Archive for April, 2008

27
Apr
08

Everyday is Like Sunday, Except for Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday, and…Well, Friday I’m in Love: Weekly Mix #14

This week I decided to create a celebratory mix in honour of me returning home from grad school. It’s been a trying eight months with a crappy living situation and challenging courses, and I’m relieved to be home where I have friends and family. I’m also back with my CDs and records, which I missed (digital copies will never be the same as being able to look at liner notes and watching your collection expand on a shelving unit). I may still have a lot of hard work ahead of me with writing my Masters thesis, but knowing that I’ll be living here, makes everything much easier.

All of the tracks on this mix are upbeat and have a festive momentum to them. From the airy melodies of Apples in Stereo and Blink to the romping propulsion of The New Pornographers and Patrick Wolf to the expansive anthems of Big Country and Arcade Fire to the funky fun of David Bowie, Kate Bush and Luke Haines, this compilation definitely makes me smile. I’m going to call this mix Escape.

Energy – The Apples in Stereo

Happy Day – Blink

Sing Me Spanish Techno – The New Pornographers

Rebellion (Lies) – Arcade Fire

The Magic Position – Patrick Wolf

In a Big Country – Big Country

Waterfall – The Stone Roses

Regret – New Order

Bohemian Like You – The Dandy Warhols

Fighting Fit – Gene

Kiss of Life – Supergrass

Invincible – OK Go

Pick Me Up Uppercut – Pop Levi

Feel Good Inc. – Gorillaz

Going Off My Rocker at the Art School Bop – Luke Haines

Golden Years – David Bowie

Kite – Kate Bush

Johnny Boy Theme – Johnny Boy

Somewhere Across Forever – stellastarr*

27
Apr
08

Two Sides Of the Same Summer: Rhesus and Lian Ray

I decided to do a double post today in two ways – I’m discussing two discs in this post, and I’m also doing two posts today because I need to put up my weekly mix. Things got a bit backed up when I moved home from university (three full days on the Trans-Canada Highway killed any energy I had to write), so hopefully I’ll be able to spread my posts a little more evenly this coming week. Anyhow, on to the subjects of this double feature. I came across the French band Rhesus last year and liked the song I heard from their earlier album Sad Disco. Then I chose to order their latest album, The Fortune Teller Said, off their MySpace page (much easier than trying to track it down anywhere else), and I was very pleased with their poppy guitar rock. Based in Berlin and comprised of vocalist/guitarist Aurelien Marie, drummer Simon Nodet, and bassist Laura Rosello, Rhesus performs in English.

Aurelien’s high voice alternately quivers and rasps, sometimes sounding like The Sleepy Jackson’s Luke Steele, as he expresses jubilation, pain, and anger. Album opener, No Directions, is a sunny ode to being happily directionless. Hey Darling, the only single officially released from The Fortune Teller Said, is a catchy, breezy song that pumps along to fast guitars and then expands into a chorus that feels like breathing in so deeply your lungs hurt. Reining in the energy of Hey Darling, Little Things shambles along to Aurelien’s lazy vocals. Picking up once again, the following track I Suppose is a raucous number that emulates a frustrated relationship, but then the music comes down to showcase a beautiful blend of Aurelien and Laura’s voices as they insist they don’t want to start a fight. Berlin is a pretty little interlude under two minutes that imitates an old French record crackling away on a grammophone as Aurelien plays a ukelele (it reminds me a bit of the song Guilty from the Amelie soundrack) One of my favourite tracks is Will You Follow Me Out, which takes you on a moodier turn with its thrumming bassline and Aurelien’s voice comes down to a near-whisper. Another quieter song is Together, in which Aurelien is accompanied only by an acoustic guitar for the first two thirds of the song, and I Still Think of You is a tender ballad of regret. Overall, The Fortune Teller Said is a youthful, exuberant record perfect for a summer day or a road trip.


I soon discovered that Aurelien had his own solo project under the name Lian Ray in which he self-releases EPs every few months. I purchased the latest one entitled, We Are the Fox and the Pony, and I was charmed by the low-key, lo-fi music, enchanting lyrics and homemade artwork (apparently created by a very talented Mary Oh). As Lian Ray, Aurelien explores the slower, acoustic side of Rhesus more fully while also creating more magical, personal narratives than in Rhesus. In many ways, this EP recalls the sound of the title track off Sad Disco, a slightly folkier number. The EP includes three versions of the The Fox and the Pony – an instrumental theme, the original demo, and a piano version – and all of them are beautiful, though I think I like the instrumental the best with its plinking xylophone-like sounds. The other two versions with their vocals spin a sweet, quirky story where “Your name sounds like a Japanese candy and I’m standing there being a clown.” Our Correspondence is melodic and filled with fantastic, strange vignettes like “You’re singing lullabies to babies on a boat.” Ink & Paper Twin could have been a Fionn Regan song, and Kings Street is a mournful ballad interspersed with accordion sounds and a European airport announcement. Give Me a Call, a song available for free download from Lian Ray’s MySpace, is a brief, bouncy tune of loyalty, and the final track of the EP, Mystery’s Never Home is hazy and dreamy as Aurelien croons over soft guitars and piano. While The Fortune Teller Said is an album of perpetual motion down a motorway in summer, We Are the Fox and the Pony EP is a blissed out lounge in dappled sunlight.

