Thursday, 30 August 2012

Santo & Johnny - Sleepwalk

Phil writes: Heard this song on the radio today. Haven't heard it for years but it sounds as great and mesmeric as ever.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Pretty Good Day by Loudon Wainwright III

Joe writes: Last night a musician sent me this link to Loudon Wainwright III's song Pretty Good Day and now I can't stop listening to it (it can't be embedded from YouTube so you have to click the link).

I think everyone in the Western world should listen to it every day as a sort of musical, secular alternative to saying grace. If that doesn't sell it to you, let me also say that I find it very moving.

Friday, 24 August 2012

the London 2012 Paralympics theme song: Harder Than You Think by Public Enemy (just like that)

Joe writes: Excellent choice of theme for the Channel 4 Paralympics coverage, giving Public Enemy their first hit in a while (it's no. 11 on iTunes UK at the time of writing).

If this is the first Public Enemy track you've heard then I recommend you go for Rebel Without A Pause next, but that might prove difficult as the original version isn't on iTunes or YouTube (it is on Spotify though). Fortunately my favourite bootleg of all-time is on YouTube, Rebel Without A Pause (The Whipped Cream Mix) by Evolution Control Committee, which is the Public Enemy a cappella over the top of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass playing Bittersweet Samba. I first heard this when John Peel played it on Radio 1 in 1994, long before such bootlegs became ubiquitous. It was quite a revelation.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Diplo feat. Lazerdisk Party Sex - Set It Off

Joe writes: I really don't want to like Diplo because of that Blackberry advert but the trouble is, he keeps making excellent music.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

love this new Muse track Madness

Joe writes: They are combining seventies soft rock with dubstep, and it works. Amazing.

But just for some perspective, here's I Want To Break Free by Queen:

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Closing Time by Feist, Leonard Cohen cover as featured on the soundtrack to Take This Waltz

Joe writes: Last night I saw an excellent Canadian film Take This Waltz starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogan. Not only is the film named after a Leonard Cohen track, but there's a party scene featuring Feist covering Leonard Cohen's Closing Time. This sounds like a hit to me yet doesn't seem to be available anywhere except YouTube:

one of the best ELO songs Telephone Line features in probably the best Orange "Don't let a mobile phone ruin your movie" cinema ads

Joe writes: Plan B AKA Ben Drew and Ray Winstone spoof The Sweeney for Orange in a film that can be seen here.

The YouTube comments sum up the variety of opinions about ELO from "This what the Beatles wouldve sounded like in the 70s" (sic) to "many of Vivaldi and Bach's concertos expressed the same beauty, tinged with sorrow" to "Jeff Lynn was a twat. He hyjacked and commercialised the talent of Roy Wood, and tried to pass it off as his own" (sic). My view: Telephone Line and Mr Blue Sky are classic singles.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Ellen & The Escapades - The World's Greatest - R Kelly cover as featured in the BBC's London 2012 Olympics coverage

Joe writes: I've recently become a fan of the transatlantic band Ellen & The Escapades after drinking a pint of  their branded bitter in my local pub (this is almost true). I really like Ellen's voice and they write proper songs. They also cover proper songs, such as R Kelly's The World's Greatest - their version featured in the BBC's Olympics coverage and no wonder, it's lovely.

Here's one of my favourites from their current album, called Without You:

And what about R Kelly? Bump 'n' Grind in 1994 to Ignition (Remix) in 2003 was one of the best runs of singles that anyone will ever release. So many songs and performances that were just streets ahead of any of his contemporaries. Here's his last great single Happy People, released in 2004. It didn't set the world on fire - perhaps people weren't ready for Robert to do his What's Goin' On thing, which is a shame as he did it so well.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Klangkarussell - Sonnentanz

Joe writes: Sonnentanz by Klangkarussell sounds like something new to me (although it's actually a year old).

The best thing out of Austria since Rock Me Amadeus?

this is what Annie Lennox should have performed on the Olympics closing ceremony - No More I Love You's

Joe writes: Produced by Stephen Lipson

Annie didn't write the song though, Joseph Hughes and David Freeman of The Lover Speaks did, including the brilliant "do do do do do do do ah-ah" hook:

I Drink Drink Drink

Joe writes: I just found out Mary Gauthier is playing some UK dates in October. I don't know that much about Mary but I Drink tells me everything I need to know. I heard it first on Bob Harris's Radio 2 show - it's perfect late night music.

Naturally I Drink reminded me of Mario Lanza's second greatest hit Drink Drink Drink which is crying out to be revived.

Also coming to the UK later this year is Matraca Berg whose beautiful Back When We Were Beautiful I wrote about here.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Trisha Yearwood - On a bus to St Cloud & I would've loved you anyway

Phil writes: Heard this on the radio. A deceptively simple song with a killer line:

And another great Trisha Yearwood song: