They Might Be Giants have come a long way. They’re a band that have been constantly reinventing themselves from day one-although they’ve consistently delivered catchy pop songs with deceptively dark lyrics, along the way they’ve grown from a two guys and a drum machine to a full-on rock band, recording albums that touch on everything from dancy electronica to kids music to a Grammy-nominated recording that’s all about science. If you don’t know them, GET to know them! I guarantee you’ll find something you’ll like.
unknown pop songs
I first discovered this band in early 2007, and I absolutely love them. I heard this track on the radio, and it got me curious enough to go and buy their first album, “The Dust of Retreat” and woof! am I glad I did. The album is an actual album, rather than just a collection of songs, and that by itself is refreshing and rare these days. The fact that all the songs are really gorgeous and edgy pop music is icing on the cake.
It’s easy to see how the 7 piece “cinematic chamber pop” ensemble from Indianapolis easily could have fallen into the seductive trap of indie hipsterism, but they managed to avoid it and create really beautiful music together, and I thank them for it.
Check ‘em out now, before they get super-famous!
Sorry for the period of radio silence there, but I’ve been in the process of moving from Baltimore to Austin, Texas-the “Live Music Capital of the World”. I took my time and made some excellent stops along the way, including Asheville, NC and New Orleans, but now I’m settled, have internet access, and there will once again be some regularity to my posts.
Today we’ve got Diane Birch, who is a phenomenally talented singer/songwriter/piano player extraordinaire. I don’t really know where to classify her, as she’s got her fingers in a lot of different pies-jazz, gospel, blues, pop, rock, soul, and she does an admirable job of blending them all together in a gorgeous sound. A lot of folks compare her to Carole King, but I don’t think that does her justice. Although she is most definitely easy on the eyes, she’s got talent and soul that goes deep beneath her exterior and she delivers all of her songs without a trace of pretension or saccharin pop overkill. Every track on her album “Bible Belt” is worth a listen, but here’s ‘Fools’, one of my favorites, and a bonus solo performance of ‘Sweet River Tree’. Enjoy!
Check out this unknown singer/songwriter from Europe. Mark Kelly has a unique sound and has something going on that would definitely go over well in the USA. What do you think?
The last song on In Rainbows, the latest from Radiohead, is a tear-jerker. It is written from the point of view of someone who has passed along to the great blogosphere in the sky if you catch my drift. Slow, somber, totally Thom Yorke. In fact, Thom wanted the track to be the first on the album. What a weirdo. This AmpLive remix, however, puts a whole new spin on a relatively new song. As a matter of fact, Del the Funky Homosapien undoubtedly makes hip-hop history on this track, spitting the first rap ever recorded to reference the ever so popular Quicktime video format. What a G. AmpLive, faced madd legal turmoil regarding the Rainydayz remix album from which this track is from. Big, fancy lawyers making big, fancy claims about how this album wasn’t pre-approved. Blah, Blah Blah. Luckily, the information superhighway patrol AmpLive acrued fought the good fight, and the album was released for free here. Way to stick it to the man, AmpLive.
Sam Cooke began his career singing gospel, first with siblings and later as part of other various groups through the early 1950s. In the second half of that decade, Cooke transitioned to pop music, releasing “Lovable,” his first pop single in 1956. “Having a Party” was recorded in 1961 under his own record label after he had gained significant notoriety. The studio version of this song features Cooke’s clear, soothing voice; something he carried over from his gospel days and a quality his fans adored him for. The live version of the song appeared on “Live at the Harlem Square Club,” recorded in 1963, just one year before his controversial death in December, 1964. In this live cut, a coarseness can be clearly heard in Cooke’s voice, probably as the result of time spent touring and performing live shows. This grittier version of the song exemplifies something closer to rock and roll, and captures Sam Cooke’s true versatility as a singer and performer.
Oh and look, Incubus has a cover of this song. Thanks for the hat tip, Google video! Tell the high-schoolers from 2003 about that one, but if you are looking for a foolish, feel-good flashback, the original “Let’s Get Crazy” is a good place to start. This track by Prince & The Revolution was obviously recorded at the dawn of the drum machine, but it’s still a good one to bring to an 80s party attended by people you don’t entirely hate.
Practice your two-step too, because this song will have all the wasted people in the room bouncing like a beach ball. “Shoot the jumper. Shoot it.”