Thursday, December 28, 2006

The 11 Best Songs of 2006

These are the 11 Best songs I liked in 2006. How did I decide? Well, the songs I liked to listen to ranked higher than the ones I didn't want to to listen to. Pretty easy formula. You don't like it, make your own. Send it over and I'll post it. For reals.

The 11 Best Songs of 2006

1. Morris Brown - Outkast (A marching band blasts through the groundbreaking Andre' adventure. Too bad the whole album didn't have this originality)
2. Together - The Raconteurs (Benson's tender ballad glows brightly on one of the best rock albums of the year)
3. Jambi - Tool MP3 (The best Tool song since Aenima. Why can't more bands rock this hard?)
4. The Island - The Decembrists (An 12-minute opus that crushes the song writing of any of their peers. This song is better and more complete than 90% of the albums released this year.)
5. Wide Awake - Audioslave MP3 (If Soundgarden was still making music, I expect them to explode in full volume like this track...which should be played at full volume, repeatedly.)
6. Insistor - Tapes N Tapes (The fire and angst of early Pixies shines brightly on this blog-friendly band's debut)
7. Ankle Deep - Tom Petty (Sounds like something off Full Moon Fever. Proves that Tom Petty belongs with the greats)
8. Moth - People in Planes MP3 (Had this band been a college radio band in the late 90s, they would have been a constant rotation staple. Give this song a chance and you'll find yourself playing it over and over...hooked.)
9. Ballad of Human Kindness - The Dears (A sympathetic ode to love, life and the Beatles. As the song builds to its epic finale, you can't help but smile along for the ride.)
10. The Beat - Ima Robot (A goofy energetic tirade that sheds great memories of John Hughes and Izod t-shirts.)
11. Ain't Talkin' - Bob Dylan (The song sounds like a gunslinger singing his own funeral song. One part Cohen-one part Cash. Dylan continues to hold the songwriting crown.)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The 11 Best Songs of 2006

The world of blogging has changed the radio single. I mean, seriously, does any one listen to the radio anymore? Outside of getting a B-Side from a maxi-single release, I'm not even sure what gets released as a single anymore. It's not like MTV plays the videos to help you out. Yeah, yeah, a long time ago, MTV used to play videos. Making this list was tough. There were songs I liked that the radio played then I felt like a douche including them. Then there were songs that were hidden deep in the album liners that I felt no one would appreciate. So, I've decided to split it up.

Today will be the 11 Best Radio Songs of 2006 (in particular order):

1. I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor - Arctic Monkeys (Blasting this through my car speakers was like raising the Jam from the dead. Head-bobbing. Foot stomping. It was like a natural non-stop accelerate.)
2. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley (This song came from another planet...from another time. With a soul classics vibe probably the most grooveable song of the year.)
3. Handle With Care - Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins (Any one who is any one with a smidge of indie cred was exploited on this Wilburys cover. A song guaranteed to put a smile on your face and it's fun for the whole family.)
4. Heart in A Cage - The Strokes (This song sounded like someone took an electrical cord and plugged it into the back of the band, charging them up to explode. This proved The Strokes are here to stay for awhile.)
5. Dorothy at Forty - Cursive (The theme song to their epic concept album is one-half fired-up burlesque routine and one-half Fugazi-driven throttle. Choppy and distorted, it gets better with every listen.) MP3
6. I Was A Boy From School - Hot Chip (The song of the summer. Light and wavvy. It reminds the listener of vacationing in Europe...even if you've never been there.)
7. Viscera Eyes - The Mars Volta (An attmept by Sirs Punk Floyd to combine their expanisve songs with radio accessibility. What we got is a sonic landscape of adventure mixed with a tightened view of sounds.)
8. The Youngest Was The Most Loved - Morrissey (What feels like a polished Smiths demo may be Moz's best track in a decade.) MP3
9. Taking Back Control - Sparta (This is what a rock song should sound like. It makes you want to get on the freeway and drive as fast as you can. Which is never a bad thing.) MP3
10. Black Swan - Thom Yorke (Who says you need a band? Thom proves that his skills as musician far exceed his ability to croon to the emo kids. A tongue-in-cheek attitude overwhelms the song with street-walking casualness that keeps you hitting that repeat key.)
11. Wolf Like Me - TV On The Radio (A masterful song overflowing with controlled distortion taking you on a ride through a messy yet rigorous vocals and sloppy yet fine-tuned melodies)

Friday, December 22, 2006

The 11 Best Rock Albums of 2006

After days and days of creating lists for every genre of rock like hard rock, alternative, country rock, indie rock, I was so confused I ended up with Snoop Dogg and Moby topping the list. I mean seriously, what the hell is alternative supposed to be anyways? The Killers? They're everywhere! What are they the alternative to...Bruce Springsteen? The Killers are outselling isn't Bruce the alternative now??? Who knows? So I've condensed it. One list to define all of rock. If the album's got a guitar on it...then it was considered. Only keyboards or a beat's left out. Easy enough, right? Hell, no. Absolutely impossible. Anyway...

Here are the 11 Best Rock albums of 2006:

1. The Strokes - First Impression of Earth
2. Tool - 10,000 Days
3. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am...
4. The Decembrists - The Crane Wife
5. TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
6. The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
7. Audioslave - Revolutions
8. Mastadon - Blood Mountain
9. Priestess - Priestess
10. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
11. We Are Scientists - With Love and Squalor

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The 11 Hip-Hop Albums of 2006

If you haven't voted for the top 111 albums of the year...please do so below.

Mainstream hip-hop is dead. But the underground is alive and thriving. Look at what's selling. Click on itunes...check out their top selling albums...once you get out of the top twenty, everything else is from the past. It's time the labels catch up with what the rest of the world wants. Maybe they'll read my list and get some sense in them...but it's doubtful.

Here are the 11 Best Hip-Hop/Rap albums of 2006

1. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
2. People Under The Stairs - Stepfather
3. Jedi Mind Tricks - Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell
4. Outkast - Idlewild
5. Ugly Duckling - Bang For The Buck
6. Aceyalone - Magnificent Cities
7. Murs - Murray's Revenge
8. Jay-Z - Kingdom Come
9. 2 Mex and Life Rexall - Are $martyr
10. Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor
11. Lady Sovereign - Public Warning

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The 11 Best New Artists of 2006

While you're all out there compiling your top twenty lists for the GBU Top 111 Albums of 2006 (see below post), here are my picks for best new artists of 2006.

1. Arctic Monkeys
2. Gnarls Barkley
3. Film School
4. Priestess
5. She Wants Revenge
6. Wolfmother
7. We Are Scientists
8. The Raconteurs
9. People In Planes
10. Tapes N Tapes
11. White Whale

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The 111 Best Albums of 2006

It's time. Time for the endless series of "best of..." lists to begin. And for this one, I'm asking for all my faithful readers to join in. Submit me your 20 best albums of 2006. I'll compile all the submissions, tally them up, and release a mega-list of the 111 Best CDs of 2006.

Either email me your picks or throw your picks in the comment box....either way, I'll get them.

To start things are my 11 Best Albums of 2006:

  1. The Strokes – First Impressions of Earth
  2. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say…
  3. Tool – 10,000 Days
  4. Girl Talk – Night Ripper
  5. Cursive – Happy Hollow
  6. The Decembrists – The Crane Wife
  7. Jenny Lewis & Watson – Rabbit Fur Coat
  8. Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere
  9. She Wants Revenge – She Wants Revenge
  10. TV on The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain
  11. Film SchoolFilm School

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The 11 Most Likely Albums To Be Nominated for Grammy's Album of the Year

In high school I ran for school Treasurer. I really didn't know what a Treasure did but since no one was running against me, I figured it would be fun to do. On the last day to announce a candidacy, Harriett Longs registered to run against me. Now don't get me wrong, Harriet was a nice girl and a friend...but she was not the best candidate for the job. I was a straight A student. Harriet barely pulled Cs. I aced the college math placement exam. Harriet never passed freshman math. I was on my way to college. Harriet was worried she might have to repeat Senior year. On paper, I was the better choice. But during our candidacy, Harriet's wealthy father paid for her to make t-shirts for most of the campus. I gave away stickers. Harriet had a BBQ after school one day. I had a bowl of M&Ms to share. She out campaigned me with money. And she won with 75% of the vote. She turned the election into a popularity contest and won...not unlike most elections.

AND...not unlike the Grammy's. Tomorrow Grammy will announce the nominees for their annual award show. The way they are by the labels running massive campaigns for their most sellable material. Every once in awhile a good album sneaks in (Bob Dylan, Beck, Radiohead, Outkast) but for the most part, the nominees are either pop schlock (Nsync, Vanessa Carlton) that will be forgotten before next summer or and artist who never got their due (Santana, Steely Dan). 99% of the categories are BS. The only one that really matters is album of the year.

Here are my 11 most likely candidates for the nominees for Grammy's album of the year category:

1. Mary J. Blige - The Breakthrough
2. Bob Dylan - Modern Times
3. Nelly Furtado - Loose
4. Justin Timberlake - Future Sex/ Love Sounds
5. KT Tunstall - Eye To The Telescope
6. Christina Aguilera - Back To Basics
7. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
8. John Legend - Once Again
9. Jerry Lee Lewis - Last Man Standing
10. John Mayer - Continum
11. Beck - The Information

Dark Horses: Outkast - Idlewild, Dixie Chicks - Taking The Long Road, Jamie Foxx - Unpredictable, Prince - 3121, Paul Simon - Surprise, Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome, Beyonce - B'day, Isley Brothers - Baby

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The 11 Best Eminem Songs

Not since the California raisins wowed America with their version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" has a cartoon character dominated the Billboard charts. Look, I love Eminem...but you can't take the guy seriously. He's as ficitional as Elmer Fudd or Roger Rabbit. One second he's a homophobe racist, the next minute he's farting into the mic on a duet with Elton John, and the next minute he's making one of the most poignant tirades about the Bush administration. He's everything and nothing at the same time. His triumphant return to music (only a mere 2 years) is actually in the form of a Mix-tape compilation. With only 5 Eminem songs, you'd be better off downloading the tracks, creating your own EP rather than pay for the other bloated tracks. Remember the 8 Mile soundtracks? Yeah, it's kinda like the Redux.

As we wait for the new official Eminem full length album (probably next fall)...

Here are the 11 Best Eminem tracks:

1. The Way I Am (The Marshall Mathers LP)
2. Lose Yourself (8 Mile)
3. Criminal (The Marshall Mathers LP)
4. My Dad's Gone Crazy (The Eminem Show)
5. Mosh (Encore)
6. Drug Ballad (The Marshall Mathers LP)
7. Encore (Linkin Park/Jay-Z remix)
8. If I Get Locked Up (DJ Green Lantern Mix-Tape) MP3
9. Rabbit Run (8 Mile)
10. Spend Some Time(Encore)
11. Guilty Conscious (The Slim Shady LP)

Friday, December 01, 2006

The 11 Best Public Enemy Songs

The first time I heard Public Enemy I was in a friend's car. We were driving to pick up his older brother who had a fake ID and was going to buy us beer. The song was "911 Is A Joke." And all I could think, being 16 and all, that this guy was fucking insane. I couldn't help cracking up. But I wanted more. Then came "Welcome To The Terrordome." Listening to Chuck D must have been like listening to Malcom X in the 60s. How in the world did the government not come after this guy and arrest him? He was talking revolution like I never heard. And I loved every bit of it. Of course being a white kid in a small hick town...listening to rap music was a bit of a taboo. So we created pockets of rap music fans. Listening in the back bedrooms of our friends, playing it just loud enough to rock out but not too loud that our mothers heard it and worried even more about our constant deterioration.

Chuck D is the man. Maybe the best MC of all time? It time for these guys to make a come back. Get an album right and bring the music back to the people.

Until then, check out their new B-side album...

So here are the 11 Best Public Enemy songs:

1. By The Time I Get To Arizona (Apocalypse 91)
2. Welcome To The Terrordome (Fear of A Black Planet)
3. Fight The Power (Fear of A Black Planet)
4. Louder Than A Bomb (It Takes A Nation of Millions...)
5. He Got Game (He Got Game)
6. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos (It Takes A Nation of Millions...)
7. Burn Hollywood Burn (Fear of A Black Planet)
8. Give It Up (Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age)
9. Rebel Without A Pause (It Takes A Nation of Millions...)
10. 911 Is A Joke (Fear of A Black Planet)
11. Shake Your Booty (He Got Game)

No MP3 today...just deal...

Monday, November 27, 2006

The 11 Best U2 Songs (80s)

Could U2 be the most successful band of all time? 25-years after their inception the band is still the number concert act in the world. They dominate the chart with every new release. They receive Grammy nominations like they were food stamps. Critics love them. Even President of the United States rocks out to U2. What other band has survived as a dominant musical force as long as U2? The Stones are still making music and selling out concerts but none of their new CDs are welcomed with the popular fanfare of a U2 release. Dylan is still a critical force but only Time Out of Mind has turned multi-platinum numbers in the past 20 years. U2 is one of a kind. And here is a look at the decade that made them the premiere act they are today.

The 11 Best U2 Songs (80s):

1. New Year's Day (War)
2. With Or Without You (The Joshua Tree)
3. Pride (The Unforgettable Fire)
4. Like A Song... (War)
5. Where The Streets Have No Name (The Joshua Tree)
6. I Will Follow (Boy)
7. All I Want Is You (Rattle and Hum)
8. Stories For Boys (Boy)
9. Sunday Bloody Sunday (War)
10. Out of Control (Boy)
11t. The Unforgettable Fire (The Unforgettable Fire)
11t. Unchained Melody (Rattle and Hum B-Side) MP3

PS. Before you blast with all the songs I missed...just remember to add a song means I have to remove one.

PPS. Yes, it's a tie for 11th...but there's no way I could exclude one of those songs.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The 11 Best U2 Songs (90s)

The 90s were a time of anti-establishment. As many of us fought conformity by wearing flannel, drinking Starbucks, and listening to Nirvana...U2 went on a journey of self. Who were they really? Rock or dance? Bono or Memphisto? Lemons or pop? And did we ever get an answer?

As I relistened to U2's more elusive years, the most common reaction to the music was..."oh yeah, I remember that song." That's not to say the music was forgettable. It was just...not that memorable. But with a bit of perspective from their modern sound, some the songs shine through
with more than a strength of nostaglia. Not their strongest work (well, later in the decade) but not in any way their worst.

Here are the 11 Best U2 Songs (90s):

1. One (Achtung Baby)
2. Until the End of the World (Achtung Baby)
3. The Ground Beneath Your Feet (Million Dollar Hotel)
4. Do You Feel Loved? (Pop)
5. Dirty Day (Zooropa)
6. Ultraviolet (Achtung Baby)
7. Stateless (Million Dollar Hotel)
8. Last Night On Earth (Pop)
9. Paint It Black (Achtung Baby B-Side) MP3
10. The First Time (Zooropa)
11. Gone (Pop)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The 11 Best U2 Songs (00s)

I have this friend Max, who I've been friends with since high school. We were never great friends in high school but hung out a lot and knocked a few ones back from time-to-time. Oddly, Max and I stayed in touch through and there...and even now, 15 years later, he's one of my only high school friends I'm still in regular contact with and I can call a real close friend.

To me U2 is that kind of a friend. They were never at the top of my list as one of my favorite bands but they have always remained as an artist that I listen to on a regular basis. After 20 years of listening to them, I can honestly say they are one of my favorites of all time.

So when it came to making a top 11 on their 27-year career, it was next to impossible. How do you compare War-era U2 with The Fly or ATYCLB? The thing is you can't, which is apparent in their new 18 song greatest hits compilation. What the label doesn't realize is that U2 is 3 different bands: the politcal rockers of the 80s, the dance-lounge artist of the 90s, and the corporate rock band of the 00s. They were on the right track with the 2-disc decade compilations until they screwed it up throwing ATYCLB in with the 90s. But hey, when was the last time a label ever did anything right? We'll try to amend that here with part 1 of a 3-day look at U2's career.

Here are the 11 Best U2 songs from the 2000s:

1. Walk On (All That You Can't Leave Behind)
2. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
3. Beautiful Day (All That You Can't Leave Behind)
4. Electrical Storm (1990-200)
5. City of Blinding Lights (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
6. Yahweh (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
7. Vertigo (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
8. Are You Gonna Wait Forever? (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb B-side)
9. Always (All That You Can't Leave Behind B-side) MP3
10. When I Look At The World (All That You Can't Leave Behind)
11. Summer Rain (All That You Can't Leave Behind B-side)

Monday, November 20, 2006

The 11 Best Depeche Mode Songs

In 1989, I worked for my high school's slide show presentation club. Yeah, it was cheesy but there was this really cute girl in the club I was trying to get friendly with. She turned out to be a crazy religious fanatic and now has seven kids and lives on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. But that's beside the point. At the end of the year, the club put on a presentation, featuring slides of all the students and activities of the school, set to music of the day. At midnight, 12 hours before we were set to display the presentation to the world, we sat at an impasse. What was to be our final song? On one side, a bunch of us wanted Depeche Mode's "Somebody." The rest of the club wanted Skid Row's "I Remember You." The teacher made the final decision. He chose Skid Row. His reasoning? He said when we look back 10 years from one will know who Depeche Mode is. But Skid Row will still be around. Well, it's 15 years later and though Sebastian Bach's biggest audience is from his guest appearances on Gilmore Girls...Skid Row is a thing of the past. DM on the other hand, is considered one of the best artists of the 80s, if not one of the best alternative acts of all time. So much for the intelligence of high school teachers.

This week saw the release of a 1-disc career-spanding disc from DM. Though filled with some its most famous radio singles...the CD is glaringly missing some of their most classic tracks. No "Somebody"...the most played track from the 80s. No "Policy of Truth" the 4th more downloaded song from itunes and the highest billboard track for the band. No "Blasphemous Rumors." And they picked "See You" over "Dreaming of Me?" I guess there is no accounting for taste.

So here are the 11 Best Depeche Mode tracks:

1. Enjoy The Silence (Violator)
2. But Not Tonight (Black Celebration)
3. Photogrpahic (Speak and Spell)
4. Somebody (Some Great Reward)
5. Never Let Me Down (Music For The Masses)
6. It's No Good (Ultra)
7. Sea of Sin (Violator B-Side) MP3
8. Set Me Free (Master and Servant B-Side)
9. People Are People (Some Great Reward)
10. Policy of Truth (Violator)
11. Just Can't Get Enough (Speak and Spell)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The 11 Best Foo Fighters B-Sides

Finding a good B-Side of your favorite band is like finding $20 in the pocket of an old pair of jeans. It's especially grand when you can show off by playing it for your fellow fans. There's nothing like making other audiophiles jealous. Piggy-backing yesterday's blog, here are...

The 11 Best Foo Fighters B-Sides:

1. Down in the Park (The Colour and the Shape B-Side) MP3
2. Baker Street (The Colour and the Shape B-Side)
3. Fraternity (There Is Nothing Left To Lose B-Side)
4. Winnebago (Foo Fighters B-Side)
5. Darling Nikki (One By One B-Side)
6. Win or Lose (Out Cold Soundtrack)
7. How Do You Do? (Touch Soundtrack)
8. A320 (Godzilla Soundtrack)
9. How I Miss You (Foo Fighters B-Side)
10. Dear Lover (Scream 2 Soundtrack)
11. Gas Chamber (BBC Evening Session)

PS. Butterflies and I'm Alone Again are great songs but since they were never officially released, they were excluded from consideration.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The 11 Best Foo Fighters Songs

After the Foo Fighters' last album, I decided to swear off the band. Not only was it an over-inflated ego-serving piece of forgettable music...they put a download safeguard on the CD so I couldn't load it onto my computer. I'm not surprised bands with no talent throw these CD safeguards on their albums since they will never make much money...but Dave Grohl has more money than most government lobbyists. Is he really that worried about losing a few hundred dollars to some starving fans who can't afford to go buy his album? Or did he realize the album was so bad, he knew no one would pay for the album once they found out how much it sucked? It's pretty much a toss-up which is the right answer.

This past week, the band released a live acoustic set of many of their hits and (in my opinion) misses. I tried to listen to it...but fell asleep. It's unfortunate that a once great band has fallen so far...but that doesn't mean they didn't have great material in their arsenal. So...

Here are The 11 Best Foo Fighters Songs:

1. I'll Stick Around (Foo Fighters) MP3
2. Learn To Fly (There Is Nothing Left To Lose)
3. Come Back (One By One)
4. Everlong (The Colour and the Shape)
5. New Way Home (The Colour and the Shape)
6. This Is A Call (Foo Fighters)
7. Low (One By One)
8. Headwires (There Is Nothing Left To Lose)
9. For All the Cows (Foo Fighters)
10. Halo (One By One)
11. Monkey Wrench (The Colour and the Shape)

PS. These are all album tracks, B-sides will follow tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The 11 Best Pavement Songs (NON-Album Tracks)

A wise man once said (that was me) that you can judge a band by their B-sides. A band with strong B-sides has a long career ahead of themselves. A band with throwaway tracks doesn't have the creative ability to stand up to the test of time. Pavement is a prime example of a band whose B-Sides, at many times, rival their album tracks. Most bands would kill to have A-sides on par with some of Pavement's B-Sides. In fact, most bands would kill to have as many A-Sides as Pavement does B-Sides. Pavement has close to 75 officially released non-album tracks. Take that Morrissey!

So to continue the celebration of the expanded edition of Pavement's Wowee Zowee, here are...

The 11 Best Pavement Songs (NON-Album Tracks):

1. Westie Can Drum (Brighten The Corners B-Side) MP3
2. Texas Never Whispers (Watery, Domestic)
3. The Killing Moon (What's Up Matador?)
4. Harness Your Hopes (Terror Twilight B-Side)
5. Unseen Power of the Picket Fence (No Alternative)
6. Easily Fooled (Wowee Zowee B-Side)
7. Sue Me Jack (Slanted and Enchanted B-Side)
8. Roll With The Wind (Terror Twilight B-Side)
9. Painted Soldiers (Brain Candy)
10. Raft (Crooked Crooked Rain B-Side)
11. Shoot The Singer (Watery, Domestic)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The 11 Best Pavement Songs (Album Tracks)

Okay, I will start off by saying this might be one of the hardest lists I've ever had to do. This was like having a lifeboat with 11 seats on a sinking ship filled with hundreds of little children. No matter what songs I picked, at least a dozen excellent songs were going to be excluded. So, I'm splitting the list in two. Today's list will be album tracks only. Tomorrow's list will feature non-album tracks and B-sides.

That said, today sees the re-release of Pavement's Wowee Zowee with about 700 extra tracks, including b-sides, demos, outtakes, live tracks, and church sermans. Upon it's original release, 11 years ago, it was seen as an unfocused mish-mosh of experimental mumbo jumbo...but like a good French Bordeaux, the album has aged well. Not the masterpiece in the vein of Crooked Crooked Rain or Slanted & Enchanted...but an underrated classic that sounds more relevent today than it did in its time.

To celebrate it's release, here are the The 11 Best Pavement Songs (Album Tracks):

1. Range Life (Crooked Crooked Rain)
2. In The Mouth of A Desert (Slanted & Enchanted)
3. Stereo (Brighten The Corners)
4. Elevate Me Later (Crooked Crooked Rain)
5. Trigger Cut (Slanted & Enchanted)
6. Stop Breathin' (Crooked Crooked Rain)
7. Unfair (Crooked Crooked Rain)
8. Grounded (Wowee Zowee)
9. Here (Slanted & Enchanted)
10. Anne Don't Cry (Terror Twilight)
11. Transport Is Arranged (Brighten The Corners)

Friday, November 03, 2006

The 11 Best Mega Songs (of the past 20 years)

Before Metallica's Black album, the band planned to do the unthinkable for their new album. They were preparing to record one song. One 70-minute long song. But with the forseeable non-existant radio play for the song...they opted to go for the more commercial route...and the rest is history. But bands are constantly playing with song structure, seeing how far they can stretch it. Out of this experimentation has been born the "mega-song." Any song that is longer than 10-minutes is considered a "mega-song"....9:59 may not apply. In recent years, the attempt at recording mega-songs has grown. Some bands like Tool and Mars Volta make a living out of it. Sometimes the result is amazing...other times it just takes up space on your ipod. On the new Decembrists' album, the band not only took a stab at recording a "mega-song," they recorded 2 "mega-songs." Both are exceptional musical pieces from an otherwise traditional band. Green Day who perfected the 3-minute pop song have two songs clocking over 9 minutes on their latest record...they're not mega-songs but Green Day, they might as well be operatic movements. Now songs lasting longer than 10 minutes have been around a long time, but only recently have they become more than just an opportunity to jam unlimited as many classic rockers were guilty is today's list...(this list is recorded songs only...not live nor remixes)

