Thursday, January 31


Apropos of nothing whatsoever... a helter-skelter smattering of TOM WAITS, whose rusty croak of a voice all-but-implores me to drink whiskey and smoke. Except I'm not a smoker. And I haven't had a drink since August. (Let me assure you: Diet Coke and sugarless gum are pale, pale substitutes....)

MP3] "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You" [1973]

MP3] "Little Drop of Poison" [1997]

MP3] "Georgia Lee" [1999]

MP3] "Hold On" [1999]


Not all that many hours ago, I wrote about the boy/girl pop duo LOVERS ELECTRIC. The "girl" was EDEN BOUCHER. Turns out, Ms. Boucher has six sisters, one of whom is BUTTERFLY BOUCHER -- a singer & musician in her own right.

Checking my mix-CD archives, I discovered two songs by the latter sister, both of which sounded pretty damn solid in a poppy sort of way. (Probably didn't hurt that one of them was DAVID BOWIE's "Changes," and that the man himself contributed some sly, tossed-off vocals to the thing.)

Not all that many minutes after that, I found "Another White Dash" on the Net. I thought you might like to hear that one as well....

(By all accounts, Butterfly is due to release her sophomore long-player damn-near any day now. It may or may not be titled SCARY FRAGILE.)


From the LP FLUTTERBY, 2003 >>>
MP3] "I Can't Make Me"
MP3] "Another White Dash"


MP3] "Changes" [w/DAVID BOWIE]

Wednesday, January 30


LOVERS ELECTRIC. A duo. '80s-evocative electropop. From Down Under. Adelaide. AUS.

The duo: EDEN & DAVID. Met each other as children. Reconnected in 2005. Have supported ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK.

One album (for all practical purposes) to call their own: WHATEVER YOU WANT. 2008. See cover art above. Hear two songs below....


[MP3] [VID] "Honey"

[MP3] "In Love"


THE ENVY CORPS. A band. Purveyors of indie-pop. Ames. Iowa. USA.

The band: BRANDON, LUKE, DAVID & SCOTT. Have been compared to RADIOHEAD, DOVES, NEW ORDER, MODEST MOUSE & so on. Have supported THE KILLERS.

Two albums to call their own. The new one: DWELL. See cover art above. Hear two songs below. Own it, officially, 7 April 08.


MP3] [VID] "Rhinemaidens"

MP3] "99100"


THE DUKE SPIRIT. A band. Garage-y indie rock. London by way of Cheltenham. UK.

The band: LIELA, LUKE, DAN, TOBY & OLLY. Together five years now. Have supported QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, YEAH YEAH YEAHS, KASABIAN, MERCURY REV, RAZORLIGHT & so on. Have recorded with UNKLE.

Two albums to call their own. The new one: NEPTUNE. Made in America. CA. See cover art above. Hear two songs below....


MP3] [VID] "Lassoo"

MP3] "My Sunken Treasure"

Tuesday, January 29


[MP3] TEGAN AND SARA/"Back in Your Head" [RAC remix]

MP3] DESTROYER/"Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night's Ape)"

MP3] CARLA BRUNI/"Chanson Triste"

MP3] THE BRUNETTES/"Wall Poster Star"

MP3] JUDE/"The Asshole Song"


Monday, January 28


A six-pack of b-sides/rarities from R.E.M., whose new LP, ACCELERATE, will drop April 1. Let's hope the joke's not on us. They are, after all, loooooong overdue for a solid song-cycle....

[MP3] "Draggin' the Line" [TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS cover]

MP3] "First We Take Manhattan" [LEONARD COHEN cover]

MP3] "All the Right Friends"

MP3] "Fretless"

MP3] "Yellow River" [CHRISTIE cover]

MP3] "Wall of Death" [RICHARD THOMPSON cover]

Sunday, January 27



[MP3] "Killer Queen" [1974]

[MP3] "Bohemian Rhapsody" [1975]

[MP3] "Somebody to Love" [1976]

[MP3] "Don't Stop Me Now" [1978]

[MP3] "Under Pressure" [w/DAVID BOWIE] [1981]

[MP3] "I Want to Break Free" [1984]

[MP3] "Hammer to Fall" [1984]

[MP3] "I Want It All" [1989]

[MP3] "The Show Must Go On" [1991]

Friday, January 25

BEST OF 2002, VOL. 2

Please left-click [HERE] to download the concluding volume of 2002.

BEST OF 2002, V. 1 (AND BEST OF 2004) [HERE].

BEST OF 2002, V. 2 TRACKLIST >>>

1 the raveonettes/attack of the ghost riders
2 the new pornographers/letter from an occupant
3 the white stripes/fell in love with a girl
4 patti smith/glitter in their eyes
5 the hives/hate to say i told you so
6 lush/ladykillers
7 alex lloyd/green
8 ivy/the best thing
9 beck/lost cause
10 edwyn collins/a girl like you
11 israel kamakawiwo'ole/somewhere over the rainbow/what a wonderful world
12 delerium & sarah mclachlan/silence [airscape]
13 n.e.r.d./truth or dare
14 morcheeba/shallow end
15 depeche mode/it's no good
16 marianne faithfull/song for nico
17 dire straits/brothers in arms
18 edith piaf/non, je ne regrette rien
19 andy williams/happy heart
20 electric light orchestra/do ya

Thursday, January 24


Once the third-man-in on the short-lived TEST ICICLES, DEVONTE HYNES has now dubbed himself LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION and is just on the cusp of releasing his first album under that moniker -- FALLING OFF THE LAVENDER BRIDGE.

At various times sounding like a dead ringer for MARK EITZEL ("Galaxy of the Lost"), ED HARCOURT ("Tell Me What It's Worth"), and/or MATT POND PA ("Dry Lips"), Mr. Hynes mines a decidedly laid-back, folk-pop vibe.


MP3] [VID] "Tell Me What It's Worth"
MP3] "Dry Lips"

From the EP GALAXY OF THE LOST, 2007 >>>
MP3] [VID] "Galaxy of the Lost"
MP3] "The Flesh Failures"

Wednesday, January 23


A few days ago, somebody asked me to post THE KNACK's "My Sharona." I don't often get requests for individual songs, but this seemed an easy enough one to comply with. Nearly 30 years after its release, the tune is still top-notch.

If I had any hesitation at all about featuring this particular band on this particular blog, it had to do with the fact that Knack lead singer DOUG FIEGER is the brother of Detroit-area uber-attorney Geoffrey Fieger. The latter is best known for defending Jack Kevorkian aka "Doctor Death."

[DIGRESSION/MINI-RANT ALERT: For the record, I'm all for assisted suicide. Suicide of all sorts, really. Also: abortion, capital punishment, mass murders, thrill kills. "Pro-death" just generally, I guess you'd have to say. (I take special satisfaction from Darwin Award-worthy terminations. Feel the need to taunt a tiger? Fine. But I heartily hope it eats you. Want to climb or ski a mountain peak? Feel free. But may you promptly meet with the underside of an avalanche. Skydiving's your thing? Snag that chute! You're the former prime minister of Pakistan and insist on returning despite countless enemies pledged to putting an end to you? Benazir Bhutto, welcome home!).

Despite my general support for Kevorkian and his van o' death, however, I found Geoffrey Fieger an intolerable, camera-fucking creep. Imagine my joy when he became the Democratic candidate for governor of Michigan in 1998. So repulsed was I by the situation, I found myself unable to cast my intended vote against his opponent, John Engler, who -- besides being a typical, cutting-taxes-will-fix-all-sins Republican -- was essentially just one giant jowl.)

These days, Geoffrey F. is running stupefyingly self-serving TV ads while under indictment for federal-election-laws hanky-panky. The man's general theme seems to be that trial lawyers will inherit the earth because they serve as our selfless defenders against the Big Bad Everything. More likely, of course, they'll sue it out from under us. If you can stomach it, you can have yourself a 30-second looksie [HERE]. End DIGRESSION/MINI-RANT.]

(And to think... the poor guy was only asking for a simple song....)

[MP3] "My Sharona"


[MP3] "That's What the Little Girls Do"

[MP3] "Oh Tara"

[MP3] "Good Girls Don't"




Some icy, dark electronica/synth-pop for an icy, dark night. CHROMATICS call Portland, OR home, though their sound is New York City at 3 AM. It's all about the mood... and coming down from whatever it was that got you high....

MP3] "Night Drive"

MP3] "Healer"


[MP3] "In the City"

Tuesday, January 22


MATT COSTA is a 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Huntington Beach, CA. He started playing music after shattering his leg in a skateboarding accident, and was helped along at the start by NO DOUBT guitarist TOM DUMONT. He has since opened for the likes of JACK JOHNSON, BUILT TO SPILL, and GOMEZ. His second full-length release, UNFAMILIAR FACES, comes out today.


From the LP UNFAMILIAR FACES, 2008 >>>
MP3] "Mr. Pitiful"
MP3] "Unfamiliar Faces"

From the LP SONGS WE SING, 2006 >>>
MP3] "Cold December"
MP3] "Sweet Rose"

From the EP ELASMOSAURUS, 2005 >>>
MP3] "These Arms"
MP3] "Suicide is Painless"

From his self-titled EP, 2003 >>>
MP3] "Astair"
MP3] "Shimmering Fields"

Monday, January 21


Okay, so this is going to be a periodic, grab-bag sort of thing -- semi-random songs that don't quite fit anywhere else but are still worthy of note (and download). Maybe they're a little too long or a little too short or are entirely exemplary but for a boring bridge or a clumsy chorus. Maybe the music's great but the lyrics blow. Maybe the lyrics rock but the music's a snooze. Maybe the sound quality's not quite up to snuff. Maybe the tracks fall outside of this blog's usual parameters yet steadfastly insist on having their say. Well, this is the space in which they'll say it....

[Note: Even the pictures that accompany this section shall be selected in semi-random fashion. A Google search on the first word of the first song-title shall yield a page of pictures. From said page, one picture shall be picked. Thus: today's territorial squirrel.]


MP3] CAT POWER/"Don't Explain"

[MP3] PAPAS FRITAS/"Way We Walk"

MP3] MONEYBROTHER/"Stormy Weather"

MP3] ENON/"Disposable Parts"

MP3] STING/"Send Your Love" [Dave Aude remix]

Sunday, January 20


This Sunday's post flows altogether organically from last Sunday's post. Sorta-kinda. If you look at it sideways. And squint.

Last Sunday's post was dedicated to OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN, who performed the title song to the movie "Xanadu" with ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA aka ELO. And that's pretty much it. The connection. The organic flow from that week to this. Sorta-kinda.

As a kid, I loved these guys for their slick production(s), elaborate orchestration(s), and magpie-pop sensibilities. '70s prog rock and disco... '60s Britpop... '50s Americana rock 'n' roll... late-Romantic classical... JEFF LYNNE & Co. were shameless in their appropriations. Of course, that was a big part of the reason they were ridiculed and reviled by many of the more straightforward and... uh... "organic" rockers of their day.

But so be it. In a pinch, I'd probably rather listen to ELO and QUEEN than LED ZEPPELIN and '70s-era ROLLING STONES anyway.

Uh... "most of the time," that is.


MP3] "Do Ya" [1976]

MP3] "Turn to Stone" [1977]

MP3] "Sweet Talkin' Woman" [1977]

MP3] "Don't Bring Me Down" [1979]

MP3] "Calling America" [1986]

MP3] "So Serious" [1986]

Friday, January 18

BEST OF 2002, VOL. 1

No doubt this post is going to seem a bit out of place. "Out of time," at the very least.

But I've recently been revisiting some of my earliest mix CDs to see which songs still hold water, which ones have sprung some leaks, and which ones have long-since sunk. The 40 tunes that will appear here and in next Friday's VOLUME 2 are extracted from 78 mixes. Thus, 6240 minutes (which is to say: 104 hours) (or: 4 and one/third days) of music are distilled to just 160 minutes (aka: 2 and two/thirds hours) of solid (if I do say) semi-nostalgia. If the JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE song doesn't send you screaming (hey, it's the one song of his I like), then you should be able to find some stuff worth savoring....

(Oh, and... just to be clear... you may well note that very few of these tracks were actually released in 2002. 'Tis true. But the fact that they were lovingly compiled in 2002 is just the sort of tortured technicality we thrive on around here. Viva la rationalisation!)

Left-click [HERE] to download THE BEST OF 2002, VOLUME 1.

Go [HERE] to get THE BEST OF 2004.

2002, V. 1 TRACKLIST >>>

1 inxs/don't change
2 elastica/waking up
3 hot hot heat/touch you touch you
4 sahara hotnights/are you happy now?
5 the dandy warhols/bohemian like you
6 rilo kiley/the frug
7 the frames/pavement tune
8 justin timberlake/cry me a river
9 golden boy [w/miss kittin]/rippin kittin
10 jets to brazil/wish list
11 john mellencamp/human wheels
12 dot allison/close your eyes
13 the wallflowers/everything i need
14 sugar/if i can't change your mind
15 leonard cohen/take this waltz
16 marianne faithfull/for wanting you
17 manic street preachers/so why so sad
18 alison moyet/do you ever wonder
19 pet shop boys/go west
20 david bowie/suffragette city

Thursday, January 17


Sticking with the "music-centric movie" thing....

I won't be seeing "I'm Not There" -- for the simple reason that I despise the director, Todd Haynes. I don't despise him personally, of course; hell, I don't even know the man. But I have sat through two of his films ("Poison" and "Velvet Goldmine"), and I'm not sure I'll ever fully recover from those inexpressibly depressing experiences. Mr. Haynes, it seems, is constitutionally incapable of constructing a narrative or fleshing out a multi-dimensional character. He's all about "concept." Artiness for artiness' sake. And he's a hack. Not a mainstream, talentless hack like Brian De Palma or Joel Schumacher or Ivan Reitman, but a pretentious, talentless hack who gives art films a bad name and makes the likes of Gus Van Sant and John Cameron Mitchell seem like unimpeachable geniuses and absolute masters of their craft by comparison.

So that's why I won't be seeing "I'm Not There." However, if Mr. Haynes can be said to have a saving grace, it's his taste in music. "Velvet Goldmine" is packed to the rafters with great glam-rock, and he got his start way-back-when with the CARPENTERS-inspired, Babie-doll bio "Superstar." Now, it's BOB DYLAN he's fixating on, and the soundtrack offers us some fairly solid covers to while away ("wile away"?) an early Thursday morning....

[MP3] CAT POWER/"Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again"


MP3] MARK LANEGAN/"Man in the Long Black Coat"

MP3] ROGER McGUINN & CALEXICO/"One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)"

Wednesday, January 16


What with the writers' strike and all, I barely noticed that Golden Globes were bestowed this year. How this will affect the upcoming Oscars remains to be seen, but some much buzzed-about, music-centric movies -- namely, "Sweeney Todd," "I'm Not There," and the EDITH PIAF biopic "La Vie en Rose" -- may get lost in the ongoing, empty-teleprompter limbo.

We certainly wouldn't want that to happen to Mademoiselle Piaf, whose penchant for painkillers, booze, and car crashes only served to provide an apt, melodramatic backdrop for her emotional song stylings. To call her the French JUDY GARLAND would be lazy but not altogether wrong. Indeed, it can only be a matter of time before RUFUS WAINWRIGHT dedicates a disc to her.

Life is a cabaret, old chum. And this is what comes from too much pills and liquor....

MP3] "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" [1960]

MP3] "A Quoi ca Sert L'Amour" [w/THEO SARAPO] [1962]

MP3] "Les Amants D'un Jour" [1956]

MP3] "La Vieux Piano" [1960]

MP3] "Hymne a L'Amour" [1950]

MP3] "Fais Comme Si" [1958]

Tuesday, January 15


2008 is but a couple weeks old, but I've already managed to be disappointed by a number of new releases. GOLDFRAPP, BRITISH SEA POWER, NADA SURF, HOT CHIP, LOS CAMPESINOS!, CAT POWER, BOB MOULD... all have fallen short. Sometimes, miserably so.

Color me tickled pink, then, to be able to shout from the rooftops about SONS AND DAUGHTERS' upcoming THIS GIFT. This will be the Glasgow quartet's third album, and it will officially hit the streets on January 29. At this early stage, it seems a bit slicker -- a bit more polished -- than its predecessors. A bit more "pop-py," perhaps? Perhaps. But longtime fans need not fear -- there's still plenty of piss 'n' vinegar in the mix....


From the LP THIS GIFT, 2008 >>>
MP3] [VID] "Gilt Complex"
MP3] [VID] "Darling"

From the LP THE REPULSION BOX, 2005 >>>
MP3] "Monsters"
MP3] "Taste the Last Girl"

Monday, January 14


In which we conclude our tiptoe through THE CARS' tulips....

Their first album is still their best; their third, PANORAMA, remains their worst. FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, NO DOUBT, WEEZER, and untold others owe them a debt.

[Note: The photo above clearly does not -- cannot -- depict the actual band members. That would be entirely too horrifying. So... I must assume that some enterprising Geek-Squad artiste has gone and got his groove on with the Photoshop. By this logic, the "character" in the lower-left corner is not keyboardist GREG HAWKES, but a digitally-enhanced amalgam of GEORGE HARRISON and Adolph Hitler. Above him ("it"), guitarist ELLIOT EASTON has been replaced by either GENE SIMMONS' scion, NICK, or a young, pre-rehab STEVEN TYLER. Next over, it's PAT BENATAR or JOAN JETT (again, impossible to tell which), in full-on, Kabuki-mime regalia, standing in for BENJAMIN ORR. RIC OCASEK is doppelganged by "Office" boss Steve Carell (both the mullet and adam's apple are clearly fake). And a very nice Jewish woman (who may or may not be Italian to boot) poses in place of drummer DAVID ROBINSON.]

From the LP PANORAMA, 1980 >>>
MP3] "Touch and Go"
MP3] "Running to You"

From the LP CANDY-O, 1979 >>>
[MP3] "Let's Go"
MP3] "Dangerous Type"

From their self-titled LP, 1978 >>>
[MP3] "Just What I Needed"
[MP3] "You're All I've Got Tonight"
[MP3] "My Best Friend's Girl"

Sunday, January 13


"Physical" represented her commercial peak. "Xanadu" was a bomb before becoming "da bomb" (in certain cult circles). But "Grease" is, was, and always will be The Word. All hail OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN -- this Sunday's '70s songstress.

MP3] "Have You Never Been Mellow" [1975]

MP3] "Summer Nights" [w/JOHN TRAVOLTA] [1978]

MP3] "Hopelessly Devoted to You" [1978]

MP3] "You're the One That I Want" [w/JOHN TRAVOLTA] [1978]

MP3] "Magic" [1980]


MP3] "Physical" [1981]

Friday, January 11


I have admitted on this blog in the past that THE CARS were my favorite group in the 1980s and that their 1983 release, HEARTBEAT CITY, was the first LP I ever purchased (on vinyl, no less).

Oddly enough, I think it was GREG HAWKES' integral synthesizer work that hooked me in to their sound at the start. Then there were those super-slick chorus harmonies -- courtesy of super-slick uber-producers ROY THOMAS BAKER (QUEEN) and JOHN "MUTT" LANGE (DEF LEPPARD). Throw in an underrated guitar player (ELIOT EASTON), a MODERN LOVER drummer (DAVID ROBINSON), a Rutger Hauer-lookalike on bass and vox (BENJAMIN ORR), and, last but not least, RIC OCASEK -- a lead singer/songwriter who looked like a cross between JOHNNY RAMONE and Lemony Snickett. I mean, come on.... What was not to like?

Clearly, then, HEARTBEAT CITY will always hold a favored place in my heart. But it's their first album that remains their true classic -- the perfect blend of rock and new wave. We'll be working our way back to that one both today and Monday. Hope you come along for the ride....

From the LP DOOR TO DOOR, 1987 >>>
MP3] "Strap Me In"
MP3] [VID] "You Are the Girl"

From the LP GREATEST HITS , 1985 >>>
MP3] [VID] "Tonight She Comes"

From the LP HEARTBEAT CITY, 1983 >>>
MP3] [VID] "You Might Think"
MP3] [VID] "Magic"
MP3] [VID] "Why Can't I Have You"

From the LP SHAKE IT UP, 1981 >>>
MP3] [VID] "Since You're Gone"
MP3] [VID] "Shake It Up"

Thursday, January 10


We seem to have a bit of an "animal"-theme thing going on lately. No bears or wolves, thankfully, but plenty of wombats, monkeys, and goats. THE MOUNTAIN GOATS, that is. Which is to say: JOHN DARNIELLE & friends.

If you can make peace with the guy's none-too-elegant, trailer-park-slacker vocals, you may just find yourself charmed by his bare-boned, open-hearted odes. His upcoming album, HERETIC PRIDE, will jump up & cry "Hallelujah!" on February 19.


From the LP HERETIC PRIDE, 2008 >>>
MP3] "Sax Rohmer #1"
MP3] "Autoclave"

From the LP THE SUNSET TREE, 2005 >>>
MP3] "This Year"

From the LP TALLAHASSEE, 2002 >>>
MP3] "No Children"