Thursday, July 27, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Bands Named After A Place

Just got a new Boston t-shirt. So in honor of the arena rock giants...

No reason for this list. You get the sentiment.

1. Boston
2. Kansas
3. America
4. Chicago
5. Texas
6. Europe
7. Asia
8. Alaska
9. Berlin
10. Gorky Park
11. Alabama

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

THE UNKNOWN: Jellyfish - Bellybutton

It's not everyone who will admit to owning a Wings CD. It's not everyone that will admit to liking the band Wings. So when you come across a band who not only considers Wings to be a major influence but flaunts it like a new Prada purse, you're not sure whether to be scared or intrigued. Welcome to the strange world of Jellyfish. They came. They went. But their legacy has lived on. They were pegged as a Beatles knock-off when they arrived during the last throws of the glam metal scene of the 80s. A psychadelic, strange dressing, goofy sounding band...they were scoffed and mocked. They were victims of bad timing. Had they arrived two years later, their Supertramp-Queen-Elton John-Wings sonic impact might have actually been appreciated. And who knows, we might be praising Mother Love Bone's new release instead of Pearl Jam's. Oddly, MLB wasn't a far cry from Jellyfish. They both worshipped the band Argent. (but that's another story for another day) Until then, here's my second pick for one of the 90s 11 most underrated albums. (the first was Triplefastaction's Broadcaster).

Jellyfish - Bellybutton

  1. The Man I Used To Be – White boy R&B. 13 years later the Polyphonic Spree will steal this sound.
  2. That Is Why – Think Rhino’s Nuggets box set. Take any of those bands, give them a real producer and teach them some melody. Then you’ll be about halfway to making something like this song.
  3. The King Is Half Undressed – A trip-roaring rocker that melds the pranciness of Joe Jackson and guts of early Pearl Jam.
  4. I Wanna Stay Home – Ben Folds is jealous that he could never make a song this good. Actually, Ben Folds is jealous he couldn’t make any of these songs. (Do you get that I don’t like Ben Folds?)
  5. She Still Loves Him – If Elton John’s piano and BB King’s soul wrote a song together, it might sound like this.
  6. All I Want Is Everything – Jet, I can almost remember the funny faces, jet!
  7. Now She Knows She’s Wrong - Could have been an outtake from Supertramp’s Breakfast in America.
  8. Bedspring Kiss – If I didn’t know better I would think I was listening to a cover of Sade’s Smooth Operator.
  9. Baby’s Coming Back – The happiest feel good song you’ve ever heard. Good times!
  10. Calling Sarah – A heart-spilled wrencher that soars through emotional arcs, guitar thrusts, yellow bricks, Goodbye Sarah, Calling Stranger and every Silly love song you’ve heard this week.
ezarchive is too busy sucking ass and I can't get any Mp3s uploaded. Sorry.

Buy now

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Tom Petty Songs

Silently, Tom Petty has become an aspiring American voice. Once called the ugliest man in rock, he has worn the crown with pride and stuck around for the long haul. He's like that Uncle you only see at the holidays. And although you never talk during the year, after spending an evening with him, you hate yourself for not staying closer in touch. That's Tom Petty. His albums are American staples but seem to fall through the cracks unless TP and the HBs are releasing new material. Then you feel guilty and try to freshen up on the old material, only to find hidden treasure after hidden treasure. Maybe it's the fact that his material isn't overplayed that keeps it fresh and vital. Or maybe Tom Petty is much better than anyone's ever given him credit for. If you're gearing up for tomorrow's release, here's a list to keep you in the know.

Best Tom Petty Songs.

