Bashmore's Redemption

Julio-Bashmore-Au-Seve-Album-Art-468x459Julio Bashmore redeems himself by releasing these edits, which marry R&B vocals with grimy percussion.BROADWHITES001 – F U All The Time (Kowton Refix)/And What (Kahn’s Gyal Dem Edit)Julio Bashmore has been experiencing a bit of backlash recently. Early tracks like ‘Battle For Middle You’ and ‘Father Father’ were critically acclaimed, big hits among the underground dance scene. ‘Au Seve’, the first release on his own Broadwalk label, was inescapable last summer and, although it trod no new ground, it lit up a festival like nothing else. Since then, though, things have gone downhill. ‘Husk’ received a mixed response, while the Soundcloud comments on his latest offering, ‘Duccy’, range from the incredulous (‘surely this is a joke?’) to the matter of fact (‘proper s**t’); the general tone is bewilderment at how someone with such obvious production chops could put out such a mediocre and derivative tune. However, Bashmore should be congratulated for at least one thing this year: putting out this 12” on a white label off-shoot of Broadwalk. Jeremih’s F U All The Time is a track ripe for remixing. It features nothing more than an instantly hummable melody, sparse clicks and soft bass hits. Kowton keeps the chords and Natasha Mosley’s sultry vocal, while augmenting it with his trademark militant kicks and claps, all underlain by an insistently rumbling sub-bass. His refix is skeletal, but in a more propulsive way than the original; only the absolutely necessary elements are added to make it club-ready. Kahn’s edit is a track destined for white-label release if ever there was one; he effectively plonks Brandy’s sensuous R&B number ‘Slower’ over the middle three minutes of Kowton’s ‘And What’. This works for two reasons; Kowton’s original was a minimal percussive workout, and ‘Slower’ is exactly what R&B should be. The juxtaposition of Kowton’s claps with Brandy’s layered vocal enhances both aspects, producing a silky track ready for peak-time action. Khan has managed to rework something mediocre into something more, and for that he should be commended. Robin Hughes Image Credit: Julio Bashmore

Keysound Allstars Vol. 2

keysound2 The latest release from dubstep pedlars Keysound both draws from early dubstep and pushes forward on their forays into dungeon, but still packs a punch.Keysound is the type of label where you make sure that you check out each one of their releases, even if some of them aren’t exactly to your taste. They have managed to successfully carve out a niche for themselves in the crowded scene of British dance music, through exercising tight quality control and maintaining a unifying vision. Though their releases exhibit some sonic variety, there is an overriding aesthetic theme; fairly summed up as dark and sparse. There are obvious parallels with early dubstep here, and some have accused Keysound of merely purveying slowed-down ‘dungeon’; Keysound Allstars Vol. 2 should put that myth decisively to bed. While the EP’s four tracks do their fair share of looking back to the hardcore continuum, they manage to fuse the old elements into something new, exciting, and powerful. Opener ‘Scattah’, produced by Etch (from whom I for one haven’t heard much before) is a beast of a tune. Sounding like a cross between RSD’s dubstep classic ‘Pretty Bright Lights’ and Tessela’s recent stuff, it combines skittering junglist breaks with a wormholing bassline to devastating effect. Next up is Walton, who featured on Allstars Vol. 1, and he justifies the double inclusion with ‘Homage’, a banger of a tribute to UK Garage which includes added crackle for true analogue warmth. ‘Homage’ even pulls the classic trick of cutting to a female vocal before it drops a pulverising bassline, not dissimilar to Bigga G’s ‘Mind, Body, and Soul’. On the flip, the atmosphere is more Eski than 2-step. Visionist provides ‘From a Place’, which starts with echoing drums before introducing ice-cold synths and strings, while vocal snippets float in and out of the mix. Fresh Paul’s ‘Sunblazed’ is the lightest track here, but doesn’t sacrifice any power. Logos-like synths flicker and interplay with Eski bleeps, while off-kilter drums drive the whole forward. This side is less out-and-out club fare than the other, but will surely find its way into the discerning DJ’s sets. A highly satisfying compilation, these tracks will, and definitely have, gone off in the club. Robin Hughes Image Credit:hedmuk.blogspot.co.uk

In Search of Sasquatch

Haley Scheer went in search of the best music festival in the Northwest U.S.A. -and she found it.Snuggly secured amidst backpacks, coolers, and bags of food, we began our drive east in an over-stuffed car. The typical arguments over music choice were reconciled with a Mumford and Sons album, in anticipation of their live performance. We were headed for Sasquatch, one of the biggest and best Northwest summer music festivals, originally set up by Adam Zacks eleven years ago in 2002 to fill the gap which had been left in the U.S. from erstwhile top-bar festivals like Lollapalooza shutting up shop. As the road began winding gently through the mountains, the dense emerald green forest enshrouded in fog became replaced with dry, open landscapes. The contrast between western and eastern Washington never ceases to surprise me, and before I knew it we were looking at miles of vast, barren earth, drenched with sun and not a tree in sight. In a matter of hours we left the rainy city in exchange for brilliant, open blue skies and desert-like landscapes. After dropping our bags, we rushed to the grounds, anxious to catch the main opening act of the night. Wristbands secured, we rushed through security and were thrown into the swarming crowds of drunken college kids. Music boomed from every direction, and as we walked down the path we passed the various stages, each blaring different genres of music. A massive tent, referred to in previous years as the ‘banana shack’ was rave-central, complete with a DJ stand in the middle, flashing lights and booming bass. As we approached the end of the main path we reached the hillside overlooking the main stage, with the gorge behind it. The whole hillside was strewn with blankets and groups of people awaiting the main act. As we found a spot the stage lit up and cheers began ringing from the mosh pit below. Macklemore had arrived. Chills ran down my spine as the whole hillside rose for his first song, cheering and screaming. Ben Haggerty, otherwise known as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis did not disappoint in their performance. New songs from his recent album ‘The Heist’ were featured as well as older ones like ‘Otherside’. In the middle of the set Haggerty delivered a heartfelt speech, expressing his gratitude to his fellow Seattlites for their loyal support during his journey, and his happiness to be back in the Northwest, his home. The crowds went wild, and Macklemore’s set was finished with skin-tingling enthusiasm. The next morning revealed the stunningly dramatic scenery of the Gorge Amphitheatre, which served as the setting for the main stage and had been previously hidden by nightfall. Perched atop the hillside we looked down in awe at the main stage below and the Colombia River Canyon behind it. The outdoor music venue is one of the most scenic concert locations worldwide, and has won many awards for music venues in previous years. Supposedly it is one of the top three places in the United States to see a concert, and I don’t doubt it. We spent our weekend based on the hillside, soaking up every ounce of sunshine possible in an attempt to make up for Scotland’s vitamin-D-deficient environment. Each day began around noon, and we would wander to and from the various stages throughout the day. As the day began to cool off we would meander out to our car and have a picnic-style dinner before returning for the main acts. As well as the headline acts, the weekend played host to The Lumineers, Capital Cities, Bloc Party, Wild Belle, The Artic Monkeys, Atlas Genius, Vampire Weekend, Grimes, Devendra Banhart, amongst others. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were the main stage performance on Friday night, while Saturday featured Sigur Ros as well as a hauntingly beautiful set by The XX. Sunday night was a personal highlight of the festival for me. As the sun set in the Gorge, casting a warm glow over the hillside, crowds packed in to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The performance left me in euphoric awe as they finished with their famous song ‘Home’, pausing to pass the mic around the crowd and hear stories from the audience. And if that wasn’t enough, the main act of the night, following a bit later, was Mumford and Sons. Tens of thousands of people swarmed in, squeezing into places that I had thought impossible to reach. Heading down an hour early to get a spot was not nearly early enough, as people had evidently been securing places several hours beforehand. As the lights on the stage started to flicker and sound checks began, the crowds erupted in cheers. Mumford and Sons did not disappoint, playing both classic older songs as well as a number of songs off their newest chart-topping album, ‘Babel’. The set was slower and calmer than might have been expected, but nonetheless was greatly received by the crowds. They surprised everyone by closing their performance with a collaborative song with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and it was a long time before people reluctantly began wandering off, dreamily humming and swaying. Monday saw Imagine Dragons and The Postal Service take to the stage, both of whom were greatly well-received. Fittingly, it began raining that day, and left us in a melancholy mood with gray skies overhead. But for me, it was all worth it to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros strum along with Mumford and Sons. For the rest of the drive home and the days following I had excerpts from their performances as the soundtrack to my thoughts. Sasquatch, I’ll definitely be back next year.Haley ScheerThe Gorge Amphitheatre, home of Sasquatch Festival Image Credit: Gorge Amphitheatre -Daniel

