Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The UNKNOWN Albums of the 90s (#4)

4. Brad - Shame (1993)
In 1993, if you didn't live in breathe Seattle grunge, you were either living in Antartica or you were dead. Today, Nirvana is credited for revolutionizing music. But any of us who lived through the early 90s...especially in college...it was Pearl jam that everyone was obsessed with. It was Eddie Vedder who was on the cover of Time magazine. It was Eddie Vedder who was the teen heartthrob. It was Eddie Vedder who sang lead vocals for the Doors. Pearl Jam ruled all. And the members of the band realized this might be short-lived and quickly tried to capitalize on their new found fame.
I was a sophomore when I heard the Stone Gossard was forming his own band. But in the days before the internet, finding out any information was like unearthing buried treasure. You had to rely on friends...who mostly lied, radio DJs...who mostly lied, and CD store owners...who mostly lied. I kept a list of hard to find CDs on yellow legal paper, and kept it folded in my wallet for any random stop at a music store. I was on the way to a Cure concert when we stopped to get a quick bite at a sandwich shop next door to a used CD store. I ran in and did a quick canvas of the store. In my rushed state...I only got to the Bs...but Brad was there and waiting.
All I remember is listening to the CD in the car all the way to the concert, thinking about the CD all through the concert, and listening all the way home. It was mesmerizing. Shawn Smith's vocals were such a drastic constrast to Vedder's...but at the same time...somehow similar. The band put out 2 more albums with Stone...and 3 without him. But this first release, 15 years later is as magnetic as anything PJ ever did.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The UNKNOWN Albums of the 90s (#5)

5. Swell - Too Many Days Without Thinking (1997)

There was a lost genre in the 90s...it was called post-grunge. When post-grunge came out, it was embraced by the flannel-loving, knit-cap wearing kids who refused to give up their goatees and embrace the coming digital revolution. They were the loners and losers...kind of like the grunge crowd prior to Nirvana. But this genre wanted to take wallowing to the next level. I first heard David Freel's band Swell late at night while working my college radio gig. It was dark and creepy, like the mood in the DJ booth. That at any moment...someone would appear out of the darkness and slit my throat. It was quite the juxtaposition from Celine Dion's sonic assualt on the radio waves. Though Dion's music made you want to commit suicide...Swell sounded like they already had. Maybe this is the reason that the band never found an audience. But years later, listening to the album...it sounds fresher than Celine's swill. Imagine that.

Going Up To Portland

Buy Too Many Days Without Thinking...here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The UNKNOWN Albums of the 90s (#6)

6. Jellyfish - Spilt Milk (1993)

The first time I heard Jellyfish, it was in high school. A loner kid swore to me they were the best band he'd ever heard. This same loner kid had recommended other best bands he'd ever heard in the form of Aztec Camera, This Petrol Emotion, and Wall of Voodoo...so, I was skeptical. But this time...he happened to be right. You know what they say about a broken clock... Anyway, the album was JF's first release Bellybutton, which has since taken on legendary status. I liked the album...but didn't truly appreciate how talented the band was until their sophomore and final release, Spilt Milk. The record industry is a fickle one. Sophomore albums are more times curses than blessings. If a band tries to sound exactly like their debut...they're panned for being limited in range. But when a band takes chances and new directions with their music, they're panned for not sounding like their debut. JF fell into the second category. Their second album, though shared many stylisitc simularities with the debut, it had more range, more emotion, less constrictions, and was less polished. The band sounded more alive and more free with the music...unfortunately...that doesn't make for pop radio nuggets. Shortly after, the band broke up and the members found themselves sprinkled all over the music industry...and still are out their making great music to this day.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

THe UNKNOWN Albums of the 90s (#7)

7. Quicksand - Manic Compression (1995)

They were metal after the death rattle of the 80s Aquanet kings ruled the airwaves. And they were metal years before the knit-cap wearing white thugs brought it back. They were too metal to be grunge. They were too grunge to be metal. Without having a true landing pad to crash on, the band slipped through the cracks. Their first album received minor recognition from Rikki Rachtmen on Headbanger's Ball...but that was a bigger curse than a benefit. By the way, what the hell is going on with Rikki Rachtman? NASCAR, seriously? Anway, when the second album came out...it was praised by the college crowd and ignored by the mainstream media. It was 1995. Cobain was dead...and teens were bouncing to the pop punk choruses of Green Day and Offspring. Grunge metal was a passing fad that had long passed. It's too bad. The album could have been...and should have been...huge.

