Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

Highlights of May (yes I know we’re well into June!): The semi religious experience that was Prince live at Camden’s Koko. The Pet Shop Boys, Battle, and The Cinematic Orchestra were all brilliant in very different ways, while Patti Smith sadly bored me to tears (save for an incendiary encore of “Rock N Roll Nigger“).


DENIS JONES

Ok before we get to the music lets deal with the packaging of 24 year old Denis Jones’s debut “Humdrum Virtue“. I always loved the way The Pet Shop Boys viewed every album as a challenge to innovate within the limited potential that CD’s offer in terms of interesting sleeve design and form, and Jones seems to be of a similar mind. Limited to 500 copies (mines no.40) the cd is wrapped in industrial plastic sheeting folded in on itself, along with sheets of cloth (almost like carpet samples) with the colours and the information relating to the album printed on the sample cloths.
Before you start thinking style over substance the music doesn’t actually need the clever casing to appeal. Ranging from folk through blues to pop its a broad debut that isn’t afraid to take chances and venture into the leftfield.

Comparisons have ranged from Jon Martyn, Tunng, Fourtet and Tom Waits but the track I’m posting reminds me of another of Manchester’s finest, early era Badly Drawn Boy. “Beginning” – the final track on the album recalls the mad invention Gough brought on his debut. Beatboxing, backwards loops, vocal fragments and guitar cascade around the central hook until an uplifting trumpet breaks though at 3 and a half minutes to take the track soaring up into the clouds.

The lyrics mention a superband with “Vera Lynn on the violin, Elvis Costello well he’s playing the cello“, although Denis gets a bit stuck with Yoko Ono who ends up “mixing in phono“. Thank god Nana Mouskouri didn’t return his calls!

Denis Jones – Beginning” (MP3)

Buy the album and save yourself a fortune on ebay in a year (Humble Soul / Boomkat).

ITS ME BITCHES!

Swizz Beatz “Its Me Bitches” joins the the ever growing list of tunes that are so damn funky you have to just ignore the dumb ass lyrics. Its catchier than the variety of STD’s Swizz have no doubt caught if you take them at their lyrical word! Like Timbaland at his most crazed the rhythm is constructed from an off kilter cascading popping sound.
If only they’d help me out by re-recording the track replacing “Chilling in my Beamer” with “Chilling in my Nissan Micra” as I’m not sure how long I can carry off the “Smoke good, eat good, drink good, Fuck good” refrain without a little extra help! While I wait for the middle class remix can I apologise to anyone offended by a Guardian toting 35 year old bursting onto their Victoria line carriage declaring “You know who it is…. It’s Me Bitches!!“.
Track down the remix which features the grand daddy of hook laden creepy as hell sleaze R Kelly who informs us that after “sex he beats his chest like King Kong“. His partner of course wouldn’t have a clue who King Kong is, its a 15 rating after all!

Swizz Beatz – Its Me Bitches” (MP3) / YouTube video

R-Kelly – I’m A Flirt (R Kelly meets the Broken Social Scene mix)” (MP3) / Video – visit thehoodinternet.com for more inspired mashups.

THE REAL HEAT

Work commitments and downright bone-idolness sometimes conspire to cause me to completely miss the boat when tipping the latest brilliant new act. Had I posted in April 2006 when I first emailed The Real Heat girls about coming down to take some pics at their gigs, I might have been “ahead of the game“. Sadly for me but great news otherwise they’re starting to build up a well deserved buzz of late having featured in Id, The Metro, and tearing up venues across the capital and Europe.
If the Sugababes were twice as cool as they think they are, they’d still sound half as good as The Heat. Think the pop R&B hooks of the ‘Babes but with their legs wrapped round the down low electro scuzz of Peaches. Hopefully these ladies will be massive, and I’ll really kick myself for not featuring them sooner!

Catch them live (I know I will eventually!) – for latest dates check their Murdspace.

The Real Heat – Stand & Deliver” (MP3)

BIRDY NAM NAM

Too many turntablists make music that’s technically very clever but dull as hell to actually listen to. Kid Koala is one who always stands out, but French DMC World Team Battle Champions of 2002 Birdy Nam Nam know how to – if you forgive the pun – cut it both live and on disc. Taken from their excellent Live CD, “Stephane” sounds like a lost alternate soundtrack to “Apocalypse Now“. What’s more the CD comes with a DVD so you can see how the 4 DJ’s manage to whip up these sonic soups for your own eyes. Check out the YouTube clip below, or buy the CD/DVD.

Birdy Nam Nam – Stephane” (MP3)

Buy the Live CD/DVD from Amazon

CHARLIE SLOTH

Aside from releasing one of the best hip hop albums of last year Ty does a mean Myspace post. The latest of which concerns erstwhile hip hop video channel/ringtone sellers Channel U‘s decision to completely ignore a record dedicated to the history of UK Hip Hop.
The video (see below) features cameo’s from Overlord X, Ty, Rob from Stereo MC’s and many more, while the track goes through the first 20 years of uk rap with a historians precession (although I always had a soft spot for Black Radical MkII who doesn’t get a mention). Whether you rate the track or not (and personally Im not 100% sold on Charlie’s style) its a fascinating listen for anyone who either lived through that era or wants a history lesson on the classics they missed. Blade, Richie Rich, Cutmaster Swift, Syndicut, Morgan Khan, MC Duke, London Posse, Cookie Crew, Demon Boyz, Mike Allen, Merlin, Gunshot and dozens more are name checked. It sent me off digging through my old 80’s UK hip hop 12″s… christ there are some classics (I feel a future blog post coming on).

Support Charlie Sloth on his Myspace.

Charlie Sloth – Can’t Forget About” (MP3)

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