Monday, 28 February 2011

Born This Way Video

Lady Gaga's new video for latest single Born This Way has hit the web, directed by Nick Knight the video opens with a lengthy sci-fi intro from the "manifesto of Mother Monster" depicting the birth of good and evil, portrayed by Gaga herself in elaborate costume, before the song kicks in. Personally I love it, especially the tuxedo scene referencing the Thierry Mugler video but with Gaga giving a comedic performance. Check it out below!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Kele Live At Claridges For Mulberry AW 11

Me and Emmanuel were in attendance at the Mulberry AW 2011 afterparty in London where our old pal Kele was performing live. Check out my video of On The Lam below. Kele performed a selection of tracks from debut album The Boxer, Bloc Party track This Modern Love and a brilliant cover of Goodbye Horses. As we sipped cocktails and had our photos taken in the themed photo booth we also spotted Kirsten Dunst and Juliette Lewis mingling with the crowd. Fun!

TV On The Radio - Will Do

Brooklyn darlings TV On The Radio announced their upcoming album Nine Types of Light this month, set for release on Interscope Records on April 12th, and yesterday they unleashed the first taste via album track Will Do. Listen to the song and read the lyrics which I've transcribed below:

Will Do - TV On The Radio

It might be impractical to seek out a new romance

we won't know the actual if we never take the chance
I'd like to collapse with you and ease you against this song
I think we're compatible, I see that you think I'm wrong

any time will do, my love
any time will do, no choice of words will break me from this groove
any time will do, my love
any time will do, what choice of words will take me back to you?

your love makes a fool of you, you can't seem to understand
a heart doesn't play by rules and love has it's own demands
but I'll be there to take care of you if ever you should decide
that you don't want to waste your life in the middle of a lovesick lullaby

any time will do, my love
any time will do, no choice of words will break me from this groove
any time will do, my love
any time will do, the choicest words will take me back to you

oh my reddest rose, caldera, set it off
how your fire grows hermosa caldera
glistening through your fussed blows careen your caldera
set it off, as your body flows the second hand flashes
passes over your skin like time

my love, any time will do

Friday, 18 February 2011

Radiohead - King of Limbs

Radiohead's latest album The King of Limbs, only announced four days ago, has been unleashed today for purchase via the band's official website. Comprising of only eight tracks running under thirty eight minutes long in total, it's their shortest album, and perhaps their most moody. Less melodic and immediate than 2007's In Rainbows, The King of Limbs is characterized by shuffling minimal drum beats, staccato rythms and ghostly echoes. The arrangements are subtly hypnotizing, creating a tense and unnerving atmosphere, and lead singer Thom Yorke seems at times almost to be singing with gritted teeth, particularly on Little By Little as he declares "I'm such a tease and you're such a flirt".

The album builds this tension until we get to Codex and the shuffling is replaced with slow deathly marching accompanied by droning brass sections which are carried over to the beautiful Give Up The Ghost on which Yorke's voice moves more to the forefront. The album arrives perfectly at final track Separator, the culmination of all this tension and build-up; a cathartic release of major key arpeggios and lilting guitar licks riding waves of dense reverb punctuated by Yorke's plea of "wake me up".

The album certainly has a strong dreamlike quality to it, with its heavy utilization of ambient elements, and the track order and production seem carefully chosen to guide the listener from point A to point B. It's meticulously constructed and more rewarding with each listen; an album that slowly draws you in and settles under your skin, pulling you through its dark haunting world before slipping away almost as quietly and mysteriously as it came.
The album is available now from the band's official website. Below you can see the track list as well as the video for lead single Lotus Flower.

The King of Limbs:

01 Bloom
02 Morning Mr Magpie
03 Little by Little
04 Feral
05 Lotus Flower
06 Codex
07 Give Up the Ghost
08 Separator

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Bright Eyes - The People's Key

With The People's Key, the eighth studio album (including the 2002 Christmas LP) released under the Bright Eyes moniker, Conor Oberst continues to move away from the emotionally focused introspective songwriting that characterized his most acclaimed albums into more oblique and surreal territory.

The People's Key opens with Refried Icecream guitarist Denny Brewer ranting about Sumerian mythology before the stark and almost sinister Americana-tinged guitar riff of Firewall arrives along with Oberst's vocals, which sound more cold and disconnected than ever. Gone is the urgency and desperation with which Oberst used to deliver his poetic musings, even his trademark shaky vibrato, replaced with a voice that occasionally sounds tired and disinterested. The lush symphony arrangements as utilized on previous album Cassadaga have been cast aside in favor of greater focus on electric guitar and drums, yet the edginess that would have given this album some much needed grit and punch is sidestepped for twee guitar licks, clichéd embellishments and cheesy synths. Shell Games is a great song but where the chorus should soar it merely simpers along, held down along with the rest of the track by its twee trappings.

Much of the album is marked by unnecessary and distracting musical and production elements that simply take away from Oberst's mysterious and dense sci-fi infused spiritual lyrical content. On the rollicking Triple Spiral the band sound most harmoniously synchronized and with Ladder Song, the album's most affecting track, we are treated with nothing but Oberst's voice and a piano. There are some great ideas and moments across this album but too often it feels overstuffed or overproduced; if this is to be the final Bright Eyes album as rumored it would be an oddly resignatory note to bow out on, so here's hoping the band will return with at least one more gem before the final curtain call. Check out the official video for lead single Shell Games below:

Monday, 14 February 2011

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

Out today in the UK on Island Records and tomorrow in the U.S., PJ Harvey's latest album, more than two-years in the making, is an epic and unsettling exploration of war and violent conflict. Harvey stated that she focused on writing the lyrics before creating the music and this is certainly evident in the poetic language and structure of the songs, particularly on the stunning All & Everyone, a career peak for the songwriter, for which Let England Shake marks album number eight. Harvey's high pitched and occasionally shrill vocal delivery rides atop choppy electric guitars and pounding drums informed by folk conventions that have been re-appropriated into a new sound that lies in a no-man's land between past and present. The album is entirely focused on war and its associated themes and indeed it's a dense and difficult work to get through but due to the amount of research Harvey admittedly undertook in preparation for its creation it certainly is engrossing with a bizarre air of authenticity. Let England Shake is undoubtedly a monumental achievement, a brave experimental move but one that has led to the most unique and arresting addition to Harvey's lengthy discography.

Saturday, 12 February 2011


Last night I was lucky enough to attend the W Hotel pre-launch party for friends and family. The hotel itself is situated in the Soho/Leicester Square area on Wardour street. The two hotel bars were both serving free drinks all night, including some interesting cocktails with DJ Simon Lawrence spinning tunes in the main bar which features two storey windows and a giant disco ball. Other amenities include a gym and screening room. When the W opens officially on Valentine's Day it will no doubt be dubbed one of central London's hottest hangouts, and with the Box only recently opened a few minutes away Soho now boasts two of NY's most happening exports in nightlife. For more information and bookings visit the W website.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Born This Way

Lady Gaga's new single, Born This Way, has leaked online just a few hours before its official online release and you can hear track below. The upbeat pop anthem, in which Gaga chants "Don't be a drag, just be a queen", is destined to be a hit, taking influence from 80s pop, perhaps most notably early Madonna, with just the right amount of electro elements fused in the mix. The new album, also titled Born This Way, is scheduled for release on May 23, 2011 by Interscope Records. In an interview for US Vogue Gaga stated that the album will feature 17 songs.

The song was previously sampled and remixed by Gaga for the Thierry Mugler menswear 2011-2012 show:

And here are the lyrics:

Born This Way
Written By: Lady Gaga
Produced By: Lady Gaga, Fernando Garibay, Dj White Shadow
Mixed And Engineered By: David Russel

It Doesn’t Matter If You Love Him, Or Capital H-I-M
Just Put Your Paws Up
’Cause You Were Born This Way, Baby

My Mama Told Me When I Was Young
We Are All Born Superstars

She Rolled My Hair And Put My Lipstick On
In The Glass Of Her Boudoir

“There’s Nothin Wrong With Lovin Who You Are”
She Said, “‘Cause He Made You Perfect, Babe”

“So Hold Your Head Up Girl And You’ll Go Far,
Listen To Me When I Say”

I'm Beautiful In My Way
‘Cause God Makes No Mistakes
I’m On The Right Track Baby
I Was Born This Way

Don’t Hide Yourself In Regret
Just Love Yourself And You’re Set
I’m On The Right Track Baby
I Was Born This Way

Ooo There Ain’t No Other Way
Baby I Was Born This Way
Baby I Was Born This Way
Ooo There Ain’t No Other Way
Baby I Was Born-
I’m On The Right Track Baby
I Was Born This Way

Don’t Be A Drag -Just Be A Queen
Don’t Be A Drag -Just Be A Queen
Don’t Be A Drag -Just Be A Queen
Don’t Be!

Give Yourself Prudence
And Love Your Friends
Subway Kid, Rejoice Your Truth

In The Religion Of The Insecure
I Must Be Myself, Respect My Youth

A Different Lover Is Not A Sin
Believe Capital H-I-M (Hey Hey Hey)
I Love My Life I Love This Record And
Mi Amore Vole Fe Yah (Love Needs Faith)

Repeat Chorus + Post-Chorus


Don’t Be A Drag, Just Be A Queen
Whether You’re Broke Or Evergreen
You’re Black, White, Beige, Chola Descent
You’re Lebanese, You’re Orient
Whether Life’s Disabilities
Left You Outcast, Bullied, Or Teased
Rejoice And Love Yourself Today
‘Cause Baby You Were Born This Way

No Matter Gay, Straight, Or Bi,
Lesbian, Transgendered Life
I’m On The Right Track Baby
I Was Born To Survive
No Matter Black, White Or Beige
Chola Or Orient Made
I’m On The Right Track Baby
I Was Born To Be Brave

Repeat Chorus


I Was Born This Way Hey!
I Was Born This Way Hey!
I’m On The Right Track Baby
I Was Born This Way Hey!

I Was Born This Way Hey!
I Was Born This Way Hey!
I’m On The Right Track Baby
I Was Born This Way Hey!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Strokes - Under Cover of Darkness

The Strokes just released their latest single from their upcoming album Angles for free online and it sounds like vintage Strokes awesomeness! Stream or download it here without having to deal with their temperamental website, and further below I've done my best to try to transcribe the lyrics:
The Strokes - Under Cover of Darkness by One Thirty BPM

The album arrives in the UK on the 21st of March and the following day in the States through Rough Trade. Here is the tracklist:


01 Machu Picchu
02 Under Cover of Darkness
03 Two Kinds of Happiness
04 You're So Right
05 Taken for a Fool
06 Games
07 Call Me Back
08 Gratisfaction
09 Metabolism
10 Life Is Simple in the Moonlight

Under Cover of Darkness lyrics

Slip back out of whack at your best
It's a nightmare
So I'm joining the army

Know how folks back out, I still call
Will you hate for me now?

We got the righteous advice to use it
Got everything but you can just choose it
I won't tie me a puppet on a string

Don't go that way
I'll wait for you

And I'm tired of all your friends
They're still at your door
And I won't, I better call you

So long my friend and adversary
But I will call you

Get dressed jump out of bed and do it best
Are you ok?
I've been out around this town
Everybody's been singing the same song ten years

I'll wait for you
Will you wait for me too?

And they sacrifice their lives
In our land are all closed eyes
I've been saying we're beaten down, I won't say it again

So Long
My adversary and friend

Don't go that way
I'll wait for you

I'm tired of all your friends
Knocking down your door
Get up in the morning, give it your all
So long my friend and adversary

The Curve Of Forgotten Things

You may or may not have recently caught wind of the 'controversy' surrounding the credit for the costume designs for Aronofsky's latest film, Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, and the fact that sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, founders of label Rodarte, weren't eligible for an Oscar for best costume design because they were not part of the Costume Designers Guild. Rodarte are getting some more press now due to having just released their own short film for their new line of womenswear in collaboration with director Todd Cole who previously worked with Charlotte Gainsbourg on her video for Time Of The Assassins. The film is called The Curve of Forgotten Things and features young star Elle Fanning, whose performance I raved about in my review of Sofia Copolla's Somewhere, discovering gold as she wanders through dusty North California oilfields, an empty house and eventually a barn containing a mysterious glowing ball of light, showcasing the collection as her character's outfits suddenly change with the surroundings. The ambient score was provided by indie band Deerhunter, and just in case you didn't know their latest album, Halcyon Digest, was one of last year's most acclaimed releases. Cole says the title of the piece comes from a poem by Richard Brautigan. "The poem and the film are about forgotten things—circles and the curve of time." Check out The Curve of Forgotten Things below and see what you think:

Take a look at Deerhunter's latest video for Halcyon Digest's track Helicopter:

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Last Train To Paris

Album Review: Last Train To Paris - Diddy Dirty Money

Recorded between 2008 and 2010, and 3 years in the making, Sean 'P. Diddy' Comb's fifth album, Last Train To Paris, is an emotionally driven cameo-packed "electro-hip-hop-soul funk" musical narrative that follows his alter ego on a journey from London to Paris as he chases the girl of his dreams. With this concept informing the lyrical focus from beginning to end the album is a vulnerable outpour of raw emotion and feeling that shuns stereotypical clichés of contemporary commercial hip hop being predominantly obsessed with pure sex and affluence.

The album is credited to Diddy Dirty Money, a new trio consisting of Combs and singers Kaleena Harper and Dawn Richard who not only add their vocal talent but also bring a welcome female perspective to the material, playing opposing roles to Combs' conflicted playboy character. On top of this there is a serious amount of guest vocal talent and producer input, including Grace Jones, Swizz Beatz, Usher, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, T.I., Skylar Gray, Jay-Z and Drake. There are also surprising contributions from fashion's elite including American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Marc Jacobs. The production is stellar throughout, incorporating a wide variety of different genre influences all filtered into a cohesive and engaging whole; the album is undoubtedly slick but bears a warmth that clearly comes from the creative fun that went into its making and that also makes it an enjoyable and fun album to listen to.

Last Train To Paris is a highly enjoyable ride, an introspective yet upbeat emotional dance album, epic and modest at the same time and while brimming with talent everything is perfectly contained to suit the material. If you haven't climbed aboard yet then what are you waiting for?

Diddy Dirty Money will go on tour to support Last Train To Paris from March 2011

We were lucky enough to be invited to the Diddy Dirty Money dinner prior to the album launch party in Paris. The dinner was held at L'Arc from 11pm for a small group of around thirty, with guests including Combs and his crew, the Caten twins and David Guetta. Diddy was extremely friendly and in high spirits following the meal as the restaurant staff emerged with a giant novelty cake depicting the Arc de Triomphe with the words 'Last Train To Paris' written in icing. Dinner finished at the unusally late hour of 1am at which point we descended into the VIP area of the restaurant's club which was adorned with a seemingly infinite amount of Champagne and Ciroc vodka. Thanks Diddy, we approve.