Caught in the net: A pleasure to treasure
Friday 06 August 2010
Last year's collaboration with Scarlett Johansson was probably more aesthetically pleasing, but music fans will likely be more excited by Pete Yorn's latest hook-up with Frank Black, aka Black Francis.
The Pixies front man (below) has produced the LA singer-songwriter's new self-titled album, which will be released on 28 September. The first track from it has emerged. Called "Precious Stone", it's something of a rousing alt-rock number – seems a bit sub-Springsteen, but it will still be interesting to hear what the pair come up with for the rest of the record. You can get a free download of the song if you go to peteyorn.com/freesong and tweet about the track.
Time to look on the bright side
The Irish duo Solar Bears make dreamy electro soundscapes with cinematic flourishes. They also bear a debt to the early ambient works of Aphex Twin, though I think one track I heard veers perilously close to Zero 7, but don't let that put you off. The pair, John Kowalski and Rian Trench, have been picked up by Planet Mu, who will release their album She Was Coloured In on 20 September. Snippets of the whole record are streaming on planet.mu. Listen to two full tracks, including the beautiful and quietly soaring synth and guitar epic "Neon Colony", at independent.co.uk/lryan.
When words and musicians collide
The latest edition of Hamish Hamilton's free online/PDF literary journal is out – get it at fivedials.com/fivedials. Themed around the idea of a wide-ranging music festival, the issue features numerous figures from the music world (and beyond): James Murphy writes about his seminal song "Losing My Edge; there's also a short story by Kele Okereke, a poem by Ryan Adams, and contributions from Mike Watt and Dean Wareham, among others.
Amusing details to digest
The entertaining arrival of Kanye West on Twitter ( @kanyewest) has been getting a lot of attention recently (see also Kanye's tweets reimagined as old New Yorker cartoons at ind.pn/amBp0o . But arguably the best new music-based addition to Twitter has been @discographies, a feed offering "a definitive guide to an artist's body of work (studio albums only) in 140 characters" (it's not clear who is behind it). That is pretty much what they do: succinct, humorous and impressively accurate rundowns of music careers, all in the space of a single Twitter dispatch. Pointless? Yes. But also weirdly addictive. Here is their brilliant summation of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' recorded output: "1-4 Seinfeld theme prototypes; 5 why somebody had to invent Auto-Tune; 6 'sorry, Dave'; 7-9 somebody invented Auto-Tune".
The word on... Arcade Fire, 'The Suburbs'
"After opening up so well in the centre, 'The Suburbs' retreats back into mawkish territory for 'We Used to Wait', and the even more lifeless 'Sprawl (Flatland)', which threatens to kill the energy of the album altogether." popmatters.com
"On 'The Suburbs', their third album, Arcade Fire sound more like a band than ever before — at times bucolic, at others epic on the verge of overwrought, rarely crossing the line (as they have in the past) between masterful, grandiose composition and exaggerated stadium rock." tinymixtapes.com
"Their most thrillingly engrossing chapter yet; a complex, captivating work that, several cycles down the line, retains the magic and mystery of that first tentative encounter. You could call it their 'OK Computer'. But it's arguably better than that." bbc.co.uk/music
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Laurie Lee's Rosie: What is it like to inspire a writer's work and be immortalised forever on the page?
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Doctor Who series 8: Time Heist pictures revealed ahead of episode 5
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Star Wars 7 leaked set photo of Adam Driver changes everything
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'