PopMuse: Shows http://popmu.se Musings of stuff en-us Copyright 2007-2020 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Jack Colwell: Swandream review – theatrical, raw songs packed with pain and soaring survival https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/03/jack-colwell-swandream-review- https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/03/jack-colwell-swandream-review- Wed, 03 Jun 2020 03:17:52 UTC Bernard Zuel at Music | The Guardian The Patrick Wolf influence is unmistakeable – but while Colwell’s debut revels in drama and emotions, producer Sarah Blasko lends it a balancing restraintA friend of mine instinctively reacts to dramatic pop songs – the type of thing with vocal and musical flourishes that feel theatrical; big swings in mood and presentation; emotions throbbing; male voices in lower registers; lyrical landscapes painted in almost lurid detail – with the denunciation that it’s trying too hard, that it is false, that it is, in the ultimate insult, pretentious.Thus consigned to the bin the likes of Scott Walker and Nick Cave, Kate Bush and Cousteau, Rufus Wainwright and Anna Calvi. So without hesitation I can say she’d hear Sydney artist Jack Colwell’s debut album and label it pretentious. I’m also confident Colwell would say, yes, and?� Continue reading... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Run the Jewels: ‘I want the oppressors to know they haven’t created complete hopelessness’ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/01/run-the-jewels-i-want-the-oppressors-to-know-that-they-havent-created-complete-hopelessness https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/01/run-the-jewels-i-want-the-oppressors-to-know-that-they-havent-created-complete-hopelessness Tue, 02 Jun 2020 18:23:55 UTC Alexis Petridis at Music | The Guardian After Killer Mike’s impassioned speech about the death of George Floyd went viral, he and his partner El-P explain why a mix of serious politics and surreal goofiness makes their music perfect for our timesRun the Jewels have enjoyed one of the more improbable rises to fame in recent hip-hop history. Two figures nearing 40, from the genre’s margins – Killer Mike on the fringes of Outkast’s Atlanta-based circle of rappers and producers, his partner El-P a founder member of Company Flow and longstanding critical darling of east coast underground rap – who pooled their resources to record a mixtape. They gave it away and watched, astonished, as it and its two successors became runaway successes.It happened despite the fact that their music – political, angry, more about lyrics than hooks – is grounded in the golden age hip-hop of Public Enemy and EPMD, and swims against the genre’s prevalent trends. Yet for all they profess a certain mystification over Run the Jewels’ success, it’s hard to avoid the feeling that they’re the right band for the moment: an alternately surreal and furious response to a world spinning bizarrely, horribly out of control. Continue reading... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ 'No downside': Johnny Marr, Best Coast and Jason Isbell on how sobriety improves music https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/02/no-downside-johnny-marr-best-coast-and-jason-isbell-on-how-sobriety-improves-music https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/02/no-downside-johnny-marr-best-coast-and-jason-isbell-on-how-sobriety-improves-music Tue, 02 Jun 2020 15:11:24 UTC Lior Phillips at Music | The Guardian Rock’n’roll is equated with excess – but for many musicians, addiction to drugs or alcohol can stifle their art. Three of them explain how getting sober sent their creativity skyrocketingMy sobriety began with a jump, falling into murky water. That’s not a metaphor: swimming in the middle of nowhere in my native South Africa in 2012, I picked up a parasitic disease called bilharzia; my subsequent weakened immune system and a summer of binge-drinking led to a case of hepatitis. Both diseases required prolonged hospital stays and strict admonishments against drinking alcohol. My nightly drinking and smoking were replaced with green tea and rest.Three months of rest on doctor’s orders turned into eight years and counting. I left my old self at the bottom of that river, along with my old career and a few drinking buddies. As I transitioned into the life of a full-time writer over those years, I wondered whether it was possible to have a dynamic creative life after you get sober: can an artist relish the routine instead of the riot? The image of the drunk, drugged rock’n’roll life has helped to normalise addiction, after all. Sobriety and creativity cast a complex picture that asks more questions the longer you stare at it. I spoke to three musicians at different stages of their sober journey about leaving drink and drugs behind. Continue reading... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Lennie Niehaus, longtime Clint Eastwood composer, dies aged 90 https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/02/lennie-niehaus-longtime-clint-eastwood-composer-dies-aged-90 https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/02/lennie-niehaus-longtime-clint-eastwood-composer-dies-aged-90 Tue, 02 Jun 2020 09:15:34 UTC Ben Beaumont-Thomas at Music | The Guardian Composer for Unforgiven and The Bridges of Madison County, who Eastwood taught to swim in the army, died in CaliforniaLennie Niehaus, who as Clint Eastwood’s favoured composer created the scores to Unforgiven and 12 more of his films, has died aged 90.He died at his daughter’s California home under hospice care, the family announced. Continue reading... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ The 100 greatest UK No 1s: 100-4 https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/apr/27/the-100-greatest-uk-no-1s https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/apr/27/the-100-greatest-uk-no-1s Tue, 02 Jun 2020 08:08:42 UTC Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Alexis Petridis and Laura Snapes at Music | The Guardian We continue our Top 10 countdown, featuring Donna Summer’s genre-busting hit, Dead or Alive’s majestic synthpop and Michael Jackson’s future-funkAs the coronavirus lockdown continues, the Guardian’s music desk thought you might be in need of a distraction – something to send you down memory lane, or to divert the annoyance at your housemates or children on to us. We present to you a ranking of the 100 greatest UK No 1 singles since the charts began in 1952. Continue reading... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ The 100 greatest UK No 1s: No 4, Donna Summer – I Feel Love https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/02/the-100-greatest-uk-no-1s-no-4-donna-summer-i-feel-love https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/02/the-100-greatest-uk-no-1s-no-4-donna-summer-i-feel-love Tue, 02 Jun 2020 08:00:05 UTC John Doran at Music | The Guardian Hypnotic synth, peerless vocals and visionary ambition make the 1977 genre-busting hit a turning point in pop and a truly timeless trackRead our list of the 100 greatest UK No 1sIn 1975, a stellar team based in Germany laid the groundwork for a musical revolution, the aftershock of which is still being felt today. American singer Donna Summer, alongside production and songwriting duo Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, were responsible for the torrid single Love to Love You Baby. In technical terms, the track’s modernism can be heard in a heavily foregrounded 4/4 beat bolstered, metronomically, by rudimentary drum programming. But that isn’t what initially captured the imaginations of the disco cognoscenti.During a coke-fuelled orgy at his LA mansion, the head of Casablanca records, Neil Bogart, took a break from the festivities to phone Bellotte in a state of high excitement saying that everyone was “fucking to this track” and demanding constant rewinds. He asked the trio to expand the song until it filled the side of an album, something that was relatively easy for them to do because of the rigid grid of drum machine beats. The resulting track, replete with 22 simulated orgasms (courtesy of the 12-inch version at least), earned Summer, a practising Christian and trained gospel singer, a BBC ban, a trans-Atlantic hit and a new record deal with Casablanca. Continue reading... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ #TheShowMustBePaused: music industry plans day of silence for George Floyd https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/01/george-floyd-music-industry-theshowmustbepaused https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/01/george-floyd-music-industry-theshowmustbepaused Tue, 02 Jun 2020 02:59:27 UTC André Wheeler at Music | The Guardian Stars including Quincy Jones and Billie Eilish join executives in promoting effort to halt operations as protests continueOn Tuesday, the music industry will observe a “blackout day” in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the protests raging across the country.The demonstration stands to bring major music companies, significant pieces of a $19bn industry, to a halt. The event organizer Live Nation will “pull the plug” on its operations and close offices for the day; radio shows will go silent; MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and other ViacomCBS-owned channels will “go dark”.�Spotify will add eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence to select playlists and podcasts – the length of time police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of Floyd. Continue reading... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Bob Dylan: where to start in his back catalogue https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/01/bob-dylan-where-to-start-in-his-back-catalogue https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/01/bob-dylan-where-to-start-in-his-back-catalogue Mon, 01 Jun 2020 14:42:19 UTC Richard Williams at Music | The Guardian In Listener’s digest, we help you explore the work of great artists. Next: the junkyard raconteur and voice of a generationThe Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964) Continue reading... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Hadestown: Tiny Desk Concert https://www.npr.org/2020/06/01/864566001/hadestown-tiny-desk-concert?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=concerts https://www.npr.org/2020/06/01/864566001/hadestown-tiny-desk-concert?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=concerts Mon, 01 Jun 2020 09:00:28 UTC Stephen Thompson at Concerts : NPR The cast and musicians of the hit Broadway musical Hadestown pack into the Tiny Desk for a truly glorious performance of its greatest songs. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ The 100 greatest UK No 1s, No 5: Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/01/the-100-greatest-uk-no-1s-no-5-dead-or-alive-you-spin-me-round-like-a-record https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/01/the-100-greatest-uk-no-1s-no-5-dead-or-alive-you-spin-me-round-like-a-record Mon, 01 Jun 2020 08:00:35 UTC Ben Beaumont-Thomas at Music | The Guardian Led with peacock glamour and untamed sexuality from Pete Burns, the Stock Aitken Waterman production is synth-pop at its very finestThe UK production trio Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW) dubbed their studio the Hit Factory, and with good reason. Not only did it generate hits – Never Gonna Give You Up, Venus, Respectable and dozens of others – but the very sound of their records was industrialised. Instruments like the Linn 9000 drum machine and the Roland Juno-106 synthesiser were manufactured in one factory before being installed in SAW’s, the ersatz brass and strings becoming a new set of raw materials.Pete Waterman had something of the cigar-chewing industrialist about him, too. “We make records to entertain people for between three to seven minutes, and if they don’t like them they don’t buy them,” he said in 1987. “If they do buy them, they are doing so not because of art but because they like the records.” He would go on fact-finding business trips, visiting France, Germany or Italy to spend hours sitting in his hotel room with pop radio on for inspiration (leading to some notable similarities). And like the car manufacturers of Detroit who influenced Motown, who in turn influenced SAW, each year brought an update of essentially the same thing. Kylie Minogue’s I Should Be So Lucky and Donna Summer’s This Time I Know It’s for Real are as fractionally different as two generations of iPhone, and numerous stars from the SAW stable each recorded the same songs: when music is this pristinely crafted, why mess with the formula? Not only was SAW’s music using the cutting-edge technology of the era, it was also embracing its free-market ethos. Continue reading... http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/