Monday, October 31, 2011

Summer is Here

Song: Summer is Here
Artist: General Elektriks
Album: Parker Street

I've been digging this odd little record from General Elektriks, a Berkley, CA by way of Paris (as well as S.F. and temporarily Seattle) outfit created by Herve 'RV' Salters.  It's the third record he's released under the General Elekriks name.  The man has done a lot of production work for other artists from Blackalicious to Lyrics Born, as well as forming the three-piece Honeycut in San Francisco, who have produced two records.

"Parker Street" was written and recorded in just four months earlier this year.  It's sound is a mix of lite-funk, jazz, old school pop and a bit of hip hop, it's got a big 70's vibe to it... and I hear influences from Elton John to Steely Dan, and yet has a modern sensibility to it.  Oddly, I'm reminded of the Scissor Sisters "Ta-Dah" and Mika's two records... though it doesn't really sound like either of them.  (??)  The result is as if Leo Sayer went into the future to make an album of modern jazz.  Again... (??)

I'm obviously not doing a very good job on this one... you'll just have to take a listen.  I really dig the groovy single "Summer is Here" (despite, as we found out this weekend in the Northeast US, that is far from that.)  I also like opening track "The Spark" as well as "The Genius and the Gangster," but it's a pretty solid record from start to finish.  Give it a shot.


Summer is Here
The Spark
The Genius and the Gangster

Friday, October 28, 2011

Everything She Wants

Song: Everything She Wants
Artist: Wham!
Album: Make it Big

Last night I was asked by my friend Jeff for Wham's "Everything She Wants" as he couldn't find it in the wealth of music I had given him, which was rather 80's heavy.  Well, to be honest... I didn't know the song by name, I didn't even have it in my library... so I went to YouTube.

Shame!  Horror!  Gasp!  It was worse than a slasher movie... how could my library be missing such an 80's classic?  Well... while I did know it once I heard it, no doubt through cultural osmosis, it has somehow bypassed me and my record collection.  Though to be fair, I only have a handful of Wham singles, with "I'm Your Man" and "Careless Whisper" being the must haves... but this is a classic song, and one I am happy I have now.  And so do you!

"Everything She Wants" was released in at the very end of 1984 in the UK, and early the following year here in the States.  (Yes, making it almost 30 years old.)  It was released as a double A-side to the bands "Last Christmas," which got all of the attention upon release given the holiday.  "Everything" is a sordid little drama involving a man who is crumbling under the materialism of  his woman, who surprises him with the announcement of a baby.  Instead of helping their relationship, it only further puts pressure on the man to support them, and now a third.

The song became their third number one on the 1984 album "Make it Big."

Great song.  Thank you Jeff!


Everything She Wants
Last Christmas
I'm Your Man

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bad as Me

Song: Bad as Me
Artist: Tom Waits
Album: Bad as Me

I discovered Tom Waits in high school, hearing his then recent album "Bone Machine" in 1992.  I was pretty blown away by it, as it sounded like nothing I'd heard before... and just loved the songs immensely.  I subsequently went back to discover some of his older work, and really fell in love with his 1985 masterpiece "Rain Dogs," and to a slightly lesser extent, his beautiful debut "Closing Time." (1973)

The man has had a long a varied career, one in which I haven't kept up with completely, but it's hard to knock his individuality, and his ability to write a solid song.  He can be chaotic and seemingly crazy, but he's also written some of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.  A completely unique talent.

The just released "Bad as Me" is the man's seventeenth album, once again produced by his wife Kathleen Brennan and himself.  It's straight-up Waits like only the man can do and reminds me a bit of his "Swordfishtrombone" / "Rain Dogs" era.  First single and title track "Bad as Me" shows Waits as his most manic and noisy, while "Pay Me," a wilting piano ballad shows the mans soft side.  But even better is the Spanish Waltz of second single "Back in The Crowd."  I also liked the "Bone Machine"-esque "Raised Right Men."

If you're not a fan you probably won't find much to sway your opinion, but Waits heads will eat this up.


Bad as Me
Back in The Crowd

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

With Ur Love

Song: With Ur Love
Artist: Cher Lloyd
Albym: Sticks + Stones

Cher Lloyd is a contestant from the 2010 edition of The X Factor in UK.  She came in fourth place, was a divisive figure during the show, and this summer released her debut single, "Swagger Jagger," which seemed to divide the British public into who loved her and who hated her.  This is how I heard about her initially, and was surprised someone so young (she was 16 on the show, is 18 now) could conjure up so much venom.  Regardless, I am in LOVE with her new single.

Cher is a wafer-thin thing from Malvern, Worcestershire who got the judges attention by performing "Turn My Swag On," a Soulja Boy song as done by Keri Hilson.  (see audition below)  The clip has become a bit of viral thing in the Susan Boyle sense, and helped build her fan base for the show.  I've watched a couple of  her X Factor performances, which included "Empire State of Mind," "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)," and Shakespears Sister's "Stay" to name a few.  She seems like a natural born performer from the start, and quite amazing in her abilities to command the stage.

In July she released "Swagger Jagger," a Black Eyed Peas/Fergie-esque dance track that despite going number 1, garnered a lot of bad press for the singer, and was written off by many pop fans in the UK... but also championed by some.  And oddly, the song is all about people that don't like her.  I think it's okay... and understand, given how in your face it is, that people didn't dig it.  But it's catchy enough and have been enjoying rocking out to it on my commute to work.

But I really started to pay attention to this girl after hearing and seeing the video for her recently released follow-up single, he Mike Posner-guesting "With Ur Love," a Max Martin co-written and produced gem that is just pure pop bliss.  She looks gorgeous in the video, the song is uplifting and catchy... the perfect antidote to all these "haters" she keeps going on about.  I really love it.  (You'll also be wondering if it's the same girl if you watch both videos back to back.  It's really crazy.)

As an American who didn't watch her season of the show or followed her via the media through her journey, I'm not sure I'll ever get the hate that she's garnered... but it's really proof of how much expectation can influence your enjoyment of something.  Regardless of all that, the song is amazing and I think she has quite the career ahead of her.  I am really loving her studio version of "Stay," which was just added to the album.  You can hear it here.


With Ur Love
Swagger Jagger
X Factor Audition - Turn My Swag On

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Night Time is the Right Time

Song: Night Time is the Right Time
Artist: Ray Charles
Album: Night Time is the Right Time

I recently discovered the art of .gif files... a very short looped piece of video that posters in an internet forum will use as their avatar... or they're simply just funny (or creepy) video loops to be shared on tumblr accounts.  Well it turns out that Bill Cosby has been one of the most popular people used in .gif's as listed here on Funny or Die.  I first started seeing .gif's with the 'Cos at this other site that really cracked me up.  (no further comment.)

All of this has nothing to do with anything except that all the Bill Cosby .gif's sparked my memory of his show which, despite watching it regularly as a kid, I don't really remember much of the probably hundred's of hours I spent in front of the sitcom.  But, there is one scene... that is arguably one of the most memorable of the show, when the family lip sync's a song on the living room stairway for their Grandparents Anniversary.  This scene popped into my head after not having thought about it in probably a decade... and I wondered, what song is that?

I have a thing for having music for parties that people probably don't know/have but is synonymous to some popular piece of TV or film.  Be it "Goodbye Horses" from "Silence of the Lambs," or "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" by Cyndi Lauper... songs everyone knows, but just don't know how long they've been waiting to hear them.  Well, after some easy research, I found that it was Ray Charles' version of "Night Time is the Right Time" recorded from 1958 used in the scene.  It's a great song, and one that deserves to be in every music collection.  I have yet to be able to use it to this effect at a party... but it's on deck.

The song was initially recorded by Nappy Brown in 1957 (below) though was originally written by blues pianist Roosevelt Sykes.


That classic scene
Night Time is the Right Time
Night Time is the Right Time - Nappy Brown

Friday, October 21, 2011

Get Em (feat. Eve)

Song: Get Em (feat. Eve)
Artist: Wolfgang Gartner
Album: Weekend in America

Well here's some hard-hitting shit to jump start your Friday, and really kick-in the weekend...

Wolfgang Gartner is an up-and-coming eletcro-house producer and DJ from San Luis Obispo, CA.  He's released a handful of singles as well as remixes for the likes of Britney, Timbaland, and the Black Eyed Peas, and saw the release of his debut album, "Weekend in America," late last month.  It's collected a few of his past singles as well as some new collaborations with, Jim Jones, Cam'ron, Omarion, and Eve.  Gartner has said that he only listens to hip-hop when enjoying music, as he listens to so much dance music. (hence the collaborators)

The album has some pretty hard-hitting deep house in the Deadmau5 vein, a lot of instrumentals, but my favorites are those with vocals.  First track "Get Em" with Eve is a monster, and seems like it would fit in just fine into a Blowoff setlist.  I reluctantly must admit that my other favorite track is "Forever," with hip-pop anti-christ  It's got a nice Georgio Moroder-esque beat, and the man doesn't ruin it.

I don't think this holds up as well as the latest Deadmau5 record, but it's worth checking out for fans of the genre.

Enjoy, and happy Friday!

Get Em (feat. Eve)
Forever (feat.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crush on You

Song: Crush on You
Artist: The Jets
Album: The Jets

Okay so I don't know where this is coming from... but The Jets "Crush on You" is a favorite old-time jam that I love playing at parties.  Those that know it, act like you've pulled some musical rabbit out of a retro hat... it's as cheesy as an 80's track can be, and yet, it's kind of a forgotten gem.  I had been thinking of starting to go back in time a bit on the blog, as I used to do much more, and oddly... given the history of music, this is the track I kept thinking needed to be highlighted!  So it came as a bit of a surprise this AM as I did a little research on the song, that JUST LAST WEEK Dubstep artist Nero released a cover of the song. (!?!?!) What are the chances?

The Jets were a family band from Minneapolis, brothers and sisters, who specialized in R&B, dance, and a bit of Latin freestyle.  The band formed in 1985, but had broken up by 1990 after three albums and a Christmas record.  They re-formed in 1995 as a gospel outfit, and have gained and lost members throughout time.  They are still together, playing casinos and corporate functions.  I didn't realize that they were all siblings, an amalgamation of seventeen (!!!) varied brothers and sisters of the Wolfgramm family... who are Mormon.  Could a comeback be in the cards?  Mormon's are so hot right now.

I'm still a little blown away that this song has been on my mind for weeks now, only to have a new cover of it being released this month.  (hear it below) It's got way too much Dubstep for me, so that's why I'm talking about the original, which is awesome.  It's from their self-titled debut album, was the second single (after "Curiosity") and one of four they released from the record.  It was their most successful from the record, until they released "You Got it All" from the same album, after a holiday single from the Christmas record.  I didn't know "You Got it All" by name... but YouTube refreshed my memory... it's one of those 80's Adult Contemporary songs everyone knows.  Also a fun tidbit... it was written by Rupert Holmes.  Yes... THAT Rupert Holmes!

"Crush on You" remains my favorite.  Welcome to memory lane.


Crush on You
You Got it All
Crush on You - Nero

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Magic Lover

Song: Magic Lover
Artist: Cinnamon Chasers
Album: Science

Sometimes I'll listen to an album for a while, and while I might be enjoying it, I think to myself... if this good for the blog?  Does a song pop enough for it to be notable?  Or simply... is there a great anecdote to associate with the music?  Quite a few times I'll have an album that while I know I enjoy, I put on once again, in order to find a track that really speaks to me enough to share... and then it doesn't that time, and I try again in a couple days.  If this continues, it stays in my "WeCastMaybe" playlist for a good while and then... drops off.

Not a great intro to get you excited about a record for sure and yet... here are Cinnamon Chasers being saved from my hard drive and making it to the blog with their sophomore album "Science."

Cinnamon Chasers is comprised solely of music producer Russ Davies, who creates self-described "nu-disco, indie-tronica."  He first became noteworthy due to the single "Luv Deluxe," as well as remixing for artists The Killers, Billy Idol, Kate Bush, Tears for Fears, and Roxy Music.  His influences are cited as Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, Jean-Michael Jarre, KLF, Alan Braxe, Rex the Dog, and Junior Boys.  Cinnamon Chasers, as he has noted, is also influenced by the films The Never Ending Story and Flight of the Navigator.  So make what you will of all that.

Despite my cryptic introduction, I do like this record... and think the issue is that it's a mood record that wasn't built as a mood record.  These are laid-back electro songs without beat-you-over-the-head hooks. Certainly not a bad thing... but in a music landscape so cluttered, the loudest look at me! look at me! listen! listen! tracks and artists seem to get all the attention.  Boo!

"Science" is a good record for after the bars, not ready for a come down... but no longer wanting to rage.  It's a little trancy, a little chill...  but don't take away too much from my babbling, just listen below.


Magic Lover
Smooth Station

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Doesn't Kill You

Song: What Doesn't Kill You
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Album: Stronger

Something happened with my perception of Kelly Clarkson given the release of her third album, the controversial "My December" from 2007.  The record label reportedly didn't like it, wanted to switch out some songs for poppier-radio friendly tracks, but Clarkson stood her ground... and did things her way.  Sure the world really started their love affair with her after the international smash hits from her sophomore album, "Breakaway," pop-rock international super hits written by hit making producers.  "December" showed she was more than a puppet that could really really sing.  It didn't contain any smashes the size of "Since U Been Gone," but a track like that is often a once-in-a-career highlight.  She went back to, or could be argued went overboard with a pop sound for her last album, 2009's "All I Ever Wanted," but I also really liked that record.  It was a little hit-or-miss, but I think finally set in stone what kind of artist Kelly Clarkson was and was going to continue to be... the next Pat Benatar.  (And I say that as high complement.)

"Stronger," the singer-songwriter's fifth album is set for release later this month, followed by the initial single, "Mr. Know it All."  It's pure Kelly Clarkson, holds a few surprises, and splits the difference between the writer-centric hand-wringing of "December" and the pop-rock sheen of "All I Ever Wanted."  So... it's very "Breakaway."  But a smarter, more assured, and well... stronger "Breakaway."

For a first single, "Mr. Know it All" felt a little 'meh' to me, though over time I've gotten to really like it.  In a way it's like a "December" track in that regard, a song that grows without hitting you over the head with catchiness straight out the gate.  But fans of that Kelly (myself included) won't be disappointed by "Stronger," as it has several of those moments as well... including the excellently punchy second track and possible second single "What Doesn't Kill You," as well as "Hello."

This isn't going to convert those that don't care for her... but after just a quick listen I might be inclined to say that "Stronger" is the most Kelly Clarkson or Kelly Clarkson records... caught between rock grit and pop gloss, angsty but assured.  Good for Kelly.


What Doesn't Kill You
 Mr. Know it All
You Love Me

Monday, October 17, 2011

Warning Call

Song: Warning Call
Artist: DJ Shadow
Album: The Less You Know, the Better

I remember back in college when DJ Shadow's first album, "Endtroducing..." was released.  It seemed every hip-to-eletcronica kid was wetting their pants over it, and at the time... Iignored it.  What I didn't realize, was that it was the first album completely comprised of samples. (and has a Guinness World Record to prove it.)  I must say that I STILL have yet to get into it, haven't followed his not very prolific career... but, I did take a listen to his latest opus, his fourth album entitled; "The Less You Know, the Better."

The album is a bit of a mess... jumping stylistically from track to track.  I'm a fairly eclectic guy, so I appreciate his broad pallet.  But jumping from hardcore, to hip-hop, to acoustic guitar-based folk, to a gospel-ish durge... then break-metal electronica.  It sometimes feels like standing in the center of a musical six-lane highway with different genre's flying past you.  And yet... it's a rather interesting mess.  Like a mix tape that suddenly feels less random upon each listen.

I read a quote in which shadow stated:

     "I don't put out a record every year so I can see what others are doing and learn from that and see things that are happening. So I feel that a good record from me never defines 2011 -- it should be totally timeless and be able to live in any era. I think I've done that with this one."