Idina 'Defying Gravity' Again

Michael Stephen Hahn reviews Idina Menzel's powerful Edinburgh performance

Rating: 5/5On Tuesday 16th October, Broadway superstar Idina Menzel finished her UK tour with a night at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Idina rose to fame by initiating the role of Maureen in Jonathan Larson’s RENT, and went on to also play this character in the film adaptation. However she is best-known for originating the role of green-skinned Elphaba in Wicked on both Broadway and The West End – and is featured in the only studio recording for the production. She more recently featured in two stints as Shelby Corcoran, Rachel Berry’s biological mother, on hit TV series Glee – largely due to her uncanny resemblance to Lea Michele who portrays Berry.Last year, Menzel finished her North American tour with a one night gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall, but this year decided to return to the UK for just over a week: four performances in London, one in Manchester, and one final show in Edinburgh. After spending a few hours in the pub across the road from the concert hall, my friend and I made our way, excitedly, into the one hundred year old stunning hall, eagerly anticipating the arrival of Menzel, as the orchestra warmed up with some verses from Wicked.The lights dimmed and the orchestra started playing the familiar melody as an off-stage Menzel started to softly sing the July Garland standard “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, eventually belting a few of the lines in her classic fashion. The curtains opened as Idina made her way to the front of the stage, welcomed with loud applause and cheering, as she made her way into “The Wizard Of I” – a fitting choice, giving that in Wicked it is Elphaba’s first song. What was to follow was amazing vocals, instrumental masterpieces and both hilarious and heart-felt anecdotes about Menzel’s pre-career wedding singing, as well as tributes to RENT writer Jonathan Larson, who died the night before the show’s dress rehearsal, and the recently deceased Marvin Hamlisch, who has accompanied Menzel on her tour last year as both conductor and pianist.

Whilst all songs were exceptional, the early standout was, for me, the cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” as well as unrecorded (hopefully not for long) song “God Save My Soul”. Menzel then sung her half of the duet “Take Me or Leave Me” before inviting various audience members to help her finish the duet, before going on to singing a very emotive version of “No Day But Today”, also from Rent. The audience was then silenced as Idina took her ear-pieces out, the orchestra put down their instruments and Menzel’s microphone was unplugged. She took centre-stage and sung an a-cappella and unplugged version of “For Good” – one of Wicked’s most famous songs. The audience were stunned as her voice, with no audio help, were able to reach every ear in the vast concert hall.My friend wept as Menzel’s vocals proved to be every bit as powerful and clear as the recorded version, with a new depth of emotion being reached. The audience seemed reluctant to stop their standing ovation after this number, until the orchestra started with Menzel’s most famous song “Defying Gravity”. A slightly less Broadway style version of the song, more similar to Menzel’s solo version or Lea Michele’s version featured on Glee, followed, as Idina’s vocals smoothly worked through the song culminating in her traditional belting of the high-E at the end of the ballad. The crowd were on their feet once more as she jokingly waved to go off stage before returning for her encore.An emotive version of Broadway composers Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s new song “Learn To Live Without” was followed by West Side Story’s “Somewhere”, which Menzel had covered in a duet with Lea Michele in Glee (Season 3, Episode 2). This felt like a good culmination of the night's events, as she combined emotive elements with extremely powerful notes, resulting in one final standing ovation.I had been looking forward to finally seeing Idina Menzel live since purchasing my tickets a few months ago, but the night far surpassed the already high expectations which I previously held. Her humour, the breadth of which I had previously not realised, was the glue which stuck her flawless performances and anecdotes together. Michael Stephen HahnImages by tempusfugate

Red - Taylor Swift

Ian Samson reviews Taylor Swift's latest release Red  Rating: 5/5Now, let us be honest for a minute. I am renowned for my articles of a satirical nature - lest we forget the hilarity of my review of Now! 81, my seminal exposé on 'the History of Music', or my contribution to the realm of 'Popstar Marriages that I am Bitter about'. Most academics of such distinction would retire, living comfortably off consultancy proceeds, royalties, and the occasional guest judge slot on Britain's Got Talent; but not I! No, for you see, dear readers - I am comfortably inebriated, and the music sub-editor of the St Andrews Tribe Magazine has requested that I write another article for this week's edition. And, by good fortune, the new Taylor Swift album is legitimately worthy of my raptures. I swear, genuinely, that this is not another sardonic masterpiece. Genuinely, Taylor Swift is the Bob Dylan of our era - except good, and well fit. Like, well fit.Taylor Swift is - and this is not even the alcohol talking - everything that is right with music nowadays. She is dedicated; her parents gave up a comfortable life as Bank of America financial advisors to support her career as a country music starlet in Nashville. She pursued a career in music, off her own impulsion, within the role of 'that girl what sings the national anthem at the start of baseball games', for years. I open a fresh can of Magner's Cider and lick the ejected foam off my laptop screen. Since her début, the undeniably country, enigmatically-named, album 'Taylor Swift', she has been nothing but sincere, unpretentious and pop-perfect. Every song has been true to her country-music heritage, and almost all have been well-crafted and catchy; see 'Picture to Burn', 'You Belong with Me', 'Love Story', and plentiful others. She even writes the majority of her own material; I would have married her by now, if females did not have a say in the matter.Taylor Swift's latest album opens with 'State of Grace', a song that is presumably quite good. Unfortunately it is 2 a.m., and I am picking pieces of tuna covered in chilli oil off of my torso because I felt like a midnight snack before getting down to the grizzly job of reviewing. So I ignore it. Luckily, I have heard the eponymous second track, 'Red', penned exclusively by Swift. It is, like most of Swift's catalogue, catchy and personal. The chorus is progressive and modern, despite the remainder of the song having a clear folk heritage. Skipping another track brings us to 'I Knew You Were Trouble'; in a bizarre but exciting twist, this unshakable tune practically leans on dubstep for its chorus - or, as it was known a few years ago, playing triplets on a keyboard. Most importantly, it works; as does track six, '22', perhaps the most catchy of all, excluding the inevitable and ineluctable single 'We Are Never Getting Back Together'.The compulsory, under-the-radar, slow-burner, hidden gem of every classic album comes in the form of 'Stay Stay Stay'; perhaps sticking closest to Taylor's country pedigree, it is both memorable and yet somehow original. A small qualm is that all her songs seem to be about her having problems with boyfriends. Who on earth would mess about when they had managed to bag the richest, sweetest, most beautiful of all the country-pop luminaries that The Tribe critiques? A complete prick, I assume. Take me, Taylor. Take me.

One of my absolute favourites is non-album bonus 'Girl At Home'; now, I don't want to compare this to such B-Side classics as Oasis's 'the Masterplan', but if Noel Gallagher had penned this back in 1995 he wouldn't have to constantly answer to the name of 'the Taylor Swift of 1990s BritPop'. Album closer, 'Begin Again', is one of the album's finest and most tender moments. But, frankly, you are probably still assuming that I'm being facetious. It's actually great though. There is also a song somewhere in there where Taylor Swift duets with Ed Sheeran, but I refuse to listen to it. You may question the principles of a reviewer that will give Taylor Swift five stars, but refuses to listen to Ed Sheeran. Don't bother though. Just assume that I'm right.So, does Taylor Swift's Red album correspond to our generation's version of the Beatles' White Album? Probably, yes. But hopefully she won't marry Yoko Ono and screw everything up; she will, instead, marry me, despite the fact that she is easily a foot taller than me in heels (by which I mean me in heels, her in flats). But seriously, listen to it. It is so much better than any of the Indie nonsense The Tribe will review in the next four years. So crack open a Magners, load 'Red' onto your iPod, get inebriated and write a review of it that you will probably regret come morning-time. Ian SamsonImage 1 by Eva RinaldiImage 2 by  avrilllllla

