Friday Music

Another Mixtape of Teh Intarwebs for ya:

First up, I want to kick things off with an old track that I think holds up really well. It has been said that at the time they were actively recording, The Velvet Underground was only heard by a few hundred people….but every one of those people went on to form a band. They are massively influential, and if you’ve never given their albums a listen, you really should. This is my second-favorite VU track (the first being a spoken-word-over-extended-jam track called “The Gift”, which I’ll share sometime): The Velvet Underground – “Venus in Furs.”

Here’s another track from the forthcoming Scissor Sisters album, Ta Da, which is coming out at the end of the month. So far I haven’t heard anything that represents their “Return to Oz” Bowie-ish sound, and from what I hear, it’s not really present on this album — which concentrates on the Elton John-ish vibe present in “Take Your Mama”, and the ELO-meets-Disco sound (like in “Get It Get It” and “Filthy/Gorgeous”). This track is an example of the latter, with main vocals by Anna Matronic: Scissor Sisters – “Kiss You Off.”

The new single from Muse’s absolutely brilliant Black Holes & Revelations serves as something of a title track, since it features that line in the chorus. I love it. Killer piano hook, fuzzy bass and guitars, soaring sci-fi vocals…..this one is absolutely crying out to be used in a fan video for Trek, Firefly or any other ship-based SF. Muse – “Starlight.”

Fun Da-Mental’s new album All Is War is somewhat controversial — the cover depicts the Statue of Liberty in Abu Graib torture gear (hooded and wired). A lot of the tracks, as you might imagine, are scathing indictments of the “War on Terror.” This one, however, is just an absolutely slamming bit of Bollywood-influenced dance music: Fun-Da-Mental “Electro G-Had (Punjab Style).”

Folks dug the track from Bitter:Sweet that I posted last week, so here’s another that I tracked down, which I find equally nifty: Bitter:Sweet – “Heaven.”

A new discovery: Joy Disaster, a neo-new-wave band from France. They’re singing in English, and the sound is like a mix of Q Lazzarus (the group that did “Goodbye Horses” — the serial killer’s dance in Silence of the Lambs) and Modern English. You could easily hear this coming from the soundtrack of a John Hughes movie. Joy Disaster – “Artemis.”

pointed me in the direction of some tracks by a band from the early-60s surf-guitar fad that raged in Japan after the 1962 tour by The Ventures. The Japanese called the fad “Eleki” (short for “Electric Boom”), and this is a track from an album of classical music re-imagined as surf rock by the top Eleki band: Takeshi Terauchi and the Bunnys – “Fur Elise.”

I always liked the fact that Rancid was trying their hardest to echo the late 70s sound of the UK, where 2nd wave ska and punk collided. My favorite example of their efforts: Rancid – “Time Bomb.”

Another new band, A Northern Chorus — a group from Ontario that does amazingly ethereal instrumental pop. I’ve heard this described as “Dream-pop”, which I suppose is as good a description as any: A Northern Chorus – “Spirit Flags.”

There you go. Hope you like ’em.