Tuesday, October 31

MIKA



So, who and the heck is Mika? Well, he's only the latest in a long line of pop stars to come out of Beirut. I mean, "Duh."

Seriously, though, the guy WAS born in Beirut. Then, he moved from one European locale to another, never entirely fitting in, but realizing early on that he had a passion for music and art. Now, in his very early 20's, he's set to release his first album, Life in Cartoon Motion.

This is pure pop -- shiny & sugary. It might remind you a bit of Scissor Sisters. Bee Gees. Maybe even George Michael. On "Grace Kelly," though, you'll be quite certain you're hearing a certain Mr. Mercury -- alive and well -- note-for-note, chord-for-chord. This is hero-worship to the hilt.


Now, quick like a bunny, somebody break out the amyl nitrite....

Mika on
MySpace.

Nov 4 8:00A/w/THE FEELING/Shepherd's Bush Empire/London
Nov 14 8:00A/Brighton Concorde 2/Brighton
Nov 16 8:00A/Birmingham Academy 2/Birmingham
Nov 17 8:00A/Glasgow Nice N Sleazy/Glasgow
Nov 18 8:00A/Leeds Mine/Leeds
Nov 20 8:00A/Manchester Academy 3/Manchester
Nov 21 8:00A/London Dingwalls/London

[MP3] "Relax (Take It Easy)"

[MP3] "Grace Kelly"

NAKED HTML - A DREAM DEFERRED

[I'd like to send out a quick but heartfelt thanks to my friend Jim A., who transformed my previously blase banner into something with a bit of vim and vigor (and pictures!). Thanks, Jim (though, next time, I will not let the promised naked HTML lesson slide).]

MARK MALLMAN



I wonder if Brandon Flowers and the Killers were listening to leaked demos from Mark Mallman's latest album, Between the Devil and Middle C, while recording their own latest release. You can't help but notice that some of the same Springsteen-meets-Meatloaf dynamics are on display with the Mallman work (especially on the song "Knockout on 22nd St."). Of course, this man has always had a love and respect for stylish, '70s-era music -- especially as influenced and inspired by glam-rock.

If anything, Mallman's effort here is far more convincing and consistent than the Killers' Sam's Town (of course, maybe that isn't saying all that much). Carefree and catchy from opener to closer, Between the Devil and Middle C keeps things on the light and frothy side, pretension(s) be damned. Then again, the driving rocker "Death Wish" features some vaguely malevolent synthesizer stings (counterbalanced with some bouncy, borderline-cheerful piano). It's a terrific pop song, plain and simple.


As we enter November, bloggers' Top 10 lists for 2006 are fast approaching. I can only hope that Mark Mallman will get a bit of love and attention for his work this year. His songcraft deserves a lot more spotlight, a lot less shadow.

Mark Mallman on
MySpace.

Nov 11 11:00P/Mad Planet - Milwaukee/Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nov 24 6:00P/400 Bar - Minneapolis/2 SHOWS AA + 21+/Minneapolis, Minnesota

From the LP Between the Devil and Middle C, 2006 >>>
[MP3] "Death Wish"
[MP3] "Persuasion"

From the LP Mr. Serious, 2004 >>>
[MP3] "Hardcore Romantic"
[MP3] "Simply in the Distance"

Friday, October 27

THE SUNSHINE UNDERGROUND



I'd better offer up a couple of songs now, in case the Tigers lose their series tonight. That will piss me off. That will cause me not to care whether I post songs tonight or not.

I included the
Sunshine Underground song "Panic Attack" on my Best of September mix. Below, find two more songs from their second album, Raise the Alarm. They're currently promoting the hell out of that thing in their native UK.

The Sunshine Underground on
MySpace.

The Sunshine Underground promoting-the-hell >>>

Oct 27 8:00P/Oxjam @ Manhattan Bar/Bristol
Oct 28 1:00P/Virgin Megastore - In-store & Signing/Bristol
Oct 30 10:00A/'Commercial Breakdown' Release Date/Available in all good record shops (and some bad ones)

Oct 30 5:00P/HMV - In-store & Signing/Manchester
Oct 30 8:00P/Academy 2/Manchester
Nov 1 5:00P/HMV - In-store & Signing/Leeds
Nov 1 8:00P/Metropolitan University/Leeds

[MP3] "Put You In Your Place"

[MP3] "Commercial Breakdown"

A COUPLE OF COVERS & A DOLLOP OF POP


Fuck. The Tigers lost game four. Screw St. Louis and the Clydesdales they rode in on. Here's some songs...

[MP3] Valeze/"Search and Destroy" [Iggy Pop & the Stooges cover]

[MP3] Patti Smith/"When Doves Cry" [Prince cover]

[MP3] The Click Five/"Good Day"

Thursday, October 26

NERINA PALLOT



Nerina Pallot is a young, attractive popstress from Great Britain. Her second LP, Fires, was originally released in 2005 and has garnered some good reviews in her home country. On the two songs below, you'll hear influences of Tori Amos and Heather Nova ("Idaho"), as well as Fiona Apple ("Geek Love"). Which is to say: this is music that could appear to good effect in any number of touchy-feely TV dramas -- to underscore the "significant scene" or the "momentous montage." It's not quite wallpaper; not quite not.

Nerina Pallot on
MySpace.

Nov 13 8:00P/Olympia/Dublin
Nov 14 8:00P/Spring & Airbrake/Belfast
Nov 16 8:00P/Trinity Arts Centre/Bristol
Nov 19 8:00P/ABC/Glasgow
Nov 20 8:00P/Lemon Tree/Aberdeen
Nov 21 8:00P/Tyne Theatre/Newcastle
Nov 22 8:00P/Academy 2/Manchester

[MP3] "Idaho"

[MP3] "Geek Love"

Wednesday, October 25

PAUL BRILL


I was all cuckoo-for-Coco-Puffs over Paul Brill's "Paris is On" back in August. And I still am. For me, it's a standout.

The album featuring that particular song, Harpooner, won't drop till November 21, but you can pre-order it right [here], right now. Also, for you New Yorkers, there will be a CD release party at
Joe's Pub at 7 PM this Thursday night. Essie Jain will be specially guesting.

The Paul Brill song we offer today isn't as accessible as "Paris is On," but it has a drunken-lurch, mariachi-band, broken-music-box charm all its own. Call it "shabby chic."


Paul Brill on MySpace.

From the LP Harpooner [11.21.06] >>>
[MP3] "Don't Tell Them"

BONUS TRACKS >>>

[MP3] "Paris is On"

[MP3] "Paris is On" [Pinto remix]

Tuesday, October 24

THE PADDINGTONS



The Paddingtons are a UK outfit that gets lumped in with the likes of the Libertines and Babyshambles. I'm assuming that the reason for that is a certain similarity in sound between the groups, and not because of any comparable behavioral/pharmaceutical issues involving their lead singer.

(It's a pretty safe bet that these guys grew up listening to the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Pogues as well.)

The Paddingtons on
MySpace.

The Paddingtons on the road >>>

Oct 24 8:00P/Zodiac/Oxford
Oct 25 8:00P/The Waterfront/Norwich
Oct 26 8:00P/Northumbria University/Newcastle
Oct 27 8:00P/Moshulu/Aberdeen
Oct 28 8:00P/Liquid Rooms/Edinburgh
Oct 30 8:00P/Academy 2/Manchester
Oct 31 8:00P/Wulfrun Hall/Wolverhampton

[MP3] "Some Old Girl"

[MP3] "Alright in the Morning"

ADAM GREEN


My primary file hosters have been hosing me lately, turning me into a profanity-spewing, fist-pounding, clock-throwing, Tourette's-styled madman. Maybe the strangely classy/classless stylings of Adam Green will help calm me.

These tracks are from his 2005 release, Gemstones. Short and bittersweet.

[MP3] "Emily"

[MP3] "Chubby Princess"

Monday, October 23

MOI CAPRICE



Hits in the Car has been banging the drum not-so-slowly (or softly) for the Danish band moi Caprice for quite some time now. An investigation seemed in order.

