Linus
This is Emily Bindiger's first and only album on a career that encompassed music, film, TV and stage. Really worth your while, too and a shame that she didn't produce more of this wild, spiritual and brave music.

There hasn't yet been a CD reissue of this, her eponymous album with a cover that is strangely reminiscent of another one I posted here earlier. Bindiger singing and songwriting is very coherent throughout the record, with a voice and melodic style that both reminds us of country and irish traditional music. I guess it must be in her genes or something because she is able to travel back and forth these two musical sources with extreme ease sometimes in the course of a single song.

Take a listen to Jesus Said, a wild journey into religion and spiritual freedom and see what you think.

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Linus
And speaking of bands that can be filed under the "Baroque Pop" musical section, here's what's probably the most famous of them all: The Zombies.

But, amazingly, it almost was not to be so. Odessey and Oracle is now considered a pop music classic, filled to the brim with gems of compositional brilliance and highly elaborate arrangements. To think that they had such shortage of money at the time of its recording, they were still able to produce high quality material that still sounds as strong today as it did then. Talk about working on a shoe string! And the fact that their own record company didn't believe in the material they were producing! It just goes to show...

After being rediscovered by a multitude of new fans and being hailed as a "lost" masterpiece, they never stopped. Shame that it took them so long. Oh, well - better late than ever, I suppose. I leave you today with A Rose For Emily. Bye.

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Linus
The good thing about music is that no matter how much songs or albums you listen to, there are still thousands upon thousands more to discover. So, I guess it's really up to you to go on a journey that lasts a lifetime, a journey that sooner or later it's going to give you something strange or beautiful (or both) that you'll treasure for years to come. And although today's recommendation isn't earth shattering or genius-like, I'm glad I found them.

The Left Banke were one of many 60's american bands that got together and cut an album or two, only to break-up and disband a few years later. The CD era gave these "lost" bands and their records a second life and being rediscovered was both a blessing to them as to us, because otherwise we wouldn't even know about them if it wasn't for those shiny compact discs. Anyway, but on to the music.

Baroque Pop was a term coined to describe pop music that featured heavy strings arrangements and the use of instruments often associated with that movement, such as the harpsichord. The results are both magical and ethereal and very vintage sounding. The Left Banke were one of many bands that used that particular sound to express their musical sensibilities and after listening to their songs, you get the feeling that suddenly you've tapped into a whole other aural dimension, one filled to the brim with imagery reminding us of old houses, green gardens, dusty books and mossy trees. Just my kind of place, actually. See what you think: here's Pretty Ballerina.

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Linus
Their Volume 1 was probably my favorite of all the albums I listened to last year, so it was with extreme anticipation that I awaited She & Him's "difficult" second outing, apropriately titled, Volume 2. Thankfully, that sophomore album curse passed them by, because this is a killer album on all fronts and further proof that Zooey Deschanel is a wonderful songwriter.

This time around, the songs are more ambitious in scope, production values and vocal abilities. It's as if they took the best parts of the first album and what made it so good and expanded on all that. The final results are both winning and enduring. Yes, it's got a bit of sunshine pop, a dash of Beach Boys and a good measure of perfectly crafted pop songs that make you feel like everyday is Summer. This is one album I'm certain I'll keep on listening for a long, long time.

I'm going to leave you with Thieves, the wonderful album opener. Keep happy!

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Linus
The perfect song to start the Springtime with a smile in your face! I am so glad that Zooey and Ward are back I can't hardly contain myself!

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Linus
Another great compilation of french yé-yé songs, this time focusing on the years between 1968-71 and featuring both female and male singers. Pretty wild stuff in here! And great cover art, too designed by the french Andy Warhol, Guy Peellaert.

One other great thing about this compilation is that all of the tracks were on CD for the first time when this came out. Wonderful public service, don't you think? The music, unsurprisingly, retained the same charm and the same power to affect your senses and move your hips. Oh, and there's plenty of undiscovered gems to get you glued to your computer for hours on end just to know that little bit more about that particular track from that particular artist you just cannot get enough of.

One such example is this, La Drogue, by duo Messieurs Richard de Bordeaux & Daniel Beretta. Fantastic song it is, too. See you soon.

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Linus
The world of french yé-yé music is seemingly an inexhaustible source of groovy beats, funky melodies and hip girls. This compilation you see on your left - Swinging Mademoiselles - is only one of many you can find out there and it's as good a starting point into that wonderful world of mini-skirts and bob haircuts as any on the market.

The singer I've decided to highlight today is Arlette Zola, a swiss born chanteuse that had a long string of hits and even tried her luck a couple of times on the Eurovision Song contest, always achieving high final chart positions, though never winning. I'm afraid I'm too young to remember seeing her on that ubiquitous TV show, so I guess I'll have to resource myself to some YouTube searching in order to see her perform live.

I leave you for now with one of her biggest hits, Je Suis Folle De Tant T'Aimer, a brisky but daring sounding little number. Enjoy it.

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Linus
Following Ms. Berry's video post down below, I knew I had to dig deeper into this because that song kept playing in my head for many days on end, an already familiar sign to me. And so I have. And I'm so glad I did so.

Berry's Mademoiselle, is one of the best debut albums I've ever heard. I still can't put my finger on what it is that makes these french chanteuses so endearing to the ears and so soothing to the heart that listens. But whatever it is, Ms. Berry's has it in spades. And the word here really is "soothing". Her voice sounds like she's whispering to one's ear while she's singing her little ditties, whilst a delicately fingered acoustic guitar completes the enchantment. "Enchanting" is another word you can perfectly apply here.

I'm going to leave you with Le Bonheur (Happiness) and wish you a perfectly happy day.

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Linus
This post was inspired by my grandmother. She is, to my knowledge, the greatest Gigliola Cinquetti fan I know of. I knew I had to delve further into this. She remembers to this day the first time she saw her at the Eurovision song contest when she won first prize with her worldwide hit Non Ho L'Età (Too Young To Love was the english title). After hearing it on the player below, you too will remember it forever. It's a lovely tune. Simple, unaffected, sincere, a song for the ages. A timeless classic, no less. She was barely sixteen at the time, but she truly sounded mature enough to carry such an emotionally charged song. Everyone thought that too and that's why she won and went on to achieve hit after hit on an international career that spanned through decades.

If you buy any of her compilations, please be sure you are getting the original versions, as she re-recorded some of her hits later on and these do not sound the same as the originals. The one you see on the left is a Best Of LP that came out in Portugal in 1974. Being portuguese and born on that pivotal year, I found it to be perfectly appropriate for this particular post.

And here she is again, with her hit song: Gigliola Cinquetti! A round of applause!

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Linus
Still in outerspace territory, here's the spanking brand new video by sonic adventurers Goldfrapp! I'm loving the cheesy 80's vibe!

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Linus
I'd like to go full circle with this string of posts dedicated to glam rock and close off with Jobriath's sophomore and ultimately last album, Creatures From The Street. Made just one year after his mercurial debut album, here we see the singer/songwriter venturing himself into whole new musical worlds and reaching far into his own private galaxy of sound sensibilities (sorry about the space metaphors but with Jobriath I guess it just comes naturally, as I'm sure a lot of you out there will agree).

I personally think this is a much better album than the first one, more sonically accomplished and a lot more adventurous. We can even find traces and hints of what he could've done next hadn't his career been cut off short by lack of promotion and proper album sales. There's also a couple of big orchestra numbers that might have been included on that musical he said to have been composing at the time of his death. Great stuff it is, too.

I'm going to leave you with my favorite track from the album, the enigmatically titled Ecubyan. Take care, y'all.

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Linus
Another soundtrack that I personally think is worthy of your complete attention, especially if you're into the sort of music I've been recommending in the last few posts, is the one for Brian De Palma's glam rock fantasy meets Goethe's Faust, Phantom of the Paradise.

The music, composed by Paul Williams who also plays a quite faustian part in the movie, moves from 50's beach pop, to glitzy glam, to mainstream pop in the course of the film's duration. It's quite the ride and it really helps the storytelling, which is another way of saying that this is one of the best rock musicals to be found anywhere. Fans of the Rocky Horror Picture Show should really get to know this lesser-known but nonetheless great little movie as I'm sure they'll love it just as well.

But let's let the music do the talking. Listen to Old Souls, a wonderful ballad sung by the main female character played by talented actress Jessica Harper. Love her voice, too.

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Linus
Apparently, Jobriath wrote or was writing a musical called Pop Star at the time of his death and only God knows how great that would have been had he finished it. I don't know if John Cameron Mitchell knew about this or not but Hedwig and the Angry Inch I guess could pass as that unfinished musical. At least in my mind, anyway.

Again, Glam Rock scene in all its glitzy glory, lots of funky clothes, great, great songs from beginning to end and a must-have soundtrack for any discerning music fan. Mitchell also plays the main part and he does it memorably, infusing his performance and the delivery of every song with such emotion and passion, it becomes a sort of cathartic experience not only for him I'm sure, but for the viewer as well.

"Transexuality gone wrong" never seemed so glamorous and heart-breaking at the same time and you can't help sympathizing with the main character even if you try. Its most poignant moment, though is this: Wicked Little Town.

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Linus
Inspired by Klaus Nomi I decided to go all out on the glam rock scene on this post and a few further ones that I've got planned for you.

I first got introduced to this particular genre of music when I saw the glitzy and marvelous Velvet Goldmine when it came out. Directed by one of the few true artists working in the business right now - Todd Haynes - it managed to perfectly convey the magic and the very particular brand of audacity of the Glam Rock bands of the time.

Unbeknownst to me until very recently, one of its major inspirations was Jobriath and if you've seen the movie, you can spot a similar album cover to the one on your left when a character goes to buy it at the record store and takes it home to listen to it in the comfort and privacy of his bedroom. Now that I've got it and have listened to it (Jobriath's debut album, that is), I can see and understand why he's worthy of being resurrected and given such a big spotlight: it's a great little album all around.

His life and career was meteoric (much like his music, too) and his flame burned bright and sadly, much too fast. Being the first openly gay singer/songwriter didn't help either. Or maybe it did, when all was said and done. But enough chatter - let's listen to Space Clown, one of the highlights of the album. Take care.

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Linus
Fact. Air's new album might not be one of their best offerings so far. Fact. Their new video, on the other hand, is definitely one of their best yet. Watch it.

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Linus
Don't know if it's the weather but today I'm feeling a bit melancholic and somewhat depressed. So what better time to hear some good old dramatic virtuosity courtesy of german legend Klaus Nomi, right?

I don't have much more to say than what hasn't already been said about him, so I will not try to go that way. I will say this, though: he is without a peer in what he did. Noone before or after has crafted such a niche and unique corner in the history of music and we all should be thankful that he took the time and the effort to share his immense talent with the rest of the world.

Listen, then to his timeless classic, The Cold Song and while doing it, picture yourself as if living in a planet of a still undiscovered galaxy. Well, it works for me, anyway.

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Linus
Now, here's a duo to look out for in the future. Sweden's songbirds FIRST AID KIT have just released this, their debut album - The Big Black & The Blue - and are already causing ripple waves across the music community.

Moving effortlessly between folk with a strong leaning on american traditionals and the roots of celtic musical sensibilities, they have managed to put together a collection of songs that is sure to melt even the most stern of critics. At times it's quite baffling how such tender age can produce songs of such maturity and emotional investment. And herein lies most of their appeal. Oh, and those harmonies are to die for. Rarely have I heard two voices that go so well together.

I leave you with Waltz for Richard, one of the many magical moments to be found in what I hope to be the first of a long discography. I see you soon.

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Linus
A quite recent discovery for me (in fact, I just found out about this album yesterday!) but one that I had to share with all of you as soon as I could because this is really worth your while.

Kathe Green can be no more than a mere footnote in the history of popular culture from the 60's but let's just say it's one footnote worth reading and finding out more about her. Actress, model, singer, songwriter, this is what Rev-Ola has to say about her having rescued her debut album from obscurity:

Finding herself in London as guest and bosom buddy of Richard Harris, himself enjoying a spin-off career as a hugely successful pop star at the time, Kathe found herself singing Mark Lester's vocal parts on Where Is Love? for the soon-to-be-massive Oliver soundtrack. She was snapped up by Deram where she was teamed up with in-house whiz-kid producer Wayne Bickerton, arranger supreme John Cameron and the cream of London session players. Kathe wrote 10 of the album's 13 tracks, which recall all manner of contemporary female vocalists of the time, from Marianne Faithfull to Sandie Shaw to Dana Gillespie (with whom Kathe shared Bickerton'sproduction savvy, not to mention a couple of his tunes). She also turns in a lump-to-the-throat reading of Cameron's perennial If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind.


The selling point for me was the album cover, a sort of Alice in Wonderland gone wrong which I find very suitable for the songs that comprise it. Oh, and the title is also very evocative of the mood permeating the whole album (Run the Length of Your Wildness, a piece of poetry bestowed on her by Richard Harris himself). Here is one of its more delicate moments: Why? (The Child's Song). Enjoy it.

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I'd like to start the month with a great recommendation which was also a great discovery for me when I first heard about this album and this band in particular. The band in question is called A Banda do Casaco, which roughly translates to The Band of the Coat or The Coat Band. They're from Portugal, my home country and it's not everyday that I sing our praises but when they're due, they're overdue.

This - Dos Benefícios dum Vendido no Reino dos Bonifácios - their debut album, is one of the finest ever recorded and produced around here and they seemed to manage what few bands have: to be truthful to portuguese musical roots and capture the sound of their era at the same time. Beautifully sung and played throughout, this is one of those albums that keeps you coming back to them many times over to discover layer upon layer of new sounds and words that you just didn't listen to the last time you played it. A keeper then.

I'm going to leave you with one of my favorite tracks at the moment: A Cavalo Dado (A Given Horse). Have a great month of March, everyone. I know I will because right now I'm on vacation! See you around.

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