January 31, 2006

Je suis desole...

I take it back. The Queen is looking like The Queen again.

Meanwhile, Madonner is appearing with Gorillaz as the opener for the Grammy's. How does that work?

Here is the tracklist for her next single, "Sorry," out on Feb 28.

1. Sorry - Single Edit
2. Sorry - Man With Guitar Mix
3. Sorry - PSB Maxi-Mix
4. Sorry - Paul Oakenfold Remix
5. Sorry - Green Velvet Remix

I prefer the Man With Guitar Mix over the PSB one. Sacrilege, I know.

When Tori Met "Husband"

Still reading the Tori book. I love what she says about realizing her husband, Mark Hawley (above), was someone special:

Mark and I did become friends and sort of started confiding in each other. And I remember, one time, he said, "Tell me, why it is that women invariably pull the same kind of men to them? The one that will taste them, eat them, swallow them and them spit them out." In this British accent, I'll never forget it. It's embedded in my mind. That's when I knew this was it. He went on: "Spit them out, leave them at the side of the road, drive away, back up, kick open the door and say, 'You want to go for another ride?'" And I sat there and thought, There are knights in the this world. This is the prince.
- from Tori Amos: Piece By Piece, by Tori Amos and Ann Powers, 2005

Today's MP3: When Texas met France

Filles Sourires has a great Texas MP3. "Guitar Song" is a track the group built on a sample of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je T'aime Moi Non Plus." This song is better than anything on their last two CDs. Look for the link under the Family section of the post. Note that they released this on their superb Greatest Hits disc a few years ago.

You'll recall, or not, that the original song was recorded by the mom and dad of the most lovely Charlotte Gainsbourg, who I
wrote about just a few days ago.

January 30, 2006

New official Moz press piccie

Still waiting for some sort of leak. So far the clamps are tight.

Monday MP3s

Happy Monday! I had a nice weekend, but I have such a creepy sense of dread on this pretty day. So if this blog ceases to exist tomorrow, you can at least say, "Well, he was psychic!"

Somebody at Motel de Moka must be in the flush of love because they have a SLEW of Xolondon's almighty fave tracks:

Suede's glorious widescreen epic "The Wild Ones" ('94)
Paul Weller's sweet "You Do Something To Me" ('95)
Richard Hawley's recent emotional beauty "The Ocean" ('05)
The Blue Nile's soft'n'lovely "Lets Go Out Tonight" ('89)

Talk about magesterial music. Check them all out here - do it fast! I should add that I love what makes this blog distinctive - it's use of art.

January 28, 2006

Weekend Video #2: Goldfrapp's "Ride A White Horse"

Rotting food. White heels. White wig. Very large mirror and comb. No Marlene Deitrich. No white horse. No disco. A cute video, but... 1) what the FEHK? and 2) Americans will not get it. I don't. Need to make a new one for the States.

XO to Blondie: I'm gonna git ya git ya git ya git ya

I fucking love that picture. She is truly the epitome of cool. There will never be someone who pulls it off as effortlessly (or as "louchely"?) as she who is Debby Harry.

The pic is actually the cover of yet another Blondie Best Of, but this one I am getting b/c it has the video too. Due out in America this March. Tracklist:

Disc: 1 (CD): 1. Heart Of Glass 2. Sunday Girl 3. Atomic 4. Call Me 5. The Tide Is High 6. Rapture 7. Maria 8. In The Flesh (Remix) 9. X Offender 10. Rip Her To Shreds 11. Denis 12. (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear 13. Picture This 14. Fade Away And Radiate 15. Hanging On The Telephone 16. One Way Or Another 17. Dreaming 18. Union City Blue 19. Island Of Lost Souls 20. Good Boys (Blow-Up mix) 21. End To End 22. Rapture Riders (Single Edit Bonus Track)

Disc: 2 (DVD): 1. In The Flesh 2. X Offender 3. Denis 4. Detroit 442 5. (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear 6. Picture This 7. Hanging On The Telephone 8. Heart Of Glass 9. Dreaming 10. The Hardest Part 11. Union City Blue 12. Atomic 13. The Tide Is High 14. Rapture 15. Island Of Lost Souls 16. Maria 17. Good Boys

January 27, 2006

DM06: A new Martin Gore

You gotta love that look! I think these are images from the new video for "Suffer Well" - used on the promo for the first DM single written by Dave Gahan. "Better Days" will be the new b-side. I read that this one is punky. Meanwhile, check out the full schedule of releases they have coming up. Start sticking cash under your mattress for those remasters in March!

Weekend Video #1: Will Young's "All Time Love"

My Well-Read (as opposed to hung) College Roomate has this brief review of this arty video for Will Young's tearjerker new single:

Such a commentary on fascism, capitalism, doomed love and the police state. Will is an artiste.

He informs me that the above critique is from his new white paper titled, "Will Young and the Post-Modern Metaphysical Images of Neo-Fascism In Historical and Epistemological Systems."

Well done.

January 26, 2006

She who had the Last Laugh

So I've been reading the Tori Amos book Piece By Piece and there is some amazing stuff in there, especially about the music industry and some of the shit that went down following her Choirgirl CD. She had a honcho at Atlantic stand up and literally pound on his desk, screaming "I OWN you, Tori Amos! I own you!" Like a bad movie - Jesus! I will be sending excerpts to my trolls, but I wanted to quote this little bit for you now...

Tori Amos on the topic of dressing rooms:

We'll often get into a venue and there's nothing on the walls but dingy, chipping paint - this isn't a place where you want to be licking or even touching the walls. It's just a crash pad, and the night before it might have been the crash pad for a metal band - love you guys, but they will have left the place stinking of vomit and stale semen and pussy oil, still pungent on the couch and floor from the human sardines who had a fuckfest. Yum.

Belle de jour?

The Queen is getting older, but when did she turn into fucking Catherine Denueve? This must have happened this week! Here she is at the Gaultier show in Paris. Xolondon is seated down the aisle from her, but you can't see me. And isn't that the skeevy flamenco dancer guy next to her? Je suis desole, I forget his name. The one who goes shirtless, but never looks as thin as he should? You just know he kissed her ass.

Madonner, meanwhile is kind of too thin. I totally applaud her willingness to age without major surgery. I hope she sticks to that, especially after the freaky-Abercrombie-dude-post yesterday, but really, she'd look less old if she ate a little bit more. You get the sense her diet is from a very deep psychosis. She is hard in every way. These pics are the good ones of this set. Click to enlarge.

Joaquin Cortes! That is the skeevy dancer's name!

January 25, 2006

Do The Shuffle

I just saw another blogger do this, so I thought I would too, really myself to see what comes up. The first 10 songs on iPod Shuffle...

Madonna "Survival"
One of the last of the old school Madge tracks
Scissor Sisters/ PaulMcCartney/ G. Michael "No One Takes Your Freedom" Really good mash up
Nick Heyward "August In The Morning"
A good bedtime ballad. What happened to Nick!?
Simple Minds "Cry"
I feel kind of meh about this one. I would skip it. From the late 90's
Luther Vandross and Change "The Glow"
This is the song that Janet Jackson's "All For You" is built on
Bjork "Vokuro"
Gorgeous instrumental that sounds very cathedral-ly
Ryan Adams "La Cienega Just Smiled"
Beautiful song- the one I would really want to hear most of these 10
George Michael "Do You Really Want To Know"
His 1992 safe sex song - good house piano
Embrace "Butter Wouldn't Melt"
Have never played this b-side
Kate Bush "Moments Of Pleasure"
Because every old sock needs an old shoe

Off topic: Abercrombie Reich

Turns out Abercrombie and Fitch is far far more nefarious than I thought. Look closely at the freakish man above (click to enlarge pic) and you will realize something is not right. That dude is the 61 year old CEO behind A&F. Yes, 61! He has rebuilt himself into his own dream client, which is seemingly a Hitler youth! Look at his face! I want a close-up! Read more about this freakshow (sorry, I judge) at Salon. Yes, just sit through the ad so you can get to the full story.

What street compares with Mott Street in July?

Sugartown posts one of my favorite peformances: Blossom Dearie singing "Manhattan." All you Manhattanites (you know who you are!) need to download this one. It's not really the city you know today, but the city you wish you knew today, with a line as delicious as "the subway charms us so / when balmy breezes blow / to and fro."

Her version, slow but not melancholy, I would agree with Sugartown, is probably the definitive. Get it fast!

January 24, 2006

Today's song: Just a quickie that terrific Jetfitoblog has one of my favorite songs, "I Love You Goodbye" (MP3) by Thomas Dolby. This is one of his later songs, from 1992's Astronauts and Heretics, so it doesn't really have that electronic feel. I just love it - makes me so happy. It's set in the Bayou...

Note that Jefito also has the beautiful ballad "Screen Kiss" (MP3)- perfect for you Los Angelenos. A true classic, circa 1984, that most people don't know. This song has aged beautifully. TD was so much more than "Good heavens Miss Quasimodo you're beautiful!"

January 23, 2006

Great videos #1: Fiona Apple's "Paper Bag"

Tonight I was reading
Lucas Miré's blog and there was a post about one of my favorite Fiona Apple songs, Paper Bag. This is the song that convinced me she was a fully rounded person and not what the press made her out to be: some crazy Upper West Side/Woody Allen neurotic. Visually, this one stands up with about 10 other music videos as one of the finest ever done. A true mini-film.

