Music news and reviews, music videos and tittle tattle, with a lingering look at the past from Anorak. A source for rock, pop, album and live music, new releases, artist interviews and features.
THE news today is that supermodel Cara Delevingne has hired Pharrell Williams to give her what she needs as she makes her musical bow.
A source told The super soaraway Sun: “They’re going to release the song without warning, complete with video and global launch. They seem to have formed a great little writing collective and apparently it’s a huge song.”
SCOTT Ian of Anthrax on meeting Lemmy for the first time. Language is spicy.
HIGHLIGHTS from Iggy Pop’s John Peel Lecture for BBC Music at the Lowry theater in Salford, Manchester.
On Apple and U2:
“The people who don’t want the free U2 download are trying to say, ‘Don’t try to force me.’ And they’ve got a point. Part of the process when you buy something from an artist, it’s kind of an anointing, you are giving people love. It’s your choice to give or withhold. You felt like they were robbed of that chance and they have a point.”
On Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke selling the album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes via BitTorrent.
“Sure, BitTorrent is a pirate’s friend. But all pirates want to go legit, just like I wanted to be respectable. So it’s good that Thom Yorke is encouraging a positive change.”
On Modern Piracy:
Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
WORLD’S Got Talent presents four-piece ensemble novii god h:
SLIPKNOT sacked drummer Joey Jordison, by singing telegram. As he says:
“I was sitting in my living room playing Skyrim, when there was a knock at my door. I wasn’t expecting anyone, so I was like, ‘Who could that be?’. I opened the door to find a guy in what looked like an old-fashioned elevator boy outfit. He did a little jig and started to sing this horrible song letting me know I’d been let go from the group.”
LIFE mirrors The Produers:
Charles Manson: Summer of Hate – The Musical just opened at Hamburg, Germany’s Thalia Theater.
The Los Angeles Times calls it “musical trip between L.A. and the Death Valley”.
The songs are in English and spoken dialogue in German.
YOU can strop the music….
BIG news from the world of showbiz – big enough to take over the Sun ‘s front page: Jason Orange has quit Take That.
THE MOBO Awards have doled out their nominations, inevitably prompting spectacularly thick people to say “WHY DON’T WE GET A MOWO AWARDS EH?” Classical music awards are exactly that, you berk.
Anyway, Sam Smith and Krept & Konan lead this year’s nominations with three nods each and the event will take place at the SSE Arena, Wembley on October 22nd, which is pretty fancy for it’s 19th year in business.
As well as Krept & Konan and Sam Smith, Fuse ODG, Beyonce, Meridian Dan, Tinie Tempah, FKA Twigs, Katy B, Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar and MNEK get a look-in too.
In even better news, the ceremony will be broadcast on ITV2 this year.
Discussing the news, MOBO founder Kanya King said: “As we enter our 19th year, the MOBO Awards show promises to be bigger and more audacious than ever. This year’s nominees represent an incredible crop of artists. I find it particularly exciting to see so many underground artists featured, who’ve reached new heights over the last year and broken into the wider consciousness.”
“It’s testament to their talent and their determination to succeed and we are very proud to witness their successes to date. This year’s show at Wembley is set to be nothing short of spectacular”.
If you fancy a flutter, we’re going to arrogantly predict who will win. If you land a big bet, we want a round of drinks off you. We’re not kidding.
There’s a very strong bunch of nominees, so let’s have a look.
ONCE upon a time, rock and pop lived together in perfect harmony and music fans didn’t feel the need to pick sides. Then, at some point in the ’80s, indie music came and spoiled it all, taking up the same opinion as people like Morrissey, who needlessly hit out at anything that was vaguely popular.
In 2014, too many White Artists With A Guitar (WAWAGs, pronounced Waaaaaaaah Wags) feel the need to hit out against pop music because it makes them feel more authentic when they talk about ‘real music’ and other horsepiss.
THERE’S been much chatter about Apple’s move to give away U2′s new album Songs of Innocence to 500 million iTunes customers in 119 countries to coincide with its iPhone 6 and Watch launch.
U2′s singer Bono (Mr G21) opined:
“People who haven’t heard our music, or weren’t remotely interested, might play us for the first time because we’re in their library,”
IN September 1994, a reel-to-reel tape emerged and was put up for auction. Sotheby’s were all over it because this wasn’t any old recording they had on their hands.
What had arrived was a reel to reel tape of The Quarry Men appearing at St Peter’s Parish Church garden party Liverpool in July, 1957.
The Quarry Men would of course, turn into The Beatles, who are still the biggest band in the whole wide world. The tape went for what is a reasonably low price of £69,000. That wouldn’t buy one leg of a Champion’s League footballer in 2014.
So with that, we got to thinking about famous rock stars, pop singers and rappers before they were famous. Of course, there’s a lot of them who were on television and there’s yearbook photos of just about every celebrity online, but we wanted to look at the music they were making and the evidence of it.
Pull up a chair, remove the wax from your ear and let’s get stuck into rock’s flipside.
THIS week, in ’65, The Rolling Stones crash-landed at the top of the pop charts with a song that would become the band’s signature tune.
(‘I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ gave the group their 4th no.1 single in the UK, which Keith Richards came up with while in Florida. He recorded a rough demo of the riff in a hotel room. Famously, he knocked the riff out into a tape and then fell asleep.
The song started life as two minutes of acoustic fumblings and and “then me snoring for the next forty minutes.”
One of the main ingredients that made the song so memorable was the Gibson Maestro Fuzz Pedal. That FZZZZing, BZZZZZing noise would become one of the hallmarks of ’60s beat music and the Stones taking it to the toppermost of the poppermost only ensured that everyone was going to jump on the sound.
BRITISH soul music is in a very, very good place at the moment and one of the leading lights of the scene is the wonderful Sam Smith, who has just announced a big ol’ UK tour for Spring 2015.
Smith just reached number one in the album charts and is currently being wooed by America, which will either make him or break him into a puddle of nervous breakdown.
Of course, Sam Smith isn’t the first soul singer Britain has produced, but his success is worth looking back at some of Blighty’s finest balladeers and belters.
Britain has a much richer seam of soul music (and blue-eyed soul) than you think. Of course, Adele conquered the entire world and Beverley Knight has stuck it out for years.
Let’s have a look at some of the best.
The current champion of Britsoul, Sam Smith, who has cut a fine furrow himself, along with making some great songs with Disclosure and Chic’s Nile Rodgers.
If there was a title for the greatest British soul singer of all time, Amy Winehouse would absolutely be in with a shout. Dead too young, but with a couple of killer albums released in her lifetime, making the rest of pop immediately up its game.
MNEK has gone from writing for others to making a go of it himself and, by God, we’ve needed him. Mixing ’90s R&B sensibilities with modern pop and dance music, he’s creating some of the best music in the world right now and if we don’t make a megastar out of him, we frankly don’t deserve the ears on our heads and the ass in our pants.
Cymande are an overlooked London funk outfit from the ’70s who ended up being sampled by De La Soul, thereby giving salivating record collectors and sample hunters a second stab at hearing their terrific music.
Few could argue that Britain has produced a better soul artist than Dusty Springfield. No-one channelled the feeling of a song quite like her and that remarkable, unique voice of hers is one that’ll never be copied.
You may remember Estelle’s ‘American Boy’, which featured a Kanye West verse, but there’s more to her than that one big smash. That said, if you’re going to go global with a record, ‘American Boy’ isn’t a bad one at all.
The critics favourite, Laura Mvula has melted the hearts of everyone with her modern-take on soul. She’s a magnificent artist and, as good as her work is, you get the impression she’s not yet released her best.
London’s R&B champion, Angel, has all the ingredients to be a superstar, so fans of his are enjoying him up close and personal before he ends up vanishing behind the velvet curtain of the VIP section.
Courtney Bennett is one of the most promising singers in Britain right now. She’s put out loads of great songs and was spotted by Ryan Leslie to sing on his ‘Black Mozart’ LP. One of the future, for sure.
Swedish-born, but British raised, Fatima has been making some very interesting and original soul music (‘Circle’ is well worth a listen). Another one who, if we’re not careful, could be huge!
Lianne La Havas
The fabulous Lianne La Havas as dazzled everyone who has seen her live and on record, she’s no slouch either. Mixing jazz, soul and electronics, she’s so good that Prince went ’round her house for a cup of tea.
Another one of Britain’s blue-eyed soulies from the ’60s, Chris Farlowe’s voice is a force of nature. The thing that bellows out of that awkward frame of his provided Immediate Records with some of their best hits. You’ll know him from his famous version of ‘Handbags & Gladrags’.
Lynden David Hall
Britain’s answer to Neo Soul, LDH sadly passed away in 2006, but not before cutting some great records and an amusing appearance in ‘Love Actually’.
Honorary mentions to:
Katy B, Craig David, Alice Russell, Jay Sean, Taio Cruz, Brand New Heavies, Misha Paris, Rebecca Ferguson.
THERE’S a lot of excitement about Aphex Twin at the minute, as he’s back to release a new LP – ‘Syro’ – and, for fans of awkward electronic music (which are, ostensibly, the new prog generation), any appearance of Richard D. James is worth your attention.
However, what with Aphex having a lot of stubborn male fans, if you’re new to it all, you will almost certainly run into some elitist bullshit at some point; even though Aphex Twin is not at all elitist himself, getting angry when people refer to his music as ‘IDM’, which stands for the achingly awful ‘Intelligent Dance Music’.
So, you want to know what the fuss about Aphex Twin is?
Well, we’re here to help and create a beginners/bluffers guide, so you can dip your toe in and find out whether he’s for you or not. He’s got a few pseudonyms too, so he can he quite hard to keep up with, but once you’re in, that’s part of the fun.
Pull up a chair, pop your ears, and let us commence.
Aphex Twin ‘Windowlicker’
Aphex released two of his most popular records back-to-back, with the watershed bothering ‘Come To Daddy’ frightening everyone half to death, and then, the infamous ‘Windowlicker’.
WILF Turnbull and Derk Philpott are two pensioners living in Bournemouth, Dorset. They “write to popstars about their song lyrics, and they often reply.”
Letter Number 1:
Re: Ready To Go
As you may be aware, the house opposite have just had a loft conversion done, which was sadly undertaken by a disreputable contractor, resulting in a profoundly fissured chimney breast, haphazard joists and a shoddily grouted dormer susceptible to complete de-glazing in the face of nothing more potent than an errant shuttlecock.
Once alerted, Bournemouth Borough Council inspectors conducted a thorough inspection of the discreditable garret and, horrified by their findings, insisted upon the ignominious sky parlor being fully ameliorated prior to building approval being granted. Unfortunately, rather than addressing the defects properly, the owners opted for a much more economical ‘botch-job’, which incorporated half a tub of Polyfilla and an unmatching Dulux Tester Pot in an attempted concealment of the afore-mentioned flue crevice.
It was with some dismay, but no little surprise therefore, that my wife Jean and I were awakened this morning by both her PC tablet alarm clock (tuned, obviously, to Bournemouth’s peerless Wave 105.2 FM) and an almighty ruckus coming from across the road. Further investigation from a discreet gap in the curtains revealed that the officials had returned to the slapdash attic, and, thoroughly unimpressed by the frugal and deceptive improvements undertaken, were now teetering precariously astride the tiles and pointing at the stack, angrily and loudly protesting at its deceptive restoration.
It was at this very juncture in the confrontational governing body/extra storey owner proceedings that your “technopop punk classic” came on just after the travel, ”it’s a crack, I’m back yeah standing on the rooftops shouting out” uncannily acting as an eerie narrative to the scene that we were witnessing at that very instant. There, however, any similarity ended; far from being ”ready to go”, the furious officials seemed intent on maintaining their ‘lofty’ position until the matter could be resolved.
Notwithstanding this last incongruity, Jean and I remain extremely impressed by your local authority versus resident soundscaping abilities, although must take issue with your assertion that one week is another world; it is, inactuality not a different planet but a seven day unit ot time.
Finally, Jean has just suggested from the kitchen, where she is toasting a muffin, that in the current climate of so many establishments closing, you may be well advised to consider renaming your indie combo ‘ReWineBarLica’ or ‘ReBeersAtHomeLica’, in order to reflect current trends.
AFTER The Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and Isle of Wight captured rock ‘n’ roll’s attention, everyone was soon trying to get in on the action by putting on their own festivals.
England got Bickershaw and Glastonbury started to stretch out, and America saw festivals popping up all over the place. One such show was the 1972 Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival.
However, this was one of the most disastrous get-togethers in rock. The Rolling Stone’s Altamont gig in 1969 was bad enough, but this shindig, held over three days on Bull Island in Indiana, was blighted from the off.
Promoters of the show thought they’d be getting around 50,000 music lovers on-site, but soon enough, they found themselves swamped with over 300,000 ready to lose their shit and get messy.
MUSIC legend, Lou Adler, is an inductee of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and responsible for a frightening amount of hits and given the world so much music that he should be beatified.
Adler founded and co-owned Dunhill Records (Jimmy Buffett, Solomon Burke, Thelma Houston, Steppenwolf, Joe Walsh, Van Der Graaf Generator, Dusty Springfield and more) and was the producer on the label.
After selling Dunhill, he founded Ode Records (Spirit, Carole King, Merry Clayton, Cheech & Chong, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and others) and helped to produce the Woodstock precursor, the Monterey International Pop Festival (where Hendrix famously set fire to his guitar during his version of ‘Wild Thing’).
He also managed surfer boys Jan & Dean, produced Sam Cooke and bagged two Grammy Awards in ’72 for his production skills on ‘It’s Too Late’ by Carole King and the ‘Tapestry’ LP. He’s the owner of the legendary Roxy Theatre on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. He is best remembered for discovering The Mamas & Papas.
It is little wonder he got himself a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and can often be seen courtside with Jack Nicholson at LA Lakers games.
TODAY is the birthday of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most legendary men… although, many won’t have ever heard of him. In 1939, in North London, the legendary Clem Cattini was born.
Cattini did shifts in his dad’s Italian restaurant before pursuing a career in music, starting things off with gigs at The 2i’s Coffee Bar, where he backed whoever turned up. He soon joined his own band called the Beat Boys, and from there, he started to get noticed.
And while a lot of people have never heard of Clem, he’s played on over 40 number one hit records and was one of the most prolific drummers in UK pop history. He’s worked with Joe Meek, Lou Reed, Cliff Richard, Hot Chocolate, Bay City Rollers, Benny Hill and loads more.
Cattini was so hot on the drumstool that he’d get called in to play the parts of bands who already had a drummer.
So with that, let us look at some of Clem’s most famous appearances. If anything, this list will show you just how versatile the great man is.
Happy birthday Clem!
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates ‘Shakin’ All Over’
Thunderclap Newman ‘Something In The Air’
The Tornados ‘Telstar’
Clive Dunn ‘Grandad’
Donovan ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’
The Kinks ‘You Really Got Me’
The Walker Brothers ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’
Dusty Springfield ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’
The Love Affair ‘Everlasting Love’
Renée and Renato ‘Save Your Love’
T-Rex ‘Get It On’
KATE Bush once sang a song about Ken Livingstone, former leader of the GLC, Member of Parliament and the first democratically-elected Mayor of London.
Ken is the man that we all need,
Ken is the leader of the GLC.
Who is the man we all need? KEN!
Who is the funky sex machine? KEN!
Who is the leader of the GLC? KEN!
Who is the man we all need? KEN!
The Comic Strip revisited the tune:
NINETEEN years ago on this very day, all the way back in 1995, teenagers tuned into the chart rundown on Radio One to find out which of Britpop’s gargantuans were going to land the killer blow.
It was on the 26th August that Blur scored their first UK No.1 single with ‘Country House’ ahead of Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’.
Animosity had been high between the two camps, with Oasis hoping Blur would die of AIDS and generally dismissing them as Southern softies. Blur meanwhile sarcastically referred to Oasis as being like ‘Status Quo’, to which Oasis promptly started selling ‘Quoasis’ t-shirts.
It was puerile, pointless and a whole load of fun for people who like a narrative on their pop music.
Both acts released their new singles on the same day, both landing in the top two slots in a month that was erratic at best. While Britpop duked it out, the run-up saw Robson & Jerome’s ‘Unchained Melody’ at the top spot, as well as Outhere Brothers’ ‘Boom Boom Boom’, Take That’s ‘Never Forget’ and followed by Michael Jackson’s ‘You Are Not Alone’ and Shaggy’s ‘Boombastic’.
It was a weird and brilliant summer.
However, as everyone knows, the most irritating thing about the whole battle was just how poor both band’s singles were. ‘Country House’ was Blur’s vision of Great Britain gone too far; too bloated on lager. ‘Roll With It’ was Oasis dialling it in, from a body of work that had stronger LP tracks and B-sides. Oasis ploughed through and became stadium-fillers while Blur slowly collapsed under the weight of their own skewed look on the world, before retreating away, ready to unleash ‘Beetlebum’ and ‘Song Two’ at everyone from their follow-up, eponymous LP.
The release of the two records effectively killed Britpop stone-dead, with only Pulp and the Super Furry Animals managing to maintain any sort of quality control thereafter, with Elastica vanishing down a smack hole, Suede losing their grot-glamour and exchanging it for sickly, pristine Bowie tributes. Things were in such a bad way that Dodgy became headline acts.
The fallout from this Battle of Britpop opened the door for Embrace, Coldplay, Travis and a whole new dawn of overly sincere and overwrought indie rock, which in turn, transformed into something the NME briefly dubbed NAM (New Acoustic Movement) with the likes of Alfie, Turin Breaks, Badly Drawn Boy and Ben & Jason.
Britpop’s bombast reached the zenith 19 years ago, and the momentum kept Oasis going for a while, while Blur got a little lost, touring the very dubious ‘Great Escape’ LP. Of course, it being Blur, it had some fine moments, but so quickly they’d gone from sparky and sarcastic, to getting lost in their own creation, that you couldn’t see the boys who made ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ in the fug of Camden cocaine anymore.
Both Oasis and Blur suffered in the immediate aftermath of 1995, and would have to regroup to get their motors running again, while their Britpop pals all slid into the Andy’s Records 9p Bargain Bin. Oasis were almost certainly the more determined of the two, filling Manchester City’s old Maine Road stadium and Doing Knebworth in 1996.
However, it wouldn’t be too long before they released the pretty terrible ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘All Around The World’ and hauled the flabby ‘Be Here Now’ LP around the planet while hanging around with Tony Blair in Downing Street for a ‘Cool Britannia’ photo-op.
While Oasis soldiered on until 2009, when Noel finally left. The band were exhausted and going mental. Blur meanwhile, saw Graham Coxon throwing the towel in, leaving Damon to create numerous projects.
And here we are, in 2014, and still, Blur and Oasis have our ears. Be it Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds or wonderful DVD commentary where he’s revealing himself to be a pleasantly daft old curmudgeon or Damon Albarn’s magpie approach to music, with record labels (Honest John’s) and his million bands; Dodgy, Shed Seven, The Bluetones, Menswear, Powder, Sleeper and all the rest, have all but vanished apart from in the hearts of corduroy wearing thirtysomethings.
With Britpop celebrating a 20th anniversary lately, it can only mean one thing – teenagers are going to start fetishising it and starting up bands that sound like Octopus.
God help us all.
IT has been announced that a brass sculpture of Amy Winehouse is to be installed at Camden market, London.
The memorial has been designed by Scott Eaton and will be erected at the Stables market, not too far away from where the singer died so depressingly young in July 2011.
Amy’s father Mitch said he was happy about the new lifesize memorial, and that it will divert people away from paying tribute at her old house, which has “bad memories for everyone”.
“It’s a great honour to have the statue in the Stables. Amy was an integral part of Camden and still is, so you couldn’t really think of putting a statue for her anywhere else, could you really?” he told The Guardian.
