Friday, November 30, 2007

1234 (Van She Tech Remix)

Song: 1234 (Van She Tech Remix)
Artist: Feist
Album: 1234 Single

I guess I’ve just been in a dance kind of mood. I’ve been searching out some new artists, some remixes… you can really get lost in the blog-o-sphere. I recently realized that one pretty notable release from this year that I didn’t highlight was Feist’s “The Reminder.” At the time of it’s release and subsequently afterward I didn’t think to blog about it because… well I didn’t really like it.

I absolutely loved Feist’s most popular single, “Mushaboom” but the album in which it came, “Let it Die” left me underwhelmed. “The Reminder” was no different, just nothing that really grabbed me. But I must admit that I really did love her first single, iPod commercial track “1234.” The video was fun, (like “Mushaboom”) and it had a breezy-bouncy fun vibe that I enjoyed throughout the summer. I recently found this remix by Van She which brings it to the dance floor. Check out the original version in the video below.

“The Reminder” has certainly been a hit though, hitting the Starbuck’s sippin’ ageing hipster set. Go Feist!




Thursday, November 29, 2007

Flux (12" Version)

Song: Flux (12" Version)
Artist: Bloc Party
Album: Flux Single

I’m not sure why, but I had gotten the impression that Bloc Party’s sophomore album “A Weekend in the City” was sort of overlooked, and possibly considered a disappointment. When their debut, “Silent Alarm” came out in early 2005 they were the next big thing (and riding the disco-rock wave) and sold a very solid million + records. While not as much, “Weekend” still has had sales of over 800,000 worldwide, which is absolutely nothing to sneeze at.

I sure didn’t listen to “Weekend” as much as I had “Silent Alarm,” but I think I am more to blame for this than the band. Despite only releasing one album, fans quickly put together a collection of “Weekend” b-sides that were incredibly strong, though very same-sounding as the tracks on the official album. While I did think it was an accomplished work and suitable follow up, I think it was just too much at one time, as I was listening to all the tracks at one time, and sort of had the same effect that the Chili Peppers latest double album did… I was too overwhelmed to take it all on.

So I recently found out that the band recorded a new single, “Flux,” and released it digitally. Like the post “Silent Alarm” single “Two More Years,” they have added “Flux” to a “Weekend in the City” deluxe edition, incorporating it into the official track list vs. just as a bonus track. Honestly, these type of things drive me crazy because it’s usually just a way for a band to get their obsessive fans to buy an album twice. Though with record sales declining as they have… I guess you just do what works.

What I am happy to report, is that “Flux” is pretty awesome… and shows what could be a new direction fro the band. It certainly sounds like a Bloc Party song, though this is the most overtly dance track they’ve done that wasn’t a remix. It starts with a familiar Bloc Party like beat, though more intense. Strange whooshing slashing noises pick up, and then a Gorgio Moroder style beat kicks in pushing things forward. Lyrically again it is very Bloc Party, with a plea for understanding in these uncertain times. I do not think it fits into “Weekend” like “Two More Years” fit into “Silent Alarm” but I am interested in the possible new direction.

After Madonna and Seal’s future-disco makeovers, could Bloc Party be next? Consider me listening! I dig the longer, more dramatic 12” mix of the track as it has more time to build and get where it goes. Single edit can be found in the video below.


Video for “Flux”

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Out of Touch (12" Arthur Baker Remix)

Song: Out of Touch (12" Arthur Baker Remix)
Artist: Hall & Oates
Album: Big Bam Boom


Hall and Oats were actually pretty cool...

Comment below.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Song: Tender
Artist: Blur
Album: 13

Yesterday I went to see Richard Kelly’s new film “Southland Tales,” a real dozy of an apocalyptic comedy that could be described as sprawling, confusing, hysterical, and maybe a bit of a mess. I was a fan of Kelly’s debut feature “Donnie Darko” which got as much praise as “Tales” has gotten bile spit about it. The film had a now legendary negative reception at the Cannes film festival in 2006, but has only recently been released here and around the world.

The film is set in the near future mostly in Los Angeles where World War 3 has recently broken out and a popular action star has awoken with amnesia. He somehow shacks up with a former porn star and writes a screenplay about an actor involved in the end of the world. I could try to write out a full summary of the film but it’s one of those that you’d begin to actually just tell the story… and realize that you’re not even a quarter through and have already said way too much. Basically, it’s a black comedy about the United States headed toward war and a comment on the way terror is introduced through the media. (Much of the film is comprised of faux news footage that looks like a trumped-up version of Fox News.)

Take a look at the trailer and you’ll see what “sprawling” means…

As with “Donnie Darko,” Kelly infuses a lot of interesting music into the picture, and this time even had Moby do the entire score. The soundtrack also features the Pixies, Elbow, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Oddly, the soundtrack excludes The Killers’ “All These That I’ve Done” which is lip-synced by Justin Timberlake’s character in an odd (and not entirely necessary) musical dance number set in an arcade, as well as the closing credits track, “Tender” by Blur.

I specifically thought “Tender” was a great way to end the picture, giving the film some hope that I didn’t think was very evident in the final scenes. “Tender” is from Blur’s 6th album “13” from 1999. Blur is an amazing band from the U.K. that started out as a Brit-pop band (famously competing and feuding with Oasis) but had with their last three albums (including “13”) began to experiment with their sound and approach. “Tender” starts “13,” a sprawling (why can’t I shake that word?) love ballad that grows in intensity with a full choir. It was an odd choice for a first single, and didn’t do so well on the charts in the U.K. (forget about the States) though subsequent singles off the record did better.

I highly recommend “13,” and will also say go see “Southland Tales.” If you liked the tone of “Donnie Darko” and the semi sci-fi aspects of that film you’ll see the similarities. It certainly is flawed, but not without it’s merits. You won’t be bored… but you also might not know what the heck is going on either.


“Tender” Video

Also off “13:” “Coffee and TV”

Monday, November 26, 2007

In My Arms

Song: In My Arms
Artist: Kylie Minogue
Album: X

Today sees the release of Kylie Minogue’s tenth studio album “X,” her first since being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the record since it was announced as I’ve become quite the fan of the Australian dance-pop artist based on her last three albums, “Light Years,” “Fever,” and “Body Language.” Kylie is “Madonna-huge” just about everywhere else in the world except the States where she’s pretty much only remembered from her 1987 hit “The Locomotion” as well as her biggest hit to date, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” Since “X” is out in the U.K. today but won’t see a release here until February of next year, it’s safe to say that she’s not making the U.S. a priority, and honestly… given our reception to her, who can blame her?

Like the latest Britney release, Kylie worked with a slew of up and coming (as well as established) producers and did a load of tracks and whittled them down to the thirteen that make up “X.” Also like Britney, many of these songs leaked online early with as much as an albums worth available way back in July. Online fans put together an unofficial “pre-release” track listing along with cover art. I’ve been hooked on it since it came out, only adding to my anticipation of the full record. It was a surprise to find out that only four of those tracks would make it to the final album, but now that I’ve had a chance to listen to the official record, I see the vast amount of quality tunes she in fact was working with.

While I had fun sifting through the leaked demos Britney had with her album (close to thirty) it is no surprise to me that Kylie’s are on another level altogether. I have been really digging “Excuse My French” and “In The Mood For Love” from the early leaked material and were surprised they didn’t make the final cut, but it’s only since I’ve gotten to hear some of the recently released official b-sides that will be used for various editions and for singles that it becomes apparent that Kylie was striving for something really current and special. Of the thirty-some new tracks there are honestly none that I dislike… it certainly could have been a double album, though I think it is wise she’s gone this route.

So how is the actual album? Well… it’s pretty great. First single “2 Hearts” hasn’t become the mega-hit that was probably expected, but Kylie certainly didn’t go “safe” for the first single. I really like it’s glam-rock vibe and have been enjoying it since it was released. There is a fair amount of killer dance tracks including “Like a Drug,” “Speakerphone,” and “Wow” that are what you’d expect from a Kylie album. “Sensitized” has been disappointing bloggers since it was leaked as many had high hopes for a new collaboration from the “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” duo of Guy Chambers and Cathy Dennis, and while it’s certainly not the mind-numbing catchiness of that megahit, it’s grown on me and works within the context of the record quite well.

I was eagerly awaiting the Calvin Harris produced track “Heart Beat Rock” and must admit it falls a bit short of the best stuff on his record, but is not bad by stretch. The highlights for me start first and foremost with “In My Arms” which is destined to be a huge hit overseas. Since it was leaked in July I have not been able to stop listening to it and think it is on par with “I Believe in You” as what will in the long run be considered “classic Kylie.” It is unbelievably catchy and fun but also really shows off why Kylie IS Kylie… her angelic voice wraps around the chorus giving the semi-tossed off lyrics some actual weight. It’s amazing. “The One” is so far the other album highlight to me, a glorious 80’s synth-pop mid-tempo ballad that again finds Kylie doing what she does best, singing about love and finding herself awash in shimmering electro-pop bliss. My description is flowery… but candy never tasted this good.

In the age of the iPod and internet leaks we music fans find ourselves with access we’ve never had before. On one hand, I absolutely love being able to see part of the process, listening to everything and debating what should have made the album and what would have been better left off. And while I have sat down and listened to the album from start to finish, I have also been throwing in the other tracks I like that didn’t make it. Digital music put the listener in control, making the record that THEY want to hear. Does it cheapen the process or the album as art? I’m not sure. But I suppose when you’re working with a slew of producers and trying many different things to see what sticks it’s not an album you’re making… it’s a collection. And while I still don’t understand how all of these non-album tracks found their way to the public I wonder if Kylie realizes this and is letting the fans do what they wish by making the Kylie record that fits them best. Which given the final product of “X,” it seems like exactly what Kylie was shooting for.


Monday, November 19, 2007


Song: Weirdo
Artist: The Charlatans UK
Album: Between 10th and 11th

Sometimes I just can’t keep up… there aren’t enough hours in the day, and more so… there is just TOO much out there. I’m talking about music in general, and specifically The Charlatans UK, a band that had a few alt-rock hits back 1992 here in the U.S. I got their record (which was their second) entitled “Between 10th and 11th,” and enjoyed their particular brand of Brit-pop. This was, of course, before the HUGE explosion of Brit-pop that happened with the war of Oasis vs. Blur, though unfortunately here, The Charlatans (whom add UK here for legal reasons as there is another group with the same name here in the States) did not achieve their level of success.

I began thinking about how I just literally can’t keep up when I recently discovered that it was The Charlatans UK that wrote and initially recorded “The Only One I Know,” the song that Robbie Williams performs on Mark Ronson’s album “Version.” When I began to do a little research (which is infinitely easier with the internet, which wasn’t around when I fist listened to the band) I found that “The Only One I Know” came from their debut album “Some Friendly” back in 1990 and that the band recently released their ninth (NINTH!) album last year. Where have I been? How did I miss this? Not to mention… according to their Wikipedia page, “Between 10th and 11th”was “poorly received.” Oh well… it’s how I heard of them, and I like it.

Because of all this I pulled out my CD of “Between 10th and 11th” and took a re-listen. “Weirdo,” the song that introduced me to the band still bristles, and “Can’t Even Be Bothered” reminds me a touch of the new Radiohead album. Crazy.

But once again, I am overwhelmed by how much this band has done… and yet I didn’t even know they were still at it. Once realizing that “The Only One I Know” was theirs, I was immediately interested in hearing more from the band yet with EIGHT records I’m not familiar with, I think I just need to let it be.



The Only One I Know

The Only One I Know – Mark Ronson version with Robbie Williams

Not the actual video, just a montage fans made. The internet is truly crazy.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Song: Fairplay
Artist: Soul II Soul
Album: Club Classics Vol. One

Golly… remember Soul II Soul? Back in 1989 the UK based dance outfit scored two huge hits in the U.S. with “Keep On Movin’” and “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me?)” Both tracks were on their boldly titled debut “Club Classics Vol. One.” The band subsequently released all of their future albums as volumes, their sophomore titled “Vol. II: 1990 A New Decade” and their third, “Just Right: Vol. III.” They got their start as DJ’s at house and street parties until they recorded “Fairplay,” a groovy number with vocals by Caron Wheeler (who also sang on their two aforementioned U.S. hits.) The song secured their deal with Virgin Records.

While the band only enjoyed success with “Movin’” and “Life” here in the U.S., they had continued singles in the U.K. from this album, as well as on their subsequent releases. And while these were not Hot 100 singles in the U.S., many did well on the U.S. R&B and Dance charts. But also, with the re-emergence of club culture in the late 80’s and 90’s, many of the album tracks that were not officially released as singles received a lot of club play. Maybe that album title wasn’t as over confident as it seemed.

While I do think this stage in dance music sounds a bit dated now, and you can only really play their two hits (as well as ANY Blackbox) with a bit of irony, I think “Fairplay” still has legs. It’s probably most due to the fact that it was not a hit here so nobody knows it, but it works in today’s loungy vibe that you’ll hear at many scenester places here in the city.

I also just want to briefly note that all of their hits were produced by Nellee Hooper, who really established a name for himself with this album. He went on to score major hits both commercially and critically for Bjork, Janet Jackson, Madonna, U2, Massive Attack, No Doubt, Gwen Stefani, Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins… AND he also did his first film score with “Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.”



Keep On Movin’

Back To Life

Get a Life

I actually own Vol II: 1990 A New Decade, got it back in the day and always liked it. And always thought this song should have been a hit. Maybe it was the screaming children chorus… I don’t know.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Song: Overpowered
Artist: Róisín Murphy
Album: Overpowered

While I’ve pretty much always been a fan of dance songs, the dance-pop ALBUM was (and is) a rare thing indeed. For the most part, since the dance charts and club music are mainly single driven… artists usually have a single or two they release, and if there is a full album to put out, there is a bunch of filler. There has of course been exceptions to this; with artists such as The Beat releasing full concept dance albums like their 80’s debut “I Just Can’t Stop It,” and you could also argue that ALL of Madonna’s albums follow this path… as well as the Pet Shop Boys & Erasure.

After the explosion of electronica early in the millennium, the idea of the dance artist changed. After the hedonism of the disco era, and the subsequent “disco is dead” abolishment of the genre, this new generation was taking elements of disco, new beats, and called it “techno” or “electronica.” While you can see the progression of dance music and beats over time, the media touted this “new” genre as the next big thing… but it didn’t totally take off, at least not in the mainstream. BUT, you can certainly see the influence of this genre in today’s more popular mainstream artists. (See Kanye’s Daft Punk biting “Stronger.”)

In recent years, there have been a handful of really killer straight up dance albums that have been released. Everything But the Girl’s last two albums were glorious start to finish dance albums with actual SONGS. More recently we’re had Madonna’s recent dance triumph “Confessions on a Dancefloor” and Goldfrapp’s “Supernature.” I mention these because I find a good solid dance album a hard thing to find indeed.

Possibly due to these recent well crafted dance albums, Róisín Murphy steps up her game with her sophomore solo album “Overpowered.”

Róisín Murphy is an Irish singer-songwriter that got her start when she met producer/musician Mark Brydon and started the electronic-pop duo Moloko. While also maintaining a romantic relationship, they recorded three albums, and ended the group along with their affair. Moloko was best known for their semi-hit “The Time is Now.”

Murphy had been contributing vocals to a slew of dance tracks for other artists, and in 2004 she hooked up with producer Matthew Herbert and crafted her solo debut, “Ruby Blue.” It didn’t make a huge splash, and while she was getting some buzz for it, I didn’t really care for it. In July, Murphy released “Overpowered,” a strong collection of loungy-upbeat dance songs. It strives for the complexities of aforementioned “Everything But the Girl” records, and while I don’t find quite as successful, it is still a strong collection, and one that is growing on me, and the reception has been .

The singles for the album have been more successful worldwide than the tracks from “Ruby Blue,” she may be one to watch. “Overpowered” at times sounds a bit like faceless lounge music to me. But, I think that aspect is entirely dependant on personal taste. I like my dance music to have a little more bite, but even all that said, Murphy is doing some interesting stuff here. I recommend a full listen if this type of music is your bag.



“Let Me Know”

A little Lisa Stansfield right?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let's Make This Precious

Song: Let's Make This Precious
Artist: Dexys Midnight Runners
Album: Too-Rye-Ay (Expanded)

Often times, when we consider a band a one hit wonder, they had “one hit” by revisionist history standards, not conventional. What I mean by this is that while you may think of Soft Cell as a one hot wonder (of “Tainted Love’ fame) they in fact had eight top forty hits in the UK. Usually a band is able to chart, and therefore have a “hit” with a follow up single to a massive song, but if it not remotely as successful as the big “hit,” despite landing in the top 40, it doesn’t somehow count. (Mainly because nobody remembers the other song.)

Birmingham, England’s Dexys Midnight Runners are certainly within this group of one hit wonders that never came close to matching the success of their massive hit “Come on Eileen.” Their follow up single, “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)” went to number five in the UK, but I sure as heck don’t think I’ve ever heard it. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’d ever heard anything from the band other than “Come on Eileen,” which I think I have heard maybe four to five hundred times. Until now…

My writing about an obscure Dexys Midnight Runners song isn’t exactly totally random. I’m a fan of Q Magazine, sort of the British Rolling Stone, and they have a feature in the front of every monthly issue in which they name fifty songs to download that month. Mostly they are new tracks from upcoming records or recently released records, but sometimes they highlight something seemingly out of nowhere, as it may someone be linked to something new or a current hit. Or… as in the case of “Let’s Make This Precious,” they happened to be hocking a reissue of the album, so the inclusion was most likely at the request of some publicity person at Mercury/Universal.

Beyond this not very random “random” inclusion… I accidentally bought the song off iTunes when I went and decided I wanted to hear what the song was like after reading it in the fifty essential tracks list. This hasn’t happened to me before… as they have the safeguard pop-up window that asks “are you totally sure you want to buy this?” But I happened to hit return twice and thusly.. now own the track.

Regardless of the road it took to my music library, “Let’s Make This Precious” is actually a pretty cool song. Again, I haven’t heard anything else off the album, but this makes me want to hear the rest. (Q also gave the reissue a four out of five star review.) It keeps in line with the Irish ska-lite of “Eileen” though less like an anthem. Lead “Runner” Kevin Rowland certainly had had an already tumultuous time with the band, as he remained the only consistent member for three complete line-up changes before they scored big with “Eileen.” He also made the career-suicide decision to release a single-free concept album as the follow up to “Too-Rye-Ay,” ugh… these artists!

As a DJ, I have used “Come on Eileen” as a party saver in time of need, and many times over in fact… despite its over-saturation just about everywhere. Like “My Sharona” or even “Tainted Love,” it’s been played and played and played out but yet in the right context (and enough booze) it can create a sing-a-long situation that always is remembered fondly the next day.


Come on Eileen


Not sure what this is… but it’s not altogether a “tribute”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Song: Boring
Artist: The Pierces
Album: Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge

The Pierces are a New York City based sister singer-songwriter team from Birmingham Alabama. I hadn’t been familiar with their work before, but had gotten their third full-length album, “Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge” a while back and just got around to listening to it.

The album is a pleasantly quirky collection of cutesy-sadistic pop folk songs. The standout track, thus far in my listening, is the glamorously lifeless “Boring.” An obvious slam at the Hilton/Lohman/Spears nightlife obsessed apathy of the ridiculously rich. Some of the lines are absolutely hysterical… delivered in a bored and detached monotone; “Sexy boy, girl on girl, manage trios… boring” and “Marijuana, cocaine, heroin… boring.” It’s a great song.

It seems the girls really took a serious stab at pop here with this album, possibly to expand their audience… While “Boring” apparently made a minor splash (though I had never heard it) they didn’t blow up in say, the way Tegan & Sara did with their indie-pop stab “So Jealous.” But I think their record is interesting… and deserves a second look.


Video for “Boring”

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm Still in Love (12 inch mix)

Song: I'm Still in Love (12 inch mix)
Artist: Marcia Aitken
Album: Jonny Greenwood is the Controller

In between finishing Radiohead’s latest album “In Rainbows” and scoring the new Paul Thomas Anderson film “There Will Be Blood,” Jonny Greenwood put together a dub reggae collection entitled “Jonny Greenwood is the Controller.” It seems a bit out of nowhere… as reggae is one of the last genre’s I think of when discussing Radiohead, and while I have not heard any of Jonny’s solo stuff, I don’t believe this is the kind of music the man makes at all. But he’s a fan.

“Jonny Greenwood is the Controller” was released in march of this year and compiles seventeen tracks, almost seventy minutes worth of music, hand-picked by Greenwood from Trojan Records, a UK label founded in the late 60’s that specialized in reggae, ska, and dub. It’s a great collection, all the tracks have a similar vibe and it’s perfect for a little chill out and/or lazy afternoon.

I am not very familiar with this genre, but this collection seems top quality. Some of the participating acts are familiar by name, even though I am unfamiliar with their music. I really loved the lazy sweetness of Marcia Aitken’s “I’m Still in Love,” a track that stood out to me from first listen. Ironically, I recently was given Fatboy Slim’s latest “release,” his volume for the Late Night Tales series, and he includes the song (though in a shorter version named “Three Piece Suit” by Trinity.)


Friday, November 09, 2007

Let Me Think About It

Song: Let Me Think About It
Artist: Ida Corr vs. Fedde Le Grand
Album: Let Me Think About It (Single)

In the spirit of the “instant” abilities of the Internet, I am going to write about a song I didn’t know until exactly fifteen minutes ago. Last night I got to see my best friend Heather after her trip to Paris, London, and Oxford and knowing I am a huge music head, she got me some killer CD’s! One of them was a dance track she heard in a club in London and thought I’d dig it. “Let Me Think About It” is the brand new single from Danish singer Ida Corr and her second collaboration with Dutch DJ Fedde Le Grand. I usually like to give myself some time with music before I formulate an opinion, let alone write about it, but the song is instantly fun, so I am going with it.

I’d never heard of Ida Corr, but she first made a splash on the scene with her album “Streetdiva” from 2005. It made her a star in Denmark and lead to her work with Fedde Le Grand. Their first collaboration, “Mirror 07.07.07” was played at this summer’s Live Earth concert at exactly seven minutes past the seventh hour of the seventh day of the seventh month of 2007. Goofy concept or not, she now has a hot dance career on the way.

Fedde Le Grand got his huge break when his song “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit” was officially donned the “#1 Summer Anthem of Ibiza” in 2006. I don’t know who is in charge of these things, but it makes me want to start donning songs with my own awards.

So let’s make it official, Ida Corr & Fedde Le Grand’s “Let Me Think About It” is the number one WeCastMusic track to be blogged within moments of its first listen. There you go. Congratulations girl.


Video for Let Me Think About It (Radio Edit)

Her first collaboration with Fedde le Grand “Mirror 07.07.07”

Not a video, just the track

“Lonely Girl” from her debut album “Streetdiva”

Fedde Le Grand’s big hit “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit”

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Nightless Night

Song: Nightless Night
Artist: Husky Rescue
Album: Ghost is Not Real

So here is a great surprise, a reader has introduced me to the coolest band from Finland called Husky Rescue. The names sounds a bit jokey, and not sure it really fits for them… but oh well, that’s not my bag. The band was formed by Marko Nyberg who recorded their debut, “Country Falls” with some twenty musicians. That record has a very Zero 7 quality to it, a Nordic trip hop song cycle that was released in 2002. I’ve only listened to it a few times, but it’s one of those moody records that’s great for either late-late at night, or early in the A.M. It’s very warm, and the production is pretty stellar. Surprisingly, the album garnered four singles… Pilar things here are different!

This year saw the release of “Ghost is Not Real,” their follow up, which was recorded with the touring band… which the band now consists of. The sound on this record is sort of like if The Cardigans decided to try to record what Radiohead might sound like if they did an Air record. That’s the best way I can wrap my head around it.

