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Tz’s Daily Dose O’Holiday: “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”

The award for best new Christmas song goes to Julian Casablancas. Well, it’s not really a new song. It originally aired on SNL back when SNL was funny. That band’s members were Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Tracey Morgan & Chris Kattan. Fast forward a few years and Jimmy has his very own Late Night show! Time to get the band back together? Well…half of them anyway with a very special guest on “cool-guy” vocals. Actually, Julian Casablancas included this track as a bonus song when his debut solo album “Phrazes For The Young” came out earlier this year! That album made my ‘Best Of‘ list for 2009, and this song is on the ‘Best Of’ list of Holiday Fun. Here’s Julian Casablancas, joined by Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz & The Roots for “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”

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Tz’s Daily Dose O’Holiday: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

I have lots of favorite Christmas songs, but this is right near the top. Way back in the 20th Century, it seemed like all of the Holiday songs were done by crooners or jazz singers (with a couple of exceptions of course) but none of the bands i liked at that time were doing them. Then, along came “A Very Special Christmas” a CD full of artists doing the classics, among them Run-DMC, Sting (pre-schmaltz), Alison Moyet & U2! The album was a benefit for the Special Olympics, and was also an instant must-have. From way back in 1987, here’s U2 with the Phil Spector penned, Darlene Love classic ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKX-mDyG75M&feature=related]

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Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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REVIEW: Radio City Christmas Spectacular Starring The Rockettes

I just went to witness my very first Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular at The Paramount last night. And I say ‘very first’ because now I’m determined to see the full show in New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. The Paramount was a much too limiting space for the whole cast to perform so we got the truncated version of what the original Spectacular is supposed to be. It was still tons of fun and I highly recommend anyone (bring the kids especially!) to see this impeccably synchronized team. I even got to check out The Paramount’s new energy efficient sign and got about three feet away from a couple of real live camels!!

Enjoy this little clip!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNfQ-CzyeYU]

Kym PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Tz’s Daily Dose O’Holiday: Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth

When i was a kid, my favorite Christmas song was the Little Drummer Boy. There was even one of those clay-mation specials just for him. There is just something special about that song, and I did end up a not so Little Drummer Boy, so… Fast forward a few years and i’m also a huge David Bowie fan. I remember seeing this next video for the first time about 25 years ago, and it seemed sort of subversive to me to see him up there with good ol’ Bing. Now that i’m older, it seems a lot more genuine in it’s spirit, which does dim the novelty a bit, but it’s still a pretty thing, isn’t it? Here’s David Bowie & Bing Crosby with Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKTHvW2JcAA]

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Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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A WHAM-tastic Christmas!

I’ve just recently been getting in the mood for Christmas and had the urge to watch my favorite Christmas video ever. I really doesn’t get any better than WHAM!– ‘Last Christmas’. With the cheesy smiles, big hair and …drumroll… a snowball fight! I especially like the waving action at the very beginning of the video. It certainly makes me want to be one of George Michael’s best friends and join in all the fun!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRIqV1cTsIY]

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Kym PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Tz’s Daily Dose O’Holiday: Father Christmas

I’ve spent the day sat here listening to The Kinks‘ fantastic album “Arthur: Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire“, so when it came time to write my Holiday Blog, it was easy to pick which song to feature. Yeah, it’s a bit of a cynical track, and i’m not the least bit cynical about Christmas, but a good song is a good song, so… Here’s The Kinks with ‘Father Christmas’

ps: the video is a bit rough, but you’ll get the general idea 🙂

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjaPXihbORk]

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Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Top 15 Albums of 2009

Heather’s Top 15 Albums of 2009

This year was a great one for new music!  While many of my favorite 15 albums of the year are from established artists, there were some debut albums that made the cut.  Enjoy!

15.  Fastball – Little White Lies

I have been a fan of Fastball since they released their All The Pain Money Can Buy album in 1998.  They then released two more excellent albums before taking a five year break in 2004.  I was very excited when I found out that the hiatus was over and they released Little White Lies in April.  It’s a solid album and I am happy the boys are back!

Best Tracks:

iTunes Amazon – Mono To Stereo iTunes Amazon – We’ll Always Have Paris (Everyday All Of The Time) iTunes Amazon – All I Was Looking For Was You

14.  Metric – Fantasies

This year I was happy to see Metric get the attention they deserve! 

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Tz’s Daily Dose O’Holiday: Fairytale Of New York

I was at a party over the weekend and got to talkin’ with someone about The Pogues. He was telling me about their recent show here in Seattle and how great it was, and i was lamenting the fact that i’d missed it! So, while processing the information overload the next morning through a whiskey hangover, i remembered that The Pogues, together with the late great Kirsty MacColl, have produced the very bestest, most fantastic Christmas Song Ever! Sit back, have a pint (or 9) and enjoy ‘Fairytale Of New York’

The Pogues – A Fairytale Of New YorkUploaded by vince_suelze. – Explore more music videos.

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Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Julia’s Picks: The Best Songs of 2009

Miike Snow- “Animal” Best Reminder: no matter what shape you take, you are still an animal. LISTEN WEBSITE

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niKT-kJfUz4]

Dirty Projectors- “Stillness is the Move” Best harmonies: beautiful and strangely soulful. At times both uncomfortable and mesmerizing. LISTEN WEBSITE

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMPF6lpM0XM]

Kings of Leon- “Use Somebody” Best late-night drunken lust anthem. This song has the potential to be covered by many blues & soul bands for years to come and butchered in karaoke bars forevermore. LISTEN WEBSITE

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnhXHvRoUd0]

Bat For Lashes- “Daniel”/”Glass” It’s a tie here. Really, “Daniel” is the jam. It has that great driving rhythm and dark strings. But “Glass” has that note she hits. Yes, that note. Best imitation of breaking glass. LISTEN WEBSITE

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00ZHah-c0hQ]

M. Ward- “Never Had Nobody Like You” A perfect M. Ward song from the near perfect M. Ward album Hold Time. Best interpretation of timelessness.

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Tz’s Daily Dose O’Holiday: The Chanukah Song

It’s Friday, and you know what that means? It’s time for some Neil Diamond. It also happens to be the start of Chanukah at sundown! Who knew way back when Adam Sandler was doing those goofy songs that anyone was thinking, ‘you know? that’s a great tune’? Well, Mr. Diamond was and he’s included it on his newest Holiday album, “A Cherry Cherry Christmas“. Here’s the man himself with ‘The Chanukah Song’…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOegH4uYe-c&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

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Happy Chanukah everybody!

Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Tz’s Daily Dose O’Holiday: Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)

If there is any justice in this world, this next song would be a classic! The Darkness shot to the top a few years back, and then faded away almost as quickly. Whether or not it was all a joke isn’t really the point. The music was good and the band was fun, as you can clearly see in this next video. I have a feeling that in 10 years time, someone else will cover this and have a massive holiday hit. Bookmark this post if you don’t believe me! Here’s The Darkness with ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-eslNwGXrI]

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If that doesn’t scream Merry Christmas, i don’t know what does…

Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Tz’s Daily Dose O’Holiday: Ding Dong, Ding Dong

Yesterday was a terrible anniversary for any fan of The Beatles, and while it would have been appropriate to show a Lennon Xmas tune, it’s kind of a downer song for Christmas, don’t you think? So today’s Dose will feature my fave of the fab four; George Harrison. Everybody knows about John & Paul‘s solo work from the 70’s, but i think the best stuff was done by George. Also, he seemed to have kept his sense of humor while some of the others were busy slagging each other off. So, without further ado, here’s The Quiet Beatle, with ‘Ding Dong, Ding Dong’.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VggAH1dk3Qk&feature=related]

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Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Shannon’s Best Of 2009

Best of 2009

1. Dinosaur Jr. – Farm

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgTJtdn6VjM]

2. Grizzly Bear – Vekatimest

3. Passion Pit – Manners

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVstHPhaJ6M]

4. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BJDNw7o6so]

5. Gossip – Music for Men

6. Akron Family – Set ‘Em Wild Set ‘Em Free 7. Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – It’s Blitz

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYJjHCZN46U]

8. Vetiver – Tight Knit

9. The Wooden Birds – Magnolia

10. Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gnXo-ipXHI]

11. Langhorne Slim – Be Set Free

I also loved 2009 releases by Ida Marie, Monsters of Folk, Dirty Projectors, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Blk JKS, Lou Barlow, Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears, Florence and the Machine, Big Star, Wilco, Avett Brothers, Junior Boys, Maxwell, Hawke, Neko Case, Vetiver, St. Vincent, Blitzen Trapper, Mr. Scruff, Built to Spill, Metric, Jay Ferrar/Ben Gibbard, Bat For Lashes,

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Blake’s Top 10 Releases of 2009

Thao with the Get Down Stay DownKnow Better Learn Faster I have probably listened to this album at least four times every weekend since it came out. Once getting ready for the morning and once getting ready for a night out. Know Better Learn Faster is one of those albums that puts you in a great mood. On the last song of the album singer/guitarist Thao Nguyen starts the song by saying, “Sad people dance too”. And after first hearing the song “When We Swam,” I have to agree. Lyrics like “When we swam our love to pieces, we washed up on messy beaches” never sounded so danceable.

