Friday, July 03, 2009

LAB Mixtapes: Episode 16


I'll always associate Elvis Costello with a group of artists, many from the UK, that broke through the grip of top forty play lists in the 80s. Perhaps mis-labelled "New Wave", bands like Elvis Costello & the Attractions, The Jam, The Squeeze, Talking Heads, Blondie and Joe Jackson crackled and spat through mainstream radio and made college stations worth listening to. What powered these acts wasn't just a newfound intensity but great songwriting. The Jam's Paul Weller and Elvis Costello have few successors today but one band that reminds me of those earlier acts is the New Pornographers and their main songsmith A.C. Newman. Newman might be one of Canada's best songwriters at the moment and no other band can match the New Pornographers output of consistent quality pop songs. Viewers of CBC's The Hour may be too familiar with this Newman tune, "Use It" but it reminds me so much of the Costello Classic "What's so funny" it was hard not to include in this mix.1

Episode 16
Runs 11:27 mins

Links below open the iTunes Music Store
1. That's Entertainment - The Jam
2. What's So Funny 'bout Peace, Love and Understanding - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
3. Use It - The New Pornographers

FN 1. I had originally planned A.C. Newman's newest single "Ten or Twelve Things" in this mix but there was no denying the drum break being so similar to the "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding" so I gave in. Plus Twin Cinema is an album that, if it were an ultimate fighter were slay any and all comers.

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