Saturday, April 26, 2008

NME/Rough Trade C81

Gist - Greener Grass
The Specials - Raquel
Orange Juice - Blue Boy

I was digging around the old iTunes '80s playlist this morning and came across something I had forgotten I had - the NME C81 compilation. Originally a cassette only release, it was given away free with two coupons and £1.50. Compiled by the NME and Rough Trade Records, it contained a a great array of acts and styles, both established and up and comers. It was the first of several of these compilations by the NME, the best known being C86. C81 proved wildly popular and sold out quickly. It veers from artsy electronic experiments (Cabaret Voltaire) to blues funk (James Blood Ulmer) to ska (The Beat) and post-punk (Buzzcocks). It also marked some of the earliest appearances by several Postcard Records acts - Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and Josef K. In the post-punk primer Rip It Up & Start Again author Simon Reynolds refers to C81 as "post punk's swan song". It is a fun, occasionally challenging listen. Today I offer 3 diverse tunes - The Special assault you with ska punk fury, Orange Juice bring the Velvets jangle, and Gist (Philip and Stuart Moxham, who went on to form Young Marble Giants) deliver a gorgeous instrumental.


I'm a big fan of chef/author/TV show host Anthony Bourdain, so I have posted a few links over at for you to peruse. Both are audio interviews - one with another celeb chef, Andrew Zimmern, and the other with Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot from NPR's Sound Opinions.

I made a new muxtape - go have a listen...
Landscape - Einstein A Go-Go
Scars - All About You
Crystal Castles - Air War
Grateful Dead - Estimated Prophet
Cameo - Back and Forth
David Bowie - Space Oddity (1980)
Sly & Robbie - Don't Stop The Music
AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long
Boz Scaggs - Lowdown
Elvis Presley - Crawfish
Average White Band - If I Ever Lose This Heaven
Panico - Transpiralo (featuring Crazy Girl)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Funky Friday

This is a re-post. The evil Blog-Google monster deleted this post on 2/12/2009, almost a full year after all of these audio links had expired. Pretty pointless move. eh? No audio content, just writing. Wankers.

The breakdown - Marianne Faithfull's '80s classic gets a nice beefy updating, Goldfrapp is dreamy, drippy gorgeousness and Air are funkier than you've ever heard. Estelle is a British singer/rapper whose album Shine is out next Tuesday on John Legend's label. It features John, as well as Kanye West, Cee-Lo, Mark Ronson, and Swizz Beatz. It is the perfect Mid Atlantic blend, managing to maintain it's British-ness while also sounding very American.
The Presets = Justice + Depeche Mode. Madonna has a sleek pulsating groove that rocks like Kraftwerk and a chorus that sounds like Minneapolis. Lyrics Born dishes up some prime G-funk, Santogold brings the electro-dub hop hybrid, and Casxio offer sleek disco pop.

Marianne Faithfull - Broken English (Baron von Luxxury Slow Touch Rmx)
Goldfrapp - Happiness (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve Remix)
Air - Kelly Watch The Stars (Moog Cookbook Remix)
Estelle - Pretty Please (Love Me) (feat. Cee-Lo)
Estelle - American Boy (feat. Kanye West)
The Presets - A New Sky
Lyrics Born - Cakewalk
Madonna - Candy Shop
Santogold - Shove It
Casxio - Seventeen

KRAFTWERK - A Few Last Words...

Kraftwerk were ace. They started on time and played most everything I hoped for - except for "Pocket Calculator". The sound was good and the visuals were great - yay, robots! Florian Schneider was not with the band (his replacement even had his own robot), so only Ralf Hütter was left from the original four. It was a real thrill for me to hear these songs played live, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. The band plays Coachella this weekend - enjoy the show!

