Thursday, June 29, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Bands Listened to By Kids Who Wear Black Clothes

Every high school has them. Sometimes they are in drama. Sometimes they partake in nothing but smoking cigarettes behind the janitor's locker room. Sometimes they are smart kids. Sometimes they are deliquents. Sometimes they are all the above. Call them what you want, goth rockers, drama geeks, suicide fan club; regardless of their tag, they are the same everywhere: dressed in nothing but black clothes and sporting dyed-black hair. They snub their nose at the establishment and refuse to attend any school functions, especially homecoming. Although, they do attend prom (haven't figured that one out yet). The 80s were the first generation to see this school group form in its halls. They were ridiculed for the clothes they wore and the music they listened to. Ironically, they were ridiculed by people who thought music like Winger, Warrant, and Posion were cool. Who looks dumb now?

Here's the top 11 bands from that era.

  1. The Cure
  2. Joy Division
  3. Depeche Mode
  4. The Bauhaus
  5. Sisters of Mercy
  6. Cocteau Twins
  7. Love and Rockets
  8. Siouxsie and the Banshees
  9. Nitzer Ebb
  10. Clan of Xymox
  11. Killing Joke
1. If Only Tonight We Could Sleep - The Cure - MTV Unplugged

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

THE GOOD: She Wants Revenge - She Wants Revenge

Sure this album came out a few months ago (6 maybe) but this summer has sucked when it has come to music. So instead of forcing down something rancid to review, I'd rather go back and review some albums from the first few months of 2006.

You remember when you were in high school and you bought a really cool shirt but no one seemed to notice. Then a few years later your younger brother started wearing the same shirt and everyone thought it was super cool. And all these hot girls started coming up to him because of the shirt, when you never had girls that hot pay attention to you. Meanwhile, you can't help but scream out in your mind, "that's MY freaking shirt!" Well, that's She Wants Revenge.

The band carries on the time honored tradition of copying the sound of other bands and passing it off as their own. Now there's nothing wrong with that, good artists borrow, great artists steal. Oasis, Green Day, and the Black Crowes have made careers of doing that. At least they admit what they are doing and they've picked some good bands to mimic from. So for all you tykes who think they are a new band with a new sound, here's a research list for you to find the originals. For all of us who have kids and can't afford new CDs, take my song translations and make a mixed CD. It'll be just like owning the album.

She Wants Revenge

1. Red Flags and Long Nights – Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control”
These Things – Depeche Mode’s “Black Celebration”
I Don’t Want To Fall In Love – Stan Ridgway’s “Mexican Radio"
Out of Control – Depeche Mode’s “Strangelove"
Monologue – Martin L. Gore’s “Compulsion"
Broken Promises For Broken Hearts – Joy Division’s “Love Us Apart"
Sister – The Bauhaus’ “The Sanity Assassin"
Disconnect –Just an instrumental…you’re not missing much
9. Us – Joy Division’s “New Dawn Fades"
10. Someone Must Get Hurt – Joy Division’s “Transmission"
11. Tear You Apart – The Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead"
12. She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not – The Bauhaus “Passion of Lovers”

1. She Wants Revenge - She Wants Revenge - B+

MP3 Dreams...

1. Spend The Night - B-side

Buy now: She Wants Revenge

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Most Anticipated CD Releases

This summer has sucked as far as music goes. No, not everything is bad...but not until late July is there anything worth (Thom Yorke & Pharrell) getting excited about. If the record labels actually think I'd be dancing in the streets over Nelly Furtado or Dashboard Confessional, then they need to hire new interns in order to take a pulse about what customers are looking forward to. But that would mean they would actually have to know what they were doing...and that's a big stretch for an industry whose existance purely relies on the success of someone other than themselves.

So message to the record labels...light a fire under the butts of these bands to get some wanted music out there.

Most Anticipated Album Releases

  1. Guns N Roses – Chinese Democracy (15 years in the making - no other album has ever gained so much mystery about it. The release, which seemed around the corner, is now being pushed to fall 2007. And we'll be lucky to see it then)
  2. Dr. Dre – Detox (Dr. Dre has never put a deadline on this release but it's now been 7 years since the Chronic 2001, the exact same amount of time between his first two albums. No word on the street about recording of any sort...but we should see this one before Axl's opus)
  3. Q-Tip – Kamaal The Abstract/Open (Two incredible groundbreaking albums from one of the founders of A Tribe Called Quest. Both albums are examples about how little the music industry understands its own industry. Release these albums now!!! Didn't you learn anything from the Fiona Apple fiasco? We'll probably see A Tribe Called Quest solo album first)
  4. Lauryn Hill – Solo Release/Fugee Reunion (after her stunning solo debut the world waited for a legit follow-up. We got an MTV unplugged album instead. It wasn't bad but it wasn't that great either. Though a Fugee reunion seems more likely at this point, it'll at least be a decent substitute.)
  5. Zack de la Rocha – solo album (As Audioslave is readying to release their 3rd album, the lead singer is still pounding away on his first release. 2 solid songs have been released in the waiting period but we're pushing on 7 years since the last Rage album and a couple of internet singles just aren't cutting it.)
  6. Van Halen – The Sammy Hagar tour re-fueled desire to hear some new Van Halen tunes. Only issue, who's the singer? Since they don't even have one, a release is years away. But at this point, unless Roth or Hagar return to vocal duties, it's doubtful an actual release will make any waves.
  7. The Killers – The hottest band in alternative music is currently putting together their sophomore release. Will it sink or swim? The weight of the future of alternative music may rest on their shoulders.
  8. Linkin Park - Drowned in lawsuits, the recording of the new was delayed more than it should have been. But at least the boys in the band respected the fans enough to throw out some inbetween releases (Live in Texas & Collision Course) to keep everyone happy. Almost 4 years since Meteora, the band is due and the expectations are going to be high.
  9. Bob Dylan – Modern Times (A release date is now set. But a Dylan release is always one to get excited about. Pushing 70, the guy still is at the top of his game. May we all be so lucky.)
  10. Smashing Pumpkins – reunion album (It's not official but it seems likely. Zwan was a fan favorite but never got the footing to survive. The solo album was just embarrassing. This really is Billy's best option.)
  11. NWA - Reunion album (It won't happen. The two tracks four years ago are the closest we'll ever come to new material. But it's worth the dream. Cube, Dre, Ren, and Snoop together with guest sposts from 50, Em, and Game. It could the greatest hip-hop album of all time, which ensures it will never happen.)
1. Q-Tip - Feelin' (From Kamaal The Abstract)

Friday, June 23, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Unreleased Nirvana Songs

When the Nirvana rare tracks box set was released, it quenched the appetites of many fans. Me among them. But for the true hardcore fan, this wasn't everything. There are known songs out there that have been rumored for years. Some have made the internet run being downloaded faster than the new Paris Hilton single. Others have this day, unheard. So what are the Nirvana boys (and Courtney Love) waiting for? Who knows? Maybe for the dollar to go up from inflation...that would be my guess. But until then here are the 11 most wanted Unreleased Nirvana songs.

Unreleased Nirvana Songs

  1. Lullaby (In Utero outtake)
  2. Talk To Me (pre-Nevermind track)
  3. My Best Friend’s Girl (live)
  4. My Sharona (live)
  5. Seasons in the Sun (pre-In Utero cover)
  6. Bambi Slaughter
  7. Buffy’s Pregnant
  8. Laminated Effect
  9. Sound of Dentage
  10. Fortunate Son (acoustic radio performance)
  11. The Money Will Roll Right In
and for those Mp3 hounds...

1. Divine and Bright - Earth (Kurt Cobain on vocals)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Grandaddy Songs

They are gone but not forgotten. Well, maybe some people have forgotten them. But if you're thinking about being nostalgic about the first half of the 00s, then here's a look back at the best songs from one of the darlings of that era.

Best Grandaddy Songs

  1. El Caminos In The West (From Sumday)
  2. Revolution (from I Am Sam Sdtk.)
  3. Nature Anthem (Single)
  4. The Crystal Lake (From The Sophtware Slump)
  5. He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s The Pilot (From The Sophtware Slump)
  6. Summer…It’s Gone (From Famibly Cat)
  7. Our Dying Brains (B-Side)
  8. I’m On Standby (From Sumday)
  9. AM 180 (From Under The Western Freeway)
  10. The Group Who Couldn’t Say (From Sumday)
  11. Wives of Farmers (B-Side)

Monday, June 19, 2006

THE BAD: Grandaddy - Just Like The Fambly Cat

Very seldom do bands announce they are breaking up before releasing a long anticipated album. But then again, Grandaddy was never one to go with the grain. Maybe it's all the pesticides they've inhaled living in the central valley, or maybe they've just tangled their beards together too often, but whatever the cause...the time for the band to go away is now. The spirit that made them darlings of the indie press is long gone. Instead we something of an album of half-finished concepts for songs. They definitely have the Grandaddy sound but none of the direction. You would expect them to go out with a bang, instead the album peters out with more of whimper.

Just Like The Fambly Cat

  1. What Happened… - Intro song is begging to skipped.
  2. Jeez Louise – The Modesto boys have never rocked this hard, you think this is a sign of good things to come. You’d be wrong.
  3. Summer…It’s Gone – The Grandaddy sound has matured and is now ready to drink.
  4. Oxygen/Aux Send – This instrumental feels like it’s warning me of something…
  5. Rear View Mirror – Solid Grandaddy sound except it really goes nowhere. It just kind of repeats itself. Gets tedious fast.
  6. The Animal World – A song that feels like it could have been at home on the Sophtware Slump, although it would have more than likely been a b-side from that album.
  7. Skateboarding Saves Me Twice – Let’s go rollerskate down to the drugstore for a milkshake!!!
  8. Where I’m Anymore – The chorus is “meow meow meow.” Are you shitting me?
  9. 50% - A punk rock song? Please, don’t insult me.
  10. Guide Down Tonight – The last hint at a good song only at 6:30, it doesn’t know when to quit.
  11. Elevate Myself – Remember when Casio keyboards were for amateurs???
  12. Campershell Dreams – I think the singer is having sex with his own voice, is that even possible?
  13. Disconnecty – Another attempt at a rock song that makes you realize lightning doesn’t strike twice.
  14. This How It Always Starts – A very sultry warmed vibe that floats through my headphones then just sits there and sits there and sits….yawn…
  15. Shangri- La – Woo-hoo, it’s over.
How it compares...

1. Sumday - B+
2. The Sophtware Slump - B
3. Under The Western Freeway - C+
4. Just Like The Fambly Cat - C-
5. Excerpts From Todd Zilla - C-
6. A Pretty Mess - C-
7. Concrete Dunes - D

The music is here -

1. Wonder Why in L.A.
2. Wives of Farmers
Buy Now: Grandaddy - Just Like the Fambly Cat

Friday, June 16, 2006

THE UNKNOWN: Ugly Duckling - Bang For The Buck

People are claiming to hear hip-hop's death rattle. I think their wrong. If they hear anything that might sound like a rattle, it's the fun-filled beats of our next artist. Meet Ugly Duckling. Three guys from Long Beach, who came together over ten years ago to form a group in the shadows of bands like Tribe Called Quest and de la Soul. But close to a decade later, a sound that was getting a little stale in the mid-90s is making a comeback like a mother...well you know what. One of the freshest and brightest hip-hop CDs of the year. And sure to make your weekend a bit more fun.

  1. Bang For the Buck – Stand-up bass, toe-tapping beat, can a rap album start any better than this?
  2. Yudee! – Think Beastie Boys covering Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt.
  3. The Breakdown – I dare you to listen to this song while walking down the street and NOT bob your head. I don’t think you can do it. I don’t!
  4. Left Behind – The vocal intensity brings out the Outkast in everyone. Andre Benjamin's rapid fire oratory skills was the road map for this one.
  5. Smack – I can just see de la Soul and the Jungle Brothers listening to this song and getting their groove on.
  6. Einstein’s On Stage – Jurassic 5 would be proud of this track.
  7. Let It Out – Is that Ray Manzarek on the keyboards? If not, it should be.
  8. Lower The Boom – A mid-90s beat provides the ride as the UD boys show they can be more than just dance hall maniacs.
  9. Andy Vs. Dizzy – The only thing missing on this song is Q-Tip jumping in to shout…"I Left My Wallet In El Segundo.”
  10. Slow The Flow – How good are these guys? They can make a dance floor smash out of 70s game show theme song.
  11. Shoot Your Shot – The group seems stronger on the retro music, when they try to jump in with some more modern sounding beats it sounds like they’re trying to be something they’re not. Don’t agree? Listen to this song and see.
  12. End of Time – If albums had credits, this song would be the song that was played over them.
How it compares:

1. Bang For The Buck - A-
2. Taste The Secret - B+
3. Fresh Mode - C

Listen to this...

1. The Breakdown


Buy Now: Ugly Duckling - Bang For The Buck

Thursday, June 15, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best 2nd Bands By Famous Singers

For a singer to leave a mega-band and start a new band...the pressure is enoromous. So very rarely does it ever work out. Here's a list of the best 2nd bands for singers. Note: this is not just 2nd bands for any member of a previous band....the reason why Foo Fighters or Love and Rockets are not on here. Also, no solo work either. That's a no brainer.
  1. Wings (Paul McCartney – The Beatles)
  2. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young (David Crosby – The Byrds)
  3. Crowded House (Neil Finn – Split Enz)
  4. Megadeth (Dave Mustaine – Metallica)
  5. The Mars Volta (Cedric Bixlar – At The Drive-In)
  6. Sebadoh (Lou Barlow – Dinosaur Jr.)
  7. Audioslave (Chris Cornell – Soundgarden)
  8. Cracker (David Lowery – Camper Van Beethoven)
  9. Polyphonic Spree (Tim De Laughter - Tripping Daisy)
  10. Porno For Pyros (Perry Ferrell – Jane’s Addiction)
  11. Velvet Revolver (Scott Weiland – Stone Temple Pilots)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

THE GOOD: Cracker - Greenland

Once upon a time, a little band called the Status Quo did a song called “Pictures of Matchstick Men.” It was 1968 and everybody was either stoned or fighting Communism in a far off jungle. Little did they know that 20 years later, it would be covered and practically launch a career for a young David Lowery. At the time, David was singing for the group Camper Van Beethoven, who reached their first batch of notoriety with that song. Too bad they decided to break up because there’s no telling how far a band with a violin player can go. Well, flash forward to Lowery forming a new band called…Cracker. As alternative music hit the mainstream, Cracker made a name for themselves instantly with the hits "Teen Angst" and "Low. " They were minor hits at best only because they were considered grunge-lite when they were anything but. Sadly, the band seemed destined for rock mediocerdom. Only, no one told Cracker. Focusing more on the country side, they continued to release solid material until the sound they had cornered the market on, was suddenly being peddled by others like Wilco, Son Volt, and Ryan Adams. Ten years later, they were hip again. That is until now. Greenland is decent but you can feel them slowing down and starting to veer off into alternate directions, which can sometimes be good for a band but other times can be disasterous. For now, let’s just enjoy what we have.