  1. American Girl – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  2. Learning To Fly - Into The Great Wide Open
  3. Refugee – Damn The Torpedoes
  4. Runnin’ Down A Dream - Full Moon Fever
  5. Mary Jane’s Last Dance - Greatest Hits
  6. Don’t Do Me Like That (Mudcrutch version) – Playback
  7. Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid) – Damn The Torpedoes
  8. Ways To Be Wicked - Playback
  9. Zombie Zoo - Full Moon Fever
  10. I Won’t Back Down - Full Moon Fever
  11. Waiting For Tonight – Playback

Sunday, July 23, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Hottest Albums Coming Out This Week

I have had no time this past week with my daughter's birthday. I promise I'll get back on the horse in the next couple of days. Here's a list that took me 3 minutes to compile!!!

Hottest Albums Coming Out This Week

1. New York Dolls - One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This
2. Tom Petty - Highway Companion
3. Pharrell - In My Mind
4. Jurassic 5 - Feedback
5. Tapes N Tapes - The Loon
6. Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians - Stranger Things
7. Le Toya - Le Toya (Destiny's Child)
8. Voivoid - Katorz
9. XTC - Apple Box Set
10. Spearhead - Yell Fire!
11. The Sleepy Jackson - Personality

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best 80s Covers

Maybe not the very best...but some of the most solid out there. We'll revisit this list from time to time. So keep an eye (and ear) open.

  1. Our Lips Are Sealed – Everclear
  2. Abracadabra – Sugar Ray
  3. Renegades of Funk – Rage Against The Machine
  4. Enjoy The Silence – Failure
  5. Against All Odds – The Postal Service
  6. Save a Prayer – Eve’s Plum
  7. A Night Like This – The Smashing Pumpkins
  8. Just What I Needed – The Replicants
  9. Baker Street – Foo Fighters
  10. On With The Show – The Get-Up Kids
  11. Lovesong – Tori Amos

Monday, July 17, 2006

THE GOOD: Grant Lee Phillips - Nineteeneighties

A few weeks ago I went to see She Wants Revenge. It was a decent show but a bit stale because all the songs came from the same album. There was no variation. I turned to my friend, Heather, and said, "These guys need to do a cover." The very next song was a cover of Depeche Mode's "Stripped." A great cover, by the way, that escalated the concert from entertaining to one of the best I've been to in years. Seriously, a song they didn't even write stole the show. Does that mean She Wants Revenge can't make good songs on their own? Absolutely not. What it means is our nostalgia to our past is stronger than our excitement about the present. Cover songs, as frowned upon as they are, tend to be the most popular tracks an artist plays. Why? Because there's dual familiarity there. On one side, you have an artist you're a fan of and on the other side, you have a song, you already know and love. How can the combination of the two be a bad thing? Well, sometimes it can be but most of the times, even a straight-knock-off cover can at least be entertaining.

Enter Grant Lee's new album of 80s cover songs. You all know these songs like the back of your hands (well, not each other's hands). So instead of reviewing the straight-forward acoustic renditions, I'll tell you where these versions would fit in the classic 80s teen cinema.

  1. Wave of Mutilation (The Pixies) – This song would come at the end of Some Kind of Wonderful when Watts kisses Eric Stoltz and gets her earrings.
  2. Age of Consent (New Order) – In Say Anything, when John Cusack and Ione Skye have sex in the back of his car and Johnny needs a cuddle.
  3. The Eternal (Joy Division) – This could play over the end of Heathers after Christian Slater blows himself up.
  4. I Often Dream of Trains (Robyn Hitchcock) – When Danielson and his girlfriend are dancing, this song would play.
  5. The Killing Moon (Echo and the Bunnymen) – When Duckie tells Molly Ringwald that he’s not going to ride by her house anymore, this song would set the mood perfectly.
  6. Love My Way (The Psychadelic Furs) – At the end of Pretty in Pink when Jake Ryan is waiting for Molly Ringwald while sitting on his car. Come on, you know the scene.
  7. Under The Milky Way (The Church) – After the kids in the Breakfast Club reveal all their deep dark secrets, this music would go perfectly over a montage.
  8. City of Refuge (Nick Cave) – In Weird Science, when the go to the jazz club, I could hear this song playing.
  9. So. Central Rain (R.E.M.) – You can’t go wrong playing this song after Lucas gets buried playing football. It’s the perfect “Aaahhh…” song.
  10. Boys Don’t Cry (The Cure) – Could have been a great song to play over the end credits in Stand By Me.
  11. Last Night I Dreamed That Somebody Loved Me (The Smiths) – When Ferris and Sloan are kisses seconds before Ferris makes his legendary dash through his neighbors’ backyards.
How it compares...

1. Ladies Love Oracle - B+
2. Mobilize - B
3. Virginia Creeper - B
4. Nineteeneighties - B-

Mp3s in the Water

1. Last Night I Dreamed Somebody Loved Me

Buy now

Sunday, July 16, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Most Anticipated CD Releases of 2006

We're a little over halfway through the year. We're not at the point yet of figuring out the best of the year yet but by September, the lists will start coming. So instead of looking back at the fast-paced start and mediocre summer, let's take a look at what is to come. With 4 good months of CD releases upon us, which are the albums that will spark the most excitement?

  1. The Killers – Sam’s Town (Oct. 3) - The new song is everywhere and sadly, it's not that great. But that doesn't mean the rest of the album will follow suit. Or we hope. I would hate to see our favorite mormon rockers become a one-album wonder. Regardless, this is the record alternative rock radio is creaming their shorts for already... (Potential Goodness - 50%)
  2. Outkast – Idlewild (Aug. 22) - Another bad with a mediocre first single. But the Outkasters never seem to follow the rules. So if their history is any indication, there's a good chance the rest of the album is full of mystery and intrigue. (Potential Goodness - 75%)
  3. Bob Dylan – Modern Times (Aug. 29) - Any album Dylan releases is an event. Especially when it's composed of all new material. This will be headlining every critics review page by late summer. (Potential Goodness - 85%)
  4. Pharrell – In My Mind (July 25) - The hottest celeb hip-hop producer delves into his first solo hip-hop record. (NERD was probably more of a rock band) Delay after delay doesn't bode well but let's hope that was for fine-tuning purposes. (Potential Goodness - 65%)
  5. Mastodon – Blood Mountain (Sept. 12) - The hardest hard rockers in the underground metal scene deliver their first major label debut. Are they the next Metallica? We'll find out soon enough. (Potential Goodness - 70%)
  6. Beck – TBA (Nov. 06) - Only 18 months after Guero, Beck returns. It's Beck. What else can you say? (Potential Goodness - 80%)
  7. Modest Mouse – TBA (Nov. 06) - The alternative darlings of 2004 try to avoid being a piece of music trivia with their follow-up to their major label break-out debut. If Isaac Brock's animosity to the mainstream is any indication, expect the unexpected. (Potential Goodness - 85%)
  8. Young Jeezy – Thug Motivation 102 (Oct. 24) - Why is he the best rapper since Jay-Z? Who knows but the world loves YJ. (Potential Goodness - 40%)
  9. BT – The Binary Universe (Sept. 12) - A concept electronic album that has a companion DVD mini-film. The pre-word is amazing. But how practical will it really be? (Potential Goodness - 35%)
  10. Cursive – Happy Hollow (Aug. 22) - An indie rock concept album from Omaha, Nebraska from a band that is not Bright Eyes. The emo kids are sure to gobble this one up and there's breakthrough critical potential in the making. But then again, what was the last great indie rock "concept" album? Yeah, exactly. (Potential Goodness - 65%)
  11. The Mars Volta – Amputechure (Aug. 22) - The prog-punkers have already created buzz that this is their best album to date. Not very weird and more mainstream. Too good to be true? We'll see. (Potential Goodness - 70%)

Bonus numbers...

  1. Guns N Roses – Chinese Democracy (Nov. 06) - This would be number one if I knew for sure it would actually come out. Axl swears the album will come out in the fall. But according to Geffen, Axl is asking for more time to tweak some of the tour songs and re-lay guitar tracks with new guitarist, Bumblefoot. Odds of it actually being a 2006 release are about 12-1.

And, last but least...

TV On the Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain (Sept. 5) - Technically this album should be on the top 11 but it's already been released in Europe. If you haven't heard it, then go seek it out. You'll be happy.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Hip-Hop Samples

Hip-Hop wouldn't be hip-hop if the artists didn't steal music from other musicians rework it and then try to pass it off as their own. Hey, I'm not knocking them. If it works...all the power to them. But that is hip-hop. Sure, not everyone steals (oh, I'm sorry I mean "samples"). But then again, their albums suck. Sampling is an art form. Seriously. You can't just pick any song and start rapping over it. You ever hear rappers sampling artists like Ministry, GWAR, or Barry Manilow? Of course not, and there's reason for that. Sometimes a great sample can catapult an artist from obscurity to superstardom. Othertimes, it can make or break a producer's career. Look at Puff Daddy, I mean Sean Combs, I mean...P. Diddy. Or is it now Diddy? Who cares?

Here are the best samples:

1. Who Am I? – Snoop Dogg (Atomic Dog by George Clinton)
Hard Knock Life – Jay-Z (It’s A Hard Knock Life – Cast of Annie)
U Can’t Touch This – M.C. Hammer (Super Freak – Rick James)
Diamonds Are Forever – Kayne West (Diamonds Are Forever – Shirley Bassey)
I’ll Be Missing You – Puff Daddy (Every Breath You Take - The Police)
Stan – Eminem (Thank You - Dido)
Set Adrift on Memory Bliss – PM Dawn (TrueSpandau Ballet)
Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice (Under Pressure – David Bowie and Queen )
O.P.P. – Naughty By Nature (ABC – The Jackson 5)
Bop Gun – Ice Cube (One Nation Under A Groove – Parliament Funkadelic)
He Got Game – Public Enemy (For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield)

Almost made the list...but worth a listen...

1. NaS - New World - (Africa - Toto)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

THE BAD: M.C. Hammer - Look Look Look

At one time, M.C. Hammer was the shit. A little song called "U Can't Touch This" was on its way to becoming the biggest rap hit of all time...and setting the standard for hip-hop songs to come. Then, oh yeah, it came out that the music was stolen (or as the kids today say...sampled). The respect of his musicianship quickly faded. He had gone from musical genius to one-step above Milli-Vanilli fraud. And Hammer never recovered. It's sad because the guy had talent. He wasn't the best we'd had seen but he had charisma and he didn't deserve to have his fortune swindled away. Sadly, that's not all that gone from Hammer's life. Somewhere along the way, his talent took a hiatus. That's the only way I can understand his new CD. Is it crunk or is it junk? If anything, it should have never been let out of the studio. Bring back the least, that was working.

Look Look Look

  1. I Got It From The Town – Holy shit, this is awful.
  2. Hyphy, Dumb, Buck, Krump – Hey Hammer, please don’t hurt us…
  3. YAY – Lil Jon just called…he wants his sound back.
  4. HammerTime – Actually, it’s “Hit The Stop Button” time.
  5. Doing Da Thizz – I have 13 songs left of this crap? Since Hammer is Preacher maybe I can pray to him to stop this NOW!!!
  6. Look Look Look – Well, as long as when I’m looking I don’t have to listen.
  7. Mash For It – Who are you? And what have you done with Hammer? Hammer was never this terrible.
  8. WestCoast Cha – He brought in a girl to harmonize in the background…therefore it’s west coast…he had to do it since Oakland disowned him.
  9. Memories – If LL Cool J had no talent, he might sound like this.
  10. I Can’t Stand It – …what eventually will be a memory…now he’s trying to rap like the guy from Linkin Park.
  11. What Happened To Our Hood? – Maybe they listened to this song…then rioted in pain.
  12. HardTimes – This is like watching someone come in last place in the Special Olympics.
  13. I Won’t Give Up On My Life – Well, I’ve already given up on this album.
  14. What I Got – No, it’s not a cover of the Sublime song. Bradley, you can sleep easy.
  15. Get 2 NO U – The spelling of the song says it all.
  16. Who Loves Me? – Not me.
  17. Get Away – You should “get away” since the Ying Yang Twins will be coming to beat the crap out of you for this crap.
  18. Thankful – Not even Jesus would listen to this one.
How it compares...

