October 31, 2007

Running can be hard in high heels



Unexpectedly, a new Bertine Zetlitz song is coming, this one from her forthcoming Hits CD. I know, some of you are like, "HITS disc? Who is this chick?!" Read more here. The new tune is called Ashamed and you can stream it now on her myspace page.

Goldfrapp: FIRST LOOK!



A peek at the first visuals for the forthcoming Goldfrapp album Seventh Tree (out Feb 26)

It's Halloween trolls!



For Halloween, we get our kicks electrocuting Lucinda. No, not reallly. She always looks like that. And she walks on imaginary high heels. Do any of you have pets who do that?

As for pets in costume, which has become a viral email thang each year, I like this one.

October 29, 2007

Wild aces with diamonds in your hair



I bought Seal's first album on cassette the day it came out. I don't even know how I found out about new music back in 1991, but Crazy immediately leapt out as being something quite unique from what was on pop radio at the time. What I remember most, though, is walking home from summer school (as in college) and some redneck screamed faggot! out his car window at me! That had never happened before or since. I just sort of shut down and immediately put on my tape player / earphones and listened to Seal.

Seal is not terribly prolific. His new release will be his fifth proper album in 16 years, with only one meh album in all that time. Seal has generally collaborated with Trevor Horn, whose grandiose sensibility I find quite pleasing. He spares no drama.

When it became clear that Seal would not do his new album with Horn, it was cause for worry. So "Mr. Henry" (real name) made a brilliant move by having Madonna's main man Stuart Price produce the new record, System (that's the creepy album cover above). I've been honest that I don't think the new single Amazing is - hear it below - though it's kind of like the other side of all the Rehab songs out this year. The album's title track just leaked and it's better. In fact, the final 45 seconds recalls the complexity of the last half of Madonna's I Love New York.

My Top Ten Plus One Seal Songs, in alph order:

The Beginning

The first song on his first album, it is the one I love best. 6 minutes of swirling disco.
Crazy
Need I say anything else? A perfect pop single, but different from anything on radio at the time.
Dreaming In Metaphors (piano mix)
This alternate mix was a bside. It's a good example of how strong the songs are beneath Horn's arrangements. There is something very Joni Mitchell about this one, speaking of which...
If I Could (with Joni Mitchell)
Seal's icily pristine duet with Mitchell. I love th foirst 90 seconds, which are flawless.
Killer
It is. It's hard to understand now, post Kiss From A Rose, but Seal was once considered to be cool, edgy dance music.
The Loneliest Star
From his 2003 CD, this is smooth, elegant and has the best middle eith of any Seal song. Goosepimply.
Love's Divine (acoustic version)
Much better than the actual album version, this is commerically available. The chord change at :43 give me chills everytime. This song will be covered for years to come, mark my words.
Newborn Friend
Wordy. I like a song with the line I can't change my ideals.
Prayer For the Dying
This mature first single (from his second album) has aged very well. I love the bass. I may not know what you're going through...
Violet
Nobody does music like this music. It's like a tone poem or something - very minimal and new agey.
Wild
One of his best album cuts- the whole first album is pretty much perfect. Note that he also collaborated with Guy Sigsworth (before Bjork) and Wendy And Lisa on that album.

Seal Amazing WM stream

Finally, I must add one more reason to like Seal: Heidi Klum told Oprah this week, in so many words, that she fell for Seal the minute she saw his big ol' dinger - my word, not hers - in his tight gym pants. Heh heh! At least she is more honest than most.

Seal Killer (live in Paris):


More videos from Seal here.

Head banger: Get well Róisín!



Should I send this elegant image to Róisín Murphy, who was injured onstage this weekend? She hit her head while dancing and broke the bone above her eye. Ouch! You can read about it on the Hopeless Optimist's Róisín blog. There are videos out there on the gossip sites, but really, why would you want to watch that? Sadists! Regardless, Róisín may get a bit queasy the next time she sings Primitive. My friend and I were just saying that if you stop to ponder all the bad shit that could happen at any moment - and it will eventually - you would not leave your bed. Soldier on everyone: life is often quite crap!

Image from pitbullsontheweb!

October 28, 2007

Film: Always Crashing In The Same Car



One of my favorite movies of all time is 1984's Withnail and I starring Paul McGann and Richard E. Grant. It's about two out-of-work actors in London, 1969, living in Camden. One (the I, Marwood) is sort of the straight man, while his roommate, Withnail, is drugged up and dramatic. The two take a trip to the country house of Withnail’s lecherous gay Uncle Monty and all hell breaks loose. It's a comedy, but it's bittersweet, and has some of the finest lines ever uttered on film! If I had to sum up what it's really about, I'd say the end of an era (the 60's) and the moment at which we have to grow up and live adult lives. It's also about best friends.

