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Free Download: VioletNine "Images Of Me"

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Straight outta Boston come pop rockers VioletNine. The handsome Massachusetts five piece of Ben Consoli (vocals), John Ducharme (guitar/keys), Greg Faucher (drums), Tom Gallo (bass) and Nick Lewis (guitar) first got together in 2002 and has been playing the club scene ever since to develop their fan base. In April, they released their first album "Any Wonder" that was produced by Greg Archilla who previously worked with Matchbox 20, Collective Soul and Edwin McCain.

VioletNine shows off their true colors on "Images Of Me," one of my favorite songs on their debut album. It packs a propulsive, melodic tension in a crunchy alt-rock arrangement that does not wear out after repeated play. At times I find the song reminiscent of music put out by many British pop rockers such as Snow Patrol. A big thank you to the band for allowing me to share this song.

The band writes me that "'Images Of Me' is a message to anyone that holds you down, dulls your shine and drains your inspiration. It's a combination of looking back on your past struggles and moving forward to better things. Sometimes the people that want you to fail drive you further to success."

Download Violet Nine "Images Of Me" or stream it first:

May 31, 2006 in MP3 Exclusives | Permalink | Comments (1)

Röyksopp's Night Out

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At Remix in Vancouver I picked up Royksopp's latest EP "Night Out," a live recording from the duo's performance in Oslo late last year that was released on disc a few months ago. The album is a collection of their biggest hits including "What Else Is Out There," "Poor Leno," "Only This Moment" and my favorite "Remind Me."

Based on the electronic aspects of their songs, you might expect a straight up DJ set with lots of pre-programmed loops. But on "Night Out," Torbjörn Brundtland and Svein Berge are keeping it real. They actually add their own live vocals to some of their tunes (using a vocoder) and also are joined on stage by Bel Canto's Anneli Drecker (and not Karin Dreijer as I wrote earlier) who adds her distinct vocals to "What Else Is Out There." These elements truly create a unique live experience that is worth playing over and over again. The live version of "Alpha Male" is a stand out track. The duo gets in high gear to create a propulsive on stage version that will get your adrenaline rushing. Fans of electronica-based dance music should definitely take a listen to "Night Out" even if you were a little disappointed by the celestial electro-pop on "The Understanding." (Click here to download Röyksopp's "Night Out" from 7Digital in mp3 format.)

In related Röyksopp news, the band announced they will release their next single "Beautiful Day Without You" on June 12. The 12" single will include remixes by Rex The Dog, Cass & Mangan and the Wighnomy & Robag Whruhmes Spekkfakkel Remikks.

Listen to samples of Röyksopp's "Night Out"

May 30, 2006 in Audio Streams | Permalink | Comments (6)

Feeling Like A Rock Star

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I returned late last night from the beautiful city of Vancouver where I spent Memorial Day Weekend. Despite the gray weather, the city was a real treat with its gorgeous green surroundings, convenient bike paths and trendy eateries. Many thanks to all the Canadian readers who sent me their tips.

I stayed at Yaletown's Opus Hotel, a swanky boutique hotel where music, ambiance, design and comfort blend into one great lodging experience. If you're ever there, make sure to drink up Andrea's mojitos in the lobby's lounge.

Your suggestions for dining at Tojo's and West were much appreciated. Also, a shout out to Jim who just opened his Remix records boutique on Granville Street that features great imports. Walk in and browse the racks if you have a chance.

Lastly, if you look for the full rock star treatment in Vancouver, make sure to stop by Skoah on West Hamilton Street. The expert skin trainers at this facial spa will make you feel like a million bucks using their own peppermint-infused, all-natural face products. It so good to indulge once in a while.

Now back to the music.

May 30, 2006 in Blog Update | Permalink | Comments (9)

Stream Marie Serneholt Tracks

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Check out the sweet pop tunes of 22 year old Swedish singer Marie Serneholt. Some of you might remember Marie as the hot blond from teen pop sensation Abba Teens. Serneholt teamed up with talented songwriter Jörgen Elofsson and released her solo debut album "Enjoy The Ride" in Sweden in March. Elofsson knows how to write a hit. He earlier wrote music for Kelly Clarkson ("A Moment Like This"), Westlife ("If I Let You Go") and Britney Spears ("You Drive Me Crazy," "Sometimes").

Elofsson was very anxious to collaborate with Serneholt. "There's a lot of talk about the Swedish music export, but in the Swedish pop world the focus is mainly on songwriters and producers," Elofsson says in a press statement. "There is a definite lack of Swedish pop stars."

The statement also describes Serneholt's music as "ABBA meeting Gwen Stefani." Despite the Goldfrapp-ish cover of "Enjoy The Ride," I find the innocent tunes of Serneholt mostly reminiscent of the music Britney Spears put out on her first and second record. Guilt-free and fun. All that good pop should be about. First single from the singer's album is "That's The Way My Heart Goes," but my favorite is the hooky "Can't Be Loved." Also make sure to listen to "I Need A House" that echoes Serneholt's Abba Teens past. The singer also pulls off a decent ballad with "Beyond Tonight."

Stream Marie Serneholt tracks

May 29, 2006 in Audio Streams | Permalink | Comments (5)

Video Premiere: Pakito "Living On Video"

What do you get when you stir up Daft "French Disko" Punk, vintage Italo Disco and some contemporary house beats? The answer is Pakito's punchy "Living On Video," one of the hottest cross-over dance tracks in Europe right now and the number one song in France. The song is loosely based on a tune that was put out by Canada's Trans-X in 1983.  A variation of that track was also released by popular Dutch house act 2 Brothers On The Fourth Floor who dubbed their version "Living In Cyberspace." Not much is known about who or where Pakito exactly is. All I have been able to find is that Pakito is based in Germany.

May 25, 2006 in Video Premieres | Permalink | Comments (17)