Archive for February, 2008


still lust this….

Neon Neon (Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals fame) unveil their debut video, ‘I Lust You’. I still stand by what I said over a month ago: this album could have the goods to be a best of album by the end of the year. Smooth…..


Scouse pop act The Wombats extend the debate

Brits are not quite sure what to make of its latest animal act, Liverpool’s The Wombats.  Featured on last week’s NME cover, the band has elicited its equal share of disdain and love.  Ever since The Arctic Monkeys’ hit “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor,” there seems to be an increasing focus on, as the NME cover calls it, the “indie dancefloor.”  This is music to move to, just as Little Man Tate brought us the unforgettable singles “Sexy in Latin” and “House Party at Boothy’s.”

The Wombats are quirkier and probably even more interested in simple, hook-laden pop that stays clear of sounding at all manufactured.   How many bands would begin their debut album, The Wombats Proudly Present… A Guide To Love, Loss and Desperation, with an a cappella song called “Tales of Girls, Boys & Marsupials?”  The song sets the stage for an album’s worth of material about romantic tiffs with titles such as “Kill the Director,” (check the linked video) “Backfire at the Disco,” “Patricia the Stripper,” “Little Miss Pipedream,” and “Dr. Suzanne Mattox, PhD.”  The last song, an ode to a general practitioner believed to have interest beyond the examining room, includes the repeating chorus, “Help me Suzanne, help help me Suzanne!”  Let me be clear.  These are ridiculously catchy songs, and much like The Kooks, the band is able to not take themselves seriously in the least without crossing that fine line into cloying or annoying.

It’s hard to just pick one song of this album to post, but I think “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” is appropriate given my musings.  The band’s album was released last fall in the UK, but I’m not certain when a release will be slated for the States.  No doubt, when it is, we’ll hopefully be blessed with a full tour (aside from limited dates ahead for SXSW in Austin and NYC).  By that time though, there might be little room on this indie dancefloor.

The Wombats, “Lets Dance to Joy Division”

LIMITED TIME BONUS: A cappella “Tales of Girls, Boy & Marsupials” for Jason.

Hear more songs at Myspace


I Spy(ies) More Canadian Goodness


According to the band’s website, Toronto’s The I Spies:

…will lead the next wave of Canadian indie rock to new heights! Due for nation-wide release on March 11th, The I Spies’ full length debut, “In The Night”, is currently creating a buzz as a small-run release in independent record shops across Toronto. “To the City” and “In The Night”, The I Spies’ first double single is currently making waves on college charts across the country and on the internet. Canada is taking notice.

Their collaboration breeds an imposing sound. Robertson’s gritty guitar hooks scuzz up Kay’s strong pop rants, while Payne’s infectious bass melodies race alongside Saks’ machinegun-percussion. The music is urgent, tastefully abrasive, and unabashedly hook-laden. “In The Night” frames themes of urban claustrophobia and retro-futuristic disappointment with a grande-scale tone of cinematic escapism. This is indie rock at its absolute finest!

Who am I to disagree?  No one, so I won’t.  After listening today, I’m buying it hook, line, and sinker.  This album will be a indie hit.  Catchy, catchy pop goodness; post-punk guitar pop, reminiscent of early 80s British rock.  Call them the Canadian Interpol if you must, or the Canadian Franz Ferdinand if that further helps.  As someone who hasn’t gotten into either of those bands much though, there’s something I find more genuine in the crunchy guitar and hook-laden craftsmanship of what I’ve heard from “In the Night”, the debut from The I Spies (five songs are streaming at the band’s website, specifically here).  There’s an additional song at Myspace, although the sound quality isn’t as good.

Listen, and remember, you heard it first here.  Out March 11th in Canada.  Also, watch this space for a review of another new Canadian band, Modernboys Moderngirls, released yesterday February 23rd.


Those Drugs….


Go downtown with the drugs in my body…

While attempting to situate my totally unorganized collection of digital files, I stumbled upon this track from Paris, France’s Thieves Like Us. (none of them actually stem from France though) They are relatively new to the Daft Punk meets New Order game and have only generated a few studio tracks so far. Local fashion label meets electronic music label Kitsune, quickly took interest in this trio, and over the course of the past few years, they’ve dug many acts I frequently come back to. I hear nothing but potential in their first single, ‘Drugs in My Body’. Repetitive robotic beats, an energetic bounce and the overall vibe that would have fit perfectly in ‘96’s Trainspotting or ‘99’s Go.

Thieves Like Us :: ‘Drugs in My Body’

Their video has that total youth exuberance feel to it that totally reminded me of the two above flicks. I’m thinking this was shot in Germany, maybe?


Because We Can’t Get Enough…


Just to show their true versatility, Hot Chip took their lead club ready single, ‘Ready For the Floor’ and smoothed it out on the R&B tip. These soulful fellows joined AOL’s The Interface for a mini-set. Check the video below for a taste and then jump over here for a few more laid back jams.

 Hot Chip :: ‘Ready For the Floor’ (on the laid back tip)

Vodpod videos no longer available. video source posted with vodpod


I Walk the Streets, a Loaded 4-String On My Back. . .

Dent May Rocks the Ukulele!

Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele.  The name speaks for itself, but here are a few additional tidbits.  Mr. May is from Oxford, Mississippi.  He put together a 6-song EP last year called A Brush With Velvet which is available for free download on his site. The songs within the set are short, little pop songs based around the ukulele — obviously.  His style is slightly reminiscent of a crooner from the 1950’s with blends of doo-wop tied to amusing lyrics about young thrills and innocent diversions.  Glorious, light-hearted pop!  Does it get much better?

Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele :: When You Were Mine

You may also wish to check out the video for “Oh, Paris.”  It’s a new song expected to be featured on his LP due later this year.  It’s also quite brilliant.


Urgent Future Funk

Leon Jean-Marie

Producer-turned-artist is a familiar story in the music world.  It’s been happening for years.  People start laying down tracks for other folks only to find themselves yearning to take the helm of an entire song or album from start to finish. 

Leon Jean-Marie, a 25 year-old from East London has followed a similar path.  After producing and remixing for a host of prominent names (Beck & Mark Ronson to name a couple), Leon hit the studio and recorded a few songs by himself.   The finished product has been labeled as ‘urgent future funk.’ 

In March 2007, he dropped a 7″ single featuring a song called “Scratch.”  The rumbling bass line is tough to refuse, as a quick snare-loop snickers to create a crazy funky vibe.  His voice and cadence are smooth, which blends so well with the atmosphere created in the intro. 

The perfect song to keep you company on an evening walk to your local pub for a pint, perhaps forecasting a silent flirtatious encounter with someone at the other end of the room.

Leon Jean-Marie :: Scratch

Upcoming Shows:


February 2008
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