Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Unveiling Bro, a mix to change your summer

Once again the Toaster has developed a highly controversial and deeply deadly combo of tracks. Rest assured, our summers will never be the same. Following Gil and Tug in this August heat, Bro is intelligent, daring and - yes - sexy. Contact Mister Toaster, esq., for a hard copy.

>> Featured Artist: Regina Spektor

Featuring Regina Spektor seems a little easy for the Toaster. Her debut, Begin to Hope, has seen vast critical success. Admittedly, our skepticism of anything with mainstream hype kept us away like a kid among grown-ups at our parents' New Year's Eve party.

Then we got wind of "
On the Radio," a ditty that reminds us of Fiona Apple and Nellie McKay. The piano-songwriter prodigy thing has been done. Hard. So why Regina Spektor when we have too many Tori Amoses out there to begin with?

For one, something just feels fresh about Spektor. Whether it's the playfulness of her vocal delivery or the intricate construction of the lyrics, she's endearing. And heartfelt.

She fools us with lines that seem simple, but hit hard. She turns hearing "November Rain" on the radio into something momentous and touching. For those of us who don't believe in Guns 'n' Roses, this is quite the accomplishment. I'm not sure she's a Fiona just yet, but this single is good enough for Bro. And it's good enough for us.

>> Album Lookout: Dog Problems
The Format - Released: July 11, 2006 Nettwerk

We're a bit behind on The Format, too. Mid-summer rave reviews got our attention, and we liked what we heard. Bro requested "Time Bomb" to lead off the mix with some explosive harmonies à la Queen. Frankly, there are so many hooks in "Time Bomb" that when tossed together keeps the listener's attention. The transitions are interesting, musically complex at moments and catchy as a velcro shoe buckle.

Interestingly, a friend of a friend dated the lead singer of this band, ending poorly but with a damn good story - n
ot just another NYC breakup. Sadly, however, the story is not for public consumption.

>> Reverting to: 1973

Mister Toaster has a habit of taking songs that are a bit kitschy and painting them as heroicly poppy. Olivia Newton-John's cover of John Denver's sing-along "Take Me Home, Country Roads" is marvelous for such a purpose. Bro only needed the church-choir intro to set the tone and make his move, but here's the full version - you know - out of fairness to Olivia.

Take us home.

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