Friday, August 17, 2012

Beck's video game soundtrack and five other songs you may have missed

A semi-regular round-up of the songs and videos I haven't had the chance to blog during the week... Some excellent tracks this time round, starting with:

1) Beck - Cities
This is one of three tracks Beck has written for a Playstation game called Sound Shapes. Less linear than Guitar Hero or Rock Band, the song takes shape according to your skill at the game - a relatively simple 2D platformer. Cities (below) is probably the best of the bunch but the game also comes packaged with songs from Deadmau5, Jim Guthrie and I Am Robot and Proud.

2) A thousand million people singing Somebody That I Used To Know
Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but there are literally hundreds of cover versions of Gotye's megahit on YouTube. And, as a thank you to fans, he's taken all of those covers and stitched them together into a Somebody That I Used To Know megajam. It's much more enticing than it sounds - rather than a note-by-note recreation of the original, the Aussie singer has re-sampled all of the covers to create a trippy, Avalanches-esque sound montage. Just a shame you can't download it!

3) Jade Alston - Sober
Indie and R&B aren't two words that normally go together, but Philly girl Jade Alston is an soul diva who's independently releasing her own material. Funky and fresh, she's been working with Claude Kelly (Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J) and Chuck Harmony (Mary J Blige, Rihanna). Her mixtape, Single On A Saturday Night, was released for free last December - but she's just got round to making a video to the cheeky, body-popping single Sober. Definitely worth a look.

4) Regina Spektor - How
One of the most sincere, straightforward songs on Regina's latest LP, How is a heart-rending break-up ballad. "How can I begin again? How can I try to love someone new? Someone who isn’t you..." pleads the New Yorker, dispensing with her usual "hic dong Wallop plop!" vocal tics. This performance, from Jay Leno's show last night, will bring a lump to your throat.

5) Alison Valentine - Peanut Butter
Florist by day, singer by night, Alison Valentine once spent an entire summer following Prince around Europe. There's basically no higher recommendation in my book - and she delivers on that promise with Peanut Butter, a crunchy summer jam with more hooks than a meat locker. It is also - TA-DA - free to download.

6) The Darkness - Street Spirit (Fade Out)
The Darkness have been covering this as their encore for years. But that doesn't make this awful, karaoke-bar cover version any more acceptable. If Ben Elton ever writes a Radiohead musical, it will sound like this.

And that's all... Hope you have a great weekend!

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