Saturday, December 13, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By TV On the Radio

It's December, which means it's time for the onslaught of best of lists.  They've been pouring on hot and heavy over the past few days.  I will get to my annual best of list this week...including my massive 111 best of list with help from all you pretty people.  But I like to wait a couple weeks and scour other "best of" lists in case there's an album out there I've missed.  You never know...the new Smashing Pumpkins and Charli XCX are supposedly pretty epic.  Here's the last of my catch-up list My first introduction to TV on The Radio was on a bachelor party trip about 10 years ago.  Strangely, that marriage is over but TVOTR is still rocking stronger than ever.  When I first heard the feedback-laden caterwaul that would become TVOTR's staple sound it made my skin crawl in the way a trailer for an exciting new movie can give you a rush.  (think the Millenium Falcon racing onto the screen in the new Star wars trailer)  Sadly, I was the only one on the trip who loved what we were listening to.  After three songs from Desparate Youth, the guys in the car voted to remove the CD and move onto something more palpable like...Dave Matthews (yes, it was hell).  All I wanted to do was get home so I could listen to the album...but I was stuck at the bachelor party enduring fancy dinners, drinking, and strip clubs.  Even though Tom Petty may disagree, the waiting isn't always the hardest part. Here are the 11 Best Songs By TV On The Radio:
  1. Dancing Choose (Dear Science)
  2. Wolf Like Me (Return To Cookie Mountain)
  3. Staring at the Sun (Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes)
  4. Crying (Dear Science)
  5. Second Song (Nine Types of Light)
  6. Dreams (Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes)
  7. DLZ (Dear Science)
  8. Hours (Return To Cookie Mountain)
  9. No Future Shock (Nine Types of Light)
  10. Halfway Home (Dear Science)
  11. Don't Love You (Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes)
Buy TV On The Radio's new album, Seeds!!! Buy this book or everyone you know will die. Don't forget to check out our blog's awesome book The 111 Best Lists of the 2000s.  Available now!  (featuring TV On The Radio)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The 111 Best Songs By The Smashing Pumpkins

Twenty-five years down the road, the Pumpkins continue to kick ass. Here are the 111 Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs:
  1. Starla (Pisces Iscariot)
  2. Disarm (Siamese Dream)
  3. Rhinoceros (Gish)
  4. Bullet With Butterfly Wings (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  5. I Am One (Gish)
  6. Porecelina of the Vast Oceans (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  7. Quiet (Siamese Dream)
  8. Siva (Gish)
  9. Drown (Singles)
  10. Mayonaise (Siamese Dream)
  11. Thru the Eyes of Ruby (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  12. Tarantula (Zeitgeist)
  13. Stand Inside Your Love (MACHINA/The Machine Of God)
  14. Tonight, Tonight (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  15. Song For A Son (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope)
  16. Perfect (Adore)
  17. An Ode to No One (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  18. Tristessa (Gish)
  19. Rocket (Siamese Dream)
  20. Love (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  21. I Of The Mourning (MACHINA/The Machine Of God)
  22. Bury Me (Gish)
  23. Ava Adore (Adore)
  24. The Everlasting Gaze (MACHINA/The Machine Of God)
  25. Slunk (Lull)
  26. Today (Siamese Dream)
  27. Raindrops + Sunshowers (MACHINA/The Machine Of God)
  28. Soma (Siamese Dream)
  29. Galapagos (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  30. That's The Way (Zeitgeist)
  31. Aeroplane Flies High Turns Left Looks Right (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  32. Muzzle (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  33. Once In Awhile (Ava Adore)
  34. ...Said Sadly (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  35. Bodies (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  36. 1979 (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  37. Waiting (Greatest Hits)
  38. Cherub Rock (Siamese Dream)
  39. Appels + Oranjes (Adore)
  40. The End Is The Beginning Is the End (Batman and Robin)
  41. Here Is No Why (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  42. Hello Kitty Kat (Pisces Iscariot)
  43. Freak (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope)
  44. Dross (Machina II/Friends and Enemies of Modern Music)
  45. Zero (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  46. Wound (MACHINA/The Machine Of God)
  47. Mouths of Babes (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  48. Never Let Me Down Again (For the Masses)
  49. Snail (Gish)
  50. Age of Innocence (MACHINA/The Machine Of God)
  51. Apathy's Last Kiss (Still Becoming Apart)
  52. Widow Make My Mind (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope)
  53. Lightning Strikes (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope)
  54. Daphne Descends (Adore)
  55. Geek USA (Siamese Dream)
  56. Pissant (Pisces Iscariot)
  57. 7 Shades of Black (Zeitgeist)
  58. The Fellowship (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope)
  59. Marquis in Spades (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  60. Eye (Still Becoming Apart)
  61. Landslide (Pisces Iscariot)
  62. Glynis (No Alternative)
  63. Tom Tom (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope)
  64. A Night Like This (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  65. Jennifer Ever (The Smashing Pumpkins)
  66. Untitled (Greatest Hits)
  67. By June (Lull)
  68. A Stitch in Time (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope)
  69. Try, Try, Try (MACHINA/The Machine Of God)
  70. God (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  71. In The Arms of Sleep (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  72. The Celestials (Oceania)
  73. The Imploding Voice (MACHINA/The Machine Of God)
  74. Violet Rays (Oceania)
  75. Doomsday Clock (Zeitgeist)
  76. The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete (Adore)
  77. This Time (MACHINA/The Machine Of God)
  78. Pug (Adore)
  79. Siamese Dream (Siamese Dream Deluxe Edition)
  80. You're All I've Got Tonight (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  81. One Diamond, One Heart (Oceania)
  82. Frail and Bedazzled (Pisces Iscariot)
  83. There It Goes (Pisces Iscariot Deluxe)
  84. Dancing In The Moonlight (Disarm)
  85. Do You Close Your Eyes When You Kiss Me? (Adore Deluxe Edition)
  86. Crush (Gish)
  87. Thirty-Three (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  88. The Boy (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  89. My Dahlia (Light Into Dark)
  90. Farewell and Goodnight (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  91. The Chimera (Oceania)
  92. Nothing And Everything (The Smashing Pumpkins)
  93. Come On Let's Go (Zeitgeist)
  94. Let Me Give The World To You (Machina II/Friends and Enemies of Modern Music)
  95. Pox (American Gothic)
  96. By Starlight (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  97. Speed Kills (Machina II/Friends and Enemies of Modern Music)
  98. The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning (Batman and Robin)
  99. Oceania (Oceania)
  100. Cash Car Star (Machina II/Friends and Enemies of Modern Music)
  101. Speed (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness Deluxe Edition)
  102. Hummer (Siamese Dream)
  103. Ugly (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  104. Dreaming (The Aeroplane Flies High)
  105. Bleeding The Orchid (Zeitgeist)
  106. Jackie Blue (20 Dynamic Super Smash Hit)
  107. To Forgive (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness)
  108. For Martha (Adore)
  109. Smiley (Peel Sessions)
  110. Not Worth Asking (I Am One)
  111. Behold! The Night Mare (Adore)
Buy Smashing Pumpkins new album,  Monuments To An Elegy...now!    

Friday, December 05, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By David Guetta

This evening my kids attended a dance party at their elementary school.  When you're dealing with kids from as little as five up to the age of eleven, you want to be sure the music is as PG-rated as possible.  I was blown away by the DJs and their lack of discretion in the music.  It's not the bad language that bothered me as much as the content. I'd rather my kids hear Eddie Vedder grumble a "harmless little fuck" than have them listen to "Blurred Lines."  But the content wasn't a total back breaker as much as the lack of content was disappointing.  Most of their selection was very narrow.  A majority of the music fell purely in the rap sector and primarily focused on crunk.  It's fine for a few songs but  when 4 out of 5 songs is the same narrow genre, it feels lazy.  The most variety was a Meghan Trainer or Taylor Swift song.  They played one Michael Jackson song which was the highlight of the night.  It made me realize how difficult (and it's shocking to say this) being a good DJ is.  A great DJ can mix rap, pop, rock, and even country.  A DJ who knows what their doing can mix Lil Wayne and Nirvana.  A DJ is supposed to appeal to everyone in the crowd, even the back row.  About half way through the dance, people started leaving.  Part of it was bedtimes, the other part was a boredom in the music. That's the opposite of what a good DJ should do.  So tonight, go out, dance, and if there's a good DJ playing, give them a big hug. Here are the 11 Best Songs By David Guetta:
  1. Titanium (Nothing But The Beat)
  2. She Wolf (Nothing But The Beat)
  3. Baby When The Light (Pop Life)
  4. Every Chance We Get We Run (Nothing But The Beat 2.0)
  5. One Love (One Love)
  6. Turn Me On (Nothing But The Beat)
  7. Always (Pop Life)
  8. Love Don't Let Me Go (Just A Little More Love)
  9. In Love With Myself (Guetta Blaster)
  10. When Love Takes Over (One Love)
  11. Who's That Chick? (One More Love)
Buy David Guetta's new album, Listen, now!!!  

