Friday, 15 February 2013

My Musical Diary XLIX

Hello everyone, another week has passed, and so another edition of my Diary arrives. This week has been pretty eventful, thanks to great new music videos being released, everyone performing like crazy on TV and/or at the Grammys and because of brand new music from debuting artists emerging as well. Here we go:

Woodkid - I Love You

One of my recent discoveries thanks to Twitter. Yoann Lemoine is a French music video film maker (directed Lana Del Rey's Born to Die among others) turned singer songwriter (under the pseudonym Woodkid) and I Love You is the first single from his upcoming debut album called The Golden Age. Definitely a fine smart electro pop song - and it doesn't hurt Woodkid has a very interesting voice which reminds me of Antony Hegarty a bit. The song is a recommended listen and be sure to watch the video as well. It's great.

(For the song only, click here.)

David Bowie - Five Years

And it was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor

Five Years is without any doubt in my mind one of the very best songs Bowie has ever written. As much as the Ziggy album gets overrated I don't feel like Five Years ever really got the praise it deserves - and thank god for that, I suppose.

Five Years finds Bowie at his best lyrically, presenting us with a whole picture, a film even. The song also shows him at his theatrical best, demostrating what he's learned from the likes of Jaques Brel (as well as his acting stints) and it also presents us with an intriguing drum pattern (more on that & other aspects of the song here).

Rihanna - Stay (feat. Mikky Ekko)

Five days after Rihanna (& MN) performed this song at the Grammy ceremony it's already become quite uncool to declare you loved it but I don't care. I don't listen to Rihanna. In fact I find her voice pretty much unpleasant to listen to but fuck, that was a great performance. Not only really well sung but sung with passion  and emotion as well. Moving. So, credit where credit is due.

The other reason I like this song could be it's a wee bit Lana Del Rey-ish, isn't it. Almost as if Rihanna's people heard Lana's songs and thought...we need a song like that for RiRi. We need Video Games gone Rihanna. And they found it. And it's good.

Laurence Fox - So Be Damned

Laurence is first and foremost an actor, mostly to be found on British TV. He's also the husband of Doctor Who's famous companion Rose Tyler - aka Billie Piper, as well as related to two of the biggest stars of the British cinema of the 60's and 70's: James Fox (father) and Edward Fox (uncle, naturally). His cousin (Edward Fox's daughter) Emilia Fox also acts (most famously in a TV series called Silent Witness) and you can see her in the video for So Be Damned, creating a pretty powerful image.

Laurence is about to release his debut EP (Monday 18th Feb) which features So Be Damned. This song is definitely a grower. But once it got into my head it refused to leave and I wasn't too angry about its residence there. Soft but powerful, acoustic at first but eventually building up to a climax, it's the type of song that can stay with you for a long time, quietly but steadily. Laurence's voice is a nice bonus: deep, caressing but with a bit of an edge. Give it a few listens.

The Beatles - Within You Without You

This song started playing in my iPod last week, just as I was running an errand in a part of Prague I'd never visited before. Therefore the lyrics of the Hindu culture-inspired George Harrison-written Beatles song came to the fore more than when I usually listen to it.

And to see you're really only very small,
And life flows on within you and without you.

Video bonus:

Amanda Palmer has released The Bed Song as a single and the re-recorded version got itself a video yesterday, a beautiful one. So beautiful, I had to make a separate entry about it. Check it all out here.

Jack White Grammy 2013 performance

One word: HAWT.

Jack White - Love Interruption & Freedom At 21... by IdolxMuzic

Hurts - Miracle (Live on the Jonathan Ross Show)

Hurts performed their new single on Jonathan Ross's chat show last Saturday, stylishly shot in black and white. Good performance. Worth watching.

Lana Del Rey - Burning Desire

Lana released a new video yesterday, this time for Burning Desire, which appears in the iTunes version of the Paradise Edition of Born to Die. I'd say it's a standard for Lana: the main focus is her performing the song with some nice "back projections" and shots of a pretty red Jaguar car (the song was actually written for the Jaguar company). I'm definitely interested in the short film for Desire which should come later and will feature what was shown in this video, and eight more minutes of footage.

Little Mix - Change Your Life (live on TV)

I'm happy to see this song climbing the charts (no. 12 last Sunday, currently on no. 11). Yes, it is cheesy but for some reason I really like watching the girls perform this song. And this TV performance from a few days ago is a great one. A nice little pop moment.

And I have to mention I adore what Leigh-Anne is wearing here. Pretty.

Cher Lloyd - With Ur Love (US, non-rap version)

As @poptartsuk put it when the video was released yesterday, this video is utterly ridiculous, but in a good way. I have to say I might prefer the original version to this one but on the other hand, the original video features Mike Posner and this one doesn't so yay for the new magical video, I say! And Cher makes a cute witch.
This version of the song (which appears on the US release of Sticks + Stones) is pretty much perfect. I loved With Ur Love even with the sleazy Posner rap, so this version is pretty much pop perfection.

Robbie Williams - My Way (live at RAH, 2001)

Robbie turned 39 two days ago and since I like this bugger I'd like to wish him a very happy birthday, again here on my blog - and reminisce about the first time I didn't think that dude was a complete bell-end. That was when I heard part of his RAH swing concert on the radio one day over a decade ago, and specifically when he tore into the closing My Way. That was the moment I realised this guy wasn't just an idiot stripping his flesh on TV who probably can't even sing but that he was a very good singer who has soul and the need to entertain, just like Sinatra did. There's something a bit tragic about a 27 year old singing this song. Robbie had already been at the center of the British entertainment for over a decade at that point, and 27 seems a favourite tragic rockstar death age - all this gives the already very good vocal performance another dimension. Luckily Robbie survived his 27th year (despite depression and drug abuse) and keeps on (co-)writing great songs and entertaining us further. Here's to many more years of him doing just this!

Thanks so much for reading. Hope you've (re-)discovered stuff you like thanks to this entry and if you enjoyed my blabbings (masochists!) feel free to share, comment etc. etc. - it's all up to you. Until next week (my one-year anniversary of writing this Diary!!!)...

Love, Peace and Ringo! x

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