Saturday, July 31, 2010


My original intention was to leave you guys alone for the weekend and come back on later days but i've broken my one day silence to give you Bim, the birthchild of Rebecca Rosier and Tim Davis. This London-based outfit is getting the notorieity it deserves thanks to their "blend of harmonies, piano duets and electro beats", very much in the style of Imogen Heap, the Cardigans or even Abba.

The indie duo is currently on tour in the UK promoting their debut album "Scatterheart", a record filled with upbeat songs and sad but beautiful tearjerkers. Worthy of hearing indeed.

MP3: Bim - Head Over Heels
MP3: Bim - Us (Regina Spektor Cover)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aux armes et cætera...

Finally after a long but deserving wait, I had the pleasure of watching the new biopic based on the life and times of France's ultimate bad boy, Serge Gainsbourg. For curious and fans alike, "Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)" is a comprehensive look at this provocateur, from his early years as an aspiring and hugely talented painter to the appreciation of his composing skills, not to mention his talent of seducing some of the most beautiful women of his country and beyond. (Even Whitney Houston falled for his charms...sortof).

The director Joann Sfar lays special emphasis on Serge's alter ego, the defiant, mischievous poet Gainsbarre, a troubled personality that would haunt him through his relationships, his career and his deadly vices. As far as the cast is concerned, Eric Elmosnino and the late Lucy Gordon are quite convincing as Serge and Jane Birkin, his muse during his golden era. Elmosino, especially, is Gainsbourg reborn, with all and his sometimes unwashed appearence. Noteworthy is model Leititia Casta, who puts all the stops as the legendary Brigitte Bardot (watch for "Comic Strip" and the birth of the classic "Je T'aime...Mon Non Plus".

Overall, it's not the typical rock/pop movie. It elevates itself into a form of art, just like Gainsbourg himself.

Et voila!

MP3: Serge Gainsbourg - Le Poinçonneur des Lilas
MP3: Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot - Bonnie and Clyde

Monday, July 26, 2010

songs i'm most obsessed about: the carpenter's "calling occupants of interplanetary craft"

Never been a fan of "Star Wars", "Star Trek", "2001: A Space Odyssey" or any galaxy flick but always been a huge fan of the Carpenters, ever since I was 8. People who say they are not relevent or "hip" are surely mistaken: they are as hip as Abba, the Beatles or any legendary band on planet earth. The 90s tribute album "If I Were a Carpenter" is a huge testimony of current/alternative acts like Sonic Youth, the Cranberries and Babes in Toyland acknowledging the value of Richard Carpenter's pristine production and, of course, the perfect tone of the beloved and never forgotten miss Karen Carpenter. Her voice is one of the 20th century's greatest gifts and it evoques countless feelings: happiness, sadness (most of the time), love and even...a plea for humans and outerspace creatures to communicate? Yes!

It all came about 1977: their soft-pop sound, which brought them international superstardom, was losing stride. At the same time, their personal life wasn't exactly sunny as their early catalogue either: Richard battled with prescription drugs and Karen was showing signs of the disease that would lead her to her demise six years later: anorexia nervosa. Maybe in his own druggy stupor, Richard became mesmorized by the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and a California unknown band named Klaatu (hyped by rock press and confused by record buyers as being the Beatles reunited with a different name). One of their songs on their debut album, the opener, was a seven minute-fourteen seconds opus called "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft". Released as a single in early 77, it was almost left unnoticed, reaching number 62 in Billboard.

As determined as he was, Richard took upon the challenge of reproducing the prog track and making it a bonafide Carpenters classic. Over 160 musicians and singers participated in the recording and quickly secured its spot as the final song in their eight LP "Passage". Their audience, always well adjusted to their ballads and poppy tunes, was left buggled by "Calling Occupants..." and recieved a modest position on the charts, as number 32. At least the UK got the message and was an even greater hit, at number 10. It was one of their biggest songs and always sends shivers down my spine, particulary with a line that puts the cherry to a beautiful melody:

"You close your eyes, you concentrate, together that's the way/to send the message we declare World Contact Day"

MP3: Carpenters - Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day)
MP3: Klaatu - Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft
MP3: Babes in Toyland - Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft

Sunday, July 25, 2010

songs about people...and robots

It's easier to dissmiss people's fascination with robots or any metal-made thing in a human-like shape, but there's some beauty into the idea. Ever since creative folks in the 30s had pictured us as robotic beings in a future not far away, we've been linked with them as we've been linked to monkeys in the evolution. They could be good or bad, helpful or malicious, walk in a strange way or even talk in beeps and pieces, just like us. It's only natural that music writers, non mechanic ones, are still insisting after all these years of bringing space, earth and laboratory together, so that any bounderies existing between humans and robots cese and desist. Here are a few selections that remind us that.

