Indie Girl & Pop Boy

We Need A Little Edge With Our Electro Pop

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Big MySpace End of May IndieSearch!

And the word (and general concept of) "IndieSearch" is copyright on Indie Girl, 2006.

I decided that with so much of the more talked about music of the moment not exciting me, I thought i'd go on a search for some exciting new fodder via the second most useful internet tool of the moment, MySpace. And despite me hating it in general for hooking me in and making me feel unpopular due to lack of comments... you can't deny that MySpace is one of the best ways of finding new bands just now. I mean, if you live in a big city, unlike me, you can go to gigs and find new bands. Indie Girl will now compile a list of three advantages of MySpace over random gig-going.

Number 1: As I said, if you don't live in a big city then it's hard to get to these gigs frequently without doing a lot of travel planning, and no-one likes travel planning, do they?
Number 2: Ok, this reason is better. It's free! Meaning you can find good music for nothing and not having to pay a gig fee for a band that is potentially crap. And! Some bands offer free mp3s of some of their tracks, if not all of them so you can pick up free mp3s and not feel guilty at all! (unless, like myself you couldn't give a flying fuck about not paying for an odd track here and there because if you like enough tracks you'll buy the album and you hate the greedy bastard music industry anyway.) And even if the bands don't offer free mp3s of their tracks, there are some very handy free internet recording programmes which you can get. (I recommend Recordpad's 14 day free trial, which you can uninstall and then download over and over again so it's always free! Hoorah!)
And finally Number 3: With MySpace, there is the advantage of being able to get away from horrible noise. If you click onto a band page and they turn out to be horrible noise, there is the option of clicking of the page or simply clicking back to escape the ear rape and never have to experience it ever again. At a gig this is harder, sure you could leave.., but it's hard pushing through a crowd of sweaty drunk people that're stupid enough to enjoy the awfulness. And you don't want to waste your entrance fee...

So that's all well and fair, but you might ask... "where do you start with looking for good bands on MySpace? What with all the dozens of shit bands that must have pages on there, I could be trawling around for hours checking for anything half decent!"

Well, well... take in my instructions! Firstly, you have to find yourself a big list of band names. What I did was found the list of bands playing at the Nottingham "Dot To Dot" festival posted on a messageboard that I go on then what I did is searched every single one I hadn't heard previously on MySpace to see if they had a page and see what the band was like. Out of the ones that I liked, here is my Top 4 (don't ask) "found on MySpace bands!" (probably subject to change, it's just out of the ones I liked that either had mp3s or I recorded before getting bored)

In at 4: Metronomy

This all instrumental outfit hail from Brighton and don't specifically have a genre from the four tracks i've heard. Somewhat electro, somewhat mellow and somewhat RAWK! but definately good from what I can tell. These guys lose points however for me having to record the songs. Fair enough, i'm stealing but other nice bands just gave me the mp3s.
Metronomy on MySpace

In at 3: Computerman

Ok firstly, I liked the name and their MySpace page was pretty cool without taking forever to load. They offer three of their four songs for free download and they ain't half bad. Great Lakes is quite downbeat without being too shit and Coldplay-esque. Neon is electro rock but also swishy and dreamlike at the same time. No Recover is similar with rock with computer effect undertones. Annoyingly, their best track is the one that is not available for download. "Watch More Television" (a b-side to their single "No More Broken Hearts") is catchy angsty indiepop that makes you bop. Sort of.
Computerman on MySpace

In at 2: The Hellset Orchestra

The one track that this band offer for free download is completely ace. "Come Into The Lab" is half orchestral fabulousness and half the soundtrack to a kitschy vampire video game from the 80's. It also scores points for reminding me of the cartoon "Dr Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop" for no apparant reason. If anyone else remembers this cartoon, please comment! It was great!
The Hellset Orhestra on MySpace

And FINALLY... at 1! Klaxons

Klaxons are brilliant! "Atlantis To Interzone" is their latest single and I challenge anyone who is a fan of this sort of music not to like it. The sirens combined with throbbing drum beats and awesome guitar riffs make this song an essential. Go on! It's free! As are all other three songs on Klaxons' MySpace.
Klaxons on MySpace

Please comment with anything you may want to say about this blog in general or my IndieSearch OR if anyone remembers "Dr Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop" then speak up!

Saturday, May 27, 2006


Indie Girl watching Popworld?
Pop Boy jizzing over indie bands like Men, Women & Children?
Indie Girl writing about Eurovision?
Pop Boy going to see Little Man Tate and The Cribs live?

It all seems a bit jumbled doesn't it?

Yes, I did go see Little Man Tate and The Cribs live. And they were ace. But you see, Little Man Tate, are extremely cool and really rather poppish and skitty. And the Cribs sing 'Hey! Scenesters!' which makes them OK in my books.

But last night I put everything in balance. I went to a pop concert. But not just any pop concert. THE pop concert. Of the millenium (maybe). I went to see Girls Aloud in the Chemistry tour. And I bought wristbands. And badges. And a t-shirt.

Ovbviously the show was ace. They did a cover of 'I Predict A Riot' and in that one foul swoop were able to make one of the biggest bands of last year look totally irrelevant. Then, in what must be one of the most 'aware' things they've ever done, they did a musical medley of 'Fame'/'What A Feeling'/'Footloose'. That was ace. Except the people of Birmingham are all losers and no-one danced so I felt like a fool doing it alone. I was even restrained through 'Love Machine', which killed me.

Anyway, point is, Pop Boy is on study leave now and never ever has to go to school ever again (except for exams) and has a lot time of his hands with which to write about pop. And also, Pop Boy is back in love with pop music. I bought the Pet Shop Boys' new album too, so expect a review some time in the coming week.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

"Indie Girl and Pop Boy of TV's Popworld..."

Do you reckon this is a believable line of future journalism?

I got thinking last night about the presenting of Popworld. Alex and Alexa, eh? They're not particularly fantastic, are they? As much as I thoroughly miss Simon and Miquita, there's pretty much no chance of them ever coming back.

I then began to reflect on the fact that we'll have to put up with Alex and Alexa all the time for the next good while. I started to think, "God, me and Pop Boy could do a better job than these two idiots with their 'ultra-cool' dance and their indie try-hard ways."

Of course, Alexa isn't actually that bad, it's Alex Zane that irritates me most anyway but for the point of this poll.

Please show us your opinion on this handy poll!

Do You Think That Me and Pop Boy Would Make Good Presenters of Channel 4's Popworld?
Yes! Because both of your are of course, Gods.
Yes... but only because I hate Alex and Alexa.
Fuck you! Bring back Simon and Miquita! They own you!
No! I hate you! Alex and Alexa are preferable to you, you Blunts!
What the Dickens is Popworld?
Free polls from

Please remember that if our attitude to the show was anything like our attitude to this blog then every so often either one of us just might not bother turning up.... but seeing as it's the responsibility of presenting TV's best music show, we would probably try and have a less half-arsed attitude.

Please vote and comments on your vote are very welcome and always read!

Back! And Talking About Eurovision...

Hi there. I'd like to write a small piece (long enough to explain myself but short enough so I don't bore you.) as to why i've not been posting. Well, it's all down to lack of inspiration. For the past little while, I feel that music hasn't been interesting me as much due to lack of good stuff out there. I've been bored and clueless over what to write about and I just felt that there was no point in posting any old crap to fill your Indie Girl and Pop Boy (well, he's been posting actually) needs.

But! I will try to keep up to speed and write about any pop/indie goodness that I find to try and save us all in these slightly bleak times.

So! I will now talk about a small list of songs that should've made it through the Eurovision semi final but didn't because Europe seem to have absolutely no taste in choosing good pop music whatsoever meaning that these three rather good songs were unfairly discarded from the competition.

Anzej Dezan - Mr. Nobody

I'm very annoyed Anzej didn't make it through the semi-final. His song was the first song I had actually liked on the night. Fair enough, I don't really have a clue what he's saying at all but I was totally won over by the electro effects going on on the chorus. Oh, and he seemed rather lovely and cute when Paddy O'Connell interviewed him. Poor Anzej.

Kate Ryan - Je T'Adore

Like a europop Rachel Stevens song sung by Tanya Turner herself, I loved this song the minute I heard it. Pop perfection complete with leg swing, this was one of the favourites to win the entire thing before the Eastern block lost their good taste in music. She also wins points for saying that swedish entrant Carola and greek entrant Anna Vissi "must be at least 45, perhaps even 50!" on the BBC Three coverage. Hehe.

Silvia Night - Congratulations

A crazy swearing nutbox of a media characature that the competition will be duller without. Silvia Night is played by an actress and sung a tongue-in-cheek arrogant song that sounds a tad Britney-esque. She even went to the effort of not shouting "i'll fucking win!" as part of the lyrics like she normally does and yet, it seems the entire continent lost their sense of humour and voted the charming bitch out. Bye bye Silvia. I'll miss you on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Men, Women & Children Review

I told you about Men, Women & Children a while back now (at the end of March). Then Zane Lowe jumped on the bandwagon. And now, they've released their eponymous debut album. But, is it any cop? Does it give me a reason to look smug until October? Let's find out...

