POP your heart out.

Oh god...it's super late post time. But it's that sort of a Friday, you know? To make it up (maybe), here's a late obsession post about the infamous "Mushaboom" by Feist.

The original: Feist-Mushaboom
The video:

The light, carefree, wonderful, flowy, breezy, simple, elegant, beautiful, [insert any other cutesy sweet spring happy adorapop adjective] arrangement of this song and everything about it just makes me glow inside and set it on permanet repeat. The acoustic guitars, ushered to such control, loose yet dignified, fun and flickering. The little bops and muffled claps in the background, blowing bubbles and buttercups and all sorts of cute indie pop ness...amazing...and this updated version of the video is so perfect for the track. Flawless.

While both of the covers snatch away a good chomp of the pure joycore of the original, both offer a new flavor and are of interest. Especially to obsessionists like me at the moment.

Bright Eyes-Mushaboom

Conor Oberst has this crazy knack for covering songs and making them totally his own. I mean, his voice is really something. And since this indie rock darling is so adored, there isn't much to say about his version of this song. I'm not sure his style is suited for the mood of the song, although he Oberstified to an extreme level.

Feist-Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)

Obviously, The Postal Service has to stamp their signiture keyboards and electronica pop for the remix, along with dipped Ben Gibbard vocals, and a slower tempo. I'm not really sure the

Watch: Mates of State-Fraud In The 80's

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The effects, colors and style of this video is just too cute-indie-pop Mates of State perfect. The seemingly random objects tucked inside adorable spring sprinkled chest drawers, bouncing back and force, like Kori and Jason's sweet and mini keyboards and drums, and the synths that probably brings back the eighties, the sort of cheery, psychedelic wannabe riffs and drums...and while usually, watching a band playing instruments and nodding their heads on video is not that interesting, with their paper cut-out images and that office backdrop and the overall fuzzy and blossom feeling of the setting, it becomes a charming gem.

The novel: About A Boy-Nick Hornby
The song: Stephen Malkmus--Post Paint Boy

So I seem to have this magical way with Nick Hornby, especially for his famous novels that has been made into movies that I have not seen...again.

Then. This is a wonderful, wonderful read, with the sort of witty humor and off beat observations of life, pop culture, and people that just makes the whole reading experience so much better. The unlikely bond and interactions between Will--the single, anti-family, pop culture yupstercore thirty-something--and Marcus--the Joni Mitchell loving, Kurt Kobain plays for a football team believer--is charming and delightful.

And then. Stephen Malkmus. He has that laid back, cooler than cool, witty, charming, brilliant indie rock idol thing down to every line and every riff in every song. Everything he does appears so easy, every riff and every stretched out melody, every observant detail in the lyrics or the corner of a song...so perfect. And fitting.

Candy Bars-Enough to Choke a Cold Air

The hazy, dusty attic quality of the dreamy attic indie pop is so, so well done that evreything you hear merges into the air, specks of imagination and stray, ringing guitars and swirling vocals. The lush, slow atmosphere of the song is mesmerizing, the breathy and lo-fi recording a perfect backdrop. The showering, bouncy backup vocals, like the Candy Bars are whispering the song, in all its honesty and softness, right into your ear, so that you can feel the brush of every word, the tickle and tremble of every guitar stroke and flowing melody.

Ambulette -Seconds Until Midnight

Lead singer Maura Davis's voice is classically trained, giving it that power and echo that sinks into the listener's mind. The dark undertones in her voice, backed with the crashing drums and clear guitars, the smooth lines of the song, the mysterious, beautiful quality of everything sets off a glowing night sky of melodies. And while the band lacks the slightly careless, rough edges of "regular" indie bands (probably because Maura's pitch always so full on, and the depth of the vocals brushes past all the lo-fi guitar riffs), the eerie, filling quality of the whole song makes it a great listen.

The Novel: Stardust-Neil Gaiman

Ah, fantasy. I miss these epic tales, with unicorns and elves, fairies and princes. The air brushed description of the dampened forest and shining maiden, the tedious pages of
history and world building better told behind the scenes...

Or maybe I don't. Maybe Neil Gaiman's slightly satirical, witty, sweet fairy story is enough, with every cast of character seemingly familiar from one of those real "epics", but with enough credible, humorous characteristics and conversations to stay fresh and delightful. Although the basic storyline--young boy is raised in villiage (actually half of a faerie) falls in love with villiage maiden, who takes little notice of him and sents him on a quest to retrieve a fallen star for anything he wanted) is another echo of a classic, the merging of all these subplots, ideas and items into one short novel makes it a wonderful experience. This is a romance, an adventure, a great little tale for anyone--fantasy lover or not.

I'll have to pass on the song this time as a.)it would be something lame and obvious like anything by Stars or The Unicorns, and I don't want to do that again or b.) it wouldn't suit the novel that well. I haven't found anything as light hearted, charming and witty at the same time as this--at least, nothing that conveys this hazy fantasy world with enough knots and obervances to make it a great fit.

Watch: Sugababes--Red Dress

In case just hearing the Sugababes covering some other band isn't enough--here they are, with a muisc video, with a great song. The video is a total color trip--typical pop disco lights, a high heel rolling a glittering disco ball, glamorous red dresses, a shadowed, pink/red/blue/purple color palette that suits the mood of the song ands sets apart the glaring layers of red, hula hoops and much dancing.

The song, as usual, is in electro-pop lala land. The strike of the drums, the unbelievable chorus--the backing vocals tipping the balance to omg level, the warning lyrics...

See: Pitchfork's take on The Pipettes, Sugababes (cover of the Arctic Monkeys), Marit Larsen, Guillemots

And the originals over at: Fluxblog (for both Marit Larsen and The Pipettes), Music for Robots (for Guillemots), and I'm not sure the specific blog that posted the Sugababes first, but I know Pop Justice gave the word on it and then all the bloggers picked it up.

I mean, yes, I figured for a lot of the track reviews Pitchfork had to pick up on the cool bloggers' tastes, but all of this jumbled up at once? I'm sure there are lots, lots, lots more, and those blogs aren't necessarily the first to post, but I happen to remember those posts a bunch because I really liked them. So, Pitchfork should maybe just leave it all to the blog world? I mean, for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, there was the whole Pitchfork-Stereogum thing going on, but the Arctic Monkeys were pure bloggies.


Sugababes-I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor

Sugababes covering the Arctic Monkeys. I mean, I don't even know what I'm supposed to say at this point. So, it's awesome, right? Three hot UK chicks will make you look even better on the dance floor than four hot NYC dudes. And also, Sugababes--their voices vs the typical alt/indie rock Arctic Monkeys, the superspeed, hyper active guitars and drums of the babes over the monkeys...

How can you not dance to this song?

Mates of State-Beautiful Dreamer

So I have to admit, I'm not familiar with the Mates of State's older material. All I knew was that I heard one song, and adored it, and had to get the new album immediately.

And apparenly--I can't refrain from talking about this...sorry--they're a husband and wife duo who uses the keyboard and drums as the sole instruments, most of the time. The songs are indie pop catchy and sweet and romantic of the highest caliber, but with their unique instrumentation and their wonderful vocal harmonies, these layers of sounds and melodies, lyrics and bridges, everything pieces together to pure delight.

Edit: and before I forget again...insanity over at Threadless with their 48 hours 10 bucks an indie rock shirt sale thingy...I got wrapped up in the craze and so the post went up a little late. But that's okay. Check it out if you're feeling fashionable/hipster/scene/artsy...it's too bad this one:

Threadless.com Product - Midnight Snack

is already sold out in the girls' sizes...but I can always hope for the reprint. Anyway. That's that.

The novel: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time-Mark Haddon
The song: The Boy Least Likely To-I See Spiders When I Close My Eyes

While this novel started off riveting, with an unusual situation and an autistic character with an oversimplified idea of life and the objects around him, unable to understand expressions and facial expressions. He does, hoever, have an uncanny ability to turn anything and everything into math and logic problems--in which case he's a total genius. While this set-up and explainations of everything around him made the novel and the characters emotionally charged at the start, as the story progressed and the mystery solved--with a too perdictable murderer, although I suppose it was never meant to be a mystery to start with--this repetition of math probloems and explainations, and even the character's actions feel robotic.

Reading becomes frustrating, and it gets to the point where I want to skip over sections...which doesn't help, as nothing much happens, and anything that does seems an echo of an event before. It becomes something like a game: I'm scared of people! I have a switchblade! I'm going to make mental maps with patterns and things to keep myself calm! I'm going to Live With Mother (yes, with capital letters and all)! My Father sucks because he lied to me about the perdictable situation with mother! I'm so depressed because I'm in a nwe place! Someone please stop making me so damned perdictable and end this freaking novel!

I guess it goes to show that any book that has the words "poignant" and "literary" stapled together on the inside cover is not going to be my kind of book...or maybe, once again, I'm an emotionless robot who will never understand the true meaning of literary fiction. Oh, the horror.

I do, however, adore The Boy Least Likely To, and the innocent, naive, child-like guitars and keyboards, the dark, adult like undertone of the real world--and this fear of everything, this panic about the specks in the air and the echoing verses, the little details that makes this song so adorable and fitting for the novel.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs-Gold Lion

Bronzed glitter, explosive sparks, golden skin and dirt laden hair--the brown and dark specks, slipping into the soft, whispery air. The power of the drums, and Karen O's signature voice, the crashing guitars and high piched backings--and even! Even the guitar solos! The chorus, the verses...the confident control of the track, the blazing bridge and the riffs. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, you've outdone yourselves. Every moment of this song is spent not in vain, from the acoustic strumming to the faint alarms. Say it with me now--sparks! Dust! Golden moment of pure edge bliss!

And on a totally different note--I've only got a handful of songs right now that are in need of a post. Which means that there has been a lack of inspiration. Which means that I need--something. Brilliant, terrible, powerful...pop bliss and indie playground, anything and everything you can think of, send it my way!

Watch: The New Pornographers-Sing Me Spanish Techno

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So this song is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it number from the New Pornographers, but this video--wow, this video almost puts some sense into the lyrics and everything. feels. so. right.

And the little twists in the video, the turn of the plot, the rather funny but brilliant dance moves from the ever so talented drag queens--plus the color scheme, the song itself (yeah, I'm sort of the love it! crowd), the catchy guitars and the riffs and--yes, it's that great. Watch at all costs.

Ursula 1000 (ft. Izumi Ookawara)-Kaboom!

You never thought a song featuring onomotopeias and exclaimations could amount to anything that worked, did you? You never thought that seemingly random words squeezed together could make anything resembling a real, listenable, let along, pure, unaltered, 120% dance electronica pop fun and non-stop entertainment, did you now?

Of course, this song is everything like that. Adding in the random beeps, boops, sound effects, pop-ness, there's the ridiciously dancable drums and enough energy to light up a factory.

Since, of course, Fluxblog already posted "Urgent/Anxious" (and you should definitely, as in, 100% get that song, I'll avoid another write up.

From the forthcoming album from Ursula 1000.

The novel: Breakfast of Champions-Kurt Vonnegut
The song: Heatmiser-Plain Clothes Man

Kurt Vonnegut is brilliant. I think most people who's read any of his books already know that, and this novel, one of his earlier masterpieces (and a 50th birthday present to himself), is of course not an exception. The two main characters--Kilgore Trout (a character fans should recognize), the poor, lost, prolific science fiction writer renowned for his bizarre stories published in porno magazines, and Dwayne Hoover, a successful man with a seemingly perfect life and many, many businesses and a wonderful heart to spare--he goes insane--lead opposite lives, and when they do meet at a city's arts festival, well, it's the journey that's the most fascinating, for the both of them, but that's when Dwayne Hoover goes insane.

Everything in the novel is written in such simple bits, and the repetition of several themes and breaking the most complex human emotions and actions into simple words and illustrations that make things seem a bit absurd--make a wonderful, satisfying, and rather strange read. Vonnegut uses that thing with a fancy name--where the writer himself is inside the story, and makes every character just as important as the next, and adds seemingly random facts to everything...and anyway, writes in a style completely opposite of what I'm doing and creating a great novel. And so on.

Heatmiser, meanwhile, is Elliott Smith's much forgotten old band. Which doesn't make a lot of sense, considering that Elliott Smith, you know, is Elliott Smith, and that Heatmiser was good and often name dropped in Jimmy Eat World songs. So here they are, with a song that seems to me sums up some parts of both characters, and they're a bit more upbeat than Elliott Smith's solo work, but there's that classic Elliott Smith tone to it, nevertheless. And it's rather wonderful

Stellastarr*-Love and Longing

I don't know what the hell it is about Stellastarr* that makes them sound, feel, exist like the way they do. Maybe it's that * at the end of the their name that throws everything off...but it's probably more like their sound, with that Gothy-post-punkish darkness, but with a strange, David Byrne-ish strange vocalist, and Stars like undertones. At some point a year or so back they were all the rage on the radios--and maybe across the blogs, but it really doesn't look like it. They've got the sort of semi-glammy-alternative-indie hard to classify thing that should have all the NYC bloggers jumping, and yet, somehow, they're missed. Anyway, because they were so hot in San Diego that while back, and because I have a soft spot for cutesey *'s on the end of their name, I feel like I should be allowed to give them some love. This probably isn't the best write up ever--but hey, it's that sort of crazy Friday.

Belle & Sebastian-White Collar Boy

So as long as I'm playing catch up, and since I've been listening to Belle & Sebastian so much lately anyway (and well...since I did promise to post a track a few weeks ago...), I think I'm allowed this post, even this late.

Because, you see, in case you haven't heard, The Life Pursuit is the most fun I've ever heard B&S sound. There's that totally indie pop, totally I-just-dug-up-this-old-dance-record-from-grandma's-attic feel, the hand clappableness of almost every track, the persistent, fun and catchy, hooks and drums. This is not the Belle & Sebastian you're used to, not the soft spoken boy in the tweed cap in the back of the class (although there's definitely still traces of him in the songs), but the boy dancing and clapping in front of the grass.

And this song, the good old rock 'n' roll and traces of ironic humor, the story of the poor, poor white collar boy who has everything that could go wrong, go wrong. The melody bound to bounce in your mind, the guitars and keyboards that'll have you snapping and clapping in front of an invisible Belle & Sebastian show...

And while we're on the subject of shows, and while YouTube is still so hot, feel free to watch them perform "Funny Little Frog" live (another one of my favorites from the album), although the performance seems a little lacking in energy.

The Novel: Franny & Zooey-J.D. Salinger
The song:The Aislers Set-Through the Swells

It's J.D. Salinger's famous The Other Book (well, there is Nine Stories, but that's not so much The Other Book as the other book...capitals lacking), and it's a whirlwind, for sure. Like Catcher in the Rye (a key stable on any worthy scene kid's bookshelf), the novel circles around these ideas of non-conformity, fakes, and the validty of a pre-arranged life--the yuppie family with two kids and a dog, the sort.

Like Catcher in the Rye, the book has a style (and the characters speak) in a way that tangents off, but that adds to the sense of watching real life. The Glass family, the main characters, are filled with internal conflicts, and ideas. Many of the ideas presented--be it Franny's Jesus Prayer or Zooey's take on religion in general sound true to life and worth pondering. Much of the novel (if not all) is based upon these conversations, and watching the characters' reactions. These little details, the picking up of a cigarette, the tapping of a finger, add to the sense of dizzy realism to the novel and interest. It's a must read for those who enjoyed Catcher in the Rye.

The Aislers Set, meanwhile, portrays the feeling of the book--with all its little details and angled mirror shots of life, the slightly chaotic and confusing emotions, the sense of distance and losing oneself--with hazy indie pop of the bedroom type. If Franny made music, I imagine this is something like what her band would sound like.

Watch: The Magic Numbers--Forever Lost

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I've been meaning to post this band for the longest time now, but somehow or another there was always something else, another idea, another day...now there's this adorable video, though, I don't think I can hold it off any longer.

The Magic Numbers are two sets of brothers and sisters from the U.K. Sounds like a gimmick? Yeah, me too, at first. I definitely wasn't expecting these simple, sweet pop melodies, these perfectly tuned harmonies, the instant stuck-in-headesque guitar lines and keyboards. And the build up to the singalongable chorus, and the romantic lyrics and that full, flowing sound of everything...

And this video! The cartoon band members cannot be any more adorable. With the exception of The Boy Least Likely To's video (that video is on a whole other plane. If I started writing about it...well, nothing would make any sense due to my brain's unstoppable OMG SO CUTE exclaimations). The cartoons' reaction to watching themselves on the TV screens are so true to the band's sound, and unbelievably cute.

The Postal Service-Grow Old With Me

It's sprinkling here in San Diego, and these delicate drops of rain and the hazy, smooth skies and the already blossoming spring leaves outside makes it a beautiful picture. This perfect, fragile mood has to be complimented by a song like this one.

The simplistic, yet elegant arrangements the Postal Service made, with the keyboard so light hearted yet so genuine. The sweet, romantic tones and the smallest confessions, with a layer of vague sadness, echoing along with the droplets of water on the trembling grass outside...

Originally from My Old Kentucky Blog, the track is from the Make Some Noise EPs.

And even though, it's March, on a day like this, the Pop 77 Mix 044 is perfect. Every song wiht the right amount of happiness and curiosity, with those hints of winter and snowflakes beneath.

Jens Lekman-Rocky Dennis' Farewell Song

Jens Lekman's voice is such the perfect dusty attic singer-songwriter type. Pouring out emotions, every word sounds like a genuine confession. The tapping of the bells and the strokes of keyboards, the magical, innocent, naive and beautiful quality of the guitars, and the personal story behind the song...everything conveys that flash of time, summer camp, rippling lakes, leaves scattering on top of the still surface to create echoes of space, and that childish, sweet and fragile love. Like a pastel water color painting, capturing the perfection and simple adoration for the blind girl in the star lit skies and padded dampen forests all around.


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