Soundbites: Mercury Music Prize, The Killers, Laura Marling & more!


Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can

In today’s Soundbites we discuss our favourites for this year’s Mercury Music Prize, Rivers Cuomo talks through the new Weezer album, there’s details of a new We Are Scientists tour and there’s a battered old piano up for sale for £150,000. There’s also news of a new Killers collaboration, Mystery Jets give their views on the Libertines reunion, while The Vaselines speak of their part in Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged show.

Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo has been speaking about their soon-to-be released new album. Cuomo told The News-Times the new record will have a rockier feel than previous releases: “There’s definitely going to be more raw rock energy on this one. I’ve spent the entire morning trying to come up with a name for the record. How does Heavy Mental sound?”

Well, the shortlist for this year’s Mercury Music Prize was announced yesterday, with a far more mainstream feel than recent years. The xx and Dizzee Rascal were quickly installed as favourites, which usually means they can be discounted immediately, but The xx’s hugely-acclaimed record may just still be under-the-radar enough to warrant it’s place at the top of the bookies list. Dizzee Rascal’s huge commercial success means he’s unlikely to be in the running this year despite the odds, though a nomination is well deserved.

Wild Beasts’ ‘Two Dancers’ imagination sets it apart from most of the other disposable indie records clogging the market at the moment and is a very worthy contender at 8/1. However, singer-songwriter Laura Marling is this writer’s pick for the award. Her beautifully crafted second album ‘I Speak Because I Can’ was an absolute certainty to be nominated, and deserves the wider recognition the award would bring. The record should tick all the judges’ boxes and at 6/1, looks a good pick to place a few hard-earned pennies on this year. Check out Laura’s appearance on Jools Holland performing her single ‘Devil’s Spoke‘ :

We Are Scientists have announced details of a new UK tour to commence on November 15th. The tour will visit major cities such as London, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester, and tickets go on sale from 9am this Friday (23rd). Full details can be found over on our Tickets page.

A piano from studio 3 in Abbey Road, used by The Beatles on their 1966 classic ‘Paperback Writer’, is expected to fetch over £150,000 when it is put up for auction – despite the piano being edited out of the track’s final mix. Speaking of the studio, Stephen Maycock of Bonham said: “Studio three was the smallest. The Beatles regularly used it, and we know they recorded certain songs there using the piano. It was also used by other bands, including Pink Floyd, and without its association with the studios it would be worth a very modest sum.”

Veteran crooner
Tom Jones has revealed he is set to work with The Killers, due to his association with the band’s home city Las Vegas. Jones told NME: “I’ve spoken to Brandon Flowers. He said he admired what I’d done in my career. There’s a connection there because he’s from Las Vegas, and of course I’ve performed there so many times over the years.”

Mystery Jets have said they believe The Libertines would have been better to leave their reunion plans alone for another ten years. They told XFM: “They were our band. We were 18 at the time and we lived in London. I think they need to wait another 10 years. I can’t wait for it to happen, but they’ve only been gone four years. It’s not enough, is it?”

The Vaselines have said ‘kids’ prefer Nirvana’s legendary covers of their tracks to their own original versions. Nirvana famously covered a selection of Vaselines songs for their brilliant MTV Unplugged performance in 1993, and Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines told The Guardian: “I think he liked the childlike simplicity of them. They weren’t trying to get a big message across, they were just simple, funny tunes that were maybe an antidote to the heavy, visceral rock stuff he was performing.”

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