The album kicks off in explosive style with the call of "I got a message! I think the moon is calling!" from 'Dance In My Blood' in a song with mixes the killer cool sound of the Killers with the anthemic vibes of the Arctic Monkeys ("we don't need a reason...") and the flare of Maximo Park. And the Panic! At The Disco emo-pop elements aren't concealing themselves very well. Plus, it's more of a dancefloor filler than 'Bet You look Good..' and 'Mr Brightside', give it time I promise you. Not bad for just one song, eh?

Tinny sounding 'Lightning Strikes Twice Of New York' sounds like Men, Women & Children are tiny mice trapped in a box in your brain scratching their way free with guitars. And the only way you can let them out is through dancing. And even if you do, this song will probably stay in your head anyway.

'Photosynthesis (We're Losing O2)' is, unfortunately, not about plants but in actual fact about living on the edge of life and not being afraid of getting hurt. Or possibly being in love with someone who's a bit nasty, though I'm sure the lyric "Come on let's hit it hard/Let's leave a mark" is supposed to be an inspiring thing.

Men, Women & Children go for the Best Song Title Award with a song called 'Who Found Mister Fabulous?'. I'm trying to find some meaning in this song, but it seems to be just a load of random sentences strung together, though I'm grasping it's about trying to find a different part to yourself, or something. Mid-way through there's a whistle-a-thon that sounds like Mr Fabulous was found in the Notting Hill Carnival.

'Messy' is a lot calmer, by which I mean it's flitting in one direction as opposed to flapping around like a fish. Which is unusual as it's about the sex. Perhaps the mellower sound hints that Men, Women & Children like it slow, and funky. Kinky sado-masochistic lyrics that Christina Aguilera would be proud of are found throughout. "We don't care if we get dirty/We ain't here for cleanliness".

Don't get intimidated by titles like 'At Night We Like To Fight'. Men, Women & Children are a bunch of softies really. They just like to mosh with a girl and bruise her up a bit before they take her from, and I don't think we should be worried. There's an odd trumpety bit at the end, which sounds like it's taken from an old film, just as the protagonists make the nasty. An anthem about moshing, surely invented for that sole purpose. In that case...

'Monkey Monkee Man' is, once again, about sex. This time they sing "Cause it's time to swing our sticks... Give me your right hand/Keep your left hand free... If we came form snails/Then let me see your trail" and the lyrics really speak for themselves. It's all very primitive. Neanderthal rock has never sounded so sophisticated as electro bleeps whizz and pop all across the place.

'Time For The Future (Bang Bang)' seems to be the first profound track on the album, one the first not written by the penis, though they do still get extended telescope references in there. Frontman, TJ Penzone sings of a girl from a future where "no-one believes in usless masquerades" so even it is about girls, it's sort of profound. In a way. Well, you've got to work with what's there.

I have a feeling 'The Name Of The Train Is The Hurricane' is about sex too with the chorus of "The Train leaves at dawn/Get off or get on" accompanied with rattlesnake analogies. Don't let the barrage of sexual references put you off though. All the time the record leaves you dancing like a robot from 1984. And despite it's lack of subtlety it comes out sexy rather than smutty. It shouldn't make you too uncomfortable. Honest.

We pick back up from the unadulterated smut-fest with '!Celebracion!' is more about lust than sex. Another fabuolous electro-indie-pop bonanza, but this time, with violins and strings and falsetto vocals. The nearest these guys could get to a ballad I feel.

'Sell Your Money' is the song that Math geeks make love to, and it's the most snarling song yet. The guitars, Penzone's vocals and keyboards all ache and moan throughout this song. The sexiness is much more subtle lyrically but has a moody, unforgiving, growling snarl that more than makes up for it.

'Sell Your Money' plays with numeracy, 'Photosynthesis' and 'Monkee Monkey Men' play with biology, so now it's time for a literacy lesson in 'Vowels'. I love anagrams in songs, and the chorus of "A E, I O U Nothing!" is just as fabulous, amazing and brilliant as you'd think it would be. A high pitched, fast paced, bitter end to an absolutely non-stop album that leaves me trying to ctach my breathe.

Basically, take the best band of 2004, the best album of 2005 and two of the best bands of 2006, put them all into a blender and extract the rubbishey bits (the Monkeys' hype, Panic! At The Disco's Fall Out Boy connections, La Park's melodrama, Brandon's pink jacket), add a big dollop of sex and you get this album. A must-have for all emo-kids, scenesters, indie boys and girls and popsters.

Allow me to be just a little smug...

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Prestigious 'No Tomorrow'/'SOS' Song of the Month Award

There was no point mentioning my favourite song of April as March's winner 'SOS' was still straddling the charts and my internal jukebox for much of the month. It didn't help, of course, that everything was a bit April-showers. Dull. Track of the month would've been, if I'd've been threatened at gun point to chose or die, The Kooks' 'Niave' (I know them! - except I don't - but I sort of do - I'll explain later).

In contrast, there are two main contenders in May, which is still only 8 days young, which together promise a sunny summer, a shake-up of the political world and a generally refreshed look on life. The first of these songs has been around for a good while on an album first released early last year ('Fires'), Nerina Pallot's 'Everybody's Gone To War'. As beautiful in sentiment as it is brilliant in chick-with-guitar-ness. Not the whining rockstar rant you'd expect when pop meets politics, as afterall, when negativity meets negativity, negativity always wins. Furthermore, the whole Band Aid debacle proved just how horrible it can be when pop and politics collide.
Yes, the song is laden with references to the US' occupation of Iraq but rather than evangelically pointing the finger at Bush & Blair and casting them to gates of hell for being what is essentially unlawful killers (ho-hum, this is no politics blog), Pallot merely raises a knowing eyebrow and quips in a side breath "should you really be doing that?". It's like we're back on the playground. The boys are off playing war and all little Nerina wants to do is play with dolls and play happy families and live in a world full of love, kindness and thoughtfulness. This song is the result.
Also, though I really shouldn't concentrate on the politics involved here (as let's face it, we'd all much rather be in some dank, smoke-infested, drug-trafficing, hooching nightclub dancing until 3am with homosexuals and maybe even kissing them!!!), but let's look at the facts... Pallot's song hits the radio and a week later Labour back-benchers and the British media are all calling for Tony Blair to stand down. And, Bono's Africans are, tragically, still hungry, but we're all aware of it.
Now, that my friends, is PopJustice.

Orson are from Hollywood. Rhianna is from Barbados. Pallot is American. What on earth has happened to this Brit-pop revival we were all promised at the end of last year? Will Young is busy released mildly inspiring but conversely dull-as-brain-rot ballads, Girls Aloud are off conquering foreign lands (Australia) and are preparing for the most arse-kicking tour the world has ever seen (!!!) after having released two ballads in a row. The Arctic Monkeys little fairground ride has ended and after queuing for four hours for a cheap thrill that's over in thrity seconds everyone's left thinking, "is that it?" The 'New & Improved Recipe' of the Sugababes don't taste quite as sweet as they used too. Maximo Park, Frapp, Lady Ellis-Bextor (come back soon!!) and M.I.A. are all A.W.O.L. (though in M.I.A.'s case it's actually M.I.A. (missing in action)). I digress.
You know what we really need? A vivacious, charismatic, bubbly, talented, young British singer/songwriter/urban poet/popstrel who will make the sunshine this summer even if we've all got sunstroke and are a bit sick of it. Enter Lily Allen and her debut single 'LDN'.

It's sort of appropriate to talk about 'LDN' after 'Everybody's Gone To War'. Pallot and Allen are clearly kindred spirits, both brought down by the stark humanness of the real world, but intelligent (or sheltered) to ignore it all, look at a pair of chaffinches fly across the sky, smile, whistle a happy tune and think of other things. 'LDN' begins with Lily embracing the beauty of London by bike and she precedes to paint a picture for us of what she sees. Listening closely to the lyrics ("when you look with your eyes/everything looks nice/but when you look twice/you can see it's all lies") it's clear that the London Lily Allen sees is not the London we're supposed to see.
However, you could be mistaken for thinking this song was a joyous celebration of the brilliantness of life with the ska-pop melody and sunny chorus refrain of "sun is in the sky oh why oh why would I wanna be anywhere else?", that is, in a word, ace. You'll forgive me for my simplicity and unoriginality I hope as I sit here giggling at a verse half-rapped half-sung about an O.A.P. getting mugged that rhymes "Tesco" with "al fresco" that sounds so summery I'm starting to apply lotion. (*wink*)
Weirdly, Allen's summery spin on events has made me only more excited about moving to London for uni in September and embracing a "do I give a fuck?" anonimity. That could be me getting mugged. They could be my crackwhores. Isn't life just so fucking brilliant when you learn to ignore it?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rihanna - A Girl Like Me Review

'SOS (Rescue Me)' with it's combination of retro-electro pop 'Tainted Love' sample, urban cool, Bahama-infused reggae-pop style and superb dance credentials is undoubtedley the song of the year criss-crossing genres and so stubbornly refusing to be pigeon holed it's almost offensive. It promised that 'A Girl Like Me' would be a sensational album.

Second track 'Kisses Don't Lie' is no let down, equally impressive, again mixing the guitars and drums of pop-rock with the beat and jaunt of reggae-pop. On the faster tracks Rihanna, who is no Mariah Carey (thank god) or Anastacia, can handle the song and the pace. On slower songs like, for example, rumoured second single, 'Unfaithful', Rihanna's voice starts to sound weak. It's not that she has a bad voice, just not one strong enough to handle it. At times 'Unfaithful', which was written by Ne-Yo, requires a roar and the best Rihanna can manage is a purr. But don't let that take away from 'Unfaithful' which is superb, touching, unique song about infidelity. At times the weakness in her voice almost helps.

The album's second proper ballad, 'Final Goodbye' is a lot more understated than 'Unfaithful', though it is more romantic than traumatic. It is all quite morbid though. Rihanna sings "it's you that I live for/For you I would die" and then "I'll rest in peace, for the final goodbye". Rihanna's coming over like a Shakespearean protagonist. Much like 'Unfaithul', it's heart breaking.

'We Ride' and 'Dem Haters' are much more grounded, clearly belonging to Rihanna's familiar r&b-pop and reggae-pop roots. Both songs are mid-tempo, there is a beat there, but it just doesn't mule-kick you like 'SOS' does. But don't consider them dull, 'We Ride' is merely subtle and understated. Like much of the album, I think the sun has to be shining and you have to be on a beach with a ice-cold drink in hand to fully 'get' this song. On 'Dem Haters', which features Dwane Husbands, Rihanna's Bahamas roots come rushing like a good piece of surf and that unmistakable reggae bounce is present. It will have you swayying.

The reggae tones are continued on 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love', which at first I thought/hoped would be a cover, and refreshingly honest 'Selfish Girl'. They smolder, they burn, they bounce, they're cool, but there's the constant feeling that a beach and an ice-cold beverage may be required to truly appreciate it all. Bring on the summer!

On 'Break It Off' Rihanna collaborates with the King Of the Carribean, Sean Paul, and affirms her position as the Queen. 'Break It Off' has to be one of the higlights, though it is seems to be more of a Sean Paul featuring Rihanna track than the other way around. This should most definitely be a single. Clubland would love Rihanna's sultry vocals, Sean (A) Paul's raps, the flitting melody and the overall Carribean-cool meets New York-hip hop sound. Stunning, if you like that kind of thing. And lots of people do.

The album is bookended (bar the bonus tracks) with three ballads, the brilliantly named 'P.S. (I'm Still Not Over You)', title track 'A Girl Like Me' and 'A Million Miles Away' all of which seem within Rihanna's grasps and vocal depth. 'P.S.' is simultaneously hopeful and hopeless, wanting an old flame back and yo-yoing between her own feelings and the brutality of reality. 'A Girl Like Me' is, unfortunately for Rihanna, not an Emma Bunton cover but is instead an r&b ballad of longing, yet again yo-yoing Rihanna between hope and reality as it closes with the fairytale refrain of "Mirror mirror on the wall". I'm beginning to feel a bit sorry for Rihanna, the only songs in which she's not longing, infatuated, tragic, cheating, being cheated or generally being unjustly treated are 'Break It Off', 'We Ride' and 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'. No wonder there's five ballads on here, the sun may be shining but in the Bahamas but for Rihanna it ain't half grim. No more so than on 'A Million Miles Away' where Rihanna has obviously lost a connection with her love. Poor mite.

'A Girl Like Me' contains previous singles 'If It's Lovin' That You Want', that just IS summer and the crunking, reggaeton, marmite-effect 'Pon De Replay'. I say Marmite-effect as you either love it or hate it. Personally, I think it's chuffing amazing.

'A Girl Like Me' is an album full of tragedy and heartache but at no point becomes 'tragic' (excluding maybe 'Unfaithful') as the tragedy is instead beaten down by the shining hope on the horizon, fading like the setting summer sun, but still ever present in the warm evening air. Come August this will be sensational but right now, on May day as I look out at the dreariness, I can't help but feel a little jealous of the summer vibes.