Thursday, 22 December 2011

Arcade Fire, Bowie, Flaming Lips, Coasting & more

Haven't really had time to do any proper blogging this week but here are a few tracks and videos that are worth a listen or look:

First up, on M’Lady’s Records of Brooklyn, a new album titled You're Never Going Back (click to listen) by Coasting. According to Pop'stache they are the "lo-fi duo with appassionato and gusto. Composed of guitarist Madison Farmer and drummer Fiona Campbell, the New Zealand-based pair incorporate both the pep of a glockenspiel with a fuzzed overtone of a classic atmospheric guitar riff that has a Built to Spill feel to it." Or to put it another way: Grrl power meets punk meets the White Stripes. Their potential is probably best shown on the final track of the album - Delusions of Grandeur - which moves beyond the basic approach of the other tracks.

Erin K and Tash ("a fun-fuelled world of horseheads, cupcakes, rats, sex dolls and nursery rhymes" according to the Barfly reviewer) have been getting a few plays of this Suzanne Vega soundalike track on the radio, and the video is pretty good.

Arcade Fire have been around for a while. This track: Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) also has a great video and the tune combines Catatonia with 70s Electropop ... There is also an interactive version at Sprawl II (dance activated if you're feeling energetic - webcam needed).

Talking of Arcade Fire, David Bowie did his Gilbert & George/ Antony Newley/ Truman Capote impression at Fashion Rocks in 2005, and he performed two songs with the Canadians: Wake Up (from Funeral), and Five Years (from Ziggy Stardust).

This, however, is Life on Mars (from Hunky Dory), with Mike Garson on piano. Garson made a unique contribution to Bowie's Aladdin Sane, giving the song an avant garde jazz feel with lengthy and sometimes atonal piano solos (Wikipedia) and has subsequently maintained an ongoing musical relationship with Bowie.

All three tracks were released on iTunes (click for better sound). The video quality could be better but it is good to see the great man still belting them out some 30 years after the last time I saw him at Earls Court.

Ziggy and the Spiders from Mars

The Flaming Lips - one of my favourite bands - also did a cover of Life on Mars but, better still, here is a very young-looking Wayne Coyne and the band doing She Don't Use Jelly on Letterman in 1995 - watch out for Wayne's photos and other stuff on Twitter and see also my previous post about the Lips performing live with Weezer in July 2011.

And so, finally - Have a good Xmas everyone - See you in the New Year ...

Merry Xmas!

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