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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Diversions

Heavy winds, unimaginable waters, gas lines, fallen trees and then a snow storm.  Yet, we are the lucky ones.  The Northeast has been ravaged and the landscape of my youth (Seaside Heights, NJ) and now (NYC) has been forever changed.

As the region continues to rebuild and move forward may I offer a diversion?  That is, let's all take time to forget!  When you wake up tomorrow Staten Island will still be a mess.  They will need your help now, and for years to come.  

Step away from the dour coverage and zone a bit.  You deserve it.  The election is over.  With it, we are free of robo-calls and tedious political ads.  Can this finally be the end of Linda McMahon?  Has Vince given her a camel clutch yet??

Find your favorite audio/visual device and enjoy folks.  Art.  Saves.  Lives.

Here are 10 diddies old and new that have helped me get through the past fortnight.  

Diiv "How Long Have You Known?"  Brooklyn band released their debut album earlier this year.  More of the "New Surf" movement (see: Real Estate, Caveman, et al.)  Dreamy guitar licks and soft melodies are the stars here.  Hopelessly addicted to its charms.  They are part of a great double bill with Canadian rockers Japandroids 12.4 @ Webster Hall.  You really should go.  Tix and info here

Django Django "Default"  British psych-synth act who also released their debut album earlier this year. I hear Thomas Dolby, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Erasure.  The Manchester movement of the 80s is definitely in their DNA.  Goofy simplicity that gets in your head and refuses to escape.

Erasure "A Little Respect"  Vince Clarke is an absolute beast!!   His fingerprints can be found on Depeche Mode, Yaz and Erasure, to name a few.  You cannot mention 80s Brit Synth without including Clarke (and his partner Andy Bell for that matter.)  This is source material for the 80s renaissance we are witness to today.  This is a perfect pop song.

Pet Shop Boys "West End Girls"  I have a soft spot for this one because I do a mean Neil Tennant.  That wispy, exaggerated lisp plays to my strengths.  All that aside this is still one an 80s classic.  Some songs grow stale and boring over time.  Not this one.

M83 "Steve McQueen"  Their NJ show a few weeks ago was a real eye opener and one of my favorite shows of the year.  This track stood out and has been getting frequent plays on whichever device is handy.  Have you joined Spotify yet folks?  If not you should, and then play this song over, and over again.

Imagine Dragons "Radioactive"  Here performed live (a little shaky I might add) on Jimmy Kimmel.  Las Vegas rockers who also have a debut record from 2012.  Everyone and their mother knows their smash hit "It's Time".  The entire record is pretty strong and this second single is proof positive.  Plus I think the folks at Glee will not want to cover it.  That in itself adds some street cred.

Bryan Adams "One Night Love Affair"  For a while there Bryan Adams was a force on the rock charts.  "Cuts Like a Knife" and "Summer of 69" are undisputed mega-hits.  I heard this a few days back and couldn't help think of the Val Kilmer cult classic Real Genius.  This played during the raucous pool party scene when our hero Mitch was busted by Jerry the science prof.  Such good stuff!  "What is that popcorn, I hate popcorn, get it away from me."  Kilmer's Chris Knight:  "Great, now I know what to get you for your birthday."  There are about two dozen lines memorable lines in that film.  How many can you remember from ANY of Judd Apatow's movies?  Where was I?  Oh yeah, this is a good song.

Cheap Trick "The Flame"  A song I probably dismissed when it was released way back when.  It was the bands first #1 single and dominated radio play.  Even though it brings back memories of awkward pool dances and bad skin I find myself digging it.  Power ballads and hair bands were staples of the 80s.  It gets no better.

Def Leppard "Bringing on the Heartbreak"  OK, maybe it does get better.  Before every white kid in suburbia was issued Pyromania this track (off their debut album) was a minor hit.  Sure "Foolin," "Rock Of Ages" and "Photograph" get all the glory.  But don't forget about the single that acted as our Union Jack shirt wearing introduction to them.  Two handed drumming never sounded better.

Avett Brothers "Live and Die"  Good old fashioned, banjo picking, alt country, toe tapping, folk goodness.  These brothers from North Carolina are not for everyone.  If you can't get into this groove I am not sure they ever will be.  It is easy listening, unpretentious fun.  Give it a try.

This blogger hopes everyone reading has been spared from the destruction that has enveloped the Northeast.  We wish you good health, much happiness and the ability to enjoy some music in the most carefree of setting.

Join the conversation.  What songs have caught your attention?  New or old.





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