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At What Point Do You Stop Being 'The' Sugababes? / 21.09.09

With the Right Said Fred-quoting Get Sexy still in the charts, the last original member of Sugababes, Keisha Buchanan, has quit the band. From their official website:

“The current line-up of the Sugababes has disbanded. Heidi Range and Amelle Berrabah will continue as the Sugababes and will be joined by new member Jade Ewen. They release their album ‘Sweet 7’ on November 23rd through Island Records. Keisha Buchanan will continue to record for Island Records as a solo artist.”

Weezer - The 8-Bit Album / 22.07.09

I’ve always liked the idea of chiptunes more than actually getting into listening to anyone’s work properly, but… well, as a fan of Weezer and a fan of 8-bit gaming, this is magical.

Do you remember that dream you had, where the sound chips from the beloved games consoles of your youth all got together and formed a Weezer tribute band? Yeah? No? OK. That dream is about to come true whether you had it or not.

As a compilation of various artists, it’s of course variable in quality - and I think the ones that use vocals miss the point a little. But man, hearing lost Songs From The Black Hole masterpiece “You Won’t Get With Me Tonight” sounding like it’s lifted straight out of the Game Gear version of Sonic is a wonderful experience.

(although if you want the most bonkers Weez tribute album ever, have a scout around for a Japanese record called Across the Sea…)

Chart Show TV are a bunch of bloody idiots / 25.05.09

At just past midnight, they just showed the video for ‘Poker Face’. Just past midnight, you understand. And they censored the line “Cos I’m bluffin’ with my muffin”, and cut out the shot of Lady GaGa pointing at her bits. THREE HOURS AFTER THE WATERSHED.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the day, MTV Dance showed the entire thing intact. And quite right, because this isn’t even at the level of a naughty seaside postcard. If you can show gyrating lovelies not wearing very much throughout the day, you can show this.

The Radiophonic Workshop Live / 18.03.09

Oh. My. God.

Just look at that line-up. I’m not sure a concert has ever excited me more than this ever. Anyone else here going?

Noise To Signal's Infinite Playlist #1 : Apocalypse Please / 27.02.09

Welcome to a new regular* feature, in which every couple of weeks we post a playlist of ten songs on a particular theme for you to feast your ears upon. We’ll give you links and details on where the songs come from, so you can track them down and get hold of ‘em - and if you’re a Spotify user, you can even click straight through to listen. But unlike other NTS features, this one isn’t just reliant upon you reading (and, er, listening) - we’ve gone mad with power, like that Albert Schweitzer guy, and we want your input.

While we’ll be starting off with playlists compiled by site writers, we’d also like to open it up for our loyal readers to contribute. So if you can come up with ten songs, of any genre or style, linked by any kind of theme (loose or tight), or simply ten tracks you’re particularly digging at the moment, we’ll put them together and use them. So get thinking, and fire off your suggestions to! And, of course, if you simply want to discuss the playlists that we post - especially if you’ve got BETTER song suggestions than we come up with - then the comment threads await your thoughts.

We kick off this week with a list of songs themed around the end of the world

Tonight we present a new miracle of electricity... / 26.02.09


...and yet undeniably creepy.

Stuff Is Brilliant / 12.01.09

Noise to Signal’s contributors are decidedly mixed on the subject of Apple. We have some Mac users – myself included – and we have some who view castration by acid as a viable alternative to using iTunes. So while the recent removal of DRM from the bulk of the iTunes catalogue is probably worth a comment, it’s hard to do it without stirring up the same old nest of drowsy, ageing hornets.

So since it was days ago and you’ve no doubt already formulated an opinion and moved on, I’d like instead to raise a brief toast to the wonders of stuff

Man, 26, Listens to Every Album on iPod. World Yawns. / 06.01.09

Hello. I thought I’d just do a quick bit of shameless pluggery for a project that I’m running for the duration of 2009 over on my LiveJournal (well, at least, for as long as LJ is still up and running, there being question marks over that as of today). I’m planning to listen to every album stored on my iPod (around 350-odd when I’ve stripped out certain exceptions) in sequence (alphabetical by album title) and write between 50-200 words on each one. If you’re interested, you can follow my progress via this helpful tag link, which saves you having to venture anywhere near my usual other witless ramblings!

Holding on for tomorrow... / 09.12.08

… and by “tomorrow”, I mean “3rd July 2009”, obviously.

Yes, Blur are back, and they’re playing a show with the original, Coxon-inclusive lineup in Hyde Park next summer. Tickets go on sale at 9am Friday, and if you’re not ludicrously excited about this, then frankly, you’re no friend of mine.

Levi Stubbs 1936 - 2008 / 17.10.08

Richard Wright, RIP / 15.09.08

And they just keep dropping. This time it’s Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright.…

A real shame; he was a phenomenal musician. He wrote one of Floyd’s best tunes (Us and Them) but his keys contributed strongly to developing the band’s musical identity. You’ll be missed, Richard.

BBC Radiophonic Workshop: A Retrospective / 11.09.08

A new release from Mute Records. Check out that track listing! I’m perhaps most interested in the radio jingles, but there’s something there for anyone who’s even got a passing interest in the Radiophonic Workshop’s work. My copy of this is one of my favourite CDs I own, but it’s fantastic to see a proper range of their work represented.

Mute are also reissuing two other CDs, currently out of print - BBC Radiophonic Workshop and BBC Radiophonic Music. All are due November 3rd, and it can’t come fast enough.

Thank you, Mr. Miner / 27.08.08

Just a heads up for a new specialist music blog that is already probably the Best I’ve Seen.

It’s Mr. Miner’s Phish Thoughts, which, as you might guess, is dedicated to the music of Phish. Each post features extended (and quite intelligent) ruminations on the mp3s posted for download. Sometimes you’ll get an entire show, sometimes you’ll get several very different versions of the same song, sometimes you’ll get jam-only edits, and sometimes you’ll get side-projects.

4PooShit / 17.08.08

Since Friday gone digital TV across the board has been ‘enjoying’ the morphing of The Hits [insert your own hilarious play on name here] into 4Music. So far it definitely feels like a better channel, with a much better mix of the genres, individually themed shows to add some much needed structure and actual presenters in an attempt to give the channel an identity and some personality. However…

Black Cab Sessions / 14.08.08

I want you to imagine, just for a moment, that you’re in London. Well, some of you already are, but the rest of you will have to use your imaginations. You try to hail one of those nifty-cool black cabs that Stephen Fry drives, but the one you tried to hail just drove past - but you notice two things about it as it passes you by: a) Stephen Fry was not driving (boo!), and b) was that really The New Pornographers in the back seat, rocking out?

Isaac Hayes, dead at 65 / 10.08.08

Found dead at his home today.…

Details are sparse at this point, and Hayes is one of those rare figures it’s almost unnecessary to eulogize. Suffice it to say he was an enormous force in popular music and a surprisingly gifted comic actor as well. Goodnight, sweet prince.

Doctor Who Prom / 26.07.08

Just a quick reminder that this is on tomorrow morning - that’s Sunday 26th July @ 11:00am on Radio 3. More details about the programme can be found on on the Who site.

Why? Dear God, WHY? / 18.04.08

Now, I know remixing is a well established part of dance music, and there are cases where a remix can breathe life into a song (the remix of 'Beautiful Liar' is a case in point), but there's been a couple of cases lately where I've thought "Why?".

A possibly interesting fact about the Spice Girls / 11.11.07

The director of the video for Viva Forever was Steve Box - animator on The Trap Door, and later did shitloads of stuff for Aardman (not least co-directing The Curse of the Were-Rabbit). Which explains a lot, as I've always loved the video - the shot of the huge vending machine near the end is especially beautiful. And watching it again, I'm struck by how nice the animation and character designs actually are.

The Schema / 23.08.07

Rhodri Marsden : journalist, musician and all round excellent feller.

The Schema : the result of a project undertaken by the above "to record, distribute and promote a single from my bedroom in a 30-day timeframe."

"Those Rules" : the resulting single and accompanying (brilliant) video, in which you may also spot a number of NOTBBC alumni.

"Amazing Free Ooberman Jukebox" / 15.08.07

Right, listen up. Ooberman are a fucking excellent band. A fucking, fucking excellent band, beloved of every good radio DJ and music journalist worth their salt, but largely ignored by the general public and NME. If you've never heard anything by them, then it's the fault of folks like YOU, not listening to them or buying their albums, that led them to split up a few years back.

Aw, bollocks. / 11.08.07

Anthony H Wilson, the man who founded the 'Madchester' music scene in Manchester and helped made the city a centre of musical talent, has died, aged 57. I'd be rubbish at trying to write an obituary, so here's a list of other people's efforts:,,2146720,00.html

The Oeuvreblog Trend / 30.06.07

I've posted already about More Words About Music and Songs, my current blog project within which I write an essay about every Talking Heads song, one at a time. Since then, however, quite a few more have popped up...both Q magazine and The New York Post have written about the trend (the former mentioning mine by name), and I have to admit it's an interesting phenomenon, this, using as it does the formal rigidity of the default blog to its advantage.

Sharing the misery... / 26.05.07

So I did a quick search on YouTube because I wanted a friend of mine to see the music video for R.E.M.'s "I'll Take the Rain." It's a fantastic song, and a cute video.

But this came up as well. I thought...hmm...I like that song. And I typically enjoy solo acoustic versions of great songs...especially grandly produced ones like "I'll Take the Rain." They tend to strip it down to its core and reveal some emotion lost in the overdubs...

More Conversations About Music and Brains / 12.05.07

David Byrne and Daniel Levitin discussing the various ways music affects the brain...both chemically and theoretically. It's more a conversation than an interview, and it's truly fascinating stuff.

More Words About Music and Songs / 29.04.07

I figured I'd wait until there were a few entries before I brought this to your attention, but last weekend I started a new kind-of-daily blog which will discuss every Talking Heads song, one entry at a time.

It's called More Words About Music and Songs. If you click that link, it'll even take you there.

Spinal Tap to reunite for Live Earth / 25.04.07

Yes, as of July 7, the planet is officially saved. Not only will they perform at London's Live Earth concert, however...Rob Reiner is also assembling a sort film about the band in a where-have-they-been vein.

And, just like that, I'm suddenly interested in Live Earth.

Compilation CDs / 27.02.07

I'm currently putting one together. My first one, actually. It's going to contain loads of jingles, computer game music, and TV themes, so is probably UNLISTENABLE TO to anyone else, but fun for me.

What's the last compliation you put together?

I Want My MTV... / 11.02.07

It's funny what occurs to you when you're lying in bed on a Sunday morning. I was idly thinking about how bloody good the Innes Book of Records was when I realised; isn't Neil Innes arguably one of the pioneers of music video?

It's funny what occurs to you when you're lying in bed on a Sunday morning. I was idly thinking about how bloody good the Innes Book of Records was when I realised; isn't Neil Innes arguably one of the pioneers of music video?

Lily Allen - Alfie / 06.02.07

Popjustice have come up trumps again for linking to the video for 'Alfie', by far my favourite song on Lily's album 'Alright, Still'.

God, this is great. The puppetry looks faintly familiar as well, so I'd love to know who made the puppets. The birds in particular made me laugh out loud. Horrah for Lily!

"That would be a world gone... topsy turvy!" / 09.01.07

A Mozza for Europe... surely not?

If it's true, though, it would show a welcome bit of competitive spirit on the Beeb's part. Are they finally sick and tired of losing so horrifically each year? Have they finally realised that A Song For Europe and Making Your Mind Up and all that jazz show nothing other than the British public's staggering lack of taste (not that Eurovision is ever about taste, but you know what I mean)?

And, most importantly, why isn't it John Shuttleworth?

Underdeveloped Fetus James Blunt Gets Nominated for Five Grammys / 18.12.06

I've lost all faith in the Grammy's judgement in talent. A Grammy award is nothing but a publicity stunt. There is no actual merit in a Grammy award anymore, because hacks like James Blunt and Ludacris get nominated (and most likely win) them.

What a joke! Follow the link to the article at the Grammy site below.


I mean, just look at Blunt. How is he even popular? He honestly sounds like a castrated sheep.

Did somebody say The Arcade Fire? / 15.12.06

I don't usually post links without at least a little commentary, but this is a special occasion:


Find an dodgy quality MP3 with Zane Lowe talking over it at the end, here while it lasts.

I'm too overwhelmed to say any more.

Pop music can Fuck Off / 07.12.06

Did that get your attention? No? Well, you can fuck off too.

This isn't going to be a story about the music you like, this is going to be a story about the music I like. And judging by most of the article archives here, it's completely different to any of the music you like. Which is going to be a right bugger for writing this article, because it's going to decrease my chances of convincing you to listen to any of it, and make my job of explaining it all the more difficult.

What the fuck have they done to Nipper? / 26.11.06

HMV have a long and happy association with Nipper, the little dog which is the centrepiece of the picture 'His Master's Voice' from which the company name is taken. For many years, HMV had a photo of a real Parson Jack Russell (sweet little dogs; I used to own one), which was great, and which honoured the tradition of Nipper without making him look outdated. This Nipper was very versatile, running all over TV adverts and generally looking cool from whatever angle HMV chose to picture him (except possibly the back view).

I *heart* Popjustice / 30.10.06

Good old Popjustice have sent me some lovely links to stuff that has brightened up my day off sick considerably.

The Gothic Archies; 'Scream and Run Away'

Lily Allen; 'Littlest Things'

Genki Rockets; 'Heavenly Star' It's slightly meh until 40 seconds in, when it suddenly becomes splendid.

I Bloody Love YouTube... / 25.10.06

... it's taken me years to find this video anywhere since I first saw it. And it's one that even the most ardent fan of Adam and Joe may never have seen, since it aired approximately ONCE on TV (on The Chart Show, from which this clip is taken). It's in lousy quality, and it's missing the second half of the song (which is much slower), but it's still a brilliant brilliant video for a brilliant brilliant song, and any fan of either A&J or bloody good indie should watch it straight away.

Press release for new Who album / 28.09.06

Official press release at Apparantly it'll be called Endless Wire (which, to my own personal taste, is the worst of the potential album titles that included Who2 and The Boy Who Heard Music) and it's coming out October 30. I assume it's a global release date. And I do that expressly to make an ass out of u and me.

The mathematics of album cover art. / 19.09.06

That's "the mathematics of album cover art."

Here's an article by David "Zyzzyx" Steinberg regarding the cover art he provided for Trey Anastasio's bonus EP, 18 Steps. 18 Steps comes bundled with pre-orders of the full-length album Bar 17. Got that?

"Deluxe Edition," huh Bob? / 30.08.06

So Bob Dylan's newest album, Modern Times, came out today. Expect a review before long...though I want the music to sit, sit, sit and make a proper imprint before I go spouting...

"It's like a later Tom and Jerry, when the two of them could talk" / 27.07.06

The best music video ever made, there.

I'd completely forgotten about that vid, having only seen it once or twice at the time (it wasn't a massive hit, despite being one of the best songs Jarvis has ever written), until I followed a link on Pitchfork just now. Marvellous.

(well, maybe not the best, as it's no Buddy Holly, for one thing. Still bloody fantastic, though.)

Alan's Fact of the Day / 23.07.06

Investing a few hours in "assembling" the soundtrack to I'm Alan Partridge is a few hours well spent.

Where else are you going to hear "Music For Chameleons," "Bright Eyes," "Gaudete" and the theme from Return of the Saint in such close quarters? Oh, and I've now decided "Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush is lovely stuff.

Of course the cheese factor is intense, but that only increases the fun. The soundtrack to Alan's various life crises is toe-tappingly tragic.

Coney Island Rollercoaster / 15.07.06

I can't decide if the new, banjo-fied version of "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" (originally the best song on Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have It So Much Better by a country mile) is completely brilliant or completely awful.

