Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 25 Musical Happenings of 2010

I decided to compile a list of the most important things to happen in the music world for me this year. They aren't specifically my top albums or singles, it's a little bit of everything. I hope you take a minute to read over my list to see what moved me musically this year and I hope that maybe I get to introduce you to something you've never heard before.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Wabac Machine

It's 1995 and I am 19 years old.  I've gone with my roommates and friends to The Connection, Nashville's largest gay bar (I learned later that it had the largest dance floor across the country).  We watched the drag show and I was in awe, The Face and Grace of Stephanie Welles, The Pantomime Rage, Bianca Page (R.I.P), The Body Beautiful, Austria Andrews, The Original, Rita Ross and The Politically Correct Sex Kitten, That Girl all took the stage and performed their hearts out in every number.  Those bitches worked for their money.  After the first show was over, we headed toward the doors that separated the show bar from the dance bar and pushing forward with the crowd, my friend Rikke grabbed my hand spun at me and said, "This is my song!!!!  Let's go!" and we pushed through the crowd even harder.  Arriving dead center of the dance floor, we danced like we ruled the joint for 3 minutes and 11 seconds all thanks to the amazing Tatjana.  And without further adieu, I give you Santa Maria.  This will always be mine and Rikke's song.  At least for those memorable 3 minutes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hurts - Happiness (Track by Track)

I don't know a whole lot about Hurts aside from what I learned from their wikipedia page. I know they are a British synthpop duo from Richmond North Yorkshire composed of singer Theo Hutchcraft and synth player Adam Anderson. Apparently there was a band at one point in time called Daggers where some of these songs are recycled from but because I never heard them as Daggers, they are brand new to me. The music is very moody and melodic and is perfect for an Sunday afternoon in.

I'm still here

Hey guys and gals. I'm still here. Just been getting back into the swing of things after Dragon*Con and the school starting. I'll post something real soon. In the meantime, take a peek at this amazing song/video from Hurts. I know I've posted it before but they've just released their album and this song is totally ruling my life right now.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow - Shame

This song is going to be released as a new track off of Robbie's new Greatest Hits album and is the kick off to the reformation of Take That. It's an apology set to music from both the lads as they discuss things that went wrong in their relationship. The song is all right. It's fun and very wistful. What absolutely sells this, however is the video. I waited with baited breath hoping and praying that Rob and Gaz would take the next step in their relationship. I knew Robbie had an amazing sense of humor but because my limited exposure to Gary and the rest of the boys from Take That, I wasn't familiar with his sensibilities. And this video does an amazing job at showcasing both of them in a strong comedic light. It's very Brokeback and it's supposed to be and they sell the hell out of it. Strong video for a song that is actually growing on me a lot. Check it out.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teenage Dream - Track by Track

At first glance it is extremely easy to dismiss Katy Perry as an artist. She's gimmicky, she's too poppy, she doesn't write about anything real. If you are a red blooded American male, you may take a second gander at her for her proclivities with the kissing of the girls. But if you walk away from this album based on a preconceived notion, you will be making a horrible mistake. What Katy has done is create an album that is pure to her vision of what pop should be and she reaches out to her demographic without failing them or her creative vision. To me, this album contains all the emotions most teenagers go through when dealing with life, love, loss and all the extraneous social constructs that add additional pressure to their everyday lives.

Dixie Chicks - Not Ready To Make Nice

I'd kinda forgotten about this song until this morning when the video came on Palladia. This song, in my opinion is absolutely timeless. It was released at a very dark time in the girls' career but most of the time the best art comes out of the worst places. The video is extremely powerful and a full compliment to the song. I don't think Natalie's vocals have ever been so powerful, but again when you are singing about something that is important to you it's gonna have a much different feel. I have always loved the Dixie Chicks because through out their entire career they were sort of thumbing their nose at the Country Music industry and letting them know they were goin to do it their own way and if you didn't like it, you could step out of the way. It wasn't until their politics got in the way of their art. But I guess you have to live and learn.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This Tightrope's Made for Walkin - Janelle Monae vs Nancy Sinatra (Party Ben Mashup)

Mashups can either be really good or really bad, kinda like gingers. There really is no in between. This mashup is absolutely great and you can actually hear the fact that if Janelle and Nancy actually had the opportunity to collaborate, they would have. I think that Janelle is creative enough and open enough to external influences that this song would have been a real recording if given half a chance.

Alexandra Burke - Start Without You

Ms. Burke delivers total pop fabulousness in this video. She absolutely has the vocal chops to pull the quirkiness of this song off. If it were a weaker singer, the song would be a total fail. It's the strength of her voice that makes this work. The calypso feel of the chorus just makes your toe tap and the introduction of Laza Morgan gives it that "irie" feeling of Caribbean music. Alexandra is the fifth season winner of X-Factor, Simon Cowell's talent show that puts American Idol to shame. I hope she can break into the American music scene but if not, I am totally happy with youtube and import CDs.

Oh did I fail to mention the dozen of so shirtless men all over this like white on rice? That's my gift to you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Top 10 Songs...

Used in movies

10. Say A Little Prayer (Dionne Warwick)- My Best Friend's Wedding
9. Still (Geto Boys) - Office Space
8. Tequilia - Pee Wee's Big Adventure
7. Kissing You (Des'ree) - William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
6. Hip to be Square (Huey Lewis and the News) - American Psycho
5. In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel) - Say Anything
4. Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers) - Ghost
3. Tiny Dancer (Elton John) - Almost Famous
2. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) - Wayne's World
1. Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve) - Cruel Intentions

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Top 10 Songs ...

written specifically for movies.

From this point out, this week - all posts I make are going to be related to movies and music from them. I am attempting to get under some kind of schedule for posting and to not be so random and happenstance. So without further....blah blah blah

In the 80s, movie soundtracks were a way to take the movie with you after you left the theater. We didn't have portable DVD players or iPhones so we had to have a way to remember what we just saw and nothing did that better than a soundtrack. soundtracks were BIG business in the 80s and every pop star worth a damn clamored to get on any and all soundtracks possible.

Here is my list of Top 10, well top 12 songs written specifically for a movie not songs that were used in movies (All Along the Watchtower (Jimi Hendrix) - The Watchmen). Not all of these are from the 80s but as time has gone by, soundtracks aren't the big business they used to be.

Cee Lo Green - What Part Of Forever

I saw this video earlier and was like, "Are you serious?!? Cee Lo on the Eclipse soundtrack?" I listened to the song was was blown away. I think Cee Lo is an acquired taste though. Either you love him or you hate him. There isn't really any middle ground. Listen to his song and his stuff with Gnarls Barkley. Much like I posted about Janelle Monae, I think there is a level of artistry and creativity here that you don't get to see much at all. There doesn't seem to be much room in popular music for this kind of art so the mainstream doesn't get to experience it.

Give this a chance and see how it feels. If you like it, say so. If not, say so.

Geri Halliwell - 100% Pure Love

Massive props to Paul at myfizzypop for tweeting about this earlier today. It's brilliant. Crystal Waters + Geri Halliwell = total deliciousness. So I will officially sanction this as my 90s song of the week.

This was apparently supposed to be on her album Passion but got dropped. It shouldn't have been because the airplay this would have gotten in clubs would have been massive and then if there would have been remixes....gorgeous!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Hoosiers - Glorious

Epic is a word that has become far too commonplace in my daily vernacular and I had actually put a moratorium on using it until my pal HMFJ reminded me that I need to give you guys a bit of The Hooisers thanks to his rental car and Sirius/XM and BBC Radio 1. I am not too terribly familiar with this group as they are new to me but I will throw the word Epic at the chorus and the hook and be fairly certain it'll stick. This whole song is big. The feel, the vibe, the lyrical content and it sort of builds in your spine and you feel like you can take on the world, well maybe a smallish army of interlopers not necessarily your nemesis. I am going to give these chaps a second listen and I suggest you try this on and see how it feels.

Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

Like her, love her, consider her meh. You can't deny the fact that the future Mrs. Russell Brand has a definite pull that most pop stars don't. In the video for her second single and title track of her sophomore release, Katy explores the topic of young love and how it feels for that moment when every thing is super sexy and new and you never want it to change. When you take into account who her demographic is, this song is everything that it needs to be. Every girl on the face of the planet at some point in her life is going to experience everything this song says.

We drove to Cali
And got drunk on the beach
Got a motel and
Built a fort out of sheets
I finally found you
My missing puzzle piece
I'm complete

I mean come on, I realize the lyrics aren't Pulitzer Prize quality but how dreamy is that verse. The video itself is absolutely perfect for the song, something her people have an amazing knack of figuring out. The grainy quality of the film and the overall feeling is the treatment the video needs and when she channels her best Zooey Deschanel she nails it.

I love Ms. Perry and think she is doing a valuable service to the pop community by delivering her special brand of music

I give this a dreamy 4.5/5.00

Friday, August 13, 2010

Scissor Sisters - Any Which Way

"You know baby,
When I was taking my pantyhose out of their egg this evening
I thought: I'm going to find that man that is the right shade of bottle tan
A man that smells like cocoa butter and cash
Take me anyway you like it
In front of the fireplace
In front of your yacht
In front of my parents
I don't give a damn baby, just take me......any which way you can!"

My sisters are back with the video to the second single off Night Work, Any Which Way. They released the video for the single on their website at noon on August 11, 2010. You may have seen the performance of this from Glastonbury that featured Kylie Minogue on guest vocals but this is the album cut. There is a ton I love about this video from the colors to Jake's obvious gym inspired body to Del's crazy ass helmet, Babydaddy's Sushi Gun and Ana wielding a sword. I am so proud to be a fan and videos like this are just plain fun.

I give this a solid 4.75/5.00


I introduced a friend to Janelle Monae last night via Facebook and her comment was, "She has so much energy, why have I never heard of her". My response was, "In a world full of T. Pain and Lil Wayne, there is no room for originality and creativity". I feel this to be true. American popular music has been dumbed down so much that all it takes is a sample and some auto-tune and you are a rockstar. I miss the days of artists laying it all on the line and bearing their soul for all to see instead of showing us the inside of their stainless steel fridge and collection of empty Cristal bottles. Artistry and Emotion are all I expect out of my pop music and until I feel that America can consistently produce this, I'll just hang out in the UK, musically speaking as it were.

Top 10 Songs ...

that are blowing up my eardrums!

