December 1 Is World AIDS Day, Annie Lennox Releases Charity Remix EP and New Video
I've said it before and I will say it again. Annie Lennox is one of a kind. She is such an inspiration. Not just because of her music, but also because of her actions.
"Several year ago I personally witnessed Nelson Mandela standing in front of his former prison cell on Robben Island, addressing the world's press," Annie Lennox says in a press release. "His message was that the pandemic of HIV/AIDS in Africa was in fact, a genocide. Since that time I resolved to do as much as I can to bring attention to the HIV/AIDS crisis."
For her latest record, titled "Songs Of Mass Destruction," she recorded the charity song "Sing" that features 23 other female singers (including Madonna, Celine Dion and Pink) to make a powerful and bold statement about the dire situation in Africa. Watch a new video for the song here.
The song benefits the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) that campaigns for treatment for people with HIV and to reduce new HIV infections. Their efforts have resulted in many life-saving interventions, including the implementation of country-wide mother-to-child transmission prevention and antiretroviral treatment programmes.
Lennox recently went back to South Africa to work with TAC and to record "the real situation millions are facing every day, so the people unaware of the pandemic might gain some understanding. The trip will be documented across online, TV and print media produced by Annie Lennox herself." A first compilation of videos were recently featured on ArjanWrites.com
A brand-new digital EP with remixes of "Sing" was released on iTunes this week to commemorate World Aids Day on December 1. The song was remixed by Moto Blanco, Dean Coleman and Harry "Choo Choo" Romero. Proceeds of the song will go to Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa. (Click here to purchase the "Sing" EP on iTunes.)
Listen to Fast Ood Rockers "Song 4 Kylie (I'm In Love With A Girl In A Time Machine)"
"On Christmas Day, Kylie Minogue will climb inside the Tardis and save the planet in a maid's outfit."
Fast Ood Rockers produced a very accomplished mash-up to celebrate Kylie Minogue's upcoming appearance in a Christmas special of BBC's popular Dr. Who television series.
They put together Kylie's "2 Hearts," a cover version of Goldfrapp's "Strict Machine, The Killers' "Smile Like You Mean It" and The Timelord's "Doctorin The Tardis," which is based on Rob Grainer's 1963 composition of the Dr. Who television theme. To add to all the time-traveling madness, Fast Ood Rockers also included some Christmas effects and rave horns.
(The Fast Ood Rockers should not be confused with the Fast Food Rockers who take their burger and cheese to a whole new trashtastic level.)
Remix Contest Duran Duran "Nite-Runner"
Duran Duran has launched a remix contest in which people are challenged to submit their own version of their forthcoming new single "Nite-Runner." It is the first track that Duran Duran, Timabland and Justin Timberlake wrote and produced together in a New York City studio earlier this year.
The song presents a hip new sound for Duran Duran after Timbaland shook things up for these '80s pop icons. It was like "Tom Ford coming into Gucci," bassist John Taylor recently told it to me.
"This was the first collaboration we did with Justin and Tim," Nick Rhodes comments in a press release. "It felt like we were in a nightclub. When we finished it we knew we were on the verge of something new." Simon Le Bon adds, "This reminded me of 'Notorious" when the band first split and we worked with Nile Rodgers."
Duran Duran now gives fans, DJs, mash up artists and remixers the opportunity to create their own version "Nite-Runner" and submit it into a remix contest. The winning track will be featured on the
official Duran Duran website and the winner plus a guest will win
tickets to see Duran Duran live on their upcoming U.S. tour.
Duran Duran has posted the multi-track audio file of the song that you can download guilt-free as a zipped Garageband project file. (Garageband is Apple Mac software application that enables people to easily create and edit sound files. Garageband was bundled with the purchase of my MacBook, so if you're working on a Mac you probably have it too.)
One of the pinnacle tracks on Britney Spears' surprisingly good new album "Blackout" is the track "Heaven On Earth," a glowing and utterly catchy pop tune. The song was co-written by Nicole Morier who is the driving force behind spunky and glam Los Angeles-based electronic rock duo Electrocute. Morier aptly describes Electrocute's music as " heavy metal bubblegum meets spaghetti western disco."
The duo was founded back in 2002 when Morier met former band member Mia Dime in Berlin's bustling avant-garde electro scene. After the two released the EP "A Tribute To Your Taste" in Germany and toured with other upcoming acts like Peaches, Dime left the duo and Morier replaced her with Holly Johnson. Together continued touring in Europe, American and Australia where they played at the famous Big Day Out festival in 2005. After returning to Los Angeles, Morier decided to take a break and focus on her songwriting career.
More recently, she re-formed Electrocute together with DJ Legs LeBrock. They have been writing music and performing in the L.A. area. The group got a taste of the big time when their song "Bikini Bottom" was featured on the Spongebob Squarepans movie soundtrack. It is a totally fun track that reminds me of early '80s girl groups like The Go-Go's.
Currently Morier and LeBrock are working with Dutch DJ JunkieXL and Greg Kursten from The Bird & The Bee on a full-length album. Morier also contributed three songs to JunkieXL's new album "Booming Back At You" that will be out in March 2008.
Head over to Electrocute's MySpace to get a taste for their crunchy mix of electro, pop and rock. It sounds nothing like Spears' slick "Heaven On Earth," but they serve up a lot of attitude that will get to sit down and listen.
Colton Ford Covers Alicia Keys' "No One"
Openly-gay singer and former adult film star Colton Ford pours his heart out on a totally unplugged cover of Alicia Keys' "No One." The video of his gutsy acapella performance left me a bit puzzled at first but a press release clears a few things up.
The bathroom scenes, toe-tapping and the glory hole shots in the video turn out to be "a big wink to the recent Larry Craig 'toe-tapping' scandal" and not just an easy nod to Folton's porno past. The video was shot by Bart Everly, who directed last year's acclaimed indie documentary "Let's Get Frank," about Congressman Barney Frank.
Ford will be releasing a dance version of "No One" as a single on December 11. His debut album, titled "Tug Of War," will be released on February 19 on Outsider Music. Get more information about Ford on his MySpace page.
Watch Colton Ford "No One" on YouTube.