Probably somewhere inbetween, but it really does vex my head, especially when I start to think about whether I'd listen to it, or to the original. Bah.

Lily Allen - Smile / 14.07.06

I actually quite like this song, despite it being not-my-cup-of-tea-at-all on paper. And I find Lily strangely sexy, despite her dressing like a chav. And I don't even mind that she's Keith Allen's daughter. What's going on?

Phish goes to the movies. / 27.06.06

Attention stateside readers. Yes, both of you.

Phish is re-broadcasting their June 17, 2004 Brooklyn concert in select theaters for one night only. That night is July 10, one day before the DVD and CD of that concert is released commercially.

You can go here to see if it's playing in your local theater.

#I only went with her 'cos she looks like you / 23.06.06

Ah, Pulp. That's a lot cooler than Gwen Stefani.

Let's Have a Wank for England / 16.06.06

(Thanks to Paul Kelly who posted this to NOTBBC.)

"You little sod, I love your eyes" / 10.06.06

I'm currently packing up various things, getting ready to bugger off on holiday early tomorrow morning (I should be in bed, really) and I've been going through some new albums to add to my iRiver (like an iPod but bestest).

Anyway, this has led to me a very stark conclusion. Absolutely everyone on Earth should own a copy of Leaders of the Free World by Elbow. It's emotive UK rock/pop in its purest and most glorious form - far better than those Coldplay chaps, whose third album was an absolute dirge fest.

#The Dreaming Days Where the Mess Was Made... / 09.06.06

I'll stand up for Gwen Stefani's Cool any time you want. I could go on about why I like the song, but what it comes down to is: I love a certain kind of pop - especially 80s and 80s inspired stuff. And if you actually listen to the lyrics, it's really quite a nice song.

What I do find slightly strange however, is how emotional I just got at the video.

That is: "Emotional".

RE: Sandi Thom. Am I wrong? / 03.06.06

It goes against everything I at least try to stand for in regards to my musical tastes. In reality, I should greet the arrival of Sandi Thom with the same disgust as similar warblers such as Joss Stone and the like. But... she's really bloody good, isn't she? I mean, this could actually mean she's *totally* different to Joss Stone and I'm wrong in making the comparison, but it seems like the same sort of pseudo soul, to me. It's just that Sandi seems to do it well.

Hwyl Fawr I Pawb / 27.05.06

For years there's been a small faction in and around music that would tell anyone who'd listen that Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - a band that everyone knows the name of, as they've become a byword for obscure indie - were the best undiscovered band on the face of the planet, and that anyone who took the time to listen to a song of theirs would surely see their greatness.

"I like what you've done with your hair, oh yeah" / 29.04.06

Well, after a good few months and many moans I've finally realised that I actually really like The Darkness' second album One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back. Talk about being a slow grower. I honestly can't think of another album that I've gone from pretty much hating to loving before. For this I can only thank Justin Hawkins and Jonathan Ross for prompting me to listen to it again just now.

Moral of the story? Always be prepared to eat your words.

Stonkingly Good Music News / 20.04.06

Alright, so it will mean nothing to 99.9% of the world's population at large, but the reformation of one of the most staggeringly inventive, beautiful, tuneful and downright wonderful indie pop bands this country has ever produced is really a quite breathtakingly good bit of news.

I met Dan Popplewell on a train last year, I did. Lovely bloke, he was. Wish I could meet him again, and shake him by the hand in fevered excitement and joy at him finally doing the right thing and getting the band back together.

Cassette Jam '05 / 26.10.05

Teenage dreams, so hard to beat / 13.10.05

Alright, so there's not much of it left, but it's worth marking the fact that today is John Peel Day.

You Couldn't Have It That Much Better... / 04.10.05

It's all too easy to be wary when four- and five-star reviews are given out to albums by bands that are as big a critical and popular darling as Franz Ferdinand are. Particularly when the much-lauded debut album, while having a couple of cracking tracks on it, was by and large a good rather than great record.