Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ahoy! It is the Guillemots' latest single

Better than: The new Coldplay single
Worse than: The old Guillemots single

Guillemots - Falling Out Of Reach

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

That Coldplay single "in full"

Worried about listening to Coldplay's new single, Violet Hill, at work?
Have no fear, for here it is in text form:

0:00 - 0:41 Here is some pleasant ambience noise which will take the running time over the crucial three minute mark.
0:42 - 0:46 Chris Martin's vocals have got "slapback" reverb on them, just like the Beatles used to use.
0:46 - 0:50 He sounds more like Liam Gallagher on All Around The World, though.
0:50 - 0:52 "There was snow," exclaims Chris. "White snow" What other type is there, you buffoon?
1:00 - 1:05 This bass line is actually very funky
1:18 - 1:23 THE CHORUS "If you love it, won't you let me know?" That's all you're getting, by the way. One solitary line.
1:46 - 1:48 The word bible is rhymed with rifle. Controversial!
2:14 - 2:16 Is the record stuck?
2:17 - 2:48 No, it is not. And here is a guitar "solo" (the same riff repeated over and over again for 30 seconds)
3:09-3:49 Piano coda. Chris does his trademark singing-like-a-wounded-animal "schtick". Then it stops.

All in all, it is rather good. Goddamn them.

Get your free copy on the Coldplay interwebshop.

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Best Ting Tings video ever!

The Ting Tings' videos have, up until now, been cheap and charming affairs - stressing the band's indie credibility while retaining all the shiny fluorescent conventions of the traditional pop promo.

Now, Apple have got behind the band and chosen their album track Shut Up And Let Me Go to soundtrack the latest iPod advert in the US. The result is a Ting Tings video with a budget in excess of £2.50, which conveys all the energy and vibrancy of the band's shouty lady pop.

I have to say that the 30-second clip raises my expectation for their debut album, We Started Nothing, which is due out on 18th May (download) / 19th May (variety of plastic disc options). It sounds very much like the New Young Pony Club... Yum, yum.

Ting Tings - iPod advert

Here's what Katie has to say about the advert on the band's MySpace page:

Its really exciting, we love the ipod adverts, they look great. Its really funny how we got it...we played south by south west in Austin ,Texas and I fainted onstage. We had another gig an hour later and we almost pulled out of it because I was so ill. We managed to play three songs and by the last one I was shaky again but apple loved it. We so nearly didn't play that gig. So glad we did now ( :

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Batman returns?

How many ways are there to make a Batman movie?

Fans of Christopher Nolan's bleak, shadowy Batman Returns would like to think that his "re-imagining" of the franchise has saved it from the camp, comic book excesses of the Joel Schumacher era.

But The Dark Knight, Nolan's hotly-anticipated sequel, deals with the same villain as Burton's first movie - The Joker. Can he really deviate that much from the template that gothic auteur Tim Burton laid down?

The answer, according to this superb mash-up from College, is "not much".

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Monday, April 28, 2008

New Rihanna video

For some reason (*cough* cash *cough*) Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad album is getting a US re-release with a smattering of bonus tracks.

One of them, which is set to be a single, has been recorded with Ne-Yo, a man I would call tedious if we could stay awake long enough to typ.... Sorry, must have dropped off there.

It is called Take A Bow (yes, like the Madonna song) and as much thought has gone into the video as went into the title, lyrics and melody.

Here it is. I recommend using industrial strength steel springs to keep your eyes open.

Rihanna - Take A Bow

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Listen to the Ladytron album

Over on Myspace, goth electropop outfit Ladytron are streaming their new album, Velocifero, which isn't due out 'til June, in its entirety.

If you like the sound of teutonic ice queens ululating over the dark pulse of damaged synths, you will like this.

You could also buy some Kohl eyeliner and avoid the sun, but that's really up to you.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Oh, Fucking Hell...

Honestly, you spend the best part of the morning writing a tidy little review of Annie's album, and then she goes and puts out a new video which makes the whole process of reviewing redundant because you can go and watch the video and make your own mind up regardless of all those carefully-chosen words I typed using those bleeding stumps I used to recognise as my precious fingers.

