31 August 2012

31 August 2012 - The Ting Tings - Shut Up And Let Me Go

I know, I know, the video rips off "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes a little bit.  Still, this song, used by Apple in an iPod commercial, was a minor hit for this UK duo. Katie White and Jules de Martino are both multiinstrumental, so their sound, while minimalist, is far richer than would be expected from just two people.

By the way, if you have 3D glasses, put them on.  This video is in 3D.

Although there were session musicians as part of the studio version of this song, Jules and Katie are perfectly capable of playing this very minimalist song themselves.  Here they are, live, and just the two of them, at the AOL Sessions studio.  I believe the mat Katie is dancing on is actually an instrument in and of itself.  The video is a little smaller and grainy, so dial-up users could see it, too.

(I was just kidding about the dial-up)

For those so inclined, here is the iPod commercial. I miss these silhouettes.  I wish Apple would bring them back.

30 August 2012

30 Augusrt 2012 - Cheap Trick - If You Want My Love

It's 80s Thursday and I'm seeing these guys in three days. How rad would it be if Robin Zander still had that haircut? Come to think of it, how rad would it be if Rick Nielsen was wearing that sweater?

Click here for more Cheap Trick goodness at Totally Covered

29 August 2012

29 August 2012 - Tommy Tutone - 867-5309/Jenny

Quick! Name two songs that have a phone number in their title!  If this isn't your first choice, I'm sorely disappointed. (I'd accept any number of songs, including "Pennsylvania 6-5000" or Squeeze's "853-5937" for the second).

A song that is referred to in pop culture possibly more than any other in history, Tommy Tutone - it was the name of the band, led by Tommy Heath - performed a power-pop gem in the early 80's.  A desperate tale of misguided, unrequited love, it was loosely based on a real person known by the band!

Here's a little trick you can do with this number.  A lot of stores - grocery and otherwise - have loyalty cards or discount programs that come with a card.  If you don't have the card, usually this can be searched by telephone number.  867-5309 works in almost every area code.

Here's a little trick Tommy Heath did with the tune in 2008 with an acoustic guitar.

Here's the mathematical representation of Jenny's Constant according to xkcd. Incidentally, 8,675,309 is a prime number.  Not only was it a one-hit wonder, it's a mathematical anomaly!

28 August 2012

28 August 2012 - Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know

Seventeen summers ago You Oughta Know was blowing up the airwaves and Alanis Morissette was becoming one of the best-selling artists of the decade (Jagged Little Pill sold 33 million copies as of 2009...that's a ridiculous number of cds). And while she has a new record out today called Havoc and Bright Lights, let's go back and remember why we all fell head over feet for her in 1995.

27 August 2012

27 August 2012 - Lisa Loeb - I Do (with a Stay bonus)

I've always been a bit of a sucker for Lisa Loeb.  I even watched her reality show!! She writes such angry, passionate songs, but doesn't sound angry at all.

Take this song, where she is coming right out and telling the listener that she is angry.  She still doesn't seem angry.  But she is.  Personally, I love the homage to old music videos and album covers, including her lyrics in with them.  Her acoustic pop sound fits perfectly with this video style. So, rather than speak joyously of the song and of Ms. Loeb, I'll let you have a listen.

Lest you think I was kidding, here is a scene from Lisa's reality show, #1 Single, which chronicled her pursuits on the dating scene.  It was unexpectedly fun. She was a really good sport.

24 August 2012

24 August 2012 - Owl City - Fireflies

Several of you have contacted me about this post, where I seemed to imply that Owl City was a little opportunistic in his partnership with Carly Rae Jepsen.  The complainers have reminded me that this isn't Owl City's first hit.

No, that honor belongs to this song, which was a big hit two years ago.  And, until about a week ago, I had never heard of it.  Now, the song gives me chills.  It's both exuberant and melancholy, a line that is very tough to straddle.  It both makes me smile and makes me misty.

And, somehow, it was already on my iPod.  Go figure.

I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't note that Owl City performed this song in Rockefeller Plaza yesterday, on The Today Show. And yes, you can hear the crowd singing along at the end.  Because it was a big hit song that everyone knew.  Except for me.

23 August 2012

23 August 2012 - Flock of Seagulls - Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You)

It's another 80s Thursday and I'm bringin' the new wave goodness. Sure, I could have gone with the obvious Flock of Seagulls song, but what fun is that? Besides, Wishing is way cooler. See for yourself!

22 August 2012

22 August 2012 - Jermaine Stewart - We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off

Jermaine Stewart had several minor hits, and one major one that defined him.  This hit was an ode to abstinence in the 80's.  Sadly, he is no longer with us - he died in 1997 of AIDS-related liver cancer, a death some could find ironic given the theme of his biggest hit (I don't find it ironic - just sad).  His music still is, though - this song, in its sexual resistance, is fun and happy and full of energy.

Plus, I think it probably did wonders for the sales of cherry wine.

21 August 2012

21 August 2012 - Nina Gordon - Tonight and the Rest of My Life

I wasn't that into Veruca Salt back in the day which is a shame because they really were a pretty cool band. For some strange reason though I really dug Nina Gordon's solo debut. To this day I really don't know how that happened because I wasn't really listening to too much radio friendly adult alternative music at the time. Go figure. Anyway, here's the video for the first single and title track off her debut.

20 August 2012

20 August 2012 - Tracy Bonham - Sharks Can't Sleep

Let's be honest.  In the late 90's, there were a lot of female singer-songwriters.  Lots of them only had one hit.

This wasn't Tracy Bonham's hit.  That song was the darkly creative and sparse "Mother Mother".  This was the third single from the same album - equally sparse, more darkly creative, and showing a boatload of promise.  The song failed to chart in the United States, and so, for most artists, that would be the end of the story, and they'd move on to teaching music at a local community college...

It's not the way it went for Tracy.  She teaches young rock bands in Brooklyn - check out her web site at http://gowanusmusicclub.com/ - and continues to tour (albeit not extensively) and record.   Promise fulfilled.

17 August 2012

17 August 2012 - Alabama - Song of the South

I was never a big fan of Alabama.  However, this song just resonated with me.  The song starts off sad and heavy, and gets more upbeat and hopeful as it chugs along.  And isn't that what country music is all about?


16 August 2012

16 August 2012 - Megadeth - Peace Sells

I just had to bring back Hair Metal Thursdays if only for this week. Sure Megadeth isn't hair metal, but does that really matter?

So Dave Mustaine, Megadeth's singer, leader, guitarist and chronic rehabber (read his autobiography) has certainly been making headlines lately. And while I refuse to talk politics (his, mine or anyone else's), I do enjoy celebrating crazy talk. So Dave, I salute you for not only bringing the rock, but for also bringing the crazy.

14 August 2012

14 August 2012 - Ellie Goulding - Lights

Today was looking like one of those desperate days where I had no clue as to what video to post. But then this pop gem lit my ears up while on my morning bike ride (couldn't come at a better time too as I was on mile 16...which is the last uphill climb on my daily ride).

Frankly, I was kind of surprised that neither Tony nor I have posted this video yet. Seems to be right up both of our pop wheelhouses, but my "records" show that we have both neglected this fine English pop singer...until today.

From what I've recently read Ellie will release her second album in October -- in the UK -- which means it'll be released in the States in about two years (I exaggerate, but it always seems to take forever). For now, check out this video from her debut record.

13 August 2012

13 August 2012 - Duran Duran - Rio

The 2012 Olympic Games ended yesterday in London.  The 2016 Olympic Games are going to be in Rio de Janeiro.  Because of this, this was the song and British band that everyone wanted to hear and thought for sure would hear.  Expect it's about a woman who dances on the sand, and not about the city.  So, go figure.

Duran Duran WERE part of the Opening Ceremonies, in an official concert at the same time as what you saw on TV.  Guess what they played there?  They are a great band for playing their hits, because they feel like they owe it to their fans.

09 August 2012

9 August 2012 - Erasure - Oh L'Amour

Seeing that I posted THIS Erasure song yesterday at Totally Covered, I figured I'd post one of their own songs for 80s Thursday. It's the right thing to do. I also thought I'd keep it short today so you can check out Tony's epic 3-part post at Totally Covered.

08 August 2012

8 August 2012 - Karmin - Brokenhearted / Hello

When I first heard this song, I thought it was Nicki Minaj.  I was so wrong.

Karmin are a new group - a duo, actually.  Their songs are in the dance-rock genre, and Amy Heidemann's voice navigates the poppy, rocky, and hip-hoppy nuances of this song perfectly.  A top 20 hit in the US earlier this year, it is their biggest hit to date.

They now have a 2nd single climbing the charts.  Again, you can see and hear the Nicki Minaj influence, but this even gets a little hip hoppier than she does! Another aspect of this group that helps, especially in video, is the fact that the group is actually an engaged couple. You can see their chemistry in this video.

Those of you who read both of our blogs will be getting an extra special Karmin treat tomorrow. Before they were big hitmakers, they were best known for their covers.

Update: They made the cover of the Rolling Stone!!! Congratulations to them!

Also, you should check out our three-part covers series over on the other blog, Totally Covered:  Parts 1, 2, and 3 are all there, and now I think I need to do a special Part 4.

07 August 2012

7 August 2012 - Sixpence None The Richer - Kiss Me

Tony told the story a couple weeks ago at Totally Covered about seeing Sixpence None The Richer. I too was at that show (we went to the same college, but he's WAY older than me). I really have little to add to what he said about the show except that I was asked to walk singer Leigh Nash back to her room on campus after their performance (yeah, the university put her up in an "apartment" in one of the dorms...classy). She was really sweet and we had a very pleasant chat and walk across campus.

Anyway, I continued to follow Sixpence throughout the years and I'm happy to say that they are back with a new record -- Lost In Transition -- which was released today. I can't wait to check it out. But for now, let's go back to probably their most well-known hit.

06 August 2012

6 August 2012 - Owl City (feat. Carly Rae Jepsen) - Good Time

Timing is everything.

This single was released on 20 June 2012.  Funny how this hit Number One the same week. A last-minute single that was originally released on Soundhound, this song (which, at least on our local top 40 station, is being billed as Carly Rae Jepsen feat. Owl City, and not the other way around) has ridden the coattails of Call Me Maybe to be a hit.

Which I would be upset about if I didn't find the song so damned infectious.  Owl City has put together a song that benefits from Carly's presence, but doesn't require it.  A perfect featured performance.

Update: 23 August: Owl City was on the Today Show and performed this song in Rockefeller Plaza.  Would you like to see that?  Of course you would!  Here is the clip.

02 August 2012

2 August 2012 - Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party

It's 80s Thursday!!!!


01 August 2012

1 August 2012 - One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful

I am just all over the boy bands this week.  On Monday, we made the Rushers happy.  Today, it's a little One Direction Infection. I love the harmonies in this song - it's reminiscent of what NKOTB did several years ago.  It's also a nice, sweet, positive song. And don't we need more of that nowadays?

Enjoy, or just share this post with your tweenage daughter and let her enjoy!