The Letter C :: Friday Five

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The Letter C :: Friday Five

Let’s get alphabetical for this Friday Music Friday Five. What are your favorite songs, albums, artists and bands that start with the letter C? Can you name a few of them without looking? Can you close your eyes and alphabetize your favorite Music, pulling out the C’s you love the most?

Cocteau Twins, Music, Friday Five, The Letter C

The Letter C :: Friday Five

Leonard Cohen, Music, The Letter C, Friday Five

Songs:

1. “Crucify” :: Tori Amos

“You’re just an empty cage girl,
if you kill the bird.”

2. “Come Pick Me Up” :: Ryan Adams

“I wish you would come pick me up,
take me out,
fuck me up,
steal my records,
screw all my friends.”

3. “Cherry-coloured Funk” :: Cocteau Twins

“Still we can find our love down from behind.”

4. “Crystal Village” :: Pete Yorn

“You were there,
and it was good in the beginning.”

5. “Cosmic Dancer” :: T-Rex

“I danced myself out of the womb.
Is it strange to dance so soon?
I danced myself into the tomb,
but when again once more.”

Singers:

1. Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke, The Letter C, Friday Five

“Bring it on Home to Me”

2. Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, Music, Friday Five, The Letter C

“Chelsea Hotel #2” (live)

3. Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde, Music, Friday Five, The Letter C

“Back on the Chain Gang”

4. Nick Cave

Nick Cave, Music, Friday Five, The Letter C

“The Ship Song” (live)

5. Chan Marshall (Cat Power)

Chan Marshall, Cat Power. Music, Friday Five, The Letter C

“Cross Bones Style”

Bands:

1. Cocteau Twins

Cocteau Twins, Music, Friday Five, The Letter C

“Lorelai”

2. Concrete Blonde

Concrete Blonde, Friday Five, Music, The Letter C

“God is a Bullet”

3. The Cure

The Cure, Music, Friday Five, The Letter C

“A Forest” (live)

4. The Church

The Church, Music, Friday Five, The Letter C

“Metropolis”

5. The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers, Music, Friday Five, The Letter C

“Galvanize”

Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: March 17, 2017

Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: March 17, 2017

Looking for the best New Music Releases on this New Music Friday? Below you will find My Top 5 New Releases for New Music Friday. I’ve scoured the lists, played the tracks, and put together the best of the best. Have a listen, play a featured track, and if you like what you hear go out and support the artists, and the Music. I would love to hear what you think of the selected songs, and album titles. Is there a New Music Release that you feel should be on this list? Comment below and let me know what you think.

Top 5 New Releases:

1. Spirit :: Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode, Spirit, Album Review, Top 5 New Releases

Three-Sentence Review: Spirit is a welcome return of a beloved synth-heavy, new wave/alternative band that transcended the 80’s and 90’s in ways that many of the other invading British bands of that era did not. Though the album lacks any real musical surprises, the strength here is in the solid songs and sounds; a stellar collection of racks, from start-to-finish, the best all-around album since Songs of Faith and Devotion, actually. Gahan’s voice is still a standout, Gore remains a quintessential songwriter (“Cover Me” and “Eternal” are so recognizably Gore you can’t miss it), and the electronic feel that the band has always had has evolved into something that teeters between aural nostalgia and a right here, right now sound.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Where’s the Revolution”, “Cover Me”, and “No More (This is the Last Time)”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Cover Me”

2. Hot Thoughts :: Spoon

Spoon, Music, Album Review, Top 5 New Releases

Three-Sentence Review: I have been anticipating the release of “Hot Thoughts” since I heard the pre-album release of the title track/opening track, “Hot Thoughts”, a dance-able, catchy number that is indicative of how the rest of its namesake sounds. Nine albums in and Spoon manages to surprise, while still sustaining a recognizable, Spoon-sound that they have cultivated through the years. With the help of Flaming Lips’ producer Dave Fridmann, the songs are rife with trippy sensibilities and, at times, a dream pop electric edge (see “Whisperl’lllistentohearit” and “Pink Up”) that takes the Spoon-sound and elevates it, spinning it in new directions.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Hot Thoughts”, “Whisperl’lllistentohearit”, and “First Caress”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Hot Thoughts”

3. Salutations :: Conor Oberst

Conor Oberst, Salutations, Album Review, Top 5 New Releases

Three-Sentence Review: Salutations brings back the Conor Bright Eyes’ era, circa Lifted and I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning that I’ve been missing for quite some time. The opening track, “Too Late to Fixate”, caught my attention immediately, and reminded me why I used to “fixate” over Conor’s songwriting back in the early aughts. Recorded with a full band, and a myriad of guest musicians (The Felice Brothers, Jim Keltne, and more), Salutations carries with it a past sensibility, peppered generously with an older eye-view, a bit of a laugh at oneself, and a juxtaposition of jadedness and optimism, that creates a 17-song (yes, 17) collection that I’ll be “fixating” over for days to come.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Too Late to Fixate”, “Overdue”, and “You All Loved Him Once”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Too Late to Fixate”

4. In Mind :: Real Estate

Real Estate, In Mind, Album Review, Top 5 New Releases

Three-Sentence Review: There are so many interesting new albums out this week, all unique and listenable and very worth checking out – Real Estate’s In Mind is no exception, a daydreamy, pastoral indie pop collection of sounds that suits these longer nights and warmer (at least here in Southern California) weather. I want to spend a few afternoons swimming around in these songs, letting the harmonic melodies wash over me, and inspire me. Jangly, and sometimes fuzzy guitars (see “Two Arrows”) meet up with tinkling, often lush keyboards, which come together well with Martin Courtney’s vocals’; this album has survived losing one of their key members (guitarist Matt Mondanile), taken on two  new ones (guitarist Julian Lynch and keyboardist Matt Kallma), and created something equal to, if not better, than their past three albums.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Darling”, “Stained Glass”, and “Two Arrows”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“Darling”

5. Room 29 :: Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales

Jarvis Cocker, Chilly Gonzales, Room 29, Album Review, Top 5 New Releaases

Three-Sentence Review: Completely unexpected and weird, Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales release an album of songs inspired by the Château Marmont, Hollywood, California’s rumored to be haunted hotel. At times this feels like an audio book, poetry set to some stark and simple music unraveling a story that you are keen to hear, but never 100% sure of the plot or purpose. Jarvis and Chilly tell tales of the hotel using music, theatrics, clips from classic Hollywood movies, and their unmistakable piano (Chilly) and vocals (Jarvis), making this one of the more interesting albums I’ve listened to in a long while, while also reminding me, in theme and the sometimes ambient sounds, of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Room 29″, “Tearjerker”, and “A Trick of the Light”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“Room 29”

Where were you in 1970? :: A Throwback Thursday Playlist

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Where were you in 1970? :: A Throwback Thursday Playlist
Listen here on Spotify

“Across the Universe” :: The Beatles
“The Only Living Boy in New York” :: Simon & Garfunkel
“O-o-h Child” :: The Five Stairsteps
“ABC” :: The Jackson 5
“Don’t Play that Song” :: Aretha Franklin
“All Right Now” :: Free
“Do You Miss Me Darlin'” :: The Guess Who
“The Letter” : Joe Cocker
“We’ve Only Just Begun” :: The Carpenters
“You Song” :: Elton John
“Band of Gold” :: Freda Payne
“Mama Told Me Not to Come” :: Three Dog Night
“Int he Summertime” :: Mungo Jerry
“Spirit in the Sky” :: Norman Greenbaum
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” :: Stevie Wonder
“Thank you” :: Sly & The Family Stone
“Maybe I’m Amazed” :: Paul McCartney
“Down On the Street” :: The Stooges
“Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)” :: The Temptations
“Who’ll Stop the Rain” :: Creedance Clearwater Revival
“My Sweet Lord” :: George Harrison
“Crazy Love” :: Van Morrison
“Big Yellow Taxi” :: Joni Mitchell
“Lola” (Coca Cola version) :: The Kinks
“Waiting for the Sun” :: The Doors
“Carry On” :: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
“Hold On” :: John Lennon
“If Not for You” :: Bob Dylan
“Oh! Sweet Nuthin'” :: The Velvet Underground
“Wild World” :: Cat Stevens

Take a shot and feed the jukebox :: A Monday Playlist

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Monday Playlist, Take a Shot and Feed the Jukebox

Take a shot and feed the jukebox :: A Monday Playlist
Listen here on Spotify

“In the Morning” :: Razorlight
“Bide Your Time” :: The Courteeners
“Chelsea Dagger” :: The Fratellis
“Do I Wanna Know?” :: Arctic Monkeys
“The Milkman’s Horse” :: The Libertines
“Junk of the Heart (Happy)” :: The Kooks
“Pacifier” :: Catfish & The Bottlemen
“Let’s Dance to Joy Division” :: The Wombats
“Song 2” :: Blur
“Dreaming of You” :: The Coral
“Seven Nation Army” :: The White Stripes
“Foundations” :: Kate Nash
“Get Some” :: Lykke Li
“Chocolate” :: The 1975
“Long Time Coming” :: Delays
“What Time Do You Call This?” :: Elbow
“Have a Nice Day” (Decade in the Sun version) :: Stereophonics
“Don’t Go Away” :: Oasis
“Sunflower” :: Paul Weller
“There She Goes” :: The La’s
“What Doesn’t Kill You” :: Jake Bugg
“B.H.S.” :: Sleaford Mods
“Zombie” :: Jamie T
“(I Wanna Live in a Dream in my) Record Machine” :: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
“Shine Like Stars” :: Primal Scream
“Hallelujah” (Club mix) :: Happy Mondays
“Human Performance” :: Parquet Courts
“After Hours” :: We Are Scientists
“Toothpaste Kisses” :: The Maccabees
“Golden Skans” :: Klaxons

Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: March 10, 2017

Top 5 New Releases :: New Music Friday :: March 10, 2017

Looking for the best new album releases on this New Music Friday? Look no further. I have dove in and listened to the selections of albums, and singles, out today (there are so many this week) and selected my Top 5 New Releases of the week. So, relax, read on, and get ready to press play for the Top New Releases from this week’s New Music Friday.

Top 5 New Releases:

1. Semper Femina :: Laura Marling

Semper Femina, Laura Marling, album, album review, New Music Friday, Top 5 New Releases

Three-Sentence Review: Themed album, Semper Femina, began as a concept to describe women from the lens of men, but evolved into something different as Laura turned the gaze on herself, to delve into her perspective on women – turning women into the songs subjects and storytellers. Laura’s voice is as striking as ever, pure, raw and beautiful. The sonic mood shifts and melodies hit me in a way that I haven’t felt since her debut, in 2008.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Soothing”, “Wild Fire” and “Nothing, Not Nearly”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

 

“Nothing, Not Nearly”

2. Jawbone :: Music from the Film/Music by Paul Weller

Jawbone, Soundtrack, Album, Paul Weller, New Music, New Releases, Music Review

Three-Sentence Review: Seven tracks of score and song from the prolific musical genius Paul Weller. “The Ballad of Jimmy McCabe” has had my attention since the single was released a few weeks prior, and “Bottle” is just as emotionally rich, and beautiful. The score tracks, especially the electronically shaped “Jawbone”, are compelling and cinematic, and left me wanting more.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “The Ballad of Jimmy McCabe”, “Jawbone” and “Bottle”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Bottle”

3. The Order of Time :: Valerie June

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Three-Sentence Review: I love when I stumble on an artist I’ve never heard of, spin the tracks of their album, and find myself being drawn in and won over. A little bit folk, a little bit torch song singer, a little bit alt-country, and a lot singer-songwriter stunning, Valerie’s voice is raspy and bluesy, vulnerable and soulful – I am definitely intrigued by this throwback meets right now collection of sounds. Songs like “Shakedown”, “Astral Plane” and “Just in Time” are instrumentally complex, stark at times, resounding at other times, and act as the perfect accompaniment to Valerie’s unique voice.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “Long Lonely Road”, “Shakedown” and “Just in Time”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

“Shakedown”

4. 50 Song Memoir :: The Magnetic Fields

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Three-Sentence Review: Autobiography as album, that’s what The Magnetic Fields 50 Song album is, or should I saw 5-albums is (that’s right, 50 songs, 5 albums, each song representing a year in Stephin Merrit’s life). The musical complexities and evolving differences, song-by-song, reflect the evolution of a life, as one might expect. This is an epic project, and an epic listen, one that will take more than one sitting – but it will be worth the time to take in the melodies and melancholy of Merrit’s first 50 years.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “How to Play Synthesizer”, “Dreaming in Tetris” and “You Can Never Go Back to New York”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“How to Play Synthesizer”

5. Yours Conditionally :: Tennis

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Three-Sentence Review: This new album, the fourth from the husband and wife duo, Tennis, springs to mind the late seventies to me, and yes, i do mean in a good way. Yours Conditionally was self-produced, and sounds more stripped down and raw than the prior three. All the songs seem to overflow with that soft rock and soul that had me “nostalga-ing” about the late seventies (think AM radio, 8 Track and bins of 45’s), and thematically dissect the idea of marriage, individualism, and feminism within the construct of committed partnerships.

Initial Favorite Track(s): “My Emotions are Blinding”, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” and “10 Minutes 10 Years”

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

“My Emotions are Blinding”

Where were you in 1991? :: A Throwback Thursday Playlist

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Where were you in 1991? :: A Throwback Thursday Playlist
Listen here on Spotify

“Rhythm is a Mystery” (Non-Stop Edit) :: K-Klass
“Kiss them for Me” :: Siouxsie & The Banshees
“Movin’ On Up” :: Primal Scream
“Getting Away with It” :: Electronic
“She’s so High” :: Blur
“Girl of an Age” :: EMF
“Charly (Trip into Drum and Bass version) :: The Prodigy
“Safe from Harm” :: Massive Attack
“Sex on Wheelz” :: My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
“Only Shallow” :: My Bloody Valentine
“Safe from Harm” :: Massive Attack
“Crush Story” :: Too Much Jy
“Feel Real Good” :: Manix
“Right Here, Right Now” :: Jesus Jones
“The Globe” :: Big Audio Dynamite
“Monsters and Angels” : Voice Of The Beehive
“Know Who You are at Every Age” :: Cocteau Twins
“Justify My Love” :: Madonna
“Valerie Loves Me” :: Material Issue
“Little Fluffy Clouds” : The Orb
“Chorus” :: Erasure
“Sing Your Life” :: Morrissey
“Soul to Squeeze” :: Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Happy” :: Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
“Come As You Are” :: Nirvana
“Fall at Your Feet” :: Crowded House
“Learning to Fly”:: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
“What are We Gonna Do?” :: Dramarama
“Sit Down” :: James
“Country Feedback” :: R.E.M.
“Until She Comes” :: The Psychedelic Furs

My Top Ten Blur Songs :: Top Ten Tuesday

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My Top Ten Blur Songs :: Top Ten Tuesday

Since I’ve been in a bit of a Blur mood this week I thought it was time to do a Top Ten Tuesday of their songs. So, if you are looking for the best of the best of Blur, from their Brit Pop 90’s era all the way to their 2015 The Magic Whip release, look no further. Following are my picks for the best of Blur – My Top Ten Blur Songs for Top Ten Tuesday.

My Top Ten Blur Songs:

  1. “Coffee and TV”

    “So, give me coffee and TV,
    peacefully,
    I’ve seen so much,
    I’m going blind,

    and I’m brain-dead virtually.
    Sociability,
    is hard enough for me.
    Take me away from this big, bad world,
    and agree to marry me.”

    From the 1990 album 13, “Coffee and TV” is a modern love song for the reclusive, telly-centric age.

  2. “Beetlebum”“She’ll suck your thumb.
    She’ll make you come.
    Cause she’s your gun.
    Now what you’ve done,
    Beetlebum?”

    Track one from the band’s self-titled 1997 album, the song is Brit Pop 101, all Beatlesque and jangly guitars, and lovestruck, lost youth lyrics.

  3. “Parklife” 

    “Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as
    Parklife.”

    Also quintessentially Brit Pop (and “Brit life”), this time a bit more up-temp, from the album titled the same as the song, from 199. Bonus points for Jimmy (Quadrophenia) in the song and video.

  4. “Country Home”

    “I’m a professional cynic,
    but my heart’s not in it.”

    Another take on “Brit life”, a slice of life song from the 1995 album, The Great Escape. A critical eye on the “life of leisure”, rumored to be about former manager Dave Balfe, who left the band, and the label, and bought a house in the country.

  5. “Girls and Boys” 

    “Girls who are boys,
    who like boys to be girls,
    who do boys like they’re girls,
    who do girls like they’re boys –
    always should be someone you really love.”

    Huge song meant to be played loud, meant to be danced to, meant for the clubs, really. Celebration of sex and love in the modern age of safe sex and sexual preferences.

  6. “Ong Ong”

    “To the isle of the black kites and the wishing tree,
    I wanna be with you.
    On the slow boat to Lantau through misty seas,
    I wanna be with you.”

    From the band’s latest album, The Magic Whip, from 2015, “Ong Ong” was my standout favorite the first time I spun the album, and persists in being my #1 off of it. There is evolution in the sound, but there is still that unmistakable Blur thing, too. The song is said to be a tribute to the city of Hong Kong, from a “British perspective” (where, FYI, the album was recorded).

  7. “Blue Jeans”

    “I don’t really want to change a thing.
    I want to stay this way forever.”

    Taken from the Blur album with my favorite name, 1993’s Modern Life is Rubbish, “Blue Jeans” is another quintessential “Brit Pop” song to me. Musings on love and relationships from a very youthful perspective, peppered with day-in-the-life details, bringing it all to life in a palpable (and melodic) way. I love the opening drums, and guitar.

  8. “The Universal”

    “This is the next century,
    where the universal’s free,
    you can find it anywhere.
    Yes, the future has been sold.
    Every night we’re gone,
    and to karaoke songs,
    how we like to sing a long –
    although the words are wrong.”

    This song is by far my favorite Blur song to hear live. It transforms into something epic, something anthemic, something chill-inducing. That said, even on album it possesses all those traits. Some days this song makes me cry.

  9. “Tender”

    “Love’s the greatest thing.”

    And this is the song I love to hear acoustic, though it is almost that for most of the album version, as is. At least it starts out that way. There is a country music flavor to this album mixed up with the Brit Pop Blur sensibilities. This song seems made to be sung-a-long to – especially the chorus. The song is said to be about Damon’s break-up with Elastica front-woman, Justine. Both Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn wrote the song, and share vocals on the track.

  10. “Sing” 

    “I can’t feel cos I’m numb.
    I can’t feel cos I’m numb.
    What’s the worth in all of this?
    Sing to me.”

    “Sing” is completely cinematic sounding to me, and not just because it was used in the film, Trainspotting. One of my go-to songs to play when I’m writing as I feel it ignites imagination and visual images as it plays on. This is also one of my favorite songs to play loudly, late at night, while I drive through downtown Los Angeles (try it, if you can, and you’ll see why).

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