“Anxious” is soulful pop with all the gritty feels from NYC’s @callmeJavi

JAVI, “Anxious”

It’s been far too long since I’ve written about talented NYC singer/songwriter Javi Silva.  His latest is “Anxious”, a delightful and gritty slice of songwriting that anyone can understand when you’re suspicious of someone’s intentions and all of the tell-tale signs about where it might lead.  It’s beautifully sung, definitely recalling George Michael in particular.  Javi sings with an edge and attitude that indicate that he’s not going to just lay back and take any crap that might unfold.  Add “Anxious” to your Edgy Soulful Pop playlist using the Spotify link above.

Remixes Galore: The Rise of @MonsieurAdi

MONSIEUR ADI, Remixes and “What’s Going On” (featuring A*M*E)

Beyoncé, “Grown Woman”; Mikky Ekko, “Kids”; Bastille, “Pompeii”; Capital Cities, “Safe & Sound”; Seal, “Crazy”; Jamie N Commons, “Rumble Away”; Say Lou Lou, “Julian”; Swiss Lips, “U Got The Power”; Laura Mvula, “Green Garden”; Lana Del Rey, “Summertime Sadness”; Don Diablo featuring Noonie Bao, “M1 Stinger”; Lana Del Rey, “Born To Die”.

I’m so very pleased to have heard the rise of 26 year old French producteur, remixeur, et magicien des electroniques, Monsieur Adi, over the past three years with his own songs like “We Are The Romans” and the aggressive instrumental “Chariot”, as well as initial remixes like the heavily 80’s flavoured “Situation” by New York singer Javi Silva.

Since that time, le Monsieur has gradually become the go-to-guy for unique and very personalized remixes for the likes of Ellie Goulding, Darren Hayes (who have both lavished praise upon him in social media), and Lana Del Rey among others.  He released his own EP last year called Fire Fire Fire, and it’s all resulting in an hour long A-list of remixes (which you can hear streamed above) as well as enhancing songs by newer performers like Swiss Lips and Say Lou Lou.

In particular, I’m really impressed with his takes on the new Beyoncé song “Grown Woman”, and Mikky Ekko’s solo bid for stardom after being featured in Rihanna’s “Stay”, “Kids”.  His remix of “Pompeii” by Bastille got me into that song, and it looks like the same will happen with the current hit “Safe & Sound” by Capital Cities.  But most outstanding of late has been his collaboration with young UK-based chart topper A*M*E, “What’s Going On”, below, which completely transforms one of my favourite late 80’s smashes, Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life”, with A*M*E amply filling the big shoes of Caron Wheeler.  SMASH.  And more to come, OUI OUI! 🙂

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
24 16 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL Elouise
21 17 BULLETPROOF MONSTER (LaRoux x Nicki Minaj Revox) Colin Munroe
19 18 READY TO LOVE Bim
20 19 HEART AND I Robbie Williams
22 20 RAISE YOUR GLASS Pink
07 21 WHEN SHE TURNS 18 Christian TV
23 22 BARBRA STREISAND Duck Sauce
New 23 FALLING Bright Light Bright Light
New 24 TILL IT HURTS (Radio mix) Native Underground
14 25 LOVEKILLER Darin
New 26 HYPNOTIZE U N*E*R*D
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

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.

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.

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.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #325 – April 26/10

The top of my personal chart essentially remains the same in this edition, with Simon Curtis occupying #1 for the third straight chart with the magnificent “Beat Drop”, as well as holding at #3 with the playful “Joystick”, with Penguin Prison’s ambitious-sounding “Something I’m Not” in the runner up slot for a third appearance.  Blake Lewis once again hangs at #4 with the beautiful Billboard Club Play Chart #1 “Heartbreak On Vinyl”, while New York singer Javi rises up to #5 with “Situation” (which is an original tune, not a cover of the 1982 Yazoo hit).

Usually when the top of the chart is under control, things begin to quake down below.  So current faves by Evan Taubenfeld (whose long awaited Welcome To The Black List Club drops May 18!) and Justin Nozuka rise within the Top 10, while others by Example, Penguin Prison, and BT join them.  Check out the live clip of Penguin Prison (aka Chris Glover) performing “The Worse It Gets” in NYC below, as well as the cover art for BT’s emotional electro explosion “Suddenly”, which has taken its time getting to the Top 10 (6 charts).

The middle of the chart is bursting with action with rock  songs by Vampire Weekend, Lifehouse, and Clayton Senne looking like they are Top 10 bound.  The fastest riser on the chart is “Kick Ass” by Mika vs Red One, which climbs 28-18.

Spring Popervescence is the expression I’m using to categories the four newcomers to the chart about whom I’ve already blogged about recently.  Be sure to check out these songs by Kelis, Mike Posner, Christina Aguilera (which despite a lot of naysayers is just fine, thank you), and UK singer/producer Fabio Lendrum.  Free download links to the Posner and Lendrum tracks are available in my chart…

Speaking of which… you can link to the chart right here or use the link in the right side bar under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART***.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #324 – Apr 12/10

This new chart came upon me so quickly while I was in New Orleans over the past week, so there’s not too much change.

Simon Curtis continues to rule the roost with “Beat Drop” on top for a second chart, with “Joystick” climbing to #3, sandwiching Penguin Prison’s mighty “Something I’m Not” at #2.  Simon’s 8-bit Heart is now at over 120K worldwide downloads.  He’s opening for Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean in L.A. on May 6 at the Roxy, and is developing a video with Tyler Shields (who did the wonderful album cover art).  Things seem to be falling nicely into place… I predict Simon will have a record deal very soon!

Blake Lewis’ beautiful “Heartbreak On Vinyl” will attain the #1 spot on Billboard’s Club Play chart this coming week, and it’s well deserved!  The song moves up 6-4 on my chart this week.  Evan Taubenfeld’s Welcome To The Blacklist Club will finally be available digitally in late May, and the effervescent “Starbucks Girl” moves up 10-8.  Justin Nozuka’s You I Wind Land And Sea arrives this week, and the pensive “My Heart Is Yours” jumps 12-10.  But the big mover on the chart this week is by New York singer Javi.  The Monsieur Adi remix of “Situation” soars 16-6… the guy’s got a great voice and you can hear it in his live cover of Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole” below!

So much great music is stuck slowly moving up the chart, so be sure to check out tracks by Example, BT, Vampire Weekend, Ellie Goulding, Massive Attack, Clayton Senne, and The Envy.  Lifehouse’s “Had Enough”, featuring Chris Daughtry, looks like it’s well on its way, rising 27-21 this week.

I previously blogged  about the second Penguin Prison song to enter this chart, The Worse It Gets”.  The song debuts at #17 out of the gate, is well worth your attention.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the comic book-styled film “Kick Ass”.  Mika and producer Red One have the title track which enters the chart at #28, and you can watch the engaging video below.

The Beat Drops – at #1: Tuned-On! Top 30 #323 – Mar 29/10

It’s time again for a Spring Shakeup on the latest edition of my personal chart (the link is also on the right sidebar).  And there’s no better way for this to happen than to see a song debut at #1 for the first time since the chart of December 10, 2007, when “How To Build A Time Machine” by Darren Hayes began the first of 5 charts (10 weeks) at the top.  With the free download release this week of Simon Curtis’ 8-bit Heart, the rollicking electro-dance of “Beat Drop” commands the chart this week – you can hear it in the link at the top of the page.  It’s my next favourite song on 8-bit to former #1 “Delusional”, which leaves the chart after the maximum 10 chart run.

But there’s more Simon on this chart!  Since the Top 30 is by no means conventional, there are no limits to the songs that can appear, and so the naughty parallel to our friend, the video game, “Joystick” makes a huge splash, debuting at #4.  You can hear the song using the link at the bottom of this page.

All of this 8-bit madness unfortunately leaves Penguin Prison’s “Something I’m Not”, another free download, moving from 6-2, and I’m not sure if it will wrestle away #1 from “Beat Drop”.  After all, “Beat Drop” did knock off Lady GaGa’s “Teeth” after a 2 week stay at the summit.

Nelson Clemente’s clever and quiet electro of “90 Days” manages to reach a new peak at #5, while Blake Lewis’ ode to old-style record stores, “Heartbreak On Vinyl”, climbs to #6.  Songs by Jason Derulo, Justin Timberlake & Matt Morris (the definitive version of “Hallelujah” next to Jeff Buckley’s IMO), and Evan Taubenfeld charge into the Top 10.  The five debuts in the Top 10 cause massive drops by songs by Lady GaGa, Dragonette, Crystal Method, and Lifehouse, but them’s the breaks!

The fastest riser on the chart belongs to Justin Nozuka, whose “My Heart Is Yours” comes from his sophomore CD You I Wind Land and Sea, which is due for release this coming week.  Other big movers in the middle of the chart include Javi’s “Situation” (23-16), a pop/dance track also available for free download that commands your attention, and Vampire Weekend’s brief but insanely catchy “Cousins” (26-20).

As “Halfway Gone” by Lifehouse is about to leave the chart, “Had Enough”, featuring Chris Daughtry, premieres at #27 from the top notch Smoke And Mirrors CD, which you will read about later in the week in more detail in this blog.  Thanks to the excellent and frenetic remix by Breakage, “Dog Days Are Over”, a track from Lungs by Florence & The Machine, arrives at #30.  But if there’s one low key track you must check out this week, it should be “Don’t You Dare” by Matt Morris, which is a bonus song on his debut When Everything Breaks Loose, probably because it doesn’t really fit into the rest of the mood of the album.  This is a much more lushly produced, theatrical song that you might play next to earlier work by Rufus Wainwright.  You can download it for free right here!  (Note:  I don’t link to free downloads unless they are sanctioned by the artist 🙂 )

I will be away in New Orleans during the first full week of April, so a post of my next chart may be delayed (but I’m sure I’ll be armed with all kinds of great music!).

A Half Hour Dance Mix For You!

It goes all the way back to the disco days of the 1970’s when I did dance mixes using vinyl.  I’ve done them all through the subsequent years, but they always end up being a mix of pop, dance, rock, and R&B – not like the beat-matching disco of the 70’s or the beat-matching electro of today.

So while you might not consider this one to be a dance mix in its true sense, it’s a good sampling of some of my current favourites – 18 of them – all in 32 minutes!  For some songs you get a minute or so, for others close to 3 minutes.  I’m proud of some of the mixes – couldn’t likely do some of them with turntables – others, well, will at least catch your attention 😉

Here’s the rundown of the 18 songs.  Your comments would be welcome, particularly if you would like to see more of this kind of blogpost in future 🙂

Download it right here and go to the file “Half Hour Dance Mix 2010.mp3”

PLAYLIST

Intro…

Crystal Method f/ Emily Haines “Come Back Clean”

Tiga “What You Need”

Dan Black “Pass That Head Noize”

Gorillaz f/ Mos Def & Bobby Womack “Stylo” (see video below)

Massive Attack f/ Horace Andy “Girl I Love You”

Florence & The Machine “Dog Days Are Over”

Metric “Gold Guns Girls”

Mika “Rain”

Blake Lewis “Heartbreak on Vinyl”

Matt Morris “Don’t You Dare”

Fabio Lendrum “Trouble”

Javi “Situation”

Ellie Goulding “Starry Eyed”

SSSHHH IT’S A SECRET (bloggers please do not reveal!!)

Lady GaGa “Teeth”

Penguin Prison “Something I’m Not”

Annie “Don’t Stop”

Mike Posner “Cooler Than Me”