Cornershop and The Double ‘O’ Groove Of, featuring Bubbley Kaur

Cornershop

It’s no secret that I love Cornershop. Yeah, I say I’m a big fan of a lot of bands, and it’s always true, but this is special. Like on equal footing with how I feel about the Beatles. One of those rare, one-in-a-million bands whose music you love so much it almost makes you feel a little sick to your stomach.

Me and Cornershop go way back. In fact, I remember the day – like most people, I got into the band via “Brimful of Asha”, just as it was turning into a monster single, and it was my night out with my friends for my 18th birthday. A little silly on the bus ride home, my friends and I couldn’t stop singing the ‘on a 45’ bit of that song, it being the only part we really knew yet. It didn’t take long for me to get myself When I Was Born For The 7th Time and, as they say, I’ve never looked back. I would pledge my undying love to Cornershop’s music (erm, if I had to for some reason), so 8 pounds seems like nothing.

Cornershop is asking us, their listeners, to pledge as little as 8 pounds to get a minimum of a pre-order of the new album they’re working on with – my heart just stopped a little – Bubbley Kaur. She of the magical single “Topknot”, one of my most beloved songs of all time. In fact, this new album seems to be based around the amazing results of that recording, finally turning it into a full-length LP. For 8 pounds you’ll get yourself the album and the knowledge that you had a little part in making it happen. For more money, you’ll get more stuff, but the list of possibilities is pretty fun to look through so I’ll let you check it out yourself.

This pledging / investing-in-the-making-of-albums isn’t really brand spanking new; I’ve seen similar offers by other bands. It’s a really interesting thing going on, releasing bands from big labels who don’t seem to give much of a crap about the bands they represent nor the listeners who pay for the music. Wouldn’t you much rather give your money directly to a band you care about and have a wee hand in helping get an album made? Cornershop is the first band to do this that I do feel that strongly about, and I will definitely be making my pledge asap, – how about you? There’s only 27 days remaining so have a think about how great it will be to hear Cornershop and The Double ‘O’ Groove Of for the first time and get pledging.

Hear Tjinder and Ben tell you all about it themselves, and find out more about the pledge options over at PledgeMusic – and remind yourself how amazing this band has always been below.

Cornershop – Good Shit

100b’s News-ish Round-Up

Axl Rose

Heee’s baaack. After much hoo-ha and spectulation in recent years, Chinese Democracy will finally rain down on waiting Guns N’ Roses fans beginning November 23. To carry the weight of the much-anticipated release – the first from the mega-band since Use Your Illusion in 1991 – Rolling Stone had David Fricke write the Chinese Democracy review. (Spoiler: He gives it 4/5 stars) Unless this’s a massive hoax and the sky crushes us all, Fricke reviewing the album looks like it means the thing is actually real. Now that it’s finally being released, doesn’t Axl Rose owe every American a Pepsi or Coke or something?

The upcoming Britney Spears single has been leaked on the Intertubes. Not sure if this is one of those (cough) official (cough) leaks (wink wink nudge nudge), but you can have a listen to “Kill The Lights” here. A bit of modern Madonna with considerably more gooey bubblegum pop goodness slathered on top.

You’ve seen them in stores and have probably purchased one or two of them (or, erm, copied one from a friend) in the past decade or so (depending on where you live). Here is a nice relatively brief New York Times write-up about those Now That’s What I Call Music compilation CDs capturing the zeitgeist of pop music in the U.K. and U.S.

If you’re already at the New York Times for the Now CD story, check out an interesting article about country music (pop country not Johnny Cash country) phenom Taylor Swift and her ability to break country music trends and barriers, particularly in her young age group.

It’s poetry kid. Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry With a Beat become a bonafide hit, at least in the children’s picture book genre. And who wouldn’t want to check out a book and CD that speaks to children through the words of Mos Def, Kanye West, Common, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni. You can find the book all over the place, including Amazon.

And, finally, off topic, what’s up with the news on the MTV site? I know this a beating a dead horse, but seriously. Okay, I agree that – if we’re trawling for news in a 24-hour news cycle – a semi-nude photo of yet another Disney good girl, Adrienne Bailon could be news, if you stretch it far it enough. (That’s a link to the story, not the photo.) But, what’s up with the inserted sidebar right in the middle of the story – The 10 Best Boobs In Hollywood Gallery – with the enticing ploy of seeing if we can guess who’s boobs are who’s? If you thought that was hitting rock bottom. At the end of the Bailon story is a list of Other Sex Tape News. This is the state of music journalism at MTV.

100b’s News-ish Round-Up

Animal Collective

If you just woke up out of one of them soap-opera comas and missed a whole week, look no further! This is the post for you to get back on top of what’s going on in the music world. Well, as long as it was compelling enough for me to bother mentioning it.

In case you were wondering what the visual frenzy pictured above is: it’s the cover of the new Animal Collective album, Merriweather Post Pavillion. I never thought I’d have this masochistic streak but even though it hurts my head and makes my eyes bug out and also makes me a bit sea sick, I just can’t stop looking at it … I think it’s utterly fascinating that our brains can trick us into thinking the image is moving.

Is it finally going to happen?? More importantly, are people really still waiting for a Jackson 5 reunion? As much as I love the band’s music, I’m afraid I couldn’t get over the weirdness of seeing Michael, who no longer looks like his brothers, sing “Can you Feel It”, or better yet, “Ben” flanked by Tito and Jermaine.

You’ve probably heard by now that The Beatles and their music are in some way going to be incorporated in a game that is nothing like Rock Band, but is by the makers of Rock Band, which makes me wonder whether it’s gonna be like Rock Band, but apparently it’s not.

I enjoy The Hives music so very very much, so at first I was sceptical when I read about American punk band The Roofies suing them for plagiarism. Having heard The Roofies “Why You?”, I think the band might have a point. There seems to be some serious borrowing going on on “Tick Tick Boom”. Though I think that The Hives’s song is much more exciting and, well, better, I also think they should give credit where it’s due – assuming they were inspired by the super short “Why You”. In a similar situation, when Tom Petty discovered The Strokes pretty much ripped off the riff from “American Girl” on “Last Nite”, he laughed it off. He was quoted saying ‘I think there are enough frivolous lawsuits in this country without people fighting over pop songs’ and he even let them open a show for him. The difference is that The Strokes told everyone who cared to listen that they did indeed steal it and Tom Petty is an established big, huge name in music, whereas I had never heard of The Roofies – and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

Compare the two songs and decide for yourself:

The Roofies

The Hives

Here’s a question: what do Patrick Wolf and Beyoncé have in common? If you guessed they’re both planning on releasing a double album soon, you’d be right! One of the sides on Patrick Wolf’s album is going to be a bit darker, louder, wilder and called Battle and the other side ehm isn’t. Beyonce has a slightly more crazy reason for doubling the fun, as she’s going to cash in on her schizophrenia and release one album for each of her personalities. Apparently it’s going to be called I Am … Sasha Fierce. The I Am part will represent her true self and Sasha is the crazy, wild stage persona she claims is responsible for all her super, sexy moves.

Oh my goodness, I want one!! I always knew I was a bit of a merchandise whore, but I never realized how much, until I saw these shiny shiny Daft Punk bears. Like a moth to an over-expensive flame I started stroking the screen with a psychotic gleam of greed in my eyes.

When it comes to Dr.Pepper I’m like Forrest Gump and like most who grew up in the eighties and early nineties I have a warm relationship with Guns ‘n Roses as well. I love listening to them, I love to hear from them – OK I hate the cornrows Axl was sporting a few years ago, but I can look past it and remember the prettier times. So believe me when I say this comes from a place of love: I don’t get the deal between the drink and the band. In March Dr.Pepper vowed that if the band released their album in 2008 they’d give the country a free round of their delicious beverage. My question is, how come a whole soft drink company can act like one drunken oil magnate at a high stakes poker game and say: ‘No way, it’s been SEVENTEEN years in the making! You know what, if those boys release the album this year I’ll give all of America a free can!!’ Crazy right? But like the gentleman he is, the good doctor stuck to his promise and will indeed provide the GnR-loving part of the states with its free heavenly liquid. (This is not an add by the way, I just really do like this particular brand of soda pop.)

