This is the best video I could find, recorded from french TV. it's worth watching for the spectacle of Sébastien Tellier's five female backing singers each with matching beards and sunglasses, a golf cart and the slightly counterproductive decision to inhale a load of helium.
The UK managed to come joint last, and the top spot was run by Russia, seemingly because every former Soviet Union state awarded a maximum douze points for them.
Sunday, 25 May 2008
Saturday, 24 May 2008
I think now would be a good time to say that, in all honesty, I didn't really like 'Epic Last Song' on Does It Offend You, Yeah?'s debut album. It's not an awful song, it's not a crying on the floor with fingers in your ears song, it just didn't really do anything for me. And the Lifelike remix might be a slight improvement, but it's still not really anything to get that excited about.
Anyway, clearly the band disagrees with me about 'Epic Last Song' and they're releasing it as their next single, out on the 2nd of June. You can watch the video below.
They've also comissioned a remix by Lillica Libertine, which pushes the epicness (is epicness a word?) of the song all the way up to 11. It slows everything down, throws away all the vocals apart from the central chorus line, adds in some strange vocal effects and turns it into a grinding acid house track from the future. It's pretty 'out there' but at the moment I wholeheartedly approve.
Does it Offend You, Yeah? - Epic Last Song (Lillica Libertine Remix)
-link removed by request.
The single is available in loads of different formats, including CD, download or two 7" singles each with a different remix; which I quite like the idea of but there hasn't been a working record player in my house since 2002 so I might have to pass on those - alternatively you can order all 3 for just £4, and get a free japanese logo poster that I desperately want. Available to buy from here.
Please don't let my lack of enthusiasm about Epic Last Song deter you from the rest of the album, which has some really brilliant songs. Buy it from Rough Trade.
And finally - they've also launched a forum where you can make internet friends and compare which one in the band is your favourite. YOUNG OFFENDERS. it has a good name, methinks.
Friday, 23 May 2008
(Photo by Jack Hynes)
Year 11 pupils sitting music GCSE have been given exam papers with the answers written on the back. The OCR exam board (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) paper involved pupils listening to pieces of music and then identifying composers and styles of music, and at the end of the paper was a copyright acknowledgement for each piece of music. Twelve thousand people took this exam. Hahaha.
Listen to my friend Wil being interviewed about it yesterday by BBC Radio (Mp3)
or read more on this BBC news article
Saturday, 17 May 2008
Well, recently I have been getting really into listening to a lot of HEALTH. And I'm not even talking HEALTH/DISCO remixes, I mean the full-on noise rock experience. Yeah, I am that hardcore.
Usually when there's really short tracks on an album they are really crap and pointless, for example 'Number One' on Lightspeed Champion's debut or 'Silver Thoughts' From Cut Copy's latest offering. If it's a little bit of fluid sound that does not stand up on its own as a song, it shouldn't be a seperate album track. HEALTH's shorter tracks however, might just be their best ones. Highly compressed thrash-noise compositions that properly get you awake and ready for anything. Like this one:
HEALTH - Girl Attorney zShare | YouSendIt
Another one of my favourite tracks from their self titled album is 'Courtship', and anyway I just want to show off to the world how clever I am when it comes to recognising a bit of sampling. Listen to this song, and at the 0.17 mark it launches into this cool scream/shout thing, and Crystal Castles fans will definitely recognise this from the backing to Crystal Castles' latest single 'Courtship Dating'. And this isn't just something i've thought up, on a bit of paper that comes with the album it says 'background screaming courtesy of Health'. There's clearly some kind of conspiracy going on here with them both using the word 'courtship', but i don't know what it is yet.
Crystal Castles - Courtship Dating zShare | YouSendIt
HEALTH - Courtship zShare | YouSendIt
And anyway as I was having a read round the rest of the album literature I was intrigued to see that the track 'Air War' does not credit the vocals to Alice, but in fact they are sampled from 'Thema (Omaggio a Joyce)' by someone called Berio. I wasn't all that surprised the vocal wasn't Alice - and I don't think anyone would be, seeing as to be honest it sounds absolutely nothing like her - but without another option most people had assumed they were by her. And so in the name of investigative blogging, I decided to have a look around. After a bit of googling I found out the song is on a few different CDs, all of which are out of print. I then stumbled upon this blog. It didn't have an mp3 of Thema, but it made a bit of a reference to it, along with a lot of interesting stuff about postmodern composing that I didn't understand at all, but was still quite interesting to stumble through. So I decided that at the end of the day it wouldn't hurt to email the blog author, a Mr Jacob Sudol, and ask ever so nicely if he'd send me an mp3. It turns out he'd actually already posted it on his blog last June, and I've posted it here it is for you to enjoy as well.
To introduce it a bit, it's a reading of the opening to the Sirens chapter of James Joyce's Ullyses, which I haven't read but I think I will one day. It's not read the composer Luciano Berio himself, but his wife Cathy Berberian. Herself a soprano singer, she definitely deserves a lot of the credit for it due to her crazy vocal acrobatics, but then gradually her voice is subjected to all kind of crazy effects: distortions, echoes, stutterings; the tape speeds up, and then it slows down. Eventually it becomes an unrecognisable mess of sound. It's pretty weird, and although it's obviously a bit dated sounding - it was made in the 1950s - it's quite amazing to think people were messing around with sound like this before either of my parents were born. If you like it, I might suggest you also have a listen to 'Visage', which, although unlikely to get into your last.fm most played, is quite a terrifying experience and worth hearing at least once.
In the CC track 'Air War' the vocals are a bit more high pitched and of course, made even less recognisable to the point that a lot of people thing the words are in a completely different language. I've just found an old Pitchfork article that is quite funny to read now, because it describes "Alice's vocals" as "reminiscent of Luciano Berio's Thema (Omaggio a Joyce)". Haha, silly pitchfork.
Luciano Berio - Thema (Omaggio a Joyce)zShare | YouSendIt
Luciano Berio - Visage zShare | YouSendIt
Crystal Castles - Air War zShare | YouSendIt
Buy Crystal Castles' Album
Buy HEALTH's album
Buy HEALTH's remix album
Oh yeah, and because this blog is now a year old, as of a few days ago, I am posting the lyrics as well, to celebrate.
Bronze by gold heard the hoofirons, steelyrining imperthnthn thnthnthn.
Chips, picking chips off rocky thumbnail, chips. Horrid! And gold flushed more.
A husky fifenote blew.
Blew. Blue bloom is on the
Gold pinnacled hair.
A jumping rose on satiny breasts of satin, rose of Castille.
Trilling, trilling: I dolores.
Peep! Who's in the... peepofgold?
Tink cried to bronze in pity.
And a call, pure, long and throbbing. Longindying call.
Decoy. Soft word. But look! The bright stars fade. O rose! Notes chirruping answer.
Castille. The morn is breaking.
Jingle jingle jaunted jingling.
Coin rang. Clock clacked.
Avowal. Sonnez. I could. Rebound of garter. Not leave thee. Smack. La cloche! Thigh smack. Avowal. Warm. Sweetheart, goodbye!
Boomed crashing chords. When love absorbs. War! War! The tympanum.
A sail! A veil awave upon the waves.
Lost. Throstle fluted. All is lost now.
When first he saw. Alas!
Full tup. Full throb.
Warbling. Ah, lure! Alluring.
Clapclop. Clipclap. Clappyclap.
Goodgod henev erheard inall.
Deaf bald Pat brought pad knife took up.
A moonlight nightcall: far: far.
I feel so sad. P. S. So lonely blooming.
The spiked and winding cold seahorn. Have you the?
Each and for other plash and silent roar.
Pearls: when she.
Monday, 5 May 2008
Shock! Horror! Incest! Rape! Here are some vaguely disturbing-ish songs that could be seen as some form of commentary.
Death From Above 1979 - Little Girl zShare | YouSendIt
(from the album 'You're a Woman, I'm a Machine'. Buy)
Interpol - Evil zShare | YouSendIt
(from the album 'Antics'. Buy)
Patrick Wolf - The Childcatcher zShare | YouSendIt
(from the album 'Lycanthropy'. Buy)
1. Of the following options, is this idea of using mp3s to belatedly bring you the news
A. Too pretentious?
B. Not pretentious enough?
C. Just right with regards to levels of pretentiousness?
2. Of the following options, how obvious is it that I have stolen the idea of having loads of questions from Hipster Runoff?
A. Too obvious?
B. Not obvious enough?
C. Just right with regards to levels of obviousness?