My friend Nevin dropped off a video of a track from his forthcoming EP on my facebook the other day, aptly describing it as "kind of an homage to Depeche Mode & Ministry". Couldn't put it better myself.
Check out Nevin's
"We're The Pet Shop Boys" is so...meta. I don't even know where to start. Released by My Robot Friend in 2002 on the full length Hot Action, it's a song about the Pet Shop Boys, created almost entirely of Pet Shop Boys' own lyrics. As if that wasn't enough, the Pet Shop Boys themselves actually did a cover of it as a b-side to "Miracles". Oh and it doesn't stop there, either; Robbie Williams did a cover of the Pet Shop Boys cover of the song about the Pet Shop Boys. Where will the madness end!?
Done, of course, more in the Pet Shop Boys' style than his own, My Robot Friend is worth checking out for his other material as well. He relays tales of robot adventures amongst the humans set against exactly the sort of machine-made pop you'd expect from someone who does his live shows in a full body robot costume (do NOT miss his live show if you happen to come across one...think Captured By Robots, the sequel).
Atomic returns this weekend with a
Pic Vicious' classic synthy sound is sparse and dark. Their theatrical presentation, complete with props and costumes, is not. I love the juxtaposition and I couldn't resist posting a video, but the fancy trappings aren't even necessary; this pair sounds great even when you can't see them. Check out "Wicked West" on their
It was quite a long time later that I found out that Marcos actually made music. As Rayaline, he's on Kompute, one of Chicago's best electronic dance music labels. His output is as broad as his interests, with everything from electro bangers to thoughtful techno. He's supposed to put out an album soon, but I won't hold my breath; with all of his djing and vjing gigs, he's a busy guy. We're lucky to have him as a guest at Atomic this week, and I expect he'll be one of our best guest djs to date.
He sent me a couple of tracks, but I had to post "Ashland", as it reminds me just a wee bit of Yello. See you Thursday!
The album Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey was The Decemberists' lead singer's first solo effort, released in 2005 and limited to 100 copies sold only on the accompanying tour, so we'll forgive you if you haven't heard of it.
The fact that Meloy finds Morrissey inspiring should be a surprise to no one at all. So much as a cursory listen to both singers' respective bands speaks for itself. But Meloy is far more than a cover artist, and The Decemberists are far more talented than to be tossed off as yet another indie-rock throwback to The Smiths. Though the storytelling lyrical style might be familiar, The Decemberists reach for a more folksy, Americana tone than their British predecessors, and this is where they shine. Meloy's covers are no different, but stripped down and backed merely by an acoustic guitar. Applied here to "I Know Very Well How I Got My Name", it challenges Morrissey's lyrics to stand on their own.
I really can't help but love Soviet. I'm a sucker for bands who are suckers for vintage synths, and these guys are all over it, albeit they're using old instruments to make futuristic music. Similar to Solvent, this is pop music for robots and people who live in those super techy sky homes that we were supposed to have by now. I'm pretty sure the only reason Keith Ruggiero isn't in
"Circuit Love" is from the very synthpop 2001 album We Are Eyes We Are Builders, but there's actually a newer Soviet release out called Spies In The House of Love that's a little more rock, and sounds like something I'd expect to hear in a John Hughes movie.
Very quietly working his way around Chicago's afterhours scene, Olin has been closing his sets with Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels" for a while now. A few weeks ago, I told him that he should make some kind of remix of it, and was surprised to learn that it had already happened (not surprised that he'd done it, just surprised that I didn't know about it). Well, here it is, and even better, not so much a remix as an entirely new track. The minimal beats and barely-there samples of the original give the vocals a beautiful, ethereal feel they never had before.
Olin will have the honor of the first release on Forem, the newest imprint of Chicago label Dust Traxx. You can hear a preview of it
Fellow Chicagoans Hey Champ just put out this remix of Andy Bell's new single "Call On Me" and I quite like it. Keeping the disco elements and most of the lyrics intact, they give it a slick makeover that makes the track even more danceable.
Bell's new solo work has had it's fair share of problems, so it's exciting to see it finally released. Feeling the album sounded too much like Erasure, he at one point ditched producer Stephen Hague and all the songs they'd recorded, and started all over again with Gabriel Pascal. Given that both of them have a long history with synthpop artists and have produced Erasure before, I'm not quite sure I see the point, but then I haven't heard what Hague did to it, either. I'd argue that the end product does not even sound that different than Erasure, but I'm pretty sure that only Andy Bell thinks that's a bad thing.