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."