Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dead Or Alive - "Brand New Lover"

Dead Or Alive - "Brand New Lover":
"I WANT SURPRISES!" - Dead or Alive
Tomorrow starts 2009 and I think we're all a little ready for something different, right? What better way to get ready for that with a little Mr. Pete Burns? (He's the frontman for Dead or Alive, for those of you who don't know.)
And speaking of surprises, did you know that this is what Pete looks like today?:
Surprises indeed! I recently saw a British show called 'Plastic Surgery Disasters' (or something to that effect) that Pete hosted and kicked off with him sharing his own horror story. Also surprisingly, this is what he now looks like 'fixed', not broken! As the BBC article that goes with this image had to say: He got additionally famous for being a forgotten rock singer who'd had something unforgettable done to his mouth.
But enough about's to the end of `08.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Richard X - "Walk On By"

Richard X (with Deborah Evans-Strickland) - "Walk On By": "Isaac Hayes' take on this song was simmering. This version is more...well, apathetically prissy. Deborah Evans-Strickland, who provided the classic vocals for The Flying Lizards' cover of "Money (That's What I Want)", curtly notes "Don't stop." like a bored model - no heat here, but that's intended. It's like they put the song on a catwalk in a bizarro-world London department store."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Chaka Khan - "Caught In The Act"

Chaka Khan - "Caught In The Act": "As you may have noticed from past posts, I love it when people spell words out in their songs OR turn words into acronyms, especially when it's not super-obvious. Here, Ms. Khan makes sure you know the title of this song, in that manner so dear to my heart: "Caught in the act.../C! I! T! A!!!", making the initials a proclamation of their own. You know, like it's an acronym you might already know and use...or not. Coupled with the then-edgy 80s synth production (still better than much similar fare from the same time), I still get a little giddy over this song."

Friday, December 26, 2008

Crowns on 45 - "Undercover"

Crowns on 45 - "Undercover": "The verses are filled with swinging handclaps and male-female vocal trade-offs, all in fun, like a great house party. The chorus give the swing a harder edge, with excellent screaming that I've loved ever since I heard this song years ago. (And I don't mean 'screaming' as in a sudden switch to screamo or anything like that - it's still in the same tone as the rest of the song.)"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The English Beat - "Too Nice To Talk To"

The English Beat - "Too Nice To Talk To": "No sappy holiday music at this blog. Just dance to this, whether today is your holiday or not!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Piano Classic Players - "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

The Piano Classic Players - "Smells Like Teen Spirit": "I had to post this because these folks have turned Nirvana into a piano recital - and for an album called "The Most Relaxing Piano Classics Ever Made" at that!!! It may sound prettier than you expect, but still..."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kings Of Leon - "Be Somebody"

Kings Of Leon - "Be Somebody": "It's interesting how this song has such a 'big rock sound' - I guess that's where KoL is these days - but it's the chorus that works the best, despite being somewhat at odds with the rest of the song."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Franz Ferdinand - "Ulysses"

Franz Ferdinand - "Ulysses": "New Franz Ferdinand single. Not my favorite song of theirs, but it's interesting."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Primal Scream - "Detroit"

Primal Scream - "Detroit": "And speaking of 'dirty and druggy', here's another song that meets the same description, just in a very different way. For example, 'dirty' here is more about the sound and less about the sex, unlike yesterday's post..."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jack Oblivian - "Vice Party"

Jack Oblivian - "Vice Party": "What else would you call a song that sounds this dirty and druggy?"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kanye West - "Flashing Lights"

Kanye West - "Flashing Lights": "I seem to keep catching the Nip/Tuck new season ads that feature this song - so every time I get the stuttering keyboard line out of my head, the ad runs again and the song comes back."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Western Keys - "Please Rock"

Western Keys - "Please Rock": "The details are a little foggy, but I believe I saw Western Keys opening for another band and was intrigued enough by their performance to pick up their EP. Sadly, that was years ago and it seems like the band vanished after this release (and some live shows), but luckily some of their fractured and joyous indie rock, like this track, remain."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Aimee Mann - "Deathly"

Aimee Mann - "Deathly": "'One act of kindness could be...deathly' has the capacity to be super-emo, but with Aimee's nuanced delivery, she makes it just part of a complex portrayal of emotional fragility. Juliana Hatfield's light-and-sweet backing vocals also add to the vibe."

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Crystals - "He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)"

The Crystals - "He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)": "The first time I heard this song (in a bar, years ago), I thought it was a joke - a novelty song, recorded in girl-group style. Imagine my horror to find out it was real, real, real. I can only imagine Phil Spector got them to record it because he had a gun. It's so messed up that I can't help but be perpetually amused by it."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Glasvegas - "Geraldine"

Glasvegas - "Geraldine": "You can't tell me that the intro isn't catchy in the best U2/Snow Patrol kind of way - and when it repeats with the "oooooooo" vocals on top of it - even better.
(You can hear it in the new Rhapsody ad too, btw.)"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Morrissey - "Boxers"

Morrissey - "Boxers": "Melancholy-as-comfort - or, perhaps, revelling in light gloom - as only Morrissey can do it."

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Giant Sand - "Satellite"

Giant Sand - "Satellite": "Often, Giant Sand's Howe Gelb is too far off into his own strata for my enjoyment - but his skewed delivery here plays as a nice counterpoint to the oft-rocking backing track. The female backing vocals ('sateliiiite') are also a nice touch."

Monday, December 08, 2008

David Garza - "Kinder"

David Garza - "Kinder": "A fuzzy glam stomp, without any retro hangups."

Monday, December 01, 2008

Rob Zombie - "Dead Girl Superstar"

Rob Zombie - "Dead Girl Superstar": "This song is a bit Zombie-by-Numbers - but the dialog samples are first rate, even the way they're manipulated for the song. I'm not sure if it's more Russ Meyer or not, but it certainly sounds like it comes from one of his tough-and-sexy girls."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chavez - "Break Up Your Band"

Chavez - "Break Up Your Band": "Some find this song abrasive, but I think the high guitar contrasting with the thundering bass, driven by the pummeling drums, is amazing. So is the video, which is also sad and awkward in the best (intentional) way."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Star Ghost Dog - "It Happens All the Time"

Star Ghost Dog - "It Happens All the Time": "Great song, weird band name. The intro may not grab you at first, but the "ooohs" are sweet and sad and the chorus is pure melancholy sugar rush. You know, pogo and cry, but in a great rock'n'roll way and not some stupid emo way. Please do enjoy - I stumbled on this band at Brownies in NYC years ago and am now trying to make up for the fact that no one else did."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Superchunk - "Iron On"

Superchunk - "Iron On": "Lyrics like 'iron this on when you get home' almost sound like hipster posturing, but Mac's vocals are so impassioned and earnest that he could sing commercial slogans and they would still sound like an emotional imperative, like it does here."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ministry - "Effigy (I'm Not An)"

Ministry - "Effigy (I'm Not An)": "There's something about Al J dressing up in faux-goth-Brit trappings that makes me think of Halloween dress-up...thus my Halloween post today."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mahogany - "One Plus One Equals Three Or More"

Mahogany - "One Plus One Equals Three Or More": "I know I'm breaking my own rules by blogging the same song twice (a first!), but I'm obsessed with this song and couldn't stop myself. Plus they were owed bonus points for making phrases like "inverse the arc with positension" sound cool. This is the way to the new connectivity..."

Friday, October 17, 2008

The B-52's - "Funplex"

The B-52's - "Funplex": "This song from the new B-52's record is classic Kate and Cindy - especially the catchy chorus - but, although I am usually a big fan, it could have done with a little less Fred. Still, the nonsensical call-and-response exchange of "'Hey lady!' 'What?' 'What lady?' 'That lady!'" tickles me. (It sounds better in the song, trust me.)"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Grace Jones - "Warm Leatherette"

Grace Jones - "Warm Leatherette": "I felt compelled to post a Grace song after seeing Vamp this last weekend, as part of an October-long study in horror movies. The movie isn't great, per se, but Ms. Jones left me speechless, as usual - which is funny, since her character doesn't even speak in the movie. Then again, after she writhes around nearly naked, outside of Keith Haring-applied body paint, she really doesn't have to."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blue Man Group w/Venus Hum - "I Feel Love"

Blue Man Group w/Venus Hum - "I Feel Love": "...and, while nothing can top Donna Summer's masterful tranced-vocals-vs.-Kraftwerk-future original, Blue Man Group and Venus Hum's aggro-percussive take on the track is also worth noting. The original depends on a strangely icy cool, while this version throws all abandon to the wind. They also get extra credit points here for replacing the key synthesizer line with odd percussion, somehow playing the same role in the song while giving it a different tonal quality."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Donna Summer - "I Feel Love"

Donna Summer - "I Feel Love": "...and you can't talk about Moroder without this song, so here it is."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Giorgio Moroder - "Chase"

Giorgio Moroder - "Chase": "Classy Euro-disco, from the movie Midnight Express, no less. I think the SF Muni system would be much more enjoyable if they played this on the buses, etc., 24/7...not like it isn't already a mega-loop on its own already.
(This track does also recall Giorgio's later Never Ending Story score as well.)"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Juliana Hatfield - "Universal Heart-Beat"

Juliana Hatfield - "Universal Heart-Beat": "I freaking *love* this song - rock me, Juliana!
An aside: I used to have the Only Everything poster in my bedroom when this record came out. In the photo, Juliana was posed with her wrists pointed up to the camera - which, in my morbid interpretation of the photo, was her offering her wrists up and crying 'I've given you only everything'...which was kinda goth, don't you think? Kinda goth for me, anyway. I'm sure the photo was completely light-hearted to anyone else..."

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Something I Can't Have"

The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Something I Can't Have": "JAMC had a great skill for making songs like this that could be up-tempo, distortingly loud, catchy - and yet completely melancholy. This song has bounced around compilations for a while (I believe it's originally a b-side), so I'm glad to see it find a home on the new JAMC box set."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Crystals - "Girls Can Tell"

The Crystals - "Girls Can Tell": "Allegedly the inspiration for the title of Spoon's Girls Can Tell LP, this is a tasty slice of girl group harmonies."

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Psychedelic Furs - "So Run Down"

The Psychedelic Furs - "So Run Down": "Well, I'm not so run down, but I am definitely under the weather."

Friday, October 03, 2008

Blondie - "Sunday Girl (French Version)"

Blondie - "Sunday Girl (French Version)": "This popped into my head while I was getting my lunch, for no reason at all. And, yes, specifically the French version, again for no reason at all."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My Bloody Valentine - "Only Shallow"

My Bloody Valentine - "Only Shallow": "Last night, My Bloody Valentine played S.F. and washed away all the fears of them not being able to pull it off live, despite the many years out of commission. "Only Shallow" was a particular highlight, sounding even more aggressive than it does on record, with the 'distorted whalesong' (I can't explain it any other way) reaching even more extreme heights. Of course, this did not compare to their set closer which, as one fan in attendance recalled in a press article, sounded like a jet crashing at 300 miles per hour for 20 minutes. It was literally 20 minutes of noise that is hard for me to put into words and I'm sure I'll never hear anything like it again."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jack White and Alicia Keys - "Another Way To Die"

Jack White and Alicia Keys - "Another Way To Die": "I think this is definitely one of the hipper Bond themes, but I think Jack White oozes through the music so much already that I wish he wasn't singing and let Alicia Keys have her own rock-belting, Lisa Kekaula moment instead."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Liz Phair - "Nashville"

Liz Phair - "Nashville": "I can't quite explain why, but this song sounds like what I feel like right now - well, at least the sleepy, quiet part up until the horns at the end. That part, not so much."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Spoon - "Nefarious"

Spoon - "Nefarious": "A classic song from Spoon's under appreciated first record (Telephono) that I had resigned myself to never hearing live again. I've been seeing Spoon live since 1998 and, for reasons unknown (although I assume it has to do with their acrimonious split with their original bassist who appears on Telephono), they hardly did songs from that record then, let alone anytime afterwards. Then, last night, hell froze over and they did "Nefarious" live at The Fillmore. I almost died - it's still amazing."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spoon - "Me And The Bean"

Spoon - "Me And The Bean": " heard last night, live at the Fillmore. It's amazing how this can be such a classic Spoon song when they didn't write it - it's a cover that originally pre-dates Girls Can Tell - but it always carries so much emotional heft that you'd never know it. There's something very sad about this tune, but I still think it's a love song."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Spoon - "Advance Cassette (alternate)"

Spoon - "Advance Cassette (alternate)": "In advance of my two nights of Spoon at the Fillmore, I wanted to highlight this exclusive alternate version of "Advance Cassette", originally from Series of Sneaks. Here, it's Britt solo and it's a strange take of the song, but still captivating. Can't wait to see them live tonight!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Skee-Lo - "I Wish"

Skee-Lo - "I Wish": "It got played out at the time, but it's kind of nice to hear again after all these years."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Land of Talk - "Some Are Lakes"

Land of Talk - "Some Are Lakes": "New Land of Talk - finally! It's a bit quiter and more mellow than I would have expected, after their first EP, but it's still tastily bittersweet. I look forward to the full-length."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kenny Rogers - "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Is In)"

Kenny Rogers - "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Is In)": "It's hard to think of country Kenny (or his Roasters) being this groovily psychedelic, but lo and behold, here he is. Oh, and:
'Nice marmot.' "

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Juan Maclean - "Happy House (Original)"

The Juan Maclean - "Happy House (Original)": "Juan gets things even dancier than before, while also continuing my love affair with LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang. The piano loop gets a little repetitive when you're just listening to it, but I bet it works great on a dance floor."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Portastatic - "Race You Home"

Portastatic - "Race You Home":
"I'm torn between being excited to finally have this track on something besides a 7" - and feeling like this private moment between myself, a record player and this fairly naked song from Mac, over a decade ago, has been exposed. I guess that's the ongoing challenge of being a fan of 'indie rock' - the frustration of no one knowing the music you love and the frustration when other people finally do."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Evelyn 'Champagne' King - "Love Come Down"

Evelyn 'Champagne' King - "Love Come Down": "A bit of a non sequitur, but something about the last two days' songs made me think of this here it is."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ready for the World - "Oh Sheila"

Ready for the World - "Oh Sheila": "Wow - thanks to Universal putting out a hits disc split between The Jets (see yesterday's post) and this band, I've been reminded of some of the best Prince that wasn't, you know, actually Prince - but not for lack of trying."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Jets - "Crush On You"

The Jets - "Crush On You": "Hey Tim Q - when we were at that party this weekend and you said that so-and-so just wanted to talk about The Jets...this is who I thought you meant. Not the football team. Just goes to show you the kinds of things that wind up being a frame-of-reference in my mind. (And I was wrong, they're Samoan, not Tongan.)"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

M.I.A. - "Paper Planes"

M.I.A. - "Paper Planes": "I heard this song a million times this weekend and it got drilled into my head even more than before. It's still probably the strangest song to turn into a 'hit' in a while. Just count the gunshots in the song..."

Monday, September 08, 2008

Cut Copy - "Future (Rhapsody Originals)"

Cut Copy - "Future (Rhapsody Originals)": "Check out this hot alternate version of 'Future', live from the Rhapsody Rocks Austin party earlier this year."

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Faint - "Total Job"

The Faint - "Total Job": "I just love the manipulated samples in the song."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Futureheads - "With Every Heartbeat"

The Futureheads - "With Every Heartbeat": "Interesting, snotty yet potentially sincere take on the Robyn tune."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Songs For Mr. Lewis Week, Day 5: Peaches - "Hot Rod"

Peaches - "Hot Rod": "Initially, the first Peaches song I heard (and often!) was 'F*ck The Pain Away' and I was really irritated by it. I figured I must hate her - but, eventually, I started hearing other tunes and her obvious button-pushing sex songs (no pun intended) really started to grow on me. It didn't hurt that I really liked how she used keyboards, making them sound dirty and rough, instead of glassy and pristine.
She really brought things to a new level for me when I later booked her for a Rolling Stone Originals performance. She came into the studio with a gold handbag that said "BITCHES" on it and...well, see for yourself:

There you go. It takes some stones to do that, mixing sexy and ugly (bruises!!!) like that."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Songs For Mr. Lewis Week, Day 4: Cranes - "Jewel"

Cranes - "Jewel": "There's something disturbing about listening to a song that sounds like it's being sung by a four year old being possessed by the spirit of an adult. It may walk a tightrope between creepy and pretty, but it winds up being more listenable than you would expect from this description.
(Well, they sometimes tip the scale over to creepy - check out "Lilies" - 'Goodbye, goodbye / I'll miss you!'.)"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Songs For Mr. Lewis Week, Day 3: The Spinanes - "Noel, Jonah And Me"

The Spinanes - "Noel, Jonah And Me": "I love the bass, but the Spinanes prove you don't need one to have a great song. Rebecca Gates' sweet and sultry vocals pair up with her rough riffs, along with Scott Plouf's pounding drums, and you have more than enough rock on their own."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Songs For Mr. Lewis Week, Day 2: 50 Foot Wave - "Long Painting"

50 Foot Wave - "Long Painting": "Throwing Muses' Kristin Hersh proves that sticking around in music for more than a few years doesn't mean that you eventually have to mellow out. In fact, her 50 Foot Wave songs might actually be the most aggressive music she's ever done, bellowing and rocking so hard it sounds like it hurts."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Songs For Mr. Lewis Week, Day 1: Belly - "Sad Dress"

Belly - "Sad Dress": "This is a great album of twisted pop - in that many elements are standard pop-rock, with cooing female vocals, but there's a dark undercurrent that runs throughout, both musically and lyrically. Here, frontwoman Tanya Donelly closes off the song singing sweetly, but it takes a second to realize she's singing: 'I'd chew my foot off / to get out of this dress'. Not exactly shiny and happy, but it's the crunch that goes with the sweet and makes this album so subtly complex."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stevie Wonder - "Did I Hear You Say You Love Me"

Stevie Wonder - "Did I Hear You Say You Love Me": "Agressively exhuberant, this is a hard and funky courting song, with Stevie and his backup singers going all out. The horns add a lot, especially around the song's 2:45 mark, when they briefly go counter to the lead melody, adding extra drama to the tune."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Spoon - "All I Got Is Me"

Spoon - "All I Got Is Me": "How awesome is Spoon's Britt Daniel? He's so awesome that he'll put an A-List song like this on what's essentially a remix EP, throwing it out there like these songs grow on trees for him. Hey, that's ok, so long as he keeps putting them out there for us to hear - Más Spoon, por favor!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Cure - "New Day"

The Cure - "New Day": "I first discovered this Cure b-side on the b-side of Standing On A Beach - the cassette version of Staring At The Sea, the first Cure singles collection, which included the b-sides to many of the singles' a-sides. I recall once listening to the track on my headset at school, in class. The room was silent, but I didn't think anyone could hear the music...which they didn't, until the 1:05 mark on the song, when Robert Smith shreiks out "NEEEEWWWWWW DAAAAAY!" like a cat in a grinder - and the room suddenly broke out into laughter. To them, it did sound like a maimed animal's scream cutting through a silent room...which led people to ask just what the hell I was listening to."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Broken West - "Hale Sunrise"

The Broken West - "Hale Sunrise": "Is there a bad song on this album? I think not. They're different every time, but at some point in most every song, the harmonies and handclaps kick in and I just melt. Here the tone is a little darker, but no less juicy."

