Everything But the Girl, back, but apart

18 02 2010

Though still happily partnered with kids, Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl haven’t put out and EBTG record since 1999’s sublime Tempermental. Ben’s been busy being a DJ, club-owner, and record label mogul with his Buzzin’ Fly franchise. And Tracey’s been raising the kids for the most part with the exception of her solo album, Out of the Woods in ’07. With 25 years between that album and her first, pre-EBTG, solo album and a decade since their last collaboration, who thought she’d crank out another CD so soon. But recently, she announced her next album, Love and It’s Opposite, would be out soon.
Just yesterday, she was kind enough to make the first single, “Oh the Divorces”, a gorgeous, stripped down ballad lamenting all her favorite couples breaking up, FREE for download on her site. A heart wrenching and sadly true tune, you can tell Tracey’s really feeling this one hard.

And then, out of the blue, I see Ben’s set to release a new track as well with Julia Biel called “Bright Star.” Predictably housey but surprisingly rather Bjorky, Bright Star sounds like it belongs on an updated version of Bjork’s Debut.  Listen to the new track HERE as part of one of his DJ set radio shows.

But my question is, if Tracey’s writing and recording, and Ben’s writing and recording, why on earth can’t these two just do an EBTG CD together. Seems odd. But now we get double the material, so I shouldn’t complain.

Ben’s single comes out next week in the UK, while Tracey’s album comes out May 18th her in the US on Merge, for whom Tracey just contributed a track to the Merge anniversary album, Score!, with Jens Lekman.


The Vault: Bliss and The Cure

3 11 2009

I know we threatened to make The Vault a regular post, but quite frankly got a bit lazy, focusing on the podcast (hope you’re all enjoying it!). And quite frankly this one had me confused as to how to go about posting it:


As that crappy Dove Chocolate commercial announces, its Bliss. Bliss. The band. How do we explain them. Well, for one, they’re damned hard to research. As we’ve talked about in 2 successive podcasts, picking a good name that is easily “Googleable” is key. Bliss. No. Upon searching the world wide interweb, you come up with the following:

  1. Bliss, a Scandinavian chillout 3 pc. very similar to Zero 7 complete with vocals by Sophie (I’m no Sia) Barker. Put out a great CD a few years ago called Quiet Letters.
  2. Bliss, a horrible female rapper from the US
  3. Bliss, a more horrible white male rapper, also US
  4. Bliss, the mexian pop band
  5. Bliss, the Canadian all male 4 pc. from the 90’s
  6. Bliss, the generic 90’s new age outfit

rachel_morrison1And finally the band I was hot for, Bliss, the UK band led by Rachel Morrison. Bliss was only around in force for about 3 years in the late 80’s/early 90’s, riding in on a wave of sophisticated female led acts like Everything But the Girl, Swing Out Sister, Matt Bianco, and Julie Fordham, before Rachel started a family. Not very big in the UK or US, but they did chart in the Germany and New Zealand. I found their German EP, Watching Over Me in the $1 bin at Now Hear This in St Louis in 1991. It was back in the day when I bought CDs based on album cover and this was my type of find. Stark, black and white photo of a sad girl with a B-side of The Cure’s Love Song. Jackpot! Now, I’d like to share this VERY rare gem with you. Don’t think your speakers are disconnected. Its starts of very very quiet, but then really builds. Rachel is a vocal powerhouse. Borderline manly at times a la Cher or Horse. And when she sings I Will Always Love You, you believe it!

Love Song (right click to download)

First Wendy & Lisa, now…

28 09 2009

Ingrid Chavez makes the blog. single-cover-fullNot as well known as Wendy and Lisa, but Ingrid has a similar claim to fame as she was the muse/love interest in Prince’s Purple Rain follow-up, Graffiti Bridge.

