Thursday, February 14, 2008

Have Your Cake & Eat It, Too!

Ah, Cake. And not just the vanilla frosting/food colouring-infused delight that we all indulge in on birthdays, special occasions and midnight snacks, but rather the kind that involves a group of guys getting together, making great music, mixing various genres like cake batter, and thus getting people happy in the proccess. This Calafornian band that enjoyed the success of radio gem "The Distance" from Fashion Nugget stand out to me as the guys that were responsible for great songs like "Daria" (which got featured on an episode's end credits) and the amusing 'Short Skirt/Long Jacket' with the novelty people-on-the-street-listening-to-the-song-in-the-video-on-headphones video. They haven't released an official record since 2004 (apart from the B-Sides & Rarities), but have been known to tour every now and then, playing musical festivals in the States.

Today I offer up what I feel is one of Cake's best songs, which I originally got into thanks to the soundtrack for the mediocre MTV teen comedy, Orange County. This was one of the songs that pretty much made the soundtrack and the movie. It's upbeat, summery, smart, makes you want to shake your hips. Close your eyes and the plucky, strummy guitars will remind you of the West Coast in an instant.

Listen to Shadow Stabbing ( Comfort Eagle, 2001)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Next Best Alternative #2

I didn't think anyone could top a Klaxons cover after I heard Soko on a remix a while ago, but I'm really glad I was proved wrong.

My friend Olivia reminded me how great Goldfrapp are last night, and I was lucky enough to stumble on a session from BBC 1's Live Lounge in which the beautiful, super sophisticated and elegant Alison Goldfrapp does a hauntingly beautiful rendition of 'It's Not Over Yet'.

The band does an excellent job of the cover using acoustic guitars with classical undertones.

This song is also sort of reflective of the different direction that the band has taken with their forthcoming album, The Seventh Tree, due out later this month. Gone is the super-shiny disco-esque glamour found in the Supernature album. It's instead replaced by this refreshingly fresh, vulnerability that seems part hippie (I could easily see 'Little Bird' being featured in a scene between William and Penny Lane in Almost Famous) part fairytale, part soundtrack to an adventure involving a forest and mythical creatures. I strongly believe the album will be worth the wait, despite the disappointment of many long-time fans who appear to miss the heavily electronic beats, provocative lyrics and over-the-top disco-glam videos.

I'll have a more in-depth look at the new album soon-ish, but for now, I leave everyone with this tasty treat of a classy cover that (dare I say it) could possibly rival the original:

Listen to Goldrapp - Not Over Yet

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Song of The Day #2


...except listen to 'Silver Lining' by Beulah today. It will make you feel better, I promise.

Punk rock was my first girl /She left me a scar so I have her still /She’s not young, but she’s not old yet /We share the same sun but her’s never sets /You want it /Silver lining shining for you /You got it /The dark cloud always waiting for you /Weightless and tumbling through space I remember her voice but not her face /Floating but she’s always near /She wants to stay but she can’t stay here /You want it /Silver lining shining for you /You got it/ The dark cloud always waiting for you /Frozen in window displays /Where did you hide all those days we’d waste? /Fading but I see her still /She’ll always be my punk rock girl

As for the background on the band, here is what you need to know: they were born in an office mail room in mid-90's San Francisco after Miles Kurosky and Bill Swan decided that despite their mutual dislike for each other, their shared musical influences deserved to be put into practice in order to form a band and make music. They gained attention from bands like Apples In Stereo (who helped them release their first single) but unfortunately disbanded after a free concert in late 2004 after their last record Yoko failed to go gold. And yes, Micheal Cera is kinda a big fan. Rumors of frontman Miles's solo record release are on the horizon, though, so you never know - it might not be the end for long.

This paticular song, off their 2001 record The Coast Is Never Clear aptly reflects Miles's dealing with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder during the album's making. Cue the downbeat, disdainful lyrics synchronized with breezy, summery music that speaks of a different feeling entirely. Thus, it is the song of the day, and the only thing I recommend you listen to, on repeat, all day.

Download Silver Lining (The Coast Is Never Clear, 2001)