June on the radio

When listening to Hot Chip's "I Feel Bonnie" I asked myself, who is this American voice? And what kind of accent is that exactly--West Virginia? Turns out it's Bonnie "Prince" Billy, and the track is a reworking/collaboration of the single "I Feel Better." It is 7+ minutes long and fantastic. Vintage Hot Chip sound, but with something a little extra special: listen here. May I also recommend the song "Taxi from the Airport," by Hot Chip drummer guy Grovesnor. It has a kind of SoCal-slash-Joe Jackson sound, like an intimate, slick, studio band. Delicious!

Finland! The Dø and Cats on Fire are Finnish bands I've just discovered. Both are very cool, which I do not think is a coincidence. As I say often on my show, I love Scandinavian pop, and am always excited to find examples that are not Swedish. Swedish pop is excellent of course, but it seems to predominate the few Scandinavian acts that make it to my backwater ears. I must remember to break out my map of electro-pop acts and add these two right next to Burning Hearts.

"Billie Holiday" is a UK bonus track from Miike Snow. It is rather more languid than the classic Miike Snow sound, which to me is slow synth-pop with optional plinky piano and dub soundz. Billie Holiday has a fading looping line going on that's very nice. Give it a listen at RCRD LBL.

!!! are a new-to-me interest. I first heard "Hello Is This Thing On?" over a year ago. It's great but I can't play it on my show because it has many F-bombs in it. Then I caught a video of them performing live. I was struck by their sheer energy, funk and exuberance. These are some cool mofos, and their sound is comfortable, even a bit 90s. Their new album Strange Weather, Isn't It? drops in August. Meanwhile you can download "AM/FM" if you sign up on their site.

I was avoiding Karen Elson only because she is Mrs. Jack White. I figured many other people would be appreciating her and I didn't have to get involved. But after reading an Interview interview with her talking to Charlotte Gainsbourg, I must admit she sounds like an interesting person in her own right (sorry I am such a fame bigot--if someone seems Too Famous I get all stand-offish). So I gave "The Ghost Who Walks" a listen. It's good! She has a good voice for what she's doing, which seems a little like death-folk-pop (this assessment based on that single song).

Oh Stars. You are back again with your luxe, your calme, your volupte. I am not sure what to think of the tracks I'm hearing off their new disc The Five Ghosts. They are very fine, but if I'd never heard of Stars before I would not become obsessed or anything. But perhaps everyone has heard of Stars before by now, and The Five Ghosts can be appreciated in proper context. (I still can't believe that the one time I saw Stars (at TT the Bears in Cambridge) there was NOBODY THERE. Probably 7 people attended the show. I drank at the bar with Chris Seligman after the show and bought a T-shirt from Amy Milan, that really really looked like it was a DIY job by the band itself. I have a feeling they don't do that any more.)



  • Future: Cut Copy
  • Laura Palmer's Prom: You Say Party! We Say Die!
  • Save It for Later: The English Beat
  • A Million Miles: Don Diablo
  • Crazy World: Ladyhawke
  • Harold T Wilkins or How to Wait for a Very Long Time: Fanfarlo
  • Happy Hour: The House Martins
  • Hey Nineteen: Steely Dan
  • Unstoppable: Santigold
  • Age of Consent: New Order
  • Sure Shot: Beastie Boys
  • White Sky: Vampire Weekend
  • O.N.E.: Yeasayer
  • Your Woman: Cats on Fire

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