Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Unknown: Jeff Tweedy - Jesse Theme Song

It's amazing to think how many hidden musical treasures may be out there, burned to some cassette tape, buried in a box deep in someone's garage. When I went to UCLA, I know for a fact, someone working at the campus radio station recorded a mini-set by Nirvana. Has that ever surfaced? Sadly, no. How many concerts? How many demo tracks? How many radio sets will go lost to the fact that technology has just passed them by?

Well, I will not let that unjustice be lost on me. I have finally figured out how to transfer cassette tapes to MP3s. It's humorous that by taking a step forward, I'll need to take a big step back.

First up, Jeff Tweedy's lost theme song to the failed TV show Jesse. Back in 1998, Tweedy was asked to do a theme song to a show called "All My Life." This show was brought to you by the producers of the uber-hit Friends and starred Christina Applegate, David DeLuise, Bruno Campos. Tweedy cut two tracks for the show...but was ultimately too edgy for a show that was being pushed as Friends - Part 2. All My Life was renamed "Jesse." The Tories eventually did the theme song. And after two years, the show was canceled.

These two tracks are Tweedy's demos for the "possible" theme song. Take 1 is rougher quality and a bit harder to hear. This melody was eventually re-used on Tweedy's side project, Loose Fur, for the song "The Ruling Class." As far as I know, Take 2 has never been re-visited. Enjoy.

1. Jeff Tweedy - All My Life (Take 1)
2. Jeff Tweedy - All My Life (Take 2)

Friday, November 23, 2007

The 11 Best Songs By Duran Duran

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. And most of us have something to be thankful for...

If you're reading this, then you have to be thankful for your eye sight.

If you like music, then you have to be thankful for all the music blogs. And probably your hearing.

And if you're Duran Duran, then you have to be thankful that 25 years down the road...that you still have a sustainable music career. Buy their new album (Red Carpet Massacre) here.

The 11 Best Songs By Duran Duran:

1. Jenny Was A Friend of Mine (Hot Fuss)
2. Somebody Told Me (Hot Fuss)
3. Bones (Sam's Town)
4. All the Pretty Faces (Sam's Town Bonus Track)
5. Midnight Show (Hot Fuss)
6. Bling (Sam's Town)
7. When You Were Young (Sam's Town)
8. For Reason's Unknown (Sam's Town)
9. Mr. Brightside (Hot Fuss)
10. Under The Gun (Somebody Told Me B-Side)
11. Daddy's eyes (Sam's Town Bonus Track)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The 11 Best Songs By The Killers

Here's the deal. There's one key to staying relevant in the music world. Keep releasing music. It never surprises me how certain bands will release a debut album to great success, then spend the next 3 years making their follow-up, only to have it released to mediocre reviews and lukewarm sales. The reason why this happens...EVERY...SINGLE...TIME: people forget.

A band's shelf life is 18 months. If you don't release something within 18 months of your last release (or single), the band expires and the world of music moves on. Perfect example: the White Stripes. They've released 6 albums in 8 years...and what's the result? They're considered one of the biggest rock bands of the generation. On the flip side, anyone remember Hot Hot Heat? They had a huge break-out album in 2002...then took 3 years to put out a even better follow-up. But it didn't matter, by then, it was too late. People forgot about them. Linkin Park is a good example of how to take time in between releases but to stay relevant. Release a "Tide Over" album. That's an album that a band releases to "tide over" its fans until it's next big release. Linkin Park released a Live album, a remix album and a mash-up album, and each of their big releases kept the band at the top of the game.

The Killers have taken a page out of this playbook with the release of their new B-Side album, entitled Sawdust. What's kind of sad about this release, is that I think I like it better than the last "official" release. Regardless of what anyone thinks, the Killers are all over the place, even though they're merely re-issuing old tracks sprinkled with a few new ones. It's a smart move and look out for them when they release album number #3.

