Chumbawamba Anxiously Awaits Margaret Thatcher’s Death

Chumbawamba - In Memoriam, Margaret Thatcher - EPGreat Britain’s former prime minister Margaret Thatcher aka The Iron Lady is alive and well. But Chumbawamba    , one of my favorite bands, is always ahead of the curve: they just announced on their MySpace blog the completion of a commemorative EP, already recorded, pressed and ready to be shipped the day Thatcher dies:

Featuring several new songs commemorating the most viciously dismissive and destructive leader we’ve had since long before any of us were born, this CD has the peculiarity of not having a fixed release date. […] Pay your £5 now in the knowledge that, come the morning after the glorious day, you’ll have this exclusive and unavailable-elsewhere CD dropping tombstone-like onto your doormat.

You can pre-order your copy here.

The Elegance of the New and the Mourning of the Old

I have never heard of Oren Lavie        , nor his song titled Her Morning Elegance, until today. Both of them came to my attention hours ago when the music video for the song climbed to the top of ViralVideoChart.com:
ViralVideoChart.com - 2009-01-27

Oren Lavie sounded like an Israeli name and so I was somewhat intrigued as I could not recall an Israeli video that ever went viral. Sure enough, it turns out that Lavie, an unknown Israeli singer, took a giant step towards fame by releasing a stop motion video last week. Within that short period of time, the video has been viewed almost 400,000 times, and was blogged about 1500 times (now 1501). Have a look-see:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_HXUhShhmY

Now, I know it is quite easy to dismiss this as one of the many viral videos that enter and exit our screens every week, but I think this is much more than that:
We live in an exciting period of time when new business models are developed and adopted right in front of our eyes and the very nature of art and commerce is evolving. Not everyone is excited about it, though: like the Luddites who destroyed mechanized looms in the early nineteenth century trying to resist the inevitability of the Industrial Revolution, the music industry had spent a decade trying to convince people that there is nothing wrong with the old business models and that sharing music is a crime. When everyone around you is committing an illegal act, including the kid next door and his father the policeman, it is quite difficult to treat piracy like the trouble it is made out to be. Home cooking is not killing the restaurant industry, and home taping is not killing the music industry – it didn’t during the 1980’s when cassettes were used, and it is not killing it nowadays when peer-to-peer file sharing protocols are in use. In ten to twenty years, we would wonder what the fuss was all about, and would find it hard to believe that artists stubbornly refused to adopt new technologies, new ways of communicating and new ways of earning a living.
Allowing people to download your music for free? Of course! How else did you plan to make money?

Fill up your dosage of free culture here and here.

Strange World – People Talk, Sometimes I Wonder Why

Artist:
Track: Strange World
Album: I Am [ ]
Genre: Rock
Label: RCA
Release Date: 1996
[singlepic id=115 w=250 h=250]

 

Ke (aka Kevin Grivois) – Strange World Lyrics

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Is this our last chance to say all we have to say
Hiding here inside ourselves we live our lives afraid
So close your eyes and just believe in everything you’re told
‘cos in this land of great confusion it’s easy to give up control

Strange world people talk and tell only lies
Strange world people kill an eye for an eye
Strange world dream one day we’ll see the light
Strange world believe and everything will be alright

And this is the place where everything begins and ends again
No secrets left to find no seven deadly sins
This world that we have wasted has kept us very well
When science now is sacred who will save us from ourselves

Strange world people talk and tell only lies
Strange world people kill an eye for an eye
Strange world dream one day we’ll see the light
Strange world believe and everything will be alright

Strange world people talk sometimes I wonder why
Strange world people kill still no one hears their cries
Strange world burn these thoughtless tears out of my eyes, eyes

Strange world people talk and tell only lies
Strange world people kill an eye for an eye
Strange world dream one day we’ll see the light, ahh, ahh

Strange world people kill and people hate and
People talk and people kill and still I wonder wonder why, why

The Lion, the Witch and the Jewish Russian American in the Wardrobe

[singlepic id=72 w=240 h=320 float=right]Every Jewish person that becomes successful abroad is treated here as an Honorary Israeli: Natalie (Hershlag) Portman, Gene (Chaim Witz) Simmons, the girl in the Yes We Can video – basically if you have experienced worldwide success, no matter how vague your connection to the Holy Land, or how long it has been since you last visited – Israelis will find a way to not only prove you were always one of us, but that your success is directly linked to your being one of us.

I tell you… those Israelis will grasp at anything…

Singer-songwriter and Honorary Israeli Regina Spektor      was one of the artists chosen to sing for the new Narnia film released last week. Have a listen and see if you like the song as much as I and Perez did:

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Buy the entire album in MP3 format or in CD format.

Regina Spektor – The Call – Lyrics

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
’till it was a battle cry

I’ll come back..
When you call me
No need to say good bye

Just because everything’s changing
Doesn’t mean it’s never been this way before
All you can do is try to know who your friends are
As you head off to the war

Pick a star on the dark horizon
And follow the light
You’ll come back when its over
No need to say good bye
You’ll come back when it’s over
No need to say good bye.

Now we’re back to the beginning
It’s just a feeling and no one knows yet
But just because they can’t feel it too
Doesn’t mean that you have to forget

Let your memories grow stonger and stonger
’til they’re before your eyes

You’ll come back
When they call you
No need to say good bye
You’ll come back
When they call you
No need to say good bye

Shulman – Zero Degrees

Artist: Shulman
Track: Zero Degrees
Album: Random Thoughts
Genre: Electronica / Psychedelic / Experimental
Label: Aleph Zero Records
Release Date: 2006
Shulman - Random Thoughts - 2006

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* This is the first of what would hopefully become a weekly post in which I will introduce one music track I liked by one Israeli artist. Oneg Shabbat is a Jewish term meaning the Joy of Sabbath, as Jews use this day to rest and spend time with the family. Devout Jews should probably not listen to this track on Shabbat, as using electricity is forbidden.

** This is another way to break the bitch-to-praise post ratio of my blog by decreasing the number of posts which feature some form of me complaining about something. The first corrective measure was using only two categories to sort my posts: positive and negative.

Trent Reznor Puts Another Nail in the Music Industry’s Analog Coffin

[singlepic id=46 w=320 h=240 float=right]American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, like Radiohead and others before them, have just released their new album in digital format absolutely free of charge. Band leader Trent Reznor explains: “I’ve been considering and wanting to make this kind of [instrumental] record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn’t have made sense until this point. This collection of music is the result of working from a very visual perspective – dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams. I’m very pleased with the result and the ability to present it directly to you without interference. I hope you enjoy the first four volumes of Ghosts.” (emphasis mine)

Listen to the ninth track off the first (and free) volume:

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Now go download it yourself.

I Held My Breath, Everything Is Perfect Now

[singlepic id=44 w=300 h=240 float=right]This week’s episode of The L Word (509: Liquid Heat), ended with an amazing sequence that cross-cut the characters during a heat wave power blackout. The intensity of the erotic ending was greatly enhanced with music by Freezepop    , an American synthpop band, whose song ‘Swimming Pool’ is by far the most moving piece of music I have heard in years.

Have a listen:

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Freezepop – Swimming Pool – lyrics

Buy this MP3 track or buy the entire album.

Late at night, the air was cool
We snuck into the swimming pool
You dove headfirst, I waded in
The scent of chlorine upon our skin

The stars were bright, the water clear
I felt your heat as you swam near
I held my breath, you held my hand
Moving away, further from land
The moon was full, everything blue
The water stilled, reflecting you
Floating right here with you next to me
Gazing at stars, we drift silently

Late at night, the air was cool
We snuck into the swimming pool
I went under and you followed
Let’s not think about tomorrow

Everything is perfect now (x8)

Everything is perfect now – I held my breath
Everything is perfect now – You held my hand
Everything is perfect now – Moving away
Everything is perfect now – Further from land
Everything is perfect now – The stars were bright
Everything is perfect now – The water clear
Everything is perfect now – I felt your heat
Everything is perfect now – As you swam near

Everything is perfect now (x4)
 

This track is from Freezepop’s ‘Future Future Future Perfect’ album. You can buy this MP3 track or buy the entire album.

Dolly Parton Drives Me Crazy

[singlepic id=13 w=250 h=240 float=right]Dolly Parton, the original Dumb Blond and the herald of this all-American cultural phenomena (preceding Paris Hilton by 40 years), will release her new Backwoods Barbie album this coming February 26th.
Not a big Dolly fan myself, I am however the biggest sucker for cover versions, and Dolly’s new album includes the craziest country rendition to Fine Young Cannibals’ 1989 hit She Drive Me Crazy.

Have a listen and take special notice to the funky fiddle riff:

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Buy this MP3 track or buy the entire album.
Continue reading Dolly Parton Drives Me Crazy

He Is the Greatest Israeli Soldier the World Has Ever Known

His training is lethal
And his skills are legendary
But it was time for a change
This summer
He is leaving it all behind
Entering a new world
And pursuing his dream
Now
His old life
Is catching up with him

The trailer for Adam Sandler’s new movie ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’ was recently released, and it looks like it is everything you would expect from a Sandler/Schneider film about an Israeli Mossad agent that fakes his death to become a hairstylist: lots of laughs, no need to think, your run of the mill summer hit.

The film features some Israeli actors (Ido Mosseri, Ori Pfeffer), some hot Israeli girls (Moran Atias, Yamit Sol), and some amazing Israeli scenery. You can check out the trailer here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmMXk0bA8gk

If you liked the music in the trailer you might be interested to know it is by Israeli funk band HaDag Nahash. You can check out the entire track here:

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Chumbawamba Criticizes MySpace Culture – on Their MySpace Page

Chumbawamba      is one of my favorite bands – always political, always relevant and always quick and precise in expressing their opinions in hot-button issues. With a career spanning 25 years, it is a real shame most people know only one of their songs, Tubthumping (‘I get knocked down / But I get up again / You’re never going to keep me down’). The release of this song was, in my humble opinion, the worst public relations move they could ever do because most people now think of them as a cool-fun-one-hit-wonder-band and most do not bother to listen to any of their other songs.

After previously discussing issues as diverse as cultural imperialism, sweatshops, Tony Blair, the war in Iraq and Paris Hilton, they posted a new song on their MySpace page – this one is about Web 2.0 culture, I guess. For your listening pleasure, here are the lyrics:

Chumbawamba – Add Me – lyrics

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Buy this MP3 track or buy the entire album.

I’m a loner alone with neurosis and hate
Anger is a permanent character trait
My letter bombs are primed and they’re ready to send
Would you like to add me as a friend?

I’m a wound-up whiner with a fetish for guns
I’m almost fifty and I live with my mum
I hope my nude picture doesn’t offend
Would you like to add me as a friend?

Chorus:
Add me, add me,
My momma says she wish she never had me
Add me, add me,
Would you like to add me as a friend?
Would you like to add me as a friend?

I’m a recovering alcoholic; I rarely leave my room,
Peeping through the curtains in my dog costume,
The voices in my head, aah… they’ll get me in the end
Would you like to add me as a friend?

I really like to mail you the picture that I drew,
It’s Kylie’s body, but the head is you
I’ve asked you fifty times before I’m asking you again
Would you like to add me as a friend?

Chorus

Here’s a picture of me in my Nazi uniform
Doing a trick with an egg that I like to perform
At a monster truck rally that my mum and me attend
Would you like to add me as a friend?

I’ve added Britney, and Paris, and you and Tom,
I’m gonna find your address so I can visit you at home,
I don’t like people, but I like to pretend
Would you like to add me as a friend?

Chorus