Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: Top Songs

  1. Tracey Thorn "It's All True"
  2. Chemical Brothers "The Salmon Dance"
  3. Justice "D.A.N.C.E."
  4. LCD Soundsystem "North American Scum"
  5. Client "Drive"
  6. Simian Mobile Disco "Hustler"
  7. Róisín Murphy "Let Me Know"
  8. Swen Weber "First Stroke"

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Video: The Killers "Shadowplay"

The Killers previewed their cover of Joy Division's "Shadowplay" as they toured this past summer and the youtube clips that spread across the web didn't sell me on the song. Perhaps it was the camera phone sound quality or that the clips suggested that Flowers was borrowing a little too closely from the Pet Shop Boys by starting the cover with a version of "Can't Keep My Eyes Off Of You" but it was surprising with how much I enjoyed the song after it started getting played on the radio. The last Joy Division cover to be an alternative radio hit was Nine Inch Nails take on "Dead Souls". Both are unlikely "single" candidates as Joy Division songs so the idea that two bands that owe little to mimicry of the JD sound (hello Interpol, Editors, She Wants Revenge, etc...) could manage to turn soundtrack contributions into radio hits is quite interesting. NIN dove into the deep end of darkness on their cover with Reznor searching for the heart of Ian Curtis' trademark despair before the studio perfect programming overtook him leaving nothing but numbness. The Killers didn't tinker with the foundation of their choice but go the other way with the vocals as Flowers "doot doot doot"s his way to a brighter place that reveals the pop song beneath the goth trappings of the original. Strange that The Killers would find more about the band Joy Division would become post-Curtis than Reznor's electronic arrangement in their unanticipated route to the soul of the song.
In the grand tradition of music videos of songs featured in films the "Shadowplay" video takes the majority of it's footage from Anton Corbijn's Control with The Killers making appearances on a tv that Ian Curtis is watching. Generally this sort of video doesn't work for me, but this one does:

: "Shadowplay" appears on the soundtrack to Control alongside what is possibly the last new material ever from New Order and can also be found on The Killers Sawdust which has been declared infinitely better than either Hot Fuss or Sam's Town.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What More Can I Say?

  • Did anyone else notice that Matinee Club released the "Discotheque Français" single digitally in the US a couple of months ago? Not only have the band finally released something people can actually buy but their long delayed full length Modern Industry is due December 17 on Planet Clique. If that wasn't enough their on-again-off-again "US exclusive" EP has morphed into a "singles and b-sides collection" called The Modern LP that should be out in January on Ninthwave. Now none of these releases are on Europa Recordings or Universal which signed the band back in July so who knows what it all means for the band but at least fans will have a chance to buy the album.
  • Did anyone one else notice how completely unamazing Dangerous Muse's cover of "Everyday Is Halloween" is? Of course you did because a quick technorati search reveals that almost no one has said anything about it. The most interesting part of the package is not the dull remixes but the new version of "Give Me Danger" which demonstrates how Sire must be prepping to sell the band to alternative radio. Recently the band posted an explanation of why it was taking so long to finish the record where they pointed out that "until this point, we have been solely responsible for instigating and overseeing all of our own marketing and publicity efforts, booking our own private shows, running our online store (designing, printing, shipping and restocking merchandise)." No wonder established bands like NIN are proudly announcing that they are leaving their labels.
  • Did anyone else notice how fantastic amazon's download store is? They had a fairly low key launch a couple of months ago to little press outside a dismissive mention in rolling stone that questioned if people would really want to buy their music from a store that also sells things like power tools. Given the choice between itunes and amazon's higher quality drm-free mp3s who wouldn't take the latter given that they are usually cheaper and use variable pricing so you don't see any "album only" tracks. The biggest drawback about the store right now is that not all the major labels are on board because the letting people buy things in a convenient format thing must be a scary thing for record execs. I'm sure they'll come around soon.
  • Did anyone else notice that there are quite a few free "guilt free" downloads floating around this pre-Boxing Day season? For example Arjan just posted a Scissor Sisters mix that should be fantastic by his description but is utterly dreadful. While beggars can''t be choosers (or at least complain too much) I am rather enjoying Tiger Baby's "This Christmas (You’re The One We Want To Be With)" which taps into the melancholy I often associate with the holidays. Find it at their myspace.
  • Did anyone else notice that Seal seems to be promoting his new album in all the same places Heidi Klum seems to be on tv? I'm not sure where the connection was when he played the Monday Night Football halftime a couple of weeks ago, but I'm sure there is one.
  • Ooh, Zoot Woman have new material coming out and you can download something from it for free. Where does Stuart Price find the time?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Video: Daft Punk "Harder Better Faster Stronger (Alive 2007)"

Playing the last few dates of their much praised pyramid enhanced tour Daft Punk are celebrating by releasing Alive 2007 later this month. Naturally this has led to a bit of press in which they have addressed "the Kayne issue" that has seen a certain type of fan in hysterics over "Stronger". Thomas Bangalter explained to Spinner that "We've always made music by sampling other people that we like or respect .. and we feel it's fair to give back, so things can come full circle." Words like that must make rockist minded fans uneasy and the band's ruminations on the status of electronic music over the past decade when quizzed about their feelings on Justice do a little more damage.

In a shocking coincidence that has nothing to do with the Kayne West track Alive 2007's pre-release single is "Harder Better Faster Stronger" which has a video inspired by Beastie Boys less awesome than it sounds live DVD that combines fan footage with professional work:

: As a bonus treat yourself to this handy youtube performance of "Harder Better Faster Stronger" and be sure to get at least 55 seconds into it. It's worth it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Everything You Touch

Interesting myspace message from Ladytron about this week's re-release of "Destroy Everything You Touch" in the UK:

Obviously most, if not all of you have got Destroy... already, but theres plenty of exclusive tracks in the package, and for those who don't understand why this is being re-released, there is a point to all this;
Those who were aware of the band 2 years ago, may remember when the UK label tried to bury this record. (a good example of why the major labels are sinking fast). Thankfully they failed, the music did its own work, and through word of mouth, loyal fans, and the band working hard touring all over the world, Witching Hour ended up being the bands biggest album to date.

But this is one last chance to show people in the UK, where the band began, what a album it is, while they're busy, locked up in Paris recording their new record. So if you want to support this, try and snag a destroy, download mix, 7" or CD this week. Thanks a lot.

