Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hot Nerds In Love

Back in 2010 I saw the live show of Hot Chip, wonderfully dorky, quirky and talented electronic-alt-pop band from the UK...Each album has improved over the last, but I thought they'd have a hard time topping 2010's delightful 'One Life Stand...'   

Wrong!  Their fifth and latest, 'In Our Heads,' is chock-full of great songs, easily their strongest yet.... I could've featured any song here really so I went with the single, 'Night and Day,' so I could feature their lovely new video..

Hot Chip, while not actually gay, are extremely gay-friendly.. And they brainy nerds, another minority group I belong to...

Since I launched Song of the Week in September 2007, this is the very first band I have featured three times!  Hey, I've only a double-dipped a dozen artists (out of the 247 songs I've featured to date)...
And here it is, Night and Day...

 A brief history of (good) time(s)... Hot Chip's best moments... 2010, it could have been my wedding song.. '(I only wanna be your) One Life Stand...'

 2008, the rhythm-rific lament, 'One Pure Thought'

2006's nerd-club-anthem, 'Over and Over...' outrageous lyric line... live on Jools Holland...

 Their 2004 debut 'Keep Falling...' kickin' it live..

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Return of Scissor Sisters...

Another awesome weekend, summer vacation in a matter of days, and I have  a exciting series of song that just scream 'Summer!'....

Who better to start with than Scissor Sisters, the brilliant, charming, 70s-rific pop group that's a household word in Europe but only a minor hit in their native US.

I saw them live three times back in 2004, in the earliest days of this blog. It's high time I featured them on Song of The Week, and here they are with their latest single, the glimmery pop gem that is 'Only The Horses..'

Heavily influenced by the Elton John, The Bee Gees, David Bowie, glam rock, and disco, they are also The Great Gay Pop Group. Mind you, they're not the first Gay Pop Group, or even the first Openly Gay Pop Group (I love you, B-52s!!) but they are a huge step forward, uniquely of the current generation that grew up in a gay-friendly environment.

Here's their shiny new single, 'Only The Horses,' produced by Calvin Harris, who propelled Rihanna's 'Love in A Hopeless Place.'

My very favorite cut on the album, 'Let's Have a Kiki,' begins with an outgoing message.. 'Hey, this is Pickles, what's up, leave me a message....' Pickles is what JP calls me when I make a long face...

  Their biggest European hit to date, the Elton John-esque 'I Don't Feel Like Dancing..' Yes, that's Elton himself playing guest piano!

Scissor Sisters are, left to right, bass guitarist Del Marquis, token straight drummer Paddy Boom, lead guitar/producer Babydaddy, vocalist/diva Ana Matronic and lead vocalist Jake Shears...

Shears and Babydaddy are the Scissors' 'core' and write all the material.

I know one guy lucky enough to have dated Shears, and another silly enough to have brushed him off when he was an unknown...

Matronic, who describes herself as 'a drag queen trapped in a woman's body,' has a killer stage presence and is the perfect foil for Shears, they're sort of a gay musical Steed and Mrs. Peel... Matronic has been described as someone 'who even sleeps ironically....' 

Scissor Sisters first two albums, from 2004 and 2006, were near-perfect and huge hits in Europe but couldn't seem to do better than very light radio play here.  After a just-OK third album in 2010, the Sisters roared back to form this month with the spectacular 'Magic Hour..'

Oddly, the song that put Scissor Sisters on the map was a neon-bright disco re-imagining of Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb,' with Bee Gees-style vocals but an eerie, haunting production...

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Through A Glass Softly

And yet another terrific summer weekend.  That's three in a row!  We attended a lovely wedding in the country, lunched on cool summer salad....

Today's Song of the Week is the hypnotically catchy lo-fi shoe-gazing of 'It's Like A Dream,' by Atlanta-based dream-popsters Soft Power. 

I've had this on my playlist since last summer, but there's very little info on these guys.  I know that lead singer Dylan Anderson fronted Of Machines, a hardcore band, from 2006-2010, as different as imaginable from the dreamy strains of Soft Powers

Since I can't find a single video of 'It's Like A Dream,' I'll settle for an interesting fan video of the group's second best-known song, 'Mary Never Sings Our Song.

 Here's the quiet, lanquid 'Endlessly.'

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Blowin' In The Twenty First Century Wind

Another terrific summer weekend.  

We celebrate with a 'Shell Games, ' a Song of the Week from Bright Eyes, the critically acclaimed one-man band formed a 17 years ago back by (now) 32-year-old  Conor Oberst of Ohama, Nebraska, who, in a surprisingly unassuming and melodic way, had become the (uninvited) Bob Dylan of his young generation. 

Before creating Bright Eyes at age 15, Conor had led no fewer than four different bands!  These were:  The Faint, Commander Venus, The Magnetas, and Park Avenue.

He's as lyrically weighty as Dylan, minus the ego, and somehow easier on the ear, not to mention the eye...

He survives - nay, thrives - on word of mouth and glowing reviews, able to make a living, if not a fortune, following his own muse and taking it on the road..

Here's the other single from Bright Eyes' current album, The People's Key, called 'Jejeune Stars...'

Here's the lovely 'First Day of My Life,' from 2005, in a video directed by John Cameron Mitchell of 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' fame...

 Here he is ten years ago at the Coachella festival singing 'Lua,' which means 'moon' in Portuguese..

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