Tom Jones goes Gospel: “Did Trouble Me”

July 17, 2010

Tom Jones, now seventy, has recorded an album of Gospel songs entitled Praise and Blame.

Maybe not so many panties thrown onstage next tour, but the single is excellent. I’m curious to know if roots-music fans and AAA radio will pick it up.

I suppose this is similar to what Johnny Cash did with his American Recordings series, but Tom doesn’t try to be Johnny Cash (at least not on this number). It sounds like a natural evolution–the bombast is still there, but in service of a song appropriately sung by a man late in life.

I like it.

Tom Jones – “Did Trouble Me”

For old time’s sake…

Tom Jones – “Without Love”


New Music: “Last Dance” by the Raveonettes

September 30, 2009

The Raveonettes’ last album, Lust Lust Lust, was one of my favorites from last year. This number, from their upcoming record In and Out of Control, features a somewhat cleaner sound and an overwhelming amount of sweetness.

The album comes out next week.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Via Stereogum.

New Music: “There’s Too Much Love” by Sufjan Stevens

September 29, 2009

Via Pitchfork.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Mr. Stevens. This live video has me looking forward to his next record.

New Music: Girls – “Lust For Life”

August 13, 2009

Here’s a great little summer tune from San Francisco duo Girls.  Thankfully, it is not a Jet-style rip off of Iggy Pop.

Girls – “Lust For Life”

FYI, Girls will be playing at Emo’s on 8/14, opening for Los Campesinos! along with the Smith Westerns.  Those are three really good bands.  I would recommend getting yor butt out there to hear some great indie rock.  But that’s just me.  You do what you like.

The Smith Westerns – “Girl In Love”

Los Campesinos! – “This Is How You Spell ‘Hahaha, We Destroyed The Hopes And Dreams Of A Generation Of Faux-Romantics'”

New Music: We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Quiet Little Voices”

July 7, 2009

Man, there are some great bands coming out of Scotland lately.  One of last year’s best records was made by Glasgow band Frightened Rabbit, Glasvegas have caused a huge stir on both sides of the pond, Camera Obscura recently released a gorgeous record, and the list goes on and on.  The latest Scottish band to get some attention from the music press is We Were Promised Jetpacks, a power pop band from Edinburgh that have just released their debut record, These Four Walls.  I have not yet had a chance to pick up the album and give it a listen, but if the first single is any indication, there will be yet another Scottish indie rock band fighting it out for space on my iPod.  Once I get my hands on ths album, I will be sure to give it a proper review.  Until then, please enjoy their first single, “Quiet Little Voices.”

We Were Promised Jetpacks – “Quiet Little Voices”

Worst song of the year so far: Chris Cornell – “Part of Me”

July 2, 2009

My god.  What record company suit convinced Chris Cornell to jump into bed with producer Timbaland to create this shameless money grab of a song?  Auto-Tune?  A chorus featuring the lyric “No, that bitch ain’t part of me”?  This has to be one of the worst pairings in musical history, and the end result perfectly demonstrates that fact.  Chris, please call the former members of  Soundgarden for a reunion if you need money.  But please, please, please, never do this again!  Britney Spears called, and she wants her song back.

Semi-New Music: Metric – “Help, I’m Alive”

June 29, 2009

I received a text message from my friend Mike in LA the other night.  It was short, sweet, and to the point:

My new favorite song: “Help, I’m Alive” by Metric.

I have a slightly rocky history with Metric.  I have frequently been told that they are the next big thing, and it was this sentiment that caused me to finally check them out right after the release of 2005’s Live It Out.  It was an okay album, but the overwhelming feeling I got from Live It Out was that it was very mechanical.  The cold precision of the music, the weird tinny production, and something in lead singer Emily Haines’s voice (despite the fact that I love her work with Broken Social Scene) gave me the inescapable impression of a bunch of 80’s era robots hopelessly stuck on the New Wave setting.   In all, despite a couple of bright moments here and there, I was largely unimpressed, and I had no motivation to check out any of their earlier albums or to anticipate any future releases.

So then comes this text message.  I generally but not always agree with Mike’s taste in music, so unless his text message was dripping with sarcasm not easily conveyed through the written word, I believe this was a pretty glowing review.  Also, I’m never one to completely count a band out, even after a pretty decisive first impression, so I figured I would give them a second chance and Youtube “Help, I’m Alive.”

After some predictably robotic percussion leading things off, Haines’s echo-effect voice breaks in along with some low synths in the background.  The somewhat familiar New Wave vibe is still there, but there’s a new life in Haines’s voice and **gasp** something resembling emotion!  I was a bit concerned after the swelling synths come in at about 0:35, but the second time around,  the synths break completely and make way for some crunchy guitar chords, and Haines goes up an octave or so to create an instantly hooky chorus.  Less than halfway through the song, I notice my foot tapping, and I realize that this is by far the best Metric song I’ve ever heard, and I think I may be inspired to check out their latest record, Fantasies.

Thanks for the text, Mike!

Metric – “Help, I’m Alive”