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Radio Free MP3: Beth Thornley, The Subjects, Emanuel & The Fear

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"Wash U Clean" – Beth Thornley
Click here to listen, or right click to save.

Fat horns man. That's all it takes. Well, that and lyrics like "U comin' over like u was clover/I'm gonna cut it with my lawnmower" I don't know what that means, but I like it. A lot. The groove is laid thick, and the music washes over you like a baptism of celebration.  And those horns knock not only the roof off, but take out the walls and the couch too.

Play "Wash U Clean" at your next party and its guaranteed to get the party moving, and get you some intense questions on how your guests can get ahold of this track.

Beth hails from LA and her music has been featured in loads of television shows. Her new album, Wash U Clean comes out in January. Jump on over to her website for more information, and steams of her previous album, My Glass Eye.

"Functioning People" – The Subjects
Click here to listen, or right click to save.

Like so many other rock bands the Subjects started in high school, but unlike most two of the members were teachers (with the other two being students.) Though the administration had to have concerns over that, everybody else with ears should be overjoyed at this unconventional pop team.

Mark Saleski reminded me today that it is the 30th anniversary of the Clash's London Calling, and you have to look no farther than "Functioning People" to hear their lasting influence. There's the cascading, pounding beats, the slight reggae shimmer, with spot-on pop sensibilities. All of this comes without losing the rock.

The band's new digital EP, The New Soft Shoe is out now. For more info and streams go to their Myspace page, and you can also check out their performance on Day Trotter.

"The Rain Becomes the Clouds" – Emanuel and the Fear
Click here to listen, or right click to save.

Hand claps get me every time.

In preparation to write this column I listen to a lot of songs. Mostly by people I've never heard of. I like to think my time is important and because of this I've gotten to the point where if a song doesn't grab me within the first few seconds I turn it off. I'm sure that's a terrible way to listen to music, and likely I've missed any number of really great songs, but there is so much music out there, and so many more songs to hear that if you can't make me want to hear your music after ten seconds, I'm not going to listen.

The first three seconds of "The Rain Becomes the Clouds" contain this pulsing, electric beat. The kind of thing that turns the disco kids on, but never fails to drive me crazy. I was literally moving my mouse finger over to turn it off. Then the hand claps came and suddenly it went from just another club tune to something more all together. The claps quickly find jangly synth notes, exhilarating strings, and these big horn flourishes.  Together it all becomes something incredibly fantastic.

With so much music out there for our ears, it is easy for songs to slip through the cracks. "The Rain Becomes the Clouds" was a millisecond away from becoming one of those songs, but I'm so glad it didn't. Thank goodness for hand claps.

You can hear more of Emanuel and the Fear at their Myspace. Their self-titled digital EP is out now. For an added bonus here's the video for "The Rain Becomes the Clouds" with a slightly different sound (and no hand claps.)

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