Here it is, then, Annie's "I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me" video.

Annie - I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me

Happy now?

Update - 1800 BST: Island have inexplicably removed the video from Youtube (youtube) , even though it was on their official Youtube (youtube) channel. This is going well, isn't it?

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Plop! Look what has landed in the Discopop Towers letterbox. It's a sampler for Annie's sophomore album - and major label debut - Don't Stop. Four years in the making, it has left the poor dear looking a little bit worse for wear:

Don't Stop isn't out 'til July, but here's what we learn from these first five tracks.

I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me
Ugly text-speak typography aside, this a a great little pop nugget. A sonic sister to Annie's Chewing Gum, it suggests that writer/producer Richard X hasn't progressed much since Some Girls in 2004. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The song climaxes, for no apparent reason, with the sound of an ice cream van.
Key lyric: Ring-a-ding-a-ding-ding-ding-ding, Ring-a-ding-a-ding-ding

My Love Is Better
There are no liner notes on the CD, but I'm willing to bet my right arm that this is a Xenomania track. I've always found the team's non-Girls Aloud songs rather anonymous, but this one perfectly captures the feisty funk of the former Pop Stars finalists. The lyrics are basically saying 'I'm better than you, so ner ner ner' and, if I'm not mistaken, the actual Girls Aloud are hanging around on backing vocal duties.
Key lyric: Betting that your bark has nothing on my bite.

When The Night
Annie is experiencing some nocturnal angst, like dracula but without the blood lust. A classy, understated ballad that wouldn't sound out of place on the Pet Shop Boy's Behaviour album.
Key lyric: I'm burning like a moth attracted to the flame, but better that I burn than slowly fade away.

Marie Cherie
A song about nobel prize-winning radioactivity pioneer Marie Curie [are you sure about this? - Ed]. Another dramatic ballad, replete with sweeping strings and whispered harmonies. Serge Gainsbourg would be proud. And so would St Etienne. Me, I'm not so sure...
Key lyric: Her skin's like velvet cream. She never made a sweet sixteen.

Songs Remind Me Of You
The only track on this sampler that brings to mind the extended disco magnificence of Come Together from Annie's debut, Anniemal. Focused around a bubbling Giorgio Moroder bassline, the song is addressed to a former lover whose songs haunt Annie's every waking minute. It ends with a gong, as all great pop songs should.
Key lyric: How does it feel to hear your songs on the radio?

Can't wait to hear the rest of the material... You might be able to catch some of it at Annie's forthcoming UK DJ shows. Details on her Myspace page.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Candid photo moment

Ah, the paparazzi. Nicole Kidman is scared of them, Denise Richards throws computers at them and they've turned John Travolta into a vampire

For vast sums of money, these parasites help us discover the REAL TRUTH about VILE celebrities. You know - important stuff like: Eva Longoria goes shopping like everyone else; Paula Abdul does not have particularly good taste in dresses; and Britney Spears occasionally covers up her mimsy. (but only very occasionally, mind)

So, yes, they're a scourge on human existence. But without a paparazzo thrusting his zoom lens right up her, we would never, never, never have had the pleasure of seeing a dog wee on Natalie Portman's leg.

Question: Is she trying to collect the urine in her bottle?


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Duffy's mascara is running

Here is the video for Duffy's new single, Warwick Avenue - probably the best song on her album (except Mercy).

It's a bit "Nothing Compares 2U", with the entire video shot in a tight close-up while tears stream down Duffy's face.

You do not get to see the onions on her lap.

Duffy - Warwick Avenue

It's only 8:30 in the morning and that's made me a bit weepy.

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Meanwhile, another soul singer has a video, too...

After the genius of Duffy's video, here is the so-so new one from Adele - which only raises the question "didn't you used to be in Hollyoaks".

Adele - Cold Shoulder

In complete contrast, the Basement Jaxx remix of this song is one of the best things I've heard all month. It's streaming over on their Myspace page.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"Everything phenomical and TV mum"

Geri Halliwell, it has already been established, is 100% banana sandwich hic dong woof woof mad.

The former Spicette, who once admitted to having "growing pains in my brain", dresses like a fairy, speaks in constant streams of misunderstood psychobabble, pretends to be under 50 and shops at the supermarket of insane. Where she buys plums made from batteries, slides down sugarcane bannisters, and sneaks llama trousers onto the cheese counter.

So it comes as no surprise to learn that her children's book Ugenia Lavender is a work of unhinged geniosity. Her ten-year-old heroine sets off to rescue tigers and explore deserted islands - all while "inspiring" her readers by burdening their tiny minds with meaningless advice like: "To get off the pity pot, get grateful".

What on earth is a pity pot?

On second thoughts, I'm not even sure I want to know...

Always true to her musical muse, Halliwell has recorded a theme tune for her literary phenomenon, which you can hear in full on the karaoke section of her website. Watch out for lyrics such as "zonkoids are so terrible" and "avoid dog poo".

I hereby present a 30-second taster, which will terrify you to your very soul (although, I admit, it's quite catchy).

Geri Halliwell - Ugenia Lavender theme

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World's biggest foam party

Following the bouncing balls and exploding paint buildings, Sony Bravia's latest crazy TV ad floods the streets of Miami with ninety tons of dirty dish water a 16-foot-high wall of foam.

Party like it's 1996!

Sony Foam advert

There's a great making-of film, here. But does anyone recognise the music? It's lovely.

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Drop that clitoris!

Here is Cameron Diaz* talking about her harrowing new movie, That Terrible Time Of The Month.

*May actually be Tracey Ullman

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Roisin writes

Due to utter indifference on the part of everyone in the entire world, Roisin Murphy's latest single, You Know Me Better failed to make the top 40 the other week. This is a shame because:

i) It is amazing
ii) It is amazing
iii) The Kooks are in the top 10

Roisin has written a lengthy message about this debacle on her website. Here is what she says.

Hey guys, Just wanted to drop you a line to say I will never let you down. Have so much buzzing around my head right now, I know things might have been better for the single, all down to radio in my own country I’m afraid and that effects everything. Yet still, I feel strangely inspired. Gonna start writing immanently and I really feel I will do my best work yet. Look I’ve never been easy to categorise and category makes this industry go round. But I am seeping in bit by bit, I have some exciting things goin on in the background that I can’t share right now but believe me I aint out of the game yet. Keep up your support, as it means so much and try to be positive. I never had friends in high places, but I have you, and you have me. Until the end.

Shame she couldn't have run it through spell-check, eh readers?

Anyway, the news that she's recording new material is great. Roisin's album, Overpowered, is one of last year's sadly overlooked gems. Its genius stems from the way it extracts the DNA of every dance genre in history, from handbag house to acid electro, and creates a Dolly The Sheep of europop.

This towering stregnth, however, is probably at the root of Roisin's commercial doldrums. As mrsdiscopop commented in the car the other day: "This is Roisin Murphy? I thought it was something you'd downloaded from 1988."

If your tribute to the music you love is so accurate as to be indistinguishable from the original, then how do you let people know it's new?

Answers on a postcard, etc...

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Madonna does the hoovering

What in the name of all that is good and pure is going on here?

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gig review: Goldfrapp

The last time Goldfrapp played live, their intro music was Cerrone's 10-minute disco odyssey Supernature. Last night at the Royal Festival Hall, it was Greensleeves.

Yes, Alison and Will have gone all pastoral, as further evidenced by their band's set-up, which included a harp, a 16-piece string ensemble and, by the end of the gig, six female choristers.

Dressed in white nightgowns (except Alison, in pink), the group concentrated mainly on the dreamy psychedelia of current album Seventh Tree and the more cinematic moments from debut release Felt Mountain. Utopia was an early highlight, with the string section lifting an already euphoric song into the stratosphere.

Similarly, You Never Know was particularly suited to the austere surroundings of the posh-nobs venue - with its staccato string stabs punching all the way to the back row like a fist in a velvet glove.

When they turned to the more upbeat numbers, though, Goldfrapp faltered. Bringing out the synths for the bouncy music-hall groove of Satin Chic, the sound balance was oddly uneven. The drums, in particular, sounded like they being played in a school practice room - making a band that's renowned for its perfectionist soundscapes seem a little amateurish.

Fittingly for the surroundings, it was mostly a sit-down concert. Until, that is, we got the opening strains of Number One. At which point a lone man in the upper balcony was so moved by pulsing bassline that he left his chair to dance wildly in the aisles, half-finished pint in hand. A steward predictably tried to get him to sit down but was met with a disapproving chorus of booing. Then five supporters got up to show solidarity in dance. Then ten, then fifteen... The steward retreated, defeated.

"Don't let them make you stop dancing," said a clearly delighted Goldfrapp as the song ended, before launching into electro glam disco stomper Strict Machine, ensuring even more feet on the floor. It was a great moment - and one that clearly touched the singer, who had expressed concern that the audience wasn't connecting with the music earlier in the show ("I can't see anyone, I'm not used to people sitting down," she complained)

The show drew to a close with two sonic experiments - Ooh La La as a hillbilly country song, which failed miserably, and a performance of Happiness with the entire audience humming along on kazoos, which was magnificent.

Despite a few minor mis-steps, then, it was a great gig. Alison Goldfrapp seems more comfortable as a frontwoman this time round, leading her band like a dreamy, ethereal pixie, rather than the sexualised disco vixen of the Supernature tour. And, with those sound issues sorted out, they're going to be an amazing experience under the stars at this summer's outdoor festivals.


Goldfrapp - Happiness (live, fan-made video)

Paper Bag
Cologne Cerrone Houdini
You Never Know
Road To Somewhere
Eat Yourself
Little Bird
Satin Chic
Number One
Strict Machine
Monster Love
Caravan Girl
Ooh La La (Hillbilly)
Happiness (Kazoo)
(via Goldfrapp messageboards - thanks)

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Friday, April 18, 2008

New Lily Allen songs

Remember Lily Allen? No, not the 'personality' from your telly or your tabloid newspaper - but that pouty London girl who made fantastic music with snarky lyrics?

Well, she's back! Lily has just put up two new tunes on her MySpace and they are (shock news alert) "quite good".

That's despite the fact one of them deals lyrically with the awful burden it is to be famous. Normally, I hate this moany self-pitying nonsense. From Madonna to Eminem, pop stars need slapped around the chops with a cold baked bean sandwich if they think we care about the pressures of fame - but Lily was never one to play the victim, and her song, I Don't Know, is satisfyingly acerbic. Here are a few tasters:

"I'll take my clothes off and it will be shameless,
'Cos everyone knows that's how you get famous"

"I am a weapon of massive consumption.
It's not my fault, it's how I'm programmed to function"

"I look at The Sun, I look in The Mirror
I'm on the right track, yeah, I'm on to a winner"

The other song, I Could Say, is a more conventional piano ballad which takes its cues from Lily's BFF, Kate Nash. Except, of course, it isn't bowel-emptyingly bad.

On her blog, the star notes the songs are "just at a demo stage so don't be too hard on them". She also promises new material as soon as it's recorded, and a new mixtape "soon".

It is nice to have you back, lady.

[here is Lily Allen's Myspace page]
[via Popjustice]

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A mewsical interlude

Cat + theremin = cat playing a theremin.


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They have filmed my nightmares

And turned them into a music video for Lykke Li.

Lykke Li - I'm Good, I'm Gone

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Kate Nash illusion

You will be familiar with the necker cube - a wireframe drawing of a cube with no depth perception cues, which your brain can interpret in two different ways simultaneously... It looks like this:

Well, Kate Nash has just pulled off a musical version of that illusion.

Is this cover of the Supremes' Baby Love a spectacular success, or a grievous sin against the ears of an entire species? My brain literally can't decide.

Kate Nash - Baby Love

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A small moment of genius

In this week's NME, Scroobius Pip discusses his despair at indie band's lyrics:

"I found it hard to take the Killers seriously after 'I got soul but I'm not a soldier'. Words that are completely irrelevant to each other. It's like singing 'I've got pants but I'm not a panther.'"

