Friday, June 29, 2007

Coming up over the next few weeks: Robert Palmer reappraised; an introduction to Todd Levin; the best punk album ever; Don Letts; some doo-wop; Steely Dan; Explosions in the Sky; Moose; Sly and Robbie; Miles Davis' On The Corner; the Duke String Quartet; LL Cool J; and Martin Hannett. Stay tuned!

'king Charles

Like Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone on 6music, Charles Hazelwood's one hour show on Radio 2 gets the official and not-at-all coveted Irk The Purists seal of approval. Any show that can switch from Elgar to the Prodigy to Arthur Russell to Benjamin Britten and then to Kool and the Gang in the space of 60 minutes is alright by me. Listen again here. Unfortunately, the current series finishes on July 4th...

Charles Hazelwood's site

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Murphy's Lore

If Prince were able to come up with something more like this, then we'd be very excited indeed. This is the newie from Roisin Murphy. Her last album, Ruby Blue, was an overlooked gem, thanks in no small part to the production abilities of Matthew Herbert. While this isn't quite as leftfield, it does show up chancers like Sophie Ellis-Bextor for what they are. Enjoy!

Prince among newspapermen

It's funny. You stay away from blogging for a whole month, and come back to find that the music industry as we know it is on the verge of collapse. First, Fopp, home of the £5 CD and wafer-thin margins, seemingly goes to the wall. Then, the retail sector's woes are multiplied when it's announced that Prince's new CD is going to be given away for free with the Mail On Sunday. Those familiar with Prince's recent output might argue that even this is overvaluing his work.

It wasn't always thus, though. While his finger slipped off the quality-control button in about, oooh, 1987 (roughly the time that he fired the Revolution, featuring talents like Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, and replaced them with workaday yes-men), there was a time from Dirty Mind to Sign O' The Times when he could do no wrong. Some of his best work of the period was reserved for side projects like The Time, The Family, Sheila E and Vanity 6. There are plenty of fansites that can put you in the picture regarding his career, so I shan't bother here, but for anyone that needs reminding of his purple patch (sorry) I've posted a Vanity 6 track below, the sort of thing he used to be able to knock off in his sleep. I'm really not holding out hope of any Prince renaissance, by the way, but the news that his new CD features the aforementioned Wendy and Lisa, and that his recent tours have starred Sheila E, does raise expectations slightly...

Download Nasty Girl by Vanity 6 (deleted May 2008)

See Sheila E Sister Fate