August 31, 2009

Bahnahnahrahmah: "We're rawther busy."

The making of Love Comes:



Director: "The concept is making the girls look as fabulous as they always do." The truly amazing thing is how much Keren Woodward (aka Mrs. Andrew "Wham!" Ridgely) reminds me of Jennifer Saunders. It's the mouth. Watch at about 1:45.

And the final product:



The British flag dresses (2:50) are magifuckingsterial. Rule Britannia. Viva album out on September 14.


French And Saunders
Bananarama Parody:



with Jennifer playing Sara. More on Bananarama via the blue tag below...

August 28, 2009

Fibes, Oh Fibes! new album THIS week



In the realm of sudden, glorious surprises, Fibes, Oh Fibes! launches their new album 1987 on September 2. The first single, Love Child (with the brilliant video below) was one of the most uplifting singalong tracks of summer and their new tune, Run To You, is a solid duet with Kim "Kids In America" Wilde.

Fibes has three members: Christian Olsson, on vocals and piano, Mathias Nilsson on guitar and Edvin Edvinson on bass. Their album is a concise ten tracks and includes the mellow, trumpet-laden opener Dubious and New York City, both of which can be streamed on their myspace page or via this pop-up player. While the 80's rages through electropop, Fibes vibe is more organic and almost 70's in its coolness.

Order 1987 here. For Americans, it will cost about 200 SEK, or around $29.00. CDON users can buy it here. You can check out their older stuff (all good, with great artwork) on iTunes world wide or a few tracks via Hype Machine. 2006's Get Up is a particular gem in the Style Council mode.

More on the band's epic hairstyles soon. Until then...

Fibes, Oh Fibes! Love Child:



Fibes, Oh Fibes! Get Up:



Be sure to check out Don't Stop The Pop's Fibes posts here and, more recently, here

August 27, 2009

The king of rock'n roll, completely



Mojo Magazine has a new piece on Prefab Sprout's brilliant leader, Paddy McAloon, that is inspiring, frustrating and ultimately a little bit sad. It reminds me that we just cannot let our lives get away from us. Paddy is raising three kids, so he's not really done that, but he has some issues he cannot overcome that have been hindering his art for many years.

Read the article scanned in three parts: One Two Three

thanks to prefabsprout.net

August 26, 2009

Mini-reviews: XO's Instinct

Almost every month, I contribute reviews to a magazine called Instinct. Sometimes I'm assigned albums and other times I choose. It's always fun because the guidelines are specific: 80 words or 125 words, depending on the review's placement on the page. There's something very pleasing about enforced conciseness - it makes you trim all the fat off your writing. It's for an arts page of a more general magazine, so the reviews are not for pop music buffs. You need to be careful with your references and background information. The most important thing for me is, in such a short span of words, that I am as specific as I can be, giving actual song titles; I don't review the artist (as often happens in mini reviews), I review the music.

Here are a few reviews Instinct has published over the past few months. All are as-published in print, with the exception of the Little Boots review, originally for the America-only EP Illuminations. I've expanded that to the whole album.



David Guetta One Love

Imagine you are David Guetta. You sleep until 4pm, before DJing in Dubai, Mykonos, or Ibiza for huge crowds on massive sound systems. You only make music when it feels right. And you embody the word elan. For One Love, Guetta’s latest dance-pop hybrid, longtime vocalist Chris Willis returns, sounding strangely like Michael Hutchence. Then Guetta notches it up with some big names: Akon, on the catchy Sexy Bitch, Brit chick Estelle, and the ubiquitous Will.I.Am, whose tracks are particularly mindless in this batch of party tunes. It's Kelly Rowland who finally becomes the bride on THE song of summer '09, When Loves Takes Over. She takes it to the core with both of her tunes and Guetta finds his match in creating unadulterated euphoria.



The Gossip Music For Men


On Music For Men, The Gossip slam out a pop record with four rock elements: heavy bass, guitar, relentless drums and the fierce vocals of Beth Ditto. Industry swami Rick Rubin anointed the plumptious diva as the future of rock and her voice has real thrust. The final 45 seconds alone of Pop Goes The World are as thrilling as anything you’ll hear this year. The song has a tsunami of a chorus. You are hearing the sound of NOW.



Little Boots: Hands

Victoria Hesketh - aka Little Boots - is living the dream. She's a bedroom synth noodler graced with a major label deal. These summery tunes won’t change the planet – like all discopop, Stuck On Repeat channels Donna Summer - but her debut is filler-free. LA-inspired New In Town veers from swaggering to cooing, while Symmetry, a duet with Human League's Phil Oakey, is frothy electropop in its purest form. Hesketh's identity is hazier on Remedy, produced by Lady Gaga cohort RedOne.



Jimmy Somerville Suddenly Last Summer

There's no one quite like Jimmy Somerville, who spent the twenty years following his astonishing 1983 debut, Smalltown Boy, producing iconic discopop. His first new album in five years, Suddenly Last Summer (online only) is a collection of subtle covers. Blondie hit Hanging On The Telephone, for instance, is transformed into a gorgeous, melancholy guitar ballad. If you’re seeking rapturous disco, revisit the oldies. For those sated by Jimmy’s still-beautiful voice, download the heartbreaking Sweet Unknown and you’ll want more.



Wild Beasts: Two Dancers


When I heard The Devil’s Crayon from Wild Beasts 2008 debut, Limbo, Panto, I thought I'd discovered new Britpop gods. I was shocked to find that track was sung by bassist Tom Fleming. Lead singer Hayden Thorpe's flailing falsetto is a seriously acquired taste. On Two Dancers, the band sounds, to quote a lyric, “equally elegant and ugly.” First single Hooting and Howling has a Radiohead sleekness, but When I'm Sleepy (about eating supper?) is consciously arty. Sample before buying.
___________________________

These albums are available in most territories via iTunes.

August 24, 2009

Charlotte Gainsbourg, sexy night nurse



In 2006, one of my top three albums - along with Pet Shop Boys and The Pipettes - was Charlotte Gainsbourg's 5:55. In my end of year round-up, I said this (inarticulately):

It is the most modern, uber-cool record this year, with music written and performed by Air, lyrics by Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon and wipsy vocals by my beloved Charlotte. It's the kind of record that makes you feel like stripping it all down, throwing out your material bullshit and being totally minimal. Standout tracks include The Songs That We Sing (video), The Operation, Fire and 5:55

look closely at this pic. Something odd going down.

Charlotte's just announced her next album, IRM - or is it MRI?- due in November 30. The first single is Master Hands, out on September 15 and soon thereafter, on October 5, she releases Heaven Can Wait, a duet with Beck, her main collaborator on the project. The images above are from the video shoot.

Her last album had a song with extended medical metaphors, The Operation (video): "I
f I pull this off / Your whole body will be mine / And I'm prepared to work throughout the night." Charlotte seems a bit corpus-focused.

I am decidely less excited about Charlotte's latest film, Antichrist, which, according to New York Magazine, features a scene in which "Gainsbourg crushes Willem Dafoe’s testicles with a block of wood, forcing him to ejaculate blood, and then cuts off her clitoris with a pair of rusty scissors." I suspect just reading that has traumatized some of you. Clearly, this film is a high school comedy.

Regardless of that nastiness, I will be writing a lot about IRM/MRI. And if you want to watch a far more satisfying Gainsbourg film, try Happily Ever After...

Antony: How your love can do what no on else can

Antony And The Johnsons Crazy In Love:



They say that a great song can be just as great with other arrangements. Indeed. This is beautiful. I subconsciously avoided it for awhile, but now I cannot stop playing it. Antony has been playing it live for a long time, but the studio version is just taking off as a single.

