Lena won the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest.  That’s thirty-nine countries competing (seven more countries than make it into the 2010 World Cup) in front of a TV audience approaching two-hundred million (twice the average Superbowl TV audience).  And this song wins.  It’s no joke when they say Abba is the best thing to ever come out of Eurovision (Abba won back in 1974).

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You, the D.J.: newyorker.com.  Great article from Sasha Frere-Jones about the future of online music, how we will listen and how what we listen to could be decided for us.

High VioletHigh Violet is the fifth album from Brooklyn-based band The National.  Initially, it’s the most successful release so far (debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200).   The lyric quality of writer/singer Matt Berninger combined with the sonic experimentation of the rest of the band (two sets of brothers: Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Scott and Bryan Devendorf) signals a shift in focus for the 10-year-old band.  It’s not stadium rock and although Sufjan Stevens and Padma Newsome both contributed to the project it misses the indie folk train too.  The album has elements of both while being true to their indie rock roots and if memorability is a sign of success then High Violet will likely become their most successful project to date (something to be said for a band that had two different albums on that received attention for album of the decade).  David Letterman recently hosted The National performing “Afraid of Everyone”.  “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and “Lemonworld” are also tracks that shouldn’t be missed.

In a nation of American Idols the serious American band is all too rare.  High Violet combines meaningful creativity, fresh lyricism and musicality.

Amazon is selling The Fall (latest album from Norah Jones) for just $5. Get it while it’s hot!

I have to admit, I still don’t entirely understand the band Gorillaz. But who couldn’t love a virtual band with contributors like Snoop Dog, Bobby Womack, Mos Def and the Lebanese National Orchestra as part of their latest release. Damon Albarn’s (the only permanent musician in the ‘band’) latest project, Plastic Beach, sounds like an immediate classic. I only listened to the album (released March 9th 2010) after friends from both sides of the ocean Twit-raved about the a couple of the new tracks (this might legitimize and condemn Twitter in the same stroke). Start with the track Stylo, then On Melancholy Hill.

Call it pop, alternative or electronic. A band filled with fanciful members shouldn’t be limited to one genre anyway. Plastic Beach may not be as musically progressive as the Gorillaz last release, Demon Days, but the pop hooks, shiny effects and Eastern lines and harmonies may just end up being contagious.

Give it a listen. On Grooveshark. (Why not listen to a virtual band I don’t entirely grasp through a virtual music platform I don’t entirely grasp — careful, this post may have a developing theme)

Also check out Micheal Katzif’s review from NPR.com.

The Civil Wars are getting plenty of play time on my iPod and office computer. The band has only been around for a year and is the result of a collaboration between two great, young songwriters. Joy Williams lends her versatile vocals and songwriting talents to John Paul White’s folk guitar and vocal sound and the result is one of Nashville’s fastest rising duos.

The Civil Wars have already been featured on Grey’s Anatomy, are opening for Switchfoot this week and recently did a joint concert with rising Blue Note artist Kristina Train.

If you enjoy William Fitzsimmons or Iron & Wine then The Civil Wars may just help you get your fix of new, vintage tunes. Check out their single Poison & Wine below or visit Noisetrade.com to download their live album for free.