Saturday, 17 April 2010

Living in the plastic age

And so, for Independent Record Shop Day, here is my own first Top Ten. I happily trolled down to WH Smith for what were only 7" singles because, of course, an album didn't even figure in my pre-teen brain. I was always slightly disappointed when I didn't get the picture sleeve version and only realised years later that WH Smith was the one shop you were guaranteed to get the boring sleeve. I played these records on permanent rotation which is why they're etched into my brain.

1. New Musik - Living By Numbers Listen out for the Lorraine Chase-alike "They don't want your naaaaame" at 2.50.

2. The Buggles - Living in the Plastic Age

3. The Regents - 7Teen

4. Altered Images - I Could Be Happy

5. Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers

6. Blondie - Rapture Clicky here for the proper video.

7. Adam and the Ants - Antmusic

8. Adam and the Ants - Young Parisians Do you see the start of a trend here? And this was a re-issue on the back of Antmusic.

9. Adam and the Ants - Stand and Deliver

10. The Human League - Don't You Want Me And so began the longest love affair... This is my favourite clip of their telly appearences, Christmas Top of the Pops 1981. Watch out for the silly string nearly choking Joanne at 3.00.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Holestar's single, NyLon Woman OUT NOW!!!

WHOOP! WHOOP! It's here at last! NyLon Woman the debut single by London's favourite 'tranny with a fanny', Holestar, is OUT NOW! And I'm screaming about it because I wrote it. You can read all about my involvement here. With a punk ethos that would have made Malcolm McLaren proud, Holestar is out to prove a point; namely, that the DIY route is so much easier in this digital age. For one, it's cheaper to produce than ever before and secondly, the reach to music fans is worldwide in a heartbeat. The blog love on this has been inspiring. Go on, have a read!

2,000 FEET



To download the single now GO TO:
iTunes UK and change your store if you're outside of the UK or to Amazon. It's even on Napster! What you waiting for? COME TO MAMA!

If you want a FREEBIE MIX by me, clicky here!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Punx are punk

Thanks to a friend of mine whose finger is always on the throbbing pulse of gaydom, here's Hunx and His Punx. Below is their brand new single, You Don't Like Rock 'n' Roll which they're touring the UK promoting as I write. This San Franciscan has a great sound: like The Ramones teaching Martha Reeves and the Vandellas how to fist each other... It's fuzzy rock 'n' roll with a delicious queer taste. I can imagine John Waters watching the vids and chuckling, "That's my boy".

The whole ethos of being able to make any kind of music with any kind of lyric and get it out there, like Hunx and His Punx, is a fitting testament to Malcolm McLaren who died yesterday. These Punx live up to their name admirably.

Below is my favourite track (and video) of his (theirs?) called Cruising. The leather clone outfits are more fashion than sexy, but that's the point, methinks.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Look at these love eggs the Easter Bunny left behind.

Baby Can't Stop by Lindstrøm & Christabelle
This gorgeous bumping track by the Norwegian duo has been somewhat overlooked since its release at the end of last year. But not in this house. Clicky here for a FREE mix by the magnificent Aeroplane, second only to Fred Falke in the remix stakes.

Columns by Silver Columns
Another duo, this time from Scotland, were a mystery last year, releasing a series of 12-inch vinyl singles with no information attached. Chelsea Kelsey of Readers Wifes got me onto this one a couple of months ago saying how he couldn't stop playing it. And I know what he means. The news about Silver Columns is that an album is imminent. HiNRJ versions of Madonna tracks? Sounds too good to be true. I'll believe it when I hear it.

Can You Feel It?! by Slight Delay
Gawd, a bit of house piano and I'm anyone's. This track has been around since last summer and because of its summery vibe, I've been using it to chase away those winter blues.

Acapella by Kelis
Praise be, she's back. Gone is the faux hip-hop sex kitten. The creative diva has ragged that weave off and is pounding a Grace Jones drum. I really hope she strikes a chord with this one because we deserve a global star like Kelis v3.0. Now we can tell Rihanna to fuck off.

History by Groove Armada
Out of a patchy Groove Armada album (and that pains me to say it) comes this absolute gem. I can't write enough superlatives about this Will Young collaboration other than it's right up my back passage. Will sounds like a drug-addled club singer on History and if he's clever, he'll build on this sound for his next album. It suits him.

