Archive for the 'pop' Category


For Your Entertainment: The Adam Lambert Controversy

I don’t watch most music award shows, and I haven’t watched nor even noticed the American Music Awards since I was a teenager. But where there’s self-righteous, bigoted furore, I’m there. Because my mother tends to half-watch entertainment news programs (the implication being entertainment is actually worthy of being called news and that all news is now entertainment), along with a heavy dose of “reality” tv, I only became aware of the so-called Adam Lambert controversy last night. Apparently, the runner-up in this year’s American Idol kicked off the promo for his debut record with a live performance on the AMAs, which notably airs on the Disney-owned ABC network. And apparently, the performance was a wee bit too naughty. Naturally intrigued by the media uproar, I decided to watch the performance (I had to download it via a torrent because YouTube maintains it’s copyrighted material). To Disney’s chagrin, Lambert the sheepish lion, he was not. PR savvy, yes.

As with most performances of this nature, I didn’t notice anything particularly awry or offensive. Suggestive pop song, check. S & M-costumed dancers, check. Semi-naked writhing, check. Crotch grabbing, check. Pretend fellatio, check. Same-sex kiss, check. Admittedly, I’m not the average middle American ABC-viewer. But if you insert someone like Britney Spears into the formula, you’ll feel like you’ve seen it all before. However, because it was Lambert, who is openly homosexual, parts of the performance were blurred out in later airings of the live footage. You can pop in any number of alternative scenarios, including overt, clobber-you-in-the-head heterosexual sexuality, heterosexuals masquerading as homosexual for the titillation of others, and scantily-clad dancers who don’t openly reference “deviant” sexual practices, and suddenly, the likelihood of censorship goes down exponentially. You can connote all you want right up until a wardrobe malfunction and/or a big slap of gay in your face.

I don’t know why I still get shocked by puritanical hypocrisy in relation to the US. It’s why Adam Lambert couldn’t have actually won American Idol despite quite obviously being more entertaining and stronger vocally than the guy who eventually won. It’s why they cancelled his Good Morning America performance. But my jaw does still slacken a bit. Perhaps because I’m used to reading books, watching films/tv and listening to music that isn’t remotely conservative, especially in the gender/sexuality department. A high percentage of my favourite artists are gay or bi-sexual, and frankly, you’d think S & M is so passé by now in a post-post-punk age. I’m not likely to be shocked at Lambert’s trite lyrics (“I told ya I’m ‘a hold ya down until you’re amazed” – I think he may have gotten so worked up he forgot how to speak English) when Chris Corner sings lines like “I can hold you down by candlelight/With indifference.” The kiss between Lambert and his male, ostensibly straight keyboardist actually made me chuckle because of the indifferent reaction from both parties; the keyboardist just gets back to work without missing one non-chalant bounce to the music.

Interestingly enough, while supposedly 1500 people complained about the “indecent” kiss, others like
Rosie Swash on the Guardian website, actually griped about the dangerous link between sex and violence. Oh, dear. Firstly, as far as I can tell, most interpersonal relations are rife with power differentials, including sex. The fact that some people take this further and consent – note the word consent – to sado-masochism is just that, a fact. To quote Depeche Mode, it’s a lot like life. Secondly, I don’t believe Lambert is attempting to shake off his American Idol roots (those never go away), especially when he’s pandering to the mainstream with catchy, dancey pop songs with suggestive lyrics. Pop music is built on selling sex. And Lambert just did what hundreds of pop stars have done before him – generated publicity through controversy. The difference between him and other gay Idol runner-up Clay Aiken, is his campy, over-the-topness; Lambert somehow ironically managed to offend more people by turning his sexuality into an ultimately unthreatening cartoon than if he had quietly stepped out of the spotlight while stepping out of the closet. He could be/has been accused of trivializing and playing to gay stereotypes, but when it is play, the agenda isn’t likely to be very serious. As if that massive picture frame enclosing the stage didn’t already give you a clue about his intentions.

