Coachella! This coming Sunday, Bloc Party end their short U.S. tour by playing at the Coachella Valley Music Festival, a two day event in sunny California.
Those of you lucky enough to be going can check the weather forecast here (looks like a scorcher!) and Bloc Party will be playing in the Outdoor Theatre at 6:00pm Pacific Standard Time. Have fun!
The rest of us will have to make do with recreating the festival at home by following this simple five step plan:
Strip down to minimal, yet fashionable, attire (they don't do jester hats in California!)
Apply copious amounts of sunscreen.
Put beer in microwave to warm for 30 seconds. (disclaimer: do not try this!)
Switch on live webcast.
Sit under sunbed, pour beer, relax.
Alternatively...just watch the webcast! The AT&T blue room will be streaming performances from the festival and, according to the schedule, Bloc Party's set will be shown at 8:00pm PST.
California are 8 hours behind Great Britain, so the Bloc Party webcast should go out at around 4am GMT! If there are any insomniacs, milkmen or postmen who'll be up at that time and might be able to record it...please let me know!
"Dance punk will not be a noose around our necks" Kele has shed some light on the forthcoming album! Speaking from a very humid hotel room in Fort Lauderdale on the first night of Bloc Party's short trip to the States, he had this to say about Bloc Party's sophomore effort:
"...I know, I know, I know, I've been pretty slack in keeping you guys up to date so I thought as I have just compiled a playlist of the album contenders that I would let you guys in on it. On first thoughts, this album is going to be angry, not angry in a "fuck you, I won't tidy my bedroom!" Linkin Park way, more silent rage, like what is left when frustration boils over. Lyrically a lot of the abstraction has gone, the ideas are clearer and braver.
The new record will not be called 'Urbanite Relaxation', I told a journalist that would be one of the main themes, not the title. After reading 'Society Of The Spectacle' by Guy Debord and 'A Critique Of Everyday Life' by Henry Lefebvre I literally became obsessed with these minute details of everyday life in a modern capitalist society. Commuting, working, drinking, watching time slip by.
It's not a dance punk record, that shit has been done to death. Dance punk will not be a noose around our necks. The songs that stand out for me are: 'A Song for Clayton', 'Kreuzberg', 'Sunday', 'Perfect Teens' (formerly 'Machine'), 'Wet', 'Seroxat' and 'England' (formerly 'Blue Moon')."
Kele continues: "In the last year I've been reacquainting myself with early Roxy Music, Queen, 80's period Bowie, Missy Elliot, DJ Shadow, Dizzee Rascal, Philip Glass, and Austrian composer Ligeti. Last year I was given a choral score by Penderecki and I have not been able to stop listening to it. So I guess between those artists and composers, here is what we are aiming for with this new record. The atmosphere of this next record is going to be dark, we cannot deny that, but if we get it right it will not be aloof, it will be funny, warm and real as well, like an episode of Six Feet Under.
PS - Also to all you fans that have downloaded some live new tracks, please don't get too attached to them, as we are still in the process of overhauling everything. Those songs are just templates, playing them live to you guys helped us decide what worked and what didn't, that is all."
First posted on 'Marshals' - the official Bloc Party fan space.
This is the biggest free music festival in the UK, with 30,000 tickets up for grabs (15,000 for each day). Tickets will be made available from bbc.co.uk/radio1 and each successful applicant will receive a pair of tickets for either Saturday or Sunday. As with previous Radio 1 Big Weekends, people living in the host region will have the priority.
Bloc Party will be rocking the 'In New Music We Trust' stage on Saturday 13th May.
Update...the new album Just a quick update on the new album...the guys have been busy over the past few weeks writing yet more new songs, including 'Kreuzberg', 'Cruel' and 'Merge On The Freeway'.
'Kreuzberg' is likely to be about the district in Berlin, Germany which is well known for its annual, and occasionally violent, May Day demonstrations. Either that, or they just like the word! I've been informed that 'Merge On The Freeway' is not the new title for 'Machine' (despite 'Machine' featuring those lyrics in its chorus!).
All will be revealed soon enough...Bloc Party are heading into the recording studio as soon as they return from their current stint in the States, culminating in an appearance at Coachella. They'll be based at Grouse Lodge Recording Studios, a picturesque residential complex in Ireland, before heading home to London for the second leg of recording.
So-pho-more information, check back soon! (Do you see what I did there?)
Also, stay tuned for details of a forthcoming U.S. tour, which will include shows with support from Mew and Secret Machines. Lovely!
Download 'Into The Blue'! A live recording of this rare Bloc Party song has surfaced online!
'Into The Blue' was written as long ago as the beginning of last year, but Kele scrapped the title around the time the film of the same name came out. It was the first new song played live after the release of 'Silent Alarm', being premiered at the Magic Stick in Detroit on April 1st 2005.
It looks like Bloc Party's set at the Coachella Festival in 11 days time will be broadcast live online in the AT&T blue room, hopefully providing a chance to hear some of the new songs played under the Californian sun. I'll post up more details nearer the festival!
Finally, 'The Answer', an early Bloc Party track, appears on 'Transgressive Singles Collection: Volume 1', a CD/DVD compilation featuring past and present releases by Transgressive Records. (This is somewhat confusing as Bloc Party have never been signed to Transgressive, though co-founder of Transgressive, Tim, did used to run Trash Aesthetics, Bloc Party's first record label!)
Jacknife Lee chosen to produce the second album! It's been confirmed that Jacknife Lee will produce Bloc Party's second album, the follow up to 'Silent Alarm'!
Speaking on Marshals, Gordy had this to say about the decision:
"After a pretty successful week recording, considering and mixing a new track with Jacknife Lee, we've taken the decision in the last few days that he's the man for the very important job of producing our next record."
"Some of you may remember back to his days as flame-haired guitarist in Compulsion (I certainly do, in fact I can claim to be something of an authority on that band), others may know him better for his work with Snow Patrol. Either way Bloc Party has certainly clicked with him and most importantly feel he shares our sense of the kind of record we're all capable of making." "You know the clichés about second albums; for us it has never been a consideration to somehow re-capture the 'magic' of Silent Alarm. We want to make a more accomplished, better and different-sounding record. And we've been looking to work with someone who can dig that record out of us, although as much as anything it's about finding someone who you'd want to spend six weeks in an enclosed space with. We'll all be heading for that enclosed space when we're back from Coachella, so for now we're going to enjoy some fresh air." Jacknife Lee, aka Garret Lee, was born in Dublin and started making music when he was 14. After four years playing punk rock guitar with Compulsion, Lee began remixing, bootlegging and producing. He has a very impressive CV, having worked with artists such as Run DMC, Eminem, Longview, Badly Drawn Boy, Basement Jaxx, Kasabian, U2, Blur, Missy Elliot, Björk and The Raveonettes. Lee was also the producer of the album that brought Snow Patrol into the limelight, 'Final Straw'.
Tickets go on sale exclusively via Marshals at 10am local time on Thursday 6th April before going on general sale 36 hours later on the evening of 7th April.
To join Marshals visit www.blocparty.com/marshals. Membership costs around $3.50 (£2) and will give you access to all future ticket pre-sales, as well as exclusive interviews and news from the band.
Here's some geographical information for you! The Toronto Islands are a chain of small islands which provide a shallow natural harbour for the city of Toronto, Canada. The islands were originally a 9 km peninsula extending from the mainland but a fierce storm in 1858 washed away a sizeable portion of the connecting landmass and created the 'Eastern Gap'. The islands also used to form a single unified whole, but splintered when Hurricane Hazel hit in 1954.
More recordings of the new songs! I've uploaded all of the other live bootlegs I have of the new Bloc songs, collected from various sources. These vary in quality, but they're all better than the recordings from the Royal Albert Hall gig which I posted up the other day!
Head over there to find out why Epworth gets backing vocalists to wear socks on their hands, his reasons behind choosing to work with Bloc Party and how he achieved some of the sounds and textures on 'Silent Alarm'.
Get 'Wet' I made recordings of all the new songs that Bloc Party played at last Wednesday's Royal Albert Hall gig. Here's the song that most people have been requesting...'Wet'. The sound quality is pretty shoddy, but you should get the general idea!
Possible album title: 'Urbanite Relaxation' Kele Okereke has revealed that "life in the city" is the inspiration behind the new Bloc Party material.
He explains, "One of the main (themes) is about life in the city, life in the Metropolis and leisure, how people unwind."
Kele wants to reflect this in the title of the band’s second album, even though he admits he hasn’t discussed it with the rest of the band yet! He says, "That's what I'm thinking the title of the album should be, but I've got to speak to the others first really!"