Friday, June 10, 2005

Song of the day: Kitchens of Distinction/"The 3rd Time We Opened the Capsule"

UK group Kitchens of Distinction are one of the sadly overlooked bands of the late 1980s/early 1990s UK music scene. The group's sound was shimmery and tuneful, with gorgeous vocal melodies and atmospheric guitars that anticipate the shoegaze sound I love so dearly. Kitchens of Distinction released four highly recommended albums on the One Little Indian label between 1989 and 1994, breaking up shortly afterwards. While they were much buzzed-about in the British music press at the time, Kitchens of Distinction never made a big splash here in the States, and their discography --save the greatest hits package Capsule-- is long out of print.

I was happy to see that we added Capsule to the Rhapsody library a few months back; it's a welcome retrospective of one of the best bands you've never heard of. Click here to check out "The 3rd Time We Opened the Capsule," the breakthrough single from the band's 1989 album Love Is Hell. Happy Friday -- and enjoy the music.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

My Life in Music

Robert over at the Rhapsody Radish recently challenged me to put together a musical biography, choosing one song for each year of my life. It was an intriguing assignment, but a fun one. Check out this playlist to see what I came up with; the list starts in 1974 and runs through 2005. Enjoy!

Song of the day: Weezer/"Jamie"

When Weezer first exploded on the scene in the summer of 1994, I was sucked in by their catchy tunes and inventive music videos (directed by a then-young Spike Jonze). While I liked their first album, my favorite song was a b-side that was only available on a sampler, DGC Rarities, put out by their label. That song, "Jamie," was less polished than their album and a little catchier (at least to my ears). Anyway, this song got stuck in my head this morning somehow and wouldn't leave. And so I share it with you. Enjoy.

The Many Masks of MF Doom

Today, I'm dipping my toes into the hip-hop pool. Rapper MF Doom has been releasing music under a variety of pseudonyms since the mid-1990s. Whether he's recording as MF Doom, King Geedorah, or Viktor Vaughn, his out-of-this-world rhymes and jazzy beats are always on point. This playlist includes some of my favorites. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Song of the day: Sam Prekop/"Two Dedications"

As I've written about several times, I'm a huge fan of Chicago group The Sea and Cake. I've had the chance to see them live just once, but it was magical. I was also fortunate to see the band's guitarist/singer, Sam Prekop, play a solo show in Washington, DC six years ago, after the release of his first solo album. He was amazing live, playing fluid and melodic guitar and really enjoying himself (and entertaining the audience).

Recently, he put out another solo album, Who's Your New Professor, on Thrill Jockey, and it's a highly recommended listen. I bought it earlier this week at Amoeba Records and it has been a constant companion since then. I especially like the opening song, "Something," but the one making my heart jump today is "Two Dedications" -- click here to check it out.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

New in Rhapsody: Metric, Annie, The Spinto Band and more

I was poring over the list of newly added albums today, and was happy to see that Rhapsody added a lot more than the new Coldplay album (though we've got that, too). We've now got The Spinto Band's new album (which I've been listening to obsessively) and new releases from Annie (recommended danceable pop), Say Hi to Your Mom, and Sleater Kinney's excellent album The Woods (produced by Dave Fridmann, who has produced Longwave, the Flaming Lips, and Mercury Rev, among others).

Rhapsody also added a bunch of great back catalogue stuff, including Metric's Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, one of my top 5 albums last year, and a bevy of Minty Fresh albums from Komeda, Papas Fritas, and others. Quite a day, overall. Anyway, click here to check out a sampler playlist. Enjoy!

Song of the day: Sing-Sing/"Panda Eyes"

Over the weekend, the Sing-Sing album The Joy of Sing-Sing was aded to the Rhapsody oeuvre. Sing-Sing was formed in the late 1990s by Lush guitarist/singer Emma Anderson in the wake of that band's untimely demise. It took more than 3 years after the group formed to finally get a full-length album out the door (released in the UK by Alan McGee's Poptones label), but the wait was worth it. My favorites on the album include "Feels Like Summer" (originally released as a single in 1998) and the simply gorgeous "Panda Eyes." I love the dreamy chorus. Enjoy!

Cover Chain: Camper Van Beethoven to Robert Johnson

Cover Chain
Cover Chain #2 Playlist This is our second cover chain playlist, a Rhapsody Radish invention which starts with a cover song, followed by another cover song as performed by the artist covered in the previous song and so on. This one starts with Camper Van Beethoven and ends with Robert Johnson. See the comments for the complete chain.
Also, see Cover Chain #1 here: The Rolling Stones to Howlin' Wolf

Monday, June 06, 2005

Song of the day: Youth Group/"Shadowland"

Wow. I saw the Youth Group album Skeleton Jar highlighted on Rhapsody last week, but just got around to checking it out tonight. It sounds like a lost piece of early 1990s indie fare, highly recommended if you liked late-period Echo and the Bunnymen (circa Evergreen) and especially mid-period James (circa Seven/Laid). Click here to check out the chimey goodness of "Shadowland."