Friday, February 27, 2009


Song: Zero
Artist: Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
Album: It’s Blitz!

There are a few bands that I actually quite love but don’t necessarily keep up on to see what they’re doing. Because of this, I am often pleasantly surprised when new album news seems to pop up out of nowhere. Last week came news that a new Yeah Yeah Yeah’s song was out with a new album to follow in April. Well the record got leaked WAY early, but that’s not the only surprise…

Given that this is album three, the band has already conquered the sophomore slump with 2006’s excellent “Show Me Your Bones,” I was certainly wondering what would be next for the band. And to my surprise (and delight) they have decided to do a full on dance record! “It’s Blitz!” is filled with synthesizers and beats and yet, it is 100% Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Despite their artsy garage-rock leanings, the band knows how to write a catchy song, be it the upbeat slink of “Bones” “Gold Lion” or the slow passionate burn of their biggest hit, “Maps” from their debut.

Lead single “Zero” is upbeat, fun, and typically mysterious lyrically. Again, while the band has added beats and more electronic elements to their sound, it is unmistakably Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. Karen O’s vocals burn as hot as they ever had, and while it’s a dance track, the guitars are still very prominent. You’ll be sold after a third spin.

The remaining of the record is basically; the-Yeah-Yeah-Yeah’s-do-a-dance-record. But I say that in the best way possible. It’s not like Seal’s “System,” the mix of dance elements are fit into the already great Yeah’s formula, rather than changing it. And what you get is another collection of killer rock-dance songs.



This is NOT the official video.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy House

Song: Happy House
Artist: The Juan Maclean
Album: The Future Will Come

Over the last two weeks I have been really digging The Juan Maclean’s sophomore album, “The Future Will Come.” I couldn’t get into their debut, “Less Than Human” from 2005, but “The Future Will Come” is an interesting mix of indie-techno, house, and driving moodscapes. It’s not without it’s bad track or two (see “Human Disaster”) and could have, admittedly, been elevated with singers with more vocal chops… but it has an odd charm to it, enough that I’ve put it in the days playlist just about everyday over the last two weeks.

My favorite track is the epic final track called “Happy House.” It’s a twelve-plus minute adventure that starts with typically repetitive beats mixes with house-style piano, but then really kicks in when the vocals come up at two minutes in. The album reminds me of a mix of Junior Boys meets LCD Soundsystem… the latter’s influence can certainly be heard in the title track, which sounds like it bites the beat from LCD’s classic “Losing My Edge.”

Elsewhere the album mixes 80’s New Wave and disco influences, summed up in a decidedly indie vibe. Actually, I also hear a Hercules and Love Affair sound as well… especially in the also epic middle track “Tonight.” This is a good record, I recommend!


Happy House

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bits & Pieces

Song: Bits & Pieces
Artist: Junior Boys
Album: Begone Dull Care

I’ve been interested in hearing how Canada’s Junior Boys were going to follow up their excellent sophomore album, 2006’s “This is Goodbye.” The verdict? Well, while it’s a bit more of the same, this year’s “Begone Dull Care” is another excellent collection of late night moody electronica, made for the bedroom. It’s not as initially catchy as “Goodbye,” but after a couple listens, the songs start to stick. My immediate favorite was “Bits & Pieces,” but the whole record is worth checking out. While it’s a mood record for sure, the Boys write actual SONGS, each with their own merit.

I do wonder if the formula will get old, with no drastic change to their sound from album to album. We’ll just have to wait for album four to see if things get stale.


Some “So This is Goodbye” era videos:

Like a Child

In the Morning

Monday, February 23, 2009

Love Letter to Japan

Song: Love Letter to Japan
Artist: The Bird and the Bee
Album: Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future

I wasn’t a huge fan of The Bird and the Bee’s self titled debut from 2007, but really have been digging their follow up, “Ray Guns Are Not the Future” which was released last month. The duo’s brand of indie electro-pop provides nice background music for a Sunday afternoon, or poolside at some hip and trendy hotel. There are a handful of standout tracks from the album that I’m enjoying, including “Polite Dance Song,” “Baby” and the fun “Love Letter to Japan.” But despite those it’s really a vibe record, best to put on and enjoy in the background while doing other things.


Love Letter to Japan

Polite Dance Song

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nothing to Worry About

Song: Nothing to Worry About
Artist: Peter, Bjorn, and John
Album: Living Thing

“Young Folks” was hands down one of the best singles of 2006, and I recently was thinking about Peter, Bjorn, & John and wondering when they would have a follow up to that songs album “Writer’s Block.” To my surprise… they had already released it. “Seaside Rock” came out in September of last year and I was pretty floored… why hadn’t I heard of it? Well, it was only released digitally and on vinyl, and it was a much more a shoe-gazer-ish sound collage than the pop-tinged material on “Writer’s Block.” Don’t know if this was a way to avoid the expectations of an initial new single that could match “Young Folks” or what but… but in March the band will be releasing a true follow up to “Writer’s Block” entitled “Living Thing.”

The first single is “Nothing to Worry About,” and while they postponed it, this track will be the one most judged against “Young Folks.” So given all that… how is it? Well, I did not expect the hip-hop style beat to come clanging in, or the child-like chorus… is it as catchy as Young Folks? Well… no. But it’s catchy enough… I don’t really think it’s as emotionally successful as “Young Folks” but then again… should we not take song by its own merits?

And yet all I think when I hear this song I think of “Dashboard” by Modest Mouse. Not that it sounds anything like that song but it’s just another serviceably catchy follow up song to a massive out of nowhere hit that will probably not make a quarter of a dent as the initial drop off single. (Yeah, that old story)

Despite all of this malarkey… I’m really looking forward to hearing the whole album.


Nothing to Worry About

Asian greasers... wow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bust a Move (Don Rimini Ravekid Remix)

Song: Bust a Move (Don Rimini Ravekid Remix)
Artist: Young MC
Album: Bust a Move

After a week of club-ready tracks I thought I’d end it with a fun hard hitting remix of the Young MC classic hip hop track “Bust a Move” by Don Rimini. Rimini is a French DJ and producer from Paris who creates his own tracks but also seems to specialize in remixing 80’s classics. (He also does a killer mix of the “Ghostbusters” theme song.) He certainly adds some heavy hitting beats to this mix, that I think works quite well. You can check out his MySpace page here.

While “Bust a Move” was Young MC’s only big hit, it’s worth noting that it was he that wrote both of Tone Loc’s biggest hits, “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina.”


Bust a Move (original)

Don Rimini - Let Me Back Up (Crookers Remix)

Theme From Ghostbusters (Don Rimini Ectoplasm Edit)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Must Be The Music (Nicola Fasano Dub)

Song: Must Be The Music (Nicola Fasano Dub)
Artist: Joey Negro
Album; Must Be the Music

While this track is now a whopping ten years old, it’s a recent discovery that I’ve really been digging. Joey Negro is the pseudonym of British producer and remixer Dave Lee. I know nothing else by him, but he most recently released the album “Moving with the Shakers” under the title The Sunburst Band. He made the biggest splash back in 2002 when he sampled two songs from the “American Beauty” score for the song “American Dream” under the name Jakatta.

“Must Be the Music” sounds like a house classic, and one that should make your next fab cocktail party.


Must Be the Music (original)

American Dream (as Jakatta)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Song: Tonight
Artist: Yuksek
Album: Away From the Sea

Yuksek is a producer/remixer from France. I know little to nothing about the man other than his album, “Away From the Sea” was just released last week. Haven’t heard it yet, but “Tonight” is killer. Learn more about the guy at his MySpace page.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bounce (Extended Mix)

Song: Bounce (Extended Mix)
Artist: MSTRKRFT (w/N.O.R.E.)
Album: Bounce (single)

While I wasn’t a huge fan of their debut album “The Looks” from 2006, I have been a fan of a lot of MSTRKRFT’s remixes. From Kylie’s “Wow” to Annie’s “Heartbeat,” the Canadian duo are pretty adept at giving songs a more indie-dance vibe. I first heard of the band with their remix of the Gossip’s “Listen Up” which is one of my hands-down favorite remixes ever. I’m a particular fan of a remixer that keeps the basic song structure but just amps the track up for dancefloor readiness.

The band have a new record slated for this year entitled “Fist of God” to be released in March. Not sure if “Bounce,” their last single released last April will make the cut, but I found it miles ahead of their mostly instrumental debut. And I can’t seem to get the line, “All I do is party… ah, ah, ah, ah” out of my head.



Listen Up! (MSTRKRFT Remix) – The Gossip

Monday, February 09, 2009

Rich Girls (The Twelves Remix)

Song: Rich Girls (The Twelves Remix)
Artist: The Virgins
Album: Rich Girls (single)

The Virgins are an American rock band based in New York City. Their self-titled debut album was released in June of last year and their song “Rich Girls” was number 68 on Rolling Stones list of the best songs of 2008.

The Twelves are a remix duo based in Rio de Janeiro. They have remixed songs for M.I.A., Yelle, Groove Armada, Black Kids, and the New Young Pony Club. Their remix of The Virgin’s track is bouncy and loungy but dark, really stellar.


Rich Girls (Live on David Letterman)

New Young Pony Club – Get Lucky (The Twelves Remix)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Saturday Night All The Time

Song: Saturday Night All The Time
Artist: Blowoff
Album: Blowoff

Tonight marks my fourth time attending a Blowoff party, the traveling dance party started by musicians Bob Mould and Rich Morel. The party has been growing in popularity, but only recently did I get the amazing album that started it all. Back in 2006 the two collaborated for the Blowoff album of the same name fusing Mould’s guitar driven pop with Morel’s house beats. The combination is quite impressive and the parties were born out of this merger, playing music that mixes alternative rock and driving, hard-hitting techno.

Knowing the DJ sets as I do from past events I was surprised initially by first track “Hormone Love,” which sounded not too far from Mould’s 90’s Alt rock band Sugar. Where are the beats I had grown to know from their amazing sets? Well, as the album went on the beats came, and the sublime merger of the two encompasses everything an alterna-rock fan turned dance head like me would ever want. My favorites include “Life with a View,” “Tag it,” and “Saturday Night All The Time,” the perfect pre-going out track.

Since being clued into the parties I have been following Morel a bit more. The man has been very successful with his remixes of songs for everyone from The Killers, The Pet Shop Boys, and Kreesha Turner, as well as producing. (Cyndi Lauper’s amazing latest “Bring Ya to the Brink.”) He recently released a new album under the moniker “Morel” which I have yet to hear, but on the strength of “Blowoff” will be looking into soon.

I have been a fan of Mould’s for a while. From his days in legendary punk band Hüsker Dü to the aforementioned power-alterna-pop of Sugar (whom I was obsessed with in high school) and through to his solo work, the man has progressed sonically while always laying a pop sensibility to his edgy songwriting. Just as he began to work more electronics and beats into his music, he teamed with Morel and the rest is history.

I highly recommend this album for any fans of both rock and dance, and really recommend the party for those with an affinity to large burly hairy men dancing. Woof!


An idea of what it’s like… Saturday all of the time

And a video shot form the first NYC date in 2007

Thursday, February 05, 2009

More Than This

Song: More Than This
Artist: Roxy Music
Album Avalon

Since getting into the Scissor Sisters cover of Roxy Music’s “Do the Strand,” I decided that it was time I finally listened to the band, arguably one of the most influential of the new wave and electronic music of the 80’s. It’s funny, I consider myself pretty up on music, and yet this very important influential band had somehow alluded me. So I picked up a best of and have been listening all week, man have I been missing out!

Their music is lush and mysterious at times, and seems like the bridge from glam rock to new wave. I had no idea that legendary producer Brian Eno was initially in the band, but as I listen I hear elements of some of his solo work as well as his production style he’s employed with the Talking Heads and U2. It’s important to mention the Talking Heads because as I’ve thought of them the most as I listen to Roxy Music, they seem to be the American equivalent of the band.

I must say that these songs (at least those on the best of) had never gotten into my consciousness over my lifetime despite the influence the band has had on music. I really half expected to recognize some of these songs once I heard them but haven’t. Only “More Than This,” which was the lead single from their last proper album, 1982’s “Avalon,” sounded a little familiar… but I think it really is just so much like other synth-driven new wave ballads… I actually think I more know the songs that it inspired over the original.

“Avalon” was the last album by the band, but there has been rumor that a new album is due later this year. The Scissor Sisters have been confirmed to be working on a song for the record.

Well Roxy Music is proof positive to me that there is amazing music out there that all of us have yet to discover, despite when it’s come out.


More Than This

Love is the Drug

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

In Love

Song: In Love
Artist: Lovers Electric
Album: Whatever You Want

Lovers Electric are a alternative synth-pop band from Australia. I randomly came across their album, “Whatever You Want” and have been really enjoying it. Apparently their song “Closer” was used on MTV’s “The Hills” which garnered them a bit of exposure. I find them a mix of 90’s female alt-rock bands like Belly and The Sundays with a touch of romantic angst and current electro sensibilities. (If that means anything.) The duo is made up of husband and wife team David Turley and Eden Boucher, whom formed the band in London.

The whole record has a throw-back vibe to me… sort of like instant 90’s nostalgia. But the songs are catchy, and I really like Eden’s voice. “In Love,” my favorite track on the album, has a killer super-catchy chorus with soaring vocals and a punchy rhythm.


Could This Be

You Got it


Monday, February 02, 2009

Do the Strand

Song: Do the Strand
Artist: Scissor Sisters
Album: Heroes

While we wait eagerly for the new Scissor Sisters album, we can be held over with a new track, a cover of the Roxy Music song “Do the Strand” which is being released off the latest War Child compilation entitled “Heroes.” War Child is a non-profit British organization that sends assistance to children in war torn or post-war areas. This is the fourth compilation the charity has released with “Heroes” being comprised exclusively of covers. Other artists contributing to the album include Franz Ferdinand, Lily Allen, Hot Chip, Rufus Wainwright, TV on the Radio, and the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s.

The Sisters take Roxy Music’s glam-tastic “Do the Strand” add a Giorgio Moroder style beat and Jake’s falsetto for some serious dancefloor sexiness. The song fits in well with what I heard when they played new material at their secret shows back in October. A bit more 80’s than their “Ta-dah” material, with horns that are VERY 80’s. Funny though, since their shows the Killers released “Day & Age” which has a very similar sound, is this a trend?

I half remember talk from the band they were working with Brian Ferry of Roxy Music during “Ta-dah,” don’t know if that came to fruition and if it will be on the new album. I know that Kylie is a rumored collaborator… and actually come to think of it, could they have influenced her to cover “Love is the Drug” (another Roxy song) for the last BBC 1 compilation, or vice versa? Hmmm.

The entire “Heroes” track list looks really great, I think it will be a phenomenal album.


Roxy Music – Do the Strand