Coldplay live CD/DVD Cover
Albums of Note... Coldplay’s Live 2012 album shows a band far more at ease with themselves than their previous live release, from 2003. The Live 2012 package includes both blu-ray and CD. The footage is punctuated by behind-the-scenes interludes and these excerpts showcase each band member’s enthusiasm for their live shows as well as revealing how the material from Mylo Xyloto evolved over time and culminated with them band playing to a vast stadium audiences across the globe. “Live 2012 includes some nice musical moments... the low-key piano intro to 'Yellow', a guest appearance from Rihanna during 'Princess Of China', and the stripped back intimacy of 'Us Against The World'. All of the other elements of big choruses and sing-along's spanning the entire Coldplay back catalogue are present and correct… and Chris Martin's voice seems to have found a renewed strength to cope with the massive venues the band now fills.”
A bizarre move by Jeff Lynne, you might think, to go back and re-record all of ELO’s classic hits himself (Lynne plays the majority of the instruments, with a few exceptions). With Mr Blue Sky, The Very Best Of Electric Light Orchestra, if you can forgive the arrogance of Lynne taking charge of most elements of the recording, the re-workings have given the songs energy, without transforming them too dramatically. “It's a great idea to get some semi-forgotten but great music back out there into the mainstream, and there's nothing wrong with that. For those who don't know Electric Light Orchestra, go and listen to it now. For those who do, it's not a lot different but still worth a listen if you have a spare few minutes. And overall, it's great to see them back.”
Placebo are releasing their first collection of new material in over three years and although it’s not the full length album that fans have been waiting for, it will tide them over nicely until that particular promise is delivered. On the B3 EP, Placebo have decided to stick what they do best and have stopped trying to veer away from their own distinctive sound and the record is all the stronger for that. “Placebo can never sound like anyone else, which is great when they're not trying to. That was the downfall of their last album, but if B3 is simply a sample of what's on the way in their 7th studio album, it looks as though we're going to be in for a treat.”
Yannis from Foals in the video for Inhaler
Videos of the Week... Foals return with ‘Inhaler,’ another slice of spiky dance-rock and this time with a heavier feel to it. The band have clearly got some fire in their bellies and even the video exudes artistic confidence. Bodies writhe around, struggling to breathe, puking, dribbling and er… cycling around… as the song reaches an understated conclusion.
The video for ‘Don’t Deny Your Heart’ by Hot Chip was directed by Peter Serafinowicz, who also directed the videos for ‘I Feel Better’ and ‘Night and Day.’ If you can handle the snippets of football commentary that are layered over the actual song recording, it’s a pretty neat video, splicing football video game footage with video footage of the band. What begins as a football game descends into a psychedelic dance display, before all the footballers start making out with each other. Bizarre? Yes. Brilliant? Of course.
Atlas Genius first released Trojans in May 2011 and now, the band from Adelaide, Australia, are giving the track another airing. Their accessible indie rock has had them compared to the likes of Death Cab For Cutie and Beck. This is the kind of music video that’s chock-full of the kind of nostalgic footage that could quite easily double up as an advert for a hipster’s high street clothing store, which detracts a little from the catchiness of the song itself.
Manchester band Dutch Uncles have gone arty for the video for ‘Fester’ – slow motion footage of crystals forming is cut with pastel-doused shots of the band performing, in close-up. Musically, ‘Fester’ isn’t dissimilar to Hot Chip in their style, though you won’t find a computer-generated football orgy in this video, we’ll tell you that for nothing.
Interviews of the Week... Swans have never been a band for the faint-hearted. Jordan Dowling spoke to them before their Manchester show and found a band amped-up as though preparing for battle. Their intentionally uncomfortable live show took place in a venue that seemed dangerously over-filled; Jordan spoke to the band’s lead protagonist, Michael Gira about their legendary reputation: “The sets are, against our will, expanding. London was about three hours, and it seems to be against our control! These things keep growing, and it is more like the music plays us than us playing it.” “30 years on from the start of Swans' journey and half a century from the start of Michael's, he remains one of the foremost forward-thinking minds in alternative music.”
As Scott Walker releases his 14th studio album and possibly his most experimental work to date, we spoke to Alasdair Molly, a faithful collaborator on Walker’s three latest releases. Molloy is a skilled percussionist and composer and talked about his time working with Scott on these ambitious compositions. “All the sounds come out of a Scott's very clear vision for the specific sounds for particular moments. For example, for one of the tracks on Bish Bosch he wanted Hawaiian War Drums and this involved me in a considerable amount of detective work, listening to archive recordings and even contacting museums(!) but in the end I was able to have a number of options in the studio for Scott to consider and we found a way of achieving the exact sound.”
The Rolling Stones on the red carpet
Music in the News... The Rolling Stones kicked off their 50th Anniversary gig at London’s O2 arena, with special guests such as Florence Welch. Mary J Blige and old band members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor also hopping up for guests slots. Mick Jagger even found time to have a good old chuckle about the extortionate price of the tickets… to the very people that had dug deep to get hold of them. Nice move!
Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ video bumped Justin Bieber off the top of the ‘most watched video on YouTube’ list last week. Bieber had to make way for the curious Korean rapper, whose video has now amassed an astonishing total of more that 802 million views, since being uploaded onto the site in July 2012.