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Music Is My King Size Bed

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Album Review: Say Anything - Self Titled

I've said before that I used to be into the whole alternative music scene, but less and less so in recent years. Back when I used to have regular access to a car I'd listen to Chicago's Alternative Radio Station - Q101. There was just something about alternative rock that made getting from point A to point B a more enjoyable experience. As I grew older my tastes changed and now I find myself more inspired by the modern electronic sounds from Europe that seem to be creeping onto the airwaves here in the States. That being said, I still pride myself on having a wide variety of musical tastes, and alternative rock is definitely still one of those genres that I'll always fall back on when the mood is right. This genre of music (more often than in electronica) knows how to incorporate hard, driving beats, pleasant melodies and meaningful lyrics.

Say Anything
Enter the Los Angeles-based indie rock band Say Anything. This is a perfect example of an alternative band that strikes a chord with me. I don't know if it's the band's punk influence or what, but there's just something about this band that I am really digging.

Say Anything is currently out on tour to support their self titled third album (released November 3rd), eager to deliver the dedicated fan base a worthy follow up to their 2007 double disc In Defense of the Genre, which was touted by Entertainment Weekly as an "ambitious artistic statement." Deliver they do!

The 12-track collection was produced by Neal Avron (Weezer, The Wallflowers, Fall Out Boy, Everclear) and is available in a deluxe edition which features a vinyl LP of the album as well as the standard CD, MP3 album download and an exclusive early demo featuring 9 songs. Also included in the deluxe package is a 2-sided 3D poster, glasses, guitar pick and a T-Shirt based on the design of the uniforms worn in the "Hate Everyone" video. WOW. As if Say Anything fans ever had to doubt the band's appreciation - this deluxe package would definitely confirm as much.

Say Anything
Recording together early in 2009 in LA, Say Anything is front man Max Bemis, drummer Cody Linder, bassist Alex Kent, guitarists Jake Turner and Jeff Turner and keyboardist Parker Chase. While In Defense of the Genre paid homage to the fans and the band's musical influences, the new album "steps out of tradition and tries to do things differently by making an impression not just based on a sense of artistry or maturity," explains Bemis. "We want to be able to affect anyone who listens to it. It's a bigger, more accessible undertaking."

Say Anything
According to Bemis, the album's song cycle "tells an uplifting story about finding oneself and trusting again," which is definitely a welcomed change in a genre where lyrics are oftentimes filled with references to drug addiction and other similarly melancholy topics of discussion - topics that were very much present in the band's last album. While there is an element of darkness in this record, Bemis says that the new disc is "more fun." I couldn't agree more and while I haven't heard the bands previous albums, I'm very inclined to check those out now. Favorite tracks on the album include "Hate Everyone," "Do Better," "Ahhh...Men," "Less Cute," "She Won't Follow You," "Cemetery," and "Young Dumb and Stung."

Say Anything
The whole tone of the album seems to be a bit lighter. Heavy, dark alternative rock music always leaves me feeling depressed. Not so with this record. The band is nearing the end of a 32 date tour which kicked off October 14th in California. The band's next date is tomorrow, Sunday November 8th in Carrboro, North Carolina at Cat's Cradle. The tour wraps up in West Hollywood on November 22nd.
Say Anything
I definitely feel my musical tastes are changing once again and bands like Say Anything may be just what I need to move my musical tastes in another direction.

Say Anything
Album Tracklisting:

1. Fed to Death
2 Hate Everyone
3 Do Better
4 Less Cute
5 Eloise
6 Mara and Me
7 Crush'd
8 She Won't Follow You
9 Cemetery Max
10 Property
11 Death For My Birthday
12 Young Dumb and Stung
13 Ahhh... Men

Check out the band on tour with opening acts Eisley and Moneen.

11/8 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
11/10 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
11/11 Orlando, FL The Social
11/12 Orlando, FL The Social
11/13 St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre
11/16 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
11/17 Austin, TX Emo’s
11/18 Dallas, TX The Door
11/20 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
11/21 San Diego, CA House of Blues
11/22 West Hollywood, CA Troubadour

Check out Say Anything on the web:

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Róisín Murphy is "Orally Fixated"

Irish singer/songwriter Róisín Murphy has always been one of my favorite artists to come out of Europe. I loved her debut album, Ruby Blue (produced by the brilliant Matthew Herbert) as well as her more dance-poppy follow up, Overpowered. When Murphy made an appearance in New York City last year, I was hoping it was the start of a career in the States but that was never to be. Lucky for me there will always be albums for sale overseas and dance competition show So You Think You Can Dance seems to be a fan as well, choreographing various numbers to a couple of Murphy's songs.

Roisin Murphy - Orally Fixated

When I first heard that new Róisín Murphy material would be making it's way onto the airwaves soon, I started to get exited. Originally we were supposed to hear the track by the end of the summer, however that time came and went. Now...finally! We have it. It's called "Orally Fixated" and it's produced by Seiji (of Bugz in the Attic), with whom Murphy collaborated with on her last album.

I have to say that at first listen, I wasn't a fan. I thought the track started out super strong, but by the time the first verse hit, I wasn't feeling how they worked with the beat. The lyrics were a bit odd and the track seemed overall very disjointed. Well...after having listened to it a few more times I am liking it quite a bit more.

In a video blog announcing the new single, a very pregnant Róisín Murphy explains the inspiration for the song as being her pregnancy. Having to give up smoking, she found herself more orally fixated. She describes the sound of the new single & album as a bit darker than Overpowered as well as "tough and modern" and dance-floor ready. The album is still in the works. Murphy asks her fans to wait for her while she takes some time off to have her baby. Oh don't worry Róisín. I'm not going anywhere! The single is out in the UK on November 16th and in the U.S. on November 17th.

Check out Róisín Murphy on the web:


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Adam Lambert Has A Sure Fire Hit On His Hands

Adam Lambert did it. His new single is everything I wanted and more from the Season 8 American Idol runner up. No, I'm not talking about his 2012 contribution, "Time For Miracles," (which isn't all that bad) I'm referring to his potential SMASH single and the album's title track, "For Your Entertainment." This song is HOT! Wow. Way to go Claude Kelly & Dr. Luke!

Adam LambertReleased on Halloween (October 31st), the single makes me even more excited than ever for Lambert's debut, due out November 23rd. I was worried that Lambert's INSANE rock-star vocal range would be wasted on the album's up-tempo tracks but FYE went ahead and proved me dead wrong. Written by Claude Kelly ("Circus" by Britney Spears) and produced by Dr. Luke (Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Flo-Rida, Kelly Clarkson), Lambert introduced the single on Ryan Seacrest's October 30th radio show.

According to Lambert in an official statement, "I feel so lucky to have been granted true oppotunity to work with some of the top producers and writers in popular music. This album is a reflection of their genius and the collaborative energy that they were gracious enough to share with me." Glad to see that just how humbled Adam Lambert still is over this whole experience. You certainly would need to keep a level head when working with the talent that Adam's label rounded up on this project. Counted amongst the collaborators is one of Adam Lambert's contemporary musical inspirations, Lady Gaga, who along with producer Jeff Bhasker, co-wrote one track on the album ("Fever"). In addition to Gaga, singer P!nk co-wrote "Whataya Want From Me," along with hitmakers Max Martin and Johan Shellback. Matthew Bellamy of the popular British electro-rock group Muse (another one of Lambert's favorites) wrote a tracked called "Soaked," and Justin Hawkins, former lead singer of the Darkness wrote the album's lead track, "Music Again."

Additional contributions can be found from Rivers Cuomo, Greg Wells, Linda Perry, Ryan Tedder and Lambert himself, who co-wrote four tracks including "Strut" which he co-wrote with Greg Wells and Kara DioGuardi. Four tracks (including "Time For Miracles) on the record were produced by Rob Cavallo who has worked with rock outfits like Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Paramore as well as Chris Isaak, Jewel, Alanis Morisette and American Idol Season 7 Winner David Cook.

Ramping up for the album's release on the 23rd, Lambert will perform the new single on "The American Music Awards," (Sunday, November 22nd) and will do a special live concert performance on "Good Morning America" (Wednesday November 25th) as well as a performance on Letterman that same night. Be on the lookout for more TV and promotional appearences which will be announced soon. I can honestly say that I haven't been this excited about an American Idol CD since Kelly Clarkson released Breakaway.

Adam Lambert
Check out the album's full tracklisting as well as SONGWRITING and PRODUCER credits.
1. Music Again (Justin Hawkins/Rob Cavallo)
2. For Your Entertainment (Claude Kelly & Dr. Luke/Dr. Luke)
3. Whataya Want From Me (P!nk, Max Martin & Johan Shellbeck/Max Martin & Johan Shellback)
4. Strut (Adam Lambert, Kara DioGuardi & Greg Wells/Greg Wells)
5. Soaked (Matthew Bellamy (MUSE)/Rob Cavallo)
6. Sure Fire Winners (David Gamson, Alexander James & Oliver Lieber/Rob Cavallo)
7. A Loaded Smile (Linda Perry/Linda Perry)
8. If I Had You (Max Martin, Johan Shellback & Savan Kotecha/Max Martin & Johan Shellback)
9. Pick U Up (Rivers Cuomo, Greg Wells & Adam Lambert/Greg Wells)
10. Fever (Lady Gaga & Jeff Bhasker/Jeff Bhasker)
11. Sleepwalker (Ryan Tedder, Aimee Mayo & Chris Lindsey/Ryan Tedder)
12. Aftermath (Adam Lambert, Alisan Porter, Ferras & Ely Rise/Howard Benson)
13. Broken Open (Greg Wells, Adam Lambert & Evan Bogart/Greg Wells)
14. Time For Miracles (Alain Johannes & Natasha Shneider/Rob Cavallo)

Check out Adam Lambert on the web:

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La Roux Coming Back Strong This Winter

La Roux
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I think La Roux is an amazing new band. They've been called underrated before and frankly, I don't get it. Lead vocalist Elly Jackson, at 21 has proven to be quite the bright and shiny new talent, with U.S. music publication Rolling Stone calling her "the perfect London pop star of the moment." I couldn't agree more. La Roux reiterates everything that I love about the London pop music scene.

La RouxWhen tickets first went on sale for La Roux's first U.S. tour I was so excited. When I threw the invite around to some of my concert-going buddies, no one seemed interested. I sent around links to La Roux videos but no one knew who they were or why they were a big deal. I wanted to scream. Sure, I could have purchased a ticket by myself but I chickened out. The Paradise isn't the kind of venue I would want to go to alone. Call it social anxiety - I don't care. Plus, if I were to go to a La Roux show, I'd want to share the experience with someone else. When I learned that La Roux cancelled the gig due to sickness, I was relieved. Then it was announced that she'd be back January 31st - same venue and all previously purchased tickets would be honored. Shit. I should have acted as soon as the tickets went on sale! Now it's sold out and I'm S.O.L. Oh well. I'm confident that they'll be back and I'll be first in line next time! The January 31st date in Boston kicks off La Roux's U.S. Winter Tour which brings the band to 8 North American cities, ending in New York City at Webster Hall.

La Roux Per usual, I latch onto UK artists before they become big here in the States, and La Roux is no different. The band is quickly gaining momentum over on this side of the pond, with FUSE choosing them for their new artist spotlight program "Incoming" which focuses on emerging new talent in the music industry. The network began airing the video for "Bulletproof" during it's music hours on November 2nd. La Roux is also part of MTV's Discover and Download program, spotlighting exciting new artists and allowing for a free download. After having achieved a good deal of international chart success, the band's hit "Bulletproof" hit #1 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart this past September.

La RouxLa Roux is 21-year old Elly Jackson and co-producer/co-songwriter Ben Langmaid. The two started small and grew into the critical successes that they are today. Nominated for a Mercury Prize, MTV Europe Award and an MTVu Woodie, La Roux doesn't have anywhere to go but up.

Check out La Roux this winter:

January 31st - Boston,MA @ Paradise Rock Club
February 1st - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
February 3rd - Quebec City, QC @ Imperial
February 5th - Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
February 6th - Ottawa, ON @ Capital
February 9th - Philadelphia, PA @ Voyeurs
February 10th - Washington, DC @ 930
February 11th - New York, NY @ Webster Hall

Check out La Roux on the web:

Official Site//MySpace//Facebook//YouTube

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Hot New Talent Alert! Jimmie Allen

Jimmie Allen
Nashville-based artist Jimmie Allen is most certainly someone you will be hearing from in the future. His first single "Comet" recently hit radio and already has people asking "who is this guy and where can I hear more?"

Jimmie AllenAllen first caught the attention of well known & respected EMI executive Kim Stevens (Matchbox 20, Collective Soul) who has put everything behind this future star, becoming his A&R rep. Also behind Jimmie is mixing engineer Mark Endert, who has worked with a wide range of artists including Madonna, Maroon 5 and The Fray - in fact it was Endert himself who mixed "Comet" for radio airplay. The track is an interesting mix of R&B, pop, with a little bit of rock thrown in for good measure. I can totally hear this song doing well on the radio right now and I hope it does!

Jimmie Allen Allen is currently hard at work on his debut album (due out in early 2010) with the help of producer Kevin Wayne. Going from writing his first song at the age of 7, to forming his own band in the sixth grade to NOW having a song on the radio - former Church Choir singer, Jimmie Allen is clearly on the fast track to success and I wish him all the best. This whole experience goes to show that hard work and persistence really does pay off, especially when it's backed with a strong voice and songwriting abilities. As his official bio so eloquently states, "the stars are lining up for Mr. Allen. So watch the sky, there’s a comet on the way!" Indeed!

Jimmie Allen
As a special treat, download this up-tempo jam called "Crush." It's free! Grab your copy HERE.

Check out Jimmie Allen on the web:

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New Morgan Page Album Due Out February 2010

Morgan Page
I'm really happy for Morgan Page. I've been a fan of his remixes ever since I downloaded his self-released remix disc, Cease & Desist back in 2005. That AMAZING album contained one of my favorite Morgan Page remixes of all time - his mix of Tegan & Sara's "Walking With A Ghost." Now, Page is gearing up to release his new album, Believe, in February 2010.
The album's first single, "Fight For You" is currently sitting pretty at #19 on Billboard's Dance/Club Play Chart and with big names like Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Dave Dresden and others coming out in support of the track, this single is definitely going places.

Morgan Page
The album is a follow up to 2008's Elevate, which featured the Grammy nominated DeadMau5 Remix of his dance hit, "The Longest Road." According to Page, "Believe is very dark, but I'm not a dark person at all," he says. "I just lean towards these specific chords and melodies. melancholy with a little bit of hope." In addition to the Pete York cover of "Strange Condition," Page's new album will feature appearences by Telepopmusik's (where have they been?!) Angela McCluskey, Matt Alber and Jan Burton (Gabriel & Dresden). Page himself even contributes vocals on the album track, "In The Dark."

Morgan Page
With over 110 remixes under his belt, I'm so excited that this talented DJ/Producer/Remixer is getting his due and getting it in a big way! Be on the lookout for more info regarding a U.S. club tour and check out iTunes for a "Fight For You" remix package, including mixes by DJ Dan, Bass Kleph, Sultan & Ned Shephard and Beltrek.

Morgan Page

Check out Morgan Page on the web:

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Röyksopp Returns For First Stateside Appearence in 4 Years


RÖYKSOPP is coming! RÖYKSOPP is coming! The Norwegian electro-duo (Svein Berge & Torbjørn Brundtland) will be performing 4 dates in the States this month, the group's first U.S. tour in over 4 years! Admittedly, I hadn't really gotten into Röyksopp until this past year when their 4th album Junior, their 4th album was released. Prior to Junior, I had heard Röyksopp remixes for fellow Norwegian artist Annie and others but hadn't heard any original material.

RöyksoppFeaturing an impressive lineup of collaborators (Robyn, Lykke Li & others), Junior entered Billboard's Top 200 Chart at #139 and the Heatseekers Chart at #2. The album also became the longest charting album on the CMJ RPM Chart history at an impressive 19 weeks, with 9 of those weeks sitting pretty in the top spot. This is quite an impressive feat for the electronic duo, especially considering how this style of music typically fares in the United States. Electronica music typically does better overseas, but artists out now like Lady Gaga have re energized the movements on this side of the pond and I couldn't be more happy about that.

RöyksoppJoining the boys on tour is Norwegian singer Anneli Drecker, who is featured on the new album as well as the group's debut album Melody A.M. The duo will appear first in Los Angeles at Club Nokia on November 18th and will wrap things up on November 24th in New York City at Webster Hall (the second of 2 dates at Webster Hall).

Röyksopp Check out all of the dates below. This is so exciting! I'd love to go see them rock out NYC but I don't think it's in cards this Fall. Perhaps next year. We can expect the follow up to Junior, titled Senior, in 2010.

Wed 11/18 Los Angeles, CA Club Nokia
Thur 11/19 San Francisco, CA Regency
Mon 11/23 New York, NY Webster Hall
Tue 11/24 New York, NY Webster Hall

Check out Röyksopp on the web:

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