Happy new year, peeps

For anyone that reads this page with any sort of regularity, I've decided I'm gonna take a little break from it. It may be a month, it may be twelve months, it may be forever; I don't know. I just feel like I need to unplug from some stuff. I'll be elsewhere, just...probably not here. It's not necessarily goodbye, it's more like see you later.

Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler - See You Next Year


Happy holidays!

Now that Christmas is upon us, I have a few gifts for whomever reads this page. I've taken the liberty of uploading Theoretical Girl's previous Advent Calendars. I've posted 09, 10 and 11. These files are all mp3s, as I like to burn mp3 discs to play in my car.  I'm pretty sure I've updated all of the metadata, but let me know if something is amiss.

This year's Advent Calendar is readily available on the Theoretical Girl Soundcloud page (and check out her album here), it should be easy to grab those.

Then, there is my Xmas mix which I posted about here. Check the comments if you're interested in hearing it.

Finally, there is the mix of my favorite songs from 2012 that I concocted, right here. Again, check the comments.

All this stuff, and this page on the whole, I mostly do it for my own amusement and it gives me something to write every once in a while. Even if it's just a couple sentences about some song I like. And, that's that.

Happy holidays from Robot Hero!

Wish I had all that money I used to spend on dope

One of the greats covered by one of the greats.

Neko Case - Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis


From Coney Island to the Sunset Strip

You'll have a yule that's cool! I love this.

Louis Armstrong - Cool Yule


All your words, they fall like snow

One of the bleakest Christmas songs ever, with lines like "It's so cold tonight, I know I'll die in your embrace." From their album, Songs About You. Check it out.

Language of Flowers - Christmas


Ode To Joy

Just came across this trippy New Order artifact which was ripped from a 1982 flexi-disc called Merry Xmas From The Haçienda And Factory Records.

You can get the lowdown on it if you click here.

New Order - Ode To Joy


Last Christmas

This one just popped up a couple days ago. A lot of peeps seem to like it, but it isn't doing much for me. I love a good, sad song but this one just feels too much like a funeral dirge to me.

The xx - Last Christmas


Christmas Mix

I'm fairly certain I've posted most (if not all) of these before. I just decided to make one big mix out of it. Happy listening!


Couldn't miss this one this year!

A classic from 1981. The Waitresses' tale of missed connections ends happily for all involved. It's a very catchy tune, as well.

The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping


You're on my mind

Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler - Home for the Holidays. From their album, This is Christmas (which is really good!).


A Robot on the Dance Floor

If you're interested, here is a collection of some of my favorite songs from the past year. As it goes with things like this, I've probably overlooked a few titles (it's so difficult to keep up!), so don't judge me too harshly.

Random thoughts:
Grimes actually shows up twice, once with her own song Oblivion and she guests on Blood Diamonds' Phone Sex. Call Me Maybe might raise an eyebrow or two, but I don't care because that song is so catchy and I didn't hear it often enough to get sick of it. I originally included PSY's Gangnam Style, but hearing it at the SF Giants' World Series parade effectively sounded the death knell; it was just too much overkill for me. It's practically a parody of itself now.

I also included Where The Wild Roses Grow from Kylie Minogue's Abbey Road Sessions album because it was re-worked plus she and Nick Cave recorded new vocals for it. I guess that qualifies that for a cover, even if it's being re-done by the original artists.

There are a few other covers; Tara Jane O'Neil doing Rainbow Connection, The National covering The Rains of Castamere which originally appeared in the Game of Thrones books (sorry, Song of Ice and Fire series). Jessica Paré covered Zou Bisou, Bisou which was in Season 5 of Mad Men and was also released on red 7" vinyl. Boris and Asobi Seksu released a RSD 7" on which they covered each other. I really love the Boris cover of New Years (they spell it Neu Years), so that one found its way onto the list. I also very much enjoyed Austra's cover of Radiohead's Paranoid Android.

Finally, I'm guessing the Songs from "Friday Afternoons", Op.7 - Cuckoo! by the Choir of Downside School, Purley is an old song (I haven't bothered to look it up), but it was featured on the Moonrise Kingdom soundtrack from earlier this summer and that's good enough for me.

iamamiwhoami's Play might be my favorite song of the bunch. It's like a siren-song lullaby from an alien world. What a jam.