Said investigation led me first (natch) to the band's
MySpace page, where the songs "My Girl You Blush" and "Drama Queen" sounded very promising. Alas, at 96 kbps, they also sounded very inadequate in the sound-quality department. Thankfully, through the wonders of electronic mail and it's-a-small-world-after-all free marketing, I was soon in touch with the band and requesting -- all Oliver Twist-like -- just a little bit "more."

And Moi Caprice stepped up to the plate -- sending me good-quality copies of both tracks -- and I thank them for their generosity. More importantly, I thank them for composing and performing a couple of top-notch pop songs. Ever since I was but a wee lad, I've been a sucker for lush, orchestral pop with a sense of drama and grandeur, and this band seems to work this area quite nicely. On "Drama Queen," the chiming guitar evokes the Swedish band Kent (as well as a bit of old-school Cure and Smiths), and the lead singer's helium-croon-to-the-moon on the chorus bears resemblance to Tim Booth of James. (And are those shades of a certain Alphaville "classic" that I hear toward the end of "My Girl You Blush"?)

Moi Caprice's third album, The Art of Kissing Properly, will be released in Denmark on November 13 on
Glorious Records. The rest of us melancholy non-Danes will have to wait till spring. But here's a silver-lining of sorts: my investigation into the band also led me to stumble upon the rather snazzy Indiepop Spinzone and its accompanying Popsicle Shop -- which offers Scandinavian releases to we sad sacks stuck here on the other side of the Atlantic. You will find both of moi Caprice's first two albums available for sale there, as well as some special extras.

Those of you eventually destined for Denmark can listen to the band up-close and in-person at such times and places as follows...

Nov 30 8:00P/Studenterhuset/Aarhus
Dec 1 8:00P/Studenterhuset/Aalborg
Dec 2 8:00P/Vega/Copenhagen

From the LP You Can't Say No Forever, 2005 >>>
[MP3] "My Girl You Blush"

From the upcoming LP The Art of Kissing Properly, 2006/2007 >>>
[MP3] "Drama Queen" [single edit]

THE SHINS


As many of you probably already know, the Shins will be releasing their next album, Wincing the Night Away, on January 23. Here's a limited-time taste/tease...

[MP3] [YouSendIt] [left-click] "Turn on Me" [REMOVED UNDER THREAT OF GOD-KNOWS-WHAT]

Sunday, October 22

AS TALL AS LIONS



As Tall as Lions are a band from New York City. The band members' first names are Dan, Saen [sic], Cliff, and Julio. And that's about all that I know about them. (They have neglected to include a "biography" section on their website, you see.)

(And their best-known song -- across the blogs, anyway -- goes by "Ghosts of York" on their MySpace page and "Ghost of York" on the CD itself. Kind of lazy and sloppy there, boys.)

Oct 25 6:00P/Irving Plaza/New York, NY
Oct 27 6:00P/St Andrews Detroit, MI
Oct 28 6:00P/Peabody's/Cleveland, OH
Oct 29 6:00P/The Metro/Chicago, IL
Oct 30 6:00P/Fine Line/Minneapolis, MN
Nov 1 8:00P/Bluebird Theatre/Denver, CO

[MP3] "Ghost of York"

[MP3] "Where Do I Stand?"

Saturday, October 21

THE BISHOPS



The Bishops are a young trio from the UK consisting of twin brothers Mike and Pete Bishop and drummer Chris McConville. Their debut EP will be released in the U.S. by I Am Sound on November 14.

These guys are almost absurdly beholden to '60s British Invasion acts -- perhaps most especially the Kinks and early Beatles. Whether they'll eventually outgrow their influences and develop into something all their own is something only time will tell. But, young as they are, they have energy to burn and all the time in the world.

The Bishops on
MySpace.

