Monday, December 08, 2008

Still Here - A Rant

Yes, I'm still here. I haven't been posting much of late - too busy, generally lazy, the holiday season, you know. I have had plenty of ideas but motivation? Not so much. And there is actually a pretty good reason for the apathy.

Since October 20th I've had 7 of my posts deleted by Blogger/Google in conjunction with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Here's how it works; the post is deleted, they inform you via e-mail that they've done it, and they tell you what post got x-ed. The clincher is they don't tell you what content triggered the deletion. Most of the posts x-ed were Funky Fridays with multiple tracks. The only clear content deleted was a Madonna post. The real clincher is that 5 of the 7 posts deleted were old, off the front page, had no content - the links to music were dead. The Madonna post included. So all that really got deleted was my writing. And that just pissed me off.

I know that we audio bloggers are a controversial group to the music industry, but personally I don't think I cost anybody sales by posting a track here and there. I've never hidden what I do. I've been doing it since August of 2001, and recently had my millionth page view. I never go negative, and generally everything posted gets good press. It is clear that the industry doesn't know what it is doing - I get sent music all the time by labels, often the same ones who decry the internet interference.

So that leaves me uncertain of what I want to do here. I'd like to keep on keeping on, but don't want to have to keep reconstructing deleted posts, which I have been doing. What a drag.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Le Disco - Tele Music Remixed"

If you are a regular reader of my humble little page you know I tend to like most things funky. Today is no exception. Le Disco is a stack of world-class disco from 1979 that, as library music, was never commercially released. So, apart from a few wily collectors, no-one has ever played these tracks for a dance floor. The team of musicians who did most of the disco library recordings were in both Arpadys and Voyage - Slim Pezin, Alain Dahan, Sauveur Mallia, Marc Chantereau etc. These musicians also graced some of France’s biggest disco hits, but recording for Tele Music was their chance to really cut loose. Tele Music was sort of the French equivalent to KPM, the famous British library label that Alan Hawkshaw and others recorded for. They were also responsible for releasing the highly collectible Arpadys album and the Voyage LPs.

This is the first part of the project - volume two follows in 2009. Most of the tracks are culled from the Disco & Co series of library albums, as well as the Spatial & Co and Arpadys projects. DJhistory has unearthed the original tapes and recruited an all-star cast of splicing fingers – the Unabombers, Ray Mang, the Idjut Boys, Leo Zero, Mudd, Al Kent, Faze Action and Toby Tobias – to polish them up for today’s dancefloors. Suffice it to say that this a truly tasty set of tunes that is guaranteed to get you grooving. Enjoy a couple of samples - the Faze Action edit is fantastic IMO - and stream the rest here.

Tele Music - Disco Free (Faze Action Edit)
Tele Music - Baby's Band (LeoZero Edit)

It is currently only available as a digital download. It will be pressed on vinyl LP at some point. Buy Le Disco - Tele Music Remixed

Monday, November 24, 2008

Não Wave

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Rui Maia, drummer and keyboardist for Portuguese rockers X-Wife. He included an mp3 for me to share with you. Formed in 2002, X-Wife have released a couple of albums worth of quality new wave inspired synth rock. I originally came across them a few years back on some blog or another, and dug them right away. I have always been disappointed that no label in the US has ever taken a chance on them. This makes it very hard for fans like me to get hold of their music. They sing in English and they are as good as any number of their musical peers (CSS/LCD Soundsystem/The Rapture/DFA 1979), so you would have thought their chances would be pretty decent. Well, they still don't have a US deal, so if you want to get hold of their records your only option is to buy them digitally. Which is OK for some folks, but I still like holding the physical product in my hands and always will.

X-Wife - Nothing Else To Prove

X-Wife on myspace

X-Wife on iTunes

X-Wife - On The Radio

My '80s Remastered - New Order

Factory Records' flagship band New Order have finally gotten the remastered reissue treatment. The two disc Collector's Edition sets of the first five records ('Movement,' 'Power, Corruption & Lies,' 'Low-Life,' 'Brotherhood' and 'Technique') arrived in the UK in September & October and were released in the US on November 11th. Hardcore fans the world over rejoiced, myself included - some of these early records I've only ever owned on vinyl. These same fans soon started to complain about the sound quality of the tracks on the bonus discs. Turns out they had good reason to, because it has since been disclosed that the bonus disc material (remixes, instrumentals, 7" & 12" versions) on these reissues were sourced from commercially available vinyl recordings instead of the original master tapes.

Wow. It is amazing to me that the catalog of a band as big a New Order would get such shoddy treatment. You would think that quality control would be an important issue here, and Rhino is usually pretty good with these deluxe editions. It is also surprising than nobody in the music press picked up on it in their reviews.

Peter Hook had this to say on his Myspace;

This is a very difficult one , we are aware of the problems and because we did not have finished product to listen to? It has, shall we say……. slipped through the net?? My great friend claude flowers has taken it on himself to sort this mess out personally, but please be aware , that after the fact it is going to be very difficult, unfortunately because many of you have purchased them already ( a great compliment in itself) we are doing all we can to try and get fresh masters made and available , somehow ? to try and remedy the situation, so please bear with us.
I have said before how difficult it is compiling this stuff, the masters steve and I listened to, were all basically from people's collections, so it was then left to someone? In the library department to compile, as much as possible from original masters, this is where it seems to have gone wrong , unfortunately it is industry standard these days to not have production masters of the cd's or the sleeves, much to pete saville's amazement, but that's just the way it is , hopefully they might resurrect the process after this. Here's hoping, hooky."

On November 20th, 2008 Rhino Records announced that they plan to reissue the reissues and will allow fans to exchange their dodgy CDs for good ones. They issued this statement;

"Warner Bros. UK, Rhino and New Order regret that the initial pressings of the Collector Editions of 'Movement,' 'Power, Corruption & Lies,' 'Low-Life,' 'Brotherhood' and 'Technique' contain some minor audio problems on the bonus discs."

"We are now in the process of correcting the problems, but it should be noted that due to the age and condition of some of the original source tapes, the sound quality may vary. A further statement will be issued once the corrected product is available. At that time, the procedure for exchanging CD's will be announced. Thank you for your patience while we resolve this situation."

Wow again. A costly and somewhat embarrassing mistake for the labels. Thankfully it will end up working out for us fans - I've got 5 of them that will need to be exchanged!

Today's selections come from the band's last live gig in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November of 2006. The show was taped from a radio broadcast so there are a few radio station IDs included.

Ceremony (Live)
Your Silent Face (Live)
Blue Monday (Live)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Funky Friday - Yay! Comments!

I finally got motivated and fixed the comment functionality around here. I was not happy with what I had. Now you can leave a comment and tell me how much I suck. Or what a great tune _________ (fill in the blank) is. Or anything you feel like saying. As usual on a Friday I provide the beats to move your feets, so here are a few tasty morsels to tide you over...

Kajagoogoo - Oh To Be Ah (Sir Billy Reconstruct Edit)
Rock Steady Crew - Hey You (Justin Faust Remix)
Of Montreal - Id Engager (Mad Decent Remix)
Red Snapper - Clam (Kelpe Remix)
Clinic - Tomorrow (DFA Remix)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Funky Friday Post Election Comedown

ZTT Records is in the process of reissuing the back catalog - 808 State's 808:90 & Excel have gotten the 2 disc treatment, with disc 2 having remixes and rarities. Hard to believe they are almost 20 years old! Q-Tip's The Renaissance is a welcome return from the Abstract, and features vocals from Norah Jones, D'Angelo, and Raphael Saadiq. It is a good record, filled with the grooves that A Tribe used to bring. Moby has a remix album out and the disco vibes are plentiful, especially on I Love To Move In Here (Holy Ghost! Remix). Late Of The Pier + Joakim = Yes please! Calvin Harris is goofy but has the killer bass. Diplo cuts the Brazilian Girls into a fairly typical Diplo re-edit, reducing it to stuttery beats and vocals. Fromage Disco sent me a bunch of disco edits, including this groover from John Carpenter. Alaska In Winter has a new album coming out called Holiday, and Berlin is a nice bit of electro-pop. Rounding out the picks is Mike E's Everything Will Be Alright (Obama Remix) - celebrate the momentous event that was the US presidential election!
808 State - Pacific (Britmix)
808 State - In Yer Face
Q-Tip - Official
Moby - I Love To Move In Here (Holy Ghost! Remix)
Late Of The Pier - The Bears Are Coming (Joakim Dub)
Calvin Harris - Rock'N'Roll Attitude
Brazilian Girls - Good Time (Diplo Remix)
John Carpenter - The End (Fromage Edit)
Alaska In Winter - Berlin
Mike E - Everything Will Be Alright (Obama Remix)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Funky Friday Bonus Tracks

EMI sent me the new Lily Allen song - it is a poor quality rip, but gives you an idea where she is at. DFA Records brings you Runaway, and they bring you some deep, tasty dance floor grooves. Windsurf remind me of Ultramarine - a lovely bit of electronica witn jangly guitars and squiggly synths. The Faze Action is a disco classic, with this version upping the groove factor. Huge. Poni Hoax' bass will shred your speakers. I was a bit unsure about Ladyhawke at first, but now I am a confirmed fan - Dusk Till Dawn is a big reason why. Treasure Fingers + Chromeo = slick '80s electro a-la D-Train. Kleerup features Neneh Cherry and a kid choir, and they manage to transcend having a kids choir with a nice and dreamy tune. Mr.Chop delivers the jazz-noir hip hop vibe and it is good.

Lily Allen - Everyone's At It
Runaway - Red Hot
Runaway - Putting In The Overtime
Faze Action - Moving Cities (Alternative Version)
Windsurf - Pocket Check
Poni Hoax - Hypercommunication (Joakim's Cartoon Muscles Mix)
Ladyhawke - Dusk Till Dawn
Treasure Fingers - Cross The Dancefloor (Chromeo Remix)
Kleerup - Forever feat. Neneh Cherry
Mr.Chop - the Red Baron

Funky Friday Election Special #2

Obama vs. Ratatat - Obamatat (We Can Not Walk Alone) (Justin Lowe mashup)
Daft Punk vs. Adam Freeland - AerObama
DJ Z-Trip - Obama Outake 1 (snippet)
The Alan Cohen Experience - Obama
MC Yogi - Vote For Hope
The Hush Sound - We Believe In (Barack Obama)
Jay-Z - Lick A Shot For Obama
John Brown - Sarah Palin (I Wanna Lay Some Pipe)
DLake - I'ma Vote Obama Way (Tisa remix)
The Crystal Method - Now Is The Time (Vote '08 remix)
Kennedy - Who's Votin' Obama?
Z-Trip - Yes We Can (Obama Outake 1)

Download this mix here or here.

I am a Durannie. John Taylor is a Barack fan - check this video out.

Thanks to XO

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Into Infinity

Got a little web surfing time on your hands? Enjoy music and art? Enjoy making music and art? Then check this bit of coolness out...

INTO INFINITY is an art and music exhibition presented by DUBLAB and Creative Commons. It is built on audio loops and circular canvases that are available online to the public for sharing, remixing, and resubmission. Stay tuned for live exhibition dates and website developments.
We distributed white 12-inch paper circles to our community of inspired artists to fill with vibrant visions. These infinite loops are designed to shine and blow minds.
We asked our music-minded friends to create 8-second audio loops filled with any sound texture they desired. These infinite loops are designed to expand in open ears.

All of the works that comprise INTO INFINITY are available to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial copyright license. This means that you are free to share them and remix them for any noncommercial purpose you wish. We can't wait to see what you do with these infinite loops!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Straight Outta My Inbox

As a blogger I get mp3s e-mailed to me all the time. This week I got a bunch of stuff that I actually got a chance to listen to, and more importantly, liked. Old timer Tom Jones has been given a bit of the Winehouse treatment on his new record and is taking it back to the old school. 2 Hot 2 Sweat are a boy/girl synth-rock duo who deliver a snotty, scuzzy robot rocker - fabulous. Shrag deliver a snotty, scuzzy punk rocker tune with fuzzed out bass and nice shouty vocals. DFA Records brings you Runaway's Dead Dog Farm, a cool bit of art-pop that reminds me of Arthur Russell - moody, string driven sort-of-pop with a hint of ambience. The Muldoons deliver a buzzing slab of rock for fans of '60s garage and classic rock. Shane Muldoon (11) and his older brother Hunter Muldoon (14) write, sing and play guitar. Their dad Brian Muldoon plays the drums. Brian used to play in The Upholsterers with Jack White. Ben Sollee's Only A Song features Jim James from My Morning Jacket on backing vocals and is a mellow bit of country-ish folk.

Tom Jones - If He Should Ever Leave You
2 Hot 2 Sweat - Half-Assed Rom Com
Shrag - Long Term Monster
Runaway - Dead Dog Farm
The Muldoons - Invincible
Ben Sollee - Only A Song

Friday, October 17, 2008

Funky Friday Election Special

DJ Z-Trip and artist Shepard Fairey recently threw some fundraisers for Barack Obama's campaign, calling them "The Party for Change". Z-Trip dee-jayed and says "I've been wanting to put the mix I've been doing at these shows online, in hopes of spreading the word to people who need to hear it most." It is a very diverse set of tunes, all politically inspired. There are also snippets of Obama's speeches mixed in. If you are hating on Barack, this is definitely not for you. Z-Trip is giving away the mix over at Here are the deets..

I encourage you to download it and pass it along to anyone you think should hear it. Feel free to burn copies, share it with friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and especially anyone you know is on the fence about this election. I'm also putting out a radio friendly version, in case anyone wants to broadcast it.

Please share the message. Educate those who may not know what is really going on. There is still time.

If you, or anyone you know, isn't registered to vote, I encourage you to make it a priority and fix that before it's too late. This election is WAY too important for anyone to not get involved. If you need more information on how and where to register, vote, or participate, please check the links below.

I honestly feel if we make our voices heard, this time WILL be different.


For more Information, check out these links:
The Official Obama Campaign Site - Political Action Group -
Rock the Vote -
Z-Trip News, Downloads, More -

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Time for another installment of crushes. I heart these songs and their albums a lot. The Bomb The Bass record Future Chaos has lodged itself firmly in the disc player. Black River is fortunate to feature the velvety smooth croon of Mark Lanegan, a man who could sing the phone book and make it sound gorgeously dark and moody. Tim Simenon constructs a great backing track, all clicks and whirrs and humming backing vocal riffs.
Land Of Talk are Canuck friends of Broken Social Scene (who they're touring with right now). Their new album Some Are Lakes is very good indie rock. Singer Elizabeth Powell is reminiscent of Metric's Emily Haines, but the music is grittier, less new wave and less polished than Metric.
Kaiser Chiefs have enlisted Mark Ronson to produce Off With Their Heads and I like it. It helps that they've got a bunch of super catchy songs like Good Days Bad Days, and Ronson doesn't muck up their sound too much - a dab of funkiness here and there but still very Kaiser Chiefs.
Poni Hoax are my Roxy Music for this new millennium. Their album Images Of Sigrid will be in my top ten of the year for sure. Produced by Joakim, it is equal parts rock, dance and electronics with more than a hint of original new wave and post-punk flavor. These Frenchmen deserve to be heard by a much wider audience. The Bird Is On Fire rides a taut beat and bumping bass line, features some nice skronky sax and scratchy guitars and gets me moving every time. Delicious.
Dungen are Swedish, and they deliver an intoxicating blend of psychedelic rock, folk, prog, classic and indie rock on their new album 4. Main man Gustav Ejstes writes and plays virtually everything you hear, and it is as if he stepped out of the late '60s/early '70s. It is as authentic as anything from that era, and is expertly played and produced. I don't have a clue what he is singing about but with music this good who cares?

Bomb The Bass - Black River (feat. Mark Lanegan)
Land Of Talk - Give Me Back My Heart Attack
Kaiser Chiefs - Good Days Bad Days
Poni Hoax - The Bird Is On Fire
Dungen - Det Tar Tid

(Orange Crush image provided by Darren Beckett of Threemagination, Inc.)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

New Music Tuesday

I've hyped Kelpe in the past here at SIART - I'm a a big fan of his take on electronic music and have been rocking his album Ex-Aquarium all year. This week sees the release of a 12" vinyl and digital only EP called Extra-Aquarium which is a bunch of remixes from the album. Remixers include Zombie-Zombie, label mates The Oscillation and Kelpe himself. The vinyl has 4 tracks and the download has 8 - if you buy the vinyl you also get the download version. Kel sent me a track to share so enjoy the dreamy, clicky Colours Don't Leak as remixed by The Boats.

Kelpe - Colours Don't Leak (The Boats Remix)

Listen to more samples + buy here.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Funky Friday Playlist

It's a nice and eclectic mix of tunes today - David Axelrod delivers the killer jazz/funk/fusion on Miles Away, taken from the Dusty Groove reissue of his 1975 LP Seriously Deep. Bomb the Bass have finally released a new album Future Chaos, with guest vocals from Mark Lanegan, Fujiya & Miyagi, Jon Spencer and Toob, who also contributes a remix. Is a new Q-Tip record ever going to come out? I need to hear more goodness like Gettin' Up, so please, record company, get your shit together! Nigeria 70 - Lagos Jump is a Strut Records comp of "original heavyweight Afrobeat Highlife & Afro Funk" and is so tasty you get two selections, from Peter King and Ify Jerry Krusade. Madlib the Beat Konducta delivers the chilled r'n'b vibe with Frezna, taken from WLIB AM: King Of The Wigflip. Fujiya & Miyagi are goofy yet never fail to get me grooving - love the little vocal "boom shaka laka boom" things on this track. The Emperor Machine rock the soundtrack motorik vibe with crusty synths. DJ Krush is class of '94 abstract, and is guaranteed to get your head nodding. David Bowie's Fashion is a classic, and just about the greatest thing ever - big disco beats, funktastic bass and that screaming guitar kill me every time. You have your beats, now move your feets!

David Axelrod - Miles Away
Bomb The Bass - Burn The Bunker (Toob's Whatgoesonoinhemsbystaysinhemsby Mix)
Q-Tip - Gettin' Up
Peter King - African Dialects
Ify Jerry Krusade - Everybody Likes Something Good
Frezna - Yo Yo Affair Pts. 1 & 2
Fujiya & Miyagi - Pussyfooting
The Emperor Machine - What's In The Box
DJ Krush - Yeah
David Bowie - Fashion

Friday, September 26, 2008

Funky Friday Playlist

It is Friday and you need the beats to move your feets, so here you go...

The Glimmers - I'd Much Rather Go Out With The Boys
Bomb The Bass - Fuzzbox (feat. John Spencer)
Liquid Liquid - Optimo (DJ Sample Remix)
Poni Hoax - My Own Private Vietnam
Mark Ernestus - Mark's Disco Dub
Squarepusher - The Coathanger
Arabian Prince - Simple Planet
Mr. Scruff - Give Up To Get
DJ Day - A Place To Go To
Tricky - Slow

The new TV On The Radio album Dear Science is going to end up on a lot of best of 2008 lists, including mine. It is great. Watch these videos and feel the greatness.

TV On The Radio - Dancing Choose

TV On The Radio's Golden Age video.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


The premise is a simple one; these are some tunes that I'm seriously crushing on. The Very Sexuals are Dutch indie poppers who are giving away their album for free at their website. It is really good - it might remind you of Moonbabies or Joy Zipper.
Stars have a new digital EP, Sad Robots, where they continue to remind me of Prefab Sprout and Thomas Dolby. Mmmm mmmm good.
Ladyhawke is all over the blogosphere with her new self titled album - think Missing Persons/Til Tuesday/Blondie. Very '80s, and some of it I'm not too sure about, but Crazy World has a dreamy melody and a killer hook. By the way, Gary Numan called and he wants his synths back when you're done.
David Holmes has decided to start singing, and it is not a bad thing. His shoegaze-y new album The Holy Pictures will remind you of The Jesus & Mary Chain and Primal Scream, with a few choice instrumentals like Melanie scattered in between.
Former Beta Band-ers The Aliens are back with Luna and it is filled with great, sunny psychedelic rock of typically British pedigree. Theramin is a gorgeous bit of boom bap folk with horse-y clip clops.
The Stills' latest Oceans Will Rise doesn't seem to be garnering the buzz of their first two records. Tis a shame, because I actually think it is better than the last one, and closer in spirit to their debut.

The Very Sexuals - Wrecked This Century
Stars - Undertow
Ladyhawke - Crazy World
David Holmes - Melanie
The Aliens - Theramin
The Stills - Snow In California

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dumb Down The Disco

DJ Wrongtom - Dumb Down The Disco Mix

This is a killer mix of of classic post-punk stuff - nab it now! Then be sure to grab the bonus Billy bragg remix below...

Glaxo Babies/DJ Wrongtom - Wrongtom Meets The Disco Dinosaurs
The Clash - Radio Edit (Wrongtom's Disco Dub)
Rip Rig And Panic - Take A Don Key To Mystery
Coco Beware - Tropical Depression
Fad Gadget - Make Room
Public Image Limited - Death Disco (Live In Tokyo)
Orange Juice - Lord John White And The Bottleneck Train
Pig Bag - Getting Up
Boots For Dancing - Hypnotize
Return Of The Panthers - Crown Of Thorns (Wrongtom's Disco Dub)
Au Pairs - Shakedown
Blank Students - I Want To Be Happy
Phil Daniels + The Cross - Kill Another Night
The Beat - Too Nice To Talk To
Penetration - Movement (Wrongtom's Disco Dub)


Billy Bragg vs DJ Wrongtom - Bloody England

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rick Wright, R.I.P.

Richard Wright - keyboardist, singer and song writer for Pink Floyd - has died of cancer at the age of 65. I am a huge fan of the Floyd, and to me there is no denying how important his contributions were to the band. As a composer he contributed to some truly classic instrumentals - "Interstellar Overdrive", "A Saucerful of Secrets" & "One Of These Days" - as well as some of the most loved tunes in the band's canon - "Echoes", "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", "The Great Gig in the Sky" & "Us and Them". I love the keyboards and electronics in music - always have, so to me his involvement was crucial to the overall feel and sound of the Floyd. He and his band mates have sound-tracked some truly memorable moments in my life over the last 30 years, and for that I will always be grateful. Thanks for the music and the memories, Rick.
Pink Floyd - Echoes
Pink Floyd - Us And Them

Friday, September 12, 2008

Funky Friday

Time to deliver the funky jams you need to get your weekend started right. It's a nice and eclectic selection of tunes today, including a new Kid Loco tune remixed in a latin/western/disco stylee, a classic bit of funk from The Commodores, a slowly building ambient hip hop track from Alias and Roisin Murphy's great cover of the old Bryan Ferry hit. Anoraak are from France and are '80s revivalists and remind me of Zoot Woman - lots of cheesy synth action. Pianist Pete Jolly's 1970 album Seasons got the reissue treatment last year, and is full of improvised funk and jazz jams, all heavy on the keyboards, all good. TV On The Radio have a new album coming out (Dear Science,) where, on a couple of tracks, they unleash the funkiness I always knew they had in 'em. It is a good thing, and a great sounding record to boot! Guy Cuevas and Pigbag are old school classics - sweet latin disco and fierce jazz funk in your face. Ratatat put the massed guitars to work on Mumtaz Khan and deliver an Eastern flavored jam.

Kid Loco - Motorcycle Angels (SLDB Disco Version)
The Commodores - Machine Gun
Alias - I Heart Drum Machines
Roisin Murphy - Slave To Love
Anoraak - Sunday Night Fever
Pete Jolly - Plummer Park
TV On The Radio - Crying
Guy Cuevas - Obsession
Ratatat - Mumtaz Khan
Pigbag - Sunny Day
Listen to Anoraak (covering The Romantics' classic '80s hit)
Anoraak - Talking In Your Sleep


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Molten Light

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sugar Must Be Acid Rain

Late Of The Pier - The Bears Are Coming (Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Remix)

I am obsessed with Late Of The Pier. I have been listening to their debut album Fantasy Black Channel almost every day for like a month now. I have sought out their remixes, one of which I share today. Produced by Erol Alkan and singer Sam Eastgate (AKA L.A. Priest), they offer a seamless blend of rock and electronics. The four piece band touches on prog, Numan-esque new wave, quirky electronica, funk, and the spazz rock of Zappa. It is a remarkably self assured debut, and has been getting great reviews. The songs are chock full of energy and ideas, and the band has the chops to carry it off. They handle many styles well, and instead of being a disjointed mess the album flows nicely. I look forward to hearing what they come up with next. I have to say that I also really dig their videos. They reflect the odd quirks of the band, and range from silly to strange. Here's a good example...

"Snap away" she said,
As she danced towards the moonlight,
Run away he did
As she cast off another night.
So in tune were we by the thought of what could never be,
So consumed were we by the fear that swelled between the sheets.
What do they mean?
Seamless dirty dreams.
Why must you scream?
Please don't make a scene.
She plays, she plays,
Is it all a game?
Longing to be tamed,
Sugar must be acid rain.
I saw you wading in the water,
I saw you ride along the sea.
Shine on your nightmare,
Shine through the tears.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday/ Steely Dan Rarities

Steely Dan - Any Major Dude
Steely Dan - Rikki Don't Lose That Number
Live @ The Power Plant, 3/20/1974

Steely Dan. What can I say? They are one of my favorite bands of all time. My folks listened to them when I was a child, and I never stopped listening. I've seen them live a couple of times, including a very memorable evening under the stars at Poplar Creek in Chicago back in '94 - their reunion tour. I love their ability to tell such gloriously seedy, grimy and gritty stories, all of it couched in seductively recorded grooves. Legendary curmudgeons, they are my kind of people. One of my favorite things about these vast interwebs is how people who have obscure and rare recordings of bands I like are willing to share them. Just recently I came cross a recording of the Dan, live at The Power Plant, March 20th, 1974. It is fascinating hearing these songs live, played by the same band that recorded them. They are a bit rough, but they still give you a good feel for how great they were. Any Major Dude features the soulful lead vocals of Royce Jones who toured with the band for a while. Rikki Don't Lose That Number has great piano vamping - my only complaint is that the guitar solo towards the end is so far down in the mix you can barely hear it. Small quibble for such great music.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Funky Friday/ Leftfield

Bomb The Bass - Butterfingers (feat. Fujiya & Miyagi)
Plastilina Mosh - Going To Mars Bolton
The Oscillation - Gamelan Mindscape
David Byrne & Brian Eno - Poor Boy
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Sankofa
Black Devil Disco Club - For Hoped
Brazilian Girls - Good Times
Syclops - Where's Jason K
Black Affair - Sweet
Tussle - Titan

Long time no post. Yeah, I know. Last week began with a weekend road trip to Omaha, Nebraska for a wedding - woo-hoo! - and then the rest of the week just kind of slipped away. Today's selections should make up for it. New Bomb The Bass featuring Fujiya & Miyagi? Here you go then. Plastilina Mosh deliver a nice and spacy jam. The Oscillation provides some righteous post-punk riffage. Byrne & Eno have a new album out, and it is pretty great, as evidenced by Poor Boy. Sankofa is woozy Afrofunk from from an ace compilation - Lagos Shake - A Tony Allen Chop Up (cover pictured above) - of tunes Allen played drums on, some of them remixed by the likes of Diplo, Bonde do Role and Carl Craig. Black Devil delight with their trademark leftfield disco. Brazilian Girls are wacky in a good way. Syclops is Maurice Fulton and friends and is full of synthy goodness. Black Affair is Steve Mason, former frontman for The Beta Band, in full on electro pop mode. His album Pleasure Pressure Point has become a regular on the stereo, and is so refreshingly different from anything else he has done. Tussle are all about the mighty groove - feel the might beat and bass on Titan.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Random/ Stormtrooper In Drag

Paul Gardiner - Stromtrooper In Drag
Featuring Gary Numan on vocals

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Handful Of Covers

Travis - Killer Queen
CSS - Cannonball
The Breeders
Adele - Last Night
The Strokes
Dark Meat - Success
Iggy Pop
Bats For Lashes - A Forest
The Cure
Hot Chip - Sexual Healing
Japan - Ain't That Peculiar (Live)
Marvin Gaye
This Mortal Coil - Song To The Siren
Tim Buckley

It's an odds and sods assortment of tunes here; I'm not normally a big fan of Travis but I like this take on Queen. CSS does The Breeders and it is appropriately good. Adele rocks The Strokes and it's way harder than her album. Dark Meat bring their chaotic sprawl to an Iggy nugget, Bats For Lashes further spookifies The Cure and Hot Chip and Japan do Marvin Gaye. This Mortal Coil is really one of the best cover tunes ever, maybe one of the best tunes ever, and its all because of the gorgeous vocals of Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins). I defy you to not get gooseflesh listening to it...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Object 47

Wire - Circumspect
Wire - Perspex Icon

Wire are back in action with Object 47, the 47th release of their thirty year career. That's right, 30 years. After several breakups and reunions, they reconvened in 1999 and began putting out records. They were loud and raging, almost metallic with grinding riffs. The sound was relentless and dense, and was quite different from the Wire of old. I liked it OK, but it is not easy listening. After some bitter fighting Bruce Gilbert left the band in 2004. The trio's latest offering is something of a return to the sort of music they played in the late '70s and into the '80s. There are catchy riffs and witty wordplay, spiky guitars, keyboard atmosphere, and a bit of electronics. A few of the grinding riffs remain, but they don't dominate the proceedings. It actually reminds me a lot of 2007's Art Pop by Colin Newman's other band Githead. I was a big fan of that record, and it is interesting to hear it's influence on Wire. If you're a fan of the classic Wire sound of old I think you will find this to be an interesting update of that sound - a good mix of the old, tricked out for the 21st century.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Funky Friday

Poni Hoax - Antibodies
N*E*R*D - You Know What
Underworld - Boy Boy Boy (Switch Mix)
Late Of The Pier - The Bears Are Coming
Diplo & Santogold - The Guns Of Brooklyn
Stevie Wonder - Boogie On Reggae Woman
Paul McCartney & Wings - Goodnight Tonight
The Juan Maclean - Give Me Every Little Thing
Estelle Vs. The Ting Tings - Shut Up, American Boy
Yoko Ono - Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My '80s Remastered - "Boy"

Island Records has finally gotten around to giving the first 3 U2 albums (Boy/October/War) the 2 disc "deluxe edition" treatment. You get the remastered original album, overseen by The Edge, and you get a bonus disc of nuggets, including live and unreleased stuff. I was a fan of the band from the first time I heard the opening riff of I Will Follow. They followed this with the remarkably assured debut album Boy. I spent hours listening to it. I loved how it didn't really sound like anyone else - hell, some of it doesn't even sound like U2 yet! It was spiky post-punk, full of energetic riffs and thundering drums and plenty of swagger. It rocked. It began a long, rocky relationship with the band. I loved them, bought the records and saw them live at the old Wembley Arena (The Unforgettable Fire tour, with The Waterboys opening). Then, after the overkill of The Joshua Tree and Rattle & Hum I was done. I returned to the fold a few years later, but for me nothing they have done has ever matched their first 3 records. Boy still impresses me with it's energy and charisma, and sounds as good to me now as it did when I was 16.
U2 - I Will Follow
U2 - Into The Heart
U2 - 11 O'Clock Tick Tock (Live at The Marquee, London)

I've written a couple of posts for so be sure to visit on your travels through these interwebs. Check out LEGO album cover tributes, what Barack Barama has on his iPod, nab some Cristina mp3s and watch the great new Grace Jones video.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Funky Friday - Philly Soul Edition

Bunny Sigler & Dee Dee Sharp - Conquer The World Together
Love Commitee - Darling Come Back Home
Ruby & The Party Gang - Ruby's Surprise Party

I picked up this great compilation last week. It is a Legacy reissue of a 1971 compilation of lesser known tracks from the classic label Philadelphia International Records. Home to writers/producers Gamble & Huff and bands like The O'Jays, Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes, MFSB, Lou Rawls and Labelle, it is a treasure trove of the '70s soul scene. This comp has lots of lost gems and lots of the label's trademarks - deep grooves. lots of big orchestration, loads of sweet harmonies - the funk, ya dig?

Check out my latest muxtape...

Don Cherry - I Walk
Estelle vs. The Ting Tings (DJ STV SLV) - Shut Up, American Boy
Alice Cooper - Clones (We're All)
Heaven 17 - Are Everything (12" Version)
Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - Pachuco Cadaver
Bob Sinclar - Rock Solid
Thomas Dolby - Airwaves
David Van Tieghem - Out of the Frying Pan
Fiction Factory - Ghost of Love
S.O.S Band - Take Your Time (Do It Right)
Yellow Magic Orchestra - Pure Jam
Calvin Harris - Certified


On your travels around the interwebs be sure to check out the newly created The mission - "Let the people have the power. Let the general public create the content, and share their passion for music with others. As long as it’s music related, pretty much anything goes." I have already posted a couple of items, and plan on contributing regularly. Check it out and feel free to get involved!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Music Tuesday

Brendan Canning - Love Is New

Canadian rock collective Broken Social Scene has been a fertile testing ground for many a budding indie rocker. Some are better known than others - Feist and Emily Haines (Metric) and Amy Millan (Stars) all have contributed. The last year has seen several good solo albums from some of the guys, namely Kevin Drew and Jason Collett. Now comes the latest - Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning. Something For All Of Us... hits shelves today. It is a nice collection of songs and instrumentals, taking in gentle ballads, lots of horn parts, urgent indie rock and some semi-psychedelic spazz outs - a perfect mix of melody, rhythm and noise. It is interesting to hear these solo projects, to hear what each individual brings to the main group, and this one is no different. Considering that Brendan is not one of the major songwriters for the group it is amazing to hear how much this album sounds like a BSS record. His band mates back him up ably, and this record reminds me a lot of BSS' You Forgot It In People, which is my personal fave. The one track that really grabbed me first is Love Is New, a midtempo groover that Pitchfork calls the worst track on the album. Whatever. I really dig the spacy, funky vibe.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Funky Friday Vacation Edition

The family and I had a little vacation in Chicago this week, which explains why there have no posts these last few days.
The wife took the daughters for a day at the American Girl Doll store - "OMG!! SO MUCH FUN DAD! They had this, and that, and this and that. It was the best day of my life, EVER!!" etc. etc. etc. We also had dinner at the cafe there that evening, and I have to say that it was better than I had expected. On the walk home we were passing the Peninsula Hotel and there was a photo shoot going on - hotel bellboys with arms full of bags and flowers around some woman. They were massed on the corner and we stepped aside to go around them. The photographer turned to look at us and said we weren't in the way and could keep walking. Right away I recognized that it was Annie Leibovitz, which I blurted out to the missus. She pulled out the camera to try and get a pic but Annie and the crew had moved to the front of the hotel and she never turned around.
That's her in all black, hand on her hip.
I had intended to go to the Virgin Megastore to shop while the girls did the doll thing - until I found out that it had closed a year earlier. I walked past where I thought I remembered it being but there was some clothes shop there. Back at the hotel I googled and found out that it had closed. Bummer. We did a few other touristy things - The Field Museum - "lets go see the mummies and dinosaurs Dad!"

and Navy Pier. A good time was had by all.

Millennium Park was one of my favorite parts of the whole thing. The Bean sculpture is fantastic and trippy.

