Free Remix of “90 Days” by Nelson Clemente

South Africa-based Australian pop/dance singer Nelson Clemente has had his song “90 Days (DJ Shpank remix)” chosen by Microsoft Windows 7 as a part of their Playlist 7 program, so congratulations Nelson ūüôā

To celebrate, you can download a FREE copy of this remix right here. ¬† Me, I’ve already bought the “90 Days” EP on iTunes, which includes all of the remixes, such as my favourite the “SoundBaker mix”. But download the remix and you will assist Nelson with getting some studio time! Because Nelson’s a whiz in the studio, he’ll concoct something wonderful with all his hard work in no time. ¬†Follow Nelson on Twitter @thegt !

This is a song that was a long time coming, and it debuted at an impressive #17 on my personal chart, so look for it to make a good leap forward with the new chart coming this weekend!

Stay Tuned… Till Later in the week

Sorry if this blog has seemed to go quiet within the last week. ¬†There is a lot currently going on in my life and it’s difficult to write about something that you love when things are not going well. ¬†I’ve heard some great music by people like Annie, The Editors, Jason Derulo, and it’s weird how something like a Timbaland/Miley Cyrus combination is one of the best tracks on Shock Value II. ¬†My ears are still all on songs by Simon Curtis, Lady GaGa, and Mika… they give me much-needed energy. ¬†And my real job – which I don’t really talk about here – will be going more than full-tilt in February.

So as they say in radio… stay tuned for more ūüôā

Tuned-On! Top 30 #318 – January 18/10

January is usually a quite month for music, basically a time to play catch-up on stuff that I’ve heard during the last six weeks while keeping up with newer songs as well.

The release date for Simon Curtis’ ‘mixtape’ 8Bit Heart is getting closer and believe me Simon has some interesting songs in store for you. ¬†For now it will have to suffice that “Delusional” (available for a free download right here) maintains its grip on #1 for a third consecutive pair of weeks. ¬†It’s hard to get this song out of my head with its very happy home on my iTouch but a new challenger has arisen these past few weeks.

With the gift of Mika’s The Boy Who Knew Too Much over the holidays, I blogged this week about the massive appeal of “Rain”, which debuted two weeks ago on the chart. ¬†It outdoes previous singles “We Are Golden” and “Blame It On The Girls” (still at #5!) by bounding right into the Top 5, moving 19-3 as the Fastest Riser on the chart. ¬†It will be a close call in two weeks for the top spot!

All of this activity leaves Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” stranded at #4, and has stalled the movement of “Halfway Gone” by Lifehouse, “Black & Blue” by Miike Snow, and Mitchell Hunter’s “Someone Else’s”. ¬†Pet Shop Boys however make really good on their redux of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” as that song in a medley with a few lines from PSB’s “Domino Dancing” lands at #8. ¬†Michael Buble’s dramatic cover of “Cry Me A River” ascends into the Top 10.

The biggest moves outside of the Top 10 come from two of last week’s debuts. ¬†The Crystal Method’s track with Metric’s Emily Haines, “Come Back Clean” climbs 27-19 to match the peak of 1998’s “Comin’ Back”. ¬†And I am one of many fans of The Fame Monster going GaGa for “Speechless”. ¬†That song is quite a change of pace for her away from the upbeat territory of “Bad Romance” and “Just Dance”, so we’ll see if it gets promoted to pop radio. ¬†Nonetheless, “Speechless” climbs 21-13.

The four new entries on the chart belong to Nelson Clemente’s “90 Days”, internationally known Canadian dance/rock band Dragonette with “Pick Up The Phone”, the title track from John Mayer’s “Heartbreak Warfare”, and more GaGa, this time with “Teeth” – try to check out the King Skat remix if you can.

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

Mika “Rain”

The hits from Mika’s CD The Boy Who Knew Too Much just keep-a-comin’!

I know for most listeners, Mika’s first CD, the award-winning Life In Cartoon Motion, set a benchmark with the UK #1 “Grace Kelly”. ¬†But other than “Relax (Take It Easy)”, the songs from that CD to me pale in comparison to those on the new one.

Mika’s voice is at his best, the melodies soar, and the variety within the songs – from theatrical to anthemic – is extremely effective and infectious. ¬†And with its contagious falsetto chorus, “Rain” may be the best of his new songs yet – pour it on!!

Nelson Clemente “90 Days”

I think I first heard Australian singer Nelson Clemente (now based in South Africa!) when I was first discovering MySpace a few years back. ¬†I remember exploring someone’s list of friends, checking out those who were making music. ¬†At the time Nelson was working on his first EP 6th Perception, which was released in 2008 featuring the sensitive and danceable ode “You Me Us We”, the reflective “It’s All My Fault”, and the song that made my year end Best list two years ¬†in a row (the original in 2008 and the Spekr Freks remix in 2009), the mysterious and compelling “You Want Me Don’t You”.

Nelson is back to kick off the new decade with a similarly mysterious, melodic, and attractively sung new song called “90 Days”. ¬†I love pop music that makes you think, through a story however vague it might be, accompanied by a strong voice and great melody. ¬†That it’s now available on iTunes and Amazon is a bonus – and we get remixes right away! ¬†I like the Sound Baker mix best; it seems to have carefully captured the essence of the original while making it clubworthy. ¬†The other two mixes (the Electro Freak mix and Shpank’s Summer Anthem Radio Edit) are also quite good.

With the talk of summer in the lyrics and it having a Summer Anthem edit, for those of us in the West you just have to remember that it’s Summer in the East. ¬†“90 Days” will help get the rest of us to warmer months indeed! ¬†A You Tube link is below… you can catch up with Nelson at his My Space site as well.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #317 – Jan 4/10

We return now to our usual blogging, after all of the Best of 2009 and Decade lists, to find that Simon Curtis’ “Delusional” continues to have a tight grip on my bi-weekly list of favourites. ¬†It’s one of five songs available on my chart for free download, and you can download “Delusional” right here.

I was given bothMika’s “The Boy Who Knew Too Much” and Lady GaGa’s “The Fame Monster” as gifts during the holidays, and they are both truly splendid records. So while both artists have songs in my Top 5, they both also debut with outstanding tracks that could bound closer to the top of the chart in a few weeks. Mika’s glorious “Rain” debuts at #19 while GaGa’s sensational “Speechless” bows at #21.

Fast risers on the chart include Pet Shop Boys’ “Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing” moving up the most, followed by great songs by Miike Snow, Michael Buble, Timbaland and Friends, and Joshua Radin.

Also new to the chart we find British theatre singer with a rocked up version of the song she sang on Broadway and in London. Kerry Ellis’ “Defying Gravity”, from “Wicked” and produced by Queen’s Brian May arrives at #25, while The Crystal Method indeed come back after an over 11 year absence from my chart. Having Metric singer Emily Haines in tow for “Come Back Clean (Kaskade radio edit)” is a huge plus – her own effort “Doctor Blind” was one of my favourites of the last decade and was on this chart exactly 3 years ago, where it eventually rose to the summit. The Crystal Method’s last song to appear was “Comin’ Back” (featuring vocalist Kirsty Thirsk) (peak #19).

You can view the full chart at the link on the right side bar under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** or right here. I’d appreciate any comments you have to share! ūüôā

10 Performers to Watch in 2010!

There may be other performers about to breakthrough in 2010, but these are 10 that caught my ear and attention in 2009.¬† With the right support behind them and the fanbases to get them through, I can see all of these performers being better known by the end of 2010! ¬†They’re listed alphabetically.

DAN BLACK resident music mad scientist

After teasing us with a home mix unauthorized Notorious B.I.G. and Rihanna samples in 2008 on “HYPNTZ”, Dan Black’s musical scientifics found their way onto a debut CD in mid-2009 called UN. ¬†This Englishman based in Paris (hence the title of the CD, the French word for ‘one’) creates breathtaking melodies wrapped in many studio tricks, which he then surrounds with intelligent, playful words and emotions. ¬†“HYPNTZ” begat the lush “Symphonies” which caught online attention, as well as subsequent European singles “Alone” and “Yours”, which all feature creative and interesting videos. ¬†Dan came across the pond to NYC for a showcase in the Fall, and just as the year ends we saw UN released in North America with “Symphonies” as the free single of the week on iTunes USA. ¬†Club dates will follow in 2010. ¬†Justin Timberlake and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic have both tweeted about him, so I’m sure that in 2010 the world will find out that Dan Black is the real deal.

CHARLIE BROWN sensitive rapper or edgy soul singer?

There was quite an online to-do about UK ¬†soul singer and rapper Charlie Brown during the summer. ¬†He was featured vocalist in one of those shoulda-been-a-hits called “The Rain” by Bless Beats and Wiley with the kind of vocal that makes a song really shine. ¬†Then he released a free mixtape through his MySpace site that showed the edgy vibe that was only hinted at in “The Rain” – a particular standout is “Don’t Make Me Over”. ¬†Charlie Brown is definitely well worth the chat – I’d like to see him catch on with international artists in a similar way to fellow countryman Jay Sean (but I’ll skip the duets with Lil’ Wayne and Sean Paul).

AGNES CARLSSON the new voice of Sweden

Agnes has been a star in her native Sweden these last few years, after triumphing on their own edition of American Idol. ¬†In late 2008, Agnes released the CD Dance Love Pop, full of well sung pop trifles and dance ditties to tweak your ears and feet. ¬†One of those ditties, Release Me, was a domestic success and attracted international ears, first starting in the U.K., where it was released, reaching #3 on the pop charts. ¬†Then it spread to North America, where DJ’s and clubgoers grabbed it and sent it to #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart. ¬†Oft compared to Leona Lewis, and deservedly so, Agnes Carlsson proves that the right voice matched with the right song will create a launching pad for success, something that should grow for her internationally in 2010.

SIMON CURTIS a new breed of pop male vocalist

Though I had heard of Simon Curtis through a song or two that was featured in the Nickelodeon movie Spectacular! early in 2009, I did not find out what was up this Tulsa-raised multi-talent’s sleeve until later this year.¬† In fact, I caught on to all happenings Simon Curtis via Twitter just as his followers numbered over 6,000.¬† As his followers grew, he began to release new songs online for free, to preview the upcoming free¬†‘pop mixtape’ that he’s been working on called 8Bit Heart.¬† First up was “Delusional”, a complexly produced song about heeding (unwanted) advice that features crafty, soaring vocals (hello Darren Hayes high notes!) and 0ther moments of music magic.¬† In a different world, this song would be all over pop radio, but these days enough exposure online will grab new fans eager for great songs like this.¬† Next up was “Diablo”, a bit of entertaining but hyperkinetic vitriol at romance gone waaay wrong¬†that you might not expect from Simon – it successfully flips Britney Spears‚Äô ‚ÄúWomanizer‚ÄĚ upside its head, and also makes a statement for the kinds of songs not being produced by young male pop singers of today.¬† So now we have 8Bit Heart to watch for in 2010.¬† Aside from the songs, I’m looking forward to whatever Simon offers next!

THE MIDWAY STATE no holes in their plans

These aren’t just any four nice guys from the Toronto area looking for domestic success. ¬†They’re a talented bunch, led by singer/songwriter Nathan Ferraro, who toured the hell out of their debut album Holes back and forth across Canada and back again in 2009 and managed to score not only two Juno Award nominations, but also a duet with (of all people) Lady GaGa on a cover of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s “Don’t Give Up”!! ¬†It all started with an unassuming song called “Never Again”, which took its time in late 2008 to catch on. ¬†But it’s that song’s raw edges and extremely catchy chorus that grabbed me, enough to send me to two of their concerts. ¬†Then came a domestic Top 20 success with “Change For You”, which was later remixed into a duet with Carly Rae Jepsen. ¬†And after Michael Jackson passed way, they posted a free download of their sensitive cover of “Man in the Mirror”. ¬†Like with Canadian rockers Marianas Trench, The Midway State has more to them than meets the eyes and ears, giving them enormous potential for an international breakout.

MIIKE SNOW their lucky rabbit’s foot

Towards the end of 2009, Miike Snow are becoming less of a mystery to me. ¬†They’re a trio featuring Swedish DJ/producers extraordinaire Grammy winners Bloodshy & Avant (aka Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg) of Britney Spears (“Toxic”) and Madonna fame, and New York vocalist Andrew Wyatt. ¬†It’s definitely an eclectic mix but I found remixes of “Animal” very playful with the year closing with a potentially massive club hit with “Black and Blue”. ¬†The trio toured internationally throughout 2009 to extensive critical raves, which undoubtedly will continue in 2010.

RYAN STAR how to breathe right now 4 other people

After some limited success after appearing on RockStar:Supernova a few years back and releasing a CD with a band called Stage, New Yorker Ryan Star has led the indie journeyman rock star life. ¬†With the advent of MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, Ryan has got the message out to fans interested in his earnest, hard-working style and vocally and lyrically powerful songs. ¬† “Last Train Home”, featured in the film PS I Love ¬†you, first caught my attention in 2008, leaving me begging for more. ¬† Then I learned that Ryan had a CD called 11:59 in the works, and from those sessions in early 2009 came “Right Now”, which I initially thought was just so much of a rock-oriented cheerleading song… until the sentiment underneath grew on me. ¬†Now I see that song as a major source of positive encouragement and reinforcement. ¬†Later in the year Ryan released “Breathe”, accompanied by a video of actual people looking for work in the downturn of the U.S. economy. ¬†Through hashes on Twitter and rapid word-of-mouth, this song and all that’s positive about it reached many ears and may have actually helped some of the people in the video get jobs. ¬†So Ryan Star is U.S. Rock Star and Everyday Good Samaritan – a great combination well worth watching in the coming year!

EVAN TAUBENFELD welcome to his takeover

You may know him best right know as the blond-haired Baltimore-bred guitarist and songwriter from Avril Lavigne’s band in its “Complicated” days, but for the past few years, Evan’s had nothing better in mind than conquering the world one fan at a time.¬† He’s about to release the CD Welcome to the Black List Club through Warner Brothers, and gave us a few tastes of that CD in 2009.¬† “Boy Meets Girl” took a witty pop culture approach about meeting members of the opposite sex, while “Cheater of the Year” (my favourite song of Evan’s thus far) made no bones about calling out a previous object of desire.¬† And at year’s end, Evan shot and scored with the festive season by offering up “Merry Swiftmas” right at the time Taylor Swift is at her most popular, suddenly making her a more-than-welcome¬†gift under young men’s Christmas trees!¬† Evan makes sure there’s always something going on via his website, MySpace site, or on Twitter to draw in even the most casual music listener.¬† He also endears himself to his live concert audience, as I discovered in Toronto in September – small crowd, lots of energy on stage, and plenty of opportunities to connect one¬†to one with his audience members.¬† Be sure to check out Welcome¬†to the Black List Club and a live Evan show in 2010!

SAM TAYLOR torch singer for a new generation

One of many beautiful voices out of the UK, Sam Taylor came to my attention while checking out the mostly kitschy soundtrack to the UK television series Beautiful People.¬† Amid the retro pop dance tunes came two gorgeous ballads with the BBC Orchestra, “Sometimes I Need You” and especially “Run Away”.¬† The latter song is my favourite of 2009 and one of the best of the decade, a largely unheard torch song for a new generation.¬† Sam’s voice will charm even the most casual listener of any age.¬† He’s got a London stage background to send him through, a penchant for taking risks (a smouldering version of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” from “Jesus Christ Superstar”), and a connection with online bloggers who have showcased him at small select club dates in London and New York City in 2009.¬† But as of yet… no album, and I believe, no record contract.¬† His MySpace site is only teasing us with a couple of other new and unreleased songs (like “Talk Me Down”, which quickly appeared and disappeared, and left me wanting more!).¬† He may not need that contract – once the online world gets to know Sam Taylor, his music will be everywhere and so will he to support it.¬† I’m sure Sam’s records will be on many Christmas lists a year from now!!

MANS ZELMERLOW our new mister charisma

2009 was a great year for male vocalists on the rise. ¬†And though they didn’t keep the same pace as the female singers way out in front, they certainly held their own. ¬†And though we haven’t yet seen Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow break out much beyond the domestic success he’s had during the past few years – in fact similar to that of Agnes Carlsson, and they have recorded together – his star-making performance in the Swedish music contest Melodifestivalen singing “Hope and Glory” attracted many online music listeners. ¬†While the song itself is lyrically kitschy, Mans’ performance was absolutely stunning, full of charm and personality that doesn’t exude from many performers these days. ¬†His CD MZW was released in the Spring, when it became a #1 album in Sweden. ¬†MZW is an above average showcase of ballads and uptempo pop songs, but you can hear Mans’ personality the most in “Rewind”, a throwback to summer months that you would swear has been recorded by a laid back guy from the L.A. beaches instead of a Nordic country. ¬†If Mans Zelmerlow’s songs can be marketed successfully outside of Sweden, he will join the likes of Agnes Carlsson and Robyn as one of the few untapped talents to reach international audiences in the next few years.

Tuned-On! Top 300 of the 2000’s – FINAL (#50-1)

Here it is, the final 50 of the complete list of 300 songs, a list that I fussed over for the last few months.  I may have been a little generous overall with songs from the last year, but time will only tell, since 2009 was to me a great year for new music.  I think the best way to introduce this list is with some of my favourite lyrics.

I won’t worry my life away…

I’d go extra miles to show that you are the one thing that I’ve got…

Gimme gimme symphonies, gimme more than the life I see…

I know that after tonight you don’t have to talk about the stars no no…

If I have understood correctly velocity equals the distance traveled, divided by time…

Step into the light, this dog doesn’t bite, oh, just want to be your friend…

Simply being loved… is more than enough, yeah yeah…

I’m living for the only thing I know, I’m running and not sure quite where to go…

My baby’s got the lonesome lows, don’t quite go away overnight…

Feathered hair and lame heels, what turns me on is so surreal…

And I’m only makin’ it worse when I let her go, then I come on back every time I leave…

And I won’t call you baby anymore, won’t call you baby like I did before…

I’m miles from where you are, I lay down on the cold ground, I pray that something picks me up…

You know in 1987 I was dancin’ in a discotheque, and people were coming up to me and sayin’ “What is this shit??”…

The full updated list is available right here ‚Äď please leave your comments and observations!! ¬†Onward to the new decade… ūüôā