+sleeping with ghosts+

•March 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Placebo – Sleeping with Ghosts

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+you look like you’ve seen a ghost+

•March 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

If you haven’t heard this song yet, you need to. Trust me on this one.

The Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight

+do you need something new?+

•March 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been buying lots of albums lately, and I thought I’d share some music and videos with y’all from my newest acquisitions. So pick a couple or watch them all. Enjoy!

U2 – Get on Your Boots (from the album No Line on the Horizon)
Words cannot describe how much I love this song and video.

MGMT – Electric Feel (from the album Oracular Spectacular)

Keane – Spiralling (from the album Perfect Symmetry)

Innerpartysystem – Die Tonight Live Forever (from their self-titled album)
You’ll have to click through here, but it’s well worth it. Not a video for the easily offended.

+top 10 albums of 2008+

•February 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I know it’s mid-February, and most people put out these lists somewhere around the end of December.  What can I say?  2008 was not a very inspiring year for me musically.  At first I thought that I was just getting old, and that’s why nothing sounded good enough to buy.  But after looking through the top albums of 2008 over at Rate Your Music, I don’t feel so bad. It’s a list riddled with lots of indie hipster nonsense and obscure death metal bands. The good news is that I’ve been reinvigorated by listening to Alt Nation on Sirius and have discovered some new music recently.  I’m also looking forward to huge releases from U2, Tori Amos, Manic Street Preachers, and Blue October this year. 2009 has already been excellent for me musically, but here still is a look back at my few favorites from 2008.

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10.  Radiohead – In Rainbows

Yeah, yeah, most people downloaded this in 2007, but I bought my hard copy when it was released last January.  This is not my favorite Radiohead album by any means, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t have some amazing Radiohead tunes on it.
Favorite track:  All I Need
Other goodies: Videotape, Nude

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9. Thievery Corporation – Radio Retaliation

Another solid release from some of the best American electronic musicians around. It doesn’t break any new ground in comparison with their previous records, but that’s not a problem for me. Thievery Corporation are good at what they do and have no reason to fix what’s not broken.
Favorite track: Sound the Alarm
Other goodies: Radio Retaliation, El Pueblo Unido, Blasting Through the City

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8. Tiesto – In Search of Sunrise 7

2008 was very much a trance year for me. While other genres were failing to impress, there was so much exciting new trance music that it was hard to keep up with. I still need to listen to this double CD set a few more times, but I can tell you it is a solid addition to Tiesto’s In Search of Sunrise series.
Favorite track: Carl B – Just a Thought
Other goodies: Tiesto – Driving to Heaven (Mat Zo Remix); Cressida – 6AM (Kyau & Albert Remix); Allure feat. Christian Burns – Power of You

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7. Armin Van Buuren – Imagine

Another enjoyable artist release from my favorite DJ, Armin Van Buuren. While I didn’t think it was as strong as Shivers track by track, I did find myself listening to the record on a regular basis and always liked hearing these songs on the radio. “Hold on to Me” also features a vocal performance by Audrey Gallagher, whose voice is perfect for trance.
Favorite track: Rain
Other goodies: In and Out of Love, Fine Without You, What If

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6. Mr Sam – Opus Secundo

If you do not know how much I adore Mr Sam, then this must be your first visit to my blog. This French DJ is making some of the best original dance anthems and conquering dance floors everywhere with his mixes. I can forgive him for his bad Latin (technically, it should be opus secundum *cough*nerd*cough*) because this mix is so outstanding. For a full review of this double disc set, click here.
Favorite track: Mr Sam feat. ClAud9 – Cygnes
Other goodies: Mr Sam – Seven 7 Seven; Arnej – The Beauty That Lies Behind Those Green Eyes (Opus Outro Mix); Issues – Danderlions

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5. The Thrillseekers – Nightmusic Volume 3

Now you know this has got to be a solid mix if it ranks above Opus Secundo. Steve Helstrip has done it again with his Nightmusic series, releasing another double CD set that should have trance and prog trance fans up and dancing. This set is so good simply on the power of each individual song being so good. You can find my full review of the set here.
Favorite track: Simon Patterson – Bulldozer
Other goodies: John O’Callaghan feat. Audrey Gallagher – Big Sky; The Thrillseekers feat. Gina Dootson – By Your Side (Mind One Remix); Markus Schulz feat. Dauby – Perfect (Agnelli & Nelson Remix); Simon Patterson – Smack; Nic Chagall – What You Need (Marco V Remix)

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4. Stereophonics – Pull the Pin

This album didn’t technically come out in 2008. In fact, it never came out in the States at all, which is why it took me so long to get it finally. Many thanks to my boyfriend’s father in England who was able to procure me a copy and mail it over (along with some delicious crisps, but that’s beside the point). This record was worth the wait. I was desperate for some good, straightforward rock music last year, and Stereophonics delivered yet again. If you’re an American rock music fan and you’ve not yet checked these guys out, try to find a copy of this record. Kelly Jones is amazing on vocals and continues to tear it up on guitar while showing why he is one of the best storytellers in all of rock. And in comparison to their other records, this one has a darker side to it that seasoned ‘Phonics fans should find intriguing.
Favorite track: Stone
Other goodies: I Could Lose Ya, My Friends, It Means Nothing

robyn

3. Robyn – Robyn

I bought this album months ago, and it is still in my car’s CD player, at the ready, for whenever I need some power pop in my life. When I first posted the video to “Konichiwa Bitches” on my blog, people were freaking. Robyn? Rapping? You listen to this? Yeah, I do. Robyn’s record, while it does have a few songs I could live without, is filled with the catchiest, most clever pop music out there. I dare you to listen to it and not want to dance and sing along, especially to her cover of Cobrastyle.
Favorite track: Who’s That Girl
Other goodies: Konichiwa Bitches, Cobrastyle, With Every Heartbeat, Be Mine!

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2. The Killers – Day & Age

The Killers, I must admit, have got to be one of my favorite bands right now. I loved their first two albums, and Day & Age is an excellent addition to their catalog. I loved it from first listen–the songs are catchy, the lyrics are artful, Brandon’s vocals are just right, and the music is that perfect mix of 80s synth and 00s rock that the Killers are making their trademark. Not to mention, songs about alien abduction rock my boat.
Favorite track: Spaceman
Other goodies: Human, I Can’t Stay, A Dustland Fairytale, This Is Your Life, Goodnight, Travel Well

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1. People in Planes – Beyond the Horizon

I had a good feeling about this record from the moment I heard the first single, “Pretty Buildings.” People in Planes have only gotten better on this record, which is only their second. The music, especially the guitar playing, is second to none, the vocals are fantastic (some songs are performed by the vocalist, while a few others are by the lead guitarist), and the music shows a creativity not found enough these days in pure rock music. Just another reason why I love the Welsh. If you see this record sitting around at the shop, take it home with you. You’ll find yourself a new favorite band who can do it all, from beautiful ballads to rocking the fuck out.
Favorite track: Pretty Buildings
Other goodies: Know By Now, Tonight the Sun Will Rise, Get on the Flaw, Flesh and Blood

+frankenstein mix+

•January 25, 2009 • 1 Comment

Apparently Frankenstein mixes were all the rage in 2006, but I had never heard of them until recently.  (For those who don’t know, you follow all sorts of random criteria to come up with a mix that doesn’t quite work as a whole.) I wanted to do one, nonetheless, and our dear blogger friend over at The Dwarf and the Basilisk (also known as my boyfriend) has agreed to make one as well. Check out his blog to see what he came up with. Mine is below. I think you’ll find that we have quite divergent tastes. Also, I should add that I have limited myself to one song per artist just to keep things more interesting. Otherwise this thing would be just a bunch of U2 songs…

1. A song from the year you graduated high school
Sponge – ‘Plowed’
After looking through Rate Your Music‘s list of the top singles of 1995, this is the song I chose. I vividly remember borrowing this album from my boss at the pizza place that summer and listening to it way too much. And considering it released was 14 years ago, I’m pleasantly surprised to still like this song.

2. A song that reminds you of your first relationship
Beastie Boys – ‘Fight for Your Right’
I’m not sure having a ‘boyfriend’ in the fourth grade counts as a relationship, but… I had a boyfriend named Todd Peterson, and I can remember him loaning me a Beastie Boys tape. That was pretty much the extent of our relationship. For the fourth grade, it was pretty serious.

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3. A song with handclaps
Radiohead – ‘We Suck Young Blood’
Not only does this song have handclaps, but they are also the most apathetic handclaps I have ever heard.

4. A song that lasts one minute or less
AFI – ‘Hearts Frozen Solid, Thawed Once More by the Spring of Rage, Despair, and Hopelessness’
A glorious song that clocks in at 31 seconds, which is almost the amount of time it takes to say the title. The lyrics? I will die screaming!

5. A b-side or non-album track
Mansun – ‘The Gods of Not Very Much’
There are only a few artists for whom I actively seek out b-sides and rarities, and most of them appear elsewhere on this mix. It all worked out, though, when I remembered that I had a ton of Mansun b-sides. I’m not exactly a huge Mansun fan, but of all their songs I’ve heard, my two favorites are in fact b-sides, including this one.

6. The best song from a favorite band’s worst album
My Chemical Romance – ‘Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us’
MCR fans should not take this the wrong way, as I do very much love their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. But compared to their next two albums, it is a bit inconsistent and can take a while to appreciate. This song, however, is a brilliant piece of work and an amazing Fuck You Break-up Song.

7. A song you would call Beatlesque
U2 – ‘Wild Honey’
That’s two Honey songs in a row, for those scoring at home. I had a lot of problems with this one, mostly because I don’t listen to the Beatles, and therefore have no clue what a Beatles song sounds like, really. But I do remember everyone saying this song sounded like the Beatles when All That You Can’t Leave Behind came out. It makes me sad to include it on this mix, because there are so many other places I could have used my U2 song. My boyfriend pointed out that all I had to do was use any Oasis song in this slot, but by then, the mix was done.

oasis

8. A live version of a song you think is better than the “original” studio track
Faithless – ‘We Come 1’
This song is played live on the best of the Glastonbury festival DVD that I have, and it is mindblowing. The crowd is going absolutely nuts, yelling “We come one” over and over. And it’s not that the studio version is lacking in any way, but the live version is one of those rare moments where the band and crowd are united in the joy of the music. At the end of the song, Maxi Jazz even says he’ll never forget it as long as he lives.

9. A favorite song from a genre or style you usually don’t like
Slowdive – ‘When the Sun Hits’
As far as I’m concerned, the entire Shoegaze/Dream Pop genre can go fuck itself. But I do like this song.

10. A song from a place where English is not the primary language or a song in a language you don’t speak
Deep Forest – ‘Sweet Lullaby’
When you are a fan of Deep Forest, you have lots of options in this category. The songs from their debut album happen to be recorded in various languages (most from the area of central Africa), and this one is, according to wikipedia, sung in the Baegu language, which is native to the Soloman Islands. Apparently English is the official language of the Soloman Islands, but I certainly don’t speak Baegu. If you’ve never heard this song, I can’t recommend it enough for its beauty and simplicity. And as a side note, my roomate and I used to listen to this album to help us relax every night when we went to sleep.

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11. A song with “sun” in the title / a song that makes you think of summer
People in Planes – ‘Tonight the Sun Will Rise’
I have lots of ‘sun’ songs, but I had to go with some People in Planes. This band is making some exciting music, and y’all need to check them out. This is one of the standout tracks on their latest album, Beyond the Horizon. And that’s the end of my People in Planes advertisement.

12. An old song that you only heard for the first time this year
Dredg – ‘Ode to the Sun’
And now we have three ‘sun’ songs on this mix, with two in a row. Since the year is only 24 days old, I’m glad I had a song to put in this slot at all. I heard this song for the first time today, and I was impressed. I definitely will be looking into this band some more.

13. A song from the last CD you bought
The Killers – ‘Spaceman’
Finally someone writes a catchy pop song about alien abduction!

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14. A song whose title is a question
Royksopp – ‘What Else Is There?’
I’ve got over 90 question songs on my iTunes, but this has got to be the most beautiful one. Easily my favorite Royksopp tune.

15. A cover you like more than the original
Tori Amos – ‘Time’
With apologies to my friend Ben, I just can’t listen to Leonard Cohen. But thank God, Tori Amos covers his songs so beautifully. This one is my favorite, with ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ a close second. Actually, almost every cover Tori does (and she does a lot) is better than the original.

16. If your life was a TV show, this song would be the theme song
Manic Street Preachers – ‘Die in the Summertime’
Let’s just say, it wouldn’t be a comedy.

17. A sexy song
Deftones – ‘Digital Bath’
Good Lord, this song is amazingly sexy and yet it still rocks so much. The same can be said of about ten other Deftones songs, but this is my favorite of the bunch.

18. A song without words
Push – ‘Strange World’
This was a tough one for me, since I listen to so much trance music, about half of which is non-vocal. But this was the first song that made me realize that non-vocal trance could be just as amazing as vocal trance, so I’m proud to include it here.

19. A song where the artist has your name or your name is in the title
Hole – ‘Jennifer’s Body’
I had a couple of songs to choose from here, but I always loved this one. The lyrics are so creepy and dark.

20. A song by the first or most recent artist you paid to see in concert
Placebo – ‘Blind’
I have chosen to go with the most recent artist option here. I’ve seen Placebo three times live now, and the last time, I developed a new appreciation for this song, so much so that it is now one of my favorite Placebo songs, which is saying a lot because of how much I adore this band.

21. A song that makes you cry
Antony and The Johnsons – ‘The Atrocities’
I can’t describe in words how painfully beautiful this song is. Both of my Antony albums have gotten me through a lot of sad days, and this song is one of his masterpieces.

22. A 7th song from a CD you like
30 Seconds to Mars – ‘From Yesterday’
Everybody hates this band because Jared Leto is the singer (and he’s so much prettier than all of us, as you can clearly see below), but I love this band and think they make some terrific music. I’ve got over 600 CDs to choose my track 7 from, but I’m comfortable putting 30STM on here. Even though the video for this song is ridiculous, the song is excellent and makes a nice closer for this mix.

jleto

+new manic street preachers album+

•November 8, 2008 • Leave a Comment

029yes

Well, well. What have we here?

Over at the official Manics site, the gentlemen of our favorite Welsh band have posted a brief note explaining that they are working on a new album, tentatively slated for release next April or May. Most intriguing to me is that they are using lyrics written by Richey before he disappeared, saying that it finally feels like the right time to record these songs. Working titles are “Journal for Plague Lovers” and “I Know I Believe in Nothing but It Is My Nothing,” and the songs are being recorded in a stripped down way with producer Steve Albini. The note also states that the songs feel like a cross between The Holy Bible and the acoustic sounds of “Small Black Flowers.”

I am officially excited.

(Also, I must give credit to the fantastic Reubenchives over at lj for the banner used in this post. If you’re a Manics fan, you must check out her work.)

+sunday night trance: signalrunners+

•November 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I heard this song on Area 38, Sirius Radio’s trance channel, today. It really got me going, and I’m always on the prowl for excellent new trance. It’s getting lots of play from the world’s top DJs too. Just thought I’d share. Enjoy.

Signalrunners feat. Julie Thompson – These Shoulders (Club Mix)