Music Video of the Day week 23 weekly recap (January 21 – 27)

Starting this Friday April 1, a new theme week, girl singers you probably have not heard of! That will not fit well in a Tweet, so I figured I would have to plug it here as well!

Okay, it dawned on me I can take the lazy route, and just add the URL of the Tweet, and WordPress automatically displays it. Did I say lazy, I meant descriptive, as I can add my commentary that exceeds 140 characters, and you, the reader can read the original Tweet at the same time (well, one right after the other)!

Very nice collabo. Of course, inspired by the similar Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson song “The Girl Is Mine”.

I never really had listened to Team Sleep prior to this Tweet/MVOD. I knew they were the side project of Deftones’ Chino Moreno.

I still have to give 10 000 days some proper rotation! Regardless, Schism is awesome! I call Tool the Radiohead of metal!

Very nice new Pink track. Of course, the uncensored version that is! The uncensored is still good, but just does not seem right.

Similar to Team Sleep, I had not heard She and Him really before this. Quite good, look forward to listening to their albums!

Excellent Face to Face track from 1996. From their equally excellent major label debut. I caught them live this past summer at Warped Tour, it is like they did not take any time off! Yet, their new album comes out May 17, their first in 9 years!

Similarly for Spinnerette, I have not listened to them very much. Of course, Brody Dalle formerly of the front-woman of The Distillers. Anyway, this is not bad!

Again, follow me on Twitter, @tmmblog, for this week’s theme week, girl singers you probably have not heard of!

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Music Video of the Day week 22 weekly recap (January 14 – 20)

January 14 (#148)

Karen Elson – The Truth Is In The Dirt

I believe this is still the only Karen Elson video and song I have heard so far. Another promising British singer! And she was a model apparently! Her debut album came out last year, it is called The Ghost Who Walks.

January 15 (#149)

Daft Punk – Robot Rock

Such a great track! From 2005s Human After All.

January 16 (#150)

Bif Naked – Moment of Weakness

Some classic Bif Naked! As I said on the Tweet, ironic that this one is blocked in Canada, seeing as she is Canadian, and most people (or many) will want to see it are in Canada.

January 17 (#151)

Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek, Reflection Eternal – The Blast

From their debut together from 2000, Train of Thought. I still have not heard their newest, Revolutions per Minute, from last year. And Talib Kweli’s just released his latest, Gutter Rainbows, at the end of January. Plenty of great hip hop to catch up on!

January 18 (#152)

Alanis Morissette – Eight Easy Steps

From So-Called Chaos (2004). Her sixth, fourth with her full name.

January 19 (#153)

Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days

Baseball is starting up again real soon, the regular season that is. This is a good song to go with it!

January 20 (#154)

Kid Sister – Right Hand Hi

Very club worth Kid Sister track!

Sarah McLachlan March 24, 2011 Montreal concert review

I was looking forward to seeing Sarah McLachlan for the first time ever. Little did I know what I was in for.

I understood that Melissa McClelland was the opening act. So I was very surprised when “Awakenings” started to play, and Sarah took to the stage. I do know Melissa McClelland a little, however not enough to recognise her right away. As it turned out, it was Sarah McLachlan featuring Melissa McClelland (I did recognise her after a few minutes). Also featured was Butterfly Boucher and Luke Doucet among the band. It made for quite the spectacle!

The venue was Théâtre Saint-Denis, it was built in 1915. The setting felt very theatrical, in the musical sense, and right from get go, with Sarah and friends performing, the style of show with no opening act made sense.

Sarah, who cancelled a show in London March 18, still has some lingering laryngitis. I did not notice it in her voice until she brought it to our attention. And although I like a lot of commercial music, even with laryngitis Sarah can outsing many of them! She also mentioned because of the laryngitis, her register is a little shortened, so if she makes a funny face, as she said, she would be struggling to get around some notes. I did notice after she said, some higher notes were a little difficult for her, as with some sustained notes likely.

Given the format of the show, it gave Sarah plenty of time to talk with the audience, who was showing her plenty of love! That included a couple of question and answer sessions. Sarah would pull questions at random out of a top hat that were written by audience members, and answer them on the spot. Also, with all the accomplished band members, they were able to do a few of their own songs. Butterfly Boucher started with a couple after only three songs from Sarah, I am sure she would have been doing this format all tour long, but especially good at this time to let Sarah rest her voice! Even still, Sarah would sing backup for Butterfly, and Melissa when she did a few songs.

Following the opening of “Awakenings”, Sarah and her band played “Building a Mystery”. And throughout the entire set list, practically all her hits were played, a veritable greatest hits without a doubt, and then some!

Instrumentation was fairly standard, going from very rich full songs, often with three guitars, to acoustic ones. Sarah playing guitar as well numerous times. And of course piano! Luke Doucet, Melissa McClelland’s husband was another guitarist, and Butterfly Boucher was on bass.

A couple notable highlights for me, first of all when Sarah played “World on Fire”, after a very nice introduction to the song. The song being about how we are so fortunate living the way we do, we have so so much, when there are huge amounts of people with nothing, or next to nothing (see the vide below). We take so much for granted. Although the song is performed as a full band, I feel it would be great acoustic, Sarah alone, to focus as much attention as possible on the song. Also “Adia”, very impressive, I can only imagine had Sarah’s voice been 100 percent.

It seemed as the show progressed late into the second set (there was an approximate 20 minute intermission to give the band a chance to rest) that Sarah’s voice was getting worse. She even hinted at it herself in a positive, playful manner: “you may have gotten the best of me!” I was actually kind of feeling like the show should end soon so she does not strain her voice too much. Following “Possession”, to close the show (pre-encore), Sarah and the performers received a standing ovation. They came back out for a two song encore (“Angel” and “Ice Cream”), and received another standing ovation after that! Very well deserved.

Flogging Molly – Quadruple LP of the Week! (Swagger, Drunken Lullabies, Within a Mile of Home, Float)

In honour of yesterday (many people will be celebrating all weekend though!), a very special, quadruple LP of the week. That being all four Flogging Molly studio albums. A fifth one, Speed of Darkness, is set to be released May 24!

Flogging Molly do not own the most storied history, yet they have been together now for right around 14 years, more counting the time they were not fully Flogging Molly beforehand, with four full length records to their name (and of course a fifth soon!), and a few other various releases including a live CD/DVD.

Flogging Molly are fronted by Dave King, who prior to playing Celtic punk, and the like, fronted a metal band with Eddie Clarke of Motörhead. He eventually set to work on a solo album that did not work out, however everything happens for a reason. He went on to form a band that would eventually become Flogging Molly. Before being Flogging Molly, they would play at a Los Angeles club every Monday for a while called Molly Malone’s. Hence the band’s name.

They released an independent live album in 1997 called Alive Behind the Green Door, and Flogging Molly were officially born. Fast forward to 2000, and their proper debut record, Swagger is released on SideOneDummy.

Swagger starts with quite the wallop that is “Salty Dog”. Instantly the Celtic influence is heard, as is the upbeat punk rock mélange. Mostly an uptempo record, with “These Exiled Years” slowing it down. “Grace of God Go I” is a track with just Dave King’s vocals, and coupled with the songwriting it works very well. If it was not evident enough from his vocal style, “Grace of God Go I” illustrates his Irish heritage, having been born in Dublin. Not to forget the emotional and spine chilling closer “Far Away Boys”.

The arrangements are superb, making it difficult to believe it is their first studio album. All the pub playing most definitely helped. The album definitely does not shy away from the Celtic instrumentation, which includes tin whistle, fiddle, accordion, mandolin and banjo to name most. “Black Friday Rule” takes the cake as it is quite an impressive track. It clocks in just over 7 minutes. Within, of course there is a fiddle solo section, preceding that earlier in the song is practically a rockabilly instrumental portion.

It sounds as if all instruments are equal in the mix, making the Celtic, and said arrangements all the more impressive. The album is very bass drum heavy, and “Devil’s Dance Floor” is a track centred and commencing with a tin whistle. “Sentimental Johnny” ups the ante, starting with a trumpet solo, and heavy on the accordion playing. The accordion player being former (I assume) professional skateboarder Matt Hensley! I believe he left the band for a little while, however it appears he actually has not missed playing on any of their releases.

No matter what time of the year, Swagger plays well, especially now.

Drunken Lullabies from 2002, and Within a Mile of Home from 2004, both continue in the vein of Swagger, only with Dave King et. al. showing their experience all the more.

Drunken Lullabies starts with likely a fan favourite, and for good reason, another great boisterous romp, the title track, “Drunken Lullabies” This continues to “What’s Left of the Flag” which starts off very traditional, and soon after is another up-tempo Celtic punk cut, Flogging Molly have come to do oh so well. Also very emotional knowing it is about his father who died at an early age, and yet it turns out, or sounds like for sure, to be a celebratory track rather than a sad one. To give an example of the lyrics, the chorus is as follows:

Walk away, me boys, walk away, me boys
By morning we’ll be free
Wipe that golden tear from your mother dear
Raise what’s left of the flag for me

“If I Ever Leave This World Alive” continues to expand their style repertoire, as an acoustic number, that continues to add layers of sound as it progresses. All the while, Flogging Molly continue to fuse traditional Celtic with folk, and of course punk in their own unique way, no more apparent than on “Swagger”. “Cruel Mistress” sounds like another one for the sea adding some Eastern European style to it as well. Both from Drunken Lullabies.

