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

Monday, 29 June 2009

Missy-ed opportunity

Earlier we'd just finished a nice plate of pasta, complete with bacon lardons, some rocket salad and a couple of slices of bread. The tennis was on, a cup of tea on the go and who should breeze up to our door, only Missy bloomin' Elliott. Now, as avid readers will know, Musick and Missy have got a history. Basically, we were good friends, we would hang out a lot and she would get our advice on new songs ('Best, Best' was anything but) and give us advice on fixed-rate mortgages. Then, nothing.

So, after enduring her musings on the the Murray backhand (too much slice, apparently), Missy got round to telling us that there'd been a new track of hers 'doing the rounds' since February and that Pharrell was on it and that it was totally up in everyones grill except ours because we don't have an oven. Furious, we stood up and promptly asked Missy Elliott to leave our flat and never darken our door again, to which she said, "can I finish my tea first" to which we replied, "yes of course Missy, please have a biscuit".

This is 'Put It On You'. If you don't tap along to this you're probably dead or a racist:

It continues the trend of amazing Neptunes-produced Missy tracks and kind of undermines our argument as outlined here. Yeah, cheers Missy you bummer.

Missy also appears on Ciara's 'new joint', entitled 'Work'. There's so much going on it's frankly terrifying.

New Musick Monday

After a week of chart hiatus, we're back with a bang this week. OK, picking La Roux and Florence & The Machine was never what you'd descirbe as a risk, but still, you've got to be in it to win it. La Roux's 'Bulletproof' soared in at no.1 whilst her raven-haired counterpart just missed the top ten, at no.12. Even the Gossip album made the top twenty, more evidence if any were needed of Musick's almost Shamanistic promotional qualities.


La Roux by La Roux

In a way, despite it's title, pop music is meant to be divisive. Lots of people hate Madonna or Kylie or the Sugababes and will write numerous vitriolic forum posts to prove it. That's good, no-one wants to please everyone all the time, surely? La Roux front woman Elly Jackson seems to have got up plenty of noses on her way to being a bona fide pop star, and this debut album is packed full of potential singles, meaning she's not going away any time soon. 'In For The Kill', Bulletproof' and 'Quicksand' are all deft eighties-saturated gems, whilst 'I'm Not Your Toy', 'Fascination' and 'Colourless Colour' show there's more to the duo then just a falsetto and some cheap synths.


Wilco (The Album) by Wilco

Wilco are often called the "American Radiohead". Well, they were probably called it once and then that was referred to by another journalist, which was then picked up by another and so the lie is perpetuated. Wilco aren't Radiohead, they're Wilco, do you see? Anyway, this is their new album and it features a camel on the cover, wearing a party hat. This alone is reason enough to be interested, but luckily it also contains some pretty amazing music. All in all, it's better then their last one which was pretty dull, but not as good as their best one which is A Ghost Is Born.


'Man In The Mirror' by Michael Jackson

For reasons unknown to us at least, this has become the front runner to reach number 1 following Michael Jackson's untimely death. Given the ubiquity of 'Billie Jean', 'Thriller' et al, perhaps a song that didn't reach the top twenty on its initial release but somehow seems to sum Jackson up - the allusions to changing the world and your appearance - has made it stand out. Whatever the reason, 'Man In The Mirror' is an epic song, all slow-burn build-up, finger clicks, choirs and that pained, soulful voice. In general, we've been surprised at how well the Bad album stands the test of time. Well done Michael.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

He'll be missing you

The best way to remember Michael Jackson is of course through the music he left behind. In fact, we spent most of this afternoon watching his videos on TMF, the channel dedicating most of their output to his music. We didn't remember 'Dirty Diana' being so amazing, but there you are.

