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Scissor Sisters Announce US Tour

Jake_byKarenMCBride

Scissor Sisters are coming to a town near you. The group has formally announced their US tour to promote their self-titled debut album. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, August 2 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. However, tickets are already available to fans on the Scissor Sisters web site.

The Sisters played the Troubadour in Los Angeles last Thursday. Check out Patrick's pictures of the show. I received a bunch of email from readers who attended the concert and made some interesting remarks. Some of their comments:

"They won over a very much older crowd who were open minded enough to appreciate them too."
"I was completely and utterly blown away. I've been spinning music in clubs since 1981, and I've seen a lot of bands live - so this statement is not being posted lightly. They were just phenomenal on stage! All those great songs from the CD just came alive with an energy, warmth, power, and playfulness that just blew me away.
"Scissor Sisters are poised to become HUGE. And how cool that a very queer/inclusive outfit like this - with out, openly gay members - has a chance to wow everyone with their amazing talents."

Look out for OUT Magazine's Scissor Sisters special later this month.

July 31, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Mix Tape: Kylie, Yellowcard, James Zabiela

kylie_livedvd

It is official! Kylie Minogue's "Body Language Live" will hit stores in the U.S. on September 7th. The DVD features the full performance in surround sound, previously unseen rehearsal footage, a behind-the-scenes documentary, an exclusive interview with Kylie, a photo gallery and promo videos.

Skate rockers Yellowcard are confirmed to perform at the he 2004 MTV Video Music Awards, which will air live from Miami on Sunday, August 29th at 8pm ET/PT. Additionally, the band was nominated for two VMA's for for their deliciously catchy hit "Ocean Avenue." How appropriate for Miami.

English DJ prodigy James Zabiela has released the double disc remix "Alive," which was mixed totally live using the innovative Pioneer CDJ1000 digital vinyl turntable. This outstanding progressive house mix includes tracks from Luke Vibert, BT, Jeff Bennett, Lee Combs, Future Funk Squad, Underworld and Si Begg. Preview the album at the Renaisance Records web site.

July 30, 2004 in Mix Tape | Permalink | Comments (1)

The End of the DJ (As We Know Him)

Interview and Exclusive CD Giveaway

DJ Sasha has made a radical decision. The superstar DJ plans to stop spinning records and CDs. He might even thrash his beloved Technics turntables. But don't cry just yet. Sasha will continue to make music, but in the future he will only be using computers to produce and remix his signature dance tunes.

"I know it is controversial, but I've had enough of vinyl," says Sasha in an exclusive interview. "Computers are revolutionizing what DJs can do and how they can interact with the music. Not only in the studio, but also in a live environment. It will change what people are going to expect from a DJ performance."

Sasha's decision to go all digital will likely turn the DJ world upside down. Switching from vinyl to computerized remixing is a heated debate among DJs. Some of them prefer the vintage feel of vinyl, and others prefer the clean-cut sound and versatility of digital music. In fact, when it comes down to it most DJs end up combining both in their sets.

Sasha used the endless possibilities of digital mixing on his newest remix album "Involver." "The record started out a regular mix project," he says. "But along the way I decided to put the entire record together as one piece of music rather than separate tracks. I reprocessed all the tracks and their sounds to make them fit cohesively as one eclectic piece."

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Subscribers of the :: arjanwrites :: newsletter will automatically enter a drawing to win an exclusive Limited Edition version of Sasha's "Involver." Sign up today! Winner will be announced by August 15th.

Sasha (born Alexander Coe) is considered one the most innovative and popular DJs/remixers in the business. He is often grouped together with some of the world's greatest club jocks including Paul Oakenfold, Paul van Dyk and Tiesto.

The North Wales native was catapulted into stardom together with fellow DJ John Digweed in 1994 when the remix duo launched "Renaissance: The Mix Collection." The two separated in the late nineties, which gave Sasha the opportunity to further his interests as a remixer, songwriter, producer and label owner.

Sasha's embrace of digital music technology might indicate the end of the DJ craft as we know it today. His fascination with technology is not unique, but it does put a refreshingly intelligent spin on his approach to remixing.

"I think the days of a DJ spinning records on a pair of Technics decks are coming to an end," he says. "Certain elements of dance music have become very stale and formulaic. The only way the DJ culture will evolve is if people start to push the envelope by embracing new technologies.

"Involver" is by far the most involved and personal remix project that Sasha has ever put out. The record's final set combines vocal and guitar-driven electronica from some of today's top electronic artists and emerging talents including UNKLE, Felix Da Housecat, Grand National, Spooky and Ulrich Schnauss.

The DJ's progressive house and trance sets appeal to a variety of audiences. Sasha is happy that his work reaches across different groups, including gays. He points out how much he respects his gay fans and their equal rights. "I'm all for gay marriage," he says. "It is civil liberty issue that needs to be sorted out."

He is not sure where he fits among the hordes of other DJs/producers in the dance landscape. "I'm just not one of those DJs that likes to sit back and play commercial tracks, he says. "I just like to keep myself creatively occupied by always looking for something different."

He believes that the dance music that is most popular and commercially successful is "the really shitty end of trance music." "DJs are always grouped together," he says. "So a lot of us are tainted by the few that play that crappy trance music."

Subscribers of the :: arjanwrites :: newsletter will automatically enter a drawing to win an exclusive Limited Edition version of Sasha's "Involver." Sign up today! Winner will be announced by August 15th.

July 29, 2004 in Interviews | Permalink | Comments (11)

Goldfrapp: Wonderful Electric

Alison_Godfry

Mute Records will be releasing a live DVD of alt-electronica sensation Goldfrapp on September 20th in the UK. The double disc set will be titled "Wonderful Electric - Live In London" according to the French fan site Labels. No US release date has been scheduled at this time.

The phrase "Wonderful Electric" is taken from the lyrics of the duo's latest single "Strict Machine," which appears on the sublime 2003 album "Black Cherry."

The remix CD of "Strict Machine" includes remakes by Peter Rauhofer, Caulderone & Suryanto and Benny Banassi. These remixers turned the song's original Giorgio Moroder-inspired production and sensual undertones into first-class dancefloor monsters that were awarded the coveted Ivors Dance Award in May.

Many gays got their first taste of Goldfrapp on the latest "Queer As Folk" soundtrack, which includes the stunning "Train."

Fans of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory should check out this resourceful Goldfrapp fan site and my interview with Alison from 2003.

July 28, 2004 in Music News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mystery Surrounding Moyet's New Album Revealed

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k.d lang and Alison Moyet

UPDATE (8/2): Richard wrote that Moyet has posted the track listing on her fan forum.

Two of my favorite female vocalists will be singing other people's songs this summer. On "Hymns of the 49th Parallel," k.d. lang pays homage to fellow Canadian artists such as Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young.

Early September, British singer Alison Moyet will release "Voice" on which she also presents a compilation of covers. The album is produced by Anne Dudley (Art of Noise) who won an Academy Award for "The Full Monty" score in 1997.

"Voice" has been surrounded by mystery. The official tracklisting was taken off the Sanctuary Records web site and removed from a formal press release for no clear reason only days after it was first published. Moyet's previous album "Hometime" was leaked months before its release much to the dismay of the singer.

Arjan was told that the popular '80s pop star does not want this to happen again and has refused to give even the song titles up until the last moment.

Sources close to the Moyet recording have provided Arjan with exclusive information about the "secret" tracklisting.

The records turns out to be a romantic songbook with covers from European and American composers. I can confirm that the following tracks will be included on the new CD:

God Give Me Strength (Bacharach/Costello)
The Man I Love (Gershwin)
Dido's Lament (Purcell)
Je Crois Entendre Encore (Bizet)
La Chanson Des Vieux Amants (Brel)

"Voice" will hit stores in the UK on September 6th. No US release date has been announced at this time.

July 28, 2004 in New Music | Permalink | Comments (10)