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Friday, April 20, 2012

Flashback Friday: Pia Zadora & Jermaine Jackson - When The Rain Begins To Fall

"You know that we can have it all"

In addition to being a music nut, I'm a massive fan of cheesy, obscure 80's musicals. The granddaddy of all of them is definitely The Apple, and if you haven't experienced that movie yet, make it your homework to watch it this weekend. I can't think of a more entertaining mess. Along the same lines is the mid-80's "comedy" Voyage of the Rock Aliens. The movie is pure insanity, barely holding together from one deliriously weird musical number to the next. It was a vehicle for actress/singer Pia Zadora and the artist line-up of Curb Records. It failed commercially, of course, and was never even given a release in the US. But it is pure, campy gold. When the Rain Begins to Fall, a duet (for some reason) with Jermaine Jackson, was actually a hit in Europe. I can see why. It's deceptively simple, but the melody sticks with you even if you don't want it to. The song opens the movie in a vignette/music video between Zadora and Jackson that has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the plot -- only one of the many reasons I love this weird movie. Check out the clip here. It's more than a little Lady Gaga-esque, right?

When the rain begins to fall by Jermaine Jackson & Pia Zadora on Grooveshark

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Import the movie here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.)

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Aiden Grimshaw - Is This Love

"It's just not enough for me"

UK X-factor 2010 is the gift that just keeps on giving. I already knew it was the best/most entertaining season, but it's also turning into the season with the most interesting music releases after it's over. Aiden Grimshaw was a shock early-ish elimination, despite being a perceived frontrunner. He didn't really fit the reality show mold. There was something off-kilter and indie about him, so it's no surprise that his debut single is... off kilter and indie. That said, it's still a lot different than what I expected. Grimshaw goes for a dark drum and bass sound, while still retaining a strong sense of surging melody. It really doesn't sound a lot like him, and makes me wonder if the rest of the album (out this Summer) will follow suit. For now, this has definitely caught my attention. Will it do the same with mainstream audiences? I'm not sure, but maybe. And perhaps that's not even what he's going for.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Like him on facebook here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Wanted - Chasing The Sun

"We're gonna play in the dark until it's golden again"

I couldn't be happier that the Wanted and One Direction have become the new breed of "boyband" in the States. Screw the cheesy connotations that come to mind with the whole "boyband" label. I honestly don't care about that stuff. What's important to me is that there seems to finally be a resurgence of quality radio pop music. The Wanted have released two excellent albums in the UK (which I've covered here on this blog) and are set to release their first US release next week. It's a combination of some of the tracks from each UK album and a couple new ones. Chasing The Sun is one of the new ones, and the next single. It's basically Glad You Came part II, but I think I actually like it better. The "oh oh oh" chorus hook is deceptively simple, yet incredibly effective. I'm pretty addicted already. Now if they'll just give All Time Low a second chance as their next single. I really think 1D's What Makes You Beautiful is 2012's Bye Bye Bye and All Time Low could be this year's I Want It That Way. Worth noting: a low quality youtube rip doesn't do this single justice, so make sure to check it out on itunes!

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Preorder the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stereo Explosion - Shake Shake (Disko)

"I said it once and I'm gonna say it again"

Now that the Ark has split up, it's time for the spin-off projects. The first is Stereo Explosion, which actually existed in a slightly different form before the Ark. The group consists of 4/6's of the Ark (missing Sylvester the drummer and, of course, Ola). That said, the sound is a little different than the Ark. It's more straight-up 70's rock without the theatrical elements that we all loved so much about the Ark. Shake Shake is a song that was released years and years ago, but it's back now in a spiffed up version. I actually posted about the original right when this blog started six years ago. Of the new three tracks they've released this week, this old one is definitely the best. Unfortunately, its dance/disco-oriented sound seems to be a red herring. It's completely different to the others. But I'm hoping that this catches on so that they're steered more towards this specific genre.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Like their facebook page here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Maniac - Give It Up

"It's written in the cards"

I went to the Foxy Shazam show in Seattle this weekend and (of course) they were brilliant. Since I'd seen them before, I was really interested in watching the opening acts they'd selected. My favorite was Maniac, an indie-pop duo from California. They've got an incredibly quirky sound--a mix of almost every time period and genre you could imagine. As someone who studies pop music, I really appreciated this. I also appreciated the way that each band was dressed up as their own "character." They were certainly a colorful bunch! Give It Up is a great example of their gift for catchy hooks. It's on the dancier side of their material, and actually reminds me a bit of Denmark's now-defunct pop band Superheroes. They're definitely one to watch!

No embeddable link (lame), so you'll have to click here.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy the album here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.