Archive for April, 2006

April 29, 2006

LILY ALLEN – LDN / Knock ‘Em Out (7″ Single)

LDN, Knock 'Em Out CoverRegal LILY001: 24th April 2006
1. LDN
"Sun is in the sky, oh why, oh why, would I wanna be anywhere else"
2. Knock 'Em Out
"If you insist I'll have a white wine Spritzer, sorry love but you ain't a pretty picture"

'LDN' is almost the same version as the track that's been available on Lilly's MySpace page for a while. But it's got some extra sounds of Birds singing at the start to give it a summer feel (And the sound of rain clouds at the end, because it's England after all). I guess that sums up this whole songs outlook, the love of London, with all its flaws. This record could give you a suntan!

'Knock 'Em Out' is brand new (To me anyway). It samples the amazing 1964 song 'Big Chief' By Professor Longhair (You can find this classic instrumental on Soul Jazz Records amazing 'New Orleans Funk' compilation). Using this sample would be enough even without the brilliant lyrics. It's a song about trying to turn somebody down politely (Or not so politely).

You can listen to streams of both these tracks on her MySpace page. She's also added a new track called 'Everything's Just Wonderful'. This 7" has sold out already, so I suggest getting over to Ebay to get a copy right away.

Lily Allen MySpace Page
Link to buy 'New Orleans Funk' compilation (Also has a clip of 'Big Chief')

April 28, 2006

STATIK – Presents Grindie Vol. 1 (Downloads/Mix CD)

StatikThis is a sixty plus mix album by Statik. Recently you've probably noticed Stakik, Lethal Bizzle, Lady Sovereign and others popping up on Remixes of Indie stars like The Rakes and Larrikin Love. Statik obviously noticed this and called this new genre 'Grindie' (Grime + Indie). The CD features The Strokes, The Rakes, Babyshambles, Bloc Party and The Holloways to name a few. It doesn't feature Skinnyman's amazing remix of The Ordinary Boys from last June (That's worth checking out if you can find it).

Most tracks on here range from 30 seconds to a minute. Unfortunately this means just as something is getting good it stops and goes onto something else. You know when you're listening to a song, and a Website loads up in the background and plays some music, and you get an irritating mix of the two. Well a lot of this CD sounds like that. Also Statik seems to be of the opinion that there is no track that can't be improved by a couple of gun shots. But there are some absolute gems to be found, you just have to wade through the shit to find them. You have to have 'Interpol – Evil (Statik Refix)', 'Arctic Monkeys – From The Ritz To The Rubble (Remix)', 'Wylie – Dubplate', 'Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower (Statik Refix)' and 'Statik (Feat. Wiley) – No Time (2 Die)'. The Remix of Arctic Monkeys is the best thing on here, it's twice the speed of the original. Keeping some of the tracks, and binning the rest, is the way to go.

Download a Zip with tracks 1-47 here. The tracks aren't named so go to Chantelle Fiddy's Blog for a track listing (Or check Statik's MySpace Page). Maybe you can find some other site that has all the tracks. I found the rest on Soulseek.

Statik MySpace Page

April 24, 2006

BRAKES – All Night Disco Party (Re-Issue CD & 7″ Singles)

All Night Disco Party CoverRough Trade RTRADSCD339 / RTRADS339: 17th April 2006
1. All Night Disco Party (Graham Sutton Remix)
2. All Night Disco Party (FC Kahuna Remix)
3. All Night Disco Party (Matthew Herbert Remix)

"All night disco party, a super non stop über rocking disco party, east west, north south, left right, croque monsieur, croque madam"
4. Porcupine Or Pineapple
"Who won the war, who won the war, who won the war, what the fuck was it for?"

I really loath re-releases, especially when they're lifted from albums like 'Give Blood', that are still stocked full of potential A-sides. 'N.Y. Pie', 'Heard About Your Band' or even the lovely duet 'Jackson' (To cash in on Cash) sound like possible hits to my ears.

The 'Graham Sutton Remix' changes little, it just makes it a bit more slick and ready for the dance floor. But it was a great dance-rock tune already, so this was a fairly pointless exercise. The 'FC Kahuna Remix' shakes things up by bringing in some brilliant, totally new guitars and drums. As you'd expect from the 'Matthew Herbert Remix' it's much less conventional than the other two. He's got the Chipmunks on backing vocals, handclaps and some very strange sound effects.

New tune 'Porcupine Or Pineapple' is one of those insane, loud and all too brief songs that we're spread across the 'Give Blood' LP. The lyrics are an anti-war rant, with strange bits about "Spiky spiky" porcupines and pineapples. It all ends with a thrilling scream of "Ouch!".

Shut Us Down mp3
If I Should Die Tonight mp3

Brakes Website / Brakes MySpace Page

April 24, 2006

BE YOUR OWN PET – Extra Extra (7″ Single)

Extra Extra CoverDim Mak DM0101: 10th April 2006
1. Extra Extra
"Extra, extra, read all about it, my carburettor’s broken, and I hate you"
2. Feel Me Loud
"I'm not a $1 bill, I’m not a $5 bill, I’m not a $10 bill, I’m not a $100 bill, I’m a fucking, a $1000 bill"
3. Steal
"You take part of me, when you take it all away, just don't let me be, just give me away"

These three songs are exclusive to this new 7" release on Dim Mak. In total they are only just over six minutes long, so you're in for a short but exhilarating ride. As usual they sound like Karen O singing over Led Zeppelin, post lobotomy.

The subject of all of the tracks is, push vs. pull, loud vs. quiet, love vs. hate. On 'Extra Extra', Jemina Pearl shouts "Love" and "Hate" again and again like she's fighting schizophrenic demons. 'Feel Me Loud' is like a hyperactive kid that can't stand the silence and just wants to make a massive racket. The bit where she shouts about her monetary value sounds so defiant. I'm not sure if the lyrics of 'Steal' are about missing someone you love, or suicide. Either way, it's a noise that'll be welcome to people who are missing the old Yeah Yeah Yeahs savagery.

I've included a link to their ace cover of the Queen classic 'Bicycle Race'.

Bicycle Race mp3

Be Your Own Pet Website / Be Your Own Pet MySpace Page
Dim Mak Website / Infinity Cat Website
Be Your Own Pet Online Fan Site

April 23, 2006

THE FLAMING LIPS – The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (2x CD Singles)

The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song CoverWarner Bros. W711CD1 / W711CD2: 17th April 2006
1. The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
"If you could make everybody poor, just so you could be rich, would you do it?"
2. The Gold In The Mountain Of Our Madness
"They'd dreamed and they had run, they found the grass, and the trees, and the sun"
3. Time Travel… Yes!!
"And yes, I say that time travel does already exist"
4. Why Does It End?
"You think the stars, burn on forever, why does it end?"

At first 'The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song' seems childishly simplistic. But when you think about the questions that the song asks you, it's actually quite profound. It made me think, without laws, can there be crime? If you could do something wrong and no one would know, would you do it? Do we have morals, or is it just society and god? If power corrupts absolutely, can we really know what we'd do if we had it? It gives no answers, it's up to you to search within yourself and decide. Musically it reminded me of 'Juxtapozed With U' by Super Furry Animals. The bit four minutes in where it sounds like the sun imploding is amazing. This is easily the best thing The Flaming Lips have ever done.

The Flaming Lips have also recorded three brilliant b-sides. 'The Gold In The Mountain Of Our Madness’ tells a story about some unsuccessful prospectors. When they find no gold, they realise it doesn't matter, because the world around them is so much more precious. 'Time Travel… Yes!!' is a mix of woozy jazz and blissful psychedelia with a vocal similar to David Byrne's on 'Seen & Not Seen'. 'Why Does It End?' has got big orchestral drums that give it a sense of drama. But it's worth hearing just for the gut-wrenching fuzzy guitar solo in the middle.

The Flaming Lips Website / The Flaming Lips MySpace Page

April 23, 2006

ORPHAN BOY – Billy’s England / Postcode (7″ Single)

Billy's England, Postcode CoverGrace Records LYV003: 10th April 2006
1. Billy's England
"This retail park is wank, this town's a fuckin' fish tank, I get my culture from a bookcase by the door"
2. Postcode
"The kids all riot on the lonely estate, their hearts are battered like their lonely lungs, and all this journalist attention they make, 'cause this ain't for love, no this is for news"

Finely I've got my hands on this rare bit of vinyl by Orphan Boy. 'Billy's England' sounds like early Beatles with Shaun Ryder on vocals. The bass guitar in the background is amazing and you might not be able to stop yourself doing a bit of Bez style dancing. You can smell the piss, feel the bite of the cold wind and see the glowing neon signs of a decaying culture. You can also taste the contempt in the singer’s voice for everything he sees around him. After recording this, the band probably shaved their heads, loaded their guns and went off in search of Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster.

This is a double A-side, but 'Postcode' is too subdued and atmospheric to compete in the pop arena with 'Billy's England'. The vocals sound like John Lydon in his early PIL days. The music reminds me of Joy Division's first few songs (Except the intro sounds like Adam Ant). I love the furious shouts of "I've got the noose made out for you!". I can't quite tell if they're just singing "Bom, bom, bom" or the more potent "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb". I could see the bit after "And then it all just stops" would get the crowd all clapping along.

This first little Orphan Boy is a tad undernourished on the production side, but that can be sorted out. They've just announced that they've signed to Concrete Recordings. There'll be a single and an album out towards the end of the year.

Orphan Boy Website / Orphan Boy MySpace Page
Grace Records Website / Concrete Recordings Website

April 22, 2006

LILY ALLEN – MySpace Streams

Lily Allen MySpace Image 2006
1. LDN
“A fella lookin’ dapper, and he’s sittin’ with a slapper, then I see it’s a pimp and his crack whore”
2. Little Things
“And I remember when you started callin’ me your missus, all the play fighting, all the flirtatious dissis”
3. Alfie
“Oh, I only say it, ’cause I care, so please, can you, stop pullin’ my hair”
4. Nan You’re A Window Shopper
“You only buy the paper, just to cut out the Coupons, you’re saving 50p, but what do you want with Tampons”

If all four of these songs (And probably any others she’s recorded) aren’t hit singles in six months I’ll eat my own head with a side order of Fries. I’ve been listening to these on a loop since I heard them. I know the coming year is going to be that bit better because I’ve got these songs.

‘LDN’ is going to be Lilly’s debut single on Regal records. It’s like a Mardi Gras band has just barged its way into your room the moment you press play. Strangely it reminded me of ‘The Footie Song’ by Adam & Joe. This song is guaranteed to make you move and tickle your funny bone too. The lyrics look under the fingernails of our capital city and find plenty of dirt.

‘Little Things’ has the same kind of pop pedigree as ‘Sunny Afternoon’ by The Kinks. You’ll fall in love with the wistful melody and lyrics. It’s got the same attention for detail as the best of Mike Skinner and Jarvis Cocker. It shows off her beautiful voice to stunning effect.

‘Alfie’ sounds like an outtake from Mary Poppins. You know, the scene where Mary Poppins finds the kids smoking weed and playing GTA and sings them a song. It’s actually about Lily trying to give her little brother some sisterly advice.

‘Nan You’re A Window Shopper’ sounds like Ms Dynamite but with extra biting wit. Almost every line will have you rolling around in fits of laughter. Based on how amazing this track is, I can’t believe no one has written a song about their Gran before. You might need a sit down after you’ve finished dancing around your room listening to this.

Lilly seems to be a part of a new wave of artists that are, as Skinnyman says “Forever been blessin’ eloquence over sound”. Apparently she’s Keith Allen’s daughter but very soon it’ll be “He’s Lily Allen’s Dad”. Right that’s it, I’m off to throw the rest of my music collection on a big bonfire and listen to these songs again.

Lily Allen MySpace Page
Link To Buy ‘LDN’ 7″

April 20, 2006

COLDCUT (FEAT. ROOTS MANUVA) – True Skool (CD & 12″ EPs)

True Skool CoverNinja Tune ZENCDS178 / ZEN12178: 17th April 2006
1. True Skool
"You just pump your fist and stamp your footsy, if you can't dance just wiggle your tootsie"
2. True Skool (Sway Mix)
"It's high time, people recognised it's my time, 'cause when I rhyme, I reckon I'm a bit like Einstein"
3. True Skool (Switch Mix)
"Whom so ever don't know, best get to know, were too cool, keeping them cuts so cold, it's True Skool."
4. True Skool (Qemists Mix)
"All that we need is to plant the good seed, something to live for, something to believe"
5. True Skool (Spank Rock BBC Soundsystem Mix)
"Just when you thought we could get no ruder, out the way bitch, the be more intruders, Spank Rock, Coldcut and the Roots Manuva"

When I listen to this I get images of Morris dancers, Line dancers, Bollywood dancers or just a room full of people dancing together. It's got a Bollywood sound like 'Romeo' by Basement Jaxx (Except 'Romeo' was one of the worst records ever made and this is one of the best). Roots Manuva's words are the most lyrically dense thing I've read since Public Enemy. It's like he's eaten a dictionary. He uses application, citation, iration, gyration and inclination all in one totally coherent breath. It's absolute genius. It's basically about him and Coldcut being 'True Skool' and "Far from the regular nothing you're used to". It's represented by a Radio Edit, Album Version, Instrumental and an Acapella.

The 'Sway Mix' features new vocals by Sway in addition to Roots Manuva's originals. It sounds like all the guys in the Thriller video clapping along to some old horror movie music. Sway is usually pictured with a facemask. But from this I'm picturing him with a smoking jacket and cigarette holder like a rap Noel Coward. When he says "Highlight" he pronounces it "Hah-light".

The 'Switch Mix' speeds things up considerably. Most remixes build and release the tension with depressing predictability. But this goes from fast to slow, loud to quite with no warning whatsoever. It's like at least eight different remixes across the course of six fantastic minutes.

The 'Qemists Mix' is a high-energy Drum 'n' Bass mix. It'd be great to dance to but it's got no finesse. This is probably the least essential mix on here.

The 'Spank Rock BBC Soundsystem Mix' retains the spirit of the original version but with a new Beastie Boys style vocal. They partially re-write the chorus and add a couple of short new verses. I love the way he says "POP-ular fluff", it bursts right out of his mouth.

Check out MusicLikeDirt for an excellent live review, photos and videos from when I saw them in London.

Coldcut Website / Coldcut MySpace Page
Roots Manuva Website / Ninja Tune Website
Spank Rock Website / Spank Rock MySpace Page

April 17, 2006

ORPHAN BOY – Live Demo (Downloads)

Live Demo Download ImageOrphan Boy Website: Early 2006
1. The Great British Sitcom
"A fortnight at the Met Bar, oh they're chasin' nothing more, cos pop music's a one night slut, and rock 'n' roll's a whore"
2. Got Plenty
"Sally M is gentry, man oh she got plenty, like a man of letters, second guessing the trend-setters"
3. Orphan Boy
"Got a daytime job, in a nightime bar, got no money and he won't get far"
4. Lovebirds
"Wide eyed so young and romantically fallen into lust, oh the wedding bells that chime those hills, are crawling into us"
5. Satellites
"We love the rose but we hate the rule, for private land and private schools"
6. Mr. Stevens
"He died on the stairs of an old nuns home, he never said a word, or never left a trace, the death of a man, who never had a face"
7. Birthday
"In a silent taxi, we drive on to the grave, in the dead of the morning, down by you I laid"
8. Boots
"Guess you just got a brand new box of matches, what's right is right, but you ain't been right yet"

Last night I listened to a 30 second clip of Orphan Boy's new single at the Piccadilly Records Website. I almost started jumping around the room in excitement. But it had already sold out because its limited run of 300 copies had all been bought on pre-order. My excitement now turning to panic I went to their Website and found they we're giving away 8 live demos to wet peoples appetites. If you're looking for the new Arctic Monkeys, look no further. I don't mean a sad pathetic attempt to jump on the bandwagon. I mean a band who have the lyrics, the music, the grit and the wit to stand along side them.

I would advise downloading all these tracks, but downloading 'The Great British Sitcom' is mandatory. It covers similar ground to 'Fake Tales Of San Francisco' but with better lyrics, better lyrics than Alex Turner you say? (Go read the lyrics at their Website). 'Got Plenty' is a story of wasted lives spent in dead end towns. The bass guitar on 'Orphan Boy' is fantastic. It's their theme tune and it's about a boy earning no money in a job he hates. 'Lovebirds' is a love song with future hit single written all over it. The lyrics to 'Satellites' show a general contempt for society and authority. 'Mr. Stevens' tells the tale of an old man who's forgotten and shunned by the world around him. 'Birthday' rivals 'The Great British Sitcom' for being the best of the bunch. It's the most emotional song here and will replace the traditional birthday chant for anyone not exactly glad to be that bit older. If it ever became a big hit, I could see it being sung by groups of drunken men with tears in their eyes, shouting "We pissed it away". It's a true classic with a great Harmonica solo. 'Boots' is a cover of Nancy Sinatra's 1966 hit 'These Boots Are Made For Walking'. They tear into it with reckless abandon and it forms a brilliant end to this set.

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of their single 'Billy's England / Postcode' because it sounds like it might even top these songs. I'm also looking forward to hearing them given the studio treatment. These boys are gonna be stars.

To download these songs go to their Website or just click on the titles above.

Orphan Boy Website / Orphan Boy MySpace Page / Grace Records Website

April 15, 2006

ADAM GREEN – Nat King Cole (CD EP)

Nat King Cole CoverRough Trade RTRADSCD308: 1st May 2006
1. Nat King Cole
"I got a hole in my barrel, Cheryl, she left me out in the cold"
2. Crying, Waiting, Hoping
"You're the one I love, and I think about you all the time"
3. Cupid
"Cupid draw back your bow, and let your arrow go"
4. Bleeding Heart (02/15/96)
"You're a broken book, a thieving crook, you stole my heart with just one look"

I've recently read that Adam Green is treated like some kind of messiah in Germany. The thing that's always surprised me is that he isn't treated like a god everywhere. For me his singles are an event because he always backs them with a few superb covers. In the past he has done 'Kokomo', 'I'll Be Your Mirror' and most famously 'What A Waster' (To name a few). His cover of 'Born To Run' got me into Bruce Springsteen, and for that I thank him.

On his last album I detected the influence of The Doors in the music. With 'Nat King Cole' their influence can instead be felt in his vocals. Just compare the way he says, "Maître D’ gettin' fired" with the way Jim Morrison says "Light my fire". This didn't appeal as immediately as previous singles. It's a mix of acoustic guitars and oriental strings. The drums in the background gradually build the tension and on the third or fourth listen I was in love with this song. I love the way it goes all crazy at the end when he shouts "Break it down now".

'Crying, Waiting, Hoping' is an old Buddy Holly song. I found it oddly striking because at one point when he sings "Crying" it sounds like "cRYAN" (Ryan being my first name). It's got a lovely, understated and short organ solo two thirds through. 'Cupid' is a cover of Sam Cooke's classic love song. This song perfectly suits Adam Green's incredible deep voice and he drags every drop of emotion out of it. I've been singing this under my breath all day. These two songs will be loved by you, your mum and probably even your gran.

If the numbers after 'Bleeding Heart' are a recording date it would pre-date even his Moldy Peaches stuff. It has a lo-fi charm but doesn't have the crafted pop feel of the version previously released as the B-side to 'Dance With Me'. What is interesting is that it's clear that he has always been writing amazing songs because this is one of his best (And that's saying something).

I've included a link to the brilliant Iggy Pop like early song, 'Baby's Gonna Die Tonight' (Although it doesn't sound like anything he's done since).

Baby's Gonna Die Tonight mp3

Adam Green Website / Adam Green MySpace Page