May 31, 2006

Fuck it. I am doing my own promotion.

Sometimes, when someone else can't do it right, you just have to do it for yourself.

Four balls-out amazing Goldfrapp remixes, all from's fan remix competitions (here and here).Most are better than the professional mixes. I give my utmost praise to these 2 remixers. I'd love to hear more of their work. This reminds me of the legendary Bjork Remix Web.

Update: New interview with Will on Goldfrapp Message Board (scroll down a bit)

1] Ride A White Horse (Disco Chic Mix) expired
Could've been called Studio 54 Mix because this one whips up a Chic meets Sister Sledge meets Grace Jones and Andy Warhol cocktail. LOVE it.
Mixer: Alec Negus

2] Satin Chic (Love In The Club Mix) expired
Cute little Star Wars R2Dr blips with a sort of cheaptastic Morodor synth toggling in the background. Loive the Europoptrash nonny nee nana bits.
Mixer: Alec Negus

3] Ride A White Horse (Dens54 Rodeo In G-Minor Remix)
Starts with new agey synths/keyboard, but pulls it together with a solid mix that may even incorporates a Mirwais/Gap Band influence. Gets sort of martial in the final 2:30 minutes.
Dens54 (tons of mixes)

4] Satic Chic (Hotlips Mix) expired
What happens when Alison shimmies into Dr. Who's Tardis and ends up in a speakeasy, forced to do what she does the best. I love hearing what other fans find in these songs.
Mixer: Alec Negus

Thank you to Dens54 and Alec.


Dixie Chicks first week sales far exceeded projections: 526,000 CDs sold!

Eat shit, Toby Keith.

May 30, 2006

Heart beating so fast, as you take my shirt off

Today it went to 95 degrees! Focking insane! To celebrate, I played my favorite new song over and over, one that goes well with hot weather in a big city. HARD Fi's disco rock track Hard To Beat. Watch the video .

Tonight! Rescue Me

One of my favorite shows comes back on TV for its third season tonight: Rescue Me. One of the best casts on TV, totally ignored by the Emmys and Golden Globes. They'll notice it the year it starts to suck. FX, tonight at 10 pm. Here is a funny Internet-only promo they did - 13 mins. total

Part 1:

Part 2:

May 29, 2006

A post for Krissy...

My parents seem to be eliminating all evidence of me from their home. At my Dad's birthday they gave me a pile of memorabilia, including this handwritten poem, circa 197x...

My Dog
by xolondon

My dog's name is Hather.
She is a girl.
I like dogs.
My dog is black.
She is a scdish tarryere.
She is vary good!
I love her.
Her birthday is in the semmer.
The end.

see a picture of the author and his subject taken around the same time this was written

PSB: A once-in-a-lifetime production.

Friday I received my amazing Pet Shop Boys' Fundamental package in the mail, just in time for the holiday weekend. I grabbed Fundamentalism (the hot orange one) and took it with me in the car when I drove out to my father's birthday party. I was cruising along in a fucking intense rainstorm with all those chilled out remixes of the new tracks turned up very loud in my car. Lovely.

Fundamental is probably the best album of 2006. It's going to be hard to top, though I hope someone tries. I've started noticing how the album works as a whole unit, with political themes that don't bang you over the head, but are pretty clear. Cool as a cucumber, Neil Tennant.

Twentieth Century, for instance, is the sleeper gem on the album, with it's "sometimes the solution is worse than problem" refrain. I can't help but think of Iraq, but it could easily be about two lovers. Casanova In Hell has another witty lyric about how Casanova's erection is his legacy [if I don't have a proper life, I'll make mine my legacy too]. The music mixes OTT lyrics with Human League-ish ooooh ooooh oohs and strings that rise and fall like a... cock! In contrast, the incredibly sad Numb has moments of pure beauty, especially in the opening (:27 secs) and in the middle eight (2:47), when he sings “take away all madness.” The final 50 seconds are a melancholy comedown that gives me goosebumps.

Trevor Horn's production is immaculate (see what I did there?!). My only complaints: Luna Park sounds like a leftover from Release and doesn't go anywhere. When I loaded I Made My Excuses and Left to iTunes, I cut off the intro and it's much better. You can clip the first 1:48 of it and you're left with an affecting 3 minute ballad.

You've seen my comments on Minimal, Integral and The Sodom And Gomorrah Show. Expect Fugitive too, which I believe would have been an ideal album opener, rather than being relegated to the bonus disc. Be sure to read Tremble Clef's
prospectus-like review of the album, spread out over several May days, and also Euphoric for all the news and links. I love that site and its nice webmaster (shout out).

In the meantime, the Brits had the luxury of a Pet Shop Boys concert on TV this weekend, soon to be released as an album. If you think that sounds dull, listen to how amazing they sound live. This is one of my Top Ten PSB songs - the lyrics are terrific...

"You're a devil, now an angel / Suddenly subtle, suddenly silent as a monk /
You only tell me you love me when you're drunk"


May 28, 2006

In yet another brilliant boner (!) from Mute, Goldfrapp's video for "Fly Me Away" will never be seen. It has been cancelled! All we're left with is these 19 seconds...

Really, what a spectacularly asstastic record label they have.

May 27, 2006

80's flashback: The Style Council

Doesn't it seem like there must be a version where Paul's hand slides into his pants? They must've been watching Another Country before they did this video... The Long Hot Summer. Likewise, those Jam fans must've been shitting bricks over their icon!

S&G for your complete instruction...

Like any great short story, PSB's The Sodom And Gomorrah Show begins with a great line: "I lived a quiet a life / A stranger to champagne." Though I could do without the circus barker intro, this song is the perfect summer pop single that will never be. Neil Tennant wanted it to be a single, but his label said hell would freeze over before they put out a radio track with a title like that. "It's not about having anal sex," laughed Neil in the April Word magazine.

"S&G" is perhaps the most chugging, guitar based song on the record, but it retains its pop bona fides due to a killer melody and lots of "high end" information for the ear, little blips and other things to get excited about:

  1. The chant of the chorus: Sun! Sex! Sin! Divine Intervention! Death and Destruction!
  2. The song has a backroom sex implication to it, but joyously so: "I did it and I don't regret the day..." It's not exactly a cautionary tale, but the death and destruction does remind one that nothing is forever or without price.
  3. I love how the girl chorus gaily chants the Sun Sex hook in the background at the bridge. Very sweet.
  4. The swirly synth bits, first heard at about :35, are very carnival-esque aren't they. The message to me? Get your ass down to Rio, get some drinks, get some dick/pussy/both and get a life.

I think many of us have either been in this situaton or watched it from afar: someone who lives very carefully, shelters themselves properly from anything too intense or crazy. Then, something/ someone trips the wire, they're sprung free and all fucking hell breaks loose - there's a sexy beast inside. Growls are heard, scratches appear on backs.

Unnecessary Post #560: Girls Aloud

Girls Aloud have been on terrrr (as they say) in Australia and I have only just started seeing them on video and in interviews on YouTube. Below are two clips. The first is an inteview on Davina's show this past March (I could listen to Nadine Coyle talk all day! Werrr is she from?)

The second video is what Davina refers to in the interview - Nadine singing Sting's Fields Of Gold. If she'd done that on American Idol they would have loved her. Am I right, ye Briddish, that it seems like Cheryl and Nadine are the only ones who really have solo potential?

A red alert that there is an amazing new Madonna track circulating: a studio version of "Erotica/ You Thrill Me" - basically a new song - that is as good as much of Confessions. I cannot post it because her minions will take my balls... and that would lessen my erotic thrill. If you hear it, it gets positively creamy at minute 3. Here are some of the passionate new words... hear this Guy Ritchie?

You are who you are
And I wouldn't want to change a thing
In spite of all the pain that love can bring
Tell me, what can I do?
I'm so in love with you

What I plan to do with MY weekend

And a sweet (and truly extraordinary) song to go with it...

May 26, 2006

You must learn about Nick Heyward!

Nick Heyward made his name with but two international hit singles in the early 80's (yes D'luv!): Love Plus One and Favourite Shirt (Boy Meets Girl) - both by his group Haircut 100. Nick was/is from the school of perfect British pop music. Jaunty melodies, witty lyrics, strings. His looks were part of the appeal, as if he'd tumbled straight out an English public school, a blond choirboy, with a love for the Beatles and a desire to be corrupted by an English rose.

Nick was born in 1961 on Kent, England. Haircut 100 was formed in 1980 but only lasted a few albums, though you'd never know that, given the numerous Greatest Hits CDs. This band was a part of the booming 80's pop scene in London - why oh why wasn't I there? Nick carried on a worthy, if not terribly lucrative, solo career from about 1983 until around 1997. Here then are five essential solo tracks, up for 7 days/10 downloads, all are brilliant: note - all MP3s were up for a short time and are now expired. Sorry!

Whistle Down The Wind 1983
The first Nick solo single, this was far more ambitious than anything he ever did with Haircut. Loved this when it came out (ooh that dates me!) - I actually had a 12' single, which had a nice orchestral instrumental. I like how he doesn't sing the title of the song until the final vamp, which leads to a gorgeous last 5 seconds with the orchestra. One serious oddity: I've always thought the bass sounded kind of... farty. Am I right? It farts throughout the verses and 2:14 sounds like he really moans one out! I hope that doesn't ruin it for anyone. "Bring me back my rose I gave away... in a picture, a freckle and famous feature." buy North Of A Miracle

The World
My favorite Nick Heyward song, purchased on CD in 1995, on my first trip to England. It's from an album called Tangled that is worth far more than the couple of pounds it costs on
AmazonUK Marketplace. There's something sort of minor-chordish and subversive about this song...the bass lends it an undercurrent of worry. "Close your eyes and think of England." buy the single

Kite 1992
Covered by other artists including Ivy, this song is the definition of Beatles-inspired pop music. A lost classic, it's 3 minutes of pure bliss, put together like an intricate puzzle. buy From Monday To Sunday

London 1995
Chamberpop from Tangled; the wordplay on this is brilliant. Can you spot the song references thoughout? "At midnight, let's all meet / There's A Bomb in Wardour Street..." Love the notes matched by the bells at the end (down-down-down). This was actually the song I first listened to when I wanted to name this blog. I had all sorts of possibilities: London's Gone To Sleep, London's Mine, etc. Nick Heyward and Supergrass tunes were my potential name sources, none of which I ended up using. buy Tangled

Traffic On Fleet Street 1988
I like any song that namechecks the streets of London. This is actually a bedtime song for me, it's so airy and smooth. buy I Love You Avenue

Do you ever wonder which of today's artists will be doing reunion tours in 2020? Who will be kicking around doing music after all that time and who will be retired to the English countryside, where they will grow plump and have rose-cheeked children? Or will they do both?

May 25, 2006

Roman holiday?

Samples of the new Morrissey b-sides, due June 5:


"A Song From Under The Floorboards"

"If You Don't Like Me, Don't Look at Me"

The real heroine of blonde on blonde

Cate Blanchett, 2006

Bob Dylan, 2006

I see that Cate Blanchett is playing Bob Dylan in a movie. But of course! Those two are practically "separated at birth." My roommate's first comment upon hearing this: "Isn't she a little tall to play him?"

Madonna: I have to change

Click on the (new) picture above to see the latest trailer for the DVD of I'm Going To Tell You A Secret. For those of you who don't want to see this movie, you can now watch it in 2 minutes!

OH MA GAWWW. Are the End Days upon us?

May 24, 2006

I just received an email asking me to join a myspace group called I Love Weed! what?

Dixie Chicks nail it.

I am obsessed with the lead track, The Long Way Home, from the new Dixie Chicks album. What idiot chose Not Ready To Make Nice (good song, but it alienates people) and Everybody Knows over this one for a single? It is very much a personal, yet accesible, manifesto... and one that I relate to:

My friends from high school
Married their high school boyfriends
Moved into houses in the same ZIP codes
Where their parents live
But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow...

The thing that's honest about this lyric is that in the second verse Natalie says she couldn't do what the people she met along the way told her to do either. She couldn't trade one set of rules for another. The middle eight is excellent:

Well, I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself
It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself
Guess I could have made it easier on myself

I have a sense that if you are the type to have a blog, then it's not just that you have something to say - most people do! - it's that you want someone to listen to what you are saying. I have always been this way - always had my nose in everything: "What's going on? Oh? Do you want to know what I think?! Well, this is what I think!" heh heh. I tend to err on the side of talk rather than silence. Often, silence or reserve does the talking better, but usually I open my mouth and then regret the minutiae later. As I have aged, I've literally found myself internally chanting, "Do not speak now, do not start, do not speak now..." in certain situations.

I hope the record company has the good sense to release The Long Way Home as a single - it is upbeat, proud and has amazing harmonies. You can hear it now as the first song on the AOL stream of the CD. The first several songs are excellent. Remember that streaming audio always makes songs sound tinny and lacking in body.

UPDATE: Jefitoblog posts the song I mention above!

May 23, 2006

Jag talar bara litet svenska, trolls!

Before I rush out to babysit little Bluebell Madonna Halliwell, I thought I'd comment on some new pop going around the blogs. It will be interesting to see how all the new synth duos shake down over time. Most of these bands are indie and need better production (if you've heard The Upper Room demos, you'll know what I mean- the final versions are so much better). What's GREAT is how easy it is to create your own music in your bedroom in Oslo! Everybody's doing it, why can't I? While it may be unfair to lump them all together, some clever kid even started a thread on PopJustice about all these duos: Boy Duo Ejaculation Reference List

Homoeclectic covers two of them: LoFi Fink and Le Sport. Both duos have their special qualities, though I think Dangerous Muse has more money! Try LoFi Fink's "City", which sounds like PSB and Le Sport's "It's Not The End" (MP3) which sounds like New Order.

Here is a bonus Le Sport track, a fun cover of Wham's chestnut "Last Christmas" (thanks
Tremble Clef!) I think I am leaning to Le Sport, but we'll see...

Meanwhile, the lone chick popette is Nelly Furtado, who I have not paid attention to since 1999, when she was falling out of a tree, you know, like a bird. Sparkpop has her new b-side "Undercover," which I would consider single worthy if it weren't for the fact it is a total Gwen Stefani ripoff. I mean, shockingly so. I like it anyway.

Speaking of 80's pop, did ya'll notice that Jody Watley of all people, who is now like a nightmusic indie queen, has just released a very smooth version of Madonna's "Borderline"?

PS: For all those enamored by the Swede Synthpop this week, please note that Jay Jay Johanson is did it first and better than all these cute kids. Check out the 2005 MP3 for...

"The Last Of The Boys To Know"

Soft Cell: Memorabilia

Hey Varant this one is for you!

May 22, 2006

If you don't want to know, don't look!

The opening 3 minutes of Madonna's show. This is a spoiler bitches! Maybe I should have paid for better seats?

FIGHT the power!

Stream the new Dixie Chicks album, touted as smooth California rock, though it doesn't seem all that different to me?! Fuck George Bush... love Natalie Maines!

May 21, 2006

Last week's mood is over (but this was it...)

And here is this week's mood!

Must be seen to be believed...

Jordan: One lucite heel in Brighton, one in London, and the world in between.

My roommate and I look at (read is pushing it) Heat magazine each week. This is like a British version of Us Weekly, though that rag didn't become what it is until Bonnie Fuller stole the whole concept from Heat. One of my favorite characters in Heat (oh, is she real?) is Jordan, the Glamour Model and National Slut of England. This chick never ceases to amaze with her crazy, camel-toed lurex outfits, balloon tits, and endless parade of ill-chosen lovers, many barely legal.

Jordan, ne Katie Price, is a starmaking combo of publicity/actual whore and Woman Who Makes Bad Choices. It's irresistible to a British public now bored with the less-than-lipsmacking antics of the Royals. I mean, how long ago was it that Prince Charles said he wanted to be Camilla P-B's tampon? C’mon Chuck, Harry and Wills: give us something to chew on!

Jordan is such a slut that she once broke the cherry of the 17 year old, stuttering runner-up of Pop Idol, Gareth Gates. She became hot pink with rage when lil Gaz discreetly denied the rumour of the affair, so she went to Heat with all the gory deets: how he came too quickly, how he tore his foreskin during their "lovemaking," how he...well, it sort of all stops with the torn foreskin, doesn't it?

My favorite Jordan story was when she dramatically announced she had cancer. ON. HER. FINGER.

Recently, Jordan's shtick has been to portray herself as a saintly, sacrificing mother to her sickly obese, blind, ADD-ridden son Harvey (whose father is apparently a horse-hung footballer – you can’t make this shit up). She has a new baby called Junior, with her Eurotrash fat dancer husband Peter Andre, an aging one-semi-hit-wonder she met on a reality show. But no one gives a shit about that baby.

This week XO's Middle Eight can exclusively reveal on this website Xolondon's shocking secret! He... I... love working out to Jordan's autotuned poptrash epic, "Not Just Anybody." The shame! The loss of all credibility! I swear on the grave of Paula Yates that this song is better than much of the pop pap put out these days (pardon my alliteration, bitches). I won't belabor the point; just listen for yourself and take note of the utter balls-out fabulous TV performance Jordan did for this song at like 8 months pregnant...

Jordan "Not Just Anybody" MP3
Jordan "Not Just Anybody"
You Tube video

A special bonus for all Heat readers stuck up there on the torn foreskin story:

Gareth Gates "Anyone Of Us" MP3

this post better score me megapoints with my British readers, because no one will ever believe me again when I wax rhapsodic on fucking Gillian Welch!

Jordan: Step into my gracious drawing room

Jordan is a regular in all Brit pop culture mages, including Hello and OK. Note that she has an AWESOME mypace page! You should see what her mypace FRIENDS look like! That's Jordan above, looking a bit brown, with troubled Harvey.

May 18, 2006

Review: Skye Edwards' Mind How You Go

I spent my off-moments today on PopJustice arguing with fuckers about the merits of Skye Edwards' first solo record, Mind How You Go. Perhaps you have noticed my c*nty tone the last few days? I pulled a muscle last week and it has me bitched out. I'm in a mood where if my hair is in my face, which it always is, I will go off! Peaches'n'cream, yes? This album is either an antidote to that state of mind or a reflection of it. It begs for a hammock, a shady tree and a glass of Sangria.

Honestly, I do not want everyone to share my opinion - well, I do! - it's that I don't have any tolerance for fools who start thread with, "This record is pure shit. It will fail." I don't trust these kind of posts because: 1) there's almost never any substantive explanation to back up their point and 2) these people always speak as if what they say is Fact. Skye will tank as the sky will be blue. Whatever.

In the message board world, some people post as a way to provoke others and get into arguments, because they're into that; they are into public display. PopJustice is a pure pop board: it tends not to stray too far from the Madonna / Girls Aloud ilk. Skye is more of the Zero 7 style woman - she creates music that some would call Starbucks music. I doubt many kids on that board even know who Gary Wilson (correction Gary Clark, ex-Danny Wilson) or Daniel Lanois are - both men collaborated with Skye on the album.

Tremble Clef turned me onto Skye's beautiful prose-y track about New Orleans called Tell Me All About Your Day and I have been hooked ever since. The voice of Morcheeba for many years, she's put together an album of songs that are not much like Morcheeba's BNH/Portishead hybrids. Produced by man-behind-Madonna's-curtain Patrick Leonard, these tracks are in the same family of music by Frou Frou, Morcheeba, Zero 7, Sia, Mozez, Lamya and Sade.

The problem is that Mind How You Go exists in that space of music that is really hard to describe without it sounding bland.
Read Tremble's piece on the most personal track, the aforementioned Tell Me All About Your Day - it's a testament to how well he writes, because I am at a real loss for what to say about mid-tempo beauties like Stop Complaining and Solitary.

Skye's themes are not extraordinary: relationships - the same emotions I am feeling right now. "I don't know when was the last time that I slept the whole night through / another morning comes around and I'm so tired." The fact is my mood is not really all about a sore shoulder. It's something more than that - it's unexplainable and that's what makes me want to tear my hair out.

So many people go through big events in their lives and I haven't for a while, or maybe I just haven't defined them that way. It doesn't mean I'm not living my life or hiding from it. Sometimes I get, as Skye sings, "twisted up" by other people's pain and I just want to run away from everyone/ everything. As I've aged, I have been known to turn that off like a switch: enough. I can't react anymore and my lack of reaction is as hurtful to them as any lashing out I could ever do.

This review is not about me, but I hope it explains in some small way what I like about Skye's record. Subtlety, empathy, a reality that is not always filled with passion. I urge you to check out the track below; I love the way it subtly builds from disillusionment to acceptance to a glimmer of positivity. All the while, that ticky little drum-n-bass thing clacking in the background. I don't expect or need you to love it, but I do care.

back into the corner, it's time for a quickie...

Not a lot of time this week for posting, but lemme push this out:

Check out
A Plague Of Angels for a new Divine Comedy track called The Light Of Day - it's absolutely gorgeous the vey first time you hear it. Maybe a little chill inducing! I told my friend the song brings to mind the phrase "British summertime" but I can't explain why. If you don't know this group, you have much work to do and his post is a good place to start.

Fans of Esther Ritchie should check out
Michel's Tour Spoiler post today for pics and official video of rehearsals. The tour starts Sunday night in LA and the new W Magazine with Madonna is out now. If you are not going to the tour, but want the book, order it now.

Taylor from American Idol is a piece of shit who looks like he is taking a shit when he sings. Eliot Yamin was robbed. End of story.

M3Online has a great post about Regina Spektor. If you like Tori Amos, Rachel Yamagata or Fiona Apple, you need to listen to Regina. If you don't like those women, but have good taste, you still need to hear Regina. I pick Better and Fidelity as key downloads from his post.

Coming tonight, a post about the debut album of Skye Edwards, late of Morcheeba. MP3 included!

May 16, 2006

Bitty bits

#1: Greetings Euphoric Peoples! Pet Shop Boys posts are here and here and here ("Minimal" review) and here ("Integral" review)...

#2: I predict the creamy smooth Elliot (always my fave) vs. the diarrhea-inducing Taylor for the AI finals. oops, I said that before La McPhee's OTR performance.... hmmm..that changes everything!

2#a: Spoiler: Wanna know who will win American Idol? This person has been number one every single week in the votes, according to the very accurate Dial Idol.

#3 Bobby Caldwell
What You Won't Do For Love

Calling Alexis Strum, and other news

XOLONDON: [ring ring ring] Alexis? La Strum? This is Xolondon calling. Yes, it's really me. What? really, I'm just like you...I'd fill my own gas tank if I had a car. Anyhoo, I am calling to ask when the fuck your album, Cocoon, is going to be out? When will you update your site and give me some clues about your career? What? excuses! Please bitch! You are talented and fucking beautiful, so where is your album? Did the butterfly die? Maybe you should just set the visuals of that video to a better single? ...[sigh] ...what? no, I am not crying. [click. dial tone.]

In other potentially not-fake news...

Have you checked out the Guardian Readers Recommend? A theme is chosen and readers write in with songs to match that theme. I hope flash drives drop in price so they can be the new mode of delivering mix tapes.

Public note to Babs Nelson: I tried to put the Giles quote about libraries on my work blog and I had to take it down as the powers that be thought no one would get it.

Jefitoblog has started doing a Pet Shop Boys career post, so you should check that out. Meanwhile, Tremble Clef is reviewing Fundamental over several posts, giving it the scholarly ear. I totally disagree with Edward at Enthusiastic But Mediocre that this record is lesser to BWO. Not close, no way baybay!

My favorite ex-Sugababe, Mutya Buena, has a myspace page where she is mysteriously popping up demos every other day. Strange. Mutya, save the stuff for release on a proper record this fall, please. I will buy your shit, I promise. I love you Mutya Buena.

Madison Park, I have not forgotten you. Stay tuned... and dancepop trolls should check out Arjan's post on their upcoming CD.

Guilty admission: I sold the new Josh Rouse record today. I kept it for a few months out of loyalty, but then I burned it and am selling the disc. I guess it's hard to maintain quality at the speed with which Jeff has been releasing (essentially an album of 10 songs each year). The new one is sadly lacking in all aspects. I would not mind the lack of production if it had any actual tunes. There is one lovely though, the breezily erotic It Looks Like Love.

PopJustice has the new Dannii Minogue album cover and a funny post about her. Hey, I'll buy it: in the gym you can just pretend it's Kylie. Plus she has some good songs!

Homoeclectic has an MP3 of Dream On, the Christian Falk song that is a collaboration with Robyn and my new golden calf, Ola Salo of The Ark. This blogger is intriguing to me - a great (and funny) blog, out of nowhere, with some very interesting tastes, like 90's stringpop act My Life Story. Hmmm, WHO IS Homoeclectic!?

The new Annie song is pure shit. Listen to Gogo's Beauty And The Beat to hear how that music should be done. End of story. I don't want to hear another word about it.

Watch Damita Ho blow 40...candles.

From fat...

to fucked...

to fab.
Janet Jackson is 40 today
Hope she gets a nice package all right
that she can ride tonight

May 15, 2006

Do I seem to eager to please?

KEANE podcast

Go to iTunes
Click on Advanced Tab
Click on Subscribe to Podcast
Then type this into the box:

Two songs are previewed here. The first, "Nothing In My Way," debuted on this blog (right!) last week in its live form. The studio version's multi-tracked vocals on the chorus are quite nice. A classic Keane song. "Leaving So Soon" sounds like a good breakup song - it's single material - though I don't hear what Tim calls the "Motowny feel."

Been dere done dat: Xtuna vs. Madonner

Aguilera, Summer 2006:

Madonna, Summer 1991:

The toothless effect adds to the frivolity!

Orange caught this report: That George Michael, who claims all is peachy keen, has crashed his car again. That's the first problem. The second is that he has, at 42, destroyed his face with plastic surgery. See eyebrows above for evidence! What a true shame to see a distinguished career continue to spiral down the proverbial Dumper. fin!

I'll hit you like a truck.

Madonna's tour programme cover really does suck ass - that's not it above - but I am a total sucker for merch, so I'll buy the programme anyway. To make everyone feel better, I have a special, albeit huge, MP3 (15 MB!): a bitchin' remix of a song that will be performed on this tour.

Paradise (Not For Me) - Donny's Extended Dance Mix expired

Here also is one most people won't have. She's doing this song on the tour...

Erotic (Sex Book bonus mix) expired

Photo above courtesy of Michel's blog - check out his excellent Confessions Tour blog though he seems to not be updating and dumping the Madonna stuff into the other one. :(
Gathering new Pet Shop Boys tracks in one post:
  1. "The Sodom And Gomorrah Show" - stunning! Jessica has it at her IntoTheGroove blog.
  2. "Fugitive (Richard X Mix)" - how is this not on the CD? A song from the perspective of jihadists, hence the airplane noise. Homoeclectic (heh heh!) has this now.
  3. "Girls Don't Cry" - b-side ballad, I prefer it over "Luna Park." Also at Homoeclectic, along with some "IWS" remixes.

May 14, 2006

PSB Update

Check out this excellent new interview with Neil and Chris in The Times Online. In it, Neil claims to have never been in a pub, ever! This is actually the best of the various pieces I have read for this album.

Watch a 2 minute Making Of for the new video. Note how Neil looks like such an intellectual in street clothes and glasses.

Euphoric has terrific video of various TV appearances and interviews in the last week.

I am holding further comments on the CD until the UK release (May 22) is nearer. The US release is late June.

See how deep the bullet lies

Many artists have tried to cover Kate Bush's classic Running Up That Hill. The weirdest attempts have even deconstructed the melody, which is pathetic for a song so brilliant. It probably lives in my top ten songs of all time, and I'm not the only one who'd say that.

Claudia Brücken, ex of 80's band Propaganda, has done the first cover I think I've ever liked of this song. She did it with Andrew Poppy for the 2005 album, Another Language. They take it into a chanteuse-y, classical piano realm and preserve the melody and passion in the original. It's sublime...

Note that Claudia also did a lovely duet with Andy Bell this year called Love Oneself - seek it out.

May 13, 2006

It's all black and white for me now

Other People's Problems, the probably divine debut record from Brighton's The Upper Room (BUY IT!) is coming out on May 29. 4 album tracks are now up on their myspace site. They say their mission is to "create the classic album, the finest pop songs, and steal your hearts." They have done just that. This is the finest BritPop debut since the Keane record in 2004. The wonderfully soaring new single Black And White (which obliterates the piece of wank Keane just dribbled out) is available now.


1. All Over This Town (video link)
2. Black And White (makes
Paul swoon, rightly so. video link)
3. Leave Me Alone
4. Your Body (on
5. Never Come Back
6. Kill Kill Kill (Stephen Duffy eat your heart out! on
7. Portrait
8. The Centre
9. Once For Me (sounds a bit like Lorraine, on
10. Girl (on
11. Combination (very 80's.
video link and free live download)
12. It Began On Radio

Expect much coverage of this CD on this blog and maybe another. Notice also that the album cover is a UK map, appropriately green? Awwww...

The Upper Room Her Alibi
(can't believe this isn't on the CD!)

A review in one hot minute.

new Danniiii...this shit is hot! have you heard it? have you seen it?

Saturday freebie for la gym: "You Won't Forget About Me"
I now have broadband at home. Took me ten years!

May 11, 2006

May 10, 2006

PW: Working for joy on overtime

Patrick Wolf Daily News. Patty boy has...

1) Recorded a cover of the Beach Boys song "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" for a Pet Sounds tribute CD due in summer or fall.
2) Been lovingly praised in a
big-ass Playlouder review of the March 30 show. Includes fab pictures.
3) Recorded a duet with no less than Marianne Faithfull (!) called "The Magpie."
4) Gone a bit geisha on his
official site, which is closed until summer.
5) Gotten so ill that he's postponed the CD until fall. Brrrr.
5) Been on Youtube, which has a lot of Wolfie clips, including the
sultry video for the epic "Wind In The Wires."

Sick of Patrick on my blog? I don't care. You wouldn't understand. Good sons like you NEVER DO.

For your complete entertainment and destruction!

Read about their live orchestral show Monday night in London

We must wait until October for the Pet Shop Boys book, Catalogue

Oldie MP3: "Positive Role Model"

Oldie MP3: "We're The Pet Shop Boys"

New interview in a rag called Boyz

May 9, 2006

The fifth horseman of the apocalypse:
Fans trading Dannii Minogue's version of "Hakuna Matata"

...makes any boy feel like picking up roses

Emo hair and a styled nipple. I'm not even making the obligatory "Click to enlarge" joke. Oh no, oh no, oh kidding.

I inadvertantly deleted the original post with comments. You have the Blogger fuckups of today to thank for that.

May 8, 2006

Musings: I've heard it all before

Am obsessed with Swoony Foxtress / Wet Nurse Laura Michelle Nigella Lawson Kelly. That's her above. As I walked to work today in the rain, with my giant umbrella, I had LNK warbling a grand tune in my ears. I'm sure I looked forlorn, yet sultry, especially with that 70-piece orchestra packing in behind me on the metro. The link above has the full-length, Sofia Coppola-esque video.

Tom Cruise's movie, That Which Should Not Be Named, underperformed! Take that, you thetan bitch! You're glib, Tom, you're glib...

Only the heartiest bloggers survive. Have you noticed how many blogs started up awhile back and just sputtered out? It requires some commitment - there are many better things to do than blog, I just don't do them! :) Like... nature? What is that all about?

I don't care about Snowplay - I mean Snow Patrol. I. just. don't. care. They sound like Gin Blossoms. 2 tracks are worthy: "Chasing Cars" and the song with Martha Wainwright. [I wrote this post before Lord Paul De Zappin' said nice things about it]

Katharine McPhee's version of KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and Cherry Tree" on AI last week was phenomenal. Will she top it? That lounge-lizard freak Taylor cannot win. Regardless, KT will make mucho dinero off that little advertisement.

I forgot to post Grant McLennan songs, but Stereogum has them. In particular a classic Go-Betweens song "Streets of Your Town." Lets Kiss And Make Up also has a big post on Grant.

Helen Reddy has taken over iTunes! I was agreeing with someone recently that "Delta Dawn" would be a PERFECT song for Arctic Monkeys to cover. If you don't know Helen, her song "Angie Baby" is one of the shadiest, most disturbing songs of the 1970's. It used to scare me! I mean, a #1 hit about molestation? It's a great song though...

Rolling Stone makes a case for Dubya as the Worst President in History. Boy howdy! I believe that years from now Hurricane Katrina will be viewed as the moment America woke up to his bullshit.

A glowing review of the new Divine Comedy CD is up now at Obscure Sound.

Looking At Them has some Imogen Heap tracks up, including some rarer ones. Very good blog - it has some cool mix tapes, which is the new rage on blogs.

By popular demand, more Alison.

May 7, 2006

Till dawn you glow

Madonna isn't the only one with stunning new pictures. Here Alison Goldfrapp channels Dietrich once again, to great effect, in the new British Vogue. News from the new interview: Alison and Will start doing album #4 this fall.

Thanks to and Oxygen Chunks.

May 6, 2006

RIP Grant McLennan

Tragic news. The lovely Grant McLennan died today. If you don't know him, he was a founding member of the brilliant Austalian group Go-Betweens, a seminal 80's pop band who had recently started releasing music again. Grant also had a very decent solo career. I love the picture of him above - his face tells you he was a friendly guy, doesn't it?

A few songs to recommend:

Grant solo: "In Your Bright Ray" "Simone and Perry" and "Lighting Fires"
"Bye Bye Pride" "Streets Of Your Town"

I intend to update this post soon with MP3s so you can hear what a great musician he was. He was only 48 and died in his sleep; I feel so sorry for all those who loved him - at least his music doesn't die.
Fundamental. Necessary. Stream now.