If you’re a fan of The Black Keys, keep your eyes peeled for the next ZZ Top release, because they’re said to collaborate with the band and the legendary Rick Rubin. Man, that is going to be one seriously hairy jam session with all those beards crammed in one recording studio.

100b’s News-ish Round-Up

Is it just me or has it been an incredibly slow music news week? Here’s just a few news-ish stories I came across in my internet travels…

Rolling Stone has an interesting run-down of all the musicians who have disagreed with the use of their music in the current US election campaigning. Am I the only one who noticed that the Obama campaign is not mentioned anywhere in this? Perhaps they’ve got the good sense to actually look into the music they use and prevent these problems in the first place. Or perhaps Rolling Stone is just incredibly biased, which I’m sure is totally true (and to be fair, they don’t really claim they’re aren’t), but I haven’t heard of any similar stories involving the Obama campaign – have you? (That’s a serious question, by the way, I’m curious.) In any case, what’s even more interesting (or maybe pathetic is a most appropriate word) is the way this small article has inspired a flood of poorly-spelled ‘democrats suck’, ‘no, mccain totally sux butts’ comments on the same page. What is it about the comments section of websites that brings out crazies who clearly have no knowledge of the English language?

Anyway, Rolling Stone also has details and a trailer for the new version of Johnny Cash’s At Folsom Prison. Usually I get pretty irritated about re-releases that basically just give us two new songs in exchange for paying something we already have, but this seems to be a little better than most, featuring unreleased material from the show and a new documentary. Even I might have to give in to this one – I sure would like to see that documentary. Visit RS to watch the trailer and judge for yourself if you need to replace your old copy of At Folsom Prison – the new version is out today in the US and in a few weeks in the UK.

Drowned In Sound points us to Weezer’s new “Troublemaker” video, which has broken five world records – including the world’s largest air guitar jam. Sweet – everyone likes a good air guitar rock-out. (Unfortunately, DiS’ embedded video isn’t working properly right now, but you can watch “Troublemaker” here instead.)

You’ve probably heard by now about the mini-kerfuffle between CBS and No Age. There seems to be some question over whether CBS’s explanation of why Randy’s Barack Obama t-shirt was not allowed is legit or if it was complete bollocks, but either way, good for them for doing what they can to support what they believe in. And the story did force me to finally connect that Tamboosh and I will be going to see No Age on Election Day. That should be an interesting evening in so many ways, and I’m glad I won’t just be hanging around in my sweatpants, watching the results come in by myself.

   No Age – Things I Did When I Was Dead

100b’s News-ish Round-Up

Ziggy Stardust

According to NME Dizzee Rascal is going to collaborate with the Sugarhill Gang! That’s almost too much awesomeness in one go. I can’t even imagine what it’ll sound like, but how can it not be anything but epic?

I came across an article that would make an excellent Zany Charts post. Out.com had a poll among gay icons like Cindy Lauper, Rufus Wainwright, Boy George and ugh, Perez Hilton (I won’t even start to tell you how much I loathe everything this dumbass stands for. It could get ugly.) and out came the top ten Gayest albums of all time topped by Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. I’m not entirely sure what exactly makes an album gay but the reason this album topped the chart was because “he was singing for every exiled, dejected, sexually confused young kid who longed for a world of greater possibilities”. That’s kind of beautiful actually. You can check out some of the individual lists by the so-called celebrity ‘gay experts’ at popnography.

Another interesting list was compiled by Rolling Stone. The magazine asked their readers to vote for the most law-breaking songs of all time. The list is topped by Johnny cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”, an excellent choice. Other songs seem to have been chosen, merely because they had the word criminal in the title, like the Michael Jackson and Fiona Apple singles. Come on, seriously, NWA’s “Fuck Tha Police”, and the chart topping song are to “Smooth Criminal” and Fiona’s “Criminal” what Everclear is to shandy.

Unusual? Yes. Effective? Probably not, but it is one helluva publicity stunt. Oasis gave a bunch of buskers a crash course on their new album and let them preview the upcoming release on the mean streets of NYC. Them Gallagher brothers keep it so real that it’s surreal. You can check out the results of this novel way of presenting new albums on stereogum and even compare an original version with the street rendition.

Usher is working on a ‘ladies only’ tour called One Night Stand. He calls it a challenge, I call it dumb. Doesn’t he get enough female attention? Why exclude men? Speak up male fan of Usher, protest this gross injustice! If he had excluded all women, well first of all, the venue would be damn near empty and his fangirl base would cry sexism for sure, but because it’s the men left holding their girlfriend’s purses outside the venues, it’s just dandy. He also states girls like ‘that masculine build’. Why yes we do, so I guess his back-up dancers are gonna be the Chippendales? … Are there still working Chippendales??

The Raveonettes are planning on releasing a series of Remix EPs starting with this one. Now all we have to do is try to convince them to tour around these parts again like they did before they became all that and a bag of Bugles.

There’s another star on star interview on MySpace! This time Brian Wilson and Zooey Deschanel chat about harmony, Gershwin, writing songs and how pretty Zooey is.

Bruce Dickinson, went from Iron Maiden’s frontman to pilot to TV presenter to real life hero. He helped out some tourists stranded in Egypt with his awesome flying powers and like a real hero his response was “I was just doing my job”.

Man, Estelle really got the pointy end of the poop-covered stick in this ‘experiment’. Last week her label decided they’d try to trick people into buying physical singles and pulled her single and album from iTunes. As predicted by all but those Warner geniuses, her stock plummeted like Enron circa 2001. She went from number 11 to 37! The reason was that the non-digital singles put more money in the label’s pockets. Yet again, it’s greed that killed the beast … well, Estelle’s lucky streak. I’d be super pissed, especially because in spite of her initial success she’s still an up and coming artist that can really use the digital boost.

Snoop Dogg had an unlikely ally in his battle against the Australian government to finally be allowed to enter the country. Russell Crowe wrote them a cordial letter endorsing Snoop, highlighting his charity work and great reputation in other countries. It seemed to have worked because he’s now allowed back in the land down under. Huzzah!

Our good friend Fitty tries to reestablish his relevance saying Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” is the spitting image of “Candyshop”. But it’s really really not. And that’s all I have to say about that.

   David Bowie – Rock ‘n Roll Suicide

100b’s News-ish Round-Up

I’m going to have to make it quick this week, so I just have a trio of violent and ridiculous (in the exasperating, slightly scary sort of way) stories to share with you all. These three all popped into my blog reader over the last week or so, making for a lovely post-apocolyptic feel to the news.

First, it looks like the LAPD and Hollywood Bowl have taken a lesson from past Houston concert policing and attacked some nice folks at last week’s Radiohead show. All sarcasm aside, this is outrageous, assuming it’s all true, and even my cynical ass can’t believe that people can get away with this.

And that brings us around nicely to the Republican National Convention, which seems to be going swimmingly. First, You Ain’t No Picasso reports that some photographer friends of his were arrested during protests that they were, well, taking photos of. Take notice of the photo he’s posted, where the cops in question totally do not look crazed with power. Maybe I’m reading that into it, or maybe it’s the thick stream of pepper spray (or similar) clouding my judgment. Anyway, if you stop by YANP, also check the links in his post for more RNC madness.

Oh, wait, there’s more! Police also shut down a Rage Against The Machine show that was to take place nearby the convention. Doesn’t democracy just warm your heart? RATM seem to have just switched gears, picking up a megaphone and marching their people down to the convention center in protest. Although it ended in tear gas (as, sadly, stories involving protest of any kind often do nowadays), let’s all just take a minute to thank RATM for being so badass in so very many ways.

   Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name

100b’s News-ish Round-Up

Muxtape

I make no bones about knowing next to nothing about music news. I don’t follow it very aggressively and tend to zero in on those stories that light a fire under me. So, everytime my at bat for the Round-Up comes around I break out in panic sweats trying to find out what, if anything, happened in the world of music the past two weeks. This edition of the News-ish Round-Up is no exception.

John Rich of Big & Rich, a supporter of U.S. presidential candidate John McCain and responsible for “Raising McCain”, an anthemic ode to the candidate, has added a fine note of idiocy (Rich’s, not McCain’s) to the presidential campaign. Rich has been quoted as saying, “I’m sure Johnny Cash would have been a John McCain supporter if he was still around.” Now, why do dumbasses say this kind of thing and why do news outlets even validate this sort of stupidity. (That’s a rhetorical question.) To her immense credit, Cash’s daughter, Rosanne, didn’t respond by saying who she thought her father would have voted for. Instead, she retorted, “It is appalling to me that people still want to invoke my father’s name, five years after his death, to ascribe beliefs, ideals, values and loyalties to him that cannot possibly be determined and to try to further their own agendas by doing so. Even I would not presume to say publicly what I ‘know’ he thought or felt. This is especially dangerous in the case of political affiliation. It is unfair and presumptuous to use him to bolster any platform.” Kudos, Ms. Cash. Kudos.

Regular readers of my posts will already know almost nothing gets me whipped into a frothy frenzy like talking about the RIAA and the music industry’s Keystone Cops-like inability to cope with the Internet. To wit, two items in the news recently. First, it looks like Pandora – the innovative Internet radio and music recommendation site – is facing the chopping block. Don’t know why? Well, whether it is financially true or not, Pandora reports it’s slated to pay upwards of $17.5 million of its $25 million revenues on royalty fees. Well, you may ask, this is only fair. Normal radio stations have to pay royalties, too. Uh, nope. Your everyday radio stations pay no royalties (this is, in fact, they argue, free advertizing). Well, surely that other big vehicle for musical enjoyment, satellite radio, pays the same royalties? No, you’d be wrong again. Satellite radio pays a lesser fee. It’s only the Internet, that self-perceived enemy of the music industry, that bears the burden of these sorts of royalty fees.

Which leads directly into the second new items in this area.

Muxtape, the virtual mixtape generating site, is, according to the site, “unavailable for a brief period while we sort out a problem with the RIAA.” Another testament to the constantly loosing battle the RIAA is fighting. Have we learned nothing from history? It is nearly impossible to win a guerrilla war, let alone what amounts to a virtual guerrilla campaign. What’s next? The forkin Hype Machine?

In case you missed the announcement, Bloc Party have come in under the radar and are releasing the digital version of Intimacy on their website. You can pre-order it now for download delivery tomorrow (August 21). You can’t get the CD until the end of the October and this is your chance to get the majority of the tracks earlier (there will be a few different tracks available in each of the two formats).

From happy news for Bloc Party fans to sad news for fans of old school R&B. Jerry Wexler, a producer for Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Dusty Springfield, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles – and the first to call the genre “rhythm and blues” – died at 91.

Speaking of sad, 50 Cent is the giant among hip hop entrepreneurs (I refuse to call them hiphopreneurs because it’s just too corny). According to the 2008 Forbes magazine list of Hip Hop Cash Kings, 50 Cent has turned his many ventures into a massive $150 million in earnings over the past year, knocking Jay-Z down to the second spot. Puff Diddy props up Jay-Z in the third spot.

Since we’re on the hip hop entrepreneur tip, here is some more. Master P is no longer badboy Master P. He’s now Percy Miller, which, interestingly enough, is actually his name. And, alongside his no-curse-words record label (Take A Stand Records), Mr. Miller is now creating his own cable television network, Better Black Television, to go head-to-head with Black Entertainment Television (aka BET). While we may all shrug our shoulders and assume this is another stunt, remember Master P used to be larger than life. And, while his new, squeaky-clean image will go some way to pushing these new ventures along, it doesn’t hurt he’s also put together a notable board of advisors for his new network that includes the likes of Denzel Washington, NAACP Executive Director Vicangelo Bullock, and hip hop legend DJ Kool Herc among others.

No music for you! Go buy some Jerry Wexler-produced classics instead!