: Stop by 7digital to stream full length samples of the new "Destroy Everything You Touch" remixes from Hot Chip, Vector Lovers and Playgroup.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Tear Us Apart Again

The release of Control has the feuding members of New Order doing a rash of press that has finally confirmed the split. Bernard Sumner had refused comment on the situation but said "We've all been shouting at each other - now we're just arguing about who has custody of the children." Standing beside Stephen Morris at a recent screening the often facetious Sumner announced that he has moved on to work on a "project called Bad Lieutenant" that will involve Morris. Watch video of it for yourself here.

In related news I noticed that a digital reissue of Electronic's debut album was a top ten album on 7digital last week.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Just Like A Minimal

I saw this posted at Very and had to share:

: Youtube is packed with remixes of the Flea Market Montgomery commercial if you're interested.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Video: Freezepop "Less Talk More Rokk"

Freezepop drop their major label debut album Future Future Future Perfect today which is a reason to celebrate. I have been following the trio since the days of the old and it's been fantastic to see them go from doing everything DIY to getting the big label treatment. The new album opens with "Less Talk More Rokk" which appeared in the cult video game Guitar Hero and brought the band a wider audience than the underground synthpop crowd.

The "Less Talk More Rokk" video sends a couple of signals that Freezepop have moved to a major because it was clearly shot on a big sound stage and after years of fashionable modest outfits Liz suddenly has cleavage. Beyond that it has a video game theme going on and the best use of mice in a music video since PSB's "Home & Dry":

: Hear more from the album by downloading "Ninja Of Love" and stop by their myspace to hear more from Future Future Future Perfect.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Video: Rihanna "Shut Up & Drive"

Rihanna's follow up to her mega smash single "Umbrella" is "Shut Up & Drive" which follows the formula she first used on "SOS" of borrowing a musical foundation from a modern rock classic and creating a new pop r&b melody to form an instant hit. Given her previous success it seems like a no-brainer but the new song simply does not work. While "SOS" emphasised the strong points of Soft Cell's hit "Shut Up & Drive" does nothing right in playing up strengths of it's source material. When you think of New Order's "Blue Monday" you probably think of beats, beats, more beats, the distinct chill, the lead bass, that choir sound, the synth bass, the vocals and the beats. "Shut Up & Dance" has guitars rock out on New Order's familiar four bar chord progression and doesn't do anything else with the original song. Why even bother using the song if you're going to ignore what made the original work in the first place? Then there are the lyrics... I know that the double entente's show how Rihanna is a Good Girl Gone Bad but when such little imagination is used it just becomes silly.

As for the video we will let the youtube comments be our guide. "LOL...chicks who know's about cars" "she is so hot" "No girl in her right mind would work on cars in HEELS!" "yeah she's very very hot" What else could you need to know about the video?:

: In an unique turn Rihanna has a myspace page which allows you to preview some of her other music and read about her latest musical plans.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Mini Reviews

I listen to new music and sometimes I blog about it months after everyone else has...

Justice Debut Album

Every hipster's second favorite dance band released their debut album recently and while it is not as infallible as their hypem profile would suggest there is plenty of proof that everything Justice touches is made to be blogged about. Not only are they big into the whole artsy "it's not the notes you play- it's the notes you don't play" thing but they suggest with big ideas and do things that are open to interpretation like sample the same song that Will Smith sampled for "Men In Black". Are they using a track because it inspired them to create a new disco monster? Are they fans paying tribute to an under looked original source? Are they taking on ready made hits that "steal" from other songs? Do they want their money back after seeing Wild Wild West? It has been said that art must have ambiguity to allow a spectrum of interpretations to truly survive in critical circles and Justice do have that air of mystery about them. Too bad they didn't get down to business and truly capitalize on their string of pre-release singles with an album that wasn't so concerned with maintaining that aura.
Best tracks: "D.A.N.C.E." "Phantom"

Digitalism Idealism

These folks are often mentioned in the same breath as Justice because they released albums about the same time but Digitalism know how to rock a disco beat in their own way and remixed an old school Depeche Mode track & an aging Cut Copy track which are things Justice has never done. Idealism has range with parts of the album sounding like a rehash of digital hardcore while other moments are the sort of sublime analogue bliss that inspires dreams of electric sheep. Unfortunately it is five tracks too long and many of the tracks fail to distinguish themselves. Be sure to check out the highlights.
Best tracks: "The Pulse" "Pogo" "Jupiter Room"

Motor Unhuman

Originally based out of Paris & Minneapolis this transatlantic duo made the move to London where they are currently unleashing industrial flavored acid techno under the guise of Motor. The album is one of those borderline experiences that really works at moments but seems to be in need of full vocal tracks to really come to life. Given that they record electroclash as Xlover you can't help but wonder how much better the album would be if they didn't compartmentalize their music to different projects. Still it's an album that always urges me on to faster driving speeds and one that works despite "Bleep #1" being the least representative and worst first single from a decent album in 2007.
Best tracks: "Unhuman" "Flashback" "Drug Punk"

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Video: Chemical Brothers "The Salmon Dance"

The Chemical Brothers We Are The Night has arrived to a lukewarm reception but I think that the album's second single is the duo's best hip hop track to date. Collaborating with former Pharcyde member Fatlip they have broken their usual pattern of cramming every hip hop idea that ever had into a track and instead let the song dictate it's own course. The success of the remarkably low key "The Salmon Dance" relies on the charms of Fatlip's narrative which fortunately prove to be quite rewarding.

The video features a young person being entertained, possibly with the help of Chemicals, by an aquarium. It's rather good and features the best Ed & Tom cameo ever!:

: Listen to remixes and more at The Chemical Brothers myspace.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Don't Walk Away In Silence

Tony Wilson, the man behind Factory Records, died this past weekend. His unique approach to the music business of dealing without contracts and providing top notch packaging and production help bring about some of my most cherished albums. I don't know that I ever got a complete sense of his over sized personality since I've never seen his television hosting gigs in the UK but the occasional interviews I've read are fascinating. Just a short time ago Wilson was asked by Billboard of his opinion on how Steve Coogan played him in the biographical 24 Hour Party People:

Oh, I loved it. Basically, I'm a complete tw*t, but he played me as an affable fool, which is very sweet. I'm not really an affable fool, but I'm very happy to be portrayed as such... I am so proud of "24 Hour Party People" because it is very funny. I am now a celebrity in America because of that film, which is bizarre.

: Maybe he was even more of a celebrity here than he realized. I first read of Wilson's death on my ISP's news scroll where it was a featured story.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Dance To Disco

September will see the first release of Pet Shop Boys new EMI deal with Disco 4. Like the unexpectedly fantastic Disco 3 there is a twist in the series as the album showcases the Boys remix work for other acts including The Killers, Madonna, Rammmstein and David Bowie. Extended versions of "I'm With Stupid" and "Integral" (which will finally get a promo single release!) will round out the package along with a barcode inspired video that is intended to promote discussion about "the gradual erosion of personal freedom taking place in the current political climate". Sounds fun to me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Techno From Unexpected Faces: Jesus Jones

Jesus Jones usually bring to mind a very specific time and place which I imagine for many is the fall of the Berlin Wall the collapse of 20th century communism. That's not exactly the case for me. Almost every time I hear "Right Here Right Now" I am reminded of an anti-drug assembly in high school that featured extreme athletic feats performed by a team of born again ex-addicts in front of video projectors playing hit music videos before the athletes slipped a rather overt Christian message past my school's administration during their testifying of the evils of drugs. Perhaps it's just that context that colors my thinking but Jesus Jones have never struck me as ravers and the All Music Guide agrees defining the band's sound as a "watered-down Madchester and dance-pop hybrid". While that less than flattering description fits the general impression of the band they did expand their pallet on their flopped followup to their breakthrough Doubt recording with midi-modified instruments in singer/songwriter Mike Edwards bedroom studio creating a tech heavy sound that brought world music influences to the forefront. "The Devil You Know" exemplifies the best qualities of Perverse but the single's b-side showed that they were willing to go beyond traditional song structures and embrace rave culture. "Want To Know" is a product of the band's keyboardist Iain Baker and a surprisingly effective no nonsense techno stormer based around a vocal sample that asks "what did you do today?". Shame it didn't make that greatest hits collection they shared with EMF.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Living For The Bottle

Dave Gahan just announced that his second solo album, written and produced with Depeche Mode's touring members Christian Eigner and Andrew Phillpott, is due out this fall. I'm going out on a limb and going to say this could be interesting. Paper Monsters was not a good album (nor was it worth the money that Mute or Sire kept giving to amazing remixers to rework mediocre songs for the single releases) but it was an album that demonstrated potential which blossomed when Gahan started writing with Eigner/Phillpott for Playing The Angel. So it puzzles me that all I've read is negative reactions on the web. I can't be alone in declaring "Suffer Well" the greatest DM single since "Precious"? I suppose all the haters will use the upcoming Recoil album as the standard to tear Gahan apart in the months ahead.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Some Newsy Things And Links

  • Perhaps you are familiar with electropop siren Sarah Nixey. XO just interviewed her for his blog.
  • Did you know that OMD reunited and have been playing gigs that showcase their early classic albums in their entirety? Electronically Yours was invited to an intimate warm up and you can read Orac's detailed report by scrolling down to "11 . 05. 2007".
  • It was very tempting to copy and paste my own version of Tremble Clef's brilliant choose-your-own adventure post on Flunk's cover of Depeche Mode's "See You" but fear of it being a bad cover version of his blog stopped me short.
  • A survey dares ask which synthpop guru are you. I'm Neil Tennant.
  • After months of waiting for news about The Modern/Matinee Club's US EP I contacted the label that was supposed to release it. Even though the band had made the announcement and the label dropped money into prepping the release nothing was signed and after the name change they never got back to the label so another release from the band goes back into the vault. Shame they treat their fans this way.
  • A source told fansite NewOrderOnline that "Peter Hook can leave the band, but this doesn't mean the end of New Order" because New Order is a democratic body. The source mentioned that Hooky recently signed with different representation than the rest of the band and that he stayed at a different hotel in Cannes than his former band mates during the junket for the premier of Control. The film's soundtrack is complete so we can expect something new from Joy Division this year and the silence of Bernard and Stephen suggests that they might complete New Order's unfinished album.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Inner City Pressure

Can't imagine why Neil Tennant would link to this in his blog:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Video: Phonique featuring Erlend Øye "For The Time Being"

Phonique released his album in the US earlier this month and since it involves a collaboration with the peerless Erlend Øye it caught my attention. "For The Time Being" is more of a mood piece than all out song, not unlike Øye's contribution to last years James Figurine album, but it still has a bit of magic to it.

However, the video is the least interesting video yet to feature on this blog. This variation on the film school staple "my girlfriend looking moody around the apartment in various stages undress" features the following plot. Girl wakes up, puts on socks, looks at boyfriend's picture, puts on pants, puts on sweater, puts on shoes, puts on jacket, goes outside, puts on makeup, back inside notices missed call from Phonique on cell, takes shower, puts on dress, dries hair, puts on fur coat, goes down subway escalator, dances at a club and kisses the fellow from the picture. Thow in some cross cuts of cheap effects that I can duplicate on my gradparent's cameraphone and you've got the finished video. In a word: genius! Not only does the web release of this, if I may quote the record label, "beautiful video" run 22 seconds of title cards before actually starting it is such an artistic work that we get 1:05 of end credits so we understand how much talent went into this production:

: Hear more from Phonique here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Video: Tracey Thorn "Raise The Roof"

The second single taken from Tracey Thorn's Out Of The Woods is the delightful "Raise The Roof". The video tells the parallel stories of an internet couple preparing to meet for the first time which sounds like it could be utterly painful but is actually quite cute revealing a playfulness in the song that I missed the first time:

: You can get a free download of "Raise The Roof" by signing up here and you can listen to remixes and b-sides at Tracey Thorn's myspace.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Gifts He Really Wants

With Father's Day just around the corner what better time to give Dad the two things that would make his life complete:

: The brilliance of amazon's personal shopping expertise is proven again.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Video: Chemical Brothers "Do It Again"

The Chemical Brothers took a bit of a beating at the Stylus Singles Jukebox over "Do It Again" as they noted, among other things, the distinct problem of it being "all pulsating buildup with no payoff". I've found that it's a bit of a grower and a unique moment in Chemical cannon as it melds pop friendly free association vocals (courtesy of the mysterious Ali Love) to music that is decidedly un-pop and underground by nature.

