Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Old, New and Borrowed

A quick round up today of new or at least new to me releases with something borrowed and old thrown in for good measure.
Joan As Police Woman is already an intriguing enough name so much so that you not quite sure whether it belongs to a group or a person. It is in fact a she, the she being New Yorker Joan Wasser who has lent her vocal skills and her deft violin playing to records by Anthony and the Johnsons, Flaming Lips, Rufus Wainwright and Nick Cave amongst others. Now striking out on her own she has a new album 'Real Life' in the shops that I have seen described as being twisted soul with punk sensibilities, listen to her latest single 'Eternal Flame' and maybe you'll understand why she has been called a torch singer for the 21st century.
The Fratellis who would appear to be current darlings of the good old NME, and can be seen headlining the weeklies Rock 'n Roll Riot tour in the UK from October 10 onwards. They have a name that gives way to images of New Jersey Italian ice cream sellers though they are actually from Glasgow, and their recently released debut album 'Costello Music' may well confuse some Elvis fans. Check out 'Skinny Girls' that was available on the vinyl version their 'Henrietta' single to see how well they rock, no surprise really that they won themselves many friends this summer on the festival circuit.
The Bhuntam Philharmonic are actually a duo composed of Stoppa and Neil Arthur (ex Blancmange). Influenced by dub, hip hop, Kraftwerk and various Eastern musical forms, the instrumental 'Snakecharmer' can be found on their self titled debut album.
Gogol Bordello have been around the web for a while now but it was only recently that I heard 'Dogs Were Barking' on a compilation and immediately understood why this this strange mix of the Pogues and les Negresses Vertes makes them so popular live.
Susanna & the Magical Orchestra provide the borrowed with their second album 'Melody Mountain' that is composed entirely of cover versions and as the Norwegian duo have stated in their defense "these songs are simply our folk music, they were part of our environment, whether on the radio or played by our parents or friends". I say there is no need at all to make excuses when the record is as good as this, witness their take on Joy Divisions 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. If you are interested in more do give the album a try and above all their sublime version of AC/DS's 'It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock'n'Roll)', that can be found over at Copy Right.
Chilli Willi & the Red Hot Peppers are the old for today. The band had their origins in the states and after moving to London in the early 70's became one of the leading lights in the London based Pub Rock movement. They released the one album in 1974 before calling it a day the following year. That one album 'Bongos Over Balam' has recently seen a welcome re-release on CD, 'Goodbye Nashville, Hello Camden Town' is not only a good song but also displays some nice word play and a healthy sense of humour.

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