Caught in the Net: Everything in immoderation
Friday 01 October 2010
It's five years since Sufjan Stevens released his epic masterwork Illinois.
The much-discussed "50 states" album project has turned out to be mere myth-making, but now, finally, after EPs, extras, re-releases and orchestral works comes The Age of Adz, the full-length follow-up to Illinois. The 11-track record isn't released until 12 October but it's streaming at NPR's indispensable music site in their "Exclusive First Listen" series, ind.pn/9vbiZm. The new record eases up on the banjos and the quiet delicateness, but pretty much throws everything else into the mix: strings, beats, screeching guitars and even auto-tune. "It's also more mysterious and less precious than anything Stevens has made up to now," says NPR. I would add that on initial listens it sounds brilliant, bizarre, maddening, tiring and then brilliant again.
Producer plugs his own leak
Last week, the producer Diplo leaked a previously unreleased track he made with long-time collaborator MIA. Writing on Twitter (@diplo), he said, "a lost/new/crazy song i did with @_M_I_A_ – this is only demo... i might leak the real version if u guys want http://4thepeopleon theboat.com/." As stated, the track is only a demo and sounds suitably half-formed, but it's quite a nice low-key dash of stuttering electro with a relatively understated delivery from MIA in her usual sing-song rap style.
The dark knight of pop videos returns
With his dark vision, Chris Cunningham has directed some of the most memorable music videos ever made, for the likes of Aphex Twin, Björk and Portishead. Somehow, four years have elapsed since the British film-maker last made a video but he now returns with a suitably dark promo for Gil Scott-Heron's dark "New York Is Killing Me", with added audio remixing by Cunningham, too. The video was premiered at MoMA in the aforementioned city and is streaming on their website, ind.pn/dBe66P. MoMA also relays the intriguing news that Cunningham is currently working on an audiovisual album. I suggest it might get dark.
Noisy New Yorkers get rootsy
Another recent video worth looking out for features New York art-rockers Les Savy Fav. The band are more accustomed to making a racket but in acoustic session videos for www.themahoganyblog.com, pegged to the recent release of their fifth studio album, Root for Ruin, they stripped things right back. The highlight was a rendition of "Let's Get Out of Here" made with plastic cups and some small electronic gizmos. A neat trick: ind.pn/dqYhsi.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Exodus: Gods and Kings banned in the UAE for 'religious mistakes'
Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
Doctor Who and the BBC 'promoting a gay agenda', viewers complain
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk