« June 2008 | Main | August 2008 »

Pardon the Construction


This summer, ArjanWrites.com is celebrating its sixth birthday. Time flies!

After writing thousands of posts, the time has come to make some important changes to the blog to not only update its look and feel, but also how things work under the hood.

You might have noticed that the blog is now paginated so you can simply scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click "Next" to see the next page with posts. The type font and line spacing has been updated as well to make the stories a bit easier to read.

Most notably, the column order has been shifted. I'm still toying around with that and getting used to it. I might switch back to the old lay-out. Look out for a few other updates and clean ups in the next few days.

Love to hear what you think. Are you liking this new lay-out?

July 28, 2008 in Arjan | Permalink | Comments (2)

Arjan Interviews Roisin Murphy (Part 1 of 2)


After chatting with Roisin Murphy at the EMI offices in London back in October, I caught up with the singer in New York late last week.

We talked about a variety of topics, including touring in Europe, her forthcoming global Gucci advertising campaign, the stalled promotion of her new single and the situation at EMI. Lastly, Roisin announced that she will be coming to the U.S. in October for shows and more promotions. Look for the second part of the interview tomorrow.

A big thank you to all you Roisin fans for submitting and emailing me questions. The entire interview I conduced was based on your input. Roisin was very glad to answer some of your burning questions.

Read Part 1 of the interview after the jump.

Arjan: The first question I received from reader Keane was: "What is going on with the “Movie Star” single?"

Róisín: We have changed the roll out of the track a little bit. We decided that we are going to do a double A-side in September or October, I am not sure yet. It will be "Movie Star" with "Slave To Love,” which is a cover I recorded of Bryan Ferry's song.  It is being used for a global Gucci advertising campaign, so we decided to hold the fire and wait with the release of the single untill the campaign started. I plan to do another video for "Movie Star" as well.

Arjan: Are you going to appear in the Gucci commercial as well?

Róisín: I wish. No, it is just the music.

Arjan: The next question is from Amit. He wonders if “Tell Everybody” be ever released as a single.

Róisín: I don’t know. I doubt it. It it is time for a new record pretty soon you know.

Arjan: Jeff wants to know what are you saying in the background of “You Know Me Better,” during the chorus?

Róisín: I don’t really know. It was something that Andy Cato sampled up and made percussive. I am not saying anything in particular. I am not saying "follow the devil," "failure" or anything like that.

Arjan: Also not if you play it backwards?

Róisín: [Laughs] Nothing like that, no, no.

Arjan: OK.  I have gotten a a lot of questions of people who are asking when you are going to come to the U.S. to perform?

Róisín: We're in talks about that at the moment and it will be in October I think. I can’t tell you the definite dates yet. We are kind of working that out in the next few days really.

Arjan: Will that go along with some sort of release of an EP in the United States or something?

Róisín: The release of "Movie Star" will be a worldwide single release and that will be the release to promote.  We are going to be going through U.S. iTunes very soon. Hopefully we can do a simultaneous release for once in my life - that will be great.

Arjan: Markus wants to know if you can sum up the ‘90s in one sentence?

Róisín: I was kind of appalled with the ‘90s to be honest, with the style of the ‘90s in particular. I was always very flamboyant and liked to dress up and al that good stuff. You should look for the first video I ever did with Moloko. It was called "Fun For Me," and you can see that style I had. But everything in the '90s was so earnest. It was all about jeans and t-shirts, and this whole minimalist thing. And I was not like that. So I guess I'd like to sum up the '90s as a decade in which I didn’t fit in.

I think the '80s would have fitted me better, because everybody was a bit flamboyant, a bit more arty with acts like Grace Jones and Talking Heads and all these people, which suits me more than the ‘90s, if you know what I mean. That is what I mean about the '90s - being very earnest and everybody had to be really serious.  And that just wasn’t me at all. So I had to kind of fight against that a little bit, but it has kind of come around again, people are being flamboyant again.

Arjan: Markus wants to know that if you look at music today, who do you think is influencing the sound of tomorrow?

Róisín: I really like the music everybody likes I think. I like Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz and Outkast, and I like people who have that sort flamboyance, who have that kind of positive optimistic outlook and are experimental. I like artists who are optimistic about modern technology and modern music. Those are the kind of acts I like. I don’t know who is going to be next thing tomorrow, I am not sure. I mean I have been living live music for months bow. Especially with the festivals I have been going to. I have seen lots and lots of bands. One that sticks out for me is Radiohead. I saw them last week and they were incredible.  It was one of the best shows I have ever seen. And I saw the The Raconteurs, I loved those, obviously they are not so technological really.

Arjan: Adi wonders if there will ever be a Moloko reunion...

Róisín: I get asked this question asked a lot and I never say never but it is entirely unlikely.  So I am not going to say, no it will never ever happen, but I can't see it happening.

[Look for Part 2 of the interview with Roisin Murphy on ArjanWrites.com tomorrow.]

July 28, 2008 in Interviews, Róisín Murphy | Permalink | Comments (5)

Chester French and Janelle Monae Perform in Miami


Look at that sweaty bunch of people.

The boys of Chester French, the amazing Janelle Monae and StarTrek recording artist Teyana (left) all performed last week at the Diesel Party at Miami Fashion Week. The three emerging artists let off some steam jamming some tunes together. There's a little video of the Chester French performance here. Looks like hot times.

On a related now, have you marked August 12 in your diary yet? That's the day Monea's "Metropolis" will be released. It's a day to to remember.

July 28, 2008 in Chester French, Janelle Monae | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Killers New Album Update


The Killers have commissioned British painter Paul Normansell to create the cover art for their forthcoming third album. Normanshell is mostly know for his paint-dotted creations that he produced for David Bowie, Kate Moss and Agyness Deyn.

The painter tells NME magazine that he recently  received a phone call from the band's manager to see if he'd be interested. "I had one of my painting in GQ magazine and the band saw that," he tells NME. "Their manager got in touch with me (. . .) Then the band called me at home one night. I thought it was a hoax at first, but it's snowballed from there. I've spoken to Brandon a few times about what he wants. He's a really nice guy."

There's no release date set for the group's new album. Brandon and the guys have gone into the studio in Las Vegas together with producer Stuart Price in June and are still recording tracks. In the next 8 weeks, the group will take a break from recording to  hit the festival circuit in Europe and the U.S. to play some shows. Possibly, they will try out a couple of new tunes. Much-rumored first single title is "Tidal Wave." Other non-confirmed album tracks include "Emerald City," "Neon Tiger" and "Metropolis."

The group will be starting their summer tour this week at the Highline Ballroom in New York for a fan-only show. (Is one of you going? Love to hear how it was.)

July 27, 2008 in The Killers | Permalink | Comments (6)

Free Download: Totally Michael "Winona"


Totally Michael is totally fun and totally out there. Let's get out the slip 'n slide and roll out around a little for some summer fun. The Indiana artist's happy-go-lucky pop punk is reminiscent of the skater pop of Blink 182 and the indie vibe of Matt & Kim. Download a guilt-free copy of his first single, titled "Winona," and a special electro remix that was put together by the guys of Miami Horror.  The song was inspired by Michael's teenage crush on actress Winona Ryder. "I'm not a high-class retail outlet, but I love for you to steal my heart," he sings affectionately. So cute

Download Totally Michael "Winona"
Download Totally Michael "Winona" (Miami Horror Mix)

July 25, 2008 in MP3 | Permalink | Comments (0)