Badly Drawn Boy LIVE Review - mvremix.com

Below is a review I wrote for www.mvremix.com during my time in Vancouver, studying journalism for 5 months at Kwantlen College in Richmond. B.C. My internship at MVREMIX was a dream, with free tickets to a range of live music events in my home city away from home (many thanks to journalist mentor Andrea Woo for setting me up with the gigs, and the Canadian beers). The job was simple - go out, listen, jam, go home, write up, sleep - wake up, do it again!

Badly Drawn Boy was one of the performances I WAS most looking forward to, with him being a fellow Englishman in Vancouver, plus I was, and still remain a big fan of the Boy (Silent Sigh is on my morning playlist for those gruelling London Underground missions to the office).

Unfortunately however, this was not one of my better encounters with BDB - it started Badly (terrible, shameless joke), and finished... well, I honestly can't quite remember:

Badly Drawn Boy Ends Tour With Dreary Eyes, Cigarettes And Rye
"I need a break," he says as he stops playing piano and lights up a cigarette.
"You've seen me; I've been up here for fucking two hours."

It was understandable that Damon Gough of Badly Drawn Boy was tired, as his band got stuck on the stateside border for four hours earlier in the day. Nevertheless, the fading enthusiasm just summed up what was little more than a mediocre live show.

No more than 500 people packed out Vancouver's Richard's on Richards on March 27 as BDB took to the stage. Glasses were raised up high as Gough said: "This is the only Canadian show that we're doing, and the last show of our endless world tour," but it's hard to say that they finished strong...

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Amy Winehouse 'Back To Black' Review - mvremix.com

Yeah, she's a little messed up. You can't go too long in the UK without hearing about Amy's latest drug and rehab debacle. The tattooed anorexic state of Wine-y is a sorry, sorry sight - yet I state now, the saddest headline will be the loss of this absolute class music act (which media and Winehouse entourage just seem to be anticipating). She's my generation's Supreme, a blatant influence for Duffy, Adele, Paloma Faith and the rest, and what a waste it could be if the distinct, utterly irresistible voice of this artist is to be archived in the dusty shelves alongside those who 'Died Too Young'. If she is to release more, expect great things - 'cos no one does it better than Amy. This is my past MVREMIX review of my fav albums of hers, Back to Black:

Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
Spark up a joint, have a drink to this album, and you'll feel as cool as a T-Bird picking up a Pink Lady at some '60s greasy burger joint. Punch that jukebox and roll to the sultry voice of Amy Winehouse.

2007's Best Female at the Brit Awards has returned with her second album, Back to Black. Produced by Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, the album is a fine, mature and honest follow-up to her 2003 platinum debut, Frank.

Here are 11 tracks of unforgiving, jazzy soul, with a refreshing hint of R&B and gospel-like tunes that illustrate the fact that Winehouse is our modern-day Supreme.

"Rehab" and "You Know I'm no Good" made the UK Top 20 chart in 2006 with easy bass beats and irritatingly catchy harmonies and lyrics. Both are as witty and complex as Winehouse herself. With "Rehab," the alleged crazy alcoholic sings of her refusal to attend an alcoholic rehabilitation centre, while "You Know I'm no Good" (which features rapper Ghostface Killah) depicts Winehouse's views on the trials and tribulations of love...

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Evidence/Dilated Peoples Interview - mvremix.com

Definitely one of the best phone interviews I've ever done - rapper Evidence came across full of compassion for his peoples and passion for his music. Best known for his part in urban (music) legends, Dilated Peoples, I got a chance to chit-chat with Evidence about the next step - his solo debut, 'The Weatherman LP', and the influence of his sorely missed mother:

The Evidence Is All There
"I mention her a lot on the album, as I realised I could be depressed for the rest of my life or I could just understand that it's a part of a life cycle, and just to keep my head up and give her her props and the life that she deserves," he says.

Evidence utters these words two years after his mother's death. The reserved Californian has rolled on stage for years as an integral member of rap group Dilated Peoples, but is now alone in the limelight, with the March 20 release of his solo debut, The Weatherman LP. It is dedicated to the woman who raised him on the streets of Santa Monica.

On the 21-track album, bouncing beats, ill scratches and catchy hooks revolve around the relentless Ev, who spits pure adoration for his mother. It is obvious from the opening track, "I Know," to the final song, "I Still Love You," who the inspiration was for the record.

"Sometimes it's a tricky situation because I feel like she's not physically here to hear it," he continues. "So I think, ‘Am I too late?' Or ‘Am I doing this for selfish reasons?' But after a while, I figured out its really good therapy for me, to give her the credit she deserves by celebrating her life through this album...."

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Underoath Interview - mvremix.com

You can't really get a better venue for a band interview than the tour bus just before the show - thank you Underoath and MVREMIX! Honest to God, I knew little about these Christian rockers (forgive me for the blasphemy) before I met them, but they certainly proved their music spans far and beyond any boundaries or influence of religion:

Underoath: Just Playing Games, Not Seeking Fame
There is a mass of shit on the floor, from clothes to teddy bears, given to the band by fans. Through the large windows of the $600,000 tour bus, all that can be seen is a line of fans, extending around the corners of Vancouver's PNE Forum.

"What the hell was that breakaway," shouts an Underoath band member. "That was ridiculous!" The group is playing some NHL game on a PS2. Show time is in an hour.

The boys are chilling out, "preparing" for an explosive 45-minute set of intense and mind-blowing songs taken from their latest album, Define the Great Line (released on June 10, 2006). Lead vocalist Spencer Chamberlain sits calm and collected, speaking in an almost monotone voice, but the 24-year-old expresses undeniable passion for what he does.

"I love writing music, I love writing lyrics... I love performing. Playing shows every night is the most fun ever. And there’s this camaraderie of friends hanging out all the time. It’s pretty amazing..."

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