I admire how fearless Antony is. He took all of these things that might have marginalized a weaker person and put them together into something extraordinary and - amazingly, in these cynical times - people understood. My favorite song by him is, by far, Cripple And The Starfish
. The lyric waffles between sensual and totally whack.

The official video for Crazy (below) is quite arty, so I just to prefer to sit quietly and let the sound wash over me.

Urgent message regarding Whitney Houston



Her new album contains a track called Nothing But Love, produced by Nate "Danja" Hills and Fernando Garibay, that is literally one of the finest songs she has ever done. Acknowledges her life in a non-trite, positive way, has a killer middle eight and could blaze through Ibiza on a hot summer night.

End of message. Back to work.

August 23, 2009

25 Years Ago This Week: Psychedelic Furs



On August 21, 1984, The Psychedelic Furs released Mirror Moves, a record that has aged well, while many albums of the time sound dated. This was their finest "commercial" album, the songs smart and surprisingly beautiful. I am always chasing that mix; it seems rare these days that male singers have any sense of romance or drama in their vocals.

Richard Butler was a pretty non-pretty boy, wasn't he? Like Mirror Moves, he's aged well and you can see him when he tours the US in September and October. Below are videos for some of the singles. Another great track, Highwire Days, does not have a video.

Psychedelic Furs The Ghost In You:



Psychedelic Furs
Heaven:



Psychedelic Furs
Here Come Cowboys:



Final note: If you have never heard Love Spit Love, Richard's next band, every pop fan should own the songs Fall On Tears (acoustic version) and his absolute finest song, Am I Wrong (video). The latter is so autumnal. His last solo record also had two songs I also rate well: Good Days Bad Days (video) and Maybe Someday. I think Richard excels at"melancholia."

Florence, sweeter than heaven, hotter than hell



As of this moment, the song of the year for me Florence + The Machine's pounding Drumming Song (read my mini review). The single is out Sept 14 with the elegant cover above. Tracklists:

CD single:
1. Drumming Song
2. Falling (demo)
3. Dog Days (acoustic)

7" single:
A. Drumming Song (acoustic)
B. My Boy Builds Coffins (acoustic)

Digital EP remixes:
1. Drumming Song
2. Drumming Song (acoustic)
3. Drumming Song (Boy 8 Bit Remix)
4. Drumming Song (Jack Beats Mix)
5. Rabbit Heart (acoustic)

I am sorry to see her rumored studio recording of Beyonce' s Halo is not included. The physical formats will be out September 14, while the digital EP appears the day before.

Though Lungs has like 7 worthy singles, this is a perfect choice for fall. If you haven't seen the video,
watch it now.



Finally, I love how Florence's website literally breathes, though it's a bit creepy when you blog at 4am.

August 22, 2009

John Taylor's country mansion lifts him closer to God







News this week that we all became old enough to watch Duran Duran slowly morphing into The Rolling Stones. At some point, wrinkly sexpot Mick Jagger, whose daughter Georgia is predictably now a model, will surely have to stop flicking his tongue and shaking his creaky hips at stadium audiences. Duran, who have been doing shows in Russia recently, seem poised to step in. They're not the Stones, sure, but they still seem to have some creative juice and can most likely maintain erections. Ponder it.

John Taylor, my favorite Duran, who is married to Juicy Couture founder Gela Nash, appears in the new Vogue (US) magazine at his country pile... a la The Lady Madonna Ritchie, circa 2005. Simon LeBon's ageless wife Yasmin is also pictured in the first photo above. It's such a cliche to be papped at your estate playing cricket, croquet or badminton, but at least these accents are real.

John's pad is somewhat deluxious, yes? Almost as nice as mine. Here is what he says in his always-entertaining website blog about the English countryside:
I love my patch of country life. The smells, the sights and the sounds, which all conspire to nourish and nurture me. I feel much closer to God here.
I would too in that canopied bed. Seriously, I get the sense that John Taylor is one of the few truly nice people in rock music. I think we all need to help John pay the mortgage by buying Duran's upcoming special edition of Rio, complete with live DVD.

See a full set of pictures at Vogue

August 20, 2009

When it gets too hot, we can go outside



That's a shot of me at my big presentation today. Or maybe not. Just click on it to see the Celebration remixes on iTunes US. The best is the simplest: Paul Oakenfeld's 6:33 remix Early on, this was rumored to be a fan mix, but it's not and it takes a decent (if shallow) Madonna track and lifts it higher higher higher. Two flaws: 1) It excises the "I got just don't recognize you with your clothes on" spoken segment. Get the Benny Benassi Mix for that. 2) that cringey line about an "invitation to the dance of life." blech.

August 19, 2009

Patrick Wolf has a think



Patrick Wolf has finally apologized for his violent onstage behavior at a festival last week on Germany (read this if you missed it). While I still think he needs to learn to control his emotions, I also did not expect such a long message. I did some incredibly stupid thing at the exact age of 26, so... Anyway, here is the end:

I'm sorry if any people got in the way and I hope you can forgive me for causing any damage due to excess negative personal emotion. As you heard or saw, the audience was encoring for almost half an hour. My next album is about hope and romance and love, so I will bring you a bunch of bright red red roses and a box of After Eights next time from a helicopter when I see you all. So, a summary: major miscommunications backstage x lack of sleep due to very busy schedule x singing many songs about battling x an intense education from the extreme parts of London nightlife/wildlife/streetlife as a teenager x Steve Strange going on very late x a full day of cameras flashing and questions x being 26 years old and should have known better = bad wolf
Kind of a mixed message. Read it in full at The Quietus.

It's very disconcerting to watch an artist behave so differently from how you perceive them via their art and, like I have said, this is not the first time he's gotten this angry. Patrick is putting the finishing touches on The Conqueror, the album he alludes to above. One song, Together, sounds like one of the most uplifting songs he has ever recorded.

August 18, 2009

Annie: Never fully dressed without a smile (or lipstick)



Annie seems to have a problem on iTunes US. Look her up by name and you won't find her new single, Songs Remind Me Of You (by "new" I mean quite old), but look up the song title and you'll find it. Then click on her name from that point and see her other albums (screencap above), with Richard X hits like... You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile and Dumb Dog? Actually, The Breakfast Song, really by Annie, could easily be added to a new Broadway production of the musical.

Meanwhile, Annie has the best necklace/choker of the year:

August 17, 2009

Imogen Heap, Ellipse Player

A hot summer night's surprise...




Imogen Heap, Ellipse streaming player

Album out August 24/25.

Imogen Heap, First Train Home v.1

Imogen Heap First Train Home:



In Immi's own words via Twitter:

Today you're going to see 1st FTH video (the one we did a few weeks back). You may understand why I've filmed another since. Had fun on the day. It all seemed like it was going to work out but the parts didn't quite make the promised sum.

The video is director Es (PSB, Kanye) Devlin's first. Imogen took a chance and it looks great to me, especially the ellipse theme based on the tunnel that runs the circumference of the round house where she recorded the album. I particularly like the part at 2:40 where large Immi watches small Immi running in the circle. My only quibble? The flesh colored corset makes her look topless. Great neckpiece though.

Another version of First Train Home is due soon. See the post above for samples from the new album.

August 16, 2009

Madonna at 51: Okay, she looks GOOD




Today is the Queen's 51st birthday. Since I am accused of being mean to poor ol' Madonna, I thought I'd post these nice pictures of her at Rocco's birthday party in some castle. I like her almost-Leia hairdo, but I'm not sure about those gloves.

And here she is on her walk to the stage in Sweden - the night it bucketed rain. Big stadium. Mama is raking in the money. Wonder what she gave Lil' Rocco for his big day? A South American island where he can play hacky sack with his new big brother Jesus?

August 15, 2009

Paddy McAloon, the last romantic



Read the first review of Let's Change The World With Music from Word Magazine's Paul du Noyer. This record is a fan's dream because it is essentially a "lost album" recorded in 1992 and 1993 after the fantastic Jordan: The Comeback. Paddy and Calum Malcolm tinkered with the tracks last year to ready it for release on Kitchenware on September 7. The album was actually inspired at the time by Quincy Jones, Prince and gospel music.

Listen to song clips on Amazon UK

My early response is that aside from Let There Be Music (below), standouts include the vaguely religious Ride, Music Is A Princess, Earth: The Story So Far, Last Of The Great Romantics and Angel of Love.



Be sure to read SproutNet for more news on Prefab.

August 14, 2009

Patrick Wolf's dark side returns


photo by Louis Clark, for Wound Magazine, 2009

Update - Patrick's tweets on the subject:

Wow.. laughing so hard at that footage heart attack hilton just posted. That bitter queen should have seen me in my maison crimineaux days!

and one in German, roughly translated:

am an animal. I have not forgotten my place in nature as opposed to other people. I do not regret my conduct.

Patrick Wolf, appearing at a German festival Thursday night, became seriously agitated when he was told to end his set early. He refused, so they cut his mics. And then the fireworks began. First, watch this:



Fireworks is too kind a word - he threw everything he could grab at the person in the wings, including a piano bench. Originally, Pitchfork was confused that the woman you see (stage right) was the one he was aiming for. She's not - I think that is his (bandmate) sister Jo. It is someone offstage, presumably a woman (his use of "bitch") but we don't know.

What's important here is that this is not the first time this has happened. Patrick threw a drumstand at his stoned drummer a few years back, and he has a history of encounters with police. In one case, he disturbed other Madonna fans at a London show and then was questioned by police after he spit at a bouncer in San Francisco in early June.

While Patrick demands respect for his stage show, he does not afford that respect to other artists. Hence his stage invasion of an outdoor performance by Status Quo last year:



Amusing sure - the band didn't seem too upset - but also silly and attention-seeking.

In interviews, Patrick is kind, funny and intelligent, as he was when
I saw his live show here in DC in 2007. I had hoped he'd outgrow the impulsive temper that led him to "quit" performing a few years back, but it should be noted that while Patrick has always had an excuse for his behavior, he never (or rarely) apologizes. He says he's found peace in domesticity with his boyfriend, but the level of anger he exhibits is quickdraw and violent. While he's truly a brilliant musician, he has a toxic combination of entitlement and bad temper.

Patrick hasn't issued a statement yet, but I suspect that - at the time - he viewed his tirade as a protection of his paying audience. It was the opposite. He encouraged them to start a "riot" which, had they complied, would have left audience members injured. Stupid fuck. Had I been in that audience, I would have been horrified to watch my "icon" come unglued. It was a selfish act and, if not curbed, one day that behavior is going to get him jailed or hurt. A friend of mine rolled her eyes and called him a combination of Ryan Adams, Courtney Love and Philippine-Airport-Bjork. Unluckily for him, forgiveness often only chases the famous.

August 11, 2009

Mixtape: This is like a flashback, this is like a dream

First, this piece of deluxe:



That's Calvin Harris's out-next-week track Flashback. More 90's goodness?

Sensitive Welsh types: Extremely Handsome Singer
David Gray has a new single out called Fugitive, so start wobbling your head now. It's not yet sticking with me.

Madonna's Celebration (Extended Oakenfold Dance Mix) is FAR superior to the single mix.

My Mozipedia has arrived and I shall geek out with it for endless hours. The cover is amazing. First tidbit learned: The Smith's instrumental Oscillate Wildly (a favorite) is NOT an Oscar Wilde reference at all.


What is about @MarinasDiamonds that reminds me of Annabella Lwin of BowWowWow? Both cute, stylish and cool.


Listening to the Wham Rap mix (Fresh Groove) at @siart Funky Friday Party Pack.

For those who spy on me at LastFM, I reset the whole f'ing thing. So, for the time being, my lists will be skewed to current stuff. I hope it will even out over time, but it was really messed up before I reset it. It said Patrick Wolf's Tristan was my most played song. No.

Which reminds me that I am tiring of Patrick Wolf's visual shtick. Just sing us these beautiful songs without all the overbaked Jobriath looks! (was that mean? I suppose so.)
He does look good on the new Ion Magazine.

Q: Where is Poster Girl?

Q: Where are The Pipettes and why is Gwenno doing solo shows now?


Q: And why can we not yet purchase a new Dangerous Muse song or see a new video? Seriously, have they not had long enough to launch their album?

I was about to ask "Where is Annie?" but amazing producer Paul (Florence, Jack Penate, etc) Epworth tweeted last week that he is finishing up her album now.

@ademwithane is doing a whole series of reviews of Madonna's albums. The debut is here and Like A Virgin is here.
Adem has gone a bit (whispers) crazy-ass on Madonna in the past month, so keep an eye on him. He is teetering into Madonna body tattoo art zone.

I admit: I do not for one hot minute understand the allure of Jordin Sparks. I hear nothing unique. She could be any autotuned girl singer, which is ironic because she can sing.

I admit: I still don't like the Sugababes song, Get Sexy. But I hate the Right Said Fred, so there ya go. Bring us a real song, Babes. Example: I expect About A Girl to be a hit.

Poor Frankmusik has been dragged up and down the pole on Popjustice Forums. In '09, making an album is like running for President: Humiliation ending in tears. Fans get used to the early versions of songs and leap to cry "Sell out!" when they hear the mix meant for the public.

A few more Frankmusik comments: I had bno idea the Re-Complete Me bonus disc is actually 10 separate tracks that run together like Madonna' Confessions album; I thought it was one long track. I've also been thinking that he is the one person who could cover her Live To Tell. But he needs to keep the melody intact.


Paparazzi caption: "Madonna with Jesus at the airport in Zaragoza" You cannot make up this shit.

LOVED @trixie 's Torchwood /Gareth interview especially the "We almost get swept away" bit


I still think Mika's new song is a Cockney squealfest. I prefer the Chipmunks version!


Minor note re Facebook. I sometime get friend requests and ignore them. I decided awhile back to try and keep FB more personal and use Twitter, Last FM and the blog for music/public stuff. Not that I won't change my mind, but if I ignored you, don't take it to heart!

Finally, I cannot leave the house until Roisin Murphy's new Demon Lover is released. BRING IT or bring food.

XO Meets a Press Release: Mr Hudson



Here is an orchestral version of Mr Hudson's new single Supernova. If you don't know the original version, with Kanye The New Jesus West, check it out at iTunes.

Mr Hudson Supernova (Orchestral Mix) FREE!

I have to admit something: I don't love the album version of this song. I think it's just fine, whereas the previous track, There Will Be Tears, had some gravitas to it. I think the pairing of West and Hudson is intriguing, but I'm getting angsty about having an album of Ben Hudson's lovely voice autotuned to death.

The lush picture above is another story. It's deluxe.

August 10, 2009

The Gadsdens... deserving some attention


Photo by Jean Francois Carly

Finally, The Gadsdens are officially releasing their gorgeous debut single, The Sailor Song (preview it). No exact date, but there will be a b-side.

I may have perhaps seen a rough cut of the video and it's lovely. Animated, yes, but emotional. You can see a sneak peek image here.

I've said it many times before, but Jody Gadsden was born with one of the most unique male voices in many years. He sounds like no one else today - his style of singing is fearless and romantic.

UPDATE: Vote for The Gadsdens in some unsigned contest here!

August 8, 2009

Quote of the Week: Róisín Murphy



UPDATE! Roisin never said this.

Róisín Murphy, to The Daily Mail:

Lady Gaga is just a poor imitation of me.
Hilarious! For more on what Róisín thinks of That Woman, see the Róisín Murphy Blog or RTE.

Update: Watch the interview below and you'll see (at about 7:38) the light tone in which she speaks about Gaga. The thing about Róisín is that I don't imagine her easily open to be intimidation.


August 7, 2009

Robbie Williams Is Still Very Much Alive



Be sure to check out robbiewilliams.com for a new video of him shooting album art for his November 9 album Reality Killed The Video Star. That alone may be enough for some, but it also features what sound like instrumental versions of new tracks, which seem classically Trevor Horn-y - meaning grand and "filmic."

The website also includes a blog that appears to be written by Robbie. For instance, Thursday's entry says Robbie's shooting the new video for Bodies in California this week.

Robbie's career went belly up right around the time I started this blog, but I'll admit I really liked him early on. And I'm not even British.

XO's Top Ten Plus One Robbie Williams songs:

Millennium
Rock DJ
She's The One
Lovelight
Hot Fudge
Eternity
Killing Me
Lazy Days
Let Love Be Your Energy
If It's Hurting You

and perhaps my favorite...

No Regrets:

August 6, 2009

Rest in peace, John Hughes





John Hughes, the creator of so many iconic 80's movies has died of a heart attack. I wonder how many people my age saw his movies and identified with the characters, particularly if you didn't fit into one niche. He had an imperial run in the mid eighties, when he wrote or directed some of the very best teen stories. My favorite is Pretty In Pink, but I also love Breakfast Club and, to a lesser degree, Sixteen Candles. Ferris Bueller is funny, but I always thought Ferris was kind of an attention-seeking dick.

I was never "unpopular" per se, but I sort of flitted between the different groups at will (and against it). As an adult, I think that's served me well and it generally did as a teen. When I was a junior in high school I had to take Phys Ed after most of the kids had already fulfilled their requirements. This meant I was placed in class with jocks who took PE
for fun. So I never said anything. I just sort of smiled and laid low. One of the football players called me Smiley. "You never talk, all you do is stand there and smile, dude."

I'd be curious to know what you were like in school? Perhaps not surprisingly, I was the editor in chief of my senior yearbook, so the journalism offices were usually my home. I went to a school with 4200 students in 7th-12th grades, so you needed a "home." But after school hours, I really did not run with a crowd. I was much more solitary, or just met with one friend at a time.

People sometimes ask me what I think about the ending to Pretty In Pink, when Andie chooses Blane over Duckie. I feel the same way about that movie as I do about the Sex And The City finale - that Andie should have chosen neither guy. One was really not worthy and one was just a good friend. But that's too logical. Live and learn.

If you wonder what I looked like at the time I'm describing, here is a picture of me and my real-life Andie, Joanna, in 1986.

August 5, 2009

Florence's drumming sound throws her to the ground. Literally.



Florence + The Machine's new single, Drumming Song, may very well be my Song Of The Year. It somehow manages to have rhythm, soul, multiple choruses, AND an unexpected, uplifting all-male vocal harmony that starts to creep in around 2:45 and builds gradually to the close. Like her last single, Rabbit Heart, Drumming Song also has an anthemic chorus:

Louder than sirens
Louder than bells
Sweeter than heaven
And hotter than hell

But the video is informed by this section, a sort of "B" chorus, that is one of the most beautiful moments in music this year...

