merry christmas from chris and neil…

“It’s something
That look in your eyes tonight
Like magic
it’s changing everything in sight
I hear it
all around me every day
in the music that you play”

The new EP from the Pet Shop Boys is out tomorrow via Astralwerks. I can hardly wait! To celebrate the release, Parlophone presents with a promotional video of All Over The World with footage from the recent Pandemonium tour. A brilliant song from a brilliant record. Enjoy!

omg! omd’s back…

With all the brilliance of the new electronic pop bands coming to the fore and the second wind we’ve seen this year by the likes of Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys, the time is right for another giant to return to the fold. Yes, friends, let’s rejoice for the band known as Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark is back! I don’t think it’s necessary to go through the band’s voluminous CV. You know the songs, you know the hits. Electricity. Enola Gay. Tesla Girls. If You Leave. The list goes on and on and on. The band had a run like very few of their contemporaries did in the eighties and even after the band splintered towards the end of the decade with singer/bassist Andy McCluskey carrying the torch for a few more records and adding a few more hits to the OMD canon before ending it for good.

Here we are thirteen years from the last release, 1996’s Universal, to discover the news of a new record The History of Modern will soon be upon us in the new year.  With this news comes a bit of a tease for fans ol and hopefully new. It’s a demo of what may very well be the new single called Sister Marie Says. Upon the first couple of listens, the song begins with a choral sample before opening wide into yummy electro-pop. Very reminiscent of OMD circa Sugar Tax/Liberator. Welcome back Andy and Paul!

 

 

OMD on MySpace
OMD on Facebook

“Sister Marie Says” by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, taken from the forthcoming release, “The History Of Modern”

xmas with neil and chris…

 

Sure to cap off what has been one of the best years in their storied history, the Pet Shop Boys are set to release a Christmas EP simply titled….Christmas. It’s due to be released on 14 December in the UK with no US date at the moment and includes five tracks. One of these tracks definitely should be interesting to fans who hadn’t had a chance to see the Boys perform it during the Pandemonium tour…

It Doesn’t Often Snow At Christmas (this one’s been around since 1997 but it’s been re-recorded for this EP)

My Girl (Madness cover)

All Over The World (new version)

*Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing (The former is the highlight here. A studio version of the Coldplay smash and produced by Stuart Price)

My Girl (Our House Mix)

Needless to say, this is a must buy.

never been closer to heaven…

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This past Saturday night was one that I must say I truly will never forget. Atlantic City. The House of Blues in the Showboat Casino. I and my dear friend, Marilyn were there to witness the spectacle that are the Pet Shop Boys as they continued on their Pandemonium tour in support of the brilliant record Yes. The anticipation was ungodly as we in the audience were cruelly left to stare into space as the opening DJs alternated between deep house grooves and new wave.  Things didn’t get any better as after the DJ’s concluded their sets as there was another interminable wait.  Luckily according to the band, they were being delayed by technical issues. Good thing for Twitter otherwise who knows what may have went down.

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After another five minutes, the lights dimmed and two figures appeared from the set made up of large cubes. The cubes lit up in a glorious array of colours. A true sight to behold. The two figures walked over to the keyboard and the music began to play. It was Heart! On came Neil and Chris as they were greeted to deafening applause from the fans and the excitement lasted throughout the entire set.

It was a testament to the band’s longevity and their catalogue that every single performed was one that immediately harnessed a sense of revelation and joy through the entire audience. No one stood still. Dancing was contagious as the duo focused on Yes early in the set as well as the debut album Please. The latter was truly a highlight for me as this is still a timeless record that deserves to be unearthed once again. Songs such as Two Divided By Zero, Why Don’t We Live Together, Suburbia and a certain song that shall remain nameless only added to what was a spectacular evening of sound and vision.

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Set List:
Heart
Did You See Me Coming
Pandemonium
Can You Forgive Her
Love Etc
Building A Wall
Go West mashed up to Paninaro
Two Divided By Zero
Why Don’t We Live Together
Always On My Mind
New York City Boy
Closer To Heaven
Left To My Own Devices
Do I Have To
King’s Cross
The Way It Used To Be
Jealousy
Suburbia
All Over The World
Se A Vida E
Discoteca
Viva La Vida (Yup! They covered Coldplay!)
It’s A Sin
Encore:
Being Boring
…A certain debut single…

Simply put, the Boys know how to put on a great show. The dancers were amazing especially during Jealousy where a spirited dance featuring the male dancer being flung from a mountain of cubes during a rage-filled “quarrel” with his mate. A cover of Viva La Vida by Coldplay was great to hear as the duo have always been masters of the cover song.

A breathtaking set design. Classic songs. A great show by an all time classic group.
Thank you, Neil & Chris.

the beautiful people, the beautiful people…

…DUH-DUH-DUH!

Sorry…wrong song.  High five goes out to fellow blogger extraordinaire, Daft Monk, who passed along the news. It appears the good ol’ boys better known as the Pet Shop Boys are about to release single number three from the outstanding record simply titled Yes. It’s going to be Beautiful People. A song that sounds like it could have been a track on the Last Shadow Puppets record, Beautiful People features the talents of Owen Pallett from Final Fantasy and the living guitar legend, Johnny Marr.

A contemplative tune about wishing you were anywhere else instead of in your own skin, it’s yet another great song taken from an album that is a treasure trove of great music. Between you and me, The Way It Used To Be had better be the next single! Are you listening, Parlophone?!!!

“Beautiful People” by Pet Shop Boys, taken from the Parlophone/Astralwerks release, “Yes”

the boys have done it again…

“You don’t have to be in Who’s Who to know what’s what
You don’t have to be a high flier to catch your slot
The night we met was cold and wet
I needed a drink or two
I saw you standing there and I knew
I’d like to be loved by you”

As we move on to single number two from Yes, we find it to be one of the more obvious choices to be a single: the gorgeous and incredibly poptastic Did You See Me Coming. Easily one of my favourites from what is quickly becoming one of my favourite all time PSB records. The video, to be quite honest, is really nothing to write home about as we find our heroes performing close together in front of a series of scrollingblack and white images. Nothing truly spectacular here. Spike Jonze, Hype Williams or Michel Gondry must have been busy so it’s plain to see the video is all about the song itself as well it should. The funny thing is the concept for the video seems very familiar to me. In fact, it’s very reminiscent of a video the PSB have done before…like from Fundamental

Am I right? Am I wrong? Am I just dreaming?

the gods of electro face off!

    

 

Here we go! Two of the heavyweights have their new albums drop Stateside! You’ve got the Pet Shop Boys on one corner and in the other…Depeche Mode! Who will outsell who? Will we hear more references of West End Girls than Personal Jesus? Will Chris Lowe ever take those sunglasses off ever again? These questions and possibly a bunch more may be answered when the stores and the throngs er…lines of synth-nerds, electro-freaks, new wave casualties and the like make their way to their local Walmart, Best Buy…or who am I kidding, log on to Amazon or I-Tunes to purchase their copies. 

Pssst…I cheated. I pre-ordered both via Amazon! I’m very disheartened that I wasn’t able to snag a copy of the Mode prior to the release thus no review. I guess I can always do one once I give it a couple of listens, no?

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