April 30, 2004

Top 5 songs this week

  1. Diana Krall Narrow Daylight (samples here)
  2. Diana Krall Departure Bay (both are new songs seriously channeling Joni Mitchell, circa 1975)
  3. Deepest Blue Give It Away (dancey pop)
  4. Morrissey Piccadilly Palare (in anticipation. so bona to vada, your lovely eek and your lovely riah)
  5. Snow Patrol Grazed Knees

April 27, 2004

Hi, I'm George, may I shake your...

This is a hilarious article about George Michael's recent claim that he went to public restrooms so he could meet normal people. It's very short and very funny (I mean the article, not GM's dinger.)

April 26, 2004

It's Springtime and there is no Spring Song for me!

Music SUCKS right now and I am not even bothering to comment on the turdible new Prince CD. Don't buy the "He's back" hype. Steven Patrick Morrissey needs to save us NOW.

April 9, 2004

Delays: Faded Seaside Glamour

I hyped them last week and this week I got the record, which will be released in the U.S. on May 4. So here's the deal:

I thought I was going to to be so original in picking out the Cocteau Twins stylings of Delays, but
everybody beat me to it. It's mentioned in every review! You really notice it on my fave song on the CD, the beautiful and soothing Wanderlust. This record is as ambient as the album title: you expect to hear seagulls and wind through your headphones. There's also bits of REM and The Sundays on Long Time Coming. They cover a lot of ground and despite it being a bit derivative, it still sounds fresh compared to what's out there now.

Top 5 songs this week

Crystal Gayle "Take Me Home" (from "One From The Heart" soundtrack remaster)
Caetano Veloso "Feelings"
Rolling Stones "Almost Hear You Sigh" ("Steel Wheels" oldie- wrenching!!)
Divine Comedy "Our Mutual Friend" (still)
Pet Shop Boys "Positive Role Model" (play it at the gym)

Caetano Veloso sings the Bionic Woman

If you saw the last Pedro Almodovar movie, "Talk To Her," you may remember that the movie is stopped cold by Caetano Velosos's beautiful, hushed performance of the classic song "CucurrucucĂș Paloma," filmed at Almodovar's Spanish house. I had never heard of him until that movie, so I guess Pedro's idea worked. He's a Brazilian singer who has been a beloved star for about 35 years.

This week he released an English language CD called "A Foreign Sound." It intrigued me because of its various covers: Nirvana's "Come As You Are," Talking Heads "Nothing But Flowers" mixed with "Cry Me A River" and Cole Porter's "So In Love," among others. One song that works well for me is the schmaltzy 70's hit "Feelings" - once done to great effect by Lindsey Wagner on the Bionic Woman. (Jamie Summers went uncercover in a beauty pageant and this song was her talent act, but I digress...) Caetano's voice is perfect for this song because he never allows it to go over the top. It's actually subtle. Less successful is his version of one of my favorite songs, "Nature Boy." Something about the stiffness of the arrangement and the rare lack of fluidity in his voice restrains it - it does not move me at all. I'd prefer Celine's version to this one!

You can hear samples of the record at the Nonesuch website. You just need to click on New Releases and look for "A Foreign Sound."

April 4, 2004

Top 5 songs this week

April 4 - what I am listening to:

Divine Comedy "Our Mutual Friend"
Divine Comedy "Freedom Road"
Janey Jackson "Slolove"
Madonna - anything old
Michelle Shocked "Short Sharp Shocked" CD remaster

April 3, 2004

I lost my Comments field...

I'll get it back soon, when I'm feeling less lazy.

Review: The Divine Comedy's Absent Friends

So I llurrrrve the new TDC CD - got that? - the first in several years. If you don't know The Divine Comedy, "they" are really a "he" - Neil Hannon. The sound is big and emotional Scott Walkeresque orchestral pop. It's witty, unabashadly emotional and sometimes a little precious / novelty. Think Make It Easy On Yourself, if you know that Walker Brothers song.

I discovered them in England when I bought the 1995 CD Casanova on the basis of a quick blurb somewhere, the song titles and the cover art (typical of me). Luckily I struck gold. Click here and try a sample of Something For the Weekend.

The new record came out in the UK (only) on March 29. It's called Absent Friends and it's very good. Lisa and I saw him play an afternoon show in a teensy Arlington club called Iota in 2002 and having been waiting for this music (including The Happy Goth!) ever since. The first single is a sweet narrative song called Come Home Billy Bird and you can hear/see it in full at this website. You can also hear other samples at this chic French site. Try my favorite, the melodrama Our Mutual Friend, for a taste of the sweeping strings.

The record adds several great tunes to his future All My Best CD. The lyrics are very sweet, but usually with an edge, like the big denoument of Freedom Road:

Well I've seen the power of the lightning storm,
I've seen the endless ears of corn,
I've seen the lakes at the break of day,
And that shit takes my breath away

As usual, there are some tracks that induce dry heaves, but those are just a couple of lugubrious ballads and a cutesy tootsy song about imaginary friends. Please also note that hearing it on the web won't do it justice. When I finally played it on headphones, it made me all emotional. If you want a little mix, let me know!