April 18, 2010

Mixtape: Clap your hands, clap your hands

This is what style and cool look like. via Love's blog

That's Annabella Lwin above, from BowWowWow, one of Malcolm McLaren's poppier ventures. See my post this week about McLaren. It's brief!

Kate Nash is about to release her sophomore disc, the embarrassingly titled My Best Friend Is You. She's re-recorded what may be her finest track, Do You Want To Share The Guilt. Hear the original now. The new Bernard Butler-produced version is a sonic case of ADHD. What was once a sort of hushed, melancholy memory is now an unnerving race toward nothing with the monologue at the end sped up to a frenzied pace. Horrid. I should note that the album does have some successful tracks like Pickpocket, but is generally over-produced.

The b-side of Kate's single Doo Wah Do is her boyfriend Ryan of The Cribs doing the same song. MISTAKE Kate. And it's true that one newspaper in London offered this review of that tune: "Doo wah don't." It's better than that!

Eric Erlandson finally talks about the "new" Hole. I was going to do a 7 Digital widget on here, but the record sounds a bit lifeless. I love his comment about her overrated single Skinny Little Bitch: "I know Courtney can write good lyrics. It’s one of her strong points. But it’s 2010. Do we really need to hear a 45 year old woman screaming “Skinny Little Bitch?” Is that where we’re at now?"

Another case of vicious reviewing: The Times on the new record by James: "A Runrig/Deacon Blue with a new-age gloss, their own tribute band, James live to blight another day." Amusingly, they still have it 2 stars. The Guardian are much kinder.
This is a list top pop star tweeters, including some pop related sites. I've had dinner with one... who is not MC Hammer (wtf?).

Vinny Vero did a great blog post on Record Store Day over at So Hip It Hurts. He even has pics of NYC store Rebel Rebel, where you might be able to see him shopping in person! Love it when he says, "I clearly remember Greenwich Village before the strollers..." Phil Robinson also did a great post on his blog Worrapolava.

Tracey Thorn's album is one of the best of 2010. More on it soon -it's out on May 17th. Let me just say that Swimming is lush pop and Hormones is Tracey at her lyrical peak. Meanwhile, before the album is released you can get her cover of Vampire Weekend's Taxi Cab via iTunes this coming week.

Working with Madonna made William Orbit mental. Read more in this Times piece on that and his collab with the apparently infamous Katie Melua (my tweeps do not like her), but her single has an interesting structure. I assume Brits view her as uncool?

Speaking of Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary tweeted this week that she has not yet recorded anything for a new album.

Aqualung - who is really one man named Matt Hales - is suddenly back with a new album called Magnetic North. You can get a free track called New Friend at the bottom of this page. On iTunes you can download a beautiful 6-minute ballad - he specializes in those- recorded with a little help from Sara Bareilles. I'd love it if Sara worked with Matt on her own next album, which is surely due in 2010??

The Pipettes new CD single has a beautiful, album-worthy b-side called Who Made You The Doctor? It's an old live fave, but very timely given the arrival of Matt Smith as the new Doctor Who. I am in the camp of people who love the new Who. Do you?

Three for the 80's babies:

Bananarama just released a monolithic remix (by Ian Masterson) of their track Love Don't Live Here Anymore. It's piece of disco melancholia. Hear it at Music On Vinyl.
Adam Ant is at the Scala in London on April 30. One of my friends needs to see this and report back! Tickets are through Ticketweb - £17 each.

Jimmy Somerville is playing the Indigo O2 on May 13th too. His last album, a covers affair called Suddenly Last Summer is getting a CD release in the UK tomorrow, April 19.

I am having a very mixed reaction to the new music from Sia. She recorded her LP with Greg Kurstin, a producer I normally love. But he's too pop for Sia, who worked with producer Jimmy Hogarth on her last album. He had a sense of Sia's range that I worry is missing from the We Are Born clips. The first single, Clap Your Hands, is at first weak and becomes suddenly addictive. Hear it on myspace.

