a boy looks at a girl, and a girl looks like a pony

8 July 2008

Now, Fatboy Slim has always been cool. Noone’s going to deny that. When your song produces three full minutes of Christopher Walken dancing…that’s some kind super power in my opinion. However, I don’t think I would have ever considered purchasing a whole album by Fatboy Slim–his best songs have made their way into my collection via assorted Various Artist albums, and I’m more than content to watch the music videos that have been produce on repeat. That is, until now.

Fatboy Slim, or should I say Norman Cook’s new side project with David Byrne (of the Talking Heads) is entitled The Brighton Port Authority. It’s similar, a little, to what you might think of as Fatboy Slim crossed with David Byrne, but if they was making music in the late 1970s and there was a time exchange program being set up that brought completely random, yet supercool artists back 30 years to record with them. Get that?

The fictional backstory on MySpace tells of the groups short rise and fall of local fame building “a huge word-of-mouth reputation on England’s south coast from the early 1970s onwards before petering out in the mid ’90s.” Further, the songs are all put together from tapes found in a box at the Brighton dockside warehouse.

Now, BRA already has two music videos, the one — a song called “He’s Frank” featuring Iggy Pop — I couldn’t find a decent version of. (Or maybe it’s supposed to be out of sync, I don’t know.) And the other, well you may have seen it before, as I know I came across it by way of a friend’s link to CollegeHumor for a video entitled “Censor Bar Art”. You’ll see why.


I like you, broken bones and all

21 May 2008


The music is characterized by the continuous overlapping dual track vocals singing about the facts and beauty of simple things. It’d fit quite snugly onto the Juno soundtrack–which is a pretty good place to be right now.

Based in South Philly, Tell Me, Bicycle is the duo of Patrick Walsh and Elizabeth Vega (Pat and Lisa), an adorably cute couple…both 20 years old…(I’m stretching my internet stalking capabilities to the max here.) I’m going to venture a guess and say they’re both students at Philly’s University of the Arts, just based on how I found them. But that’s not so important because what we’re talking about here is music…right?

It’s clear the reason TMB‘s music has it’s unique sound because these kids are so very cute in their couple-y-ness, and they gracefully avoid the gag line by making super cool music.

Sweet Sexin Toss — Tell Me, Bicycle

Up until today there was a link on MySpace to buy their album, You Make South Philly Pretty. It might still be available via inquiry–which I will investigate as soon as my friend request is accepted.

The male half of TMB is also part of The Writers Club. Similar sound, but I think the combination of guy-girl vocals is more aurally interesting and the songwriting more endearing in Tell Me, Bicycle.


Gonna start a revolution

20 May 2008


You know what? I’ve been trying to decide what or whom to blog on first, and once I finally decided on the lovely Jem Cooke, I discovered that there’s almost nothing being shared that I can in turn share in the traditional style of music blogs. No tracks to download…no CD to buy…nada. This is the best I can do without being technologically crafty in the illegal sense.

It’s a decent offering, I suppose. But yes, Jem Cooke. What can be said?

I stumbled upon her MySpace page via my occasional exploration of the “Top Artists” browser. (A great way to pick up on the trends that fuel the self promoted internet musician dream.) Her sound intrigues me. I’ll first let her songs play just for background…it’ll be very chill, very acoustic…and then, once I’m no longer paying attention, the sound switches to blues and soul, still very chill, still very acoustic, but with this kick that demands I look back at my web browser to make nothing’s switched up on me.

I’ve been trying to come up with a semi decent comparison without much success. Her MySpace quotes a magazine, “KT Tunstall is the first obvious comparison, the English answer maybe?” but I didn’t get any kind of KT vibe. Her music is somewhat…somewhat like Joss Stone Lite…mixed with Kate Nash’s acoustic guitar covers. Mm…kinda.

Whatever it is, it’s pretty at its calmest and full of soul at its most emotive. It’s good, that’s for sure, but yet to catch the world by storm. She turned down a record deal offer at the age of 17, choosing to carve her own path in the music industry. Nearly 10 years later she’s still writing, recording, and performing, but fans are begging for an album…or at least a mp3 download.

Additional raves and streaming audio can be found here on an offshoot of composer/producer father Dave Cooke’s website.