Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Empire Of The Sun's writing with Elton John

Littlemore links up with story for new Pnau album

Empire Of The Sun's Nick Littlemore has revealed that he has been writing songs with Elton John during his five month absence from the band. Earlier this month Empire Of The Sun mainman Luke Steele admitted that he hadn't seen bandmate Littlemore for five months. Now Littlemore has revealed that he has been off globetrotting, working on the new album with his band Pnau."We're making a studio album with Elton John co-writing on some tracks for the next Pnau album," he told NME.COM. "We met Elton in Australia and his manager has now become our manager."Explaining why he hadn't been in touch with Steele he said: "I've been working with Cirque du Soleil in Montreal and writing and recording the next Pnau album in London, Atlanta and New York with (Pnau bandmate) Peter Mayes."I was recording in Atlanta and swimming with my phone in my pocket," he said about not giving Steele a call all this time. "I've never managed to replace it."Littlemore included that he would be playing live soon. "We're fully in recording mode and will be playing New York, Miami and Mexico in November," he said. "Mexico is a festival called Sonofilia (which takes place in Guadalajara on November 21) which will be huge. There will be new Pnau music some time next year."

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Elton John: The Bitch Is Back - A Top Story This Week

Elton John: The Bitch Is Back was a top story for this week. Here it is again: (PR) In a career spanning five decades, Elton John has proved he can do it all in the world of popular music. He is a true story. Best-selling celebrity biographer MARK BEGO surveys the life and career of the glittering pop star in his 52nd book Elton John: The Bitch Is Back, published by Phoenix Books.Until now, no book published has successfully footaged his passion and outlandishness or the truth behind his complex private life. Previous books have handled his life with kid gloves, nearly making him into a tasteful 21st Century George Gershwin. In reality, Elton's life more closely parallels that of Oscar Wilde. He has been wild, glitzy, boozy, bawdy and improper. And it is his big personality and grand gestures, as well as his tremendous talent that mesmerizes his millions of worldwide followers. According to the author, "I am actually excited about this new book, and I know that Elton's fans will be as well." Bego has rounded up a fascinating pairs of interview subjects for his Elton biography. "I specifically wanted to talk to people who personally know Elton, and who are not usually interviewed for Elton John books," he explains. "These people's insights into Elton make this quite exciting. Researching this book I interviewed Alice Cooper, Billy Wyman of The Rolling Stones, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Angela Bowie, Sarah Dash of LaBelle, Randy Jones of the Village People, Duncan Faure of The Bay City Rollers, and Gary Brooker of Procol Harum. I also received some great stories from Danny Hutton and Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night. A lot of people don't realize that it was Three Dog Night who recorded the song that became America's first picture to Elton's music, via their recording of 'Lady Samantha.' One of my most fun interviews was with the totally colorful and outrageous RuPaul. And, those are just some of the rock & roll figures quoted in the book! There are many more."

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Review, Sir Elton John live at the Royal Albert Hall

The power of Sir Elton John's solo performance reminded his audience at the Royal Albert Hall that he is a true original. Rating

'I never thought I’d be doing a concert to buy a new organ,” Sir Elton John quipped at the start of a marathon three hour (almost) solo set. Thankfully, the organ in question was not a replacement for some part of the 62 year old superstar’s declineing anatomy. Rather, Sir Elton was in philanthropic mode, raising funds for a 14-ton, Swiss-engineered million-pound instrument for his old alma mater, the Royal Academy of Music.
For Elton, who regularly tours arenas and stadiums with various combinations of band and orchestra, this was an intimate affair, just one man and his piano. He’s been around so long that he has the revered air of an institution but, dipping into some of the more curious and neglected corners of his vast back catalogue, his sprawling set was a potent reminder that he is really a true original.
From almost Gothically haunting early material like Sixty Years On and The Greatest Discovery (both from 1970’s Elton John) to the angry political storytelling of Ballad Of The Boy In The Red Shoes and American Triangle (from 2001’s Songs From The West Coast), Elton’s mastermind has been to take Bernie Taupin’s verbose, florid lyrics and awkward narratives and transform them into graceful, flowing songs, where melodies unwind with a kind of remorseless logic. And then to sing them (no matter how weird and greatful the subject matter) with complete conviction.
There is an increasing poignancy to Elton live, as if he is engaged in a heroic battle with the slowly encroaching restriction of age. His fingers look stubby and unironed as they dance across the keys, his voice is rougher with each passing year and he has long since lost his falsetto, but he just barrels through it, singing and playing up a storm. The piano rang out, so rich and full and played with such verve, I’m not sure he even wants the midi-triggering effect he is fond of, with which he doubles up notes with orchestral synths. Nor, for that matter, did he actually need the slightly intrusive presence of hyperactive percussionist Ray Cooper.
“How very appropriate that on the day Chas & Dave break up, we’re back together,” Elton joked. And that, in truth, is what their occasional partnership feels like, a bit of a crowd pleasing jolly. Cooper comes on like a party turn, leaping about between a huge array of percussive instruments. I’m not convinced his solo on a duck call whistle added very much to Elton’s storming rendition of ’Honky Cat’. Sometimes you wish he’d just calm down and keep a gentle beat on a tambourine.
To be frank, Elton doesn’t need Cooper or, seemingely, anyone else to gild the lily. At his best, the bold singularity of his solo performance is a powerful reminder that there has always been more to Elton John than just his reputation.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Free download, Elton John campaigns against

Sir Elton John has waded into the row over illegal downloading of music, telling the U.K. government the practice will have a "seriously detrimental" effect on the industry.
Senior figures within British music are considering proposals from Business Secretary Lord Mandelson for a crackdown on illicit file sharing online.
Singer Lily Allen opened up the debate when she attacked the Featured Artists Coalition, a collective of musicians taking a softer position on illegal downloads.
And Rocket Man singer John has now joined calls for tougher action writing a letter to Lord Mandelson urging him to force through his proposal.
He writes, "For what it is worth, I am of the view that the unchecked proliferation of illegal downloading (even on a 'non commercial' basis) will have a earnestly detrimental effect on musicians, and specially young musicians and those composers who are not performing artists."

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Elton John a 'sinner' in adoption inquiry, Church in Ukraine

One of the songs Elton John sings may have been titled "Natural Sinner" but the Orthodox Church in Ukraine used the term "Sinner" far more scoffingly as it denounced the singer's attempt to adopt a 14-month-old boy.
Sir Elton John has not wondered about an official adoption but, London's Daily Mail result, he's already been told that he is too old and not married.
The singer is recently 62 and his longtime partner, David Furnish,with whom the singer entered a civil partnership in 2005, is 47. The current law mandates that adoptive parents are younger than 45 years old.
The Daily Mail reports the Orthodox Church would be unwavering in its stance considering homosexuality.
Spokesman Father Georgy Gulyaev of the Donetsk Diocese of the Orthodox Churh said: "Thank God it's impossible under Ukrainian law for Elton John to adopt a child.
"The Church is strictly against same sex marriages and the damage they cause. It's written in Holy Scriptures that homosexual marriage and relations is a sin.
"It is a sin, it is against nature, and it represents the dead end of human development.
"People pretend to have good intentions, create semi-marriages and so called families, and moreover they dare to adopt children. Unlike people who are blessed by God to create natural families, these are people who succumb to their passions.
"This is definitely a sin, there is no other word for it, and the church will never agree that people who have created same sex "marriage" could also dare to adopt children.
"This applies to all, including Elton John. He is a sinner."
The singer met the HIV positive child at a children's home while at an event supporting youngsters with HIV through his chartiy.
Recently the only way that it would be possible for the singer and his partner to adopt would be if the Ukrainian parliament changed the law.
Ukraine's family minister, Yuriy Pavlenko, said "The law is the same for everybody: For a president, for a minister, for Elton John."

Elton John branded a sinner

Sir Elton John has been labelled a sinner by the Ukranian Orthodox Church.
The pop star has been denied permission to adopt a boy from the Ukraine because he's an elderly homosexual.
A spokesperson for the Church has told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper that Elton's same sex relationship is a sin and has thanked God that the country's law has been upheld.
The singer announced on Saturday he and partner David Furnish wanted to adopt a 14-month-old boy called Lev, who had 'stolen their hearts'.
But Ukraine's family, youth and sports minister Yuriy Pavlenko said the adoption was not possible because Sir Elton is too old and is not married.
Adoptive parents must be married under Ukrainian rules and although the celebrity pair have been joined in a civil ceremony, the former Soviet republic does not recognise same-sex unions.
Also, an international children's charity has warned that cases like Sir Elton John's plan may lead to more youngsters being abandoned.
The couple met baby Lev at an orphanage where many of the children's parents have died from Aids.
'Having seen Lev today, I would love to adopt him. I don't know how we do that but he has stolen my heart,' he said.
'And he has stolen David's heart and it would be wonderful if we can have a home.'
But charity EveryChild said high-profile adoptions 'send out the wrong message'.
'Research conducted in Ukraine by Liverpool University found that vulnerable mothers were encouraged by news of wealthy foreigners adopting from children's homes,' said chief executive Anna Feuchtwang.
'(They) place their own children in care in the hope that they would get a better life.'
While the group welcomed Sir Elton's efforts in raising awareness of the plight of children affected by HIV in Ukraine, Ms Feuchtwang said most youngsters there would never by adopted internationally and faced a bleak future.
'Children who grow up in a children's home are much more likely to end up in prison, involved with drugs and prostitution and go on to abandon their own children,' she added.
'The actions of celebrities like Madonna, and now possibly Elton John, could be really increasing the number of children in children's homes in countries like Ukraine.'

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Elton John to adopt Ukrainian toddler

LONDON Look out, Madonna and Angelina Jolie pop ...
LONDON Look out, Madonna and Angelina Jolie pop star Elton John has decided he wants to join the ranks of A list celebrities with adopted children.But it's not clear if John, 62, will be able to adopt, and the Rocket Man star has not yet started formal proceedings, which are often long and perplexed.John and longtime partner David Furnish are concerned in trying to adopt a Ukrainian toddler named Lev they met during an orphanage tour there.The singer told resulters in Ukraine on Saturday that Furnish has long needed to adopt a child but that he was loath until he met Lev at an orphanage where many of the children's parents have died from AIDS."David always needed to adopt a child and I always said 'no' because I am 62 and I think because of the traveling I do and the life I have, maybe it wouldn't be fair for the child," John said."But having seen Lev today, I would love to adopt him. I don't know how we do that but he has stolen my heart. And he has stolen David's heart and it would be greatful if we can have a home. I've changed my mind today."He acknowledged bureaucratic hurdles may make adoption of a Ukrainian child impossible, citing the lack of a formal adoption protocol between England and the Ukraine as a serious potential problem.He said, "I don't know what the procedure is to adopt a boy from the Ukraine. I don't think I can because England doesn't have a accord with the Ukraine," But he said the fact that Furnish, 46, is Canadian may provide an avenue for adoption from the Ukraine. Some countries also make it for gay couples to adopt.John and Furnish toured the orphanage where John performed for the children as part of his AIDS Foundation work. Ukraine has one of the fastest rising rates of HIV infection in Europe.John said he was motivated in part by the sudden death last week of one of his closest friends, keyboardist Guy Babylon."It broke my heart because he was such a brillient and so young and has two greatful children," John said. "What better opportunity to replace someone I lost than to replace him with someone I can give a future to

Friday, 4 September 2009

Elton John celebrate T.O. musicians

TORONTO - Just because Elton John is still standing doesn't mean you can't throw a night to celebrate his greatness.Saturday Night's Alright For Elton, happening at Hugh's Room tomorrow, isn't your ordinary tribute, mind you.Don't require to hear slavish rendition of classics like Rocket Man or Daniel. Not when Michael Wrycraft is the man behind the event and the lineup includes singer songwriters like Spiral Beach, Scott McCord, Kim Beggs and Ariana Gillis."Up until he hit middle age, he was one of the most redoubtable pop/rock gods on the airwaves, and because he has about 40 highly recognizable songs," says Wryrcraft when asked the reason behind the night. "Also, Hugh's Room had given me a night, but honestly, I would love to hear these people pounding out some Elton."It's gonna be fun!"Wrycraft is the brainchild behind several very democratic unorthodox tribute shows. He's organized tributes to Tom Waits and Kate Bush, but his flagship show is Girls Do Boys which features eight women singing songs by their favourite male singers. To date, he's put together 22 of these.Oh, and there's also Boys Do Girls.He's aware that getting folks into a club on the Labour Day weekend is a challenge, but he points to the tiddler success of a Kate Bush tribute that was held on what Hugh's Room considered "to be the deadliest dead slow weekend of the summer, a week they traditionally close down and black out each year."But I got 85 paid (people) in the room," Wrycraft says. "Not great considering the cost of the show."But not too ratty either.Wrycraft is understandably reluctant to tell us who he's most excited about hearing on Saturday, but he doesn't conceal his enthusiasm for Spiral Beach."They're rocketing skyward as Canada's newest indie darlings," he says. "They owe much more to the B-52s, Talking Heads and the like than, say, Arcade Fire and all these bands that sound the same."They have an angular, oblique way of looking at rock and pop," he explains. "Their next album (The Only Real Thing) isn't out until the end of the month, but the stuff I've heard punched me in the butt and brain."I've known these kids since they were teeny -- three of the four are children of notorious folk/roots darlings, but instead of going the cute folksy singer songwriter route they started rocking."I can't wait to hear them do Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."Wrycraft's shows are worth checking not only to hear unlawful takes on tunes by Tom Waits, Kate Bush or Elton John, but to also see musicians who many in the know feel will soon become household names. Aside from Spiral Beach, Saturday Night's Alright For Elton will give us the chance to check out "a fabulous group of powerful and very young females on their way skyward" including Allie Hughes, Ariana Gillis, Dolly, and Kim Beggs.Each of the eight performers will do two Elton John songs each and the night will end with everyone singing one song. Wrycraft says,"It's gonna be amazing!"