See the trailer here if you dare

She first made her mark at the uncredited breathy vocalist on his Lovesexy Read the rest of this entry »

I want muscles! part deux

4 09 2009

dianarossWell after that last post got me tepid and bothered, I got in the mood to take it back a few years. Picture it, 1982 and little not-yet-out 12 year old Marc was deep in the throws of his early love for all things Olivia Newton John and Kenny Rogers. Then I heard a new track by one of my mom’s favorites, Diana Ross. Muscles was a sleek, sexy, yet odd track produced and WRITTEN by Ms. Michael Jackson herself. Now I’m not saying he was gay, but can you really see Kid Rock or Toby Keith plopping down at the piano and working out the lyrics, “I want muscles. All, all over his body. (Make him strong enough)(From his head down to his toes). I want muscles!”? Just saying. But you also can’t see a 12 year old Kid Rock plunking down $6 for Diana Ross’ Silk Electric cassette at JR’s Music in Pekin Mall, right?

Enjoy the most homoerotic/not-erotic video since ONJ’s Physical, actually…

Top Ten Remixes Ever: Marc’s #1 – Missing EBTG 2-fer!

2 09 2009

Missing EBTG SingleAnyone who knows my tastes at all knows not only is Everything But the Girl in my top 3 favorite music acts ever, but Missing is my all time favorite song EVER (followed by When Doves Cry and David Sylvian’s Before the Bullfight). So comes as no surprise that my number 1 would be a remix of this perfect song. What is surprising is that I couldn’t come up with the singular sensational mix of it, so you’re kind of getting a 2fer.

When push comes to shove, I’d have to lean on the best of the original mixes, The Chris & James Full On Mix from their original CD single. To this day, no other mix in my library has such a subtle and teasing build so that by the time you reach the summit you want it SO badly you can’t stand it. And like any good song, every time feels like the first time you heard it. Just a stroke of brilliance.

Missing (Chris & James Full On)

But recently Paul “Dance Troll Dance” Oakenfold reworked Missing completely right down to the studs creating a very Max Martin goes to heaven style of epic song complete with all new backing music repleat with piano, orchestra, live drums and oddly autotune (I know. Grr).

Missing (Oakenfold 2008 Remix)

Top Ten Remixes Ever: Marc’s #4 – I’ll See It Through

26 08 2009

I'll See It Through TexasThere was a real renaissance in remixing and dance earlier in the decade. There was a section of the dance community that reeled back from the throbbing, relentless epics (see my #5) and took a turn toward the chill-out end of things. In my book it all started with the European chill albums put out at the time which lead me into a more laid back French Rivera loungy sound. Kylie’s Light Years was the first one I remember with that lower BPM and jangly guitar sound found on tracks like Please Stay, Love Boat, and Spinning Around. From there i delved into more mid-tempo, sexy songs by the likes of Mooney, Solu, db Boulevard, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Sharam of Deep Dish. But the guy that encapsulated this for me, for a hot second, was Roger Sanchez. His mix of Texas’ I’ll See It Through really feels like you are being made love to on a beach at dusk. Close your eyes. You’ll see.


Not that it feels like sex. No, you’re laying back and letting someone else do all the work. You know what I mean.

This sound, in my opinion, fell apart with no clear hit to spawn other imitators or a more mainstream artist to pick it up (hello, Madonna??!). Roger Sanchez did a few other things similar then got really dull and unfocused. Kylie never did do a good remix of any of her songs and her regular sound got more Goldfrappy. And all the others are lost somewhere on the French Rivera. Oh to be them.

P.S. I’ll write about Texas another time. Brilliant band, bad choices.

This is Sunday Brunch

21 07 2009

Welcome to Dancing About Architecture.

marc  moder and steven eliot burns in chicago

marc moder and steven eliot burns in chicago

The spark behind this blog was our ongoing conversations and shared music history. Since our first photo together (above) was at brunch this past Sunday, it seemed like a natural way to christen this project with some VH-1-style Sunday Brunch. The show was a mix of Basia, Enya, Swing Out Sister, and Read the rest of this entry »