As I move my feet towards your body
I can hear this beat it fills my head up
And gets louder and louder
It fills my head up
And gets louder and louder


Florence + The Machine
Drumming Song:



It's sort of like a gaggle of hyper Druid Britneys. Or maybe Wiccan Britneys? Whatever, the most genuine dancing comes at 1:28ish ("it gets louder and louder") when she's stomping in the middle of the girls. And foot fetishists should take note of her shoes. Florence
talked to XFM about her bit of interpretive dance:
I never ever thought I'd be doing a dance routine, but I love dancing. In the last video [for 'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)'], we kind of tried to do a dance routine, but this one is proper moves! I actually get on the floor, there's crawling, there's body popping, there's spinning... Everything.
The video is a kitchen sink of influences, but one assumes the video treatment had this sentence: And then we stumble into fangirls of Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman, run amok in a church.



Last thought: If the New Moon people don't put this, or the even more appropriate Howl, on their soundtrack, someone should be fired.

August 4, 2009

Wikio Top 100 Music Blogs, August 2009

Music lovers, Wikio again asked if I would launch August 2009's Top 100 Music Blogs, so here they are. I am at #30 this month (down from #24, wahhhh!), but you'll see a number of familiar blogs. This new list officially launches on Wednesday the 5th...

1Stereogum
2Nah Right
3Idolator
4Spinner.com
5Brooklyn Vegan
6The Fader Magazine
7MTV Newsroom
8The Smoking Section
9gorilla vs. bear
10Ill Doctrine
11SOHH.com
12HipHopDX.com
13Matablog
14Sound of the City
15Pandora
16Real Talk NY
17WFMU's Beware of the Blog
18Discobelle.net
19Line Out
20ByronCrawford.com
21You Ain't No Picasso
22Culture Bully
23Muzzle of Bees
24Grandgood
25Punknews.org
26Fluxblog
27captains dead
28HearYa
29Popdose
30XO's Middle Eight
31Soulbounce.com
32discodust
33I Am Fuel, You Are Friends
34Hip Hop Is Read
35The Hood Internet
36Passion of the Weiss
37Arjan Writes
3833 1/3
39Cocaine Blunts
40donewaiting.com
41Soul Sides
42The KEXP Blog
43Notes from a Different Kitchen
44LP Cover Lover
45tinyluckygenius aka the Unicorn's tear
46BIGSTEREO
47Chart Rigger
48MuuMuse
49Stereo Describes My Scenario
50The Concert Blog
51darkblack
52Hidden Track
53Oh Word
54Pop Tarts Suck Toasted
55No Trivia
56Palms Out Sounds
57Lefsetz Letter
58Big Stereo
59NewBlackMan
60SOHH Blogs
61The Bluegrass Blog
62i guess i'm floating
63Sound On The Sound
64Losanjealous
65PopWreckoning
66Said the Gramophone
67PowerPop
68HardCandyMusic.com
69HipHopRX.com
70Sound Bites
71Olga Loves YuЯi
72IckMusic
73Awesome Tapes from Africa
74Raven Sings the Blues
75Poster Girl
76RightWingBob.com
77Glorious Noise
78S/FJ
79So Much Silence
80AudioPorn Central
81Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
82Sound Opinions
83The Yellow Stereo
84Che Sing The Cool
85Fairblog
86NewLilWayne.com
87Pop Music Notes
88Do the Math
89The Catbirdseat
90The Allmusic Blog
91Aurgasm
92hiphopmusic.com
93Locust St.
94By Neddie Jingo!
95Merry Swankster
96Poplicks.com
97Poisonous Paragraphs
98OGHipHop
99Nick Catchdubs
100nialler9

Ranking by Wikio.


If you are wondering how these rankings are compiled, here is what Wikio says:
The position of a blog in the Wikio ranking depends on the number and weight of the incoming links from other blogs. These links are dynamic, which means that they are backlinks or links found within articles.

Only links found in the RSS feed are included. Blogrolls are not taken into account, and the weight of any given link increases according to how recently it was published. We thus hope to provide a classification that is more representative of the current influence levels of the blogs therein.

Moreover, the weight of a link depends on the linking blog’s position in the Wikio ranking. With our algorithm, the weight of a link from a blog that is more highly ranked is greater than that of a link from a blog that is less well ranked.