PLUG: Independent Music Awards

We fans pledge our devotion by making mix tapes, squeezing into cramped venues, sharing MP3s, writing blogs, sporting our favorite concert T’s…even getting into the biz. For us, these records are vital, relevant, even revolutionary.

So PLUG is about the independent community coming together to celebrate its own.

So, let’s celebrate. I make mix cd’s (tapes, anyone?), I squeeze into cramped venues, I share MP3s, I wear my favorite concert t’s and now I even write a blog, but am I really part of the independent community? I am not sure, at least I don’t seem to be part of the (american) PLUG community.

You can vote for the PLUG: Independent Music Awards here. But I must admit I feel a little bit left out. Out of the albums of the year I own exactly one and from the songs of the year I know two songs… And don’t even mention the sub-categories for the different kinds of albums of the year (punk, metal, electronic, etc.), the only one I’m voting in is “Indie Rock”.

Of course lower down on the list (festival, radio Station etc.) the US focus becomes obvious, but still… Who would have thought that I was so eurocentric. (I refuse to say that I am not part of the indie community).

So go ahead, you can give plenty of votes to Sufjan Stevens, if you like. I still haven’t decided which is my album of the year, but it probably won’t win a PLUG award.

Babyshambles

Here it is, the much expected (?) and heavily publized album by the “enfant terrible” of the British music scene, the “new Sid Vicious”…
down in albion
Babyshambles – Down in Albion

Babyshambles is, of course, the new group of Peter Doherty, the “lost Libertine”. Just in case you hadn’t been following his adventures over the last years (remember the “Free Pete” t-shirts?), the big scandal with Kate Moss on video taking cocaine during the recording sessions made sure that everyone knew who he was and that he had an album coming up.

The album is produced by Steve Jones, like the Libertines, and it does sound pretty similar to the Libertines. But it’s a bit like John Lennon without Paul McCartney or Keith Richards without Mick Jagger (in the current case there is clearly more Keith than Mick) and Peter Doherty without Carl Barat misses the urgency that was so typical for the Libertines. The first word that came to my mind was the German term “willenlos” which doesn’t translate very well, but you could say “loose” in English.

A big source of inspiration (and promotion, see above) is clearly Kate Moss, she gets to sing (?) on the opening track (La Belle et la b te) and she is most likely the heroine (no pun intended) of What Katy did next.

Overall Down in Albion is a good album with the singles (Fuck Forever, Kilimangiro and Albion) worth checking out, in case you’re hesitating to get the full album.

Not outstanding, but really not bad at all…

Foo Fighters

Today I received message from the Foo Fighters mailing list announcing a newly scheduled show in Paris on January 28th in the Zenith. I absolutely have to go, as so far I’ve seen them twice (Bataclan and Roskilde) and both times it was great. The challenge is, that I need to find someone to come along, but it’s a Saturday, maybe that makes it easier…

To celebrate the news I made a playlist for my ipod that contains all of their singles so far. It’s quite a long list and a great compilation. Below the track listing (with the respective album), if you want to do the same…
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Sufjan Stevens

It’s the time of the year, where the lists pop up with the best albums of the year. So far I’ve seen mostly US-based sites, such as: Information Leafblower, Metacritic or even amazon.com and they all have one thing in common…

This album is on the number one spot.
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
Illinois from Sufjan Stevens

I didn’t buy this album when it came out this year, nor do I own any other Sufjan Stevens albums, I have listened to Illinois repeatedly and I must admit I just don’t get it. How can this be the album of the year? Am I too old, too young, too stupid or too smart? I would maybe agree to saying that it is beautiful, but that doesn’t make it great to me.

I guess this is similar to Smile by Brian Wilson last year, which was pretty much the same story.