First, a scene from Withnail and I:

Withnail and Marwood stop at a tearoom on their way to the country. One of the classic lines is uttered in this clip. You maybe able to guess which one?

Here also is a full post on W&I that I did a few years ago, which includes more youtube clips. Be sure to see this movie.


And now, the newsy part of this post...



For the first time in 20 years, the two actors have reunited for a short (12-minute) film called Always Crashing In The Same Car. Here are some details, but, having watched it, I can tell you it's a bit... opaque. The end kind of brings it together, though not much. I think it's more enjoyable on second viewing when you can concentrate on the acting and not the "plot." Whatever, it's a wicked playoff between McGann and Grant, the latter having some of the great meltdown moments he also exhibited as Withnail.

You can stream the new film directly from Paul McGann's fansite.

Another option is to download it from the Times (London) website.

A Proper Lady goes to Paris

Our favorite woman of substance was in Europe for the fashion shows. She's looking a bit like another famous expat isn't she?




October 26, 2007

The Seventh Tree



The new Goldfrapp album is called, intriguingly, The Seventh Tree.

Their comment: "A sensual counterpoint to the glitterball glamour of Supernature, Seventh Tree is gilded in the butterfly colours of an English surrealism shared from Lear to Lennon. It shimmers and shines with the warmth of a hazy summer, an electric whirlpool over which Alison's glistening voice soars."


So, NOT a glammy disco record. Been there, snorted that. Something more elegant? A clue to the new sound can be found on their myspace player - listen to Loop. I am far more excited by that than Madonna, honestly.

Afterglow

Last night I saw Annie Lennox and it was even more perfect than her 2003 show. I'll do a full review, but please watch this version of Cold. Not sure at which show this was filmed, but the performance and outfit are as they were last night in DC. At first the video is dodgy, but it gets better quickly and the sound is good. This performance was goosebump inducing - look for the bit starting at about "-3:00" where she really gives it up. The staging on that part (esp at -2:17) was incredible in person - the big blast of white light and the cool way the drums echo.

October 24, 2007

A little break and some media whoring

Am taking some time away from the blog this week. Busy with real life events (sometimes I leave my house!) and feeling a bit uninspired by popular music. Not to mention my Flash is screwed up, so I cannot use Youtube. Booyoutubewhores!

If you live near a store, like Borders. that sells Instinct Magazine, you can read my profile of Tales Of The City author Armistead Maupin in the November issue (the "10 yr" issue). It's sweet and quite dishy... for instance, you can find out which major movie star Armistead once considered a "fuck buddy"! I also did a really weensy Pipettes CD review. AND you may even find a picture d'XO in the magazine.

October 21, 2007

Review: The Return of "Mr. Del Amitri"


I was never a huge Del Amitri fan, but I've fallen for lead singer Justin Currie's debut solo album, What Is Love For. Justin describes himself as "living a quiet life of standing up and sitting down in Scotland with his two pet television sets." Whipsmart, he is, and it's reflected in his music. I didn't see this one coming. What Is Love For is a terrific autumn record, well produced, and the songs are there - great lyrics, strong melodies, arrangements that mix in some surprises.

Justin has a great sense of humor. Now 43, he has spent time since the Del Amitri break playing with people like Eddi Reader and Mull Historical Society's Colin McIntyre (a good thing). His myspace page, which he wrote, amusingly describes the new album as "eleven thunderously dreary dirges, many of which he is currently airing live to pained looking crowds of people in dingy Glasgow basements."

For a few weeks, I could not stop playing No, Surrender, a 7+minute rant on the fucked-up state of the world (get it free below!). It took me some time to understand this Dylanesque tune, but now I get it and find it to be a bit of a masterpiece with lyrics like these:

"Car caressing managers choking up the avenues
Brain dead patriots standing in salute
Paperwork raining again and again
So that billionaires can claim
There's an enemy to shoot.
Pill pushers, doorsteppers
Personal goal shoppers
Lifestyle trendsetters
Meditating mindbenders
Hairbrain sharesellers
Pumping out stocks
'Til you're choking on a chain letter,
Avalanche of dross"

Intriguingly, the song is not a bare-bones acoustic folkie, but a sort of cinematic epic with ominous Massive Attack-like stings.

