Friday, May 31, 2013


Song: RuPaulogize
Artist: Willam
Album: The Wreckoning

I think the pop world is ready for a big hit from a drag queen.  It hasn't happened... well, not since it did in 1992 for the world's most famous Drag Queen, RuPaul, who if I recall is the first and only with "Supermodel (You Better Work)."  So I suppose I should be saying... it's about time there was another huge pop hit by a drag queen.  And I think we're getting closer.

RuPaul's Drag Race has been this bubbling-under hit that's only grown since it started, and over the past year or two I've noticed how much the drag queen jargon has worked itself into our culture, especially on the internet where you can hear one-liners and various examples of "shade" being spread throughout Tumblr, internet forums, and the comment section of just about anything.... you mad?

I haven't heard that song yet though, despite the myriad of one-off singles and full albums that have been released from alumni of Drag Race thus far.  BUT, there still is some above-average dance-pop out there coming from these queens, whom have talent that in a different time and place, would be much more recognized.  The world is changing though...

Willam Bell is one of the most well-known from the show, and arguably bar RuPaul, one of the most successful of the current queens out there hustling.  Beyond the Race, Willam has appeared in several tv shows and movies, as well as starred in several music videos of his own tunes, many of which he's written himself.  Willam is a talent, an actor that also happens to be a drag queen.

Late last year Bell released "The Wreckoning," his debut album which contained many singles he's released with accompanying music videos.  Most of the songs are parodies... takes on other songs written with comedy in mind.  It's not really listenable as an album for me, a touch too gimmicky... but there are gems here and there.

Number one for me is current single "RuPaulogize," which takes an off-hand comment Willam made on the reunion show of his season, and turns it, and his experience with the show, into a song.  It's a great little play on words, enough that on that episode RuPaul herself proclaimed; "Bitch!  Consider that stolen!" when Willam uttered it.

The song takes the vocal hook from OneRepublic's '07 hit "Apologize," and adds Drag Race season four winner Sharon Needles (playing RuPaul) and the results are catchy, funny, gold.  It probably won't get play outside of gay bars... but it should.  It's infectious.

Do yourself a favor and watch the video below.  It'll put a smile on your face, or two, as we head into our weekend.


Chow Down

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Never Enough

Song: Never Enough
Artist: Visage
Album: Hearts and Knives

80s New Romantic act Visage have re-formed (again) this time releasing an album of new material... their first since 1984's Beat Boy.  Frontman Steve Strange mentioned a reunion in an early 2012 interview, the album, Hearts and Knives has just been released on Blitz Club.

The new music is firmly planted in the 80s New Wave sound that they are well known for, I'm digging album opener "Never Enough" as well as initial single "Shameless Fashion."  Initially to me it sounded like music the Scissor Sisters would use as inspiration... except this music is post-Scissor Sisters... but you get the idea.

No new ground is covered here, but for a straight-up 80s fix of new tunes, this is worth checking out.

Visage is best known for their 1980 hit "Fade to Grey," which was later basically copied by Kelly Osborne for her single "One Word."


Never Enough
Shameless Fashion

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Caught By Surprise

Song: Caught By Surprise
Artist: The Postelles
Album: ...And It Shook Me

For those looking for a nice slice of pop-ish rock, I'd like to turn your attention to NYC indie rock band The Postelles, who recently released their sophomore album ...And It Shook Me.  I really liked their debut, self-titled album, that came out in 2010, especially single "White Light," the first track on the record.  The debut was a bit more scrappy, Shook Me comes across as a bit more polished, yet holds onto their sunny charms and sweet melodies.

I still hear them as a less-gritty version of The Strokes, but upon hearing the first bits of Shook Me I immediately simply heard The Postelles, which may hint at their staying power.  Though I don't hear anything quite as catchy as "White Light" here, so I'm a bit unsure where they may go with this.  Regardless, this is an extremely pleasant and warm summery rock 'n' roll record you should totally check out if you're into pleasant and warm summery rock 'n' roll.

Learn more about the band from their official website.


Caught By Surprise
...And It Shook Me
Running Red Lights

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Song: Racer
Artist: Giorgio Moroder
Album: Racer

Seventy-three years old is certainly an impressive number to reach, let alone an age to have a resurgence in your career.  But that's what's currently happening to electronic music pioneer Giorgio Moroder, whom has re-entered the collective consciousness again via Daft Punk's new album Random Access Memories, where he provides guest "vocals" on the track "Giorgio by Moroder" as well as contributed to their Collaborators series from the album.  While that project celebrates the man, his past, and his accomplishments, Google got him to make new music for a multi-screen game they're developing.

"Racer," the name of the track and the game is an instrumental that happens to be some of the most intense, melt-your-face-off, electronica I've heard in some time.  It all makes for quite a nice little story/comeback eh?

"Racer" the game uses a pretty simple why-hasn't-this-been-done (?) concept that's bound to look like Pong in a couple year's time.  But for now it's a cool idea with a killer soundtrack that's both forward-thinking and retro at the same time.  Take a look:

"Racer" the song doesn't seem like much initially, but given repeated listens unfolds itself to being pretty badass.  It's got quite the killer melody that fits the game, and it just might be the perfect thing to get you off your three-day-weekend haze and get yourself back to it.

And it should be noted that Moroder recently played his first DJ set in Brooklyn.  First.  At seventy-three.  Never stop people.  Never.  Stop.



Friday, May 24, 2013

All You're Waiting For

Song: All You're Waiting For
Artist: Classixx
Album: Hanging Gardens

This album has been quite a while in the making.  Classixx hit single "I'll Get You" was released back in 2009, and just now they are getting their debut out... but it was worth the wait.  I came to "I'll Get You" a bit late, hearing it years ago but on vacation last summer found it being played at just about every party I went to.  It clicked as they say, and I shared it with y'all!

I wasn't really checking for this record, but it popped up late last month and I have been quite enjoying it since.  A mix of pop-house and smooth electro with a slew of different vocalists, Hanging Gardens also dives into the past, with dance sounds of the 70s and 80s working their way alongside these modern synths and beats.

An immediate favorite upon hearing it was "All You're Waiting For," a delicious, summer-feeling jam with gorgeous vocals by LCD Soundsystem & The Juan Maclean regular Nancy Whang.  It's a corker, and happens to be the latest single.

Amid some transcendental instrumentals you'll also find past singles "Holding On" as well as "I'll Get You" in there.  Also of note is the opening title track which bubbles up slowly with a twisted, (I think) sample of Fleetwood Mac's "Seven Wonders."  It's quite effective.


All You're Waiting For
Hanging Gardens
I'll Get You

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dumb Disco Ideas

Song: Dumb Disco Ideas
Artist: Holy Ghost!
Album: Dynamics

Digging this new, semi-epic, single from Brooklyn-based indie-dance duo Holy Ghost!  It's the first preview into their upcoming sophomore album Dynamics, which currently doesn't have a release date.  The band is leading up to the release touring with Classixx and New Order this summer.  A follow up to their self-titled debut album.

At just over eight minutes long, "Dumb Disco Ideas" is pretty epic, yet there are no extended tripped-out/blissed-out instrumental moments that extend this... it's just a confident 8+ pop song with a killer groove.  I've listened to it almost a dozen times and never feel it's length per say.  Interested to know if the rest of the album follows this blueprint.

Great stuff.  Enjoy.

Dumb Disco Ideas
Wait and See
Do it Again

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grown Woman

Song: Grown Woman
Artist: Beyonce
Album: Grown Woman/TBD

Two big pop girls in a row... stay with me.

So this new full Beyonce track just emerged and it's wrapped in a bit of "what-is-going-on?" mystery in terms of her latest "campaign" if that's what you call it.  Since she performed at the Super Bowl fans have been awaiting an announcement of new material, album, etc.  She announced a tour, and performs this song on it... but is it the first single?

Is there even a new album?  Is she pregnant again?  If so is she finishing the tour?

Nobody seems to know.  My question is... will Beyonce ever tire or run out of female empowerment anthems?  It seems not...

"Grown Woman" is a slightly monotonous track with a lot of African tribal sounds on it... which I quite like.  It's not pop like "Single Ladies," but warmer than "Who Run the World."  Not bad... but is it single material?

I'm oddly indifferent to Beyonce, when it seems most people have a love her or hate her relationship with her.  I thought 4 was rather interesting with its adult contemporary leanings... if you take this for "a sound" from the album, I'd be interested in a traditional/tribal/island pop sound from Beyonce.  Could be interesting.

Though what's with the crowd noises?


Grown Woman

Monday, May 20, 2013

Live it Up

Song: Live it Up (feat. Pitbull)
Song: Jennifer Lopez
Album: Live it Up

Despite embodying everything that's been criticized about the state of pop music right now... J. Lo and Pitbull manage to create their third completely infectious lead track for her upcoming eighth album and contender for Song of the Summer 2013.

Yes you read that right, eighth album.

Basically what we have here is 2013's version of "Starships" so you may want to just quit reading now.  But if you have any love for that track, also produced by RedOne, than this latest hook-fest complete with now-predictable "insane" drop than you'll find a lot to love about 'Live it Up."  It's no "Hypnotico" though.

Or you can begin your campaign of hate right now.  Because I don't think you'll be able to escape this one.  Sorry.

