Lately I came across the most affecting song in some time.

Doveman is Thomas Bartlett, a keyboardist who has played with Antony and the Johnsons, David Byrne, the National, and the Frames, along with many others, along with bandmates Sam Amidon (who I’ve featured here before), and a few other people.

doveman

Lately, they covered the soundtrack of the 80’s classic (and yes, it is) “Footloose”, when asked by a childhood friend of Bartlett’s, Gabriel Greenberg, for a particular reason.

When I was very young, my half-sister Jenny died tragically. She was a teenager, and it was the 80’s. She left behind a wardrobe of brightly colored clothes, rainbow stickers, life-size paintings, doodles on lined paper, and hundreds of tapes. These constitute most of my memories of her. It’s sad for me to look at these things, and usually I don’t. But a couple of summers ago I found a tape of hers with a startling cover photograph – this was Footloose. I couldn’t stop listening: it was a portrait of 80’s love, desire, pain, freedom, and frenzy; of being a teenager in a time of change. By listening, I could step into Jenny’s shoes, see things from her vantage point. I could be emancipated by rock and roll and walkmen, just as she had been. We could listen together.

I asked my friend Thomas to cover the album, which, sheltered as he is, he had never heard before. I was clear that I wanted to him to cover the whole album – the point wasn’t to rework any one song, but to re-imagine the picture they made together. With a new Footloose we could reply to the past, tell our own story about being young. This is what he made.

I bet you’ve never heard Kenny Loggins sound like this before – a stunning piece of work.

Doveman – Footloose

So, in order to drive people a little deeper to some areas of the site, you may have already seen the little images in the left hand column. I’d be interested to hear feedback on if what people think about these, and if anyone has other ideas?

Whipping Boy were an Irish band who notched up a couple of hits in the mid to late 90’s, and who should have been huge. Coldplay huge. Oasis huge. U2 huge.

whippingboy

“We Don’t Need Nobody Else” is bile. Melancholic, to be sure – but pain, anger, frustration. A hint of madness. Passion. Love and hate mixed together, thrown together, shaken and twisted and turned until one is indiscernible from the other.

According to bass player Myles McDonnell:

If enough people had heard ‘Heartworm’, we could have been The Verve. But it just didn’t happen. It’s nothing for us to worry about or to get bitter over. We’re still here and it might yet happen.

Except it didn’t, as they split up in 1998. What could have been.

Why say words that I do not mean? They only serve to amuse, ridicule and destroy – hardly ever to teach. I hit you for the first time today. I didn’t mean it – tt just happened. You wouldn’t let me go to the phone – you wanted to make love and I did not. Now I know the distance between us. Christ we weren’t even fighting, I was just annoyed. Silence, and you started to cry. That really hurt, you said. Yeah? And you thought you knew me?

Whipping Boy – We Don’t Need Nobody Else

While randomly flicking through the many dreadful music channels now in existence, I was completely side-swiped by a song that cropped up on late-night MTV2 (where the really weird music comes out to play…)

Cary Brothers is one of Zach Braff’s favourite singers, which basically means you can catch his music on anything Zach stars in – Scrubs, Garden State, The Last Kiss.

carybrotherstiesto

Now, I like Cary. He’s a singular, not a plural – there are no brothers Cary. I loved his first EP, “All The Rage”. I enjoyed his album from last year, “Who Are You”. He’s a good singer-songwriter – he’ll churn out the catchy tunes and he’ll make a great career selling his music to Scrubs/Grey’s Anatomy/One Tree Hill/Zach Braff’s next film. But thanks to DJ Tiesto, I have to say, I am impressed.

Tiesto, a Dutch DJ, has taken Brother’s “Ride”, and turned it into a dance-floor hit. And you know what? I hate most dance music. But I love this. In fact, I love it more than the original. For some reason, the dance beat makes the song more lonely for me…

You are everything I wanted. The scars of all I’ll ever know. If I told you you were right, would you take my hand tonight? If I told you the reasons why, would you leave your life and ride? And ride…”

I’ve included both versions below – the original, and the dance remix. What do you think?

Cary Brothers – Ride

Tiesto & Cary Brothers – Ride


Wikipedia, the source of all the world’s knowledge, tells us that Matthew Barber is

a Canadian singer-songwriter of indie pop and pop rock with folk and alternative country influences.

I guess they really want to cover all the bases on this one.

matthewbarber

These two songs are quite haunting, and melancholic in the best possible way – on first listen, “Somebody, Sometime” will show itself to be a lonely, plucked and strummed, down-tempo out-take from a Ryan Adams album; while “You and Me” will come across as a more typical country tune, with slide guitar, piano and snare drum as a supporting cast. But it’s when you listen to the lyrics…Both songs include lines that will throw you, that will stop your toe-tapping for a split-second as you wonder if you heard correctly. There’s a sad, sad undercurrent here…

You gotta live to die. You gotta lie to somebody, sometime./’Cause someone will be waiting for you, somewhere dark and deep. Someone will be greeting you sometime, somewhere in your sleep

Oh the one that asks for more, is bound to end up sore. Is it you or me? My love, what are you thinking of?

Matthew Barber – Somebody, Sometimes

Matthew Barber – You And Me

Well, what can I say? I may as well cut straight to the chase, and watch my credibility go up in smoke.

So, there I was, watching the Ghost Whisperer (if you haven’t seen it, it’s that show where Jennifer Love Hewitt’s breasts can talk to ghosts). And as I watched, wondering why EVERY SINGLE BLOODY EPISODE HAS THE EXACT SAME BLOODY PLOT, I was surprised to find, at the very end of one episode, a rather nice song.

midnighthour

It’s nice. It’s derivative. It’s soft-rock. It’s [INSERT ANY NUMBER OF SYNONYMS FOR NOT ORIGINAL HERE].

Don’t lie and say that it’s OK. It’s alright if there’s nothing more to say. So I’m running away.
I’m leaving this place. Yeah, I’m running away, I’m running away.

It’s definitely not as bland as the lyrics suggest. It’s a well-executed, slow-build, slightly anthemic, lighters-in-the-air, slice of nice.

So, get your lighter in the air. Just watch out for Jennifer’s breasts.

Midnight Hour – Running Away