Posts Tagged ‘Phonogram’

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Party Hard

In praise of Pulp

Photo via WikipediaWikipediaThis whole year has been marked with a strong resurgence in my musical Anglophilia, but for no particular reason I can articulate, the closing weeks in particular have been marked with a heavy, heavy dose of Pulp.

Britpop debates usually start with the old Blur versus Oasis arguments, but for me, Pulp rise above them both by a considerable distance. Yes, I’ve got a big ‘ol man-crush on Jarvis Cocker and don’t care who knows it. There’s not many artists out there that I’m still desperate to see live, but he’s definitely one – in fact, if the opportunity arises to see him anywhere, I’ll be checking flights (note to Jarv – please play somewhere interesting that I can plan a vacation around). Considering he shunned us on at least a couple of tours this year, waiting for him to come to Toronto would seem to be an exercise in futility.

Seeing as how I’ve been playing to death all the albums I’ve got (reaching back as far as His’N’Hers as well as the John Peel Sessions set I got in London back in May), my main musical purchases on Boxing Day were copies of the deluxe editions of This Is Hardcore and Different Class, released a couple of years ago. His’N’Hers was also fancied up at that time, but isn’t on the shopping list yet, mainly because I’ve read that the bonus material on the second disc isn’t really essential. And while you could argue that the demos and b-sides collected on the other two also aren’t absolutely crucial, but to my ears there’s enough a-side-worthy stuff amongst those odds and sods to warrant a place in my collection and, dammit, I just needed some new material, even if it’s old. The remastering (and in the case of Hardcore – which I’m more convinced is an absolute classic with every listen – slightly different mix) of the albums proper is also nice, as are the liner notes from Cocker.

And since this post has actually even more pointless than usual, I’ll toss up a massive YouTube mix of all their videos dating back to His’N’Hers, most of which I’ve surprisingly never seen. And seeing as how the Pulp: Hits video anthology isn’t available in region 1 or NTSC, this is probably as good as it’s going to get.

Video: Pulp – “Bad Cover Version”
Video: Pulp – “The Trees”
Video: Pulp – “Party Hard”
Video: Pulp – “A Little Soul”
Video: Pulp – “Like A Friend”
Video: Pulp – “This Is Hardcore”
Video: Pulp – “Help The Aged”
Video: Pulp – “Something Changed”
Video: Pulp – “Disco 2000”
Video: Pulp – “Sorted For E’s And Wizz”
Video: Pulp – “Mis-Shapes”
Video: Pulp – “Common People”
Video: Pulp – “Babies”
Video: Pulp – “Do You Remember The First Time?”
Video: Pulp – “Lipgloss”
Video: Pulp – “Razzmatazz”

Dig For Fire has video of former Pulp sideman and all-around awesome guy Richard Hawley last December.

Blurt talks to Stuart Staples about the reconstituted Tindersticks, playing the Opera House on March 10.

NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with The Cure.

Incendiary has an interview with Brett Anderson.

Magnet breaks new ground in wondering who was better, The Beatles or The Stones.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Kieron Gillen, author of the excellent comic series Phonogram, the second series of which appears to be more focused on contemporary indie rather than the Britpop retro-ness of the first, Rue Britannia. It’s still shaping up to be excellent, though, and I’m not the only one to think though – the first printing sold out almost immediately.

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Noble Beast

Andrew Bird releases new album, hits the road

Photo By Cameron WittigCameron WittigAnother day, another example of my wanton disregard for traditional press cycles. In this case, it’s Chicago’s Andrew Bird and his 2007 release Armchair Apocrypha. There’s no good reason why I never wrote it up – it’s a fine record – but in my defense, the cardboard sleeve was really tough to get off the jewel case… However I’m not going to bother with a review now, if you want some endorsements head over to Metacritic. Instead, I’m going to look to the future.

In particular, January 20. That’s the date that his new album Noble Beast will be released, a week earlier than originally announced. It’ll be available in both a standard single-CD/double-LP form as well as a fancy pants deluxe edition that will include a second CD of instrumental compositions entitled Useless Creatures as well as an assortment of deluxe edition-worthy liner note goodies.

And another date – or set of dates – of note are those of his North American tour. The original February leg ran from the east coast of the US, through the south and up the west coast but those have now been augmented by a second batch covering the middle of American and extending into Canada, including an April 3 date at Toronto’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

If you’re not familiar with Bird, imagine an individual who seems to be a virtuoso at every instrument he touches but is most noted for his violin and whistling skills. Oh, and who’s just as good as a singer and songwriter. And he’s a mesmerizing live performer. He’s probably also kind to animals and small children. It’s really kind of disgusting, if you think about it. Check out a track from his last album and his Live In Montreal record, also released last year.

MP3: Andrew Bird – “Heretics”
MP3: Andrew Bird – “Skin Is, My” (live)
MP3: Andrew Bird – “Why?” (live)
Video: Andrew Bird – “Imitosis”
MySpace: Andrew Bird

NOW and The Guelph Mercury talk to D’Urbervilles frontman John O’Regan. Congrats to Stephanie and Meghan who won the passes to the band’s two-night Rock Em Sock Em shows at the Tiger Bar on Friday and Saturday night.

Emily Haines of Metric talks to The Globe & Mail and JAM about the Jingle Bell Rock tour that brings them to the Sound Academy tomorrow and Saturday night – and congratulations to Michael and Greg, who won the passes to the Toronto shows. Vancouver ones are still up for grabs!

NPR talks to Parts & Labor.

Editors frontman Tom Smith uses reference points like “Terminator” and “Blade Runner” in describing their new album to BBC.

Billboard talks to Adele about where she wants to go with album number two. The Telegraph talks to her about finding success in America.

PJ Harvey will release a new album – another collaboration with John Parish – on March 30. The Quietus has details on the record, entitled A Woman A Man Walked By.

NME reports that Patrick Wolf is looking for investors to help finance his next album Battle. He’s hoping fans will buy 10-quid shares via and allow him to fulfill his vision of releasing a double album for next Spring.

Kele Okereke of Bloc Party reflects on the band’s eventful 2008 with BBC.

Bradley’s Almanac is sharing a recording of The Wedding Present’s show in Cambridge, Massachusetts this past October.

The Skinny talks to Frightened Rabbit siblings Scott and Grant Hutchison, gets some questions answered by Scott.

4AD is closing out 2008 by offering a downloadable MP3 mix featuring songs from all their releases this year.

Some of you may recall my gushing about Phonogram back in January 2007, it being a thoroughly enjoyable blend of Britpop nostalgia and comic book fantasy. Well the second series, Phonogram: The Singles Club, went on sale this week and there’s a 6-page preview available over at Comic Book Resources. It looks great – I’m not waiting for the trade on this one.