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music videos

Pet Shop Boys will release new version of Memory Of The Future

Pet Shop Boys will release a new single “Memory of the future” in the USA on Astralwerks on January 1. The track is the third single to be taken from their album Elysium which was released in September this year and produced by Grammy-winning producer Andrew Dawson. Commenting on the album’s musical richness, Vanity Fair recently observed that Pet Shop Boys “…have brought wit and edge to electronic dance music without abandoning the pop smarts that made them the biggest duo in British recording history”.

The single will be available as two digital bundles. The first will include a brand new mix of “Memory of the future” by ace dance-pop producer Stuart Price (Madonna, Kylie Minogue, The Killers), and three brand new Pet Shop Boys bonus tracks. The second – “remixed” – will feature a multi-flavored array of new mixes from Stuart Price, German ambient-techno maven Ulrich Schnauss, upcoming Brazilian ‘Technobrega’ DJ Waldo Squash and the prolific London duo Digital Dog. Pet Shop Boys will play their only UK live date this year in a special one-off concert with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra to be broadcast in the UK on Thursday, December 6th. The concert, taking place at the BBC studios in Salford near Manchester, is part of the Radio 2 ‘In Concert Live’ series. The show will include a selection of old and new songs and will also premiere part of a piece Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have been writing inspired by the British scientist, mathematician and code-breaker Alan Turing. US dates for Spring 2013 are currently being considered and further announcements will be made in the new year.

Watch the Pet Shop Boys “Memory of the future” Lyric Video

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music videos

NY’s AVAN LAVA “Sisters” (uncensored version) MTVu video premiere

MTVu said the following about the video and band: “AVAN LAVA is a NY based electronic pop band with a popular and raucous live show…The band has a rich sound that melds together Prince-style pop flair on one side with a Daft Punk disco edge on the other resulting in some pretty party worthy anthems. At first glance this new video documents a sultry bisexual love triangle shot in the kind of lush party world we all inhabit in our daydreams…”

AVAN LAVA released “Somebody To Love Me” (Mark Ronson cover) via VIBE Magazine, after self-releasing their Flex Fantasy EP with the instant club hit “It’s Never Over” earlier this year. The band is currently in the studio recording their debut full-length album. See a video with their Singapore W Hotel performance and they played Brooklyn Museum last weekend.

Recently, the band has been featured in world renowned photographers Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin’s fashion and art videos such as Mango / Kate Moss ad HERE, and Viktor and Rolf’s fragrance advertisement. AVAN LAVA’s live show was described as “a trippy MTV Europe Music Awards performance” with energetic sing-along pop tracks and slow R&B-Prince swooners, all while the band’s moves are choreographed by TC, Sonya Tayeh (So You Think You Can Dance / Madonna), Vanessa Walters (Fischerspooner). The Village Voice praised their live show at Williamsburg Music Hall. The band is made up by singer TC and producers/musicians Le Chev and Ian Pai. Their live performances are with the help of musicians, vocalists and technicians Andrew Schneider (The Wooster Group), Drew Citron and Jo Lampert. AVAN LAVA have worked as producers, composers and mixers for recorded works and live performances with bands such as Cat Power, Cold Cave, Fischerspooner, CSS, Frankie Rose, SSION, Lemonade, Lia Ices and the prestigious The New York Philharmonic and have created remixes for R.E.M., Passion Pit and New Villager among others.

quotes / more info:
“The ever-dapper Mark Ronson took to the turntables this week for a stylish kickoff soiree, celebrating the grand opening of W Hotel Singapore. Ronson brought along Brooklyn native band, AVAN LAVA to perform this never-before-released cover of the producer’s “Somebody to Love Me.” The track pays loyal homage to an era when Shelter parties reigned supreme in the ‘90s. The disco elements evoke visions of a veritable melting pot filled with dance music devotees from all walks of life, in all sizes and colors. Sunny beats, uplifting lyrics.. smart music.” VIBE

“I’ve never had the pleasure of witnessing such a FUN band. Tight vocal harmonies, black and white clothing that served as canvas for a light show that begs the question ‘Zola who?’, and fully choreographed dance breaks laid over high energy indie-pop prove that this band is something to keep a keen eye on”. – KEXP.

