Beyoncé - 4
We swear this isn't an ironic listening. We love Beyoncé and 4. OK, we might unironically skip straight to track 5, 'Party', produced by Kanye West and with rap by Andre3000, because we ain't no stay-home-mums that need all those ballads about being broken hearted and finding the right person. But, after that, the album turns into a beautiful compilation of classic r'n'b, soul and a bit of sweat-inducing booty tracks - not too many though - that sound surprisingly courageous considering the actual state of pop music. And for that, we bow down and hail Queen B. P.S. Get the deluxe version, for those extra couple of amazing tracks.
Bassike
The name of this label has been interpreted in many ways; from 'bass-seekey' to 'base-ike', but the correct way describes exactly what this label is about: BASIC. Bassike delivers easily breezily cut staples with an interesting little twist that keeps them from being your run of the mill. For those that live in climates like that of Australia (where Bassike hails from) or Brazil, you'll know how easy it is to make fashion faux pas when the weather gets hot and the prospect of wearing anything but a bathing suit becomes slightly unappealing; Bassike is all and everything you need.
Game of Thrones
Before watching HBO's Game of Thrones, I assumed the series would tend a bit more towards the blood-dripping Danish movie Valhalla Rising rather than fairy-tale stories a lá 'Lord of the Rings'; and for that I didn't really like the series at the beginning. But slowly, I found myself submitting to tales of bad kings, midget juggernauts, savage warriors and... dragons. And that happened probably because there aren't exactly good guys and bad guys here, like there are in Tolkien stories - and that is, of course, a simplification of his work. Another reason I relented to this series is because of the intriguing political backstage element that leads to the ever-happening dance of thrones. Oh, and did I mention the gratuitous nekkid-ness?
The Norfolk // Sydney, Australia
Of the slew of new spots having opened up in Sydney in the last six months, The Norfolk on Cleveland St in Surry Hills has been one fated with success. Owned by some of the same kids that have brought The Flinders back to life (and currently, it's incredibly quick onset of 'The Norms'), you'll undoubtedly find The Norfolk rammed with all kinds, vying for a bite, a beer and a spot in the garden out back. The aim of the game is to cultivate Aussie pub culture at it's best; and it's doing a pretty decent job so far - if only you could get a table!
Super Sad True Love Story
Super Sad True Love Story is the third book from the writer of the best selling Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart. Incidentally, I read him name dropped in Flavorpill's Ultimate Hipster Reading list and in the same sentence as James Franco (they're buds, apaprently) just before I finished his latest offering. Don't let any of that put you off, or take away any of the sad scary brilliance of Super Sad True Love Story; written from the perspective of one 39 year old Lenny Abramov, son of Russian immigrants and in love with the impossibly cute and cruel Eunice Park. A satire that cuts to the bone, Super Sad True Love Story is exactly it's title. And it's good.
Posts in April 2011
Cat's Eyes // Face In The Crowd

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We LOVE Cat's Eyes. Why this side project from The Horror's frontman Faris Badwan and opera soprano and classical multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira isn't more hyped is a mystery...Though it might change perhaps, with the self-titled debut album due out next week.

 

And that's because the album is awesome. And so is the video for 'Face In The Crowd' which visually, to me, kind of perfectly demonstrates what the album is like; utterly retro-fabulous and laced with thoroughly modern darkness. Directed by Michael Baldwin, it's dark, kaleidoscopic in a sparse kind of way; using lights, layers and bleeds along with bouncing reflections to make bad tv reception totally artful and totally cool. Look:

 

If you really really must... (the Royal Wedding)

royalwedding-red-final-small

 

 

If you really really must purchase some commemorative crap in honour of the Royal nuptials, might I suggest some memorabilia by IM//UR artist of the month alumni, Louise Zergaeng Pomeroy?


 

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Louise says:

 

"I've got a very limited edition Royal wedding Tshirt at Super Superficial for the next couple of weeks (FYI I'm not a massive Royalist, its tongue in cheek don't worry)."

 

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Hell, I'd totes wear that, even if it IS a tshirt with balding Willy and Kate Whats-her-face on it!

Sadness, Lykke Li Is Your Girl

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Ahh Lykke Li, what on earth are we to do with you, girl? So torn and troubled, so introspective, fragile and worn. So fierce and fashionable, and of course, immensely talented. And sad. But you knew all that already.

 

Here's the video for 'Sadness is a Blessing', the one that Gold Panda so artfully turned on it's head a little while back. Directed by one Tarik Saleh, the first minute and a half of the video is set up soundtrackless, with Lykke drinking shots like a fish. Or a Russian. Or someone who is on a suicide mission to get terribly, recklessly drunky town. Drama, of course does ensue, around the tragic and gorgeous figure of Lykke Li. Check it out:

 

 

To those who have missed out on seeing the girl onstage, she does send heartfelt (and most poetic) apologies; I hope for you all that you get to see her live because she truly is a force and presence. Like some kind of Scheherazade, Lykke tells what happened to keep her from the stage:


"...I had some kind of complete meltdown on Marks&Spencer in Glasgow on one of those very rare days off while on route...I was standing at an isle contemplating life and death and the struggles of being an artist/soul/woman/human being when the overbearingness sneaked up on me like Batman himself. I fell to the floor and so did the raspberries I had in my hand..."

