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#FastSong 128: Truly Freaking Out by Tim Kasher

Have I mentioned before that I love fast rock and roll with synths and organs ?  So much in love so far with Tim Kasher’s 2013 album Adult Film. I’m three songs in and I can already tell it’s a keeper… Smart, funny, sentimental, powerful… I’m hearing cool modern rock with Bowie an even Rocky Horror influences.

Mmm yeah listen to Where’s Your Heart Lie.  Great ballad. Yay Thursday!

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 127: Hazy Shade Of Winter by Simon & Garfunkel.

I don’t know what it looks out outside where you are but here in downtown Toronto I can’t think of a better, more poetic description for today.  Everything is kind of silver and still, and we’re getting that heavy feeling of being beaten down by winter and retreating to a happy place in our minds..

I was this close to featuring The Bangles version (sorry I’m an 80s kid) but I actually prefer the groove on the original.  What’s particularly cool about it is that S&G basically just transplanted the drums and tambourine groove from The Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction onto the track, which totally works even though the mood of the song really couldn’t be much different.

Hey just for fun, why not tweet me a photo of what winter looks like where you are?  Happy sad, silvery Wednesday.

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 126: Huffer by The Breeders

I dare you not to love Kim Deal. This song and video are a testament to her awesomeness and legacy as one of modern music’s greatest and most lovable fuckups. Truly amazing without even trying. Probably best when she’s not trying. And her voice just keeps getting better. God I love her.

Happy Tuesday kids !

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 126: Huffer by The Breeders

I dare you not to love Kim Deal. This song and video are a testament to her awesomeness and legacy as one of modern music’s greatest and most lovable fuckups. Truly amazing without even trying. Probably best when she’s not trying. And her voice just keeps getting better with age. God I love her.

Happy Tuesday kids.

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 125: Rejoice by U2. First post of 2014.

Just taking advantage of that tiny window that opens before the end of the day and after my NYE Hangover ends.  Pretty appropriate song to launch 2014, eh?  This is actually the first song I ever heard by a brand new band called U2 back in the early 80’s.  Do yourself a favour and pick up the highly underrated, and – rare for a U2 record – underplayed October.  And speaking of overplayed, give me some credit for not offering up the more obvious choice for a U2 song on January first.

Again, happy 2014!  Any nice new year wishes and resolutions to share?

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 124: Lit Up by The National. Happy New Year!!!

What kind of guy would I be if I didn’t join you all in saying a fond goodbye to 2013 and a bright hopeful hello to the wonderful year ahead ?  I hope your new year is every bit as fun, silly, fast, uncomplicated, inspired, spirited, uplifting, foolishly optimistic, and unleashed as this song.

I hope you light up tonight and all of 2014.  Save me a hug at midnight.

Steve <3

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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Caught in the freeze

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Sorry for the lack of activity. Blame the weather!  Back with more fast songs real soon.

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#FastSong 123: You’ve Got Time by Regina Spektor.

Yes I’m a fan of Orange Is The New Black and that theme song keeps growing on me. It’s also very untypical of Regina Spektor to record a song like this, given that the material she’s famous for is much more singer songwriter driven, though no less imaginative and original.

Still I wish she’d dirty things up a little. You’ve got time just wants to be raunchy.  Someone else is gonna do a cover version of this song and it’s probably gonna be better. Listening to What We Saw From The Cheap Seats which I think broke a lot of ground for her, and the whole thing feels so clean and tasteful.  Not at the height of her songwriting where she takes so many awesome risks.

Have a great Sunday. Animals.

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 122: Christine by Siouxsie And The Banshees.

Retro Tuesday!  What else can you say about a band that made so many unforgettable alt rock hits and counted Robert Smith of the Cure among its members (well on one tour anyway).  Anyone seeing a sixteen year old Siouxsie Sioux hanging out with the Sex Pistols – particularly on that infamous TV appearance where the host invited her to his dressing room- would have probably been surprised to see her rise above groupie status. Who knew she’d go on to carve out her own timeless space and sound in the UK, the best music scene of the 80s.

I never say this but I love women in the alt / punk space.  They never have it easy and I don’t think a lot of guys would ever think of singing something as totally awesome as “Now she’s in purple, now she’s a turtle, disintegrating.”

So git her!  Dig up that vinyl, or download below.  BTW Anyone else remember dancing alone to this in a dingy bar?

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 121: We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic by Foxygen.

Whoa! Find of the day, the week, the month and possibly the year. I’m not gonna waste time picking the song apart and analyzing every layer of what makes it awesome, it except to say I love everything about it, and I know this 2013 release from Foxygen is gonna occupy an important part of my being for well into 2014. Not to mention that it’s rare these days that I like a band more after seeing the video. Oh, and what a title!

That’s enough. True to my word I am gonna shut up and listen. Fishman!

Get it on iTunes, Amazon

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#FastSong 120: Lazy Bones by Wooden Shjips.

Great psychedelia on a Friday so you can drift in slow motion into the weekend.  I love this album and could never resist the lure of San Francisco psychedelic rock. So urban and California at the same time, and always on the edge of sanity. Guitarist Ripley Johnson’s side project Moon Duo has also been featured here and has a similar awesome sound.

Been to SF?  Send me your vacation photos.

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 119: Presence of Mind by The Fresh & Onlys.

If you’re the kind of music fan I think you are then this should come as a welcome break from the Celine and Village People posts.  I suppose I could have come in with an angrier more aggressive follow up but this pretty, positive little number from The Fresh and Onlys is a much more positive place to take things.  It really grows on me as I listen to it.  If you like it check out the brilliantly produced yet horribly violent music video.  You’ll also love Long Slow Dance, the 2012 record this song is taken from.

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 118: Food Fight by The Village People.

I probably should have saved this for April Fools, but wow – categorize this squarely in the WTF section of pop music history.  After the plummeting popularity of disco, the very poster boys of that era decide to get on the new wave / punk rock train with the ill fated album “Renaissance.”  Of course, it didn’t really stand a chance.  And it didn’t help that it was released hot off the buzz of “Can’t Stop the Music”, which won Razzies for worst film, worst screenplay, and worst original song.

Food Fight is the only “punk” song on the record.  Most of it is an eighties update of the novelty dance sound that made them icons of the previous decade.  Really weird: there are three food themed songs in a row: Big Mac, Diet, and Food Fight.  Diet is especially awful.  Action Man possibly could have had traction but again, I don’t know of any act that has recovered from that many nails in their coffin.

Thanks to Drew Mullin for the recommendation.  If this is in your vinyl collection I will never stop laughing at you.

New music tomorrow I promise!

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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#FastSong 117: River Deep, Mountain High by Celine Dion (live on David Letterman, 1994)

You’d think this blog would be a safe sanctuary from any mention of Celine and you’d be wrong!  I would invite you to forget everything you know or have experienced about the “Shantousse” as Dave calls her and judge only this performance.  Visually and vocally it’s stunning.  She blows the song right up, knocks it straight out of the park, insert whatever other analogy you’ve got here, she does it.  Gone are her usual Vegas over the top gestures and cringeworthy crowd banter.  All I see here is a vocal powerhouse belting the heck out of a great song made famous than none other than the legendary Tina Turner.  Okay now get your death threats ready… I prefer this particular performance to Tina’s.  There I said it.  I’ll be double checking any suspicious packages sent to my address for the next year and beyond.

Of course, unlike the original, Celine’s version here doesn’t suffer from Phil Spector’s god awful production which makes this a bit of an unfair comparison.  And before you accuse me of being a total d*** you really should know that this particular performance so delighted Phil Spector himself that he came out of retirement to produce her record “Falling Into You.”  He was subsequently replaced, probably because he’s nuts.  And because, well, Celine and her people looooove David Foster.

So outside what Celine represents as a performer, outside of where Phil might have taken her music, there will always be this:  a great f***ing version of River Deep, Mountain High, fearlessly sang with no bulls*** by someone with an unquestionably great voice.

Get it on iTunes, Amazon.

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