Thao with the GDSD – “When We Swam” [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjzKkyQoe1U]

P.O.S.Never Better If I had to choose one album from 2009 to call my favorite, it would have to be the third solo album from Doomtree and Building Better Bombs member P.O.S. This album is fittingly calling Never Better.

P.O.S. is an MC in the nine member hip-hop group Doomtree as well as the lead singer/guitarist of a three-piece hardcore punk band called Building Better Bombs.

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Great Songs, Pure Vocals, Impeccable Harmonies & Innovation Fusions of 2009, by Jeff H.

For me, it’s always about great songs, pure vocals, impeccable harmonies and innovative fusions of genres that touch me. In 2009, here’s how my choices breakdown:

Pure Vocals/Great Songs

David Mallett’s latest (just out) “Alright Now” is full of the honest poetry and impeccable songwriting that has touched people for over three decades now. This time out, my instant faves are the Mark Knopfler/Dylanesque ‘Ten Men’, the Obama-campaign inspired, ‘North Meets South’ and an ode to his daughter called, ‘Beautiful’.

Mindy Smith released her fourth CD this year called, “Stupid Love”. Her powerful, pure emotional vocals are remarkable here and the songwriting, as always, is at a higher level than most of her contemporaries. What’s different about this new CD is a move to make the production a little more poppy, less sparse. It works great from my standpoint, with help from folks like Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Thad Cockrell, Leigh Nash and Daniel Tashian, it still feels like a Mindy Smith album, just a little more developed.

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Kym’s Top 10 of 2009

Here are my top ten highlights of 2009:

10. Seattle Men’s Chorus Christmas Concert: Even though I have yet to see this year’s “Santa Baby” holiday concert, this Seattle Men’s Chorus performance is a highlight of my year every year. This year they’re paying tribute to the holiday TV special. They always have fantastic vocals and amazingly fun performances. You won’t see another choir performance like this one, so don’t miss it!

9. Rodrigo Y Gabriela, “11:11”: Topping the Billboard World Albums chart, this album is percussive, fast-paced and intricate. I still have no idea how it’s physically possible for fingers to move that fast. It makes me wish I had just a speck of the couple’s talent. To get the full effect, you have to see them live. Here’s a taste! KEXP BLOG

8. Mammoth Cave National Park: I ended up in the middle of Kentucky for a family reunion. We were reluctant to go because we didn’t know much about the park or anything near it. I’m so glad this was picked for the reunion.

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Heather’s Top 20 Songs of 2009

While many of my Top 20 Songs of the Year appeared on one of my Top 10 Albums of the Year, (oops, spoiler alert!) there were a few surprises here and there.  For the most part, I stuck to my own rules and you can be sure of one thing: only songs that were released during the 2009 calendar year are included on my list.  That means that if an album was released in 2008, but the second single didn’t come out until 2009, too bad.  It’s a 2008 release, not 2009.  I’m a stickler for the rules that way.  So here we go.  The best songs of 2009 (according to me) are:

20.  Uprising – Muse

I was never a fan of Muse before this year, really.  I mean, I like “Supermassive Black Hole” as much as the next girl but it took Muse’s 2009 release, The Resistance, to really hook me.  I spent a couple of weeks listening to the album and while The Resistance didn’t quite make my Top 10 album list, “Uprising” just made my Top 20 song list. 

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Sean’s 2009 in Review: (Binary pop, Warp’s legacy, dub mutations and the return of sexy dance music)

2009 has been an incredibly innovative year in relation to music production. Artists like Animal Collective, Fever Ray, Royksopp and Moderat have proven once and for all that digital beats and electronic sound design can appeal to a pop audience that otherwise wouldn’t find themselves listening to “electronic music”.

This year also marks the 20 year anniversary of the greatest electronic music label (arguably greatest label) of all time, Warp Records, which has had an exceptional year across the board with strong indie releases from Grizzly Bear and Maximo Park as well as strong releases from their more obscure electronic artists like Tim Exile and Clark. Warp’s 20th anniversary box set is not only one of the best reviewed collections of the year, it’s also a brilliant testament to the label’s vast catalog of ground breaking artists (i.e. Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Jamie Lidell, Nightmares on Wax, Prefuse 73, Autechre,

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The Best Albums of 2009, according to Tz…

The Church – “Untitled #23” The Church would be considered a one-hit-wonder to those who care about such things. However, next year will be their 30th and unlike almost all of their peers, they are still making fantastic music together. They had started off as sort of jangly-pop, but these days it’s mostly improvised musical trips with lyrics of death, post-death, transmigration, dream-states, surrealist blues, pseudo-mythology & space travel, with the odd love song thrown in. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but certainly mine so drink up! Here’s a clip from a 2009 performance at the Triple Door, recorded specifically for KEXP; here’s ‘Deadman’s Hand’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiIuOM8DbSY]

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And Also The Trees – “When The Rains Come” And Also The Trees is one of those bands that most people have never heard of, but in my circle of friends, they are at the top of the list of all-time-faves! This year, they released an album of acoustic version of all of their ‘hits’,

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Tz’s Daily Dose: The Futureheads

In 2003 i got my hands on a fantastic single from a fantastic new band called The Futureheads! The following year they released their debut self-titled album, with which they saw some success though i thought it was a bit overproduced. The rough edges had been a bit too smoothed out, so I’d like to share the track that i thought so special all those years ago. Here’s The Futureheads with ‘First Day’…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9XSMF1ymBk]

Buy It! Amazon or iTunes

The Futureheads are back again armed with a free download of their newest track. Check it out HERE! It’s only available for a week, so get on it!

They also happen to do a great version of Kate Bush‘s ‘Hounds Of Love’…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_Bb_rL8juk]

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Tz Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Cher Knows Best

When I was in middle school I started getting into the whole exercise video fad. Luckily my mom had some golden gems already in our VHS collection. Among the “Buns of Steel” and Jane Fonda workouts, there’s one that stands out to this day. It’s the Cher “Body Confidence” workout tape. My little brother would even do the workout with me. Here are some reasons why it’s hilariously awesome: 1. Cher wears ridiculous outfits. The back-up ‘dancers’ wear some pretty good ones too. 2. Awesome 90’s music. Including “Dance to the Music”. What else do you need to get pumped up? 3. Choreographed by Doriana Sanchez who was one of the dancers in Dirty Dancing and the choreographer for the live show and Cher’s Farewell “Living Proof” Tour. 4. It sells new on Amazon for $45-50! It’s even under the collectibles category.

You have to see it to believe it! CLICK HERE TO WATCH!!!

Kym PlayNetwork,

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Tz’s Daily Dose: Sade

In the early 90’s i had tickets to see Sade at The Aladdin Theater in Las Vegas. I’d waited years for the chance to see them live (yes, Sade is a band, not just a woman), as back then nobody ever came to Vegas, with the exception of a few crap artists. So this would obviously be something special! Unfortunately, they cancelled the show 🙁 We were told we could hang onto the tickets in case they rescheduled, or we could return for a refund. Well, with no rescheduled date announced, and my understanding that singer Sade Adu suffered from stage fright, i thought i may as well get my money back. Of course, they did reschedule for later in the year, but when the time came around i was broke.

I will not let that chance pass by again, and maybe, just maybe they’ll come to Seattle to support the new album “Soldier Of Love“? I sure hope so because this clip from the early 90’s just rubs salt in my emotional wound.

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Tz’s Daily Dose: Arcadia

When i was a kid, i was massively into Duran Duran. Truth be told, i still am, though it’s the early material that still holds up rather than the many missteps along the way. One of the best Duran Duran records however, is not actually a Duran Duran record at all. It’s the offshoot group Arcadia’s brilliant “So Red The Rose” album! While 2 of the Taylors were off playing RockStar, the other 3 members of DD decided it would be fun to make a heavily European-influenced art record. This is significant today as i just read that this album will finally be reissued, with a bonus disc of remixes, as well as a DVD of the making of their 5 great videos! One of them i’m showing today, here’s ‘Goodbye Is Forever’ by the great Arcadia

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sfH25Rq4aY]

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Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork,

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Just the right pitch…..

I subscribe to the Sporting News Today which is a daily sports page delivered to my email box everyday. It reminds me of Frank DeFord’s brilliant and underappreciated sports daily, The National that was published in the early 1990’s.

One feature of the Sporting News Today that I enjoy reading is titled, “My Profile (what you won’t find on Facebook even if you are a friend)”. The featured athlete/coach answers questions like “What’s on your iPod?” What car do you drive? “First Job?” The one question that always creates the most interesting answer to me is “Talent you’d most like to have?” and inevitably the talent that most athletes would like to have is to sing or play a musical instrument. Conversely, it amazes me how many musicians, by their actions, wish that they were athletes. We see them every year at the various all star festivities playing softball or hoops. On occasion I’ll catch Bob Seeger or Alice Cooper playing golf in a celebrity Pro Am at Pebble Beach or some other exotic and challenging course.

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Apes & Androids

The first time I heard Apes & Androids I danced around like a crazy person with flash backs of the decorated David Bowie and the vocal layering of Queen. I can’t get these songs out of my head no matter how hard I try. The electro-pop beats are too darn catchy! I’m waiting impatiently for them to produce a new album and come to Seattle with their crazy concert full of painted faces and zombie dancers. Here’s a somewhat disturbingly weird video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcr8rkit3Uw&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

And another oddball video, but fun if you like kaleidoscopes:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM85Bw6sFn4]

Kym PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Tz’s Daily Dose: Vampire Weekend

If you ask me, this band has done a disservice to themselves by choosing Vampire Weekend for a band name. It automatically brings to mind Goth teenagers in the mall, pouting and complaining about how they wanted the 32gb iPhone for Christmas rather than the 16gb version. Consequently, i paid them no attention until one morning on my way to work KEXP played a new song by Peter Garbriel, or so i thought. Turns out it was a cover of a Vampire Weekend song by Hot Chip with Peter Gabriel. Time to rethink my teen goth assumption. Lo and behold, i like them and i’m so looking forward to the new album “Contra“. Until then, enjoy their new video ‘Cousins’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuOR3BQFB0k]

Buy It! Amazon or iTunes

Hmmm…kinda reminds me of another video…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wfv3lJs5qE]

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Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork,

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Tz’s Daily Dose: “Must Be Santa”

Well, i was going to wait until December to start writing about Christmas songs/videos, but this one is so great that i just cannot wait! I’ve already written about Bob Dylan‘s “Christmas In The Heart” release, and here is the first (and i hope not the last) video from the album! It’s for ‘Must Be Santa’ and it’s fantastic!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLZ8LPIh4Xc]

Buy It! Amazon or iTunes All the royalties go to the charity FEEDING AMERICA, now isn’t that worth your money?

Don’t know what’s up with Bob’s hair, but damn that guy looks cooler than anyone i know!

Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Tz’s Daily Dose: The Darkness

In 2003 i was lucky enough to play Austin’s SxSW festival. Our show was fine, but the real highlight of that festival is the chance to see new and up and coming bands from all genres. It’s typical for an Austin bar to do theme nights during the festival, and one was doing All British Night. Fancying myself an anglophile i was completely excited! Would i hear the new Smiths?! Or the new Clash?! Or even the new Blur?! Nope. What i heard was familiar yet foreign to my personal tastes and i couldn’t get enough. The new Queen was more like it, long before the other Queen-ophiles like Mika, and before Muse stopped trying to be Radiohead and started to imitate Freddie et al, there was The Darkness

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRYNYb30nxU]

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Half of the crowd loved it while the other half didn’t know what was going on. I was somewhere in the middle. I liked it, but i was confused as it was totally unexpected.

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Heather’s Song of the Day: Black Cat

I grew up listening to Janet Jackson. I was nine years old when Rhythm Nation 1814 was released and it was one of the first cassette tapes I ever bought. I listened to that album constantly and I am pretty confident that I still know all of the songs and “interludes” by heart. That album features my favorite Janet song of all time, “Black Cat.”

Today Janet Jackson releases her second greatest hits collection, titled “Number Ones.” As the title implies, it is a complete roundup of all of her Number One hits in a 2CD set.

The track list is impressive. Her most recent albums, Damita Jo, 20 Y.O. and Dicipline, haven’t been nearly as successful as her earlier efforts and that fact is proven here. Only one track from each of those discs has made it on to her Number Ones album. But we mustn’t forget that in her prime, Janet was a hit machine. Six of the 34 tracks in the collection are from her debut album Control, and seven are courtesy of multi-platinum smash Rhythm Nation 1814.

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Heather’s Song of the Day: Dreams

Last month singer/songwriter and Washington state native Brandi Carlile released her third album, Give Up the Ghost. I have been listening to the song, “Dreams,” on a loop for the past couple of days and I love it, so I have made it my Song Of The Day. The video is a little creepy, but I can get over it. Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tXaZa-2loI]

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Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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