Of course, Amy isn’t the first pop star to be graced with a statue in her honour. And if history tells us anything, it is that some memorial statues are better than others.
Let us look at some of the best and worst.
Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott might not be the most famous musician in the world, but something of a working class hero, it is great that he was immortalised in statue form on Harry Street in Dublin. Sadly, the statue itself kinda sucks.
The Fab Four have a load of statues, but the ones in Houston are the best. Stylised and imposing, these giant Beatles were erected and, just to further the Paul Is Dead rumours, the Paul statue fell over after being blown at by some wind.
There’s a touching statue of MJ in a favela in Rio, but we’re not interested in that. We’re more into the ghastly effigy erected by Fulham FC outside their ground. An embarrassment to a lot of fans and the cause of much mirth elsewhere.
At the Albert Docks in Liverpool, there’s a great statue of British rock ‘n’ roll’s finest, Billy Fury. Of course, a lot of people walk past it and assume it is Elvis, but there you go.
One of the greatest voices to ever leap out of a human throat, Otis Redding passed away too young, just days after recording ‘(Sitting On The) Dock Of The Bay’. His sculpture sits in Gateway Park in Macon, Georgia. Here he is, being manhandled by a grinning white guy.
Jimi’s sculpture was unveiled in ’97 on Broadway Avenue in the Capital Hill/Broadway area of Hendrix’ hometown of Seattle. Sadly for Hendrix, they stuck him next to the road and had him grimacing at traffic.
In Sevierville, Tennessee, there’s a statue of a barefoot, young Dolly Parton with a guitar which is sometimes rubbed for good luck by locals and tourists. Dolly grew up in Sevierville. It is a reasonably nice statue of her, it has to be said.
The plaque on this statue of James Brown says: “Singer, songwriter and one-of-a-kind performer” and overlooks James Brown Plaza on Broad Street in Augusta, Ga. The person who made the statue, it seems, put a million teeth in The Godfather of Soul’s mouth. He looks a bit like a Critter.
The Ramones guitarist probably has the best statue in rock’s history, looking moody and cool while standing by the lake at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. His ashes are in the base of his statue, which is near the grave of bandmate Dee Dee Ramone. The Ramones – even cool in death.
Aberdeen Washington decided to pay tribute to their iconic son who fronted Nirvana and, regrettably killed himself. However, you have to assume that, having seen the tribute, Cobain may actually prefer to be pushing up daisies.
ON this very day in 1965, something brilliant, eccentric and hip was born – Immediate Records.
In what has to be one of the finest record label names ever – c’mon, it’s everything a teenager wants from pop music – and purposefully moddish, Immediate was the baby of Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham and his partner Tony Calder.
The launched the label with a hipster party, attended by some of pop’s great and good – Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Nico (not yet in the Velvet Underground) were all there, being thin and beautiful.
The label was the home of some very famous bands, such as The Small Faces, Rod Stewart and some ’60s favourites in The Nice, Amen Corner and Chris Farlowe. In their stable, they had a young guitar player and producer by the name of Jimmy Page too. Could a label be any more hip?
Obviously, being a bit tinpot, Immediate ran into financial problems and folded in 1970.
So with that, to celebrate one of the world’s most fabulous and frivolous enterprises, let us listen to some of the famous, and shouldabeenfamous, records that were found on Immediate.
Fleur De Lys ‘Circles’
Killer mod-pop from FDL, with a track that The Who wrote and intended as a single called ‘Instant Party’. While Townsend & Co. dithered, the Fleur De Lys stuck the record out. It contains one of the most mental lead guitar lines in the history of pop.
ON this very day in 1968, the last episode of The Monkees TV show aired in the States. Almost every US TV station re-ran the show, with the ’69-’71 being more popular than the debut bow.
The show was shipped out across the world and The Monkees found a load of British fans when it was repeated in the summer holidays in the ’80s and ’90s. While the band themselves have mixed feelings about the show, it simply won’t go away, unless of course, you’re the kind of sneering prick who doesn’t like The Monkees because you could see the business behind them.