Thursday, August 31, 2006

Caught On Tape: Ray Parker Jr. - 'Ghostbusters'

The 1984 film, Ghostbusters, is recognized as one of the top box office comedies of the 80s, and its soundtrack features one of the most memorable themesongs of all time. Ask pretty much anyone about Ray Parker Jr.'s song, 'Ghostbusters', and you'll likely get a response of, "Who you gonna call?"

Parker's theme was a big hit on the charts, and his video received attention on the Mtv. But to a large extent, this video has since been forgotten. The music video, like the film itself, was directed by Ivan Reitman (Meatballs, Kindergarten Cop). Reitman's video features a number of celebrity cameos, who pop on screen at critical moments to mouth the name "Ghostbusters." Some of the easily recognizable faces are Chevy Chase and John Candy, but the roster also includes several celebs you never hear about anymore, and probably won't recognize if you were born post-1985.

Most of the set is filmed in darkness, illuminated by neon furniture and appliances. Ray Parker Jr.'s slick dance moves and eccentric facial expressions navigate the viewer through the haunted house as he stalks some poor young woman. I'm particularly fond of the parts where he slides out from under her bed and later chases her down the stairs singing "Yeah yeah yeah yeah!"

Really, some videos should speak for themselves. So, whether you loved the song or hated it, this video is one perfect slice of American pop-culture history.

"During the rectification of the Vuldronaii the Traveler came as a large and moving Torb. Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the Meketrex supplicants they chose a new form for him—that of a giant Sloar! Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day, I can tell you." - Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer

Just some Revelations

Audioslave's newest album comes out next Tuesday, but that doesn't mean you have to wait until then to sample their newest creation.

Below I've included a stream to the title track off of Revelations. So far it's my favorite off the disc, although the entire album is pretty good.

However, you be the judge when the disc is released next week.

Audioslave - 'Revelations'

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Labels to Offer Free Downloads?

Universal Music Group has announced that it will be licensing its digital catalog for free. So what's the catch? Users will have to listen to advertisements as the songs are downloading. I suppose I could live with that.

Read the full story

Ted's Song of the Week - 8/30/06

Sister Soleil

Every once in awhile, there are certain songs that somehow lodge themselves in my brain and make a permanent home there. More often than not, I never catch the name of the track or artist and am forced to suffer through the thought that I may never hear such music again. Therefore, on the occasion that I discover the true identity of the track, I hunt down a copy of it wherever possible. Believe it or not, you can't download everything.

Released in the late 90's, "Red" was a regional hit and found modest airplay on a radio station that my friends and I listened to often. The DJ's hyped up Sister Soleil to be the "next big thing", but this never came to be. This could be because the rest of the album was slightly mediocre. "Red" truly was the diamond in the rough on the album.

Long story short, after "Red" had long since disappeared from radio-play, I was left feeling slightly empty without the song in my collection. I spent almost five years tracking down a means to listen to it again. Of course, I wasn't losing sleep over it, but you know what I mean. I finally managed to find a copy of Soularium on for a reasonable price.

After hyping "Red" up this much, I imagine that one would think this song is one of the all-time greats. I'll have to stop you there, because you will be disapointed. However, the song is enjoyable and will remind many of bands like
Garbage and Republica.

Sister Soleil - Red

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

In Another Meaningless Poll, Sgt Pepper Wins

There are so many music polls floating around, they start to not mean much of anything after awhile. In a latest survey of Britons conducted by BBC Radio 2, the nation's favorite album is The Beatles' Sgt Pepper.

That's not surprising, considering it is an incredible album. However, it did seem like only a few months ago that another group of Britons voted OK Computer as number one, and even a few months before that an even different group voted
Oasis' Be Here Now as a favorite. But I digress.

The rest of the list can be seen

Monday, August 28, 2006

Acronym Song Title Mix

Mars Needs Guitars has a pretty cool selection of songs that utilize acronyms in their titles available for sample here. Check it out when you have the chance.

Beyonce #1 Around the Globe

Beyonce Knowles' number one smash 'Deja Vu' has taken on a whole new meaning as it reaches the top spot in many places around the world. Recently, the first single from B'Day has reached number one in Germany, Hong Kong and Japan, as well as in her home of the United States.

For those who haven't heard the song yet, it can be heard below. It's tasty:

Beyonce - 'Deja Vu'

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Razorlight Shows Affected By Tom Chaplin's Drug Battle

Razorlight has been forced to postpone a few tour dates it had with Keane, due to Keane frontman Tom Chaplin's battle with drugs. Chaplin is now in rehab, meaning that Razorlight will have to reschedule shows planned for New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

(Razorlight and Keane have been touring together).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bloc Party's New Album Heavier Than Last

Crossposted from MTVnews:

If Bloc Party were an actual block party, you might say they were broadening their guest list.

"This time around we've been more open-ended about our ideas, seeing them going in different ways," bassist Gordon Moakes

"It was about being quite conscious about saying, 'OK, we're known for those kinds of songs, but it's not necessary to keep doing them.' " — Bloc Party's Gordon Moakes said of the British dance rockers' second studio album (see "The Bloc Party CD Avalanche Continues — And A New LP Is Slated For '06"). "The first record was songs we'd been playing a certain way for a number of years. With this stuff, we've taken it heavier in places, more electronic in places, just wider-sounding."

Bloc Party have been writing new music since before their debut, Silent Alarm, even hit shelves, so the band entered the studio this summer with no shortage of confidence.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Caught On Tape: Ratt - 'Nobody Rides for Free'

After a lengthy absence, Caught On Tape returns with a vengeance! And to add to the intensity of this return, I have selected an intense video for your viewing pleasure. And when it comes to intense music videos, it doesn't get much better than Ratt's 1991 single, 'Nobody Rides for Free,' from the Point Break soundtrack.

Now, the video itself isn't especially original. Like most soundtrack singles, it features the band performing, and intermixes this with clips from the movie. However, the key difference between this video and all those others is that the movie is POINT BREAK and the band is RATT.

I was first introduced to this high-powered, surfer-cop action flick more than a dozen years ago, and have seen it numerous times in the years since. It's one of those movies that my father would sit and watch anytime he came across it on TV, no matter what point in the movie it was at. That's a statement I can't make about many movies.

Point Break is a tale of a cop who goes undercover as a surfer to catch a group of thrill-seeking bank robbers who dress up like ex-U.S. presidents. Patrick Swayze makes a standout appearance here, and Keanu Reeves fits his role to perfection. Swayze even did some of his own stunts for the movie's skydiving sequences. And as if all this wasn't enough to get your heart thumping, the soundtrack accentuates the excitement. Marking a time right before the decline of hair metal and the rise of grunge, Ratt's contribution to the soundtrack was exactly what any action audience could have asked for: a pumped-up rock anthem. With the high popularity of bands such as Guns n' Roses during this time, Ratt's loud-yet-catchy, 'Nobody Rides for Free' helped the movie stick in our hearts for years to come. Surf's up!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Google Music Trends

Google Labs, the playground of Google engineers, and the breeding ground for the company's new services, has launched a new program. Google Music Trends allows you to see the top songs and artists of the search engine's users. How does it work? From ZDNet:

Where does the data come from? Remember the new feature in Google Talk that lets users display what they are listening to in their status message? The new labs project proudly displays the text: "See what Google Talk users are listening to".

There is also a link that says "Participate in Music Trends" that doesn't have any content yet — but I'm guessing it will take you to a Google Talk download page eventually.

In a nutshell, it sounds like the data is compiled from Google Talk users who choose to share such information. What is the number one song as of this posting? 'Map of the Problematic' by Muse.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Joan Jett and Eagles of Death Metal to Tour

In an unlikely pair-up, it has been announced that Joan Jett and Eagles of Death Metal will be hitting the tour circuit together. Eagles of Death Metal will be opening up for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts beginning October 12 in Philadelphia, and will do so for 19 dates.

Jett and the Blackhearts will be performing in support of their latest release, Sinner, the group's first in 12 years.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Pete and Kate Not Getting Married

Just in case you had to know, the rumors purporting an impending marriage between Kate Moss and Pete Doherty are untrue. Paparazzi have caught pictures of Moss wearing what appears to be an engagement ring, however sources clarify that Kate has been wearing her "own ring." Although the singer of the Libertines/Baby Shambles and the supermodel split at the end of 2005, the two have been spotted together lately, spawning a slew of marriage rumors.

Austin City Limits Festival Announces Lineup

Some incredible bands are slated to perform the weekend of September 15 for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Notables include The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley and Muse.

The full lineup can be found here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ted's Song of the Week - 8/08/06

A Forest
The Cure
Seventeen Seconds

When I was still a fledgling Cure listener, I had received a copy of their greatest hits. While this may be seen as cheating to any die-hard fan, it is the quickest way to discover whether a band is worth further listening. Before this time, I had already dismissed the group as the catalysts of goth-rock, with an occasional fruity radio-friendly single. I was already acquainted with such hits as "Just Like Heaven" and "The Lovecats", but there was a majority of the band's catalogue I still had yet to hear. Fortunately, "A Forest" was the single that changed my perspective on the Cure within a matter of minutes.

For anyone who only knows of the Cure's later hits, I definitely recommend taking a listen to one of the group's early music. It's a haunting track that really highlights the versatility that the group is capable of.

The Cure - A Forest

Monday, August 07, 2006

Watch Cobra Starship's Video

What's better than Snakes on a Plane? The Snakes on a Plane official music video by Cobra Starship. Not only is the tune just as catchy and cheesy as the movie title, but it features soundbites of Samuel L. Jackson going postal as well:

"That's ittt!! I've had it with these muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!"

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Christina Goes Back to Basics

Christina Aguilera has certainly come a long way since her debut in 1999. Back then this genie in a bottle's contemporaries included the likes of Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore, The Backstreet Boys, and *NSync. Now, seven years later, Britney is a stay-at-home mom married to a deadbeat, the Puratanical Jessica Simpson is divorced and struggling to revive a slipping career, Moore stumps for make-up companies, and the boy bands who once ruled the charts have all since disbanded. All were undeniably quite talented, but clearly Christina is the only one left that's for fellow Mickey Mouse Club member Justin Timberlake of course.

Aguilera's new album is entitled Back to Basics, and she ain't lying. The double disc set contains original songs that throw back to the golden age of soul and jazz. Upon a quick listen-over, the focus this time around seems to be less on flashy hooks and more on resonating vocal grooves.

Below lie two tracks from Back to Basics. The first one is the short, but aptly titled 'Intro,' and the other is a personal preference of mine known as 'Slow Down Baby,' a designation that appropriately represents the focused and maturing Aguilera.

Christina Aguilera - 'Intro'

Christina Aguilera - 'Slow Down Baby'

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Boy George Ordered to Sweep the Streets

He'll tumble for ya alright. George O'Dowd, more commonly known as Boy George, has been ordered by a judge to sweep the streets of Manhattan for five days, as punishment for falsely reporting a break-in to his Little Italy flat.

At his sentencing, the 80s pop icon pleaded with the judge by weeping, "Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?"...OK, not really, I made that part up. However, he DID respond with an equally wacky, yet disturbing phrasing of words: "I've always been a scrubber."

You can use your imagination on that one.

Ted's Song of the Week - 8/01/06

Gordon Lightfoot

I'll be the first to admit that I've listened to some terrible music over the span of my lifetime. Of course, these were the times when my parents could only shake their heads and slightly ignore it. They just had to conclude that I was going through phases. "That's not music. They're just making noise," they would comment. This was during my heavy metal phase. "It sounds like they're just talking over a beat," they would say. My rap phase. In a nutshell, my parents hate just about all modern-day rock and pop. Inexplicably, my father actually liked Sister Hazel's "All For You." I still have yet to figure that one out.

As I grow older, I'm beginning to see kind of where my parents were coming from. I still listen to bad music from time to time, but at least I balance it out with the quality kind my parents would approve of. We have since compromised on a number of artists that we can listen to on the occasional roadtrip/vacation. Of course, I've had to reach a bit further for said compromise, but with artists like Gordon Lightfoot in the neutral category, I don't mind so much.

Anyway, "Sundown" is the title track from Lightfoot's 1974 release. The track was a huge success by peaking high on Billboard's contemporary and country charts. Apparently, Lightfoot's then-girlfriend Cathy Smith was the inspiration for this popular single. Smith later became infamous for her involvement with comedian John Belushi's untimely death. Despite that depressing fact, "Sundown" is a great song from one of folk-country's best artists.

Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown