Staff Picks: Liam Turner

TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2016

The 1975 – ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’

‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ is an overproduced, overwrought and overindulgent mishmash of a thing. So, just how Matt Healey and co. have managed to take such inauspicious ingredients and turn them into the musical equivalent of a moreish Eton mess is all the more mind boggling. Indie-pop has never had it quite so good.

Bon Iver – ‘22, A Million’

Cryptic and convoluted, Bon Iver’s third full-length release may have lacked appeal on paper. However, on ‘22, A Million’ mainman Justin Vernon does what he does best by distilling raw human emotion into a delicate, finely crafted musical experience. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what the bloody hell he’s on about, only that you feel what it is that he’s saying.

Conor Oberst – ‘Ruminations’

Featuring just a guitar, harmonica, piano and, of course, Oberst’s voice, ‘Ruminations’ is easily one of the most sparse records of 2016. Such minimalism completely works in the record’s favour, though, as we are truly able to focus on the carefully-woven tales of heartbreak and tragedy that Oberst so plaintively tells. Sometimes the simplest music really is the best.

Michael Kiwanuka – ‘Love & Hate’

From the epic grandiosity of opener Cold Little Heart, you know you’re in for a treat with Kiwanuka’s second full-length LP. The album certainly doesn’t hold back in terms of its scope, with pretty much everything but the kitchen sink thrown in. But rather than its scale, its Kiwanuka’s increasing ability to blend sentiment with soul that truly sets ‘Love & Hate’ apart.

David Bowie – ‘Blackstar’

A swansong like no other, ‘Blackstar’ is Bowie’s final gift to the world.The record represents the singer’s unparalleled ability to turn even the most lamentable of circumstances into something worth celebrating, while simultaneously bookending what is an incredibly vast and varied body of work. An artist in the true sense of the word.

Honourable mentions: Radiohead – ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’, Teleman – ‘Brilliant Sanity’, Metronomy – ‘Summer 08’, Green Day – ‘Revolution Radio’, C Duncan – ‘The Midnight Sun’.

TOP 5 SINGLES OF 2016

Francis and the Lights – Friends (feat. Bon Iver)

The 1975 – Somebody Else

Two Door Cinema Club – Bad Decisions

Warpaint – New Song

Christine and the Queens – Tilted

Honourable mentions: The xx – On Hold, VANT – PEACE & LOVE, Blossoms – Charlemagne, Mystery Jets – Bubblegum, Creeper – Suzanne

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Staff Picks: Jonathan Rimmer

My Top 10 Albums of 2016

If ever there was a year for artists to get angry and radical, 2016 was obviously it. Surprisingly, though, some of my favourite records have been introverted, escapist affairs. There’s not a single EDM album on my list this year – either it’s been an underwhelming year for electronic music or I’m already a miserable bastard in my mid-20s… Anyway, my top ten:

10. Mitski – ‘Puberty 2’

Although ‘Puberty 2’ is moody and ‘90s grunge-inspired, there’s something transcendental about Mitski Miyawaki that sets her apart. Even when this album is at its heaviest and most intense – like on lead single Your Best American Girl – her voice stands out above everything.

9. Kendrick Lamar – ‘Untitled Unmastered’

Kendrick’s last project, ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’, remains one of the finest musical achievements of the 21st century to my mind, so it’s little surprise that I loved this wee appendix. These cuts might sound raw and unfinished, but they’re all still insights into the mind of a genius.

8. Katatonia – ‘The Fall of Hearts’

My favourite Swedish doom merchants returned to form on this one. They’re characteristically gloomy, with Jonas Renske’s vocals a particular standout. But the album also showcased a new found depth to their songwriting, both lyrically and structurally.

7. Money – ‘Suicide Songs’

‘Suicide Songs’ is quite a misleading title for a record that’s cathartic and melodramatic but never quite despondent. The psychedelic guitar leads clash beautifully with meticulously arranged strings, making for an otherworldly feel.

6. Law Holt – ‘City’

One of the most visceral and hard-hitting records I heard this year was made by an ‘R&B singer’. It’s a messy, difficult project full of fuzzy beats, sure, but it’s steered by an absolute titan in the form of Law Holt. Her booming vocals cut through the static, quite literally.

5. Radiohead – ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’

Okay, so this album didn’t get me in the gut in the same way that some of their albums do, but it’s still a gripping reminder that they remain the best band in the world. Taking things in a chamber pop direction, this record is fresh, well-structured and technically brilliant.

4. Schoolboy Q – ‘Blank Face’

I’d never previously warmed to Schoolboy Q’s music, despite his obvious presence and rapping abilities, but ‘Blank Face’ blew me away. It’s more than just a gritty, atmospheric gangsta record; it’s full of gripping narratives, delivered by the most convincing protagonist imaginable.

3. Three Trapped Tigers – ‘Silent Earthling’

The most daring and ridiculous instrumental rock record you’ll hear this year. Packed with retro synths, blaring keys and syncopated rhythms, ‘Silent Earthling’ grabs you by the scruff of the neck and takes you on an exciting, albeit terrifying, journey.

2. Frank Ocean – ‘Blonde’

Frank Ocean responds to overwhelming expectation by making a record that’s even more reserved and lo-fi than his debut, but it works remarkably well. ‘Blonde’ is a unique album precisely because it manages to be both lush and melodically unpredictable.  

1. Noname – ‘Telefone’

I heard a lot of people describe Noname’s style as ‘cute’, which does her a huge disservice. While the lyrics are nostalgic and the vibe is mellow, it’s Noname’s playful, poetic delivery that makes ‘Telefone’ such a gorgeous collection of tracks.

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James Arthur Jumps To #1 On Stereboard’s Hot Ticket Chart

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James Arthur has beaten off some stiff competition to get to #1 on Stereoboard’s Hot Ticket Chart this week. Following closely behind him are RadioheadThe WeekndPhil Collins and Take That. That’s some impressive company to be in!

The entry of so many new faces to the chart has meant a bit of a re-jig. Ariana Grande has been bumped from #2 to #8 and Justin Bieber has fallen six places.  But things are looking up for Coldplay, who are up four places, and Little Mix have done well to only move down one spot.

The big name tours have continued to come through thick and fast this week. There are tickets going on sale for Robbie WilliamsBlink 182Cliff RichardBlossoms and James Bay, among many, many others.  Check in with us next week to see if any have been able to steal the top spot from the 2012 X Factor winner.

1. James Arthur
2. Radiohead
3. The Weeknd
4. Phil Collins
5. Take That
6. Coldplay
7. Little Mix
8. Drake
9. Ariana Grande
10. Justin Bieber
11. Catfish and the Bottlemen
12. Michael Ball and Alfie Boe
13. Rod Stewart
14. Depeche Mode
15. Kings Of Leon
16. Shawn Mendes
17. Billy Connolly
18. Anastacia
19. Disney On Ice
20. The Cure

On sale in the next week – can they break the top 20?

1. Robbie Williams

2. Blink 182

3. Cliff Richard

4. Blossoms

5. James Bay

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Tour Of The Week: Radiohead

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Radiohead have announced three shows around their headlining performance at the Glastonbury festival next year. Radiohead tickets are on sale now, priced £24.50/£29.50 plus fees.

The band, who put out ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ earlier this year, will play Dublin’s 3Arena on June 20 plus two shows at Manchester Arena on July 4 and July 5.

Radiohead Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Tue June 20 2017 – DUBLIN 3Arena
Tue July 04 2017 – MANCHESTER Arena
Wed July 05 2017 – MANCHESTER Arena

Click here to compare & buy Radiohead Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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The Pick Of Friday’s Tickets: Radiohead, Grandaddy, The Weeknd And Anastacia

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RADIOHEAD

Radiohead have lined up a show at Dublin’s 3Arena and two dates at Manchester Arena either side of their headline slot at the 2017 Glastonbury Festival. Tickets are on sale at 9am on November 4, priced £45.00 plus fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets


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GRANDADDY

Grandaddy will accompany the release of their new album, ‘Last Place’, which is out on March 3 through 30th Century Records, with shows in Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Brighton and London, where they’ll play the Roundhouse on April 3. Tickets are on general sale at 9am on November 4, priced £24.50/£29.50 plus fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets


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THE WEEKND

The Weeknd, who releases ‘Starboy’ on November 25 , has confirmed shows in Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds and two nights at the O2 Arena in London, in March 2017. Tickets are on sale at 10am on November 4, priced £30.00/£35.00 plus fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets


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ANASTACIA

Anastacia has announced her 2017 Ultimate Collection tour, with stops planned in Basingstoke, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Sheffield, Cardiff, Nottingham, Ipswich, London, where she’ll perform at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo, Bournemouth and Brighton, between May 24 and June 11. Tickets are on general sale at 9am on November 4, priced £37.50/£40.00 plus fees.

