Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm not N'Sync with Lance Bass

Over the weekend my partner made the comment that he thought Lance Bass was very 'striking'. I, in turn, said that I thought Neil Patrick Harris was rather good looking. My partner didn't agree with me, and thus a very pointless conversation surrounding the hotness factor of Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris began. I maintain that Lance Bass has a freakish jawline and eyes that are too small (and not to mention of a color not found in nature) for his head. In other words, he looks like your typical boy band tart. On the other hand, my partner believes that Neil Patrick Harris still looks like he never grew out of that awkward stage of puberty where your limbs are either too short or too large for your frame, and your face looks like a breeding ground for new forms of bacteria. So, in light of our discussion, I have started a poll asking you who you are N'Sync with: Lance, or Neil?

(Left: Freak of Nature Lance Bass; Right: Neil Patrick Harris)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pet Shop Boys in the Studio

The Pet Shop Boys are hard at work in the studio with production team Xenomania. The new album, which is due out in early 2009, will feature some songs co-written by the producers. I'm personally excited to hear what those collaborations sound like, as most Pet Shop Boys songs are self-penned. If we are lucky, hopefully we will have a new PSB single out before Christmas.

In other Pet Shop Boys related news, their video for the song Integral won a Cyber Lion Award at Cannes Film Festival last week.

(Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Some Songs Make You Feel Alive!

Every now and then a song comes along that gives you such an inexplicable surge of energy that the resulting high is greater than anything you could possibly imagine. This is one of those songs for me. It's called 'Bizarre Love Duo' by Marsheaux. The energy level in this track is beyond description - just when you think it's done kicking you in the face, it gets right back up and hits you again.

Bizarre Love Duo is the second track on Marsheaux's Ghost single, which is presently available on 7" vinyl or digital download at Apple iTunes or

One last note: I'm not totally sure of this, but I think the girls are making fine use of a Speak and Spell toy on this song - listen for its solo in the Middle 8 and at the very end of the track.

Original Simple Minds Lineup Reform

One of my favorite '80s bands, Simple Minds, has reformed. While the band has continued to record and play live shows over the years, this will mark the first time in 27 years that the original lineup has recorded material together.

(Simple Minds in 1984)

When it comes to band reunions, I am always a bit skeptical - note the Duran Duran reformation debacle of 2001. At the same time however, I am always a sucker for reunions if for no other reason than the nostalgia affect.

According to reports, Simple Minds have recorded enough material for two new records. Hopefully this will mark a glorious return to form for one of New Wave's pioneering acts.

Goldfrapp Live at Albert Hall

If my vacation to Britain had not been delayed, I might have been able to see the amazing Goldfrapp in concert. It sounds like their recent gig at Albert Hall was quite brilliant according to Popjustice.

(above: Alison Goldfrapp of Goldfrapp)

Thursday, June 26, 2008


(above: Steve Strange of Visage)

My office at work happens to share space with our company's training area. Yesterday a training was in progress, so I decided to fire up my iPod to try and drown out the noise. While I have been spending a lot of time listening to a rather fabulous iMix I recently put together, I opted instead to listen to Visage.

To offer a brief history, Visage was formed in 1978 by Steve Strange and Midge Ure of Ultravox fame. They were among a group of English bands such as Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran that pioneered the New Romantic movement of the early '80s. Central to the culture surrounding the New Romantics was the blending of fashion - often in exaggerated forms, and visual artistry. Male new romantics often wore androgynous clothing, cosmetics and flamboyant hairdos. They were also unique in that their music was primarily driven by electronic keyboards, synthesizers and computers: not guitars. As such, the music that emerged from the New Romantics tended to have a different mood, feel, tone, and visual appeal than their rock music counterparts.

While I have been a fan of Visage's pioneering efforts in music for some time, my record collection was strangely void of any of their albums. That changed in 2006 when I was in England with my partner. I spend many a day touring London record shops, and to my delight, I was able to find a number of discs that are rarely found here in the States: at least not without a hefty import markup price attached to them.

One of those discs I stumbled upon was the Visage compilation album 'Damned Don't Cry'. I bought it mostly for the song 'Fade to Grey', a classic example of New Romanticism. Today, however, I would like to share with you Visage's eponymous track released on their eponymous album.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Marsheaux - Hanging On

Marsheaux are a Greek electronic duo from Thessaloniki, Greece. Comprised of Marianthi and Sophie, the girls formed Marsheaux in 2000 and recorded a cover of the classic electronic instrumental, Popcorn! as their debut single, which was released to much critical acclaim in Greece. I discovered Marsheaux in 2007 on Electronically Yours, a website that was first launched as a Human League fan page. Through the years EY has evolved to become one of the major portals of news and information on the internet for all things electronica.

(Marsheaux: Left, Marianthi; Right, Sophie.)

For my first post, I thought it only appropriate to share with you 'Hanging On' the first single from the girls second album 'Peek-a-Boo', which was released in 2007. I love how the girls have captured the spirit of the '80s in this song as well as the video. In fact, both girls write the majority of their demo tracks using the microKORG, a classic keyboard that can be heard on many electronic albums representative of the electronic music movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. I feel it's important to note this attention to detail because electronic music today is primarily dominated by digital music looping machines that require little to no talent on the part of the user. At a time when music creation has turned, in large part, into the mixing of prepackaged sounds, it is refreshing to see a crop of young musicians using machines to create their own set of sounds, rhythms, melodies and harmonies.

When I first discovered Marsheaux I knew I had stumbled onto something special. You can learn more about Marsheaux at their official forum. Enjoy!