31 August 2008

"i know ur girlfriend hates me" || annie || 2008

While Crystal Castles' "Crimewave" remains my favorite song of the year thus far overall, I think this is now my favorite pop song.

A friend of mine sent this to me about two months ago, and I started playing it on my club/dance radio show. It's now very easily my most-requested song.

Annie has a knack for making songs that seem to spill over you like cool milk. She's cute, she's sleek, she's Swedish. What's not to love?

"Girlfriend" is a perfect follow-up single to "Chewing Gum," from her last album, which has a similar feel, but is slower. This song cranks it up a bit, making it more likely to hit club floors across the countries. It's about having a guy friend with an overprotective girlfriend, a topic to which I was even able to relate as a male. Nobody likes a bitchy girlfriend.

For some reason, I can't help but make a comparison between this tune and the so-called "sophisti-pop" sound that was cool in the '80s for acts like Swing Out Sister and Scritti Politti. I feel like if those groups were to make modern electropop, it would sound like this.

This song will land in the annals of music as an underground electropop classic. It's just too cute not to love.


Available On:
I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates MeCD5"Buy It Here

22 August 2008

the traxx that defined my summer

Enjoy these songs that were critical in defining my summer. Some have received previous Traxx entries, so if the title is a link, it'll take you back to the post where it was previously featured. Enjoy! Lots more Traxx coming in the next few days!

  • "Crimewave" by Crystal Castles
  • I got this CD right at the beginning of summer, and it didn't leave my car stereo until mid-June. It's the most solid album I've heard in years. It remains consistent from start to finish, but not too consistent, as is the fatal flaw of many electronic albums. There's enough variation in the tracks to establish a mood and a character for each song, yet they all share similar qualities that tie them together as an album. "Crimewave" is the masterwork, and I know that any time I hear it for the rest of my life, I'll be instantly transported back to this summer.


  • "Breakout" by Swing Out Sister
  • A friend of mine asked me about this song toward the beginning of summer, and although I've known this song since I was a little kid, I hadn't thought about it in a long time. It's a really great tune, and I'm glad that it re-entered the forefront of my mind.

    Swing Out Sister is an exceptionally unique group. They took the "sophisi-pop" sound that brits like Scritti Politti and Spandau Ballet had been playing for years and gave it a more jazzy twinge. They also have very colorful outfits and crazy, stylish music videos. "Breakout" is the shining star of their first album, It's Better To Travel, but if you did contemporary jazz that uses electronics without becoming smooth jazz, then you'll like the entire album. I don't think American audiences were open at the time to swallowing jazzy pop music, which is probably why Swing Out Sister stuck to their guns in the UK and not here. With modern acts like Norah Jones and Colbie Caillait though, who knows? Maybe they should give it another crack.

    The video for this song is a riot. The way my friend describes it, it's as if two well-dressed mobsters kidnap a seamstress and put her in a fashion show. I think my favorite part about it is the extremely uncomfortable look on singer Corinne Drewery's face when her bandmates shuffle in from either side to help her sing the song's chorus. Priceless!


  • "Johnny & June" by Heidi Newfield
  • This was one of the first tunes that I latched onto when I started working at a country radio station at the beginning of summer. I still think it's a timeless love song that will become a country classic.


  • "That Song In My Head" by Julianne Hough
  • Another song that I know because of country radio, but that doesn't stop it from being a quality pop tune. I remember playing this on the jukebox at Froggy's one night, and all the waitresses were quite shocked that this was my choice, but I think they thought it was cute.


  • "Beard Lust" by Natalie Portman's Shaved Head
  • This is Revolution 91.7's superhit of the summer. This goofy little indie electro band has come up with a catchy tune about facial hair, and you could not ask for anything more perfect for college radio. The lyrics revolve around the singer's lamenting the costliness of maintaining quality facial hair, an issue which never occurred to me, but I suppose it's true. Who wants to look at a nasty, scraggly beard or a moustache that's unkempt and has food stuck in it?

    These guys will probably never have another superhit, but this one is worth it. They've created a college radio classic, and I hope every college kid drops their Weezer disc and buys this album, even if they just buy it to have this song. The band has earned it.


  • "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry
  • This song should be on everyone's summer 2008 playlist, if they were awake. Every summer has this song. Summer 2007's song was Rihanna's "Umbrella," and this was our song this summer.

    I'm really proud of Katy Perry. I first heard her last October or November, when the station got a copy of her "Ur So Gay" single. I found the title track and its remixes atrocious, but her cover of The Outfield's song "Your Love" was incredible, and I hoped that she'd do more great things like that.

    She did, and now she has a #1 single to her name. In fact, here's a random bit of music trivia: "I Kissed A Girl" is the 1,000th song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. I think that's pretty freaking cool.

    And hey, extra cool points to Katy for bringing some lesbian action to the mainstream.


  • "Downtown" by One 2 Many
  • This is one of the many artists to which I was alerted by my good buddy Nasty G over at The Isle Of Failed Pop Stars. I snagged this album from his blog because it was a later project of one of the members of Norwegian powerhouse a-ha (yes, the "Take On Me" guys). When I heard this song, I was in love.

    "Downtown" combines all the best elements of power pop, pop rock, and a general '80s pop sound, all while remaining very Norwegian. It starts with a bright piano riff, but very quickly builds up and makes you want to slam your foot up and down to the beat. The rest of the album is pretty synth heavy, which is great, but this single was obviously the band's shining moment. It's a shame there wasn't a follow-up album.


  • "All I Need Is A Miracle" by Mike + The Mechanics
  • A few weeks ago I was with some friends in a very southern bar. I was tired of hearing Skynyrd and Soundgarden playing from the jukebox, and for some reason, I had this song caught in my head. After looking through 50 CDs (no exaggeration), I found it. After thirty minutes of other requests, it played, and we all sang along happily.

    I've since tracked down Mike + The Mechanics' first two albums, which are much more heavily into the synth-pop/power pop sound than I would have guessed. In my mind, they were always a lite rock band with a couple of uptempo tunes, but the opposite turned out to be true. It just so happens that a few of their lighter tunes ("Silent Running" and "The Living Years") were released as singles. The albums as a whole are actually quite danceable.

    As an added bonus, the song has a story music video that I'm sure you'll enjoy.


As summer comes to an end, this is always a very important reflection. Now, I turn to you.

What were your traxx for summer 2008? What traxx will you hear in 20 years and remember this summer?