Some people, however, prefer to create new music as a way of remembering, and P Diddy is no stranger to this concept of course. He's joined together with Chris Brown, The Game and Boyz II Men to create 'Better On The Other Side':

It manages to avoid being too mawkish, which is something given Diddy's involvement. The chorus is nice. Listen to 'Dirty Diana' instead though.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson, 1958 - 2009

There will be masses of tributes and editorials about the death of Michael Jackson of course, and rightly so. This is a music blog so we won't give credence to the freakshow his life had become more recently - the tabloid life eventually suffocating the musical one - but instead focus on what will go down in history as a backcatalogue of work to rival anyone. From the unbridled disco joy of Off The Wall to the worldwide phenomenon that is Thriller to the solipsistic, sprawling HIStory album, each release renewed your faith in the genius of Michael Jackson (Invincible, not so much, but even that had 'You Rock My World'). The majority of my childhood was spent watching copious amounts of video footage of him performing, or his amazing music videos, just absorbing the spectacle and feeding off the excitement he was able to generate. It seemed like he'd live forever despite his frailty. He was music, he was the pop star of a generation and it's weird that he's gone.

There are too many moments to reflect on, but here are some songs, performances and enduring memories of a man who was a childhood hero.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Marin(a) wildlife

Just a quickie to flag up this new video for Marina & The Diamonds excellent new single 'I Am Not A Robot'. We've mentioned it before somewhere (not to mention interviewed the lady in question - EXCLUSIVE), but this Rankin-directed video gives us a reason to mention it again, which is lucky because the song is a corker.

Simple yet effective. The slow-mo, wind-swept bits remind us of Bjork's 'Hidden Place' video and the black glitter reminds us of an unfortunate accident at Playschool that we'd rather not talk about.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Mr Theodopolopidus

Hands up if you can remember the last time the Neptunes produced a track that made you say "what the hell was that?!" It was 'Drop It Like It's Hot' by Snoop Dogg, obviously, and it was back in 2004. Luckily, before their success rate dipped dramatically, they managed to influence a new generation of young rappers and producers, showing that it's OK to utilise a weird clicking sound you make with your mouth if the mood so takes you. Basically, it's OK to experiment with rap, no-one will mind (Eminem, you listening buddy?).

The brilliantly named Theophilus London is the latest young rapper to emerge having taken this ethos to heart. This year's really rather good This Charming Mixtape utilizes popping beats, juddering synths and on 'TNT' a weird, undulating keyboard line ('TNT' is on the iTunes version only for some reason). He's pretty good at the rapping lark too, coming across as a slightly less earnest Lupe Fiasco.

INTERESTING FACT: He's not from London, he's from Brooklyn! Madness!

'Departure' isn't on the new mixtape, but is pretty special. Featuring the backing from Air's 'Le soleil est pres de moi', it's got a lovely feel to it:

EDIT: This Charming Mixtape can be downloaded FOR FREE from here. The mixtape features some brilliant re-workings of tracks by Kraftwerk, Whitney Houston, Amadou & Mariam and Lauryn Hill.

Lady Garden

The ever shy and retiring Lady GaGa performed at the Canadian Much Music Awards the other night and in typically reserved fashion was dressed head to toe in a brown smock, choosing to eschew the normal knicker-flashing get-up of her peers...oh no, sorry, she actually looked like this...

Yes, they really are fireworks coming out of her breasts. Madonna may have worn a conned bra, but GaGa always has to go that one step further. We like the fact she's kept her head tilted away from the offending area. It's always difficult at work the next day to explain to your mates why you've got singe marks on your cheeks. "Yeah, it's my exploding boobs, they just seem to go off every now and then".

You can watch the full performance here.

Monday, 22 June 2009

New Musick Monday

This is something of a bumper edition this week, with four products on display for your delectation. But first, let's have a look at how last week's single, Gossip's 'Heavy Cross', performed yesterday...er, no.40. And people say they're a one hit wonder act with no hope of a repeat. The biggest shock was seeing Little Boots' debut album, Hands, drop from no.5 to no.40 in its second week. Fickle, you people are very fickle.


Music For Men by Gossip

Yeah, so 'Heavy Cross' may have only sold 48 copies or something but this Rick Rubin-produced album is packed with punk-funk-disco-diva singles in waiting. Beth Ditto we all know about - big voice, big waist, big face - but it's her two faceless bandmates (although drummer Hannah's face appears on the cover) that come into their own, offering up elastic grooves and some fiery guitar lines. So what if they only have one hit single, that's one more then you'll ever have.


Everything Is New by Jack Peñate

We're not going to go through it all again, but basically Peñate used to be a bit rubbish and then he hooked up with a good producer (Paul Epworth) and decided to reinvent his sound using some of today's more successful genres; bit of tropicalia here, a dash of Afrobeat there, a smattering of house and just a dose of Peruvian jazz-folk fusion. All in all, a tasty concoction. Opener 'Pull My Heart Away' is possibly the best opening track of any album listed on this page today.


As we all know, 2009 is the year of the woman or some such nonsense. Little Boots, Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith, Pixie Lott, etc, etc, all have a vagina and a voice each and are all signed to record companies and are releasing music for us to buy. Add to that list La Roux and Florence & The Machine, two people with vaginas, voices AND red hair, making them bitter rivals in the world of music. Some are calling their chart battle the musical equivalent of Israel versus Palestine, but we see it more as Venus versus Serena; two equally talented women, both capable of great things serving up a couple of aces...or something.

'Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)' by Florence & The Machine

Twinkly harps, pounding drums and a voice you could wrap yourself in for weeks, this is a BIG sounding song. Written after a falling out with her record company - they asked her to make something more immediate - it's a song to be sung from the rooftops, possibly whilst drunk.

'Bulletproof' by La Roux

From the layered, lush sounds of Florence to the brittle, tinny sounds of La Roux. 'Bulletproof' is the single that was meant to make up for the failure of 'In For The Kill', but seeing as that peaked at no.2 the chances of this turning La Roux into a genuine pop are 'fair' to 'fucking obviously going to happen'.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Fever to tell

Having spent most of our Sunday at church, we like nothing more then to come home and watch something possibly made by the Devil himself. 'Triangle Walks' is the new single from Fever Ray's incredible debut album and it's accompanied by yet another startling video. Lights flicker, shadows creep and our Karin wears some spooky face paint and hides inside a giant Ewok. It's essentially a performance video, with the wind-swept lamps, green lasers and (terrifying) backing band all making appearances at her recent gigs, of which there are a handful this summer in the UK.

Imagine that song played on Chris Moyles Radio 1 show? Imagine how much of a better world it would be if that were a possibility. There's a slim chance he could play this, the Rex The Dog remix, which essentially speeds the whole thing up and makes it sound like Depeche Mode.

Friday, 19 June 2009

The Inbetweeners

Bloc Party are getting pretty good at these in-between album singles, what with previous efforts 'Two More Years' and 'Flux' being amongst the best stuff they've done. Following the muddled Intimacy album that tried to please everyone all at once - the Hail To The Thief of their oeuvre as no-one calls it - comes this new single entitled 'One More Chance'.

Produced by regular cohort Jackknife Lee and mixed by one of the blokes out of Cassius, 'One More Chance' ditches the beats in favour of some early '90s rave pianos and a more relaxed approach. It's all rather uplifting, a genuine toe-tapper if you will.

Well done Kele & co.

What a Carey on

Musick recently had a very drunken incident involving Mariah Carey, some very sugary alcohol and a hangover of gargantuan proportions. But that was just a typical weekend to be honest. The real Mariah Carey is back this summer with a new album, the typically ludicrous sounding Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, and the lead single is 'Obsessed'.

Now, you'd be forgiven for thinking 'Obsessed' was merely another over-produced slow-jam, but no, this is a 'dis track' aimed at Eminem. For those that missed the memo regarding Mariah and Eminem, let Musick fill in the gaps. Way back in 2006 Eminem was rumoured to be 'romancing' Miss Carey, a rumour that she publicly denied. Eminem then dissed her in the press for denying it and then wrote a rap about it on his recent album, Relapse. This song ('Bagpipes From Baghdad') lead to an unseemly war of words between Eminem and Mariah's husband Nick Cannon which resulted in the rapper claiming to have peed on Mariah!

Oh, here's the song...

Best bit? This lyric; "Seeing right through you like you're bathing in Windex".

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Massive cock

Right, we know you're pretty much up to speed on the whole Beyoncé'thing' and her alter-ego business, but we thought we'd let you in on the next phase of her metamorphosis...get Kanye West to rap on a pretty weak track to bring it to the attention of radio. As a ploy it's not wholly original, but usually pretty successful.

'Ego' finds Kanye lazily mumbling about how girls love his "big ego" and pausing just before he finishes as if to say "actually I mean my big cock". If you haven't picked up on the subtleties of that then the next line is "so stroke my big ego"...HE MEANS COCK.

As for Beyoncé, well she slips into something less comfortable and grinds around like a mad woman, which is her being 'fierce' and 'empowered'.

Monday, 15 June 2009

New Musick Monday

OK, so as expected Rose Elinor Dougall ended our run of two songs crashing into the UK top 15, with the otherwise stupendous 'Start/Stop/Synchro'. We forgive her all this of course because she's proper fit, and Lord knows that gets you a long way these days, as we know only too well. We did have success, however, on the album charts where Little Boots' Hands entered at number 5, silencing the small group of naysayers who were all ready to write her off. Come on, save something for the follow-up album guys.


Varshons by The Lemonheads

So we don't get accused of sexism by someone from The Guardian's Woman section, we'd like to state for the record that The Lemonheads' Evan Dando is also proper fit. It's that lank mane of hair, those laconic blue eyes, that voice. This is an album of cover versions (or 'varshons') ranging from the obvious (Gram Parsons' 'I Just Can't Take It Anymore') to the wonderfully bizarre ('Beautiful' by Christina Aguilera). Unfortunately he also lets Kate Moss loose on the electro-tinged 'Dirty Robot', which is about as sexy as photographing genital warts for a sexual health magazine.


Midlife: A Beginners Guide by Blur

We've failed to mention before the fact that Blur have reunited for a slew of gigs this summer. You've probably heard all about it by now of course, but if not, then that first sentence was an EXCLUSIVE. This is a brand new collection of their biggest singles and some of their best album tracks ('Blue Jeans', 'He Thought Of Cars', 'Trimm Trabb') and is all the better for not featuring 'Crazy Beat', the nadir not just for Blur (minus Graham) but all music.


'Heavy Cross' by Gossip

We can't seem to stop listening to this song, so with that in mind we're ignoring the fact this actually came out to download two weeks ago and will instead focus on the release of a CD version. What was that? Everyone's stopped buying CDs now? Yeah, well we're rocking it old skool, hell, we might even buy it on MiniDisc, how about that? If, like some, you think producer Rick Rubin has polished all of the Gossip's rougher edges then why not watch this brilliant live version or the official video and hope the images distract you.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Peñate butter

We, the music writing fraternity, felt sure we had the measure of Jack Peñate. That strange knee-knocking dance move he did, those clothes that screamed 'poor student' when in fact his Grandfather owned Bath or something and most disarmingly of all, those annoying busker-in-Shoreditch singalongs.

As we mentioned here, he's had a bit of a change of heart of late and his second album, the aptly-titled Everything Is New, is 95% better then the first. Producer Paul Epworth has added some Afrobeat, a dash of dance music's euphoria and slow-burning hit singles. This is the new single, 'Be The One':

It's not a great video by any means, but it does feature Jack in an ensemble last worn by Russia's gold medal winning ice dancers circa 1984 (3:15 onwards).

When Musick mentioned that we had a copy of his new album (EXCLUSIVE) we were met with blank looks, turned up noses and general indifference, a microcosm of the reaction he may still face trying to remedy the damage done with the first album. Still, everyone loves a fighter...

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Automatic for the people

A few months back Musick composed a heartfelt note to President Barack Obama pleading with him to help rid the planet of a deadly pandemic. Not bird flu, no, but autotune. Finally, after months of negotiations between his people (bless you Hilary, those muffins you made were delicious) and our people, word was sent that Obama had come up with a cure in the shape of a certain Mr Jay-Z:

'D.O.A', or 'Death of Autotune' is taken from the Jigga's much-delayed The Blueprint 3 album, which will finally see the light of day in September. This track features a lot of guitar, typically big beats from producer Kanye West and some lyrics about the recession, ringtones and general bravado. BUT, just when we thought it was safe to go back and listen to the charts again, Kanye goes and produces this:

We've mentioned Mr Hudson before, but this is his first single since his big American re-twizzle. 'Supernova' features some left-over beats from Kanye's 808s & Heartbreaks album, a massive chorus and, yeah, you guessed it, a whole load of autotune. Mr Obama we still need you, don't let us down now.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Blame the strike!

Deepest apologies for the lack of content in recent days, Musick has spent most of that time sitting on buses weeping.

Anyway, you can't keep a good (?) blog down and so we're back, doing what we do best (??). This is the rather lovely new single, 'Dave', by everyone's favourite Swedish shoegazers, The Radio Dept:

But, hark, what goes there? A synth!? Some polite beats!? What will the loyal fanbase say. Probably not a lot to be honest, just some muffled excuses you couldn't hear because they were gazing at their shoes and playing with the frayed edges of their polo necks. Still, brilliant song and nearly as good as this, their career highlight.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Fo sho Mpho

There's a lot of waiting around in music these days. New acts come along with their impossible to find taster singles, then they take up acres of space in magazines and broadsheets and then before you know it, six months later, their album drops. Brixton-born Mpho is being talked up by those in the know as something quite special and whilst rooting around in someone else's box (!) at work we found a 5-track album sampler, an amuse-bouche if you will, prior to the main meal (the album, Pop Art, is out in October).

This is her face:

Here's an in-depth track-by-track guide to the sampler:

'See Me Now' - Lyrically it's all "you didn't think I'd make it, well look at me now", whilst musically it's got some real nice beats, chugging guitars and some sweet "ah ho, ah ho" bits. Very good.

'Box N Locks' - The first single. It samples this, and can be seen below.

'Fix Ya Face' - Features the worst 'robot' voice effect in musical history and is very obviously the least inspiring thing on the sampler. It does features some nice synth effects, some odd whooshes but it's a bit dull to be honest.

'Hips Go Pop' - Now this is more like it. MASSIVE beats, a juddering synth line, some orgasmic breathlessness and a lyric about loving your ass and shaking what ya mumma gave ya. Or something. It even features a conversation with God about how He made her with a "whip in her hips".

'Paranoid Type' - More familiar territory here, with Mpho stalking her boyfriend via myspace and getting jealous and paranoid that he might be cheating on her. It's a funky little ditty to be sure, with lots of squelchy beats and it rattles by in less than three minutes.

Overall, a very promising start Mpho.

New Musick Monday

Well now, we seem to be on some kind of 'straight into the top 15 with a bullet' roll at the moment. 'We Are The People' by Empire of the Sun climbed to no. 14 last week, mainly due to the exposure we decided to give to them as an act of immeasurable generosity. It was, in retrospect, the wrong decision as both Marina & The Diamonds and the Gossip had new singles out that same day but we missed them both. Once again, we apologise and hope you forgive us.


The Eternal by Sonic Youth

Like Gordon Brown, Sonic Youth have stubbornly stood their ground for what seems like an age. Unlike Gordon Brown this is a welcome trait and one that hasn't lead to such disillusionment that a racist political party now has some semblance of power on a European stage (oh, political). The Eternal continues the band's recent form, contorting their sound into delightfully artful pop shapes, with melodies emerging from the perfect din like fireworks through mud or some such crap.


Hands by Little Boots

Some online retailers are selling this debut album by the gargantuanly hyped Little Boots for just five English pounds. For some - "rubbish" Rob, "Jake doesn't like Little Boots" Jake - the hype has lead to disappointment upon hearing the finished album, and their vitriol (?) is matched by a 2/5 review in Q and relatively disastrous single campaign. Still, Hands is a good, solid pop record, one that features at least five singles and one that should cement the beginnings of a promising career.


'Start/Stop/Synchro' by Rose Elinor Dougall

'Start/Stop/Synchro' is the second solo single from ex-Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall and is possibly where our run of top 15 entries dies a sad death. But fear not because as everyone knows the charts are run by the Government and as this political diatribe masquerading as a music blog entry has already stated, they know nothing. This is a delightful slice of Stereolab-esque indie-pop featuring a harpsichord, Motown drums, a breathless vocal and some sad lyrics about not being someone else. Hear it here.

Battle star Galactica

American Idol alumni Jordin Sparks looked for all the world like she would be going the way of most other reality 'stars', i.e. nowhere fast. Miraculously, she managed to carve out the start of a career by making some pretty good pop songs, like the one she did with Chris Brown before that alleged incident involving Rihanna, a car journey and an ego load of self-denial.

Anyways, Sparks has a new single out called 'Battlefield' and it's a ridiculously over the top almost-ballad written and produced by Ryan Tedder from One Republic (it's actually pretty pointless calling him 'Ryan Tedder from One Republic' seeing as he is fast becoming more famous as a songwriter than a singer). For those not in the know, Tedder is the man behind this, this and this. 'Battlefield' continues the theme of sounding a whisker away from an '80s power ballad, featuring ludicrously metaphorical lyrics and being undeniably catchy (although the Kelly Clarkson one is a poor example of the latter. It's just there because three examples are better than two).

We particularly enjoyed a comment left on youtube by a certain daxiel2, who decided the video wasn't literal enough. He/she would have liked to have seen Jordin walking through an actual battlefield or perhaps putting on some actual armour whilst singing "you'd better go and get your armour". We dread to think what 'Bleeding Love' would have looked like had daxiel2 been behind the camera.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Kids say the funniest things

CALL THE DAILY MAIL! This video for 'Kids' by MGMT (the single was released here in January and they've only just made an official video) is properly terrifying. Well, the monsters look ridiculous of course, but there's a little baby involved and he looks genuinely upset! Surely there are laws against this kind of thing? Poor little bastard, he's going to grow up thinking all Police men have skin falling off their faces or that all car journeys involve being harassed by the junkie Muppets. The bit in the cot at the beginning is particularly upsetting and we hereby condemn MGMT and boo them for putting all our kids lives in danger with this FILTH.

Anyway, we're probably being over-sensitive, watch it for yourselves:

The other big news is that this video stars none other than Joanna Newsom. That Paris Hilton-aping mum from Hell is actually the genuine JOANNA NEWSOM, the harp-wielding goddess whose last album, Ys, was named after a mythical city that was swallowed by the ocean. That's some transformation.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Cleaning out her closet

thecocknbullkid, aka Anita Blay, has had a few cracking singles out in the UK, usually only available for a limited time or as download only. She's yet to have a 'big' release (that sounds weird) or a 'big' single, but has now turned her attentions for the first time to the US, who can get their hands on Querelle in August. The EP features four songs, including recent single 'I'm Not Sorry', as well as three new songs with production from Radioclit (Santigold) and Dave McCracken who has only bleeding worked with Beyoncé!

This squelchy, disco pop nugget is called 'Clean Apart' and finds Anita dissecting another broken relationship. According to her myspace page, she's currently working on her debut album with Gonzales (Feist, Jamie Lidell) and we can expect a slightly different sound. Bulgarian folk is our guess.

