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Monday, Jun 13, 2011
The former Men at Work frontman sits down with PopMatters to talk about the passing of his father, adding humor to dramatic songs, and how he wish he got rid of that fluteline all those years ago ...

[Video directed by J.C. Sciaccotta]


Colin Hay has had a remarkable career.  Actually, he’s had two of them.


The first one was as part of Men at Work, his merry group of Australian pop perfectionists who absolutely dominated the charts in the early 80s, winning a Grammy for Best New Artist while also conquering the charts with catchy hits like “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?”  The band’s two subsequent albums failed to match the intense level of success that their first album Business as Usual achieved, and the group split shortly thereafter.


Colin Hay, however, was not a man to be idle for long, and in short time he was working on solo albums.  A prominent guest spot on the TV show Scrubs and a prominent placement on the soundtrack for the movie Garden State helped give Hay a whole second life to his career, and to this day he still tours and records.


Earlier in the year Hay released Gathering Mercury, one of the more emotional and subdued discs of his career, looking at his relationship with his father following his passing.  Prior to a show at Park West in Chicago, Hay sat down with PopMatters to discuss his new disc, the lawsuit over the flute line in “Down Under”, and so much more ...



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Monday, Jun 13, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
Sylvia Gordon is a musical chameleon changing personas and genres with a natural ease. As Betty Black, Gordon steps into the guise of a "Southern gothic chanteuse" channeling the girl pop of the 1960s.

Sylvia Gordon is a musical chameleon changing personas and genres with a natural ease. She has previously worked with Moby and Spank Rock, as well as working in various projects like Art World Killer, Sylvia Black and Vivian Alive! As Betty Black, Gordon steps into the guise of a “Southern gothic chanteuse” channeling the girl pop of the 1960s. Gordon explains her approach, “I used musical elements from the late ‘50s and early ‘60s as the backdrop for this project since people tend to want to look back fondly on this period in the U.S. as a time of simple innocence. Not unlike a good David Lynch film, I wanted to use that illusion of innocence while uncovering its dark undercurrents… which will further reveal themselves in Betty Black EPs to come.” This June she is releasing her debut EP, Slow Dance, as Betty Black and you can sample her new music via the new tune premiering today, “Spring Blossoms”.



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Thursday, Jun 9, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
Swedish twee-poppers, Acid House Kings, continue to impress with "Would You Stay Stop?" "If some pop goes in-one-ear-and-out-the-other, this tune simply swirls around your head until you’re dizzy, then flutters away."

Swedish twee-poppers, Acid House Kings, have long been a favorite around these parts and their latest record, Music Sounds Better With You, is no exception. John Bergstrom praised the group in March for “streamlining their signature summery pop, focusing more on uptempo songs and a high energy level”. “Would You Stay Stop?” is the band’s latest single, as addictive and irresistible as anything they’ve ever recorded. Bergstrom said it best, “If some pop goes in-one-ear-and-out-the-other, these two tunes (“Would You Stay Stop?” and “Are We Lovers Or Are We Friends”) simply swirl around your head until you’re dizzy, then flutter away.” Today we present the online premiere of a brand-new Perfect Nines remix of that slice of perfect pop confection.



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Thursday, Jun 9, 2011
Piano pop maestro Gabe Dixon kicks off his solo career with a new album, One Spark, coming this August and a fresh and infectious new single, "My Favorite". Look out Ben Folds.

Piano pop maestro Gabe Dixon spent a decade fronting the Gabe Dixon Band, an ensemble that found enormous mainstream success, with the bulk of their 2008 release, The Gabe Dixon Band, getting various TV and film licensing deals. Of course, in the new economy of the music industry, that’s the real path to sustained profitability. Now Dixon is forging out on his own and his first solo album, One Spark, will be releasing via Concord Music this coming August 23rd (full tracklist and EPK video below). Marshall Altman (producer for Marc Broussard, Matt Nathanson and Kate Voegele) approached Dixon about working together and they trekked off to London (good idea) to work on new material with Iain Archer (ex-Snow Patrol), James Walsh (Starsailor) and Ricky Ross (ex-Deacon Blue).


Heading to Los Angeles, Dixon enlisted a new band of supporting players and aimed for a spontaneous spirit in the recording process. Dixon describes the process: “When we got down to recording, we’d listen to the last pass from rehearsals and then cut the song for the album. We didn’t have a chance to over-think anything. We recorded it as we felt it, and I think that gives the tracks an immediacy and a freshness I’ve never had on record before. It was great to step back and give a little rein to Marshall and the musicians, spread it around and just see what happens.”


That fresh approach has yielded sparkling results as the single “My Favorite” illustrates. The tune is infectious and expansive, with the chorus lodging in your head and refusing to depart. Contemporary piano pop is made up of a lot more than Ben Folds and Gabe Dixon has staked his claim to the top of that mountain. Let the guessing begin… which TV show is going to pick up this tune first?



Tagged as: gabe dixon, premieres
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
cirKus offers up a sweet slice of UK electro-soul with their new single "Bells", while two remixers reimagine the groovy tune.

UK producer Cameron McVey, who has produced the work of Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead, as well as that of his wife trip-hopper Neneh Cherry, formed cirKus back in 2006 with DJ Matt Karmil. They’ve since added Neneh Cherry and Lolita Moon to the mix to become a quartet and just released their second album, Medicine. Today we offer up two remixes of single “Bells”. You check out the original in video form after the jump. The Bedsit remix completely reimagines the piece from the top down, removing the vocals and producing a jagged, techno thumper. Eli Escobar stays truer to the original, focusing on generating a mellow groove.



Tagged as: cirkus, mp3, premiere
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