Monday, August 31, 2009

Absence makes the heart lose weight, yeah

Paddy “Tevye” McAloon :: outstanding in his field

As a huge fan of ZZ Top Prefab Sprout and someone who likes to think they’ve got their pinky planted firmly on the pulse of today’s pop music, I was both ecstatic to learn that a new album is due out very shortly and annoyed that, according to, I have “been living under a rock all year” since I’m only hearing about it now. In my defense, no one really talks about Prefab Sprout anymore. Of course, there was a time when they ruled, or at least visited, the indie airwaves (a little known pop trivia fact: in 1993, I named my outdoor volleyball team the Prefab Sprouts. Opponents thought we were a bunch of new-age granolas. No one else cared.).

2001 was the last time PS put out a new collection of songs. Paddy did offer up a solo, largely instrumental “I Trawl The Megahertz” in 2003 (at the height of his vision troubles... and prior to his ear troubles) but this is largely unlistenable and bears little relation to the output of Prefab Sprout. This time around, the band once again comprises Paddy and brother Martin - two fourths of the original, hit-making lineup. Sadly, the harmonizing Wendy Smith appears to be shut out yet again.

“Let's Change the World With Music” is due for release on the 7th September 2009. Lead single can be heard, via youtube, here:
Listen :: Let there be music by Prefab Sprout

Sounds pretty decent!!! But when will musicians realize that it isn't 1984 anymore and that a "music video" does not need be a huge monetary investment. Sit in front of a camera and film yourself mouthing the words if need be, but give us something (and help yourself out at the same time)!

Here’s Prefab Sprout in their heyday, back when Paddy’s whiskers were in their controlled infancy and you could see his ears...

Video :: When love breaks down by Prefab Sprout

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The death of a disco dancer

The new music...

This acoustic version of Anna Ternheim's "What have I done" is, I believe, far superior to the album version. Bjorn (Anna's producer/ the "Bjorn" in Peter, Bjorn and John) and his lovely peeano skills are to thank for this. The album version has violins, yes... but check this bit of awesomeness out (if only one could still find the MP3 ANYWHERE!):

Really into Swedish trio Miike Snow lately. Here's the not-too-shabby-at-all vid for "Animal":

Here's some more disco-infused pop wonder from the ever timeless Music Go Music...

Music Go Music - Live on Face Time - Just Me from music go music on Vimeo.

The video for Strictly Game by Harlem Shakes is pretty clever - upon close inspection it's a play on all those unofficial youtube vids where someone merely uploads the tune and mixes together a slide show:

Video :: Born on a day the sun didn't rise by Black Moth Super Rainbow

Song :: What have I done by Anna Ternheim
Song :: Animal by Miike Snow
Song :: Strictly Game by Harlem Shakes
Song :: Born on a day the sun didn't rise by Black Moth Super Rainbow

Friday, August 21, 2009

The smell of today

Two must-have albums are set for official release next week ::

Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know by múm
Aim and Ignite by fun.

múm‘s Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know is a nice sideways departure for the long running Icelandic band. Still with their dancing bleeps and interesting instrumentation, múm now, apparently, has something to sing about. Fun, joyous, upbeat (and often silly) stuff... this is what happens when all the strange instruments in the world get together and party. It turns out we will not see "Sing along..." released this side of the pond next week. We get to wait until September... or buy it from here (gogoyoko - a fair trade music site).

I only first heard of The Format a year after their final album was released when they gave it away online for free. I find them decent enough - good tunes when you’re feeling like something a little more straight and narrow. They appear to have a huge following. People wept at their demise. However, this was the best thing that could have happened because co-Format leader Nate Reuss has gone on to form fun.... and they’re a blast. They have been working on this project for a while and it shows. Each fun. song must take forever to write since there is so much going on. Like Queen for the indie set. Soon to take the world by storm... fun.!

Song :: The smell of today is sweet like breast milk in the wind by múm

Song :: All the pretty girls by fun.

Neither band has been all that diligent about posting videos, other than live shows (fun.) and life on the road (múm). So here's a video for one of my favorite songs of the summer ::

Yes it's a commercial. She should really get some spandex for that bicycle.

Song :: Fabric of my life (full song version) by Zooey Deschanel

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You had a new dream, it was more like a nightmare

It took me a while to get into The Antlers... their album "Hospice" came out in March and has received nothing but high praise. Well deserved high praise. They are now re-issuing the album and have a cool video for "two" now out...

Video Premiere: The Antlers: "Two"

Shared via AddThis

Song :: Two by The Antlers

"Hospice" is not just a fancy, trendy title. The album is a concept one in theme - detailing one's stay in a hospice as a loved on dies. Uplifting? Perhaps not. Powerful? Yup.

You had a new dream, it was more like a nightmare.
You were just a little kid, and they cut your hair,
then they stuck you in machines, you came so close to dying.
They should have listened, they thought that you were lying.
Daddy was an asshole, he fucked you up,
built the gears in your head, now he greases them up.
And no one paid attention when you just stopped eating.
"Eighty-seven pounds!" and this all bears repeating.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You saved my life

...ooh, that was a nice sleep... The New Music ::

Burial by Miike Snow
A band from Sweden currently burning up the blogosphere. Did they really take a film crew and their jackalope to India to shoot this? A great video:

You saved my life by Cass McCombs
The dyi clip matches the pace of the tune as a slowed down McCombs passes many beer-pitcher swilling 20-somethings (including, I couldn't help but notice, mothers and mothers-to-be) in a Chi-town square.

Pon de floor by Major Lazer
An energetic dance floor number recorded in Jamaica and featuring the creative, explosive sounds of, yes, marching-band drummers. The video is a bit off-putting and Not-Suitable-For-Anything really. It contains repeated displays of a bizarre new-fangled Jamaican dance style known as “daggering” which, unfortunately, has to be seen to be believed. The fact it takes place in the Blues Clues house does little to make it a comfortable viewing.

Major Lazer "Pon De Floor" from Eric Wareheim on Vimeo.

In the NA by The Hidden Cameras
Their song titles may not be as convoluted and strange as Of Montreal but.... what the hell is a NA? New album "Origin:Orphan" to be released September 22, 2009.

Warm in the shadows by Music Go Music
There is a reason why pop songs average 3 and a half minutes in length - short attention spans of listeners. “Warm in the shadows”, by 70’s revivalists Music Go Music, pretty much defies this logic at nine plus minutes of goodness.

Song (link) :: Burial by Miike Snow
Song :: You saved my life by Cass McCombs
Song (link) :: Pon de floor by Major Lazer
Song :: Walk on by The Hidden Cameras
Song :: Warm in the shadows by Music Go Music