A great blog Silence Is A Rhythm Too, has some new charity covers. One I mentioned yesterday is Dubstar doing a version of I'm In Love With A German Film Star (Sam Taylor Wood's is better, to be honest) and the other is Patrick Wolf - yes, him! - doing a faithful version of Kate Bush's Army Dreamers.

Suede played the Royal Albert Hall and I did not go! Methinks this is NOT the last we have heard from the reunited Suede. Brett has to know he has no serious contender status as a solo act. He needs to go back to Suede. Now. Update: They'll be back at the end of the year.

Nobody seemed to notice that Marc Almond has started releasing a series of 2-disc remasters, the first being 1999's Open All Night. The bonus disc has 18 tracks! Soon to come is Stranger Things.

Crowded House is back with Intriguer - Neil Finn is one of the top ten songwriters of the past 25 years. End of.

Aqualung New Friend:

Photo via Flickr MCM Advertisements - thanks Richard!


Mr. Will-W. said...

i wonder what took orbit so long to dish:p

re: sia - i love her new direction!!! :')

undisco_me said...

Try Whistling This is one of my favourites, and I haven't even any Split Enz stuff. What a year 1998 was, across the board.

Speaking of, I hear some Hole-worthy stuff from those leaked demos, but SLB isn't as much fun as it should be. Courtney did say she dumbed the lyric down but Eric is sadly right. At least her straight hair looks good again.

Jason said...

Thanks for the heads up on Aqualung. Strange & Beautiful is one of my favorite albums of the past few years and hope this new album is going in a good direction.

Paul said...

I love new Who, and I love that Pipettes song. It's very super indeed. Also loving Bananarama remixes... tres bonne indeed.

Phil said...

I did notice the Marc Almond re-issues but sadly, none of his Some Bizarre albums will ever get this deserving treatment whilst the label boss Stevo has anything to do with it. Shame.

Sam said...

Just came back from Coachella where I caught Sia's full set. Probably the best pop vocal show I've ever seen. Miles from the studio cuts. I was blown away. Might have been context and the fact that I saw her right after Flying Lotus, but still.

xolondon said...

Sam did you ever see her Letterman appearance, singing Soon We'll Be Found? It is a must watch. I need to see her in a few weeks.

Sam said...

when she's not singing it's like she's a completely different person. it's really jarring to hear the woman that sang about watching porn in her hotel dressing gown on zero 7's "destiny" banter in a baby voice about making a collage of dusty boogers. talk about dichotomy. you must see her show. hopefully it's as well-engineered as it was in indio.

duanemoody.com said...

Kate Nash's new album certainly isn't as good as her debut, but overall, I quite like it. Several stand outs for me.

Also, Aqualung's album is pretty solid; more so than his previous. LOVE that track with Sara Bareilles, but I really doubt I need to tell YOU that. :D

Alicia K said...

That Eric Erlandson quote is just so unnecessarily bitchy. There are many bad things you could say about Courtney, but that just makes him sound like a total jerk.

I mean, he does realize that 45-year-old women get pissed off about stuff, too, right? Would Mr. Erlandson prefer that women over 40 just shut up and get back in the kitchen, or something?

Surely he can come up with a better diss than that misogynist tripe.

xolondon said...

Here is where we disagree! I think Erik has every right in the world to be angry and if you read the rest of that interview, you'll see he is nicer in other quotes. Yes, she too has a right to be pissed off, but I don't think that song is at all good.

I am thinking of doing a post on Courtney actually. I have usually defended her, but this record is not as good as some are making it out to be.

Alicia K said...

I haven't heard the record yet, but I didn't like Skinny Little Bitch and generally find her to be obnoxious.

I think I was just really super cranky last night!

xolondon said...

Everyone has their moment! BTW if you like Hole, DL the title track right away. Am about to put up a post that mentions that song.