Thursday, December 04, 2014

The 11 Best B-Sides By Soundgarden

A couple weeks ago, I did a comprehensive break down of Wilco's b-side collection and what were the best tracks from the package.  Like Wilco, Soundgarden has released a collection pulling all their b-side and rare tracks from their epic career.  Also like Wilco, 90% of these tracks were all  previously released and have been readily available on CD singles, soundtracks, and compilations. So here's a look at the best of the extra songs that Soundgarden has to offer that never made it to a proper album. Here are the 11 Best B-Sides By Soundgarden:
  1. Birth Ritual (Singles)
  2. Bleed Together (Burden In My Hand)
  3. Cold Bitch (Spoonman)
  4. Into The Void (Somms)
  5. Heretic (Louder Than Love)
  6. She Likes Surprises (International Track)
  7. Fresh Deadly Flowers (Loud Love)
  8. Kyle Petty, Son Of Richard (Fell On Black Days)
  9. Girl U Want (Somms)
  10. Karaoke (Burden In My Hand)
  11. I Don't Care About You (Outshined)
Buy Soundgarden's new B-Sides album, Echo of Miles...now!!!    

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Best Thanksgiving Songs 2014

In making the perfect Thanksgiving holiday mix, I have realized one very important thing:  there are no Thanksgiving songs.  How is it possible in the most capitalistic country in the world that the mass marketing propaganda machine never exploited the Thanksgiving holiday (which is America's own unique holiday) with tunes to celebrate the day?  There are more songs celebrating Festivus (which is a fictional holiday created by George Costanza) than there are songs about Thanksgiving.  Today, that changes. Websites have attempted to make Thanksgiving playlists in the past,  but there are always glaring issues with them.  Because of the lack of overt Thanksgiving songs, songs that potentially encompass the Thanksgiving theme are selected even though they have nothing to do with the mood or feeling of this day.  Playlists tend to pick songs with Thanksgiving food in the title but songs like Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato" is not about the dinner staple but about a dance.  Ray Charles' "Sweet Potato Pie" is about a girl not a dessert.  Also, just because a song has "Thanks" or "thank you" in the title doesn't instantly make it Thanksgiving worthy.  Andrew Gold's "Thank You for Being a Friend" or Dido's "Thank You" are nice gratious songs but only borderline set the right mood.  Or even Drive-By Truckers "Thanksgiving Filter" is dead-on accurate but not appropriate for a family setting. Some songs have major religious themes but ultimately Thanksgiving isn't a religious holiday.  Too many of them feel out of place.  And lastly, some of the Thanksgiving-esque songs just plain suck. So I have challenged myself to make the best Thanksgiving playlist ever.  In making the list, I wanted to encompass what is truly at the core of the holiday.  Having gratitude is a major component, but I believe more than anything, Thanksgiving is about family.  Thanksgiving is about bringing together the family and celebrating our differences as much as our simularities.  And being thankful for having them in our lives. I have scoured the internet and my personal library to create a playlist that is as ecclectic as a Thanksgiving meal and as diverse as the dinner guests. Enjoy and have a happy Thanksgiving. Here are the songs from the list and enjoy the mix below:
  1. Thanksgiving Theme - Vince Guarandi Trio
  2. Let's Turkey Trot - Little Eva
  3. Family Affair - Sly & The Family Stone
  4. Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie - Jay & The Techniques
  5. Tday - Jo D. Jonz
  6. I've Got Plenty To Be Thankful For - Bing Crosby
  7. Home - Jack Johnson
  8. Kind & Generous - Natalie Merchant
  9. Be Thankful - Natalie Cole
  10. Family Time - Ziggy Marley
  11. Family Man - Fleetwood Mac
  12. Family Tree - Gerry Rafferty
  13. Thanksgiving Song - Mary Chapin Carpenter
  14. Cats in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
  15. Thank You Too! - My Morning Jacket
  16. Family Reunion - The O'Jays
  17. Thanksgiving Prayer - Johnny Cash
  18. Nothing Beats A Family - Ricky Skaggs
  19. Home For The Holidays - Perry Como
  20. Thanksgiving - George Winston
  21. The Thanksgiving Song - Adam Sandler
Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving song?  

