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Posts Tagged ‘Cherry Blossom Girl’

29. Zwan – The Number Of The Beast

Some days you wake up wondering how many straight punches to the face you can unflinchingly take before your instinct kicks in and you crumble to the floor like a sack of anemic tomatoes. Then you get all confused trying to figure out which option hurts a whole lot less and you’d probably sink in the armchair, desperately holding on to a cigarette. At that time you’d be well advised to play this track; the fact that it is a cover of an Iron Maiden classic only adds to the cruelty of life that Zwan’s version briefly soothes.

28. Super Furry Animals – The Man Don’t Give A Fuck

I sometimes wonder if I scourge the web for bands with ridiculous monikers and force myself to appreciate their music. Rhys, Bunford, Pryce, Ciaran and Ieuan (Super Furry Animals) laugh uproariously at such contrived pop psychology with this amazing track released on Out Spaced, a collection of their B-sides and rarities. It even boasts of a grand chorus that samples Steely Dan’s Showbiz Kids. One of those precious moments during the Nineties when quasi-juvenility lent itself to a mean artistic streak. Isn’t it remarkable how everybody takes any side but that of the censorship board? Makes me want to have faith in humanity and stuff.

27. Belleruche – It’ll Come

Belleruche lovingly evolves Nineties blue-eyed soul into something funkier and far more soulful. In 2007 Kathrin deBoer, Ricky Fabulous and DJ Modest put out possibly the best album in their label Tru Thoughts’ brief history. You should go out of way to pick up their album – Turntable Soul Music. Matter of fact send them an email or give them a shout-out on Facebook and tell them how awesome they are. I bet they’d be all “ah shucks, thanks…do you want a free CD?” but you should refuse and pay for it anyway.

26. Tricky & Martina Topley Bird – Hell Is Around The Corner

The coolness of Tricky’s deeply breathed poetry has found an irresistible bedmate in Martina Bird’s sweaty and sultry cooing. Go back to when Don Henley paired up with Patty Smyth in 1992 to sing about how sometimes love just isn’t enough. Remember how unholy and irritating that was? This has the exact opposite effect. Great video too.

25. Solace – Mother Godzilla (Download)

Just so you know, New Mexico-based MeteorCity Records is home to plenty of great stoner rock bands. Now, Solace comprises a bunch of unruly guys from Jersey Shore who pay proper respect to the almighty riff. Their sound is gargantuan with downtuned rhythm sections exploding like heavy metal shrapnel over fiery solos. Mother Godzilla, from the ultra cool Destroysall (A Tribute To Godzilla) album, wakes from its fuzzy slumber around the 1:15 min mark and launches itself into a superlative free metal jam that haunts as much as it rocks.

24. Broken Bells – Mall and Misery

Broken Bells is all that and then some. The talents of Brian J. Burton a.k.a Danger Mouse and James Mercer (The Shins) mix like green candles and decent sex. Dueling vocals effortlessly, one sulky and the other cherubic, drip through a bubbling canvas of warm snares and quirky electronics on this track; and once again, my minions, we stand a good chance of getting our ears wetted by sticky sweet pop goodness.

23. Dead Can Dance – Ubiquitous Mr Lovegrove (Live in Hague)

Singer/composer Lisa Gerrard and multi-instrumentalist Brendan Perry were the purveyors of neo-classical medieval pop exotica that caused the wind chill to bite through a large chunk of underground goth clubs during the Nineties. In this 2005 live version of a Dead Can Dance classic, Brendan and Lisa revisit those incredible double reed instruments, tripped-out percussion arrangements and ethereal vocals that reach such heights it’s a wonder how Enya could sleep at night knowing she was making more money than these guys.

22. Soulfly & Tom Araya – Terrorist

If I was a super villain with access to thousands of vicious flying monkeys, I’d watch them wreak havoc on the general populace while listening to this. Max Cavalera and Tom Araya were once Ares and Hephaestus of the thrash metal scene and they have proudly shown it off in Soulfly’s Primitive album. They shred their throats dry over Roy Mayorga’s apocalyptic percussion blasts and frenzied four-stringed riffing to create an atmosphere so brutal that the least you should do after the track ends is watch a Kim Ki-Duk film. Fly, my monkeys, fly.

