Friday, 26 October 2012

My Musical Diary XXXV

A weird foggy week behind sun and no new music. I did get my Theatre Is Evil vinyl package though. And I did listen to my other favourites, so the following entry reflects that. No new blings but rather some old gems...

Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra - Smile (Pictures or It Didn't Happen)

It's amazing being able to listen to Amanda's great recent album on vinyl now. And (hopefully) seeing her and the band live in 3 days will be even more amazing. Right now I have the opening song from Theatre Is Evil stuck in my head, so that's why it ended up here. A great dramatic song with an anthemic quality to it. Enjoy and go get the album if you haven't yet (you can pay as much for it as you want).

Marc Almond - Gosudaryunia

It was incredibly grey, foggy and bleak last week so I was in the right mood for a lot of Marc Almond music, especially his first Russian album Heart On Snow, even if I believe its season is yet upon I'll survive January and February I'd like to know. For now though, enjoy this great song which is actually in English - so if you have a fear of the Russian language, you don't have to run away... And if you're like me and curious what the title of the song means, check out this link.

Blondie - Picture This

I love Debbie Harry. I've made that clear on this blog several times now. Picture This is one of the first Blondie songs I ever knew and one of my very favourites. It's mature and sexy. This is no naive girl singing this, this is a woman in her early 30's wanting "something more solid" with a guy she dates but at the same time she's very sensual about it. And on top of this, the song has a great tune. It's a bit dramatic, sweeping and cool at the same time. Picture This is when I fell in love.

There's never enough of this song, so here's a live version:

Robbie Williams - Heart and I

Heart and I is a song only available on Robbie's best of album In and Out of Consciousness and it's a song that I overlooked for years (2 years, that is). It starts out as a ballad so I always seemed to skip it but I let it play while doing my hair the other day and was all woah, that's a pretty good song! Also the lyrics are quite good for what is essentially a b-side.

I hope there's a golden age, I pray for my sanityWhere we don't have to answer to anyone about anythingThis is not like the brochure, flying cars and sex machinesWe're all so compliant 'cause everything is what it seems
And they can't build a satellite to tell you how loved you areOr some kind of life device that holds you in you've gone too far
And I don't feel myself again, I thought I'd be fixed by nowWalking through the horizon, I find myself back here somehowGive me something to die for or design a quiet mindSomething to like mankind for 'cause we don't lie, my heart and I
You've been bending so long now, you think it's standing upAnd they line up behind you to build you up, buttercupWe can lose all meaning quicker than a credit cardAnd not everyone's healing so try your best and don't look too hard
'Cause they can't build a satellite to tell you what's in your heartOr some kind of life device to hold you in, you've gone too far
And I don't feel myself again, I thought I'd be fixed by nowWalking through the horizon, I find myself back here somehowGive me something to die for or design a quiet mindSomething to like mankind for 'cause we don't lie my heart and I
Will I ever feel that waking? Make it as a lullabyDon't ask me to explain again, I can't lie to my heart and I
And I don't feel myself again, I thought I'd be fixed by nowWalking through the horizon, I find myself back here somehowGive me something to die or design a quiet mindSomething to like mankind for 'cause we don't lie my heart and I
My heart and I, my heart and II've been feeling so lonelyFeeling so lowSo low I almost let go

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence

I was listening to the Merry Christmas... soundtrack the other night, while reading Any Day Now, an excellent biography of David Bowie's early years (1947 - 1974). Seemed only fitting. Ryuichi is one of my favourite film score composers and I discovered him thanks to this piece of of music and thanks to this Nagisa Oshima-directed film, in which Ryuichi stars together with Bowie, Tom Conti and Takeshi Kitano. Definitely recommended viewing!

They were all honourable men, but oh what deeds could be done in the name of honour.

Thanks for reading! As usual, sharing and comments are encouraged... Till next week...

Love, Peace and Ringo!

Friday, 19 October 2012

My Musical Diary XXXIV

Earlier this week I ranted about new music from artists I like being disappointing this autumn but in this entry I'll be positive as usual. So here's the music that's brought me good vibrations this week (okay, even I am cringing at the good vibrations choice of words...but sometimes the cliché works best, right?).

Little Mix - We Are Young acoustic

Little Mix were adorably counting down to the reveal of their new video (see in the bonus section) on their YouTube channel this week and I ended up browsing through their other uploaded stuff the other day - and found a gorgeous acoustic version of fun.'s We Are Young song. Now, while the song itself is a bit of a mess (catchy anthemic chorus but weird folky quirky verses and bridge), Little Mix's live acoustic version is a treat. None of the ladies is an amazing singer but they are exceptionally good for a girlband. Whenever I hear them singing a capella together or in an acoustic arrangement they definitely impress me. They revealed pretty early on than this is their strength and I'm glad they keep on showing us what they can do.

Girls Aloud - Something New

Another girl band. This one I still haven't learned to love (except for one of its members - Nicola Roberts - whom I adore). At first listen I was all "I hate this, sounds like everything else on the radio and Nicola doesn't even get a proper solo on it", after the second one I went "It's catchy, I could dance to this...and some of it could be on Nicola's solo album". And now after I watched the video and heard the song for the third time I actually quite love it. Oh well... some songs grow on you...

Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl

I'd like to dedicate this one to Lana Del Rey.

In all seriousness, though. I've rediscovered this song last week thanks to some old NME article on guitar riffs...or was it bass lines? Either way, I'd completely forgotten about this fun rock track. Aww, the first half of the noughties, it was a great period for fun guitar rock. Where did that go...

David Bowie - Stay

This song's riff can get me all ready for bedroom action, I can tell ya! Need I really say more?

Well, I will. It's one of my favourite Bowie songs ever (and not only because it makes me sex-ready...even though, that's what rock is about, n'est-ce pas?) and the following live version from 2000 started to play on my player the other night, it made me remember how many times I listened to it when I still listened to CDs only. You can find this excellent version on the Bowie at the Beeb compilation, disc 3. I'm surprised the CD still works because I played that compilation over and over...and over. This version features the original Stay lead guitarist Earl Slick and in hindsight, having heard other Bowie guitarists take a stab at this song live, I still think Earl plays it the best.

Enjoy the live version below:

Robyn - Dancing On My Own

The ultimate stalker anthem. Or the ultimate anthem for someone who sometimes dances alone in their room (me). I danced the fuck out of this song a few nights ago. One of the best pop song ever, in my opinion (aka Robyn is the real Queen of Pop, forget about the Italian Americans!).

P.S. I prefer the album version posted above but if you wanna check out the official video, click here.

Video bonus:

It's been a great week for videos, y'all.

Lana Del Rey - Ride video

I was in the winter of my life and the men I met along the road were my only summer.

Amazing. It's Lana doing her own version of Easy Rider. If you want to, check out this short analysis of the video on Pop Trash Addicts.

Little Mix - DNA video

And here we have another film inspiration. Is it just me or is this video heavily Sin City inspired? Anyway, I like it a lot. These girls are adorable. Oh, and Leigh-Ann is hot.

Jack White - I'm Shakin' video

And now a male hottie. Or at least a taller, pasty Johnny Depp lookalike/occasional Elvis Presley: Jack White. I find this seemingly simple video quite hot. I keep on waiting for the two Jacks to start fighting each other and then segue into a make-out session. I clearly need to get laid.

I hope all the sex talk in my latest edition of Diary brought some good vibrations your way as well...Share & comment if you wish and till next week.........

Love, Peace & Ringo!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Autumn Blues Rant aka We Lost Love

A lot of my more or less favourite artists have released albums or at least songs in the last two months and while I planned on writing reviews on some of the bigger albums (MIKA, The Killers, Muse, Green Day) I haven't yet and I most likely never will because I'm just so underwhelmed by them all. I haven't even given a proper listen to MIKA's new album (does he still style his name in capital letters btw?) and amidst all the news about Green Day I somehow missed the fact the first of the planned 3 new albums is already out.

So instead I'm writing this. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? Rock is mostly boring and all pop acts are  starting to sound the same. Help. Only Pet Shop Boys, Robbie Williams (from what I've heard from his upcoming album) and so far the newbies Little Mix are staying away from their music sounding like this. This sound was fun last year, in small doses. Now everything sounds more or less like it. Including some of my pop favourites who I thought should know better (I'm looking at you Icona Pop).

I was hoping the songs on The Killers' newest album Battle Born would grow on me individually since the album is just unbearable to listen to in one go. I tend to listen to them on songs basis and not on album basis anyway. But the songs just keep underwhelming me, at least half of them. And that is not good. Ditto Muse.

This has not been a great few months for music, I'm afraid. Thank god for Amanda Palmer and the Pet Shop Boys, saving Autumn for me so far.

I'll go listen to Uno now...maybe it will be worth writing about..?

Friday, 12 October 2012

My Musical Diary XXXIII

The 33rd edition of my Diary turned out pretty rock. If this is not your first time seeing my blog you already know I have a very eclectic musical taste, so the homogeneity of the following entry might come as a surprise. But there you go. It was a week of hard work and hard music...

