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Saturday, October 07, 2006


“Baby if you and me aren't trying, I can't see the point"

Another treat from down under for you today. I am drawn to this song mostly because it reminds me of some of the rockier stuff off Natalie Imbruglia's 90's debut, Left Of The Middle. Little Birdy's second album, Hollywood, has yet to be released and promises a dancier sound, but the pop of Come On Come On is a wonderful taster. Sure, their band name isn't something I'd really like to say out loud (me: "hey, you going to the Little Birdy show tonight?" you: "Um, what the hell is that?"), but the song more than makes up for it.

Little Birdy - Come On Come On

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Song #7

Cher - Dark Lady

Today's post is an old classic. Now, my favorite Cher songs were off her first few releases, and Dark Lady stands proudly among them. Who else but Cher could pull this off? Perfect for the holiday, too. (especially the candle lighting sound effects.... love them)

Friday, October 06, 2006


“Forever young, I wanna be forever young"

Australia's Youth Group had a hit over the summer with their cover of Alphaville's 80's classic Forever Young. Covering a song like this is pretty much a guaranteed hit, and the band don't stray too far from the original. Of course, the original is marvelous so it's not really a problem. More than anything, with the waning 80's revival of bands like this I think their choice of song is almost knowingly appropriate, especially given the extra heaps of melancholy they layer on the lyrics. This song reminds me of the late summer/early fall. It's just a bit depressing, isn't it? But in a totally good way.

Youth Group - Forever Young

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Song #6

Blondie (ft. Coolio) - No Exit

Beginning with a tooth-rattling organ, this rap/rock hybrid off the late nineties album of the same title is pretty lame (down to the scary/stupid lyrics), which makes it perfect for holiday listening.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Great Hosting Debate

So, as you may have noticed, I've started experimenting with different hosting services for the mp3s on this blog. Currently I've got EZArchive as my service, figuring that it's probably quicker for all you fine folk to use. The drawback is, given my limited budget, links to mp3s will probably need to be removed every two-three weeks to accomodate newer links using this service. So, my question to you all is... what do you prefer? I used zshare before and I know there are numerous other services online. Leave a comment and share your thoughts. I want to make #1 Hits as user-friendly as possible.

Edit: I've decided to try out this service called that I recently found. I find it to be really quick and easy to use. If anyone has any problems using it, let me know.


“You walk and walk proud, elbows out"

Back to Denmark again for a quickie. Veto are actually opening for the Killers in Copenhagen and, although they're a lot more minimalist than their headliners, they still know their way around a catchy hook. Plus, the vocals sound eerily like Brandon Flowers'. With a dull electric throb, You Are A Knife is a standout and only becomes more addictive after repeated listens.

Veto - You Are A Knife (right click - save as)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Song #5

Michael Hutchence - The Passenger (right click - save as)

Not specifically Halloween lyrics, but haunting nonetheless. This song simply explodes out of the gate with a ferocious baseline after a creepy build-up. One of my favorite sinister dance tracks of the season.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


“I'd like to stay but I can't because I've been foolin' around"

I'm loving all of these b-sides coming off of the Killers' new album. So far the quality has been as good (if not better) than most of the songs on the actual album. Daddy's Eyes is a dramatic stomper that gets more emotional as the song progresses, climaxing with a blistering guitar solo at the end. It's pretty dark stuff, actually.

The Killers - Daddy's Eyes (right click - save as)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Song #4

Dave Matthews Band - Halloween

This is one of my favorite Halloween songs and I don't even really like this band very much. It just captures the spirit so incredibly well. The autumnal/harvest-time instrumentation, Matthews' snarling vocals and the sinister lyrics lend the song a pretty creepy-weird vibe.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


“I'm standing tall in spite of it all"

One of the perks of living close to the Canadian border is that I get to listen to Canadian radio and watch Canadian TV if I'd like. Although the country's taste in music is pretty similar to America's, they do have their share of homegrown pop artists. Kalan Porter was the winner of the second season of Canadian Idol (the best season of any Idol program, I might add). His album incorporates radio rock and pop with some classical elements and, although he only has one album out so far, it's full of what sound like potential hits. In Spite Of It All was his second non-idol single and is a fantastic slice of catchy rock.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Song #3

The Similou - Haunted House

Something like a modern day Ghostbusters theme, this minimal dance track is built around a spooky synth riff and dark, filtered vocals. A far cry from their hit All This Love, but perfect for Halloween.
Scissor Sisters - Showbox, Seattle, WA 10/2/06

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing the Scissor Sisters for the third time in Seattle. My friends and I arrived early to find the line wrapping around the block of the venue. To put this in perspective, when I last saw the Sisters (at the same venue) two years ago there were maybe 30-40 people waiting to get in. Last night there were hundreds! (Perhaps due to the fact that Ta-Dah is about to go top 20 in America!)

Anyways, the atmosphere was fantastic, as always. The queens were out in full force and after the show was over the floor was covered in glitter. Strangely enough, I also spotted a family of four with their two young sons looking very uncomfortable standing in the corner of the dance floor. I figured they must have known the band or something? It was a bit of a hometown show, after all (Jake is from Friday Harbor and some of Ana's family lives in Seattle).

The opening band, Small Sins, was plucky enough but also very boring. Their synth-meets-rock sound was alright but unfortunately they just didn't have the songs to back it up. But, this post isn't about them anyway.

The Sisters were on fire. I've seen a lot of concerts and I can safely say that the Scissor Sisters are the best live act around right now, especially in a small venue where you can practically reach out and touch them. The setlist was pretty evenly split between old and new stuff, opening with She's My Man and closing with a Don't Feel Like Dancin'-Flithy/Gorgeous encore. The crowd was insane and everybody was dancing (that is until Jake stopped the show, asked us all to turn around to a group of stationary glum-looking folks and ask them in unison "who died?" - to which Ana replied "maybe their legs don't work?"). All in all, everything that I loved about the Sisters two years ago remained intact. The fantastic between-song monologues, the propulsive energy, the flashy costumes (which, in Jake's case, were fully removed by the end of the show) and the cult-like ambience you can only get when you fill a small room full of freaks and play epic music. Best songs? Music Is The Victim, Comfortably Numb, Filthy/Gorgeous, Don't Feel Like Dancin' and Everybody Wants The Same Thing, which was tailor made for a live performance.

Bonus mp3: Scissor Sisters - Dare (Live Gorillaz Cover)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Evanescence - The Open Door
Release Date: October 3, 2006
Label: Wind-Up

Modern rock, as always, is sorely missing more strong female lead singers. Amy Lee is a bit of an anomaly in the rock music scene not only because of the music that she performs, but also because, unlike others, she doesn’t rely on sex to do it. In fact, Evanescence is a thoroughly unsexy band. Vengeful, but not sexy.

This is not necessarily a good thing. Through much of The Open Door, Evanescence squander the potential of their gothic sound on drowsy radio-rock that tends to simply bleed into the walls and disappear. There are spurts of the album that show potential and even growth, but they tend to appear in small clusters between the less promising tracks. Songs like Snow White and Lacrymosa build upon the band’s gothic sound (employing a cinematic choir of tortured souls on the latter), while Sweet Sacrifice and All That I’m Living For indulge in their poppier moments. But, for every triumph there are two stinkers. Ballads like Lithium and Good Enough attempt to recreate the winning My Immortal formula but end up sounding hollow and forgettable. Rockers Weight Of The World and Your Star rattle by without any sense of purpose or character.

So, is a thirteen track album with only a handful of highlights worth it? It will undoubtedly suffice for many, as The Open Door’s sound doesn’t stray too far from Evanescence’s debut. But, it is a bit of a disappointment. There’s a lot of potential in this band and they seem to be getting closer to realizing it. Here’s hoping that once they’ve walked through this Open Door, they’ll make the album that they’re capable of. C

Key Tracks: Sweet Sacrifice, Lacrymosa, Snow White


“I'm packing up my bags, don't know what else to do"

Like fellow disco-revivalists (and all stars of this blog) Under The Influence Of Giants, 33hz shamelessly indulge in all of the uncool posturing and decadent musical vices of the late seventies. Like the Similou if they were fronted by Prince, 33hz's music is certainly addictive. This is my favorite of the songs that I've heard. It rides on an almost-Jackson-5 beat but the melody sounds like something Sweden's Fibes, Of Fibes would produce. It's addictive stuff.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here.)

Song #2

Sonique - I Put A Spell On You

There are literally hundreds of cover versions of this classic, but I pick Sonique's thumping interpretation for my Halloween parties simply because the Psycho-style strings at the beginning are perfectly suited for dancing.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's October, people... which means it's officially the month of Halloween, one of the best days of the year. I'm huge on Halloween and especially the music that goes along with it. So, in honor of all of that, #1 Hits is going to be home to a Halloween themed track every day of the month (in addition to regular posts). Of course we all know and love the Thrillers, Monster Mashes, Time Warps, etc. I'm going to try to post some more obscure stuff. Some will be scary, some funny, others strange. Some will deal directly with the holiday, others will have less obvious connections. All will be awesome treats for your candy baskets (or pillowcases, or pockets....whatever).

And, to get things going (since, yes... to me Halloween is all month long): my homemade costume from last year at a Rocky Horror midnight showing. I won the pre-show contest, and seriously how could I not??

Song #1

Tim Curry - Anything Can Happen On Halloween

Definitely one of my favorite Halloween songs of all time and so freaking funny. He's in his Frankenfurter persona on this one and the spoken intro is priceless. Best of all, though, is when the tinny background beat comes in (one of the lousiest beats I've ever heard). Some brilliantly stupid lines in this one: "Your dentist may turn into a Queen," "Has anybody seen my tamborine?" It's low quality, but it is a tradition in my house.