June 30, 2004

When rockers and punks get old...

Check out these pics from the NY Dolls reunion. Scareeee! Someone on the Velvet Rope pointed out that David Johanson's waist/pubic area looks like a Mattel doll's. And look at Shane MacGowan!

June 26, 2004

Rufus Wainwright EP: "Waiting For A Want"

Finally! Rufus Wainwright releases the EP "Waiting For A Want" on Tuesday - on iTunes only! The songs are: Gay Messiah (it's dirrrty and may or may not make the news once it's widely available), This Love Affair, The Art Teacher and Waiting for a Dream.

The Triple XXX Fanclub (note the XXX)

NOTE: This post shocked a few "readers," so be forewarned that 1) it's not something to read at work and 2) I think it's funny and I will not cave to the censorious J-Ho Jackson militia! Okay, read on:

Recently RuPaul published (on his blog) what he called his favorite fan letter of all time. Here is an excerpt that will surely haunt you after reading. Please note that I have actually deleted the NASTIEST BITS in favor of the funny bits. It was 50% longer than what you see below:

Dear RuPaul,

I don't even no how to beg-gan. I am not gay or bi-sexual, but even though you are a Drag Queen, you are so sexy and lustful, I can't help but masturbate to you. I masturbate to your sexy website, I masturbate to your sexy music videos, and I even masturbate to the nasty, pulsating beat of your music...I want to dress in drag myself as sexy Lil Kim as we suck each others hard and juicey cocks.

As you can see Ru, I love to use the word BEGGING a lot. To me, BEGGING is something that's very sexy. Not standing on the street corner BEGGING for money, (unless you are a sexy prostitute or hoochie mama dressed in skimpy booty shorts with a matching halter top and shiny leather thigh high boots with six inch heels and a sexy hair due, sucking on a big deal pickle, Begging for a trick).

Believe it or not RuPaul, but I'm your biggest fan. I dream of having freaky sex with you everyday. I would love to meat you and fuck you one day. If not, then I guess I will just have to continue beating my hard and swollen dick into a soft and sribbled nub, and you don't want that do you?

Your biggest fan,
Billy Bee / Billy The Beggar

Badly Drawn Boy is back

I will add a review momentarily, but here is a link to MP3 clips and song info for his new CD, out this week in the UK. It's very Beatles. You can hear all of "Year Of The Rat," the new single, which is very classic rock. It will come out in the States on July 27.

Return of High Voice

Jimmy Somerville is back too, but only in Germany?!

June 22, 2004

Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine"

The title track from Fiona Apple's new CD has leaked. I am not sure what the legalities are so I am justy posting a link to the Velvet Rope thread that has the link at the top. Warning: it's totally different from her other work - it's very Broadway. Rolling Stone calls the song a "Tin Pan Alley-esque blend of Tom Waits and Vaudeville." Sony has decided not to release the CD despite the fact she is one of their most serious artists (Jon Brion, the producer, talks about it here). Sony SUCKS and they should remember the Wilco story.

I hope the record isn't all like this, but it is a fun song and has the usual Fiona linguistic play on the lyrics.

Bebel Gilberto

What is the Spanish word for lunch? I am taking a moment on my lunch break to add a link to a page with samples of songs from the new Bebel Gilberto CD, which was produced by Marius DeVries (who prod. Rufus Wainwright's "Want One"). I have to be in the right mood for this kind of thing, but my first comment is that "River Song" sounds pretty good. She gives descriptions of the songs here. How very full-service, Bebel!

June 17, 2004

The Day The Music... Got Jammed

Minor tragedy struck tonight when a CD got stuck in my fancy CD Recorder machine - the one attached to my stereo system (vs. computer). This beloved machine has made a million CD mixes over the past 5 years or so. I may be able to salvage it if I can open it up, but I don't have my toolbox right now. Regardless, I may have caused Shaken CDR Syndrome by shaking it and tipping it upside down, etc. The cruel joke is that it happened while I was taking a song or two off a disc I wanted to sell - a hideous BRANDY CD! I know, I know... Anyway, pray my box that makes music.

June 16, 2004

Jeff Buckley re-release

In the Continued Bilking of the Decomposed Department:
Jeff Buckley's enterprising mother is continuing to "preserve his legacy" by releasing a 3-disc special edition of Grace. Check out details on Dead Jeff's website. I'll probably buy this one as it may be worthy, unlike the other special releases.

Review: Keane's "Hopes and Fears"

I have been at a loss for how to describe what may end up my favorite CD of the year, Keane's Hopes and Fears, which I bought in England and played incessantly the whole time. But yesterday I found this comment on Popjustice and I thought, "That's it- the perfect review!" ...

Keane is the Bananarama of the milkman world...

If I didn't say it before, Keane initially comes across as derivative. As if Chris Martin had cornholed Franny Travis and out popped a pudgy baby Keane. But that's not fair. The CD also reminds me of Ultravox and China Crisis (a tidbit of the electronic) as well as Travis and Coldplay, but the songs are so good it stands on its own. Not a lot of hotness or hardness here, but this record is probably going to end up as my album of the year because it is so fucking gorgeous. Yes, it is actually out in America, so no excuses.

The whole album is great, but I will pick Everybody's Changing, Your Eyes Open and This Is The Last Time. A reluctant link to their website, which I find troublesome even on my souped new computer at work.

Poptastic: Girls Aloud "The Show"

Girls Aloud: Why do we like them? Because we like British girl groups. Because they actually have decent songwriters, even though they were discovered on an American/Pop Idol ripoff TV show. We like that they release a new CD every year, flouting American pop rules (short shelf life!). We love THIS group because they have one roughneck chick who beats other girls in da clubs. Their last hit was a really good version of the Pointer Sisters "Jump." Sadly, they have ditched their 80's look, though not the 80's sound. But we really like this chorus:

Should've known, should've cared, should've hung 'round the kitchen in my underwear...

June 14, 2004

Review: Deepest Blue's "Late September"

Sometime in 2003, I was in a funky store and heard a dance track I liked so much that I immediately wrote down a few lines of lyrics on scrap paper so I could Google it. The song turned out to be "Deepest Blue" by Deepest Blue, an Ibiza dance hit that should have just been a one-off anonymous track from "A Ministry of Sound" club collection. But it was too good, so the creators decided to do another song and then another and now they have a lovely poppy Euro CD called "Late September" released in Europe and the UK in... mid June! (no US date yet)

That song turned out to be, perhaps, my favorite song of 2003. It never wears out. The CD is more of the same - one catchy, albeit slightly faceless, pop track after another. Both uptempo and moody midtempo. If you care about melody, this one's for you. Reference points, should you need them, are Chicane and Savage Garden; you can listen to samples on the site.

Shameless (and bad karma)

If anyone has an ear, let him hear: those who flaunt their private relationships and happiness in public will live to regret it. I have heard that Star is against gay marriage, so I don't know how we have lived to see the Star Jones Wedding Website I entered a fake email address and got in to take a peek! One of the photo captions is "Al and Star... so much in love" PUKE!

Review: Madonna's Re-Invention concert

So I have just come from seeing Madonna’s show where we were a part of what she called the best crowd of the tour so far. Sadly, we had CRAP seats up high on the side of the stage, so I missed much of the show as it was intended to be seen. We were the mizzies up there - les miserables – who got half a show. Missed the whole opening segment. Thank God for the video screen.

My favorites: "Vogue" was the opener, a Dangerous Liaisons version with impossible looking yoga poses. Very bendy! Her costume was great (Lacroix sweetie?) and she looked really beautiful on the screen. Not sure about up close!

"Mother and Father" is an 80's electroclash song on the new record, but it’s turned into a big mid-tempo centerpiece in this show. Great singing on this one, despite the fact she didn’t cut the ridiculous rap bit, which includes such genius rhymes as: "My father had to go to work / I used to think he was a jerk."

"Crazy For You” was one of the most emotional songs, at least for anyone who is old enough to remember when that song came out. She was alone a lot more on the stage this tour, perhaps b/c she is damn old and cannot do the constant dancing. The result was more of a connection with the audience. I suppose “Imagine” (yes, that one) was supposed to be the emotional centerpiece, but - as always - the gears do show. People admire Madonna's work ethic because you can SEE it - see her working. That’s not really the way it should be, but it's part of her charm. On "Imagine" she did a good job, but she was trying too hard and the song lost something for me (aside from the fact it's just an overheard song). “Crazy For You” was more about her singing to the audience without appearing to think about it so much.

GREAT version of “American Life,” a song I dislike. Very heavy metal, but we weren’t able to really get the full effect of the visuals from our seats. It was silly and serious at the same time.

Not so great: I totally disliked the whole circus part of the show, which was Vegas kitschy and too Janet Jackson for my taste. She did the AWFUL ”Hanky Panky” and a strange, jazzy version of "Deeper And Deeper" The oddest part here was how she performed “Die Another Day” in this circus costume - didn’t work.

The finale was "Music:" and "Holiday" with both changed a little bit, but neither quite as the Drowned World Tour versions. Why do the same finale on this tour?

Fave dance moves: one of the songs had a momentary tango with Madonna and 5 men, but they were all attached: she danced with one and the others gripped each other's arms. It probably looked strange at eye level, but was really clever form the nosebleeds (ah-ha!). “Papa Don’t Preach” had a sort of ring-around-the-rosie bit that finished the song with them holding hands and spinning as the lights went down. V good.

The dancers in this show are athletes who have to do amazing feats: scary extreme skateboarding, drum'n'bugle-esque gun twirling, breakdancing, dancing with sticks, scary trapeze work. On "Into The Groove" they had the num chuck things but nobody knocked out their own teeth. How they live through each night I don't know. From our seats we could also see that the floor was constantly opening and sinking and rising, which must be another hazard. An onstage conveyor belt made for some cool moves (borrowed from her '87 tour) and the bagpiper’s dancing was a surprise.

On her last tour, my favorite song was La Isla Bonita because a) it was an oldie and b) it was sweet and she seemed to be enjoying herself. This WHOLE show is like that. Much more smiling and much less pretension. email me

Fantasia Barrino tears up "Summertime"

Although I loved the more mournful version she did twice on the American Idol, this is pretty damn amazing. Courtesy of AOL First Listen.

Song Title of the Week

"Save a Horse (Ride A Cowboy)" by Big & Rich

(tidbit courtesy of Anne)

June 11, 2004

Moral dilemma!

I happened to have Vh1 on this morning and a song came on that I really liked. It's called "Happy People" and it reminds me of Stevie Wonder when he was great. The problem is a nasty one: it's by R Kelly! Blech! I have always been very democratic about where I get my music: there are no rules. But maybe there should be? Do I really want to support an artist who films himself peeing on 15 year olds (and then has the cajones to say, "That's not me!")? Anyway, Kelly is a brilliant PR person - the end of the video features people in different settings (bedroom, funeral home) dancing to the video as it plays on a TV. See, EVERYBODY LOVES R Kelly. Then he does something to guarantee success: he adds a "move to the left/move to the right" coda. Just the type of thing that will be played at weddings everywhere. Urghhhhhh. Of course, did anyone think about the shot of him popping the champagne and having it spew everywhere? Sadly, they probably did. email me

June 9, 2004

Vote for albums online

There is a cool site called Metacritic where you can go and vote for how good a record is or is not. For instance, PJ Harvey is at an 83/100 right now. email moi

June 8, 2004

Finn Brothers CD coming in August!

The Finn Brothers are FINALLY releasing their first CD in 8 years: Everyone Is Here. On August 24. squeal. It will have:

1. Won't Give In (the single)
2. Nothing Wrong With You
3. Anything Can Happen
4. Luckiest Man Alive
5. Homesick
6. Disembodied Voices
7. A Life Between Us
8. All God's Children
9. Edible Flowers
10. All of the Colours
11. Part Of Me, Part Of You
12. Gentle Hum

It has Jon Brion and Matt Chamberlain (Tori's drummer) and string arrangements by Tony Visconti. More info here. Best bit yet: They are in DC on July 28 at the 9:30 Club

4 more Songs of the Week

Some leftovers from my trip to London:

Keane "Your Eyes Open"
Keane "This Is The Last Time"
Morrissey "I Like You"
Deepest Blue "Is It A Sin"

Song of the Week: Kings of Convenience's "Misread"

Go to this link (dead now!) and look for the Kings Of Convenience video midpage. I love this song - it's called Misread and it's from their new CD, Riot On An Empty Street. The geeky guy in the video is the esteemed Erlend Oye (the one who shakes the tree), who did a cutting edge electronic CD in 2003 (Unrest, with one of my favorite songs of last year, Like Gold). The other other guy in the video, Eirik, became a shrink in the time since the last KOC CD, but Erlend somehow convinced him to do another one. Lucky for us.

I haven't heard anything but samples, but I DO know that the new record continues the last one's cover art drama. Last time, as Eirik nuzzled his girlfriend, Erlend was almost pushed out of the picture:

This time (below) it appears that Erlend is getting even and exchanging a "knowing glance" with the girl, while Eirik preens for the camera. However, I don't think they are a kinky threesome, because the song is too lovely - like a Norwegian Simon and Garfunkel, with a bit of bossa nova. Did Simon and Garfunkel do threesomes?

June 7, 2004

With fans like these...

Another inane Amazon customer review - this one for a CD that will not be released until SEPTEMBER 2004
"Christine McVie Rocks!!!" says Reviewer Chris from USA on April 15

Obviously, the record has not come out yet, but it will be great. I would bet my life on it. Afterall, has Christine ever written a bad song? I don't think so! As a valuable member of Fleetwood Mac for 25 years, Christine has defined herself as a classy, talanted pop-rock artist. This is sure to be her best work yet! We are so lucky that she is releasing this and is not being dismissed as an old rocker. Christine can rock harder then any of the young people of today and one can only hope she'll have a hit song and will prove that she is the queen of pop!

June 6, 2004

David Sedaris is not a musician, BUT...

He has a new book out and you can hear excerpts on NPR and an older piece on Fresh Air. Listen at 2:00 mins. for a bit about him doing commercial jingles in the voice of Billie Holiday. Anne told me about this and its brilliant. They say that Matthew Broderick is involved in a film version of "Me Talk Pretty One Day"!

June 5, 2004

Rufus Wainwright's new music is coming June 29 to iTunes.

Gee, I don't belong to iTunes, but since Rufus is the Greatest Living Artist Since Kate Bush, I'd guess I should join now. Because his label is a shitstorm, Rufus is doing a teaser on iTUnes and then releasing "Want 2" or a series of EPs before the end of the year. Here are some song titles from it: Gay Messiah, I'm Not Ready, The Art Teacher and Homegrown Waltz.

Bit of The Art Teacher lyrics:

There I was in uniform
Looking at the art teacher.
I was just a girl then;
Never have I loved since then.

He was not that much older than I was
He had taken our class to the Metropolitan Museum.
He asked us what our favorite work of art was,
But never could I tell it was him.
Oh, I wish I could tell him--
Oh, I wish I could have told him.

Anderson and Butler

Suede redux? Not quite, but it appears that Bernard Butler and Brett Anderson have reunited after 10 years of bickering. They are actually doing an album now. Don't know what this means for McAlmont and Butler, who were doing an album in the fall. Oh well...

June 4, 2004

Someone reads this blog!!

A certain someone told me she actually reads this blog! Woohoo. Now I need to re-do the comments section... Hi Someone!

Quote of the Week

"It'd be fun to grab Avril Lavigne by the ankles and use her to beat Ryan Adams to death."

from metalsludge.com

June 3, 2004

Bathing in the purple rain with the lil purple man...

It took them long enough to do this: Purple Rain on DVD! Now all they need is an anniversary remaster of the "Purple Rain" CD.