September 30, 2006

Amy Winehouse comes into her Now

The new Amy Winehouse song / video "Rehab" is surely one of the best songs of 2006. It was produced by the stellar Mark Ronson and it seems to me Amy manages to capture something that Xtuna Aguilera could not: a song that works as both a throwback to 60's soul and is still totally in the now. (Note that Ronson produced for Xtuna as well as Robbie Williams on "Lovelight" and Lily Allen. What a year!). This song is addictive and joyful, and Amy's louche attitude in the video is hilarious. Notice how she's still saying No No No as she's in rehab at the end!

No good quality MP3 of this song yet, but you should buy single, out on Oct 23, followed by the album Back To Black on October 30. Be sure to check Homoeclectic for the goods, including the very Shirley Bassey-like title track.

Rufus rocks it Bible Style

Rufus has recorded a new song for a 4AD compilation record called Plague Songs. I still haven't decided if I like it or not. Note that the album also includes a new song by Imogen Heap. More on that very soon!

Rufus Wainwright Katonah (The Death Of The Firstborn)

September 29, 2006

When will the boy ever learn?

Yesterday started so well. Early in the day someone said to me, "You are on fire today!" and then at some point I just blew the fuck up! Sigh. How it all comes crashing back down with one bad decision about how to react to something I was unhappy about. So then you get into that "I am 3? years old and still my greatest opposer" thing. The truth is that this year I have reigned myself in numerous times.

Thus thus thus! Today we are featuring a mini-mix of quietish tunes for fall. I suspect it feels more like that in England than it does here, but soon that will change. When I was a kid, I wore overalls every Friday. Seriously! Every year I say I am going to buy some. Maybe this year?

Ray La Montagne Be Here Now
Ray is slipping in as the new cross between Van Morrison and John Martyn. This new song will leech emotions right out of you.
Mae Moore Bohemia
Recorded with The Church. Kind of geeky in some ways, but it reminds me of one particularly lovely fall in the 90's.
Love Spit Love Am I Wrong
Heh. No comment as it is all in the lyric.
Indigo Girls Mystery
Does Paul's Ruthiepoo read this? Lesbians in love, yes, but this song is for everybody.
Jeff Buckley Last Goodbye
I put this perfect song on here because there are some young readers of this blog who may hear JB mentioned but not know him.

The picture, btw, is last year at this very time, when I went to see my twin pals in Boston. Pumpkin patches are a big thing here.

September 28, 2006

You put me in the magic position, darling


I managed to hear a very poor bootleg of the title track (studio version) of Patrick Wolf's new album, The Magic Position. On the boot, the song is being played in a club and what I could hear is fanfuckingtastic. It is actually very similar to Madonna's song True Blue, as unlikely as that seems. It has a certain 50's quality, along with some poppy fiddle that keeps climbing up in a loop on the chorus. There is also a wonderful lyrical hook: You put me in the magic position darling. Sucks ass that we have to wait until 2007 to hear this song!

Partick Wolf The Magic Position shitty recording of it playing in a club!

The picture above is taken from the Accident video shoot and captures PW perfectly. I got it from the Lycanthropy blog.

Music freaks unite

Overheard on a message board: "Everytime I go to a record shop, I ALWAYS check the Kylie section... even though she hasn't got anything new out and I have EVERYTHING she's done, in the vain hope there's something I've missed.... "

Isn't that the story of all music enthusiasts? I am sorry the kids today did not get the experience of thumbing through LPs in the Record Bar or Peaches, etc.

September 27, 2006

"...tried to make me go to rehab..."

Yes, The Killers are vv good, but the new U2 By U2 book (excerpts) is gawjuhs. I fingered it last night (well, touched it, not stole it or...). Scatter'o'light (my U2 connection) has deets...Oh ma gawww! Imogen Heap has a mohawk! One year in and her CD is still going strong...Popbytes has a decent new Tori Amos song called "Take Me With You"...Gotta get up to get down...Is the new Amy Winehouse record what Aguilera was trying to accomplish, with less sheen? I bet Homo thinks yes. "Rehab" is pretty damn special, but sweet'art needs to eat...Paul Weller has a new single called "Wild Blue Yonder"...a leaked photo of Madonna on the set of "Jump"...Last night I bought Scissor Sisters. Tacky Best Buy only had the special edition, but it was 11.99 (that's 6.33 GPB!) with a free CD single thrown in, so there ya go. Anyway, it takes a PhD to open and close the fucking thing!...The George Michael tour is blogged by PopMuse...Note to ww.adh, I think the reviewers like Kayne too. He's just a wee bit glitter obsessed...Be sure to watch the Nerina Pallot video below...Finally, will God hate me if someone I know theoretically likes the Clay Aiken cover of Dolly Parton?

Thing I hate about this blog: How close the body text is to the right margin. Anyone know how to pad that in the code?

It's a fire I cannot put out.

I love this Nerina Pallot single, "Sophia" (pronounced "so-fai-uh"). Sparing the details, I discovered this song on a weekend when something unpleasant happened and I played it incessantly. The lyric has nothing to do with what I was thinking about, but it sort of went with the emotion I was (and was not) feeling. The video is really good, given that it's a girl at a piano. On fire. Nerina gets extra gold stars for looking like the love child of Kylie Minogue and Fred from Angel (ne Amy Acker).

Nerina Pallot Sophia

Be sure to see Zappin for a loved-up pic of Paul and Nerina and some bonus tracks.

September 25, 2006

Review: Janet's 20 YO

Before I unleash my "truth" about the new Janet Jackson CD 20 YO, you might want to refer to my review of Damita Jo, Janet's weak 2004 album, on which I thought she'd reached rock bottom. I am here to tell you that Miss Jackson has indeed reached rock bottom and continues to dig. 20 YO is flaming piece of shit. Let's look at fact and fiction...

Fallacy: Jan has proclaimed this album a celebration of her 20 years of music, a celebration of her past success. Caca! There is virtually nothing about this album that sounds like the Janet Jackson that we know. Yes, maybe she looks back as far as the sunburst-nipped Damita Jo years (2004), but that's as far as she goes. This could pass for an album by Ashanti.

Truth: Jan still likes to sing about jerking off (Take Care, which is actually gorgeous), opening "my spot for you, anytime you want me to" (on the excremental So Excited), or this gem "You know it makes the you-know-what come out." Eww. She also sounds strangely weak on many of the songs, sort of scratchy.

Fallacy: This is a dance record. Please! Can you dance to So Excited - or would you want to? There is no Together Again or even an All Nite. This is music for 90's throwbacks who like to bounce their cars while attending Freaknik (I hope that is not offensive - I don't mean it to be. Not everyone at Freaknik would fit that stereotype).

Truth: The cover could be worse, but the overall artwork is pathetic. Never has someone been so (pointlessly) photoshopped and that's saying a lot, coming from a Madge fan (only Mariah Scarey can out-do Janet in the airblasting). The logo looks amateur and the pictures are neither thematic or iconic.

Fallacy: The album is 100% turd. It's not. There are two standout tracks that prove she could've pulled off her own rejuvenation (a la Mariah and Madge). The first is the ebullient Enjoy (watch the suits whisk in to make that a single before Christmas) - a track so happy it has children doing la la la las at the end. The ballad Take Care, complete with fingersnaps, revisits the oceanic synths of Come Back To Me. One of the Jermaine tracks (Do It 2 Me) is okay, if only because it's built on a great sample. Tellingly, one of the best songs, Days Go By is not even on the album! It's available only on the Japanese version of the CD.

Truth: The album has more of her trademark interludes. Aside from the usual use of falling rain, Janet is once again yukking it up backstage with her posse, specifically someone named Lynette. Gee thanks, but these inside jokes are not so interesting.

Truth: There are rapper features all over the album. From the already trashed Nelly and Khia collabs, to several other songs with raps. The nadir is the truly horrid Show Me which is frequently interrupted by some female rapper whinging, "How bad do u want it?" Press. Delete. Now. In 1993, Chuck D did a truth-telling rap on her majestic New Agenda. The days of chilling with Kathleen Battle and the brilliant Q-Tip are long gone.

20YO is the sound of a midlife crisis. Was Janet even present for most of production? It's a shameless bid for a young urban market, but does Janet really think she can - or needs to, more precisely - go up against hot young babe like Cassie (ed. note: Cassie, but you lost me when you feigned disgust /offense that people believe your single is about giving head. At least own your inner freak!). It should be noted that all the songs I like on 20 YO do not include any credit for Jermaine Dupree. Bring back Jam, Lewis, and Rene Elizondo now!

Janet: there was once a time when you owned the top of the pop charts and ruled as a princess in the homes of black America. You know, the normal Jackson who cared about racism, sexism, homophobia, AIDS, war and all the noise coming out at us from the TV. Now you contribute to that noise. It took 20 years to... give up your power?

Now I know there are some readers who will disagree about this album. Some very young readers in particular. I ask you to go back and compare this album to Janet's output from 1986 - 1997 and then we'll talk. Stay tuned for a post in which I rewrite history and present a Janet album that doesn't exist...

September 24, 2006

Gwen, this love is serious

There has been a load of hate flying at Bitchin' Gwen Stefani this week from the Popjustice boards, particularly in relation to her announcement that her next CD will be comprised of leftovers from the L.A.M.B. sessions. I have to speak up!

Hatin' on Gwen is a bit of revisionist history. For some reason, pop culture has stuck on the ubiquitous, zeitgeisty single "Hollaback Girls" - a song I proclaimed shit early on. I have warmed to it, but I do hate what it did to radio / MTV: it removed melody from modern hiphop pop, paving the way for the Timbaland resurgence and the arrival of producers like Swizz Beatz. Ironically, it was the last gasp of Pharell Williams who has been on the skids ever since.

BUT BUT BUT. If you actually go back and put on Gwen's album, you'll find that it is an outstanding pop record. "What You Waiting For", "Rich Girl", "Cool", "Danger Zone" (my fave), "Serious" and the New Order-ish "Real Thing"... those tracks alone make L.A.M.B. a remarkable pop album. I remember when the first single came out - I was ecstatic over that song. Not to mention the Tick Tock remix which predates "Hung Up." I kept running around town singing "Look at your watch now! You're still a super hot female!"

That was the period of time when Bitchin' Gwen was the Queen of XO's Musicquarium (now Middle Eight). Constant posts about her, with beautiful pictures..she must have done a photo shoot every morning (a la Xtuna now). And then... one day... I broke up with Gwen. I'd just, like, had enough! The vaguely racist Harajuku girls she toted with her like bags, the fake chola girl stuff of "Luxurious", the b-a-n-a-n-a-s cheerleader crap. Not to mention weak TV performances with large teacups and crinoline little girl dresses. It all seemed sort of infantile.

But Gwendolyn is a truly great pop star and one of the few who shifts units (no pun intended) in an age when pop music seems more diminished each month. I am a bit worried her next CD will be hijacked by Hollaback clone tracks. Her single with Pharrell on his CD is barely a b-side. There is cause for hope though: an insider on the Velvet Rope posted about visiting Dallas Austin's studio while Gwen was in, pre-LAMB release. They played him a track that he thought sounded like a number one, but the song never made it to the CD.

Mrs. Rossdale, I still have your digits. Do you still have my jacket? To quote Mr. Sumner, we'll be together again.

September 23, 2006

Rollin' la dice avec la Fleur

Paul de Zappin' likes Bones! Take that as you will.

Stream Read My Mind via Jo Whiley's 9/21 show. Forward
through 1 hr. 22 mins of the show; you'll hear it after
Lily Allen's "Smile"

Scatter O' Light has an acoustic version of Sam's Town

Times London hates the CD, as does Rolling Stone, but don't
worry, Contact Music loves it.

Surely this isn't real?

The horrible new Sugababes CD cover. The blond, Heidi Range,
is usually quite stunning, but here she looks washed out and
stunned. Amelle on the right looks cross-eyed and Keisha, on the
left, looks kind of scissor-headed.

Go back to the drawing board please!

Summer Moved On

That's one of the houses I "picked out" for myself in Boulder this July. Do you think I can afford it? [donations accepted!] Anyway, now that summer if officially over, I'd like to look back at the Top 20 Songs I played incessantly from May - August. They're in alphabetical order with a few available as MP3s (the ones you are less likely to have).

Bertine Zetlitz 500
New CD is her 5th and I had never even heard her name until
Tremble Clef highlighted it
Camera Obscura Let’s Get Out Of This Country
Swirling Scottish pop, but it does not sound like Belle And Sebastian!
Captain Broke
Throwback to Prefab Sprout. Immaculate debut album produced by Trevor Horn
The Feeling Never Be Lonely
Feelgood song of summer; final bit is chill inducing! I owe Paul for
this group as well as Captain

Frank Silence
Smooth elegant sexpop from a group that should have been
named Planned Obsolescence

Charlotte Gainsbourg The Songs That We Sing
Major single from Charlotte with great lyrics and a greater pedigree
Hard Fi Living For The City
It not only rocks, it thrusts! Hard Fi add an exhilirating element of dance to BritPop
Jessica Simpson Public Affair
I can't help it, I love singing along to it, especially the Diana Ross rip at the end..oy!

Keane Leaving So Soon
Some of you know I took this song verrrrry personally
The Killers When You Were Young
Anthemic, Bruuuuce-y single is a promising teaser for the sophmore album
The Kooks Naïve
What a brilliant vocalist. Love the shag hair too!
Laura Michelle Kelly There Was A Time
Easy listening goodness, written by Neil Hannon, brought to me first by Paul
Lily Allen Knock ‘Em Out
Funniest song of the summer from a Natural Born Superstar
Madonna Erotica / You Thrill Me
Not sure I can ever go back to the original. Her best song in years...
Pet Shop Boys Minimal
Single of the year? Every thing is immaculate, pehr-fect, especially the last minute
Pink Who Knew
The most sorely underlooked album - so good for the car!
The Pipettes Pull Shapes
Single of summer 06? Certainly the best opening moments of a song in 2006
The Pipettes Magician Man
Pure genius thrown away on a vinyl only b-side
Razorlight America
Johnny and the boys notch it up to U2 levels
The Upper Room Kill Kill Kill
What a sweet band, but what a depressing tale of the British music industry

September 22, 2006

Confessions On A Dancefloor

Patrick filming his new video

Patrick Wolf Accident And Emergency

The video is sort of makeshift until the bridge, when great horns come in and he leaves that disco room. I get how he is trying to take the visuals far away from the greys of the last CD, but the makeup gots to go!

80's: The World of Malcolm McLaren

Two videos by the crazy auteur Malcolm McLaren...
These are two of my favorite songs of the 80's!

Malcolm McLaren Madame Butterfly 1984

Malcolm McLaren Deep In Vogue 1989

Let us not forget Double Dutch

September 21, 2006

Quote of the Week: Denis Leary on happiness

"'I'm just not happy, because my life didn't turn out the way I thought it would.' Hey, join the fucking club, okay? I tought I was going to be the starting center fielder for the Boston Red Sox. Life sucks. Get a fucking helmet, all right? Happiness comes in small doses, folks. It's a cigarette or a chocolate cookie or a five-second orgasm. That's it."

September 20, 2006

A definition of heaven?

Take a peek at their new Heaven minisite. The player is a great idea, even if we know the songs (update - I had to remove it, as it was crashing the blog for some readers). For those who have not heard "Italian Girlfriend" - it's on the player and a perfect track to open side 2 of a vinyl Lorraine album. "Beautiful Thing" is a new track, but even fresher is...

Lorraine Touch Me

Leif, Johnny and swag: Win a Razorlight CD


I have a theory that Johnny Borrell of Razorlight is actually the lovechild of Leif Garrett. What do you think? Watch the Leif Garrett video further down for more evidence... it's just a certain something. Don't be angry with me, Johnny Borrell!



Razorlight are, on October 2, to release a new single in England for "America" one of the more epic songs on the album. It's pretty, timely and sounds like a bid for the big-time. Thanks to Filter, here is a legal MP3:

Razorlight America

Would you like to win a free Razorlight CD? The album, titled Razorlight, is a pop-rock gem, really accessible and melodic. A great album for driving, err, if I had a car. If you want to win a CD, answer this trivia question:

Q: Razorlight references what famous pop-rock group on the title of their song "Don't Go Back (To Dalston)"? Bonus hint - their new CD has another song title referencing this same world-famous group.

Answer in the comments field. I'll leave this open for one week. If multiple people get it right, which they will, I will pick a winner randomly (honest!) and we'll send you the CD.

Here is the new video for "America"

Finally, that Leif Garrett video...looks like Johnny and sounds like the Scisstors?

Johnny or Lief? Hmmm...

September 18, 2006

La Fleur Meets Lu Cont

The Killers When You Were Young Thing White Duke Mix full-length!

I would love to hear The Killers just collaborate full-on with Stuart Price. It's a great deluxious pairing. Next, try
Rich Girls Are Weeping for the Lindberg Palace remix of the same track and then go to Paul de Zappin for their new b-side.

September 17, 2006

Drag queens ready to jump

You have to hand it to Madonna fans. They can be endlessly clever when they want to be. I am assuming this is a drag queen...if not, I feel bad for thinking so! Anyway, some queen made a video for Madonna's upcoming single "Jump" that not only references the first two videos for COAD, but cleverly utilizes some Madge video cliches, like finding one man in a crowd and the final few seconds that seem candid, but you just know were planned. It's quite good. I give it an A+. Draq queen may live.

More information on Madonna's next single

Bertine's surprises

Bertine Zetlitz releases her new CD My Italian Greyhound on Monday in Norway. It'll be hard to get for awhile. The record was produced by Fred Ball in London - a repeat of the m.o. from her last CD. But this album is nothing like Rollerskating. Bertine tries new sounds and styles, from Fleetwood Mac-meets-Enya midtempo rock on "Get What You Deserve" (that title is also a line "500") to smooth pop on "This Moment." Evidence below, with more comments on the record very soon.

Bertine Zetlitz Get What You Deserve
Bertine Zetlitz This Moment

September 16, 2006

Beauty on a Saturday night

The Great Houses Of New York
from their new Funnel Cloud CD

Thinking of Rufus Wainwright's cock.

Rufus strips down for Marc Jacobs charity t-shirt. The “Nudie T-shirts” benefit the NYU School of Medicine's Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group because your largest organ is your skin. The proceeds will go towards "advancing the care of melanoma patients through basic science, clinical research, clinical care, and training." The T-shirts are available at Marc Jacobs' New York stores now at $60. I should note that if I had not listened to my roommate in 2000, I would be long dead from melanoma. Sounds dramatic. Solving it wasn't dramatic - I caught it early and just had to have a chunk of my wrist carved out. Love your dermo and wear sunscreen.

