March 14, 2009

Mixtape: The endless in-between

This blog is five years old. Lucky five. Thank you for reading it, and commenting, when and if you do. This week, solid music news, A to Z, affectionately:

Karima Francis
is a Serious new artist. You can stream her debut, The Author, at LastFM. She's been compared to Tracy Chapman and Joan Armatrading (as Tracy was back in the day.). The jury's still out. What do you think?

Imogen Heap
should have her new album out in summer and she plays a few bits on her newest vblog. The end of the blog has a painfully beautiful snippet of Wait It Out that almost made me cry. She is a shining example of what the music industry CAN be.

Indigo Girls
suddenly have a new CD out on March 25 called Poseidon and the Bitter Bug. They say it's more r'n'b based (!), but it sounds the same to me. Sugar Tongue, a new one, starts out pretty average but blossoms - it's kind of muted 70's on the verses and delicate on the chorus. Samples here. I grew up with these girls and some of their songs (Mystery is one) are like lifelines. Which reminds me, if you are on my FB page, you can see some verrrry old pics of me vamping it up during the period when IG reigned.

Grace Jones
' next single is another killer tune: Love You To Life. Check out some Observer photo outtakes by the photographer Perou.

Little Boots duet, Symmetry, with Human League's Phil Oakey sounds beyond. Hear the snippet at PJ.

Lucky Soul has completed 5 songs for its new record: new single Whoa Billy!, Up In Flames (What You Gonna Do?), White Russian Doll, That's When Trouble Begins, Upon Hilly Fields.

Morrissey is re-releasing Maladjusted in early May with a new cover and tracklist, which adds six songs. The Guardian's Jude Rogers is none too happy about it.

Pet Shop Boys, all over the world. It's all about them right now. The Guardian's Paul McInnes did a great podcast you need. Neil says "We are the Pet Shop Boys and that's what we do."

The Pipettes finally have a new girl, Beth. Album out in summer?

Eddi Reader fans should listen to this podcast. Her constantly-about-to-come-out album Love Is The Way, is still about to come out (April 13). You hear some clips, including a lovely track calle I Won't Stand In Your Way that is classic Eddi, as is the swoony New York City. and her accent, I could listen to it all day.

Tracey Thorn is finishing her new album with Ewan Pearson

Kanye West did a Storytellers last week and the staging was beyond. Catch Flashing Lights at Disco Potential. Whatever one can say about KW, he has incredible taste.

Top Ten Plus One Songs From My Current Playlist (in no order)

Royksopp Vision One
Daniel Merriweather Water And A Flame (with Adele)
U2 White As Snow (like a Christmas song)
Pet Shop Boys Pandemonium
Annie Lennox Walking On Broken Glass (the new recording)
RuPaul Never Go Home Again
Erik Hassle Hurtful (watch it)
Lunar Ignite (more on that soon)
Brett Dennen Ain't Gonna Lose You (used on Ugly Betty)
Royksopp True To Life (another with Anneli Drecker)
Camera Obscura James

I wish I was in England. I have not left this country for 5 years - FIVE - and it must happen soon.

The artwork above is by Miroslav Sasek. If you've never read his miraculous This Is... picture books about various cities, look for one. I just gave myself This Is London as a birthday present. Umm hmm, I am 40 this week.


elmarveloso said...

Congrats on the 5 years!

Michael said...

Happy 5th Birthday XO's Middle Eight!

Love the Grace pics...

Yuяi said...

Happy 5th blogoversary! And happy 40th too, XO. Perhaps you can get thee to the UK vair soon?

John said...

So much to follow up on here. Must do homework. Happy 5th, and happy 40th. I will be joining you at 40 in 2 months. Maybe I shouldn't tell you where I will be spending that day...

xolondon said...

In London!?

John said...

Yeah. Meet you there?c

xolondon said...

Not this year. :(

D'luv said...

Happy half-a-decade, XO's Middle Eight! You don't seem a day over February 2006 Archive.

