Monday, November 21, 2011

Unzip Me

Song: Unzip Me
Artist: Cazwell + Peaches
Album: Unzip Me

Well here's a little something to get this short holiday week and your Monday off to a swinging start.

NYC producer/rapper Cazwell and Canadian electro-sleaze goddess Peaches have teamed up for a hard-hitting electro-house track that properly showcases both of their outrageous persona's and proves they are a match made in electro-skank heaven.  With a beat either sampled from, or very reminiscent of, Martin Solveig's recent smash single "Hello." and versus that remind me of Britney's "Do Somethin'," "Unzip Me" is a balls-to-the-wall dance track with characteristic humor from Caz and dirty-fun posturing from Peaches.  Heaven.

This one grabbed me immediately and seems tailor made for inclusion at Blowoff.


Unzip Me

Friday, November 18, 2011

Don't Want to Fall in Love - Jane Child

90's Week

Song: Don't Want to Fall in Love
Artist: Jane Child
Album: Jane Child

I wanted to re-cap 90's week with one of my favorites, and since this turned into an unplanned female artists of the 90's week, I thought I'd keep the trend going...

Jane Child is a Canadian-born singer-songwriter and producer who released her self-titled debut album in 1989.  After her first single, "Welcome to the Real World" failed to chart well, she released her second song, "Don't Want to Fall in Love" in 1990.  The song connected with pop radio where it peaked at #2 on Billboard's Hot 100 and stayed there for three weeks.  Teddy Riley did a "New Jack Swing" remix of the song, which won a Juno Award in 1991 for "Dance Recording of the Year."

Her 1993 follow-up "Here Not There" didn't match the success of her debut, possibly due to a change in musical direction. (It's way more Alanis, before Alanis was Alanis.)  She went on a hiatus for a couple years working as a session player before releasing her third and final album "Surge" in 2002.

I have fond memories of "Don't Want to Fall in Love" from High School where Ms. Child's nose-ring to earring look got a lot of talk.  As a DJ I've found this is the type of song that everyone seems to know but hasn't listened to, or thought about, in some time.  It's a great piece of nostalgia and one that will either start or keep a retro dance floor moving.  Excellent.

This week has been a reminder how varied the 90's were, as my female-lead, mostly dance-pop week is such a small subset of what was going on in the 90's.  While looking at Jane, and other R&B/New Jack Swing artists at the time I was reminded of the urban sound invading the 90's charts and making an undeniable stamp on the decade.  Not to mention the entire "Alternative" era, as well as the Lilith Fair set of female acts that really flourished during that time.  Where is our next Alanis?  When will female-fronted music have it's day again?  Or are we in it?  It's just a more dance-pop, Gaga, Katy, Rihanna era?  But does it have the same impact?

The 90' were an interesting decade, and while musically it isn't looked at with the same winning nostalgia the 80's might have, I think it'll change in time.  There was too much going on and too much that was really popular, married with the pre-millennium tension... to ignore.  Thom York may have insisted "I wish it was the 60's" in 1995, but I think time will be kinder to the 90's as things march on.


Don't Want to Fall in Love
Don't Want to Fall in Love (New Jack Swing Remix)
Welcome to the Real World

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ring My Bell

90's Week

Song: Ring My Bell
Artist: Collette
Album: Raze the Roof

Oh dear.

Well, friend and reader Antony from Sydney introduces me to Collette, a fellow Aussie that released two albums in the late 80's and early 90's.  Her biggest and most well-known hit is a cover of the Anita Ward classic "Ring My Bell," which went top 5 in Australia, at the time rare for a local act apparently.  Now, I think it's a little debatable if Collette can in fact sing or not, but there is an infectiousness to this entire enterprise.  And take a look at her videos below... wow, 90's!

In truth, her debut album "Raze the Roof" (yes, that's the title) was released in 1989, but did get most of its attention at the very start of the 90's, but again... taking a look at the video, it's what I think of when I think of the 90's, bright colorful outfits, acid-washed jeans, and lots of lycra.  Like... a lot of lycra.

I'll admit that my knowledge of acid house is limited... so I am unsure how revolutionary, at the time, "Raze the Roof" was, but it's beyond dated.  Though, the obvious touchstone is Kylie, and honestly, it's only slightly more ridiculous than "I Should Be So Lucky."  With song titles such as "Party Time," "Only You Can Do It," "All I Wanna Do Is Dance," and "Victim Of The Groove," you sort of get where this is going.

Collette released one other album in the 90's.  She ditched the acid house and lycra for a new sleek R&B sound, trying to mimic Janet apparently. Frankly... I'm not ready for all that!  But if you can't get enough, you can find out more about Collette here.

Thank you Antony for introducing Collette to the world of WeCastMusic.  I think it's safe to say we will never be the same.


Ring My Bell
All I Wanna Do is Dance
That's What I Like About You

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hunny Hunny

90's Week

Song: Hunny Hunny
Artist: Book of Love
Album: Lovebubble

Friend and reader Harley has always been a strong advocate for Philadelphia-based synth-pop band Book of Love from the 80's and 90's.  So when suggesting a track for 90's week, he went to his go-to and suggested something from their last album, 1993's "Lovebubble."

The band formed in 1984 and were together just shy of a decade.  They were signed to Sire and label mates with Depeche Mode and Erasure.  They got their very first exposure opening for Depeche Mode on their Black Celebration tour and are best known for their single "Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls" from their sophomore album "Lullaby," which was their only charting song on the Hot 100, where it peaked at #90.  They have had songs featured in the films The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and Naked in New York.

"Lovebubble" was their final album, and continued their 80's synth-pop sound.  The album cover was produced by David Byrne and spawned two singles, "Hunny Hunny" and "Boy Bop."  "Hunny" has a nice tranc-y vibe to it that I rather like.  It's a very sunny, happy track built for frolicking.  Though I must admit, lead singer Susan Ottaviano's voice gets a bit cloying to me over the course of the full album.  But I did quite like their out-of-nowhere cover of Bowie's "Sound and Vision," which is a personal favorite.


Couldn't find Hunny Hunny on YouTube but...

Boy Bop
Sound and Vision

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


90's Week

Song: Mouth
Artist: Merril Bainbridge
Album: The Garden

When I asked for suggestions from readers for tracks from the 90's the very first was from an Anonymous reader whom suggested Merril Bainbridge's "Mouth."  This was sort of perfect because I remembered the Australian singer-songwriter but didn't know her work, nor her biggest song.

"Mouth" was Bainbridge's first single from her 1995 album "The Garden."  It remains her biggest single both here in the States and in Australia where is reached #4 and #1 respectively.  She released a sophomore album in 1998, at the height of Lilith Fair and the female singer-songwriter boom of the late 90's.  I was really into that scene at the time, and am surprised Merril didn't have more of a presence.  Possibly due to her being Australian and not touring or doing much promotion in the US (this is a guess) or just the fact that nothing from her sophomore album got much attention either here or in Australia.

"Mouth" is cutesy, a sing-songy type that wouldn't see the Hot 100 today.  I'm sure that I heard this song in college as I remember my friend Pollara had the album, but I don't remember it at all.  I was more interested in her version of the Pet Shop Boys "Being Boring," which I remember snagging from Pollara for a mix CD of cover songs I was making. (I had a non-computer CD burner in college which I was obsessed with.)


Under the Water
Power of One

Monday, November 14, 2011

Love You More

90's Week

Song: Love You More
Artist: Sunscreem
Album: O3

After hearing the Betty Boo album and wanting to do a semi-random 90's week, I always knew the first track I wanted to highlight was "Love You More" by Essex, England's techno/house band Sunscreem.  Friend and reader Chris just introduced this track to me earlier this past summer and I quite love it.  True... it does sound rather dated, but you'll find that most 90's music does.  And that seems to count double when it comes to the birth of "techno" as a genre.  (James Brown is Dead certainly doesn't sound as mind-blowing as it did before eh?)

Sunscreem formed in 1991 and had a handful of hits throughout the decade as well as into the next.  "Love You More" was released as a promo single in 1991 and spent two weeks on the top of the US Dance charts.  It was one of the first techno songs to hit the US Billboard Hot 100 Top 40, reaching #36. (their highest charter.)

They released five singles from their debut album "O3," on top of "Love You More," including "Pressure," "Walk On," "Perfect Motion," and "Broken English," a Marianne Faithful cover.   The album is pretty consistent... I'm sorry I missed it at the time as this would have been pretty mind-blowing, and might have changed my music interests a bit if I'd heard it at the time.

Anyone got any Sunscreem stories?


Love You More
Walk On

Friday, November 11, 2011

All Through the Night

Song: All Through the Night
Artist: Escort
Album: Escort


Wow, this one hit me like a ton of bricks.  Just last week I was introduced to Brooklyn-based disco band Escort via their self-titled debut album which is coming out next week.  It grabbed me immediately with its mix of modern electro and 70's disco.  But when I got to the 8th track "All Through the Night," I almost lost it.  This is one amazing song.

Escort was founded by Dan Balis and Eugene Cho who met at Vassar College and started making house singles in the early '00's.  They became a production duo who "wanted to make records in the spirit of the old ones we were sampling."  They released a handful of singles and remixes for the likes of Feist and Tracy Thorn, but are best known for their live act, which features 17 members.  The New York Post and Time Out New York described them as "the city's best live band."

I've been pretty blown away by this record and have loved tracks "Cocaine Blues," "Why oh Why," and "Starlight."  But it's an amazing record start to finish and hearkens back to a different era in music, but all the while keeping it current.

The only bit of disappointment I have, which I learned this AM, is that most of these songs are actually rather old!  "Starlight," despite just getting released on this album was the bands first single... from 2006.  (!!!)  And, it turns out "All Through the Night," a track that upon hearing I was ready to declare a new electro-disco revolution... is from 2007.  Whoops.  Pitchfork even declared the video (which is all kinds of amazing, see below) one of the top 50 of that year.

I'm not exactly sure why it's taken five years for this debut to come out but regardless, it is really worth your time.  And "All Through the Night" might be one of my favorite tracks of the year... despite being from another year.

You can take a listen to more of the bands music on their MySpace page, and you can give them the thumbs up here.


All Through the Night
Cocaine Blues

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Better Off Without You

Song: Better Off Without You
Artist: Summer Camp
Album: Welcome to Condale

Summer Camp are London-based duo Elizabeth Sankley & Jeremy Warmsley, their sound is an 80's-influenced mix of rock, synthpop, darkwave, and pop.  Many are calling their debut, "Welcome to Condale" the soundtrack to a John Hughes movie that never was.  I hear it a bit, but there is also some modern-sounding electronica, not to mention a summer-breeze indie-rock a-la Best Coast feeling to the music.

"Condale" is a fictional California town that Sankley & Warmsley have imagined as a setting for their fictional characters and stories that make up the record.  It's not just the music that sounds like a Hughes soundtrack, it's the entire feeling of the record, with story-songs, snippets of dialogue laid over the music (I recognized a "Weird Science" line in the track "Summer Camp") and a sense that the album is a journey, both musically and as a storyline.

I immediately loved opening track and first single "Better Off Without You," which does sound like a lost classic from a bygone era.  It's pretty great.  But it doesn't typify the record, which like any story, has emotional ups and downs, and surprises with darker, emotional, songs like the stalker synth-epic "I Want You," and the darkwave of "Nobody Knows You."  But just as that dark emotion seems to take the album over, the record picks up again with an effervescent track like "Down" or the impeccably titled "Last American Virgin."

"Welcome to Condale" is an interesting record, one that, based on my handful of spins, has many more layers to discover and get into.  It's as intriguing as it is fun, and as dark as it referential.  Take some time with this one.


Better Off Without You
I Want You

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I Don't Want Money Tonight

Song: I Don't Want Money Tonight
Artist: Boss in Drama
Album: Pure Gold

Obviously, based on this over-the-top cover art, Boss in Drama  doesn't take this all too seriously... or at least is operating with a little tongue-in-cheek.  I unfortunately can't find much about the guy, as both his MySpace and Facebook are in Spanish.  But it seems he's from Sao Paulo, Brazil, "Pure Gold" is his first album, and... well, he's got some flashy fashion sense.

But "Pure Gold" has been seeping out of my headphones for the past couple weeks.  It's a great mix of loungy-house that draws inspiration from 70's disco, 80's pop, 90's house... you name it.  It's got its goofy moments (that sax in "Body Rock!") but it all seems to be a bit of a goof on the whole thing.  Regardless, this is a rather well produced album of catchy lounge music that I've just eaten up.  It's like a less serious Sam Sparro.

After a brief intro, the album opens up with the amazing "I Don't Want Money Tonight," which has a bit of a slow build but then explodes into a killer groove.  Amazing.  And from there on the album doesn't let up in its global village disco propulsion.  This makes a great just-put-it-on album for a cocktail party or even a getting-ready-to-go-out party-starter.

My favorite tracks are "Disco Karma," "Body Rock," "and "Pure Gold," though this is one that's good throughout and pretty consistent.  Very fun.

You can listen to the entire album on the Boss in Drama's Soundcloud page where you'll also find some remixes he's done for the likes of Miami Horror and N.E.R.D.


I Don't Want Money Tonight
I've Got Tonight
Disco Karma

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Kissed Her Sister

Song: Kissed Her Sister
Artist: Brite Futures
Album: Dark Past

Here's a dance-rock album I came across recently and immediately connected with.  Brite Futures are a Seattle-based band that formed while the members were still in High School in 2005.  At the time, they were obsessed with the film "V for Vendetta" and originally named the band "Natalie Portman's Shaved Head" or "NPSH" for short.  They released their debut album "Glistening Pleasure" in 2008, which subsequently got them signed to Warner Brothers.

Over the course of their time at Warner Brothers they realized how silly their name was, apparently spurred by finding out Natalie Portman really didn't care for it, and they changed their name to Brite Futures, re-releasing an updated version of their debut entitled "Glistening Pleasures 2.0." (A Bieber joke.)  I haven't heard this record, but in September of 2010 they split ways with WB, went indie again, and recorded "Dark Past"which was released last week.

I mistook Brite Futures youthful tongue-in-cheek lyrics for elder irony a-la Electric Six... but they're just young kids making party music about partying... that's cute, funny, and way catchy.  And with song names like "Too Young to Kill," "Best Party Ever (So Far)," and "Kissed Her Sister," you realize this all shouldn't be taken too seriously.  It's a brisk thirty-two minutes of guitar stomp, synths, and beats that's rather winning.

The above mentioned songs were my favorites on the record initially.  "Kissed Her Sister" is a rather funny tale of accidentally making out with a girlfriend's twin sister that you didn't know existed, (ha!) and "Best Party Ever (So Far)" does the best at illustrating the vibe I think Brite Futures really have aimed for... a rollicking good time track about having a rollicking good time.  It's all very ernest and a bit dorky but rather charming.

I really dig this record and its out-of-nowhere charms.  For fans of Franz Ferdinand, VHS or Beta, Scissor Sisters, Electric Six, and The Fertelli's.  In a way they're like the kid-brother of those bands. (and yet don't really sound like any of they.)  Unfortunately I wasn't able to find much studio material available on YouTube or streaming... but take a listen, if you like them, you should totally buy their new record which you can get on their official website.

You can also hear a little more of their music here.

Fun record, really digging this one.  Enjoy!

Kissed Her Sister (live)
Too Young to Kill
Best Party Ever (So Far) - live?

Monday, November 07, 2011


Song: Big
Artist: Sneaky Sound System
Album: From Here to Anywhere

Sneaky Sound System are a Sydney, Australia-based dance music act that got their start from a club night they were involved in that started in 2001.  I first became familiar with the band from their single "It's Not My Problem" and the amazing Stuart Price Thin White Duke remix.  I never got their self-titled album from 2009 that it was on, but just last month they released their third album, "From Here to Anywhere" and it's amazing.

There is certainly an 80's influence going on, with the album cover art even helping, but it also has a bit of 70's disco and 90's house influences... mixed with some up-to-date electronic beats.  Overall, it's the amazing disco-tinged vocal melodies that the band excels at... beautiful.

The album starts strong with opening track "Friends" and then first and second singles "We Love" and "Big."  I'd been really digging "Friends" but recently can not stop listening to "Big," which as the name suggests, has this bigger-than-life quality to it... this is hands-over-your-head disco euphoria.  Wow.  I hear a little Shannon and general Freestyle-esque vibes from "Really Want to See You Again," and dig the dark edge of "Remember."  But the album soldiers on with one great track after another.  This isn't a singles record per-say, it's a disco-dance album that I think might trump the new Cicada... if I was looking for a comparison.

Connie Mitchell's vocals are rather amazing on this album... delivering diva-ish moments that don't quite go there all the way.  Which I appreciate.  Listen to third from last track "1984" and you'll "get" Sneaky Sound System.


We Love

Friday, November 04, 2011

To Be a Lover

Song: To Be a Lover
Artist: Billy Idol
Album: Billy Idol

Well it seems I'm feeling another 80's classic on a Friday...

Like Wham!, I've enjoyed singles by Billy Idol throughout the years and yet have never own a whole album from the man.  So when I came across a new greatest hits release last week, part of the Essential series, I decided to grab it and fill in some holes in my singles collection from him.  And I am glad I did!

While I of course had classics like "Rebel Yell," "Mony Mony," "White Wedding," "Rock the Cradle of Love," and even "Eyes Without a Face" and "Sweet Sixteen..." I was missing three umm... essential Idol tracks... "Hot in the City," "Blue Highway," and "To Be a Lover."  All amazing.

"Hot in the City" is big goofy fun, a silly hit from Billy's first solo album, the self-titled solo debut from 1983.  "Blue Highway" is a big 80's epic rock track from '83's "Rebel Yell," and "To Be a Lover" is a moody, sexy track and first single from '86's "Whiplash Smile."  I don't know how I've been missing all three in my life!

I think Billy Idol's cartoonish persona didn't age very well, and did a disservice to his ultimate legacy.  Some of these songs are so great, so classic... and the man had an undeniable charm, a classic rock 'n' roll swagger that was an updated Elvis of sorts... meets 80's pop heavy metal glam.  (And hits like "Sweet Sixteen" and "Eyes Without a Face" showed true songwriting prowess.)

I'm torn between highlighting the punchy "Hot in the City," or the moody, piano and synths-tinged "To Be a Lover."  Hmmm...

Moody wins.  Love those back-up singers.  And I'm a sucker for the line; "and you realize that you need love too, gonna spend my life making love to you!"  Hot.

Buy his greatest hits now!


To Be a Lover
Hot in the City
Blue Highway

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Goodbye Horses

Song: Goodbye Horses
Artist: Kele
Album: The Hunter EP

I was pretty upset when I read that Bloc Party split as just after just three solid albums, it seemed like there was much more for them to do... and I believed they still had their masterpiece left to make. (they were destined to surpass "Silent Alarm" in my opinion.)  But the solo career of lead singer Kele Okereke has ben a nice diversion.  It's obvious that the man wanted to explore dance music more than his band, and while his debut solo album "The Boxer" was very good... it didn't reach the heights or consistency of his work with Bloc Party.  I do think he has it in him... possibly his second record.

In the meantime, we are treated to a companion EP to his solo album, "The Boxer," entitled "The Hunter," which contains a bunch of great emotional dance music.  I think he's really starting to find his groove here... as tossed-off as this EP seems, it's really rather good.  Oddly, the first single from the release, "What Did I Do?" featuring Lucy Taylor as guest, and prominent vocalist, is my least favorite.  For me it's missing too much Kele (I really adore his voice) and has too much dubstep in it.  (I'm not a fan.)  But following tracks "Release Me" and "Devotion" are pretty divine, and again point to a very exciting future.

AND THEN... the man does something over-the-cool brilliant... covering one of my favorite, creep-tastic songs, Q Lazzarus' "Goodbye Horses."  He makes the song a bit more dancy, which I don't mind at all. It looses a bit of its creepiness, but turns the song into something else.  (If you're not familiar with the song go here right now. )  Really good.

I really recommend this EP for fans of Bloc Party and Kele.  "Goodbye Horses" will be good to play at parties.  Also, don't miss the amazing Fred Falke remix of Kele's single "Everything you Wanted" from "The Boxer."  One of my favorites from last year.

Goodbye Horses
What Did I Do?
Release Me

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Devil's Town

Song: Devil's Town
Artist: Baskerville
Album: Devil's Town

I cant find much about this band, aside from that they are Dutch, they DJ, and they travel the world doing so.  The About Page on their official website is not in English.

But, I've been digging their single "Devil's Town" for a good while, a nice mix of rock & roll and club beats.  A little dark, a little fun, etc.  I didn't realize but their debut album "Disco Biscuits" is out now.  I haven't heard the whole ting but found a couple other tracks on YouTube below.


Devil's Town
My Friend
Daybreak Delay

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Where Are You Baby?

Song: Where Are You Baby?
Artist: Betty Boo
Album: Boomania

The 90's!  Man, I personally look back at that time as when music officially grabbed me and there was so much going on, from dance, to grunge, to... man just everything seemed to be popular at one time or another.  It's really quite astonishing.  But there is much that I missed in the 90's due to being into other genre's at the time, not in the right place to hear certain things, etc.  But I want to close the gaps in my 90's oeuvre... for both me, and you dear reader... and why don't you help me.

Please comment on this post and let me know your favorite 90's tracks, obscure or not, and I just might highlight them here on the blog for a 90's week in a few.  Reach back into those vaults kids...

So my new found love for the UK's Cher Lloyd has led to some fan discussion online of artists from the past that she reminds people of.  I happened on a discussion of this and the mention of Betty Boo, a singer, songwriter, and pop-rapper who had some mild success in the early 90's, and has subsequently worked as a songwriter for UK pop acts such as Girls Aloud, Dannii Minogue,  and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.  She sings and raps in a similar fashion as Cher, and was an inspiration for the formation of the Spice Girls. (they were looking for five Betty Boo's.)

Betty Boo was born Alison Moira Clarkson in Kensington, London in 1970.  She originally went by "Betty Boop" due to her similarity to the cartoon character, but changed it slightly to avoid legal issue.  Her involvement in a female pop-rap group called the She-Rockers led her to New York and working with Public Enemy whom encouraged her to go solo.  She did, and supported them on live dates.  Her debut album "Boomania," which was self-written and recorded in her bedroom.  It spawned two hit singles, "Doin' the Do" and "Where Are You Baby."

I remember reading about Betty back in the 90's when she released her much less successful, and final album, "GRRR! It's Betty Boo."  I remember almost getting this album from BMG or Columbia House back in the day (90's!!!) but didn't.  Though I ALSO remember "Where Are You Baby?" being used in the John Hughes semi-flop "Career Opportunities" from 1991.  Fun.

So "Boomania" sounds crazy dated... but that's really the case for a lot of 90's stuff isn't it?  But it's certainly got its charms, and "Where Are You Baby?" is really a great track.


but comment on this post RIGHT NOW with some of your favorite obscure or not-so-obscure 90's stuff!!!

Where Are You Baby?
Doin' the Do
Hey DJ / I Can't Dance (To That Music You're Playing)