These kinds of teacup tempests, like Lady GaGa’s MTV VMA spectacle (read my opinion about that here), essentially reveal more about society than anything else. Will I buy into Adam Lambert’s music? No, just as I won’t with Lady GaGa’s. I don’t get much out of them musically, but I can appreciate their attempts at challenging what constitutes acceptable representations on popular stages. In the schlockfest of manufactured awards shows made to celebrate disposable, mass-produced music, hyperbolic renditions should be expected. There’s nothing terribly subtle about Lambert in the first place – choosing to collaborate with Matt Bellamy and Justin Hawkins on his album shows you what level of theatricality I’m talking about. Lambert’s only crime was throwing everything but the pubescent boy chained to the kitchen sink into one performance.

I’m more offended by objectification without admission, which nearly every other pop star engages in. These performers who shake their barely-covered butt cheeks and gyrate their pelvises may not be attached to leashes and harnesses, but they’re no less tied up in bondage.

Master & Servant – Depeche Mode

Kiss & Swallow (Moonbootica Remix) – IAMX


They Know Exactly What They’re Doing: Helen Love’s It’s My Club and I’ll Play What I Want To

The question is how did I manage to miss out on the Ramones-obsessed Welsh girl group Helen Love for so long? They’ve been around since 1993 and released four albums prior to the latest one, It’s My Club and I’ll Play What I Want To, which released last year. With a blend of punk, glam, bubblegum pop and electronic elements, Helen Love feel like the predecessors to bands like Robots in Disguise and Chicks on Speed. They don’t take themselves seriously, and they come with some brilliant pop songs. With a pastiche of references from the 60s and 70s, Helen Love fuse the past with the future perfectly. At any rate, I’m going to review their latest album despite the fact it’s come about a year late. They’re that good.

Like Helen Love’s previous work, this album is full of brief, speedy tracks and fantastic little spoken samples that remind me of a Sigue Sigue Sputnik album. The record begins with the title track, which had also been released as a single. It sounds like a Ramones song being played from a bubblegum pink jukebox in a Japanese retro arcade in the year 2050, replete with vocoder and laser sounds. Then the CBGB fantasy Debbie Loves Joey bursts in with guitar-laden pop-punk and cheeky references, including The Stranglers’ Peaches. As its title suggests, the following track, Dance On (Solid Gold), takes its influences from disco, but adds an electro-rock feel while You Better Learn Karate is as crazy as anything Polysics could come up with as it kicks the stuffing out of you with hyperspeed. With its repeated snippet of “Great galloping gumdrops,” The 1910 Fruitgum Company is an homage to the 60s bubblegum pop group of the same name; it has a bouncy compulsion to it that makes me think of Saturday morning cartoons and the abandon of a Kindergarten class.

After the whirlwind of Transistor Radio, the speed slackens for Jet, which features a snippet of the fantastic dialogue from the 60s Brit comedy The Likely Lads: “In the chocolate box of life the top layer’s already gone and someone’s pinched the orange cream from the bottom.” “Bloody hell.” With a springy use of synths, First Boyfriend recalls the ludicrous novelty in the mundanity of a first adolescent romance. A faster, pumping disco beat peppers Rodney’s English Disco, yet another brilliant reference, this time to Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco, a Los Angeles glam club in the 70s. At under two minutes, Honolulu Superstar is the fastest track on the album while Garage Band uses some jazzy piano interludes and surf rock to tell the story of forming your own band after listening to John Peel. The fun continues with Queen of the Disco Beat, which has blasts of brass and more than a passing resemblence to Rockaway Beach. An anthem to the homebound, Staying In has deadpan verses that are dry enough to peel paint. With 60s girl group flourishes, The New Squad Attacking Formation is a quirky track that makes me think of a gang of teenage girls on scooters terrorizing the neighbourhood. Released as a single, Junkshop Discotheque features a great guitar line as all of Helen Love’s musical influences get jammed together very much as the title suggests. The album crashes to its conclusion with Saturday Nite, which surprises with a classical introduction before launching into yet another potential dance anthem.

