17 of My Favourite Musical and Lyrical Moments of 2010











As a precursor to my annual Best of 2010 list, I’ve borrowed an idea from xolondon’s blog to focus on some of my favourite musical and lyrical ‘moments’ of 2010.  These 17 ‘moments’ are just pieces of songs and performances that struck me for one reason or another, and are listed in no particular order.

  • The glorious and inspired – 90’s not 80’s, since I for one thought I heard Erasure – in the instrumental intro to “Love Part II” by Bright Light Bright Light.
  • The big, big dramatic introduction to Michael Bublé’s rendition of “Cry Me A River”.
  • When Simon Curtis first suggests ‘Tell the DJ drop the beat / Don’t play some mother fuckin’ band’ at the :25 mark, and then proceeds to brilliantly shout out and sample the then-very fresh  “Bad Romance” by Lady GaGa at 1:01, in “Beat Drop”.
  • The final crushing realizations of the sadness of ‘Head over heels for you no more’ at 3:29  in Bim’s “Head Over Heels”.
  • The celebration of ‘Before you, my whole life was acapella’ at 1:04 and then repeated several times in “Acapella” by Kelis.
  • The jaunty Doobie Brothers inspired melody starting with the the chorus in “The Worse It Gets” by Penguin Prison at :54 – ‘I’ve got a car that I call Jenny’…
  • Finally realizing the entire point that The Temper Trap was making while repeating “Imma dig that grave’ at 4:22 in the Penguin Prison remix of “Resurrection”, which changed my entire viewpoint of that song.
  • The updated disco backdrop, which takes off at :35 and seems to be borrowed almost verbatim from 1980’s “Love Sensation” by Loleatta Holloway, in the Penguin Prison remix of Jamiroquai’s underrated “White Knuckle Ride”.
  • The glorious chorus of Mika’s “Rain” beginning first at :47 – a song which is not to me so much about rain as it is other things.
  • Elouise belting out ‘Pretend you’re mine’ in “Pretender” at 3:04.
  • ‘When you let the darkness go, everything glows’ at :52 of “Glow” by Richard Barone, the new unofficial theme song of New York City for me.
  • The chorus first kicks in with ‘Here we go…’ at :33 and then the immediate Q&A ‘Is this love or just sexual desire? We’re gonna start a fire’ at :41, in “Start A Fire” by Ryan Star.
  • Adam Tyler’s raw and excited vocal when he sings ‘With a look we bait the trap and wait’ at 1:01 in the Ricardo Autobahn edit of “Friction”.
  • Christian Burns’ acapella vocal break ‘And I love it when you fall to me, suddenly’, followed by the same verse accompanied by instantly thunderous keyboards, at 2:51 in the radio edit of BT’s “Suddenly”.
  • The first dramatic keyboard riff which transforms Reni Lane’s “Place For Us” in repetition into a sexy late-night dancefloor stomper in its Will Eastman remix.
  • The final few bars of lonely toy piano at 2:33 in Simon Curtis’ “8-bit Heart”, which made my eyes well up on the first few listens.
  • As with “8-bit Heart”, when Blake Lewis first sings ‘I wish we could just go back there tonight’ at :22, referring to the closed record store in “Heartbreak On Vinyl”.

Please do reply with yours 🙂

Tuned-On! Top 30 #342 – December 20/10

Don’t let anyone tell that moving house isn’t time-consuming.  While music plays in the background while you’re packing away, unfortunately you’re prevented from doing your research and blog duties.  So I can only gush over a few selective items with this edition of my personal chart.  And you’ll find the full chart posted down below until I get my proper software installed on my new laptop to make the prettier web version.

It’s so suitable for this last personal chart of 2010 for:

  • A new number one!  Yes Penguin Prison is back on top with his own release this time.  “Golden Train” sets the tone nicely going into 2011 and Mr. Chris Glover will be a force!
  • Another bellwether song for 2011 may be “The Fear Inside” by Frankmusik, which vaults 18-4 and looks destined for the top.  Look for this one to find its way to clubs first… then watch out.
  • I’m still waiting for someone to remix “Jacksonville” by Brandon Flowers, which reaches #5 this week.  It would be amazing to see what someone can do with the darker sounding parts of this song.
  • “Talk To Me” has now officially become my favourite song from Andrea Lewis’ free album 54321.  And it just happens to feature Simon Curtis… an added bonus to an already terrific song vocally and lyrically, with a sound right out of the mid-60’s.
  • “S&M” by Rihanna has needlessly been getting a bad rap.  It’s her best song since 2007’s “Don’t Stop The Music”, and I love her raw vocal during the chorus.
  • I love it when artists transform known songs and make them their own.  Elouise has done just that with the luscious “The Winner Takes It All”, now a dramatic stage ballad instead of a perky dance number.  And those ABBA songs aren’t a walk in the park to sing either!
  • The most unexpected record of this year – well it’s really a 2011 release to me – is Bright Light Bright Light’s take on the theme to the TV show “Twin Peaks”.  “Falling” was one of the more haunting songs to kick off the 1990’s in the original version by Julee Cruise from her Floating Into The Night album.  BLBL aka Rod Thomas has taken away the haunting, otherworldly feel and revisited the song as a more simple but emotional ballad.  And it fits in so nicely with the more upbeat BLBL songs you’ve seen in this chart for most of 2010.  And it’s brought to you free courtesy of blogger to the Grammys and now CNN, Mr. Arjan Writes right here.  “Falling” bows this week at #23.
  • One of the most amazing free downloads of 2010 for me was the ‘leaked’ Monsieur Adi remix of “Situation” by New York singer Javi.  Like that song, a new tune by one of Javi’s side projects called Native Underground has surfaced with a similar 80’s-style reflection – and I mean circa 1983 and 1984 when Culture Club and Wham! had their day.  You can also catch “Till It Hurts (radio mix)” for free for now right here.  Javi and Native Underground are going places in 2011!  It debuts at #24.
  • Last, it looked like Pharrell Williams’ band project N*E*R*D was going to stay in the one-hit-wonder department in my 12 year chart history.  For after being assaulted with iTunes commercials in late 2003 – you know those ones with the silhouetted performers, see video below – their song “Rock Star” in its aggressive and fun Jason Nevins remix soared to #1 on my chart, ending up in the Top 10 for that year.  So the group has come full circle and made a soulful and very sexy ballad called “Hypnotize U”, produced by Daft Punk of all people, which debuts at #26.  N*E*R*D is opening for Gorillaz on tour.

I’ll update the link to my chart’s webpage once I have the software up and running.  Enjoy!  In the meantime, here’s the full chart:

02 01 GOLDEN TRAIN Penguin Prison
05 02 GLOW Richard Barone
01 03 RESURRECTION (Penguin Prison remix) Temper Trap, The
18 04 THE FEAR INSIDE Frankmusik
09 05 JACKSONVILLE Brandon Flowers
04 06 NEVER LOOK BACK Russ Chimes
08 07 BREAKUP ANTHEM (WE DIDN’T CARE) 100 Akres F/ Roz Bell
06 08 LOVE PART II Bright Light Bright Light
13 09 TALK TO ME Andrea Lewis F/ Simon Curtis
10 10 VOODOO Andrea Lewis
11 11 ALORS ON DANSE Stromae
12 12 OPERATION Adam Tyler
17 13 S&M Rihanna
15 14 MONSTER Kanye West F/ Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj
03 15 WHITE KNUCKLE RIDE (Penguin Prison remix) Jamiroquai
21 17 BULLETPROOF MONSTER (LaRoux x Nicki Minaj Revox) Colin Munroe
20 19 HEART AND I Robbie Williams
07 21 WHEN SHE TURNS 18 Christian TV
New 23 FALLING Bright Light Bright Light
New 24 TILL IT HURTS (Radio mix) Native Underground
14 25 LOVEKILLER Darin
25 27 AUDIO PRECISION Jackanory & The Ball
26 28 START A FIRE Ryan Star
27 29 DEAR DICTATOR (Sam Sparro remix) Saint Motel
28 30 CHANGE OF SEASONS Sweet Thing

A Hat-trick of Great Cover Versions

This isn’t just your usual blog for me.  People who know me know how particular I am about cover versions, particularly those that have been substantial hits.  Nonetheless, I can be persuaded with the right version 🙂 Take for example, most recently, Pet Shop Boys’ rendition of  “Viva La Vida” – but then it’s PSB style mixed with some verses from their own “Domino Dancing”.  Prior to that, you have to go back to 2006 for covers that I really liked – Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me” as recorded by Chris Isaak, and Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” as recorded by Meat Loaf & Marion Raven (though Celine’s was actually a cover too, just the best known version).

So here are three recent covers.  Click on the headings – the first two of which are free downloads courtesy of the artists themselves.


















Miike Snow – “Animal” (Christian TV 2010 Beast Mode Remix)

I’d like to bill this as Christian TV vs Miike Snow.  This is a terrific pairing 🙂 Christian has slowed down and minimalized the upbeat playfulness of “Animal” without taking the fun away.  He just keeps the fun in anticipation instead of being overt.  I’ve always found the song kind of self-celebratory in some ways – about remaining true to yourself while disguising yourself for certain situations.  A great bonus from the singer whose “When She Turns 18” still rides in the Top 10 of my chart.  Get it before it disappears!










Adam Tyler “Torn” (acoustic)

From one of my increasingly favourite new singers comes this beautifully stripped down version of Natalie Imbruglia’s 1998 massive hit.  It’s not totally stripped, there are some subtle string arrangements to give it depth.  But kudos to Mr. Tyler’s vocal on this one, considering we have only recently known him for his dance-oriented efforts like “Friction” (which took time but won me over big time this year).  “Torn” sounds different sung by a guy and he’s given it the right emotional quality which has only been hinted at in some of the vocals in “Friction”.  Again, grab this triumph while you can!







Gavin Mikhail “Raise Your Glass”

Another song about self-celebration, US singer Gavin Mikhail has given Pink’s recent hit a bluesy piano man edge that keeps everything that you like about Pink’s version in tact (other than Pink herself).  Like fellow piano guy Clayton Senne, Gavin’s been putting out records for a few years now and has got some notoriety through working with Peter Gabriel a couple of years back.  He’s a fine vocalist and understated talent, and when you hear “Raise Your Glass” you may just do exactly that.  Cheers – and order your copy on iTunes to keep Pink’s original company.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #341 – December 6/10

NOTE:  View the full video for “The Fear Inside” by Frankmusik at Cherrytree Records.  It went live after I posted my blog!

It’s been a quiet few weeks music-wise for me, not because of the music but other things, so the new chart has only two debuts, but oh how promising they are.  And the chart has a fair amount of activity to keep things interesting.

In the 12 year history of this chart I can’t remember anyone dominating the Top 3 songs, but indirectly that’s what’s happened in this edition.  Good ol’ Penguin Prison accomplishes this feat with what looks to be a remarkable 2011 ahead of him.  His remix of “Resurrection” by Grammy-nominated (for the remix of ‘Sweet Disposition”) Aussies The Temper Trap clings to #1, as does his remix of Jamiroquai’s “White Knuckle Ride” at #3.   But the man himself (aka New Yorker Chris Glover) soars 7-2 with “Golden Train” from his forthcoming Wall Of Sound UK release.   The BlogVerse will be watching Mr. Glover closely in 2011!

The feel-good record of 2010 is “Glow” by Richard Barone and it climbs into the Top 5 but is not yet done at #5.  The Glow album has grown on me immensely since its release in September and 2011 will see me digging deeper into it.  New to the Top 10 is “Voodoo” by Andrea Lewis.  The energy in this song is as contagious as the melody and vocal stylings of “Talk To Me”, Andrea’s duet with Simon Curtis, which happens to climb to #13 as well.

Loads of activity comes mid-way with Stromae’s very dry dance hit “Alors on danse”, Adam Tyler’s strutworthy “Operation”, the minimalist electro of Bim’s “Ready To Love”, and “Heart And I”, a wonderful ballad by Robbie Williams, whose return to Take That has been a highlight of Britpop for 2010.  But the biggest moves come from Rihanna’s raw and sexy “S&M”, and of course the Fastest Riser, the mammoth “Monster” by Kanye West and associates, moving up 29-15.  This is the first hip hop tune in quite some time that keeps making me want to listen.  Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is definitely on my list to check out in full.  Colin Munroe’s “Bulletproof Monster” revox featuring La Roux of course and Nicki Minaj’s “Monster” vocal rant is in a category of its own and rises up to #21.

But those debuts:  At the top, you’ll find the trailer for Frankmusik’s highly anticipated video of “The Fear Inside”.  Vince Frank is now signed to Cherrytree/Interscope for North America and is next release Do It In The A.M. is on deck for early 2011.  “The Fear Inside” bows at #18 and will be massive initially in dance clubs, but don’t be surprised folks if this one’s power crosses over to pop fans.  Listen to the full track right here.  And then we have “The Winner Takes It All” by Elouise, premiering at #24, which I have been raving about for weeks, particularly now since her Stardust Melodies EP is on release.  At the bottom of the blog is her recent performance of the song at Madame JoJo’s in London.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART***  to the right, or simply click right here.  Enjoy! Don’t forget to post any comments you might have 🙂

Has Buying an “Import” Record Gone Totally Online?

Is it just me, or have the days of buying imported records gone totally online?

For those of you, like me, who lived through the vinyl era, there was a time in the early 80’s when one of the only ways to stay on top of the latest modern rock/alternative music was to head to a few record stores that specialized in acquiring imports.  So we’d shell out the extra bucks to acquire our songs and albums, months in advance of domestic release (or sometimes without domestic release).

Now it seems that there should be a way of buying an imported record, but it appears that online stores like Amazon have this duty to the public.  So to get a hard copy, we have to shell out their price plus shipping.  And that’s okay if you buy more than a certain amount, because then shipping is free.  And it’s probably a better deal than at retail too.

BUT of course there are some songs that don’t have a physical release.  That makes wanting to buy them even more exclusive, because Mp3’s are restricted in some cases to certain territories.  So songs you can buy on US iTunes are not available on UK iTunes and vice versa.  To me this defeats the notion of an online global community because the territorial rights divide that community again.

So I’m putting it out to the online music community to get its act together and negotiate something that makes music available for purchase worldwide.  This will help artists worldwide and will also bring different trends and musical cultures together for the worldwide community to share.

I’d appreciate your thoughts.  This isn’t by any means a fully thought out treatise on the subject, just a starting point for discussion! 🙂

Elouise’s new EP Stardust Melodies Has Arrived!

To follow up the wondrous Stardust EP (which contains “Pretender”, still sitting pretty in my chart), UK singer Elouise has released a second EP called Stardust Melodies, featuring three tracks, “Stardust”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, and the sensational cover of ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All” which I previewed in the summer.  The EP is available on iTunes UK, Amazon, plus once again in a limited luxury glossy digipack CD which is an indulgence well worth owning!  Get all the details right here and support one of 2010’s finest talents.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #340 – November 22/10

In some ways it’s hard to believe that it’s around this time of year that you begin to think of what songs are being released as next year’s songs.  Year end Best Of lists of just around the bend!

I don’t think my Top 5 favourite songs have been as energetic as on this chart in recent years.  The Top 3 remain exactly the same as two weeks ago:  The Temper Trap with the Penguin Prison remix of “Resurrection”, Bright Light Bright Light with one of my most favourite songs in the past few years and former #1 “Love Part II”, and another Penguin Prison remix, the underappreciated “White Knuckle Ride” by Jamiroquai.  In this edition they’re joined by Russ Chimes’ fantastic “Never Look Back” and “When She Turns 18” by Christian TV, still catchy after all these months.

New to the Top 10:  Fastest Riser “Golden Train” by Penguin Prison, now available commercially in the UK, and bound to be an early fave of 2011, it’s definitely one great tune; 100 Akres and Roz Bell doing the “Breakup Anthem” thing; and the enticing “Jacksonville” from Brandon Flowers.

The rest of the chart sees smaller jumps, led by the infectious “Alors on danse” by Stromae, “Operation” by Adam Tyler (whose debut album we still look forward to!), “Raise Your Glass” by mom-to-be Pink, and album track “Ready To Love” by UK duo Bim.

Take a lookee at the debuts, for they are an odd bunch, even for me.

Rihanna’s Loud album looks to show another side of her that Rated R only touched on.  Despite the subject matter “S&M” contains a sensational vocal by her and debuts at #25.  It’s her first appearance in these parts since her vocal on Jay-Z’s “Run This Town” last year, and first solo foray since “Rehab” in early 2008.

Next up, as most of the world has discovered, “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce is extremely hard to get out of your head.  Blame it on Aussies and Kiwis who discovered it first!  But mostly blame it on Duck Sauce, aka the extremely talented Armand Van Helden and DJ A-Trak.  I’m only a bit familiar with A-Trak – of particular note was an online redux earlier this year of Birdman & Drake’s “Money To Blow” – but Van Helden is well known to my chart.  He’s reached the summit in 1999 with “U Don’t Know Me” and in 2004 with “My My My”, but last appeared in 2007 with “I Want Your Soul”.

Then we have #28 and #29 – a somewhat deliberate pairing I admit, but I want to see where both songs go from here.

#29 belongs to Kanye West’s “Monster” from his upcoming release My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  To me this is Kanye at his most in-your-face in years, yet somehow it’s all very accessible thanks to contributions from Jay-Z, Bon Iver, Rick Ross, and 2010 It girl Nicki Minaj.  It’s also extremely entertaining, a little too crude for me at times, but with everything going on here it comes together as a rock solid whole, with kudos going to Minaj, whose segment is more than just icing on this evil-tasting piece of cake.

I’ve been listening to my fellow Torontonian Colin Munroe’s ‘revoxing’ for a few months now, that started with “One” by Sky Ferreira (which so much reminded me of Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman” in some ways).  Munroe stirred some heads by borrowing Nicki Minaj’s vocal from Kanye West’s “Monster” and using it for his second ‘revox’ project, which combined Minaj with La Roux’s “Bulletproof” for “Bulletproof Monster”.  It’s a quick track, little more than 2 1/2 minutes, but it works splendidly, with Minaj’s  altered vocal track even more positively ferocious.

Hear West’s “Monster at the bottom of this page, and download Munroe’s “Monster” right here.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART***  to the right, or simply click right here.  Enjoy! Don’t forget to post any comments you might have :)

Pushing The Buzz: Singer Christian TV

Singer Christian TV seemed to burst out of nowhere with his summer performance on So You Think You Can Dance of “When She Turns 18”, a supremely catchy piece of business (with a video that shows the creative use of a photocopier) which I will definitely associate with Summer ’10.  As will, apparently, Britney Spears, who complemented the buzz by tweeting about it.

But everyone comes from somewhere, and in the case of LA-based Christian, he hails from the Detroit east side, and formed a band in the middle of the last decade called Love Arcade.  They got signed to Atlantic and issued a self-titled album, with songs from which you can certainly find on You Tube.  While the group had a strong fan base, multi-instrumentalist and singer Christian Berishaj had to reinvent himself to continue, so with proceeds from a rowdy song called “Candy” from the “American Pie 6” soundtrack came Christian TV, “When She Turns 18”, and the subsequent and free-for-download mixtape “Who The Fuck Is Christian TV?”.

This bold mixtape, presented by DJ Skee and featuring an intro from rapper Paul Wall, certainly slides down deep into an urban sound that’s pretty far removed from Love Arcade.  It gets a tad explicit (with a definite humorous side) for youngin’s but there be more versatile pop roots in the midst on tracks like “Never Shoulda Let You Go” and particularly “Part Time Girl”.  “When She Turns 18” helps crank up the party right after the track that sets the tone for the mixtape, “Let’s Just Fuck” (view the uncensored video here), which places Christian as the younger, grittier, waiting-in-your-face side of Robin Thicke.  And that’s not a bad thing.

A full album, though, is on the way, so I’m expecting some really great pop tunes and I’ll probably have a few things to say about them.  While his brashness might have got unwanted buzz and attention 10 or 15 years ago, it can now push the buzz comfortably and generate some street cred for Christian TV.  I’ll wager that come the time of his debut album, those really great pop tunes should hold their own.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #339 – November 8/10

I’m in the mood for some personal “Resurrection” and over the past several weeks the glorious Penguin Prison remix (that’s everything short of a huge mirrored disco ball 🙂 ) of this song by Australia-based The Temper Trap has been very satisfying.  The song takes over the #1 spot on my personal chart from one of my year’s most favourite songs, “Love Part II” by Bright Light Bright Light, which will spend the rest of its chart time likely kicking around in the Top 10.

And despite having both a #1 and a #2 hit on this chart in 2010, Penguin Prison is more of a force to be reckoned with in this chart edition.  His early 80’s flavoured remix (I keep hearing Loleatta Holloway’s “Love Sensation” as an inspiration??) of Jamiroquai’s latest single “White Knuckle Ride”, advances to #3.  And not only this, but his new single “Golden Train” gets a high new chart entry at #21, a few weeks in advance of its official release.  You can download the smashing Royal Palms remix for free right here.  Penguin Prison has signed to the Wall of Sound UK label for a full album release in 2011, so I hope a North American release is in the works too!

LA based Christian TV has lots to be happy about these days.  For someone from Detroit, being signed to Universal Motown has to be a thrill, though there’s not much left in the current Motown part of that label, just so much amazing history.  I’ll have some comments about his new mixtape, the DJ Skee-hosted Who The Fuck Is Christian TV?, later in the week.  Fortunately “When She Turns 18”, which rises to #7 on my chart, is in the mixtape, which you can download for free right here.

The gentle and happy sound of Richard Barone’s “Glow” finds its way into the Top 10 at #9.  The indelible power of this song to make you smile and be at ease is remarkable.  It’s heading for the Top 5.

The activity within the Top 10 as caused a traffic jam mid-chart.  So Darin’s “Lovekiller” seems stuck at #10 (but isn’t – and take a look at the video), and other songs by Jackanory & The Ball, 100 Akres & Roz Bell, Andrea Lewis, Sweet Thing, Far East Movement, and Adam Tyler must wait two more weeks for next moves.  Brandon Flowers’ inventive “Jacksonville”, however, cuts through and becomes the fastest riser, up 25-16.  Don’t forget that this track is only available on the deluxe edition of Brandon’s Flamingo album.

There are two remaining debuts.  Paul van Haver is a 25 year old Belgian singer of Rwandan descent, and he’s otherwise known as Stromae.  As I mentioned on Twitter last night, I love French culture and style, as well as droll humour, and his song and video (at the top of this page) “Alors on danse” both give nods to all of them and debuts at #20.  “Alors on danse” has been on release for a while now but I think this can be a worldwide smasheroo in more time.  Listen for it!  Pink hadn’t appeared in my chart for nearly 6 years before “Glitter In The Air” arrived earlier this year and peaked at #17.  She’s back with what sounds like a stylistic salute to all of her more recent hits with “Raise Your Glass”, which appears on her Greatest Hits… So Far! album and debuts at #28.  It’s better than all of her recent big hits combined, so I hope I don’t tire of it.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART***  to the right, or simply click right here.  Enjoy! Don’t forget to post any comments you might have 🙂

Matt & Kim, Penguin Prison, Two Door Cinema Club in Toronto

Though I’ve seen many concerts in my life, I’m not what you call a regular concert goer, in fact I’m pretty selective.  But this past week, with Two Door Cinema Club & Penguin Prison on one bill on Monday, and then Matt & Kim in town on Friday, I trekked into downtown Toronto at the Phoenix Night Club for these shows.  Though they’re not great, I did add some photos for visual flavour, so excuse the blurriness.

Two Door Cinema Club and Penguin Prison

I tweeted in the week that Chris Glover is a human sponge of styles.  Mr. G, aka Penguin Prison, thoroughly rocked the socks off of the audience and won many new fans with his tight set of songs which previewed his long-awaited full length release due next February.  He and his four piece band cranked out the groovin’ “Something I’m Not”, the 70’s pop paean “The Worse It Gets”, and the soulful “Multi-Millionaire” amid a smoothly flowing half hour set.  For someone who doesn’t even look like a rock star, Mr. G. held a comfortable confidence which definitely made you wanting more.  And dance?  Yes I did!!

I was presently surprised at how Northern Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club continued the dance party that was ignited by Penguin Prison.  Alex Trimble’s earnest and low key lead personality was offset nicely by frenetic bassist Kevin Baird and the rest of the on-point quartet.  TDCC are another band that appears to have a small but pretty darn rabid following, judging from the audience’s reaction to the songs.  “I Can Talk”, “Undercover Martyn”, “Something Good Can Work” were all well done by a band eager to please and about to return for more favour in early 2011.  Well worth a concert visit folks!

Matt & Kim

If you want a really, really, no holds barred good time, then be sure to attend a Matt & Kim concert.  I got to know their music in 2009 with the chipper stunner “Daylight”, one of my very favourites of that year, and I’m so glad I did.  Brooklyn-based Vocalist/keyboardist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino absolutely make the most of what a two person band can do on stage.  Most of all, that includes pleasing the audience.  They seemed a bit overwhelmed at the 1,000 or so at the Phoenix, but it was Friday and they were more than up for the party.  So they cranked out a multitude of edgy and danceable pop-rock songs with R&B/rap and ska influences  in the hour long jam-packed set with an energy level so high it made you want to reach onto the stage to grab some.  “Lessons Learned” (from that naked-in-Times-Square video – Matt’s idea), “Yea Yeah”, new single “Cameras”, “Silver Tiles”, “Ice Melts”, and of course “Daylight” were all showcased, and they even broke into brief covers of Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend” and Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone”!  Most of all, I loved their interplay with the audience, throwing out balloons for people to blow upand knock around (see pic below), climbing onto the stage decorations, and Kim daring to walk out onto the audience for some crowd surfin’.  Matt’s words about “Daylight” hit home for me – their performance was dedicated to anyone who had a bad day, a bad week or a bad year – 2011 will be better.  Amen!!  Their new CD Sidewalks is out November 2.