Compare and Buy Tickets


Check out Stereoboard’s event pages for a full list of latest of announcements.

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Take That Top Stereoboard’s Hot Ticket Chart

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Take That have topped Stereoboard’s Hot Ticket Chart, knocking Phil Collins into third place, with Ariana Grande in second,  Justin Bieber sticking at #4 and Jeff Dunham in fifth position.

New to the chart this week are Mac DeMarco , NBA (Global Games) and John Cale, who have come in at an impressive #7, #9 and #12, respectively. Meanwhile, others are making their way down the chart. Catherine Tate has gone from #7 to #19,  Peter Kay (Dance For Life) #5 to #20 and Depeche Mode from #8 to #15.

Among the tours and shows announced in the last week you’ve got The WeekndRadioheadJames ArthurAnastacia and You Me At Six. Come back and see us next week to see if any are able to tip Take That off the top spot.

1. Take That
2. Ariana Grande
3. Phil Collins
4. Justin Bieber
5. Jeff Dunham
6. Little Mix
7. Mac DeMarco
8. Drake
9. NBA (Global Games)
10. Coldplay
11. Good Mourning Mrs Brown
12. John Cale
13. Shawn Mendes
14. Kings Of Leon
15. Depeche Mode
16. Catfish and the Bottlemen
17. Olly Murs
18. Still Game
19. Catherine Tate
20. Peter Kay (Dance For Life)

On sale in the next week – can they break the top 20?

1. The Weeknd

2. Radiohead

3. James Arthur

4. Anastacia

5. You Me At Six

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Top Tours This Week!!

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Radiohead

Radiohead have announced a show at Dublin’s 3Arena and two dates at Manchester Arena either side of their headline slot at next year’s Glastonbury Festival.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 9am on November 4, priced £45.00 plus fees.


Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams will bring his The Heavy Entertainment Show tour to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on June 17 as part of a new world tour supporting his upcoming album of the same name, which is out via Columbia Records on November 4.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets go on general sale at 10am on November 11, prices start at €69.50 including booking fees.


The Weeknd

The Weeknd, who puts out ‘Starboy’ on November 25 , has announced shows in Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds and two nights at the O2 Arena in London in March 2017.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 10am on November 4, priced £30.00/£35.00 plus fees.


You Me At Six

You Me At Six will return to the road in April, following the release of their new album, ‘Night People, which is out on January 13. Stops include Newcastle, Plymouth, Blackburn, Doncaster, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Glasgow, Cardiff and London, where they’ll play Alexandra Palace.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on sale at 7pm on November 3, priced £28.50/£30.00 plus fees.


Grandaddy

Grandaddy will accompany the release of ‘Last Place’, out on March 3 through 30th Century Records, with shows in Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Brighton and London, where they’ll play the Roundhouse on April 3.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on general sale at 9am on November 4, priced £24.50/£29.50 plus fees.


James Arthur

James Arthur will bring his Back From The Edge tour to Norwich, Southend, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield, Leicester, Plymouth, Bournemouth, Cardiff, London, Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds between March 6 and 25.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets go on sale at 9.30am on November 4, priced £29.50/£30.50 plus fees.


Anastacia

Anastacia has announced details of her 2017 Ultimate Collection tour, with stops planned in Basingstoke, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Sheffield, Cardiff, Nottingham, Ipswich, London, where she’ll perform at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo, Bournemouth and Brighton, between May 24 and June 11.
Compare and Buy Tickets
Tickets are on general sale at 9am on November 4, priced £37.50/£40.00 plus fees.


Also announced this week, so far

Black Peaks, The Tide, The Pretty Reckless, Balance and Composure, Elton John, 100 Voices of Gospel, Swans, Wednesday 13, Metronomy, Love Zombies, Alejandro Escovedo, Petrol Girls, Beach Slang, Beans on Toast, Rejjie Snow, New Carnival, Cabbage, Tom Chaplin, Charlotte Carpenter, Hippo Campus, Starsailor, Dusky, Frances, Ten Fé, Massmatiks, King King, Maxi Jazz and the E-Type Boys, Moon Duo, Julian Cope, Methyl Ethel, Margo Price, Mallory Knox, Underoath, Yellowcard, Astroid Boys, Parcels, Vukovi, Bry, Hellyeah and many more!

For more information and to find your tickets visit: http://www.stereoboard.com/ticket-news

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On This Day In Music: Radiohead At #1 With ‘OK Computer’

On June 28, 1997 Radiohead hit #1 on the UK album chart with their third studio album, ‘OK Computer’.

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Radiohead: ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ Glistens At The Roundhouse

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James Ball took his place among the crowd to see Radiohead breathe further life into ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ live at London’s Roundhouse on May 28. But how did the band’s surprise new material stack up next to their towering back catalogue?

When Radiohead took to the stage at the Roundhouse, bang on time at 8:30pm, for the third, and currently final, UK show of their A Moon Shaped Pool tour, it already felt like a special evening for the fortunate few who’d clamoured for tickets and won.

Thom Yorke and company took to the stage and blasted out the first half of the new album in order, with the crowd listening intently. Some sang along, but most just soaked up the music, feeling every chord, every drum beat and processing every lyric. Burn The Witch was darker than Vantablack and more sinister than every Hitchcock thriller combined, especially when Jonny Greenwood started thrashing at his guitar with a cello bow like he was sawing it in half. Daydreaming, Decks Dark, Desert Island Disk and Ful Stop (sic) all followed with polite intrigue as the band played in front of an impressive wall of mirrors, a train track-like lighting rig and video wall. This show looked and sounded the part.

Radiohead try to make every show unique, so everyone in attendance knew that what happened from song six on was a lottery. Cue two songs that are now approaching, or over, 20 years old and still sounding as fresh as they day they were written in Lucky and Talk Show Host, the latter benefitting from an extended outro which would tire out younger rock groups of today. One of the biggest cheers of the night came for ‘Amnesiac’ highlight Like Spinning Plates, a song played only occasionally and not at all on this tour as yet. Gone was the complicated looping reverse of I Will – later featured in a reworked version on ‘Hail to the Thief’ – with the simple act of Yorke delicately and mournfully brushing piano keys bringing out the emotive sustenance of the piece. His fragile falsetto lit up the hushed arena to create a real moment.

The Gloaming, Everything in its Right Place and Idioteque seemed at first glance like an odd trio to close off the main portion of the show, but when the former evoked Yorke’s infamous dance large portions of the crowd really started to move. Everything in its Right Place became another huge singalong which, again during its second half, picked up the drama to become a much more savage beast than its album version. Idioteque, basically, let the dogs out: looping beats, heavy electric drums, layer upon layer upon layer all stuffed into one high-energy performance and compounded by a frenetic light and video show. Bodysnatchers closed the main set with about as hard a straight up rock song as Radiohead have written in recent memory, sending the crowd into a frenzy before plunging them into darkness.

Up to this point the band had not been particularly chatty, bar the occasional “thank you” between songs. But during Give Up The Ghost Yorke attempted to loop the “Don’t haunt me” hook, catching an overexcited fan whooping like Ric Flair on helium and creating a perfect every-four-beat noise that he immediately picked up on and laughed his way through. The crowd quickly caught on and started to lose it every time it appeared. Yorke then lost control of the song, joking his way around it. It’s in moments like this that we are able to see Radiohead as human beings who like to have fun, and for whom silly things can go wrong too. The song was eventually aborted, but it was all taken in good humour.

A second encore, featuring the first uninterrupted version of Nude of the tour and ‘OK Computer’ powerhouse Paranoid Android, left this sold-out venue a very, very satisfied place. It is difficult to tell which tracks from ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ could form part of Radiohead’s long-term tour plans at this stage, since they don’t play “singles” in the same way as other bands, but on this evidence many will remain in the running for some time. This band could play almost any song from almost any album at almost any time and have them fit seamlessly into place, such is the level of variety in their writing. We’re lucky to have them.

– James Ball

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