Friday, February 26, 2010

Yeasayer - "Ambling Alp"

Yeasayer - "Ambling Alp": "This feels very 80s movie soundtrack to me, which is not a bad thing. It's unapologetically exuberant and feels way more pop than so much of its indie peers these days, but too left of center to be truly pop. Probably for fans of MGMT..."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Men at Work - "Who Can It Be Now?"

Men at Work - "Who Can It Be Now?": "Did I mention that I'm Australia right now? I figured I should do something to reflect this...and I suppose that "Down Under" would have made more sense, but I've always liked this Men At Work song far better."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Daryll-Ann - "Surely Justice"

Daryll-Ann - "Surely Justice": "Sunny, 60s California-style pop by a band that I believe is actually Dutch. Plus I love that the chorus is, simply: 'got me thinking about the law...'"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Local H - "Fifth Ave. Crazy"

Local H - "Fifth Ave. Crazy": "The guest 'bad girl' female vocals approach a cheesy edge ('don't slow down / `cause red means go'), but the song is so pummeling that it doesn't really matter."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spoon - "Trouble Comes Running"

Spoon - "Trouble Comes Running": "The (intentionally) rough production might remove some sweetness from this garage-pop confection, but it just means you have to work a little harder to appreciate what's still a gooey, tasty center. (And it is tasty - I'm getting as obsessed with this as I've been with "Written In Reverse", another track from the same record.)"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sloan - "If It Feels Good Do It"

Sloan - "If It Feels Good Do It": "'This song is dedicated to you `cause this song is for people who know what rock'n'roll is about!'...and also fans of Matthew Sweet and slightly tart power pop. And awesome vocal harmonies. And Canada."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Charlotte Gainsbourg - "Le Chat du Cafe des Artistes"

Charlotte Gainsbourg - "Le Chat du Cafe des Artistes": "Wow. This song blew me away by the end, even on the first listen. I can hear Beck in it (since he is on the track) and I can hear Charlotte's parents in it (both Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, in different ways), but it's still a centerpiece for Charlotte. The song has a powerful 60s quality - in it's sound and instrumentation - but the strings are the real killer, moody and dramatic, spiraling around Charlotte's cool vocal delivery."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Diamanda Galas - "Sono L'Antichristo"

Diamanda Galas - "Sono L'Antichristo": "I don't really listen to death metal, heavy industrial, or other music that's arguably intentionally torturous and anti-social. You know, the kind of music you might listen to as a middle finger to everyone else. It's just not my bag. Yet, for some reason, I completely love Diamanda Galas, even though I know she gives nightmares to everyone I've ever met (save for one person). Listening to this song is probably horrific for most folks, but it seems to actually put me in a good mood. Maybe not the same way Apples In Stereo put me in a good mood, for example, and not because I'm into the lyrics (which I can largely only gather from the song title) but it does tickle me, none the less. I just think she's amazing for using her voice as a multi-faceted instrument for everything from ballads to (more often) screeching. I'm sure she knows it's challenging for listeners, but I don't think she could get her point across any better any other way...and I hope she doesn't actually care anyway.
Enjoy at your own peril."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Metric - "Help I'm Alive"

Metric - "Help I'm Alive": "I have to admit that I wasn't totally sold on the new Metric when it came out, despite being a pretty big fan of the band for many years. Surprisingly, it was having this song dropped into the mix during Bob Mould & Rich Morel's Blowoff party (a dance event, if you are not familiar) that inspired me to give it a second look. I don't know why it didn't grab me at first, but it's as catchy as many of the songs as Live It Out, their previous album."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Diana Ross & The Supremes - "Nothing But Heartaches"

Diana Ross & The Supremes - "Nothing But Heartaches": "Following up on Friday's post - and tempering the V-Day love song post in between with a Supremes heartbreak book-end...
A little more up-tempo than 'Where Did Our Love Go?', but otherwise matches its smooth + simple + heartbreak = catchy formula. Not to say that it's derivative, so much as just part of the signature Motown/Supremes sound, but the backing "I can't break away!" vocals add additional counterpoint and complexity that keep it from being too one-note."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shout Out Louds - "Fall Hard"

Shout Out Louds - "Fall Hard"*: "Bouncy and (unfortunately) screaming to be the theme to the next (500) Days of Summer / Garden State / etc. etc. etc. romantic indie movie playing near you, but don't let that deter you from this Stars-ish love song - it's still a keeper.
*Special Sunday posting for you hipster folks needing a new tune for Valentine's Day!"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Diana Ross & The Supremes - "Where Did Our Love Go"

Diana Ross & The Supremes - "Where Did Our Love Go": "This song goes out to the 'ladies' and gentlemen who saluted Motown at the Eagle last night. They did so many songs that I can't even remember if they did this one or not, but I love it so much, I had to pick it anyway. So smooth and so simple, it deceptively made heartbreak so catchy.
This also gives me the opportunity to revive the rumor that, when performing on TV in the 60s, Diana Ross would often spread her arms out wide, purportedly to cover the faces of her fellow Supremes from the camera. No idea if that's really true, but it's a great story."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Goldfrapp - "Rocket"

Goldfrapp - "Rocket": "...Apparently they decided to take a dive into early 80s radio rock. It's hard to get past the Journey/Rick Springfield vibe under the synths from Van Halen's 1984 (or Alan Parsons, depending on your point of view), but they still keep things Goldfrapp-y enough to get away with it."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Monkees - "P. O. Box 9847"

The Monkees - "P. O. Box 9847": "I love this late-middle-period Monkees, where they still had to kick out pop tunes, but each member's struggle for identity began to introduce strange quirks into the proceedings, as evidenced by the psychedelic touches here. At least their 'personalities' are better manifested at this point by the studio musicians playing under their guide, as opposed to the band straining to present it themselves, as they did on Headquarters - which I also love, but is clearly a labored product for the band.
(Credit to Rhino Handmade's upcoming special edition of The Birds, The Bees and the Monkees for triggering today's post.)"

Monday, February 08, 2010

Modest Mouse/764-HERO - "Whenever You See Fit (Scientific American remix)"

Modest Mouse/764-HERO - "Whenever You See Fit (Scientific American remix)": "I previously extolled the virtues of a different remix of this Modest Mouse/764-HERO collaboration, but I also like this remix, which is closer to the original's dirge-like qualities without it's epic length. It just goes to show that when you have a great original song with lots of elements to work with, plus some good remixers, the possibilities are endless."

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Queen Of Japan - "Ma Quale Idea"

Queen Of Japan - "Ma Quale Idea": "For those of you who enjoyed yesterday's post, here's an updated, female-fronted version of the same tune. This version is more new wave dance than disco, but still equally cool and kitschy."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Pino D'Angio - "Ma Quale Idea"

Pino D'Angio - "Ma Quale Idea": "If this song doesn't brighten your day, I don't know what will. This is vintage groovin' Italo-disco, led by what must have been Italy's answer to Serge Gainsbourg - or at least that's what his gruff-meets-come-hither semi-spoken vocals suggest. Dance!"

Monday, February 01, 2010

Grandaddy - "A.M. 180"

Grandaddy - "A.M. 180":
"We’ll sit for days
And talk about things
Important to us like whatever
We'll defuse bombs
And walk marathons
And take on whatever, together

(for D)"