Laughs,Songs »Oppa Gangnam Style

by PSY (2012)

Ok, some of you are going to find this Korean club hit annoying. I’m not even sure why I’m liking it so much. It’s undeniably catchy (just try walking away from it with Heeey sexy lady not playing in your head). Plus the over the top video, complete with awesome silly dance is quite compelling.

It’s apparently becoming a viral sensation (so, you’ve likely already heard about it from your mom or co-worker) and artist PSY says he’d love to take his horse dance to the states. We should be so lucky!

Refinery 29 is to thank/blame for introducing me. Oh, And Van loves it. Like really really loves it.

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Posted on August 9, 2012

Songs »I Go To Pieces

by Peter and Gordon (1965)

There’s something so day dreamy about sad British invasion ballads. In some way, they meld together in a golden oldie station haze but when you stop to listen to one, like the Peter and Gordon hit I Go To Pieces, it’s easy to feel like teen nursing a broken heart (in a good way).

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Posted on June 5, 2012

Albums »Outlandos d’Amour

by The Police (1978)

I guess I’ve never been a die hard Police fan. I like them, but realized I don’t know their albums too well (is all my information from the radio and best of collections? For shame!).

I was please to find out that two of my favorites by them “Can’t Stand Losing You” and “So Lonely” are both on their debut album Outlandos d’Amour.

Jim, who’s a much bigger fan than I, has filled me in on their back catalogue and also has his favorite: “Masoko Tanga” while the great radio hit “Roxanne” also makes an appearance.

But the rest is not just filler, aside from an odd poem thing in the middle it’s prefect sunny weather post punk through and through.

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Posted on May 20, 2012

Songs »Kiss Them For Me

by Siouxsie and the Banshees (1991)

Kiss Them For Me will always call to my memory the hallways of junior high.

I had bought an oversized Siouxsie and the Banshees tee based solely on my love for this exotic 120 minutes hit (which, of course I owned in cassingle format).

A really cool mom schooled me on Siouxsies’ history when she saw me wearing it (that mom later got arrested for running a brothel, but was super nice, had the kindest son and is the reason I knew about the origins of punk when I did).

This 90’s comeback which featured a very sexy Siouxsie in sequins and champagne video is perfect listening for those pining for the best the 90’s had to offer (aside from naive optimism and allowances from our parents.)

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Posted on March 24, 2012

Albums »Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Soundtrack

by Stu Phillips etc (1970)

It’s hard to make an album as off the wall brilliant/bad as the movie Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, but in its own way the soubdtrack is pretty fabulous.

I sought it out one morning when I was craving a 60’s counter culture girl band sound, that insanely enough, I only found (without extensive searching) in the satisfying throaty sexiness of the fake in-movie band The Carrie Nations.

Songs like of “Look On Up At the Bottom”, “Come With the Gentle People”, “Sweet Talking Candyman” will make you want to shake your mini skirt hips on gogo boots. And not ironically either.

Much of the music’s success comes from writer Stu Phillips and the amazing vocals of one Lynn Carey who, after a brief google search I’ve learned was a penthouse model and hippie/sexy lead singer of a band called Mama Lion. I’m intrigued.

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Posted on March 21, 2012

Albums »Purple Rain

by Prince (1984)

Prince has been filling our apartment with his grooves. From his self titled album and even the Batman soundtrack Van and I have been enjoying his oeuvre.

One of his most fully satisfying albums is the Purple Rain Soundtrack which features so many huge hits that we all know from growing up in the 80s:

The raucous Let’s Go Crazy, the poppy I Would Die 4 U, the amazing titular slow jam (which is a toss up for my favorite) but the incomparable When Doves Cry would have to be my favorite. There’s no way, just no way, to listen to this song and not feel elated.

But this king of soundtracks isn’t just top forty – there are less played songs just as deserving of note.
Darling Nikki is one of Prince’s most joyfully, profoundly dirty while Computer Blue makes me want to star in a roller skating movie or strut a catwalk wearing a mini skirt power suit.

It’s no new news that this is an exceptional album (although people are getting younger all the time and know nothing!) but it’s fun to revisit albums, even those we know by heart especially if it gets a toddler to dance wildly.

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Posted on February 24, 2012

Songs »Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)

by Monica (1995)

90’s radio R&B is one of my favorite genres and Monica’s Don’t Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days) is one of the best examples.

I love that it feels like a teenage girl wrote the lyrics, its incredibly catchy and no one makes hit songs about their sensitive BFs getting all whiny anytime a lady needs her space.

Girl’s got to get cranky sometimes!

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Posted on February 22, 2012

Albums »Marianne Faithfull Live at The BBC

by Marianne Faithfull (1965)

Marianne Faithfull is well known for her later period of husky voiced experimentation.

This compilation of her earlier folk songs recorded live for the BBC, Marianne Faithfull Live at The BBC, sheds light on her younger days as a singer and public figure beyond her kinky exploits with Mick Jagger and lovely hit As Time Goes By (though it’s included).

These are several covers and her floating voice usually lends a soft melancholy. I prefer her version of the Herman’s hermits hit Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat.

Many tracks begin with oh so polite interviews and quaint commentary about her life – having a child, getting married, her parents etc. It makes the crassness of modern pop icons more glaring.

This is mini skirt and flowers in your hair music. I particularly love the original The Sha La La La Song and This Little Bird. Even if some of her folkier numbers leave you unmoved, these will win you over.

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Posted on February 17, 2012

Songs »I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On

by Robert Palmer (1985)

Addicted to Love (which is also awesome) may be Riptide‘s biggest hit but it’s I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On that’s been rattling around in my head.

It’s sultry, it’s mysterious, it’s Robert Palmer at his most well-dressed-man-surrounded-by-vacant-models-in-skin-tight-dresses best.

A lady named Cherelle also had success with the song with her Mary Jane Girls like cover and Mariah Carey covered it having, apparently, only known that 80’s girly dance version.

Palmer’s original is much more interesting.

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Posted on February 4, 2012

Songs »Very Special

by Debra Law (1981)

Debra Laws’ Very Special sounds like young girls’ smiles when they first fall in love . It’s a very nice thing.

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Posted on January 18, 2012

Songs »Cha Cha Heels

20111213-121343.jpgby Eartha Kitt and Bronski Beat (1989)

When people post music videos on Facebook I tend to treat them with at most a passing glance.

It won’t take long to understand why, with Cha Cha Heels, things were different.

I might also note that the song was written for Divine, who sadly passed away before it could be recorded.


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Posted on December 13, 2011

Albums »Trash Yeye

by Benjamin Biolay (2007)

Benjamin Biolay certainly pulls inspiration from his fellow Frenchman Serge Gainsbourg in style (there’s smoke in these strangely sultry songs) if not in content (it seems the horniness is more low key here – but I admit I can’t speak a lick of French, so who knows.)

Trash Yeye manages to feel modern all the same even as some tracks could be long lost Serge.

Stirring but lazy, this album is actually perfect for foggy days like today.

It goes well with battered woolen trench costs, scarves, and if not cigarettes then at least an espresso and faraway intellectual gazing from cafe windows.

Biolay is a big producer, brother (to Coralie Clement), and lover (once married to Marcello Mastroianni’s daughter) in his home country but less known here.

This will be a nice introduction. I know you’ll get along famously.

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Posted on November 10, 2011

Songs »Needles and Pins

by The Searchers (1964)

Been very into The Searchers’ catchy tune “Needles and Pins” lately.

Was surprised by all the covers I never knew existed: The Ramones, Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks?!

Also had no idea it was originally sung by Jackie Deshannon at a slower pace. All are worth checking out.

Not as much? The weird 1989instrumental “club remix”.

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Posted on November 8, 2011

Albums »Stand By Me Soundtrack

Various Artists (1986)

The whole apartment’s been alive with the sounds of third grade as Jim and I been nostalgic for the Stand By Me soundtrack.

I imagine we weren’t the only ones that treasured that well worn cassette tape.

I choreographed a dance to Lollipop and always somewhat dramatically cried during the title track as the thought of River’s bar fight demise was too much for my eight year old heart to bear.

The album steered me towards a 1950’s obsession that lasted a few years – lucky for me I was hosting birthday parties in the age of Fuddruckers.

Now I’m a mom and I’m old and my baby Van is grooving to his favorite track “Get a Job”.

It’s one of the coolest things about parenthood really, that things you loved from your youth get revisited by new eyes and ears and suddenly being eight years old doesn’t seem far away at all.

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Posted on October 24, 2011

Albums »Wicked Witch: Chaos 1978-86

by Wicked Witch (1978-86)

Hands down Chaos 1978-86 is the weirdest album I’ve discovered.

You know how they can record your thoughts as those grainy distorted images? This is kind of the music version of that. So lo fi it feels like it’s inside this awesome basement musicians own mind and his mind is filled with spooky sounds, avant-garde takes on cop movie soundtracks and strange interpretations of Parliament and Rick James.

I feel like this oddity will only grow on me more and more as it seems to offer new sensations every time we listen to it. So I was almost hesitant to write about it until it had totally washed over me, but it’s really too cool, bizarre, and unique to keep a secret from you all any longer.

I really want to thank the blog Music to Flip You Around for introducing this to me (during a random image search). You can get a down-loadable zip of the album from them too.

We have a new creative hero in our house, and his name is Wicked Witch.

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Posted on October 9, 2011

Albums »Come Away With ESG

by ESG (1983)

First awesome Spotify discovery! I don’t know why, but since I found Come Away with ESG on a pitchfork list I expected it to be inaccessible. Instead it’s incredibly fun and infectious. I can’t imagine anyone not being driven to dance and smile by these snazzy tracks.

If you had told me ESG was some new darling of the moment I’d believe it because the sound is timeless and refreshing but they are old school 80’s Bronx mixing hip hop, dance, disco, punk and everything else fun. You like fun, right?

They look like fun, real ladies that you share the subway with too. Standing for emerald, sapphire and gold ESG consisted of four cool sisters who, without much credit added a new sound to the scene.

Fun stuff. How come no one told me about them before?

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Posted on September 23, 2011

Songs »Somebody’s Watching Me

by Rockwell (1983)

I am shocked I haven’t recommended Rockwell‘s Somebody’s Watching Me yet!

This catchy (sometimes too catchy – I’ll find myself with the phrase “Or maybe showers remind me of Psycho too much” repeating in my brain for days) ode to paranoia is a household favorite over here.

And no offense to Rockwell,  but how did he manage to snag Michael Jackson for some backup singing? However it happened, from the photo below, it looks like the recording sessions were fun – and Micheal’s jeans, tee and band jacket – excellent.

BTW, I just read that Rockwell chose his performing name because he “rocked well”. Totally love it.

If you want to continue on Rockwell’s odeyssey of being messed with, watch and listen to his follow up number “Obscene Phone Caller“.

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Posted on August 14, 2011