wears the trousers magazine

wears the trousers albums of the decade #100-76

part twopart three | part four

As other people have already noted, among the rash of lists proclaiming the best albums and artists of the ’00s, the majority all had one thing in common: a distinct and depressing lack of albums by solo female artists and by female-fronted bands. We had anticipated a representation rate of between 20% and 30%, but it turned out to be even lower. NME and Rolling Stone awarded a lousy 12–15% of spots to women, and even Paste magazine, who often champion many of the artists Wears The Trousers holds dear, could barely scrape 14%.

In mid-November, eight Wears The Trousers writers and editors gathered around a table at the Candid Arts Centre in Islington, where we spent a long afternoon debating the 300+ nominations for albums of the decade gathered from all our contributors. More than six hours later, we had come up with a rough outline of the 100 albums we thought were worthy of championing. Inevitably, some painful sacrifices were made, evident in the fact that only three artists were permitted to have two entries in the list, and some additional fine tuning was required.

This week, we’ll at last be counting down those 100 albums, 25 at a time. Here are albums #100–76. Voice your agreement/disagreement/outrage in the comment box if you please.

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best of 2009: readers poll results #30-21

Still counting down the 50 albums you voted for in the highest number as your favourites for 2009. Numbers 30–21 right here.

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Blue Roses
Blue Roses

[XL; April 2009]

What we said then: “Featuring a faded photograph of a barren coastal scene on its cover and no further clues as to what you might expect to find inside, this mysterious album leaves it to the music to do the talking. What is concealed inside is an instant classic debut; a patient and timeless record that offers a welcome antidote to the frantic absurdity of modern life… Blue Roses sounds blissfully unaware of the latest music industry trends. Unlike current flavour of the month Natasha Khan, [Laura] Groves seems to understand that it takes more than an ’80s drumbeat to channel the spirit of Kate Bush, creating something altogether more original and rewarding than many of her peers.” •••• Richard Steele

What we say now: It’s lovely to see Blue Roses this high up on the list – great recognition for a fantastic debut that we think will stand the test of time. The follow-up EP, Does Anyone Love Me Now?, released in December, is well worth getting too.

Download: ‘Cover Your Tracks’, ‘I Am Leaving’, ‘I Wish I…’

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au revoir simone: still night, still light (2009)
May 4, 2009, 9:44 am
Filed under: album, mp3, review | Tags: , , ,


Au Revoir Simone
Still Night, Still Light •••½
Our Secret Record Company

Having made a name for themselves with two albums filled with hazy sunshine indie-pop and last year’s fanbase-widening remix project Reverse Migration, Au Revoir Simone’s third album Still Night, Still Light arrives with a weight of expectation not really seen with their previous releases. The internet is buzzing with random facts about the band, such as they were named after a line from ‘Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure’, that they are favourites of master of the bizarre David Lynch, and that they once appeared in an article in Vice magazine headed “I wanna bone Au Revoir Simone”. That’s just lovely, but the real appeal of the Brooklyn trio – who could pass for sisters with their matching pale skin and long dark hair – lies in the unusual multilayered electronic music they make with their bank of keyboards, and the contrast between that complex, artificial sound and their much simpler, natural voices.

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au revoir simone still got it
March 10, 2009, 2:29 pm
Filed under: mp3, news, trouser press | Tags: , , ,

071008_aurevoirsimoneBand announce third album release in May

The very talented ladies of Au Revoir Simone will release Still Night, Still Light, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2007’s divine second album The Bird Of Music, on May 19th through their own label, Our Secret Record Company (at least in the US; perhaps Moshi Moshi over here). Produced by Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Pernice Brothers), the 12 track album was recorded at The Hanger studio in Sacramento, California. “It’s like we’ve died and gone to keyboard heaven,” wrote Heather in her blog. Mixing was completed in January. One song apparently has a melody that sounds a bit like the music from The Legend Of Zelda games! A live session featuring a couple of new songs can be seen here.

Au Revoir Simone play a one-off show at Bush Hall in London on May 6th – annoyingly the very same day as Marissa Nadler at The Luminaire and A Camp at King’s College. Tickets are £9 but they’re not on sale yet.

