fredag 31. mai 2013

Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby

Lifting the bassline from Queen and David Bowie's 1981 hit "Under Pressure", white rapper Vanilla Ice enjoyed a huge hit in 1990 with "Ice Ice Baby". 23 years on it sounds surprisingly potent, especially when bearing in mind that Vanilla Ice was pretty much ridiculed at the time of release, monster hit or not. In retrospect "Ice Ice Baby" simply sounds very cool.

Watch and listen


LidoLido - Different

LidoLido (born Peder Losnegård) is a young Norwegian singer/songwriter, a kind of wonderboy who is about to release his second album. "Different" however, was released in 2011, and was the song that made him famous. It's a sensational pop song, still as immediate and catchy two years after its release, a modern classic.

Watch and listen

torsdag 30. mai 2013

Reboot - Beautiful Parasite

Last weekend I attended the opening night at Ibiza's Hotel Ushuaïa where famous DJs like Luciano and Sven Väth were holding court. Another guy that was playing is the German DJ Frank Heinrich otherwise known as Reboot. His set was awesome, and he created quite a vibe. You have to understand that this is totally uncharted territories for yours truly, so I probably don't know what I'm talking about here. Still, I loved every second of it. "Beautiful Parasite" is a 2012 track, that he may or may not have played during his set. It sounds familiar, but that doesn't really mean that much as it all sounds pretty similar to me. This should nevertheless be good for some grooving and bumping and grinding for about 15 minutes. Hypnotic and, I think, quite interesting.



Danny Wilson - The Second Summer Of Love

Scottish band Danny Wilson (named after the 1952 Frank Sinatra movie Meet Danny Wilson that was also the title of the band's debut album) are pretty much famous for one song, the 1987 single "Mary's Prayer", that eventually made it to number three on the UK singles chart, and even made the soundtrack to There's Something About Mary many years later. The trio released only two albums, and the second one, Bebop Moptop (1989), featured some excellent songs, most notable among them the gorgeous summer tune "The Second Summer Of Love".

Watch and listen

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton - Can't Hold Us

One of the most unapologetic hit singles so far in 2013, Macklemore & Lewis' "Can't Hold Us" is pure hedonistic bliss. It's a song that urges you to get up off of your lazy butt and go out and dance, embrace life, etcetera, and once in a while that rings very true. Everything about "Can't Hold Us" is good, including the video. A well-deserved monster hit.

Watch and listen

onsdag 29. mai 2013

Cutting Crew - (I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight

Cutting Crew was never an especially trendy outfit, and although their monster hit "(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight" was sneered at in certain quarters when it was released in 1986, it's stood the test of time a lot better than bad attitudes. It has found its rightful place as a true pop classic, perfect composition that it is, with an irresistable arrangement that includes a killer guitar solo. I love this song dearly. Cutting Crew was actually among the first bands I interviewed as a music journalist, and although I don't remember a lot from it, I seem to recall the band was rather pleasant. Of course, having written a song like "(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight" they could afford to be nice. And very proud.

Watch and listen


Elvis Costello and The Roots collaboration gets release date in September

Finally some news about the Elvis Costello and The Roots project that the former's ?uestlove announced in January. The album will be released on September 17th and answers to the title Wake Up Ghost. The legendary jazz label Blue Note is the record company, and if you follow the link below you can read more about the album. Something to look forward to, I say.

Read full story


Giorgio Moroder's first ever DJ set

Giovanni Giorgio Moroder, or Hansjörg Moroder as his parents called him when he was born in the Italian part of Tyrol 73 years ago, made his name as a record producer in the 1970's and '80's. He is famous for producing the most important of Donna Summer's records, making her a superstar in the process. "Love To Love You Baby", "I Feel Love", "Bad Girls" and scores of other hits are Moroder's responsibility. In the 80's he made it big writing and producing hit songs for movie soundtracks, such as David Bowie's "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)", Blondie's "Call Me", Limahl's "Neverending Story", Irene Cara's "Flashdance" and many more. And now, with the release of the groundbreaking new Daft Punk album Random Access Memories, he's entered the limelight again, talking about his background on the fascinating track "Giorgio By Moroder". Last week he played his first ever DJ set, in New York City. By clicking on the link below you can listen to the entire 75 minute set, that comprises several of his classics, a newer song called "Racer", and much more. He was aided by a younger DJ called Chris Cox, and the whole thing is wonderful listening.



