Thursday, January 31, 2008

Live Music: Franz Ferdinand on Jools Holland

This is one of my favorite performances ever to be on Jools Holland's show. It's the Franz Ferdinand closer, "Outsiders", a performance remembered for its ridiculous amount of drummers. A+.

Covers: Tori Amos does Kylie

Here's an old clip I found from a year and a half ago. It's Tori Amos performing "Can't Get You Out of My Head" on the day that it was announced that she had cancer. She brings this really chilling, haunting quality to the song that no one but Tori could pull off this well.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Live Music: Adele

We promised we'd deliver a full stream of Adele's Mark Ronson collab "Cold Shoulder", and we sorta came through. Here's a fantastic live performance of the song on Mark's Electric Proms '07 event (by the way, there a thousand vids from that concert, and they're fantastic, and we'll be posting highlights from it in the future). It's not quite the same as the studio performance, but she's such a strong live performer that it's almost as perfect as the original. She completely deserves all the "Next big thing in '08" hype that she gets.

Old Music Videos: Flogging Molly

This video isn't anything new (Three years old, to be exact), but it's one of my favorite music videos ever and it needs to be posted for the people who are unfortunate enough to not have this video in their life yet. It's the video for "Seven Deadly Sins", and it features the band as paper cutouts dancing about in some kind of pirate puppet show. It's lolz all around.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Acoustic Covers: Adele does The Strokes

Here's yet another awesome cover performed on BBC's Radio 1. If you follow Mark Ronson's radio show, an up-and-coming musician named Adele has probably been on your radar for a while now. If you haven't heard of her, most people compare her to Amy Winehouse. To me, she sounds exactly halfway between Winehouse and Sia (both of whom have shown up on this blog multiple times). God bless whoever Youtubed this cover yesterday, because it's so loveable. Adele did an acoustic-jazz-like cover of "Last Nite" by The Strokes, and shows off the ridiculous amount of charisma she has. Her Ronson collaboration, called "Cold Shoulder" is also really cool, and if you like this, I really recommend seeking out the bootleg. I'll post an audio stream as soon as I get the chance.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Remixes: Amy Winehouse vs 50 Cent

This right here is a perfect example of what a good rap/non-rap mashup should sound like. It's an instrumental loop from "You Know I'm No Good" underneath the vocals of "I Get Money", and it works extremely well. I never liked most of 50 Cent's work, but after hearing this I think it's because he settles for really dull beats most of the time ("Ayo Technology" being the exception to the rule-- thank you, Timbaland). But here, "I Get Money" really comes alive thanks to Mark Ronson's ridiculously dynamic instrumental. Anyway, this mashup comes with a cool video to stare at. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Undiscovered Talent: Jessica Heckel (a.k.a. GemiiniiRiisiing)

After sitting through multiple hours of generic crap on American Idol auditions, I decided to start a new segment about extremely talented people that no one's heard of. It's not really a new concept for us, since in the past we've promoted Leticia Wolf, Dan Tharp, and Merit, all of whom are complete unknowns to 99%+ of the country. But today, we've found our blog's most underground talent yet. I accidentally ran across her acoustic cover of Smashing Pumpkins' "Disarm" this afternoon, and loved every second of it. There was no artist name on the video, so I assumed it was a really amazing B-side that Annie Lennox or possibly even Shirley Manson recorded that I had just never heard of. But when Google didn't help me, I took a closer look at the poster's Youtube page and realized it was posted by an independent musician who posts music on Myspace under the name GemiiniiRiisiing. I actually had to email her to find out her name. Well, her name is Jessica Heckel, and she could vocally kick the ass of any American Idol contestant this year. Her cover of "Disarm" is, shockingly, as powerful as the original. Billy Corgan was a genius for being able to write that song, but his voice was extremely hard to take sometimes for new listeners, and it requires several listens to adjust to it. But this cover is 100% accessible; it's impressive even on the first listen, and it still packs all the raw emotion of the original. If this girl can team up with the right band and/or producer, she'll have no trouble finding a strong following in the alt-rock world. You can check out more covers and original work at her Myspace page.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Covers: Hallulujah on Nintendo DS's Jam Sessions

A few months ago I bought Jam Sessions, the Nintendo DS game that turns the DS into a virtual guitar. Besides the steep learning curve, disappointing collection of preset songs, and unexplainable lack of power chords, the game is terrific and has really enhanced my learning how to play a real guitar. It's helped me with things like rhythm, strum patterns, key, so on and so on. A great example of how powerful the free play mode is these Youtube vids of people playing along with Rufus Wainwright's cover of "Hallelujah". The top video is more like a how-to video with the original song playing in the background, and the bottom is a short performance of what the song sounds like with just the singer and DS, no backing track (the guy can't sing, but he plays the DS very well).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Random Track of the Day: Dan Tharp (Via

Here's a website that anyone who gives two fucks about music needs to know about. If you're looking for new music that you've never heard about, go to for suggestions. Seriously, legitimately talented people who are complete unknowns are hard to find, but this place helpfully compiles them all into one place. Plus, if you register, you can make money by making good recomendations. One example of really cool, random obscure tracks you can find is an amazingly well-produced acoustic intrumental by Dan Tharp called "Amber". You can find plenty of more mainstream-sounding tracks at Amiestreet, but I thought it would be more fun to post the most left-of-center thing I can find.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Remixes: Gorillaz vs No Doubt vs Deep Purple

