Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Standing In The Way Of CTRL

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Helen Of Troy... favourite Laydeehawke is curating CTRL at the Deaf Institute on Thu Apr 30. Headliner Dan Black may be funky-as-fuck (single Alone seems to be single-handedly attempting to start a slap-bass revival), but Helen Of Troy... can't pay him too much attention 'cos he's a boy. Happily, Ms Hawke has programmed two lady acts we're more than happy to write about - Marina & The Diamonds and the fabulous Fan Death.

Marina & The Diamonds (who's also appearing at Sounds From The Other City on Sunday) cites her influences as Brody Dalle and Britney - which is a frikkin awesome combination. On record (or MySpace and YouTube) Marina sounds more like St Vincent-lite, her plinky plonk piano replacing St Vincent's guitar virtuosity. There's real promise on the Jealousy demo however, which, although dying for a cracking remix, has dancefloor-filler written all over it, with a pop-step bassline and catchy as fuck lyrics.

Delectable Vancouver duo Fan Death, aka Dandi and Marta (pictured) are definitely our favourite of the line-up. This twosome make disco music because they love it, without any hint of sneery irony. Single Veronica's Veil (released back in December - sorry if we're a bit behind the times) is a multilayered, string-laden disco treat - one of the best things Helen Of Troy has heard in a long time - check it out below. Apparently they're pretty frikkin' awesome live too.

There's loads of other good stuff going on this weekend - MAPs Festival, the aforementioned Sounds From The Other City, but Helen Of Troy is too cash poor and liver poorly to contemplate going out so we're going to do loads of free stuff, like learning the words to all Pat Benatar songs ever written, frolicking in meadows, and making pictures of Patti Smith from pasta.

If we can get over our not-going-out misery, we might just write you a little round-up of what's on. If.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Gig Review: PJ Harvey And John Parish

When Helen Of Troy… last saw PJ Harvey, she was rocking the austere Victorian dowager persona as she promoted haunting masterpiece White Chalk. Two years on, as she took to the stage of the beautiful Birmingham Town Hall on a Wednesday night, Ms Harvey was more Lynchian than Victorian, her fragile frame prowling the stage, conveying equal parts maniacal menace and childlike innocence.

Backed by a brilliantly tight band of be-hatted blokes and flanked by long-time collaborator and co-creator of new album A Man A Woman Walked By, John Parish, Polly Jean seemed at ease from the off.

This ease was evident as Peej and Pals broke countless rock conventions by starting the show with a blistering rendition of current single Black Hearted Love. By the time they’d finished second song Sixteen, Fifteen, Fourteen (a deliciously intense version replete with pounding primal hand-claps) the crowd had been hypnotised.

From thereon-in, the enchanted audience was treated to a selection of tracks from Harvey and Parish’s two collaborative albums, 1996s Dance Hall At Louse Point and the aforementioned A Man A Woman Walked By – the title track of which is a real highlight, as PJ howled with delightful vitriol ‘now it's my turn to laugh! I'll stick it up your fuckin' ass’.

The contrast between this Banshee-like brilliance and the haunting delicacy of ukulele-backed heartbreaker Soldier sums up the essence of this almost perfect gig. PJ Harvey’s seemingly effortless ability to inhabit numerous characters yet still stay 100% Peej makes her a mesmerising prospect be it live, on record or in person.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Florence And The Machine Album Details

Lungs, Florence and the Machine's debut album, is scheduled for release on July 6th. The artwork's a little meh, but who cares we finally have a release date. The track listing may or may not resemble the below!

1. Dog Days Are Over

2. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

3. I'm Not Calling You A Liar

4. Howl

5. Kiss With A Fist

6. Girl With One Eye
7. Drumming Song

8. Between Two Lungs

9. Cosmic Love

10. My Boy Builds Coffins

11. Hurricane

12. Blinding

13. You've Got The Love

Friday, 17 April 2009

New Music: Menya

NYC-based, dirty-pop rappers Menya, proffer some of the catchiest DIY-produced electro-hop Helen Of Troy... has heard in ages. Currently students at New York University, the trashy trio of early twenty-somethings somehow find the time to write, record, and mix all their own music. Respect!

Comprising of members, Coco Dame, Angie Ripe, and Good Goose, Menya is nearly an all-girl affair. Since forming back in 2007, the outfit have released two EPs, gigged tirelessly, and attracted enough attention from industry types and bloggers to be termed a ‘buzz band’.

Self-released debut EP, The Ol’ Reach-Around, features six tracks which range from the highly-sexed DTF and Ripe, to the introspective Oh and Lonely Lonely – talk about wide-ranging! Their second and most recent offering, Puss Coital, is another stunning six-tracker, featuring standout tunes Diana (I Heart U), and Philly Gurls (all tracks are available for streaming over at their MySpace page).

These guys are fun, edgy, and refreshing, definitely A* material.


Monday, 13 April 2009

Bite-Sized News Round-Up

With Peaches’ fifth studio album I Feel Cream scheduled for release on May 4th, the video for lead single Talk To Me finally hit the interweb a few days ago. While we’re lovin’ the electro experimentalist’s new do, we're not so keen on the rather uneventful video.

It seems PJ Harvey will be performing sans guitar or piano for her upcoming tour with John Parish. She made the announcement to the Guardian during the pair’s takeover a couple of weeks ago, stating that JP will be performing alongside a full backing band, allowing her to concentrate on her vocals. You can watch the full interview here.

No Doubt’s cover of Stand And Deliver (originally an 80s hit by Adam And The Ants) has been leaked online. To be honest we’re not feeling it. Check it out below and see what you think.

Poor Courtney Love. Our favourite troubled singer is claiming that millions of dollars have gone missing, and suspects the money has been pillaged by some of her former staff. Apparently, she was too fucked to notice, but she’s sobered up now (ahem) and is hoping to reclaim her lost fortune in court. We wish her all the best!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Let's Get Lyrical

Helen Of Troy... is all about the music. As well as writing about it, we like to talk about it – a lot. Admittedly, we’ve been more interested in our new Guitar Hero sets than anything else lately, but on the odd occasion we’ve managed to drag ourselves away, a particular topic has cropped up in conversation again and again... crap lyrics. Which got us thinking... what are the worst lyrics from the noughties? After much debate and rather a lot of interweb searching, here’s what we’ve come up with.

Shakira - Whenever, Wherever
"Lucky that my breasts are small and humble,
So you don't confuse them with mountains"

Madonna - I Love New York
“If you don't like my attitude
Then you can F off
Just go to Texas
Isn't that where they golf?”

Black Eyed Peas – My Humps
“I'ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my hump
My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump,
My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely little lumps (check it out)”

Britney Spears – Mmm Papi
“Now see, I’m mommy
And that makes you Papi
And that makes us lovey, oww”

Feel free to let us know what makes your list.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

While It's Still Free

Here's a new Spotify playlist for your aural pleasure. Tracks include Sweet 16 from Thunderheist, Black Hearted Love via PJ Harvey and John Parish, plus classic Grace Jones in the form of Pull Up To The Bumper. Enjoy!