MySpace for Lian Ray: http://www.myspace.com/lianray

Hey Darling – Rhesus

Will You Follow Me Out – Rhesus

Ink & Paper Twin – Lian Ray

26
Apr
08

New Art For the People: The Indelicates’ American Demo


I just received my copy of The Indelicates’ debut album, American Demo, in the mail (it was released in the UK on April 14), and I’m hugely impressed. I wrote about them earlier in my SXSW post, and I shall continue to rave about them. This English duo manages to combine elements from many of my favourite bands and artists – the satirical observations of Pulp, the voices of Luke Haines and Kate Bush, the melodies of The Auteurs. The two Indelicates (a moniker they each use as a surname), Simon and Julia, met at a Poetry Slam, hence, their lyrics are some of the best ones I’ve ever heard – they often take you by surprise and dwell in the shadows cast by the sunny music. And for someone who did their Honours BA in English Literature, lyrics are often a huge issue for me. Others have already appropriately compared The Indelicates with The Auteurs and Art Brut, but I would say that they go beyond wit for its own sake and make political statements about the state of the world today. At the same time, their politics feel like they’re wrapped up in a big pink bow of narrative. Personal losses and disappointments extend to a universal malaise, frustration and apathy.

The first two Indelicates tracks I ever heard were the contagious tongue-in-cheek ode to youth, Sixteen, and the up-tempo but bittersweet, Julia, We Don’t Live in the ’60’s, and both are included on this album. American Demo begins with New Art For the People Theme, a sweet orchestral piece led by a violin, which is an instrumental re-working of the later track, New Art for the People, a deliciously depressing dialogue between Simon and Julia about fighting for art’s sake in a fatuous environment and failing – in many ways, with its sense of broken dreams and misguided hopes, it feels like an updated version of Fairytale of New York. With a similar theme of disillusionment and loss, The Last Significant Statement to Be Made in Rock ‘n Roll, a song with driving guitars and Simon on lead vocals, sounds like The Auteurs meets Springsteen’s Born to Run. It also includes fantastic lyrics like “Once, in a corridor in Memphis/Was a singer took a breath/And wrote the birth of the teenager/Now we come to write his death,” which is one of the best lines about Elvis that I’ve come across. Our Daughters Will Never Be Free is a playful breakneck number complete with handclaps and Julia taking over breathless lead vocals while the lyrics lambast feminism and its many failures. Stars sounds like a tinkling music box as Julia sweetly croons, “I’m in love with the boy next door/He treats me like a filthy whore/I give him everything he wants for nothing in return.” Unsettling and twee at the same time…kind of like a song in a Tim Burton stop-motion animation.

One of my favourite tracks is …If Jeff Buckley Had Lived, a song that goes against the typical music fan’s reaction to his untimely death – rather than pity the waste of such talent and wonder how genius Buckley could have been if he had lived, The Indelicates predict that Buckley would have fallen flat by never being able to live up to his brilliant first and only album, and without his death, he wouldn’t have become the mythological figure he is now. The music itself in this song is beautifully melancholy and expansive with a pulsing rhythm, light piano, and gently whining guitars. Another song that I find fascinating is America, a stately tune with frenetic guitar arpeggios and a rather provocative take on America, taking the conservative stance and deriding England with its “weak-chinned snarls and red guitars.” The track Heroin once again reminds me of Bruce Springsteen with its passionate overwrought guitars and raspy vocals, and even though I don’t really like Springsteen, I enjoy it – perhaps because The Indelicates have hit upon an alchemical mixture of American bombast and English irony.

I’m going to include a couple of tracks from the album and then one particularly fabulous demo song, Waiting for Pete Doherty to Die, that was available for free download on their Web site. They say everything in this song that I would want to say about the state of the media, music industry and pretentious fans, and they do it much more eloquently than I could. In many ways, it’s a companion piece to the song We Hate the Kids on American Demo, a song which states: “And no one discusses what they don’t understand/And no one does anything to harm the brand/And this gift is an illusion, this isn’t hard:/Absolutely anyone can play fucking guitar/Oh yeah, we mean it/We hate the kids/Useless children genuflecting/To the idols who exploit them.” Despite the cynicism, The Indelicates do, indeed, make intelligent new art for the people. And I’m thankful for it.

New Art For the People – The Indelicates

…If Jeff Buckley Had Lived – The Indelicates

Waiting For Pete Doherty to Die – The Indelicates

21
Apr
08

Everyday is Like Sunday, Except for Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday, and…Well, Friday I’m in Love: Weekly Mix #13


So, lucky weekly mix number thirteen…and it’s the inevitable C86 mix. Many others have written about the legendary C86 cassette from NME (after all, there’s even an excellent blog called Indie MP3 – Keeping C86 Alive), and I doubt I have anything particularly new to add to the discussion. However, it continues to amaze me how one mail-order cassette spawned a genre, a scene, and an attitude toward music. Though NME had released a cassette five years earlier in conjunction with Rough Trade, appropriately titled C81, it never gained the same mythical status despite the fact that the artists featured on it, including Scritti Politti, Orange Juice, The Specials and Buzzcocks, were far more successful. In contrast, C86 included the likes of The Shrubs, Close Lobsters, and The Servants – not exactly well-known or long-lived. In fact, the only bands on C86 that really seem to have achieved longevity were Primal Scream, The Wedding Present and Half Man Half Biscuit.

Whether you call it jangle pop or twee or just plain shambolic, these artists came to represent the ultimate DIY aesthetic. Although the term C86 has come to mean almost exclusively twee, the actual original compilation featured many bands with an edgier sound. What is perhaps more important than whether these bands all fit into the same genre of sound is the way they came to define what it meant to be truly indie when indie still felt like a pure concept. Indie has become a completely irrelevant and bastardized term with the majority of those classified as indie actually on major labels and mainstream radio. However, with the advent of music blogs, there has been an increase in exposure for truly independent bands and even unsigned bands. In my perfect world, every band would be able to produce, distribute and promote their own music without overblown intervention from businesspeople. So while bands like Belle and Sebastian may owe their sound to C86, countless other bands owe their philosophy to it. Philosophically, C86 was like punk for the ’80’s.

The original tracklisting for C86 was:

Side One

Primal Scream – “Velocity Girl”
The Mighty Lemon Drops – “Happy Head”
The Soup Dragons – “Pleasantly Surprised”
The Wolfhounds – “Feeling So Strange Again”
The Bodines – “Therese”
Mighty Mighty – “Law”
Stump – “Buffalo”
Bogshed – “Run to the Temple”
A Witness – “Sharpened Sticks”
The Pastels – “Breaking Lines”
Age of Chance – “From Now On, This Will Be Your God”

Side Two

The Shop Assistants – “It’s Up to You”
Close Lobsters – “Firestation Towers”
Miaow – “Sport Most Royal”
Half Man Half Biscuit – “I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart)”
The Servants – “Transparent”
The Mackenzies – “Big Jim (There’s no pubs in Heaven)”
Big Flame – “New Way (Quick Wash And Brush Up With Liberation Theology)”
Fuzzbox – “Console Me”
McCarthy – “Celestial City”
The Shrubs – “Bullfighter’s Bones”
The Wedding Present – “This Boy Can Wait”

Twenty years after the original C86, a double-disc CD, compiled by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley, was released as CD86. Rather than a re-release of the original compilation, it celebrated many of the artists that weren’t originally on the C86 tape, but that nevertheless were considered part of the C86 scene. While it still included the odd track from the original (Primal Scream’s Velocity Girl, The Wedding Present’s This Boy Can Wait) and alternative tracks from most of the original bands, it also included the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pooh Sticks, Talulah Gosh, The June Brides, and The Darling Buds. Keeping with this idea, but expanding yet further to include other British indie bands of the ’80’s, I made my mix with some original C86 tracks, some tracks by original C86 artists (both the cassette ones and the CD ones), and then some other bands like Felt, Bubblegum Splash, and the superbly named Dalek Beach Party. Many of them are a little rough around the edges and quirky, but that’s their charm. I’m going to call this mix I Don’t Need Anyone, No Not Anyone At All. Perhaps C86 has become myth because it represents an ideal and and an innocence that seems pretty much impossible in the realm of the music industry.

