Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Top 40 Tracks Of 2005

Tis the season for counting down and year-end-lists and here I bring you my 40 tracks added to my now defunct internet radio station in 2005:

1. Goldfrapp- Ooh La La
2. LCD Soundsystem- Disco Infiltrator
3. Soulwax- NY Excuse
4. M.I.A.- Galang
5. New Order- Guilt Is A Useless Emotion
6. Timo Maas- First Day
7. Daft Punk- Technologic
8. Ladytron- Destroy Everything You Touch
9. Moby- Where You End
10. Out Hud- How Long
11. Depeche Mode- Precious
12. Vitalic- My Friend Dario
13. Missy Elliot- Lose Control
14. The Lovemakers- Dance
15. Tiga- Louder Than A Bomb
16. Annie- Heartbeat
17. Fischerspooner- Never Win
18. Bloc Party- Banquet (Phones Disco Edit)
19. Gorillaz- Feel Good Inc
20. Kelly Osbourne- One Word
21. Röyksopp- Only This Moment
22. Juliet- Ride The Pain
23. VHS Or Beta- Night On Fire
24. The Juan MacLean- Tito’s Way
25. Chemical Brothers f/Tim Burgess- The Boxer
26. !!!- Take Ecstasy With Me
27. Gwen Stefani f/Andre 3000- Long Way To Go
28. Brazilian Girls- Lazy Lover
29. Freezepop- Smoke Machine
30. LCD Soundsystem- Tribulations
31. Audio Bullys- Shot You Down
32. Riton- Candy
33. Kylie Minogue- I Believe In You
34. The Egg- Wall
35. Beck- Ghettochip Malfunction (Hell Yes)
36. Erasure- Breathe
37. New Order- Jetstream (Richard X Remix)
38. Maxx Klaxon- Internationale 2000
39. Saint Etienne- Fascination
40. Afrika Bambaataa f/Gary Numan- Metal

Monday, December 26, 2005

Video Rundown

I have been meaning to post a few links to music videos of note and since this is merely a blog I offer these with a few thoughts:

White Stripes- The Denial Twist

Michel Gondry is a mad genius! An utterly twisted circular take on the day in a life video approach done in a single long take with a variety of bizarre lenses. Band guest on Conan, leave studio, ride in car, enter house, turn on tv, have reception problems, somber Conan comes through a magic door to fix tv and they chat about being in a video. Then the camera pans back across the set to prove how they did it. An imaginative music video for the thinking man.

Korn- Twisted Transistor

Could I care less about Korn? Yes. However this documentary-style video puts the music firmly in the backseat as this the-band-is not-the-band set up is explored with Snoop Dogg, Lil Jon, Xzibit and David Banner standing in for the regular members of the band. Of course this might be further evidence that Snoop will show up anywhere there are cameras (car commercial with a former-ceo, why not?), but director Dave Meyers tones down his glossy style and shows it’s about transistance.

Alanis Morissette- Crazy

What’s this? A glorious returns to her teen disco diva past? The rare video that really accentuates the best features of the artist. In this case, it’s Alanis’ presence and her sitting in the back of the car plays that up nicely. Of course there is the whole playing-guitars-in-the-video-when-there-are-no-guitars-in-that-part-of-the-song thing, but it doesn’t matter. Even stars like Alanis have to make sure they always "rock" even when the music says it is all about the groove.

The Killers- All These Things That I’ve Done

Director/photographer Anton Corbijn does another one of his “humorous” videos shot in his signature black & white. More evidence of Brandon Flower’s modern synthpop roots and DM fandom (see the “It No Good” video for something else in this vein), but far more watchable video than the overplayed far-too-many-pointless-edits-to-be-watched-by-the-sane “Mr Brightside” video. Besides, it’s got a great homage to the opening of “Sunset Blvd” at the beginning.

We Are Scientists- Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt

Get the feeling they’ve watched the “Sabatogue” video a few times? Admitly the opening setup had me fooled since they did an intriguing live version of song on Letterman last week which left me with the impression they could pull off a straight performance video and not bore me to death (that’s saying a lot).

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Sound Of The Atom Splitting

It's release is four months away and suddenly information is leaking out about "Fundamental". just released this running order for the album:

1. God willing
2. Minimal
3. The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
4. I'm with Stupid
5. Psychological
6. I made my excuses and left
7. Integral
8. Numb
9. Luna Park
10. Casanova in Hell
11. Twentieth Century
12. Indefinite leave to remain

: and they had previously announced "Minimal" as the lead single. ArjanWrites has a link to a minute-long instrumental that claims to be from a white label of "Psychological". The sound quality leaves plenty to be desired and I'm not sure it's authentic, but we'll know for sure in a few months.

PopJustice got their hands on a promo copy and have a detailed album breakdown on their site.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Close To The Edit

At the center of the latest mash-up contoversy is a local-to-me producer. Party Ben works in the production department at a local radio station and hosts a weekly mash-up mix in addition to producing a number of amazing mash-ups over the years including Oasis vs Green Day, Beyonce vs Alphaville, U2 vs Lyrics Born, Tegan & Sara vs Mylo and Hot Hot Heat vs David Bowie. Here is a bit of from mtv's story about the cease-and-desist order given the "American Edit" site:

His name? Party Ben. And while it's not exactly the coolest or baddest nickname out there, it's the one on the lips of mash-up fans across the globe thanks to, a site he started with another masher — an Australian DJ named Team 9 — that features a track-by-track reworking of Green Day's quadruple-platinum American Idiot album...

"Originally, the goal was to point out just how similar some of the songs on American Idiot are to other rock songs. And at some points it's laugh-out-loud funny, because we're showing people how Green Day just stole some riffs," Ben said via telephone. "But there are also some tracks we did that created entirely new songs, and they're amazing. So we decided to put the entire mashed-up album online, and on November 18 we did. Unfortunately, we were e-mailed a cease-and-desist order on November 28, at which point we shut down."

: There was just a "Grey Tuesday" for the album with a dozens of sites hosting the tracks, but I missed it. Still it's good to see that Party Ben getting more attention.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Vegans In Space

Now that commercial space flight is almost a reality sci-fi fan Moby is taking an interest:

The star looks set to make history after booking a seat on via Richard Branson's 'Virgin Galactic' space flight.

After paying out $207,000 for the privilege, Moby has set the date of his outer space flight for sometime in 2010.

: Maybe he'll take the space suit from the "We Are All Made Of Stars" video.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Feel Good Inc.

Gorillaz got a fair amount of attention a few months ago by assembling all their guest stars for a series of live gigs in Manchester. It was obviously a bit out of the way for a few people and here is what PlayLouder had to say at the time:

Tonight Gorillaz not only proved themselves capable of staging a thrilling live show, but they did so in such a spectacular fashion that you soon forgot about any weaknesses or inconsistencies in the material and simply found yourself caught up in a breathless carnival of animation, guest appearances and leftfield-gospel-hip-hop-dub-pop-rock. Quite stunning.

: Thanks to the wonders of the internet you can stream the gig, or at least the backing video they used along with the performance, by way of aol. Hopefully they will release the rumored dvd of the gig and we'll be able to see all the performers and won't miss out on moments like:

...a riotous 'DARE' sees Shaun Ryder out of time, out of mind and looking worryingly like he's reading his lyrics from a monitor. All four of them. In terms of overall surrealness, however, nothing beats the sight of Ike Turner walking onstage in a sequined jacket, playing 60 seconds of piano in the middle of 'Every Planet We Reach Is Dead' and then walking off again

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Who's Your Grammy

This year's Grammy nominations are out and here's what the mainstream media forgot to mention:

Best Dance Recording
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances. Vocal or Instrumental. Singles or tracks only.)

The Chemical Brothers Featuring Q-Tip
The Chemical Brothers, producers; The Chemical Brothers & Steve Dub, mixers
Track from: Push The Button

Say Hello
Deep Dish
Ali "Dubfire" Shirazinia & Sharam Tayebi, producers; Deep Dish & Matt Nordstrom,

Wonderful Night
Fatboy Slim & Lateef
Fatboy Slim, producer; Simon Thornton, mixer
Track from: Palookaville

Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
LCD Soundsystem
The DFA, producers; The DFA & Andy Wallace, mixers
Track from: LCD Soundsystem
[DFA Records/Capitol Records]

I Believe In You
Kylie Minogue
Babydaddy & Jake Shears, producers; Jeremy Wheatly, mixer
Track from: Ultimate Kylie
[Capitol Records]

Guilt Is A Useless Emotion
New Order
New Order & Stuart Price, producers; New Order & Stuart Price, mixers
Track from: Waiting For The Sirens' Call
[Warner Bros. Records]

Best Electronic/Dance Album
(For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.)

Push The Button
The Chemical Brothers

Human After All
Daft Punk
[Virgin Records]

Fatboy Slim


LCD Soundsystem
LCD Soundsystem
[DFA Records/Capitol Records]

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
(A Remixer's Award. (Artists names appear in parenthesis for identification.) Singles or Tracks only.)

Fever (Adam Freeland Remix)
Adam Freeland, remixer (Sarah Vaughan)
Track from: Verve Remixed 3 (Various Artists)

Flashdance (Guetta & Garraud F*** Me I'm Famous Remix)
Joachim Garraud & David Guetta, remixers (Deep Dish)
Track from: George Is On
[Thrive Records/Deep Dish Recordings]

Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix)
Jacques Lu Cont, remixer (The Killers)
[Island Records]

Superfly (Louie Vega EOL Mix)
Louie Vega, remixer (Curtis Mayfield)
Track from: Mayfield: Remixed The Curtis Mayfield Collection
[Rhino Records]

What Is Hip? (T.O.P.R.M.X.)
Meat Beat Manifesto, remixers (Tower Of Power)
Track from: What Is Hip? Remix Project Volume One (Various Artists)
[Warner Bros.]

: It amuses me that Stuart Price was nominated under his own name as producer of the "best dance recording" for his work with New Order and as Jacques Lu Cont in the remix category. Maybe they don't know it's an alias...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Keep It Real

Digital download and streaming service Rhapsody just announced a new version of their service that works on the web browsers instead of their standard program. Here's some info from cnet's article:

RealNetworks executives hope the new version, in conjunction with a previous offer allowing people to listen to 25 songs for free, will make it easier for Web surfers to understand what a subscription music service is all about.

"Prior to downloading the software, people don't know what the experience is," said Dan Sheehan, the company's senior vice president of consumer services. "It's like the TiVo problem. Until you experience it, you don't get it."

: Amazingly the web based version of Rhapsody is so much better than the previous take on things. I went through a trial subscription last year and while it was alright with only a slight sound quality issue while streaming I had a horrible experience trying to unsubscribe. Despite my hesitation, I tried out this new version tonight and it’s easy to use and surprisingly unobtrusive. Will it change my itunes habit? Time will tell.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I've Got The Poison

Morcheeba is one of those acts who truly had it all together in the late 90s. Their debut album flirted with trip hop fans suggesting the dark electronic grooves of the Bristol sound, but during the promotion of their follow-up their revealed it was something of a disguise because it was the only way they could get signed as an electronic group interested in songwriting. Their masterpiece “Big Calm” found the group operating at a level that few bands reach; their music rooted in the tradition of great British songwriting wrapped in contemporary packaging that incorporated electronic soundscapes, light funky guitars and legit hip hop beats that went down easy. Unfortunately the band lost their way, as Pitchfork point out, having now lost almost all their charm:

After a string of increasingly flawed LPs, the enticing siren Edwards bolted, leaving the schlubby Godfrey brothers in the dust with their mediocre backing music. So how do Paul and Ross replace one of the sexiest voices of the past 10 years? They throw in former Noonday Underground singer Daisy Martey; an Angela Lansbury replacing a Marilyn Monroe.

: Now it couldn’t be that bad, could it? Click here to download their latest single and judge for yourself.