Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

“No Matter Where You Are…”

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

“…in the world, on March 2nd get to a TV.”

Twenty one years ago tonight, I did just as the voice commanded and knelt my 7th grade self in front of the biggest TV in our house. The commercial for the commercial underlined just how serious it would be.

The fainter and closer to eternal loss that a memory is, the more I love it…

For a long while, I could still picture the diner dance party, the Catholic school girls, and the skunky striped hair-do as clearly as I did the burning crosses and the waxy black Jesus.

But when one set of chaste images is banned after only one airing, sending the blasphemous others into ubiquitous iconography, of course my memories are bound to darken at different rates.

At last, through the power and glory of internet video, all are again resurrected, forever and ever. A-men.

Soldiering On

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Just as I had promised, after an entire decade of exile, soft rock’s smoothest siren returns to the waves.

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In 1986 I wasn’t old enough to wear grey or white double-breasted suits and flirt with danger and seduction in limousines and after-dark clubs, so listening to Sade cd’s lets me imagine otherwise.

For Your Ears Only

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Budded earphones like these cause me physical pain. But if your listenin’ holes are bigger and tougher than mine then these babies would look pretty Japanese ‘n clean. Indeed.

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By AIAIAI and now online.

He Really Meant To Turn You On

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Over the years, Robert Palmer’s stud-muffin style and bouncy-boobed music videos stumbled into satire in pop culture, as if they’d been originally conceived in irony.

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I’ve been slowly studying the star over the years and I think Mr. Palmer’s addictions to razor-sharp beats and even sharper suits were entirely earnest. Every single sight and every slinky sound he sent out was sex-drenched sophistication. An unwavering aesthetic that echoes today in the hot-lit, PG 13-porn of Purple magazine and Terry Richardson wannabes and FutureSexLoveSounds

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Robert’s dry-ice cool and wet-dreamy slick are attributes men and women both would be wise to play up, not parody.

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This re-mix of my favorite of Mr. Palmer’s hits will prove my point.

Just listen to the dude bark – so rough, so right.

“Always Music In The Air”

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Any music that has any trace of Twin Peaks in its DNA always makes me feel far away and right at home, all at once.

A long-time pet project of film director David Lynch, Fox Bat Strategy features a cast of musicians who began collaborating with Lynch surrounding the filming of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.”

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The same line-up of players appeared on Fire Walk With Mes two roadhouse cuts: “The Pink Room” and “Blue Frank” (as well as made cameos in the film itself). In 1994, these same musicians, with an invitation from Lynch, re-entered the studio for experimental collaboration. What emerged were these 6 tracks. For nearly fifteen years these songs have remained unreleased and unheard, slow-cooking in the ether of time, all the while retaining a uniquely modern sensibility. This release is a tribute to the album’s late singer and guitarist Dave Jaurequi, who passed away suddenly in 2006.

Released on June 30th. Take a peek, but with your ears not your eyes, right here.

Slick Times Ahead

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Sometimes her sound is treated as a comedy punch-line but I have quite the soft spot for the softer-than-soft adult rock stylings of Sade.

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There aren’t enough cds in the world that make you feel as if you’re being plied with white wine by some coke cartel and his bilingual wife at a bleached out beach resort in 1985. There really aren’t.

Fortunately, Sade is back in the studio, the papers say, for the first time in nine years. The proof is here.

Re-Imagined

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Classic vinyl records dressed up as pretend-classic paperbacks.
For no good reason, but good nonetheless.

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Peruse the rest of the stacks here.

The Sound of the 6’s

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

“I don’t like this groove.
Try and give me somethin’ I can croon to.
Catch my drift?” 

My favorite album of the past year (and practically ever) is a mix cd I mastered myself using all 8 songs off Vanity 6’s only release, paired with the 4 best songs off Apollonia 6’s only release.

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The two different bands share everything – sonic puppeteer-ing courtesy of early 80s Prince, lack of slacks or skirts in any and all marketing materials, Brenda’s bitching and Susan’s sex-pot-iness, and lyrics so louche it’s odd they were legal.

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What the two bands do not share is lead singers, but the unique identities of their rosters’ main members matters little since the pair of trios were served up as little more than lingerie mannequins grinding around in dry and dirty dancehalls.

At surface level it sounds like the soundtrack to a feminist’s nightmare perhaps, but behind the tinted glass of the girls’ baby blue limousine, its clear Prince knew which gender really pulled the strings.

The ditz ‘n glitz disguised gritty male-baiting/bashing set to simple, slinky synth-pop. Perfect Prince-ish coulda-been hits the man himself was too backed-up to dish out on his own discs.

It’s the sound of snakeskin pumps but twice as tart.

>> mp3 : Ooo She She Wa Wa – Apollonia 6

The Vanity 6 disc was actually released on cd, e-bay’ll do it to ya. The Apollonia 6 album is stuck on vinyl or cassette, so sneaky searches for mp3s are what we’re stuck with on that front.

Conveniently Hip

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I’ve never been good at adopting music just because it’s hip and underground. So genuinely adoring Los Super Elegantes and their white-sandy brand of indie art pop lends my iTunes library a much-needed crackle of cool.

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Without my knowing it, the swarthy-chic duo quietly released their third album Nothing Really Matters digitally to Amazon and iTunes on February 3rd. As a materialist, I’ve so far insisted on purchasing my albums in a tangible, tactile format.

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Since that isn’t an option this time around, looks like I’m finally strutting into the mp3-flavored future to the disco blips and cantina clicks of Los Super Elegantes. Right about now, I’m just dripping in hip.

Treasured Song: Route to Palm

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Sooner or later I’m gonna make an unauthorized music video for this song by White Williams (the original, not this live version). It reminds me of a cockier yet more misty-eyed version of Henley’s “Boys of Summer” and I’m all about it.

Even when Joe, the mastermind, forgets the lyrics as he does here.

Happy Colonia Day

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

A Camp
“Stronger Than Jesus”
Filmed on obsolete, early 1980s television equipment.
The import cd of COLONIA is available today! My copy is ordered.

Opium Dens & Wig Powder

Monday, January 19th, 2009

When it comes to music there’s a seemingly endless stream of songs for us each to love, a measurably smaller flow of entire albums to cherish, and an even narrower trickle of artists to treasure whole-heartedly.

For me, one of the few musicians I treasure whole-heartedly is Nina Persson, whether she’s fronting her famous band, The Cardigans or her almost famous band, A Camp.

Its been three years since Ms. Persson has shipped out any material album-sized in scale, so I look forward to February 3rd when I can order via Amazon the Europen import version of A Camp’s sophomore album Colonia. No way a Treasurer worth his salt could wait almost three additional months to nab a copy stateside, where the disc won’t be released until April 28.

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The band’s website states that Colonia draws from a variety of historical inspirations including, “The opium den to the Belgian Congo, from the Namibian desert by starlight to Victorian New York by gaslight.” Later they tease that Colonia wears an air of, “Electricity, wig powder, and laudanum.” Hot damn!

The reasons to treasure the works of Nina Persson’s bands reach beyond their masterful melodies for which Swedish pop acts are now expected to provide. There’s a flinty force of narrative and protaganism Nina brings to her every song, all of them tingling with the sting of despair, and the buzz of something un-bruise-able and hopeful. Her albums routinely choke me up, sometimes from joy and sometimes from sadness, and sometimes for reasons less clear but all the sharper.

I’m counting down the days…