October 14, 2009

Mixtape: This is it?

Who should Nicola Roberts make an album with? She deserves one more than Cheryl Cole, yes? Which sort of avant garde pop genius is worthy of her? Maybe the guy who did Siobhan Donaghy's Ghosts... or maybe Kleerup? Starsmith?

Speaking of Cheryl "The Hair" Cole, Talia put up her listening party notes. It sounds like test marketed crap, but well see. I do like the title track Three Words, though it has too much of that man's voice on it.

Microfilm have released a new EP, Blips Don't Lie, that features contributions from Sarah Nixey and Del Marquis! I should be clear that those tracks are not really like those artists' solo work. Their voices are transformed for the most part. Matt are very clued in to modern electronic music and worth your investigation. Here are a list of places to buy it.

Madonna in Rolling Stone.

Perhaps an unpopular opinion: I am glad that the tracks Roisin Murphy performed at the Viktor and Rolf show were primarily remixes. I found them to be more groove-based than I'd want. I need a little more melody, a little less thump. It sounds like her next official release will be called... Orally Fixated. Whatever, she looked great and I used this as the iTunes image for the live rip.

I saw two shows this month: 1) U2 - Their amazing "Claw" set turned the stadium (with 80,000+ people) into a sort of cyberpunk cathedral. Just beyond. I forgot that Bono could sing and entertain. He is a master at what he does, so see them live once. Interestingly, my favorite performance of the night is also their worst single, I'll Go Crazy... they did a brilliant remix of it that was urgent and inspiring (see below).

The other show I saw was Maxwell. What is it with soul singers riffing on the nasty?! In this case, he did a bit about getting down with your lady no matter what time of the month it is. "We can lay down some towels." Oh. my. new. levels. of. girl. power.

Where is the
Charlotte Gainsbourg / Beck single? It's weeks late! The free track (see earlier post) is not a tune that begs to played over and over.

Which reminds me, Me'shell Ndegeocello has a new record out - Devil's Halo- that's pretty cool, sort of like Joan Armatrading produced by Air. She does a cover of Ready For The World's Love You Down that reminds me of her sexy, accessible early work. Me'shell's first and third albums are required music. Period. I will never recover from her ballads Sweet Love and Outside Your Door. She is Maverick Records greatest signing.

The Divine Comedy is recording a new album and... on Twitter!

Erik Hassle's monolithic Hurtful has been remixed by - haha- Penguin Prison - it's proper brilliant. Here. Can now be played in Brooklyn fair trade coffee houses.

My own twitter comment of the week: The music business is like a big one night stand. You hook up with an act for 2 albums and then you say "I've done you. Next!"

Guilty pleasure: The lovely new song Bigger, produced by Max Martin for Backstreet Boys.

Everything that is screwy with Madonna's new hits collection has been cataloged by music wonk @vinnyvero Tech geeks will like this

Bad Lieutenant is New Order singer Bernard Sumner's new band. It's just more of the same, but it's not New Order, you know? Not special enough.

Catherine AD (album out in 2010) gave away some early demos - pretty piano tunes.

If you ran into Kylie on her US tour, she looked like a very small, normal person

Sorry, I just want to tie Mika to a merry-go-round and leave him there, spinning endlessly into oblivion. http://bit.ly/10WsF2 (Mika's new vid). He is relentlessly shiny happy people isn't he?

The Cure has not aged well for me, sadly. Except for a few songs (like Love Song) from Disintegration. They're releasing a whopping 3-disc version next year!

An album I recommend everyone going back to or discovering: Sting's Nothing Like The sun. He was not exactly hungry when he made this, but the fire/passion was still very much there. It's a near perfect double LP and the less-known album tracks sound particularly sterling 22 years on - Straight To My Heart, The Lazarus Heart, Little Wing among them. 'Tis a shame his head is now wedged so deeply up his own rear end.

Gwenno of The Pipettes. Stuck Records did an excellent interview from one of pop's most MIA groups.

Coming out this week, my review of Annie's finally-released Don't Stop. It'll be on American newsstands in the November issue of Instinct, (which now makes you get a free account to see actual online content).

U2 I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (live):

image from Hedi Slimane


Paul said...

Oh so much good stuff here. Look, let's face it - in my eyes any of Girls Aloud are far more deserving of an album than Cheryl. Nicola's would be gobbled up by ravenous popjustice forum folk and hopefully the world at large. Cheryl - meh. Both her singles just aren't what I was hoping for (I was hoping to be so wowed I'd forget I don't like her) but they will probably do well :) I'm still not forgiving her for her "boys can't sing songs" comment on the x-factor though :P

(And breathe)

Erik Hassle - god, they are marketing him all wrong in the UK. He is off doing a schools tour soon! A schools tour! Hopefully his magnificence will shine through and Hurtful will finally become massive. His SOS cover (Abba) on youtube though - he looks bored at the start and it's hardly a glowing recommendation to listen to him if that's your first port of call :(

Sigh for Mika, yay for the Madonna RS article and i'll have to track down Instinct to read your review :)

babs said...

Jeeps. Sting's Nothing LIke the Sun is 22 years old?? It probably is, since I saw that tour in concert and I was in eighth grade. It is a good album.

What do you think of them using "Brand new Day" in a Chase ad? It annoys me.

babs said...

Cure's Disintegration is one of my faves and was one of my study albums back in the day and still now. Probably says volumes about me.

xolondon said...

Babs I also love the song about the spiders!

Paul - Agreed on Erik Hassle. I don't love what they're doing with him either and it won't work, IMO.

zen~ said...

What a weird moment of musical synchronicity...I was listening to Me'shell's "Comfort Woman" only yesterday in the car, on the way to work. Also, a compilation of sorts that tracked the best IMHO of her work from "Plantation Lullabies" to her guesting with Basement Jaxx. Thanks for the heads up on her newie! Her last album had a little bit too much swearing and bad attitude, so hoping this new one is as good as you imply!

zen~ said...

Forgot to mention: "Take You Home" on Annie's belated release...is fantastic! Has this coldness to the music that is mighty appealing.

John said...

Going to see Me'shell next week in Boulder...I'll fill you in. "Outside Your Door" was the stalker ballad I wanted to apply to me, when thankfully it never did. On the other hand, Disintegration actually feels as applicable now as it did when it came out, but for different reasons.

The "sexy time" shtick Maxwell lays down was a bit too much for me, but I know I'm not his target audience.

Dan said...

Me'shell does a cover of Dolly Parton's "Two Doors Down" which kind of needs to be heard to be believed. Oddly enough, it really works.

D'luv said...

Bernard shoulda just stuck with Electronic.

xolondon said...

That's true! The have a "brand" and they're good. Not sure if the new band is much of anything. AM interested in Peter Hook's new group though.

countpopula said...

As one of the few people who has not heard most of the songs on the Annie record, I am preparing to be pleasantly surprised by how good it sounds. This album would have been overdue by almost any artist's terms, so delaying it more than another year seemed like a really bad thing. Happy to see so many of her supposed fans have hung on to support her when the real thing comes out....whether or not it has any impact beyond them remains to be seen though.

My store has yet to sell 1 copy of the BSB CD. What a shame, as it seems to be their best album of the last 3. This from a group who we sold over 2000 copies of their biggest album 10 years ago. My my time flies...

I am so ready for Roisin's next album. Divine Comedy is usually quite good, even though that Duckworth Lewis was pretty self-indulgent. The Cure would have aged better if Robert Smith had not shunned his shiny melodies so much. There have been a few songs here & there..."End of the World" and "Maybe Someday" being a couple winners. Mostly though, it sounds like he is desperately trying to recreate the past using similar templates, but the band just doesn't have the same dynamic. One of the last great songs for me was "Wrong Number" from the Greatest Hits album. It was electronic without being electro, and handily referenced the giddy weirdness of "Close to Me" mixed with the pop factor of "Let's Go To Bed". He just seems uninspired anymore. Listen to Disintegration again, and you know what I mean. I even like Wild Mood Swings compared with the more recent albums.

Add Bad Lieutenant to the uninspired category. This is one of the founders of Joy Division and New Order? The melodies are generally OK, but the arrangements are very lackluster, and the lyrics are LAZY. I've never heard so many "Hey Man"'s, "Whatcha doin'/gonna do"'s, and "Baby"'s in his lyrics before. Marr is too busy with other things now, but can Barney PLEASE call up Karl Bartos? At least it is hopeful to note he has been working on a solo album with Stuart Price.

These days, you're lucky if the music business even hooks up with you for two albums.

countpopula said...

BTW, if I tweeted, this is something I would twitter...

My EMI sales rep came by today, and we placed orders for product releasing Nov. 17 in the US. Her notes showed that EMI expects Norah Jones to ship 350,000 copies of her new album into stores that day, hoping to sell most of those within a week. Robbie Williams? 2500. That's 2500...not 25,000. Ouch. I know this is the US, but still...ouch. What happened to that $100 million or so EMI paid him a few years ago?

babs said...

I know which one you mean by the spiders song. Though it took a sec.

Untitled is probably one of my faves of deeper cuts.

xolondon said...


Gross about Snorah! And she is on DWTS tonight. I'll respond more via email!

babs said...

Yes, Lullaby.

Adem With An E said...

Siobhan's man/Kleerup for Nicola, yes thanks.

What did you think of that quote about Lady Gaga from Madonna in RS?