Monday, November 24, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By Fugazi

$5 concert tickets. $10 CDs. No t-shirts. Fugazi was/is/will be an anti-band.  They sold tickets because they needed to.  They charged for CDs because they needed to.  And since they didn't need t-shirts...they didn't sell them.  They didn't sell hats, keychains, posters or even action figures!  I know, right?  To be honest, I never thought I'd do a Fugazi or a Pink Floyd list because of a new release.  Over the past month, I get to do both.  No, this is not a new album, but a reissue of the band's first demo.  Close enough. Here are the 11 Best Songs By Fugazi:
  1. Merchandise (Repeater)
  2. Waiting Room (Fugazi)
  3. Public Witness Program (In On the Kill Taker)
  4. Epic Problem (The Arguement)
  5. Repeater (Repeater)
  6. Five Corporations (End Hits)
  7. Song #1 (3 Songs)
  8. KYEO (Steady Diet of Nothing)
  9. Bad Mouth (Fugazi)
  10. Bed For The Scraping (Red Medicine)
  11. Suggestion (Fugazi)
Buy Fugazi's new album, First Demo...now!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The 11 Best Rare Tracks By Wilco

One of the original points of this blog was to do a retrospective of a band leading up to their most recent release.  Only on a rare occassion would I include a new song, but mostly it was a guide to a band's material up until this point.  The only time, I side-stepped that rule was when a band would release their own retrospective.  Material on my list would naturally cross over with the tracklist of the release.  This is especially true in the case of Wilco.  Having heard 95% of these songs over the past two decades, there's nothing new to report except to chronicle the contents.  The retrospective is the retrospective.  A few songs didn't make it onto Wilco's 77-track rare songs LP but for the most part, this set is as exhaustive as they come. Here are the 11 Best Rare Tracks By Wilco:
  1. Promising (Chelsea Walls Soundtrak)
  2. Glad It's Over (Heroes Soundtrack)
  3. Any Major Dude Will Tell You (Me, Myself, & Irene Soundtrack)
  4. Panthers (A Ghost Is Born Deluxe Edition)
  5. Bob Dylan's 49th Beard (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Bonus CD)
  6. One Hundred Years From Now (Return of the Grievous Angel)
  7. Blasting Fonda (Outtasite)
  8. Thirteen (Big Star, Small World)
  9. True Love Will Find You In The End (Daniel Johnston Tribute)
  10. Message From Mid-Bar (The Whole Love Bonus EP)
  11. A Magazine Called Sunset (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Bonus CD)
Buy Wilco's new Rare Tracks Set, Alpha Mike Foxtrot...now!     Don't forget to check out our blog's awesome new book The 111 Best Lists of the 2000s.  Available now!  (featuring Wilco)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By The Buzzcocks of the 70s

The punk scene in England lasted for three years...tops.  From 1977-1979 this pocket of chaotic, fuel-filled, dynamic, rebellious bands screamed their hearts out.  While most bands or scenes go on way too long, not only did the punk scene disolve before it became stale, it did the most punk thing of all time...it ended before it peaked.  It's almost poetic that many of these punk pioneers have reformed decades after their prime to further their music career.  Had they stayed together, they could have conquered the world in the same fashion grunge would do 11 years down the road.  They walked away from it all, from the fame, the pop stardom, and the riches.  Not only did they do it with royal nose up at the establishment, they did it knowing they could have had it all.  By returning later in life, missing their most lucrative years for music making, it's their way of saying they never needed the mainstream in the first place.  It was never about making money, it was about making music the mainstream didn't want but needed.  There's nothing more punk than that. Here are 11 Best Songs By The Buzzcocks of the 70s:
  1. Ever Fallen In Love? (Love Bites)
  2. I Don't Mind (Another Music In A Different Kitchen)
  3. Autonomy (Another Music In A Different Kitchen)
  4. Sixteen Again (Love Bites)
  5. Harmony In My Head (Harmony In My Head)
  6. Nostalgia (Love Bites)
  7. Breakdown (Spiral Scratch)
  8. Fiction Romance (Another Music In A Different Kitchen)
  9. You Know You Can't Help It (A Different Kind of Tension)
  10. Fast Cars (Another Music In A Different Kitchen)
  11. Promises (Twice Bitten)
Buy The Buzzcocks' new album, The Way now!!!    

Friday, November 14, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By The Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl is a fighter.  He's not just a great drummer, singer, guitar player, director, or producer...he's an innovator. He challenges what is expected of himself, what his fans want from him, and what he's capable of doing.  By creating the Foo's new album through an HBO documentary in multiple cities with a guest list that any band would beg to have, he's changed the landscape of who the Foo Fighters are.  From an offshoot of Nirvana, the Foos have become their own entity.  They are today's gold standard of rock bands.  In taking on a new endeavor, recording in a new way, always runs the risk of failure.  The Foos know this...but they put themselves out there anyway.  They deserve respect for taking a chance. This is why I am blown away by Taylor Hawkins recent comments about U2 adding their music to everyone's itunes library.  He claimed it was Orwellian.  It's not.  And he obviously didn't read 1984 to know that he's misuing the word Orwellian.  U2 didn't giving away their album for free on your itunes is no different than CBS broadcasting the Big Bang Theory on your television.  You don't like it?   Don't watch, don't listen. The irony here is that it was the Foo Fighters' album, "In Your Honor," that automatically and illegally installed spyware onto your hard drive when you put the compact disc in your computer.  I wonder if there's a word that would describe that type action, when a corporation secretly spies on its customers.  It's a good book Taylor, you should read it. Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Foo Fighters:
  1. Everlong (The Colour & The Shape)
  2. The Pretender (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace)
  3. I'll Stick Around (Foo Fighters)
  4. Walk (Wasting Light)
  5. Learn To Fly (There Is Nothing Left To Lose)
  6. Come Back (One By One)
  7. Alone + Easy Target (Foo Fighters)
  8. Breakout (There Is Nothing Left To Lose)
  9. Low (One By One)
  10. Dear Rosemary (Wasting Light)
  11. Good Grief (Foo Fighters)
Buy Foo Fighter's new album, Sonic Highways...now!     Buy this book or everyone you know will die. Don't forget to check out our blog's awesome new book The 111 Best Lists of the 2000s.  Available now!  (featuring Foo Fighters)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By Pink Floyd

I never thought I'd do a Pink Floyd list for a new release.  Maybe there was a box set coming out yet again...or another remastered deluxe special expanded edition.  Maybe.  But new material...I had given up on that fantasy.  Today...20 years since their last release, a new Pink Floyd album is here.  I know, it's not technically a new release.  It's leftover material from the Division Bell session, reworked into an instrumental tribute to late keyboardist Richard Wright.  No, it's not Dark Side of the Moon...but then again...DSOTM is considered one of the greatest albums of all time in any genre.  Expecting the band at 70-years-old to match a one in a million anomaly is foolish.  Expecting the band to do justice to their later work is honorable.  The album is just that, a touching end to a gallant career.  The Endless River sounds like a film score, floating in at the end of a movie as the credits scroll across the screen.  We expect bands to end their careers with the same bang in which they arrived.  The problem with that is our expectations are flawed.  The band will choose to end their career they way the want to end it and not the way the fans deem.  The band is great not in spite of their flaws but because of them.  The Endless River is who the band at this moment time and we should appreciate they are still around to enrich us one more time with their music. Here are the 11 Best Songs By Pink Floyd:
  1. Comfortably Numb (The Wall)
  2. Wish You Were Here (Wish You Were Here)
  3. Dogs (Animals)
  4. Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 (The Wall)
  5. Brain Damage (Dark Side Of The Moon)
  6. Us and Them (Dark Side Of The Moon)
  7. Childhood's End (Obscured By Clouds)
  8. Echoes (Meddle)
  9. Have A Cigar (Wish You Were Here)
  10. Green Is The Colour (More)
  11. Shine On You Crazy Diamond I-IV (Wish You Were Here)
Buy Pink Floyd's new album, The Endless River...now!