"Holy Crap! It's Shaun Ryder!"

"It's Dare!" My listening habits by and large keep me a good distance away from what is currently popular on the TV or radio (and lets face it, that's generally not a bad thing). But last weekend I was flipping channels and paused for a moment on MTV when I recognized the Gorillaz cartoon characters. While I've always admired the sheer creativity and outside-the-box thinking of Damon Albarn's side project, none of the tunes I'd heard had lured me to the record store. Until now. Rarely have I enjoyed a song so completely and instantly. I've been dancing around the condo like a maniac all week to the infectious house groove and falsetto vocal. But my delight and surprise didn't end there. I almost fell off the couch when I realized the only human being in the video was one Shaun Ryder. I haven't seen his pudgy drug-munching mug on the TV since the last time a Happy Mondays video fluttered across the screen on 120 Minutes (during the last 15 minutes MTV was actually kinda cool). Could this be a Madchester renaissance? One can only hope. Seems like I'm not the only one smitten. Check out NME's review of their recent "live" show.

Gorillaz "Dare"

As a bonus track, here's a classic from Ryder's mid-1990s project Black Grape. With hysterical vocal cut-ups of the former president Reagan, it pays homage to Shaun's love of chemicals, and is remixed by Faithless:

Black Grape "Get Higher" (Rollo & Sister Bliss Remix).

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