Friday, January 28, 2011

My favorite new Pop track for 2011: Adele-Rolling in the Deep

Adele has a new album coming out on Feb 22nd in the US. This is her follow up album to her debut album two years ago, 19. The first single is Rolling in the Deep. It has been on many blogs and websites. People are loving it and frankly, so am I. I picked up the first album and really loved 2-3 of the songs, but the rest was just kind of O-K for me. I had a chance to see her live as well and I must say, she put on a great show. She really appreciated the audience and interacted with people between many songs. She is really very funny.
Truth be told, I love the English soul singers. Whether its good ole' Dusty Springfield or the new crop with Adele, Duffy, etc(Not Amy Winehouse though, not a fan) I'm pretty much a sucker for them.
Here is the new Single from Adele. Hope you love!

Beth Ditto Does solo EP with Simian Mobile Disco

Beth Ditto, of the amazing band Gossip, recently completed and released a solo EP with dance faves Simian Mobile Disco. This is definitely something different for this garage band southern soul singer. Seems this union came out of her providing guest vocals on one track for SMD's last album. With this new EP, they have taken it even further. It is pure future disco house! It is really cool to see Beth in this context. This is dance music for the clubs and pre-parties at home. It is 4 solid tracks and if your a fan of Beth, it's worth buying. Right now it is only available on You can find the link on Gossip's official website It should be getting a wider release on vinyl and itunes in March.
Here is a sampling of the tracks.

Zola Jesus tours North America-New Music?

Zola Jesus is one of my favorite new voices in music. She came out with two EP's in the US in 2010 and has been called "one to watch" in 2011. She has recently made comments about writing new songs and new music for 2011. She has just released tour dates for a large North American tour. Maybe we will get a chance to hear some of this new music on the new tour?One can hope. This is her first headlining slot after supporting tours with The XX and Xiu Xiu last year. I will be catching her show here in Detroit on Monday April 18th at The Magic Stick(great venue!). This is one act that is worth staying up late for on a school night!
Here is the full list of dates:
Zola Jesus 2011 Tour Dates:
03/12 – Mexico City, MX @ Indie-O Festival
04/14 – St. Louis, MO @ Biliken Club *
04/15 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle *
04/18 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick *
04/19 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk *
04/20 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison *
04/21 – Montreal, QC @ Il Motore *
04/22 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music *
04/23 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
04/25 – Philedelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s ^
04/26 – Washington, DC @ Red Palace ^
04/27 – Grantham, PA @ Messiah College ^
04/29 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon ^
04/30 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry ^
05/03 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore ^
05/04 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Lounge ^
05/05 – Portland, OR @ Holocene ^
05/06 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw ^
05/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite ^

The Kills new album and tour dates

One of my very favorite bands, The Kills, have a new album and a new tour! I have see this band live 3 times and they never disappoint. Allison and Jamie are full of it on stage. They often play off one another by pushing each other around, pacing and generally ruling the stage and the audience. Meg White is a friend to them and is always in attendance at the Detroit shows. If you have not seen them...well take some advice and do!
There are little details on the new album except that it is a fuller sound and they have a track listing. The album is titled Blood Pressures and will release in the US on April 5th(worldwide the day before). I can honestly say, this is the first album of 2011 that I am in eager anticipation for and I'm positive I will love it. Here is the track listing:
01 Future Starts Slow
02 Satellite
03 Heart Is A Beating Drum
04 Nail In My Coffin
05 Wild Charms
06 DNA
07 Baby Says
08 Last Goodbye
09 Damned If She Do
10 You Don’t Own The Road
11 Pots and Pans
Here is the currently listed tour dates!

03-16-20 Austin, TX - SXSW
03-29 Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
03-30 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
03-31 London, England - Heaven
04-02 Milan, Italy - Tunnel
04-06 Paris, France - Le Bataclan
04-08 Berlin, Germany - Huxley's
04-15 San Diego, CA - House of Blues *
04-19 Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre ^
04-20 Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa ^
04-22 Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom ^
04-23 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade ^
04-24 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club ^
04-26 Boston, MA - Royale ^
04-27 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of the Living Arts ^
04-29 New York, NY - Terminal 5 ^
04-30 Montreal, Quebec - L'Olympia ^
05-01 Toronto, Ontario - Sound Academy ^
05-03 Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre ^
05-04 Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre ^
05-05 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue ^
05-08 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom ^
05-09 Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market ^
05-10 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom ^
05-11 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore ^

* with Foals
^ with Cold Cave, the Entrance Band

Rock and Roll Lingerie show-Beth Ditto, The Kills, Karen Elston

I came across this on Twentyfourbit's site. I'm not usually one for lingerie fashion shows but when it has live performances by Beth Ditto, The Kills, Karen Elston, Boy George, and Spankrock as a soundtrack, well, I'll totally watch that. Beth Ditto opens the show, The Kills are around the 5 minute mark and Karen Elston is near the end. It's worth watching the whole thing. Hope you enjoy...the music or the bra's. Whateves!

Best Coast covers Loretta Lynn

Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino recently covered Fist City by Loretta Lynn. I love Loretta, I love this song and I do love me some Best Coast. Good to know they can do old country music just as well as California summer jams!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Record Store Shopping: Karen Dalton and The Shangri-la's

I went shopping at my favorite record store today, UHF, located in downtown Royal oak, MI-a suburb of Detroit. I was not really sure what I was looking for or what I wanted. There have not been that many new releases lately that have inspired me, so I was hoping to to find something old that's new to me. Often I will also pick up records that I've heard about for a long time but have actually neglected to listen to or buy. Well, I sure found two gems today. Karen Dalton and The Shangri-la's.

Karen Dalton
Karen only has two albums, one released in 1969 and the other in 1971. I was wandering through UHF Records and the cover of her album In My Own Time struck me. It shows her on a country road in a long angle black and white shot. Very country but very mysterious. What really convinced me to buy it was my friend Tommy, the owner of UHF. The fact that I had already looked at it and that then 30 minutes later, he is talking me into buying it can only be musical fate. Let me tell you, she is amazing! The only other people that I can remember that effected me in the same way when I heard their voices for the first time are Antony Hegarty and Nina Simone. Karen has a very similar vocal style and sound. If you like either of these, she is an absolute must for your record collection. I plan on going back to the record store tomorrow to buy her other album. Both of her albums have been reissued by Light in the Attic records. Yep, that's how good she is, see a sample below

The Shangri-la's
The Shangri-la's are a girl group that gets referenced so much by critics and music writers that it really was long overdue for me to pick up an album. The Shangri-la's was lead by a blonde 16 year old from Queens, NY named Mary Weiss. She was backed by her own sister Betty Weiss, as well as a set of twin sisters, Marge and Mary Ann Ganser. I found a reissue of their first album, even though the record store did have a good copy of the original(the reissue was $18, the original was $80)Everyone knows the big hit from the middle 60's Leader of the Pack, but it is really the rest of the album that is so amazing. If you like current acts like Best Coast, then look to The Shangri-la's for the girls that started it. These girls are just plain cool!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My favorite tracks of 2010

Here are some of my favorite tracks of 2010. These are tracks that were either the stand out of an album I had higher hopes for, were off sound tracks or from artists that are new or don't have proper albums.

Gossip-Heavy Cross
*This is off the album, Music for Men. I really wanted this album to be better. It was not bad, but Rick Rubin really took all the grit and soul out of Beth Ditto. A Hard thing to do I would imagine. This track was my favorite off the album.

*Goldfrapp decided to do a tribute to the 80's in this synth pop dance record. It was a little too candy coated for me. But I did think this song was pretty damn good, much better than lead off track Rocket.

Erykah Badu-Window Seat
*This was a really good album. It was a slow groove, slight throwback to the Baduism days. It was funky, cool and fun. Just wish it had a little more pop appeal like the first single. Also, this video had a controversy all its own because of the nudity and the fact that it was filmed at the sight of the JFK assassination.

Zola Jesus-Sea Talk
*Zola Jesus has been named "one to watch in 2011" on nearly every list of that kind. In the US she released to critically acclaimed EP's and she toured with The XX. It is hard to believe that this talent is only 21.

Most overhyped band of 2010-Sleigh Bells!

Sleigh Bells debut album Treats, is just not for me. It sounds like straight up noise with SOME pattern to it. I know many people with disagree with me and they are on many, many top album of 2010 lists. Not on mine though. I could not even bear to listen to it. I don't care that they were signed to M.I.A's label.
Judge for your self though, hype? or Creative indie music? You decide for yourself. Here is what I think to be the "best" track to sample:

My Favorite Albums of 2010!

Ok, so I'm not going to rank these albums because I love them all for different reasons. These 5 albums are what I listened to the most this year. As usual, 4 of the 5 have a female vocalist and the one lone male voice fills out the top 5. If you don't have these albums, you need to check them out, cause I have pretty good music taste:)

Beach House-Teen Dream
*This album really was my first favorite album of 2010. I had heard of Beach House and even taken a listen to their previous two albums, but it was this third album that really grabbed a hold of me. The strength of the first single Norway was the beginning of a year long love affair with this album. Of my top five listed, this is the only band I actually had the opportunity to see live. They were fantastic. For such a mellow, dreamy band, Victoria Legrand can really rock out and has excellent stage presence. I can't imagine anyone not liking this album. It has forced me to look back and re-evaluate what I thought of their previous work. Something I am still working on.

Best Coast-Crazy for you
*The hype on this album was large to say the least. Reading reviews and comments from critics that had heard promo copies, I did not really expect to like it. The key terms of Lo-Fi, reference to 60's girl groups and the indie cred, all felt like it was going to be another Vivian Girls or Dum Dum Girls, both of which are not really my cup of tea. I was very pleasantly surprised. Bethany Cosentino did something different than those other bands, she found the fun! Yeah, its Lo-Fi. Yeah, it sounds like 60's wall of sound girl groups. And yeah, it was an indie record, but it is just pure California fun. This album was made for sunny road trips. This was by far the best "Summer" album this year.

Yeasayer-Odd Blood
*Odd Blood is the second album by this Brooklyn band. Their first album All Hour Cymbals got many critics attention because of some of the afro-beat, world music, psychadelic influences. With this second album, they still have all of that, BUT they made it more pop and more accessible. I think this was a big win on their part. This album was full of great tracks, Ambling Alp, Madder Rose, O.N.E, and Love Me Girl. This was another album that came out just as Summer was about to hit and it made you celebrate. I really regret not seeing this band this past year, especially since they released a live album by download from their website on Xmas. I really love lead singer Chris Keating's voice. His voice has the distinctive quality of Damon Albarn or Richard Ashcroft. There is just something about it that makes it stand out to me. I really hope to catch this band live next time they hit Detroit.

Warpaint-The Fool
*Warpaint released their first proper album The Fool late in the fall. They came to my attention because of their slot opening on tour for The XX this year. That being said, I missed that tour too(I really missed some good shows this year, ugh). Before this album came out I bought their previous EP/Album Exquisite Corpse. I really loved that album and I still might like it better than The Fool. The Fool is full of sounds and soft vocals, driving at times, barely audible at others. I guess that mix is what gives it a mysterious, bedroom whisper, hypnotic quality. I have a feeling this will be one of those records that continues to have layers and grow on the listener.

Janelle Monae-The Archandroid
*This is by far the most ambitious album of the year. Janelle Monae crosses all boundaries-soul, rock, classical, funk, you name it! This larger than life full length debut album takes you into a Sci-Fi world of bounty hunters, android body doubles and time travel, all in the name of love. Sounds crazy and it totally is, the strangest thing is that it works. The entire album is fascinating and compelling. My favorite tracks are Dance or Die, Faster, Tightrope, Neon Valley Street and Wondaland. It was hard to pick favorites. More than anyone on this list, this is going to be an artist that will become big, really big!