Archive for the 'Patrick Wolf' Category


My Top 40 Albums of 2009: Numbers 8 Through 1

I realize this is a week late – I apologize. It wasn’t just to build suspense; I suppose I decided to get a bit of actual relaxation in when I finally started my holidays four days ago. At any rate, let’s dip into what autumn brought for albums. September gave us releases from Sondre Lerche, frYars, The Cribs, The Big Pink, Dragonette, Boys Noize, Yo La Tengo, Noah and the Whale, Sliimy, David Sylvian, Jamie T, The Voluntary Butler Scheme, and surprisingly, Prefab Sprout. Wild Beasts broke through with their sophomore album (being contrary, I thought it wasn’t as good as their first), and Matt Bellamy led the Resistance (perhaps wearing a tinfoil hat). There were also releases that already graced this countdown, including the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack and Malcolm Ross and the Low Miffs.

In October we saw new releases from Julian Casablancas, Richard Hawley, Tegan and Sara, Editors, Kings of Convenience, Atlas Sound, The Mountain Goats, Fuck Buttons, White Denim, The Flaming Lips, and a heavily pared down Wolfmother. There was a truly disappointing return from Echo & the Bunnymen, and another album from Flight of the Conchords, which must console us in the wake of their declaration that there will be no third television series. A couple more of my top albums also appeared including ones from Emilie Simon and Mumford & Sons.

Squeaking into the end of the year, albums out in November included ones from Pants Yell, Weezer, Brett Anderson, and the ubiquitous Lady GaGa. There were also ones who just made the deadline for my countdown: Luke Haines and The Mary Onettes.

If you’ve missed it, this is my countdown so far:

40. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Phoenix
39. Through Fire – Twiggy Frostbite
38. The Empyrean – John Frusciante
37. Travels With Myself and Another – Future of the Left
36. Nonsense in the Dark – Filthy Dukes
35. Yes – Pet Shop Boys
34. xx – The xx
33. Temporary Pleasures – Simian Mobile Disco
32. Primary Colours – The Horrors
31. Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
30. Polly Scattergood – Polly Scattergood
29. Sun Gangs – The Veils
28. Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animal Collective
27. Where the Wild Things Are – Karen O and the Kids
26. Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees – Ruby Jean & the Thoughtful Bees
25. It’s Blitz – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
24. Bitte Orca – The Dirty Projectors
23. Dragonslayer – Sunset Rubdown
22. Islands – The Mary Onettes
21. he closed his eyes so he could dance with you – vitaminsforyou
20. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
19. The Big Machine – Emilie Simon
18. Malcolm Ross and the Low Miffs – The Low Miffs and Malcolm Ross
17. 21st Century Man/Achtung Mutha – Luke Haines
16. Ellipse – Imogen Heap
15. Is It Fire? – Jessie Evans
14. “Further Complications” – Jarvis Cocker
13. React or Die – Butcher Boy
12. Shirley Lee – Shirley Lee
11. Jet Black – Gentleman Reg
10. Cloud Pleaser – David Shane Smith
9. Bob and Veronica Ride Again – Morton Valence

Drumroll please…

8. Manafon – David Sylvian
I’ve been on a David Sylvian kick this year. Buying several CD copies of his past solo efforts and several more Japan releases on vinyl, the mania culminated in purchasing his Weatherbox collector set from a used record shop (the guy at the counter had originally priced it at $90.00, but sold it to me for $60.00, saying that he had vowed to sell it to anyone who was already buying a David Sylvian album – he figured there were only two Sylvian fans in Winnipeg: me and the guy who sold the set to him). Through this raid on his back catalogue, I’ve come to admire and appreciate his material more than ever, following him on an unexpected journey and ending up in the Welsh parish of Manafon. This record is both an articulate tribute to the contradictory poet, R.S. Thomas, and a deeply personal story that spreads like a rhizome in the loamy earth. The lyrics are potent with disappointment, yearning, and bitterness while celebrating the artistic process. Spaces and silences gently push the vocals and instruments into new constellations, providing room to breathe and contemplate. There are soothing repetitions and reprisals as pervasive and refreshing as cool misty rain and violet shadow; there are phrasings and gaps waiting to be bridged, forcing you out of your reverie in poignant peaks. There is a strength in this album’s sadness, a dignity in dearth. Sylvian and his collaborators crafted an album that evokes a subtle patience, a quiet coaxing of everything music and words could be if given space and time.

Read my review of the album here.

Small Metal Gods – David Sylvian

The Rabbit Skinner – David Sylvian

7. Dark Young Hearts – frYars
From the wildest and comically strange realms of the gothic, frYars summoned up his debut album. Filled with enough curiosities to fill numerous Wunderkammern, the album is electronic chamber pop with dark, sometimes seemingly nonsensical, narrative. There are whiffs of murder, decanters of betrayal, and niggles of odd laughter – an Edward Gorey illustration come to life. The plumb line of frYars imagination and use of language dips into the inky macabre as his distinctive deep vocals surge from plummy tones to soft menace. The off-kilter nature of the music keeps you spinning in an infinity of mirrors even as frYars’ voice keeps you anchored and calm. Lying somewhere between a penny dreadful and the unsettling liminality of a child prodigy, Dark Young Hearts is an intelligent, imaginative record that stubbornly denies definition and remains ambidextrous in its morality.

