Posts Tagged ‘Flaming Lips




Another fantastic blogger, who goes by the name Fokkewolfe, passed me on the streets near Recommender Towers, (literally in person, with no internet required or anything!!), and whilst discussing our favourite topic of new music he suggested that we point The Recommender’s attention towards this four piece band from Houston, Texas.  It’s helpful conversations like this that reinforce our faith in our network, whether we chat in person, or online.  On this note, our alliance of music bloggers just received a boost, as we were inducted into the Strangers In Stereo blog collective; a hand-picked elite team of 25 of the world’s sharpest music bloggers.  Our collective power has the reach of millions, thus enabling us to spread the love of great music even further.  Today’s selection, the Young Mammals, make the kind of striking music that regularly slots onto this blog with ease.  This guitar band, formerly known as The Dimes, (prior to receiving a legal challenge to the name by a Portland group of the same moniker), have grown from a garage band, with all it’s slacked strings and rattling drums, to a mature, highly charged team.  They’re able to construct songs that are as equally imperfect and fuzzy as they are tight and perceptive, with melodies and breaks that will hook you well before each song’s close.  They released their debut album, Carrots, at the end of June, with Grammy Award-winning Steve Christensen producing.   It’s a consistent album, that shows off their skills brightly – namely a fantastic sense of powerful abandonment, once familiar with the likes of The Strokes, or The Libertines, that is paired up with a touch of fairground magic, reminding us of Animal Collective or The Flaming Lips, with the latter recently inviting them to play support as part of an East Coast tour.  The fact that the band was started by the two Sanchez brothers, Carlos (vocals) and Jose (bass), gives reason behind their apparent chemistry on stage, which regularly infiltrates the crowd, so when they return to tour the East Coast around the CMJ Festival in October we strongly suggest catching them live.  No doubt half of our New York network will also be there alongside you.   (MB)

Find them here:        Bandcamp

Hear them here:       YOUNG MAMMALS – CONFETTI

Hear them here:        YOUNG MAMMALS – 8 4 8



I’ve been thinking…  

Q: What makes for a great live performance – apart from the music itself?

A great lightshow that relates to the music,
An atmospheric crowd with much whooping and screaming,
A good old sing along, (perhaps even better when the frontman lets let the crowd sing on their own?)
A great soundsystem,
An appropriately sized venue for the artist,
Any homecoming gig,
The performers looking like they genuinely care or are truly moved by the moment,
The band having an emotional relationship with the crowd causing one of those magical connections,
A brilliant frontman,
Stage invasions and crowd surfers,
A packed house,
Massive lasers,
Not one but two encores,
A band at the peak of their powers,
Bands lower down on the bill stealing the show,
Giant inflatables/A mass of bubbles/An explosion of confetti/Balloons falling from the ceiling etc,
A walkway that stretches out into the crowd,
The artists unexpectedly improvising something totally original into a song for the hell of it,
Giant screens,
Even bigger speakers,
A guitarist with a jetpack.

You see there’s loads of amazing stuff that can happen apart from hearing the artists latest album played out live. I’ve been lucky enough to pretty much witness all of these at some point in the thousands of gigs I’ve been to over the years…except perhaps the jetpack…

Here’s a couple of examples of a truly fantastic live set, that ticks plenty of the boxes above. Enjoy…

1) ETIENNE DE CRECY – An outstanding light show, that’s a great example of timing it with the music.

2) U2 – It’s not all bands that can afford to appear out of a giant, floating lemon, in the centre of the crowd!

3) KASBIAN (LSF) – The best singalong I’ve ever been involved in.

4) DAFT PUNK – Lights, banging dance music, and the use of a giant pyramid – perfect!

5) FLAMING LIPS – You want balloons and confetti – you got it!

It’s also worth noting that there is plenty of awful things that can occur to ruin a gig too, so please leave a comment, or your own clip/link, with your thoughts on what makes a good or bad live set …




OK, so we got ourselves some sort of credit crunching financial global nightmare, but what the fuck, let the music play. Spare the money-worries and get your attention onto this lovely slice of RECOMMENDER. Welcome back out of the darkness friends…

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

Nothing new to the blog world here, but I couldn’t resist grabbing yet another wonderful Aussie band from Sydney. This 4-piece, signed to the massive Modular Records label, are well worth their Recommender posting. In recent years Australia has been throwing out quality acts at us like a Shane Warne spin bowl and Van She are flying directly for your middle stump. Totally blissed out guitar pop with a yearning towards the 80’s-era prog rock and synth catchiness. Think of the Presets holding hands with Ladyhawke and you get the shelf upon which to happily place them. They’ve an ear for a good chorus and the songs skip along like a high point from any Flaming Lips album. On a separate note, two of the band members regrouped to produce remixes under the guise Van She Technologic (or as Van She Tech). The remixes are totally ace and boy have they been busy, so perhaps I’ll reserve a separate post for those in a future Recommender. Van She have released their debut album, V, earlier this year in most parts of the world, having previously only released an EP. Search it out and get involved…

Find them here:    Myspace

Hear them here:   VAN SHE – CAT & THE EYE

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

OK, so I don’t get it. Really. What is this electro-punk, jagged-edged, shouty business all about??? We should all know Crystal Castles by now right? The two-some from Canada, (Ethan Kath and Alice Glass) who discovered their sound by accident. (This was achieved by Glass accidentally leaving the mic on when laying down vocals over a bunch of tracks Ethan had recorded for them. With her mic still left on she spent time shouting experimentally over his beats and created the first single by chance. Hence the name of the tune – ‘Alice Practice’. The shouty/beat mixture was picked up and became said ‘sound’ for them). As much as I admit that I struggle with their ‘sound’, I cannot help but see something interesting here. I usually think I’m perhaps getting too old, or that my tastes have finally missed the boat, when I struggle to enjoy what seems a sensation to the rest of the world, but it’s sometimes good to see through the obvious hype and let the dust settle on these sorts of acts, (such as people did with say Klaxons). I saw Crystal Castles live recently and their whole show was done in strobe. And I mean the entire set. My eyes took days to recover. Was this good as well as different? I just can’t decide. She is very sexy and he’s strangely mysterious, so that’s something that entices, but to their credit they also have generated some interesting remixes, so I attach the LA RIOTS remix of Crimewave to give you a taster. Anything the Riots touch turns to dancefloor gold, so perhaps it roses the tint in my glasses, but judge for yourselves. Check the rest of their original tunes on the links provided…

Find them here: Myspace

Hear them here:   CRYSTAL CASTLES – CRIMEWAVE (LA Riots Remix)

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

This New York area 6-piece are an indie band that’s caught my eye recently (or should that be my ear?). Sold as Vampire Weekend meets the Arcade Fire is somewhat over doing it me thinks, but nonetheless gives a relatively good idea of their sound and influence. Cute, delicate vocals float over strings and a pounding echo. Like Arcade Fire they are nicely upbeat so they avoid getting too boring too quickly and survive any pointless drifting. Having regrouped after the death of their drummer, John Pike, in 2007 they have now put together a well produced debut album, The Rhumb Line, following previously released EPs. They’re backing this up with a new tour supporting Vampire Weekend. Check them out.

Find them here:   Myspace

Hear them here:   RA RA RIOT – DYING IS FINE

REDLINE.jpg Red line picture by odelaybradford

On a separate note, I’d just like to thank the fans of The Recommender. Your input always helps, so keep the messages and comments coming and continue to spread the word etc. This blog has grown exponentially over the last few weeks and months and now generates thousands of visitors each and every month, so it’s nice to know you’re out there and long may it continue. As always let me know any thoughts…

Until the next one then. All the best,

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January 2021



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Mike Bradford (MB) - Creator and Contributor (UK)

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