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Saturday, November 18, 2006


“I like to eat at McDonalds, they're a restaurant, not a cafe”

Australia's Glovebox is comprised of singers Mishka and Grainger. The duo creates electronic pop with heavy 80's and 90's influences. In The End sounds almost like something that could have been a hit in the late nineties, like Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen, but with a pop melody and a bit more singing. There's a great playfulness between Mishka's (the name is Hungarian/Cyprian) raspy voice and Grainger's deadpan phrasing and bright production. The duo released their debut back in 2005 and it seems to have gone somewhat unnoticed (at least in the U.S.).

Listen & Download: Glovebox - In The End

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

Disco "Song" #6

Listen & Download: Eruption - One Way Ticket
Download: Eruption - One Way Ticket

Any song that starts out "Choo choo train, chuggin' down the track" (or is that chuckin'?) is completely okay with me. Alright, scratch that, this song actually opens with the typical histrionic disco diva build-up, before chuggin' along to the actual song. Once you get over all of the clichés (which pretty much make up the entire song), the melody's actually pretty catchy. I just love the fact that she's "gonna take a trip to Lonesome Town" and "stay in Heartbreak Hotel." Really, how depressing is that? Imagine the poor souls that have to live in that town and work at that hotel!

Friday, November 17, 2006


“You make me feel lost”

After raving about the album yesterday, I felt the need to post a track from Tahiti 80's most recent release, Fosbury. Chinatown is actually one of the U.S. only tracks on the album, and one of the best pop songs the band's ever written. Opening with a ridiculously catchy riff that reminds me of The Mo's Bring Me A Spotlight (yes, I will mention The Mo whenever possible), the song never lets up. The best thing about the track, though, is it's one of those pop songs that never gets old. There's nothing particularly in-your-face about Chinatown, which allows it to have a very long life. And, as I said yesterday, the rest of the album's just as good.

Listen & Download: Tahiti 80 - Chinatown
Download: Tahiti 80 - Chinatown

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

Disco "Song" #5

Listen & Download: Arabesque - Fly High Little Butterfly
Download: Arabesque - Fly High Little Butterfly

I'm seeing shades of the Pussycat Dolls in that picture, though far more bizarre. Come to think of it, though, 25 years from now people will probably make the same comments about the PCD cover. Anyways, the elements to this song that completely puts it over the edge (minus that horribly lame title) are the guitar and saxophone that open the song and follow the chorus. They may not sound like much on the track itself, but if you've seen the music video, the dance moves will be forever etched into your brain. I won't even mention the outfits (well, I will... they look like flowers whose stems are emphasizing all the wrong places). Basically, it's 3:15 minutes in the wind tunnel of hell. I absolutely love it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tahiti 80 - Fosbury
Release Date: November 14, 2006
Label: Militia Group

After being released in over twenty countries worldwide, Tahiti 80’s third album Fosbury finally arrives in U.S. shops, complete with two exclusive tracks and a bonus e.p. As it turns out, the States were definitely missing something. Fosbury is the throwback, feel-good funk pop record that Justin Timberlake’s recent snore-fest wanted so badly to be.

Fosbury’s highlights are many, and they are varied. What begins as a simple, spare funk record (see the uber-catchy Changes and guitar assisted grit of Here Comes…) soon reveals itself as a finely tuned mixture of genres. The one constant is an indelible sense of classic pop melody. One of the new tracks, Chinatown, has the kind of mid-eighties swagger that modern pop’s been missing, while Your Love Shines (a duet with Linda Lewis) is downright experimental. Best of all is Matter Of Time, which sounds like a lost Motown classic. Singer Xavier Boyer’s voice is reminiscent of Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay, yet with more warmth. His personable falsetto carries the record, even in its less successful portions (which, admittedly, are very few).

Tahiti 80 turned to some of the same producers that worked with Outkast and N.E.R.D. for Fosbury, and you can hear it in the music. But, instead of giving in to their producers, the band has expertly melded their pop band with a hip-hop style. The result is a broad-reaching record that sounds incredibly fresh. As the lead single Changes simply states: “Changes are happening, it’s too late to turn back.” Amen to that. A-

Key Tracks: Matter Of Time, Changes, Your Love Shines

“Touch me lovely, be part of me”

Narcotourist is a new trio from California that blends elements of dance and pop music to fantastic effect. Touch Me is dominated by singer Cari Golden's voice, which at times is reminiscent of Garbage's Shirley Manson. The song starts off like any typical house track, but soon launches into an absolute tidal wave of a chorus that becomes more and more anthematic as the song progresses. I think it's the guitars more than anything, which add a welcome rock edge to the song. The band's debut isn't out until early next year, but based on the quality of this song, they're a name to remember.

Listen & Download: Narcotourist - Touch Me
Download: Narcotourist - Touch Me

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! No album until 2007, but download more here)

Disco "Song" #4

Listen & Download: Amanda Lear - Follow Me
Download: Amanda Lear - Follow Me

Today's track is more about the singer than the song. Sure, Follow Me is a lusty, softly trashy slice of disco, but what I really love is that in this era even a singer like Amanda Lear was allowed to have a go at the genre. Lear's voice is a bizarre, throaty growl, which pretty much amounts to nothing but a constant low moan. She was the subject of an "is she or isn't she a transexual" argument during her time (hint: google her image and the question will be solved... one way or another). Follow Me will undoubtedly not be everyone's taste, but it remains one of the oddest pop songs recorded.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November Promo CD Sleeve #1

It's the middle of the month, so it's time to compile your next #1 Hits promo cd. I proudly say that I think this is the best one yet! I hope you've enjoyed the November music so far. Click on the sleeve to download.
Track of the Week

Even taking into account a bit of a hanging chad situation, nothing could stop Ella Rouge's Eldorado High from being last week's reader's pick. Most importantly, though, two more people voted than last time. Let's keep this trend going! Also, I must ask.... poor Lash got no votes at all! What's up with that?? Even the cool pose wasn't enough??

Track Of The Week: (Nov. 5th - Nov. 11th)
Free polls from


“Under a scattered sky, between a fate and free will”

I very nearly wasn't able to post today, as my particular region of the Pacific Northwest is being absolutely attacked by storms. We just got power back... exciting, yeah?? Not really. Anyways, one of my rare slower songs is going to be the feature of today's post. Chemical Girl was a minor hit in Sweden earlier this year. Like Snow Patrol's recent hit Chasing Cars, it's one of those dark, simple sounding songs that just grows and grows as it gains steam. The Fine Arts Showcase is Gustaf Kjellvander, born in Sweden but raised in Seattle. The song itself doesn't sound particularly Swedish, but it is lovely nonetheless.

Listen & Download: The Fine Arts Showcase - Chemical Girl
Download: The Fine Arts Showcase - Chemical Girl

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

Disco "Song" #3

Listen & Download: Secret Service - Family Delight
Download: Secret Service - Family Delight

Please tell me this song is not about incest. Please. Secret Service is one of my favorite (relatively) unknown 70s-80s groups and have made some of the best dance/disco/pop records of their time, but I cannot get past this song. From the creepy title to all the business about kissing and birthdays and "little sister, my, my you have grown." I don't know, maybe my mind has just been warped far too much, but I've always felt a bit uncomfortable dancing to this song. And when the "at night" part sneaks up at the end of the chorus, it is downright perverse!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Hourly Radio - History Will Never Hold Me
Release Date: September 5, 2006
Label: Kirtland Records

Aaron Closson, lead vocalist for pop/rock band The Hourly Radio, at times recalls an early Darren Hayes or Greg Gilbert of the Delays. Possessing a voice that can easily waver between the androgynous angelic to the gritty indie showman, his presence is the most immediate component of the band’s debut release, History Will Never Hold Us. And, fueled by propulsive pop melodies that further ingratiate themselves with each listen, the songs almost always match the singer.

History begins with a bit of a red herring, the instrumental Travelsigns. From there on, though, the band aims straight for the pop jugular. Tracks like the bouncy Crime Does Pay and the radio sing-along Not A Victim are an example of what modern rock could sound like if all the Nickelbacks out there took a dose of Prozac. Deaf Ears, with its blistering vocal performance and insistent guitar is the album’s ultimate standout. When Closson attacks the chorus’ ruthless “your prayers fall on deaf ears tonight, my love,” it’s completely believable, even as he does so in his best angry pop star style. It’s the sound of Savage Garden gone indie, and it’s absolutely thrilling.

The record slows down a bit towards the end and the songs become harder to crack, hiding their radio hooks further beneath their sleeves. One exception is Means To An End, a gentle guitar strummer that manages to fit in perfectly with the glossy pop before it even as it mixes folk elements with sweeps of synthesizer. History Will Never Hold Me lacks nothing in commercial appeal and, with any luck, should find its way into the hearts of many pop fans eager for something with a bit more of a bite to it. B+

Key Tracks: Deaf Ears, Crime Does Pay, Not A Victim


“Feel the funk control you”

B-Side #3 from Robbie's Rudebox project, and I must say that his non-album material has been even more strange than the stuff that made it on the album. First we had Dickhead, an obnoxiously unfunny stab at hip-hop, then the somber, folk-tinged Lonestar Rising, and now he's presented us with Mess Me Up, a bizarre, jumbled rave-up seemingly aimed straight for the clubs. It's not a classic song by any stretch of the imagination, but it's different. I'll leave it at that...

Listen & Download: Robbie Williams - Mess Me Up
Download: Robbie Williams - Mess Me Up

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


“I'm lonely, you're lonely too”

It's not often that a song manages to be both irresistably dance-worthy and darkly melancholy at the same time. The Pet Shop Boys, for sure, have managed it. And, this song by prolific Finnish duo Viola certainly fits the bill. The group's first release back in 2001 was titled Only Pop Music Can Break Your Heart, and I think this really says it all. Since then, they have released seven more albums/eps of dark, catchy electronic pop. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. Even more impressive is the quality of their work, highlighted by Sad Eyed Disco Dancers, a stark, catchy piece of art-dance-rock, if there is such a thing.

Listen & Download: Viola - Sad Eyed Disco Dancers
Download: Viola - Sad Eyed Disco Dancers

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

Disco "Song" #2

Listen & Download: Dschinghis Khan - Rockin' Son Of Dschinghis Khan
Download: Dschinghis Khan - Rockin' Son Of Dschinghis Khan

It's great when pictures can pretty much tell you all you need to know.
Blame Abba, I guess. From the haunting ( in, it'll infiltrate your nightmares tonight) "ooh ah's" that open this song, to the chirpy German verses to the bizarre lite-rock English chorus, this song is a glorious mess. Another Eurovision entry, this group themed the majority of their songs on historical figures and exotic lands. But, don't confuse this with textbook-level writing. With lyrics like "he beats the fastest drum, and is the son" (really? I wouldn't have known from the title), the entire thing is utterly (atrociously) campy. Scariest of all, the band released six albums before breaking up in the 80's. Something tells me the real Ghengis Khan would not appear at the end of a song like this and proudly declare: "you're a rocker, you're a roller, you're a rockin' man and you are my favorite son!"

Monday, November 13, 2006


“She said 'I like it better when it hurts'”

From only one look at Revl9n's promo picture I knew I would love them. Despite occupying the all-but-dead electroclash genre, Revl9n bring fantastic pop smarts and a whole lot of attitude, which sets them easily apart from their peers. Walking Machine is an absolutely addictive confection. I've had it on repeat for awhile now and I like it better with each listen. Couple an extremely catchy melody with a computer blip landscape that kind of sounds like Deep Forest on crack and you've got a major hit. If you like electropop groups like The Knife and Mylo (but with much more of a pop melody), I would especially recommend this group.

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

Grab your dancing shoes because this week on #1 Hits it is Disco Week!!

Given either your love or hatred of the genre, there's no doubt that the Disco years gave us some great songs. I'm thinking Stayin' Alive, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, On The Radio, etc. My posts over the next seven days are not dedicated to these.
No, over the next week you'll be treated to some of the strangest, befuddling disco "hits" that I've ever heard. All misplaced sexual tension manifested in bizarre, over-the-top ways if you ask me. Before I begin the post for today, I've got to let you all know that I've had an absolute blast preparing this week's songs. These bands.... well, some of them have me cracking up just by looking at their picture!

Song #1

Sample & Download: Teach-In - Ding-a-Dong
Download: Teach-In - Ding-a-Dong

No, you did not misread that title. I thought for a moment that I wouldn't even try to touch this one, but any song whose chorus is literally "ding a dong every hour, when you pick a flower" has to be spotlighted. This, mind you, was a Eurovision entry in the late seventies. My response to that is: really? You're really going to enter that Ding a Dong song? Sadly, against all manner of good taste (which, let's face it, is what Eurovision is known for) the song won. Either I was born in the wrong decade or the translation just really doesn't work. I urge you all to find the lyrics to this song, print them out, and try to read them with a straight face. Not gonna happen.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A change in how mp3's are posted? Maybe...

Hello all. I just wanted to let you know that I'm playing with the idea of having two links on each music post: one for letting you sample and (possibly) download the song, and one that just goes straight to download when clicked. Let me know if for some reason the second link doesn't work for you. Some people hate going offsite for the download link because then they can't read all of my delicious ramblings without clicking back onto the blog. This is meant to help with that!
Video Premiere: Surferosa - Impulsive (Did I)

Well, this video actually was released a few months ago, but I just found out about it today. I was afraid that Surferosa's splendid new album The Force had kind of stalled after first single Royal Uniform, but I guess they decided to quietly release this gem as the second single. The video is all sorts of strangeness, with Mariann looking very spritely and sleazy at the same time. More importantly, if you like artists like Robyn and Linda Sundblad, I recommend you check out this song. I think you'll like it.


“Gonna wham bam bam gonna kiss another man”

Parker are a peppy little threesome from Sweden with tight, catchy pop/punk songs in the style of late seventies new wave. Lead singer Eva Parker is every bit as much the spitfire as the Sounds' Maja Ivarsson or Surferosa's Mariann, though the group's music isn't as produced. There's a lot of grit in between the candy-coated verses of Wham Bam Bam. Parker have released four albums thus far, all very much in an independent style. No major label gloss for these guys, just loads of swagger and attitude. This single is taken from their third album, Le Petomane and is my personal favorite Parker song.

Listen & Download: Parker - Wham Bam Bam

Download: Parker - Wham Bam Bam

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