Archive for August, 2007

August 26, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Jens Lekman – Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo mp3

“I want the people in the country to be open and kind, but most times they met us with a narrow mind, with the big black dog to bite your behind, if they ever find out you’re not one of their kind”

Jens Lekman is a name I was familiar with and his music less so, but from the sound of this little gem, I been missing out big time. It’s like the best thing that Belle & Sebastian ever sang backed with what sounds like Acker Bilk covering the classic Bond theme ‘All Time High’. Sweetly rose-tinted lyrics describe a city dweller dreaming of living the romantic country life. The release of Jens’ new album ‘Night Falls Over Kortedala’ is imminent and it’s definitely one I’m gonna have to pick up.

Jens Lekman – Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo mp3

Click here to watch a live performance of ‘Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo’ on YouTube.

Click here to pre-order ‘Night Falls Over Kortedala’ from Amazon.

Click here to download some free mp3s from Jens’ Website.

Jens Lekman Website / Jens Lekman MySpace / Maple Leaves Fansite

Advertisements
August 25, 2007

OPERATOR PLEASE – Just A Song About Ping Pong (Re-Issue 7″ Single)

Brille BRILS17S: 20th August 2007
1. Just A Song About Ping Pong
“I got my, got my, got my, got my, racket in hand, not leaving till I play, don’t think you understand, with that dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, look on your face, I bet you know beef jerky has an after-taste… go!”
2. In Motion
“Jam the door, jam the door, ’cause I’m floating away, all the things, all the things that I wanted to say”

This is the second release of Operator Please’s crazy single ‘Just A Song About Ping Pong’. Back in March, I described it as “The most exciting couple of minutes I’ve heard in a long while” and it’s a song that’s so fast and furious that when I accidentally played it at 33rpm, it sounded like a normal song at a normal speed.

This time ‘Just A Song About Ping Pong’ comes backed with a brand new song called ‘In Motion’. It’s a sultry voiced, Regina Spektor like, Piano based ballad with a beautiful humable melody. Operator Please can seemingly turn their hands to anything from thrash Punk to classic Pop-Rock songwriting.

Operator Please – Get What You Want mp3

Here are links to watch a tour film on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Click here to buy an mp3 of ‘Just A Song About Ping Pong’ from 7Digital.

Click here to watch the wonderfully colourful, Escher-esqe video for ‘Just A Song About Ping Pong’ on YouTube.

Operator Please Website / Operator Please MySpace

August 24, 2007

ZZT – Lower State Of Consciousness (12″ Single)

Turbo TURBO043: 20th August 2007
1. Lower State Of Consciousness (Original Munich Version)
“Instrumental”
2. Lower State Of Consciousness (Justice Remix)
“Instrumental”

The original version of ‘Lower State Of Consciousness’ is a slow-burning minimal mix of Deep Bass, rumbling fuzz and arcade-machine sound effects. It sounds much as you might expect from a collaboration between Zombie Nation and Tiga but it’s nothing that special.

However, the ‘Justice Remix’ is something else all together, sounding like a ZX-Spectrum crashing, rebooting and deciding it’s a Synthesiser. At times it’s like Morsecode, at times it’s like the sound of old dial-up modems and at times it’s like the most fucked-up cut-to-pieces remix you’ve ever heard. Those Justice boys have done it again and created another contender for Remix of the year (Check out their incredible remix of Franz Ferdinand from 2006 below). You’ve gotta have this tune!

Click here to buy the 12″ from Juno Records.

Tiga – (Far From) Home (Digitalism Remix) mp3
Franz Ferdinand – The Fallen (Ruined By Justice) mp3

Click here to buy the deluxe version of Tiga’s ‘Sexor’ album for only £9.99.

Tiga MySpace / Zombie Nation Website / Justice MySpace / Turbo MySpace

August 20, 2007

MY ESSENTIAL ALBUMS: ANDREW W.K. – I Get Wet

Mercury 5865882: November 2001
“It’s time to party, let’s party, hang out with yourself and have a crazy party, hey you, let’s party, have a killer party and party!”

This album has three songs with the world ‘Party’ in the title.  Also look at the opening verse (Above) which as you can see, mentions the word ‘Party’ six times in eleven seconds.  The cover is infamous, with people protesting that it endorsed Cocaine. Actually, Andrew W.K. smashed a brick into his face to create the image (Which is of course infinitely preferable!!).

I’m not a fan of Metal as a rule because of its tendency to be whiney rubbish about death, with what sounds like a grunting pig with a sore-throat shouting over a laughably bad dirge.  However, this album is about life and the living of it “Never gonna die, ‘Cause we gotta keep it alive”. Before his detour into hard Rock, Andrew W.K. was a classically trained pianist so there are high-energy Pianos on every track, which are a strange compliment to the loud Metal guitars.  Usually when you say an album sounds like ‘Fun House’ you mean The Stooges’ 1970 album.  In this case it sounds like the theme to Pat Sharp’s classic gunge splattered kids show.  Behind every song on this album lies a rich seam of finely crafted hands-in-the-air Pop.

If you’re feeling down you can listen to songs like ‘Got To Do It’ which are almost like motivational anthems “When you’re down in the mud, you gotta do it, and you’re covered in blood, you gotta do it!”.  I can’t play this album without forming my hands into fists and punching the air.  I’ve often listened to this before going out to a club and it has the kind of effect that only seventeen cans of Red-Bull could reproduce.

Andrew W.K. – Party ‘Til You Puke mp3

Click here to buy ‘I Get Wet’ from HMV for just £7.99.

Click here to visit Andrew’s YouTube channel and be sure to check out one of the greatest music-videos ever made, ‘She Is Beautiful’ (The best bit is where he stops for a smoothie!)

Andrew W.K. Website / Andrew W.K. MySpace

August 19, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Marvin The Martian Vs Calvin Harris – Acceptable In The 80s mp3

“Before Bobby and Whitney were out gettin’ high, passin’ the Dutchie on the left hand side, Eddie Murphy couldn’t be too rude, language colourful as Rubic’s Cubes”

After loving Calvin’s first release ‘Vegas / Merry Making’, I was less keen on the follow-up singles ‘Girls’ and ‘Acceptable In The 80s’ (The rest of the country seems have gone bonkers about them anyway). So I’m trilled that the genius who is Marvin The Martian has decided to give Calvin his remix treatment. Previous Indie stars to be blessed with a Marvin rework have included GoodBooks, The Maccabees and Art Brut. It’s jam-packed with cultural references for children of the 80s like myself… ahhh it brings back memories of Opal-Fruits and Marathon bars.

Marvin The Martian Vs Calvin Harris – Acceptable In The 80s mp3

Click here to buy Calvin’s ‘I Created Disco’ album from HMV for only £8.99.

Click here to get a Marvin The Martian Zip with a mini-mix and two unreleased tracks.

Visit Marvin The Martian’s MySpace page to get a brand-new version of Jim Noir’s ‘My Patch’.

Also click here to download the original version of ‘Acceptable In The 80s’.

Marvin The Martian Website / Marvin The Martian MySpace
Marvin The Martian YouTube / Calvin Harris Website / Calvin Harris MySpace

August 16, 2007

JEGSY DODD – Only Football Can Truly Break Your Heart (CD Single)

Piffle Records: August 2007
1. Only Football Can Truly Break Your Heart
“That last minute goal off a wicked deflection, that horrid feeling of utter dejection, and when you see the joy in the away fan’s section, it’s hard to take, it’s hard”
2. The Day The World Stopped Working (Anthony Teasdale Remix)
“The butcher minced about the floor, the baker was off iz cake and a pressure salesman had been sold down the river, by a Samaritan on the make”
3. We Are Here To Help (‘Live’ At Pacific Rd Theatre, Birkenhead)
“The walls have ears, the hills have eyes, the mouth of the river it speaks no lies, the foot of the stairs, the head of the queue, the finger of fate is pointing at you”

Since I’m in the 1% of heterosexual English males that would have to really get worked up to even frown about football, never mind get my heart broken by it, Jegsy Dodd’s new single doesn’t entirely work for me. But if football is your lifeblood, you’re gonna absolutely love it.

The first B-side is a remix of ‘The Day The World Stopped Working’, which had to one of the best tracks from Jegsy Dodd’s last album. The amount of lyrical puns he manages to squeeze into a few minutes is truly astounding. He should be the Poet-Laureate for tracks like this. The Remix isn’t significantly different, it’s slightly more laid-back but then the original sounded fairly hypnotically wasted. The brilliant live version of ‘We Are Here To Help’ cranks up the Funk for a thrilling Happy Mondays sound. Anything with a line like “The most serene scene I’ve ever seen is a scene from Mr. Bean” has got to be good.

Click here to buy a signed copy of ‘Only Football Can Truly Break Your Heart’.

Jegsy Dodd & The Sons Of Harry Cross – 8000 Miles Away mp3
Jegsy Dodd – The Things I’d Do For You (Live) mp3
Jegsy Dodd & The Original Sinners – The Day The World Stopped Working mp3

Click here to buy a couple of essential Jegsy Dodd albums from HMV.

Click here to watch a reading of ‘3.am In Bold Street’ on YouTube.

Jegsy Dodd Website / Jegsy Dodd MySpace / Anthony Teasdale MySpace

August 12, 2007

MP3 OF THE WEEK: Beverley Knight – Black Butta mp3

“Got me excited, my fuses have blown, you got me delighted now, don’t leave me alone, you got me ignited, I’m ready to blow!”

