Back from vacation, Volume 12, Lykke Li, etc…..

Still very busy with that dreaded day job, I’m giving myself 20 minutes to make this post!

Howland Beach, Westport, MA

Howland Beach, Westport, MA

Before we headed off to Westport (shhhh! well-kept secret perfect summer vacation destination), I hurried together a CD compilation, as is my custom, to serve as a soundtrack for the trip. Since I’d be with the family, I tried to relax my “new, new, new” obsession, so old faves like Aimee Mann and Beck get mixed in with recent “discoveries” like Duffy, Estelle, The Ting Tings, and more. While this “final” version differs somewhat from the CD we actually had with us, they share a couple of the new discoveries that got the thumbs-up from the family.

Some highlights follow……

First up, Lykke Li:

She’s someone I discovered after our return. New York magazine raved about her, so I immediately played a bunch of her YouTube videos on my cellphone, and she satisfies that craving I have for Swedish girl-pop. Expect “Little Bit” and “I’m Good, I’m Gone” to be big radio hits in the months to come, and enjoy “Dance Dance Dance” on my compilation. (MySpace; Website)

Next is Gabriella Cilmi:

I Googled the phrase “new Amy Winehouse” to see if I could find the latest neo soul star (or latest train wreck, I guess), and, while the post I found was about Adelle (who I already love), one poster on that blog urged us to check out Gabriella, who was characterized as a “16 year old from New Zealand”. Never one to care about (or check) the details, I found the song, “Sweet About Me”, and I and the family love it. Alas, it’s not like anything else on her Myspace page or Website, but I’m a singles kind of guy.

Next, The Singhs:

I had read a Boston Globe article about Brother Cleve, a member of this band, and his mysterious illness. While my heart goes out to Brother Cleve, I was equally intrigued about the band, formerly known as Dragonfly. My rip of “Supersaturated” has some noise, as I had to use audio capture. Maybe a bunch of you will go out and pay real $$$ for it, then I can get their label to justify a promo copy for me! (MySpace/Website)

Listen to, or download the whole thing HERE. Or, 15 of the 18 tracks are available as an iMix at the iTunes Store, as #12.

In short, the remainder:

Aimee Mann’s been a fave of mine since she fronted the punk band Young Snakes and sang “I Wanna Be Like You”, a paean to Nina Hagen! I once made her a cup of tea backstage at an Elvis Costello show (get your own blog and you can name-drop too). Estelle was a big hit with the fam on the St Martin CD, which featured “American Boy” with Kanye. This one’s a slow reggae groove. M.I.A. is someone I felt I had missed the boat on, as she was huge among the hipper bloggers a couple of years ago. Again, the vacation CDs give me a little relaxed attitude, and wife and daughter like her. The Ting Tings have been on these pages before, but Steve Jobs scooped me with the better song, so it’s on this set. Beck? I remember when I saw kids with his first CD; I thought it was Jeff Beck! He has continued to amaze me, mostly with his choice of samples, all from unheard sources. Duffy, we’ve covered here…what’s not to love? Jens Lekman…another missed boat, I recently heard his “I Met Her At The Antiwar Demonstration” from 2005 or something and was hooked. He’s like Jonathan Richman crossed with Morrissey! Albert Hammond Jr? I read somewhere that maybe we’ve be watching the wrong Stroke! I concur (hey, did you realize that Albert’s dad —minus the Jr—gave us the classic “It Never Rains In Southern California”? I hadn’t made that connection till this week)

The Airborne Toxic Event, who I’ve mentioned before, have a great promo person. She read my post about them and has since been very communicative about a number of other acts, like Chemical Brothers, The Silent Years, and….wait for it: Glen Campbell! By now, you may have heard of this CD, “Meet Glen Campbell”, a collection of newish songs, covered by the rhinestone cowboy himself. It might bring to mind the Johnny Cash CD, from which Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” was the big hit, but I’m reminded more of a Dwight Yoakam album, “Under The Covers”, from 1997. When I heard Dwight’s version of “Train in Vain” while wandering through Tower Records, I thought, “I knew that The Clash weren’t the original artists!” I was (momentarily) convinced Dwight’s straight country version was some long lost original. While I’m not quite so easily deceived nowadays (at least by recording artists), Glen Campbell’s version of Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” has that same air of sincerity, legitimacy, and originality. I love a good cover; one that takes a song in a newish direction, a la Talking Heads “Take Me To The River” or Amy Winehouse/Mark Ronson’s “Valerie”, and I have high hopes, believe it or not, for this Glen Campbell CD!

Streams for “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”

PS: 20 minutes has turned into 2+ hours!

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rick on August 15, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Working off the Glen Campbell and cover songs theme… check out Mark Eitzel’s take on Gentle on My Mind from his covers album: Music for Courage and Confidence.

    Sure to get DJEddieO approval.


  2. rockin’ rick, this is a discussion that would be much enhanced by libations! I checked out the Eitzel, but I prefer hip tunes, covered by cheesy/ironic artists, as opposed to cheesy/ironic songs covered by hip artists. Ideally, a hip artist takes a fresh take on a hip tune, like my aforementioned examples, or, even more current:
    The Futureheads’ “Hounds of Love” (nee Kate Bush)
    Cobra Verde’s “Temptation” (nee New Order)
    Taken By Trees’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (yeah, that one!)
    I’m reminded of a CD Martin told me about years ago. Lounge music was big, and he said “go get ‘Black Velvet Flag'”, which was a CD of loungy versions of punk classics (Black Velvet Flag is actually the band; CD is Come Recline, and it’s a bit rare now). My Nouvelle Vague infatuation probably falls into this area.
    I got real excited back when Gnarls Barkley did “Gone Daddy Gone”, but it turned out they played it too close to the original.


  3. Posted by Buzz Biscuits (aka Rick) on August 16, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    libations indeed, let’s do that real soon!

    i’m also a huge fan of covers, but i’m happy with or without cheese/irony – as long as it’s not too close to the original, i’m all ears.


  4. Posted by alicetalk on September 17, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Isn’t Gabriella Cilmi from Melbourne, Australia, not New Zealand?

    “Sweet About Me” is a great song nonetheless… now I have it stuck in my head 🙂


  5. you are correct alicetalk; as Wikipedia says “Cilmi was born on 10 October 1991 in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong.” In my defense, I only said she was “characterized as a ’16 year old from New Zealand’”, after which I characterized myself as “Never one to care about (or check) the details”. In any event, I’m happy to be corrected (she is still only 16, at least until October, which is amazing, given her rich mature-sounding voice), and even happier to see a comment on this 5 week old post (ahhhh, warmer days!). Please come back to often to correct and enlighten me! Also, I still haven’t heard anything ELSE I love from Gabriela, but her new single on YouTube [] at least adds to the evidence that she’s easy on the eyes!


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