The 11 Best Mega Songs (of the past 20 years)

1. Three Days - Jane's Addiction (12:06) MP3
2. Coma - Guns N Roses (10:13)
3. This Corrosion - Sisters of Mercy (10:53)
4. Let's Not Shit Ourselves - Bright Eyes (10:06)
5. 10,000 Days - Tool (11:13)
6. B-Boy Bouillabaisse - The Beastie Boys (12:33)
7. Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore - The Mars Volta (27:29)
8. The Island - The Decembrists (12:26)
9. Goodbye Sky Harbor - Jimmy Eat World (16:11)
10. When The Fool Becomes A King - The Polyphonic Spree (10:37)
11. Highlands - Bob Dylan (16:30)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The 11 Best Strokes Songs

Back from vacation...and ready to keep up the listings.

You know a band has made it when other people besides the lead singer are putting out solo albums. Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, John Frusciante, even Ace Frehley have solo albums...and who is the newest member to join this illustrious group? None other than Strokes guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr. How much does Albert vary from his signature Strokes' sound? Not much considering Julian Casablancas guest vocals on some songs. That said...if you like the Strokes than this pick up is a must.

Here are the 11 Best Strokes Songs:

1. 12:51 (Room on Fire)
2. Heart in a Cage (First Impressions of Earth)
3. Reptilia (Room on Fire)
4. Ize of the World (First Impressions of Earth)
5. Hard To Explain (Is This It?)
6. You Only Live Once (First Impressions of Earth)
7. Last Nite (Is This It?)
8. Electricityscape (First Impressions of Earth)
9. Someday (Is This It?)
10. Hawaii (FIOE B-Side)
11. New York City Cops (ITI B-Side)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The 11 Best Cibo Matto Songs

In the 90s, alternative music was everywhere. So college radio had to dig deep to go reeeeally alternative. If you listened to your local college radio station (which is very unlikely) or you had a neighbor that worked at a college radio station (more likely) you probably heard Cibo Matto blasting from their speakers. When they came out...they were pegged as the female Japanese Beastie Boys. That's because people who work at labels are idiots. This was the same time Beastie Boys were being rediscovered and bandwagoners were just uncovering Paul's Boutique. Paul's Boutique is quirky...Cibo Matto is quirky = therefore they are the same. Despite the terrible comparison, CM's first album was very quirky...they also sounded nothing like anything else out there. They sang about chicken and beef jerkey and sounded like they were singing jingles for Japanese food products. Of course, to spawn further comparisons, the Beaties signed the girl duo to their label Grand Royal.

It took until their second album for the girls to truly begin to mature...a big part of it may have had to do with production from Mike D. and their expanded band line-up one-off Butter 08. Whatever made it happen, their 1996 release "Stereotype A" is a practical college radio masterpiece. They went from choppy casio-style beats to swooning romantic melodies. The change was a great one. They had proven that they were not a one-off musical side-show, they were a groundbreaking force.

About a year later...the band broke up. I guess there was nowhere to go but down.

This week sees the release of Cibo Matto's Miho Hattori's first solo album since the band's demise. So here are, the 11 Best Cibo Matto Songs:

1. Moonchild (Stereo Type A)
2. Spoon (Stereo Type A)
3. Aguas De Marco (Super Relax EP)
4. Stone (Stereo Type A)
5. La Pain Perdu (Viva! La Woman)
6. Everybody Loves The Sunshine (Working For Vacation)
7. Flowers (Stereo Type A)
8. King of Silence (Stereo Type A)
9. Beef Jerky (Viva! La Woman)
10. Sci-Fi Wasabi (Stereo Type A)
11. Sugar Water (Viva! La Woman)

Ezarchive sucks donkey schlong so no MP3s.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The 11 Best Bright Eyes Songs

I've been waiting to see what list will sitr the most angst from my readers. So far Bob Dylan has sparked the most ire...while at the same time, gathering many supporters. But that was an easy one to predict since the guy has over 500 songs. If I had to guess, I think I would have to predict that my next list will at least have the most passionate criticism about how little I know about music. Yes, I am talking about Mr. Bob-Dylan-in-training himself....Conor Oberst. When he's not dating klepyomaniac starlets, he's penning some of the most insightful songs of our generation...or so I'm told. Today sees the release of a demos and outtakes CD called Noise Floor by Conor's nom de plume, Bright Eyes. To celebrate...

Here are the 11 Best Bright Eyes Songs:

1. Lua (I'm Wide Awake and It's Morning)
2. Let's Not Shit Ourselves (LIFTED or the Story is in the Soil)
3. Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh (Fevers and Mirrors)
4. You Will. You? Will. You? Will. You? Will. (LIFTED or the Story is in the Soil)
5. First Day of My Life (I'm Wide Awake and It's Morning)
6. Something Vague (Fevers and Mirrors)
7. Light Pollution (Digital Ash in a Digital Urn)
8. Lover I Don't Have To Love (LIFTED or the Story is in the Soil)
9. A Line Allows Progress (Every Day And Every Night)
10. One Foot In Front of the Other (Saddle Creek 50) MP3
11. Don't Know When But A Day Is Gonna Come (LIFTED or the Story is in the Soil)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The 11 Primus Songs That Suck The Most

When I first heard Primus, I was only 17, a freshman in college and totally blown away hearing this guy wail on a bass guitar like it was a wicked step-child. I was hanging out with some upper classmen (you know the guys who used to have the good weed?) I said "these guys are really cool." They laughed, mocking me in only a way that a freshman gets mocked..."No," they replied..."They suck." Here's the thing I was too young and musically ignorant to know about Primus...they're motto was "we suck." and by saying "they suck" to the were actually saying that the band kicked ass.

In today's world, there's been a strong anti-Primus band wagon that's been pushing the reality that Primus really does suck...not getting even an ounce of the irony. Leading the charge is Blender magazine who label Primus' funky bass madman Les Claypool as a poor man's Flea. But poor Blender and its acne-ridden staff has made the wrong comparison. Primus isn't funk...they're prog rock...redneck prog rock...but prog rock no less. They just came out around the same time as the white boy funk movement. Secondly, if Les Claypool is anyone...he's a poor man's Geddy Lee.

Now it's not to say that Primus isn't an acquired taste...and they are definitely not for everyone...but 17 years after their first album, Les Claypool still jams to sell out crowds and their drummer is beating the skins for GNR. For a band that sucks...they ain't doing too bad.

Here are the 11 Primus Songs That Suck The Most:

1. Harold of the Rocks (Frizzle Fry)
2. John The Fisherman (Frizzle Fry)
3. Making Plans For Nigel (Misc. Debris) MP3
4. Devil Went Down To Georgia (Video single)
5. Professor Nutter Butter's House Of Treats (Tales From The Punchbowl)
6. Fish On (Sailing The Seas of Cheese)
7. The Antipop (The Antipop)
8. Jellikit (Suck on This)
9. The Thing That Should Not Be (Rhinoplasty)
10. Nature Boy (Pork Soda)
11. Wynonna's Big Brown Beaver (Tales From The Punchbowl)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The 11 Best Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Songs

Cover songs are like musical crack. No matter who the group is and no matter who they are're always curious..."Nirvana covered Terry Jacks' Seasons in the Sun? ...I have to hear it!" "Pat Boone covered Sweet Child O' Mine? Turn it up!" Why does this turn us on? Why do we feel the need to download Travis covering Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time?" I think it ties into nostalgia for something we already know. Can this new group take something familiar, re-invent it and make it new again? 99% of the time...that's a big fat no. But still we persist. Because when that 1% is's damn good.

The Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have made a career of floating around that 1%. They take poppy radio songs and turn them into full throttle pop punk electro-charges. From AM 70s to Show Tunes to R&B, the Gimmes have annihilated every genre of music except And that's the focus of their new release...out now. Until you buy this red state skewering...

Here are the 11 Best Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Songs:

1. Rocket Man (Have A Ball)
2. Wild World (Blow In The Wind)
3. Rainbow Connection (Are A Drag)
4. Crazy (Take A Break)
5. Science Fiction Double Feature (Are A Drag)
6. Danny's Song (Have A Ball)
7. Country Roads (Denver)
8. Different Drum (Blow In The Wind)
9. I Write The Songs (Barry)
10. Hello (Take A Break)
11. Uptown Girl (Have A Ball)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The 11 Best Blind Melon Songs

You ever had a friend who pushed one of his favorite bands on you over and over? And for years, you kept giving this "supposed" genius band second chance after second chance...yet, everytime you listened to them, they still underwhelmed you. And you would just get mad at yourself for thinking you could actually enjoy this crap?

Then...all of a sudden, one day you went...holy moly, I really like that band. Well, that was Blind Melon for me. Their first album came out during the grunge heyday and felt like Seattle lite. Their next album, despite being on the heels of Shannon Hoon's death, felt more eclectic and unfocused. Finally, a third offering of demos and B-sides was the most desperate attempt...and basically put the nail in the coffin. And then it happened....

One day, my itunes was on random and played the song "Change." It was a good song. I decided to give the band another last chance. But this time...I liked everything I heard. Even the demos and B-Sides. Could it be, that Blind Melon was so far ahead of its time, it literally took the music industry about 15 years to catch up to them. In retrospect, that's not too far off. And with the release of their live album "Live at The Palace." It's time to look bad at a band that never got the love it deserved.

Here are The 11 Best Blind Melon Songs:

1. Galaxie (Soup)
2. Change (Blind Melon)
3. Walk (Soup)
4. Soak The Sin (Blind Melon)
5. Deserted (Blind Melon)
6. Candy Says (Change B-Side)
7. Soul One (Nico)
8. Time (Blind Melon)
9. Skinned (Soup)
10. I Wonder (Blind Melon)
11. Soup (Nico)

Friday, October 13, 2006

The 11 Best Songs By The Darkness

For the past 15 years, men wearing Spandex tights and sporting butt-length crimped hair was a comical piece of the L.A.'s ugly 80s music scene. Outside of Halloween, this look was kept in the closet or out in the open in West Hollywood...take your pick. But then in came the Darkness. With a voice of a valkyrie from heaven and/or hell, lead singer Justin Hawkins adorned the 80s-style without an ounce of mocking and nothing but flair. But to live the hair metal lifestyle, it takes a lot of medication to be able to take yourself seriously. That would explain why Hawkins is heading into rehab. Also, the fact that the entire last album was a reference to cocaine might be a big clue. Now, rumor is that this is the end of the band's brief but balls-to-the-wall career. But like all bands that are more gimmick than art, chances are they're not going anywhere.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Darkness:

1. One Way Ticket To Hell (One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back)
2. Is It Just Me? (One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back)
3. Get Your Hands Off My Woman (Permission To Land)
4. Growing On Me (Permission To Land)
5. Dinner Lady Arms (One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back)
6. I Believe In A Thing Called Love (Permission To Land)
7. Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time (One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back)
8. Best of Me (Permission To Land B-Side)
9. Bald (One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back)
10. Love Is Only A Feeling (Permission To Land)
11. Grief Hammer (One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back B-Side)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The 11 Most Desired Reunions

This week Sting released an album of lute music. Yes, freaking 16th-century LUTE music!!! In what realm of reality does Sting this is a more crucial musical endeavor than a Police reunion? I mean seriously, when I first read this, I thought it was a joke. Nope...I guess Sting used up too many brain cells having sex. So, for now we wait...until then...

Here are the 11 Most Desired Re-Unions:

1. The Police - probability: 70%
2. The Smiths - probability: 40%
3. Van Halen (original line-up) - probability: 75%
4. Guns N Roses (original line-up) - probability: 10%
5. The Stone Roses - probability: 90%
6. Creedence Clearwater Revivial (w/ John Fogerty) - probability: 45%
7. Pavement - probability: 99%
8. Faith No More (original Mike Patton line-up) - probability: 55%
9. The Cars (w/ Ric Ocasek) - probability: 25%
10. NWA (w/ Snoop Dogg instead of EZE) - probability: 65%
11. The Jam - probability: 37%

Monday, October 09, 2006

The 11 Best Fleetwood Mac Songs

When I was 12 I saw the movie European Vacation. Besides wanting to go to Europe to experience a beer and sausage festival just like Rusty did, I became intrigued by the theme song..."Holiday Road." When I found out that it was sung by Lindsey Buckingham, I was very confused...that song was sung by a woman? Of course, not realizing that Mr. Buckingham was really a man had to be in fault with my F-Mac inexperience. But that's what college is for. Experimentation...especially with easy listening sounds of AM rock radio.

This week saw Mr. Buckingham's newest solo effort. In celebration, here are:

The 11 Best Fleetwood Mac Songs

1. Go Your Own Way (Rumors)
2. Little Lies (Tango in the Night)
3. Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
4. Don't Stop (Rumors)
5. Seven Wonders (Tango in The Night)
6. Gypsy (Mirage)
7. Landslide (Fleetwood Mac)
8. Isn't It Midnight (Tango In The Night)
9. Sara (Tusk)
10. Brown Eyes (Tusk)
11. Revelation (Penguin)

Ps. This was possibly the hardest list I've had to do yet. The Mac is an extremely underrated band with about 25 songs that could have easily slid into this list. Go explore...please!

Friday, October 06, 2006

The 11 Best Beck Albums

Yes, believe it. Beck has recorded over 11 albums in his career, allowing me to do the ever popular album ranking. Why haveI devoted three lists this week to Beck? Am I that Beck crazy? Not really, there wasn't much else to focus on this week. Doing a top 11 for the Dears, Sean Lennon, or The Killers is a bit pointless at this stage of their careers. I wanted to do a Sparklehorse list but I kept falling asleep re-listening to their music. Weird Al was a potential list...but then again, it's Weird Al. So Beck gets the limelight.

Here are The 11 Best Beck Albums:

1. Odealy ( no surprises here)
2. Midnight Vultures (surprise!)
3. The Information (yes, I think it's that good)
4. Sea Change (depressingly good)
5. Guero (underrated)
6. Mutations (overrated)
7. One Foot in the Grave ( has aged well with time)
8. Mellow Gold (feels dated)
9. Geurolito (very hit or miss remixes - mostly miss)
10. A Western Harvest Field By Moonlight (a demo-rific look at Beck's early years)
11. Stereopathetic Soulmanure (at least it's better than Good Feelings)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The 11 Best Beck Songs

Okay, I'm clearing out my inbox for all the hatemail. There's sure to be a tiny bit from attempting this one. I'm still getting emails from my best Dylan songs and that was over a month ago. Some people just have no lives...I mean, not counting me, of course. Like a primetime TV show after ridiculing the Christian right, I'm awaiting your begin when ready!

The 11 Best Beck Songs:

1. Jack-Ass (Odelay)
2. Lost Cause (Sea Change)
3. Loser (Mellow Gold)
4. Girl (Guero)
5. Debra (Midnight Vultures)
6. Lord Only Knows (Odelay)
7. Sunday Sun (Sea Change)
8. Asshole (One Foot In The Grave)
9. Lazy Flies (Mutations)
10. Mixed Bizness (Midnight Vultures)
11. Beercan (Mellow Gold)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The 11 Best Beck B-Sides

Fifteen years later, Beck has weathered the storm and grown better with age. His newest album promises to be as unique and textured as any release in his arsenal. While digesting it, let's reflect on an aspect of Beck's explansive catalogue that sometimes goes overlooked...his B-sides. With the strength of some of these songs, one has to wonder how many other unreleased songs the guy must be sitting on. Beck box set anyone?

Here are The 11 Best Beck B-Sides:

1. One of These Days (Mutations B-Side)
2. Diamond in the Sleaze (Mutations B-Side) MP3
3. Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Soundtrack)
4. Burro (Odelay B-Side - Spanish Jackass)
5. Bad Catridge (Gameboy Variations - E-Pro Remix)
6. Salt in My Wound (Midnight Vultures B-Side)
7. Electric Music and the Summer People (Mutations B-Side)
8. Halo of Gold (Mutations B-Side)
9. Diamond Dogs (Moulin Rouge Soundtrack)
10. Fume (Mellow Gold B-Side)
11. This is My Crew (Midnight Vultures B-Side)

Monday, October 02, 2006

The 11 Best Replacement Songs

Where do great song writers go when their careers are over? They make soundtracks to knock-off animation movies for kids. This week saw the release of the Open Season soundtrack, featuring new music by Paul Westerberg. From Cameron Crowe to Ashton Kutcher. It's like walking into a Burger King one day and seeing Bill Clinton working the fry machine. Of course, I'm not sure which is sadder.

Here are the 11 Best Replacement Songs:

1. Bastards of Young (Tim)
2. Alex Chilton (Pleased To Meet Me)
3. Here Comes A Regular (Tim)
4. I'll Be You (Don't Tell A Soul)
5. Skyway (Pleased To Meet Me)
6. Can't Hardly Wait (Pleased To Meet Me)
7. The Ledge (Pleased To Meet Me)
8. Sixteen Blue (Let It Be)
9. Left of the Dial (Tim)
10. Another Girl, Another Planet (B-Side)
11. Attitude (All Shook Down)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The 11 Best Non-Album Tori Amos Songs

This week Tori Amos released a 100,000 song box set, filled with hits, alternative mixes, b-sides, covers, remixes, outtakes, demos, and a couple college football fight songs. To top it all off, the box set comes packaged in a full-size baby grand piano. And if that wasn't all...if you act now, Tori will come to your house and perform every song on the box set. (Okay, I made up that last part)

Picking the 11 Best Tori Amos songs would have been an arduous task and probably have infuriated many rapid Tori instead I'm going to focus only on the bonus tracks (b-sides, guest spots, soundtrack songs). Tori's one of those rare artists who puts as much faith in her bonus tracks as she does her album tracks. Compiling close to 100 non-album songs in her 15 year career, that's about more impressive than some bands entire careers.

So here are the 11 Best Non-Album Tori Amos Songs:

1. Siren (Great Expectations Sdtk.)
2. Blue Skies (BT - Ima)
3. Mary (Little Earthquakes B-Side) MP3
4. Honey (Under The Pink B-Side)
5. Never Seen Blue (From The Choirgirl Hotel B-Side)
6. Take To The Sky (Little Earthquakes B-Side)
7. Cooling (From The Choirgirl Hotel B-Side)
8. Butterfly (Higher Learning sdtk.)
9. Purple People (From The Choirgirl Hotel B-Side)
10. Sister Name Desire (From The Choirgirl Hotel B-Side)
11. Black Swan (Under The Pink B-Side)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The 11 Best Live Albums

Alright, I'm going to come out and say it...Live albums suck. Every time one of my favorite bands puts out a live album, I get excited with anticiapation. I run out to the store the day it comes out and buy it. Pop it in my CD player ten seconds later and I'm completely disappointed. Why? They are the exact same songs I love when they were recorded in a studio. Well, the more I thought about it...I realized I just answered my own question. They are the exact same songs that are on a recorded CD. They are no different and sometimes maybe just slightly different. What's the fun in that? Obviously, when you go to the show, the live energy is completely different. You sucked into the mood of the show. But on CD, none of that emotion and energy is present. So why listened to that over the recorded versions? Answer: There's no reason. That's why I buy live albums, listen to them once...and never listen to them again.

Now argue with me if you want...but let me ask you two questions.

1. Of all the live albums you own, how many of them do you listen to on a regular basis?
2. And what percentage of music do you listen to is live?

When you think about it, I think you will realize, it's much smaller than you thought. Now I'm not talking about a cool live track of your favorite band covering a Bob Dylan or Christina Aguilera song...I'm talking about full albums.

So what makes a live album...listenable on multiple occassions. Number one, it has to be different recordings then the ones we're used to listening to on CD. Because if they are the same versions...then what's the point? Number two, there has to be audience participation. Because if we can't hear the crowd then it's not a live's just another recorded album. Number three, it has to be groundbreaking. It has to take your music to another level. If not, it's just pandering to the record labels, and the fans will see through it in a heartbeat.

So, here is my list of the 11 Best Live Albums (based on the above credentials - NOT based on performance):

1. The Band - The Last Waltz (4 CD box set) - The perfect concert, guest stars, covers, alternate versions and fan favorites.
2. Nirvana - Unplugged - The band's performance was groundbreaking on many levels and will forever be associated with Kurt's death as his final swan song.
3. Kiss - Alive - Without this album, Kiss would be nothing more than the 70s version of Gwar.
4. Depeche Mode - 101 - Rarely does a live album define a generation. But this album was the album that define the alternative generation of the late 80s. If you didn't own this and had it weren't cool.
5. Jay-Z - Unplugged - Not only groundbreaking, but a reinvention of the rap genre...this album is still to this day, years ahead of it's time.
6. Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense - Tied with the movie, it changed the Talking Heads from an underground success to a mainstream stalwart.
7. Metallica - S&M - Metal fused with a concert hall orchestra. A one of a kind performance.
8. Bob Dylan & The Rolling Thunder Revue - Live 1975 - Bob Dylan performs his acoustic classics with a full frolicking vaudeville band.
9. Pearl Jam - Live in New York, July 8th & 9th, 2003 (5CD) - Pearl Jam's concert for NY, post 9/11 is epic on scale and a zenith for the band.
10. Led Zeppelin - Song Remains the Same - Not just a must for the Zeppelin fan, it's a photgraph of the band at its peak.
11. The Cure - Entreat - A European only album finds the band performing its masterpiece Disintegration in a grandiose fashion. Robert Smith hitting 20-second high howls and the band jamming on 10-minute songs. It doesn't get better than this.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The 11 Best My Morning Jacket Songs

What more indie rock than recording in a barn? How about recording with mother f**in' CC Deville from Poison? Yeah, I kid you not. My Morning Jacket recorded with CC Deville for their masterful EP, Chocolate and Ice. They party with Cameron Crowe...they have beards. Is there nothing about this band that doesn't rock? Their new album is a double disc live concert that is supposed to be phenomenal. Too bad I hate live albums, so the chances of my buying it are about 100 to 1. Instead, I'll stick to what I do best...

Here are the 11 Best My Morning Jacket Songs:

1. O Is the One That Is Real (Split EP w/ Songs: Ohia)
2. Golden (original) - (It Still Moves) & the acoustic version on (Acoustic Citsuoca)
3. Lowdown (At Dawn)
4. Cobra (Chocolate and Ice)
5. By My Car (Tennessee Fire)
6. Sooner (Chocolate and Ice)
7. One Big Holiday (It Still Moves)
8. Where To Begin (Elizabethtown Sdtk.) MP3
9. The Way That He Sings (At Dawn)
10. Dondante (Z)
11. Rocket Man (Ch. 1: The Sandworm Cometh)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The 11 Best Song by DJ Shadow

I worked in college radio when Shadow's first CD (Entroducing...) came out. The guy who ran the Sunday School (our day of pure hip-hop programming) said it was one of the best CDs he had ever heard. I was could a DJ make a good CD, isn't he just mixing up other people's music? The programmer looked at me and said, "Exactly!" Well, I didn't get it until I listened. DJ Shadow was part of a new generation of musicians who took sampling to new levels. Creating new songs, using pieces of other songs. And on his first at-bat, he hit a home run. 10 years later, Shadow took the more cautious route on his new CD, packing it full of guest singers and rappers. And unlike the fresh and unique sound of his first CD, it sounds ordinary. I guess you can really only be original and groundbreaking once.

Here are the 11 Best DJ Shadow songs:

1. Blood on the Motorway (The Private Press)
2. Midnight in a Perfect World (Entroducing...)
3. Rabbit in Your Headlights (U.N.K.L.E. - Psyence Fiction)
4. The Number Song (Entroducing...)
5. Six Days (The Private Press)
6. You Can't Go Home Again (The Private Press)
7. High Noon (PreEmptive Strike)
8. Organ Donor (Fully Extended Version) - (PreEmptive Strike)
9. Building Steam With A Grain of Salt (Entroducing...)
10. March of Death w/ Zac de la Rocha (Internet Only)
11. Stem / Long Stem / Transmission 2 (Entroducing...)


1. Smooth Rock Beats (Live From Austin)
2. Red Bus Needs To Leave (B-Side)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The 11 Best Jewish Rock Stars

Happy New Year!

1. Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman)
2. Lou Reed (The Velvet Underground)
3. The Beastie Boys (Adam Yauch, Michael Diamond, Adam Horowitz)
4. Billy Joel
5. Joey Ramone (Jeffrey Hymen)
6. Gene Simmons (Chaim Weitz)
7. Art Garfunkel
8. Perry Farrell (Peretz Bernstein) - Jane's Addiction, Porno For Pyros
9. Geddy Lee (Gary Lee)
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers (Anthony Keidis, Hillel Slovak, Michael Balzary-Flea)
11. Marc Bolan (Michael Feld) - T.Rex

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The 11 Best Songs By The Band ELECTRONIC

When Electronic came out, I was dating a girl who loved New Order. Well, I did, too. That's pretty much why I was dating her. There wasn't much more to relationships in high school. But she hated Electronic, she saw the band as a sell-out. So, naturally, I hated them, too. Then we broke up. And a few months later, I started dating a girl who liked both New Order and Electronic. And guess what? I started liking them, too. (Yeah, I know, I'm a cheese ball)

Electronic is that rare supergroup that found success on its own. There's a high hurdle for super groups. For the most part, members of a super group have usually come from other groups who have achieved substantial success on their own. And then when they combine forces, the expectations are usually sky high. But over the years, supergroups have tended to be less successful than the some of their parts. Rarely do they find success in their own right. Reason being, music groups are successful for one very simple reason. Chemistry. Either it's there or it's not. It doesn't matter how good the artists may be individually, if personalities don't mesh...then the music tends to suck.

But with New Order's Bernard Sumner on vocals, the Smiths' Johnny Marr on guitars/keyboards, and Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennent on drums/keyboards the ingrediants were there.

Tuesday saw a solid greatest hits release by this band. It contains mostly good selections from their few three albums but they tended to be stronger out of the gates then later on down the road. So, here is my list.

The 11 Best Songs By The Band ELECTRONIC:

1. Second Nature (Raise The Pressure)
2. Tighten Up (Electronic)
3. Disappointed (Cool World Sdtk.)
4. Reality (Electronic)
5. For You (Raise The Pressure)
6. Getting Away With It (Electronic)
7. Vivid (Twisted Tenderness)
8. Warning Sign (Twisted Temderness B-Side)
9. Imitation of Life (Raise The Pressure B-Side)
10. Late At Night (Twisted Tenderness)
11. Patience of A Saint (Electronic)


1. Lucky Bag (B-Side)

The 11 Best Jane's Addiction Songs Not on the Greatest Hits Album

It's rare when the record labels get it right. Or are at least close to perfect. This week saw the release of Jane's Addiction Greatest Hits. Oddly, (the original line-up) Jane's Addiction had a mere 3 hits - Stop!, Been Caught Stealin', and Jane Says. So instead of padding the disc with other forced and unplayed singles (Ex: So What!), the label smartly went in and grabbed some of the most popular and loved songs from the band's career only extracting 2 songs from the reunion album and no songs from the seldom mentioned demo album. But Jane's was a band of many great songs. If you want a strong sampling of mostly their best stuff...pick up the GH disc. And if it tickles your pickle, herer are:

The 11 Best Jane's Addiction Songs Not on the Greatest Hits Album

1. 1% (Jane's Addiction)
2. Ripple (Deadicated) MP3
3. Then She Did (Ritual de lo Habitual)
4. My Time (Jane's Addiction)
5. Suffer Some - original 1988 demo (Bootleg)
6. Obvious (Ritual de lo Habitual)
7. Standing in the Shower (Nothing's Shocking)
8. Trip Away (Jane's Addiction)
9. City (Kettle Whistle)
10. L.A. Woman/Nausea/Lexicon Devil (Ritual de lo Habitual B-Side)
11. Kettle Whistle (Kettle Whistle)

Friday, September 15, 2006

The 11 Best Everclear Songs

Yes, that's right, I'm blogging about Everclear. And believe it or not, there was a time when they didn't suck. I'm serious. It was a brief moment in time...but there was a time. I swear. Sure, lead singer, Art was about 50 years old....sure, they lied about where they were from...Seatlle, LA, San Diego...sure, they sounded like a knock-off of every grunge band that came before them...but you cannot escape the fact they wrote a handful of some very excellent rock songs. Basically, you have to look at Everclear as the cool guy in high school who graduated and went on to work in a 7-11. For four years, he was the coolest thing since sliced bread. And since, you'd prefer to avoid him like the ebola virus. But during high school...well, here's to looking back.

The 11 Best Everclear Songs:

1. Heroine Girl (Sparkle and Fade)
2. The Swing (Scream 2)
3. So Much For the Afterglow (So Much For The Afterglow)
4. Our Lips Are Sealed (Radio Promo) MP3
5. You Make Me Feel Like A Whore (Sparkle and Fade)
6. Electra Made Me Blind (Sparkle and Fade)
7. Sparkle (World of Noise)
8. Everything To Everyone (So Much For The Afterglow)
9. I Want To Die A Beautiful Death (Slow Motion Daydream)
10. Local God (Romeo + Juliet)
11. My Sexual Life (Sparkle and Fade)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The 11 Best At The Drive-In Songs

Not since the Sex Pistols has a band met stardom with a "middle finger in the face" break-up. It was kind of like the opening scene in Cliffhanger when Stallone drops the girl to her death. Right when you get into the movie, it goes in an entirely different direction. Just like ATDI, who broke up right as they finally received mainstream success they deserved. The members went onto form two bands: Sparta and Mars Volta (who release a new CD today). ATDI played frantic, high-speed songs, pulsating with kinectic-laden energy that left listeners out of breath. Their career was short but the legacy they left behind is a strong one.

Here are the 11 Best At The Drive-In Songs

1. Chanbara (In Casino Out)
2. One Armed Scissor (Relationship of Command)
3. Proxima Centauri (Vaya)
4. Pattern Against User (Relationship of Command)
5. Rascuache (Vaya)
6. Sleepwalk Capsules (Relationship of Command)
7. For Now..We Toast (In Casino Out)
8. Extracirricular (Relationship of Command B-Side) MP3
9. Arcarsenal (Relationship of Command)
10. Porfirio Diaz (Acrobatic Tenement)
11. The Night Has Opened My Eyes (This Station Is Non-Operational)

Monday, September 11, 2006

The 11 Best Songs From Soundgarden

They were better than anyone gives them credit for. Hiding in the shadows of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains...were Seattle's most talented...a little band known as Soundgarden. "Black Hole Sun" made them popular for the wrong reasons. And hence, they never received the true credit they deserved. Putting out 3 of the 50 best albums of the decade in Badmotorfinger, Down The Upside, and Superunknown, they have since faded into obscurity since their 1997 break-up. Singer Chris Cornell lives on with Audioslave...but why haven't we heard anything from Soundgarden?...not a live album, a rare tracks disc, a box set (and they deserve it), just a pandering greatest hits with one measely new song (but a fantastic one at that). They were pegged as Sabbath knock-offs in their day...but as time as marched on, their music sounds more alive and sharper than ever. It's time kids today rediscover one of the 90s best kept secrets...and here's a start.

The 11 Best Songs About Soundgarden:

1. Searching With My Good Eye Closed (Badmotorfinger)
2. Burden In My Hand (Down On the Upside)
3. Birth Ritual (Singles Sdtk.)
4. Like A Suicide (Superunknown)
5. Fell On Black Days (Superunknown)
6. Hands All Over (Louder Than Love)
7. Bleed Together (A-Sides)
8. Slaves and Bulldozers (Badmotorfinger)
9. The Day I Tried To Live (Superunknown)
10. Outshined (Badmotorfinger)
11. Big Dumb Sex (Louder Than Love)

Don't forget about MP3...

1. Cold Bitch (Superunknown outtake)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The 11 Best Rage Against The Machine Songs

This week saw the release of Audioslave's third album. Though amazing that this side-project/supergroup (conprised of Rage Against The Machine and Soundgarden) would have made it through 3 albums...what's more amazing, is that in a mere 3 years the band has managed to record more original songs that Rage Against The Machine recorded in their entire 10 year career. (RATM's 4th album was all covers) Don't believe me? Go look it up. And while you're doing that...