10. 3Oh!3 - My First Kiss (Video)
9. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - Paris (Ooh La La) (Video)
8. The Like - He's Not a Boy
7. Dragonette - Pick up the Phone (Video)
6. Scissor Sisters - Running Out
5. MNDR - I Go Away
4. Mark Ronson and Business Intl. - Bang Bang Bang
3. The Dirty Disco - Sista!
2. Janelle Monae - Cold War
1. Alphabeat - Heatwave

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alphabeat - Heat Wave

I keep trying to keep it cool as ice, but I'm melting

Yet another smash hit from the Danish pop band Alphabeat. At this point in time, I will honestly say, there is nothing they can't do and everything they touch is gold. This song is so upbeat and poppy I can't find anything to fault it for. Stine's vocals are tight as ever and there is more of a dance pop feel to this than the standard Human League/Animotion vibe they put out. I think that has a lot to do with the fact Anders didn't have any vocals on the track. Amazing summer song that leaves you feeling cool and refreshed.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Pretty Reckless - Miss Nothing

With the follow up single to "You Make Me Want to Die" which was on the soundtrack for Kick-Ass, The Pretty Reckless give us "Miss Nothing", an angsty romp through feeling neglected and invisible. Miss Momsen is throwing off some severe energy in this video and I dig it. Most people will see this as nothing more than some tween emo/scene stuff but whatever. It's solid through and through and has major market appeal. I am in awe of her voice and the power that she has behind it, especially for being only 16 and one of the stars of Gossip Girl. I know that is way stereotypical but a spade is a spade. I don't begrudge her of her status or her age, I wish her well in all her endeavors. I have a feeling that she won't be a mega star like Britney or Christina or even Amy Lee but I think we are just getting acquainted with The Pretty Reckless.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Body Talk Part 2

I posed last month that Robyn was going to be releasing a grand total 3 albums this year, kind of like a pop music trilogy. I have heard critics say this is a bad idea, it's way to risky, drop a ton of the mediocre songs and just release 1 really good album. Now, while I can see that as a solid plan...more record sales for 1 really good album rather than mediocre sales for 3 albums but I think that by casting a larger net, our beautiful Swede is going to catch far more fish. So with that being said, I am a little behind on this but I am still trying to catch up with all the new music I have buried myself under, I present to you the cover art and track listing for Body Talk, Part 2.

1. In My Eyes
2. Include Me Out
3. Hang With Me
4. Love Kills
5. We Dance To The Beat
6. Criminal Intent
7. U Should Know Better (featuring Snoop Dogg)
8. Indestructible (Acoustic)

RandomEnigma over at Unreality Shout seems to think that Indestructible is going to be the lead single off Body Talk, Part 3 based on the trend with Hang with Me. On Body Talk, Pt. 1 it was the acoustic track and then was beefed up with some beats to be the lead off track for Pt. 2. It totally makes sense and if the track is good, I say do it.

And yes, you saw correctly - Snoop is going to be on the album. How incredible is that? I think that he is a very savvy business man that knows how to increase his footprint in this shaky economic climate, musically speaking as it were.

The Dirty Disco

Earlier this week Larry Flick of Sirius/XM OutQ interviewed Adam Boy from the British pop group, The Dirty Disco. After a brilliant interview, I tweeted Adam and let him know I thought the interview was the tops and couldn't wait for them to come to America. He responded and threw me a courtesy XXOO and I thought, "That's cool. Not many celebrities would actually respond to a fan". So color me shocked today on Follow Friday when none other than Adam Boy name checked me...ME for a #FF. I spent the rest of the day in a sugar induced high and I now implore you. If you don't know who The Dirty Disco is, you need to. Here is the link to their Youtube Channel ( I recommend you run to Youtube right now and watch the videos for Sista! and White Room. Do it now. You won't be disappointed. Ah hell, I'll just give em to you so you can watch em instead of working for it.

White Room:


Before you start saying they are biting the GaGa's style, check yourself. I see much more influence from Pete Burns than the "Mother Monster" any day.

Follow them on Twitter,
Subscribe to their Youtube Channel
and get off your ass and support brilliant Pop music

*****EDIT: After posting this review, Adam gave me super huge props via twitter and linked to the blog. Being easily excitable, here's the screenshot.

Also - Go to their myspace and check out Storyteller. It's gonna be the next single

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Top 10 Artists

These are my top 10 powerful female artists. I am looking for someone that can stand on their own and has survived what the industry can throw at them. Who are your top 10?

10. Alanis Morrisette
9. Janet Jackson
8. Britney Spears
7. Debbie Harry
6. Heather Small
5. Madonna
4. Nancy Wilson
3. Cyndi Lauper
2. Cher
1. Tina Turner

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ke$ha - Take It Off

I'm not even going to say this is a guilty pleasure. It's an absolute pleasure. There is something that is just enthralling about Kesha. I don't want to stop listening to her. I think it's the simplicity of the whole production with no overly produced vocals. Oh wait....I am talking about Kesha....LMAO but I do love her. And so should you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Going Into Best Buy!

Imagine Matt Morris' surprise when he found out 1 day after ecstatically posting a video on Youtube of the support and promotion Best Buy had put into his debut album release that they had donated a ton of money to the Anti-Gay Political Action Campaign, MN Forward. I don't get behind a lot of political causes but when something hits close to home, I have to take notice.

So I ask that you take a minute to watch this video and then go to the HRC's website and print off the open letter.

HRC's Open Letter

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hurts - Wonderful Life

The new single by Hurts, Wonderful Life. The song and the video are brilliant. I can't wait for them to actually release an album

Simon Curtis - Laser Guns Up

Simon performing his new single, "Laser Guns Up" on July 29 at The Mint in Los Angeles

60s Inspired Pop

Over the past handful of years there has been a resurgence of 60s inspired music artists. Probably the biggest name in this group would have to be Amy Winehouse based not so much on her music but her persona off stage. I guess you could say she led the way for other musicians in this genre. The artists that are reimagining this era of music aren't simply ripping off bands, they are taking queues from the pioneers and paying homage to a time when things were simpler. While the music and the beats and the melody are strongly influenced, the lyrical content is brand new and meaningful to the current generation.

Here's Amy's video for the song, "You Know I'm No Good" - which was also the theme song for the Billie Piper show, Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Next up we have, The Like. A Los Angeles based band that formed in 2001. The main 3 founding members were 15, 16 and 17 when they started the band.

Here's their single, "He's Not A Boy" from the LP, Release Me

Lastly, in this short reintroduction to 60s inspired music is the duo of Nikki & Rich. They are the new-er kids on the block but their sound is as solid as any of the rest.

Showing off their skill, here is "Next Best Thing"

Robyn - Hang With Me

The first single off of Body Talk, pt. 2. The second of 3 albums Robyn is releasing this year. I don't know why she isn't a MEGA pop star. Her music is solid and her track record speaks for itself. Look for Body Talk, pt. 2 out in September and Part 3 in December.

Kat Deluna - Push Push ft. Akon

I really don't know why she isn't more popular than what she is. This song is super catchy. She is hot, she can dance and she has Akon in the song with her. I think she could be huge outside the Latin market if the public would embrace her.

Rob Me Blind

Jay Brannan's new song. Much like everything else he does, the lyrical content is brilliant. I like to think he is a thinking man's musician. Each and every song or even more singularly each lyric is so powerful and full of raw emotion and bits of his being.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Top 10 Songs ...

...that have memories attached to Sean

10. Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Blinded by the Light
9. David Gray - Please Forgive Me
8. Heart - Dog And Butterfly
7. Love Spit Love - How Soon is Now
6. TaTu - All the Things She Said
5. Stevie Nicks - If You Ever Did Believe
4. And I Am Telling You - Jennifer Holliday
3. The Last Night of the World - Lea Salonga & Simon Bowman
2. Under Your Spell - Alyson Hannigan & Amber Benson
1. For Good - Idina Menzel & Kristin Chenoweth

In Memory...

Because this is a music blog and I've talked about how important music is in my life, it's important that I share this today.

6 months ago, the most surreal thing that could ever happen, happened. My partner of 11 years passed away. He was the best there was in me, he was my best friend and just generally the person that I knew would always be there. Well, today makes six months ago that he died. Do you know how that sounds to actually say out loud? It's probably one of the most unnerving things you may ever find yourself saying.

I miss him. I miss him every hour of every day and there are some days when it kills me to think I have to go on without him, but I do.

The video above is from the Broadway musical Wicked. It's the last song of the show that brings everything together. Sean and I would pretend we were the proprietary cast and belt this duet out in the car, karaoke style. It's funny, he was always Glinda and I took the part of Elphaba. Now, it seems as if those roles have reversed. I played this song at his funeral and today was the first day since then that I've listened to it. I pray that you never have to go through what I have but if you do, just know there is probably someone in this world that you have changed for good...

Mark Ronson & The Business Intl - Bang Bang Bang

This song and video has so much thats good. Q-Tip, awesome 70s visuals, the Japanese inspired transformation to the "down-to-business" Mark Ronson, the whole feeling that this was recorded on VHS off a Japanese channel over some sporting event, the use of Alouette as part of the chorus. That's a creepy ass kids tune. Again, this is another song that Americans will never fully get to appreciate.

DJ Fresh - Gold Dust

This is the hottest song you haven't heard yet. I know it's going to be HUGE in the UK and the rest of the world. Just wish America would jump on board.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A little order out of chaos

I think I have a bit of organization happening now. I am going to handle the blog like this.

1. A top 10 each week. Could be a top 10 of anything music related.
2. Featured Artist of the Week. I will post reviews, photos, gossip, news, videos...whatever I can find.
3. Updated News as I hear it.
4. Various ongoing features like Throwback Thursday or some shit like that.
5. Most importantly, music.

I will start on Sunday with the new format. Hang with me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Benny Benassi feat. Kelis,, & Jean-Baptiste

I sometimes think artists shoot to the stars and fall just a bit short. This song isn't horrible but it's not absolutely amazing either. I think that if you are at Splash Bar or G.A.Y or even Oz in New Orleans and this comes on there are going to be plenty of asses moving but it's really nothing more than a derivative dance song. I enjoy Kelis. Her vocals are smooth and add the feminine touch the song needs. needs his Beyonce moment like Kelly Rowland is shooting for. Maybe the two of them need to collaborate. I don't know Jean-Baptiste but he doesn't help or hurt the song. Benny Benassi does a mediocre job and maybe can redeem himself in the near future without any trips into space

Monday, July 19, 2010

Need Both Hands and a Map

I have dived head first into a very deep pool of pop music and I am finding it difficult to determine where to start. I have a laundry list of albums and artists and they are all good so bear with me while I sort through it all to weed out the good from the great and the mediocre from the crap. I think because I'm playing catch up with the rest of the global music community it is very difficult to keep up. I am trying to listen to new releases so that I am current but I also am trying to get with what I've missed.

Over the next little while, I will talk about Swedish Pop and more Brit pop and Australian pop in the form of the Amy Meredith Band. I know they are not the only representatives from the land down under but they are hot right now in my corner of the world so I'll talk about them.

The Rumors are True

This doesn't mean a whole lot in the States but in the UK and for fans, Robbie Williams has OFFICIALLY rejoined Take That for at least 1 album and a tour. Fan-freaking-tastic.

Weekly Top 10

So I think I am going to start a weekly top 5 or 10 list. Not necessarily the top 10 songs that are cool right now, more like the top songs that are blowin up my ears. So without further adieu....

The 10 songs blowin up my ears for the week of July 18 - 24, 2010.

10. DJ - Alphabeat
9. Second Floor - Foxy Shazam
8. Dance or Die - Janelle Monae
7. Oh No! - Marina and the Diamonds
6. Cat and Mouse - Nikki and Rich
5. Pornstar - Amy Meredith
4. Crossfire - Brandon Flowers
3. Scissor Sisters - Sex and Violence
2. Chemistry - The Bang Bang Club
1. Burning Blood - Dyno

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Introducing Wonky Pop

Take Depeche Mode, Squeeze, Human League, Animotion and throw them all into a blender and let a new batch of artists sample the delicious shake created by the mix and what you will get is a new crop of Pop Artists creating amazing music heavily influenced by the greats of the 1980s.

You may be familiar with Lady Gaga, Blake Lewis, the Scissor Sister, or The Ting Tings so I won't waste your time reintroducing you to them. This post is to show you some new artists you may not be familiar with.

Alphabeat - A Danish duo made up of Stine Bramsen and Anders SG,that have released two albums; This is Alphabeat and The Beat is.... They have an extremely similar sound to Animotion and are on the much poppier end of the spectrum. Here's their video for the single DJ (I'd rather be dancing)

Victoria Christina Hesketh or Little Boots as she's known on stage has released one major studio release and is starting to work on her second major outing. A multi-talented artist, Little Boots sings and plays the piano, keyboards, synthesizer, Stylophone and a Japanese electronic instrument called Tenori-on. Check out her album Hands for a Flock of Seagulls vibe that won't disappoint. Here she is showing off her many talents on the Jools Holland show.

With their debut single, Better than Love, Manchester based Hurts brings a solid Pet Shop Boys vibe to the table that leaves you wanting more. Since they are a pretty new group that is really only releasing in the UK, it's hard to get solid information on them in the States. Here is Better Than Love

Last but not least is Empire of the Sun, an Australian electronic music duo which formed in 2006. Comprised of Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore both of other bands that came together to form something larger than the two parts. This is their first video Walking on a Dream

Friday, July 16, 2010

Janelle Monae

Born in Kansas City, Janelle has already worked with huge names in the music world during her relatively short career; No Doubt, Big Boi, Diddy, B.o.B, and Lupe Fiasco among others. Janelle cites a number of diverse sources as her inspiration ranging from Alfred Hitchcock to Debussy to Philip K. Dick which all give her music a very large cinematic feel. Her debut album Metropolis features the adventures of Cindi Mayweather, an android that has fallen in love with a human. Another influence on her music was the 1927 groundbreaking sci-fi film, Metropolis by Fritz Lange; which is pretty apparent upon listening to the first tracks on her debut. She had planned on releasing her album in 4 parts on her website before being picked up by Diddy and Bad Boy. The Suite, as it was going to be, has had 3 of the acts released across her 2 albums so fans are left in a cliff hanger to find out how it all ends in her 4th act.

The whole idea of the sci-fi pop opera reminds me of Killroy Was Here by Styx and I think it makes the albums more interesting because it adds an element of storytelling to the music that you can connect with. There are threads woven through both albums that tie the story together. For example, on The ArchAndroid, there is a track titled 57821 which is the robotic designation for Cindi Mayweather and it is referenced initially in the song Sincerely, Jane on Metropolis and the track Sir Greendown, a boozy ballad full of liquid mercury that slips and slides through your senses on The ArchAndroid which is the surname of Cindi's love interest, Anthony Greendown.

Infused with the right amount of electronica, clever lyrics, and a score to rival many big budget films, both Metropolis and The ArchAndroid are must haves for anyone who appreciates solid pop music, a strong female protagonist and science fiction. Don't discount these albums as a concept that doesn't deliver. Janelle has the vocal chops to pull this off and you are not left disappointed. Not only is she telling a clever story, she is also using her platform to discuss ideas of a political nature ranging from discrimination to helping the helpless.

Many Moons (Metropolis) - Many children of the 70s will be able to immediately connect to this song as you will hear something at the beginning you know. You know you know it but you can't place it. I'll give you a hint.... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12. During the Middle 8 on this song, she breaks into spoken word reminiscent of Michael Hutchence's turn in Need You Tonight. She was also nominated for a Grammy for this song.

Mr. President (Metropolis) - This is probably the most overtly political song and it was apparently added to the Special Edition of the album. It really doesn't fit the theme of the production but it is nonetheless spectacular.

The ArchAndroid takes her game to a much higher level. Everything is bigger, the production, the scope, the feel, the theatrics - all of it. She seamlessly moves from one genre to another from R & B to funk to cinematic scores to very futuristic and experimental and it all works. With each track, she ups her game and gives you more and more and you wonder where it all comes from but you are glad she is serving it up.

Opening to an actual Overture which fades into a breakneck pace of Dance or Die and Faster. On Dance or Die, Janelle's delivery is one of amazing quickness that could actually give Mistikal or Twista a run for their money.

Mushrooms & Roses is so psychedelic that you may actually feel like you are tripping while listening to it.

If you can't tell by now, I really can't say anything bad about either of these albums. Like I said earlier, I can't wait to hear how it all ends and hope she has more stories to tell.

Live Music or Prerecorded Music being played to a Crowd

Some people may think that DJ'ing isn't like playing music live or attending a concert but I will disagree with them wholeheartedly. You have someone that has taken the time to come up with a set list or at least a rough idea where he wants to go, a person that is actually going to take the time out of their day, to make sure your evening is spectacular. Kelly Rowland says it the best in her new single when refering to DJ's:
I feel like the DJ is my bodyguard
You see the way he keeps me safe
With the treble and that bass
I feel free enough to party hard
That all being said, I got the opportunity to see the debut of a new kid in town. DJ Prof G unleashed his first set at the 2nd Street Pub from 8:30 to after 10 or so last night to an extremely well received audience. The set consisted of the perfect amount of variety to appease the diverse crowd with acts ranging from John Legend to Deee-Lite to Beck and everything inbetween. He wasn't afraid of trying artists the crowd may not be familiar with either so there was some Trombone Shorty, Zapp and Rodger, Funky Meters and other groups to level the playing field.

One of the things that made this foray successful was that he wasn't afraid to change the flow of his playlist to take it in a different direction when he needed too. The variety of artists and lack of throbbing beats was important as it laid down a framework for chilling out and hanging with your friends, which is what the atmosphere of the venue is tailored toward.

With additional exposure and practice, I think he can make a helluva go at it in this area and make a name for himself. If you get the opportunity when you are around, check out a live show and hit up the DJ. You never know if it's their first time doin it and doin it and doin it well.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

David Guetta & Chris Wills (Featuring Fergie & LMFAO)

Song of the Day

Talk about a powerhouse combination. This song has crazy energy and the video is even stronger. I love the part when everyone comes in and Fergie looks absolutely cheesed off.

I learned that David Guetta and worked together on The E.N.D so if Fergie's part toward the end of the song sounds is.

Awesome video and song nonetheless

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Foxy Shazam: Album Review

Not many artists have the ability to harness something greater than themselves but it seems that Eric Sean Nally has found the torch laid down by Freddie Mercury, picked it up and run with it. Not that I am saying Foxy Shazam is Queen or ever will be Queen but they have potentially filled a gap left by one of the greatest musicians of all time.

Formed in Cincinnati in 2004, Foxy Shazam was named One of the 100 bands you need to know by the Alternative Press and have written songs for Meatloaf.

Their self titled album, released in April 2010 takes you on an auditory journey that can only be described as large. You can listen to the album in your car, in your room, in your iPod and it sounds amazing but scaling it up to something larger, say a stadium tour with 100,000 other fans the music is still going to sound just as good. Not many albums or artists can scale that way and I think it is an absolute sign of longevity and staying power. My hope is that have not exhausted their brilliance in one album.

Track Listing
1. Intro/Bombs Away
2. Wanna-Be Angel
3. Count Me Out
4. Unstoppable
5. Oh Lord
6. Bye Bye Symphony
7. Second Floor
8. Teenage Demon Baby
9. With an Axe
10. Evil Thoughts
11. Killin' It
12. Connect Me
13. Some Kind of Love
14. You and Me

Monday, July 12, 2010

Simon Curtis

Doing something that is unheard of in the dog eat dog world of music, Simon Curtis released his album 8-bit Heart on his website as a free download to anyone and everyone who wanted it. He did this after he reached 8000 followers on twitter as a thank you to his fans. He is currently unsigned and is working on getting a recording contract and if his future releases are anything like this one, he should have no problem.

The first song I heard off the album was Diablo:

And pretty much knew I was hooked. I love how he samples "If You Seek Amy" by Britney Spears without actually sampling it. His vocals are tight and the lyrical content is actually thought out.

If you like Electronica, Dance, Pop or any variation of the above this is a stand out album for you. It tends to be pretty heavy on the electro-clash sound with quite a bit of 8-bit nostalgia mixed in but it is a very solid record. My favorite tracks have to be Beat Drop for the awesome operatic breakdown.

I am not really sure where the sample from The Dark comes from but the scope and the theme of the record are pretty epic. I love the Jay-Z "collaboration" in this song.

Night Work

If the new album, Night Work, by the Scissor Sisters was the soundtrack to a movie, in my imagining, this is how things would play out.

1. Night Work – Movie opens to a young gay in the last part of his day at the office. You see it’s a warm summer Friday in New York City. As the track plays, the movie breaks into a series of montages showing our hero as he is praying for the work day to end and his Friday night to begin. Flashes of mundane work, tapping his pen anxiously against his coffee cup, mindlessly wandering around the office as he very impatiently waits for 5 PM. 5 bells toll as our hero races out of the office and onto the waiting street below.

2. Whole New Way – With our hero now on his way to a night of absolute debauchery, he steps onto the train and starts to think about…him. He is always there at the bar, standing just out of reach. He’s absolutely beautiful and fills our heroes head with more than one thought of an impure nature. He’s the illusive 11 to our hero’s solid 6. He is the man that will make everything right. He is the man to take home to the parents. He is beautiful and is what everything good is for in this world. One day, maybe one day, our hero will introduce himself.

Making it uptown to his apartment, our hero has time to make a plan and make things ready for the night. He goes through his closet to find the clothes that are going to fit just right and accentuate every positive he has. He is going to need every tool in the tool belt tonight because it is going to be one for the record books. He lays his clothes out and goes about his business until it’s time to get ready.

3. Fire With Fire – Stepping out of the shower feeling triumphant and more than ready to take on the world, our hero dresses in his best club cloths. Checks himself out in the mirror and feels his 6 steadily raising to an 8. There’s nothing in this world he can’t do and with epic fabulousness, he is going to have a night like never before. He takes the train to the bar and walks inside with a strut to match no other.

Once in the club, our hero begins to make his rounds where he is met by the most unusual cast of characters one would ever to meet in a public place. Even though the majority of these people are merely set dressing, they still make up the colorful world of excess our hero is about to enter.

4. Any Which Way – Meet Andy. Andy has just turned 21 and is from somewhere in the Midwest. Not only is he fresh to New York, he is also fresh to being gay. That being said, not only does his flame burn brighter than anyone whose flame has ever burned before but he falls head over heels in love with each and every one night stand he meets. Dancing like no one’s business people watch as he spins madly out of control, as he is making the same decisions as a million young gays before him.

Keeping his distance from Andy, our hero makes his way through the crowd to the bar where is greeted by:

5. Harder You Get – Klaus Von Bussem, in his best leather drag (ass-less chaps, chain harness, leather jockstrap, jack boots and captains hat.) steps into view as he slaps his gloved fist with a riding crop and our hero is confronted with all of this…well…this business. Klaus puts on a show in the public eye that paints him out to be the most dominant top on the face of the planet but get him back to his loft in Soho and you have to be careful as his legs pop into the air otherwise your jaw might become dislocated.

Not interested in the least bit in a night of sweat, poppers and New Car Smell, our hero makes his way to the bar where our next couple are stationed.

6. Running Out – Justin and Jamison DeMarco. Aging club kids that partied at CBGB in the early 80s and 54 before that. Andy Warhol has sniffed coke off Jamison’s ass and Truman Capote came on Justin shoe in the basement of 54. That is the closest as either of these two queens have come to instant stardom but the residual stories they’ve been able to tell based off the experiences have given them cred for years. Now 51 and 53 respectively, these aging homosexuals are trying everything they can to stay relevant in a world that has no time or place for them anymore.

Wanting nothing to do with a history lesson, our hero flags down the bartender to order a drink when his vision is blocked by a pair of combat boots stomping and swaying to the rhythmic pulse of the music. Looking up, he sees:

7. Something Like This – Tommy Sunshine, or Thomas Lloyd – to his family, is the IT go-go boy of the minute. Everyone wants to be him, be in him or just be with him. Unfortunately, his brain is so muddled with the copious amounts of Tina he’s been putting up his nose, he doesn’t know which way is the right way up. His short term memory is blown as is his sphincter from spending too many unconscious hours in a sling in the back room.

With drink in hand, our hero moves away from the bar to see if he can find “him”. Snaking his way through the crowd he is pleasantly surprised to see our next patron. One of the few people he is actually happy to see, our hero quickly delivers two Eurpean kisses to each cheek of:

8. Skin This Cat – Anastasia Dumorne, the most fabulous drag queen to ever grace the stage. Not only do all the straight boys love her but the women and the gay boys. She has a quality that makes her desirable to everyone. Not only is she a beautiful woman, but she is one of the most rare of all drag queens. When the makeup comes off he is a gorgeous man as well. She is dressed in a tight red pleather catsuit and dances around our hero not working for tips or drinks, just being.

After spending a moment in the luxurious glow of our favorite tranny, Hero continues his adventure through the crowd. He knows “he” is here. It’s a Friday night. Everyone, as you may well have noticed is here. Walking back to the bar to have his beverage replenished, he is practically smashed into the man in the corner by a throng of partiers. He turns to apologize to the man in the corner when he feels a spark of recognition. He thinks for a minute and realizes:

9. Skin Tight – You’d never see him unless you were looking for him but there he is, in the corner of the bar, one drink away from crying into his High Ball. You’ve seen him there before but you never paid attention to him. You don’t even know his name but you’d know if he wasn’t there like you would miss a piece of furniture you’ve seen every week. On the surface he seems to be a pretty non assuming middle aged guy but you scratch the surface and you unleash a world of codependence. He’s moved into your tiny apartment before you’ve both finished your drinks. He has the holidays planned out and he knows where you are spending your vacations.

