- Liz Phair comes in from the cold
- Saint Etienne announce new single and compilation
- illegal downloads backed by Duffy
- Bond theme suspense heats up with new rumour
- vote in Drowned In Sound’s alternative Mercury Music Prize
- debut album on the way from School Of Seven Bells
- Finnish metallers Nightwish line up rarities
- Hilton, Lohan and Simpson get up to stuff
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After years spent in a glossed up anti-wilderness, Liz Phair has finally thrown her old fans a bone with news that her next album will see a return to “sloppiness”. Speaking to Billboard, Phair was quick to point out that she’s not making a new Exile In Guyville, her classic 1993 debut, but is fighting to keep some sort of edge to the songs. “The best way I can describe it is ‘natural’,” she says. “It has mistakes in it. It has layered background vocals of mine that just make an overall slop, but it’s perfect slop.”
Phair has already reissued Exile In Guyville in the US through new label ATO after leaving Capitol earlier this year, and has been playing a small series of gigs in which she plays the album in its entirety. The reissue, complete with three bonus tracks and a DVD, comes to the UK on August 25th (although you can currently get the bonus tracks through various digital download services).
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Saint Etienne have announced that they are to release yet another ‘best of’ collection, London Conversations, on September 29th through Universal. Buyers will be able to choose from three different formats: an 18-track disc of many of their best-known songs, a 2CD set with all the other singles and some album tracks, or go the whole hog and get the lovingly packaged book-style offering with its bonus DVD of all the band’s videos.
Preceding the album will be a new remix of ‘Burnt Out Car’ by production team Xenomania, who worked with the band on 2005′s Tales From Turnpike House, with new B-sides ‘River’, ‘Destroy The Building’ and ‘Night Vision’ spread across various formats as well another new remix of ‘Burnt Out Car’, given a Balearic flavour by producer Mark Brown.
All formats of the album will include the Xenomania remix and the previously unreleased eponymous track from the Ets’ recent Royal Festival Hall documentary ‘This Is Tomorrow’. Watch the brilliant title sequence to the film:
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Having sold 2.5 million copies of her debut album Rockferry worldwide, in the process becoming the biggest selling artist of 2008 in the UK, Duffy obviously feels she’s got enough success under her belt already to come out and say things like, ‘yeah, I support illegal downloading’. Okay, so she didn’t quite put it like that. Talking to Shortlist magazine about comments made in a recent issue of Uncut she said, “Somebody asked me the other day what I thought of illegal downloading, and I thought, ‘You know what? I don’t care’, because I think the majority [doing it] are kids and as they get old and get more income they’ll probably buy records. So it’s just making music a part of everyone’s lives.”
Duffy releases her fourth single, ‘Stepping Stone’, on September 1st on all the usual formats (CD, 7-inch and download), with appearances at the V and Hydro Connect festivals in August. Watch the live performance of ‘Stepping Stone’ from ‘Later…With Jools Holland’, aired in February:
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Speaking of Duffy, those rumours of her performing the theme tune ‘Another Way To Die’ for the upcoming James Bond film ‘Quantum Of Solace’ appear to have been just that. Rumours. That is, if a new report from Billboard.com revealing that the unlikely pairing of Alicia Keys and Jack White has bagged the honour is true. Keys has been linked with the movie for months now, along with various whisperings involving Grace Jones, Duran Duran and (as has been widely publicised) Amy Winehouse, but White’s involvement adds a whole new dimension. According to Billboard, White wrote the theme and plays drums on the track – the first duet in Bond film history. Wears The Trousers always thought that Duffy and Amy were a bit too obvious; the combination of Jack and Alicia is so unexpected it must be true. The ‘Quantum Of Solace’ soundtrack is released on October 27th, followed by the film itself on November 7th.
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In recognition of those deserving artists who somehow failed to make this year’s Nationwide Mercury Music Prize shortlist, music website Drowned In Sound have launched their own award, dubbed the Pluto Prize as a cheeky nod to the former planet being “about as far away from Mercury as you can get in the Solar System”. The poll only includes artists who aren’t on the Mercury shortlist and DiS readers will vote for the winner.
The same three acts Wears The Trousers bemoaned the absence of make up the female quotient – PJ Harvey, M.I.A. and Portishead – with The Bug, Foals, Fuck Buttons, Future Of The Left, Johnny Foreigner, Mystery Jets, These New Puritans, Wild Beasts and Robert Wyatt making up the numbers. The winner of the Pluto Prize will be announced on September 9th, the same day as the Mercury winner, and you can vote up until the previous day (note: you need to register as a site user before voting). C’mon Peej!
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Good news for shoegaze fans: School Of Seven Bells have announced the release of their debut album, Alpinisms, on November 3rd. Anyone still mourning the untimely demise of On!Air!Library! in 2005 will be glad to see the return of twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, whose magical, instinctive harmonies are more than worth anyone’s time. The 11-track album includes previous SVIIB singles ‘My Cabal’ and ‘Face To Face On High Places’, but not ‘Silent Grips’ (which you can listen to here courtesy of Pitchfork). A new single, ‘Half Asleep’, will precede the album in the US, and most likely here too, with exclusive B-side ‘Caldo’.
02 Face To Face On High Places
03 Half Asleep
04 Wired For Light
05 For Kalaja Mari
06 White Elephant Coat
10 Prince Of Peace
11 My Cabal
Prefuse 73 feat. School Of Seven Bells: ‘Class Of 73 Bells’
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Following last year’s critically acclaimed album Dark Passion Play, Finland’s premier symphonic metal band Nightwish are releasing a collection of demos, B-sides and alternative takes from the album sessions on September 2nd through various digital retailers. The pointedly titled The Sound Of Nightwish Reborn features demos of ‘Eva’, ‘Amaranth’ (under its working title ‘Reach’) and ‘The Poet & The Pendulum’ recorded with original singer Tarja Turunen. Turunen left the band in 2005 to pursue a solo career, and was capably replaced by Anette Olzon for the final recording.
Nightwish play a one-off date at annual metal festival Bloodstock Open Air in Derby on August 17th, not returning to the UK until March 2009 for a date at London’s Brixton Academy.
The Sound Of Nightwish Reborn
01 Eva [demo]
02 Reach [‘Amaranth' demo]
03 While Your Lips Are Still Red
04 The Escapist
05 The Poet & The Pendulum [demo]
06 Bye Bye Beautiful [dj orkidea remix]
07 Meadows Of Heaven [orchestral version]
08 Amaranth [orchestral version]
09 The Escapist [instrumental version]
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Consider this is a kindly warning: Paris Hilton has taken up singing again. Thankfully not for a whole album, but as part of her latest film role. Upcoming film ‘Repo! The Genetic Opera’ sees the heiress attempting to act and sing at the same time. Suffice to say it doesn’t appear to have gone very well, as the clip below will hammer home with merciless fury.
Why can’t people stick to what they’re best at? In Hilton’s case, it’s making a tit out of herself on brainless TV shows. In the case of Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson their worth is harder to pinpoint, but it appears that they’ve both been following in the footsteps of Madonna and Kylie and Gwen Stefani by designing their own clothes ranges. Jessica’s planning on making “beautiful dresses in distinctive fabrics and silhouettes that are reflective of my personal style and offer something special to the marketplace”, while Lohan’s range of ‘leggins’ and ‘ankle gloves’ designed for online fashion retailer Shop Intuition are apparently quite popular.
Not that success on the virtual catwalks is going to dissuade her from inflicting her upcoming third album upon us. The Mirror reports that Sam Sparro is flying out to the States in a couple of weeks to work with Lohan and a few other artists. “I’ve always been a big fan and I think she’s cool,” said Sparro. Hmm.
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Tagged alicia keys, amy winehouse, drowned in sound, duffy, james bond, jessica simpson, lindsay lohan, liz phair, MIA, nightwish, on!air!library!, paris hilton, pj harvey, portishead, quantum of solace, saint etienne, sam sparro, sarah cracknell, school of seven bells, tarja turunen, xenomania