In any case, this is it, for better or worse. I tried to sequence it for flow or what felt best to me, hopefully you'll enjoy on some level.

Tracklist after the jump.

How suddenly the Christmas magic dims

The lovely Kathryn Calder checks in with a new Christmas tune and drops a bit of heartache and a dash of hope into our collective stocking. Listen to Little Ones, which you can download here, along with the rest of TLOBF's Canadian Christmas compilation, for free. If you like this, check out more of Kathryn Calder's music here.

Kathryn Calder - Little Ones


Theoretical Girl's Advent Calendar 2012

In what has become one of my favorite Christmas traditions, Theoretical Girl is posting a song a day up to Christmas as part of her Advent Calendar series. Some of them are Christmas-y, some of them are just good old-fashioned covers, but they're all really cool and free. This is her fourth year doing it, I believe; I first stumbled onto her way back in 2009. Check out her Soundcloud page and get thee to downloading. She's on Day 8 as of this posting. I might actually post the previous three projects as .rars if I can get motivated at some point.

In any case, you can also keep up with the current Advent Calendar by stopping by the Theoretical Girl Facebook page and/or you can follow her Twitter feed. Her album, Divided, is very good as well, if you like what you're hearing and want to check out her original material.

If only I had wings

Man, I love this song. It's not Christmas unless I hear Kate Bush's Home For Christmas.


I'm Christmas-ing with you

The sweet, sweet voice of Karen Carpenter. I also like how she turns "Christmas" into a verb. And dig that sax solo.


You breathe the air

Stepping away from the Xmas tunes for a moment; I recently came across the new single, Dead Film Star, from Team Ghost (Nicolas Fromageau's post M83 project). I really like this song and its accompanying video. Watch the entire video, it's a trip. Their new EP (same title) is out now.


A little goes a long way

This is a pretty fun little Xmas tune by the punk band, MxPx.


The gift you give yourself

The always great Calexico with a somber, yet hopeful, Xmas tune called Gift X-Change.


Thanks for the Christmas card

Like most relationships, it didn't end amicably. She said she still wanted him to be in her life, that she wanted to be friends, but it's never that easy. She spouted platitudes and cliches so effortlessly, like she'd seen in a thousand terrible romantic comedies; almost as if the words actually meant something. Man, if only life were as simple as a terrible romantic comedy.

At first, the texts and emails were fairly frequent and regular; full of polite banter and small talk, as if they had just met. As the months passed, the messages dwindled into silence. She had completely cut him out of her life, but he still felt the pain, the heartache. There had once been a time when he thought she was the one, but she obviously didn't receive the memo. He finally realized he was no more fleeting or anonymous than a rest stop along her life's highway. Get out, stretch her legs, admire the view; then it's time to hit the road. "Yeah, yeah," the words echoing in his mind as he eyed her return address, "Thanks for the Christmas card." He lifted the glass to his lips and closed his eyes...


No presents for Xmas

Digging out a classic from nearly 30 years ago, it's King Diamond's 1985 gem, No Presents for Christmas. Man, I used to love Mercyful Fate.


You guys know what time it is?

From the ridiculous to the sublime. It's The Boss and his take on Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Vintage from 1975, I believe.


It's Christmmmmmaaaaassss!

Alright, peeps, Christmas season is upon us which means it's time for Christmas songs. Starting off with one of the worst Christmas songs I've ever heard, it's Jive Bunny's Let's Party. I thought I'd exorcised this demon from my consciousness, but it somehow popped into my head the other day. Click play and witness the horror.



Four more years

Well done, America. Keep on rockin' in the free world.


Celebration Day

Tonight, I went to a screening of Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day. Disclaimer: I've never been a huge Zeppelin fan, I heard way too much of them in high school, but I certainly like them. I totally respect them and will pull out an album from time to time, but the stoners in high school pretty much killed off most of my enthusiasm for the band.

I remember reading about this show when it was first announced and didn't think much of it back then and never really heard anything after it happened. I read about this screening the other day (it would be a one-time screening) and again, I was skeptical, but I decided to check it out anyways. Imagine my surprise. It's absolutely jaw-dropping, start to finish. Seriously.

Yeah, Robert Plant can't hit the high notes like he used to but he still commands the stage. Jimmy Page shows up in a big way, showing he's still a master. John Paul Jones' bass and keyboards are excellent and Jason Bonham more than fills in for his late father, John Bonham; he plays like he belongs up there with those three legends.

They looked loose and playful while the musicianship was immense and tight. There was a moment before the first encore when Jimmy Page affectionately rubbed Jason Bonham's head. It made me think of how those three guys saw Jason as a child so many years ago and now there he was, a man honoring his father.

This wasn't the cash-in that I originally thought it might be. These guys played their hearts out while honoring (Atlantic Records founder) Ahmet Ertegun, John Bonham and their own legacy. They had fun and it showed.

The crowd in the theater was sparse, maybe around 20 people. There was a kid to my left, early to mid 20s, fist-pumping throughout the entire film. There was an older woman in front of me, easily in her 60s, her head nodding along to every song. There were a couple burnout looking hippies. There was a 20ish girl sitting alone at the other end of my row. Nearly everyone cheered and clapped after each song. A couple people would yell out in appreciation during a Page solo or when Plant would somehow find that extra gear and ratchet up the intensity. Standard concert behaviour. It was almost like being there, probably as close as I'll ever get to seeing Led Zeppelin live, and perhaps one of the very few times where you wouldn't mind people making that kind of noise in a movie theater. It was definitely a riveting experience.

If you like rock n' roll. If you think you like rock n' roll. See this now. They may be older now, but Led Zeppelin will show you how it's done.

Check out the trailer below. The BD, DVD and CDs will be out next month, on November 19th.


We could be the greatest

One of my favorite songs of 2012.


It Came from the 70s!

One of the benefits(?) of being unemployed is that I can spend lots of time making mixes. I've previously done the 80s and 90s, and now here is my version of the 70s. This one took me nearly a couple months of tinkering, adding and deleting and re-adding. It was kinda fun, really, there was a lot of stuff I'd forgotten about. Some of it for good reason. In any case most of these are just songs I loved as a kid, a few of these bands I've gotten into late; but they're all from the 70s in all their glory. Tracklist after the jump and check the comments for the r*a*r files. Enjoy.


In case you've missed it, Godspeed You! Black Emperor are back with a new album called Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!. Despite the unwieldy title, this is another fine entry in the GYBE catalog. Apparently they've been selling copies of the album on their current tour, although they weren't available when I saw them last April. In any case, someone was kind enough to post the entire album and you can listen to it in full without even leaving this page. (You wouldn't want to leave this page, right? Right?)


Somebody isn't faking, someone's heart is breaking

Reading a really good article about power pop, I was recently reminded of Utopia's self-titled 1982 album. Chock full of great, catchy pop songs; man, I used to play this album to death. I love the way they really thrown themselves, vocally, into the songs. It's like they think these might be the last songs they'll ever sing.

Utopia - Bad Little Actress

I'm tired of feeling like I'm fucking crazy

I like this video, the opening monologue has a David Lynch feel to it. The song itself is magnificent as far as I'm concerned. You'll be able to find this on the Paradise Edition of Born To Die, which is coming next month and features 8 new tracks.


You make me feel like I'm the enemy

Minutes turn into hours into days into months. We used to have fun, now you make me feel like I'm the enemy.

The Raveonettes - The Enemy


Show me your scars

Frankie Rose's Pair of Wings is by far one of the loveliest songs I've heard this year. Frankie is a she, and she's ex Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls, if you need a pedigree. Check out her album, Interstellar, it's worth the time.

Frankie Rose - Pair of Wings


These are old blues

I've been having a Joanna Newsom sorta weekend, though I don't know what that says about how I'm feeling. Nevermind that, though. Today, I remembered this cover of Joanna Newsom's Sadie I heard some years ago, by this guy called Danny Malone. I don't know much about him except that he's from Austin, Texas. He turns Sadie into a sprawling alt-country number and it comes off remarkably well, in my estimation. Check out more of Danny Malone's music here.

