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Music News: Apple Reveals the iPod Touch, Plus The Feeling, Klaxons, Madonna, The Perry Twins

Ipodtouch

GuestbloggerPlease welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning occasional music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.

Steve Jobs revealed the latest updates to Apple's iPod line at a press conference in San Francisco today. Despite insistent buzzing over the past week online, there was no surprise Madonna appearance at the event or unveiling of The Beatles' back catalog for the iTunes music store, although KT Tunstall performed live. Mostly the revelations stuck mainly to the MP3 player itself.

The big news is the all new 8mm thin iPod Touch, which will use the same interface as the iPhone (and has approximately the same size screen). "We think it's one of the seven wonders of the world," Jobs joked. The Touch player has Wi-Fi capabilities that allows users to now search for and download songs from the iTunes Wi-Fi music store. They've also struck up a deal with Starbucks to allow downloading and music discovery from their locations. The iPod Touch also features a Safari browser and YouTube channel.

The iPod Touch has a battery life of 22 hours and is available in 8 GB ($299) and 16 GB ($399) sizes. It ships to stores by the end of the month. iPhone users will also receive an update connecting them wirelessly to the iTunes store, and Apple has dropped the price point on the 8GB iPhone by $200, to $399.

road.jpg Klaxons have won England's Mercury Prize -- "Europe's top arts prize in terms of influence and media coverage." In the 15th year of the award, Klaxons beat out a list of nominees that included Amy Winehouse, Bat For Lashes, and Arctic Monkeys.

Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future [iTunes]

Thefeeling_3road.jpg They're not exactly covering James Blunt's new single, but The Feeling were recently posed with the task of choosing a song from the year 1973 to cover for a compilation celebrating the 40th anniversary of the BBC's Radio 1 station.

Forty artists were each given a year to choose a song from spanning across the station's time on the air. The Feeling's openly-gay frontman Dan Gillespie-Sells explained on the band's website why they picked Carly Simon's "You're So Vain": "When they gave us 1973, it was actually quite hard to pick a song that we wanted to do. There were obvious things like, 'Life On Mars' by David Bowie, but I thought we should do a song that was very unlike us. So eventually we went for the Carly Simon track. We recorded it down in the big country house where we were working on our new album. It started off as a late-night jam and eventually mutated into this weird version of the song. It doesn't really sound like us or the original...I really like it, but it's pretty bonkers too."

Other acts on the tribute set include Robbie Williams doing "Lola" by The Kinks, Amy Winehouse covering "Cupid" by Johnny Nash," Kylie Minogue taking on Roxy Music's "Love Is The Drug" and Natasha Bedingfield with her version of Madonna's "Ray Of Light."

Dapper Dan & Co. are certainly no strangers to doing tunes by other bands. Their cover of The Buggles' "Video Killed The Radio Star" -- which they used to perform at gigs in The Alps before getting signed -- appeared as a B-side on their European CD single for "Rosé". The group is even working with former Buggles singer-turned-mega-producer Trevor Horn in sessions for their sophomore album.

The double-disc Radio 1. Established 1967 will be available October 1 from Universal. [Full track list]

Ne_yoroad.jpg NEWS BITES: Being in a band is bad for you.

Princess of Monaco's daughter makes a cameo in Justice's VMA-nominated video for "D.A.N.C.E."

Whitney and Bobby's custody battle heating up.

Kelly Clarkson's tour is back on track.

Bernard Sumner on upcoming Joy Division biopic, Control: "We were more youthfully idiotic than that."

Ne-Yo doesn't wait around for Britney.

Courtney Love on reports she publicly bashed Amy Winehouse: "I keep my own counsel about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll and I do not judge others unless I know they are a danger to other people beloved in my own life."

20-year-old Eurythmics record inspired Darren Hayes to make his latest album.

Lily Allen curbs her enthusiasm.

After the jump - fake Madonna cover art, the soundtrack to the Mormon Men On A Mission calendar and the week's slim new releases.

road.jpg Nothing signals a new Madonna album barrelling down the tracks moreso than the slew of Photoshopped fan artwork passed off as the real thing. And blogger XOLondon has been having a field day warning M's followers of the chicanery amiss.

Here are some recent Madge-similes the D.C.-based blogger has picked up on:

Madge1 Madge2

This next one kinda takes the cake. You have to at least admire the enthusiasm (Incidentally, it was e-mailed out over the weekend to various websites by someone purporting to be Madonna's business partner, Guy Oseary):

Madge31_2

road.jpg There's a new YouTube video for the 2008 Men On A Mission calendar featuring former Mormon missionaries getting unbuttoned:

Doug and Derek Perry -- aka The Perry Twins -- are the ones behind "Activate My Body," the song you're hearing in the promotional clip. For singing chores, the Los Angeles-based gay brothers enlisted club belter Jania.

Perrytwins_3

And, really, it's all about the vocals, no?

road.jpg ManuchaoNEW RELEASES: (This week finds the calm before the storm, really, before the 50 Cent/Kanye West showdown on Tuesday.) U.K. hip-hop artist Just Jack's second album, Overtones, containing his collaboration with Kylie Minogue, "I Talk Too Much."

Latin alternative artist (and Coachella favorite) Manu Chao's first American studio release in six years, La Radiolina.

Patti Scialfa's Play It As It Lays, featuring her fellow E Street Band mates (including husband Bruce Springsteen).

High, the tenth studio album for British rockers New Model Army.

ToHeavenURide, a live album from Michelle Shocked.

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Comments

  1. Jobs wasn't joking with the "we think it's one of the seven wonders of the world" because he thinks he's God. But buy a clue, Your Holy Dimwittedness, even the list of new seven wonders of the world is filled. That would make your latest expensive toy for people who have too much time on their hands no lower than 8.

    And he "dropped" the price of the iPhone nearly 50% within months of rolling it out. That's not a drop that's a fire sale! Now aren't all of you who ignored experts' advice to "Wait" sorry you did?

    Posted by: Mother Teresa | Sep 5, 2007 3:48:05 PM


  2. "Savage" is a fantastic and vastly under heard/under appreciated album.

    Posted by: pablo | Sep 5, 2007 4:41:51 PM


  3. I was hoping for something more...creative with the new ipod. It precisely the same product as the iphone, with the phone functions removed. No developer's tools, still no bluetooth (which surprises me - unless I just can't find that info). And good lord, the new nano is a monster http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/specs.html#config

    Posted by: scientitian | Sep 5, 2007 4:49:18 PM


  4. Hey Rob, welcome back!
    I got the iPhone when it came out and it was awesome except that the phone sucked. I couldn't get any reception and I live in Manhattan. I ended up taking it back and paying the ridiculous restocking fee( but a cute Apple boy helped me with the return so it wasn't a complete loss). It's good they got rid of the phone and are offering the iPod and other cool features on a device.

    Posted by: Davey | Sep 5, 2007 4:50:32 PM


  5. Hey DAvey,

    Where do you live in Manhattan? I have an iPhone and get great reception everywhere. I dumped my T-mobile account for it, and the BlackBerry I had that sucked ass as a phone, and couldn't be happier. I don't think Jobs dropped the price on the iPhone because he was having a fire sale. Prices on tech come down all the time, and had the price remained where it was, sales of the iPod touch would have cannibalized sales of the iPhone. Implementing the price drop is a smart move financially and was built in to the manufacturing price when they introduced the product. I may sound like an Apple defender, but I have to say I haven't loved everything that Apple has made, but the iPhone is probably one of the smartest gadgets I've ever owned.

    Posted by: bart | Sep 5, 2007 5:02:26 PM


  6. It's not "approximately" the same screen as the iPhone. It is literally the same exact identical screen. Apple uses the same display component in the iPhone and iPod Touch.

    Posted by: Andrew | Sep 5, 2007 5:57:56 PM


  7. The iPod Touch is nice. Just what was expected, but nice nonetheless. The thing that gets me is that the iPhone's price has dropped $200! So all of those suckers who bought one right out of the gate just got royally screwed! That's totally mean-spirited. The folks over at Gizmodo.com are so pissed that they're screaming their heads off. Yikes!

    Posted by: damien | Sep 5, 2007 6:34:27 PM


  8. You missed the death of Carter Albrecht:

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/ent/stories/DN-albrecht_0905gl.State.Edition1.237cea9.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/05/us/05dallas.html?ref=us

    http://music.monstersandcritics.com/news/article_1351675.php/Edie_Brickell_&_New_Bohemians%92_keyboardist_shot_dead_in_Dallas

    Posted by: SC | Sep 5, 2007 6:51:41 PM


  9. BBC Radio 1 is the best radio station I've ever listened to. You can listen online for free on their website.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 5, 2007 7:34:10 PM


  10. I paid $599 for an iPhone the day it came out. They dropped the price almost three months later. Tech prices drop.

    It's commerce people. So what. Deal with it.

    And I'm still loving my iPhone.

    Posted by: drew | Sep 5, 2007 7:57:26 PM


  11. The iPod touch does NOT come in 80gb or 160gb. It's only 8gb or 16gb. The iPod classic comes in those larger sizes.

    I also love my iPhone, even though I paid more for it on day one. It works beautifully.

    Posted by: Stenar | Sep 5, 2007 8:33:56 PM


  12. Mother Teresa: No, I am not sorry that I ignored the advice of "experts" who predicted that the price of the iPhone would drop (anyone who has payed any attention whatsoever to technology in the last decade knew that it would - oh, also, NEWS FLASH: they're going to add more feautures to it and lower the price further within the next year!), because while you have apparently been sitting around for the last few months feeling smug and bitter, I have really been enjoying my iPhone. And so, Damien, I don't feel at all like a "sucker" who's been "royally screwed"; I feel like...well, like someone who's really been enjoying his iPhone for the last few months.

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Sep 5, 2007 9:18:35 PM


  13. re: joe 2. totally spot on. kinda sad that the capitalism game is how everybody now establishes their status as a "smart consumer". from real estate, to airline travel to the iPhone - the game is about "beating the system" by getting the dea that someone else didn't. fortunate here to buy whatever I want - so winning the "smart consumer" game is just another con played by those who don't have the financial capital to play - so they have to score by getting social capital.

    eh - the iPhone is great. does what I want, got it when I wanted - paid the asking price. if buying it cheaper makes you feel smarter than someone else, you've got some pretty low ego floor.

    Posted by: resurrect | Sep 5, 2007 11:26:14 PM


  14. I bought the iPhone when it came out, and am, for the most part, a very happy owner.

    But, even though I understand business, I still feel ripped off that the price drops so significantly on not even 90 days later.

    I would gladly accept $200 credit on iTunes for being an early adopter.

    Posted by: davitydave | Sep 5, 2007 11:38:09 PM


  15. omg. the iphone's the new razr. everyone and their uncle's gonna have one now. oh well, it was fun while it lasted. the new strings of ipod's are ho-hum and the colors are putrid.

    Posted by: sean | Sep 6, 2007 1:42:39 AM


  16. DavityDave, Mother Teresa, and Damien -

    I should clarify that I do, in a sense, feel ripped off - but no more so with the iPhone than with any other piece of computer equipment. I accepted, a number of years ago, the fact that within two weeks to six months after purchasing a new laptop, iPod, Treo, iPhone, camera, whatever, they're going to introduce a newer, better, cheaper or more-bang-for-the-buck version. It's about planned obsolescence, it's about them wanting you to constantly spend money, and it stinks; but if I choose to participate in the technological society in which we live, I'll always be behind the curve some of the time. Bitching about it and playing one-up with other people about who got what when and for how much is boring and a waste of energy. If I can afford it (and I am very grateful that I could afford an original iPhone), and if it's going to be functional and enjoyable, I buy it. Because if I waited until the price dropped, my I-got-a-deal high would only last a few months before my deal paled in comparison to someone else's. Who cares?

