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 #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 #10-1

At last, here are the ten albums you voted for in the highest number as your favourites for 2009. Happy New Year from all at Wears The Trousers!

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Alela Diane
To Be Still

[Names; February 2009]

What we said then: To Be Still is the kind of album that communicates directly with the hindbrain, directing you to the nearest couch, bed or convenient corner; once there, your instructions are to daydream, to ruminate through long-forgotten memories, or just to stare off into the middle distance… Alela Diane is truly the real thing: a singer-songwriter of immense talent, overflowing with creative ideas and real vision.” ••••½ Scott Sinclair

What we say now: She’s come a long way from the low-budget days of her early self-released albums Forest Parade and the later-reissued masterpiece The Pirate’s Gospel, and we’re thrilled to see Alela Diane finally breaking even and earning her dues. To Be Still saw Alela move away from the sparse folk of earlier efforts to a fuller band sound, a successful evolution that helped her transition from underground acclaim to more mainstream pastures, as evidenced in her well-received slot on ‘Later…with Jools Holland’. A bold and beautiful effort.

Download: ‘The Alder Trees’, ‘The Ocean’, ‘White As Diamonds’

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new material from st vincent, lykke li on ‘new moon’ soundtrack
September 21, 2009, 8:32 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , , , ,

200209_stvincent1Available from late October

It seems like anyone who’s anyone in the indie rock world has at one time or another been linked with the upcoming soundtrack for the big screen adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s ‘New Moon’, the sequel to last year’s box office titan ‘Twilight’. Finally, Meyer herself has put an end to all the speculation, posting the official tracklist for the album on her website earlier today. And it doesn’t skimp on big-name participation! Although female artists are very much in the minority here, St Vincent and Lykke Li prove the biggest draws with the former teaming up with Bon Iver for new track ‘Roslyn’ and the latter providing fresh material with a song called ‘Possibilities’. Californian indie-pop artist Anya Marina is also on the list with new song ‘Satellite Heart’.

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st vincent criticises lilith fair

200209_stvincent1That’s Annie off of Sarah McLachlan’s Christmas card list

St Vincent’s Annie Clark recently ripped into Sarah McLachlan’s all-female touring festival Lilith Fair during an interview with US music magazine Spinner. While acknowledging the career advancing help that the festival offers female musicians, she seems to feel a gender-exclusive affair is harmful rather then helpful. “The Lilith Fair thing was Bummer Town — hey, hop aboard the marginalising train,” she sniffed. Race also seemed to be an adjoining issue for Annie, who complained that Erykah Badu was put on “criminally early” during the 1998 line-up she attended, and that “It was just white people who wanted to see the Indigo Girls.”

Despite her criticisms, Annie maintains her belief in sisterly support: “I’m supportive of women, absolutely, and it’s so gratifying to have girls come up and say, ‘I’m really inspired by your guitar playing.’ I mean no disrespect to the sisterhood, but musically I feel more drawn to things like Dirty Projectors, The National and Grizzly Bear. I like Fever Ray, but not because she’s a woman. I just don’t see music on those gender terms.” Her outspoken opinions seem all the more buzzworthy considering the festival’s return in 2010 after a decade-long absence. It’s probably safe to say that Annie won’t be joining the bill.

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trouser shorts: st. vincent, gregory & the hawk, first aid kit


St Vincent has announced details of a short UK tour next month to fit in with her bookings at the Wireless and Oxegen Festivals. Support for all the non-festival dates comes from the wonderful Blue Roses. Should be pretty much unmissable so go see one of these shows if you can:

05.07.09 Wireless Festival, London
06.07.09 Thekla, Bristol
08.07.09 ICA, London
11.07.09 Oxegen Festival, Dublin
13.07.09 Night & Day, Manchester 
14.07.09 Nice & Sleazy’s, Glasgow 

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Gregory & The Hawk return to Europe this month in support of last year’s critically acclaimed Moenie & Kitchi album. Kicks off tomorrow with a single show at the Brixton Windmill in London, but she’ll be back in a few weeks if you can’t make it.

05.06.09 The Windmill, Brixton
21.06.09 Infirmary, Cork
22.06.09 Whelans, Dublin
23.06.09 Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
24.06.09 Queen Of Hoxton, London 

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Recent Wears The Trousers interviewees First Aid Kit are back in the UK this summer too with a string of festival dates and a new headline show in London. That’s the good news; the bad news is that the anticipated release date of their debut album has been pushed back from the autumn to early next year. We hear the new songs are sounding fantastic though. Patience, patience. 

27.06.09 Park Stage, Glastonbury Festival
19.07.09 Latitude Festival, Southwold
28.07.09 The Lexington, London 
31.07.09 Standon Calling, Hertfordshire
01.08.09 Field Day @ Victoria Park, London
02.08.09 Underage Festival @ Victoria Park, London
16.08.09 Summer Sundae, Leicester 

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Carina Round makes a much anticipated return to her native UK with three shows scheduled for July. First she’ll be playing a sort-of-hometown gig at the O2 Academy in Birmingham on July 15th before a two-night stand at Water Rats in London.

15.07.09 O2 Academy, Birmingham
21.07.09 Water Rats, London
22.07.09 Water Rats, London 

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She & Him have contributed a cover of The Smiths’ ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ for the soundtrack of She’s (i.e. Zooey Deschanel’s) new film ‘500 Days Of Summer’, released July 14th through Sire Records. Full tracklist and trailer below:

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st. vincent: actor (2009)
April 16, 2009, 12:32 pm
Filed under: album, mp3, review, video | Tags: , , , ,

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St. Vincent
Actor ••••

Annie Clark’s 2007 debut Marry Me was rapturously received by practically everybody, with critics falling over themselves to hail the arrival of a distinctive new art-rocker – one who’d already paid her dues as a collaborator with Sufjan Stevens and a member of The Polyphonic Spree – and favourable comparisons to Bowie and Bush flew thick and fast. To some (OK, apparently very few) of us, Marry Me sounded a little posed and cluttered, its arrangements consistently inventive but sometimes over-elaborate, its lyrics more clever-clever than actually insightful. But there was no denying that the album’s strongest tracks – the dynamic opener ‘Now, Now’, the mind-blowing ‘Paris Is Burning’, the seductive closing kiss-off ‘What Me Worry’ – clearly picked out Clark as a compelling artist to watch.

That promise is confirmed by the eagerly anticipated Actor, an album that finds Clark honing and developing her idiosyncratic artistic vision. Co-produced with Spree colleague and Modest Mouse associate John Congleton, the album teams Clark with some new collaborators, among them Hideaki Aomori, Alex Sopp (Björk, Phillip Glass) and Midlake’s McKenzie Smith and Paul Alexander. As before, Clark operates her own extraordinary arsenal of instruments, and her arranging and performance skills remain pretty astonishing. (Only Mike Garson’s inimitable piano-playing, a highlight of Marry Me, is sadly missed here.) Anyone who struggled with the restlessness of Marry Me may not find some of their reservations entirely assuaged by Actor – if anything, it is more relentless and aggressive in its quest for fresh, strange sounds – but the end result is unquestionably a highly accomplished and rewarding piece of work.

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