Well this is a surprise! Ex Hole and now the reformed Hole’s guitarist Eric Erlandson has said that demos exist of a Kurt Cobain solo album. Click on the link to read the story on NME’s website.
This is the jist of the story: Kurt supposedly played it to him before topping himself in 1994. Maybe Courtney has been sitting on it?
So does this actually exist? Surely the evil record business would have tried to squeeze more dollars from the legions of ageing (most), wealthy (some) and passionate (hands up) Nirvana fans. I’m not going to get too excitred about this news…but who can I write to so that I can find out if this is real? I want it to be true.
Walpod 8- I’m Afraid and I’m Glad I’m Afraid
It’s been a little while since I last gave the present of a mix of music to the beautiful people that read/stumbleaccross/ignore my blog. Consider the hiatus over! It’s back, the Walpod is back! Children run as fast as they can, stumbling through the warren-like paths that link the hustle and bustle of the main streets back to the homes they share with ten family members that are jammed in awaiting an influx of new(ish) music mixed in an exciting(ish) way. Whilst they listen they are happy.
So here is a collection of songs that I have enjoyed over the past month or so:
MIA is back, I watched Drive with that Gosling man (he has a weak jaw), Andre 3000 brings the fire on a track paid for by shoes, I saw the Felice Brothers & Sharon Van Etten play live, fell in love with Perfume Genius and Julia Holter and Grimes blew everyone away. Take it easy, take a listen, relax, enjoy. I like you.
I also spent ages cutting samples from a film that I saw this month. It’s a cult classic and if you’ve seen it then you’ll recognise that the film is ‘Peeping Tom’ an early look at the psychological effects of parental experiments gone a little bit wrong, a strange German man plays a character that has spent his whole life living in London, it’s a very interesting film.
Podcast 8 - I’m Afraid…and I’m glad I’m afraid.
1. Walnut Tree Theme
2. M.I.A - Bad Girls
3. Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx - Nightcall
4. The Shins - Simple Song
5. Django Django - Waveforms
6. Santigold - Disparate Youth
7. Gorillaz featuring Andre 3000 and James Murphy - Do Ya Thing
8. Mr Mutha Fuckin’ eXquire
9. Homeboy Sandman - New York Nights
10. Grimes - Eight
11. Chairlift - Sidewalk Safari
12. The 2 Bears - Work
13. Sharon Van Etten - Serpents
14. The Felice Brothers - Cus’s Catskill Gym
15. Perfume Genius - Hood
16. Julia Holter - Goddess Eyes II
17. No - Stay With Me
M.I.A//Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx//The Shins//Django Django//Santigold//Gorillaz//Andre 3000//James Murphy//Mr Mutha Fuckin’ eXquire//Homeboy Sandman//Grimes//Chairlift//The 2 Bears//Sharon Van Etten//The Felice Brothers//Perfume Genius//Julia Holter//No
Jai Paul - Jasmine (demo)
I thought that Jai Paul had suffered some sort of studio based illness and retreated deep into the studio-womb to lick his wounds. He would have shone brightly and briefly, the BTSTU demo that was released onto the internet by his brother, without Jai’s knowledge (hmmm, sounds PR fishy don’t it…) in 2010, blew up the blogosphere and was crowned ‘best single 2010’ by us here at the Walnut Tree. It was so different to what anyone else was making that it felt like a breath of frsh air processed through the cleanest filter imaginable and then fed into a My Little Pony that pumped it out cleaner with a subtle rose flavoured tint.
But last night Jai ended his hiatus and popped Jasmine onto his Soundcloud page. So what have we been waiting for? It sounds pleasingly lo fi with a burst of room noise from cheap microphones (don’t get me wrong I use cheap mics and they capture a great sound if used correctly) at the beginning and end of the track, the synths colour the track with the lead synth some sort of distorted horn synth laying a corrisponding melody to the vocal melody. The song is hooky in a similar way to BTSTU in that only fragments of the words can be distinguished and pulled from every listen but the melody feels fragile and the backing sounds as if it has been lost and half remembered after a particularly tasty night our boozing and pasted together with a severe hangover. This is a good thing.
I love the intro, it sounds a like it could be from the part in an 80s action movie where the main protagonist gets serious and is pictured driving in his car towards his death/redemption with a montage of him preparing his guns, putting on leather wrist bands and popping his rebellious locks into a loose ponytail that allows for a fringe to fall over his heavily made up eyes.
I’m excited about the new music from Jai Paul so maybe I’m going overboard but hopefully we’ll see the album follow very soon, check out his website for not much at the moment but hopefully lots in the near future.
Yes, it’s back again, the record cover of the week! We don’t look at the music but the cover art and look at this beautiful example of abstract imaging. Lovely chicken suit man covered liberally in close up gold snowflakes. I like it a lot.
From what I can gather the sleeve was designed by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas who are part of the Pan art collective that is based in Berlin. You should check out their site as it is packed full of beautiful cover art. There are only 500 copies pressed on 140g vinyl so you’d better be on your toes if you want one.
So, you might be wondering what the music sounds like, I’m not going to talk about it but you can hear some of GHÉDALIA TAZARTÈS’ music in the links below and buy it here.
Souncloud Link. Actually I will say that the music sounds great, experimental, daring and a little bit mental. Listen to it!
No - Stay With Me
I’ve been listening to lots of podcasts, watching lots of videos and reading lots of articles about something called South by South West or SXSW. It’s finished now, thank goodness, so all the bands that made their name at SWSW will be heading out into the world. One of the bands that I heard covered on the coverage is a band called No.
In this internet age it seems a bit silly to name your band something that I would have thought will be difficult to ‘search engine’ them. However their Twitter turns up on the first page which in turn leads the casual clicker to their website, at which, once you surrender your email address, you can get their ep for free! So what can we find out about them? They hail from LA’s now super-hip (I think, it’s hard to keep up) Echo Park, they have released one record as well as their free ep and no reference to them is complete without mentioning their musical resemblance to The National, which stems mostly from singer Carter’s resonant voice. That’s really all I could find out, they’re quite new.
The video was shot by Ryan Reichenfeld, who, according to his website is a skateboarder/effects artist/director who hasn’t finished his ‘about’ section on his website. He has certainly created a great looking video with a very determined crash test dummy that trembles himself to life. It matches the powerful sentiment that is translated through the music. I’m not usually one for music that tugs at the heart string but the melody is light enough on it’s feet that doesn’t slouch into sentimentality. I also really like the breakdown for the chorus, especially the space given to the tambourine.
What you waiting for? Get the EP here.
Childish Gambino - Heartbeat
I wrote this last year and then never got around to posting it. So as a special treat I’m posting it now, just imagine that the year is 2011 and Childish is just about to release his album…
Having released a mixtape, Culdesac, last year, had a spot on the Jamie xx remix of Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and an e.p, called e.p earlier this year, Childish Gambino returns with his first album proper, Camp. There are a few reasons as to why he has called the album ‘Camp’ first is that it’s set far from the usual urban landscape usually used to set the scene for Hip Hop albums. Gambino is a different sort of rapper, or so he would like us yo think.
Second, in America the summer camp that most teens attend is the first time that they are removed from the protective shield their parents have constructed around them and third the accusations of ‘campness’, being gay, that he says he has had to deal with his whole life. Whether this is true or not is a moot point, Gambino does like to rap about women. A lot. However, we all know what kids are like, horrid little homophobes that will accuse anyone of being gay so that the spotlight doesn’t shine on them.
Donald Glover, the man behind Childish Gambino is a modern day polymath. He raps, he performs stand up comedy, he writes for ‘30 Rock’, he stars in one of my favourite shows ‘Community’ (this never fails to cheer me up) and he was part of a Twitter campaign to get a black Spiderman in the upcoming reboot. He also produced all of the beats on his album. Not something you see many hip hop artists do these days. He doesn’t do collaborations, he wears short shorts. He’s a bit different to your average rapper.
Donald got his Childish Gambino moniker from a Wu-Tang Clan name generator, as good a way as any I suppose but his direct influences are not the gangster stylings of the Wu. Although they are no doubt an influence they are part of the social backdrop that Donald grew up with as a teen in the early 00s. He references Sufjan Stevens & Ariel Pink on his songs. Again, a little bit different to your average.
Anyway, that’s the background. ’Heartbeat’ is one of a few cuts on the album that takes the mood and the beat away from the American urban sound. Even though many of the biggest urban artists in US music at the moment are using European sounding house beats, Gambino makes his version sound more like French label Ed Banger or Justice. Thumping chunky synth lines burst through the 4/4 beats while Gambino’s voice floats around the a pretty piano line in the chorus.
Childish Gambino references Mos Def when asked about his influences and he is looking at the way Hip Hop is represented and how people think about it, there are a number of interesting interviews on youtube, I’ve watched loads, this is a good one. Although I don’t think that the influence of Kanye West and Drake can be downplayed.
It’s only at the end of the album after 12 and a half tracks of rapping about how different he is that he really pulls something that none of his contempories would attempt. He drops a spoken word piece about the journey home from camp that is touching and realistic and beautifully judged. It almost sounds like a movie version of ‘The Wonder Years’ Listen to it here.
Keep your eye on Childish Gambino Yeahhhhhhhhh!
St Vincent - Cheerleader
Hey, you know last year, yeah 2011? Did I tell you how much I loved the St Vincent album? No…well let me redress the balance.
This video for St Vincent’s new single ‘Cheerleader’ is directed by Hiro Murai who has previously directed videos by the likes of Bloc Party, Scissor Sisters and Usher. The video is reminiscent of the video for Leftfield’s Afrika Shox, We’ve seen this sort of thing before, but not paired with the delicate tones of St Vincent and more usually in an urban environment, not an art gallery/museum.
So as I was saying, I loved St Vincent’s album, it’s full of interesting production choices, changes of tone and intricate melodies that fill the album and will fill your head too if you haven’t already got it cram packed full of bus timetables, cooking programmes, glade plug-ins & DIY stores. You really should check it out, you may have done already. In that case, good.
St Vincent’s next release is for the extravaganza that is Record Store Day, she will release two new songs KROKODIL & GROT on a limited 7 Inch. It’s not apparent whether this will be a US only release but you can keep up to date with all her news on her website is here, yeah.