Wednesday, October 31

JOSH RITTER

JOSH RITTER was born in Moscow, Idaho. He is quite obviously influenced by BOB DYLAN and BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. He is not as gifted/talented as Bob Dylan and/or Bruce Springsteen, but that's okay; I am reasonably certain that he is aware of the fact that he is not as gifted/talented as Bob Dylan and/or Bruce Springsteen.

It might be said that Josh Ritter occupies some of the same artistic territory as RYAN ADAMS. At this particular point in time, I am finding myself preferring Ritter to Adams. That is not to say that Ritter is more gifted/talented than Adams; it is just an opinion. I am absolutely certain that Ryan Adams would disagree with that opinion. I am reasonably certain that Ryan Adams thinks that Ryan Adams is as gifted/talented as Bob Dylan and/or Bruce Springsteen. That would be his opinion. Ryan Adams can take his opinion and shove it up his ass.

JOSH RITTER on MySPACE.

JOSH RITTER on the road >>>

Oct 31 2007 8:00P/Workplay Theatre/Birmingham, Alabama
Nov 1 2007 8:00P/Variety Playhouse/Atlanta, Georgia
Nov 2 2007 6:00P/Grimey’s - Instore/Nashville, Tennessee
Nov 2 2007 8:00P/Exit/In/Nashville, Tennessee
Nov 3 2007 8:00P/Headliners/Louisville, Kentucky
Nov 4 2007 8:00P/Southgate House/Newport, Kentucky
Nov 5 2007 8:00P/Cats Cradle/Carrboro, North Carolina
Nov 7 2007 8:00P/World Cafe Live/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nov 9 2007 8:00P/Webster Hall/New York, New York
Nov 14 2007 8:00P/Boule Noire/Paris


From the LP THE HISTORICAL CONQUESTS OF JOSH RITTER, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "Right Moves"
[
MP3] "Still Beating"

From the LP THE ANIMAL YEARS, 2006 >>>
[
MP3] "Girl in the War"
[
MP3] "Good Man"

From the LP HELLO STARLING, 2003 >>>
[
MP3] "Man Burning"
[
MP3] "Baby That's Not All"

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Tuesday, October 30

INGRID MICHAELSON

Twenty-six-year-old Staten Islander INGRID MICHAELSON has got this 21st-century, Internet-&-iPod-dominated marketing-thing licked. At least three of her songs have been featured on "Grey's Anatomy." And one of them ("The Way I Am") has appeared in TWO separate television ads (Old Navy and Chevrolet).

Obviously, the woman risks coming across as soulless and mercenary -- a sort of finger-in-every-pie-chart, multimedia whore. The fact that the songs are really quite likeable may well be her saving grace....

INGRID MICHAELSON on MySPACE.

INGRID MICHAELSON in the wild, wild west >>>

Oct 31 Aladdin Theatre/Portland, OR
Nov 2 12 noon/BORDERS Book Store/San Francisco, CA/400 Post Street
Nov 2 The Fillmore/San Francisco, CA
Nov 3 Troubadour/ALL AGES!/SOLD OUT/West Hollywood, CA
Nov 4 2 PM/BORDERS Book Store/Hollywood, CA/90028 1501 Vine Street
Nov 4 Cafeteria at Pepperdine University/Malibu, CA


From the LP GIRLS AND BOYS, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "The Way I Am"
[
MP3] "Breakable"

BONUS TRACK >>>

[
MP3] "Keep Breathing"

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THE RAVEONETTES

For what seems like forever now, rumors have been rife regarding a new RAVEONETTES record. Well, those rumors are on the verge of proving true. LUST LUST LUST will descend upon Europe on November 12. As for North America... AMAZON lists a March 4, 2008 date. So maybe that means something, or maybe it don't.

Whichever, Raveonettes fans should be forewarned that the new album features a bit of a different sound than previous releases. The churning, vintage-'50s guitar work is still present, but the tempos have been decelerated, and melody has at times been supplanted by deep, forbidding basslines and thunderous, repetitive percussion. If earlier Raveonettes' LPs mined a "garage-rock by way of ENNIO MORRICONE" vibe, this one tilts more toward "shoegaze by way of ANGELO BADALAMENTI." I'll leave it to you to decide if this is a change for the better or worse....


THE RAVEONETTES on MySPACE.

THE RAVEONETTES in the English-speaking world >>>

Oct 31 2007 8:00P/BLUEBIRD THEATRE/DENVER, Colorado
Nov 13 2007 8:00P/Kings College/London
Nov 14 2007 8:00P/Norwich Arts Centre/Norwich
Nov 15 2007 8:00P/Barfly/Brighton
Nov 16 2007 8:00P/Barfly/Cambridge
Nov 17 2007 8:00P/Barfly/Birmingham
Nov 19 2007 8:00P/King Tuts/Glasgow
Nov 20 2007 8:00P/Academy 2/Newcastle


[
MP3] "Aly, Walk With Me" [REMOVED BY REQUEST]

[
MP3] "Blitzed" [REMOVED BY REQUEST]

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Monday, October 29

NICOLE ATKINS

In April, I had this to say about NICOLE ATKINS:

"ALL MUSIC GUIDE calls New York City singer-songwriter NICOLE ATKINS a mix of ROY ORBISON, LORETTA LYNN, and JENNY LEWIS. Well, gee. Couldn't they raise their expectations just a LITTLE bit?

I'd also throw a dash of NELLIE McKAY into that melting pot. And if you've ever wondered what MAMA CASS would sound like covering a SHIRLEY BASSEY James Bond theme (and who HASN'T?), then just give a listen to Atkins' sultry and soaring "The Way It Is."


Now, on the edge of November -- and with Atkins' new album NEPTUNE CITY ready to drop tomorrow -- I stand by all of that. If anything, the CASS ELLIOT comparison seems more apt than ever on the bright, singalong chorus to "Maybe Tonight."

NICOLE ATKINS on MySPACE.

NICOLE ATKINS on the road >>>

Oct 30 2007 10:00P/Union Pool/Brooklyn
Oct 30 2007 11:30P/Late Night with David Letterman/New York
Nov 1 2007 9:00P/The Crocodile Cafe/Seattle, Washington
Nov 2 2007 8:00P/John Henry’s/Eugene, Oregon
Nov 3 2007 7:00P/The Plaza Club/Vancouver, British Columbia
Nov 5 2007 7:00P/The Walnut Room/Denver, Colorado
Nov 7 2007 8:00P/The Parish/Austin, Texas
Nov 9 2007 7:00P/Vinyl/Atlanta, Georgia


From the LP NEPTUNE CITY, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "The Way It Is"
[
MP3] "Maybe Tonight"

BONUS TRACK >>>

[
MP3] "Skywriters"

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MANDO DIAO

The good news is: I've been enjoying the hell out of Swedish band MANDO DIAO's album ODE TO OCHRASY -- to the point where I'd begun to pencil it in as a finalist for my Top 10 Albums of 2007. The bad news is: It turns out that the LP was released in Sweden in 2006, thereby making it ineligible for this year's list. Dagnabbit.

The good news is: The enterprising men of Mando Diao have gone ahead and recorded & released a new record -- NEVER SEEN THE LIGHT OF DAY -- for 2007 Top 10 consideration. The bad news is: The 2007 record isn't nearly as good as the 2006 record. Goshdangit.

MANDO DIAO on MySPACE.

[
MP3] "Misty Mountains"

[
MP3] "Never Seen the Light of Day"

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Sunday, October 28

DIONNE WARWICK

The youngsters amongst you may well have no idea who/what DIONNE WARWICK was/is. A few may know that she's related to WHITNEY HOUSTON (they're cousins). A few may remember her for her unfortunate foray into TV hucksterism (Psychic Friends Network, anyone?). Then there was her well-intentioned-but-ultimately-insufferable 1986 charity single ("That's What Friends Are For," with ELTON JOHN, STEVIE WONDER, and GLADYS KNIGHT). Finally, some may recall that she was the original host of the cheesy-in-the-extreme '80s music-charts countdown show "Solid Gold" (Arsenio Hall was the show's FINAL host).

For our purposes today, though, Dionne Warwick should be remembered simply as one of the biggest -- and most consistent -- hitmakers of the '60s. Because that's exactly who and what she was and is.

[
MP3] "I Say a Little Prayer"

[
MP3] "Reach Out for Me"

[
MP3] "Walk on By"

[
MP3] "Trains and Boats and Planes"

[
MP3] "Anyone Who Had a Heart"

[
MP3] "I'll Never Fall in Love Again"

BONUS TRACK >>>

[MP3] "Heartbreaker" [This one's from 1982 and is included because (1) it's quite catchy, and (2) it provides a logical extension from Friday's BEE GEES post (the Brothers Gibb wrote and produced it).]

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Friday, October 26

BEE GEES

Thirty years ago, it wasn't the U.S. and U.S.S.R. that ruled the world; it was the BEE GEES. And ABBA. And it was the Boy in the Bubble/Vinnie Barbarino suddenly going white-hot on the Big Screen.

I still remember seeing a double-feature (they still HAD double-features in those days) of "Grease" and "Saturday Night Fever" with my parents in what must have been '78 or '79. I thought "Grease" was groovy. "Fever" put me to sleep. But hey, I was just a kid, and the second movie of a double-feature almost ALWAYS put me to sleep. Case(s) in point: "The Fifth Avenue Irregulars" ('79)/"The Black Marble" ('80) & "Death on the Nile" ('78)/"Murder on the Orient Express" ('74). Only "Wolfen" (''81)/"The Shining" ('80) [at the drive-in, with my sister] broke the streak. (I was too scared-shitless by that damned hedge-maze and spooky-ass music to nod off during that one.)

Most of this has nothing at all to do with today's MP3s offerings; I'm just taking a hop, skip, & plunge down the Yellow Brick Road of nostalgia. And I'm not the only one. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of "Saturday Night Fever" and its attendant cultural phenomena, RHINO is re-releasing the Bee Gees' 1979 double-disc greatest-hits colection. The first four tracks below are pulled from there.

The last four tracks are from an even-earlier, even-more-innocent time. These were songs my even-younger, blonder self listened to on the AM radio of my father's blue Ford LTD, circa '73, '74, '75.... The Brothers Gibb weren't doing disco in those days. "Soft rock," more like. Along with THE CARPENTERS and SEALS & CROFTS and JIM CROCE and JANIS IAN and THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE and etc. (But we'll save those folks for the next time nostalgia comes knockin'....)

<<< '70s >>>

[
MP3] "Stayin' Alive"

[
MP3] "Tragedy"

[
MP3] "More Than a Woman"

[
MP3] "If I Can't Have You"

<<< '60s >>>

[
MP3] "I Started a Joke"

[
MP3] "Holiday"

[
MP3] "To Love Somebody"

[
MP3] "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart"

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Thursday, October 25

OOBERMAN

An unexpected find, via eMUSIC....

OOBERMAN hail from Lerpwl (Welsh for "Liverpool"?) and do the "orchestral/chamber-pop with boy/girl vocals" thing. Apparently, they've already broken up (2003) and regrouped (2006) once; they don't perform their songs live; and pretty much everybody involved has side-projects up the wazoo/wingwang. Not sure that bodes well for their future, but here are some songs from their past....

OOBERMAN on MySPACE.

From the BEANY BEAN single, 2006 >>>
[
MP3] "Beany Bean"
[
MP3] "Car Song"

From the LP CARRIED AWAY, 2006 >>>
[
MP3] "The Beauty of Your Soul"
[
MP3] "Mary Grows Old"
[
MP3] "Easy"

From the LP HEY PETRUNKO, 2003 >>>
[
MP3] "First Day of the Holidays"

From the LP THE LOST TAPES, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "Loveshit Ricochet" [1994]

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Wednesday, October 24

SEA WOLF

SEA WOLF is the creation of ALEX CHURCH, founding member of the L.A. indie outfit IRVING. On his full-length debut, LEAVES IN THE RIVER, the songs tend toward straightforward, folk-oriented pop. The production is clean and uncluttered, and there's a nice undercurrent of gray-skied, winter chill to keep things grounded. On this gray-skied, hinting-at-winter-chill evening, I'm digging the vibe.

SEA WOLF on MySPACE.

SEA WOLF in the south >>>

Oct 25 2007 7:30A/Rion Ballroom/Gainesville
Oct 26 2007 8:00P/State Theater/St Petersburg, Florida
Oct 27 2007 8:00P/Cafe 11/St. Augustine, Florida
Oct 28 2007 8:00P/The Earl Atlanta, Georgia
Oct 29 2007 9:00P/40 Watt/Athens, Georgia
Oct 30 2007 8:00P/The Orange Peel/Asheville, North Carolina
Oct 31 2007 8:00P/Cat’s Cradle/Carrboro, North Carolina
Nov 1 2007 8:00P/Satellite Ballroom/Charlottesville, Virginia


From the LP LEAVES IN THE RIVER, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "Black Dirt"
[
MP3] "The Cold, the Dark and the Silence"

From the EP GET TO THE RIVER BEFORE IT RUNS TOO LOW, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "Ses Monuments"

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THE 1900s

Just look at all those hippies up there... doing all those perverted, hippie things. Turns the stomach, doesn't it? Where have you gone, Richard Nixon? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you....

Chicago's
THE 1900s (not to be confused with Glasgow's 1990s) released their debut album, COLD & KIND, at the outset of October. Their music has drawn comparisons to FLEETWOOD MAC, BELLE AND SEBASTIAN, and THE ZOMBIES. Their genre is psychedelia-tinged (goddam hippies!) indie-pop. One imagines there is much drug-taking and orgification and very little in the way of genuflection to -- and glorification of -- the GOP, NRA, WWF, or NASCAR. Lord have mercy on their souls.

These people (all seven of them! Goddam communist cabal!) are on a highway to hell. Tailgating BRITNEY SPEARS. Whose children are strapped to the roof. Smoking cigarettes. Drinking gin. Bald and lacking underpants. Lord have mercy. (And on YOU as well, if you should choose to succumb to the siren songs below. Tricky Dick has left and gone away....)

THE 1900s on MySPACE.

From the LP COLD & KIND, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "The Medium Way" [Removed at record label's very polite request]
[
MP3] "When I Say Go"

From the EP PLUME DELIVERY, 2006 >>>
[MP3] "Bring the Good Boys Home"

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Tuesday, October 23

SAY HI

Here in the Mitten, folks know a thing or two about downsizing. Apparently, the people of the Pacific Northwest do as well, seeing as the Seattle band once known as SAY HI TO YOUR MOM have been compelled to jettison a full 60% of their words and 64% of their letters (67% if you count the spaces). The times are tough. Tight-fistedness is next to godliness. Somebody, buy these guys a vowel (or four).

So...
SAY HI it is. And just in time for their latest long-form release, THE WISHES AND THE GLITCH. I say "their," but, name change or not, Say Hi is still driven by Mr. ERIC ELBOGEN. No longer is he merely one man, alone, in his bedroom, with a Casio; a few of his AV-club compatriots have dropped by to help him raise his freak-flag high. That translates into yet another batch of compact, paranoid-android pop, as shaped and shored up by the subsequent cultural touchstones:

"pretentious indie rock. paul mccartney. female bass players. female drummers. kool moe dee. ll cool j. any other rapper with the words kool or cool in their name. yorke. fat bob. malkmus. black francis. adam clayton. larry mullen jr. godrich. rupert neve. george martin. native instruments. reason. logic pro. paul epsworth. ira glass. ira kaplan. ira elliot. daniel and matthew too. barsuk. k. merge. matador sometimes. ballard. brooklyn. david foster wallace. distopia. stephin merritt. doug martsch. tape op. the wrens. the novation bass station."

If that doesn't paint a detailed enough picture for you, by all means give a listen to the songs below. But don't dawdle. The grim realities of the modern marketplace would suggest that daily operations of this blog may soon be shipped to India, to be taken up by that inscrutable customer-service specialist you called the last time your Dell decided to do the Dutch. "For quality assurance, your call may be recorded." Question is: Who's doing the recording? The NSA or RIAA? Oh, the horror, the horror....

SAY HI on MySPACE.

SAY HI live >>>

Oct 24 2007 8:00P/The Proletariat/Houston, Texas
Oct 25 2007 8:00P/Red Star Bar/Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Oct 26 2007 8:00P/The Bottletree Cafe/Birmingham, Alabama
Oct 27 2007 8:00P/The Earl/Atlanta, Georgia
Oct 28 2007 8:00P/Local 506/Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Oct 29 2007 8:00P/Outback Lodge/Charlottesville, Virginia
Oct 30 2007 8:00P/Black Cat/Washington, Washington DC
Nov 1 2007 8:00P/Mojo 13/Wilmington, Delaware


[
MP3] "Toil and Trouble"

[
MP3] "Shakes Her Shoulders"

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MATT POND PA

The music of MATT POND PA is like a pair of old, comfortable shoes. For this, PITCHFORK felt compelled to rip Mr. Pond & his posse a new a-hole. I, on the other hand, am inclined to be a bit more generous. Guess I just have a thing for old, comfortable shoes. (And Pitchfork can blow me.)

New CD LAST LIGHT may not be the most lively thing you'll hear this year, but I wouldn't demonize it as "bland," "stale" "pabulum," either. In truth, it does work much the same territory that Matt Pond has worked before, but surely there are greater sins than this under the cosmos. As for instance: being melodically-challenged to the point of unlistenability (BEIRUT and ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI can blow me after Pitchfork is done blowing me).

(And if Pitchfork is TRULY intent on "banning the bland" in indie music, then they'd damn-well better not be slurping on the likes of BAND OF HORSES and DEVENDRA BANHART. For these sleep-inducing a-holes, new a-holes should be ripped.)

MATT POND PA on MySPACE.

MATT POND PA on the road to PA >>>

Oct 24 2007 8:00P/Meridian - *Jesca Hoop Supporting/HOUSTON
Oct 26 2007 8:00P/The Loft - *Jesca Hoop Supporting/ATLANTA
Oct 27 2007 8:00P/Local 506 - *Jesca Hoop Supporting/CHAPEL HILL
Oct 28 2007 8:00P/Vulcan Park - *Jesca Hoop Supporting/BIRMINGHAM
Oct 29 2007 8:00P/Exit In - *Jesca Hoop Supporting/NASHVILLE
Oct 31 2007 8:00P/Lulu’s - *Jesca Hoop Supporting/STATE COLLEGE
Nov 2 2007 8:00P/Stone Pony - *Jesca Hoop Supporting/ASBURY PARK
Nov 3 2007 8:00P/Chameleon./Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Nov 4 2007 8:00P/Johnny Brenda’s - *Jesca Hoop Supporting/PHILADELPHIA


From the LP LAST LIGHT, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "People Have a Way"
[
MP3] "Giving It All Away"

From the EP IF YOU WANT BLOOD, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "If You Want Blood"
[
MP3] "If You Live"

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Monday, October 22

HOT SPRINGS

From Brooklyn (home to this morning's LES SAVY FAV), we're taking I-87/AUT-15 north to that tres French mecca de musique exotique, Montreal. Here, we look forward to rendezvous-ing with up-and-coming, psychedelic pop-thrashers -- comment vous dites? -- HOT SPRINGS.

These folks are a new discovery for me, and -- first time through, at least -- I found myself drawn to their debut LP, VOLCANO. Dense production. Thick licks. Sometimes sounding like '70s hard rock/sometimes like modern-day indie-pop/sometimes both/sometimes both within the same song.

Singer-guitarist GISELLE WEBBER is the star attraction. Evoking everybody from KAREN O to BJORK to FEIST, her arresting, rebelette yell joins innocence (breathy coo) with decadence (cigarette rasp) in all the right ways. Methinks we'll be hearing more from Hot Springs in the days/weeks/years ahead....

HOT SPRINGS on MySPACE.

HOT SPRINGS thrashing this way 'n' that >>>

Oct 25 2007 8:00P/Vieux-Clocher/Sherbrooke, Quebec
Oct 26 2007 8:00P/Le National/Montreal, Quebec
Oct 27 2007 8:00P/Théâtre Petit/Champlain, Quebec
Oct 28 2007 8:00P/Théâtre Petit/Champlain, Quebec
Nov 3 2007 8:00P/L’Azile/Joliette, Quebec


[
MP3] "Headrush"

[
MP3] "Annimystique"

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LES SAVY FAV

LES SAVY FAV. I'd heard of them. Didn't know the proper way to pronounce them... but I'd heard of them.

Yet, checking my mix CD collection, I discovered that I had never used one of their many songs in one of my many mixes. Not even one. Not even ever.

Could mean a couple things. (1.) I'd never heard any songs of theirs. (2.) I'd never heard any songs of theirs I liked. Could go either way.

So, better late than never (maybe, maybe not), I turned my attention to their latest cycle of songs -- LET'S STAY FRIENDS.

Impressions? Noisy. Uncompromising. Unforgiving. Freewheeling. Fun? Kinda undeniably attention-getting (grabbing) despite these guys' oh-so-obvious revelrous glee in fucking with verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus traditionalists like me (myself)? Seems so, uh-huh, yes sir.

The two songs below are going on mix CDs. Maybe there'll be more (maybe not). But it's a start. Either way. Yes sir.

LES SAVY FAV on MySPACE.

LES SAVY FAV in transit >>>

Oct 23 2007 8:00P/Festsaak Kreuzberg/Berlin
Oct 24 2007 8:00P/Ubel & Gafehrlich/Hamburg
Oct 25 2007 8:00P/Rotterdam
Oct 26 2007 8:00P/Nouveau Casino, Paris
Oct 27 2007 8:00P/CRAWDADDY/Dublin
Nov 16 2007 8:00P/Duke Coffeehouse/Durham, North Carolina
Nov 30 2007 8:00P/Neumos/Seattle, Washington
Dec 1 2007 8:00P/Richards on Richards/Vancouver


[MP3] "What Would Wolves Do"

[
MP3] "Patty Lee"

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Sunday, October 21

NANCY SINATRA

Strap on your go-go boots, baby. NANCY SINATRA wants to take you down to Sugar Town....

[
MP3] "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"

[
MP3] "Summer Wine" [w/LEE HAZLEWOOD]

[
MP3] "Somethin' Stupid" [w/FRANK SINATRA]

[
MP3] "Lady Bird" [w/LEE HAZLEWOOD]

[
MP3] "You Only Live Twice"

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Friday, October 19

THE '80s - V. 3

Please left-click [HERE] to download the third installment of THE '80s series.

Portal to previous '80s compilations [HERE].

THE '80s, V. 3 TRACKLIST >>>

01) MIDNIGHT OIL/Beds Are Burning
02) THE CALL/Let the Day Begin
03) THE CHURCH/Under the Milky Way
04) CROWDED HOUSE/Don't Dream It's Over
05) BANANARAMA/Cruel Summer
06) THE CURE/Lovesong
07) TALKING HEADS/Burning Down the House
08) NEW ORDER/True Faith
09) SPANDAU BALLET/True
10) CULTURE CLUB/Do You Really Want to Hurt Me
11) PETE TOWNSHEND/Let My Love Open the Door
12) CYNDI LAUPER/Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
13) MADNESS/Our House
14) KIM WILDE/You Keep Me Hangin' On
15) THE DREAM ACADEMY/Life in a Northern Town
16) NENA/99 Luftballons
17) AFTER THE FIRE/Der Kommissar
18) THE SMITHEREENS/Blood and Roses
19) ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN/Bring on the Dancing Horses

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SIOUXSIE

Since this is destined to be an '80s sort of day, we'll kick things off with SIOUXSIE of SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES fame. Of course, she used to go by SIOUXSIE SIOUX, but -- 11 years after banishing the Banshees -- she has apparently decided to sacrifice the "Sioux." What's lost in Dr. Suessian alliteration & whimsy is made up for in economy, I guess is the idea.

MANTARAY, Siouxsie's debut album as a solo artist, is available now. The first two songs below are extracted from said debut.

SIOUXSIE on MySPACE.

SIOUXSIE on tour >>>

Oct 20 2007 8:00P/The Mean Fiddler/Astoria 2/London
Oct 24 2007 8:00P/Electric Ballroom/London
Oct 27 2007 8:00P/AB/Brussels
Oct 28 2007 8:00P/Elysee Montmatre/Paris
Oct 30 2007 8:00P/Backstage/Munich
Oct 31 2007 8:00P/Huxley’s/Berlin
Nov 2 2007 8:00P/New Melkweg/Amsterdam
Nov 3 2007 8:00P/Live Music Hall/Cologne


[
MP3] "Here Comes That Day"

[
MP3] "If It Doesn't Kill You"

BONUS TRACK >>>

[MP3] [VID] MORRISSEY & SIOUXSIE/"Interlude"

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Thursday, October 18

BLANCHE

It's always nice to be able to give a local act a little promotional push. Not that Detroit's BLANCHE needs much of one; their song "What This Town Needs" has been hellcattin' its way across cyberspace for quite a good little while now.

On that bleary-eyed, backwoods stomper, bandleaders DAN JOHN MILLER and TRACEE MAE MILLER clue us in to what NANCY SINATRA and LEE HAZLEWOOD might have sounded like if -- instead of getting pleasantly buzzed on summer wine -- they'd pushed all the way through to "sh*tfaced on crystal meth and moonshine." (Also think: RICHARD BURTON and ELIZABETH TAYLOR in a cinematic mash-up of WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? and DELIVERANCE.) (Hell, while we're at it, why not invite BILLY BOB, DWIGHT, and VIC from SLING BLADE over, too? Now THAT's a party.)

[Mr. Miller provided musical contributions to LORETTA LYNN's 2004 "comeback" album VAN LEAR ROSE, so today seems as good a day as any to cast an ear back to that particular time & title.]

BLANCHE on MySPACE.

BLANCHE, bi-continental >>>

Oct 19 2007 7:00P/The Crofoot Theatre/Pontiac, Michigan
Oct 24 2007 8:00P/BBC Electric Proms/London
Oct 26 2007 8:00P/Trabendo/Paris
Oct 28 2007 8:00P/Botanigue/Brussels
Oct 29 2007 8:00P/Paradiseo/Amsterdam


From the LP LITTLE AMBER BOTTLES, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] [VID] "What This Town Needs"
[
MP3] "A Year From Now"

From the LP IF WE CAN'T TRUST THE DOCTORS, 2005 >>>
[
MP3] "So Long Cruel World"
[
MP3] "Wayfaring Stranger"

BONUS TRACKS >>>

[
MP3] LORETTA LYNN [w/JACK WHITE]/"Portland Oregon"

[
MP3] LORETTA LYNN/"Have Mercy"

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Wednesday, October 17

RIALTO

Even in their native UK, RIALTO was one of those blink-and-you-missed-'em Britpop bands. From 1997-2002 they achieved some minor chart success with a couple of their songs and were dropped from their record company (twice) for their trouble.

I have no memory whatsoever of how I came to hear about these guys -- or when I first heard their music. I seem to remember that the song was "Monday Morning 5.19," and that it reminded me a bit of my beloved PULP (no wonder, really, seeing as the melody on the bridge -- 2:53 to 3:23 -- is lifted directly from that band's "I Spy").

Regardless, you'll find that song, the Top 20 "Untouchable," and three more of their better efforts below....

[
MP3] "Monday Morning 5.19"

[
MP3] "Anyone Out There?"

[
MP3] "Summer's Over"

[
MP3] "Drive"

[
MP3] "Untouchable"

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Tuesday, October 16

KENT

A couple weeks ago, I started banging the drum for the then-upcoming release of KENT's TILLBAKA TILL SAMTIDEN. At the time, I'd only heard first single "Ingenting," which sounded sufficiently cool to be promising (even if it never quite found that extra gear that might have taken it someplace truly special).

Well, the album officially drops today, and it pains me to report that the whole thing's a bit of a disappointment. One reason for this may be that the new effort simply pales in comparison to most of the Swedish band's previous output. Another may be that it comes hard on the heels of the great Internet IN RAINBOWS rollout, which is relevant for the fact that Kent has -- rightly or wrongly -- often been spoken of in the same breath as RADIOHEAD. Just judging by TILLBAKA's by-the-numbers, programmed drum beats alone, Kent is destined to get the short end of that stick every time.

Far more direct and damning, though, is the fact that the band can't seem to work up energy enough to mount a memorable chorus this time around. By contrast, their 2005 album DU & JAG DODEN had energy to burn and catchy choruses to spare. One can only hope they discover the wonders of caffeine, cocaine, or Oxycontin before commencing work on their next opus. Whatever it takes to give them a kick in the ass. Whatever it takes to bring the magic back.

KENT on MySPACE.

[
MP3] "Generation Ex"

[
MP3] "Colombus"

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THE HIVES

In certain parts of the world, at least, garage-rocking, Swedish neo-punks THE HIVES have a new album out. THE BLACK AND WHITE ALBUM won't be available in the U.S. until November 13.

(Somehow, I find it deeply dispiriting that they've agreed to open for MAROON 5 on a number of American dates....)

THE HIVES on MySPACE.

THE HIVES in the USA >>>

Oct 16 2007 8:00P/Verizon Center [With Maroon 5]/Washington DC
Oct 17 2007 8:00P/The Black Cat [Headline Show]/Washington DC
Oct 18 2007 8:00P/Colonial Center [With Maroon 5]/Columbia, South Carolina
Oct 19 2007 8:00P/Jack Rabbits [Headline Show]/Jacksonville, Florida
Oct 20 2007 8:00P/Bank Atlantic Center [With Maroon 5]/Sunrise, Florida
Oct 21 2007 8:00P/St. Pete Times Forum [With Maroon 5]/St. Petersburg, Florida
Oct 23 2007 8:00P/Amway Arena [With Maroon 5]/Orlando, Florida
Oct 24 2007 8:00P/Gwinett Civic Center [With Maroon 5]/Duluth, Georgia
Oct 25 2007 8:00P/One Eyed Jacks [Headline Show]/New Orleans, Louisiana


From the LP THE BLACK AND WHITE ALBUM, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "It Won't Be Long"
[
MP3] "Hey Little World"

From the LP TYRANNOSAURUS HIVES, 2004 >>>
[
MP3] "See Through Head"
[
MP3] "B is for Brutus"

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Monday, October 15

THE DIVINE COMEDY - PART 2

In which we continue and complete Friday's retrospective on THE DIVINE COMEDY....

THE DIVINE COMEDY on MySPACE.

From the LP FIN DE SIECLE, 1998 >>>
[
MP3] "Generation Sex"
[
MP3] "Sunrise"

From the LP A SHORT ALBUM ABOUT LOVE, 1997 >>>
[
MP3] "Everybody Knows (Except You)"
[
MP3] "If..."

From the LP CASANOVA, 1996 >>>
[
MP3] "Becoming More Like Alfie"
[
MP3] "Songs of Love"

From the LP PROMENADE, 1994 >>>
[
MP3] "Tonight We Fly"
[
MP3] "Geronimo"

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Sunday, October 14

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD

Yet another Sunday, yet another collection of classic '60s pop as delivered by iconic female vox. Though she shuffled off her mortal coil nearly a decade ago, DUSTY SPRINGFIELD is eternal.

[
MP3] "I Only Want to Be With You"

[MP3] "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"

[
MP3] "The Look of Love"

[
MP3] "Wishin' and Hopin'"

[
MP3] "I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten"

[
MP3] "Little By Little"

[MP3] "You Don't Own Me"

[MP3] "Guess Who"

[
MP3] "All I See is You"

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Friday, October 12

THE DIVINE COMEDY - PART 1

THE DIVINE COMEDY is the nom de pop of NEIL HANNON, an Irishman who deserves a place alongside JARVIS COCKER, MORRISSEY, and NEIL TENNANT in the mordant-wit pantheon of contemporary songwriters. Like those gentlemen, he is more than capable of joining a killer riff with a cute-yet-cutting couplet.

In the beginning (the late '80s), the Divine Comedy was content to channel R.E.M.-styled jangle-pop. But with the subsequent success of Britpop (generally) and PULP (specifically), the sound began to change. SCOTT WALKER suddenly seemed to become Hannon's muse. The music became increasingly baroque; lush; melodramatic. And the lyrics turned smarter; sharper; tongue-in-cheekier. It was around this time (2000) that I happened upon the "best of" collection A SECRET HISTORY. It was bewitching. I never looked back.

Until now. Over the course of two posts (this one and this coming Monday's one), we will be taking a look back at the Divine Comedy's career to date -- starting at the end; ending at the start. (Well... not QUITE the start. I am omitting album #1 (1993's LIBERATION) for the simple reason that I am neither fond nor in love with that particular release. My apologies, Mr. Hannon; it just doesn't move me.)

THE DIVINE COMEDY on MySPACE.

From the LP VICTORY FOR THE COMIC MUSE, 2006 >>>
[
MP3] "The Light of Day"
[
MP3] "A Lady of a Certain Age"

From the LP ABSENT FRIENDS, 2004 >>>
[
MP3] "Absent Friends"
[
MP3] "Our Mutual Friend"

From the LP REGENERATION, 2001 >>>
[
MP3] "Perfect Lovesong"
[
MP3] "Mastermind"

From the LP THE DIVINE COMEDY: A SECRET HISTORY, 1999 >>>
[
MP3] "Gin Soaked Boy"
[
MP3] "Too Young to Die"

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Thursday, October 11

MARITIME

For some reason that passeth all human understanding, I had convinced myself that the band MARITIME originated from some northern European nation. Taking their nautical name as both cue and clue, I logically deduced that they must make their home in Copenhagen or Oslo; Helsingborg or Gothenburg.

But no. Milwaukee, actually. As in, Wisconsin. USA. Oops. Blessed are the cheesemakers.

(In my defense, Milwaukee DOES rest on a body of water (Lake Michigan), and the state of Wisconsin DOES contain the towns of "Denmark," "Norway" and "West Sweden." Just a little FYI to tide you over till your TGIF.)

Anyway... in the right light and from the most advantageous angles, Maritime's particular brand of indie guitar-pop should be sufficiently hale and handsome to get you into bed with them. Their third album, HERESY AND THE HOTEL CHOIR, will see its U.S. release on October 16.

MARITIME on MySPACE.

MARITIME out west >>>

Oct 11 2007 8:00P/Showbox Theater/Seattle, Washington
Oct 12 2007 7:00P/Performing Arts Center Main/Bellingham, Washington
Oct 13 2007 8:30P/Towne Lounge/Portland, Oregon
Oct 14 2007 7:00P/The Fillmore/San Francisco, California
Oct 16 2007 7:00P/The Wiltern/Los Angeles, California
Oct 17 2007 8:30P/Viper Room/Los Angeles, California
Oct 18 2007 7:00P/House of Blues/Anaheim, California
Oct 19 2007 7:00P/House of Blues/San Diego, California
Oct 20 2007 7:00P/The Joint/Las Vegas, Nevada


From the LP HERESY AND THE HOTEL CHOIR, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "For Science Fiction"
[
MP3] "Are We Renegade"

From the LP WE, THE VEHICLES, 2006 >>>
[
MP3] "German Engineering"

From the LP GLASS FLOOR, 2004 >>>
[
MP3] "A Night Like This"

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JAMES BLUNT

As a general rule, I don't make a habit of posting on artists that I don't like. I mean, why the hell would I? This is MY blog, after all -- one of the very few things in this world that I can actually call my own.

Sometimes, though, I fall prey to a moth-to-flame compulsion to listen to anything and everything that comes down the pop-rock pike. It may be some artist the blogosphere has gone absolutely bang-a-gong batshit for (are people REALLY enjoying the new DEVENDRA BANHART and BEIRUT records?!). Other times, I find myself unable to resist listening to the stuff that sells boo coo units. Of course, I do this merely to keep the common touch -- to suss out what's-what with the great unwashed.

I lay all of this out as a means of explaining and excusing my having listened to BOTH of JAMES BLUNT's albums -- 2005's BACK TO BEDLAM and the new ALL THE LOST SOULS. Suffice it to say, I do not recommend either opus. Each has the flavor and consistency of cardboard that's been left soaking in a rancid vat of Earl Grey tea. In other words: It's music your grandma can groove to.

So... it may be nothing more than a pointless exercise in turd-polishing to single out a track from each of Blunt's records that stands out -- ever-so-slightly -- from the rest of the sap and pap. But I'm pretty much committed to this now, and my tenth and eleventh listens to IN RAINBOWS can wait a few minutes....

JAMES BLUNT on MySPACE.

From the LP ALL THE LOST SOULS, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "Give Me Some Love"

From the LP BACK TO BEDLAM, 2005 >>>
[
MP3] "High"

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Wednesday, October 10

RON SEXSMITH

Canadian singer-songwriter RON SEXSMITH is a lot like his mother country -- chronically and criminally underappreciated.

Now, it's certainly true: The guy ain't flashy. His melodies and arrangements tend to be simple and straightforward. Uncluttered. "Workmanlike," one might say. Others have said: "Earnest." "Melancholic." And PAUL McCARTNEY and ELVIS COSTELLO -- two guys who tend to know a thing or three about melodies and arrangements -- have said that Sexsmith is an exemplary tunesmith.

And that's plenty good enough for me.

RON SEXSMITH on MySPACE.

RON SEXSMITH in his mother country & Michigan >>>

Oct 11 2007 8:00P/Chester Playhouse/Chester, Nova Scotia
Oct 12 2007 8:00P/Astor Theatre/Liverpool, Nova Scotia
Oct 13 2007 8:00P/Rebecca Cohn Arts Center/Halifax, Nova Scotia
Oct 14 2007 8:00P/The Playhouse/Fredericton, New Brunswick
Oct 16 2007 8:00P/Capitol Theatre/Moncton, New Brunswick
Oct 17 2007 8:00P/Festival Theatre/Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Oct 18 2007 8:00P/Confederation Centre/Charlottetown, Prince Edward
Oct 19 2007 8:00P/Holy Heart of Mary Theatre/St. Johns, Newfoundland
Oct 21 2007 8:00P/Magic Bag/Ferndale, Michigan


From the LP TIME BEING, 2006 >>>
[
MP3] "I Think We're Lost"
[
MP3] "Cold Hearted Wind"

From the LP RETRIEVER, 2004 >>>
[
MP3] "How on Earth"

From the LP COBBLESTONE RUNWAY, 2002 >>>
[
MP3] "Gold in Them Hills" [w/CHRIS MARTIN]

From the LP BLUE BOY, 2001 >>>
[
MP3] "Miracle in Itself"

From the LP OTHER SONGS, 1997 >>>
[
MP3] "At Different Times"

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Tuesday, October 9

DIRECTOR

I have no idea how well-known or well-regarded the Irish quartet DIRECTOR is in the UK; here in the U.S., these lads haven't even achieved blip-on-the-radar-screen status. Citing GRANDADDY, MUSE, and THE STROKES as modern-day influences, Director released their debut LP last year. It is currently available to the world on iTUNES.

DIRECTOR on MySPACE.

[MP3] [VID] "Reconnect"

[
MP3] "She's Saying Things"

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LEVY

LEVY is the "band" headed by Brooklynite JAMES LEVY. I liked the song "Rotten Love" (and the all-too-short "You Be Sweet") back in '05, but I didn't realize at the time that Mr. Levy is (apparently) big on religion. On his new album GLORIOUS (out in the UK today), the title tune may well be best-in-show, musically-speaking. Lyrically-speaking, it's enough to make this non-believer drop to his knees and pray for Levy (and his generic, repetitive, glory-be-to-god claptrap) to be struck dead and/or dumb by a sudden slash of lightning.

(Unless, of course, he meant it all in an "ironic" way. In which case: my apologies.)

Regardless, I couldn't quite bring myself to offer up that particular song for your perusal. Instead, I'm offering up OTHER songs,as such....

LEVY on MySPACE.

From the LP GLORIOUS, 2007 >>>
[
MP3] "Mint"
[
MP3] "Beneath 'Em All"

From the LP ROTTEN LOVE, 2005 >>>
[
MP3] "Rotten Love"
[
MP3] "You Be Sweet"

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