Skins has some awesome music (Yes I watch Skins, deal with it). They’ve used way too many good songs to list on here, so I’ll just say that they had “live” performances from Crystal Castles and Born Ruffians on the show in past seasons. An interesting mix for sure, but awesome nonetheless.
A reason to watch Skins. One negative: she's an Arsenal fan.
The finale of the fifth series (in the UK they are too cool to say “season”) was this past thursday , and in a now nearly weekly ritual, I run to google to check the name of a song that was used in the episode. This week it was Dog is Dead’s “Glockenspiel Song.” Hooray for original titles!
This is certainly much closer to Born Ruffians than Crystal Castles. With lyrics like “We are a mess/We are failures/And we love it” it’s certainly a perfect match for the show. It’s also perfect in other ways, such as the killer sax solo at the end.
This is Taimane Gardner. She’s 22, from Hawaii, and has stripey pants and a small hat. She kind of reminds me of Diane Kruger if Diane Kruger was Hawaiian and shredded mad ukulele. Why yes, we are going to get married, thanks for asking.
This is Tinie Tempah’s “Wonderman” featuring the lovely Ellie Goulding, who is incredible here. Disc-Overy comes out in a couple days, and a couple listens through I think it’s really great. Perhaps I will write about it a little more one day. Hahahah yeah right.
In other news Chiddy Bang has a new EP coming out in a few weeks or something. I’ve only listened through one time but it seems pretty solid. I can’t wait for their full length next year. Darwin Deez is featured in the new EP. I think all the artists I mention on this blog meet up and collaborate to blow my mind.
I promise promise to have a real post soon, hopefully by next weekend or so. This song is more than enough to hold you over until then though. If nothing else you can listen to the funny English accents.
It’s time for a New Junk showdown!!!! In the Sophomore-Slump-Busting Corner we have Ra Ra Riot’s The Orchard. In the Released-an-Incredible-Album-Then-Just-a-Really-Good-One Corner we have Arcade Fire with The Suburbs. DING DING!
When we ran out of tickets for the main event tonight, things got ugly.
The Rhumb Line is amongst the most played full albums in my music library. It is the ever elusive complete album, with not a bad song to be heard anywhere. I tried not to expect too much from the follow-up, as I have learned I am easily disappointed. Especially with a relatively new band in Ra Ra Riot, as I have no idea if they can be consistently awesome or not. Even with all my efforts, I couldn’t help but be massively excited to have my first listen. It was definitely the most excited I’ve been to listen to an album for the first time in a long time. Incredibly, I was not disappointed. At all.
The Orchard is plain wonderful. It keeps all the energy and verve of The Rhumb Line while still progressing and not being boring. The band certainly knows how to arrange songs on their albums too, as this one is built superbly. The title track is the perfect opener, while “Keep It Quiet” rounds out the only 39 minute aural adventure. In between lies a contrast of fast and slow, of dark and playful, and of new and old. “Boy” sounds like a track straight from their first album, which is a huge compliment. Perhaps one reason why I think so highly of this album is that my future wife, Alexandra, gets to sing a whole song! By herself!
Future wife number two. Or three? I don't remember.
I’m still trying to find a bad song, but I haven’t yet. I think I’m just a sucker for strings. Got that Alexandra? Good.
Have a listen to “You And I Know”:
This is the part of the post where I would link you to the album that I host somewhere, but since this album isn’t out yet doing so would probably get this post deleted like last time. I could rant about why me linking to a download is a good thing, but instead I will link you to google, which will then link you to roughly 130,000 places you can download it other than here.
I don’t know if that’s really a mullet, but that’s what I’m calling it because it deserves a strange name. When I heard that Arcade Fire’s new album was called The Suburbs, I was scared. Scared because the suburbs are the city’s less exciting cousin. Would that mean this album would be a boring version of Funeral. In a way, I really expected it to be. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but I just couldn’t see them making another solid album. I was wrong. Hipster Mullet 1, Eric 0. Whatever strange brain that lives below those beautiful flowing locks of Win’s is here to stay.
The Suburbs is not at all a departure from the band’s previous efforts, rather a reinvention of them. Capturing the unwavering energy of the band and dark songwriting edge of Win, the album is one full hour of solid listening, which few bands can say they create. Not a whole lot sticks out to me, which isn’t a bad thing. “Empty Room” sounds like Owen Pallett spent some time in the studio with Broken Social Scene (in a good way). “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains” touts a synth line straight from the 80’s. These things, mixed with the well known Arcade Fire strings, piano, guitar, megaphone, and bible tearing make for one great record. Listen to “Ready to Start”:
I haven’t decided where The Suburbs sits in my mind in relation to Funeral and Neon Bible. It’s definitely up there somewhere though. Funeral is an amazing album all the way through, Neon Bible has some incredible songs, but could The Suburbs tie it all together? Probably not, though time will tell. Neon Bible took a long time to achieve its “Quite Awesome” rating in my mind. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it past Neon Bible fairly soon.
Oh right, boxing metaphor, I forgot. Well, Ra Ra Riot came out swinging fast and hard, but Arcade Fire used the illusion of the Hipster Mullet to dodge the blows. The Suburbs struck back with bowling alleys and movie theaters, while The Orchard started throwing apples. Wait what.
It’s a very close call, as both albums are certain to be on many Best of 2010 lists (and deservedly too). However, I’m going to say Ra Ra Riot wins this edition of New Junk. Did you really think I would pick against my future wife? There’s no way I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.
It wasn’t long ago that I saw a female singer as strange. My music library was decidedly masculine and contained very few, if any, bands fronted by women. That has long since changed, as my music tastes have found room for the occasional listen to a purely poppy album or two.
I’ve previously discussed my love for Chiddy Bang’s “Under the Sheets” remix of Ellie Goulding. Through that, I checked out her full album, and much to my surprise, I loved it. I’m not sure why I like it so much, but I found my self not being able to stop listening to it for about a week or so. I think it’s the English accent. It’s just so cute. English accent + Autotune = awesome. Have a listen to “Guns and Horses:”
La Roux’s “Bulletproof” has been gaining some radio play lately, and deservedly at that. Another UK export, La Roux is fronted by the “androgynous” Elanor Jackson, notable for her hair and intense looks. “La Roux” roughly means “red-haired-one” in French, with a male connotation. How fitting!
Another chance to use my "notice the hair" tag
Looks aside, La Roux is perfectly electropoppy in all the right ways. The lyrics are nothing too awesome, but that doesn’t really matter. Here’s “In For the Kill:” (Look up The Twelves’ remix of this if you’re looking for a dance party)
Unless you have been deaf your whole life and have only recently regained your sense of hearing thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, I’m sure you’ve heard of Ke$ha and “Tik Tok.” I wouldn’t blame you if you’re sick of hearing it and are annoyed at Ke$ha and the ridiculous dollar sign in her name. You can think whatever you’d like, but Ke$ha’s Animal will always have a place in my heart. I guess I have a thing for females and their autotuned voices. Animal is maybe a bit long, and could benefit from removing some songs (especially Dinosaur), but if you frequent the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Route 322, you will probably see me speeding and shamelessly singing the majority of the songs on this album. I love her album, but there’s some things about Ke$ha I find hard to like. Her dollar sign, her wardrobe, and her whole image in general come to mind.
I don't think I'll ever understand fashion
Good thing none of those things affect my enjoyment of her album. You’ve probably heard it already, but here’s “Your Love is My Drug:”
Lastly, we have a mix between The Rapture and a little bit of Karen O in the form of Australian band Cassette Kids. Their debut Nothing On TV was released in April, and is very awesome. It also helps that the lead singer is very attractive.
My future wife, Katarina, with some losers.
The album is delightfully energetic and solid all the way through. I guess this falls under ‘synthpop’ maybe. I never know. Either way, you need to listen, so here: