Friday, December 27, 2013

I heard it on the Radio

Good old radio, a great source for new music that doesn't involve (too much) typing or reading.  Going to keep this simple, just some embedded new songs that I'm rather taken with.  Do your own typing for more info, if interested.  Incidentally, I just noticed that both the videos I'm going to stick in this post have been posted by the same person!  Coincidence!



I'm also going to put up a video of Boy George's other performance on Later -- he played one of his old hits:

Monday, December 23, 2013


Boy George was on Later last week and it got me thinking about pop stars of the past and how things may seem to them now, how the landscape has changed.  In the 80's it seemed like George was all over the news with all kinds of scandals -- drugs, death, sex, being openly gay, it was all one big controversy being Boy George, or so it seems in my recollection (I was only a kid back then).  I do remember some heroin scandals and I'm pretty sure someone died in his house.  All that plus the normal decline of fame that seems to come with the aging of any pop star; how did he handle it?  And how does it seem now, when the only controversies seems to come from what a pop star wears?  Things have certainly changed now, or they seem different to me anyway.  Probably a lot of that has to do with how the media are now -- there are so many more channels of information that it's rare the entire populace to unite around any one bit of news.  I also think, as a culture, we're far more forgiving.  I think the thing that would most irk me if I were George is how the issue of being famous and gay has changed -- irk me in the sense that things were so much worse for him; probably George Michael feels the same way, or worse, since he was a much bigger star, worldwide, than George is.  It's funny seeing these people age.  George (,Boy) is looking good though, I have to say, especially for 50 and especially given his past habits!  And I'm liking the new songs I've heard -- I'll put them in below so you can hear them until or unless they get taken down.  And, while I'm at it, it's also amusing to me that he plays a reggae-tinged number on the show and on his new album.  I love ska and reggae but you can always tell that a musician is from the UK, and probably from a certain era, when they're doing anything Jamaica-related -- that tiny island has had an outsize influence on UK pop music, and a good one, I'd say.  There should be, and may be, a book written about US vs UK pop music, and culture and that book should have a large section devoted to the black influence on each country's pop music and how the approaches have compared and differed.  It would make for some very interesting reading.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Shadowboxers

The internet and twitter wormhole led me to JT's twitter page and he tweeted about this video, appreciating the band's cover of his song "Pusher Love Girl". I was also blown away even though I've never heard the song before. This cover is damn good. And then I listened to JT's original, and sorry JT but these guys did a better version (as if JT would ever, ever, ever read this).

Anyway when listening I was impressed by how much the lead singer sounded like Justin. Have a listen:

And then I found another cover the band did, this time, its TLC's "Creep". And that same singer pulls off sounding like the original singer, this time T-Boz, to very amusing effect. So I guess he can pull off sounding like different vocalists. Anyway, this cover is also great, and hilarious:

I listened to one of their original songs and they reminded me of a nicer, less disturbing Maroon 5. I'm not a Maroon 5 fan, at all, but I do like the covers these Shadowboxers here did. Maybe I'll listen to more of their stuff.

If you like the band/fancy the band, they're from Atlanta, here's their site.

Friday, December 13, 2013


Time for a long overdue post.  Sorry about the lack of words, but I've been hearing things here and there that I've enjoyed in one way or another and I thought the least I can do is compile them all on our dear old blog.  So that's what I'll do!

On Radio 6 this morning I heard this and found it rather pleasant:

I wasn't a Pavement fan when they were around but I was lucky enough to see them for free at the Virgin Freefest a couple of years go and liked them.  I like this too, it's got a nice warm indie sound to it.  And so does the video, particularly the end of it.

I also heard this on the radio today and it seemed very familiar, particularly the instrumental breakdown.  Not sure where I've heard it before, I feel like it's been sampled.  And if you're sick of Christmas music, my apologies, but this isn't really what you'll hear playing at the mall now is it?

Sorry about the video but, you know, just don't watch it -- most of the time music is better without visuals anyway.

And now, aah yes, Arctic Monkeys, I'm into them right now.  I just saw them play three songs on Jools Holland and they were all good!  Plus the band have a good vibe about them, particularly Alex Turner, the man has some snake hips nowadays.  They're full of confidence, which makes for good performances.  I'd like to see them live but for some reason they're skipping DC and playing Richmond, VA only -- my guess is cos they must have hit this place up when they toured with the Black Keys.  Turn this up (no really, the sound isn't very good in this video) and do watch the video:

Burial's got a new EP coming out, you can hear it all online:
I'll have to give the tracks a few more listens but... I don't know if they're for me.  I remember when I first heard of Burial in 2007 (that was thanks to the Boston Phoenix, where I also heard of Ellen Allien and Dixon, thanks to their CD reviews; Dixon's Body Language mix is well worth a listen, and I went on to see Ellen Allien in NYC).  At that time it was still really hard to look up and hear his music -- I think it was months before his first CD showed up for sale online at a reasonable price.  Now his new EP is news for basically every music site and blog on the web, including the AV Club!  Bit of a change.  It's nice that good music is easily accessible and artists like Burial are getting more attention but at the same time there was definitely a certain pleasure that came from feeling "in the know", when there was still a music underground.

You  may recall that I saw Four Tet live a little while back and thought he was brilliant.  Well, he's put a live set up on soundcloud now so you can decide for yourself.  Check it!

I'll end with this.  I actually came across it thanks to comments on the Burial tracks left at Fact.  There's nothing I can say about it.  Just watch it: