Boy Genius

Prior to his recent Birmingham live show (which I reviewed earlier this week here), I had the chance to sit down with Perfume Genius aka Mike Hadreas and chat about new album ‘Too Bright’, loud and scary songs, and crying to Cat Power. Among other things, of course.

Check out what he had to say by checking out the interview and then, if you haven’t already youcrazyfool, immediately go out to the nearest record store and buy all his albums. Okay? Good.

know your indie queen

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Bow Ties? Cool. Scarves? Cooler.

It’s December, so the Christmas countdown has started – and, speaking of time, here’s a nifty gift idea for the Doctor Who fan in your family or circle of friends.

Take a TARDIS and flash forward to December 25th, to the moment when that special Whovian in your life opens their perfectly wrapped Christmas prezzy to uncover a replica Doc Who scarf to keep them warm throughout the rest of winter. Sure, bow ties are cool but a lovingly crafted replica of your fave Time Lord’s nifty neckwear? Geronimo!

The kind folk over at Lovarzi, accessory specialists who’ve pretty much nailed a range of geek-chic Doctor Who knitwear (not to mention a Sherlock collection that Cumberbatch himself would be happy to investigate), were generous enough to send me my very own 4th Doctor replica scarf, which dedicated fans may recognise as the type worn by DW legend Tom Baker.

It’s priced at £49.99 but, given that it’s a pretty substantial size (opening up to 13ft/4m long), it’s worth every penny. The officially licensed scarf is a perfect treat for hardcore fans and cosplayers, but even occasional Who watchers (or even complete newbies) may find themselves enamoured by the blend of warm autumnal colours: yellow, purple, green, burgundy red. So, while it may be recognised as an iconic scarf to Who fans passing by, you could just as happily wear it for comfort and style regardless of your allegiance (or non-allegiance) – the only thing giving its true identity away is a label inside, which you’d have to get pretty up close to in order to clarify its official Who status.

lovarzi doctor whodoctor who 4th dr scarf

To buy your very own decorative scarf, or to browse the official BBC Doctor Who and Sherlock collections, head over to the Lovarzi website and keep up-to-date on Twitter. After all, it’s pretty cold out there in space and time – best to wrap up!

Perfect Perfume

It’s that time of year where chin-stroking muso list-makers compile their top albums of the year, and Mike Hadreas aka Perfume Genius has a lot to be happy about. His third effort ‘Too Bright’ has become something of a minor hit beyond the indie blogs and core fanbase his first two brilliant albums attracted, garnering five-star ratings all over the shop and ensuring a high spot on many of this year’s ‘best of’ lists.

However good the album is though, the perfect way to experience Hadreas’s music is in a live setting. I caught PG at his recent Birmingham gig and, after a four year wait to catch him live, was not disappointed; stark, stirring and something to behold, Hadreas and band combined stark emotional piano ballads with the new hard edges of rock and electronica that mark ‘Too Bright’. In a word? Genius.

Read my review (and keep in mind my interview with the Genius himself, Mike Hadreas, is coming soon) and then glam it up to the anthemic ‘Queen’ by pressing ‘play’ below.

Faith in Paloma

paloma faith

In her concert at Wolverhampton Civic on Saturday, Paloma Faith acknowledged how she frequently gets labelled with the ‘quirky’ tag due to her outlandish fashion sense and gabby chatshow persona.

Well, I for one think the flame-haired starlet’s single-minded approach to the music biz is what has the interest of many people piqued – especially when her music would be pretty straight-laced if it weren’t for her often oddball leanings.

Find out more of my thoughts on Faith, her music and her Saturday night show by checking out my Paloma Faith live review over at The Music Fix.

Giveaway: ‘Aama’ Graphic Novel

Calling all comic book fans!

The kind – and very cool – folk at SelfMadeHero have handed over a nifty prize in the shape of graphic novelist Frederik Peeters’ brand new book ‘The Invisible Thing’, the second instalment in his sci-fi-fantastic series ‘Aama’.

The planet-hopping space epic follows amnesiac hero Verloc Nim, his brother Conrad and robot ape sidekick (as ya do) Churchill as they journey into the unknown on a strange desert planet. Combining the philosophical fantasy of K. Dick and Kubrick, along with the impressive world-building of ‘Avatar’, Peeters’ series could very well be your next favourite science fiction fix. Already a winner of the ‘best series’ award at Angouleme festival in 2013, ‘Aama’ is a five-star “incredible saga” [Sci-Fi Now].

aama the invisible throng

So, how to be in with a chance for this graphic novel greatness to be your very own?

1) Head over to Twitter and follow @nicetogeekyou.

2) Retweet any one of the giveaway-related Tweets I’ll be sending out over the next couple of weeks.

Simples! Best of luck, geeks.

Prize Giveaway Terms & Conditions
Prize giveaway open to anyone in the UK aged 18 or over. Entry closes 11:59pm on 03/12/2014. One winner will be chosen at random and notified shortly thereafter via Twitter, whereupon a postal address for delivery of prize will be requested. Entry method as described above: to be considered eligible, you must follow @nicetogeekyou on Twitter and have retweeted at least one of the daily @nicetogeekyou tweets promoting the giveaway. The prize is as stated, with no alternative offered unless the advertised prize becomes unavailable. If a response is not received from the selected winner within 7 days, that winner will effectively forfeit his/her prize and another winner will be selected in his/her place. Entry constitutes full and unconditional acceptance of these Terms & Conditions.

Trailer Tuesday: Anne Hathaway Feels Heavy Metal – or a Bit Folky

Riding into Trailer-land straight from a Broadway showing of ‘Once’, new indie rom-non-com ‘Song One’ has a few things going for it. Sure, the trailer suggests a bit of a grim set-up and we’re all used to Anne Hathaway looking glum for an hour and a half, but the girl can sing – and the musical nature of this folk-inflected drama may give her a chance to flex those Miserables vocals alongside her co-star, none other than Brit coulda-been Johnny Flynn.

Well, I say coulda-been. After witnessing his comrades Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons and Alt-J hit it big in music, the singer-songwriter looked like he was swapping guitars for innuendo as lead in Channel 4 sitcom ‘Scrotal Recall’. However, now he’s combining acting chops with credible choons, hooking up with the dependably fantastic Jenny Lewis to provide the songs for ‘Song One’. With Christmas outta the way and post-New Year blues setting in, the movie – and its soundtrack – could very well be the cinematic warm cuddle every hipster’s after in cold, dank January. Could ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ be given a fiddly bluegrass makeover? Waiting to see is part of the fun.

A Classic Christmas

Zooey Deschanel doesn’t need another reason for us all to find her totes charming, but it must just come that easy to her.

Backed up by indie guitar maestro M. Ward, Zooey is set to sing her way into our hearts all over again in December with her fifth record as one half of She & Him. On December 1st, the duo’s new studio album is set to provide some respite from The X Factor and Crimbo #1 hopefuls thanks to Deschanel and Ward choosing to cover proven classics and deliver them under the catchy title, erm, ‘Classics’.

classics

A cynic could choose to term this musical move as lazy, but Zooey’s voice has always worked wonders with a golden oldie and the duo’s own originals have perfectly captured a sense of neo-nostalgia, thanks to various retro influences they will readily admit.

The tracklist is as follows:

1. Stars Fell On Alabama
2. Oh No, Not My Baby
3. It’s Not For Me To Say
4. Stay Awhile
5. This Girl’s In Love With You
6. Time After Time
7. She
8. Teach Me Tonight
9. It’s Always You
10. Unchained Melody (feat. the Chapin Sisters)
11. I’ll Never Be Free
12. Would You Like To Take a Walk?
13. We’ll Meet Again

Although we’re all overly familiar with a few of the above, I have faith that they will offer a credible spin on these songs. A recent US performance of ‘Time After Time’ (see below) supports this, so it looks like previous covers album ‘A Very She & Him Christmas’ may get fewer plays this Christmas season…

Going Down to the Bayou

So, I’m officially going to New Orleans next year – EEEEEK!

the princess and the frog

‘Excited’ is a word that doesn’t really do justice to my anticipation about tripping to what is a pretty mythical place for someone who has watched too many movies and read too many books. I’m aware of the historical and cultural significance of the place, and can’t wait to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a stone’s throw away from the Mississippi whilst sipping on some Hurricanes and listening to jazz. ARGH!

Time to re-watch ‘The Princess & the Frog’, flick through some dog-eared Anne Rice books, and start dreaming bad dreams starring Robert DeNiro as the Devil. Might order the entire boxset of ‘Treme’ too!

Anyone got any good tips for New Orleans movies, shows, books and music? I’ll devour it all!