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Archive for May, 2008

05.22.2008

Betty Davis’ Anti-Love Song


The legacy of Betty Davis can best be explained with a simple analogy. Betty Davis is to Miles Davis as Erykah Badu is to Andre 3000. In each situation, both women can be credited with altering the personal style of their men during the length of their relationships. Without Betty, Miles would still be In A Silent Way and without Erykah, Andre would be be rappin’ about “Rosa Parks.”

Betty’s marriage to Miles lasted only one year but the musical by-products of their breakup remain for posterity. Miles had Bitches Brew and Betty had her 1973 solo debut, Betty Davis.

Betty has been described as “the first Madonna, but Madonna is more like Marie Osmond when compared to Betty Davis.” She is the original empowered, raunchy, free spirited, soul goddess.

Check out this mp3 of “Anti-Love Song” from her debut album. FYI The Pointer Sisters are singing background.

How can you resist not owning this? For instant gratification, head over to Amazon!

Betty Davis – Anti-Love Song

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Music Go Music Loves ABBA, Blondie and ELO…A lot


Then again, who doesn’t? Well, ok, maybe not everyone, but I definitely do. On their debut 12″ Light of Love, Secretly Canadian’s newest signing, Music Go Music mixes together all of those influences into a rainbow of melodic pop sweetness with classic 70’s style arrangements. Put it on during your annual family Memorial Day BBQ. Instant dance party.

Light of Love is available now on Secretly Canadian, and you can stream the other 2 songs from the 12″ on the band’s MySpace.

Music Go Music – Light of Love

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The Mekons Want To Know Where You Were


The Mekons were one of the few British punk bands of the late 70s to get away with exposing their sensitive side. With their hearts on their sleeves, the 1978 single “Where Were You?” made it alright to cry at home in bed after being stood up on a date.

Masking their emotional insecurity with Wire-like corroded guitars and cockney snarls, these Gang of Four devotees handled rejection without sounding like a bunch of pansies.

“Where Were You?” was never released on an album, but it does show up on a bunch of greatest hits albums. Heaven and Hell: The Very Best of the Mekons is a good one you can pick up at Amazon.

The Mekons – Where Were You?

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05.21.2008

Louis Farrakhan is The Charmer


Before Louis Farrakhan became the leader and the Supreme Minister of the Nation of Islam, he was known as Louis Eugene Walcott aka The Charmer.

A comedic dopplegänger of Harry Belafonte, The Charmer was a regionally popular Calypso musician who performed at nightclubs and recorded an album in the early 50s.

His original composition “Is She Is, Or Is She Ain’t,” pre-dates the cross dressing classics “Lola” or “Walk On the Wild Side” by decades. This toe tappin’ Calypso single addresses a confusing dilemma of having to identify the gender of a post – op female transsexual.

The Honorable Minister never sounded so confused

Louis Farrakhan – Is She Is Or Is She Ain’t

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05.20.2008

Cassettes From Your Ex


If you are a fan of music, chances are good that at some point in your life you made a mix tape for somebody you had a crush on. Or, someone who was into you did the same and put together a collection of songs inspired by your awesomeness.

Cassettes From Your Ex is my new favorite website because it features different tapes from people who may not even have a tape deck anymore, but they can’t throw out their audible love letter from their ex’s. The stories that accompany these mixes are just as good as the song selections – you should check it out.

In the spirit of the site I’m posting a mix that was given to me by a special beau who swept me away with a song.

To Emily from A-team

Listen to Side One
“Whole Wide World” – Wreckless Eric
“The Ghost and the Black Hat” – Go-Betweens
“Heaven” – Pere Ubu
“Thank You For Sending Me An Angel” – Talking Heads
“Alligator Story” – Louis Armstrong
“Stornello” – Eugenio Pila
“Moving In Your Sleep” – The dB’s
“She is Dancing” – Brian Kelly
“Save Me a Place” – Fleetwood Mac
“Poor Boy” – John Fahey

Listen to Side Two
“Less Than Zero” – Elvis Costello
“I’m Goin Down” – Bruce Springsteen
“Roll Another Number (for the road)” – Neil Young
“Sister’s Lament” – Flora McNeill
“Something Wonderful” – Nina Simone
“If I Loose” – The Band
“A Song For You” – Gram Parsons
“Beat The Retreat” – Richard & Linda Thompson
“I Think You and I” – Alexander Skip Spence
“I’m Goin’ Away” – John Jacob Niles


The Dream Syndicate’s Days Of Wine and Roses


If you have never heard The Dream Syndicate, you are in for a treat. Twenty six years after the release of their debut LP, The Days of Wine and Roses, the record is still as solid as it was in 1982.

