31 May 2012

30 May 2012 - Great White - Rock Me

Ahhh yes, time for another Hair Metal Thursday.

While Great White lacked the makeup wearing skills of their peers, they certainly had the hair to hang with the best of 'em. Here's the big hit from their third record - Once Bitten... Rock on!

30 May 2012

30 May 2012 - Bardeux - Magic Carpet Ride / I Love To Bass

True story: I was once a really huge fan of Enigma Records. This was a small, independent label that specialized in quirky music of all types.  Many of my favorite artists - The Dead Milkmen, Mojo Nixon, Game Theory to name three - spent time on Enigma Records.  Every once in awhile, though, Enigma would sign an act that was at the same time quirky and marketable.  An example of that is the previously mentioned  SSQ, from where we got Stacey Q - but we'll get back to her later.

In the late 1980s, a turbulent female dance duo who called themselves Bardeux was signed by Enigma.  They didn't have any huge hits - minor ones and club ones, but not huge ones - but they did have fun, dance-worthy music that always made me smile.  Also, they were a little quirky, which is more evidenced in their video than their music.

With middling success comes discontent and lineup changes.  So, notice that 1/2 of this duo is different for their 2nd album......  That didn't make the music any less enjoyable.  It was just a little different, with more "Bass!" samples!

29 May 2012

29 May 2012 - Eliza Doolittle - Skinny Genes & Rollerblades

I still can't believe that Eliza Doolittle's Skinny Genes didn't take over the airwaves. I guess the song and it's accompanying video were just too "subtle." All jokes aside, Skinny Genes was one of my favorite songs last year and the album as a whole is a whole lot of fun.

Awww heck, here's another fine song and video by her. You may recognize the tune from a recent Prius commercial.

28 May 2012

28 May 2012 - Pitbull - Back In TIme

My fiancee and I went to the movies this weekend.  We saw "Men In Black 3".  In 3D.  I always insist on waiting through the closing credits and watching for anything at the end.  Tip: If you see "The Avengers", wait for the end of the credits.

Anyway, this song, which heavily samples the Mickey and Sylvia classic "Love Is Strange", was playing over the closing credits.  I really enjoyed it, but didn't know until the end that it was Pitbull - an artist I haven't enjoyed in the past - that performed it.  It's a clever use of sampling, and it's a clean, family-friendly song that goes to great lengths to be that way.  All in all, a fine song.  #16 on the Billboard charts already, too!

Also, the movie wasn't bad.  Better than the first, and from what I hear, light years better than the 2nd.

25 May 2012

25 May 2012 - Goldfrapp - Ooh La La

Allison Goldfrapp has made quite a name for herself in the club scene.  Her music, or, at least the music that she makes as part of her band, Goldfrapp (technically, Will Gregory is the other half of the group) is synth-heavy and a throwback to an earlier era.  This song happens to be my favorite of theirs, as well as their biggest hit.  It reminds me pretty heavily of Doctor and the Medics, with a hint of Kate Bush.

Even her look is very late-80's Madonna!  And I think the disco ball horse would have been used a lot more in the 80's if the technology had been there.

24 May 2012

24 May 2012 - Poison - Unskinny Bop

For this week's Hair Metal Thursday I thought I'd feature one of my favorite hair metal acts - Poison. While I never got to see them back in the day, I did see Bret Michaels perform live twice - for free - in the last two years. Both concerts had a great party atmosphere - as expected - as he mixed well known rock covers with a ton of Poison hits - including today's song. It was a great time even if I did secretly miss C.C., Bobby and Rikki. Maybe next time.

23 May 2012 - Jerry Reed - Eastbound and Down

Anyone who saw Smokey and the Bandit knows this song. Not many people know that it was such a classic artist - Jerry Reed, who is also in the movie! - who performed it.  The pop-country harmonies and banjo picking that accompanied late-70's country music are clearly exhibited in this gem!

A song so cool, it was featured on Family Guy....

22 May 2012

22 May 2012 - Gene Loves Jezebel - Josephina

I just learned that today is World Goth Day. So, uhhh, happy World Goth Day? Let's celebrate with a Gene Loves Jezebel video. Talk about a guilty pleasure. I never really took to them back in the day. I kind of thought they were cheesy. And while that attitude hasn't changed, there's a part of me that actually enjoyed seeing this video again for the first time in about 18 years. It's a World Goth Day Miracle!!!!

21 May 2012

21 May 2012 - Barbra Streisand - Don't Rain On My Parade

I admit it.  I enjoy show tunes.

And this one by Barbra Streisand -which won her a Grammy nomination AND an Oscar - is a big-show throwback that is bold and exciting and shows the enthusiasm and determination of the Fanny Brice character quite clearly.  Generally, I am not a fan of Streisand, but this song - for this, I make an exception.

20 May 2012

20 May 2012 - Cee-Lo Green - F**k You / Gwyneth Paltrow - Forget You

Today, it is my fiancee Lisa's birthday.  I gave her the opportunity to pick today's song.  She chose the biggest solo hit by one-half of Gnarls Barkley.

The song, despite its angry and profane title, is a spot-on soul throwback by a singer with a huge voice.  If not for a few of the lyrics, I could easily see a group like The Four Tops play this song.  The subject matter is straight out of blues - rejection and heartbreak, with a little revenge mixed in.  As Nick Levine called it in his review for Digital Spy, the single is "a middle finger extending from the fist of a pop single - and a gloriously catchy Motown stomper of a pop single at that."

The video is a gem, too!  I love the gloriously profane young Cee-Lo walking into this little diner.

Yes, there were two clean versions released so this could be a huge hit, so if the above offended you, try this version instead:

This song was so huge, it was performed on the hit television show Glee.  By an Oscar winner!  And the reason that 1. this song is getting posted in this blog and and not Totally Covered and 2. this post isn't getting the Guilt-Free Sunday tag is that I really love the Gwyneth Paltrow version of this song.  She did a fine job!

And, for those who thought 1. Cee-Lo wouldn't be a fan and 2. Gwyneth Paltrow could not sing need only watch this performance from the 2011 Grammys, when the did the song together.  And told each other that they really hated each other's ass right now.  Surprisingly, THIS performance worked.  And Gwyneth knew the words better than Cee-Lo.

18 May 2012

18 May 2012 - Winger - Seventeen

It's the return of Hair Metal Friday!

Confession time. I have previously mentioned how my first concert was Bullet Boys and Cinderella. What I failed to mention is that the real reason why I went to that particular concert was because I really wanted to see the middle band - Winger.

Yup, I was that guy.

17 May 2012

17 May Special Edition - Donna Summer - Last Dance

We lost Donna Summer today. She was a clear leader in the disco world, and was going to be a future Wicked Guilty Pleasures honoree. However, in light of today's news, we bid her a peaceful farewell.


17 Mai - a-ha - Take On Me

Dagens post er fra Norge nest største skatt, a-ha. Deres største skatten er, selvfølgelig, dette. Vi gjør dette for å feire Norge sin nasjonaldag, mer kjent som Syttende Mai. Hvilket bringer oss til vår favoritt norsk spøk:

Lars: Say, Hilde, har de 17 Mai i Sverige?
Hilde: Nei, jeg tror ikke det.
Lars: Hva gjør de, går fra den 16. til den 18.?

Totally Covered er også med et par covere av denne sangen i dag. Gå hit og nyt dem!

Today's post is from Norway's second greatest treasure, a-ha.  Their greatest treasure is, of course, this.  We are doing this in celebration of Norway's Constitution Day, more commonly known as Syttende Mai.  Which brings us to our favorite Norwegian joke:

Lars: Say, Hilde, do they have 17 Mai in Sweden?
Hilde: No, I don't think so.
Lars: What do they do, go from the 16th to the 18th?

Totally Covered is also featuring a couple of covers of this song today.  Go here and enjoy them!

16 May 2012

16 May 2012 - C.W. McCall - Convoy

The CB radio classic is a timeless treasure.  That uses a lot of weird CB jargon.

Oh, you don't know what CB is?  CB, short of Citizens' Band, was a type of 2-way radio that truckers used (and still use) in their cabs to communicate.  They were very popular during the 70's.  So, before you hop on your cell phone, enjoy this!

This song was so huge, it inspired a movie with an epic trailer directed by Sam Peckinpah.

15 May 2012

15 May 2012 - Norah Jones - Chasing Pirates

Sometimes I like being wrong. When Norah Jones first hit the scene with Come Away With Me I was unimpressed. Sure, she had a great voice, but I had no idea why the slow moving Don't Know Why was being played to death on my town's mostly indie/hippie station. The airplay eventually waned and I mostly forgot all about her until 2009's The Fall was released and that same radio station started playing her new single Chasing Pirates. The song knocked me out and I went into "reconsider mode" and stormed through her back-catalog. Yup, I'm now a fan. By the way, her new record, Little Broken Hearts (produced by Danger Mouse) is being described as a "bold departure." I describe it as "rad."

13 May 2012

13 May 2012 - She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here

Today, we celebrate the start of Upfronts Week - the time of year when television networks all take turns and announce their new fall schedules.

It was a year ago this week that Fox had their 2011-2012 upfront, and announced that they would be featuring all sorts of new shows.  One of these shows was a new comedy named New Girl, which would star Zooey Deschanel.  It always bothered me that Emily Deschanel had her own show, but not Zooey.  I've been a fan of hers for years, at least since she did that movie with Jennifer Aniston and stole the show, and definitely since the woefully underrated Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, when she was the only non-British actor in the movie and stole the show.  Now, I didn't have to be bothered anymore.

The Good Girl.  That's what the movie was called.  I had to look that up.  It wasn't a great movie.  It was a movie with a great performance.

New Girl ended up being a hit, and with good reason - it's fun and smart and clever and great to watch. Because of the success of New Girl, Zooey's band, She & Him, has gotten a little more attention. That's a good thing.  They're fun and smart and clever and great to listen to.

Disclaimer: Bones is an excellent and entertaining show.  I have nothing against Emily Deschanel, who is a fine actress and who I hope is having an excellent Mother's Day.\

Update: There's a 2nd video!!!!  Also official.

Update: I just felt like adding another version of this song.  It's my blog, so I can do that. It's such an earworm, I feel like everyone should hear it.

12 May 2012

11 May 2012 - Robbie Williams - Millenium

It's been 12 years since all the millenium music came out.  However, the best known millennium song was this one by former boy bander Robbie Williams.  It's a catchy, danceable jam with a great hook and clever lyrics.  I mean, really, when was the last time you heard the word "liposuction" in a pop song?


10 May 2012

10 May 2012 - Enuff Z'Nuff - New Thing

Hair. Metal. Thursday.

And it doesn't get any more hair metally than Blue Island, Illinois' Enuff Z'Nuff. OK, I'm sure it can get more hair metally, but I really don't have much to say today about this band. Mostly, I'm just filling space so it looks like I tried to put some thought into the post. I'm fairly certain it isn't working, but it's amusing me, and in the end, isn't that the most important thing?

09 May 2012

9 May 2012 - Nicki Minaj - Starships

Finally, a Nicki Minaj song, and not just a song where she's a guest star.

This song is her current hit as I am writing this - currently at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 (just behind this song) - and highlights why I like Ms. Minaj so much - she's crafted a song that defies typical hip hop convention while still embracing hip hop sensibilities.  It's not a typical pop song, either, and yet, it works as a  pop song.  It's danceable, but not a typical club hit.

It's just different, and still a lot of fun.

Despite this song being my 7-year-old's 2nd favorite song, this version is NOT safe for minors.  Too much bad language.

08 May 2012

8 May 2012 - Lights - Saviour

I'm kind of surprised I beat Tony to the punch on this one.

Anyway, Lights is a Canadian electro-pop singer/musician whose music has drawn a lot of comparisons to fellow electro-pop act Owl City. Of course those comparisons are easy to make seeing that she performed on one of Owl City's records and they have toured together. Today's pop gem is from her first record The Listening. Give it a try and then check out the darker sounds of last year's Siberia record...you won't be disappointed.

07 May 2012

7 May 2010 - Rihanna - Shut Up And Drive

I can't f$%#ing stand Rihanna.

Except for this song.  This song is a little different than her standard fare.  It's almost like Rihanna briefly embraced punk. Almost.

While still a terribly guilty pleasure, it's got a hard edge that suits her well.  It's subtly naughty, but not so overt like "S&M" is.  It's guitar-driven, unlike her other tunes.  And, because it is absolutely nothing like any other Rihanna music, I love this song.

06 May 2012

6 May 2012 - The Darling Buds - It Makes No Difference

A lot of people have asked me how I can like The Darling Buds.  They were really girly.  They were poppy and chipper.

This. This is why. A quiet song that's still bad-ass, this opened their Crawdaddy album, and it is one of the best songs I have ever heard.  I can still listen to it, more than twenty years after its release, and it still gives me chills.

This video was filmed in 1991, but only recently unearthed.  So, sit down and enjoy it.


05 May 2012

5 May 2012 - Pat Benatar - Invincible

Everyone remembers that "Video Killed The Radio Star"  by The Buggles was the 1st video played on MTV.  Few people remember the 2nd.

It was "You Better Run" by today's artist, Pat Benatar.   While The Buggles really didn't have hits after their initial blast (which was already two years old at the time), Pat Benatar took advantage of the video revolution and built an excellent career for herself.

This song, from the movie The Legend of Billie Jean (also released under the title Fair Is Fair) was one of her last, and biggest hits.

4 May 2012 (special Guilt-Free edition) - Beastie Boys - She's On It

Cancer stole a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer today in MCA, otherwise known as Adam Yauch.  Before they were a jokey hip hop band, they were a punky four-piece with a female drummer - Kate Schellenbach, who went on to drum for Luscious Jackson (who were signed to the Beastie's Grand Royal Records). The story is that, when the band partnered with Rick Rubin to help infuse hip hop into their sound, creative differences ensued with Kate, and she was not to be a Beastie any more.

Their first post-Kate single was also featured on the soundtrack to the movie Krush Groove.  This was that single.  Although not a big hit at the time - and you can clearly hear a lot more punk than in their later work - it was clearly a harbinger to a brilliant career to come.

I never really became a huge Beastie Boys fan - I liked their more hip-hop infused stuff, but not a lot of their later experimental sound - but I do love this song, to this day.  I hope you enjoy it, a special Guilt-Free Sunday on a Friday.

04 May 2012

4 May 2012 - Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Outta My Head

Around the world, Kylie Minogue has been a superstar for at least two decades.  In the United States, she was a one hit wonder.  It was an awful cover of "Locomotion" in the Stock Aitken Waterman style.  Rubbish.  Most of what those guys did was rubbish.  Not everything.  Most everything.

Then she started working with the Pet Shop Boys.

Then she released this.  A good seven years before Lady Gaga released anything.  It's smart and sexy and has a terrific hook.  And now, it's going to be stuck in your head.

It's important to note that Kylie was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years after this video.  She beat it and continued on with her career, releasing several more Wicked Guilty Pleasures.  We salute her for that!

UPDATE: Kylie rerecorded this song in 2012......as more of dignified, strings-heavy song.  It still worked.

03 May 2012

3 May 2012 - Skid Row - Youth Gone Wild

Hair Metal Thursday...It's just like Hair Metal Friday, only sooner!

Yeah, after seeing this video for the first time in forever, one thing is clear: I MUST repurchase the first Skid Row cd.

02 May 2012

2 May 2012 - Kansas - Everybody's My Friend

I've been a fan of Kansas for many years.  This song, from the era between 1981 and 1984 when Steve Walsh was NOT the lead vocalist - is one of my favorites.  The song deals with the foibles of fame that the new lead vocalist anticipated.  (Of course, outside of Wichita, I don't think he had to worry about walking around incognito, but that's besides the point.)

The concept of the video is, of course, luchadors, or Mexican wrestlers, wearing masks.  That's never a bad idea.   The song itself is simple and somewhat naive, but these elements combine to make a sweet tune.  Enjoy!

01 May 2012

1 May 2012 - Carrie Underwood - Last Name

So as I stood in line at Target this morning with the new Carrie Underwood and Norah Jones cds in my hands, I couldn't help but wonder, when did I become the type of person to stand in line in a Target with the new Carrie Underwood and Norah Jones cds? While I've never seen more than about 5 minutes at a time of an American Idol episode, I was seduced by the Season Four winner when her Play On record came out in 2009. As always, I dug deeper into her catalog (ok, not the hardest thing to do seeing that she only had two other records) and fell for her booming country/pop vocals. So let's celebrate the release of Blown Away by of course looking to the past. This is a fun song and video off of her second record Carnival Ride. By the way, I love how this video serves as a prequel to Before He Cheats.