Hunters and Collectors – Talking to a Stranger

They got more popular later and “Throw Your Arms Around Me” is a quite lovely rock ballad that I used to sing to my kids at bedtime (along with “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd, “Love My Way” by Psychedelic Furs, and “In Dreams” by Roy Orbison), but for my money it was all about this song and video from Hunters and Collectors. I saw the video on television back in the mid ’80s and it made me feel like I’d found something totally weird that nobody else got. Turns our I was pretty much right. The record this song is from is full of really odd, stripped down industrial funky oddness from Australia that, were I to hear for the first time today, I honestly don’t know what I’d think. It all feels so sun-baked and hallucinatory and still, to this day, makes me feel kind of weird. Good weird. As if there were any other kind.


And more good weird in this video for “Betty’s Worry or the Slab” that came out a couple of years later. “I was looking for seasoned dreams to rip from your fingers.” Indeed.


I’ve Never Been More Certain In My Life That Johnny Has a Boom Boom

I’m in love with Imelda May. The band is amazing and this song in particular is on seriously high replay on my headphones. In short, it’s just totally kick-ass rockabilly from Dublin by way of London.

On a related note, I highly recommend the show this video is taken from. It’s been on forever but I lost track of it for a few years. Later…With Jools Holland is on Ovation TV, seemingly, every fifteen minutes.

Listening Party

Boy howdy. Music is being teh good to me these days. I’ve added a music player to the blog so you can listen to songs by these folks right here and now! Isn’t that exciting? Isn’t it just the very most exciting thing that you’ve heard all week? Yes. Yes, it is.

The new Decemberists record is due out March 24th and I can’t wait to hear the whole thing. The pre-release single (which is available now from their site, or to listen to below) is great! Typically dark, moving, and adventurous.

I first heard K’naan on the NPR show All Song’s Considered, which seems to be where I hear about all the new music I end up loving. It’s the best radio show I know and the podcast comes out weekly.

Lily Allen doesn’t offer a whole lot for those who didn’t like her first record, and for my money that’s a good thing. Less ska and more pop and dance feels make it sound like a bit of a progression but the themes are still the same: herself, people she knows, people who know her, people she has screwed, people who have screwed her, drugs, and fame.

Santogold is strange. Dub, pop, rock, all sung with a really cool voice that reminds me of Karen O, of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.


Swingers – One Good Reason

My good friend James Gossard and I used to swap mix-tapes where one of us would do a side and give it to the other to do a “response” side. I learned about some music from James that I probably never would have found where it not for those mix-tapes. Among the songs I still have on tape, but that I’ve had an impossible search for digital versions of, is this one from the New Zealand band Swingers. I’ve never seen the movie this video is from, but am certainly intrigued.

Listening Party

Something new, something old, and something a bit of both.

  • TV on the Radio – Dear Science The new album from New York’s TV on the Radio is the best album of the year so far.
  • Die Kreuzen – Die Kreuzen Bill thinks this is more metal than hardcore, and I agree they certainly went that way after a bit. Regardless, their first album kicks ass.
  • Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal It’s the ’60s (or is it the ’70s?) again. This reminds me of lying on my parents living room floor listening to “Horse with no Name” by America.