Best of 09: Jack Peñate and Phoenix

"Tonight's Today" by Jack Peñate
(from "Everything's New," label=XL Recordings, London, UK)
Remember that scene in "Romancing the Stone" where Kathleen Turner's buttoned-up and whiny character, Joan Wilder, literally lets her hair down, puts on some swirly, sexy clothes, and dances without a care at a village festival in a tiny Colombian town? This song makes me want to break out like that. It definitely has some sort of Latin shimmy going on, and the joyous "I'm ringin' church bells! church bells!" always gets stuck in my head. Plus you can hear a smidge of Jack Peñate's cute London accent. This song can appeal to generations I think--helping everyone from little kids to grandmothers let down their hair for 3 minutes.

Please take a listen at Jack Penate's MySpace page, or check out his Web site here.

"Lisztomania," by Phoenix
(from "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix," label=Loyauté/Glassnote, France)
When I first heard this song back in April I thought my head would explode. It was exactly what I'd been waiting for after worrying that 2009 wasn't going to stand up, musically, to 2008. What a silly fear. Lisztomania is a perfect pop song for me--80s vibe, good for running or dancing, plus any reference to Franz Liszt, the hardest working man in piano virtuoso show business, is automatically awesome. I will never tire of Lisztomania.

Listen at their MySpace page, or visit Phoenix's Web site here.

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