Read my review of the album here.

Lakehouse – frYars

A Last Resort – frYars

6. No More Stories Are Told Today, I’m Sorry They Washed Away, No More Stories, The World is Grey, I’m Tired, Let’s Wash Away – Mew
Danish band, Mew, are no strangers to pushing their dreamy, ethereal pop into new planes and challenging contexts; their last album, And The Glass Handed Kites, was a seamless opus of melancholic whimsy. This latest record takes them yet further with a fierce crashing of rhythm and the angelic heights of sighing melodies, but also brave disjointedness and shards of funk. Sometimes the rhythms duck and elude you as they move in all directions at once, leaving you as displaced as the sentiments told by the lyrics. There are multiple, but involuted layers of melody, sometimes guitar, sometimes synth, rising to meet the unique airy vocals of Jonas Bjerre. To balance the aural fireworks, there are also moments of cooling minimalism as intricate rhythms get reduced down to a vertebrae of xylophonic tones and tapping knocks, reminding me of Gentlemen Take Polaroids-era Japan. The sunlight has broken through for Mew and these upbeat tracks criss-cross each other even as the words cross-examine themselves.

Introducing Palace Players – Mew

Sometimes Life Isn’t Easy – Mew

5. The Bachelor – Patrick Wolf
Borne from loneliness, bitterness and frustration, Patrick Wolf’s latest album acted as an epiphany and self-revelation. Wolf no longer inserted himself into fairy/folktale contexts, but allowed them to pour forth from his own reality. Generating a sometimes frantically violent, sometimes balefully self-pitying record, the lycanthropic runaway youth came of age in a battle of incendiary passions and self-destructive doubts. After listening to The Bachelor, I felt war-torn and liberated, as though I had been taken through a medieval quest or pilgrimmage via urban alleyways, mass-mediated networks, and seamy sex clubs. While specifically locating himself in this decade of information overload, pervasive fear, banality disguised as significance, and the solitude of crowds, Wolf also cast himself back into his personal history, mourning missed opportunities and regrets. Though Wolf’s music has always straddled time periods, blending old folk styles with modern electronics and samples, this album is truly alive in its pain and desire, using the darkest reaches of the human condition to be found in music. Unlike previous Wolf albums, The Bachelor doesn’t regale you with stories of tragic, but fantastical characters; instead, it relays the hellish turmoil and purifying hope to be exposed in Wolf’s own life. Between the victorious anthems of Hard Times and Oblivion, the raw violence of Vulture and Battle, and the keening forsakenness of The Bachelor, Who Will, and Damaris, and paralleled with intricately-wrought visual imagery, Patrick Wolf succeeded in illuminating his own manuscript and finding a way beyond the blackness.

Read my review of the album here.

The Bachelor – Patrick Wolf

Damaris – Patrick Wolf

4. Everyone All at Once – The Rest
There is something utterly overwhelming about this record from Canadian band, The Rest. It feels like blissful chaos and tastes like symphonic nectar, gliding from delicate moment to powerful zenith and back again often within the same song. The shambolic meanderings of the lyrics convey an endless stream-of-consciousness that transforms mundane happenings into magical imagery. Vibrantly coloured with that uncertain yet omnipotent gait of youth, Everyone All at Once makes me feel everything all at once: heart-racing anticipation, bittersweet restlessness, fleeting serenity, sweet harmony. This record lives in that brief moment when you inhale fresh, outside air too quickly and your mind rushes so fast that it nearly crashes into your soul.

Read my review of the album here.

Modern Time Travel (necessities) – The Rest

Walk on Water (auspicious beginnings) – The Rest

3. Learning to Live on Poison – Archivist
This record challenged and pushed me in a way that the best literary and theoretical works do. It travels beyond music, punching words into the paper, hammering like the lettered arms of a typewriter, tiny fists raining down, attempting and achieving stunning wealths of meaning over and over again. Abstract and oblique, there is an internal music in Ben McCarthy’s poetry, which is merely augmented by the use of instruments, creating a piece that is both soulful and spare. Despite being some of the utmostly intelligent lyrics I’ve ever heard in music, they are not staid intellectualism, but empowering in their humanity and pitch-perfect imagery. Amidst the desire for self-immolation and the longing to fill the lack, you find yourself in a yellowing library of ideas, memories, and emotions, where cream-coloured pages drift across the floor like beautiful but dangerous manta rays; the constant struggle against your own decrepit habits and idiosyncrasies can be documented, but never resolved. You have to live inside this album, repeat its litanies, drink in its toxicity, to scratch even the smallest of surfaces. And when you do, you’ll see a piece of yourself and be comforted.

Read my review of the album here.

Son of My Sorrows (Genesis 49:27) – Archivist

Speaking – Archivist

2. Kingdom of Welcome Addiction – IAMX
This album became my second most listened to record of 2009. While I’ve loved the first two IAMX albums, this one hit me in a different spot. Chris Corner got political. And whilst his presentation may have gotten more theatrical than it had ever been, his fragility and vulnerability grew in proportion. The lyrics on his record show an acute recognition of the world’s pathologies, its plague of humans, but also provide a redemptive release to be found in the beauty of damage and destruction. Through Corner’s music, the broken is transcendent. Expressing fears of too much thought and too much care, he creates art from these lines of flight from a world that is undoubtedly and irreparably cruel. His vocal range is sublime as his singing soars, rasps and cajoles through spellbinding dynamics and acrobatics, and his musical palette has expanded beyond darkwave electro and slinky beats; his music has absorbed Old World nomadic glamour, easily cleaving to sounds of flamenco, waltz, cabaret, hymns, and circuses. Every track on this record is a hit in its own right, and Corner has ensured that the visuals have kept up with his musical standard; this culminated in his self-directed music video for My Secret Friend in which he and Imogen Heap demolish the pretence of gender amidst even deeper identity politics and psychoanalytics (taken even further in this bonus improvisation). Identity should be fluid and transient to keep us as happy as we can hope to be; to be neither here nor there is the best place to be. There is both an anger and an empathy to Chris Corner’s lyrics and music, an admission that we are all part of the problem, we are all fickle, sadistic and hypocritical. However, we are gifted with an inexplicable consciousness that allows us to feel colour and be happy in the in-between.

Read my review of the album here.

Kingdom of Welcome Addiction – IAMX

I Am Terrified – IAMX

1. Journal For Plague Lovers – Manic Street Preachers
“In the end we had pieces of the puzzle, but no matter how we put them together, gaps remained, oddly shaped emptinesses mapped by what surrounded them, like countries we couldn’t name.” This passage from Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides is featured at the end of Doors Closing Slowly from the Manic Street Preachers’ Journal For Plague Lovers, and I think it perfectly encapsulates what this record means and why it’s so compelling. Like the doomed Lisbon girls of Eugenides’ novel, Richey Edwards was reified and mythologized, but impossible to pinpoint, awash in a sea of artifacts, stories, theories and exhibits. Among these artifacts is the journal of lyrics used for this album and also for most of the liner notes for the deluxe edition. The remaining members of the Manics studiously worked inside these gaps to produce their best album since The Holy Bible, plotting a way into and through Richey’s difficult writing whilst leaving enough ends loose and permanently free. Their approach made the album richer than it might have been, and these words, which meditate on a mixture of Judeo-Christian tropes and pop culture/information glut, brought out some of the mightiest guitarwork and vocals from James. This group of friends knew Richey the best and were often puzzled by the fragments and apocrypha he left behind, so the rest of us can only cling to these unnamed countries of his mind with damaged maps and conflicted observations; this album helps us with that, leaving deliberate apertures like the best art does. And Richey’s manuscripts turned the sparks from Send Away the Tigers into the inspired flame we all hoped was still there. There’s a moment in William’s Last Words in which James joins in behind Nicky’s brilliantly Lou Reedesque performance, and combined with Sean’s loose, easy drumming and the small string section, it hits me in the chest every time. This record, in every sense of the word “record,” is to be cherished and pored over. The Manics achieved what seemed impossible: a fitting tribute to the infinitely unknowable Richey Edwards.

Read my review of the album here.

Doors Closing Slowly – Manic Street Preachers

All is Vanity – Manic Street Preachers

This Joke Sport Severed (Patrick Wolf’s Love Letter To Richey Remix) – Manic Street Preachers

The last honourable mention album of 2009 is Patrick Jones’s Tongues For a Stammering Time, a piece of art that keenly observes the last century and this young one. There’s no question that most people who know about Patrick Jones were led to him and his work via his younger brother, Nicky Wire. This fact does not retract from Jones’s talent as a poet and playwright (there’s a clear influence of his work on his sibling’s lyrics); I recommend reading fuse, which is a collection of his poetry and plays. Jones tends to take on topics that no one else wants to touch; if his more famous brother presents a variation on masculinity through eyeliner, dresses and feather boas, Jones presents masculinity as a plurality that is often troubling and brave, taking on ideas ranging from the emasculating of unemployed Welsh miners to domestic abuse with men as victims. This album is actually his second (the first, released in 1999, was called Commemoration & Amnesia and featured the likes of Cerys Matthews, James Dean Bradfield and Gruff Rhys), and like his debut ten years ago, this is Jones reading his poetry over soundscapes provided by a variety of musicians, this time including the likes of Billy Bragg, Beverley Humphreys, Les Davies, Martyn Joseph, and Defiance of God and Steve Balsamo, in addition to his brother and James Dean Bradfield once again. There’s nothing quite like Jones’s voice reading (often nearly shouting) his own poetry, and though he bloodies you with his politics, his honesty and belief is as powerful as that of his brother’s band and Billy Bragg. And the music accompanies perfectly, sometimes contributing extra vocals, sometimes fading into a understated backdrop like a good film soundtrack does, making its presence felt subliminally and eclectically.

The Healing House – Patrick Jones featuring Billy Bragg and Beverley Humphreys

Well, it’s been quite a ride through 2009, and I actually feel a little emotionally exhausted by the whole countdown. I hope you all found at least something in it that was valuable to you. Feel free to let me know what the soundtrack to your year was. The last part of my weekly mixes will be up shortly, and don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten the Day of 200 Songs. I’m now out of words. Thank you for coming this far with me, and have a Happy Christmas.


Hard Won Resolution and Revolution: Patrick Wolf’s The Bachelor

Patrick Wolf The Bachelor

I’m not about to hide the fact that I invested in Patrick Wolf’s latest album, The Bachelor. I along with hundreds of other people purchased shares via Bandstock and/or TWIN, and frankly, I don’t think the return spread across that many shareholders will be terribly lucrative. But I don’t think that’s why any of us did it; we wanted to contribute and be a part of a piece of art from a truly dynamic artist. I’m not going to encourage you to buy The Bachelor because I stand to get two dollars; I want you to buy it because it’s an exquisite chronicle of a lonely, faithless human surviving at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Though Wolf decided to scrap the planned album called Battle and go with two albums over two years, this record is undoubtedly fighting fit and sees Wolf taking a battleaxe to his demons. This is Wolf wresting back control of his life, his art and his career. More than with any of his previous three LPs, I get the feeling that this record meant everything to him, and that he was going to oversee every last detail in the telling of this painful, heart-desiccating story. I mentioned this fact before in my review of the first single, Vulture, but Wolf seems to be less of a mythological character and/or folktale in this new work; many of the tracks are time specific and littered with unveiled personal detail. Rather than a lackadaisical romp through the English countryside or allusions to Peter Pan, libertines, childcatchers, medieval lovers, or gypsy kings, Wolf takes you to his blackest mental states in very real, urban places in L.A. and London.

Additionally, the story is traced through all aspects of his art, including the stunning liner notes, which take the form of a hardback book and which feature real, yet surreal, photographs of Wolf in various guises against a backdrop of forest and field; there is seamless meld between medieval quest and modern ordeal. The disc itself is emblazoned with both cardinal and carnal directions, including the phrase “your appetite so dangerous.” And in a deliberate act of contextualization and connotation, this album cover returns to the same pose and textual design as his first album, Lycanthropy; though the similarity is definitely there, the contrast is made all the more obvious, and it’s as if to say Patrick Wolf has matured from a runaway street urchin into a battle-weary prodigal son. The Bachelor heaves with unrest and yearning, and not for escape as in many of his earlier songs, but instead, for release.

The 50-second instrumental intro, Kriespiel, a siren-like barrage of electronic sound, screams into the opening feedback of the second released single, Hard Times, a passionate call to arms if I ever heard one. Set against frantic violins and electronic samples, Hard Times is one of Wolf’s best, and when he soars almost unexpectedly into that chorus, it feels like breaking through on the crest of all the rubbish we deal with on a daily basis. The lyrics are deeply reflective of the musical chaos and the mood of a post-911 world:

Divided nation
In sedation
Overload of information
That we have grown up
To ignore…
Mediocrity applauded
Through these hard times
And I’ll work harder, harder […]

Forced to count the hours
Since two towers
Fell to fiction those higher powers
Putting gods to war
Who keeps the score?

That second verse, along with the fantastical atmosphere of the liner note imagery, evokes a Tolkienesque epic mythology to the events of 9/11. The song is both a challenge and a rallying cry, utilizing a choir for the words “resolution” and “revolution” in the chorus and providing a brief respite of solidarity in a vortex of solitude. As Hard Times screeches away into the distance, actress Tilda Swinton comes in with her first bit of narration on the album and the quieter, seething Oblivion scrambles in like a muddied commando. Swinton, a spectacular choice for this element, comes in periodically throughout the album, sounding like both a polite navigation system and a benevolent matriarch; life would be so much easier if everyone had an inner guiding voice that sounds like Tilda Swinton. Oblivion has a violent edge to it as Wolf sings through clenched jaws before launching himself into a swandive into the void he initially resists and fears. Wolf slips back into some of his folkier roots with the title track, a song with lyrics adapted from a traditional Appalachian poem called “The Turtle Dove.” There’s a fantastically dark groove to the song that takes in both the blues and celtic ballads, and the interplay between Wolf and the raspy voice of Eliza Carthy is even more intense than his duet with Marianne Faithfull on the last album. The refrain of “I will never marry” takes on deeper meaning as other songs on the album explore same sex relationships and in light of Wolf’s vocal opinions on Proposition 8.

The cinematic beauty of Damaris also recalls some ancient celtic magic, including sweeping violins and Irish whistle. While the song can be read as a lovelorn ballad to a dead lover, the fact that Damaris is the Hellenization of the Celtic name Damara, the goddess of fertility, allows for a lament for the death of spring and renewal, and all of the attendant meanings. As Wolf and his choir chant ‘rise up,” it feels like a powerful pagan hymn. After more Irish whistle, Swinton comes back in with the brief, but comforting “Just a little further up the hill boy/You’ll be home soon enough” to signal the beginning of Thickets, one of the more positive songs on the record. It’s a gem of bucolic bliss as Wolf appears to come to himself amidst the burnt-out wasteland and wreckage of his life; as he sings “What have I become?,” you can smell the blossoms and berries pushing their way from the hinterlands of his better memories. This sense of awakening and epiphany continues as Count of Casualty slides in with the electronic elements of an Atari ST. It’s a dark, sludgy wade through the mire of technology and its resultant alienation. Wolf ties the losses of current perpetual war with the lack of real connection in a world of counterproductive social networking:

I dare you
Log off
Sign out
Delete your friends
Start to count
Count of casual
Count of casualty

As death tolls mount and statistics cease to have any tangible meaning, so, too, do mounting friend counts on sites like MySpace and Facebook.

In the same vein as the title track, Who Will? is a gentle, plaintive cry to the universe. Its austere organ makes it all the more self-pitying, and the ticking electronic programming and distant thumping drums imitates a distressed heart, straining for the touch of someone who will understand its inner workings. Even as the emotional need mounts, a more physical lust lurks in its midst (the double entendre of the first line: “Who will penetrate/The tightening muscle”). As I said earlier, I’ve discussed Vulture a fair bit already, but it gains some further context within this album, especially following on the heels of Who Will?. The need from the previous song boils over into a self-destructive orgy of breaking senses and nerves. Ostensibly inspired by Wolf’s encounter with a Satanist in L.A., the track feels like shards of obsidian burying themselves in your flesh as you get swept under the wheels of a showbiz juggernaut. The emotional train of thought rumbles down from these dizzying heights into a shady valley for the more subdued Blackdown. Backed by simple piano, it is Wolf’s explicit plea to his family, especially his father, for forgiveness for the way he severed ties with them and his own history. Mentioning Battle, a town in East Sussex, and his ancestors, Wolf reconnects with his past in order to move on. Eventually the lonely piano gives way to a rousing run of drumming and clapping as Wolf seems to lead a wake for his dead self and lays his false, frantic stabs at identity to rest. Mournful strings surge in as Wolf begins The Sun is Often Out, an undisguised tribute to the memory of Stephen Vickery, a poet that Wolf knew, whose body washed up on the shores of the Thames close to where Wolf lives. A meditation on suicide, the song also seems to be Wolf’s way of breaking out of his own self-destructive self-absorption and reaffirming his own will to live. While the majority of the song is laden with sorrow, there is a moment of euphoria as Wolf repeatedly sings “The sun.” The track ends with the lingering line of “Was your work of art so heavy/That it would not let you live?”.

Tilda Swinton’s narration continues its arc of inspiring hope at the start of Theseus, where she continues to echo Wolf throughout this gentle, nudging composition. Friend and one-time tourmate, Bishi, also adds beautiful strains of sitar through this re-telling of the myth of Theseus and the labyrinth. The myth becomes personal as Wolf queries himself with the line on his disc: “And what is this for…your appetite so dangerous?”. Not only does he feel lost and alone, but he appears to have also misplaced his desire and his dreams for the future, unsure of his surfeit emotion and where to release it. The release then comes in the explosive torrent of Battle, the hardest, harshest music I’ve ever heard from Wolf. Rife with electric guitars and smashing drums, it takes on the legions of the conservative-thinking and those hiding their heads under the right wing, waging war on ignorance, patriarchy, homophobes and conformity. The album ends on a softer note with The Messenger, a song that leads Wolf out and away from the thorny path of solitude and confused identity. The music pushes forward in a natural movement of growth like tendrils reaching for sunlight as Wolf takes stock of his life thus far:

Fearless fifteen
First came that dream
To be seen
To know love
The world
And all its stages

Now 25
Look, made it alive
And what a life
I have known
Not going to stop
Never fully grown

The last words on the album are “When all else fails/Remember/Always/The open road” as the music ends in a classical way, almost like the satisfying resolution of a symphony performance. Perhaps as the resolution first sought in Hard Times. At the same time, it remains open, as Wolf vows to relinquish his fears and keep stretching his boundaries. And in that impulse, Wolf displays his humanity, including the flaws that keep him running and yearning. Having stumbled home in tired tatters, he is ready to venture out anew.

Patrick Wolf both asserts and bemoans his independence in The Bachelor in a moving display of honesty about desire, disappointment and despair. This record take you on a journey of Wolf’s fight to find his way through his own wants and to come to terms with the world around him. Wolf’s wasteland is, like T.S. Eliot’s, simultaneously medieval and modern. I’m very curious and excited about next year’s companion record, The Conqueror, the title of which Wolf has said refers to his current boyfriend, William, to whom he also writes a tender note in the liner thank-yous. In his desperate, lonely moments on The Bachelor, where he wonders if he will ever find someone that fits him, Patrick Wolf connects to me, and my loneliness and latent fears and worries, and likely those of so many of us. There may never be complete resolution for my own issues, but this record makes me feel like revolution is possible. My financial investment is negligible when compared to my emotional investment in this album.

Hard Times – Patrick Wolf

Who Will? – Patrick Wolf


A Post-Mortem on Patrick Wolf’s Dead Meat: Music Video For Vulture

I happened to be strolling through MySpace rounds today and ended up on Patrick Wolf’s MySpace. The latest profile photo was Wolf in what appears to be S&M gear, and his forthcoming single, Vulture, the first to be released from his upcoming album, was on the player. Okay, I admit I don’t have time to keep tabs on every musician in a consistent fashion, so I didn’t realize until today that Wolf’s forthcoming album, Battle, is now split into two companion discs called The Bachelor and The Conqueror, respectively, with the former releasing this June and the latter dropping next year. I should probably keep up with these things since I’ve become an investor in the album (Wolf’s team have found a way for non-UK residents to invest via Tribe Wolf InterNational [TWIN] – see here for details).

The S&M gear in the photograph was soon made clear to me as I read one of the blog posts, which read:

The video for Patrick Wolf’s new single ‘Vulture’ will be shown as a late night exclusive on MySpace UK this Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th March, 9pm-4am.

Deemed too provocative for even late night TV, MySpace are promoting the video as an exclusive post watershed in the late night hours, due to its graphic content.

Filmed in black & white, photographic style, it shows an enraptured, semi naked Patrick writhing in a full S&M, bondage outfit. The controversial scenes are intercut with those of Patrick as the leather clad ‘Vulture’ and as an unmasked icon. Inspired by experiences Patrick gained and suffered on the American leg of the 2007 ‘Magic Position’ tour, the video perfectly depicts these experiences, which Patrick describes as ‘getting involved in some dodgy satanic sex games and exploring the many dark sides of Los Angeles.’

I duly waited until the time came to watch it, and I’ve embedded it above. I’m sure CTRR readers are mature enough to handle it at any time of the day. Especially since I find absolutely nothing shocking about it. This either says that I’m hugely desensitized to bondage gear and/or sexual fetishes, which may very well be true. Or this says that the hype building up the video was merely hype and a brilliant PR tactic to get people to watch it. After all, how can watershed time restrictions work online? This is not to say that the video wasn’t creatively conceived and beautifully shot – the black and white photography and dramatic lighting produce a video worthy of any of Wolf’s best. Wolf, who directed the video himself, has managed to incorporate an old-time glamour and German Expressionist style that is highly watchable. It’s just no more shocking than the uncensored Girls on Film video from Duran Duran or Richey Edwards and Nicky Wire rolling all over each other while wearing g-strings in the video for Love’s Sweet Exile.

The single itself points to yet another direction for Wolf, especially in light of the cheerful, gypsy energy of his last album, but it still makes sense within the context of his entire body of work. There were songs on his debut Lycanthropy that were much more graphic than Vulture and its connotations, and several of them employed esoteric noise and electronic elements to provide a shadowy side to the songs’ narratives; The Childcatcher still gives me chills. And even his sophomore album, Wind in the Wires, had Tristan, a stomping electro beast that remains one of my favourites in the repertoire.

Wolf’s strengths have always been connected to his ability to tell fantastic stories through eclectic sounds and his ever-evolving image. As I stated before, Wolf manages to balance between a fairytale-like innocence and a dangerous eroticism; he is a gambolling sprite one moment and a violent satyr the next. Perhaps the most startling thing about Vulture is how it wrenches us away from the mythical, escapist worlds that Wolf has built over the past few years and plunges us into a gritty reality, which, while no more disturbing than some of Wolf’s fantasy scenarios, can be initially unsettling. Unlike previous compositions, Vulture is unrelenting in its modernity – there are no pastoral movements, gypsy reels or folk elements. It is all drum machines, squeals and electronic beeps and blips, but at the same time, Wolf’s distinctive voice adds a sense of magic and mystery, and the brilliant vulture imagery carries this story and the music video. If anything, there’s less darkness here than a camp sensibility – Wolf plays the part to the hilt in the video.

No matter which direction Patrick Wolf chooses to head in, you can rest assured it will be fresh and uncompromising. No matter the role, Wolf is his own master.

Vulture is released as a download and on 7″ vinyl on April 20.

The Childcatcher – Patrick Wolf

The Tower – Patrick Wolf


The "New" Music Industry: frYars and Bandstocks

I happened to be on London-based musician, frYars’ MySpace page and discovered that a full-length album called Dark Young Hearts is in the works. After two excellent EPs, I was excited, and when I discovered how he was accomplishing it, I was intrigued. frYars is using Bandstocks, an organization that acts as a fairer middleman between fans and musicians, allowing fans to invest in the artists in return for both some of the profits and recognition. I signed up for a free download of the new frYars MP3 entitled Visitors (which features some vocal help from Dave Gahan), glanced briefly over what Bandstocks was and frYars’ proposal to potential investors, and then went on my merry way to mull things over. I was reminded about Bandstocks again when I was sent the free MP3. In the process, I also discovered that frYars (real name: Ben Garrett) was, in fact, the first artist to sign up with Bandstocks’ funding model.

Apparently, an investment of £10 buys you:

– a download (except for VAT) of the whole album
– a name credit on the album and on the Bandstocks website (if you want one)
– the right to buy (at extra cost) a special limited edition of the album signed by frYars
– special booking privileges for concerts
– special merchandise offers
– a share of the net receipts generated by the album

For this funding model, though, you have to be a UK resident over the age of 15, and if you’re not, you would have to appoint a trustee in the UK to act on your behalf. Also, Bandstocks ensures that the artist receives 50% of the net profits, which seems a much better deal than with major label contracts (at least to my knowledge). And the catches already seem to be presented up front: you are not guaranteed any money back and you get a free, high-quality digital copy of the album you invested in (notably not a physical one, but you get a chance at a discounted price for the physical ones). It’s all very interesting, but this isn’t the first business model for musicians to emerge in the wake of the music industry crisis.

Sites like Amie Street, an organization which offers music initially for free download, but with an increasing price tag as the music gets more popular; Sellaband, a very similar set-up to Bandstock created by ex-major label executives two years ago; and Slicethepie, a site which allows fans to invest in musicians both financially and via scouting and review-writing, are also attempting to re-write the rules on how the music industry works. If anything, these sites are opening up the exact same music industry system that has existed for the past eighty years to anyone with some money to spare and an interest in music, which isn’t a bad thing. How well these models are working at the moment is difficult to gauge. Then again, it can be difficult to determine the value and success of art outside of the financial framework. There are many musicians out there making music that I assign a lot of value to, but who aren’t making very much money off their work at all.

Perhaps what I find most interesting about frYars decision to use Bandstocks and fans’ investments is the fact frYars isn’t exactly an unknown artist. He has been critically acclaimed by several “official” sources, including even the generally out-of-touch NME, toured with the likes of Goldfrapp, and worked with people in the music industry like Luke Smith, ex-Clor guitarist, and now Gahan. I would think his profile is sufficiently high enough to gain a record contract in the traditional way. This then leads me to believe that this was a conscious choice on frYars’ part, a choice which eschewed the regular channels of the major labels and their subsidiaries, a choice which puts power in the hands of those who already feel emotionally invested in his art, a choice which makes frYars seem rather smart. I would think this is a way to be accountable to the people who matter the most to an artist: the fans. Interestingly, Patrick Wolf, who shares some similarities to frYars in terms of offbeat style and who has already found relatively large success around the world with the major label release of his last album The Magic Position, is also due to release his fourth album Battle by using Bandstocks. Wolf explains his reasons for doing so a lot better than I can here.

As of yet, I haven’t invested in any artist via these channels, but I like to think I still have invested by continuing to purchase music, especially from independent artists and labels, by attending concerts when I can (sometimes even when I can’t), and by maintaining a blog like this that attempts to give free publicity to the artists I want to see succeed. Being a real music fan is also a sizeable emotional investment that I’m prepared to make to those who warrant it. Perhaps I will invest in some bands up front in the future, especially when I’m gainfully employed, and I’m eager to see where this new system of capitalistic patronage will end up. It’s not exactly a new music industry, but it’s a start.

Visitors – frYars

The Novelist’s Wife – frYars



Forgive me for using older reviews of gigs that I did for my myspace page for my initial posts, but I’m still trying to sort through how I want to set this thing up. And these reviews are no less interesting for being older. People of future generations will hail these reviews as classic. I am the Lester Bangs of the Digital Age. I am John Peel without a radio show. I am also fairly delusional.

Anyway, here’s a review of the Patrick Wolf gig in Toronto this last October. It was a cracker.


A contingent of hardcore fans lined the front of the small, chin-high stage. They were encrusted with glitter – their hair, the bandit stripes across their eyes, the swirls on their shoulders. It could have been a Bowie concert circa 1972. But it wasn’t.

No, this was a Patrick Wolf show at Lee’s Palace in downtown Toronto last night. This fact makes it no less exciting. Nor does it make it any less mythical. For Patrick Wolf has already become myth at age twenty-four. He is otherworldly, much like a potent mixture of David Bowie and Kate Bush. He oozes both sex and childlike innocence and abides by no particular rules. His style changes just as much as Bowie’s has; one day he wears stegosaurus trousers, the next he wears an impossibly tight pair of aquamarine shorts and suspenders. And of course he can pull it off with the aplomb of an unabashed original.

I, myself, have been a huge fan of Patrick Wolf for a couple of years now. His first album, Lycanthropy, full of distorted beats and wolf-like howls, and stories of captured children and Peter Pan, captivated me. Electronic sounds and drum machines are seamlessly mixed with violins and accordian. Wolf isn’t his real last name, but it becomes a fitting moniker and persona for the fantastical being and his three albums to date. His second album, Wind in the Wires, retains the magic of his previous storytelling, but pairs it with a generally mellower and folkier sound. His latest LP, The Magic Position, his first major label release, is different yet again with its joyful gypsy-like songs. A theme of escape and heedless abandon runs through all three, a boundless energy that transports you from mundane realities into a fairy netherworld that exists in a twilight of dark deeds and festive flights of freedom. Needless to say, when I finally got a chance to see him live, I took it, three hours on a bus and all.

Even though I arrived more than an hour before the doors were scheduled to open, the glittering obsessives were already there, listening to Patrick Wolf songs from one of the fan’s stereo purse (songs which competed with the actual soundcheck taking place just behind a side door). They alternately sprinkled glitter over each other and blew bubbles with mini-bubble-wands. One wore a headband that looked like some sort of Egyptian headgear at first glance; on closer inspection, it was a headband with a tiny giraffe stuck to it (the giraffe – like the unicorn – being one of the beasts associated with the Patrick Wolf mythology). Some fans actually brought a bouquet of sunflowers and others brought their own special effects – in addition to the bubble wands, they also had streamers and maracas. As I soon discovered, the fans would time each use of the appointed props to specific points in songs, having a bit of a Rocky Horror Show quality to it.

During the palpable tension before Wolf came onstage, one fan asked another, “Is this your first time seeing him?” The other replied that indeed it was. The first responded with “Do you think it will be strange seeing him for real? It’s like he’s not real.” One fan was leaping and screaming in excitement far before Wolf was due to come on – it was as though he was exploding with Christmas morning anticipation; he also draped a sunflower over the monitor directly in front of Wolf’s microphone.

Wolf came on stage wearing a blond, curly wig and a gold collar akin to a disco Jacobean ruff. His body was awash with the same glitter as his glistening fans, giving him a magical, alien presence. His short cut-offs displayed long, sparkling legs with knee-high, nearly invisible net stockings and feet thrust into turquoise shoes reminscent of children’s shoes at the turn of the century. As the gig progressed, he lost most of his clothing, revealing the unicorn tattooed to his chest, and he ended up in just his shorts and stockings, his blond hair tousled and spiked with sweat. Someone in the crowd shouted, “Take your shorts off.” Wolf smiled and replied, “I can’t. I’m not wearing any underwear.” Perhaps as gender ambiguous as Bowie in the ’70’s, Wolf is astoundingly even more beautiful in real life than he is in photos.

As far as the song choices, he stayed well within the realm of his more popular and/or released singles (“The Libertine,” “To the Lighthouse,” “Wind in the Wires,” “Accident and Emergency,” “Teignmouth,” etc). He bounced from violin to ukulele to keyboards and back again, displaying incredible musical versatility. His accompaniment was an additional violin, drums, some programmed sounds, and an upright bass. It was a pleasant change to actually be able to hear a singer’s voice and lyrics so easily over the music – no distortion at all. My only complaint (and it’s a tiny one) would be that I would have liked to hear one or two b-sides and/or cover songs. I would have personally loved to hear him sing “Adder” or Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” live. I will admit that I danced, and jumped, and screamed with the best of them, feeling like a reckless child – I’m paying for it today, but it’s yet another price I’m willing to pay for Mr. Wolf.

During the final song (the propulsive “The Magic Position”) of the set proper, fans fired streamers onto the stage and Wolf ended up festooned in them. The whole show was truly like one big celebration as Wolf danced and jumped as much as the fans and continually smiled and laughed. Sometimes he would sit or lie on the stage and peer from behind the monitors; other times, he stalked across the stage like his predatory namesake. Between songs, he would talk to the audience, often making them laugh, and several of the songs were prefaced with self-deprecating banter that made him seem like a shy child ready to perform a recital. At one point, he suggestively unfolded his lanky body across the keyboard. The constant flux between a joyful innocence and a sexy suggestiveness created a mesmerizing, disarming duality. When he sings, “Come get lost with me,” you do.

He returned for two encores – the haunting “Magpie,” duetting with Bishi (his incredible opening act who blends sitar with electronic beats – highly recommended) and “Bloodbeat” – and nearing the end, he wore a disco ball-like beret. However, even after “Bloodbeat” finished, Wolf seemed reluctant to leave the stage and skipped and cantered about singing snatches of Whigfield’s “Saturday Night” and Gina G’s “Ooh Ah” – bizarre choices that nonetheless fit with his boyish exuberance.

It may be a bit presumptuous to say at this early stage in his career, but I felt like I had witnessed something very significant, perhaps on par with Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust days. With his versatility, charisma, and massive imagination, I’m betting that Patrick Wolf will be renowned in the years to come, and these early days will be looked back upon with envy by those who weren’t there to see it firsthand.

When I left the gig at two in the morning, the sidewalk shimmered with both newly fallen rain and glitter, creating a path both urban and fairy-like at the same time. The mundane transformed into something magical.

Running Up That Hill – Patrick Wolf

Adder – Patrick Wolf

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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


My body is your body

I won't tell anybody

If you want to use my body

Go for it


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


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


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


Running on


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


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' 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


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


You must let her go

She's not crying



Feeling like I'm waiting

Modern times



Hating to distraction

Just leave them alone


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


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


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


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


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


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


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