That's that song ruined for ever.

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Natasha Bedingfield: Must do better, see me after class

Natasha Bedingfield is one of those artists who seems to just fall through the cracks in the UK. Her songs are catchy and effervescent (although she tends to bellow her choruses with all the subtlety of Katie Price at a buddhist retreat) but people seem not to have warmed to her.

In the US, however, she's quickly becoming part of the pop firmament, as evidenced by the massive wads of cash her record company have spunked up the wall for her latest video, Pocket Full of Sunshine.

None of that moolah seems to have been spent on maintaining a consistent narrative logic, however. Hence:

Natasha is a secretary (not in the Maggie Gyllenhaal sense, unfortunately).

Bored of work, she unpacks a parachute which she just happens to have in the office and jumps out the window.

Natasha doesn't pull the rip-cord immediately. Given that she will be falling at a rate of 54 metres per second, her office would have to be around 600 metres above ground level for her to make a safe landing.

The tallest man-made building in the world is the Burj Dubai, which tops out at 425 metres, fact fans.

Despite this, Natasha manages to land on the roof of a nearby office tower. And her costume has changed completely. Amazing.

Anyway, the video is all pretty colours, and the single has that worship song vibe that Bedingfield excells at. But, to be frank, the best bit about the Youtube (youtube) clip below is the text messages that scroll across the bottom of the screen. My personal favourite: "I love marquees".

Natasha Bedingfield - Pocket Full Of Sunshine

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gnarls Barkley on SNL

It's all gone very quiet round here... It must be mid-term break in popworld.

In the meantime, here's a barnstorming, bewigged video of Gnarls Barkley thrashing out Run on Saturday Night Live. It's the sort of thing to make you really regret their cancelled gig in London earlier this month.

Gnarls Barkley - Run (live on SNL)

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Friday, April 11, 2008

This is the remix

For the last three weeks, I've been spending all of my spare time (well, the bits where I wasn't drinking, at least) fixing up my Janet Jackson remixology. For those of you who haven't ventured over to the links on the top right of the page, it's an obssessive-compulsive list of all the official remixes of Janet's 55 singles to date. Some of them are great. Others, particularly from the last couple of years, are awful...

Anyway, to celebrate Janet's belated return to form with Feedback, I rejigged the site to make it look a bit less like it came from the animated gif days of 1994. Inside you'll find details of about 450(!) remixes. Or, to put it another way, details of my wasted life and squandered money. There are also audio clips from each track and a list of fake and bootleg recordings for the completist in you.

The pages start over here. Please check them out and send me any feedback - particularly if I've messed up somewhere.

In the meantime, here's a video for one of Janet's best-ever remixes, the 12" R&B mix of Alright, from 1990.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

New Dan Le Sac video

Here's the latest video from Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip. It's called Look For The Woman, and is a rappy ballad along the lines of The Streets' Dry Your Eyes.

To be honest, I'm not that keen. While the wordplay is as delightful as before, it lacks the visceral impact of previous single Thou Shalt Always Kill.

Still, they're an interesting band - making very radio-friendly music with an unconventional image and a terribly cumbersome moniker. This record's getting some attention from the Zane Lowes and Jo Whileys of the world, so I'll be watching to see how it does.

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
Look For The Woman

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Ting Tings video... and a rant

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have gleamed from my multiple posts about the Madonna album that I was under strict instructions not to say anything about it before a specified date, otherwise Madonna would personally have come round to my house and stuffed Jelly Beans up my jacksy until my bowels ruptured.

Then, a couple of major broadsheet newspapers went and published a review and so my bosses at the Beeb decided we should, too. Cue some frantic typing and consulting of notebooks to get my opinions on the web before it all looked like yesterday's news.

It now transpires that we were one of the only organisations given an embargo on reviewing the record. Why? Because we publish online.

Never mind that the Times and Telegraph recreated their print reviews on their websites, nor that the BBC site is the most-read news source in the UK - around 30m people come to look at our pages each day. That's higher than the circulation of the Sun or the Daily Mail (which are, depressingly, the UK's top-selling newspapers).

It just goes to show that the music industry still doesn't really "get" the internet. And it gets worse - Warner Bros gave us the video for 4 Minutes last week, but told us we couldn't show it before Tuesday. Of course, it was up on iTunes on Friday, and all over Youtube within minutes, which made our "exclusive" so unexclusive that we just buried the thing in the middle of a text piece with no fanfare whatsoever.

To be fair to the record companies, it's not just them. "Online press", as it is called, is generally farmed out to small-fry PR companies by film and TV studios too. These teams, as enthusiastic as they are, often have no direct contact with the talent, and can very rarely provide anything other than review tickets or interviews with peripheral celebrities (we can speak to the girl who plays the girlfriend that gets dumped in the first episode of Skins, you say? How could we possibly refuse such a tempting offer).

I suppose it's a bit churlish to expect the BBC to get any favours in this arena... There genuinely aren't many other web-based news and entertainment sources in the UK (except, perhaps, digital spy and a few of the more influential blogs). And we get plenty of access through our TV and radio outlets which can be filtered down to the website.

But the entertainment industry's fundamental inability to grasp the potential of the internet is kind of astounding at this stage in the game. Take, for example, the Ting Tings. They're a really hot, up-and-coming band, on the verge of releasing their second single - the mighty, mighty That's Not My Name. So, last week, they premiered the video on (drumroll, please) Bebo. Fucking Bebo.

In other words, something that should be providing some much-needed buzz is being restricted to the 14-year-old users of the UK's third most-popular social networking site. There is undoubtedly some "monetising" going on here, which is why the record company has entrered into such a nonsensical arrangement, but what a spectacular way to miss the point, eh?

Anyway, it's a week late, but someone's worked out how to get the thing up on youtube (youtube), and here it is:

The Ting Tings - That's Not My Name

It is as good as a video that was made for £5 and a couple of spare lightbulbs from Homebase can be, don't you think?

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Robyn: Who's That Girl Video

I've never thought of Robyn as hot before, but...

...this is total hotness, no?

The shot is from the fifth (and last?) video from her all-conquering Robyn album. A little less frenetic and a little more expensive than her previous efforts, it suits the strong lyrics of empowerment that encapsulate the singer's whole self-made ethos.


Robyn - Who's That Girl

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Esther update

Well, The Times and The Telegraph broke the embargo on reviewing Madonna's album, so I did, too

There will be a post of a non-Madonna-related nature at some point during the next week.

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Hard Candy: (My) First Listen!

So, I've just come back from a listening event for Madonna's Hard Candy album. I'm not really allowed to tell you anything about anything but here's the three word synopsis: It's quite good.

Until I can reveal the full nature of my worthless opinion, here's what I scribbled down in a notebook as the evening's proceedings, erm, proceeded.

(I'm never going to get that GCSE in graphic design, am I?)

Uberblogger Arjan has a more complete and, let's face it, professionally typed out review on his site.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Thom Yorke will be hopping mad

EMI have confirmed they are releasing a Radiohead Best Of in June. It has all those songs you love, plus the ones you respect but never really listen to from Kid A.

To promote the album, the label has done a thing called an "EPK", which is what Dan Ackroyd used to find Slimer in Ghostbusters.

Bizarrely, though, the EMI thing is just a shoddy video montage with some really old clips of the band talking about Paranoid Android from the days when they had hair and smiles.

Here is the tracklisting for obsessive fans to obsess over (OMG, where iz Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box, this iz total shit, etc)

Paranoid Android
Karma Police
No Surprises
High and Dry
My Iron Lung
There There
Fake Plastic Trees
The Bends
Pyramid Song
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Everything In Its Right Place
I Might Be Wrong
Go To Sleep
Let Down
Planet Telex
Exit Music (For A Film)
The National Anthem
Knives Out
Talk Show Host
Anyone Can Play Guitar
How To Disappear Completely
True Love Waits

What a shame they didn't put on Pop Is Dead - the really, really bad single from 1993 that the band have completely disowned. Thom would have blown a gasket (What is a gasket? Have I just made an unwitting sexual reference?)

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Friday, April 4, 2008

A mixtape for you

Bloggers all over the planet are wetting their knickers over a website called Muxtape, which lets you share music with the entire world and kill off the record industry as a handy byproduct.

It is, needless to say, excellent.

Anyone can sign on and upload a personal mix of 12 hand-picked gems from their dusty box of 7"s (mp3 folder). The mix can be played by any passing visitor direct from their web browser - just like real magic.

Obviously, the thing is replete with people showing off how cool they are by posting a bunch of Husker Du B-sides and epic krautrock wig-outs. I, on the other hand, have uploaded a bunch of pop bollocks from 1991 - the year I did my GCSEs and slept on a hospital floor to prove I was in love.

To have a listen, click on that tape at the top of the post (or this link right here).

And, obviously, put links to your muxtape page in the comments box.

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Creasing up...

Here's a great little article, which makes full use of the internet's potential, from the New York Times website.

It's a retrospective of art created by US artist Al Jafee for MAD Magazine. Every issue, Mr Jafee produced a full-page drawing which, when folded in a specific way, reveals a hidden message. Very clever, and completely worth five minutes of your time on a Friday afternoon.

:: Fold Ins Past and Present - NY Times


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Madonna's video is OUT!

It was supposed to premiere on Monday, I understand, but Madonna's video is up on the web this very (4) minute(s). At the time of writing, you can see it on Daily Motion and Youtube (youtube), but don't expect those links to be functional for long.

If you can't be bothered tracking it down, imagine the following pictures set to the sound of an industrial accident in Minsk.

I'm a little teapot...

Guy! Something is very wrong with our mirror

Justin learnt to wear two layers after the wardrobe malfunction

...Madonna, however, did not

Help me Justin, I've had a fall


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Goldfrapp's new video is...

...teeth-gratingly annoying.

Goldfrapp - Happiness*

If you really have to make a video with people jumping around like goons, then at least get them to do it on pogo sticks, for heaven's sake.

Supergrass - Late In The Day

*Is the jumping man Blur's Alex James before he got fat and made cheese?**
** No, it is not.

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New music from Norway

Annie. It's not a name that inspires thoughts of glamour and audacious flamboyance, is it?

No, it's all curly ginger hair and plucky orphans in rags, or rake-thin walking neuroses in angsty Woody Allen films*.

Which means Norway's premiere pop export has her work cut out for her as she launches her second album in a bid for global fame.

She made small waves with her previous effort, Anniemal, in 2005. It's perky, dancey hooks were the stuff of Rachel Steven's dreams. All shimmering synths and club-heavy kick drums, it attracted all the right music bloggers and set tongues wagging in a variety of professional publications, too.

Stylus magazine, in a ten-out-of-ten review, called it "a warm album, a comforting album, a lovable album, an adorable album, a living, breathing, human album". It is also quite a good album for dancing.

The title for her forthcoming LP hasn't been revealed yet, but we do know it features collaborations with Richard X (Sugababes, Pet Shop Boys) and Xenomania (Girls Aloud).

The first preview of the new material comes at a gig in London's Circus club tomorrow night... And Annie recently started streaming a clip of first single I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me on her Myspace page.

To save you getting RSI in your mouse-clicking finger, here is that clip in it's entirety. You can thank me later.

Annie - I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me

UPDATE: This isn't out 'til 9th June. 9th June!!!!!111 Talk about a slow-build promotional campaign. I wonder if someone at Universal has been studying how Robyn did so well last year???

* There is also Annie Lennox

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Kanye West - Homecoming video

Radio One have been playing this for months, but it's only just got a video:

Kanye West ft Chris Martin - Homecoming

Do you know what? It's a great song, but all I think of when I see the video is "Oh crap, Coldplay have a new album coming out this year".

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Flying penguins!

This film from the BBC is obviously an April Fool's prank, but it's very well done...

Amazing Penguins

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