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Listen Up

1 Apr

I had a long drive ahead of me today, so put in my new mix of songs from Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Mika, and James Morrison’s latest CDs. That’s all the mix was — my favorite five or six tracks from those four albums. And if I can toot my own horn about my mix-making ability, then I have to say this was one damned good mix. But it’s not just my arranging that made this mix so good — it was the music itself. Yes, you’ve heard me mention all those folks before on this blog, but if you’ll allow me to do it one more time, I just wanted to give them another plug. If you don’t already own Winehouse’s Back to Black, Allen’s Alright, Still, Mika’s Life in Cartoon Motion, or Morrison’s Undiscovered, then seriously, do yourself a favor and pick them up. Or download a few tracks on iTunes. You’ll thank me.

Monday Music with Marty

29 Jan

Happy Monday?

Last month I gave you a heads up about one of my new favorite singers, Amy Winehouse, whose album, Back to Black, is dropping on March 13 and whose song “Rehab” I just love.

Well, add another name to your shopping list: Mika, whose song “Grace Kelly” is one of the catchiest tunes I’ve heard in a long time, and whose album, Life in Cartoon Motion, also drops in March, on the 27th (though you can already find a bunch of tracks online if you look in the right places).

Take Rufus Wainwright, make him less moody, and add some Freddie Mercury-ish attitude, and you’ve basically got Mika’s sound.

It’s piano-driven pop, and it’s fresh and cool and I hope he takes off in a big way.

The video for “Grace Kelly” is fun, and it’s already getting a lot of airplay on the MTV Hits channel. Listen for yourself here and check out the video below.

And while I’m on the subject, I burned one of my old-fashioned, typically eclectic “State of My iPod” mixes this weekend, a collection of all the songs currently on heavy rotation.

If you’re at all interested, here’s what’s on it (with selected links so you can sample some of the tracks; the unlinked ones — with the exception of the second Mika track — are on iTunes):

1. Mika – Grace Kelly
2. Amy Winehouse – Rehab
3. Lily Allen – Smile
4. Fall Out Boy – This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race
5. Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around Comes Around
6. Robbie Williams – She’s Madonna
7. Nelly Furtado – Say It Right
8. Gwen Stefani (with Akon) – The Sweet Escape
9. Jay-Z – Show Me What U Got
10. The Shins – Phantom Limb
11. Cold War Kids – Hang Me Up to Dry
12. Jason Mraz – The Beauty in Ugly
13. Mika – Stuck in the Middle
14. Mat Kearney – Nothing Left to Lose
15. RJD2 – Ghostwriter (remix)
16. Corinne Bailey Rae – Trouble Sleeping
17. Norah Jones – Thinking About You
18. Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good (feat. Ghostface Killah)
19. Regina Spektor – Fidelity
20. Vanessa Hudgens – Come Back to Me
21. Steve Jobs – Macworld Keynote (remix)

And finally, if you like Lily Allen’s “Smile” (her album Alright Still comes out tomorrow), check out this alternate version by Mark Ronson.