Saturday, 1 March 2014
A quickie update but a tune you must all hear. Bubbling under the surface now for three years, Mr Little Jeans first surfaced with a brilliant electronic re-working of Arcade Fire's 'The Suburbs' way, way back in 2010. Fronted by Norwegian songwriter Monica Birkenes, Mr Little Jeans are set to finally release a debut album in March that promises to be full of very inventive wobbly and wavy synth noises which is something we all need following a rather barren spell in the world of electronic pop music. The new single 'Good Mistake' is certainly full of analogue promise and a rare pop tune that is driven by a very memorable bass line - Nordic brilliance once again and a track that is quite rightly exciting a billion music blogs across Planet Pop.
Mr Little Jeans official site
(With thanks to Melodeewrites)
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
|Two months of vintage vinyl - image: orac|
Having absolutely no self control whatsoever and deciding to hold out for the Sony /Universal pressing of 'Violator' which is due for a limited 180g release here on March 25th - I caved in after a few late night gin and tonics and snapped up a mint copy for 40 squid. 'Violator' is being re-issued along with 'Construction Time Again', the criminally underrated 'A Broken Frame' and the close to being forgotten 'Ultra' (which has aged remarkably well and well worth your pennies).
But what of the original 1990 Mute pressing? Worth-every-single-hard-earned-penny which is a relief really. Like most electroheads rebelling against grunge, I played my tinny sounding and badly mastered Mute CD of this album to absolute death in the early 90's to the point where I lost interest in the album (though 'World In My Eyes' and 'Enjoy The Silence' could never fail to get me to the dance floor at Slimelight and other 'alternative' nights towards the end of that decade. 20 years later on and many of the people around at that time are now empty husks drained by mortgages and now in a future reality where all our 'aspirations have shrivelled in the sun' (copyright Matt Johnson of The The). A good record however endures (to quote Morrissey whose current biography is a real eye opener and page turner; 'they are the only buggers who ever stood by you').
|Reach out and play - Violator - well worth your pennies|
I won't drone on about how Alan Wilder's departure was a huge sonic loss for Mode and have no wish to see him return as the band have moved on since then, I discovered a lot of new love for Alan's knob twiddling on this album. There is some wonderful mixing going on with 'Violator' where the textures of all the drum patterns are crisp and punchy - it also helps that there is no filler on this album. 'Black Celebration' still remains my all time sing-a-longa mode fave mainly because I love the edginess and roughness of the whole thing but the programmed gloss of 'Violator' is enticing on vinyl. Do grab this album on vinyl as soon as you see it as the CD never managed to do it justice (unless you purchased the 2007 SACD).
Pictured above is most of the vinyl I've collected over the past few months that has been my recent soundtrack. Quite a few blasts from the past - it has been a good few years since I played one of the early Bjork albums (both 'Debut' and 'Post' are terrifically timeless examples of forward thinking electro - and essential). As with most cherished albums, they have strong memories and associations, forgotten memories, desperate situations and characters long gone. This is the one drawback of expertly executed pop - it comes with baggage and it takes a good few plays to banish all that to the point where you know that there's no future in the past.
|Morrissey's Autobiography - a surprisingly good read - image: orac|
Given the brilliance of Morrissey's Smith lyrics, one shouldn't be too surprised to find that his autobiography is beautifully written, never dull and often quite cutting. I've warmed to him so much especially as he's so frank about The Smiths and their non-relationship with record label Rough Trade who sound like a complete money grabbing nightmare. The music biz is 'a shit business' as fictitious 1981 Eurovision flops Creme Brûlée once famously said but The Smiths story sounds quite horrendous in places. Morrissey gets the same reaction from people as Thatcher (still) gets when people ask 'What are you reading?' which is ironic really (Tories are easy targets in this book) but I would still rather share a pint with Morrissey than any Tory or Sunday Times journalist AA Gill whose just won 'Hatchet Job of The Year' for his 'expert caning' of Morrissey's book.
If you do have an interest in the mechanics of planet pop and all the dodgy licensing deals that go on beyond the control of bands and record contracts that read like 'Egyptian hieroglyphics' then please do pick up a copy of this Penguin Classic. The account of a sighting on the moors of a grey spectre is fascinating and it left the author baffled. Morrissey has penned the best music related book since Chris Heath's 1990 book 'Literally'.
I'm off to see my first gig of 2014 - Polica live at The Troxy somewhere in London tomorrow night and my Arcade Fire tickets for Earls Court in June are in the post. A Polica report to follow and here's their lovely single from last year performed for BBC 6 Music...
The Smiths fan site
Policia official site