After all this depressing shit, I think we should liven it up with the best bubblegum song of all time for the Genius 10. Leave yours in comments.

Original song: "ABC" by the Jackson 5

1) "Please Please Please"---James Brown

2) "Do Me, Baby"---Prince

3) "Every Little Bit Hurts"---Brenda Holloway

4) "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man"---Aretha Franklin

5) "You Are Everything"---The Stylistics

6) "Stubborn Kind Of Fellow"---Marvin Gaye

7) "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"---Gladys Knight and the Pips

8) "These Arms Of Mine"---Otis Redding

9) "Groove Me"---King Floyd

10) "Ribbon In The Sky"---Stevie Wonder

Onto the now. This past week, a couple of highly anticipated (by me) albums came out, and I'm here to report that they are well worth investing in. Examinations below the fold. The first album is The Gossip's highly anticipated new release Music For Men. Gotta love the ironic title---The Gossip has only gotten deeper into their disco/New Wave influences, music which is most certainly not the music that comes to mind when you think of stereotypical man music. As discussed earlier on the blog, the loathing that standard issue white bred American men had for disco led to one of the most baffling historical freak outs over a pop music trend in the Disco Sucks movement. On this album, The Gossip takes their fascination with death disco and New Wave to its logical conclusion, adding sequencers, synthesizers, and even a piano to their two-piece-plus-a-disco-diva-voice sound. Guitarist Bruce Paine and drummer Hannah Billie don't give up on their remarkable, innovative ability to replicate layered New Wave and disco sounds with just two instruments, though. The extra instruments just add color, and it was a wise choice, because they may have hit the bottom of what they could do with a completely stripped down set.

They're still not big in the U.S., but believe me, they were everywhere in Europe. It's fascinating. The official video isn't embeddable, but here's an alternate version:

The other album I'm stoked about is the Phenomenal Hand Clap Band. Saw them by luck at South By Southwest, and was completely fucking blown away and eagerly awaiting their album, which came out Tuesday, and I've burned a digital iPod hole in. They're a supergroup that's been put together by underground DJs Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand, and it has members from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, TV on the Radio, L'Trimm, Calla, Mooney Suzuki, Oakley Hall, Antibalas, the Dap Kings, Diamond Nights, Persephone's Bees, Si*Sé, and Apollo Heights. They're basically updating a very late 60s/early 70s rock/funk sound, leaning heavily on Sly and the Family Stone, but also updating it with some small hip hop elements and synthesizers. Very funky fun and cool.

Here's them playing at Home Slice Pizza in Austin:

And in New York:

Seriously, I'm so into these albums, it's ridiculous. You can download both at for cheap, so I recommend doing that.