May 31, 2011

Mixtape: Shine your lite

Apparently it was a (bank) holiday Monday in America and the UK. I actually had
5 days off, darklings, so Tuesday will be a harsh slap of reality. POP is my arsenal.

First, are you following me on Twitter?

I love
Rose Elinor Dougall (ex Pipette, now solo folk-pop warbler). She just did an interview with Vagabondiana and she's typically intelligent and warm.

The awesome writer Joe Stone interviews Patrick Wolf.

Does The Saturdays' - never liked them- new single, Notorious, actually have a chorus? You be the judge.

Kylie Minogue's new remix bundle for Put Your Hands Up (with a new b-side, Silence) is on both iTunes US and iTunes UK.

Debbie Harry
in The Guardian for Blondie's new album, the brilliantly title Panic Of Girls. She says, "Our lyrics have sociological things in them, mixed up with romantic ideas and New York City hipness. We're inspired by film, TV," she says. Will the album be as great as she wants it to be? We'll see. A lot of it is comprised of that lite reggae they used to do, but I do know that Love Doesn't Frighten Me is worthy of a download.

Pink is pregnant. Bigtime. I love Michael K of Dlisted. He says, "This is pretty much what Tyne Daly looked like at her Fried Green Tomatoes audition."

NME does a track-by-track of the new Wolf Gang LP, Suego Faults.

The new summer issue of Instinct Magazine has my review of Rumer's debut (coming to America any moment). I am not kind. Here is a sample: "Touted in England as a Karen Carpenter heir, Rumer is so languid she makes Susan Boyle sound like Courtney Love."

The new CeeLo single is one of is most beautiful songs, I Want You, but it's been jacked up by a shit remix. Booyouwhores to that.

In the Britpop category, The Kooks have a new album coming out on Sept 12: Junk Of The Heart. Deatils at NME. I ADORE Naive and several other tracks, but their second album Konk (2008) was utter shit.

Listen to Howard Stern viciously deconstruct Lady Gaga's HBO show. His imitation of her is hilarious. "I thought you did [the Monster Ball] so you could live next to Oprah in Montecito."

Alexis Petridis on
professional songwriters in the age of the extinct album
Billboard editor Bill Werde talks about the impact of Amazon's 99 cent Gaga album download on the charts.

Poor Cheryl Cole, etc etc, dumped from both X Factors in some Machiavellian scheme by Evil Simon Cowell. What should she do? Ask Popjustice for advice.

3 new song titles you may not have yet heard of:

1. Talk Talk Talk is the new Darren Hayes affair. Cool news on that coming soon.

2. Bjork song title from her new CD Biophilia: Virus

3 New Coldplay song this week! Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

Hard Candy Music offers up a smooth Walter Sobcek remix of Keren Ann's My Name Is Trouble. I love this song, though I ended up finding it a read herring for a pretty boring album.

If you are curious, I had zero interest in the Human League album. Total piece of tosh. And it pains me to say that.

is now recording his 7th album with Mark Ronson. Expect dance music, however that will sound. He needs to do this - something happy and light and carefree - even if he will never be a chart-topper. Until that can be heard, there is the mega boxset, now with a proper tracklist.

The 90s are back:

Pulp reunited in Barcelona last week. Check their new website for info. Here's The Telegraph's review.

Pulp's fellow 90's icons Suede start releasing their remasters this week with their debut. Next week is Dog Man Star and the following week is my favorite, Coming Up. What a blazingly good era for British music.

Take That's tour started. See this post.

May 30, 2011

Take That... progressively older

Take That is back and this clip is amazing:

This weekend, The Telegraph had a great piece on the band. They talk as if they are the Rolling Stones going on the road: “There’s five of us, " Gary says. "We’ve all got our little family trees leaving here every day (he, Owen and Donald have seven children between them). It’s a hard balance to get us out on the road for three months. It’s a big job. It’s a big job.

Poor man. That will surely justify the millions he'll earn.

Tour Setlist:

Rule The World

Greatest Day
Hold Up A Light
Sgt. Pepper's VT
Robbie solo:
Let Me Entertain You
Rock DJ
Come Undone (Take A Walk On The Wild Side)
Original line-up:
The Flood
Underground Machine
Pretty Things
Million Love Songs/Babe/Everything Changes/Back For Good (piano medley)
Love Love (ed: new single - rehash of Kidz!)
Never Forget
No Regrets
Relight My Fire
Eight Letters

The "updated" album, Progressed, is due out in two weeks on June 13. Here are more details.

May 26, 2011

The Nicola Solo: My first post

Come now, isn't life a little better with a pair of good shoes?

More from The Nicola (Roberts), preparing the launch of her new single, Beat Of My Drum. How long have we been waiting? Will we be able to leave our houses before its release on June 5?

In other news:

Nicola talks about her album with RWD
Follow her on Twitter

And listen to part of the wicked bonus track, Porcelain Heart:

May 24, 2011

Review: Foster The People

The Hype Machine breeds a new indie-pop band each week. Every blog weighs in, shoots their wad and then crouches, poised to annihilate the eventual album for being too this or too that. If you want to approximate anything close to originality in the 2011 music business, you have to ignore that din. Rather than run from Pop, Foster The People - of rare provenance on this blog: they're Americans! - acquired the increasingly legendary Paul Epworth (Florence, Adele, etc) as well as LA pop GenXer Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Sophie Ellis-Bextor) to produce tracks for their 11 song debut, Torches. The result is reverential LA pop at its most effervescent... it swings.

I Would Do Anything For You is the best here - an ice cream of an anthem that manages to channel sunny Fleetwood Mac, MGMT and Josh Rouse (in his happy phase) in one harmonic ooh lala convergence. The 5+minute Warrant is a massive house-rattler built on a piano and chanted chorus .On the flipside, Waste offers a sweet line hidden inside a verse: "I'll just wait and here and listen to you when you speak... or scream." To the potential dismay of the Hype Machine crowd, there's not a downer in earshot. Torches is my California summer dream.

Download: I Would Do Anything For You, Houdini. Warrant, Waste, Call It What You Want and the iTunes bonus wailer, Broken Jaw.

I Would Do Anything For You


Pumped Up Kicks

Note: Earlicious has info on the various bonus tracks that come with this album. Chin Music and Broken Jaw are the best of those.

May 20, 2011

I love this house, I love this house

Patrick Wolf's best single in years. Period.

If you like the animals & the birds, you will like this video, in which a lipsticked Patrique's home is overtaken by nature. Does he actually die and end up in the clouds/heaven in the video? Not sure. But it does appear the birds in that house have pooped on his coat. Good luck, no doubt.

You can order his new album Lupercalia (June 20) n a variety of forms here.

May 19, 2011

The Cruise of The Dazzler

I can't believe it's come to this, all our secret codes and battleships.

Untitled from Odysseus.

What are you trying to tell us, Darren Hayes? THIS

Medina: You left me in the gutter


Both the song and the video are pretty sophisticated. Next level stuff for the Danish diva Medina, who looks much edgier as a bottle blond. Last year I fell for the Deadmau5 remix of her track You And I (hear it), but kind of hated the original (hear it). Whoops. Her new US single is Addiction, but it's Gutter that lifts her above that anonymous international disco thing that's so prevalent in Europe. This is much subtler and more melancholy.

The album this is culled from,
Welcome To Medina, was released last summer internationally and is due in the US soon. Read an interview with her at Pop In Stereo and get Gutter on iTunes now.

May 17, 2011

Those Dancing Days

All things good come from Sweden. Stockholm, in the case of Those Dancing Days, the all-female quintet with fab names: Cissi, Linnea, Lisa, Mimmi and Rebecka. Their new single is Can't Find Entrance (above) - kind of a fall song, isn't it? - and the new album is Daydreams & Nightmares. Swedish indie pop.

You can also watch the album's first video, I'll Be Yours. Here's a sampler of several songs on the disc...

Those Dancing Days //Daydreams & Nightmares

Thanks for the heads up, Torr!

May 15, 2011

Ladyhawke returns. Sort of.

Junica's single Living In My House, featuring the iconic Pip Brown of Ladyhawke. It's like Ladyhawke slips onto a New Order record. Note that's not Pip in the video - she's off recording her new album.

Junica is Nik Brinkman of Wellington, New Zealand. This song is fantastic. A perfect stop-gap while we wait for a proper new music from the sublime Ladyhawke. It'll be interesting to see what Junica comes up with next as well. There is always a need for more Kiwis.