Opening with the music video rarity of a forced tooth pulling the music starts as two boys discover a tape that could have been dropped from a supersonic bomber just outside of their undeveloped Middle Eastern town. In a turn that seems remarkably familiar to PNAC planners the boys use the Western tape and a boombox to enchant their townsfolk Pied Piper-style before controlling the government, or at least the cops, as they loot a bank. While it's played on the light side the video does have some interesting ideas and I'm not quite sure what to make of it given the Brothers history of using the cultural travelogue tradition with past videos set in Latin America and Japan:

: We Are The Night is out in June and the Chemical Brothers have a myspace with all the latest info on their plans for global sonic domination.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Video: Justice "D.A.N.C.E"

Underground dance sensation Justice finally have a debut album on the horizon. The French duo first made waves in 2003 collaborating with Simian on "Never Be Alone" (which featured on PSB's Back To Mine) causing some fuss when the video famously beat out Kanye West at the European MTV Awards and they have built a strong reputation with their noisy "Waters Of Nazareth" and a series of high profile remixes.
Their latest work "D.A.N.C.E" is another killer club track that pairs sing song vocals with disco grooves. The video plays to their fan base using the hipster t-shirts of a faceless duo as a revolving canvas:

: Justice's unpronounceable album is due in June and you can stop by their myspace to preview more from the duo.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Vanishing Point

Peter Hook casually dropped the news that New Order have split in a radio interview last night. While speaking about his involvement with Perry Farrell's Satellite Party, Hooky admitted that "me and Bernard [Sumner - New Order singer] aren't working together" which comes after speculation brought on when Stephen Morris said that a November gig in Buenos Aires "might be our last concert ever". Hopefully this is just a warning shot across the bow to make sure that Bernard is paying attention but Hooky said it is "like the boy who cried wolf this time." Still there are a few things left hanging at the moment like the soundtrack to the Ian Curtis biopic Control and there are "seven songs left" from their WFTSC sessions that were intended for a follow-up album.
Hooky just started a myspace and has been blogging so maybe we will get some clarification shortly.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Video: Sarah Nixey "The Black Hit Of Space"

Sarah Nixey's strong album Sing, Memory came out a few months ago and her "futuristic cover" of The Human League's "The Black Hit Of Space" my favorite part of the album. Nixey managed to transform the original into something distinctly her own which is no small feat given Phil Oakley's seemingly random vocals in the original.
Filmed in Salzburg, Austria the video features Nixey dressed in black as the video suggests the normal laws of pyschics have been suspended as she is accompanied by clones while she hangs upside down singing. It's quite good:

: The single is due in July but you can hear more from Sing, Memory at her myspace.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Video: Bjork "Earth Intruders"

While new material from Bjork has remained big news in some circles there has been more buzz about "Earth Intruders" than anything else she has released in years. This has everything to do with finally reaching outside of her most devoted fan base that has followed her to the ends of the Earth (or were at least willing to brave incidental music and all vocal experiments) as she collaborated with Timbaland to create something accessible. Despite Timbaland's recent streak of hit singles "Earth Intruders" is still more Bjork than Tim as the stompy song recalls the fierce off-kilter pop of her Post era than Nelly Furtado or Justin Timberlake.
The video, which is being kept off of youtube by her record company apparently, brings to mind the dark world of the "Human Behavior" video. The visual layering effect echoes the inner workings of the earth as the tribal shadows in the foreground echo the conflict in Iraq:

: Look for Bjork on tour, which starts in surprisingly large venues in the US, this May and stop by her myspace to hear more from Volta.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Keep On Surviving

Nine Inch Nail's new album Year: Zero is out this week and even apart from the music the viral marketing campaign for the album is amazing. The mix of online puzzle, apocalyptical Dungeons & Dragons game and twisted Rock The Vote PSA is unprecedented and the depth of it all is surprising. It started with a series of interconnected websites referenced indirectly on the shirts sold on NIN's last tour and the air of mystery continued as flash drives containing leaked album tracks and videos started appearing in venues the band were playing. The release of the album brings more clues with a phone number placed in the usual RIAA warning spot to call in subversives and the thermal design on the cd reveals a hidden message after it has been played.
A couple of days ago the game intersected with reality as a group of fans were given cell phones that led them to a "secret meeting" with the resistance group featured in the album's backstory. Here's one fan's account from a fan site:

We pulled up to an abandoned warehouse; there were random people standing on the roof and around the entrance. We were led inside; there were more people inside, and AIR flags hanging from the roof... Neil Czarno (or whoever is playing him) gave a talk about how we should give a and change the world. I was rather cynical about his talk at first, but he redeemed himself by noting that we shouldn't just blindly accept what he was saying and that we should change the world in small ways. He also told us that we were stupid for allowing them to herd us like cattle onto a bus to who knows where with no form of communication (and for carrying around cellphones like tracking devices) and that we'd be dead if they were really after us. After his talk, we were led over the river and through the woods (the warehouse complex was rather large). We were stopped briefly before we entered a room with many lights and lots of equipment.

: Where NIN played a show that was "stopped" by a SWAT team, not unlike the one in the "Survivalism" video, when they "raided" the venue. You can see footage of the secret meeting/gig on youtube (the raid is in the last minute of this clip) or see the whole thing in full at one of the NIN backstory/political activist sites. Stream Year: Zero at NIN's myspace.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sooner Or Later It Happens To Everyone

Pet Shop Boys: A Life in Pop escaped my netflix queue to arrive at my home this week. The documentary aims to be the definitive biography of the duo taking us from an overview of the band's early history and philosophy to an exploration of each of their albums. The focus is sharpest on the band's early and Imperial periods but the DVD has a broad enough range to give consideration to a number of the band's b-sides which helps bring out the depth of the Boys songwriting abilities. The pool of commentators runs the gamut from long time collaborators like the third Pet Shop Boy Pete Gleadall (credited with programming 95% of PSB releases since 1991) to celebrity fans like Brandon Flowers and internet deconstructionists like Geo Wayne so there is a good balance of distanced observations and personal insights with the band. It says quite a bit that my biggest complaints about the doc is that it shortchanges Bilingual and that the amount of time spent on their Dusty Springfield collaborations exaggerates their importance.

The segment on the Boys fall from US chart success features former kroq DJ Richard Blade relating a time in the early 90s when the station's program director played "Blue Monday" in a meeting as an example of a record the station would never play again. This brought back in a very real way my frustration at the time with "alternative" radio, which despite the alternative tag find most stations copying kroq's playlist, that dropped anything with a synthesizer as grunge brought in new listeners to the format forcing a displacement of artists that I love. It's things like that helped me learn to hate rock and roll.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Video: Client "Drive"

Client’s Heartland is still a week away from it’s release and the album’s third single “Drive” is here hitting the retro-new wave electro mark squarely. Using night driving as self medication to “feel alive” the song suggests the band may have been spending some time with former collaborator Pete Doherty as the lyrics go from “I can’t resist you “ to “white lines on a motorway” within seconds. Fortunately the band has found the right mix of synths, live drums and bass to propel one of their most strongly written songs while setting a mood that is just right.
Performing in front a massive video screen projecting somewhat abstract white on black driving visuals the video fits the band‘s style and adds a bit of Kraftwerk-ian flair. This is a huge improvement over their last video, and it’s great to see the band back on track:

: Client are touring Europe and North America shortly so click through to one of their two myspaces for more info and preview tracks from Heartland while you are there.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Short Bits

Pet Shop Boys reportedly were seconds away from being killed by falling Russian space junk during a recent flight. The band are touring behind Fundamental into the summer but they just announced a May release for the Cubism DVD that was filmed at their recent show in Mexico City so some fans can watch the show before it reaches them.

LCD Soundsystem's attempt at topping the charts fell a bit short as Sound Of Silver debuted two spots ahead Kidz Bop 11 at #46 in this past week's Billboard chart. Chalk it up to the absolute lack of airplay for the rock crowd friendly "North American Scum". James Murphy provides my quote of the week in an interview with Chart Attack responding to accusations of selling out for that Nike track he sold his soul for last year: "It's just like, dude, I live in New York. I just did a Justin Timberlake remix. I am not indie rock."

Chemical Brothers new album We Are The Night is expected this summer.

Maximus of Voltage had an opening dj set at a party that featured electro star Peaches at SXSW a couple of weeks ago. Read about it here.

Swen Weber's "First Stroke" is amazing. Yes, it came out last year but I just heard it last night and unlike a number of other worthy techno tracks it's up on itunes.

Since Channel 1049 has returned I've heard nothing on it and Live 105 but an inexcusable amount of "alternative" staples from the likes of Nirvana, RHCP, and Beastie Boys along with an unexpected surge in spins of songs by Violent Femmes. Perhaps it's because "Blister In The Sun" plays in the background of a new Wendy's commercial.

Spin apparently use zshare now. In a related note the overly praised drug addict Perry Farrell's new project isn't as horrible as his past few failures. Having New Order's Peter Hook along for the ride must be helping.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Can You Feel It Too?

Tracey Thorn's solo album Out Of The Woods hits the streets today and she posted this in her blog about the album's critical reception:

I have on occasion in the past, been known to grumble that reviewers are cloth-eared dimwits whose opinion counts for nothing. But so far I have read almost nothing but praise for Out Of The Woods, and so of course I have to revise that opinion and admit that they are all of sound judgement, and thoroughly bloody lovely blokes.

: Clearly a wise woman. Stream a few tracks from the album at Thorn's myspace to experience some of the magic that is her music.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Free Download: Information Society "Back In The Day"

Information Society's first release since reforming is out this week. Following their mid-90s masterpiece Peace & Love Inc the core trio went their separate ways as vocalist Kurt Harland carried on under the name taking the music in a more industrial direction. With Harland occupied with personal obligations the band's primary songwriter Paul Robb has picked up the name with the help of long term member Jim Cassidy and new vocalist Christopher Anton. The Oscillator EP, which can be streamed here for the rest of the week, is true to their freestyle electro roots explaining how Robb is qualified to be on a "History of Electronic Music" panel at the Winter Music Conference later this week.


Download "Back in the Day" (mp3)
Download "Back in the Day (Paul Robb Roots Electro Mix)" (mp3)
from "Oscillator"
by Information Society
Hakatak International

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Stream/buy at Napster

The new Information Society are touring and will be releasing a full album Synthesizer shortly so stop by their myspace for all the details.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Video: Supermode "Tell Me Why"

Steve Angello and Axwell are part of the informal group of producers known as the Swedish House Mafia who have championed the looping-a-hook-from-a-past-hit-and-add-a-fresh-beat technique that has been a major staple of dance charts for the past few years. Recording as Supermode they bring together two of The Bronski Beat’s biggest hits of their Jimmy Summerville-era in a mash up twist to their formula as vocals from the chorus of “Why?” float over the timeless groove of “Smalltown Boy”. My friend Glenn who introduced me to synthpop and the enigmatic genre of "Modern Rock" was a huge fan of "Smalltown Boy" which actually put me off the track, released in the US last year, for some time because I didn't see the need for yet another remix a classic song. However the combination comes across far more fresh musically speaking than you would expect from such familiar material and the juxtaposition of the two songs creates a conversation about the boy “pushed around and kicked around” for his sexual preferences as it asks why it is still relevant some twenty years after “Smalltown Boy” was first released:

: The soul behind the record The Bronski Beat called it a day shortly after their own 1994 re-recording of "Smalltown Boy". Jimmy Sommerville left the band long before that and is still around making music as a solo artist with his site noting upcoming tv appearances. Synth master Steve Bronski is also plugging away and has a very messy myspace that notes his recent production duties for my friendly online acquaintances The Garland Cult (I've exhanged emails with the singer before so you know we're tight).
Supermode, at least on paper, appears to be a one-off project that fits in the pattern of Steve Angello "mode" projects like Mode Hookers and General Moders but Axwell's site reports that as of last month "me and Steve are progressing with the new supermode". Apparently they are searching for the right vocal so don't hold your breath waiting for an album because source material this strong is hard to come by.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Respect My Girl Authority

One of Vince Clarke's first songs is seeing the light of day this week as part of "preeteen pop girl group" Girl Authority's album Road Trip. The official Erasure site reports that Clarke reworked the song, which pre-dates his time with Depeche Mode, to include the riff from "Just Can't Get Enough" and to make it a better fit for the intended young female audience.

"Let's Get Together" can be streamed at Girl Authority's myspace and Road Trip can be streamed in full here for the next week.

UPDATE: Bardot tracked down video of Vince running through the song with the first formation of Depeche. Check it out, it's fascinating stuff.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Too Much Love

LCD Soundsystem's second proper album Sound Of Silver is due next week and it is currently being previewed on the band's myspace. "North American Scum", which can be downloaded for free here, hinted at a new direction and indeed the sound is decidedly more rock this time around. It's not that there aren't electronics sprinkled throughout the album, the opening "Get Innocuous" has a beat inspired by Kraftwerk's "The Robots" and the amazing title track is pure electronic deliciousness, but the band's reputation as an essential live act seems to have dictated the sound. Although I would love to hear an electro album of little "Tribulations" SOS sounds great on the first couple of listens and part of the joy of their first album was discovering music outside the range of my usual music taste.

As previously mentioned LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy is attempting a bit of Chart Rigging aiming for a top-40 release with his clever slogan of "if you were going to buy it anyway, why not by it this week." Monitor his progress with the band's "sound of silver billboard chart guerilla takeover monitor/thermometer" found at their official site.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Palms Out Sounds made a few waves in the blogging world when they did a feature a couple of weeks ago on samples used in Daft Punk songs which has been spread even further after Music Thing created a youtube clip that compares the source material to the finished tracks. A number of the most obvious samples were credited in the liner notes but the French duo's inroads with the American indie rock crowd in the 00s has brought the expected cries of shock and disappointment. Perhaps it's hard for the backwards rockist crowd to believe that their token object of dance praise could be guilty of the same vices that lesser blatantly inartistic acts that sample and use computers are guilty of. Surely when the band claimed "all guitars by Daft Punk" on Human After All they were to be taken at their word. However fans that have been following Daft Punk from the beginning not only know they take inspiration from hip hop acts but have a sense of humor as well.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Channel 1049 Back From The Dead

Just over a year after Clear Channel closed the station down to broadcast a new Spanish language format Channel 1049 returned to the Bay Area airwaves this past week. The station's program director claimed in the Mercury News (updated link) (thanks Bardot) that "we've been hearing that listeners want their station back". Perhaps the new station's ratings being half what Channel 1049's were at the time of reformatting was the deciding factor.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Seven Songs

My mp3 player is on the fritz, the cd player is busted in my commute car and I can't take hearing RHCP and something off Licensed to Ill every single time I listen to Live 105 for more than five minutes so it has been lots of talk radio for me lately. It's not that I've given up on music as this meme, which comes from XO by way of the thoughtful This Man's World, proves.
List seven songs you are into right now, no matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs...

Amy Winehouse "You Know I'm No Good" (mp3)
When I got hooked on "Rehab" (see what I did there?) a couple of months ago I didn't expect to fall in love with anything else from Winehouse but this Mark Ronson production occupies the same head space I reserve for breezy Portishead pop songs. That is if they existed. Lyrically the song drops a few great lines, including one about tearing "men down like Roger Moore", and the way Winehouse draws out words like "trouble" is positively intoxicating.

The Killers "Read My Mind (Pet Shop Boys Stars Are Blazing Mix)"
Reminding me a bit of Motiv 8's version of Pulp's "Disco 2000" this remix is a bit hit and miss. PSB take a hands off disco friendly approach for the song which is nice but a bit boring outside but the final moments of "Go West" bit they add at the chorus which is fantastic and worth the blah parts. I'd love to hear the edit and see if it gets to the meat of things but it's not available in the US and I haven't found it on 7digital yet.

Freezepop "Less Talk More Rokk (Guitar Hero 2 Mix)" (youtube)
Despite "Get Ready 2 Rokk" being Freezepop's most downloaded song on itunes it's one of my least favorite songs so when I learned they were making their major label debut with what look to be version of the song I was concerned. This mix is rather good and brings to mind the best of modern Daft Punk.

!!! "Heart Of Hearts" (myspace)
This hasn't grabbed me like "Take Esctasy With Me", which relates directly to the song not having been written by Stephin Merritt, but this is dance rock done right. Love the false ending and the guitar sound is killer.

Matinée Club "Tokyo Girls" (youtube)
Originally based around a now recreated Gary Numan sample this sounds like a hit because it was. Catchy and I've found myself enjoying it despite cringing at some of the lyrics...

Felix Da Housecat "Neon Human" (youtube)
Revisiting Devin Dazzle And The Neon Fever recently has reinforced my original thought that "Neon Human" is the best track on the album because it sounds quite like "Axel F".

Jay-Jay Johanson "Rocks In My Pockets"
I generally prefer Johanson's pop stuff but Tremble Clef turned me on to this song which really is "a record worth locking up the razors for."

Friday, February 23, 2007

Video: Tracey Thorn "It's All True"

Tracey Thorn has long been one of my favorite vocalists and with Everything But The Girl's hiatus carrying into a sixth year I was pleased to find that "It's All True", the first single from Thorn's forthcoming solo album Out Of The Woods, delivers the electropop goodness that I could only dream of a few short months ago.
The song's video is a single continuous shot that finds a seated Thorn facing us in a room filled with desks and uniform office drones adorned in grey suits. We never see much of Thorn as the director reduces her to a graphic element instead taking the standard pop approach of showing the star in close up as the focal point. Not only does this suggest that Thorn is one of her audience, often dismissed by critics with the subtle "coffeehouse crowd" insult, who are represented here literally as special effect created clones but the approach echoes the emotional distance often associated with Thorn's vocal delivery. As the video develops the clones are given chances to shine and express themselves individually with dance flourishes and momentary surges of color refuting the simple dismissal of Thorn's audience by demonstrating that they are more than an extension of their homologous environment but have soul and personality that is unique to themselves. The visual style of the video, most specifically the final moments, mirrors that of a number of viral videos in which people represent pixels in recreations of 80s video games which is not unlike the production team's loving reinterpretation of early 80s club music:

: Tracey Thorn's Out Of The Woods is out March 20 and Tremble Clef's inspired review of the album is a must read. Thorn's music can be previewed at her myspace which includes some delightfully endearing blog entries.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Want To Wake Up

Spin just created a list of ways to save the music business including this obvious suggestion:
Fully embrace the Web. Instead of making threats when an unauthorized song or video shows up on MySpace or YouTube, majors should welcome the exposure. In its early days, MTV made you want to buy records and go to shows. The Web has the ability to provide those same thrills.

: This is coming from a magazine that had a website that was not accessible to the general public until a few years ago and lost much of the audience during the same period so maybe they know what they are talking about.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Flashback: Mono "Life In Mono" (1996)

The 90s were a difficult time for those looking to combine a love electronics and the craft of songwriting. The rise of underground techno suggested that vocals and traditional structure weren't necessary while the reactionary grunge movement knocked anything with a synthesizer off "alternative" radio in the US but the success of Portishead opened a new door that allowed songwriters access to the American market. The caveat: their music was labeled as trip hop. There was a time when trip hop was, at least in my mind, a fairly specific genre during the first half of the 90s when it directly involved the hip hop inspired Bristol Sound. Over the course of the decade the term diversified when bands like Hooverphonic and Morcheeba revealed similar stories about sneaking their music onto major labels by convincing A&R men that they could sell to the trip hop crowd.

Producer/instrumentalist Martin Virgo had a solid background in the genre working as a session musician on albums from Massive Attack and Bjork before forming Mono with vocalist Siobhan de Maré but the tone of the project echoed a decidedly more pop approach exemplified by other late 90s trip hop acts. The band's sole album Formica Blues produced four singles including the Saint Etienne-esque "Slimcea Girl" but "Life In Mono" is their finest, if perhaps darkest, moment. Equally bringing together Virgo's passion for all things John Barry and Phil Spector with drum 'n' bass inspired beats the song had the unique quality of sounding dated and futuristic on the first listen. A decade later it simply sounds timeless:

: The song's inclusion, reportedly at the suggestion of Robert De Niro, on the soundtrack to Alfonso Cuarón's Great Expectations helped make the song a radio hit in the US two years after it's initial release but my first exposure to the song was the Propellerheads instrumental remix which used the originals Barry flavored guitar to turn the song into a proper James Bond dance track. More recently former Spice Girl Emma Bunton used "Life In Mono" as her most recent album title and included a faithful cover of the song which I'm sure was not inspired by a karaoke version being available.

Despite their moderate success Mono didn't survive after rifts between the two proved to be too great to bridge. Siobhan de Maré has since worked with Robin Guthrie and Martin Virgo seems to have slowed down as reports suggest he is spending his time with a rightfully unsigned jam band. Sigh...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Video: LCD Soundsystem "North American Scum"

James Murphy and company are here to they clear up some misperceptions “for those of you who still think we’re from England” on the first single from LCD Soundsystem’s forthcoming Sound Of Silver. Musically the song plays on LCD’s strengths and does it with a short running time which is something of a rarity for the project. The tinfoil heavy video parodies the artifice and excess of mainstream videos as it opens with Murphy playing a bored rock star at a photo shoot before a Hype Williams style “LCD” graphic takes the video to the moon:

: The "North American Scum" single drops later this month with Sound Of Silver expected the week of March 20 when Murphy has asked fans to pick up the album on the theory that if everyone who bought the first LCD album bought SOS then it would chart at number 1 (assuming sales matched the historic low a few weeks ago). Hear more from the band at their myspace.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Swimming In The Haze

Nine Inch Nails are expected to release new album Year Zero this April. NIN's site has a section up for the album now with an incomplete tracklisting that lists two song names with a bunch of "0"s (see what they did there) outlining the names of the other tracks. Reports have the album being mostly recorded on laptops while the band was touring and it gives me hope that it will sound like this live cover of The Normal's "Warm Leatherette" with Peter Murphy on vocals that I saw posted on Voltage:

: On the heels of 2005's With Teeth this is the quickest NIN have recorded studio releases since the two year break between Pretty Hate Machine and the Broken EP which I'm sure has nothing to do with Trent Reznor's discovery that his former manager was skimming money leaving Reznor with a small, by rock star standards, cash reserve a few years ago. I suppose inspiration comes in many forms.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

No Time For Dancing

David Byrne showed off Here Lies Love, his work-in-progress multimedia musical chronicling the rise of Imelda Marcos, as part of the Carnegie Hall Perspectives Series that he curated and performed last week. The first American staging of the incomplete work generated a fair amount of interest with warm reviews in the New York Times and Time Magazine. Better yet is that he did a number of interviews including one with New York Magazine that asked "what made now the right time to write a song cycle about Imelda Marcos?":

Probably the end of the CD and the end of the record business. Seriously. This is going to sound very calculated, but I just thought, If I think of a collection of songs I write as being of a piece, how do you keep that connection and continuity? And I thought, Well, this is made to be heard and seen; it doesn’t rely on a piece of plastic. Although I think the piece of plastic will be a nice-sounding thing, too.

: The Guardian found out why he decided to work with Fatboy Slim on the project:

"I imagined it being dance music, so I thought I should go to a professional for help," he says. "Norman's awfully good at that - he has played an instrument at some point, so has an innate sense of song structure that not everyone in the dance community has. He knows what a song is."

: As a side-note, it is interesting that the qualities that attracted Byrne to Cook are the same reasons Cook is distrusted in the underground electronic scene.

Here Lies Love should be a fascinating experience as the songs reportedly range from whistle sampling big beat to trip hop and pure orchestral accompaniment with archive footage and stage performance expected at the final staging. None of the press indicates that it will happen particularly soon and Byrne has implied he is still in the writing process for material to be featured in the musical. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Get Ready 2 Rokk

Boston's DIY synthpop sensations Freezepop have just signed to Cordless Recordings which is great news. I've been a fan of the synthpop trio since stumbling upon them at the old and love both of their albums. Cordless, the mostly internet division of Warner Bros that releases material from Dangerous Muse and Skye among others, should be a good fit for the band because they should give the band wider exposure that they deserve without the pressure for an across the board radio hit. The band had this to say by way of their newsletter:

...the idea of giving up control made us pretty nervous. But things have grown to a point where it's been getting increasingly difficult to juggle all the day-to-day details with getting new music out to you guys. When Cordless approached us, we were impressed by their ideas about artist development, and it was reassuring that they didn't want us to give up our independence. To us, the decision to go with Cordless came down to the fact that they can help us get our music heard by more people without sacrificing the music that we make.

: A new album is due out this Spring and the band's Cordless page is up now. Freezepop's first release for the label is The Rokk Suite out February 27th and you can preview it at their myspace.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Video: Matinée Club "Discothèque Français"

The video for Matinée Club’s "Discotheque Français" is out on youtube and like the band's name change from The Modern the "announcement" came by way of their forum (this time from a fan who happened upon it). The song has been around for almost a year so releasing the video now is a bit puzzling on first blush, but the song is getting the single treatment from the band's new UK label Planet Clique Records at the beginning of March so this is the start of the promotional push. A click on the video quickly reveals a period piece that finds the band acting out some strange plot involving espionage and destruction in France during WWII. Clearly there was some money spent with special effects beyond the standard blue screen variety (when was the last time you saw a dogfight in a music video?) and that raises the question of where the money came from. They left Mercury last year and while it is possible that it was filmed then the band's copyright tagged on the video casts some doubt on that. Planet Clique is just getting started up and Ninthwave simply doesn't have the funding for a video of this magnitude so the money issue is a mystery for now. Regardless it's great to see a Brit band using the video for their "français" song to remind the French of one their history's lowest moments:

: Better bloggers than me have already posted about the video with greater clarity so please visit XO and Arjan for more insightful takes on the video.

Matinée Club "are currently putting the final touches to their debut album" with "The Dirty Blonde" EP expected soon on Ninthwave in the US. "Tokyo Girls" from the Robopop compilation is on US itunes now.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Then I Just Smile

I'm a big fan of aol's new music preview because it allows you to listen to most major releases for free without signing up for anything. Still you would think a big corporate site would hire an editor to look over some of their material before it goes live. Take the blurb they have up this week for Lily Allen's album:

: I had never seen Keith Allen described before without the word "comedian" stuck somewhere in there which is something I can forgive but the unexpected Gwen Stefani credit is just wrong. Keep up the good work guys.

Stream Alright, Still here for the rest of the week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Promiscuous Producer

In the last few days it has come out that Timbaland likely swiped music from a amateur artist for a ringtone and later used it for the backing music for Nelly Furtado's album track "Do It". This video and a followup make the case:

: So did he steal the track? Probably. However the interesting thing is how the story has quickly gone from being tracked in blogs and forums to specialized news sites like Side-Line and being covered in Rolling Stone. Interestingly the hip hop press that I've read suggests it's not a big deal that it isn't worth the controversy. Maybe they are right.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bullet Points

  • Congratulations to Orac of Electronically Yours who has now made the leap from fan to webmaster for the official Heaven 17 website. He does a great job keeping his all things Human League related site Secrets Online and EY current so this should be a pleasant change for the notoriously difficult which oddly required people to sign up to read the section of the website that announced their Before/After album that was released last year.
  • IAMX will be doing a limited tour of the US (with a few Canadian dates possible) at the end of March despite not having his latest record released here yet. Details should be found at his myspace once they are announced.
  • The (mostly) reformed Information Society have finally gotten their website online and it is worth the wait with the opportunity to remix their new single and listen to hours of unreleased material. The unreleased tracks are a fantastic way to hear the band's sound and songwriting develop with songs dating as far back as their high school days. The new InSoc album Synthesizer is expected to be released in Brazil in early April so an announcement about the US release can't be far off.
  • PopJustice notes that Rex The Dog has an album coming out as they casually reference his other alias which I couldn't find to save my life even a few months ago. They also link to an amusing video of Rex performing his new remix of The Sounds new single.
  • Annie just signed a new deal in the UK and her new album is expected at the end of this year. PopJustice reports "It'll be very melodic song-based electronica - cutting edge pop and great melodies with a view to getting people dancing." Perhaps that means her sessions with James Iha have been jettisoned.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Musique Non Stop

Despite having first taken Daft Monk as my dj name back in my college radio days as a tribute I initially passed on Daft Punk's singles collection Musique Vol. 1 1993-2005 because I already had the bulk of the material on the collection. I recently gave the disc a listen and the track selection suggests a career arch:

: The graph does cheat a bit crediting "Musique" as appearing on Homework although it is only excerpted on the album, but when you consider that the included remixes pre-date the band's mid-period album Discovery by more than a couple of years it appears that the band peaked early and never recovered. That is not the case because Discovery is a stronger album than the singles would suggest that helped bring underground electronica back to the idea that songs were acceptable. However, despite the exception of the effortless "Technologic", the Human After All singles really call attention to why I never have any interest in revisiting the mess that is that album.

Daft Punk's myspace show a live date scheduled for later this year and their website promotes their movie Electroma which according to imdb "follows the history of two robots, the members of Daft Punk, on their quest to become human". The film apparently features no music from the duo and there is little information about a release date but you can watch the trailer here.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Who Needs Blog (Like That)

Producer Gareth Jones has spent the past few months locked in his home studio with Erasure recording their new album and blogging about the experience. Before making the jump to blogger the blog was hosted on his own site which has made following it a bit difficult, but it reveals Jones to have an apparent passion for food and bicycling as they get as much space as his musical escapades. Still there are some interesting moments that peel back the curtain behind the band’s creative process and it’s worth a look. Also of note is that Jones has a video camera and the occasional cameraman around so clips capturing everything from (muted) vocal sessions to Andy Bell talking about his weekend have turned up on youtube. I haven’t made it through all of them but this rather long clip of the band attempting to steal beats from Kraftwerk captures how I imagine studio time to actually be... a bit boring:

: Erasure's next release is the On The Road To Nashville live DVD documenting their decent into madness as they perform country-influenced arrangements of their synthpop hits. The new album is in the mastering stage so a proper announcement of a release date can't be too far off.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Video: Jarvis Cocker "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time"

Now that Jarvis Cocker has recorded his own version of "Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time", a song that originally appeared on Nancy Sinatra's comeback album a couple of years ago, there is a strong case that only he can interpret his own material (bar William Shatner). The video brings us Jarvis as our taxi driver who offers some friendly advice:

: Still no word on Jarvis being released in the US, but at least my fellow Americans can visit Jarvis at his myspace and enjoy some of his friendly podcasts.