Click here to see the funny window display (scroll down a bit). This very window is where my banner was photographed in July.

nano nano

Details on the new iPod generation

The tiny new Shuffle is 1 gig and $79 USD - I want!
The new 80 gig iPod is $350 USD
The new colored Nano is cute, but not worth the cost

September 15, 2006

Off topic: Cassie My Dog Sister

Erika just sent me these pics of Cassie My Dog Sister. That could be a band name, couldn't it? Anyway, these were taken in March or April '06. And yes, those are my epic orange-camo-soled Tsubo shoes in one photo and exclusive shots of my wrist! Please send Cassie some love, trolls.

September 14, 2006

accident and emergency

click on the picture to hear one minute of one
of my most anticipated songs of 2006.

Where in the world IS Ana Matronic?

Oh, that hair! Anyway, I completely agree with D'Luv about Scissor Sisters. Read his comments and also those of Homo Eclectic and Paul at Zappin'. Now read mine...

Since this is an album that features cum facials, I will use a sexual metaphor to describe my reaction to Ta-Dah: it's like an orgasm that is building and building and you think "ooh, look what I've go in store" and then: something goes Slighty Wrong. One false move and somehow the whole thing falls flat. Lost pleasure. Is there a name for that kind of orgasm? That's how I feel about this CD.

The Sisters - and J'ason is right that they are missing their real sister Ana - seem stuck in a Satin Chic plonkety plonk groove. I mean, what does Elton really think? They really rip him off! Sigh. Rather than dwell on what leaves me lonely, I will highlight the woozy, hot bits:

1. The chorus of "Might Tell You Tonight" is tinkly loveliness. Very sweet. It's one of the few songs where I feel like the band really pushes into new territory - listen to the ooohs at 2:35. Even the final 20 seconds has a terrific banjo sound that ends the song on a light note.
2. The Barry Gibb-tastic middle eight of "Lights" (at 2:20) is amazing - the whole song is very good, but that's my fave part. What is the opening bit ripped off of?
3. "Paul McCartney" harkens back to the vim, verve and vigor of their first CD. It has a kitchen sink production: party noise, spoken bits, etc. The wah wah-ish guitar after the chorus is hilarious, the bridge at 2:07 is grade A and the message is sweet: "is it the music that connects me to you?"
4. "The Other Side" is welcome because it breaks from the samey groove that mires some of the tracks. J'ason, the first time I heard this, I thought of Kylie's single as well. Did you notice the sax at 3:50 is right out of Duran and Spandau?

Be not confused, filthy gorgeous peoples, I will buy the CD and see if it grows on me some more. I may end up revising my opinion as I get to know the songs. Below is the best song that is NOT on Ta-Dah...

Scissors Sisters Backwoods Discotheque

The Times Online gives Ta-Dah a good review. Note that the new Q Magazine also has a very good cover story on the band. Little info about the CD, but some fascinating background on the very likeable Ana and Jake. They also drop the gossip that they're working again with Kylie (yeah!) and Roxy Music (!).

Watch them give performance of "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" on Channel 4 and below is a strange preview for the album:

Only so much you can learn in one place

Madonna will release a new song in November - a 7-minute ditty monolithically called "History." She doesn't have a history (see what I did there Paul?) of releasing brilliant b-sides, so who knows how this will be? Geekfans are, of course, declaring the song a masterpiece before it has even been heard. The whole "Jump" shebang comes out on October 17 and here is the tracklist:

1) Album Edit
2) Extended Version
3) Jacques LuCont Mix
4) Axwell Mix
5) Sanchez Misshapes Mix
6) History

September 12, 2006

Is she still pissing in the river?

Tori Amos. She's about to "birth" a massive box set on the world. This is a prelude to her new album in 2007. Listen now to this very crisp new mix of Precious Things - I think this a different vocal take, but I could be wrong. It sounds great, the way her voice is mixed right on top. To use a critic's cliche, this song remains as relevant today as it did in 1992. If you've ever seen her live, you know how much she gives when she performs it live. A female Robert Plant. Here also is a recent Mojo Q&A, an AOL interview with Tori and an e-card promo for the boxset. Below are some recent and older rarities.

Sugababes and Girls Aloud's new singles just happened to leak within 24 hours. Quelle surprise. Both are lamely releasing hits CDs. Why not just wait until summer and do new albums? Try finding them at Fetch.

The Music Lovers have a new record called The Music Lovers' Guide For Young People. This one is more pop/rock-based (versus strings). Stream a sampler

If you are not reading Zeon's Music Blog, you should be. Mr. Zeon: I agree with you and numerous others about Nerina Pallot's great Sophia.

Ms. Looking At Them is giddy for Mr. Buckingham, who has a new CD out in 3 weeks. Hear some weird new music on his site - it reminds me of how strange Big Love sounded when we first heard it. His songs are deceptive that way.

Stuart Price has again remixed a Killers song, this one being a luxious, anthemic remix of When We Were Young"- Price is REALLY good at this (hear it linked below). Thanks Arjan and Stereogum.

