Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Dark Side Of The Lawn

Okay, so taking the blog in an abruptly different musical direction, I'm going to rave for a while about The Dresden Dolls.
I justify this by being excited about their new album, which was released last week. It's essentially an album of stuff that was left off of their 2006 album, Yes, Virginia..., along with some B-sides and other material, named, almost predictably if you know the backstory, No, Virginia... I first heard about it when I subscribed to Stereogum's newsletter, The 'Gum Drop. Along with the weekly prize giveaway Stereogum also give you a free downloadable mp3 of a band they're promoting. Pretty sweet, and the stuff is diverse so you never know what they'll send your way next. And on the 23rd April 2008 that mp3 was Night Reconnaissance.
It's a very quirky cabaret-verging-on-showtune number and therefore solidly in the style of Missed Me and Coin-Operated Boy. As in The Jeep Song after you listen to the lyrics they make you smile for the references to other famous songs misquoted in the lyrics (hence the title of this post. If you don't get it shame on you and go stick your head in a bucket of Pink Floyd til you are safe to walk society once more). I can't yet review the entire album because I haven't managed to obtain it at the time of writing, but if it is as good as that track is, I have high hopes, particularly given some of the reviews available on the internet.
The mp3s with this are particular favourites of mine. Missed Me was how I got into their music and was the only thing I played on my iPod for a solid week, and with which I can freak out a friend by halfway through (I'm grinning as I write this). Coin-Operated Boy is just fantastic in its own right and Delilah is a slower song which shows the angry, hurt side of their music in a very different way to Missed Me.
Let the Epic Cabaret continue!

Night Reconnaissance - The Dresden Dolls
Missed Me - The Dresden Dolls
Coin-Operated Boy - The Dresden Dolls
Delilah - The Dresden Dolls

Oh, and as a side note and because it's interesting, here is the letter that sparked the names of the Yes, Virginia... and No, Virginia... albums (and explains the Christmas theme of the CD cover of the latter album).

Dear Editor-
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it's so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
-Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus? Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
(Printed as is, from the New York Sun, 1897)

Kinda sweet, don't you think? Wish it were Christmastime so I could wish you guys a Merry Christmas. Ah well :)

Monday, 19 May 2008

Seven Hours Well Spent

At 6am this morning I realised I had just spent a good seven hours listening to electro music. I found some truly sick tracks including the new DVNO single EP remixes by Justice. The remix by Surkin is particularly good, and only happened because his label Institubes made an exception to their 'no remixes' rule, which is in place until he finishes his own full-length album, Next Of Kin EP.
And the Chewy Chocolate Cookies are suddenly appearing everywhere. I found some of their remixes nearly a year ago and last night realised they've gained a lot of popularity since releasing their tracks for free download on RCRDLBL. More of a dance/club sound, as their name suggests they tend to be a lot of fun and not too heavy, but they're nevertheless not afraid of putting their mark on the hits by the big boys, and have remixed Justice, Simian Mobile Disco, DJ Mehdi and Digitalism, among others. Check out their website for free downloads.

Well at least insomnia comes in useful sometimes.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Ends And Beginnings

Having entered into the public milieu of opinions that is blogging I now have to figure out whether I have anything to say. However I think I'll let the music speak for itself and add a couple of tracks that have suited the end-of-university buzz.

Had a lot of fun dancing to Hervé remixes last night once we hijacked the speaker system and wouldn't let anyone else close enough to put on anything else, and as ever we started with The Salmon Dance Remix (originally by The Chemical Brothers). I wish there were decks at that house party; if there were the dancing wouldn't have stopped til morning.

The Chemical Brothers - The Salmon Dance (Hervé Remix)

Happy summer! Now to go and find a job til September :)