Within a Mile of Home starts nicely as well with a bang, with “Screaming at the Wailing Wall”. The party really gets going with another sea shanty that is “Seven Deadly Sins“. “Seven drunken pirates, We’re the seven deadly sins”, Dave King sings to close the chorus. The verses containing a pretty sweet drum beat. If one needed proof these guys (and gal) are good, Lucinda Williams is a featured guest on “Factory Girls”.

The songs on Within a Mile of Home can go from a quality drinking, celebratory song to the emotional, and still work together just fine. The former I am referring to is “To Youth (My Sweet Roisin Dubh)”, and the latter, the very emotional and moving “Whistles the Wind”. I do not know who “Whistles the Wind” in the wind is about, but it is a spine chilling song, that very near brought me to tears. Much of the most emotional music I know, is not labelled as emo (no disrespect to emo though, the good emo that is, the real stuff).

As I mentioned about Swagger, the arrangements dazzle again, look no further than “Tobacco Island”, that clocks at 5:17, the last 2:10 ending with a very nice banjo and fiddle instrumental. Once again, the drumming sounds great on the record. “Queen Anne’s Revenge” is a toe tapping romp, that has Dave King singing with a bit of a rasp, making it almost difficult to recognise him, yet, no surprise, it works!

Float, although it does have the Flogging Molly tracks one would come to expect, it is more of a somber, mature record. Mature in the sense it has a little less punk rock influence as Wikipedia refers to, and more traditional-ey. That is definitely not to take anything away from their previous three records. I still only have a handful of times I have listened to Float, so it is still very much growing on me. A few songs could fit well on Within a Mile of Home or Drunken Lullabies, however as a whole, Float is a great collection, and no doubt by this point, all the musicians are very proficient with their respective instruments. Perhaps that is the natural evolution that yielded this album for some deeper cuts. “Man With No Country” (worth noting) opens with a very nice bass intro, punk meets metal really, or vice versa. The title track “Float“, is an excellent track to illustrate my point(s).

Float, as with all Flogging Molly albums, most songs are pretty much credited to everyone. Well done, as everyone has an equal part, and as I mentioned earlier, all instruments are quite equal in the mix.

Flogging Molly are one of those bands that tend to shine with everything they release. I much look forward to Speed of Darkness. And in the meantime, go check out some Flogging Molly at your local independent record shop!

All Saints – All Saints (LP of the Week)

Well, I had another LP of the Week in mind as per my last post, but it is not exactly the best weekend music, so I will save it for next week.

So instead, the All Saints eponymous debut.

If the Spice Girls never happened, who knows how the All Saints career would have ended up. This is just my speculation, as their origins date back before the Spice Girls, even though their first album came out after the Spice Girls debut Spice. Even though the two groups are practically worlds apart, the Spice Girls perhaps prepared the world for the girl group once again. And no doubt the Spice Girls have sold more records, and do not get me wrong, I am a fan, however as a whole, I think All Saints have the stronger discography. They both have three albums to their name, but perhaps the All Saints hiatus after Saints & Sinners was a good one, as they then released the very solid Studio 1 in 2006. Whereas the Spice Girls had the turmoil of Geri Halliwell leaving and the likely rushed release of their last album. This resulted in the weak final effort that is Forever, barring any Backstreet Boys style comeback. I cannot see that happening, especially after their reunion tour a couple of years back.

Of course I mentioned how the All Saints are what would almost amount to being worlds apart from the Spice Girls. The Spice Girls being more teen pop orientated, while the All Saints are urban pop/R&B.

All Saints, is a fairly solid release. All the singles aside, some of the tracks are a little weak, mostly on the songwriting side, production is for the most part decent. These albums cuts could be qualified as ‘filler’ if you will. Songs that are okay, but not exactly groundbreaking, or even great. “Trapped” being an example. “Heaven” is a decent non single. Speaking of songwriting, Shaznay Lewis has a songwriting credit on most tracks, while the Appleton sisters and Melanie Blatt have a couple of credits. The group, along with Magnus Fiennes and Cameron McVey penned the aforementioned “Heaven”. The Appleton’s released an album (Everything’s Eventual)during the All Saints hiatus under the moniker Appleton in February 2003, which I have been meaning to listen to again. Shaznay Lewis also released her own solo album, Open, in July, 2004. Her album being very good, for the most part leaving the urban aspect out if I recall correctly, another one I have to listen to again, but that is a future LP of the week!

Where the album shines however is really the singles (“I Know Where It’s At”, “Never Ever”, “Under the Bridge”, “Lady Marmalade”, “Bootie Call”, and “War of Nerves”). To be honest though I just started playing the album again for the first time in a long time just a few days ago. So some of the tracks that were not singles could grow on me more. For instance “Beg” is not too bad. Although a single, it is not familiar to me as a single, the slow jam qualities of “War of Nerves” makes or a good slower track.

Until I just looked at the liner notes, as I Tweeted earlier today, I did not know “I Know Where It’s At” sampled Steely Dan’s “The Fez” (from 1976). A very nicely done sample, as to me I recognise that as the start of the first All Saints song I ever heard and saw (I chose it as a Music Video of the Day pick back on All Saints day!). Probably my all time favourite All Saints track. On it Shaznay Lewis shows she can spit (rap) a verse if required.

The two covers on the album, “Under the Bridge”, and “Lady Marmalade”, released as a double single are both quite good. The Red Hot Chili Peppers cover staying true to the original, while adding their personal touch, and omitting the “Under the bridge downtown, is where I drew some blood”! And I will take their version of “Lady Marmalade” over the Moulin Rouge cover with Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mya, and Lil Kim.

The All-Star Mix of “Never Ever” could have been omitted in favour of another track, or just left out period.

Finally, “Bootie Call” really shines as a very nice urban R&B/pop track, almost anthemic even in certain regards. And the video (which follows) is very easy on the eyes!

All in all, a solid effort, and no doubt influenced artists and groups to come, whether consciously or subconsciously.

More of their music videos from All Saints:

“I Know Where It’s At”

“Never Ever” and the American version.
“Under the Bridge”
“Lady Marmalade”
“War of Nerves”
“Let’s Get Started” originally by All Saints 1.9.7.5, and re-recorded for the album as “If You Wanna Party (I Found Lovin’)”
And going back into their history as All Saints 1.9.7.5 before the Appleton’s joined and replaced Simone Rainford, “Silver Shadow”. It still has the old school late 80s early 90s R&B style going, and Simone Rainford is on main vocal duties.

Choice cuts

Common – Be

It is only the intro track from Common’s 2005 album of the same name, yet it is a good one. It starts off with some nice double bass. Then soon a synth line comes in that kind of sounds like futuristic 8-bit music. Then a piano comes in, and not long after that a string section along with the beats kick in. Great track to start a great album.

Incubus – Drive

Probably one of, if not the most well-known Incubus track. A guitar playing friend of mine called Linkin Park’s “In the End” a very dense track. I did not ask for him to elaborate further. I will steal his description and apply it to “Drive”. There are a lot of layers to this track, and they are layered masterfully. Elements include acoustic guitar,turntablism, beats, and drums at minimum. Likely two guitars, either both acoustic or an electric guitar too, and a bass guitar. And not to forget the songwriting.

I was due for a new blog post, and this came to me while listening to Incubus’ Make Yourself earlier today. I am trying to post at minimum once a week from now on as per a WordPress challenge. More on that in a future post. Also another case of a post too long for Twitter. I have a new LP of the week in my head (well more than one, but one in mind for now), just a matter of putting it to ‘paper’ (I don’t think there exists a digital version of that expression!).

I will also look to catch up on MVOD update posts. Speaking of which, new Music Video of the Day theme week starting tomorrow, Contemporary R&B week! Follow me @tmmblog!

Music Video of the Day recap week 21 (141 – 147)

Week 21 was back to normal again.

Punk Week concludes tomorrow, and it will be back to normal again. Perhaps another theme week starting on March 18?

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/tmmblog to stay current with the Music Video of the Day selection and everything else!

#141 The Cardigans – I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer

From Super Extra Gravity, released in 2005, still the most recent Cardigans release. However Nina et. al. did release a new A-Camp, Colonia in 2009. Anyway, been a while since I listened to it, but I am pretty sure it was good! “I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer” definitely is!

#142 Robyn – Hang with Me

The single from Body Talk Pt. 2. And since posting it is now blocked here! Oh well, still a good song from her Body Talk series.

#143 Sevendust – Denial

As I mentioned on Twitter, I have not listened to Sevendust since Home. The album that features “Denial”. Guess I should get on that!

#144 Incubus – A Certain Shade Of Green

Another good rock song/band that I have to listen to more of!

#145 Bloodhound Gang – Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo.

Probably my favourite Bloodhound Gang track even though One Fierce Beer Coaster has some very good ones, and as a whole is a great one.

#146 The 411 – Dumb

Quite a switch from the above three rock songs. Anyway, really good pop, they disbanded quite a while ago, so only the one album (Between the Sheets, 2004) exists from them.

#147 Fiona Apple – Not About Love

Again, as I mentioned on Twitter, the string section in the original version of this song should have been left in. It made it a spine chilling track, instead it is just quite good, hard to listen to after hearing/knowing the original first. Jon Brion was the original producer. I want to be Zach Galifianakis in the video.