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


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


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!