I Am The Light

I just stumbled onto Grand Duchy the other day when I read that Frank Black is gonna be playing here next month. I was sleuthing about, looking for tour dates and I found out that he's got a new project, Grand Duchy, that he's doing with his wife, Violet Clark. Awesomeness.

Grand Duchy's album,
Petit Fours, just dropped this week and it's pretty fucking cool. It's difficult not to compare the music to that of the Pixies. It's also difficult not to compare Violet Clark to Kim Deal. Naturally, there is some of that Pixies flavor there, except some of this is a bit more synthy. According to the bio, Violet is more of an 80s music fan and has injected some of that 80s synth love into this album. Her voice is not as wispy as Kim Deal's; she really stands on her own.

Listening to the album today, I got around to the middle and this track absolutely destroyed me. I had to stop what I was doing and listen to it a few times in a row. I love when a song does that to me. I can kinda make out the lyrics, I think it's about aliens (Black Suit: kinda like the song Men In Black from his album, The Cult of Ray). It sounds so eerie and menacing and it totally fucking rocks. Check it out, and check out more of their music here.

Grand Duchy > Black Suit


You and I Forever, For All Time

Messing around with another video. The "You and I forever, for all time" line in SPC ECO's For All Time sorta makes me think of the movie Stardust. I threw them both together and this is what came out.


Forever To Search For The Flame

Okay, that last post was quite the rant, so on to better things. The new Bat For Lashes album, Two Suns, drops today. I confess I've been listening to it for a while and I like it quite a bit. Dreamy, ethereal, tribal, mystical, magical, fantastical; She really makes me think of Kate Bush, whom I adore to bits. All that said, she's not without a sense of humor, as evidenced by the cover of the first single, Daniel. It's a haunting song about love found and lost, realizing they were just "kids in the eye of the storm" and how she's plagued by the eternal "search for the flame". I am pretty excited, she's going to be playing here this summer. Check it out.

Bat For Lashes > Daniel


Happy Birthday

I'm kind of a completist nerd and I don't really have a problem with it. So of course, I went and ordered the new PUFFY b-sides compilation, Puffy AmiYumi X PUFFY, even though I already had most of the songs on the disc. Not such a big deal, right? I didn't even balk at the big price tag on the disc even though it was kinda expensive. I didn't care that the cover is awful (my nephews could do a way better job). I think the thing that really ticked me off was that they included three "BONUS TRACKS!!", according to the sticker on the back. Two of them are the themes to the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi show, one "Spanish TV Mix" and one "Portuguese TV Mix", each about a minute long. MEH. The final "Bonus Track" is Ami and Yumi singing Happy Birthday to who the hell fucking knows. Maybe it'd be cool if they were able to do it Marilyn Monroe style or something, but you know that ain't gonna happen. It just comes off as so retarded. Who signed off on this? The girls? The label? It's just such cheap bullshit. I'd be perfectly happy if they didn't included these so-called bonus tracks. This is just stupid. It's like, what's the fucking point? Seriously. Hear for yourself.

PUFFY > Happy Birthday


We'll See The World From My Harley

Does anyone else remember this? To celebrate their 40th anniversary, in 1990, Elektra Records issued a two-disc compilation called Rubaiyat. It was basically one of those incestuous affairs featuring then-current Elektra artists covering songs from Elektra's past. Metallica did Queen's Stone Cold Crazy. The Cure mope through The Door's Hello I Love You. Pixies rip through The Paul Butterfield Blues Band's Born in Chicago. Faster Pussycat do a very amusing hair-metal version of You're So Vain. You get the idea.

Which brings us to what is perhaps my favorite track out of the entire 39; The Sugarcubes getting all campy with their take on Sailcat's
Motorcycle Mama, complete with motorcycle engine revving. Honestly, I've never heard of Sailcat, but this song cracks me up. It's a standard rebel youth anthem about a guy trying to lure a girl to spend life on the open road, I'm guessing inspired by the movie Easy Rider and the Hells Angels motorcycle culture of the time (the original dropped in 1972). The interplay between Einar and Bjork makes me grin; the best is when they all shout out "WE'LL BE A TRIO BUT BABY MAKES THREE OHHHHH!" It's a lot of singalong fun. This compilation is dirt cheap these days and, along with this track, there are a few gems on it that make it worth the space on your CD rack.

The Sugarcubes > Motorcycle Mama


Play It Cool

Still going through my box sets, I just ran into this song the other day. I don't know the specifics behind this song, like what was the motivation behind it? It's a great song that comes off like a PSA. Maybe it was written specifically for that purpose, but wouldn't the world be that much more cool if all PSAs were Motown songs? Maybe The Supremes singing a song about using protection during sex, or Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell delivering a fiery performance about the evils of crack cocaine (sort of like that James Brown/Marva Whitney duet I posted a while back, that would be awesome). You know, something like that. I think more peeps would be apt to listen when it's not some retarded jingle or some stuffy old white guy in a suit preaching to you. I love this lyric, it's oh so true: "just remember/this simple rule/to be the driver/and not the mule", sing it Brenda, you rock. If I had heard this song when I was a kid, I'd probably have a PhD by now. Well, maybe.

Brenda Holloway > Play It Cool, Stay In School


One-Word Album Reviews

A few of us started something up just for fun. It's called One-Word Album Reviews, and it's pretty much as advertised. Come on by and laugh at us, or maybe add your own one-word album reviews in the comments. Or something.