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Sunday, Feb 18, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Stiff Records—the original indie label that launched the careers of Elvis Costello, Madness and Shane MacGowan—re-releases six classic albums on April 3 2007.


Wreckless Eric—Big Smash

…features his classic single, “Whole Wide World” as featured in the latest Will Ferrell movie Stranger Than Fiction – “the gem of the collection” according to the New York Times.  Eric Goulden has just returned from an extensive US tour and this double CD compiles the best moments from his albums, Wreckless Eric and the Wonderful World of Wreckless Eric, both released in 1978.  Big Smash also includes rare tracks, B-sides, imports and a new, off-the-wall commentary from the man himself.

Preview songs from this album 


Tracey Ullman—You Broke My Heart In Seventeen Places

This is the first ever CD release for Tracey’s debut album, which originally sold over 150,000 copies back in the early ‘80s.  With hits like “Breakaway” and “Move Over Darling”, Tracy built a major pop career in the UK before moving to the US and HBO to build an equally major TV career.  This album has always been sought after by Kirsty MacColl fans, for her contributions that are evident throughout, not least on Tracey’s cover of MacColl’s classic “They Don’t Know”.  Includes four bonus tracks and new sleeve notes.

Preview songs from this album 


Rachel Sweet—Fool Around

The one they call the original Joss Stone, Rachel was 16 when she recorded her debut album of belting R&B for Stiff in 1978.  Here it finally is on CD with bonus tracks and deluxe packaging.  Rachel had been discovered on a Stiff trade mission to the thriving alternative music scene of Akron, Ohio, that lead to her first release for the label—a contribution to an Akron compilation that also featured Jane Aire, the Waitresses and the Bizarros—that was packaged in a scratch ’n’ sniff sleeve!  Like Tracey Ullman, Rachel moved into US TV but as a writer/producer working on—amongst others—Dharma & Greg and Seinfeld.

Preview songs from this album 


Dirty Looks—The Complete Stiff Years

This double CD compilation centres around Stiff’s biggest ever album release in the US—the self-titled debut from the Staten Island-based power pop trio that sold over 100,000 copies in 1980.  This three-piece came across like a feisty version of XTC playing, as they often did, CBGBs in the US and alongside fellow Stiff proto-punks Any Trouble and Tenpole Tudor in the UK.  Disc One is largely produced by Tim Friese-Green (Talk Talk) and Disc Two—centring around their second album, Turn It Up—is produced by the Motors’ Nick Garvey.  This deluxe package features 13 tracks available on CD for the first time, plus singles, B-sides and live tracks.

Preview songs from this album 


Any Trouble—Where Are All the Nice Girls?

A regular fixture in Nancy Griffith’s touring band, Clive Gregson is also often found performing as part of a trio with Eddie Reader and the Bible’s Boo Hewerdine. But it’s his early work on Stiff with Any Trouble that’s the stuff of legend. Like a looser, more upbeat version of Elvis Costello and the Attractions, this is a long awaiting CD issue for Any Trouble’s debut album, which originally appeared in 1980.  At that time Melody Maker declared it “recommended by this paper with an enthusiasm that probably left the group red at the neck with flustered embarrassment.”  More recently they’ve been described by Mojo as “a fine body of men… what fine songs too… gems from Clive Gregson’s formative years. Wonderful on vinyl, wonderful on CD.”

Preview songs from this album


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Sunday, Feb 18, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Metric - Empty
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Metric - Poster of a Girl
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Metric - Patriarch on Vespa
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Metric - Handshakes
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Metric - Police and the Private
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Metric - Monster Hospital
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Thursday, Feb 15, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Two Minutes to Midnight  Black Belt—"Road Crew" from Two Minutes to Midnight on Novoton

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What if you kidnapped Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop and Otis Redding, put them in a small cabin, force fed them cheap beer and greasy food, and—under the supervision of Josh Homme—made them solve the great rock’n’roll riddle? You might come up with something similar to the diverse, yet straight-forward, soundscapes of Swedish power trio Black Belt—big fuzzy guitars, fat ass bass, rolling drums, dirty denim, sweet soul and tons of swagger. With one foot running the working class meanstreets of the ‘60s, the other foot placed firmly in the black soil of the south, Black Belt proove that it’s still possible to create a stir by rolling that old rock in yet another direction. With their largest production to date, the band both roars and crumbles, whispers and cuddles—although they never lose trace of the chorus-driven nerve that made them a name in the first place. From—"Fall on Me"—a PopMatters exclusive

Sure, From is a four-letter F-word. It suits the band just fine. No song is precious. Nothing aims for utter seriousness. And it’s not a bad thing to infuse some rawness into arty abstraction. In the fall of 2004, designer Roni Brunn launched From in Los Angeles, and the lineup has been fluid since. Brunn sings and writes all the music; production and performance duties are shared. From’s sound began with the unexpecedly fecund pairing of the Stone Roses and early Madonna. Ride, Oasis, Primal Scream, and, of course, the Beatles have also influenced both the feel and the song writing. The lyrics reflect Brunn’s multinational displacement, playful sobriety, and boy-crazy attachments: very specific yet simultaneously intutitive. Dustin O’Halloran—"Opus 63" from the Marie Antoinette soundtrack, and "Opus 23" from Piano Solos Vol. 2

Piano Solos Vol. 2 is the beautiful new instrumental work from Dustin O’ Halloran. Dustin recently attracted the attention of renowned music supervisor Brian Reitzell, who asked O’Halloran to assist in the score of Sofia Coppola’s epic historical drama, Marie Antoinette. Two of the compositions on this new release, as well as Opus 17 from Dustin’s first Piano Solos album, appear on the Marie Antoinette soundtrack.


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Thursday, Feb 15, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Girl Talk - Mix One
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Girl Talk - Mix Two
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Girl Talk - Mix Three
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Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007
by PopMatters Staff
Placebo

Placebo


MedsVirgin Records is re-releasing Meds, the newest album by London-based alternative rock trio PLACEBO on January 23, 2007, the label announced. The album was originally released in the U.S. earlier in 2006 through the Astralwerks label.


The Virgin Records edition of Meds, described by the band as a back-to-basics project with the elemental feeling of a first album, will add three songs not on the Astralwerks release: “Lazarus,” “UNEEDMEMORETHANINEEDU,” and a cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe duets on the track “Broken Promise” and Alison Mosshart of The Kills is a guest on the title track.


Along with the growing alternative radio coverage of title single, the band has racked up over 4 million streams of the songs posted in the PLACEBO MySpace.com page. “Running Up That Hill,” the trio’s cover of the Kate Bush mid-‘80s classic, has been recently featured on two U.S. television series, Bones and The O.C. - Virgin


Stream “Meds (She Wants Revenge Remix)”


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