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...