Junica - 'Living In My House'

Living In My House is available now on iTunes US - and probably other territories as well. Look it up! If you want to brush up on the brilliance that is Pip/Ladyhawke, go study on her youtube channel. My favorite video is My Delirium, with Pip's fantastic Stevie Nicksy hairdo.

Thanks to PJ Forums for the alert...

May 14, 2011

Gretchen Parlato: A broken hearted melody

Gretchen Parlato is by all accounts a jazz singer. That genre description is irrelevant; what matters is that she has the smoothest voice, so intimately recorded on her new album, The Lost And Found. Aside from originals, it includes covers of Simply Red's Holding Back the Years - amazing, especially with a glass of wine - and the Lauryn Hill/Mary J. Blige song, All That I Can Say.

I've always been obsessed with the idea that if I had to pick a period of time and a place in which to live - a la Doctor Who - I would choose 1950's Manhattan, when jazz singers like Blossom Dearie and Mel Torme ruled. Without being retro, the mood of Gretchen's songs, like the title track, The Lost And Found, often evokes twilight or perhaps a rainy night walking in the city, arm in arm with a lover. That's where she takes me. Like my affection for Melody Gardot, I most prefer Gretchen at her quietest and most contemplative. Sad songs are my panacea.

Stream Holding Back The Years

Check out Gretchen on NPR, where you can hear her new song Still. Here is her EPK for the new album...

The Lost And Found is on US itunes now. Check in your country too...

May 9, 2011

Top Ten Plus One Reasons The Edge Of Glory RULES

In a "startling" turn of events, after starting to truly loath Lady Gaga, I have fallen hard for her new song, The Edge Of Glory...

1 The vocals. No fake accents, no spoken jive or histrionics. On Edge Of Glory, her singing is pure.

2 The lyrics are devoid of religious mumbo jumbo or crap phrases like "Chola descent."

3 The lyric is double entendre. She has claimed that this song was inspired by the death of her grandfather, but it sounds like she's pushing her sexual limits in bed with a lover.

4 The fact she does not name-check herself at any time during the song. Gaga no no no.

5 The Calvin Harris-y party synths throughout and the burbling, low synth on the second verse juxtaposed by the rock diva - Cher? - heaviness of the chorus. A song called The Edge Of Glory better be anthemic and it is.

6 Clarence Clemons sax break! Part of a trend to bring the sax back to pop. Followed by a gorgeous bit at 3:32 where a spiraling synth comes in.

7 The fact that the essentially instrumental "middle eight" is actually 1:00 long. At 5:20 in length, The Edge Of Glory actually breathes.

8 The vaguely religious element the synths provide throughout the track fits nicely with the idea that this song is really about your final moments on earth. It's a proper album closer.

9 The with you with you with you adlibs on the old school vamp (4:31-4:58) are fabulous - the parts you sing in a car.

10 A wicked final 20 seconds where the song kind of disintegrates into an electric hum.

11 I have literally hated her last two singles, but I'm a sucker for a twist. She soars when she holds back a bit. Gaga's weakness is self consciously playing hard at BEING "Lady Gaga" for her fans, rather than just being. Some of the best art comes from restraint.

May 6, 2011

Friendly Fires. Can't stop the tape machine

FF have an Impossible Princess moment.

Pala, the new album from Friendly Fires is streaming now! Amazing record. My favorites are Live Those Days Tonight, Hurting, True Love, Blue Cassette, Show Me Lights and Pull Me Back To Earth, but there are no duds.

Mixtape: The wedding list

One week ago I was getting dressed for the Royal Wedding. In my bedroom in Amereeeka. While most recent music has made me cover my ears like that little bridesmaid, here is some stuff you should know about...

For those who did not hear the BBC 4 interview with Kate Bush, check out an extended version of it here. I am a bit nervous about her new record. At the very least we get an improved sounding version of The Sensual World, which I love, on the boxed set version. As for another album, she says she has written her new album on the piano, but it's still being recorded. I love it when she says, "I thought Hounds Of Love was quite good." You think, Kate?

Great news about Alison Moyet: Her next album is produced by Guy "Frou Frou" Sigsworth, which translates to what might the her best record yet. She just did a lengthy interview with The Quietus.

