For the love of men and music

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Scott's Eaten Alive

A while back I mentioned a bootleg of Diana Ross’s Eaten Alive that I had heard at one of my more dodgier haunts – I finally got round to asking the DJ where he got the tune, and it turns out the bootleg has been produced by one of the London scene regulars Scott Houzet.

In the cold light of day, I’m still loving the Eaten Alive mix – surely this is good enough for a proper release?

You can get more info and more remixes from his myspace.

Diana Ross – Eaten Alive (Brother Venus Rmx) (Expired)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Back And Good

Remember how excited you were when you heard the Lily Allen demos? The consistently good, witty output from a british artist? The no hold barred lyrics? Well, it’s time to get ready to feel like that again…

Amy Winehouse is back this autumn to reclaim her crown as London’s sassiest singer with her sophmore release Back to Black.

Unlike her debut Frank which tho well hyped didn’t seem to penetrate further than the sets who actually care who is nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, BTB is still a jazz influenced affair – this time tho, the 60s influences are worn on the sleeve, and the tunes are more poppy in style. Amy’s candid tales of her cheating, drinking and loving are entwined in wonderfully direct retro soul, jazz and doo-wop beats, from Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson.

She’s been compared to the likes to Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday – whilst this does seem like the usual hyperbole, her ability to craft a thoroughly british modern soul sound, does suggest you’re listening to someone special.

The fantastic first single Rehab is out on the 23rd October with the album out on the 30th.

MP3: Amy Winehouse – I’m No Good (Expired)
MP3: Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (Expired)
MP3: Amy Winehouse – Addicted (Expired)

buy: Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Play It Again!

Wednesdays are traditionally the shitty days of my week – I’ve already had two days of work, and the weekend is another two days away – wednesdays generally make me want to go and hide in the toilets at work and not come out till thursday evening (when my boss finally goes back to Amsterdam for the weekend).

Today however was surprisingly wonderful thanks to a certain Ms. Annika Norlin aka Hello Saferide. Sounding like a cross between Joni Mitchell (before the cigarettes took over) and Suzanne Vega, With wonderful titles such as If I don’t write this song, someone will die (sung from the p.o.v. of an obsessive compulsive), Hello Saferide writes some wonderful, twee pop songs with an edge.

Whilst I discovered her through her latest EP entitled Would You Let Me Play This EP Ten Times A Day (the answer has been a definite yes!) and the fantastic opener The Quiz , trawling through her back catalogue reveals more than her fair share of gems, with the standout track being Long Lost Penpal.

If you’re looking for singer to make you chuckle, tug on your heartstrings as well as give you a handful of of catchy tunes – don’t look any further than Annika. Check out her myspace for more tracks.

MP3: Hello Saferide – The Quiz (Expired)
MP3: Hello Saferide – Long Lost Penpal (Expired)

buy: Hello Saferide records (link to shops)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

From The Captain's Table

It's interesting that within the space of a couple of days, both the Scissor Sisters and Elton John latest albums have been occupying my stereo.

Above and over the obvious sonical similarities between SS' present day output and Elton's 70s records, the albums both deal on one level with the result of fame. Whilst the Scissor Sisters have put together an album that attempts to secure themselves against the insecurities of fame; Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin (this is a partnership after all) have created an album that picks up where the superb Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy left off. The Captain And The Kid features 10 new songs reflecting the intimate lives and public times spanning their long-standing songwriting partnership.In fact, for the first time, both John and Taupin are featured on an Elton John album cover.

Created in the tradition of those fantastic records of the 60's and 70's, The Captain & The Kid is a celebration of when music was the most important voice of our culture and the album was its
prime vehicle. Much like Elton's previous records Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across The Water, and Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, The Captain & The Kid is an album meant to transport you back to that place in time when music mattered most.

I know that it’s not terribly hip to be an Elton John fan, but hopefully with the straight up influences upon the works of the Scissor Sisters, and the return to a golden time, more folks will revisit the magic of Elton and Bernie.

MP3: Elton John - And The House Fell Down (Expired)
MP3: Elton John – Blues Never Fade Away (Expired)

buy: Elton John - The Captain And The Kid

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Believe In You

If the Scissor Sister debut album gave a firm nod Elton John and MOR rock through a hoxton filter, then their latest offering Ta-Dah has them channeling their 70s AM rock and white-boy disco influences.

Unlike their previous album which often felt like an album made by a group of club kids having fun and making up pastiches of their favourite childhood songs, Ta-Dah feels less rebellious and more grown up. On the face of it, it’s hard to decide whether this is a good thing or not – part of the charm of the SS was their dont-give-a-damn attitude to pop music in the face of santised, packaged pop.

But, after a few listens the grown-up, heavily 70s influenced production takes on it’s own attraction. This is a band dealing with fame, and growing up. Of chasing the music that they want to make and not trying to be hip or cool. Having always been a big fan of the 70s, it’s like finding a long forgotten album from your childhood – at once recognisable but new at the same time.

Read more about the band's take on the album at their myspace.

Ta-Dah is released in the UK on Sept 18th.

Judging from the progress on this album, I predict that the 'difficult number' 3 will indeed be their magnum opus.

MP3: Scissor Sisters – She’s My Man (Expired)
MP3: Scissor Sisters – Kiss You Off (Expired)

MP3: Scissor Sisters – Might Tell You Tonight (Expired)

buy: Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah

Monday, September 11, 2006

Telling Secrets

It's taken me ages to get hold of a copy of Kat Flint’s EP The Secret Boy’s Club EP, and having finally managed to get my grubby paws (twas a fun weekend ;-), I’m glad to have persevered. Coming across like a scottish Missy Higgins (female, great turn of phrase, guitar – I’m crap with comparisons), TSBC is a beautiful, gentle collection of songs.

Kat sings with a powerful clarity that manages to be vunerable and powerful within the same breath. Although recorded on a shoestring, the tracks come across as accomplished complete songs (and one even features handclaps and a kazoo! Yes! A kazoo.)

Fans of the aforementioned Missy Higgins, Suzanne Vega, Janis Ian or even Judy Collins should check her out.

Hear Kat


Barfly B*Sides @ the EnterpriseHaverstock Hill (opposite Chalk Farm tube), North London

Doors @ 7.30pm

£5 entry

MP3: Kat Flint – Fearsome Crowd (Expired)
MP3: Kat Flint – Anticlimax (Expired)

buy: Kat Flint - The Secret Boy's Club EP

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ready To Be Happy

I hadn’t actually listened to a Lloyd Cole album prior to getting hold of a copy of Antidepressant, so, I didn’t really have a frame of reference (above and over the Camera Obscura line) or an expectation of what it would sound like.

My initial impressions are very positive; I can see why folks like Xolondon get so excited about his voice; there’s something warm, comforting and very familar about his voice. At times reminding me of Roddy Frame, David Gray without the nasalness or a less strident Morrissey (I realise Xo’s probably spitting his coffee out as we speak).

Musically, I’m told from the accompanying blurb, that the album is definitely a little bit perkier than the last few records with some of the songs are a bit more friendly in terms of potential radio play. Whilst I’m not convinced that he’s going to get much radio play, the album does warrant listening to. Even at his jauntiest, there is a quiteness, and indeed a timelessness in the tracks that makes the album addictive listening.

Clearly an intelligent wordsmith, LC covers a whole host of topics in his songs from the a look back at youthful rebellion, adults fantasising and american road trips.

Not sure how representative this album is of Lloyd’s work, but it has certainly urged me to investigate his discography. A classy, adult pop album.

Antidepressant sees its UK release on the 26th Sept.

MP3: Lloyd Cole - The Young Idealists (Expired)
MP3: LLoyd Cole – Woman In A Bar (Expired)

buy: Lloyd Cole - Antidepressant

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I Bet You Win

So, no surprises there – the Arctic Monkeys picked up the 2006 Mercury Music Prize. To be honest, I don’t really give a monkeys (see what I did there?) about AM – it does however give me the chance to post a guilty pleasure – Almighty Records in the UK is a studio/remix group that as well as remixing chart acts records covers of chart indie and ballads and makes them more ‘dance-floor friendly’ – a few months ago a dodgy club I occasionally frequent played an Almighty cover (feat Belle Lawrence) of I Bet You Think You Look Good On The Dancefloor which made me squeal with delight.

It’s really tacky, but for some bizarre reason I had a blast dancing to it. And I wasn’t even drunk.

MP3: Belle Lawrence -I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

buy: Belle Lawrence – IBYLGOTDF

Got Me Good

If you haven’t already done so, make sure you check out Xolondon’s scarily accurate (I kept going; “yes, that’s what I thought!” reading it) review of Jamelia's latest album Walk With Me . The only place where I’d disagree is his excitement about No More – it’s good, but it’s not that good (well done for using the harpsichord again, Jams).

My current (I know it’s going to change with further listens) favourite track off the album in addition to the superb Something About You is the equally good Get Up, Get Out which is surely one of the few pop songs to feature (albeit fudged) the line You fucking do it again. There is something about the song that reminds of a whole host of other songs, from the speed garage beats, the speeded up sample and a nod to A Million Lovesongs.

More lovely tracks at Xolondon’s pad.

MP3: Jamelia – Get Up, Get Out

buy: Jamelia - Walk With Me