1. Let's Get It Started - B
2. Please Don't Hurt Em Hammer - B
3. Too Legit To Quit - C+
4. Funky Headhunter - C-
5. Family Affair - D+
6. Inside Out - D
7. Look Look Look - F

You, Me, and MP3s

1. Turn This Mother Out

Buy Now

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Def Jux Tracks

Back in the late 80s, Subpop changed music forever by finding a little known band called Fecal Matter. The three-piece from Aberdeen Washington went on to be the dominate driving force in mainstream rock until the singer's wife hired some junkie to blow his brains out. But the damage had already been done. Back then the 80s created a very medicore decade of rock music. Subpop came around to change the landscape anyway they felt the could. It took a few years but the goal they set out to accomplish came true. Now...15 years later, hip-hop is fighting the same malaise in their cultural. Very sub-average rap is dominating the airwaves. But one label is following the Subpop formula, trying to recreate the hip-hop world. They are called Definite Jux. they've only been around for a few years but in that time, they have managed to create a whole new underground following for their artists like EL-P (founder), Mr.Lif, Murs, and Aesop Rock. They have largely ignored hip-hop standards and pushed the bar in many directions when it comes to style, production, and substance. If there is a tomorrow in will be led by labels like Def Jux.

Here's a brief look at the best tracks the label has offered so far...

  1. Live From The Plantation – Mr. Lif
  2. 5 O’Clock – The Perceptionists
  3. Daylight – Aesop Rock
  4. Since Last We Spoke – RJD2
  5. Sniper Picnic – Rob Sonic
  6. Bad Man - Murs
  7. Deep Space 9mm – El-P
  8. 11:35 – Aesop Rock and Mr. Lif
  9. Phantom – Mr. Lif and EL-P
  10. Walk Like A Man - Murs
  11. Dead Disnee – El-P

Monday, July 10, 2006

THE GOOD: Mr. Lif - Mo Mega

Four years ago, Mr. Lif snuck into the world of hip-hop by delivering a fresh and futuristic album about the day in the life of your average Joe on the last day of the world. Funny, yet poignant, Lif showed that he not only belonged alongside the stars of the day, he was actually years ahead of his time. That might actually explain why his follow-up lacks the vision of his last release. Maybe in the future they have given up on vision and instead they prefer being disjointed to being cohesive. That's not to say the album is bad. It's not. It's very well made. But it isn't as easily accessible as the last one and does have that driving momentum of I Phantom. Of course, with hip-hop in such a sad state, I'll take a well-made album disjointed album over any the crap the labels are pushing.

Collapse – Remember that Judgement Night soundtrack when rappers and rock bands made songs together? That was a novelty then…it’s just played out now.
Ultra/Mega – Mr. Lif borrows some off-beat beats from Madvillian. I like it.
Brothaz – This is what I imagine rap would sound like in the future after the citizens travel the countryside looking for food and shelter.
The Fries – The hottest disco track you’ve heard since 2020.
Take, Hold, Fire – If the Terminator (not Arnold) the actual character was a DJ, his beats would sound something like this.
Murs Iz My Manager – Murs breathes a breath of fresh air into this one with a wild dance track that would make Rerun jump up out of the grave and cut a rug…wait, is Rerun dead?
Washitup! – A little drummer boy beat provides the ride on this track that rides the line between hit or miss.
Long Distance – About ten years ago, Rakim made a comeback album, which is crazy considering that was ten years ago when he was celebrating being around for over ten years and now it’s been twenty years and…oh yeah, the song. It sounds like something from that album.
Mo’ Mega – A meoldy that is mo’ mega than what the song called for. Right now it’s at about a 9 and this songs really needed to be at a 7.
Lookin’ In – A futuristic bare bones melody barely keeps this track afloat.
11. For You – Is it just me or are the crazy beats distracting to the quality of Lif’s lyrics. It’s a shame because it’s like he thinks he needs the wacky beats to improve his voice wherein, his voice and lyrics are the dominate parts of the songs.

