Saturday, July 31, 2010

25 years of Purple Rain!!!

Purple Rain turns 25 this year. It seems incredible that it is hitting such a milestone. So many people, including myself, still listen to this album. I remember dancing to this album in my basement when I was a kid, literally going crazy to Lets Go Crazy. I watched the movie over and over learning the hand gestures to I Would Die 4 You. To a 12 year old kid, Darling Nicki was maybe the dirtiest thing I had ever heard and I loved it. Above all of this though was the track When Doves Cry and the video that went with it. Perhaps Princes most Iconic song. This was a true album, every track chosen carefully for a extremely cohesive record. Wendy and Lisa were perhaps the coolest ladies ever, sounding dark and strange on Computer Blues. Around this time I became obsessed with the Prince knock offs as well. Sheila E, Vanity, Appolonia, all of them were so sexy and amazing. This is truly an album that everyone should own. I recently picked it up again on vinyl. It stands the test of time, is a classic and is still current 25 years later.

Aimee Mann does fall tour and I'm going

I, like many people, became a fan of Aimee Mann after her soundtrack for Magnolia. I was familiar with a few Til' Tuesday tracks from my youth in the 80's, but it was not until I fell in love with the grand film and the music in it, that I grew a love for her. I have picked up every album since then, The Forgotten Arm being my favorite. I hear that she is lovely in concert and I will finally get my chance to experience it on September 21st. Aimee will be playing The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI. The Ark is a VERY small venue, so I feel very lucky to be seeing her there for my first show with her. Here are the other dates so you can catch her too. Below is info directly from her own site.


JUNE 22, 2010

Aimee is hitting the road this September! She'll be cruising through the The Twin Cities, The Windy City, Steel City, Music City, Marble City, The Druid City, and the City by the Bay (with side trips to River City, Fat City, Sim City, as well as Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook, if time permits.)

September 13-15, 2010 The Dakota Minneapolis, MN (TIX TBA)
September 17, 2010 Prairie Center for the Arts Schaumburg, IL (TIX TBA)
September 18 - 19, 2010 Old Town School of Folk Music Chicago, IL (Pre-sale starts 7/23)
September 21, 2010 The Ark, MI (TIX ON SALE)
September 22, 2010 Hazlett Theater Pittsburgh, PA (TIX PRE-SALE)
September 24, 2010 The Orange Peel Asheville, NC (TIX TBA)
September 25, 2010 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA (TIX PRE-SALE)
September 26, 2010 Bijou Theatre Knoxville, TN (TIX TBA)
September 29, 2010 The Bama Theatre Tuscaloosa, AL (TIX PRE-SALE)
October 7 - 9, 2010 Yoshi's San Francisco, CA
October 10, 2010 The Uptown Theatre Napa, CA (TIX TBA)

All dates subject to change. Check local listings.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hearing some great things about Best Coast

If you are a music nerd like I am, chances are you have already heard of Best Coast. She has had Internet buzz for the past year as we all await her first album. she put out an EP to high critical claim and many people are awaiting the full LP. I myself have not gotten the EP yet and have only briefly listened to a couple tracks. It is the surf rock/60's girl groups/wall of sound music that has been so popular in the last couple of years. Bands such as Vivian girls, Ravonettes, Dum Dum Girls and Hot Lava have already been doing it for awhile. This seems to be a bit better though. We will see if she lives up to the hype and I will report later once I have had a chance to review the album fully. The album releases July 27th.

New Scissor Sisters album is the best yet for them!

The new Scissor Sister album Night Work lives up to all the praise is has received in most reviews. It is all dance, sex, sweat and fun! This an album for the the afterbars, basement dance parties and driving in your car at 3am. The first single off the album is Fire with Fire, which is perhaps the most radio friendly and mainstream. In comparison, it is the track that fits in the least, but is still enjoyable. One of my favorites is Any Which Way, which has Jake Shears doing his best falsetto Bee Gee's dance voice and a great Ana Matronic interlude in the middle sounding very much like Ann Magnuson. Sex and Violence was another great track for me. It reminds me slightly of the eighties sound of a darker Bronski Beat. Ana's contribution to the album is the track Skin this Cat. It is good and fun but does not quite live up to past work such as Tits on the Radio. The album's closer Invisible light is brilliant. It features Ian Mckellan in a spoken word performance. It gives the amazing feeling of the sun rising at the end of a dance party full of dirty deeds. This is by far the Sisters best work to date.

Here is the performance of Any Which Way

New Schoold of Seven Bells: Disconnect from Desire is pretty amazing

School of Seven Bells has finally released their sophomore album Disconnect From Desire, but it was well worth the wait. The album has all the familiar parts that made me love them with the first album but have built on the sound with darker electronic dance elements that gives them a new depth and a few surprises to the fans. The opener, Windstorm, will be a familiar sound to the fans. It is very much like their last album. The second track Heart is Strange is where the surprises begin. It has an amazing driving dance beat that is such a nice addition to the bands already different sound. The blippy, computery beats extend onto the third song Dust Devil. The album has other highlights such as Camarilla. If you liked the first album, you will LOVE the second. If you have not heard them, I think the second album is slightly more accessible because of the drum machines and dark beats. Take a listen, you will not be disappointed.

Here is a full preview of the album. Pay no attention to the release date listed. It is available now on Itunes and CD. LP is released in early August.

I hate to say it, but I bought the Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack

Yes, its true I bought the Soundtrack to the new teeny bopper vampire flick. This is following a year ago when one of my good friends gave me a burn copy of the New Moon Soundtrack. Say what you will, the books are trashy, the movies cheezy, but the soundtracks hold some good material. Thom Yorke contributed a song to the New Moon Soundtrack, which pretty allowed the rest of us to see the films as an ironic "guilty pleasure" and just enjoy the music. Well, the new soundtrack is no exception. But I will only really speak to two songs on the new Eclipse Soundtrack. Two of my musical obsessions gave tracks to this new soundtrack, Florence and the Machine as well as a duet between Bat for Lashes Natasha Kahn and Beck. I tried to just buy these two tracks off Itunes, but of coarse you had to buy the full album. I just ended up picking it up at Target on a whim. Both of these tracks are amazing, not your normal artist reject tracks that end up on soundtracks. The Natasha Kahn and Beck duet is haunting, beautiful and features a different side to Natasha's voice. She has received comparisons to Kate Bush previously, but this time it is well deserved. Her voice has a much higher mystic quality that lives up to the Kate comments about her. Beck is consistent as always on this track but offers no surprises. I hear that Natasha got along so well with him, he may pop up on her next album. Not sure how I feel about that. Florence's track on the album is equally as good. On this new track she drops the harps in favor of a more sparse industrial sound with heavy drums and beats. It is dark and wonderful. It suites her deep voice quite nicely. If you have a love for these two artists it is well worth picking up the album, even if you do need to hide it in the check out stand.

Here is the Bat for Lashes/Beck Duet "Lets get Lost"

The Mynabirds

The Mynabirds is the new band formed by Laura Burhenn. The album is entitled What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood and its on Saddle Creek records. It has a little country, a little gospel, a little Carole King and a dash of Dusty Springfield. Stand outs on the album are Numbers Don't Lie, Ways of Looking and the title track. Once in awhile on certain tracks you get hints of Fiona Apple due to Laura's deep voice and use of the piano, but to some people that might not be a bad thing. Overall it is a strong album that's great for a Sunday drive, rainy day or just relaxing at home.

Hole show review

Hole Show: July 11th 2010 at The Fillmore Detroit

When I went to see Hole in Detroit on July 11th I expected to see drama, a mess, maybe boring and possibly tedious, but instead I got a tight, confident rock performer who knew how to interact with her audience and have a good time. I was very surprised. I got to see the show that I wanted to see. I think for the first time in a long time I think that Courtney Love may actually be clean. She gave us a great show that lasted at least an hour and a half despite rumors of previous shows MAYBE lasting one hour. She opened with Pretty On The Inside from the first Hole album and then moved on to a pretty great cover of Sympathy for the Devil. Her third song was Skinny Little Bitch which is the first single of her new album Nobody's Daughter. Through out the show she played favorites such as Doll Parts, Miss World, Celebrity Skin and Malibu. My favorite song performed was Asking for It from Live Through This. Courtney was amused by all the panties and bras that were thrown on stage to her. Twice she held up two pairs of what she called "granny panties" but then went into comments on how she loved big girls, etc. She called all this fan love her "lingerie shopping across America", so apparently this happens a lot. It was a good show, solid but with a bit more drama it could have been a great show. Overall, I was happy to see that Courtney can still rock.

Janelle Monae pt 2: The video for Tightrope featuring Big Boi