NME name 'Silent Alarm' as their album of the year! It's come around to that time of the year again...chestnuts roasting on an open fire, the copious consumption of mince pies...and numerous end of year best-of lists.
NME have named 'Silent Alarm' as their album of the year, ahead of albums by bands such as Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand and The White Stripes! That's a pretty cool achievement!
Kele had this to say about scooping the NME Album Of The Year award:
"It was a shock. It was the last thing we thought was going to happen. But it's a completely pleasant surprise. "Obviously I'm proud of'SilentAlarm' as a record and think it must have touched people. I always had the idea in my head that I wanted the songs to sound a lot bigger on record. I wasn't happy with the idea of us just going in and recording a live album. It had to be a different sort of sound. "I remember at the beginning not being sure how it was going to sound, but by the end of the month realising we'd done ourselves proud. We said, 'If it doesn't get at least eight in NME, we're going to be very upset.' "I still listen to it now and again to see what sort of effect it has on me a year down the line. There are some songs on there that I'm really proud of, and with the next record we're looking to explore those ideas more fully. It was meant to be just the beginning. There was no real overview, it was a snapshot of the way we were thinking. We know that we have better albums in us."
'Banquet' is at number 13 in NME's tracks of the year.
Blocparty.net visitor map! I recently came across a nifty little site called Frappr that lets you post up a map on your website or community showing where in the world your visitors are from. I thought it'd be a good idea to put one on blocparty.net so that users can find out if any fellow Bloc Party fans live near them.
It's really easy to sign up - just go to the Frappr map I've set up and enter your name and location. You can also contact anyone on the map (providing they've left an email address), post up your photo and/or leave a shoutout.
If the map gets enough members (and people think it's a good idea) I might run a BP fan of the month feature or something!
Live webcast from Amsterdam Paradiso On December 3rd (next Saturday), Bloc Party are playing at Amsterdam Paradiso. The whole gig will be webcast live on Fabchannel from 19:30 GMT. This is a great chance to experience a bit of live Bloc action, on the final date of their European tour.
The support band, Stars, will also have their whole set webcast on the same night from 18:30 GMT.
Bloc Party nominated for five PLUG Independent Music Awards PLUG is a collection of music lovers - writers, DJs, webmasters, bloggers, artists, filmmakers, managers, indie retailers and fans - who gather together each year to celebrate the artists who live and flourish in the margins.
This year, Bloc Party have been nominated in five PLUG Award categories: 'Album Of The Year', 'Artist Of The Year', 'Indie Rock Album Of The Year', 'Live Act Of The Year' and 'Music Video Of The Year' (for Helicopter).
'Live At Reading' album now available to download from iTunes Bloc Party's headline set on the Radio1/NME stage at this summer's Reading Festival is now available from the iTunes music store. Each individual song costs 79p, or the whole 13 track album can be downloaded for £7.99.
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To enter, email me your name along with the answer to the following question:
Name the Bloc Party song that contains the following lyrics..."you don't need to preach to me, i'm a believer baby".
Everyone who emails me the correct answer will be placed in the draw. Two names will be picked at random on Saturday November 19th. The two winners will each be able to pick any short sleeved T-shirt of their choice from EBTM.com. This competition is open to anyone, regardless of where they live.
Final Fantasy covers Bloc Party Owen Pallett is a bit of a genius. As well as co-writing the string arrangements on the Arcade Fire's debut album and playing with them live, he also has a solo project called 'Final Fantasy'. This features Owen on vocals and violin, occasionally backed by Leon Taheny on drums (who also engineers and produces the project).
As anyone who's been lucky enough to go to a Final Fantasy gig will testify, he is a stunning live performer. He builds up layers of sound using his violin through a loop pedal, including knocking the instrument to create a beat. Owen also has a stop-you-in-your-tracks angelic voice and his next album will apparently be called 'He Poos Clouds', which is described as "an eight-song cycle about the eight schools of magic in Dungeons & Dragons"!
'Heroes' (Issue 2: Royal Affairs) Here's the second issue of the Bloc Party comic strip, this time also featuring Kaiser Chiefs, made by Anant Naik using photographs from 'Marshals'.
By the way, 'This Modern Art' is still open for submissions. If you've created any drawings, computer graphics or other artwork related to the band, send them over to me along with your name and I'll post them up on blocparty.net!
Free gig in Galway, Ireland on 8th November Bloc Party are playing a Heineken Green Room Session in Galway, Ireland on Tuesday 8th November. This will be at the Black Box venue and tickets are available here. Be quick - there are only 180 tickets left!