The youngest was the cherub

As you bitches can well guess, the above image was taken at the launch party for XO's Middle Eight and is now a single cover for the Morrissey single. Moz is probably talking here with me about the problems of going through customs... I am off the right side, taller than Moz, so cropped out of the pic. Anyway, I don't even know when this single is due, but sometime in the next 6 weeks...

CD Single:
The Youngest Was The Most Loved
If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look At Me

Maxi Single:
The Youngest Was The Most Loved
A Song From Under The Floorboards
The Youngest Was The Most Loved (Video)

May 5, 2006

2006: The Top Ten Songs (so far)

in no order

Alexis Strum “Stay Until Summer”
Massive Attack w/ Terry Callier “Live With Me”
Skye Edwards “Tell Me About Your Day”
Pink “Who Knew”
Lorraine “Transatlantic Flight” / “I Feel It (Cicada Mix)”
Pet Shop Boys “Minimal”
Pet Shop Boys “Integral”
Sophie Solomon with KT Tunstall “Lazarus”
Hard Fi “Move On Now”

Laura Michelle Kelly “There Was A Time”

update: HOW did I forget Morrissey's "Dear God Please Help Me"??!

W uncovers the real story

Picture 1: The Lady Ritchie, surveying her land, encounters an angry equine...

Picture 2: Our heroine, felled by said horse...will she survive?

more pics to be found at W Online

May 3, 2006

Shiiiiiit my song sucks ass, don't it?

Gimme me some weed, Jermaine! Ma face is meltin' bitch!

Thank God that new "Weekend" song is not on Janet's stupidly titled new CD. It's putrid.

Horsetail hats are gonna be HUGE!

Fresh from fingering herself onstage at Coachella, The Lady puts out her latest epic photo shoot, this one taking up 58 pages of the next W.
Meanwhile a tour SPOILER (I am making it hard to read): the show will open with a video from this photo shoot set to "Future Lovers" and that song will incorporate Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." True or not?

Tracey Thorn solo in '07

BIG NEWS. First, Tracey Thorn's song Damage - her Tiefschwarz song (it's meh) will be released on disc in the UK May 15th and then...a new solo album! Here is what she says:

"...It's not gonna be EBTG, but it’s me collaborating with some other people. I’m doing tracks with Tom Gandey (aka Cagedbaby) and Ewan Pearson. Charles Webster’s been helping out with a couple of arrangements. Got a few things finished/half-finished so far but been having to wait for Ewan to finish producing the new album by The Rapture. That’s done now so we’re due to finish off our tracks together in a couple of weeks. Looks like Virgin are gonna release my record, probably next Feb. And in the meantime I’ve also written lyrics and recorded a vocal which might go on Justin Martin’s album, due out on Buzzin' Fly at some point. I’m gonna set up a MySpace page as soon as I get round to it (!) so that I can keep everyone up to date with the recording news etc, but I wanted to let you on the EBTG forum know first. Thanks for bothering to stay interested all this time while I’ve been on my long weekend. "

Next February? Too long to wait!

What I'm listening to this week

“There Was A Time” Laura Michelle Kelly. Incredible pedigree for this debut CD: produced by Marius DeVries (Rufus, David Gray). Songs by Neil Hannon, Jamie Cullum, Guy Chambers. Covers of Paul Weller, Cardigans, Keane. This track is gorgeous, but it’s kind of Michael Buble-ish, so release your judgment first. Hear it at Zappin’ It To Ya or on her site. Thanks Paul!

“Diva Lady” The Divine Comedy. New single, due June 12, recorded live in the studio (with the exception of the vocals). Neil Hannon gives us a typically jaunty, humorous song about a superstar diva: “She's needs extra makeup for her extra face.Obscure Sound has a leak that seems a bit low quality, but is good enough. DC website

“Industry (Extended Mix)” The Modern: There are actually two good remixes of this sterling song. One is a Bimbo Jones mix, and this one is an old-school extended mix that stretches the song out, but expands upon it without fucking it up. The pedigree here too is amazing: it was produced by electropop pioneer Stephen Hague and mixed by PSB alum Bob Kraushaar. Still waiting for word on the full length CD. MP3

“Let Me Down Gently” The Ark. Expect much more about this Swedish band in future posts. Thanks to Arjan and Tremble Clef for turning me onto them! This track emphasizes a recent introduction of synths into their sound and Ola Salo’s got a sweet voice on this: “My voice is narrow and a boy ain't supposed to cry.“ Note that the track goes totally Erasure with the multitracked Salo's choral segment at 2:14. MP3 or buy the CD

“Numb” Pet Shop Boys. Expect more crazy-fan posts on the new tracks, though I’ll be brief here. “Numb” was written by Diane Warren and given to the boys after Aerosmith turned it down! There are some fleeting bits of pure beauty here, in the opening at about :27 secs and later in the middle eight at 2:47, when he sings “take away all memories.” A brave experiment for PSB - they pull it off. Note - this has leaked, but I can't post it.