wears the trousers magazine

incoming: here lies love

David Byrne & Fatboy Slim
Here Lies Love

[Nonesuch; February 22]

This hugely anticipated double album from the perhaps unlikely pairing of David Byrne and Norman Cook features 20 top female vocalists (and Steve Earle) retelling the incredible life story of Imelda Marcos, former First Lady Of The Philippines, from her early days as a beauty queen in Manila to her marriage to Ferdinand Marcos and his controversial presidency, and finally to their catastrophic fall from grace in the face of the People Power Revolution of 1986. Says David Byrne in the introduction, “The story I am interested in is about asking what drives a powerful person—what makes them tick? How do they make and then remake themselves? I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if—as this piece would be principally composed of clubby dance music—one could experience it in a club setting? Could one bring a ‘story’ and a kind of theatre to the disco? Was that possible? If so, wouldn’t that be amazing!” (Byrne himself sings on only two tracks; ‘American Troglodyte’ and the Shara Worden duet ‘Seven Years’.) The deluxe edition of Here Lies Love includes a 100-page companion book and DVD. Unmissable, really.

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in photos: martha wainwright live at the jazz café
January 13, 2010, 9:23 am
Filed under: live, review | Tags: , ,

Living up to our recommendation in the January gig guide and then some, Martha Wainwright played a spellbinding set at the Jazz Café in London last night, including a surprise duet with father Loudon Wainwright III. Intrepid photographer Anika Mottershaw took these lovely pics…

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january gig guide

So, January, yeah. Rubbish, isn’t it? Dark, cold, still bloated from Christmas, the annual humiliation of failing to keep your resolutions for longer than a fortnight, nothing to do…wait! Nothing to do? The gig year doesn’t usually heat up properly until March or so but there’s plenty worth seeing. We’ve trawled the listings to pick out something to warm your cockles for every black, freezing night of the month, starting tonight!

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wears the trousers albums of the decade #50–26

part one | part two | part four

Here’s the third part of our albums of the decade countdown, running from #50–26.

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Queen Adreena
Drink Me

[Rough Trade, 2002]

Casting aside the disparaging comparisons to “Kate Bush on crack” bestowed upon her in the wake of Queen Adreena’s debut album Taxidermy, KatieJane Garside upped the ante with Drink Me, tearing whatever hinges that were still attached right off with a blisteringly manic grunge-metal fervour. Among her Wonderland’s re-energised malice, the softer moments found Garside’s raging voice shrunk mouse-high, whispering seductively as if through the keyhole, or chillingly into a void. Richly imaginative and manically enjoyable, Drink Me remains one of the decade’s most vigorous and visceral thrills, disturbing to the very last note.

Alan Pedder

read our interview with KatieJane

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best of 2009: readers poll results #50–41

Here we go, counting down the 50 albums you voted for in the highest number as your favourites for 2009. Numbers 50–41 right here.

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Cate Le Bon
Me Oh My

[Irony Bored; October 2009]

What we said then: “There’s nothing embryonic about this accomplished collection of songs; Me Oh My is fully formed and well matured, showing just how far Le Bon has come since her early performances… A big warm cwtch of a record.” ••••• Richard Steele

What we say now: Me Oh My has lost none of its off-kilter shock and awe in the short time since it hatched into the public domain. A hugely promising debut, it was perhaps just too damn strange from the outset to reach a Laura Marling sized audience, but wider recognition surely can’t evade Ms Le Bon for long.

Download: ‘Hollow Trees House Hounds’, ‘Sad Sad Feet’, ‘Terror Of The Man’

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martha wainwright: sans fusils, ni souliers, a paris (2009)
November 19, 2009, 9:38 pm
Filed under: album, review | Tags: ,

Martha Wainwright
San Fusils, Ni Souliers, A Paris: Martha Wainwright’s Piaf Record ••••
Cooperative / Drowned In Sound

There are some bright ideas, the cultural playbook tells us, north Americans should leave well alone lest they want to invoke the angry spirit guardians of someone else’s heritage. When the legacy in question is that of someone considered a French national icon, that good advice may be especially pertinent. Particularly in the case of an icon so revered as Edith Piaf, the tragic ‘Little Sparrow’, a romantic martyr to the grand passions of the mythical Gallic soul. We don’t do popular singers in quite the same way in the Anglo-Saxon world. With a voice drenched in absinthe and cracked by gitane smoke, a demeanour gracefully wrapped in the tricolore and a place in the heart of Francophiles well beyond the physical and psychological borders of La France Profonde, Piaf is to many what French popular culture is all about. What kind of non-French artist would dare dabble with such a fiercely protected mythos?

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martha wainwright brings piaf tribute to london
October 26, 2009, 3:59 pm
Filed under: news, where's the gigs | Tags: , , ,

030708_marthawainwrightLive album out November 9th

Martha Wainwright is bringing her well received Edith Piaf performance to the Barbican in London on November 11th following an intimate two-night run at New York’s Dixon Palace Theater back in June, and tickets are selling out fast. The occasion? To mark the release of the Hal Willner-produced live recordings of those shows on November 9th through V2 Records. Dubbed Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, A Paris: Martha Wainwright’s Piaf Record, Martha Wainwright’s Piaf record builds upon a lifetime of admiration for the tragic French chanteuse’s vast catalogue of passionately sung recordings, picking out several of her lesser known songs to breathe some new life into.

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