And really... it does seem timeless.  It's all over the place, crazy, and often rather beautiful.  I can't really nail any of it down just yet... it seems like an onion of an album, many layers to pull back and discover new ones.  And yet... I completely own up the fact that all the searching might lead to nothing.  If there's one thing I can say definitively... it's never boring.


Warning Call
Stay the Course
I've Been Trying

Friday, October 14, 2011

Party in the USA

Song: Party in the USA
Artist: Tokyo Police Club
Album: 10 x 10 x 10

I'm not familiar with Tokyo Police Club, they're an indie-rock act from Ontario that formed in 2005.  They've released two proper albums and have just released "10 x 10 x 10," (also known as 10 Songs. 10 Years. 10 Days.) a project they did this summer in which yes, they recorded a song a day over ten days, one from each year in the 2000's, up to last year... 2010.

They started with Moby's "South Side,"into Jimmy Eat World's "Sweetness," The Strokes "Under Control," Kelly's "Since U Been Gone," and on.  They obviously hit some indie-rock cross-overs, but also went for indie dance tracks (LCD's "All My Friends") and then a rock track, my favorite Queens of the Stone Age track, "Little Sister."  Obviously with the Kelly Clarkson song they wanted to do a little tongue-in-cheek pop cover... but then decided to end the whole project with...

Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA."  Huh.

Well full disclosure... while I never wrote about "Party in the USA," as I discovered it way after it was huge, I absolutely LOVE this song.  If there is a guilty pleasure award for guilty pleasures... this is the winner.  But man, is it a WINNER.  The Jessie J co-written song has a bouncy charm and irresistible chorus that no man or woman can resist.  It's funny that Tokyo Police Club had chosen both "Since U Been Gone" and this track... as "Gone" is one of the biggest crossover hits of that decade, one in which pop kids and indie punks can agree to its massiveness.  And the same SHOULD have happened with "Party in the USA."  But I just think Miley is just a little too polarizing. (the reason I only allowed myself to listen to it way after the fact.  What a bloody snob.)

Anyhow, this version loses itself a little in the end with that extended breakdown where they name like... all the States, but the foundation is there... it's such a great song, and cool to hear it in this more rock form.

Enjoy.  And happy Friday!

Party in the USA

South Side

All My Friends

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mr. Success

Song: Mr. Success
Artist: Baby Monster
Album: Baby Monster

Baby Monster are a Portland, Oregon-based duo that write indie-electronic pop tunes.  Their self-titled debut was released digitally back in June and is available on iTunes.  They've remixed singles for the likes of Wolf Gang, Gorillaz, Florrie, Miami Horror, Ellie Goulding, and Zero 7.

Their music has a precious, The Postal Service sound to it... very laptop pop, that is none-the-less indearing and quite enjoyable.  A little Passion Pit as well... though possibly a bit less catchy.  Actually, maybe best to think of them as a male Sally Shapiro.  The band is able to go pretty far with very little, be it a minimal beat or a tiny synth flourish, there is a lot of emotion created from something so minimal.

Album opener and current single "The Fear of Charlie Sunrise" with give you a good idea what to expect from the rest of the album.  I really love the beat of the retro-sounding "Mr. Success," which sounds like Shannon doing The Breakfast Club.  Sort of.  Also love "Fresh Biscuits" and "Ultra Violence and Beethoven."

You can download third track "She Comes Alive" for free on the band's official website.


Mr. Success
The Fear of Charlie Sunrise

Ultra Violence and Beethoven

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Song: Illumination
Artist: Lindsey Buckingham
Album: Seeds We Sow

Thanks to my parents, I've been a Fleetwood Mac fan since I can remember.  And as my love of music really took hold, and I further explored some of the music that they introduced me to, I found myself loving the sprawling "Tusk" over the certainly great, but more concise and pop-minded "Rumours."  Often when I mention my love for "Tusk" to other music fans, I get a "Ugh, too much Lindsey Buckingham."  Oh well... I guess I'm a fan.

"Seeds We Sow" is the man's sixth solo record, coming after the pretty excellent "Gift of Screws"from 2008.  It features his trademark insane guitar work, over-dubed vocals, and all around Lindsey Buckingham-ness. Basically, if you're not a fan, don't bother with "Seeds."  First single and opening title-track gives the album it's moody start, though things really kick in with the more upbeat "In Our Own Time" and "Illuminations," which were early album favorites for me.  I also love the anthemic-for-acoustic "That's the Way Love Goes."  It amazes me how alive and immediate the man can make acoustic music feel.

This is the first album Buckingham has self-released, the only evidence of this I can see is the awful cheap looking cover art.  Oh well... the music is good anyhow.


In Our Own Time
That's the Way Love Goes

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Help Me Out

Song: Help Me Out
Artist: Jaffa
Album: Echoes

"Jaffa" is the collaboration between vocalist/composer Christel Meijer and DJ/Producer/Percussionist Phil Martin.  Their debut album "Echoes" is a mix of jazz, electronic music, soulful vocals, and pop.  Their influences include Eurythmics, Roisin Murphy, and Bjork.  That about fits.

I like "Echoes," it has a nice loungy, soulful vibe, that's got a little 90's sound to it as well.  I really dig track "Help Me Out" that reminds me of something but I can't place it. (which seems to be happening more and more.)  Despite that 90's vibe, this is a modern, lazzy, loungy record that's also a bit experimental and quirky.  Held together, no doubt, by Christel's amazing, rich vocals.  Pretty good stuff.


Help Me Out
Stay Out Here
Hair Repair

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wild Window

Song: Wild Window
Artist: Fool's Gold
Album: Leave No Trace

Fool's Gold are an L.A.-based indie-rock band that melds 80's inspired dance-pop, African rhythms, and Hebrew/English lyrics.  I hear a little Vampire Weekend, whom I never truly got into, though they're really the only indie-touchstone that marries their love of a variety of African music, 80's synths, and straight up power-pop music.

The band was formed by Luke Top and Lewis Pesacov as initially a collaboration, then a full-length album, their self-titled debut which was released in 2009.  They added band members and toured, the line-up constantly changing until they whittled down to a tight five-piece.  For their follow up, "Leave No Trace," Top ditched singing in Hebrew and focused on expressing himself in English.

I liked the sound of this record, nothing outrageous or earth-shattering, just good pop-rock music.


Wild Window
The Dive
Street Clothes

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Great Shake

Song: The Great Shake
Artist: Planet Funk
Album: The Great Shake

Planet Funk are an Italian electronic dance-rock band that formed way back in 1999.  They have released three albums and one best of compilation, though I am only just getting familiar with their fourth and latest album, "The Great Shake."  The band has gone through a handful of singers that they've used as guests from track to track, but Alex Uhlmann joined in November 2010 as the lead singer of the band, and chief vocalist for the new album.

The album itself reminded me a little of Sweden's Teddybears, having a compilation vibe with every track having a distinct sound, except with "The Great Shake," it's all held together a bit more by Uhlmann's sole voice.  The band's sound isn't straight up dance, nor is it simply rock... it's a mix, and more all-around "pop" if anything else.  I initially heard the title track which I absolutely fell in love with, but also really like album opener "All Your Love," as well as second track and first single "Another Sunrise." (though I think the first two mentioned are better songs.)  ["The Great Shake" the song reminds me of something that I can't put my finger on... readers, do you hear something familiar?]

The album is consistent in its quality, and a good varied listen even if every track isn't super attention-grabbing.  Kind of a surprise for me as the band seemed to come out of nowhere, I've been intrigued into hearing some of their older material as I've read that their 2001 single "Chase the Sun" became popular when Sky Sports, a UK & Irish TV group, used the track to cover the Professional Darts Corporations major tournaments, and therefore became a "cult hit" with dart fans. There's a niche eh?

I just nabbed their self-titled best of from 2009 to see what their early sound was all about, but I am highly recommending "The Great Shake" now, good stuff.


The Great Shake
All Your Love
Another Sunrise

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Do I Look Like a Slut?

Song: Do I Look Like a Slut?
Artist: Avenue D
Album: Do I Like Like a Slut? (single)

Avenue D were a New York-via-Miami based electroclash band formed from Larry Tee proteges Debbie and Daphne D.  I first heard of them from the Cazwell song "The Sex That I Need," which was late into their brief career.  But my friend John told me I just had to hear their single "So I Look Like a Slut?" and man... is it a winner.

Avenue D's music is an energetic mix of rap, electro, and new wave.  "Slut?" is musically pretty simplistic, more about the attitude and spoken-word musings of the two lead ladies.  (and lots of dirty jokes) It's often very very funny, and always dirty.  Hysterical.  They remind me a little of FannyPack, who happened to fold during the same year. (2007.)

Play this at a party.  Real late.


Do I Look Like a Slut?
Sex That I Need - Cazwell w/Avenue D

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Buy My Love

Song: Buy My Love
Artist: Wynter Gordon
Album: With the Music I Die

I've often noted that a piece of music doesn't really grab hold to you until you hear it in a different context, really proving proof-positive how much expectation and odd personal prejudices can effect how much you "like" a piece of music.  This most happens in movies and TV, sometimes commercials, where you hear something matched with a visual or storyline and it all fits together.  Sometimes this connection can take on an almost profound feeling... I remember hearing Moby's "My Weakness," the last track on "Play" in a scene from The X-Files or another cop show and it completely changing the song for me... it would further be thought of in that context for me.

I listening to Wynter Gordon's dance-pop debut "With the Music I Die" this summer when it was released and it didn't grab me much.  It was a little too cheesy dance-pop even for me.  But just this past Monday I heard a song on Logo's ridiculously over-the-top "The A-List New York" and knew it was hers.  I immediately brought the album up and was surprised that a) I couldn't place which song on the album was the one I heard, and b) how many of these tracks I was actually digging a second time around.  Well it turned out the song was "Buy My Love," which is pure pop bliss.  It didn't sound so to me earlier... but hearing it on the show, it came alive.

First singles "Til Death" and "Dirty Talk" also jumped out at me with groovy how-did-I-miss-this-the-fist-time attention grabbing.  But I also really connected with "Still Getting Younger," which happened to be produced by Pnau.  She's worked with a handful of interesting producers for the record, but it should be noted that she co-wrote every song on the album, and actually got her start writing tunes for other artists including Mary J. Blige, Estelle, Danity Kane, Jennifer Lopez, and Flo Rider.  So she's got some cred all her own.

Not for all tastes, but if dance-pop is your kryptonite...


Buy My Love
Still Getting Younger
Til Death

Monday, October 03, 2011

Into the Sky

Song: Into the Sky
Artist: Howling Bells
Album: The Loudest Engine

I've been really enjoying the Howling Bells third album, "The Loudest Engine" which was just released last month.  A mix of modern rock, psychedelia, country-rock, and goth. (Some have referred to their sound as Country Goth.)  They are an Australian band who formed in 2004 under the name Waikiki, but changed to Howling Bells when they moved to England and released their self-titled debut album.  Their second record, "Radio Wars" (2009) received mix reviews but garnered them more attention, getting them an opening slot on Coldplay's tour from that year.  The band consists of Glenn Moule (drums), Brendan Picchio (bass guitar), Joel Stein (lead guitar), and Joel's sister Juanita Stein (vocals, rhythm guitar.)

The band recorded "The Loudest Engine" last year in Las Vegas with The Killers bassist, Mark Stoermer producing.  It's a gritty, raw, jammy record... certainly not my usual thing, but I love Juanita Stein's sexy vocals (giving me a little Jenny Lewis) and the urgency of the music.  Apparently the sound of the record is much more a continuation of the sound of their debut, not the more electronic leanings of their second record. (I haven't heard either.)

The album starts right out the gate with the amazing "Charlatan" and doesn't let up.  I love second track "Into the Sky" and the almost Fleetwood Mac-ish "Don't Run." On the hard-driving "Live On."  she really sounds like Jenny Lewis.  Great record.


Into the Sky
Don't Run
Live On (live)