Friday Music

Back from GenCon, and back on schedule….

Bruce Springsteen’s got a new album of original music (as opposed to his Pete Seeger recordings, which filled the last album) releasing in October. The first single has leaked (or is that “leaked”?) onto Teh IntarTubes. It’s definitely got earworm potential. Bruce taking us all to task for not being angry enough: “This is Radio Nowhere…Is there anybody alive out there?” Bruce Springsteen – “Radio Nowhere.”

Children of the CPU are a band that references everything from 80s synthpop to 8-bit videogames…which is a combination sure to get my attention. Here’s a track from their album Back to BASIC, named after one of my favorite early video games: Children of the CPU – “Omega Race.”

While I’m on the subject of the 80s, I realize that I haven’t posted nearly enough Squeeze. Their mid-80s best-of collection, Singles, 45s and Under was a constant accessory of my high-school years…so much so, that I wore out two cassette versions of it. Here’s one of the tracks, which always sounded to me like Squeeze covering Elvis Costello, or perhaps vice-versa: Squeeze – “Another Nail For My Heart.”

Sticking with the 80s, here’s a track for , which I know is one of her favorites. From Suzanne Vega’s first album (which I still consider her best work — the intimacy of the instrumentation is far superior to her later, “bigger”-sounding albums) — Suzanne Vega – “Small Blue Thing.”

This song is bizarre, and beautiful. They’ve taken the vocals and backmasked them, so that they become meaningless walls of pure sound, filtered through effects until they become just another instrument in the overall mix. Then, they composed new music, to fit the key and the overall “melody” of the backmasked vocals. Hard to describe — just listen: Siobhan Donaghy – “ghosts.”

Also in the realm of the unusual — a South African cover of Marvin Gaye’s 70s classic “Inner City Blues”, except translated entirely into the Xhosa language. Very cool. Lungiswa – “Inner City Blues (Xhosa Version).”

Lastly, a positively wicked mash-up by DJ Earworm, combining Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax” with Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music” — it really, really grows on you. DJ Earworm – “Funky Goes To Hollywood.”

There you have it. Another week, another mix. More next Friday.