Kylie tour spoiler pics at Brooklyn Vegan.

Sarah Nixey's album is out this coming week and I hear that Microfilm have done a soon-to-be-released remix for her... one that is "lush and pretty." When Matt K (of Microfilm) gives the clear, I'll play it here. Last year they did a sublime mix of Roisin Murphy's Momma's Place.

Wotyougot has a link to a long interview with Hurts. Once they start talking football, don't bother with the rest. The questions are like, "What's the best goal you've seen this year." Zzzzzzzzzz

Will Young has finished his new album. He tweeted that the single have already been chosen. AND here he is talking it up (well, the album, not IT).

I am AMAZED that there are not even any clips out yet from Pala, the second Friendly Fires album. Reviews are coming in and I am beside myself, fizzing at the slit for this record. UPDATE: See this.

Robyn. Her new remixes are out soon for Call Your Girlfriend. Check some out here and also be sure to watch the documentary on her, which begins at this link. You need to turn on the closed caption for subtitles.

Noel Gallagher has a solo album out this September. I was somewhat disappointed by the Beady Eye album, which was Oasis minus Noel (but with better vocals from Liam).

A website you need to link to... Nicola Roberts. Swoon.

Thanks to Phil for this link to Word Magazine's podcast in which Neil Tennant talks about his days as an editor at Smash Hits (and, of course, 25 years of the Pet Shop Boys).

Rolling Stone likes the new Stevie Nicks' album a bit more than I do. My favorite tracks? Moonlight, Secret Love, Annabel Lee, New Orleans, and Italian Summer.

Penguin Prison, one of my most awaited artists for 2011, has switched labels and will announce new music soon. Expect the single to be Multi Millionaire.

The snotty Independent and I actually agree that the new Wild Beasts album (Smother) is incredible. More typically, they dislike my favorite songs from it (Invisible, Loop The Loop, Albatross). You can stream it here.

Pete Lawrie, who did a pretty song last year called All That We Keep, finally has a debut album out. A Little Brighter gets a good review here.

May 4, 2011

Playlist: Hold me to it.

This is, sadly, not me.

I went to Kylie this week, yes I did. It was dizzying and glittery and loving. But that is not quite my mood. Here are some new songs I've been playing a lot... all of these are available now.

Holy Ghost! Jam For Jerry hear it
The intersection of New Order, New York and Electronic is pop heaven. "If I could change it all I would, if only I could. You can quote me, hold me to it."

Wild Beasts
Albatross watch it
Teaser from their gorgeous, pensive third album.
"I blame you, I blame you for all of those things I've been through. Don't feel bad, don't upend. It's my neck around which you hang."

Estelle Break My Heart hear it
Her third album has been in development for ages. This song is a melancholy winner, managing to be classic 70's soul mixed with a tinge of Massive Attack grandeur. "You want me to trust you, but how can I trust you, when I don't know the first thing about that... I just wanna love you baby, I don't wanna waste no time."

Stevie Nicks
This wistful new track is the best ballad on Stevie’s new album. Yes, it is inspired by Twilight - ignore that fact and focus on the star-crossed love.

Patrick Wolf
House hear it
A dream of love. Patrick's most uplifting single in many years.
Gone are the dark metaphors, replaced by a straightforward paean to domestic bliss. "So let seasons turn, grow paradise garden. And to my migration, the native has returned."

Friendly Fires Strangelove hear it
Yes! Fires do an able, skizzy version of Depeche Mode's classic. Percussion, industrial noises and a smooth icy vocal. This should be on the iTunes version of their new LP, but it was released on a charity record in late 2010.

Again, most of these songs are for sale now on iTunes. Check yours.

You don't need to infantilize your fans...

to celebrate them.

Beyonce surprises students at Harlem School PS 161 for her Let's Move! flash
workout event

May 2, 2011

Follow THIS, pussycat.

I am sorry... Born This Wot? Judas Who? Pretenders to the throne,
ride away on your little motorbikes.

Madonna at the Met Ball, May 2, 2011

I took the lion's share.

Wild Beasts release their third album, Smother, on May 9/10.
You can stream it now. Hearing this music reminds me how there is very little "Brit pop" being commissioned these days.

Do yourself a favor and play Loop The Loop. Lovely. As is Invisible...

Your lips to my lips/I cease to exist.