November 25, 2010

The Thrill and The Hurting... Kate Bush

cover by my friend, designer Richard P. Chapman

I recently challenged Andy of Shiny & New, to come up with a double-disc Kate Bush Collection, since her record label seems no longer capable of such a feat. Everyone is waiting for one - it's long-rumored - and I think a fan could come up with a better tracklist than a suit. And that Andy did. Check it now. After reading his list, which had some great surprises like the gorgeous Blow Away, I decided to take his as a starting point and do my own. This is trainspotter stuff, for the fans... because that is what we do. Mine adds a few rarities/album cuts that I think need re-evaluation.

We both decided it should be called The Thrill And The Hurting, after a superb 1989 album cut, Never Be Mine.

Disc One

1. Wuthering Heights
(1986 vocal)
2. Never Be Mine

Another Day (with Peter Gabriel)
5. The Sensual World
6. Running Up That Hill
7. This Woman’s Work

8. Hounds of Love

9. Top Of The City

10. Rubberband Girl

11. Cloudbusting
12. Blow Away (For Bill)
13. The Dreaming
14. Breathing
15. Nocturn

Disc Two

1. The Man With The Child In His Eyes

2. Be Kind To My Mistakes
3. King of the Mountain

Eat the Music
5. Wow
6. Jig of Life

7. Army Dreamers
Under The Ivy
9. Suspended in Gaffa
10. Love and Anger
11. The Big Sky
12. Rocket Man
13. There Goes a Tenner

14. Experiment IV (12" Mix)
Don't Give Up (with Peter Gabriel)

What would you drop/add? Just saying it could even make it happen...

November 23, 2010

An old design that can’t be traced

Penguin Prison's
first official single, Golden Train, is out now on UK iTunes. There are solid remixes by Jakwob (moody), Diskjokke (minimal and funky), Kim Fai (sleek/clubby)and Chad Valley (mellow and shimmery).

If you are unfamiliar with Penguin Prison (aka Chris Glover), check out the blue tag below or try
Soundcloud. You can get a FREE acoustic mix of the song via his Facebook page.

Two free'n'legal downloads...

Penguin Prison Golden Train (Sam Sparro & Golden Touch remix)
Penguin Prison vs Michael Jackson Workin' Day And Night

Full dates for Chris's tour are here. If you are in London, you have one more shot this week, on November 25th, at the YoYo Club Night.

November 21, 2010

The Case of Joe Worricker

What do you do when you like a song and then see the video and want to run screaming? How do you rectify that? Close your eyes? Such is the case of British artist Joe Worricker, signed to Rough Trade. It's not that I can't look at him, but Finger-Waggers' Tupperware party theme just says nothing to me about who Joe is. In fact, it practically squeals, "I want to be Mika." WHO wants to be Mika in 2010?

His myspace has more tunes: We Hug In Bed is similarly poppy (maybe a bit too for me), but Bobby Blue is unique, especially the vocals, which have a strange recorded-underwater quality.
Joe already has an EP on iTunes (US included) - from that release, the Jay-Jay Johanson-esque Wrap Me Up is the smooth keeper. Check him out and see what you think.

In the meantime, pretend you never saw this video...

November 19, 2010

Hurts. In pain. Show must go on.

Adam Hurts [beat] hurt his back last week and was so jacked up he could not play the band's gig at Union Chapel. So what did they do? Being the showman he is, Theo Hurts put Tali Lennox, daughter of Annie, onstage in Adam's spot, forlornly plucking flower petals all evening.

Now if that isn't a Golden Goddish rockstar move, I don't know what is.


November 18, 2010

Patrick Wolf, dreaming in fuscia

Photo by Ryan McGinley

The cover of the new Patrick Wolf single, Time Of My Life, out December 6 as s limited edition 7" vinyl backed with a Leonard Cohen cover, Anthem. Hear it now / order it later.

You can now download 3 new Time Of My Life remixes for free. Go get them! I recommend the Leo Zero Mix and the housey/discoy Still Going Mix.

Patrick live, soon...

5th December Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
6th December Guildford Boileroom
7th December London Bloomsbury Ballroom

November 16, 2010

Look at how times have changed, baby...

Six months ago, I wrote this about a song by Plan B that will make my Top 10 of the year...
Love Goes Down reminds me of the music on AM radio when I was very little, riding in the backseat of a white Cutlass Supreme - we called it the Milk Bottle - in Kansas City, Missouri. Melted caramel.
And now Plan B has released a video for the track... it's all 70's British gangster melodrama:

His clothes never seem to fit, do they? Don't let that distract from the beauty of this tune. It is TOP.

Plan B releases a new single in America today: Stay Too Long. No big deal, but the Pendulum Mix is intriguing.

November 13, 2010

Mixtape: We could have had it all

Is it just me or is there a Florence + The Machine-esque quality to Rolling In The Deep (above), the new single by Adele? Both artists share a connection in Paul Epworth, whose drummy influence is stamped all over this new track. Regardless, the song is ecstatic. Adele is here to stay. Read this blog in 25 years and we'll be talking about her then. As for the now, Adele's album has been pushed to late February.

Laura Marling
has a new single out on November 15 - it's a cover of The Needle And The Damage Done (originally by Neil Young). Meanwhile, America belatedly gets her Indian EP with Mumford and Sons on December 7th.

Human League are ALMOST back with their new album, Credo, and single Night People. They look fantastic - and here are some shots behind the scenes on their shoot.

Killian Fox in The Guardian on I Blame Coco's CD: "The album ends up feeling oddly flat. We are left with a sense of excitement unfulfilled"

Rihanna. The jury is out on Loud. I love her look for this era and the way she pushes the boat out on some tracks (California King Bed, the Enya sample on Fading), while simultaneously going back in time on the best song (Man Down), but the album does not live up to her last two in terms of songs with a worthy "wow" factor. Shiny And New had this to say.

A short Hurts interview in Sweden. Theo seems nice here.

Are you reading (the blog) 3Mins30 secs? If not, do it now.

Did you know... Duran Duran's new album is out NEXT MONTH? All You Need Is Now comes out digitally December 21 and on CD in Feb 2011 (with 3 songs added). The album should sound like early Duran, based on this clip of Being Followed. #JOHNTAYLOR!

Quote of the Week: "Courtney Love seems like she's getting her shit together, rubbing it in her hair & running naked into traffic" -M. McKean

Penguin Prison's new single is Golden Train, which I've blogged about before (free remix!). The radio edit is a very different mix that what was played on the radio last month and - a juicy tidbit - the album mix clocks in at close to 6 minutes.
If you're in Great Britain, you can pre-order it from iTunes here and you can see him live over the next few weeks. DO IT.

Rock Dust Light Star, the new album from Jamiroquai, is really bad. Do get the Fred Falke mix of Blue Skies if you can (the original is the album's best track).

After a month of boredom with terrible new album releases (talking to you, Nadine and Cheryl), this week, I am all about two albums: Cee-Lo Green's The Lady Killer and Take That's Patience.

Finally, in his ongoing quest to remain willfully unheard, Jimmy Somerville has released a new dance EP called Bright Thing in France, Belgium and Luxembourg only. It has four new songs: Overload, Bright Thing, Hearts and Freak, which you can sample here and now.

November 12, 2010

The weekend is here and WE ARE HAPPY

My new favorite song is by Cee-Lo Green. It's an album track from his new CD, The Lady Killer. Produced with Fraser T. Smith, Wildflower mainlines JOY. Dig it...

Factoids: Cee Lo and I grew up in the same place: Atlanta GA. Also home to @arjanwrites and l'il Janelle Monae, among many others... And Fraser T Smith, the song's producer, was Darren Hayes's guitar teacher when he first moved to London.

Cee-Lo just gave an interview to The Guardian and he says this:

So many of the bands that influenced me growing up were English, even if I didn't realise it. English pop ruled the world in the 80s! A Flock of Seagulls, Culture Club, Duran Duran… My sister bought me the 12-inch of "The Look of Love" by ABC and I loved that. I never looked at music in terms of black and white, just in terms of quality... I remember thinking, when I saw the singer from ABC wearing his gold suit: "This is very stylish." I'd wear a gold suit today if I could get one made. Hopefully, if someone like Tony [Hadley] from Spandau Ballet sees me looking stylish, they'll recognise it comes from them.
I read about him and feel like I could talk to him for hours. LOVE HIM.

November 10, 2010

Why I blog

Music Matters - Kate Bush (23-3-10) from Music Matters on Vimeo.

So. Tonight I was tweeting about a Kate Bush song that is perfect for autumn - Never Be Mine - and I linked to a youtube clip of it. Soon after, I received a response tweet from a woman who (from what I noticed on her bio) grew up in a foreign country and has emigrated to the States. She said: "Just listened it in first time and love it, actually all I knew about Kate Bush - only her name:)))"

And I almost exploded with happiness. Her response represented, in less than 140 characters, why I love blogging and why I think social media (eg Twitter) can be so relevant. When we mourn the loss of record stores and the culture of music many of us grew up in - I wheeze on about that all the time - we need to remember we are in a really dynamic time that offers amazing opportunities we did not have years ago. A means to connect with those who share our interests and can help us learn more. Sometimes it's just a fleeting moment, but it can also lead to friendships.

For those of you who know Kate's work, can you imagine randomly discovering her one night and then having all those years of albums and songs to explore?

This minor little moment made me so happy.

November 8, 2010

Jónsi's year of going...

Jónsi - who is sort of the male Bjork-when-she-was-good - ties a ribbon around the last year with the release of a live DVD and album titled (a bit obviously?) Go Live. Check out the trailer for the film above, which looks like a Raggedy Andy band of nomads performing on the set of a horror film, complete with a masked audience.

Strangely, the DVD is a film of the very first show of the tour last March. Usually, artists allow time for the stage show glitches to be worked out before they capture it on film.
Jónsi is the type who probably enjoys the frisson of anything-could-happen that permeates the launch of a tour. The album, recorded in September, is unique in that it has several additional songs he wrote for the tour. They include Icicle Sleeves, New Piano Song, Stars In Still Water and Saint Naive.

If you've not heard Go, Jonsi's debut solo album, it's more pop-accessible than his band Sigur Ros. The breathtaking Tornado will soon appear in my Top Songs of 2010 and I also recommend Boy Lillikoi, Around Us and Sinking Friendships. It's not too late to get it- the whole glorious thing sounds like a Christmas record!

Here are the full details for Go Live

And here is Tornado...

November 6, 2010

Bright Lights Bright Lights

Ellie Goulding is re-releasing her debut album, Lights, originally released in March, 2010. The new version, called Bright Lights, is out in just 3 weeks, on November 29. Not only does it correctly add the excellent title track, Lights, but it brings SIX new songs. I've heard demos for This Music (aka Believe Me) and Little Dreams -both are superb. She's also been playing Human live. Watch youtube clips of all three (the first two in demo form) below.

The original Lights album is sublime pop; it doesn't suffer the samey-ness that marred a few of her peers' LPs this year. That said, her label made some big mistakes. The most obvious single - and finest track on the record - This Love (Will Be Your Downfall) - was beaten out by the doomed Guns And Horses. Since I'm in full trainspotter mode, I'll also say I think Your Biggest Mistake - a Fraser T. Smith collaboration - and Every Time You Go could've done a better job on the charts than The Writer. No one really knows. What's clear is that the new release is likely to best the original. Well done, Ellie Goulding.


1. Guns and Horses
2. Starry Eyed
3. This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
4. Under the Sheets
5. The Writer
6. Every Time You Go
7. Wish I Stayed
8. Your Biggest Mistake
9. I'll Hold My Breath
10. Salt Skin

and these new songs:

11. Lights
(previously a bonus track)
12. Human
13. Little Dreams (produced with Liam Howe)
14. Home
15. Animal
16. Believe Me
17. Your Song (bonus track)

Preview them all on Amazon UK or...

a demo of Believe Me, with an alternate title...

and Human, live last week...

If you make it to her current UK tour, you'll also catch Bright Light Bright Light appropriately opening...

November 4, 2010

and I'm indestructible

Robyn's just released the 3:40 version of her new single Indestructible to iTunes US. If you don't know the song yet, you need to buy not just that version, but also the acoustic featured on Body Talk, Pt 2 (also on iTunes). To my ears, the acoustic - done with a fluttering string quartet - is the definitive version. It's more emotional because the lyric, one of Robyn's best, leaps to the fore. The fleshed out electro version, which has the strings woven in, is worth it for a truly brilliant squizzy synth on the instrumental middle eight at 2:30. I love how it R2D2's along until it just sputters-s-s-s out.

And here is the video, a disappointment compared to the last 7 or so Robyn videos...

I still bemoan the misheard line "freeze frame of your ass in the strobelight." Alas is it EYE, not ass, and I am the lesser for it.

November 3, 2010

Patrick Wolf: Time Of My Life

The new Patrick Wolf song has arrived with the first frost. It's the preview single from his album due out in... pause... MAY 2011. Why so long, I don't know... Anyway, for those who know his work well, until you hear it, you may not realize Time.. was on the seven-minute Battle preview a few years back. The actual final recording is very Patrick Wolfy. BIG sound, swooping strings, guitar, deep vox, wailing. The hand-claps are like icing.

If you're wondering, my favorite Patrick song is the first one I ever heard, The Libertine, and the accompanying LP, Wind In The Wires is my favorite Wolf album. The Magic Position was also stunning, but his last release, The Bachelor, despite some amazing stuff, suffered from bloat. Just too rich.

Listen now to the new single, but approach it knowing Patty's songs need high quality to be appreciated. If you are willing to log in to Youtube, you can hear a better quality version on Patrick's channel. The single is out on December 6, backed with a Leonard Cohen cover, Anthem.

I've written about Patrick since the early days of this blog in 2005. Click on the tag below for more.

November 2, 2010

Cover Story: Cut Copy's Zonoscope

Doesn't it seem like years since Cut Copy's In Ghost Colours? They are finally releasing Zonoscope on February 8. We now virtually nothing about the album other than this awesome/rad cover collage by Japanese artist Tsunehisa Kimura.

Right around album release time, they'll start doing shows again in their native Australia.

For those "ADD" fans who used to love Cut Copy and cannot wait another hot minute, I suggest you try Gypsy & The Cat.