Christmas morning, Rocks Off got to hear the new Gorillaz album, The Fall, recorded entirely on an iPad by leader Damon Albarn as the super-group made their way through the States on tour this past October.
Most every city on the run got a song dedicated to it, including Texas towns Houston, Dallas, and Amarillo. Our track is called "The Parish of Space Dust" and features samples from Country Legends 97.1 FM, including Glenn Campbell's "Wichita Lineman", their morning drive-time show, and other snippets.
The track was recorded as the band made their way into Houston from Minneapolis in October, and features space-centric lyrics and stuttering beats. It's in line with this year's Plastic Beach release, with a certain hint of "Herculean" from Albarn's other awakening project, The Good The Bad And The Queen.
If you remember, the show at Toyota Center was one of the best of the year, encompassing so many swatches of musical history, and including members of The Clash, Bobby Womack and De La Soul onstage in a constant cavalcade of punk, soul and hip-hop. It was hard not to be bowled over by the sheer sight of half The Clash, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, out front together on guitar and bass.
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The picture it paints of Houston is a of a city haunted by the space program's bygone era. We wonder what Albarn was seeing on the streets as the band pulled into downtown, and how that figured into the music.
Of the other two Texas songs, "The Snake In Dallas" has an Eastern bent to it, and "Amarillo" is the most dense, utilizing every tool in the iPad's vast musical toolbox. It sounds almost album-ready and fully realized, compared to the other Texas ones.
Our favorite cut so far is "Detroit", with its airy keys and drums, and plinks and plops.
You can hear and stream The Fall on the Gorillaz Web site, and if you are in the fan club, you can also download it. It has obviously hit all the pertinent torrent sites if you would like to snag it, fellow thieves.