TOMMAPALOOZA – SUNDAY

Welcome to the third day of Tommapalooza – “A Kind Of Paltry Latitude Substitute” (TM).

It’s a carefully-curated festival of music, in which I encourage you to enter into the spirit of things and make this the best music festival you’ve ever held in your own house.

How to take part:
1) Download Spotify.
2) Access the Tommapalooza – Sunday playlist.
3) Turn up loud.

Each band has a set of five songs, with the headliner allowed an encore of two songs.

Today opens with the traditional quasi-religious act. Al Green was unfortunately booked elsewhere, so instead we have the hollering gospel of SISTER WYNONA CARR! I callenge you not to be moved by the intricate stories, powerful lungs and moral fervour of Sister Wynona as she unapologetically preaches about the darkness of the world, and the light of the heavens. A genuine discovery.

Bringing it down a notch, we have ELLIOTT SMITH. Moody, stripped-to-the-bone emotional, and melodically beautiful, Elliott Smith’s troubled life is brought to his songs and stirred into the potent mix. Celebrate his too-short life with these beautiful songs.

Next, THE AFGHAN WHIGS! As fixated on the darkness in humanity as both the two proceeding acts, Greg Dulli went so far as to meet his bandmates in prison. Longing, lust, funk and rock, wrapped up in a powerful little lozenge, forgive the Afghan Whigs their terrible name and enjoy this indie rock extravaganza.

Warming up for the headliners we have THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS! A Canadian Supergroup, featuring members of Zumpano, Destroyer and the indomitable Neko Case, the New Pornos make pop-punk for the indie kids amongst you. If I had had the New Pornographers when I was 16, they would have been my favourite band in the world.

And finally, headlining Tommapalooza 2009, we have CURIOUSLY EIGHTIES BOWIE! There was a point when David Bowie was curiously ’80s. That point was the 1980s. Revel again in some of the less fashionable end of Bowie’s career, with some special guests, and the greatest closing singalong ever.

Post any comments below (or join the Tommapalooza Facebook Group.

Thanks for participating in the inaugural TOMMAPALOOZA!

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TOMMAPALOOZA – SATURDAY

Welcome to the second day of Tommapalooza – “A Kind Of Paltry Latitude Substitute” (TM).

It’s a carefully-curated festival of music, in which I encourage you to enter into the spirit of things and make this the best music festival you’ve ever held in your own house.

How to take part:
1) Download Spotify.
2) Access the Tommapalooza – Saturday playlist.
3) Turn up loud.

Each band has a set of five songs, with the headliner allowed an encore of two songs.

Saturday’s line-up at Tommapalooza traditionally brings a bit more of a boisterous tone to proceedings, and tonight is no exception. We start with the mighty JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION. Three men, two guitars, one drumkit – the JSBX encompass a surprising range of styles, from rockabilly punk to more traditional crooning, whilst showcasing the personality and self-aggrandisement of Jon Spencer himself. Not to be missed.

Following that, we have the indie darlings RILO KILEY. Owing to Spotify’s somewhat curious labelling system, it may look like Rilo Kiley are going to be playing their song “The Execution of All Things” four times. This isn’t true. Fronted by the lovely voice and crafty lyrics of Jenny Lewis, Rilo Kiley bring large, crashing choruses imbued with emotion to rub against snarky hipster attitude, and may just come out of the ensuing scrap with your heart.

In the middle here we have… dear Lord! It’s DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979! Two Canadian bearded men, one with a heavily distorted bass, one with a drumkit, making a whole lot of racket. If it sounds like someone throwing a lot of instruments down some stairs, then that’s intentional. If that noise makes you want to party, then that’s allowed.

After that, anyone requiring a breather must be escorted from the audience quickly, as here’s ANDREW W.K.! A classically-trained madman with blood streaming down his face, Andrew Wilkes-Krier makes music that sound like the Fun House Theme Tune got jacked up on Fanta and then proceeded to slam itself repeatedly against the wall. Unfortunately Spotify failed to stock Andrew W.K.’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink third album “Close Calls With Brick Walls”, but here’s a set intended to scare your girlfriend and thrill the teenage boy in you.

Headlining tonight, we have… THE QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE! Conceived as a heavy rock band for the Ladies, QOTSA have transformed the stoner rock of their earlier incarnation Kyuss into something more supple and funky, with Josh Homme’s smooth vocals being supplemented by Nick Oliveri demented howling. QOTSA will send you to your tent either rocking gently to expunge the madness from your poor little skull, or rocking out hard.

Post any comments below (or join the Tommapalooza Facebook Group, and see you tomorrow for Tommapalooza’s exciting final day!

It’s all go at Tommapalooza!

I’m already hearing some brilliant stories from Tommapalooza day one. Nice to see so many people checking out the literature tents. They really can pop up on you when you least expect it, can’t they? And the range of food is quite extraordinary! Tonight, I tried the Thai stand, while I have heard other reports of pizza and even casserole… AMAZING!

Here’s some of my photos from the Festival so far…

I have my ticket, so it’s off to Tommapalooza with me!
My wacky Festival Hat!
I declare this festival…
… OPEN!
I help out on the Thai Food stand. Mmm… Delish! (This is Quorn, by the way…)
The dreaded Festival toilets…
I can’t believe I have to sleep here! It’s so PRIMITIVE!

Add your own photos at the Tommapalooza Facebook group!

TOMMAPALOOZA – FRIDAY

Welcome to the first day of Tommapalooza – “A Kind Of Paltry Latitude Substitute” (TM).

It’s a carefully-curated festival of music, in which I encourage you to enter into the spirit of things and make this the best music festival you’ve ever held in your own house.

How to take part:
1) Download Spotify.
2) Access the Tommapalooza – Friday playlist.
3) Turn up loud.

Each band has a set of five songs, with the headliner allowed an encore of two songs.

Today’s line-up starts with retro, filthy-minded, sassy rockers THE DETROIT COBRAS. Fronted by an ex-stripper, their sound is sexy, funky and fun.

Second on the Tommapalooza stage, THE NOISETTES. Although now famous for supplying soundtracks for car and yoghurt adverts, their first album is a tricksy bag of eccentric character and hard rocking, and their second aims both for the dancefloor and the heart-strings. Let’s hope for a tight set by this glorious young British band.

Next up, the mighty SPOON. With Spotify not stocking their amazing “Kill The Moonlight” album, expect a set drawn heavily from their last album “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”, as these intelligent Austinites explore the meeting points between Americana, Clash-style infatuation with global sounds, and indie-kid-baiting grooves.

Warming you up for the headliner, MODEST MOUSE. Isaac Brock’s ever-changing line-up of indie greatness recently welcomed the addition of Johnny Marr to offer gnarly little guitar lines to counterpoint Brock’s astonishing voice. A band with a lot of character, a lot of rock, and a lot of soul.

And finally, headlining because I worry they are too cool to ever do so in the real world, CLEARLAKE. Brighton’s finest, Clearlake have been under the radar for far too long, and while we wait for their next album (which their website still claims will be out in April 2009), here’s a lively set from a band with ideas and emotions to spare.

Post any comments below, and see you tomorrow for Tommapalooza’s exciting second day!

Hell Yes… It’s TOMMAPALOOZA!

Yes, I’m pretty gutted not to be at Latitude this year. Lots of my friends are there. There are some really cool bands playing. Of Montreal! Thom Yorke! Phoenix! Slow Club! And some amazing comedy – Janeane Garofolo! The Book Club lot! The Penny Dreadfuls! Not to mention Luke Kennard reading some of those poems of his.

Hmph.

But hey, let’s turn that negativity into CREATIVITY, eh? Therefore, I announce my own weekend of carefully curated music…

Each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be posting a link to a Spotify playlist featuring a “set” of five songs by five amazing artists.

It’s roughly structured like the mainstage of a festival, so it starts with smaller acts and then a headliner each night.

If you haven’t succumbed to Spotify yet, go here to open an account and download the player. The free service will mean that the festival will be interrupted occasionally by adverts, but what modern rock festival doesn’t have corporate sponsors, eh?

Turn it up nice and loud, open all your windows, eat some substandard food, wear an alarming hat, and hey! IT’S JUST LIKE BEING AT A FESTIVAL!

It begins tomorrow! You’re going to love the VIBES of it!