Velocity Girl – Primal Scream

Plastic Smile – Bubblegum Splash

Close My Eyes – Strawberry Story

Penelope Tree – Felt

Wee Timorous Cowering Beastie – Dalek Beach Party

Charlton Heston – Stump

This Boy Can Wait – The Wedding Present

Disdain – Kind

He’s Frank (Slight Return) – The Monochrome Set

This Town – The June Brides

I’m On the Side of Mankind As Much As the Next Man – McCarthy

Nothing to Be Done – The Pastels

Hit the Ground – The Darling Buds

Stop Killing Me – The Primitives

Happy Head – The Mighty Lemon Drops

Whole Wide World – The Soup Dragons

Safety Net – Shop Assistants

Transparent – The Servants

The Revolutionary Spirit – The Wild Swans

You’re Kidding Aren’t You – The Field Mice

Apple Orchard – Bouquet

It’s a Fine Day – Jane

16
Apr
08

Smoothing Out Some of the Quirks: We Are Scientists’ Brain Thrust Mastery

Though California’s We Are Scientists’ sophomore album, Brain Thrust Mastery, was released last month, it somehow escaped my radar. It’s like I knew it had to be coming some time soon, that it had been coming for some time now, but I still managed to miss it. I loved their major label debut album With Love and Squalor so much that maybe, on some subconscious level, I was afraid that they wouldn’t be able to live up to it, so I just ignored that fact a second album was being released. With the departure of drummer Michael Tapper last year, I felt a bit let down – not that I would miss his particular drumming style, or even notice such a thing, it’s just that the three members, including vocalist/guitarist Keith Murray and bassist Chris Cain, seemed to come as one incredibly witty unit, and by leaving, he was disrupting it. However, now that I’ve actually decided to listen to Brain Thrust Mastery, I’m quite satisifed and can breathe a sigh of relief.

It seems that, for the majority of Brain Thrust Mastery, We Are Scientists have smoothed out the gangly angles of their first album into a waxy dancefloor and Murray’s vocals have gone the way of fey, and at other times, the way of Paul Smith of Maximo Park. The album opens with Ghouls, a track that features some dour synthesizer, semi-robotic vocals from Murray and guitars that careen in and out before they crescendo in the last third of the song. The mood gets progressively sunnier. After Hours is like colours exploding and effervescing in your head, reminding me slightly of Maximo Park’s The Coast is Always Changing, and Chick Lit is a fantastic dance tune that begins with a guitar line that could have been Arctic Monkeys but then carries on into something VHS or Beta would do. Chick Lit is also a song with one of the better lyrics on the album, including the line “We’ve got some sharp-tongue carrying on to do.” Both After Hours and Chick Lit have been the chosen singles for release thus far, but Lethal Enforcer seems to be the one making its rounds on the blog circuit. It is definitely one of the catchier tunes on the album with its ’80’s New Wave feel and shimmying rhythm. Impatience feels like it has borrowed the driving background of Arcade Fire’s Rebellion (Lies), but Murray’s vibrato vocal takes the song into a different direction. Album closer, That’s What Counts, is a breezy track with saxophone, not something I would expect from We Are Scientists, but it still gives me an enormous feeling of well-being – maybe because it makes me think of old sitcoms like WKRP in Cincinnati and Three’s Company…good or bad thing, you be the judge.
Of all the new tracks, Tonight and Dinosaurs seem to be the closest to the older sound of choppier and jagged guitars used on With Love and Squalor. The weakest track, in my opinion, is Spoken For, a ballad that feels bland despite its build to passionate bursts halfway through. The lyrics, which seem to be largely based on relationship doubts, may be the one area that I’m not as impressed with this time round. The cheeky, often self-deprecating, wit of songs like The Great Escape, This Scene is Dead, and Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt from With Love and Squalor isn’t as prominent this time. For an example of the potential of their weird and wonderful musings, see their Web site where they have an advice column (Example: “Question: What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? Answer: A muffin has a fish center. A cupcake has icing on top, and has a center of pork or boar. Muffins originated in France and are still considered a top-shelf delicacy in that country; meanwhile, Italians, who invented cupcakes, regard them as acceptable nourishment only for prisoners and cattle.”).

So, it appears We Are Scientists have weathered the sophomore album quite well. Though not as instantly likeable for me as With Love and Squalor was, Brain Thrust Mastery is still a very enjoyable album. And though they’ve smoothed out many of their original quirks and edges, they thankfully haven’t ironed out all their irony yet.

Chick Lit – We Are Scientists

Lethal Enforcer – We Are Scientists

That’s What Counts – We Are Scientists

15
Apr
08

Super Furry Animals They Ain’t: Clinic’s Do It!

