Number two priority

FEELING flush? Then ahead of World Toilet Day on November 19, do pull up a stool and have a listen to Empty Boat‘s Waitless, an unlikely combination of world music and lavatories.
Musicians from across the world and as young as seven have mucked in to produce this upbeat album which melds African, Latin and jazz influences, all in the name of khazis.
Because every copy of this album sold will result in a deposit being made to Pump Aid which will enable the charity to provide sanitation for life for one African in need.
Overall the music, although eminently listenable, is fairly bog standard, but being privy to the information that it’s helping such a good cause, I urge you to go for this LP.

Now That’s What I Call a long time

BLIMEY! The Now That’s What I Call Music! series is nearly as old as me – and this year it celebrates a quarter-century of compilations.
To mark this milestone, like most 25-year-olds, it’s decided to throw a party – captured on the three-CD collection of hits through the ages that is Now That’s What I Call Music! 25 Years.
And what a collection it is – from Phil Collins and UB40, who both appeared on Now That’s What I Call Music! volume one, through Diana Ross and Micheal Jackson and Take That and Oasis to contemporary chart-hogs such as Rihanna and Sugababes.
You may turn your nose up at such a pantheon of polished pop, but listening through it’s undeniable that, love it or hate it –
A) you will know nearly all the words to all these songs, and…
B) these CDs would be great at a party.
Now that’s what I call full marks.

Camp rock

• DOING their best with a new single out on November 3 are pop rockers Scouting For Girls.
The new track, I Wish I Was James Bond, is the latest to be lifted from the licensed-to-thrill number one album Scouting For Girls.
A spokesman for the group said: “Whilst Britain undergoes an extensive period of uncertainty both politically and economically, it is the music of Scouting For Girls that can lift the nation’s spirits with their hugely upbeat sunshine pop.”
You can see the band on tour throughout November and December including dates at Nottingham Arena and Birmingham’s Carling Academy.
• Rockabilly revivalist Imelda May is hoping to make a lasting impression on the record-buying public with debut album Love Tattoo.
The Irish singer’s debut LP, out now, is a rip-roaring collection of ‘50s-inspired tracks.
• Soulful singing sensation Lemar returns on November 10 with a new single, If She Knew.
The track, the lead single from the Fame Academy graduate’s forthcoming fourth album The Reason, combines Lemar’s heartfelt vocals with layers of acoustic guitar-driven RnB.
• The unique sound of Threatmantics hits the charts on November 3 when their debut offering Upbeat Love lands on shelves.
The Welsh rock and roll trio, who visit Birmingham’s Factory Club on November 20, make their music on viola, guitar, drums and keyboards – with Huw Davies playing both drums and keyboards simultaneously.
A spokesman said: “This is a short, sharp album packed to the brim with skuzzy, mind-blowing rock and roll.”
• Operahouse are set to release the dynamic Change In Nature EP on November 10.
The release is a taster for their debut album, recorded under the guidance of Embrace’s Richard McNamara, which is due early next year.
• Jack of all trades John Barrowman is releasing a new single on November 17.
The catchy new single, What About Us, is written by Take That star Gary Barlow and is the first taster of new album Music Music Music.
• Former X-Factor entrant Maria Lawson releases a new single, These Walls, on December 1.
Taken from the singer’s second album, Emotional Rollercoaster, due out in January 2009, the track fuses soul, pop and rock sensibilities.
• Looking for an early Christmas present?
Pop Party 6, a compilation packed with hits from the likes of the Sugababes, Ting Tings, Jonas Brothers, Rihanna, McFly and more is out from November 3.
• If all of this is music to your ears, you can read more from the pop world online at

TV On The Radio on the Internet

I DON’T normally blog about singles, so I’ll keep it brief, but I thought I’d point out that the impending Golden Age, the first to be taken from New York-based five-piece TV On The Radio‘s latest LP Dear Science, above, is a glittering multi-layered slice of funky Prince-like rock that’s well worth seeking out.

Classic seventeen – Raw talon


DON’T be fooled by this band’s ferocious moniker – they may sound like the scariest bird since Rosemary West, but instead of wanting to prey on you, the scariest thing the Eagles Of Death Metal want to do is a little humping.
The brainchild of Jesse “The Devil” Hughes, backed up by Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme on drum duties, Eagles Of Death Metal originated from a drunken bet to create the death metal version of the all-conquering Americana of The Eagles.
However the sound morphed from the original blurred vision – that appeared on The Desert Sessions Volume Two, if you’re interested – to their debut Peace Love Death Metal, a pulsating mix of handlebar moustaches, skin-tight leather trousers and ballsy, camp stoner rock.
Imagine what it would sound like if the Scissor Sisters invited Lemmy to play bass, and all took viagra an hour before the recording…

Benin hiding


AS FAR as I’m aware, Isaac Ashe’s Sound Advice doesn’t have much of a readership in Benin.
So I’ll wager not many of you will have heard of the country’s prolific yet parochial Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou.
However I guarantee this compilation of the group’s recordings will cast a spell over fans of funk.
The Vodoun Effect, a collection of tracks played in secret by the west African collective for minor labels back in the early 1970s while officially contracted elsewhere, cherrypicks tracks from the 500 or so known recordings by the band in their unique, energetic sound that literally drips with funk like sweat from James Brown mid-Sex Machine.
A cross between traditional African music and an extended Eddie Bo, James Brown style jam outs, the music is based on a musical style developed as an accompaniment to Vodoun – or voodoo – rituals.
As a result the LP, the first of a two-part series, is an energetic, lively collection that label Analog Africa made the right decision in resurrecting.