Saturday, January 08, 2005

Song of the day: Blake Hazard/"Waiting"

Blake Hazard was a happy Rhapsody find for me. Until last year, the only thing I knew about Hazard, a Boston-based songstress, was that for the past couple of years she has played in one of my all-time favorite bands, Jack Drag. One day, perusing the list of "Just Added" albums in Rhapsody, I saw her 2002 album Little Airplane and decided to check it out. I'm glad I did. Turns out the entire record was produced by John Dragonetti (i.e. Jack Drag), and it sounds like it. His production duties and additional guitar and drum work are a great complement to Hazard's voice and lyrics. The song "Waiting" is my favorite. I like Hazard's voice a lot but it's the payoff of the guitar falling in with the drums 1:07 into the song that really makes it for me. Enjoy the music.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Song of the day: Moving Units/"Going for Adds"

I could go on all day about the LA-based discopunk band Moving Units, one of my favorite finds last year. My friend Hill first turned me onto them last winter, and having seen them twice at last year's South by Southwest music festival, I counted myself a fan. Onstage, the band is manically energetic, with angular guitar, loping bass and drums beaten far beyond reason. They're a joy to watch.

At first, the only release available was their self-titled EP, with the excellent songs "Between Us and Them" and "I Am." All summer long and into the fall, I waited for their album to come out, and when it did, I played it non-stop for weeks. My favorite song on that album, at least today, is the infectious "Going for Adds." Enjoy!

Those 70s Covers

Some of the biggest hits of the 70s like Dream Weaver, Hooked On A Feeling, I Will Survive, Stuck In The Middle With You, Brick House, Seasons In The Sun and others covered by artists like Jeff Healy, Cake, Aaron Neville, Rob Zombie, Dead or Alive, Inner Circle, The Tubes, Madonna, Rockell and more. (via: Rhapsody Radish)

Click For Those 70s Covers

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Song of the day: Loretta Lynn/"Portland, Oregon"

Loretta Lynn's album Van Lear Rose, released last year and produced by White Stripes frontman Jack White, was at the top of many critics' "best of" lists for 2004. Because I'm not much of a country fan, I didn't pay much attention to the album initially, but this week have been giving it a listen. The song I enjoy the most is "Portland, Oregon," a countrified rock duet with Mr. White that owes more than a few debts to its ancestors (most notably the Rolling Stones song "Monkey Man" off the Let It Bleed album).

If you're the curious type, click here to hear The Rolling Stones' "Monkey Man"; listen to the break 2:34 into the song to hear what I'm talking about. Either way, a recommended listen. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Song of the day: The Wrens/"Ex-Girl Collection"

While The Wrens album The Meadowlands came out in 2003, it was only in 2004 that I discovered and came to treasure it. All year long, the song "Hopeless" was one of my favorites -- its chorus blows me away every time (especially the line " thank yourself for nothing"). On the train ride from Boston to New York last week, I gave the album another listen and the song "Ex-Girl Collection" stuck in my head. It's a jangle-pop gem if ever I've heard one, and a highly recommended listen (as is the rest of the album). Click here to listen. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Song of the Day: +/- : "Trapped Under Ice Floes"

+/-, fronted by James Baluyut (brother of Versus singer/guitarist Richard Balayut and a longtime member of that band), has released a string of albums and EPs on TeenBeat Records over the past three years. For a long time, I gave their music short shrift after seeing what I thought was a lackluster live performance at South by Southwest in 2002.

The song "Trapped Under Ice Floes" made me reconsider. Played loud --and late-- it will burrow into your pop-addled mind and refuse to leave. I've included a shorter version of the song from the 2004 album You Are Here as well as an extended version released on the 2003 EP Holding Patterns. Over the past week, I've probably played this song 50 times.

On a related note: +/- is scheduled to play TeenBeat Records' 3-day 20th anniversary extravaganza in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia in late February. Those shows --a must see if you live in the D.C. area-- will also feature performances by a reunited Unrest and Versus. I've already bought my tickets.

mgrooves' best of 2004 list (redux)

Happy new year! I had a wonderful time this New Year's, dancing until dawn in New York in the company of many of my closest friends. I left the city on a long train ride back to Boston, excited about all of the great music I heard in 2004 and thinking big thoughts about 2005. Hope your holiday was as refreshing as mine.

And speaking of music: I was just listening to the excellent "best of 2004" lists from DJ Hyde and Robert of the Radish and thought I'd re-post my own "best of 2004" list, which I originally put together back in November and which features 43 of my favorite songs of the past year. Enjoy!