Friday, November 30, 2012

Top Ten Records Of 2012

Again a bit early this year (but hey, it's tradition!): here they are - My Top Ten Records of 2012:

1. Mike Viola - Acousto de Perfecto

With a LP-friendly two sided concept of Acousto De Perfecto, half new songs half new interpretations of older songs and all the web-concerts, giveaways (Kenmore Square), the tip fight (resulting in Future Horror Hockey Game), the superb Facebook Fan Group (you people are the best!), the complete Mike Viola discography project and the re-release of the Blue Thumb Candy Butchers record it was a very very special year regarding Mike Viola. 

Highlights: Secret Radio, I'm Your Dog, God Give Me Strength, Hair Of The Dog, Date Night

2. David Myhr - Soundshine

Soundshine is a record title which couldn't fit better. This album is so uplifting, positive and listenable, it shines.

Highlights: I Love The Feeling, Looking For A Life, Got You Where He Wanted, Loveblind

3. Air Traffic Controller - Nordo

I had not those high expectations for the record. Then I read who produced it and got curious. And I wasn't disappointed. It's a very strong record. No fillers. All tracks shine on their own. That's a rare compliment.

Highlights: Blame, You Know Me, Any Way, Ready Or Not, Magic

4. Ben Folds Five - The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind

After long long years of no hope for a reunion the new record suddenly was there. It's a huge grower kind of a record - many of the songs unfold at second listen. 

Highlights: Sky High, Draw A Cloud, The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, Michael Praytor, On Being Frank, Thank You For Breaking My Heart

5. Aimee Mann - Charmer

Charmer is the strongest Aimee Mann record for a long time (which doesn't mean the last records were bad!). It reminds me of Lost in Space.

Highlights: Labrador, Charmer, Soon Enough

6. Ken Stringfellow - Danzig in the Moonlight

To be honest, it first got my attention by the cover (which is really beautiful and shines on LP in all his glory). Then I had a chance to listen to the songs (I had no big expectations).  Danzig in the Moonlight is not a record I like in full, most of the songs are amazing pieces of work, a very few are not my cup of tea though.

Highlights: You're a Sign, Pray, History Buffs, Superwise

7. Sunday Sun - EP I-III

Sunday Sun suddenly got my attention with EP I and blew me away with EP II & III. Buy it here: Sunday Sun Official Website

Highlights: Ordinary Love, Sunday Sun, Ready Take A Left, Better Than That, Honest And True, Beating Low

8. Bryan Scary - Daffy's Elixir

Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears where in my memories for their superb EP Mad Valentines from 2009. Daffy's Elixir tops it all.

Highlights: Ziegfield Station, Ballroom Kid, Day Glo Waterfalls, Wicked Frontier, The Tale Of Opal Dawn, Another Ace In The Hole

9. Ben Kweller - Go Fly A Kite

Ben Kweller's fifth record Go Fly A Kite is also his first record of his label The Noise Company

Highlights: Jealous Girl, Free, Mean To Me, The Rainbow

10. The Cry - The Cry

I can't even nearly say how often The Cry was recommended to me from different sources. And they were right. The Cry are somewhere between The Beach Boys, Jet, The Ramones and The Beatles, which means there's a highly enjoyable mix of 60s sound, punk and pop harmonies packed in 2 minute songs.

Highlights: Be True, Alone In The Dark, Down In The City, sleeping Alone, I Think I'm In Love, Wouldn't Last

PPS Mix Tape for Xmas 2012

It's only 24 days until Christmas Eve: here is my Mix Tape for Xmas 2012 - hope you like it:

01 - Kelly Jones - Kissing Santa On Christmas Eve
02 - Mike Viola - Give Me A Second Chance For Christmas 
03 - She & Him - The Christmas Waltz 
04 - Bleu - Cold, Cold Christmas 
05 - Jim Boggia - Christmas Baby Please 
06 - The Nines - It's Christmas 
07 - Farrah - Santa Don't Go
08 - Travis - Alone On Christmas Day 
09 - Jet - Back Door Santa
10 - Ron Sexsmith - Maybe This Christmas 
11 - Aimee Mann - Whatever Happened To Christmas 
12 - Ben Folds Five - Stumblin' Home Winter Blues 
13 - Eels - Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas 
14 - David Mead - Christmas Is So Far Away 
15 - She & Him - Baby, It's Cold Outside 
16 - The Nines - Winter Song 
17 - Billy Mack - Christmas Is All Around 
18 - Jim Boggia - Christmas Wish 
19 - The Pogues - Fairytale Of New York
20 - The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)

Some songs are streamed here:
I made this tape not downloadable for copyright reasons and for protecting the artists. Some artists where already filtered by soundcloud. If there's still a problem with streaming the songs, I'll remove them immediately by request.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kelly Jones - Kissing Santa On Christmas Eve (update: listen to the song)

Kelly Jones, known for her stellar record SheBANG! from 2008 (which was produced by Mike Viola) and the Melon EP (2010) returns this Christmas with the single Kissing Santa On Christmas Eve.

The song is an instant classic. Kelly is featured on vocals and glockenspiel, along with Mike Viola (guitars, bass, keyboards, also he produced the song), Eric  Summer (strings) and Scott Seiver (drums).
Kissing Santa On Christmas Eve is available online ( and  iTunes) December 4th, 2012.

You won't be disappointed - it is a perfect christmas song!

Listen here:

Kelly is also featured in the Bleusikal - the short musical for To Hell With You - the new record by Bleu (see my last post).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bleu - To Hell With You (crowd funding the new record at

William James McAuley III, or as you may also know him - Bleu - releases his new record To Hell With You in February 2013. And he started a crowd funding campaign for it at
You can get autographed CDs, handwritten lyrics, house concerts (international!), a special for the 10th anniversary of the Readhead record (which is a very cool idea), skype concerts and he even produces your own EP!
So folks - you know what you have to do!

See more here: Bleu at Pledgemusic

Watch the promo video - it's the Bleusikal - mini-musical (featuring Kelly Jones):

Listen to three of the new songs at soundcloud:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

+ + + News November 2012 + + +

Bleu - New record

The new Bleu record is out in February 2013. You can listen to two of his new songs here:

Oh, and there's a Bleu Fan Group on Facebook:  

Mike Viola - Candy Butchers on vinyl

The never released first Candy Butchers record (some will know it as The Blue Thumb record) gets a very limited re-release. 

More information here:

It includes: LP, CD and digital download (all the mixes on the LP, a live concert from 1996 in New York City, home demos from Mike’s Bethune Street apartment). 

So people, hurry. This is preorder over soon!

Sunday Sun - EP I, II & III physical release

The three EPs of Sunday Sun are for sale now as a 3CD set in a beautiful package here: 

Neil Finn (Crowded House) - closing song for The Hobbit

The closing song for the New Peter Jackson movie The Hobbit is performed by no other than Neil Finn from Crowded House. The song is called Song of the Lonely Mountain.
It's the first of three The Hobbit movies. So who's singing next?


So, there are two new bands I'd like to share with you here. The first one is Hi-Electric.

If you like PowerPop and bands like Fountains Of Wayne, Semisonic or *gasp* Big Star, you should listen to their self-titled debut record which is out now.

The band - led by Neil Bartlett, backed by bassist Alan Yee and drummer Henry Talbot - is ready to take Hi-Electric outside of the city limits of Memphis, Tennessee.

Highlights: Tightrope, They're Only Words, Can't Say, It's Not You

Listen to Hi-Electric at soundcloud:

Official site:

Didn't Planet - We're Going Nowhere

So, new band number two: Didn't Planet. They started as a cover band, after ten years they began to write their own songs which lead to the record We're Going Nowhere. It is a concept album about being a cover band.

Being a cover band is explained by Didn't Planet: "We know it ain’t easy. Friends that 'promise to be there on Friday night… REALLY!' bar owners who inexplicably can’t remember who you are after 7 years of booking with them, countless requests for songs you don’t play, and even more countless requests to 'turn down the drums.' Add to that the sheer number of us out there... if cover bands were pigeons, Greater Boston would be Harvard Square at lunchtime. Thousands, identical to the untrained eye, all vying for the same French Fries."

Musically Didn't Planet is settled somewhere between alternative rock (Green Day) and power pop (Fountains Of Wayne).

Now for the songs:
MaryAnne(e) and We're Going Nowhere are power pop gems.  
California and Over You are very catchy and have a strong FoW feeling.  
Adam could be the next Green Day single (which not a bad thing to say, is it?).  
Kinda Got It Goin' On reminds me of the old days of rock 'n' roll, nice!
The record closes with a nice little song Someday I Might.

The only negative thing about the record: I don't like the first track. It's not a proper track, more like an intro. That could have been left out. Well, that's just a small complaint.

Overall: A great effort for a first record! Keep up the good work!

Listen here:

Official site: