All posts tagged: Berlin

ALBUM REVIEW: [debut], ‘Postcards From Berlin’

Some of the greatest rock record of all time spring from bands traveling – literally – outside of their comfort zones. Paul McCartney and Wings’ Band on the Run was largely recorded in Lagos, Nigeria (with all the drama one might expect from setting the Maccas loose in Africa); Exile on Main Street found its roots in France; and the Beach Boys’ Holland pretty much speaks for itself. For Los Angeles-based rock and art experimment [debut] and creator Gareth Thomas, that holy land was Berlin. Thomas describes [debut]’s unusual format as “more than a band. It’s a music and art collective with an ever-changing cast.” Embracing the ambiance of Germany, [debut]’s Postcards From Berlin contains all the flavor one might expect from a pre-1989 East German techno outfit, merged with Western instrumentation and universal flavors. Take lead single “More Than This” for example. While some might find its thrashing backbeat a little off-putting, there’s a melodic, and even soothing, piano line that comes to the rescue and carries the song into legit pop territory. The mere fact that Thomas has bridged the gap between something …

Duran-Duran-800

10 Most Awesome 80’s New Wave Comebacks Ever

Ready for an excellent adventure? Fire up the Delorean, pad your shoulders, grab a turbo dog and bag of corn nuts, we’re about to bend the polyester fabric of space and time. Can music sound totally retro and modern at the same time? Let’s find out. Sadly, many of the best new wave acts of the 80’s fell victim to the same old song and safety dance: Score some hits, disappear for a while and then cash in on the nostalgia circuit playing weathered versions of the classics to an audience of beer guts, soccer moms and bewildered kids. Call it a miracle, but New Wave is currently experiencing a Second Wave — three decades since the launch of MTV and the height of Richard Blade, these 11 iconic acts are currently cranking out some of the best music of their careers. While the Human League (Credo), David Bowie (The Next Day) and Ultravox (Brilliant) missed it by “thaaaaat much”, these bands magically returned to form in the 2000’s: #1. Duran Duran Key Personnel: Simon …

Hooks ‘N’ You: Kelly Osbourne, “Shut Up”/”Sleeping in the Nothing”

Given that the Osbourne family became the toast of MTV in 2002, thanks to their then-groundbreaking reality series, “The Osbournes,” it came as no real surprise when it was announced that Ozzy’s youngest daughter, Kelly, would be releasing an album of her own. It was entitled Shut Up, and it was dismissed by…well, just about everyone, really. It’s really not as bad an album as you want it to be, though, particularly given that you know full well that she only scored her recording contract because of her dad and her family’s TV show. But, man, having her cover Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” defines the concept of “a little too on-the-nose,” you know what I mean? Once Sony made her do that, there was never any chance in Hell that she was going to be taken seriously by critics as a recording artist. Indeed, Sony quickly proved that it had little interest in promoting the record beyond its novelty value. After “Papa Don’t Preach,” the label lazily released the title track as the next single, …

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’80s, Part 8

Today we’re going to finish up with the story of my collection. As I mentioned last week, I consider “The Collection” to be complete, i.e. I own a hard copy of all but one impossible song that charted in the Hot 100 during the 1980s. But just because it’s complete doesn’t mean I stopped collecting. I’m currently working on obtaining the entirety of both the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart and the Dance chart from the ’80s. And I’m not against also getting stuff from the Adult Contemporary, Rock, Country, and Bubbling Under charts, but those aren’t ones I’m targeting directly at this point. As of today, my entire stash of ‘80s music consists of 2,117 LPs, 1,127 CDs, and 949 45s; I’ve listened to every single one of them from start to finish, note for sometimes painful note. Throughout all of this I’ve learned that the differences between Def Leppard and Scott Baio songs are more immense than you could ever imagine. So, I consider myself an expert in ‘80s music. I don’t know the stories …