The Captain album is right here right now. I post this because I am afraid people won't hear this nice record. If you like it, buy it - it has lovely artwork too.

Arjan is getting scoops this week with a new Modern / Matinee Club remix and Paul scoops the Pipettes b-sides. I also forgot to tell you that Homo is scooping the brilliant new Lloyd Cole CD.

You can hear a new Jay Jay Johanson track on his myspace page. This one is called She Doesn't Live Here Anymore. It's very noirish.

Tori Amos Me And You
Tori Amos Song For Eric
Tori Amos Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout...
The Killers When We Were Young (Jacques LuCont Mix)
all expired - sorree!

Cheers. Thanks a lot.


September 11, 2006

Maxwell: Plushed on some luxurious...

Maxwell is finally back. After 5 years in hibernation, he is returning to the public eye/loins with 3 new records spread out over the next 3 years. The project is called Black Summers' Night and it's detailed a bit on his myspace page. The first album is out in February and the new track "Fistfull of Tears" will debut on myspace in the next 2 weeks. Other titles are"Happiness" and "Bad Habits"

To celebrate, I give you a few of Maxwell's finest songs, some known and some rare...

Maxwell Lifetime
My favorite Maxwell song and probably in my top 20 of all time. It either makes me cry or gives me chills everytime I hear it, mainly on the "I can lean to the light" bridge at 2:40. Really moving. Watch out for the wet-looking chin in the video. Ahem! He's beautifully shot in this one.
Maxwell Ascension
The debut single: all Marvin-y and sleek. I like how it takes awhile before you see him in the video.
Maxwell Softly Softly
Techinally, this is Sweetback (Sade's band) with Maxwell singing. It is stunning. Love the intense vocal at 3:20ish.
Maxwell Fortunate
A soundtrack rarity that was a single with a decent video. He did this song with someone like R Kelly, so it's a bit more mainstream urban than his other tunes.
Maxwell Seguranca
Bossa nova track from 1996's Red Hot And Rio CD. Gorgeous.
Maxwell This Woman's Work
The fantastic Kate Bush cover. He recorded this twice, once unplugged and then in this studio version for his last album, Now. I bet Kate likes the video. I have one complaint with the studio version: I think he should have dropped the falsetto for the last minute of the song.

Even if you don't download any of these, please take 5 minutes and watch this Unplugged version of "This Woman's Work" (which may be better than the later studio track). I like watching how he moves his hands and I love the way he says "craft" at about 1:27. Can you imagine what this would have been like if you'd been there live? I was teary-eyed after watching this for the first time in many years.

For the love of Rachel

After a momentary blip, I am back to say that I wish someone would turn Rachel Bilson into a pop star. I love everything about her and have since I saw her on The OC for the first time. She is sort of a modern day Molly Ringwald. And she is perfect! My next cat will be named Rachel Bilson.

September 9, 2006

Rupert dishes Madonna

Owch! Rupert Everett has written a new memoir and he dishes on everyone in his life. He basically says Madonna is glamorous bitch. Not a total surprise, though plastic-surgery loving Rupert is a bit'o'cunt himself. Here is a big juicy exceprt from the book and some choice bits:

On her rudeness at a dinner party:
Madonna was approaching the dizzy pinnacle of fame, and at those heights you don’t bother to disguise your feelings. If she was bored, she let you know. Manners were something she discarded at base camp.

She didn’t seem comfortable with the older generation, like Tony (Richardson) and Candice (Bergen). She knew how everyone her own age reacted to her but anyone older looked at her from another angle and that scared her.

Madonna and Alek were only interested in each other. They were in the middle of their triumphant collaboration, Truth Or Dare, and after dinner they huddled in a corner talking on their cellphones, making high-flying Hollywood plans.

On Guy Ritchie vs. Christopher Ciccone:
This night marked the beginning of the end for Madonna and her younger brother, Christopher Ciccone. They had been inseparable in childhood and she had taken him with her to the material world, where he had provided a solid raft in the shark-infested waters.

He had a blunt, aggressive manner, and he often looked as though he was laughing at you, particularly when he was drunk, but underneath he was vulnerable and funny. To know her at all you had to know him. But he and Guy were from different planets, and in a way the one’s success relied on the other not being there.

Others were also on the way out. Guy was not particularly comfortable with queens, and so it was a last call for a lot of the disco bunnies and club-mix queens who made up the fabric of Madonna’s mantle.

It was a surprise, because Madonna came out of the womb blowing a disco whistle. But a whole aspect of her life was about to be hit by the delete button.

On Madonna meeting Julia Roberts:

Julia Roberts appeared out of an explosion of flashlight, looking glossy and unruffled. ‘Hi, I’m Julia,’ she said with a huge smile. ‘I know who you are,’ said Madonna icily.
If you care, watch this recent video of Rupert talking about Mrs. Ritchie or their "duet" (cough) on "American Pie"

For the pop kids on Saturday

Jamelia's new b-side "Love Me"

Hi, hello, wake from thy sleep

Patti Smith by Robert Mapplethorpe

Patti Smith talked this week to The Times (London) about her love for the late Robert Mapplethorpe. There is one bit that stands out, where she talks about her friends and lovers who have died:

Every one of them has magnified me. I’ve got better and better as a person with each loss. I try not to go too far into being sad. It can be a dark place. But most of the time I’m filled with energy and love. When Robert died, the energy I had was from all the things I knew of him and his life. Everything in my body
was so accessible through him.
I have a suspicion that there are readers of this blog who will think, Who is Patti Smith and why would I want to hear her? She's a poet who can sing and write great tunes and she was not in Scandal. Her most famous song is "Because The Night." For those who doubt Patti's poprock prowess, listen to "Frederick" below. It is one of the sweetest, happiest songs ever written. That's my favorite part at the end of this post.

Wave 1979
Patti Smith Frederick
Patti Smith Dancing Barefoot

Dream Of Life 1988
Patti Smith People Have The Power
Patti Smith Paths That Cross

I am a threshold
Yearning to sing
Down with the dancers
Having one last fling
Here's to the moment
When you said Hello
Come on my spirit
Are you ready let's go

September 8, 2006

I had my weekend posts all planned and then, boomchakalaka! The return of one of the greatest male artists of the last ten years. He's been missing for quite some time and now he is BACK! Who is it? Stay tuned!

September 7, 2006

For some bizarre reason, The Modern are now called Matinee Club. Color me unimpressed - I hate bands with "club" in their name! I don't join clubs; never have, never will. Still no exact release date for (cough) Matinee Club's EP, but it's in January '07, with a single release in the UK of "Suburban Culture" this October. The tracklist is as follows: 1. Industry 2. Jane Falls Down 3. Closing Doors 4. Modern Love 5. Suburban Culture 6. Jane Falls Down (Ext mix) 7. Industry (Ext mix).

That's a good tracklist though their cover of Bowie is makeshift at best. Until we get something offically new, here are some gems to sate you...

The Modern Tokyo Girls
The Modern Suburban Culture
The Modern Questions

Behold. He is coming soon.

Patrick Wolf's new single is out 10/23/06.
"Accident And Emergency" details:

1. CD b/w "Underworld" and "Adder"
2. Download w/ "Ari's Song"
3. 7" vinyl b/w "The Childcatcher" live

This is not real love

George Michael meets My Beloved Mutya Buena here.
An interesting track with a sort of stealth melody. Very
moody and elegant.

September 6, 2006

The banner

If you're interested in the pic on the banner, it has nuthin' to do with nuthin'. In July I took a picture of a creepy psychosexual child-in-makeup mannequin in a store window in the West Village. The store shall remain nameless so some twat doesn't come after me to demand a copyright fee. So there it is, because, you know, it looked cool.

Now, a question: Does this blog load slowly for you? I think it is a little slower if there are Youtube videos, but I don't see a difference between the templates. What has changed is the stats have plummeted. I still think it all went tear-shaped when Paul was away for a week and no one wanted to blog without him! I've also been very busy as of late, so with less energy and time to blog.

When Bob met Scarlett

how odd!

Album review: Team Jamelia whoops Team Bouncey.

The album I've been waiting for: Beyonce didn't do it with her shouting, Justin(e) T. didn't do it with his embarrassing faux ghetto clubbin', and Xtuna certainly didn't do it with her overly padded record. Jamelia, however, soars to new heights of poptastic-ness on Walk With Me. The album is a concise 12 songs, most in the 3 minute range, and virtually no moment is wasted. The finest track, No More, is clocks at 2:53. The album bucks the current Timba-trend of reliance on beats over tunes. These songs could be played in a variety of arrangements and the producers wisely mix Jamelia's voice right up front. She sounds fantastic.

The leaked tracks everybody already knows and loves: Something About You mines Robyn on the verses and Kelly Clarkson on the chorus. It's very catchy, if a wee bit derivative. Similarly, the over-acclaimed Beware Of The Dog is reaping praise because many of the kids who like it are too young to know it's literally Personal Jesus with new lyrics (just like they thought the Rihanna track sounded like Manson, when it was built on Soft Cell). I'm more than cynical about this latest sampling craze , so I was a bit nervous about what Jamelia would do on the the rest of her CD.

I needn't have worried. I mean, this is the only POP album I know that has an appearance by Mrs. Slocombe - though she doesn't ask if we've seen her pussy - who appears on the material goodz track, Window Shopping. The nice synths on the sure-to-be-a single Know My Name sound like the 80's meeting crunk. You know I gets down too, Jamelia.

The aforementioned No More is 2:53 of anthemic wailing. If there is a God, He or She (!) will make this a single [ed note: it was not made a single!]. Jamelia walks away with her dignity and asks you to walk with her too (get it?). The fact that it sounds like it's done with a synthed-up harpsichord makes it unique, as do the wall-of-sound multi-tracked vocals.

Ain't A Love, which may be the weakest song, reminds me a bit of Sugababes with its mix of beats and a bed of swoony strings. Better is La La Love, which has a bit of an acoustic-y Craig David thing to it (at least on the verses) and an uber-catchy chorus that will make it a great 6th single. ??

Go has a retro feel and Jameila takes it to the church a bit at the end of the song. Get Up Get Out is a highlight, built on top of a strange sped-up string sample (as opposed to the usual sped-up vocal sample) that keeps coming to a choppy stop. It has a pretty melody on top that somehow mixes in some radio-friendly uh-uh-ah-uhs. The Estelle-esque final track Got It So Good works as a combo of the previous two songs: a midtempo empowerment sorta-ballad in the No Worries (by Simon Webbe) vein.

The bonus track is fantastic: Hustle will remind you of the best of Beyonce and Javine's Surrender. Sounds like a Rich Harrison thang with 70's horn-y disco and a decent rapper feature. Make space in your bedroom for an imaginary runway and strut down it to this song.

I have played this record incessantly since I - cough - found it. POP SONGS that work as a complete album that is listenable from start to finish (in a relatively short amount of time). PopJustice freaks will love it as there's grist for numerous arguments over what will or will not be the next single. I'm sorry babies, but Jamelia *brings it* without shouting in our faces.

Walk With Me is out in the UK on Sept. 25. Buy it.

Jamelia Something About You video
Jamelia Walk With Me via one of many blog choices
Jamelia Beware Of The Dog and Window Shopping (via Zappin')

September 5, 2006

Lloyd Cole is my boyfriend.

Not really, but I have been in a long affair with Lloyd Cole's music. Here is "I Am Not Willing," a teaser from his new album Antidepressant. Whether that title will prove tongue-in-cheek is unclear now, but I think this cover of a Moby Grape song is quite sweet... does anyone here know any other Moby Grape songs? Not me! Lloyd's voice never changes - everytime I see him, he comes out, the crowd hushes and waits. When he finally sings, it's like seeeing the Eiffel Tower. His voice is just so... iconic.

Lloyd Cole
I Am Not Willing

September 4, 2006

La Rod: Serving up the classics

O. ma. gaww. Moments ago I saw a commercial for a horrific
new Rod Stewart record, this one called Still The Same...Great
Rock Classics Of Our Time. One of those covers records he
vomits up each year as a cash cow so his mangy-ass daughter
Kimberly - one of 7 spawn of 5 women - can galivant around LA
in a unitard all day long. How long did it take Sir Roderick to record
this caca platter? The commercial is like one of those old-school
K-Tel ads for something like All My Best by Jim Nabors. Not only
did they film Rod miming all the songs in one hot LA afternoon,
he probably recorded the damn thing on a break between a
proctologist visit and a trip to the sunbed! It has, you know,
songs you've heard covered one too many times, like John
Waite's "Missing You" (one of the more acceptable choices).
Songs American Idol kids might sing and say "I've never heard
a song by Cat Stevens before!"

This takes me back to the sad, soiled fate of Michael Bolton,
whose print ad for an album was taped to the inside of our toilet
lid during college (yes, I know that is not sanitary. I was 21, okay?).
I cannot bear to put Lord Rod's picture on this blog, so no graphic.
Just give me "Young Turks" or that song about staying away from
my back door, a Cranberry and Vodka and I'll cope in a corner

Bank holiday bits

The new Bluetones single "My Neighbour's House" is fantastic. Hear it (and feel happy!) at their myspace...Tim Finn has a new album called Imaginary Kingdom coming. Hear his new single, which sucks dirty ass, at his myspace...Richard Hawley continues to work his fantastic Coles Corner album with a more string-laden version of "Hotel Room"...The Kooks "Ooh La" is their next single. I lurve them completely...Nerina Pallott (who is bored with the Internet!) has covered Kylie Minogue's "Confide In Me" for her new single! Help Paul!...I enjoyed this Australian TV interview with Lily Allen. Still love her...Mick Hucknall, less fat and less drunk, talks. Not that we care...Scatter O' Light did a nice post on INXS this week which includes the rare Max Q tracks. I always liked "Way Of The World"...The picture above is Courtney Love from Hedi Slimane's fotoblog...

The Bluetones: Woman In Love faithful Streisand cover
The Kooks: Ooh La acoustic Abby Rd version / Paris video here
Richard Hawley: Hotel Room original version

The Hit Parade: Queen Of Mousehole sugary British pop