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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wears the trousers albums of the decade #75-51

part one part threepart four

Here’s the second part of our albums of the decade countdown, running from #75–51.

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Róisín Murphy

[EMI, 2007]

Of all the critical droolfests that failed to ignite on the commercial front this decade, Róisín Murphy’s second solo album is among the most inexplicable damp squibs. The ex-Moloko frontwoman may have shed the avant-garde experimentalism of her solo debut Ruby Blue in favour of full-on disco diva mode, set against a backdrop of thumping, shimmering state-of-the-art production, but it seems the world wasn’t ready to accept even Murphy’s toned down personality quirks. That’s a real shame for although Overpowered is not without its flaws, there is a sense of playful grandeur here that can easily toe the line with Goldfrapp at their most teasing.

Chris Catchpole

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free music friday: actionaid 6 degrees project


ActionAid 6 Degrees Project feat. Róisín Murphy, Sinéad O’Connor, Amanda Ghost, Micachu, thecocknbullkid + Alessi’s Ark
‘I’m Every Woman’ [Chaka Khan cover]

With each day that goes by it’s becoming easier and easier to play the game of 6 Degrees of Swine Flu with musical folks like Lissy Trullie and Jens Lekman having to spend time in quarantine, and as the virus spreads here in London we’re counting our removes from unlucky friends who’ve found themselves confined to their bedrooms (thankfully expected to have 100% recovery). We’ve probably never been more aware of the fact that we’re all connected, but ActionAid’s 6 Degrees project is here to remind us that those connections can span unimagined distances. Supported by several high profile musicians, journalists and celebrities, 6 Degrees is shining the spotlight on the charity’s work on women’s rights issues in countries where extreme poverty claims the lives of thousands of women.

Released on the 100th anniversary of the first suffragette hunger strike in Britain, the 6 Degrees project is giving away a very unusual cover of Chaka Khan’s prevailing disco hit ‘I’m Every Woman’ dreamt up by current President of Epic Records, Amanda Ghost, and featuring five very different female artists: leftfield pop diva Róisín Murphy, musical icon and political force Sinéad O’Connor, plus up and coming Londoners Micachu, thecocknbullkid and Alessi’s Ark. The track was inspired by the story of Hajara Mukyala, a 20 year old single mother who lives in one of the poorest slums in the Ugandan capital of Kampala having been forced to work as a prostitute after a terrifying sexual assault aged 14 left her pregnant and thrown out onto the streets. 

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róisín murphy, sinéad o’connor cover chaka khan for charity

310808_roisinmurphyMicachu, thecocknbullkid and Alessi’s Ark also contribute

Launched with an all-star gig at the ICA in London last month, ActionAid’s 6 Degrees project shines the spotlight on the charity’s work on women’s rights issues, fighting for “an end to the violence and discrimination that keeps poor women poor.” The theme of the campaign is that we are all in this together – we are all connected and we are all responsible. Supporters include Bat For Lashes, Florence & The Machine, DJs Queens Of Noize, BBC Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray, journalist Miranda Sawyer and Epic Records prez Amanda Ghost – the brains behind the campaign’s first musical offering, a cover of the Chaka Khan classic ‘I’m Every Woman’.

Taking the campaign’s six degrees of separation concept, Amanda says she was able to link herself to a woman called Hajara Mukyala, a 20 year old single mother who lives in one of the poorest slums in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Hajara, who has been working with ActionAid since 2007, was forced to work as a prostitute after being raped aged 14 and thrown out onto the streets when she became pregnant, and it was her story that inspired Amanda’s decision to record a new version of ‘I’m Every Woman’ with an unlikely cast of vocalists. Young up-and-comers Alessi’s Ark, Micachu and thecocknbullkid are joined by the Irish contingent of Róisín Murphy and Sinéad O’Connor, with Amanda Ghost herself completing the 6 Degrees.

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watch exclusive róisín murphy concert footage
December 3, 2008, 2:06 am
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , , ,

031108_roisinmurphyEntire two-hour show free to view on her website

Róisín Murphy is bringing her notoriously entertaining live show direct to her fans in what she calls “a wild experiment” in which interested parties will get the opportunity to edit footage from her recent two-hour show at Forest National in Brussels as they see fit. The filming of the concert was “a one off” using six cameras and Róisín has posted “a purely live edit” of the show up on her website for free viewing.

“I wanted to push myself AND the audience to the limits,” writes Róisín, and states her intention to provide fans with the files necessary for self-editing to happen. “In the meantime,” she says, “enjoy the rough edit while you can – it won’t be here for long.” 

Alan Pedder

trouser press: diane cluck, the pipettes and more

in today’s trouser press:

– listen to new Diane Cluck songs. Lots of them!
– remix The Pipettes for upcoming tour CD
– new Stars EP out to download from tomorrow
– Róisín Murphy teams up with Gucci, covers Bryan Ferry
– The Long Blondes to release singles compilation
– lovely new Laura Nyro reissues have bonus tracks galore
– Juliette Lewis to co-host Vodafone Live Music Awards
– Kish Mauve set out to make it on their own
– Amy Winehouse pulls a Pete in Paris

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It’s been quite a while since we heard any new Diane Cluck recordings but our hopes for a new album were unexpectedly given a boost this weekend when we found out that Diane recently played on genius US radio show Phoning It In, literally phoning in nine songs from her home in Stone Mountain, GA. New song titles include ‘Goodless & Badless World’, ‘Cummed Out’, ‘All One Thing’, ‘Hai’, ‘Not Afraid To Be Kind’ and ‘My Right To Lose My Life’. Want to hear it? Hell, you can own it. For free. Download the show here. Or stream it here, whatever. Enjoy! (And check out the archive for other performances by the likes of Laura Veirs, Petra Haden and many many more)

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trouser shorts: tori amos, regina spektor and more

Tori Amos will be conducting a live video webchat on her website on July 23rd, ahead of the release of ‘Comic Book Tattoo’, a 400-page anthology of comic strips based on writers’ and artists’ interpretations of her lyrics. The chat starts at 4pm PST, which is 8am (oops!) midnight UK time. Tori is currently in California promoting the anthology with an appearance at this year’s Comic-Con. Read all about ‘Comic Book Tattoo’ over at Spinner.

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Regina Spektor has recorded a duet with piano man Ben Folds who releases his new album, Way To Normal, on September 29th. The song, ‘You Don’t Know Me’ will be the album’s first single so we can expect to hear it soon! Folds, of course, has recently worked with Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer, producing her debut solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer?, out September 15th.

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