June 30, 2009

2009: Q2

Madonna and Michael during the Victory Tour, summer 1984

In no order, my Top Songs for the second quarter of 2009. I still put on just one song by each artist (this quarter Florence and The Machine would have overtaken the list!). The colored link will take you to a place you can hear/see the song.

The Gossip
Pop Goes The World youtube
David Guetta with Kelly Rowland When Love Takes Over video
Freemasons with SEB Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer video
Little Boots Not Now youtube
Annie Anthonio youtube
La Roux As If By Magic
Erik Hassle Make It In Time
Lucky Soul Whoa Billy! youtube
Maxwell Pretty Wings video
Florence & The Machine Cosmic Love youtube
Patrick Wolf The Sun Is Often Out myspace
Paolo Nutini Candy video
Marina and The Diamonds Obsessions video
Miike Snow Silvia youtube
Passion Pit The Reeling video
Jack Penate Body Down
Del Marquis Remember Me Young myspace
Fibes, Oh Fibes! Love Child video
Jimmy Somerville Hangin' On The Telephone myspace

Any recommendations?

Worthy recent albums: Miike Snow, Patrick Wolf, The Gossip, Little Boots, La Roux, Jack Penate

What's coming: Florence and The Machine, A Fine Frenzy, Frankmusik, Rose Elinor Dougall (ex-Pipettes), Just Jack, Erik Hassle, Imogen Heap

Disappointing: Tori Amos, Depeche Mode (just okay), Paolo Nutini (lousy!)

June 29, 2009

Imogen Heap Returns with Ellipse

It's been 7 years since Imogen Heap hijacked my list of favorite artists with Frou Frou's lush debut Details. I was nervous when she released Speak For Yourself in 2005 because she was without her collaborator, Guy Sigsworth. Little did I know until I heard that album that it's Imogen's style that dominates Frou Frou. Speak For Yourself became one of my favorite albums of 20o5 (a year with a 4-way tie: Madonna, Goldfrappp, Rachel Stevens and Immi). And now, four years later, we have Ellipse. Fans have heard bits and pieces of the record as she's made it, but no proper songs. Because she is a one-woman show, this album has been under her own lock and key, literally, in her house.

Obviously, you won't be able to miss it if you follow this blog, but if you don't know Imogen's last two albums, here is a list of what I consider the standout tracks:

Frou Frou's Details: Let Go, It's Good To Be In Love, Shhh, I Must Be Dreaming (my fave), The Dumbing Down Of Love

Immi's Speak For Yourself (review): Goodnight And Go, The Walk, Hide And Seek (many will say this song is her lasting legacy to pop music), Have You Got It In You, Just For Now, Closing In, The Moment I Said It

Ellipse is out on August 24/25.

June 26, 2009

Rosay In The Sunshine

Rose Elinor Dougal Start/Stop/Synchro:

Beautifully shot video, pity they all seem to drown in the end. Rose is so cool and understated. She doesn't even have to try. The song itself is slight on melody and big on mood, but I like it and think it will sound good in the context of an album, which has still not been announced. Wouldn't it be great to get a new one from her and Lucky Soul this fall?

June 25, 2009


Michael Jackson is an artist who has been ubiquitous for so long that he becomes a life marker. I have to be frank, I find it hard to separate the two lives of Michael, the latter of which I will not dwell on here, despite my strong opinions. I was never an obsessive Jackson fan; for years I didn't own Thriller because I didn't need to - it was in my head! But Michael Jackson is a series of songs and images for me and millions of other people who thrive on music.

Thriller came out when I was 13 years old and when I hear those songs, I think so much of being involved in my church youth group. I grew up Episcopalian, so we were kind of... low key... when it came to churchiness. We had such fun at pool parties and running around town, going to movies, etc. I particularly remember a ride back from a weekend retreat in the Georgia mountains in fall 1983, PYT playing several times on the car radio. I'd never liked it until that moment. Do you know what I mean? When a song hits you? Sometimes you even realize it in those seconds, that this song will always be this place and this time.

Soon after, there was a big Christmas party and I remember everyone stopping to watch
Thriller on MTV. Which my family did not have, by the way. My parents got cable in 2003, I kid you not. We know how that video went over: it's in the pantheon of group dance moments. More importantly, it would be hard for today's pop crowd to understand how lily white MTV was in the early 80's. Michael blazed the path, ironically, for black artists.