Garbage - Shut Your Mouth

And the world spins by 
With everybody moaning 
Pissing, bitching and everyone is shitting 
On their friends 
On their love 
On their oaths 
On their honor 
On their graves 
Out their mouths 
And their words say nothing 

I honestly don't remember why I decided to re-listen to the only Garbage album I own earlier this week. Probably some article I saw online? All I know is I couldn't believe the album's already 11 years old. Makes me feel truly ancient. (Mother today: The shop assistant was really cute, wasn't he. Too bad he was about 10 years younger than you! *** No way that guy was 15! Mum needs a sight check! Also to keep her mouth shut!) And indeed. This song is about people telling you stupid stuff and you wanting to punch them in the face and shut up. (I'm in no way implying my mum is stupid or that I wanna punch her. Not my old dear. In case she discovered this blog and ran it through Google Translate). I used to love this song - it's a brilliant opening track, and in fact it sounds even better now than when it came out. Why is the music scene, the rock scene in particular, so lackluster this autumn, anyway?

Green Day - Troublemaker

Green Day are a good case in point. But, I actually love this track. Apparently I'm supposed to hate it and all that, but actually I quite enjoy for once in a decade they are not singing about Bush. This is a straightforward sexy punk-rock(pop?) song. Catchy. Not pretending to be anything else.

The Rolling Stones - Doom and Gloom

And from a band that's about as old as me we move on to a band who is almost as old as my parents (nah....they wish they were that young!). I'm not a Stones fan (Beatlemaniac till the day I die) but this is a solid song..........riding on the Zeitgeist. A fresh, rocking 70's-sounding song. And the lyrics "baby dance with me" leave me with the image of Jagger and his hun David prancing around in the Dancing in the Street video, so all is well in the end.

Iggy Pop - Wild America

This song might have been featured in my diary already but 33 weeks into doing this I can no longer afford not to to repeat myself. I've been listening to this song quite a lot this week. To Iggy in general but to this song in particular, because it's one of Iggy's best. Ever.

They got all kinds of fuckin' stuff 
They got everything you could imagine 
They' re so God dammed spoiled 
They' re poisoned inside 
They judge a man by what he's got 
And they want to have more and more 
More power, more freedom 
Taller kids, longer lives 
Everything, bigger houses, slaves, woa

The guitar riff is AMAZING. Also whenever this song plays I imagine Iggy as a Dalek. Because the chorus features the word "exterminate" and I'm a mad Whovian who cried over a stupid Rory's Dad Gets To Know His Son Is Never Coming Back video a few hours ago.

The Police - Message in a Bottle (the voice, police)

The relationship between me and Sting is very complicated. I saw him in Ally McBeal and totally didn't get why the women were so ecstatic about him (he's ewww). I used to listen to his solo stuff. The album with the song about the rose and desert. I particularly like one song on it. Something about clock. I then started to hate him. Must have been at about the same time I stopped listening to U2 and avoiding Bono at all costs. I was over these prancers. Who needs them when you've got Bowie.

So as of now I haven't voluntarily listened to any of his stuff for years. I can only stomach his songs  when sung by someone else (Roxanne on Community, Roxanne on The Voice..) and it was thanks to The Voice US I re-discovered another of his ancient 70's songs: Message in a Bottle. De'Borah, one of my favourites on the show performed it together with another artist in the battle round and after repeated viewings got me hooked on this song all over again. So much passion and soul! Sting wouldn't be able to accumulate all that in a lifetime. He's called Sting after all.

Enjoy De'Borah's version below and forgive the guy singing with her, he must have been really nervous...

Video Bonus: 

Misha B. - Do You Think of Me video

I haven't written about this song earlier because while it is quite good, I'm just tired of this particular sound. Why does everything sound like that these days? Anyway, a video came out a few days ago and...I have to made me cry. It changes the meaning of the song and call me easily manipulated but it worked on me.

P!nk - Try video

P!nk used to be a gymnast and it shows - when you see her perform on tour or just here, interpreting her song through contemporary dance. Amazing.

Thanks for reading! Hit the comment section if you feel like it or share, if you think this entry's share-worthy.

Till next week....

Love, Peace and Ringo!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Adele - Skyfall --minuscule review--

As I already mentioned yesterday, having only heard a snippet of the new Bond theme song, Skyfall has the potential to be the best Bond theme in over a decade. I've given the full version a few listens now and I like it even more. The song was co-written by Adele and producer Paul Epworth and it was released yesterday as a part of the celebration of it being 50 years since first James Bond film, Dr No, came out. Skyfall is a great song. It will no doubt get mislabeled as retro, but it really is quite timeless. Would fit into a 60's or 70's Bond film and fits now as well. As for the lyrics: a solid effort - all the Bond clichés are there but they are put together quite smartly and elegantly. A great job overall.

Friday, 5 October 2012

My Musical Diary XXXII

October is here and so is the 32th edition of my musical diary. Without further ado...THE five songs of the past week are:

T. Rex - Cosmic Dancer

Listen to the studio version here.

Watch a live version below:

It would have been Marc Bolan's 65th birthday last I went back to the first Marc B. song I ever heard....Cosmic Dancer. Before Bowie or anyone else could introduce me to this artist, there was Billy Elliot. It's the very first song playing in the film if I'm not mistaken. I remember watching the film in the cinema on holiday with mum and wanting to jump and yell at the full theatre if anyone knew what was the name of the song and who sang it. The film then pulled me in and I forgot about it for a while. But the first time I heard this song is definitely unforgettable. I was listening to radio pop only at that was like eating Algida ice-cream and then tasting real Italian gelato. A glimpse of a whole new world.

Cosmic Dancer is such an uplifting but at the same time tragically sad song. Birth, death, reincarnation... No other T.Rex songs I know make me want to explore their discography as much as this one does. I hope I'll get around to it soon.

Shirley Bassey - Moonraker

James Bond's first film Dr No is turning 50 today, so even I couldn't resist this Bond fever and I did watch two Bond films last weekend. I was choosing by theme songs mainly. I finally watched Live and Let Die: Wings' excellent theme song is hands down the best thing about it (though I also quite like Roger Moore, mind you). Moonraker, the other Bond film I watched last weekend, fared much better. Perfect entertainment. And the theme song....I've been in love with it for years - and the fact it is less appreciated than equally amazing Diamonds Are Forever makes me love this song even more. Dame Shirley Bassey knows how to soar without using excessive vocal gymnastics (my biggest pet peeve with singers - that's why I listen to so few diva voiced female singers).

Since the theme song for the new Bond film, Skyfall, is not officially available yet* (check out the snippet here) I'll make only a little note about it here. It's not completely out of place because the new song seems to be a return to the Shirley era: Adele sounds amazing on it, pure class. From what I've heard of the song so far it should be the best Bond song since The World Is Not Enough (I LOVE thas one, mkay?).

Muse - Panic Station

Muse's newest album The 2nd Law was released a week ago & I've given some of the songs a few listens since. (Will a review happen at some point? We'll see.) So far Panic Station completely stands out for me No Doubt meets INXS meets Another One Bites the Dust. It's a funky, fun song (most likely about apocalypse, paranoia or something like that...I don't really pay attention to it at the moment), very danceable. If only the rest of the album had more moments like this.

Muse posted these two photos on their Twitter a few days ago and I find it quite adorable:

The Tornados, feat. Matt Bellamy's dad George on guitar (far right), Olympia, Paris, 1963

Muse, Olympia, Paris, 2012

Little Mix - DNA

And here comes the extremely contemporary very pop part of this week's Diary. With the start of a new month Little Mix unveiled a new song: DNA. It's moodier and darker than their debut Wings and it has some truly great moments. I have to confess - even though DNA is quite a blatant knock-off of Katy Perry's E.T. (which I neither love or hate) - I've listened to it several times on repeat. It grows on you and never lets go. Stuttering, operatic bits, toy pianos and choir bits and all. And Popjustice is right, the second half of the song is better than the first. It's actually quite genius. Woot! I hope it's a hit for these girl!

Cher Lloyd - Oath (feat. Becky G)

Cher Lloyd released her debut album Sticks & Stones in the US a few days ago - and Oath, her new US single, replaced Over the Moon, one of my favourite songs on the UK version of the album. Fair enough - Oath could easily be a hit. It's definitely aimed at very young fans and it's a quite cute song about friendship. Do I wish Cher went a more adult route, musically? Yeah. But on the other hand that cutesy kid-friendly (and paedophile-friendly) style has its advantages. We've had enough slut poses and underwear in pop in the past few decades. It's nice seeing Cher get popular in the States without naked pictures...*knocks on wood* I have to say I was really impressed with the way she carries herself nowadays. She always seemed quite smart but in the few US interviews I've seen with her recently she seemed quite classy as well. Good for her.

Thanks for reading. Comments and sharing is encouraged too. ;o)

Till next week....

Peace, Love and Ringo!

*I'll review the whole song over the weekend.