Archive for November, 2007


Sensual Seduction Always Leads To Sexual Eruption, Doesn’t It?


The first single from Snoop Dogg’s upcoming LP, Ego Trippin’ (tentatively scheduled for a March 2008 release), recently leaked and it’s surely going to instigate some discussion.  The Dogg Father took to the lab with Pharrell in the summer and announced his desire to record album featuring only himself.  He apparently drew inspiration through an unsuspecting source – Amy Winehouse

Standard hip-hop albums typically feature a multitude of guest appearances.  Snoop Dogg’s attempt to work overtime on his new venture will add a new dimension to a career that has seen many critical peaks and valleys along the way.  Whether he’ll be able to pull this off remains to be seen.

“Sensual Seduction” is the name of the single.  The video is fresh out of 1977, and features Mr. Broadus wearing multiple musical hats.  He offers up his best Roger Troutman and R. Kellyimpression throughout most of the song while dancing around in various vintage disco suits holding a keytar.  The special effects are rugged for sure, but the song will melt the ice of a glacier in the dead of winter.

I can’t believe I just spent three paragraphs previewing this track?  I honestly don’t even know if this is a serious cut or something meant to be a joke.  Either way, it’s a little Friday morning fun for the whole family to enjoy.

You don’t love me, you just love my doggystyle…

Friday Bonus:  Snoop Dogg :: Sexual Eruption (explicit)



Amsterdam calling “Home”

One of my earliest MiS posts commented on my favorite band of many years, Amsterdam, and their fabulous eponymous debut, The Journey. Nearly three years later, the band has finished recording their second album, Arm in Arm, at Charlton Farm Studios in Somerset in the southwest of England. With new management, a new label, a new live album, a blogging frontman, and a new member in violinist Anna Jenkins, the band is primed for its most successful year to date. The first single, “Home,” from their new album is set for release on December 10th in the UK and the band has recently posted a video to YouTube.

I will save most additional musings for the LP’s release in January. I will say that longtime fans will obviously not be surprised by the Celtic influence of the new song, based on previous work of frontman Ian Prowse in Pele during the 90s and the new presence of Anna Jenkins. With live favorite “Class War in the Bedroom” getting its first studio release as the b-side (see my clip from the Red Lion, Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port last year), the single packs a little extra punch. Whether it can make my Top 10 is doubtful as a single, unless Jason wants to move beyond EPs…


Call Florence Apes & Androids

Apes & Androids

 NYC based Apes & Androids rose from the ashes of Call Florence Pow, one of the handful of bands to be signed to Spongebath Records (a Murfreesboro, TN indie label that was once home to Self, The Features, Fluid Ounces and Count Bass D).  Back then, childhood chums David Tobias and Brian Jacobs wrote and recorded the album, These Are the Plans, with the production assistance of Matt Mahaffey.  The LP was dropped in 2000. 

When Spongebath went under, the duo focused their efforts on building a reputation around a strong stage presence.  The boys added a couple of band members along the way, which inspired the name change to Apes & Androids.

 Under the new moniker, the band’s original sound has grown more complex and dynamic.  A new album in 2008 is expected, and they’ve offered up a song for download through their website. 

“Golden Prize” showcases a fantastic combination of cascading syths, sultry beats, Beck-like vocals, falsetto Queen-inspired harmonies, and an abundance of finger snaps, hand claps, and la la la’s.  If this song is representative of what’s to come in 2008, get ready to sweat through your shirt at your favorite local venue when they roll through town.

Apes & Androids :: Golden Prize


You Live on Fascination?


More Denmark goodness to share, I believe. Alphabeat looks to be another potentially great pop band that most likely speaks Danish, but drops their lyrics in English. Makes sense though, right? All I’ve heard is ‘Fascination’ by them and it seemed worthy of sharing, especially since the theme around here as of late has been pop, pop, pop. It begins like it could be ‘Footloose’, but then a dude and maybe a Pipette harmonize throughout most of the track. Is this what the B-52’s sound like? You may dig it….

Alphabeat — ‘Fascination’


“Songs Of the Heart, Sung From the Hip”


Juvelen, hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, has been working the self-promotion machine for the last few years.  That concept surely isn’t groundbreaking by any means as artists and bands continue to use the Internet as an easier avenue to get their music heard without having to deal with the terrestrial chains of A&R reps and radio. 

The songs he posted on his Myspace page last year garned the attention of a Swedish record label called Hybrid.  He signed with them and dropped a 5-song EP with them at the start of the year. 

“Watch Your Step” encompasses what this guy is all about.  Most definitely, his voice nearly matches that of Prince Rogers Nelson.  But obvious influences aside, his lyrical flow and beats also bring to mind such MiS contemporaries like Hot Chip, Junior Boys, and Justin Timberlake

If my description of him is weak (and I know it is), take it from the man himself:

“Straight from the motherfuckin dungeons of pop! Born in a Stockholm basement some two years ago, rising from the ruins of compromise and time wasted, Juvelen signalled the start of something funky fresh. Finally the record will be set straight. The good name of pop music will be restored, and sexy will once again be the shit. You can’t really mention Prince as an influence these days, can you? Let’s just say its about songs of the heart, sung from the hip. May I kick it?”

Kick it here:

Juvelen :: Watch Your Step


I Met This “Girl” On Crenshaw

Just a follow up to the post below…





There is something about a clip with Fatlip that is directed by Spike Jonze and includes E&J brandy and a trench coat that kills it every single time. I know you’ve already seen it, but why not fall in love with the clown all over again.


Better Bust Them Out!


Even though it’s not even December, I have a rough framework for my top 10 list as of today. And as I was contemplating with who fits where and who just didn’t have the goods, I realized that a lot of those records which aren’t top 10 material, have still created some very memorable tracks and at times, even epic. Unfortunately though, some of those non-top 10 records have just been forgotten about. For 2008, it would make sense to keep a spreadsheet of every album I do listen to, because a lot of records this year were sampled care of MP3s and then quickly discarded from the HD if it didn’t meet my extensive criteria. (What would a checklist look like?) Wouldn’t it be nice to actually know how many new albums you really did hear the whole year? This could be worksheet two under my “Shows 2008” file, which should probably just be renamed to “NERD.”

Oakland’s Rogue Wave (R.I.Y.L.-Nada Surf, The Shins, Death Cab,) put out Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, their third album and to some, maybe their most mundane record yet. To me, that’s harsh and unwarranted, but the average track is about 4:30. That is practically double of Out of the Shadow’s ‘Nourishment Nation’. I always thought Rogue Wave were best when their songs didn’t exceed three minutes. (My posts are probably best when they don’t surpass 30 words) The first track, ‘Harmonium’ opens up the album with nothing but optimism and is one of the better album openers of this year. Yes, it is also the longest track, but this time the length works to their advantage, while for other songs, it just seems like they go on for days. Harmonium has a buildup that just doesn’t stop with its swelling guitars, breakneck high-hat tempo, lush piano melody, and of course Zach’s smooth vocals. It’s at the five-minute mark where you realize why you fell for this band originally.

Rogue Wave — Harmonium

Even if they won’t make my list because of only having a great first half of an album, they will make some new fans by being in a Zune commercial. This is the new radio.


Hawley’s “Bridge” is Beautiful

Richard Hawley, former member of Britpop heroes Pulp, The Longpigs, and a well-established session musician (Robbie Williams, Gwen Stefani, All Saints, Scott Walker, Jarvis Cocker, and others), has produced one of the most beautiful and literate albums of 2007. He’s a connoisseur of 1950s American country and rock, including Lee Hazlewood and Jim Reeves, and his music speaks to just such another time and place. As MAGNET reflected on recently: American rock before the Beatles. His new album, “Lady’s Bridge,” named for the oldest bridge in his native Sheffield, England, has complicated my Top 10 for 2007. Feist has company and competition. Filled with timeless, heartfelt (unpretentious) rock-based ballads and upbeat, swooning tunes about his working-class upbringing and hometown. It’s a geographical adventure through memories and emotions that connect our histories with our futures. The album conjures up all of our quieter moments from the past, those moments of reflection walking a “Dark Road,”–when our “[only] companion is the stars.”

It’s a perfect album for the beginning of the holiday season, as we sometimes rather needlessly reflect on lost relationships and memories of friends and lovers of holidays past. While harkening to such times that continue to persist in our thoughts, such as the wonderful “Serious,” an apparent reference to Hawley losing his father during the recording of the album.  The album also looks toward the future with numbers such as “I’m Looking for Someone to Find Me,” a moving song about loneliness, balanced by a tempo and timbre that functions as a pick-me-up nonetheless.

“Tonight the Streets Are Ours” is one of the most memorable songs of 2007. With a melody as gorgeous as “Bittersweet Symphony,” I’m sure Richard Ashcroft has found himself an admirer. Its Neil Postman-esque treatment of television is as timeless as its melody, as Hawley croons, “Those people, they’ve got nothing in their souls/And they make our TV’s blind us/From our visions and goals.” See the video below, with all apologies to J Leman’s career ambitions.

As gorgeous as the music, is the liner jacket filled with pictures of Sheffield and a quote from Samuel Harrison’s account of the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864. A night that “Lady’s Bridge” was nearly lost, as waters rushed over. Much like it’s namesake bridge, Hawley’s “Lady’s Bridge” joins our tenuous reflections of the past, with our attempts to “never walk this road anymore.” Happy Thanksgiving and try to enjoy the inevitable bridges. As Hawley writes in the liner jacket:

“I have crossed Lady’s Bridge back and forth many times over the years, mainly to get to Kenny’s Records on one side (now long gone sadly) or to the Castle Market on the other, both places provided me with food of different sorts. We all have to cross bridges in our lives and we all have to leave things behind that are hard to let go sometimes, pause though before you cross and watch the ancient river flow, be at peace…for a while…then move on”

p.s. to our Chicago readership–see Richard Hawley at the Abbey Pub on December 6th. He’s a rock star, in the best sense.

Richard Hawley Tour Dates
12/01 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
12/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Café Live
12/04 – Cambridge, MA @ TT the Bear’s
12/05 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
12/06 – Chicago, IL @ The Abbey
12/07 – Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Bar
12/10 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Café
12/12 – San Francisco, CA @ Café du Nord
12/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour


Stand Behind the Velvet Rope……FUNK DAT!

Sadat speak nuthin’ but the truFF.

Upcoming Shows:


November 2007