400th Edition – BILLCS Top 30 – March 11/13

15 years and 2 months later, and my bi-weekly online chart is at edition 400 ūüôā Because I’m not home though, it’s a no frills edition.

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under¬†***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here.¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.¬† Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer. ¬†There‚Äôs always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement ‚ÄúLeave A Comment‚ÄĚ ‚Äď please feel free to do so¬†:)

I will have to double check when I get home, but I believe the last time two songs by Canadians held the top two spots on my chart was last Spring, when I believe River Tiber’s “Someday” and “Symmetry” were the Top 2 at one point. ¬†Before that, I’m not sure when it happened last, or when the performers were different. ¬†In this case “The City” by River Tiber is on top for a second appearance, and it’s joined at the summit by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni, whose deep house rendition of ¬†“Suga Suga” by Baby Bash moves to #2, and looks to succeed River Tiber in two weeks. ¬†Listen to both below. ¬†Zedd & Foxes hold at #3 with the propulsive “Clarity”, while another song brimming with energy, “A World Apart” by Davis Redfield, advances to #4.

It’s all about the action in the lower half of the Top 10. ¬†The Wallflowers, featuring Mick Jones in what is clearly a song inspired by The Clash’s “This Is Radio Clash”, move up to #6 with the funky “Reboot The Mission” (watch the video below). ¬†The rest of the songs within the Top 10 are new to the top end of the chart. ¬†Lawson’s memorable “Learn To Love Again” climbs to #7, while Gentlemen Hall move up quickly to #8 with “Sail Into The Sun”. ¬†Talented UK teen Conor Maynard’s “Turn Around” (featuring Ne-Yo) glides to #9, while “Keep Me Crazy” by Chris Wallace (live performance from the Jimmy Kimmel show) inches up to #10 to make it 3 Top Tenners for 3 for Chris, following #1 “Remember When (Push Rewind)” and #3 “Time Bomb (Walk Away)”. ¬†Chris is getting around the USA to promote the long-lasting “Remember When” and his album.

The fastest riser on the chart is “Map” by FrankMusik (19-11, video below), which will be included on his upcoming album Between. ¬†Also included will be song #18, the frenetic “Captain”, as well as song #29 “Fast As I Can”. ¬†Between will not hold back any punches ūüôā

Justin Timberlake, who is everywhere, seems to be leading a classy softer style that is appealing to the younger crowd as they see him perform on shows like Saturday Night Live. ¬†“Suit & Tie” climbs to #13; I’m anxious to hear what else is in store on The 20/20 Experience.

Songs 16 through 22 are looking to bounce higher on the chart in two weeks. ¬†“Reverie” by River Tiber is looking to take advantage of songs moving down. ¬† Then we have the stunning and futuristic “A.O.” by Australian duo The Presets, AVAN LAVA’s finger-snapper “It’s Never Over”, the breezy-sounding “Carried Away” by Passion Pit (video below), classic Top 40 pop in the form of “Lay Your Love On Me” by UK singer James William (listen below), and in advance of their album Delta Machine, “Heaven” by Depeche Mode.

There’s a line up of songs waiting to land on the chart, and sometimes it makes me want to change it to a Top 40, but then I get talked out of that. ¬†So for now, two songs I wrote about recently make their debuts. ¬†Willy Moon is playing in Austin this week, and I hope to catch his show tomorrow night if I can get in. ¬†His stylish video for “My Girl” below helps the song debut at #25. ¬†Ever wonder what rock stars do in bed? ¬†The fun video for “It’s Alright” by Matt & Kim might answer a few questions below. ¬†It debuts at #26.

BILLCS Top 30 #399 – February 25/13

The belated appearance of my personal chart this week finds some recent arrivals zipping into the upper reaches. ¬†You can view the full Top 30 using the link under¬†***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here.¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.¬† Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer. ¬†There‚Äôs always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement ‚ÄúLeave A Comment‚ÄĚ ‚Äď please feel free to do so¬†:)

Toronto group River Tiber score their second #1 on my chart with “The City”, which displaces Matthew Koma’s “1998” to #2 after Matthew’s 5 chart (10 week) lock on #1 with that song and “Parachute”. ¬†River Tiber keep getting more great local gigs in Toronto, at The Drake Hotel again (where they scored majorly on January 3) and tomorrow night at The Horseshoe Tavern. ¬†They’ll also be playing The Annex Live on March 23 during Canadian Music Fest (I’ll remind you again about that). ¬†Tommy Paxton-Beesley recently dropped a new River Tiber video for another song from their album Synapses (still available as a free download), this time for “The Star Falls”. ¬†Watch below.

Scoring another #1 Dance Club Play hit again is Zedd with British singer Foxes on “Clarity”, which moves up to #3. ¬†Another killer dance track that the rest of the world hasn’t really got to know yet is “A World Apart” by DJ/producer Davis Redfield, which climbs to #5. ¬†Sandwiched in-between is one of the coolest club tracks you will hear that I can’t stop talking about. ¬†With a deep house rework of Baby Bash’s “Suga Suga”, Canadians Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni climb 24-4 with “Lifted”. ¬†Download it for free and give a listen below.

The Wallflowers’ “Reboot The Mission” climbs to #8, becoming their first Top Tenner here since I began the chart in 1998. ¬†However “One Headlight” was my #1 song of 1997 so I’m well acquainted with the diverse styles of Jakob Dylan and his band. ¬†I’m particularly impressed by the production and vocal arrangement on this song. ¬†The song seems to be everywhere now (including “Glee”), but “Let Me Love You” by Ne-Yo rises to #9. ¬†Those Lawson lads managed another Top 20 placing in the UK with “Learn To Love Again”, arguably their best song to date. ¬†It climbs to #11 on the chart. ¬†Alas, no North American release in sight yet… ¬†Another huge mover on the chart is “Sail Into The Sun” by Gentlemen Hall, up 25-15 – a song you won’t be able to escape for the months to come thanks to impressive inclusion in a Samsung smart camera commercial. ¬†Hopefully this exposure will hasten the release of a new album. ¬†Great songs to be heard! ¬†Listen below and get it for free from the band’s website when you tweet about it.

Other songs still on the rise include those by Mika (and I got a ticket for his April 5 show here ūüôā ), Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z, River Tiber (“Reverie”), The Presets, Passion Pit (“Carried Away”, video below), AVAN LAVA, and Depeche Mode.

I’ve already written about our new arrivals recently. ¬†“Lay Your Love On Me” by UK singer James William is just darn near impossible to get out of your head with its crisp pop sound that may have more of an American bent than a British one. ¬†The song debuts at #28. ¬†You can get it for free through Tweet For A Track and you can hear it below. The other two debuts both belong to FrankMusik. ¬†You can read all about my musings on his EP Far From Over with its nifty Brink Magazine spread to great effect. ¬†First single “Map” bows at #19 and the rollicking “Captain” is sharp on deck at #24. ¬†Hear both songs below and download them for free from FrankMusik’s website.

BILLCS Top 30 #398 – February 11, 2013

The news on my latest chart is about all of the new songs that look like they will take over within the next few weeks, along with a few asides into songs not on the chart by FrankMusik and (a cover by) Neverest. ¬†Exciting! ¬†You can view the full Top 30 using the link under¬†***BILL‚ÄôS PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click¬†right here.¬†You can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.¬† Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer. ¬†There‚Äôs always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement ‚ÄúLeave A Comment‚ÄĚ ‚Äď please feel free to do so¬†:)

If you watched the Grammy Awards last night, you will have seen a slim young gent sitting next to Carly Rae Jepsen, who alas didn’t win any of the categories in which she was nominated. ¬†That is indeed Matthew Koma, who still resides at the top of my chart with the crunchy rocker “1998”. ¬†The challenge in two weeks is to hold on to it against one of the most beautiful songs on release right now. ¬†That’s “The City” by Toronto’s River Tiber (below), edging up to #2 (they also have songs at #7 and #20!). ¬†“Time Bomb (Walk Away)” by Chris Wallace is up to #3 and you can see Chris again on TV in North America on the Kelly & Michael morning show on ABC in 9 days on Wednesday February 20. ¬†Rounding out the Top 5 is another top of the chart contender, “Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes.

Passion Pit comes to my city next weekend in a sold out show, and “Take A Walk” climbs to #6, while newest single from their Gossamer album, “Carried Away”, bows at #30. ¬†New to the Top 10 are the dance raveup “A World Apart” by Davis Redfield at #9, and “If I Lose Myself” by One Republic at #10 – still waiting for a video for the song as well as the Native album to arrive.

