July 31, 2005
This has been bugging me for awhile now. Most horrific lyrics do not come from respected bands. But Coldplay's recent songs have some of the worst rhyme scheme bullshit I have heard in a long time. Two cases for your perusal:
1) "Swallowed By The Sea" from the new X&Y CD:
I could write a song a hundred miles long
Well that’s where I belong
and you belong with me and
I could write it down
or spread it all around
Get lost and then get found
or swallowed in the sea
WHAT THE FUCK? How weak and meaningless! The rhymes just make it worse.
2) "Proof" a bside from the recent CD single:
So i waited for you
What wouldnt i do?
And im covered, its true
Im covered in you
And if i ever want proof
I find it in you
Yeah, i honestly do
i find proof
Light, Dark Bright Spark
Light, Dark, and then light
So i waited all day
What wouldnt i say?
And are there things in your way?
Things happen that way
Oh, and if i ever want proof
Then i find it in you
Oh, yeah i honestly do
i find proof
Light, Dark, Bright Spark
Light, Dark, and then light
Light, Light, Light, Light
JESUS GOD, THAT IS SHIT!
July 29, 2005
Scissor Sisters appeared at Live 8 in London (pic above) and had the balls to do a new song called "Everybody Wants The Same Thing." It's sort of like Southern Fried Rock Pop with great falsetto vocals at 3:30. Listen to it on Fluxblog.
They have been recording their new CD in New York - has the Wyckoff Correspondent been hanging out in the studio, smoking doobies with Ana et al? Here are the titles of some of their new songs: Can't Decide, Hybrid, Cher Baby, Paul McCartney, Other Side and the aforementioned Everybody Wants The Same Thing. The album is due in the fall and, if it's good, may whisk them up into superstar status. Don't bet against it!
July 28, 2005
July 27, 2005
"This is a joke right? Chris Martin has a seizure in front of a giant Lite Brite screen for 4 minutes and it gets nominated for Best Video?"
Read the full thread
July 26, 2005
Exhibit A: Madonna producing Nick Kamen, 1986
Exhibit B: Madonna and her dancer Mirhan, 2004
Exhibit C: Madonna and Jellybean, 1984
I knew that new pic in the middle reminded me of something. Madonna has always incorporated her life into her work, so now she seems to be picking backing dancers based on how much they look like her ex-boyfriends (which I suppose translates into "Hmmm. Would I like to fuck them?"). Notice how Jellybean is wearing her clothes... which also appear in the Nick Kamen pic? Whipped! And Jellybean must be lawn jockey size! Anyway, doesn't she look kind of like an older Uppear East Side lady in that recent pic, with her young lover?
Meanwhile, Madgedonna's new single is called Hung Up and it was produced by Stuart Price. He is most excellent - he did the remixes of Bitchin' Gwen's WYWF and also Killers' Mr. Brightside (he is Jacques LuCont).
And I'm not even touching yesterday's demise of labor, which you just know that criminal I mentioned is jumping for joy about as he steals money from the lower and middle classes to line Sam Walton and other buiness leaders' carpetbags. What the fuck is happening? The sad thing is, it'll get worse. You know it will. I wish many Americans would get their heads out of their asses and realize the man they voted for is NOT representing them in any way.
Tracey Thorn is back on iTunes with a new song! Her collaboration with Tiefshwarz - it's called Damage and here is the iTunes link. In this interview with Ben, he implies that this song is her door back into music (after leaving to become a full-time Mom). All we need is an album - we don't need a tour! Many Moms work 9-5!
Yes, I really am on vacation for two weeks, but I will try to post anyway.
July 25, 2005
Excellent new Imogen Heap interview in Barcodezine. The image above is actually the one that was manipulated to be her album cover. Again trolls, Speak For Yourself is, thus far, the record of the year. Get it and make Zach Braff proud.
July 24, 2005
Do you think Patrick Wolf is jealous that I have been giving Sufjan Stevens so much attention on this blog? His label does not seem to be giving him the support he needs, for whatever reason. In the photo above he attempts to win me back by writing me a song on his tiny piano in Hyde Park...
Actually, I do have some very strange news about Patrick from his website/ webmaster:
Patrick Wolf is on police bail until August 3rd after being accused of burgulary of jewels froma next door neighbours house on July the 25th 2004. Patrick is completly innocent but caught up in a nightmare of circumstancial evidence. At the same time of the burgulary in Wandsworth, London last year, Patrick suffered a serious injury to his right arm after falling down a flight of stairs around midnight of July 24th. While falling Patrick tried to steady himself and ended up putting his arm through a window on the landing and fell unconscious. A friend came and took him to the hospital and on the return home that morning it turned out the house next door had been broken into. Because the burglars made attempts at breaking into the house by smashing a window and that Patrick had been asked to keep an eye out on the house and was also in possession of a set of keys, the C.I.D have come to the conclusion that Patrick was responsible.
This is the strangest story I have heard in ages. I always said he looked like a rent boy, but I didn't expect to read they'd hauled him off to the joint - or whatever they call it in London. Questions: 1) Why make an arrest on a burglary a year later? 2) What of the coincidence? Don't know what to say about that! Why would he break a window with his arm if he had keys? To make it look like a robbery. 3) Where are the jewels? If this were a movie we all know where they'd be: in the tiny piano!
July 23, 2005
July 22, 2005
See the new video here
It's been 5 years since Craig David emerged (as a teenager) from the UK garage music scene, at the same time Coldplay was releasing their first single. Craig hit with two great tracks, "Fill Me In" and "Seven Days" and his debut CD Born To Do It was terrific, especially the classic "Walking Away" (a Bono fave) and "Booty Man" which sounded nothing like you'd guess from the cheesy title. Sadly, as is often the case, David's label rushed a follow-up that was absolute shite. Only 3 good songs on Slicker Than Your Average.
The new single "All The Way" seems frozen in 2000 - do we really need another song about the crew gathering to party? Not really, but it may be a "grower" track - we'll see. Craig's strength in music lies in 3 factors: 1) He is more pop than r'n'b and when he tries to be r'n'b, it sucks 2) He sings without melisma - no crazy caterwauling over the notes in a way that obscures the melody - an American crime for sure - no, he colors within the lines, and 3) He is best at songs with a certain pensiveness or wistful vibe. He's also really good at vocalizing fast, complicated lyrics. Let's hope his new album holds up. Sometimes he tries too hard to be Usher and it's embarrassing. At least the single was done with his longtime collaborator Mark Hill...
July 21, 2005
Alistair Appleton has written a nice piece on his blog about the London bombings and his affection for that city. His blog is called Do Buddhists Watch Telly and here an excerpt:
"We wandered down through Leicester Sq and down to Trafalgar Square. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with love for the city. Much more than winning the Olympic bid, the stoic beauty of London in the face of such hateful violence seemed wonderful to me. Big Ben was distant down Whitehall, the column with Nelson's back to me, those comically mournful Lions, the words of Ken Livingstone, that London will always be a beacon for freedom and people will always come here to be free."
Josh Rouse: Winter in the Hamptons
Moby: Where You End
Bruce Springsteen: Devils and Dust
Bruce Springsteen: Long Time Coming
Ryan Adams: Magnolia Mountain
Dave Matthews: American Baby
Oasis: Keep the Dream Alive
Coldplay: White Shadows
Van Morrison: Stranded
Kathleen Edwards: Copied Keys
Ryan: When Will You Come Back Home
July 20, 2005
I had planned to post this older picture a few Fridays ago and then the London bombing happened and it seemed like a notsogood idea. Anyway, here is a great interview with Alison Goldfrapp in a Guardian issue from last week. Also an Observer review of the CD.. .the quote at the top is from this review.
July 19, 2005
What? Huh? What you say, mate? That is Madonna above? Why, it looks like Bitchin' Gwen! Do you think Madge-donna stole her look from Gwen?
White Ladder remains Ireland's Thriller: the biggest selling CD of all time there. Thank God it's worthy! The new album Life In Slow Motion is due in September (thank you for none of this July single/November release shite!). The fact that is produced by Marius Devries bodes really well. People on his messageboard are being typically assheaded about overproduction, etc, but please, the last record had no melodies and no pulse. Bring it on, David! Read more here.
Note in that article that he apparently holds a Donna Summeresque 20-second note on one of the songs!
picture courtesy of Boston Girl Guide
July 17, 2005
PS: I just recently discovered another great DM song - from the last CD - "Freelove" - find it!
July 16, 2005
A large income is the best recipe for happiness the Lady Ritchie has ever heard of.
*Remember what Jane Austen said:
Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only
carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.
Imogen Heap’s music is for headphones. A personal experience that swirls around the brain before resting in the heart. Her new solo CD, Speak For Yourself, is instantly one of my top albums of the year thus far, if not the top. Immi's group Frou Frou’s debut CD, Details, was my favorite album of 2002, so I have been frothing for this new music.
Fans of Details might have wondered how Immi would fare without the aid of electronic artiste Guy “What It Feels Like For A Girl” Sigsworth and the answer is just fine. She is a skilled musician who basically created this album in her London flat on a machine, but the music still breathes. Despite the DIY approach, it is thankfully devoid of the dense compression that made Madonna’s American Life sound so… canned. Hell, Imogen even dusts off a live Jeff Beck for this album!
Although it's a clumsy structure, Speak For Yourself is worth a track-by-track review. Imogen appeals to geek fan examination... after all, this is a woman who made little cards to go with albums she was sending out to contest winners.
Love the Immi-esque lyrical hook: “You say too late to start / Got your heart in a headlock.” There’s something very 90’s sounding about the way the song opens into crashing strings, but it holds up well with the harp flourishes on the chorus and the R2-D2 arrangement of beeps, bleeps and bells.
2) Goodnight And Go
Five stars! I’ve written about this track in detail before, but so far it’s my favorite song of 2005. One of her absolute best lyrics, even with the vaguely stalkeresque tone about a (delicious) crush. The maybe-you’ll–miss-your-train bridge is one of the loveliest moments in music in the last 5 years. Hype enough for you? Believe it. [edit: this ended up being my favorite song of the year!]
3) Have You Got It In You
This pretty, dark track reminds me of Frou Frou. The opening bells are terrific and the sound is a mix of unadorned earthly voice on the verses and ethereal voice on the chorus. There’s a lot going on here, but I dig the tribal drum sound on the chorus.
4) Loose Ends
The “complicated, triangulated” chorus is a good sing-along, but the kitchen sink arrangement is a bit much for me. Headphone babies, beware as you drift into sleep, because this one will jar you awake – violently! - about 2 minutes in.
5) Hide And Seek
An all-vocal track that she bravely released to iTunes as an album teaser after it was used on The OC. The song is filtered through a harmonium, so it does not seem a capella (hey, everybody shat bricks when Bjork did it, so please do the same for Immi). It’s actually the first of a few Laurie Anderson-isms and may seem a bit esoteric before you realize how gorgeously sad it is and how perfectly it fits in to the record. A breakup song with a great line about “crop circles in the carpet.”
6) Clear The Area
Immi’s got a knack for taking bits of conversation, signs, directives and slogans and putting them into her lyrics. You’ll hear it on this song, which is in the style of much of the record: not quite a ballad and not quite an uptempo. Does anyone know, is this in a minor key?
7) Daylight Robbery
My least favorite track on the SFY, sorry: the opening guitar assault is reminiscent of Immi’s first CD, I Megaphone, which came out in 1994 in the rush by the labels to find their own angry Alanis Morrissette. A real wall of sound.
8) The Walk
A terrific pop chorus: “I don’t want to be like this / It’s just what I don’t need.” Again with the clangy staccato effect, but it has a really catchy melody and is filled with high-end information for your ears! We dig the piano and la la la vamp near the end, Immi.
9) Just For Now
A delicate ballad with impossibly high vocals. The introduction of piano on the second verse is perfect – why put in a bass when you can put in a piano, hmmm? I swim in this song when I go to bed. It's sort of a vignette of a family at a table during a Christmastime. It ends too soon: “Get me out of here, get me out of here…”
10) I Am In Love With You
Good title huh? You immediately wonder how this song will live up to it. Starts with a sort of Cameo meets Madonna feel (aka “Music”) - you can tell this one was built on a computer. It’s short and spiky. Anyway, about that title, the next line is “…at least for the moment.”