Here are the 11 Best Songs by The Killers:

1. Rio (Rio)
2. A View To A Kill (Decade)
3. Save A Prayer (Rio)
4. Anyone Out There (Duran Duran)
5. Hungry Like the Wolf (Rio)
6. Union of the Snake (Seven and The Ragged Tiger)
7. Of Crimes and Passion (Seven and The Ragged Tiger)
8. Girls On Film (Duran Duran)
9. Come Undone (The Wedding Album)
10. Reach Up For the Sunrise (Astronaut)
11. Ordinary World (The Wedding Album)

Buy Sawdust here.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The 11 Best Rage Against the Machine Songs

"Millionaire writers"...that's a term you've probably heard thrown around in the past few days. "Millionaire writers" are leaving their lavish swimming pools, second homes in Cancun and personal drivers to go and protest the poor struggling studios for more money. If you've turned on the TV over the past few days...this is something you could not avoid.

Well, here are some facts that are missing from that argument. The average salary for a screenwriter is $62 grand a year. Now that's not bad. But it's also not upper's middle class. Now realize half the WGA makes LESS than that every year. All of sudden, these millionaire writers are so millionish anymore.

Friday...Tom Morello and Zac De La Rocha performed at a WGA strike. And when the guys from RATM are taking up your know you're at least in good company.

Here are the 11 Best Rage Against the Machine Songs:

1. Bulls On Parade (Evil Empire)
2. Killing In The Name Of...(RATM)
3. Guerilla Radio (The Battle Of Los Angeles)
4. Sleep Now In The Fire (The Battle Of Los Angeles)
5. Know Your Enemy (RATM)
6. Bullet in the Head(RATM)
7. Down Rodeo (Evil Empire)
8. Renegades of Funk (Renegades)
9. People of the Sun (Evil Empire)
10. Take The Power Back(RATM)
11. Maggie's Farm (Renegades)

Buy Rage Against The Machine Gear Here!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The 11 Best Jay-z Mash-Ups From The Black Album

Jay-Z is to blame for the internet revolution. Two albums back...his supposed last album, titled The Black Album...was released in an Acapella-only mode. Jay-Z encouraged young budding DJ to remix his album for free. Sometimes, you have to be careful what you wish for. Hundreds of DJ took the chore to task turning out some blazing tracks. But one DJ saw the future. Danger Mouse (one part Gnarls Barkley), mashed the Black album with the Beatles White Album and created the Grey Album. Up until In Rainbows, it was probably the most famous internet-only album of all time. It was also the most illegal. Jay-Z didn't care and embraced it...but the Beatles were slightly pissed off. But Danger Mouse had opened the floodgates, DJs began combining Jay-z with ever musically themed color they could think of...we saw the Purple Album (Prince), The Double Black Album (Metallica), The Black and Blue album (Weezer)...people went farther sampling Nirvana's Unplugged, The Grateful Dead and even Beethoven. Linkin Park took to the Nth degree releasing a mash-up EP with Sir Jay-Z. Overall, some had some phenomenal mixes....some even better than the originals. I can't even listen to Encore without waiting for Linkin Park to kick. Overall the Grey Album is more listenable. And the Pavement remix may be the most ambitious hip-hop album...ever.

I've lost many of the remixes over the years...but here are some of the best that I have.

Here are The 11 Best Jay-z Mash-Ups From The Black Album:

1. Numb/Encore - Linkin Park & Jay-z (Hear the expanded version with 50 Cent, Eminem & Dr. Dre) - (Collision Course)
2. 99 Luft Problems - Jay-Z & Nena
3. What More Can I Say - Jay-Z and the Beatles (The Grey Album)
4. Say It Dec. 4th - Jay-Z & Weezer (The Black and Blue Album)
5. Encore - Jay-Z & The Beatles (The Grey Album)
6. What More Can I Singe? - Jay-Z and Pavement (The Slack Album)
7. Unforgiven Moment of Clarity - Jay-Z & Metallica (The Double Black Album)
8. Allure in the Garage - Jay-Z & Weezer (The Black and Blue Album)
9. Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Lying From You - Jay-Z & Linkin Park (Collision Course)
10. In The Mouth, An Encore - Jay-Z & Pavement (The Slack Album)
11. 99 Problems But True - Jay-Z & Metallica (The Double Black Album)

Buy Jay-z's new soundtrack to the movie "American Gangster" here.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The 11 Best Maynard James Keenan Solo Performances

Today, the writers are striking. First off, don't believe what you hear about in the news. The news media that you are watching are all owned by Fox, Universal, Warner Bros., CBS, NBC ABC...all the same people that the writers are striking against. They are not going to give you an unbias account of what is going on. They want to break the writers' union. Some people hate unions. They think this is good thing. But the WGA is not a typical union. Since the majority of all writers are freelance, it's the only central entity the writers can rally around. The WGA provides health care, pensions, copyright protection, among other things. This is a system that exists...and guess works. There is no reason to break the system...except that the Producers want more money. That's it. The producers want to make more than the 20 million a year they are already making. The average WGA writer makes 40 grand a year writing. So as you've heard, this isn't a negotiation between millionaires. It's a negotiation between giant conglomerates and the little guy.

