May 31, 2010

Kylie's All The Lovers video



1. Nice, subtle use of the Aphrodite theme.
2. It looks like a Noxema commercial crossed with a cotton commercial.
3. Are the gays there? This is Kylie World we're talking about.
4. You just know some dancers were backstabbing and cuttin' each other to be the ones to grope LaMinogue in the clip.
5. The overhead shots of the stories-high mountain of people are cool.
6. What's the deal with the white elephant floating overhead? Is she a Republican now?
7. The white horse probably represents... penis?
8. Speaking of which, did anyone get a boner on this shoot?

Edit: Who knew MuuMuse was in the video? Mmm hmmmm.

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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May 29, 2010

The 90's: Babyface vs Tevin Campbell



The state of modern r'n'b is piteous. Tragic. Hip-hop's marketability has overtaken song-craft and we're left with Nicki Minaj types doing superfluous "features" on otherwise good songs. There was a time in the 1990s when Babyface ruled the planet with songs that Madonna likened to Mercedes. They were classics that could hold up over time. In my mind's eye, I imagine them as sleek, silver cars moving in slow motion, if that makes any sense.

One of my favorite singers was Tevin Campbell, a child-prodigy protege of Babyface, Quincy Jones and Prince. Only a kid could navigate that ego war. He first appeared in 1991, but it was 1993's double platinum I'm Ready - recorded when he was 12 years old - that blew him up big.



Some of you will remember that Campbell's pop career abruptly halted in 1999 when, in his early twenties, Tevin was picked up by an undercover cop in a "gay garden" Oh Tevin, as if we didn't already know. That is no excuse to stop making music. I'd like to think if this scenario happened in 2010, bigmouth Kanye West would defend him in the press, citing a "crime with no victims" and making a pioint about homophobia in hip-hop culture.

Tevin was last seen performing in Hair on Broadway a few years back (here he is) so maybe there is hope still that he'll record again.

Other superb Tevin Campbell tracks, most of them ballads or mid-tempos: Can We Talk, Strawberry Letter 23, Just Ask Me To, Dandelion, Back To The World, Don't Say Goodbye Girl, The Only One For Me

XO's Top Ten Plus One Babyface tracks:

Tevin Campbell I'm Ready
Toni Braxton Seven Whole Days
Whitney Houston Why Does It Hurt So Bad
Whitney Houston Exhale (Shoop Shoop)
TLC Diggin' On You
Pebbles Girlfriend
Bell Biv Devoe Something In Your Eyes
Toni Braxton Let It Flow
Madonna Take A Bow
Toni Braxton Breathe Again
Tevin Campbell Can We Talk

May 27, 2010

Madonna for MDG



Cougar Rio Madonna is back, this time in what appears to be a mirrored CSI office toilet with someone other than Jesus (she shipped that one off to boarding school). He actually looks a bit like a baby Tony Ward.

Not sure what the soundtrack is? Anyone know?

Go do, you'll know how to



Let's Colour is, to quote their press release, a worldwide initiative to transform grey spaces with color.
This 2 minute global film was shot by multi-award winning director Adam Berg over four weeks in Brazil, France, London and India. Every location is real and they remain transformed by a palette consisting of 120 different colours. The people in the film are not actors, they are real people who rolled up their sleeves to transform their community with colour.
The video is set to Jonsi's Go Do from his fine 2010 album Go. I love this idea, though someone pointed out it's designed to sell paint. Whatevs, whatevs - the buildings look amazing and there IS something to be said for how physical space and architecture transform people, especially how they feel about their life.

May 25, 2010

The Return of Ed Harcourt



"Now the fat cats are crying over wasted milk / And the trees are bending over to make room for the moon / But a plague on on the house of cards they built / There's a ship on the horizon with menacing metal harpoon."

So begins Do As I Say Not As I Do, one of 11 perfect songs on Lustre, the new album by Ed Harcourt. His lyrics are the kind of linguistic puzzles that beg you to sing along.

I've liked Ed since he debuted in 2001, but never really gotten into an album from start to finish. He has a superb
Best Of collection with gems like Revolution In The Heart, All of Your Days Will Be Blessed, Until Tomorrow Then and Loneliness. More recently he's been working with Paloma Faith - he is writing with her now, but he also co-wrote her single Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?

Lustre is big leap ahead, potentially one my favorite albums this year. Evidence...










If you order the CD now, you can get an immediate download of the title track. Note that Ed will play various venues in London the week of June 14, the day the album is released.

The swag post: Microfilm and The Good Natured



My cyberfriend (above) Matt Keppel's band Microfilm has just released I Am Curious (Microfilm): Collected 2006-2010 (iTunes). It's singles, album tracks and covers (Sufjan Stevens' Chicago and Queen’s Body Language) You can also get I Am Rewired (Microfilm): Remixes 2006-2010 (iTunes). You can get free downloads on their Soundcloud.

Microfilm Am I Ever Gonna Fall Apart In NYC? (Astrolabe's Full Breakdown remix) MP3



The Good Natured is also offering a good remix of the Mode-y Your Body is a Machine this one done by Baby Monster. The proper single is out in July 5. She also has a new song called Kingdom on her myspace now.

Upcoming dates:
June 3rd Strongbow Stage @ Isle Of Wight Festival
July 16 Lake Stage @ Latitude Festival
Aug 22 Strongbow Stage @ V Festival

The Good Natured - Your Body Is A Machine (Baby Monster remix) by toto

May 23, 2010

Mixtape: From here on out, I'll be your commander



Florence has taken to performing Swimming live now that she has a string quartet with her. Amazing. Listen to the vocals (the girls in the audience shut up soon). She didn't do it at my show (it's one of my favorite Flo songs), but she did amazing version of Rabbit Heart that turned into a 90's house rave-up about 3 minutes in (watch above). It's one of those moments to be in an audience with everybody shouting raise it up! raise it up!

Thrilled to see I made Chartrigger's Bitchiest Reader Comments. My little quote is amusing given what's happened since I said it. Although I still agree with the tabula rasa bit. I never saw ShaNayNay's return comment until today. Loves.

Speaking of Chartrigger: Cryptkeeper not so cadaverous here, is she?

Sad news: Adam Ant has gone nutters again. So much for his comeback. He says, "Ant fans - please send me postcards at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Fulham Road." Poor Adam, did I tell you you're wonderful?

Grace Jones. Fabulous interview. Pull quote "Lady Gaga isn't going to do anything for me; it'll do everything for her. I'm not there to validate anyone; validate yourself.'

Caitlin Moran just wrote what is probably one of the finest musical artist features (on Lady Gaga) since the days when Rolling Stone was not piece of shit. Read it in the Times.

BT's gorgeous song Every Other Way reminds me a lot of The Honeymoon, a group I adored back in like 2006.

The Knocks will be getting blogger play in the coming months. Their swingin' debut song Blackout is on Neon Gold right now as a free download. It's very good, but there is something about the intersection of pop and indie that's getting played out right now. I want one of these acts to produce a great album, not just one or two songs.

For those of you who follow PopJustice, did you see that the pathetic, perpetually lonely Dumper got to meet Mini Viva? He finally has some friends.

Tracey Thorn's fantastic album is out now worldwide. Her next single Why Does The Wind? is out June 14 and will actually have remixes (!) from Morgan Geist, Michel Cleis and Andre Lodemann. The Morgan Geist remix is streaming at buzzinfly.com. There is a great interview at Subba Cultcha and you can download free track Why Does The Wind?

Marina & The Diamonds release The Family Jewels in America on May 25. Strangely, the press release says Rootless - one of my favorites from the album - is "a collision of icicle notes and galloping rhythms," but the song does not appear on the US CD! It's been dropped in favor of Seventeen. Be sure you get Rootless somehow.

Ellie Goulding's new single Guns And Horses has a brilliant remix by Tonka. Had I been at the helm, I might have made Every Time You Go or This Love the next single.

Kulpop went to see the a-ha tour.
Watch the little youtube video he has. Morten Harket is 50! Look at his leather-encased ass and enjoy it. There are literally a few years left before it sags to the floor.

Xtuna Aguilera's record sounds like a disaster. The only leaked track that seems worthy is the Sia co-write, which sounds ripped from Sia's last album. Christina has been carrying on with herself in the press about having a baby and her womanly body, yadda yadda, as if she is the first woman to have a baby. She may think she is if Sia's recent statement that Christina never leaves her house is true.

Scissor Sisters: I have two bits of inside info: 1) They left off a really long epic that they felt was too big to fit on the CD and 2) They collaborated with Goldfrapp on a song that may see the light - the invisible light - of day as a b-side. Thanks source!

Which reminds me. Goldfrapp's new video is ass. As I said on So Hip It Hurts, it's a muddled collection of visual references. They should have just stuck with the Xanadu thing... I love the part where she zaps people and they glow. Otherwise the whole thing looks embarrassingly amateur. Head First is my favorite album of 2010 (so far), but I wish they would release a video with some depth. Maybe Dreaming, but I am not sure that is a single?

The MIA video that hit a few weeks ago. This a very late commentary, but I didn't. like. it. one. bit. Right now there is a creepy thing happening in pop culture, putting children into violent situations, either as the victim or as the perpetrator (see Kick Ass). Now, there'd be a place for that if these particular "works" made any new or thoughtful statements about violence, but honestly MIA's message is not remotely original. I really cannot think of a case were horror porn has crossed into music in that way. Someone on Twitter questioned me about it and said I was overreacting - that it was "desensitized" gore. Culture has become desensitized and that is my point. Is the MIA video well made? Of course. But well made does not mean it contributes anything.

Diana Vickers has covered Hit by The Sugarcubes (hear it). She slaughtered it, but I like her moxy for choosing such a good song. Better is Notice, a sweet little tween's you-don't-notice-me tune (hear it). It was written by Ellie Goulding and Guy Sigsworth, who produced it as well. Note that Starsmith did the song You'll Never Get To Heaven (hear it).

Darren Hayes, who was just in LA finishing his new album. turned me onto a song that most bloggers had not been able to get me to listen to: O.N.E. by Yeasayer. (that's YAY SAYER for those who read the word and think huh?). Love it. The video is purposefully whack, like a Hot Chip video.

I love Fyfe Dangerfield. Red Radio has a bit on how he's covered a Billy Joel song I CANNOT STAND. He's also re-released his album with added tracks and a souped up, poppier version of his next single. Neon Gold, meanwhile, has a great bonus track called Headache.

I recently went insane and kept playing a sappy old Wilson Phillips song this morning - Goodbye Carmen. A song they wrote for their maid. One of the lines is "Goodbye Carmen, hasta manana or who knows when." I cannot make this shit up.

Back to the present, surely Kelly Rowland's single Commander is one of THE songs of summer? I think she needs to capitalize on the moment and speed up the album's release date. Ten killer songs, a la Kelis.

MuuMuse just graduated today. Congratulations Brad!
_________________________________________________

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May 22, 2010

Robyn, again

Last month I wrote about how much I love Robyn's new single Dancing On My Own. The conceit of the song - alone in a crowd, forever not getting what she wants - is a running theme in Robyn's music, but she does melancholia so well.

Sometimes a video can ruin the mood of a song, as it fails to visually express an emotion, but the Dancing On My Own clip perfectly captures the lyric's tone of alienation. As usual for a Robyn video, it's loaded with details: the sliced edits which make her seem a bit jerky in the "fashion" shots, the snaggle tooth, the dress with leather shoulders, the haircut (in particular how it looks when shot from behind her head), the scenes where she "makes out" with herself, and the great moment near the end where she doesn't exactly relent to dancing as much as work out her shit on the dancefloor. It still makes me want to cry.

I am not, however, as enamored with Body Talk Part I ep. At the point when she should follow up the perfect Robyn with an even better album, she dissipates the energy by releasing what amounts to a set of songs clumped together. There are some very good tunes (the lyric to Hang With Me is sublime), but it doesn't seem terribly original and certainly not cohesive. If she sticks to her plan and releases Part 2 this summer - I wouldn't bet on it - we can just configure the album we want, which is forward thinking.

I don't ever discount Robyn's ability to make an artistic pop album or her integrity. Body Talk is not what I'd wanted from her, but I'll always listen. And again, Dancing On My Own is exactly the kind of vulnerability missing from pop music right now.

May 18, 2010

Didn't it blow your mind...



Plan B made his name as a thickly accented London rapper in 2007 with his debut Who Needs Actions When You Got Words. On his new album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, he comes out as an AMAZING SINGER of incredible soul music with rap laced throughout. Torr* likens it to McAlmont and Butler, though Amy Winehouse and Daniel Merriweather are obvious references, along with the sound Mayer Hawthorne attempted recently.

Just out in the UK and topping the charts, this album is really special.
It's worth noting that it was produced by Paul Epworth (my favorite producer of 2009) in a very different style to his work with Florence + The Machine and Jack Penate.

The album's lead track Love Goes Down reminds me of the music on AM radio when I was very little, riding in the backseat of a white Cutlass Supreme - we called it the Milk Bottle - in Kansas City, Missouri. Melted caramel. Check it:



Note, Plan B, whose full name is Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew, is also an actor, now appearing in the Michael Caine movie Harry Brown.

Plan B's website

* THANKS Torr!

In a pensive mood


I have been swept away by Rose Elinor Dougall, formerly of The Pipettes, and now carefully building a solo career. Rose has just finished her debut album (no release date yet) and this new single Find Me Out is on iTunes in many territories. She's also been working on tunes (and vocals!) for the new Mark Ronson record.

This song is exquisite. "I know you see the best in me / But darling there's just not much left of it. / I don't think I am any of the things you said I am..."



This has been a beautiful year for folk-pop, with Laura Marling, Fyfe Dangerfield, Tracey Thorn and, very soon, Rose Elinor Dougall. We like to shake our butts, but we need to feed the heart and soul.

May 17, 2010

It was a circumstance I got the power from.

Kelly Rowland



With David Guetta of course (I love watching him in the background), and on iTunes now. I can imagine drag queens tearing up Commander this summer. There's something so pleasing about the rise of Kelly Rowland, the underdog, short-haired sister dragged around by Beyonce for so long. And I love that she's the child that left home. Went and found herself in the discos of Ibiza and St Tropez...



Kelis

I'm not ashamed of winning, but it wasn't that way in the beginning. A Eurodance track that begins with such a heavy line is the first clue that Brave is beyond. The breakdown in the middle eight (at 2:24) gives me chills - very Mirwais and Madonna in their Music era ten years ago.

I've decided I am getting too lumpy, so I think I'll just dance my way through summer. Seriously. Have you ever danced until you though you would fall over dead? I have. Apex, Secrets, weddings and bar mitzvahs, look out. And if I DO fall over dead, I can think of far worse/tedious ways to go.

Other come-to-Jesus dance mixes I recommend right now:

Kelis Acapella (Raw Man Remix) hear it
Agnes Release Me (Nevins Extended Mix)
Robyn Dancing On My Own (Michael Woods Remix Edit) hear the club length
Robyn Dancing On My Own (Jakwob Remix) hear it
Benny Benassi with APL and Kelis Spaceship hear it
Scissor Sisters Invisible Light (Stuart Price 12-inch Remix) hear it

Kate Bash by Frisky & Mannish



What happens when you rub Kate Nash and Kate Bush together? Kate Bash, the wicked new video and song by Frisky & Mannish. Who are these two? I love them. Bring them to me NOW.

Sources: Kate Nash's Foundations and Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights

May 15, 2010

I like it most when it HURTS



In which HURTS adheres to the Pet Shop Boys theorem: We try and make everything we do special

They perform Better Than Love and an epic new song, Stay, and their "standard" Wonderful Life, which I've heard will be a proper single. I like Better Than Love more than I used to, but I still flinch when he sings the "closer to GOD!" bit.

They also admit in this video that playing hard to get and not revealing too much too soon is a conscious decision. Whoever is marketing them has been doing their research...

May 14, 2010

Ass: In The End...



So. My ass-game post generated a lot of great ideas. You are all asstastic, each and every one. Here are some of the best....

Stevie Nicks How Still My Ass How Still My Love

Kylie Can't Get You Out Of My Ass Can't Get You Out Of My Head

Kylie I'm Just Here For The Ass I'm Just Here For The Music

Janet Jackson Love Will Never Do (Without Ass) Love Will Never Do (Without You)

Beatles Why Don't We Do It In The Ass? Why Don't We Do It In The Road?

Michael Jackson She’s Out Of My Ass She’s Out Of My Life

Michael Jackson I Just Can’t Stop Loving Ass I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

Nirvana Smells Like Teen Ass Smells Like Teen Spirit

Prince I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Ass I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

Tori Amos Abnormally Attracted to Ass Abnormally Attracted to Sin

Whitney It's Not Right, But It's Ass It's Not Right, But It's Okay

Whitney Saving All My Love For Ass Saving All My Love For You

Depeche Mode World In My Ass World In My Eyes

The Smiths This Night Has Opened My Ass This Night Has Opened My Eyes

David Bowie The Man Who Sold The Ass The Man Who Sold The World

David Bowie The Heart's Filthy Ass The Heart's Filthy Lesson

Mariah One Sweet Ass One Sweet Ass

Mariah Anytime You Need An Ass Anytime You Need A Friend

Everything But The Girl Tears All Over Ass Tears All Over Town

The Doors Riders On The Ass Riders On The Storm

Sade Never As Good As The First Ass Never As Good As The First Time

Sade Somebody Already Broke My Ass Somebody Already Broke My Heart

photo source

Kylie's Aphrodite details FOR ALL THE LOVERS



ALL THE LOVERS

Written by Jim Elliot & Mima Stilwell
Produced by Jim Eliot
Additional production and mix by Stuart Price

GET OUTTA MY WAY
Written by Cutfather: Lucas Secon, Damon Sharpe, Peter Wallevik, Daniel Davidsen & Mitch Hansen
Produced by Cutfather, Peter Wallevik & Daniel Davidsen
Co-produced by Damon Sharpe, Lucas Secon & Stuart Price

PUT YOUR HANDS UP (IF YOU FEEL LOVE)
Written by Fin Dow-Smith, The Nervo Girls

Produced by Starsmith. Co-produced by Stuart Price. Additional vocal production by Nervo.
Mixed by Starsmith and Stuart Price

CLOSER
Written by Stuart Price & Beatrice Hatherley
Produced & mixed by Stuart Price

EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL
Written by Fraser T Smith & Tim Rice-Oxley (“Keane”)
Produced and mixed by Fraser T Smith

APHRODITE
Written & produced by Nerina Pallot & Andy Chatterley
Additional production and mix by Stuart Price

ILLUSION
Written by Kylie Minogue & Stuart Price
Produced & mixed by Stuart Price

BETTER THAN TODAY
Written & produced by Nerina Pallot & Andy Chatterley
Additional production and mix by Stuart Price

TOO MUCH
Written by Kylie Minogue, Calvin Harris & Jake Shears
Produced and mixed by Calvin Harris.

CUPID BOY
Written by Sebastian Ingrosso (“Swedish House Mafia”), Magnus Lidehall, Nick Clow & Luciana Caporaso
Produced & mixed by Stuart Price & Sebastian Ingrosso & Magnus

LOOKING FOR AN ANGEL
Written by Kylie Minogue & Stuart Price
Produced & mixed by Stuart Price

CAN’T BEAT THE FEELING
Written by Hannah Robinson, Pascal Gabriel, Borge Fjordheim, Matt Prime & Richard X
Produced by Stuart Price, Pascal Gabriel & Borge Fjordheim.
Mixed by Stuart Price

May 12, 2010

God Save BBR



The great Black Box Recorder launched the career of Sarah Nixey (aka here as The Lady Sarah Nixey) in 1998. They released three albums, including the epic pop of 2003's Passionoia, which spawned classics like Andrew Ridgeley and The School Song.

Now they've closed up shop with two new songs,
Keep It In The Family and Do You Believe In God?, that form Final Statement. Both tracks are solid, with the latter's lyrics classically dry: "When the game is up and the only way out is a pne way trip to the land cuckoo clocks."

Final Statement is on iTunes in the US and UK. My only complaint? I would have loved one more track entirely in spoken word. For those of you who do not know Sarah's solo work, read here and here.

Last note: The package includes a booklet that cost me $2 and would not open. And thanks to James and Service AV - this release would have totally evaded me.

Announcement: Flo returns with a new song on June 8



Florence + The Machine have contributed a brand new track to the soundtrack of Twilight: Eclipse called Heavy In Your Arms. Bring us an epic, Flo.

Meanwhile, her new video for Cosmic Love is out now. The LED dress is swell, but the video is without much merit. She seems to have wandered onto the set of Alex Gardner's I'm Not Mad. Regardless, the song itself is one of her finest. My favorite moment is at 1:34 when the heavy metal guitars briefly leap to the front of the mix. When I first heard this song, I truly Lost. My. Shit.

Florence And The Machine Cosmic Love:

May 11, 2010

Karen Elson, murder balladress



I have been quietly obsessing over Karen [XO's Fave Model] Elson's debut single, The Ghost Who Walks. Seriously, I used to have her pics on the walls of my first apartment. She must have been like 15 yrs old at the time, discovered by Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue. Now she's recorded an album in Nashville with her husband, The Jack White.

The Times just did a nice piece on her that's worth your time. Although this album was recently recorded, it's really been years in the making, as she slowly developed into a musician. Karen is no novice, as the single will attest...




Writers love to come up with insipid ways of describing music via references, so I'll have a stab: The Ghost Who Walks is a midnight garden party in Bon Temps, Louisiana, with Karen, Nick Cave, Jim Morrison (pre-bloat!) and Charlotte Gainsbourg playing songs around a fire. I am obsessed with the tinkly bits in the chorus. Brilliant. Her 12-track album, also called The Ghost Who Walks, is out on May 25th.

Regarding the title of this post, is balladress a word? I think it's balladeer, which sounds too masculine. Who cares. Karen is going on a wee little tour in Europe and the States in May. Someone report back to me...

May 10, 2010

Ass: A Game That You Can Play

The Scissor Sisters new album art reminded me of something I like to do dot dot dot



Summertime is almost here. Car trips to the beach, music festivals, yadda yadda. Some people like to count state license plates (here in America) or, you know, count cows. Mmmm hmmm. My friend Jessica and I get hours of enjoyment playing The Ass Game.


Here is what you do: Replace the last word of any song title with the word ass.

Example:

Girls Aloud: No Good Ass, Whole Lotta Ass, The Loving Ass, Something Kinda Ass

Now, it does not work with every band. There seems to be trend these days toward one word song titles - for instance, it's a pointless game to play with Lady Gaga song titles.

More good examples include some "legacy" artists:
UPDATE: Be sure to read the comments for more!

REM: Shiny Happy Ass, Losing My Ass, Fall On Ass, etc.

Kate Bush: The Sensual Ass, Hounds Of Ass, The Man With The Child In His Ass and my personal favorite, Running Up That Ass...

but the real winner is always Peter Gabriel: Red Ass, Games Without Ass, In Your Ass, Digging In The Ass, Here Comes The Ass, Shaking The Ass, Washing Of The Ass... the list goes on, children...

I challenge you all to come up with some prime examples for us!

Viva summer. Hot fun in the ass.

May 9, 2010

Tracey Thorn's album streams in its entirety at NPR



You can now hear the new
Tracey Thorn album, Love And Its Opposite, in its entirety via NPR, the same US radio channel I wrote about yesterday. This is truly one of the best records of the year but, like many albums that hold up over time, you need to play it awhile to absorb it. My favorites include Why Does The Wind?, Hormones (one her best, most loving lyrics) and Kentish Town, a sort of mournful variation on the themes in Missing. And then there is the lush Swimming, a collaboration with Cortney Tidwell, that closes the album with a literally liquid sound. Gorgeous.

Oh,The Divorces! and Why Does The Wind? are offered now as free downloads at Tracey's site. The latter is a slightly shorter edit than the album version, but very similar. The full album is officially out on May 17 and my short 5-star review appears in the June issue of American mag Instinct.

For hardcore fans: Some of the demos are being released as The Berlin Sessions. In the UK, you can pre-order them as a limited edition bonus disc bundled with the album only via HMV.co.uk. In the US, Merge Records releases them digitally via iTunes as a pre-sale only (ed: frown!). Japan and Taiwan will also be releasing them on a bonus CD. Tracey's cover of Ron Sexsmith's Child Star will also be a bonus track via UK iTunes & US Amazon MP3.

Other links:

Tracey on Twitter - she is wicked
Tracey's gardening blog
at Caught By The River

May 8, 2010

Et tu, NPR?

0

I am a longtime listener to America's NPR (National Public Radio). In fact, I am junkie and even follow a lot of the reporters on Twitter. Amusingly some of them do NOT "have faces for radio." Ari Shapiro - who covers national security and legal affairs - looks like a model. You want proof? Now NPR has jumped in the Gaga spoof bandwagon and done a little clip for Telephone. Watch it above and look for Ari in the first thirty seconds, on the hallway phone. The opening with Nina Totenberg, NPR's Supreme Court analyst, is pretty funny if you know her (the pearls are a clue).

Update: I've been reminded by my friend Liz that Ari sings lead on the Pink Martini song But Now I'm Back...






Lucas in love



For my friends who follow the work of indie artist Lucas Miré - and those who've not heard him - today (Saturday the 8th) is Lucas's birthday. To celebrate, he is giving away free downloads of both of his albums today only via his website.

Meanwhile, Lucas is heading into the studio to work on two new projects, both EPs (like Robyn an Keane!) with a new producer. Expect the first one to reflect Lucas's love of late 80's hair metal bands like White Snake, Warrant, Cinderella and Skid Row.* The second EP will have shadings of electronica.


[*Ed: Is this true? XO: Maybe not]