Thorn in My Pride

Buy Manic Compression here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The 111 Best Albums of 2008

The votes are in and counted...and recounted. Below you will find the 100 Best Albums of 2008...as voted on by you my friends. Congrats to Bon Iver!

I'm trying something new this year. I have started an Amazon store for my blog and have set up a section for the albums on the list. So if you're curious about any of the albums, go to my store and check them out. Currently, there are a bunch of albums available for download only $5, including Bon Iver, Metallica, Beck, Death Cab For Cutie, TV on the Radio, Kanye West, Coldplay, Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, Lil Wayne, The Walkmen, Q-Tip, Ra Ra Riot, Portishead, Santogold, The Verve, and Flight of the Conchords.


Hope everyone has a great holiday.

2008 Album Tally

1. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (only $5.00)
2. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive (only $5.00)
3. TV on the Radio - Dear Science (only $5.00)
4. Kings of Leon - Only By The Night
5. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (only $5.00)
6. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
7. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
8. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
9. Beck - Modern Guilt
10. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs (only $5.00)
11. Girl Talk - Feed The Animals (only $5.00)
12. Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
13. Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy
14. Drive By Trucker's - Brighter Than Creation's Dark
15. Santogold - Santogold (only $5.00)
16. Portishead - Third (only $5.00)
17. Nada Surf - Lucky
18. The Mars Volta - Bedlam in Goliath
19. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (only $5.00)
20. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
21. Ryan Adams - Cardinology
22. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III (only $5.00)
23. Cold War Kids - Loyalty To Loyalty
24. The Gaslight Anthem – The 59 Sound
25. Metallica - Death Magnetic (only $5.00)
26. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
27. She and Him - Volume One (only $5.00)
28. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line
29. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours (only $5.00)
30. Hot Chip – Made in the Dark
31. Little Joy - Little Joy
32. The Walkmen - You & Me
33. Centro Matic - Dual Hawks
34. Aimee Mann – @#%&*! Smilers
35. Frightened Rabbit - Midnight Organ Fight
36. The Verve - Forth
37. Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
38. Deerhunter - Microcastle
39. The Kills - Midnight Boom
40. Q-Tip - The Renaissance
41. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer (only $5.00)
42. Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul
43. Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak (only $3.99)
44. Flight of the Conchords - Soundtrack (only $5.00)
45. Two Cow Garage – Speaking in Cursive
46. Ray LaMontagne - Gossip in the Garden
47. Minus the Bear - Acoustics
48. No Age - Nouns
49. The Ting Tings – We Started Nothing
50. Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life
51. The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement
52. Beach House - Devotion
53. The Kooks – Konk
54. Weezer - The Red Album
55. Air Traffic – Fractured Life
56. The Roots- The Rising Down
57. Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns (only $5.00)
58. High Places - High Places
59. Jacob Dylan - Seeing Things
60. The Stills – Oceans will Rise
61, Old 97s – Blame it on Gravity
62. Ladytron - Velocifero
63. David Vandervelde - Waiting For The Sunrise
64. Delta Spirit - Ode To Sunshine
65. Late of the Pier - Fantasy Black Channel
66. Colin Meloy – Sings Live
67. Crooked Fingers - Forfeit/Fortune
68. Neal Halstead - Oh! Might Engine
69. Britney Spears - Circus
70. Rodrigo y Gabriela – Live
71. The Morning Benders – Talking through Tin Cans
72. The Faint - Fasciination
73. Blitzen Trapper - Furr
74. Neon Neon - Stainless Style
75. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!
76. Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue
77. Jamie Lidell - JIM
78. Rise Against – Appeal to Reason
79. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
80. Local H - 12 Angry Months
81. The Killers - Day and Age
82. Adele - 19
83. M83 - Saturdays=Youth
84. REM - Accelerate (only $5.00)
85. Calexico - Carried To Dust
86. Nana Grizol - Love it, love it
87. Bloc Party - Intimacy
88. Nine Inch Nails - The Slip
89. The Whigs - Mission Control
90. The Black Crowes - Warpaint
91. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Lie Down The Light
92. Eagles of Death Metal - Heart On
93. Duffy - Rockfairy (only $5.00)
94. Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts
95. Okkervil River - The Stand-Ins
96. Nas - The N*gger Mixtape
97. Amos Lee - Last Days of the Lodge
98. The Dodos - Visiter
99. Islands - Arm's Way
100. We Are Scientists - Brain Trust Majesty
101. The Airborne Toxic Event - The Airborne Toxic Event
102. Jack's Mannequin - The Glass Passenger
103. Crystal Stilts - Alight Of Night
104. Mason Proper - Olly Oxen Free
105. Toadies - No Deliverance
106. The Great Northwest - The Widepsread Regin
107. Tapes N Tapes - Walk It Off
108. The Streets - Everything is Borrowed
109. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Real Emotion Trash
110. Dead Confederate - Wrecking Ball
111. Travis - Ode to J. Smith

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The 11 (I mean 8) Best Hanukkah Songs:

Happy Hanukkah!

Here are the 11...I mean 8...Best Hanukkah Songs:

1. The Chanukah Song (Part 1/Part 2/Part 3) - Adam Sandler
2. Rock of Ages - Ben Kweller
3. Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah - Barenaked Ladies
4. Swingin' Dreidel - Kenny Ellis
5. Christmas Wrapping - Save Ferris
6. Hanukkah Girl - Metronome
7. Hanukkah Dance - Woody Guthrie
8. Hanukkah and Christmas Hand in Hand - Huffamoose

Friday, December 19, 2008

THe UNKNOWN Albums of the 90s (#8)

It was still a year away from Tool's epic offering Aenima. It was a year before Failure's fantastic Fantastic Planet. During the Tool's recording process, Paul D'Amour left the band and joined Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards from Failure, along unknown keyboardist Chris Pittman (who would go on to join GNR). The foursome went on to form the first grunge cover band (unless you you count Pearl Jam's live act). The murky covers of Neil Young, Pink Floyd, The Cars, and David Bowie are propelled by Andrews' signature style, sounding more like Failure than Tool. Even when Maynard steps into lend some vocal screaming to McCartney's Silly Love Songs it adds atmosphere more than direction. The album has fallen into obscurity, being nothing more than a Wikipedia entry. The label no longer produces the album, so to find it, you'll have to scour your local used CD store (or ebay) and keep your fingers crossed.

8. Replicants - Replicants (1995)

The album has been discontinued...but worth seeking out. Check it out for only $5.99 used at BullMoose.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

THe UNKNOWN Albums of the 90s (#9)

She had a cute and innocent voice with just enough scruff to let you know that she wasn't cute and innocent. She was one of Elliot Smith's good friends, hence much of her music reflected that. They had a similar damaged goods appeal, giving her the nickname "The Female Elliott Smith." Though most of her music was filled with emotional hope, there was a fragile feeling when she sang that her voices could shatter at any second destroying any hope left.

Her first explosion onto the indie scene was with the song "His Indie Scene" - a snapshot list of the hot indie rocks bands of the moment...most of which no longer exist. Sony picked her up in hopes that she would turn into the next Jewel. She wasn't. She was an indie rocker in major label clothing. The relationship was a one night stand...but a great one.

9. Mary Lou Lord - Got No Shadow (1998)

Western Union Desperate

Pick up the album (Got No Shadow) at my Amazon Store.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

THe UNKNOWN Albums of the 90s (#10)

10. The Clouds - Thunderhead (1995 US)

In 1995 Elektra tried to jump on the bandwagon of the popular Riot Grrl movement being propelled by Sleater-Kinney on the indie scene and exploited by Cunty Love & Hole on the mainstream. What they found was an Australian band that didn't really fit the mold they were looking for...but at then end of the day...was a great band. Imagine combining Miki Berenyi's lush with Emma Anderson's lush - that would be The Clouds. Unfortunately for Elektra, they band had more in common with My Bloody Valentine than Veruca salt, which left the label unable to payola them onto the radio. So, after one album, the Clouds were sent back down under and fizzled away releasing only one more album, primarily for Australia. They are definitely worth a listen...and hopefully won't be forgotten.


Buy the album (Thunderhead) at my Amazon Store.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

THe UNKNOWN Albums of the 90s (#11)

Over the next couple of weeks...I'm going to take a look back at one of my favorite decades: The 90s. My friend E has been urging me to pull some of my unknown wonders out of the closet and give them some attention. So to start things off here's...

Crust Brothers - Marquee Mark #11

The band had one album. It was a live show. The only show that the band every played. Featuring Stephen Malkmus of Pavement and 3 members of Silkworm, the band tore through a series of covers ranging from Bob Dylan to The Funk Brothers to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Though most of the songs sound like live demos...there is an electrifying energy to the songs. And being covers...they are easy to sing along to. SM adds his own flair to the songs, making them his own.

Crust Brothers - Feel A Whole Lot Better

Check out my Amazon Store to purchase this album...along with other Unknown Greats.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The 111 Best Albums of 2008 (2006 Redux)

Last chance to get in your best of lists for our annual collection. Things are shaping up really great so far with a four album horse race for #1. I won't tell you who they are...but let's just say it's a "good winter" if things stay "status quo." Watch the "royal family" on the "media" for updates.

I'd love to have all the lists in by the end of this weekend and I'll put out the final list Monday. So...send me your list of the 20 best albums of 2008. If you can't think of 20...just send 10...or 5...or even just 1. It's easy...just place your list in the comment section. Only rule is that the album has to have been released this year.

Until then...

Here are the 111 Best albums of 2006 (as voted on by you):

