(our 200th post!) Bird Call’s Covers EP Other Creatures

4 08 2011

I’ve been sitting on Bird Call‘s Covers EP, Other Creatures for a month or so now trying to figure out what I think of it. Quirky female vocalists can go both ways with me: LOVE: Kate Bush, Bjork, or Missing Persons; NOT FOND OF: Macy Gray, The Knife or JoAnna Newsom (devil’s spawn).

If you start off with Chiara Angelicola’s (Bird Calls main woman) Doo Right you may get turned off by her vocal aerobatics which lean toward Nina Hagen and Newsome territory distracting you from the music. But if you start off with any other track like her Nick Cave cover Into My Arms or the heartbreaking single Beck’s Lost Cause, you hear past the trickery into genuine emotion. She really makes you forget their covers with her original voice and take on these tracks.

With all her unique qualities, there are surprisingly straightforward moments as well. Her covers of Fleetwood Mac’s cheesytastic later hit Little Lies gleams as bright as the original, and her take on Kate Bush’s The Man With The Child In His Eyes is a loving tribute to a woman she’s obviously listened to a time or two. She uses some of Kate’s same inflections, minus some of the vulnerabilty but much more emotion than Tina Arena’s white bread version from a few years back.  She also keeps Kate’s Piano arrangement while adding the best part, a lovely hammer dulcimer accompaniment which adds a bit more warmth than Kate’s.

Take a listen and let us know who what you think and what original female voices drive you crazy or take you to heaven.

Free download link to this track included: 


Clara May’s Rare Live Show @ Schuba’s

15 07 2011

Tom and Nicole

Big shout out to Fanatic Promotions fantastic new act Clara May as they’ve announced a show at Schuba’s with John Common on 8.8.11. If you’re not familiar with Clara May they’re not a person (think Pink Floyd, Hootie) but the core duo of Tom Silva and Nicole Sotelo. Tom and Nicoles music has a contrast I love, a bright acoustic based pop with almost a nineties college rock edge but their lyric explore dark territories such as genocide, colonialism and cultural identity.  Think American Music Club as done by Low covering Billy Bragg.

Clara May and their label have happily offered up a couple mp3’s to wet your whistle. Enjoy, and see you at Schuba’s on the 8th!


Hush (current single)

Going Global: Three choice cuts

14 06 2011

Passport? Who needs one when you can take a vacay via a few choice listens and downloads!

I bring you tasty cuts from around the globe that you can add to your visited destinations, feel a bit more cultured, in-the-know and jammin’-on-the-one.


The first comes from Iceland and a blast from the past: GusGus. Remember them? 90s heyday of triphop and good grooves that you could ‘believe’ in? Well, the group’s female vocalist HAFDIS HULD is still holding her own with backing tracks with TRICKY on his recent KNOWLE WEST BOY and this amazing little ditty below called ‘ACTION MAN’ from her recent solo release:

If that wasn’t enough, grab a track FREE from this adorable chanteuse of the great white North HERE.

Look for great things to come from this voice in the months ahead and check out more from her WONDERFUL WORLD here.


Now, off to Denmark and the spank-tastic electro duo of MASON.

We told you about their stellar release THEY ARE AMONG US with a special interview we did with the Dutch boys a few weeks back and wouldn’t you know it, they keep on delivering with a HAWT remix of their track featuring Matt Hales – also known as Aqualung – remixed by none other than REX THE DOG.

If that wasn’t enough Pete Tong tipped it as a stand-out track and the single (out July 18) will have additional Dave Seaman, Steve Aoki, Zombie Disco Squad and The Magician (LOVE!)

The DJ team have been working with a load of folk via their label Animal Language and you can nab the remix for LITTLE ANGEL HERE.


Finally, off to France for a track that I melted into courtesy of the folks behind Dailybeatz.com and a single that came out earlier this year from KEREN ANN.

The song was great enough on its own – MY NAME IS TROUBLE – but the tweaked out remix from the genius Walter Sobcek took it to another plane of consciousness. Sobcek has done some stellar remixes of PHOENIX and NIGHTWAVES but this one tears out her desperation and longing and makes it something other-worldy.

Check out that feature (written by yours truly) HERE, grab the remix, down it with some choice barbits and enjoy.

NOW, consider yourself a cross-continent globe-trotter!

— written by d_wall, a lover not a fighter for the world of music

Unexpected Bow From Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy

2 06 2011

Last I heard Peter Murphy, former leader of the legendary Bauhaus, was working on a follow up to 1984’s Dali’s Car collaboration with Japan bassist Mick Karn.  Sadly in January of this year, our beloved Mick passed away from cancer. So I fully expected some tracks or a full length Dali’s Car release when I heard Peter Murphy had something new in the can. To my surprise, Peter Murphy’s new CD, Ninth showed up in the mail today, with zero Dali’s Car action, but lots of action nonetheless.

Murphy’s solo release in seven years, took just a week to record and the urgency shows. Gone are his complex, slow ruminating moods tinged with well thought out electronic flourishes we loved from his nineties output (All Night Long, Cuts You Up) and instead we get a very free and oft times rocking old gent/vampire. Not that we’ve got a full on pop rock album here (though about half of this sounds like a good Ric Ocasek solo album) — on tracks like the very Bush-like Uneven & Brittle and Secret Silk Society he gets back to his Bauhaus dark core, and even tosses in a ballad at the end. But the biggest highlight is the Bauhaus referencing I Spit Roses, written after a long day in the studio recording their final album. On Spit, Murphy finally gives us a worth follow-up to his early solo heyday with layered vocals, anger and passion proving this old goth is still at the peak of his game.

