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"The Killers Gayer Than Fitness Fridays!?"

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The Killers' Brandon Flowers

I missed this review of the Killers' "Hot Fuss" in Junk Magazine earlier, but it is still a good one to share. Reviewer Kathy Cacace interprets the entire album as a gay murder conspiracy. I asked Brandon Flowers about this two weeks ago and he bursted out laughing. "No comment," he said. Draw your own conclusions. Read "The Killers Gayer Than Fitness Fridays!?" (Scroll down a bit to read the article.) Brandon Flowers' photo was shot by a fan in Seattle, WA. Visit The Killers Network for more live photos.

April 29, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (8)

Interview with Annie

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Annie: "Better than chocolate"

Annie recently came to the U.S. to showcase songs from her upcoming debut "Anniemal" (in stores June 7). I spoke with the Norwegian for more than an hour in her suite at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in NYC right before her performance. She spoke openly about the hype surrounding her album, bloggers, the loss of her boyfriend/producers and gay fans. Most of interview will appear in the June issue of GENRE, but here are a few bits that were left out of the article due to space constraints.

Did you have a big idea behind "Anniemal"?

Not really. I had no idea what I wanted the album to sound like before I went into the studio. I live in the same city as Royksopp and we were always talking about working together. So I was sure I wanted to do something with them. In the studio, we just tried out a lot of things -- create sounds and go with the flow really. I did have a lot of my lyrics written before we started recording.

How was it for you to be so involved with the making of the record?
That worked very well for me. I'm a bit of a control freak, so I like to know exactly what is happening [laughs]. I was a bit worried for a while because I was working with three different producers, so I was worried the album would sound like a compilation of different sounds.

Your boyfriend and producer passed away right before you started the recording sessions. Do you think  music was an outlet for you to deal with your loss?
I always think that was not the case, but it may have been. I think what did happen was that when you go through something difficult like that that you have a goal. Something to look forward to. I think the outlook of making a record was that goal for me. I actually had a much stronger will to get it done.

So in a way he was still very much part of the whole effort?
Definitely. He taught me a lot about production. Before I was very much into melodies and not so much into the technicalities of the sound. He changed that and you can hear that on the album. Also, he produced the song "Greatest Hit," which is included on the CD.

On a much lighter note, why do you think the Nordic countries put out so much good pop music?
I think you have to make a distinction between Norway and Sweden. Sweden has a long tradition of pop singer/songwriters, starting with Abba. But in Norway we had Aha in the '80s, but not much came after that. I think now with me, Royksopp and Kings Of Convenience there is again a lot of interest in music from Norway. Bergen especially is a great city for music now. It is a small scene and many of the artist are friends. It is very easy to work together.

Your songs "Chewing Gum" and "Heartbeat" became really popular in the U.S. thanks to the support of bloggers. How do you feel about that?
The support I have gotten is unbelievable. I never thought that album would reach the U.S. To me my sound is very European.

Do you ever read popular music blogs like Fluxblog or Stereogum that initially picked up your music?
No, I haven't. But I probably should. I read Pitchfork quite often.

How do you feel about people sharing your music online?
I think that is fine. It is a great way to get noticed. As long as they also buy my album [laughs].

Did you know that a lot of conservative rock critics are rooting for you…
Yeah, it is weird, but it is hard for me to comment on it, because I just do what I like and it is great that everybody seems to like it too.

Time for some quick word association. What are your thoughts about:

Royksopp
… Great guys

Chewing Gum
… Better than chocolate

Gays
… Do it better

Fun
… New York

Madonna
… The queen

America
… Fame

April 28, 2005 in Interviews | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Free Annie Mix Download

Hurry! Annie is giving away a mix of "Always Too Late" on her web site. The remix was done by London production trio Y£$. Look out for Arjan's interview with Annie tomorrow.

April 26, 2005 in MP3 Exclusives | Permalink | Comments (5)

XLover

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If you like Fischerspooner's older work and enjoy hard-rocking electronica, make sure to tune into XLover's new album "Pleasure and Romance." XLover are singer/fashion maven Nina Rai, Oliver Grasset, Bryan Black and Scott Fairbrother. The group has a rich international background and an impressive resume. XLover performed live with Scissor Sisters, The Mission, and even DJ'ed with Depeche Mode and Felix Da Housecat.

Currently, XLover is working on mixes for Fischerspooner's "We Need A War." Previously, they mixed up Blondie's "Good Boys" (listen)

"Pleasure and Romance" was recorded over 6 months and features a collision of pulsing analogue synths, jilted guitars, sexy minimal percussion, a 10 piece orchestra and Nina Rai's haunting vocals. It is what you get if you mix up Casey Spooner's spunk and Nina Hagen's punk with bits of Goldfrapp, Prodigy and Nirvana. They even cover Nirvana's "Aneurysm" on this album. The album will be in stores in the U.S. on May 17, but is currently already available on iTunes.

Arjanwrites_audio Listen to "Lovesucker" by XLover [MP3]

Arjanwrites_audio Listen to So Blue" by XLover [MP3]

April 26, 2005 in MP3 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Video Premiere: New Order "Jetstream"

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Clips from New Order's "Jetstream" ft. Ana Matronic

"Jetstream" is the second single that will be lifted from New Order's new album "Waiting for the Sirens' Call."  The track features guest vocals by Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic. The single CD will be released on May 16, and will include mixes by Richard X, Jacques Lu Cont and Arthur B. If you have not had a chance to listen to the new New Order album, be sure to stream a song compilation mix. (via World In Motion)

Arjanwrites_audio Listen to New Order "WFTSC" compilation  [WMA]

Arjanwrites_audio Listen to New Order's "JetStream" [WMA]

April 25, 2005 in Video Premieres | Permalink | Comments (3)