Friday, July 23, 2010

movie trifecta

It's sad but i have to be an honest person about it: i've sacrificed most of my social life, whatever that was. I rarely go out now, but in the end, i've been feeling pretty good about it. It's always nice to settle down you know? And i'm not doing it in the style of depressed people. Instead, i take the time to crash my bed and watch some good ol' fashioned movies, the ones that regular folks wouldn't dare to take a peek. The ones I like. This week was interesting, as I had the pleasure to witness three different but equally awesome films:

Candy (1968): I had some reference to this movie by a Beatles book i have regarding their "movie" career (Ringo Starr plays a short but memorable role as "Enmanuel", a shy but really horny mexican gardner). This is one trippy, weird, almost disturbing picture. It follows the story of Candy Christian (former swedish beauty queen Ewa Aulin), a naive and erotic creature who wonders through life trying to find some meaning to it, while at the same time, running away from any living man who wants to have sex wih her. Who wouldn't? She's extrordinarily beautiful, pinky dresses and lovely voice combined, a valueble possesion for the men in this flick (Marlon Brando, John Huston, Richard Burton, Sugar Ray Robinson, Walter Mathau, to name a few). The soundtrack sounds like any other 60s hippie movie, but the story is something else. Highly recommended.

MP3: Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride

Blowup (1966): I don't think anyone or anything had prepared me for Michelangelo Antonioni's most known movie. I've only seen the epic posters and heard about Jane Birkin (yes, Gainsbourg's muse) appearing as one of the models, but the entire thing was a big WTF to me. But a good one (it was nominated for Academy Awards, including Best director). I guess being based on a short tale by Julio Cortazar had to do with it, he was a good WTF alltogether in terms of his writing. For fans of fashion, models, photography, 60s mods and swinging London, this must be a fave: it details a strange obsession of a prolific young photographer to discover a mystery murder that took place on a vast park, inmortalized in a series of pics that he took of a gorgeous and sexy Vanessa Redgrave. The big fail relies on the fact that he never truly discovered anything about it and the end of the film sees him watching a silent tennis match played by mimes, and in the midst of that, some wonderful jazz by Herbie Hancock and mod rock by the Yardbirds. It delivers what it is sent out to be: you know, a big good WTF!

MP3: The Yardbirds - Stroll On

I Think We're Alone Now (2008): Tiffany. Oh Tiffany...the good old days of my cousins record player, where the good, the bad and the terribly ugly of pop took place. It was a good learning experience for me, trying to find some good tunes out of that, but one I really loved was Tiff's 1987 self titled debut. It was the era of mall concerts and kids screaming to this little lady's hit, a cover of Tommy James and the Shondells' "I Think We're Alone now". The balance between Madonna-like dance grooves and sweet teen angst ballads made her a pop star and a target for any messedup individuals. That's where Jeffrey Deane and Kelly McCormick come in, middleaged persons who do NOT have a healthy crush on what was once a teenager but now is a grown woman. Both are clearly mental: one has already a history of stalkerish incidents and was even given a restraining order against him by Tiff herself in 1989, as her fame was slowly fading. The other is an intersexed "girl" who has pictures of her adoration ALL OVER her apartment, believing she's her best friend and were meant to be together. This one hour guerrilla-like documentary does not try to hide how far away these people are from reality, but gives us an inside look on how they cope with their object of desire. Scary.

MP3: Tiffany - I Think We're Alone Now (Extended Version)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

kiddie disco!

Oh the quiet life of a youngster. Playing with action toys, Barbies, G.I. Joe's and cars. Running around like they cared less, destroying everything in sight. Watching cool cartoon shows and getting a bad F mark on school. In every kid's mind is the desire and enjoyment of being just a kid and not dealing with the trials and tribulations of adults. They'd rather live on the NOW, dreaming of being teachers and doctors, than handling careers of their own, doing exactly what grownups do. Don't really know much if singing (and particularly, singing disco) was the first thing on the minds of Stacy Lattisaw and Freddie James, but they sure stepped out of anonymity by making their fellow kiddies, and people in general, moving their feets off to their non-threatening boogie oogie oogie odes about puppy love, lights and, of course, dancing. Kudos to them, and kudos to you if you want to join in!

MP3: Stacy Lattisaw - Jump to the Beat
MP3: Freddie James - Don't Turn Your Back on Love

Bonus MP3: Disney - Disco Mickey Mouse

Saturday, July 3, 2010

girly foursome

Two of them are wild songstresses from the 80s. Two are wild songstresses from the 00's. One was a aspiring actress who got her start at both film and music in a cult and obscure movie. One was discovered by Malcolm Mclaren to promote his and Vivienne Westwood's clothing, causing controversy posing naked for an album cover at the tender age of 15. One is a DJ, producer and singer, lover of electro, deep house, techno and dubtronica, who hosted music shows on polish radio and actually runs her own collective and record label. And One is an emerging young new talent, recent from her Glastonbury gig, looking to find her way into the ever evolving world of pop. All of them are from Europe, all of them women and proud of it. Clockwise, it's Hazel O' Connor, Annabella Lwin from Bow Wow Wow, Novika and Ruby Goe. Enjoy!.

MP3: Hazel O' Connor - Will You
MP3: Bow Wow Wow - Go Wild in the Country
MP3: Novika - Mother's Duty
MP3: Ruby Goe - Built This House