Sunday, October 30, 2011

Genetics and Sunshine

I first learned of this week's song, 'Colors' by LA-based indie quintet Grouplove, via a great instrumental remix rendered by Foster The People, whose terrific hit I featured back on August 29.

Turns out the great instrumental also has great vocals - it's a peppier update of that early 90s grunge sound - smiling through the tears... a band can't be too dark when its principals met at an artists' residency on the sun-drenched isle of Crete...

Besides sunblock, the fivesome also has good genetics - Ryan Rabin's dad hails from the legendary 70s art-rock band Yes, and Sean Gadd's dad was in the acclaimed UK indie band Stray...

Without further ado, it's 'Colors,' as performed live on a Halloween Booze Cruise...

And here's the follow-up single, 'Tongue Tied,' live on KCRW...

this entry's permalink

Monday, October 24, 2011

Man Behind The Curtain

We're bowled over by our first listen to the melodic Spector-gone-hippie vibe of 'Awake,' by unknown LA-based duo Electric Guest (pictured, far left), whose early 2012 album is being produced by Danger Mouse, aka Brian Burton (pictured, near left)

We know very little about Electric Guest, whose lead signer Aca Taccone wrote Justin Timberlake's Saturday Night Live parody 'Dick In A Box,' and whose brother writes for SNL and is a friend of the Mouse-ster. But we're a huge fan of Danger Mouse himself, thatubiquitous music genius and visionary producer of Gnarls Barkley (with Cee-Lo), Gorillaz (with Blur's Damon Albarn), Broken Bells (with the Shins' James Mercer), and Shortwave Set.

Danger Mouse's signature accomplishment was 2004's 'The Grey Album,' a virtuoso mash-up of the Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album. We're also fond of Danger Mouse's own brilliant work, 2008's 'Dark Night of The Soul, a cornucopia of brilliant collaborations,' and 'Rome,' which recalls Spaghetti Western pastiche music of the 60s.

Here is 'Awake' and (at the bottom) 'Amber,' two great Electric Guest tracks released this month to the web and posted to YouTube...

In the same vein as Electric Guest, Danger Mouse produced one of my favorite songs of 2008, 'No Social' by Shortwave Set..

Here's a former SOTW by Danger Mouse with Broken Bells, 'The High Road...'

Here's Electric Guest's 'Amber'...

Here's 'The Man Who Played God,' the Danger Mouse/Suzanne Vega collaboration that's my favorite track off of 'Dark Night of the Soul'...

From 'The Grey Album', Danger Mouse mixes Jay-Z's 'Dirt Off Your Shoulder' with the Beatles' 'Julia'..

this entry's permalink

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Oldest Person That Ever Lived...

Jeanne Calment of Arles, France, 21 February 1875 – 4 August 1997 - she lived 122 years and 164 days! That's old enough to be my Mom's grandmother....

this entry's permalink

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yes, You May!

Today's Song of the Week, 'Pulling The Rug,' is a rockabilly rave-up by Imelda May, a very retro Irish singer heavily influenced by early rock, blues, and jazz,
but whose vocal timber recalls new wave tough girl Chrissie Hynde. Imelda plays the guitar and the 'bodhrán,' an Irish frame drum. After six singing and playing, her 2009 debut won wide critical acclaim in Ireland and later in the UK. Her sophomore efforts is even more interesting, and includes a killer rockabilly remake of 'Tainted Love..'

I chose to highlight 'Pulling The Rug,' an album track that struck my fancy, eschewing the equally fine singles 'Mayhem' and 'Psycho,' which you can check out in the videos below..

Here she is on live TV ripping through 'Pulling The Rug'...

'Mayhem' does rock...

and 'Pyscho' does roll...

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Head Music Torch Song?

This week's Song/Video of the Week, the sad, swaying 'You' by New York's own TV On The Radio, manages the rare hat trick of being both wistful and invigorating. Imagine Peter Gabriel singing a torch song, and you have a hint of what a treat awaits you.

TVOTR is surely among this past decade's best, most critically acclaimed independent groups. They are both relentlessly ambitious and musically alluring, as Tunde Adebimpe's odd timber electrifies the group's mix of post-punk, jazz, soul, electro, shoegaze, a cappella and even doo-wop..

The quintet is driven by the plaintive, soulful vocals of Nigerian-born actor-director-singer Tunde Adebimpe and the haunting atmospherics of NY-born guitarist-producer-mix David Andrew Sitek. I've loved them since their first song, the Peter-Gabriel-esque 'Young Liars' from 2003. Guest musicians abound, from glam godfather David Bowie to members of critically acclaimed indie bands such as Blonde Redhead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Antibalas. Check out their website.

The 'You' video finds Adebimpe dressed like Sly Stone with some odd conversational interludes.. Enjoy...

Just listen and look... The 'Golden Age' clips underscores that TVOTR's video work is as memorable as their music...

To this day I find TVOTR's 2003 debut, 'Young Liars,' to be compelling, haunting, and cathartic.. Here's lead singer Tunde Adebimpe doing it live, and
nearly unplugged, last year at Glasslands in Brooklyn...

TVOTR's style and composition is very unusual, left-field, but always compelling... Here's 'Dreams' from their first album,,,

Here's a good fan video of another TVOTR classic from 2003, 'Satellite'

this entry's permalink

Monday, October 03, 2011

Suburban Psychedelic Pastoral

Finally, I'm spotlighting Deerhunter, an Atlanta-based quartet that's hard to categorize; its brooding, dreamy, melodies and poetic lyrics fuse elements of pop, art rock, shoegaze, and post-punk.
Deerhunter has delivered five great albums in ten years, and their latest, 'Halcyon Digest,' has warmed my heart over the past year or so. But what song to include - each is so different, and they all seem too short or too long. I settled on the slowly swaying suburban psychedelia of 'Helicopter,' which happens to be the single anyway, and which I hope you enjoy as todays' Song of the Week.

Leading Deerhunter is Bradford Cox, an outsider's outsider born with Marfan's Syndrome, a connective tissue ailment that left him unusually tall, with a long thin stretched face, arms, and limbs. A friendless teen, Cox was drawn to how music can sound 'heartbreaking or nostalgic or melancholy.' Cox founded Deerhunter with drummer/keyboardist Moses Archuleta, then a transient sleeping on Cox's friends' doorstep. I also like Cox's side project, Atlas Sound... Cox had identified as gay, but lately says he's non-sexual.. I hope this is just a phase...

Watch Deerhunter's awesome video clip for 'Helicopter:'

Lovely and all too short, sweet and jaunty beyond words is 'Revival' - fan clip is terrific!

From 2007's lovely 'Crytograms' album, check out 'Strange Lights'...

Even earlier, from 2005, the very ambient but kinetic 'Oceans'

this entry's permalink

Sunday, October 02, 2011

This Blog's For You, You Know..

I love you, Mom. Get better soon....

this entry's permalink

Was Busy

This week. I'm retroblogging, though... I need to forward-blog and add pithy comments as I go on.. Let's see if I do any better this week. Pictured below, buried up to his neck in sand, is seven-year-old Mitt Romney, in 1955...

this entry's permalink

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Fleeting Intimacy

I saw an excellent, naturalistic story from Britain about two very different gay men who meet and form the spark of intimacy just two days before one of them will leave for the US, perhaps forever. Slow pace, but subtle, insightful, and very worthwhile...

this entry's permalink

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?