Archive for August, 2009

August 30, 2009

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

I’ve finally gotten around to listening to the new Franz Ferdinand, and I wish it didn’t take me so long. They’re really becoming one of those solid go-to bands for consistent great albums. They just have a way around a great melody. I’ll get the “No You Girls” opening bass and guitar line stuck in my head all day. Also, I love that they’re willing to experiment like on “Lucid Dreams, which starts normally enough, and then becomes an electronic opus. Finally, Alex Kapranos can take the idea of not moving in with your girlfriend sound the the best idea ever on “Live Alone”, which is really awesome.

Lucid Dreams

Live Alone

Who knows what’s going on in this video, but there’s girls in it.

August 28, 2009

Sally Shapiro and Delorean are good.

The critics don’t seem to like the new Sally Shapiro album Miracle, but I really do. They’re complaining it’s “more of the same”, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Not every artist needs to reinvent themselves with every album, especially on their 2nd. I think there’s enough tweaks on Miracle to keep things interesting, like the little vocal effects and progressive house synth washes on “My Fantasy”.
Sally Shapiro – My Fantasy

Also, I don’t know much about this Spanish electronic group Delorean, but this is hands aloft Heaven. Just wait until about the 3:00 mark.
Delorean – Seasun

The whole EP Ayrton Senna is great, and beautiful album cover.
Ayrton Senna

August 22, 2009

Yacht – Psychic City (Voodoo City)

The DFA can do no wrong as tastemakers. NSFW due to Jesus cross numchucks and other such sacrilegious awesomeness.

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August 17, 2009

Everybody Wants To Rule The World Live

With a full orchestra no less, making a lush song even more lush. I think this song should be on every generalized “Best Songs Ever” list.

August 17, 2009

Sally Shapiro – Love In July

This video is pretty precious. I can’t wait for her new album. Disco Romance is a small, quiet classic.

BTW, while listening to the video while posting this, a bird is chirping outside and it went perfectly with the song.

August 7, 2009

Bill Hicks explains Obamacare.

Bill Hicks is here to explain Obama’s radical heath care agenda. The Republicans have it all wrong. Old people will be useful. Here we see how Obama and the Hollywood Liberal Elite will use them.

August 2, 2009

Complete Ultimate 80’s Playlist

I was born in 1978, so the 80’s were formative on my musical tastes more than anything else. I adore 80’s music because it is so unique compared to any other decade. It’s the tremendous dominance of the synthesizers, but also what the artists and bands did with them. The melodies of 80’s songs are very strong. The lyrics and performances are so unabashedly honest and yes, cheesy. But, it is that lack of irony that makes the 80’s so special. I’ve always said the ultimate 80’s song is “Puttin On The Ritz” by Taco. When else in history would the song not only be taken seriously, but also become a big hit? Only the 80’s.

When Napster first came on the scene, one of the first things I attempted to do was create my own personal 80’s compilation. Any store bought compilation is unsatisfactory. There will be four or five songs that I love, a couple I like, and then a bunch I never cared for. And, no compilation has the big artists like Madonna or Michael Jackson. At the time, 1999, I was able to gather about four CDs worth of 80’s music, 70 or 80 songs. Two years ago, I decided to re-download the songs because the sound quality of Mp3s has gotten so much better. With the advent of iTunes and Amazon Mp3, you can now buy single songs and not have to waste money anymore. I then began a list of my absolute favorite 80’s songs. Over the past two years I have turned to this list and added more songs. This is more of a challenge than you may think. Since a lot of 80’s songs come from one-hit wonders, it can be hard to figure out what a song is called or who did it. You can just recall the melody. Do you know who did “Two Of Hearts”? What about “Somebody’s Watching Me?”. Or “Obsession”? No, but I bet you know the songs though. I consider this list a service to people in part.

So, what constitutes an “80’s song”? I think for the most part it is intuition. You know it when you hear it. I’d say my general rules were: 1) Is it evocative of that decade and would it sound out of place if released at any other time? 2) Was it a single or video? 3) Does it recall my personal childhood memories? Those are the guiding principles for this list. Furthermore, in researching this list, I often turned to YouTube, because the videos are what much of my memories and love for these songs come from.

I have childhood memories, like when I was nine or ten of “Burning Down The House” and “Once In A Lifetime” by Talking Heads. Not so much “Crosseyed And Painless”, as incredible of song that is. The only R.E.M. song I am including is “Stand” because the video is deep in my memory, and along with “Shiny Happy People” is one of their purely pop songs. I hope these examples illustrate some of the choices I have made in compiling this list.

Some notes:
1) It would be very easy for me to sit here and list tons of music like The Smiths, New Order, Jesus And Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Pixies, Siouxsie And The Banshees, etc. You know those bands aren’t “80’s music”.
2) I also am not including other music I was into when I was young, like Metallica, Slayer, Nine Inch Nails, etc.
3) I never liked Hair Metal. I still don’t.
4) That whole “New Jack Swing” movement, New Edition, Tony Toni Tone, Guy, etc didn’t age well at all.
5) I’m very tired of these songs: “With Or Without You” by U2, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, and “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper. Ten years ago I may have included these songs on the list.
6) I’ve never been big into “Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Sorry.
7) I’ve never cared much for The Cure, Tom Petty, or Prince. Those may be glaring omissions to people.
8 ) There isn’t much rap on here because I didn’t listen to much as a child. I loved “Around The Way Girl” by LL Cool J, but that is from 1990.
9) Elton John’s career tanked after 1975. I’ve heard entire 80’s albums by him, they’re not very good.

Otherwise, feel free to make suggestions of songs I may have missed. I’ll let you know if I truly missed them or just don’t care for them. This list is not meant as a “Best Of” list. These are songs I love, and they are dear to my heart. This is an emotional list, not an intellectual one. I have no interest in hearing, “That song sucks!”

And yes, I own all these songs.

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