Clinic’s fifth album, Do It!, was released last week to generally positive reviews. The Liverpudlian band has always had a rather eclectic, off-the-wall sound that makes them difficult to categorize, a problem which of course makes them terribly interesting as a band. They tend to sound just as unhinged and idiosyncratic as the old organs and keyboards that they ostensibly salvage from flea markets. Clinic’s music also makes me think of some gothic circus performing in a swamp in the American Deep South. The fact they obscure their identities by wearing surgical uniforms during performances and photo shoots adds further to their bizarre art rock credentials. Though they’ve been around for over ten years, I only really became aware of them via Visitations, the album before Do It!. Intrigued by their sound, I went back and listened to their older albums, discovering that Clinic can swerve back and forth between hypnotic and frantic or weave both together to sinister effect. Somehow they manage to both mesmerize and unsettle you at the same time.

In most of the reviews I’ve read about Do It!, the album is described as psychedelic and perfect for summer, which makes it sound like the record is a Super Furry Animals album – a completely errant assumption to make. I would say that it is less frantic and whirling, less of a dark hoedown, than Visitations – perhaps as sunny as Clinic can get. While their sound has tended to be quite dense in previous albums, Do It! has many lighter moments like the plinking Tomorrow and dreamy Corpus Christi. As usual, Ade Blackburn’s vocals sneer, sputter and slur over oscillating rhythms and unexpected arrangements and time signatures, but it’s like their sound has been aerated. In some ways, I suppose they have returned to some of the lighter sounds from Internal Wrangler.

Album opener, Memories, begins with chimes reminiscent of Eastern sitar music, but then shifts into fuzzy, romping guitars only to move again during the vocals into a milder psychedelic waltz with organs and cymbals. The Witch (Made to Measure) bumps along like a ride in an apple truck without the vicious, brutal drive of some of Clinic’s earlier material. Free Not Free ticks along lazily like a finger trailing alongside a boat with some woodwind sounds, but is interspersed with quick guitar parts that erupt in surprising places. Shopping Bag seems to imitate what a person going mad might hear in their head as dissonant squeals compete with fast guitars and Blackburn’s vocals hit falsetto heights. The following track, Emotions, returns once again to a 3/4 time signature, lazily spinning to guitar arpeggios until more fuzzed-out guitars clamour in – it’s almost like Johnny Rotten crooning to an old standard. High Coins brings some of the militant rhythms found on Visitations back, but still keeps them at a more restrained level, more likely to hypnotize than to give you auditory vertigo. Mary & Eddie sounds like a Mediterranean song with subdued guitar and simple percussion, but whizzing sound effects and a trembling guitar that sounds like an accordion add more complexity. The final track, the appropriately titled Coda, begins with staccato organ, but as more instruments, including peals of bells, join in, and the spoken vocals begin, the song unwinds into a psychedelic cacophony.

So Do It! does end up being a good summer album with its sunnier sounds and lighter melodies, but it remains a signature Clinic album in its constant disruption of norms and moods, never complacent, never completely relaxed. While Gruff Rhys and Co frolick like puppies with benevolent vocals and spaced out happiness, Clinic always has an underlying current of strange darkness. They may lull you as you sway in a hammock. Only to come up behind you and tip you out of it.

The Witch (Made to Measure) – Clinic

Shopping Bag – Clinic

Emotions – Clinic

13
Apr
08

Everyday is Like Sunday, Except for Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday, and…Well, Friday I’m in Love: Weekly Mix #12

I would have loved to be around for glam rock in the early ’70’s, especially at the height of Ziggy Stardust and T-Rextasy. It was such a colourful, purely fun time in music history. Rock music was tarted up and made no effort at authenticity, which was a dying concept in music anyway. Glam merely acknowledged that popular music was an act and could be freer as a result of wearing a mask. As with any music movement, it was short-lived and invited a backlash, but it was truly glorious while it lasted.

It’s usually agreed that the transformation of Marc Bolan’s band Tyrannosaurus Rex into T. Rex was the beginning of glam. Bolan left his psychedelic folk days and bongo player Steve Peregrine Took behind and started wearing glitter on his face on television. Thus, glam rock was born. David Bowie, who had been finding moderate success with his first few albums and who had also come from a folk background, watched and learned, and subsequently created the alien messiah, Ziggy Stardust, launching himself into the stratosphere. Once the art school band Roxy Music entered the fray, glam officially became a critical point in music history. While there wasn’t necessarily a definite common sound between all these glam artists, there was a common aesthetic of outrageous fashion often extending to gender-bending androgyny. In many ways, especially in the more commercial bandwagon jumpers like Slade and Sweet, glam took the classic rock ‘n roll of the 1950’s and updated it with a shiny, glittery new look, while still remaining very masculine beneath the glamour. Of course artists like David Bowie and Roxy Music had a much larger impact on music innovation and continue to influence, and in many ways, they are the ones that legitimize the glam rock era. Roxy Music managed to incorporate the oboe into popular music, no small feat. Even T.Rex, who may not have been quite as innovative musically, created hugely memorable tunes, which continue to influence others – I think songs like Children of the Revolution, 20th Century Boy, and The Slider are brilliant. And T.Rex continues to be a popular choice for many film soundtracks.

Notably, Suzi Quatro was the only female artist to be included in the glam scene, showing how glam was still unfortunately very much a male-dominated scene; however, Quatro did get to bend gender back the opposite direction and provided her own androgynous look and style, often looking like Mick Ronson. My personal favourites are David Bowie, T.Rex, and Roxy Music (before the departure of Brian Eno), but I also love those who straddled garage, punk and glam simultaneously, including Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and New York Dolls. And while many seem to consider Jobriath to be a poor man’s David Bowie, I appreciate his songs and his image, and in a brave move, rather than just flirting with homosexuality, he blatantly declared it. He continues to garner respect from artists ranging from Morrissey to Siouxsie to Gary Numan, and T.Rex’s song Cosmic Dancer is supposedly a tribute to Jobriath. In the early ’90’s, Morrissey even wanted Jobriath to open for him on tour, unfortunately not realizing that Jobriath died in 1983.

While primarily a British phenomenon, glam rock did spread to the US in various ways, including Sparks, Suzi Quatro, Jobriath, and both Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, who were greatly influenced and produced by David Bowie. Glam eventually gave birth to many other movements, including the New Romantics, goth, glam hair-metal, and despite its seeming reaction against artificiality, punk (many of the kids who got into punk bands were glitter kids only a few years earlier). Any band who pushes gender boundaries and glams up their image, any band that is proudly preening and flaunting their own artificiality owes their existence to glam. The influence of glam can be traced through a variety of interesting places. For example, Johnny Marr admitted that The Smiths’ Panic owes a debt to T.Rex’s Metal Guru, possibly leading to Smiths fanatics Oasis stealing Bang a Gong wholesale for Cigarettes and Alcohol. Who knows, that’s just my theory.

If you want to read more about glam rock, I recommend Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music by Philip Auslander, an accessible academic text that uses performance theory to dissect T.Rex, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Wizzard and Suzi Quatro. If you want to watch some fantastic glam rock, watch Born to Boogie (the Ringo Starr film about T.Rex), Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture, or the Todd Haynes’ film Velvet Goldmine (one of my all-time favourite movies), which artfully blends the myths of Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Roxy Music, and Jobriath into one character played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I’ve included all the classic glam artists in this mix (David Bowie, T.Rex, Roxy Music) in addition to the ones who were the less acclaimed but still very much a part of the movement (Slade, Sweet, Cockney Rebel) and the American offshoots of glam (New York Dolls, Sparks, Alice Cooper). Of course I also included the Bowie-penned glam anthem All the Young Dudes. To round it all off, I added a couple of tracks from the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack, including a Shudder to Think original tune called Hot One and a cover of Roxy Music’s ode to Humphrey Bogart, 2HB, by the fictional band in the movie, The Venus in Furs, which consists of Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Bernard Butler, and Andy Mackay. Both bands replace some of Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ vocals, which were featured in the film, for the soundtrack. I’m going to call this mix Glitter Lives. Who needs TV when you’ve got T.Rex?



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Gigs Attended

Arcade Fire w/ Bell Orchestre + Wolf Parade (2005)

Arctic Monkeys w/ Reverend and the Makers (2007)

Austra w/ Young Galaxy + Tasseomancy (2011)

Big Audio Dynamite (2011)

Billy Bragg w/ Ron Hawkins (2009)

Billy Idol w/ Bif Naked (2005)

Bloc Party w/ Hot Hot Heat (2009)

Buzzcocks w/ The Dollyrots (2010)

Damo Suzuki (2012)

David Bowie w/ The Polyphonic Spree (2004)

Diamond Rings w/ PS I Love You + The Cannon Bros. (2011)

Diamond Rings w/ Gold & Youth (2012)

Dragonette w/ Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees (2009)

Frank Turner w/ The Cavaliers (2010)

Frank Turner w/ Into It Over It + Andrew Jackson Jihad (2011)

Franz Ferdinand w/ Think About Life (2009)

Gang of Four w/ Hollerado (2011)

Good Shoes w/ The Moths + The Envelopes (2007)

Hot Hot Heat w/ The Futureheads + Louis XIV (2005)

IAMX w/ closethuman (2007)

IAMX w/ Coma Soft + The Hourly Radio (2007)

Interpol (2007)

Janelle Monae w/ Roman GianArthur (2012)

Joel Plaskett Emergency w/ Frank Turner (2012)

Jonathan Richman (2011)

Keane w/ Lights (2009)

Lou Reed w/ Buke and Gass (2011)

Manic Street Preachers w/ Fear of Music (2007)

Manic Street Preachers w/ Bear Hands (2009)

Manic Street Preachers at Wanaja Festival (2011)

Mother Mother w/ Old Folks Home (2009)

Mother Mother w/ Whale Tooth (2011)

Mother Mother w/ Hannah Georgas (2012)

MSTRKRFT w/ Felix Cartal (2008)

Muse (2004)

Nine Inch Nails w/ Death From Above 1979 + Queens of the Stone Age (2005)

of Montreal w/ Janelle Monae (2010)

Owen Pallett w/ Little Scream (2010)

Patrick Wolf w/ Bishi (2007)

Prince (2011)

Pulp w/ Grace Jones, TV on the Radio, The Hives, The Horrors, Metronomy, Devotcka, Vintage Trouble (2011)

Rufus Wainwright w/ Teddy Thompson (2010)

Snow Patrol w/ Embrace (2005)

Snow Patrol w/ OK Go + Silversun Pickups (2007)

Sons and Daughters w/ Bodies of Water (2008)

Stars w/ Thurston Revival (2006)

Stars w/ The Details (2008)

Stars (2010)

Steven Severin (2010)

Stroszek (2007)

The Antlers w/ Haunter (2012)

The Flaming Lips w/ Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (2010)

The Jesus and Mary Chain w/ Nightbox (2012)

The Killers w/ Ambulance Ltd (2004)

The New Pornographers w/ Novillero (2008)

The New Pornographers w/ The Mountain Goats (2010)

The Ordinary Boys w/ Young Soul Rebels (2006)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart w/ Suun (2011)

The Rakes w/ The Young Knives (2006)

The Raveonettes w/ Black Acid (2008)

The Stills w/ Gentleman Reg (2009)

The Subways w/ The Mad Young Darlings (2006)

Tokyo Police Club w/ Smoosh + Attack in Black (2008)

TV on the Radio w/ The Dirty Projectors (2009)

Yann Tiersen w/ Breathe Owl Breathe (2011)

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The only certain thing that is left about me

There is no part of my body that has not been used

Pity or pain, to show displeasure's shame

Everyone I've loved or hated always seems to leave

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So I turned myself to face me

But I've never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I'm much too fast to take that test

The Smiths Queen is Dead

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're happy

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Oh, Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're wanted

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Keats and Yeats are on your side

But you lose 'cause weird lover Wilde is on mine

The Clash London Calling

When they kick at your front door

How you gonna come?

With your hands on your head

Or on the trigger of your gun

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Charles Windsor, who's at the door

At such an hour, who's at the door

In the back of an old green Cortina

You're on your way to the guillotine

Here the rabble comes

The kind you hoped were dead

They've come to chop, to chop off your head

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Then you came with your breezeblocks

Smashing up my face like a bus-stop

You think you're giving

But you're taking my life away

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Won't someone give me more fun?

(and the skin flies all around us)

We kiss in his room to a popular tune

Oh, real drowners

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Don't walk away

In silence

See the danger

Always danger

Endless talking

Life rebuilding

Don't walk away

Walk in silence

Don't turn away in silence

Your confusion

My illusion

Worn like a mask of self-hate

Confronts and then dies

Don't walk away

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You don't want to hurt me

But see how deep the bullet lies

Unaware I'm tearing you asunder

Oh there is thunder in our hearts

Is there so much hate for the ones we love

Tell me we both matter don't we

The Associates Affectionate

I don't know whether

To over or under estimate you

Whether to over or under estimate you

For when I come over

You then put me under

Personal taste is a matter of gender

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I wake at dusk to go alone without a light

To the unknown

I want this night inside of me

I want to feel

I want this speeding

I want that speeding

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You'll never live like common people

You'll never do what common people do

You'll never fail like common people

You'll never watch your life slide out of view

And dance and drink and screw

Because there's nothing else to do

Vanilla Swingers

All I have is words, words that don't obtain

And I feel I'm a stain on your horizon

So I stay away - it's easier that way

And there won't be no-one I need to rely on

Is it him, is it me

Or is there something only I can see

How did I get here, why do we blow around like straw dogs on the breeze

I'm a special one, what they used to say

But I've to stay on, finish levels-A

You don't need exams when you've read John Gray

The Indelicates American Demo

And nobody ever comes alive

And the journalists clamour round glamour like flies

And boys who should know better grin and get high

With fat men who once met the MC5

And no one discusses what they don't understand

And no one does anything to harm the brand

And this gift is an illusion, this isn't hard

Absolutely anyone can play the fucking guitar

JAMC Darklands

And we tried so hard

And we looked so good

And we lived our lives in black

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Plucked her eyebrows on the way

Shaved her leg and then he was a she

She says, hey babe,

Take a walk on the wild side

Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side

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Hide on the promenade

Etch a postcard:

How I dearly wish I was not here

In the seaside town...that they forgot to bomb

Come, come, come - nuclear bomb

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Back when we were kids

We would always know when to stop

And now all the good kids are messing up

Nobody has gained or accomplished anything

Wire Pink Flag

Prices have risen since the government fell

Casualties increase as the enemy shell

The climate's unhealthy, flies and rats thrive

And sooner or later the end will arrive

This is your correspondent, running out of tape

Gunfire's increasing, looting, burning, rape

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Well, maybe there's a god above

But all I've ever learned from love

Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you

It's not a cry that you hear at night

It's not somebody who's seen the light

It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

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And what costume shall the poor girl wear

To all tomorrow's parties

For Thursday's child is Sunday's clown

For whom none will go mourning

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My body is your body

I won't tell anybody

If you want to use my body

Go for it

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Oh it's opening time

Down on Fascination Street

So let's cut the conversation

And get out for a bit

Because I feel it all fading and paling

And I'm begging

To drag you down with me

Mansun Six

And you see, I kind of shivered to conformity

Did you see the way I cowered to authority

You see, my life, it's a series of compromises anyway

It's a sham, and I'm conditioned to accept it all, you see

Japan Gentlemen

Take in the country air, you'll never win

Gentlemen take polaroids

They fall in love, they fall in love

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We just want to emote til we're dead

I know we suffer for fashion

Or whatever

We don't want these days to ever end

We just want to emasculate them forever

Forever, forever

Pretty sirens don't go flat

It's not supposed to happen like that

Longpigs The Sun

There's no perfume I can buy

Make me smell like myself

So I put on perfume

To make me smell like someone else

In bed

Calvin Harris I Created Disco

I got love for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's

I've got hugs for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's

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Does his makeup in his room

Douse himself with cheap perfume

Eyeholes in a paper bag

Greatest lay I ever had

Kind of guy who mates for life

Gotta help him find a wife

We're a couple, when our bodies double

Simple Minds Sons and Fascination

Summer rains are here

Savaged beauty life

Falling here from grace

Sister feeling call

Cruising land to land

No faith no creed no soul

Half a world away

Beauty sleeps in time

Sound and fury play

Bloc Party Silent Alarm

North to south

Empty

Running on

Bravado

As if to say, as if to say

He doesn't like chocolate

He's born a liar, he'll die a liar

Some things will never be different

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LCD Soundsystem

Well Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house

I've waited 7 years and 15 days

There's every kid for miles at my house, my house

And the neighbors can't...call the police

There's a fist fight brewin' at my house, my house

Because the jocks can't...get in the door

Johnny Boy

I just can't help believing

Though believing sees me cursed

Stars Set Yourself

I am trying to say

What I want to say

Without having to say "I love you"

Josef K Entomology

It took 10 years to realise why the angels start to cry

When you go home down the main

Your happy smile

Your funny name

Cocteau Twins Bluebell

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Doesn't she look a million with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Yes, she's a beautiful brunette angel from heaven with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Augment a beautiful brunette

New Order Power Corruption

How does it feel

To treat me like you do

When you've laid your hands upon me

And told me who you are

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You must let her go

She's not crying

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Baiting

Feeling like I'm waiting

Modern times

Valentines

Hating

Hating to distraction

Just leave them alone

Whipcrack

Girls in the back

Girls in the back

Puressence Don't Forget

They say come back to earth and start getting real, yeah

I say come back to earth and start getting real

I know I can't

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So I walk right up to you

And you walk all over me

And I ask you what you want

And you tell me what you need

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The problem of leisure

What to do for pleasure

Ideal love a new purchase

A market of the senses

Dream of the perfect life

Economic circumstances

The body is good business

Sell out, maintain the interest

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Sitting in my armchair thinking again and again and again

Going round in a circle I can't get out

Then I look around thinking day and night and day

Then you look around - there must be some explanation

And the tension builds

Psychdedelic Furs

India, India

You're my love song

India, you're my love song

In the flowers

You can have me in the flowers

We will dance alone

And live our useless lives

Ladytron Light Magic

They only want you when you're seventeen

When you're twenty-one

You're no fun

They take a polaroid and let you go

Say they'll let you know

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No consolation prizes

Spit out your lies and chewing gum

Cut off your hair yeah that's it!

If you look like that I swear I'm gonna love you more

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All the neighbors are startin' up a fire

Burning all the old folks, the witches and the liars.

My eyes are covered by the hands of my unborn kids

But my heart keeps watchin' through the skin of my eyelids

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Prince charming

Prince charming

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of

Don't you ever, don't you ever

Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome