Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Mavericks - Damned (If You Do)

The Mavericks are one of my favorite old timey sounding bands around today, bringing in music from all kinds of genres, but especially the Cuban rhythms of their native Miami. They are unabashedly fans of the jumping jive sound and they can really get you moving. Their song What You Do To Me from 2015’s Mono was one of my favorite singles from that year.

They have a new album out called Brand New Day and it is even better than Mono. While Easy as it Seems is a typical Cuban rhythm toe tapper, I am really in love with the slower, more sensuous burner Damned (If You Do). Check it out.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lydia Ainsworth - Wicked Game

This is, so far, my "Cover Of The Year". From Lydia Ainsworth's March 2017 release Darling of the Afterglow, here she is covering Chris Isaak's Wicked Game. Here it is slowed way down and made even more creepy. The rest of the album is pretty solid too.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Flashback - Flash and the Pan

One of the my favorite bands in late 70s and early 80s was the Australian duo known as Flash And The Pan. They had a unique sound and probably can be one of the early originators of my love for all things Australian, which culminated in a 3 week vacation Down Under. That’s me on the edge of a cliff in King’s Canyon (you may recognize it from the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert :

Anyway, their eponymous debut album from 1978 contained 3 gems.
Down Among The Dead Men

Hey St. Peter

And my favorite, Walking In The Rain

Monday, April 17, 2017

Goldfrapp - Systemagic

I have really been enjoying Goldfrapp’s seventh full length release, Silver Eye. It starts of with a bang with Anymore, but I think the highlight for me is the energetic Systemagic. Other standouts include Tigerman and Everything Is Never Enough. I have loved Alison Goldfrapp’s grooves ever since stumbling across this live performance on television and being mesmerized by a number of the songs from her Supernature album, especially Fly Me Away:

And here’s Systemagic :

Friday, April 14, 2017

Flashback Friday - 80s New Wave earworms

Got to thinking about some of my favorite 80s New Wave earworms and figured I throw some out there for you. Reply if you got more ideas!

Human League - Don't You Want Me

One of the best videos of the 80s, really:

The Vapors - Turning Japanese

The Motels - Suddenly Last Summer

Dead or Alive - Spin Me Right Round

Flock Of Seagulls - I Ran

Men Without Hats - Safety Dance

Soft Cell - Tainted Love
Actually prefer the reallllly long dance club version, but I won't inflict that one on you...

Missing Persons - Destination Unknown

Berlin - The Metro

Til Tuesday - Voices Carry

Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now

Modern English - I'll Melt With You

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Porcelain Raft - Big Sur

Not generally a huge Porcelain Raft fan but I love the etherealness of this song from their (or rather his - this is mostly Los Angeles-based, Italian-born bedroom pop auteur Mauro Remiddi) February 2017 release Microclimate. This song, Big Sur, has just enough punch to make it interesting, with the soft tenor of Remiddi’s voice carrying it to new heights not found (for me) on the rest of the album.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Bats - Antlers

The Bats. Their bassist Robert Scott brought together 4 other friends and they have been rocking together ever since. Their newest release, The Deep Set propels itself forward with a typical beat, keeping it entertaining, bass-y and jangly. Really liking it, not surprisingly!
Here’s Antlers :

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rhiannon Giddens - At The Purchaser's Option

Rhiannon Giddens, formerly leader of The Carolina Chocolate Drops, has a sophomore effort called Freedom Highway and it is a solid genre crosser, from blues to folk to some indie rock even. Her voice is remarkably strong and her original songs heartfelt and intense. At The Purchaser’s Option, the album’s opener is a downbeat, soulful song of a slave trying to come to grips with not having any control over her life. Beautiful and haunting, it is a killer song.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spoon - Hot Thoughts

An early contender for album of the year, right up there with the aforementioned The Courtneys: II is the latest from the Texas based indie rockers Spoon, Hot Thoughts. While their 2014 release They Want My Soul didn’t quite make my top albums list, it did have a number of great cuts, including this one called Do You that made my Top Singles of 2014 :

But Hot Thoughts really seems to knock it out of the park. It’s a great one for playing while on the road, as its intensity starts off high with the title track and rarely lets up after that. I also highly recommend any of the first 6 tracks, but especially First Caress and Do I Have To Talk You Into It.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Courtneys - Silver Velvet

There were some great songs on my Feb 2017 AllMusic Editors’ Choice playlist but easily my favorite were the 3 songs from The Courtneys’ second album, imaginatively titled II. And listening to the rest of the album meant is has been on continuous play for the past couple days. I just love their brand of melodic indie fuzz rock, which just keeps my feet tapping and my ears happy. Reminds me of my obsession with the similar sounding Chastity Belt, from 2015. Sadly, I just missed them when they came through Boston the other day. I think I would have definitely dropped everything to check them out live.
Anyway, here’s the opening cut from the album Silver Velvet:

But I highly recommend you check out the whole album:
As a bonus, here they are in 2015 for a KEXP show, 3 of the songs are from this album, while Nu Sundae is from their debut album: