Author Archive

BOY – Little Numbers

Sometimes, I think I am on the bleeding edge of music and then I am quickly jerked back into reality.  Take this week’s pick.  The song was just posted on the Canadian iTunes site on December 4, 2012, only one song and it is the first released by this duo. The album which is yet to be released in Canada has already sold over 100,000 copies in Germany, while their irresistible debut single “Little Numbers” (song of the week) boasts over 6 million YouTube views and counting.  They are so new I cannot even find a web site.

BOY is comprised of Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass (neither of which are boys). Steiner sang in several bands in her native Switzerland before moving to Germany, where Glass grew up, playing the cello in classical orchestras as a child, and later working as a bass player for several pop bands. The duo met when they both participated in a prestigious music workshop in Hamburg.

This one will climb the charts fast and if you were not scanning the German charts like me then this one will be new to you as well.

Next week I will post some Christmas favourites in addition to the song of the week.

Sorry for the late post, Santa has been busy, busy, busy!

Madness – My Girl 2

Madness are one of those quintessential bands of the 80’s.  At university in my first year there was a air band competition during frosh week and our residence put in an entry.  Most other residences were doing the typical rock band but our residence chose the band Madness as the act.  I can still remember our Hall Senior dancing around the stage in his gold pants as he (and other members of the band) pretended to play and sing.  The song they did was Madness and is off the classic “One Step Beyond” album.  We came second overall but were certainly the most original.

On November 13, 2012 Madness released an album named “Oui, Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja, Da Da” and a song off the album caught my attention.  The song is called My Girl 2 and it is the follow up to My Girl from “One Step Beyond” album and it is the song of the week.  If you do not own any Madness songs here are some other songs you should add to your collection…long live Ska.

Embarrassment

Baggy Trousers

Our House

Night Boat to Cairo

So Alive

Bread and Breakfast Man

One Step Beyond

Believe Me

 

 

 

Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough

This London (England) lady had no choice but to be successful.  Both of her parents are accomplished musicians and she has been writing songs since she was eleven.  While she was young she learned how to play the piano but at eighteen (she is now only 23) she learned how to play the guitar.  I always like finding music that has a different sound and Lianne has a distinct sound.  You can tell she is influenced by her parents’ diverse musical interests.  Thanks to Ted for finding this song and many others…I may have to change the name of the web site to Mark and Ted’s music picks.

This week’s pick is by Lianne La Havas  and the song is Is Your Love Big Enough.

Enjoy.

Kodaline – All I Want

The video for this song of the week is a somewhat corny but for some reason it reminded me of my youth.  I have psoriasis and when I was a kid I wore track pants and long shirts (even in the summer) to hide the red spots caused by my genetic disorder.  I was lucky as it just popped up in a few patches over my body and was controlled by the topical cremes I used. In the summer the sun helped remove all traces except the most stubborn patches. However other psoriasis sufferers have it from head to tail and are at times treated like the character in this video. The song of the week is by a Dublin band called Kodaline and this is off their first four song EP released in the UK.  It has not been released on iTunes in North America yet.  Enjoy Kodaline’s song All I Want as the song of the week.

I found this while creeping my son Max’s Facebook page…thanks Kate.

ZZ Ward – Put the Gun Down

If you like Adele you will like ZZ Ward.  Zsuzsanna Eva Ward (better known by her stage name ZZ Ward) is an American singer who released her debut album  Til the Casket Drops on October 16, 2012.  The first release off the album is a song called Put the Gun Down and it is the song of the week.  Have a listen to it and you will think you are listening to a new song from Adele.

Enjoy.

Jake Bugg – Lightning Bolt, Two Fingers, Simple As This

I am always leery of new young male performers, I always think great, just what the world of music needs is another Justin Beiber.  I had to laugh as I did not know how to spell Beiber before this post.  So when I started hearing good things about this week’s artist born in 1994 I started wondering if this was the British answer to Beiber.  Well I checked it out and Jack Bugg is the real deal.  His debut album was released on October 15, and on 21 October the song “Two Fingers” charted at 33 in the UK and his album called Crackin reached number 1.

There are three songs off this album that are influenced by his love of Oasis, Bob Dylan and The Beatles.  I will call all three songs, song of the week and beside each song I will put the artist that I think he was influenced by.  This kid has a lot of talent and the album is great…watch this career take off.

Two Fingers – Oasis

Lightning Bolt – Early Beatles but I hear Elvis as well with a country twinge.

Simple As This – Bob Dylan

Churchill – Change

On Saturday evening we had our Halloween party and I dressed up as Elvis and my wife was dressed up as my guitar.  The party ended up at the Raven and Republic and as usual Elvis took to the dance floor and as usual provided some entertainment for the crowd.  As I was leaving the Raven and Republic I think I heard someone say “Elvis has left the building”.  It is nice to know in this crazy world some things never change.  My excursion this past weekend is a great introduction to the song of the week as it too has an old guy dancing (on his roller skates) to a song called “Change” by the band “Churchill” from Denver.  After watching this video I started to wonder if I could dance on roller skates, and then started wondering how much damage I would have done if I had his skates on Saturday night…hmmm I just got an idea for my costume for next year.

Happy Halloween!

Thanks to Ted for sending me this song.

Willy Moon – Yeah Yeah

Unlike the lasts few weeks this week there were many contenders for song of the week.  However one artist caught my attention as his sound is somewhat unique.  Willy Moon is a musician from New Zealand who now lives in London.  If you think you have already heard this song somewhere recently Apple used this song last week for the launch of the new iPhone5.  It is interesting how companies are using new songs and new artists to promote their products.  I guess it is probably a lot less expensive than the $3 million Microsoft paid to the Rolling Stones to use “Start Me Up” in a commercial for the launch of Windows 95.  I am sure by using new artists it is also helping them get discovered.  Enjoy this new discovery and song of the week – Willy Moon – Yeah Yeah.

The Neighbourhood – Female Robbery and Sweater Weather

Over the past month there have been a plethora of new releases by artists that you may have thought were retired. Here are some of the artists I am speaking about:

• ZZ Top – La Futura – September
• Neil Young – Walk Like a Giant – September
• Van Morrison – No Plan B – September
• Kiss – Monster – October
• Rick Springfield – Songs for the End of the World – October

Now I listened to all the artists above trying to find something for song of the week and what I found was more of the same sound (although the song by Neil Young – Walk Like a Giant is good and how can you not like Neil). I think why artists have a hard time with longevity is that their sound gets old. So I searched high and low this week for a new artist and a new sound and this new artist stuck out.

The Neighbourhood is a three member band from California and released and EP in August with five songs. Two songs that stand out are Female Robbery (skip the talking intro in the video) and Sweater Weather and they are the songs of the week. It is funny that an American band spells neighbourhood the British or Canadian way.

Make my job easier, if you have any good songs please send them to me.

Jimmy Preston – Rock the Joint, Big Mama Thornton – Hound Dog, Muddy Waters – You Need Love.

Not a lot of interesting releases the past week so I thought I would take you way back to the beginning of “Rock n Roll”.  They say that “Rock n Roll” was stolen from the blues so this week I thought I would give you three great blues songs that were covered by rock artists, who then became synonymous with the song.

Back in the late forties and early fifties there was an offshoot of blues called Jump Blues, which essentially put the jump into blues.  Jump Blues was the precursor or foundation upon which “Rock n Roll” was born.  Jimmy Preston’s incredibly intense 1949 R&B hit Rock The Joint was covered by Bill Haley and His Comets and later reworked into what we know as Rock Around The Clock.  This was a big hit and the birth of “Rock n Roll”.

Another great blues song was first recorded by a great blues lady called Big Mama Thorton  The song is called Hound Dog and it was later made famous by Elvis (click on the names to hear each version).

Finally, Led Zeppelin covered Muddy Waters You Need Love in the song Whole Lotta Love.  However they only gave credit and paid rights to Muddy Waters after he sued them for copyright infringement and they settled.

Next time you hear a good rock n roll song Google it to see if it is a cover/remake of an original blues song.

 
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