Friday, November 30

BEST OF NOVEMBER 2007

Please left-click [HERE] to download this month's loveably motley lot.

Portal to previous monthly mixes [HERE].

NOVEMBER 2007 TRACKLIST >>>

01) THE PIXIES/Here Comes Your Man
02) EARLIMART/Happy Alone
03) SHOUT OUT LOUDS/You Are Dreaming
04) SAMBASSADEUR/That Town
05) TOM PETTY/Down South
06) ONETWO/Sequential
07) BLOC PARTY/Flux
08) WOODPIGEON/The Alison Yip School for Girls
09) MILBURN/Lipstick Licking
10) THE HOT TODDIES/HTML
11) LACROSSE/No More Lovesongs
12) SISSY WISH/Beauties Never Die
13) GHOSTS/Musical Chairs
14) WIRE DAISIES/Gay Boy [radio edit]
15) MATT POND PA/Giving It All Away
16) THE 1900s/The Medium Way
17) ARCADE FIRE/Ocean of Noise
18) MGMT/Time to Pretend
19) BLACK BOX RECORDER/Rock 'n' Roll Suicide
20) McALMONT AND BUTLER/Falling

Labels:

THE AFTERNOONS

THE AFTERNOONS are from Cardiff, Wales and traffic in indie power-pop. I'd thought that their album ROCKET SUMMER was a 2007 release, but it turns out that it's been around since '05. It was new to me, in any case.

The title track evokes BIG STAR and down-tempo FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, while "See You Again" is gently-chugging piano pop in the vein of KEANE. Won't set the world on fire, but nice enough stuff nevertheless.

THE AFTERNOONS on MySPACE.

[
MP3] "Rocket Summer"

[
MP3] "See You Again"

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Thursday, November 29

JAY-JAY JOHANSON

Bad morn rising. So I'm going to let the never-ever inaccurate WIKIPEDIA introduce you to today's artist: "JAY-JAY JOHANSON (born 1969) is a Swedish musician and singer-songwriter, best known for his easily recognizable melancolic [sic] vocals and his androgynous looks. His music has been generally considered to integrate the trip-hop genre until he deliberatedly switched his sound to a more electroclash-oriented direction with the 2003 release ANTENNA." 'Twill have to suffice....

(But don't let the "trip-hop" label deter your downloads. That's not a genre I've much trucked in in the past, and this post signals no significant shift in my musical tastes or intentions. Thus, indie-pop will continue to hold sway -- at least until I go through my acid-jazz phase, which is tentatively scheduled for September 2011.)

JAY-JAY JOHANSON on MySPACE.

JAY-JAY JOHANSON continent hopping >>>

Nov 30 2007 8:00P/Minsk/BELARUS
Dec 4 2007 8:00P/FRIBOURG/Le Transformateur/SWITZERLAND
Dec 5 2007 8:00P/BASEL/Das Schiff/SWITZERLAND
Dec 6 2007 8:00P/BERN/I.S.C./SWITZERLAND
Dec 8 2007 8:00P/GUADALAJARA/MEXICO
Dec 13 2007 8:00P/MOSCOW/B1/RUSSIA


From the LP LONG TERM PHYSICAL EFFECTS ARE NOT YET KNOWN, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "Time Will Show Me"
[
MP3] "Tell Me When the Party's Over/Prequiem"

From the LP RUSH, 2005 >>>
[
MP3] "Mirror Man"

From the LP ANTENNA, 2003 >>>
[
MP3] "On the Radio"
[
MP3] "Automatic Lover"

From the LP POISON, 2000 >>>
[MP3] "Colder (I Want You No More)"

From the LP TATTOO, 1998 >>>
[
MP3] "Friday at Rex"

BONUS TRACK >>>

[MP3] THE TEA SERVANTS/"I Wanna Be Jay Jay Johanson"

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Wednesday, November 28

THE KINDNESS KIND

The name of the band is THE KINDNESS KIND. Which is a shame. I mean, really really a shame. I mean, shame on the Kindness Kind for calling themselves the Kindness Kind.

(I'm so upset by this, I'm going to stop writing this post. Right now. As an act of protest.) (Except to suggest that these people immediately change their name to MOHAMMED THE BEAR. It's cute and timely but mostly cute.) (They might want to leave Khartoum off the concert itinery, however. This is no small consideration.)

MOHAMMED THE BEAR... er... THE KINDNESS KIND in their native Seattle >>>

Nov 30 2007 5:00P/NECTAR w/The Most Serene Republic! FREE!!!!!/Seattle, Washington
Dec 7 2007 8:45P/ACT THEATRE - w/Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden (CD RELEASE)/Seattle, Washington
Dec 29 2007 7:00P/EL CORAZON - w/Siberian, Colonies/Seattle, Washington


[MP3] "Quiet Words Are Quiet Words"

[MP3] "The Rain Came Late"

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TOAD THE WET SPROCKET (1986-1998)

For our posting purposes today, TOAD THE WET SPROCKET qualifies as half a "dead band." Despite officially announcing their dissolution in 1998, they've continued to tour together. On practical, economic grounds, one can only suppose. No shame in that.

Apparently, there is still an audience for the sort of light, vaguely rootsy rock that bubbled up in the wake of R.E.M. losing its religion. Toad the Wet Sprocket -- along with COUNTING CROWS, GIN BLOSSOMS, LIVE, and so on -- were there to provide a "softer" alternative to the alternative (read: NIRVANA & PEARL JAM-styled grunge and GREEN DAY & OFFSPRING-styled pop-punk). Not the most impressive of legacies, perhaps -- but one that's proven to be more resilient than we might have predicted back in the day.

TOAD THE WET SPROCKET on MySPACE.

TOAD THE WET SPROCKET on the road in early '08 >>>

Jan 17 2008 8:00P/Jannus Landing/St. Petersburg, Florida
Jan 18 2008 7:30P/HOB Orlando/Orlando, Florida
Jan 19-24 2008 8:00A/The Rock Boat VIII/Miami, Florida
Jan 25 2008 6:30P/Ann Arbor Folk Festival/Ann Arbor, Michigan
Jan 26 2008 6:30P/Ann Arbor Folk Festival/Ann Arbor, Michigan


From the LP DULCINEA, 1994 >>>
[
MP3] "Fall Down"
[
MP3] "Something's Always Wrong"

From the LP FEAR, 1991 >>>
[
MP3] "All I Want"

From the LP COIL, 1997 >>>
[
MP3] "Crazy Life"

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Tuesday, November 27

TEGAN AND SARA

In recent weeks, I've been re-listening to a series of this year's CDs as a prologue to my eventual Top 12 (or so) Albums of 2007. I know you can hardly wait for the final tally; the air is thick with anticipation (metaphorically-speaking, at least). Unlike some early-bird, eager-beaver bloggers, however, I will wait until this calendar year has actually come to a close before compiling my final line-up. You just never know what through-the-roof behemoth or under-the-radar overachiever might be waiting in the wings for a December 18th or 31st release.

(On the other hand, the wait for the always much-sought-after Plague of Angels Best of November mix is almost over. Look for it Friday.)

One 2007 LP I just eliminated from Top 12 (or so) consideration this past weekend is
TEGAN AND SARA's THE CON. As indie-pop efforts go, it's perfectly okay. It's just that I thought the identical twins from Canada's Calgary were better on 2004's new wave-y SO JEALOUS. The songs were stronger; the melodies more memorable. Still, THE CON is a worthwhile follow-up, and those of you out-and-about in my beloved Ann Arbor today can catch the ladies live and in-person.

TEGAN AND SARA on MySPACE.

TEGAN AND SARA, world-travelers >>>

Nov 27 2007 12:30P/Borders In-Store/Ann Arbor, Michigan
Nov 28 2007 8:00P/St. Andrews - SOLD OUT/Detroit
Nov 29 2007 8:00P/Portage Theater - SOLD OUT/Chicago, Illinois
Nov 30 2007 8:00P/Pantages Theater - SOLD OUT/Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dec 3 2007 8:00P/Showbox - SOLD OUT/Seattle, Washington
Dec 4 2007 8:00P/Crystal Ballroom - SOLD OUT/Portland, Oregon
Dec 5 2007 8:00P/The Senator/Chico, California
Dec 10 2007 8:00P/Metropolis Fremantle/Fremantle, Western Australia
Dec 12 2007 8:00P/Forum Theatre - SOLD OUT/Melbourne, Victoria
Dec 13 2007 8:00P/Enmore Theatre - SOLD OUT/Newtown, New South Wales
Dec 15 2007 8:00P/Tivoli Theatre - SOLD OUT/Fortitude Valley, Queensland
Feb 22 2008 8:00P/Concorde/Brighton


From the LP THE CON, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "Relief Next to Me"
[
MP3] "Back in Your Head"

From the LP SO JEALOUS, 2004 >>>
[
MP3] "Walking With a Ghost"
[
MP3] "I Know I Know I Know"

From the LP IF IT WAS YOU, 2002 >>>
[
MP3] "Underwater"

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Monday, November 26

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE

Birmingham, England's OCEAN COLOUR SCENE carved out a small slice of the '90s Britpop pie, primarily on the strength of 1996's critically-acclaimed MOSELEY SHOALS. Like friends and contemporaries OASIS, they owe a very conscious debt to '60s rock and pop.

Their latest album, ON THE LEYLINE, came out (rather quietly) earlier this year.

OCEAN COLOUR SCENE on MySPACE.

From the LP ON THE LEYLINE, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "I Just Got Over You"
[
MP3] "You'll Never Find Me"

From the LP MOSELEY SHOALS, 1996 >>>
[MP3] "The Circle"

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THE HOT TODDIES

Based solely on the photographs on their MySpace page, one might assume that Oakland, CA's THE HOT TODDIES are just a gaggle of girls lookin' to live la vida loca. Will flash for beads. And mojitos.

While this may, in fact, be the case, it should be noted that HEIDI, ERIN, SYLVIA, and JESSICA are also pop musicians. On their new LP, SMELL THE MITTEN, the proceedings lean toward the cheeky. If you're in the mood for a bit of evil-carnival twee ("Anais Nin..."), or just have a hankering to hear what THE CHIPMUNKS would sound like doing a '50s doo-wop lament ("HTML"), then you've come to the right place.

THE HOT TODDIES shakin' their moneymakers >>>

Dec 1 2007 6:00P/Vets Hall/Santa Cruz, California
Dec 20 2007 8:00P/Bottom of the Hill - (18+!!)/San Francisco, California
Jan 4 2008 9:00P/The Uptown/Oakland, California


[
MP3] "Anais Nin vs. the Pirates of Santa Cruz"

[
MP3] "HTML"

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Sunday, November 25

JANIS IAN

When I was in the second grade at Lewis Cass Elementary School in 1977-1978, there was an unpopular girl by the name of Kelly Biega in my homeroom class. For the most part, she was just ignored. On Valentine's Day, she was the only person who didn't receive a card. Not a single one. After school, on the sidewalk walking home, "Step on a crack and you love Kelly Biega" was the boys' constant, taunting refrain. "Step on a crack and you have to kiss Kelly Biega." I'm sure I said those things myself. I'm sure I made avoiding those cracks in the concrete a mission in my life. To do otherwise would have made me a pariah. And who could bear that at the tender age of seven?

One day in class, without anybody particularly noticing, Kelly Biega slipped into the girls' bathroom that adjoined our classroom. Minutes later, our spelling lesson was stopped cold by the sound of her voice -- high-pitched and shrill -- "You're ugly! You're ugly! You're ugly." Though we couldn't see her in there, the picture was clear. She was shouting at herself in the mirror. Over and over and over and over. "You're ugly!"

I remember the teacher (Miss Magda) going in, quieting Kelly Biega down, leading her out. Out of the bathroom and out of the class. I remember that that was the last time we ever saw Kelly Biega. The rumor was that her parents had pulled her out of school and moved to a different city. Just like that. Gone.

A few years ago, I was glancing through some old photographs when I came upon my second-grade class picture. I remembered all of the names and faces -- 15 boys, 15 girls, give or take. And there was Kelly Biega, smiling shyly, light brown hair with a barrette in the shape of a daisy. I looked at the other girls in the picture. I looked at the other boys. And it was so incredibly clear that it stunned me: Kelly Biega was beautiful. By all rights, she should have been the most popular girl in the class. She should have been drowning in Valentine's Day cards. She should have been our lodestar. Instead, we made her our pariah. The butt of our jokes and the myth and monster at the heart of our games. We drove her to that bathroom mirror that day. We drove her away.

Around the time that all of that was happening, JANIS IAN had her biggest hit -- the sad-sack, melodramatic-to-the-point-of-parody smash "At Seventeen." Listening to it now, my head thinks it's an awful song; my heart feels it's a work of genius. And I can't help remembering Kelly Biega. As the teacher led her out of the classroom that day, was she about to embark on a new beginning or had she reached the end? Was it all just a cry for help or a declaration of surrender? Did she even make it to 17, in that new school, in that different city? I'm sure I'll never know, and it's the not knowing that haunts me, even 30 years after the fact....

[
MP3] "At Seventeen"

[
MP3] "In the Winter"

[
MP3] "Lover's Lullaby"

[
MP3] "Tea and Sympathy"

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Friday, November 23

KYLIE MINOGUE

Two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, dance diva/pop princess KYLIE MINOGUE is back from the brink with X, the 10th studio album of her 20-year career. Release date: November 26.

KYLIE MINOGUE on MySPACE.

[
MP3] "The One"

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PANTS YELL!

PANTS YELL! are three dudes from Massachusetts who want to put their peanut butter in your chocolate (or... you know... vice versa). Betcha they listen to THE PIXIES and THE SMITHS. Scruffy indie-pop for a Friday afternoon.

Their third LP, ALISON STATTON, is available now on SOFT ABUSE RECORDS.

[
MP3] "Magenta and Green"

[
MP3] "Two French Sisters"

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Thursday, November 22

THANKSGIVING

The Plymouth colonists celebrate the first Thanksgiving with the Wampanoag people. Afterward, tribal chief Massasoit [seated left-center, with tallest & most abundant head-feathers] speaks highly of the turkey, maize, and mussels, but heaps highest praise on settler Josiah Bacardi [standing right, with hunting sword, lobstertail helmet & "Ye Olde Worlde's Greateste Grandpa" mug] and his "devilishly addictive, crisp as a New England breeze" rum & cranberry concoction.
The younger members of the Lancaster family share a good laugh at the expense of their dog-loving, Alzheimer's-suffering grandparents, Joseph & Irene. Suffice it to say, that's not a turkey ol' Joe's about to carve!

Today is the day we Americans get even fatter than we already are chasing our collective tryptophan fix sitting on our collective fat ass watching Cowboys conquer and Lions lie down. As for me, I'm gonna have a tuna-fish sandwich. Maybe some soup. Total Cranberry Crunch cereal for dessert. Then, I'll either take a nap or call 911 and commit Suicide-by-Cop. Whichever suits me at the time.

Since I'm sure more than half of this blog's usual visitors will be AWOL today, I'm going to risk doing something different. Which is to say: I'm going to deluge you with classical music until I've put you in a holiday mood (kinda sorta maybe).

Fact is, a little non-pop-rock-blah-blah-blah may make for a welcome respite, so here goes....

This is an American holiday (our Canadian friends celebrate Thanksgiving on an entirely different day, and do so by sacrificing mooses to the hockey gods), so it only seems sporting to exhume a couple of American composers' corpses & compositions & so forth:

[MP3] COPLAND, AARON (1900-1990)/"Fanfare for the Common Man" [3:04]
[MP3] COPLAND/"Hoe-Down" ["Beef, it's what's for dinner!"] [3:17]
[MP3] COPLAND/"Saturday Night Waltz" [4:22]

[MP3] BARBER, SAMUEL (1910-1981)/"Agnus Dei" aka "Adagio for Strings" [Wherefore art thou, Tom Berenger?] [6:14]

BACH, JOHANN SEBASTIAN (1685-1750) wasn't American and probably would have been fashioning intricate hymns to Hitler if he'd lived during the Third Reich, but he sure as hell knew his way around a hummable, uplifting tune....

[MP3] BACH/"Sleepers, Awake!" [4:03]

The same can be said for MENDELSSOHN, FELIX aka "Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" (1809-1847). The "same" as in "knew his way around a hummable, uplifting tune," not the same as in "fashioning hymns to Hitler," seeing as Mendelssohn was Jewish and all.) Fact is, I've been meaning to post the following overture for ages aka "eons" now. There's a secondary theme in there that more or less mirrors a fairly famous melody from a fairly famous favorite band of mine. Be the first to identify the band (and song), and I'll send you a right purty prize (providing you provide an e-mail address).

[MP3] MENDELSSOHN/"Hebrides Overture" aka "Fingal's Cave" [9:52]

WINSTON, GEORGE (1949- ) isn't a classical musician. "New age," more like. He is, however, American. And I have a soft spot for the subsequent little song-suite, which seems oh-so-apropos for the season....

[MP3] WINSTON/"Thanksgiving" [4:04]
[MP3] WINSTON/"Variations on the Kanon" [PACHELBEL, JOHANN (1653-1706)] [5:21]
[MP3] WINSTON/"Carol of the Bells" [3:56]

There. Now didn't that make you feel all tingly and "cultured"? This is MICHAEL aka "MOLOTOV" aka "FURLEY" aka "MAALOX" aka "JOE GILLIS" (1970- ), signing off from a PLAGUE of ANGELS (2005- ).

Until tomorrow....

Labels:

Wednesday, November 21

PALE YOUNG GENTLEMEN

Madison, Wisconsin's PALE YOUNG GENTLEMEN bring a little of the"gypsy" thing to their indie mix. Piano and cello, as well. And, honestly, that's about all I have on them.

[
MP3] "Clap Your Hands"

[
MP3] "Fraulein"

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THE KILLERS

Many of you are no doubt already aware that THE KILLERS have released a b-sides collection called SAWDUST. Some of you no doubt couldn't give a flying fig, fart, or f*ck about this. Fair enough. I'm well aware that these guys inspire much venom and vitriol in the indie kingdom. But, if it's true they're only poseurs or pretenders-to-the-throne or glitter-and-stardust flashes-in-the-pan, that only seems apt. They are based in Vegas, after all. To thine own self be true. F*ck 'em if they can't take a joke.

("Change Your Mind" -- one of the band's better efforts, IMO -- appears on SAWDUST, as well as on the U.S. version of HOT FUSS. It appears here for those non-U.S. consumers who could give a fig, fart, or f*ck.)

THE KILLERS on MySPACE.

[
MP3] "All the Pretty Faces"

[
MP3] "The Ballad of Michael Valentine"

BONUS TRACK >>>

[
MP3] "Change Your Mind"

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Tuesday, November 20

JAMES HUNTER

I can't stand Jay Leno. His show makes my skin crawl. But, in switching to NBC one night to catch the beginning of Conan O'Brien, I caught the tail end of a musical performance by Londoner JAMES HUNTER and his band. To say that they had the joint jumpin' would be an understatement.

That was many, many months ago, but I'm finally getting around to posting a couple tracks from his last album -- 2006's PEOPLE GONNA TALK. Neither song captures the infectious energy and sense of just plain fun that permeated the live TV performance, but they're nice enough little ditties and deserve to be heard.

(Today's bonus tracks have nothing whatsoever to do with the Hunter selections. Other than, maybe, a sense of infectious energy and just plain fun.)

JAMES HUNTER on MySPACE.

JAMES HUNTER makin' joints jump >>>

Nov 29 2007 12:00P/RiverFeast/Sheraton Colonial Ballroom/Wakefield, Massachusetts
Dec 1 2007 12:00P/The Turning Point/Piermont, New York


[
MP3] "Mollena"

[
MP3] "Talking 'Bout My Love"

BONUS TRACKS >>>

[
MP3] ROSEMARY CLOONEY/"Mambo Italiano"

[
MP3] CLAUDIO VILLA/"Tic Ti, Tic Ta"

[
MP3] LOS FABULOSOS CADILLACS/"El Matador"

[
MP3] LOS LOBOS/"Good Morning Aztlan"

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Monday, November 19

MOBIUS BAND

A four-course, electronic-pop-rock sampler, courtesy of East Coast trio MOBIUS BAND....

MOBIUS BAND on MySPACE.

MOBIUS BAND on the run >>>

Nov 29 2007 8:00P/The Bowery Ballroom/New York, New York
Nov 30 2007 8:00P/Iron Horse/Northampton, Massachusetts
Dec 2 2007 8:00P/Middle East Downstairs/Cambridge, Massachusetts
Dec 4 2007 8:00P/The Drunken Unicorn/Atlanta, Georgia
Dec 6 2007 8:00P/Backbooth/Orlando, Florida
Dec 7 2007 8:00P/The Crow Bar/Tampa, Florida
Dec 8 2007 8:00P/Respectable Street/West Palm Beach, Florida
Dec 9 2007 8:00P/Jackrabbits/Jacksonville, Florida


From the LP HEAVEN, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "Hallie"
[
MP3] "Tie a Tie"

From the LP THE LOVING SOUNDS OF STATIC, 2005 >>>
[
MP3] [VID] "The Loving Sounds of Static"

From the EP CITY VS. COUNTRY, 2005 >>>
[
MP3] "Starts Off With a Bang"

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MINIPOP

A couple dollops of dream-pop, courtesy of the female-fronted, San Fran band MINIPOP....

MINIPOP on MySPACE.

From the LP A NEW HOPE, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] [VID] "Like I Do"
[
MP3] "Untitled"

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Sunday, November 18

JIM CROCE

A voice and sound from my very early youth -- 1972-1975 (or thereabouts). JIM CROCE was a working-class singer-songwriter whose compositions benefited from a dichotomy of earthy acoustic guitar and lush backing strings.

Croce's legacy -- like James Dean's -- would be deeply impacted by the nature and timing of his death. While Dean was killed in a car crash at age 24 less than a month before the release of his second film, "Rebel Without a Cause," Croce perished in a plane crash on January 20, 1973 -- less than a month before the release of his album, I GOT A NAME. He was 30 years old.

(The tracks "I Got a Name" and "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" appear on the aforementioned posthumous album.)

[
MP3] "I Got a Name"

[
MP3] "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)"

[
MP3] "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song"

[
MP3] "Time in a Bottle"

[
MP3] "These Dreams"

[
MP3] "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown"

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Friday, November 16

ONETWO

[For no particular purpose, this post is dedicated to all the boring mill operators and certifiable teachers out there. And to Greta.]

ONETWO are a German/English hybrid. Sort of like if you took a Mercedes and mated it with a Mini Cooper (which, come to think of it, would probably result in a Saab).

The German half is singer CLAUDIA BRUCKEN (formerly of PROPAGANDA); the English half is PAUL HUMPHREYS (formerly of ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK). They come together to create smooth, retro-'90s-styled electro-pop. (As such, Brucken's vocals may remind you of EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL's TRACEY THORN and/or SHIRLEY BASSEY in "History Repeating" mode.)

[P.S. The bonus track is the only other song I could find in my archives featuring Ms. Brucken. ANDY BELL, of course, comprises one-half of the synth-pop duo ERASURE. The song, however, is from his 2005 solo album, ELECTRIC BLUE.]

[P.S.S. So often, it's the little things in life that cause me to snicker, giggle, or guffaw. The ones that sort of sneak in sideways, present themselves sans fanfare, and have the great good sense not to overstay their welcome. For instance: a recent want ad in a local paper expressing a need for a "boring mill operator." Or another looking to enlist the services of experienced teachers who "must be certifiable." And then there's this honey of a subject-line from an e-mail I received just this morning: "Tremendous phallus for Greta." There's something about the... um... "diction" here that sets it apart from the typical spam-porn... er... "header." "Tremendous phallus" is so elevated, so neo-Greek-classical. By comparison, "big dick" or "monster cock" -- while descriptive and praiseworthy for the assuredness of their assonance -- seem trite, even brutish. And who, exactly, is this mysterious "Greta"? Garbo? Scacchi? Van Susteren? The mind positively boggles at the possibilities....]

ONETWO on MySPACE.

ONETWO getting their groove on >>>

Nov 25 2007 7:00P/Alban Arena/St. Albans
Nov 26 2007 7:00P/Bristol Academy/Bristol
Nov 27 2007 7:00P/Royal Concert Hall/Nottingham
Nov 29 2007 7:00P/Engine Shed/Lincoln
Nov 30 2007 7:00P/Apollo/Manchester
Dec 1 2007 7:00P/Grand Cru Club/Szczecin
Dec 3 2007 7:00P/Hard Rock Café/Warszawa
Dec 4 2007 7:00P/Civic Hall/Wolverhampton


[
MP3] "Sequential"

[
MP3] "Have a Cigar" [PINK FLOYD cover]

BONUS TRACK >>>

[MP3] ANDY BELL & CLAUDIA BRUCKEN/"Delicious"

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DURAN DURAN

DURAN DURAN began in 1978, three years before JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE was born. Their "regular" five-member line-up (SIMON LE BON, NICK RHODES, ANDY TAYLOR, JOHN TAYLOR, and ROGER TAYLOR) came together in May of 1980 (the same month that Mr. and Mrs. Timberlake came together and made the sexy-back-with-two-beasts). Since their early-to-mid-'80s heyday, things in the Duran Duran camp have been consistently up-and-down/off-and-on. Yet -- periodic band-member defections not withstanding -- they seem steadfast in refusing to give up the ghost for good. Call it plucky perseverance (what wherewithal! what sticktoitiveness! rock on, you loveable duffers!) or stubborn self-delusion (get off the stage, you graceless geezers!).

Whatever you call it, four of the five guys have managed to drag themselves from their gilded crypts, trowel on half-a-gallon of concealer and eyeliner, set their reconditioned Arriflex lenses to "soft focus," and release their latest LP, RED CARPET MASSACRE. Young bucks JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE [see above] and TIMBALAND show up to dispense some Meals on Wheels-styled musical mercy. Call it "respecting your elders" ("Your walker, Mr. Le Bon") or just having a laugh at your addled grandpa (It's true, Mr. Taylor, POWER STATION really has been elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame").

Whatever you call it, it is what it is. And it goes on and on.

DURAN DURAN on MySPACE.

DURAN DURAN, encore! encore! >>>

Nov 24 2007 8:00P/Minella Arena/Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires
Dec 5 2007 8:00P/The Phoenix Park/Dublin
Dec 9 2007 8:00P/San Diego Sports Arena (Star 94.1 Jingle Ball)/San Diego, California
Dec 12 2007 8:00P/Nokia Theater/Grand Prairie, Texas
Dec 14 2007 8:00P/Chicago Theatre/Chicago, Illinois


[MP3] "The Valley"

[
MP3] "Zoom In"

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Thursday, November 15

SAMBASSADEUR

Swedish pop via Swedish popsters SAMBASSADEUR.... They had the good taste to name themselves after a SERGE GAINSBOURG song. They are "Internet-friendly" aka "Internet-savvy" aka "they know which side their bread is buttered on while not looking a gift-horse in the mouth." They speak twee with a shoegaze chaser. (I mix metaphors with wild, abandon-all-hope-ye-who-enter indiscretion.) Sometimes, their singer is a girl named ANNA. Sometimes, their singer is a boy named DANIEL P., DANIEL T., or JOACHIM. Sometimes, Anna and whichever boy it is that sings sing simultaneously. Simultaneously, they sing the pretty songs they sing prettily. (Okay, enough of this hop-on-Swedish-pop nonsense. I just woke up, but I am already in need of a nap....)

SAMBASSADEUR on MySPACE.

SAMBASSADEUR live >>>

Nov 29 2007 10:00P/John Doe @ Herrgår’n/Linköping
Nov 30 2007 10:00P/Bigmouth @ K6/Karlstad
Dec 1 2007 10:00P/Debaser Medis/Stockholm
Dec 14 2007 10:00P/Bättre än igår @ Trädgårn/Borås
Dec 15 2007 10:00P/Velvet @ V-dala Nation/Uppsala


From the LP MIGRATION, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "That Town"
[
MP3] "Migration"

From the EP COASTAL AFFAIRS, 2006 >>>
[
MP3] "Kate"
[
MP3] "Claudine" [THE BATS cover]

From their self-titled LP, 2005 >>>
[
MP3] "New Moon"
[
MP3] "Ice & Snow"

BONUS TRACK >>>

[
MP3] "La Chanson de Prevert" [SERGE GAINSBOURG cover]

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Wednesday, November 14

JENS LEKMAN

"I love you... like a friend."

Oh, what a cruel, soul-crushing kiss-off. In my life, I've always been more karmically-inclined to be on the receiving end of that line. But not today. My apologies,
JENS LEKMAN, but a hearty handshake is about all I have to offer. Beyond that... you no touchy-touchy me; I no touchy-touchy you.

Which is a shame, really. Because I DO have something of a crush on Mr. Lekman. Those rich, Aqua-Velva vocals. That lonely-hearted, hip-cat stance. Indie-pop that smells of cigarettes & lounge-leather; tastes of morning-after scotch & cigarettes; sounds like SCOTT WALKER (circa the late-'60s) & STEPHIN MERRRITT (circa 69 LOVE SONGS) & the scratch and hiss of cigarette matches struck in dark, humid rooms by lonelyhearts too hip to do anything but cast a cool shadow.


Ah, the bittersweet ennui... I am powerless to resist it. And I am at a loss to explain my rather detached attachment to Jens Lekman. Methinks it is the songwriting. Mesuspects there is not enough there there. An empty box, attractively wrapped. Nothing more, nothing less. No great shame, but no great shakes. My like but not my love. My hand but not my heart.

From the LP NIGHT FALLS OVER KORTEDALA, 2007 >>>
[MP3] "Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo"

From the LP OH YOU'RE SO SILENT JENS, 2005 >>>
[
MP3] "Black Cab"
[
MP3] "Rocky Dennis' Farewell Song to the Blind Girl"

From the LP WHEN I SAID I WANTED TO BE YOUR DOG, 2004 >>>
[
MP3] "You Are the Light"

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SCOUTING FOR GIRLS

London's SCOUTING FOR GIRLS might as well be called The Peter Pan Band -- they don't wanna grow up. Well, who the hell does?

What does this music sound like? Ah hell, I don't know... I seem to be drawing a blank tonight. ASH by way of GOO GOO DOLLS? Best I can do in this weary state....

SCOUTING FOR GIRLS on MySPACE.

SCOUTING FOR GIRLS scouting for girls (& boys) 14+ >>>

Nov 15 2007 8:00P/Leicester Uni/16+/Leicester
Nov 16 2007 8:00P/Cardiff - The Point/14+/Cardiff
Nov 30 2007 8:00P/Warwick Uni/14+/Coventry
Dec 1 2007 8:00P/Keele Uni/14+/Keele, Staffordshire
Dec 17 2007 5:00P/Rapture Records/Witney, Oxfordshire


[
MP3] "Keep on Walking"

[
MP3] "I Need a Holiday"

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Tuesday, November 13

HEFNER (1996-2002)

A partial post-mortem of the "dead" British band HEFNER. Urban-folk. Indie-pop. Lo-fi. Likeable. Smart. Funny, in a "dark" sort of way. However you parse it: Worth remembering and celebrating.

HEFNER on MySPACE.

From the LP MAIDA VALE, 2006 >>>
[
MP3] "The Day That Thatcher Dies" [live]
[
MP3] "The Sad Witch" [live]

From the LP DEAD MEDIA, 2001 >>>
[
MP3] "When the Angels Play Their Drum Machines"

From the LP WE LOVE THE CITY, 2000 >>>
[
MP3] "Hold Me Closer"
[
MP3] "The Greedy Ugly People"

From the LP THE FIDELITY WARS, 1999 >>>
[
MP3] "The Hymn for the Cigarettes"

BONUS TRACKS >>>

[
MP3] [VID] "Christian Girls"

[
MP3] "The Cure for Evil" [live]

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Monday, November 12

CATHY DAVEY

Dublin lass CATHY DAVEY would no doubt be tickled pink & pleased as punch if you were to check out her second record, TALES OF SILVERSLEEVE. It's available @ iTUNES, as well as [HERE].

Ms. Davey's voice has a breathy, little-girl quality to it that evokes SIXPENCE NONE THE RICHER's LEIGH NASH (and, therefore, by extension, THE SUNDAYS' HARRIET WHEELER). That fact alone ought to draw her some attention. But it also helps that "Can't Help It" rides an EMINEM/"Lose Yourself" bassline to a lush, gorgeous chorus and that "Sing for Your Supper" builds effortlessly from a trot to a gallop. Erin go Bragh!

CATHY DAVEY on MySPACE.

CATHY DAVEY on the Emerald Isle >>>

Nov 14 2007 8:00P/National Concert Hall/Dublin
Dec 10 2007 8:00P/Cyprus Avenue/Cork
Dec 11 2007 8:00P/Dolans/Limerick
Dec 12 2007 8:00P/The Button Factory/Dublin
Dec 13 2007 8:00P/Roisin Dubh/Galway


[
MP3] "Sing for Your Supper"

[
MP3] "Can't Help It"

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FRISKA VILJOR

FRISKA VILJOR are two merry music-makers from the enchanted land of Stockholm-in-Sweden. According to a free-and-convenient online translation service I spent many seconds seeking, their name means "Fresh Wills" in English. This was a disappointment to me. I wanted their name to mean "Frisky Villains." Is that asking so much? (Regardless, "Fresh Wills" is preferable to the translation provided by a rival free-and-convenient service -- "Freshen Want" -- which I believe was actually the title of a popular, Nazi-era breath-mint jingle composed by GUSTAV MAHLER.) (I could be wrong about this, but I don't think so.)

The men of Friska Viljor have pledged to never compose sober. (A noble notion, but somebody needs to tell them that PETE DOHERTY and AMY WINEHOUSE have already blazed that trail, thank you very much.)

Non-Swedes can order Friska Viljor's debut LP, BRAVO!, by clicking [HERE].

FRISKA VILJOR on MySPACE.

FRISKA VILJOR on the road >>>

Nov 12 2007 7:00P/London - Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen/London
Nov 21 2007 9:00P/Amsterdam - Studio Desmet/Amsterdam
Nov 22 2007 9:00P/Groeningen - Vera/Groeningen
Nov 23 2007 9:00P/Utrecht - Ekko/Utrecht
Nov 24 2007 9:00P/Nijmegen - Merleyn/Nijmegen


[
MP3] "Four Points"

[
MP3] "Gold"

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Sunday, November 11

THE 5TH DIMENSION


THE 5TH DIMENSION seems a fairly ideal outfit to help us transition these Sunday mixes from the '60s to the '70s. For one thing, their hit-making years spanned from 1967 to 1972. For another, their 1969 medley of "Aquarius" and "Let the Sunshine In" from the musical "Hair" still serves as a touchstone of the flower-power era. That their subsequent singles went a more adult-contemporary route mirrored what was going on in American popular music in the early '70s. Backlash against those big, bad, scary '60s, I guess.


[MP3] "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"


[MP3] "(Last Night) I Didn't Get to Sleep at All"


[MP3] "Wedding Bell Blues"


[MP3] "If I Could Reach You"


[MP3] "One Less Bell to Answer"


[MP3] "Worst That Could Happen"


[MP3] "Up, Up and Away"

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Friday, November 9

THE '80s, V. 4

Left-click [HERE] to download the fourth and final (for now) '80s mix.

Portal to previous '80s compilations [
HERE].

THE '80s, V. 4 TRACKLIST >>>

01) THE CULT/She Sells Sanctuary
02) A-HA/Take on Me
03) THE SMITHS/Panic
04) EURYTHMICS/Here Comes the Rain Again
05) PET SHOP BOYS/It's a Sin
06) THE VIOLENT FEMMES/Blister in the Sun
07) THE B-52's/Rock Lobster
08) DURAN DURAN/All She Wants Is
09) BIG COUNTRY/In a Big Country
10) ERASURE/A Little Respect
11) TEARS FOR FEARS/Head Over Heels
12) MEN AT WORK/Down Under
13) THE CARS/Tonight She Comes
14) R.E.M./It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
15) THE MOTELS/Suddenly Last Summer
16) U2/New Year's Day
17) THE GO GO's/Vacation
18) THE POLICE/King of Pain
19) PHIL COLLINS/In the Air Tonight

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