Friday, May 28, 2010

Money Can't Buy You Class

Song: Money Can't Buy You Class
Artist: Countess Luann
Album: Money Can't Buy You Class

Well, after seeing last night's episode of "The Real Housewives of New York," and Andy Cohen's silly post-show "Watch What Happens Live," I was compelled to hurl this grenade of a song at you.  I have read people say this is the worst song ever written... which is, of course, debatable... and while I do think it has elements of pretty awful, I am a fan of the show and love the ridiculous wink-wink irony of the whole thing.

"Countess" Luann de Lesseps, into the third season of the show, decided that while she always wanted to be a singer, and like Atlanta's Kim Zolsiak, will not let knowhow, or actual talent, get in her way.  Which is total 'Housewives.'  Of course, all the footage we've seen is how terrible her voice is, which isn't exactly the way you normally promote a single, but the show is all about flipping "reality," and thus the powers that be that have created this house-lite pop confection have flipped the script... instead of the terrible singer that must defend that she/he can sing when they really can't (standard music business) for both Countess Luann and Kim Z... we already know that they can't sing.  So you must, if you're willing at all, to bask in the joy of listening ironically.  Less you be tardy for the party...

So how is the song?  Well... it is sort of terrible, with ridiculous lines pulled from the Countess' crusade on manners, and very little actual "singing" more like just... speaking, and an auto-tuned within in inch of it's life chorus.  I was personally reminded of the "music" of America's Most Famous Transexual Amanda Lepore, and Countess Luann's voice (which when talking I think is actually pretty amazing, and amazingly sexy) sounds totally drag queen, which in a way... is sort of what the Housewives go for. Over-the-top female bitchiness, with a wink-wink ridiculousness that you sort of can't believe.

And I sort of can't believe this song exists.  And that I've listened to it multiple times.  And that I've heard it out at the bars more than once.  And that I'm even writing about it...

But money can't buy you taste either.  At least there is irony.


Money Can't Buy You Class

This video, with no affiliation to the show, is kinda funny.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Can't Shake This Feeling

Song: Can't Shake This Feeling
Artist: Grum
Album: Heartbeats

Grum is an electronic artist out of the U.K. and his debut "Heartbeats" was just released this month.  The album is, more than any other recent indie-dance records, inspired by the 80's.  It immediately reminded me of new favorites like Kisses and Shy Child, a modern take on 80's style disco.  The album has been compared with Mylo's "Destroy Rock & Roll" and Daft Punk's "Discovery."  I'd go along with that, though as much as I love both those records, "Heartbeats" is decidedly less pretentious and hard-edged.  It's going for pop bliss as much as dancefloor gold.

The album opens with a couple of killer singles, "Through the Night," a good, building start, and then "Can't Shake This Feeling," female-voiced euro-disco that again, sounds both a touch modern and decidedly in the past.  There's an odd cover of Bowie's "Fashion" that I didn't recognize right away as it sounds so different from the original, but it's good.

I liked this album immediately, check it out.


Can't Shake This Feeling


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Song: Hormones
Artist: Tracey Thorn
Album: Love and the Opposite

Tracey Thorn has one of the more gorgeous voices I've ever heard.  Loved the jazz-pop she did initially with Everything But the Girl, and LOVED their dance music rebirth post the success of "Missing" and especially loved their last proper album, "Temperamental."  It's crazy to think it's now been over ten years since that album came out, with no word if we're going to get another record from the duo (with hubbie Ben Watt) every again.  But with the release of 2007's "Out of the Woods," Thorn had re-started her solo career, with an album mixing her brand of singer-songwriting and the dance music we've gotten to known with E.B.T.G.  This time, we don't have to wait the 25 years between albums, just three... and we have "Love and the Opposite."