    Sean -

    Gag me. If having a piece of technology that few others have makes you feel good about yourself, you're an elitist fashion victim with low self-esteem. The iPhone is beautiful and does amazing things that save time and make life easier - I would love it if everyone who wanted one could have one.

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Sep 6, 2007 4:49:09 AM


  17. I bought an iPhone on the day they came out and I completely *love* it. In fact, I've never really liked cell phones all that much, but kept one for emergency purposes and convenience. But I'm addicted to the iPhone...it's like having a little Mac in my pocket at all times.

    As for smart phones, in the past, I bought a Blackberry and then a Treo. I returned both within a few days simply because the damn things didn't work well or were so complicated to figure out that they required a PhD in computer science. The iPhone was a breeze to operate right out of the box. And it's beautiful. And it's useful.

    I do have to say that I'm gnashing my teeth that they dropped the price so much so soon after the introduction, but I wouldn't trade the last three months of having a device that has made my life much easier for the $200 savings.

    And, no, MOTHER TERESA, the reduction in price does not represent a fire sale. In fact, the iPhone is the #1 selling smart phone in the U.S. Sorry, sugar. Try again.

    xo,
    peterparker

    Posted by: peterparker | Sep 6, 2007 7:48:50 AM


  18. Robbie...in every one of your installments, I've complained that you never mention cutting-edge, talented musicians but instead focus on the musical equivalent of Wonder Bread and SPAM...but in this installment, you FINALLY mention The Klaxons, a band worthy of print (and a band I've mentioned in my responses to your posts)...THANK YOU!

    xo,
    peterparker

    Posted by: peterparker | Sep 6, 2007 7:56:42 AM


  19. Bart- I am in the E 20's. I use to be with t-mobile too and then switched to AT&T which is definitely MUCH better with coverage but still my building is notorious for getting terrible reception and my Motorola is the only thing that I find gets me a few bars. I really wanted to keep the iPhone but after a few days I lost too many calls. The other thing that bugged me was when I would tap to listen to a friends voicemail, if I accidentally tapped twice it would call the person. I can't tell you how many times I had to talk to someone when I just wanted to hear their voicemail.

    Posted by: Davey | Sep 6, 2007 10:28:13 AM


  20. Participating in discourse isn't bitching.

    If I were bitching, it would look something like this:

    "F#*% you!"

    That's bitching.

    Posted by: davitydave | Sep 6, 2007 11:21:11 AM


  21. DavityDave,

    You are absolutely right; participation in discourse is not bitching. That portion of my post was in response to Mother Teresa and Damien, and I failed to make that distinction. Your comments were reasoned, civil, and respectful, and I apologize for neglecting that clarification.

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Sep 6, 2007 2:03:46 PM


  22. joe 2 good rationalization for pissing 2 bills down the crapper. "a fool and his money are...," well i'm sure you're well-familiar with the rest. no need to psychoanalyze me as i'm sure one of the primary reasons you plunked down $600 was your need to separate from the pack. rememb. you're running with the wolves here rabbit. and my shoes are very sensible indeed.

    Posted by: sean | Sep 6, 2007 2:59:50 PM


  23. Sean,

    Good luck with that eternal pissing contest. Hope that works out for you.

    G'night!

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Sep 6, 2007 3:37:54 PM


  24. Thanks, Joe 2. I really appreciate that.

    Posted by: davitydave | Sep 6, 2007 6:20:26 PM


  25. Thank YOU, DavityDave. I'm grateful that you pointed out my error, and am pleased that you accepted my apology and recognized its sincerity. Enjoy your iPhone (and the $100 store credit Apple is issuing us early purchasers!).

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Sep 6, 2007 10:29:59 PM


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