Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Swirlies - "Upstairs"

Swirlies - "Upstairs": "This is FIRST RATE shoegaze-y noise pop. From the wall of guitar noise to Seanna Carmody's sweet 'ooh ooh oohs' during the chorus, it's a perfect mix of salty and sweet. I am so happy this is now available in Rhapsody. And not that it has anything to do with the song, but Happy Holidays all!"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pet Shop Boys - "Jealousy"

Pet Shop Boys - "Jealousy": "An beautifully sad song almost destroyed by its bombastic ending. Most of the song is coolly understated with appropriate touches of piano, much like the mood of walking deserted city streets in the middle of the night, making it one of my favorite Pet Shop Boys songs. That is, until the last minute or so, where overly synth-ed horns double the volume level like a court announcing the presence of royalty. And the harp...the harp! Just press stop around the 3:30 mark and you'll still have a great song."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Piero Umiliani - "Mah Na Mah Na" (Original 7' Version)

Piero Umiliani - "Mah Na Mah Na" (Original 7' Version): "Who knew that this felt-celebrated staple didn't exactly originate with the Muppets at all? This is the 1968 Italian original. (I believe on The Muppet Show, the song is titled 'Mahnah Mahnah,' but I could be wrong about that.)"

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Regina Spektor- "Fidelity"

Regina Spektor- "Fidelity": "This song is kind of low-key - mostly string plucks and light keys over beats, plus quiet vocals - but it's catchy as hell. And largely by breaking the words 'fall' abd 'heart' into multiple syllables - who would have thought?"

Monday, December 18, 2006

TV On The Radio - "I Was A Lover"

TV On The Radio - "I Was A Lover": "So apparently this is from the Record of The Year. At least according to my friends in the Rhapsody Editorial Group and lots of other folks too. Ii'll admit it's a good record, but it just grinds on me if I make it past the 2/3 mark - way to many of the same themes continue on from song to sound until it burns me out. The first 1/3 of the record, however, is pretty amazing, especially this opening track, which blends elements of trip-hop, Prince and who knows what else into a twisted-but-sultry slow grind."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Deee-Lite - "Fuddy Duddy Judge"

Deee-Lite - "Fuddy Duddy Judge": "When was the last time that there were songs as unabashedly FUN as Deee-lite's? They had simple messages, but great grooves and they played `em like the party would never stop. It's Friday, so groove into the weekend with this one."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Switchfoot - "Oh! Gravity"

Switchfoot - "Oh! Gravity": "Speaking of power-pop leanings, did what happened to AYWKUBTTOD (see yesterday's post) happen to Switchfoot too? While I've been more familiar with some of their more bland tunes, this is great radio rock with solid pop sensibilities, not unlike OK Go."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - "Stand In Silence"

And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - "Stand In Silence": "Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention, but when did Trail of Dead turn into a power pop-y band? I'm used to them delivering heavy, distorted rockers - but this is ace `90s indie pop. In fact, if it wasn't for the mellow break in the middle of the track, which is also the weakest part, I'd think it wasn't AYWKUBTTOD at all. Hell, it sounds like they've been hanging out with Lilys (circa Services (For The Soon To Be Departed)) and Trunk Federation...or am I pushing it too far with that?"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Richard Cheese - "People Equals S***"

Richard Cheese - "People Equals S***": "I know that I'm sometimes easily amused, but I think a lounge version of some really vile Slipknot is pretty smooth. If there weren't so many curse-words, you might think this is some classic Sinatra-style number. Good job, Mr. Cheese."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mahogany - "Supervitesse (Robin Guthrie Mix)"

Mahogany - "Supervitesse (Robin Guthrie Mix)": "Take the underlying beat of Joe Jackson's 'Stepping Out' (I swear!), add some cold Stereolab sheen and a touch of echoed Lilys vocals and you have 'Supervitesse.' It sounds space-age and retro all at the same time."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Michael Penn - "Out Of Its Misery"

Michael Penn - "Out Of Its Misery": "Michael Penn is so underrated. His songwriting is sharp and when it manifests in little rockers like this one, it can't be beat. I love the bass in this song too, as well as Patrick Warren's keyboard touches."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mew - "Special"

Mew - "Special": "No surprise that I like this tune - much in the vein of the Delays and the Buffseeds, it's near-androgenous high-pitched vocals laid over melodic yet driving rock."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Snowden - "Between The Rent And Me"

Snowden - "Between The Rent And Me": "I know I already blogged a song from this album only a few months ago, but I freaking love it and I can't contain myself. This song sounds like rollerskating backwards to me...which I can't explain at all, but it's just what comes to mind when I hear it."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Blake Babies - "When I See His Face"

Blake Babies - "When I See His Face": "I was kind of irritated by Juliana Hatfield back in the day - she seemed so much like a bratty kid, with her child-like voice. Then 'Universal Heartbeat' got stuck in my head and I started to come around - but it's only recenly that she's started to grow on me more. Especially when listening to understated slower rockers like this one, I realize there's more to her than some alt-rock hits and Evan Dando, but it still helps that she has the Blake Babies to ground her."

Monday, December 04, 2006

Momus - "My Kindly Friend The Censor"

Momus - "My Kindly Friend The Censor": "In honor of Momus responding to my Kahimi Karie post from last week, it's only fair to spotlight a song from the man himself. This song has always been one of my favorites of his. It features suggestive lyrics with the less genteel specifics removed, providing a social commentary while showcasing clever wordplay, all to a shuffling beat. Choice lyric: 'Just thinking of it makes me want to [criminal act]!' Also a highlight - when Momus starts to read off the previously-omitted words from the song against menacing keyboards - before slipping back into the song's main melody, as if to say 'Oops, did I say that?' Fabulous."

Friday, December 01, 2006

Failure - "Undone"

Failure - "Undone": "In honor of the surprise of seeing one of my coworkers wear a Failure shirt to work this morning*, I present one of this underappreciated L.A. band's crunchy, yet hooky and melodic rock songs.

* - because I swear no one outside of Southern California knows them, which is sad. People need to learn to love Failure! They also have one of the best music videos I've ever seen - "Stuck On You", which does the James Bond opening movie credits better than Bond - but the quality of the versions on YouTube are too grainy for me to link to. It kind of ruins the video, so - instead, you can order it here."