Brad said...

Happy FIVE!!!!!!

But, wait--The Grace bit, surely you mean "Love You To Life"?

xolondon said...

Yes Brad- when I was correcting some stuff I put the Eddi Reader album title in the Grace spot. Good eye!

undisco_me said...

The Tracy Thorn update is very teasing indeed. I still listen to Raise The Roof almost daily; it can be sublime and dreamy one listen and then absolutely devestating the next. As someone who just needs music to, well, function, her middle eight is almost crushing the bone nevermind being close to it.

xolondon said...

That album will hold up, like Amplified Heart and Walking Wounded, for years and years! She manages to be sweet and unsentimental at the same time.

And I agree about needing music to function.

Phil said...

Well five years in blog years is 40. Add that to the upcoming 40th and you're an octigenarian! Happy 80th!

I loved that PSB podcast. Some new utterances, especially from Chris. Couldn't shut him up. I'm convinced his tongue goes all loose when he fancies the interviewer. There was some definite flirting going on.

babs said...

I haven't left the country in 8 years. Which I'm wondering about myself. How, exactly did that happen?

But then, when you have to renew your passport to go anywhere, Canada even, you see the situation I'm in.

Happy Blogiversary!!

countpopula said...

Happy Birthday Both Ways! Two huge milestones in today's world.

Was not really excited about Little Boots until I heard this clip. After seeing the Human League on tour last year (best they've been IMO), and the upcoming duets with PSB and Boots, not to mention the rampant use of Don't U Want Me on an American TV advert, a League renaissance must be on the horizon!

The change in Morrissey artwork seems like a way to cover up what many consider one of his weakest efforts. I do like Trouble Loves Me and Satan Rejected My Soul though.

Will have to hear the PSB podcast. I am so excited about this record, but am purposefully denying myself listening to more than the two officially released songs until the album streets. They are a fave of mine, and I cannot sully my ears with lesser mp3s.

Yay Tracey Thorn (Walking Wounded is an all-time fave) and Imogen Heap. The Royksopp tracks are great, reigniting my love for Anneli Drecker's voice (where are you Liz Frasier?)

Finally saw Rachel Getting Married: Movie=6, Anne Hathaway=11! Seriously intense performance, and quite haunting. Welcome back Debra Winger.

daavid said...

Happy anniversary (and b-day) XO!

Is that Pipettes thing a joke? Seriously, who HASN'T been a Pipette?

xolondon said...

Count, hello, I am Shiva the Destroyer and your harbinger of doom for this blog!

Daavid, I was a Pipette, but I looked bad in polka dots, so I was shown the door.

Paul said...

congrats on five years. good stuff :) I love the Indigo Girls - am eager for their new album. Please come to England soon. I will reduce your expenses by offering you room, board and hand jobs.

DanProject76 said...

I volunteer to do the London Day of your inevitable UK tour.

countpopula said...

I thought the fact that your pussy was hangin' out was my harbinger of doom!

Seriously though, maybe YOU should do a USA playback/interview of the Pet Shop Boys record. I cannot think of a more astute, knowledgable, and personable candidate for the job. What makes Popjustice so special anywho...

And now, we truly ARE the Pipettes.

Dan said...

I feel very late to this party but believe me when I say Happy 40th and Happy 5th blog birthday!

This blog has introduced me to so much new music that I am forever indebted to it and you.

xolondon said...

The bill is in the mail Daniel. haw haw. Pay up.

IAR said...

Happy Birthday x 2 =)

GOOD news in this post RE: Pipettes and Tracey. Very exciting stuff. For someone who's never gotten into the Indigo Girls, can you make recommendations?

Adem With An E said...

Er, that was supposed to be signed in as me, Adem. Whoops!!

Poster Girl said...

A belated happy fifth birthday to the blog you can't beat for thoughtfulness that avoids going too...academic. Thanks for all the work you put into it--it shows.