Saturday, August 29, 2009

Don't Stop!

The tale of Annie's second full-length album is a long one. It was initially announced over a year ago and all seemed to be going well: the tracklist was out there, the album leaked and Popjustice called it a "complete modern masterpiece," the first single was released...but then there were delays, label troubles, Annie was in the studio retooling things, and ultimately she left Island and took the album with her.

During the wait Annie's long-awaited (and utterly brilliant) cover of Stacey Q's "Two Of Hearts" was released as a promo but never hit retail.

Another single "Anthonio" was released on Richard X's Pleasure Masters label, backed by some pretty wonderful remixes. The Berlin Breakdown version in particular is amazing, taking a high energy song and turning it into a full-on early Pet Shop Boys ballad.

The tale has a happy ending. Don't Stop is finally being released on October 19 in the UK and November 17 in the US via Smalltown Supersound. Collaborators Richard X, Xenomania, and Timo Kaukolampi are still around but the tracklist has changed a bit. Songs we knew from the album leak are gone and some new ones have been added. Take a look:

1. Hey Annie
2. My Love Is Better
3. Bad Times
4. Don't Stop
5. I Don't Like Your Band
6. Songs Remind Me Of You
7. Marie Cherie
8. Take You Home
9. The Breakfast Song
10. Loco
11. When The Night
12. Heaven And Hell

I'm going to miss "Sweet" and "I Can't Let Go" (a duet with Fredrik Saroea of Datarock), but I'm thrilled to hear the new songs. Hopefully those two get released somehow. Everybody loves a good b-side!

First single "Songs Remind Me Of You" - the only Richard X production left after the tracklist changes - was released as a one-track, iTunes-only, UK-only type of thing which is rubbish. I'm hoping that this is just a teaser and that they'll work out a full release because the song definitely deserves more.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Music For Hairproducts

I've been remiss in not mentioning two new-ish records from Arthur And Martha. Their debut LP Navigation and second EP Music For Hairproducts were both released in June on their own Happy Robots Records.

Navigation continues in the same vein of their first EP: indie electro-pop with a bit of an edge. A few of the tracks hearken back to classic New Order and the way they mixed electronics and guitars in that perfectly wistful way. Many of the songs start out slow and build to a glorious noise. I'm also reminded of Section 25 and their cold electro masterpiece "Looking From A Hilltop" in the harder electronic tracks like "Memory." High points are many, but my favorites so far are "Kasparov," "Navigation," and "This City Life."

The Music For Hairproducts EP features the title track in its original and two remixed versions as well as a b-side and the Laudanum remix of "Autovia" which is particularly lovely, having been stripped of its motorik beat and given a grand orchestral treatment instead. It's not to be missed.

Arthur And Martha music can be purchased direct from the band, Darla, or digitally via eMusic, Amazon, or iTunes.

Video: "Music For Hairproducts"

Seancing Songs And Witch Cult Rumbles

It's been far too quiet in the world of Broadcast for the past few years but that's about to change. A new EP has been announced for release on October 13 via Warp Records. Precious few details are available but we do know that the EP is a collaboration with The Focus Group and has been described as "seancing songs and witch cult rumbles" which, let's face it, could only be amazing. More details as they're available, obviously.

Broadcast embark on a co-headlining US tour with The Atlas Sound on October 15. Dates below.

15 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
16 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
17 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
18 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church Sanctuary
20 New York, NY @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
21 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
22 Boston, MA @ The Paradise
23 Montreal, QC @ Le National
24 Toronto, ON @ Lees Palace
25 Columbus, OH @ Wexner Center
26 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
27 Northfield, MN @ The Cave
30 Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret
31 Seattle, WA @ Neumos

01 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
03 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
04 Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubadour
05 Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
07 Denton, TX @ Hailey's

Watch the video for "Tender Buttons" from Broadcast's last album:


Dead Can Dance front man Brendan Perry has contributed vocals to two tracks on the upcoming Piano Magic album Ovations. The band's 10th studio album is due on 10/12 from those lovely folks at Darla.

I didn't know their material at all before today which is a shame as it seems like it'd be right up my alley. Darla's write-up of the album says it's "a record that swings wildly between Marrakesh, Eastern Europe, Sevilla and early 80s Manchester without breaking a sweat. Piano Magic have always worn their influences on their sleeves. The Chameleons, Joy Division and The Cure rub shoulders with Turkish darabuka, hammered dulcimer, viola, cello, flamenco claps. Elsewhere there are cold analogue synths, chiming guitars, mournful piano and industrial percussion." SIGN ME UP! It seems like Brendan's voice would work perfectly in that context, so I'm looking forward to hearing the record.

In related news, Brendan has a solo album called Ark which should be announced soon. Fans who sign up for his mailing list can download a rare unreleased Dead Can Dance track called "A Means Of Escape" which is the first professional recording made by the band way back in 1982.

Have a listen to Brendan covering Tim Buckley's "Happy Time" way back in 1993, why don't you?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eins, Zwei, Drei, Vier, Fünf, Sechs, Sieben, Acht!

Shocker! Kraftwerk's The Catalogue is finally being released on October 6 via Astralwerks (October 5 in the UK via Mute)!

Those who have been following the saga know that the albums Autobahn, Radio-Activity, Trans-Europe Express, The Man-Machine, Computer World, Techno Pop, The Mix, and Tour de France were remastered earlier in the decade but were never released. The word on the street is that the band was unhappy with the result and undertook an entirely new remastering job. Hope they sound good!

On to the details: The box set features eight CDs housed in mini-vinyl card wallet sleeves along with a booklet for each album. The albums will also be released individually on CD, vinyl, and as digital downloads. Due to licensing restrictions, only five of the albums will be available in the US outside of the box set. A German language version is slated for release October 2.

The cover art for each album been reworked to some degree which irks a purist like me, but I will admit they do look a bit like a cohesive set now. Word is there will be additional artwork but loads of bonus tracks aren't likely as the band doesn't have much unreleased material.

Watch a short promo video for the set:

Asleep In The Back

Elbow's Mercury Prize-nominated debut album Asleep In The Back is getting the deluxe reissue treatment. Polydor will release the 2 CD + DVD package on September 28 (UK; kinda doubt this will get a domestic release but one can hope).

The big news is that (most of) the insanely rare Noisebox EP is included. I haven't seen any explanation of why "George Lassoes The Moon" isn't here but it would be interesting to know why. The Elbow site says that 200 copies of the EP were made and I've seen how much they go for on eBay so the fact that it's included in this set is amazing.

My biggest issue with the tracklisting is, where are the period b-sides? I have them all (of course) but maybe they'll turn up on that b-sides collection that's been rumored since before they left V2? I'm not sure where the unreleased videos on the DVD come from. I know there were videos made at the time for the singles but the fact that they all say "previously unreleased" makes me think this is something else. One wonders whether the audio on the DVD will be mixed in 5.1 or if it's strictly just there for visuals. And why are the Noisebox tracks repeated on the DVD? I have too many questions at this point. Anyway, here's the rundown:

Disc 1

1. Any Day Now
2. Red
3. Little Beast
4. Powder Blue
5. Bitten By The Tail Fly
6. Asleep In The Back
7. Newborn
8. Don't Mix Your Drinks
9. Presuming Ed (Rest Easy)
10. Coming Second
11. Can't Stop
12. Scattered Black And Whites

Disc 2

1. Powder Blue (Noisebox EP Version)
2. Red (Noisebox EP Version)
3. Theme From Munroe Kelly (Noisebox EP Version)
4. Can't Stop (Noisebox EP Version)
5. Bitten By The Tail Fly (Live At The Astoria)
6. Coming Second (Live At The Astoria)
7. Don't Mix Your Drinks (Live At The Astoria)
8. Can't Stop (Live At The Astoria)
9. Scattered Black And Whites (Live At The Astoria)
10. George Lassoes The Moon (Live At The Astoria)
11. Newborn (Radio 1 Lamacq Session Previously Unreleased)
12. Don't Mix Your Drinks (Radio 1 Lamacq Session Previously Unreleased)
13. Red (Radio 1 Lamacq Session Previously Unreleased)


1. Any Day Now (Previously Unreleased Video)
2. Red (Previously Unreleased Video)
3. Little Beast (Previously Unreleased Video)
4. Powder Blue (Previously Unreleased Video)
5. Bitten By The Tail Fly (Previously Unreleased Video)
6. Asleep In The Back (Previously Unreleased Video)
7. Newborn (Previously Unreleased Video)
8. Don't Mix Your Drinks (Previously Unreleased Video)
9. Presuming Ed (Rest Easy) (Previously Unreleased Video)
10. Coming Second (Previously Unreleased Video)
11. Can't Stop (Previously Unreleased Video)
12. Scattered Black And Whites (Previously Unreleased Video)
13. Powder Blue (Noisebox EP Version)
14. Red (Noisebox EP Version)
15. Theme From Munroe Kelly (Noizebox EP Version)
16. Can't Stop (Noisebox EP Version)
17. Bitten By The Tail Fly (Live At The Astoria)
18. Coming Second (Live At The Astoria)
19. Don't Mix Your Drinks (Live At The Astoria)
20. Can't Stop (Live At The Astoria)
21. Scattered Black And Whites (Live At The Astoria)
22. George Lassoes The Moon (Live At The Astoria)
23. Newborn (Radio 1 Lamacq Session Previously Unreleased)
24. Don't Mix Your Drinks (Radio 1 Lamacq Session Previously Unreleased)
25. Red (Radio 1 Lamacq Session Previously Unreleased)

Universal has disabled embedding from YouTube so I can't include any of the videos from this period but enjoy "Powder Blue."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We All Wanna Be Prince

I haven't really been paying attention to what Felix da Housecat has been up to because I was a little bored by what I'd heard of his output post-"Kittenz And Thee Glitz" so I was pleasantly surprised when I took a cursory spin through his new record He Was King today.

The album hasn't been reviewed very well but I think it's a heck of a lot of electro fun, starting with second single "We All Wanna Be Prince" which is a) supposedly made up entirely of Prince lyrics and b) totally hot.

Download: Felix da Housecat - We All Wanna Be Prince

The Sound Of The Atom Splitting

After years of delays and side projects, Massive Attack have announced a new EP! "Splitting The Atom" will be released on October 5th and it looks to be a digital release with a "nice vinyl package" in the works as well.

The EP features Massive Attack mainstays 3D, Daddy G, and Horace Andy on "Splitting The Atom" and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe on "Pray For Rain." It will also include remixes of two new tracks: "Psyche" featuring Martina Topley-Bird and "Bulletproof Love" featuring Guy Garvey (Elbow). The tracklist looks like this:

1. Splitting The Atom
2. Pray For Rain
3. Psyche (Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid Remix)
4. Bulletproof Love (Flash Treatment remix by Christoff Berg)

The latter two tracks are thought to appear in their original form on the band's fifth LP which is slated for a January/February 2010 release. The album will feature vocal contributions from those mentioned above as well as Damon Albarn (Blur) and Hope Sandoval. This is a welcome return indeed!

Listen to "Splitting The Atom" here:

If EMI has pulled that YouTube post, you can hear the premiere of the song on the BBC Radio 1 Zane Lowe show (you'll want to go about 28 minutes into the show).