Me, Myself, and iPod 6/30/10: Katy Perry’s giant breasts finally put to good use

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With the long weekend ahead, we have an extra-long list of songs for you to play at your next party/intervention/funeral. Mostly party. And we start by shamelessly using the success of the biggest phony in pop music in order to drive some extra traffic to the site. Given the way she’s made us suffer, she owes us this, at the very least.

Katy Perry – California Gurls (Hyper Crush Remix)
I was willing to give Ms. Everybody Look at Me Why Isn’t Everyone Looking at Me Come On I Have Big Tits Please For God’s Sake Look at Me the benefit of the doubt when EW claimed this was the song of the summer, but I’m sorry, I’m still not convinced. She bends over backwards to be lyrically controversial because she knows that if she doesn’t, everyone will realize how utterly ordinary her songs really are. This one is no exception. Um, I mean, come on and download this killer remix of the summer’s best song by Hype Machine regulars Hyper Crush! Katy RULZ! \nn/

Ugh, that hurt.

The Henry Clay People – Your Famous Friends
It’s like Wilco, back when they used to have fun. Actually, I’m not sure Wilco ever made a record this fun.

Apples in Stereo – Hey Elevator
I’m loving the ELO renaissance that’s sprouting among the indie poppers. First this, and the Silver Seas give them a nice name check (with matching string riff) in their song “What’s the Drawback.” Any fan of Jeff Lynne should check out the Apples’ new one, Travellers in Space and Time. ‘sGood.

Violens – Acid Reign
This is a tune I’ve wanted to share for a while, but only recently got the green light to do so. This is right in my alt-rock-dance wheelhouse, with a driving rhythm section and vaguely Manchester-ish sound. There’s a bit too much swearing (nothing will turn you into a prude faster than having children), but it’s a damn good track. Looking forward to the full-length album Amoral, due in October.

Trances Arc – Boom City
You mean there are white people in Atlanta making music, too? Can’t say I’m crazy about their band name, but I like the Airborne Toxic Event-style slow build-and-explode that the song possesses, and minus the melodrama, to boot.

Steel Train – Bullets
Gotta say, this band is carving out quite a unique niche for themselves. Scarlett Johannson has covered them. They have an undeniable reach-for-the-rafters grandeur to them. And then sometimes, they want to be MGMT. Not on this song (that would be “Turnpike Ghost”), but still, for a band with such an unrevealing name, they’re quite versatile.

Jukebox the Ghost – Empire
Good to see this band back after their impressive debut a couple years ago. This song, from their upcoming album Everything Under the Sun, is a bit more mannered than their debut, but it’s no less catchy. Think Ben Folds, back when he allowed himself to have fun.

Halsted – Walking Shoes
Their name matches a Chicago street I used to live near, so I was predetermined to like these guys before I heard them. But then when I discovered that they play smoothed out guitar pop, well, that’s when they had me.

Isaac Russell – Lighthouse
The love child of Jakob Dylan and Jason Mraz? Sure, that’ll work.

Carl Broemel – Heaven Knows
Taking time from his day job in My Morning Jacket to do a solo record, Broemel gets downright rootsy, at least on this song. Haven’t heard the rest to know if it’s like this or MMJ.


Me, Myself, and iPod 5/12/10: The world’s worst action hero gets a theme song

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Vicki St. Elmo – Champion
Between this and last week’s song from the Protomen, it’s clear I have a weakness for songs that sound like they should be from a lost ’80s soundtrack. Of course, that’s the point with this one, as Vicki St. Elmo is the character Kristen Wiig plays in the MacGruber skits on “Saturday Night Live,” and the most unlikely skit yet to be transformed into a motion picture. But don’t laugh: we have it on high authority – my fellow movie critic colleague Jason Zingale – that the movie is absolutely better than you think it is.

The Golden Filter – Hide Me
Synth pop is hard. Everyone thinks that they can grab a couple keyboards and a drum machine and that’s good enough to be considered a synth pop band. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Since there are natural limitations to what you can accomplish, you have to make sure everything works, from the melodies to the arrangement to the vocals. Especially the vocals. Nobody likes a snotty synth pop singer; it suggests contempt for the material. This New York duo seems to get it. I haven’t absorbed the album that this song comes from yet, but it reminded me of Hooverphonic, which in this writer’s mind is a very good thing.

Imogen Heap – Say Goodnight and Go (Back Ted N Ted Remix)
I’m actually posting this to highlight the remixer more than the artist he’s mixing. Back Ted N Ted has a solo album coming out later this summer, and if the bits on his MySpace page are any indication, it’s going to be a doozy.

Steel Train – You and I Undercover
So heartfelt, so achingly sincere. Yes, we’ve heard this song many times before, but I like seeing bands reach for the rafters. Kind of like Fountains of Wayne going for Coldplay-type grandeur.

Toro y Moi – Blessa
Blissed-out bedroom pop. Fans of Dri and her song “You Know I Tried,” take note.

Outrageous Cherry – Fell
You’d expect something, well, outrageously sounding from a band called Outrageous Cherry, but this song in fact reminds me of another band with fruit in its name: the Lemon Pipers. Let me guess: everyone under the age of 30 who just read that last sentence said, “Huh?” Psssst: Google ‘green tambourine,’ and see what happens.

Places & Numbers – Waking the Dead
Solo project from Bobby Darling, previously of Gatsbys American Dream. I bet he and the Republic Tigers would get along great.