Speaking of little guys...Maynard James Keenan, singer of the band Tool and A Perfect Circle, released his first solo CD last week called Puscifer. The reviews have been mixed. Despite featuring members of Rage Against the Machine, Primus and Nine Inch Nails...the album is far off the beaten path. You know the "interludes" that Tool does inbetween their main songs? Yeah...well, this is whole album of that. Buy it here.

The 11 Best Maynard James Keenan Solo Performances:

1. Know Your Enemy - Rage Against The Machine
2. What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Love & Understanding? - Audioslave & Maynard
3. Silly Love Songs - Maynard & The Replicants
4. Mohammed My Friend - Tori Amos and Maynard
5. The Passenger - The Deftones & Maynard
6. Calling Dr. Love - Maynard & Faith No More
7. Comfortably Numb - Maynard Demo
8. Choked - Tim Alexander & Mike Bordin (feat. Maynard)
9. Divorced - The Melvins & Maynard
10. Ass Kickin' Fat Kid - Titannica & Maynard
11. Three Little Pigs - Green Jello

Friday, November 02, 2007

The 11 Best Songs by the Eagles

We've been waiting for this moment for years. Almost ten years to be exact. That's right, today marks the return of one of the biggest names in the biz....Jerry frickin' Seinfeld. Sadly, it's not another season of Seinfeld, which supposedly has been cool would that be? He's going to be starring in a kids' film called The Bee Movie. If you haven't seen promotion for this film...well, either you live in a cave're dead. My daughter is 2 and she's says "Bee Movie" at least 20 times a day. Whether the movie is good or not, the marketing campaign has done its job.

Also returning to showbiz this week...the Eagles.

Buy their new album, Long Road Out of Eden at Walmart or at their website.

The 11 Best Songs By The Eagles

1. Doolin-Dalton/Desperado (reprise) - (Desperado)
2. Take It Easy (The Eagles)
3. Peaceful Easy Feeling (The Eagles)
4. Tequila Sunrise (Desperado)
5. I Can't Tell You Why (The Long Run)
6. The Last Resort (Hotel California)
7. One of These Nights (One of These Nights)
8. Hotel California Live (Hell Freezes Over)
9. On The Border (On The Border)
10. After The Thrill Is Gone (One of These Nights)
11. Take It To the Limit (One of These Nights)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The 11 Scariest Rock Songs

It's a day after Halloween and I'm as sick as the devil. Ugh...when you have a end-up eating all her candy so she doesn't eat the candy. I wanted to post this last night...except I spent the day trying to corral my daughter whose candy-fueled excitement was at a fevered pitch.

Happy Day of the Dead!!

The 11 Scariest Rock Songs

1. Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult (ever since I saw this song used in the TV movie for Stephen King's has had haunting effects every time I listen to it)
2. Thriller - Michael Jackson (It's a horror pop song. Sure it should be number one...but it's always number one...I just wanted to give someone else a chance)
3. Every Breath You Take - The Police (It's about a stalker...I never understand why people play this song at weddings)
4. Pet Semetary - The Ramones (I don't know what was creepier...the song, the movie, or the way the band looked in the video.)
5. Mechnical Man - Billie Joe Armstrong (If you've seen this movie, the song is played while a puppet version of Charles Manson has gag-inducing will never get that image out of your head)
6. Lullaby - The Cure (Dude...the spider eats Robert Smith...eats him!!!)
7. Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell (Michael Jackson is watching him from the there a scary thought?)
8. Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo (Whatever happened to these guys? When's their reunion concert?)
9. The Prowler - Iron Maiden (Every time I listen to this song I feel dirty)
10. Swamp Song - Tool (Maynard could sing Backstreet Boys songs and make them sound like someone is standing over your shoulder about to rape you)
11. Any song by Napalm Death