OTU Presents: The Winter EP: Volume 1

My love of ‘winter music’ has been far from secret here on OTU, and several discussions with music fans of various tastes have led me to believe many OTU readers share that appreciation.

We’re all about satisfying the fans, so welcome to our new 5-part feature. Each edition features a selection of tracks that are taior made for the dark winter period, and in keeping with OTU’s diversity code, expect some old tracks, some modern tracks, with a vast range of genres represented (in no particular order either; for example, Vol. 1 doesn’t necessarily have all of the best tracks!)

Just to really drive those frosty vibes home, we’ll even provide you with fresh, original artwork for each ‘EP’ for you to download at your pleasure and finish off those playlists. Kind aren’t we? Without further ado, click below for 5 tracks to get your winter started.
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Blink-182-Wishing Well Video

One of my favourite songs from their thoroughly-excellent Neighborhoods album, and certainly one of the more mainstream-ready tracks.

The video is comprised of live show and backstage footage, much like the last video, and though it’s disappointing to not have a ‘real’ video, there’s no doubt that this still captures the essence of the track. Full of action and energy, there’s plenty of performance shots alongside the customary funny moments (there’s lots of crotch thrusting), packed around the vibrancy of the live crowds. Unfortunately (and annoyingly), they’ve not made it available for embedding, so you’ll have to click below and head over to get182.com to watch the clip.

Blink-182-Wishing Well Video

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Blink-182-Heart’s All Gone Video

Blink-182 follow up their comeback album’s release this week with brand new visuals for what is probably the most energetic, fast-paced track from the fantastic Neighborhoods album.

The track followed Up All Night as one of the first released from the album, and the video follows suit. Unlike the aforementioned video, this is comprised largely of live show footage, which makes for a much-needed personal touch and sense of collaboration from the band: whilst the music has been genuinely great, many Blink fans have missed the fun, togetherness and camaraderie of the group, and there are certainly instances of those elements in this video as the group appear to have a little fun throughout whilst performing.

Credit goes to Travis Barker’s incredible performance on this track too, which went previously unappreciated. Grab this track and the whole album now.

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Blink-182-After Midnight

The third track made available from Neighborhoods, and it’s delivered in an unconventional manner in keeping with the unique methods both Tom and Mark have favoured in recent years. Having been premiered by Zane Lowe a few hours ago, you can now head to Get182.com to play a game and be rewarded with a free download of After Midnight: It’s not my job to ruin anyone’s fun/promotional tactic, so head there to get the track!

The instrumental work has a fantastic blend of the wistful, distant Angels and Airwaves guitar style with a bittersweet pop-punk edge, giving it a sound similar to the previous Blink album, but with a heavy dose of Angels’ ethereal influence. Tom’s melodies are as strong as ever on the verses, belting out some incredibly catchy vocals throughout, whilst Mark delivers an addictive chorus lyrically reminiscent of his work with +44, synergising superbly with the production to really anchor the song. The first real audio evidence of a fusion between the +44 and Angels & Airwaves styles, whilst also having a throwback Blink style, and it’s a successful combination that arguably makes for the best track we’ve heard from the album thus far. Grab the track here!

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Blink-182-Up All Night Video

Anarchy, looting, disorder and mayhem is the central theme here, only this time I don’t think anyone’s going to get arrested for it.

Blink-182 cement their comeback with the first official set of visuals from Neighborhoods, going with a rebellious video packed full of an infectious, youthful carefreeness, contrasting nicely with the general darkness of the clip, and hence accurately reflecting the opposing styles of the uplifting hook and grittier verses in the audio.

Busy nighttime scenes of kids (and of course, Blink themselves!) causing as much havoc as possible make up most of the video, whilst the band themselves are seen surrounded in flames to further enhance the edgy, anarchic style of the video. Thematically, it’s nothing groundbreaking but it’s an easy, energetic watch that works well with the audio, and will certainly appeal to the mainstream viewers.

Click here for the audio review. Neighborhoods available on Sept 26th.

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Blink-182-Hearts All Gone and Neighborhoods Artwork

There were many that weren’t totally won over by the first release from Blink-182′s upcoming Neighborhoods album (the artwork is quite clearly to the left), and whilst I wasn’t one of those folk, the departure from their previous sounds was inevitably going to lead to such divisions in their fanbase. Back in 2003, many weren’t totally convinced by their ‘final’/previous album for identical reasons.

This song however will win over anyone with lingering doubts from either project, heralding a return to the fast-paced, energetic music with the unmistakeable boyish charm that characterised the majority of their back catalogue and epitomised 90′s and early 00′s punk music. Lyrically however, it feels considerably more mature that previous works, with a relatively bittersweet message atop the frenetic instrumental work, throwing in a welcome influence of the +44 style. With it being such a radical stylistic departure from Up All Night, thoughts naturally linger towards understanding the direction of the album, though admittedly the unpredictability is welcomed and I hope to see further shows of diversity ahead of that September 27th release date.

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Blink-182-Up All Night

When the release of this track was announced, I expected my review to be anything but subjective. I’m a massive Blink fan, and the release of their first new material in 8 years (!) is something I was always going to meet with overwhelming positivity, hence I felt it would just become a love-in. Thankfully though, any praise I do give is absolutely warranted here, as they’ve come through with a very enjoyable track from their upcoming Neighborhoods album.

Up All Night blends together the jagged, heavier instrumentation found on the Box Car Racer album (and in parts on the last Blink album) with the melodic sensibility of Tom DeLonge’s work as part of Angels and Airwaves, the catchy, anthemic hook in particular being reminiscent of Tom’s better work with AVA, whilst the Box Car-esque punchy guitar and pulsating drum work add a powerful intensity and addictive energy. The result is a successful synergy of styles that lives up to Travis’ billing of this being a ‘logical step-forward’, and should satisfy large chunks of their fanbas by virtue of drawing on multiple influences. Inevitably, it will be compared to more ‘accessible’ singles from previous albums, but it’s a song that certainly grows in stature with each listen and crucially it feels as musically watertight as any of their previous material. Grab a listen below. EDIT: Buy the single here! (A demand, not a recommendation).

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Mark Hoppus and Ben Folds-Happy Holidays You Bastard

Brilliant! Be warned, the lyrics aren’t safe for work/school etc!

This is pretty much classic Mark Hoppus/Blink-182 shenanigans, with an ‘alternative’ Christmas song (labelled a ‘timeless classic’, haha!) from Mark and fellow singer-songwriter Ben Folds. If you’re sick of the typical Christmas fare, you’ll love this!

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Mark Hoppus Interviews Kid Cudi

Only a short clip of the interview sadly, but Cudi was the latest guest on the Blink-182 star’s ‘chat’ show.

Does anyone over here in the UK know how we can watch A Different Spin (the name of Mark Hoppus’ show)? By all accounts, it’s been pretty decent and Mark is undoubtedly hilarious, which should make for a good TV show!

Also, Cudi’s moustache is interesting.

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Blink-182 Announce 2011 UK Tour

Butterflies in my stomach as I post this. Since their original breakup, I’ve managed to see their seperate incarnations live (+44 and Angels and Airwaves) but never got to see them together. THIS CHANGES IN JULY. Dates can be found below, tickets are on sale next Friday (26th November). See you there!

Manchester MEN Arena – Friday July 8th
Newcastle Arena – Tuesday July 12th
Nottingham Arena – Wednesday July 13th
Birmingham LG Arena – Friday July 15th
London 02 Arena – Monday July 18th

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Blink-182 Studio Update from Mark Hoppus

A nice update to keep the Blink fans satisfied. Quite a technical look at where they currently stand, with Hoppus going through the finer details of song creation.

Definitely worth a watch for the Blink fans, but also for those interested in the inner workings of music production.

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Mark Hoppus Studio Update on Blink-182

We were only able to record some background vocals before abandoning the studio.  But keep in mind, those are probably the best background vocals EVER RECORDED!!  Well, maybe not, but that’s the thought that keeps me from being annoyed at the studio situation.  In any case, I used the found time to finish writing the lyrics to the track I was trying to sing.

Then today began anew, with a fresh lease on reality.  The sun rose and with it, so did our good fortune, or something poetic and meaningless like that.  We brought the BLUE bottle microphone, set up shop at my home studio, and I sang the song I wanted to sing yesterday.  Success!  Still deciding if the bridge section of the song would benefit more from vocals, some type of guitar solo thing, or a different element altogether.  But good work done! The song we’re working on is currently called “Not For Real.”  I’m stoked on the way it’s coming together.  It’s one of the more straight-forward songs so far, with kind of an up-tempo, indie-rock, Americana vibe to it.  That’s where it stands today, at least.  It may change several times more before we deem it “finished.”

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Blink-182 Perform What's My Age Again? Live

Some nice footage of Blink performing their classic at Area 4 Festival. Not really much else to be said!

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Blink-182 Rehearsal Pictures

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Mark Hoppus Prepares For A Madison Square Garden Show

A fantastically in-depth look at the Blink-182 singer/bassist’s uncut view on ‘preparing for for a sold-out show at one of the most prestigious rock venues in the world‘.

‘Go behind the scenes at Madison Square Garden with Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 and find out how he deals with life on the road, last minute jitters and a hairstyle with a will of its own.’

Really, really interesting watch in fairness. Nice to see this sort of perspective from such big artists. Probably helps that I love Blink/Mark more than is legally allowed.

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Throwback: What's My Age Again?

So be honest, who didn’t see me doing this eventually?

My love for all things Blink has never been a secret, so it’s about damn time you joined in the fun. It’s been a bright, sunny day and what better song to enjoy it with than this one? (I’m aware it’s now the evening, smart guy).

Perfectly suited to anyone’s summer playlist, I have no qualms in declaring this one of my favourite songs of all-time. The video is pretty hilarious too, and should be checked out if you haven’t seen it before.

If you want the audio, I graciously offered it quite some time ago. Offer’s still open.

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Hate Is The New Love: Mark Hoppus vs. Tom DeLonge

So, I’ve held off on doing one of these as I wanted to do a non-rap ‘beef’, but couldn’t think of one. I’m officially an idiot, as it was this very fallout that gave me some of my favourite music ever.

Seeing as Blink are back in the headlines for being confirmed as Reading/Leeds headliners, it seems even more appropriate to take this week’s HITNL in that direction. Amidst the joy of their reunion, many people don’t/didn’t really know the ugly history of the years between the Blink break-up and reunion. Click on for a little lot of info, and of course some tracks to enjoy from the fallout.

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Mark Hoppus and Pete Wentz-In Transit (Full Version)

The snippet was posted a little while back, and you’d expect nothing less than for me to drop the full length song right?

Right. I’m enjoying this track, with nice mellow verses and a step up for the chorus. Keep your eyes peeled as I may post 1 or 2 more tracks from this Alice In Wonderland soundtrack.

Mark Hoppus-In Transit ft. Pete Wentz

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Mark Hoppus and Pete Wentz-In Transit Snippet

Blink-182′s Mark Hoppus and ex-Fall Out Boy member Pete Wentz (am I right in thinking they split up?) collaborate for Tim Burton’s upcoming Alice In Wonderland film.

The link below will (eventually, after some intro) take you to a page whereby you can listen to snippets of most of the soundtrack. There are some huge names on there, so be sure to have a look around at the various tracks. The track in question here, In Transit, sounds like a really good alternative track and I look forward to the full version.


Alice In Wonderland OST Snippets

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