I know it’s Thursday, but every day could do with a rendition of New Order’s “Blue Monday” at some point.
As if the electro-pop classic wasn’t epic and brooding enough, here it is performed by the 60-piece Brythoniad Male Voice Choir, commissioned for the UK’s Festival Number 6.
To celebrate New Order headlining the first year of the UK’s newest festival, the Brythoniad Male Voice Choir were commissioned by Festival No.6 to record their own unique version of Blue Monday.
The 60 members of the Brythoniad Male Voice Choir, formed in 1964 in Blaenau Ffestiniog, recorded their interpretation of the seminal track in the studio, then filmed the video on location at the stunning Portmeirion, location for Festival No.6 .
Surely the most unique setting for a festival the UK has ever seen?
There is more information on Festival Number 6, headlined by New Order, Primal Scream and Spiritualized and taking place in Portmerion, Wales on the 14th, 15th and 16th of September, on the festival’s website.
If, like me, you get just a bit tired of The Cult Of Beatles (™) then consider this the perfect antidote.
The Better Beatles were a post-punk outfit from Nebraska who released one 7” single in 1981 and quickly disappeared without trace. The Better Beatles did to the Beatles what The Residents did to Elvis, and what the Flying Lizards did to Barrett Strong (which was quite distinct from what the Beatles did to Barrett Strong.). The original songs were just creaky old foundation blocks that they destroyed, then re-built on top of. Often with wondefully misshapen new forms.
Dave Nordin [synthesizer] has stated that he considered the Beatles “an oppressive influence,” and Jean pSmith [vocals] has said their goal was to “[strip] the songs of their sacred status.” After a handful of shows, they recorded an album’s worth of material in late 1981. They broke up shortly before their debut single “Penny Lane”/“I’m Down” was released on Woodgrain Records, leaving the bulk of their music unreleased.
Unreleased until five years ago, that is, when Hook Or Crook Records released the complete works of the Better Beatles as an album called Mercy Beat (available to buy here, where you will also find lots more info on the band.)
Who knows, maybe some Beatles fans can even appreciate the genius of The Better Bealtes? (Probably not, though. Po-faced plonkers!)
Music that has a sense of humor tends to get a hard time among people who consider themselves “serious” music fans. Why is this? Is it because music itself has to be seen to be serious? That the music makers have to mean it (maaan) and it’s impossible to wear your heart on your sleeve if it’s matched by a raised eyebrow and a smirk?
3iO are an acoustic jazz band who last year released an album called Back To New Roots, which features jazz-style covers of a host of big dance tunes from the last 15 years. LOL!! Right? Or is this an acceptable style of guffaw on a par with coffee table favourites Nouvelle Vague? Here’s a bit of info on the band via the Soundcloud page of their excellently named record label Hell Yeah:
Let’s keep it simple, this dance meets jazz concept started as a joke: take a bunch of friends, discover that they are highly talented jazz musicians and propose them to do something a bit different, play and perform your favourite E-dance / alternative hits / chill out timeless classics into their contemporary jazz style…. shake it as it was your cocktail of choice and you have Serotonin Fuelled Jazz Covers.
3iO are Richard Maggioni (piano), Juan Manuel Moretti (double bass) Matteo Giordani (drums), they are not newcomers in the italian jazz circuit, they have already two albums on their back and with BACK TO NEW ROOTS they challenge themself with a new repertoire: Fat Boy Slim, Groove Armada, Chemical Brothers, Royskopp, Underworld, Spiller, DJ Shadow… just as you never heard them before.
So is this “serious” music? Or is it just a big joke that can be easily dismissed as not being worthy of much attention? While there is definitely a smirking knowingness about this project, the lol-factor is not all that great and I think some of this album actually sounds really good. But I will leave it up to you to decide whether this is “real” music or not (bearing in mind that we’re big fans of both Zappa and Sparks here, two acts who feel no fear of adding humor to their work):
3iO “Right Here Right Now” (original by Fat Boy Slim)
3iO “Born Slippy (nuxx)” (original by Underworld)
3iO “Organ Donor” (original by DJ Shadow)
You can hear (and purchase) 3iO’s album Back To New Roots in full here.