The Strypes don't say much in interviews, but one thing they articulate quite clearly is that they couldn't care less what anyone no longer a teenager thinks of them. Call them derivative – which they are, in a third-hand way, a rehash of the nostalgic 1970s pub-rock rehash of 1950s/60s R&B – and they will shrug and say rock'n'roll was ever thus. They're right, of course, but if anyone is going to choose to listen to their albums over Bo Diddley's they're going to have to learn something fundamental about R&B fast.
If the notion persists that Nigel Kennedy is the enfant terrible of classical music – too rebellious or facile to be taken seriously – then perhaps it is time to reconsider his categorization. Kennedy's varied interests certainly take him beyond the boundaries of the typical classical performer, and his performance style may be too flamboyant to suit some listeners' tastes. But East Meets East is far from shocking, if understood as an exploration of Eastern European music, presented in a fusion of popular styles without pandering to the classical audience with crossover concessions. Fans of world music and open-minded listeners of any stripe may find something to appreciate here. Appearing with the Polish folk band Kroke and surrounded by several guest artists of international reputation, Kennedy shows that his involvement with this ethnic music is honest, if not always inspired.
Sigur Rós’s ambitious plan to make a film for every track on last year's ‘Valtari’ album drew to a close in December with one of the series’ most ambitious submissions from director Floria Sigismondi. The flyblown 10-min mini-epic features indie movie stars Elle Fanning and John Hawkes, as father and daughter, one of whom may be dead. The sixteenth film in the series, it renews Sigur Ros's relationship with Sigismondi, who in 2003 won the European MTV video of year for the band's ‘Vaka', in which gas-masked school children played in the black snow of a nuclear winter. This new package sees all 16 Valtari films collected together on DVD or Blu-ray as the ‘Valtari Film Experiment’. The release includes all 14 films commissioned by the band, alongside the two winning entries from a parallel public competition, plus three additional making-of features.
Piece of Mind is the fourth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was originally released in 1983 on EMI, and on Capitol in the US; it was reissued later on Sanctuary/Columbia Records.
Since Relics is a compilation and not a regular studio album, it tends to be overlooked when thought of as one of Pink Floyd's better releases. It might not be regarded as a classic psychedelic masterpiece in the manner of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and it certainly won't ever achieve the multiple platinum status of Dark Side of the Moon, but it's a pretty good place to start with the band's early catalog. Originally issued in 1971, Relics culls from the band's first five singles (two A-sides and three B-sides, including the non-album pop classics "See Emily Play" and "Arnold Layne") and picks album material that capitalizes on the band's versatility while making it a thoroughly palatable listen. From Piper, you get the goofy childishness of "Bike" and the mesmerizing "Interstellar Overdrive," one of the band's trademark instrumental freak-outs; "The Nile Song," taken from the More soundtrack, is one of the heaviest songs the band recorded. A little bit of everything that made early Pink Floyd can be found here. Without a doubt, the disc is an essential part of the band's discography, not to be disregarded in lieu of its overlap with studio album material. Allmusic.
This collection of instrumentals offers a stark reminder of the sheer mind-boggling scope of David Bowie's sound and vision. Most of these 16 brooding soundscapes are plucked from Bowie's hugely influential 1977 albums, Low and Heroes. Taking his cue from Kraftwerk, Bowie enlisted ambient pioneer Brian Eno and decamped to Berlin. It's no exaggeration to say that the resulting albums were integral in defining the path of modern music. Throughout, there's a palpable sense of foreboding, perhaps best exemplified by "Sense of Doubt," a truly unsettling mesh of booming piano and spookily spiraling synths. That the Thin White Duke's Berlin material still dazzles is no surprise. However, it's the remarkable revelation–provided by a clutch of slightly more recent tracks–that he can still cut it that'll hearten disillusioned Bowie fans everywhere.
George Martin is one of the world's most famous record producers and yet, despite a long and varied career, he is most celebrated for his era-defining work with the Beatles. The six-CD box set Produced By George Martin commemorates his 50 years behind the desk. The discs are in chronological order and loosely themed–early years, comedy recordings, 60s hits, orchestral, etc. While generally presented in a chronological fashion, each disc is likewise aptly subtitled. Disc one – "Crazy Rhythms" – features pre-rock & roll big band ("High Society"), skiffle ("Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O"), and dance music ("Scottish Polka" and "Saturday Jump"). In addition, there are tracks from other well-known yet rarely heard artists such as Jimmy Shand ("Bluebell Polka") and Rolf Harris ("Sun Arise"). The "Transports of Delight" on disc two highlight spoken-word and comedy sides produced by Martin in the '50s and '60s.