Now that I’m aware of Helen Love, I eagerly await a new album called Stick It due out this year (it’s preceded by the latest single called Calm Down Dad – a song in line with the theme of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, but with a sarcastic sheen that mocks adolescence cool and with a hilarious piece of White Riot at the end). There’s something old-fashioned and child-like about Helen Love, but they fire obscure and not-so-obscure references on all cylinders, reminding you that they know exactly what they’re doing.

Debbie Loves Joey – Helen Love

1910 Fruitgum Company – Helen Love

Calm Down Dad – Helen Love


Every Day is Like Sunday, Except for Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday, and…Well, Friday I’m in Love: Weekly Mix #41

In honour of my birthday on November 4, this weekly mix is kind of a miscellaneous collection of what could be termed “guilty pleasures” from my past and present with a few one hit wonders thrown in. I was also inspired a bit by The Vinyl Villain’s Skeletons in My Closet series and 17 Seconds Guilty Pleasures From the Closet. No, it’s not cool to like the songs in this mix, but I refuse to hang my head in shame, especially since most of them come from either my childhood or adolescence. They may make others cringe, but many of these songs still tend to make me smile and remind me of some good times, including the rather different mindsets I had as I grew up into who I am now. For a few of these songs, I haven’t actually heard them in many years, and in a couple of cases (Treble Charger, Goo Goo Dolls), I feel pretty estranged from the songs – as though they’re from some alternate life that I can’t relate to at all anymore (the same feeling I get when I look back at old high school notes and tests that I can’t remember ever doing). Although in many ways, I suppose Iris was the Chasing Cars of the late 90s, and at the time, I really liked Johnny Reznick’s haircut.
This will likely be the first and last time most of these artists will appear on this blog – the truth of it is I don’t own any other songs by most of the artists featured in this mix. Glancing over the list now, it appears that I was quite the 80s child and still am. Aside from plenty of one hit wonder 80s tracks (including Baltimora’s Tarzan Boy, which made me laugh ever since I first heard it at fourteen and my friend and I used to play it all the time, revelling in its cheesiness), I also have a few late 90s tracks that surfaced through my high school years, including a track off my very first CD purchase – Savage Garden’s self-titled debut. I haven’t listened to the Savage Garden album in probably about five years, but I decided to put it on while I made this mix, and I really wish I had set all my physics theorems and formulae to these songs – I would still be brilliant at physics. I’m completely gobsmacked at how I can sing along word for word to that album as though in some freakish trance. I warn all young people out there: be careful what you listen to when you’re fourteen and fifteen years old. The only recent songs on this mix are the track from Ima Robot and Keane’s new single Spiralling, which is an unexpected 80s-inflected pop tune, and there’s something compulsive about it for me as much as I would also like to laugh at the same time. (One of my completely useless tangents: to my knowledge, the only artist who has covered the Manic Street Preachers is David Usher – unfortunately, he decided to cover If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next.) This mix is called A Very Happy Unbirthday To Me. Welcome to my nonsensical tea party.

Can You Dig It? – The Mock Turtles

Sugar Sugar – The Archies

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something

Local Boy in the Photograph – Stereophonics

Manic Monday – The Bangles

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Karma Chameleon – Culture Club

I Want You To Want Me – Cheap Trick

Footloose – Kenny Loggins

Faith – George Michael

I Want You – Savage Garden

Spiralling – Keane

Creeps Me Out – Ima Robot

American Psycho – Treble Charger

Jump – Van Halen

Power of Love – Huey Lewis & the News

Tarzan Boy – Baltimora

I Ran (So Far Away) – A Flock of Seagulls

(I Just) Died in Your Arms – Cutting Crew

Never Tear Us Apart – INXS

Black Black Heart – David Usher

Iris – Goo Goo Dolls


Rolling Off the Chaise Longue: Beangrowers’ Not in a Million Lovers

Orignally from Malta but now Berlin-based, the trio Beangrowers, who have a continental European following, are releasing their fourth album, Not in a Million Lovers, in the UK soon; however, it is already available via the link to a German retailer on their Web site. I haven’t heard their previous albums, so I’ll be taking this album at face value and out of context; nonetheless, I highly enjoyed this record with its poppy bits and lounge feel – at its best points, it’s like a rich amber that ensnares you in some viscous warmth. Vocalist Alison Galea has one of those sultry but sweet voices akin to Sarah Cracknell or Laetitia Sadier (some of my favourite tracks on this record remind me of Saint Etienne and Stereolab), so I prefer those tracks on the record that feature the softer, buoyant side of Galea’s voice. Her vocals work most effectively on those tracks that allow for her voice to lounge about on a chaise longue rather than compete with the rhythm and pace – a natural unfolding rather than forced expression. There is a pervasive feeling of the illicit in both the lyrics and the music, where you can imagined heavy-lidded eyes and languorous limbs beckoning you to bohemian inclinations on a balmy morning.

Opening track Quaint Affair uses electronic elements to pulse beneath the surface of Galea’s creamy vocals like a quickened heartbeat in a tilted neck. Untitled Forever is more urgent and choppy, but somehow the chorus still brings me back to the soaring beauty of Galea’s voice without too much distraction. The title track is a stand-out track on the album with its insistent bassline and airy synths, combining with Galea’s honeyed vocals to create a breezy come-hither atmosphere. Its video is also one of the more creative efforts I’ve seen in the world of music videos these days. One of my other favourite tracks on the record is Ours is a Small Flat, which takes string sounds and pairs them with Galea’s voice as it lazily slides over the notes like a droplet bouncing and rolling from leaf to leaf. Captain Darling is a similarly lovely blend of tinkling keys and lackadaisical guitars while Galea appropriately sings “caress my soul when you go” in a sleepy sibilance. While others may have found the later track Like Ken a more throwaway album filler, I think it’s quite a beautiful gem in line with Ours is a Small Flat and Captain Darling, but with a poppier rhythm and bubbly momentum, where Galea’s voice coasts effortlessly over the waves of melody.
There are faster, rockier tunes like Love Can Do You No Harm, Available, Depths of Bavaria, and Good Band, Bad Name, which showcase jangly guitars and driving rhythms, but which tend to overshadow and compress Galea’s vocal performance. Another track called Machine begins with promise of a rather heavy, dark mood and more of that rock feel, but when the vocals kick into higher registers, the song takes an ethereal turn into golden registers. The record ends with Life’s a Bitch and Then She Sings in Your Band, which bears more than a passing resemblance to Waiting for the Man, but with a different vocal melody that actually works out in some strange counterpoint that softens the chunky feel of the original. It’s a cheeky move in line with the title, and I actually quite like it.

I’m sufficiently intrigued to check out Beangrowers’ back catalogue of three albums (I guess I’ve been out of some loop in the past), and I hope to hear more of the sound I loved on this record – the songs where music and voice fit together in some slowly unfurling wantonness.

Beangrowers MySpace:

Not in a Million Lovers – Beangrowers

Captain Darling – Beangrowers


I ♥ Mother Mother: Mother Mother’s O My Heart

Oddly enough, the first time I heard of the Vancouver band, Mother Mother, was late last year when one of my professors, who was teaching us media studies, mentioned them (well, actually gushed about them). I didn’t check them out at the time (I hadn’t been in the habit of taking musical recommendations from my professors), and then sort of forgot about them. Then I heard they were playing Winnipeg during the Jazz Festival, and I ignored them again without any real reason for doing so, opting not to see them live. I really had no idea what they sounded like, and so had no basis for any attitude, indifferent or otherwise. Now that their sophomore album, O My Heart, is being released today, I realize the error of my ways, and will attempt to rectify it a bit through this post. In an attempt to put O My Heart into some sort of context, I listened to their first album, Touch Up, and I discovered there’s a sweet schizophrenia to their style, which spins between folk and soul and pop and indie rock like a child full of new ideas, playing make believe outdoors, pairing airy, innocent-sounding male and female voices with lyrics that are archly witty. They’re like a less theatrical Bodies of Water with some slight hints of New Pornographers, Pop Levi and Sarah Slean, and this new album delivers more of their gentle, melodic brand of wryness.

The title track opens the record and falls less on the folk side of the fence, but more on the powerpop side with its driving rhythms and hiccuping melody, utilizing as many metaphors for a heart as they could fit into one song. Burning Pile builds upon an oscillating guitar for a catchy pendulum-like tune, which gallops along to a vaudeville melody in unexpected places. Their voices meld and soar while still maintaining a sort of earthiness and frankness. The album takes yet another turn as Body of Years begins like a more straightforward rock song with synthy elements as vocalist Ryan Guldemond uses his idiosyncratic unhinged style to quirk out lyrical lines into little curliques. Try to Change tones the mood down into a moodier acoustic number with beautfiul brass accompaniment, burnishing the mournfulness into something much warmer and soulful. Wisdom continues this more mellow, muted brass sound, but kicks it up with drums as it seems to revel in the blissful ignorance of youth and the avoidance of advice. Body slides and wiggles all over the strings of violins in a folkier version of Sparks while the tempo fluctuates with a mind of its own, or perhaps with the narrator’s mind which seems prone to change and might be the last piece of his/her body surrendered in the song.
I was so impressed with the song Ghosting that I included it in my autumn weekly mix this week; with its plucked guitars, it definitely evokes a hazy, mellow autumn day for me and had me singing the chorus after only one listen. The mood shifts back to urgent as Hay Loft kicks into a speedy gear with almost a hip hop aesthetic for the verses – rather than gangstas with guns it’s just Papa creeping through the hay loft in his longjohns, toting a gun. Wrecking Ball takes gentle banjo to a Deconstructionist/Dada approach to art while Arms Tonite stomps about in a glam posture, putting a new offbeat spin on the classic “dying in your arms” theme. Miles drifts along to piano and acoustic guitar in a pure dream of escapism, lulling you in a hammock of . The album concludes with Sleep Awake, a subtle song of childlike vocals, which has a lullaby feel at odds with the lyrics which convey the epitome of the expression “sleeping with one eye open.”

So, we’ve all learned a little something from this post. Don’t ignore a band without even having listened to them at all. And professors sometimes actually have decent taste in music.

Body of Years – Mother Mother

Arms Tonite – Mother Mother


Rusty Tears and Malfunctioning Heart Parts: Stars’ Sad Robots EP

Largely unbeknownst to me (I’ve really been doing well keeping abreast of new music lately), Stars released an EP entitled Sad Robots EP on September 1, which can be sampled and purchased via their beautifully crafted Sad Robots site. The site asks you if you are indeed a sad robot upon entry, and its fantastic Victorian industrial revolution aesthetic makes me very happy to be a sad robot. As stated before on this blog, I really love Stars because of their bittersweet lyrics and brilliant pop melodies, but I think I was also ready for this return to some of their original electronic impulses, and this return may cause more recent fans of Stars and their last two albums to look into Stars’ earlier work.

The opening track, Maintenance Hall, 4AM, hums with the steam of mechanized industry as a piano plays out a melancholic melody and a robotic voice creeps in periodically. Listening to the music, I can just imagine the space where robots are repaired, where a heart is just another part to be replaced. The following track is a sparkling song called A Thread Cut With a Carving Knife, which along with the rest of the EP, recalls the electronic influences more apparent on Stars first album, Nightsongs. As per their characteristic style, Torquil Campbell and Amy Milan’s gentle voices narrate a love affair and its resulting heartbreak, and the song seems to swell and surge about them like a dirigible balloon only to burst around them in ribbons of feedback and white noise. On the track Undertow, Milan’s lovely voice converses with itself as the vodcoderized refrain of “When will it stop?” pulses against the rest of the verses like legs kicking against the tide. It also features that laidback groovy beat that several of Stars’ earlier songs did, but with augmentation by expansive synths.

The track Going, Going, Gone is an older song (actually off Nightsongs), but is listed as being a live track (despite its non-live sound) on this EP and it is the one song available for free download off the Sad Robots Web site. It has been modified from a rather sparse arrangement into a crystalline synthy piece, and Campbell takes on a few more lines. While the original version of track feels lonelier, this new incarnation feels like more of an emotional struggle with its stuttering drum machines; the narrator hasn’t completely surrendered yet. 14 Forever is one of those fantastic paeans to the bliss and promise of youth and features the most joyful music on the EP, adding the sweet balance to the bitter tears shed in the other tracks. The EP ends appropriately with Sad Robot, which repeats the couplet “Il pleut, je pleure” that uses the wordplay to full effect against a background littered with bleeps and bloops as though a circuitboard is slowly being corrupted by water and going under.
This EP is a beautiful concept and I look forward to see and hear whether the next full-length album will take any cues from this shift in direction. All of us melancholic automatons would be so happy.

Always Colourful: Pop Levi’s Never Never Love

I really love Pop Levi. He’s like some psychedelic prophet who lives on the same beach as the Walrus and the Carpenter. I’ve been a fan of him ever since I first heard the former Ladytron-bassist’s album The Return to Form Black Magick Party last year. Songs like Sugar Assault Me Now and Pick-Me-Up Uppercut managed to blend old styles into something psychotically modern, Levi’s voice straddling the line between child-like coos and glam exaggeration – listening to Pop Levi is like watching one of those old film strips where the action is sped up to double-time while Marc Bolan bleats over Bollywood music through a gramophone. Pop Levi’s latest album, Never Never Love, is going to be released in roughly a month, and I’m happy to report it still blends off-kilter rhythms with Levi’s distinctive voice and simple, but esoteric lyrics. And it makes me hear a rainbow of sound.

Opening track, Wannamama, is very old-style rock ‘n roll/rockabilly as Levi croons “I wanna mama,” a Ballroom Blitz for the Noughties. The “break break” refrain from Pick-Me-Up Uppercut makes another appearance in this song, giving this track an even more solid place next to the bouncier fare on this last album. Title track, Never Never Love, has a fantastic syncopated rhythm that could be Middle Eastern cha-cha while some electronic elements buzz and whizz through the stripped-down beat – grimier latin ballroom where the dancers spin and shake on vermillion dancefloors. The following track, Dita Dimoné, which has already been released as a single, continues with some bare-bones drums, but then electronic fuzz, handclaps, and funky guitar turns it into something quite different, but no less danceable. Semi-Babe takes the album into a different breezier, acoustic direction, which bubbles, pulses and floats like a magenta lava lamp sat at the fulcrum of a lime-coloured teeter-totter. Fire On Your Feet struts to a funky beat, soulful, but sometimes loses its cool and has mini freak-outs with drum fills and speed changes. The cleverly titled Mai’s Space is an electro-inflected reggae number, highlighting the highest, dog whistle-pitched register for Levi’s voice as he provides his own 60’s girl group chorus.

Like Semi-Babe, You Don’t Gotta Run is slower and lighter with a summery West Coast feel, floating with hazy, turquoise anticipation like a surfer drifting along waiting for the next wave. Oh God (What Can I Do?) is yet more upbeat pop while Levi pouts and preens, and Everything & Finally is a low-key electronic tune while Levi shimmies and grunts his way through like Prince grooving away on a purple trampoline. Love You Straight is a song full of self-assured love-making promises to laidback psychedelic beats bathed in a mellow yellow sunshine that recalls a little bit of Gruff Rhys. Call the Operator takes yet another turn with a folkier tone mixed with tropical leanings, which ends with quite adept playing of a touch-tone phone. Calling Me Down slows the album down even further with a piano ballad, and the album ends with Fountain of Lies, a track with a string introduction before hitting a wave of New Wave synths, and while Levi’s font might be poisoned with falsehood, this song feels cool and refreshing, an ablution after some of the sweatier numbers.

As a whole, Never Never Love veers from wide-eyed technicolour pop to cheeky soul to grimy funk, and it’s all held together by Pop Levi’s eccentricity. Pop Levi always paints bold aural colours, and this record takes his sonic palette into new weird and wonderful places.

Never Never Love – Pop Levi

Dita Dimoné – Pop Levi

Everything & Finally – Pop Levi

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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