Thom Yorke – The Eraser (The Eraser)
TV on The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am (Fake Tales -Live)
Bob Dylan – Modern Times
The Decembrists – The Crane Wife
Band Of Horses - Everything All the Time
Tool – 10,000 Days
Joanna Newsom – Ys
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Dreaming
Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You
The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls
Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
Built To Spill - You In Reverse
Dixie Chicks – Taking The Long Road
Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
M. Ward – Post War
Be Good Tanyas – Hello Love
Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
The Strokes – First Impressions of Earth
The Knife - Silent Shout
Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
The Raconteurs – Broken Boy Soldiers
Josh Ritter – The Animal Years
Cat Power – The Greatest
Girl Talk – Night Ripper
Cursive – Happy Hollow
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
Beck – The Information
My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade
She Wants Revenge – She Wants Revenge
Johnny Cash – American V
Tom Waits – Orphans
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
The Liars – Drum’s Not Dead
The Beatles – Love
The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
The Killers – Sam’s Town
Asobi Seksu – Citrus
Swan Lake - Beast Moans
Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere
Jenny Lewis & Watson – Rabbit Fur Coat
Bonnie Prince Billy – The Letting Go
Cold War Kids - Robbers And Cowards
Twilight Singers - Powder Burns
Lucero – Rebels, Rogues, and Sworn Brothers
The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
Ghostface Killah – Fishscale
Final Fantasy – He Poos Clouds
Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor
Wolfmother – Wolfmother
Islands - Return To The Sea
Drive By Truckers – A Blessing and A Curse
Keane – Under The Iron Sea
The Mars Volta – Amputechture
Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire
Muse - Black Holes And Revelations
Tapes n Tapes - The Loon
Camera Obscura – Let’s Get Out of This Country
The Format – Dog Problems
Hot Chip – The Missing
Peter Bjorn And John - Writer's Block
The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine
Josh Rouse – Subtitulo
The Futureheads - News and Tributes
Cracker - Greenland
Danielson – Ships
Scott Walker – The Drift
RX Bandits - And the Battle Begun
The Bottle Rockets – Zoysia
Ben Kweller – Ben Kweller
Sparta – Threes
Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson In Crime EP
Lindsey Buckingham – Under The Skin
Starlight Mints – Drownaton
Belle & Sebastian – Life Pursuit
Ben Harper – Both Sides of the Gun
Morrissey – Ringleader of the Torrmentors
Eels – With Strings
Priestess - Priestess
Punchline – 37 Everywhere
Jurassic 5 – Feedback
Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death
Rosewood Thieves - From The Decker House
Damien Rice – 9
The Dears – Gang of Losers
Ray LaMontage – Until The Sun Turns Black
Calexico - Garden Ruin
Califone – Roots and Crowns
Film School – Film School
Snoop Dogg – The Blue Carpet Treatment
Yusuf Islam – An Other Cup
People Under The Stairs – Stepfather
Maritime - We, the Vehicles
Appleseed Cast – Peregrine
The Rapture – Pieces of the People We Love
Mastodon – Blood Mountain
Badly Drawn Boy – Born in the UK
The Black Angels - Passover
Citizen Cope – Every Waking Moment
Maxeen - Hello Echo
Shawn Colvin – These Four Walls
The Zutons – Tired of Hanging Around
Annuals – Be He Me
Peeping Tom – Peeping Tom
We Are Scientists - With Love And Squalor
The Roots – Game Theory
Audioslave – Revelations

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The 111 Best Albums of 2008 (2007 redux)

Remember...send me your list of the 20 best albums of 2008. If you can't think of 20...just send 10...or 5...or even just 1. It's easy...just place your list in the comment section. Only rule is that the album has to have been released this year.

I'll compile all the entries and come-up with a master list of 111 albums.

Until then...here's a recap of last year's list.

The 2007 Best CD Survey (as voted by you)

Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before The Ship Sank (Dashboard live)
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
Bright Eyes – Cassadega (Middle Man live)
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
The White Stripes – Icky Thump
LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
Feist - The Reminder
Kings of Leon – Because of the Times
Interpol – Our Love To Admire
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
The National – Boxer
Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero/Y34RZ3R0R3m1X3D
Foo Fighters – Echoes, Patience, Silence, Grace
M.I.A. – Kala
Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City/Another Weekend in the City
Justice - †
The Fratellis - Costello Music
The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Kanye West - Graduation
Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris
Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light
Menomena – Friend and Foe
The Killers - Sawdust
Bruce Springsteen – Magic
Rilo Kiley – Under The Blacklight
The Hives - The Black & White Album
Lil Wayne – Da Drought 3
Against Me! - New Wave
The Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
Okkervil River - Stage Names
Tegan and Sara – The Con
Elliott Smith - New Moon
Jay-Z – American Gangster
New Pornographers - Challengers
Bangers & Cash (SpankRock) – Bangers & Cash (EP)
Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
Explosions in the Sky – All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
Battles - Mirrored
Björk РVolta
Chris Cornell - Carry On
Dan Deacon – Spiderman of the Rings
The Once Soundtrack
Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full
Soulsavers - It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land
Boys Noize - Oi Oi Oi
Dr. Dog - We All Belong
Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta! Super Taranta!
Magnolia Electric Co. - Sojourner
EL-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead
Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday
A Place to Bury Strangers - A Place to Bury Strangers
The Editors - An End Has A Start
Black Francis - Bluefinger
Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature
of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Baby 81
John Fogerty - Revival
Deerhunter - Cryptograms
Ben Lee - Ripe
The 1990s - Cookies
Jason Isbell - Sirens of the Ditch
Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist
Blonde Redhead - 23
Chemical Brothers - We Are the Night
The Frames – The Cost
The Magic Numbers - Those The Brokes
The Whitest Boy Alive - Dreams
Jesse Malin - Glitter in the Gutter
The Avett Brothers - Emotionalism
Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures
!!! – Myth Takes
The Polyphonic Spree- The Fragile Army
Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion
Sundowner - Four One Five Two
Kelly Jones - Only The Names Have Changed
Dan Wilson - Free Life
Art Brut - It's A Bit Complicated
Digitalism - Idealism
Liars - Liars
Beirut - The Flying Cup Club
Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works
Ted Leo and The Pharmacists - Living With The Living
Dungen - Tio Bitar
Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
Paramore - Riot!
Across The Universe Sdtk.
Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight
Deer Tick - War Elephant
Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs
Bonnie Prince Billy - Ask Forgiveness
Love of Diagrams - Mosiac
Robert Wyatt - Comicopera
Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - This is Somewhere
Dartz! - This Is My Ship
Ziggy Marley - Love is My Religion
Bill Callahan - Woke on a Whaleheart
Bad Religion - New Maps of Hell
GTS - White Horse
Tulsa - I Was Submerged
Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High
Streetlight Manifesto - Somewhere In The Between
Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
I'm Not There Sdtk.
Eddie Vedder - Into The Wild Sdtk.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The 11 Best Pavement Bonus Tracks

There's no better example of America's gluttonous nature than observing people getting free food samples at Costco. Yesterday, I think I saw the pinnacle of greed when an old lady in a mechanized wheelchair ran over a 5-year-old in order to get first dibs at the cheese puffs. I mean, who do you root for in that scenario? And why the rush? It's not even a whole cheese puff. It's Costco. They barely give you enough of a sample to be considered a full bite. It was like a corner of a cheese puff...some flakes of the pastry with a hint of cheese essense. Are you really that close to starvation that it's worth trampling a kindergartener for that? And what about the mothers who bring their kids here for lunch? They line them up at the sample tables and keep demanding for second and thirds as if Costco sets this up for their benefit. I've seen people get in fights over trail mix. And I even once watched a man cough over an entire tray of pizza croissants, so he could enjoy it all to himself. If these people applied this ambition to their normal life...they wouldn't need to be so cutthroat when it came to the free stuff.

Today sees the 4th installment of the Pavement reissues. Brighten The Corners gets the royal treatment with almost 30 bonus tracks. Let's take a quick look back at the best of the bonus tracks from the previous 3 reissues.

The 11 Best Pavement Bonus Tracks:

1. Easily Fooled (Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels)
2. Sue Me Jack (Slanted & Ennchanted: Luxe and Reduxe)
3. Texas Never Whispers (Slanted & Ennchanted: Luxe and Reduxe)
4. Give It A Day (Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels)
5. Kennel District (Crooked Crooked Rain: La's Desert Orgins)
6. Unseen Power of the Picket Fence (Crooked Crooked Rain: La's Desert Orgins)
7. Greenlander (Slanted & Ennchanted: Luxe and Reduxe)
8. Frontwards (Slanted & Ennchanted: Luxe and Reduxe)
9. Secret Knowledge of Backroads (Slanted & Ennchanted: Luxe and Reduxe)
10. I Love Perth (Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels)
11. Baptist Blacktick (Slanted & Ennchanted: Luxe and Reduxe)

Buy Pavement's Remastered Ultra Expanaded Edition of Brighten The Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition. (free shipping too)

Buy the previous reissues here.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The 11 Best Albums of 2008 (Part 5)

At the end of the day, my decision on this top 11 came down to one thing...listenability. Which albums held up to repeat listens... Which albums didn't get dated by the 3rd spin... Which albums still sounded fresh a month after the novelty wore off... Which albums I felt confident recommending to friends...