My personal story here is that in 2000 I was alone in a city on, literally, the other side of the globe, sleepless at 4 am, when I turned on the weird combo computer/TV in my hotel room and saw this video for the first time. I already loved the song and was amazed it was getting video play in Asia, but not the US. Typical, really. This was the era of Titney Spears. It was such a comfort to find something so familiar, so far from home.

At the time, Fiona was dating Paul Thomas Anderson, the Boogie Nights director, and it was he who made this video for her. I guess this is their baby then...they are no longer together.

A few details about this song and video: the lyric is really funny, especially when she mistakes a paper bag for the dove of hope. Musically, Jon Brion's horns on this song are a huge part of this song - they give it a kind of trapped-in-time feel that works well with the lyric, which is a contemporary theme wrapped in Fiona's typically arcane syntax.

This video cannot have been easy to make with 20+ pre-pubescent boy dancers doing complex moves in long takes. The inspiration is clearly retro, with Anderson going for sort of Bugsy Malone kid gangster feel. I love how for the first moments you don't really see the kids and then they appear in way that is unclear at first, like "what/ who is that behind her?" It's so clever though, like the part where the boys rise up on ropes (below).

I especially love the looks Fiona gets on her face at various moments, like the scene below, which is just before the camera zooms in on her face - she is kneeling, doing this sort of balletic, fluttery arm movement and singing how "hunger hurts - oh it kills", but if you look closely in the film, you'll see that the drama of the movement becomes too much and she slips a smile in.

One question - there is one line I have never quite figured out:

He said "it's all in your head"
I said "So's everything," but he didn't get it
I thought he was a man, but he was just a little boy.

Is she saying that it's not just her fear that's in her head, but the whole relationship is phony?

[2009 comment: HOW did I not get this line before. The song makes it clear he's not playing along with her when she says, "Baby said he couldn't stay, wouldn't put his lips to mine,
And a fail to kiss is a fail to cope"]

Fiona has never looked more perfect than she does in this video. The red dress is beautiful and clearly a careful choice. Apparently, Anderson has an obsession with red and blue, which you'll see develops further in this video. These great stills, by the way are from a site called
Cigarettes and Red Vines.

Just when you think the video is done, Anderson slips in one final bit of genius that's really touching, with the boy picking up her suitcase and Fiona mimicking him (at his silent behest) as he slowly twirls. Amazing. That's what happening in the shot below. It's like a silent goodbye.

I also love the very last shot where Fiona turns and looks back, smiling. I wish more people had seen this than Criminal, a video that I think captures a more prominent, cliched part of her persona.
You can watch Paper Bag You Tube now.

Today's tunes I found

Lost In The Eighties has a great post covering the various collaborations between Pet Shop Boys and Liza Minelli. If you've never heard her version of "Rent," you must, though he doesn't include that one on the post. Brrrrr!

Berkeley Place has a mash-up of Whitney Houston and Radiohead. It's a really edgy, urgent combination of "I'm Every Woman" and "There There" Source

SixEyes has the hilarious puppet-filled video for Beth Orton's new single "Conceived" - I have not been loving this song, but maybe I need to give her another chance?

As always, act fast trolls!

January 22, 2006

Off topic: un film français!

I saw a great movie tonight on DVD. It's French, it's called Happily Ever After. It stars one of my favorite actresses, Charlotte Gainsbourg, in a really good part about a woman who suspects her husband is cheating on her and how she decides to deal with that. It's directed, written by and also stars Yvan Attal. The movie is really about monogamy and also includes a few other couples, but it's Charolotte's story. The script is very no-nonsense and contemporary and the title is meant to be ironic: what is happily ever after - is it naive? The scene above is one in which she and her husband in the movie (Attal, her real-life partner) have a food fight. I urge you to rent it! If this doesn't lure you, you should know that very early in the movie there is a brilliant scene (set to Radiohead's "Creep") in which Charlotte has a mysterious encounter with an uncredited Johnny Depp.

Side note about Charlotte: I first saw her in a movie called
Cement Garden
(while in London!) - a fucked up (but good) movie based on an Ian McEwan book about incest. I had no idea at the time that she was the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, and that she was not really English. She grew up in France, but her English accent is flawless - in fact, it is a snippet of dialog from that movie that opens Madonna's song "What It Feels Like For A Girl" - you know: "Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots, because it's OK to be a boy, but for a boy to look like a girl is degrading..." She has a website, where you can hear that sample in the music section.

my weekend

Shitty nights and decent days. I realized that there is a song lyric that describes exactly how I have been feeling (not to be dramatical or anything!)....

The days roll by like thunder
like a storm that's never breaking,
all my time and space compressed
in the low pressure of proceedings

And they beat against the sides of my life
like fists against the sides of my life,
and the roads all lay behind me,
so I wrap the wheel around me
and I go out.

Obscure enough for you? Sorry! It's "Five Fathoms" by Ben Watt, from the album Tempermental by Everything But The Girl. If I knew how to upload shit, I would. You can watch the full video here.

Review: Richard Ashcroft's Keys To The World

Richard Ashcroft is not a man of his time. He was born to sing the kind of songs Glen Campbell sang in the 60's - the Jimmy Webb era of "Wichita Lineman." Richard's fans, however, have decided he is a Rock God of the Oasis mold (well, maybe a bit deeper than that) and they won't let The Verve go. But Richard seems to fight against that past. His new CD, Keys To The World, is a half'n'half: equal parts crap and class.

Words Just Get In The Way falls into the latter category. This is the track that convinced me he needs to eventually hook up with Webb the way he hooked up with Brian Wilson on his last CD, the generally torpid Human Conditions. It's a great mix of twang and strings, with a wonderful country melody which makes his dippy lyrics go down easily.

The title track is also a killer, built on an endlessly looping female backing vocalist's wail. The last minute reminds me a bit of Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot" - it might have been nice if Richard has just gone full tilt and read his karmic musings like she did at the end of that classic. Music Is Power is also a classic Ashcroft uptempo - like a sister to "C'mon People" - delivered with his usual new agey spaciness about "music like a flower in the deep sunshine." Right. Whatever. The chorus has nice stabbing strings that punctuate his Vogue-isms like "wild! wild!"

Still, like the last album, Keys is weighted down with somber, meaningful ballads that scream to me "I've done this before and I've done it better." A reviewer recently wrote that Coldplay's last CD not only stole from their previous album, but cannibalized itself by the end. This is true here, with Ashcroft replaying emotions over and over again. We get it Richard: You are passionate, emotional and heartily fucked up! Four years to make this point with these songs? To paraphrase Grace Jones, I've heard those words before, I've heard those strings before.

Ashcroft's reputation is probably more elevated than he deserves (see his reception at Live 8) but I think much of the love comes down to his voice, which is truly one of the most comforting and expressive in music today. Listen to way he does the "ooooooh ooooh" vocal on the chorus of Break The Night With Colour - my God! Fuck me gently, Dickie! This track is a single in England - how I yearn for an American radio station that would play this music. We'd all be better off.

Amusingly, World Keeps Turning is like a Fleetwood Mac backing track sung as a duet between Courtney Love and Bob Dylan. I like it, but it's a bit...wonky.

I almost didn't post this review once I had read The Guardian's bile-filled, two-star slam. But I have my own thesis: On the Ashcroft scale, this music could be much better, but when you place it next to most of the crap that's doled out by the record industry now, it seems warm, familiar and comforting... a trade-off of safe vs. inspiring..

Torr has samples here.

PS: Love the album cover! I will imitate it for you next time I go to London...

January 21, 2006

Milla: "I don't know howwww to live with you!"

This weekend's MP3 must-have is a classic from the 90's by model / movie star / one-hit wonder / Joan Of Arc wannabe Milla! It's an organic, stringy pop wonder called "Gentleman Who Fell" - do you remember it? I suspect some of you DO. This is one of those insanely catchy songs that is very easy to imitate / mock, but I do love it. She really does have a lovely voice and it surprises me she has not sung in the movies, other than one moment in Dazed And Confused. The hilariously Euro Don't Stop The Pop has the link.

I need to learn how to post songs, because this one brings up a whole mix of one-hit-wonder women of the 90's: Nina Gordon ("Tonight And The Rest Of My Life"), Danielle "Archie!!!!" Brisbois ("What If God Fell From The Sky?"), Vanessa Paradis ("Natural High"), Ingrid Chavez ("Elephant Box")... I could go on.

my cat is snoring very loudly as I type this.

PS: If you have note heard much Sufjan Stevens yet, SixEyes has a massive MP3 / lyrics post. It's sort of like a January Clearance Sale!

Saturday morning: can't sleep.

I don't have a list of links because I am too lazy. Like a NetGenner (notice I say like), I spend too much time online and read about...1345... blogs? I would like to highlight one music blog that I have become obsessed with: Tremble Clef. This blog manages to do what most do not: write original thoughts on music (easier said than done - how many times do I give up and say "brilliant"?!) and it mixes that with little bits of real life. You know, I did the laundry and it reminded me so much of Nick Kamen and here is why. Or maybe better than that: read his post about the air in his apartment. Yes, I know what I'm saying is a web manifestation of my you are so fabulous schtick. Who cares? I am enthusiastic!

And while we're on it: my use of the word troll is not a putdown. It is a term of endearment I co-opted during my obsession with Patti LaBelle's TV show. I say this because I needed to, apparently.

I'm feeling a wee decline in quality on this blog; it used to be better. I've been distracted with a cold, work, or -you know- actual flesh and blood people. I will try to be a better version of me (song reference!). I cannot tell you how many unfinished posts I have sitting in the cue. So, cumming soon: reviews of Swedish girl pop, Richard Fehking Ashcroft and a tribute to The Chile (as in Destiny's). Throw your hands up at me!

January 20, 2006

Moz 06: "Explosive kegs between my legs”

Like that new pic?

I have been trying my utmost bestest not to post everytime I see new press or details regarding Morrissey's forthcoming CD of Ringleader Of The Tormentors, due April 3. I cannot pass up a link to a transcript NME’s preview of the record, courtesy of Morrissey-solo, the best fan site. Fans who've attended lsitening events in carious cities seem divided. Some love it and some liken it to the much reviled Southpaw Grammar. I doubt that is the case. A few things it does appear to be: much more personal than ever before, more adventurous musically and featuring some of Morrissey's best vocals, apparently in his upper register. I. cannot. wait.

I suspect this is the first of many posts about this CD.

UPDATE: The image above is used on the CD cover.

January 18, 2006

When Madonner met Pet Shop Boys

I don't wanna hear, I don't wanna know...

Pet Shops Boys have remixed Madonna's "Sorry" and it's a stonker. This will storm the charts, mark my words. It's faithful the album track, but adds lots of PSBisms, including Neil Tennant's voice and a nice 80's cowbell! Get an MP3 at Rich Girls Are Weeping.

January 17, 2006

Today's MP3 picks

Some good songs online right now:

The wonderfully named "For The Price of A Cup Of Tea" from the new album by Belle & Sebastian is at Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good.

Torr has a nice song from the aforementioned Delays CD. This one is called "Take Your Heart From Your Sleeve" and kind of sounds like Keane.

Finally, indie pop tarts should take note that Filles Sourires has the collaboration between Blur and Françoise Hardy - the excellent "To The End"

Act fast on all these tracks!

January 16, 2006

Live review: Imogen Heap, Towson MD, January 15, 2006

UPDATE: Consumption Junction filmed Immi's ballad version of "Let Go". See it now!

I had no idea
Imogen Heap was touring until I read it on Arjanwrites. Thank God, because I managed to get a ticket at the last minute for this show that was, voila!, on a Sunday night before a holiday. And this is what happened...

Immi's first song of the night, Just for Now, made two things clear: 1) that she would be able to pull off a show on her own and 2) that her voice is just as good live - it's a highwire act of octaves that you keep thinking will go out of control, but it never does. In fact, she seems more comfortable in her highest range, which maybe only your dog can truly hear. Anyway, Just For Now was revamped as a lovely keyboard ballad with slight changes to the melody. Beautiful. She even did the sniff sniff thing for the "something is burning" part of the song. I hope she does some sort of itunes exclusive live set so I can get this reversion on my iPod.
Her next song was Goodnight And Go (
my fave song of 2005) and that started with a hilarious stray sample she had used earlier for some radio thing - all the sudden there were these wailing Immis and she jumped back and said "Oh no!" before starting the song over. The glitches during the show were amusing and she handled them with aplomb. During Loose Ends she forgot her lyrics several times and the audience fed them to her. She didn't let that lapse scare her - I have seen performers forget one song and then pretty much lose it for the rest of the show.

She introduced her "band" early in the show, with the same effect as person who lives in an efficiency taking you an apartment "tour." She, like opening act Zoe Keating explained a lot of the technology: her parrot (echo), her "Many Me's" which layered her voice to sound as if there were many Immi's, her pounding bass, her laptop, etc. She had on vocoder-type thing that allowed her to duplicate the album sound of her beautiful, bold single Hide And Seek which has no instruments other than her voice, layered and processed.

Imogen's stage persona is kind of Crazy English Chick, especially with her Edward Scissorhands hair, with little stuff popping out of it. She chats with the audience a lot and mumbles and makes faces - it's endearingly geeky, especially considering how powerful her songs are. I'd also never noticed how English she sounds when she's singing - that's a big component of her vocal style, because so many artists lose their accents when singing.

It seemed like many of the songs were turned into ballads for this show. I guess I would have liked to hear her use more of the beats and throbbing bass she clearly had in her arsenal. Frou Frou's Let Go worked really well as a ballad and, of course, made all the teenyboppers scream. Clear The Area, however, was done on this odd little wooden box (very Bjorkian) and I think that would have benefited from a more danceable approach.

Her opening act, the aforementioned Zoe Keating (see below), joined her to play cello on several songs, including what I would say were the two big epics of the show, the new Narnia song I Can't Take It In and Have You Got It In You - the latter with an extended opening that built and built in intensity. Another highlight was a lovely version of Frou Frou's It's Good To Be In Love which really brought out the lyrics to that song.

She gave a cute explanation of how one song (pretty lullaby called Sleep) was her quote-unquote "last song" of the evening and then she would "pretend to leave" and we would cheer and she would come back out for a few more. Her closer was The Moment I Said It a song which seemed to reserved the hardest, most mountain-climbing vocals for the final song. Beautiful, especially with the bye bye bye bye ending.

I suspect Imogen will be back again for this CD - the tour is sold out with almost no press and I think she could probably fill 9:30 or the Black Cat in DC. The Reicher Theatre in Towson, by the way, is a shit venue. The sound was okay, but it was really uncomfortable and hard for most people to see. I will do a separate post on the audience because it ties in with something I am working on for work. Suffice it to say, NetGen kids need to learn how to fucking pay attention and absorb a performance, not tinker with technology throughout the show.

Zoe Keating: A musical Sydney Bristow?

Imogen's opening act was a cellist named Zoe Keating who literally builds her songs as she goes. She samples herself and then does all sorts of stuff, using a foot peddle and a mixer thing, with the samples WHILE SHE'S STILL PLAYING, so that it sounds like there is a band of herself. Immi did some of this as well. I've never seen that and it is amazing! Keating was distractingly beautiful, but is a true Doppelganger for Jennifer Garner in her Sydney Bristow gear. Shockingly so. Click to enlarge the picture above.

January 14, 2006

2006: Delays return

It took them long enough. Delays are finally releasing their second CD, titled You See Colours, on March 6 in the UK. The album is preceded by the AWESOME single Valentine (yes, due out mid-February), a track under heavy "debate" on fan boards. One guy said it sounds like a Rachel Stevens tune and, indeed, the opening moments are very disco/Soft Cell, with falsetto vocals and Morodor disco beat. The track immediately begins to build on itself and gets a harder edged with a sort of Duran/ New Order/Ultravox quality until it goes all choral and then opens back up into an entirely alternate melody! But wait, there's more! Valentine is about Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans (though not too deep):

I can see a hurricane tonight
It keeps me from my Valentine
A very modern machine
(woo woo!) is coming for me

I do not have a link for it (update: but the intrepid Torr does!). Other songs on the record include: This Town's Religion - likened by fans to Love Comes Tumbling by U2, Hideaway and the string-laden Cavalry.

I should say this band is noted for sounding different on every track - my favorite on their debut, Faded Seaside Glamour, was the chiming and beautiful Wanderlust, a song that owed a gorgeous debt to Cocteau Twins. Other tracks on that same CD sounded like REM and Beach Boys (or maybe that was REM doing the Beach Boys), so you just never know what you'll get with Delays. This album sounds like they're coming into their own with a more unique sound.

Rumour has it the single will include a Trevor Horn remix of Valentine - we'll dream of that.

Leaving land's end...

Patrick Wolf will be back this year with a new album called The Magic Position on his new label Loog/Polydor. In a Pitchfork interview, Patrick describes his musical state of mind:

"I have banned myself from Cornwall, lycanthropy, folk, laptops, lo-fidelity...went through an obsession with disco string arrangements. Listened to a lot of grime pirate radio stations. I also bought a clavichord and piano and am now recording everything in 24bit."

The other bit of news is that Patrick is straight! Good Lord. Teens these days are muchly confusing.

Photo courtesy of Gregory Nolan

January 13, 2006

Takes one to know one?

I cannot believe that too-thin Nick Valensi of The Strokes is dating Amanda de Cadenet (that name needs to be said aloud in the voice of Bubble from AbFab)! Does he not realize she will soon dump his ass for the next young hottie rocker? I mean, she is so old that she is the ex-wife of John Taylor!

Anyway, the point of this post is to direct you to the full text of the recent Strokes cover story in New York Magazine. An excellent piece by ex-druggie author/flash man Jay McInerney. This article confirms what one might expect: that Julian Casablancas is a major fuckstain! Anyway, read all of it, because it gets good at the end when Jay has a showdown with Julian.
Did you hear the Invisible Man and the Invisible Woman got married? Yeah, they had a child, but he wasn't much to look at.

Album Cover O' The Week

I don't much care for this band, another hot NY band I don't give a shit about, BUT I do like their CD cover. Maybe they should have called themselves We Are Kittens?

Mixtape: Chantel Claret?!

Shake Your Fist has an MP3 of The Bangles excellent mid-80's cover of Big Star's "September Gurls" - that CD this is taken from, Different Light, is one of the best indie-pop/pop-pop CDs of the 80's and deserves a remaster. Shake Your Fist isn't as taken with the cover as I am/was. He points out that Moistworks recently posted their cover of "Hazy Shade Of Winter" - from Less Than Zero and a song of my frosh year of college.

My Old Kentucky Blog has another Morningwood song called "Take Off Your Clothes" - this one is a direct merging of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spririt" and Berlin's "Sex" but sung by The Widow Love. I should note that Morningwood's album is indeed harder sounding than their song "Nth Degree" - Chantel Claret (cough cough!) has two voices: one a babydoll pop voice and the other, a C-Lo imitation voice. You can really hear this in their track "Jetsetter" which is also on the link above. This group - also from fucking NYC - is much maligned for obvious reasons, but that doesn't really mean they are crap.

Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good has a brilliant 2004 Rilo Kiley song called "Portions For Foxes" - it's got a terrfic lyric. Check that out too.

January 12, 2006

Feels like real leather.

Their next single, the one that sounds like Marlene Dietrich at Sound Factory. Actually my fave right now is "Slide In." The album CD comes out in about 6 weeks in America. You MUST get it trolls! No new bsides on this single though. Bummer.

Music online today

Lost In The Eighties' post about Feargal Sharkey's lovely 80's hot "A Good Heart" - written by Maria McKee. That was a good album - somebody needs to cover this song and the biting "You little Thief" (b/c we need a song that has "you little whorrrrrrre" in ther chorus.)

William Orbit has teamed up with Sugababes for a new track called "Spiral" - this is not on their new album, but it will be on his. Not sure who the male voice is. It's pretty good, though he has not changed his style at all since producing Madonna's Ray Of Light. This is not free, but you can get it on itunes.

Arjan focuses on the latest (and I mean latest) 80's tribute band Clear Static and their song "Make-up Sex" - it's cute and insignificant. He also has a good post on the excellent Ferry Corsten dance hit "Fire" that is built entirely on Duran Duran's genius non-hit "Serious." (Vinny / Krissy pay attention to Arjan this week!)

We knew something wasn't quite right.

Okay this image made an appearance on my blog once before, but Mimi was tucking then! We laughed for quite awhile about this picture in my apartment last night.

The Constipation of Mimi?

click to enlarge (heh heh)

Both pics courtesy of the PrincessWongieDiaries

Off-topic: Bday for Butterstick

Did you know that Monday was Tai Shan's 6-month birthday? He is blowing my mind. Still have not been to see him though. Check out this great panda blog called Pandafix.

January 11, 2006

These are not the best of times

Billy Joel fags unite! Jefitoblog has a post about Billy's later works. It includes an MP3 of the live version of one of my all-time favorite songs, "Summer Highland Falls." I am directly linking to the MP3 because, hey, Jefito doesn't own it any more than I do. Act fast - and be aware that Jefitoblog ROCKS. You should bookmark - he always has smart stuff to say in his artists guides.

Moondust will cover you

The cornucopic (is that a word? It is now!) Kofi's Hat has a post with an MP3 of Pet Shop Boys remix of David Bowie's "Hallo Spaceboy." This is kind of rare and more than fabulous, so act fast!

Sexy motherfucker shakin' that ass

More new Madge pics here. Can I just take this moment to say I had a brilliant meltdown on the way to work while listening to Madonna's "I Love New York" - words aside, that track is one of the best she has ever done. It is chill inducing. I think my moment was aided by my new orange and gray shoes (thanks M).

January 10, 2006

Downloadable music

M3 Online has some amazing Mp3 posts for their Best of 2005 lists. Many of these tracks showed up on my Best Of list - or on my huge list of essential songs (see 12/17). If you want to hear these, act fast!

Top 1-25 (link) includes:

20. Sufjan Stevens "Predatory Wasp" - gorgeous and complex. One of my faves on that CD.

14. Sia "Breathe Me" - the amazing song from Six Feet Under

13 Imogen Heap "Hide And Seek" - all vocals, processed. Used on The OC, strangely.

09. Jose Gonzalez "Crosses" - the one that sounds like Kings Of Convenience. His best track.

08. Sufjan Stevens "Casimir Pulaski Day" - SAD SONG - showstopper live.

05. Sufjan Stevens "Chicago" - acoustic KCRW version!

Top 65-26 includes:

61. Robyn "Be Mine!" - great pop music for the gym.

51. Ladytron "Destroy Everything You Touch" - PrinceYumYum recommends this.

27. Death Cab For Cutie "Marching Bands Of Manhattan" - brilliant lyrics - great singalong chorus that fits together like a puzzle.

2006: Introducing Corinne Bailey Rae

You may be looking at a major new star, though no one ever agrees with me. The world is littered with artists I annointed as The Next Big Thing - Phil Campbell, The Honeymoon, Patrick Wolf - talented people nobody else gave a damn about or missed in the sea of shit that the industry offers us. Still, Corinne Bailey Rae has a beautiful voice that blends the Jones's (Rickie Lee and Norah) with something classic like Billie Holiday, clean and sober. Her songs seem to have been born, fully formed, as standards, jazzy, poppy and tinkly. Yes, it is music for the Starbucks set, but hey, I drink Starbucks.

