it's a mess

With distance, is 'Sweet 7' as bad as we remember it being?

In a word: worse.

Oh well.


i could be dancing

I realize this is way old news at this point, but I don't think it can be overstated how amazing the video for Alphabeat's "DJ" is:

Ridiculous. They may be screwing up the single formatting left and right lately, but they can still make a fantastic video.



So, like, Jagz Kooner is producing the new Whip album.


Jagz Kooner. Producing. New Whip album.



'1999', the short version

There is little doubt of the genius of Prince's output between the years of 1980 and 198? - the end point is where it gets fuzzy, but I tend to be of the belief that his last thoroughly great and classic album was 1988's 'Lovesexy', though I suppose you could argue one in either direction. There are, of course, varying degrees of genius within genius and 1982's '1999' LP is a perfect example of this.

The 11 songs that make up the album, for the most part, are incredible. The album is frontloaded with a trio of killer pop singles, followed by a set of dirty extended funk jams. The second half is a bit weird - I understand that "Lady Cab Driver" was shocking at the time but I find it a bit silly now, and "Free" is a bit sappy for my likings. My biggest complaint with the album, though, is that the songs go on for far too long and just don't know when to quit. [Which is odd because as a rule I love Prince's 12" mixes and think even some of the longer ones could use a few extra minutes or so.] However, he hasn't quite figured out how to do that yet, and they tend to repeat the same idea over and over again for minutes on end, not really doing anything. [Example: it's a fantastic song, but does "Automatic" need to be 9 minutes? No. And a full minute-long introduction of a simple drum pattern for "Let's Pretend We're Married" is a bit much.]

So Joe and I were talking about the need for an edit of "D.M.S.R." in particular, and I knew I had read about one somewhere. Sure enough, it was on the soundtrack to "Risky Business" of all places, and investigating that led me to a fantastic bootleg from a few years ago called '7 Inch In The Computer'. It collects, as you might guess, a good chunk of Prince's 7" mixes from his first LP through to the 'Parade'-era. It misses some - the 7"s for the 'Around the World In A Day' singles were the same as the album versions so they're not there, but their b-sides are - and stops short of finishing the 'Parade'-era, leaving off "Girls and Boys". [Which might have been the same as the album version, I'm not sure.] Anyways, the intriguing part of the set for me is that it contains official edits of 9 of the 11 '1999' album tracks - no "Something In The Water [Does Not Compute]" or "International Lover", but the former is only 4 minutes to begin with and it makes sense to end the album with an extended number.

With this set - which you can find without too much work on the internet - you can create a lean, mean, 45-minute funk machine, leaving the [sometimes needlessly] overlong versions for the 12"s, where they belong. Huzzah. [I just wish the scream was at the end of "D.M.S.R." instead of a fade out, but I guess you can't have it all.]

side a:
01 1999 [edit] [3:38]
02 Little Red Corvette [edit] [3:09]
03 Delirious [edit] [2:39]
04 Let's Pretend We're Married [edit] [3:39]
05 D.M.S.R. [edit] [5:06]
06 Automatic [edit] [3:38]

side b:
01 Something In The Water [Does Not Compute] [LP version] [4:03]
02 Free [edit] [4:30]
03 Lady Cab Driver [edit] [4:59]
04 All The Critics Love U In New York [edit] [3:12]
05 International Lover [LP Version] [6:38]


begin the windstorm

First of all, holy crap it's June.

Secondly, this first day of June finds two highly anticipated releases for your listening pleasure.

Alphabetically leading the way is the debut EP proper from Active Child, available in the US on iTunes or as a limited colored 12". [It comes out via other digital retailers on July 1, but you really shouldn't wait.] I first posted about him a few months back when my friend Joe shared his track "I'm In Your Church At Night" with me and I fell in love. Since then, he's been slowly leaking out tracks to the internet and depending on how much you've been paying attention, there might only be one or two "new" tracks here for you. That said, it's nice to have the tracks properly released all in one place - and there's more going on in the background of this version of "I'm In Your Church At Night", be it because it's a new version or a much higher fidelity file I'm not sure but I'm guessing the latter - and there are worse ways to spend $4, yes? Despite only having heard most of these songs a few months ago at most, the EP already feels fantastically lived-in, like it's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It's probably greedy to say this since it was just released this morning, but I want more.

Also out today is the first single from School of Seven Bells' second LP. Entitled "Windstorm", it was previewed at Pitchfork a few weeks ago but is now available for your scrobbling pleasure at all good digital retailers. It comes backed with a lovely new track "Crescent Gold" and a not-as-noisy-as-I-was-expecting-it remix of the a-side by A Place To Bury Strangers. [Can we expect SVIIB to return the favor? Hmm...] While this helps with the wait for the album, July 13 can't come fast enough.