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I loved it the first time I heard it. It's funky but smooth, and infinitely danceable. Now I remember why I owned so many Strictly Rhythm records back in my younger years. They still crank out the best house music. And the singer, Nelson, is pretty fly!

I can't sleep. What else is new... so I listen to a song called "Insomnia", because it fits.

I'm sure over on my main blog, Los Angelista, everybody is totally sick of me talking about Depeche Mode.

It's only going to get worse as the days go by because we only have two weeks left till their new record, Sounds of the Universe (A/K/A SOTU) comes out. I am totally on the verge of losing my mind!

And so, lo and behold, I was wandering around on the Amazon site on Monday night and came across a little promo video snippet with the song "Peace". (Spoiler alert: if you don't want to hear the song, don't click "play").
video
I'll confess, when I first heard this song, I thought it was a little on the old-school cheese side of things, but I can NOT stop listening to it. It's old school done right and damn, the beat has got some bounce. Seriously, you can do all those dirty south bounce kind of dances to it. Trust me, I've tried!

How many times can I listen on repeat in a row???

Kylie Minogue just keeps churning out the hits. This morning I haven't been able to stop dancing around to 2008's "Wow".



She's just fabulous and the song has so much energy. It's the perfect track for a gloomy Monday.

In honor of the Groundhog seeing it's shadow and predicting six more weeks of winter, I can't help but listen to one of the most depressing "winter" songs ever: "Winter Kills" by Yaz.

Yes, you know when a song has "winter" and "kills" in it, it's not gonna be an inspirational ditty. Never fear, this could be just the ode to cold and darkness that you need to get you through the next six weeks. You may cry every time you hear it, but at least lead singer Alison Moyet's haunting vocals, and the stripped down arrangement, will make you savor the tears even more.


I love it when I hear a song that I immediately become so obsessed with that I have to play it non-stop for a few days. That's the case with Dutch singer Camille Jones' incredibly danceable track, "Difficult Guys". It's been in heavy rotation on my iPod since I came across it on Christmas Day. What a wonderful Christmas present this song is proving to be.

I've been a fan of Jones' music since discovering her last year via the incredible Fedde Le Grand remix of her song, "The Creeps". That tune was a mega-smash in the dance/electronica world, and she meets the high bar set with "Difficult Guys", a tune which every woman who has been interested in the "wrong" kinds of guys can relate to. Jones is quite gorgeous so it seems hard to imagine her having a hard time finding a guy. But we all know the difference between finding a guy and finding the "right" kind of guy.

One of the things I enjoy about Jones is that she doesn't over-sing her songs. She belts out just enough energy, purring her way through convincingly. If "Difficult Guys" doesn't make you move your feet, it might be time for you to go in for a check-up to see if you still have a pulse.

I know, it's been awhile. But no worries, I haven't stopped listening to music and my love for Depeche Mode hasn't died.

It's a long night tonight. I feel slightly heartbroken for more reasons than can be named. So, I'm listening to "Surrender" by Depeche Mode. It's a b-side to the 1998 single release of "Only When I Lose Myself" and it feels quite appropriate for today's mood.

I've been hooked on the latest Rhianna song, "Disturbia" for the past two weeks. It's catchy, danceable and great for running too. It's dark-pop bass line has me once again believing that Rhianna is awesome. Her stylist and her production team are obviously pretty on top of things too, but, having seen her in concert on Kanye West's Glow in the Dark tour, she was pretty good. She sounded better live than I thought she would. I don't remember her performing "Disturbia" at the show though but I imagine this is one of those tunes that would be fabulous live.

I've been listening to my vinyl of Depeche Mode's 1986 album, Black Celebration quite a bit lately and I keep replaying the song "Fly on the Windscreen". The song was originally the B-side to the 1985 track, "It's Called a Heart". It wasn't considered single material because any song that starts out by saying, "Death is everywhere" is surely destined to be controversial. Unexpectedly, the song became an instant depress-o-matic classic. Mode fans went wild over it. So, "Fly on the Windscreen" got remixed and put on 1986's Black Celebration album, cementing the dark vibe of the rest of the record.

Yes they are indeed singing about there being lambs for the slaughter and all that but then the chorus kicks in:

"Come here
Touch me
Kiss me
Touch me
Now"


How could you resist such directness? Yes, death is always lurking right around the corner in this world of ours, so we've got to take every moment, seize it to live and love. The song reminds me to live life and appreciate what's going on my life now because it could be all over in a heartbeat.

Plus, the musical arrangement and lyrics still sounds fresh, like the kind of song that could get played on an NPR station at night. Here's a "video" of it so you can hear it if you haven't before. It's not, of course, an official video but one that some fans made up. Enjoy.


Years ago I read "Jemina J" by Jane Green. It was a "chick lit" book and I enjoyed it while reading it. But it wasn't so good that I was just dying to read more stuff by Jane Green. Over the past eight years, I've seen other novels of hers on the shelves at bookstores or in the library but I've never been inclined to pick one up. But, a trip to Santa Barbara and a realization that I needed something entertaining to read on the beach made me decide to give Jane Green another go with her novel, "Second Chance".

The book follows four former childhood friends, Holly, Olivia, Paul and Saffron, who've been brought together by the death of their friend, Tom, who's been killed in a terrorist attack. Holly is bored and in a loveless marriage to a successful divorce lawyer named Marcus, so she starts up a fling of sorts with Tom's younger brother, Will. Olivia's been dumped by her longtime lover, runs an animal shelter, wants to get laid and ends up sleeping with an American named Fred. Paul is married to an internet fashion maven named Anna but they can't get pregnant, and Saffron is a sort of successful actress, who's also a recovering alcoholic and having an affair with a top movie star.

Sounds like a good recipe for some great, page turning conflict, right? Except that "Second Chance" was really hard for me to get into and it failed to hold my interest. It's been two weeks since my trip to Santa Barbara and I just now finished it. I found the characters a tad predictable and I didn't really care deeply about any of them.

Infidelity plays a huge role in the stories of two characters, Holly and Saffron. Saffron's cheating with a married man but it's OK because he's in a loveless marriage. Holly starts cheating too, but it's also OK because she's in a loveless marriage. So, I'm left to wonder if the message is that if you're in a loveless marriage, go ahead and cheat.

I really didn't care enough about Paul and Anna and whether they were gonna have a baby, and Olivia just seemed desperate and in need of a safe sex chat. Towards the end, I got bored with all of the characters especially with all of Holly's whining. I started skipping pages.

So, will it be another eight years till I once again read a Jane Green novel? It might. I didn't feel that spark you feel when you've just closed a really, really great book and can't wait to read more of the author's work. At the end of the day, the teacher in me gives this chick lit installment a grade of C.

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