Bon Iver's album became that one album that stood above the others. It's the one album I kept going back to...the one album I could listen to on repeat...the one album that reminded me why I love music so much...

The 11 Best Albums of 2008:

1. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (Flume - Daytrotter)
2. Beck - Modern Guilt (only $5.00)
3. Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
4. She and Him - Volume One (Get Free)
5. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line (Dying Is Fine - Daytrotter)
6. Girl Talk - Feed The Animals
7. TV on the Radio - Dear Science (only $5.00)
8. Coldplay - Viva La Vida (only $5.00)
9. Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy
10. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
11. Little Joy - Little Joy

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The 11 Best Albums of 2008 (Part 4)

With Obama set to take office in a little over a month...it's like we can't get out of 2008 fast enough. But before we sprint to the finish...let's not forget what good stuff did come out along the way.

And DON'T FORGET...to send me your lists!!! Just through them in the comment section and I'll make a full tally of 111 albums.

Here are the 11 Best Albums of 2008 (Part 4):

12. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
13. The Mars Volta - Bedlam in Goliath (Memories - bonus track)
14. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
15. Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak
16. The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement (My Mistakes - Jools Holland)
17. Metallica - Death Magnetic (Get album for $5.00)
18. Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life (No Epiphany - Daytrotter)
19. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs
20. Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell
21. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
22. Q-Tip - The Renassaince (get album for $5.00)

Visit my amazon store.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The 11 Best Albums of 2008 (Part 3)

Maybe I'll just make this a trend...every day I'll screw up my list a little bit further adding another new entry to the list. Today finds Peasant (#24) slipping in after downloading the album off Emusic last night. Check out their session on Daytrotter...his bare bones style is quite mesmerizing.

The 11 Best Albums of 2008 (Part 3):

23. Kings of Leon - Only By the Night (Use Somebody - SNL)
24. Bloc Party - Intimacy
24. Peasant - On The Ground
25. Ezra Furman & The Harpoons - Inside The Human Body
26. Cold War Kids - Loyalty To Loyalty
27. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
28. The Killers - Day & Age
29. Tapes N Tapes - Walk It Off (Hang Them All - Daytrotter)
30. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Cardinology
31. Hot Chip - Made in the Dark
32. Travis - Ode To J. Smith
33. Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark
Another reminder to visit my Amazon Store...I get a percentage...a very small one. but if I can make enough off it...I'll invest in a better archiving site than savefile...so we all benefit.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The 11 Best Albums of 2008 (Part 2)

Yes, I know there are two number 36s. Why are there two number 36s? Because I made my list of the 55 best albums of 2008...then I went out and started listening to other albums from 2008 that I hadn't heard yet. Brilliant move, right? So, after really digging the Sleepercar album (Jim Ward from Sparta's new band), I felt compelled to include it. But since I had already posted the bottom of the list, I couldn't squeeze in anything new without screwing up the numbering system. Then I realized...I run the site and make my own rules. So I can do whatever I want.

Don't forget to send me your top 20 albums of 2008 and I'll compile a master list of the 111 best albums of the year!

The 11 Best Albums of 2008 (Part 2):

34. Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple
35. We Are Scientists - Brain Trust Majesty
36. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
36. Sleepercar - West Texas
37. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (White Winter Hymnal - Daytrotter)
38. Dead Confederates - Wrecking Ball
39. The Faint - Fasciination
40. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
41. Nine Inch Nails - The Slip
42. Cat Power - Jukebox
43. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours
44. The Dirtbombs - We Have You Surrounded

Be sure to visit my Amazon Store to buy any of these great albums.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The 11 Best Songs of 2008

I'm excited to try out this Amazon Widget a bit more...so I'm jumping the gun on the Best albums of the year and moving forward to the Best Songs of the year. I've installed all the songs on the widget...so take a listen. The widget is the app in the right side bar that says "Best Songs of 2008." Just click it to listen.

