NOVEMBER - 55 Songs in 23 Days
After a mild computer disaster that rendered the post I was working on nonexistant, I'm just throwing in the towel and bringing you up to date on my 60 songs in 30 days pledge. Again, all I ask in return for all of this free music is that you maybe peruse the Ebay store I've been putting together for my employers at Drastic Plastic. Click HERE. It's mostly a bunch of rock shirts, and more have been added since the last time I posted the link. Look for a few dozen more by week's end, as well.
On to the free music thang:
"Crosses" by JOSE GONZALEZ: I stumbled on "Crosses" a month or two ago, after luckily stumbling on the song while reading through my weekly dose of music blogs. I was floored by the song, which sounded like a mixture of Jose Feliciano and Elliott Smith. "VENEER" is the name of the album it is from, and it was released back in 2003 to little notice (as far as I can tell). My curiosity was piqued by the desolation of that song, and my curiosity in Gonzalez soon lead me toward that full length and a few of his other releases. Gonzalez is from Sweden by way of Argentina, so that might account for his unique voice, which sounds like a mixture of French and Spanish influences (even though it's mostly not). Posting those Sun Kil Moon songs on here a few days back made me think of him again. You'll hear some of that echoed in "Heartbeats".
Gonzalez has also covered everyone's favorite JOY DIVISION song, "Love Will Tear Us Apart". His version is a little more faithful than the version by CALEXICO that I posted last month. A reader asked for a reposting of that track, so here it is again.
"Fake Tales of San Francisco" by ARCTIC MONKEYS: If I had money to gamble - and if casinos bothered putting odds on indie rock - I'd have to put a huge bet on these guys becoming "the next big thing." Maybe not Bon Jovi huge, but perhaps on the level of Franz Ferdinand or The Libertines. They have a little of both bands' sounds in them, with an added touch of reggae. Like some of those aforementioned bands, they have the kind of sound that makes you first want to hate them for being so obviously hooky. Then, you listen to the intricate little rhythyms and basslines, along with the great lyrics, and realize that there are some great, great songs at work here. Still not sold? Feast on "A Certain Romance" and try to keep your ass - and your walls - from shaking.
"Crazy" by GNARLS BARKLEY: Gnarls Barkley is a collaboration between DJ Danger Mouse (mastermind behind Danger Doom, "The Grey Album," the most recent Gorillaz album, and more) and ex-Goodie Mob crooner Cee-Lo Green. That's the only thing I know right now... and I'm not even sure if this will wind up on an album or not. Anyone know the origin? All I know is that it's one soulful, funky song, and Cee-Lo's soaring voice absolutely slays on the chorus. This has to be a hit, right? "Does that make me crazy? Probably."
"Since U Been Hard to Find" by ???: This is one of the best mash-ups I think I've ever heard, and I don't know who did the work. No other song in recent memory has sparked more debate at our record store than this song. I'm one of those people who thinks that "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson is actually a great pop song, multi-tracking be damned. The fact that someone took the vocals, removed the anthemic chorus, and turned this into a minimalist indie song (the backing track is by AMERICAN ANALOG SET) is great. The fact that they used AmAnSet's chorus and made it work thematically is icing on the cake. Here's their original song, "Hard to Find," for comparison.
"Usually" by WALTER MEEGO: I know less about these guys than I did about Gnarls Barkley or the guy who did the Clarkson mash-up. iTunes has one of their EPs for sale, and files them under Electronica. It sounds more complicated than that, though. The production on "Usually" reminds me of those cooler, weider Fiona Apple/Jon Brion songs that Apple wound up re-recording for her new album. I miss the quirkiness of those demos on her new versions, so it's nice to hear another band walking those same odd steps, with imploding string sections and stalking drum beats.
"Look Down Darkly" by THE WAXWINGS: This song is an old reliable, and one that never bores me. I can't even remember if I've posted it before in the history of Pimps of Gore, but I don't think this one can be posted enough. It's just so fucking glorious, with those jangly Byrds-like guitars and all those strings. If I never get to write or direct a movie that ends with this song, I at least want it played at my funeral. Speaking of 'WINGS, "Look Down Darkly" is like a whole song based off of that triumphant moment at about the 2:05 part in Paul McCartney's "Band on the Run". That's always been one of my favorite moments in pop music (if you've ever seen "Outside Providence," it practically makes the whole movie), so it's cool to hear something like that in long form.
And finally, to make tonight's post a nice round Baker's Dozen:
"Nothing Achieving" by THE POLICE: Just to prove that at one time - long, long ago - Sting was kind of bad ass.