Saturday, February 28, 2009

Porta's Eyes...It’s Nice That Issue 1


Launched in April 2007, It's Nice That aims to document and inspire creative talent. It's Nice That is run by Will Hudson and Alex Bec with regular contributor Jez Burrows.

To celebrate 2 years of successful blogging, It’s Nice That is moving into the print world. With a bi-annual publication the excellent site will promote more in depth features of the same great stuff they regularly churn up. Full color and at a nice length of 128 pages. Pre-orders for issue 1 are now being taken. (via Curated).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

pop*eye...The Boy Least Likely To - The Law of the Playground (2009)

The Boy Least Likely To Return With New Album in March!

The Boy Least Likely To

The Boy Least Likely To - The Law of the Playground (2009)

Following a lengthy absence, the Boy Least Likely To are finally gearing up to return in 2009 with a new album. The well-mannered UK twee outfit have announced their sophomore effort Law Of The Playground will see the light of day on March 3 and come courtesy of their new label home +1 Records.

The follow-up to 2005’s much-loved The Best Party Ever was originally slated for a summer release, but was forced to sit on the shelf after the group’s label went belly up. Now, though, the band have regained their baby and, with song titles like “I Box Up All the Butterflies,” “Whiskers” and “When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade,” it appears the label woes haven’t dampened their usual cheer.

Along with prepping their new album, the Boy Least Likely To have recently recorded a new yuletide number “The First Snowflake,” which is currently streaming on the group’s MySpace page.

Watch The First Snowflake

"It's surely likely to The Summer Feeling attract to you Again and again".... Have Funnnnnnn !

pop*eye...Dylan Mondegreen

Ready for some good pop?
Ready for a new pop crush?
Of course you are!...

Well hold on to your hats kids because I have one for you. The dreamy Norwegian Dylan Mondegreen (aka Børge Sildnes) is your man. His debut album While I Walk You Home is incredible. Think Todd Rundgren and Burt Bacharach and you have Mondegreen. The album is filled with beautiful lyrics and crisp clean melodies. This guy has made a timeless pop album. I haven't been this excited about a pop record since Duncan Sheik's debut album in 1996. Here are my current favorites from this amazing album: "Girl In Grass", "Broken French", and "While I Walk You Home" are on heavy rotation for me right now.

Dylan Mondegreen -While I Walk You Home

Indie-pop has entered its soft-rock phase, and... it sounds pretty good. Dylan Mondegreen is Norwegian singer and songwriter Børge Sildnes, whose debut album, the all-analog While I Walk You Home, just came out last month on Division. Mondegreen's current single, "Girl in Grass", should give you a good sense of what he's up to, a sound somewhere between the bedsit strums of the Lucksmiths or the Field Mice and the syrupier softness of 1970s AM staples like Bread. Nor are the results far off from the sighing pop of Swedish contemporaries the Honeydrips, whose "Fall From a Height (The Field Way)" we previously put on repeat.

In the video, a neatly-attired Sildnes can be seen picking out clean, slightly jazzy figures on a sleek Telecaster. It's a sunny day, he's standing in front of a tree, and his friends are sitting behind him. If any of this exacerbates your fall allergies, well, you still might find "Girl in the Grass" an unassuming pleasure-- and we haven't even told you yet about the dripping strings, acoustic jangle, bubblegum melody, or, shit yeah, saxophone solo. "You want your heart to break/ To feel the sweetest ache," Sildnes coos gently enough to make Sam Beam sound like a shouter, as the backdrop shifts toward night and then Halloween festivities. It all makes for an ode to beauty that isn't afraid to eschew ugliness altogether.


get it

more on Dylan Mondegreen Space

pop*eye...The Joy Formidable


The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning (2009)

The Joy Formidable are Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd and Matt Thomas.

The beginnings of TJF began several years ago, when school friends Ritzy and Rhydian chatted on a night out in their hometown of Mold, North Wales. Both opinionated and madly into music, an instant respect was formed and they began meeting regularly at the legendary Buckley Tivoli; then a North Walian mecca for local and touring bands. It was a source of much inspiration to the musically aspiring pair; alongside Ritzy's parents enormous, exhaustive record collection. Nevertheless, in an otherwise provincial, sleepy setting, itchy feet and a fleeing were inevitable; Ritzy to Washington DC and Rhydian to Manchester, where they enjoyed separate but strangely parallel journeys as singer songwriters. It was a single phone call that reunited them, this time they would write and record together.

Back in North Wales a flurry of early recordings revealed a voice emerging; the beauty of their surroundings against the sadness of personal circumstances tugging conflictingly in their songs and selves. They decided to move, choosing London as their new home and a base for their live aspirations.

With Matt Thomas on drums, a conjoint surrealist and raw, forceful drummer The Joy Formidable have thrived on the live front. Soundscape layers are spiked by the nakedness of a 3-piece; gargantuan, clamorous bass and guitars come in waves, Ritzy seething and cooing in equal measure.

Their material still has its roots in the vast, lonely countryside of the Clwydian borders but London has roused offshoots from the TJF bough. They have become a uniquely home-grown affair with the band driving every creative aspect, visually and musically. The band’s bedroom a chrysalis, that mutates daily from sleeping quarters, to studio to workshop. It was here they recorded first singles Austere and Cradle and their 8 track CD “A Balloon called Moaning" - a defiant release of optimism against their own heavy hearts.

pop*eye...Le Futur Pompiste

A collective of five friends making pop music

LE FUTUR POMPISTE is a group members all share the hometown Vaasa, although they are living in Helsinki, Stockholm and Turku at this moment.

Jessika Rapo - Lead vocals
Janne Koskinen - Flute
Johann Höglund - Bass guitar
Ville Hopponen - Drums, percussions, keyboard
Einar Ekström - Guitar, vocals
Axel Ekström - Synths, organs, electric piano

released their first LP “YOUR STORIES AND YOUR THOUGHTS” on Siesta Records in 2004 and are currently working on their SECOND ALBUM aiming at a RELEASE IN 2009!

"Sweet indie pop. If you like Scandinavian pop, this is a band you might like."

more on lefuturpompiste, lefuturepompiste space

pop*eye...Fantastic Something

Bedsit Pop Pioneers

As most pop lovers who ever heard it might, I fell instantly and desperately in love with Fantastic Something's 1984 single "If She Doesn't Smile (It'll Rain)." Desperate for more like it, I sought out this, the mysterious Greek-by-way-of-the-UK duo's sole full-length, only to be (understandably) disappointed, as it contained nothing approaching the pure pop brilliance of that debut single. This is prototypical bedroom twee-pop, though its sound is considerably dated by the fretless bass and electronic drum sounds that forever link it to the mid-80's time period that it came from. However, this will appeal to fans of slightly jangly, innocuous pop acts like their label-mates Everything But the Girl, perhaps even to fans of more recent bedsit-poppers like Trembling Blue Stars and Of Montreal, or any other band whose lyrical concerns include building the perfect treehouse or the terror of that first kiss. Meanwhile, Amazon thankfully has made available for download their original single, which is absolutely essential, though if you've made it to this review, you've probably heard it, and are looking for another fix...

It is a pleasure not to follow the prevailing wind and rediscover buried treasures. Here comes something long awaited: previous unreleased material from our all-time faves Fantastic Something. An archaelogical approach to pop music has led us to this real discovery: a lost treasure from the very early nineties. It's time that these compositions are discovered by a whole new generation of music-lovers. Fantastic Something is the musical alliance of brothers (born in Boston-Massachussets USA and brought up in Greece) Alex, The Waving Tree, and Constantin Veis. They play lyrically intriguing melodic pop with crystal clear guitars and harmonies at their best. Their pastoral and dreamy pop -blessed with a poetic power- was appreciated by thousands of fans in the eighties via their Cherry Red and Warner releases and of course by a succesful Japanese release. We are proud to help disseminate the names of these unique talents.

Fantastic Something are still remembered with genuine affection for their soft-voiced pop. A well-positioned critic called them "the indie or non-mainstream answer to Simon & Garfunkel" Well, the one thing that we can be sure of is that their pop inspired or pioneered the sounds of East Village, Blueboy, Moose, The Springfields, and even early Stone Roses. In the eighties they lived in London for seven years (studying architecture and film arts) but were succesful in Japan. The objective of the Veis brothers was to form a band that would be pure in its form and profound in its vision, using instruments like painters use pigment or colour. Not strangely, they were regarded as the exotic flower of the 80's pop (with Everything but the girl, maybe).

Back in 1993 Fantastic Something decided to record an album to capture the warmth and intimacy of a small room with a set of 10 fragile and pretty songs. Pleasant and soothing music from a small room in Athens, Greece. What a modest but fascinating enterprise! The album could not be eventually released as it was kept in secret.

Time has passed. We recover these 5 historically-important songs that had to be part of that 10-tracks album. Within this modest framework, however, wonders abound. Fantastic Something expresses so much in such a beautiful and simple manner. Each song is a gem; even the cognoscenti-elite may find hints of Nilsson, The Bluebells, The Go Betweens or Trash Can Sinatras inside.

Everyone knows how music has changed since 1990, how the changes in equipment have produced new styles. Time is merciless to music, which is more vulnerable to forgetfulness that any other. Modernity means an absence of memory. Fantastic Something are protected. They give ample evidence of the possibilities of creating timeless pop. Now they are planning a new album with fresh new repertory. And they promise to launch more projects.

Fantastic Something - Selftitled (1985)

From Cherry Red Records first and later from Blanco y Negro/WEA, Fantastic Something reached resonance in the 80's by their Pop of classic cut. They were as a well dressed independent Simon & Garfunkel with a good way of life.
They released a little production (1 album and 1 single) - more than nothing due to their perfectionist eagerness but they inspired to many Pop bands. The Veis brothers were seven years settled down in the United Kingdom and assimilated emblems of other people's cultures and studies of architecture and cinematographic arts in London. Of simple spirit, not contaminated, they were progressing and acquiring notoriety until the point of being considered next to Everything But The Girl like the exotic flower of the independent Pop of the 80's. Finished their adventure in the United Kingdom they returned to Athens (Greece). Probably the best greek band together with the Aprodite's Child.


Welcome to Fantastic Somewhere...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hot and Covered...Monocle 2nd Anniversary Fashion Spread...

Monocle March '09 Fashion Spread...On The March

Today we picked up the new Monocle March 2009 issue and their fashion spread this time is just perfect. Having in mind the rainy days that lie ahead of us within early Spring, Monocle smartly mixes technical outerwear with classic workwear and casual fashion. We have absolutely nothing to complain on these outfits and love the mix of Japanese brands (Visvim, North Face Purple Label, Needles) and US and European brands (Woolrich Woolen Mills, Brooks Brothers, etc). The tote bags come from Bottega Veneta and also look great.

Monocle’s fashion spreads are probably my favorite of any publication. I tend to look at them about 10-15 times each issue and try to figure out why I like them so, how they are shot so well? If it’s the great designers, classic models, or great printing of the magazine? I found it’s probably better to just enjoy, and not think about it too much. This March’s issue is also a big one, or two - as it’s Monocle’s 2 year anniversary issue. It’s pretty amazing what the publication has accomplished in only two years. Print, audio, video, retail and products - all of the highest caliber and seemingly appreciated by a few folks out there. Besides loving the fashion spreads like this one, I have been really enjoying the Monocle Weekly pod-casts on the website. They are easier to digest than reading about some of the topics, and with interesting perspectives and a nice sense of humour, I am starting to actually wish there were daily episodes. Anyways, the color palette of the spread is perfect. The navy, natural tones look great and are pieced together really nicely. Brands include; Visvim, North Face Purple Label, Needles, and Woolrich Woolen Mills. I really appreciate how wearable these looks are, and while I may not be able to afford many of the items, the general atmosphere of the spread is whats inspiring. Thanks to Selectism for the images.

Have a look at more images of the Monocle March ‘09 fashion spread, entitled “On The March”, after the jump.

more @ monocle mag...

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Modern Classic...Prep Rally...

Another good classic find from the Life Archive. Good ole Ivy Style was on to these photos as well. More inspirational prep school goodness after the jump.

Argyle socks and cuffed flannels:

Pants so short they go up to your knees when you cross your legs. The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, 1954:

Wrinkled chinos, ties under crewnecks, light socks and loafers:

Rep tie, signet ring, freckles:

Breaking in the new teacher.

Finally, Steve McQueen visiting his old dorm room at the Boys Republic School in Chino Hills, CA, 1963:

Ah, the halcyon days at an all-male prep school, mid-century. Here we have two future lawyers shining their shoes while debating the merits of the various Ivies. The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, 1942 (click image to see clothes and pimples in hi-res):

"Good ole Ivy Style was on to these photos as well. More inspirational prep school goodness after the

more on...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

pop*eye...Coeur de Pirate (2009)

Coeur de Pirate
is 18 year old Béatrice Martin who has played the piano from the age of three. In March 2007, after five years of music education, she started composing her own songs. Members of Bonjour Brumaire noticed her and asked her to join their group as singer and keyboardist. This spring Béatrice left the group to concentrate on Coeur de Pirate, her solo project. With only four concerts to its credit, Coeur de Pirate has gotten its fame mainly on Myspace. Her first self-titled album “Coeur de Pirate” was released September 16 on Grosse Boite records.

Coeur de Pirate - Coeur de Pirate (2009)

The debut album of an 18 years old Quebec-based musician Béatrice Martin delivers a collection of colourful and charming piano-driven pop songs. As the album ranges from melancholic notes to playful tones, the standout track “Comme Des Enfants” carries sincere joyfulness, sweet vocals, whimsical piano, organ and string arrangements. Equally enjoyable “C’était Salement Romantique” offers lovely organic nuances and a delicate instrumentation of the finest kind.

"From subtle innocence to mature melodies.

Coeur de Pirate Space...