Friday Music

Wow. Friday already.

Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antionette with Kirsten Dunst was released at the end of October. I haven’t seen it, but I did pick up the two-disc soundtrack, which is chock full of New Wave goodness. The juxtaposition of 18th-century France and 1980s music works really, really well — for example, listen to how the album begins: Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Hong Kong Garden.”

One of the coolest things to come out of Japan in a long while is Shibua-Kei music. Literally “Shibuya style” and named for the trendy Tokyo shopping district, Shibuya-Kei is a sort of lounge electronica, mixing digital production with a burt-bacharach-esque groove and a laid-back hipster vibe. Artists famous for this style include Pizzicato Five and Hi-Posi, among others. I recently picked up a couple of Shibuya-Kei collections (“Sushi 3003” and “Sushi 4004”). Here’s the lead track from the first: SP1200 Productions – “My Super Lover.”

In France, meanwhile, they’re producing some great stuff as well. This is an absolutely brilliant French pop song from Emma Daumas. The title of the song means “elsewhere.” Emma Daumas – “Ailleurs.”

We’ll continue with the international tour, with an Icelanding group that produces what they call “crunk electro house” — a mix of the techno-glitter of dance music with the down-and-dirty “crunk” scene. It is, oddly enough, two great tastes that taste great together. This is a nasty grinding monster of a song, and I love it (although be warned that the lyrics are not safe for work): Steed Lord – “Dirty Mutha.”

Back in the early-to-mid 90s, there were a lot of collaborations between alternative and hip-hop artists, as they realized, in the words of Ice-T, you could “put all the pissed-off white kids and the pissed-off black kids in the same room, and they’d realize they were pissed off at the same shit.” This is one of my favorites from that period. Hip-hop act Onyx tried to introduce the mosh pit to hip-hop, and worked with Biohazard on this remix: Onyx and Biohazard – “Slam.”

I used to be a HUGE fan of U2…and in fact, their first 4 albums (“Boy”, “October”, “War” and “The Unforgettable Fire”) are among my most favorite albums of all time….but then they went all Arena-rock Massive on me. I still enjoy them, but I’m much more a fan of hungry-garage-band-new-wave U2 than I am of international-super-group U2. That said, they’ve got a new best-of collection coming out (yes, again), which features a new single, which is pretty nifty. Very much in the “Beautiful Day” sweeping anthem mode….which means, ironically, that they sound like they’re trying to emulate Coldplay, a band which more often then not emulates U2 themselves. U2 – “Window In The Skies.”

Lastly, here’s a really nice bit of uptempo electronica. I don’t know much about the group — the track comes from a collection of artists from the indie electronic label, Moodgadget. The Hexx – “Revista Moda.”

There you go, kids. Enjoy.