21. Air – Playground Love

Air’s possibly one of the underrated electronic duos out there; problem being when they’re ordinary, they sound truly horrendous, but when in form they sound like a distant male cousin of Cocteau Twins with a voracious appetite for trespassing uncommon grounds in the electronica genre. They were in spectacular form during the recording for the Virgin Suicides’ soundtrack and it shows in this moody gem with its sleepy-eyed saxophone licks coaxing us to beg for more. You can move on to Cherry Blossom Girl and Alone In Kyoto after this.

20. The Deftones & Maynard James Keenan – Passenger

Barring the ferocity of My Own Summer, The Deftones never sounded as compelling as they did on the 2001 album – White Pony. This had so many fantastic tunes that picking just of the lot should rightfully be both insidious and misleading…if it weren’t for Maynard James Keenan absolutely tearing the goddam roof off with a jaw dropping vocal performance on this , of course. “Ahhhhhhhh I’m your passsssengerrrrr”.

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mark_knopfler_-_sailing_to_philadelphia_fr

Clapton, Page, Iommi and a few other guitarists have truly made me feel horrendous for being cursed with stubby fingers. As for Mark Knopfler, he was never a guitar god to me. At best, he was a gentle gargoyle who made pop rock songs that could have helped Michael in his quest to rock. Their songs had great melodies and all, but nothing that could justify their legendary status. The Sailing to Philadelphia album marked the first time I heard the Mark Knopfler sound and went, “woaaaw cool”. On Junkie Doll, his vocals and guitar bring out the beast in him. It starts off a good blues track that flirts with greatness during its quieter moments and by the time the subdued solo kicks in, it strips itself naked and fucks with awesome…and leaves without giving a phone number. Oh yeah badass.

*****

archie bronson

Archie Bronson Outfit had me dancing two summers ago. Their first video – Dart For My Sweetheart – was so much fun that I thought they were an amateur garage band looking for some sweet YouTube fame. When I realized just how tight and frigging catchy they were, I went around asking my friends to give up Jesus and instead let Archie Bronson Outfit into their hearts. The spiritual payoff might not be great, but the joy of incessantly tapping your feet to four minutes of Hendrix-influenced garage pop goodness is something you should seriously consider. Overhype besides, if you don’t find yourself nodding your head to the ‘Nah nanana nah nah ahhhh” groove, start sniffing around for vampires. You are Van Helsing. You are hollow.

*****

pharoahemonchdesire1

Born unto this world as Troy Donald Jamerson, Pharoahe Monch probably has the whitest name ever for a rapper from Queens. Thankfully, that hasn’t stopped him from ripping through a vicious cover of a classic Public Enemy rhyme. Just so you know, Pharoahe Monch’s gnarly version of Welcome To The Terrordome smokes the original. One of the most adrenaline-fuelled political hip hop songs like ofmygod ever.

*****

Air-Moon-Safari-10th-431277

I used to associate French electronic duo Air with their 1998 single Sexy Boy. It was a truly awful piece of kitschy music. As it turned out, Sexy Boy never happened again. Matter of fact, I don’t think I have heard a bad Air track since then. From the breezy melodies in All I Need and Kelly Watch The Stars that make my ears want to dance to the eerily sober and sophisticated harmonies in Cherry Blossom Girl and La Femme d’Argent, they all seem so dam likeable. Their contribution to Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides‘ soundtrack is a collection of their finest and most fragile moments. It really doesn’t get any better than Playground Love. Just listen to that saxophone solo explode with love.

Download

Mark Knopfler – Junkie Doll

Air – Playground Love

Watch

Archie Bronson Outfit – Dart For My Sweetheart

Pharoahe Monch – Welcome To The Terrordome

Air – You Make It Easy

Buy

Mark Knopfler’s Sailing To Philadelphia

Air’s Moon Safari

Archie Bronson Outfit – Derdang Derdang

Pharoahe Monch’s Internal Affairs

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