Oct 21 8:00P/The Standard/Walthamstow, London
Oct 25 8:00P/Kings College Uni (with The Grates)/London
Oct 28 8:00P/Frog @ Mean Fiddler/London
Nov 14 8:00P/Kings College Uni (with Dogs)/London
Nov 16 8:00P/Leadmill/Sheffield
Nov 17 8:00P/Town Hall/Selby

[MP3] "In the Night"

[MP3] "The Only Place I Can Look is Down"

Friday, October 20

BOUND STEMS



Chicago's Bound Stems make music that's generally "messier" than I prefer. But these two songs here don't scare me too terribly much....

Oct 20 9:00P/The Night Owl (16+)/Dayton, OH
Oct 21 8:00P/Mercury Lounge/New York, NY
Oct 22 8:00P/The Middle East (18+)/Boston, MA
Oct 23 9:00P/The Grog Shop/Cleveland, OH
Oct 24 8:00P/Alchemize/Cincinatti, Ohio
Oct 26 9:00P/10 High/Atlanta, GA
Oct 27 8:00P/Relative Theory Records/Norfolk, VA
Oct 28 8:00P/DAM! Festival @ DC9/Washington, DC

From the LP Appreciation Night, 2006 >>>
[MP3] "Refuse the Refuse"

From the EP The Logic of Building the Body Plan, 2005 >>>
[MP3] "My Kingdom for a Trundle Bed"

Wednesday, October 18

METROPOL



Let's run off to Spain together. Valencia, to be specific.

If you're in a band and call yourself
Metropol, red flags should go up. Especially when you say your sound is influenced by "Coldplay, Radiohead, the Killers, Muse, the Smiths, the Beatles, U2, Pink Floyd, Blur, Oasis, and Embrace." Uh... we didn't leave anybody out, did we?

Seriously, though, this is a new band. From Spain. With songs. As such...

[MP3] "Let You Know"

[MP3] "I'm Not Falling"

Tuesday, October 17

STEPHIN MERRITT & THE GOTHIC ARCHIES



I've written about Stephin Merritt as a Magnetic Field and a 6th, but not as a Gothic Archie. Let's remedy that, shall we?

The Gothic Archies released The Tragic Treasury: Music for "A Series of Unfortunate Events" on October 10. 13 of the 15 tunes serve as theme songs corresponding to the 13 installments of the Lemony Snicket book series. Creatively-speaking, this is a match made in kismet Heaven. (Perhaps the only way that it could have been better is if Mr. Merritt had collaborated with Danny Elfman, but why split hairs/look a gift horse where the sun don't shine? No reason at all.)

Merritt describes the Gothic Archies as his "Gothic rock-bubblegum pop band," and distinguishes it from the Magnetic Fields by saying that, with TGA, "any glimmer of hope is absolutely extinguished." Well, you kinda gotta love that. And you kinda gotta love a song title like "Walking the Gargoyle." Alas, I didn't love the SONG as much as the title, but you can decide for yourself by clicking on over to
The Rich Girls Are Weeping. The crazy ladies in residence will hook you up.

Oct 18 7:00P/Margaret Mitchell House & Museum/Chapter 11 Books/Atlanta, GA
Oct 20 5:00P/Barnes and Noble/Dallas/Frisco/Dallas, TX
Oct 21 3:00P/Hastings/Waxahachie/Dallas, TX
Oct 23 6:00P/Book Soup/Los Angeles Sinai Temple/Los Angeles, CA
Oct 24 7:00P/Mrs. Nelsons Toy and Book Shop/Hinds Pavillion/Pomona, CA
Oct 26 6:00P/University Bookstore/Town Hall Seattle/Seattle, Washington
Oct 28 2:00P/Books, Inc./Capuchino High School/San Bruno, CA
Oct 31 5:30P/The Michigan Theater/Ann Arbor, MI

(If you're going to the Ann Arbor show, drop me a line. We can meet up for some vodka and fries.)

[MP3] "This Abyss"

[MP3] "Crows"

THE FEVER



Well, I hadn't intended this to be the latest installment in my "Dead Bands" series, but what are you going to do? When nobody was looking (maybe that was the problem), New York City's the Fever went and broke up a few weeks ago (playing their last show together October 5 on a floating boat).

Gentlemen, I hardly knew ye.

To be honest, I hadn't known ye AT ALL until yesterday, when I first heard your last (and final) album, In the City of Sleep. What does this album sound like? Well... your own
MySpace page sort of spells it out: "Junkyard clank, Sun Studio reverb, Stax abandon, Fellini-esque circus music and 50's noir to create an intense and mysterious landscape somewhere between the nightmare rock n' roll of The Bad Seeds and the Beach Boys' lullabies of lost innocence."

A bit hyperbolic, perhaps, but it at least sets the stage. Sort of an assortment of messy variations on the theme of The Munsters. Playful. But in the way that drunks can be playful before they turn ugly. But ugly in an endearing way. But endearing in the way that your grandfather is endearing simply because he's old and set in his ways and can't help himself and because you sure as hell don't want to deal with the whole guilt-trip thing once the old, moldy coot finally has the decency to give up the ghost and kick.


This, in the end, is the soundtrack to THAT.

[MP3] "Crying Wolf"

[MP3] "Bye Bye Betty Blue"

Monday, October 16

THE BLOW



A group called the Blow? Huh. What might that refer to? Let us ponder some of the things that one can blow...

Um... BUBBLES! Yes, most certainly. What a charming and innocent image. And... uh... GLASS! Also: LEAVES! An underachieving sports team can "blow a lead" (how ya doin' there, New York Yankees?). An anti-Semitic, rabid-Catholic drunk driver can blow a .12 on a breathalyzer (how ya doin' there, Mel Gibson?).

Still, I have to say, hearing about a group called "the Blow" reminds me most of all of a conversation I was part of while attending the fifth grade at Lewis Cass Elementary School, circa 1980. I can still remember quite clearly one of my more rotund school chums (how ya doin' there, John O'Connor?) informing me that a "blowjob" didn't actually involve "blowing," it involved "sucking." That didn't make a lot of sense to me at the time. Not sure that it does now, either. Somebody draw me a picture.

Anyway, the musical group the Blow consists of two ladies from Portland, Oregon, USA. Their debut long-player, Paper Television, will be available for your perusal and purchase on October 24. What's it sound like? Well... the literature would have you believe: "no-wave and glitch-hop, club anthems and doo-wop." Even if somebody drew me a picture, I'm not sure I'd know what that means. But if it's anything like a blowjob, you should probably assume that it's exactly the opposite of what you think it is.

[MP3] "True Affection"

[MP3] "Fists Up"

UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF GIANTS



I usually save the dance-pop/dance-rock for Fridays, when I'm confident that everybody is so hopped up on ecstasy and crystal meth that they won't notice that the playlist has suddenly gone decadently low-rent. But it occurs to me: maybe Mondays are the more logical repositories for such guilty-pleasure ephemera. Play Radiohead on a cold/dark/damp Monday morn and you might just incite mass suicide. Which, come to think of it, I'm all in favor of -- so perhaps I should put up "Let Down" or "No Surprises" or "How to Disappear Completely" or some such. What's the friggin' point to all this, after all? What's it all about, Alfie? What's the frequency, Kenneth? Do you know the way to San Jose? Have you ever seen the rain? And who'll stop the rain? (It's supposed to rain here today, so maybe that's why this is happening. Or maybe it's the vodka. Or the fact that it's a cold/dark/soon-to-be-damp Monday morn. Mourn? Indeed... let's. Strap on your black Nikes and pass the Kool Aid. Salvation awaits.)

(Okay, enough. Pass the vodka and the Kool Aid and the tunes.)

I'm not sure where I first heard of L.A.'s
Under the Influence of Giants. From Music of the Moment, perhaps? Hits in the Car? Your guess is as good as mine. Suffice it to say: they are not Radiohead. More like Daft Punk being gang-bang-buggered by the Bee Gees and Scissor Sisters. Yeah, that seems about right. Low-rent. But decadent.