Yeah I see that eye roll... whatever, you can go back to listening to the new Daft Punk now.


Live it Up

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Time is Now

Song: The Time is Now
Artist: Moloko
Album: Things to Make and Do

If you follow music on the internet at all (and I hope you do because you're reading this) you probably heard that Daft Punk have a new album out.  You also may have heard they've semi-ditched the EDM sound that they helped make popular, went analog, and delved into disco, MOR, the sound of Steely Dan and the 70s in general.  Everybody seems to have a strong opinion about all this, especially the disco sound of it all.  For a forward-thinking duo like Daft Punk, what exactly is the fuck?

Well, I like disco.  And would honestly welcome an infusion of the soulful sounds of funk and glorious string-laden disco back into the top 40.  Sure I like all this electro/dance/EDM pop, but it is all a little too same-sounding.

But disco has still hung on here and there with artists taking the blueprint of that sound and modernizing it.  And thanks to the Daft Punk debate and this ol' internet, I've been introduced to Anglo-Irish electronic duo Moloko's track "The Time is Now" from 2000.  Spanish guitar, a thumping beat, cooing sexy vocals, with dramatic, strings and synths... it's aural pleasure.  It's 13 years old now, and it still sounds great.  Just as some of Moroder's work with Donna Summer still sounds current today.

This is a great song that I'm sorry it's taken me 13 years to discover.  But I am honestly floored this AM after finally reading up on this band and discovering the singer is none other than Roisin Murphy, who along with Mark Brydon comprised the band that released four albums!  I've got some catching up to do...

"The Time is Now" is the perfect way to glide into your weekend.


The Time is Now
Sing it Back
Forever More

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Free (feat. Emeli Sandé)

Song: Free (feat. Emeli Sandé)
Artist: Rudimental
Album: Home

The English-born, Scottish singer Emeli Sandé has been just about everywhere as of late, if I'm honest her album didn't really click with me, though I liked songs here and there.  But she features on a track I came across randomly and can't get enough of...

It turns out to be the final track from British drum and bass outfit Rudimental; "Free."

"Free" is a stirring, emotional song, that builds upon itself with Sandé's admittedly gorgeous voice riding the growing storm of a track.  In retrospect it does seem very album-closing, a dramatic finish to something.

I'm not much of a drum and bass fan, which might explain how I've missed this British band's rise, which started with initial single "Spoons" back in February of 2012.  They're on their fourth single from the album now, and I'm only just now taking a listen.  I'm only a couple tracks deep but "Home" seems to be a pop-drum and bass record, smoothing out some of the harsher sounds from the genre, and pairing them with a slew of vocalists including John Newman, Foxes, Angel Haze, & Sinead Harnett.

I'm still listening, but "Free" deserves to be heard, and I suppose I need to give Emeli Sandé a second chance in general.


Free (feat. Emeli Sandé)
Waiting All Night
Feel the Love

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Song: Shame
Artist: Slow Knights
Album: Cosmos

While the Scissor Sisters are on a hiatus, lead guitarist Del Marquis (aka Derek Gruen) has been working on his solo debut album after a handful of EP's and a mixtape he released while in the band.  Slow Knights, the moniker he's given the effort is an 80s/90s white-boy soul record recorded with members of Prince's circa Diamonds and Pearls band the New Power Generation.

So there you go.

Gruen works with a couple vocalists when he's not doing the duties himself, including Book of Mormon star Mykal Kilgore on opening track "Caught Up in the Rhythm," and Bright Light Bright Light's Rod Thomas on "In the Quiet," as well as some female vocalists I can't seem to find info on.  It feels like a whole though, and not the patchwork mess collabs can often create.

This is a throwback through and through, with nods to Prince, Madonna, Chaka Khan, & Kylie among others, but it also had a modern touch to it that saves it from straight-up nostalgia.  Initial listens seem to only highlight the references, but upon several listens the charms of the record really come forth, both sonically and melodically.  This AM's listen was my fourth, and while I woke up knowing I liked the album and wanted to highlight it today, each track has come on and gotten a "Oh yeah... I like this one too!" kind of listen.  This is a GREAT pop record.

"Shame" is the first single, so I'm just going to highlight that but have honestly been going back and forth with a couple tracks as I like them so much.  Best just take a listen to the record here:


Under Attack

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Song: Bassline
Artist: Miss Kittin
Album: Calling from the Stars

I haven't followed Miss Kittin much beyond one of her earliest singles, the jokey, catchy, what-did-she-just-say? WTF of "Frank Sinatra" from 2001, best known from the film Party Monster.  But I recently read an interview after hearing the amazing new track "Bassline," saying that it's been a long road singe "Sinatra," and she's a very different artist.

"Calling From the Stars" is Kittin's sixth full-length, a double-album of twenty-three new tracks, the second half being an ambient/mood piece.  It contains a cover of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," which might give you a clue as to what to expect of the record...

'Fun' is not on the agenda for "Stars," a dark, pulsating, trip of a record that goes for dark electro moods over hooky dancefloor-filler.  Awash with synths and dark beats, Miss Kittin scores what I've often heard described as "German sex-club music."  Yeah, sort of.

But don't run away just yet if that's not exactly your bag (I understand) it's just that you simply must take a listen to "Baseline," first single off the album and a knock out of the park.  It's a stop-what-you're-doing-and-listen-right now moment.



Life is My Teacher
Everybody Hurts

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Tube Stops and Lonely Hearts

Song: Tube Stops and Lonely Hearts
Artist: Annie
Album: Tube Stops and Lonely Hearts

It's been a long time since we heard from Norwegian dance-pop princess Annie.  I've missed her.

While her first two albums have been well-received, I feel Annie is still waiting for that Robyn-sized breakthrough.  Don't know if that's actually possible, I suppose that depends on what she's got coming up next...

Which is a bit unclear.  Semi out-of-nowhere a track called "Take a Look at the World" by Ralph Myerz featuring vocals by Annie appeared recently and then made it onto iTunes, and almost immediately after a new bonafide Annie track, "Tube Stops and Lonely Hearts" materialized with an odd little video. (see below)  Both are kind of amazing.

"Tube Stops" is co-produced by Xenomania, though there have been rumours that she's working with long-time collaborator Richard X, possibly for just an EP's worth of material, maybe an album.  I guess we'll see.

New Annie is always cause for excitement.


Tube Stops and Lonely Hearts

Take a Look at the World

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Ashtrays and Heartbreaks

Song: Ashtrays and Heartbreaks
Artist: Snoop Lion
Album: Reincarnated

Can't say I'm a big fan of Snoop Lion (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg) though I've always liked Snoop the man... effortlessly cool, a startling wit, and an overall positive vibe for a hip hop/rap star.  His agression was always wrapped in something smart, and not all that serious in it's intention.  I like him, despite his music being hit or miss.

I don't have any real opinions or much to say on his change from Dogg to Lion... but it does signify one thing, immediately behind the new moniker he's produced my favorite record of his to date. (no I haven't listened to them all.)  I may not be an expert on his music, but I know music... and it's not his break from hip-hop to reggae that's done it, it's just that Reincarnated is an amazing record, oddly the most pop thing he's done, relentlessly positive... what's not to like?  Album title aside, this does seem to be a rebirth.

Lead single "Ashtrays and Heartbreaks" featuring Miley Cyrus (?!?!) is a big winner, a laid back summer jam that's really gotten under my skin.  Singer Angela Hunte is featured on several tracks including the more traditional reggae "Here Comes the King" and "So Long," as well as the surprise clubby-dancefloor filler "Get Away."

Other collaborators include Drake, Akon, Rita Ora, Busta Rhymes, & Chris Brown among others.  But this is the Snoop show, and a testament to his effortless charm as he is upstaged by nobody.

Check this album out, it's really great.


Ashtrays and Heartbreaks
No Guns Allowed
Get Away

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Falling (Duke Dumont Remix)

Song: Falling (Duke Dumont Remix)
Artist: Haim
Album: Falling

Haim are a California-based trio of sisters that formed the band in 2006 but only started releasing music last year.  Raised on 70s Americana folk-rock, and informed by 90s R&B, the band's vibe has been described as "music that sounds like it was written at a lakeside retreat attended by Stevie Nicks, John Waite, and En Vogue."  "nu-folk R&B" - Amazing.

The "Forever" EP was released last July containing three songs as well as a remix of the title track.  They have since released the lovely "Falling," which also contains a handful of remixes, including the lush, groovy, Duke Durmont take which I have gone officially gaga for.

The debut album is expected this year but currently doesn't have a title or release date.  I'm interested in these girls, they've got a unique sound and a strong ear for melody.

Band to watch this year.


Falling (Duke Durmont Remix)
Better Off

Monday, May 06, 2013

Modern Hearts

Song: Modern Hearts (ft. St. Lucia)
Artist: The Knocks
Album: Modern Hearts

Still no word on when (or if) we're getting an actual debut album, but The Knocks are still at it releasing EP's and singles at a pretty consistant rate, the latest being a collab with Brooklyn-based, South African-born St. Lucia; "Modern Hearts."

Since 2010 the band has been releasing music as well as some notable remixes for artists such as Tegan & Sara, Dragonette, Foster the People, etc.

"Modern Hearts" is pretty infectious and winning.  Worth a listen.


Modern Hearts
The Feeling