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Friday, April 06, 2007

Operator Please - Just A Song About Ping Pong

"It's just a song, it's just a song, it's just a song... it's just a song about ping pong!"

For my last post on American soil for awhile (my flight for London leaves tomorrow afternoon... all 9.5 glorious hours of it), I've decided to post something very random. Operator Please is a young (and when I say young... I mean like, 13 or something) Australian band with boundless energy and Just A Song About Ping Pong completely lives up to its quite brilliant title. The sound is brash and the vocals are shouty, but the whole thing is so damn addictive. Kudos as well for the addition of a violin solo that comes out of the middle of nowhere. Their single Get What You Want is perhaps the "hit" track, more subdued and radio friendly... but I have completely fallen in love with the ping pong party found here.

Operator Please - It's Just A Song About Ping Pong (mp3) (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the single here)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Jeremiha - Teen Machine

"We build our dreams on gasoline"

I've been a fan of Sweden's Jeremiha for some time so I was delighted to hear that they had a new single out. I was even more delighted when they announced that it would be up for free download. Wave of the future, people! Anyways, their new single Teen Machine sounds fantastic. It's a bit more aggressive than their older stuff, which is great, and singer Emil Persson's unique voice is still as cool as ever. Their new album comes out within the next two months, or so I've heard. It is said to be grittier and more anthematic than the last. I approve, because gritty and anthematic synthpop always rocks.

Jeremiha - Teen Machine (mp3) (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the first album here)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Havana Guns - I Want To Die

"Remember a time, I was fine 'till I tried her"

Havana Guns are a new band based out of London who have kindly introduced their music to me (see, I actually do post stuff that's sent to me!). Forgoing any gimmicks, the band plays straight ahead rock music. Luckily, it is also extremely catchy and radio friendly with vocals by singer Zoe Durante that are actually quite poppy. With the right single, I could see these guys blowing up. I Want To Die is not the single (N.Y.C.S. is), but it's my favorite track I've heard from the band so far. It doesn't really fit into any current "scene," which I think is why I like it so much. It's just a great song with a great melody. Those are always welcome. Plus, the sleeves for the singles that the band have released so far are very stunning.

Havana Guns - I Want To Die (mp3) (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the single here)
The Attic - Remember Tomorrow
Release Date: March 21, 2007
Label: Virgin

Following the chart success of their Melodifestivalen entry, The Arrival (featuring Therese), in Sweden, dance duo The Attic have revamped their debut album, replacing six tracks with new songs. In doing so, they’ve created what is likely to be the dance album of the year.

Dance albums are notorious for their reliance on one or two big singles buffered by heaps of filler. Surprisingly, this is not the case with Remember Tomorrow. In fact, the whole thing runs like a greatest hits package. It doesn’t hurt that five of the album’s fourteen tracks are already hit singles (with another soon to come), but it’s really the album tracks that bolster this collection. Where The Attic’s debut opted to play it safe and not stray too far from dance pop basics, Remember Tomorrow incorporates elements of classic rock, balladry and girl pop. Sail Away, the album’s surprise highlight, bounds with prime Journey or Styx era energy, while Remember Tomorrow is more pop/rock than dance. Don’t You Know Me (the second song to feature singer Therese) is just waiting for its rightful place at the top of the charts. It is the perfect dance pop confection that Kylie Minogue would do well to reenter the scene with. In fact, even though early hits In Your Eyes and A Life To Live still throb with a flawless energy, it’s when the duo plays with their sound that the album really takes off.

It doesn’t hurt that the guys have cherry picked the absolute best from their debut to round out the album. Catch Me When I Fall For You and I Just Can’t Help It both possess flawless pop melodies and Minute After Minute is a surprisingly gorgeous electro ballad. It all adds up to an album that is, as they say “all killer, no filler.” It just goes to show you that second tries sometimes do work. A-

Key Tracks: Sail Away, Don’t You Know Me, In Your Eyes

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Late Of The Pier - Space And The Woods

"This place is no place for a mind or a thought"

Generally, I'm not the biggest fan of this "new-rave" sound coming out of the UK right now, even though it combines a lot of elements that I like. Late Of The Pier have been lumped together with this movement, but they have both a greater pop sensibility and a glammier approach than most others in the genre. This song, especially, sounds like Cars era Gary Numan. It's a mammoth single, and one that I can't imagine failing to be a success. It's just so darn catchy. Also, I heard this track in demo form a few months ago, and this full single release is about a million times better.

Late Of The Pier - Space And The Woods (mp3) (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Buy the single here)

Monday, April 02, 2007

March 2007 Alienhits Promo Sleeve

Here's this month's cd sleeve. March was full of huge hits, at least on my planet. Every track here is a gem (as I'm sure you well know!).
Sopho Khalvashi - My Story (Visionary Dream)

"Sailin' through my story"

I’ve briefly perused most of the Eurovision entries this year, sizing up the Ark’s competition. And, although most suck, I’m quite taken with teeny country Georgia’s first entry. My Story (Visionary Dream), by singer Sopho Khalvashi, has an extremely interesting and (at least for Eurovision) unique sound. Think Deep Forest meets Bjork-lite, meets hyper-experimental Abba. On top of all of that, it’s an extremely catchy track… more so with each listen. Don't be put off at first. The track sounds completely different than most stuff I post here, but it gets far more interesting as it goes on. While I don’t think it’ll do very well amongst all the straight ahead pop, it’ll at least stand out. And, it’s about one billion times better than that stupid vampire song from Switzerland, but really what isn’t? (well…. Scooch, I suppose)

Sopho Khalvashi - My Story (Visionary Dream) (mp3) (zshare)

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists! Preorder this track on the Eurovision album here)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Video Premiere: Alphabeat - 10.000 Nights Of Thunder

Although everything this band has put out so far has been utterly brilliant, I'm not in love with this video. It has a very unfinished look about it and I think it ages each member of the band by about a decade. Bottom line is, it's just not very interesting to watch and should have been much better. Still, the song's great, they are continually the most jolly group of people around, and I am still in love with their debut album.

*Edit - Turns out the video I posted yesterday had messed up colors. Below is the correct video. I still think it could have been better...

EP for Teachers

Several Alienhits readers have been curious about what I do for a living (besides this blog, of course). Obviously the title of this post gives it away, but if you didn't pick it up already, I'm a teacher. Luckily, a cool one as well. There aren't many of us, trust me.
So, today in honor of that, and since my students (and I would assume many others as well) are on Spring break, today's EP theme is teacher songs. From the silly (Abba) to the sentimental (Lulu, and in a good way) to the pining (Rufus), I've only left out the raunchy (which happen to be quite enjoyable as well).

1. Abba - When I Kissed The Teacher (mp3) (zshare)
2. Elton John - Teacher, I Need You (mp3) (zshare)
3. Jay-Jay Johanson - Teachers (mp3) (zshare)
4. Rockpile - Teacher, Teacher (mp3) (zshare)
5. Rufus Wainwright - The Art Teacher (mp3) (zshare)
6. Lulu - To Sir, With Love (mp3) (zshare)