wears the trousers magazine


kate nash says bollocks to poverty

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, development charity ActionAid has launched a new initiative as part of its ‘Bollocks To Poverty’ campaign to raise awareness of women’s issues among music fans and beyond. Not only are they encouraging music lovers to throw their own fundraising gigs and parties but they’ve also recruited Kate Nash to put together a digital playlist of songs that “sum up what it means to be a woman”, which can be purchased as MP3s through 7digital. In keeping with the louder, more aggressive sound of her forthcoming second album, the ten songs she’s picked include tracks by Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Le Tigre, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Helen Love and Shrag, alongside favourites from Björk, Destiny’s Child, Emmy The Great and The Flirtations.

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wears the trousers albums of the decade #25-1

part onepart twopart three

Here’s the fourth and final part of our albums of the decade countdown, 25 albums so fantastic they should have sold millions (and, lo, some of them did!)…

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25

Shannon Wright
Maps Of Tacit

[Touch & Go / Quarterstick, 2000]

Distilling everything that was good about her former band Crowsdell and her first album flightsafety, and stripping them of their twee chirpiness and indie-pop sensibilities, Shannon Wright created her finest, and darkest, work in Maps Of Tacit. A multilayered tour de force, the guitar is aggressive without being brash and the creepy, stirring piano swirls with all the innocence and foreboding of a decaying calliope; the overall effect is both intricate and cinematic. Together with some creative use of sampled sounds, dense poetic lyrics and Wright’s alternately silky and caustic vocals, it all adds up to a delightfully chilling labour of love.

Terry Mulcahy

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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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10

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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mtvu woodies nominees include yeah yeah yeahs, la roux

040309_yeahyeahyeahsJanelle Monae, Amanda Blank and The Dead Weather also nominated

Nominees for the  annual Woodie Awards, a public-vote enterprise established in 2005 by college music channel MTVu, were also announced today. While no female artists are up for the overall Woodie Of The Year award, or indeed in the Performing Woodie (i.e. live) category, the other four categories include artists as diverse as Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Dead Weather to La Roux and Alicia Keys. The Best Video Woodie category includes The Dead Weather’s gun-toting video for ‘Treat Me Like Your Mother’, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ bloody clip for ‘Heads Will Roll’, Anjulie’s fantastical ‘Boom’ and Matt & Kim’s public nudity promoting ‘Lessons Learned’. La Roux is carrying the flag for women in the Breaking Woodie category, up against the likes of Friendly Fires, Grizzly Bear, Never Shout Never, Passion Pit and Wale, while in the Left Field Woodie category, Janelle Monae and Amanda Blank are competing with Jay Reatard, Major Lazer and Tech N9ne.

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karen o & the kids: where the wild things are OST (2009)
October 4, 2009, 10:01 am
Filed under: album, review, video | Tags: , , , ,

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Karen O & The Kids
Where The Wild Things Are OST ••••½
Polydor

There are some of us who have somehow never stumbled upon Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are; perhaps we are just not quite the right age, or conceivably it’s because this masterpiece of illustrated children’s literature just wasn’t quite as popular here as it was Stateside. But that’s all about to change as a much hyped Spike Jonze film adaptation, six years in the making, hits the big screen in December. The band name adorning the sleeve of this accompanying soundtrack is Karen O & The Kids; Karen O being the iconic Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman and The Kids being, well, an untrained choir of youngsters. However, they are not alone; this extraordinary and peculiar set of songs is aided by a veritable supergroup of indie-rock elite including Dean Fertita of Queens Of The Stone Age, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter, Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs, Greg Kurstin of The Bird & The Bee and, of course, Karen’s fellow Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Brian Chase and Nick Zinner.

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yeah yeah yeahs: it’s blitz! (2009)
March 11, 2009, 3:06 pm
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , , , ,

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It’s Blitz! ••••½
Interscope 

The Is Is EP may have been a timely, playful reminder that Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase were still very much around, but simply nothing could have prepared us for this, their long-awaited third album. Swinging in on a colossal mirrorball that aims to pulverise Lady GaGa and a whole array of posers that have sprouted up weed-like in their absence, It’s Blitz! is pure disco demolition. Out goes the guitar-led jittering and in come chunky retro synths that evoke everyone from Georgio Moroder to Erasure. It’s a bit like listening to the first two albums with a belly full of something terrifically illegal, as though Donna Summer had grabbed the trio by the hand on a Blonde Ambition tour past the post-punk guitar and the crack of the snare, and off out into space. 

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yeah yeah yeahs bring forward album release date
March 4, 2009, 3:09 pm
Filed under: news, trouser press | Tags: , , ,

040309_yeahyeahyeahsAlbum leak bumps digital release up to next week

Fight fire with fire. Not a good plan when you’ve accidentally left the grill on, but a clever move when your much-anticipated third album is leaked to the internet more than a month before its release date. Feeling the burn of said album, It’s Blitz!, leaking last week, Yeah Yeah Yeahs have decided to bring forward the digital release date from April 13th to March 9th (Monday). Things aren’t quite so easy with physical product so that’s only advanced by a week to April 6th (March 31st in the US). 

Explaining their decision in a Myspace blog, the band wrote: “The cat’s out of the bag after IT’S BLITZ! escaped from our clutches into the big bad world last week. Why should some [i.e. naughty downloaders] have and some [i.e. respectful citizens] have-not? YYYs have been brimming with nervous excitement in anticipation of releasing this record to the world! Leaks are NO FUN but it’s out of our hands.”

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