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Mixing it up for the Holidays

Holidays and music have long gone together. Some of the most memorable holiday sing-alongs (aka ‘The Classics’) have been written and recorded over the last 150 years. With the Golden Age of holiday songs (arguably) behind us, we are annually subjected to the popular artist re-make rife with vocal olympics, over-production, gaudy arrangements, and sometimes just a bad fit.

There are occasionally some gems: poignant versions that remind us of the sentiment in the song, and some versions featuring clever arrangements, genres, and mash-ups. But what seems to be most lasting or most impressionable (to me at least) are the odd, random pairings of artist, song and genre. Over the last 35 years there have been some new “Classics” that put a genuine twist into the old standards. Here are few of my favorites.

Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqe30azXSBo&feature=player_embedded#!]

David Bowie and Bing Crosby – Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiXjbI3kRus&playnext=1&list=PLDE5BD9BA29C89A86&index=33]

A little history on this odd pairing that almost never happened can be found here

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly turn in a humorous version of the Bowie/Crosby pairing,

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Kiehl’s Welcomes Rainn Wilson for Grand Opening!

Even though Kiehl’s has been offering high quality skin care products since 1851, the brand new store in Bellevue Square Mall is opening this weekend.  Saturday, October 23rd from 10:30-12:00pm Rainn Wilson, most famously known as Dwight Schrute from The Office, will be the special guest at this grand opening.  If that isn’t enough, you’ll also receive 15% off your entire purchase all day!

Later that night, the Seattle Native will be showing up at The Paramount for a pre-show dinner, show, and after party with some of his friends (including Presidents of the United States of America for a special acoustic performance).  See you there!

Kymberlee Executive Assistant/Sales Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Concert Review: Recoil (Alan Wilder of Depeche Mode) – The Triple Door, Seattle – October 18, 2010

For the last 15 years Alan Wilder hasn’t been a member of Depeche Mode. And in the span of 90 minutes, the length of Recoil’s show last Monday night in Seattle, it became painfully obvious what’s been missing from the last four DM albums.

Against a backdrop of intriguing (and sometimes disturbing) visuals Wilder, with the assistance of Paul Kendall (a longtime Mute Records engineer, producer and mixer), created a stunning sonic landscape, chock full of all of the elements we have come to know and love, i.e. analog synthesizers, sound effects and vocal samples. Playing songs spanning the entire Recoil discography, the tunes that received the biggest response from the audience were mash-ups that incorporated elements from the Depeche Mode catalog (for me, “Walking In My Shoes/Jezebel” was a highlight).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igWGacLdQb8]

Apparently Wilder is constantly barraged with questions regarding when he’ll rejoin his former band mates. That would be fantastic! But, please Alan, at the very least: produce DM’s next album. Just imagine; Ultra, Exciter or even Sounds Of The Universe with Alan in the studio,

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Burn The Floor – Review

What do you get when you take all of the top ballroom talent from SYTYCD, DWTS and National Championships and make them perform together?  The answer is a spicy hot, nonstop ballroom dance extravaganza called Burn The Floor.  This new Broadway production came to the Paramount Theatre last weekend and blew me away.  The dancers transitioned seamlessly from Cha Cha to Viennese Waltz to Rumba to Jive and more.  The best part was the hottest Samba I’ve ever seen to “Magalena”.  I highly recommend checking this show out.  Fly to the to New York if you have to.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ftDoAmA_KI]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVlah7oYyWo]

Kymberlee Taylor Executive Assistant/Sales Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Bumbershoot Comedy Recap

So I did it!  I completed my goal of watching every single non-local comedy show.  It took the whole three days and a lot of following special guest and my imaginary friend Doug Benson around but I did it.  He proves the worth of Twitter with his smart one-liners and ‘Where’s Doug‘ secret sayings to get free merch.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUM69fH7FaE]

Bumbershoot did a great job of designating venues for certain genres of comedy.  Vera Project was local acts, Charlotte Martin was musical comedy, and Intiman was your typical stand up.

The musical comedy was a lot of fun and pretty much everyone involved had toured with Flight of the Concords.  I saw David O’Doherty open for my celebrity crush Demetri Martin a couple years ago and I still reminisce the hilarity his performance produced.  His dad was a trained jazz pianist and D.O.D. plays his things like “My Beefs 2010” on his 1984 tiny electric yamaha keyboard.  Sell out performances by Patton Oswalt and Garfunkel & Oates also graced this stage.

The Intiman stage had the best couple of show I saw. 

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Happy 9.02.10 Day!

Even though the Facebook fan page didn’t reach its goal of 10,000 followers (which means no officially recognized holiday, TBS marathon, or new 90210 movie) we can still celebrate our favorite Beverly Hills gang!!

This is a once in a lifetime event so I’m getting out my Brenda Barbie and running my own 90210 marathon tonight.  I said it and I’m not ashamed.

Larry King loves it too.. and for even more details on the event go here.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KSXEo9b70I]

Now hum along and get this song stuck in your head all day!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRXm1AavtmY]

Kymberlee Taylor Executive Assistant/Sales Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song Of The Day: Fresh

In case you missed it, New-Wave band Devo recently released their first new studio album in 20 years. 20 YEARS! And it is a FANTASTIC album! Something For Everybody really does have something for everybody. I love this album and the video for the first single from the CD, “Fresh,” shows the boys are just as quirky as ever. Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVqESo4mFMs&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song Of The Day: Yours

Finally! After two years of waiting, October 11 in support of his 2009 Polydor debut album ((Un)). That album made my Top 15 list last year, and I am super excited that Dan is finally coming to town. To celebrate, here is the video to one of my favorite tracks on the album, “Yours.” This video came out in October 2008, which is why I’ve been waiting so long for a Dan Black Seattle tour stop. Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJgLrhj9iZ0&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Oh yeah! Dan’s also been nominated for an MTV VMA! The video for his song “Symphonies” received a nod for best Breakthrough video. The awards show is September 12.

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song Of The Day: Any Which Way

second single from their new album Night Work, and it’s one of my favorite songs on the disc. The video is appropriately awesome and it only makes the wait until I see them live at Showbox Sodo on September 15 seem even longer. This clip has everything! People breaking stuff, hot shirtless men, pretty colors and clothes to die for. (I’d love a pair of shoes like the ones Ana is sporting at 1:44. Size 9, please!) And did I mention the song is fantastic? Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHv0jW4p_xA&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Janelle Monae is IT

Why is it that Janelle Monae has not massively blown up yet?  Maybe it’s because she doesn’t have a machine gun brassiere? Or is it because she’s singing about politics and poverty instead of hard-partying & boy troubles? Either way, I have hope that her slow-growing album The Archandroid keeps growing roots. Here’s her new video for another amazing track off of it- “Cold War”:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqmORiHNtN4]

Julia

Music Director

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Bjork – The Comet Song

Moomins and the Comet Chase” is a new animated film for children, and Bjork happens to be a huge fan of the Moomins. She composed a song with Icelandic poet and author, Sjon, entitled “The Comet Song”. This song is available on iTunes as of today, and all the funds generated from the sale of the track will be donated to UNICEF Pakistan Childrens Charities. You can also check out the Moomins on Facebook here. The video is streaming directly from Bjork’s website, and it may have a few technical issues due to influx of traffic to her site today since this was just announced. Click HERE to watch and please enjoy!

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Heather’s Song Of The Day: Hang With Me

My friends and coworkers know I have a special place in my heart for Swedish pop singers. They seem to have perfected the magic formula to create the ultimate sugary-sweet songs. The artist responsible for today’s song of the day is no exception. She is one of the biggest music stars is Sweden right now and if you ask me, that success is well-deserved.

Robyn has had a busy few months. She is about to release her second album so far this year, with another album to go after that and she just finished up a US co-headlining tour with Kelis. Oh, and did I mention that she runs her own record label? She isn’t slowing down a bit, however. Her new single “Hang With Me,” the first off Body Talk Part 2, just dropped and the accompanying video gives the viewer a pretty good idea of what it’s like to be in Robyn’s shoes right now.

Look for Body Talk Part 2 on September 7, 2010. Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3a2qoyONVA&fs=1&hl=en_US]

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Beiber and Ullman Slowwwwed Dowwwwn

So… I’m sure you’ve heard the viral sound of Justin Beiber’s song, “U Smile” slowed down by 800%, and the process of slowing that song down created a sound that is unearthly. The original of the sing can be found here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsp4oM4x7yA]

But when it’s slowed down by 800%, this is what you get:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0RqzP_N2Ps]

Have you heard the slowed version of Tracey Ullman’s “They don’t Know”? Here is the original:

And slowed down, she sounds eerily like Tears for Fears

So, there you have it! Now, run home, grab your vinyl (or buy a program with audio slowing capabilities) and see what musical treasures you can create by slowing things down a bit!

Zoë Dixon Messaging Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Kids In The Hall Return To TV

Tomorrow night, everyone’s favorite gender-bending Canadian comedy troupe is back! That’s right, the Kids In The Hall return to television for the first time since their self-titled sketch series went off the air in 1994. This time, the Kids take on Death in the original IFC miniseries Death Comes To Town.

All five original KITH (Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson) play almost all of the roles in the new eight part series. The scripted 30 minute show follows the exploits of the residents of Shuckton, Ontario after the Grim Reaper arrives on the Greyhound bus and one of the townspeople ends up dead. The first two episodes air back to back starting at 10pm Friday, August 20th on IFC.

While you wait, here’s a classic Kids In The Hall clip. Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbvbF0L9tJg&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Comedy Makes the World Go ‘Round (some reviews)

I have an addiction.  It’s a problem.  I’m completely addicted to live comedy.  There had been a couple weeks of not frequenting a stand up joint and I was getting the shakes.  Luckily I got tickets last week to go see Doug Benson of ‘Super High Me‘ , Comedy Central programs, and VH1’s Best Week Ever.  I’ve seen his stand up on Comedy Central before and wasn’t super impressed.  Which is why I’ve decided you haven’t really ‘seen’ someone until you’ve seen them live.  He was hilarious.  Interacting with the people in the crowd who were telling him to open his eyes, making fun of a poster someone made for him, and getting to tell jokes about McDonald’s and how his flatulence smells like delicious McGriddles (they weren’t a sponsor this time).  His opener, Graham Elwood, was fantastic as well.  He kept on getting distracted by the wavy lights in the background and having a little one-man rave party.  I even got my own ‘Yellow Belt Palm Strike‘ t-shirt to celebrate my own yellow belt status and how ridiculous some of the moves are.

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Robyn Hitchcock & The Hungry Moment

Robyn Hitchcock has been around longer than most of the stuff you listen to, and there’s a reason for that; he’s fantastic!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKE0maCnw9s]

For a limited time, you can head over to his site and download 2 tracks from his new project The Hungry Moment, which is a ‘psyche & western’ group he’s started with Abigail Washburn & Rayna Gellerd on board!

They’ll only be up for 1 week, so head over now to grab your Phantom 45’s

Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Concert Review: Chromeo – Showbox at the Market, August 12, 2010

Last night, Seattle’s Showbox at the Market rocked harder than I’ve seen it rock in a long time. What was the occasion? Chromeo, of course! The Montreal-based electrofunk duo played a sizzling set for a shockingly enthusiastic all-ages crowd. Lead singer Dave 1 put it best when he said, “Seattle, can I say something? You’re nuts!” Not something that we notoriously standoffish Northwest audiences hear very often. In the case of last nights sold-out gig, however, Dave 1 was 100% correct.

Dave 1 and his partner in funk, P-Thugg, played hits from their first two albums, She’s In Control and Fancy Footwork, as well as cuts from their upcoming release, Business Casual, scheduled to drop on September 14, 2010. I was excited to hear all of my favorite songs, including “Tenderoni”, “Fancy Footwork” and my number one Chromeo track, “Bonafied Lovin’ (Tough Guys).” I was also happy to hear some of the new stuff, as I was hoping they’d play their new single,

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Morrissey: 13 for Friday The 13th

I read on NME today that indie God Morrissey has selected his all-time favorite 13 albums for Friday The 13th! Since there are more than a couple i’ve not heard, I’ve decided to post some vids to visualtrack his picks, just to turn us all on…

Here is the list: Jobriath – ‘Jobriath’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXks3Xjydh0]

Jeff Buckley – ‘Grace’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MMXjunSx80&feature=av2e]

The Smoking Popes – ‘Born To Quit’

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

Damien Dempsey – ‘Seize The Day’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TfGCEt45-E]

Roxy Music – ‘For Your Pleasure’

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

The Velvet Underground – ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjjDmX9Tkss&feature=related]

The Velvet Underground – ‘White Light/White Heat’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mn71fQpXNY]

Sparks – ‘Kimono My House’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bxiz4B3EqQ]

Iggy & The Stooges – ‘Raw Power’

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MPvJYZUSuI&feature=related]

Nico –

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Twilight vs. Quileute Nation at SAM

Ever wonder what the Quileute tribe thinks about their fame as a morphing, teenage, vampire-hating wolf pack in the Twilight series?  Well if you’re lucky enough to live near the Seattle Art Museum you can find out what this tribe is really all about in a special story time and drumming circle this Saturday from 1-3pm.

