Friday, March 30, 2012

The Prodigy - Voodoo People (Pendulum Remix)

I don't normally post remixes but when you take one of my all time favorite bands and you take one of my all time favorite tracks by them and let another one of my favorite bands spruce it up... you get me posting a write up of it.  "Voodoo People" has always been one of the best examples of techno/electronica because of how deceptively simple the track is.  Now, take Pendulum who can craft some of the most solid D&B around and let them have a go at it and they take an already massive track and ruff it up a little to give it a new vibe that is consistent with the original feel.  It doesn't go crazy trying to reinvent itself and it doesn't try to do something it's not.  It's a solid D&B track that makes you bob your fucking head.  The video is massive as well, featuring all the members of The Prodigy watching a group of blindfolded individuals running like hell through the estate out into the woods for a prize of some kind.  Brilliant song, Brilliant remix.

Marina and the Diamonds - Homewrecker

Shut the fuck up. Stop reading this write up and listen to that track if you haven't already. If you even attempt to deny the absolute brilliance of this song, I will call you an idiot. I don't really have words for how incredible this is. If you were ever concerned with the stat of Pop music, then you should just listen to this and everything will be all right. Marina's voice has never ever sounded better and the arrangement and production on this acoustic track are unbelievable. She is a star and has so much going for her and I can't properly express how much I am in love with this track and the others she's released off Electta Heart.  I can't wait until I have this album in my hands so I can fully appreciate her vision in this musical chapter of her life.  So so good.

Kendall Kelly - Permission

So glad that Kendall re-released this video. The message behind the song isn't going to be a very mainstream (even though it should be) and there are people that aren't going to appreciate the sentiment (although they should) and it will probably make people uncomfortable (they need to get over themselves). It's a power song and the video is put together very well. I don't want to distract from the message but know this. I fully support this message and absolutely endorse it. Go over and watch the video and then send it to all your "friends" that silently judge you. You know the ones. The ones that you have wanted to say this exact thing to but didn't know how... Well Kendall does it for you and in rhythm with a bangin beat at the same time. If you don't have the album, go to your favorite queer friendly retailer and pick it up because it's full of other amazing tracks as well.

Short Stack - Soul

Like magic, this video appeared in my subscriptions and I had to jump on it. I think I'm actually one of the first people to watch the video.  You don't know who Short Stack is.  That's cool.  I'm just really learning about them as well.  I know they are a band from Australia and they have a pretty massive following down under.  The band is made up of Shaun Diviney, Bradie Webb, and Andy Clemmensen; 3 friends that met while attending the same art school in Newcastle.  They've released 2 studio albums and have headlined 2 of their own tours.  They've opened for Good Charlotte and are well on their way to becoming huge.

This track is a complete amazing power pop/rock song that has this edge about it, bordering on manic and it's a good thing.  The guys sound amazing and the video works well with the track.  In my opinion, they have a similar vibe to My Chemical Romance and that is in no way a slap.  I'm a fan of MCR and I'm totally digging Short Stack.  Shaun's vocals are great in this track and chorus is amazingly catchy.  Unfortunately, this is the last track that they are releasing as a band so it is with heavy heart that I bid them goodbye.  Support their first two releases because they are great and worth it.  I look forward to following Shaun in his career as he is going to continue his musical journey.

The Saturdays - 30 Days

Mollie went on BBC Radio One this morning and released the new track from the girls. It's bonkers in how poppy and exciting this song is. The video is the official lyric video and it's even fun. It's a super cute, catchy love song about being away from the one you love and how important it is to get back in their arms. If you're a fan of super pop or a fan of The Saturdays, this song will not be a disappointment at all. I think it's one of their best tracks and I can't wait to hear what the rest of the album sounds like!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jay Brannan - Rob Me Blind

Today marks the release of Jay's new album.  If you don't know who Jay Brannan is, you need to stop reading right now and watch the video below.  I'll wait for you because it's super important to do this.

Ok, now thats out of the way let's continue.  Rob Me Blind is the 3rd studio album he's released, the first two being goddamned and In Living Color (an album of covers).  If you are in need of stripped down, easy music then Jay is certainly for you.  The production of his tracks are not overworked, they are generally him and his guitar and a few more instruments to fill out the sound and make it a bit fuller but it's simple and clean without and overly flashy tricks.  He's been compared to artists such as Ani Difranco and Lisa Loeb but I think that does a disservice to his art.  He is honest and clever in his delivery with no pretense or condescension.  His lyrical content is intelligent and never ceases to amaze me with the images he is able to paint with his words.

Rob Me Blind is no different in quality than his previously releases.  It's a 10 track album that is full of surprises like "Denmark", "The Spanglish Song", "Myth of Happiness"... hell, what am I talking about.  There are no bad songs on the whole album.  It's another outstanding creation from an amazing artist and I for one am super thankful that he is creating art.  It's an album that you can put on and listen from start to finish and not once want to skip a track.  The storytelling is brilliantly executed and the emotions and heartfelt sentiment he can help to invoke are inspired.  Even if you are new to Jay as an artist, this album is an amazing starting place or the best step in his career that certainly takes you where you need to go.