How it compares...

1. I Phantom - A-
2. Emergency Rations - B
3. Mo' Mega - C+

Hear it second....

1. Return of the B-Boy

Buy now...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Worst Supergroups

For every great band...there's one that should never have existed...

  1. Brides of Destruction (Motley Crue, LA Guns, Adema)
  2. Damn Yankess (Ted Nugent, Night Ranger, Styx)
  3. GTR (Genesis, Yes, Asia)
  4. The Firm (Led Zeppelin, Bad Company)
  5. Eyes Adrift (Nirvana, Meat Puppets, Sublime)
  6. Contraband (Ratt, Scorpions, LA Guns, Vixen)
  7. Lucy Pearl (A Tribe Called Quest, En Vogue, Tony Toni Tone)
  8. Mad For The Racket (The Damned, MC5, Guns N Roses, )
  9. The Last Hard Men (The Breeders, Smashing Pumpkins, Skid Row)
  10. Free Kitten (Sonic Youth, The Boredoms, Pavement)
  11. Power Station (Robert Palmer, Chic, Duran Duran)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

THE BAD: The Sound of Animals Fighting - Lover, The Lord Has Left Us

The best date I ever had involved free sushi, backstage passes to a concert, and a long talk on a beach about Pearl Jam, The Beastie Boys, and why John Elway's Denver Broncos rule the known universe (yeah, this was a little while ago). It was the kind of date that leaves you counting the very seconds until you get to see the girl again. And I waited. The anticipation was torture. Nothing else in life mattered except seeing this girl again.

Finally, the next weekend came, and like a kid on Christmas, I made giant plans. I wasn't going to let this girl go. Only, there was something I didn't know about her. You see, she was a complete psychopath. She screamed at the waiter at the restaurant for looking suspicious then we spent the rest of the night driving around town looking for an all-night sporting goods store that would sell her ammo for her semi-automatic machine gun she kept in the trunk of her car just in case the waiter came after her later that night and tried to kill her. I kid you not. Our most interesting conversation was about how the Jews were plotting to take over the world. Luckily, I didn't tell her I was half-Jewish.

This crazy girl is the Sound of Animals Fighting's second album. Their first album(EP) was such an amazing venture into uncharted musical territory that the avid listener couldn't help but be excited about the thought of a full length album from this indie-rock supergroup. The biggest problem with this album is that it sounds nothing like their last album. Okay, that's not the biggest problem...that's one of the 500 problems with the album. It's like they went one-step off-centre with their last album then went 80 steps off-centre with this one. And that kills the listenability of the album. There's no focus. There's momentum. There's nothing holding it together except for some random blips and beeps from a used computer. Maybe the album isn't terrible but after following their last effort, it's a complete disappointment.

1. Intro - Noise. Skip it.
2. Un'Aria - A bad opera singer. Skip this one too.
3. Skullflower - It's the kind of song you would except the rebel teenage kids of Naboo to listen to (and no, not the Gungans). The vocals soar over misjointed tech-savvy beats while a Middle-Eastern chantress guides the way. It's interesting...but just barely.
4. My Horse Must Lose - A throw-away beat that mimics modern Depeche Mode and Moby while a Beta Band styled singer croons over it. I feel like it's going somewhere but by the end of the song, I'm still in the same place.
5. Chiracho Summit - A girl rambling and bad horror effects in the background. Stay away. Far away.
6. Horses in the Sky - It sounds like a mash-up gone wrong. Rich melodic voices
mashed with synth music from a 10-year-old screwing around on his older brother's keyboard.
7. Stockhausen, Es Ist Ihr Gehirn, Das Ich Suche - Chester Bennington's wannabe little brother sings while some girl yodels and it's all set to an musical display that sounds like there's assembly line for auto parts coming out of your speakers.
8. Prayers On Fire - It's the Norah Jones of the Middle East...
9. The Golden Boy That Was Swallowed By The Sea - Normally when static drowns out a song, it's a nuisance. Here, it's a blessing.
10. This Heat - Epic like Smashing Pumpkins "Glass and The Ghost Children" but lacks the vision and structure.
11. Un'Aria Ancora - We get to hear this terrible song twice. What a lucky day.
12. St. Broadrick is in Antarctica - Did someone leave the reel running in the studio while monkeys came in and started banging on the instruments?
13. The Heretic - Whoa...whoa...stop. This song is pretty good. Did I switch playlists in my itunes...this can't be the same album. Wow, it is. If Radiohead and Sigur Ros had a kid, it would be this song.
14. There Can Be No Dispute That Monsters Live Among Us - Remember when Matthew McConaughey was caught playing bongos naked while stoned? He was playing this song.

How it compares...

1. Tiger and the Duke - A-
2. Lover The Lord Has Left Us - D-

Mp3s of the Caribbean...

1. The Heretic

Buy now

THE ELEVEN: Best Rock Supergroups

In rock n roll, the hardest act to follow is yourself. So when musicians leave the confines of their stardom and success, it's seldom that they find success with other musicians...especially when the other musicians are rock stars themselves. Many times it ends in disaster (we'll get to that in a couple of days) but every once in awhile, good things happen.

Here are the 11 best rock supergroups.

  1. Blind Faith (Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker)
  2. The Traveling Wilburys (Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne)
  3. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (Buffalo Springfield, The Hollies, The Byrds)
  4. Temple of the Dog (Soundgarden, Mother Love Bone)
  5. The Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson)
  6. Audioslave (Soundgarden, Rage Against The Machine)
  7. Electronic (Pet Shop Boys, New Order, The Smiths)
  8. Me First And The Gimme Gimmes (NoFx, Swinging Utters, Lagwagon, No Use For A Name)
  9. Velvet Revolver (Stone Temple Pilots, Guns N Roses)
  10. Asia (ELP, Yes, King Crimson)
  11. A Perfect Circle (Tool, Failure, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Primus)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

THE UNKNOWN: The Sounds of Animals Fighting - Tiger and the Duke

You know when you meet someone and they are incredibly knowledgable about a subject, and you never in a thousand years thought someone would know jack about a subject like, Italian bread-making or the flora and fauna of sea coral. But here they are, thoroughly wise to the topic to the point that all you can do is sit in awe and respect. Well, that's the Sound of Animals Fighting.

They formed in secrecy. Its members coming from other well-known bands, hoping to do something unique without fueling the ire of their respective labels. Their goal is to create music outside the typical pop radio realm. Testing the waters of traditional structure, they pound into their songs like a scupltor bashing into a mound of granite. They whip across the sonic landscape like a painter slashing at a canvas. Their creation, though considered "screamo" is far from it. Think Pink Floyd and Fugazi combining forces to create what I like to call "punk floyd." The album consists of 4 songs (not counting the 5 short instrumental interludes). And though the listening experience is brief, it manages to leave you breathless.

The Tiger and the Duke

1. Act I: Chasing Suns – Think fugazi sent through a prog rock blender.
Act II: All Is Ash Or The Light Shining Through It – An intro that borders on the romantic side finds its bearings with blasts of screamo and back beat that would make Les Claypool proud.
Act III: Modulate Back To The Tonic – Dualing spoken word is merely filler inbetween the energic thrust of the chorus that leaves you begging for more.
Act IV: You Don’t Need A Witness – Returning to the beat of the first song, the album takes a cyclical approach to the theme only the song doesn’t have the strength or focus of its predecessor.

1. Tiger and the Duke EP - A-

ch-ch-check it out...

1. Chasing Suns

Buy now

Monday, July 03, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Bands Listened To By Kids Who Wear Black Clothes (90s Edition)

Happy 4th of July! Yeah...go bbq some burgers or hot dogs and get off your freaking computer, you loser.

This is a continuation of the list from two days ago...only it's the 90s version.

Best Bands Listened To By Kids Who Wear Black Clothes (in the 90s)

1. Nine Inch Nails
2. Ministry
3. The Pixies
4. Ride
6. Peter Murphy
7. Revenge
8. My Life With Thrill Kill Kult
9. Skinny Puppy
10. This Mortal Coil
11. Velvet Acid Christ

1. Ministry - Friend of the Devil (Dead cover)

YES! This really is Ministry...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

THE BAD: I Love You But I Have Chosen Darkness - Fear Is On Our Side

I used to have this friend, Amir, in college. Well, he wasn't really a friend. He was just some guy that lived in our building that always seemed to find his way into hanging out with our crowd. Amir was one of those people who always had to act and dress just like everyone else. If you went out bought the new Pearl Jam album, he would pretend he bought the album last week. If you went to see the new Batman movie, he would pretend he had already seen it. If you went on vacation to South Africa, he would pretend he had been there years ago. But see, that part about him was fine, it was when he would begin aping everyone in our group that he became tiresome. He would dress like us, use our mannerisms, and even copy our speech patterns. He was basically our clone. Only he was a cheap version of us. And though he thought he could fit in better with our crowd by acting like us, it was his attempt at trying to be like us, that made him more unlikable. We liked him better when he just acted like himself.

Long story short, I Love You is Amir. Well, Amir isn't in the band. But the band is goth music's version of Amir. They made an excellent start by picking one of the best band names of all time. But that's where much of the coolness stops. The music sounds like they are trying to be something they are not. It's like their label rep told them to sing like 80s goth bands because that's in right now. So they went out and cut an album to sound that way. Only they sound transparent. I feel like underneath all the dirth there's a brit pop band waiting to burst out. And it's hard to enjoy all the "darkness" when it seems like at anytime they'll be bringing out the sunshine.

1. The Ghost – I can feel the darkness building as the tempo increases…I’m getting excited…I mean, I’m getting depressed. Life is a tragic display.

2. According to Plan – It’s goth-pop. I want to like it but I don’t want to be conformist.

3. Lights – More pop and less goth. Life is all downhill from here.

4. The Owl – Finally, a sad song with no words so I can cry about being alone.

5. Today – Another song without a bourgeois singer but it’s making me happy so I don’t like it.

6. We Choose Faces – This is too uplifting. It sounds like the Church and the only church I adhere to is the church of darkness.

7. Last Ride Together – I feel like you wear the black clothes to get me to buy your album but you’re reallythe band Lifehouse in disguise.

8. At Last Is All – It reminds me of the first act of the Cure’s trilogy of albums. If you don’t know which album that is, I can’t even bare to face you anymore without shedding a teat…but just one…anymore than that would be a waste.

9. Long Walk – Another song that sounds like someone trying to sound sad, dark, and morbid but they are really happy and content inside. You’re making me upset. And when I get upset I stand in the corner and glare at you with my hands in my pockets. So there.

10. “-“ – I thought I might be listening to a song inspired Peter Murphy…but it’s not. Keep this up and Ian Curtis is going to crawl out of his grave and slap you.

11. Fear Is On Our Side – An Irish instrumental. I applaud your non-conformist ways but I will not follow you into the light.

12. If It Was Me – You leave this album on a downer. I shall write a poem about my experience. But it will not be one I will read outloud. You do not deserve to hear it. I hope my review depresses you and on your next album you find your inner darkness. I will listen to it and hope it makes me sad.

How it compares...

1. Fear is On Our Side - C-
2. I Love You But I Have Chosen Darkness - D


1. If it Was Me

Buy now: I Love You But I Have Chosen Darkness - Fear Is On Our Side