mandag 27. mai 2013

Music To Make You Smile part 2

Last year, about this time, I made a playlist featuring 50 songs called Music To Make You Smile for Norwegian streaming company WiMP, to prepare for the summer that took some time in coming. Well, here we go again. I give you 50 additional songs, ranging from great new songs like Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Rudimental's "Waiting All Night" to classics such as Chic's "Good Times" and Nick Lowe's "I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock And Roll)". Great songs every one of them and guaranteed to put anyone in a good mood. If you're not a subscriber to WiMP, you should do something about it, and anyway, click on the link and you'll hear snippets of each song. Enjoy!



onsdag 22. mai 2013

Daft Punk's masterpiece - a review

Daft Punk
Random Access Memories
(Daft Life/Columbia/Sony Music)

Much has already been said and written about French electronica duo Daft Punk's new album, the surprisingly warm and - I think - heartfelt Random Access Memories. Most critics seem to love it, whereas a few doesn't much like the fact that the record is light years away from the groundbreaking electronic music that shot Daft Punk to fame in the first place. The electronic elements are few - drum machines, a modular synthesizer, vintage vocoders - and the rest of the records' sounds are performed on actual instruments; guitars, bass, drums, etc.

Random Access Memories is far removed from their previous three albums, Homework (1997), Discovery (2001) and the disappointing last album, Human After All (2005). Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo are the men behind the masks, and they show more than mere glimpses of warmth and humanity on this album, they go a long way in distancing themselves from their own past, as well as utilizing their former strengths into building a finely detailed and formed construction of pure musical bliss. This is so much more than what we could have expected.

Random Access Memories is an album that takes you for a cosmic ride into a world of retro sci-fi (?) anthems, 70's disco and soft-rock with a West Coast vibe, cheesy 80's soundtrack music and much more. Bangalter and Homem-Christo may have left their electronic pioneering days behind, but that doesn't stop them from exploring what is for them unknown musical territories (unknown in the sense they have not performed anything like this before) and succeeding to an impressive degree.

I will gladly suggest Random Access Memories as a remedy for depression. From the opening stanzas of album opener "Give Life Back To Music" in a sort of Saturday Night Fever meets Star Wars theme fashion, it's immediately clear that you will smile a lot during the album's running time. And so you do. Constantly. For 75 minutes running. But inbetween you're also filled with wonder, nostalgia, excitement, incredulity and sheer joy. The pleasure of listening to this album is unlike any I have heard in a long time. It's a record that makes me truly, unconditionally happy.

Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers is a key player on the album. Although he only plays his trademark funk guitar on three of the 13 songs, it's as if his spirit is all over the place. His instantly familiar signature sound on "Give Life Back To Music", "Lose Yourself To Dance" and first single "Get Lucky" keeps popping up in your mind throughout, even when it's not there. When Rodgers is not playing the guitar, Bangalter and Homem-Christo instead leaves the job to Paul Jackson, Jr. whose greatest claim to fame is playing on classic hit albums by Michael Jackson such as Thriller and Bad. Drummer Omar Hakim, known from his work with Sting and Dire Straits among others, is another such force. His playing is eloquent but at the same time subtle, and needless to say, he never misses a beat. The same goes for another American studio legend, drummer John "J.R." Robinson, famous from Michael Jackson's Off The Wall album amongst many others.

Random Access Memories sounds like a musical quest for Daft Punk. Although the hype surrounding its release has been of the smothering kind, there is real substance behind the hype. This is an album that seems born of the same emotions that hit me when I listen to it. I'm sure the wonder, nostalgia, excitement, incredulity and joy I feel are similar to what Bangalter and Homem-Christo must have felt during the recording, and it seems these emotions are the driving forces behind the album.

"Giorgio By Moroder" is just the thing I'm talking about. It's one of the cornerstones, nine minutes long, featuring the Giorgio Moroder, disco king of the 70's and 80's, who's especially well-known for his extensive soundtrack work and seminal records with Donna Summer. The track opens with Moroder talking about how he first dreamt of making a living out of music, and then blooms into a synth-, organ- and guitar-heavy epic that at times sounds like French disco band Space (of "Magic Fly" fame), other times as Herbie Hancock's moved into the building and at yet other times as Mike Oldfield playing at his most furious while an intergalatic war is going on next door.

Another truly fascinating piece of music is the closing track "Contact". It opens with a recording of the last human to set foot on the moon, Eugene Cernan, on the final Apollo mission in 1972, Apollo 17, released to Daft Punk exclusively by NASA. Cernan's voice is heard describing a "bright object" from the window in his capsule over layers of synthesizers before the piece breaks out into fanfares and heavy drums. It was co-produced with Stéphane Quême a.k.a. DJ Falcon who previously worked with Bangalter as one part of the duo Together. Also, it has to be said, "Contact" revisits the track "Aerodynamic" from the 2001 album Discovery. It's pretty much the same song, but with a different arrangement.

A note too on the different collaborators Daft Punk have gathered for the album. With singers as diverse as Paul and Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas from The Strokes, Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and house legend Todd Edwards, French "unusual instrument aficionado" Thomas Bloch, pedal steel maestro Greg Leisz and all of the above mentioned, this is in every way an album beyond the ordinary. Sprinkled all over the place is wild imaginations and bright ideas, held in check by two French musicians/producers of the highest order,

The entire album is like this, full of excitement, surprises and small details adding to the confusion/fascination. It's elegant work, studio mastery of the highest sort, and a welcome return to the living for electronic music as such. By looking backward, Bangalter and Homem-Christo has succeeded in jumping a big leap forward, not for their genre, but for themselves. Daft Punk is at the head of their game, and have reached both an artistic and a commercial peak with Random Access Memories. Do not be in doubt, this is a record that will sell in spades, deservedly so. Even though it loses a bit of momentum towards the end, this is Daft Punk's crowning glory, their masterpiece. We, as a public, are lucky and priviliged to listen in. Am I in love with this record? You bet! Gloriously, heavenly so!

Listen to the album in Spotify.

Listen to the album in WiMP.

Bruno Mars - Treasure

It's raining cats and dogs in Oslo today, and so a friend of mine posted this along with the caption "The weather vs. Bruno Mars - 0 - 1" on Facebook. She's absolutely right. It can start raining cows for all I care and it won't matter a thing as long as I can watch Bruno Mars with musicians, dressed up in their Earth, Wind And Fire finest, performing "Treasure" on the Billboard Music Awards three days ago. Scheduled to be the third single from his latest album, 2012's Unorthodox Jukebox, it's true disco heaven, showing that Mars really is a force to be reckoned with. By watching this performance, I can almost guarantee you that your mood will pick up, however down and out you may feel. Ecstatic!

Watch and listen

tirsdag 21. mai 2013

R.I.P. Ray Manzarek - The Doors: "When The Music's Over"

Ray Manzarek, who just might be the most influential keyboardist in rock music ever, died yesterday at 74, after a long bout with the dreaded cancer. Manzarek's trademark organ sound penetrated the music of The Doors and was just as integral a part of the band's sound as was Jim Morrison's voice. Now they're both gone, but their music is still alive and kicking. Listen to this 1968 live clip of the band's epic "When The Music Over" from their second album Strange Days (1967) and enjoy the ride. Meanwhile, our thoughts go to Manzarek's family and friends.

Watch and listen

lørdag 18. mai 2013

Joy Division - She's Lost Control

Today it's 33 years since Joy Division singer Ian Curtis commited suicide, a sad affair if there ever was one. However, Curtis left quite a legacy with the two albums Unknown Pleasures and Closer, and his death of course led to New Order, the band the remaining Joy Division members continued as. So then, let's hear the fabulous 1979 track "She's Lost Control" off Unknown Pleasures. Classic stuff!

Watch and listen


Bob Marley & The Wailers - Sun Is Shining

Finally, spring (summer almost) seems to have appeared. That always calls for a bit of Bob Marley. "Sun Is Shining" is originally a 1971 original, but I have always loved the re-recorded Kaya version, released in 1978.



Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence

How good is Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence"? Well, it's hard to measure, but a word such as "awesome" would describe it pretty good. Lifted from the band's 1990 album Violator, this is still one of my favourite Depeche songs, and there are quite a few of those. This is such a masterpiece, it's not even funny!

Watch and listen


torsdag 16. mai 2013

Alan Jackson - He Stopped Loving Her Today

Country music icon George Jones died on April 26, and the tributes since then have been many. In this clip Alan Jackson performs one of Jones' best-loved songs, Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman's "He Stopped Loving Her Today" from 1980. Jackson, who was a close friend of Jones, performed the song at the end of the funeral service in the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on May 2nd. Mesmerizing stuff.

Watch and listen

David Bowie - The Next Day

The videos from David Bowie's new album The Next Day are really something else. "Where Are We Now?" and "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" were both brilliant, and the latest one, the clip from the album's title track, is curiously controversial, and was briefly banned from YouTube due to its religious imagery mixed with nudity and a bloody and very graphic stigmata. The clip shows Gary Oldman in the role as a bishop and Marion Cotillard as a prostitute experiencing the stigmata, while Bowie is on stage performing the song dressed as a Christ-like figure. Great video, and the song is of course absolutely brilliant, one of the album's highlights. "Here I am, not quite dying", indeed.

Watch and listen

Snoop Lion feat. Miley Cyrus - Ashtrays And Heartbreaks

Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., A.K.A. Snoop Doggy Dogg or Snoop Dogg, has, as many people will know, secured a new stage name, Snoop Lion, to signal his new, reggae-inspired musical direction. He has recently released both an album and an accompanying documentary film titled Reincarnated, exploring reggae music and the Rastafarian culture of Jamaica. I have only heard a few of the new songs, but one I really like is "Ashtrays And Heartbreaks", a mellow pop song featuring the lovely Miley Cyrus as Snoop's duet partner. Killer track!


onsdag 15. mai 2013

Zero 7 - Throw It All Away

The music of British duo Zero 7 has mostly eluded me, but today I was made aware of the band's 2006 single "Throw It All Away" from third album The Garden. Featuring the vocals of Sia Furler, it's a wonderful blend of electronic pop music, soul and jazz, a mellow and laidback little tune that evokes the sound and smell of sunny days and warm nights. Not to be missed!

Watch and listen

Little Boots - Motorway

Behind the moniker Little Boots delves one Victoria Chistina Hesketh, English electropop singer and songwriter, who's just released her second album, Nocturnes. Opening track and first single "Motorway" is an atmospheric type of pop song, sung in a beautifully breezy voice, the whole thing sounding like a cross between Robyn and Saint Etienne. Fabulous stuff!

Watch and listen

Triple Vampire Weekend performance visiting Jools - Diane Young, Step, Unbelievers

New York hipsters Vampire Weekend have just released their third album, Modern Vampires Of The City, and visited British TV show Later... with Jools Holland to perform a few of its songs two weeks ago. Here then are the single tracks "Diane Young" and "Step", as well as "Unbelievers". Three fine songs from a fine album.

Watch and listen

tirsdag 14. mai 2013

Listen to the new Daft Punk album in its entirety now!

Yes! The most eagerly awaited album since... well, David Bowie's The Next Day perhaps, Daft Punk's fourth album Random Access Memories, is ready for streaming at iTunes now and until the day of release which is on Monday 20th May. What ARE you waiting for?

Listen now

Anouk - Birds

The Dutch contribution to the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 finals to be held in Swedish Malmö this Saturday is amazing. "Birds", co-written and performed by Anouk (Teeuwe), a big star in The Netherlands, is a big, sweeping ballad, that sounds decidedly European, in the tradition of Kurt Weill and/or Jacques Brel, with the added pleasure of a Scott Walker-style arrangement. Apart from the mediocre Norwegian contribution by Margaret Berger, I haven't heard any of the contestants this year, but I would be very surprised if there are any other songs in this year's finals (and semi-finals) as good as "Birds". I've completely fallen in love with this song.

Watch and listen

Jamelia - See It In A Boy's Eyes

British R&B would be a lot poorer without Jamelia. Her phrasing, her sense of timing and of course her knack for a good melody, places her a cut above the pack. In a perfect world she would have become a bigger star than she actually is. "See It In A Boy's Eyes" is a 2004 single, co-written with Coldplay singer Chris Martin and producer Rik Simpson, lifted from her second album, Thank You, released in 2003. Her fourth album Rebel is set for a 2013 release, seven years on from her previous effort. Worth looking ahead to, I'm sure.

Watch and listen

mandag 13. mai 2013

Jessie Ware - Imagine It Was Us

Jessie Ware's 2012 debut album Devotion was a splendid affair, but for the American version of the album that was recently released, she has recorded a couple of new songs, most notably the very dancefloor-friendly "Imagine It Was Us". It's a song that could have been a huge hit at any club during the 90's, but also could do pretty well now. Very catchy!

Watch and listen

Commander Chris Hadfield - Space Oddity

Want to see the first ever music video shot in space? Look no further! Today, the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, in charge of the International Space Station, has posted a stunning version of David Bowie's 1969 song "Space Oddity". He's slightly altered the lyrics, and has recorded the vocals and acoustic guitar in space. The rest was recorded on Earth. It's a fitting farewell from Hadfield who has become some sort of Internet space celebrity. Amazing and pretty touching really.

Watch and listen

Lana Del Rey - Young And Beautiful

"Young And Beautiful" is the fabulous first single to be released from Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's legendary 1925 novel The Great Gatsby. The song is performed and co-written (with director Luhrmann and Rick Nowels of New Radicals fame) by Lana Del Rey and is a sweeping, magnificently performed ballad, written from the perspective of Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby's lover. This is the stuff that dreams are made of really, an incredible song!

Watch and listen

Fountains Of Wayne - A Road Song

Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood are the genius songwriting partners fronting American power-pop outfit Fountains Of Wayne. They're pretty versatile songwriters and "A Road Song" is a wonderfully mellow and melancholic pop song disguised as a country song, about the monotony of touring. The video is nice too, shot in black and white, showing the band on their tour bus, on airports and on stage. Taken from their latest album, 2011's Sky Full Of Holes, this song is magical.

Watch and listen

lørdag 11. mai 2013

Nick Lowe vs. Stavros Mihalakakos - Cruel To Be Kind (Vres To Nasi)

Yesterday I came home from the wonderful Greek island of Kos, where I spent some nice days working. When visiting Kos Town one evening I heard a very familiar song, Nick Lowe's 1979 classic "Cruel To Be Kind". However, the almost identical recording was sung in Greek. Pretty much tone for tone, the arrangement was similar to the original, and now I have identified it for anyone's pleasure. It is called "Vres To Nisi" which means "Find The Island", and is performed by a Greek-Cypriot pop singer called Stavros Mihalakakos, who won the second season of the Greek X Factor, and it sounds great, if a little peculiar. Here are both versions, hope you like them both really. My money is of course on Lowe's original, but that's because it's one of my all-time favourite songs.

Nick Lowe - "Cruel To Be Kind"

Stavros Mihalakakos - "Vres To Nisi"


onsdag 8. mai 2013

Bruce Springsteen - I'm On Fire

What a great album Bruce Springsteen's biggest success, Born In The U.S.A. (1984) is! There is not a bad moment among the 12 songs on it, and "I'm On Fire" is just one of its many singles, the fourth out of seven actually. I love this song!

Watch and listen


søndag 5. mai 2013

Tracey Thorn - Hormones

Not too many songwriters would choose hormones for a subject matter, but that is just what Tracey Thorn did for the song "Hormones" that appeared on her third solo album Love And Its Opposite (2010). And a great pop song it is too.


lørdag 4. mai 2013

Rosanne Cash delivering great show in Norwegian church

Rosanne Cash w/John Leventhal
Kulturkirken Jakob, Oslo, Norway
May 3, 2013

Rosanne Cash (57), celebrated singer/songwriter and daughter of Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, played a wonderful set in Oslo last night, in the atmospheric confines of an old stone church, Kulturkirken Jakob. Performing as a duo with husband, producer, co-writer and guitarist John Leventhal she delivered a set consisting of both her own compositions (including a couple of new ones, "Eddie's Song" and "Modern Blue") and several covers, many of which was lifted from her recent covers album The List (2009).

This was not an evening for the big surprises nor your average Friday night party people. The audience was a well-behaved crowd around 50 years of age, and Rosanne Cash even jokingly complained that they were too quiet and polite, expressing the belief everyone were all "serious Norwegian music fans". That might be so, but at times she and Leventhal - of the very good guitar work-  managed to excite and rouse people to a certain extent. There were no dancing on chairs, but some well meant rounds of applause and a little yelling were forthcoming. This in a church too, remember.

Playing for an hour and a half there were lots of songs that I would have wanted to hear, but we did get the early gem "Seven Year Ache" (written when she was 23) and songs like "Radio Operator" and "Burn Down This Town" from her 2006 Black Cadillac album. But it was with her well-chosen covers that she and Leventhal shined the most. A fantastic run through "Sea Of Heartbreak" was an early highlight, the old folk ballad "Motherless Children" (see video below) was a treat, and "Heartaches By The Number" almost raised the roof. Probably best of all was a chilly version of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe", and her father and Bob Dylan's classic "Girl From The North Country", dedicated tonight of course to the Norwegian ladies in the audience.

There were also as mentioned earlier two new songs performed, a ballad called "Etta's Song" and the up-tempo "Modern Blue", both to be included on her next album, due for a January 2014 release.

Disappointingly there was only one encore, but at least it was a good one, a solid version of the George Jones classic "She Thinks I Still Care" in honour of the country music icon who died last week, retitled "He Thinks I Still Care" of course. All in all, a fabulous, if a little short, evening. I'm truly glad I was there.

Watch the performance of "Motherless Children"

fredag 3. mai 2013

New digital Fleetwood Mac EP out now

A few weeks ago Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham announced the upcoming release of a new, digital EP. This week it finally arrived, exclusively on iTunes, under the unattractive title Extended Play. It contains four songs, fronted by "Sad Angel". The other three are called "Without You" (which must not be confused with the old Fleetwood Mac song of the same name, but is in fact a song that harks back to the old Buckingham Nicks days before the two joined the band), "It Takes Time" and "Miss Fantasy". It has to be said that none of these songs are very exciting, although they're clearly not bad. But if this is the best they could come up with after waiting ten years from their latest album, Say You Will (2003), maybe they shouldn't bother with an entire new album. I'm of course hoping they have some better stuff up their sleeves, but I'll try not to expect too much. Anyway, if you are a fan, you should of course buy the EP. It's not exactly expensive.

Read a Mick Fleetwood interview and stream the EP here on NPR.

Fleetwood Mac in 2013: John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

torsdag 2. mai 2013

Robbie Robertson - What About Now

Robbie Robertson's second solo album, 1991's Storyville, is generally regarded as inferior to his self-titled solo debut from 1987 with its stellar guest list and groundbreaking Daniel Lanois co-production. But whereas that album was indeed very good, Storyville is more consistent, a record with a stronger sense both of place and purpose. Inspired by what could very well be called the most musical of cities, New Orleans, and specifically the old Storyville red light district, it's a magical-sounding record full of atmosphere and great songs. "What About Now" is a co-write with Ivan Neville, and is accompanied by a wonderful video shot on location in New Orleans.

Watch and listen

Massive Attack feat. Tracey Thorn - Protection

"Protection" is the title track off Massive Attack's second album, released in 1994, a collaboration with Everything But The Girl singer Tracey Thorn who co-wrote it with the British trip hop trio. The song also contains a sample off the James Brown classic "The Payback", and the whole thing is eerie-sounding urban music for late lonely nights. A masterpiece, nothing less, and the Michel Gondry-directed music video is pretty good as well.

Watch and listen

Tom Robinson Band - Up Against The Wall

Tom Robinson Band - TRB for short - was a seventies pub rock band with punk attitude and an inclination for riotous lyrics. Their most famous songs are of course "2-4-6-8 Motorway" and "Glad To Be Gay", but spread over two excellent albums and one EP were loads of great songs, many of them true punk/new wave classics in my book. "Up Against The Wall" was the opening track on the band's 1978 debut album Power In The Darkness, and its vivid imagery of rioting and urban decay is still spooky.

Watch and listen

Janelle Monáe feat. Erykah Badu - Q.U.E.E.N. (now with video)

Finally the video for the new Janelle Monáe single is ready. A great-looking video it is too, with Miss Monáe looking as cool as always, if not cooler. The song is a funky, strutting thing, sounding like a cross between En Vogue and James Brown, and the muted trumpet and quiet groove towards the end is pure genius. If there are more songs as good as this on the upcoming album The Electric Lady, I guess we're in for a treat.

Watch and listen

onsdag 1. mai 2013

Sade - Paradise

I'm always returning to Sade somehow. She's (or "they" rather as Sade is the name of the band and the singer is Sade Adu) one of my favourite artists, and spread among six albums are songs of such beauty, distinction and eloquence that it's hard to fathom. "Paradise" was the second single off her third album, 1988's Stronger Than Pride, and is in every way perfect, with its hypnotic groove, smooth guitar licks and Sade's wonderful voice.

Watch and listen