I’ve been a cautious fan of Beverley Knight’s since I first saw her on ‘Later’ a few years ago. Jools Holland gets her in every series and no matter who is on that week, she blows them out of the water with an old Soul standard or a bit of acapella Gospel. But whenever she came to release an album I was greeted by lukewarm modern Soul, weak UK-Garage or even (On her last album) a misjudged new Rock direction. Every time she released a new record I would pray that this was gonna be the one where she finally got some material, some musicians and a great producer to do her stunning voice justice.

It seems that to reach her full potential Dusty had to go to Memphis, but Beverley had to go to Nashville. Her 5th album ‘Music City Soul’ is almost everything I could have hoped for and feels earthy, sexy and soulful. As you would expect when she performed this new material on ‘Later’ it was gobsmacking, ranking as two of the best performances I’ve ever seen on ‘Later’ or ever seen on TV for that matter. One song was the sensational ‘Ain’t That A Lot Of Love’ and the other was called ‘Black Butta’. She screeches, moans and roars like a lioness, putting every fibre of her being into the song. It’s one of the sexiest songs you’re gonna hear all year and even though phrases like “I’m sweet black butta babe, spread it all over you” sound like nonsense on paper, when they come exploding from Beverly Knight’s vocal chords, you know exactly what the girl’s talkin’ about!

Beverley Knight – Black Butta mp3

Click here to buy ‘Music City Soul’ from HMV for only £6.99.

Here are YouTube clips of those two amazing ‘Later’ performances: Black Butta / Ain’t That A Lot Of Love

Beverley Knight Website / Beverley Knight MySpace / Beverley Knight Fansite

August 12, 2007

ANTHONY H. WILSON: 1950-2007

“I’m not afraid, not at all, I watch them all as they fall, but I remember when we were young”

Writer, journalist, presenter of the legendary ‘So It Goes’ and of course boss of Factory Records, Anthony H. Wilson died on Friday 10th August aged 57 from cancer.

Like allot of younger people, I only really found out about Tony Wilson through the brilliant 2002 film ’24 Hour Party People’. After all, I was still wearing nappies when Factory Records was in it’s prime. It was a film that painted him as a self-obsessed, pretentious egomaniac. But it also showed his ‘Fuck the money’, ‘Lets make art that endures’ attitude that made him a thoroughly likeable, nay heroic character. Indeed this approach made little or no money for himself or his artists but what wondrous things they produced with him at the helm, cocooning his bands from record-industry worries like “Mass appeal” and “Uncommercial”. If mankind survives to reach out into the stars in a thousand years time, there will still be teenagers dressed in black space-suits listening to ‘Unknown Pleasures’.

Here is the Factory Records holy-trinity, three of the finest, most groundbreaking singles to have come out of Britain:

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart mp3
New Order – Blue Monday mp3
Happy Mondays – Step On mp3

Here are some great Wilson clips from YouTube: Interview In Hulme / Tony Meets God – 24HPP Clip / Short Tony Wilson Doc / The Fall on SIG / Joy Division – Transmission / Sex Pistols on SIG / Newsnight Obit Part 1 / Newsnight Obit Part 2

Click here to buy the ’24 Hour Party People’ DVD from Amazon.

Click here to search Ebay for a copy of the out of print 4-disc set ‘Palatine: The Factory Story’ on Ebay.

A final note, as of 12.02 pm GMT… Simon Cowell is still alive.

August 12, 2007

RICHARD HAWLEY – Tonight The Streets Are Ours (2x CD Singles)

Mute CDMUTE382 / LCDMUTE382: 6th August 2007
1. Tonight The Streets Are Ours
“Those people, they got nothing in their souls, and they make our TVs blind us, from our vision and our goals”
2. Vickers Road
“Do you remember Fridays and the pop wagon, sold by dodgy lads fresh out of prison, it was s’posed to last us all through the week, we’d drink it all in one night, then we couldn’t get to sleep”
3. I Sleep Alone (Live At Sheffield City Hall)
“Deeper, I’m goin’ deeper, seeping below the darkest thoughts of man, the thoughts of man, through these thoughts I sleep alone”
4. Coming Home (Live At Sheffield City Hall)
“Goin’ to the station, it’s time for me to go, don’t think that I will miss you, when that whistle blows”

I read an interview today where Richard Hawley described ‘Tonight The Streets Are Ours’ as a political song about Britain’s ASBO sub-culture.  This meaning had escaped me, much like the meaning of ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’, which was an equally ‘Subtle’ protest song.  However, the lyrics are something you can contemplate after you’ve drifted away on the shimmering waves of massed Strings, layers of Guitars and even the rarely heard click of the Castanets.  Of course Richard Hawley’s deeply romantic vocals are as heartbreakingly beautiful as you’d expect.  The angelic backing vocals instantly reminded me of the song that played over the closing credits of ‘Stringray’.  It was later that I noticed that the liner notes credited Sally Doherty with providing “Aquamarina Vocals”.

B-side ‘Vickers Road’ is even better and has a much more restrained production for those that might find the A-side a little too much.  It’s a warmly nostalgic look back at the simplicity of childhood when the street where you lived seemed like the whole world.  The vocal is so intimate that you can almost smell the bread baking, and feel the sun shining when he describes it.

The live version of last-album-highlight ‘I Sleep Alone’ starts off with Richard crooning over a lonely acoustic Guitar.  Then the band slowly come in, bit by bit, like the instruments are his friends gathering round to soothe him in his despair.  The best bit is when he’s humming the melody and the Harmonica whistles the same melody back at him.  ‘Coming Home’ is lovely too, God I wish I had been in Sheffield that night.

Click here to buy Richard Hawley albums from HMV.

Here are links to watch Richard’s typically beautiful videos: Baby You’re My Light / Coles Corner / Just Like The Rain / Born Under A Bad Sign / Tonight The Streets Are Ours

Here’s a whole load of acoustic songs that Richard’s site is kindly hosting for free:

Richard Hawley – The Nights Are Cold (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – I’m On Nights (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – It’s Over Love (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – Darlin’ (Acoustic) mp3
Richard Hawley – Precious Sight (Acoustic) mp3

Also, here are two of my favourite B-sides:

Richard Hawley – I’m Just Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail mp3 (Everly Brothers cover)
Richard Hawley – Some Candy Talking mp3 (Jesus & Mary Chain cover)

Richard Hawley Website / Richard Hawley MySpace

August 11, 2007

LARRIKIN LOVE: 2005–2007

“Who says there has to be a beach to wear a bathing suit?”

I’ve just found out that Larrikin Love have split up, although they’d actually announced it three months ago on their MySpace page (The news as it happens!!). They we’re a band that stunned me instantly with their first single ‘Little Boy Lost’. I had it at number thirty-nine in my ‘Top 100 Tracks Of 2005’ which was my very first post on this blog. They attacked Blair’s government on the ‘Downing Street Kindling’ single, made deliriously catchy Pop about murdered schoolgirls on ‘Happy As Annie’ and even wrote a B-side about a ginger cat called ‘The Very Sad Ballad Of Brutus From No.72’. Late 2006 saw the release of their brilliant ‘The Freedom Spark’ album featuring guest appearances from Indie heroes like Jamie T and Patrick Wolf and The Rumble Strips.

The last release came this March in the shape of their gorgeous re-make of Alterkicks’ ‘Good Luck’ single. I remember seeing their live set from Glastonbury on the Beeb and thinking it was one of greatest pieces of televised music I’d ever seen. Fiddles were played, Drums were banged, the band jumped and whirled around and they even got Ed’s mum up on stage to play the spoons. I made a mental note to see them live but now sadly I’m never gonna get that chance. Why does a brilliant band like Larrikin Love split up, just as Take That, The Spice Girls and The Police get back together… what a cruel and inhuman world we live in!

Click here to buy ‘The Freedom Spark’ from HMV.

Here are ten of my favourite Larrikin Love rarites/mp3s as a reminder of what we’re missing out on:

Larrikin Love – Dead Long Dead mp3 (Tennyson inspired B-side)
Larrikin Love – Downing Street Kindling (Statik Refix) mp3
Larrikin Love – Good Luck mp3 (Alterkicks cover/complete re-make)
Larrikin Love – Happy As Annie (Patrick Wolf Remix) mp3
Larrikin Love – Is It December? mp3 (Another great B-side)
Larrikin Love – It Explodes! mp3 (Secret track hidden on the album)
Larrikin Love – John O’Ryan’s Polka Dot Skirt (Live) mp3 (Traditional folk song)
Larrikin Love – Little Boy Lost mp3 (Rare first single)
Fyfe Dangerfield – Well, Love Does Furnish A Life mp3 (A breathtaking cover)
Patrick Wolf – On Sussex Downs mp3 (Another wonderful cover)

Here are links to watch some ace Larrikin Love videos on YouTube: Six Queens / Happy As Annie (Original Version) / Happy As Annie (New Version) / Edwould / Downing Street Kindling (Time Machine Version) / Downing Street Kindling (Super-8 Version) / Well, Love Does Furnish A Life

By the way, if anyone has a video clip of the Glastonbury performance please let me know.

Click here to listen to the frighteningly wonderful new things that Ed’s doing called ‘The Pan I Am’.

Larrikin Love Website / Larrikin Love MySpace