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.

Smash Bang Baby

French DJ Martin Solveig has just released a new video, the first from his brand new, slightly secret, project. It is totally insane but perfect for the current Wimbledon frenzied lifestyle.

Starring the vocals of Dragonette’s Martina, the song is nice enough, but it’s worth watching regardless. The one and only Bob Sinclar stars as Martin’s opponent in a tennis match where the players seeds are determined by their DJ Mag rankings and real life tennis man Nocak Djokovic does a comedy turn.

Fingers crossed for a Solveig vs Gaga rematch soon.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfxC3TCDgCE[/youtube]

LAST MENTION OF GLASTO, PROMISE

So finally to two down and out pop moments. Shakira wowed the Glastonbury audience on Saturday afternoon with her perfect blend of pop and world music. From the off it was an incredible sexual performance with fun moments where we howled along to She-Wolf and tried out the Waka Waka dance to emotionally intense ones like my favourite Shakira song ‘Underneath Your Clothes’. In the perfect sunshine, this was pretty special. Shakira later humped a speaker so violently we were all driven to staring at the floor.

Shakira was always on my Glastonbury to do list but the other amazing highlight for me wasn’t. I’ve seen the current Pet Shop Boys show twice now, and was seriously tempted to head to the Pyramid for Muse as I hadn’t seen them in about 5 years. In the end though, the PSB won out and I had the immense joy of the show totally converting some of my hating friends into total PSB lovers and felt like I was cheating on Colin going to see them with Daniel.

Annoyingly the moment isn’t on YouTube so I can’t show it, but ‘It’s A Sin’ hit me hard during this show. It somehow transformed from AMAZING pop song to BLOODY INTENSE EMOTIONALLY DISTRAUGHT UP GAY RIGHTS pop song. I know it always was that, but I hadn’t quite got it until standing about in the cold with lots of people off their face while Neil was bathed in demonic red lights.

CHE GUEVARA AND DEBUSSY TO A DISCO BEAT INDEED.

p.s. amazing (AMAZING) pop fact – Helena from ‘Frank’ is one of the PSB’s dancers. I thought it was her, then I chastised myself for being racist by assuming a girl with an afro who I could only see from far away was another girl with an afro, for no other reason than she had an afro. BUT THEN, it was her. So there.

Florence to the power of X Squared

Moment two came thanks to the combination of The XX and Florence and the Machine. Two bands who’ve had a lot of hype over the last twelve months.

I’ve never quite been bitten by the Florence bug, but once I’d finished yawning at the amount of hype round the XX and actually listened to them I was totally in love. I saw them at a Jools Holland play two songs, and then excitingly caught their SXSW set in a Methodist Church in Austin. There the audience was very quiet and polite, at Glasto they couldn’t have been more different. This was an audience who was obsessed with the band and stomping, clapping and cheering along at a moments notice.

Even though the band members normally have a very controlled stage presence, the excitement in the John Peel tent for their show meant smiles were trying to break through the serious faces just about cracking at the side of their faces. This felt big.

To close the set they said they were going to play a song they hadn’t done live before and the familiar harps from the start of Jamie XX’s remix of Flo’s ‘You’ve Got The Love’ rung out. At first it sounded like Florence’s vocals were just being scratched in but then out she came and everything went mental. Candi Staton was on a different stage at the same time. Poor Candi Staton.

Thank You For The Days

Five years ago I went to Glastonbury for the first time. It was disgusting. I hated it. It was a proper torrential downfall year so the weather conditions coupled with it being my first festival and very first camping experience made for a horrific attitude from me and a general bad time. I remember distinctly asking my tent buddy James to punch me in the face so I passed out and could get to sleep as I was sure it was never going to happen naturally (he didn’t).

