Friday, June 25, 2010

Shoegazer Disco (The Death of Paperboy Pink Noise Dub)

Song: Shoegazer Disco (The Death of Paperboy Pink Noise Dub)
Artist: Morel
Album: The Death of Paperboy DISC-O

Morel is DC based DJ Rich Morel who is most known for his "Pink Noise" remixes of varied pop acts such as The Killers, Nelly Furtado, Seal, New Order, The Pretenders, Cyndi Lauper, and Mariah Carey just to name a few.  His last album, "The Death of Paperboy" was a two disc set containing the dance-rock album, and then a remix record titled "DISC-O."  The original was in the vein of his collaboration with punk music legend Bob Mould entitled "Blowoff," with guitar, vocals, punk attitude, and a consistent beat.  I didn't like it as much as the "Blowoff" album, but really liked the remix version... which packs more dancefloor punch.

My favorite track on the album, "Shoegazer Disco" wasn't on the first disc in a different form, and is his current single, which he is releasing with many remixes.  The album version is a propulsive house track that features Morel's more spoken-word style "vocals" and a killer piano riff that holds the song together.  I really love it.

Morel and Mould have been taking their "Blowoff" dance-party on the road and tonight they are playing the Canal Room here in NYC as a kick-off to Pride weekend.  This is one of my favorite roving parties that comes to the city and I've been to versions in Provincetown, MA and San Francisco, CA.  The big burly furry crowd dances their ass off to rock, electro, and Morel's style of house music.  It's a lot of fun. He played "Shoegazer Disco" at the last party here in the city and I just might hear it again tonight.


Shoegazer Disco (Linus Loves Remix)

Morel "Shoegazer Disco" (Linus Loves Mix) from Outsider Music on Vimeo.

Shoegazer Disco (Roberto Rodriguez Vox Edit)

Shoegazer Disco (Fuzz Mono Mix)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All the Lovers (Radio 1 Live Lounge)

Song: All The Lovers
Artist: Scissor Sisters
Album: Radio 1 Live Lounge

Well, I couldn't resist posting this once I heard it.  I've been going pretty ga-ga for the new Scissor Sisters record, and am eagerly awaiting Kylie Minogue's new album which comes out next month.  Both new albums share a producer, so maybe the Sister's decided to do a little wink-wink toward him (and their pal Kylie) by giving a very unique spin to her latest single.  I love it!

Like their cabaret-bar version of Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" that they did for the Live Lounge when they first hit the scene, the Scissor Sisters turn the electro-pop dancefloor hit on it's head.  They had also preformed a stripped-down version of their latest single "Fire With Fire," (listen here) but something tells me this is going to get all the talk.  Very fun.

Check out the band performing the track live below, and see Kylie's version with video here.  Also, check out  Sisters excellent video for their first single.  It's already a great summer for new good music!


All The Lovers (Radio 1 Live Lounge) - Scissor Sisters

Fire With Fire

Take Me Out (Radio 1 Live Lounge) - Scissor Sisters (poor quality audio)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Song: Misery
Artist: Maroon 5
Album: Hands All Over

Maroon 5 was a band I, for whatever reason, didn't want to like.  And when their first album was out I certainly didn't care for the drippy ballads they were releasing as singles, but a song like "This Love" is hard to avoid, and find yourself singing along to.  It was everywhere, and I succumbed.  What I didn't expect was to like their sophomore release, "It Won't Be Soon Before Long" as much as I did.  On the strength of the killer initial single "Makes Me Wonder," I got the album and was really pleasantly surprised.    I could make fun of them no more... (though I still think "She Will Be Loved" is adult contemporary garbage.)

So it comes with some hot anticipation that Maroon 5 are releasing a new album, "Hands All Over," in late September, with their first single from the album, "Misery" coming out later this month.  The album was recorded in Switzerland with mega-producer Robert "Mutt" Lang, (Def Leppard, Shania Twain) so expectations are even higher for the band to turn something hot out.  So how is the first single?  Eh.  It certainly sounds like trademark Maroon 5, but with nothing new.  It could have come off any of their other albums.  It's certainly not bad... just not that exciting.  I'll be interested to see if this song catches on with the summer audience.

Lead Adam Levine has said that he plans to maybe do one more Maroon 5 record after this...

 "Eventually I want to focus on being a completely different person because I don’t know if I want to do this into my 40s and 50s and beyond, like the Rolling Stones."

Maybe Adam just realizes he and his band only have a couple good songs left in them, and they can't build a catalog based on recycling "This Love" over and over.  Am I being cynical?  What do you think of "Misery?"



Friday, June 18, 2010

I Should Have Known It

Song: I Should Have Known It
Artist: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Album: Mojo

A new Tom Petty album is like a visit from an old friend you don't see often.  He comes over, has a bunch of great new stories, and you sort of pick up where you left off feeling like no time had really past between the last visit.  That's exactly how I think of Mr. Tom Petty, and here on his twelfth album with the Heartbreakers, the stories they are bringing are blues-soaked and recorded live in the studio without overdubs.  "Mojo" is rich in texture and vibe and finds Petty sounding quite amazing.  Just shy of 60, Petty is an American music legend, and while I don't expect "Mojo" or any of its tracks to become "hits" that's really not the point... this album is about killer songwriting, killer playing, and grooves deep dark and sexy.  It could have been released in 1970... just an indication of how toned down the production is.

Album opener "Jefferson Jericho Blues" gets things off to a crackling start.  It really let's you know what you're going to expect.  It's some big bar blues that hits you in the gut and then gets you moving.  It honestly wouldn't feel out of place in a bar scene from "True Blood."  "First Flash of Freedom" slows things down and sounds like vintage Petty.  It actually reminded me a little of the album "She's the One," and over-looked album that was unfortunately the soundtrack for a terrible movie.  Lead single "I Should Have Known It" is also a groovy rocker.  Petty really in his element.

I realized, almost embarrassingly, that I'd somehow missed the last TWO Heartbreakers albums, "Echo" and the "The Last DJ."  I'm going to have to pick those up.

Petty says "Mojo" "isn't a California album" it's a "rural South album."


I Should Have Known It

Jefferson Jericho Blues

Mojo Documentary

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Continental Lover

Song: Continental Lover
Artist: OST & Kjex
Album: Cajun Kunch

Here's an odd but very cool little house record from Norwegian duo OST & Kjex.  "Cajun Lunch" is their sophomore album following their debut, which was a surprise nominee for a Best Electronic Album Norwegian Grammy.  That album, "Some Cheese but not all Cheese Comes from the Moon" established the duo as forward-thinking food-obsessed visionaries.  They released a handful of EP's all with the food thing going on, ("More Songs About Cheese and Revolutionary Tarts," "How to Be a Biscuit," "The Boston Food Strangler") and turned their attention to the dancefloor.

I haven't heard their early material, but "Cajun Lunch" has been on repeat for the last couple days.  A mix of electro, funk, disco, and house... it's a bit of a musical smorgasbord that jumps from cool background lounge to more immediate dance-pop.  I hear some familiar sounds throughout... I kept hearing part of RuPaul's "Cover Girl," though I am assuming it's a familiar-ish house sound, in "Continental Lover" and I kept hearing the Pink Panther Theme in the one-two punch of the very odd "Bluecheeseblues Part 1 & 2."

This is a pretty great record from start to finish.  It's got some fun male falsetto vocals, as well as the sort of standard diva-ish female vocals.  And while on one hand "Cajun Lunch" has a familiarity to it, it's got some eccentricities that I find charming and really connect with.  Check this one out.


Continental Lover

Mosambique Travelplan

Bluecheeseblues Part 1

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Electric Lady

Song: Electric Lady
Artist: Tesla Boy
Album: Modern Times

We've got "The Karate Kid" and "The A-Team" at the top of the box office and in the indie-dance music world... well the feeling is the same.  The 80's are back.  In a big way.  Take Russia's Tesla Boy and their debut album "Modern Times," (Haha with the title) which a delicious synth-pop throwback to the "me" decade.  These "modern times" are turning out just as I'd predicted... dance music is back again, and in a big way.  (On a side note, I saw RuPaul give a speech on Monday and he lamented the same thing. "Dance music is back... people are ready to have fun again!")  I hear ya sister!

I like "Modern Times."  It might not be doing anything totally new but it fits in with the new reaching back to look forward state of music. (Has it finally all been done?)  And Tesla Boy are nothing if not confident, check out this from the press release for the album:

"Tesla Boy teased us in 2009 with two spectacular EPs but that was just the appetiser. It’s now 2010 and the main course, 'Modern Thrills' is ready to be served.

It’s the album they had to make; it’s the album that only they could make. Consolidating their position as the greatest pop band in the world today. They may well be the music industry’s best-kept secret outside of their native Russia but 'Modern Thrills' sees them set to tear through the iron curtain and into a Western World salivating for their synth-pop banquet.
There is no cashing in on the eighties revival. There is no cynical marketing to target demographics. This is Tesla Boy. This is what they do. They make 100% distilled pop music direct from their soul."

"Synth-pop banquet."  I love that!!!  Haha.

Check out lead track "Electric Lady" which basically tells you all you need to know about the band and what to expect.  Good retro fun.  I also like the reggae-lite... ummm synth-pop banquet that is "Synchronizing."  Quite gorgeous.


Electric Lady



Monday, June 14, 2010

Fresh Blood

Song: Fresh Blood
Artist: Eels
Album: True Blood: Music From the HBO Original Series Vol. 2

Any "True Blood" fans out there?  Season 3 got off to quite a bang last night, immediately getting us back into the action from where we last left off while opening a couple new mysteries and now sort of typical WTF?!?! moments.  I'm glad to have the show back!

To coincide with the start of Season 3, HBO is releasing "True Blood: Music From the HBO Original Series Vol. 2" which came out just in the last week of May.  I haven't heard Vol. 1, though I played the theme, "Bad Things" by Jace Everett quite a bit when the show first launched.  Everett is back on this volume with C.C. Adcock with a track called "Evil (Is Going On.)" It doesn't have the punch of "Bad Things" but typifies the music from the show, Southern Gothic rock & roll that gets under your skin and... well, makes you want to do bad things.

The soundtrack also contains new and old music from M.Ward, Beck, Robbie Robertson, Lucinda Williams & Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, and Thievery Corporation to name a couple.   It's actually a really well done compilation, immediately getting you into the vibe of the show.  I was also happy to hear "Shake and Fingerpop," a song I remember from one of Maryanne's crazy parties from last season.  The song is by Jr. Walker & The All Stars and is one of those even-if-you-don't-know-it party jams that'll get you moving.  Very fun.

Mainly because it so just sounds like the show, I chose the Eels "Fresh Blood" to highlight.  Great sexy song.  It's going to be a good season!


Fresh Blood - Eels

Gasoline & Matches - Buddy & Julie Miller

Shake and Fingerpop - Jr. Walker & The All Stars

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kissed It

Song: Kissed It
Artist: Macy Gray
Album: The Comeback

I've always sort of dug Macy Gray's particular brand of crazy.  Her debut, "How Life Is" made a pretty big splash and garnered a huge hit in "I Try" which I honestly, got tired of really quick.  While I dug her voice, I liked her more upbeat and quirky stuff.  This was on full display with her sophomore album "The Id" which I really really dug but didn't give her any hits.  I sort of, along with everyone else it seems, fell totally out of favor with the singer and I missed her last two albums.  Now along comes "The Sellout," her first album since 2007's "Big."

First single "Beauty in the World" has failed to take off here (It's a bit like "I Try") so she's going with the very cool "Lately" as the first single in the U.K.  Despite liking that song quite a bit, I am REALLY hooked on "Kissed It" which is being used for a neat summer promo on Bravo.  The song features Velvet Revolver and has such a great rock & roll/electronic/R&B emergency to it... I think it's infectious and really feel good.

I've only been able to listen to the whole album a handful of times but really do like it.  I was surprised not to see the single she put out (or didn't) last year called "Slap a Bitch." It was part of some alter-ego named Nemesis Jaxson that sounds really interesting but I assume was't a real commercial venture.  (Maybe that's what "The Sellout" is all about.)  Despite that thought, the album is still filled with Gray's off-kilter personality, voice, and vibe.  Like Kelis (in a completely different way) I think I've always been drawn to Macy's style of R&B vs. the more cookie-cutter and conservative stuff that is way more popular.  Hopefully she can find a hit on here.


Kissed It

Beauty in the World


Thursday, June 10, 2010


Song: OMG
Artist: Usher
Album: Raymond vs. Raymond

I fucking can't stand Usher.  I think he's arrogant, obnoxious, and while obviously a skilled dancer and entertainer, these negative vibes I get from him override all of the (little) good.  He was wildly popular a couple years ago, selling twenty million copies of his album "Confessions."  And then Mr. Usher found out about the fickleness of the pop crowd as his follow-up sold 1.5 million.  Ha!

But every once in a while, the dude puts out a single that really just pops.  And as a guy that likes to keep the crowd dancing if he's DJ'ing, I just need to have these singles that move the crowd.   So like "Yeah" from a couple years ago, we now have "OMG" his collaboration with hit-maker  It's pretty infectious and no doubt a big contender for song of the summer.  Yet, with its auto-tune, standard beat, and heck... the cameo, it's standard pop-R&B... and really could be anybody.  So despite the high opinion Usher has of himself, he should be reminded he's only as good as the next track that's written for him.

But I'm just giving sour grapes because I really like this song despite of my Usher-phobia.  So while I get over myself, you enjoy the track.



Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Best Friend

Song: Best Friend
Artist: The Drums
Album: The Drums

Imagine if the Smiths sort of wanted to be the Beach Boys and you have an idea of what NYC's The Drums are like.  It's cute jangle indie pop that you can dance to (or at least bop) that's lo-fi yet sunny.  Cute.

The band has been making the blog rounds since last year with a debut EP, and their self-titled debut was just released yesterday.  They remind me of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and the new round of indie music that sounds like the old round of "Modern Rock" from the 80's.  Well, resisting the impulse to sound like an "it's-all-been-done" fuddy-duddy, The Drums have something... a certain charm that makes their music sound more than just a re-deaux of something from the past.

First track "Best Friend" really typifies their sound.  Also check out "Let's Go Surfing," very fun.

Check them out, this could be your summer soundtrack.


Best Friend

Let's Go Surfing

I Felt Stupid

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Song: Swoon
Artist: Chemical Brothers
Album: Further

I became a fan of the Chemical Brothers during the techno explosion of the late 90's.  When techno was "the new grunge" for five minutes the Brothers, along with Prodigy and Fatboy Slim, were the more popular faces that were the future of music.  That didn't really happen, but the Chemical Brothers actually made some pretty forward-thinking mind-blowing "techno" that has endured them over the years as they release album after album.

In a way, "Further" their 7th full-length album, is more of the same.  And yet, it's a reminder that I always need to keep up with the Chemical Brothers, as they still wow with their take on electronic music.  It's a much more experimental album than the more pop-minded recent work they've done, being mostly instrumental and without the bevy of vocalist they usually collaborate with. (Brother Tom Rowlands does the vocals when needed.)

"Further" does have one difference in that this is the first time that they are collaborating with visual artists on the album (by Adam Smith and Marcus Lyal) who are making videos to go with each of the albums eight tracks.  (See below.) "Escape Velocity" is the first single and it's eleven minutes of crazy-ass noises and building euphoria.  It's quite the ride.  I really like second single "Swoon" which is a bit different for the Brothers, much more mid-tempo and dream-like.  Again, like with most Chemical Brothers albums, you often stop yourself to think... "what IS that sound?!?" I just can't even seem to identify what they are sometimes.  I also love "Another World," quite beautiful.

This seems like return to form for the guys.  If they'd lost your favor a bit with the last couple albums you should check this one out.



Escape Velocity

Another World

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Song: T.L
Artist: Micky Green
Album: Honky Tonk

Micky Green is an Australian singer-songwriter (born Michaela Gehrmann) that currently resides in Paris.  She got her start in modeling, which she continues to do a bit as she works on her music.  She released her debut album "White T-Shirt" in 2007, and her sophomore set, "Honky Tonk" was released in January of this year.  I'm not sure why she chose that title as it doesn't match the music.  Instead of honky tonk, we get some jazz-influenced minor funk with electronic (and horn!) elements that leans mostly into singer-songwriter territory.  I've been listening to the album for a while now, and love it as a nice background, mood record.  Micky's voice has a lazy/sexy quality, and while her Australian accent doesn't come through, it does sound like she has some accent happening in there.

