Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bad Things (Club Mix)

Song: Bad Things (Club Mix)
Artist: Jace Everett
Album: Bad Things

I was a huge “Six Feet Under Fan,” thought it was one of the best shows HBO has ever had (better than the Sopranos in my opinion) so I was pretty excited to hear creator Alan Ball (writer, “American Beauty”) had a new series coming on the channel, “True Blood.” The show is based on the Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris. It tells the story of the sudden co-existence of vampires in everyday life and their difficulty being accepted by the human race. At times, Ball tips a heavy hand making it a metaphor for the American homosexual plight, but it’s funny, scary, and sexy as hell. Anna Paquin stars and she’s pretty incredible. The show takes place in Louisiana and really captures a real Southern Gothic vibe. Especially through the music…

I always thought that “Six Feet Under’s” opening sequence was one of the best ever created for a television series so I really didn’t expect “True Blood’s” to hold up. But it’s visually pretty interesting, and lends itself to the feel of the show. But it also has one very key thing... check it out:

What really makes this all work is the song… ‘Bad Things.” Initially I thought it was Chris Isaak but it’s actually country singer Jase Everett. It took a while to figure who it was as initial searches when the show started did not come up with anything. And actually, he didn’t have a Wikipedia page until just recently… probably because everyone’s trying to figure out who sings the song.

He’s now available on iTunes, both the single which contains the “Club Mix” that really isn’t a dance version, just a semi-supped up take on the very short original. That can be found on his self-titled debut from 2005. I took a listen to the tracks on iTunes and he’s much more country than “Bad Things” leads you to believe. It’s more rockabilly than anything else… hence the comparisons to Chris Isaak.

I highly recommend the show and this track. Both are bloody sexy.


Monday, September 29, 2008

I’m on Fire (Cousin Cole’s Bad Desire Mix)

Song: I’m on Fire (Cousin Cole’s Bad Desire Mix)
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album; I’m on Fire

It was recently announced that Bruce Springsteen would be performing during the half time show at next years Super Bowl. I probably will miss it, but thought why not highlight a cool remix of my absolute favorite song of his. “I’m on Fire” was the fourth single released from his massive 1984 album “Born in the U.S.A.” It toped the charts at #6, helping the album tie with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation 1814” for the most top ten singles off one album, a total of seven.

Oddly, there were no official club remixes done of “I’m on Fire” and Springsteen has never done them since. Starting with “Dancing in the Dark,” the first single off “Born in the U.S.A.,” dance mixes were done of his songs to try to widen Bruce’s audience beyond… well white people. But that only lasted through “Cover Me” and the title track.

This recent remix is done by Brooklyn DJ and producer Cousin Cole who normally works in hip hop. (Check out his absolutely annoying looking MySpace page) He doesn’t alter the song too much, keeping the slow burning vibe but adding light electronic elements. It works for this track, as it’s one of the first songs the Boss ever used a synthesizer on.

I unfortunately can’t embed it, but click here to watch the amazing video directed by the equally amazing American director John Sayles.


Here he is performing the song in Paris, 1985

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Song: Womanizer
Artist: Britney
Album: Womanizer Single

Well I said I wasn’t going to post this… despite being intrigued by new music so soon. But I’ve realized this has become a full-blown obsession, and while I know I’m not alone, it’s no less embarrassing. I’m a grown man.

So Britney, after two years of a freight train worth of crazy, is staging a “comeback” with a new album just a year and a month after throwing “Blackout” out there with little to no promotion and zero tour support. Instead of promotion we got tabloid news that seemed to happen daily. There was the VMA performance, shaving the head, the umbrella (does it rain in L.A.?) it was like emotional breakdown public theater and we ate it all up.

I’ve said it over and over but unfortunately “Blackout” was the best thing the girl ever did, and collectively I think we all thought it was such a waste. I felt like it was the first time we got full-on adult Britney with a sound that finally surpassed the material girl. (Yes, Madonna of the “I’ve run out of ideas so I’m going Timbaland) In a way, Britney was the Immaterial Girl… bare feet in the gas station bathroom and gum-smackin’ “y’all drawling” little miss America. For me her breakdown kind of ran synonymous with the complete breakdown of the American Dream. The corporate-whore model imploding on itself. Recently, in the same week that her mother puts out a book that shockingly (right) reveals that things weren’t as innocent as they seemed when Brit claimed girlish innocence all the while teaching pre-teen girls hot new stripper moves, the entire economic backbone of “the most powerful country in the world” collapsed. Yeah that’s right, we should have seen this crash in economy coming as soon as Britney went koo-koo karazy.

How obsessed am I with Britney Spears? Well… last Thursday evening my entire night of slumber revolved around dreaming of, no lie, Ms. Britney Spears. In my long ongoing dream I was trying to get Brit into two of the largest gay clubs in NYC (Splash and the Roxy, which unfortunately doesn’t actually exist anymore) for a Madonna-like “surprise” performance of the new single that I was wetting my pants to hear. Literally I could have been dreaming for an hour straight trying to logistically figure out the way to get her in and out of the venue to surprise the boys and introduce the brand new Britney, no longer crazy and ready, as Madge was in 1984, to RULE THE WORLD. I pondered security, entrance and exit, maybe putting her in a cage so the homos couldn’t rip her apart…

Ever get so embarrassed by your own behavior that you begin to actually question where you’re life is going? Well… I guess I was there a little Friday at 7 AM as I lay in bed thinking, why the hell am I dreaming about this girl? Well, low and behold, when I get on the computer ten minutes later, the single “Womanizer” had been premiered on radio and therefore the blogosphere just an hour before. Three days ahead of schedule. I didn’t squeal, but pondered my clairvoyance, and listened to the song possibly six times straight.

At this point, after not being sure about it, comparing it to the best of tracks on “Blackout,” I succumb. I love it. And yes, I eagerly await “Circus” the album she plans to drop on her 27th birthday in December. It’s an exciting time for a fallen Queen of pop that isn’t even 30 yet and an exciting time for the country that made her. We’re on the verge of our first possible (fingers crossed) African-American president and an end (again fingers crossed) to corporate-run politics. If we are to believe that America’s Sweetheart is truly coming back, bigger and better than ever, maybe we can believe the same about America itself. Again… fingers crossed.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Never Miss a Beat

Song: Never Miss a Beat
Artist: Kaiser Chiefs
Album: Off With Their Heads

Even though the Kaiser Chiefs are English, and The Fratellis are Scottish, I always kind of grouped them together as sing-a-long pub dance-rock acts. I really liked both of their debuts, though the Chiefs sophomore album, “Yours Truly, Angry Mob” from 2007 was a disappointment. Since the Fratellis served up a completely snore-inducing follow up this year initial news of a new Chiefs record was met with a shrug.

That was all until I heard their latest single “Never Miss a Beat” from the new album, “Off With Their Heads” slated for release in October. The song is bouncy, driving, and reminds me of the “I Predict a Riot” type Chiefs of old. It’s also some pretty bristling social commentary… no doubt written by the mighty moron that is the U. S. of A. !!!

All the more interesting is the fact that Mark Ronson is producing the record. I’m not sure I hear his style in this track, but given the magic he did on Amy Winhouse’s “Back to Black” and his own album “Version,” I am very interested in hearing the whole thing. As a matter of fact, “Never Miss a Beat” contains backing vocals by Lily Allen, who covered the Chiefs “Oh My God” for… yup, Ronson’s “Version.”

Cut Copy have done a really cool remix of “Never Miss a Beat” which you can get here if you’d like to hear it. Rolling Stone says it makes them sound like Duran Duran… I don’t disagree!


Never Miss a Beat

I Predict a Riot

Oh My God

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don’t Believe in Love

Song: Don’t Believe in Love
Artist: Dido
Album: Safe Trip Home

I’m a pretty big Dido fan. Certainly not prolific, but since coming onto the scene in 1999 with her debut album “I’m No Angel” she’s released two solid albums of pretty folktronica. I suppose I understand why people wouldn’t like her breezy, quasi-“flimsy” music and write it off as adult contemporary fluff, but I actually think her music is really well produced, lyrically she writes some great tunes regarding the state of the heart, and in a way her music sounds sort of future-classic to me.

I am totally cool with an artists that likes to take their time creating a better piece of work rather than rush things out, so while it took her four years to craft her excellent sophomore album “Life For Rent,” I haven’t minded that she has taken another five years for her third album. But alas we have “Safe Trip Home” scheduled for release November 3rd.

BUT… here’s the thing. First single, “Don’t Believe in Love” recently leaked and for the first time I am sort of feeling like a lot of her detractors. It’s kinda boring. It sure sounds like Dido, and I suppose it fits in line with everything that she’s done previously… but certainly it doesn’t match up to killer singles like “White Flag” or “Thank You.” It has me feeling the same I do about the new Killers single… its okay, but THIS is the first single? I’m left wanting a little more.

What do you think?

Enjoy. None-the-less.

Take My Hand

Never a single, last song off her debut record. NOT the video, just a YouTube creation. It actually reminds me a little of “Sunrise Earth.” Ever watch that show?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Song: Veronika
Artist: Tricky
Album: Knowle West Boy

It’s been quite sometime since we’ve heard new music from Tricky, an early pioneer in the UK’s trip hop scene. He hasn’t released an album since 2003 when “Vulnerable” and his “Back to Mine” volume were released. Certainly not matching his prolific late 90’s output. With “Knowle West Boy,” Tricky returns with his 8th album, and one that is getting some of the best reviews of his career.

Personally I only half enjoy Tricky… and trip-hop in general. It’s such a sloggy genre, and one that is so dark and foreboding it really needs a certain mood to be in. That’s not to say that I don’t think the man is talented, actually when he’s on point his music is quite remarkable. I too fell for his debut, “Maxinquaye,” and really did dig a couple of songs on his second record released in ’96, “Pre-Millennium Tension.” Specifically “Christiansands” and “Makes Me Want to Die.” I haven’t followed all of his output but really liked his “duet” album “Blowback” from 2001. It was consistently good and the varied vocal partners really helped the albums flow.

I can’t say that I am loving “Knowle West Boy” as much as it t getting critically lauded, but there are certainly a couple stand-out tracks. “Veronika” is top-notch Tricky, both scary and sexy. And the odd cover of Kylie’s “Slow” has to be heard. An odd choice for sure… but then again, this guy once covered “Grease’s” “Summer Lovin’.” I have no doubt that Tricky fans will eat this up. For me… I’ll be weeding out the best, adding them to my late night chill-out playlists, and dumping the rest.


Hell is Around the Corner

Makes Me Want to Die


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Keep Marchin’

Song: Keep Marchin’
Artist: Raphael Saadiq
Album: The Way I See It

This was a great discovery… haven’t really followed the career of Raphael Saadiq since he left Tony! Toni! TonĂ©! In the 90’s. He’s been a pretty big force in the neo-soul movement, producing tracks for D’Angelo, Macy Gray, Joss Stone, and many other R&B artists. But with his new album “The Way I See It” he’s cut out the “neo” and delivered a stellar classic soul record. Take a listen to the upbeat “Keep Marchin’” which is so POSITIVE, you realize what we’ve been missing from pop music for some time.

While listening to this record I started to think of artists like Amy Winehouse, Duffy, and even the Scissor Sisters that have recently taken elements from classic music and done something new. I’ve started to think that within music, it’s pretty much all been done, and with what these artists have done in taking these classic styles reminds me of how simple and great music can be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of (over)produced dance pop for sure, but that’s ALL it seems we’re getting in pop music… which is everywhere. I was certainly happy to see Winehouse, despite her troubles, get attention with her record because it was just flat out GOOD, and one that I could get my mother to listen to.

Maybe artist need to stop trying to push things forward and take a look back to reflect the world of today. It might reach more people.

I am highly recommending this record… if you’re a classic soul fan, or your parents are, you will immediately like this.


Love That Girl (So Sweet and Tender)

And for fun…remember this?

Monday, September 22, 2008


Song: Human
Artist: The Killers
Album: Day & Age

Here’s one I’ve been very interested in hearing… new music from the Killers. “Human” is going to be the first single from their third studio album “Day & Age” which is set to be released at the end of November. After the Springsteen-aping “Sam’s Town” the Vegas boys are going a bit back to their “roots” for new wave-inspired pop-rock tunes. In what seems like the perfect marriage, they have teamed up with Stuart Price whom is producing the entire album. (Since his production of Madonna’s “Confessions on a Dancefloor” he’s produced Seal’s last album and is currently working on the new Keane record.)

I was a big fan of “Sam’s Town” and still listen to it quite a lot. I never got tired of that albums lead single, the driving, rocking, and poetic “When You Were Young,” which, incidentally got a killer remix from a Mr. Price, who also did a great remix for their biggest hit, “Mr. Brightside.” Since the band really hit it out of the park with “When You Were Young” as first single, my expectations were pretty high for “Human” which the band described as “like Johnny Cash meets the Pet Shop Boys.” Hmm… that sounds good, I’m just not sure I hear it.

“Human” certainly re-claims the synths and Price’s “future-disco” style… but I am certainly not immediately in love with it. It’s a little more ethereal where I was expecting something hooky and driving. And what to make of the chorus which states, “Are we human, or are we dancer.” Does that even make sense? Regardless, unless they suddenly drop the ball I pretty much predict I’m going to love this record, just thought the track they would use as first single would be a bit more immediate.

What do you think?


Mr Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix)

When You Were Young (Jacques Lu Cont remix)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Song: Love Lockdown

Song: Love Lockdown
Artist: Kanye West
Album: Love Lockdown

Over the course of his three albums I have become more and more interested in Kanye West. I’m not a huge hip-hop fan, and have over the last several years become more and more disconnected with what’s been coming out. But Kanye is different. He’s been amping up his game, incorporating different musical styles with his productions. In fact, I can’t really name anyone that’s been pushing things forward more in that world. Even Missy Elliot, whom I am a huge fan of, hasn’t really been very innovative with her last two records.

After the surprise announcement of a new album in December, Kanye surprised all with his a performance of a new song, “Love Lockdown” at the end of MTV’s Video Music Awards. The response was decidedly mixed, as he didn’t rap on the song, he sang (with the help of autotune) and the song itself was very different from what he’s done in the past.

Check it out:

Shortly afterward Kanye posted a studio version of the song that again, got his blog buzzing with a lot of feedback, and a lot of it negative. So, in what surprised me (for Kanye) he came back with a newly mixed version. New vocals, new beats, just fleshed it out. And it was a unanimously considered improvement. It takes Kanye in a very exciting new direction and one that makes me very excited for his excellently named new album, “808’s & Heartbreak.”

“Love Lockdown” is a slow-building, almost “In the Air Tonight”-like ode to a relationship gone bad. I know nothing about his personal life, so not sure if this is something true to life or not. Either way, I was starting to think that Kanye might be the true future of hip hop, and now I’m starting to think he could be the future of music. Staying tuned here.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Song: Carpetbaggers
Artist: Jenny Lewis
Album: Acid Tongue

Well, make it two for two for Jenny Lewis. Pretty hot off the heals of last year’s excellent Rilo Kiley album “Under the Blacklight,” Jenny releases her second solo album, “Acid Tongue” later this month. In my opinion, “Tongue” solidifies Lewis as one of the most import singer-songwriters to emerge in the last decade. The album is wildly eclectic, yet concise, jumping from country rock, gospel-tinged ballads, and atmospheric experiments.

It wasn’t until her first solo album, “Rabbit Fur Coat” that I started to pay attention to Lewis. While I loved that album, “Tongue” really makes that album seem timid. Lewis is in control with this record. “Carpetbaggers,” a rockin’ country duet with Elvis Costello is a highlight, as well as the slow burning title track.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Strange Overtones

Song: Strange Overtones
Artist: Brian Eno & David Byrne
Album: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

Hot off the heals of producing Coldplay’s excellent new album, Brian Eno re-connects with ex-Talking Heads lead David Byne for their second collaboration, an “electronic gospel” record entitled “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.” Their last record, 1981’s “My Life With the Bush of Ghosts,” was a critically lauded experimental record that I really didn’t care for much. “Everything” proves to be nothing like that collaboration and just after two days of listening, I am hooked.

The songs are much more straight-forward in their construction as compared to “Bush of Ghosts” and sonically they range from folktronica to country. Byrne’s singing is clear and very pretty on all of the tracks, and in a way the whole enterprise feels like what a Talking Heads record might sound like now if they had never split. There is also an optimism to the album as well, much needed in these terrifying times.

Apparently the labor in the creation of the record was divided pretty evenly with Eno making the music, and Byrne providing the words and vocals. It’s a beautiful, exciting record, that is certainly still growing on me. If you’re a fan of either of these two music titans by all means pick this record up. It’s available in a variety of formats, and is self released. The entire record can be heard on the website created for the album, where you can also purchase it. But they have also been nice enough to create a player to stream the entire album which you can do right here:

This is a very exciting record… take a listen!


Strange Overtones

Monday, September 15, 2008


Song: Crazy
Artist: Jem
Album: Down to Earth

I was a fan of Jem’s 2004 debut, “Finally Woken” and was eager to hear a follow up. Tomorrow will see the release of “Down to Earth’ her sophomore set of folktronica tunes. Jem doesn’t really stray far from the formula with her new album, covering a lot of the Dido-ish ground her debut showed.

Despite the sameness, the album is very pretty and enjoyable. Her music is often used in film and on TV (most recently “It’s Amazing” from “Earth” was featured in the “Sex and the City” movie) most likely for it’s easy-going vibe yet pointed lyrics.

I might have wanted a little more from Jem, but if you liked “Finally Woken,” you’re sure to dig “Down to Earth.”


Friday, September 12, 2008


Song: Sweet
Artist: Annie
Album: Don’t Stop

I’ve been awaiting Annie’s sophomore record since… well pretty much since her debut, “Anniemal” was released back in 2005. Well finally her follow up has seen the light and will be released next month. “Don’t Stop” is yet another slice of bouncy electro-pop that even hipsters can like. And that is precisely how Annie has positioned herself. When she came out she was being described as “Kylie meets Daft Punk,” a bouncy pop girl that’s cool enough NOT to be straight-up top 40 pop (well… European pop.) I have no qualms proclaiming an affinity for Kylie or Britney (or even Paris, ha!) so there is no guilt here… but Annie did have a little something special, and with “Heartbeat,” the second single from her debut she had what I consider an electro-pop classic. A dancefloor ready slow-burner that was sweet, sexy, and fun.

Unfortunately, I am not sure I hear a track on the level of “Heartbeat” on “Don’t Stop,” but after a couple listens I am digging it… and the ratio of good songs to bad may even be better than on “Annimal.” I had already posted first single, and the first leaked track, “I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me,” which sounded a bit “Chewing Gum” to me. It’s a fun track… and fits well with the rest of the album.

Actually, the album starts strong (with rumored next single “My Love is Better”) and doesn’t hit a weak moment until the seventh track, the odd, atmospheric, “Marie Cherie.” And then it inexplicably continues with the downturn on “When the Night,” some serious ballad-y drivel. Then the album sort of flies off the rails, with the 90’s Brit-pop influenced “Heaven & Hell” which is bouncy fun, then a totally strange song called “What Do You Want (the Breakfast Song)” in which Annie just repeats “What do you want… what do you want for BREAK-FAST!” Morning after techno-pop? Things slow down again for “Take You Home” (which should have come before breakfast right?) but I actually like this track. Not single potential for sure, but it has a sexy vibe to it, slow… deliberate. The album ends with “Songs Remind Me of You” one of the best tracks on the album… the fun returns, only for it to end.

But wait… the first half of the album is actually rather good. I wasn’t sure after a couple listens but the more I heard it the more I dug it. “Sweet” is a pretty upbeat track that is the albums closest match to “Heartbeat.” An initial favorite. “Loco” (as well as “My Love is Better”) receive guitar help from Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos, and “Bad Times” and “I Can’t Let Go” show that Annie doesn’t stray too far from the indie-rock world. “Bad Times” even reminded me a bit of moments on Santogold’s debut.

I think she’s released a pretty worthy follow-up and one that fans of her first album are sure to latch onto.

Enjoy the weekend!

I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me


Thursday, September 11, 2008

You Don’t Know Me

Song: You Don’t Know Me
Artist; Ben Folds
Album: Way to Normal

I’ve never been a HUGE fan of Ben Folds, nor of his three-man outfit the Ben Folds Five, though I have dug a song here and there so I follow the man, even if I’m not buying every one of his records. Folds is about to release his third solo record later this month and I stumbled across what I believe is the first single off the album, “You Don’t Know Me,” a duet with Regina Spektor. I am REALLY digging this song and just think this pairing is perfect. Almost like… why wasn’t this done sooner?

I’m interested in hearing the entire record based on this and will give it a listen when it comes out. At times Folds can get a little too jokey for me, but it’s reigned in here. I dig it.


You Don’t Know Me

And THIS is now infamous…

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Like Something for Porno

Song: Like Something for Porno
Artist: Felix Da Housecat
Album: Virgo Blaktro and the Movie Disco

Aside from being a fan of his remixes and a track here and there I know very little about Felix Da Housecat. I recently got his last proper album, “Virgo Blaktro and the Movie Disco” which was released last year and am really digging it. Felix’s influences cover a wide range, from house and soul, to R & B and funk… you name it. He is probably best known for his 2001 album ”Kittenz and thee Glitz,” which many say invented the electroclash scene and heavily influenced the sound of Goldfrapp, Fischerspooner, and Peaches. I was a big fan of the single “Silver Screen Shower Scene” from the album, though I have not heard the entire thing.

With “Virgo Blaktro” Felix has said to be trying to evoke the revival of “black music” in the 70’s and 80’s. He said:

” This is the first record I've done with black folks, but to me it's not a colour thing, it's more like a roots thing. This record has a black, soulful groove, it's more like Sly & the Family Stone. With this album I wanted to go Parliament, I wanted to go Prince, and at the same time I wanted to go like George Michael and Pet Shop Boys, only them being black. This stuff is all black-influenced.”

I partly hear what he’s saying, though it still sounds very “now” to me, though to be honest… most electronic artists today are creating “new” sounds by taking elements from underground 70’s disco, and 80’s synth. I particularly like single “Like Something for Porno” from the album which contains a great bass line and some fun sexy female cooing. Now THIS is Playboy Mansion music.


Like Something for Porno

Silver Screen Shower Scene

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Songs I Didn’t Write

Song: The Songs I Didn’t Write
Artist: Creaky Boards
Album: Brooklyn is Love

Controversy alert! This is a bit of old news but it certainly is interesting. By now you should all be pretty aware of Coldplay’s latest hit, “Viva La Vida.” If you haven’t heard it on the radio, you MUST have come across the iTunes/iPod/iPhone ads using the song and trippy lighting effects. Well, a couple months ago this video popped up on YouTube from a Brooklyn-based band named Creaky Boards claiming that Coldplay ripped of their song, ironically titled “The Songs I Didn’t Write”:

Well, the songs do sound A LOT like each other… and the band specifically claimed that Coldplay lead Chris Martin attended a concert of theirs last October where they played the song. But as you can imagine… once this got enough talk and buzz from the blogosphere, Coldplay responded… that Martin could not have possibly attended the Creaky Boards concert because they have record he was recording in London. After what can only be guessed as some back and forth between Coldplay’s management and Boards’ lead Andrew Hoepfner suddenly put out the following statement:

“Well, it appears that Chris was actually recording in London during my October show and Coldplay demoed Viva La Vida in March 2007, before I taught my band “Songs” in June 2007. What’s most likely is that both Chris and I were inspired by The Legend of Zelda’s “Fairy Theme,” causing us to write similiar songs in 2006. What a coincidince! I guess Nintendo’s the big winner. But isn’t it weird how in 2008, an independent artist can make something in their bedroom that receives almost as much attention as EMI’s biggest marketing push of the year?”

Yes, suddenly he switches it around and now says they BOTH are copying… a song from a Nintendo video game. Take a listen, do you hear it?

Well I hear it a little bit… the “ah-ah’s” that make the ethereal vibe of the song. But it’s sort of a stretch. FURTHER discussion revealed that ALL of these songs seem to sound like Joe Satriani’s song “If I Could Fly” from his 2004 album “Is Their Love in Space?” Take a listen:

Ultimately, I really feel that Hoepfner just found a pretty sly way of getting his band into the spotlight. Don’t you? And I honestly find it hard to believe that SOMEHOW “The Songs I Didn’t Write” wasn’t somehow “inspired” by the Coldplay track. Having listened to the Zelda song and Satriani’s song, I do see how, almost unconsciously Coldplay could have lifted the rift… I think it’s all totally unintentional. As the minor controversy that was sparked between the Red Hot Chili Peppers track “Dani California” and Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” there was a similar riff, though Petty never took any legal action because he knew that there are really only so many cord progressions… it’s bound to happen.

I find it completely possible that a musician, someone with an ear for melody, could hear something and have it inspire them… even years later. What do you think?


Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”

Monday, September 08, 2008


Song: Used
Artist: Rocket from the Crypt
Album: Scream, Dracula, Scream!

So I’ve been going through some of my older CD’s, fining a lot of stuff from my past and a lot of albums that I really dug at the time but for whatever reason didn’t keep up with the band/artist.

“Scream, Dracula, Scream!” was the major label debut on Interscope for San Diego rock band Rocket from the Crypt. This album paved the way for a short lived stint at the forefront of American Alternative radio. Unfortunately, the band didn’t meet the “alternative” quota that Interscope was looking for, and they were dropped after a follow up, “RFTC” again failed to be a big hit.

“Scream, Dracula, Scream!” is a great rock record though, filled with hard pounding, vaguely ska-ish, rock jams that almost feel like they’re from a by-gone era. My favorite track on the album was “Used,” which has some killer horns (and this comes from a non-ska fan) and a killer hook. It was never a single, see the videos of those released from the record below, “Born in ’69” is awesome!.


On a Rope

Born in ‘69

Young Livers

Friday, September 05, 2008

Barracuda (Fuse & Hiratzka Mix)

Song: Barracuda (Fuse & Hiratzka Mix)
Artist: Heart
Album: Barracuda

Heart have just recently made news by their very public disinterest in the GOP using their song “Barracuda” when Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin is onstage. (The song was used during her speech at the RNC convention and then again when she joined McCain after his speech, it from an old nickname she got as a high school basketball star, “Sarah Barracuda.”) I have been surprised by some of the comments I’ve read from people responding to what the Heart sisters have done, and I wonder… are we actually no longer allowed to speak our minds?

The band sent a cease and desist letter after the first use, and after last nights use they released this statement:

“Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song ‘Barracuda’ no longer be used to promote her image. The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late ’70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The ‘barracuda’ represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there’s irony in Republican strategists’ choice to make use of it there.”

As I understand it, legally Heart can’t sue… while they have said they didn’t have “permission” there is a loophole in royalties and copyright law in which any song can be played during a live broadcast without paying royalties OR getting permission. (One of the reasons that the Today show can play just about anything, including Beatles tunes, during their broadcast.) But Heart just really seem to want to express their grievances publicly… and shouldn’t they?

I have read that people plan to boycott Heart’s music… a-la the Dixie Chicks after their George W comment. Now, the Dixie Chicks received death threats and the like for being outspoken, and some of these things I’ve been reading regarding Heart are pretty outrageous. When it comes to politics, should we silence our entertainers? In my opinion these people are artists that created a work that they have the right to protect. And I would think that a simple “please don’t use this song” would suffice in a situation like this… but the organizers of the RCN convention didn’t listen…

What do you think? Should Heart “shut up and sing” like the Dixie Chicks? Or do they have the right to say what they want like every American? You could argue that they have an unfair advantage as they have more means, based on their public status, to get their thoughts out to the public. But they earned that… shouldn’t they be able to use it?
This is a great remix of this great song.



This is what I’m talking about:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Seen Beyonce - Cazwell

Song: I Seen Beyonce (feat. Jonny Makeup)
Artist: Cazwell
Album: I Seen Beyonce (single)

I love Cazwell, and think that in another time, he would be plucked out of NYC obscurity and have actual hit songs. But here in America… he’s just too gay. Cazwell returns with a new single, “I Seen Beyonce,” and while it might not be as upbeat and catchy as “All Over Your Face,” it’s a winner… with a very fun-but-cheap video.

I’ve heard his music called “Homohop” or referred to as “the gay Eminem,” though I think that is only because he’s white, blond, gay, and produces hip hop. Whatever you call him, I think he’s a fun addition to the world of pop music and wish he’d catch on a little more.


I Seen Beyonce

All Over Your Face

Watch My Mouth

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Farewell to the Crown

Song: Farewell to the Crown
Artist: Chumbawamba
Album: Tubthumping Single

Back in the mid-90’s there was a time when you just couldn’t escape Chumbawamba’s enormous hit “Tubthumping.” You remember… “I get knocked down, but I get up again…” The song was huge, and then deemed completely annoying due to its ubiquity, and the band was relegated to a footnote in music history. I was in college at the time, and remember when it first broke… on hipster alternative radio.

I went to school in Rochester, NY and listened to WBER 90.5 FM, the self proclaimed “only station that matters,” which specialized in alternative rock music. It was perfect for a snobby “alt” guy like myself as I heard all the music that made me feel superior to say… Lou Bega fans. WBER did, and still does, a “song of the week” that they play and get their listeners to vote a song into rotation. Sometimes these would include a new song by an already established act, but more common was some new stuff that the station wanted to play. So, back in ’96 they chose “Tubthumping,” and started it as the song of the week about three weeks before the song was literally everywhere.

I’ll be honest, initially I loved the song. Thought it was fun, catchy, and just an all around party starter. I heard it as the song of the week and went to buy the single (because the album wasn’t yet out.) So I got to listen to it over and over, with a couple not so good remixes and one b-side, “Farewell to the Crown.” “Crown” was an oddity, but a dug it anyhow… a traditional Irish tinged techno-pop song that didn’t really sound like “Tubthumping.” Yet it made me interested in the album very much, despite not totally realizing (at the time) that the song was basically advocating an end to the royal system in the U.K. (It was anarchy… but really catchy!)

But back at WBER, the song was literally exploding. I remember the DJ’s saying that they had never seen a reaction like that for a song of the week before, and never seen that many positive votes. It was all “can you believe how great this song is?” UNTIL pop radio began playing it. Once it was sandwich in between the likes of Savage Garden and Sisqo it was suddenly DROPPED from their playlist. Funny huh? Unfortunately I bought the album, which was pretty awful, (and DIDN’T include “Crown!”) and can now be found in just about any used music bin.

It’s important to note that Chumbawamba is not only still making music, but had their first release in 1980. (Yes, 80) That’s some twenty five years in the business… with one hit. Can Sisqo say that?!


That hit of theirs…

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

So What

Song: So What
Artist: Pink
Album: So What

As pop stars go you can’t really get better than Pink. I’ve been a fan of hers since her second record, and really really loved her last album “I’m Not Dead.” Despite being packed with catchy pop-rock tunes on par with the best of what Kelly Clarkson has given us. Though I think she made a mistake with have “Stupid Girls” the lead single. Despite the great message, and very funny video, the SONG itself wasn’t that good. And while Pink found herself with the best selling album of that year in Australia, the subsequent singles failed to hit here. (Though “U + Ur Hand” had a slow build here, especially the club version.)

Late October will see the release of Pink’s fifth album, “Funhouse.” There aren’t many details released as of yet, but lead single “So What” was recently leaked early and has blown up overseas. I took a listen and thought it was fun… and now I can’t stop listening to it. It’s very much in the vein of her past Max Martin produced singles “Who Knew” and “U + Ur Hand.” It’s just crawling with catchy. Catchy chorus, catchy opening, catchy breakdown… it has hit written all over it.

More interesting is the fact that it’s a (kind of) kiss off track to Pink’s former husband, motocross star Corey Hart. They divorced just two years after being married… and guess what? He’s in the video…

Totally odd right? I guess that’s breaking up as best you can in the celeb world.