I can't be made to give up now

Kelly's crazy Phil Collins love got me thinking about another video where you can actually hear the artist singing in real life as song is playing on the video. Of course, for me, Elvis Costello springs to mind. "I Wanna Be Loved" was released in 1984, the same year as "Easy Lover." Maybe it was an '80s thing.

I love this video because it is the very embodiment of Sad & British. I will cheer you up Elvis!

Josh's Song

Here's the email I got from Josh, co-winner of the "F" contest:

Dear Eileen,

This is totally exciting. Thank you so much. You may excerpt from this
email for blogging purposes, if you wish to do so.

The song I want is "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" by Moby.
(Actually, it's by Mission of Burma, but I want the Moby version.)

I am a little embarrassed to be asking for a Moby song, but it would be
better than paying for a Moby song.

Please make sure you get the uncensored version. I am not sure if
there's a censored version, but MTV censored the video version so that
it was "That's When I Realize It's Over." I remember Moby talked about
it on the MTV News.

Let me know if you have any questions. I don't know if the song's also
on eMusic, but if it is, I wouldn't be upset if you got it from there
instead of iTunes.


What lovely grammar that boy has! As it turns out, I actually have this song. I got it from some magazine's sampler CD, but I was a good music fan and bought the song for Josh from iTunes. After all, I wouldn't want to steal food from Moby's mouth. He looks like he could use it.


Somebody tell me why I work so hard for you

I know you've all been waiting anxiously for the contest results, but I have to admit that my vague rules left me a little confused. Kelly won by being the first with two out of three albums (Final Straw by Snow Patrol and Funeral by Arcade Fire) but Josh got all three of his guesses correct (Failer by Kathleen Edwards, Friendship Is Deep by Golden Shoulders and the aforementioned Arcade Fire album).

Since I hadn't really decided myself if three correct albums would trump the first person to guess two correctly, I've decided to double my prize and award both of them free songs. Kelly, I know you really thought you had one with that Elvis Costello EP, but I just bought the one song I didn't already have from iTunes and therefore don't own the entire album. The good news is "Everything She Wants" by Wham! is on its way. Josh, name a tune and it's yours.


You don't want a free song?

So far I've only received one entry in my letter F contest. I was really expecting more from you guys. We're talking free music here, people!

You have until Friday at 9 pm Eastern Standard Time to get me your entries. Also, Kelly, since you're the only entry I've gotten so far, I'll tell you that two of your guesses were wrong. If you want so send in another list, I'll take it. I know you really want the Wham! song.

Now let's get to guessing.


Many girls want to be carnal with me because I'm such a premium dancer

A couple months ago, I caught the movie Everything Is Illuminated on the TV. I've never read the book because I have decided that Jonathan Safran Foer is pretentious and insufferable. Having never read anything by him, I don't know why I've come to this conclusion. I think it's because he wrote this novel when he was like 16 and nobody should be a successful novelist at that age. Nobody!

(Okay, he's really the same age as me which made him 25 when he wrote Everything Is Illuminated, but seeing someone your own age being so successful makes it even worse. I hope he enjoys turning 30 this year.)

Anyway, I set aside my irrational Jonathan Safran Foer rage long enough to watch the movie and I really kind of liked it. It wasn't the best thing ever but I do kind of like Elijah Wood and it had it's funny moments. What stuck with me the most, though, was the soundtrack. It was full of mournful Ukrainian tunes and crazy Russian folk rock. I added it to my want list on Lala and a couple weeks later it was at my door.

So now I'm listening to it and I've decided I still enjoy mournful Ukrainian tunes (Sad & Ukrainian?) and crazy Russian folk rock. I don't think it's something I'd bust out everyday, but it's kind of fun to work to. Tubas and violins have a nice way of setting the pace.



I got an idea for a new contest the other day so here, dear reader, is another chance for you to win a free song on iTunes. I have one more letter "E" album then it's on to "F." According to my rough count I have 23 full albums beginning with the letter F on Declan that I will be listening to.

In order to win your free song, you need to send me a list of three albums beginning with the letter F that you suspect I will be reviewing. If at least two of those three albums are actually on my list, you win!

So to be clear, the album has to be good enough that I've kept it in its entirety on my iPod. With your entry, you should also send me the name of the free iTunes song you would like so I can send it to you if you win. All entries should be emailed to sadandbritish@gmail.com. Now start guessing!


Tippy's tail was in the newspaper once

There's an online cartoon at whattheduck.net that you might find entertaining if you're into photography and photography accessories. This one's my favorite:

You got a voice like the last day of catholic school

I was never much of a Replacements fan. I'm still not. I like a couple songs and, unfortunately, I think it was mostly their low production values that kept me from liking them more. They just don't sound good. Do you know what I mean?

Ahh, but in later years and thanks to fancier recording studios, I became a Paul Westerberg fan. Maybe it's the Minnesotan in him, but he's got a nice sorrow to his stuff. Even the rockers suggest disappointment and cloudy days to come. I might have bestow an honorary Sad & British title upon him.

For the last few days I've been listening to Eventually, his 1996 album, and the first one I bought. I got to see him at The Blue Note in Missouri when I was in college and I think I was a bit smitten. He was just the right amount of grumpy. To me it just seemed like indie rock. Remember, Grunge was just ending at the time, so I had a high tolerance for sadness and anger.

If I remember correctly, "Love Untold" was a minor hit from this album. I know I saw the video on MTV a few times. It's a sweet little song about first dates and the expectations that go along with them. Don't worry, though, it has a sad ending. Mr. Westerberg wouldn't want to get too cheerful on us.


While Nat King Cole sings "Welcome To My World", you request some song you hate you sentimental fool

The Onion AV Club wrote a great little story about my favorite Elvis Costello album, King Of America. Check it out here.

If you don't want to read it all, here's my favorite quote:

"Costello spent the early years of his career trying to prove what a vengeful shit he could be, but by 1986 he seemed comfortable admitting that he's just a bitter romantic."

That pretty much sums it up.


I've made it to 25 so far

Let's see how you guys do with album covers. Go here and try a quiz that will be easy if smoked a lot of pot in the 70's. For the rest of us, it takes some thinking back to all those Rolling Stone stories about great album covers.

Once you're done with that, go here and read this awesome column by Garrison Keillor. It will make you want to quit your computer for awhile.


Naked and faking on a poorly lit stairway

Remember "Pain Killer (Summer Rain)"? It was a minor hit in the summer of 2003 for a little-know British band named Turin Brakes. I remember it. I even bought their album, Ether Song. Hell, I even saw them in concert. Granted it was because they were opening for David Gray, but I still feel like I've paid more attention to Turin Brakes than your average music listener.

"Summer Rain" is an excellent song, but I can't really say that for the rest of the album. It's one of those songs that just sticks out because it's so so much better than anything else. I spend the rest of Ether Song daydreaming and trying to think of what other band they sound like. They sound like a lot of British bands - just not as good.


There are some albums coming out soon that have me really excited for the end of January. I don't remember this being a hot time of the year for record releases but I'll take it. The new Shins album, Wincing The Night Away, drops on January 23 and Some Loud Thunder by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah follows the next week. That same day sees the release of Paolo Nutini's debut album in America. It's already I hit in England and from what I've heard on his myspace page, it's something I want to check out.

All this new music should help brighten up the bleakest time of year and keep me rockin' until Neon Bible by Arcade Fire comes out on March 6th.


The View are on fire

Are these guys the next Arctic Monkeys? The New York Times wrote a fun story about their show at Mercury Lounge and I really like their song "Same Jeans." You can go to their web site to check out their music. Once your done checking out the new Bright Eyes tune, look into the View.


Endless entertainment

If you go to thisisbrighteyes.com and give 'em your email address, you can listen to a new Bright Eyes tune. It's the catchiest song about the Apocalypse I've heard in ages. Check it out and tell me what you think.


I took Eileen by the hand, walk with me was her command

Declan's right at home today as we've made it to Essential Pogues on his album list. I think this is a CD I got from my friend Steve who has a pretty extensive collection of The Pogues. Aside from a few tracks from Waiting For Herb, this is the only Pogues on my iPod.

When I think of the Pogues these days, two things spring to mind. The first is how amazingly ugly Shane McGowan has gotten. He really is the modern day caricature of the Irish drunk incarnate. As I listen to his music, a picture of his face seeps into my mind and it scares me. See for yourself:Now you, too, can share my pain.

The second thing that I remember is that Elvis Costello used to be married to their bass player. A biography I read said the band used to call him "Uncle Brian" because his creepy 35-year-old man lust for 19-year-old Cait O'Riordan reminded them of an inappropriate relative. I laugh every time I think about that.

So how's the album? It starts out great, turns into a travelogue and kind of just peters out at the end with an unnecessary cover of "Honky Tonk Woman." "The Sunny Side Of The Street" and "Fairytale of New York" are songs everyone should own so I could consider this album to be truly essential. It's a handy introduction to a legendary band with a freaky, freaky lead singer. Uncle Brian would approve.


Want some free music?

If you're into indie rock or old jazz, take this link to emusic.com and sign up for 100 free downloads. You'll need a credit card to register, but there's no charge for a month. The 100 downloads you get are yours forever for free and they work easily with iTunes. They're just mp3s so there's no crazy restrictions on them.

I will admit I looked into emusic.com about a year ago and didn't find much I liked. Since then they've added a lot of great new stuff and I instantly used my downloads to get nine new albums. You can get the new releases from Cat Power, TV On The Radio, The Heartless Bastards, Neko Case, Spoon and Joanna Newsom. If you don't know who any of those people are, emusic might not be for you. If you got excited by that list, then you should go there right away.

I know this might sound like a bit of a commercial but I just want my loyal readers to get free music - especially when it's good music. Need a suggestion of what to get? Just ask.


The next grilleration

Happy New Year, everyone!

I've watched approximately one billion football games this weekend, few of which have gone the way I wanted them to. I must be some kind of bad luck charm. That, or I pick teams that suck.

When I haven't been watching football, I've been playing with my new Christmas present - a George Foreman grill. I've known people who are long-time Foreman grill fans but I always avoided they hype. This new one comes with different plates so you can make waffles and even (so they claim) muffins. So far I've made a grilled cheese sandwich at lightning speed and cooked some bacon without all the usual mess. I have to admit, I'm enchanted. Now, whenever I cook something, I try to figure out if I can do it on my grill. It's becoming a strange obsession.

I will leave my apartment sometime this year (it hasn't happened yet) but until then, I have George to keep me entertained.