Bloc Party – Letter To My Son

You can’t go around…

I couldn’t sleep last night due to excitement. I bought my bus ticket to head up to New York this weekend. It isn’t the first time, so I’m at a bit of a loss due to my happy anxiety. It’s seriously akin to my 7-year-old self’s yearning for Kennywood Day (Pittsburgh’s charming theme park). Maybe it’s part of a more abstract search that began this year. But while I may not know what I’m looking for, I certainly know the perfect soundtrack.

…breaking young girls’ hearts.

The post-punk revival of the early-to-mid 2000′s will be inexorably linked to New York City. Many great bands came out of the scene (Interpol, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, etc). Though, many of the catchiest songs came from NYC’s neighbor from across the pond. England’s Bloc Party often leaned more towards the “punk” half of post-punk more than others. A lot of their songs are faster, feature more distortion and energy, and the drumming would be right at home with 80′s hardcore acts. Unfortunately, by their third album Intimacy, it felt like they were trying to recreate the magic of their debut Silent Alarm. To be honest, Intimacy kinda bored me. But, there was a bonus track that caught my ear and has yet to let go.

 And you looked so right…

Letter To My Son should have been the lead single of an otherwise forgettable album. I believe the first time I ever heard it was while driving through a city (probably Pittsburgh) late at night, surrounded by orange lights, with snow falling. It had to be, because this is the image that comes to mind everytime I hear the murmurs at the beginning of the track which explode into jangly guitars and an awesome, bouncy bassline. While I’ll be a far cry from Pittsburgh and snow, I’ll be sure to slide my thumb to this song as the Manhattan’s glow comes into view.

…in that red dress.

Bloc Party – Letter To My Son

Robin Gazzara – In My Hands

If you can appreciate a genuinely great singing voice, press play.

Of the three whole towns I’ve ever been to in New Jersey, Hammonton happens to be my favorite. It is home to my dear friend from college, her awesome family members, the Silver Coin Diner, and one of my favorite bands. Oh yeah, and today’s feature artist: 22 year old singer/songwriter, Robin Gazzara.

Gazzara’s single, In My Hands, reminds me of how bad I wanted to have a voice like that when I was growing up. The track, recorded and produced by Gazzara’s brother, Ace Enders (formerly of The Early November), displays just how much of a spectacle her voice is. The addition of the layers upon layers of instruments does her voice justice, if not more.

I personally can’t wait to listen to the work she puts out in the future. You can visit her website here.

To the town of Hammonton: thank you for giving me another reason for loving you.

Until next Monday, catchya later tricks!

In My Hands by RobinGazzara

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – The Lady Is A Tramp

I think Born This Way was a terribly disappointing and boring record. That being said, I think Lady Gaga is a genius. Her appearance in drag at the VMA is the most exciting thing to happen on music television in the last year. And no matter how uninterested in her music I am, I can’t help myself wanting to know what she will do next.

So, of course, three days ago, three months after a ho-hum radio country single, “You and I,” she does the most unexpected thing she can: release a duet with Tony Bennett singing the 1937 jazz standard “The Lady Is A Tramp.” Not only is this single exciting because no one could have predicted it, but Lady Gaga sounds amazing on it. Jazz singing is what she should be doing. After the Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald version, no one can sing this song without Ella’s influence, but Lady Gaga’s performance respects the song’s history and expresses her own individuality. Watch the video; it’s probably the only time you’ll get to see Tony Bennett dancing with someone with hair that blue.