Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sights & Sounds - It's A British Thing

In which I finally chipped in my thoughts on some music videos/songs that were put up on YouTube ages ago...All hails from the country that is UK.

Siobhan Donaghy - So You Say


So Ex-Sugababe is all full-fledged and ready to flap her own wings now etc. This second single off her sophomore 'Ghosts' is really quite a cinematic, eeriely powerful pop ballad, right? I love how the verse and the chorus sound like two completely different songs. Easy to name the influences: Tori Amos, Kate Bush...It's a grower that needs a little patience to get used to. Though I still have to work on the album, this song has been in my head for weeks now, so I guarantee she should score another top 50 hit with this one. The music video, though made with a medium budget, did a good job of capturing the emotions in the lyrics, and there's the weird ending to balance the 'looking pretty' and the 'left-field artsiness'. I really can't say a bad word about this.

Siobhan Donaghy - So You Say
Siobhan's MySpace


Calvin Harris - The Girls (dir: Kim Gehrig)


Second electropoptastic single from the very-tall-producer/self-proclaimed-Kylie-production-team-bitch Calvin Harris. A bit better than 'Acceptable in the 80s'. I think he's a little overhyped, yes he's talented, but I hope one day he would realize he's not that good a singer, put his ego aside and leave the singing to the others. I won't be stomping out to the record store for his album, but I've got nothing against him. The music video, apparently, is a 'homage' to some French filmmaker. Good casting with 'the girls', and who knows, Britney would kill to have those wigs.

Calvin Harris - The Girls
Download the video (MP4)
Calvin's MySpace


Kate Nash - Foundations (dir: Kinga Burza)


Ooh I'm fashionably late to the party. But what a lovely video this is! Of course, comparisons to Lily Allen is unavoidable (the adorable cursing, the endearing accent, how she already got her own type of dress nailed down, and even the mention of 'trainers' in the lyrics!). But all of that is pretty obvious since she's signed to a major label now. I can be cynical and say that she won't be around by next summer and all, but for now I admit this is an amazing song. I totally fell in love with it from the first listen, so I really hope her album will be chocked full with songs as fine as this.
Too bad I can only find a radio edit of this song with parts of lyrics cut out, and no curses. But still, worth a listen.

Kate Nash - Foundations
Kate Nash's MySpace


And while we're at it...
Paul McCartney - Dance Tonight (dir: Michel Gondry)

I appreciate the fact that Paul McCartney's the only Beatle who're still making music. In fact, he's still so 'in the now' that this next album 'Memory Almost Full' will be released by Starbucks label, and have Michel Gondry direct this costly video for him. This is no groundbreaking work in Michel's standards, but it's a really fun, easy watch, plus Mackenzie Crook from The Office and Natalie Portman made cameos, too. And, uhm, well, the song's quite nice too, you see...

Oh so he has a MySpace too



In other words, Zeon has landed on YouTube! How trendy! I just made an account for the blog over there, and from now on, it will be served for the sole purpose of uploading cool music videos that have yet been uploaded or have been to little recognition. If I don't like it, I don't upload it. There has been a total of 8 videos so far, including some rare Feist live performance from the 'Let It Die' era. Click below and see for yourself!

Zeon's YouTube profile

Just a reminder, the Veronicas giveaway will end this Saturday and the Flight of the Conchords one will too this Sunday, so hurry up if you still want to enter.

Have a nice day, everyone! The Graduation mix coming up, then I'll be disappearing for a while.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Giveaway: HBO's Flight of the Conchords Prizepack

Contest Closed.

Okay, another giveaway coming your way. This time it comes from these two guys.

"Flight of the Conchords" is a new comedy show on HBO America, about 2 broke musicians who move from New Zealand to NYC's Lower East Side.

"The Flight of the Conchords is a folk/pop/comedy duo composed of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement. Billing themselves as "New Zealand's fourth most popular folk-parody duo", the group depends upon a combination of witty banter and acoustic guitars to work the audience."

I see them already making buzz on the likes of MySpace and YouTube already. If you want more info about the show, check out the official site or go to their MySpace to stream a full episode.

And here is what you will get if you're the winner of this prizepack:

1 Robot stress reliever
1 DVD of the first episode
1 Poster
1 Tshirt
1 Postcard


Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the goodies but I'm told they look quite cute.

As usual, either drop a comment to tell me your email address or send an email to zeonmusic at gmail dot com. Deadline is this Sunday. Then I will pick one winner at random and ask that person for their mailing address. It's simple as it is.

Feel free to enter and try your luck!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Kaiser Chiefs Covers Klaxons' Golden Skans

Okay, sorry for the lack of updates in the last couple of days. I'm back for a few posts this weekend, then I'll be taking a break for possibly a month. Might pop in every now and then if something new needs to be posted that badly. However, this summer's gonna be all hard work as I will try to improve my posting pace and let you in on all of my favorite acts/songs of the year so far...So yeah, there will be lots of catching up to do...

Also, thanks to all those who commented on my previous post. It's a quite easy one, isn't it? Whether you want it or not, here's a big virtual hug to all Buffyverse fans! [Note to self: watch season 3 again this weekend.] Thanks for all of your suggestions, some of them I haven't heard before and will do!

Onto another thing, I've been having problems with filehosting, again. FileDen just cut their monthly bandwidth down from 20 to 5GB, and it's already eaten up, new host FileGiant closed down abruptly, UploadingIt deleted all my files...These kinds of hosts always start off so promisingly, offering so much free bandwidth, but eventually, they can't handle it and ask for more money. This sucks, so bear with me until I can find a new filehost and settle down.

Enough with the complaining. Let's get on to the musique.



Kaiser Chiefs with their take on Klaxons' biggest hit to date 'Golden Skans' for Live Lounge. And I think they did a good job! They didn't even try to change anything of the song (though I did hear a xylophone playing there), overall they just had a good time covering it, and the cover turned out decently enjoyable, too. Plus now those ooh-oohs climb their way into my head again.
I like both the two singles (Ruby & Everything Is Average Nowadays) from the new album so far, but everybody's saying 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob' was a downgrade, so I'm not sure if I should pick up the whole deal or not. Maybe I just keep my eyes on the upcoming singles and see. Enjoy it!

Kaiser Chiefs - Golden Skans (Klaxons Cover)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Graduation is one week away...


...And I just got my yearbook. I looked a bit shit in it, but anyway, this has inspired me to do a graduation mix as a way of saying goodbye to a chapter of my life.
But I can't do it alone. That's why I call out for you guys (yes, I mean YOU!), the readers, to help me with song suggestions. You can either drop a comment or send me an email to suggest songs that you think would fit in this theme. Songs about high school graduation or songs with lyrics that are suitable for this occasion. Songs reminding you of your own graduation. Songs to slow dance to at prom night. Songs used in the prom episodes of various tv shows. You might even want to share your stories, too. Send your thoughts along by this Saturday and I will read them all. I'd really appreciate it if you could help, though knowing the amount of traffic here, I'll probably receive 3 emails (with one of which I send to myself).

P.S. If you can tell me where that pic came from, then you'll win a big free hug from me. In spirit.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tobias Froberg Covers Justin Timberlake



Am I the only person on Earth who believes Justin Timberlake is overrated? 'FutureSex/LoveSounds' wasn't all that, and the latest single 'What Goes Around...Comes Around' is a piece of bland, overproduced pop ballad that tried too hard to repeat the success of 'Cry Me A River'. The 'epic' music video is atrocious, too. It didn't help that his public image makes me think of him as a self-indulgent, cocky, whiny, annoying momma's boy...Feels good to let that out. Just an opinion, don't hate-mail me.

Apparently, Swedish musician Tobias Froberg has done his own indie-pop cover version of 'What Goes Around', and personally I think he did a great job of bettering the song. If anything, this cover proved that you don't always need Timbaland big production to make a good pop song sound like a good pop song. This is really nice, indeed. Check it out.

Tobias Froberg - What Goes Around (Justin Timberlake Cover)

Tobias Froberg's MySpace

Giveaway: The Veronicas CD/DVD!

CONTEST CLOSED.

3 quick questions.

1. Are you a pop lover?

2. Are you familiar with these two young ladies?

3. Would like a free CD/DVD from them?

If you answer 'Yes' to all three, then you can proceed with reading.

The Veronicas are two twin sisters from Australia, they sing catchy punk-pop and has received wide success in their home country with their debut 'The Secret Life of The Veronicas'. If you have yet heard of them, this video would be a good start. Chances are that if you like music from the likes of Avril Lavigne, you'll love them.

Recently, they release a DVD/CD called 'Exposed: The Secret Life of The Veronicas', only available in the land down under.
The DVD features a 50-minute documentary, live performances from the their Australian 2006 Revolution tour and the music videos of their four singles. And the CD consists of live recordings of six tracks from their debut.

The first prize winner will get a DVD/CD.
Two runners-up will get a copy of the CD each.


Whether you're already a fan or not, if you truly love some good pop, then this is for you.

It doesn't matter where you live. All you need to have is an address to send your prize to.

And because it's our first giveaway ever, I'll make it easy for you. All you have to do is submit your email address in the comments section (or send it to zeonmusic @ gmail.com if you prefer privacy) before May 26. I'll decide who wins by the random way of writing your names in pieces of paper, fold them up and pick 3 out of them. Then, I will personally email you to ask for your mailing address, and your prize's ready for shipping. Pretty sweet, ain't it?

For your interest, you can download a new song called 'We're Not Gonna Take It' for free and read about a current video contest at this site.

Their Myspace

So yeah, feel free to enter. Tell your friends. The more the merrier. If this giveaway goes well, there will be more to come in the future, hopefully.

Electropop Goodness from Roisin Murphy & Nerina Pallot

Two new pop songs from two British women got the PopJustice approval stamp and here is my verdict on both...



Roisin Murphy, the former vocalist of Moloko, is ready with her second solo album to be released soon this summer, and 'Overpowered' is the lead singer off it. If I could describe the track in few words, it'd be Goldfrapp meets Daft Punk. It's club-friendly electropop laced with haunting synths. Though I wish the song could be a bit more singalong, it sure is a tasty teaser of what's to come from her. Apparently, Stylus Magazine's Singles Jukebox has found a way to sneakily let us download the high-rated tracks under the form of a podcast. So thanks to them, you can click the link below, download the 'podcast', skip the talking beats in the beginning and check out the song in full.

Roisin Murphy - Overpowered (from Stylus Magazine podcast)

Roisin Murphy's Myspace





Fires was a fine pop album, and it provided a string of amazing singles that were criminally ignored by the record buying public in the UK. Having seen that matter, Nerina Pallot decided to team up with Richard X (!!!) for a cover version of 'Peg', for she's in need of another hit single beside 'Everybody's Going To War'. And I think she's got another Top 20 hit coming her way! (Let's stay positive, guys).
The result is this catchy summer jam. It's nothing like what you'd expect from her or Richard X, but there's this eazy breezy feel to it and those 'doo-doo-doos' are way fun to mime too. Might not get you at first listen, but it will grow on you. Refreshing for her, but I hope she won't abandon her old pop-rock sounds if this becomes successful. The mp3 is of 56kbps quality (blame PopJustice), but it sounds just fine.

Nerina Pallot - Peg

Nerina Pallot's Myspace

PS. Did you notice my newly-added music player on the sidebar? For now, you can hear Tracey Thorn's beautiful song 'By The Piccadilly Station I Sat Down And Wept' over there!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

As The Sky Clears Up...


I think I might have an obsession with rain.
I'm one of those people who would have a stack of cds under the label 'Rainy day records'. (actually, no. I live in modern times, I have a huge playlist instead)
So it's been raining cats and dogs all week long, and I've been taking advantage of that excuse to listen to my fave rainy-day records again. However, this mini-mix will not include any of that serene music.
Because it's an 'After The Rain' mix.
When the sky clears up as the rainclouds roll out, when the raindrops are still on your window pane and the chilly weather hasn't gone yet. When you feel refreshed, and all ready for a night out with friends.
Well, hopefully, this little uptempo mix can capture that mood. It worked on me, you know.

The Cardigans - Rise And Shine
Rainy days are perfect for some Cardigans pre-Gran-Turismo.

Paul Oakenfold - Southern Sun (Original Mix)
Trance's not my cup of tea but this is 1)melodious and 2)filled with sweet female vocals so it's good in my book.

Lemon Jelly - Nice Weather For Ducks
This one's needed for a walk in the park.

Saint Etienne - Stars Above Us
'Stars above us, cars below us'. That part of the lyrics sums up perfectly the right moment to listen to this song. Groovy.

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Thursday...



So far, 2007 has been a quite mundane year for music. Here I am in mid-May and only a handful of releases really deserved my attention. Some didn't live up to the hype, some is alright and some just plain sucked. Hopefully, labels have been saving their best scheduled for summer release. As it's been raining outside and I'm having some time to kill, let's give some thoughts on records that might or might not be out this year, or might never happen, but these are what I'm truly looking forward to.

Ivy:
Now that we all know how Fountains Of Wayne's new album totally tanked, Adam should just give up and give Dominique a ring already! It's not like she's busy with any side projects, is she? Ivy needs to get back into the studio and record a follow-up to 'In The Clear', ASAP. Because no one does it like them. The old albums have been overplayed pretty much, and I desperatly need new materials to tide me over.

Track:
Ivy - Edge Of The Ocean (Duotone Mix) (from Roswell Original TV Soundtrack)
This rare mix just made me love the song even more. It's perfect to listen to while driving as the sky clears up after the rain has gone. Really, it's flawless.


Beth Orton:
Her last album 'Comfort Of Strangers' was supposed to be a return to form and won her indie cred back. It had its moments, but overall I wasn't into the whole lo-fi folk thing. Even the best song on the album is an upbeat one (Shopping Trolley). It seems unlikely she will do another electronica album since she stated in an interview that 'dance music is cheesy' (well, it's not when done right, dear). She needs to collaborate with William Orbit again, even if just for a compilation-only track. She needs to make songs like 'Concrete Sky' and 'Dice' again. Because that is where she belongs.

Track:
Beth Orton - Anywhere (Two Lone Swordsmen Remix) (from The Other Side of Daybreak)
My favorite track of hers. I prefer this remix to the original jazzy one. Another made-for-the-road song.

Jem:
I've been waiting patiently for a new album to come out this year, and I hope she's been working hard! I think Jem got a false start, paying homage to Kylie's 'Breathe' video in her vid for 'Them'. Clearly, she's not cut out to be a pop star. She appeals more to The-OC kind of audience. She's just too chameleony to be marketable. Her debut is a pleasant surprise, a fusion of classical, hip-hop, trip-hop and acoustipop. She can do the sweet acoustic ballads (as in 'Flying High'), the sample-savvy upbeat ones ('They'), or laidback, relaxing tunes (like 'Finally Woken', 'I Wish'). This Welsh lady's got real talent, so here's hoping she can avoid the sophomore slump.

Track:
Jem - Once In Every Lifetime (from Eragon OST)
Her most recent work, which is a soundtrack to that movie nobody saw Eragon. Basically, here she does what Celine did for Titanic (shudders), what Enya did for Lord Of The Rings (double shudders!), albeit with dignity. I like this song much more than the Avril one 'Keep Holding On'.


And to end the post, a trip back to memory lane. I remembered watching this video way back then, and 8 years later the effects still look madly cool. Remember when music videos mean flashy, futuristically stylized sets, exotic locations and fish-eye lens? Good times. I'd like to refer to this as Texas' Chinatown song.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Introducing: Hello Saferide

This Swedish singer/songwriter is one of my proudest discoveries from last year. Her debut album Introducing: Hello Saferide is packed with great indie pop songs. I always knew I had to make a post about her but kept putting it off, afraid that my words won't do her justice.
Well, today, for some specific reasons (which I can't really tell you about), I just HAVE TO post this song. It is called 'Highschool Stalker'. Without a doubt, the greatest song about stalkers of this decade. Listen closely to the lyrics, you must. Very likeable, especially for those who have been in the same situation. I can't recommend this enough.


Hello Saferide - Highschool Stalker



For now, I'm really pressed on time, so this post ends here. To be continued...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Covers from Novi Split, Matt Pond PA & Astrid Swan



I notice that as the poll suggests, you guys really love covers. So here are three nice covers to help you get through the day. They should be able to put a smile on your face.

Novi Split - Crazy In Love (Beyonce Cover)
An indie-pop cover version. This song just keeps giving. Can be found on his 2007 album 'Pink In The Sink'.

Matt Pond PA - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel Cover)
Found this surpisingly pleasant cover the other day. What they did is rounding the edges of the original and make it sound more accessible (or adult-contemporary-station-friendly). Hear this, and then go hug someone. From Winter Days EP, 2005.

Astrid Swan - When You Were Young (The Killers Cover)
Finnish songstress' acoustic live take of The Killers' hit. I think she did a quite good job.