It has become at least partly clear why the London Olympic closing ceremony was as tacky and lacklustre as Danny Boyle's opening ceremony was heartwarming and mad. Most of the artists you thought its attempted celebration of British pop could have done with declined to appear: David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Kate Bush and the Sex Pistols amongst them.
Since the Guardian broke the no-shows story this week, Noel Gallagher has given an interview revealing that he, too, was invited to appear but refused because he would have been required to mime rather than play live. In the same interview he cheerfully describes brother Liam's group Beady Eye, who did eventually play 'Wonderwall', as "Stratford’s finest Oasis tribute band." Seems that brotherly falling-out still hasn't been resolved.
But it wasn't just the lack of legends that undid Kim Davis's show. It was a series of abysmal musical decisions. According to The Guardian, John Lennon's 'Imagine' was nominated early on as a centrepiece. Not a bad call. So why the fuck would you undermine your big tune with a segued intro of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'? That's like the worst DJ ever. And then the TV direction managed to largely miss the reveal of the big giant John Lennon head, which was plainly visible to the live audience for a lot longer than it was to we TV viewers.
Not that I have a problem with 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. But if you're going to drop that tune, play the whole thing and go nuts with it, amirite? It could've been a production stormer, but they threw it away in a particularly inappropriate fashion.
And ironically, the not-exactly-live format -- and how much of a clunker was The Who's backing track accidentally restarting after they'd left the stage? -- somehow resulted in a mostly dreadful broadcast sound mix. I actually put my ear down to the subwoofer in the lounge on Monday morning and there was pretty much nothing coming through it.
Fortunately, Channel 4, which is carrying Paralympics coverage, was much more on the money with its brilliant promo for that. Yup, that's Public Enemy -- and if you liked that, I'm sure you'll like this remix of the same tune, 'Harder than You Think'.
Also on Soundcloud, Gramatik's heavily reworked take on The Beatles' 'Don't Let me Down', which should keep you going till the next Pretty Lights tune:
Bobby Busnach's gone mad this week:
Meanwhile, Earmilk, one of my favourite MP3 blogs, has reworked its Indie Sabbath feature in an extremely useful and highly recommended fashion. If you go here, you'll find not only a sampler of everything you might need to know about what's up now in indie -- from Grizzly Bear to Peace and Toro y Moi -- but handy download links for themed playlists of all the tracks. Which will, of course, guide your subsequent purchasing choices.
Meanwhile on TheAudience, I'm liking Eighties in Harlem:
And the new Computers Want Me Dead (download available):
And this woozy thing from DubXVille (download available):
Anyone who follows the various members of Home Brew's touring crew on Twitter over the past couple of weeks will have deduced that they had a very good time indeed. They've made their way back through Customs now, but there are some clips that indicate that they have quite a following across the pond. Check out this version of 'Datura' from their Brisbane show:
Finally, freshly out locally: the first Bailterspace album in forever, Strobosphere, is available on CD and MP3 at Amplifier, and on iTunes.
Sola Rosa's guest-packed new album, Low and Behold, High and Beyond, is right there on Bandcamp:
And, finally, if you've lost your memories and would like 'em back, get along to the Strummerday extravaganza at the King's Arm's tomorrow night. It'll feature Andrew Boak (once upon a time of No Tag) and Jed Town in the bankRobbers, who will pay tribute to the music of Joe Strummer and The Clash, along with the Newmatics, The Skitz and DJ Dubhead.
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