Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Music Alliance Pact

Here's something different today. A while back, I got a message from Jason who runs Scottish music blog The Pop Cop. His plan was to form a sort of worldwide alliance of blogs which each month would post songs from their country, and so, after a bit of prompting we have the Music Alliance Pact.

It's actually been quite a good way for me to listen to artists from other countries, which is something that I'm often quite rubbish at (apart from North American acts naturally). There's some good stuff here, and others that I don't like at all, but it's worth giving Jason's project a whirl to see how it goes.

There are 12 blogs from different countries at the moment (the UK has been split up, and I'm representing England, which is a funny position for a Scot to be in) but more may follow in time. The list of participating blogs, tracks and some blurbs follow right now...

USA I Guess I'm Floating
Arizona - The Glowing Bird
The title track from their sophomore album which came out on October 14 on Echo Mountain.

France is the new single by Brian Storming, a psychedelic pop orchestra from Buenos Aires. This band was the support act for Coldplay and Björk when they performed in Argentina. The song is included on their new EP, Brian Storming Avec L´Enchanting Device.

AUSTRALIA Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Miami HorrorDon't Be On With Her
Miami Horror pretty much blew everyone's mind from the start, just by being called Miami Horror even though he's a producer from Melbourne (kinda like when everyone freaked about The Streets being just one guy). Then he cemented the name he had made for himself with unapologetically synth-heavy remixes - bootleg and official - of a crazy-wide array of artists from Perth's The Dirty Secrets to France's Stardust. And now here he is with the official release of his first single.

DENMARK Pastries, Peppers And Canals
Diefenbach On The Move
Diefenbach have been long-time stalwarts of the Danish indie scene, starting out as a post-rock band and gradually evolving into what they are today. Think Beach Boys meets Mogwai meets...well, Diefenbach, actually. The new album, Dark Spinner, is due in late October but the track we're presenting is from 2005's Set And Drift.

ENGLAND – Me
Absentee Bitchstealer
Absentee’s debut album proper Schmotime was one of my favourites of 2006, and new record Victory Shorts is a direct continuation of what the East London band does best. Singer Dan Michaelson's ravaged drawl, the sweet boy-girl vocal play-offs with keyboardist Melinda Bronstein and hugely pleasing riffs from Babak Ganjei all call to mind a much less polished Teenage Fanclub or a poppier Pavement.

ICELAND I Love Icelandic Music
Plúseinn Shake
The man behind the band Plúseinn is Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson also known as Árni Plúseinn (a.k.a. Árni +1). He recently released an album called Lettuce And Tomato, made in his apartment in Brooklyn, New York under the name Hungry And The Burger. Árni Rúnar is and was involved in a lot of Icelandic bands and projects (e.g. Hairdoctor, Motion Boys) and is a founding member of the band FM Belfast.

IRELAND Nialler9
Fight Like Apes Digifucker
The band have just released their debut Fight Like Apes And The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion in Ireland and the UK. The album was produced by John Goodmanson in Seattle over the summer. They are currently touring the UK with The Ting Tings.

ITALY Polaroid
Le Man Avec Les LunettesThe Happy Birth Of You And Me
LMALL's new album Plaskaplaskabombelibom is free to download from their website.

PERU SoTB
ERA – Opium
Taken from the band’s second album Ufocalipsis which was released last year.

SCOTLAND The Pop Cop
Roddy HartDead Of The Night
Roddy Hart made the folk-rock masterpiece Bookmarks, arguably one of the best albums to have come out of Scotland. Dead Of The Night is the first fruits from its follow-up due out in 2009. It’s a live favourite and easily the most immediate pop song the Glaswegian has ever written.

SPAIN El Blog De La Nadadora
Blacanova Los Remedios
Blacanova is a band from Seville and this song is from their second demo, Perro EP. They are influenced by Joy Division, Seefeel, The Cure, Spanish band Sr Chinarro, David Lynch and Tod Browning films, and the writer Alejandra Pizarnik. Their music is a cross between dark pop, IDM (intelligent dance music) and shoegaze.

SWEDEN Swedesplease
Tvärvägen September
Tvärvägen is an eclectic one-man orchestra from Gustavsburg, Sweden. Notice both the clattering instrumentation and hummable melody. It's that dichotomy that makes Tvärvägen so unforgettable. The band's debut record is out November 6 on the small label Knoppar.

You can download all the above mp3s in one zip file here.

Let me know what you think. If you want my quick opinion, the best ones are from Iceland, USA and Sweden. Iceland is particularly awesome.

15 comments:

water01 said...

What a fine day! Let’s talk about UGG Boots’ history today.

From Australia's Official Dictionary: The Macquarie Concise Dictionary - ugg boots / Australian 100% merino sheepskin lined boot. Also called ugh boot , ugg boot.

Did you know that Australian Sheepskin Ugg boots have always been called Ug, Ugh or Ugg boots and have been made in Australia for almost 200 years? "We always called them Uggs, Smith says, "long before it was a trademarked brand." Brian Smith, Founder UGG Holdings, Inc. Los Angeles Magazine October 1st, 2001

The Ugg Boots Story

The original Ug Boot. "Ug," (also spelled "Ugg" and "Ugh" in Australian dictionaries) is not a brand name but an age old generic term for this style of Australian-made sheepskin boot. In Aussie slang, the Ug name is short for "ugly." In terms of comfort, however, the Ug Boot is a thing of beauty. The softness of the Australian Merino sheepskin produces a boot with a snug, cozy, form-fitting feel that’s more like a sock than a shoe, yet it’s rugged enough for outdoor wear. The fleece lining has the astonishing property of providing year-round comfort. In cold weather, the plush fleece provides an insulating layer of warmth by trapping your body heat, much like goose down does. But in the heat of summer, the natural fibers of the fleece actually cool your feet by wicking away perspiration.

Growing Up in Uggs

By the 1970s, in Perth, the largest city on Australia’s West Coast, Ugg boots were being manufactured by several small companies in the area. Perth has much the same climate as Southern California and is also a haven for surfers, whom Aussies call "surfies." And it was the community of surfies at the great surfing beaches at Margaret River near Perth who first adopted Ugg Boots as their footwear of choice and made them a symbol of the Aussie surfing lifestyle.

Ug Fever Spreads

From the beaches of Western Australia, Ugs were soon seen on the feet of East Coast surfers from Brisbane to Sydney. And it wasn’t long before some of these surfers -- the ones who traded their surfboards for skis in the winter -- found that their Ugg Boots were just as at home in the ski resort areas of the Snowy Mountains as they were on the warm sands of Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

It was Aussie surfers, traveling the world in search of the perfect wave, who first introduced their mates in Southern California to the pleasures of the Ug Boot. Ugs soon became a cult fashion among those L.A. surfers who could depend on a buddy ‘down under" to send them a pair of boots.

Ug Essentials

Today the Ug "secret" is out. You’ll find these versatile ugg boots to be in fashion on beaches from San Diego to Santa Cruz and in ski resorts from Tahoe to Vail. And today, you don’t have to "know someone" in Australia who will send you a pair, since there are now a number of companies importing boots of this type. But, if you want the genuine article, you do have to know what you’re looking for because, no matter how they spell it -- Ug, Ugg or Ugh -- there are several importers with look-alike products that fall short of being the real thing.

If you want genuine Ugg Boots -- well-made boots with all the qualities that made the original so desirable -- you’ll want to make sure that.....

The boots are made from 100% Australian Merino Sheepskin. This will ensure your purchase is made of the finest Sheepskin hide avaliable.

Please Note:

Beware of very cheap imitations... quite a few boots on the market are made of cow suede with sawn on sheepskin inner fleece off cuts.... Don't take the chance and purchase these boots.... the external cow suede does not breath like 100% sheepskin does and will leave you with a smelly sweaty boot... But I must say these boots do look like the real thing but just don't cut the mustard when compared to authentic ugg boots
What do you think after you reading this UGG Boots history? Just hope you’d like it, see you next time!

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