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au revoir simone: reverse migration (2008)
December 31, 2008, 1:45 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , , ,


Au Revoir Simone
Reverse Migration ••••
Our Secret Record Company

Unlikely to earn Au Revoir Simone much club exposure, Reverse Migration is a remix album that initially proves largely unappealing (particularly when listened to in reverse order – oops) but, over time (about a week) and a few plays (about 5), will hopefully earn the listeners respect, not for its booty shaking suitability – which is lacking – but rather for its transformative approach. All of the remixes on this album are far removed from the original versions found on last year’s The Bird Of Music.

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trouser press: kristin hersh, alela diane and more

in today’s trouser press:

– Kristin Hersh brings The Shady Circle to London
– Alela Diane is the voice of Headless Heroes
– remixers ruffle the feathers of Au Revoir Simone
– Melanie Garside returns as Maple Bee
– lost Gershwin tunes brought to life by Victoria Hart
– Loreena McKennitt gets festive, again
– Martha Wainwright and others cover Leonard Cohen, again
– Madonna lashes out at Sarah Palin
– Canadian artists raise environmental awareness pre-election 

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Having toured her autobiography-as-performance art show ‘Paradoxical Undressing’ (which, it appears, will eventually come out as a book), Kristin Hersh brings her latest project, The Shady Circle, to London in November. A follow-up of sorts to her Appalachian folk song collection Murder, Misery & Then Goodnight, The Shady Circle is basically just Kristin, an electric guitar, an amp and songs and stories galore.

Curious? Well, we’ve had a root around the internets and found a lovely live recording of a house concert in which several Shady Circle songs were performed – ‘Willie Moore’, ‘Waiting For The One Train’, ‘Children Oh Children’, ‘Dusty Road’ – as well as a few Kristin/Throwing Muses originals. And the best bit? It’s free and legal to download. Get part one here and part two here.

London’s The Borderline plays host to The Shady Circle on November 23rd.

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If you haven’t yet become acquainted with the supremely talented Alela Diane, whose 2007 album The Pirate’s Gospel was deservedly hailed as a masterpiece, then another opportunity is waiting in the wings. Alela is the voice of Headless Heroes, a new covers project dreamt up by A&R man Eddie Bezalel (Alice Smith, Mark Ronson) and brought to life by a crack team of musicians.

Billed as a “simply beautiful collection of lost classics and unearthed gems sung with arresting clarity”, The Silence Of Love (out November 10th) is the ensemble’s debut album that tackles bittersweet songs of love and loss spanning 40 years. Classics from Vashti Bunyan, Linda Perhacs and The Gentle Soul mingle seamlessly with more modern selections from Daniel Johnston, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and The Jesus & Mary Chain.

Alela describes the project as “pure fun”, adding: “It was quite liberating to just sing! And not worry about it being my record, or it being different from the type of music that I’m used to making…I was able to use all different parts of my voice, from what I do in my own songs, to what I learned while singing in the school choir.”

The Silence Of Love
01 True Love Will Find You In The End
02 Just One Time
03 Here Before
04 Just Like Honey
05 To You
06 Blues Run The Game
07 Hey Now Who Really Cares
08 Nobody’s Baby Now
09 North Wind Blew South
10 See My Love

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trouser press: tori amos, annie, neko case and more

– Tori Amos to release live DVD of rare performances
– Norwegian pop icon Annie unveils second album
– New Giant Sand album to star Neko Case and Isobel Campbell
– Emma Pollock guests on new Green Peppers album
– Au Revoir Simone pay tribute to Bowie
– Pram to release remix EP

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Two of Tori Amos’s earliest live performances are coming to DVD on September 22nd with the release of the latest in a longrunning series of tapings at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The prosaically named Live At Montreux collates the singer’s pre- and post-Little Earthquakes appearances at the Festival in 1991 and 1992, showing her “fascinating progression from one year to the next as she grows in confidence and skill as a live performer, buoyed by the critical and commercial success of Little Earthquakes.”

1991 show:
01 Silent All These Years
02 Precious Things
03 China
04 Crucify
05 Leather
06 Song For Eric
07 Upside Down
08 Happy Phantom
09 Winter
10 Thank You

1992 show:
11 Little Earthquakes
12 Crucify
13 Silent All These Years
14 Precious Things
15 Happy Phantom
16 Whole Lotta Love / Thank You
17 Me & A Gun
18 Winter
19 Smells Like Teen Spirit

Tori talks about the DVD and all her other new, post-Epic projects in a revealing interview with Spinner.com.

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