Live the Life You've Imagined by Jon Pleased Wimmen
Last month saw me screaming about Jon Pleased Wimmen's band Voyagers, but this track, on his MySpace was the one that grabbed my attention first. You know how much I foam at the gash for synth pop, well, here's why! It's accomplished and I want more.

Momma's Place (Microfilm Remix) by Microfilm
Roisin Murphy's stomping single gets that rarest of remixes: one which (shh) betters the original! Hit repeat and it's a gift that keeps on giving from the PSB slashing synth to the mournful strings at the end. There's also a very clever and sophisticated drum track which pops up about 1.49 - where numb nuts here left a comment. Sublime. It makes me want to hear all of their remixes now. And if you click on the dark arrow to the right, you can download for FREE!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

One hit in the 80s and that's yer lot

Which is a shame, because this lot had another few in them. First up is:

Scarlet Fantastic - No Memory

No. 24 October 1987
Borne from the trio Swans Way (their biggest hit was Soul Train) Maggie De Monde and Rick P. Jones were the classic 80s duo: charismatic singer with moody musician. The video below cut old footage of London with the updated 1987 version; a much better concept than the "We're so wild we're caged up in this (pretend) jail".

Desireless - Voyage Voyage

No. 5 May 1988
A synth classic complete with an iconic-looking singer. So why didn't Desireless catch on? The flop follow-up John was OK, but not great. But really, there's only so many French language songs the UK charts can handle.

Housemaster Boyz - House Nation

No. 8 Sep 1987
After Steve 'Silk' Hurley's Jack Your Body hit number 1 at the beginning of the year, 1987, house music dominated the charts. The videos were annoying and some of the arrangements don't hold up to scrutiny in 2010, but this one does well on both counts. I loved this track. The video does away with the crappy twenties flappers footage. I remember it being as dark as the track itself. It's the kind of record you'd find dancing to itself in the shadowy recesses of a club by the ciggie machine totally oblivious to anyone else.

Big Sound Authority - This House (Is Where Your Love Stands)

No. 21 Jan 1985
Formed with the guiding hand of Paul Weller, who matched girl singer with band, Big Sound Authority had this one great hit. If only they'd kept going, they could have been the blueprint for rousing bands and kept the likes of Deacon Blue away.

The Passions - I'm In Love With a German Film Star

No. 25 Jan 1981
In my 11 year old head, I used to get The Passions mixed up with Altered Images because the singers looked so similar. Little did I know I wasn't far off. One singer is Gogan and the other is Grogan. Oh, and watch this to forget about the Sam Taylor-Wood version...

Friday, 2 April 2010

Parralox: isn't it strangely fabulosa?

Fresh from the second Parralox album State of Decay comes this thundering slab of gorgeousness. Go here to sample track after track of synth pop heaven. It seems like ages since Isn't It Strange was slated for a single release and with 15 other tracks on the EP version, no bloody wonder it's taken a while. This band add value!

This version, above in the video, is a perfect example of how Parralox have matured since their debut, Electricity, two years ago. With a neat little nod of respect to Serious Japanese by Melon and People are People by Depeche Mode, a theme which runs throughout the album, the band have carved a slice of classic synth pop. And what's more, there is a song at the heart of it. And do I detect the drum backing from Win's You've Got the Power there?

It's nice to see John taking his turn on vocals at the end, bless him, but on Isn't It Strange and across the whole of the State of Decay album, Amii deserves credit for her bravura performance. It's a pop voice with an edge; like Confessions Madonna with perfect Virgin Madonna harmonies. I must admit, the lead-off single Hotter, didn't light my world but in the context of the album it makes perfect sense. The magpie element running throughout State of Decay is clever. Sounds borrowed from the likes of Human League, Depeche Mode, Yazoo and Shannon on Hotter give the sense that the tracks are already classics in their own right. But then with an opening track like Beautiful World: pop verses, solid chorus and deluxe sounds, the album has a lot to live up to and it does, which is why, like Electricity, State of Decay actually sounds like a Greatest Hits collection; every track could be a single. Check out my absolute favourite When the Walls Come Tumbling Down below...

Parralox - When The Walls Came Tumbling Down by phileastend

And my own remix of an older Parralox track Sharper Than a Knife is available here as a FREE download. Go on, have it! Bona!

Parralox - STAK (phileastend RMX) by phileastend