Friday, March 27, 2009

Elton's Favorite Artists at the Moment


In honor of Sir Elton John’s 62nd birthday Wednesday, we opted to celebrate by assembling a new edition of EJ the DJ for Buzz readers.

So what exactly is EJ the DJ?

Well, whenever we have a conversation with the Peachtree Road resident, we ask John, arguably the world’s biggest music fan, to let us in on what he’s currently listening to.

We essentially snatched the idea from the pop star’s decades-long tradition of popping by radio stations here and across the pond to spin his favorite new artists.

As usual, John delivered a diverse batch of tunes and artists, a few of which can’t be instantly obtained in the U.S., even if a multitude of record shops still existed.

First up, Sir Elton is hooked on the single “Walking on a Dream” from Australia duo Empire of the Sun. The MGMT-esque pop pairing is a collaboration between The Sleepy Jackson’s Luke Steele and Pnau frontman Nick Littlemore. The single and remixes can currently be downloaded off iTunes. Empire’s full debut album is due stateside April 21.

“They’ve got a terrific sense of melody,” John told us. “I was just listening to it again this morning.”

Forever a supporter of live music, John — currently on tour with Billy Joel — won’t get to catch two of his current fave acts in Atlanta. He had to miss Grammy-winning phenom Adele’s St. Patrick’s Day gig at Variety Playhouse (he was an early supporter). He’s also working when singer-songwriter James Morrison gigs April 27 at The Loft in Midtown.

The singer has been keeping a watch on Morrison’s latest single, “Broken Strings,” a duet with Nelly Furtado.

“It’s a brilliant song,” said John. “I just hope it does a bit better on the charts over here. I like him a lot.”

The biggest curve ball Sir Elton tossed us?

He’s loving “Hurricane,” the crazy good new Grace Jones album. The main problem? It’s not yet available on these shores or on iTunes for that matter. Amazon.com is stocking imported copies, however.

“It’s a shame more people in the U.S. haven’t heard it,” John said. “I love it, and [the song] ‘Williams’ Blood’ is [expletive] amazing. She sounds great. It’s a great return for her. You have to hear it!”

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