In the meantime, here's one of my favorite things ever, Jodie Foster's French disco track "La Vie C'est Chouette" from 1977 (it was the b-side to two of her singles, "When I See Your Face" and "Je T'Attends Depuis La Nuit Des Temps"). I heard this on the 365 Days blog a few years ago, and still think it's utterly fantastic. The fifteen-year-old Foster chews it up here, sounding like a cross between Rex Harrison and Jane Birkin, with a whole lot of sassy sexpot attitude.
Jodie Foster -- La Vie C'est Chouette (hosted at UBUWEB, right-click and save)
I'm home from work today; I woke up feeling a little under the weather, so I decided to take it easy. As a result, I've had some time to sit around and listen to a few records that I've been avoiding, most especially local fellows SOUNDteam's major label debut Movie Monster. I saw SOUNDteam once in like 2002, or something, and wasn't that impressed -- as a matter of fact, I kind of went out of my way to avoid seeing them again. Amongst my friends and accquaintances, they were generally disparaged for blowing a lot of money on a big studio (named Big Orange, in respectable homage) and for, well, being more than competent, but just not very interesting. Then, all of a sudden, a few months ago, everyone was talking about how they'd signed with Capitol and how they'd made Movie Monster for an obscene amount of money. Then, naturally, pre-SXSW, they became a major blogger buzz band (for instance, just check out the coverage when they recently toured with Elefant -- scroll down in the linked entry). As such, I was really ready to hate Movie Monster, but it has some redeeming qualities, namely in that it's really listenable, even if at their best, SOUNDTeam uh, sound like you threw Spoon, The Faint, and The Walkmen in a blender after removing all the thorny, difficult parts and added a dash of U2 (natch, if you're going for big epic sound, the U2 influence is always there). As a result, none of the songs really sick with you or grab you emotionally, but they make great, inoffensive background noise. It tempts me to quote another critic friend here: "I just don't hear any songs there..." -- there's hooks and choruses, but they just don't go anywhere, there's lots of pent-up velocity that just sort of spins in place, resulting in a serious case of musical intertia. Anyway, I'm of the opinion that if this is marketed experly (and I really don't know how it's being marketed at all, other than with great expense in regards to the packaging), this could bubble up from under and be a nice, solid semi-mainstream success for SOUNDteam, like I dunno, on the level of Stellastarr* or something?
So yes, if you haven't heard them on one of the other mp3 blogs, check out the SOUNDteam webpage and MySpace page. Yeah. Movie Monster will be released on 6/6/06, a date that surely will be overcrowded with releases just for the effect.
What seems to be turning into the daily Shearwater and
Palo Santo update: Other Music (scroll down for review) declares "Red Sea, Black Sea" (formerly known as "Turn Your Transmitters Off," and an official TRGAW anthem) "the best song The National never wrote." Which sounds about right to me, and outside of some of the factual errors in the review (uh, Sheff's break from Shearwater was eventually amenable, but at times kind of rocky -- just ask me about that Shearwater show on Nov. 2, 2004 sometime...), it's exactly the kind of thing I'm hoping to read more of in future.
Also, I wish Rip It Up and Start Again author Simon Reynolds' blog was easier to read. I'm interested in what he has to say (even if I don't agree with his assesment of Paul Morley's Words and Music...), but it makes my eyes and brain hurt to read black on an OD background. Ick! (Thx to Miss Meow Meow Susan Meow Meow for the previous two links!)
[Sidebar: I was scooped today by Fluxblog and GoodHodgkins -- I was going to have little writeups of Blackbright Morning Light and The Longcut, but I guess that's what I get for dawdling this morning!]