Friday, May 28, 2010

Plastic Bertrand - "Sha La La La Lee"

The next installment in my listening to/obsessing about/writing about the records I found in Scotland blog post series...

Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi" is a guaranteed dance floor filler every time it's played at Hungry Beat! The style of dancing that it usually inspires is at least as entertaining, and sometimes even more entertaining than the song itself.

"Sha La La La Lee" was one of the first records I found while shopping at Elvis Shakespeare in Edinburgh. I think that I already knew that "Sha La La La Lee," and "Ca Plane Pour Moi" were separate singles, but that didn't stop me from checking the other side of the record with nervous anticipation and excitement. Even though my first guess was right, I immediately recalled the couple of times that I'd heard "Sha La La La Lee" in the past and was immediately very very excited again.

There's absolutely nothing to analyze here. The song is every bit as stupid, and fun, and raucous as you could hope for a single from a Belgian punk outfit who essentially did the whole thing for a laugh. Raise the volume on your computer speakers as loud they will go, press play on the posted video, and jump around until you feel dizzy and giddy and all of the other things that great pop music should make you feel.

Monday, May 24, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 5/23

By the time I fell into bed this past Sunday morning, I was feeling my exhaustion so severely it was all that I could do to see straight. In every moment leading up to that time, I was having a blast. I'd been pretty excited all week about starting this show on a particularly dance-y note with Fosca's It's All Going to End in Tears going right into a current over the top pop addiction of the moment Lindstrom & Christabelle (it really is so much fun). There is actually quite a bit of new music out there now to get kind of excited about. New York band Beach Fossils have been a big favorite of mine lately. Sure there are plenty of existing bands that they could be compared to, but what a satisfying sound they have fallen into, every song is like walking through a pretty, hazy dream.

French band The Liminanas came onto my radar a few weeks ago. after a good deal of review in that relatively brief time span, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that they've made the coolest damn single of the year in "Je Ne Suis Pas Tres Drogue." I challenge anyone to listen to that song all the way through and not feel any desire to get down.

And the overpowering need I felt for a last minute addition of Beat Happening to this program was taken care of in the form of "Look Around." Always a favorite of mine, and as right for this particular program as I had hoped.

It's also worth mentioning that our guests at Hungry Beat! this forthcoming Saturday (May 29th) are Cats on Fire. They are from Finland and put on a highly fun live show. Observe...

I fully expect to see all of you at La Cita on Saturday night...

You can listen to this radio show here.

And here's the playlist:

Fosca - It's All Going To End In Tears

Lindstrom & Christabelle - So Much Fun

Stereo Total - Baby Ouh!

The Liminanas - Je Ne Suis Pas Tres Drogue

Cats On Fire - Your Woman

Quadron - Pressure

Club 8 - Shape Up!

Beat Happening - Look Around

Lali Puna - Our Inventions

Codeine Velvet Club - Hollywood

Strawberry Switchblade - Since Yesterday

The School - Is He Really Coming Home?

Razorcuts - Big Pink Cake

Herr Jazz - Hey Merlin Thanks For The Free Coffee

Altafini - Eu Lutarei Pela Paz

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Bright Lit Blue Skies

The Fall - Cowboy George

LCD Soundsystem - Somebody's Calling Me

Poison Control Center - Pacific Sunrise

Orchestre Bella Bella - Sola

The House Of Love - Destroy The Heart

Serena Maneesh - D.I.W.S.W.T.T.D

Math & Physics Club - Jimmy Had A Polaroid

Tracey Thorn - Swimming

The Pastels - Worlds Of Possibilities

Flying Lotus - MMMHMMM Feat. Thundercat

UNKLE - Joy Factory (Feat. Autolux)

Black Tambourine - Drown

The Splinters - Sea Salt Skin

The Beatles - She's Leaving Home

Male Bonding - Worse To Come W/ Vivian Girls

Suzi Quatro - Brain Confusion (For All The Lonely People)

Dangermouse & Sparklehorse - Dark Night Of The Soul W/ David Lynch

Toro Y Moi - Leave Everywhere

Beach Fossils - Daydream

Foxes In Fiction - Flashing Lights Have Ended Now

Nada Surf - Janine

Twin Sister - The Other Side Of Your Face

Four Tet - Love Cry

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Listening Too Long to One Song: "Sea Salt Skin"

There's a certain feeling that takes over when song and state of mind converge. Of course life is always a bit nicer with the right soundtrack, but this feeling takes that idea a step further.

Yesterday my soundtrack (or more accurately my entire atmosphere) was hours upon hours of the series Twin Peaks. It was the kind of lazy day that's almost embarrassing. No one was awake before two PM, no one was out of bed until at least an hour after that point, and almost no words were spoken save for the ones that determined which one of us would make the trip to the store for the much needed soda and coffee. Very little energy was expended beyond pressing play, fast forward, and pause on the remote. Therefore when today arrived, I was ready to rejoin society, and ready for a new soundtrack.

"Sea Salt Skin" was my personal highlight of The Splinters debut record Kick upon first listen. With each successive listen I've liked it more and more, but somehow listening to it in the state that I'm in today just heightened my adoration that much more. Though I woke this morning at a perfectly respectable time, and went back to work on everything that needs to be worked on this week, I could retain the best part of that lazy day feeling in the form of this lazy three minute pop song. The whole thing feels spontaneous as if the girls in the band actually did roll out of bed and churn out this lovely, lacksidasical track. It feels like a sound from the 90s that isn't being spotlighted nearly enough right now, but should be revisited way more. The sound of the guitars is simultaneously gritty and crisp, and the vocals are very very clean. The harmonies are very subtle, but essential, and layers of echo exist under the surface to give you more to discover every time. Descriptions like "deceptively simple" must exist because of songs like this one. Add to all of that the the lyrics actually do seem to be describing a lazy day, "So we didn't talk we just put records on," and "The sea salt skin never crossed my mind, and I never felt like I was wasting time..."

Nothing could be better for walking around on a cloudy, slightly chilly day watching pockets of sun trying to emerge and thinking of how nice it is to be able to ease your way back into productivity.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

KCRW Playlist from 5/9 - Filling in for NIc Harcourt!

This past Sunday I had the privilege of sitting in for Nic Harcourt at KCRW. The guest host slots are always particularly fun to plan as you want to take the taste of the person whose show you are hosting into great consideration, but you also want to put your own spin on the thing. Filling in for Nic to my mind meant that the Beatles and Morrisey were a must, and from there I thought about Creation records, "Ooh wouldn't Biff Bang Pow be perfect?" I was happy to be able to work in some newer favorites like Male Bonding, the Liminanas, and the ultra cool Brazilian garage/psych band Garotas Suecas (quite possibly my favorite discovery of the year so far). Throw in some Sonic Youth (September 30th at the Hollwood Bowl with Pavement!!!), a little Muslims (or Soft Pack, or whatever) covering Spacemen 3, and I feel like I'm looking back on what has so far been the funnest radio show to put together during my time at KCRW.

You can take a listen for yourself, here...

... And here is the full Playlist:

Codeine Velvet Club - Hollywood

The School - Let It Slip

The What Four - I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy

Morrissey - Cosmic Dancer

T Rex - I Love To Boogie

Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks

The Dead Weather - Jawbreaker

The Muslims - Walking With Jesus

The New Pornographers - If You Can't See My Mirrors

Bamboos - Keep Me In Mind

Catwalk - One By Words

Band Of Horses - Evening Kitchen

The Beatles - If I Needed Someone

Biff Bang Pow - She's Got Diamonds In Her Hair

Sonic Youth - Malibu Gas Staion

Dum Dum Girls - Bhang Bhang I'm A Burnout

Iggy Pop - Search And Destroy

Ana Tijoux - 1977

Massive Attack - Teardrop

Angelique Kidjo - Move On Up

Little Francesco Greaves - Moving-Grooving

Garotas Suecas - Codinome Dinomite

The Liminanas - I'm Dead

Black Tambourine - Dream Baby, Dream

Nada Surf - Love Goes On

Male Bonding - Weird Feelings

The National - Anyone's Ghost

Mavis - Feeling Lucky (Feat. Edwyn Collins)

The Pastels w/ Tenniscoats - Vivid Youth

Turin Brakes - Outbursts

Gorillaz - To Binge

Avi Buffalo - Can't I Know

Kisses - Bermuda (Active Child Remix)

Monaco - What Do You Want From Me?

Best Coast - Far Away

Holly Miranda - Sweet Dreams

Jacques Dutronc - Les Cactus

Big Star - For You

Painted Hills - Nighttime

John Cale - Charlemagne

Tracey Thorn - Why Does The Wind

Caribou - Bowls

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Listening Too Long to One Song: "Mike Alway's Diary"

Every now and then my deep fascination with the weird world of El Records finds it's way to the forefront of my mind. I find myself listening to the few that I have over, and over again, and I find myself thinking about just how very entertaining it must be to have a conversation with Mike Alway. Mike Alway ran Blanco y Negro, and Cherry Red. El Records was a subsidiary of Cherry Red that Mr. Alway conjured up from some pretty creative recesses in his mind. The more I learn about El Records, the more it seems to function as Cherry Red: Fantasy Division.

In a nifty turn of events, El Records was huge in Japan and was able to release music for perhaps longer than they might have been able to otherwise because of this fact. This video from Kahimi Karie is a great example of the influence that the whimsical, dreamworld-Eurolounge sound (that was just one of many in the El canon) had on the segment of the Japanese musician population that really took to this stuff.

Kahimi Karie even worked with resident Creation/Cherry Red/El genius Momus!

My apologies for the lack of video in this video...