Check out the article in the Seattle Times for more details.

Local News | ‘Twilight’ leads Quileute tribe to help museum tell its true story | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Kymberlee Executive Assistant/Sales Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Something That Means Something: Lush “Spooky”

The early 90’s were an exciting time in music. The 80’s were over and i was discovering for myself more music than ever, growing out of The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen and the like… “Baggy” had started a couple of years earlier but was fading into House music, which left me cold. That’s when “Shoegaze” grabbed hold of me. There were fantastic songs coming out of this genre, and a couple of great albums as well. One such album was the debut from English band Lush, titled “Spooky“. I was in love with this album, and with Emma Anderson, the other singer-guitarist. Have a look and a listen…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBkMQsu2iwc&feature=related]

In 1992 Lush played The Palace in Hollywood (now The Avalon Hollywood), and some friends and I made the trip over. Back then, all the shoegaze bands played The Palace and did signings at the late-great Aron’s Records. We headed down,

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“Love The Way You Lie” – Eminem feat. Rihanna

I figured since I have had the same lyrics playing on repeat in my head for the past few weeks, I would hunt down the video and share it with you.

Love The Way You Lie” is a huge success track off of Eminem’s new album “Recovery” which was released in June of this year. It features Rihanna on vocals, and personally, I couldn’t have paired a better duo to pull off this song. It’s preformed from the heart, and please keep in mind that this song may be offensive to some, so viewer discretion is advised.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uelHwf8o7_U]

Zoë Dixon Messaging Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

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New Band Obsession: Hurts

For the past several weeks, I have been obsessed with new UK band comprised of vocalist Theo Hutchcraft and synth player Adam Anderson. While their first album hasn’t dropped yet, I am loving what I’ve heard so far. The first two singles have been very well received in Europe and I am anxiously waiting their arrival on US shores.

Their debut album Happiness is scheduled for release in Germany on August 27 and in the UK on September 6. Sadly, no release date has yet been set for the States, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Here is the video for their very first single, “Better Than Love.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn8tBgI1BVQ&hl=en_US&fs=1]

And the somewhat strange video for their newest single, “Wonderful Life.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kuwdw7KmGwA&hl=en_US&fs=1]

And my personal favorite Hurts video, a live performance for their song “Illuminated.” Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2aCANYiwv0&hl=en_US&fs=1]

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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David Bowie & Trent Reznor “Hurt” Together…

15 years ago David Bowie & Trent Reznor thought it would be a great idea if they did a tour together. It wasn’t. I saw the tour in Las Vegas, and unfortunately NIN opened for Bowie, so half of the arena left when Trent did. I felt embarrassed for Bowie, though I stayed as he was who I’d come for. I’ve read over the years that Vegas was no fluke. Peeps were walking out everywhere, which would explain why this fantastic pro-shot footage has remained vaulted for the last 15 years. It’s too bad; it’s excellent!

Watch on Vimeo!

I sort of attended out of obligation to the past and to my girlfriend at the time. NIN were played out for me even though they were riding the peak of their success at that time. I loved “Pretty Hate Machine” but “Broken” left me wanting more tunes and less rage, so by the time “

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Brian Eno: New Release on WARP

Read yesterday that Brian Eno will be releasing a new album on WARP. As far as i’m concerned, a new Brian Eno album of any kind on any label is welcome news! I love Eno’s music and his philosophy on life. I would worship at The Church Of Eno, even though he would absolutely loathe such an idea. In fact, it’s my understanding that Eno would hesitate to support any religious institution, which is ironic as he loves Gospel music.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2shEwFjhzA4&feature=player_embedded#!]

It is also my understanding that any “NEW” album is a misrepresentation. Eno, as a musician, spends his time tarrying in the studio, stockpiling complete as well as unfinished ideas. Much like Prince, he is believed to have loads of unheard/unreleased material of varying quality locked away in the “vault” somewhere. This “NEW” album I assume is no different.

In fact, one of his collaborators alludes to this very fact! “It contains the fruits of several years of jams between the three of us,” Leo Abrahams wrote.

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Summer at the Space Needle

Alas, it’s that time again!  Where Seattle weather is the perfect 75 degrees and sunny every day.   These are the days  I miss living downtown the most.   Good thing Seattle keeps all sorts of fun things happening so I have constant excuses to make my way over there.  Coming up next week, KEXP and Seattle Center join forces to bring us free music and movies ‘Concerts at the Mural‘ and ‘Movies at the Mural‘!!  Hanging out on the lawn of the Mural Ampitheatre sounds like my kind of way to spend a summer evening.  I can even pretend I live in the “good ol’ days” where drive-in movie theaters where popular and people knew (and spoke to) their neighbors!  Now the only problem is which ones do I go to?  I certainly can’t miss watching The Princess Bride for the 485th time.  It’s outside this time!