(Dali’s Car’s final EP will be out later in 2011)

Download the new single here for free for a limited time!


Some classics for your reference and pleasure

All My Creepy Ladies!

21 05 2011

Sometimes I feel like we get washed away in musical trends that make no sense and we just can’t wait for it to pass (Dubstep, Autotune abuse), but occasionally the music world gets it right. I’ve been loving the gothic electronic sounds of bands like Salem, Creep, and Esben and the Witch all mixed in a steaming caldron of Siouxsie, Florence + The Machine, Diamanda Gallas, and Recoil creating the perfect storm of sexy and scary. Just the way I like it.

Tara Tati is Metal Mother

Now add a new name to this primal electronic mix, Metal Mother. MM, aka Tara Tati from Oakland, CA has just released her new album Bonfire Diaries and her tribal new video for Shake.

Finally a trend in music where strong women are free to be their freaky selves and not a mold of what the record labels have been asking of women for years. Have to give props to women like Patti Smith, Sinead O’Connor, PJ Harvey, Grace Jones, and even Gaga.  Years of chipping away at the system, we now are see a full blown wave of crazy chicks, and not just dribs and drabs. Now let’s hope this trend lasts longer than Electroclash or Riot Grrrl!

Get 2 of her new tracks for free here

Billy Cruz and Shake



Bridge Between Hard Rock and Dance Destroyed: Skrillex

4 03 2011

Rock and dance have had a rather up and down Cox/Arquette relationship over the years. Rock music basically started out as “dance music” but as lines between black and white music became more distinct with rock becoming more white and dance becoming more ethnic and gay through the 60’s and into the 70’s, there was a very wide line drawn by the disco era. Rock acts like The Rolling Stones, KISS, Blondie,  Queen, and Rod Stewart tried to work in the rock beat to hit records, but failed cred, while disco acts like Donna Summer and The Village People tried rocking it, only  to fail. After that, the cold war was on and disco was dead, leaving the burgeoning dance music of 80’s keyboard bands far from rocking.

In recent years acts like The Killers, Scissor Sisters and Linkin Park have lifted the unwritten ban on crossing dance and rock in a truly quality and finally respectable. So the next step then is for a full on rocker to go full on dance, with no reservations.

Finally Skrillex is going there.  Project/band came out of the mind of guitarist Sonny Moore of the post hardcore (think crappy bands from the Warped Tour) band From First to Last, with screaming frat boy vocals and bravado, its far from anything fun. However his  new EP, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (out now on Big Beat/Atlantic) however is all fun for all. With a mix of straight up Jersey Shore house and British Dubstep, Sonny takes his guitar influence of shredding and grinding and puts them to his mousepad creating a dirty, manipulating seduction of a record. Outside the grind, he even takes it mainstream dance for two delicious vocal tracks, Without You Friends and All I Ask Of You (not from Phantom!).  And you really get your money’s worth on this one – on top of 5 great new tracks, you get remixes by Bare Noize, Zedd and Noisa that never break the mood of this prelude to Skrillex’s long awaited full length CD. Maybe with this musical bridge we will draw a few more of those hot straight boys onto the dance floor.


07 Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites (Noisa Remix)


Read the print version of this weekly column in Chicago’s Nightspots Magazine

The Thinking Man’s Dance Mix: dj bynar

20 11 2010

Devastatingly handsome Greek dj Bynar has been rocking my world for a few years now and I had to share. As one who’s heard hundreds of DJ sets over the years either centered around 4am drug fueled instrumental sets or around trashy pop hits, Bynar is a breath of fresh alt/rock/electronic air. While he does make you want to dance, workout, clean the house (use it as you like), he does it with cutting edge alter electronica and rock. Choosing remixes and originals by some of my favorites like The Killer, Editors, Muse, Crystal Castles, New Order and Ladytron he takes the dance mix to a new and unique, intelligent level.

His newest mix is one of his all time best. You can check it out here totally for free by clicking on one of the links below the tracklisting.  And go browse his site. He’s constantly posting great remixes, covers, and videos that constantly surprise.

If you’re more of an iPod person, you can get his mixes to your i-thingy automatically.

Here’s his current listing. Go to the links for the actual mix.


  1. Hadouken! – Mecha Love (Radio Edit)
  2. Ladytron – Ace of Hz
  3. Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith – Not In Love
  4. Placebo – Bright Lights (Eddie Thoneick Dub Mix)
  5. Muse – Starlight (Benjamin Bates Bootleg Edit)
  6. HURTS – Better Than Love (Italoconnection Remix)
  7. Alphaville – I Die For You Today
  8. Julien-K – Disease
  9. Ashbury Heights – Anti-ordinary
  10. Detachments – Holiday Romance
  11. Alice in Videoland – Take Me With You
  12. Kordan – Mirror
  13. Screaming Lights – GMA
  14. Romance – Killer In the World
  15. Death By Kite – Hiroshima
  16. Ulterior – Sex War Sex Cars Sex
  17. UNI_FORM – Heartbeat
  18. Interpol – Success
  19. A. Human – Pacey Singer
  20. Metropol – My Own Gravity
  21. The Bravery – Ours
  22. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Heart In Your Heartbreak
  23. The Wars – Succubus
  24. Editors – Abel
  25. A Place to Bury Strangers – Suffragette City
  26. Limbogott – Stash (Rob Dust Remix)
  27. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Phil Mac Remix)
  28. Pendulum – Master Of Puppets
  29. The Prodigy – Narayan (Diode Remix)
  30. Unknown Error – Shadows (Spor Remix)
  31. Bynar – Reigning Knights Of No Man’s Land (Muse vs. UNKLE vs. Calvin Harris vs. Orbital vs. David Holmes)