-- if you don't like music(k), we don't like you --

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The curse of Christmas

Christmas comes but once a year, bringing with it food aplenty, laughs around the table, nostalgia, television events and as much merriment as you can possibly stand. Luckily, in order to prevent Christmas from becoming too enjoyable, literally hundreds of bands will be releasing Greatest Hits packages that no-one needs in the hope of resurrecting their careers and capitalising on the weak and vulnerable.

Not sure what to get your older brother this year? Or perhaps you do a Secret Santa at work and you've landed Norm from IT? Why not try the new Stereophonics collection, Decade In The Sun? That way you get to listen to Kelly Jones rattle his way through such standards as 'Mr Writer' or 'Just Looking' whilst enjoying another plate of cold meats. Like all good bands (and by good we mean shit) the Stereophonics have realised that the lure of such classics may not be enough to entice the casual fan so they've thrown in a new song, entitled 'You're My Star' (hey, like the star in the sky that lead the three wise men to baby Jesus, right?). The real joy is hearing how much time they've spent on it, and that it no way sounds half-arsed or dashed off at the last minute.



Remember; a dog is for life, a Stereophonics best of collection is just for Christmas.

Monday, 29 September 2008

I thought I told you...

Now then, we can do better then this surely? The other day I suggested in the nicest possible way that perhaps, dear readers, you could pop down your local CD emporium or download via which ever mp3 shop you use, the debut album by LadyHawke. I phrased it in a way that perhaps came across as merely a quiet word in your ear (hence the fact it only entered at no. 47), but let me reiterate in a manner more akin to an order; BUY THE LADYHAWKE ALBUM OR YOUR NEAREST AND DEAREST WILL PERISH IN AN UNEXPLAINED ACCIDENT (AND I'LL MAKE YOU WATCH HOLE IN THE WALL ON BBC1 UNTIL YOUR EYES BLEED) Ahem.

To make things easier I will once again display the album's cover so if you're feeling particularly lazy you could simply print it out, walk to the CD shop, stroll purposefully up to the counter and say "Excuse me kind sir, I know you left Uni a few years ago and this isn't what you thought you'd be doing at 24 and really you want to take your name badge off and jam it into my eye ball, but would you mind awfully finding this CD for me?" Then take the album home and listen to it on repeat and try telling me it's not amazing. Just try it.

Here's the cover:



Here's an example of the music:



Some have suggested that we can't make a difference, that there aren't enough of you reading this to change things. All I can say is, 5 people can't be wrong can they?

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Hey Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

It's Britney bitch. That's right, she's back and less bleary-eyed then last time. 'Womanizer' is the first single from Britney Spears' new album Circus which is out in December and is meant to signal her full-time return to the pop game following all those minor problems with the last album campaign. Her record company clearly felt that Blackout (her last album) was good enough to give her huge sales had she been fully fit so they've not messed with the formula too much. Robo-vocals? Check. Futuristic electro beats? Check. Meaningless lyrics about a man with a roving eye? Check.



It would have been nice to hear a comeback single giving a big FUCK YOU to all the people that follow her around all day or make judgements and then replace them with fake sadness when she gets admitted to a mental facility (bear in mind this happened less then 9 months ago). But, hey, this is American pop and it's proof if proof were needed that real life and the pop facade need not be strong bedfellows. Expect success, redemption, harassment, breakdown, success, redemption, harassment, breakdown, etc, etc.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Beauty & the beast

Ying & Yang. Ant & Dec. Black & White. One thing must always balance out another, it's like that yoghurt advert where they go on about every pleasure being balanced out by pain. Well, thankfully, independent record label Wichita have put this into musical form, with two new releases.

First up are Musick favourites, Those Dancing Days from Sweden. We wrote about them here. 'Home Sweet Home' is possibly the eighteenth single they've released from their oft-delayed debut album, In Our Space Hero Suits, which is finally out in mid-October. Unsurprisingly, it's more of the same, all break neck drums, keyboard flourishes and a chorus that will rattle around your cranium until Christmas...2010. We don't normally celebrate sticking to the same formula, but it works and for the time being it's enough. The video's ace too.



Ah, Bloc Party. We had such high hopes. Genuinely, I loved that first album of yours; 'Banquet' and 'Helicopter' were brilliant, 'So Here We Are' was a rush of sadness and even the mournful album tracks had something about them. But then you listened to the hype and decided to make an album that 'meant something' that 'stood for something' and all that happened was you became boring and predictable. As if to shake yourselves back into life you decided to offer up your third album, Intimacy, online only weeks after it was finished. Now, you're releasing a new single 'Talons' that isn't on the download version but is on the physical release that comes out in October. As Avril Lavigne once said "why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?" 'Talons' is all atmosphere and no substance, the musical equivalent of Lost.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Spanktastic New Music Monday

Buy these...



Art-rock magnificence.



Triumphant synth pop.



Country flecked greatness.

Given the economic problems we face I will allow you to purchase just one of them as long as you contact me on the normal address and I'll copy the others for you. If not, just steal them and blame the media.

Human sacrifice

There's a lot riding on the new album by The Killers. Countries will perish and people will be flogged to death in the streets if it doesn't match the sales of their previous efforts, Hot Fuss and Sam's Town. Day & Age, released in November, is ushered in by the new single 'Human', co-produced by former Madonna play thing, Stuart Price. For anyone longing for the warm synths and plastic pink dinner jackets of the Hot Fuss era will probably rejoice with some poppers and some artful posturing, whilst those that grew a moustache for the Sam's Town debacle (can it be called anything else?) should probably get the new Kings Of Leon album.

You can listen to 'Human' right here

Pet Shop Boys anyone? Anyone?

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Earth Song

As previously mentioned here Antony & The Johnsons are set to release a 5-track EP entitled Another World in October, prior to the release of their third album The Crying Light in January. Well, given the nature of the music industry and the internet, the title track from the EP has leaked and can be heard right here in some kind of exclusive (if exclusive were to mean reading it on a rival blog's forum and then finding it on youtube):



It is, as ever, utterly beautiful, with trademark piano and crystalline vocals all present and correct, but lyrically the focus has shifted from gender and loss to 'bigger issues' such as the state of the planet. I know, dodgy territory for some. For the most part Antony remains on the right side of patronising and expresses genuine sadness for what's going on with the planet, but it's difficult to hear the lyric "I'm gonna miss the bees" without thinking of Michael Jackson's pertinent eco-related question; "What about elephants?". It's a nature-fuelled conundrum and no mistake.

Still, Antony could sing my shopping list and make it sound devastatingly sad- "Tesco value toilet rolls/ Toothpaste/ Small tin of beans/ Microwave meal for one". Oh, that is quite sad...

Friday, 19 September 2008

A load of bull

Girls are like buses...no, wait...young girls are like buses...no, that's not right...er, young female singers are like buses, you wait for one and then loads of them all come along at once and you scramble to get your Oyster card out in time before they all drive straight past. Or something. Basically, what with VV Brown, Lady Gaga, Florence & The Machine, GoldieLocks et al currently getting the music industry bigwig's knickers in a twist, it's now the turn of London's thecocknbullkid to join the mass ranks of the 'critically adored'.

Now, confession time, I first heard this song way back in July and didn't reckon much. I think I was suffering some kind of hip-young-thing malaise, because it's actually rather fantastic. Produced by the brilliant Metronomy, 'On My Own' is about a hundred times better on the second listen.



Crap video. It kind of distracts from the song, which isn't really the point. Listen to it here instead and avoid a migraine. Plus, while you're there you can take a listen to 'No Cure', which is a new song that has whistling on it and a really brilliant high note that I can reach but I just don't feel the need to show off about it...alright!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

White Keys

After months and months and endless months of speculation about who would provide the theme song to the new Bond film, it was finally announced as an unlikely pairing of Jack White and Alicia Keys. The song, 'Another Way To Die', was premiered today by that awful Jo Whiley woman and is currently on youtube. I have put a video below but expect it to be removed by Sony BMG within, ohhh, an hour.



So, what do you think? Some morons on the interweb are honestly suggesting it doesn't sound like a Bond theme...er, let's check shall we:

- Horns? Yep.
- Inane lyrics about guns, spies and untrustworthy women? Yep.
- Slow bits and then fast bits? Yep.
- Long intro that's perfect for the credits? Yep.
- Sense of crushing disappointment? We'll see.

So it's definitely a Bond theme then. Not sure why they bothered making it a duet though. I do like the guitar sound, but if you're a fan of The White Stripes then you've heard it before. Ah well. The world keeps turning.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Burning Brightly

'Dull Flame Of Desire' is the fifth single to be taken from Bjork's album Volta and is a duet with Antony Hegarty from Antony & The Johnsons.

The video was directed by Christoph Jantos (Berlin/Germany), Masahiro Mogari (Tokyo) and Mar├žal Cuberta Junca (Girona/Spain), who won some kind of competition and rather then a sweatshirt with a logo on it, they won the chance to direct this here video. Bjork and Antony are obviously very busy people so they were simply shot in front of a green screen and then the footage was handed over to the creative threesome to do their worst. With that in mind, it's a pretty nice effort, especially the last section where the faces morph into each other. The final shot seems to be an image of what Bjork and Antony's kids would look like were that unholy union ever to take place.



Monochrome.

Dirty Pop with Girls Aloud

Roll of honour...

'Sound Of The Underground' 8/10
'The Show' 8.5/10
'Love Machine' 9/10
'Biology' 10/10
'Something Kinda Ooooh' 9/10
'Call The Shots' 9/10

('I'll Stand By You' 4/10)

And now, 'The Pretender'



Starts like The Pipettes, then changes into something different. Grows on you like moss. Better then this.

8/10

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Lock him up

Kanye West is back! You've missed him, right? He's one of those artists that keeps things pretty low-key, tries to stay out of the limelight and who can blame him? The man's got a very delicate ego. But, here he is, braving the music world with the first single from his imminent new album, which is pretty good going seeing as he only released his last one about a year ago.

The single is called 'Love Lockdown' and it was premiered at this month's MTV Video Awards, where American Sweetheart Britney Spears returned to the scene of the crime for a large helping of redemption and three awards. Mr West closed the show with this new song and perhaps it was just the glitz and the glamour but I liked it a whole lot more live then I do this studio version. Take a listen...



For one, there is such a thing as a little too much vocoder, ask Cher...or Victoria Beckham. The chorus sounds odd, like Kanye fell asleep on the mixing desk and didn't realise. Plus, for someone with a track record for producing crystal clear beats this sounds strangely unfinished or just badly produced. Full marks for trying something a bit different (no rapping, no obvious sample, no bragging), but minus points for the vocoder overdose.

Jump off a Cliff

Here at Musick we like to bring you the cutting edge of today's music scene. Bringing new and exciting music to the masses is what we're all about, it's what makes us stand out in the crowd. So, joy of joys, we've only gone and found what is quite possibly the best song you'll ever hear in your entire, pitiful lives. This artist (could you describe him any other way?) has been making music since 1908 and has had 45,989 top ten singles and has sold over thirteen albums. His place in the pantheon of greats was surely solidified with 1999s 'Millennium Prayer', a song so perfect it made the rest of music seem suddenly redundant. I'm talking about Cliff Richard, and his brilliant new single 'Thank You For A Lifetime'.



No, really, thank you Cliff.

Just look at that video! Damn that man must have been a hit with the ladies back in the day. Oh and that heartfelt "thank you" at the end gets me everytime, to think about everything he's given us over the years. And may this single finally put to rest the notion that Cliff Richard isn't relevant to music anymore, or that he only ever releases albums when it's Christmas and he knows people will be too unimaginative to think of something else to get Grandma. It's September and people like this song so much it crashed into the charts at number 3. Ironically it's one place below a song about kissing girls, a song originally written for Cliff I believe.



* As if you needed telling, the above DVD is one of the best things you'll ever see. Shorts from C&A in case you were wondering.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Mega Drive

So, you're sat in your expensive studio and you're trying to come up with a new beat to justify the quarter of million dollar price tag that hangs round your neck, and inspiration is seriously lacking. What do you do? Maybe take a break, play some Xbox or Playstation? Then it hits you; why don't I make a beat that sounds like a computer game imploding? Ladies and gentlemen, 'Universal Mind Control' by Common (produced by Pharrell Williams):



Funky.

If you want to listen to more from the genre we're calling 'bleeptronica', then try these:

'Stand Up Tall' by Dizzee Rascal
'Crank It Up' by Hadoken! (but give this a miss actually)
Anything by Crystal Castles

To be honest, we can't think of any others. There must be some around. Ho hum.

You could win £250

It's very cruel to laugh at other people's misfortunes. I know this, you know this. But, You've Been Framed is my favourite programme of all time so I find it incredibly difficult to suppress laughter when I see someone falling over or slipping down a hill or being pushed off stage by a maniac in Toronto. Bit specific I hear you cry? Well, have a butchers at this:



OK, so it's not really that funny. But it kind of is. Especially if you watch Liam Gallagher's reaction. A witness was said to have overheard the following:

"Yeah, mad for it, fookin' avin it"

Guy runs onstage.

"Oh my dear lord, who is that man? Security! Security!"

Security apprehend the felon.

"Yeah, come on then, ya fookin' miserable fookin' cunt. I'll knock ya fookin' teef out"

Man is lead away.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

VV Good

There are some rival blogs that rave about all these new singers and bands and yeah they get there before us, but you know what, that's because here at Musick we like to take our time, get things right before we go bleating about the latest hip, young thang. This means something to us, you know? Plus, we're lazy and sometimes youtube isn't working and you just want to check your facebook and then go to bed, right? But sometimes music is too good to ignore and although we're basing our opinion on ONE song, we're thinking VV Brown is going to be huge. This is her visage:



Here are some factoids:

- She's sung backing vocals and written songs for Sugababes and The Pussycat Dolls
- She used to go by the name Vanessa Brown
- She's signed to Island records and is creating a 'buzz' in music circles

Her debut single is called 'Crying Blood', which is actually a medical condition called Haemolacria. So many facts for you. The song is being termed 'doo-wop indie', which is nonsense. I prefer to call it 'catchy pop music with a bit of an edge in that it sounds like she's spent some time on the lyrics and melody and stuff'. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Unmoved

Think CSS and you think fun, you think Brazil, you think colourful unitards. Well, you used to. Now you just think about how dull they've become, about how bad their new album Donkey is and about how Lovefoxx should go solo. Obviously their record company disagrees which is why they're releasing a new single entitled 'Move'. There's even a video too, which is a bit of a surprise. This is it:



It's obviously been chosen because it's one of the few songs on Donkey that doesn't bemoan the fact that the band are, like, really tired from all the touring and success and shit. Plus, it mentions the dancefloor so should get played in indie clubs. It's a shame it's all so polite, so polished. The USP of CSS (nice) was that they had a kind of DIY (oh yeah) aesthetic and their debut was rough around the edges. Still, the video's quite clever.

But wait, what's this? A Cut Copy remix that's everything the original isn't. Thanks goodness for that.



If you like the original and are thinking of buying the album then I'd wait a month or too. It's got '2 for £10' in HMV written all over it.

New-new-new-news.

- Akon will face trial after tossing off a fan during a gig in New York (NME)

- One of Lily Allen's friends was kidnapped. What do you mean, why do we need to know that? This person was a friend of Lily Allen's. Keep up. (Yahoo!)

- It's all about the ladies for our dear friend Usher. What a charming young man he is (Billboard)

- Ne-Yo receives damages fro unfair dismissal. Apparently he didn't break the photocopier, it was an 'electrical fault' (BBC)

Breaking glass

OK, first things first, we must preface this post with the fact that the song you are about to hear is for charity and, more specifically, for a Cancer charity. An incredibly noble cause and one well worth supporting in any way possible.

A whole host of female (mainly American) singers clearly agree and they've come together through the medium of song to bring you one of the most incredible examples of excessive singing this side of 'When You Believe' (the Mariah & Whitney version obviously. Leon Jackson couldn't emote his way out of a paper bag).

The song is called 'Just Stand Up' and features (deep breath), Mariah, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Ciara, Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, Carrie Underwood, Ashanti, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Keyshia Cole and LeAnn Rimes. Phew. Prizes will be given to the person who can figure out which global superstar (and Carrie Underwood) is singing which line. Picking out Mariah doesn't count, her voice could be heard in a war zone.



One thing though; why do all charity singles have to be so dire?

The single is currently available to buy on iTunes.