That's my front garden I've been obsessing over when not sat at my computer typing this blog. I plant stuff, move it around, take stuff out, water, weed, give the ivy a "haircut," pluck hard green peaches off that bonsai-like peach tree. I do a lot of staring at it. In fact, whenever I work on it in the evening, I tend to go outside several times and look at it from various angles. I'm one of those neighbors. Who knew?
I am off work again this week and slinking around in the vaporous DC heat, trolling for new tunes and noting the sudden amount of surprise F08 albums being announced. Hurrah for new music. Hurrah for staycations. Onward...
Sarah McLachlan has drunk the KoolAid: She's titled an upcoming single - get this - U Want Me 2. Grammar, Miss Sarah. That track and Don't Give Up On Us are the two new songs she did with Pierre Marchand for her hits CD Closer, due out October 7. I have two problems with this: 1) the tracklist omits Steaming and 2) could "O Canandienne" stop releasing cash-cow collections and do a proper album?
Imogen Heap will soon release a new droning version of Hide And Seek that was done with a "strutti box." She says she changed the middle eight (!) so it sounds like a chant. Hear a bit of it around minute 4 of her latest vblog. Immi's due to finish her CD in October. So far, the song Tidal (also in the vblog) sounds like a leap forward - or maybe a leap back to Frou Frou - with some basis in guitar. Perhaps a top tune for 2009?
The Imogen remake is for a collection Rupert Hine is doing called Songs for Tibet - The Art of Peace out this week. Also included are Sting, Dave Matthews, Alanis Morissette, John Mayer, Suzanne Vega, Regina Spektor, Garbage, Damien Rice, Moby, Duncan Sheik, etc.
Lucky Soul is in the studio making a grand new album that evokes Scott Walker etc etc. If you don't know about Lucky Soul, their 2007 debut The Great Unwanted was totally majestic (my review). Check out their blog for progress on the new disc.
So far the new Pretenders music sucks. I have a hot Cougar Chrissie pic to post though, seriously. Stay tuned.
Madonna looked less vulture-like at her documentary premiere in Michigan Saturday PM. She was working the oh-so-makeshift "proper lady" look she favors for these events. We're onto that, Hard Mandy. Bring back your fired stylist. In these pics there is one of a dressed-down Lourdes mingling with her grandparents (sorry, Fan Moment, as if you care). Meanwhile, Dlisted took "Vadge" to task for only eating "seeds and grass."
I agree with Brad at MuuMuse that OceanLab sounds promising. I recommend If I Could Fly, which is not a Boy George cover.
Xtuna Aguilera astounds me. The nerve. The nerve! She parades around thinking she is a high-fashion model, yet she trowels the makeup on like a pre-op tranny. These photos are the equivalent of what would happen if I truly believed I was as hot as Brad Pitt and started cavorting in Vanity Fair. She is delusional that she's truly glamorous. Gives "puts on airs" new meaning.
This week's choice oldie is Life's Too Short by Lightning Seeds - a very New Orderish disco affair. Watch it and celebrate 1999.
Speaking of BritPop, the new Delays single Keep It Simple (video) seems like an ode to
80's album must-have: The Dream Academy's eponymous 1985 debut. Close to perfect. Find it at Rock For The Masses. Best tracks: Life In A Northern Town, The Love Parade, The Edge Of Forever, but the whole thing is solid.
Morrissey's album Years Of Refusal now appears to be delayed until early 2009. There is an unconfirmed rumor that the producer, Jerry Finn, is gravely ill, but I've not seen an actual press report. Meanwhile, I love that Paul Weller recently dissed Moz as "a quintessential Englishman but lives in L.A."
Hmmph. Can someone send me the new Sam Sparro/Richard X b-side, No End In Sight? I cannot buy it or find it anywhere!"Love is a game to you now / Watch just to see how long." I love that lyric. So cool. But why does Uh Huh Her not have a video ready for the phenomenal Not A Love Song? Sheesh. Their CD, Common Reaction, is out on August 19 and still no clip. You can get Not A Love Song and an equally elegant, plucked strings affair called Explode here.
Finally, on the indie tip, look at the amazing clip for Fleet Foxes lovely song White Winter Hymnal. If the video creeps you out, just close your eyes and listen to the music. Goldfrapp need to cover this one in their current folkie incarnation.
Remember, tomorrow is the release of Keane's Spiralling...