The self-titled album is not due until March 6, but I really like what I've heard from her recent KCRW performance. "Like A Star" and "Put Your Records On" are both terrific. Read and hear more on her website and consider buying her CD. I am sure there'll be a lot more buzz on her in the coming weeks... stay tuned! And yes, she's a Brit!

Thanks to The Smudge of Ashen Fluff for turning me onto Corinne. I'm basically co-opting their post!

January 9, 2006

Because you care so very much: My cold has now become a deep cough/cold, but I am back out into the world as of today, Monday! I hope to be back to normal by the weekend. In the meantime...

I love the new Beth Orton CD cover. Pity the album sucks according to Torr and based on the songs I have heard.

2006: The Return of PSB

Popjustice recently posted the first review of the new Pet Shop Boys CD, Fundamental. The first single is called "Minimal" and also due out in March / April. Remember that PSB also remixed and performed on the new Madonna single, "Sorry."

The tracklist for Fundamental:

1. God Willing
2. Minimal
3. The Sodom & Gomorrah Show
4. I'm With Stupid
5. Psychological
6. I Made My Excuses And Left
7. Integral
8. Numb
9. Luna Park
10. Casanova Hell
11. Twentieth Century
12. Indefinite Leave To Remain


M3 Online (aka Good Weather For Air Strikes) posts a clever remix of Sufjan's 2005 gem "Chicago". Find it on this list.

January 7, 2006

Madonner update

How long has it been since I had a Madonner post? A few weeks, hmmm? A Best Truth blog has the royal bitch's Immaculate Collection online for free download. If you don't own it - and what planet do you come from? - you need "Justify My Love" now. I wanna hold your hand in Rome, trolls.

Meanwhile, Madonna's new single is "Sorry"- with a remix by Pet Shop Boys that will feature vocals by Neil Tennant. Pardon my sploob! She's also on the cover of Elle this month, but I'd rawther look at these old photos.

And yes, I am still fucking sick!

January 5, 2006

So now I am sick and bored! I have started posting again (see below).

I would also like to say that I cannot believe I ignored Antony and The Johnsons on my Best Of song lists. What a fuckstain I am! I will post on him again soon.

Off topic: Tonight I (unwisely?) decided to make pancakes. Not great for a sick person, but I wanted comfort food. I got out the Bisquik, thought to myself, "This is a little old. Will these suck?" and proceeded to mix it with an egg and some milk. While I was getting out the skillet, like 15 teensy bugs swam to the surface of the batter! They had been living in the old Bisquik! Jesus! How disgusting! I freaked and threw out half of the shit in that cupboard. Instead I had Sirloin Burger soup (another comfort food from youth).

2006: Jose Gonzalez

I love that CD cover above. It's by Jose Gonzalez, a new singer songwriter from Norway. [I know, don't ask me about his name.] In my 2005 Superlatives I made a snarky comment about how Jose is a ripoff of Kings Of Convenience. He is, but I still like him. Check out his track "Stay In The Shade" on the BBC Collective - they liken him to Nick Drake, which is fair. The CD is called Veneer and my favorite track (so far) is "Crosses" - hear that one on his myspace site too. This song really lingers with me and is a perfect song for the dark days of winter. It's also a great song for bedtime.

Side note: I am also intrigued by his choice of covers, including a radical revamp of Kylie Minogue's old SAW hit "Hand On Your Heart" - the b-side of his "Stay In The Shade" EP. Hear the track at Said The Gramophone (scroll to Dec 15).

January 4, 2006


Am taking a break due to...

1) no news
2) laziness
3) a cold!

Be back soon....

January 2, 2006

Free Music from a Slut

Please note that The Music Slut has a post today with Madonna's "Get Together," Kate Bush's amazing "Sunset" and Girls Aloud's slammer "Biology." Act fast to get the MP3's.

And... shhhhh... it's for evaluation purposes of course!
I swear I will eventually review Kate's album. In the meantime...

January 1, 2006


As you know, I did my own Best Of lists this year, but I was amused by how many bloggers just had a shuffle of the same records (Sufjan, Wolf Parade, Bloc Party, etc) with very little in the way of surprises or individuality. That's alternative for ya! Stylus Magazine, however, did a Top Fifty that acknowledged my beloveds Rachel Stevens (at #22) and Patrick Wolf (at #18).

I went to bed at 10:00 PM last night! I slept right through "Office Space" on the DVD. I am sorry I missed Mariah's FAT ASS on TV- hope to see a clip of that.

Only two days left of vacation...