Maximum Balloon

I have very little idea who TV on the Radio are. I know they don’t make stonky electro-pop though, so it’s a bit of a woop woop to discover 1/3 of the band, David Sitek, has popped off to make just that with solo project Maximum Balloon.

The forthcoming album is 10 songs described as ‘thick, noisy and funky, with glam’ by Spin with each featuring vocals from different artists, including Little Dragon, Karen O and David Byrne.

Two tracks are out there so far: ‘Tiger’, whose funky afrobeat sound, you might have heard on the Daisy Lowe for Esquire pant moistening promo; and the Little Dragon featured ‘If You Return’ which combines a stuttering drumbeat with some chilly electronica. I’m really looking forward to the album, but for now here’s the pretty promo for ‘If You Return’. I’m assuming it’s a teaser rather than the whole thing?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5z85llbyN0[/youtube]

Rehab in Jamaica

There are certain songs I’ve heard so many times that I feel like I never need to hear again in my life. This might change when the burn has healed but Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’ is certainly one of them. Or at least her version.

Now there’s a new version of the single being released in a few weeks by The Jolly Boys, a mento band from Jamaica who’ve been making music for over 60 years. Back in the 1940s they used to be quite the name on the Hollywood party circuit playing in particular for Errol Flynn after he bougth Port Antonio’s Navy Island and turned it into a party zone. His wife, Patrice, is the lady in the red hat in the video.

Just how much fun were they having making this video. there’s no way you can’t break into a grin watching the hugely charmismatic 72 year old lead singer Albert. He’s even the youngest member of the band. Brilliant.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqaadTlATqk[/youtube]

‘Rehab’ is out 20th September on Wall of Sound and they’re playing a couple of live dates in the UK next week.

Lana Del Ray

Homemade videos need to have that special something to make you filter them out from your everyday norm. Hurts had the eyebrow raising dancing lady on their first £20 video and now Lana Del Ray weaves together old movies, bottles of drink and herself wearing a movie star wig in black & white.

The movie star image is what Lana’s rocking. Her real name is plain old Lizzy Grant and according to her press release she’s been roaming the musical world for a little while. Who hasn’t though? Here’s an old interview with plain old Lizzy from a couple of years ago. Now though she’s in London and spending time songwriting with pop legend Biffco. There’s a slight hint of Paloma in her voice, but an altogether much darker, sometimes sulkier, sometimes realer sound. ‘Kinda Outta Luck’ sounds like it belongs straight on a Tarantino soundtrack and the sinister elements to her voice remind me a lot of The Pierces. This one could go anywhere from chilling, sexy acoustic to sultry pop. Exciting.

Download Lana Del Ray – Diet MTN Dew for free.

The Garden

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs certainly have their google technique nailed with that name. This is the video for their new, totally huge sounding, single ‘Garden’.

Louise of jaunty folksters Lulu & the Lampshades probably makes music I’d never listen to but sounds great here as the female vocalist. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is though just one man – the brilliantly named Orlando Higginbottom – who I’m told does ridiculously fantastic things live.

It totally rips of this though, no?

In The Evening

Horse Meat Disco
The new Horse Meat Disco album is out, but I’m still massively enjoying edition 1. The ultimate disco floor-filler moment on it comes from Sheryl Lee Ralph with ‘In The Evening’.

The lyrics are brilliant and make me do all kinds of inside my hair music video construction. Who cannot relate to, “In the evening, the real me comes alive.” Maybe my current weary nature can’t, but me at 19 definitely can.

Best of all though is the music video. It’s full of totally mental face pulling. I could watch it again and again open-mouthed at the mass insanity of it.

Warning : serious amounts of ‘acting’ follow.

[For non London people – Horse Meat Disco is a gay club night in Vauxhall where men, primarily ranging from the slightly hairy to very hairy style, dance about to disco music in a dark room. It is amazing.]

1, 1, 1, ! 1101010 etc

If you’re bored of shouting ONCE, ONCE, ONCE, YEEEEHAH – Vickers style (only me is doing this), then button up, refresh and start shouting ONE, ONE, ONE, ONE, ONE Ferriera stylee.

‘One’ is almost the same song as ‘I Need Air’ in terms of lovely twinkly electronica. Produced by Bloodshy & Avant it is also the most Swedish sounding song of the year. I bet Kleerup is thinking he missed out on this one.

Amazing.

N.B. Works better if you just listen rather than watch. She seems to be a bit annoying (SAYS I!)

I Need Air

MagneticMan430

I don’t know a huge amount, in fact not even a tiny amount, about dubstep. I know when I hear it, I tend to like it and I know that Skream’s remix of La Roux’s ‘In For The Kill’ was a bit of a tipping point last summer. I’d not paid much attention though to the news of a ‘dubstep supergroup’ coming out of Columbia records.

Magnetic Man consist of Skream, Benga and Artwork (no idea) and you’d probably expect them to make full on raving it up noise. Their first real attack on the mainstream however is instead a twinkly electronic pop song. It’s probably total disgusting to their old school, hardcore fans, but as far as I go it’s almost perfectly tailored.

I Need Air by pigeonsandplanes

The vocals (and presumably top-line) come from American singer-songwriter Angela Hunte who not only sounds delightfully robotic and cold here, but, FACT FANS, is the writer behind ‘Empire State of Mind’, ‘Do Somethin” and best of all, various Mis-Teeq album tracks.

‘I Need Air’ is out on July 26.

Play Me, I’m Yours

When I was a little girl I used to bang about on the piano at my Auntie Agnes’ house in Burscough. All her family were musical and there are plenty of photos of me looking adorable at various pianos aged about 4.

Then when I was 7 or 8 I actually had piano lessons from a very old (or so she seemed) lady in Blackpool called Gladys Jolly. I didn’t find her or the music particularly exciting so after doing a couple of grades packed it in. I can’t actually remember who taught me to read music, whether it was school or Miss Jolly but it’s always been a skill I’ve cherished.

I wish I’d stuck with the piano though. I have one at home home and can quite happily sit down with a piece of music and very slowly bash my way through it but I’d love to be able to do it properly. My cousin Lorilee is a music teacher and plays piano to concert pianist level. She can play anything after hearing it and we’ve spent many fun nights together playing and singing our way through musicals, or brilliantly me playing her a Pet Shop Boys song on Spotify and her transforming it into a wildly detailed piano piece instantly. A couple of years ago she started playing a piano in a hotel lobby and I love the idea that one day I’d be able to just see a piano and pounce on it.

So I was super excited (and very jealous I can’t really get involved) by the Play Me, I’m Yours project that’s currently running in London. The idea of British artist Luke Jerram, 21 pianos have been placed with London’s Square Mile with the intention that anyone can sit down at them and do whatever they like. It’s interesting to think about the very British reserved nature and whether they’ll actually dare to try them, but I’m sure if you see someone do it then you’ll want to get involved.

Pianoincemetry

I love the idea of a ‘public space’ and don’t think there’s enough of them in London. This idea demands a space become one and enables everyone to be creative, regardless of their personal situation, and express themselves through the power of music. You might not know how to play, have played for years, or ever had the chance to own your own piano, but this enables every single one of us to get involved. Also it’s brilliantly not just a bloody London centric thing – it’ll be hitting Belfast, Burnley and Blackburn later in the year.

I’m hoping to find one to tinkle out a little Cole Porter on this weekend.