Here they'll be >>>

Oct 17 2006 7:00P/Villanova University/with All American Rejects/Villanova, PA
Oct 18 7:00P/Monmouth University/with All American Rejects/Long Branch, NJ
Oct 19 7:00P/SUNY Albany/with All American Reject/Albany, NY
Oct 21 7:00P/University of Mass - Amherst/with All American Rejects/Amherst, MA
Oct 22 7:00P/Framingham State College/with All American Rejects/Framingham, MA
Oct 23 7:00P/Providence College/with All American Rejects/Providence, RI

Here they is >>>

[MP3] "In the Clouds"

[MP3] "Stay Illogical"

BONUS TRACK >>>

[MP3] "Mama's Room" [Weird Science remix]

Friday, October 13

FRIDAY THE 13TH



Beware of ladders and black cats. Be gentle with mirrors. Stay clear of hockey goalies named Jason (and their mothers). Download these songs.

[MP3] Big Star/"Thirteen"

[MP3] The Pixies/"No. 13 Baby"

[MP3] The Wrens/"Thirteen Grand"

[MP3] The Delgados/"Thirteen Gliding Principles"

[MP3] Garbage/Thirteen [Big Star cover]

Thursday, October 12

THE PURRS



Right off, we're thrown. Seattle's the Purrs, you see, are simply not named right. A band called the Purrs should be a girl-group -- young, sassy, sexy when they wanna be, legs & pits left brazenly unshaven when they just can't be bothered to give a shit. Think: the Go-Go's crossing paths with the Slits. The Bangles crossing paths with Bikini Kill. The average, horny man crossing paths in the average, dark alley with Loreena Bobbitt and Aileen Wuornos.

But Seattle's the Purrs aren't a girl-group; they're four guys (and one girl, newly added, but can she simultaneously dance and castrate?). These folks are constantly compared to Galaxie 500 and the Verve and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Fair? Sure. Even the lead singer (Jima) says so. But there's also Calexico, Ennio Morricone, and Dick Dale caught indolent and indisposed in an opium den ("Get on With Your Life") and the Velvet Underground + the Rolling Stones in slow, dark, foreboding mode ("Taste of Monday").

These songs (+ 7 more) are available on the Purrs' s/t album that became available in Sept. on
Sarathan Records.

The Purrs on MySpace.

The Purrs in TX and elsewhere >>>


Oct 14 8:00P/Trophy's/Austin, TX
Oct 15 8:00P/Engine Room/Houston, TX
Oct 16 8:00P/Flipnotics/Austin, TX
Oct 18 8:00P/Vaudeville Cabaret/Tucson, AZ
Oct 19 8:00P/Spaceland/Los Angeles, CA
Oct 20 8:00P/Rickshaw Stop/San Francisco, CA
Oct 21 9:00P/Dante's/Portland, OR
Nov 4 8:00P/High Dive/Seattle, WA

[MP3] "Get on With Your Life"

[MP3] "Taste of Monday"

PERNICE BROTHERS



Last year's Pernice Brothers record, Discover a Lovelier You, just missed making my Top 10 Albums of 2005. Well, Joe Pernice is back again (already) with yet another full-length, Live a Little. It dropped October 3, all under-the-radar-like, on Ashmont Records.

The first time through, I wasn't loving this one nearly as much as the last one, but it turns out that its best songs are all back-loaded onto the second-half of the disc. Patience is a virtue.

Pernice Brothers on
MySpace.

Pernice Brothers in the USA in November >>>

11/03/06 New York, NY/Rebel (CMJ)
11/04/06 Pittsburgh, PA/Club Cafe
11/07/06 Detroit , MI/Lager House/w/Elvis Perkins
11/08/06 Grand Rapids, MI/The Intersection/Elvis Perkins
11/09/06 Chicago, IL/Schubas/Elvis Perkins
11/10/06 Madison, WI/High Noon Saloon/Elvis Perkins
11/11/06 Minneapolis, MN/7th Street Entry/Elvis Perkins
11/12/06 Des Moines, IA/Vaudeville Mews/Elvis Perkins

[MP3] "Conscience Clean (I Went to Spain)"

[MP3] "B.S. Johnson"

Wednesday, October 11

ELECTRONIC



Musical "supergroups" come in all shapes and sizes, and are almost always in the eyes of the beholder. Few would argue that Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young, eventually) legitimately fit that label, but what of the slew of '80s-era mash-ups that aspired to those same lofty heights (Asia, Power Station, Damn Yankees)? Do they deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as CSNY, Cream, or even the Traveling Wilburys? And what of today's scene? Are Foo Fighters a supergroup? The New Pornographers? Um... Supernova?