I went to college on August 20, 1987 and Bad came out about a week later. Such a huge deal because it was the follow-up to the "greatest album in history." I didn't really love that cassette, but I do remember endlessly playing Man In The Mirror on my Walkman. There's a bit in the final moments of the song that always gives me chill. What is it? I am not sure how to describe it - it may be a chord change just after the amazing final bit starts at minute 4. It still loves me and I do believe that song is absolutely pure, no cynicism.

In 1991, I remember driving to shitty old Spotsylvania Mall (mmm-hmmm!) in Fredericksburg VA to watch the premiere of Black Or White on a bank of TVs in a Montgomery Ward department store. Punk, yes? Dangerous is another mixed bag, but again I fell for the glorious gospel drama of Keep The Faith, which is sort of Man In The Mirror Part II.

Around that time MJ's personal drama cranked up and my tastes went in different directions. I kind of tuned out and checked in only at various moments, like his "date" with Madonna to the Oscars. I hope Michael represents the end of the old school Hollywood story of a person whose life is eaten by fame. Self immolation really. We almost had another case of that in 2007 (Britney) and it sickens me that not only do people not learn from others mistakes, but that so many thrived on it, considered it fodder. Regardless, there are a few later Michael songs I felt were truly worthy, like the melancholy You Are Not Alone (don't get me started on the ironies of who wrote that song for him) and Stranger In Moscow, which reminds me of one of my favorite Michael songs, Human Nature.

Nothing sounds like Human Nature does it? So many songs and artists inspired by Michael over the years, but the gossamer Human Nature just cannot be imitated. It is everything pop music should be.

June 24, 2009

Ever so, ever so, ever so Bjorkian

NPR is streaming Bjork's new Voltaic live album. You know, from the tour for Volta, that wanky last record she did with marching bands around the globe. Word is the tracks are better in their live arrangements.

The new photos are from her recent appearance in Interview.

*sorry for the title of this post. Me's tired!

June 23, 2009

Wendy And Lisa recommend

Little Dragon Twice:

When Wendy & Lisa tell you to pay attention to a group, you do it - in this case, Little Dragon. And the fact they're Swedish makes them all the better. A piano ballad built around two notes. From the Bjorkian school. Wintry.

On iTunes worldwide.

Update: Check out the interview series "Part 2" on W&L's youtube channel. It's in about 5 or 6 parts and is where I got the Little Dragon recommendation. These clips are also a must for Prince fans - they don't exactly "dish" but they are very candid. And very funny, sweet etc.

June 22, 2009

Florence: Who is the lamb and who is the knife?

If you're as thrilled as I am by Florence and the Machine, be sure to check out Pete Paphides' piece in the June 19 Times, What's haunting Florence and the Machine? It features an exclusive live performance of Rabbit Heart that's gets better as it goes.

Meanwhile, the Independent says this about Cosmic Love, a song I played roughly 6 times in a row while driving in a rental car this weekend...
This – ahem – stellar cut would be the standout track from Florence's forthcoming debut album, Lungs, were the whole record not packed with potential hits.
She did a little mini version of Rabbit Heart at London's Camberwell College of Art - watching this makes me wonder how people can get up and perform in a setting like this, surrounded by a bunch of judgmental college students with unusual haircuts..

Here also is a preview of album cut Howl. I am not sure if this is the final version or not, but I assume the U2'ish guitar is a hint of this being a newer mix...

Florence and the Machine Howl:

Finally, a guy named Robert commented a few weeks back on this great fan-made Rabbit Heart video:

June 20, 2009

Imogen Heap... not now, but soon

New promo pic by Jeremy Cowart

We're just weeks from a new Imogen Heap song, Canvas, that she'll be putting out to blogs. The first official single from her album Ellipse is called First Train Home. I and many others have been following the making of this album for about two years. Her last two releases ('05's Speak For Yourself and '02's Details, with Frou Frou) were my favorites of their respective release years. The new album is finally out August 23/24 worldwide.

If you have not watched the "Making Of" Vblog series, it'll take you awhile as there are 40 clips - probably over 400 minutes of film. I love what she wrote on Youtube to close the first part of this project...

I so cannot wait for you to hear it. Maybe that's when it'll sink in that I'm finished for real... when you have it in your hands. until then.. it doesn't really exist. You're the final piece in all of this.

Imogen Heap The Final Vblog:

Someone - he knows who he is! - said to me today, "Unfortunately, integrity usually fails." But it doesn't always. No one is pure, that we know, but if Imogen Heap's work/art does not exemplify integrity, what does?

June 19, 2009

Quote of the Week, Elly Jackson: Does my voice bother you?

This is what a fantastic album cover looks like
And then there's I'm Not Your Toy, which is out after Bulletproof," she adds, "which is much much happier and much brighter and maybe a little easier on the ear for people that couldn't quite grasp In For The Kill, because I know for a lot of people the vocals are quite shrill.

-Elly Jackson of La Roux, to the BBC
Meanwhile, 8/1 has this bit of an interview with Patrick Wolf about the success of La Roux:

I’m not shocked... the week I was dropped they signed her, and all the money that had been going into me was going into her. The same photographers and styling team. It was like they took Patrick Wolf and put it into a girl. She’s lovely and she’s a great singer with good songs but, where I’m from, it’s not challenging. If people are taking from the past then they have to be futuristic with it. It’s easier for them to go straight to doo-wop or 80s templates and regurgitate.
I thought Patrick walked away from his label, so I am not sure why he cares. Regardless, Elly is deep inside the starmaker machinery and will probably do well. The album clips sound more varied than her first two singles, though not, as Patrick points out, groundbreaking.

If you like LaRoux's sound, do yourself a favor and get the first two Missing Persons LPs- especially their second disc, Rhyme & Reason. I have that one framed on my wall! Gwen Stefani has been inspired by lead singer Dale Bozzio for years...

Lily Allen's got balls

Parlophone are actually releasing Fuck You as her new European single! They've produced a really clever video that manages to capture who Lily is without featuring one moment of her. I love the brief image of an American strip mall with the stores shuttered.

The gimmick reminds me of the 90's, when I used to do that stupid thing of getting someone in my eyeline, holding up my hand and squeezing my fingers together, saying "I am crushing you."

Lily Allen Fuck You:

Her next US/UK single is 22. I'd have preferred Back To The Start, which I think adds a bit of squizzy dancey-ness (hear it) to her output. I am actually the type of geek fan who thinks things like "Aw poo, that single will stickout like a sore thumbs on the hits collection." 22 is great, but it's not sublime.

Thanks Vinny Vero for the heads up!

June 17, 2009

Depeche Mode: When the body speaks...

It sayeth to fair-skinned people: Stay out of the sun!

Truth is, it's a bad photo. Martin, who turns 48 in a month, does not always look so lined - it's the lighting and facial expression.

More tour pics here.

Question: Having lived with it for a few months, what are your thoughts on their new album Sounds Of The Universe? Please comment!

Here is a nicer new pic of Martin, so I don't feel guilty later...

June 16, 2009

Mariah: Now why you wanna go and do dat?

I like talent, intelligence, sexiness and heart. It's not too much to ask our pop stars to be transcendent.
That’s what I twittered to Talia a few hours ago.

I was musing earlier tonight about Mariah Carey’s hideous new song Obsessed (hear it) and it’s oh-so-classy single cover. The tune lacks a tune, except for the copious use of AUTOtune, which instantly dates it. The lyrics are a trainwreck of awfulness (perhaps in a good way?) and it reminds me that Mariah has fallen into the same abyss as her non-sister Janet Jackson. That of a 40 year woman adrift in the music business, trying in vain to recapture the Hot that has been stolen by younger girl singer rather than reclaiming what made them superstars in the first case. A few years back Mariah had a massive hit with a perfect song, We Belong Together. What made it stick were the great melody, lyrics and actual singing. It was everything we wanted from Mariah.

Here’s a reminder of how good Mariah and Janet can be…

Janet Jackson Got Till It’s Gone:

Janet’s artistic zenith. This song is intelligent as they come, exposing a generation to Joni Mitchell, pop radio to Q-Tip (Janet: "What's the next song?" Q-Tip"The one about me.") and exposing MTV viewers to South Africa's underground culture during apartheid. It's based on photographs and artwork of the era - look out for the final shot, which many miss ("Europeans only"). Look for Q-Tip in the awesome geek glasses, with Janet herslef beautiful and makeup free. This is as far from the tragic Jackson curse as she could get.

Mariah Carey Honey:

Embedding disabled! Watch Honey here.

I could have chosen a more "pop" song, like my beloved Dreamlover, but this track is the chrysalis – there’s a pun in there- of the Mariah we suffer through today. Except good. The video is so absurd it was skewered by Sandra Bernhard in one of her off Broadway shows. At the time, Mariah denied it was Tommy Mottola she was transparently fleeing in the clip. Right.

June 15, 2009

Frankmusik: Recompleted MP3

Frankmusik's Complete Me album will have a special edition with an 11-track version he remixed himself (rumor has it it's one icky 60-minute track). You can download 4-minute sample of Recompleted now at Vince's website.

If you haven't seen his new video, here it is...

Frankmusik Confusion Girl:

Complete Me is out, finally, on July 27.

June 14, 2009

Mixtape: Jag älskar den här låten...

Sam Sparro in his new g;asses, via Twitter.

Did I mention that Sam Sparro responded to one of my Tweets? That's the weird thing about Twitter - you can just gab with all the greats (and not-as-greats).

I had my first big(ish) party ever last weekend and it was a roaring success. If you've been sitting around saying you need to fix up your place or plant some stuff, just decide to invite 30 people over and you'll get it all done.

I checked out the new Xenomania-backed "rock" band Vagabond. They have a new tune called Sweat Until The Morning (video) that's okay. The vocals are really affected and stagey, but the music is very smooth. Stick to what you know, Mr. Higgins.

Once again Perez takes the dirtiest route (re Dustin Lance Black's dickpics) and then twists it into some high and mighty about nude pics. He fancies himself an activist. PH is an attention-seeking jerk and I am SICK of pop stars kissing his ass. That means all of them, even the ones I love. If your kid were ugly, druggie or naked, he would cash in. Those who live by the sword...

Not even the Soul Seekerz can make the Jonas Brothers decent. Too bad they never did realize their album title, Lines Vines and Trying Times, is a cocaine reference.

Chastity Bono becoming a man. That fits into the didn't-see-it-coming-shoulda-seen-it-coming category, doesn't it?

Whatever happened to that La Roux creature? Did she get domestic with La Boyle?

James Banbury, who played a big part in Sarah Nixey's superb solo album, is back with an electronic band called dadahack. They've got a sleek tune out called Hello that you can hear on myspazz. I generally like tunes with vocals, but like Microfilm's songs, this is good for driving a sexy car.

Pixie Lott: She's like Sienna Miller + Natasha Bedingfeld visually (meaning dull) and the music is like a hybrid grown in a lab: Gaga + Winehouse. Catchy pablum

Patrick Wolf "arrested." Talented artist, obnoxious attention seeker or, as a fellow Tweeter Apollo commented (cleverly), a "rampant fanaticist." He tends to blame journalists.

D'luv and XO's new pop group has a debut single and we look so cute in the video, which is called Give It Up Turn It Loose.

I have never liked the Like A Prayer album cover. I'd have preferred this beautiful shot.

Early response to the a-Ha album: a disappointment. No Max Martin surprise or random songs that sound like CSNY. Just more midtempo mush. Torr, what do you think?

Kylie celebrates her 41st in Rome. She's on the right: http://bit.ly/129DDI - and this one too: http://bit.ly/7T8wI

Maxwell's new single Bad Habits is a meandering disappointment after the lush Pretty Wings.

A space cadet for years, maybe one day I'll be an astronaut. Don't like Just Jack's new single Doctor Doctor, but you should play another new one, Astronaut http://www.myspace.com/just...

Finally, geeks will inherit the Earth...

PS: I think the title of this post means "I love this song!" in reference to the clip above.

June 13, 2009

Hardcore: Madonna fans only

Click on the image for a rare behind-the-scenes clip of Madonna on the Blonde Ambition Tour. She was really beautiful, especially at about 1:45ish. And I've never heard this demo until now: Tell Me. Supposedly for Nick Kamen, but not complete.

I remember this from college, 20 years ago in Spring 1989:

A teaser for this, shown only once on March 2, 1989. It's aged really well...

For those a bit young to remember, the premier of the 2-minute Pepsi commercial was the first time most people heard Like A Prayer. There was no Internet then, so it was a big deal to be sure you were in front of a TV for it. We recorded it and watched it like 10 times. The single was released on February 28, 1989, but in my memory the TV commercial was the first time I heard it. The Mary Lambert-directed video with the burning crosses (amazing even now) was aired on MTV only a day later on March 3, 1989.

Did you know the 5:40 album version's bassist was Randy "Dawg" Jackson of American Idol fame? True. My favorite mix is the single version with a great guitar bit at the end. When pushed to name the greatest pop song of my life, I think I'd choose Like A Prayer, with its video included. It's a landmark intersection of pop and art and the album it preceded is arguably her best. My album cassette still smells like patchouli (it's in the glue) and instantly takes me back to this brilliant era.

June 12, 2009

The Gossip's Music For Men widget...

The Gossip Heavy Cross video:

Brilliant. I like that they included a performance piece because they are very good live. And check out the boi drummer Hannah. Sexxxy.

Samples of the album tracks:

My favorite is Pop Goes The World, but it's all about massive chorus, which you don't hear on the clip. Music For Men is out June 22/23, so not long now. The sound of the album reminds me a bit of this classic sung by another piece of hot rock ass.

June 11, 2009

Pop pop pop goes Beth Ditto

AMAZING new song on The Gossip's album Music For Men. The final 45 seconds of Pop Goes The World is THE SOUND OF SUMMER 2009. A tsunami. Fuck the rest.

This is the NOW, kids.

June 10, 2009

Review: Antigone's debut, Antigoneland

Photograph by Sukey Parnell

may follow a glittery line of one-name discopop divas, but she brandishes a more poetic wit than most. Working with Darren Hayes collaborator (Justin) Shave, she laces her debut album with "did she just say that?" imagery and a wide sonic palette, from eurodisco to cabaret to ambient chill tunes.

Promiscuity, the opening track, sets the tone for an ambitious album about men, women, love, sex and self-reliance. Its porn bass and mod, squiggly synths are supporting players to the song's centerpiece, Antigone's powerful voice, which - literally and figuratively - dominates the album. The final lines of Promiscuity conjure fearless sexuality, "As she wanders quietly away... Behind her trails a fishing line / That joins our loins to our hearts."

Fans of discopop will find much to love. The ecstatic Mirror manages to evoke Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and, strangely, Red Hot Chili Peppers in three minutes. In an alternative universe, a psychic correction has been made and the blazing More Man Than Man sits atop the charts. With its repeated hook "I don't believe you understand / A woman can be more man than man," this is the kind of diva-gets-hers anthem that works lip-syncing drag queens into a hot mess.

During the manifesto To Be Real, Antigone wanders under a horn-laden jazz shower. Antigoneland is filled with this kind of detail, the artist having toiled over the songs for a luxurious length of time. Halfway through the otherwise midtempo Into Your Head, she summons the spirit of rock priestesses like Patti Smith, screaming "My love is like a little vulture!" in a shocking punk detour.

Antigone has likened the album to the arc of an evening out, ending in the wee hours of dawn. The latter tracks, like the spoken-word Palomino, recall the moody, erotic genuis of Vanessa Daou, whose 90's album Zipless is an ambient electropop classic. The lush nighttime ballad Life Without You is so swoonily pretty it will have Alison Goldfrapp crying into her tea.

Whether popular success welcomes her or not, Anigone Foster exists in the realm of intelligent pop artists like Roisin Murphy and Siobhan Donaghy. The album's final moment, in Waking Up Slowly, says it all. After a swell of strings, the orchestration drops and she sings, "I'm not a afraid of growing old / I'm not afraid of desire." If Antigoneland were human - and it may be, in its creator's mind - it would be a fierce woman, marching home through the city canyons, smiling at a memory she keeps only for herself.


Antigone recently moved back to her native Australia after years in London. She's currently prepping for a big album push there. The picture above is a first image from her "next wave." The album is out now on itunes worldwide(ish).

When Kanye is right

I don't need to gild this lily. Below is footage of Mr. Hudson playing his new song There Will Be Tears on piano (an instrumental version)....

If you've not heard Mr. Hudson's first album, 2006's A Tale of Two Cities, it's on US iTunes (as well as UK, etc). Among my favorite songs are Upon The Heath, Picture Of You and Ask The DJ.

June 9, 2009

Quote of the Week: On the Jonas Brothers

A tweet from biffco, aka Richard Stannard:
Just seen The Jonas Brothers on telly for first time ever. Weird. They look like extras from Milk

June 8, 2009

Florence and the Machine BLOW UP

Holy shit.

Florence And The Machine Cosmic Love:

Florence and her collaborators really excel at a fine mix of pounding drums and high-end tinkliness. For Cosmic Love, she's added subtle heavy metal to the mix. Listen for the chugging guitars that underpin the song: you can hear them clearly at about 1:35. One can only imagine how monolithic this song will sound live. The middle eight, truly in the middle, goes all soft and pink, but soon she's back to a-wailing. I often speak of night-driving tunes, but this is music for driving tanks* up and down moors.

*Or 6 big wheels... up off Howth Head, for those who appreciate obscurity.

June 7, 2009

Charlotte Gainsbourg back soon...

Charlotte Gainsbourg, avec qui je suis un peu obsédé, released one of the best records of 2006, 5:55 (read my sort-of review). In November, she's finally releasing a follow-up. Charlotte is in the studio with Beck, whose father, David Campbell, did the string arrangements for 5:55. New song titles include In The End, Heaven Can Wait and Master's Hand.

If you've never seen it, Happily Ever After is one of Charlotte's best films. There's a fantastic scene with Johnny Depp (in a wordless cameo) that you should watch...

June 4, 2009

Breakin' News: Whitney Houston Returns

One press release I am happy to post: Whitney Houston has finished her goddamned album! They said it couldn't be done and it's done. Out on September 1. She looks great.

June 3, 2009

Wikio Top 100 Music Blogs, June 2009

Music lovers, Wikio asked if I would launch June 2009's Top 100 Music Blogs, so here they are. I am #25 (down from my heady days - err, one month- at 12), but you'll see a number of blogs linked on my own blogroll, aside from many I subscribe to. The Yellow Stereo, for instance, helped me find the template for this blog several years ago. It is a real community.

If you are on the list, hear me now: Don't get too obsessed. What goes up must come down.
Like pop stars know, there's always a sexy new "competitor" clawing their way up [or "Fuckin'' for tracks" haha]. This new list officially launches on Friday the 5th...

1Nah Right
2Brooklyn Vegan
4The Fader Magazine
5The Smoking Section
6MTV Newsroom
7gorilla vs. bear
8Real Talk NY
9You Ain't No Picasso
10WFMU's Beware of the Blog
11Sound of the City
12Ill Doctrine
14Culture Bully
15Largehearted Boy
16Recording Industry vs The People
17Muzzle of Bees
1833 1/3
19Line Out
20Passion of the Weiss
25XO's Middle Eight
28The Hood Internet
30Chart Rigger
31LP Cover Lover
32Notes from a Different Kitchen
34captains dead
35Cocaine Blunts
36SOHH Blogs
37Lefsetz Letter
38Hip Hop Is Read
39tinyluckygenius aka the Unicorn's tear
40Hidden Track
41The KEXP Blog
43Arjan Writes
48No Trivia
49Poster Girl
51Kevin Nottingham: This Is Hip Hop
52Stereo Describes My Scenario
54No Rock And Roll Fun
55Sound Opinions
56The Yellow Stereo
58Darcy James Argue's Secret Society
60The Bluegrass Blog
61Knox Road
63Do the Math
68Glorious Noise
69Raven Sings the Blues
70Keep The Coffee Coming
71Said the Gramophone
74Poisonous Paragraphs
75Rock Insider
76Ryan's Smashing Life
77Attorney Street
78So Much Silence
80The Concert Blog
81Che Sing The Cool
82Merry Swankster
83Michaelangelo Matos
85Cable &Tweed
87By Neddie Jingo!
88Classic Drug References
89WNEW: Where Rock Lives
90The Daily Roxette
92QN5 Blog
94AudioPorn Central
95Thrasher's Wheat
97Olga Loves Yu?i
99Asita Recordings
100Bradley's Almanac

Ranking by Wikio.

If you are wondering how these rankings are compiled, here is what Wikio says...
The position of a blog in the Wikio ranking depends on the number and weight of the incoming links from other blogs. These links are dynamic, which means that they are backlinks or links found within articles.

Only links found in the RSS feed are included. Blogrolls are not taken into account, and the weight of any given link increases according to how recently it was published. We thus hope to provide a classification that is more representative of the current influence levels of the blogs therein.

Moreover, the weight of a link depends on the linking blog’s position in the Wikio ranking. With our algorithm, the weight of a link from a blog that is more highly ranked is greater than that of a link from a blog that is less well ranked.
I am not entirely sure what that means (!), but Wikio's goal is to rank the "most widely referenced blogs" so I interpret that to mean they need an algorithm that does not give too much weight to cases where a music blogger simply posts an MP3 as a way to draw hits. This isn't just about hits, it's about influence. Interestingly, on their big Top 200 List, Huffington Post is #1 and Perez Hilton, who many perceive to be the most popular blog, is #75. Apparently, some people do not care about celebrities. Who knew?

For those who missed my new Playlist post that just went up, click here.

June 2, 2009

Playlist: Don't take this moment from me.

A very random and very sultry picture of Nick Hoult

Some recommended songs I've been playing a lot (I mean that - this is not a PR moment!).

Little Boots
Not Now
Donatella sleeps in satin couture and Victoria throws away a single-worthy track. But at least the Americans get something those greedy Brits do not, which makes it all the better. This one makes me dream of Los Angeles, where it was surely created. It's worthy for the line: "And how I laughed when some old man / Said that you looked like Duran Duran" not to mention an arsenal of handclaps, ooohs, tinkly Madonna bells and driving bass. Exclusive to her US EP Illuminations, out June 9, via US iTunes

Update: Stereogum streams Not Now.

Black Eyed Peas Meet Me Halfway
I know, I know. I know. Every time I like a Fergie song, I feel a part of my soul being slurped down the dumper. But really, legendary children, this song is great. I love how she sings the line "I can't go any further than this" - it's so disco G-L-A-MOROUS. Timpani make me tear up, as do the big analog synths in the final minute. On iTunes, but hear it here.

Erik Hassle Make It In Time
I've been playing lush lipped Erik's debut constantly. His voice is so young on this one, but he creates the most effortlessly catchy and sweet music. How did he learn to do this? I particularly love how this tune, the album closer, saves its finest section for the last 60 seconds. This final
"might not make it in time" vamp is a piece of doo-woppy genius. Sweden rules.

Fibes, Oh Fibes! Love Child
I keep thinking of that line from David Hare's epic Plenty: "Ingmar Bergman is not a bloody Norwegian, he is a bloody Swede!"But that has nothing to do with this tune, which sounds like it was recorded at a chaotic party. It mainlines joy, simple as that. Video

Jack Peñate Body Down
Jack's new work has a very particular sound. It really breathes. There is a lot of reverb and group vocals - and Jack channeling Robert Smith of The Cure. Body Down is chanty and weird - nice backward vocals weaving in and out - but it's the kind of track that haunts you. The end is like an old Doors song, a description I have never used before. The album this is lifted from, Everything Is New (out 6/22), is a big surprise. It'll probably sell ten copies, but it is very, very good and a mercifully correct 10 tracks. He is touring the UK in late June...

Jimmy Somerville Hanging On The Telephone
A new cover from his Suddently Last Summer album, just out on iTunes worldwide. I have to admit I made a big play (for me) to talk to Jimmy for the magazine and it was not meant to be. Which bothers me b/c it should have been! Anyway, this is a melancholy ballad version of a very old Nerves song you may know more as done by Blondie. Jimmy's voice remains just as pure all these years on. iTunes US

Chaka Khan This Is My Night oldie of the week
You know this song is going to be great from all the sighing on the moody synth intro. It was recorded in 1983 and has that squizzy, beepy sound that Tracey Thorn lifted a few years back for her solo record. A funky soul sister to another fave of this era, The Pointer Sisters kick ass Dare Me. Easy to find...