Upon getting his refill he steps back into the flood of sweat and sex perfuming the air and locks eyes with a man so beautiful it is painful to look too long. Deciding not to glare for too long, Hero looks one more time and is met with deadly eyes that seem a bit too cold but he decides to take it all in quickly and realizes:

10. Sex and Violence – Simply put, the devil in the latest from Armani or Gucci. Money is never an object as he has been successful not only in business but also the market. He is a man of distinction and taste - Only the best for him, expensive single malt scotch or aged burbon. Neat. He is beautiful, powerful and dangerous. You want to approach him but you can see a darkness surrounding him so you move on. Others may not be so lucky and the missing persons reports will start to turn up in the next few days.

11. Night Life – Tired of being assaulted by all the wrong people, our hero decides to throw caution to the wind and dance. Dance like he’s never danced before. There is no one else around and he is the only one in the world on the dance floor at this very moment. Until he feels something brushing up against him ever so gently. He opens his eyes as he spins around. It’s him. The one. The man that dreams are made of and he is keeping time with our hero. When did this happen. When did Mr. Perfect even see him. How did he know he existed. Shocked and taken aback, our hero slows for a moment before picking the pace back up. Dancing in unison, our lovers start to become one. The world falls away as the night sweeps them into the world.

12. Invisible Light – Running toward the train, our lovers depart into the subterranean world of tunnels and speeding metal. Taking the train uptown to our hero’s apartment is the best answer as the heat of lust and passion fill the still air of the subway platform. Remembering the cavalcade of characters that made this night eventful, our hero’s head is filled with so much he can’t believe what’s happening. Throwing the door open to his 5th story walk up, our lovers barely make it through the door with their clothes on. The rest of the night is filled with exploration and pleasure as they intertwine over and over. What our lovers don’t know is this is only the beginning of what will become many, many years of love.


So I guess the best place to start is to get to know me. Cause if you know a bit about me, then you can see where my decisions come from and why I do things the way that I do.

I was born with 4 years left to go in the 70s in the Eastern portion of Tennessee. Now I know what you're thinking, there needs to be some banjos playing in the background. And I don't necessarily disagree. I am hill folk and so were my parents and their parents before them. I have 2 older brothers and an older sister as well as a younger sister and a younger brother. My family wasn't Catholic, just bored.

While my oldest sister was learning musically through the sounds of Southern Rock greats such as Skynard and Marshall Tucker, it was my oldest brother that picked up and ran with what eventually drove and created the better part of my musical taste, New Wave. From Duran Duran to Siouxie and the Banshees, Katrina and the Waves to Midnight Oil, this pop infused trip through the musical gambit pushed me harder and harder to hear as much as I could. As I grew older and music began to change from New Wave to Alternative, I changed with it. Looking back there really wasn't too much of a change, the progression was natural. 80s music splintered into the more marketable sounds of Janet and Michael, George Michael and the like and I followed The Cure, The Smiths, The B-52's, The Cult, The Clash. One thing you will see as a recurring theme in my musical taste are bands that start with "The". I don't know exactly what it is about them but they litter the landscape of my musical journey.

Flash forward into high school. It's now the early 90s and I have learned a lot. Most of it about myself but I know that on top of the delicious sounds only a synthesizer can produce, I also love drum machines and loops and samples and adventure. House, Drum and Bass, Techno and more electronic sounds start to proliferate my music collection as well as straight up dance pop. Like I said earlier though, I followed New Wave into 90s Alternative as well and I was just at the right age to be prone to the angst and feelings of self-everything to get swept up into the Grunge movement. Now I don't think that's a bad thing, just a thing. Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Breeders and many many more helped to round out my musical experience.

As I have grown into an adult and listened to more and more types of music and experienced as much as possible, I am finding that my love for New Wave and Alternative are still solid at the core of my taste. I love pop music, I love dance music and I can get behind more genres than I care to list. I heard a quote about music in general that said:
"Music is music and it shouldn't matter as long as it gets you where you need to go."
So before this post gets too long, I say Hello and welcome to each and everyone of you. I look forward to this trip we are going to take and hope that we all can learn something from it.

I'll come up with some catch tag line or what not later.


Welcome to the Mid 8. This is my attempt to become a wildly successful music blogger. Well not so much, but I am going to blog about all the new music I am learning about. While I might not be on the cutting edge of the interwebs, I certainly am when it comes to geography.

Living in rural Kentucky, you aren't necessarily exposed to alot of really great new pop music on terrestrial radio. In fact, I think we have 2 pop stations and the rest are all country. While there is nothing wrong with country music, it's not everything my life is cracked up to be. To combat this, I am a purveyor of the internet and owner of a snazzy satellite radio. I have been a Sirius subscriber going on 6 years now so I really can't do without it.

That being said, I may recycle artists you are already familiar with but if I am posting about them here, it means they are either an amazing band, a new band or just something really interesting.

I hope you hang out with me and get to know some of the groups I am going to feature and I look forward to your suggestions.