Monday, December 24, 2007

Zeon's 2007 'Xmas Mix

The annual Zeon's Christmas mix has finally seen the day, just in time. An hour and 15 mins of festive tunes. Delivered in 128kbps mp3s. With a thematically minimal cover. Also nicely wrapped in a zipped file for your convenience. So get those fingers working! Although the last thing you should do on Christmas Eve is to spend your precious time sitting at the computer to download some mp3s from a faceless blogger. Hope all is having a wonderful time with family & friends, with plenty of reasons to celebrate. There's something for everyone here, and some gems I've been saving for these special times. It ended up with a longer running time than I initially planned, so not sure if it'd fit a CD-R. I'll still be blogging from now to New Year's Eve (World: get a life!), so tomorrow the first installment of my Year-End lists should be up and ready to go. Anyhow, enjoy!


front cover
back cover

01 Jimmy Eat World - Last Christmas

02 Saint Etienne - 21st Century Christmas
03 Eels - Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
04 Shonen Knife - Space Christmas
05 The Simpsons - 'Cause Christmas Eve Is Here
06 KT Tunstall - Mele Kalikimaka (Christmas in Hawaii)
07 The Puppini Sisters - Jingle Bells
08 Taylor Swift - Santa Baby
09 Liz Phair - Winter Wonderland
10 Candie Payne - Let It Snow
11 Shawn Lee & The Ping Pong Orchestra - Deck The Halls
12 The Weepies - All That I Want
13 The Carpenters - The Christmas Song
14 Martina McBride - Oh Holy Night
15 Sarah McLachlan - The First Noel/Mary Mary (Acappella)
16 Belle & Sebastian - Christmas Time Is Here
17 Skye - Silent Night
18 The Innocence Mission - Little Town Of Bethlehem
19 Camera Obscura - Little Donkey
20 Maria Taylor - White Christmas
21 Leon Redbone & Zooey Deschanel - Baby It's Cold Outside
22 Coldplay - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
23 Simone White - Christmas Makes Me Blue
24 Mogwai - Christmas Song
25 Sally Shapiro - Anorak Christmas (Piano Mix)


DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE MIX AS A ZIPPED FILE HERE (68 MB)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Keane's Xmas Gift

Keane has offered a free download of their version of Gwen Stefani's 'Early Winter' over their website as part of their advent calendar and an early Christmas gift to the fans. It was recorded live at their acoustic show at London's Union Chapel on November 28th 2007 - the first time they played it in public. Not Tom's best vocal performance, but still it sounds pretty good. Is it wrong to say that I still like Gwen's version better?

You can go to keanemusic.com to pick it up or just grab it here.

Keane - Early Winter

I think the last time something similar happened was when Coldplay recorded the song Chris Martin penned for Embrace ('Gravity') and made it a b-side for Talk. In this case, Coldplay definitely improved the song.

Coldplay - Gravity

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Scala & The Kolacny Brothers

Scala & Kolacny Brothers is a Belgian all-girl choir (age ranging from 16 to 26), conducted by the two Kolacny brothers, Stijn & Steven. Up to date, they have released 5 albums of ethereal, overly dramatic, haunting cover versions of many contemporary pop/alternative hits. I know this screams out 'novelty', but actually they're just awesome the way they are, you just don't have to take it so seriously. Their latest studio effort, 'One-Winged Angel', was released this year with new covers of Bjork, Radiohead, Depeche Mode and more. My favorite gem on it has to be the much-needed, chill-inducing version of Damien Rice's 'The Blower's Daughter'. There's also a marvelous take on Kylie's 'I Believe In You', which might or might not have inspired that new orchestral version she's been performing live lately. I guess the tricky thing with these kinds of albums is that I always jump to the songs I've already known and loved first, and tend to not be as keen on the others whose the originals I don't like as much or never heard of yet. Anyway, check out some choice cuts along with other very nice tracks from their previous albums - all recommended! Although the music has nothing to do with Christmas, it certainly suits the holiday vibe. This year I didn't really feel the spirit though, have only re-added 2 festive albums onto my iPod and both of them were from last year! Sorry for the lack of updates lately, I'm preparing the year-end list and hopefully they'll be up here after Christmas...


One-Winged Angel, 2007


The Blower's Daughter (Damien Rice)
I Believe In You (Kylie)
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree (KT Tunstall)

It All Leads To This, 2006

Heartbeats (The Knife)
Yellow (Coldplay)
You Oughta Know (Alanis Morissette)

Dream On, 2004

Under The Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
With Or Without You (U2)
Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve)

On The Rocks, 2002

Creep (Radiohead)


MySpace
Buy

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Covered: Joni Mitchell's 'River'

Joni Mitchell will forever be one of those veteran artists that I have total respect for, yet never spend proper time and effort to delve into her catalogue, for I don't know where to start and when to stop. However, 'River' was undoubtedly a non-traditional masterpiece, a Christmas song that's not actually about Christmas, and more remarkably, a solemn one. Many artists, mostly female, have had their ways with it, and here are a few notable versions. Hope you all are having a wonderful time.


The original


Sarah McLachlan's

Tori Amos's
Travis's
Madeleine Peyroux's

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Mix: Rare Downtempo Remixes


Last weekend, I was going on a remix crave as I was able to track down a plethora of ultra rare remixes. Some of them truly succeeded in shedding a new light on old favorites. I was so in the mood that I decided to scroll through my library to find 5 excellent reinterpretations and compile a quick winter mix. Here they are, and each and every track deserves a place in your music collection. I think just the names of the artists and the remixers are enough for a guarantee. Looks like my 2007 won't close its curtains in all cheers & laughters, so I need all the aural pills I can get and be prepared for any turn of events. Oh how I envy those who can listen to music for a living.


Goldfrapp - Time Out From The World (Fields Remix)
Keane - We Might As Well Be Strangers (DJ Shadow Remix)
Amon Tobin - Kitchen Sink (Clark Remix)
Emilie Simon - Desert (Thievery Corporation Remix)
Zero 7 - In The Waiting Line (Koop Remix)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Lovely Swedish Indie Pop: Lykke Li!

Seems like I'm months late to the party, but now I can confirm that the hype is right: Lykke Li can be the next big thing coming out of Sweden (though people tend to say that a lot these days, don't they?). 'Little Bit', without a doubt, will get a sturdy spot on my best songs of 2007 list, if I ever come close to finishing one. The first few seconds of the song got me thinking: 'Oh this is gonna sound a bit like The Knife', but no it's something else that is brilliant on a different level. The bouncy percussion & Lykke's sweet, childlike, fragile voice mislead me into thinking that this is a happy song until she ends the chorus with 'if only you're a little bit, a little bit in la-la-la-love with me'. Okay, so more like happy sad. A first listen filled with delightful surprises. What's notable is that she's getting all this attention in the blogosphere, but she doesn't write wacky song titles, sing about weird stuff or make mash-ups. She just sings about love. She's just pure pop. The very good, refreshing kind of pop, with a DIY aethestic. The lovely visual companion is also an example of what you can do with a relatively low budget and a skilled video editor friend. I think Robyn's fans would automatically love her. Well, at least in my perspective, I find it hard to just fall a little bit in love with her...
She's currently recording in NY, so for now, all available is a 3-song 10" vinyl, released on her own label, LL Recordings. She indeed has a bright future ahead, so get to know her before it's too late!


Lykke Li - Little Bit (highly recommended!)
Lykke Li - Tonight (Demo)


Buy
MySpace

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gwenno Pipette's Solo Demos

Welsh singer Gwenno had a music career before she joined the Pipettes, that I always knew. But what I didn't know was she still keeps on making music on her own. Last October, I found out she uploaded a mini album consisting of new demos on my MySpace, but it was too late as the YouSendIt link already expired. Fortunately, thanks to the devoted fans at The Pipettes message board, I was able to attain not only the new tracks but also the earlier previously-posted demos.
On her own, while not straying too far from The Pipettes melodic trademark, Gwenno's songs seem to lose the '60s pastiche and veer towards a more modern sounding, electronica-tinged indie pop sound. 'U & I', which is by far the best of the bunch, starts with one of the coolest opening lines I've heard lately: 'U & I have been running around like headless chickens...'. The chorus is catchy enough to sneak in my head for quite a few days. Another good song is 'She's Got Me On Her Mind', which totally fits in with the 'Sounds like' description on her MySpace, as in '
Ace Of Base produced by The Postal Service'. As for the batch of older demos, bittersweet ditty 'Picture Of You' is the highlight. Overall, I do enjoy these demos and more than ever do I want an offical album, or at least EP, from her. You know, like a side project. Try these choice cuts, and since it's holiday season, I throw in her cover of Wham's 'Last Christmas' with some dude named Swipe!.


Gwenno - U & I
Gwenno - She's Got Me On Her Mind
Gwenno - Picture Of You
Swipe! & Gwenno - Last Christmas

There's a cover for it too.

While we're at it, here's the new Americanized music video for 'Because It's Not Love (But It's Still A Feeling)'. New remixed track! New hairdos! New dresses! New expensive-looking CGI! Their US label must really have faith in them etc. (love Gwenno's new look, by the way)




And here's another video of The Pipettes singing 'Pull Shapes' live in the NPR studio. It's nice, though a bit weird, to see them in more casual everyday clothes. And there are giggles.



Watch The Pipettes' instructional dance videos if you haven't.
Visit Gwenno's Space.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

From France With Love: Marc Collin presents Two For The Road

'Two For The Road' is a new project from Marc Collin, producer of Nouvelle Vague, who's responsible for all those delicious bossa nova covers of '80s new wave hits. It's a conceptual album, with the story of two characters Ann and Cooper being unveiled through lyrics and spoken words - like a soundtrack for a non-existent French arthouse romance flick. Danish singer Katrine Ottosen is Ann, and Italian-born Valente is Cooper. Musically, I guess you can call it 'electroacoustic', like their MySpace suggested. Calm, enchanting and slightly solemn, it has a certain Parisian air, and will for sure appeal to Nouvelle Vague fans, or those who'd simply like a little something fresh and nice to listen to while sipping a cup of hot coffee on winter nights. The title track's a great album opener, and also the best cut, while track 2 'Downtown' was an ideal morning tune for when you're on you way to work.
A lovely overlooked release.

Marc Collin - Two For The Road
Marc Collin - Downtown


MySpace
Buy

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Do you hear what I hear?

December 1st. Hence, the countdown to Christmas has begun. For normal peoples with lives, that would mean shopping for presents, buying greeting cards, decorating the Chritmas tree and numerous seasonal activites. For music bloggers, that also mean: year-end listmaking season! Hopefully, this year I will learn to stick to my plans and get to publish at least a decent list (unlike those of last year, which still remains unfinished). There are still dozens of records that I'm sure will appear on many bloggers' lists to come, but I still haven't listened to yet. Right now, I really can't think of enough albums to make a good personal top ten. Last year was different, without thinking I could instantly name my favorites, like Lily Allen, The Pipettes, Camera Obscura, Belle & Sebastian, Regina Spektor & Zero 7. 2007 will probably go down in history as the year I listened to the most gigantic amount of music yet, so no it's not an easy for me to narrow it down to just a few. Whatsoever, I've already had the one thing I want in my wishlist. An iPod Classic 160GB to replace my overstuffed iPod 30GB! Everyone was saying 'How the hell are you ever gonna fill all that storage space?', well, I've asked myself that twice already! I'm seriously in need new Christmas albums. Last December, there were gems from Aimee Mann and Sarah McLachlan, and I didn't make it through the whole five discs of Sufjan's boxset. This year, the only highlight I can think of is those NBC EPs of KT Tunstall and Taylor Swift. So maybe this year's Christmas mix (sorry, I'll probably do just one this year) will possibly consist of mostly old songs. Are there any new Christmas albums that deserve a listen? (No Josh Groban, please)

Anyway, it's been a successful year for Greg Kurstin and Inara George, or better known to you as 'The Bird And The Bee', and they closed their year in a classy way: giving away a Christmas song for iTunes Single Of The Week. It's called 'Carol Of The Bells', and if anything, I want a full album of Christmas carols from them next year! You probaly have downloaded it there, so this is for those non-US visitors of mine. (see, I do care!). Spirit of giving etc.

The Bird And The Bee - Carol Of The Bells

Also, I came across this track when browsing my library, and it's become very appropriate.

Club 8 - Love In December




Today is World AIDS Day, so go read something and remind yourself to stay aware and alive...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sarah Michelle Gellar Raised Her Voice Again...


But not exactly in a way I expected of her. At last, I've got the chance to listen to the track she sang for 'Southland Tales'. I was a bit excited when I knew this news a year ago but the movie took forever to get a release date so I just forgot about it all. It's called 'Teen Horniness Is Not A Crime'. It is not very good. It's supposed to be a joke anyway so maybe it is intentionally crappy. Her voice sounds a bit different and more processed from the last time she used her pipes.
The movie, however, doesn't look so good. The trailer left me scratching my head and the critics didn't seem too bothered either. I think I'll skip this, even when I know Sarah played an ex-porn star in the film. I've already got her new sizzling Maxim spread then. Hot hot stuff!!! Though it's a bit sad when you realize that she has come to that point of her career. Well, she's the only reason why I sit through the whole borefest that is 'The Grudge', and let's face it, she's not gonna be given any major roles except those for pointless horror B movies...

Normally, this would be where I put in a Buffy reference and post a song from Once More With Feeling, but no, I haven done all that too many times already. So instead, let's just give the new track a listen, then delete it, or store it somewhere for hardcore fanboy collecting reasons.


Sarah Michelle Gellar, Abbey McBride & ClarKent - Teen Horniness Is Not A Crime


On the other hand, Moby composed the score, too.
Buy the soundtrack

New Music Videos: Sia & Robyn

What a nice way to start a day, being treated to 2 new music videos from 2 artists I care for. One I've been waiting for, and one is a new version made for a regional release.


It's a shame Sia's new album 'Some People Have Real Problems' won't be in stores until next year, as it could easily make it to the top ten of my personal 2007 best albums list. It's a persistenly solid record from start to finish, one I have found myself coming back to again and again, which is a rare thing these days. 'Day Too Soon', the lead single, is now available on iTunes US & UK, and the video is just as heartfelt and lovely as the song itself. In it, we see Sia fluttering about in a park on a sunny day, watching lovebirds, smiling with her own unseen beau, and finally, warbling at the top of her lung on a giant swan boat as it floats on a beautiful lake. There are some Sia-esque quirky get-ups too. Although 'Breathe Me' is quite impossible to top, 'Day Too Soon' is a big, sincere, 'I-found-the-one!!!' love song in its own right. You can watch the video below, and grab a dancey Lifelike remix on your way out.

Video taken down by request. You can view it at Sia's official site for now. And it's gone. :-(

MP3: Sia - Day Too Soon (Lifelike Remix)



And now, the Swedish blogger's darling Robyn. 'Be Mine' will be her next UK single, to be released early next year, and like 'Handle Me', a new video has been made for 'different markets'. Sadly, this time, although I like the wintery feel of this version, the original is much better in terms of uniqueness. This is just a more watered-down, ordinary video of hers (I can understand the decision, as some might think that she's channeling Britney if they re-release the old one). Nice hair, though, as always.


Musically, it doesn't get me as much as the previous singles, but judging by the success of 'With Every Heartbeat', maybe people over there prefer heartbroken Robyn to cheeky Robyn? Should guarantee at least a top 20 spot, me thinks. I still prefer this ballad version:

MP3: Robyn - Be Mine (Ballad Version)



Sia's Myspace
Robyn's Myspace

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Singing Daisies

There should be a scientific research on whether watching too much of Pushing Daisies might widen your eyes, like those of anime characters. Because I think it might be affecting me. Seriously, I've never felt this way about a show ever since Buffy. And that meant a LOT. And this is coming from the same person who used to change the channel immediately after just a few minutes viewing Wonderfalls because it was too 'quirky'. This show just brings a much-needed little sunshine into my chaotic, dysfunctional life. Too bad it looks like a Christmas episode is out of the question, since episode 9 is supposed to be the season finale, due to the complications of the ongoing writers strike. I was so looking forward to one!
Well, then, since I became such a devoted fan already, I figure I should extract the two numbers recently performed by Kristin & Ellen on the show, whose theatrical talents certainly didn't go to waste. So here they are, in their compressed, glorified mp3 form! If you haven't watched the show, do yourself a favor and give it a try. At least if you turn out to like it, there'll be plenty of time for catching up.

Kristin Chenoweth & Ellen Greene - Birdhouse In Your Soul (They Might Be Giants Cover) /(vid)
Ellen Greene - Morning Has Broken (Cat Stevens Cover) /(vid)


The originals as well, if you're so inclined:
They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul
Cat Stevens - Morning Has Broken


Hope those in the US have been enjoying their Thanksgiving holidays.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

WTF? Thai Pop?

Now this is just out of nowhere. The last thing I'd expect myself to post on this blog. I can't exactly recall how I got wind of this but I probably learnt of her existence while randomly channel surfing on a day in 2003. Though I didn't understand a word she said, the music was so catchy and it certainly doesn't hurt that she looks like a sweetie pie, too. According to the only webpage in English I can find, she's a Thai-Belgian, went to college in Australia but she only sings in Thai. In my opinion, she's like the Thai version of Shakira, minus the belly dancing and the broken English. But she really knows how to make a song stick your head - regardless of the lyrics (which of course most wouldn't understand). The following songs are from her second album, 'Stay', released back in 2003. 'Tum Pen Mai Tuk' (man, that sounds funny) is an uptempo piece of catchy vocoded pop rock and 'Stay' is a gorgeous, stripped down acoustic ballad. Be willing to give it a chance, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to like it. Most of the time, I despise Asian pop music for sounding corny and run-of-the-mill crappy, but this is a delightful exception.


Palmy - Tum Pen Mai Tuk
Palmy - Stay


HerSpace

Covered: Shonen Knife

After discovering the jolly Carpenters cover that is 'Top Of The World' by Shonen Knife, I was itching to learn more about this Japanese goodness. A bit of googling and that picture came up (no, seriously, they look like THAT!). And also I learnt that these two women has had a career span of over 2 decades playing guitars and singing songs about stuff like sushi bars and jellyfish! Insane! Now that would be my cup of tea! I dug up two other fantastic covers, which totally cheered me up after such a hellish week. Hello sunshine.


Shonen Knife - Raindrops Keep Falling On Head (Burt Bacharach Cover)
Shonen Knife - Daydream Believer (The Monkees Cover)


Their MySpace

I'm willing to delve deeper, but honestly I have no idea where to start as their latest album 'fun! fun! fun!' released earlier this year is their fourteenth one. Is there any Japanese punk pop enthusiast out there that can tell me what albums of theirs are most worth listening to?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Reinterpretations


5 covers for another manic Monday. The originals of the following cover versions are pretty much all-time classics, impossible to top, but there's just something endearing and refreshing about listening to tunes you know by heart, in a different manner.


PJ Harvey feat. Vincent Gallo & John Frusciante - Moon River (Audrey Hepburn Cover)

'Nuff said.
Sarah Blasko - Don't Dream It's Over (Crowded House Cover)
Dreamy chamber pop reimagining.
Pedro The Lion - Fade Into You (Mazzy Star Cover)
Sung from a male perspective.
The Lucksmiths - I Started A Joke (Bee Gees Cover)
Bee Gees as a '90s alternative college band. This version is gor-geous.
As a bonus:
Kristin Chenoweth - Hopelessly Devoted To You (Olivia Newton-John Cover - from Pushing Daisies)
Adorable. Accompanying video. I actually never knew Kristin is a renowned Tony-award-winning star. And I never watched Grease, either. So it was on Pushing Daisies that I listened to this song for the first time. How wonderfully educational. A musical episode is possibly being discussed in an underground lair somewhere.


Guess who inspired this post. Happy birthday, mom!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday Babblin'

(if you haven't gouged eyes out in despair yet, then very well done, you might proceed to read (sorry, can't resist it!)


More randomness and scribbled thoughts for the weekend.

-I can't understand the fascination with the singer/songwriter ladies on the iTunes store these days. Sara Bareilles and A Fine Frenzy are quite good, Colbie Callat is alright, but I'm not sure what to think of Meiko and Ingrid Michaelson. It just feels like some of their songs were written with Grey's Anatomy already in mind. Maybe that's what the average listener needs more of these days - harmless, pretty nice music.

-I'm also fucking tired of the endless crops of NME-type 'The' bands flooding out from the UK every week. Must they all sound the same? Is being able to sing not a cool, credible thing? It's hard to keep track of them all. Normally, these types of bands have only a couple of pretty good tunes each, and I predict most of them will vanish by the end of next year. So why bother?

-You know a hype has reached a new level of insanity when Kate Nash covered a song of a relatively new band on a French show (and did a better job of it). It's funny, when The Black Kids are supposed to ubiquitous, and I wasn't aware of them until I heard Kate's cover (sure, I saw them popping here and there, but I never really noticed). It's just very confusing, with all these bands with 'Black' in their names (Black Dice, Black Lips etc.). So I heard the original afterwards, and guess what, I don't get it. I'd say leave them alone and give them more time to grow.

Kate Nash - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You (Black Kids Cover)

And while we're at it, here's her cover of another band that certainly knows a thing or two about blog overhype:

Kate Nash - Flourescent Adolescent (Arctic Monkeys Cover)



Moving on to the poppier side of music...

-Leona Lewis - UK X-Factor winner last year. Never watch the show, so I have no prejudgements. Her cover of Kelly Clarkson's 'A Moment Like This' was a bore. And I almost thought of the same for her new single 'Bleeding Love' until I realized after a few listens: 'Hey, that's not too bad'. It's a nice mid-90s r&b ballad kind of song, like everyone says it is. This also marks the first time a single of a reality show winner in the UK sounds readymade for a US crossover. Her cover of Snow Patrol's 'Run' for BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge is excellent, though. Good move, indie cred gained! Minor interest in the album.

Leona Lewis - Run (Snow Patrol Cover)

-Skye Sweetnam's such a guilty pleasure. She's like the poor Canadian man's version of Avril Lavigne, albeit less pretentious and more interesting. Her sophomore album 'Sound Soldier' is a hot mess, a polarizing effort that's destined to be a commercial disaster. There are two contagious spunky punk pop earworms on it ('Human' & 'Music Is My Boyfriend', though, the rest might need more time.

-Humiliating confession: Today it dawned on me that The Corrs' 'Dreams' is actually a cover of Fleetwood Mac. D'oh!!! Hey I'm young and green and unexperienced etc. Remember when it's considered okay to listen to The Corrs?

TV Watch:
Six episodes into season 2, and I'm so ready to give up on Heroes. Nothing interesting has happened and it has become a borefest. Sylar needs to kill those Mexican twins and their horrendous tears of doom, pronto. They're so annoying. Hiro also needs to stop horsing around in ancient Japan, unless the budget's gone crazy and we can see some amazing huge CGI battle. That Clark Kent wannabe needs to go, too. Thanks goodness that little whiny Molly is now in a coma. Nikki ihas been criminally underused. The world needs to be saved again? Please. All the promising characters they all killed so early (hello, Eden?), maybe it's time to call it an official sophomore slump.

Two of my fave sitcoms, '30 Rock' and 'The Sarah Silverman Program', have also been struggling this season. The laughters are slowly diminishing. Bring back the songs, Sarah (I love the doodie song last week, though).

Update: Since I'm such an obsessive completist, I just had to rip the audio off the Sarah - Laura Silverman duet from the episode 'Doodie' and saved it as an mp3 for, um, digital preservation. So I figured I might as well share it here, too. Very short, but delightful. Notice that Casio keyboard.

Sarah & Laura Silverman - White Dog Poop

I'm gonna end the post with some essential links you have to check, go to Pardon My Freedom for brilliant covers of Britney Spears' 'Toxic' by Yael Naim, Beyoncé's 'Crazy In Love' by The Puppini Sisters, and Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' by Petra Haden. And visit Hi-Fi Heart for The Hoosiers' take on Justin Timberlake's 'LoveStoned' (ballad, with lots of strings). Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

And I'll follow you tonight…

The woman in that awesome cover sleeve above is Anna Ternheim. Her music had been under the radar for me, until last week, when I stumbled upon this one particular song named 'I'll Follow You Tonight'. There was something so utterly, hauntingly beautiful about it that just kept me coming back for more. Subtle, and helplessly sad. Ghostly harmonies and the intricate sounds of acoustic guitar. And the voice, so slight and evocative. A song that only should be heard after the night falls down. Based on this song only, she's like the female equivalent of Jose Gonzalez, a compliment that is. Gorgeous stalker song.

Anna Ternheim - I'll Follow You Tonight


Apparently, Anna Ternheim is already quite an established act in her native country, Sweden, as she already won three Swedish Grammy awards and owns quite a prolific catalogue. And yet she remained completely obscure to me - how was that supposed to happen? 'I'll Follow You Tonight' was on her 2004 debut, and now included on her US debut self-titled EP, a collection of her best songs, out this week thanks to Decca Records. I will definitely have to seek out for more of her stuff, but only after I've grown bored of this track. Maybe some readers here who happen to be fans of her can recommend me some key tracks?


Her Myspace
Buy the EP

Friday, November 02, 2007

New Music Videos: Sally Shapiro & The Postmarks

Apparently, I am now back to the music video uploading game. Well, someone has to upload the new Sally Shapiro video for 'Jackie Jackie (Spend This Winter With Me). I assume most of you have seen it already on Pitchfork. Little tweenage girl locking herself in her room and listen to Sally's LP on her headphones, while Sally herself appears on the TV screen to mimic the lyrics. It's done in such a cheap, corny, '80s Eurotrashy way, but fits the music very nicely. The North American release in out in stores now, and I highly recommend you buying it, if icy, moody italo disco is your thing. I can confirm that all the new three tracks are excellent. In fact, you could sample the new extended mix of 'I'll Be By Your Side' below, for another taste.





