I really enjoy when the big time artists have to battle it out on street date. It is like presidential elections or the Olympics. I just really love myself some serious competition. But I don't really like sports events... maybe I secretly do down deep somewhere and just let myself enjoy them every 2 years for the Olympics. Only a couple months to go until august and the summer Olympics will be here before we know it. Let's just hope China can become a little bit nicer by the time that rolls around. Every once in a while two big releases come out to compete against each other for sales, but it really seems that most days there is always an easily predicted winner. Of course, the top seller at Amoeba and the top seller around the country are rarely the same. Belle & Sebastian or Living Legends might be our number one record while Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken take the lead across the nation. Last year Kanye and 50 Cent battled it out for the number one spot. I was really hoping for a battle between Madonna and Mariah Carey this year. I tried to persuade Madonna's label to bump the release date up a couple weeks like they had for Gnarls Barkley -- that way Madonna could have battled Mariah for the number one spot somewhat handicapped, without as much time for promotions and advertising. But it didn't happen. We just get Mariah this week. It does sort of amaze me that she is still relevant and making hit singles. I thought she would have gone the way of artists like Taylor Dayne and Jody Watley at this point in music. They all had huge top singles and albums at one point but quickly fell off the charts. They may still put out albums and play the gay pride circuit but they just don't have that crazy staying power that Madonna and Mariah have. I also find it hard to believe that Mariah Carey has the most number one singles of any solo recording artist. Even if you are not a fan of these ladies you got to give them respect for surviving this long in the business and still putting out singles and albums that drive their fans crazy. Other than a new Mariah there is not a whole lot out this week, but I am excited I get to finally talk about my favorite album of the year. I have had a couple but this new album for sure takes over as the best of the year. The band is called M83. Please join me in loving them. They are fantastic.
Just in case you were wondering what an "M83" is, it is an intermediate spiral galaxy approximately 15 million light years away, also known as the "southern pinwheel galaxy." But it also a fantastic band from France. Saturdays=Youth is the fifth album by M83. They put out an ambient album last year called Digital Shades Vol. 1, but I have yet to hear that one. The last real album was Before the Dawn Heals Us, which came out in 2005. Mute is the brilliant label that brings us these great albums. Like most electronicy "bands" there is one main person doing most of the work. M83 is basically Anthony Gonzalez. He parted ways with his past collaborator Nicolas Fromageau for this new album. The music is of course a shoegazing sort of sound, which seems to be all that I am listening to lately.