Here are the The 11 Best Rage Against The Machine Songs:

1. Killing In the Name of... (unedited version) - Rage Against the Machine
2. Bulls on Parade - Evil Empire
3. Guerilla Radio - The Battle of Los Angeles
4. Know your Enemy- Rage Against the Machine
5. Bombtrack - Mark Goodier "Evening Sessions"
6. People of the Sun - Evil Empire
7. Sleep Now In The Fire - The Battle of Los Angeles
8. Bullet in the Head (remix) - Bombtrack (limited edition EP)
9. Down Rodeo - Evil Empire
10. Testify - The Battle of Los Angeles
11. Hadda Been Playing on the Jukebox - Live and Rare

and one cover...

1. Fuck da Police (live) MP3

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The 11 Hottest Indie Rock Albums Coming Out in Fall 2006

Indie Rock may serve as the last arena of good music. Uninhibited by money and fame, it's just a bunch of musicians trying to make good music. And the results tend to me far more satisfactory than their major label counterparts.

Here are the 11 Hottest Indie Rock Albums Coming Out in Fall 2006:

1. TV On the Radio - Cookie Mountain (9/12) - Already out in the UK, it's being touted as the album of the year across the boards. (Quality Potential: 90%)
2. Clinic - Visitations (10/17) - Their last release was a letdown after Walking With Thee received so much praise. On their newest album, they are aiming to go back to their roots. (Quality Potential: 45%)
3. Yo La Tengo - I'm Not Afraid of You (9/12) - Anytime these guys release an album, it's an event for vinyl playing audiophiles everywhere. (Quality Potential: 65%)
4. The Rapture - Piece of the People We Love (9/12) - Dance rock hooligans are back for hijinxs. Press play and hilarity ensues. (Quality Potential: 75%)
5. Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire (9/26) - Almost 10 years since a proper album release. Will he follow in his father's or mother's footsteps? (Quality Potential: 40%)
6. The Dears - Gang of Losers (10/3) - A 6 foot 6 black singer who croons like Morrissey. Still living off the underground popularity of their song "Lost in The Plot," can their whole album match this emotional level? (Quality Potential: 60%)
7. Scissors Sisters - Ta-Dah (9/26) - Elton John's reincarnation takes a second shot at the dance floor and mainstream radio. (Quality Potential: 50%)
8. The Decembrists - The Crane Wife (10/3) - Last year's album pulled then out of obscurity into college radio darlings, this year promises big things. (Quality Potential: 75%)
9. Robert Pollard - Normal Happines (10/10) - GBV singer goes solo to much hoopla. (Quality Potential: 40%)
10. The Pernice Brothers - Live a Little (10/3) - Their last album went away from their Smiths' influence and was seen as a disappoint. Will they be able to regroup and make a Louder Than Bombs impression this time around. (Quality Potential: 30%)
11. Sparklehorse - Dreamt For Light Years (9/26) - It's been almost 6 years since this low-fi wonder has been heard. It's almost a guarantee the result will be underwhelming. (Quality Potential: 60%)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The 11 Hottest Hip-Hop Albums Coming Out in Fall 2006

After watching the MTV loser awards this past week, nothing came across more pathetic and in a sadder state of affairs than mainstream hip-hop. Can anyone even understand what the hell rappers are saying anymore? At least when Eazy-E was jackin' bitches and slappin' hoes, I could understand the words coming out of his mouth. But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel with one of these artists.

The 11 Hottest Hip-Hop Albums Coming Out in Fall 2006

1. Young Jeezy - The Inspiration (10/31) - To anyone in the hip-hop world, he's the next the rest of us...he's just tomorrow's contestant for Dancing with the Stars.
2. The Game - The Devil's Advocate (11/7) - The Game's humble gangsta style was sharp on his debut and with more Dre beats behind him, there is little doubt he will continue to impress.
3. DJ Shadow - The Outsider (9/19) - Only his third album but the buzz behind it is stronger than the praise that came from the 10 anniversary re-issue of his first release. Also, loaded to the rim with guest stars.
4. Ludacris - Release Therapy (9/26) - Lud puts his acting career on hold to go back to his roots and cut some music. Although I prefer his acting...
5. Mos Def - Tru3 Magic (9/26) - Pharrell and Kanye West produce. That's like finding Wonka's golden ticket...twice. Early word is that this could be the second coming of Black Star...and those are big shoes to return to.
6. Lady Sovereign - Public Warning (10/17) - If Eminem and Mike Skinner had a baby girl, it would be Lady S. Picked as the "most likely to take the hip-hop world by storm..." so far her bite has been less than her hype but time will tell.
7. Snoop Dogg - Blue Carpet Treatment (11/21) - He's been around the block too many times to count but he still is one of rap's finest charismatic wordsmiths.
8. Akon - Konvicted (12/12) - His first album debutes at number one. His second album boasts Snoop and Eminem. The only new release that week in December basically guarantees a 2-for-2.
9. Lupe Fiasco - Food and Liquor (9/19) - Maybe the most hyped rap debut of the fall....which means, check for it in the used $2.99 bin by summer.
10. Sleepy Brown - Mr. Brown (10/3) - Outkast's partner in rhyme gets his due on his debut solo disc. Half rap and half soul, the album is sure to have it's own sound...but will it have a hook?
11. Xzibit - Full Cirlce (9/19) - Will anyone remember that the world's most famous automechanic is actually a rapper?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The 11 Hottest Pop Albums Coming Out in Fall 2006

Why is pop so terrible, yet, it's the music everyone buys. Do people actually still listen to their Backstreet Boys and Nsync records? Does anyone remember that Mandy Moore even had a singing career at one time? Pop can be good at times...but mostly it's a canker sore that needs to be eliminated...and I'm the man who needs to do it. With the good and the all has had it's day and now it needs to go.

The 11 Hottest Pop Albums Coming Out in Fall 2006

1. Justin Timberlake - FutureSex (9/12) - Maybe the only truly talented member of the pop core. But now he's singing about sexy backs. Who cares if someone has a sexy back? As long as they shave it...that's all that really matters. Hey, JT why don't you sing about how the careers of rest of Nsync's members have crashed and burned. That's a CD I'd buy. (Quality Potential: 70%)
2. Beyonce - B'Day (9/5) - Okay the woman can sing...but only what she's told to sing. But when the people who are writing your songs for you are gives a crap. Have you heard her new single? Yeah, neither have I. (Quality Potential: 40%)
3. Maroon 5 - TBA (11/14) - I still think these guys are really just Third Eye Blind reuniting under a different name. Anyone checked these guys' I.D.s? (Quality Potential: 35%)
4. Diddy - Press Play (10/17) - Stop changing your name and start writing some good music. The last hit you had that anyone remembers was when Biggy died. (Quality Potential: 18%)
5. Taylor Hicks - TBA (11/14) - American Idol's silver fox will now butcher his own songs just as badly as he tarnished the Doobie Brothers. (Quality Potential: 15%)
6. Fergie - The Dumbass (9/19) - Your London Bridge reference makes no sense. If you have a sexual body part that has the power to move up and down, that's not a clitoris...that's a penis. You're an idiot, I hope you get ass herpes. (Quality Potential: 1%)
7. Clay Aiken/Fantasia/Ruben Studdard/Chris Daughtery/Katherine McPhee - (all the f**kin time) - And people wonder how George Bush got re-elected. (Quality Potential: 10%)
8. Janet Jackson - 20 Y.O. (9/26) - I heard to get some publicity she's going to let Beyonce rip-off her bikini bottom during the World Series. Be afraid. Be very afraid. (Quality Potential: 23%)
9. John Legend - Once Again (10/24) - Okay, he's cool. He gets a free pass. (Quality Potential: 75%)
10. Omarion - 21 (10/31) - He was that guy in that show Punk'd who got Punk'd. Yeah, I don't know who he is either. (Quality Potential: 21%)
11. America - Here and Now (10/17) - Yes, that's the original pop rock masters back to show "they can do magic." Loaded with guest stars like Ryan Adams, Ben Kweller, James Iha and Sister Golden Hair riding a Horse With No Name down Ventura Highway. (Quality Potential: 40%)