Friday Music

Lots of good stuff this week.

Beautiful Small Things is a NYC duo which includes vocals by Bree Sharp (who recorded the cult track “David Duchovny” in 1999, which X-Files fans might remember). This is a brilliant bit of mid-tempo synthpop balladry, massively elevated into absolutely niftyhood by the fact that they managed to get harmonizing backing vocals by none other than Simon Fucking LeBon of Duran Duran. In fact, the inclusion of his voice makes this a VERY Duran-sounding piece, and makes me drool for the new album the guys are currently recording with Mark Ronson. Beautiful Small Things – “Simple Joys (feat. Simon LeBon).”

I was introduced to this earlier in the week by and I’m hooked. Another exploration of the retro sound by a current UK act — this one mixing the uptempo pop of early-60s girl groups with the raw edge of garage band guitars. They’ve got some great videos, too — check Youtube. The Noisettes – “Never Forget You.”

I was so busy this summer (moving Dotta Numba 2, turning 40, having The Minion back from college, prep for GenCon, attending GenCon, etc.) that I completely missed the fact that Kasabian released their 3rd album. I’ve been listening to it quite a bit this week after finally making the discovery — call it making up for lost time. The album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is so good, I’ll share two tracks with you:

First, the opener, which treads familiar territory (very similar in feel to the chunk and bombast of their best-known single over here, “Club Foot”) – Kasabian – “Underdog.”

And the current single, the key changes and refrain vocals of which makes me think of it as something like a 21st-century Beatles song. I can’t really explain that, and maybe it’s just me. It’s grand, though. Kasabian – “Where Did All The Love Go?”

There’s also a brilliant duet with Rosario Dawson that I was tempted to also post — trust me, just go get this album.

Moving from there to hip-hop, here’s a really excellent Gnarls-Barkley-esque track which I heard while watching “So You Think You Can Dance” this week — the dancer was good, but the song was brilliant. Madcon – “Beggin’.”

We’ll close out with some modern Blues. First up, a track by Chicago bluesman Otis Taylor, used in the trailer for (and appearing on the soundtrack of) the Johnny Depp film about Dillinger, Public Enemies: Otis Taylor – “Ten Million Slaves.”

And lastly, an amazing version of a classic, which was featured in the first season finale of Sons of Anarchy (which, if you’re not watching, you should be — it’s on DVD now, and second season is airing now.) They just released a soundtrack EP with a handful of tracks, and I was thrilled to see that they included this: Curtis Stigers and the Forest Rangers – “John The Revelator.”

There you go. Enjoy.

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