 

GET WELL SOON GIRL!

The Trouble with T.E.E.D.
totally-enormous-extinct-dinosaurs
HIYA // Orlando

 

The trouble with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is that he seems to be only able to operate on one level: Level Awesome. SO. GOOD. OMG. WTF. So if you haven't heard yet, 'Trouble' is the name of T.E.E.D's (aka Orlando Higginbottom) latest single, having recently signed to Polydor Records after being a Greco-Roman alumni for his last three EPs.


'Trouble' continues to showcase T.E.E.D's deft touch on production - and is it just me or is he getting more and more subtly nuanced? The cleverly layered and lazer-like synths are artfully interspersed; staccato-ing lightly through Higginbottom's easy vocals. All of these are held up by the usual solid gold spine of a T.E.E.D. song - much like the previous gems of 'Garden' and 'Household Goods'. The fadeout on this obviously suggests that it ain't the complete track, if [Soundcloud edit] in the title didn't give that away already. I wish he'd hurry up and release an album! In the meantime, we have to be content with this little beauty:

 

Trouble [Soundcloud edit]

Be Still, Y'alls

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Anything involving Janelle Monáe is irresistible to me. And this loyalty is well deserved, since Janelle hasn't failed or disappointed me yet! 'Be Still' is the track she was on from Big Boi's solo record, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty. Apparently, Big Boi took a fan poll and winning by a landslide this deliciously warm track was the one that was voted to be made into a video.

 

'Be Still' has that trademark Big Boi/Outkast feel in it's beat and synths, made all the better with that Janelle flavor in the chorus. Sweet tune. Check the video:

 

 

Gosh, ain't Janelle Monáe so darn pretty! Especially working that gorgeous all black affair, that's a little more dressed up than her usual white tuxedo shirt and bow tie. I hear that's a Chanel cape framing her signature coiffure too. And here's a bonus, a rough and ready behind the scenes vid. Random, but I did find it funny and a little fascinating to see what shit looks like before all the polish and production of CGI, after effects and what not; with everyone wandering around in front of a green screen and how utterly atmosphere-less it actually all is. Cute none-the-less.

 

Cherry Picking with Roisin and Toddla

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The specially released 'Cherry Picking' by Toddla T featuring Roisin Murphy for Record Store day is quite a different beast to the amazing-ness that is Shola Ama and Toddla's 'Taking It Back'; but still equally wicked. Something in the rhythm and production of 'Cherry Picking' reminds me of that old Beenie Man and Janet number, 'Feel It Boy', produced by The Neptunes, ya feel?

 

It's a flashback to good 90s pop, but with thoroughly modern edge. This track is chill, with a really good good bounce, perfect in the warm up to summer. Some kid bought the 12" which was specially released for Record Store day and took a rip of it on his iPhone. Really really cannot wait til the new Toddla T album.

 

 

And whilst we're chatting Toddla, he's dropped the video for 'Taking It Back', in a rather nonchalant black and white, depicting the hazards and highs of a pirate radio station. I know it's really lame of me, but I desperately want to be some kind of pirate - which is on my list of #lifegoals along with sliding across the bonnet of a hot car and getting some kind of platinum or gold tooth. Check da yoof of today taking it back, innit:

 

MIX // PICTUREPLANE PARA MEXICO

pictureplane_para_mexico

 

Pictureplane is KILLING me lately. UGH! Even the images on the front of these mixtapes are slaying me. How woozy and vodka-vision and amazing is the artwork for Travis Egedy's latest, a mix for Mexico...where he is in fact GOING TO PLAY ON THE WEEKEND. You see that Mexico?? I am JEALOUS.

 

Egedy says that he "made this while sitting in the laguardia airport in new york city a few days ago,...." Which you can kinda feel in the occasional turbulence of the ride, but it totally doesn't matter. Some of the transitions in the mix are far from smooth and it's occasionally a clusterfuck of beats, but I DON'T CARE!! I loved it.

 

TRAVIS IF YOU'RE READING THIS AND REALLY DO ENJOY MAKING MIXES, CAN YOU PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE MAKE ONE FOR US?

 

Click click and get the Mix Para Mexico AQUÍ

These New Puritans // HIDDEN LIVE

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Ahh you, These New Puritans. Have you yet gotten your head around the grandiose-ness of the fact that they have been touring their second album Hidden, around Europe (including sold out shows in London's Barbican and the Pompidou in Paris) featuring a fourteen piece orchestra and a children's choir, conducted by Andre de Ridder (Monkey : Journey To The West, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra)?!

 

They've released this split screen video of 'Hidden Live' directed by George Barnett that was filmed during the encore of their show in Berlin and features 'Irreversible and 'En Papier' reworks. Its stunning and epic and moving and beautifully realised and totally makes me wanna die that I won't get to see Hidden Live. *DIES*.

 


THESE NEW PURITANS - HIDDEN LIVE

 

So they're not new songs as such, though this is kind of even better in some ways. And what's more, they're giving away a live version of one of my favourite tracks, 'Hologram'. If ever there was an mp3 that could possibly be worn down from being played so much, my copy would be it.

 

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