November 28, 2008
Mixtape: Secretary Of Pop
As I get ready to post this "mixtape," I realize the majority of it is negative. Maybe Barack Obama can save pop music too. That's not asking too much, is it? If he did add POP to his initiatives, I think I am well suited for the Cabinet. And I could easily assemble a crack team for a new department or agency. I may have some vetting problems though as I'm a bit of a skeevy ho. Anyway, onward...
If you were getting excited by the return of The Pipettes, don't. There is clearly trouble in that band. They've not yet recorded a new album and one of the two new girls just bolted, leaving only Gwenno and her sister.
If you were eagerly awaiting the release of Annie's Don't Stop, don't. And why would you, when the whole thing leaked in summer? It's never coming out. Officially. She's out of her record deal with Island, who botched the affair as the company changed hands. From what I heard of the record, half the tracks are worthy, but she needs to do more with some indie-minded folks. That's her calling card. She doesn't need to be the 6th Girl Aloud.
On a lighter note, while I don't love Franz Ferdinand's new song Ulysses, I do like the title and CD cover for Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. I also got a kick out of this blogger's response to Web Sheriff regarding the cover being "pirated" content. Fight idiocy.
Alexis Petridis rises to the challenge on this Missspears review for The Guardian. My fave bit: "...a dribbly tribute to her kids called My Baby starts... stick around for the bit where she inadvertently suggests the fruits of her loins are cursed with oral hygene issues: 'I smell your breath, it makes me cry.' You want to try giving them those Listerine strips. Tell them they're sweets."
Why don't Cocteau Twins reunite? Now is the time.
Nina Persson of The Cardigans has reunited her A Camp "side project." Their 2001 single I Can Buy You was a masterpiece! Watch it. The new single Stronger Than Jesus (stream it) is not moving me, though Peter Robinson says the album, Colonia, is solid. Pardon my unfortunate choice of "solid" next to Colonia, which reminds me of colonics.
Dragonette have lost their minds. When they first appeared, I loved their music (Galore is better than the last Scissters album by far), but I thought their visuals were a bit too risque to get them wide coverage. And now they've done an expensive looking "commercial" for watersports (not literally piss play, but that is the implication)! Really, it's not like they are promoting a new album. Who manages them? I am all for kink, but what is the point of this?
My first post on Duffy was a year ago. In that time, I've come to sort of despise her. She's just a bit too pastiche, a bit too guided by others, a bit too big-sales-track (see this piece in the The Times). Barring the noir-ish epic Stepping Stone, her potato chip voice is not worthy of the hype. In recent videos she looks like a tranny (not true of her early press photos) - she's trying too hard. That said, her cash-grabbing deluxe edition album is the only worthy one this year in terms of added content. 7 decent songs, including the simple Oh Boy. There is nothing that suggests a next step other than Fool For You, a bass-heavy tune which drags her into the 70's.
Guns'n'Roses? Chinese HooHah? Talk about an anticlimax. The Independent did a piece on long-overdue albums that's worth a peek, but she is dead wrong about Prince's Black Album. She rates it 3/10. I'd give it at least a 7/10.
I notice Madonna is finishing her US Tour and next doing South America. She's been looking good lately. I sincerely hope she is not snacking on A-Rod's hotdog. That's a weak rebounder, doomed on multiple levels, and I really don't want to see her chicken cutlet mug in the tabloids every ten seconds. I'd rawwwther she be alone and write a sullen-yet-masterful breakup album.
The Best Of Lists are staring to roll in. Torr already has his, that whore. I like his album of the year choice, The Last Shadow Puppets. Well deserved. My best-of "extravaganza" will happen sometime in mid-to-late December. In the meantime, you can see 2006 and 2007. I think these lists are the best distillation of my taste in music. Sometime you'll see albums and artists that didn't get covered as much, but are still favorites. This year may not be great - my disappointment list is pathetically long.
photo by Hedi Slimane, 2008