There was gonna be an essay-style portion to this post, but it got too long so I've separated it out. Enjoy some other good stuff though!
The Klaxon's cover of "No Diggity" isn't as good as the original (what is?) but damn if they don't give it their best show and come up with a new spin on it.
Portico Quartet's album Knee Deep In The North Sea is one of the more left-field records that I own (contemporary jazz, anyone?) and is a helpful reminded that although you might not think it, cello, clarinet and kettle drums go together surprisingly well.
Holy Fuck are a good band, but their live show is something else. Live electronica can too often be a guy pressing buttons and trying to make a show out of it, but watching these guys play instruments as they pull magnetic tape through machinery was brillo pads.
Ladyhawke's eponymous first album is one of those records that I always forget I really enjoy. Part of it is the slightly disposable nature of the electro-pop she makes (please note, I do not use "disposable" as a bad term - it's just some things are made to make you dance, not think about) and part of it is that there's no strong themes or emotions that come through in her songs, at least not enough to hang them onto my own experiences. Still, there's some great danceable songs in there.
One of my favourite things about Kanye West is that when he learned some of the facts behind the conflict diamond trade, he re-recorded "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" with an aim towards raising awareness about the issue, but he still included the original version, which features a typically materialistic approach towards diamonds, because hey, it's a damn good song.
Lazerproof is an album of La Roux remixes by Major Lazer, and is far better than anything by La Roux or Major Lazer by themselves.
"The Staunton Lick" remains one of my favourite songs, indelibly linked to both the end of Spaced and the end of my time in America (I played it as I left our house, and by extension San Francisco, for the final time in a deliberate homage to Spaced) and one of those songs that instantly makes me calm, happy and tranquil. It's like aural Prozac.
Hey, "Gimme Shelter" is a pretty good song, isn't it?
It's a perfect coincidence of the alphabet that puts "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" from the Lilo & Stitch soundtrack right next to "Circle of Life" from The Lion King. That's a one-two punch of happy-making energisers right there.
I've already trumpeted Solange's "Losing You" around the Internet as a borderline perfect pop song, and I'm not sure there's much more I can say about it (beyond GO LISTEN TO IT) but I have just noticed that what initially appears to be solid yellow artwork for the single in fact hides yellow-on-yellow writing that you can only see from certain angles. I approve of such creative trickiness.
"Saints" by The Breeders