Friday Music

Got a bunch for you this week, so let’s get started:

At the Blow-Stuff-Up cook-out last Saturday, I was telling about this, and completely blew away, because she couldn’t believe that anyone besides her had ever heard it. So, here it is — the lead-off track from the 1978 concept album: Jeff Wayne’s musical version of War of the Worlds, featuring Richard Burton as the narrator, and with vocals by Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues. It’s my favorite track from the album. Note that the mix is continuous, so this fades into the beginning of track 2 (“Horsell Common and the Heat Ray”) before cutting off somewhat abruptly. Jeff Wayne – “The Eve of The War.” “The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one….yet still, they come!”

One for : more French hip-hop, courtesy of “La Belle et Le Bad Boy” artist MC Solaar. This one is a downtempo track, about a woman, and pretty damned cool — He’s not as into mixing up samples of North African music like other French hip-hop acts (he stays on a more traditional American-style R&B feel), but the sound is still great. I get a kick out of a precise language like French used for rap. MC Solaar – “Caroline.”

Some really excellent German dark electronica to get your stompy boots a-twitchin’, courtesy of my friend ,recording under the name Electronic Body Confusion – “Maschinenpuls.”

One of my favorite bits of rare New Wave from 1980, featuring a pre-Ultravox Midge Ure. Visage – “Fade to Grey”

According to David Bowie, Brian Eno came running into their studio in Berlin one day carrying this record, announcing that he had “heard the future.” One of the greatest synth riffs of all time, courtesy of Giorgio Moroder, lends a machine-like, cold foundation, over which Donna Summer lays breathy, sexy vocals. Cold and Hot at the same time. Genius. Donna Summer – “I Feel Love.”

For all you show tune fans — here’s a new, absolutely brilliant electronic-tinged piano jazz version of a Broadway classic. I really like this version quite a bit. Big Bang – “My Favourite Things.”

An absolutely smoking track featuring a wailing siren and driving guitars from a band appropriately named “Klaxons.” I don’t know much about them (this is the first track I’ve ever heard from them, and their MySpace page is a bit lacking in the bio department), but this kicks ass: Klaxons – “Atlantis to Interzone.”

I’ve been expanding my listening a bit recently, giving an ear to the odd breed of fantasy-geek operatic Metal. I have to admit that I like some of it (god help me). This is the title track from one such release, a 2005 album by the German metal band Demons & Wizards – “Crimson King.” Makes me want to roll a d20 with some fuckin’ AUTHORITY, man.

Lastly, this is the first single from the Dresden Dolls second album, Yes Virginia. Obviously designed as an audience participation piece, it gets louder and more impassioned until the sing-along segment. A really beautiful composition. I love the lines “Life is no Cabaret….We don’t care what you say….We’re inviting you anyway..” Dresden Dolls – “Sing.”

There you go, kids. Enjoy.