Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Slow Poison

Song: Slow Poison
Artist: The Bravery
Album: Stir the Blood

Remember when The Bravery and The Killers dropped their debut albums at the same time and their PR company (which they both shared) decided a rivalry would help both bands get press? If you read that sentence and said to yourself, "Who are The Bravery?" well... that about says it all.

At the time, I liked The Bravery a little better. A few leaked songs got me very interested in the band, and I connected with them more than what I'd heard from The Killers. Their albums came out, I liked both... and then stopped listening to The Bravery's, and continued to listen to "Hot Fuss" more, while they racked up hit singles. Then the respective second albums came out... The Killers proved themselves to be one of the more exciting American bands to come out in years and the The Bravery... well their second record was so awful that they re-recorded the entire thing and re-released it. Nothin'.

Well the band is back with a follow-up that aims for the sound of their debut again. Is it any good? Well... I really like lead Sam Endicott's voice, and their dirty electro-rock sound. It is way better than their last, but what is clear is that's it's unfair to compare them to The Killers anymore, and I think that poor decision to do so killed their chances as being bigger than they have been. The indie-rock blogosphere hates them, and without the machine saying you're cool, it's an uphill battle.

But, Endicott may have the last laugh, as his teaming with producer John Hill on this record led to the pair writing three tracks for the new Shakira record, one of which being her international hit title-track "She Wolf." They certainly don't bring them level of pop craft to "Stir the Blood" but it's a return for sure. There isn't a "Mr. Brightside" in this bunch... but then again, The Killers haven't had a "Mr. Brightside," since their "Mr. Brightside."


Slow Poison

I Am Your Skin

Monday, November 23, 2009

Turtle Pizza Cadillac

Song: Turtle Pizza Cadillac
Artist: Parallel Dance Ensemble
Album: Turtle Pizza Cadillac

Don't know much about Denmark's Parallel Dance Ensemble, but came across this track and instantly fell in love. They currently have only this five-song EP for sale digitally, which consists of three tracks and two remixes. "Turtle Pizza Cadillac" is as infectious as it is ridiculous, a loungy piece of nu-disco, the band reminds me a little of Hercules and Love Affair, with a bit more humor. Breathy vocals, lazy beats, and laser noises abound... they have a fun sound, and wonder how they'll do filling out an entire LP. The other tracks are pretty cool too ("Weight Watchers" & "Gigalette.")


Turtle Pizza Cadillac

Weight Watchers

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Don't Like Your Band

Song: I Don't Like Your Band
Artist: Annie
Album: Don't Stop

I first heard the eagerly awaited new single from Annie's sophomore album back in March of 2008. "I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me" (Known simply as "Girlfriend" then) was a familiar slice of dance-pop in the mold of her first single "Chewing Gum" from her excellent debut "Anniemal." I dug it enough, if not being blown over by it, but was happy it was chosen as the first single, vs. her cover of Stacey Q's "Two of Hearts." Which was ultimately left off the album. There was also some issues with vocals on the track "My Love is Better" by Girls Aloud, but that was taken off. The album was finally released towards the end of 2008. Then, a new single "Antonio," was released in early May of 2009... though it wasn't on the album! Strange.

NOW, "Don't Stop" is finally seeing a release her in the US this month. It's got new album art, and... the track listing is different. The biggest surprise is that "Antonio" was NOT included on the album and "I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me" has been taken off. (When has a single from another country been taken off another's release?) And, MY personal favorite track "Sweet" was ALSO removed, as well as "I Can't Let Go.". I don't really understand the logic of taking "Sweet"off (while leaving on Annie's worse song to date "What Do You Want for Breakfast.")

Alas, with the re-release three new songs have been added, a moody opener "Hey Annie," a title track, and the bubbly "I Don't Like Your Band," which I quite like. Despite the very strange track flipping, you CAN get the album's Special Edition which includes the five-track "All Night" EP, which includes "Girlfriend," "I Can't Let Go," "Sweet," "Antonio," and another new track... "All Night." I am sure I don't understand all of the political (and/or legal) reasons for the track listing switcheroo... but in the age of the MP3, we're able to make the album WE best like.

In the end, I still am a touch disappointed with "Don't Stop" in comparison to "Anniemal," an album I loved and still listen to. There isn't a song as good as "Heartbeat" on "Don't Stop," and the tracks altogether go for a more pop vs. indie-dance sound.

If you can keep track of all that, enjoy.

I Don't Like Your Band

I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me


My Love is Better

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing

Song: Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing
Artist: Pet Shop Boys
Album: Christmas

In December the Pet Shop Boys are releasing a 5-track EP entitled simply "Christmas." It contains a cover of the Madness song "My Girl" (and a remix,) a re-worked version of their 1997 fan-club only holiday song "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas," a re-worked version of my favorite track off this year's album "Yes," "All Over the World," and lastly, a fan favorite from their most recent tour... a mash-up of their classic "Domino Dancing" with Coldplay's "Viva La Vida."

I re-fell in love with the Pet Shop Boys this year with "Yes," and hearing this cover immediately made me smile. And it was a reminder just how big, sweeping, and cool the Coldplay song was.


Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing (live) shaky video

Here is the original "It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's Raining Clouds

Song: It's Raining Clouds
Artist: Blockhead
Album: The Music Scene

Blockhead (James Anthony Simon) is an NYC-based hip-hop producer best known for his work with Aesop Rock. "The Music Scene" is his fourth album for the London indie label Ninja Tune. I've been listening to this album a lot at work. I'd best describe it as trip-hop, maybe nu-jazz. A great mood/chillout record with lazy beats but a decidedly "street" feel. I'm often bored with albums of this ilk, but really dig this one. It's not attention grabbing, so no big hooky beats, etc. but I think it's a cut above the standard in moody hip-hop. Check it out.


It's Raining Clouds

Tricky Turtle

Which One of You Jerks Drank My Arnold Palmer

Monday, November 16, 2009

600th Post! - Birthday

Song: Birthday
Artist: The Sugarcubes
Album: Life's Too Good

600th Post

Wow, I sort of can't believe I'm on my 600th post. I started the blog in August of 2006 when I was, fittingly enough, working at a record label, where music was all around me... including work. I've always been fascinated on how music gets interwoven into our lives, and how we as human beings can associate images, people, and even emotions to music that was playing at a certain time and place. While WeCastMusic is mainly about what I've been listening too personally, I always wanted to tell the stories about how music does that, and how we pass it along to each other. In the past we may have constructed a mix tape for one another, or now we post a link to our Facebook Wall. The methods change, but in the end there is just the music.

I want to thank the readers that have been here since the beginning, and those that have just joined. I thank you for taking the time, introducing your friends, and recommending music to me, as that's what it's all about. Please continue to send me friends that you think would enjoy the blog, and posting comments on the blog itself. I want to know how particular songs have touched your life, and want to know when you think my selections are rubbish!

This AM I typed "birthday" into my iTunes and came up with thirteen songs. And while I was tempted when I saw one of my favorite bands of all time, The Smiths, to choose "Unhappy Birthday," It just didn't fit. I also loved Cracker's "Happy Birthday to Me," and Cibo Matto's "Birthday Cake." But in the end I chose the Sugarcubes very first single from 1988, simply "Birthday," which Bjork has described as "a tasteless pop song." Which somehow fit just right. Haha.

As always, enjoy.

Birthday - The Sugarcubes

Friday, November 13, 2009


Song: Pussy
Artist: Brazilian Girls
Album: Brazilian Girls

Brazilian Girls are not Brazilian... and only one of them is a girl.

It's a gray and cold day in New York City, and with the onset of Winter sweeping in, I am suddenly feeling the need to transport myself elsewhere. Somewhere tropical. Maybe it's an open-air bar on the edge of some beautiful exotic beach, torches of fire creating the only light beyond the moon, which casts it's strong image onto the water out in the distance. It's a scene comprised of locals and tourists from across the globe, and while there is music heard, its origin is unclear. A song begins, and when the "chorus" starts, it's greeted with smiles, a couple laughs, but everyone begins to move...

I wasn't a fan of Brazilian Girls last album, "New York City" which was released last year. I had liked their sophomore album very much, but the indifference to their third didn't make me track down their debut. Which is a pity, as now that I've heard it, I think I like it more than 2006's "Talk to La Bomb." Their self-titled debut from 2005 is a cultural collision, like the city that birthed them (NYC.) Trip-hop, acid jazz, samba; it's an anything-goes soup of influences that create a perfect mood of a multi-cultural meeting of the minds.

Of course the standout is "Pussy," which has a chorus that you just can't deny. Thanks to Cicely for turning me onto this album.

Happy Friday.



Pussy (Arms of Gandhi Remix)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chasing Pirates

Song: Chasing Pirates
Artist: Norah Jones
Album: The Fall

Okay, so I am not much of a fan. When Norah Jones broke and instantly became HUGE I didn't get it. I thought she was crazy boring, sleepy, and agreed with my friend Brian when he called her "Snora Jones." But the girl captured something, and had hit after hit album. I just assumed I was too young for her Starbucks-ready pillow time music... or was it straight-up music snobbery? Regardless, over the years I did find myself digging (and surprised) from some interesting collaborations with artists I dug. I played the shit out of her duet with Dave Grohl on the Foo Fighters' track "Virginia Moon," and also really thought her duet with Q-Tip, "Life is Better," on his excellent solo album "The Renaissance" was pretty cool. It was through these that I realized how much I liked her smoky, rather sexy voice.

So while I can't really speak to her other three albums with any intelligence (I have heard "Come Away With Me" in its entirety, was bored, but possibly delusional) I have been listening to her latest, "The Fall" due on November 17th, and think it's AMAZING. A shift in style from her more jazz-leaning tracks, "The Fall" sees Jones working with all new musicians and producers, who have worked with R.E.M., Modest Mouse, Tom Waits, and Kings of Leon to name a few. The result isn't a complete shift in mood (she's still making pretty, quiet music) but it's somehow more alive, complex, and wildly interesting. Lead single "Chasing Pirates" opens the record and is a good indication of what's to follow. It's quite beautiful, as not to alienate the fan base that loves her, but musically it's more intricate and layered. I'm just really really taken with it.

If you like Norah, I think you'll enjoy this new adventure, and if you're not a fan I would recommend having a listen. I do hear a Tom Waits/Modest Mouse freak-show circus vibe a bit... but it doesn't go whole-hog in that direction. Hmmm... hard to really describe, just check it out. Good good stuff.


Chasing Pirates

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

All The Right Moves

Song: All The Right Moves
Artist: OneRepublic
Album: Waking Up

Jimmy introduced me to this song, the new single by Colorado band OneRepublic. I somehow missed their huge single from their first album "Apologize," which didn't hit until Timbaland gave it the remix treatment. You can hear his influence on "All The Right Moves," which features beats a-la Timbo, who only serves as "Executive Producer." (??)

Ryan Tedder, the lead singer and songwriter for the band has made a name for himself writing pop songs for R&B artists and scored a massive hit with Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," and got himself into some controversy when Kelly Clarkson publicly noted that her Tedder penned single "Already Gone" had already been released, and sung by Beyonce as "Halo." Kelly didn't want to release the single, but her record label won out... and now she's been performing the songs as a mash-up. Maybe the song did too well for her...


All The Right Moves

Kelly - Already Gone/Halo

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dress to Digress

Song: Dress to Digress
Artist: Boy Crisis
Album: Tulipomania

Boy Crisis are a Brooklyn-based indie dance-rock act who just released their debut album "Tulipomania" last month. They sound a bit like the Rapture (but not as good,) have humorous lyrics like Hot Chip (but not as clever... or really funny,) and Pitchfork recently described them as "the absolute worst band in the world right now. Seriously." (Well, that's according to their Wikipedia page, which seems a little jokey anyhow.) Hmmm.

So should you care? I don't really know... I like "Dress to Digress," it sounds like what you'd expect from a hipster bar in Williamsburg. And while that description might tune some of you in, I pause because that would turn me off... but think you should check them out anyhow.

I'm not making a lot of sense... but that's so Boy Crisis.


Dress to Digress

Fountain of Youth


Monday, November 09, 2009

Cuts You Up

Song: Cuts You Up
Artist: Peter Murphy
Album: Deep

"Cut You Up" was a Modern Rock number one for seven weeks back in 1990, the biggest track on that chart of the year. What strikes me is that this song is now so adult-contemporary no? All of this from a man still considered "The Godfather of Goth" with his seminal late 70's/early 80's band Bauhaus. But that's just how perception and time change things. I suppose a hit's a hit, and this was Mr. Murphy's one and only.

As I get a bit older, and the "cutting-edge" "Alternative" or "Modern Rock" that I grew up with seems to have died a bit, I realize that it's now just called "Indie," and a whole new game. (Marketed do a different consumer) But is it? Regardless that "10,000 Maniacs" were once... well I don't know if edgy is the word, but not mainstream we'll say, and are now played on "Lite FM" stations, things do change. And given ten to fifteen years won't we be hearing "Young Folks" or Arcade Fire on those types of stations?

Something to think about.


Cuts You Up

Friday, November 06, 2009

Orally Fixated

Song: Orally Fixated
Artist: Róisín Murphy
Album: Orally Fixated

Like Allison Goldfrapp before her, Irish singer-songwriter Róisín Murphy, found her artistic footing with her sophomore album. After her intriguing debut "Ruby Blue" from 2005, she released 2007's "Overpowered" with a new found confidence and sleek musical direction. "Overpowered" was interesting because while I would classify it as Electro-pop, she didn't push for bubbly hooks. Similar to Bjork, she seems to have a musical vision that just sometimes might be catchy, but has an artistic edge that is something new altogether.

Hmmm... I don't think I'm making a lot of sense, but actually a couple listens to her new single, "Orally Fixated" from her as yet untitled third album coming next year sort of drives the point home. It's a glitchy, slow builder with a long intro (for a pop song,) distorted vocals, and odd noises here and there. This is a must in headphones as the first couple spins on computer speakers do not do it justice. Lyrically it's very strong, which reminded me that that was one of the strengths of "Overpowered." And then when the Prince-like guitar bursts in... you realize that you can't continue to call this pop at all anymore. It's just Róisín.

Will her third album be her very own "Supernature?"


Orally Fixated

Here she talks about the new song

Movie Star - So John Waters!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

16th & Valencia Roxy Music

Song: 16th & Valencia Roxy Music
Artist: Devendra Banhart
Album: What Will Be

Seven albums in, which is pretty impressive as he just started in 2002, Devendra Banhart, probably the most recognizable name in the New Weird America/Freak Folk scene, is still going strong. Prolifically writing strange, yet endearing, tunes. "What Will Be" is another solid, if more of the same, collection of his strange hippie vibe. I actually liked his last record quite a bit, "Smokey Rolls Down the Mountain" and while this latest hasn't grabbed me the same way, it's very nice and worth listening to for a least a couple very solid tracks.

First single "Baby" is a waltzy-lullaby, if a little creepy. (Which he can't really help after all.) My initial favorite has been "16th & Valencia Roxy Music," a driving mysterious song that I can't really tell is about Roxy Music (the band) or not. But a song like this proves that Banhart has serious chops, and given his rate of release and quality, assures a long if confusing career.


16th & Valencia Roxy Music (live on Jools Holland)

Baby (live at the Independent in San Francisco)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bhangra Bros.

Song: Bhangra Bros.
Artist: Firewater
Album: The Golden Hour

I was recently introduced to this band via my friend Cicely, who's friend is making a documentary about them. Firewater is mainly singer, songwriter, bassist/guitarist Tod A. Originally, he formed the band with members of The Jesus Lizard and Soul Coughing, who contributed to the first album but were unable to tour. Since he's gathered a mix of musicians that have changed over the years. "The Golden Hour" was their latest, released in 2008, and includes elements of ska, punk, jazz, and even a hint of traveling gypsies. Tod A describes their sound as a "Wedding band gone wrong." To me it sounds like an old time traveling circus, filled with freaks, hustlers, and dangerous woman. I hear a hundred stories within their music, which is the best way I can describe it. It's very organic, dark, and intriguing.

While the songs mostly have vocals, (and remind me of John Linnell of They Might Be Giants) I really can't stop listening to instrumental "Bhangra Bros.," an Indian-influenced rollicking jam that literally forces you to your feet. It's got a wild groove, crazy videogame noises that should seem out of place but don't, and a simmering horn that brings in the sexy. Basically... if this don't make your booty move, your booty must be dead.

"The Golden Hour" and Firewater take you to another place with a full listen. It's a trip worth taking.


Bhangra Bros. (live)

Hey Clown

Some Kind of Kindness

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Song: Abracadabra
Artist: The Steve Miller Band
Album: Abracadabra

When I was around eight or nine I went through a magic phase, which might be de rigueur, for most boys of that age. I'm sure that at this time 'magician' was an actual career option for me when I grew up (you may have had plans to be a astronaut) and I remember having a magic set or two and being obsessed with them. Well, it was around this time that my uncle had gotten remarried and I specifically remember the reception DJ playing this song that was ALL about magic... "Abracadabra." And I became obsessed with it.

Admittedly, this is not much of a story. But whenever I hear this song, I remember that moment and even remember grabbing my Mom's dress and saying "I need this song." I even remember being just outside of the reception room when I found her as she had just been outside in the restroom. What strikes me about this little non-story is how music can be tied to, and possibly CREATE a memory for you. One that can stick with you for your whole life. Often when a song is used in a film it gets married to that image for me, a million associations that I don't actively think about... they are just there.

As a song, "Abracadabra" is, in my opinion now, just a fun moody 80's track. It certainly sounds dated, but I like to play it as it's one that everyone knows, yet might not listen to all that frequently. The Steve Miller Band was very popular with people in High School and college, but more-so their earlier work. "The Joker" goes down as one of my least favorite songs of all time. It's one I cringe at every time it pops up. People seem to like it... I personally file it under hippie songs that drive me crazy, like "Hotel California." (It's not a lovely place for me.)

Do you have any songs that are somehow tied to an early memory?


Abracadabra (live) Steve Miller Band

Monday, November 02, 2009

For Your Entertainment

Song: For Your Entertainment
Artist: Adam Lambert
Album: For Your Entertainment

While I was a fan of his when he was on American Idol, I really just liked the idea of Adam Lambert, more than I actually liked Adam Lambert. The recorded versions of songs he did on the show were so-so, and his first official single, "Time For Miracles" from the "2012" soundtrack was pure garbage balladry. Ugh.

But I was very interested in hearing what he was cooking up on his album as he was getting to work with some really interesting people while crafting it. He was going for disco, for rock, and based on the album cover, he wasn't shying away from... the gay. And I suppose that in itself makes me interested in Adam Lambert because he's the most high profile openly gay new artist here in America. Will a hit album reveal that that's okay in America and we won't have any more says-he's-not-but-give-me-a-break artists like Mika?

So "For Your Entertainment," the first official single from the album is what I expected. It's produced by Dr. Luke (Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Britney, etc) and is upbeat, fun, but I don't think a grand slam by any means. I'm hoping that the album has some more surprises, because with "Entertainment" I'm still liking the idea, more than the music.


For Your Entertainment