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Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009

Yesterday on PopMatters, Bill Stewart said of Handsome Furs new album Face Control: “Handsome Furs craft something of a rarity even in today’s independent music scene: a modest, personal album that doesn’t ask for anything more than what you’re willing to give.” Of lead single and video “I’m Confused” he added, “often the repetition of a simple, powerful phrase like ‘I’m Confused’ over a beautifully spiraling guitar figure can say more than all but the most poetic lyric.”


Handsome Furs is Dan Broeckner from Wolf Parade on vocals and guitar teamed with his wife Alexei Perry who mans the synthesizers. The result is a compelling blend of cool synth pop and hot jagged guitars and impassioned vocals. It’s a spare and very effective mixture as you can hear on the debut single “I’m Confused”, which appears on Face Control released this week via Sub Pop.


Handsome Furs
“I’m Confused” [MP3]
     



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Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009

Nine years ago this week, Eels released Daisies of the Galaxy, a record of which PopMattersFred Kovey said: “The melodies are old and familiar, the rhyme schemes are Mother Goose-simple, but the off-kilter production and lyrics betray the music in a manner that would be ironic if the whole thing weren’t delivered with so much conviction.”


Eels - Flyswatter


Eels - Flyswatter (Live on David Letterman, 2000)


Eels - Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues (Live on Top of the Pops)


Eels - The Making of Daisies of the Galaxy



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Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Lady Gaga dropped by to chat with the women on The View and perform her hit “Just Dance”. Evan Sawdey said of her recent album The Fame: Though Gaga started out in New York’s tough-to-break club scene, her ability to pick out a good hook (along with her ability to spot a good producer) makes The Fame sound like a unified whole—something that’s truly amazing when you account for the fact that five different producers/beatmakers were brought in to craft this disc.



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Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009
Sick… but funny

Stephen Lynch is a Tony-nominated actor (for playing Robbie Hart in The Wedding Singer in 2006) and a successful stand-up comedian, but he considers himself primarily a musician and songwriter.  His latest CD Three Balloons, out March 24 on What Are Records, is as sickly funny as anything you’ll hear at a comedy club. 


Let’s let him describe it, okay?  He says, ““My last two albums were recorded live in concert, just guitar and voice, and I wanted to do something different this time. Whenever I write or perform a new song, in my head I hear pianos and drums and tubas and string sections and jug bands and children’s choirs. I want you to hear those things too. Except we couldn’t find a children’s choir whose parents would let them sing about drug mules and transsexual prostitutes. Maybe next time.”


The album has songs about waiting for AIDs test results (“Waiting”), untended private hair (“Medieval Bush”) and this really objectionable, really shocking, hee hee, really amusing tune about smuggling dope. 


It’s called “3 Balloons”. Enjoy…if that’s the right word for it.


Stephen Lynch
“3 Balloons” [MP3]
     



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Wednesday, Mar 11, 2009
Kings of Leon

I heard this song on my alt. rock radio station today. Perhaps it was the melody, or the vocals, but I was transported back to the ‘80s. I would have closed my eyes and relished the moment, but I was driving in my car. Some people think the song sounds like something from U2, or Bob Seger. I’m not sure I agree, but I am comforted by the strangely familiar voice that, ironically, I have never heard before.  The band has been criticized for going mainstream, much like No Doubt or Fall Out Boy. However, I know a catchy song when I hear one, and this song has stayed on repeat for about 20 minutes, and I probably won’t be able to get it out of my head for the next couple of days.



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