Here's a feel-good new wave mashup to start your weekend with. I don't know who the original DJ (Myspace us if you know so we give credit where it's due), but it's really well-crafted. It's a Gorillaz instrumental underneath the "Hella Good" vocals, with a cameo by the famous "Smoke on The Water" riff towards the end. The way the three songs flow in and out of each other throughout the entire track is really well done, and I hope I can find the mixer behind it so I can discover more of his/her work.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Live Music: Radiohead

First things first: I loved "In Rainbows" from open to close, and I love that it's marketing experiment paid off in spades. Arugably the best song on the album was "Nude", and it's been getting enough buzz in the last few weeks to attract attention from people who didn't even know much about Radiohead before. A lot of it might have to do with the use of the song in a fantastically slutty ad for the British show "Skins" (It's like a British "O.C.", but with awful awful writing). It will probably show up in more TV/Movie soundtracks later on since this song is just built for underscoring emotional scenes. Enclosed is a fantastic live performance of the song, and the "Skins" ad that has caught a lot of attention lately.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Live music: Flogging Molly

FUCKING CHEERS! This band is one of the best things to ever exist. "Drunken Lullabies" is one of my all-time favorite songs, and Flogging Molly is one of the best live bands I've ever seen, and this video just made me love the band and the song even more.

Irish pride, bitches!

Music Videos: New Timbaland single

After the huge success of "Give It To Me", "The Way I Are", and "Apologize, Timbaland's about to attempt a fourth hit single from "Shock Value" with "Scream", which features Keri Hilson and Nicole Scherzinger. Pros: The song is really good (by bullshit pop standards of course); Keri Hilson is really good at what she does, so hopefully another hit for her will advance her solo career enough for her to move past some of her less talented peers; it'll be cool to see Timbo continue his winning streak, which he probably will, because I'd be shocked if this song didn't pick up decent radio play. Cons: Nicole Scherzinger is completely useless, uninteresting and untalented, and I resent anything that forwards her completely undeserved career; "Throw It On Me" featuring The Hives really deserved to be the new single (but it's placement in a Verizon commercial suggests there's still hope); the video itself looks a little ridiculous; and finally, that fucking ski mask.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Covers: John Mayer guitar-ifies Timberlake song

OK, John Mayer's music does nothing for me, but judging by his blog posts, I'm still pretty sure that he's an awesome human being. I never really thought much about his abilities as a guitar player before, but I think this video more than proves that he's a pretty amazing player. He reinterprets the "I Think She Knows" interlude from "FutureSex/LoveSounds" into a ridiculously cool-sounding electric guitar solo, and I'm not gonna lie, it's kinda hot once it really gets going.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Acoustic: Gnarls Barkley salvages "Transformer"

I loved Gnarls Barkleys' "Saint Elsewhere" album, but I hated "Transformer" with a fiery passion. It was a weak effort, and it just seemed so far beneath them. But I had no idea that the song had so much potential until I saw an acoustic performance of it that slows it down into a chilling, soulful ballad that's shocking without losing any subtlety. It's actually really brilliant, and I'll never understand why this version of the song didn't show up on the album. It's honestly the best thing I ever heard from them. As a single, it never would have sold as well as "Crazy" did, but it would have earned them a hell of a lot of respect in the industry and among devoted music fans (think the trajectory of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black"'s title track).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Live Music: Sia (dressed like a crayon drawing)

Sia's new album, "Some People Have Real Problems" (love the title) came out this week in the US, and the closing track is the bizarrely addictive single "Buttons". There have been some really cool live cuts of the song floating around since the music video was released. The best and strangest vid to surface was a performance at Bush Hall where Sia spends the entire performance dressed like a crayon drawing (you have to see it to get it). She's a shockingly good live performer, and here's some proof. The first vid is a complete but very distant video of the performance, and under that is a minute-long exerpt that shows you a close-up of Sia's costume (and what appears to be some kind of interpretive dance that goes with it).

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Video Remixes: Gorillaz vs The Cure

This is one of the best video mashups I've seen in months. The audio of the mashup takes elements from "Lullaby" by The Cure and lays them over "Tomorrow Comes Today" by Gorillaz, and the video connects pieces of both of the original music videos. It really does sound like a "real" song and doesn't have "mashup sound" at all. Very, very well done.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Live Music: Babyshambles

Despite Pete Doherty's issues with instability, Babyshambles is a much better live band than you would ever expect them to be. I found a partial video of an amazing performance of "Fuck Forever". I'm posting this alongside a request: if you know where I can find the complete vid of this performance, Myspace me with the link. This performance is so good but cuts off in the middle of the best part!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Live Covers: Dustin Kensrue does Imogen Heap

We're back! We promised that we'd return with our favorite live cover that we discovered in '07, and here it is. It's from Dustin Kensrue (Thrice)'s solo tour in '06, where he performed Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" several times. There's a ton of videos of various performances of the cover floating around, and this is the best we could find. I never could get into Thrice, but I really do respect Dustin as a musician and think he's an amazing live performer solo, especially acoustic. His voice really adds a lot to the song and makes it work in a whole new way. He adds just a little acoustic guitar to make the song even more his own, but he doesn't let the guitar dominate the performance, so it's just as subtle and affecting as the acapella original.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Returning soon

Sorry the orignal announcement got lost in the server somewhere, but we haven't fallen off the face of the Earth. We're still taking our holiday hiatus to gather new content, and we'll be back on Monday with a cover of an Imogen Heap song that was our favorite cover of '07. Until then, enjoy '08!