One of the things I love about how connected Jay is with his fan base is he is always releasing tracks on his youtube channel and he tweets about them so he is one of my favorite tech realized artists.  When he does sit down to craft a video for a song that isn't just him and his guitar on a web cam, you get amazing pieces like "Can't Have it All" (above) or "Beatutifully" (below); which is the second single off this album but if you had In Living Color you would recognize it as one of the two original songs released on that album.  The video is does a fantastic job of giving a face to the haunting words of the track.  Go ahead, watch it too... I'll be right here waiting.

Subscribe to him on youtube, follow him on Facebook and Twitter because he is very interactive with his fans.  I remember when Google+ first came out, he would do Hangouts with fans and even broke into song so it was like a super intimate concert between him and 7 of his friends.  Buy the album.  Don't be a dick and steal it because he is publishing them on his own record label so there isn't some big corporation taking a huge cut.  You are stealing money right out of his pocket and if he can't afford to tour and promote the album, then he can't make more art and we all want him making more music.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Liquid Diet - Hand Dance

Entendre, Innuendo... whatever you call it, it has a funky beat and I can bug out to it.  Pop trio, Liquid Diet (made up of Georgia Haege, Billy Hanson and Electronathan ) are storming the music scene with a delightfully fun romp through the latest craze to sweep the nation, the Hand Dance.  When things just aren't exactly how you need them to be, just express yourself and let your hands be your guide.  The video is super sexy and is a perfect compliment to the song.  Georgia and Billy are perfectly delectable and have such charisma and charm they could be singing the telephone directory and I would pay attention.  Their back and forth works amazingly well and it makes me think of other great male/female duos: Astrid Plane & Bill Wadhams from Animotion, Philip Oakey & Susan Ann Sulley from The Human League and even Jake Shears and Ana Matronic from my beloved Scissor Sisters.

I actually heard this song months ago and filed it away and unfortunately am now just getting back to it.  I think I stumbled across it by surfiing youtube late one night and played the video out of pure curiosity.  Well much like the cat, I've been satiated.  Take the 4:13 it takes to listen to the song see if you're interested in what they have to offer and if you are the least bit interested, they have done something incredible for my readers.  They are giving away a free download of their cover of George Michael's "Father Figure" over at their Soundcloud page.  That's right readers, my very first exclusive giveaway brought to you by the good people of Liquid Diet.  I think they have the goods to fight through the ever expanding sea of synth pop artists and it's the power of the collaboration between Georgia and Billy.

While you're at their Sound Cloud page, grab the free download and listen to the other track, "Nude".  It's got the same energy and is just as fun as the other two tracks.  I wish them much success because it's great pop music and the world needs more greatness in it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Little Jackie - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

I am so glad that this is the next single released off Made4TV as it's one of my favorite tracks. The video showcases Imani rollicking around the forest in her best bunny drag being chased by a rather inept hunter, a la Elmer Fudd as she plays to the camera and experiencing some closer encounters with some supernatural special guests. The video is fun and adds a very playful spin to the song. I think Imani sounds amazing and I am totally in love with this album. It's another one you should totally check out because it's worth it. The throwback sound with the modern lyrics are an incredible combination and I sit and wait to see what she's going to do next.

Son of a Kid - Like You

Yet another brilliant video from the guys in Son of a Kid. For the longest time, I was upset that they have yet to be signed to a recording contract but as long as they continue to create amazing music and videos, at this point in time, it really doesn't matter. This video is a very cool treatment for the song. The little girl would do anything to be with the person she wants to be with and it appears that's an astronaut. So what does the ingenious space adventurer do... she builds her own rocket ship with scavenged parts. The video leaves off with the ship blasting off into orbit, whether or not for real or only in her head, the imagination she has is all that matters.

I can't get enough of Son of a Kid and it doesn't matter what incarnation the band is in, they are and will be incredible.  Please take a chance and listen to the song or video and show your support.  The more people that dig their music, the more likely they are to release new stuff and we all can do with some more new stuff in the world.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Morgan Page (featuring Tegan and Sara) - Body Work

Never one to let down his audience, Grammy nominated DJ, Morgan Page has so effortlessly created yet another chapter in his place in musical history.  "Body Work" is a super fun track that features guest vocals by none other than Tegan and Sara.  This is another song that I am going to happily add to my collection of synth-pop wonders.  Morgan has carefully crafted this track so that it in no way competes with the vocals and both parts work so well together that it's hard to believe that the 3 of them aren't an established synth pop group.  The video is fun, I wouldn't want to work out in that gym though... everyone is far to coordinated for me to follow.   Highly recommend this and when his next album is released, I will be in line to get it.

The Younger Lovers - We are the Younger Lovers/Keeps on Falling Down

Wow, I mean... wow. I am almost totally speechless about how amazing this song is. I don't know much about this band at all but I need to know more. This track is everything. Every bit of history that is poured into this as well as every ounce of cutting edge makes this so much more than just a song. Lately, I've been looking for music that is transformative and this track is just that. It's primal and it's edgy but has a refined quality to it that makes it so accessible. People looking for something that is off the beaten path will absolutely dig this. The video makes me think of John Waters, circa Female Trouble. It's a party that only the most super cool of the elite know anything about and if you are in the know and have the juice then you are already there.  As I learn more about this group, I will pass it along.  I hope they aren't going anywhere anytime soon because I want to know more about them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Plan B - iLL Manors

Strickland Banks is on the shelf for a bit while Ben does his thing and gets back to his CHAV roots with the first single off his upcoming iLL Manors project. This single is the title track and it takes Plan B back to his grimy, hardcore self. The film revolves around four main characters living in Forest Gate, London. Over the course of a few days, there are six inter-linking short stories which are each represented by a different rap song. Plan B will rap on all six of the songs. The movie is based on real life events that have taken place over the past five years in Ben's life such as his home being raided by the police. If you aren't familiar with Plan B's style of rap, this is an outstanding intro. It's hardcore, it's relevant, it's political and it's all Plan B. The samples uses in this song are wicked and the violin as a bass line is particularly inspired. What do you think about the video or the song?

Marina and the Diamonds - Primadonna

Petulant. That's what Marina is serving up in this video. Spoiled, rotten, nasty Primadonna. This sound is a bit more mainstream and poppy than previous releases but it is actually an amazing sound. The song showcases her voice beautifully and is an amazing introduction for people that aren't necessarily familiar with Marina's sound. The video is a fun romp through the extravagant, high maintenance side of our girl. I have high hopes for her new album and can't wait to hear it. Check this video out then run out and check out other videos like "Oh No!" or "Hollywood". Better yet, just buy her albums from your favorite retailer of musical awesomeness.

Matt Alber - The End of the World (2012 Edition)

My last post was about a gay artist that I feel compromised his beliefs and potentially his integrity for the sake for record sales. Now, I don't have that on any authority but it's how I feel. This song/video are completely different. The song is so unassuming and simple it just floats by on a breeze of melancholy tenderness and the video is simply stunning. The visuals are clean and pull no punches. I first saw this video back in 2009 and Matt has rereleased the video in a higher quality that is more true to his artistic vision. It is nothing short of brilliant and make me know without a shadow of a doubt why there are gay artists making music that will speak to millions. "The End of The World" is one of those pieces of art that will last longer than any of us and I am truly grateful that Matt shared it with us.

This video makes me hopeful that one day; I, too, will find this type of love again.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Right Said Fred - S X A H O L I C

Every so often, I have to talk about a project for the wrong reasons.  You see, in the early 90s I was a fan of one campy British band that had become not only a one hit wonder but somewhat of just a large joke because of the camp factor of their first single.  Yes, you know it; I know it and the entire world knows it.  It's "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred.  There was something magical in the song and in Richard and Fred Fairbrass, brothers in life and in arms behind the sound of this ultra camp band.  I knew from a very tender age that Richard was gay and it wasn't until years later (thanks to the Internet) that my suspicions were confirmed.  The 90s in America didn't get much celebrity gossip so I had to wait for the Information Age to be fully realized in order to get my information.  But I am a fan of the group.  I have owned several copies of different albums along the way and have done as much as I can do to support them from this side of the pond.

Fast forward to today and the release of  the video for the brother's latest song, "S X A H O L I C" and you get a message and visuals you wouldn't expect from an out and proud gay man.  Watch the video and come back and let's discuss.  Here it is:

Ok. You've watched it. Here's my opinion (for what it's worth).

The song: I'll give a 5/10 because there isn't anything compelling there.  It's repetitive and redundant and doesn't challenge any convictions I may have.  That being said, not all pop music has to do that but this doesn't sound new or exciting at all.  It sounds like something I"ve heard over and over again.  For this to be a professional release, the production seems weak.  That's just the song itself.  Tired basslines and overwrought ideals.

The lyrics:  Nothing that is going to make me stand up and sing in a concert along with the band.  And here's were my problem comes in.  They are talking about a woman that wants sex all the time - with a man.  Richard sings about how she takes him into the bathroom on an airplane, does it in a restaurant, on the bedroom floor, the kitchen table, up against the door.  All with him.  Not with someone else, but with him.

The video: Richard runs around being chased by women wearing an airbrushed muscle suit or vamping to the camera in a kilt while Fred plays guitar and slutty women dance and prance.

It's 2012 and I don't think I like watching an out and proud man parading around pretending to be straight for the sake of record sales.  Do some research and see what Richard has done for the gay community promoting awareness and working toward equality.  Hell, his personal life was splashed all over everything when his (ex)boyfriend passed away and Richard was there by his side.

I don't like how this has made me feel about the group and Richards politics.  I know there is so much flack from Hollywood about gay actors being able to play serious heterosexual leads but I don't get that kind of vibe from this at all.  To me, this smacks of desperation from people trying to capitalize on their fame (however fleeting it may be).  I don't expect him to run around singing about sucking cock and being a bum boy but I do want honesty in his work and I think that we have a right in 2012 to get that.

What do you think?  Does this bother you? Do you even care?  Let me know what you think.