Dancing, Crying and Dying

Can this song be any more perfect? Bouncy, moody synthpop with a bombastic hook: "I can't get over you / Even if they're dying in Africa." Well, I think an American pop singer would probably get a lot of flack for that, but it's a really effective line. Most of us have been in some sort of a tumultuous emotional relationship that makes you forget there are greater sufferings in the world.

I don't know very much about this Nicolas Makelberge, except that he's Swedish, has a myspace page that won't load on my computer, and released "Dying in Africa" in 2006 on an album with the same name. Johan Agebjorn put him on his Crying On The Dancefloor mix, so he's kinda jumbled in that neo italo disco revival, or possibly a male Sally Shapiro.

Of course, "Dying in Africa" sounds more like classic British synthpop than italo disco. It's super addictive, too. I've been fast-forwarding to this song from Agebjorn's mix quite regularly. Listening to some other album cuts from Makelberge's artist page on Rico Records will probably make me shell out the cash to buy it on import.

Great album artwork too. A bit like The Strokes' Is This It with a European sensibility.


Bell X1, Qu'est-ce Que C'est ?

I love how Yep Roc Records artist's page for Bell X1 starts with "If you lived in Ireland, this bio wouldn't be necessary."

From what I understand, Bell X1 must be huge in Ireland. They came to my attention after listening to the Cut Copy mix So Cosmic, and hearing this incredible track very reminiscent of Speaking in Tongues period Talking Heads (which is my favorite TH album, btw).

The track is called "Flame" and apparently it's been out since early 2006! Fortunately (or strangely), the Flock album it was originally released on in Europe is finally being released this Tuesday on Yep Roc.

The rest of their music has a grand, sentimental pop sound a la Coldplay, U2 and early Radiohead. Not usually my cup of tea, but I'm digging the "Flame." They're on a U.S. tour right now, and I'm thinking about catching them at Cafe Du Nord in March.

If you want a real treat, go to Pitchfork's Forkast page to download "Flame (Chicken Lips Mix)," which is the remix that's on the So Cosmic mix. It completely maximizes the white funk of the original.

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I got a cyst on my lower back lanced on Friday, which is going to keep me from doing anything active for a few weeks. Sucks for me, because I really miss going out dancing and I hadn't been doing it in ages.

This afternoon, I found this awesome video of people dancing to Kano's "I'm Ready" on a Soul Train style Detroit TV show in the 80's. It cheered me up quite a bit.


Harvey Milk Candelight Vigil

Photo by boo d.

I made my silver screen debut last night in Milk, when I joined thousands of people for the reenactment of the 1978 candelight vigil following the murder of San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk.

The film is directed by Gus Van Sant, with Sean Penn playing Harvey Milk and James Franco playing his lover Scott Smith.

The experience was totally amazing. Holding up candles and walking back and forth on Market Street between Van Ness and Gough with thousands of people in total silence was very surreal. It really felt like a true memorial, and people were incredibly respectful and contemplative.

It started at 10:30 and lasted until 1 a.m. Gus was there, and I think James Franco was there with a very 70's mustache and red jacket, but I couldn't completely tell.

When the film comes out in September, I hope I can recognize myself as a speck in the background. My outfit was awesome.