Monday, July 31, 2006

Mary Jane Girls - "All Night Long"

Mary Jane Girls - "All Night Long": "This band is the handiwork of dirty funkateer Rick James, so no surprise that the Mary Jane Girls are essentially presented as a singing streetwalker squad. Honestly, all their songs seem to be about making sweet love, kind of like Chef from South Park - but not the kind of forever love, more of the 'now/tonight' brand of love. Still, you can't discount many of their tunes, such as this lowrider classic that will make you slowly bob your head from side to side in time with its warm Summer night breeze."

Friday, July 28, 2006

PJ Harvey - "Long Snake Moan"

PJ Harvey - "Long Snake Moan": "When To Bring You My Love first came out, I was dissapointed because it didn't have the raw, pounding rock power of the first two PJ Harvey albums. As a result, I didn't give enough credit to many of the gems on this album - like this one - that I've now come to appreciate. This song may not have the rough cutting power of the earlier tunes, but it hits with a sledgehammer anyway."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Amerie - "1 Thing"

Amerie - "1 Thing": "When I first heard this song, I wrote it off as a Beyonce/Destiny's Child derivative, knocking off the frantic chorus of 'Crazy In Love' and the drumline beat of 'Lose My Breath.' Granted, they're probably all from the same production team, but in the end, this song's playful charm overwhelms its formulaic origins and piledrives itself into your head. (And, yes, I am kind of ashamed to like it, but I do anyway.)"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Feist featuring Gonzales - "Lovertits"

Feist featuring Gonzales - "Lovertits": "Former Peaches companion Feist gives her spin on her pal's tune and, in the process, takes the more agressive original and makes it more smooth and breathy. In other words, less Electroclash, and more Patrice Rushen "Forget Me Nots." You almost forget it's still called "Lovertits"!
Also, check out the original Peaches tune here."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Dust Brothers - "Marla"

The Dust Brothers - "Marla": "I never thought I'd blog about a film score track (even though there are many scores I love), but I have to make an exception for the Dust Brothers' soundtrack to Fight Club. Some of their tracks might be a little schizophrenic-sounding, just like the movie itself, but they've never dull. This track is a perfect example - it starts like a low-key shuffle, in the vein of Air, before shifting into a trippy keyboard swirl accompanied by what sounds like an Indian woman chanting, then changing again. It suggests all sorts of imagery, unrelated to the movie itself, just like good instrumentals should."

Monday, July 24, 2006

KISS - "Strutter '78"

KISS - "Strutter '78": "I put on KISS's Double Platinum over the weekend while I was cleaning the office and was reminded of this 1978 re-make of 'Strutter', which recasts their 1974 Stones-y blues-rock tune for the dancefloor. It's total disco-rock cheese, but the guitar part after the chorus (around when Paul yells out 'Strutter!') is pretty awesome. Of course, I'm totally into the Stones disco tunes (i.e. 'Miss You'), so my affinity for this track should come as no surprise."

Friday, July 21, 2006

Freestyle 101: Debbie Deb - "Lookout Weekend"

Debbie Deb - "Lookout Weekend": "It's almost a full circle, not just ending the week with another Debbie Deb song - but it's almost EXACTLY the same song as 'When I Hear Music.' It's still worth noting because she talks about 'laser rays' and the song is still awesome. In fact, I don't think anyone has done as good a job at remaking their own song as a different song - until Nickelback, which is obviously the negative example of that concept. Plus it's double appropriate as my Friday know, 'look out weekend, cause here I come' and all. I'm sure you get it."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Freestyle 101: Freestyle - "Don't Stop The Rock"

Freestyle - "Don't Stop The Rock": "More rollerskating flashback - this Freestyle comes with VOCODER VOCALS! It's like when you see one of those 'As Seen On TV!' mail order ads (for an Eggstractor or something) that comes with a bonus egg dish or other trinket - it's the extra little something to sweeten the deal."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Freestyle 101: Shannon - "Let The Music Play (Original Full 12" mix)"

Shannon - "Let The Music Play (Original Full 12" mix)": "When Debbie Deb hears music, it makes her dance - and Shannon just wants to let the music play. Hopefully by now, since we are now on Freestyle Song #3, you'll all have noticed the importance of electronic elements in Freestyle music, often using programmed beats to simulate a crisper version of percussion elements. Listen closely and, yes, there will be a test on this."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Freestyle 101: Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam - "I Wonder If I Take You Home"

Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam - "I Wonder If I Take You Home": "Freestyle week continues with this contemporary re-spin of The Shirelles 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow?' It's the same topic, but you couldn't dance to the Shirelles like you can dance to this. Did I mention that most freestyle songs seem to be about seven minutes long? This song is no exception, but the overlapping vocals of Lisa Lisa and her boys keep things interesting. The spoken word section with Lisa and her 'boyfriend' is equally amazing, especially when Lisa appears to ask the listener what she should decide to do."

Monday, July 17, 2006

Freestyle 101: Debbie Deb - "When I Hear Music"

Debbie Deb - "When I Hear Music": "After tunes like this one helped me to party my way into last Friday night and the weekend, I decided to make this week a week-long Freestyle Jam. Apparently, this means way more to Southern Californians and New Yorkers than anyone else - so this will either be a cool flashback or a chance to listen and learn, depending on where you're from. I would attempt to explain 'freestyle' here, but after searching the web for some additional information, I realized there are varied viewpoints on the genre - so, instead, I point you to a good recap of all the various points at Wikipedia.
Today's song, by Debbie Deb, totally brings me back to skating at the roller rink as a kid - but, then again, most of these songs do."

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's Friday, Rock It Out:
Seaweed - "In The Middle"

Seaweed - "In The Middle": "It's been a while, with all of the theme lists I've been running, but it's Friday, which means a little upbeat rock'n'roll to bring you into the weekend. Here's one to pogo to, from Seaweed. It's infectious."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Motorhead - "Ace Of Spades"

Motorhead - "Ace Of Spades": "Motorhead (remind me how one adds the umlauts - a.k.a. the rockdots - in HTML?) is awesome on their own, but I'm blogging them today as an excuse to show off one of the 'away from computer' messages I set up on my AIM that makes me laff quite a bit:
This is Lemmy from Motorhead. I have intercepted your message so that I can force you to LOOK AT MY MOLE! LOOK AT IT! It gives me my magical rock powers and it will POSSESS YOU!

...I clearly amuse myself too much."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gary Numan - "My Shadow In Vain"

Gary Numan - "My Shadow In Vain": "Gary Numan may be known as one of the kings of early `80s cold synth-pop, but he scammed his way into his first label deal (with Beggars Banquet in the UK) with punk demos and his debut album (Tubeway Army) reflects that. His later work revealed his true interests, but for all the supposedly fake punk posing, his tracks like this are still a real blast. I especially love when they chant the song title through the outro of the track, like a futuristic military march."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Arcade Fire - "No Cars Go"

Arcade Fire - "No Cars Go": "I know that everyone's already on the Arcade Fire bandwagon, but when I hear songs like this (from their debut EP, pre-Funeral), I can't help but think that this band actually deserves the hype. There's just a great energy to their music and a homespun charm to boot. Doesn't hurt that it's catchy too."

Monday, July 10, 2006

Aphex Twin - "Windowlicker"

Aphex Twin - "Windowlicker": "Take a Prince-esque sexy electro-groove, make it stutter about, maybe add a tab of acid for good measure and you wind up with 'Windowlicker.' It sounds like it could be a smooth strip-club number, but the odd sounds layered into the mix make the song sound vaguely threatening at the same time. Also qualifies as one of the most simultaneously funny and disturbing videos ever made."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Question Song #4: David Bowie - "Teenage Wildlife"

David Bowie - "Teenage Wildlife":
" 'And they say 'David, what shall I do? They wait for me in the hallways.' "
Okay, this isn't as good a question as the previous three, but I'm totally biased for including it. I just love it when artists refer to themselves in songs, either directly (Martin Fry to self in ABC's 'The Look of Love') or more indirectly (Spoon referencing listening to their song 'Mountain to Sound' in the lyrics for 'Lines In The Suit'). It just takes the songs out of the imaginary ether they live in and ads an in-your-face realstic element to them.
(Incidentally, Bowie's answer to the question above is: 'Don't ask me, I don't know any hallways.')"

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Question Song #2: Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Cities In Dust"

Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Cities In Dust":
"'Were you praying at the Lares Shrine?'
Also, I have more question songs ready to go, but feel free to leave me some of your own suggestions as comments too!"

Monday, July 03, 2006

Question Song #1: Human League - "The Lebanon"

Human League - "The Lebanon": "Wow, I'm getting adventurous now - at the same time that I'm filling in the missing blog days (due to my move) with songs about cars/driving/travel, I'm starting this week off with 'question' songs - meaning, songs that involve lyrics with questions, preferably in some less common/expected way. Today's question:
'Who will have won when the soldiers have gone from The Lebanon?'"