Archive for August, 2009

Is this old, or is this new??

Slated for release September 15, 2009 means it’s new, but recorded in 2006 means it’s old! In 2006,  singer/songwriter Pete Yorn contacted actress (and recording artist) Scarlett Johansson with the idea to record a duets album. The idea evidently came to him in a dream,  inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s 1960s recordings with Brigitte Bardot. Why he’s been sitting on the album, “Break Up”, since recording it in his garage in 2006 is beyond me, but Scarlett’s 2008 “debut” of Tom Waits covers (“Anywhere I Lay My Head“) couldn’t have helped, having received very mixed reviews, mostly negative (I found it harmless).

This one is somewhat better than harmless, bringing Zooey Deschanel’s She and Him to mind, and the lyric “I’ll write home every day” lends a bit of Beatlesque air. I look forward to the video! In the meantime, click the photo above to pre-order the CD or buy the single, which you can hear below. Also on MySpace.

In a similar, “is it old or is it new” spirit, I decided to repackage and rerelease the “podcast” as a conventional compilation, #16, and it’s in the sidebar on the right side of the page (in case you’re not there now). I added a couple of great songs that weren’t on the original podcast, and kept a couple of the slick promo tags that were. Of the new songs, first up is Portland Cello Project featuring Thao, which I posted about recently.

Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap

The second added track is Imogen Heap’s “First Train Home”. Long recommended by friend and subscriber futilitismo , Imogen had always struck me as just a little TOO weird…check the video below for a taste of what I mean by weird:

Ironically, that was recorded at my favorite radio station, Indie 103.1, where I also first heard the new track, slated for a late August release on the CD “Ellipse”. Here’s a “non-video” video that she herself uploaded to YouTube as a nice tease….

She uses YouTube quite effectively to communicate with her rabid fanbase, of which futilismo seems to be a charter member. He claims to have watched most or all of these video updates; I watched just this one, which I found utterly charming:

Turns out she’s born on my birthday, December 9th (not the same year; I was spinning in nightclubs and going to college on her birthday), which probably accounts for the wackiness, and I did also love her work with Frou Frou (“Let Go” was on the terrific “Garden State” soundtrack. I don’t know of another recording artist that works the 21st Century media machine better, as she has a website, MySpace, facebook, Twitter, blog, and the aforementioned YouTube channel, all mainaining the personal touch with the fanatical (not to mention the fansites); it’s a wonder she has time to record and perform! Let’s hope “Ellipse” gets played on what’s left of radio!

The final addition to the volume 16 non-podcast is by Frankel, who’s flair for self-promotion seems to be entirely opposite Imogen’s.



Oh sure, he’s got the requisite MySpace page and website, but he doesn’t tour or do interviews, barely plays any gigs at all. The track I like, “Anonymity Is The New Fame” is a bit on the twee side, but I’m not alone in liking it, as rave reviews are stacking up all over the web. Frankel (real name Michael Orendy) is recording a Nick Drake cover, which seems a good fit, and he’s also been compared to Harry Nilsson (not too shabby!) Check out the song below, or just listen to the whole set over there to your right! (don’t skip the promos!)