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DiS casts a caustic glance over the last month’s music news…
August came and went so quickly that we at DiS can’t be entirely sure it wasn’t some weird, lucid dream. After all, we're pretty sure Romanian discus throwers aren’t supposed to congregate outside our bus stop, fairly certain that our television doesn’t usually flicker with images of Actual Talented People, and resolutely convinced we shouldn’t have spent the week or two since the Olympics mourning what was essentially an elongated school sports day presided over by the who’s who of bastard conglomerates. But such was the sheer cynicism-crumbling excellence of London 2012 that, well, if you saw DiS stumbling around Stratford at 5am following the Closing Ceremony, a clutch of Mandeville plush toys pressed to our chest, the blue and white of our Team GB face paint smudged from tears, strumming a morose version of Kelly Clarkson's 'Since You've Been Gone' on a battered acoustic guitar to a billboard of Jessica Ennis, uh, thanks for not stealing our wallets.
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill
Kate Bush contributed to the Olympic Closing Ceremony a thunderous remix of Running up the Hill that chimed perfectly with the uphill challenge of facing up to normality again. Only one Steven Patrick Morrissey was unimpressed with the fortnight spectacle: “I am unable to watch the Olympics due to the blustering jingoism that drenches the event,” the former Smiths man moaned, as an entire nation readied themselves to stop him having very much heard this one before. “Has England ever been quite so foul with patriotism? The ‘dazzling royals’ have quite naturally hi-jacked the Olympics for their own empirical needs.” The Royal Family that is, who you might of noticed have faded into irrelevance having not shown their worth in decades, criticised by Morrissey, who you might have noticed has fa-… well, you see where we're going with this.
Pussy Riot – Putin Lights Up The Fires
Meanwhile, the Pussy Riot saga lit the torch on its own Olympics-like sporting spectacle, prize categories being 'who can miss the point most catastrophically' and 'which media institution most sound like they're run by a bunch of shit-flinging chimps'. Among the competitors were Business Week, whose article What Would a Music Label Pay To Sign Pussy Riot? was a definite gold medalist, and Yahoo, who jovially asked their Twitter followers: “A Russian punk band have been jailed in Russia. Which acts would you imprison?” like the brutal oppression of free speech is some brilliant meme doing the rounds and Vladimir Putin's just a cat with its head through a slice of Sainsbury's wholemeal. What 'Putin Lights Up The Fires', released to coincide with their trial verdict sentencing members to two years in prison for playing 30 seconds of music in a church, might lack in musical ingenuity it makes up for in its sore-lunged spirit and wholehearted conviction.
Flying Lotus – See Thru To U ft. Erykah Badu
Elsewhere, the first glimpse at music from the follow-up to Flying Lotus' acclaimed Cosmogramma album, Until the Quiet Comes, out 1 October on Warp Records, emerged online this month. A chiaroscuro tangle of jazz percussion and livewire electronics, it features the talents of Erykah Badu – not the only collaboration the Californian beatmaker has embarked upon recently, it turns out. As told to DiS in an exclusive interview to hit the site later this month, the 28-year-old has recorded a single with Beck. “He hit me up after the last record and wanted to do something,” explained the man born Steven Ellison. “It sounds like Can but fucked up. It's really quite dark.” The song, which “is just fucking sat there on my hard drive waiting for when the time is right,” says Ellison, has no release date at present. Keep your eyes on DiS in the coming weeks for the full interview. Beck, meanwhile, has been keeping busy penning a new album but wait just a second before you limber up your stereo – the LP is to be released in sheet music format only. Time to dig out those grade 1 music theory notes from your junior school recorder classes, you guys.
Tom Waits – Hell Broke Luce
Tom Waits revealed a new video and tour dates – something of a disappointment to fans whose minds were set racing by a teaser image released online weeks earlier, “PERMISSION TO COME ABOARD” its intriguing slogan, but made up for with both the news that the 71-year-old is to cameo in an episode of The Simpsons and the emergence of an 1980s television interview that appears to shed some light on the genesis of the Joker character inhabited by Heath Ledger.
Lone Wolf - Wealth (Talk Talk cover)
Mark Hollis, the elusive singer behind cult indie forebears Talk Talk, has been rather quiet for the last fourteen years or so. That being the case, had you told us last week that the 57-year-old would reappear, after a decade in the wilderness, to write music for a new US TV political thriller starring Kelsey Grammar, the guy from Frasier, THE VOICE OF SIDESHOW BOB FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, well, we'd certainly have laughed harder than we ever did in front of an episode of Frasier. It was confirmed this week that a brand new instrumental track, 'ARB Section 1', will play over the closing sequence of new drama Boss on 21 September – the first Hollis material to air since his 1998 self-titled solo album. This comeback couldn't be timelier, either, with a Talk Talk tribute record and book featuring members of Arcade Fire, Weezer, Broken Social Scene and more incoming – listen to Lone Wolf's arresting take on 'Wealth', the opening track from said album, above.
Efterklang unveiled details of their fourth studio album, Piramida, or as the auto-correct function on my phone rewrites it as, in a telling sign of my spiralling Nando's addiction, Peri Peri MIDI. New song 'Hollow Mountain', listenable here, is beautiful, daring and every bit as fan-fucking-tastic to sink your teeth into as a Double Chicken Breast Fillet in pitta bread with fino side dish.
On August 25th, Neil Armstrong died. Unless you're a CNN viewer, in which case you were left mourning Harvest songsmith Neil Young. The news network later amended their report, but talk about closing the gate after the Crazy Horse bolted.
Kanye West won a court case with help from 19th century German philosopher Nietzsche, paving the way for a potential collaboration.
Muse return next month with their fifth studio album, The 2nd Law, trailed here by typically understated new single Madness.
Drake has reportedly completed an album fashioned from unfinished demos made by Aaliyah prior to her death in August 2001, set for release in early 2013. Someone hide Elliott Smith's studio hard drive.
The Insane Clown Posse are suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yes, that FBI. As you were.
Send your news, abuse and punctuation corrections to al [at] drownedinsound.com or find him at @al_horner.
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- Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
- News Mixtape: August 2012 ft. Kate Bush, Pussy Riot, Tom Waits, Flying Lotus, Talk Talk, Kanye West
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- Flying Lotus + more for ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas