Monday, October 24, 2011

Scary shows and creepy music

So, I've given in and started watching FX's "American Horror Story" because I'm a sucker for all things horror and all things TV. However, I'm a bit apprehensive about the whole thing because creator Ryan Murphy ("Glee", "Nip/Tuck", and "Popular") has a tendency to mess up a good thing. Everything he touches turns to dirt and it's a painful thing to have to watch.

Nevertheless, the show is intriguing and grabbed my attention immediately.

Another thing it has going for it is the suitably creepy music used throughout. One creepy song that sounded wonderful in my earballs was Son Lux's "Flickers." I first happened upon Son Lux while watching the movie The Romantics (which was awful, so don't ever see it) when his song "Betray" was featured.

Son Lux is actually Ryan Lott, based out of New York. He writes and performs all of his songs with the occasional helping-hand on other instruments. The reviews for his albums have been really positive. I don't think that I can say it better than Paste's Andy Whitman said it, so I'll let him do the talking:

"Ryan Lott, who records under the name Son Lux, is a classically trained pianist and hip-hop and Radiohead fan who makes upside-down music. The 11 songs here consist of lyrical fragments – short phrases repeated, like a mantra, like rosary beads – that serve as the musical anchor, much like the rhythm section traditionally serves as the musical anchor. The result is an electronica collage that is a bundle of contradictions; noisy and meditative, hypnotizing and endlessly, continually evolving. If Beck recorded in a monastery, this is what he might sound like. This is the best debut album I’ve heard in years." good does that sound? Really good, I'd say. I definitely recommend checking out his stuff. "Flickers" is especially wonderful (I've been playing it the entire time I've been writing this post, so I think that says something...I think.)

"Flickers" Son Lux

"Betray" Son Lux

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little (white) lies.

Finally, there's a plot on Gossip Girl that is actually compelling, makes sense, and is keeping people's interest. Dan (played by the beautiful Penn Badgley) has written all about his upper-east-side "pals," and it's causing a skosh of trouble. But more importantly, viewers are getting a good amount of Dan/Blair scenes and it's awesome, because let's be honest, they're soulmates. Even Penn thinks so!

Last night's episode featured some fantastic music - for instance, Chase & Status featuring White Lies "Embrace." I knew it was the guys from White Lies immediately; as, Harry McVeigh's voice is easily distinguishable. But when I rushed to check out Spotify, I found that the song did not exist in their discography. A quick Google of the lyrics led me to discover Chase & Status, an electronic production duo.

Chase & Status have collaborated with the likes of Cee-Lo Green, Dizzie Rascal, and Rihanna. Wowza! In addition to last night's episode of Gossip Girl, they've also been featured on Nikita. That really makes it seem like I only watch The CW, but I promise I watch other stuff--it's just that a huge number of shows are scored, whereas CW shows rely heavily on "popular music," a lot of it being excellent.

White Lies has gained a lot of popularity, being featured in a lot of different shows and on the 2009 NME Awards Tour. They've been compared to Joy Division, Editors and Interpol. I would venture to say those comparisons aren't too far off.

Both artists are excellent choices if you like a little electronica in your rock and vice versa.

"Embrace" Chase & Status feat. White Lies

"To Lose My Life" White Lies

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ladies rockin' hard

I'm a little bit hooked on The CW's "The Secret Circle." I know, I know--how could I watch such questionable programming? But I do and I read the book series a while ago so really, I have a reason to be watching. Plus, Gale Harold is in it, and that's all the reason that I need.

Anyway, on to the (actually) good stuff: the music! I have been incredibly pleased with the music selections thus far. And in today's CineMUSic, we're going to talk about ladies kicking ass and making sick jams (that shouldn't come as a surprise.)

We were blessed with not one but two songs from The Naked and Famous. They're a bit hipper than my usual style, but I like them nonetheless. TNAF are a five-piece band from New Zealand (is it offensive to call them Kiwi's? I don't really know.) And as unfortunate as it is, they're compared to Passion Pit whom I loathe. Regardless, they're a nice little indie-electro-pop band. The songs "Young Blood" and "Girls Like You" were both featured.

"Girls Like You" The Naked and Famous

Then, as I've raved about before, The Kills came on and I nearly passed out because their new album is sick. Their track "DNA" is completely gritty and delicious. I can't recommend the two-piece band's fourth album Blood Pressures. The actual scene in the show is the "bad girl" of the show just strutting around wearing a leather jacket and that's exactly how the song makes me feel - even if I'm wearing flip flops and a cutesy dress.

"DNA" The Kills

Last but not least is "Dressed in Dresden" by The Hundred in the Hands. Yes, it's another electro-pop band (sorry, I'm like an old know, you can't teach them new tricks?) And it's a duo, much like The Kills. They' re probably the least known of these three bands, so you still have time to get hooked on them before they're way too cool and touring with Crystal Castles or some equally hip band.

"Dressed in Dresden" The Hundred in the Hands

And seriously, "The Secret Circle" doesn't suck too bad. It's a typical supernatural CW drama and I like pretending that that's what my high school experience was-- you know, brooding boys thinking that I'm their destiny? Set to awesome music? Having an insane wardrobe where I never wear the same outfit more than once? Yeah, I'll take that.