This year though, with many more festivals under my belt and an excellent group of mates to go with, it was time to try the Somerset fields out once again. And well, it certainly didn’t rain. It didn’t rain so much that my gorgeous new wellies are still shiny and I had to spend a huge chunk of Saturday afternoon lying back at camp in the shade because I thought I was going to pass out. Naomi & I both have most excellent comedy sandal tanginess too.

Everyone goes on about Glasto moments. I’ll post mine over the next couple of days, but this was the ultimate one.

Ray Davies – ‘Days’

My knowledge of The Kinks is quite limited to the big singles. I still highly irritate all my friends by talking much more favourably about the Cathy Dennis version of Waterloo Sunset than the original (probably because it was the first one I heard). My knowledge of Ray Davies was zip until last year I went to see his very long and slightly strange musical Come Dancing and then caught a tiny bit of his SXSW set.

At Glasto I could have chosen the footie or Ray but I’m sure I made the right decision. A set filled with classics and not so, it was just about the right balance to keep everyone interested. The brilliant Crouch End Festival Chorus joined him for most of the set and added a brilliant wall of sound harmony to sounds like ‘You Got Me’ and the jolly ‘The Village Green Preservation Society’ (which was surely the inspiration for the Divine Comedy’s entire career). The real highlight though came in ‘Days’, a song I only realised was ‘a song’ and not just a Yellow Pages advert about 4 months ago. Dedicated to The Kinks’ bassist Pete Quaife who died last week, it was utterly spine tingling emotional. Ray cried, I cried. It was, as they say, a ‘moment’.

Obviously it sounds rubbish on tv. Thanks television.

A Bit of Fit

Fitbit. It’s not the new word on the street to call a bit of hot totty, but an awesome new little gadget that’s been launched in the States in the last year. A very fancy pedometer, it’s as much a motivational device as it is a fitness tool.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jalm1/4270870194/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jalm1/4270870194/

Containing a 3D motion sensor, the fitbit tracks your calories burnt, steps taken, distance travelled and sleep quality as long as you remember to wear it. You can connect it up with your social networks but balls to all that oversharing. Instead I’d be perfectly happy keeping my data within fitbit’s own, pretty great on first glance, social network. It tracks your progress over time, weight, foods, and allows you to set goals and see how your friends are doing – thus adding another motivational factor. I’m particularly interested in the sleep efficiency as it takes me forever to get to sleep once I’m in bed and it would be good to see it monitored.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnswords/4022080633/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnswords/4022080633/

I’m feeling very motivated and am going to be doing a lot of diet / fitness activities over the next month in the hope to have more energy for Glastonbury. Unfortunately, fitbits are so in demand that there’s a month backlog of orders. Still, one is about to be ordered and will hopefully be with me late June.

If you want one, they’re $99, but you’ll have to get a mate in the US to sort it out though, as they’re currently only available to order to American addresses.

Zelda Ronson

If you’re hoping for more vintage soul from the new Mark Ronson album ‘Record Collector’ then you’re  in for a big disappointment. The most important thing you need to know is that there isn’t a horn or cover in earshot. Instead Mark, under his new act name ‘Mark Ronson & The Business’ has ditched the Stax sounds and intially put out a squelchy breakbeat of a track called ‘Circuit Breaker’ as a bubble track (I’m bored of the word buzz). Check out the very cute, geeky video which meets DJ Hero with old school Zelda synchronised to the music.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luoAYFR_hH0[/youtube]

From what I’ve gathered the actual first single features the curious combination of Boy George and the London Gay Men’s Choir on a track co-written by Jake Shears. Triple threat. Ex Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall is on four tracks and there’s contributions also from Miike Snow, Spank Rock, Q-Tip and Santigold. I would be excited about Rose had she not seemed so disinterested and blah about her music when I saw her at SXSW. It was enough to send us home early for the night with all our energy zapped. Hopefully though Mark will have brought back her pizzazz.

‘Circuit Breaker’ however just makes me expect Stuart Hall to appear with the news. This is what the theme tune to Northwest Tonight sounded like in the 80s, yes?