Archive for July, 2007

July 15, 2007

PRINCE – Planet Earth (Free Album)

ATTENTION ALL UK RESIDENTS!

Be sure to go to your newsagent tomorrow to buy a copy of The Mail On Sunday (As Loathsome as that idea sounds) because Prince’s new album ‘Planet Earth’ comes mounted on the front… absolutely free!

This philanthropic move is sure to endear him to his many fans but it’s a move that has angered the record industry. The “Suits” see this as sabotaging their war against copyright-theft/reasonable-use (Which included them illegally installing spyware on the computers of any poor sod who bought a Columbia CD last year) from within. Sony had inked a UK distribution deal for ‘Planet Earth’ but have backed out in response, so you won’t find ‘Planet Earth’ on the highstreet. If you want a copy of Prince’s album, tomorrow’s newspaper release is the only way you’re gonna get it (Unless you fork out for an import American copy in two weeks). This strikes me as Sony throwing their toys out of the pram when a maverick artist wants to give something back to fans (As well as pulling off a wizard piece of self promotion!).

HMV stores have taken the interesting step of stocking copies of the newspaper (Which they never usually carry) so customers can get the new Prince album as they would expect from one of the UK’s biggest music retailers.

Click here to watch a bit of Prince’s video for new single ‘Guitar’ on YouTube (Sadly it’s interrupted by adverts).

Click here to read my brothers review of Prince’s recent intimate gig at Koko, which he described to me over the phone as “The greatest night of his life” and as “A religious experience”.

Click here to buy the deluxe edition of the ‘Purple Rain’ DVD for the insane price of £4.99. This is how rock movies should be, get yourself a copy! Here’s the title track and my favourite Prince song… best Guitar solo ever?

Prince & The Revolution – Purple Rain mp3

Prince Website

July 13, 2007

THE INDELICATES – Julia, We Don’t Live In The ’60s (CD Single)

Weekender Records WEEK0032: 2nd July 2007
1. Julia, We Don’t Live In The ’60s
“And people die when towers fall, I’ve tried but I hardly even care at all, I’ve seen you angry, I’ve seen you cry, I’ve seen life go fitfully flitting by”
2. Point Me To The West
“Life’s a beach that you build, a sandpit we filled, with the old cold sweat of our slavery”
3. Unity Mitford (Live In Innsbruck)
“And oh, the indescribable beauty, of a million hands raised to salute you, like poppies lean when winds caress them, cut flowers pressed to solemn duty”

‘Julia, We Don’t Live In The ’60s’ is a defeated anti-protest song, an anthem for bored youth with a chorus of “We’ve never had it so good!”. Behind the acidic lyrics, lies a jangly Guitar Pop gem with the rarely heard Penny whistle giving it that Pied-Piper vibe. ‘Point Me To The West’ is a spine-tingling Piano lament performed with almost religious fervour and it’s easily the most beautiful thing that The Indelicates have so far recorded. ‘Unity Mitford (Live In Innsbruck)’ opens with Simon’s deadpan introduction of “This is a slow song for all you love birds out there… if you’ve ever fallen in love with a Nazi” because it’s about one of Hitler’s associates. This is the second time it’s been released after an acoustic version was included on ‘The Last Significant Statement To Be Made In Rock ‘n’ Roll’ EP.

Click here to buy the record from Rough Trade or click here to download the songs from 7Digital.

Here are the first two singles if you’ve been unlucky enough not to hear them:

The Indelicates – We Hate The Kids mp3
The Indelicates – The Last Significant Statement To Be Made In Rock ‘n’ Roll mp3

If that’s not enough, click here to download oodles of covers, videos and remixes created especially for the release of ‘Julia, We Don’t Live In The ’60s’.

Click here to watch the video for ‘Julia, We Don’t Live In The ’60s’ (Featuring a cameo from Eddie Argos) and click here to watch the hilarious ‘Who’s Toby?’ clip on YouTube.

The Indelicates Website / The Indelicates MySpace

July 11, 2007

FILTHY LITTLE ANGELS – Singles Club: Part 2 (5x 7″ Set)

More than a year ago, I put in a pre-order for Filthy Little Angels Records’ second Singles-Club because I was a big fan of the first set (It introduced me to bands like The Boyfriends, The Long Blondes and The Vichy Government). I knew it had been delayed but it’d been so long that I’d almost forgotten, so it was a pleasant surprise when a beautiful set of records in a handprinted bag came through my letterbox. There are ten new/newish artists spread over five 7″ EPs mixing Rock, Indie, Punk, New-Wave and Electronica, all shot through with a strong outsider Pop charm.

First up are Ohio kiddie band ShiSho who play sugar-sweet melodic Lo-Fi Pop. Hyperbubble make icy robotic Electronica about Supermarkets and Pop-Stars. Personal favourites The Vichy Government contribute a brand-new song plus their stunning and startling cover of Nirvana. Gay Against You add four short, sharp and shocking blasts of Noize-Pop for fans of Best Fwends.

Captain Polaroid‘s music is a collision of electronic sounds and acoustic Guitars while Beacons remind me of the early Smiths. The Fairies Band make riff-tastic Punk-Pop like Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets The Ramones. The Peeptoes are like a more abrasive Blondie with added 60s Organ sounds. Art Goblins is a side project from Art Brut and if like me, you think that their new stuff is just too slick, then the shambolic tracks here will be just the ticket. Lastly and best of all, is Billy Ruffian who combines sneering Punk vocals with aggressive Guitar riffery.

To quote Billy Ruffian’s song ‘Music Vs Money’, this release is “Against those who are solely in this for the money, those who don’t understand the passion, the excitement, the wonder of music”.

Here are five songs from the EPs to give you a flavour of what’s on offer.

ShiSho – Rocks & Penalties mp3
The Vichy Government – Heart-Shaped Box mp3
(Nirvana cover)
The Fairies Band – Groupies mp3
Art Goblins – My Conscience Died With Those Prostitutes! mp3
Billy Ruffian – Music Vs Money mp3

If you like those, then click here to buy a copy of the Singles-Club set from the Filthy Little Angels Website (Knowing FLA, they might chuck in a free record for you, to sweeten the deal).

Here is a plethora of mp3s by the artists featured on the Singles-Club, that I scoured the four-corners of the net for:

ShiSho – Merry Christmas, Now Leave! mp3
ShiSho – Disco Brandtson mp3
ShiSho – Get Behind Me Santa mp3
ShiSho – Get Behind Me, Santa! mp3
(Sufjan Stevens cover)
ShiSho – Punk Rawk Girl mp3
ShiSho – Daddy’s Womp mp3
ShiSho – Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Here To Stay mp3
Hyperbubble – Away In A Manger mp3
Hyperbubble – You’re The One That I Want mp3
Hyperbubble – Psychic Connection mp3
Hyperbubble – Vending Machine mp3
Hyperbubble – Leon mp3
The Vichy Government – One Less White Christmas (One More Widow) mp3
The Vichy Government – Christmas Is Cancelled mp3
(Long Blondes cover)
The Vichy Government – Suspended On Full Pay mp3
The Vichy Government – Whore Of Babylon mp3
The Vichy Government – Elvis & The Beatles mp3
The Vichy Government – Luke Haines Is Dead mp3
The Vichy Government – Rubbish (Edit) mp3
The Vichy Government – The Reichstag Is On Fire mp3
The Vichy Government – Death On The Instalment Plan mp3
The Vichy Government – Little Fishes Part Three mp3
The Vichy Government – The Greatest Gift Of All (Demo) mp3
The Vichy Government – I Control Discourse mp3
Gay Against You – Greased Lightning mp3
Gay Against You – Bogus Totem Summer mp3
Gay Against You – Gay Unicorn mp3
Gay Against You – Triple Schipol mp3
Gay Against You – TELErad mp3
Gay Against You – Electric Face Wound mp3
Gay Against You – Ice Shooter mp3
Gay Against You – Hello mp3
Gay Against You – Good-Bye mp3
Captain Polaroid – River mp3
Captain Polaroid – Blue Moon mp3
Captain Polaroid – If You Came On Christmas Day mp3
Captain Polaroid – Your Mistake Is Thinking You Have Won mp3
Beacons – Cross Your Fingers (Demo) mp3
Beacons – Carriage mp3
Beacons – Shells mp3
Beacons – Endeavour mp3
Beacons – Can’t Get To You mp3
Beacons – You Know I’d Love To mp3
The Fairies Band – Random Boys mp3
Billy Ruffian – Death Of A Band mp3
Billy Ruffian – (My Girlfriend Is like) A Trojan Horse (Demo) mp3
Billy Ruffian – Leaving Soon (Demo) mp3
Billy Ruffian – Preensters (Demo) mp3

Filthy Little Angels Website / Filthy Little Angels MySpace

July 11, 2007

THE GO! TEAM – Grip Like A Vice (7″ Single)

Memphis Industries MI092S2: 2nd July 2007
Grip Like A Vice (Original / Black Affair Remix)
“The blast from the past, superb in every word, super female rockin’, just the best you’ve heard, I make the brothers sweat, cos I keep their bodies hot, it’s a woman’s world, you gotta give it what ya got”

I often find putting on a Go! Team song is like listening to a badly recorded demo (Of an admittedly incredible track) while MySpace is on in the background.  ‘Grip Like A Vice’ has a bit of that, but a choice sample of ‘Psycha-Soula-Funkadelic’ by The Politicians and a super-catchy Synth line means there’s absolutely nothing that could stop this track from moving your body and delighting your ears.  I was humming the tune under my breath all day and the vocal even goes “Dun ah dun dun” at points in the song.  The big bad abrasive Drums are the icing on the cake, bringing to mind Keith Moon at his most brutal.  The ‘Black Affair Remix’ grafts on some funky Slap-Bass but loses the elements I mentioned that make the track so special.

Here’s the song that’s sampled on ‘Grip Like A Vice’ plus Simian Mobile Disco show you how a Remix of The Go! Team should go down:

The Politicians – Psycha-Soula-Funkadelic mp3
The Go! Team – Ladyflash (Simian Mobile Disco Remix) mp3

Click here to watch the fantastic video for ‘Grip Like A Vice’ on YouTube.

Click here to pre-order the new ‘Proof Of Youth’ album from HMV for only £8.99.

The Go! Team Website / The Go! Team MySpace

July 8, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue mp3

“Her folks they said our lives together, sure was gonna be rough, they never did like Mama’s home-made dress, papa’s bankbook wasn’t big enough”

This year I’ve started getting serious about Dylan after I bought myself his rare and lavishly packaged fifteen album SACD Box-Set. I also splashed out on all his other major works, that I didn’t already own. I began with the early classic albums (Although I’ve long had a soft spot for his 1975 album ‘Desire’) and I’m only now beginning to digest his later masterpieces. Recently I came onto 1974’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’ and was instantly struck by the first track ‘Tangled Up In Blue’. It features one of those great rambling poetic Dylan lyrics combined with a strong and detailed narrative. I love the eccentric way he wraps his tongue around certain words and phrases, in the way that only Dylan can, particularly the line “You look like the silent type”.

Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue mp3

Click here to buy the SACD of ‘Blood On The Tracks’ from HMV.

Click here to watch an intimate live performance of ‘Tangled Up In Blue’ on YouTube.

Bob Dylan Website / Bob Dylan MySpace

July 8, 2007

BADLY DRAWN BOY – Promises: Remixes (12″ Single)

EMI 12EM723: 2nd July 2007
1. Promises (Reverso68 Remix / Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Re-Animation / A Mountain Of One Version)
“Just promise you will remember, a promise should last forever, right up to the dying embers, of a fire that burns so slow”

Badly Drawn Boy’s new album features some of his most effortlessly beautiful songwriting in years but it’s occasionally let down by muddy production from Nick Franglen. The singles lifted from the LP have inspired some of this year’s best Remixes and covers (Find two downloads below), and this release is no exception.

The Reverso68 Remix is shear perfection from start to finish and improves on the album version in every way. You can get lost and drift away in the waves of dreamy hypnotic Bass, the glacial Strings and the luscious melody. Beyond The Wizards Sleeve‘s Remix goes for a Psychedelic vibe and brings the gorgeous Piano to the front. A Mountain Of One‘s slow burning Remix sounds like Mark Knopler after sharing a Peace-Pipe or two with some Native American’s.

‘Promises’ is the 5th single (Including the two underground releases) to be taken from the ‘Born In The U.K’ album and let’s hope Damon lifts a couple more tracks, when we’re getting Remixes this good.

Click here to buy ‘Born In The U.K’ from HMV for the astonishingly low price of £4.99 (That includes a free DVD and deluxe packaging!!!).

Click here to buy the 12″ from Rough Trade or click here to download the three tracks as mp3s from 7Digital.

Badly Drawn Boy – A Journey From A To B (The Go! Team Remix) mp3
King Creosote – Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind mp3

I accidentally taped A Mountain Of One’s Remix at the wrong speed resulting in something that sounds like a spaced-out cover of Dolly Parton‘s ‘Jolene’ (My dad also tells me it sounds just like 70s Synth pioneers Tonto’s Expanding Head Band). I think it sounds better played faster and since there are very few vocals it doesn’t sound too much like The Chipmunks.

Badly Drawn Boy – Promises (A Mountain Of One Version At 45 RPM) mp3

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

Badly Drawn Boy Website / Badly Drawn Boy MySpace

July 7, 2007

THE NEW ROYAL FAMILY – Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive?

“Anyone fancy a chocolate digestive? No thank you, it sounds suggestive”

‘Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive?’ is a bizarre pop nugget from a new super-group The New Royal Family. It’s made up of members from bands like The Boyfriends, Gay Dad, The Low Edges and the incomprehensibly wonderful Luxembourg. It basically features one line but when you’ve got a line as good as the one quoted above, who needs a second. It’s another entry in a long line of barmy British Pop music harking back to the sixties. A physical release is promised on the fantastic Filthy Little Angels label but for now there is a joyous, hilarious and mind boggling video on YouTube.

The New Royal Family – Anyone Fancy A Chocolate Digestive? (Video)

If like that video, then check this out:

Misty’s Big Adventure (Feat. Noddy Holder) – Fashion Parade (Video)

I’ve mentioned it before, but since I’ve got another excuse… here is the greatest song ever recorded by mankind (Probably):

Luxembourg – (I Need) A Little Bit More (Than You Give Me) mp3

The New Royal Family MySpace

July 5, 2007

MUSIC IS ART: Song/Context/Result

A while ago I was asked to contribute to a wonderful blog called ‘Music Is Art’ as part of a superb feature called “Song/Context/Result”.  I choose a favourite song, I described the context in which I heard it and finally the result of me hearing it.

Click here to read the article, download some music (Including my selection ‘The Fool On The Hill’ and Eels’ masterpiece ‘Fresh Feeling’) and to see some gorgeous artwork!

July 5, 2007

EDITORS – Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors (CD & 2x 7″ Singles)

Kitchenware Records SKCD93 / SKX93 / SKX932: 18th June 2007
1. Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors
“I can’t shake this feeling I’ve got, my dirty hands, have I been in the wars, the saddest thing that I’d ever seen, was smokers outside the hospital doors”
2. An Eye For An Eye
“Sing to me one more time, touch this tired face of mine”
3. The Picture
“You look back at the picture, and realise things then were different, it’s not who you know, it’s why you know”
4. Some Kind Of Spark
“Run to the hills, live somewhere else, what kind of storm could flood a town, from where we are here, we can only look down”

‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’ has got all the usual Editors elements, the shimmering Guitars, the Ian-Curtis-but-with-warmth vocals and of course a menacing Bass line. It’s perhaps nothing startlingly new but it is the best single that Editors have released to date.

The reason I’ve always loved Editors is for the quality of their B-sides (The two below are a couple of the best songs ever). Previous B-sides were so good that the selection of songs for the last album seemed insane. These three aren’t quite in the same league but they are still well worth having. ‘An Eye For An Eye’ features dark brooding Guitars and builds almost imperceptibly towards a dramatic conclusion while Tom Smith’s rich Baritone sounds almost operatic. ‘The Picture’ is a beautiful, echoing, and hymnal piece, while ‘Some Kind Of Spark’ is good but a little too close to Coldplay‘s ‘Talk’.

Click here to buy the single from HMV or click here to download the three B-sides from 7Digital for only £1.77.

Click here to watch Editors intense performance of ‘Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors’ on Later via YouTube.

Editors – Forest Fire mp3
Editors – Time To Slow Down mp3

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

Editors Website / Editors MySpace

July 5, 2007

KID ACNE – Worst Luck (12″ EP)

Lex ELEX045EP: 18th June 2007
1. Worst Luck
“I must confess, when I’ve ‘ad a sup, I’m a right text pest, I went SMS… to XS”
2. Swear Down
“If you’s out joggin’, or at home knittin’, tune in, ’cause the shit be kickin'”
3. Split Heads (Feat. Infinite Lives)
“Look fresh in a pair of Speedo, go to the pictures searchin’ for Nemo”

The music on this EP isn’t as immediate as Kid Acne’s last release ‘Eddy Fresh’ but the lyrics are just as funny, and just as obsessed with the little details of life.  ‘Worst Luck’ finds Kid Acne eschewing the usual Cristal and Gucci namedropping of his Hip-Hop brethren, in favour of a more refined selection of products like Fray Bentos pies and Smash potatoes.  ‘Swear Down’ is the traditional Rap declaration of superiority but delivered in Kid Acne’s unique style, because he’s “Well more better!”.  Lastly, ‘Split Heads’ features an incredible guest appearance from Infinite Lives.

Here are links to watch videos for ‘Worst Luck’ and ‘Reality Raps’ on YouTube.

Kid Acne – Eddy Fresh mp3

Kid Acne Website / Kid Acne MySpace / Infinite Lives Website
Infinite Lives MySpace / Lex Records Website / Lex Records MySpace