Happy 2009, peeps!

I'm outta here for the rest of the week. Bringin' it home is El Perro Del Mar, with a lovely take on the classic, Auld Lang Syne. Be sure to check out her blog, as well. Be safe.

El Perro Del Mar > Auld Lang Syne


Demons may be hiding in our shadows

I was playing around with the computer the other night, and decided to mash up Black Mountain's Queens Will Play with some clips from Panic Room. I like the way the song has this sense of dread or foreboding. I also like how it sorta explodes at the end, and Amber Webber's voice is flat out amazing.

Panic Room, I think, doesn't really get the recognition it deserves. I mean, I don't think it's a life-changing movie. Its strength lies in the way it is told and the way it unfolds. With the exception of Raoul, I think all of the characters are very real and most people could relate to them in one way or another. I dunno, maybe Raoul was misunderstood. Junior and Burnham didn't really respect him, so maybe he felt like he had to take things up a couple notches in order to show that he was a real player in the game.

In any case, give the movie a chance if you haven't seen it already. You might be pleasantly surprised.


Don't get drunk this Christmas...

Merry Christmas, peeps. I had one of my get-togethers tonight. Joyous by-product of divorced parents, I guess. My brothers and I went to our dad's place and got him drunk on two beers. It was quite amusing, the ridiculous crap he was talking. Thankfully, he's an amiable drunk, more content to just chatter away whatever comes to mind.

Which leads me to this song, John Denver singing Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas). WTF man? Was this supposed to be taken seriously? In the song, the father comes home drunk, falls down in the living room, then stumbles up the staircase to go sleep it off. All of which prompts a teary outburst by the mother. She should be happy that he comes home at all. And it's not like he hit her or the kid. He probably had to work a double shift on Xmas eve to support the family. I'd say the guy has earned the right to get his drunk on. Am I right or am I right?

Anyways, happy holidays and all that good stuff. Have fun and don't take it too seriously. Like this song.

John Denver > Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)


Cry into your Christmas cake

For some reason, I always have this image of Rilo Kiley being a happy fun party band. But when I pay attention to the lyrics, a lot of it is dark, grey and kinda sad. Even this Christmas song. I like it one a lot, it's kinda like Christmas, film-noir style. It's like, when everything goes bad and things just keep getting worse and there's no end in sight. And then you're supposed to be happy on this one day, because everyone else is. Although, I really have no idea what "Christmas cake" is supposed to be.

Rilo Kiley > Xmas Cake


I was born on Christmas day

This is it, the home stretch. This time next week, Christmas will be over and done. I'm kinda glad, work has been crazy. It's tough working for an internet retailer these days. In any case, I just stumbled upon this song. It's Saint Etienne with Tim Burgess (from The Charlatans). Where did this pairing come from? Not that I'm complaining, I like the song. Just wondering how it came to be. It makes sense, but it doesn't make sense.

**edit (one day later)** I just looked up a bit of info. The song is from 1993. In my defense, I'm not the hugest fan of either Saint Etienne or The Charlatans. I like them, but I haven't gone any further than a few albums/compilations.

Saint Etienne with Tim Burgess > I Was Born On Christmas Day


Give us all your money, and three Big Macs to go

Oh yeah, I've been meaning to post this as well. A few of us are going to Mexico for New Year's Eve. Naturally, there have been quite a few emails going back and forth. Everytime one pops up in my inbox, I always think of Beck's Mexico. I'm hoping that our little group will stage an impromptu armed robbery of a McDonald's in Southern California, and then hightail it, Vanishing Point style, across the border and live on the beaches of Mexico, at least until the commotion dies out. You know, like the ending of Shawshank Redemption. "Suck on this, you weasel, we're going to Mexico." That'd be fucking cool.

I grabbed this track from the KCRW
Rare On Air Volume 1 compilation.

Beck > Mexico

From sin and death now save us

Maybe it's not cool to like Feist after that iPod ad overkilled the 1-2-3-4 song, but whatever. She's got a pretty voice and this is a lovely Christmas song. I'm not the hugest fan and I stumbled onto the song last year, so I dunno the song's origins. Does anyone where it's from?

Feist > Lo, How A Rose E're Blooming


Tell me baby, do you recognize me?

Since I'm not completely bitter and twisted, I'm gonna post this Pas/Cal cover of Wham!'s Last Christmas. It's a pretty fun version, it threatens to veer off into a completely different song at times. This is from a split single with Asobi Seksu, who covered the Ramones' Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight). Excellent stuff.

Pas/Cal > Last Christmas

I will be hating you for Christmas

Remember that feeling of getting dumped right before Christmas? I'm sure we have all been there. This song sums up that feeling.

I love this:

There's gotta be a better way to deal with the pain
There's gotta be a better way to deal with the hate

Wish that I could find some way to make you go away
Wish that I could have a drink and make you fade

It's so perfect.

Check this out on Everclear's So Much For The Afterglow album. It's an unlisted track at the end of the album, so keep listening after you think the last song is done.

Everclear > Hating You For Christmas



I've been trying to put a list together in my head for the past month or so. CC and I came up with a loose list of our favorites of this year, but of course my memory is hazy due to the combination of persistent aging, alcohol and drugs...or something like that. Take your pick.

What follows are my personal favorite albums from 2008. I mean, c'mon, we all like lists, don't we? Either that or we love to hate them. In any case, these are what I really liked this year. There are more, of course, but these ones really stood out. And it's more than likely that I've forgotten something, so go easy on me.

Perfume > Game
Probably my favorite of the year. I fell in love with this album hard and fast. The production by Nakata Yasutaka is pristine, everything is perfectly placed, and there's not a duff song. Seriously. It's a whole lotta fun and very sexy, everybody should have a copy of this.


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds > Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
DLD is very much a rock album. Maybe a little less testosterone than the Grinderman album, but sort of in the same vein. At 50+, The guy can still write as well, if not better, than most of his contemporaries. My favorite line is from
Hold On To Yourself: She lives in some forgotten song/and moves like she is zombie strong/breathes steady as the pendulum keeps swinging.

And it seems like the well won't be drying up anytime soon. In the past couple years, we've been listening to the soundtrack to
The Assassination of Jesse James and The Proposition. And you probably already know that the screenplay for The Proposition was written by Nick Cave. And of course, there was the Grinderman album and now Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!. The hits just don't stop coming when Nick Cave is involved. Apparently, the next Grinderman album should arrive in early 2009. I can't wait.


Portishead > Third
I wonder how many people were disappointed with this album.
Third doesn't sound like the Portishead of old. Yeah, Beth Gibbons' undead banshee wail is still there and sounds as powerful and affecting as it ever has, but the music is very different. Listen to The Rip, and let it transport you to somewhere above rainy-day clouds. Or try listening to Machine Gun, as it drags you by the hair, into an assembly-line factory and pummels you into submission. Before the album dropped, when the rumors were swirling, I was definitely interested but I didn't know what to expect. If they had released Dummy Part Two, I suppose it would have been okay, but this is a most welcome change.


Lykke Li > Youth Novels
Until I saw her live, I didn't know a thing about Lykke Li. This past spring, she happened to be supporting El Perro Del Mar (whom I love) and someone recommended I get there early, and so I did. Lykke Li totally stole the show. The album sorta captures her loose and free-spirited personality. I feel like her live show is much more fun, but the good songs on this album are really fucking good.


Pas/Cal > I Was Raised On Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura
This was a recommendation this past summer, from a friend. Very lush and catchy pop music. I really don't know much about this band, but I like this album quite a bit. I dare you to listen to
We Made Our Way, We Amtrakked and not whistle along. It cannot be done, I say.


She & Him > Volume One
Zooey Deschanel is super cute and she has a really pretty voice. M. Ward's musical arrangements are...I can't seem to think of a better word than refined. I guess that's why I'm not a professional critic. In any case, the songs are lovely kinda 60s/70s AM radio pop music, seemingly either about love or heartbreak. The cover is a pretty good indicator as to the music contained within.


The Clash > Live at Shea Stadium
Classic concert gets a regular issue. Record company trying to milk profits out of a band long since gone? Possibly, but it's a good show and worth the purchase. I love Joe's intro, "Welcome to the Casbah club", as the band rips into London Calling. This is seemingly for the fans, but I think it would be a good way to introduce someone to the band, as well. Cheeseburger!


David Bowie > Live Santa Monica '72
Another reissue of a classic and heavily bootlegged show. It's taken from an FM broadcast of the concert. This was like the height of the Ziggy Stardust era, the performance is pretty tight. Definitely for the hardcore Bowie fans, but, like the Clash disc, it might serve as a good introduction to somebody who is interested in 70s era Bowie. I especially like
Changes, Andy Warhol, Queen Bitch, and The Supermen. I'll always have a soft spot for Bowie, as he was probably the first "cool" artist I liked. Reminds me of those childhood days listening to him.


School of Seven Bells > Alpinisms
Found this one late last month, and it quickly became an obsession. That's how it usually works, right? They were supporting M83 and we caught a few songs of their set. Sorta shoegazey and ethereal dream pop. Listen to Half Asleep, it's like you're soaring in the sky, looking down at everything. Or maybe that's just me.


Calexico > Carried To Dust
For some reason, I usually like Calexico better as a live band than I do their records. This album, however, is a beauty. It transcends my inability to "get" this band in anything other than a live setting. Check out
Inspiracion and Slowness, and you might hear what I mean. Absolutely gorgeous.


Aimee Mann > Smilers
Aimee Mann has a knack for turning my angst into words. I also like that she consistently writes about fucked up relationships, since I can totally relate to them. Check out
31 Today, that song really encapsulates middle-aged desperation. Like Bowie, she's another one of those artists that I'll always have room for. I've actually been following her since I saw that fucking Voices Carry video all those years ago. Fact.


Sigur Ros > Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
It's really like two albums, I think. The first half is upbeat and catchy, the second half is somber and majestic. If you're a fan, you'll have this already. If not, I think there are better albums of theirs to get. That said, it's a very good album, although perhaps not by the standards set by their previous albums.


Black Mountain > In The Future
This one is really cool. It dropped early this year and I nearly forgot about it. Kinda 70s, dark, prog rock. It's better than my lame description, really. I love the girl who shares the vocals. She's got this siren wail that totally fits into the music. It's beautiful. Check out
Queens Will Play, to hear what I mean. And go see them live, too, it's an intense experience.



All I want for Christmas

Thurston Moore wrote a Christmas song with Shonen Knife. How fucking cool is that? <3!

Shonen Knife > All I Want For Christmas

Our troubles will be miles away

From Kate Bush to Kate Bush tribute act. Here's Tori Amos with her version of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. The Kate comparison was what initially drew me to Ms. Amos, but I think she really found her own voice after (her first album) Little Earthquakes. No, Y Kant Tori Read does not count. Anyways, the Kate Bush comparisons are almost inevitable, even if not necessarily fair. You can find this on the Spark single, which is from the album, From The Choirgirl Hotel. Okay, that sentence reads weird, but there it is. This song is a pretty straightforward read once you get through the sorta ethereal, ambient intro. A girl and her piano, what more do you need? Check it out.

Tori Amos > Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas


Don't miss the brightest star

So this one is an oldie, I guess. It was originally released in 1980, so yeah. It's the always wonderful Kate Bush singing December Will Be Magic Again. I was a latecomer to her music, my introduction was around the release of Hounds of Love (85-ish). This was one of the first Kate non-album tracks I ever heard. I never owned this single, I first heard it on one of the b-sides discs from the This Woman's Work box set (which, at $250, is the single most expensive title I've ever purchased). The lyrics are classic Kate, singing about gently covering up lovers and sparkling the dark up, in-between references to Bing Crosby and Oscar Wilde. As long as Kate is around, December will always be magic.

Kate Bush > December Will Be Magic Again


What did you wish for?

I can't believe it's practically mid-December already. WTF? Like, where did the time go? I need to sort out some gift shopping post haste. Seeing as how I just caught the Third Annual version of Aimee Mann's Christmas Show, I thought I'd kick off a little Christmas love with this gem. A long time ago, I was on an Aimee Mann listserv, and I traded with someone to get a couple of then-bootleg collections, Attack of the Killer B-Sides and Return of the Killer B-Sides. I'm not exactly sure where else you can find this track, the Return disc is where I got mine. It's written by Michael Penn (aka Mister Aimee Mann, to the uninitiated) and he duets with Aimee on this as well.

Aimee Mann & Michael Penn > Christmas Time


Be aware, my darling

I caught part of the School of Seven Bells' set the other night (They were supporting M83). They were really cool. Dreamy, luscious, swirling pop music with lovely, ethereal voices. I wish I had not missed most of their set. The voices come from twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza (formerly of On! Air! Library!). The third member is founder Benjamin Curtis, who was previously in Secret Machines. I picked up the SVIIB (I love that acronym) album for a tenner at the gig because they sounded so good. Reading about them a bit, the band name comes from the name of a "legendary pickpocket training academy". How cool is that? I am definitely a fan, now. I love this track, it's heavenly. Their album, Alpinisms, is out now. Chop chop.

School of Seven Bells > Half Asleep


Come on, smile!

Friday night, I was a last moment fill-in DJ for the Your Latest Crush gang. Cheers again to Aaron, Debbie, and Stuart for having me on. For the uninitiated, Your Latest Crush is an indiepop club night held on the last Friday of each month, over at the House of Shields in San Francisco. Definitely head down there and check it out. Those guys all know and love their indiepop. There are always at least five or six "OMG I can't believe you played that song!" moments, and the rest are "Oh, wow! What's this song?" moments. It's great fun. Also, House of Shields is one of the oldest bars, if not the oldest, in San Francisco and has a very cool atmosphere. So click the link up there and you'll discover pretty much all you need to know about Your Latest Crush.

This is the setlist I played.

Asobi Seksu > Merry Christmas, I Don't Want To Fight Tonight
The Four Pennies > When The Boy's Happy (The Girl's Happy Too)
Perfume > Plastic Smile
Lush > I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend
Irma Thomas > Break-A-Way
Nick Lowe > So It Goes
Cloetta Paris > So Serious
David Bowie > Rebel, Rebel
J.J. Jackson > But It's Alright
PUFFY > Sayonara
Lesley Gore > Look of Love
The Clash > Hateful
The Pixies Three > Cold, Cold Winter
Yo La Tengo > Today Is The Day
Calexico > Love Will Tear Us Apart



The rich get richer, the poor are getting poorer

Speaking of old stuff, I downloaded this classic the other day. I don't even know why I thought about it. Fuck, I used to love this song. It still sounds pretty good to me. 1984, I remember I bought the 12" at Tower Records in North Beach after hearing the song being played in the store. I had to go up to the counter to ask what it was. I think this may have been the first time I heard hip hop mixed with rock. When did that Run DMC/Aerosmith track drop? They were probably pretty close to each other. In any case, I'd pick this if I were forced to choose. It's just more edgy and full of rage. Kick ass.

Time Zone > World Destruction


A Summer Long Since Passed

I was kinda half-watching some movie on AMC (I think) last week. I really don't even remember what it was, being more absorbed with what was likely a computer game or something. So at the end of the movie, the credits rolled and this faintly recognizable music caught my ear. I had to pause whatever I was doing and actually pay attention. Seriously, this one was buried deep down in my brain and it took me a few minutes to dig it out and it was....Virginia Astley's A Summer Long Since Passed, from her 1986 album, Hope In A Darkened Heart.

I initially discovered this album in a roundabout way. I liked Ryuichi Sakamoto a lot (I even got his autograph a few years ago!) and he produced most of the album. At the time, Astley was compared to Kate Bush, whom I adore (you already knew that), so that was kind of a no-brainer. Also, I had read her name previously as she contributed the piano on Pete Townshend's single,
Slit Skirts. His album, All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, was another one of my favorites at the time. So I bought her album based on all these factors and it was like being rewarded for faith. And I don't think I've ever met anybody else who likes this album or even has heard of it. I'm not trying to out-obscure anyone, it's just one of those albums that might seem like it should attract more fans. Everybody knows of an album like that, this happens to be one of mine.

Also, David Sylvian appears on the track,
Some Small Hope. He was a pretty big name at the time as he was in the group, Japan, and eventually started off what is now a long solo career. I knew a few peeps who were into him, but I really only know of him by name alone.

I spent many a night listening to this album, and falling asleep to it. The vocals might be too precious for some people, but I think her voice is lovely. The production is a bit dated, you can tell it's an 80s album, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. So back to last week. I hear this song on the telly and when the recognition hits, it's like WOW! I hadn't heard that in forever. I used to have it on vinyl, but all of my vinyl was stolen years ago. I poked around on the net to see if I can pick up a copy, but the prices are retarded import prices. I figured I didn't even have a chance of downloading it anywheres, but I finally found it. It's been so nice rediscovering this album.

I just had a look around and it seems she's still sorta active, although her site, virginiaastley.com, appears not to have been updated in nearly a year. Interesting. So here are a couple tracks; the first is A Summer Long Since Passed, which is the one that inspired this post. It totally sounds like a fading summer, silhouetted figures running on a hillside, a girl on a swing. I love the wistful feeling it conjures up. The second is called So Like Dorian, which is a sweet sounding, but venomous ode to her lover whom she no longer likes. My favorite part is when she sings, "I've heard all your lies, your boring tall tales/I've tasted your tongue like a worm from the grave/Had you inside me and then like a rock beside me". Jeez, I'd hate to be THAT guy.

Virginia Astley > A Summer Long Since Passed

Virginia Astley > So Like Dorian


We gonna kick down all the doors

Hey, I just realized it's been a while. I've been in some kinda mood lately and have kinda been hiding out, hence the lack of activity. I will say this, however. Today at work, I was listening to PJ Harvey's Peel Sessions 1991-2004 album when her cover of Willie Dixon's Wang Dang Doodle, came up. I really like this track, so I turned it up a bit and kept on working. I swear, I got the shivers when she sang "We gonna knock down all the windows, we gonna kick down all the doors". I had to stop and listen to the rest of the song. Anyways, when I'm back, we gonna pitch a wang dang doodle. All. Night. Long.

PJ Harvey > Wang Dang Doodle


Dream Fighter

Ooh! New Perfume song! I think the single drops sometime this month. Jennifer, if you're reading this, the one with the shorts reminds me of you. I think it's the hair. I'm not sure if it's exactly the same, but it just reminds me, that's all.

It's a beautiful cookie day!

Thanks to Jim, I ran into this Shonen Knife interview the other day over at J-pop World. The girls are still going strong and they have a new bass player, Ritsuko. I've professed my love for Shonen Knife in the past, so I'll spare you the gushing. My favorite part of the interview (I'm guessing it was conducted by email) was where the guy asks Ritsuko, "What does playing music mean to you?" Kind of a standard question, but her reply was most amusing; "I can't realize. Playing music is an exciting thing like eating a giant cake during my whole life."

Although Ritsuko is a new member of Shonen Knife, her response, in my mind, kinda sums up the entire existence of the band. These girls are having fun and eating a giant choco cake while they do it, and it shows. And they want you to be happy and have fun with them. Awesome. I suspect they're gonna keep going until they absolutely cannot do it anymore. We need more bands like them, more power to Shonen Knife.

They have just released a new album,
Super Group, in Japan. Hopefully it finds its way into my greedy little paws. In the meantime, listen to choice tracks here, and check out Cookie Day from their 1998 classic, Happy Hour.

Shonen Knife > Cookie Day


The higher you fly, the deeper you go

I just read Kristin Hersh's blog. Today's post is kinda strange. On one hand, it's very charming and self-deprecating. On the other hand, it's kinda sad. Heartbreaking sad, not pathetic sad. It's as if she exists in her own bubble, unable to connect with most people and unable to master the available technology to connect with people around her. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but that's how it comes off to me. Thankfully, she's able to use make music which can connect with people. She also does pretty cool covers, as well.

Kristin Hersh > Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey


Hey Morrissey, I have something to say to you

You once sang:
In America
The land of the free
they said
And of opportunity
In a just and a truthful way
But where the president
is never black
female or gay
and until that day
you've got nothing to say to me
to help me believe

Time to retire that song, eh buddy?

To quote Flavor Flav:
Step back, we got a black quarterback!

Morrissey > America Is Not The World



I dunno who's reading this anymore, if anyone at all. Lately, I've been getting these lame, racist and nasty spam comments, so I've activated the comment moderation. So if you do happen read this and you do happen to comment and it doesn't show up right away, that's why.


30 Days of Night

I couldn't sleep last night, so I spent my insomniac hours playing around with this. Laugh if you must, but I do like 30 Days of Night. I like the colors, dark with cold shades of grey, almost sorta metallic. Portishead's Machine Gun has the same feel, I think. It's cold, metallic and industrial. It sounds like Beth Gibbons is singing in a factory. To me, the song fits the film perfectly.

Also, please note that this might be a little graphic for some peeps.


Hey! Happy Halloween!

White on white translucent black capes
Back on the rack
Bela Lugosi's dead
The bats have left the bell tower
The victims have been bled
Red velvet lines the black box
Bela Lugosi's dead
Undead undead undead
The virginal brides file past his tomb
Strewn with time's dead flowers
Bereft in deathly bloom
Alone in a darkened room
The count
Bela Lugosi's dead
Undead undead undead

The pic up there is Bauhaus playing at Coachella in 2005. Look carefully and you'll see an upside-down Peter Murphy.

Bauhaus > Bela Lugosi's Dead


Day by day

Hey, I was playing around with another video. These clips are from Hero, directed by Zhang Yimou. If you haven't seen it, I really like the story and the movie looks really, really gorgeous. The fight scenes are awesome. I was gonna make a little compilation of Nameless (Jet Li) knocking off Sky (Donnie Yen), Broken Sword (Tony Leung) and Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung), who are the top three assassins in the country. Somehow, I ended up focusing on the love triangle between Broken Sword, Flying Snow and Moon (Zhang Ziyi) and the subsequent battle between Flying Snow and Moon. I with I could have fit more into it, that scene is so cool. Anyways, this is just one very small part of the film. Go check it out, drop it in your Netflix queue or whatever. I promise it'll be worth your time. Oh yeah, the song is Kaela Kimura's Tree Climbers, from her very cool album, Scratch.


Be forever with my poison arms around you

Around eleven years ago, my friend had an extra ticket to go see Tindersticks at The Fillmore and invited me along, since his girlf didn't like them. He wanted to get there early to check out the opener, a guy called Elliott Smith that he was interested in. That was my first experience with the man. He was really quiet, sitting in a chair alone onstage. I liked what I had heard, and picked up his latest release (at the time), Either/Or. My favorite song was, and probably still is, Angeles. Elliott Smith died five years ago this week. This is Angeles, played live at the Los Angeles nightclub, Largo. By the way, this track is on a CD of previously unreleased material that comes with the book, Elliott Smith, by Autumn de Wilde.

Elliott Smith > Angeles


Who could know if I'm a traitor

I just found this via The Hype Machine. It's a raucous version of Gillian Welch's Time (The Revelator), covered by Ryan Adams. I'm not a huge Adams fan, but I like him well enough. I saw him one time at a Bridge School concert a few years ago, and he's pretty good live. I love Gillian Welch, however, and have gone to see her live a few times. In any case, I love the original, and I like this a lot as well. Pick up the original on Ms. Welch's album of the same name. For now, compare and contrast. There will be a quiz this Friday.

Ryan Adams > Time (The Revelator)

Gillian Welch > Time (The Revelator)


America is a third world country

I've been going back and forth between posting this. I guess I will, since it keeps popping up in my head. In any case, current events in the news totally brings this track to mind. The words of the man being interviewed pretty much speak for themselves. I wonder if the music was composed before or after hearing the interview. The music is sad, angry and haunting. If you have the patience to sit through all 17:45 of this, check out the strings at the very end of the track. Very moving. If you don't have the patience, well, I understand. It's not for everyone.

You can find this on GYBE's 1999 EP, Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada (pictured here).
Listen to samples from their albums here, and read more about them here. The band has been on hiatus since their 2002 release, Yanqui U.X.O. I think there was a brief tour after the album dropped and then in 2003, they officially announced their current status. That was a bummer for me, as I had first heard their music around 2003. A guy I know told me he'd seen them in the summer of 02, and said it was the gloomiest gig he'd ever attended.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor > -- (Track 2, aka bbf3)


Me & Mary

Hooray! Asobi Seksu are back! The new single, Me & Mary, drops next month (Nov 17th) and the new album will apparently drop in February. I like how Yuki's voice is unfiltered and clear on this track. Sorta like half shoegaze and half dream pop, this song brings back Lush (for me). It's a good thing for sure, and I am excited for this album. And you lucky UK peeps get to see them with fucking Ladytron. How cool is that? I'm totally jealous. However, I will get to see them here in San Francisco on the 30th, which will be good. Check out the rest of their US tourdates here, and see if they're coming to your town. In the meantime....

Asobi Seksu > Me & Mary


Seventh Heaven

I can't get enough of this song. Also, the instrumental version is great. The breakdown part in the middle cracks me up. The first time I heard it, I was sooooo confused for a moment there. Then the beat kicked back in. As far as I know, both tracks are b-sides and can only be found on the Polyryhthm single (pictured below).

If you asked me, I couldn't tell you why I'm so addicted to Perfume right now. I could say something like "I really admire the pristine production of Nakata Yasutaka" or something pretentious like that. In reality, it's nothing more than I just like the music because it sounds good to me. No indie snobbery here, this shit just sounds fucking great. It might pass, it might not. Right now, I really really like it. Maybe you will, too...

Perfume > Seventh Heaven

Perfume > Seventh Heaven (Original Instrumental)


I love every word you wrote to me

Hey, I really like this. It's Cloetta Paris, from Sweden. More cool music from Sweden. Doesn't seem like the well is ever gonna run dry at this point. Anyways, I've only heard what's on her myspxxx page so far. It's kinda (light) ambient electro-pop mixed with dance/disco and precious, but not cutesy, female vocals. Her voice reminds me of someone, but I'm struggling to place it. Anybody? If I had to compare to other bands, I'd run off the list of, I dunno... Erasure/Vince Clarke, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode and Yaz. Something like that, I guess. I'm not well versed in that area, to be honest, so listen and decide for yourself! Oh yeah, and her album, Secret Eyes, is on Skywriting Records, if you're interested.

Cloetta Paris > Broken Heart Tango (from the album, Secret Eyes)


Word Magazine's World: Album Covers

A friend posted this elsewhere, it's Word Magazine's album covers map. It's pretty cool, a google map with album covers. As stated on the site, "Word Magazine readers have been busy building this map showing where iconic album cover photographs were taken."

Check it out. Add your favorites.

I've been taking a lot without giving back

I recently ran into these mp3s of El Perro Del Mar's set at the Bowery Ballroom, from the spring tour earlier this year (with the awesome Lykke Li and Anna Ternheim). This is the full-band version of God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get). I really like this, it feels so natural and joyful. It makes me happy. Check out her blog while you're listening to this.

El Perro Del Mar > God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get) (Live at the Bowery Ballroom)


You could be a shadow

I only found out recently; I never knew the Breeders'
Drivin On 9 was a cover song. After you get through the fuzz and distortion of Last Splash, Drivin' On 9 is a sorta breath of fresh air before they give you one last blast of noise. The song has a certain folksy charm and simplicity to it. So I find out that the original is done by a band called Ed's Redeeming Qualities and I dig it up. The main difference is the gender of the singer. Both versions sound like a happy song, but there's an underlying sadness to it. The ERQ version speaks more about an accidental pregnancy along with a shotgun wedding, while the Breeders version changes up the lyrics a bit to suit Kim Deal's gender. I don't think you can go wrong with either version, I really like them both. In any case, you can find the Breeders track on their album, Last Splash; and the Ed's Redeeming Qualities track on their album, Big Grapefruit Cleanup Job.

The Breeders > Drivin' On 9

Ed's Redeeming Qualities > Drivin' On 9


When pop music goes bad

I love Curve, but really...WTF were they thinking with this song? It's pretty great until some dude starts rapping, then it just turns to shit. A perfectly good song RUINED. Don't get me wrong, I loves me some rap and hip hop. In this particular case, however, it just doesn't fit into the song; at least to my ears. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few other fine pop/rock songs that are ruined by a senseless rap segment, and I'm sure there are many more.

Curve > Ten Little Girls


When did you become so careless?

I recently received a mix from somebody on that now defunct message board I used to frequent. The mix on the whole is really cool. It's kinda breezy and summery, perfect for driving around town with the windows open and the sunroof open (or top down).

This is probably my favorite track on the mix. I love the girl vocals, the bouncy beat and shuffling drums. There's on part where a guy jumps into the vocal mix that I'm not too fond of, but it's pretty short and really not that big a deal. It's a sweet slice of shimmering summer pop. I also like the little Joy Division nod. Pretty cool. I don't know anything about The Honeydrips, I'll be looking to check out some more of their stuff.

The Honeydrips > (Lack of) Love Will Tear Us Apart