February 28, 2006
February 27, 2006
A quote from the The Sex Pistols, who are not appearing at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction next week:
"Next to the SEX PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine is wine. We’re not coming. We’re not your monkey and so what? Fame at $25,000 if we paid for a table. Or $15,000 to squeak up in the gallery, goes to a non-profit organization selling us a load of old famous. Congradulations. If you voted for us, hope you noted your reasons. Your anonymous as judges, but your still music industry people. We’re not coming. Your not paying attention. Outside the shit-stem is a real SEX PISTOL."
That is too brilliant! Like the street poetry of a crazy homeless man. Source
Poor pathetic George Michael. Isn't he only like 42 years old? A 42 yr old stoner who can't really deal with fame.
Rather than be mean, I will highlight something great George recently did. Something most people don't even know he did: a cover of Joni Mitchell's classic "Edith And The Kingpin." Gorilla Vs. Bear recently highlighted The Hissing Of Summer Lawns, the '75 album from which this comes, and posted "Kingpin," one her best songs. I love the song's lyric structure - how it repeats words in each verse, like snowblind. It really is a short story condensed into a song, or maybe the script of a Robert Towne movie:
The big man arrives
Disco dancers greet him
Plainclothes cops greet him
Small town, big man, fresh lipstick glistening
From victims of typewriters
The band sounds like typewriters
The big man he's not listening
His eyes hold Edith
His left hand holds his right
What does that hand desire
That he grips it so tight?
Edith in the ring
The passed-over girls are conferring
The man with the diamond ring is purring
All claws for now withdrawn
One by one they bring
His renegade stories to her
His crimes and his glories to her
In challenge they look on
Women he has taken grow old too soon
He tilts their tired faces
Gently to the spoon
Edith in his bed
A plane in the rain is humming
The wires in the walls are humming
Some song-some mysterious song
Bars in her head
Beating frantic and snowblind
Romantic and snowblind
She says-his crime belongs
Edith and the Kingpin
Each with charm to sway
Are staring eye to eye
They dare not look away
You know they dare not look away
In late 2005, George did a faithful version of this track. Get it for a short time (like 4 days only!) or buy it on his site...
"Edith And The Kingpin" MP3
February 24, 2006
Veritas Lux Mea has 4 of the best songs (scroll down that page) from Patrick Wolf's incredible 2005 CD Wind In The Wires. On March 30, he is doing a show at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London, during which he will perform the whole of his forthcoming album The Magic Position. Kate Bush fans should take note of this guy!
February 23, 2006
I really think Sweden is where real POP MUSIC was born: Abba are the proud parents. The Beatles seem pretty pop to me, but maybe they were really pop rock folk soul. Let’s put it this way, these chicks were not born of Chuck Berry or Bill Haley. Anyway, here are some details about each singer...
Robyn goes back to the early 90’s with her r’n’b dance hit Show Me Love (note there is also a woman from that era named Robin S with a similar song). Anyway, this Robyn really came into her own on 2002’s Don’t Stop The Music, which featured some great production by Guy “Frou Frou” Sigsworth, among the usual Nordic pop chefs. Should Have Known is a melancholy break up song with the chorus, “Should’ve seen it coming / should’ve fuckin' known” but the line is delivered with more sadness than bile. O Baby is an airy orchestral ballad with a nice echo-y vocal. Much of Robyn’s output is filled with attitude and this song is the exact opposite of that – it’s vulnerable.
2005’s Robyn CD brings it with more excellence tracks, including a frenetic, string-laden single called Be Mine and the hilarious, guitar based Handle Me, which features the line, “You’re a selfish, narcissistic psycho, freaking bootlickin’ Nazi creep.” Missy Elliot would be proud of Konichiwa Bitches – Robyn’s first attempt at rap. She pulls the rhymes admirably in a song that doesn’t even reach 3 minutes. The thing about Robyn is this: she is a POP artist all the way through, but she has a slightly r’n’b sensibility. She is smart enough to know that, like Pink, she is a white blond who can’t really pull off Ciara or Tweet, so she stays close to home with the music. Robyn should be a massive star, but she’s admired in Europe and has a cult status on Popjustice, a pedigree that’s good enough for me.
Key tracks: Should Have Known, Be Mine, Handle Me
MP3: Be Mine exp
September is headed by Sienna Miller look-alike Petra. Her new single Cry For You is a total fehking masterpiece, with a string bed that reminds me of vintage Madonna. The album, in my opinion, does not quite live up to that song’s promise, but there are some strong tunes, like Midnight Heartache, built around a sample of Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes. The very idea of that sounds terrible until you hear how it’s executed. This record is a bitch to get your hands on, as are the Robyn albums. I really think a trip to Sweden may be necessary for me and my Cheap. Pop. Heart.
Key tracks: Midnight Heartache, Cry, Satellites
MP3: Cry For You exp
Annie has been popular with American indie kids, who loved her hit Chewing Gum (“you've got it all wrong / you think you're chocolate when you're chewing gum”) for about a year. It was the single Heartbeat that caught my ear and (shakin') ass – it’s a Europop ditty that builds into a pretty good aerobic workout. She, like many of the Swede girls, has a birdlike voice with a fairly thick accent. On Heartbeat you can’t really tell what she is saying on the chorus. Is it “Feel my heartbeat, thrill me to beat” or is it “Feel my heartbeat, drill me to the beat”?! Another track, The Greatest Hit is built on a not-too-minimal sample of Madonna’s first song, Everybody, so it's instantly likeable. If you are a self-conscious reader of Stereogum and Magnet, Annie is your dream foreign exchange student.
Key tracks: Heartbeat, Chewing Gum, Me Plus One, The Greatest Hit
MP3: The Greatest Hit exp
February 21, 2006
February 20, 2006
Click on the photo to enter Josh's myspace page that has two new songs: "Quiet Town" (which I am bored by, honestly) and "Summertime" (a bit more jaunty / bossa nova, but still acoustic and sort of slight). His website has been re-designed too. My hopes are diminishing a bit on this project.
My beloved trolls should note his tour plans include:
Apr 1 2006 8:00P The Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
Apr 3 2006 8:00P The Ram's Head Annapolis, MD
Apr 4 2006 8:00P The Birchmere Alexandria, VA
Apr 6 2006 8:00P World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA
Apr 7 2006 8:00P Town Hall New York, NY
Apr 8 2006 8:00P The Paradise Boston, MA
Hey I'm feelin' very 'round the world in 80 days! But really, The Music Lovers are going kind of Willy Wonka on our asses with these recent revelations on their website:
1) The show at The Knockout (Valencia Street @ Mission) on Friday March 31st will be our last show in San Francisco for the foreseeable future. However, we will continue to perform out of town concerts.
2) The Music Lovers Guide for Young People is the second of three albums that the group will release. Six months after the third installment is released, the group will disappear.
I'm not sure what that means, but does it bode well for a band to be releasing an album and implying their demise at the same time? Maybe Mr. Ted Music Lover will read this and offer some sort of explanation (or maybe I missed it on myspace).
And PS, Mr Ted: I want to hear "Fashion Editor" soonnnnnn!!
Bic Runga has an amazing new album called Birds, released in New Zealand on Nov. 28 and available on import here. She produced the album herself with a live ensemble. It has a very airy, organic feeling, with Neil Finn on piano and guitar.
Bic, whose real name is Briolette, turns 30 this year. She is the child of a Maori father and a Chinese lounge singer mother. I saw her twice in 2005 and she is tiny, beautiful and sounds just as good live as she does on record. Her voice is crystalline - really pure and always right out front in the mix. I noticed on her website that her last CD went platinum 11 times - isn't that like MILLIONS of sales? She must be the Queen of New Zealand?
Her songs are not the type to immediately grab you...if you give them the time they deserve, they earn their place in your brain. If I knew how to do it, I would post one new track in particular, Say After Me. Carly Simon, eat your heart out: this song evokes both Carly's 70's CD Boys In The Trees and the melodies of Burt Bacharach. It sways in a melancholy way.
Other Birds highlights are If I Had You, a surprising bit of girl-group melodrama (recently mentioned on Tremble Clef), a really moving, atmospheric ballad called Captured and the new single Winning Arrow (see Neil Finn, looking shaggy, in the video on her site). There's even a yokel country track!
Her website has two spots to hear tracks, but Flash prevents me from direct linking. There is an album sampler you can get to from the main page and you can also hear full tracks, including the aforementioned Say After Me on the Listen button at the right top of her pages. I had to download some new Flash player to look at the site, but it was a superquick download that required no effort.
February 17, 2006
Oooooh bitches. I am eager for the return this Sunday night of Footballers Wives to BBC America. This is one of my favorite shows and it stars my favorite crazy-bitch actress Zoe Lucker as Tanya Turner (below, looking pissed), the villain/ protagonist with the throaty smoker's voice and super-clipped accent. This woman should get an award for her cigarette work alone.
February 16, 2006
Used to great effect last week on "Grey's Anatomy" (another show with cool music). The Weepies are a duo that remind me of an indie-fied Simon And Garfunkle, or their dopplegangers Kings Of Conveniece, but with a female voice in the mix. Weepies is apt, as this is a melancholy where-did-it-all-go-wrong song. Get it on iTunes. Note also that the CD is due in stores on March 7.
Lucas Miré: "Swallowed Whole"
The first track I heard from Lucas, an Atlanta (!) artist, remains a favorite that I have been playing. Yes, it has the "Don't Tell Me" stop/start thing, so don't get confused! Some things I like about this song - the blossoming chorus, the synth ribboning through the end, and this line "If you want someone who has mastered the art of being numb,well hey, here I come." You can get the full MP3 from his site. I want brownie points for getting the accent on his name.
Levy "Rector Street"
This sweet ballad has made the blogger rounds, first with Torr and then with Arjan. Levy are doing jangly British pop/rock/folk, but they are not really British! I'll do that with my first album: pretend I am British. Arjan is still hosting the MP3.
Note to The Music Lovers: hurry up with that new record!!
February 15, 2006
First, why is the mic red? Is Richard Ashcroft a colorless person?! I think not. We have figured out that his new CD, Keys To The World, will not be coming out in America anytime soon, despite his role as the opener for the upcoming Coldplay tour. Blunderful, label men! It is worth purchasing if you like him, and I'd say it is a real improvement on his last record, despite some very silly lyrics.
The BBC has a webpage called everything you need to know about Richard Ashcroft, but it has nothing about his new CD. Hmmm. A good page nonetheless.
Finally, I'd like for you to each take time from your day and stream my favorite of all his songs...
February 14, 2006
February 13, 2006
Surely one of the greatest songs EVER. This one works almost every time it is covered, but now you can hear the original. "Stony End" by Laura Nyro - available via Number One Songs In Heaven . If you are a pop baby who doesn't know this song, hop on it!
How catchy is the chorus? (I have added some emphasis to the lyrics...)
Goin' down the stoney end
I never wanted to GO
Down the stoney ennnnd!
Mama, let me start all o-o-over
Mama, cradle me againnnnnnnnn
I will admit I like Babs Streisand's version because of the way she squeals MAMA! at the end.
Love Morrissey's new single sleeve for You Have Killed Me. You can hear the song in full at his myspace profile. The video debuts next week and is described as featuring Morrissey as "an entrant in the 1970 Eurovision Contest. Along with vintage clothing, the video was filmed with 1970s analogue video cameras." Cool beans.
February 12, 2006
Finally, after a winter of avoiding my wool sweaters, we have a wee snow storm. Strangely, the TV stations are not saying how much snow there is on the ground. 7 or 8 inches? No clue. It's very pretty on the trees though. It was supposed to happen yesterday, so we didn't do much, and now our Sunday is slammed, but you just know work will go on as normal on Monday. Typical!
February 11, 2006
Maria: Put this on your iPod!
February 10, 2006
You just know the girls posed for this photo before their boyfriends fucked them over and made them cry at the prom. Or that's what it looks like! Go to Girls Aloud's myspace profile to hear their pretty new pop ballad single, "Whole Lotta History." This song's chorus sways like a lush old 50's ballad. I love it, but if a song were a color, this one would be as pink as a rose. Joanna, remember your pretty prom dress? I do!
Oops. She's turning into Trudi Styler in that middle pic!
I am obsessing over Neko Case! I borrowed much of her stuff and made a little mix (playlist!) that I have been playing incessantly. People compare her to Patsy Cline and other country singers, but what I really hear are links to the late, but unforgotten Kirsty MacColl and to the very much alive Maria McKee.
I want to highlight two new songs on the web right now, both from her March 7 album Fox Cobfessor Brings The Flood. The first is the vocally acrobatic "Star Witness" available in MP3 via Black Balloon, and the other is "Hold On, Hold On" also available as an MP3 from Black Balloon.
February 8, 2006
Okay, I just want to shout out that I LOVE Bill Clinton. Whenever I see him, he is saying the right thing at the right time - and I believe him. He was excellent at the Coretta Scott King memorial. I also liked the unflinching comments of Jimmy Carter and Reverend Joseph Lowery. The Kings stood for non-violent solutions and it must have been hard for Coretta to watch what has happened to this country. I am sorry she had to see the images from New Orleans.
Some fuckstains (hello, Tucker Carlson!) are saying these men were rude and political. Bullshit! I think it is hypocritical of George W. Bush to sit on that stage, carrying on about the Kings when he doesn't really give a shit. His policies, across the board, are not beneficial to most black people in America. Kanye West was right that.
On a side note, I thought it was a riot that Nicolette Sheridan went!
February 7, 2006
February 6, 2006
Okay, there is a lot of speculation about these Eminem pics. Roommate and I saw his freaky wedding photo in a mag and thought, WTF? We assumed it has been seriously retouched. He looks like he's transitioning female to male in the pics. Now we have these recent shots above (click to enlarge)!
A few thoughts:
1) His face looks puffy.
2) He seems botoxed free of expression. Sort of like a wax figure of himself.
3) His lips look a little bit plump...like they are fixed in a permanent pout.
4) Why is he showing his ass in public? Does he want someone to bump up against it?
5) Has he had his ass redone too? You have to wonder. They do have ass implants, right?
I think he is soon to become the new Axl Rose. We already know he has Howard Hughes tendencies to hide out in Detroit. Too much money and too much fame have dislodged a messed-up psyche. So be it I say, for the shitty karma he has puked into our culture. I would love to see him become the very monsters he skewers in videos.
Ewan McGregor sings Sade's "The Sweetest Gift" (yes, not "Taboo") on the cheesily named Unexpected Dreams: Songs from the Stars, which is out March 7 on Rhino. The song will feature Ewan accompanied by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. How strange! I hope they sell it track by track on iTunes!
Feb 6 update: I heard the song last night on "Gray's Anatomy" (never watched until last night) and it's very good, though it sounded like a Coldplay song. I have enabled the itunes link below. Click on the image above for the "In The Sun" website.
Michael Stipe, lead singer of REM, is releasing a charity single via iTunes today, February 5th. When The Wyckoff Correspondent told me about this he said, "Chris Martin is on Michael's new charity single" and I said, "What!? What is he doing with him? Michael always exploits a tragedy for press and then never releases the song." It's not Michael Jackson, it's Michael Stipe!
The single is a Joseph Arthur song called In The Sun. It's verry pretty - a piano based balled - and proceeds go to Gulf Coast relief. The six versions are:
1. "In the Sun" featuring Chris Martin (Windows sample)
2. "In the Sun (Jaw Breakers Remix)" featuring Chris Martin, mix by Justin Timberlake
3. "In the Sun Mix 3" featuring Joseph Arthur
4. "In the Sun Mix 4" Michael Stipe solo
5. "In the Sun Mix 5" recorded live with Coldplay
6. "In the Sun Mix 6 (Free Acoustic Couch Rehearsal)" with Joseph Arthur
I cannot help but mention how utterly disgusting George Bush is for not uttering the word Katrina, or really saying anything to Gulf Coast citizens, in the State Of The Union speech. What a greedy, motherfucking pig that man continues to be.
February 5, 2006
I didn't know where to look for you last night
I didn't know where to find you
I didn't know how I could touch that light
That's always gathering behind you
I didn't know that I would find a way
To find you in the morning
But love can pull you out of yesterday
As it takes you without warning
I want to be a long time friend to you
I want to be a long time known
Not one of your memory's used-to-bes
A summer's fading song
It's from me, it's to you
For your eyes
It's a weight, a wonder that is wise
I am here
You are there
Love is our cross to bear
I know I'll think of us upon that hill
With the golden moon arising
And the stars will fall around us still
While the love is realizing
And so it is until we meet again
And I throw my arms around you
You can count the gray hairs in my head
I'll still be thankful that I found you
It really is a POP travesty. The bitchy heart of Sugababes, Mutya (in the middle, above), left the group in December, midway through album promotion and just prior to the new single, the Xenomania-produced "Red Dress." Label execs promptly snuck some chick named Amelle in the back door, before the news went to press, and spliced her vocals into "Red Dress." Well, xolondon, who has no life other than music (trust me, this week has proved that to be true!), is not amused! This is the worst news since... Siobhan left Bananarama! We all know they were never the same, unless you were 5 at the time and know no better.
So now they are re-releasing the album with Amelle vocals and art, as below. Why not just record new songs and move on? The funny thing is, Bitch Goddess Mutya, who said she was leaving to spend time with her baby, is already crowing about a solo record. I will be so on that. Her vocals are what make this group so distinctive. Heidi, the blonde, is like a white Alicia Keys, but she's more...makeshift. And Keisha? What good is she, except for implying in Heat Magazine that their single "Ugly" is all about Mutya! So I hope the gnarly diva stomps all over these tired girls with her nine-league suede boots. Fuck them over before they fuck you over, Mutya babe!
February 4, 2006
"My Romance" by Carly Simon
An old standard that I love, so call me a schmaltz.
"Come Pick Me Up" by Ryan Adams
Po' Ryan, how can he ever top this chorus? His best song? Maybe yes.
Come pick me up
Take me out
Fuck me up
Steal my records
Screw all my friends behind my back
With a smile on your face
And then do it again
I wish you would
"Walk And Talk Like Angels" by Toni Childs
A musical version of looking at a photograph of yourself as a sweet child. From a perfect album.
"Kitsune" by Alfie
I have no clue about this song. I just haven't deleted it because I sold the CD and need to decide if I want it. Reminds me of some 70's song, but I can't place it.
"Stars" by Simply Red
Hmmm. this particular mix reminds of someone. Strange, that! Do you know this song? It's lovely, but he is not as good now.
"Filthy /Gorgeous" by Scissor Sisters
I have not played this for ages and I'm reminded all over again how great this group is. I love the male voice on the chorus that goes "gorgeous!" in the background. So cute. Wrap your fuzzy with a big red bow.
"Bored By Dreams" by Marianne Faithfull
Yeah! This song always thrills me. I love how she speaks at the end: "After a certain age, every artist works with injury."
"Macro" by Depeche Mode
Oh dear! Do I like this song? It's Martin Gore at his most uncontrolled and melodramatic: "whispering cosmmmoossssssss"!
"For Your Babies" by Simply Red
Twice? This song is the most beautiful he's ever done. Lyrically, it's sung from a man whose wife has had a baby: "The pain that she goes through contained in the hope for you"
"Hush Sweet Lover" by kd lang
Ahhhh, kd. Maybe it's a fuck song? Or more precisely, an after-fuck song! She was uber glam in the video. I actually think kd breaks all "rules" of beauty. I'd do her.
February 3, 2006
I really love the new a-ha single "Analogue" (now subtitled "All I Want"). I do not like the video much, but Arjan has it, so at least you can hear the song.
Usounds has the MP3 and video for "Quiet Town," the brand new Josh Rouse single from Subitulo, due out March 21st
Arjan also has the Stuart Price remix of Coldplay's "Talk" - it's a vast improvement over the muddled album version. Varant pay note! Click on Arjan's link and it is the first mix you will hear.
Ickmusic has one of my favorite Prince boots, the original version of "Old Friends 4 Sale" - this song was recorded in about 1983, but the version later released on The Vault has sucky lyrics and a smarmy, overblown arrangement. This is a far better version.
February 2, 2006
SparkPop has an MP3 of one of my favorite live Madonna performances EVER (I know, keep your trap shut!): The Re-Invention Tour version "Nobody Knows Me" which is indeed superior to the recorded track.
You can WATCH the brilliant DVD footage or a low qual fan version.
Smash Hits is dead...
and I bet many of the people who read this blog would want to be at the funeral!
I LOVED this magazine. I have vivid memories of buying it in the early 80's; I think there was an American version as well (though Creem was the best of the American mags). This was, for me, the era of Bananarama, Duran, Eurythmics, BowWowWow, Culture Club, Nik Kershaw, Wham -- all the Brits we loved. I don't remember when I first bought this mag - it may have been when I moved to DC in 1984. I've never bothered to buy a new issue when I've been in England - Gary Barlow pics? no thanks! - though I have bought some old mags in Notting Hill (some great old issues of Blitz and The Face, which I've saved).
See PopJustice's Funeral Book! Some of what's written on the link (left) is really cute. Memories of buying the mag at a certain price and what was in the issue. Sometimes being a teenager was fun.
I've said it before and I will say it again: I am so glad I grew up in the 80's.
Note: I am not sure that is a real cover. I just had trouble finding one from the era I wanted with an artist I wanted.
I just heard two new Prince tracks. Hmph. I think that man must never leave the house. "Black Sweat" sounds like "Hot Thing" (from SOTT) - totally locked in time. His usual bullshit James Brown jam with a crunchy beat that is vaguely industrial. Not. good. at. all. This will be the second piece of crap from his upcoming 3121 album, out March 21. That's the usual crap artwork above.
Can I say something nice? "Black Sweat" does have a good title and is notable for this hummer of a line:
I got a new dance yaw
and it’s called the "Shaker Pudding"
Okay, He Who Is Skinny has also done a song for a woman called Tamar- this one is "Beautiful, Loved and Blessed" and it's better, if nothing new. I just don't feel like Prince cares much for melody anymore. He likes a groove and that groove is recycled over and over for years. You Prince fans know what I mean.
Why not just shine it on and watch Dave Chappelle pretending to be Prince?
February 1, 2006
PS: Am seeing Stars at The Black Cat in late Feb! If you live here, you should go too!
Embrace is better than Coldplay.
There! I have said it. Why are they superior to Martin and Co?
1) They are not as whiny.
2) Lead singer not married to a snooty film star.
3) They probably do not have a plane.
4) They are far better to sing along with because they often have choral choruses.
5) Their new single (Thanks Torr!) is called "Nature's Law" (nod to Ashcroft's "Nature Is The Law"?) and the sample you can play again and again here is fabulous. Cannot wait for their new CD.
"Nature’s Law" is released on March 20th and the album This New Day is released on April 4th. UK release only.
Don't know Embrace? Seek out "Gravity" (written by Chris Martin), "A Glorious Day" and "Ashes" from their 2004 album. All are on itunes.
Pic courtesy of a fan named Luno here.