Tag Archives: Damon Albarn

The Heavy and Gorillaz

The Heavy are incredibly digable. All of the songs on their MySpace are worthwhile, and, bonus, the unplugged song is a treat. Download the song Coleen from RCRD LBL and the band gets paid. I want to buy their albums!

They go right where Gnarls Barkley‘s new album goes wrong, and they’re more gnarly than the Gorillaz. Unabashedly solicitous hooks, but not overproduced, not too stylized. I want to go to a house party where this is playing, loud, when I push my way into the crowded living room.

In tangental news, the Gorillaz team is doing this massively cool thing in Charleston, SC. Looks like Peking Opera in turbo postmodern Cirque de Soleil overdrive. On good drugs. Video at the link. From the site:

An inspired marriage between the arts of ancient China and contemporary Western popular culture, Monkey: Journey to the West is a dazzling adaptation of a 400-year-old classic of Chinese literature. In Monkey, a cast of more than 60 Chinese opera performers, gravity-defying acrobats and martial arts performers animate the fabled peregrinations of the Monkey King in a heady mix of adventure, mystery and magic.

Damon Albarn, former front man of the British pop band Blur and co-creator of the virtual band Gorillaz composed the music, an exhilarating mélange of east and west, pop and classical. Jamie Hewlett, Albarn’s co-creator from Gorillaz, is responsible for the fantastical visual concept of the show which includes animation and literally hundreds of enchanting costumes. The celebrated Chinese director Chen Shi Zheng – well-known to Spoleto Festival USA audiences for the spellbinding Peony Pavilion – has harnessed these many talents into a visual and aural feast that The Times of London called ‘a piece of musical theater of the most spectacular kind.'”

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The Black Keys

The Black Keys roll out their newest album, Attack & Release, on April 1. I can’t wait to hear what Danger Mouse has done with the production of this disc. I didn’t love The Good, the Bad & the Queen, which he also produced, despite being a Damon Albarn fan through and through, so here’s hoping the production didn’t muss the Keys’ groove. I see that copies of DM’s Grey Album are selling for $100; I could perhaps make a living buying up all of those and Indio’s (featuring Gordon Peterson’s original of Big Hard Sun) albums and reselling them …

The Black Keys will be touring for the new release. But I wish there were more dates; there just never seems to be enough of these two fellas to go ’round.

Oh, except they’re offering four cuts for free download on their MySpace.

There’s also another tune out there you can get your hands on: Stay All Night, a previously unreleased track from their Chulahoma sessions, which means it’s a cover of a Junior Kimbrough blues tune. If you aren’t tracking Chulahoma, get on it. It’s named for the Mississippi county where Kimbrough ran an honest-to-god juke joint. The EP is all Kimbrough songs, recorded by The Black Keys on the lovable Fat Possum label. Stay All Night is on a fundraising compilation, and 100% of your purchase will go to very good charities.

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