Thursday, May 31, 2012

How it Starts

Song: How it Starts
Artist: The Features
Album: Wilderness

If you don't know this song from it's name and band, you should scroll down and immediately hit the play button on the audio clip.  Because you're bound to hear it a bit, then the chorus will kick in, and you'll say... "oh wait... how do I know this song?"  You will.  You do.

Okay, it's another example of a killer hook from a song being used in... a car commercial.  Until I looked it up, despite seeing that thing several times on the TV, I couldn't remember that it was for the 2012 Mustang.  But come to think about it... what car was that being advertised that played Dirty Vegas' "Days Go By?"  I can't remember.  Can that be considered good marketing then?

Okay, so I only bother you with this because a) I shazam'd the commercial and it actually worked, b) got the song and it's entire accompanying album, and c) that album is really good.  And the Features should get some recognition outside of a bloody Mustang commercial.

The Features are from Tennessee and "Wilderness" is their third full length album.  They're not so big here (unless this ad is helping) but happen to be pretty popular in the UK.  They have that retro groove-rock sound that The Walkman have with a touch of Franz Ferdinand wink, a little psychedelia organ, and a bit of the old country influence a-la Kings of Leon, whom they are associated with.  (First band signed to their imprint Serpents and Snakes.)

"How it Starts" has Summer jam written all over it.  Perfect for... well cruising in a car in the sunshine. (Mustang optional.)  BUT give this band a chance, I'm digging this record and may work my way back through their past albums.


How it Starts
Another One

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Picking Up the Pieces

Song: Picking Up the Pieces
Artist: Paloma Faith
Album: Fall to Grace

I missed British-born singer-songwriter Paloma Faith's debut album, 2009's "Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?," which spawned five singles and established Faith as a rising star in her home country and through Europe.  Missed all that. But, she's returned with a sophomore set entitled "Fall to Grace," which has given her her best charting single yet, first track "Picking Up the Pieces."

"Fall to Grace" is cinematic-leaning behemoth of sweeping strings, synths, piano, soulful vibes, and story-song lyrics.  It's a little too dramatic, but it's not without its charms.  I have quite warmed up to the single, as well as the second track, "30 Minute Love Affair."  I'm still listening, and may l o v e it in months time.

Faith has been getting involved with some acting, evident in the video for the single. (see below)  And again, "Fall to Grace" has a sweeping grandness that's born from the movies.  It might be too much for you, or it could be a revelation.  You decide.


Picking Up the Pieces
30 Minute Love Affair
Let Me Down Easy (live)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Song: Shady
Artist: Adam Lambert
Album: Trespassing

I'm not feeling this new Adam Lambert album all that much, though I can't put my finger on exactly why as it seems to tick all the dance-pop boxes.  But something is missing, which has been disappointing because of how much I honestly liked his debut.

It's not an embarrassment by any means, (though the second half of drippy ballads gets close) just lacks the humor and wit, as well as punch of his debut.  There were more personality in "Music Again," the first track off that first record than can be found here in it's entirety.  I like Adam, this just isn't doing it for me.

But please do check out "Shady," which features Nile Rodgers and Sam Sparro.  This is a highlight.


Better Than I Know Myself

Friday, May 25, 2012


Song: Timebomb
Artist: Kylie Minogue
Album: Timebomb

Celebrating 25 years in the business, and on the top of her game.

Cute video.  The power of Kylie.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Lone Ranger

Song: The Lone Ranger
Artist: Quantum Jump
Album: Quantum Jump

So this coming Saturday happens to be my birthday, and I'm getting to the age where I sort of can't believe I've gotten to be this old, and yet realize I'm young enough to have older friends that would hear that, roll their eyes, and give me a good natured, "Ummm.... shut the fuck up."

But this isn't about getting older... but as always, in between whatever current dance-pop hit I'm currently obsessed with, I like to reach back in time and share some stuff that life has placed into my life.  I like to think that it means something, but admit it's probably a bit random.  So here is a semi-meaningful completely random discovery I actually made late last year, but suddenly has some funny odd circumstances...

(Man the buildup is way too great for this silly song.)

Okay so the year I was born, the British band Quantum Jump released their self-titled debut album.  The band was named after lead singer and keyboard player Rupert Hine had a convo with an ex-Cambridge student and friend whom told him about a recent discovery at the school about how electron energy increases and decreases which would later be called "quantum leap."  He liked "Jump" better as it had "a more soul/funk music connotation."  Okay.

In general, Quantum Jump's 70's progressive rock is NOT my bag... at all, but their most well known song, and mildly controversial, "The Lone Ranger" stood out when I randomly came across this record.  As it was being recorded, a label rep said it had potential, but needed a better beginning... so Hine looked up the longest word in the Guinness Book of World Records, and hence that opening. (the word is Maori, the name of hill in Murray's Bay New Zealand.)  Man, the 70's right?

So the song first gets released in my birth year but is pulled from the radio by the BBC because of concern for drug and get this... homosexual references. (The Lone Ranger in this song is possibly "a poofter" who has a crush on Tonto.)  After this, guitarist Mark Warner leaves the band to join Cat Steven's on the road, and Hine and the rest of the Jump soldier on with an expensive and less popular second album, called "Barracuda," which rendered them penniless, so they split.

Two years later the band would reform unexpectedly and play Top of the Pop when "The Lone Ranger" became a surprise hit.  They released a third record comprised of remixed versions of the best stuff from the first two records.  It wasn't successful, and Quantum Jump would disband for good.  Hine would later become a pretty successful producer for the likes of Tina Turner, Bob Geldof, Suzanne Vega, Rush, Stevie Nicks, the Thompson Twins, and the list goes on.

And all I've got is the start to the last half of my 30's.

High-ho silver away!


The Lone Ranger
No American Starship
Cocobana Heaven

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


Song: Maps
Artist: Macy Gray
Album: Covered

As the title suggests, for Macy Gray's sixth album she's released a complete set of other peoples songs given the Macy treatment.  It's a very strange collection that manages to further prove what an oddball Gray is, despite these being other peoples songs.

From the slowed down spacey drama of the Eurythmics' "Here Comes the Rain Again" and Radiohead's "Creep" to the what-the-what (?!?!) Sublime's "Smoke Two Joints" and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters," "Covered" is one of the most off-the-wall collections of songs I've seen.

And to top it all off, there are about six between song skits, with the likes of J.B. Smooth ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") MC Lyte, and Nicole Scherzinger.

Macy Gray is reportedly bipolar.

Okay, take a listen to her take on the Yeah, Yeah, Yeah's "Maps."  What's with the odd tempo changes?  And why can't I stop listening to this?


Here Comes the Rain Again
Nothing Else Matters

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Our Love

Song: Our Love
Artist: Donna Summer
Album: Bad Girls

Back in January I feel pretty hard for Gomma records four-track release "Casablanca Reworks," a selection of songs released by 70's disco titans, Casablanca Records re-done by four different bands on the label with vocals done by Peaches.  I loved the concept, wished they'd done a whole album, and then started to listen to the originals as well...

Well, I had planned a full Casablanca Records week here at WeCastMusic, but honestly have been overwhelmed at the wealth of material the label had, and was swimming in (personally) undiscovered disco simply from the four-disc "The Casablanca Records Story."  Crazy.  How could I possibly sum up a label with five selected songs?  Oh well.

While a full week may not happen right now, I have still been completely obsessed with not only the Telonius re-work but also the Donna Summer original "Our Love," a Summer track I'd never heard before.  "Our Love" was from her seventh and most successful album, the double-set "Bad Girls," which contained not only that hit, but "Hot Stuff" as well.  It was a hit, but following an addiction to pills, Summer moved to Geffen Records to expand the type of music she was producing.  Casablanca released a greatest hits compilation which featured unreleased tracks, one of which, "On the Radio," would become one of her biggest songs.  With the Geffen album coming soon, Casablanca then went back and continued to release tracks from "Bad Girls."  "Our Love" would end up being the 5th of 6th singles released from the record.

Oddly, the song languishes a bit toward the end of the album, proceeded by four drippy ballads, only to explode into this beautiful, dramatic, Moroder space-disco.  It's amazing.

On a side note, also check out "Lucky" below, another Moroder track that immediately follows "Our Love" on the album.  It's an... odd one, with a writing credit from non-other than Joe "Bean" Esposito!  Who is that you say?  Well take a look at this.


Our Love
Our Love - Telonius feat. Peaches

Friday, May 04, 2012

Call My Name

Song: Call My Name
Artist: Cheryl (Cole)
Album: A Million Lights

At the risk of this blog becoming a Calvin Harris fan page, I am posting yet another Harris production, the new single by ex-Girls Aloud member (and first solo star) Cheryl Cole.  The track is called "Call My Name" and it's a great Euro-pop dance track that probably doesn't have much hope getting play here in the States.  (We'll have either the new Rhianna single to get our Calvin here, or his new collab with Ne-Yo.)

I know very little about Cheryl, but after loving the debut album by Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts, Cole comes across as a pretty girl without much personality.  Oh well, the track is fun.

But good on Calvin, no doubt riding a huge wave after the mega-sucess of Rihanna's "We Found Love" getting a crack at Cole's comeback single.  I like it.


Call My Name

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Out of the Game

Song: Out of the Game
Artist: Rufus Wainwright
Album: Out of the Game

I don't know what happened.

After loving Rufus's sophomore album "Poses," and backtracking to his great debut, then the one-two punch of the too long but often brilliant "Want I" and "Want II" double album, I lost complete interest in Rufus Wainwright.  "Release the Stars" left me with something new, a Rufus album I didn't like one song, his last "All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu" I didn't even make it through the whole thing, unlistenable.  And I'm not going to even mention the Judy Garland concert thing...

So I'm off the Rufus train, disregard my thoughts if you love every breathless moment... but things, despite the obvious effort, don't get much better on his latest album, the Mark Ronson produced "Out of the Game."

Okay, so I do like the breezy debut single and title track.  It's refreshingly light from a man who seemingly has become a parody of every criticism he's ever been thrown, but that guy is back in full-force on the tune-less "Montauk."  Oh well.

Musically "Out of the Game" is all over the place, throwing a bunch at the wall and seeing what sticks. It aims to be a pleaser but I hear nothing half as good as an "April Fools" or "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" not to mention an "Oh What a World" or "Gay Messiah."

Critics are mostly enjoying this record so I could be way off base.  I'm just officially out of the Rufus game.


Out of the Game

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Burning Feeling

Song: Burning Feeling
Artist: Lovelock
Album: Burning Feeling

Here's a fine example of some good retro-future space aged disco from producer Steve Moore (Zombi, Gianna Rossi) who veers from horror soundtrack music to 80's electronic with an Italo disco bent.  It sounds old, but new, timely and dated.  Give it a listen.

A mostly instrumental affair, "Burning Feeling" takes you on a journey in the best sense, from the bubbling get-things-started title track that starts the record, to the more quiet, ambient moods of "South Beach Sunrise."  The 8.5 minute "Don't Turn Away (From My Love)" is a standout, as well as the dirty night-out strut of "New Age Christ."  Disco gold.

Digging this record, check it out.


Burning Feeling

Don't Turn Away (From My Love)
Love Reaction

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Night and Day

Song: Night and Day
Artist: Hot Chip
Album: In Our Heads

Hot Chip return this June with their fifth studio album, "In Our Heads," their first to be released on Domino Records.  The band has once again self-produced the album, and released the official first single, "Night and Day" as part of Record Store Day.

The band first gave a listen to new material via an uploaded video to their YouTube channel of an in-studio listen to the just-shy of eight minute epic "Flutes" which you can watch below.

"Night and Day" is quite growing on me, and I'm rather excited about the new album.  Hot Chip never disappoint.


Night and Day
Hand Me Down Your Love