Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Heavy Cross

Song: Heavy Cross
Artist: Gossip
Album: Music for Men

Here's one I've been eagerly waiting for. I've been a fan of Gossip (weren't they 'The' Gossip before?) for a while and was really digging their new more dance oriented sound. Well, since their last, the EXCELLENT "Standing in the Way of Control" the band signed to a major (Columbia) and got famed producer Rick Rubin to helm the record. I expected them to incorporate the more dance direction, but it's sort of like the new Yeah Yeah Yeah's... it's still very THEM. And honestly, I feel like they will just leave it up to the remixers.

Anyhow, only got to listen to it once but I like what I hear.

Gossip (formerly The Gossip) are a three-piece American indie rock band fronted by Beth Ditto.; the band was relatively unknown until they hit success with their third studio album, Standing in the Way of Control. Gossip's first UK TV appearance was on BBC1's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, where they performed "Standing in the Way of Control" to a studio audience. This led to many more TV appearances, including lead singer Beth Ditto being the host of channel4's The Friday Night Project, alongside Justin Lee Collins and Alan Carr.

Formation and early history

Performing at London Barfly, 16 May 2007

Gossip was formed in 1999 in Olympia, Washington with vocalist Beth Ditto, guitarist Brace Paine, and drummer Kathy Mendonca. In 1999 the Independent record label, K Records, released The Gossip's first recording, their eponymous debut EP, The Gossip in 1999.

Since the formation of the band, Ditto has been considered controversial by the mainstream for being open about her weight and homosexuality, and not holding back when it comes to discussing fellow musicians.

Their next release was their first album That's Not What I Heard and was released by the record label Kill Rock Stars on January 23, 2001. In between the release of their second album, they released the EP Arkansas Heat on May 7, 2002. Movement, the group's second studio album, followed one year later and was released on May 6, 2003. In November 2003, two months after the release of their first live album Undead in NYC on September 9, drummer Kathy Mendonca left the band to pursue a career as a midwife. Established punk drummer Hannah Blilie joined to replace her.

The first release featuring new drummer Hannah Blilie was the band's next album Standing in the Way of Control. It was released on January 24, 2006 on Kill Rock Stars and later on in 2006 on UK independent label Back Yard Recordings.

Mainstream success

The group's hit song "Standing in the Way of Control" was written by Ditto as a response to the then-American registration's unimplemented national legalization of same-sex marriage. "Nobody in the States was that surprised or shocked by what Bush did, but it made everyone I know feel helpless and cheated", Ditto commented. "I wrote the chorus to try and encourage people not to give up. It's a scary time for civil rights, but I really believe the only way to survive is to stick together and keep fighting.". A remix of the song (the Soulwax Nite version) also gained popularity in the UK when it featured in the advertising for the television programme Skins on Channel 4 in 2007. The album Standing in the Way of Control has since earned Gold Record Status in the UK.

Move to major label

As reported on Pitchfork in March 2007, the group have signed to Music With a Twist, a subsidiary of Sony Music Label Group, concentrating on LGBT music acts. Beth Ditto appeared nude on the front cover of the UK music magazine NME (cover dated June 2, 2007). During the summer of 2007, Gossip was a part of the multi-artist True Colors Tour 2007 [3], which traveled through 15 cities in the United States and Canada. The tour, sponsored by the Logo channel, began on June 8, 2007. Hosted by comedian Margaret Cho and headlined by Cyndi Lauper, the tour also included Debbie Harry, Erasure, Rufus Wainwright, The Dresden Dolls, The MisShapes, The Cliks and other special guests. Profits from the tour went to benefit the Human Rights Campaign.

Gossip are based in Portland, Oregon and have played with bands such as Sleater-Kinney, Le Tigre, CSS, Erase Errata, Mika Miko, Panther, Comanechi, and Mates of State. Furthermore, Gossip opened for the Scissor Sisters for three dates on their tour in November 2006, but in NME magazine singer Ditto complained that she disliked performing for an audience who didn't "know their Ramones."

On June 24, 2007 Gossip closed the Glastonbury Festival, playing the final set on the John Peel stage during which Ditto gave a tribute to the late John Peel. Gossip also performed the following year, on the pyramid stage.

Gossip launched the Live in Liverpool album in the UK and the US in April 2008. The album was produced by Rick Rubin. The album also features a DVD of their live performance. A new studio album called Music For Men will be released June 22, 2009.


Former members

Music for Men is the fourth studio album by the American garage rock band Gossip. It will be released on June 22, 2009 in the U.K. and digitally on June 23, 2009 in the U.S.

Track listing

  1. "Dimestore Diamond"
  2. "Heavy Cross"
  3. "8th Wonder"
  4. "Love Long Distance"
  5. "Pop Goes The World"
  6. "Vertical Rhythm"
  7. "Men in Love"
  8. "For Keeps"
  9. "2012"
  10. "Love and Let Love"
  11. "Four Letter Word"
  12. "Spare Me from the Mold"

Heavy Cross

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