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MUSIC Pop Making Sense
Spcial to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by David Byrne with Tony Peregrin
2009-05-20

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Bob Mould is one of those artists whose next move is ever so unpredictable. This spring he released the solid rock album Life and Times, but then he hit the road to support it by doing acoustic concerts. Mould also spins as one half of Blowoff with Richard Morel. Blowoff will be in town with a DJ set on Saturday, May 23, at The Metro, 3730 N. Clark. The setlist spans genres, intertwining club favorites with alternative and pop, including Sonic Youth, Britney Spears, Depeche Mode and Kylie Minogue.

Forget Beyonce. Former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland steps out with the scorching-hot collaboration with French producer David Guetta on "When Love Takes Over." Rowland's vocals rise, quite similar to Jordyn Sparks' "No Air." The leggy Rowland and Guetta premiered this song together live at the Winter Music Conference. Guetta's next full-length, One Love, is due out August 24. Now without a major label, Rowland previously scored big with her duet with Nelly on the Patti LaBelle sampling "Dilemma" and the dance hit "Like This." Expect "When Love Takes Over" to become an early summer anthem. Remixes are on iTunes now and a physical single will hit retail outlets June 29. On top of being an ambassador for MTV's HIV/AIDS-related Staying Alive Foundation, Ms. Kelly is a panelist on the Bravo reality program The Fashion Show.

On the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' third outing, It's Blitz!, Karen O. is sounding more like Chrissie Hynde and less like Siouxsie Sioux, as she did on the predecessor Show Your Bones. Rock is married perfectly to synthesizers a la Blondie or The Cars on "Zero" and "Heads Will Roll." On top of adding synthesizers to the soundtrack, the trio slows down with the epic numbers "Skeletons" and "Little Shadow." Since It's Blitz! leaked online before its release, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs moved up the street date and an expanded edition is offered also. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' concert on Tuesday, May 26, had to move from Riviera to the larger Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence. Whose solo bow will come out first, O's or Garbage's Shirley Manson's? Both have been rumored to be in the works for some time now.

Fischerspooner is ready to "emerge" free from a major label with the duo's third album, Entertainment. Members Casey Spooner and Warren Fischer are known for the visually captivating videos and over-the-top stage shows, as well as remixing the likes of Kylie Minogue and The Killers. Fischer provides the music while Spooner contributes the lyrics to '80s-influenced electronic pieces like "We Are Electric" and "In a Modern World." "Supply & Demand" and its D.I.M. remix are available for free downloads at www.fischerspooner.com . After a DJ gig in Chicago at Debonair Social Club earlier this year, Fischerspooner will bring its performance art of a concert experience to the Metro Saturday, May 30.

After an eight-year hiatus, A Camp returns with its sophomore album, Colonia. A Camp is best known for being the side project for Nina Persson of The Cardigans, the Swedish alternative-meets-pop outfit behind the hits "Lovefool" and "My Favourite Game." The way her voice rides a melody, Persson comes across as Bette Midler's long lost daughter on Colonia. A North American tour kicks off in Chicago at The Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, on Wed., June 3.

Centaur's first compilation in the POPular series screams summer. This continuous mix is ideal for poolside, graduation parties, barbeques, maintaining that summer physique and road trips. This set contains HI-NRG remakes of radio staples like Lady Gaga's "Just Dance," Ne-Yo's "Closer" and Rihanna's "Disturbia." Covers of Jennifer Hudson's "Spotlight" and Solange's "Sandcastle Disco" are highlights here. But it is odd having Party Girl redo P!nk's overly personal "So What." New York's DJ Corey Craig closes POPular with his signature finale "Thank You for Being a Friend," a new take on the theme to The Golden Girls. Just try not to sing along.

As I train for the Ride for AIDS, I have endured some dreadful mixes during spin classes. A handful of instructors get it, but others think an overdose of U2 and The Killers would be inspiring. To numb the suffering my body and ears has to endure, I have come up with a more ideal spin class mix. The Bimbo Jones remix to Anjulie's "Boom" recently topped the club charts and would accompany the sound of pedaling perfectly well. Even digging back to the 80s, 20 plus year old hits like Pat Benatar's "All Fired Up" and Joan Jett's "Light of Day" give me the extra drive to keep on going. The Danny Tenaglia remix of Vanessa Daou's "Sunday Afternoons" remains timeless, passionate and full of life. Telling on Trixie's "A.N.F.O." or "Pass the Lines" by the Balloons would be a welcomed addition by these gay fronted bands. Any obstacle can be overcome as Beth Ditto wails on The Gossip's "Standing in the Way of Control." What would a queer friendly mix be without The Pet Shop Boys? The energetic "Pandemonium" from the duo's latest Yes is rumored to have been intended for Kylie Minogue. While most spin classes are torture, some have painful playlists that could be remedied easily.


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