Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The 55 Best Albums of 2014 (1-11)

At the end of the day, the top albums came down to the ones I found myself listening to the most.  There were albums I respected but I never had the urge to play, so they ended up lower on the list.  These were the albums that kept finding themselves in my heavy rotation.  These albums deserve top billing. Probably the biggest surprise here is the U2 album.  I have no idea why so many people criticized its delivery method.  People have been complaining that the old system doesn't work anymore; labels and bands need to try new things.  U2 did. They gave the fans exactly what they asked for and the people still complained.  People didn't complain this much about Zooropa (which deserved it). My favorite criticism of the band is now they're corporate.  I hate to break it to you all, any band on a record label is corporate. U2 took a risk and I commend them for it. I'd rather a band take a risk and fail then play it safe and be ordinary.  If people stopped complaining and listened, they might actually be surprised. Here are the 55 Best Albums of 2014 (1-11):
1.  Broken Bells - After the Disco
2.  Antemasque - Antemasque
3.  Eagulls - Eagulls
4.  TV On The Radio - Seeds
5.  White Sea - White Sea
6.  Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
7.  Cheatahs - Cheatahs
8.  Jack White - Lazaretto
9.  James Vincent McMorrow - Post-Tropical
10. Run The Jewels - RTJ2
11. U2 - Songs of Innocence
  Buy all of these albums and more...now!!  

Monday, January 19, 2015

The 55 Best Albums of 2014 (12-22)

Lots of guilty pleasures on the list today.  And I may be the only one on the planet who liked the Foster the People album. Here are the 55 Best Albums of 2014 (12-22):
12.  Foster The People - Supermodel
13. Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain
14. Klaxons - Love Frequency
15. Spoon - They Want My Soul
16. Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
17. Gardens & Villas - Dunes
18. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold
19. Pure X - Angel
20. The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream
21. The Sunshine Underground - The Sunshine Underground
22. FKA Twigs - LP1
  Buy these albums and more now!!!  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The 55 Best Albums of 2014 (33-23)

There have been questions about this year's countdown...to answer the big one:  I did not do a poll this year.  Though I promised, I ran out of my time in my life, day job, and parenting duties.  So, this year, you're just going to have to live with my list and my list only.  Enjoy the kitty. Here are the 55 Best Albums of 2014 (23-33):
23. Johnny Cash - Out among the Stars
24. Movement - Movement EP
25. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams
26. Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
27. Merchandise - After the End
28. Beck - Morning Phase
39. Y.G. - My Krazy Life
30. You Blew It! - Keep Doing What You're Doing
31. Cloud Nothings - Here And Nothing Else
32. The Black Keys - Turn Blue
33. Claire - The Great Escape
Buy these albums and more...now!!!    

Friday, January 16, 2015

The 55 Best Albums of 2014 (34-44)

2014 was filled with 90s superstars, indie rap reinvention, 80s throwbacks, and some of the best EPs to come out in recent memory. The 55 Best Albums of 2014 (34-44):
34.  Nothing - Guilty of Everything
35.  D'Angelo - Black Messiah
36.  Protomartyr - Under Color of Official Right
37.  Future Islands - Singles
38.  LA Dispute - The Rooms of the House
39.  Freddie Gibbs and Madlib - Pinata
40.  Stevie Nicks - 24 Karat Gold
41.  Smashing Pumpkins - Monuments To An Elegy
42.  Schoolboy Q - Oxymoron
43.  Ought - More Than Any Other Day
44.  Small Black - Real People EP
Buy these albums and more...now!!!          

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The 55 Best Albums of 2014 (45-55)

Back from vacation and back on the horse.  I will be attending Sundance next week and will keep on top of all the music shenanigans happening.  Until then, let's finish off 2014 the right way. Here are the 55 Best Albums of 2014 (45-55):
45. Kele - Trick
46. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Only Run
47. Phantogram - Voices
48. Metronomy - Love Letters
49. The Faint - Doom Abuse
50. Death From Above 1979 - This Physical World
51. PS I Love You - For Those Who Stay
52. Sharon Van Etten - Are We There?
53. Tom Petty - Hypnotic Eye
54. Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Phosphorescent Harvest
55. Pixies - Indie Cindy
Buy These albums now!!    

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?