0 comments September 29, 2008

Kristin Hersh

It's a funny thing.

If you've ever had anyone close to you die, you may have noticed that in the first year or two after their death it's the anniversaries that can really lay you low. (Their birthday, your birthday, etc.)

But after a few years, (at least, this is what I've found) anniversaries no longer hold quite the same sway over you -- their meaning or significance has ... perhaps faded ever so slightly with time? Your feelings haven't faded, it's just that they'll overtake you at seemingly quite random, surprising moments.

Sometimes there might be a trigger. Like an old song buried deep in a now rarely used playlist.

I have this one song -- it's a very personal, very old favourite. I don't know if anybody else in the whole wide world knows this song, except the extraordinary being who created it, (and perhaps a few of her especially intense fans.)

I've always found this song exquisitely sad. And profoundly hopeful. And very, very, beautiful. (A bit like grief, I suppose: Sorrow and hope (and beauty) intricately intertwined.)

Here we are, then, (and thank you Ms. Hersh):


Amanda Palmer - Astronaut

F*cking awesome.

That is all.

[Amanda Palmer - MySpace] [Dresden Dolls - MySpace] [Who Killed Amanda Palmer - Amazon]

0 comments September 26, 2008


Hailing from Paris, France, Etyl is (to all intents and purposes) chanteuse Eglantine Hermand.

Hermand has two albums under her belt so far -- La Tortue from 2005 and Les Souris, which was released in March of this year. (And which, unfortunately, stinky old iTunes Canada does not carry.)

Ranging in influence from pop, to electronic, to jazz, Ms. Hermand has a thoroughly distinctive voice and style and I, for one, am hooked.

I guess maybe I'll have to go hunt for her album the old fashioned way? Like in a store? Where they sell you a little box with a shiny disc inside? Crikey...

You can always go and check out her MySpace page, and I would, if I were you. It's well worth it.

Meantime, here's "J'me Fais Mal" from Les Souris:

[Etyl - MySpace]

0 comments September 24, 2008

Midnight Juggernauts

Midnight Juggernauts started out as a couple of blokes from Melbourne, Australia.

They first made a blip on my musical radar with their awestastic remix of Dragonette's "I get around".

Then they went and put out a gleefully bombastic blast of awesomeness called Dystopia. And now they tour with the likes of Justice, Crystal Castles, Klaxons, Holy Fuck, etc, etc.


They have that dirty, woozy, spiraling sound* that always makes me feel slightly drunk and stupidly ecstatic. (Or ecstatically stupid?)

Either way, it's good times. Here's "Tombstone" (the Popular Computer Remix):

*First honed to perfection by Vitalic (<-- And you follow that link at your own peril. You have been warned.)

[Midnight Juggernauts - MySpace] [Band website]

0 comments September 16, 2008

Bajo Fondo

So from buchata to tango we go...

May I introduce Bajofondo, a music collective from -- respectively -- Argentina, Uruguay and North America.

They've been compared to the Gotan Project (which, in my humble opinion, is a marvellous compliment) and, indeed, Bajofondo's modus operandi is their deep and abiding love of tango.

They take this cherished musical genre from Argentina and Uruguay and perform a kind of cross-pollination -- fusing elements of electronica, house music and hip hop with the more traditional forms and instruments of tango.

The result is a most heady and savoury brew.

Such is their cachet, in fact, that all kinds of indie royalty (including Elvis Costello) signed on to their recent album Mar Dulce.

Two of my favourite tracks from the album are "Pa' Bailar" (featuring Ryōta Komatsu), and the hip hop-inflected and incredibly catchy "El Andén", with Mala Rodríguez on guest vocals:

[Bajofondo - MySpace] [Ryōta Komatsu - Website] [Mala Rodríguez - MySpace]

2 comments September 6, 2008

Luis Vargas - Tranquila

In keeping with our recent vacation, I've decided to haul out an old, old favourite of mine.

And no matter how many times I hear it, it has a most curious and embarrassing effect on me: I am unable to restrain myself from singing along loudly, passionately and wholeheartedly -- in tortured, mangled Spanish.

Dubious, yes. But an unabashed pleasure nevertheless.

It's a laid back summer-with-the-car-windows-rolled-all-the-way-down,
radio-turned-all-the-way-up, sing-along-at-the-top-of-your-voice kind of song.

And while, technically, it's from the wrong country (the singer is from the Dominican Republic), it's a sound we heard again and again while in Mexico.

So, here it is -- "Tranquila" by Luis Vargas:

[More on Luis Vargas] [Putumayo - Republica Dominicana]