torsdag 30. juni 2011

Jessie J feat. B.o.B. - Price Tag

I have to post this again! Jessie J's "Price Tag" was released in January and is still the best single of 2011. Let's see if it lasts the year through...

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Suzanne Vega - In Liverpool

Suzanne Vega, always accused of being a kind of "modern" Joni Mitchell, markedly changed direction on her fourth album, the electronically infused 99.9° released in 1992. The single "In Liverpool" is one of her finest compositions, and the album was the first of two produced by Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney) whom she later married.

I especially like these lines from the lyric:
"And the boy in the belfry
He's crazy, he's throwing himself
Down from the top of the tower
Like a hunchback in heaven
He's ringing the bells in the church
For the last half an hour"
Watch and listen

Stan Ridgway - Camouflage

Former Wall Of Voodoo frontman Stan Ridgway almost became a star in Norway when he released his debut solo album The Big Heat in 1986, and the single "Camouflage" were a hit in several territories. "I was a PFC on a search patrol, hunting Charlie down, it was in the jungle wars of 65..." So begins this ghost story about a big marine saving the hide of the narrator. Ridgway's short stories turned rock songs have rarely been more captivating. Semper fi!

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Miley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A.

"Party In The U.S.A." was produced by hit-maker Dr. Luke and written by Luke along with professional singer/songwriters Claude Kelly and Jessie J, so it's no wonder Miley Cyrus sounds good. The song wasn't even written for her in the first place, but it suits her perfectly. All of a sudden Hannah Montana grew up, and that's pretty cool. Nothing as good as this has come her way since the release in August 2009, but we can hope. Until something good does come her way, "Party In The U.S.A." will keep us going just fine.

Watch and listen

A teenage female with long, curly brunette hair and a gray T-shirt faces the font as she touches her head with her right hand and waist with her left. Letters on the girl's chest spell "Miley Cyrus" in cursive while "Party in the U.S.A." is spelled in print in the bottom, right corner. The image's background is of a lavender shade.

HIT ALERT! Rebecca & Fiona - If She Was Away

Rebecca & Fiona is a Swedish DJ duo and have as far as I can tell released a couple of singles and have been a warm-up act for Robyn. This new one, called "If She Was Away", has just been released. It's incredibly catchy, is sung with a coy, not terribly good English accent, has a great electro beat and just feels right in every way. This should be a massive hit.

Watch and listen

New Tom Russell song here

The release date for Tom Russell's new Mesabi album is still a few months away - September 6th - but today he put out the title track for free download here. Either the link is broken somehow or I'm just a moron, but I'm not able to download it. However, I was able to stream it, and it's sounds absolutely great. Classic Russell!

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Refugee

Classic single from the equally classic 1979 album Damn The Torpedoes. "Refugee" is one of the finest moments of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' 35 year long recording career.

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Spandau Ballet - True

What we deal with on this blog is of course mostly time warps, so let's head back to 1983, when Spandau Ballet ruled the charts with the ingratiating ballad "True". It was the title track from their third album that represented a huge change in direction for the group. Their first album was a pretty good synth pop or new romantics album, their second is harder to describe, and their third is a bid for world domination. Singer Tony Hadley did his best to appear as an heir to Bryan Ferry, of course ending up as a poor man's version, but let's give him some credit for trying. Also, as this song shows, Spandau Ballet knew what they were doung now and again. "True" is an excellent song.

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Lyle Lovett - My Baby Don't Tolerate

Lyle Lovett is a versatile artist, doing folk or country, big band music, barroom jazz or blues at any given time. He's pretty hard to pinpoint as a performer, apart from the undisputable fact that he's always good. "My Baby Don't Tolerate" is the title track from his 2003 album, a stone hard blues, about women's lack of understanding for their men doing what they please and coming and going whenever it suits them. Uuuhhh... us.

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Sweet - Love Is Like Oxygen

Happy birthday to Andy Scott, lead guitarist and singer of British glamrockers Sweet that were huge in the seventies. Andy is 62 years old today. "Love Is Like Oxygen" was Sweet's last Top 10 hit, and although it's quite different from their typical hits like "Ballroom Blitz", "Hell Raiser" or "Action", it's really very good. I've always been very fond of this song.

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Coldplay - Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

Here's the colourful video to Coldplay's new joyous single, "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall". If anything, this song is a return to the well-trodden stadium format the band employed on their first three albums, and it's pretty good too - if not exactly ground-breaking.

Watch and listen

onsdag 29. juni 2011

More details about the new Wilco album

You can read about the new Wilco album The Whole Love to be released on September 27th, by going to where you can see the track list and also listen to first single "I Might".  Something to look forward to indeed.

Bruce Springsteen's eulogy for Clarence Clemons

Today, Bruce Springsteen posted a moving and well-written eulogy for his friend and sax player Clarence Clemons who passed away on June 18th. Read it in full here.

Arctic Monkeys - The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

Here's the second single from Arctic Monkeys' excellent new album Suck It And See. The clip is from the UK TV show Later with Jools Holland, and aptly demonstrates the band's pop sensibility.

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Warren Zevon - Desperados Under The Eaves

"Desperados Under The Eaves" is a song from the late great Warren Zevon's self-titled debut album (1976), and is about his growing alcoholism. He's said this is one of his most personal songs, and it's certainly one of his many really pretty songs, disguising a harsher truth or reality. What a genius songwriter this man was!


UK Subs - Party In Paris

British punk band UK Subs started life in 1976 and still exist, as opposed to most other punk bands that popped up in the mid to late seventies. "Party In Paris" is a 1980 single featuring singer Charlie Harper's trademark punk rock snarl. Great song, shame about the quality of this video, but I figure it's better than nothing.

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Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Freddie Mercury and Queen go all rockabilly on the 1979 track "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", the first single to be released from their 1980 album The Game. It was also the band's first US number one.

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New edition of Mojo to hit shops soon

You're never shocked whenever Mojo puts Paul McCartney or another Beatle on the cover. They have done it again for their new issue, in UK shops now, in other countries in a week or two. The free CD is called The Roots Of Paul McCartney, featuring tracks by Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry and more, and we can also read about Wild Beasts, David Bowie, Steve Miller, Toots & The Maytals and other great artists. Check out the contents of Mojo 213 here.


Peggy Lee - Fever

Is this the sexiest record ever released? Peggy Lee's 1958 version of the Little Willie John song "Fever" (written by Eddie Cooley and John Davenport) is a damp, moist, incredibly sexy recording, with its restrained and understated arrangement. Peggy Lee's voice is smooth and sultry, and we're never in doubt about the song's erotic content. Elvis Presley did an almost identical version which is great too, but I prefer this one.


The Korgis - Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime

British pop group The Korgis struck gold with their 1980 hit single "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime", an atmospheric ballad with an almost eeriely beautiful quality. It was famously covered by Beck for the Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind soundtrack, and has also been done wonderfully by The Dream Academy. Yazz and the Swedish techno group Army Of Lovers are among the many others that have done it. Yikes! The original still shines!

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Pixies - River Euphrates

Maybe my favourite Pixies song, "River Euphrates" was originally from the band's first full length Surfer Rosa (1988). It's just a great rock song really, frenetic, intense and hard-hittiing, while at the same time it's got a wonderful melody, a steady beat, and some amazing guitar playing.


Squeeze - The Truth

There are a few bands that have existed happily in the folds of the great Beatles tradition throughout the years, meaning that they dabble in a highly melodic and guitar based kind of pop music having learned more than a couple of tricks from the Lennon/McCartney songbook. One of the best examples is London band Squeeze fronted by the two singers and songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford. It's a band with an ever-changing line-up, and they have been on several breaks the last years, when Difford and Tilbrook have pursued their  solo careers with mostly limited success. These days Squeeze is more of a greatest hits package playing sold-out shows, and haven't released an album of new material since 1998's Domino. Anyway, here's one of my all-time favourite Squeeze songs, "The Truth", culled from the wonderful album Play (1991). It didn't sell very good, but it's actually one of their best albums. Pop music doesn't get much better!


The Go-Betweens - Bachelor Kisses

And happy 54th birthday to Robert Forster, formerly of The Go-Betweens, until his partner in crime Grant McLennan died in 2006. The Go-Betweens moved from their native Australia to the UK in 1979 and established themselves as a major indie label band (now there's a contradiction in terms) meaning they were very successful and truly respected on a small level, mostly recording for independent labels. They disbanded in 1989 and Forster and McLennan pursued their solo careers, then they found back together in 2000 and recorded three excellent albums before McLennan died. The album Spring Hill Fair (1984) was their sole album released on a major label - Sire - and the single "Bachelor Kisses" is one of their most intoxicating. A simple, yet really beautiful pop song, it's timeless to my ears. A song that is diffucult not to fall in love with.

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Men At Work - Down Under

Happy birthday to Colin Hay, lead singer of Australian band Men At Work, best known for this single, the worldwide smash hit "Down Under". Hay is 58 years old today, and established a solo career with moderate success and some critical acclaim following the break-up of the band in 1985. "Down Under" was recorded in 1981, and got a worldwide release the following year, then topped the charts simultaneously in the UK and the US in early 1983. The song may sound a bit silly, and it's become something of a patriotic anthem in Australia, but I like it still as I did when it was number one. It's simply good pop music.

Watch and listen

tirsdag 28. juni 2011

Here's the new Q - #301

Another edition of Q magazine is in the UK shops and will be available elsewhere soonish. In Q301 you can read stories about Jessie J, Muse, Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and more. Check out the cover and some of the contents here.


Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes - Hearts Of Stone

Southside Johnny's close friend Bruce Springsteen wrote this song, the title track from the band's third album (1978). The story of two lovers who can't be together, it should have been a big hit, but sadly wasn't. Wonderful ballad, so please enjoy it!


Tracey Thorn - Grand Canyon

Tracey Thorn's voice is one of such exquisite beauty that it makes grown men cry. There is a kind of yearning in her voice that's given an extra sheen to the music of Everything But The Girl where she plays with hubbie Ben Watt, her solo records, and the sundry guest appearances she's making now and again. "Grand Canyon" is a track from her 2007 solo album Out Of The Woods, and it's... well, just lovely!


In Tua Nua - Don't Fear Me Now

Largely forgotten song by largely forgotten Irish group In Tua Nua, fronted by one of the prettiest faces in pop music, the lovely Leslie Dowdall. "Don't Fear Me Now" was a single off their second album The Long Acre (1988). To be accurate, it's really their third album, but their first - When Night Came Down - was not released before 2007 when it became avaliable in iTunes. "Don't Fear Me Now" is a straightforward and very catchy pop song with a hint of country music thrown in for good measure.

Watch and listen

Dwight Yoakam - Buenas Noches From A Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses)

When a song is as good as "Buenas Noches From A Lonely Room" it's stupid to say that the best aspect of the song is the title. Still, this is close. Yoakam's wonderful ballad is the title track from his third album released in 1988, and is in every respect a mesmerizing recording, not least thanks to Flaco Jiménez' trademark tex-mex accordion.

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The Spin Doctors' debut album gets deluxe treatment

Has it really been 20 years since American band The Spin Doctors almost bothered us to death with their debut album Pocket Full Of Kryptonite? Well, to be fair, both "Two Princes" and "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" are both pretty catchy, so it's no wonder they became huge hits, but the band in itself and most of their output were as dull as drying paint. Still, I'm sure a few people will want the 20th anniversary deluxe edition of the album that will be released on August 30th. Read more about the two disc set here.