Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Nordic Invasion Continues

Listen to Stockholm's pop sensation, "The Concretes," by clicking on the link for their flash player on this page. Their bio claims that their lead singer, Victoria Bergsman, sounds like Diana Ross or Hope Sandoval (who sound sooo much alike. Right.). I think she sounds a lot like Isobel Monteiro of Drugstore.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

A Helluva Drug

4 words say it all: "I'm Rick James, bitch." At least he shows his reverence by accepting the lifetime achievement award in the name of hip-hop, and stating that "people consider us writers now. That's crazy, right? It's a beautiful thing." Thank you, Rick, for the profound lyrics in "Give it to Me, Baby." And let us not forget "Super Freak," which spawned Hammer's equally immortal "You Can't Touch This." Those pants still haunt me.

Monday, June 28, 2004


Did you know about, the legal Russian website that charges only $.01 per MB? Well, now you do. I watched a segment on it a few weeks ago on G4TechTV.

Prodigal download

The Prodigy is offering a limited-edition download of "Memphis Bells," a track from the forthcoming "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned" album. Available at 1800 GMT (2:00 pm EST). Via

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Alluring Brazilian Voices

With all the well-deserved fuss about the irresistable Bebel Gilberto and her self-titled release, you might overlook the 2004 album, Dreamers, by the seductive Brazilian-born, New York-based Eliane Elias.

Both albums contain tracks sung in English and Spanish. Am I alone in thinking that Brazilian jazz and bossa nova, when sung in English, are less sexy? Could you imagine them sung in German?

Is commentary and criticism necessary?

Poetry critic Helen Vendler says:
If the arts are so satisfactory an embodiment of human experience, why do we need studies commenting on them? Why not merely take our young people to museums, to concerts, to libraries? There is certainly no substitute for hearing Mozart, reading Dickinson, or looking at the boxes of Joseph Cornell. Why should we support a brokering of the arts; why not rely on their direct impact?

from the lecture The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar.

Link provided by Arts & Literature Daily.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

1 + 1 =?

Badly Drawn Boy fans know the answer is one. Listen to clips and read the lyrics from the upcoming album, one plus one is one. You can hear the full version mp3 of Year of the Rat.

See Radio 4 with Ted Leo & the Pharmacists at these choice spots:

July 21 - Farmingdale, NY - Downtown
July 22 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
July 23 - Wilkes-Barre, PA - Cafe Metropolis

Check out Radio 4's video for "Party Crashers" here.

Atonality: I just don't get it.

Hot off the press: scientists reveal differences between tonal and atonal compositions in Nature. Also, from 2001, how the deaf use vibrations to "Feel the music". Enough science for now. My left brain is getting sore.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Lyric of the Day - Morrissey

From "Rubber Ring" -

But don't forget the songs
That made you cry
And the songs that saved your life
Yes, you're older now
And you're a clever swine
But they were the only ones who
Ever stood by you

Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?

The trailer for Donnie Darko - Director's Cut.

According to director Richard Kelly, from an interview at Empire Online, "There are gonna be some pop music surprises [in the soundtrack]." If you don't want to wait for the Director's Cut soundtrack, scroll down on darkness to find a suggested custom soundtrack for the original DD release. It combines the score with songs and clips from the movie.

Songs as Velveteen Rabbits

In the June issue of The Believer, Gina Gionfriddo, in an article on an Elliott Smith vigil, comments on how we outgrow the songs "that saved us," and leave those once-precious songs behind. "Perhaps we reject the music that scored our youth because it reminds us of a time and a state of mind that embarrasses us, a time when we really did feel, like Morrissey, that unhappiness--rejection in love, a friend's betrayal--could literally kill us."

She tells us that we have a responsibility to those songs: "Hold sacred your dark-hour songs and your dark-hour friends, even if you can no longer stomach hanging out with them."

If you see this issue on the newsstands, pick it up. The "free" sampler CD is fantastic, with music from The Walkmen, The Mountain Goats, The Buried Beds, TV On the Radio, Iron & Wine, and others.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Return of College Rock

An article in PopMatters asks if the resurgence of 80's and 90's college and art rock bands (Pixies, Mission of Burma, Morrissey) is good for music. I ask: Were the resurgences of Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn good for music? When I throw Murmur or Surfer Rosa or Daydream Nation into the CD player, I hear music as edgy and fresh as anything on the radio today. Let's give them their airplay, and throw in a good dose of Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand, and the Strokes, and a sprinkling of the true underground to whet our appetites for more. Good music begets good music, and crap begets crap.

Lyric of the day - Merritt: harmonic ampersand poetic

Who else but Stephin Merrit could use "ampersand," twice in the same line, and make it sound charming?

"I Don't Believe You" from the Magnetic Fields album "i".