Superfast stream-of-consciousness “reviews” just so I can get these things off my desk (yes I still buy a lot of them fuck off) k thnx bye
Feist - The Reminder
Although I have a general order prohibiting singer-songwriter records from my home and hand drive, I listened to Feist’s previous record, Let It Die, quite a lot in my Sony days, and bought this one because it appears ceaselessly on my friends’ last.fm pages.
I thought it was mostly crap on the first listen, but it’s advanced to Quite Good by the second. Many of the songs will find more or less permanent residency on my iPod and assorted playlists for sunny weekends and yuppie wine nights. It must be said, though, some of the sparser, slower bits like “The Water” and “Honey Honey” are among the worst Sarah Mclaughlin songs ever made.
“I Feel It All” (Download)
“My Moon My Man”
“Past In Present”
“1 2 3 4”
Pet Shop Boys - Can You Forgive Her? (US Maxi-single)
Discovered this in the Used Rock/Pop section of Amoeba Records. I don’t know that it’s actually hard to find, but I’ve been collecting PSB singles for years and never come across it.
“Can You Forgive Her?” — the single itself — remains a top tune, and its sonic preposterousness has only helped it age, really. The circa ‘93 remixes, however, including a couple by Faithless’ Rollo… well, the less we say about them the better. There is one true gem on this, though, and it’s the Johnny Marr remix of “I Want To Wake Up,” a song released on PSB’s 1987 album, Actually.
A lot of people don’t know this, but Johnny Marr has done quite a lot of work with Pet Shop Boys. He played guitar on several tracks from Behaviour, provided guest vocals and guitar on “Up Against It” off Bilingual, and played guitar on nearly every song on Release — not to mention the several PSB collaborations with Marr’s other group, Electronic.
Marr’s remix of “I Want To Wake Up” is probably more dated than the “CYFH?” remixes on this disc, but it’s such a perfect snapshot of the sonic style of the age. He took an unremarkable ’80s dance-pop track and housed it up with diva vocals, electric pianos, ’90s techno drums and his own funky guitar licks. It sounds like it could be on PSB’s Very, the record from which “Can You Forgive Her?” was taken, or even on Electronic’s Raise The Pressure, Marr’s disaster of a pop-house album with New Order’s Bernard Sumner.
“Can You Forgive Her?”
“I Want To Wake Up (1993 Remix)” (Download)
The Chemical Brothers - Life Is Sweet (US Maxi-single)
Another find in Amoeba’s used bins. This one stuck out at me not only because I don’t have it (I have almost all the Chems’ CD-singles), but because this one features a remix by DAFT PUNK! How did I not know about this? Anyway, the remix is okay, I guess. You have to go in remembering that DP made this in 1995 and not ‘99 or ‘05. It sounds like one of the filler tracks on Homework — which is still pretty good, I suppose. Still, it was a bit of let down after I was so excited in the store.
The other mixes are by the Chems themselves, and most would make good fodder for breakbeat DJs as not one of the versions utilizes the original Tim Burgess vocal track. Nothing classic by any means. Elsewhere on the disc is a “Leave Home” remix called “Terror Drums,” which is pretty cool as it basically strips out all the rhythm bits of “Leave Home” and replaces them with a new drum jam over which the sirens and other synthy bits call out. B-side “Chico’s Groove (Mix 2)” makes for good, groovy background music for a hipster cocktail party.
” Life Is Sweet (Daft Punk Remix)” (Download)
“Leave Home (Terror Drums)”
“Chico’s Groove (Mix 2)”
Garbage - Absolute Garbage + Tell Me Where It Hurts (UK Single)
Well, if Garbage have actually called it quits, they went out with a shitload of great songs. They’re one of those groups I’ve always loved and have been listening to since the beginning, but they’re also one of those groups I forget how much I love until they come out with a new record.
This compilation is sequenced in chronological order, which is very cool because it begins with “Vow,” which means the first words the world heard from Shirley Manson (unless you count that footnote band she was in) were “I can’t use what I can’t abuse.” Everything holds up very well except “Special,” which perhaps always did have a bit too much a everything-and-the-kitchen-sink style of production anyway. The new song, “Tell Me Where It Hurts,” is alright. It’s kind of like “Special” crossed with “The World Is Not Enough,” which is certainly a decent genetic base. The single comes with a fun B-side called “Betcha,” which is obviously a demo but it’s a catchy dance number in which Shirley sings these words, playfully riffing off the grotesque Pussycat Dolls:
Bet you’re glad your girlfriend’s not a bitch like me
Bet you’re glad your girlfriend’s not a cunt like me
Bet you’re glad your girlfriend doesn’t cheat like me
Bet you’re glad your girlfriend’s not a slut like me
Interestingly, Absolute Garbage omits the singles “Subhuman,” “The Trick is to Keep Breathing,’ “Androgyny,” “Breaking Up the Girl,” “Sex is Not the Enemy,” and “Run Baby Run.” That’s alright, though, because all those songs are fucking terrible. With the exception of “Cherry Lips,” Garbage picked all the wrong singles for beautifulgarbage. However, “The Trick is to Keep Breathing” is marvelous and one of their best ever tracks. I suspect it suffered from commercial fatigue in the imperial Version 2.0 era. Additionally, “Run Baby Run” is possibly the best song off Bleed Like Me, which I know isn’t saying too much, but I think it stands up against all the rest and should have been included on Absolute Garbage. It was just born too late.
The other “new” song on this Best Of is “It’s All Over but the Crying (Remix).” I barely noticed this song on Bleed Like Me, but this version has quickly become one of my favourite Garbage songs. Seriously, it’s way up there on my last.fm list.
“It’s All Over but the Crying (Remix)” (Download)
Ricardo Villalobos - Fabric 36
This is what I get for reading fucking Pitchfork. Basically, this is a DJ mix of all Villalobos’ own new material, released exclusively in this mix series. That’s cool and everything, but only if the music’s any good. That’s a bit harsh. If you like really clicky, monotonous, teensy tiny minimal techy music, then you would probably like this. To me, it just sounds like a bunch of old Macs crashing and starting up over and over again.
They are all the same.
UPDATE: Pitchfork have reviewed this album and given it a staggering 8.7 out of 10.
Do you know what Pitchfork gave Daft Punk’s Discovery when it came out? A shameful 6.4!!!