In addition to writing and shooting photos for this blog, I also DJ for the fashion industry. I especially love doing music for runway shows when I have the opportunity. The last minute rush, the pressure to pull it all together, collaborating with other like-minded people who have flown in from all over the world – it’s always a blast. I’m constantly keeping an ear out for tracks that would be great for runway – edgy rock and pop stuff, cover versions, 60’s French chansons, dance stuff – it’s hard to say exactly what makes a great runway track, you just know it when you hear it.
At the moment, I’m bananas about the Italians Do It Better record label and especially two of their bands, Chromatics and Glass Candy. Both of these bands share a common member (multi-instrumentalist and producer Johnny Jewel) and both have undergone a stylistic shift lately – switching from noisy, abrasive, arty pop/rock to an underground disco/Moroder/electronic/soundtrack-to-an-imaginary-movie vibe. This new direction is truly sublime and manages to combine the immediacy of edgy rock and dance with the haunting quality of a great late-night movie soundtrack. Imagine cool female vocals being added to the Midnight Express soundtrack and you are somewhere in the right neighborhood.
If you haven’t heard these bands, I want to be careful not to make them out to be too much of an art or fashion project – this is just great pop music. (Although they are being embraced by the fashion world – Glass Candy’s “Miss Broadway” was used for the Chloe collection this season and I used them for a Habitual show a few seasons ago.) Their artwork and sleeves are also amazing which is always a big plus for me – they really get the visual side of being in a band. (They are being embraced by the art world as well – Glass Candy will be playing live in Miami on Dec. 7th as part of Art Basel Miami – can’t wait).
Key tracks from Chromatics are “In The City”, “I Want Your Love”, and several great cover versions including their incredible remake of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”. As for Glass Candy, check out that cover version of Belle Epoque’s “Miss Broadway”, “Life After Sundown” (great title), and really virtually anything else that they’ve released lately. FYI – new stuff from both bands is hard to find – legally anyway. None of these tracks are available in the iTunes store yet and you probably will have difficulty locating the CDs as well. My suggestion – the Other Music store and website has brand new limited-edition CDs from both groups as well as a fantastic Italians Do It Better compilation. Both bands also have the download links enabled on their Myspace pages – so don’t hesitate to grab those tracks. Like most yummy candy though, it’s just going to leave you wanting more.
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