Holding at #8 and not on his upcoming EP Far From Over (due on February 14), but still available as a single on iTunes is “Fast As I Can” by FrankMusik. ¬†Far From Over looks to be one of the most riveting releases of 2013. ¬†FrankMusik has returned to the inventive electronica that won over so many fans with Complete Me in 2009, after heading in a more pop-oriented direction in 2011 with Do It In The AM. ¬†It appears to be about being lost in personal and professional turmoil, only to be rejuvenated and found again by returning to his humble beginnings, recording the EP entirely back in Croydon, England after being in L.A. for three years. ¬†The first single, “Map”, is as visceral as it is evocative of his earlier style – old becomes new again! ¬†I’ll be writing more about the EP after its release on Thursday. ¬†To whet your appetite, below is the artwork for Far From Over.

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While the middle part of the chart sees songs on the rise from Ne-Yo, Conor Maynard featuring Ne-Yo, Chris Wallace (“Keep Me Crazy”), The Wallflowers featuring Mick Jones, Mika featuring Ariana Grande, ¬†Eric Saade, and Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z’s “Suit & Tie”), the fastest riser on the chart belongs to “Learn To Love Again” by UK foursome Lawson, who have found themselves in the UK Top 20 this week. ¬†I had the pleasure of seeing the lads in concert on February 2, and they performed a crisp, solid and generous 75 minute set which won over anyone who didn’t know what to expect – considering their album Chapman Square is still not on release over here (memo to Universal Canada: Make it happen!). ¬†First, here’s a snap of the band by yours truly.

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A bonus to seeing Lawson for the first time in our country was to find out a week before the show that Toronto quartet Neverest would be opening. ¬†While they didn’t play for long (20-25 minutes), they sounded in fine voice and very tight musically after working on their new record. ¬†We got to hear their hits “About Us” and “Everything”, and even though I got burned on this song with all of its radio play, Neverest made Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” sound fresh and engaging again. ¬†Video below – looking forward to Neverest’s next release… and more shows!

So, it was time for a little house cleaning on the chart, and the five remaining debuts should definitely go places, not only on my chart, but in the music world. ¬†I simply can’t get enough of “Lifted” by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni, which I wrote about last week, so it arrives as the highest debut at #24. ¬†This is a chilled out, deep house version of “Suga Suga” by Baby Bash & Frankie J, which got to #11 on my chart back in 2003. ¬†It’s available as a free download right here. ¬†“Sail Into The Sun” by Gentlemen Hall has such a shiny, clear sound, you can hear it beckoning Spring to arrive. ¬†It premieres at #25 and you can get it as a free download or buy it on iTunes. ¬†It follows The Hall’s 2012 appearance on the chart with “All Our Love”, which peaked at #7. ¬†While “Youth In Trouble” disappears from the chart after peaking at #20, a much stronger song from The Presets’ Pacifica album is the positively epic “A.O.”, which bows at #26. ¬†This one sounds like Blade Runner met Star Wars in a discotheque, with triumphant vocals and a steady build up reminiscent of the duo’s earlier songs like “My People”. ¬†Watch the live clip below.

Rounding out the debuts, at #28 is “Heaven” by Depeche Mode, which I wrote about recently, becoming the venerable band’s third song to appear on the chart since its inception (the first being the #1 “Dream On” in 2001) and their most recent being 2005’s “Precious” (#3). ¬†AVAN LAVA is a Brooklyn, NY pop/dance band that arrived on the scene in 2008 and has steadily built a following. ¬†I don’t think I’m too late to the game by debuting “It’s Never Over” on the chart at #29 about a year after the release of their EP Flex Fantasy. ¬†The trio hovers between beautiful lush pop and gritty nu-disco funk – I’d describe “It’s Never Over” as somewhere between Prince and his proteges and early 90’s pop such as Tara Kemp’s “Hold You Tight”. ¬†Watch the video below and download the song for free right here. ¬†AVAN LAVA headlines a show on March 2 in Brooklyn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg along with Nomi Ruiz of Jessica 6. ¬†Get to that show if you can (simply because I can’t!!).