Disco RomanceSally Shapiro
"I'll Be By Your Side" (mp3)
from "Disco Romance"
(Paper Bag Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Stream from Rhapsody



The Postmarks have also recently released a new video for 'Let Go', and after watching, I am now deeply in love with Miss Tim. How could you not love her? Sometimes that's all I need in a video, a young lady in a loose dress, frolicking around in the sun-bathed forest. Lovely video for such a lovely song. Must-watch!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

2007 Halloween Mix - Part 1

this image of Heidi Klum and Seal from last year still gives me the creeps


Apparently, this year I'm strangely not so enthused with the idea of Halloween. Maybe the forthcoming midterm exams due next week are to blame? I have the whole day unplanned, so probably by tomorrow night I'll just end up sitting by the couch watching a 'Treehouse of Horror' marathon, again.
With that in mind, I made this mix, not so much in a 'let's wear ironic costumes, go out and trash some parties' manner, but more like 'let's just sit here by the window with a bowl of candies, all worn out and bored'.
The tracks I chose are not as spooky as their titles might imply, but unintentionally they all tend to have an indie folk/rock vibe. My fave out of the bunch is probably The Rosebuds' track, a cinematic 6-minute haunting nightdriving jam. Both Akron and Band Of Horses are bands whose new tracks I dig, but haven't actually heard the albums yet. And Lost In The Trees should have deserved more blog hype.
Have fun, folks. Maybe come back later and tell me about your Halloween experience - like the silly costumes you saw or something. Not that I will get any kind of weird, creepy thrills from reading your comments, though. :-)


Nouvelle Vague - Bela Lugosi's Dead
The Rosebuds - Night Of The Three Furies
Akron - Don't Be Afraid, You're Already Dead
Band Of Horses - Is There A Ghost
Lost In The Trees - If You're Afraid Of The Dark
The Postmarks - Every Day Is A Halloween



Part 2 now available at The Bamboo Orchestra.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Covered: The Carpenters

Nothing like a bit of nostalgia for the weekend.
Yesterday, I was listening to some Carpenters covers on my iPod and this thought rose up: 'Are there more I'm not aware of?'. So I went ahead and did some extensive research (i.e. googling 'carpenters cover'), and found out there was an entire tribute album called 'If I Were A Carpenter', with covers contributed by these mid-90s alternative bands, released in 1994. Not until then did I realize that Sonic Youth's age-old cover of 'Superstar' was from this compilation. Had this album been released in 2007, it would have been featured in just about every music blog already. There are definitely some great gems here. They just brought back so many memories. I was kind of brought up getting used to this kind of melodic music, with my parents' habit of listening to stuff from The Carpenters, The Beatles and pre-Saturday-Night-Fever Bee Gees. I still remembered watching that music video for 'Only Yesterday' on an ancient VHS tape. Poor Karen...
Enjoy these covers from that compilation, and a couple more. Nice weekend, everyone.



Shonen Knife - Top Of The World
Jaunty and Japanese-y.
The Cranberries - (They Long To Be) Close To You
Faithful and Irish.
Cinerama - Yesterday Once More
Atmospheric.
Sonic Youth - Superstar
Lo-fi, heartbreak drone.
Grant Lee Buffalo - We've Only Just Begun
Warm.
Emmy Rossum - Rainy Days And Mondays
Thickly layered and unnecessarily dramatic, to be honest.


Purchase the compilation album

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bits and Bobs


Those who have visited this blog long enough sure knows I appreciate a well-crafted pop record just as much as some offbeat indie music. And since I haven't posted anything pop-related for a while, I think it's apt that I weigh in my thoughts on some of the most important pop releases in recent weeks.

Firstly, the Roisin Murphy album 'Overpowered'. Undoubtedly, the first two singles are killer, however, in an album context, it seems she isn't fully commited to being a commercial pop dance diva yet. It is a fine album, indeed (in this case, a rather high 3.75/5 stars), but some tracks just didn't win me over instantly, some left me scratching my head a bit, to be honest. So it's not the tremendous album I hoped it would be, but it doesn't make me love her any less. 'You Know Me Better' as a third single would be nice, I guess, as it is the only other immediate track I can think of. Maybe some are meant to be growers etc. By the way, check out her Gossip live cover, woman can sing live (thanks to XOLondon for the heads up).

Roisin Murphy - You Know Me Better
Roisin Murphy - Standing In The Way Of Control (The Gossip Cover)


Kylie's comeback single '2 Hearts': hit or shit? Obviously, it's a guaranteed number one, and I acutally like it. Yes, it sounds like a Goldfrapp b-side, and the Paul Harris extended mix didn't lead me into thinking otherwise, but it is still a sexy, faux-glam-rock track. Maybe the fact that I'm quite an indie head these days made it easier for me to digest it? It's just not the bang everyone expected it to be. Anyhow, the remixes did gain my interest in the song, especially the outstanding 7-minute remix done by Swedish electro outfit Studio. They brought their balearic style to the song, and aced it.

Kylie - 2 Hearts (Studio Version)


Question of the week: is Brittany Spears' new album 'Blackout' amazing? Unfortunately, I may be one of the few to find it leaving me cold (not cold as fire...). I admit I walked into it with not much of an open mind, secretly wishing that it's crap so that it'll tank so hard Jive will have no choice but to drop her this time, so that she can disappear off the face of the Earth, get her shit together and never to be seen in any tabloids again. So much for wishful thinking, because, let's face it, even if the album is crap (which I think it is), it will still climb to the top spot it its first week, since this is Britney we're talking about. The amount of press coverage on her latest antics is enough to pique people's curiousity. 'Gimme More' is quite decent, yes, but the only track on the album that I can see as a single is 'Break The Ice'. Her voice never sounds so heavily processed before, and with all these producers saying they saved the best tracks for her, is this all they can come up with? It's all very samey and tiring, going electro for the sake of being trendy, and it is not even the good kind of disposable pop. Maybe I just wasn't in a good mood then? I just don't get what all the fuss is about. Britney IS a performer, and if she can no longer be bothered with lip-synching and doing choreographed moves properly, and making decent music videos, then what's the point? Does she really need our money? Hopeless trainwreck. I'm not that fond of FutureSex/LoveSounds either. Maybe I am losing my pop appetite. Maybe I'm just a few steps away from collecting limited 7" singles of obscure indie bands, obsessively and religiously. A mere 2/5 stars for now.


Now, about that Emmy Rossum album, 'Inside Out'. Sure no one saw this coming? For me, it's like an odd vanity project for her to add to her budding career. Okay, she can sing, and the music's pretty much unique in the mainstream market now, but it's more Enya than Imogen Heap, and she just doesn't possess the quirk of Imogen or the depth of Kate Havnevik. Her vocals were mixed so densely, it almost seems like an acappella affair. It's just a bit weird for me. I respect her nerves, though, and 'Slow Me Down' is a good choice for a lead single. Did you know she used to star in a Disney Channel original movie? Um, don't ask me how I know that...


Moving to the two most famous girl groups of the UK. 'Change' was a pretty conventional album for Sugababes, it's missing some edge, and some sparks, however, there are some excellent singles materials here, 'Never Gonna Dance Again' and 'Denial', in particular. Can't stop listening to those two...As for Girls Aloud, the new single 'Call The Shots' is quite nice, I do like it, but it seems they're getting stuck, desperately in need for a mindblowing track to get back on top again...


Surprise ! The Vines, of all bands, has done a cover of The Veronicas' hit '4Ever', for a compilation released in Australia called No Man's Woman, in which male artists cover women's songs. And it is very good, a bit psychedelic, but the harmonies are sweet. By the way, The Veronicas' new single 'Hook Me Up' is one electro corker. Nice change in the twins' direction...

The Vines - 4Ever (The Veronicas Cover)


Bjorn, of Peter, Bjorn & John, has done a good remix for Robyn's 'Handle Me'. It's a bit military. I find it strange that even though I love all of the three singles to date, (Konichiwa Bitches, With Every Heartbeat, and this), I still haven't checked out the album. Maybe it's about time.

Robyn - Handle Me (Bjorn Remix)


I've been on a Carpenters kick lately, embarassingly. And someone's been downloading pilots of all these vintage '60s shows like Bewitched, I Dream Of Jeannie or Twilight Zone. I start to suspect that some old dead soul is taking control of my body...It's all a bit scary. Funny though, the one Carpenters song I kept going back to is also coincidently the one recently butchered by Emmy Rossum.


Last but not least, Pushing Daisies is the best show on tv this fall. Period. The excess of cleavage's clearly helping the ratings, as it's now picked up for a full season. Woot. Somehow Anna Friel just reminds me of Jenny Lewis. Just the kind of show I can get into.


Oh and Halloween's around the corner already? I should start working on a mix already...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

An Indie Pop Mix

Presented in a similar fashion to that of my last post, here are five more tracks from five indie pop bands/artists that I'm fond of, but didn't find the time to blog about them around the time their records came out. Their albums are all worth a listen if you dig what you hear here, but chances are you might be aware of them already.
Respectively, I have a spoon of sprinkling, charming keyboard pop from the lovely ladies of Brooklyn-based trio Au Revoir Simone, cartoonish, breezy novelty pop from Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, some cute, sunny '60s twee pop of The Icicles, an infectious, fun power pop track courtesy of The Apples In Stereo (the kids should get a kick out of this ditty, seriously), and finally, a deceptively-titled bittersweet track full of boy/girl harmonies from the husband/wife duo The Submarines (with an interesting backstory to boot).
Click on their names to get to their MySpace, if you'd like to. Enjoy.


Au Revoir Simone - Stars
(The Bird Of Music, 2007)
Gruff Rhys - Candylion
(Candylion, 2007)
The Icicles - La Ti Da
(Arrivals & Departures, 2007)
The Apples In Stereo - Energy
(New Magnetic Wonder, 2007)
The Submarines - Hope
(Declare A New State!, 2006)

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Female Folk Mix

As you know, I listen to music quite more than humanly possible, and it's hard to find something different and interesting to say about each track I like. So posts like these, at times, come in handy. The following five ladies obviously are talented, and they do have great songs up their sleeves, but I wasn't quite sure of how to put it down to words, so instead of conjuring up 5 separate posts, I'm just gonna merge them all into one neat entry. If you're into indie ladies with sweet voices, accompanied by a guitar/piano, singing lo-fi acoustic folk pop, then these tracks are just what you need to get through another manic Monday. Like one? Then pick up the rest. They're all equally great. For more info about the artist, click on their names to be directed to their Myspace. Enjoy.


Laura Veirs - Galaxies
(Year Of Meteors, 2005)
Julie Doiron - You Look So Alive
(I Woke Myself Up, 2007)
Lily Frost - Enchantment
(Cine-Manique, 2006)
Meg Baird - Do What You Gotta Do
(Dear Companion, 2007)
Eleni Mandell - Moonglow, Lamp Low
(Miracle Of Five, 2007)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kim Richey

So this is one of those "ooh this artist/band used to have this great song featured on Buffy/Angel I wonder what they're up to now" post.
In a key episode of Angel season 5, the one where Fred was dead and Illyria took over her body, there was a pretty song playing as the screen fades to black. That one song is 'A Place Called Home', by Kim Richey. It remained the only song of hers I ever heard, that is until I'm aware that she's back with a new studio album after 5 years on hiatus, entitled 'Chinese Boxes'.

And I'm glad that she returned. For me, 'Chinese Boxes' is a strong effort, 10 tracks and there's no single dud. She's got a great voice and a knack for writing simple, and sweet tunes about love & relationship. It's the kind of record that needs a booklet with lyrics inside, so that on a nice, cloudy day, you can put it on, sit down, have a cup of coffee and listen to every word she says. If you're into folk-pop singer/songwriter stuff, then this is well worth a listen. For a start, check out the opening track, "Jack And Jill", a song about two lovebirds' ideal day, with this opening line: 'She wore that dress like it was a Saturday, pretty as the summer rose, picked in the morning..."


Kim Richey - Jack And Jill
Kim Richey - Follow Me


Visit her MySpace
Buy the album

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Uh-Oh.

I'm screwed. Yesterday I was doing my usual fun and educational 'googling-myself' and something came up. Something unexpected. I found out there was actually a French electronic band called 'Bamboo Orchestra' and their MySpace has about 30000 friends! I swear I had no idea of their existence! When I was thinking of possible names for the new blog, I decided to go with that one because I thought 'Hey, this sounds cool and 'quirky'. Sure no one has ever used it before'. Well, stupid, naive me. Why couldn't I just be cautious and check it up on either Myspace or Google first? It's not the first time this happened, either. Months after I started this blog, I accidentally discovered that there was some Latin band called Zeon, and Zeon's also some anime robot character name. But this time around, I might get into trouble.
I'm really pissed off right now. What should I do, people? Should I close the blog (the other one, not this), make a new one and start from scrap or should I just pretend that I do not know and keep blogging til the day they come knocking at my door? Seriously, I don't know what else to do. Temporarily, I'm gonna have to call off updates while I'm trying to figure out a decent solution. Ideas are appreciated.


D'OH part deux: My account on Youtube has been permanently disabled, just because I uploaded a nicer version of a Gwen's video. I checked the official version and thought that it wasn't cool of her people to tag a big white link of her website on the video, so I just decided to provide a better alternative for viewers as I happened to have a high quality one. This happened before, once for 'The Salmon Dance' video and once for a Feist live performance on Carson Daly (stupid NBC, they didn't even have it up online...). And now the man has come and brought me down once and for all, therefore making about 30 videos uploaded by me go to waste. And they're all really good ones, some of which was the only copy available on YouTube. Fuck it, I give up. Fuck those major label c**ts. I can't bother creating another account and start it all over again. I'm through with this shit. What the fuck is going on these days? I'm so tired of bullshit.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weekend Special: Erlend Oye

*I hope this post will make up for the lacks of updates in the past few days. That was me and blogging, I just couldn't do it if I wasn't in the right mood.

There he is, one of the true music icons of our times. The uncoolest bespectacled, curly-haired music geek. Yes, you can tell I'm quite a fan. I've been meaning to made a monstrous post that he deserved, covering all of his projects past and present, and I can't put it off any longer. Norwegian musician, the Erlend Oye, is the center of this weekend special.


I first knew Erlend as one half of Kings Of Convenience. The video for 'Misread' was playing on TV and I thought 'Hey, this video's kinda clever! And the music is quite something'. Never did I expect then that this band would become one of my all-time favorites. Kings Of Convenience is like the modern-day Simon & Garfunkel. They're immune to trends and fads, just two friends in Scandinavia that like to play guitars and pen songs in their youth. Erlend's voice is distinctive and easily recognizable, one that can emit many feelings. It's like sitting under the shades of an apple tree in a summer afternoon. It's like a day spent looking through all of your old photo albums and realize how things can change. Their music might be better if listened to alone. Timeless bedroom music...

from RIOTS ON AN EMPTY STREET:
Kings Of Convenience - Misread (there's a one-take springtime-themed video...)
Kings Of Convenience - I'd Rather Dance With You (there's a video of Erlend Oye teaching ballet kids silly moves...)
Kings Of Convenience - Cayman Islands (there's a boring 'performance' video)

So after the success of the debut 'Quiet Is The New Loud', while Erik was busy studying, Erlend started exploring his other side of musical interests, the electronica side, and soon he collaborated with Royksopp and others, released a stopgap remix album, had his own electronic solo debut, and eventually, a DJ-Kicks mix. None of them appears to be uninspired and pretentious, it really seems that Erlend enjoyed his newfound passion with a genre so opposite to that of KOC, and it's refreshing for me, too, to hear his emotive, wistful voice harmonizing with IDM beats and seas of synths. Here are some choice cuts from those aformentioned albums.

from VERSUS:
Kings Of Convenience - I Don't Know What I Can Save You From (Royksopp Remix)
Kings Of Convenience - Weight Of My Words (Four Tet Remix)

from DJ KICKS:
Erlend Oye - The Black Keys Work (Phonique Remix)

from MELODY A.M.:
Royksopp - Remind Me (Someone Else's Radio Remix) (his best collab ever, IMO)

from UNREST:
Erlend Oye - A Sudden Rush (fave track on the album)

from Limited Edition "7 Single (2006)

Kompis & Erlend Oye - All Ears



In 2006, a band named The Whitest Boy Alive started popping all over the blogosphere, and it took me a while to take notice and find out that it is Erlend's new side project. It was first started as an all-programmed, electronica outfit, but eventually, they decide to strip it all down to a sparse arrangements of just vocals, bass, drums and guitars. The result is 'Dreams', an album for those who had been wondering 'What if KOC gets a bit more dancier?'. There are songs that are awestricken, indeed, and here are a couple of them.

from DREAMS:
The Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage (you must search the video up on YouTube, the animation is just amazing...)
The Whitest Boy Alive - Fireworks (love this bit: "Patience is just another word for getting old/Resolution's just as impossible as letting go"...)



As a bonus, here are some more rare covers. Be sure to check out the Feist one, if I hadn't known it better, I would have just thought of it as a new, unreleased song of their own.

RARITIES:
Erlend Oye - No Train To Stockholm (Lee Hazlewood Cover)
Erlend Oye - Friends And Lovers (Bread Cover)
Kings Of Convenience - Gatekeeper (Feist Live Cover)



Apparently, Erik, the other king, has his own side project, too, which is called Kommode, but do not expect any album to be released soon, as they only got one song up at their MySpace, and both Erik and Erlend have confirmed to be working in their Bergen studio again, for album #3. I'm counting down the days...

If you need some more fantastic live recordings for your download pleasure, this is the place to be. It's quite incredible what they have in stores over there...


Erlend Oye's fan MySpace
Kings Of Convenience's MySpace
The Whitest Boy Alive's MySpace

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Keren Ann

Keren Ann is a Israeli-born singer, but spent most of her life living in Paris and NYC. She can sing in both French and English. Though she's on the same label with Norah Jones, in my opinion, she's actually the better alternative, with a fuller, more engaging sound that's more than just typical coffee-shop background music. Her latest eponymous English album was released earlier this year. It was a bit of a letdown for me, as she seemed to go for a more Americana vibe, and most of the tracks are pretty play-by-numbers. However, this outstanding track, 'Lay Your Head Down', resumed what I love about her. Soothing and sweeping, with lovely bits of handclaps. I shouldn't say this...but just lay your head down and listen to this.

Keren Ann - Lay Your Head Down

And here we go back in time, to the first album that introduced her to me, 'Not Going Anywhere'. The title track is a quiet, melancholic chant, one to listen to at those chilly nights, and 'Sailor & Widow' has this kind of vaguely visible French cool vibe about it, some have linked its similarities to a track of Feist (My Moon My Man).

Keren Ann - Not Going Anywhere
Keren Ann - Sailor & Widow


MySpace/Buy

***

Life's been quite chaotic in the past few days, which explains for the lack of updates lately. Still struggling to adapt to the new changes. Nevertheless, I've pitched the idea for the weekend special, and it should go online tomorrow, according to plan.
And before I ended the post, let me just make an official announcement.
The winner of The Crystal Method contest is: Donovan D., US.

Congratulations! Hope you'll get the prize soon and enjoy the hell out of it.

Thanks to all of you for participating and to those who missed it this time - don't hate me. Hopefully there's plenty more to come in the near future.

The Bird And The Bee

The Bird And The Bee has been my object of affection ever since last year, when I first got a hold of their teaser EP. Their self-titled full-length was my first favorite album of 2007 and it still hasn't worn out for me so far.
The duo was formed as a project of producer Greg Kurstin and singer Inara George. Together they make dreamy, luscious, and melodic pop that blends elements of jazz standards and electronic overtones. The description on their MySpace, "A futuristic 1960's American film set in Brazil...", is downright accurate. Their music is sun-soaked, dipped in crayon colors, glowing brightly with the alluring charm of Inara's vocals, flawless songwriting skills, and supposedly adult-oriented lyrical content. It was a very strong debut in my opinion, one you can play without skipping because there's not really a single weak song on it. Here are three cuts from the album, including a tune you might have heard in a little iPod Touch commercial.


The Bird And The Bee - Again & Again
The Bird And The Bee - La La La
The Bird And The Bee - Fucking Boyfriend


And just when I thought I got enough of birds and bees, a new 5-track EP arrived in September to my pleasant surprise. It's a nice addition to the album, with slightly different sounds to the album's tracks. However, the one track that got me dumbstruck was their SUBLIME cover of the Bee Gees' 'How Deep Is Your Love'. Inara's vocals in this song are just heavenly, and Sia even dropped by to sprinkle some backing vocals. This is definitely the best cover of this song I've ever heard, a must-listen. It's just so fucking awesome, which makes me yearn for an entire cover album from them.


The Bird And The Bee - How Deep Is Your Love (Bee Gees Cover)


MySpace/Buy

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekend Special: Feist - Collaborations

Feist has always been insanely prolific. Over the years, she has lent her voice to many of her friends' tracks, and she might have the Midas touch, as pretty much everything she appeared in turned to gold. Here are just some of my favorites.

Kings Of Convenience - Know How (Feat. Feist)
The best collaboration she's done. Erlend Oye and Feist are like musical soulmates. Just when I thought the song couldn't get any better, Feist's voice stepped out from the dark and took this beautifully calm song to a whole new level of audio bliss.
Mocky - Fighting Away The Tears (Feat. Feist)
My second fave collab. Mocky should have gotten more recognition, same for this bossa-nova-tinged song. Feist's sweet vocals combined with Mocky's somewhat geeky, white-boy hushed rap, together, are just lovely. She made an appearance in the music video. She performed it quite often on tour, too.
Jane Birkin feat. Feist - The Simple Story
The meeting of two goddesses. Simply amazing.
Arthur H - La Chanson De Satie (feat. Feist)
I guess Arthur H is pretty popular in France, but I don't know much about him. What I did learn was that Feist still sounds just as sexy in French.
Gonzales, Feist and Dani - Boomerang 2005 (Comme un Boomerang)
A tribute to Serge Gainsbourg, from the 2005 release 'Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited'.
The World Provider - Valentine (feat. Feist)
Feist gone electro. She also guest starred on a track called 'Give 'Er' with her ex-roommate Peaches. How much talent does it cost you to be her friend, anyway?

And if you head over to the MySpace of Peacefrog Records right now, you can download her collaboration with Readymade FC, 'Snow Lion', from his wonderful album 'Babilonia', for free, it's up for a limited time only.

To conclude this post, all I have to say is that: Feist, how about a duet with Emily Haines? How awesome would that be? Someone should start a campaign.

Weekend Special: Feist - Remixes

If you are a frequent flyer (and even if you're not), chances are you already know all you should know about her. Canadian indie songstress who crossed over to the mainstream this year by a couple of ridiculously joyful song-and-dance music videos? She's the center stage of this weekend special. First, here are some nice remixes of The Reminder era, all of which you may have heard already. So if you just want to take one track from this post, make it the delightful Audience Honey remix of 'Inside And Out'. I was a bit pissed off when I realized they didn't include any remixes for her better-than-the-original Bee Gees cover on 'Open Season', and then I found this one, which was beyond my expectations. It's a classy, groovy one. Enjoy your weekend.


Feist - 1234 (VanShe Technologic Remix)
Feist - Sealion (Chromeo Remix)
Feist - Gatekeeper (Pocketknife's Faded Beach Towel Remix)
Feist - Inside And Out (The Audience Honey Remix)



The Reminder (ha ha): one day left and the giveaway for a copy of The Crystal Method's 10-year-anniversary Deluxe Edition of 'Vegas' is over. If you haven't entered, do it real soon!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Vanessa Paradis - Divineidylle

Nowadays Vanessa Paradis is more universally known as Johnny Depp's wife than as a chanteuse. I still remember watching the video for that song 'Joe Le Taxi' on TV when I was really really little. Anyhow, her fifth studio album 'Divineidylle' has just scored her another number one in France, and in my opinion, it is a quite good album - authentic, well-crafted French pop. I gave it a 3.25/5. The lead single, also the title track, is by far the most immediate on the album. It is fun, catchy, head-bopping, and contains those infectious 'doo doo doos'. Very nice, indeed. A weekend special on some good French contemporary music is in the works, so look out for that. For now, here's what I'm talking about:


Vanessa Paradis - Divine Idylle


You can also watch the Jean-Baptiste-Mondino-directed video (man, she doesn't age at all, does she?)


Official Website

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Postmarks


The Postmarks are Christopher Moll, Jon Wilkins and Tim Yehezkely, the vocalist. This Miami band's self-titled debut received innumerable raves of music bloggers everywhere in the first quarter of 2007, so I thought a post from me wasn't really necessary. But now it is autumn, and their music has returned to soundtrack my chilly rainy days lately, so yeah, another post wouldn't hurt.
The Postmarks make sophisticated, melodic dream-pop, endearing and introspective . Their songs sound timeless, like they've been doing it for years. Tim's soft, hushed vocals is the heart of the band, and even the cover sleeve, with her wistfully looking out of the window from what seems to be a coffee house, depicts the ideal occasion for the music. One of the best bands to grace the indie pop scene this year, and they're definitely here to stay.
(fun fact: they were discovered by Andy Chase of Ivy, which is another all-time favorite band of mine)
There's a line in 'Let Go' that rings so true to me these days: 'Sometimes good things happen to us disguising as bad'.
So, for those who don't read Pitchfork and Perez Hilton on a daily basis, say hi to The Postmarks.


The Postmarks - Let Go
The Postmarks - Goodbye
The Postmarks - Weather The Weather
The Postmarks - You Drift Away (The Saturday Club Remix)

Unreleased stuff:
The Postmarks - Dreamer (Astrud Gilberto Cover)
The Postmarks - My Little Heart (unreleased)


MySpace/Buy

Check out their website for more mp3s of festive unreleased covers and lovely remixes!