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Tracks From Another Planet: November

December 1, 2006

Tracks From Another Planet: November

Digging myself out from a late November snowfall, I’ve got plenty of highlights from my #1 Hits From Another Planet home for you all this month. It’s been another great month for “unconventional conventional” pop and rock music and has (as always) given me hope that music hasn’t completely been obliterated by what I hear on the radio.

Speaking of… I’ve decided to stop scanning the Billboard charts with the hope that something interesting will pop up. This week (the last week of November), seven of the top ten singles are urban/hip-hop retread, while Hinder (return-of-rock-and-roll-my-ass) and the Fray/Snow Patrol with their Grey’s Anatomy sponsored singles round out this country’s choice (though that word is not altogether accurate in these Clear Channel times) top ten.

Am I the only one depressed by this? I can’t be. And, I hope I’m not.

Thank God for the internet. I now discover and buy the vast majority of my music over the web, assisted by countless bloggers and music fans like myself; people who know that there’s more out there than what we’re being fed. I urge you all, even if you only have a fleeting interest in music, to not only go out and discover the tunes that you love, but to share them with everyone you know. Really, it’s time for a music revolution here.

Tracks to check out:

(all can be sampled on #1 Hits From Another Planet)

Ella Rouge – “Eldorado High”

Ella Rouge are a new band from Sweden who seem to love the seventies. This is, of course, wonderful… as their music is carved from similar territory as England’s The Feeling. Lead singer Ludvig Andersson is the son of Abba’s Benny Anderson, but don’t expect the music to sound the same (though that definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing). “Eldorado High” (though strongly mimicking Robbie Williams’ “Jesus in a Camper Van” in the verses) is pure rock and roll nostalgia. With a soaring chorus and catchy piano refrain, it will linger with you for a long time.

Tally Hall – “Good Day”

“Good Day” is one of the most alive tracks I’ve heard in a long time. It would fit in no problem on Queen’s Night At The Opera. That’ll pretty much tell you all you need to know. Freddie Mercury would be proud, especially at the 2:20 mark, where the song completely changes in one of many stylistic shifts. At some times the singing actually sounds eerily like Mercury. Most importantly, it’s not like nothing else out there today, yet it’s a sound that I think a lot of bands are currently striving for. Insanely catchy and continually inventive…who knew music this good was still coming from the States?

Loto – “Cuckoo Plan” (ft. Peter Hook)

Loto come from Portugal and play a delicious blend of pop, rock and electro. “Cuckoo Plan” is the first single from their new album and features Peter Hook of New Order/Joy Division fame. The song itself sounds a lot like New Order, with a great beat and hook. Even more exciting, I hear their new album also features a track with guitar work by Scissor Sisters’ own Del Marquis! Any friend of Scissor Sisters is definitely a friend of mine. Plus, how many pop songs come out with “Cuckoo Plan” as the title? Not many, I’d guess.

Revl9n – “Walking Machine”

From only one look at Revl9n’s promo picture I knew I would love them. Despite occupying the all-but-dead electroclash genre, Revl9n bring fantastic pop smarts and a whole lot of attitude, which sets them easily apart from their peers. “Walking Machine” is an absolutely addictive confection. I’ve had it on repeat for a while now and I like it better with each listen. Couple an extremely catchy melody with a computer blip landscape that kind of sounds like Deep Forest on crack and you’ve got a major hit. If you like electropop groups like The Knife and Mylo (but with much more of a pop melody), I would especially recommend this group.

Nick James

Jamesn65@gmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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