Gangnaff Style

 Alex Dry examines Gangnam Style and other one-hit wondersIn Gettysburg in 1863 Abraham Lincoln espoused the Declaration of Independence. The world took note. In 1940 Winston Churchill told the world that Great Britain would defend itself against the tyranny of the Nazi onslaught and would never surrender. The world took note. In 1963 Martin Luther King stood of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and told the world that he had a dream. The world again took note. In 2012 a fat Korean man said ‘Oppa Gangnam style…’ The world again took note.Sadly the world, or the moron sanctuary as I like to call it, was not without precedent in doing so. The overweight purveyor of ultimate Korean-based rap was just shrewdly cashing in on our love of one hit wonders. Ever since Toni Basil praised her pal Mickey’s mind-blowing capabilities in 1982 we have been hooked on bands that release one song and then go away again, either into obscurity or worse. The catchiness of such songs is undeniable, both because of musical and lyrical content. Indeed, the latter is often one of the most inexplicable elements of OHW as they will now be referred to. It is presumably because people have trouble discerning ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ (a difficult one we will all agree) that songs with fewer than ten different words appeal. See Carl Douglas’ seminal ‘Kung-Fu Fighting’ or Baha Men’s ‘Who Let the Dogs Out?’ for more details.Yet oddly it is frequently songs in a different language that we as a British audience love more than any others. There is something about this non-comprehension that appeals to the masses in this country. Ever since Nena decided to release her balloons in 1986 we have gone absolutely spare for utterly dreadful songs that come to us wrapped in the misleading package of words we don’t know the meaning of. Why is this you may ask? Scientists would tell us that all hope is lost for mankind if everyone is listening to ‘The Ketchup Song’ on repeat, and this is probably why they have never done any detailed research on the topic.Ultimately, tests conducted in my bedroom lead me to the conclusion that it is the ignorant bliss of simply enjoying a song’s melody without being troubled by the socio-economic ramifications of the words that appeals. No one cares for the travails of poor Chris Brown, with not enough women to beat up, or the Dickensian like woes of Adele, the 21st century’s very own Oliver Twist, if instead of one more bowl of gruel he had eaten the whole of London’s supply. This is why it makes no difference if a song is sung in modern English, Shakespearean verse, Klingon or Korean.It seems then that in the modern world people are happy just not to care. Happy not to care about the words in songs, the bits that mean something, because they don’t want to be troubled by their messages. How long is it before books with words are dispensed with, and people read manuscripts that just include pictures of ducks and Justin Bieber sucking off Mickey Mouse? However we only have ourselves to blame. We should have seen the signs almost twenty years ago when ‘The Macarena’ came out; a song stolen from a band who in turn stole it from a Spanish nursery rhyme about children working in bread mines. We are all horrible people. Alex DryImages by Korea.net

Lone Sharks - The Dopplegangaz

Andres Zambrano-Bravo reviews Lone Sharks by The Dopplegangaz

Recent claims that hip-hop is “dead” have been confirmed by its increasing lack of identity. In the modern age, hip-hop has become something of a false art in many respects, a medium distorted to fit the commercial expectations of many a listener and few an artist’s vision. It says something about how the medium has changed that, when you ask somebody at a party to play a hip-hop song, all you hear are the abrasive synths of Lil’ Wayne or - even worse - the weed-whiny, self-righteous rhymes of Wiz Khalifa. Blue Scholars’ claim that “hip hop is not dead / it’s just malnourished and underfed” surely can’t be right either, because nobody seems to be feeding the point of the medium in the first place. Hip-hop has become, to quote New York rapper J-Live, a medium that is exploited by many yet understood by few.

Behold The Doppelgangaz, a duo from the out-outskirts of New York - a little town called Peekskill - who realize this painful deterioration. A generation of rappers inspired by the raw, masked poetry of MF Doom, the duo (Matter ov Fact and EP) attempt to find the role of the poet - the storyteller - in hip-hop, and Lone Sharks, their second LP which was released in 2011, both acknowledges and heals the decay of the medium while returning to the organic realness that characterized the best of the golden age of 90’s hip-hop.

A haunting vocal sample over a nostalgic piano sequence opens Lone Sharks, repeating “although you are full of misery / you have to learn to show a happy face.” It’s a haunting interlude even the first time you listen to it, precisely because of the way it defines the whole album’s sinister yet nostalgic atmosphere. It is the next track on the album, “Nexium,” which demonstrates the duo’s poetic ferocity: “On hip hop and nexium for three months / And still sober as day but acid reflux free,” EP says over a warm, steady piano sample complimented by a fixed, rhythmic beat. EP’s honesty is real, and the awareness of the “acid-reflux” free rhyme and production is something the duo maintain throughout the album.

“He seems so placid / It’s cuz his diet is lacking in essential amino-acids,” rhymes EP on “Get Em,” a mournfully charged allegory about a kid who, malnourished and unable to eat, cannot even go to the hospital to “even pay the stitchin’ fee.” Looped around a lonely rising sax sample, the song’s chorus screams “Get EM!” In its allegory, the song recalls Common’s classic “I Used to Love H.E.R” yet in the yearning of its beat the song becomes something of a dirge for the near-death of hip-hop.

The duo’s lyrical mastery is subtle and their flows are never forced, rather smooth, but there is something about the selection of their words and images which carries weight. The production of the album - co-produced by both members, without a single track from any other external producer - also carries this biting, sinister atmosphere. It’s certainly not inaccessible; in fact, it’s inviting precisely because of its mysteriousness. Characterized by its organic piano, guitar, and keyboard samples and matched by deep bass and drum lines, and haunted by its eclectic vocal samples, the production is thick and authentic, but most importantly, it is consistent.

It’s the final track on the album, “Suppository,” which matches production and rhymes masterfully, confirming The Doppelgangaz as nothing if not poets: a sample of bats leads way to a vocal sample of a laugh out of a horror film, as an enigmatic, airy piano chord loops around a rising, thumping bass and a simple jazzy snare. “Society’s secrets / black cloak mystique needs sequence,” rhymes Matter ov Fact in a smoothly assured manner. “And yo it’s cloaks not capes,” he rhymes. It is clear here the notion of the artist: like the masked MF Doom, he needs to be cloaked, not exposed; he needs to be man, not machine; and most importantly, he is not one figure but many.

Andres Zambrano-Bravo

Greatest Musical Icons of the Last 60 Years...?

Alex Dry slams the results of the NME's recent poll as voted for by the publicThe New Musical Express has recently carried out a poll to determine the identity of the greatest musical icon of the past 60 years. In doing so they have affirmed a belief that I have always held close to my bosom; the belief that the general public are utter, irredeemable morons. If we examine the Oxford English Wikipedia definition of the word ‘icon’ (or cultural icon to be more exact) we will learn that it is a symbol, logo, picture, name, face, person, building or other image that is readily recognized and generally represents an object or concept with great cultural significance to a wide cultural group. It is therefore a reasonably loaded question that the NME has asked, ‘Who is the ultimate icon of the last 60 years?’, for the youth are not necessarily going to feel represented by the icons of the 1970s. Sense, it seems prevailed for the most part as John Lennon was the deserving winner. Yet the shortlist was not so fair. Here are the 5 biggest reasons why.

1)    Freddie Mercury came ludicrously low

The man that placed 55th was a singer often credited with being the greatest performer in the history of the planet. It is impossible for anyone who saw it to forget the Live Aid show where he held 72, 000 spectators at Wembley, and millions more worldwide, in the palm of his hand with nothing more than some guttural yelps that could be vocal warm ups. His lasting legacy includes changing the way people think about live music shows and the writing of some of the most enduring pop hits in the modern era. Yet he was so much more than this. He was an openly gay man in a time when being gay was only recently legalized, never mind accepted by society at large. He was a man that fought a debilitating illness that eventually claimed his life by carrying on making music. As a result of his tragic death from AIDS the Mercury Phoenix Trust was set up by the remaining members of Queen to fight for the spread of awareness of the disease. Although perhaps more than anything he was unique. He was totally unorthodox in everything he did. His yellow leather jacket and white skinny jeans are images that are etched onto the retinas of everyone that has seen him. He is the definition of an icon. Why then, did he come so preposterously low? I mean really, he was beaten by Lily Allen…

2)    Where are all the women?

In the top 60 list there are 11 women. Now this may seem like a reasonable proportion, however when one considers that in the top 20 there is only 1, the figure seems less palatable. Indeed, the list as a whole has some very notable omissions and some baffling inclusions, (see point 4). One of the most shocking of the former is the absence of Aretha Franklin. It is truly sad that Amy Winehouse, credited with bringing classic soul and R&B music into the 21st century can be number four on the list, when the woman who made soul music popular in the mainstream in the first place cannot get into the top sixty musical icons list. It is akin to suggesting that the person who invented low fat crisps deserves more plaudits that the person that invented crisps. She was a hugely significant figure in the Civil Rights Movement, one of the most important of the century, indeed one could say of the past thousand years. On several occasions she sang alongside Martin Luther King at rallies to further the cause. I defy anyone to suggest a person that is more worthy of icon status than her. Bjork? I don’t think so.

3)    Liam Gallagher came ridiculously high

It is impossible to think of Liam Gallagher as the second greatest musical icon ever because he is quite simply a poor imitation of the greatest. Oasis have made a career out of copying The Beatles songs and their style. Gallagher is the biggest plagiarist since Samsung decided to make app icons with slightly rounded edges (the swine!). The only feature of his persona that is not totally ripped off from John Lennon is his attitude, but that in turn makes him less of an icon and more of a notorious gimp. A testament to his status as possibly the most overrated musician of the modern era is the fact that his new band, Beady Eye, makes music that is as unlistenable to as someone farting the German national anthem through a walkie talkie.

4)    Where the f*ck is Mick Jagger?

The Rolling Stones were potentially the biggest band of the past sixty years. He is the original sex crazed rock and roller. A legend? Yes. Obviously. Then what on earth were people doing not voting him in. Let’s take a look at some of the others on the list. Courtney Love has made a career out of being married to the most inspirational figure of the 90s and making some ‘music’ of her own, or something. She is as much a musical icon as John Terry is a UN Peace Ambassador.

5)    Beth Ditto was actually in it

It has become very apparent to me that it is impossible to escape this American singer songwriter. Despite a reasonably consistent low standard of music, she refuses to go away, or more pertinently, the media refuses to drop her. She is everyone’s favourite leftfield figure whose inclusion is bound to get any publication some respect points for being edgy. I would like to point out that I am no dinosaur. The only thing about her that I have issue with is the fact that she fills no criteria to make her an icon. Firstly, she is not worthy of inclusion in terms of musical accomplishment. And while I am not asking her to be the next Beethoven, it seems to be no coincidence that the majority of the shortlist are at least reasonably good songwriters.  Secondly, at least the ones that had no clue were symbols of a particular movement or a feeling. Sid Vicious was as good at the guitar as Chris Brown is at not being the scum of the Earth. Yet he defined the anarchy in the UK period. He was punk music. Beth Ditto will eventually be remembered as the woman who sang the Skins music and was always naked on the cover of magazines. Alex Dry Freddie Mercury image by kentarotakizawaAretha Franklin image by bo mackisonLiam Gallagher image by ant217Mick Jagger & interviewer image by Ben LawsonBeth Ditto image by trash world

Tourette's: Shouldn't Really Entertain You

My first thought when Tourette's: Let Me Entertain You popped up on my TV screen was as immediate as it was inflammatory. “Huh. I don’t remember One Direction being so potty-mouthed, much less Harry Styles being a female STD-obsessed black R’n’b vocalist.” For the ten seconds that I wasn't sure what I was watching, I hurriedly jammed the information button. Tourette's: Let Me Entertain You. Let Me Entertain You? Has Robbie developed a trendy illness to promote his latest album? Oh wait, no, it’s one of those self-indulgent ‘inspirational journey’ documentaries except this time they swear and shout and stuff. Rudebox indeed. I gave in, settling back and resigning myself to watch a programme where a chance to overcome their setbacks – in this case, having Tourette's - allows six bright-faced young people to come together and learn a little something about themselves.“Wait a minute. Isn't this just the Breakfast Club, but with naughty words?” I hear you ask. That’s a fair assessment, although there are some changes. The main one being that the Breakfast Club didn't have bloody Reggie Yates self-importantly swanning around being all earnest and achingly sensitive towards a bunch of mediocre singers singing tepid pop ballads.The lone ranger stalks moodily through the park on a grim overcast day in London, as Trouble by Coldplay floats along in the background, emphasising his deep emotional grief. Seriously, haven’t we seen enough of this yet? Haven’t we all realised by now that we can do better that awkwardly shoving actual people’s lives into such narrow, stereotypical TV language that any dim-witted arse can pick up on how “deep” the show they’re watching is?Not to mention I bet at least three quarters of the viewers of this show watched it not because they're sensitive to the plight of the main stars, but because it's undeniably funny to see people swearing in public. And Reggie, please, give it up. Hosting this turgid care-athon might gain you some listeners on your poxy Radio 1 show, but that doesn’t mean you have absolutely anything remotely interesting or relevant to offer to this documentary, besides having a slightly recognisable voice and the "haven't I seen that guy somewhere before?" vibe that can only be emitted by D-list celebrities.I’m informed however that being ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ is the format that should be taken when approaching a review, so maybe I’ll try that here. Here goes. On one hand, it is a bit cheesy, but on the other hand it’s good to raise awareness about a serious condition which affects many peoples lives and still has a considerable social stigma attached. Fair and balanced. Well, it IS a clear attempt on the part of the host to align himself with snotty do-goodery on a frankly galactic scale, BUT there are only three episodes. It’s actually quite easy to be fair and balanced, because Reggie IS a w*nker, but at least the stars of the show keep reminding him.To be fair, Tourette's: Let Me Entertain You isn’t exactly like the X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, in that rather than being a huge stretched out contest with an insanely large audience vote every single week, there are only three episodes, and there is no element of competition. They just sing some songs and go home. Fair play to them for not trying to make a career out of their illness, but nonetheless, their pockets are lined with cash derived from essentially shouting things that make no sense; a market that up until now had been dominated exclusively by Nicki Minaj.As a final thought, I’m going on a tangent, because I can. I suppose it’s easy to be cynical and critical of ‘talent shows’ where people who have practised hard make themselves vulnerable by clambering up on stage and exposing whatever talent they can muster, but the reason it’s easy is because they’re just so f*cking awful. This really shouldn't be how the music industry works. It shouldn't. I implore you, desperate would-be contestants, learn how to sing, how to play, how to write songs, whatever you can do, and keep doing it and join a band or do it yourself and play shows and play out in the streets and write and practice and play and people will start to pay attention. If you aren't awful, you gain a fan-base, you tour, you get more fans, you tour, you tour, you tour. Make music because you care about good music.There is so much you can do with a chord sequence and an array of musical instruments that doesn't have to sound like Take That, or Alexandra Burke, or Jessie J. This is the end of the article, I can’t be bothered rounding it off. You've come this far, you must have got the gist by now. Clear off. Michael ClarkImage by radio1interactive