May 30, 2010

Ten (+1) Musical Thoughts: Summer sickbed edition

This post is coming to you from my sickbed, where I have been dramatically diminishing for days. Probably just from grass pollens, but if this blog should cease, I'll see you in heaven! Here are some comments for the long weekend...

1 The forthcoming Pipettes album is, thank the Goddess, totally luxe. One song in particular, I Just Need A Little Time, has a blazingly epic middle eight (from 2:00 to 2:52) that's what one calls a "poppers o'clock" moment. Shirts off, arms aloft, streamers falling from the rafters.

2 If you have been dancing around the outskirts of Janelle Monae, try the track called BaBopByeYa, recommended to me by Countpopula. It's over 8 minutes long, a sort of mash-up of dinner-club jazz, standards and Tin Pan Alley orchestral. How much did this track cost to record? Sounds like a cool million.

3 Alex Gardner, who is now featuring My First Stubble, has done a wee viral clip of a backstage go at Take That's Shine. It actually is quite decent thanks to some good band harmonies and a minor bit of chest hair.

4 The Divine Comedy album, Bang Goes The Neighborhood is superb. That band has been going 19 years and still turns out quality songcraft. My favorite is the single-worthy closer, I Like (watch a live performance of it). It's out this week.

5 Marc Almond has a new single on iTunes now, but you'd barely know it. He doesn't seem one for promotion, does he? It's called Nijinsky Heart and it's very... violin-y. You have to buy it to hear it.

6 I am besotted with the new Stars single, Fixed. This one is an Amy Millian vocal and one of the best songs they've ever done. Watch the video now. The album is out June 22 and features a 5-single box set version for 100 smackaroos.

7 Did I mention falling for Dub Pistols 2009 track Back To Daylight? Watch it and tell me what you think. I must have heard it on some TV show and Googled the lyrics to find it. This is a marching through the city type of tune. The Sunday Best Roller Skates Remix is also solid and it's on iTunes.

8 Recently a Twitter pal asked me to recommend a song or two she was unlikely to know- she need something inspiring. I chose the lovely, subtle Laura Viers song, July Flame. Watch the video. Like Stars, Viers does music that has enough melody to be called pop, but it may slide right by you she and he-poppers. I once had a July flame... it fizzled.

9 Morcheeba and Skye Edwards have reunited for a new album, Blood Like Lemonade, out June 7th. The first single, Even Though, doesn't leap out to me. Watch the video now.

10 So Lee Ryan of Blue is a big ol' bisexual now, correct? [Edit: No, that's Duncan James] I find it quite crass that all his new songs trade on that. [No, they trade on Duncan James' life!] First the lousy Secret Lover and now a weepy ballad I Am Who I Am, which is actually a cover of a Ben's Brother song (hear their identical version). What do you think? Hit or shit?

+1 A week until a new Florence + The Machine song (from Twilight). How can I leave the house until it's released?

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countpopula said...

Good set of info. You need to get better!

Thanks for the namecheck on the Monae--it is epic, no? The track right before that on the CD, "Say You'll Go" is also quite beautiful, and features bits of Clair de Lune by Debussy. High art from an R&B songstress.

I couldn't agree more about the Marc tracks. It's like he's specifically trying NOT to promote this album because he's too worried about it leaking. Guess what...that's reality and you can't stop it. All you can do is talk about how much the project means to you and the amount of work it took, and that you'd really appreciate it if people pay for it so you could afford to make more. His sites haven't even really been updated much, and I found out the tracklisting first from an import distributor I work with! Shouldn't it come from the artist first? Talk about a way to build interest.

Can't wait for the Pipettes. Word on the street is it's good! After all the drama...

Divine Comedy--CANNOT WAIT.

I love the 2 Stars songs I heard. MUCH better than the last effort. Actually very excited about this now.

Dub Pistols--great tune. I feel like I liked them when nobody did, and had no idea they were still going.

How do you feel about Skye going back to Cheeba? There must have been some grovelling involved on their part, especially after her replacement accused them of making improper sexual advances.

What new Florence song? Is there a new album on the horizon?

Two questions: Are Massive Attack capable of writing another song as good as Live With Me? and, Where the heck is Amy Winehouse?

countpopula said...

Also, has that Duran/Mark Ronson album fallen into limbo? I thought it was done a while back.

Christopher said...

I'm pretty sure that it was Duncan James, not Lee Ryan, that came out as Bluesexual.

xolondon said...

@Count - New Flo song is from Twilight and called Heavy In Your Arms - produced by Paul Epworth. Duran have no label yet. Skye/Cheeba is as good as the tuneage, so we'll see. Massive Attack's last CD was a snoozer. Amy? I think this is a Whitters/Courtney Love scenario. The voice may be gone - certainly a lot of the brain cells are.

xolondon said...

@Christopher Yes, you are RIGHT! lol I fixed that.