If I Ever Loved You is a more traditional comedown ballad with a nice mutli-tracked vocal on the chorus. Out Of My Control sounds like a classic the first time you hear it: "All I have to do is fool around / Drag out this old carcass on the town."
Justin's wiki says he is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, but the album's lyrics suggest something different. Try these, from the standout Not So Sentimental Now: "If there's a trinket worth keeping, you'd better get it while I'm sleeping, soon, before the war breaks out."

Although the record is dark and midtempo, it's not a complete downer. Only Love actually is a love song, with the kind of daily details I miss in most popular music: "So many things that you must get 'round to / A dripping tap, a month's mail to sort through / If you could just get your mind to clear / But it's only love, and it keeps you waiting here."

Don't be confused by Currie's 80's pop pedigree. This is not Marti Pellow (ex Wet Wet Wet), okay? The album will obviously appeal to fans of Del Amitri, but also to those who like the morose beauty of Van Morrison or his lush-lipped "grandchild" Paolo Nutini. I have to say this album excites me almost as much as Suzanne Vega's has. Artists from the past who seem to be coming into their own all over again.

What Is Love For is out October 22/23 in the UK/ US. If Americans buy the CD via his myspace page (Lala widget) for $10, they can download it right away AND a physical copy is shipped too!

Autumn has not come as it should to America, but I'm ready to give myself over to Currie's kind of music. I can't do Girls Aloud everyday. This is dark, dreary and very good for a windswept afternoon in Edinburgh, especially if you are down on your luck. Or fucked up on whiskey.

Justin Currie No, Surrender expired
Hear the whole album at Justin's myspace now

Mr. Currie, today. Buy this record so he can buy a comb, poor man.

Quote of the Week: Sedaris on Stringbean



The first story of the first book (94's Barrel Fever) by David Sedaris is called Parade. In it, he imagines himself to be the ex-boyfriend of such men as Henry Kissinger, Mike Tyson and Charlton Heston. Here is a brief moment from that story, when he "remembers" breaking up with Brucey Bruce Springsteen:

Bruce took it hard and picked up these women on the rebound. I remember running into that last wife of his, the model, at a party. It was she, I, Morley Safer, and Waylon Jennings. We were waiting for the elevator, and she was saying to Waylon that Bruce had just donated seven figures to charity, and I said, "No matter how much money Bruce gives to charity, I still say he's one of the tightest men I've ever known." It went right over her head, but Morley knew what I was talking about and we shared a smile.
- David Sedaris, Parade, 1994

October 20, 2007

October 19, 2007

Hello XOLONDONERS!



That saluation above is long overdue, no? I needed to steal it from the Beau de Blogger who actually likes to say it. Here's the blah-de-blah for the end of the week...

Above is a recent picture (from Dazed And Confused mag) of Mama Bjork skipping across who-the-fuck-knows-where with a bunch of Teletubbies. She is whack! See more at Design Scene.

The new Alison Moyet album has a tremendous song called The Sharpets Corner (Hollow). Some major singing. Get it at iTunes UK. Cannot say I am in love with the whole album, The Turn, but that song leaps out, as does the single One More Time, a real grower. Very Dusty Springfield, that one.

I guess the Times did not see any point to the Kylie movie. Sounds a bit disappointing, what with no giving head to bottles, etc.

Most British Song Title of The Week is by Stephen Duffy and The Lilac Time: Parliament Hill Fields. These people do these songs to torture me! Stephen has a new album out Monday called Runout Groove. He's such a comfort. Hear the country-ish album now.

I have to admit I do not like the Duran Duran video (see it now). Those guys are way too ED riddled to be scamming on those young models. Girls on film what ya doing, girls on film.

Wretched artwork for the beeyooteeful upcoming Keane single, The Night Sky.

I now have a whopping 4 friends in Facebook. If I messaged (or poked!) you, won't you be neighbor?


Dangerous Muse is back with a new song for... Halloween? How odd! It's not terrible (hear it on their myspace). As for Mike's hair, Billy Idol called and wants his look back.

I keep reading about Basia. Errr, Basia of the 80's? No! This is Basia Bulat. Check her out - she's a lovely folk girl. I like Snakes And Ladders.

Booyouwhores to The Hype Machine for destroying their interface. The new one is most wasteful of time and space.

Mixtape Maestro is analyzing Mlle Murphy's Scarlet Ribbons.

Girls Aloud
. Hmmm. I am not sure where this group is going. Although I like Call The Shits - sorry Call The Shots - it's not exactly a risk, is it? GA has three modes of song: Really fast (The Show), midtempo (It's Magic) and ballad (Whole Lotta History) and within those modes, the tracks can be very similar. Their videos (bar Whole Lotta History) tend toward cheap plywood sets, too many hand motions, etc - and the new video wastes the LA location. But this has all been done before, hasn't it? They need to be careful or fans will get bored and find a new girly group to bicker over. Especially now that Nadine lives all over the world (not such a nermal girl now) and Sarah Harding has the worst haircut ever in pop music. She looks 40!

I like Delays new single Love Made Visible. See full info at Torr (thanks to me, LA bitch!).

Don't get me started on how angry I was this week about Bush using the phrase "World War III." He and his team should be jailed. Locked up in a Turkish pokey! See how they feel then about torture. He makes my skin crawl! [As does Vladdy Putin, who seems to have lost his mind.] Anyway, please note that Bush used that phrase in the context of talking about Iran. It is SAME BULLSHIT TRICK he used with Iraq and no one seems to notice he is ratcheting the up the deceitful rhetoric again.

To end on a happier note, this woman is deliriously, joyously insane. I love her, if not her muzak.

New GA single cover


Same ol' poonani shot, bless them.

October 17, 2007

Review: Róisín Murphy's Overpowered



Preface: Have you heard Arjan's latest interview with Róisín Murphy? She talks about disliking reviews of her work - she's not even thrilled by good reviews because they get something "wrong." Here's the thing: we all have our little roles and I have to do mine without worrying too much about the artist. Often I'll just avoid writing about songs I dislike, highlighting the good stuff. You can't really do that with an artist like Róisín because she's too major. She merits real thought. Only speaking about what I like doesn't give my critcism any balance. S'okay Mlle Murphy, there is the cliche that reviews are more about the critic writing them. So here we go.

A gorgeous fact: Róisín Murphy's Let Me Know is doing battle with only one other track for my Favorite Song of 2007. The most joyous pop songs in ages, Let Me Know (watch it) is a little bit of Lisa Stansfield meets a lot of Nile Rodgers-era Diana Ross. Especially on the fantastic Chic-ish guitar breakdown. Everything is right here: the step step step hook on the chorus, the soulful intro and a vocal that is far more beautiful than most pop songs deserve (especially at 2:08: "I don't belong to you, like you don't belong to me / So don't hold on too tightly...").

Now we finally have the full Overpowered album. I irritated some bloggerati earlier this summer when I made an off-the-cuff remark that I wasn't fizzing at the slit over Murphy's first 2007 single, the album's title track... it didn't overpower me [sorry!]. Then I saw the miraculous video and warmed to the song as a rubbery electropop nugget. A bit cold, that one, but once I saw her sitting on the toilet, I fell in love.

Now I am back to lay bare more truths: Róisín's new album is not the album of the year, but it's close. There are many lavish, worthy tracks on it. Despite the artist's own commentary that each song was written to be a single, it is not an album that gives away its charms easily.

A few things up front. Róisín is not and never will be just a "girl pop singer." She is too spiky, elegant and erudite to appease the pop masses; I mean, she uses (non)words like "oxytoxins" in her singles. Nor is she what grabs headlines today: cartoonish, upstart-ish or media whorish. Her voice has a certain gravitas, especially in its deeper range that says, "I've seen some shit." But she also has control at her higher end, a softer pop voice. Her songs often come across as duets between these two sides of her character.

Aside from Let Me Know, the other immediate radio earworm is the second Andy Cato collaboration, You Know Me Better. It's a chunky pop/dance song with fast heh heh heh breathing and a slap slap slap chorus [she likes threes?]. Again, there is a moment at 2:43 - the middle eight - where the creamy vocal makes the lyric more poignant: "How many years can we keep going on this way? / Too afraid... too much at stake / I believe the friendship can surive / Or maybe it won't, if we do or we don't."

Checkin' On Me
rocks Philly disco strings, brass and heavy bass. It's been clear since the Moloko days that while Róisín may have fair white skin, there's a hip black girl stomping around inside of her. I love how she snorts "yeah!" at about 1:47... she's tough, man, and she will call you out if you do her wrong.


Movie Star is almost industrial, but soulful oh-oh-ohhhs puncture the toughness. That the chorus is much sweeter than the verse makes sense for this song about a girl headed into what sounds like porn. If you want to be served slamming club tunes, Crybaby is a TREMENDOUS 6-minute workout. Again with the hard beats, this time paired with a fabulous Jellybean-esque cowbell!

Though the album lacks a killer ballad, Primitive is a moody, but ecstatic swooner. It has a great lyric referencing caves and the primordial soup and the chorus proper (at 2:04) is intense and passionate, set against a wash of slightly menacing synths and a bass male vocal line. The other ballad, Scarlet Ribbons, ambles along less successfully. The song reminds me of Culture Club, with its reggae shadings and white girl/boy soul voice. A tribute to a loving father, it's not really the orchestral masterpiece I'd hoped for. It's hard to rectify the matter-of-fact Róisín of You Know Me Better with the sentimental voice on this track. Chalk it up to the girl with a dual personality.

Overpowered, the album, is diverse and wickedly cool, but it's not perfect. I don't get Footprints at all, especially the way Róisín does that simple da da da vocal. Neither Body Language, nor the Richard X-produced Parallel Lives move me much either. What the album really needs, and this is something Tracey Thorn got right on her '07 album, is something really stripped down and timeless. Her esoteric debut solo record, Ruby Blue, ended with the Laura Nyro-esque Closing Of The Doors and it was like an afterglow.

Doesn't matter. Overpowered is steeped in what most pop songs don't really have: layers of emotion and meaning. No matter what Róisín sings, she sounds honest. Combine that with the sense that she never quite gives it all away, and you have a pretty intriguing pop voice. A woman, not a girl.
___________________________

Extras

How to pronounce her name: Well, Roe-sheen would seem right, but Róisín seems pronounce it Roeshing, like rowing with a sh in the middle.

Fantastic Overpowered EPK youtube

RóisínMurphyTV youtube site / the best Róisín blog / Róisín's messageboard /

IMPORTANT news: Non-UKers can buy Overpowered in 320 kbs MP3 format from 7 Digital!

October 15, 2007

Quote of the Week: Dan Gillespie Sells


Nice sticks Dan!

On seeing Christina Aguilera at an event in Los Angeles:

I didn't want to touch her because she looks a bit sticky, doesn't she? She was orange-y coloured with yellow, ironed hair. She's pregnant as well. She's got a proper bump on her.
From The Feeling's blog #59
___________________________________

Bonus information: The string arranger for the upcoming Feeling album is Richard Niles, who did the string arrangements for, get this, Grace Jones' Slave To The Rhythm and Pet Shop Boys Left To My Own Devices! Two of the finest pop songs ever made! I have every expectation the CD will be more triumphant than their annoying Radio 1 cover of You're So Vain by Carly Simon.

I was about to ask...

Where the new Duran Duran video is, but alas it's out tomorrow, October 16. Here are some set photos courtesy of their website.




I knowowowowwwww



Debbie Harry Two Times Blue (Soulseekerz Mix)

You'll see this on lots of blogs, but it's good!

October 13, 2007

Gettin' ready for Róisín

It is hours until the release of Róisín Murphy's new Overpowered album and it's time for a blowout post...

First, check out Róisín covering The Gossip (and rockin' awesome hair):




Epic, eh? Thanks also to Lucas for sending me this link to Róisín's appearance on Music Control at 96.4

Ten things wot we learn:

1) Róisín can rock acoustic versions of her new disco tunes with panache.

2) She is well obsessed with The Sopranos

3) "When you get past a certain age you need your own lighting rig."

4) Her album pics were taken on Woolwich High Street

5) She's into Kanye West

6) She says things like "me gob"

7) About the "caf" patrons in the video for Let Me Know: "They know I'm coming and sort of sigh because I 'm gonna break out into song and dance at any minute."

8) She prefers Coronation Street to East Enders.

9) Róisín recorded Let Me Know in "hedonistic" Barcelona. It's about being sick of sadness and just wanting to have a loose sexual relationship. She does a gorgeous
acoustic live version of it !

10) Movie Star is about
"a girl who's about to get herself into quite a lot of trouble."

Finally, here is Róisín doing Let Me Know on Jonathan Ross. Note the shoulder pads and the milli-second glimpse of Ewan McGregor!

October 12, 2007

Friday night: When Janet was queen.

Aside from looking quite good these days (less butch!), Janet's been doing interviews for her new Tyler Perry flick,which looks pretty good. Some details have slipped out about her upcoming album (due next Spring):
1) She is doing something for it with M5 - presumably a vocal with Adam Levine. Good move.
2) There is, so far, nothing from Jimmy and Terry. Not so thrilled about this. I think they should contribute one good pop song and one killer ballad (a la Enjoy and Take Care from her last record, the one I loved so much. Ahem!).

3
) Producers include Rodney Jerkins (it's not right, but it's okay), NeYo (great move - do a ballad with him!), and The-Dream (you don't know who that is, do you? His real name is Terius and he wrote/produced a nice little song called Umbrella).

