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The world of music is cyclical and goes into hiatus a few weeks before Christmas and into the new year. Slowly new music is released in January and gains momentum later in the winter flowing into the spring.

Bands that enthralled me last year included Arcade Fire, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Avi Buffalo, Badly Drawn Boy, Beach House, Belle & Sebastian, Best Coast, Blonde Redhead, Delorean, The Drums, Dum Dum Girls, Eminem, Girl Talk, Glasser, Gorillaz, Janelle Monáe, Joanna Newsom, Karen Elson, Laura Marling, Lykke Li, Matt & Kim, Mumford & Sons, The National, No Age, Perfume Genius, Phoenix, School of Seven Bells, She & Him, Shearwater, Sleigh Bells, Stars, Titus Andronicus and Warpaint.

And The xx continued to give me great pleasure.

Here you will hear the best new music as it becomes available.

Next week we will have an exclusive Cure video.

Happy New Year indeed.

The Plastiscines

France has produced very few rock bands. Known for chanteurs/chanteuses and dance music, few rock bands of note have emerged from the country. The 4/4 backbeat is not part of the French musical heritage and the language has limited its broader acceptance. My favorites from the past include Téléphone and Indochine and currently Phoenix and the Plastiscines. The latter is an French all-female rock band that sings primarily in English. “Barcelona” is from their 2nd album, About Love, that was released last year in Europe and is now being wildly distributed in the U.S. (The video of the song can be viewed from the YouTube button in the upper right.)


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The French band Phoenix won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album. The song “1901” from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix has been ubiquitous over the past year as has the Song of the Day “Lisztomania”. It’s featured today as it continues to be wildly infectious and is contrasted with a clever remix by Alex Metric. (BTW, his remix of “Stylo” by Gorillaz is particularly intriguing and can be found on his website.)

Franz Liszt is a Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso who lived in the 19th century. Lisztomania was an actual phenomenon throughout Europe akin to Beatlemania. Equivalent to our modern day rock star, Liszt’s showmanship and mesmerizing stage presence lifted audiences into a near hysterical frenzy. Women particularly adored him and fought over pieces of his clothing that he would throw into the audience, and they shed theirs as well.

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Phoenix-“Lisztomania (Alex Metric Remix)”
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