November 30, 2005

Christmas season starts NOW




Madonner meets "Lou and Andy" from Little Britain. That's Stella McCartney there too. I wondered how long it would take Madonner to appear in public with them. Meanwhile, her next video (Sorry) is a sequel to Hung Up which you can watch the Making Of here. This short little film is better than her documentary and worth watching if you have high speed. She is actually nice in it.

November 29, 2005

Who's that girl?



Eurythmics have done something really cool to promote their new Ultimate Hits CD. They're podcasting what are essentially commentaries about each song. The first 2 of 4 are up on iTunes now with Dave Stewart talking in depth about the tracks and, in some cases, breaking down musical elements of the songs.

Podcast #1 and #2

My list of complaints

1) Blogger is FOCKED! How irritating. Numerous problems...but don't blame little ol' me.

2) Nip/Tuck really has jumped the shark. Tonight (11/29) was surely the most vile episode they've ever done. Would Christian really have done the whole thing swith the bag on the woman's head at this point in his life, post-Wilbur, post-Natasha, etc? Right now there is no one else likeable on that show now that Liz the nurse has left (AGAIN!) I spit on Nip/Tuck! It has better pull its shit together in the final weeks or I will be very sad.

3) Furthermore, Princess Yum Yum read her line on Commander in Chief but you could not see her face! Total focker editors!

November 28, 2005

Thank you, Fiona

If you don't have a song to sing
You're ok
You know how to get along humming
If you don't have a date
Celebrate
Go out and sit on the lawn
And do nothing
-Cause it's just what you must do and
Nobody does it anymore

No I don't believe in the wasting of time
But I don't believe that I'm wasting mine

If you don't have a point to make
Don't sweat it
You'll make a sharp one being so kind
(And I'd sure appreciate it)
Everyone else's goal's
To get big-headed
Why should I follow that beat,
Being that I'm
Better than fine

- Waltz (Better Than Fine), Fiona Apple, 2005

A Red Post: dirty books!

Wanna read the best of BAD sex scenes in literature from 2005? Leave it to a British paper to publish the text here. Some come very close to the Wyckoff Correspondent's favorite sex sentence of 2004 (something to do with "lashings of white hot..." nevermind!)

xo, xolondon
Poptext does a post about Imogen Heap today. Yes, there are songs there. Check this post as well.

Princess does Geena



Princess Yum Yum, as I posted three weeks ago, recently filmed a weensy part on Commander In Chief. It airs Tuesday Nov 29, at 9pm on ABC. She plays a reporter asking a question about economics -she thinks the shot will be in the opening segment, so look fast and then you can, as she says, "get back to House."

I am also eager to know if Geena Davis's lips have grown since last week.

November 26, 2005

Review: Kubb's Mother



A few weeks ago I wrote about a new group named Kubb, fronted by a bisexual Tobago-an named Harry Collier who looks eerily like 80’s model/popstar Nick Kamen. I’ve been listening to their debut record Mother and it’s really singable! I wonder if they should have just called the record Introducing Harry Collier (or better still Introducing the Hard Line According to Harry Collier?), as it would have been more direct.

The current single Wicked Soul is a white soul pastiche with the kinkiest pop lyrics of the year:

Let’s disconnect all communication
I’ve told you mother not to call
So lay down on the bed
‘Cause now I’ve locked the door
And we don’t live out there no more.

I’m the weirdo in your bedroom
And I can see you in the dark
Tonight’s the night I shed my wicked soul
I take it out on you
And watch you lose control


A real surprise is the stadium worthy Grow – a massive epic that Embrace would be proud to play. The opening evokes the first moments of Bohemian Rhapsody and it builds from there to an orgasmic finish. My eyes rolled back into my head and yours will too during the choral round that closes the track.

If I have any problem with Kubb, it’s that the record does not establish a firm identity. It mimics its inspirations: Blow Monkeys, Embrace/ Muse, even Jeff Buckley on the wailing Someplace Else. Cynics may have a hard time getting over this and clearly the British public isn’t buying the CD. But if you like Keane, Travis, Coldplay, Embrace and their sensitive ilk, I urge you to get Kubb’s Mother.

Listen to samples at
7 Digital.
Thanks again to
Torr for leading me to Kubb.

Lots of Imogen Heap news for smart pop trolls



First, her brilliant album Speak For Yourself is available at Best Buy for 9.99! At least it was last week. That CD is worth double that amount and I urge you to get it. Hear samples at 7 Digital

Immi has produced a song called "What It Is" for Nik Kershaw's hits CD. This is a Nik song, but produced in Immi style and it is also at
7 Digital
You can now purchase (for 77 pence!) her beautiful orchestral b-side called "Cumulus" that is at
7 Digital or on iTunes. I hope she'll score a film, because this track will wreck you with it's prettiness. Note that it's an instrumental.

Remember that she has a cover of that tacky 70's song Spooky (by Atlanta Rhythm Section) on a Reese Witherspoon movie soundtrack. Sadly, it is not available by track on iTunes (fuckers), so you'll have to find it elsewhere. Not sure why she chose this of all possible cover songs?

Immi has also done a new soundtrack song for The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe! It is called I Can't Take It In and it's out on December 13. Alanis also did a song for this movie. Beware that it is NOT on the "Songs Inspired by..." soundtrack, which is all religious artists. Who produced this movie? Is there an agenda here?

November 25, 2005

Newsy Bits

Travis has recorded 20 new songs with Nigel Godrich for their 2006 CD. I guess they scrapped their work with Brian Eno. Lets hope that the new one is better than their last turd, 12 Memories.

Morrissey has a new URL for his 2006 project, so check it out (not much there but a sign -up). Is this really his 11th CD since 1987? I guess so, if you count the 4 or 5 compilations.

The Darkness are getting great reviews for their new CD. Read one at Playlouder and one that The Guardian. Nice song titles include "Dinner Lady Arms" and "Knockers"!! I am still diggin"Love Is Only A Feeling" two years after its release - it actually has moments of beauty, I swear! Looks like "Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time" is the new version of that song.

Bitchin' Gwen looks ridiculous as a chola girl in her new video "Luxurious" - she is becoming the new J-Lo: a stinkin' rich girl slumming it. Read a funny review with lots of screen captures here. Remember when Gwen warranted her own posts here? Le sigh.

Snow Patrol have a new record coming. I dunno... the last one made me sleepy and I thought they got more than their share of press'n'praise compared to other new bands at the time.

The Who is recording a new CD. I just want the Wyckoff Correspondent to start saving his money. I am sure the producers of CSI will also be happy...

Patrick Wolf, one of my 2005 discoveries, is recording his new album which may be called something like Accidents and Emergencies if this letter is a clue. I played Wind In The Wires on Thanksgiving when it was grey and freezing cold here - will comment again on that record soon.

Let the Xmas Excess begin...

November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, especially if you are a soulful, disco turkey...

Jesus vs. Pop: Pop Wins!



You know how Carrie Underwood, that bland American Idol, tried to beat Madonner to #1? Well, the bitch lost! She pulled out all the stops: Carrie's single is called "Jesus Take The Wheel" - I cannot think of anything more cynical and red state-ish! Years ago, there is no way a major label would have released a single with "Jesus" in the title. But now, with the current White House, this shit comes from the top down. Big sigh.

The totals for last week's sales:
1) Madonna with 344,000
2) Carrie Underwood with 303,000

November 23, 2005

The more things change v.3



Eurythmics played last night's American Music Awards, which I didn't watch. You can see the full performance of "Missionary Man" and "Sweet Dreams" online here. It's hot...Annie must have a rotting portrait next to Morten Harket's! Thanks Arjan.

New Beth Orton in February!



Yeah! New songs from Beth Orton. I cannot say that I like her albums as much as I like some of her songs. The website says "it features Beth Orton on guitar, piano and harmonica with (Sonic Youth's Jim) O'Rourke on bass, piano and marimba and the esteemed American percussionist Tim Barnes on drums."

Comfort of Strangers track listing:
1. "Worms" 2. "Conceived" 3. "Comfort of Strangers" 4. "Heartland Truckstop" 5. "Shadow of a Doubt"6. "Safe In Your Arms" 7. "Countenance" 8. "Rectify" 9. "Feral Children" 10. "Shopping Trolley"11. "A Place Aside" 12. "Absinthe"13. "Heart of Soul" 14. "Pieces of Sky"


Some faves worth looking for (with direct iTunes links):
"Concrete Sky" (with Ryan Adams on harmonies, a perfect perfect song)
"Paris Train" (Bjorkian and super moody with swooping strings. So elegant)
"Central Reservation" (collab with Ben Watt of EBTG. Literate dance music)
"Stolen Car" (her best video too)
"Don't Need A Reason" (song about angels that moms will like)

Did you know that Beth suffers from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)? It's true! Stars, they're just like us...

November 22, 2005

The more things change v.2



Somewhere in an Oslo attic, there sits a fetid, horrific picture of a-ha's Morten Harket (above left). The man has barely aged since he became famous for sweating and slamming into walls in the video for 1984's "Take On Me." He has the same jawline, cheekbones, and angelic, crystalline voice today. Jefitoblog has a huge a-ha appreciation post that you should read. I too will review their great new CD Analogue. Stay tuned.

The more things change...

I had a fuckingshitmotherfuckerofaday yesterday, but I crawled out of bed and managed to get to work by 10 today, just to post this...

Madonna at G-A-Y last weekend.





click to enlarge, pervs

November 21, 2005



Check out Robbie Williams new video for "Advertising Space" - he plays a (creepy, IMO) Elvis impersonator. I think it is supposed to be poignant, but it's also kind of laughable. He looks okay in the picture above, but looks like an idiot for much of the video. Maybe that is the point? Whatever, he's no Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Typically droll Moz on vegetarianism

Being vegetarian is a political gesture, so it can't fail to affect your life. By becoming vegetarian you are rejecting a dominant, macho, wife-beating, throat-slitting lifestyle. Vegetarians are also often disliked because they cause so many people to do what they'd rather not do: think. Also, vegetarians, by the nature of their existence, are telling flesh-eaters that what they, the carnivores, are doing, is wrong – and nobody likes to be told this. In a basic sense, I can't bring myself to sit at any table where flesh is served or eaten – unless, of course, it's human flesh.

This comes from True To You via Torr

November 20, 2005

Primer: Disco in the now



In 2005, The Year Of Our Pop Music, many acts/artists are looking back to disco music for inspiration. Both Madonna and Goldfrapp cited Cerrone as something they listened to while making their respective records. When I was a kid I had a double record set, I think by K-Tel, called A Night At Studio 54. Four sides sequenced to one long mix. It had Musique, Cher, Cheryl Lynn, KC And The Sunshine Band, etc. It was brilliant!

Disco was the music of the disenfranchised. It came about as a reaction to music (rock, punk, AM radio lite) that was not speaking to various elements of society. Rock really was - and is - white patriarchal theme music, legitimized by the masses. It's not surprising that there were disco record-burning events, but really, who burns music? It's like burning books! Those white baseballers were threatened by its existence, or more importantly, having to acknowledge the existence of the Latinos, the gays, the single women, the city dwellers, the chic immigrant Eurotrash.

Of course, in 2005 everything is hybrid, with white boys pretending to be black boys, straight boys pretending to be gay, but it will never be cool to like disco. The Stuart Prices, Alison Goldfrapps and Will Gregorys may be popular now, but they weren't always. We have a small group of artists who carry it along today, like Pet Shop Boys, Erasure and lots of electronic bands, particularly in Europe, where they are chilled out about this stuff! We have a few biggies now - the divas like Kylie and the genre busters like Scissor Sisters. Viva la disco!



Ive compiled some mixes of what I think are the greatest disco tracks. I know I have left a lot off, but there are some real gems in here that not everyone will know, like "Doctor's Orders" or "Native New Yorker."

CD 1: 1 Jive Talkin’ / Bee Gees 2 Take Me Home / Cher 3 He’s The Greatest Dancer / Sister Sledge 4 Never Can Say Goodbye / Gloria Gaynor 5 Shadow Dancing / Andy Gibb 6 When Will I See You Again / Three Degrees 7 Forget-Me-Nots / Patrice Rushen 8 Heaven Knows / Donna Summer 9 Love’s Theme / Love Unlimited Orchestra 10 It’s Raining Men / Weather Girls 11 I’m Coming Out / Diana Ross 12 Dancing Queen / Abba 13 Night Fever / Bee Gees 14 The Hustle / Van McCoy 15 If I Can’t Have you / Yvonne Elliman 16 Heaven Must Have Sent You / Bonnie Pointer 17 Take Your Time (Do It Right) / SOS Band 18 Last Dance / Donna Summer



Disco Stories. I was in about 4th - 6th grade when disco was hot. I have many disco stories, but the most notable one is a moment I had at the Big Shanty Roller Rink in Kennesaw GA, skating to "Dim All The Lights" by Donna Summer. I remember a feeling of total bliss when Donna hit the long note that takes the song from ballad to beats. I think I even closed my eyes. [note - one reader of this blog was most likely there that night! Lova ya, troll!] I also remember coming home from summer camp and finding that my Mom had bought me a 45 of "How Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gees. Wasn't she sweet? It was in that brown RSO sleeve with the red cow. Remember that? (see below)

"Emotion" by Samantha Sang was the first single I ever bought. As for that great Cher record above, I made my mother drive all over metro Atlanta to find it (K-Mart didn't stock it!). It's not solid disco, but side 1 is one of the best disco sides there ever was. I also recommend Donna Summer's greatest hits in any version (there are like 4), the Bee Gees hits and Diana Ross's Nile Rodgers/Bernard Edwards collab, diana.

For post-disco, check out Giorgio Moroder's soundtrack to Cat People, with the gorgeous "Irena's Theme." [I still have my Nastassja Kinski/cat hologram button, Laurie!].

CD 2: 1 Get Down On It / Kool and The Gang 2 Good Times / Chic 3 Supernature / Cerrone 4 I Love You Donna Summer 5 Streetlife / Randy Crawford 6 I’m Every Woman / Chaka Khan 7 Boogie Oogie Oogie / Taste of Honey 8 Say The Word / Cher 9 Native New Yorker / Odyssey 10 I Will Survive / Gloria Gaynor 11 Funkytown / Lipps Inc. 12 Grease Theme/ Frankie Valli 13 Disco Nights / GQ 14 Heart Of Glass / Blondie 15 Stomp! / The Brothers Johnson 16 We Are Family / Sister Sledge 17 Doctor's Orders / Carole Douglas 18 Everlasting Love / Carl Carlton 19 YMCA / Village People

What songs did I not include?

Do you have a disco story?
Thanks to all my trolls who know the importance of a good disco song! See you at the roller rink. I swear those will come into vogue again soon...


The old RSO singles. Are you old enough to remember them?



Casablanca's label.

November 19, 2005

I told you no more Madonna, but...



I lied, trolls! A pretty good interview for anyone who cares - this one focuses on the new album and how she came to make it.

November 18, 2005

A "naff" xmas



Oh. dear. Lord. This Girls Aloud Christmas album comes free with the new Chemistry CD. It's one of those Christmas albums where all the songs are newly composed. Yuck. Whatever, the xmas single is a cover of Dee C. Lee's beautiful "See The Day."

This cover says, "Be a luv and bend over to put that bird in the oven"

New music: Mozez



Mozez is not for thrashers, but if you like Frou Frou, Imogen Heap, Lamya, Sia, Maxwell or Zero 7. Maybe even the long lost Tony Rich. he's your new boyfriend.
Mozez is a singer from Jamaica who grew up in London and sang on Zero 7's huge debut (he did "Simple Things" and "This World"). He has a beautiful voice that you should hear. Luckily, he's just released a debut record called So Still.

His website is here. The music files load so slowly, I assumed they were broken. Try "Somehow Now" and the two Guy "Frou Frou" Sigsworth productions, the gossamer "Venus Rise" and the uplifting "Feel Free." Full samples are also available, with purchasable downloads at 7 Digital.

Update: I bought the three songs mentioned above from 7 Digital and they are gorgeous. It's driving music, fuck music - that sort of thing. I don't do much of either, so I'll just play these tunes on my headphones, lying on my bed, imagining a life I can't quite have.

Small Statement of the Day: Do we need another hot Brooklyn band? Clap your hands, say NO.

November 17, 2005

Woody Allen on genius



There is an excellent interview with Woody Allen in the new issue of Vanity Fair (the one with Kate Moss on the cover). I wanted to transcribe what I think is the best bit:

“The real, real genius is in very few people in any art form, in any business, in any area…. When ore younger you’ve got decades to make films end so you strive for greatness, because you haven’t proven, yet, that’s not going to happen... But I feel that level of greatness is just not in me. Because I see no evidence of it after a very, very fair try. It may just not be in the genes… and I can live with it because you know, what can I do?”

“That’s a depressing thought,” the writer says to Woody.

“No, it’s not a depressing thought. What happens is that – let’s say I’m in a room with Bergman or Kurosawa, and they have achieved this [greatness], but ultimately they’re going to the same place I’m going to. You understand that art doesn’t save you. It doesn’t save me. So then I think to myself, What’s the value?… It’s not that I’m losing my passport to paradise. I’m not. There are a lot of things in life I’m not going to have. I’m not going to play like Michael Jordan. I also will not make films like Kurosawa or Bergman.”

Don't bother, I'll be fine



Shakira is an enigma. She is a woman/child who alternately sings, whispers, purrs, bleats and yodels dramatically through her rock pop songs. It's histrionic, but she gets away with it because she seems so sincere. Fresh from being fucked from behind while cutting onions with a large knife (in her last video "La Tortura"), Shakira is taking on the man-is-his-car concept in her video for the excellent new single, "Don't Bother."

In the video, which is shot in a weird desaturated kind of 70's porn stock, Shakira is in the house of a lover whose face we never see. He's just a naked torso with farmer's tan. She teases him in the shower, in the usual "Shaki" way: in fact, she should win an award for her bra work. Barring Madonna, no one wears a bra better than Shakira.

Anyway, the video really kicks in during the last half when she has an electric guitar solo on a pink guitar - does she really play? She seems to, but does it matter? Her rock stance seems real. That scene segues into an extreme closeup of her babyface, muttering something about coming from a "Communist country" and trying to keep her man by cutting her nails ("so I won't hurt you"), learning about football and staying fit. When the camera pulls back she is driving a forklift that proceeds to crunch up a sports car. This is intercut with scenes of Shakira watching her semi-nude lover writhe on the floor in pain in front of her. She's getting even and it rocks!

And yes, if you look closely, she does the Boob Dance.

Get "Don't Bother" on iTunes or go to her site. Watch the video here.


From the Pet Shop Boys website:

17 November '05: Pet Shop Boys have just completed their new album in a West London studio. The album has been produced by Trevor Horn and features 10 new Tennant/Lowe songs, a short introduction (also written by Tennant/Lowe) and "Numb", a song by Diane Warren, originally recorded for the "PopArt" compilation in 2003.

Neil and Chris started writing songs for the album in January and commenced recording with Trevor Horn in May. Chris Lowe commented: "We've really enjoyed making this album with Trevor and his team and are very happy indeed with the finished result." Neil Tennant added: "We think it's a great Pet Shop Boys album and also a great Trevor Horn record."

The album is expected to be released worldwide in April 2006.

Off topic: Guess who is 3?



My peeps - my peers, ha ha - Gaby and Noah turn 3 today. I am getting them a book and some cool soap that looks like a pink pig.

November 16, 2005

Feel "deets" on Moz's Ringleader


...now at Torr and True To You. My favorite of the titles listed is "The Youngest Was The Most Loved." Single in February, album in March. 12 b's to follow? One can dream...
Speaking of b-sides, The Smiths are included in Stylus' excellent piece on the best b-sides. In that case, the song is "Asleep." I agree with a lot of them, though they could have included a Tori Amos b-side like "Honey" or "Cooling"

Tired of her yet?






I will just do a few more posts on this topic and then I'll try to let it lay... Madonna appeared at the Koko Club (watch it) in London last night and I was noticing that some of these pics (click to enlarge) look like they oculd have been taken in the 80's. She is more than holding up well...

November 15, 2005

How Madonna Got Her Groove Back



Madonna released a surpise song for her fanclub on Tuesday called "Superpop." It's probably one of her better b-sides, but really is for fans, with its dippy lyrics like "If I were a drink I'd be a Lemon Drop"

Meanwhile, she is in the new Rolling Stone...read an excerpt here.

Reviews: Ambivalence and dismay


Robbie Williams: Intensive Care
I admit it up front: I sold mine already, so maybe I didn't give it a proper chance. I will give this much to Robbie – he tried to do something smart by choosing Stephen Duffy (of Lilac Time) as a co-writer for this new CD. But Stephen Duffy has not had a hit in twenty years and I think Robbie should have chosen someone else to do the actual production on the record, still using Stephen’s songs and playing. There is something smart about the album (it’s a grower), but there is just not much to draw me in. I don’t care about his problems with fame. How many times has he sung about this? He’s like Mary J. Blige, rehashing the same old problems! A few good tracks: the opener “Ghosts” and “Spread Your Wings” - just buy those off of iTunes. (I suspect I have some readers who will disagree with me on this record).


Paul Weller: As Is Now
Paul’s last CD Illumination had top tunes, crisp production and the gift of brevity. This one is overlong and underproduced. It’s a grittier CD, recorded live in the studio with minimal overdubs. I guess this reflects a dersire to be "organic" and "spontaneous." I just don’t like it much. Nothing stands out enough to draw me in. Are there tracks that are worth adding to Weller mixes? Yes, sure, but the CD as a whole sounds like it was recorded in two weeks – and it was.


David McAlmont: Set One, You Go To My Head
Sad sad sad. David is known for his over-the-top belter vocals and this record is done in the Sinead O’Connor “I can sing but I won’t” style. It’s whispered in your ear. Note to David: I could fucking whisper these songs in your ear and sound almost as good! It’s also done in a shoestring budget, so there are no big string moments. Not his fault, but still... A total disappointment.

November 14, 2005

FYI: Sony is the DEVIL

You may have heard about Sony’s insane new digital rights protection program they had put on new CD’s. If you recall, I did battle with a Sony CD in September (David Gray) - it was that experience that prevented me from buying any new Sony releases that were copy-protected.

By October 1, my laptop was dead and gone. I am not sure if it was because I inadvertently tried to remove the root kit or if it was something else. Needless to say, Sony is fucked and this fiasco makes clear everyone music lover’s fears: that the big labels are willing to assault their consumers while they secure their cash advances.

Not only did the program prevent you from copying CD’s, but it sent Sony information about what you were listening to, without your knowledge! Hello big brother. Not to mention the fact it obliterates fair use rights to music, which allow for about 10% or 30 seconds of a song to be used for evaluation purposes.

More information:
FAQ about the rootkit
Microsoft Rootkit patch information
Electronic Frontier Foundation infected CD list

Madonna #6: Let It Will Be



Let It Will Be

  • A reviewer recently noted the title of this song is very Noel Gallagher. What does it let it will be mean?
  • Opening strings are indeed supposed to sound like "Papa Don't Preach"
  • One of the poppier songs on the record.
  • A bit more of a message on this song than ring ring ring went the telephone.
  • Pic above is from the album insert. Subtle huh?

I think this will be the last of my Madonner reviews. I don't feel strongly enough about the other songs to comment on them. The only song I don't really like is "Push."

Madonna #8: Jump



Jump

  • Probably the closest thing on the album to a classic Madonna song.
  • Reviewers who said this was "dark" have not heard it! It sounds like a sequel to Keep It Together - I love the my sisters and me, my sisters and me vocodered bit at the end.
  • Opening synths are from PSB's West End Girls - just a teensy snippet.
  • Nice spoken word parts, lacking in any faux accents or histrionics!

Bonus: Download her appearance on Parkinson via Madonnalicious. Complete with 2 performances and faux British accent during interview. Americanos: Parkinson is to the UK like Johnny Carson was over here.

November 13, 2005

RW: Reissue, Repackage, Repackage!



This is really lame. A combo of the two Rufus Wainwright Want discs, with extra songs and an OLD picture on the cover. Cheap!!. But you can buy it for £11.99 (about 22 bucks?) at Amazon UK. Out November 28.

Disc 1: extra tracks are "Es Mus Sein" and "Velvet Curtain Rag" (not so great, either one). Disc 2: extra tracks are a live cover of "Chelsea Hotel" (tired song, but fitting for Rufus) and "In With The Ladies". The last song is not from the Want sessions. It's up-tempo with a surf guitar (!) and classic Rufus lyrics. It's not bad, but it doesn't fit at all.

Those albums are true art works and now the label has seen fit to mess with them by adding stupid bonus tracks that really have nothing to do with actual albums / themes/ sounds and art that has nothing to do with the original visual "concept." Total cash cow for Christmas...typical record company bullshit. I don't expect an American release for this.

Whatever, see what the fans say...

Madonna #5: I Love New York



I Love New York
  • I was expecting crap: the section of this song used in the tour documentary is an entirely different version: more pop/rock, with an alternate chorus. The final version pisses all over it.
  • The lyrics are indeed wonky: rhyming New York and dork, or saying a city makes you mad, sad or glad. Le sigh as Trent would say. Fortunately, the melody and production save it.
  • This song captures the hugeness and urgency of New York City. It sounds as if it were record in an arena - the vocals are swimming in the sound. The rolling timpani drums will blow your mind.
  • Rolling Stone described this song as spiraling, but I think a better word for the chorus is cascading. It's incredible and reminds me a bit of what she did on "Ray Of Light"

November 12, 2005

Madonna #4: Future Lovers



Future Lovers
  • The only track on the album produced by the much-maligned Mirwais.
  • Built on a sample (overused, I'd say) of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" - Donna did actually record other songs, Esther! Regardless, the sample is sense-slamming! Ear delicious! Cock twitching!
  • My favorite thing on here is the kooky spoken bits. I love the one about "administration, bills, loans." I guess it's supposed to sound Blade Runnerish or something?
  • Expect club remixes of this - it is really strong.
  • How much more can I say about a dance song? Like the piccie above? It's from L'Uomo Vogue and it's by Steven Klein, who did all the album art.

November 11, 2005

Kubb: Tonight I'll shed my wicked soul



Who is Kubb?
It's not a he. It's a band with a lead singer (above) from Tobago named Harry Collier. Check out their website

"Wicked Soul" is the great new single.
Someone's been listening to the Blow Monkeys. This song says this to me: I'm gonna take you in that room and fuck you. And you're gonna like it!

Interestingly, their other single "Remain" is so much like the new a-ha music that when it comes on my iPod, I assume it IS a-ha.

Read more here and listen to album clips

Update: Honest to God, I wrote this post late Thursday night and in that time, Arjan had the same idea! He's got the videos and a download. Great minds think alike, yes?

Madonna #3: Sorry



Sorry
  • The second single, much better than "Hung Up"
  • She's saying she's sorry in like ten languages over what sounds like an interpolation of the "Frozen" opening. I suppose Madonna has a lot to apologize for - like "Swept Away" or maybe that horrible song "I'll Remember"
  • The hook is "I've heard it all before" and it will invade you like Avian Flu. Personally, I like the line, "There's more important things than hearing you speak."
  • 2:44 has the signature Stuart Price sound: that cracking noise (guillotine or baseball hitting a bat?) he also uses on the New Order track and Bitchin' Gwen remix.
  • There is a sample of The Jackson's "Can You Feel It" - can you hear it?
  • Bonus freebie: see the album booklet at Say Hey

Madonna #2: Get Together



Get Together
  • Dirrty Pop called the SOS Band interpolation before I could post it! I was so pleased with myself for catching it ("we can do it, we can do it alright" at 1:10).
  • Love the stabbing stynths that start at 3:34.
  • This record is built on a sample of Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You," which in turn was built on Madonna's "Holiday." Supposedly there is a Daft Punk sample in here too.
  • "Get Together" is the kind of song Madonna will close concerts with. You can just see the confetti falling from arena celings. It's a MAMMOTH dance track.
  • Say what you want about Madonna's talent or personality, but this particular song is a gift to her fans, who will love it. It's completely uplifting and everything dance music should be.

November 10, 2005

Poppy music I like: Simon Webbe



Who the hell is Simon Webbe? He's British and he was a member of a cheesy boyband called Blue. See his website for more info.
Who does he sound like? Craig David, but minus the tryingtoohard and Tunde from Lighthouse Family.
What's the song? "No Worries" a truly lovely, if totally radio poppish, new soul pop track that Simon does with a mysterious female voice (Yvonne John Lewis) that is supposed to sound like a sample, but it's not really. She keeps singing, "I just know your life's gonna change." It's a feel good car song.


Josh Rouse: More new music to come



One of the best albums of 2005 is Josh Rouse's CD Nashville. Now comes word, via the Wyckoff Correspondent, that Rouse is releasing a digital EP (now) and a new CD in 2006. I was disappointed that he spent the majority of the year touring in Europe and not the U.S., which is ironic, given the album title and style of music (70's AO-pop).

Bedroom Classics, Vol. 2 EP came out November 8th on iTunes.
There are 5 tracks, some instrumentals ("Neighbor-Hoods" and the pretty "Daylight Savings Time"), and some with vocals ("The Last Train," "Soul'd Out" and the jaunty "Oh, I Need All The Love"). It's inspired by film scores apparently. You can also get it on CD from his website.

Subtitulo, the new CD, is due out in March 2006.
His website says this: Subtitulo is heavily influenced by Josh's move to Spain. After spending many years in central Tennessee (which came to a close with his most recent album and farewell letter to the city that helped hone his craft, Nashville), Josh packed up his bags, bought a plane ticket and immersed himself into the lifestyle and customs of the Spanish culture. This influence shines throughout the upbeat (and largely romantic) tenor within each song. Look for the first single and video, "Quiet Town" (a homage to the little Spanish community Altea, where Josh first laid roots upon arrival) to precede the album.

UPDATE: "O, I Want All The Love" is excellent - single worthy, even! It's in the same style as the last album, with a nice female backing vocal and a fab Fleetwood Mac namecheck.

If you don't already have Nashville or 1972, get them asap.

November 9, 2005

Madonna #1: Hung Up



Hung Up

I'm going to review the Madonna album track by track (or at least the ones I feel like doing). Let's start with the single...
  • Built on a sample of Abba's "Gimme Gimme Gimme."
  • Not my favorite song on the record by any measure, but the album version is superior to the single edit.
  • This track is a clue of things to come on the album: Throughout the record you will hear very dense, layered production, repetition (time goes by so slowly, time goes by...) and lengthy instrumental sections where the music drops in and out.
  • The time goes by so slowly lyric is actually from her 1989 duet with Prince, "Love Song."
  • Excellent video - sort of like the girl in "Borderline" grown up.

November 8, 2005

When Depeche meets Goldfrapp...



...you get "A Pain That I'm Used To." Sample on this page. Released December 1, 2oo5. Note that other versions of the single will contain a new vocal b-side called "Newborn"

The Return of Richard Ashcroft



Torr scoops it again! Richard Ashcroft releases Keys to the World on January 23, with a single called "Break The Night With Colour" on Jan 9th. I bet this will do well - his appearance at Live 8 was terrific. I personally think it all comes down to his voice, which is one of the warmest and most expressive to emerge from the UK in the 90's. Not to mention his penchant for sweeping romance in his music. "A Song For The Lovers" has to be one of the best songs I have ever heard. Just sayin'!

My favorite Ashcroft tracks? In no order:


A Song For The Lovers
Slow Was My Heart
Sonnet
Bittersweet Symphony
Get My Beat
C'mon People
Science Of Silence
Weeping Willow
Get Up Now
This Time
Nature Is The Law

Never Wanna See You Cry

Good fansite here. Official site here.

November 7, 2005

Oh I'll show you something good





Eurythmics release their new Ultimate Hits CD Tuesday, along with a passel of remasters (see below). Read a lengthy new interview with Annie in The Scotsman. See their updated website too.