Archive for November, 2006

November 30, 2006

THE RUMBLE STRIPS – Cardboard Coloured Dreams (CD EP)

Island 1709418: 20th November 2006
1. Oh Creole
“A tear rolls down his face, he licks his lips and tastes, whisky you just can’t waste, god bless those weeping eyes”
2. Born Bored
“I was born bored, I was born with a glazed look in my eye, and my mother picked me up and I let out a sigh”
3. High Street Heaven
“High street heaven, high street sweet sweet heaven, only human, boy am I easily impressed, by bright lights”
4. Running Away
“But then again, I’ve got two feet, and although my legs ain’t got much meat, I know they’ll sure as hell go, where I say”

This is the first major label release for The Rumble Strips after two 7″s on Transgressive Records. It’s available as a children’s-book-style thick cardboard CD (There’s no way it’s gonna fit on my CD racks), an 8″ or a 12″ with huge foldout poster. If you’ve not heard them yet, think early Dexys with an extra slice of Rockabilly.

‘Oh Creole’ isn’t as immediately catchy as the previous singles but it’s got a wonderfully soulful vocal. ‘Born Bored’ has a twitching rhythm, a Zutons like interlude and hilarious lyrics. ‘High Street Heaven’ is a joyous tune with a hint of 50s Rock ‘n’ Roll and a thumping Bass line. ‘Running Away’ departs from the familiar Rumble Strips sound with a delightful Musichall Piano. The bit where the music stops and Charlie Waller belts out the line “Tastes like freedom” will make your heart soar. Lyrically it’s akin to ‘Motorcycle’ (But on foot) and it’s the best track on the EP.

If you’ve already got the four tracks from the first two singles, buy this EP, download the two songs below and you’ve got an albums worth of Rumble Strips songs to enjoy ’til the real album comes out next year.

4 Walls mp3
My Oh My mp3

Here are links to videos for ‘Motorcycle’, ‘No Soul’, ‘Hate Me You Do’ and ‘Oh Creole’ on YouTube.

The Rumble Strips MySpace Page

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November 26, 2006

THAT COLD BLACK MAGIC (Compilation)

It’s been a while since I did a mix-tape so I thought it’s about time I did another one.

These are some of the old and new tunes that I’ve been almost playing-to-death recently. I’ve uploaded the compilation as a 74mb Zip file which you’ll find below. I’ve knocked a cover up too, just print it out, glue it, cut it out and bingo, you’ve got a cover for the CD. It makes a very cheap Christmas present (Although I might do a compilation of Christmas tunes if I can think of enough good ones). I’ll post another compilation at some point in the future and take this one down. Hopefully it’s an entertaining hour and twenty minutes with tracks by:

The Who, Yellowbelly, Patrick Wolf, Billy Bragg, Coldcut (Feat. Lu Grady), Oscar Brown Jr, Jurassic 5, Primal Scream Vs The Jungle Brothers, Tom Lehrer, The Flamin’ Groovies, Misty’s Big Adventure (Feat. Jeremy Vine), Richie Havens, Jegsy Dodd & The Original Sinners, Klaxons, Bone Idols & Aphletik (Feat. Ty), Talking Heads, Lupe Fiasco, Architecture In Helsinki and Jarvis.

If you like the tracks there are links included so you can find out more.

That Cold Black Magic Zip (74mb)

November 21, 2006

MISTY’S BIG ADVENTURE – Fashion Parade (7″ & Download Singles)

Sunday Best SBESTS40 / 7Digital: 13th November 2006
1. Fashion Parade (Feat. Noddy Holder)
“The boys in the club love the fashion parade, and the girls in the club love the fashion parade, and the people at the top love the fashion parade, the people at the top lead the fashion parade”
2. Crumpled Up Guy
“Grave robbing beast, grave robbing beast, you drew a picture of me as a grave robbing beast, so they called for a priest”
3. The Kids Are Radio Active
“They put a phone mast up by the school where we live, now we’ve got much better reception, so when the kids go insane, we can call to complain, as we’re running in the other direction”
4. Fashion Parade (Feat. Jeremy Vine)
“Yes we gotta get out of this bland age, when nothing means allot, and now nothing’s all we got, in the bland age”
5. Fashion Parade (Instrumental)
“Instrumental”

