Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Keane third record + latest cover

Keane in Philly 2007 As Keane's third record is in the making, I thought I'd write one of my posts, so let's start with what is known about it (little) FACTS: - Recording studio: their base is located in a Kent barn turned to these purposes, a place conveniently close to their homes (after so many months of touring...). However, they had already visited a few recording studios during their last North American tour in May 2007. -It seems many of the songs had already been written / "demoed" by the beginning of the summer. -There's going to be at least more than a couple of rocking songs, these are valuable goods at live concerts (and Keane have quite a tradition of extensive touring!) and the group led to believe they want more.
- One of the few comments with hints on the new album appeared on the site (March 27, 2007; Rice-Oxley interview ):
“We've just started playing through some new songs that we have. When we made Under The Iron Sea, we didn't really get a chance to play the songs together as a band before recording them – it was very much a 'studio album' - whereas when we made Hopes And Fears, we had spent many months playing those songs together, and we had a lot of fun doing that. So this time around we want to make sure we take time to play the songs together, experiment with them, give them time to develop organically without the pressure of the 'red light' in the recording studio. (…)I don't want to say too much more about the style of the songs, although I can guarantee that we'll continue to do new and different things rather than treading water, as we say. As far as inspirations go, as ever we're always searching around for new ideas in unexpected places. Off the top of my head I'd say the things I've been listening to most recently are ABBA, Jay-Z, Panic! At The Disco, Stevie Wonder and Blur. Also quite a lot of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. ”
“Tom wants to try one of our news songs as a kind of a duet, a bit like 'Two Of Us' by The Beatles, so we'll see how that sounds! I love singing, and it's great to be belting out those songs in the live shows, but when it comes to recording what normally happens is that I'll sing a song in demo form or whatever, and then as soon as Tom starts singing it I think, " that's what I wanted it to sound like!" It's pretty hard for me to sing a song better than Tom sings it. But I'll probably give it a go one of these days.”

-The new album will be sold in a very eco friendly package, as the group is trying to help raise awareness on this issue.
- It seems that the band is quite happy with the material they already have.
Enough to get the picture? .Didn’t think so, let’s scrape up a bit of unconfirmed info:

GUESSES: Tom Chaplin + Tim Rice-Oxley - We can expect maybe guitars, probably more singing from Tim Rice-Oxley, maybe something written by Tom Chaplin.
Regarding the guitar issue (people speculate a lot about this), does it really matter?. Keane may not use guitars but we have heard guitars sounds in their albums by now, so call it x. That they use them more or less won't mean giving up on their sound, I think.

As for Rice-Oxley singing, personally I think he sings much better live than in the demos (in those he seems to try to go too Rufus-ey), I really like his voice and it's in very good harmony with Chaplin's so it would be good to hear him too in some track. Still Chaplin's voice is unique and he loads the songs with so much more.

Tom Chaplin's songs, my guess is that if there aren't any it will have more to do with his own ambivalent feelings about it than with anybody else in the band opposing to it.

- They can **** up with this next one, they'll still release a fourth album from a privileged position. So Rice-Oxley should be less tense this time around, though he probably won’t be. After struggling for so long to get to where they are it probably becomes a bit of an obsession not to fall behind expectations.
Tom Chaplin's “innocent?” words in June's Q magazine: "Today (...) Tim is probably working on band business - he rarely takes time off" come to mind. After the Tower concert in Philly, during the meet and greet I couldn't help but notice he was the only one carrying anything (a big heavy black bag), seemed funny when we had just seen his trainers carried to the bus like two little princesses in a single trip from their assistant. (-Note: by no means am I suggesting with this that he fits the diva-type, he was very kind and considerate with everyone there that night-). That probably speaks volumes about this issue.(Maybe I’m wrong, who knows what was inside the bag, after all) Anyway, Keane have secured a privileged position in the music scene for the next few years, and staying there is exclusively up to them wanting to. And that is a luxury they can enjoy just for having already handed two such sturdily consistent and brilliant albums.
- They have deliberately avoided talking about any specifics nor have they played any of the new songs in the North American gig - as they did with UTIS to test the public's response -, though they had said they might do it this time too. So this is meant to be a last minute surprise.

