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Saturday, June 27, 2009
What About The Music, Cam?
Oh yeah...

Aren't roadies getting confident these days?

I bang on about telly and films but I keep forgetting about the music. Which is odd considering much of my life has been devoted to the creating, playing and listening of. For those of you who may not be aware, I spent about ten years of my life trying to 'make it' in the music biz - as you may have surmised, I didn't. It's still the thing that fills my life, like many I guess. Hours everyday listening to new and old tunes. So why I do keep forgetting to mention it?

She is a C-slapping disgrace. That is all.

Dunno, so I'll address the best of this year's releases so far here (obviously 'so far' as I cannot go into the future..., yet). To contextualise I purty much 'get' about two new albums a week. (*coughs* and looks around sheepishly *coughs* ) There's been a lot of substandard material (which I shan't go into) but there's been so much good stuff in 2009 too. Most recently, Far by REGINA SPEKTOR has been lighting up my ears with some incredible production and fascinating lyrics. Not to mention the cracking songs! Similarly, Tale To Tell by THE MUMMERS has been a big hit here at SoTV Towers. A truly extraordinary piece of work. Sublime arrangements compliment equally bottom~huggingly boobicular melodies, sounding as fresh as a field full of mint~in~the~box Star Wars figures and quite unlike anything else. Plus they're a bunch of gals! If you're a fan of music in any way, The Mummers get my 100% guarantee of SoTV goodness.

Anything she can do...

Gurly sounds also reign supreme in Two Suns by BAT FOR LASHES which is one of a number of releases this year that channel a little known decade that some people call The Eighties. You can't go anywhere (sonically) in the UK without being bombarded by the stabbing synths and plinkety~plonk riffs. Visually, the 'people' (and I use the word quite wrongly) are imitating extras in a Blow Monkeys video. La Roux by, erm, LA ROUX is the epitome of this. She's got some good tunes but this piece of work highlights the ethos of the synth - its power lies in the briefness of the single whereas its weakness lies in the album. The synth simply cannot sustain a dozen songs or so. Or rather it can, it's the people programming them who don't have the imagination to do so.

... I can do better!

Hands by LITTLE BOOTS also suffers from synth-fatigue though the single New In Town is a trouser~abandoning track of supreme talent. Speaking of abandoning trousers, a~ha are back! Yay! Actually, they've never really been away. The crazy Norwegians released a so~so album a few years back (with a couple of excellent songs on it, it should be noted) that was slightly TAKE THAT~Y in its adultness but now their new CD, Foot of the Mountain, sees a return to Eighties sensibilities. Pop. That's what they're all about and the title track, another Gary Barlow~esque track, is as beautiful as it is thigh~squelching. (And that's a good thing in case you're wondering.)

Amy drums up support for her Visa application...

Harnassing the power of the synth for good are acts like PASSION PIT, whose Manners contains more than its fair share of top tunes, and THE BIRD & THE BEE. Their album Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future is terrific and Love Letter To Japan is one of my faves from this year. Yes, it is electronic but their tweet~tweet~buzz~buzz has a heart and humful melodies. Robo~pop is certainly de rigueur but it's not all sh*t and I feel compelled to mention Jigsaw by LADY SOVEREIGN. Musically, it's nothing but lyrically? I was entranced. So much so that I listened to it a few more times just to catch her wordy nuggets again. Rhyming 'purple' with 'turtle' made me larf more than the entire output of BBC THREE. If you get a chance check it out purely for the poetry. I wouldn't advise paying any money for it but if you're up for giggles then she's VFM. It's difficult these days to figure out who's being serious anymore. And that's the way (uh~uh uh~uh), I like it.

The invisble man gives Beyonce the once over. Twice.

Moving on from electro~pop and on to 'real' music. Not that it's any better, I should add. DUKE SPECIAL released another fantastic album, I Never Thought This Day Would Come. Nobody seems to be taking notice of this guy which is a great pity as his songs are gawjus and very poppy. Shame. Also pleasing me aurally are (and apologies for this description~less list):
Wild Young Hearts by THE NOISETTES
It's Blitz! by THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS
Radio Wars by HOWLING BELLS
The Golden Spike by SKY LARKIN
Veckatimest by GRIZZLY BEAR
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by PHOENIX
Gurrumul by GURRUMUL YUNUPINGU
There's more (much more) but I guess we'll have to wait 'til the end~of~the~year poll to see which ones 'stand' the test of 'time'.

Hold on, is Federer wearing Bespin fatigues??

Lastly, I guess it would be remiss of me not to mention Thursday's event. It was, of course, the 25th anniversary of the release of Purple Rain by PRINCE. That man is a true genius - producer, writer (and not just for himself - Manic Monday, Nothing Compares 2 U, et al), multi~instrumentalist and amazing performer. Oh yeah, and movie director. (C'mon, UNDER THE CHERRY MOON isn't that bad - it's got STEVEN "Whispering" BERKOFF and KRISTEN "Scott" THOMAS for heaven's sake. Surely a sign of quality....) Anyway, Purple Rain is, for sure, one of my absolute nut~numbingly favourite albums. A true classic with no skipping whatsoever. Sadly he hasn't really released anything cohesive since 88's Lovesexy but I remember, and celebrate, the good times. Crikey, I've just realised, Batdance is twenty years old. Blimey, I'm old. Though I say that, I got refused Nurofen and Budweiser from my local supermarket 'cos I didn't have any ID! I'm flippin 35!!

Now that's what I call tit~grabbing!

'Til the next time,
C.

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posted by Cameron McEwan at 11:12 am -
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