Thursday, December 27, 2007

Under the Milky Way

Veteran Goth-rockers The Church's signature song remains the uneasily dreamy but highly atmospheric "Under the Milky Way" from 1988. This well-constructed and elegant tune even managed to creep stealthily into the American Top 40, in defiance of crass commercial strictures. Check out a wonderful, effortlessly virtuosic acoustic performance of this ageless standard on MTV's Unplugged programme.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bring On the Dancing Horses

Armed with a surreal, enigmatic video clip directed by acclaimed mood-meister Anton Corbijn, Echo and the Bunnymen's "Bring On the Dancing Horses" became one of the more enduring standards in the legendary post-punk outifit's considerable repertoire. Check out the promo, which features stylised imagery of cows, fishes and horses.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Message to My Girl

A clear-cut, heartfelt ditty that is a real departure from Split Enz’s previous musical eccentricities, "Message to My Girl" is as close to a straightforward love song as the skewed Kiwi new-wave geniuses have ever done. Adorned with sparkling New Romantic-styled synth tinklings and a sincere Neil Finn vocal, it’s no wonder why this achingly pretty ode to a new love, which has lost none of its blissful lustre after 24 years, remains a live mainstay during Finn’s Crowded House, Finn Brothers and solo days. Check out the relatively simple, yet appealing video clip here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


In a refreshing change from thir usual brand of spiky post-punk or anthemic stadium-rock, Simple Minds, at the end of the 1990s, began embarking on an electronica-based path, turning out numbers that relied more on meticulous synth patterns and precise drum programming than raw guitar pyrotechnics and crashing percussion work. A good example of this newfound direction is evident on the coolly paced "Dolphins", which utilised an atmospheric, Blue Nile-informed groove to engender a cinematic, ambient-blues epic about the general meaningless of existence. Check out a nicely constructed montage of the band's line-up throughout their long career, set to this remarkable tone poem, right here.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ceremony by Radiohead

Amongst all of British rock legends New Order's vast array of singles, one of the less celebrated ones has to be the blissfully insouciant, yet strangely intense "Ceremony", which was actually written by Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis shortly prior to his death by suicide in May 1980. The rest of the band, of course, went on to form New Order, and chose it to be their debut single. Neo prog-rockers Radiohead did a commendable live take on this classic recently in a webcast, and while it's not impressionably different from the original version, it bears enough Radiohead characterisitcs (i.e. studied guitar pyrotechnics, Thom Yorke's unique singing mannerisms) to make it a fairly distinct reading. Check out the promo here.