Pop Goes The Summer?: Tuned-On! Top 30 #328 – June 7/10

There’s way too much going on in my life right now… including a ‘magic’ birthday of mine later this week… but Music is ¬†among a select few things that I can count on ūüôā

Penguin Prison’s “The Worse It Gets” hangs on to the #1 spot for a second chart, and despite its melancholy sounding title, it’s a rather chipper song for a long drive… I like to think of driving along the ocean in L.A. ¬†And there’s a great late-70’s-sounding remix by Starsmith that’s perfect for the sunniest of days. ¬†Kelis’ knowing “Acapella” moves up to #3, so we’ll see if she can challenge Mr. Chris Glover for the top. ¬†Clayton Senne’s energetic “Wonderland” has been patient but gets up to #4 – worth the wait!

Simon Curtis had his second live set in Kansas City this time, and while the glorious “8-bit Heart” continues its rise to #6, he also got to perform “Joystick” for the first time (definitely nice to hear more of Simon in the live mix this time too)… video is at the bottom of this blog. ¬†A guy he’s praised, who is also his competition in some ways, is Mike Posner, whose playful “Cooler Than Me” glides ¬†up to #7. ¬†Even though the movie fell short at the box office – and I still want to see it – Mika’s “Kick Ass” climbs to #8. ¬†And a needlessly maligned “Not Myself Tonight” by Christina Aguilera lands in the Top 10 – it’s only her fifth chart appearance in Tuned-On! land, but they’ve all gone Top 10, too.

This week’s fastest riser is a song that’s grown on me immensely during the last few weeks. ¬†Australian trio The Gossip spice up the upcoming summer with “Pop Goes The World”. ¬†I know a lot of people prefer other tracks from Music For Men, but I really like Beth Ditto’s vocals on this one. ¬†The glory of “Unwoken Dream (King With Everything)” by Justin Nozuka looks Top Ten bound, as does journeyman rocker Ryan Star’s “Breathe”, which is becoming a force to be reckoned with almost a year after first appearing in iTunes. ¬†Rod Thomas aka Bright Light Bright Light is performing showcase shows in England in anticipation of his first official release. ¬† In the meantime, enjoy “A New Word To Say”, which is the highest rising of the last chart’s debuts at #18.

This chart’s newbies are a varied lot. ¬†We start with the party-hardy of “It’s Like That”, another track from Evan Taubenfeld’s winning Welcome To The Blacklist Club digital release. ¬†Then we have what could be this summer’s jam. ¬†Yes it’s VERRRRY familiar – almost a knock off of 2006’s “Love Is Gone” mixed with a few other catchy and borrowed hooks – but David Guetta has it together with fave vocalist Chris Willis, as well as Fergie and LMFAO (who also graced one of last year’s big jams, “Shooting Star” by David Rush), and it’s just impossible to resist – witness the video at the bottom of this blog. ¬†Next up, newcomer Travis Garland’s first single is “Believe”. ¬†I heard it before his American Idol appearance and didn’t even see it – just heard about it. ¬†This one has mass appeal and shouldn’t be ignored. ¬†Lastly, Irish band Two Door Cinema Club grow on you with tracks from their CD Tourist History, most notably with “Something Good Can Work”.

Enjoy the full chart using the link to the right under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** or simply click right here.

David Guetta & Chris Willis featuring Fergie & LMFAO “Gettin’ Over You”

Simon Curtis “Joystick” live in Kansas City (June 5)

Random but Interesting: iTouch Shuffle

This random selection helped make a long drive into work bearable on Tuesday morning…

  • Anna Domino “Summer” (1986) from album ‘Anna Domino’
  • Blondie “Call Me” (1980)
  • Roz Bell “Night To End” from album ‘October’
  • Searchers “Love Potion Number Nine” (1965)
  • New Order “Mr. Disco” (1989) from album ‘Technique’
  • Dan Black “Wonder”
  • Raspberries “Go All The Way” (1972)
  • Howard Jones “And Do You Feel Scared (Eric Prydz mix)” (2006) a redux of “Things Can Only Get Better” 20 years later
  • Mika “Blame It On The Girls”
  • Jay-Z/Linkin Park ¬†“Numb/Encore” (2005)
  • Kane Gang “Gun Law” (1984) ¬†see video below from album ‘The Bad & Lowdown World of The Kane Gang’
  • Thunderheist “Jerk It”
  • Alicia Keys featuring Tony Toni Ton√© “Diary” (2004)
  • Alicia Keys “Harlem’s Nocturne” (2004)

The Story Behind Javi’s “Situation”

It’s one of the more unassuming songs of 2010 – suddenly, from out of nowhere, it’s got you by both ears. ¬†That’s “Situation” by New York singer Javi Silva, a pop/dance shaker which I tweeted about as early as last February that’s one of my favourite songs of the year, and has an interesting back story in the singer’s own words:

My producer gave me this disco beat and I just got this image of this smooth operator on the prowl at a club. ¬†The song is his internal monologue. The main mix of the song isn’t even done yet. That [Monsieur] Adi remix got out really early.

The wonders of the BlogVerse and Internet made this happen, and we’re all the luckier for it. ¬†Can’t wait to hear the original as well as other versions of “Situation”, a song that will make remixers very happy indeed.

You can download “Situation (Monsieur Adi remix)” for free right here.

Summer of ’10 Make Up Song: Sam Taylor’s “It’s A Mistake”

Picture those final summer episodes of TV shows with romantic sub-plots when the guy and gal make-up. ¬†Sam Taylor’s “It’s A Mistake” is the potential soundtrack to many of those scenes. ¬†It’s a stunningly simple pop song that suits Sam’s pitch-perfect voice to a tee.

Sam’s one of my 10 Performers to Watch in 2010, based on his 2009 songs “Run Away” and “Sometimes I Need You”. ¬†“It’s A Mistake” just straight up gives me chills. ¬†Don’t underestimate the power of a song this unassuming.

Someone please give us a full, proper Sam Taylor album later in this year (oh, and please include a duet or two?) ūüôā

Listen to “It’s A Mistake”:

Superior Power Pop: Evan Taubenfeld’s “Welcome To The Blacklist Club”

After numerous delays, it was great to see the digital release of LA-based singer/guitarist/songwriter Evan Taubenfeld’s Welcome To The Blacklist Club, which has been in the works for the last several years. ¬†May is the perfect month in which to release a record like this because it has Sunny Days and Warm Beaches stamped all over it.

This release has many pluses to it but for the less casual listener, it may not offer much that is innovative-sounding or groundbreaking in its slightly more than 30 minutes of tunes. ¬†Simply put, it’s superior power pop for the new decade, full of zippy melodies, infectious vocalizing, solid musicianship, and most of all, Evan’s songwriting, which is alternately down-to-earth, witty, or cynical. ¬†The hopeless romantic in you will find favour with tracks like “Story of Me and You”, the new single “Pumpkin Pie”, or “Waiting”. ¬†The cynical rocker in you will like the bite of last year’s initial iTunes single “Cheater of the Year” or “Better Than You”. ¬†And the party hardy will enjoy the fun release of “It’s Like That” and the numerous pop culture references in last year’s first official single “Boy Meets Girl”. ¬†Quirkier yet are “Razorblade Limeade” and “Evan Way”, which features good friend Avril Lavigne (who also co-wrote it).

Many of the songs make you feel you’re not alone in this world with falling in and out of love, and not necessarily being successful at it. ¬†But it also puts aside sentimentality in favour of rocking out and having a great time. ¬†This is where Welcome To The Blacklist Club is at its best – in Evan’s rock’n roll world, everyone is welcome (“It’s Like That” is testament to that – “from California to Iraq”), and you’ll be glad you joined.

Check out songs from Welcome To The Blacklist Club on Evan’s MySpace page. They sound great in concert so be sure to check out Evan’s show when he’s on tour.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #327 – May 24/10

As we get closer to the summer months (and at least with some summer weather where I’m from), all kinds of bright and shiny new music continues to surface. ¬†But first things first: ¬†A new #1!

Penguin Prison’s “The Worse It Gets”, a great song for a spring/summer drive (the last such escapist song about cars recently that comes to mind is Darren Hayes’ “Casey”) in a car called Jenny, steals #1 away from the very busy Simon Curtis who spent 4 charts (8 weeks) atop with “Beat Drop”. ¬†Javi’s gorgeous “Situation” slides up 4-3, while “Acapella” by Kelis (who looks like she will be touring with Robyn) looks like a future #1 as it moves up 12-5.

Our favourite new and Florida-based piano man, Clayton Senne, soars 10-6 with the rollicking “Wonderland”, while long-lasting songs by BT (“Suddenly”) and Vampire Weekend (“Cousins”) continue to rise within the Top 10. ¬†And there he is again – the emotional centrepiece to our Boy Robot’s same titled mixtape, “8-bit Heart”, is the fastest riser on the chart, moving 21-10 for Simon Curtis.

In a competitive mid-chart, songs by Mika, Christina Aguilera, Mike Posner, Fabio Lendrum, and Matt Morris either get stuck or hold for two more weeks until other songs above begin to tumble. ¬†This leaves last week’s remaining debuts by Justin Nozuka, The Gossip, and Ryan Star to all rise 6 positions on the chart and stake their claims!

Back to those debuts. ¬†They comprise a bright and shiny mix of electronica, dance, pop/rap, and power pop. ¬†Bright Light Bright Light is really Welsh singer/songwriter/producer/remixer Rod Thomas, who is getting a lot of attention in the BlogVerse (brought to my attention by Paul at MyFizzyPop) with the 80’s post-new wave vibe of “A New Word To Say”, which debuts at #24 (you can hear the song at the top of the page and can download it from the BrightLightx2 official site when you subscribe to Rod’s newsletter). ¬†Next up, Holland’s Armin Van Buuren never fails to disappoint every few years with an intense brand of emotional electronica that is rarely found elsewhere. ¬†Teaming with vocalist VanVelzen, who has a beautifully imperfect voice with great range, his latest is “Broken Tonight” at #25 (see the video at the bottom of the page). ¬†Just on sheer personality alone, my fellow Canadian Drake’s “Over” has immense appeal and it debuts at #26. ¬†And this past week saw the digital release of Evan Taubenfeld’s Welcome To The Blacklist Club, which opens with his latest single “Pumpkin Pie”, which I blogged about previously and now debuts at #27.

Coming August 3: Ryan Star “11:59”

It was announced on Ryan Star’s website today that his album 11:59 will see a release date of August 3, 2010. ¬†For those of us who have enjoyed “Last Train Home”, “Right Now”, and “Breathe” over the past two years, the long wait is over! ¬†No album track listing yet – I hope all three are on the CD, but I know “Breathe” will be.

Cool ‘n Quirky iTouch Shuffle

On my drive out of town today, one of those cool ‘n quirky mixes of music that you like happens and you don’t end up pushing the skip button. ¬†Great tunes to keep you company always make for a pleasant and fast drive!

Gary Wright “Dream Weaver” (1976)

Remy Shand “The Colour of Day” (2002)

Human League “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” (1983)

The Midway State “Fire Keeps on Burning”

Matt & Kim “Daylight”

Roz Bell “Break of Night”

Adele “My Same”

Electronic “Dark Angel” (1996)

Spoons “Talk Back” (1984)

The The “Perfect” (1983)

Dennis Coffey “Scorpio” (1972)

Mitchell Hunter “They Might Say” (2004)

Darren Hayes “The Future Hold’s A Lion’s Heart”

Jaimie Vernon “(Letter to a) Dear Chum”

Faith Brothers “That’s Just The Way That It Is With Me” (1987)

Any comments or other quirky playlists, please reply with comments/lists! ūüôā

8-bit Hit! – Tuned-On! Top 30 #326 – May 10/10

EDIT: ¬†Just in – A lovely acapella rendition of “8-bit Heart” with video shot by Tyler Shields, who did Simon’s wonderful photos. ¬†This will literally send shivers down your back.

“Beat Drop” live at the Roxy!

This edition of my personal chart of course coincides with the aftermath of Simon Curtis’ debut solo performance at The Roxy in Los Angeles on Thursday May 6. ¬†Our Boy Robot continues to reign the chart with “Beat Drop” (with video from the show up top) along with “Joystick” at #3. ¬†But Simon adds to his chart victory with the title track from his mixtape 8-bit Heart debuting this week at #21. ¬†Despite the high energy performance at the Roxy – and you can see the rest of the show in segments at http://www.simondaily.com – I thought Simon’s performance of ¬†“8-bit Heart” to be particularly effective (it’s at ¬†the bottom of this blog). ¬†Remember folks, this is ONLY the beginning, it’s a showcase performance to show what he can do, and that, by jove, is entertain!! ¬†So let’s see Simon on TV soon – maybe late night shows – so that he can show off his voice and talent, and reach out to a wider audience.

Penguin Prison (aka Chris Glover), like Simon, now has two songs in my Top 5. ¬†“The Worse It Gets” replaces “Something I’m Not” at #2 – and it’s such a great song for a spring or summer drive! ¬†Javi’s engaging Monsieur Adi remix of “Situation” climbs to #4, while Vampire Weekend’s “Cousins” and Florida-based Clayton Senne each climb into the Top 10. ¬†Our 2010 piano man has been playing some smaller towns in Florida and appears on The Daily Buzz on May 28! ¬†Check out his MySpace page.

All of last week’s debut fare well in their sophomore chart. ¬†Kelis’ “Acapella” may just be my new theme song for 2010 as it climbs 21-12. ¬†Mike Posner, like Simon Curtis, started out in mixtape land, and has now signed with J/RCA, who have him touring this summer. ¬†The Gigamesh mix of “Cooler Than Me” jumps 24-16 as the song is about to enter the national Top 40! ¬†“Not Myself Tonight”, one of Christina Aguilera’s more intense dance songs, is right behind at #17. ¬†And the quiet late night dance floor power of Fabio Lendrum’s “Trouble” lands at #20.

Our other debuts this week include a second round from Justin Nozuka’s You I Wind Land And Sea, a lilting and beautiful song called “Unwoken Dream (King With Everything)”, arrives at #24. ¬†There’s also riveting pop/dance from Australia’s The Gossip in the form of “Pop Goes The World”, and lastly a belated debut of Ryan Star’s “Breathe”. ¬†One of my 10 Performers to Watch in 2010, Ryan Star’s ticket looks like it’s arrived with “Breathe” as he continues to tour around the U.S. ¬†Check out his always active website.

Hanson’s back! “Thinkin’ ‘Bout Somethin'”

You never realize how much the world has changed in the 13 years since “MMMBop” was on top of the charts, until you realize that Taylor, Zac and Isaac Hanson are all now in their mid-to-late 20’s and have families.

A few years back, they went the indie route after splitting from Island Def Jam Mercury when it was restructuring and failed to get behind their 2000 release This Time Around – a record that I still enjoy and thought got a real raw deal.

So along came 2004’s Underneath, which did extremely well for an indie, opening in the Top 30 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums and getting a minor hit with “Penny & Me”. ¬†Nothing to rival the smashola of ¬†“MMMBop”, but a fresh start in retrospect.

Six years and two albums later, the boys are releasing Shout It Out, with the good-timey, summery “Thinkin’ ‘Bout Somethin'” as the first single. ¬†While it makes no new inroads, its playful blues/rock jam may catch some new ears this time around. ¬†Hanson still has a dedicated fan base so expect to see them playing somewhere near you before the end of 2010.

Looking for a good time? ¬†Give this one a try, and enjoy the “Blues Brothers” inspired video with a special guest tambourine player.