Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cry me a river, Princesses of Leon

Like I was going to pass up an opportunity to bitch about the Princesses of Leon again.

I don't know why they have to rub it in. We already know they're a bunch of wussies. So now the South African tour is postponed (with no clear answer whether new dates will be set or if it is cancelled altogether) so that dear little Nathan can recover from bicep surgery. That's sweet, but professionals would have found a replacement. If Bon Scott can be replaced, so can bloody Nathan Followill. He's not f*ing Axl Rose, he's a drummer. Get Rick Allen in – he can drum with one arm.
And if the Followills can't possibly go on without their kinsmen, due to them tearing up every time they think of him writing in agony because painkillers are sin, then maybe Allen can just pass on a few tips on one-armed drumming.
Better yet, can the Nightsoilmen of Leon and bring over someone awesome, like Queens of the Stone Age, or Slipknot. Something with substance. Not these overgrown momma's boys. Sies!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The countdown to STRAB 2011 begins

Hurrah! The warm up to STRAB 2011 is here, and that means jam sessions every Monday night, starting on 31 January 2011 at Cafe Barcelona.
For those of you not quite up to speed, STRAB is an annual festival/beach party situated at Ponta Malongane in Mozambique. More chilled than most SA festivals, and a bit cleaner thanks to the ocean, it's a great one to go to for those who aren't all that keen on bush-style hedonism. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty hedonism. But this is beach-style.
The 2011 festival takes place from 26 – 29 May. Bookings open on 31 January and tickets tend to go fast. Accommodation varies from camping to log cabins, depending on your own level of bundu-affinity.
Each year marks an interesting mix of both known and unknown artists. The good people at STRAB focus heavily on the quality of the choons provided, and seldom disappoint. It's a great opportunity to learn some new things and experience a slightly different vibe. It is a nzima party.

To keep up with developments for the festival or for more details, join their facebook group or check out the new website at

The jam sessions feature SA up-and-comers, shows billed to start at 7, but you know how these things go. Cafe Barcelona is offering food and drinks specials on the nights, so you may as well make an evening of it. Make a point to check out at least some of the gigs, and support local music.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meet The Evangelist

The Gorillaz never fail to amuse, do they?
Damon Albarn has never been afraid of a bit of a challenge, and seems to have the balance between preserving a band's sound while still developing enough to keep it interesting down.
Plastic Beach is no disappointment. You can pick the tracks out of a crowd as quintessentially Gorillaz. The quirkiness and catchy beats that they are known for shines through at every turn. There is always a danger for a band to grow stale, especially when it's been around for a while, but there is just enough growth and just enough other in Plastic Beach to prove that the Gorillaz are still a force to be reckoned with. Although it can get a bit electro for my taste, it will not disappoint fans.
Of course, the real reason for this somewhat late review is so that I can stick a pic of the new band member, The Evangelist, on the blog. He/she/it/thing is awesome!
The Evangelist is the result of avalanches of fan entries and five rounds of voting to pick a winner, and looks a bit like he/she/it/thing was passed over for a role in Futurama for being a bit too freaky. You just gotta love it.
Of course, a new band member is not the end of it. There's a lot to look forward to from the Gorillaz, including the new single Doncamatic.
Their website is also worth a visit if you have a few hours to while away. Free listens, free views and a few Gorillaz-based games to play. I got stuck there for an hour before I remembered I was supposed to be writing a review. Check it out at
Say what you like about the cartoon band, there just isn't anyone else like them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Superfind: Valley of the Snake

This is what we at BlindBlimp have been on about!
Here is a friggin AMAZING SA band, that has been around for-fucking-ever (five years in the music world is forever) and not a peep has been heard anywhere. well, here and there, but nowhere near as much peeping as there should be. All the time we could have been listening to The Wild Eyes, we have been subjected instead to the bastard Parlotones.
Big up to MK for showing the ridiculously awesome video for Valley of the Snake, off The Wild Eyes' 2005 album Our Love Has a Special Violence. (View it here: It's quirky, it's awkward, it's a little disturbing for no good reason. It's certainly one of the best SA music videos I've ever seen. Bugger SA. It stands up to international standards easily.
The Wild Eyes has an interesting, punk sound, with a little more melody thrown in.
I strongly recommend finding this album and buying it. Don't steal it, don't copy it, don't illegally download it. BUY the damn thing. Bands of this calibre in SA need our support. Go out and support them.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jared Leto: Talentless narcissist

