Tag Archives: Gorillaz

Listen to Frontier Justice 3/25/17

Tei Shi has described her songcraft as a communion of many jams, tributaries of ideas meeting on a flood plain to the wide open sea. You can climb inside the layers on a track like 2013’s “M&Ms,” let the stuttering beat of 2015’s “Basically” blast from your imaginary boom box as weird thoughts bounce off your skull on the train ride downtown. And on Crawl Space (Downtown), the Argentina-via-New York City artist’s debut full-length, it’s this kind of stylistic pointillism that’s the name of the game. It’s a headphones record, speaking of train rides; Tei Shi’s vocals drift in from one channel in harmony, while they fill the middle space with Prince screams and hooks to set off another treated blast of brass or a well-timed percussion squall. “Justify” from Crawl Space kicks off this edition of Frontier Justice, and the low-end growl’s nearly as cool as Tei Shi’s multi-dimensional vocal trading barbs with that skittering effect over top. Let it get inside of you.

Spotify: Frontier Justice 3/25/17 (34 songs, 1 hr 59 min)

Speaking of multiple dimensions, Gorillaz have returned from the Fornax Cluster just in time to collaborate with a billion more tastemakers. Reggae has always been central to Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz star map, and here his drowsy vocal meshes well with the melodic chat of Jamaican dancehall hot shot Popcaan. The craziest thing about Gorillaz is how much it always sounds like Gorillaz, no matter what posse of guests Albarn’s rustled up. Perfect example? Jehnny Beth, fearless leader of Savages, leads the pulsing “We Got the Power,” which stands strong on its own even as it’s built from Gorillaz’ signature tool kit.

Debbie Harry has never stopped being cooler than everyone, and “Long Time” is the new proof. Written with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange and feeding on the genetic material of “Heart of Glass,” it’s one of the lead tracks from Pollinator, out May 5, which will also feature collabs with Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), Johnny Marr, Sia, and the homie Charli XCX. Sitek is also the man behind the curtain on the hazy remix of “Hot Thoughts,” the title track to Spoon’s new record, appearing here alongside , who herself worked with XCX for “Drum,” which certainly bears the British singer-songwriter’s sixth sense for brash pop hooks.

Continue reading Listen to Frontier Justice 3/25/17

Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Gorillaz - Plastic BeachGorillazPlastic Beach (Virgin)

There is something strange going on in the alternative pop world. Everyone from the Flaming Lips to MGMT to Gorillaz are running away from the pop song construction and melody like they’re on fire. After two albums of club music you could actually listen to, Damon Albarn and Co. drink their own Cristal and come back with an album the leaves the listener with a pop-junk hangover, which I suppose is the point.

After a brief orchestral intro—yes, an orchestral intro—the Dogg Father welcomes one and all to the Plastic Beach. What the plastic beach is may be anyone’s guess and we’re betting Snoop Dogg didn’t bother to ask, lest he drop a blunt and ruin yet another pair of sneakers. “Yo man, your Jordan’s are FUCKED up!”

But I digress…much like this album.

Continue reading Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Gorillaz – Stylo

Facing the same issues as OK Go regarding embedding videos, the official YouTube version of this song is unavailable for embedding but we got this version from a “friend” in the know.

Video: Gorillaz – “Stylo” (ft. Mos Def & Bobby Womack)

From the album Plastic Beach, streaming now on NPR and available in the USA on March 9.

Gorillaz: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Gorillaz Documentary Trailer

I love me some Gorillaz. I’ve been a fan of Damon Albarn‘s music since the early 90s when Blur was still mistakenly associated with “shoegazing” and “madchester” by music rags when in fact they were creating something entirely different and uniquely British.

Blur crumbled (and are now slated to reform) and Albarn flew off in a variety of directions. The most commercially successful is the fictional cartoon pop band Gorillaz he formed and fronted with Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the comic book Tank Girl. They’ve gone on to sell some 11 million albums and inspire pasty white English kids to grind they hips like krunked up Souljah Boys.

Now comes a documentary on the band and their following. According to the press release, “Bananaz is an un-sanitised, free-wheeling documentary film, taking down the virtual walls of Gorillaz in an intimate, honest and often hilarious account of the working relationship between Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett and their extraordinary creative process.”

The film will debut online on April 20, prior to the film’s subsequent theatrical release. (Secret: You can also catch a special screening at the Soho Apple Store in New York TONIGHT, March 24, 2009 at 6:30 PM. Shhhhh!)

Dig the Trailer…

Gorillaz Documentary: Bananaz Trailer

Pete Doherty Solo Album Details Revealed

Pete Doherty Phones It In The NME claims to have the first copy of Pete Doherty‘s as-yet-unnamed solo album and they’ve posted details of what’s inside. What does it sound like? “Well, like Gorillaz. And The Coral. And The La’s. And Blur. And Bob Dylan.” OK.

The album apparently features a lot of work from the recently reunited Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and veers from plaintive acoustic ballads and musings on what it is to be British, to “Gorrillaz-esque” dance and drone numbers. Production credit goes to Stephen Street and the album was recorded at London’s Olympic Studios, according to Spin.

The album is currently slated to drop on March 9 in the UK with no US release date yet scheduled.

Tracklisting after the jump…

Continue reading Pete Doherty Solo Album Details Revealed

Gorillaz in the Mist – Cartoon group to disband

The ever busy Damon Albarn tells the NME there will be no more Gorillaz records. A planned film with Terry Gilliam is to be the group’s swansong.

“We’re trying to make a film next, starting in September hopefully,” said Albarn. “It will be a film score. There won’t be another pop record.”

Both Gorillaz albums are a big hit around my house when I am trying to keep the Boy entertained. Hipster parents: Buy these records. Great hooks, unforgettable melodies, and CARTOONS! Everyone’s happy!

I wonder if this has anything to do with the constant rumors of Graham Coxon rejoining Blur???

Previously on GLONO: Review: The Good, the Bad and the Queen; Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop; THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMIN’!

THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMIN’!

Glorious Noise Continues to Diligently Track the Course of Pop Music

Johnny Loftus

Everyone – except for maybe Jonathan Davis – knows Nu Metal is so close to buying the farm, the realtor is calling to negotiate closing fees. Sure, Creed is going strong. And Linkin Park’s {Hybrid Theory} was the best-selling album of 2001. But these standouts don’t represent the vitality of the genre as a whole. Creed is a glorified (no pun intended) sports bar power trio whose sonic trailer park vibe would appeal to Camaro-driving weight lifters in any era of music, Nu Metal or not. And Linkin Park is already distancing itself from its Nu Metal packaging, as LP MC Mike Shinoda can be found rapping on the new X-Ecutioners record and branching into side projects. Remove the success of these types, and Nu Metal’s hurting. It’s no wonder. After all, you can only rage against the machine for so long. Shit, Rage Against The Machine isn’t even raging against the machine anymore. So where does that leave a bunch of dirt-asses like Puddle of Mudd? Likely wallowing in their much-maligned name choice as they take your drive-thru order.

In the last few months, thanks to the inevitably cyclical nature of pop music (not to mention a serious commitment from M2), a diversified group of bands have been giving Nu Metal a swirly in the back of the visitors’ locker room. The Strokes, The White Stripes, Gorillaz, Jimmy Eat World, Ben Kweller, Starsailor, Black Rebel Motorcyle Club, and most recently Clinic have all weighed in as heavyweights in this new group of artists, who can only be compared to the eclectic early 90’s heyday of MTV’s 120 Minutes. Like a smarter, stripped-down version of Perry Farrell’s visionary Lollapalooza tours of yore, genuinely diverse acts with actual talent have begun a slow-burn takeover of American popular music. Though markets and tastes are completely different in the two countries, it can be said that the UK embraced this trend first. Many of the bands above – English or not – have enjoyed monstrous UK success over the past couple of years. And now, just like downloadable ring tones, America is finally catching up to what Europe has known about since before Wes Borland left Limp Bizkit: musical variety is where it’s at, chum.

The question is, what will happen next? If you recall the backlash to Nirvana, thousands of committed, talented bands were embraced by the Big Five, only to be cornholed, kicked to the curb, or worse. Now, the industry hasn’t changed. They still rip out spines on a daily basis. But two things may separate this latest wave of rockers from their forebears: the Internet, and hindsight. The former has readjusted the tenets of the DIY aesthetic, re-wiring the punk ethos into a multifunctioning mixture of marketing savvy, low-cost, broad-based communication, and of course technology. Hindsight feeds dot com DIYism. A band like Jimmy Eat World, established on their own before the majors ever came calling, has the ability to leverage their established market into a creatively beneficial (and maybe more lucrative) contract. What would the average alternative rockers have to offer an A & R guy in 1994 besides a few crusty flannels and a soundman named Pisser? The White Stripes are another example. Already having worked successfully within the independent culture, their growing domestic success is just gravy. There’s nothing wrong with appearing on Conan or having a single on the Billboard 200. Of course not. Jack and Meg White’s music deserves to be heard. But don’t think for a second that those two are letting an industry hack with big shoes walk all over them. It’s their hindsight – and one foot buried in the indie rock community – that will save them from a major label flame out when tastes change again in 1 or 2 years.

But in the meantime, why not enjoy it? Us AND them. If M2 is the new 120 Minutes, and I can hear Del Tha Funky Homosapien rapping with Damon Albarn as I wash my hands in the restroom at Hot n’ Now, then things are getting a little better. Sooner or later, a real rain’ll come and wash all the filth off the streets. But until then, why not revel in the irony of hearing “Fell In Love With A Girl” booming out a jeep?

JTL

Who needs music television? Not us.

Since they no longer play videos on MTV (old news, I know), we must turn to the Web to get our fix that used to at least be satisfied by 120 Minutes. For a while there, I used to tape that show every Sunday night and watch it Monday evening. I was turned on to some great new music that way. I saw the Travis video for “All I Wanna Do Is Rock” on 120 Minutes back in 1997, and that’s still my favorite song of theirs.

But now musicians know how to use the Internet, and I’ve got a broadband connection, so here are three videos that I think you should check out:

Liz Phair – Down. This is a new song from Liz, and I still love her even though she moved to LA as soon as I moved to Chicago. She may be avoiding me, but she still writes great songs. This is a cool video with interesting (for once) use of that goofy, stop-frame/multi-angle technique (as seen in Gaps ads and football games).

Liz Phair 'Down'

Bjork – Pagan Poetry. First things first: Bjork’s boobies are featured in this kinky, unsafe-for-work video. The song is brilliant, and the video is disturbing.

Björk – Pagan Poetry (Official Music Video)

Gorillaz – Rock the House. I initially gave the Gorilllaz album some shit because I was disappointed that there were only two songs with my man Del on them. I’m still upset about that, but I’ve gone back to the album several times recently, and have started to really like it. Except for the handful of songs where the guy from Blur sings in his annoying falsetto. Uggh. But a lot of it is really good. This new video from them is the other Del song.

Gorillaz – Rock The House (Official Video)

If you know of other cool videos, please add them to comments section. It’s Friday and I don’t feel like working…

[Update: This was originally posted years before YouTube, but 15 years later we embedded working videos. -ed.]

The Gorillaz: King Bong

When I first heard about the Gorillaz, I got really excited. The Gorillaz are a cartoon band that is actually made up of the guy from Blur, Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien, and some turntable wizard. And drawn by the original creator of Tank Girl. That sounded really cool to me.

And then I saw the video for “Clint Eastwood” on 120 Minutes (yes, believe it or not, 120 Minutes is still on the air — Sunday nights on MTV2). The video clinched it for me. A great sing-songy pop chorus, classic Del rhymes for the verses, and fresh production (as always) from the Automator. The cartoon didn’t impress me that much but the song was great. The Gorillaz seemed to totally reinvent and revitalize two genres that I’ve pretty much stopped caring about: britpop and hip hop.

Unfortunately, the album does not continue along the same lines. “Clint Eastwood,” in fact, is the only track that features both Del and the guy from Blur. Del shows up by himself on one other track, but the rest of the album is basically just a solo album by the guy from Blur that’s produced by Dan The Automator. And as that, it’s pretty cool. Some nice beats, some cool vocals, some Blurry guitars. But I was hoping for so much more. I was hoping for a new direction, a new sound, a new combination of different musical styles. In essence, I wanted Del on every track.

It would have been so cool. It still is pretty cool, but not in the way that I wanted. Nevertheless, my friends can expect to see “Clint Eastwood” showing up on lots of my mixes this summer.