Monthly Archives: June 2008

Annie Lennox: Songs of Mass Destruction

Even though Annie Lennox is the voice behind some of the most memorable singles in pop music history, her output can be a bit spotty.

Her solo albums Medusa and Bare sometimes dragged under the weight of their aching themes, while Diva managed to garner accolades despite being stiff, cold and distant. She sounded far warmer on Eurythmics’ Savage, and that’s saying a lot.

So after a solo career spanning 15-plus years yielding only four albums, Lennox offers Songs of Mass Destruction, the most invigorating album she’s done since her days with Eurythmics.

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Requisite gay pride entry, 2008

June is Gay Pride Month, and last year, Towleroad linked to a post on Hypeful containing MP3s of gay artists. I supplemented those offerings with my own list of less recognizable names.

If this blog has a focus — which it really doesn’t — the three top subjects are Japanese indie rock, modern classical music and college rock from the ’80s. But I do mention independent gay musicians as well.

2008 has been a good year for discovery, so why not share yet again? These links will self-destruct in two weeks.

The Dead Betties, "Nightmare Sequence"

Darren Hayes, "How to Build a Time Machine"

hey willpower, "Magic Window"

Adam Joseph, "Take Time"

The Magnetic Fields, "California Girls"

Mirah, "Cold Cold Water"

Bob Mould, "Shelter Me"

Nico Muhly, "Mothertongue, Part 1: Archive"

Office, "Possibilities"

There are still not enough women on this list.

On the playlist, or in an 18th century mood

The playlist is slowly inching back to the 40-hour threshold, which means I really ought to do some writing in the next few weeks.

I haven’t bought much in the way of CDs this past month — one title, that’s it — and I only recently blew through this month’s eMusic quota.

I’m concerned about a persistent ringing in my left ear. It’s not anything painful, but it’s a level of audible that’s difficult to ignore. At first, I thought it was just all the electronics in my apartment giving off some sort of high frequency, but when I cover my ears, the ringing doesn’t die down.

So I’m going to spend the next few weeks with a mostly 18th Century playlist to see how much I can mitigate it. I hope I don’t have to give up my iPod during workouts.

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I’m not sure if Sony Music Japan still does it, but a few years ago, the label conglomerate would allow one of its bands to hijack the template of the site to promote an upcoming release. Using the ever clever Engrish, these events would be called "sitejacks".

Well, I’m throwing conflict of interest to the wind and letting Eponymous 4 perform some "sitejacks". It’s taken over not just here but my more neglected pieces of Internet real estate:,, 作譜, 名作記 and my long-defunct online journal 日々の本.

I’ve even sitejacked my Twitter page. (Are you on Twitter?)

If you’re reading this post through an RSS reader, I encourage you to visit the site to see the hijack in progress. It ends next Monday.

While I’m pimping myself out, I may as well mention that the entire enigmatics EP is available for streaming till June 24 at the official Eponymous 4 site. I hope it encourages folks who may not have considered becoming a patrón to do so. And I hope it doesn’t discourage anyone who planned on buying a CD from not doing so. Pre-orders are still being accepted.

UPDATE [06/14/2008, 17:32]: I’m extended the sitejack till June 24. I kind of like how the site looks right now. I’m pretty sure I’ll be fully tired of it by then.

Sigur Rós streams new album on official site

Head on over to the Sigur Rós official site to hear the entire new album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust.

First impressions:

  • Quite a bit of tribal percussion.
  • The first few tracks sound like the band really cut loose. There’s actually … tempo.
  • Ah, the quieter tracks and the grand orchestrations come later.
  • The encoding of the stream is pretty sucky, but there seems to be a lot less fancy studio work. I think the word I want to use is "organic". This album won’t be mistaken for Takk … or Two Hot Dogs Facing Each Other (ne, ().)

The new album hits stores on June 24, which coincidentally is when enigmatics by Eponymous 4 will also be released. By the way, enigmatics, like Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, is available for pre-order.

On the playlist, or that is a lot of Stravinsky

Here’s my Top Artists chart for the past week (June 1-June 8, 2008):

[ Top Artists, June 1-June 8, 2008]

I usually only ever get maybe 30 or 40 plays from a single artist, maximum, on any given week. But 170 plays for Igor Stravinsky? What gives? A rather convenient boxed set titled The Works of Igor Stravinsky, that’s what.

I bought it on the same day I wasted cash on Duran Duran’s Red Carpet Massacre. I already had quite a packed playlist at the time, and I knew I would probably only ever listen to this boxed set during a listening lull. Well, I’m in the middle of a listening lull.

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Hajime Chitose releases new album in July

Hajime Chitose releases her fourth album, Cassini, on July 16, so says Oops Music. A limited edition first pressing includes a DVD with performances from the live album, Fuyu no Hainumikaze. Producers on the album include Sakamoto Ryuichi, Tokita Shintarou of Sukima Switch, Kanno Youko, Haketa Takafumi and — perhaps the oddest name in the bunch — the Chieftains. Yes, the traditional Irish band. Hajime’s next single, "Hotaruboshi", comes out two weeks earlier on July 2.