4) Bad news. Her mangy pet pug, Jermaine Dupree, is out of the dog house and once again in charge. Not sure what happened to LA Reid, but with Dupree near Janet, a career ender could be in the making. Janet has to slam it with this album. She had 4 hits in a row, then 2 major flops, so this is crucial.

Here is the deal. When you start to hate on Miss "Dunk," put on janet. It's astonishingly diverse, both in style and emotional heft (who doesn't get a chill on Again when she does the hold me thing at the end?). It holds up really well. I wish this style of r'n'b would find a place in today's "market"...

News source: Janet Love - best Janet site!

I'll see you again when the stars fall from the sky



Finally. On November 19, a special edition of this album will be released.
More news when we get it.

October 10, 2007

You're so satin chic



A few of the songs on my playlist this week...

Etherfox Something Different To Say
I fucking love this because it makes me feel 10 feet tall. A good effect. I hinted a few days ago that while we await the monolithic debut album by Antigone Foster, we can submerge ourselves in this awesome Ibiza dance anthem. She did this as "Etherfox" with Justin Shave, best known as the producer of Darren Hayes' new opus [that's them above]. It pulls all the usual club tricks, but it works as a pop song. You'll get a sense of her rich voice, which goes from soft/sweet to demanding (the latter may become a trademark). The remixes are great, but you can start with the radio edit.
Get this now at iTunes US or UK (and probably more)

Girls Aloud Call The Shots
A more subdued BPM from the Aloud, this seems to have a lot of Nadine, my favorite Girl. There's something subtle and dreamy about this song, which is this close to a rewrite of Singapore, but better. Strong melody on a big big synth bed. "Just cuz you're raising the bet and call the shots now on me, ooh / It really doesn't phase me how you spend your time." The shimmer glimmer bridge is nice too - who is that? Bitchy little Nicola?

Sugababes Change
Solid album, though not an instant grabber. I'm choosing this song from several I like (including the excellent Surprise) because it captures what separates Sugababes from the pack - their maturity. It's probably their most serious song since Maya, which shares a theme of loss. The chorus chugs along, but is actually a beautiful (and truthful) downer: "Ain't it funny how you think you're gonna be okay / 'Til you remember things are never gonna be the same again." I love Mutya, but she is not missed here: Amelle makes up any lost emotion and Heidi Range is probably the most underrated singer in British pop music.

Radiohead Nude / All I Want
Pop fans really should pay attention because each Radiohead release is greeted with the pageantry of a Beatles album. They are worth invesitgation at the least. I've not heard the whole record yet. I quite liked their 90's records The Bends and OK Computer and then it all went to arcane shit for me. I felt like they are a club in which I am not welcome, you know? Nude is a 4-minute twilight ballad, all lush synths and falsetto and willful prettiness. All I Want is also a ballad, but more guitar-based with straightforward (no whine) vocals and a seriously lush instrumental break in the last minute. I love the line "I'm an animal trapped in your hot car." Back to the 90's I am and I won't be let down again.

Mrs. Ghoul Antony (aka JLo) Stay Together guilty pleasure!
Okay, I despise what this woman represents, but I like this disco song primarily for the wee flute trilling like a little bird through it. Or wait? Is that JLo trilling like a little bird? Anyway, the problem here is the absolutely ghetto highspeed verses. Who is she fooling, singing like dat? "On and on, we up and runnin'"? I beg your pardon, Mrs. Antony? I too want her to disappear into mommyhood, but admit it, this sounds like a hit single. I love how JLo barely bothers to sing her own chorus. It's all background girls! The Roommate is looking at me in disgust right now.

A comment: I've had it

I am so worn out by the relentless news about B. Spears.

She is backwoods trashy, dumb as a stump, uneducated (the last two are different issues), she debases pop culture, she is a horrible role model and, durr, she cannot sing. It just sickens me.

Was she manipulated as a teen? Yes. Is she still? Yes. The ultimate victim is one who facilitates her own exploitation. Maybe she's confusing herself with a tragic Marilyn figure? But she cannot be that. She's the kind of girl who is not influenced by beauty or goodness or light or intelligence. She ain't attracted that flame. She doesn't understand those things. She sees herself only in... a Cheeto, a good blowjob or maybe a bumpin' beat.

Can she be saved / save herself? Yes, it will happen someday if the tabloids don't kill her. I can't kick a dying dog... or some poor child's mother. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

To quote Erica Jong...

For who can hate her half so well
as she hates herself?
& who can match the finesse
of her self-abuse?

