Free download: Simon Curtis “Diablo”

As you can tell from the new edition of my chart posted yesterday, I’m having a bit of a love affair with Simon Curtis’ “Delusional”, which has been the fastest riser for two charts running.  It is EXACTLY the sort of pop song radio should be embracing right now to keep its younger audience in check.

But Simon obviously has a few tricks up his sleeve for his upcoming release 8Bit Heart.  “Diablo” has to be one of them.  While it doesn’t come close to the wider appeal of  “Delusional”, it does make you scratch your head and listen at very least.  It successful flips Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” upside its head, and goes one step beyond the clingy gal of “Delusional”, by firing vitriol at an extreme infatuation gone really bad.  With Simon’s appearance in Nickelodeon’s “Spectacular!”, one can only think that a path was being carved out, but with “Diablo” it is clearly more of an adventure – it’s like immediately being cast as a vicious villain after being a dreamy love interest.  So while I’m not embracing “Diablo” as much as “Delusional”, I can certainly appreciate the approach and the hyperkinetic effort!  So Simon’s 2 fer 2, and I’m anxiously awaiting 8Bit Heart.

Download “Diablo” here or listen below.

My chart: Tuned-On! Top 30 #315 – Dec 7/09

The shakedown of favourites is beginning on this edition of my personal chart.  I have a bit of a ‘recurrent’ rule – songs drop off the chart automatically after 10 appearances (20 weeks), and 3 of my favourite songs of the year will do just that as Dan Black’s “Symphonies”, Gary Go’s “Wonderful” and Mans Zelmerlow’s “Rewind” hit that pinnacle.

But there are plenty of great tunes that remain, as Dan Black and Mika both continue their reign at the top of the chart.  That same Dan Black is back in the Top 5 with “Pump My Pumps”, while Jay-Z & Alicia Keys, Michael Buble, and Lady GaGa all arrive in the Top 10.

As with two weeks ago, Simon Curtis is a talent to watch with the very hit-worthy but free download “Delusional” once again the fastest riser on the chart (I’ll be blogging about Simon’s latest free download preview of 8Bit Heart called “Diablo”, too!).   Lifehouse is back in hit territory with “Halfway Gone”, and Luigi Masi has a new EP out called On Your Radar which features his previously free download “Radar”.  Other debuts from last week by Roisin Murphy, Michael Buble, and Kris Allen get stuck in a logjam but should soar in two weeks.

It seems hard to believe, being in December, but I’ll have only one more chart before my year end Best of 2009 is published.  Watch for it!

This edition has three debuts.  Those producers extraordinaire, Sweden’s Bloodshy & Avant, along with American singer Andrew Wyatt, comprise Miike Snow, and their latest catchy piece of business is “Black And Blue (Savage Skulls Remix)”, available for free download using the link on the chart.  The previously blogged-about medley of “Viva La Vida/Domino Dancing” by Pet Shop Boys is also a new arrival to the chart.   But my focus this week is on new UK vocalist V.V. Brown, who you may have heard this past summer with “Shark In The Water”.  I wasn’t a big fan of that song, and I am hardly one for cover versions (yet I’ve also charted PSB’s version of  “Viva La Vida”…hmmm), but her version of one of my favourite Rolling Stones songs, their 1978 #1 “Miss You”, is a stunner and is my highest debut.

You can find the full chart here or in a link on the right sidebar.  Enjoy!

Favourites From The Decade Lists, Part 2: The 1980’s

As we approach the end of the first decade of the 2000’s, I’ve decided to add my lists of personal favourites from the 70’s, 80’s  and 90’s in preparation for the end of this decade.

This list for me showed a personal evolution of Top 40 oriented pop and dance songs through modern/alternative rock of the early 80’s, through to highly personalized selections from the late 80’s.  1986 was a critical year when our local Top 40 AM station shuttered, leaving listeners to find their own way through to their ‘hits’.  Fortunately with my involvement in campus radio up to 1988, I had a treasure trove of selections to hear as well as access to other music buffs whose own choices might influence my tastes.  By the end of the decade, though the focus was still on Singles – and I have many album tracks from the 80’s that should be on a Best Of list – it evolved into a highly personalized set of songs, some of which are not known or recalled by many.  If you’re a fan of CFNY-FM Toronto (now The Edge 102.1), light splashes of Canadian success by the likes of MOEV, Rarefaction, Vis-a-Vis, Blue Peter, Saga, Scott Merritt, and Spoons may trigger happy memories.   New Order, The Style Council, INXS, and Big Country were my artists of the day, while ‘one hits’ by the likes of It’s Immaterial, Wah!, When In Rome, Womack & Womack, and Secret Service also grace the list (link below).

Bill’s 100 Favourite Singles of the 1980’s

Favourites from the Decade Lists, Part 1: The 1970’s

As we approach the end of the first decade of the 2000’s, I’ve decided to add my lists of personal favourites from the 70’s, 80’s  and 90’s in preparation for the end of this decade.

My list from the 70’s is a unique list, the only one written in retrospect.  The list would have been significantly different had I written it when I was 19 in 1979, but many, many favourites remain from my teen years.  What I enjoyed most about the 70’s were the random one-or-two hit artists, 70’s R&B, rock acts like the Electric Light Orchestra and Aerosmith, and that totally underrated phenomenon, disco.  By the time I was 16 I was looking for music of different shapes and colours.  I learned that my local hit radio station wasn’t playing all the hits.  I began actively following national trade magazines such as Billboard and, in Canada, RPM Weekly.  I started listening to radio shows that offered hit music from the UK, which is where I first encountered Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” and Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”.  I became a college radio DJ and fell in love with alternative rock of the day as disco began to wane.  But the 70’s were all about 45’s and 12″ dance singles for me, and so my list does not include any album-only tracks. The link to my Favourite 100 Singles of the 70’s is below or on the right sidebar.

Bill’s Favourite 100 Singles of the 70’s

Tuned-On! Top 30 #314 – November 23/09

It’s steady as she goes – lots of upward movement on this week’s chart :) And while two of my favourite songs of 2009, “Symphonies” by Dan Black and “We Are Golden” by Mika drop out of the Top 10, Mr. Black and Mr. Penniman have the top two songs on the new chart. Black’s “Alone” puts him back at #1 after 100 Akres and Roz Bell ruled the roost with “Pink Cadillac” for a month, and Mika’s insanely catchy “Blame It On The Girls” moves to the runner-up spot. The remainder of the Top 10 sees songs by David Rush & Friends, Hot Chelle Rae, and Joshua Radin moving up, while new entries belong to another track from Dan Black’s UN, “Pump My Pumps” and Roz Bell again, with “Heart Attack” from his overlooked CD October.

Songs outside of the Top 10 by Michael Buble, Jay-Z/Alicia Keys, and Madonna would normally be in the Top 10 but are shut out again this week by strong competition. In particular, Madonna’s “Celebration”, a fantastic dance song, is peaking long after radio and clubs had their way with it. All of last week’s entries, led by Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance”, climb up nicely, with the fastest riser going to U.S. rising star Simon Curtis with his free download “Delusional” from the forthcoming CD 8Bit Heart.

I’ve already blogged about the some of the new entries, but I do want to talk a bit about Kris Allen’s “Live Like We’re Dying”, which bows at #27. Kris’ approach to his songs and his positive song choices are what sets his music apart from the rest, making it all a breath of fresh air in a cluttered 2009. And Michael Buble’s version of the 50’s standard “Cry Me A River”? Blows Adam Lambert’s dramatics out of the water.

View the full chart here or using the link on the right sidebar :)

Celebratin’ Life – Jimmy Buffett in concert in Toronto

As a 17th wedding anniversary gift for ourselves, my wife suggested we go to a Jimmy Buffett concert.  She lived in Florida as a kid for 10 years and last saw Mr. Buffett’s show in the mid-90’s.  So I had to try to get my parrothead on… we got our Hawaiian shirts… didn’t quite work, but a good time was definitely had listening to Jim’s southern stories that basically celebrate everything that’s good about life.  All of the most recognizable tunes to music fans were played – “Cheeseburger in Paradise”, “Volcano”, “Fins”, “Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes”, “Come Monday”, and a little ditty called “Margaritaville” – as well as some solid new songs from his new CD Buffet Hotel like “Surfing in a Hurricane”, “Summerzcool”, and particularly “Lot to Drink About”.  The latter song is a bit of a novelty but a breath of fresh air in a world full of hi-tech and autotune.  I think it definitely would have been helpful to have good weather – and a beach – to see the Buffett show, so maybe next time.  But he puts on a genuine, entertaining show where your troubles of the day are left at the door.

