It seems like a recent trend for singers of big huge bands to want to go off and make a solo album! I guess it always happens at some point but it seems like there have been more than normal the last couple of years. Thom Yorke from Radiohead went off and made a solo album called The Eraser in 2006. Julian Casablancas from The Strokes put out Phrazes For the Young last year. Sometimes is a just a new collaboration that ends up coming out. James Mercer from The Shins just put out an album as The Broken Bells with Dangermouse. Alex Turner from The Arctic Monkeys also went this direction and started a new band called The Last Shadow Puppets. Jenny Lewis from Rilo Kiley has put out two solo albums. Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes has put out solo albums and is a member of the super group Monsters of Folk. Singers need breaks from their bands. Or maybe the bands actually need breaks from their singers! Maybe the singers just have big egos and want to go off on their own and show their fans that they can be just as good as a solo artist. Billy Corgan should just really be going by BIlly Corgan now. As far as I am concerned, Smashing Pumpkins broke up a long time ago! It is basically just him and a bunch of teenagers in the band now! Doug Martsch from Built To Spill even went solo in 2002 with Now You Know. Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star has put out a couple of solo albums as well. Even Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl is getting in on the solo action with a new album out next month on Merge. And Kele from Bloc Party also has a new solo album around the corner! I am sure we will soon see solo albums from Beth Ditto, Karen O, Brian Molko, and Caleb Followill from Kings of Leon. It's just the way the industry goes, I guess.
Kid606 "Mr Wobble's Nightmare" (2009)The video above of Kid606's new Shout at the Döner (Tigerbeat6) album track and lead single "Mr Wobble's Nightare" is directed by Joel Trussell. The dp & editor is Michael Samstag, animators are Anna & Mike Hollingsworth and Joel Trussell, camera by Matthew Rogers, and lighting by Jeff Reed. This skilled music video production crew did total justice to Kid606's inspired update of 4hero's "Mr Kirk's Nightmare" -- the 1990 rave hit by the London, England drum'n'bass/jungle pioneers which, over a sped up sample of the "Give the Drummer Some" break, tells the story of a British police constable knocking on a certain Mr. Kirk's door to give him the bad news that his 17 year old son Robert "is dead. You better come down to the station house...he died of an overdose." The Dead Kirks also did an interpretation of the song, one of many over the years, titled "Mr. Kirk, Your Son Is Dead" in 1991 on Midtown Records.
For the 2009 updated "Mr Wobble's Nightmare," with tongue firmly in cheek, Kid606 retells the story with a slight twist and injects ten times more energy into the already dope track. Equally as good is the entire new album, the usually quirky artist's most accessible to date. Over the past decade Kid606 has earned a rep for pushing the envelope in hardcore techno, glitch, IDM, and breakcore via a myriad of timeless releases on such labels as Vinyl Communications, Violent Turd, Ipecac, Mille Plateaux, and of course Tigerbeat6 -- the San Francisco label that the artist runs himself and that always displays his obsession with cats (check the cool feline image on the new album cover above). The Venezuelan born electronic artist, who has been on the vanguard of digital music since he began, has never resigned himself to just one subgenre of electronic music but instead has embraced and experiemented with em all. He was raised in San Diego but moved to San Franicsco and more recently to Berlin. Kid606, whose given name is Miguel Trost Depedro, formed Tigerbeat6 in 2000 and since then has overseen the prolific label, cranking out countless releases. The latest is Kid606's Shout at the Döner, which is among the very best electronic releases of 2009 to date -- and one you should buy at Amoeba Music.
While it's quite obviously inspired by LCD Soundsystem, this gem of a single from Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip has wormed its way into my brain and continues to make me chuckle upon repeated listenings/viewings. "Thou Shalt Always Kill" is the best kind of rant: one that is intended ultimately to be beneficial for the listener. Sac and Pip are (presumably) both English, and there are a few references in the tune that non-Britishes might not get, like Stephen Fry, but the rest of this list of commandments applies everywhere - and definitely in San Francisco. Check out the video:
Love that video, especially how it gets more visually clever as the song progresses. While it starts with a couple of cute and slightly cheesy puns like the pedestal, the bit about using music to get into girls' heads then appearing in the woman's thought bubble to tell her "thou shalt not watch Holyoaks", it gets better with the animated map of global inequity and the photocopier running off "repetitive generic music".
These two seem to be part of the loosely-grouped scene of message-board mashup DJ's, IDM-influenced laptop glitch producers and booty-music afficionados that's been rumbling about since the early days of the century. The single has been quite hard to find but is blowing up iPods virally via the 'net, which is a good place to keep up with these two. Also of note is that this single is put out by the venerable Lex Records, a Warp-affiliated label that puts out lots of other great music from the likes of Boom Bip and Amoeba's Own Subtle. Lex has been around for a few years now and is worth your time and money, so check them out.