Kymberlee Taylor Executive Assistant/Sales Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

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I’ve Fallen for Chrissie Hynde all over again!

How cool is my job? Today I came in and worked like I normally do, but then at 3:45, instead of yawning and looking at what meeting was next up on my calendar, I got to stroll a few feet to check out a live show! Just being in the business we’re in, I’ve been able to check out a few bands, like Minus the Bear and Fun, but today is a special double-header featuring Susan Cowsill and J.P., Chrissie and the Fairground Boys (that’s Chrissie Hynde’s new band in case you hadn’t heard!). How amazing is this … a true icon and some fantastic musicians! To prepare for this historic day, our video & production crews transformed part of our nondescript, office-park building into a bonafide mini-club complete with black curtains, bright lights, camera equipment, a small stage, and adoring fans! PlayNetwork employees and guests have already been treated to a set by Susan Cowsill and her band. On the road from New Orleans, Susan’s band was kind enough to stop by and play a few songs from their new album, Lighthouse. Susan first entered the pop-culture spotlight at the age of eight,

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Nick Cave to rewrite “The Crow”

Ok, so yesterday i was hating on Nick Cave, but today is a new day and i’ve just read some exciting news! Now, i’m not a huge movie buff or anything, but one film i used to love was “The Crow“, and while i usually loathe remakes of already good films, today’s news has me singing a different tune, as Nick Cave has been tapped to pen this one.

For those of us who may not know it, Mr. Cave is regarded as the screenwriting talent for the future, and while i’ve not actually seen anything to his film credit (I’m afraid to, as I love his music and am familiar with the darkness his mind is capable of), the buzz is on!

“The Crow” may be better known as the film Brandon Lee was filming when he was accidentally shot dead on set. While the irony is almost unbearable, it is still a great movie with an even better soundtrack.

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Grinderman “Heathen Child”

If Nick Cave is married to The Bad Seeds, then Grinderman is his mistress. “Heathen Child” has been given to us ahead of the albums release via SoundCloud, check it out!

[soundcloud width=”100%” height=”81″ params=”” url=”http://soundcloud.com/muterecords/heathen-child”]

I have to say, i don’t like it very much. Nick, i thought we had a kind of potlatch pact? I bring my hard earned cash to the party, and the music gets better and better. Well, now i feel a little betrayed! This is a poor b-side at best, in fact, The Bad Seeds have 3 discs full of better b-sides than this song. Maybe The Bad Seeds’ revolving door policy should be implemented with Grinderman? Just a thought. End this fling after this release and beg for forgiveness! That, and coax Blixa & Mick back into the fold. Now, please. I’m waiting…

Now, let’s reminisce for a moment, shall we?

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

Tony Media Producer PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Countdown to Mad Men

This weekend is the THE weekend. Mad Men is back! Season 4 starts on AMC this Sunday night. Yes! It’s time to get back to the gorgeous men in suits & fedoras, the voluptuous women, the not-so-old-school sexism, the indiscriminate smoking and drinking.

What will become of the mysterious Don Draper and his broken family, the eager Peggy Olson, the new ad agency? Is Betty Draper a nut job? Is Joan Harris back for good? Can the ambitious Pete Campbell be trusted? I am counting the minutes.

If you  need to get your fix in the meantime I recommend spending some quality time designing your very own 60’s avatar at AMC’s new & improved “Mad Men Yourself”. I did. A few times. Here’s my fave:

Julia, Music Director

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[news] Decibel Festival line up announced

This past week the Decibel International Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Visual Art and New Media in Seattle unveiled an updated list of confirmed performers, showcases, venues and sponsors for the 2010 program.  The line up features a plethora of critically acclaimed, international electronic music acts, including Modeselektor (Berlin), Carl Craig (Detroit), Fennesz (Vienna), Beats Antique (Oakland), Mary Anne Hobbs (London), VibeSquaD (Denver), Murcof (Tijuana), Plastician (London), Monolake (Berlin), Dinky (La Araucanía), Theo Parrish (Detroit), Ben Frost (Reykjavik), Starky (Philadephia) and Scuba (London).

For a complete list of the over 75 confirmed acts, visit the Decibel Festival artist page

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2009