Why? Why won't people shut the hell up about Jared Leto? I feel like I'm going mad. Am I the only person that sees him for the pompous self-indulgent wanker that he is? Mr 'I'm so grateful for all my fans' who then proceeds to mock a knicker-flinger for gracing him with her undies? That's not very grateful, you superficial bastard.
And whenever I point out to people that 30 Seconds to Mars is utterly overrated they come back with, “But he's so pretty.” Good for you for not even trying to defend their music, but he is not pretty enough to be allowed to get away with putting that much pretentious overproduced bullshit into the world.
30 Seconds to Mars has a formula and they stick to it. A bit of terribly “heartfelt” lyrics so deep as to have come right back to the surface, a bunch of screaming and everyone playing their instruments really loudly. All their songs are identical. Then they stick this overproduced, trite crap in an overly dramatic mini-movie video (probably because no one will hire Leto to be in real movies as anything more than back up) and girls swoon. WTF?
I miss the days when all Leto did was lean against a locker and stare into the distance. I revel in the scene in Fightclub where Edward Norton beats the crap out of him. Nothing makes me happier than watching that self-satisfied face beaten into hamburger meat. Nothing.
Leto doesn't even need fans. He's his own biggest fan. The raging narcissist is surrounded by a cloud of self-love so thick that there just isn't space for anyone else's to get through. There just aren't enough words to express how much I hate the man and his waste of a band, and how much it frustrates me that no one else seems to see how horrifyingly bad they are. Just goes to show you what the PR machine is capable of at full power.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Smith Westerns - Dye it Blonde: You can't argue with Britpop influenced alterna-rock

Yay for vaguely grungy alterna-rock!
Smith Westerns is a gloriously refreshing garage band from Chicago. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2009 while the boys were still in high school. Of course, this debut never made it to South African shores, but it would be far from surprising if the more mature follow up, Dye it Blonde, does.
Smith Westerns has clearly picked up some experience since high school, offering a tighter, crisper sound with Dye it Blonde than their previous offering. The album is packed with joyful Americana of the college rock persuasion, without the pretension and melancholy that we have come to expect from the genre.
Reminiscent of legendary UK acts such as Supergrass and Suede, Smith Westerns has a surprising (yet delicious) Britpop sound, coupled with excellent guitar riffs and the kind of choons that scream “ROAD TRIP!”
Keep and eye out for Weekend, All Die Young, Smile and Fallen in Love – tracks that tickle all kinds of happy glands and set your neurons firing.
Die it Blonde will be released in the US on 18 January, so it will probably make it here sometime before next Christmas. But I do NOT recommend waiting. Import that sucker on your own dime, download it from iTunes. Do what you have to do, but for the love of Cobain, get hold of it.

Preview the album at

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

RAMFest 2011 line-up announced

 RAMFest has announced their local lineup and it's looking to be a doozy. We're especially excited about appearances by Desmond and the Tutus, TUMI, Isochronous, Wrestlerish and Haggis & Bong. International acts are still to be confirmed, but at this rate, who needs 'em? We don't need to talk up RAMFest, the line-up speaks for itself. So check it out below.

RAMFest will be at Nekkies Holiday Resort, Worcester from 4 - 6 March; Wavehouse, Durban on 9 March; and Riversands Farm, Fourways on 12 March. Tickets range from R100 - R450, depending on type of admission and location and are available from Ticketweb. For further info visit or their Facebook page

Main Stage - Hosted by John Vlismas
Not My Dog
Die Antwoord
Zebra & Giraffe
Van Coke Kartel
Ashtray Electric
The Revelators
The Great Apes
7th Son
Blk Jks
Desmond & The Tutus
Mr Cat & The Jackal
The Pretty Blue Guns
Ree - Burth
Dance, You're on Fire
The Sleepers
Lonely Dave Ferguson
Mix N Blend (Live)

Tented stage by Meta4 Africa
Mind Assault
Contrast The Water
Down on the First
The Dead Will Tell
Moment of Clarity
The Broken Result
Haggis & Bong
Symphonic Schizophrenia
Theatre Runs Red
A Walk With The Wicked

Electronic pyramid by Griet
Tom Deluxx (Fra)
Double Adapter
Battle Beyond The Stars
Enough Weapons
El Gordo
Ill Tastic
Tommy Gun
Mr Sakitumi
Bruce WIllis
Jam Jar
P.H Fat
Mr. Bong
Sedge Warbler

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dry your eyes, Marina Diamandis

The debut Marina & the Diamonds album, The Family Jewels, was released early in 2010 so it can hardly be considered new. But considering the distinct lack of play it has received from SA radio, Marina & the Diamonds is still virtually unknown in SA.
It's a little surprising, since Marina Diamandis' energetic electro-pop choons are sufficiently reminiscent of 80s acts such as Blondie and Transvision Vamp to appeal to the backwards morons who run SABC programming mandates.
This is not to say that Marina & the Diamonds are at all trite or uninspired. Personally I adore their feminist devil-may-care stone-cold-bitch attitude. The album is 90% energetic pep and it is my favourite album to work out to. Singles Obsessions and Mowgli's Road (the latter having received some play on the trusty TUKS FM), while philosophical and searching, never fail to cheer me up on a miserable day. It's a solidarity thing.
Marina Diamandis has been quoted to say that she is not at all happy with her level of success, telling Australian radio station Undercover FM that she views 2010 as an utter failure, particularly in relation to her lack of success in the US.
Well waaah, Marina. Dry your eyes.
As much as I love The Family Jewels, anyone with half a brain can see that it is not exactly universally appealing. The subject matter is of the type that will appeal to the rather niche market of girl-power women and gay men. (If you fall into either category, go buy it now. You won't regret it). The electro-pop style also targets that exact market. It's not exactly rock-n-roll.
I'd love to see a little more Marina & the Diamonds on the airwaves, and possibly a bar gig in Jozi but world domination is NOT on the cards for Ms Diamandis, and the sooner she gets over herself and realises this the better. Stop whining and take what you're given.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A lazy Sunday morning and a choonful chill

You know how sometimes a weekend just gets away from you? Things keep happening and you just keep going with it until you end up somewhere you never expected that is absolutely mind-blowing.
We had just that pleasure recently, and ended up at a random recording session at an unspecified Pretoria Factory Location.
The band (as yet to be officially named) was putting together their first 6-song demo. Since they hadn't been together for even a year, I wasn't expecting much. But I had another thing coming.
We had barely made ourselves comfortable on a dodgy couch in an unobtrusive corner when they had finished setting up and were well past sound check.
If I was impressed with the setup, I was amazed by the first run-through. A few early morning warm-up issues aside, the set was seamless. The band – Curt (lead guitar; vocals), Elezar (lead vocals; acoustic guitar), Liam (drums) and Mark (bass; vocals) – works together effortlessly. Even allowing for my blissful headacheless hangover state, the choons were pretty decent. Not just decent, they made my Sunday morning complete.
A solid rock backbone, healthy melodies, insightful lyrics and a bluesy undertone – these boys are heading for big things. Elezar's voice is smooth and he has fantastic control, holding together a band of talented and playful individuals. Drums, bass and lead guitar work together with a Pixiesesque cohesion. I just can't rave enough about this band.
2011 will see them named and playing a few gigs, so watch this space! BlindBlimp will be watching with interest.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wrestlerish for Best Newcomer 2010

It was a happy day when BlindBlimp happened upon Wrestlerish, supporting some other local talent at a chilled dive in Pretoria late 2009ish.
Pioneering the return of flannel - Wrestlerish
So happy was the day – and so energetically entertaining was Wrestlerish – that I have completely forgotten who they were supporting.
The reasoning behind the name becomes obvious when these talented lads take to the stage. At first glance they do rather come across as a collection of Breekers (half of them, at least). But the atmosphere quickly lightens as they break joyfully into their set.
We have had the pleasure of seeing Wrestlerish live on numerous occasions since that fateful day, and they have yet to disappoint. Their sets are consistently good and never fail to provide peppy, feel-good entertainment.
Their debut album, The Rude Mechanical, is worth a listen, with tracks that are smooth, exuberant, pure and energetic. Of course there's a little sorrow thrown in for good measure. Real sing-along stuff, guaranteed to make traffic a little easier to bear. Pop/rock with a bit of a folky undertone, it's a playful little thing that you will love forever.
And now they are up for Best Newcomer 2010 in the MK Awards. And bugger me if they don't deserve it! Vote by SMSing 5E to 33693.
Good luck, lads! SA Indie is in your hands.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Take That continue to dog our footsteps

There is much wisdom in the saying "There's no point in flogging a dead horse," but sometimes you just have to - if only to vent your own frustration.
This is certainly the case with the reformation of Take That's original line-up - complete with Robbie Williams. This tragic state of events begs only one question: WHY? Why are we letting these aged pretty boys put even more tripe into the world? Why is this tolerated? And why oh why do they have to be so wussy about it?
I realise they're a boy band, so wussy is the name of the game. But this is just ridiculous.
Of course they are using their own idiotic high school press-driven fued (between Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams - no one outside the UK cares) to inspire cheesy lyrics and deeply disturbing manlove videos.
From Shame - "Do you come here often?"
First came Shame - a Robbie Williams ft Gary Barlow track in which they go on about how they loved each other all along. The video basically consists of them picking each other up in a bar, stripping down to their undies after a meaningful look and then getting rid of the sexual tension by running up a mountain. Really? This seemed like a good idea at the time?
Then the whole crew joins in with The Flood, where they seem to be channeling some sort of Oxbridge brotherhood, lyrics along the same theme. Seriously. The bromance of JD and Turk has nothing on the loving stares between Gary and Robbie as they try to convince the world that they don't hate each other's very scent. And as those other three sink back into oblivion, the money comes a-rollin' in. It's enough to make a person weep. Well, certainly Howie, Jason and Mark.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

One more year to Grunge 2.0

Well it's 2011. Time to shake off those cobwebs and get going on those schemes that will make 2011 the best year ever, right? Even if it is difficult to get off your arse if the year starts on a Saturday.
January 2011 has a special kind of excitement for us at Blind Blimp - it means one more year to Grunge 2.0. And we just can't wait.
I think we can all agree that the first decade of the 21st Century was a second 80s; where standards, taste and discretion plummeted uncontrollably into the mire. Where shock tactics took precedence over talent every time. Only in that cesspool could the horrors of Lady Gaga and the like be allowed. This past decade is forever scarred with the festering footprints of distortion, repetitive electronic beats and things that go beep. We as discerning listeners know this is just not right.
But never fear!
As were the 80s sent packing by the Seattle Grunge Army (alright, it was more like a guerilla unit formed of scruffy peasants), so will the electro-horrors of 2000-2010.
The groundwork was already being laid in 2010 with the return of the old guard: new releases by Pearl Jam and Hole, Dave Grohl returning to his drum kit and the reformation of the Stone Temple Pilots. Veterans, we salute you (a crumpled self-rolled dog-end dangling from our fingertips)!
2011 will be an exciting time, with new raw talent popping up – bands who play instruments and care about the music rather than the trends. And out of this will come a band so far ahead of the curve that a new word will have to be invented for the genius at their fingertips. We know not what is coming, simply that something is.
Yes indeed, boys and girls, 2011 will be an interesting year.