If you’ve never heard Misty’s Big Adventure before, they’re most easily described as Britain’s answer to The Flaming Lips. Apart from their Christmas fan-CD, ‘Fashion Parade’ is the follow up to last year’s incredible ‘The Story Of Love’ single (It was my “Official” favourite song of 2005!). ‘Fashion Parade’ is available as a 7″ with the first three tracks on and to download from 7Digital with the last two songs included. If you look on Ebay, you can get all five tracks on one convenient promo CD. ‘Fashion Parade’ is a devilishly funny swipe at the current Princes of Indie-Rock. It starts off sounding like another quirky Misty’s Big Adventure Pop-gem and then it all stops and you here a voice say:

“Hey everyone, I just got back from the record store, and I got a load of post-Punk records, well see I’ve been thinking about it for a while, here’s what we’re gonna do, listen to them, and then rip them off, and I reckon, we’ll make a ton of money”

Then you get the ‘Ooooooh’ bit from any Kaiser Chiefs’ record you care to mention and a savagely cynical chorus of “Lots of money, lots and lots of money” that’ll be familiar to any one who’s heard a Franz Ferdinand song. After that, the voice of Noddy Holder or Jeremy Vine comes in (Depending on which version you’re listening to) with an announcement about “The arrival on the scene of 500 new bands, sounding exactly the same” (Personally I prefer the Jeremy Vine version, it is read as a news report after all). There’s also an ‘Instrumental’ version where you can hear the sound of a huge line of coke being snorted at 2.53. Misty’s Big Adventure clearly aren’t hoping to make many friends in the music business with this record. But as long as they continue to make singles even half as good as this, they’ll always have a friend in me.

As with any Misty’s Big Adventure release, the B-sides don’t disappoint. ‘Crumpled Up Guy’ is about being the guy in a child’s drawing. The catch is that the child has voodoo powers and they can control you. It’s like a great missing song from Adam Green’s second album. ‘The Kids Are Radio Active’ concerns those damaging mobile-phone rays we’re always being warned about… and what would happen if they turned the school kids in blood thirsty zombies.

Here are links to watch the fantastic videos for ‘Fashion Parade’, ‘Hey Man’, ‘The Story Of Love’ and ‘Where Do Jam Jars Go At Xmas Time?’ on YouTube.

Click here to buy the latest Misty’s Big Adventure album ‘The Black Hole’ from HMV for only £9.99.

Misty’s Big Adventure Website / Misty’s Big Adventure MySpace Page

November 18, 2006

TY (FEAT. MACEO) – Closer (12″ EP)

Big Dada BD099: 13th November 2006
1. Closer (Original / Instrumental / Acapella)
“For you to have a mind, means no success, unless you suc… ceed, I’d rather suck breasts”
2. Closer (Blackbeard Remix / Blackbeard Instrumental)
“I rock but I’m not Billy Idol, Hip-Hop version of Coldplay, with several forms of devious role-play, act like Keyser Söze, just to get a word in edgeways”

‘Closer’ is the title-track and second single from Ty’s latest album. Backing vocals are provided by Maceo from De La Soul (aka Vincent Mason, P.A. Mase, Pasemaster, Plug Three etc). Ty’s laid-back delivery and frequently hilarious lyrics are backed by drifting Horns, twinkling crystalline sounds and deep Bass. It’s another chilled-out single from the Mercury Prize nominee with words aimed straight at mainstream-Hip-Hop’s complacent heart. Ironically, the dreamy Jazz organs, and skittering Beats of the ‘Blackbeard Remix’ sound more like Ty than the original version does and it’s a big improvement. As with Ty’s last single ‘Don’t Watch That / What You Want?’ it’s backed by Instrumentals and an Acapella.

Click here to buy the EP as wmas, aacs or mp3s from 7Digital.

Click here to watch the video for ‘Closer’ on YouTube (However, it seems that Ty himself has left a comment saying it’s rubbish).

Here’s an mp3 recording of a 2003 12″ that I bought on Ebay a while back. It’s become a firm favourite and it’s maybe the best track that Ty has done to date:

Bone Idols & Aphletik – Keep On (Feat. Ty) mp3

Click here to buy Ty’s new ‘Closer’ album from HMV for only £8.99.

If you sign-up to Big Dada’s mailing list, you can get a free mp3 of Ty’s ‘L.O.V.E. (No Matter What) (Feat. Vula)’.

Ty MySpace Page / Blackbeard MySpace Page / Big Dada Website

November 16, 2006

THE HOURS – Ali In The Jungle (CD EP)

Polydor 1714361: 13th November 2006
1. Ali In The Jungle (Original / Extended Mix)
“Like Ludwig Van, how I love that man, well the guy went deaf and didn’t give a fuck… no”
2. Nothing
“I don’t know nothing, and nothing is a problem to me”
3. The Greatest Comeback…
“Instrumental”

‘Ali In The Jungle’ is built around a catchy repetitive Piano sound with Drums, Bass Guitars and Strings pilling on until it reaches it’s epic finish. The lyrics list the names of other people (Apart from Muhammad Ali) who The Hours consider to have never-given-up, including Nelson Mandela, Helen Keller, Beethoven and Joe Simpson. It’s presented in two slightly different versions with the first omitting a vocal sample “Muhammad Ali has won, by a knockdown…etc” from the start and holding the drums back ’til halfway through.

‘Nothing’ is a gentle dreamy mix of Beatles like “Ahhhhhhh” bits and jangly Velvet Underground Guitars. It’s a bit slight in comparison to the A-side. ‘The Greatest Comeback…’ is an uplifting orchestral version of ‘Ali In The Jungle’.

Click here to buy the ‘When We Were Kings’ DVD from HMV for only £8.99. It’s probably the best documentary money can buy. Also check out the surprisingly little-known 1994 Gary Oldman film about Beethoven called ‘Immortal Beloved’. It’s one of my favourite films, but the DVD is a bit hard to come by (Try Ebay). Lastly here’s a link to buy the ‘Touching The Void’ DVD from Amazon.

Click here to watch the ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ fight cut to ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ on YouTube.

Finally here’s another fantastic song inspired by Ali, from the soundtrack to ‘When We Were Kings’ and one of Beethoven’s most famous works:

Fugees – Rumble In The Jungle mp3
Beethoven – Ode To Joy mp3

The Hours Website / The Hours MySpace Page

November 16, 2006

EXAMPLE – What We Made (7″ Single)

The Beats BEATS32: 13th November 2006
1. What We Made
“We all cavemen, in a suit and tie, man why you opposing, conform or die”
2. The Sell-Out
“I don’t want a life with cars and big tits, cos I’m happy with a cupa and some biscuits”

The first thing I heard by Example was his reworking of The Streets’ single ‘When You Wasn’t Famous’. Now he’s released his debut single ‘What We Made’ for Mike Skinner’s own ‘The Beats’ label.

On ‘What We Made’, Example takes a long look at mankind and concludes that evolution has gone very wrong somewhere. Example’s producer Rusher lays down big Drums, Yo-Yo Ma style eastern strings and pulsing beats over a tune you can whistle to. ‘The Sell-Out’ is even better and it attacks artists who make “Commercial bullshit” with no small amount of humour. It’s an addictive mix of handclaps and bouncing Electro sounds.

An exciting new talent has arrived and with other artists like The Mitchell Brothers and Professor Green on The Beats it’s shaping up to be a brilliant label. I highly recommend spending some time checking out the MySpace pages below, because they’re streaming loads of amazing tracks.

Click here to watch the hilarious video for Example’s response to Lily Allen’s ‘Smile’ (It’s called ‘Vile’) on YouTube.

Click here to buy the single as two wma files from 7Digital for 87p each.

Click here to watch the brilliant video for ‘What We Made’ on YouTube (It was filmed at Chernobyl!).

Visit the Website to view Example and his collaborator Rusher’s top-10 records (They’ve got great taste).

