Thursday, June 30, 2005

PSB Live In Red Square

Does this mean that the Pet Shop Boys are now officially over their rock charity phobia?
It has just been announced that Pet Shop Boys will be performing at the Live 8 concert in Moscow, Russia, this Saturday (July 2). The concert will take place in Red Square from 19.00 to 22.30 and is the ninth Live 8 concert to be announced for Saturday...

Pet Shop Boys are busy rehearsing for their Live 8 performance this coming Saturday. After confirming their participation at the weekend, Neil and Chris have gone straight into rehearsals with Mark Refoy (guitars), Dawne Adams (percussion) and Sylvia Mason-James (vocals). For more Live 8 details see below.

On returning from Russia, Pet Shop Boys will continue recording tracks for their new album with Trevor Horn who is now producing the bulk of the album.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Rockism Watch

I love the "Voltage" blog maintained by Maximus where he frequently posts about Rockism within the music press. Here's an excerpt he cited from a New York Times article that did some peer reviewing:

If The Believer's music issue is more problematic, that's because it's also more neutral. In an effort to stamp out snark, the editors also seem to have stamped out skepticism, and so the magazine takes it for granted that indie-rockers are the most important musicians on the planet: the harpist and songwriter Joanna Newsom, for example, taps into "a deep, universal pain." ...

There is scarcely any mention of the kind of music left out. Mainstream pop music is mainly off-limits, although Rick Moody makes a grudging confession: "I like pop songs, too, of course, in reasonable doses." (Later, he takes a swipe at "the bland affirmations of the contemporary 'country' radio format.") And black and Latin music is almost entirely absent. At one point, Mr. Roderick claims that "indie-rock culture is the real ghetto of people who have convinced themselves that they're too sensitive to be yelled at or to yell." The interviewer responds with what might be The Believer's unofficial credo: "When it's genuine, though, it's different."

: It's this elitist attitude about what is "acceptable" and "authentic" music that turns me off from much of the music press. Thanks for the link Maximus!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

From The Past Until Completion

Blue Monday Owner's Club is an evolving art project site that collects regular folks posing with their copies of New Order's electronic classic:
It's well known that on its release, Blue Monday was only available on 12" format and it sold in truck loads. Around 3 million copies. The best selling 12" single ever. And it lived in that futuristic sleeve, appropriated from the design of a floppy disk for a sequencer. It was so clear that the recorded contents were at home in that slickness. The perfect synthesis of synthetic sound and design.

: A fun site which seems to indicate that there are plenty of white guys out there willing to pose with at least of some of their record collection...
(Thanks to VoodooRu on bimfactor for posting the link)

Friday, June 24, 2005


Sad news for US fans of Goldfrapp:

As part of the global strategy to launch and break the highly anticipated forthcoming album by GOLDFRAPP--the U.K.'s finest electronic pop alchemists--Mute US will now release Supernature in February 2006 to accommodate the overwhelming demands of the international marketplace.

The UK and Europe--where demand for GOLDFRAPP is extremely high, both on the promotional and touring side--will release the album on August 22, 2005. European tour dates begin this summer with festival dates and continue into the fall with club dates. The duo--Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory--are already in the midst of a very extensive European promotional trip.

Because of the demand for GOLDFRAPP in the UK and Europe, Mute U.S. will release the album in the New Year to take advantage of the increased visibility and flexibility in the band's schedule. This scenario allows them to be in America to coincide with Mute's U.S release date in February.

Through pioneering electronics, crystalline vocals, visual theatrics and dark-sex decadence, GOLDFRAPP have moved through the ambient shadows into the technicolor dream that is the hallmark of classic British pop music.

Supernature follows their Mercury Prize-nominated debut release Felt Mountain (2000) and second album Black Cherry (2003), which received one rave review after another in the American press including four-star accolades from Rolling Stone and Blender. The new album is the sound of GOLDFRAPP breaking through their own crash barrier--a strident, psychedelic, 100% uncompromising creative force at the top of their very own game. Alison says Supernature is “…an über world of sound and hybrid creatures. It’s a place to take part in fortnightly disco séances, where people dance with spirits and howl like beasts of the forest wearing lycra and stilettos.”

: While it's fantastic that Goldfrapp will be making out to the US to actually promote their music I don't want to wait another half a year to buy the album.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Freezepop Forever

I'm a bit sweet on Freezepop and while they have their detractors who dismiss them as the Weird Al of the synthpop set I admire the fun spirit they bring to their music while using strong songwriting. This excerpt is from a photo essay posted to a fan's live journal who acted out the lyrics of "Chess King" is but one example of how they've inspired fans and I think that speaks volumes about the quality of their music.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

So Easy

Röyksopp's new album "The Understanding" is due out in less than a month and their label just put out an ecard worth looking at featuring the new video, streams of a couple songs and an album sampler. Astralwerks describes the new album as:
Röyksopp's most accomplished release yet, an inspired & ambitious musical confection fusing otherworldly melodies, irresistible rhythms and a cinematic sweep that transcends categories.

: I would describe the first single "Only This Moment" as a bit dated and too "up" for my tastes, but it's still not a song I can simply dismiss. Maybe you'll like it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hot Ride

I'm guessing that Liam and company are thinking it's time to call it day and move on. Here's the news from nme:
PRODIGY are to release a greatest hits compilation in the summer.

The dance veterans release 'Their Law: The Singles 1990-2005' on August 22.

The record will feature tracks from all of their studio albums, as well as two new songs.

: It will be interesting to see if the disowned "Baby's Got A Temper" is included.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Environmental Changes

Bob Woodward recently wrote an in depth article describing his relationship with Mark Felt and how it began before he had decided to go into the news business. Here are some highlights of the spy games they used to plan meetings while the scandal was unraveling:

We would need a preplanned notification system -- a change in the environment that no one else would notice or attach any meaning to. I didn't know what he was talking about.

If you keep the drapes in your apartment closed, open them and that could signal me, he said. I could check each day or have them checked, and if they were open we could meet that night at a designated place. I liked to let the light in at times, I explained.

We needed another signal, he said, indicating that he could check my apartment regularly. He never explained how he could do this.

Felt and I agreed that I would move the flowerpot with the flag, which usually was in the front near the railing, to the rear of the balcony if I urgently needed a meeting. This would have to be important and rare, he said sternly. The signal, he said, would mean we would meet that same night about 2 a.m. on the bottom level of an underground garage just over the Key Bridge in Rosslyn....

Felt said if there was something important he could get to my New York Times -- how, I never knew. Page 20 would be circled, and the hands of a clock in the lower part of the page would be drawn to indicate the time of the meeting that night, probably 2 a.m., in the same Rosslyn parking garage.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Con Dolcezza

If you had any doubt that the world is a strange place, our Secretary Of State is doing benifit concerts:

A musician long before she became an academic and then a world-famous diplomat, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took to the Kennedy Center concert stage Saturday to accompany a young soprano battling an often-fatal disease.

Rice's rare and unpublicized appearance at the piano marked a striking departure from her routine as America's No. 1 diplomat. A pianist from the age of 3 she played a half-dozen selections to accompany Charity Sunshine, a 21-year-old singer who was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension a little more than a year ago....

Rice, whose first name is a variation on the Italian musical term "con dolcezza," which is a direction to play with sweetness, learned to read music at the age of 3.

Now I imagine some will accuse her of misusing her time, but it's an unexpected move that I respect.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I Lost Myself

Pitchfork's interview with Casey Spooner is a cut above his usual ranting:

But a lot of rockers-- and this is why I never wanted to be in a band-- are so uptight. It's the most ruthless, codified, strict, unspoken, irritating fraternity. You can't like certain things, and you can't do certain things. That's the thing that's weird about it; supposedly it's from this tradition of rebellion, but it really is the most non-rebellious thing you can do. That's the reason why I like working with Warren; he enjoys it when I do things that are really wrong and really rebellious.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Galang Alang Alanga

I've grown increasingly obsessed with M.I.A.'s "Galang" since it was featured as a free itunes download a couple of weeks ago and while I'm interested in hearing more, in large part to Richard X producing some of her album, I had to pause when I saw Needle Drop's breakdown of the critical reaction to her music. Any article that can casually drop something like this: a takedown of the misguided Simon Reynolds review of Arular that appeared in the Voice only a week earlier, Christgau's piece also short-circuited what could have been a significant momentum shift against the album.

