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."