June 26, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

My heart is still pounding and my hands are shaking from the intensity of the Italy v. Australia match that Italy just won on a penalty kick (during which my ability to breathe momentarily left me). FORZA ITALIA! That was gorgeous.

And as of this very moment I am #1 all by myself in the World Cup Bloggers Pool. That is a feat unto itself, since, as we have discussed, I am no kind of soccer superstar. I just have a way of predicting what glistening, lovely European men will do next.

It’s a gift, really.

Diventa Blu
Translated from Italian, this song title means “Become Blue,” and is my salute to Gli Azzurri, the beautiful Italian national calcio (soccer) team in their blue jerseys. According to Connor over at iGIF, this band Arizona is going to be huge, but the fact that this song is sung in a breathy, ethereal Italian (almost Radiohead-esque), combined with the layered and interesting low-key electronica is enough to get me to listen. From their debut album Welcome Back Dear Children (coming out in August).

This song, this whole tribute album is amazingly good. As I mentioned before, and as you have probably read on assorted other music sites, the Big Star tribute album (Big Star, Small World) has finally been released, after being recorded and then shelved for several years. Wilco‘s turn is sad and rich, nostalgic and truly lovely. I’ve listened to it over and over, but this whole CD is great, with contributions by Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub, The Posies, Whiskeytown, Juliana Hatfield and more. Highly recommended and available on eMusic.

Dancing On The Highway
Elliott Smith
Chad over at Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands has pointed me in the direction of this unearthed studio recording, a lost “new” song, courtesy of the Elliott Smith fans over at B-Sides And Other Songs. It’s a lyrically rich love song, known also as “Still Here” — a rough mix demo from either the Figure 8 era, or the Basement Sessions. Take a listen. Thanks, Chad!

The Low Millions
I have been meaning to post this for months, but somehow forgot. Fronted by Leonard Cohen’s son Adam Cohen (who has released French-language albums in his native Canada), California’s Low Millions were named an Artist To Watch by Filter Magazine. This track, which did get some radio play, is yet another upbeat song about a breakup (!) with catchy hooks and a fabulous beat that kicks in at about 20 seconds. From their 2004 debut album Ex-Girlfriends (Manhattan Records).

Notice The Ring
Chris Isaak
This one is in honor of Mr. Chris Isaak‘s 50th (!!) birthday today. I tell ya, that man does not look a day over handsome to me. For his special day, his hometown of Stockton, CA dedicated today as “Chris Isaak Day.” This song celebrates all that is rogue, feisty, and wonderful about Isaak. A retro-rocker from 2002′s Always Got Tonight.


  • ooh i like the low millions. very cool.
    a) i can’t believe chris isaak is 50.
    b) damn, you are good.
    c) italia. totti. yeah. ;)

    c — June 26, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

  • like the elliott smith v much.
    i cant believe the italy – australia match. am british, so inclined to support the underdog (australia). that was such a dive – australia didnt deserve that. hmph.

    got that out my system now!

    Anonymous — June 26, 2006 @ 2:03 pm

  • hello Heather,
    surprised to see italian jerseys while looking for nice music to download.
    I’m one of those italians who shouted just at the last minute; not a great match but lots of emotions; sorry for our bad playing: I hope we’ll begin playing as we’re supposed to before it’s too late…

    pellizza — June 26, 2006 @ 2:43 pm

  • elliott love. :)

    Chad — June 26, 2006 @ 4:31 pm

  • Italy was very lucky…surviving a man down for most of the second half and getting a gift penalty shot in extra time. Thank goodness Totti made it or else Italian fans would have flashbacks to Roberto Baggio in ’94 vs Brazil.

    Italy will have a tough time with the Germany/Argentina winner…that’s if the Ukraine doesn’t give them fits.

    Eric — June 26, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

  • Hi Heather, from one Heather to another. Came across your blog purely by chance.I have also been covering the World Cup, here in England, observations really, in a funny girlie way. Very excited about Sat, England play Portugal, we are not playing so well at the moment, but fingers crossed. Heather

    Heather — June 27, 2006 @ 11:06 am

  • The entire “Ex-Girlfriends” album by the Low Millions is excellent. When I first got it, I listened to it nonstop for about a week. Now, whenever I put it on, I end up listening to the whole thing. The last song is h-o-t. Buy it!

    Kristy — June 27, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

  • :( :( the whole of Australia was gutted by that penalty decision in the final moments of the game :( :(

    that said, we are incredibly proud – this is the FURTHEST we have EVER gone in a World Cup! EVER! heh, see you in 4 years time! :D

    supergurg — June 27, 2006 @ 8:07 pm

  • Che culo, azzurri, ma suppongo che il mondiale non sarebbe lo stesso senza il solito italiano che si butta nell’area. Godetevi questa fortuna che non durerà e fra un po’ la vostra squadra tornerà nel Bel Paese, Ma non preoccupatevi, perché c’è sempre il processo di calicopoli da seguire quando il sogno mondiale non c’è più!

    Anonymous — June 29, 2006 @ 1:16 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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