My Blog: Aural Ephemera #3.
- 1. Little Boots - Step off Lady Gaga, Kylie, and Annie. There's a new dance-pop princess in town and she's ready to wear the crown. Her (nick)name is Little Boots (aka U.K.'s Victoria Hesketh, former lead singer in the band Dead Disco) and she kicks in a big way on her debut album Hands, due out in the U.S. on March 2nd. Victoria's got a lovely, light, sweet, softly nuanced voice that brings to mind Sarah Blackwood of Client, Sarah Cracknell of Saint Etienne, and a touch of Kylie Minogue on the more overtly dancey tracks. The ultra-sticky "Stuck On Repeat" will be spinning in your mind for a long time, while the lyrics of "Remedy" encapsulate the fervent music-lover's mindset: "I've found the antidote / Music is the cure." There's a change-of-pace number called "Meddle" with a harder, clanging rhythm and some revealing lyrics: "Don't go messing with her mind / or messing with the things that are inside / You don't know what you'll find / You don't know what she hides." Victoria even duets with Philip Oakey of The Human League on the goth-pop song "Symmetry". What more could you ask for? Check out the tunes of Little Boots at:
2. Evil Men Have No Songs - Ah, the glory of MySpace. Getting friend requests from bands and singers that are really interesting and inspiring and who sometimes post their songs for free. This band (person?) out of Hungary describes itself as "Shoe-wop", a blend of shoegazer and gospel music, I guess, but a lot of it sounds like awesomely distorted fuzz-pop and twee reminiscent of the output of various U.K. bands. Check out the tunage here. You can also download the EP for free:
3. On the literary tip, I read a book recently...yes, as I was saying, I read a book called Amsterdam by Ian McEwan, a master of disturbing and sometimes darkly funny psychological suspense and whatnot, and it features a character who is an orchestral composer (if that's the right description) and it's interesting to follow this character along on his quest to create the "perfect" score. We read how he mentally tries to grasp for elusive musical patterns, fraught with tension that engrosses him and the reader. The composer strives to put all of these transient and unforseen musical pieces together into something coherent and brilliant - and McEwan makes the process tangible to the reader.
4. Thrillracer posted about music zinester Didier who had a paper fanzine called The Original Sin, which he's now resurrected online at: http://theoriginalsinfanzine.blogspot.com/ One of his posts is a really entertaining interview - with himself!! While I don't always agree with Didier's music appreciation and critique philosophy (we would have words over what constitutes a good review) and his take on Queens Of The Stone Age, his auto-interview is a really fun read.
5. Elizabeth Fraser has a song called "Moses" out and you can hear it here:
Here's a news blurb about the song:
6. Portishead have a one-off song out since December called "Chase The Tear" for Amnesty International. Here's the news blurb:
"Portishead have released a brand new track - 'Chase the Tear' for Amnesty International. It's now available as an exclusive download single from 7 digital with all earnings going towards Amnesty's human rights work. First aired on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show on December 9, the track is out just in time for international human rights day on December 10, marking the 51st anniversary of the United Nation's historic "Universal Declaration Of Human Rights" set on December 10th, 1948. 'Chase the Tear' is a reference to a paper tear-style 'tear'. With a driving bass line and sparse drumbeats, Beth Gibbons' vocals cut like a knife through the eastern-world extravagance that is expressed in the song's repetitive nature."
The song/video can be found here:
7. I haven't read up on this, but supposedly Frances Bean (Kurt 'n' Courtney's daughter) will be contributing to an album that will already feature a ton of other, disparate artists:
8. If you need your fix of the good old days of ferocious babydoll-riot-goth (huh?) rock, score with Jack Off Jill, the band that Jessicka was in before Scarling:
9. I missed out on the Adam Lambert phenomenon because I (sanely, right?) refuse to watch American Idol, so why am I fascinated by his mascara eyes and blackbird wing hair? Oh, and his voice, which sounds pretty "metal" to me when he's going for those high notes. I haven't heard enough by him to form a definite opinion, but I "want" to like his voice and style, but sometimes he pushes things so that he's straining too much or it's too excessive. I figured that it's because his pants are too tight or something... Here's his latest video:
10. If you're craving something more toned down, check out the trip-hop, electronic vibe of Germany's Panic Girl. "Burn and Rise" is a good starting point. It starts off slowly, with Martha's hushed vocals, but towards the end of the track her vocals get lighter and more ethereal: