T-minus 10 days until my departure for London, and I am already partially incapacitated with excitement for the trip. England has always been my #1 destination, and now that I’m approaching the next decade of my life, it’s finally going to happen. I’m trying to leave as much of the planning up in the air as possible, but things are starting to firm up. Of course, I scheduled a trip down to Stonehenge on 12 May (have to get into that habit for a week or so), and then found out today that Paolo Nutini will be playing in London that night as I return. Argh. Would love to see some of the new material live.
So some of you are from the UK, some of you profess to be foreign experts, and some have their own wish lists. Any suggestions? I have to go to Abbey Road for my mom, but I’m open to whatever.
Adele has released an American version of “Hometown Glory” that currently is only available through VH1.com (WordPress and MTV apparently don’t play well together), but this is actually the third video that I am aware of. Granted, video #1 wasn’t actually official, as it was pulled from the BBC2 show “Sound”, but for many people, this was the first visual they had for Adele (over 4,000,000 views so far).
Video #2 was official, and is a lush performance piece that Adele looks amazing in. I love the parting shot of the mic, but the whole piece has a great impact.
So what is the verdict on the new video? “Lovely” is the first word that comes to mind, and for once, I mean it as a compliment. If there was an award for best cinematography for videos (does MTV even bother with that anymore?), this one should already have it. I don’t really care for the way it ends, but the other 98% of the video is brilliant. Thoughts?
Mel has been a big champion for these ladies, but courtesy of Smokin’ New Music, here is their first video for “American Cowboy”. The video is a typical “girls at the club” video, but the fact that a girl group is even getting buzz in the US is a sign that the next wave of pop and dance music I’ve been talking about will just keep getting stronger. It’s not breaking any new ground, but it’s a good track.
"American Cowboy" Music Video
I’ve been trying to think of a good venue for doing a more personal perspective on music, and the recent addition of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s State of the Heart to my iTunes gives me a good jumping-off point. Even though I haven’t even listened to the full thing start to finish, it’s already triggered several songs in my head, and where I was at when I first heard them.
MCC was introduced to me by a former art teacher who I was house-sitting for the summer of 1989. She was such a big supporter of me in junior high when I didn’t have a lot of supporters, and I can still hear her voice in my head encouraging me to approach things from my perspective, rather than from what I thought others wanted to see/hear. We lost touch when my family moved to a different part of town, but somehow we reconnected after I graduated from high school.
Carpenter has had a pretty good career for a country artist, even grazing some pop charts in the US and UK with songs like “Passionate Kisses” and “Shut Up and Kiss Me”, but what I love about Mary-Chapin is that her music has never felt like a sell-out or a trend-chaser. The music that she composes and plays is genuine and raw, and almost completely self-written. My favorite song on State is “This Shirt”, which tells the tale of an ended relationship through the perspective of a shared shirt.
This shirt was the one I lent you
And when you gave it back
There was a rip inside the sleeve
Where you rolled your cigarettes
It was the place I put my heart
Now look at where you put a tear
I forgave your thoughtlessness
But not the boy who put it there
Mary-Chapin hasn’t had a hit in ten years, but she’s still making great music, including The Calling, which came out in 2007 and made my best-of list for that year. She even took the holiday plunge and released a Christmas album called Come Darkness, Come Light that has a very cool mellow-December vibe to it. For the peak of her career, check out “Come On Come On”, which was the height of her mainstream success.
So a day after professing my love for “Crash and Burn”, it’s announced that “Body Language” will be the fourth single from Jesse McCartney’s “Departure”. It’s a summer song, and it piggybacks well on the upbeat momentum of “How Do You Sleep”, but there’s already a remix (check it out here) with
Crazy Frog T-Pain. Other than being able to say T-Pain is on the record, the auto-tuner vocals brings no benefit to the record. It’s actually pretty clear in the mix that it’s pieced together like Frankenstein (check out the T-Pain bridge), and it loses a lot of the flow of the original. Any opinions? The original version is down below [UPDATED CLIP]:
V Factory – Love Struck
Paul was raving about them, and I didn’t really pay attention. PosterGirl even mentioned them WAY back, and I didn’t heed the warning. But I got it now…pop nirvana.
Jesse McCartney – Crash and Burn
Speaking of Ms PosterGirl, she also had the inside track on Jesse McCartney’s bonus tracks, and after a brief “warming up” period, I’m right on board. This guy’s gonna be around a while.
Girls Aloud – Untouchable
Okay…who HASN’T been talking about the “abomination” that is the single mix of GA’s current single? The single mix doesn’t offend me…the sci-fi, low-budget video does.
Pitbull – I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)
Here’s one of my guilty pleasures, Mr 305, with potentially one of the big party records of the year as we move into the summer. The track may sound familiar to you, as it’s the same sample from Chicago used by the Bucketheads on “The Bomb”, but this version comes directly from “75 Brazil Street” by Nicola Fasano Vs Pat Rich.
Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
“Sex On Fire” finally got these boys on the map here in the States, but I am really hoping that “Use Somebody” gets them their first Top 40 hit (no doubt Melismatic agrees). Love this live version.
Madcon – Beggin’
I loved it last year when it was Top 5 in the UK, and I’m loving it all over again now that they’re making a run at the pop charts here in the US. Honestly, if Black Eyed Peas were still making fun records like this, I’d still care about them.
Nothing like spoiling a memory, right? I went back to Virgin this evening after having seen a new sign advertising that the discounts went up. Grabbed a CD (the full-length on the J-Mac Reloaded), a camera case (for the London trip), and this very cool DC superheroes t-shirt, and headed to the register. Turns out that they were putting the signs up for the next day, and they wouldn’t honor the new percentages. Bastards! On top of that, the t-shirt was less than the “at least” percentage that had been listed prior. So not only are the owners of Virgin getting out of the music business because they can make more money as landlords, they also feel the need to resort to deceptive tactics to get folks in the store. Honestly, if you’re closing the doors in 5 days, you would think the percentages would be higher than they are, but it’s their fire sale.
[Side note: I copped a bit of an attitude with the guy at the register. Not cool…he’s just doing his job, which he’s going to lose probably in the next two weeks. I should know better, having been in retail for as long as I was.]