The first track, “Tell Me When It’s Over,” could elicit comparisons to how a folk-ier version of Television might sound. Prominent guitars are sharpened to an edge and matched against informal, almost colloquial lead vocals. As the song finishes, it segues perfectly into the 2nd track on the record, “Definitely Clean.”

When this song takes over, it picks up the tempo and propels listeners into 3 and a half minutes of a Dream Syndicate-styled VU revival.

This one is a keeper! Rhino Records has the album with 8 previously unreleased bonus tracks!

The Dream Syndicate – Tell Me When It’s Over

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The Dream Syndicate – Definitely Clean

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On Repeat All Day: Kurt Vile’s "Freeway"


Although Philly singer/songwriter and self-proclaimed constant hitmaker Kurt Vile has been recording CD-Rs for sometime now, I have just gotten around to listening to his humble mix of folk-rock and lo-fi bedroom-pop aesthetics. I like most of what I have heard, but I am completely enamored with the song “Freeway.” Its J. Geils meets Tom Petty, care-fee classic rock vibe and spaciness (a common ‘Vile’ characteristic), has earned it a spot on all of my road-trippin’ summer playlists.

Kurt’s official “debut” album, Constant Hitmaker, is available now on Gulcher.

Kurt Vile – Freeway

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05.19.2008

Pink Skull’s Hypnotic Remix of Health’s "Heaven"


It’s true, I love me some HEALTH and Julian of Pink Skull is becoming one of the raddest remix djs in Philly. Therefore it’s no surprise that his interpretation of HEALTH’s colossal track “Heaven” from their soon to be released remix album HEALTH//DISCO, is among it’s best. The hypnotic minimalism tickles my brain and gets my legs a-twitchin’. Stream it below, if you know what’s good for you.

The excellent HEALTH//DISCO, which also features remixed tracks by Crystal Castles and CFCF, will be released on May 27th, courtesy of Lovepump United.

Health – Heaven (Pink Skull Remix)

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Jay Reatard Gets Wykked Retahded on New Single "Painted Shut"


Jay Reatard’s second installment of his Matador Records 7″ series is even better than the first…and that’s saying a lot. The A-side “Painted Shut” is reminiscent of the more melodic songs on his brilliant 2006 album Blood Visions. It’s the perfect mix of punk and pop music and when he sings “that’s just retarded,” pronouncing “retahded” as if he were a stereotypical Bostonian (Jay is from Memphis), I can’t help but giggle. Then again, if anyone can make it sound cool, it’s Jay.

Matador has sold out of the limited edition “Painted Shut b/w An Ugly Death” 7″, but you can still grab one or three from Goner.

Jay Reatard – Painted Shut

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05.16.2008

New Black Kids Song: "I’m Making Eyes At You" (Live on XPN’s World Cafe)


Will the Black Kids live up to all of their blog hype when their debut album Partie Traumatic is released this July? The thing I loved about their demo EP was the hazy, spacey sound quality (or lack there of). It’s the same reason why I prefer the murky swamp, back woods sound of the early My Morning Jacket records over their recent stuff.

Based on the re-recording of “I’m Not Gonna Teach…” I fear that the album, which is being produced by Suede’s Bernard Butler, will sound too polished. On the other hand, the awesome and dynamic Bowie/Cure-ish song “I’m Making Eyes At You” performed on today’s XPN live show is keeping me optimistic about the songwriting, and who knows, maybe better production quality won’t be such a bad thing. Dig the song below.

If you are in Philly tonight, Black Kids will be playing the 8th anniversary of Making Time with Cut Copy and Mobius Band at Pure. To quote Dave P, should be “a rager!”

Black Kids – I’m Making Eyes At You (Live on XPN)

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Ladyhawke Dishes Out Deja-Vu Disco, But Can She Make Rutger Hauer Dance?


Growing up in the 80’s, I can’t help but have fond memories for the movies of the time. So when I stumbled upon NZ native Pip Brown’s airy nu-disco-rawk project, Ladyhawke, named after the 80’s fantasy film starring Matthew Broderick, Michelle Pfeiffer and the square-jawed genius Rutger Hauer, I immediately became interested.

Pip has been in bands for years, but her first single under this moniker, the Stevie Nicks-inspired “Back of the Van,” is a deja vu dance smash. It’s almost as enjoyable as the Alex Gopher remix of her second single “Paris is Burning.” But the question is: would they make Rutger dance? Perhaps, they might…but only after a few pints and some medieval mind fuckery:

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Genius, pure genius. Ladyhawke’s album is due out in September on Modular.

Ladyhawke – Back of the Van

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Ladyhawke – Paris Burning (Alex Gopher Remix)

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05.15.2008

Walruses know music, but did you know they can DANCE, too?


We interrupt your regularly scheduled mp3 blogging to bring you….A Dancing Walrus! Check him out as he gets busy to Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal“.

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Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal

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