While it does stick to some elements of the “Country Falls” formula, it’s more of an album, with a beginning, middle, and end. (Perfectly split by the epic “Blueberry Tree” trilogy.) Speaking of epic, single “Nightless Night” is a seven plus minute upbeat number that is a voyage onto itself. Of course there is a single edit, (see video below) but the album version really shows off that this band has some big ideas… we might be hearing more from them, and hopefully here in the States.

I will recommend “Ghost is Not Real” a bit over the debut just because it seems a bit more interesting and varied… but if you’re into Zero 7 and Air and like a more breezy mood record then “Country Falls” is it. They’re both pretty great.


A couple videos… boy that lead singer is a knockout!

Nightless Night


Summertime Cowboy (From debut “Country Falls”)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)

Song: Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: DYLAN

There are a handful of artists that have never officially sanctioned their music to be remixed. (Morrissey comes to mind) One artist whom hasn’t before but recently did was Mr. Bob Dylan, who chose none other than of-the-moment producer Mark Ronson. Dylan just released the three-disc box set “DYLAN” that encompasses his career, a sort of ultimate “Best Of.” (out in a single disc edition as well)

As remixes go, most people think club… but Ronson’s remixes just give whichever song he’s working on the 60’s soul vibe which is now his trademark. While I suppose we don’t need a house mix of “The Times They Are A-Changin'” nor a trance version of “Mr. Tambourine Man,” Ronson’s take on “Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)” fits in with the Dylan 60’s vibe. I dig it.

So is it sacrilege?


The video

Monday, November 05, 2007

You Got it All... Wrong

Song: You Got it All... Wrong
Artist: The Hives
Album: The Black & White Album

In the garage rock revival early this millennium, The Hives were at the forefront, along with The Strokes and the White Stripes, producing one of the movements first hits, the amazing “Hate to Say I Told you So,” three minutes and twenty-two seconds of non-stop break-neck rock that poised the band as one of the hot new things on the music scene. The band all dressed the same, have built a questionable mythology about their creation, and play with the press when they do interviews or perform onstage at events. They have just released their fourth album, “The Black & White Album” this month.

While I was a fan of “Hate to Say…” I couldn’t get into the full record “Veni Vidi Vicious” or the follow up “Tyrannosaurus Hives.” That record was not as successful as “V.V.V.” and failed to deliver on the promise the Hives themselves gave the public, nor the garage rock revival itself which saw The White Stripes, & The Strokes release multiple critically acclaimed and successful records.

Since the gap between 2004’s “Tyrannosaurus Hives” it seems the band has decided to try to conquer the world again. During the recording of the album they worked with hip hop super-producers Timbaland and Pharrell Williams. The Timbaland songs were not finished in time for inclusion on the album, but they did record a song that Timba put on his solo album “Shock Value” called “Throw it on Me.” Despite the hip hop producers, “The Black & White Album” is a rock record through and through, though they have upped the catchiness and dancibility of the songs. I liked the record right away, and while I haven’t given much time to it yet, it sounds like a solid collection of catchy rock with the perfect amount of ridiculous punk swagger with that touch of Swedish cheekiness.

The first single is lead track “Tick Tick Boom.” I am really digging the fast and furious yet super catchy “You Got It All… Wrong” which sounds like it could have been pulled out of a late seventies time capsule. Good stuff.


Here’s a sample of videos from the band, which are always entertaining and concept driven:

Hate to Say I Told You So

Walk Idiot Walk

Tick Tick Boom

Throw it on Me (w/Timbaland)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Grand Illusion

Song: Grand Illusion
Artist: Joan Osborne
Album: Righteous Love

If you’re like me, you may have over the last thirteen years asked yourself… where is Joan Osborne? You then may be, as I was, surprised to know that the answer is “Um… working moron.” Since the breakthrough major label debut “Relish,” Osborne has released six records and one greatest hits collection, including this years soul covers record “Breakfast in Bed.” It’s amazing how being out of the limelight can make you forget about someone, but then again… Joan Osborne wasn’t really mainstream. She just happened to have one huge hit.

I am talking of course about “One of Us” as in “What if God was one of us?” her absolutely ubiquitous ballad from 1995. It was a huge hit due partly to the female singer-songwriter boom of the mid-90’s. She did play Lilith Fair, which further cemented her place in music… for the three years that festival was running. Call me a sensitive homo with a weakness for a chick with an acoustic guitar and stuff she just needs to get off her chest y’all! but I liked that festival… what happened?

Actually, Joan wasn’t the only casualty (though honestly given what she’s done since I don’t think she cares to be on the top of the charts, the rest of Relish didn’t sound like “One of Us” and she hasn’t tried since to regain pop glory. Good for her.) Sure Sheryl Crow, the Indigo Girls, and to a certain extent Jewel have remained on the musical scene and continue to make major label records, but there are a lot of where-are-they-nows…

Meredith Brooks, Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole, Dar Williams, Juliana Hatfield, Heather Nova, Natalie Merchant, and even festival creator Sarah McLachlan have pretty much dropped out of current radio, aside from LiteFM stations and/or Adult Contemporary. But the thing is, like Joan… these girls have been releasing records and catering to their dedicated fan base. To hell with fickle pop public! These are the same people that are responsible for “The Macarena,” “The Thong Song,” and Hootie & the Blowfish. Girls, you’re better off without them!

Despite being a bit ignorant of Joan’s recent activity, I was a huge fan of her follow up to “Relish,” 2000’s “Righteous Love.” It was more soul influenced, and Joan did the majority of the writing on the record this time (she only did a handful of tracks on “Relish.”) My hands-down favorite track was “Grand Illusion” which had a rockin’ soul vibe and a killer vocal. But Joan was always known for her amazing wail, which ironically was not the focus on “One of Us.” Actually, it may be a bit strong, and do to over-hearing, but I pretty much loathe “One of Us.” It’s a mediocre song from a great singer/songwriter that just happened to be huge. (She didn’t write that one by the way.)

I do recommend “Righteous Love” and now feel I have some homework to do as I have some Joan to catch up on.


What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (live)

In studio for new album

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III

Song: Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III
Artist: Cornershop
Album: Handcream for a Generation

You will probably best know Cornershop from the Fatboy Slim remix of their 1997 semi-hit “Brimful of Asha.” The remix was killer, but it’s an amazing song from an amazing album, “When I Was Born for the Seventh Time.” I always loved the video of that song, and honestly, as much as I love her, thought Liz Phair’s “Why Can’t I?” was a bit of a rip-off.

Cornershop were formed in 1992 by British-Indian Tjinder Singh. Their sound is a mix of indie-pop with traditional Indian and dance music touches. It’s quite a mash-up, and the result is one of the more unique sounds to come out of the music scene. “Born for the Seventh Time” is a must, as it’s a very solid representation of their sound, and the songs are just very very good. Their next official Cornershop album, 2002’s “Handcream for a Generation” went into a more dance direction, and every song sounds very different form the one before. (“When I Was Born” is a more sonic whole.) I still love the record, and first single “Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III” is still hands down a should-have-been alt-rock smash. It’s catchy, it rocks, and as my friend Dave had said, “it has the best title for a song… EVER.” Right on.

“Handcream” has a slew of off-the-wall pop tunes including “Spectral Mornings,” a fourteen-minute plus Indian jam that despite it’s length, is fun, catchy, and well… epic. The band famously created a live remix of the song that lasted a full twenty four hours. I haven’t heard it… I’m not sure anyone could really do it in one sitting. The fourteen minute version is enough for me. Other highlights include “The London Radar,” “Staging the Plaguing of the Raised Platform,” and “People Power.”

Between both of these albums Cornershop released a side project called Clinton with the album “Disco and the Half Way to Discontent.” It’s a fun loungy/dance, very silly record that I quite like. To be honest I am not sure why this wasn’t just a new Cornershop record, it’s that good… and while the start of their more dance influence, a good bridge between the two records. “People Power” was originally on this record, in a groovier version. I recommend it anyhow.

I have heard word that they are working on a new record which is due at the beginning of next year. Anticipation!!


Brimful of Asha

Lessons Learned from Rocky I to Rocky III

Sleep on the Left Side