Sunday, February 04, 2007

Menomena, "Air Raid"

This song would've gone nicely with the version of "99 Luftballoons" I posted a few weeks ago. Oh well--such is life. I hadn't heard of this song way back then. I actually just heard this song today. Today! And already it's in my Five Songs post! That's turnaround, folks. It's very air-raidy sounding at the beginning--very appropriate considering the title. It's very urgent and industrial sounding, then a lovely piano overrides the harshness of the music. The vocals are strong, but not harsh, balancing out the intensity of the music. The vocals actually sound like they could be in a Granddaddy song, or Elbow, while the music sounds like it could be in an Army recruitment ad. (From the album Friend and Foe)

Show your team spirit with Menomena! Their Website, Label Site and Myspace. You can stream the whole album from the E-Card on their website. Oh yeah, and every once in awhile I like to test my mini-epilepsy and just see how long I can...blink...what?

Darren Hanlon, "Happiness is a Chemical"

I will not use the phrase "catchy". I will not use the phrase "catchy"! I don't care how much my brain screams "catchy"...oh crap...I just thought it. There it is. It's out. "Catchy". This song is...brrr...catchy. It's cute. It's boppy. It says happiness is just a chemical, and that may be true, but you know it's a chemical we want. Forget my blood pressure pills; give me pills for that!

Inspiration can come from where you don't expect it. Darren Hanlon's pretty Website and Myspace. I really hate flash sites, though. I went back and looked at the non-flash version of his website. The song is from his recent album Fingertips and Mountaintops. Just reading his commentary on the tracks makes me want to buy the album.

Video, "Happiness is a Chemical" He does the robot and hugs his guitar! Knights in a chorus line!

Spokane, "The Absentee"

This is a change from some of the other frenetic songs I've been posting. This is extremely mellow and ambient. Almost so much that you have to really listen to pick up on the song. Turning the volume UP really helps, too. They remind me of Album Leaf and other such mood-creating, gauzy music. It's music that wants to blend in with itself.

Oops--this isn't a new song. It's from 2001. So I'm not as on top of it as I thought I was...what's funny is I'm familiar with the label. I've been to their site many times. I'm really surprised I didn't hear it before. "The Absentee" is from their album The Proud Graduate. They have a newer album out called Measurement (which isn't new either--it's 2003).

They're just broody like that. Spokane's Website and Myspace

Miho Hatori, "Ecydysis"

I heard she had a new album, so I had to check it out. I loved Cibo Matto in the nineties--Viva! La Woman was one of my favorite CDs for years. It's a funky record about food by two Japanese girls living in NYC. What wasn't to love? Unfortunately, their following albums didn't strike me as being as brilliant as Viva! La Woman, but I still enjoyed them and followed what the band was doing. The band broke up in the early 2000's, but the members remained active. Miho did work with Gorillaz and Yuka Honda released a few solo albums. I found out recently about Miho's new album (though it'd been released earlier in Japan), and I knew I wanted to hear it. She's lost a little of the funk from Cibo Matto and alot of her songs are a little too smooth jazzy for me. A little too Portishead (I loved Portishead but I hated all the knockoffs that came after them). Her voice has soared way too far into Bjork territory. Overall I didn't love what I heard, but I liked it. I absolutely love two songs: "Ecydysis" and "In Your Arms".

I didn't know which to post.

I agonized. I walked the city streets in contemplation. I phoned spiritual advisors (that's not cheap at $1.99 a minute). I contemplated the stars (not easy at 5 p.m.). I listened to my inner voice (which doesn't sound like Bjork). I found my inner child and I bribed her with candy for her opinion.

"Ecydysis" is the more Bjorky of the two, but I like the song despite the quirky vocal style. "In Your Arms" has neat percussion. It's pretty. They're both pretty. Which one? Which one? Oh Mighty Zeus please tell me. Oh wait--do I want Zeus picking out my music? Oh Mighty Aphrodite...give me your insight. Okay, Aphrodite said that "Ecydisis" has that neat keyboard intro with a knocking sound reminiscent of the chick ghost in Ju-On. Aphrodite also likes her voice in that one, plus the name sounds Greek, though it's apparently not. Okay, "Ecydysis" it is.

Miho's Website, Myspace and a fansite.

Russian Love, "The Last of The Famous International Playboys"

I've actually been listening to this for a few weeks now, but I hadn't posted it because I knew that many people don't share the love I have for the solo Morrissey. But, the love is there, and it is strong with me. I adore the Morrissey of the "Suedehead" era. If you don't, so be it. Russian Love does, and that's enough. This is an awesome song--it's from the point of view from someone who's obsessed with the Kray Brothers. I know who the Kray Brothers are because of an excellent movie from the early nineties made by Kemp brothers from Spandau Ballet (I will reserve the essay on how much I love the song "True"). The Kemp brothers make much more handsome Kray Brothers. I'm just observin'...

Anyways, this is a pretty faithful (though more electronic and widgety) version of the song, and a particularly good one (though nothing beats the British songsmith's version--Stephen Morrissey, do you know my name?)

This is literally the only picture I could find from them. This is the album cover for Gala Brutale. "The Last of the International Playboys" is one of the tracks on this album. (Hehhh!!!! I love what they put at the top of their website. This is not a porn site! Go somewhere else, thank you. I don't know..I looked Russian Love up cold on Google, and from the descriptions of the websites matching that phrase, the sites seemed kind of porn-like, or at the very least mail-order-bride-ish). They also have a Myspace.

Oh, yeah, and is it just me? Do the last ten seconds or so of this version sound like another lesser and older British singer's song?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No, it's not just you. I got that feeling, too. Isn't there a reference to good ole Rod's Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?