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Mp3 Digest: June 14, 2006

It was Bauhaus’s cover of “Ziggy Stardust” that turned me (and I suspect many others) into a David Bowie fanatic. I’d heard their version of the song long before Bowie’s, and in fact still prefer it to the original. The urgency in their pacing, the extra push behind the vocals—it’s what the classic track always sounds like it’s missing. (Perhaps Bowie should follow with a cover of their cover?)

» Hear Bauhaus at Kwaya Na Kisser

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St. Vincent--who is Annie Clark from the Polyphonic Spree--again shows us that freaky carnival music really is the aural equivalent of clown art. Depending on how you feel about clown art, you will love or hate this song.

» Hear St. Vincent at Gorilla vs. Bear

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Supertramp was originally bankrolled by a Swedish millionaire who sought the rewards of a commercially successful rock group. After putting out a couple of stinker albums, however, the manufactured act lost their funding—but remained together. In a turnaround of Baby Boom proportions, that’s about when they began churning out chart-toppers like “The Logical Song,” which has proven its long-term catchiness and profitability.

» Hear Supertramp at the Rich Girls Are Weeping

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A couple of years ago I was at a friend’s house when the new Streets album began playing over the stereo. One person announced he hated the Streets and didn’t know why it was so popular. He then added he couldn’t stand the accent. Somebody explained: A lot of people are—obviously—drawn to the accent, thus the reason for its popularity, Q.E.D. He thought for a moment, then said, ”Well I just don’t think music should be sung with accents, and that’s the way it is.” We can assume he would hate Loki, who is from Glasgow.

» Hear Loki at Said the Gramophone

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From Lawrence, Kan., White Whale is making some very beautiful and dramatic music. And if those vocals sound familiar, it’s Karl Wallinger from World Party. No, it’s not—but wouldn’t that have been great?

» Hear White Whale at My Old Kentucky Blog

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Is Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the new Haight-Ashbury? Will musicians sing its name and urge listeners to wear product in their hair? Doubtful, but the Televangelist and the Architect have a song that invokes the neighborhood in name alone, though the song isn’t any kind of a true hipster anthem—at least not until there’s a DFA remix.

» Hear the Televangelist and the Architect at Ear Farm

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Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy is regarded as a lyricist with few equals, but his new “I Don’t Want to Die a Virgin” shows he’s elevated his craft to new levels, certainly in terms of comedic verse:
With all the bombs and the bird flu
We’re probably gonna be dead soon
And here we are in your bedroom
Oh did I tell you I love you?
With that kind of ammunition, It’s going to be a busy summer for horny, bookish teenagers.

» Hear the Divine Comedy at Marathonpacks


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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