  1. Something You Ain’t Got – A Memphis-style tune very reminiscent of Frank Black’s Honeycomb album.
  2. Maggie – A lively mid-tempo beat has an early morning feel to it. A morning when you feel like you want to get up and at them…not go back to bed.
  3. Where Have Those Days Gone – A pick up and go song. Makes me want to drive to Vegas just for the drive.
  4. Fluffy Lucy – Lowery shows how tender he can really be.
  5. The Riverside – Stealing a riff from the Smashing Pumpkins (no really) they spice up a their country stew with a little salsa.
  6. Gimme One More Chance – This was the song I heard the first time through that made me not want to listen to the rest of the album.
  7. I’m So Bad She Ain’t Coming Back – Reminds me of the song the guy from Deliverance plays.
  8. Sid Ifni – Dark Side of the Cracker Soul
  9. I Need Better Friends – Pure Cracker
  10. Minotaur – Musically reminds me of something Pearl Jam would do during a drunken jam. This song also goes nowhere.
  11. Night Falls – The kind of song someone plays on a piano after everyone has left the party and it’s just him and his girlfriend.
  12. Better Times Are Coming Our Way – Noir reggae.
  13. Everybody Gets One For Free – A solid Cracker tune leaves you happy you listened in.

How it compares...

  1. Cracker – A-
  2. Forever – B+
  3. Kerosene Hat – B
  4. Countrysides – B
  5. Greenland – B-
  6. Gentlemen’s Blues – B-
  7. The Golden Age – C
For the audio nuts

1. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (Bob Dylan cover)
2. Rainy Days and Mondays (Carpenters cover)

Buy now: Cracker - Greenland

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Hip-Hop CDs of 2006

For years people have been prophesizing the death of hip-hop. Some people have been praying for it. Sadly, it seems that this forecast may actually be coming true. If one takes a look at the top album sales on itunes, only 7 of the top 20 albums came out in 2006. (By comparison, 17 of the top 20 alternative albums are from 2006) And many of the hip-hop albums are from over 10 YEARS AGO!!! Is hip-hop in that bad of shape that someone would rather buy Dr. Dre's the Chronic yet again than something from the last couple of months? To make matters worse...if you continue to scroll down, only 11 of the top 40 are from 2006. (the 11 is just a coincidence) Here's the problem, it's not hip-hop. It's everyone else: the labels, the radio, MTV, are padding so much pseudo-gangsta pop groups down our throats, we've just burnt out on it. That era is over. Let it go, give it up, move on...stop riding your bike by Dr. Dre's house, he'll come out when he's good and ready. Until then take at look at some of the smartest hip-hop being made. In the next couple of weeks, I'm going to start peppering some reviews of these guys into my daily routine to catch you folks up with what the kids are listening to.

The Best Rap Albums of 2006 (so far)

  1. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
  2. Murs and 9th Wonder - Murray's Revenge
  3. Aceyalone & RJD2 - Magnificent City & Grand Imperial
  4. Ugly Duckling - Bang For The Buck
  5. People Under The Stairs - Stepfather
  6. Modill - Midnight Green
  7. T. I. - King
  8. 2Mex & Life Rexal Are $martyr - Money Symbol Martyrs
  9. Mars Ill - Pro Pain
  10. Busta Rhymes - The Big Bang
  11. The Coup - Pick A Bigger Weapon

Monday, June 12, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Sickly Rock Stars

Just because they are rich and famous and can have any woman they desire, that doesn't mean their lives are easy. Maybe just easier. Not all of them can be in perfect health like Nick Lachey. So here are the most famous rock stars and their afflictions.

Disabled Rock Stars

  1. Ray Charles (blind)
  2. Stevie Wonder (blind)
  3. Joni Mitchel (polio)
  4. Jerry Garcia (missing finger)
  5. Neil Young (epilepsy, polio)
  6. Ian Curtis (epilepsy)
  7. Curtis Mayfield (quadriplegic)
  8. Rick Allen (missing arm)
  9. Adrock (epileptic)
  10. Slick Rick (missing an eye)
  11. Thom Yorke (lazy eye)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

