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Friday, October 05, 2007

Halloween Treat #5: Gnarls Barkley - Boogie Monster

Just perfect for Halloween from the sound of the track to the menace in Cee-lo's voice. Although I'm probably simplifying the meaning of the lyrics to fit it around this theme, it works wonderfully alongside the other tracks on my list and is a fantastic song regardless of the season.

The Gossip - Careless Whisper

"Shoulda known better than to cheat a friend"

If you haven’t heard about it yet, the UK’s Radio One is celebrating forty years on the air in a really cool way: by releasing a cd where current artists cover 40 hits from the past, one from each year of the channel’s existence. The quality of these covers varies, of course, but some are really great. One of my early standouts is the Gossip’s cover of Wham’s Careless Whisper. I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Gossip (other than the singles), even though they’re from the town that I was born in. But, I’m a sucker for covers of well known songs that play around with the originals to an extent that completely changes them. On this track, the band speeds up the original and gives it their trademark soulful punk sound. It could easily be a radio hit for these guys despite being a part of the Radio One project.

The Gossip - Careless Whisper (mp3) (zshare)

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

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Halloween Treat #4: Creep Crew - Creepschool

This track was actually sent in to me by a reader and I'm ecstatic because I would have never heard it otherwise. It's actually the theme song to an animated Swdish kid's show (Creepschool) and fits perfect for the holiday! It's wonderfully cheesy and rare, so enjoy!
Dot Dot Dot - Take That Away

"I’m sorry to say this now"

Dot Dot Dot are a fantastic (and I mean fantastic!) new American band. I first heard their single Stay on satellite radio and I thought it was amazing that there was an American band (getting actual airplay) with this kind of sound. People are comparing them to Hellogoodbye but I might go as far as saying they've borrowed a bit from some of my favorite Swedish bands like Melody Club, Don Juan Dracula and Bobby as well. This is best evidenced by Take That Away, a fantastically catchy pop song with the kind of perfect sound that I started this blog to try and promote. The rest of the debut album is great as well, even though it is a bit on the short side. These guys are just waiting for a major label release. America needs them!

Dot Dot Dot - Take That Away (mp3) (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the album here!)
Alienhits Fall TV Guide: The Four Shows you Should Be Watching

I like to dip my toes in the TV land once and awhile on this blog. I'm a huge fan of TV and, unfortunately, almost every show I grow to love gets a premature cancellation. We'll see if this year is any different. It's been a great fall season so far and these are my four standouts, separated into categories.

The Drama: Pushing Daisies

More of a dramedy, I guess. I've been completely devoted to show creator Brian Fuller's work in the past (Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls were two of the best shows ever, especially the former) and Pushing Daisies definitely keeps up the winning streak. And, for once, one of Fuller's shows actually got pretty good ratings. So, this one might stay around for a while.
People say this show is Tim Burton-esque, but it's far better than anything Burton's done in the past decade or so. The show is framed like a fairy tale, following the adventures of a piemaker (the fantastic Lee Pace, from Wonderfalls) who can both kill and bring back to life living things just by touching them. It's an odd premise, as Fuller's shows always are, but the writing is razor sharp and the world the show's created is populated with fascinatingly bizarre characters and circumstances. A must.

The Comedy: Alien's In America

In tone, this show reminds me of another one of my favorite, prematurely cancelled series: Freaks & Geeks. The story follows a high school nerd/outcast/weirdo/whateveryouwannacallhim that gets bullied too often at school so his parents decide to sign up to bring a foreign exchange student into their house so that their son will be pretty much guaranteed a friend. They think they're gonna get some gorgeous, popular Swedish kid, yet there's a mix up and they end up getting a young Pakistani boy. The premise sounds like it could be mildly offensive, but the show is much too smart for that. In fact, it's an incredibly heartwarming, laugh out loud comedy without a laugh track. Those are incredibly rare these days. Unfortunately, ratings haven't been amazing for the first episode (not surprising... it's on the lackluster CW network), so fans have got to mobilize some support for this wonderful show.

The Reality Show: Kid Nation

I was not concerned at all about all the controversy surrounding this show before its premiere. I just thought the whole thing was a fascinating concept. And now, three episodes in, I haven't been entirely disproved of that. The kids are all quite charming (some in the love-to-hate-them kind of way - I'm talking about you Greg and Taylor) and, as an elementary/middle school teacher the child psychology is right up my alley.

The Import: The Sarah Jane Adventures

This show is a spin-off of Doctor Who (which I am only a bit familiar with, so don't worry... you don't need to know all the mythology of that series to enjoy this one). It's technically a kid's show, but it's definitely more of an all-ages series. I loved the premiere episode earlier this year and, so far, the rest of the series hasn't disappointed. The writing and actors (especially the kids, who are all naturals) are fantastic. I can't remember the last time when I've had so much fun watching a show. I love the crazy aliens and all of the fun gadgets and bizarre characters. It's like a comic book come to life.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Okay, I lied.

You guys'll have to wait until tomorrow for the next music post as I've temporarily lost access to the song. Sorry! It will be a great one, though :) (and you've got the Halloween track to tide you over)

Halloween Treat #3: Midnight Juggernauts - Shadows

Sure, it's not technically meant to be a Halloween song, but the synth is quite perfect for it and the lyrics aren't too bad either. A lot of this band's otherworldly tracks probably would have worked just as well, but this one strikes me as being extra fitting for a spooky dance party.

(Don't worry, my normal music post is also coming later tonight, and it's a good one!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Halloween Treat #2: Beatfreakz - Somebody's Watching Me

Last year, Beatfreakz took Michael Jackson and Rockwell's 1984 collaboration, removed some of the paranoia, and made the whole thing a bit spookier sounding. Perfect track to start off a Halloween dance party.

Soho Dolls - Right And Right Again

"Wake up, we'll turn things round"

I featured UK based Soho Dolls on this blog ages ago with their debut single Stripper. The album (delightfully titled Ribbed Music For The Numb Generation) recently came out and is full with like-minded dark synth pop. Right And Right Again, despite having one of the more dull titles in the tracklist, is an early standout for me. And, pleasantly, it's also been chosen as a single. Over a Goldfrapp-ish glam beat, the song drifts along nicely until it hits a miraculous chorus with some extremely catchy synth (and guitar) bits. Fantastic stuff!

Soho Dolls - Right And Right Again (mp3) (zshare)

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

Monday, October 01, 2007

October begins! I'm kicking off the month with a bang and a star studded single that cleverly spoofs the famous Do They Know It's Christmas. Recorded a few years ago with an all star cast of (among others) Arcade Fire, Beck, Karen O, Thurston Moore, David Cross, Rilo Kiley, Sum 41, Wolf Parade, & Sparks, Do They Know It's Halloween benefits UNICEF (so buy or download it now). It's clever and funny and has a great video as well.
Lamont - The Golden Daze

"I made it without any dealing"

Over the weekend Lamont made available their brand new single from their forthcoming debut album out November 1st. I've been spotlighting Lamont from the very beginning and they're one of the new bands out there that I'm most excited about. Along with Dolly Daggers and High Jumping Jack, they form what I like to think of as the next generation of great Swedish rock music (i.e. the followers of The Ark, The Mo and Melody Club). They've got that great, bright, theatrical Malmo sound that typifies why I love Swedish pop so much. The Golden Daze is easily the strangest song Lamont's recorded so far, and quite possibly the best. You could probably swing dance to the verses with their big band beat that sounds like very little else out there but then they quickly move into a familiar, gigantic chorus. Daze was produced by the genius Oskar Humlebo (or as you probably know him, Moto Boy), and you can hear his familiar vocals in there as well.

Lamont - The Golden Daze (mp3) (zshare)

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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's that time of year again...

I've heard everyone who has asked me if I'm going to celebrate Halloween on this blog the same way that I did last year. Fear not, because starting tomorrow I've got 23 new Halloween tracks for you all, one each weekday. Some are spooky, some are cheesy, and some are actually kind of scary. I've had to dig deeper this time, but this October is definitely going to rock!