Steal This Song: Kid Infinity, “Snobs and Hammers”

This column has made its stance abundantly clear on the growing desire of today’s youth to be famous for the sake of being famous (ahem, Lolene’s “Rich (Fake It Til You Make It)“). It’s a clear ripple effect of reality television, which has turned several people with no discernible talent – other than a willingness to make a spectacle of themselves in front of the camera – into tabloid fodder, as if any of that was a good thing. (It’s not, by the way.)

Enter LA electronic hip hop white boy duo Kid Infinity, who positively skewer this mindset on their hilarious new song “Snobs and Hammers.” The “singer” (he’s really just talking) spends the first verse as the sympathetic friend to someone who’s been criminally passed over for stardom. (“You deserve success. Goddamnit, why hasn’t anyone noticed yet?”) The second verse is from the POV of the girl herself, seething with envy as a younger, prettier version of herself steals the spotlight that she feels is rightfully hers. Thank God not everyone is buying into this whole fame game nonsense. These guys are permanently in our cool book for this one.

Kid Infinity – Snobs and Hammers

  

Steal This Song: Nitzer Ebb, “Promises”

This is one of those moments where we cannot help but think that everything is connected. Earlier this year we got our hands on Selected, a compilation of songs from onetime Depeche Mode sonic architect Alan Wilder’s new band Recoil, and on it is a little tune called “Faith Healer,” featuring vocals from Nitzer Ebb’s Douglas McCarthy. It’s a great tune, and McCarthy turns in a rather impressive vocal performance for a guy who’s spent most of his career yelling. Even better, the release of this album allowed us to score an interview with Wilder (huge, huge thrill), where Wilder delivered perhaps the funniest, most understated comment about Nitzer Ebb that one could possibly dream up: “I guess Nitzer Ebb are lacking a lot of melodic content, you could say.”

Even stranger, when we spoke with Fratellis lead singer Jon Fratelli earlier in the year and asked him who he considered to be the most unheralded artist from his native Scotland, he nominated the Sensational Alex Harvey Band…the guy who wrote “Faith Healer.” Like we said, everything’s connected.

Nitzer_Ebb_01

Anyway, Wilder mentioned that he had recently remixed a Nitzer Ebb track – one with melodic content, we’re assuming – and it hadn’t even occurred to us that the band hadn’t made a record in 15 years, so him mixing Nitzer Ebb was kind of a big deal. The record is now here (Industrial Complex, due out November 9), and the first song, “Promises,” will produce involuntary goosebumps in anyone who trolled the alt-rock clubs when That Total Age was first released. The keyboard track immediately brings “Murderous” to mind but, perhaps remembering how well the “Faith Healer” cover worked, McCarthy opts for actual singing instead of his trademark yelling, and in the process fixes the one thing that ultimately kept us from listening to the band for more than 10 minutes in a row. Oh man, is this a sweet surprise.

Click to download Nitzer Ebb – Promises

  

Me, Myself, and iPod 9/22/10: Wake me up when September ends

esd ipod

Sorry, disappeared for a while there. I took a week off after Lollapalooza – my first week off in two years, I might add – and I still haven’t caught up on email. I know, wah wah wah, you have too much music to listen to. Hey, I’m just sayin’, there are only so many hours in the day. My kids miss their daddy when I hole up in the music cave, and I miss them, too.

Mackintosh Braun – Could It Be
Man, if only the rest of the record could keep up with this song. In theory, I should love Mackintosh Braun. They make ELO-inspired synth pop, which is as close to my wheelhouse as things get. In reality, I merely like Mackintosh Braun. I think it was the processed vocals that did me in. They have ’em on every track. The record overall is good, and I’m betting they can do better next time around, but if you’re going to take one song of theirs with you, this one, for now, is it.

Chatelaine – Broken Bones (Depreciation Guild remix)
Ah, Toni Halliday. She could sing the phone book, and I’d swoon. Her new band, Chatelaine, is a much mellower beast than Curve, but their album Take a Line for a Walk is a keeper. This remix of the leadoff track is a neat mix of both her past and her present. But mostly her present.

Doppelganger – Breaks My Head
I’m a sucker for those slow-building songs with only a handful of chords. This is one of those songs.

  

Steal This Song: School of Seven Bells, “I L U”

I’ve been waiting for months to share this song with you. And if I actually read all of my email the day that I receive it – which is frankly impossible if I plan on getting anything else done – this post would have gone up a week ago. My bad.

From the moment I received the review copy of Disconnect from Desire, the fab new record from School of Seven Bells, I’ve been hounding my label contact about one song in particular: “I L U,” a pitch-perfect mid-tempo breakup song that will make Kevin Shields actually get My Bloody Valentine back together just so they can outdo it (though I doubt they actually could). I sent this song to a fellow UK alt rock-loving friend, and she said, “Wow. I’m 18 again.” Translation: extremely high praise. The vocal is one of those simple, ‘how did no one think of this before?’ kinds of things that many, many other bands could take an example from.

Tired of hearing me pimp the song? Fair enough. Go download it, and tell your friends.

School of Seven Bells – I L U

If you want to download a remix of the song, which will hit iTunes September 14 as part of the Heart Is Strange remix EP, you can get one if you’re willing to give up your email address. Go here to check ch-check check check, check it out.

  

Me, Myself, and iPod 8/11/10: Column

esd ipod

Pulling a Public Image Ltd. with the title this week, and here’s why: the week after Lollapalooza is death. Must do full-length recaps, find pictures, etc. Meanwhile, all of the other aspects of the job that I could leave behind in Chicago are waiting impatiently for me (movies, interviews, etc.). So this is going to be an admittedly half-assed column. I don’t even have time for descriptions. But hey, free music is free music, right? All right, here’s your free music.

The Posies – Licenses to Hide

PVT – The Quick Mile

Sebastien Teller – Look

Infantree – Euphemism

Juliette Commagere – Impact

  

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