Example Website / Example MySpace Page / Rusher MySpace Page
The Beats Website / The Beats MySpace Page

November 16, 2006

CALEXICO / BEIRUT – The Guns Of Brixton / Interior Of A Dutch House (7″ Split Single)

City Slang SLANG504437: 13th November 2006
1. Calexico – The Guns Of Brixton
“When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come, with your hands on your head, or on the trigger of your gun”
2. Beirut – Interior Of A Dutch House
“Could you really be so tired”

Calexico’s cover of The Clash’s 1979 song ‘The Guns Of Brixton’ is a brilliantly atmospheric reworking. Joey Burns’ vocals are whispered with a Dylan like hiss and backed by Horns that reminded me of The Rumble Strips. It’s topped off by a mornful Spanish-language backing singer on the second half. This is one of those rare things, a cover that re-invents a classic track and creates something new and exciting.

Beirut’s contribution is a brand new non-LP track called ‘Interior Of A Dutch House’ (It may or may not be inspired by Pieter De Hooch’s painting of the same name). Zach Condon’s voice is part Rufus Wainwright and part Tim Buckley. Musically, it’s like Sufjan Stevens with warm Brass and gentle acoustic Guitars. It had me whistling along, bobbing my head and imagining warm summer evenings.

Click here to buy Beirut’s album ‘Gulag Orkestar’ from HMV for only £9.99 (It now comes with a free 5-track bonus CD).

Also click here to buy Calexico’s latest album ‘Garden Ruin’ from HMV for only £8.99.

Calexico – All Systems Red (Acoustic Version) mp3
Beirut – Postcards From Italy mp3

Beirut – Mount Wroclai (Idle Days) mp3

Click here to download Loo & Placido’s bootleg mix of ‘The Guns Of Brixton’. It’s renamed ‘What About Brixton?’ and splices in samples of Christina Aguilera, The Beach Boys and others.

Calexico Website / Calexico MySpace Page
Beirut Website
/ Beirut MySpace Page
City Slang Website / City Slang MySpace Page

November 12, 2006

AMY WINEHOUSE – Rehab (2x CD Singles)

Island 1709534 / 1709535: 23rd October 2006
1. Rehab (Original / Desert Eagle Discs Remix)
“I’d rather be at home with Ray, I ain’t got seventy days, cos there’s nothing, there’s nothing you can teach me, that I can’t learn from Mr Hathaway, didn’t get a lot in class, but I know it don’t come in a shot glass”
2. Do Me Good
“It’s like he was designed with me in mind, he’s so broad from behind, he’s beautifully defined”
3. Close To The Front
“I can’t help but analyse your actions, neglecting mine, before I know I’ve fallen hard, and now I tread water in time”

For some reason this single has been about as easy to track down as Richey Manic. In the end I gave up and ordered it from HMV online (The single went Top-10, so some shops must have stocked it!). It was worth the wait and the frustration.

Amy Winehouse seemed to get lumped in with all those other Jazz-light wasters like Nora Jones, Katie Melua, Michael Bublé and Jamie Cullum that popped up a couple of years back. But if you listened to her Mercury nominated debut album ‘Frank’, you’d have realised she was something entirely different. It had a beautiful love song to her Guitar, a track called ‘Fuck Me Pumps’ and a hit single that’s chorus ran “Feel like a lady and you my ladyboy”.

‘Rehab’ is about as explosive as comeback singles get and it’s produced by the incredible Mark Ronson. The lyrics are about eschewing a spell in rehab in favour of a spot of self-healing via a couple of good records. It’s got handclaps all over it, huge bombastic Horns and of course those insanely catchy “No, no, no” bits that you’ve probably heard on the radio. There are also Phil Spector-like bells that sound perfectly timed now the winter’s drawing in. Last but not least, is Amy’s sultry, deep and sexy voice that slinks and purrs out of the speakers.

The ‘Desert Eagle Discs Remix’ of ‘Rehab’ ups the Funk levels considerably, and it’s almost better than the original. ‘Do Me Good’ is a chilled out, soulful Jazz number about Amy’s man. The twanging double-Bass on ‘Close To The Front’ absolutely sizzles and the words are about having an ever-so-slightly obsessive crush on your teacher. Neither B-side is as good as ‘Rehab’, or as good as any of the tracks off her new album ‘Back To Black’, but they’re still well worth having.