*We don't know if Andy Green will be producing again (first and second records he co produced with Keane - first record James Sanger also had a hand in some songs-, third album as natural evolution could be produced by Keane alone). No doubt Tim R.O. is eager to become fully independent but I wish they'd keep Green beside them a little longer, he worked wonders with Hopes and fears (well, this I can only suspect) and he seems to be a very clever and tasteful guy. His advice and flair can't hurt. Maybe some tracks without him would be a wise move. On the other hand, given their quite frenzied search for "new sounds" they might try a new producer too* No clues as to the lyrics (one of the parts I’m most looking forward to). This is a key issue for any Keane album. They won’t probably go back to the UTIS's Tim-Tom trouble, (and they shouldn’t, though it's very possibly still going on if on a lesser intensity. Like for so many other groups before, that was a tainted experience, and as Dolores O’Riordan said of No need to argue: “At the end of the day it was a hard time but a great record”-not that that justifies so much pain). Will also probably move on from the she's long gone- she still haunts me one, so I expect innovation on this issue. (Again I want to explain, I know other songs weren't about either of these two, I just feel these to be the two major "chapters" in the previous records). Maybe some closure, maybe … You take both Keane's albums and you wouldn't guess they're composed by a successful "just married", puzzling lack of reference. The songs that are supposed to be about Rice-Oxley's wife (Sunshine, Atlantic) are not happy but rather troubled songs (a second to say that I think Sunshine is most romantic, only in a different messed up naked way). Either he shuts that part of his life from Keane or he's not happy with how those songs are turning out (happiness, etc don't usually make good strong songs, he's said so himself quite a few times. But still there are things there, …totally out of the picture). Whatever, Keane's bitterness sounds almost sweet, makes you actually enjoy your lowest moments, or something of the sort. Well, Rice-Oxley and Hughes are now officially in their thirties, mmm, time for mixed feelings and surprises about who we really are and what we really want, achieved goals count and life’s choices narrowing down by the minute, a lot of acceptance/resignation to do... plenty to write about (the longing for being forty... right, not me!!!). As Rufus Wainwright put it the other morning on the radio, “when you hit 30 you realize how fast life goes by, so let’s get it down now while we’re still hot”. Rufus knows how to get to the point!. *Release date: anytime before November would be a real challenge. They plan to release the O2 Concert DVD before Christmas. Will they release both at the same time?. Probably not, it doesn’t make much sense from a commercial point of view. But are they going to miss the Christmas’s boost sales then?

My guess is their album will be out in the spring.
Now, the most silly part, but I can’t resist: My wish list:

Keane Philly *I hope Tom Chaplin forgets a bit about “propelling” his voice (-not that I don't like that-) and moves to lower, "husky" intimate ranges (as in Walnut Tree but more?). That would also take care of their overall sounding a bit languid at times *A duet with a female singer (mixing Chaplin's voice with Dolores O'Riordan, Amy Winehouse?, or A fine frenzy's singer could turn out a knock out). With the Blur thing (influence), there is an example of a great light duet too in “To the end” with legendaire Françoise Hardy (well, maybe a pinch too repetiticious).*Hoping they will release the "We might as well be strangers" instrumental version, it's so beautiful (as in the Strangers DVD) *Hoping for some good videos, up till now in my opinion most of them are bummers (I'd love to give ideas but already toooo long 2.will have to do with the song so not possible 3. what for?). They do have these DVD's that are quite good though (Strangers and the UTIS extras). *And hoping for some great art work too (UTIS' was quite outstanding and so original; Hopes and Fears average). * And last but not least, I wish for lots of extra features on the composing and recording of the new album (just leave the camera rolling, I want to see it all....), I would have loved so much to be a part of something like that, so at least having a sneak peek (as in the UTIS DVD, but more) would be great. I'd much rather buy such a DVD than a live gig one.

Whatever, I expect these three brains will not lose a bit of their musical talent so we’ll hear. I hope they won't let themselves be biased by the usual bitchy criticism they endure or by what other colleagues are attempting (or, while we are at that, by abhorrence of a big portion of their "boardies", I hope they don't take them as representative of their audience, or either we're toast!!). I'm afraid it's impossible to ignore all that, but please DO!!.
And after this I’m leaving Keane alone for a looong time, don't want to get so sidetracked. I get a bit carried away, or a lot!, it's just that though I don't think I have much in common with them on a personal level, still if I had had music written "a la carte" for me and my life at that point in time, I don't think I'd gotten a better match (for the most part).
PS By the way, latest cover of the band is Under Pressure (ie, Queen and David Bowie), see details in Radio 1, they certainly aren’t going for the easy ones!. Truth be said, Chaplin's voice can surprisingly sound a lot like Freddy Mercury's at particular isolated moments. If you don't believe me listen to the beginning of Play the game. I was watching The Tube tv the other day and they played this song's live performance video, I couldn't believe my ears!!. Life's full of surprises. Personally, I think Mr Chaplin would nail that one.
PS 2 Well, I do possess one exclusive piece of information, only it will be irrelevant to most (not to me!): the duet with Rufus Wainwright (Try again), Keane chose the song.

PS 1 million, sept 15th: ok, Keane's website is now publishing some interviews that have a little more info on this. I'm not updating, I suppose people reading this also reads the official site (by the way, what did they put in R. Hughes's drink before the interview? hope that was that).

PS 1 million and 1, there's an article in February's Q magazine where they talk a tiny bit about it and mention September as possible release date. And, this time for real, I'm not updating anymore, this post is sort of too long by now anyway and I wrote this a zillion days ago so it's not about now.

One last PS!! Just realized Jon Brion (the producer for this last record) was responsible for Fiona Apple's O'Sailor, which is such an amazing impressive track. It's all about atmosphere, recreates some kind of stifling cloud around you like you wouldn't believe. Keane's best asset (to me) has always been precisely that: recreating atmospheres. So this could actually be huge, these guys together. Songs so thick you could actually pinch them?

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Quotes by E. Hopper (painter):"The man's the work. Something doesn't come out of nothing"

(2nd, this time regarding how he chose his subjects)"I do not exactly know, unless it is that I believe them to be the best mediums for a synthesis of my inner experience"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More Rufus pics

Rufus meet and greet
Rufus wainwright concert Philly

I'm having some visits with the keyword "Rufus Wainwright" (??? I don't know how they end up in my blog, that search pulls like 2 million results, I'd be thankful if someone would let me know). So I'm posting more pics for them and hopefully I will post some more soon. (I have to say the meet and greet photo doesn't do him justice - you should have seen how terrible I looked !!)
By the way, does anybody know how to find the "Going to a town" sheet music?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rufus Wainwright concert in Philadelphia at the Mann Center 08.27.2007

Pls don't reproduce without permission**Rufus Wainwright Tyrolese in Philly

Yesterday night I went to Rufus' Wainwright concert. I have to write a post about it, it was really good. This pic turned out pretty (specially considering my camouflaged camera !!). Doesn't anybody want to hire me? (yes, I wish!!)
And Neko Case was great too.
As a bonus a group called "A fine frenzy" played first. And they are really fantastic. Check this song "Come on come out", loved it. Anyway, her voice sounds way better live.
PS Sept 07. No review, I'm afraid. I'll just write a few notes: the band that plays with Rufus is amazing, and the music he writes gives them space to show off so it was really impressive. Rufus played mostly songs from Release the stars, that record seems to me like a mix of bits of the most impressive classic music, a hangover, the brass section of the movie The party, a touch of The sound of music (tyrolese included), excess and a sprinkle of genius, all mixed and popping out in no particular or predictable order. One of my favourites is "Slideshow".
Rufus is a great singer and showman, so I enjoyed the music, but I also had a great time. By the way, why did people remain seated during the whole concert??? (well, they'd stand to applaud in between songs during the encore, but that's not the same...), and why wasn't the place sold out?, and any curse that in Philadelphia during concerts there will be huge thunderstorms too??

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Keane stuff

* Keane at the Tower theater- May'09
* The night sky
* Keane next album + latest cover
* The magic shop in Keane's Under the iron sea DVD
* The Magic Shop Studio in NYC
* Tour buses
* Keane concert review, Philly, may'07
* Keane pics, concert Philly may'07
* Keane links and misc.
* Keane's "That's all" cover
* No news, the killermots and space 1999
* Tom Chaplin's declarations in Q

Tower Theater in Philadelphia Info

If the info here is useful to you,  please take a minute to  sign this petition  so children with food allergies can travel safer. It would be greatly appreciated - thanks!!

* Where to buy tickets
* Seating chart 1
* Seating charts 2
* Seating chart 3
* The pit area
* Great pics inside the Tower
* More pics inside: different views of the stage from different seats
* Convenient Hotels
* Tower's Street + parking
* My visit to the Tower
* Aerial image
* Restaurants
* After the concert...
* Things to do while in Philly: a walk across the Benjamin Franklin bridge & the best ice cream!

Note: For questions on venues, pls don't e-mail me but write your question in the comments section of the post. That way it's useful to everyone. Also pls check first whether the info you're looking for is already in the blog (do a search in the search box above selecting this blog). Thnx!
Labels: Tower Theater Philadelphia info, Tower Theater Philadelphia venue, "Tower Theater Philadelphia seating chart", Tower Theater Philadelphia pit area, Tower Theater Philadelphia images, Tower Theater Philadelphia pics, Tower Theater Philadelphia photos,balcony seats, pit seats, Most complete info on the Tower Theater.