*Republished* WORLD PREMIERE – @youareYouandMe’s dark, trance remix of “Dancing On My Own” by @Robynkonichiwa

ROBYN, “Dancing On My Own” (You&Me Remix) [B-side]

NYC duo You&Me have given me the esteemed pleasure of giving you the world premiere of their second remix of “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn.  I was happy to bring you the ebullient progressive house “A-side” remix a few weeks ago.  The “B-side” shows You&Me’s keen interest in the darker side of trance music – the first thing you’ll wonder about is the vocal and it is indeed Robyn!!  The guys essential build the EDM equivalent of a dub version of “Dancing On My Own” around the key chorus turns a peppy pop/dance anthem into a slick mirror image that will click with alternative dance clubs.  Open-minded Robyn fans and DJ’s will totally get it.  As much as you can spin the “A-side” remix and fill a dance floor, the “B-side” remix will also generate some positive reaction and commentary.  What’s your flavour, “A-side” or “B-side”?  Let the revival continue 🙂  Listen to the “B-side” at the link above.

Published in: on May 20, 2016 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Let’s start a revival with ebullient @youareYouAndMe remix of “Dancing On My Own” by @Robynkonichiwa

ROBYN, “Dancing On My Own” (You&Me remix – A-side)

Can you believe Robyn’s  Grammy-nominated “Dancing On My Own” was released in 2010?  It hardly seems that long ago because the song has been summoned to the forefront again thanks to many online recent viral covers as well as renditions on TV’s “The Voice” by both Top 4 Season 9 finalist Jeffery Austin and current Season 10 Top 10 contestant Paxton Ingram.  So the timing is absolutely perfect for a revival and new production duo You&Me have taken the reins to bring you their feel good, jam-packed, effortlessly sounding remix.  Fans of the original song will bounce gleefully while others who are new to it may just find another favourite song.  I encourage dance club DJ’s to add this to their playlist to guarantee a packed dance floor at evening peak time.  And there’s still more news:  I didn’t just label it as “You&Me remix – A-side” for nothing.  This is the first of You&Me’s two remixes of the song.  A ‘darker’ version “B-side” will be released on May 19 and I’ll have details for you at that time!  For now you can download You&Me’s “A-side” remix of “Dancing On My Own” at the above link.

Published in: on May 5, 2016 at 9:02 pm  Comments (2)  
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Tuned-On! Top 30 #362 – September 26/11

As Autumn is upon us, like the leaves that begin to fall, some recent favourites of mine drop off my personal chart to make room for some noteable new blood.  You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S 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.

There is no moving the Top 4 songs, no sirree they just aren’t a budging.  “Wicked Baby”, the insanely catchy song that updates the Ace of Base vibe courtesy of Ro Danishei & Simon Curtis hangs on to #1 vying with Simon’s own victory cry “Laser Guns Up” in second place.  “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People keeps its summery lustre long enough for another chart at #3, while “Disco Moment” by Bright Light Bright Light is solid and still on the rise at #4.  The only change-up in the Top 5 sees Jessica 6’s duet with Antony Hegarty on “Prisoner Of Love” belatedly making a big gain in the face of so many great songs on the chart.  A video for the song is forthcoming!

The rest of the Top 10 sees a major shakeup.  The intense emotions of Matthew Kurz’s “Fix Me” often give me pause for many thoughts, and the song soars 11-6.  Do check out this talented singer/songwriter’s FREE mixtape using the link on my chart page.  October 18 is the North American street date for Penguin Prison’s self-titled album.  As Chris Glover and band continue to play dates throughout North America, they are present on the chart with both “Multi-Millionaire” at #7 and “Fair Warning” rising to #14.  To entice you more, Penguin Prison has a FREE download of “Don’t Fuck With My Money” available with an email subscription right here.  You can hear that song above this paragraph.  Then, our favourite “Bad Dog” is on the loose!  Neon Hitch played a well received gig last week in New York City, and her song is propelled to #8.  Adele’s enduring and powerful “Set Fire To The Rain” takes 9th place, while the heartfelt “Never Will Be Mine” by Rye Rye featuring Robyn lands at #10.

The middle of the chart is nothing less than busy.  “Pull The Trigger” is the hottest song on Adam Tyler’s very good Shattered Ice release, with it’s sad-but-gotta-do-it lyrics married with an anthemic house rhythm.  It’s also the hottest song on the chart as the Fastest Riser, moving 22-12 and you can listen to the song above.  Then, we have the ultra-prolific Kyle Brylin with a real pick-me-up if there ever was one, “My Fizzy Pop” at #13.  Not only did Kyle cover Rihanna’s “S&M” earlier this year, but perhaps he’s drinking the same water, since she’s coming out with new stuff as frequently.  He teases you below with a preview of the hard hitting trance track “Never Love A DJ” and “Poison Venus” below this paragraph.  Full comments about these songs later!  And by no means should you think that “Stupid With You” by Eric Saade is done, after moving one place to #15.  It’s a fantastic pop song, one of many on Saade Volume One as we await Saade Volume Two sometime in November!

At the top of this blog, you watched the new video for Darren Hayes’ Australian single “Bloodstained Heart”, which climbs to #17.  I’m hoping it will be released to the rest of the world after “Black Out The Sun”.  In particular, I enjoy Darren’s soothing high register and the dramatic crescendo halfway that serves as anticipation for the final scene of the video.  Darren’s album Secret Codes And Battleships is released October 17 in the UK and October 21 in the rest of the world.  Right below “Bloodstained Heart” we see the debut song from Florence & The Machine’s sophomore album Ceremonials.  “What The Water Gave Me” moves up 26-18 in this chart edition.

The rest of the chart sees six debuts!  It’s a huge week ahead for Frankmusik as his second album Do It In The A.M. sees release on September 27.  The latest single, “No I.D.” featuring the delightful Colette Carr, arrives on the chart at #20 and is gradually becoming one of the must-hear songs of the year along with its “Grease”-y video above.  2011 has been one heck of a ride for Frankmusik and it hasn’t stopped yet!  Next up is the beautiful song from Nick Hagelin that I cannot get enough of right now.  “Metaphor” (which I blogged about last week) premieres at #23.  Further down at #26 is a song that has hung on throughout the summer despite no North American release for the singer’s album.  “The Way I See” doesn’t appear on Will Young’s latest album Echoes, but you can get it in a FREE download from a link in my chart (the song was previously available for free through Amazon UK).  It’s Will’s first appearance in these pages, and I look forward to paying closer attention to the songs in Echoes.

An impressive video for “Famous” by Audio Playground featuring Kardinal Offishall quickly arrived on our doorstep (above) and debuts at #27 on the chart.  The song’s a certified hit, conquering Canadian radio by being added to practically every pop station in the country, while the French language version featuring Randy Raymond is everywhere in Quebec.  Then at #28 we have Ms Grace Jones, sounding like she never left the music scene with her first release in 22 years called Hurricane.  From that album we have the sinewy and compelling “Williams Blood”, which is available in the FREE Aeroplane remix radio edit (link in on my chart page).

This edition closes at #29 with a song hot off the presses this week by a singer whose voice I adore.  Agnes Carlsson had a massive year in 2008/09 with her European album release Dance! Love! Pop! which contained the UK Top 5 and Billboard Dance Club Play #1 hit “Release Me”, one of my Top 10 favourites of that year.  With voice to rival no less than a Leona Lewis, Agnes is back with a tougher and equally powerful pop/dance song that will turn more heads around the world this time.  Watch “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (not the Elton John song) above and keep your ears peeled for much, much more from Agnes throughout the year and into 2012.

Thanks for reading!  Watch for changes to this blog coming soon too.  One thing I hope to change after this week is to give you shorter and more timely blogs, as well as the longer bi-weekly recap of my chart.  

Tuned-On! Top 30 #361 – Sept 12/11 plus Erasure and Frankmusik Concert in Toronto!

Last week was exceptionally busy and while I had already decided on my new chart rankings by Friday, I did decide to attend the Erasure and Frankmusik show at Sound Academy in Toronto, hence today’s belated blog.  More on the show later, on to chart news.

I’m still riding the Rainbow – End of the Rainbow that is – thanks to one of the best records of 2011!  That would be the sinfully delicious “Wicked Baby” by Ro Danishei featuring Simon Curtis (click to listen) that ascends to #1 on the Top 30, and looks like it might hold grip in wicked ways for the next several weeks.  That “Wicked Baby” should blitz the chart all the way to the top is even surprising to me.  And hand in hand with Simon’s anthem “Laser Guns Up”, which rises to #2, it knocked down what I thought was a sure thing for #1, which is “Made Of Pop” by Eric Saade, which now resides at #5.  Two further items of note:  Ro Danishei’s arrival at #1 is the first for a female singer on my chart since Lady GaGa’s “Teeth” back near the beginning of 2010 (I know I’m…. wicked).  And Simon Curtis packs a 1-2 punch holding court in the Top 2 for at least likely the next month.  If you have not sought out these talented singers, be sure to check out their respective albums (End Of The Rainbow for Ro, R∆ for Simon) on iTunes!

Definitely in the mix are the song that everyone’s trying to figure out, “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People, at #3, and Bright Light Bright Light’s “Disco Moment” at #4.  In any other year they would both be chart toppers.  Right below you can check out the “So Hard” mix of “Disco Moment” by Blx2 himself, Rod Thomas, also available on Blx2’s official site 🙂  Do I detect early 90’s Pet Shop Boys?  Hmmm.

Next up are late night New York dance delights in the forms of Jessica 6’s “Prisoner Of Love”, which climbs to #8, and yet another Top Tenner for Chris Glover’s Penguin Prison and “Multi-Millionaire” at #10.  Penguin Prison’s much-awaited self-titled debut album is out everywhere but in North America now (due date October 18).  I’m also charting the Dirty Vegas remix of “Fair Warning”, which hops to #18 and will certainly join “Multi-Millionaire” as a Top Tenner sometime soon.

Outside of the Top 10 there are several songs looking in with confidence!  Matthew Kurz’s amazing independent ballad “Fix Me” is now at #11, followed immediately by the glorious Adele with “Set Fire To The Rain” at #12, and then the Rye Rye and Robyn duet of the inspiring “Never Will Be Mine” at #13.  Neon Hitch’s “Bad Dog” is turning into a new favourite as it’s the Fastest Riser on the chart, up 25-15.  It’s followed immediately by a third song from Saade Volume One, “Stupid With You” by Eric Saade (watch for Volume Two later this year and hear this song in a concert clip below) and Kyle Brylin’s effervescent “My Fizzy Pop” at #16 and #17 respectively.

Our three debuts were previewed for you two weeks ago at around this time.  “Pull The Trigger” is vying with “I Won’t Let You Go” as my favourite song from Adam Tyler’s independent debut album Shattered Ice, and soars into the chart at #22, as the singer completes a North American club tour and is off to Japan.  I can’t wait to see the video for Darren Hayes’ Australian single “Bloodstained Heart” which arrives at #24.  Don’t rule out a debut for “Black Out The Sun” sometime soon… there’s just that much competition right now!  And lastly, powerhouse Florence Welch previews her forthcoming untitled album with “What The Water Gave Me” at #26.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.

Erasure and Frankmusik, Sound Academy, Toronto, Sunday September 11/11

Erasure and Frankmusik performed excellent sets last night which for me were just what the doctor ordered 🙂  I was anxious to see what Mr. Frank (Vince Turner) had to offer up for his debut performance in Toronto, since he is also the producer of Erasure’s upcoming Tomorrow’s World album (due October 4 in North America).  The last time I saw Erasure in concert was in 2003 for their Other People’s Songs tour.  In this show, there were no covers (yes, no ABBA, no Blondie), but they weren’t missed at all.

This was the fifth time I’ve seen an Erasure show, and I think this was one of their best and most engaging shows yet.  Singer Andy Bell was definitely glad to be back in Toronto (“Toronto always makes me horny”).  Andy looked extremely fit and basked in the audience’s gaze, while keyboardist/guitarist/producer Vince Clarke looked dapper in red and black behind his gargoyle-like keyboard.  

They had an attentive audience that soaked in their new songs like “When I Start (To Break It All Down)” (which is bound for my chart), “A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot” and “Fill Us With Fire”, which may be some of their best songs in the last 10 years, and fell contently into place next to their hits.  And what choices of hits they were!  “Blue Savannah”, “Drama!”, “Ship Of Fools”, “Chorus” (view a clip of the song from the show at the top of the blog), “Love To Hate You” (I was singing every word to those last two), “Chains of Love”, and “A Little Respect”, and even something a little more obscure going back to 1986, “Push Me, Shove Me”, which most of the audience didn’t know (but I did since I have the Wonderland album).  Their 90 minute set closed with the glorious “Oh l’amour” and, naturally, “Stop!”.  

While a replay of greatest hits isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, when it’s this well done (despite some poor sound) and highly entertaining, then I’ll gladly have Erasure coming back again and again.  The set certainly exceeded my expectations.

Frankmusik’s new album Do It In The A.M. is due at last on September 27, and to get word out in person, he’s opening for Erasure on their entire North American tour.  Vince and band performed a 45 minute non-stop set that not only set the stage for Erasure, but showcased the clever singer/songwriter/producer’s repertoire and some of his inspirations. So he mixed in older songs like “Better Off As 2”, not only with excellent new songs like “Do It In The A.M.”, “Struck By Lightning”, “Ludicrous”, and my favourites of the evening “Wrecking Ball” and “No ID” (featuring his gal Casey Carlson subbing for Colette Carr), but with either sung verses from noteworthy hits “You Can Call Me Al”, “Disco Inferno”, and “Music Sounds Better With You”, or well-placed samples of Eric Prydz’s “Call On Me” and Daft Punk’s “Around The World”.  Frankmusik wrapped the audience up tightly in his set and the unpredictability of it won them over.  The cheerful club party vibe and Frankmusik’s eagerness to please made for an exceptional set.

Last week, we saw the premiere of the video for “No ID” by Frankmusik and Colette Carr.  I’m so glad some of today’s videomakers are looking back to not too long ago (well, maybe before they were born but not me) for simple stories, inspiration (in this case a certain movie from the 70’s) and positive attitude with some fun choreography.  If it doesn’t put a big smile on your face then back to bed with you!  Watch in particular the scenes with Vince and Colette in the video below.  And there’s a familiar male dancer in the blue sweater with Boy Robot glasses…

Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Tuned-On! Top 30 #360 – August 29/11 plus new music from Darren Hayes, Florence & The Machine, and Adam Tyler

The bi-weekly Tuned-On! Top 30 looked to be going in a topsy-turvy direction this week, so the only way to contain all of the insanity was to take some good listens to my favourite songs.  As much as I’ve been obsessed with Ro Danishei & Simon Curtis’ sensational “Wicked Baby”, it debuts in the stratosphere at #3.  That leaves “Just Once” by Databoy (#1) and “Made Of Pop” by Eric Saade (#2) to hold court for a second time as the last full month of summer comes to an end.  Judging from the activity below, topsy-turvy may be the expression that stays intact in two weeks.  Not surprisingly, “Laser Guns Up” by Simon Curtis is the fastest riser, blasting up the chart 16-4, while the breezy “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People arrives at #5.  Be sure to check out the free euro-trance Skeet Skeet Show remix too.

Four out of the next five songs in the Top 10 are movin’ on up.  In any other year, these songs would be destined for #1, but because of competition some may even fall short of the Top 5!  Bright Light Bright Light’s “Disco Moment” climbs to #6, while Ro Danishei hangs in the Top 10 with a second hit, “Prey To The Beat” at #7.  I can’t get “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera out of my head, so it continues up to #8, and NYC late night contemporary disco is in the form of “Prisoner Of Love” by Jessica 6 featuring the unique vocals of Antony Hegarty at #10.

Trying to break through the Top 20 are more songs on the rise.  The Shook remix of “Multi-Millionaire” by Penguin Prison climbs to #12, and while we’re in anticipation of the self-titled PP album, I’m debuting the smoking Dirty Vegas remix of PP’s “Fair Warning” at #24.  Amazing new L.A. singer Matthew Kurz jumps 21-15 with the stunningly beautiful “Fix Me”, while Wynter Gordon’s party anthem “‘Til Death” continues to move up to #16.  A cornerstone of the 21 album is Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain”, which rises to #17, while the infectious “Never Will Be Mine” by the duet of Rye Rye and Robyn jumps to #18.  The man-who-would-portray Jeff Buckley, Reeve Carney, inches up to #20 with “Rise Above 1”.

Don’t be fooled by small moves by “Stupid With You” by Eric Saade and the exuberant “My Fizzy Pop” by Kyle Brylin, they both have to wait for other songs to move out before moving up more.  Our last debut this week is one of the most energetic and catchy songs around, UK singer Neon Hitch with “Bad Dog” at #25.

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Darren Hayes Times Two:  “Black Out The Sun” (video) and “Bloodstained Heart”

Well it’s fortunate for the Internet that we all get to see and hear two more songs from Darren Hayes’ upcoming album Secret Codes And Battleships.  Australia gets “Bloodstained Heart” as the second single, and it’s an intensely emotional ballad that reminds me a lot of the sentiment from “How To Build A Time Machine” and “Casey” from This Delicate Thing We’ve Made.  And if that’s not enough, the song has one of Darren’s most beautiful and affecting vocals, as well as lush instrumentation that sticks in your head.  The UK and the rest of the world gets “Black Out The Sun”, which is more familiar to Darren fans who liked “Who Would Have Thought” from Delicate Thing, as well as his Savage Garden ballads.  But the song would not be out of place next to darker tunes from Darren’s 2004 album The Tension And The Spark, such as “Unlovable” and “I Like The Way”.  It’s a sad song to be sure, but with an emotional purpose.  It looks like the rest of the songs from Secret Codes And Battleships may exceed all of our expectations!

Florence & The Machine “What The Water Gave Me”

Florence & The Machine’s Lungs was one of the most compelling releases of 2009, spawning memorable hits like “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” and “Dog Days Are Over”.  Those two hits and other songs from the album transcended the last two years thanks to the band’s touring and Florence Welch’s magnetic presence on shows like this year’s Grammy Awards.  So riding the wave of all of this is “What The Water Gave Me”, and if it’s of any indication, the sophomore album should outdo Lungs.  Like with “Rabbit Heart” and “Dog Days”, “What The Water Gave Me” is a frenzy of musical power along with Florence’s vocals which evoke shades of no less than Siouxsie Sioux, Sinead O’Connor, and Annie Lennox.  It’s scary to think that Florence & The Machine could also grab the ride that Adele got on at the inset of 2011.

Adam Tyler’s debut album Shattered Ice

It’s taken a long time to arrive, but an independent release has to be done just right in order to succeed.  I think that Adam Tyler’s Shattered Ice has a stamp of success awaiting it.  Earlier this year, we received a major taste of the LA-based singer/songwriter’s best work with “I Won’t Let You Go”, whose unique blend of affecting europop resonated through the Interweb.  The full release of Shattered Ice also builds nicely on Adam’s 2010 single release, the frenetic “Friction”.  

The album contains a varied mix of pop, dance, and three acoustically arranged versions of songs on the album, with credit to Sky Felix and his collaborators for the imaginative production.  Best of all is “Pull The Trigger”, an intriguing mix of europop and 90’s styled house carried by the phrase “bang bang baby cry”.  Hear the song at the end of the blog.  While the song does the trick in its current version, it cries out for a remix that has a screaming bass undercurrent!  Next up we have “Emergency”, an urgent song about shattered emotions that does very well in its original pop/dance mix, showcasing particularly strong vocals by Adam surrounded by some fun production tricks and instrumentation.  But it’s also available in a softer and beautiful orchestral version.  “I Won’t Let You Go” also appears in a stripped down piano version.

Also check out the intense “Music Freak”, more hearts on the sleeve in the title track, and a mid-tempo companion piece to “I Won’t Let You Go”, “Taking Back My Love”.  To me sometimes the album gets caught up in arrangements that overwhelm Adam’s voice or overshadow some of the weaker songs.  But pop music lovers will find much more to delight them on Shattered Ice.  Get it on iTunes!  “Pull The Trigger” by Adam Tyler

Databoy Collects #1 While Laser Guns Ablaze on the Tuned-On! Top 30 #359 – August 15/11

Databoy’s summer pop anthem “Just Once” lands at #1 four and a half months after I saw them perform in New York at Arjan Writes’ Superfraiche show.  I couldn’t wait for the song to be released and it’s one of eight free downloads to reach the summit since late 2009 (facts and figures at the bottom of the blog).  It dislodges “Flesh” by Simon Curtis after two months at #1, which is very strange happenstance because had I not seen Simon at the same Superfraiche show I would not have heard “Just Once” until much later 🙂  And while Simon’s “Superhero” leaves the chart, it is immediately replaced at #16 by the first song that I heard from R∆ from a clip of Simon’s L.A. show in January, and that’s the fan-favourite “Laser Guns Up”.  I’m not sure what other plans Simon has for songs from R∆, so I’m instigating the proceedings a bit with this chart debut.  And I’m still waiting for glow-in-the-dark lego guns 😉

Just so there’s an air of challenge, “Made Of Pop” by Eric Saade vaults 5-2 and will see eye-to-eye with “Just Once” in two weeks for #1.  And just to keep competition fierce, I’ve also debuted another track from Saade Volume One at #25.  “Stupid With You” is one of those happy-go-lovesick songs that puts a smile on your face, and it arrives as Eric’s #1 “Popular” leaves the chart after the maximum 10 appearances (20 weeks).  “Talk Talk Talk” by Darren Hayes is by no means done as it holds at #4, while Marianas Trench guitarist Matt Webb puts “Cinnamon” at #5.

Actually 9 consecutive songs are ‘bulleted’ between #4 and #12, which means right now that I can’t get enough of them!  In particular “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People is at #6 and is showing signs of a potential future chart leader.  Long Story Short’s powerhouse rocker “Venom” slides to #7, while the next three songs arrive in the Top 10 for the first time.  The Fastest Riser on the chart this week to no surprise is the valiant “Disco Moment” by Bright Light Bright Light, which climbs 16-8 and also eyes #1 from a distance.  The third consecutive Top 10 smasheroo from the Ballroom Remixed project is “The Lover’s Rumba” by Elouise which moves up to #9, while the big 10 is rounded out by that hidden-dance-floor-filler “Prey To The Beat” by Ro Danishei, whose deluxe edition of her End Of The Rainbow album should be available on iTunes within the month!  Wanting to join the Top 10 in two weeks are the irresistible “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera (video below) and Van Go Lion’s graceful dance pop of “We Don’t Miss A Beat”.

Surrounding the other high risers burning up the chart that are Jessica 6 & Antony Hegarty’s compelling “Prisoner Of Love” and the fierce “Set Fire to The Rain” by Adele (27-20) are delights from Penguin Prison, Blue Hamilton, Wynter Gordon, and NYC Spider-Man Reeve Carney.

Joining “Laser Guns Up” and “Stupid With You” in their chart premieres is the free download of “Fix Me” by Matthew Kurz (#21), about whom I blogged earlier in the week.  “Fix Me” takes you on a magnetic emotional journey and you will be totally absorbed by the time Matthew stops the song dead in its tracks near the end before the chorus kicks in for one more eye-filling time.  It’s a MUST LISTEN.  Then further down at #26, in a totally carefree electropop kind of way that could only have been created by those involved, is “My Fizzy Pop” by Kyle Brylin, which I also told you about a few weeks back.  It’s Kyle’s second chart entry, following a still-favourite “Everything I’m Missing”, which got to #5.  Good things are in store for “My Fizzy Pop”!  It’s from the Telephoto Lens EP which you can buy on iTunes.  Last up is the debut entry from rapper Rye Rye, who has a dream match with a chorus sung by dance powerhouse Robyn on “Never Will Be Mine”, which I also mentioned this past week.  Simply put, this one is stuck in my head, which is a good thing.  On a chart data note, it’s only Robyn’s second appearance on this chart, her first being on Röyksopp’s #1 “The Girl & The Robot” from 2009.  I think another song will change that in time so that Robyn actually has an appearance under her own name!

Here are the 8 songs that have reached #1 on the Tuned-On! Top 30 that have been/are available for free download:

100 Akres featuring Roz Bell “Pink Cadillac”

Simon Curtis “Delusional”

Simon Curtis “Beat Drop”

Penguin Prison “The Worse It Gets (Starsmith remix)”

Simon Curtis “8bit Heart”

Bright Light Bright Light “A New Word To Say”

The Temper Trap “Resurrection (Penguin Prison remix)”

Databoy “Just Once”

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)

Summer Popervescence #2 featuring new songs by Chris Isaak, Will Young, Pierre Lewis, Marianas Trench, Evanescence, Adam Tyler… and some newcomers

Chris Isaak “Live It Up”

Sometimes things seem to take forever.  Yet when you look back on the first time you heard a performer, it all seems to have happened in a snapshot.

It’s hard to believe I first heard the music of Chris Isaak in a record store in Paris in 1985.  I was quickly intrigued and bought a French music magazine with him on the cover so that I could find out more about his music.  That same night I saw the video for his first single “Dancin'” on TV.  I didn’t end up buying his debut album Silvertone until I got home – but it’s one of my most favourite albums and “Dancin'” is one of my most favourite songs.  I got the opportunity to interview this singer from Stockton, California, in 1987, more than two years before “Wicked Game” brought him worldwide fame.  Since then, his songs have been featured in countless movies (most noteworthy “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” in “Eyes Wide Shut” in 1999, four years after its original release) and he’s had two TV shows of his own.  He last released a studio record, Mr. Lucky, in 2009 (just before this blog began) and a live album Live At The Fillmore was issued last year.  That completed his days with Reprise/Warner.

While he continues to tour actively, currently in mid-west US and Canada, he has now signed to Vanguard Records (currently home to Matt Nathanson and Shawn Mullins, among others) for his album of classic 50’s and 60’s Sun Records artists cover versions, called Beyond The Sun.  Just the thought of him singing classics like “Ring of Fire”, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, and “I Walk The Line” makes my spine tingle, because of his unique way in interpreting a song.  All you need to do is hear his renditions of Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man” (from 1995) and Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me” (from 2006) for proof positive.

I could go on and on and on… But there is a free download to precede the October release of Beyond The Sun.  In a press release, Chris says the following about “Live It Up”:

“When we were doing the record, I kept learning things,” says Chris. “For instance, nothing on those early records has a rock beat—it’s all shuffle and stripper beat. I wrote “Live It Up” to put a rock beat on the record, so that that beat too is represented.”

Download “Live It Up” right here or listen to it at the link below.  Read more about the Beyond The Sun project right here.

Will Young “The Way I See”

Flipping back through the contemporary pop pages, we have a free download by one Will Young, who has been a sensation overseas since his UK Pop Idol win in 2002.  In North America, his 2003 hit “Leave Right Now” was used as an American Idol ‘exit’ song in 2010, prompting overdue interest in the singer.  As a precursor to his album Echoes, a Robbie Williams-ish single called “Jealousy” was issued.  As much as I’ve listened to it several times, that song is not clicking with me.  But then along comes this free download of “The Way I See”, and what do we have here?  A song destined to get Will Young songs into dance clubs worldwide, so I’m waiting anxiously for the remixes.  Download “The Way I See” right here and be prepared to strut your stuff…

Pierre Lewis “Out Of My Mind”

I tipped you off to Pierre’s new single back in June, and this week an impressive video (below) surfaced for the song, due out on release on September 19.  “Out Of My Mind” shows the talented British singer’s range as well as someone who can exert his presence in the always underestimated blue-eyed soul sub-genre.  Actually to me “Out Of My Mind” is more R&B than pop, it would fit contently next to Ne-Yo or Jason Derulo rather than GaGa or Britney.  Pierre has a strong and loyal following of fans but this one could get attention worldwide if handled properly, and it’s from an upcoming EP called Transitions.  As I mentioned, the video is pretty eye-catching, the story moves along nicely in all kinds of attractive colour lighting accentuating various eye candy and the considerable charm of the singer.  And be sure to check out Pierre on Twitter, especially when he can’t sleep 😉

Marianas Trench “Haven’t Had Enough”

It’s already been to #1 on the Canadian iTunes singles chart, which is testament to the domestic popularity of Vancouver-based quartet Marianas Trench.  Though it doesn’t offer up a heck of a lot of new tricks (I really like Matt Webb’s guitar work on this one), “Haven’t Had Enough” gives a trademark to the band’s loud but lyrical party rock sound that just happens to be supported by guys who know their craft and vocal techniques.  I was a big supporter of 2009’s Masterpiece Theatre album so I’m looking forward to #3, called Ever After, this fall.  There’s no video yet, but listen to the song below.

Evanescence “What You Want”

Leaving the sometimes gothic feel of past hits like “My Immortal” behind as well as the soft-turns-to-loud moments that showcased singer Amy Lee’s voice so well on songs like “Call Me When You’re Sober”, “What You Want” is the Arkansas quintet’s first single from their upcoming self-titled album.  It’s big and loud and will hit you square without bowling you over.  Amy Lee will continue to be a force among female vocalists and her voice as a featured artist will benefit any song.  I don’t usually think a lot about radio these days so it’s hard for me to determine if radio will get behind this record based on the band’s past performance.  But in time this could in fact be one of the best records of the year.

Hot New Dance Songs:  The sexy and aggressive “Bad Dog” by British singer Neon Hitch, and Maryland rapper Rye Rye‘s (nee Ryeisha Barrain) memorable high profile duet with Robyn on the retro 90’s “Never Will Be Mine” that was featured on the Jay Leno show a week ago.  Hear both songs below (the version of “Never Will Be Mine” is the Burns remix).

Proud Swedish Moment:  LA’s Adam Tyler recently performed at Stockholm’s pride celebrations in front of over 30,000 people.  We’re now 12 days away from the premiere of his album Shattered Ice, and below is a video of Adam performing a new song “Like A Drug”.  The album looks to be a spicy mix of dance zingers like this as well as some slower tracks (I’m waiting for “Emergency”!).

Grunge-inspired Brits:  Karvel is a new trio from Twickenham, England consisting of singer/guitarist Joe Mallory-Skinner, bassist Ben Soan, and drummer Tom Wood.  Together they seem to be fusing together some unexpected rock styles – take UK groups like Placebo and Kasabian, pass them through Ireland’s The Script, and then into the 90’s rock of Beck and Foo Fighters.  I think some growth still needs to happen here, but their recent acoustic video cover of The Joy Formidable’s “A Heavy Abacus” certainly grabbed my attention (below), as did their work with Grammy-winner Adrian Bushby on “End of the Night”.  Hear them at their heaviest, and grungiest, on “Only The Young” on their Facebook page (from which you can get free downloads with an email subscription).

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 – please leave your comments and observations!!  Onward to the new decade… 🙂

Tuned-On! Best of 2009, Part 2 (25-1)

To complete my thoughts on the best songs that I heard in 2009, here are a few words about each of my 25 favourites:

25. NELSON CLEMENTE “You Want Me Don’t You (Spekr Freks mix)”

My #22 favourite from 2008 received a blistering remix from Spekr Freks in 2009 that’s perfect for the crack of midnight at a club.  It bodes well for new music in 2010 from this South Africa based, Australian talent.

24. MARIANAS TRENCH “Masterpiece Theatre Part 1”

To me this is the showcase track from the Masterpiece Theatre, the first part of an intriguing rock opera that surrounds their other hits “Cross My Heart” (#37 on this list), “All By Myself”, and “Beside You”.  These west coast Canadians far exceeded my expectations with this well-produced and extremely well done record.


A new Swedish star who should be on the international tip sometime in 2010.  This breezy reflection on summer is only one reason for that.

22. GARY GO “Wonderful”

I missed this new UK singer opening up on Mika’s Fall tour but hopefully he’ll make the rounds again.  “Wonderful” is an urgent, heartfelt tune to turn to when you feel down in the dumps – it will certainly pick you up.

21.  RYAN STAR “Last Train Home”

The second song in this list from 2008 to receive a re-release, and the first of two in the Top 25 from this singer.  Ryan Star’s from NYC and this striking rock ballad commands your attention.  Few male rock singers these days have voices this good.

20. BEYONCE  “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”

Yes it was a little tired by year’s end with even Alvin & The Chipmunks getting in on the act, but there’s no denying the hook or the impact that it had on women at the start of 2009.  Songs like this show why Beyoncé is a superstar.

19. EVAN TAUBENFELD “Boy Meets Girl”

The first of two songs in the Top 20 from this talented LA-based singer/guitarist.  The mix of 80’s and 90’s pop culture references and playful vocals make “Boy Meets Girl” a unique gem looking to be uncovered a little more in 2010.

18. PRESETS “If I Know You”

I missed their Toronto concert so I caught it when I was in California in April.  This Australian duo creates such an intense show, more reminiscent of dark and dangerous 80’s acts like Shriekback and The The than anything else.  “If I Know You” is a little less dark and dangerous, focusing in on a great melody and story while maintaining that relentless beat that pervades their live show.

17. JON McLAUGHLIN “You Can Never Go Back”

I’m not sure if it was entirely intended, but this track from this Indiana-based singer channels the Electric Light Orchestra so much for me.  With ELO-like musical flourishes and melody, and even a reference to “Xanadu”, I was sold!  It’s one of the highlights of Jon’s OK Now CD even if I think so for all the wrong reasons.

16. NADIA ALI “Love Story”

This former iio singer released her debut solo CD Embers, which includes this #1 club hit.  Nadia has a great voice that’s been missed these past few years after the demise of iio (who appear a few times on my Top 300 of the decade), and this gentle dancefloor filler has hopefully kickstarted a long solo career.

15. PIERRE  “Broken”

Pierre Lewis is one of several new singers I enjoyed from England, and his emotional ballad “Broken” has endured throughout the year for me.  It also works just fine as a dance tune in a snappy remix by Joe 90.  Look for more songs from Pierre in 2010.

14. MIKA “We Are Golden”

“We Are Golden” is the anthem of 2009 and a great start to a sophomore effort following Mika’s success in 2007.  The Boy Who Knew Too Much is top notch ear candy that occasionally goes over the top – and enjoyably sol.

13. THE SCRIPT “Before The Worst”

It’s hard to believe some of these Irish lads were once in the boy band MyTown… they have come a long way to make a debut CD that appeals across the pop, rock and alt.rock genres.  “Before The Worst” is their second song on this list, and was released as a free iTunes single early in 2009.  It’s the best track on their CD, wearing its emotion on its sleeve while allowing the listener to empathize.  The journey for these guys has just begun!

12. FLORENCE & THE MACHINE “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)”

Florence Welch is a unique new voice for the next decade as heard in the powerful songs on her band’s debut CD Lungs.  “Rabbit Heart” for me has the most memorable imagery in a chorus of any song on this list and that combined with its gothic pop trappings makes it one of the finest records of the year.

11. MIKA “Blame It On The Girls”

If the triumph of “We Are Golden” was not enough, next up from Mika in 2009 was this simple and snappy pop/dance tune with a story.  It’s theatrical qualities make it pretty much irresistible.  I’m looking for Mika to take his show on the road again in 2010 so that I can see it all brought to life!

10. AGNES CARLSSON “Release Me”

The biggest breakout of the year from Sweden is Agnes Carlsson, who acquired an international #1 club hit and Top 5 UK pop hit with “Release Me”.  Great vocals, commanding performance, this song had it all.

9. DAN BLACK “Alone”

The first of two Top 10 entries from the talented Mr. Black from England is “Alone”, which is not a ballad but an uptempo dance track.  It’s one of several reasons to watch to see what Dan Black has to offer in the next few years.  The world needs more of his kind of musical alchemy.

8. RYAN STAR “Right Now”

The second of two entries for Mr. Star, could there be a more positive and upbeat song released in 2009?  This song makes you feel your mortality through your bones.

7. THE FRAY “You Found Me (Lenny B mix)”

Back in the Spring, I was listening to my car radio and a syndicated radio show was on.  As I was listening, all of sudden ‘YOU FOUND ME” resonates through the speakers – and instead of a softer AC melody what follows is a throbbing dance beat before the vocals cut in.  You see, I didn’t , and still really don’t, like the original version of this song.  But Lenny B transformed it and brought out the meaning of the song for me.  When remixes are great, they really work.  This one made my heart pound.

6. EVAN TAUBENFELD “Cheater Of TheYear”

“Cheater of the Year” was my introduction to Evan Taubenfeld in 2009, and is his second appearance in the Top 20.  Lyrically, this song pulls no punches about its subject, but Evan makes it fun and entertaining for the listener, and simply makes you want more.

5.  100 AKRES FEATURING ROZ BELL “Pink Cadillac”

“Pink Cadillac” is the best completely free download of the year.  UK based 100 Akres had a hand in producing Canadian Roz Bell’s 2008 hit “Yesterday Man”, but this time he brought Roz into his territory, this being a funky track that is highly reminiscent of some of the best blue eyed soul of the 80’s, such as songs by The Kane Gang and Paul Young.  That such a great track was given away to us music fans made me hungry for similarly great online freebies.  And you know what, they’re out there!

4. NOAH “Mannequin”

Other bloggers discovered Ottawa-based Noah before I did, but I’m so glad that I found this song through them.  Noah certainly has his own unique scat-type vocal style that when mixed with electronic dance music, creates an even more extraordinary blend.  I’ve read that he’s put on energetic shows in Ottawa and NYC.  While I couldn’t hear anything else quite as riveting from his CD Human Geometry, I’m looking forward to hearing more from Noah in 2010.


Norwegian producers Royksopp meet Swedish star Robyn for a brilliant moment in electronic dance music that had online musicphiles raving, and then there was the live performance video too.  It takes you to one of those magical places in music history that you know can’t be repeated.

2. DAN BLACK “Symphonies”

The second of two Top 10 entries for Dan Black found him taking two or three steps ahead of his 2008 download “HYPNTZ” by forgetting about the Notorious B.I.G. sample he tried to acquire and instead transforming it into this sweeping contemporary piece of electronica.  It’s one of the most beautiful songs of 2009 and the decade.

1.  SAM TAYLOR “Run Away”

“Run Away” takes my breath away every time I play it, and I first heard it back in February, so it has held court over the entire year.  UK singer Sam Taylor is such an understated talent, he has a voice and delivery that can make anyone melt, yet he’s only had a handful of songs appear online, and the only ones commercially available are through the “Beautiful People” TV soundtrack from which this song comes.  Watch out 2010, it could be Sam Taylor’s year!!

You can view the full list right here.