: into it's ninth paragraph is obviously something fairly thought out.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Out Of Order

In case there is any question why New Order haven't been as commercially successful in the US as they could be look at this mess of a release schedule compiled by the good folks at neworderonline:

New Order - Best Remixes – Release June 21st

01. JETSTREAM - Richard X Remix (7:36)
02. KRAFTY - DJ Dan Vocal
03. CRYSTAL - John Creamer & Stephane K Main Mix (11:25)
04. SPOOKY - Out of Order Mix (6:19)
05. WORLD - The Perfecto Mix (7:33)
06. RUINED IN A DAY - Reunited in a Day Remix (6:14)
07. REGRET - New Order Mix (5:10)
08. WORLD IN MOTION - Carabinieri Mix (5:52)
09. ROUND & ROUND - 12" Version (6:50)
10. FINE TIME - Silk Mix (6:15)
11. BLUE MONDAY - Blue Monday 1988 12" Mix (7:09)
12. TRUE FAITH - The Morning Sun Extended Remix (8:59)
13. BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE - Shep's Extended Dance (6:41)
14. STATE OF THE NATION - (6:31)
15. THE PERFECT KISS - Live Version from the Perfect Kiss Video (5:18)
16. HERE TO STAY - Felix Da Housecat Mix: Extended Glitz Mix (8:09)

Jetstream Maxi (digital) – Release June 21st

1. Jetstream - Radio Edit 3:42
2. Jetstream – Richard X Remix Edit 3:34
3. Jetstream - Jaques Lu Cont Mix 8:21
4. Jetstream - Richard X Remix 7:36
5. Jetstream - Arthur Baker Remix 7:00
6. Jetstream - Tom Neville 7:30
7. Jetstream - Pete Heller 9:01
8. Krafty - Passengerz Remix 7:43
9. Krafty - DJ Dan Dub 8:12

Jetstream Maxi CD – Release July 12th

1. Jetstream - Radio Edit 3:42
2. Jetstream - Jaques Lu Cont Mix 8:21
3. Jetstream - Richard X Remix 7:36
4. Jetstream - Arthur Baker Remix 7:00
5. Jetstream - Tom Neville 7:30
6. Jetstream - Pete Heller 9:01
7. Krafty - Passengerz Remix 7:43
8. Krafty - DJ Dan Dub 8:12

: I know I should be happy that anything past "Krafty" is getting any release, but why all the delay betweeen the import, the digital release and the physical single? I suppose if I knew that I could work at a record label and not just post random blog complaints about it. At least the Richard X mixes will find their way to my collection (I was damned close to picking up the import).

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Unsolved Mysteries

The identity of Deep Throat has finally been revealed and it's not Diane Sawyer.... I had been rooting for the Nixon dog walker theory in the Kirsten Dunst movie "Dick," but it looks like that didn't pan out. At least right wing radio will get a kick out of DT living less than an hour from San Francisco.
Since we're wrapping things up, it look's like Trent got his money.
A jury awarded Nine Inch Nails alternative rocker Trent Reznor $2.95 million after finding his former manager breached his contract and acted fraudulently, a lawyer said Tuesday.

The jury in Manhattan federal court delivered the verdict Friday against John Malm, Reznor's longtime manager, said attorney Zia F. Modabber. The award likely would top $4 million when interest is added.

Modabber said he called Reznor, who is on tour, with the news.

"He was almost silent at first. It's still sinking in," Modabber said. "It's been a difficult thing for him in a lot of ways. They were very, very close friends."