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  1.  (8330.101)

    No need to explain myself
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2010
    Hmmmm, what am I listening to this week? Oh yeah, THIS:

    It's here! Thomas Dolby's first new studio music in 20 years, the "Amerikana" EP is released today, and I can finally divulge the news that I will be working with Thomas Dolby on ALL of the design work leading up to and including his new album, "A Map Of The Floating City" later this year. It's a dream come true for a huge Dolby geek/fan, but I've had a great time collaborating with Thomas so far, and there's some really cool stuff coming up in the near future!

    Here's the official press release:
    Today I’m releasing my first new studio music in nearly 20 years. It’s called Amerikana, and it’s available ONLY to members of my online fan community, The Flat Earth Society.

    "I’ve chosen not to make this a full commercial release for various reasons. My plan has always been to put out a series of three digital EPs (taking their names from the 3 sections of my upcoming album A Map Of The Floating City) followed by a physical album with additional tracks. But as I’ve yet to settle on a particular release method for that album – be it self-publishing, a record label, or some new hybrid – I’d prefer not to undermine the album’s commercial appeal by pulling the trigger too early. However, my ‘hardcore’ audience have been following my adventures on my blog and web site as I go through the process of writing and recording these songs, and it’s only natural they would want an early listen to my new music. So I arrived at the idea of releasing the EPs exclusively to FES members. You will only be able to buy it here on my website, and not on iTunes, Amazon etc.

    Amerikana is an affectionate look back at the 22 years I lived in the USA before returning to my native Britain three summers ago. While living in the States I became very fond of roots American music. And as it’s music that was always spread and shared by travelers sitting around camp fires, I felt I’d add my traveler’s voice to its ongoing story. Needless to say, I’m no hillbilly or good ol’ country boy, so my own flavour of americana is a bit twisted, a bit mischievous. ‘Road To Reno’ charts the progress of a pair of hapless lovers as their red convertible blazes a trail across the desert in a kind of indie road movie, serenaded by my longtime cohorts the Jazz Mafia Horns. ‘Toad Lickers’ is about a group of crazed eco-hippies in the Welsh mountains who get high on Bufo alvarius and creep into the local town after hours in search of munchies. It has cameos from Imogen Heap on jaw harp, longtime FES member Crackers on accordion, and fiddler Natalie MacMaster.

    But the EP’s ‘coup de resistance’ is a 7?38? epic entitled ‘17 Hills’. Very much in the tradition of ‘I Love You Goodbye’ and ‘Budapest By Blimp’, this song weaves a bittersweet tale using words, sounds, textures, and surprising left turns in the arrangement. It features beautiful playing by Mark Knopfler, who graciously allowed me into his private studio as he added some of his signature licks, complimenting my vocal to perfection. Pedal steel player Bruce Kaphan, who produced American Music Club and has toured with David Byrne, adds soaring atmospherics. Natalie MacMaster injects a touch of Cape Breton charm with a mesmerising looped fiddle solo. Radical string quartet Ethel beckon us into the realm of the surreal. And Jeffrey Wash’s pristine fretless seems to channel one of the greatest bass guitar showcases of all time, Joni’s ‘Hejira’.

    As I mentioned, Amerikana is only one section of my album, and three of its four songs are represented here. The price, including high-res MP3s and a print-ready digital booklet, is a very affordable $3.00 / E3.00 / £2.00. The subsequent two EPs ‘Oceanea’ and ‘Urbania’ – available later in 2010 – have quite different styles, and some may prefer one over another. My albums, as you know, often cover a wide range of genres, because like a novelist I really enjoy exploring a new idiom, instrumentation, time and place; and thankfully my core fanbase has been willing to go along for the ride. So you have options: you can choose to wait for the full album and get all the goodies in one package, or you can plunge in now, and see where you end up! The eventual AMOTFC album will definitely contain at least 3 songs not included on the EPs.

    That said, there is a theme running through the EPs that you might want to be aware of. The album has a backstory which is something you will have to dig a bit to uncover. Contained on each EP is a ‘clue’, and you’re going to need to unravel its secret at each stage of the proceedings. I won’t say more than that for now. My recent visit to JJ Abrams’ facility in California might give you a hint about what I’m up to!

    Here’s the link to buy the EP. If you’re not already a community member, you can sign up here!

    I hope you enjoy Amerikana, and will look forward to hearing your feedback."

    So there you go; sign up for his online community and get free cool new music, designed by me! It's a win-win situation.
  2.  (8330.103)
    @Paul - congrats

    for me this week has been all about the wonderfulness that is the new(ish) Lydia Lunch album - Big Sexy Noise. It's got Gallon Drunk providing the music.
    if you dug Nick Cave's Grinderman project then really give this a listen.

    you can sample the tracks at the myspace

    play it loud.
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2010
    Was recently turned on to the Atticus Ross project 12 Rounds, so I've been listening to their first album, Jitter Juice, a lot. It's definitely a 90's project, but it's aging well, I think. You can hear some things that are obvious precursors to his contributions to Nine Inch Nails and How to Destroy Angels.
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2010
    @Florence Chan: How do you like the Janelle Monae? I haven't heard it yet but have heard good things.

    @hanjean : I like it! If you've listened to her 'Metropolis: The Chase Suite' album, you'll know that it was essentially a soundtrack-type of album, with the concept being that the protagonist, Cindy Merriweather is an android who is on the run as it's found out she has fallen in love. The ArchAndroid takes the same character through two more parts of the suite and includes a wide variety of tunes ranging from orchestral to dance to funk to mo-town to r&b depending on the stage of the storyline. I am particularly fond of 'Faster', 'Cold War', 'Tightrope' and 'Oh, Maker'.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
    Themselves - Crowns Down

    Anticon's best (Doseone & Jel) go back to basics with MPC and battle rhymes, and boy is it sweet. Had the privelege to interview Dose last night - he was like a cartoon character version of a rap zen master. The guy is awesome.
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
    I'll put in another plug for Janelle Monae"s THE ARCH ANDROID album. Hands down, this is the most skillfully produced and wildly diverse album I've heard in a VERY long time. As stated before, Janelle and her producers put her through funk, R&B, electro, synthpop, Broadway show tunes, jazz/pop, orchestral, even ABBA soundalikes, and damn if she (and they) don't pull it off. And against all expectations, it holds together incredibly well. I'd say this is neck and neck with Gorillaz PLASTIC BEACH as an album that should have fallen apart under its own weight, and yet came out near perfect.

    Here's the first single from Monae's new album, the stellar "Tightrope":
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
    @Paul - I've had Tightrope on a pretty heavy rotation lately as well, it's such a great track and an awesome video too (and makes me wanna go out and get practising my moves as well...)
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
    Been listening mostly to Rinse FM the last 3 days. Glad to hear they finally got their license.

    The rest of the time has gone to some Spanish rappers and to Arvo Pärt, mainly.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
     (8330.110) says I've been listening thus:

    Steely Dan
    Alva Noto
    Two Fingers
    Gil Scott-Heron
    Joensuu 1685
    • CommentAuthorBoga_
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
    Been a while

    New shit:
    Rangers - Suburban Tours
    Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal
    The Chemical Brothers - Further
    Robyn - Body Talk Pt.1
    Sleigh Bells - Treats
    James Blake - CMYK

    Old shit:
    Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me
    The Replacements - Tim
    A crapload of Tropicalia (Panis et Circensis, Gal Costa, Caetano, Gil, Tom Zé, Alceu Valença, Os Mutantes)
  3.  (8330.112)
    LOW THREAT PROFILE-kick my heart (7" 10 songs in about four and a half minutes, new project from three guys involved in INFEST, NO COMMENT, MITB first wave og ppower violence)
    PANIC! AT THE DISCO-fever you cant sweat out (uhhhh like the exact opposite of what i said above)
    DANGERS-anger 12"
    WALLS-tour ep
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
    New Anathema is brilliant! Better with every listen. ...wish I could find a youtube video to do it justice. Steve Wilson (Porcupine Tree) did a wonderful job producing it. So many textures, nuances and moods. It's everything an introspective modern rock album should be.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
    Kid606 - P.S. I Love You

    Indignant Senility - Plays Wagner

    Kenny Graham And His Satellites - Moondog And Suncat Suites
  4.  (8330.115)
    Dead Mechanical - Addict Rhythms - Gruff pop-punk with power and poetry. More melodic than their last album. Fucking great stuff. Can't stop listening. joe.distort is probably already on this.

    The Lazer - Complete Discography - Jamie from Bent Outta Shape (a band I fucking adore) in his first band. Shades of Crimpshrine. Shitty recording, sweet songs. Jamie Ewing died last year at horrifically young age of 25. It's great discovering more of his music.

    1976 NYSF cast recording of Threepenny Opera - I've loved this for a while now. Only recently discovered it's Raul Julia as Mac the Knife.

    Cigaretteman - Discography - Rough around the edges Japanese Tilt. Lots of fun.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010 edited
    This is sort of cheating, but:

    "Blalock's Indie Rock Playlist" - I download this on a regular basis. So much better of a DJ than any local radio. It introduced me to Florance and the Machine, Thao With the Get Down Stay Down, Dengue Fever, and many many others. I just download it and burn to CDs unlabelled, keep track of which tracks interested me, then go look them up.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2010
    Taphead - 800 Memories Per Second
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2010
    Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Yanqui U.X.O.
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2010
    @nigredo - That, incidentally, was a "you have arrived" moment for me. Hope you dug.
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2010
    predominant theme of the week: David Bowie - Life on mars?

    Others: Jack Johnson stuff, Kings of Convenience stuff, a bit of Dylan the Bob and Feist mixed with She and Him.