Wanna get dirrty

We like to think we've constantly got our fingers on the musical pulse, but sometimes we need a helping hand. On this particular occasion our guiding light was none other than Bjork. Always one to pick the best collaborators, Bjork announced a few months back that she would perform at a charity gig with New York's Dirty Projectors.

Who are this motley crew we asked ourselves? Well, they're fronted by a man called Dave Longstreth and there are five other people in the band (although not in the photo), some of whom are women and some of whom are men. Fascinating so far. They also make music that is difficult to categorise, relies heavily on vocals and can sometimes sound on the brink of collapse but beautiful at the same time. Sound familiar?

They have a new album coming out next week entitled Bitte Orca and from said album, this is 'Stillness Is The Move':

Below is some slightly dodgy footage of Bjork performing with Dirty Projectors on a song Longstreth composed especially for the one-off gig. Fast forward through all the talking and tuning up and get to the part with those amazing backing vocals and Bjork's passionate rasp, blurting out lyrics about whales and love.

Monday, 1 June 2009

New Musick Monday

So, how did we do this week? Well, following the triumph that was 'Bonkers' by Dizzee Rascal reaching number 1 off the back of being on this here blog, we're pleased to announce that the much-hyped, poll-topping, column-inch snaffling Little Boots and her A-listed single, 'New In Town', roared into the chart at number 13...oh. It doesn't matter of course, it's all relative, but missing out on the top 10 after all that talk is a little disappointing. Still, the album has about 5 other singles on it so it's fine.


The Bachelor by Patrick Wolf

To some he's the elfin love child of Tilda Swinton and David Bowie, all artful posturing, lashings of make-up and a brilliant way with melody. To others he's no more than a brattish drama school student who professes to make high art when in fact his best musical moment was dancing around to a Status Quo track. Either way, the guy's an interesting character and The Bachelor is a vast improvement on the patchy, The Magic Position.


Hombre Lobo by Eels

Just under the title on the cover reads "12 songs of desire". That basically sums up an album that's not a million miles away from any of the other Eels albums you'd care to mention, with primal blues rubbing up alongside the usual desolate hymns to loneliness, death and lost love. It's the musical version of putting on some worn slippers, only to find they're a bit hairier than they were before. Or something.


'We Are The People' by Empire of the Sun

Missing MGMT? Need to hear a slightly strained falsetto, some lazily strummed guitar and the patter of processed drums? Let Empire of the Sun be your musical balm. This has been all over Radio 2 and it's easy to hear why. It's about as inoffensive as a sleeping Leona Lewis dreaming about puppies, but it's perfect for a long summers evening doing nothing.

Don't do drugs kids...

The Wavves album (entitled Wavvves, with three 'v's) is a chaotic, noisy blast of surf-pop as played in a cave. This, however, taken from Spain's Primavera Sound festival, is what happens when you mix "ecstasy, valium and xanax and alcohol". Whatever happened to warming up before a gig with some Horlicks, some light stretching and perhaps a nap? Tsk, rock 'n roll has come along way my friends.

Pearl necklace

This is the brand new video from Natasha Khan, aka Bat For Lashes, and it seamlessly continues the trend for all things animal related. Yeah Yeah Yeahs featured a cat (of sorts), Patrick Wolf has an animal for a surname and now there's an actual wolf in this video for the brilliant 'Pearl's Dream'.

For those not au fait with Khan's alter-ego shtick, it's best to think of Pearl as Natasha's Sasha Fierce, which only makes sense if you know your Beyoncé trivia, which I like to think you do. So Pearl wears a blonde wig, sits at the back of theatres in a black polo-neck and is a little bit of a rebel whilst Natasha borrows Brandon Flowers' epaulets, wears an all-in-one and flies around a make-shift stage. The wolf? He just growls and bares his fangs on cue. But does he save the day at the end?

We can't help but think that Bat For Lashes' 'kookiness' is all a bit of an act, so having her on a stage acting out some rather kooky ideas for an audience of one is perhaps not the best way to go. But the song's a corker and surely, dear reader, that's the point is it not?