Gorillaz at the SEC

Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s cartoon band Gorillaz is becoming less virtual all the time. I saw them play last night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on the Plastic Beach Tour, and there were plenty of live, warm bodies on stage.

It was an exceedingly fun show. “Fun” seems to be the main goal of mad pop genius Albarn, anyway. The band – with brass, strings, backup singers, and a rotating cast of rappers – all moved to his direction. Gorillaz have, over three albums now, always been a style stew. This translates really well live, as it keeps moving all over the place. Whatever happens this song, something very different will happen next. De La Soul, Bobby Womack, Little Dragon, and even the Syrian National Orchestra got in on the act.

What keeps it all together is the groove. And, of course, the non-stop video show going on behind the band, wherein the cartoon members play their important parts.

I could have done without “Superfast Jellyfish”, but the rest of the songs were great. “Stylo”, “D.A.R.E.”, and “Clint Eastwood” were really cool, but “Dirty Harry” ruled for its video of singalong kids.

Photo from evonndog via Creative Commons license

Gorillaz #1 album, new video AND YouTube’s biggest music video

From EMI Australia’s blog, The In Sound From Way Out:

Australia was the first country in the world to announce a #1 album for GorillazPlastic Beach. I think that’s because we have great taste!

Set to be the big single on the album according to numerous reviews, here’s a video for Superfast Jellyfish.

Okay, after repeated listens I like that song a bit better, but watching that video takes it right back to being ultra-stupid. However I don’t believe it’s the official video, just something by this guy that likes visually remixing Gorillaz stuff.

Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach: better than I thought

You can listen to a stream of the entire forthcoming Gorillaz album Plastic Beach on the Guardian’s website this week or as a mixtape on Soundcloud.

Last week I mentioned that I was unconvinced by first songs I’d heard. But listening to the whole thing sounds better. It’s funky and dense. It fits together very well. It grows. It’s not sounding killer to me yet, but it’s better than I’d feared. Go listen.

You can also watch the video for “Stylo” now, below, and it’s pretty cool. I’m still not crazy about this song, though, or “Superfast Jellyfish”. But second listens were better than first listens. And “Empire Ants” is fantastic.

New Gorillaz album soon: Plastic Beach

Everyone’s favourite cartoon band since Josie and the Pussycats, Gorillaz, are noodling their way back into our ears. Their upcoming album, Plastic Beach, hits stores on 8 March 2010.

You can listen to first single “Stylo” now on the band’s web page, and download it from iTunes. There are plenty of other tidbits there, too, including video and audio snippets.

I can’t say that I’m very fond of “Stylo” at this point. But both previous Gorillaz albums have been fantastic, so I have no reason to doubt that Damonthey’ll do it again.