“”It’s Never Over” is going to make you bop and flail around like an over-caffeinated Muppet.” – POPJUSTICE

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reviews

Panama – It’s Not Over EP review

The land down under is awash in synth p0p this time around. The group is Panama, and the line-up consists of five Aussies. Sounding a bit like an eighties house music group masquerading as a band in 2012, Panama is barely a year old. They aren’t even listed on Wikipedia.

There is something engaging, sensual and gorgeous about the sounds produced by this indie-pop five piece. The production is lush, completely accessible, and beautiful. I would have decided I liked this simply to spite myself back in my metal days, but there’s simply no denying how engaging this music is.

The third track has an apt title, ‘Magic’, because by then, the spell is cast and you’re completely hooked. At least I am. On the bands bio page, it’s stated that Jarrah McCleary, the groups leader, is a classically trained pianist who has been studying since the age of six. The music teacher in me is very psyched by trivia like this. As far as I’m concerned, this makes all the difference; it’s also proof of Jarrah’s musical prowess, because there’s nothing on this e.p. that sounds anything like Schubert, Schumann, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Beethoven, or Brahms.

Unfortunately, due to the state of things in the music biz, I’m completely sure this group will only gain a following that is so big. There’s way too much music out there to compete with. But, for those people who manage to find this band and really listen to them, they will find their efforts rewarded by an infectious combination of compositional chops and dance floor groove. Check them out.

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reviews

Late Night Tales – Friendly Fires album review

A yearly compilation of eclectic artists and tracks, the 2012 release marks the 30th anniversary.

If only that was something to celebrate.

Occasionally tuneless (Stereolab’s The Black Arts), sometimes evocative (Change Your Style – Renee) but mostly boring overall, it does not appear as though there was any criteria for inclusion on what is ostensibly the best of folk and indie artists.

Sure, there are some tracks like Grouper’s Invisible that you could put on and dream the day away,  but you could do that with better artists who have a record full of great dreamscapes, like Gold Leaves.  Alas, nothing so sophisticated or refined here. For the shoegazer crowd, there is lots of buzzy reverb and wandering high vocals on the contribution from Melody’s Echo Chamber, Endless Shore and Nils Frahm has some nice solo piano on Over There, It’s Raining, but it is only 1:52. Most of the tracks meander wimpily around, lost and half-hearted as though this was a scratch studio disc, never meant to be released to the paying public. Friendly Fires tries to sound important and edgy on their Why Don’t You Answer? and end up annoying the listener with their sole, repeated verse.

The very best part is the spoken word at the end, a really lovely passage read with just the right amount of pause and expectation. If they released the 6:25 soliloquy as an intro to an audiobook, I would probably download chapter one, at least.

Hopefully they wouldn’t include any of the tracks here as background.

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reviews

Teenage Kicks – Be On My Side EP review

Chalk another one up for Canada. The Teenage Kicks do more rocking then kicking, and they sound a little more matured then a teenager, so despite their indie-electronica sounding name, the Teenage Kicks play some solid rock’n’roll. If you are trying to guess what they sound like, it might help to know that they’ve recently been spotted opening for Canada’s latest break-out group, The Sheepdogs. Not that they sound the same as The Sheepdogs just that they can sit comfortably in the same arena.

Be On My Side marks the second EP release from Teenage Kicks, but we have yet to see a full length album. Perhaps the Teenage part of their name comes from their short attention span and inability to sit in the studio long enough to finish an entire album. I’ve always seen the EP as either a bit of a teaser to an album that should shortly be released or a musical snack to keep us hungry when a band takes a hiatus between albums. Considering that the Teenage Kicks has no proper albums out, we can only hope that this EP is a prelude. However, the danger with a promising EP is that, like restless teenagers, we may get bored waiting and move on. Just a small warning to them (and apparently an upcoming fishing metaphor), they haven’t won us over yet, and shouldn’t take too long to reel us the rest of the way in before we are off the hook and move on to other waters. To be honest, their sound is decent and their groove is hot, but if the The Tragically Hip (One of Canada’s finest bands in my opinion) can’t make it big in the U.S then I worry very much about these guys.