Click here to get yourself a copy of the wonderful ‘Back To Black’ album from HMV for only £8.99.

I downloaded the album long before it hit the shops, but the copy was badly mixed and had a couple of different tracks. The demo of ‘He Can Only Hold Her’ samples the same horns as ‘Rock The House by Gorillaz (The official released version is totally different). The acoustic version of ‘Love Is A Losing Game’ is a powerful intimate performance. Download them by clicking below, but go get the proper CD straight after.

He Can Only Hold Her (P*Nut Demo)
Love Is A Losing Game (Acoustic)

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

There are two exclusive tracks up to buy on 7Digital for 77p each. There’s a surf-Guitar inflected demo of ‘Rehab’ and a more Bass heavy remix by Hot Chip.

Click here to watch Amy perform a drunken (But still strangely brilliant) cover of M.J’s ‘Beat It’ with a pissed off looking Charlotte Church on YouTube.

Amy Winehouse Website / Amy Winehouse MySpace Page

November 10, 2006

YELLOWBELLY – Blood Tainted Love (7″ Single)

Pink Box Records PINK007: 6th November 2006
1. Blood Tainted Love
“Don’t fool around with my religion, I’ve got a loaded gun and I ain’t kiddin’, I’m gonna put a stop to all this killin’, I’m gonna set the world on fire”
2. Guess Who’s Loving You?
“It’s three in the morning, your every word swims round my head, it should’ve signalled a warning, but I just saw green lights instead”

‘Blood Tainted Love’ is a haunting step inside the mind of the fanatics that range against each other in the war on terror. The lyrics are some of the best I’ve ever heard and Gaz Birtles’ voice is infused with graceful power. The words are frightening but the music is a soothing mix of Electro-Pop and Country. The whole thing shimmers with an epic beauty and no more so than on the slide Guitar parts. ‘Blood Tainted Love’ is probably going to be a contender for single of the year.

‘Guess Who’s Loving You’ is like a great-lost Housemartins track or one of David Byrne’s popier moments. The incredible backing vocals sound like Harmonicas and a Sax solo this unashamedly huge hasn’t been heard since George Michael or Hall & Oates.

I’m reading that this isn’t Gaz Birtles’ first release, he’s had numerous records out in the eighties under the name The Swinging Laurels. On the strength of this, I’m definitely going to have to check them out. I await whatever Yellowbelly do next with barely contained excitement.

If click here you can buy a 4-track download version of the single from Tune Tribe for a mere £3.30 (Recommended, the two bonus tracks are fantastic).

Yellowbelly MySpace Page / The Swinging Laurels MySpace Page / Pink Box Records

November 10, 2006

THOM YORKE – Analyse (12″ Single)

XL Recordings XLT252: 6th November 2006
1. Analyse
“By candles in the city, you never looked so pretty, by powercuts and blackouts, sleeping like babies”
2. A Rat’s Nest
“Clicks on the phone, I cannot help you, caught by own words, caught in a rat’s nest”
3. ILuvYa
“Instrumental”

‘Analyse’ is the second single to be lifted from Thom Yorke’s ‘The Eraser’ album and this time it’s a 12″ only release.  As usual it sounds like Beethoven’s brain has been dug up and wired to a computer.  Thom’s voice is ear piercingly intense, the Piano is mesmerising and a gorgeous wave of synths wash over you at the end.  ‘A Rat’s Nest’ is a mix of backward Pianos and menacing Bass beats.  ‘ILuvYa’ sounds not unlike Bill Bailey’s piss-take of Jean-Michel Jarre.  ‘Analyse’ is brilliant but the B-sides don’t really match up in my opinion.

There is a new import compilation that collects together all the B-sides from this single and the last, called ‘Spitting Feathers’.  You can order it from HMV by clicking here, but it’s a pricey £14.99 for 5 tracks.

Click here to buy a digital copy of the 12″ from 7Digital for £1.77.

Click here to watch Thom’s performance of ‘Analyse’ at the Mercury awards on YouTube (If looks could kill…).

Thom Yorke Website / Thom Yorke Lyrics Blog