Archive for July, 2007

July 31, 2007

JARVIS – Fat Children (12″ & 7″ Singles)

Rough Trade RTRADST397 / RTRADS397: 16th July 2007
1. Fat Children
“The police force was elsewhere, putting bullets in some guys head for no particular reason”
2. Fat Kidz (“Let Them Eat Acid” Extra-Large Mix)
“Instrumental”
3. The Loss Adjuster
“There’s no way to escape, this is it, tomorrow we will all be gone, so check what time the band are on… let’s go outside”

‘Fat Children’ is the heaviest moment on Jarvis Cocker’s faultless solo album, chronicling urban decay and casual violence with a sobering reference to the tragic shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes.  Jarvis and Pulp compadre Steve Mackey have given the track the Remix treatment on the B-side of the 12″.  It’s an almost unrecognisable Glam-Acid instrumental that’s okay, but nothing to write home about.

However, the 7″ B-side ‘The Loss Adjuster’ is anything but average (Two short excerpts of ‘The Loss Adjuster’ appeared on the album).  It’s nothing short of a masterpiece describing the odd thoughts that might go through your mind if the world was about to end “You never did see ‘Dog Day Afternoon’“.  The vocal ranges from spoken-word poetry, to a softly crooned chorus and finally Jarvis belting out the finale.  This eight-minute epic is a mix of Scott Walker atmospherics, ‘Five Years’ Bowie and Jarvis’ own distinctive storytelling style.  Only a genius like Jarvis Cocker would put something this good on the B-side of a 7″ single that’s limited to just 700 copies.

Luckily you can download ‘The Loss Adjuster’ from 7Digital by clicking here (It’s only 79p!!) but the 7″ does come with a full transcription of the lyrics.

Here are three essential JC rarities for your listening pleasure:

Jarvis – One Man Show mp3
Jarvis Cocker & Kid Loco – I Just Came To Tell You That I’m Going mp3
The Pastels (With Jarvis Cocker) – I Picked A Flower mp3

Click here to buy ‘The Jarvis Cocker Record’ from HMV for only £5.99!!

Click here to watch a live performance of ‘Fat Children’ on Newsnight Review and click here to watch him cover ‘Temptation’ with Beth Ditto.

Jarvis Cocker MySpace

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July 29, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul – (I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind mp3

“Lookie here, there is air-pollution, much confusion, drug addiction, no convictions, Vietnam war, junkies at your door… so much trouble in my mind”

I’ve had this song on a brilliant ‘Best Of Blaxploitation’ compilation for a while but it somehow got lost amongst big classics like the ‘Theme From Shaft’, ‘Across 110th Street’, and ‘Superfly’. You’ve probably heard it before, one reason being that it was included on the soundtrack to the multi-million selling ‘GTA: San Andreas’ game. ‘(I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind’ is funkier than James Brown, more soulful than Marvin Gaye, harder hitting than Gil Scott-Heron and more psychedelic than Jimi Hendrix. This week I’ve been getting into Joe Quarterman’s self-titled 1973 album and this track kinda reached critical mass and now I can’t stop playing it.

Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul – (I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind mp3

Click here to download a zip mix featuring the song from the indispensable ‘Funky16Corners’ blog.

The 2CD Blaxploitation compilation I’ve got seems to be out-of-print, but you can get a nice 3CD set (That includes ‘(I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind’) from HMV for just £7.99 by clicking here.

Click here to buy the sensational ‘Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul’ album from HMV for only £9.99.

Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul AMG Entry

July 27, 2007

ARCTIC MONKEYS – Fluorescent Adolescent (CD EP)

Domino RUG261CD: 9th July 2007
1. Fluorescent Adolescent
“You used to get it in your fishnets, now you only get it in your night dress, discarded all the naughty nights for niceness, landed in a very common crisis”
2. The Bakery
“And the more you keep on looking, the more it’s hard to take, love we’re in stalemate”
3. Plastic Tramp
“Lying again, your conscience is your friend, and the only thing you’re sorting out is your imagination”
4. Too Much To Ask
“The smiles as she walked in the room have all turned into frowns, am I too quick to assume that the love is no longer in bloom”

‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ instantly stood out from the new album and it’s about as perfect as a Pop-Rock single can get.  The Drums, Bass, Guitar and vocals all dance around between your ears, always giving exactly what the song needs and nothing more.  Add to that, one of Alex Turner’s finest lyrics (That’s sayin’ sumit!) “Nothing seems as pretty as the past though, that Bloody Mary’s lacking in Tabasco”.

As you might expect, the three B-sides don’t let the side down.  ‘Plastic Tramp’ is a paranoid little thrasher and ‘The Bakery’ is a weary lament in the style of album highlights ‘Do Me A Favour’ and ‘Only Ones Who Know’.  The EP is rounded off in style by ‘Too Much To Ask’ which has got that shimmering ‘Late Night, Maudlin Street’ vibe.

Click here to buy the EP from HMV or click here to download it from 7Digital.

Arctic Monkeys – Baby I’m Yours mp3 (Unspeakably beautiful cover of Barbara Lewis)

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

Click here to buy the new album from HMV for only £7.99.

Lastly, click here to visit the brilliant ‘ArcticMonkeys-Remixed’ site.

Arctic Monkeys Website / Arctic Monkeys MySpace

July 25, 2007

EDITORS – MTV Italy Acoustic Session mp3s

“I don’t think that it’s gonna rain again today, there’s a devil at your side but an angel on her way”

I got a tip last week from TrebleZine’s Adrian Cepeda about seven very special acoustic performances that Editors had recorded for MTV Italy. I urge you to check them out… if only to witness Tom Smith’s superb gurning up close!

I’m a big fan of Tom Smith’s deep operatic voice and many of the best Editor’s tracks are the sparser, slower ones that showcase his rich vocals. So the prospect of seven tracks with nought but an acoustic Guitar framing Tom’s voice had me jumping for joy (Although after hearing the dark brooding performances it was more mopeing for joy). The “I can’t believe you” bits in the middle of ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’ left a lump in my throat and sent shivers up my spine.

So in the end I made audio recordings of the videos and you can download them by clicking below:

Editors – MTV Italy Acoustic Session zip (37mb)

Click here to watch the videos.

Click here to read Adrian’s review of Editor’s new ‘An End Has A Start’ album.

Click here to buy ‘An End Has A Start’ from HMV for only £8.99.

Editors Website / Editors MySpace

July 25, 2007

BLOC PARTY – Hunting For Witches (CD, 2x 7″ & Download Singles)

Wichita WEBB130SCD / WEBB130S / WEBB130SX / WEBB120CD: 9th July 2007
1. Hunting For Witches (Original / Live / Fury666 Remix)
“Nineties, optimistic as a teen, now it’s terror, airplanes crash into towers, the Daily mail say’s the enemy’s among us, taking our women and taking our jobs, all reasonable thought is being drowned out, by the non-stop baying, baying, baying for blood”
2. Uniforms (James Rutledge Remix)
“There was a sense of disappointment, as we left the mall, all the young people looked the same, wearing their masks of cool and indifference, commerce dressed up as rebellion”
3. Cavaliers & Roundheads
“Three is evil, the most evil of all the numbers, course and hateful, full of unrest and neglect”
4. Rhododendrons
“I dream of order, I dream of fleets, of Napoleon in aquamarine, he said Linus put that blanket down, you’ve slammed your door too many times”
5. Secrets
“Boy, keep those stories close to your chest, to your chest, I said boy, keep your secrets, secret”

Bloc Party’s new album could be accused of dumbing down, gone are the mathematically precise Drums and intricate Guitars, replaced with a big almost Coldplay/U2 sound. Instead of the near impenetrable minimalist poetry of the 1st album we get lyrics that read like a story right from the booklet. All this aside, the new album undeniably has some great songs and ‘Hunting For Witches’ is definitely one of them. Kele Okereke’s voice wearily bemoans fear-mongering terrorist propaganda, infringement of civil liberties and paranoia over a brilliantly repetitive riff and blinking electronic sounds.

‘Hunting For Witches’ is also included as a rapturously received live incarnation and as a sliced-and-diced robotic art-trance masterpiece from Fury666. Another album highlight ‘Uniforms’ is remixed by James Rutledge, who brings in a mix of swirling strings and aggressive fuzz. ‘Rhododendrons’ is a downbeat but beautiful song of self-doubt and ‘Secrets’ is a pounding Bass Guitar heavy song. Best of all is ‘Cavaliers & Roundheads’ with it’s Punk-Funk meets Metal sound and some brilliant but uncharacteristic Guitar wankery at the end. Altogether, this is an impressive package from Bloc Party and I look forward to the next single.

Click here to buy the new ‘A Weekend In The City’ album from HMV for only £8.99.

Click here to buy Bloc Party’s B-sides as mp3s from Juno Records.

Bloc Party – Vision Of Heaven mp3 (Exclusive free song from PureVolume)
Bloc Party – The Once & Future King mp3 (US only bonus track)

Click here to watch the video for ‘Hunting For Witches’ on YouTube.

Bloc Party Website / Bloc Party MySpace

July 25, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Mika – Big Girl (Bonde Do Role Remix) mp3

“No need to fantasise, since I was in my braces, a watering hole with the girls around, with curves in all the right places”

Not content with nicking Freddie Mercury’s voice and flamboyant moves, Mika’s also pilfered his song subjects. I seem to remember a little known song by Queen called ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ which bore a striking resemblance to Mika’s ‘Big Girl’. But with that “Genius steals” quote ringing in my ears, I have to admit that ‘Big Girl’ is a damn catchy song and Bonde Do Role’s remix is even better. They’ve slapped on their characteristic Drums, cranked up the Guitars and wedged in a Brazilian Rap break.

Mika – Big Girl (Bonde Do Role Remix) mp3

Click here to buy Mika’s album and click here to buy Bonde Do Role’s record.

Click here to watch Mika perform ‘Big Girl’ at Glastonbury.

Mika Website / Mika MySpace / Bonde Do Role MySpace

July 19, 2007

KINGS OF LEON – Fans (7″ Single)

Columbia 88697114127: 9th July 2007
1. Fans
“Oh the London scene, cos England’s the Queen, who makes you love the tales I breathe, those rainy days they ain’t so bad when you’re the King, the King they want to see”
2. Woo Hoo
“Love the days, she’s gone for the moment, I don’t know which way she was going, lord it’s been a long warm November, I know now she acts like her mother”

After the startlingly different last single ‘On Call’, Kings Of Leon return to the dusty Americana of old with ‘Fans’.  It slowly smoulders at the start and really catches fire by the end with Caleb Followill yelping like a wounded animal in his gorgeous voice.  ‘Woo Hoo’ kicks off with almost Hip-Hop Drums which give way to some incredible interplay between the Bass and the lead Guitar.  With the super-hooky “Woo Hoo” bits this could’ve easily been a double A-side but then, Kings Of Leon have never been ones to make inferior B-sides.

Click here to buy the new ‘Because Of The Times’ album from HMV for only £6.99.

Kings Of Leon – My Third House mp3 (Brilliant B-side from the last single)

Click here to watch a blistering live video of ‘Fans’ on YouTube.

Kings Of Leon Website / Kings Of Leon MySpace

July 17, 2007

BATTLE – The Longest Time (7″ Single)

Transgressive TRANS052: 2nd July 2007
1. The Longest Time
“We are tunnelling for a miracle, is the clearest thing I am seein’, how long have I been living in limbo?”
2. Takuya
“I’m just a drop in the widest of seas, and oceans they drown me, in my sleep”

‘The Longest Time’ is another icy-cold injection of Indie-Rock from Battle, with Drums like pistons firing and Guitars like the grinding of gears. ‘Takuya’ has Jason Bavanandan yelping in his Robert Smith like voice, backed by what sounds like a mental asylum’s resident Funk band. Battle are still yet to come up with anything as good as their second single ‘Demons’. Eclipsing one of the finest songs of the last decade is no mean feat but these two songs are getting there.

Click here to buy the 7″ or click here to buy the recent ‘Back To Earth’ mini-album from HMV.

Battle – Demons mp3

Click here to visit Battle’s YouTube channel.

Battle Website / Battle MySpace

July 15, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Barry Bliss – All I Really Want mp3

“All I really want is to beat your fuckin’ ass, to be thrown in jail and rolled in broken glass, to be offered a kingdom by a crazy man and say I pass, to be beaten to death by British bobbies in mass”

One day this week I had my mp3-player on random as I was walking home, when this song came on. I don’t remember when I put it on my i-River, but when it started playing I was struck like a bolt of lightening… who is this? what is this song? and why has it taken me so long to get round to playing the damned thing!

‘All I Really Want’ is bitter, belligerent and angry but so very, very funny. It had me imagining a drunken performance at a late night cowboy bar, by a singer who’s past caring what the audience think and decides to burn all his bridges with the management by singing a song with a chorus that goes “All I really want is to beat your fuckin’ ass!”.

Click here to buy the Rough Trade ‘Antifolk’ CD that the track comes from. The CD features many other brilliant left-field songwriters like Adam Green, Turner Cody, Jeffrey Lewis and Kimya Dawson.

Barry Bliss – All I Really Want mp3

Visit Barry’s MySpace page to download two more mp3s.

Barry Bliss MySpace

July 15, 2007

NORTH SEA RADIO ORCHESTRA – The End Of Chimes (7″ EP)

Oof! OOF009: 2nd July 2007
1. Guitar Miniature No.2
“Instrumental”
2. The End Of Chimes
“Better than sleep it is to lie awake, o’er-canopied by the vast starry dome of the immeasurable sky, to feel the slumbering world sink under us and make hardly an eddy, a mere rush of foam on the great sea, beneath a sinking keel”
3. Hurdy Gurdy Miniature
“Instrumental”
4. The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls
“The morning breaks, the steeds in their stalls stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls, the day returns, but nevermore returns the traveller to the shore”

This delightful EP is for fans of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s more tranquil recordings or for those who’ve wondered what a female Sufjan Stevens might sound like.  It opens with the tranquil ‘Guitar Miniature No.2’, sounding like a warm summers evening.  Then Sharron Fortnam’s heavenly voice drifts in for the spellbinding ‘The End Of Chimes’ born aloft on sighing strings and twinkling Pianos, reciting beautiful and poetic lyrics.  ‘Hurdy Gurdy Miniature’ is more startling, coming across like a demented Donovan instrumental or an excellent Patrick Wolf B-side.  The EP is rounded off with a jaunty Folk shanty called ‘The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls’.

This is an EP that seems not to have been recorded, but more born on the breeze from some secluded, sunlight dappled forest.  Between listening to my usual diet of Punks, Rockers and Hip-Hoppers, it’s refreshing to spend a time sheltered under North Sea Radio Orchestra’s musical branches.

Click here to buy ‘The End Of Chimes’ EP direct from Oof!’s Website (You can buy their self-titled album too).

North Sea Radio Orchestra MySpace / Oof! Website