Archive for June, 2009

June 29, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 41

I’ve spent every minute I could spare this weekend either watching Wimbledon, watching Glastonbury or indulging in the odd glass of ice-cold Pimms.  From my armchair, the highlights of the festival seemed to be every second of Florence & The Machine’s set, Springsteen’s surprise appearance with The Gaslight Anthem, Lady Gaga’s smashed-mirror-dress-Glam-Pop-extravaganza and Dizzee Rascal sending the crowd literally ‘Bonkers’.

There probably aren’t many bands that would think of writing a delightful Pop-Folk song touching on the subject of cum (Except maybe The Hidden Cameras).  Well, Avi Buffalo did and ‘Summer Cum’ is a music box ditty with some truly strange yet charming lyrics.

‘Dimestore Diamond’ is the explosive opener to Gossip’s superb new ‘Music For Men’ LP.  It’s got the meaty power of an Ali right-hook with sizzling Bass and Beth Ditto’s vocals are like velvet.

One of the best things I saw on this weekend’s Glasto coverage was Jason Mraz’s performance of ‘I’m Yours’.  It’s a Pop song filled to the brim with good vibes and sunshine

‘International Broadcaster’ is from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s latest album.  It brings to mind a Hip-Hop remix of The Special’s ‘Ghost Town’ with Roots Manuva and L.S.K contributing fantastic guest spots.

Lord Cut-Glass’ Folk delight ‘Holy Fuck’ features sublime lines like “The truth to me seems fair, a Faustian despair, that I love you much more than you can bare”.  It’s like a beautiful summer meadow…  with razorblades hidden in the grass.

The Patrick Alavi Remix of ‘Faites Vos Jeux’ ditches the Electronica of Modernaire’s original in favour of distinctive Tribal minimalism.  It retains the incredible Indie-Rap vocal which features some of the best sounding lyrics I’ve heard all year. like “Apparently murder is out of fashion, so I got put away for a crime of passion”.

Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens deliver pure vintage Gospel on the Daptone label.  You can hear the church Organ, see the pulpit and smell the prayer books on their heavenly version of The Swan Silvertones’ ‘Trouble In My Way’.

Regina Spektor keeps coming up with goods year after year.  Her own brand of quirky and thoughful Piano ballads just keep getting better and ‘Laughing With’ is no exception.

Robert Pollard featured in last week’s TEN4SE7EN with his Cosmos project.  This week I’m adoring a solo cut called ‘It’s Easy’ that channels the best of sun drenched 60s Psychedelic Pop.

‘Don’t Know What Love Is’ is the first thing I’ve heard by We Rock Like Girls Don’t since the legendary sonic assault of 2005 single ‘I Just Wanna Stick My Head In The Bass Drum’.  It’s got the same Grunge fury and sneering feline vocals that I loved in the first place.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

Avi Buffalo MySpace
Gossip MySpace / Purchase
Jason Mraz MySpace / Purchase
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry MySpace / Purchase
Lord Cut-Glass MySpace / Purchase
Modernaire MySpace / Purchase
Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens MySpace / Purchase
Regina Spektor MySpace / Purchase
Robert Pollard MySpace / Purchase
We Rock Like Girls Don’t MySpace / Purchase

Here is a great live video of Jason Mraz performing ‘I’m Yours’ (His Glasto version was better but I can’t find it yet):

Also, here is the wonderful video for Regina Spektor’s ‘Laughing With’:

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June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson: 1958 – 2009

When I was a kid, the bit 1 minute and 17 seconds into MJ’s video for ‘Smooth Criminal’ (Set in what seems to be an impossibly sexy 20s nightclub in Harlem), was officially the coolest thing ever committed to celluloid:

… closely followed by the bits later on, where he crushes a cue ball in time with the music and shoots a dude through the freakin’ wall!

As a 6 year old I probably only had a partial understanding of the magic of special effects and probably believed that MJ was such a god that he could do shit like this!  I distinctly remember wrapping plasters round my own fingers… but sadly it didn’t give me similar magic powers.

A boyhood hero passes.

P.S.

Here is one of my all-time favourite mash-ups from the genius that is Party Ben:

Michael Jackson vs. Nelly Furtado – Promiscuous With You mp3

June 22, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 40

I seem to have gone mad this week and bought nine or ten albums (And a few singles).  Dammit, there is just too much great music out there.  Here is yet more evidence:

Alela Diane’s voice is like Joni Mitchell singing a lament from a porch on the prairie in the chill of the moonlight.  The powerful strings on ‘White As Diamonds’ underline the graceful clarity of the vocals.

‘Time I Was Gone’ is as intimate and warm as the reassuring sibling’s shoulder that the lyrics describe.  Antony Harding (aka Ant) is like a wonderful Swedish version of Stickboy.

Bloc Party’s last album ‘Intimacy’ was too clinical for my tastes and it never really grabbed my attention.  New single ‘One More Chance’ is the polar opposite, employing a super danceable House Piano line to not only grab my attention, but to wrestle me onto the Indie dance floor.

Cosmos’ ‘Nude Metropolis’ has a trippy Prog vibe cunningly tempered with an irresistible Pop beat.  Cosmos is just the latest band featuring Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices and Boston Spaceships.

The Duckworth Lewis Method is the new cricket based project from Neil Hannon and Thomas Walsh.  If you are a fan of The Divine Comedy and The Real Tuesday Weld (So basically if you enjoy music full stop!) then like me, you’re gonna have ‘The Age Of Revolution’ on a loop.  Quite why the subject of Cricket should inspire a mix of skankin’ Hip-Hop and 20’s Jazz… I don’t know.

Major Lazer’s ‘Hold The Line’ is another of those partly annoying records that samples phone sounds, but is once again so damn good that you love it anyway.  Mr. Lexx’s deep Dancehall vocals are complemented by Santigold’s backing lines.

‘Box ‘n’ Locks’ employs a timeless sample of the riff from Martha & the Muffins’ ‘Echo Beach’.  Just by creating a new mix with that sample would be enough for me to certify this track as genius but then you’ve got MPHO’s superb vocals and lyrics too.

Since the sad demise of Larrikin Love, Edward Larrikin has been busy creating music under the new title The Pan I Am (I had an early demo on this site back in 2007). After much anticipation his debut release proper is a double A-side single of brilliant Indie/Electronica/Folk for fans of Patrick Wolf.  My pick has to be the second cut ‘O.R.L.D’.

Thecocknbullkid’s ‘I’m Not Sorry’ is a delightful mix of Soul and Eghties Synth-Pop.  Thecocknbullkid is London’s Anita Blay and her debut single ‘On My Own’ is also available.

Willie Isz is a Rap duo comprised of Jneiro Jarel and Goodie Mob’s Khujo Goodie.  ‘Gawn Jet’ fuses fuzz Guitars, pounding beats, crunching Synths and fantastic rhymes.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

Alela Diane MySpace / Purchase
Ant MySpace / Purchase
Bloc Party MySpace / Purchase
Robert Pollard MySpace / Purchase
Major Lazer MySpace / Purchase
MPHO MySpace / Purchase
The Duckworth Lewis Method MySpace / Purchase
The Pan I Am MySpace / Purchase
Thecocknbullkid MySpace / Purchase
Willie Isz MySpace / Purchase

Here is the video for Alela Diane’s ‘White As Diamonds’:

June 12, 2009

TEN4SE7EN: Episode 39

After a months break I feel refreshed and ready to bring you another TEN4SE7EN.  By the way, if you’re a Simon & Garfunkel fan, HMV are currently selling a boxed set featuring their entire recorded output (That’s 71 tracks across 5 albums) in Deluxe-Vinyl-Replicas plus a live DVD for just £8!!!  Truly music has no value anymore, I’m trying not to think too hard (It makes my head hurt) about whether I’m contributing to that situation or helping to promote artists.  As usual you’ll find links at the bottom to buy music from this weeks artists because they need your support to keep producing music of this calibre:

Claire Hux is not a lady but a trio who’ve scored big by getting none other than Thom Yorke to produce and guest on their new track.  ‘Fucked Up’ sounds like a classic Soul tune, it also sounds like a classic Radiohead song… not sure how it manages to be both at the same time.

After hearing a less than impressive free demo called ‘Fire Fire’ that Jamie T recently made available, I was worried about his new album.  So I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard ‘Sticks ‘n’ Stones’, the title track from his new EP.  It already sounds just as catchy and lyrically tricksy as anything off his wonderful debut LP (I adore the acapella bit in the middle).

Naturally I loved 2004’s ‘Float On’ and it’s parent album but that’s as far as I’ve gone into Modest Moue’s discography.  The manic vocals of their brand new single ‘Satellite Skin’ reminds me why I loved that album (I’m digging it out now).

‘Supernova’ is the latest track I’m hearing from Mr. Hudson’s eagerly anticipated second album.  Kanye West is producing and he even steps up to the mike for a verse on this magnificent Robo-Soul cut.

Rachelle Garniez’s ‘My House Of Peace’ has the honour of being one of the first four releases on Jack White’s highly collectible Third Man Records label (Jack’s also producing).  It’s a bit like Patti Smith covering Cockney Rebel which of course means it’s amazing.

I’ve no idea how I’ve got this far without hearing the undeniable talent of future star MC Skilf ‘Slow Me Down’ has the funky beats of Run-DMC, soulful guest vocals from Michelle Ericsson and so many great rhymes you’ll still be spotting them after after a dozen listens.  Go check out his two MySpace pages ’cause I swear every track is genius.

I adore the dreamy Jazz sound and fruity Oboes of Speech Debelle’s ‘The Key’.  It’s Hip-Hop like the last rays on a summers evening from the ever reliable Big Dada Label.  I could listen all day to the way she sings “Your need for attention, makes you attract the beef”.  My tune of the week!

David Shah is giving away another double A-side single under his The Melting Ice Caps moniker and guess what… it’s a sublime Indie ballad (What else did you expect?).  ‘Night School’ is my pick of the two but you can get both (And much more) by clicking here.

Rap/Dance star Tittsworth featured on TEN4SE7EN back in January with his brilliant ‘WTF’ single.  Now he’s back, enhanced with rhymes from The Federation and more bad-language-choruses on new track ‘Drunk As Fuck’.  Check out all the mixes, but my fave is the hard biting Funk of Meterhead’s Dark Disco Mix.

While Absentee’s Dan Michaelson has been doing his own solo thing the rest of the band have released their ‘It Rots’ album under the name ‘Wet Paint’.  The title track has the charm of both The Vaselines and those early singles by The Cribs.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A ZIP CONTAINING ALL TEN MP3s

Claire Hux MySpace / Mixtape
Jamie T MySpace / Pre-Order
Modest Mouse MySpace / Purchase
Mr. Hudson MySpace / Pre-Order
Rachelle Garniez MySpace / Purchase
Skilf MySpace / Purchase
Speech Debelle MySpace / Purchase
The Melting Ice Caps MySpace / Download
Tittsworth MySpace / Purchase
Wet Paint MySpace / Purchase

There are two Videos this week ’cause I just couldn’t pick which I liked more:

The first is an infectiously high energy promo for Jamie T’s ‘Sticks ‘n’ Stones’.

The second is a video of Speech Debelle and her magnificent band doing an even more chilled version of ‘The Key’.