Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spooky [Bak & Lindemann Bootleg]

Song: Spooky [Bak & Lindemann Bootleg]
Artist: Dusty Springfield
Album: Spooky

Great bootleg remix of the Mike Shapiro & Harry Middlebrooks, Jr./Classics IV ummm... classic "Spooky" from new Danish duo Bak & Lindemann.

Dusty's version is well known and probably best known from its inclusion in the '98 film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.  Bak & Lindemann turn up the throb and sexy and works as some serious swingin' cocktail-time music.  Immediately infectious.

Bak & Lindemann are about to release a free compilation of their remixes, which includes "Spooky."  More info can be found at their Facebook page.


Spooky [Bak & Lindemann Bootleg]

Monday, November 25, 2013

Perfect Time

Song: Perfect Time
Artist: Booka Shade
Album: Eve

Booka Shade are a German house duo comprised of Walter Merzinger & Arno Kammermeier.  They are set to release their 5th studio album Eve on November 1st.

Eve is a pretty sublime, moody house record, it can be dark at times, and yet I've enjoyed it in the early AM just as much as late late at night.  It straddles a couple different moods over it's just-under-an-hour length, which gives the listener the feeling they're on a journey.

Single "Love Inc." is a good starting point but I'm also loving the sexy, propulsive "Perfect Time" as well as album opener "Many Rivers."

I'm only familiar with the band's previous offering, 2010's More! which I remember not really connecting with at the time... though I took another listen yesterday since I enjoyed this so much and appreciated it much more.  I suppose I just wasn't ready for it.


Perfect Time
Love Inc.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Shine My Shoes

Song: Shine My Shoes
Artist: Robbie Williams
Album: Swings Both Ways

Not too long after his latest pop album, Robbie Williams returns with his tenth studio album and his second of swing music.  Following the success of 2001's Swing When You're Winning, Williams has returned to a genre that really suits him, pairing it with a cheeky title and returning to the studio with his most successful producing writing partner Guy Chambers, the duo re-team for the first time since 2002's Escapology for Swings Both Ways.

Where Swing When You're Winning was strictly covers, Swings Both Ways contains more than half originals in the swing style.  It really suits Williams, who duets with the likes of Olly Murs, Lily Allen, Michael Buble, Rufus Wainwright, and Kelly Clarkson.  Very fun.


Shine My Shoes
Go Gentle
Little Green Apples

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

All the Way Thru

Song: All the Way Thru
Artist: JD Samson & MEN
Album: Labor

I was a pretty big Le Tigre fan and really liked their pop-minded last album The Island.  (Like Luscious Jackson, seemingly ending on a real high note.)  So with that band defunct it was nice to hear that two members, JD Samson & Johanna Fateman had formed a new band, and even better when I flipped for their debut song "Off Our Backs."  I wore that one out, and was a little disappointed with the resulting debut album Talk About Body which came out two years later.  It was solid enough, but "Off Our Backs" was a clear highlight.

I'm happy to report though their sophomore follow-up Labor, released last month is GREAT.  It keeps up with the debut's social causes, gender politics, and human commentary, yet does so with more subtlety.  The themes are less in-you-face and only come through with repeated listens.  What is in your face this time around though is the music.  Labor is way more beat-driven and clubby than the debut, yet very diverse and not one-note.

The album starts very strong with the throbbing "Power Strobe" and the killer Yuksek-assisted "All the Way Through," a building, impossibly cool love track.  I love it.  Also digging "Making Art," "Semenya," and towards the end of the album the bitter and pounding "Fucked Up" which is a gilted ANTHEM.  Before it the album sags ever so slightly, but may improve with more listens.  But "Fucked Up" really rockets things back to life.

This is a really great follow-up and definitely worth your time.  JD Samson's crowning achievement for sure.


All The Way Thru
Making Art

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#1 Bum

Song: #1 Bum
Artist: Luscious Jackson
Album: Magic Hour

Holy crap... Luscious Jackson are back!

After splitting in 2000 to spend time with their families and breaking from recording and touring, the Manhattan-based female trio returns with their 4th album and first in fourteen years, Magic Hour.
I really loved their last, '99s Electric Honey, and it was a bummer that they called it quits after such a great record.

Magic Hour finds the girls back with their guitar-driven alternative hip hop sound... it's like the 90s never ended!  It's less hooky than their previous work so initial listens made it seem a bit more laid back(i.e. boring), but after a few spins I must say I've gotten to enjoy this quite a bit.  There's a bit of maturity happening here, but overall these are the same old girls and it's great to hear their voices again.  (I admit I did not follow their solo work.)

Definitely worth a listen if you're a fan, new listeners might want to start with their Greatest Hits, but this is a good record.  I'm not sure what it is, but after going to Spotify this AM to add it to this post, (listen below) I noticed they have another new record added for this year. (?!?!?!)  I have no idea what it is but also check out Baby DJ here.


#1 Bum
Show Us What You Got
Are You Ready?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Big Love

Song: Big Love
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Album: Tango in the Night

Listening to last week's highlighted Retromix: Fleetwood, a remix album of Fleetwood Mac cover songs, I've been inspired to re-listen to some of their classic albums and 1987's Tango in the Night stuck out to me, especially as it contained the original versions of "Everywhere" that I highlighted from Retromix.  It was the last album from the most successful incarnation of the band, including Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood; and turned out to be their second most successful album after the gargantuan Rumours from 1977.

The album initially started as a Buckingham solo record, who also produced the record, and contains four of the bands biggest hits; "Big Love," "Everywhere," "Little Lies," and "Seven Wonders."  There are moments that point to it's 80s origins, but Buckingham's production uses synthesisers and electric guitar sparingly, giving it a much more classic feel.

Tusk will always remain my favorite of the bands' output, but there's something about Tango in the Night that seems like an underdog in the rest of their discography.  Is it because it's so removed from their 70s heyday?  Or somehow marred by the insane success of Stevie Nick's solo career in the late 70s and early 80s which made '82s also-pretty-excellent Mirage a difficult road to completion?  I don't know... though now knowing it's their second biggest album, the thought doesn't really hold that same weight.  Regardless, it's a good record.

Buckingham's Tusk oddness comes through best in the first single and opening track "Big Love," a percussion-heavy, and sexy song that I distinctly remember when it was released back in '87.  It's an odd song, but a good one.

Apparently, a fully remastered release of the album with unreleased material is scheduled for early next year.  I own the Tusk 2-disc similar version which is pretty great.  Look forward to hearing that.


Big Love
Family Man
Seven Wonders

Friday, November 15, 2013


Song: Everywhere (Remixed by DJ DeMarko)
Artist: The Nicks
Album: Retromix: Fleetwood

Many of you are going to HATE this, just a warning.

I'm a huge Fleetwood Mac fan, a band that feel like has been in my life forever.  This past summer I was in Provincetown, MA and passed the still surviving P Town Spin CD Shop only to hear a dance remix of The Mac's "Rhiannon."  I loved Deep Dish's "Dreams" featuring new vocals by Stevie, Morgan Page's killer remix of her "Stand Back" as well as some White Label remixes of "Sara" and "Dreams" I have.  But in this shop they were pushing a full Fleetwood remix album.

Not so fast.  I didn't take the time to find out what the album was, and when I tried to search for it on the internet I had no luck.  I realized it must have been one of those bootleg CD's you can find in non-chain CD shops... like this one in Provincetown.  But I was wrong.

I went back to Provincetown recently over Halloween and since it was still on my mind, I decided to see if they still had copies of this record.  Turns out that it wasn't a bootleg, but a remix album of Fleetwood Mac songs by a... cover band.  Oh.  If this had been ten years ago I would have scoffed at the thing and told everyone how terrible it existed at all.  But it's 2013 and I bought the thing for $19.99. (Yikes right?)

So I totally love it.  It's not for purists for sure.  And while I certainly wish it was the original vocals, or at least original vocalists, it turns out that The Nicks are a pretty competent band that do their best to sound like the original vocalists.  If I hadn't lost you already that last bit might have put the nail in the coffin, but the truth is... this is a great little dance record with some killer songs that happen to all be classics.  It is what it is and my enjoyment of it seems to be a bit of turning point to my once more-critical musical snob ways.  Maybe this holds little weight or meaning to you as a reader, but as a life-long music fan and slightly-snobby one at that... this means something.  This is important.

Enough about me.  Retromix: Fleetwood is a big gay dance record that would also be perfect for your Aunt's aerobics workout.  It's an hour and fifteen minutes of high-energy nostalgia.

Homo-hipsters be damned... I'll be be over here dancing.

Retromix: Fleetwood is a title from The Outclub, a gay-leaning online music store.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hard Out There

Song: Hard Out There
Artist: Lily Allen
Album: Hard Out There

Pop-provocateur Lily Allen returns with her first single since 2009.

After sneaking back with a(nother) Keane cover earlier this month on a Christmas advert for John Lewis, (see below) Allen drops a new track and video that takes on music video sexism.  It's fun, really nothing new, and has a couple issues... but Lily Allen is back y'all.  Why complain?

Part of me hopes, as slight as this is, that it's just a stand-alone "I'm back!" situation and not actually on her forthcoming third album.  The video is cute, the sentiment is nice and always welcome, but Alanis did this all a bit better with her "My Humps" video, and while I get the reason for the auto-tune in the chorus, it just doesn't sound so good.  I LOVE Lily's voice, and while yes... there's a lot of terrible auto-tune in pop music... but it just sounds awful.  Maybe I'm being too hard on this.  I just feel like she's hit harder in the past.

Don't get me wrong, very excited to have Lily back.  Can't wait to hear more.

Get re-familiar with Lily:


Hard Out There
Somewhere Only We Know

Friday, November 08, 2013

Take it the Wrong Way

Song: Take it the Wrong Way
Artist: The Sounds
Album: Weekend

Swedish indie-rock band The Sounds return with their fifth full-length album, Weekend.

Been a fan of this band since their 2002 debut Living in America but never felt they made the record that they do have in them.  Weekend doesn't break this, but it's still pretty good.  Some great tracks and a bit of filler, it's very... The Sounds.

The record starts strong with first single "Shake Shake Shake" and the crunchy guitar meets airy synths of "Take it the Wrong Way" into the moody, Blondie-esque "Hurt the Ones I Love."


Take it the Wrong Way
Shake Shake Shake
Hurt the Ones I Love

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)

Song: Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)
Artist: David Bowie
Album: The Next Day Extra

The Next Day was quite a triumphant return for rock legend David Bowie, his first album in ten years and his twenty-fourth total. (!!!)  I'm hoping this is the start of a late-career influx of creativity and writing, and if the re-release with a full disc of "extras" is any indication, maybe we'll be getting more new Bowie sooner vs. later.

The Next Day Extra, a re-release of the album just came out this week and include a couple new tracks as well as remixes of songs on the record.  Most notable is the epic "Love is Lost" remix by the DFA's James Murphy, hot from producing the new Arcade Fire album.  It recalls great moments from Murphy's LCD Soundsystem, except with Bowie on vocals.  LCD's music has always had the Bowie influence, and "Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Remix)" is the inevitable bridge.  What bridge?  I'm hoping for another new Bowie album produced by Murphy.  Such a good fit.

"Love is Lost" is turned into a bubbling electro stomper that even incorporates elements of "Ashes to Ashes" to seal the deal.  There's an edit but the ten+ minute version is pretty essential.

Also digging first track off bonus disc "Atomica" which leans more dance than anything off the album did.  And "The Informer" sounds even more like classic Bowie than a lot of The Next Day did.  There's some good stuff here.


Love is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)
The Informer

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I LIke You

Song: I Like You
Artist: Katy B
Album: 5 AM EP

UK born, raised, and based, Katy B hit the scene with her Dubstep-before-Dubstep-was-a-thing debut On a Mission back in 2010-11 and made a splash there and in Europe jumping off her first single "Katy on a Mission."  I never connected with her material, and didn't really care for the debut... but Dubstep really gives me a headache.

But I have been loving new track "I Like You," which leaves the Dubstep in favor of more ear-pleasing (okay to me) House.  It sounds a bit retro, but there's that 90s House coming back I've mentioned before.

"I Like You" is from the 5AM - EP, another single she's released after the first, "What Love is Made Of."  I ignored that one a bit as well, but re-listening now it's piano House-pop at it's finest.  Very female-centric Disclosure... very British!

The sophomore album, entitled Little Red is due sometime next year.


I Like You
What Love is Made Of
5 AM