11) Closing In
High art! When you first hear this, you think that Immi should have introduced something very different at this moment on the record, like a male backing vocal or new instrument. She repeat some of her tricks on this one, but somehow the whole is better than its parts and the song is one of the best on the record. At 2:35 the track blasts upward with a really compelling bridge. The spine-tingling drum attack that follows is pretty bitchin’ too. Should have been the final track IMO.
12) The Moment I Said It
Strong lyrics reminiscent of some of the tracks on Frou Frou’s Details. The predominate influence on this one appears to be Tori Amos – just listen to the piano Immi plays throughout. Bonus points for the line “Who are you calling a pissant?” Again with the staccato structure…on first listen many of the songs seem a bit…herky jerky. As the melodies unfold, you don’t notice that so much and the arrangements start to seem more fluid.
Speak For Yourself works very well as cohesive piece. The details (pun intended) are all here: the Laurie Anderson bit at 1:30 of Just For Now or the slide guitar just after that brilliant middle eight on Goodnight And Go. Even the brief piano flourishes in the middle of The Walk – a lot of care went into making this album. Immi has a knack for not exploiting the elements: her songs are filled with genius nooks and crannies, so there is more to discover each time you play the record, but she doesn’t overdo these little ideas. They pop up fleetingly in the songs, not to be repeated and that is one of the primary joys of Speak For Yourself.
Available as of 7/18 at her website or at Amazon UK. Goodnight and Hide and Seek are on US iTunes.
July 15, 2005
click to enlarge
Check out this great Gogo interview with Alison and Will from Goldfrapp. Here is Alison's funny comment on Coldplay:
So, what do you think of Coldplay?
I think they're very fucking good at writing tunes. But I watched Top of the Pops the other day - I quite like watching Top of the Pops - but I thought I must be watching an old Top of the Pops. Coldplay were playing their new single, and I genuinely thought I knew the song, that it couldn't possibly be from the new album because it's almost identical to older tracks.
This in an intriguing comment considering their new single "Ooh Lala" sounds almost identical to a song or two from their last CD, but I shan't complain. I LOVE THEM.
July 13, 2005
Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens
Goldenrod and the 4-H stone
the things i brought you
when i found out that you had cancer of the bone
your father cried on the telephone
and he drove his car to the Navy yard
just to prove that he was sorry
in the morning through the window shade
when the light pressed up
against your shoulder blade
i could see what you were reading
all the glory that the Lord has made
and the complications you could do without
when i kissed you on the mouth
tuesday night at the bible study
we lift our hand and pray over your body
but nothing ever happens
i remember at Michael's house
in the living room when you kissed my neck
and i almost touched your blouse
in the morning at the top of the stairs
when your father found out what we did that night
and you told me you were scared
all the glory when you ran outside
with your shirt tucked in and your shoes untied
and you told me not to follow you
sunday night when i clean the house
i find the card where you wrote it out
and the pictures of your mother
on the floor, at the great divide
with my shirt tucked and my shoes untied
i am crying in the bathroom
in the morning when you finally go
and the nurse runs in with her head hung low
and the cardinal hits the window
in the morning, in the winter shade
in the first of march, on the holiday
i thought i saw you breathing
all the glory that the lord has made
and the complications when i see his face
in the morning in the window
all the glory when he took our place
but he took my shoulders, and he shook my face
and he takes and he takes and he takes
Sufjan Stevens will be appearing at the 9:30 Club in DC on September 27. Be there!
Favorite Songs of the Year So Far
Patrick Wolf “The Libertine”
Imogen Heap “Goodnight And Go”
Killers “Mr. Brightside” (Thin White Duke mix)
Bodies Without Organs “Sunshine In The Rain”
Ben Folds “Time”
Rachel Stevens “Negotiate With Love”
Dave Matthews Band “American Baby”
Michael Buble “Home” I know, guilty pleasure
Sufjan Stevens “Chicago”
Martha Wainwright “Bloody Motherfucking Asshole”
Favorite CDs So Far
Patrick Wolf “Wind In The Wires”
Josh Rouse “Nashville”
Imogen Heap “Speak For Yourself”
Turin Brakes "Jackinabox"
New Order “Waiting For the Sirens Call”
July 12, 2005
“Can we just put the thongs away and fall back in love with the music?” - Leela James
Pop soul's deathknell continues to sound, but Leela James is a new singer who's worthy of your attention. I particulalry like her new song "Music" which you can hear in full on her website. Her album features tracks donw with Raphael Saadiq and Kanye West among others. There is even a cover of No Doubt's "Don't Speak". She also features some wicked hair, doesn't she?
Hear samples at Amazon
BTW, if you like this new soul, my record industry correspondent, prone to liking music like Sloan, Wilco and Luna is recommending Ricky Fante.
July 11, 2005
Do you think Madonna is a Lady? Does she press flowers and stroke kittens and swim in rivers... wearing dresses and hats?*
*I'll have raucous sex with anyone who gets that reference. Actually, I'll have raucous sex with anyone who doesn't get that reference...
July 9, 2005
July 8, 2005
Seems to me Jamie meets many of the qualifications of a hobbit:
A height of between two and four feet? CHECK
Long skillful fingers? CHECK
Little or no facial hair? CHECK
No understanding of machinery more complicated than the watermill, forge bellows, and the hand loom or piano? CHECK
A tendency towards chubbiness? CHECK
July 7, 2005
It was bound to happen, wasn't it? She meets all spikey English comedians. And isn't that Ingrid Casares with her? Does that woman still have nothing to do with her time?
In the meantime, Esther's new CD is called Confessions On The Dancefloor and there is a song called "I Love New York" - confirmed by her on TV.
I don't have a lot I want to say on this blog about what happened in the world today. Needless to say, given my screen name, London is a place of importance in my life and it sickens me. I literally felt ill this morning. I would like to link to an interesting post on the Daily Kos about this situation.
Having said that, I will try to get back to the mundane pop minutiae I love so much. It's music that keeps me sane!
July 5, 2005
Download the CD from iTunes (note that all of his work is now on iTunes)
Download the EXCELLENT "Chicago" from iTunes.
Illinoise promo kit
Sufjan's eerie new song about John Wayne Gacy Jr. (free MP3) (umm, this is major. listen!)
If you buy the album today you can get the cover with Superman. There is a legal battle about this, so when Sufjan becomes a major star, this cover will be rare. Just sayin'...
"I was really expecting the starving-child-who-became-a-hottie to throw off her robe and start doing synchronised dancing with Madonna or something. Oh well."
I will comment later this week. The TV coverage was shit.
photo courtesy of Madonnalicious
Esthero recently released her new CD Wicked Lil Grrrls. I think the album is a wee bit Blu Cantrell-ish, although her background is ambient and it's probably closer to Beastie Boys than Blu Cantrell. BUT the Bjork-ish single "We R In Need Of A Musical Revolution" is total magic. It's sweet, but also a little edgy and bitter. I love how bold the lyric is:
'Cause I'm so sick and tired
Of the shit on the radio
And MTV, they only play the same thing
No matter where I go
I see Ashanti on my video screen
I want something more
Let's start a musical revolution
Let's start a musical revolution
Tell me why
A grown man can rape a little girl but we
Still hear his shit on the radio
A grown-ass man can videotape a little girl but we
Still see his mug up on our video screens
I want something more
Woah! Note that the CD single also contains another great track (albeit with a dorky title) "Everyday Is a Holiday (With You)" which Esthero wrote with Sean Lennon.
Watch the video here
Here the song by using the player in the top right
July 4, 2005
I've not decided whether this new one is ahhhh or meh; their last CD was, IMO, unlistenable. It IS very similar in style to Summer Son – sounds like Sharleen recorded it in the studio with sunglasses on. It was written with one of the members of the great 80's Scot band The Bluebells (who did Cath etc). Note that the album called Red Book, out on Halloween, includes a song called Sleep, written by Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile.
Note: For the info you have to provide, just do a fake name and email, ignore the phone number part and type LA185HP for the post code.
July 3, 2005
July 1, 2005
Last year one of my favorite albums was The Honeymoon's debut. It's the sweetest little pop record, kind of like a frothier Sundays album. Now you can download their version of "Running Up That Hill" at this link (just enter an email address and you'll get an MP3 link). I am very picky about Kate Bush covers: this one is nice if not perfect (I am not a fan of that "Hounds Of Love" cover by Futureheads. Blech!).
See my Honeymooon CD review
See their website
Buy their CD cheap and used on Amazon.com