Pete and The Pirates


“Bright Lights” 


Another UK band making lots of noise at SXSW this year was Pete and The Pirates. They sound kind of like a stripped down, raw version of Arcade Fire.  Their first full length album, Little Death, was released last year followed up by the release of a couple of new tracks in January of this year. And if you ask my opinion, I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of this band.

Let’s Wrestle


Let’s Wrestle,“I Won’t Lie To You”:

It’s Brit Rock day at the OCMD!  I’m feeling a little feisty today and this London-based three piece I saw recently at SXSW is just what I need.  With influences ranging from Pavement to Black Flag, Buddy Holly and ELO, they like to keep it raw and spunky. So come on already – let’s fucking wrestle!

White Lies


white lies
1). n : an unimportant lie (especially one told to be tactful or polite)
2). proper noun. London-based buzz band whose early 80s inspired rock has drawn comparisons to Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division, Editors and Interpol

White Lies. I tell them everyday. It’s a necessity when you’re a parent. I used to feel guilty about it but then I read a book recently called “Outwitting Toddlers that cited ‘white lies’ as a bona fide parenting tactic and have been absolved from all feelings of guilt and remorse ever since. Case in point, my little man resisted brushing his teeth relentlessly until I told him they would turn green and fall out like a pirate if he didn’t. Now I don’t even have to remind him to brush anymore.  

While I’m not sure if the name for this London-based buzz band was born out of such literal inspiration, it all seems so fittingly British and…well-mannered.  All stereotypes aside, these guys are making some noise with their early 80s-inspired moody debut, To Lose My Life. They are the first British band to chart a number one album in the U.K. in 2009 and have now diligently set their sites on America. The band hit the ground running at SXSW, playing to packed crowds at every turn and delivering live performances that had tongues wagging – ‘big time’.

See for yourself what all the fuss is about April 11 at Slims in San Francisco.

Listen to “Death“:

White Lies – To Lose My Life


Listen to “Death

I’m having a momentary crush on White Lies.  My first thought upon hearing them was Interpol meets Echo and The Bunnymen.  And I have a serious soft spot for Brit rock and Ian McCulloch,  so when I received an advance copy of UK trio’s To Lose My Life recently I couldn’t help but fall in love a little bit. It’s blatantly 80s influenced, but represents everything I like about Brit rock and the 80s in one album; guitar focused arena rock with a big dose of that new wave sound.  

To Lose My Life drops on Fiction Records 3/17. Their US tour kicks off in Austin at SXSW, making their way to San Francisco April 11 to play Slim’s and wrapping up at Coachella.  In the meantime, check out the new video to “To Lose My Life”…

Clinic – Tomorrow Video

I’ve been a long time fan of UK-based, Clinic.  They fit right in there with my Brit Rock fascination.  And the fact that they perform all their shows in surgical masks only adds to their eccentric allure.  They have a new album out, ‘Do It!’ – their fifth album.  Here is the new video for the track ‘Tomorrow.’

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And the Mercury Prize Nominees Are…

Being the huge Brit Rock fan that I am, I always follow the Mercury Prize to make sure I’m on top of my UK artists.  Who will get the award for ‘Best Album of the Year’?  There are certainly some strong contenders, but I’ll be rooting for Elbow – the eternal underdog.  

Adele – ’19’
British Sea Power – ‘Do You Like Rock Music?’
Burial – ‘Untrue’
Elbow – ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’
Estelle – ‘Shine’
The Last Shadow Puppets – ‘The Age Of The Understatement’
Laura Marling – ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’
Neon Neon – ‘Stainless Style’
Portico Quartet – ‘Knee-Deep In The North Sea’
Robert Plant And Alison Krauss – ‘Raising Sand’
Radiohead – ‘In Rainbows’
Rachel Unthank And The Winterset – ‘The Bairns’

Click here to listen to a sampler of these artists on MixWit.

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Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid

Artist: Elbow
AlbumThe Seldom Seen Kid
File Under: Brit Rock
Recommended if You Like: Radiohead, Coldplay, Rob Dickinson, Peter Gabriel
Featured Track: Grounds for Divorce; The Bones of You

“I’ve been working on a cocktail called Grounds for Divorce…,” is the opening line from the rockin’ single, ‘Grounds for Divorce,’ off Elbow’s fourth and arguably best release to date, The Seldom Seen Kid.  The song is immense, snarling with emotion and emblematic of the theme of the album – the joys and sorrows of everyday life.

I’ve been obsessing over this album since it’s release in April.  Definitely one of my top albums for 2008.  I’m in love with Guy Garvey’s voice, which reminds me of Peter Gabriel at times and Rob Dickinson at others.  It’s beautiful and melodic, regardless. Especially the track, ‘The Fix’, in which Guy collaborates with another British crooner, Richard Hawley.

Elbow is one of those Radiohead-esque English bands that emerged from the wake of The Bends and OK Computer in the 90s.  For whatever reason, Coldplay was the band the masses glommed onto while Elbow remained in relative obscurity, despite their abundance of critical accolades.  Lucky for you, you now know better. 

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