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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Ting Tings 'Hang It Up' with New Single and Video

After what seemed like an eternity, English pop rock duo The Ting Tings are BACK with a hot new single and an equally hot new music video.  It's been over a year since Jules De Martino (drums, lead guitar, bass guitar, vocals, piano) and Katie White (vocals, guitar, bass drums, bass guitar, and cow bells) dropped the first single off their highly anticipated sophomore album, the Calvin Harris-produced "Hands."  New single "Hang It Up" has the band returning to the more familiar sounds of their 2008 debut album, We Started Nothing and I have to say, I'm only a little bit disappointed.  

Why only a little?  While "Hands" didn't exactly ignite the charts back in September of 2010 (it peaked at #29 in the UK) it teased of a decidedly new dance/pop direction for the band, whose sound previously only dabbled in electronica.  Nearly all of The Ting Tings' singles have been remixed for the clubs, hell, "Hands" even went #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart,  but a whole album of Ting Tings infused dance pop? The gay in me was practically salivating onto my keyboard!  

Cut to...a year later and nary a peep from the Ting Tings, aside from sporadic updates via Twitter and on Facebook.  Hmmm. Clearly "Hands" didn't do what it needed to do so now here we are a year later and the band has all new material.  I totally get that the Tings (and undoubtedly, their label) are being cautious.  Hello! It's been nearly three years since the band's first album came out. That's a long time! Suffering from the oft dreaded sophomore slump at this stage in their career, with only one album under their belt, could be detrimental (quite possibly, an exaggeration)! "Hang It Up" isn't a bad comeback, in fact it's quite catchy.  Call it "Shut Up and Let Me Go" Part 2, if you will.  It's got Katie's trademark shouty bits PLUS a nice little solo bit for Jules, and plenty of their trademark manic spunk but it's not really too drastically different.  "Hands" was different, "Hang It Up" reverts back to the band's SAFE place, the same place that earned them a spot in a prominent iPod commercial back in April 2008.  All disappointment aside, the song is solid.  For fans who didn't latch onto "Hands," "Hang It Up" picks up nicely where We Started Nothing left off.  

Speaking of We Started Nothing - WOW. What a solid pop album.  I've said before that We Started Nothing is honestly an album I can rinse, wash and repeat - over and over again.  Every song is listenable and every beat is danceable.  Upon it's initial release in Europe, We Started Nothing debuted at #1 on the UK Album Charts, spawning two top ten hits, (including the #1 hit single "That's Not My Name") and two top 40 singles ("Great DJ," and "Be The One").  Over in the U.S. the Tings also had a good amount of success, thanks in large part to "Shut Up and Let Me Go" being featured in an Apple iPod commercial (that's where I first heard them!).  When their album was released in July it managed to peak at #78 on the Billboard 200, #7 on the U.S. Heatseekers Albums chart and #8 on the Indie Albums chart.  Only two of the band's singles managed to impact the Billboard Hot 100 ("That's Not My Name - #32, "Shut Up and Let Me Go" - #34) with their 2010 single "Hands" peaking at #1 on the dance charts.  The band's first official single - "Fruit Machine" was released only as a limited 500-copy run and did not chart, while the band's final single "We Walk" peaked at #58.  A pretty impressive start to a promising career.  Let's hope the band picks up momentum as we FINALLY get closer to the release of their follow up effort.

While touring in Europe this past summer, The Ting Tings have been treating crowds to fan favorites as well as new tunes like "Hang It Up."  One of the other new tunes the band has been previewing, "Silence," looks to be the next single and what's more,!?  We have another music video comin right up, at least if the band's most recent Facebook posts are to be believed. On Tuesday the Katie teased via the band's official Facebook page "we will have another song and video out before the end of this month." Chances are it's the complementary video to "Silence," which the band Tweeted about filming back in July.  As for the album (the band's second with Columbia/Sony Music), it was originally slated to come out in the Fall, but looks to be pushed back to January.  While we're waiting, let's have a look at the colorful and fun new video for "Hang It Up,"  filmed in Alicante, Spain and directed by The Ting Tings with Dan Gable.  Check out The Ting Tings U.S. iTunes store HERE.

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Hot Remix Alert: Patrick Wolf - Together (Garcon Garcon Remix)

Talented English singer/songwriter Patrick Wolf will release his brand new EP, Brumalia, on November 28th. The EP features a beautiful song called "Together," a standout on Patrick's recent string of live shows. According to Wolf himself,
"'Together’ has been the highlight of the live shows over the last year, the audience reaction to this song has been totally inspiring, I always saw it as a song about two lovers reuniting in the dark rainy days around December. For the last few years I’ve been writing a song around Christmas time, creating this winter EP.‘Brumalia’ (which translates as ‘festival of the shortest day’), in a way is like a little brother or sister record to ‘Lupercalia.'"
Brumalia succeeds Wolf's fifth studio album, Lupercalia, which came out this past summer on Hideout /Mercury Records.  The album went on to become Wolf's highest charting album on the UK charts, peaking at #37.  Previous effort, 2009's The Bachelor only managed to peak at #49, whereas his breakout record, 2007's The Magic Position came in at #46.  The album saw the release of three singles, "Time Of My Life," "The City," and "House," none of which really made a dent in the singles charts.  I'm not sure if Wolf is altogether scrapping promotion of his last album, but this new EP should satisfy anyone looking for new music this holiday season.

As a special treat, download this fantastically uptempo remix of Wolf's new song "Together," taken from the forthcoming EP release.  The remix was done by Sydney based electro-pop duo Garcon Garcon. Check out their website HERE for more information!

Together (Garcon Garcon Remix) by Patrick Wolf

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U2 Celebrate 20 Years of 'Achtung Baby'

Wow. Can you believe that it's been nearly 20 years since U2 released their pivotal seventh studio album, Achtung Baby? The album spawned a whole slough of hit singles including "The Fly," "Mysterious Ways," "One," "Even Better Than The Real Thing," and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," with every single one of them going top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. The album became the band's third #1 on the Billboard 200, also going number one nearly every where else around the world. Those were the days! It seems like now a band is lucky if their first single goes top ten much less every single released off of an album. My how things have changed in the music industry.

To celebrate the 20 year anniversary of Achtung Baby's release (November 19th) U2 is releasing a special anniversary edition of the album, due out October 31st internationally and November 1st in the States. The album, a pinnacle of their career, was recorded over the course of six months at Hansa Studio in Berlin and Windmill Lane in Dublin. The album was produced by longtime U2 collaborators Daniel Lanois, and Brian Eno along with Steve Lillywhite. In addition to digital download, the special edition will be available in 5 physical editions including a vinyl box set, a 2-CD set, a 6 CD/4DVD set and a limited, numbered "Uber Deluxe Edition," featuring 6 CDs, 4 DVDs, music videos a baby double vinyl, an 84-page hardback book, a pair of Bono's trademark 'The Fly' sunglasses and much more. INSANE!  Check out details of each of the special editions and pre-order information HERE.

Earlier this year, U2 returned Hansa Studio in Berlin to discuss the making of that landmark album for a documentary film, From The Sky Down, directed by Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim (Waiting For Superman, An Inconvenient Truth). The film opened the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival on September 8th and is included in the special edition release of the album. Check out the trailer for From The Sky Down below.

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The Puppini Sisters Go Glam for 'Hollywood': New Album Due November 7th

Back in May I reported that retro pop/jazz trio The Puppini Sisters were NEARLY done with their third album (fourth, if you count 2010's Holiday album Christmas with the Puppini Sisters). Well...five months later we have a release date, and not one for for the USA! The theme of the new album?  Why old Hollywood, of course! How glamorous and absolutely perfect for the Puppinis! Here's the scoopage...

The album, entitled Hollywood, is set for U.S. release on November 7th via Verve Records. This "gloriously evocative record" honors the silver screen and it's HUGE impact on the music industry over the years.  The three leading ladies, Marcella Puppini, Stephanie O'Brien and Kate Mullins sing classic songs from the big screen, including  "Moi Je Joue" (famously tackled by French actress/singer Brigitte Bardot), the Gershwin Brothers-penned "I Got Rhythm" (featured in the 1951 film An American In Paris), Johnny Mercer & Henry Mancini's 1961 classic "Moon River" (from Breakfast At Tiffany's), "September Song" made famous by Frank Sinatra (also used in the 1950 film September Affair), "Get Happy," famously performed by Judy Garland in 1950's Summer Stock (her last film for MGM), "Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend" (first sung by Carol Channing in the Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, later made famous by Marilyn Monroe in the film version and many more. I can HARDLY wait to get my hands on this gem of an album.  Doesn't it sound magical?

The Puppini Sisters have a knack for reinventing a classic song in such a way that it both pays homage and breathes new life into the song, completely rejuvenating it.  In addition to the glitz and glam of Hollywood, the girls' third album ALSO includes an original song!  Satisfying my wanton desire for an album of Puppini originals, the album's title track was penned by the trio.  Here's a description of the soon-to-be Puppini classic:
"Over a rumbling double bass and vibrant horns, "Hollywood" could quite easily fit into any film from cinema's Technicolor beginnings.  A song about 'the pursuit of getting your name in lights,' "Hollywood" is a getaway into the deliriously exciting musical world The Puppini Sisters are exploring, yet is, quintessentially the sound of the group themselves."
Sounds promising!  After my post in May, I got a lovely personal email from Ms. Marcella Puppini herself, thanking me for the support and telling me a little bit about the new album and it's Hollywood theme.  Regarding my desire to hear an album of all originals, apparently they couldn't find anyone to fund it.  The reason?  According to Marcella, "everyone wants the Puppini Sisters to cover their favourite songs."  Fair enough.  The fact that the album contains one original on top of their world class amazing covers is enough for me.  The Puppini Sisters were also hand picked by another contemporary jazz great, Michael Buble, to perform two songs on his forthcoming Christmas album, one of which was chosen to be the album's first single! ("Jingle Bells?") What an honor!  The album will be released October 24th in the UK and the next day on October 25th in the States.  The Sisters also have the honor of joining Buble on stage, performing with him on his upcoming ITV special.  As if an original song and a Michael Buble collaboration didn't whip you into a flurry of excitement, the Puppini's have teamed up with Mad Men designer Janie Bryant who comes on board as the group's Creative Director. How brilliant is that?  While I thought the girls' were holding their own in the STYLE and CREATIVITY department just fine with their last couple of albums, I can't wait to see what this powerhouse vintage visionary brings to the table.

Inspired by the French film Bellville Rendez-Vous, Marcella Puppini got a couple of girls together from Trinity College and formed an act.  Seamlessly blending the 1930s - 1940s style of the Andrews Sisters with contemporary tunes, these classically trained jazz divas impacted the world with their debut album Betcha Bottom Dollar in 2006.  Follow up album, 2007's The Rise & Fall Of Ruby Woo went on to become their second top 5 on Billboard's U.S. Jazz Album charts.  Here's hopin' that Hollywood becomes their third!  Join the Puppini Sisters on tour this February (tour dates below) and check out the album's tracklisting below the cut.  Also below the cut? The video for "Spooky," in honor of Halloween.

(P.S. - Marcella, if you're reading - I still want you to come back to Boston!)

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