Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Uh-oh, jeopardy.

Just about the last thing I need. 2 days ago, my external hard drive failed to show up on My Computer and therefore threw my whole life in a turmoil. What does that have anything to do with this blog, you may ask. Well, pretty much, since I store about three fourth of my mp3s there :( . I'm still trying to figure out what happened and I've been searching for solutions on the web but it seems I'd be better off leaving it to a professional rather than taking any further risk, even though chances are it might cost me a fortune.
It's a fucking crisis here. A music aficionado's worst nightmare. The possibility of losing even just a small portion of my data, it's scaring me to death. I'm sorry to say that updates are now put on hold as I'm finding the best way to deal with this. Let's hope for the best. :-(

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hope Sandoval

Hope Sandoval's voice is truly one of a kind. It's in a league of its own. Alluring, yet harrowing and deeply haunting. To listen to her vocals, it feels like lying down on the grass and gazing at the night sky for hours on end. It's hard to say that and not sound like a over-sentimental wussy jerk but I couldn't care less. In my opinion, she's one of the few iconic women of the '90s alternative scene. Period. Now I'd like some Hope for my Monday (no pun intended!), and so this mix was made. There's of course a Mazzy Star track, my fave track from her own band project's album, and her vocal contributions to several renowned eletronic groups. Enjoy.

(update: links fixed! sorry about that! looks like i'm gonna have to use indirect links for a while...)

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - Clear Day [zShare alt. link]
(Bavarian Fruit Bread, 2001)
The Chemical Brothers - Asleep From Day (Feat. Hope Sandoval) [zShare alt. link]
(Surrender, 1999)
Air - Cherry Blossom Girl (Hope Sandoval Version) [zShare alt. link]
(Cherry Blossom Girl - Single, 2004)
Death In Vegas - Killing Smile (Feat. Hope Sandoval) [zShare alt. link]
(Scorpio Rising, 2002)
Mazzy Star - Flowers In December (Radio Edit) [zShare alt. link]
(Single, 1996)

Official site

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Something Kind Of French

I've just kicked off my music-related arthouse flick marathon with this bizarrely enchanting & entertaining animated movie, The Triples of Belleville, (also known as Belleville Rendez-vous, or in its sexy native tongue, Les Triplettes de Belleville). Currently on my list, I have La Vie En rose, those two Daft Punk feature films, Heima and then possibly Once. No, wait, come back! Don't worry, I'm not always this artsy-fartsy, offbeat 'indie' type! Just occasionally...Anyway, the movie brought me back to an old idea for a mix of mine, which is a collection of songs from various French chanteuse. Now when it comes to contemporary French music I'm just at the beginner level, but hopefully you find something nice to enjoy out of this mostly mellow mix.

(note: my monthly bandwidth limit is about to be crossed, so if the the first link doesn't work, try the alternate one)

Benoit Charest - Belleville Rendez-Vous (French Version) [alt. link]
Authentic retro.
Carla Bruni - Those Dancing Days Are Gone [alt. link]
Back then when I was listening to her album, never would I have imagined that the former supermodel could now become the present First Lady of France. C'est la vie.
Mareva Galanter - Bang Bang (Avec Jacno) [alt. link]
Also an ex-model. I like this version, particularly because of the music box.
Emilie Simon - Flowers (Acoustic) [alt. link]
I ought to give an extensive post for her someday. In the meantime, here's a rarity, which can only be found on the bonus cd of her debut album.
Air ft. Francoise Hardy - Jeanne [alt. link]
Francoise sings, so it counts.
Olivia Ruiz - La Femme Chocolat [alt. link]
This remains the only I've known of her, but it's really nice, and a bit quirky. And there's a ukelele.
April March - Laisse Tomber Les Filles [alt. link]
Known as 'Chick Habit' in English, featured in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Great cover.
Charlotte Gainsbourg - The Songs That We Sing [alt. link]
Adore her. This mix can't be complete without her.
Nouvelle Vague - In A Manner Of Speaking [alt. link]

BONUSES: (because I'm kind like that)
Nouvelle Vague - Dance With Me (iTunes Live Session)
[alt. link]
Nouvelle Vague's set to return this year with a new 80s-movie-themed album. Apparently, Skye Edwards of Morcheeba fame recorded vocals for 2 songs, titles of which I can't recall now, but it's bound to be great.

Yelle - A Cause Des Garcons [alt. link]
Not sure where to put this in the mix, so here it is. Catchy, fun French electropop. With an equally fun video (look it up). Fin.

What, what did you say? I forgot something? Silly, of course not. Nice day.

Oh, and if you haven't bookmared Filles Sourires, do so. It's my ultimate source for the latest happening in female French music.

For your interest.

Greg and Inara are relentless! Do they ever rest? With already 1 full-length and 2 EPs under their belt in more than a year, The Bird And The Bee has just released a new digital-only 4-song EP this week, entitled 'One Too Many Hearts'. And it's just as lovely and charming as their previous output. Just like last time, the EP ends with another stunning cover, this time it's 'Tonight
You Belong to Me', a song from the 20s (which I'd never heard of before), and was performed by Steve Martin in the 1979 film The Jerk (which I'd also never heard of before), so it's pretty much considered an original for me!
Here you can stream the opening song, 'Birthday', and here you can listen to 'Tonight
You Belong to Me', in the form of a very sendable ecard. Sweet stuff.

Speaking of sweet stuff, I wonder if you've been informed of The Postmarks' exciting new cover project. Every month, they will give away a cover as a free mp3, and for Feb, we have Nancy Sinatra's classic Bond theme song 'You Only Live Twice', and last month it's 'One Note Samba', also coincidentally performed by Frank Sinatra. You can download it here. Now I have something to look forward to at the beginning of each month.

That's all I have for now. A new mix coming right up...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Live Covers Etc.

I've been feeling rather uninspired lately, hence the inactivity around here. I'm just that kind of spontaneous blogger, rarely ever plan posts forward, just sit around and wait for ideas to strike me. I'm just having a lot on my mind these days and I'm afraid the time between posts may expand. I'm sure there are plenty of other entertaining, better-written, frequently-updated music blogs out there, though.
Anyways, this year I didn't plan to watch the Grammy, in fact I haven't watched any award shows at all for quite some time. Then the night before last, I suddenly remembered it was on and turned the tv on by curiosity. Next thing I saw is Fergie, properly covered, singing a ballad with John Legend, so that people can take her seriously as a vocal gymnast. And there was Beyonce, ever so subtle, trying so hard when Tina seemed so at ease. After a mere 15 minutes, I told myself to screw it and look up the performances & the results later on the internet. How nonchalant I've become. To think I used to manage to sit through the whole three hours of this! I have to say the results didn't really surprise me at all. It was the same old message: respect the legacy! embrace the veterans! old is gold! the ebstablished will be rewarded! and we don't care about the young folks! Some of the winning choice I found quite absurb. Justin for Best Dance Recording? He should not even be eligible! Johnny Cash over Feist and Justice for Best Short Form Music Video? Come on. It was a pleasant surprise to see Mark Ronson crowned as best non-classical producer, though, he deserved it (must have made Timbaland cry like a baby while on his limo injecting steroids! Kidding...). Also no objection to Amy Winehouse's Grammy approval whatsoever. One more thing, Feist's stripped-down performance was a bit out of place for me, just thought she could have gone all out for the occasion. What I learnt from this experience, though, is that when you've grown enough to develop and opt for your own opinions, there are things that no longer matter much to you as before.

Okay, I conclude my utterly unnecessary, whiny rant with a bunch of live covers, which has nothing to do with what I just address earlier. But they're all really nice, and shouldn't be missed at all.

Jem - In My Place (Coldplay Cover) [alt. link]
Will there ever be a second album? There needs to be.

Adele - Last Nite (The Strokes Cover) [alt. link]
'Chasing Pavements' had all the rights to be a UK number one.

Jack Penate - 1234 (Feist Cover) [alt. link]
Trivia: I just learnt his surname is pronounced correctly as Pen-Yah-Tay. Who've thought? Thanks, um, Daily Star.

Sia - Gimme More (Britney Cover)
[alt. link]
Sia playfully wiped off the sleazy grease and sweat from that unfortunate stripper pole.

Goldfrapp - It's Not Over Yet (Grace/Klaxons Cover - depend on how you look at it) [alt. link]
Will and Alison just did this for Live Lounge on Feb 8, which was very listenable. Plus, now I have an excuse to attach that lovely pic above.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

To whom it may concern. Have a good one!

Badly Drawn Boy - Year Of The Rat

How apt!