It's probably safe to say that these questions weren't exactly of front-and-center significance when New Order frontman Bernard Sumner joined forces with former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr to form
Electronic in 1989. Along with Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant, the group collaborated on the single "Getting Away With It" primarily as an effort to stretch their musical boundaries and to do so outside of the sometimes strangulating confines of their day jobs. Indeed, two years would pass before Sumner and Marr could be bothered to reconvene and release their debut LP.

For its primary members, Electronic would remain only an occasional and informal endeavor -- in other words, exactly the thing they'd always wished it would be. They would produce two more full-length efforts (1996's Raise the Pressure and 1999's Twisted Tenderness), as well as a handful-and-a-half of singles that -- commercially, at least -- made less and less of an impact as time dragged past.

With Electronic now apparently kaput for good,
Rhino released Get the Message: The Best of Electronic back in September. Long-time fans and neophytes alike will find the group's best-known songs here -- a few of them in slightly re-jiggered form -- along with some of-interest b-sides and album tracks. For beginners, especially, it's as good a place as any to start and end with this particular branch of the "supergroup" sub-species.

[MP3] "Like No Other"

[MP3] "Disappointed" [single mix] [w/Neil Tennant]

[MP3] "For You"

Tuesday, October 10

BADLY DRAWN BOY



Rather quietly, Badly Drawn Boy's latest full-length, Born in the U.K., has crept up upon us. And nary a Hugh Grant film in sight.

The album will be released in the U.S. on October 16 on
EMI. You can pre-order it at Amazon.

Badly Drawn Boy on MySpace.

Badly Drawn Boy in America >>>

Oct 10 8:00P/Paradise/Boston
Oct 11 8:00P/Hiro Ballroom/New York
Oct 12 8:00P/Hiro Ballroom/New York
Oct 14 8:00P/Mod Club/Toronto
Oct 16 8:00P/Great American Music Hall/San Francisco
Oct 18 8:00P/Troubadour/Los Angeles
Oct 19 8:00PTroubadour/Los Angeles

[MP3] "A Journey from A to B"

[MP3] "The Way Things Used to Be"

Monday, October 9

FOR KOREAN' OUT LOUD




Cue the shaking of heads/wringing of hands/gnashing of teeth. North Korea may have the Bomb, Mel Gibson may have fallen off the wagon, and Al-Qaeda have instigated Operation Lettuce Entertaint You -- the systematic poisoning of America's leafy green vegetables with E. coli.

Fortunately, we are solutions-oriented here at a PLAGUE of ANGELS. Mr. Gibson should immediately be shipped to a rehab run by atheist Jews, where the only entertainment is a continuous loop of Schindler's List, The Sorrow and the Pity, and Spaceballs. As far as North Korea goes, the CIA should spirit Korean War vets Max Klinger and Frank Burns across the DMZ for the purpose of lacing Kim Jong Il's kimchi-and-Outback-Steakhouse-Bloomin'-Onion brunch with Whitney Houston cootie juice (as extracted from Osama bin Laden's beard).

[MP3] Gap Band/"You Dropped a Bomb on Me"

[MP3] Crooked Fingers/"New Drink for the Old Drunk"

[MP3] Tom Waits/"Little Drop of Poison"

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Today seems to be one of those "embarrassment of riches" type situations here in North America, what with the simultaneous celebrations of Columbus Day (U.S.) and Thanksgiving (Canada). Of course, we all know by now that Christopher Columbus didn't actually discover America -- or even set foot on what would eventually become the American mainland. He set foot on the Bahamas, for which generations of American vacationers thank him.

I don't really know what the Canadian Thanksgiving is all about. In the U.S., it's when we celebrate the last meal we permitted the Native Americans before we started slaughtering them. Maybe, in Canada, it's when they celebrate universal healthcare or whoever the hell the guy was that discovered hockey. Or curling. Ice-fishing, maybe. Or the loose moosemeat sandwich.

Regardless, this post is rife with irony. The band
Columbus is Canadian; the band Canada is American. To be more precise, the band Canada is from Ann Arbor, which is home to the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan's archrival in all things is the Ohio State University, which makes its home in Ohio. Columbus, Ohio. You really can't make this stuff up.

[MP3] Columbus/"Christian Girls"

[MP3] Canada/"Record Function"

BONUS TRACK >>>

[MP3] "Blame Canada" [from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut]

MITCH RYDER


Much to my (and everybody else's) surprise, the Detroit Tigers awoke from their late-season slumber and kicked the forever-overrated Yankees to the curb. Thus, I wanted to start this week with some kind of Detroit-themed something-or-other.

The exact angle and vector of that something-or-other became clear while visiting my brother on Sunday (and watching the forever-inept
Detroit Lions find still more creative ways to give a game away). Somehow or another, I got to thinking about Motor City blue-eyed soulman/rocker Mitch Ryder, which led me to ask my sibling if he'd ever heard Mitch's cover of the Prince song "When You Were Mine." Turns out, he hadn't.

In truth, it had been years since I'd heard it myself. For a time after its release in 1983 (on the John Cougar Mellencamp-produced Never Kick a Sleeping Dog), it received a fair amount of airplay on Detroit radio. But, since then: nothing.

Of course, that didn't stop a slew of other artists from covering the catchy little bastard. Everybody from Tegan and Sara, Crooked Fingers, Casiotone for the Playfully Alone, and Cyndi Lauper took a crack at it.
My Old Kentucky Blog had the skinny on all this back in May. But, alas: no Mitch.

So, my enterprising brother took it upon himself to whip up a bit of search-engine sorcery, and, lo and behold, I had the Mitch Ryder version of "When You Were Mine" in a matter of minutes. I was quite the happy man. A tiny hole in my music-seeking soul had been closed.

Now, just to complete this story: I decided to run a quick hit on the
Hype Machine to see what other Mitch Ryder tunes might be circling around the cybersphere. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a French blog going by the name of Un Violon, Un Jambon ("A Violin, A Ham Bone"?) had posted "When You Were Mine," by Mitch Ryder, THAT VERY DAY. I mean, pardon my French, but that's just effin' spooky.

Nevertheless, here's my version, which is actually Mitch Ryder's version, which comes to you by way of my brother...

[MP3] "When You Were Mine"

Friday, October 6

REP. MARK FOLEY (R-FL): BOY OH BOY OH BOY



It's nothing new for me to receive e-mails from record labels asking me to flog their latest releases, but I was a little taken aback to receive one from the distribution arm of NAMBLA Recordings (who knew?) alerting me to former U.S. Congressman Mark Foley's upcoming EP, Bring in Da Boyz, Bring in Da Punkz.

TRACKLIST >>>

01) "Do I Make You Horny?"
02) "Sliding the Shorts Off Ya"
03) "Typing One-Handed (Hunting Pecker)"
04) "Cock Tales & High Balls (The Booze Made Me Do It)"
05) "I'll Bring the Ruler, You Bring Your Dick"
06) "Turn the Page" [
Bob Seger cover]


Till it actually comes out (hee hee), however, we'll just have to make do with the following troika of tracks...

[MP3] Noblesse Oblige/"Daddy (Don't Touch Me There)"

[MP3] Devendra Banhart/"Little Boys"

[MP3] Connie Francis/"Where the Boys Are"

THE AFFAIR


The Affair are a New York City-based five-piece -- two girls, three boys. This little ditty could have been done in the early '80s by Blondie. Or the Motels. But it wasn't. It was done in the mid '00s by the Affair. From New York City. Two girls. Three boys.

The Affair's MySpace page.

[MP3] "Andy"
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