Songs You May Have Missed #602


Oh Land: “Rainbow” (2011)

Danish singer-songwriter Nanna Øland Fabricius is a former student at the Royal Danish and Royal Swedish ballet schools. When a back injury forced her to give up her dancing career she focused on music, Anglicizing her middle name to create the pseudonym she records under.

oh-landHer self-titled second album (which was her debut in the U.S.) rose to #5 on the Danish pop chart.

She creates the kind of electro-dance pop that brings Santigold and Robyn to mind.

But mixed in with the dance beats is the occasional ballad, such as album closer “Rainbow”, which explodes into a radiant, color-saturated chorus befitting the song’s title.

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Songs You May Have Missed #601


The Minus 5 with Colin Meloy: “Cemetery Row” (2006)

Scott McCaughey and the Minus 5 summon Colin Meloy to sing the praises of life as a ghost. Given that many of Meloy’s own tunes depict harrowing and macabre scenarios, fans of his band the Decemberists know he’s perfectly cast here. Creepy.

Eyes that never close, hands too numb to hold a glass or a matchstick.
Everybody knows this old house is cold and crowded with halfwits.
Cemetery Row is not such a bad place — don’t you want to go?

Lemonade and gin.
Life is wearing thin by general consensus.
Nothing is a sin.
Fall out of your skin so free and defenseless.
Cemetery Row is not such a bad place — don’t you want to go?
Bars that never close one every corner, Cemetery Row.

Used to be afraid.
Now we love to fade into the procession.
No more the insane
Memory lane runs in the other direction
Cemetery Row is not such a bad place — don’t you want to go?
Bars that never close one every corner, Cemetery Row.

See also:

Did You Ever Realize…


Don’t Give Up on the Guitar. Fender Is Begging You


Songs You May Have Missed #600


The Proclaimers: “Now and Then” (2005)

This one’s extremely personal for me, as I associate it with the loss of my own father. No further words are necessary here. If the song’s point of view is relatable for you, it will probably mean something to you too.

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20 Years Later: Was (Not Was) Still Boggle the Mind


How Ozzy Osbourne, Kim Basinger, and Madonna wrote a strange chapter of Chicago house-music history

(Via Spin) Philip Sherburne // May 7, 2012

Welcome to a new, occasional series in which I’ll be shining a spotlight on club classics that were released 20 years ago. My first pick is one of my favorite discoveries of recent years, and surely one of the strangest collaborations in the history of house music.

Over on Buzzfeed, Katie Notopoulos reports that the fan forum has erupted into debate over whether or not an unreleased 1989 album by Kim Basinger was produced by her then-beau, the artist who was soon to be known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. But that putative collabo pales in comparison to another project Basigner was involved with: Was (Not Was)’s 1992 hit “Shake Your Head,” which found the former Bond girl facing off against Ozzy Obsourne — remixed by Chicago house pioneer Steve “Silk” Hurley!

Founded in Oak Park, Michigan, by childhood friends David Weiss and Don Fagenson, who rechristened themselves David and Don Was, Was (Not Was) were a quirky funk-pop act armed with a sardonic wit and irreverent songwriting approach. Reviewing their 1987 single “Robot Girl,” SPIN’s John Leland wrote that their “approach to dance music was more cultist than crossover: the work of a couple of white guys who owned a lot of disco 12-inches and saw the potential for experimentation within a dance mix. Like Adrian Sherwood or George Clinton, they jam ideas around a beat.” Looking back over their career, Detroit Metro Times described Was (Not Was) in 2004 as “an endearing mess…a sausage factory of funk, rock, jazz, and electronic dance music, all providing a boogie-down backdrop for a radical (and witty) political message of unbridled personal freedom and skepticism of authority.”

Read more:

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Did You Ever Realize…

Did You Ever Realize…

marley splits

Did You Ever Realize…

Remembering Brownsville Station

I tuned in to a 2012 Brownsville Station music video fully expecting to watch a washed-up 70’s band in full PCA (pathetic comeback attempt) mode because sometimes I like to make myself sad.

It’s a common sight to see graying, bloated stillwannabes reliving their momentary glories decades later with one or two original members of the old lineup. I didn’t know there was still a Brownsville Station. But I knew their lead vocalist, Cub Koda, whose Vinyl Junkie column I used to read in Goldmine and DISCoveries magazines, was no longer with us.

cubKoda, who passed away suddenly at 51 in 2000, was a front man you had to hear to appreciate. I say that because in terms of rock star looks he made Donnie Iris look like Diamond Dave. But his exuberant onstage banter was an influence on Alice Cooper and J. Geils’ Peter Wolf. And when he started playing and it sounded like Grand Funk Railroad: a pure burst of sleazy rock adrenaline, with all the primal vitality of Chuck Berry/Bo Diddley-era rock and roll.

Happily (and surprisingly) after a Station break of 32 years or so, the band’s energy still seems intact, although there’s no replacing Cub Koda.

“Rock & Roll is Better Than Music” may sound like a credible sing-along anthem to you, or just a pitiful name-dropping exercise in the mode of the Righteous Brothers’ “Rock and Roll Heaven“.

But it is impressive how many rock references they seamlessly squoze into the narrative (did you catch “Stairway to Heaven”?)

And Mike Lutz, who sings the leads in the 2012 edition of the band did in fact share lead vocals with Koda in the band’s heyday. Also that’s original drum-thumper Henry “H-Bomb” Weck still pounding away in the back.

Let’s look back at the original 3-piece in their youth: their only top twenty hit (#3 in 1974) “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room” (also a hit for Motley Crue a decade later) and #31 hit “Kings of the Party” from the same year.

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