Sometimes on "Honky Tonk" I feel like the songs are building to something that they never get to... but that's just the vibe.  In a very (VERY) small way I'm reminded of Sade.  Her voice it tracked in the same way, and a few tracks have that island feel that's Sade's bread and butter.  As I re-listen to the album to write this I realize it is a very diverse record, which a bit of sexy mystery that intreagues you.  Maybe why I've kept going back to it.  It's hard to pick one particular song to highlight, so I'm just gunna give ya the first track, "T.L"which basically sets the record up and sets the mood.  Check it out.



Remember (live)

Oh (from first album T-Shirt)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Treme Song

Song: Treme Song
Artist: John Boutte
Album: Jumbalaya

My friend Cicely's birthday is three days apart from mine, and recently she decided to have a New Orleans themed party as she lived there for several years and the culture, people, and vibe of the area are still very much with her.  Given my music interest I told her I would get her some music for the party as long as she gave me a list of whom she really liked.  So, I got to have a crash-coarse in the deep history that is the music of the much neglected Southern city.

From Jelly Roll Morton to The Meters, Professor Longhair to Dr. John, Allen Toussaint to Fats Domino, I now have a great library of music from the past and future that has totally overwhelmed me, but also clued me into the great tradition of the area, and hearing how the "style" has only changed slightly.  (aside from production value, you can't really tell if a song is from 1944 or 1994.)

It just so happens that HBO has been showing a new series, "Treme" about New Orleans, the culture, and more specifically, how Hurricane Katrina, and the slow-to-none response from the government and the rest of the country, has affected the area.  And now with the BP oil spill, you have an area that just can't catch a break.  I haven't watched that much of "Treme," (which Cicely thinks is amazingly rich in true atmosphere and you-are-there feel) but one thing I took away is the relationship that the town has with the tourist they both need, and sort of despise.  So many come down looking for the "real" New Orleans experience that they've been sold with images of Mardi Gras and creole food, only to find a town practically discarded after a natural/man-made disaster.

But of course it's the music that has always kept the town afloat, and even casual listening clues you in that there is a deep connection with the music in that area, a venerable life force that, despite the storm, has kept the town and it's people afloat.  The show (created and produced by those that did "The Wire") is remarkably rich in its use of the music as well as the actual musicians that don't touch the Billboard charts, but are living breathing legends that you could, given a visit to the town, find playing, singing, and just living it in a local bar.  The show picked John Boutte's 2003 track "Treme Song" as the theme, most likely given the name but it also really encompasses the vibe (from the very little I know) of the scene.  It's a great feel good song, check it out.


Treme Song - Open to HBO Show

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Song: Tenderoni
Artist: Kele
Album: The Boxer

I hadn't realized that Bloc Party sort of broke up... or they're on hiatus.  It seems the band, and lead singer Kele Okereke, have had different ideas about the future of the band, hints of a permanent break up were dropped, then denied.  Regardless, band member Russell Lissack has revived his music project Pin Me Down, and Kele is releasing a solo album late in June titled "The Boxer."

As Bloc Party went through their three albums, it became clear that electronics and dance music were becoming priorities for someone in the band, so it comes as no surprise that from what I've heard from "The Boxer" has been much more electronic than the Cure/Joy Division/Smiths vibe of Bloc Party.  I love Kele's voice, and love the emotional resonance of his lyrics and yet... while I have always loved all that Bloc Party came out with, I feel they have always been trying to follow up their amazing debut "Silent Alarm."

Maybe Kele was feeling that as well, what I've heard from "The Boxer" is very different, not just because of the electronics, but the song structures are much more experimental.  Even lead single "Tenderoni" doesn't have the melodic hooks and verse-chorus-verse we've come to expect from Bloc Party, but hey... that's what dudes go solo.  To break free.

Check out the three tracks from the album that have leaked thus far below.



Walk Tall