31 December 2009

happy new year, you're my only vice..

I'm receiving Happy New Year wishes from friends in Australia and London, so it seems that the new year is upon us.. It's been an amazing year, full of highs and lows, but also full of life.. I hope this coming year takes you further along your journey and that it's full of nothing but good things.. Happy New Year, PopMolecule.. a glass to 2010...

and, now, a stroke of midnight tradition for a few years now.. 'do you want to? (yes i do)'

Camera Obscura - 'Happy New Year'

Rip it up and start again

Happy new year, everyone!

27 December 2009

Decadeology (Robot Hero Edition)

I tried my hand at Madmadcat's decade mixtape challenge: 20 songs, 2 songs from each year, with no band duplicates. I tried to go for a mix with a decent flow and I think I succeeded somewhat. Naturally, it was difficult to pick just 20 songs to represent the past 10 years, but that is part of the fun. And really, it's in no way representative of the entire decade. Get the download link after the jump. You can peruse the tracklist while you wait for the file and clown (or praise) me in the comments.

Jane Wiedlin's Science Fiction Loft

Jane Wiedlin, from The Go-Go's, is renting out her sci-fi loft, which is located in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. This video is a few weeks old, so it may actually already be rented out, but it's still a pretty interesting look at some cool and quirky interior design. Wallpaper from Barbarella, Blade Runner-esque touches and a transporter shower!

Favorite films of 2009

Because we all like lists of some sort, these are my favorite films of the past year. Keep in mind these aren't really in any order, and they are basically out of what I've seen. I haven't seen Avatar, Up In The Air, Precious or anything else that people are going crazy about. So there. Check out my faves after the jump.

25 December 2009

Gravity of the Situation - Vic Chesnutt (1964-2009)

I looked around the corner of the backstage curtain at Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC and saw him sitting by himself by the side of the stage.. Vic Chesnutt had just played for 90 minutes to a hushed crowd of 150 people and sat there staring into the darkness with a look of calm on his face.. I wanted to talk to him.. I really did.. but he looked so serene I hesitated.. Unfortunately, the two other people who also saw him pushed past me and broke his contemplation.. He wasn't annoyed; on the contrary, he seemed touched and took pictures with them and nodded at all of their questions.. They were giddy to meet him, and after seeing him play I really understood why.. The quirky, introspective, and wonderfully witty songs he gave to us verified what we had all heard come out of Athens, GA; that this was another of their wonderful freaks and that they would lend him out to us for moments of time, but only for those understood moments.. As his two admirers left, he looked up and saw me standing in the corner and smiled.. 'hey, Vic', i waved at him... he waved me over, and for about 10 minutes we talked about music, and Athens, and the songs of Jimmy Webb, and his planned nighttime drive back to Athens that night.. He fidgeted in his wheelchair, laughed a lot, and seemed to be in a very quiet, peaceful place.. I stepped out into the warm, Southern night that night and smiled at our conversation, and I have to admit that no matter how dark his music became after that and how removed from the world he seemed in future performances, I always remembered him in the context of those few minutes..
This afternoon, I heard that Vic had slipped into a coma after an attempted suicide attempt, and tonight, right before I was to sit down with my family for Christmas dinner, I heard that he died.. Somehow that didn't seem right at all.. I knew he battled depression and that he was besieged with medical problems, but the trick of my mind was to still always remember him from that night in late Spring so long ago.. Maybe in a few months I will again remember him like that, but for now I feel sad for another of my favourite artists who fought against the darkness as best as he could, but could not win against at the end.. It's an odd contrast to the light of Christmas Day, but I suppose that when the light of something burns that bright, it only makes the dark more blinding for somone..
If you have never listened to his music, I do encourage you to take a look for it the next time you're online, or walking through a used music store.. I'm sure there will be a lot written about him in the coming months, and a lot of examination about his state of mind, but on this Christmas night I can only hope that he has somehow slipped back into the serenity he was staring in to on the night I met him, and that for the rest of eternity he can remain there.. rest in peace, sir.. thank you.. x

Vic Chesnutt - 'Gravity of the Situation'

Children's Christmas Song

This little gem is from the Supremes' Christmas album, pictured above. The backing vocals feature Diana Ross' little brother, Chico, and Berry Gordy's children, Joy, Berry, and Terry. Diana name checks them all in the song, which is pretty cool. I wanna be immortalized in a Supremes song. Merry Christmas, peeps.

The Supremes > Children's Christmas Song

23 December 2009

My tears could melt the snow

London's very cool Lucky Soul, with their version of the 1974 classic, Lonely This Christmas. Look at Ali, all dressed up like a sexy Christmas tree. Well, it looks like it to me.

Lucky Soul > Lonely This Christmas

Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto!

A Christmas tradition for the past few years is Belle+Sebastian's charming Christmas Session they played on John Peel's show (a Peel Acres Christmas).. It is readily available as a torrent everywhere, and for a sample, here is their version of James Brown's Christmas classic.. Since neither John Peel or James Brown are with us today (JB dying on Christmas Day, of all days), it is only fitting, I think.. x

Belle+Sebastian: 'Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto'

Ain't no chimneys in the projects

Just stumbled on this beauty of an xmas song by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. I love the little "ho-ho-ho" that she throws in there towards the end. I love her singing, and the Dap-Kings...those dudes can fucking play. If you haven't seen their live act, you are truly missing out. The next time they play near you, do whatever it takes to get there. Take out another mortgage on the house, break open your mama's piggy bank, because they're that good.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings > Ain't No Chimneys In The Projects

Monica Bellucci

Sweet Trip > Monica Bellucci

Merry Christmas, baby, please don't die

Found this one via Gorilla vs. Bear. Pretty kick ass little xmas tune. Give the gift of life...

Dum Dum Girls + Crocodiles > Merry Christmas, Baby (Please Don't Die)

22 December 2009

Someone special

I had never heard of Canadian indie pop group Ohbijou until a few days ago, when their cover of "Last Christmas" surfed its way into my iTunes from multiple sources. I'm liking very much.

Ohbijou - Last Christmas

This mp3 courtesy of Spinner; it also appears on The Line of Best Fit's free compilation Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada!

21 December 2009

Decadeology (Madmadcat edition)

Or, twenty songs I’d rather remember the noughties by

This is the decade mixtape challenge: 20 songs, 2 songs from each year, with no band duplicates. Download my exercise in decadeology here (zip file, 123 MB). While you’re waiting for that to come down the pipe, a bit more about my rationale after the jump...

Happy solstice

On the longest night of the year, Paavoharju's "Valo Tihkuu Kaiken Läpi," or "Light Seeps Through Everything" is good music to be listening to. Happy solstice.

Paavoharju - Valo Tihkuu Kaiken Läpi

Above: a still from Eija-Liisa Ahtila's triptych video installation The House (2002).

20 December 2009

19 December 2009

No one makes me feel the way you do

Say hello to the magical, Kate Bush. I love the sweet and lilting feel of this track, it's a perfect little gem. Songs like this are the reason that b-sides were invented.

Home For Christmas is a b-side from the Rubberband Girl single, which was taken from her 1993 album, The Red Shoes.

Kate Bush > Home For Christmas

Walk out to winter

More of my pictures of England's recent snowfall are up over here.

Aztec Camera - Walk Out To Winter

From the WTF category

THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS BOX SET EVER !!!! THIS DELUXE BOX SET IS BEING PRESSED TO ORDER and it is hoped it will be out before Christmas but because of its complex nature it may be early January. The Band also want to make this box very special and collectable. They have done this by Limiting the pressing and making a fantastic Box Set. What does the box contain? The Deluxe Aluminium Suit-Case contains a Special Edition CD, plus a bonus CD, 6 Pink Plastic Dildos, Handcuffs, Lube and much more. I hope to get more details shortly but I know it is a Fantastic item as no expense has been spared because the band cares about its fans.

Better hurry, there are only a few shopping days left until Xmas!

t'was The Night Before Christmas

Henry Rollins delivers one of the more bizarre renditions of t'was The Night Before Christmas that I've ever heard. You can find this on the 1991 compilation, A Lump of Coal. Even though this track came ten years earlier, it sounds like some kinda post-9/11 re-imagining. I can picture homeland security up in arms, sending out all available forces after Santa Claus, who would show up as an unidentified blip in U.S. airspace on the radar...

Henry Rollins > t'was The Night Before Christmas

Star Wars Zombie Art

Some of these are very amusing. This one is my favorite.

Check out the Star Wars Zombie Art set over on Flickr!

Christmas reindeer

Imagine if you went to check out your presents on Christmas and The Knife were there to help celebrate the holiday by singing this festive tune. Yeah, that'd be fucking weird.

The Knife > Christmas Reindeer

16 December 2009

I can hear music

From a collection of photographs of "acoustic listening devices developed for the Dutch army as part of air defense systems research between World Wars 1 and 2," according to But Does It Float.

The High Llamas - Might As Well Be Dumbo

15 December 2009

I see, so I see so

"I See, So I See So," a new video of pastoral psychedelia drawn from the collaborative EP Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age. A full-length album is due from Broadcast in 2010, very much looking forward to it.

14 December 2009


The Line of Best Fit have posted their Top 50 albums of 2009, as voted on by their contributors. Each of us had a ballot of 25; six of my choices made the list, three of them (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, Fever Ray) made the Top 10.

I can't say I'm overly surprised by the absence from the list of my favourite record of 2009, Es' Kesämaan Lapset (or, "Children of Summerland"). But in some alternate universe, this warm and inviting piece of folk-electronic-drone-chant from Finland would be on everyone's communal party stereos. I would have found a place for an excerpt on my 2009 mix, but the most compilation-friendly track is designated for my decade mix (forthcoming soon).

I'm a little bit more surprised by HEALTH's Get Color not finding any love. I had thought their shiny blend of noise-thrash was gaining traction out in the wider world beyond anarchist performance spaces and vegan cafes, but apparently not so much (at least when it comes to British music webzines). In any case, seeing them nearly burn down the Echoplex in L.A. was my personal live event of the year. Fucking astonishing.

Further down on my ballot, Get Back Guinozzi! made a late entrance to my jukebox this year, leaving enough of a happy impression to splash in at #10. Their idiosyncratic, ye-ye-ish take on C86 charms me greatly.

My full ballot is after the jump.

13 December 2009

Celebrate my birthday, or go to hell

My friend Eric Holmes is feeling festive, and he has been doing much to get me into the proper Christmas mood this year.

By way of reply to Baby Jesus, here is one of my all-time favourite holiday classics. Make a martini, cut the rug or do whatever you have to do.

Saint Etienne - I Was Born On Christmas Day

11 December 2009

That was the worst Christmas ever

Sufjan Stevens > That Was The Worst Christmas Ever

My mind's eye

My brother e-mails to say that "my big music obsession for the past couple months has been a major resurgence of mod stuff from the 60s... I can't get enough of fuzzed out guitars, harmonizing, flutes, paisley and headache-inducing album covers." And you know what, I can't either. So I asked for a mixtape, and he happily obliged. Peppering just the right amount of familiar names (Dusty Springfield, The Kinks, baroque-era Bee Gees) in amongst more forgotten gems (including a surprising track by a very young Bob Seger, before he grew a mullet and burst his lungs for Chevrolet), this mix spreads the mod/sunshine/psychedelic love. Download the lot here and be happy.

Tracklist after the jump:

09 December 2009

Theoretical Girl's Advent Calendar

I'm new to Theoretical Girl, just having randomly found her via Twitter. I've been checking out her blog, and she's currently running an Advent Calendar series, posting a new song every day til Christmas. Really cool indie pop tunes and a sweet, sweet voice, check it out. Looks like she has an album you can pick up over at Memphis Industries.

08 December 2009

domo christmas!

i just wanted to add a bit to the festive cheer.. :)

consider this my lead announcement post to this revered archive.. x

Just like the stars up on your ceiling

I like fireworks, I like jumping around in the forest, and I quite like the Warpaint song 'Stars', so this video is pretty much a win in my books. The psychedelic quartet's EP Exquisite Corpse has just been released in the UK, which occasions my review today in The Line of Best Fit.

I blogged earlier about Warpaint on Pop Molecule here; 'Billie Holiday', their sublimely drastic reworking of Motown hit 'My Guy', made my 2009 compilation which can be downloaded here.

06 December 2009

Robot Hero's Faves of 2009

I know you've been waiting patiently, so here are my favorite albums of 2009. Finally. There was a ton of great stuff this year, but this is the stuff I listened to the most. Because I am retarded, I'll more than likely have forgotten something and I'll end up changing the list in a couple days, but this is it for now. There's no particular order, check 'em out if you're so inclined.

Sweet Trip - You Will Never Know Why

Bat For Lashes - Two Suns

Neko Case - Middle Cyclone

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz

Isis - Wavering Radiant

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Fever Ray - Fever Ray

I Was A King - I Was A King

Riceboy Sleeps - Riceboy Sleeps

Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career


Mayer Hawthorne - A Strange Arrangement

05 December 2009

Come On Santa

You're sitting in a booth in an old greasy spoon, eyes staring into the eternal darkness of the coffee that sits before you. It's Christmas eve and there's a sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree by the door. There's one other patron, a man sitting at the counter, wearing a faded baseball cap, ignoring his plate of sausage and eggs while he drinks from a flask of Wild Turkey that he intermittently pulls from his shirt pocket.

She walks through the doorway and the open doors momentarily allow the wind to announce her presence. She slowly drifts to your booth and the music starts as if it were cued for this moment. For a second she's standing there, staring down at you with big blue eyes shrink-wrapped in tears, and it feels like forever. You give a barely perceptible nod and start to get up. As your frame unfolds, she takes your hand and leads you for a few steps and then stops. She whirls in slow motion to face you and takes a hold of your hips, pulls you close and you both begin to slowly sway to the music. Her arms snake their way up and drape themselves around your neck, her head resting on your shoulders while she breathes sighs into your ears. "Come on, Santa..."

The Raveonettes > Come On Santa

Pinoy pop holiday

Many thanks to Filipino Indiepop Scene for posting a very lovely holiday mix, Holly, Ivy and Mistletunes; a menu of free download options is here. The mix is the fifth installment of their free compilation series of indie pop from the Philippines and the wider Filipino diaspora, all of which are posted at their very nice blog. Salamat!


  1. The Wentletraps - Just Like Christmas
  2. Sugarspun - December
  3. Apple Orchard - One Christmas Catalogue
  4. The Jealous Sea - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  5. Archaster - Away In A Manger
  6. Scattered Pearls - Christmas Is All Around
  7. That Lingering Feeling - Blue December
  8. Soft Pillow Kisses - Undercover Angel
  9. Love In Athens - Parang Awa Mo Na, Bayaran Mo Na Utang Mo
  10. Some Gorgeous Accident - Snowfall
  11. Self Portrait - Snowglobe
  12. Mary Anna Logue - Winter Wonderland

04 December 2009

Apology For An Accident

I just called you up to see if you wanted to go out and drink a little wine
And waste some time on a roller-coaster ride
But you say it's too dangerous to lead an empty life

American Music Club > Apology For An Accident

Space Christmas

Since Madmadcat has kicked off the holidays, I thought I'd put up a little decoration of my own. This is Shonen Knife's Space Christmas, from their 1991 7" release. Although I still don't know what a bison sleigh is, these girls are the embodiment of happiness and cutenessosity. Tune in and add a little fun to your December.

Shonen Knife > Space Christmas

03 December 2009

Santa Claus is a Black man

We've been a little slow to deck the halls and install the neon fibre-optic Christmas tree chez Pop Molecule, but all that changes today. I can't really think of a better way to get into the spirit than with this jolly tune from A John Waters Christmas. In Finland they might say the kid singing here has found the adults' jug of glögi.

Akim and the Teddy Van Production Company - Santa Claus Is A Black Man

(Courtesy of the Slumberland Records blog. Subscribe to their RSS and be happy.)

01 December 2009

You're an animal, too

I do my best but I'm made of mistakes
Yes there are things that I'm still quite sure of
I love you this hour
This hour today

Neko Case > I'm An Animal

Ends of the earth

Dirty Three > Ends of the Earth

30 November 2009

Perfume vs. Beastie Boys

One of my favorite albums from last year was Perfume's Game, I played that album to death. If it were vinyl, the grooves would have worn down and the needle gone dull. I came across this vid randomly, as I think I was searching for Perfume remixes. This is much, much better than you think it will be.

Twiggy Twiggy

Londoners: the National Portrait Gallery currently has a roomful of Twiggy photographs from the '60s to the present on display (above: photograph by Barry Lategan, 1966). This is a good thing.

If you know me, you might be expecting me now to post, by way of audio caption, a certain shibuya-kei classic from 1991. How about instead we listen to a young Maki Nomiya's original version of that tune, sung in 1981, about nine years before she joined Pizzicato Five.

Maki Nomiya - Twiggy Twiggy

29 November 2009

Honki ponki, part 2

This would be OOIOO's all-kinds-of-lovely cover of Turkish singer Şenay's 1980 hit 'Honki Ponki', alluded to in my previous post.

OOIOO - Honki Ponki

Meanwhile, Mundos Disparatados (2009) by Buenos Aires-based artist Pablo Gamba seems apt. Have a nice day.

Honki ponki

You know what? There is not enough vintage Turkish pop in my life, nor in yours. So let's get educated with Şenay, apparently a popular diva of the 70s and early 80s.

The jaunty tune below, meanwhile, was rather straight-forwardly covered on OOIOO's recent Armonico Hewa, revealing a heretofore unarticulated connection between the Japanese noise avant-garde of today and the Anatolian bubblegum fodder of yore.

I'm of a mind to tumble down the rabbit hole of "related videos" on YouTube. Seeya later...

27 November 2009