Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The more I hear the new Professor Green single "Just Be Good To Green"...

   ...The more I wish it was actually a new Lily Allen single. If only someone would make an edit that takes out all of Green's parts, his douchey rapping really grates on me. Her involvement is the sole reason I found this enjoyable. Lily looks great as always in the video, but her styling seems rather self-consciously off, as if to conceal pregnancy or undesired chubbiness! I love that this track turned me on to Beats International's '90s jam "Dub Be Good To Me", the one it "sampled", much like how Estelle's "Freak" and Big Boi's "Shutterbug" introduced me to Soul II Soul's "Back To Life".

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Taken By Trees vs. Anna Karina

The other day, I saw “Anna”, a 1967 French musical starring Anna Karina. It’s a TV movie, so it’s a bit poor, but Anna absolutely radiates with her ear-to-ear grin and her manic eyes. I felt the urge to make a music video out of her scenes. Then I remembered hearing a fantastic, summery remix of Taken By Trees’ “Anna” by CFCF a couple weeks ago. I went ahead and mashed the two up. It took me ages to finish, but I think I did alright. So if you want to see the New Wave heroine dancing to Taken By Trees' music, here's your chance!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Music For A Spring Night

Picking where the last post left off... Sun is down. Here are 5 more songs for springtime in the winding down hours. I tried to evoke a calmer, more relaxing atmosphere with this one. Not overtly chirpy, but not too depressing either. Hope you all are having a great Sunday evening.

Music For A Spring Day

Springtime is finally upon us. Gone are the tedious, brooding moodswings of winter. The return of sunlight is very much welcome indeed, though it was like a furnace outside a few days ago. I guess I shall spend less time wallowing now, and start bringing out brighter shades of music. Here's a quick mix of breezy, light tunes to match the mood of a carefree, jolly spring day. Enjoy your Sunday, folks.

Monday, April 05, 2010

New Pop Act: Eliza Doolittle

Curiously missing from BBC's "Sound 0f 2010" shortlist last year was 22-year-old singer/songwriter Eliza Doolittle. It seemed odd, as she was quite hotly tipped, signed to Parlophone, and being on the list could've been her much-needed platform to launch. Fast forward to April, and there's still little development and news of an album. I suspect the label's not entirely sure what to do with her now. The music's not the problem, that is certain. She makes breezy, feel-good acoustic pop that is great for sunny days. The hooks are catchy and instant. It's just that she came to the scene about 3 years too late. What's she doing is no longer considered fresh as it once was with the likes of Lily Allen, Kate Nash or Corinne Bailey-Rae. It's a pity as she has some really pleasant songs. "Rollerblades" and "Go Home" are among my favorites from her self-titled digital EP. "Skinny Genes", the lead single, sounded slight and thin at first, but has grown on me a lot lately with its whistle-laden chorus. Here's hoping she will find her audience, and get a few tv syncs, at least. A track & a remix by Jamie of The XX after the jump.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Covered: Noisettes Reimagined Buzzcocks

Noisettes recently covered Buzzcocks' new wave classic "Ever Fallen In Love" for Dr. Martens' 50th anniversary campaign, and it has finally been put up online today as a free download, along with a pretty glossy music video directed by famed photographer duo Rankin & Chris (whose last work was Kelis'  "Acapella" video). Video + the track after the jump.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Two Door Cinema Club Remixed By Ted & Francis

Two Door Cinema Club is quickly securing their place as one of my favorite new acts of 2010. Their debut album "Tourist History" supplied me enough super slick Phoenix-lite power pop tunes to last a whole year. While they have no novelty or gimmicks to offer, they've got crunchy riffs and infectious melodies in abundance. The latest single, "Something Good Can Work", is one of their best tracks to date, and in a utopian world, it would be a certified summer smash. Ted & Francis certainly got the idea as they stepped ahead and add a tropical flavor to the song! Now all they need is to release "Eat It Up, It's Good For You" next for a solid string of fun & catchy pop rock singles. Get the remix after the jump.

New Pop Act: Sunday Girl

I'm not sure what to make of the latest budding major label pop act from the UK, Sunday Girl (Blondie reference?). Her (their?) debut single "Four Floors" is certainly a catchy slice of electro-pop, which I've been playing for the last few days. There's an edge to the production that makes the song seem greater than the sum of its parts, and her voice reminds of Little Boots. And of course, Ellie Goulding comparisons are inevitable. The video makes it clear what sort of audience the label wants to pander to. The cynic in me just has to wonder if this is more than your average production-line pop. Nah I'm just being a prick about it. Don't overthink, self.
To sum it up, not amazing but highly listenable pop tune. Judging by the way things go across the pond, I assume this is just a "buzz single", and a "big" tune will come along soon. It's too early to say, but for now, count me in.

An EP is available on iTunes for folks in the UK, including this very bloggable Diplo remix.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ellie Goulding Remixed By Bright Light Bright Light

Here is a freshly squeezed remix of Ellie Goulding's "Under The Sheets", courtesy of Rod Thomas, under his alias Bright Light Bright Light. Recently made available for free on his website, it's certainly a very listenable reswizzle to these ears.

UPDATE: Of course, I received a DMCA takedown notification for this. Link removed guys, but it's still at Rod Thomas's website for anyone still interested.

Still not tired of this song yet. Ellie's star is shooting up this year, and rightfully so. To be honest, on first listen, I was a little underwhelmed by her album, but I kept coming back and found new layers to appreciate. "Lights" is the sort of album that has lasting power, although at times could have benefited from a less "busy" production.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

10 Amazing Things About She & Him's New Video "In The Sun"

These are those.

  • Synchronized dancing overload!
  • Zooey's impossibly pretty hair! And the wink at 2:18! Ain't she puuurdy!
  • The giddy Asian dancing bro!
  • Sunglass-wearing M. Ward looking a bit like Robert Downey Jr! He's just too cool for school! *sorry*
  • Hula hoops!!!
  • Polka-dots!!!
  • Badass fake guitar playing there, Mr. Him. 
  • The little walk off Zooey does at the end.
  • It was directed by Bring It On director, who worked previously with Zooey on Yes Man. 
  • The whole affair was basically a hip, "indie" version of Glee.

And here I thought she couldn't be any more adorable. I have watched the video more than 4 times today already, I might as well create a "I Hate Ben Gibbard" Facebook group.

I know some might have issues with her cutesy-indie-chick-in-vintage-dresses schtick considering she's a grown-ass 30-year-old woman, but not me at all! In fact, the video took an already great song to a new level. It almost feels like a follow-up to that music video she did with Joseph Gordon-Levitt for "500 Days Of Summer". It's so awesome that it dragged me out of blogging retirement just to rave about it! From the 3 songs off "Volume Two" so far, I predict this record will be just as strong and catchy as the first. The b-side to "In The Sun", "I Can Hear Music" is a gorgeous Ronettes cover that needs to be heard. It seems Zooey is seriously commited to this musical liaison. I loved the first album, so here's hoping these two can keep up the pace of one new volume every year, because I will always have a place for more sunny, simple melodies.

MP3: She & Him - In The Sun

"Volume Two" comes out on March 23 on Merge. Pre-order here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Take me out tonight...

Two months ago, I found myself sitting in a cab on the way back to my dorm at 2AM. There I was, still reeling from the overflowing joy of an amazing gig experience. The streets were literally deserted. Trees basked in an ember-colored glow rolled by. Right at that moment, suddenly the lyrics of The Smiths' "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" popped in my head. And it just felt so... right. Finally, I understood it. Now I don't know much about The Smiths, and I think I've only heard about 5 songs of them. But this one particular song will forever be engraved to that special memory of mine.

Here are some fantastic covers of it.

Angie Hart's version is a stripped-down piano one with her angelic voice.

Death Cab For Cutie's is a typical Ben Gibbard acoustic rendition.

The Lucksmiths' makes a bittersweet twee-pop version.

And I conclude with the distinctive baritone of Neil Hammond of The Divine Comedy.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Snow Patrol Covers Madonna

Snow Patrol has sadly become one of those bands I can no longer get behind. After scoring their biggest hit 'Chasing Cars', they just seemed to get creatively bankrupt, as the subsequent singles just sounded stale and unmemorable to these ears. I know their music's not all that upbeat to begin with, but even the assistance of synthesizers on their latest greatest-hit single 'Just Say Yes' couldn't make them sound any less dull. I believe Gary & co truly peaked with 'Run'.
However, their recent visit to Radio 1 spawned a very listenable cover of Madonna's 'Ray Of Light'. They did a great job on Beyoncé's 'Crazy In Love' years ago, so this is another pleasant surprise. I think I'd like a studio version of this. Maybe they should pull a Leona Lewis (She first covered 'Run' on Live Lounge, then released a proper studio version as a single and earned an easy UK number one). Speaking of Leona, did you know she just covered Oasis' 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' on her new album, with choirs and all? It's also pretty good. But I digress... here is the reason for all this nonsense rambling:

Snow Patrol - Ray Of Light (Madonna Cover)

(video of the performance)