I liked "Out of the Woods," despite it being much less dance than the E.B.T.G. material, but it was good.  "Love and the Opposite" in contrast, doesn't have one dance song, and instead is a folk-y song-cycle about family and divorce.  Not exactly a fun trip, but it's a good album, and Thorn's voice is as beautiful as ever.  "Oh, the Divorces!" starts the album with a waltz-like vibe, detailing what the rest of the album has in-store for you.  Aside from two covers, each song is written solely by Thorn, and you can tell this is a personal album.  The production is top-knotch, and I really like the breezy pop of "Hormones," and the slow-dance that is "Singles Bar."  Thorn has always been a master at sad-sack and lovelorn, and "Opposite" has it in spades.

Don't expect the dance sound you've gotten to know from Thorn, but if you loved the more quiet moments from "Out of the Woods," you'll love this album.



Oh, the Divorces!

Singles Bar

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Virus

Song: Happy Virus
Artist: Hundreds
Album: Hundreds

Odd. Here's an album I stumbled across a couple weeks ago that I've been enjoying, but can't really find anything about the band. Hundreds have a website and MySpace page that have a couple videos and tour dates... I'm not even sure where this band is from. Again, odd.

Well, the self-titled, I'm assuming debut, from this mysterious band is a mix of female-lead vocals that remind me a bit of Suzanne Vega or Tracey Thorn, light, sometimes experimental electronics, and some spot-on melodies. It was easy to pick out "Song for a Sailor" and "Happy Virus" as the singles, they are the most "pop" of these songs with less experimentation. I really love "Happy Virus," it's a bit Dido with more mystery and less longing... and the more electronic interludes give the song a more off-kilter feel than the building of emotional sonics that she normally employs.

I guess I'm trying to say that it's a hard album to describe, but I quite like it. Check it out. I see that there are a bunch of remixes to "Happy Virus" available on iTunes, again... no band description. Is this a mystery or just a case of bad marketing?

Hmmm. Enjoy.

Happy Virus

Song For a Sailor


Friday, May 21, 2010


Song: Tightrope
Artist: Janelle Monae
Album: The ArchAndroid

While not an established artist, here's the first single from newcomer Janelle Monae. "Tightrope," featuring Big Boi from Outkast, is slowly building momentum, while the album, "The ArchAndroid" is garnering some of the best reviews of the year thus far. The album is actually parts two and three of a four-part "suite" that Monae conceived under the name "Metropolis." She released part one as an EP prior to being signed to Bad Boy Records. It's a tale of a messianic android with elements of love, identity, self-realization, as well as science fiction and Afrofuturism. (A term I wasn't familiar with, learn more from the link.)

I honestly haven't dove into "The ArchAndroid" to work all of that back-meaning out... but upon a few spins, the album is quite impressive. It combines a variety of influences, from jazz, classic R&B, soul, indie-rock, psychedelia, ... you name it. My initial thought was that she was very Estelle-ish, but I actually think she's a bit more interesting. I did think she was British initially, but she's actually from Kansas City, but moved to New York to try to get on Broadway, before settling on music as the channel for her art. (She has claimed music can "change the world.")

Monae was also in the Outkast film "Idlewild" and sang on two songs. She toured opening up for Athens, GA freak-rockers Of Montreal, who appear on the track "Make the Bus" on the album, which sounds just like... Of Montreal. But I quite like it.

This record is really worth checking out, and given the almost universal praise, could be one that's much talked about, and recognized, around award season.



Many Moons

The ArchAndroid Trailer

Thursday, May 20, 2010

California Gurls

Song: California Gurls
Artist: Katy Perry
Album: Teenage Dream

Well, since this week has inadvertently taken on a first single from established artists' theme, here is Katy Perry's first single from her sophomore album "Teenage Dream."

"California Gurls" apparently is a semi-response to Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," Perry stated:

"It’s so great that 'Empire State of Mind' is huge and that everyone has the New York song, but what the f**k? What about LA? What about California?. It's been a minute since we had a California song and especially from a girl's perspective. We took the references of Prince, which is always a great reference, and some of the '90s, almost house music references".

The song is the sort of perfect summer confection that I can imagine we'll be hearing just about everywhere for the next three months. It's fluff for sure, with a chorus so goofy and lyrically awkward, and yet... it really falls in line with Perry's smash successes off of her debut "One of the Boys." I wasn't a fan initially, really didn't care for "I Kissed a Girl," but further singles "Hot N' Cold" and especially "Waking Up in Vegas" won me over, and yet both also contain absolutely ridiculous lyrics and chorus' that are... ridiculously catchy. And while I immediately rolled my eyes at first hearing "California Gurls" (and that silly spelling, a pop pet peeve of mine) like Perry herself, I've folded and given in. It's a silly summer jam that you either go along with (and get a tooth ache) or despise outright. It's already number one on iTunes... again I think it's going to be pretty inescapable.

Well, I still need one big first single from a major summer release yet for tomorrow... help me readers, suggestions?


California Gurls

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

All The Lovers

Song: All the Lovers
Artist: Kylie Minogue
Album: Aphrodite

Wow, I guess it's turning into first-single week on some big albums of the summer.

Like the Scissor Sisters new album, Kylie Minogue's 11th album, "Aphrodite," is being produced by Stuart Price, and the first single is the Kish Mauve-written ("2 Hearts") "All The Lovers." The song was reportedly a late addition to the album, but quickly rose to first single status. It's a lush, beautiful dance song that is all Kylie. It reminds me a lot of "I Believe in You," one of my favorite Kylie songs ever. It has a slow build, and by end you imagine her spinning around repeatedly in bliss. (haha)

I had a bit of a hard time with "X," her last, and very attention-grabbing last album. It had a bunch of great songs on it, but it felt very disjointed... very much like she worked with just about everybody to get a great batch of songs, with the result being a bit of a mess. I got to see Kylie on her American tour and hearing the "X" songs live and in different versions did make me realize how good the songs were, I suppose it best feels like a greatest hits record... a bunch of singles.

Most artist would of course kill for something to that effect, but Kylie's prior albums felt more like "albums" to me. I'm very excited about "Aphrodite," as I hope that the album as a whole veers toward this "adult-dance" vibe that made "I Believe in You" so amazing, and continues with "All The Lovers." It seems time for her to make that album... she can get more hard-edged with the remixes. Right?


All The Lovers

Album Preview

All The Lovers (Electrik Authority Remix)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fire With Fire

Song: Fire With Fire
Artist: Scissor Sisters
Album: Night Work

Well, I wasn't going to post this as I'd already talked about the album without hearing the rest of it, but this is their first official single... and it's completely blowing me away.

"Fire With Fire" is one of those songs that fills you with so much joy when you hear it, which is part of what makes the Scissor Sisters such a great band. This time, they write an anthemic chant-along that is yes, a little Elton, a little Queen, but all Scissor. Lyrically it's vague... being overwhelmed and defeated by something, only to pick yourself up and take things head on. I've been listening to this track on repeat wherever I go and it's hard not to break out singing the chorus in a crowded annoying train during commuting. This is one to sing in the car when you're stuck in traffic, when work has you at wit's end, or when you hear something so ignorant, so terrible, that you can't imagine people can think the way they do. Fight fire with fiiiiiiiirrrrreeeee! Feel better already?

The production is top-notch, and a bit more-so than "Invisible Light" do I hear Stuart Price's production work. It's a bit akin to his work on The Killers "Human." I was unsure if the entire album would be in the vein of "Invisible Light," a big sleazy gay disco ball... but "Fire" is a pop song, using electronics just a touch, building to an exploding chorus. Perfect!

Not that I wasn't already crazy excited for this album, but "Fire With Fire" has me ready for the end of June, when it finally comes out.


Fire With Fire

Scissor Sisters - Fire With Fire

BLAIR | MySpace Video

Invisible Light (Stuart Price 12" Remix)

Monday, May 17, 2010


Song: XXXO
Artist: M.I.A.
Album: MAYA

The return of M.I.A. After having an out of left field hit with "Paper Planes" two years ago, and threatening to no longer create music, M.I.A. is back with her first official single off of her third album, "XXXO." And man, if it isn't a firecracker. Not sure I should be expecting anything less from M.I.A., though a reported single "Space Odyssey" leaked back in January which was underwhelming, and then she released the very violent and odd music video "Born Free," which was attention getting for it's nudity, drugs, guns, etc. but the song wasn't much of one.

Immediately the beat of "XXXO" gets you going, and there is a vulnerability to this track that I dig. "You want me be somebody that I'm really not." Is repeated in the chorus, a struggle of love that isn't her normal fair. The album was scheduled to come out in June and now has been pushed to July. Very interested to hear what's next.



Born Free

Friday, May 14, 2010

Warm in the Shadows (Fred Falke Remix)

Song: Warm in the Shadows (Fred Falke Remix)
Artist: Music Go Music
Album: Warm in the Shadows

Fred Falke Remix Week

I saw Calvin Harris do a DJ set here in the city not too long ago and the DJ that played before him pulled out this Music Go Music remix. At the time I didn't realize it was Mr. Falke, but was just so excited that one of my favorite new bands was getting the remix treatment. (I hadn't heard any other remixes up to that point from the band.) In essence, Fred Falke Remix Week was born when I first heard this.

Honestly, "Warm in the Shadows" isn't really Fred's best remix work, but like his U2 remix, I'm really fond when he takes a rock song (or anything not electronic to start) and gives it that Falke treatment. "Shadows" certainly falls into that category, and while I actually don't think it quite measures up to the ABBA-does-Meatloaf epic-ness of the original, it's just something completely different... while still sticking with the song's vocal melodic hook. Very very nice.

If you're interested in seeing what else Fred has remixed, you can see the list here. I still have many that I don't have and haven't heard so more to discover in the future. Even from what I have I had a hard time picking just five this week. (And now you know how good I think that Robyn remix is.) I put some other contenders for the week down below.


Warm in the Shadows (Fred Falke Remix) - Music go Music

Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix) - Whitest Boy Alive

Animal (Fred Falke Remix) - Miike Snow

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dancing On My Own (Fred Falke Remix)

Song: Dancing On My Own (Fred Falke Remix)
Artist: Robyn
Album: Dancing On My Own

Fred Falke Remix Week

Wow. So it wasn't supposed to happen like this. Haha.

What I mean, is that I had planned a different song for today, but heard this and changed my mind. Fred's re-work of Robyn's official first single off the three-part "Body Talk" project is nothing short of breathtaking, And this gives me reason to talk about the record, which is great.

"Dancing On My Own" has been on major rotation for me, including a few remixes from Rex the Dog and Chew Fu. It's really lush dance floor bliss and a home run of a first single. But how can you do wrong with a broken heart track? That's pop (and dance floor) gold. ["I Will Survive?"] It makes me realize that Robyn... we've missed you. Since you've been gone.

The Falke remix reminds me of his "Heavy Cross" take by The Gossip. Slow build, but when it explodes... it all comes together. I haven't heard the radio edit, but I think the slow build is so necessary, it helps make the last three-quarters of the track that much better. The chorus of the track is amazing, and Falke really highlights it. I suppose I just can't say enough good things about this remix. Ha!

As an album, "Body Talk Pt. 1" is pretty stellar. My only complaint... is that it's too short. At eight tracks, it's really like a long-ish EP. But fearing not, as parts 2 and 3 are expected throughout the year. It's interesting, as a concept, the assumption is that you'll just be able to take the tracks you really love and make your own specific "Body Talk" to your tastes. Yet I wonder if the good to just-okay track ratio will hold up for the next two editions. If so, it has electro-pop album of the year contention for sure.

So what track got bumped? Well, it was "Watch the Sun Come Up" by Example. I haven't even heard the original, or know anything else by the band, but it's classic Falke. Check it out below.


Funny, could not find ANY of Robyn's new tracks on YouTube. (?) Well, enjoy some more Fred.

Watch the Sun Come Up (Fred Falke Remix) - Example

Anthonio (Fred Falke Remix) - Annie

Back of The Van (Fred Falke Ultimate Remix) - Ladyhawke

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Magnificent (Fred Falke Remix)

Song: Magnificent (Fred Falke Remix)
Artist: U2
Album: Magnificent

Fred Falke Remix Week

There isn't much bigger than working with U2, and yet, their music doesn't lend itself to much remixing. Paul Okenfold did an amazing club remix of "Beautiful Day," back in the day, which I thought was really great... and yet that was really the only one I heard that I thought worked. For their latest album, U2 seemed to get into remixing a bit more with reworks of initial (awful) single "Get On Your Boots" as well as "I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight." When "Magnificent" was released as a single, I got all, at least I thought, of the remixes including those by Richard Vission, Redanka, Adam K, and Pete Tong. But none of them really grabbed me.

Well, as I was doing research for Fred Falke week I found out that he also had done a remix of the song and once I heard it... surprise surprise... it's the best. U2's music is often anthemic and epic, and Falke uses that vibe in his remix going for more euphoric trance than "clubby." Again, Falke doesn't chop up the words like many remixers, letting Bono's soaring vocals float above the beats and guitars, and the words "Only love, only love can leave leave such a mark. Only love, only love can heal such a scar," really fly against a shimmering wall of beats.

Good stuff.


Magnificent (Fred Falke Remix) - U2

Two Weeks (Fred Falke Remix) - Grizzly Bear

Bodies (Fred Falke Remix) - Robbie Williams

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Panic Attack (Fred Falke Remix)

Song: Panic Attack (Fred Falke Remix)
Artist: Florrie
Album: Florrie Remixes

Fred Falke Remix Week

Here was a discovery from knowing Fred more than the artist. I often use The Hype Machine to find the latest remixes from a particular DJ I like. A simple search will show what the bloggesphere has most recently churned out. So it was with a "Fred Falke" search that I found "Panic Attack" and heard of the UK's Florrie. I don't know much about her, other than that she's from London and seems to have about three songs thus far. She has a MySpace page you can check out, and her official website. The website is more like a blog, and seems to mainly just highlight whom has recently remixed either "Panic Attack" or "Call 911."

I'll be honest and admit that I've only listened to Falke's remixes of the two tracks, and while both come across as very Falke... they don't really tell me exactly what kind of artist Florrie is. "Panic Attack" reminds me a lot of Kylie, while "Call 911" in both its tone and attitude give me sort of South London's answer to Ke$ha. (Is it a coincidence that Falke did "Tik Tok?") I personally like "Panic Attack" best, though I don't really hear hit material really... it's good, but maybe just good worked into a pop-house set. (Though the Euro-pop scene works completely different from the more hip-hop leaning pop we have here.)

As I've tried to dig up some info on Florrie, I noticed that her MySpace page address ended with "xenomania" after her name. Of course Xenomania are the British songwriting team that helmed the Pet Shop Boys latest and very successful "Yes" as well as wrote and produced many tracks off the latest Annie album. They most recently worked on the latest Kylie album (ha!) and are frequent collaborators with... Mr. Fred Falke. Which no doubt explains the Florrie connection. Their Wikipedia page shows that they are working with some new artists that they've signed to their label (Alex Gardner, Jessie Malakouti, and Vagabond) and some extra digging saw that Florrie may also be part of that group. (Come to think of it... that "Vagabond album project" that was mentioned on Falke's page, must be for that band/artist. I'll have to look them up.)

You can get all of Florrie's tracks and remixes on her main website in two different file sizes/bit rates. How nice! Looks like we may be waiting a while for an album proper from her, but I'll be waiting/listening.


Panic Attack (Fred Falke Remix)

Call 911 (Fred Falke Remix)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Clap Your Hands (Fred Falke Remix)

Song: Clap Your Hands (Fred Falke Remix)
Artist: Sia
Album: Clap Your Hands

Fred Falke Remix Week

This week I wanted to take the time to highlight one of my favorite remixers, French-based but German-born DJ/Producer Fred Falke. I've highlighted a couple of his remixes before here on the blog as often his re-work I tend to listen to more often than the original.

Falke got his start working with Alan Braxe, another French DJ, who released the song "Intro" in 2000 which contained a sample of The Jet's hit "Crush on You." The duo did about a dozen remixes together form 2000 to 2007 including work for Goldfrapp, Royksopp, Kelis, etc. Falke has continued to remix, working the most he's had in 2009, and has already done a bunch for 2010. Not sure if he has plans to release an album of his own soon, though his Wikipedia page has some mention that he's working on "the Vandroid album project." ???

Falke's remixes are a bit house, a bit pop, but have a trancy-dance-floor bliss transcendence to them that I find irresistible. I've often really connected with his mixes as he tends to keep the basic song-structure of the original track, but makes it something his own. This is evident with his take on Ke$ha's "Tik Tok," which I listened to MUCH more than the original, and also "Heavy Cross" by The Gossip, Which is one of my favorite remixes of all time.

So for the start of Fred Falke remix week I wanted to start with something brand new, his remix of the latest Sia single, "Clap Your Hands." I'm actually really excited about Sia's new album "We Are Born," which is scheduled for release in June. Sia is probably best known for her song "Breathe Me," which had a major moment at the very end of a much beloved HBO show. (Click here to listen.) Her music was sort of a more folk-influences Dido, with quite a bit more edge and "artiness." It came as a bit of a surprise to hear that she was working with Christina Aguilera on her new record, but it seems that Sia is also getting a bit more upbeat with the new album. Remix aside, "Clap Your Hands" is a dance song in it's original form, and the other tracks from the album show a much more up tempo vibe to her work. (You can check out six tracks from the album here.)

"Clap Your Hands" is a killer song, and Falke really knocks it out of the park. We'll have one new remix a day from him this week.


Clap Your Hands (Fred Falke Remix) - Sia

Heavy Cross (Fred Falke Remix) - The Gossip

Tik Tok (Fred Falke Remix) - Ke$ha

Friday, May 07, 2010

Alors on Danse

Song: Alors on Danse
Artist: Stromae
Album: Alors on Danse

Stromae (born Paul van Haven) is a Belgian singer-songwriter and prodigy of sorts. He began writing music at eleven, and started a hip-hop group in his late teens. He was producing music himself, and while training at a music station in Brussels, the manager, impressed by his song "Alors on Danse," decided to play it first on his station. The reaction was explosive, and his career was born.

The single came out in September of last year and has reached number one in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Austria. He's releasing a mix-tape of sorts, a collaboration with DJ Psar this year called "Mixture Elecstro." I only took a brief listen to it, it's a lot of mash-ups of Stromae with other songs. So-so.

BUT, "Alors on Danse" is a killer track, with a horn riff as irresistible as Rune's "Calabria" and easy to see how its become so popular in Europe. Stomae has quite a flow, even though I don't know a thing he's saying.

Thanks to my old friend Lee for cluing me into it. I think it's a great hip-hop-house track and one that'll get your weekend going.


Alors on Danse

Up Saw Liz


Thursday, May 06, 2010


Song: Soldiers
Artist: Mademoiselle Caro & Frank Garcia
Album: Left

Here's an interesting fun little pop record from Ben Watt's Buzzin' Fly Records. Mademoiselle Caro (AKA Caroline Laher) & Frank Garcia are a French duo who are releasing their sophomore album "Left" this year. They met in 2006, Caro had been a resident DJ for many years at Paris' Rex Club, and released their debut album "Pain Disappears" in 2008. I haven't heard that album, but I understand it's a bit more electronic and dance oriented. From the onset, they wanted "Left" to be a little more organic, acoustic, and pop. The result is a mix of dreamy pop melodies, house-lite beats, and minimal (depending on the song) electronics.

"Left" isn't an attention-grabbing album, in fact I'd listened to it a couple times and thought it pleasant but nothing grabbed me immediately. Repeated listens have garnered little moments of recognition from a melody here, a beat here, etc. Check out the single "Soldiers," which is one of the more upbeat tracks, but will give you an idea what to expect. It's funny, it's at times very "lounge" and semi-background music... but the vocals are placed up front, and mixes both straight-up pop melodies and a hint at the experimental. And then you'll have a straight-up rock song like "Drive," bringing another dimension to the overall sound. Nice.

I'm also a sucker for a cooing French accent, even though it's all in English.



From the Shadows

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Time for the Devil

Song: Time for the Devil
Artist: John & Jehn
Album: Time for the Devil

Here's an album I've been listening to a couple weeks now that's really grabbed me. It's a dark atmospheric rock & roll throw back to legends like Joy Division, Roxy Music, and the Velvet Underground. John & Jehn are really couple Nicolas Conge and Camille Berthomier, whom moved to London from France in 2006 to start their music career. They recorded their self-titled debut in their bedroom which was released in 2008. "Time for the Devil," their follow-up, was just released in March.

I haven't given the debut much of a listen, but "Time for the Devil" almost sounds like a lost classic from another time. It drips with the feel and strut of late 70's/early 80's city-bred underground rock. It's a little goth, without making it a gimmick... and these songs really stay with you, with melodies that unfold after repeated listens.

After a short intro, the album really kicks off with the title track, which begins with a church-like organ, and then dives into what sounds like an Echo & The Bunnyman song... but it's not. It's new. Like a lost song from "The Lost Boys," but way cooler. Next track is mainly sung by Jehn, "Oh My Love" which sounds very PJ Harvey both in song title and sound. Actually, as the album continues you can sort of play "what's the influence?" Hearing a little Beach Boys in the open of "Vampires," and there is SOMETHING about "Down Our Streets" that sounds familiar... I just can't place it.

Don't get me wrong, this album doesn't feel like a re-tread. It's sort of like a Tarantino film. It's pieces of a lot of other stuff from the past, yet the sum of all those parts is completely original. It just all ends up sounding quite classic and quite good. Check these guys out.


Time for the Devil

Oh My Love


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Stop the Music

Song: Stop the Music
Artist: The Pipettes
Album: Earth vs. The Pipettes

I was only a so-so fan of the Pipettes debut from 2006, "We Are the Pipettes," finding it a little too cute and cloying for repeated listens. And the girl-group of 50's/60's motif was a little too hipster-cute for my taste. Well, the girls are back with a bit of a different sound... and different girls...

The band itself was actually "an experiment in manufactured pop" by singer-songwriter and promoter Monster Bobby, and saw some girls shuffled prior to the debut album. As they are set to release their sophomore album, "Earth vs. the Pipettes," there are actually no original members left from when the band first formed. While manufactured "bands" like this never seem to hold up (Spice Girls, N*SYNC, you name it) I must admit that I've been listening to the digital five-track "Stop the Music" EP that's been released prior to the new album, and I'm really digging it. The female harmonies are still there, but the music ventures out into a little new wave, a bit more electronic, and much more 80's than their initial faux 50's/60's sound.

The band released the single "Our Love Was Saved By Spaceman" back in February, which is found on the album, and now "Stop the Music," which I really dig. So... while I was reluctant to give this band any more of my time... I am intrigued by their new direction. I think I just have an allergy to all things hipster.

I'm hearing an ABBA/Kylie hybrid with this new output... what do you think?


Stop the Music

Our Love Was Saved By Spaceman

Monday, May 03, 2010

It's Hot

Song: It's Hot
Artist: James
Album: The Night Before

I was a big fan of Manchester band James who formed in the early 80's, but broke just as the "Madchester" scene was coming about and then really scored big with their Brian Eno produced 5th album "Laid," which actually did better on the charts here in America than it did in the U.K. I thought James had exactly two great albums, 1992's "Seven" and then the aforementioned "Laid" from the following year. I'd gotten their "experimental" follow-up to "Laid" "Wah Wah" which left me, and their audience, sort of cold.

The band had some personal struggles at the beginning of the new millennium and ended up disbanding in 2001. Lead singer Tim Booth put out a solo album in 2004, and after the release of a compilation album, the band announced in 2007 that they were getting together for some reunion shows, which eventually lead to new album "Hey Ma" from 2008. I don't think I heard that record... but have really been digging the first half of their two mini-albums releasing this year, April's "The Night Before," with "The Morning After" coming in August.

At just seven tracks it's a short and sweet work that immediately brings me back to what I dug about James some twenty years ago. Booth's beautifully distinctive voice, the whirling guitar, and shimmering melodies. If you were a fan and fell out with the band, check this out.


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Dr. Hellier