Archive for July, 2006

July 21, 2006

LILY ALLEN – Smile: Digital Soundboy Remixes (12″ Promo)

Digital Soundboy Remixes CoverRegal 12REGDJX135: July 2006
1. Smile (Digital Soundboy Remix)
“At first when I see you cry, yeah it makes me smile, yeah it makes my smile”
2. Smile (Digital Soundboy Dub Mix)
“Smile, I go ahead and smile”

A new Lily Allen 12″ promo of ‘Smile’ just started appearing on Ebay. It’s a Drum ‘n’ Bass Remix by Shy FX aka Andre Williams. It’s way better than the ‘Gutter Mix’ that appeared on the official release of ‘Smile’. The Dub is almost identical, it just features a few less vocal lines. If you like Lily Allen you’re gonna need this release.

Click here to find a copy on Ebay.

Shy FX – Plastic Soul mp3

Here are links to videos of ‘Smile’ and an ‘Interview On Transmission’ from YouTube.

Shy FX MySpace Page / Digital Soundboy Website

July 21, 2006

LADYFUZZ – Oh Marie! (Re-Issue CD & 2x 7″ Singles)

Oh Marie CoverTransgressive TRANS033CD / TRANS033 / TRANS033X: 10th July 2006
1. Oh Marie!
“A lover of drama, wants to take all the leads, yer, hinting that heart just won’t get you the part”
2. Do You Think?
“What’s the time frame for your love, for the need to grow much stronger, so that I can pull this off”
3. I Never Talk To Strangers (With Dan Michaelson)
“Your life’s a dime store novel, this town is full of guys like you, and you’re looking for someone, to take the place of her”
4. Oh Marie! (GoodBooks Short Story)
“This season’s fashion, a crime of passion”
5. Oh Marie! (Jeremy Warmsley Gospel Truth Edition)
“Hush now for Marie is asleep, in the twilight between her sheets and her dreams”

This is a re-release of Ladyfuzz’s first single, from January 2005. Mathematically speaking I should like ‘Oh Marie!’, it’s got a pumping Bass sound, danceable Drums, great surf Guitar and Liz Neumayr’s oddly endearing vocals. But somehow it just doesn’t do anything for me, it seems too clinically Arty. B-side ‘Do You Think?’ is a twisted Lo-Fi blues song with a  brilliant Xylophone solo.

I’m not a big Ladyfuzz fan but I had to buy this release because it has a B-side featuring Dan Michaelson from Absentee (And I’m a huge Absentee fan). It’s a cover of Tom Waits and Bette Midler’s classic song ‘I Never Talk To Strangers’. It’s odd that I’ve never noticed before how much Dan sounds like Tom Waits. Vocally it’s an improvement, which might sound like sacrilege, but Dan’s voice is more velvety and Liz’s voice is more eccentric. Musically the Piano and Sax is ditched for a Guitar and a hell of a lot of background noise, which spoils it a bit.

GoodBooks’ ‘Short Story’ Remix creates an entirely new background of glitchy beeps and sound effects that build steadily towards the end. Jeremy Warmsley’s ‘Gospel Truth Edition’ Remix slows Liz’s voice right down so it sounds like Linda Blair. It’s a brilliantly bizarre reworking that never does anything you’d expect and ends with a piercing scream drenched in feedback. To paraphrase Alan Partridge, in my opinion these Remixes are superior in essence to the original.

Click here to buy the ‘Transgressive Singles Collection’ that contains the original release of ‘Oh Marie!’ from Amazon for £11.99.

Ladyfuzz Website / Ladyfuzz MySpace Page
Absentee Website / Absentee MySpace Page
GoodBooks Website / GoodBooks MySpace Page
Jeremy Warmsley Website / Jeremy Warmsley MySpace Page

July 20, 2006

JIM NOIR – Eanie Meany (Re-Issue 2x CD & 7″ Singles)

Eanie Meany CoverMy Dad Recordings MY011CD / MY011CDX / MY011: 10th July 2006
1. Eanie Meany (Radio Mix, Album Mix and Fatboy Slim Remix)
“If you don’t give my football back, I’m gonna get my dad on you, I only kicked it over your fence, and broke a silly Gnome or two”
2. That’s Not Her
“Music on the radio, is her only escape from the day, she feels so low”
3. Ordinary Man
“Some people think our life is dull, the same thing day and night, some people think we must be bored, and my god, they’re right”

This is a re-release of Jim Noir’s very first record, the one that made me fall in love with his quirky Pop sounds back in Christmas 2004. Now a year and a half later he’s put it out again to coincide with the World Cup, which ended just before this hit the shops, which isn’t the best timing. Of course if you’ve heard Jim live you’ll know that ‘My Patch’ would have made a much better footie tune, imagine thousands of drunk idiots chanting “If you ever step on my patch, I’ll bring you down”.

I pressed play and thought wow ‘Eanie Meany’ is such a great track, but today it sounds totally unbelievable. I then realised that Jim has grafted on extra Drums to the ‘Radio Mix’ that totally transform the track. The down side is that the ‘Album Mix’ now sounds totally shite. There are a lot of Fatboy Slim haters out there and I’m not usually one of them. But he really has phoned his Remix in this time. It’s got handclaps, extra Guitars and that trademark swirling music and building drums bit at 2.30. As previous Remixers of Jim have realised, Pop wise he can’t be improved on, so they’ve taken his sound in new directions.

Jim has also included two brand new tracks focusing on a girl and boy wishing to escape a life of drudgery. They’re not up to the standard of his singles but they make pretty good B-sides.

Here are links to watch the videos for ‘A Quiet Man’, ‘My Patch’, ‘Eanie Meany’ and ‘The Making Of Eanie Meany’ on YouTube.

Click here to play Jim’s Pythonesque ‘Football Time’ online game.

Jim Noir MySpace Page / Fatboy Slim Myspace Page

July 19, 2006

JAMES DEAN BRADFIELD – That’s No Way To Tell A Lie (2x CD & 7″ Singles)

That's No Way To Tell A Lie CoverColumbia 82876861592 / 82876861582 / 82876861587: 10th July 2006
1. That’s No Way To Tell A Lie
“So we crawl from the water’s edge, returning to dip our heads again, and back to where it all began”
2. Don’t Look Back
“Sing another song, as long as the words don’t break your heart, have another drink, as long as you don’t fall down again”
3. Kodachrome Ghosts
“Pictures cling to my mind, 1980’s Christmas day, you we’re younger than I am today, now I’m here in this room, with your life on my knees, a shoe box full of memories”
4. I Never Wanted Sunshine
“I’m just taking it slow today, just waiting for the wind to change, to blow away the blue skies”
5. Lost Again
“Stretching out to a different place, I’m finding pieces of your crown, and it breaks my heart to say, I’ve looked but never found”

I’m a massive fan of Manic Street Preachers and I love pretty much everything they’ve done. I love their much maligned second album and I also love their criminally underrated last album. I’m not one of those stupid people that resent the fact that they didn’t split up after the first album like they promised. So my initial disappointment with James Dean Bradfield’s first solo single came as a surprise. But after the sixth or seventh listen of ‘That’s No Way To Tell A Lie’ something just clicked and I loved it. The lyrics seem to be hinting at the image of Jesus rising from the dead. It nicks the shimmering Synth from ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and adds handclaps and the trademark Guitar work. But whether or not you grow to love the A-side, you’ve got to buy this release for the quality of the B-sides.

‘Don’t Look Back’ is an anguished bid to escape a past full of regret. The opening line of the Pet Shop Boy’s classic 1990 single ‘Being Boring’ was “I came across a cache of old photos” and ‘Kodachrome Ghosts’ expands this image to a whole song. His voice slips in and out of a graceful Falsetto as the pain of his memories become more acute. James’s first ever lyric ‘Ocean Spray’ was about his recently departed Mother. This is also about somebody who is gone, but it isn’t made clear whom. The Guitar solo is another James Dean Bradfield masterpiece and it’s so tear stained you can just about taste the salt. ‘I Never Wanted Sunshine’ has a fiercely angry sound that is matched by a bitter lyric. ‘Lost Again’ seems to be about James’ feelings towards God, which connects it with ‘That’s No Way To Tell A Lie’. He’s surveying the state of the world today and wondering, if God exists why doesn’t he do something.

These are songs that deal with faith, regret, loss and confusion as befits a man who has only found his voice in his late 30s. Hopefully this will come out as a 5-Track Japanese release like some of the Manic’s singles did, because these songs deserve to be heard as a whole. Only a week until the album comes out, I can’t wait.

Here are links to watch the videos for ‘That’s No Way To Tell A Lie’, ‘Émigré (Acoustic)’ and ‘Ocean Spray’ on YouTube.

Click here to pre-order ‘The Great Western’ CD album from HMV for only £8.99.

James Dean Bradfield Website / James Dean Bradfield MySpace Page
Manic Street Preachers Website / Nicky Wire Website

July 19, 2006

GET CAPE. WEAR CAPE. FLY – Call Me Ishmael / I-Spy (CD & 7″ Single)

Call Me Ishmael & I-Spy CoverAtlantic ATUK032CD / ATUK032: 10th July 2006
1. Call Me Ishmael
“And fatigue’s soon ignored, as your feet hit the board, or as the beat hits the floor, these are the moments that we’re living for”
2. I-Spy
“I don’t care, that this song has a melody, or that the beats are not complex, I’m just trying to make you sing and not be perplexed”
3. To Have & To Have Not
“At twenty-one you’re on top of the scrapheap, at sixteen you were top of yer class, all they taught you at school, was how to be a good worker, the system has failed you, don’t fail yourself”
4. The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager: Part One (Live)
“We broke our backs on floors of stone, but I’d rather wake there any day, than wake up here alone”

At last, here is the follow up to Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly’s split EP with Dave House. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly is Sam Duckworth, who sings songs backed by Laptop Electronica, Violins and Brass instruments. I first heard him at a Love Music Hate Racism night at the Bush Hall in London that Sam had arranged. Since then he’s signed up to Atlantic and it’s always good to have such a politically committed guy riding high in the charts.

‘Call Me Ishmael’ is like the thoughts of Billy Bragg channelled through the music of Patrick Wolf and The Polyphonic Spree. The bit where Sam sings the line “The one little moment where our dreams still feel alive” and the Cornet comes in, makes me want to wave my hands in the air, dance out into the street and hug everybody! At 2.40 it reminded me of ‘Lisa, It’s Your Birthday’ from that episode of The Simpsons where they cast Michael Jackson as a white mental patient (Wait, that’s MJ in the real world too). I’ve included a link to download it, you listen to it, am I mad or what?

‘I-Spy’ was on Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly’s self-titled first EP and it appears here in a superior new version. It’s about throwing any notion of complexity out the window in favour of a good old sing-along, because it can bring people together “Lalalalalalalala”.

‘To Have & To Have Not’ is a cover of a Billy Bragg song from one of the finest albums ever released, ‘Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy’. Wisely, Sam doesn’t try to compete with the savage anger of Billy’s original, so he goes for a mournful acoustic interpretation. Instead he lets his anger be felt through his aggressive Guitar playing at the end.

The 7″ comes with a 3″ CD with a live version of ‘The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager: Part One’. It comes attached to the 7″ by a specially designed metal clip, it’s so cool. The track was recorded at a Love Music Hate Racism concert in Trafalgar Square. It ends with a speech by Sam about the BNP and the need to vote. This has been the BNP’s most successful year, but as Billy Bragg sang “Cynicism’s such a cop out” so click here to register to vote.

Lisa, It’s Your Birthday mp3

Here links to watch videos of ‘Whitewash Is Brainwash’, ‘Call Me Ishmael’, ‘The Making Of Call Me Ishmael’, a clip of the Bush Hall night and ‘The Making Of I-Spy / the I-Spy video’ on YouTube.

Click here to buy the first EP for £6.

Click here to buy A Gravity Dip label sampler that has an exclusive Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly track for only £2.

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly Website / Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly MySpace Page
Love Music Hate Racism Website / Billy Bragg Website

July 18, 2006

COCOSUMA – Bam! Tululu! (7″ Single)

Bam! Tululu! CoverSetanta SET7153: 10th July 2006
1. Bam! Tululu!
“I’ve been waiting, for a night like this, now I’m leaving, goodbye, I’ve been Jesus Christ, no I’m gonna die, life can be quite vain, if you don’t rise again”
2. Courtyard
“A lovely stone courtyard, with a lacy iron gate, and a bountiful garden, where I could wait”

‘Bam! Tululu!’ is called what it’s called because in the background voices hum ‘Bam! Tululu!’.  Over that, male and female vocals drift in and out as if searching for each other.  The music brings to mind a gentler Jazz sounding version of Moloko.

‘Courtyard’ is a cover of late 60s/early 70s Country singer Bobbie Gentry.  It’s a beautiful song that brings to mind Nick Drake, Nico and more recently The Concretes.  I shall have to track down some of Bobbie Gentry’s music, anyone that can write songs of such delicate grace deserves to be heard.  Apparently her albums are out of print, including the album this comes from.

Cocosuma Website / Cocosuma MySpace Page
Ode To Bobbie Gentry Website

July 17, 2006

THE VICHY GOVERNMENT – Suspended On Full Pay (Free Download Single)

Suspended On Full Pay CoverFilthy Little Angels LITTLE0005: 5th June 2006
1. Suspended On Full Pay
“I kindly informed that stupid bitch, I thought her brains were full of shit, her McPerience® had clearly left her resentful, she had no right to act like a mental”
2. Whore Of Babylon
“Mrs T always said society didn’t exist, and this place proves it, everyone’s a godless hedonist”

This is yet another completely free single from the wonderful Vichy Government! aka Jamie Manners and Andrew Chilton. With their spoken word meets Casio toy Piano sound they are truly a band like no other. These two new tracks come closer to normal songs than their other work (Like how close New York is to London, compared to how close the Earth is to the Sun).

You know that scene where Edward Norton threatens to kill his work mates in ‘Fight Club’? Well ‘Suspended On Full Pay’ is a bit like that scene in song form. Check the artwork to read the (Genuine?) letter informing Jamie of his suspension. ‘Whore Of Babylon’ covers similar debauched ground as ‘Oliver Cromwell In Weimar Berlin’ except that instead of showing disdain, it revels in excess. One day The Vichy Government are gonna be on the news. It could be for having an unexpected number one single, or it could be because they’ve been arrested for mass murder. Frankly, It could be either.

Suspended On Full Pay mp3
Whore Of Babylon mp3
One Less White Christmas (One More Widow) mp3
Christmas Is Cancelled (Cover of The Long Blondes) mp3
Elvis & The Beatles mp3
Luke Haines Is Dead mp3

Here is the Front and Back artwork for the single or just visit here.

The Vichy Government Website / The Vichy Government MySpace Page
Filthy Little Angels Website / Filthy Little Angels MySpace Page

July 17, 2006

LILY ALLEN – Smile (2x CD Singles)

Smile CoverRegal REG135 / REGS135: 3rd July 2006
1. Smile
“Now you’re calling me up on the phone, so you can have a little whine and a moan, and it’s only because you’re feeling alone”
2. Smile (Gutter Mix)
“I was so lost back then, but with a little help from my friends, I found a light in the tunnel at the end”
3. Cheryl Tweedy
“Oh, I wish I didn’t smoke so, many Cigarettes, another program on antiques, on the TV set, wish I had blonde hair, wish I had green eyes, so many things about myself, that I despise”
4. Absolutely Nothing
“Keep thinkin’ I’m not letting on, I feel this sad, and then you’ve got the cheek to ask me how I feel, and I say, absolutely nothing, I’m absolutely fine, absolutely nothing you can say to change my mind”

I’ve commented before that Lily has stronger tracks than ‘Smile’ and like I said in my review of the Promo back in May “I’m sure the least of Lily’s tracks are destined for chart glory”. I was right, because she’s just had a second week at the number one spot. So god knows what her future singles are gonna do (Personally I’d pick ‘Friday Night’ as the next release, it’s a masterpiece).

So this is her first proper/official/buy-it-in-the-shops type release and it’s backed by a Grimey Remix by Aaron LaCrate aka Gutter Music. It’s not my cup of tea but at least it doesn’t have the sound of gunshots all over it. But the bit where it builds up to absolute bursting point at 2.12 is fantastic.

‘Smile’ is also backed by two non-LP tracks. Musically ‘Cheryl Tweedy’ reminds me of the Stereo MCs and lyrically it’s a cousin of ‘Everything’s Just Wonderful’ (Which is probably why it isn’t on the album). Lily spends the song beating herself up by comparing her self to Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy. Lily’s obviously of the opinion that rather than see an expensive shrink you can release your thoughts on CD and make a mint. ‘Absolutely Nothing’ is totally new, it wasn’t even on either of the Mixtapes. It’s has more of a Rock sound than her other songs and it’s unusually downbeat. If you listen to ‘Smile’ right after ‘Absolutely Nothing’ the two songs link up, the depression and then the revenge!

Also be sure to buy this weeks NME to read the torrent of abusive letters Lily is sure to get because they gave her the cover last week. They should have given her the cover ages ago!

Click here to purchase a U-Myx copy of ‘Smile’, which allows you make your own Remix. Also download the ‘Smile (Chill Pill Instrumental)’ by yours truly as an mp3 or as a U-Myx file. Or click here to download other peoples Remixes (Which aren’t as good!).

Click here to read Cheryl Tweedy’s Wikipedia entry (It also has articles about other stuff like Einstein and shit…).

The album is out today, click here to buy it from HMV for only £8.99.

Lily Allen Website / Lily Allen MySpace Page
Aaron LaCrate Website / Aaron LaCrate MySpace Page

July 15, 2006

RAZORLIGHT – In The Morning (2x CD & 7″ Singles)

In The Morning CoverMercury 1701088 / 1702000 / 1701087: 3rd July 2006
1. In The Morning
“You’re still out there darling, clinging on to the wrong ideas but, I never regret anything I done”
2. Black Jeans
“We ran through Whitechapel, I felt the summer warm glow, I wore a silver chain and black jeans darling, and he, he was the last to know”
3. Doctor, Doctor
“Above all it made me sick, I wanted the truth, but he just licked his lips and smiled, and that’s just the price ya payin'”
4. What’s It All About?
“Got electrocuted by an Iron the other week, don’t know much about it, mine is pretty beat”
5. Get It & Go (Live From Brixton)
“We talked all night about suicide, and she said if this is living, how come I never feel alive”

Ah, Johnny Borrel and the boys from Razorlight return to remind everyone of their complete mastery of a Pop-Rock tune. In June 2004 something wonderful and something unfortunate happened to Razorlight. ‘Golden Touch’ went absolutely interstellar, but that song was by in way representative of the harder Punk sound of the rest of their output. So they released the stop-gap single ‘Somewhere Else’ in an attempt to replicate the sound of ‘Golden Touch’. It was another great single but it seemed that the mainstream had tamed them a little.

‘In The Morning’ brings back allot of the edge, if not quite as ragged as early singles like ‘Rip It Up’. The Bass, the Guitar, the vocals, the mix… everything about this song is perfection and they make it sound so effortless. The calls of “Are you really gonna do it this time?” at the end are a particular highlight.

‘Black Jeans’ reminds me of one of those quite acoustic songs that The Libertines did so well. It’s filled with nostalgia, like when Johnny sings “They played a song on the radio” and backing vocals drift in to sing that song’s chorus. ‘Doctor, Doctor’ starts off like a sad Glam-Pop ballad by either Bowie or Elton John. Then at 1.40 a wave optimism comes in and it turns into a Springsteen epic. It’s finished off with an achingly beautiful Piano coda (Get those lighters ready if they play it on tour).

“What’s It All About?” is written and performed by Drummer Andy Burrows. As Rudi said to Spider in the Mighty Boosh “I think that it is perhaps something to be saved for your solo project”. Last up is a live version of ‘Get It & Go’ (A highlight from their first album). It’s an example of how good Razorlight can be live. Listen to the way the band fade out, and Johnny, backed by a single Guitar, belts out the line “If you’re hangin’, on my words yeah, well that’s alright with me” (I’m sure the crowd were). Then the band positively explode back in for a final thrashing of their instruments.

Here are links to the videos for ‘Rip It Up’, ‘Stumble & Fall’, ‘Golden Touch’, ‘Vice’, ‘Somewhere Else’ and ‘In The Morning’ on YouTube.

Razorlight Website / Razorlight MySpace Page
Razorlight UK Fansite / Razorlight Japanese Fansite

July 13, 2006

JAMIE T – Sheila (CD & 2x 7″ Singles)

Sheila CoverVirgin VSCDT1917 / VS1917 / VSX1917: 3rd July 2006
1. Sheila
“Jack had a gang that he called ‘The Many Grams’, he was known as ‘Smack Jack the cracker man’, in life he was dealt some shit hands, but the boys got the back now”
2. Sheila (Live @ Panic Prevention Disco)
“Well her lingo went from the cockney to the gringo, any time she sing a song, the other girls sing along, and told all the fellas, lady is single, fickle way to tickle on my young mans tipple”
3. Northern Line
“Oh my goody gosh darn it, chattin’ to Barney from High Barnet, with no barnet, about how he cert do love it, a young son muppet, with my ma’s Gin ‘n’ Tonic, and I’m pukin’ up all over your Capri car bonnet”
4. Down To The Subway
“She’s bleeding, who’s gonna get her outta this place, it not me, not a gentlemen’s race”

Jamie T has a love of the English language but he knows the beauty of it is in the way it constantly changes and evolves. He mixes it up, spits out tongue twisters and adds bits just for way the words sound. Like it says in ‘Sheila’, “Blue blooded murder of the English tongue”. It combines the Pop appeal of ‘Salvador’ with the lyrical intricacy of ‘Back In The Game’. It’s about three troubled souls, Sheila, Jack and Georgina. They don’t know each other but they are linked together when loneliness leads to drink and in turn leads to their untimely deaths. The music is a mix of gliding Strings, clattering Drums and a beautiful summery Organ. A live acoustic version is also included which gives you a chance to fully appreciate Jamie’s words and listen to the crowd’s shouts of “London” (Check the bit where only one person shouts “London” and Jamie retorts, “That’s feeble”). It’s easily his best single to date.

With ‘Northern Line’, this could have easily been a double A-side. It’s a lot closer to a straight up Rap song than his other work. Your fingers, arms, legs, toes or any part of your body is going to move to this tune. Even so, it’s crying out for a further injection of dancefloor energy, especially the line “You move when you groovin’, you loose what you loosin’… etc” (Somebody remix it please). ‘Down To The Subway’ is another great track that brings some Jazz flavoured Piano to the mix. It isn’t in the same league as the other two songs but it still makes a worthy B-side.

You need this single if only for the artwork which features a physical representation of Jamie’s influences. There’s a Clash album, a Larrikin Love single, a Cymbal, loads of Cassettes, Wine, Cigarettes and even a half eaten Lasagne. See what you can spot, I see something new each time I look at it. Lastly, if you look on Ebay there is a three track promo with an essential Instrumental version of Sheila on. It’s well worth getting a copy.

Click here to sign up to Jamie T’s mailing list and get a brilliant free track called ‘Do You Have The Time’.

Click here to read a brilliant live review from MusicLikeDirt.

Sheila (Live On Transmission) mp3 / YouTube Video

Click here to download a lovely Lo-Fi cover of ‘Sheila’ by The Yukon Keep Me Up All Night.

Sheila samples ‘The Cockney Amorist’ by Sir John Betjeman. Click here to download it.

Click here to watch the video for ‘Sheila’ on YouTube.

Jamie T Website / Jamie T MySpace Page
The Yukon Keep Me Up All Night MySpace Page