Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Song for Whoever

A song that practically defines the term "sugar-coated bullet" is the Beautiful South's superlative "Song for Whoever", a number two hit from way back in 1989. This deceptively sweet ditty, armed with a delightfully hummable melody, masks one of the most bitter invectives aimed against the commercial aspects of the music industry ever laid down on record. Check out the humorously anecdotal video, watch out for the parade of so-called pop stars auditioning to be the band's lead singer, and have a guess at who (or what) eventually turned out be the chosen one.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Simple Minds' Love Song

While new-wave mainstays Simple Minds are best known for their rousing stadium singalongs and widescreen production values, a little-known aspect of the band's sound was the proto-electronica material they chunred out in the very early stages of their career, in the early 1980s. While nothing from this period remotely matches the chart-busting performances of middle-period standards like "Alive and Kicking", "Waterfront" and the inescapable "Don't You Forget About Me", there is a certain gutsy naivete to these primitive electro-pop songs that suggests greater things to come for these Glaswegian lads. One of the more well-known tracks from this nascent stage is the pulsating "Love Song", a quirky hybrid creature constructed from hyper-kinetic electro-bass pulses and angular swatches of processed guitars. Check out the ridiculously pointless and fun video clip, with a non-existent storyline to boot.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Dead Can Dance, during the course of their now-defunct career, purveyed a style of music that was like no other, defying preconceived categories and breaking down whatever generic boundaries there might be. Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry proffered an ethnic-fusion approach that took in diverse elements like Goth-rock, medieval cantatas, Middle Eastern cadences, tribal inflections and Eastern European folk, making for a musical brew that is at once intoxicating, challenging, refined and cerebral. Check out the promo for the mystical "Yulunga", a trance-inducing exploration of cross-continental tonalities, that makes plentiful and intelligent use of understated strings, tribal percussion work and bizarre found-sound samples.