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Rock*A*Teens - "Losers, Weepers"

The Rock*A*Teens - "Losers, Weepers": "I know most folks would probably find this song a little dissonant - and it's hard for me to argue with that. The lead vocals might be a little rough, but I dare anyone to proclaim that they're not very impassioned. When coupled with the garbage can Phil Spector backing instrumentation, it's lo-fi grandeur that feels very retro and very timeless, all at once."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Steely Dan - "Only A Fool Would Say That"

Steely Dan - "Only A Fool Would Say That": "I'm excited that folks are actually treating today like a real Friday by playing Rock Band outside of my office - but since all I can hear in here is the horse carriage CLOMP! CLOMP! CLOMP! of the drum kit, I had to make the mood in here a little more nice and easy...and this song is very nice and easy. You go, Donald Fagen."

"Addendum, 30 minutes later: I love Steely Dan. I just want you all to know."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Imogen Heap - "Not Now But Soon"

Imogen Heap - "Not Now But Soon": "New Imogen Heap single. Not radically different from her previous work, but just as magical - still multi-layered without being overproduced, with her unique vocals up front."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Metric - "Hardwire"

Metric - "Hardwire": "The song starts off like a piano bar and a dance club sharing the same wall, sounds bleeding through from one side to the other. By the end, a rock venue has displaced the piano bar, while frontwoman Emily Haines wails (pleads?) "You hardwire / I'll try to play the guitar!". I think the song has been remixed since the original, self-recorded version the band self-released around 2000, but it's still great."

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sebastien Grainger - "American Names"

Sebastien Grainger - "American Names": "...and speaking of Sebastien, here he is, resurfacing on his own with this new track. It's pretty much unlike any DFA79 material - if anything, it's more in the vein of the first Stills record - but it's just as good."

Friday, August 01, 2008

Does It Offend You, Yeah? - "Let's Make Out" (Extended Mix)

Does It Offend You, Yeah? - "Let's Make Out" (Extended Mix): "Ex-DFA79 frontman Sebastien meets up with the DIOYY boys to yell at you about making out in this sexed-up extended mix."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jude - "King of Yesterday"

Jude - "King of Yesterday": "Glistening adult pop in the vein of Michael Penn or edgier Duncan Sheik, with (what should have been) crunchy radio-ready goodness, but it just wound up passing people by. Jude's multi-tracked vocals are especially nice."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nada Surf - "Amateur"

Nada Surf - "Amateur": "Sweet and sad - but uptempo - indie rock from the 'lost' Nada Surf album - totally worth discovering."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Art of Noise - "Close (To The Edit)"

Art of Noise - "Close (To The Edit)": "Nearly wordless pop songs are pretty clever in their own way, but it's hard for me to hear this song without thinking of its' video, particularly with the little girl diva and the chainsawing of the piano."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Red Aunts - "Detroit Valentine"

Red Aunts - "Detroit Valentine": "YES!!!! I am so excited to get this into Rhapsody. This song captured my attention many a year ago (somewhere in the mid-90s) with its aggressive manhunting lyrics and dangerously exuberant thrashing. Watch out for these girls, they're gonna cut you if you stand still and shoot you if you ruuuuuuuuuuun!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Right Said Fred - "I'm Too Sexy"

Right Said Fred - "I'm Too Sexy": "I'm too sexy for your party, no way I'm disco dancing!"

Monday, July 21, 2008

Yelle - "A Cause Des Garcons"

Yelle - "A Cause Des Garcons": "It's kind of French electroclash, but I just love the part where she starts rapping, it's in French, so I'm not sure, but I think about magazines and Marie Claire. Maybe it's the French version of "Lip Gloss", but someone's gonna have to translate it for me to be sure."

Friday, July 18, 2008

N.E.R.D. - "Run To The Sun"

N.E.R.D. - "Run To The Sun": "A nice, mellow groove to close out the week. It's Friday, y'all!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kreidler- "Au-Pair"

Kreidler- "Au-Pair": "I think yesterday's post reminded me of a more jaunty version of songs like this."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Joakim & The Disco - "A New Career In A New Town"

Joakim & The Disco - "A New Career In A New Town": "Bowie covers usually don't work because you just can't do better than Bowie and very few can even be as good. Here, you're dealing with a Bowie instrumental to start with, so you don't have to measure up to Bowie's vocals or delivery, making this playful and fun take on the track interesting in its own right. (Maybe I'm off base, but it makes me think a bit about Kreidler too.)"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Refrigerator - "Home Run Kings"

Refrigerator - "Home Run Kings": "I wound up skimming the Revolver Distribution site for the first time in a while today and I stumbled back on this EP. When I did music distribution in L.A. in the 90s, I called on Dennis Callaci as the manager of Clairmont's Rhino Records and later learned he was in Refrigerator (he sings lead vocals on this track). The song seems like a hodge-podge of guitars, vocals and drums from other songs that were assembled into a new song, but one that still works - making something that jells together completely while still feeling strangely (pleasantly) off-kilter."

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Pointer Sisters - "He Turned Me Out"

The Pointer Sisters - "He Turned Me Out": "This is the theme to Action Jackson with Carl Weathers and Vanity (!), so you know this song is quality. For being sisters, the lyrics suggest some fairly dirty stuff - but you could be easily be distracted from that by the 'new' sampling technology of the time: 't-t-t-t-t-turned me out!' Amazing."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hercules And Love Affair - "Hercules Theme"

Hercules And Love Affair - "Hercules Theme": "This is a pretty straight-forward disco tune - requisite strings and bass line are both in place - but the song still has a great slow burn groove and the strings/horn interplay is well-crafted. Is it 2008 or 1978? It's so good that it doesn't matter."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Underworld - "Jumbo"

Underworld - "Jumbo": "Underworld plays this track cool enough to mask the flickering pulse running just under the surface, providing a track that's both laid back and energetic at the same time."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Jeremy Jay - "Airwalker"

Jeremy Jay - "Airwalker": "I caught a part of Jeremy's set at SXSW and just realized I had never made him part of my SXSW `08 coverage. This song is one of my highlights from him - the vocals are a tad understated but the music sounds like a great 70s roller-skating groove."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ex-Boyfriends - "The Sound of Your Music"

Ex-Boyfriends - "The Sound of Your Music": "The backing vocal 'oh-owoah-ho's are completely narcotic, while the guitars recall a blend of first-rate 90s indie rock, the kind that is simultaneously melancholy and exuberant - the drums in the chorus particularly supporting the latter."

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Lovin' Spoonful - "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice"

The Lovin' Spoonful - "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice": "The song is kind of dopey, but the lead guitar part melody is the real star of the song - and its backbone as well."

Friday, July 04, 2008

Marianne Faithfull - "Sex With Strangers"

Marianne Faithfull - "Sex With Strangers": "Beck sexes up Marianne Faithfull with a full Midnight Vultures makeover. She's all proper-sounding spoken word, but it still sounds like a slinky runway walk-off, punctuated by 'aaah's - probably by Beck - and dirty, burbling synths."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Franz Ferdinand - "The Fallen (Ruined By Justice)"

Franz Ferdinand - "The Fallen (Ruined By Justice)": "I don't know that I actually like this remix, but I do applaud how Justice totally re-invented this song in a way where the original elements can still be recognized without sounding at all like they did in the original version."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

ZZ Top - "Rough Boy"

ZZ Top - "Rough Boy": "I know it makes the songs cheesier, but I love the synth-era ZZ Top tunes - even this 'sensitive' ZZ number. It's also probably because I have fond memories of its 'car wash in space' video, which is cooler than it sounds (but probably not nearly as cool as I remember it). They somehow found a way to get the ZZ Top car, girls, sci-fi elements, girls, searing guitar work, girls and Dusty all in one video and there's a certain magic in that combination."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Kills - "U.R.A Fever"

The Kills - "U.R.A Fever": "I didn't like this track at first, but it's since grown on me. The minimalist programming of the initial verses still throws me off a little, but the stomping chorus, followed up by guitar stabs, is a great blend of dirtiness and crispness."

Monday, June 30, 2008

Meg Hentges - "This Kind Of Love"

Meg Hentges - "This Kind Of Love": "New wave power pop with a Fountains of Wayne vibe, but the chorus is catchy and that's what you really need to know. The song is also appropriate for closing out this particular month."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Club 8 - "The Friend I Once Had"

Club 8 - "The Friend I Once Had": "Sweet and pretty, but also sad - you get the gist from the title. Kind of like a strummy Smiths song, but with soft female vocals."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Liz Phair - "6'1""

Liz Phair - "6'1"": "I got to see Liz Phair doing Exile on Guyvile live in its entirety last night (thanks ATO!) and it reminded me how much I missed listening to this record. It came out when I still made mixtapes for myself and I swear that I must have put half of this album on various ones. It also made me realize that I never did the 'song-by-song' comparison between this album and the Stones' Exile on Main Street (which Guyville is a response to) - which is kind of odd, since that's one of my favorite records. Regardless, last night was a pleasant moment of nostalgia, even if it freaked me out that the record is 15 years old already."

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Foxglove Hunt - "A Concealed Weapon"

The Foxglove Hunt - "A Concealed Weapon": "The music is so New Order, it's insane - but I mean that in the best possible way. The vocals are different, so it doesn't feel like a total NO knock-off, but it does glean some of their best elements from them. (No surprise that this band involves Joy Electric's frontman, Ronnie Martin, who made similar New Order-y grooves in the Brothers Martin project.)
Thanks to Matt Graves for this one."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Helium - "Silver Strings"

Helium - "Silver Strings": "Even though I seem to recall the rest of this EP being overwhelmed with RenFaire Prog touches, this song doesn't share that baggage. Mary Timony's guitar leads spread magic across the song, the bass and drums propel her along and synth handclaps are just the frosting on top."

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Order - "Crystal"

New Order - "Crystal": "Get Ready may not be the best New Order album, but I think this track stands up with some of their best. Many of the guitar parts are classic New Order (even the ones buried in the mix - some of those at the end deserve their own song!), but the production and programming makes the track feel fresh, especially with a harder vibe not seen much since "Blue Monday"."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Butter 08 - "Butter of 69"

Butter 08 - "Butter of 69": "It's funny how much I enjoy what's essentially a throw-away, one-off album from a veritable who's who of quirky alt/indie rockers from the 90s. Russell Simins brings the grooves of Blues Explosion (without Jon Spencer's overbearing swagger), while Miho and Yuka (of Cibo Matto) offer quirky touches associated with their main band, except in a much more rough and electric setting. It's all in good fun, wrapped in a strange butter obsession."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Twilight Sad - "Some Things Last a Long Time"

The Twilight Sad - "Some Things Last a Long Time": "Uber-Scottish band The Twilight Sad take on the Jad Fair/Daniel Johnston melancholy classic (which has also been covered, with equal but different magic, by Built To Spill). Here, the vocals are impassioned, while the music is minimal and ghostly, creating a powerful - if fragile - dirge."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Marvin Pontiac - "Runnin' Round"

Marvin Pontiac - "Runnin' Round": "John Lurie masquerading as a slightly unhinged bluesman (the imaginary Marvin Pontiac) leads to great grooves and off-kilter lyrics - which is actually not that surprising, factoring in his offbeat acting roles. The album kind of got buried because it came from someone who didn't actually exist, but that doesn't mean it's not captivating in its blend of bar blues-rock and head-scratching lyrics - see also "Bring Me Rocks"."

Monday, June 09, 2008

David Bowie - "After Today"

David Bowie - "After Today": "This Bowie outtake from Young Americans overcomes its safe sax and sometimes-strained falsetto with a casually swinging vibe and a bit more earthiness than most of the other YA tracks. It feels like a refreshingly naked view at what were, otherwise, very polished sessions (albeit amazing, polished sessions)."

Friday, June 06, 2008

Joy Division - "Transmission"

Joy Division - "Transmission": "What an awesomely kinetic song! I especially love the drums, the guitar lead that kicks in at the 1:42 mark and the vocals/chanting at the song's end ("and we can daaaaaaaaaaaance!") - all bursting with energy. Never fails to feel electric, no matter how many times I've heard this."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Radiohead - "Myxomatosis"

Radiohead - "Myxomatosis": "Great later-period Radiohead - The drums are off-kilter and a bit frantic, the keyboards are aggressive and ominous, and Thom Yorke's vocals run the gamut from disaffected to panicked. It's a dark number filled with unease - not unlike falling down a long staircase - but it shakes the arty detachment that is often the downside of their recent work."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Aimee Mann - "Long Shot"

Aimee Mann - "Long Shot": "Great power-pop guitar riffs tempered with cool-but-sweet vocals and pretty guitar leads equal a more subtle take on alt rock - appropriately catchy and crunchy, but with better restraint."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Two Versions of Yo La Tengo's "Blue Line Swinger" - Your Choice!

"It's strange to find two very different, but almost equally perfect versions of the same song, but if anyone's done it, Yo La Tengo has.

Yo La Tengo - "Blue Line Swinger"

In the Original version, from Electr-o-pura, "Blue Line Swinger" is a sprawling 9+ minute epic that grows gradually until the cymbals and guitars crash like building ocean waves. By the time you reach the sweetly reverbed "ba ba ba ba"s at the song's conclusion, they're the candy-coated life preservers in an ocean of sound. (In fact, few do "ba ba ba"s as well as YTL - especially on this record - and, here, they're freaking perfect.)

Yo La Tengo - "(thin) Blue Line Swinger"

In the "thin" version, from the Camp Yo La Tengo EP, the song has been edited and remixed down to a roughly four-minute version. While one could argue that the song has definitely been reined in, it somehow segues together key parts of the original, but in new ways. This is most notable in the intro, which strips the instrumentation to the acoustic guitar largely buried in the chaos of the original, building up musically from that instead of the multi-minute intro jam that originally birthed it.

It always amazes me that YTL were able to craft a new song out of their own work - as opposed to a third party remixer finding the different pieces for themselves.

It's a great song either way, so it just depends on which version you're in the mood for."

Monday, June 02, 2008

Marilyn Manson - "Long Hard Road Out Of Hell"

Marilyn Manson - "Long Hard Road Out Of Hell": ""Not that different than many other Manson rock numbers, but the female backing vocals (which I think come from the Sneaker Pimps??*) definitely provide a nice contrast to Marilyn's brooding, especially the "doo doo doo" part after the chorus. The "I wanna LIVE! I wanna LOVE!" delivery building up to the explosive, thrashy chorus, also provides the song with a great dramatic flow. Highly enjoyable.

* - As well as debuted on the Spawn movie soundtrack"

Friday, May 30, 2008

David Bowie - "The Secret Life Of Arabia"

David Bowie - "The Secret Life Of Arabia": "This song may be low-key, but it still blows me away. From the grand-standing dramatic poses that also seem to double as narcissistic sexual ambiguity ("I walk through a desert song as the heroine dies..."), the song feels like the 1920s by way of outer space. I'll always love the processed-sounding drums by Dennis Davis (as on Bowie's other late-70s work) and the (male? female?) backing vocals creating a sound that's simultaneously modern and retro."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Morcheeba - "What New York Couples Fight About (featuring Kurt Wagner)"

Morcheeba - "What New York Couples Fight About (featuring Kurt Wagner)": "I'm not sure that this pairing of electronic-tinged Morcheeba and Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner totally works - the beginning verses are particularly sparse and awkward - but the chorus is pretty alluring. A strange sing-song duet, it doesn't really sound like either band, but you can still pick out their respective sounds from it. It's like a science experiment gone wrong, but the chorus still bears fruit."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ladytron - "Paco!"

Ladytron - "Paco!": "I don't actually know for sure that this is a tribute to Are You Being Served?, but it sure feels like it is. It may not have the cash-register percussion of the show's theme, but it's still the coolest tribute to that show I can think of."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Family Fodder - "Debbie Harry"

Family Fodder - "Debbie Harry": "I had posted about this song before, as covered by Unrest (which they revised as "Winona Ryder"), which is amazing, but the original still takes the cake. The Family Fodder's version is sexier (thanks to the French-accented vocals) and is simultaneously both funnier and more extreme ("Deborah Harry, I'm having your baby!"; "Debbie is ac/dc!"). Thanks to Chris O for pointing me at this many a year ago."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Weezer - "Pork and Beans"

Weezer - "Pork and Beans": "The verses are throwaway (and creepily reminiscent of Sugar Ray - ew!), but the chorus is gold, even if it sounds like they're thieving from their debut album - at least they did it well!"

Friday, May 23, 2008

X - "Los Angeles"

X - "Los Angeles": "This song still blows me away - and it's been around for how long now? The interplay between John and Exene sounds just as fresh today as it did when they made it - literally: I saw them do this song at SXSW this year and they still rock this live. The energy of this song is always infectious - a classic song for the City of Angels."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Autolux - "Audience No. 2"

Autolux - "Audience No. 2": "Ladies and gentlemen, Autolux is back - and they are still excellent. As always, Carla Azar's drumming is a sparce but religious experience, so good it could be a song on its own. It just helps that it has woozy rock to go with it, making it even better."

Friday, May 02, 2008

Fischerspooner - "The Best Revenge"

Fischerspooner - "The Best Revenge": "The horns are a nice touch, but if this is the best they can do now, it seems like Fischerspooner is suffering from the law of diminishing returns..."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Apples in Stereo - "Shine (In Your Mind)"

The Apples in Stereo - "Shine (In Your Mind)": "Yes! I am so excited that this track has surfaced. I discovered it as a bonus track on an old Spin Art sampler years ago - and, even then, I could not believe how such a great song could be abandoned on what was essentially a retail sampler. I'm glad that the Apples have finally put out a new odds-n-sods collection and put this on it. It's jangly, pretty and sweetly infectious. I get tingly just listening to it."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Revolting Cocks - "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?"

Revolting Cocks - "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?": "This take on the Rod Stewart original pulls the disco out and replaces it with a sleazy, mechanical bump and grind rhythm. It's probably a bit too scary to be a stripper anthem, but that doesn't mean that still shouldn't be one anyway. Some sly changes to the lyrics, the old-style organ replacing the sax lead and other touches show the humour behind the lasciviousness, even if it's hard to notice behind the spoken-word dirty Brit vocals - which are also aces."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dio - "Rainbow In The Dark"

Dio - "Rainbow In The Dark":
"Dio is awesome. Why, you ask?
Because he can take a song with MAD STUPID lyrics like this one (HELLO!!: "you've left been left on your own / like a rainbow in the dark!"...uh...what???) and make it sound not only good, but bad-ass. Sure, it helps that there's some shredding guitar parts in this song, but Dio brings the real magic. (And it's pretty cool that - a la "Holy Diver" - he yells out "LOOK OUT!" - as only Dio can - near the end of this tune.)"

Monday, April 14, 2008

White Gold and The Calcium Twins - "Tame The White Tiger"

White Gold and The Calcium Twins - "Tame The White Tiger": "I stumbled across a commercial about this 'band' on Comedy Central. The 'rock god' + 'milk' concept was pretty over the top for a milk ad, so I couldn't help but laugh. After realizing there was a tag to hear their music on Rhapsody (!), I went online and checked out their three-song EP, thinking it was a pretty crazy thing to come out of a milk ad. To my great glee, I realized it was ballsy rock music about milk and its calcium-y goodness - provided by Electric Six's Dick Valentine in all his insane glory. This song may be the coolest advertisement I've ever been aware of."

Friday, April 11, 2008

M83 - "Skin Of The Night"

M83 - "Skin Of The Night": "I know I'm breaking my own blog rules by posting about the same album more than once in a single week - especially when I hardly blog about the same album twice ever - but I've been obsessed with this M83 album since December - and now that I can finally share it, it's like popping a cork on a bottle of champagne. I can't hold myself back!"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

M83 - "Kim & Jessie"

M83 - "Kim & Jessie": "Synth-shoegaze as only M83 can do it. Beautiful, gauzy, shimmering - this track is aces. You should love it as I do! Check it out exclusively at Rhapsody now!"

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hum - "Green To Me"

Hum - "Green To Me": "After "Stars" became a fluke hit on their previous record (You'd Prefer An Astronaut), people's expectations were unrealistic for the next Hum record - at least in terms of commercial success. While those hopes were sadly unrealized, the album (Downward Is Heavenward) is filled with heavy-sounding songs that still have melodies tucked inside the walls of noise, like this one. (The major label polish that pulls the vocals out of the fuzz of their previous records have something to do with that - making the experience a bit less spacey, but a bit sweeter in the trade-off.)"

Monday, April 07, 2008

Soulwax - "E Talking" (Nite Version)

Soulwax - "E Talking" (Nite Version): "Starts out like Blondie's "Heart of Glass", then the real drums and synth hand claps kick in, then the keys. You think the song is building, but then this bass line kicks in and it's like the bottom dropped out - and then the song really kicks in. Knowing that Soulwax did this to their own song makes it all the more brilliant.
(Bonus points for having Nancy Whang from LCD Soundsystem add some spoken word. Makes it even cooler!)"

Friday, April 04, 2008

White Shoes & The Couples Company - "Tentang Cita"

White Shoes & The Couples Company - "Tentang Cita": "Another band I fell in love with at SXSW. Imagine what the band that did the Love Boat theme song looks like - but from Indonesia and in their early 20's - and in the present day. Their earnest interest in 70s soft pop - often sung in Indonesian - is what elevates their music over mere kitch. This is not some irony-filled NYC hipster band, these kids really love this sound.
Live, their secret weapon is lead singer Aprilia who, while cooing at you softly, swings her arms around in a gentle and completely hypnotizing way. You may not understand what she's singing about, or even what her 'hand dances' mean, but she's completely mesmerizing anyway."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Whale - "Crying At Airports"

Whale - "Crying At Airports": "This band was, understandably, written off as a minor, novelty one-hit wonder for "Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe" - and, if that's all you heard, I would understand. Turns out they had much better music in them, it just hadn't come out yet. Aside from having a great title, their later album All Disco Dance Must End In Broken Bones is, at turns, moody, quirky, and packed with nervous energy. "Crying At Airports" is probably my favorite track on the album, propelled by druggy bass and vocals, punctuated by a Swedish-accented speed rap, and still oddly catchy. Definitely more than a mere curiosity."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Wombats - "Lost In the Post"

The Wombats - "Lost In the Post": "Giddy British rock with a touch of snottiness, ofset my great backing harmonies and energetic riffs. A Rhapsody U.S. premiere!"

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Does It Offend You, Yeah? - "Dawn of the Dead"

Does It Offend You, Yeah? - "Dawn of the Dead": "This album brings the party in a serious way, but not nearly as much as they do live, as I witnessed recently in Austin. Strangely, with all the robodance on the album, it's this awesome new-wave-influenced track that wins me over, even if it is a bit out of place with the rest of the record. Hell, I'll admit - it's probably the synth hand claps. Always a sucker for those."

Monday, March 31, 2008

Ringo Deathstarr - "Down On You"

Ringo Deathstarr - "Down On You": "I missed these guys at SXSW because I got the memo about them too late - but missing them is what made me check out their EP, which features this highlight track. Fabulous noise-pop, it takes the lurching melodic buzz of the first Lilys record to an even sweeter conclusion."

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Killers - "Shadowplay"

The Killers - "Shadowplay": "I know I shouldn't like The Killers doing Joy Division, but I have to admit that I do. While it clearly doesn't have the raw electricity of the original, this crisper-sounding take on the song is no less dark, while having a 'cooler' sound and is maybe even a bit sexy (although I hesitate to use that word)."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Be Your Own Pet - "The Kelly Affair"

Be Your Own Pet - "The Kelly Affair": "I'm not sure that I like this tribute to Beyond The Valley of The Dolls, probably because I love the original just too darn much, but I do love that they recreate Ashley St. Ives' screams of "Bentley! Rolls!" during the guitar solo."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Place to Bury Strangers - "Don't Think Lover"

A Place to Bury Strangers - "Don't Think Lover": "I stumbled onto these guys at the Hot Freaks party at the Mohawk. It starts off like harsh JAMC, before shifting into `60s guitar rock in an echo chamber, before shifting back to JAMC distortion, then back again to 60s rock with a wistful, garage-y guitar lead. It's not nearly as jarring as it sounds."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cut Copy - "Lights and Music"

Cut Copy - "Lights and Music": "These guys helped people to get their dance on at our party (Rhapsody Rocks Austin), despite it being 2:30 in the afternoon! Not radically different from their first album, although not in a bad way, this track manages an excellent blend of 80s synths with catchy guitar riffs to make a futuristic jam."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Robyn - "With Every Heartbeat"

Robyn - "With Every Heartbeat": "I first got turned onto this song when on vacation in London last fall, but it wasn't until the tidal wave of attention started for her in the US that I really got into it. Robyn's candy-coated but emotional vocals paired pulsing synths are a simple but great combo - made even better by the fact that she can bring it live, as I witnessed first hand at SXSW last week."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Santogold - "Creator"

Santogold - "Creator": "So, yes, I can see the similarities to M.I.A., but having been familiar with Santi White's (a.k.a. Santogold) past work (which spans rock to R&B), I know she's just a chameleon and this is just one element of what she does. Plus, I'm in love with her female dancers - dressed in clothes that mix military and flight attendant looks, they do funky robotic dances/poses while they sing, all behind dark shades. I know it sounds like a gimick, but it lets Santi party while her girls hold down the Kraftwerk lock and step around her. It's tight."

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Ting Tings - "Great DJ"

The Ting Tings - "Great DJ": "I feel like this was one of the breakout songs of South by Southwest this year - lots of people went to see them live and I heard this song played at other parties too. It takes a second to get exciting, but every time they get to the chorus, there's some serious electro-rock pogoing going on. I'm sure it'll be in a commercial soon enough!"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chikita Violenta - "Laydown"

Chikita Violenta - "Laydown": "This sounds like great Brit-styled alt-rock, even with a touch of shoegaze-tinged hushed vocals, except that this band is from Mexico! Thanks to IODA's SXSW day party for helping me to stumble onto them quite accidentally!"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wire - "1 2 X U"

Wire - "1 2 X U": "So simple and with so few words, but with so much energy that it's brilliant - not to mention economical, at under two minutes long."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Carpenters - "Superstar"

The Carpenters - "Superstar": "I re-discovered this at the karaoke bar the other night. It's so amazingly cheesy, especially the "baby baby baby baby oh baby" part - but that's the part that got everyone in the bar singing along. Total guilty pleasure. (And, no, unlike "Let's Dance", I did not sing this one.)"

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

David Bowie - "Let's Dance"

David Bowie - "Let's Dance": "I did this song for karaoke last night at my friend Courtney's birthday party. She thought I did a good job with it, but I wanted to go back and listen to the original to hear how it's really done!"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ex-Boyfriends - "Private D"

Ex-Boyfriends - "Private D": "This song reminds me of everything I loved about indie rock in the 90s. Not unlike the-dear-to-my-heart Superchunk, this song is melodic, it rocks - and dammit, when they harmonize with all their lungs while singing " a private detective!" in the chorus, I challenge you not to sing along with them. Hell, once you know it, you'll sing along with the whole chorus. It's like pop music wrapped in crunchy rock and filled with heart."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

M83 - "Couleurs"

M83 - "Couleurs": "I first heard this song two months ago and I'm still obsessed with it now. PLAY IT! PLAY IT! PLAY IT!"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova - "Falling Slowly"

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova - "Falling Slowly" - "This song won the Oscar last night for Best Song and I couldn't be happier. It's a beautiful and heartfelt tune that was far less calculated than its competition in that catagory, yet far more emotional. I only hope that a whole new audience will discover it now."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Killing Joke - "Love Like Blood"

Killing Joke - "Love Like Blood": "This awesomely Goth-ish (Goth-esque? Avant-goth?) Brit-rock number shows just one of Killing Jokes' many faces, proving themselves here both dark and danceable."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pino Donaggio - "Body Double (from Body Double)"

Pino Donaggio - "Body Double (from Body Double)": "I watched Body Double the other week for the first time, while I was home sick. It had its moments, despite being a pretty brain-dead take on Vertigo and other Hitchcock, but this 'song' from the score stayed with me. This is the tune they play every time the male lead watches a mystery woman do a private dance - through his telescope. The synths are pretty 80s Euro-cheese - as are the breathy female vocals - but it's catchy anyway."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jane Wiedlin & Sparks - "Cool Places"

Jane Wiedlin & Sparks - "Cool Places": "Jane Wiedlin and Sparks' Russell Mael's low-key interplay makes them sounds like dorks trying to party...but that still makes them cool, doesn't it? New wave gold."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Posies - "Coming Right Along"

The Posies - "Coming Right Along": "I'm not really familiar with the Posies, but Rhapsody put this song in my (user-responsive) Personal Playlist and I was immediately fascinated by the dirge-like, ominous tune. There's something about the minimal presentation that plays up the dark, eerie qualities of the instrumentation. Heavy."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The B-52's - "Mesopotamia"

The B-52's - "Mesopotamia": "A warped history lesson featuring Fred Schneider, the B-52s walked like an Egyptian before the Bangles did, complete with the Kate/Cindy vocal harmonies that made their songs so glorious."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Beck - "Deadweight"

Beck - "Deadweight": "Lazy insects buzzing over South-of-the-border swaying winds up sliding down backwards behind sticky falsetto and fumbling Hammond organ fingerings. A great Beck tune that you can really get lost in."

Monday, February 04, 2008

Tsunami - "In A Name"

Tsunami - "In A Name": "Wow, I haven't heard this song in so long. This is from the time that my best friend was turning me onto all this indie rock and noise pop, a lot of it female-fronted bands anywhere from Belly to The Frumpies. Tsunami was part of this group and it wasn't long before I was ordering 'how-to' guides on starting a record label from their label, Simple Machines. (Not that I started one, in the end...)"

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Whigs - "Like A Vibration"

The Whigs - "Like A Vibration": "We premiered this song - in an exclusive, live Rhapsody Originals version - several months ago. Now we're premiering the studio version on their new album, Mission Control. The good news is that, even when they took the song into the studio, it still rocks hard."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Guns N' Roses - "You Could Be Mine"

Guns N' Roses - "You Could Be Mine": "This song always makes me think of T2 and: "'You could be miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnneeeee!!!!' Oh, Axl, what happened?"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Bee Gees - "Nights On Broadway"

The Bee Gees - "Nights On Broadway": "This one's for Stephanie. I can see why she likes this tune!"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kent - "Elvis"

Kent-"Elvis": "Fabulous Britrock, a la Buffseeds or darker Travis (think 'Re-Offender') - except that these lads are Swedish! Sadly, they didn't hit U.S. gold, so Americans never got to hear Hagnesta Hill - their next, and even better record, which only came out in Europe."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Kaiser Chiefs - "Everything Is Average Nowadays"

Kaiser Chiefs - "Everything Is Average Nowadays": "Depends on how you define average, no? I'll take this song as tongue-in-cheek and vote it definitely above-average!"

Monday, January 07, 2008

Isaac Hayes - "Run Fay Run"

Isaac Hayes - "Run Fay Run": "Speaking of Isaac Hayes, here's a great Hayes instrumental number - all jittering with percussion, while an electric guitar machine guns peppers the track...and then the horns and strings kick in. Funky and tasty."

Friday, January 04, 2008

Hooverphonic - "2Wicky"

Hooverphonic - "2Wicky": "Remember when trip-hop was the big new thing? For those of you who don't, it was largely UK-based artists conjuring smokey atmospheres over sparse beats, usually with an altered soul sample somewhere in the mix. I realize this is a pretty rough distillation of the genre, but I think this track is still a great example of that concept, with the killer mood to match.
Oh - to the point of the soul sample, a huge chunk of this track comes from Isaac Hayes' cover of 'Walk On By'."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The PeeChees - "I Could Have Loved You"

The PeeChees - "I Could Have Loved You": "Raucous, energetic and lightly abrasive - I dare you not to thrash and pogo to this rocker. Its brutal simplicity is part of its charms, especially with lyrics like 'I could have loved you / but you, but you / DON'T! LIKE! ME!' You could take the second to realize it's a song of unrequited love, but you should be too busy burning down the barn to notice."

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Dinosaur Jr - "Goin' Home"

Dinosaur Jr - "Goin' Home": "The softer side of Dinosaur Jr. I revisited this record over the holidays and I remembered how much I like it, but also realized how scary it is that it's now been 15 years (!) since it came out."