- Ani’s new album makes 20
- China still mad at Björk
- Karen O unveils new side project
- Bebo soap opera to star Amy Winehouse and Girls Aloud?
- new album from Land Of Talk in October
- another tribute to The Cure on the way
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If your life is in need of a righteous shot in the arm, perk up, Ani’s back! And she’s gone all funky again! The wee workaholic releases her latest album – her 20th since 1990 – Red Letter Year on September 29th with the promise of much exuberance and cheer. After opening with a double helping of political rallying to get her into her stride, DiFranco inevitably has more personal matters to attend to with songs like ‘Present/Infant’ and ‘Landing Gear’ referring to her young daughter. ‘Way Tight’, a staple of recent live shows, also makes an appearance, as do horns, synths, piano and strings (possibly not all on the same song). Ani comes to Europe at the end of October.
Red Letter Year
01 Red Letter Year
02 Alla This
04 Smiling Underneath
05 Way Tight
06 Emancipated Minor
07 Good Luck
08 The Atom
09 Round A Pole
10 Landing Gear
11 Star Matter
12 Red Letter Year (reprise)
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Making the Dixie Chicks backlash look like a playground spat, the Björk vs. The People’s Republic of China uproar that happened in March has taken a dramatic twist with the Chinese Ministry of Culture imposing tough new restrictions on foreign performers. Reuters report that a statement on the Ministry’s website effectively warns that any outburst that threatens China’s sovereignty will result in the culprit being slapped with an outright ban from performing in the country. Firmer still, anyone known to have engaged in such activities in the past is unlikely to be allowed to cross Chinese borders. Even people who are allowed to perform will need approval for everything they do – even encores must be predetermined.
The Chinese government had threatened these drastic steps to silence would-be political protesters in the immediate aftermath of Björk’s concert in Shanghai where her brief chant of “Tibet! Tibet!” at the end of ‘Declare Independence’ was said to have “broken Chinese law and hurt Chinese people’s feelings”. She refused to apologise, saying that the song was “about humanity”.
A passing monk had this to say: “om mani padme hum”.
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From one Far Eastern country to another, Karen O has announced she is to unveil her new side project, Native Korean Rock & The Fishnets, at two intimate performances in Brooklyn on Monday. Writing on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs website, Karen describes the project as “a body of love songs written over the last two years” and is quick to dispel any doubt that this is something quite separate from both the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the so-called K.O. At Home solo demos leaked to file sharers in 2006. Hark at five of K.O.’s new songs over on Myspace. While you’re there, get wiggy with the babytoupee.com link (or just click here for literally minutes of fun).
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Amy Winehouse and Girls Aloud are rumoured to be among a host of big name acts set to appear in a brand new online soap opera, ‘The Secret World Of Sam King’, that will air on social networking site Bebo. Apparently Bebo members will get to influence the plot, which has the central premise of a teenager (Sam King) secretly setting up his own record label he runs from a stationery cupboard at the offices of Universal Records. Other Universal artists set to make a cameo appearance include Razorlight and Bloc Party. As if that’s not enough of a disincentive, you’ll have to sign up to Bebo to watch it too.
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Having spent what seems like forever on the road touring behind their critically acclaimed debut Applause, Cheer, Boo, Hiss, One Little Indian signings Land Of Talk will release their second album proper on October 6th. Recorded in Montreal with man-of-the-moment Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Some Are Lakes plugs back in after last year’s acoustic detour with Lizzie Powell’s “raspy coo and vocal conviction” jostling with “roaring guitars” to bring you “a warm, bracing and assured second album”. The album will be preceded by a single of the same name.
Some Are Lakes
01 Yuppy Flu
02 Death By Fire
03 The Man Who Breaks Things (Dark Shuffle)
04 Some Are Lakes
05 Give Me Back My Heart Attack
06 It’s Okay
07 Young Bridge
08 Corner Phone
09 Got A Call
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A second mostly-star tribute to The Cure is being compiled by American Laundromat Records, the company who brought us the amazing High School Reunion tribute to 1980s teen flicks and the all-female Neil Young tribute Cinnamon Girl, due for release early next year. Participants look set to include Tanya Donelly, Dévics, Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, The Brunettes, The Rosebuds, The Submarines, Elizabeth Harper and Joy Zipper among many others. Donelly’s doing ‘Love Cats’! Amazing. The full current tracklist for Just Like Heaven: A Tribute To The Cure is up on the project’s Myspace page.
The equally amazing sounding Perfect As Cats tribute, featuring Bat For Lashes, Mariee Sioux, Sarabeth Tucek, Kaki King, Rio En Medio, Tara Busch and Caroline Weeks (among many many others), is released through Manimal Vinyl at the end of October. All profits will go to Invisible Children, a charity that raises awareness about child soldiers in Uganda. More info here.
Speaking of Rio En Medio, aka Danielle Stech-Homsy, her second album Frontier is released through Manimal Vinyl in September. A seven-song EP by Caroline Weeks (a member of the Bat For Lashes live band) called Songs For Edna is also forthcoming from the label.
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Tagged amy winehouse, ani difranco, bat for lashes, bjork, caroline weeks, dean and britta, dévics, elizabeth harper, girls aloud, joy zipper, kaki king, karen o, land of talk, mariee sioux, rio en medio, sarabeth tucek, tanya donelly, tara busch, the brunettes, the rosebuds, the submarines, yeah yeah yeahs