Danny Malone - Sadie


I came back for more

Good news, everbody! Aimee Mann's new album, Charmer, was released today, and it's a gem. Subtle pop hooks mixed with biting wit and self-deprecating lyrics. So, typical Aimee Mann, then. And with the new album, comes a new video. This video for Labrador is very amusing and a nod to her old 'Til Tuesday days, if you remember them.

Lyrically, she compares herself to a dog who just keeps coming back for more no matter how bad you treat it. Visually, the video is sort of an update (remake?) to 'Til Tuesday's Voices Carry. And look for Jon Hamm in the vid! You can check out both videos below and you can pick up Charmer here.


It Came from the 90s!

For some reason, I felt like doing this decade as well. I suspect I'll probably do 00's and 70's mixes at some point as well. It's kinda fun, actually. Like the 80's mix, I stuck with one track per artist (which can be incredibly difficult) and tried to keep it under 700mb, which is the size of one blank CDR. So, for better or worse, this list is my version of the 90's.

As a friend said, it would be easy to be revisionist about it, but I did love bands like Oasis and Sarah McLachlan at one point. There are more than a few of these bands that I've outgrown, I haven't listened to some of this stuff in ages before undertaking this task, but these songs still touch me; or at least bring back some memories. In any case, it's all in good fun. As usual, feel free to mock me or praise me in the comments. I can handle it. Tracklist after the jump and R*A*R*s are in the comments.


30 years ago today

Man, I can't believe the US Festival was 30 years ago today (3/9/82). I totally wanted to go to this, but, believe it or not, this was actually a time when I was too young to do stuff like that. C'est la vie. Oh, and long live the Ramones! This video has their full 20-minute US Festival set. The sound is impeccable. 1-2-3-4!

Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?
Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
Rock 'n' Roll High School
I Wanna Be Sedated
Beat on the Brat
The KKK Took My Baby Away
Here Today Gone Tomorrow
Chinese Rock
Teenage Lobotomy


I Belong in Your Arms

This is pretty sweet. A Japanese version of I Belong in Your Arms by Chairlift. There is a limited edition 7" of this version available here, in case you're interested. You can find the original version on their excellent album, Something, which was released earlier this year.

Chairlift - I Belong in Your Arms (Japanese Version)



I recently discovered iamamiwhoami's Kin. It's pretty great; kind of like what you'd pour out if Bjork, Fever Ray and Portishead were all dropped into a blender. But whatever, the comparison is just to give you an idea; this album stands on its own.

I ran into Play about two weeks ago and I can't stop listening to it. This song is like a joyous celebration of life, love; whatever. It's like magic.

She's done up videos for each of the 9 songs on the album, you can check them out if you click here.

iamamiwhoami - Play


Faustian Echoes

I'm finally going to see Agalloch this coming weekend (at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco). I got into them a couple of years ago when they gave us Marrow of the Spirit. I remember looking up more info after first hearing the album and being disappointed that I missed their show which was barely a couple weeks prior to my discovery of them. But, you know, that's just the way it goes.

2012 brings us a new Agalloch EP, Faustian Echoes, the title track of which is a 21 minute epic that I'm looking forward to hearing in a live setting. I'm also looking forward to hearing my favorite song, Black Lake Nidstång, another epic (17 minutes!) which you can find on the aforementioned Marrow of the Spirit Album. I can't wait! In the meantime, check out Faustian Echoes.

Agalloch - Faustian Echoes


Robot Hero in Print

I've been meaning to scan this for ages and have only now just gotten around to it. This is the only time anything I've ever written has been printed in an actual, physical magazine. It was 2005 and I reviewed Kate Bush's Aerial for Slow Graffiti, which was a zine that was published by people from the now defunct Bowlie message board. Upon re-reading the review, I still feel the same way about the album although I would worded some of my thoughts a bit differently at this point in my life.

Also, I feel compelled to say that I've been learning to love The Red Shoes. Well, maybe not love it, but at least enjoy it on some level. It's not as bad as I make it out to be, it's just a departure from what she had been doing up to that point. In any case, the aforementioned review is pictured below. If you feel like reading it, you can click on the image to enlarge it.

Spring of Life

I've been so busy being unemployed, I missed a Perfume single that dropped a few months ago. So this new song, Spring of Life, is pretty much more of the same with Perfume, which is not a problem for me because I like the formula. Electro/dance music with sparkling production and the auto-tuned voices of gorgeous Japanese girls; what's not to love? It's simply a good time.

What really puts this song over the top for me is the video. I love the robot theme. It sorta makes me think of Blade Runner and all the little "friends" that are created by J.F. Sebastian. And the girls' electric light dresses are pretty spectacular. Check it out.

Perfume - Spring of Life


You're the train that crashed my heart

She's back. After three years, Bat For Lashes has a new album to share with us, The Haunted Man, and it will be available in October 15. Judging from the single, Laura, which has just been unleashed, the album will be very good, indeed. She's got a lot of European tour dates lined up through the fall and winter, so I think it'll be 2013 before she makes it to the States. I can't wait. That's the album's cover above, and the Laura video below.

Bat For Lashes - Laura


Play it for the heart and the soul

I came across Austra a couple months ago. Her album, Feel It Break, released last year. She sorta reminds me of Siouxsie; a goth feel with haunting, dark electronica. Maybe a little Kate Bush, too. I'm pretty excited, she's gonna be playing here in September and it's pretty cheap (The Independent, if you wanna come with), so that's something to look forward to. If you decide to pick up her album, make sure you hunt down the "deluxe edition" which has excellent covers of Woodstock (Joni Mitchell) and Crying (Roy Orbison) on the second disc as well as a few other b-sides.

Austra - Beat and the Pulse


You got me burnin'

I was watching The Terminator the other night. During the Tech Noir club scene (in which Sarah Connor first encounters the Terminator as well as Reese), I'm reminded that, 80s production aside, I actually like a few of the songs that pop up in the film (although it might just be nostalgia). Namely, Tahnee Cain & Tryanglz's Burnin' in the Third Degree, Photoplay and You Can't Do That. All of these are on the Terminator OST, which I used to have on vinyl way back when. Tahnee Cain was married to Jonathan Cain (The Baby's, Journey). I think someone could actually cover/update these and they wouldn't be half bad songs. Well, maybe if they ditch the guitar solos.

Tahnee Cain & Tryanglz - Burnin' in the Third Degree



I got into Mono when they were described as Mogwai Junior or the Japanese Mogwai. Fairly accurate, if not flattering, descriptions. I actually bought their second album first, One Step More and You Die. The blurb on the "employee picks" rack where it resided compared them to My Bloody Valentine (as well as Mogwai) and I was intrigued. Still, they were promising and they delivered the goods. The Kidnapper Bell, from their first album, Under The Pipal Tree, remains as one of my favorite Mono tracks.

I kinda burned myself out on them in 2005. They were touring in support of their Walking Cloud album and they must have come through the Bay Area some 6-7 times that year. My cousin and I saw them at least 5 times, from what I remember. A couple times, it was at some art gallery and the admission price was $5; who could resist?

But yes, a bit of a burnout ensued. I kept up with their releases, but wasn't listening as intently as before. Now it's mid 2012 and I've been enjoying their 2010 live album, Holy Ground, with the Wordless Music Orchestra. Mono are no longer Mogwai Junior, they've grown, redefined themselves and they have their own voice and this album beautifully illustrates those points. Time to start listening again.

Mono - Halcyon (Beautiful Days)


Robot Cast #3

I've been threatening to do this again, and here it is. This is my voice talking about some of my favorite musical moments in film. Click on to check out the tracklist.


Don't leave without me

Beach House's Bloom was love at first listen. It drew me in so easily, made me feel comfortable and fuzzy. In a good sort of way, it feels like a continuation of Teen Dream, except that they've tweaked and perfected the formula. Bloom is filled with soaring melodies, magic and passing clouds. It can make any mundane commute seem like you're floating off to some mythical destination.

Beach House - The Hours


Someday we'll find it

This is from the flip side of Tara Jane O'Neil's new single, Sirena. It's a pretty straightforward Rainbow Connection cover. Maybe a little more reverb-y on the vocals. It's really nice, though I like her voice a lot. 

Tara Jane O'Neil - Rainbow Connection



I just heard this for the first time today and I love it; it's like a full blown Prince song. I don't really know anything about Niki & The Dove, other than they are from Stockholm and their first album, Instinct, just dropped. Also, you can go to their Soundcloud page to listen to more music. Look for the drum machine version of this song, it recalls Stevie Nicks' Stand Back.

Niki & The Dove - Somebody


Robot Cast #2

Robot Cast #2 by Robot_Hero on Mixcloud

Robot Hero radio is back! Click on to check the tracklist, then press play to hear some sweet songs and sad stories. 


It came from the 80s!

This isn't your parents' 80s mix.

A friend asked for an 80s mix, I thought it would be fun to throw together some stuff not normally associated with typical 80s mixes. This is the stuff that I loved back then.


My feet are in the sky

I went with a couple friends to see First Aid Kit last week. They put on a great show and were kind enough to sign records and take pics with fans. This post is basically an excuse to post the pic. That's Rick and I with the First Aid Kit ladies, Johanna and Klara. I'm in the green jacket. This is King of the World, from The Lion's Roar.

First Aid Kit - King of the World


I gotta get back to you

When I was a kid, the Electric Light Orchestra were pretty huge. Actually, using my meager allowance, Ole ELO (a greatest hits compilation) was among my first ever vinyl purchases way back when. My dad wasn't much of a pop music fan, he was more into classical music. He once stopped by my room while I was listening to A New World Record, the strings had caught his ear and the juxtaposition of traditionally classical music instruments in a rock n' roll setting had intrigued him. He actually asked me about the band and I answered with whatever a 10 year old would answer. He even bought Out of the Blue when it came out in 77 and we would listen to it together. I think the strings gave them credibility in his mind.

The other day, I came across this live clip of ELO doing Sweet Talkin' Woman (which is on Out of the Blue) and it totally reminded me of all that. I can also put ELO in the Bands I Wish I'd Seen Live file, so I'm glad stuff like this exists.

ELO - Sweet Talkin' Woman


Why would you live anywhere else?

I'm loving the new Best Coast single. It sounds a lot cleaner that the previous album, but who cares because it's so damn catchy. This is a song that should blasted in the car, windows and top down, as you drive along Highway 1 on a bright, sunny day.

The Only Place is the title track from the upcoming album (out May 15) and is Bethany Cosentino's love letter to California and really, why would you live anywhere else?

Best Coast - The Only Place


Pictures came and broke your heart

Shugo Tokumaru's version of The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star. My friend who turned me onto Tokumaru described him as a folkier Cornelius, which pretty much sold me.

You can find this on Polyvinyl's Japan 3-11-11 album, which benefits the victims of last year's earthquake in Japan.

Shugo Tokumaru - Video Killed The Radio Star


Robot Cast #1

I'm trying my hand at a podcast, since I seem to have a little extra time on my hands these days (read: unemployed). Listen to my lovely voice, as well as some of my favorite songs. Don't be afraid.


Zou Bisou Bisou

If you watched the Mad Men S5 premiere this week, then you saw this moment. Don Draper's wife, Megan (Jessica Paré), throws a surprise birthday party for her husband. In the middle of the party, she busts out a French pop song, Zou Bisou Bisou. I thought it was a pretty cool, lighthearted and sexy moment. Mad Men, bringing yé-yé to the masses. Who woulda thought?

I'm not very familiar with the yé-yé scene (I know who Françoise Hardy, France Gall and Sylvie Vartan are, but that's about it) but a little googling reveals that the original version of the song was sung in English by Sophia Loren, and then in French by Gillian Hills. Actually, after reading the wiki page, it's sorta confusing. I bet that page has gone through a ton of edits in the past few days since the premiere, so I'll leave you to figure it out for yourself if you're so inclined.

In any case, you can actually buy Jessica Paré's version of the song on iTunes or on 7" vinyl (b/w the Mad Men theme song). You can also see the clip from the show here.

Jessica Paré - Zou Bisou Bisou


Fall Back in Love Eventually

I picked up tickets today to see The Naked & Famous (next month, April 21 at the Warfield). I saw them a few months ago at the Independent with a friend and figured why not see them again. All the way from New Zealand, their songs are dance-y, full of synths (but not completely) and instantly accessible. It's just catchy, fun pop music...and the lead singer is CUTE.

I love this single, Young Blood; it's monster of a sing-a-long anthem about young love. I get it stuck in my head and it stays there for weeks at a time. Check it out on their album, Passive Me Aggressive You. It's about a year and a half old now, so hopefully it's about time for something new.

The Naked & Famous - Young Blood


You keep me under your spell

I recently saw Drive, which I very much enjoyed. In the film was a song by Desire called Under Your Spell. Watching the film, the song sounded familiar to me, I had to look up the soundtrack listing and then I stupidly realized I had their album. I like the song but I didn't like the chit-chat breakdown in the middle with the two girls talking to each other. The Drive soundtrack has an edited version of Under Your Spell which omits the chatter and the result is much more satisfying, for me.

I like the song's simplicity; I don't eat, I don't sleep, I do nothing but think of you. The basics of obsession when you meet that certain someone.

Find this on the aforementioned Drive soundtrack; alternatively, you can find the original version on Desire's II, which is a pain to search for.

Desire - Under Your Spell


Fredo's Lament

I've been slacking lately, mostly when it comes to this blog, but I'm trying to get back into it. In any case, I'm here now. I recently attended a screening of The Godfather, a film I absolutely love and had never before seen in a theater. That was pretty exciting and it got me thinking, if ever there was a tragic figure in the history of cinema, Fredo Corleone might pop up on some people's lists. Definitely on mine. I tried to make a Fredo Corleone inspired mix, songs that might speak for him or remind people of him. I tried to follow the arc of his life; birth, full of promise, upbeat. Then it gets darker and maybe a little bit ferocious. Anyways, this is what came out, it lives over on 8tracks.com and it's embedded here, maybe you'll like it; press play.


Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part II)

I've been having a little King Crimson revival this week. The 80s incarnation of the band (Fripp, Belew, Levin, Bruford) is probably my favorite, if only because that was my initial entry into their catalog. I've been listening a lot to a live album called Absent Lovers which was recorded in Montreal at the end of their 1984 tour.

Originally recorded in 1973, this particular performance of Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part II) (from the Larks' Tongues in Aspic album) showcases their chops and power. The word devastating comes to mind. Precision. Deadly accuracy. It's like the Death Star of songs, capable of destroying entire planets (if someone were to use that power for evil). I dunno, it's just so very good.

King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part II)


You're so bad for me

New Art for the People is kind of a twisted love song. It's one of those abusive, drug-addled relationships and they can't stay away from each other. It starts with him singing to her about "the cum in your hair, the cocaine on your teeth." She sings about how it frightens her when he gets all shouty, but then it just makes her love him more. My favorite line is when she sings, "You sound middle class, but I'll let it pass, I don't understand you at all." I just love the way her voice trails off as she says "I'll let it pass," it's almost like she's fed up but forgiving at the same time.

Towards the end of the song, they get famous; they sing about being on TV and on the cover of NME and their celebrity is the only thing that is really keeping them together ("It's so sad that you're so sad and you're so bad for me"), but hey, that's rock n' roll.

You can check this out on The Indelicates' first album, and my favorite of theirs, American Demo. You can also listen to more Indelicates music here.

The Indelicates - New Art for the People


Dream of the Broken Hearted

Songs for surviving Valentine's Day. Press play.

Click on for the tracklist.


I'll be your Emmylou

I recently came across First Aid Kit, a Swedish sister duo, who have a new album called The Lion's Roar. Swedish girls who are still in their teens and yet somehow they channel Americana so fluently and beautifully; I love it. Listen to Emmylou from their new album and you can hear them name-check some of their American heroes.

First Aid Kit - Emmylou