Trevor Guthrie (ex-soulDecision) solo


After soulDecision (whose huge hit “Faded” was, hard to believe, 10 years ago!!) imploded after a club tour in 2005 supporting their terrific and underrated Shady Satin Drug CD, I was wondering when we’d hear again from lead singer and songwriter Trevor Guthrie. The Vancouverite’s MySpace site was quiet until now, when a new called “All I Ever Wanted” was posted. Here’s what Trevor’s MySpace bulletin said today:

Date: Nov 14, 2009 5:48 PM
New Trevor Guthrie song.
Hi everyone, though i would let you know the album is finally done and i have put a new song up here if you would like to check it out. I wrote this song about my friend Ryan Gosling

Do check this one out at his MySpace site.   I look forward to hearing more new Trevor Guthrie songs in 2010!

Lifehouse returns with “Halfway Gone”


One band whose music I’ve always looked forward to hearing during this decade is Los Angeles based quartet Lifehouse.  Singer Jason Wade has a recognizable, weary-journeyman-kind of voice and he sings his songs in a straight-forward way, allowing the audience to identify with the music.  Some of my favourite tunes of the 00’s are “Everything”, “You and Me”, “Spin”, and of course “Hanging By A Moment”.  The pic above is the cover of their forthcoming CD Smoke and Mirrors.  It’s hard to find a source online where you can hear the full version of their latest soon-to-be-hit, but I found “Halfway Gone”here.  Enjoy!

Globalchart #397, November 8/09

Each week, the Globalchart on the M4B Charts Central (M4BCC) message board is updated to reflect the week’s musings over music from approximately 50 personal chart compilers around the world on the Internet.

Chart #397 has “Fireflies” by Owl City dethroning Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone”. Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” makes a huge jump into the Top 10, with other big moves from tunes by Kris Allen, Rihanna, Kesha, Shinedown, Weezer, and Alicia Keys. The highest debut belongs to Lifehouse’s “Halfway Gone”.

View the November 8 chart here.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #313 November 9/09

The new edition of the Tuned-On! Top 30, my personal chart, is available here.

100 Akres & Roz Bell fended off significant challenges to hang on to #1 for two more weeks with their free download of “Pink Cadillac” (the free download link is on the chart page). Now we’ll have to wait and see in two weeks if either Dan Black’s “Alone” or Mika’s “Blame It On The Girls” will top the chart. Calvin Harris’ “Ready For The Weekend” and Matt & Kim’s “Daylight” (also a free download) both advance into the Top 5. David Rush’s “Shooting Star”, Hot Chelle Rae’s “I Like To Dance”, and “We Are Okay” by Joshua Radin all become top ten entries.

Just below, the fastest riser on the chart is another great Dan Black track, the club-worthy “Pump My Pumps”. Dan’s CD UN is supposed to come out in North America digitally towards the end of November. Also making a big move is one of last week’s debuts, “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys. Alicia’s chorus should become the new slogan for NYC!

Five terrific debuts round out the chart this week, and three of them are downloadable for free. In the past few weeks in this blog, you’ve already read about Simon Curtis’ “Delusional”, Mitchell Hunter’s “Somebody Else’s”, and Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance”, but my other debuts belong to Dutch DJ Dash Berlin (who has actually teamed up with former Alice Deejay members) featuring vocalist Emma Hewitt in impending club smash “Waiting” and UK pop/dance singer Luigi Masi with his free download of “Radar”. Luigi also released a CD this past summer called Save His Shoes but it does not include “Radar”. Check out more information about these artists by clicking on their picture on the chart, which links to either their MySpace page or their websites.

Have a great week and post any comments you might have!

Below is the video for Dash Berlin’s “Waiting”, featuring Emma Hewitt.