, an inescapable environment of all-encompassing art