Viva El Friday 5!

Saint Etienne – “You’re In A Bad Way” from So Tough
Released in early 1993, this song was already a throwback to the roots of electronic dance music…Saint Etienne were certainly well-versed in the music of New Order, whose dreamy synth work is a big influence…since Saint Etienne, many female-fronted bands, like Brazilian Girls and The Bird And The Bee, have carried on with the sassy experimentalism…

Tubeway Army – “Me! I Disconnect From You” from Replicas
The second (and final) album from Gary Numan’s band was also the first in his “Machines Trilogy,” which would continue through his first two solo discs…While Tubeway Army was mostly a vehicle for Numan anyway, earlier recordings are more punk than electronic…Numan would continue to perform this song in concert, and, somewhat unintentionally, became the grandfather or industrial music through his innovations with chilling, synthetic music…

Ra Ra Riot – “Ghost Under Rocks” from The Rhumb Line
Unfortunately, Ra Ra Riot have gotten just as much press about the death of their original drummer, John Pike, as they have about their debut album…while most of the songs (including this one) were written while Pike was still alive, the loss of a band member gives new resonance to some of the death-inspired lyrics on the album…it’s not unlike the purported references to September 11th in the lyrics and themes of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, though the songs had been finished years before…

Lullaby Baxter Trio – “The Chatterbox Chronicles” from Capable Egg
One of the most fascinating contemporary singers is Canada’s eclectic chanteuse Lullaby Baxter…her debut was released back in 2000, but it seems like a relic from some kind of weird children’s jazz experiment…Baxter’s charm lies in the combination of her mature, breathy alto with nursery rhyme-inspired lyrics…in 2006, she released her own musical, Garden Cities Of To-Morrow, which ran publicly in Calgary earlier this year…

Blur – “When The Cows Come Home” from Modern Life Is Rubbish
It’s not usually like me to feature more than one song from the ‘90s, but this tune is just too strange to pass up…following in the footsteps of Paul Weller and Ray Davies, Damon Albarn and company made a big transition from the Stone Roses-inspired sounds of their poorly-received debut…with a more grown-up set, Blur would become the more mature counterpart to their Britpop rivals, Oasis…

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~ by E. on December 5, 2008.

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