vendredi, septembre 15, 2006

Not exactly goodbye...

but almost...

Yes, I have finally decided to put this blog into a hiatus... for a while at least...

I'm actually waiting for Google to make some changes into this Blogger thingie.

Until then I'm going to keep on posting, but in my French blog.

This way please :

On the left side you have "Categories" where you can select English...

of course you can practice your French as well.

And as Terminator used to say :

I'll Be Back..!

See you mates.

Blogalaxia Tags:

mardi, septembre 12, 2006

Evanescence news

Evanescence Talk About Their New Album

Evanescence (photo by Ros O'Gorman)

by Andrew Tijs @ Undercover

September 12 2006

Amy Lee, raven-haired singer for Evanescence, has spoken about their new album, the loss of members and “the Christian thing”.

In an interview with Billboard, Lee discussed the trials and travails of working on their sophomore album ‘The Open Door’. Out in October, it follows up their 2003 multi-platinum debut ‘Fallen’.

Lee admits “It took longer than I thought. But, I am a perfectionist. We took all the time we needed and wrote and wrote and wrote. If it wasn't good, I threw it away. I wanted every piece of it to be as good as it possibly could be.”

She also spoke about the reconfigurations of the band since the first album. Bassist Will Boyd and Lee’s songwriting partner Ben Moody are gone. Lee said, “Without (Moody), it wasn't like I was thinking, "Oh, my God, what am I going to do?" It really had gotten to the point where it was so horrible and dramatic, it was a relief and I knew the band could continue.”

Lee rejected “the Christian thing” in the interview, “I'm so over it. It's the lamest thing. I fought that from the beginning; I never wanted to be associated with it. It was a Ben thing. It's over. It's a new day.”

dimanche, septembre 03, 2006

Broken Social Scene

Just one big happy family, eh?

How can you keep track of a band with no fixed line-up, scores of side projects, and whose founder is disappointed in himself? Laura Barton reports from Toronto on the soap opera that is Broken Social Scene

Friday August 25, 2006
The Guardian

Canada's supergroup ... Broken Social Scene

Ableary-eyed Amy Millan is winding her way across Toronto in a desperate search for coffee. The traffic lights switch to green and she scans the streets with a face dogged by a hangover and startled by makeup. A pair of sparkly red ballet slippers sits in the passenger seat. We pull up outside Jet Fuel Coffee in Cabbagetown, where Millan used to work, and she is two steps on to the pavement when the heckling starts. "Hey Amy!" they holler. "Aren't you some big star now?"

Millan is indeed some big star here in Toronto. Poised to release her solo album, Honey From the Tombs, she notched up a fine reputation with the Montreal-based band Stars, flaunting a voice that is fine-spun, breathy and distinctive. But it was her role as a vocalist for Broken Social Scene that truly led her into the limelight; with Millan, as with so many Canadian artists today, all roads lead to Broken Social Scene.

BSS is a Canadian supergroup or artistic collective, call it what you will, that began in 1999 with Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning, and has been accumulating members ever since. Today some 20 musicians drift in and out, including solo performers Leslie Feist and Jason Collett, plus Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric, as well as countess others. BSS has somehow succeeded in producing three albums: the mainly instrumental debut Feel Good Lost (2001), the exceptional and impressionistic You Forgot It in People (2002) and last year's Broken Social Scene. But it is live that they catch fire, as a kind of indie jam band. At times BSS on stage will accommodate five guitarists, horns, drums, strings, three female vocalists and a couple of male voices to create a whirling, diving, clamour of sound, in shows that can stretch to three hours.

Today the offices of the BSS's Toronto-based record label, Arts & Crafts, are crammed with boxes of merchandise, waiting to be shipped across to Olympic Island where tomorrow the group are curating a festival. The show will see 10,000 fans make the short ferry-hop from the mainland to bask in the sunshine and in performances by Raising the Fawn, J Mascis, Feist and Bloc Party, with a grand finale by BSS.

To Jeffrey Remedios of Arts & Crafts, the Olympic Island show is a celebration of four years of hard graft, during which all involved lived with a persistent fear "that we were going to fuck it up". Five years ago Remedios was working for Virgin, craving a little more independence, a tad more creativity. "At the same time what was happening in Toronto was this incredible burgeoning music community," he recalls. "All these bands were starting to really come together, all these clubs were full, everyone would be going out to see local bands, which was a relatively new thing for us. It sort of hit critical mass at a certain time."

Already a good friend and sometime roommate of Canning and Drew, he at first took a mild interest in their project. "But then they made You Forgot It in People, and they got me into the studio and said whaddyathink? And I said I'm in, I'm totally in." That meant leaving Virgin to found a record label, management company and music publisher with Drew, "that would just be like an arts collective, like the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts, that kind of theory".

Arts & Crafts started with one band, Broken Social Scene, and has grown steadily since. "Social Scene really are the band that are at the centre of this community," insists Remedios. "The true ethos of that band is a collection of people collaborating together from other projects. So they're in the core. In the beginning they would play shows at [Toronto venue] Ted's Wrecking Yard, and they'd play all new songs every show, and they'd play once a month. You Forgot It in People was birthed from that. So one week James and Emily from Metric would be there, the next month Feist, the next month Amy and Evan from Stars. And it just hit, it hit really fast."

Back in Cabbagetown, Millan, propped up by latte, is attempting to explain the complex, intertwining histories of the members of BSS. She first met Kevin Drew at summer camp. "And of course Emily I met on the first day at school. She came up and asked where the music class was. We walked in and we were late, and there was what felt like 200 kids all facing us. But it was better because we had each other, and that sort of bonded us as a force. We were very, very good friends for a very, very long time. Emily was already writing absolutely amazing songs and I started singing with her and ..." She has barely begun her story when another fan wanders over. "Amy! Hey Amy!"

While its shape-shifting enormity has been part of BSS's attraction, it has also provided its own complications, particularly for Canning and Drew. "The family is constantly expanding," nods Canning. "But we let ourselves get pulled in a lot of different ways, and you can kinda forget we're the founding members of this group. It just feels like this abstract thing." And the difficulties have not just been musical. "Over the years there's been such emotional tumult. It must be the same with every band, but then when you throw men and women together and start playing music together, it's like being at summer camp."

It's easy to imagine that Canning and Drew might grow a little irked by the constant to-ing and fro-ing of their band members, but Drew insists not. "It would annoy me if their bands were bad. But they're not. Bands like Stars and Metric need to be there, and we've been very grateful for the time they've devoted to us." Besides, he argues, they enjoy a kind of symbiotic relationship. "They will burn out on their own shit and come back to us and say, 'Can I just not think about stuff for a month?' And they take that energy and they use it really well in their own bands."

Two BSS members currently pursuing another project in earnest are Emily Haines and James Shaw, singer and guitarist in the more straightforward, punky Metric. "James and I write with BSS pretty regularly," she explains, "but it's a very different kind of role, especially for me. I really enjoy playing the supporting part. Social Scene is about donating yourself. And the thing is, we don't see each other that often. It's a way to romanticise your friendships, because you don't have to put up with the day-to-day."

Though Metric formed in New York, the band members have since returned home to Toronto, making them more available, presumably, for further collaborations. "It just felt like the right time," says Haines. "[Canada's] a pretty utopian place at the moment, there's a lot happening. I guess what keeps me going is my interest in other people. Everyone I know, that seems to be their desire: to collaborate. They need to connect."

Drew, however, isn't feeling the connections so profoundly these days. "None of us has any time any more in this band," he says over dinner the night before the Olympic Island festival, spearing his pasta. "There's lots of families and personal stuff, other bands going on, so Social Scene has become ... it's lost a bit of its love outside of when we're together, but when we're together it's there." Does the loss of love concern him? "It disappoints me a bit because I feel that if we all gave it 170% then we would be doing a lot better than we are. We were always a music band that loved music. And we've now gone into a format of playing the same songs all the time. It's great because we have rotating members so you always have different magic, and personality-wise it's difficult to always be on the road so it's nice to have different conversations. But we've been touring non-stop for the last four years now, so it's just at a point where we've got to find something new about it."

He is quick to point out that he has thoroughly enjoyed the past few years. "But it's also been some of the most stereotypical narcissistic times in our lives," he says. "I think you hit a point where you're disappointed in yourself maybe, and that point for me was when I kind of took it for granted. And it's also very difficult to make music when you're talking about it all the time, you're always planning your future and where you're going to go and all that, and it does suck the life out of why you wanted to do it."

What would he rather talk about? "I'd rather learn," he replies earnestly. "I'd rather use conversation as an education platform, instead of talking about booze and how fucking hard it is to cope as a group or a family or a band. We were always an experiment in intimacy. That's something Jason Collett said to me once, and I liked that. I liked the idea that people were into us because it never was supposed to work with this many people, and financially we were supposed to be ruined and internally we were supposed to be ruined. There's be a lot of fucked up things that have happened over the last couple of years, but we're still here and there's still love for each other."

It is 12.59pm on Olympic Island, and there is a still patch of calm before the gates open. The sun shines slow and steady, beers sit cooling in big icy barrels. You hear the squeals first, then the thunderous approach of the first stampede of hipsters charging across the grass to secure their territory at the front of the stage. By the time Broken Social Scene take to the stage shortly before 9pm, the crowd is itchy with anticipation. It is an outstanding, unexpectedly moving performance, the already preposterous number of band members on stage bolstered by the friends and family that seem to spill from the wings. The night concludes in a final, stunning triumvirate of Ibi Dreams of Pavement, It's All Gonna Break, and KC Accidental. And, for a glorious while, Broken Social Scene, in all its fragmented, dissonant, weary parts, seem again united.

Five essential records from the Canadian scene

Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It in People
Back in 2002, cramming umpteen musicians on to an album seemed an outlandish concept. Yet You Forgot It in People bloomed with a mesmerising creativity, best illustrated by the breathless, otherworldly Anthems for a 17-Year-Old Girl.

Metric - Live It Out
One of this year's best albums so far, this is the second offering from Metric, and marks out Haines as one of the brightest stars in music right now. Politically charged and with a stoked-up fire in its belly, Live It Out is also disturbingly danceable.

Feist - Let It Die
The solo project of BSS's Leslie Feist. Unabashedly romantic, Let It Die is steeped in cocktail jazz and bossa nova; it's her most sumptuous offering yet.

Stars - Set Yourself on Fire
Stars are made up of Chris Seligman and Pat McGee, along with BSS members Amy Millan, Torquil Campbell and Evan Cranley. Their piece de resistance is this album from 2005: a cathartic confection of strings, horns, colliding female-male vocals and Casio keyboards.

Jason Collett - Idols of Exile
Collett is a part of BSS's wall-of-guitar sound, but here he drifts back to his folkier roots to bring us a delightful album, full of summery, wistful tracks such as Hangover Days.

· Broken Social Scene and Metric play the Carling Weekend at Leeds on Friday and Reading on Sunday

Related articles

27.01.2006: CD: Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene
21.12.2005: Broken Social Scene, Cargo, London
07.07.2006: CD: Metric, Live It Out

Useful link
Broken Sccial Scene official site

samedi, septembre 02, 2006

MySpace OurMusic

MySpace to sell music from nearly 3 million bands

By Yinka Adegoke Fri Sep 1, 9:38 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - MySpace, the wildly popular online teen hangout, said on Friday it will make its first move into the digital music business by selling songs from nearly 3 million unsigned bands.

MySpace is the latest company to try to take on Apple Computer Inc.'s (Nasdaq:AAPL - news) iTunes Music Store, but unlike many other start-up rivals, it already boasts 106 million users, as well as the backing of parent company News Corp (NYSE:NWS - news).

"The goal is to be one of the biggest digital music stores out there," MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe told Reuters. "Everyone we've spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative."

In the past year, has become the single most visited Internet address among U.S. Web users, according to Hitwise, with mainly teenagers and young adults using the site to socialize, share music and photographs.

Before the end of 2006, De Wolfe said MySpace will offer independent bands that have not signed with a record label a chance to sell their music on the site. MySpace says it has nearly 3 million bands showcasing their music.

Songs can be sold on the bands' MySpace pages and on fan pages, in non-copyright-protected MP3 digital file format, which works on most digital players including Apple's market-dominating iPod.

The bands will decide how much to charge per song after including MySpace's distribution fee, said Rusty Rueff, the chief executive of Snocap, which will manage the e-commerce service. Snocap provides digital licensing and copyright management services and was started by Napster founder Shawn Fanning. Rueff said the "small" distribution fee was not yet fixed.


DeWolfe said MySpace would be "enhancing and customizing" its online music store as the service evolves, aiming to eventually offer copyright-protected songs from major record companies.

"I don't think the record companies are going to be interested in distributing music without copy protection anytime soon," said David Card, analyst at Jupiter Research.

Though DeWolfe would not give any details of discussions with record companies, an industry source close to the matter said EMI Group (EMI.L) has had discussions with MySpace. EMI declined comment.

EMI, Vivendi's (VIV.PA) Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group (NYSE:WMG - news) and Sony BMG own around 75 percent of mainstream popular music. Most of this music is only available on MySpace for live streaming as a promotional tool.

Digital music is the fastest-growing sector of the record industry but the market is dominated by iTunes, which has more than 70 percent of U.S. sales, according to NPD Research. iTunes is only fully compatible with the iPod.

The market has been abuzz with news of new entrants in recent weeks. Privately held SpiralFrog plans to launch a free music download service supported by advertising before the end of the year, and has reached a deal with Universal Music.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) is planning to launch an iPod rival called the Zune, which will be supported by an integrated music download store similar to iTunes.

MySpace said it is working with eBay Inc.'s (Nasdaq:EBAY - news) PayPal for the site's online payment system.

vendredi, septembre 01, 2006

Shoegazing Nation

Sole survivors: the legacy of shoegazing

Shoegazing is a half-forgotten musical genre, but its legacy lives on, says Robert Webb

Published: 30 August 2006

There was a joke circulating in the early Nineties. Q: How can you spot an extrovert indie guitarist? A: They stare at your shoes, rather than their own.
Shoegazing Shoegazing was the rather dismissive term given by the music press to Britain's indie scene, circa 1989-94. The music was characterised by a six-string drone, quiet harmonies and an introspective take on the rock 'n' roll sneer.

Emma Anderson formed Lush, one of the most successful acts from the period. "When we started out in 1989 this shoegazing thing didn't exist," Anderson says. "We became aware of the movement in about 1990." Anderson wasn't offended by the name, although she does think it ridiculed unfairly. "What it really meant was that we were staring at the effects pedals, I think, rather than our shoes," she says. Wedged in between the heady Madchester years of the late Eighties and the excess of mid-Nineties Britpop, Shoegazing was too laid back to predict a riot, too unconfrontational to make the tabloids. No shoegazer was ever going to slurp tea at No. 10.

It's recently become the subject of a 16-track anthology from Sanctuary Records. Like A Daydream, compiled by the former Melody Maker writer Ian Watson, is the first retrospective of the movement some tagged "the scene that celebrates itself". This nickname referred to the apparent mutual support enjoyed by the bands: journalists reported that it often seemed as though a significant portion of the audience at a shoegazer gig was other shoegazing groups, cheering on their chums (whilst, one assumes, staring at their Airware).

Along with Lush, the bands highlighted - most of whom were signed to either Alan McGee's Creation or 4AD - include Ride, Curve, Cranes, Chapterhouse, Telescopes and Slowdive. Ride provide the harmonious title track. Curve are represented by the velvet-chainsaw buzz of "Horror Head". Slowdive's "When the Sun Hits" tiptoes around a looping, swooning melody that typifies the genre. The vocals on "Pearl" by Chapterhouse are so low-key they're lost in the fuzz. Also-rans include the prog-influenced "Mercy Seat" by Ultra Vivid Scene, not unlike some of the more psychedelic outings of Robyn Hitchcock, and Great Yarmouth's own Catherine Wheel, whose "Black Metallic" is as cool as a raspberry ripple on a North Sea beach.

This was the first pop movement since punk to prominently feature women. Slowdive had the guitarist Rachel Goswell and Cranes were built around the brother/sister duo Jim and Alison Shaw. Anderson, who formed Lush with a schoolmate, Miki Berenyi, found that the fact half the band was women was neither a boon nor a bane. "We used to be asked by journalists if we had problems with our label, but there were plenty of other women on 4AD," she says. "So, no, we didn't have a problem. It wasn't like we were on a major corporate label."

Lush, like many of the bands, took their lead from the progenitor footwear-gazers, My Bloody Valentine, an early discovery of McGee, who signed the four-piece in the mid Eighties. "My Bloody Valentine were important," says Anderson. "But we had some quite diverse influences. We had quite a pop sensibility." Nor were Lush solely a studio band. "We played in pubs a lot." So did Anderson find a lot of her compatriots at their gigs? "Not really," she says. There was a camaraderie, though. "We knew Chapterhouse, who shared our management, and Ride. I think the picture painted isn't quite accurate. It was just a case of lazy journalism."

Robin Guthrie of fellow 4AD signees The Cocteau Twins produced Lush's first EP, "Scar" and their debut album, 1992's Spooky. Guthrie leant heavily on drum machines and preferred to plug the guitars directly into the effects, rather than an amplifier. "The records have that Cocteau sound," Anderson concedes. "But the songs were very much written by us and rehearsed before we went into the studio with Robin. If we had done those records with somebody else, the songs would have been exactly the same." The Anderson-penned hit "Sweetness and Light" is a high spot of the new compilation.

Lush split in 1996, after the suicide of their founding drummer, just as Blur, Oasis and Pulp were roughing up British pop. "The movement got a bit of a kicking," Anderson admits. "When our first album came out, in America Nirvana were happening. Over here bands like Suede were coming through and they were more of a precursor to Britpop than bands like us." By mid-decade, people had had enough of the shoegazers. They were all laced up with nowhere to go.

Although the genre is now half forgotten, Anderson can hear its legacy. "Post Britpop, lots of bands sound very shoegazery," she says. "The press wouldn't call it that though." Its rhythms echo in acts as diverse as Radiohead, Sigur Ros and Mogwai. Played back to back, Slowdive give Coldplay a run for their money and Pale Saints' bass lines grumble over chord shapes not unlike those of Editors.

Ten years on, Anderson has gone on to form Sing Sing and also DJs at a shoegazing club, Sonic Cathedral. She spins tracks by House of Love and even Roxy Music and Simple Minds. "After all," she says, "how much Slowdive and Telescopes can you listen to in one night?"

Like A Dream: The Story of Shoegazing (Sanctuary) is out now

© 2006 Independent News and Media Limited