Heather’s Top 10 Albums of 2011

We hope you’re enjoying your holidays! As we reflect back on 2011, our second installment of ‘bests’ n music as seen by PlayNetwork’s Music Superivisor’s brings up Music Supervisor, Heather Thueringer’s Top 10 Albums of 2011. Without further ado…

10. Ellie Goulding – Lights

PlayNetwork was fortunate to host a PlayLive event featuring Ellie Goulding just weeks before she was tapped to play the Royal wedding and Saturday Night Live.  She did a great set on our mainstage and was as nice as could be.  Listening to her album Lights, it’s easy to see why she was one of the top-selling British artists in 2010.

Watch Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” Video…

9.  Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting

I was lucky enough to catch Jamie Woon at South By Southwest and he was fantastic!  His whole album is great and I would highly encourage seeing him live if you can!  You will not be disappointed.

Watch Jamie Woon’s “Night Air” Video…

8.  Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes

Lykke Li had one of my favorite albums as well as my favorite video of the year. 

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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!

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!

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!

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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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!

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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!

Heather Producer, Branded Music 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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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.”

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

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

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Scissor Sisters Are Coming To Town!

One of my all-time favorite bands, you to pick it up! I’ve been listening to it non-stop for weeks and it’s a fantastic summer album. Every song is so different and seems to be influenced by a different genre or band. There’s a song that sounds like it could be vintage Talking Heads, one that would be right at home on the new DEVO album and one that sounds like it was written in the middle of disco fever.

One of the best things about a new Scissor Sisters album is, of course, a Scissor Sisters tour. Tickets went on sale this past weekend for most of the dates on their newly-announced North American jaunt and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve missed them the last few times they came to Seattle, so I will be sure to catch them this time around when they play Showbox Sodo on September 15. Check below to see if the Sisters are playing in your town this summer and if they are, don’t miss them! Your life will only be filled with regret if you do.

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Who Got A Nod?

This morning, nominees were announced for the

Best actress in a comedy:

Lea Michele, “Glee” Toni Collette, “United States of Tara” Tina Fey, “30 Rock” Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “The New Adventures of Old Christine” Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”

Best actor in a comedy:

Jim Parsons, “Big Bang Theory” Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Matthew Morrison, “Glee” Tony Shalhoub, “Monk” Steve Carell, “The Office” Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”

Best comedy series:

“Glee” “30 Rock” “The Office” “Modern Family” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” “Nurse Jackie”

Best reality competition:

“The Amazing Race” “American Idol” “Dancing with the Stars” “Project Runway” “Top Chef”

Outstanding Reality Program:

“Antiques Roadshow” “Dirty Jobs” “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” “MythBusters” “Undercover Boss”

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program:

Phil Keoghan, “The Amazing Race” Ryan Seacrest, “American Idol” Tom Bergeron, “Dancing with the Stars” Heidi Klum, “Project Runway” Jeff Probst, “Survivor”

Best drama series:

“Mad Men” “Lost” “Breaking Bad” “Dexter” “The Good Wife” “True Blood”

Best actor in a drama:

Bryan Cranston,

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Trailer Flash! – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It’s here! It’s here! Fans everywhere can now salivate while watching the first trailer for the final two films in the Harry Potter series. The seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, covers so much material that one movie couldn’t possibly do it justice, so Warner Bros. is going to do it up right. They are splitting the book into TWO films! Part 1 will be released this November and Part 2 in July 2011. Until then, we shall have to content ourselves with this preview. Enjoy!

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Nerd Alert – The Triumphant Return of Futurama

Tomorrow night, sci-fi nerds everywhere will be celebrating the return of Futurama, the much-beloved (by me, anyway) animated series from Simpsons creator Matt Groening. The sitcom, about a pizza delivery boy accidentally cryogenically freezing himself in 1999 and waking up on New Year’s Eve, 2999. With all of his friends and family long gone, he has to adjust to life in the 31st century. He gets a job as (what else?) a delivery boy. Only this time, he’s delivering packages to different galaxies.

The show debuted on Fox in 1999 and ran for four seasons before being canceled in 2003. Since then, the reruns have been shown in syndication on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and Comedy Central. Excitement over the possible resurrection of the series began to build in 2007, when four straight-to-DVD movies were released, and the movies were subsequently broken up into parts and aired as “new” episodes. Then, last year it was announced that the series was coming back for real.

That day has almost arrived!

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Album Review – Sia – We Are Born

Today, Australian-born singer-songwriter Sia Furler releases her fifth solo album, We Are Born. Sia began her career as a backup singer for British group Jamiroquai before becoming a featured vocalist for producer duo Zero 7. She really came to be recognized a powerful solo artist in 2005, however, when her song, “Breathe Me” was chosen as the soundtrack to the climactic final scene in the critically acclaimed series finale of the HBO drama Six Feet Under. Since then, she has released a live album and, as of today, two studio albums.

Unlike her last disc, 2008’s Some People Have Real Problems, the new album is comprised mostly of upbeat electro-pop tracks. Some of the credit for this certainly has to go to one of her major collaborators on this project, Greg Kurstin. Kurstin is the male half of The Bird & The Bee, as well as an in-demand songwriter and producer. So far this year he has worked with DEVO,

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Trendwatch 2010: Bikini Top Accoutrements

Within the last week and a half, two pop stars have released music videos that they hope will propel their accompanying songs to the top of the summer charts.  Last week, Lady Gaga gave us “Alejandro,” an homage to just about every video Madonna has ever done, with a little bit of Evita thrown in for good measure.  Wednesday, Katy Perry posted her clip for “California Gurls,” which reminded me mostly of the game Candyland that I loved so dearly as a child.  (I fear I shall never be able to play that game ever again without thinking of a naked Katy Perry wearing a Queen Frostine wig.  Sad.)

These videos obviously couldn’t be more different…except for one thing. Both Katy and Gaga and some point during the video sport a bikini top featuring some kind of strange accessory. Katy actually does this several times -mostly with pastry-related items- but the highlight(?) is at 3:23 when she has actual spraying cans of whipped cream strapped to her chest.

Lady Gaga, on the other hand,

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Heather’s Song Of The Day – February 15, 2010

The Knack – My Sharona

Doug Fieger, lead singer of The Knack, died yesterday after a long battle with cancer.  He was 57 years old.

The Knack formed in 1978 and had their biggest success with the ultra-catchy “My Sharona.”  The track features one of the most well-known guitar riff in pop music history and has been covered (or parodied) by countless artists.

I have always loved the song My Sharona, maybe because it was the number one song (it spent six weeks at the top of the charts) on the day I was born and so I probably heard it a lot in the womb.    Originally released in 1979, it hit the charts again in 1994 when it was featured in the movie Reality Bites and released as a single for the film’s soundtrack.

Here is the original music video for My Sharona.  RIP, Doug.

Buy – iTunes

Buy – Amazon

Heather

Producer, Branded Music

PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song(s!) of the Day – February 3, 2010

Tonight, the long-awaited Elton John and Billy Joel Face To Face tour makes it to Seattle.  Two shows slated for early November 2009 were postponed when Elton fell ill.  Tonight, the rescheduled shows begin at Key Arena.

I am a huge fan of both Elton and Billy, so I am beyond excited for the concert tonight.  I haven’t seen either one of them live before, so it’s a big night for me.

To celebrate tonight’s dream come true event, there are TWO songs of the day!

Billy Joel has the first slot with the 1980’s classic “Uptown Girl.”

And of course, the other song of the day comes from Sir Elton!  Here’s a vintage clip from a 1970 performance of “Your Song.”

Enjoy!

Heather

Producer, Branded Music

PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song Of The Day – January 22, 2010

Journey – Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)

So I could not let the day end without mentioning that it is Steve Perry’s 61st birthday.  61 years old!  Though he left the band in 1987 (and again in 1998 after a short three-year reunion) Steve was the lead singer of  Journey during their heyday.

Journey has given us many iconic pop songs; “Lights,” “Any Way you Want It,” “Faithfully,” “Open Arms,” “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” “Wheel in the Sky,” “Who’s Cryin’ Now,” and of course, “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Whether you’re a Journey fan or not, you have to admit that Steve has some serious pipes.  He’s certainly one of the best vocalists of all time.  To honor Steve’s birthday, today’s song of the day is my favorite Journey song.  It’s the song I believe features Steve’s best vocal performance, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).”  The video is also totally cheesy and unintentionally hilarious! 

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Heather’s Song of the Day – Never My Love

I’m just gonna come right out and say it: “Never My Love” is one of my favorite songs of ALL TIME.  It’s way up in my top 10, maybe in my top 5.  The song may be a little on the cheesy side, but come on!  Who doesn’t need a sappy love song now and then?

I am not alone in my love for this song.  Broadcast Music Incorporated (commonly known as BMI) lists the song as the second most played track (in TV and radio) of the 20th century.  Quite a feat, and well deserved, as far as I’m concerned.

I was excited to see that a cover of “Never My Love” was recorded by another favorite of mine, Har Mar Superstar.  He collaborated Adam Green of the Moldy Peaches on the song for  the soundtrack to the 2009 film Whip It.  While it’s a great version, The Association’s cover of the song is still my favorite.  Here is The Association performing live on Ed Sullivan.  Enjoy!

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Heather’s Song of the Day – January 5, 2010

The Clash – London Calling

30 years ago today, British punk band The Clash released one of the most iconic albums in rock music history.  London Calling took the world by storm and brought punk music to the pop charts.  It’s one of my favorite albums of all time.  Here is the video for the title track.  Enjoy!

Heather

Producer, Branded Music

PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song of the Day – January 4, 2010

R.E.M. – Finest Worksong

Heather’s Song of the Day returns!  Today my post celebrates one of the greatest frontmen of all time, Michael Stipe.  The R.E.M. singer turns 50 today, so I have a great excuse to post one of my favorite songs by the rock superstars.  From 1987, here is “Finest Worksong.” Enjoy!

Heather

Producer, Branded Music

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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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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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!

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Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song of the Day: Dusk Till Dawn

It’s Friday the 13th, so I feel obligated to find a somewhat creepy video for my Song Of The Day. I think Ladyhawke’s “Dusk Till Dawn” fits the bill quite nicely.

Ladyhawke is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand. Her self-titled debut album was one of my favorites of last year and “Dusk Till Dawn” is my favorite track on the disc. Enjoy!

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Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song of the Day: Bad Romance

On November 23 singer/dancer/songwriter/performance artist Lady Gaga releases her new album. Well, it’s not quite “new” exactly. The Fame Monster is her debut album, The Fame, with eight new tracks. I just heard the new songs this morning and while they are up to par with some of her best songs from The Fame, the new tracks are decidedly darker than the dance-pop fare Gaga released last year. I have no doubt that they will be just as successful as her first batch of singles and if she continues to put out new material at this rate she’s going to continue to break records. Last week she became the first artist in history to have four #1 singles from a debut album.

Love her or hate her, Lady Gaga’s got some interesting ideas. Her videos and performances have become increasingly conceptual. The video for her new single, “Bad Romance,” was released just a few days ago and it has already been viewed nearly four and a half million times. I can’t stop watching it, so I have made “Bad Romance” my Song Of The Day. The editing is genius.

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Heather’s Song of the Day: Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

I think it is awesome when artists’ singing voices are the complete opposite of their speaking voices and there is no better example of that then Susan Tedeschi. In the video of today’s Song Of The Day, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”, Susan introduces the Bob Dylan masterwork in her sweet and demure voice, then launches into the track with a voice that almost knocks you over. She sings in a soulful, raspy, powerful voice that is effortless and filled with emotional pain. Then at the end of the video as the final notes sound, she thanks the audience for their applause and again you think to yourself, “I can’t believe that those two voices exist within the same person.” Pretty cool. So enjoy the performance! I think I’ll watch the video again myself.

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Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song of the Day: Keep Fishin’

Weezer has been known for their clever videos from the very beginning. Their debut video was filmed in a single take and featured a bunch of dogs running through the set. I love Weezer’s second video, for the song “Buddy Holly.” It was filmed to look like the guys were in an episode of the TV show Happy Days. It is almost seamless, and features all of the Happy Days’ cast, including the Fonz.

Weezer have done a ton of other cool videos. In “Island In The Sun” they played with a bunch of baby animals. For “Pork and Beans” the guys wrangled a bunch of YouTube stars to appear with them in the clip, which turned the video into a YouTube sensation by proxy. But of all of the Weezer videos, I have one ultimate favorite. It’s for the song “Keep Fishin’” and it features the entire cast from The Muppet Show. Watching it is like watching a piece of my childhood. So here is the video for today’s Song Of The Day,

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Heather’s Song of the Day: Push It

Today Sandra Denton, a.k.a. Pepa of 80’s Hip Hop group Salt-N-Pepa, turns the big 4-0. Salt-N-Pepa’s song, “Push It,” became a worldwide smash in 1986. Earlier this year, the TV show Glee used the song in one of its early episodes. You can see it HERE. I think it was the hilariously provocative performance of the song that got me hooked on the show. I still love the original cut most of all, though, so it is today’s Song Of The Day. Enjoy, and Happy Birthday, Pep!

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Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Heather’s Song of the Day: Fire Escape

Fastball is one of my favorite bands from the 1990s. They broke into the big time in 1998 when their second album, All The Pain Money Can Buy, was released to rave reviews. The lead-off single, “The Way,” hit #1 on the US Modern Rock charts and the follow-up single, “Fire Escape,” reached #13. Even though the band has released three more excellent studio albums since All The Pain Money Can Buy, “Fire Escape” is still my favorite Fastball song. I think it has a lot to do with the track’s video. Ten years before Lady Gaga’s chilling performance of her song “Paparazzi” at the MTV Video Music Awards, Fastball made their statement about the downside of fame in the clip for “Fire Escape.” It is one of my all-time favorite music videos and I have made “Fire Escape” my Song Of The Day. Enjoy!

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Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

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