The Man Machine
Planet of Vision
Numbers / Computerworld
Homecomputer / It's More Fun to Compute
Prologue / Tour de France 2003 (Etape 1, 2 & 3)
Tour de France (original)
The Model
Neon Lights
Les Mannequins
Trans-Europe Express / Abzug / Metal on Metal
The Robots
Musik Non Stop

The photo above is from the actual show in Minneapolis, and is part of reslbear1's Kraftwerk 2008 flickr set - some nice shots that really evoke the mood of the gig! There are also a bunch of clips on youtube from the shows in Minneapolis and Milwaukee. Sound quality varies, but there are a few good ones.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Music Tuesday

It's Tuesday, so that means a bunch of new releases in stores today. Here are a few of note; Barry Adamson's Back To The Cat, Cinematic Orchestra's Live At The Royal Albert Hall, Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid, Lyrics Born's Everywhere At Once, Tokyo Police Club's Elephant Shell, and expanded remasters of The Replacements' Sorry Ma Forgot To Take Out the Trash, Stink, Hootenanny and Let It Be. Also out today in the US is the excellent sophomore record by Young Knives. Called Superabundance, it is the follow up to Voices Of Animals & Men, a memorable collection of distinctly British and slightly odd post-punk. The follow up picks up where they left off, but on a grander, more experimental scale. The fab vocal harmonising remains intact, as do the quirky riffs. The subject matter is often bleak, a reflection of the world today, but it is a captivating listen. Turn Tail is an epic, full of strings and menace.
Young Knives - Turn Tail

The Replacements - Color Me Impressed

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Record Store Day + Kraftwerk

Today is Record Store Day. Hundreds of independently owned record stores all over the US and the UK will simultaneously link and act as one with the purpose of celebrating the culture and unique place that they occupy both in their local communities and nationally. You will find a list of all participating stores at the Record Store Day site. A bunch of bands are also releasing exclusive limited edition 7"s to be sold today, including Built to Spill, R.E.M., Death Cab for Cutie, the Black Keys, Vampire Weekend and Stephen Malkmus + Jicks (who have a 10" EP with 3 exclusive tracks). Go support your local music store and your favorite artists. If you live in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area, be sure to check out The Electric Fetus.

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm going to see KRAFTWERK tonight.
Thats right, das mother-effing Mensch Machine in going to be in the house,
and I will be getting my robot dance on.
"Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance!"

Here are some classic Pocket Calculator/Dentaku moments...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Funky Friday

A brief rundown - M83 are back and feeling a bit mellower and dancier than before. Glass Castles bring the blippy noise. Robyn is produced by The Knife, nuff said! D-Train is a stone cold classic electro disco anthem. Germany's Munk bring the DFA-ish funk with special guest Asia Argento. Ditto for Zero Cash & Khan. Padded Cell is Richard Sen (Bronx Dogs) and Neil Beatnik (Dirty Beatniks), and their album Night Must Fall is great -post-punk/funk/electro, and not a whiff of big beat. Sahara All Stars are straight outta Nigeria, delivering a sweet slice of Afro-funk. And then theres Kraftwerk.

What are you doing?

M83 - Couleurs
Glass Castles - Air War
Robyn - Who's That Girl
D-Train - You're The One For Me
Zero Cash & Khan - Light Of Love
Padded Cell - Konkorde Lafayette
Padded Cell - Fare Beneath London
Sahara All Stars Of Jos - Take Your Soul
Kraftwerk - Aerodynamik (Hot Chip's Intelligent Design Mix)
Munk - Live Fast Die Old feat. Asia Argento (Maral Salmassi And Zero Cash Remix)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Das Model

In case you were wondering...

Snakefinger - The Model
Krazy Ben - The Way Models Are

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's More Fun To Compute


Glomag - Pocket Calculator
Bubblyfish - It's More Fun To Compute

Today's selections are from
8-Bit Operators
The Music Of Kraftwerk Performed On 8-Bit Video Game Systems

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Music Tuesday + Kraftwerk


Glass Candy - Computer Love

There are a few new releases of note today - M83's Saturday=Youth, Phantom Planet's Raise The Dead, The Kooks' Konk, Does It Offend You, Yeah?'s You Have No Idea What You're Getting Yourself Into , Frank Black's Svn Fngrs, and the deluxe 10 year anniversary reissue of AIR's classic Moon Safari - a two disc set. Happy shopping.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kraftwerk Mash-Up


ToTom - Policy Of Spacelab
Apollo Zero - Workin' Techno Pop

Both of these are taken from Bootwerk - A Bastard Pop Tribute To Kraftwerk, which you can nab from the link.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Stew

A few bits and bobs to share today...

Kraftwerk - Techno Pop (Demo Version)


Mute Records has done us Americans a favor. They are releasing the Hercules And Love Affair album in the US. It has been out on DFA since March in Europe, but we will have to wait until June 24th to get it here. It is well worth the wait. The first single will be Blind and is out May 27th. No word on the remixes, but it will probably have some of the same ones as the Euro versions - Frankie Knuckles, Serge Santiago and the band's own mix among them.

The latest web/music/playlistism thingie buzzing around the internets is to make a Muxtape ("a simple way to create and share mp3 mixtapes"). It's ultra basic but works very nicely for streaming audio. Create an account, upload some songs and tell your friends to listen to your hot new mix. Listen to SIART's Muxtape, which features Hercules And Love Affair, Herb Alpert, The Skids and ZZ Top, some Italo, some electro and a few more choice morsels.

Trip-hop? I think not...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Funky Friday

Human League - Love Action (I Believe In Love)
Spoon - Don't You Evah (Matthew Dear Mix)
Mr. Chin - Faces Vs Fraction (Trust)
Freshro - I Turn My Camera On
Special Request - Salsa Smurph
Pic Vicious - Who's Your Lover
N*E*R*D - Everyone Nose
Jonzun Crew - Pack Jam
Belle Stars - Hiawatha
Cut Copy - Far Away

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Psonic Psunspot

I love me some XTC. I also love their alter-ego The Dukes Of Stratosphear. They only ever released two records - 1985's 25 O'Clock EP and 1987's Psonic Psunspot. The former is a blast of nugget-y psychedelic garage rock, a glorious tribute to the '60s. It's follow up is a more polished affair, but mines a similar vein of music. These were combined for a remastered reissue in 2002 under the title Chips From The Chocolate Fireball. Both sets bookended 1986's Skylarking, XTC's most psychedelic and '60s influenced work to date. I am a big fan of these records. They are exuberant in their recreations of the past, and contain some seriously killer songs. Today's selections come from Psonic Psunspot. Both are dynamic rockers with hooks to spare, big beats and bass, and lots of psychedelic production touches. Great stuff. For more in depth on these records check out Pitchfork's review or the write up at allmusic .
Little Lighthouse
You're My Drug

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Music Tuesday

Today is a BIG day for new music releases. I will break it down alphabetically, starting with The Breeders' Mountain Battles. I love the Deal sisters, and I love this record's scruffy, scrappy indie rock. Plenty of good songs, with one sung in German and another in Spanish. Who needs The Pixies? Also out today; Clinic's Do It, Cut Copy's In Ghost Colours and Dark Meat's Universal Indians (see here for more). Foals' Antidotes also hits shelves today. The Brits recorded in NYC with TV On The Radio's David Sitek as producer, and the result is a great blend of neo post-punk and NYC art rock. There are nice production touches - electronics and horns, and plenty to get you herky-jerking. A couple more records of note; Meat Beat Manifesto's Autoimmune is a return to the kind of speaker shattering beats and frequencies he practised on 99% & Satyricon, two of my fave MBM albums. I've posted a couple of tracks already. Finally, blogger faves of a couple years ago and Minneapolis' own Tapes 'n' Tapes return with Walk It Off, produced by the ace Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev). Happy shopping...
The Breeders - Walk It off

Foals - Tron

Friday, April 04, 2008

Funky Friday

Steely Dan - F.M
Yelle - Tristesse/Joie
Erykah Badu - The Cell
Matmos - Mister Mouth
Jamie Lidell - Green Light
Meat Beat Manifesto - I Hold The Mic!
Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Battle Royale
Neon Neon - Trick or Treat (Instrumental)
The B-52s - Funplex (Peaches' Pleasure Seeker Remix)
The Teenagers - Starlett Johansson (Rory Philips Mix)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Universal Indians

Dark Meat are a 17 piece psychedelic jazz rock collective from Athens, GA. According to their bio they feature "double drums, shredding guitars, jazz bursts, gospel vocals and marching band horns! Dark Meat lives together, eats together and makes music together, the true meaning of collective - several members live in Orange Twin, a 100-acre sustainable-living eco-village, where members farm, do bio-diesel conversion and host shows at their amphitheater. For three years, Dark Meat has thrilled crowds with earth-shaking, hallelujah-roaring performances throughout the South." The band's past and current lineup include members from Of Montreal, Elf Power, The Instruments, We Versus Shark, Gnarls Barkley and more. They self released their album Universal Indians back in 2006. It has been picked up by Vice Records, expanded with three songs, and is being reissued next week. It is a heap of fun. Loud and raucous, most of the songs sprawl into chaos then re-emerge. You'll hear free jazz, classic rock, the blues, a dash of punk, Celtic folk and so much more. Its like The Polyphonic Spree without the cult appeal, but much looser and cruder too. Here is how the band describes itself on it's myspace page;


Sounds Like

Very amusing. Freedom Ritual kicks off the album in great style. Starts softly but gets very loud. Enjoy, and if you do I think you will like the rest of the record too.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Juliet Of The Spirits

The B-52s are one of my favorite bands from the late '70s/early '80s. Their early records were herky jerky new wave smashes, infused with quirky song titles, themes and lyrics. They had 3 of the most unique voices in rock; Kate and Cindy, with their shimmering rock goddess vocals, and Fred shouting crazy one liners in between. They were a great rock band you could dance to. After fading a bit from popularity they made a spectacular comeback in 1989 with Love Shack. The album Cosmic Thing took elements of the old band and presented them in a more polished, produced fashion. 1992's Good Stuff seemed almost like a carbon copy of it's predecessor, and they finally lost my interest - and it seemed like that of everyone else too. It was their last album. Until Funplex hit stores last week. After 16 years they've decided to introduce The B-52s to a new generation.

Those of you expecting something new will be disappointed. Those of you looking for that classic mojo of old might be surprised to hear how good these guys sound. I don't know if this generation will be interested. My guess would be probably not - no hip hop beats or production by Timbaland. They do have a producer in Steve Osborne (New Order/Happy Mondays) who knows modern studio trickery, and he has given these songs a very 2008 sheen. The girls sound fabulous, Fred is as wacky as ever (Bootybot! Erotobot!), and Keith Strickland's angular rhythm guitar riffs are everywhere. I have to be honest here and say that I was a little nervous about this record, but have been won over by it's goofy charms. There are lots of songs about sex, some invites to party and dance, a hint of politics, and more sex. It is a lot of fun, and as someone who is middle aged it is encouraging to see my (slightly older) peers enjoying themselves so much. Juliet of The Spirits is a gorgeous girls only moment, a highlight of the album. Eyes Wide Open is their 2008 moment - very DFA, very groovy.
The B-52s - Juliet of The Spirits
The B-52s - Eyes Wide Open

Late Breaking Update
The B-52's return to The Billboard 200 with their first studio album in nearly 16 years this week, as "Funplex" (Astralwerks) bows at No. 11 with 30,000. It's also the highest debut in Astralwerks' history. The B-52's last studio effort, "Good Stuff," peaked at No. 16 in July 1992.