Time to start getting excited about forthcoming albums!

…Actually, I’m already excited about these tracks from forthcoming albums. As always juggling way too many things, so here’s three in one for you!

First up, Goldfrapp will release their seventh album Silver Eye on March 31. (Read about it over at GIITTV). ‘Anymore’ is the first track to be released.

Blondie will release their eleventh album Pollinator¬†on May 5. The album features songwriting collaborations with TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, Charli XCX, Sia, Dev Hynes and Johnny Marr. Not only that but both Joan Jett and Laurie Anderson contribute backing vocals. The first track to be released from the album is ‘Fun.’

Last but by no means least, Future Islands follow up their breakthrough album Singles with their fifth album The Far Field, out on April 7. ‘Ran’ is likely to prove every bit as successful as ‘Seasons.’


New album – Blondie


Blondie ‘Blondie 4(0) ever:Greatest Hits Redux/Ghosts of Download’ (Noble ID LLC)

Dear God in heaven. I never thought the day would come when I’d be writing a bad review of Blondie.

Look, as far as I’m concerned, between 1976-1981, Blondie were one of the greatest bands on the planet. Parallel Lines, their third album from 1978, is in my all time top five albums. I saw them live in 2004 and they were excellent. Yet somehow, Blondie have dropped this package that I Do Not Feel You Should Waste Your Money On.

The first part of the package is a greatest hits – except completely re-recorded. Now only a couple of years off seventy, Debbie Harry’s voice is still sounding great – and these aren’t awful remakes, but unless they’ve been denied royalties on old records, I cannot think of any reason to buy these remakes. They’re not bad, just not as good.

And then there’s the second disc, their new album Ghosts Of Download. This is their tenth studio album in total, and their fourth since reforming at the end of the nineties. Now, each of their previous three albums since reforming had some redeeming features -and ‘Maria’ was deservedly a no.1 hit. But it starts off with the naff ‘Sugar On The Side’ and it just…fails to get any better. THe nadir is their cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax.’ Somehow, in the hands of one of the coolest women to walk the earth and one of the best bands of the last forty years it’s…awful. Considering that the original caused a stink thirty years ago, the only reason Mike Reed would be refusing to play this is because it’s such a mess.

By the time the final track came to the end I was just relieved.


Blondie 4(0) ever:Greatest Hits Redux/Ghosts of Download is out now on Noble ID LLC

Christmas Posts 2012 #8


New York’s legendary CBGB’s. I visited once, in 2004, not to attend a gig, but just to pay homage. It was a bit of a dive, in the best possible way, but it oozed rock’n’roll even more than Glasgow’s Barrowlands. It’s pointless fantasising, but there’s a part of me that would have loved to have lived in 1970s New York. Granted, it would doubtless have been a pretty scary place at times, but the thought of the arts scene there -and most importantly, to me -PUNK -would have been worth experiencing.

Anyway, today’s posting involves two acts who were part of the 1970s New York Ounk scene that centered around the legendary CBGBs – Blondie and Patti Smith – both doing their very own, different takes on ‘We Free Kings.’ And yes, it’s a song that’s associated with Epiphany, January 6, but let’s not split hairs and enjoy some music. These versions date from the last decade, and whilst Blondie’s is more of a knees-up, Smith’s is a poetic reading.


Blondie -‘We Free Kings.’ mp3

Patti Smith -‘We Free Kings.’ mp3

Christmas 2011 Posts #8


Whatever your views on religion, chances are if you grew up in the UK, at some point you went to a Christmas Carol Concert.

And much as I would no more wish to hear tuneless singing of these perennial favourites than many of you will, Christmas Eve’s essential soundtrack has got to include Carols from King’s College, Cambridge to hear them done well.

So, for today’s post, a selection of half a dozen songs you might hear at a Christmas concert done in the bands’ own inimitable styles. There may be many more of these out there, though I drew the line at posting Cliff Richard’s version of ‘O Little Town Of Bethlehem’ or Bros doing ‘Silent Night.’ There’s post-modernism and then there’s being stupid.

Can -‘Silent Night.’ mp3

Belle and Sebastian -‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel.’ mp3

Bare Naked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan -‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.’ mp3

Blondie -‘We Three Kings.’ mp3

Fall -‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.’ mp3 {Mark E. Smith above)

Camera Obscura -‘Little Donkey.’ mp3

Merry Christmas folks


Well, it’s Christmas Eve in Edinburgh already (and indeed, most of the world, I guess), so have a great time and I’ll be back here on Boxing Day or sometime soon after.

In the meantime, a final few Christmas numbers from me to you, and a very happy Christmas to all my readers from me, mrs. 17 Seconds and Tippi the cat.

Elastica -‘I Want To be A King Of Orient Aah (Peel Session).’ mp3

Elastica -‘All For Gloria (Peel session).’ mp3

Basement 5 -‘Last White Christmas.’ mp3

Click here for a free Blondie mp3 of a well known Christmas carol!

And if you are still looking for more Christmas exotica, try Aye tunes, Peenko, Love Shack baby, and of course Steve at Teenage Kicks.

33 1/3 Part 22


Blondie -‘Parallel Lines’ (Chrysalis, 1978)

The thing about getting into pop music in 1986 was that the stuff in the charts was pretty poor, only I didn’t realise it at the time. And it meant that my introduction to many artists was not what it should have been iether. Just as my intorduction to Bowie was that awful duet, so my introduction to the wonderful Debbie Harry was the not so great (in retrospect) ‘French Kissin’ In the USA,’ which was the second ever 7″ I bought, and the first one of my records ever to get broken (in a fight with my little brother a couple of weeks later). I did gradually pick up on Blondie through various compilations and heard this album when I was about fourteen.

Yes, Blondie is a band, as the t-shirts read in the 1970s. And out of the six studio albums they made before they first split up in 1982, Parallel Lines is the strongest. My second favourite album of the seventies after Low, though you’d be hard pressed to find two records so different. This is POP. And yes, that’s down to the production as well as the songs.

And you cannot argue with the songs (well, you can, but if you do, you’re a twat). The singles are phenomenal -‘Sunday Girl’ ‘Heart Of Glass’ ‘Picture This’ ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ but so too are the album tracks like ‘One Way Or Another’ ‘Fade Away and Radiate’ ’11:59.’

And sure, I think Debbie Harry’s gorgeous on the front cover (does anyone else think she looks like a school teacher with the guys in Blondie as kids? Oh, just me then.). And getting to see them live in 2004 was great. But even if I’d never got any of the visual aesthetics associated with this, this is pretty much pop perfection. A party record, pop meets punk without either side losing face…what more can you ask for?

For some reason Chrysalis have disabled every bloody copy of ‘Heart of Glass’ so follow this link to see it