So is the neighboring splash park with it's towering water/video installments. It was in the 90˚s the whole time, so I would have loved to immerse myself in that water! Too bad we couldn't stay more than three days, but I'm sure its a trip we'll do again. Now on to the funky stuff...
Beck - Youthless
Busy P - Pedrophilia
Morgan Geist - Detroit
Vibert Simmonds - V.A.J.
Nightmares On Wax - 195LBs
Black Affair - Pills
Black Affair - Just Keep Walking
Midnight Juggernauts - Dystopia (Turkish Prison Mix)
Hercules And Love Affair - You Belong (Hercules Club Mix)
Manu Chao - Politik Kills (Dennis Bovell Remix Feat. Linton Kwesi Johnson)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Funky (Nassau) Friday

Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986 is a stellar compilation from the recently reactivated Strut Records. I cannot recommend this compilation enough. Led by Sly & Robbie, the Compass Point Allstars were the house band for the Compass Point Studios, with producer/studio owner/Island Records mainman Chris Blackwell and his right hand man Steven Stanley behind the controls, often in conjunction with Alex Sadkin. The band included keyboardist Wally Badarou, Mikey Chung, Barry Reynolds, and Uziah "Sticky" Thompson. Reggae, dub, disco, funk and even a bit of rock all figured into the equation, and the band was smoking hot, capable of slaying you with a killer groove. Back in the day I would buy a record based on the fact that this band was on it - that's how good they are. The list of their seminal recordings is long, and this comp is a good place to start. There are some well known tracks and some unknown gems too. Today's selections are a mix of those - a known favorite by Talking Heads taken from their seminal record Remain In Light which was recorded at the studio, the obscure and short lived Set The Tone deliver a tough as nails funk workout, and Gwen Guthrie's slice of island disco is sublime. Mmmm mmmm good.

1 Grace Jones - My Jamaican Guy (12" Version)
2 Tom Tom Club - Genius Of Love
3 Talking Heads - Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
4 Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Lady O K'pele
5 Set The Tone - Dance Sucker (Francois Kevorkian Mix)
6 Guy Cuevas - Obsession (Nassau Mix)
7 Gwen Guthrie - Padlock (Larry Levan Mix)
8 Bits & Pieces - Don't Stop The Music
9 Sly Dunbar - River Niger
10 Cristina - You Rented A Space
11 Ian Dury & The Seven Seas Players - Spasticus Autisticus (Version)
12 Chaz Jankel Feat. Laura Weymouth - Whisper
13 Will Powers - Adventures In Success (Dub Copy)

Monday, July 07, 2008


Today's flower of the day is the poppy. We have some fluffy, orange beauties that emerge from their furry alien pods in April and May. They are a welcome sign of impending warmth after a long, mid-western winter.

Boards Of Canada - Orange Hexagon Sun
Boards Of Canada - Aquarius

Moonbabies - The Orange Billboard


The last five posts to my tumblr...
1. The new Grace Jones video - woo-hoo!
2. The latest We Are Scientists video - dog mania!
3. Time lapse photography of California wildfires.
4. Post-punk photo exhibit.
5. Santogold on stage and backstage. She is terrific.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Seventies Sunday

I haven't posted in over a week, so here is a random Sunday post of sweet selections from the '70s to make up for it. The photo I took in my back yard a few weeks ago. Yes, I'm a bit of a gardener, and have some lovely flowers to show for it. This week I'll be accompanying all of my posts with shots from my yard. Enjoy...

6ix - I'm Just Like You
Jeff Beck - Come Dancing
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
Little Feat - Time Loves A Hero
Robert Palmer - Every Kind Of People
Dr. Hook & The Medicine Band - The Cover Of The Rolling Stone

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Music Wednesday

Hercules' Theme
Blind (Hercules Club Mix)

Regular readers of my blog will already know that I love Hercules & Love Affair, the latest hipsters signed to the always good DFA Records. When their album came out earlier this spring I did a piece on it where I gushed over my love for it. OK. maybe I didn't gush, but I do love it. Produced by DFA main man Tim Goldsworthy, I wrote "it is a disco stunner. And by disco, I mean the good stuff - the '70s underground, Arthur Russell, Ze Records, Giorgio Moroder, Grace Jones and Larry Levan's Paradise Garage mixes all come to mind. It is a throbbing mix of classic disco influences, live instrumentation and current electronic production. There are strings, horns and synths. There are funky instrumentals." I also point out that Antony Hegarty, lead vocalist for Antony & The Johnsons, sings on several tracks. I a not a big fan of the the man's regular work, but I find his unique vocal stylings well suited to the disco grooves on offer here. The record has been well received by the music press, and I can see why. It has pop smarts, some serious club bangers, '70s disco authenticity, and just the right amount of artiness. The album finally got a US release this week via Mute Records, who have put it out with two extra tracks (Classique #2 & Roar) as well as the video for Blind. It is a fine record, probably one of my faves of the year so far, and I heartily encourage you to investigate it further!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You Got To Know Your Chicken

I played Cibo Matto's 1996 debut album Viva La Woman! today for the first time in quite a while. I was quickly reminded of why I loved them and their records so well. Formed in '94 in New York, the music of Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda went from the sublime (Sugar Water) to the ridiculous (Know Your Chicken). They were obsessed with food and sex and hip hop, all mashed it all up with bits of J-pop and art rock and ambience. The record was produced by Tchad Blake and Mitchell Froom, and features the ace Bernie Worrell on keyboards ("organ de plaisir" is how he is credited). It's a lot of fun and still holds up well these 12 years (!) later. If you've never heard them go pick this album up. If you already own it, pull it out and give it a spin - guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Know Your Chicken
Sugar Water