THE BAD: The Vines - Vision Valley

When people get sick then try to do things they used to, deep down inside you root for them to do a good job, but you know it’s never going to be as good as when they weren’t sick. This brings us to The Vines. Recently, the lead singer was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Now, he’s most likely had this all his life, including during the recording of the first two albums. And maybe, the reason those albums worked was because he was dealing with the fact that he felt different than the rest of the world and it came through in the music. But now that he knows he’s different than the rest of the world, he’s trying to sound normal…and it just doesn’t work. At all. The Vines started as this Nirvana meets the Troggs, genre-bending band. What they delivered this time around doesn’t even deserve…

….to be mentioned in the same paragraph as those bands. Oddly at 13 songs, this album barely clocks at 28 minutes. Glad to see they put so much effort into it.

Vision Valley

  1. Anysound – A decent kick-off melody that never really kicks off.
  2. Nothing’s Comin’ – Verse Chorus Verse Chorus Verse (been there done that)
  3. Candy Daze – Sounds exactly like their song Winning Days except with different lyrics and nowhere near as good.
  4. Vision Valley – Probably the best song on the album. And probably because it rips off the melody from R.E.M.’s Country Feedback.
  5. Don’t Listen To The Radio – The only other song on the album worth listening to. Sound like it could have been on any of their other albums.
  6. Gross Out – At one minute twenty seconds long…this song still manages to overstay its welcome.
  7. Take Me Back – Again, this song is listenable only because the melody is lifted from another song…Pavement’s Range Life.
  8. Going Gone – A nice soaring melody that takes off then just sits there.
  9. Fuk Yeh – If you thought by mispelling "Fuck Yeah" the song would then'd be wrong.
  10. Futuretarded – The future’s not retarded…this song is.
  11. Dope Train – A song that brings back sounds of their first album. But by this point, I’m not really listening anymore.
  12. Atmos – For the first minute, you think you might be listening to a good rock song. But then the song…slows…down…and…starts…sucking….
  13. Spaceship – If the Beatles got so loaded up with LSD, pot, acid, and ‘shrooms…they might make a song like this. What am I talking about? They would shoot themselves if they made a song like this.

How it compares…

  1. Winning Days – B+
  2. Highly Evolved – B
  3. Vision Valley - D
Something for your ipod...

1. I'm Only Sleeping (Beatles cover)
CDUniverse : Vision Valley - The Vines

Saturday, June 10, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Smiths Songs

It seems every band under the sun reunites eventually. The Pixies, Janes Addiction, Alice in Chains all faded gracefully but returned for reunion tours and albums. Even the most unlikely reunions have come to fruition. The Sex Pistols scoffed at the idea now get together for shits and giggles at least once a year. Van Halen refused to ever reunite with David Lee Roth but has done so twice now. Even the Police refused to ever get back together but went against their word when they played the Hall of Fame induction. So who is left? Who is the Holy Grail of reunions? It is none other than the Smiths. Apparently just last year, a British festival offered them one million dollars to reunite for 3 songs. They turned it down. People online have claimed they would pay as much as $5000 for tickets to the concert. But Morrissey hasn't even flinched at the thought. Our only hope it seems is a Hall of Fame reunion, which would be 2010 at the earliest. So I guess we wait. Until then here are the 11 best Smiths songs from their brief 5 year career.

    1. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (From Queen Is Dead)
    2. Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before (From Strangeways Here We Come)
    3. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (from Louder Than Bombs)
    4. Queen Is Dead (From Queen Is Dead)
    5. How Soon Is Now? (from Meat Is Murder)
    6. The Boy With A Thorn In His Side (From Queen Is Dead)
    7. Panic (from Louder Than Bombs)
    8. I Want The One I Can’t Have (from Meat Is Murder)
    9. What Difference Does It Make? (from The Smiths)
    10. Still Ill (from The Smiths)
    11. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (From Strangeways Here We Come)

Friday, June 09, 2006

THE GOOD: Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors

***sorry for the delay...first blogspot was down...then ezarchive****

Why do people love Morrissey? And I don’t mean, why do they love his music? I mean why do people cry hysterical tears when they see him sing as if their parents were just killed in a car accident? I like his music…I don’t break out the Kleenex box when Everyday is Like A Sunday bursts through the stereo speakers. So what is it? Is it his masculine charisma? Doubtful. The guy’s a sworn celibate. Is it the smooth texture in his voice? Possibly. The guy can definitely croon like nobody’s business. Or is it the fact that the guy seems to be one of the few singers who can emotionally connect with his audience? No, it’s none of these.

People love Moz because he’s a passionate singer.

No matter what the guy is singing about, he makes you believe that he’s in love with the subject matter. Whether he’s singing about gang violence, fat people, hairdressers, or even the Bush administration, Moz makes you believe that this subject is his one true love and he would die just to prove his undying love to it. But maybe it’s more than that. Maybe it’s that Moz really does love everything and everyone. Maybe he’s in love with the world. And it’s hard to hate a man who has nothing but love in his soul. (if I write like moz sings, think it will boost my readership?)

Ringleader of the Tormentors

  1. I Will See You In Far Off Places – The Eastern flare on this track extends Moz’s anti-US government policy siding with the “enemy’s” culture through sarcasm and smugness.
  2. Dear God Please Help Me – The lyrics of the song find Moz doing some serious soul searching you would expect of a singer at the end of his career not in the middle of it. The music begins simple and slowly grows up as the song “evolves” in this exploration of this God-person Moz loves to question.
  3. You Have Killed Me – A pure Morrissey rock track. Always a welcome treat.
  4. The Youngest Was The Most Loved – A classic Moz track that would be the highlight on any of his albums. Brings back fond memories of Viva Hate and junior high school. Okay, I don’t have any fond memories of junior high school…but if I did…
  5. In The Future When All’s Well – A jangle pop vibe serves as a nice vehicle for the Moz’s voice on the third upbeat track in row. And, he hasn’t three upbeat tracks in a row since Your Arsenal!
  6. The Father Who Must Be Killed – A fourth upbeat track? And it’s about child abuse. Only Moz could pull of that kind of subject matter with a smile. The pulsating guitar beat through the speakers like they were on the assault.
  7. Life Is A Pigsty – This epic piece borders the world of electronica with its ambient beats and rainfall that transport the song into an ethereal area we haven’t heard since the Smiths Last Night I Dreamed Somebody Loved Me.
  8. I’ll Never Be Anybody’s Hero Now – For all those Moz haters who attack his music for being mopey and full of self-deprecation, don’t listen to this song.
  9. On The Streets I Ran – The weakest of the upbeat songs on this album feels like he’s trying to sound more upbeat than he really wants to.
  10. To Me You Are A Work Of Art – In ten years when Moz is headlining Vegas, this will be the song he sings to the old ladies to get them to throw their underwear at him.
  11. I Just Want To See The Boy Happy – It’s not Suedehead 2006 but it’s pretty damn close.
  12. At Last I Am Born – If Moz had to write a military march for the army…this would be the song.

How it compares to his other releases…

  1. Viva Hate – A
  2. Your Arsenal – B+
  3. Ringleader of the Tormentors – B
  4. Bona Drag – B
  5. Vauxhall and I – B-
  6. You Are The Quarry – C+
  7. Kill Uncle – C
  8. My Early Burglary Years - C
  9. Maladjusted – C-
  10. Southpaw Grammar – C-
Ezarchive is down so no MP3s tonight.
Amazon: Morrissey - Ringleaders

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

THE ELEVEN : Best Canadian Rock Bands

They may only have one album to speak for...but it's a doozy. As Arcade Fire barrels onto this list at #4...
  1. Rush
  2. Neil Young
  3. The Band
  4. The Arcade Fire
  5. The Tragically Hip
  6. Hot Hot Heat
  7. Godspeed You Black Emperor
  8. Blue Rodeo
  9. The Guess Who
  10. Sloan
  11. Sum 41

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

THE UNKNOWN: The Arcade Fire E.P.

The Arcade Fire isn’t an unknown band but their first EP may fall in that category. Before they wowed the music snob intelligentsia with their upbeat Talking Heads-splashed funeral parades, they were still exploring their off-beat yet quirky sound. This EP isn’t for everyone. It’s a great find for fans of The Arcade Fire and music snobs who are too good to listen to music that mainstream music snobs listen to. But if you're intrigued, what you will find is a solid collection of songs that would lay the foundation for the music that lies ahead.

The Arcade Fire E.P.

  1. Old Flame – Sounds like Rebellion (Lies) without the get-up and go.
  2. I’m Sleeping In A Submarine – Sounds like Une Anees without the focus.
  3. The Woodlands National Anthem – Sounds like Haiti without the emotion.
  4. My Heart Is An Apple – Sounds like In The Backseat without any scope.
  5. Headlights Look Like Diamonds – Sounds like Neighborhood #1 without the energy.
  6. Vampire/Forest Fire – Sounds like Neighborhood #4 without the depth.
  7. No Cars Go – Sounds like Neighborhood #2 without everything listed above.

How It compares….

1. Funeral – B+

2. Arcade Fire EP – C-

For your listening pleasure...

1. Headlights Look Like Diamonds


CDConnection: Arcade Fire E.P.


Monday, June 05, 2006

THE BAD: The Backstreet Boys - Black and Blue

*Sorry had a problem in a copy paste accident. This will be the last retro review before some new ones tomorrow.*

Remember how embarrassed our parents became when we asked them questions about the 60’s? “Did you ever smoke pot? Did you ever burn your bra? Did you ever own a Volkswagon van?” Imagine how difficult it is going to be for us when we have to answer our kids when they ask, “Why did people in the year 2000 have such bad taste?” And, no, I’m not talking about George W. Busch. I’m talking about the fad that has overstayed its welcome. They are five young men with tendencies toward pedophilia. That’s right, it’s the Backass Boys.

1. The Call – This Ricky Martin-influenced opening…sucks.

2. Shape of My Heart – Chinese water torture has a better rhythm than this song.

3. Get Another Boyfriend – Is this a cover of Matthew Wilder’s “Ain’t Nuthin’ Gonna Break My Stride?”

4. Shining Star – Does anyone else find it disturbing that these men, who are in their late 20’s, have a loyal fanbase of 12 year old girls? Eminem is a bad influence because he uses four-letter words, but allowing MTV to use the Backstreet Boys to promote statutory rape is okay. Our society really has its priorities out of whack. I guess it makes sense that George UU. Bush won the election.

5. I Promise You – Sad, sappy and crappy.

6. Answer To Our Life – I don’t know about you but the answer to my life would be to hang these gents by their ears from a playground swing set and throw razor blades at them…forever.

7. Everyone – This song softly weaves in the style of El Debarge with its NKOTB musical composition.

8. More Than That – I hate this song. This is about as bad as it gets.

9. Time – I was wrong. This is worse.

10. Not For Me – You took the words right out of my mouth.

11. Yes I Will – Let’s all review the rules for justifiable homicide. I think we can make a case.

12.It’s True – If you take a moment and you actually pay attention to the lyrics, you realize that they say the exact same thing in every single song. “I love you. You’re wonderful. There will never be another one but you.” Now this becomes profoundly disturbing, since there are 5 guys singing the song to one person. Of course, unless they’re singing the song to each other.

13. How Did I Fall In Love With You – I’ve decided not to review the last song, because I’ve wasted enough of my life listening to this CD already.

How this album ranks against her other releases…

1. Millenium (C)

2. Backstreet Boys (C-)


You seriously want some MP3s from this? Are you kidding? Try this instead...

1. Dave Grohl - Baby Hold On (Eddie Money cover on Craig Kilborn)

Amazon: Backstreet Boys - Black and Blue