October 9, 2007

I feel so wonderful



UPDATED!

It's hours until Kylie's new single Two Hearts hits British radio, but the song has already leaked. It sounds like it is the exact Kish Mauve version with her vocals laid on top. S'okay little petals, it's a great, anthemic glampop track, though I am not sure she even bothered to record the backing vocals! That does not sound like her on the wooh! hook. Overall, I think everyone would be more likely to fizz at the slit over this if no one had ever heard the Kish Mauve version (which is the same). Sorry for my part in that ruination!

A few comments on the video: 1) The piano player is the real star and surely had to go to the ER afterward. 2) I am confused by the visual motif. On the one hand it's a Goldfrapp-ian glam theme, but then we have Marilyn Monroe hair and skull imagery on top of that? Confusing.

Kylie.com also reports 2 new b-sides: I Don't Know What It Is and King Or Queen

The new Girls Aloud song also leaked. More on that soonish.

October 8, 2007

Bonza Balearic



You may think I was out in the suburbs with a Shih Tzu this weekend, but the truth is far, far more glamorous for this librarian. I was at the Closing Parties in Ibiza, my summer home. You kids know where to find me... Calle de la Virgin, Pacha, Lola's- all the hot spots. We wake at 1, throw on something white and clearly designer (no underwear!) and head out for pizza at El Pirata, bronzer in our bags. Then we walk back for a siesta, carefuly avoiding the UK hooligans weekending in packs in San An. We hit the clubs apres swordfish dinner (we like it phallic) and stay until the disco sunrise. We never pay for our drinks. Sunday night we danced with our hands in the air to our favorite songs of the summer, Something Different To Say by Etherfox and Guilty by De Souza featuring Shena.

I wiggle over the sample that Guilty is built on. Do you know what it is? It's the final orchestral coda from Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb's Make It Like A Memory (on the Guilty album). A song I sometimes call Make It Like A Mammary. But digress. The Guilty album holds up really well (Run Wild is epic), but the final minute of Memory is disco spooge, like somethig to roll credits over. It's really quite major.

The video is a treat. I too have found myself guilty of the charge of being outraegeously sexy...





PS: That Etherfox mention is actually a first clue to what will be one of the best electropop "diva" records of 2008. More revealed in time.

October 7, 2007

Immi update



Imogen Heap continues to delight with her vblogs. This is probably the best she's done yet because it includes shots of her (very nice) house, discussion of performance with Nitin Sawhny (sp?) at the BBC Proms, an encounter with a large animal, a trip to Devon, etc. The more I see her, the more I love her. Note this one is 9 minutes, so maybe that qualifies as a fan-only thing, I don't know...
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I'm still in the suburbs as I write this and it's actually beautiful out here, especially when I walked Cassie at about 8 this morning. I went into this small wooded field thingy across from my parent's drive - they have lived in this house since 1986 and I don't think I'd ever walked over there!? How can that be? Anyway, a very hot day (88) is expected. When I agreed months ago to stay out here, I expected it to be all autumnal and it's like July! Booyoumothernaturewhore! Up next is a visit with a friend who I hope will agree to Mexican food so I can have me some chips and salsa... and maybe a margarita. Frozen, for the weather.

Last night I had my wee "party" with 2 friends and the Cornish pasty turned out great. We had a teeny chocolate cake I bought at Wegman's. Holy shit! Most store cakes are crap, but Wegman's is no regular store and this cake was epic. Thank God Wegman's is nowhere near my own place, because all sorts of chocolate drama would ensue.

Do you see a theme developing? There is nothing to do in the suburbs but eat.

October 5, 2007

Mixtape: What Cassie wants, Cassie gets



What whirwindy few weeks. Some newsy bits and things I have not mentioned:

At the behest of a colleague, I went to a jazzercise class last Sunday morning. I shit you not! Me and a bunch of women sweatin' to stuff like Let's Get Loud and Shake Your Bon Bon. It was actually quite difficult; I could do the steps going one direction, but not the other. I won't be going back!

I
've been to quite a few shows. The National / The Rosebuds was a night of rockpop and it did require earplugs. The National were epic and deserve fame on a mega scale. The music is incredibly loud and beautiful, like waves of ambient electric guitar lapping over you, blah blah. It took me an hour to notice the band has twins, one hairy, one clean cut!

Then I saw Suzanne Vega, who has not aged in 20 years In fact, I think I am aging for her. Her voice was agelessly perfect and she performed all the good stuff (Marlene On The Wall, Caramel, etc) with a very solid band. She even did the dance version of Tom's Diner. She is endearingly talky - explaining each song, sometimes in a less-than-articulate manner. As I've said before, her new CD is her third best and the first really solid one since 1987.

Patrick Wolf this Monday night at the Black Cat was lovely. I've updated my post below.

I decided No to Duran Duran's NYC run in November. Yes, it is a special event, but it's ticket plus travel plus hotel in a very pricey city and I don't even know if I will like the album, which they are playing start to finish. I'd rather see them on the real tour.

I have been remiss in not directing you to this
fan blog for Roisin Murphy it's really the place to get news about the new queen of pop.Is it just me or does it seem like Dave Gahan has not been generating much press for his upcoming record Hourglass (out 10/23)? His team is not "maximizing" the web as they should be, in my opinion. I've heard the CD and it's no Depeche record, let me tell ya. Some of it sounds like Manson. One standout is Saw Something, the first song.

Could JLo's album cover be anymore photoshoppy? I have to admit I like one new song by her, a tinny lil pop track called Stay Together.

The Gabrielle album is probably the best of her career. She's mining the same retro soul territory as Simon "No Worries" Webbe. Standout tracks include I Remember, Always and the Massive Attacky All I Want. The Paul Weller-inspired single Why is the most meh thing on it!

Arjan
is doing audio interviews with Annie Lennox, who I'm seeing on October 25.

Another good Bruce Stringbean song: Your Own Worst Enemy. Very chiming and string-laden. Totally unexpected. What happened here?!

This week I interviewed an icon: Armistead Maupin, author of the Tales Of The City series. I spent one summer reading that series very fast, often staying up until the wee hours to finish a book, so calling him at home was a sort of full-circle moment. He was fantastic and you'll be able to read my magazine profile of him later this fall. I'll also try and post my blurb about his great new book, Michael Tolliver Lives.

I so don't love the new Turin Breaks CD, but the passionate For The Fire is a worthy addition to a TB mix. Somebody has been havin' sexy time.

A funny post about a Barbra Streisand movie poster. See, one can blog about anything!

For this Columbus Day weekend, I am going to babysit my Dog Sister Cassie while "our" parents go out of town. Do you remember Cassie? If not, look here. The suburbs will not be so much fun, but doggy should keep me busy and I have guests lined up to visit me. No bukkake party this time, sadly...

October 2, 2007

La la la la, la la la la la...



Why would you post a new picture of a grizzled old Brucey Bruce when you can post one like that? Git down with yer radio, Stringbean. And while you're down there...

The shockingest schock of the year is that Bruce has a new song I think is quite, to quote another blogger, poptastic. It's called Girls In Their Summer Clothes and the vocals are a total surprise: gone is the irritating faux twang. I mean, Bruce grew up in Joysey and yet he sounds like Ennis from Brokeback Mountain?

Not on this song. When I first heard it, I wasn't even sure it was Bruce. Listen to the way he sings the phrase "two by two "at :29 seconds in (below). That's Bruce?


I tend to separate Springsteen's career into three categories: Bruce smells like beer, Bruce smells like soap and Bruce smells like something burning. The pop stuff is the 80's, smells-like-soap era. I'd already developed a secret liking for his new single Radio Nowhere, his best single since Tunnel Of Love and now this song! Keep surprising me, Brucey Bruce, and we just might get back together.

Bruce Springsteen Girls In Their Summer Clothes:


Buy this song at iTunes US (I'm sure it's everywhere else too).

Patrick Wolf in DC: The stars tonight



Tonight I saw Patrick Wolf for the first time. Stood like 10 feet from him. The show was heavy on dueling violins and upright bass with some heavy beats. You can see how he looked above. He was extremely sweet... the Patty I wanted to see. The best moments were The Libertine done with a coda that turned it into a Jewish folk song and a spine-tingling The Stars, complete with unheard lyrics and a disco ball twirling in the dark. The only way this show could've been any better is if it ended with a stranger planting a kiss on me.

Setlist: Wind in the Wires, Overture, Teignmouth (deviated from the setlist), The Shadowsea, London, Pigeon Song, Bluebells, To The Lighthouse, Paris, Jacob's Ladder, Tristan, Accident and Emergency, The Libertine, Magpie (with Bishi), The Stars (with unreleased coda) and The Barghest (new old song).

During the encore below, he revealed that early in the new year he will be releasing a digital album composed, I think, of new recordings of old, unreleased songs. I think he's pecking at the best bits of his vault. Here is one - it was the amazing final song on Monday night.

Patrick Wolf The Barghest ("new" song):