Here are the 11 Best Songs of 2008:
1. Kids - MGMT (Oracular Spectacular)
2. Dancing Choose - TV on The Radio (Dear Science)
3. Grapevine Fires - Death Cab For Cutie (Narrow Stairs)
4. I Stand Corrected - Vampire Weekend (Vampire Weekend)
5. Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon (Only By The Night)
6. Ghosts Under Rocks - Ra Ra Riot (The Rhumb Line)
7. Sequestered in Memphis - The Hold Steady (Stay Positive)
8. Discipline - Nine Inch Nails (The Slip)
9. That Was Just Your Life - Metallica (Death Magnetic)
10. Everybody Here Is A Cloud - Cloud Cult (Feel Good Ghosts)
11. Viva La Vida - Coldplay (Viva La Vida)

I never do this but...Honorable Mentions:

Chemtrails - Beck (Modern Guilt)
Wreck My Flow - the dirtbombs (We Have Your Surrounded)
Hearts on Fire - Cut Copy (In Ghost Colours)
Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur - Sigur Ros (Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust)
Prostitute - Guns N Roses (Chinese Democracy)
I've also created my own MP3 store on Amazon...so check it out. I should have the widget up shortly. Many of the albums are only $5.00 right now (like Beck, Ra Ra Riot, Death Cab, Vampire Weekend, TV on the Radio, Metallica, Killers, Fleet Foxes, Coldplay)

Monday, December 01, 2008

The 11 Best Albums of 2008 (Part 1)

It's time. Time for the "best of..." lists to begin.

As I did last year, I'm asking for all my faithful readers to join in. Submit me your 20 best albums of 2008 (or 10 or 5...or even just 1). I'll compile all the submissions, tally them up, and release a mega-list of the 111 Best CDs of 2008. Either email me your picks or throw your picks in the comment box....either way, I'll get them.

Over the next 5 days...I'll reveal 11 of my favorite albums from this year each day.
To start things off...here are my 45-55 Best Albums of 2008:

45. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges (get at emusic for free w/ membership)
46. Weezer - The Red Album
47. R.E.M. - Accelerate
48. Cloud Cult - Feel Good Ghosts (get at emusic for free w/ membership)
49. My Brightest Diamond - A Thousand Shark's Teeth (get at emusic for free w/ membership)
50. Paul Westerberg - 49:00 (one 48-minute long song)
51. Albert Hammond Jr. - Como Te Llama?
52. The Watson Twins - Fire Songs (get at emusic for free w/ membership)
53. The Decembrists - Always the Bridesmaid (3 EPs)_
54. The Anniversary - Devil On Our Side
55. Foxboro Hot Tubs - Stop, Drop, and Roll

I'm trying something new. Amazon has a widget with songs. I have selected songs from each of the featured albums. It's just to the right on the sidebar. Take a listen...and if you like...you can buy right off my sight.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The 11 Best Kanye West Songs

Happy Thanksgiving! Don't spend the day in front of the computer.

Here are the 11 Best Kanye West Songs:

1. Diamonds From Sierra Leone Remix w/ Jay-Z (Late Registration)
2. Stronger (Graduation)
3. Jesus Walks (College Drop-Out)
4. Touch The Sky (Late Registration)
5. Golddigger (Late Registration)
6. Never Let Me Down (College Drop-Out)
7. Roses (Late Registration)
8. Flashing Lights (Graduation)
9. Homecoming (Graduation)
10. We Don't Care (College Drop-Out)
11. Through The Wire (College Drop-Out)

Buy Kanye's new album: 808's and Heartbreak (Get a bonus track here!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The 11 Best Songs by the Killers

How long is the proper amount of time to work on an album? Kayne West and Jack White are on the one-per-year pace and both are doing quite well. Ryan Adams was doing a new album on the first Tuesday of every month for a spell. Tool and Bob Dylan take about 4-5 years. Dr. Dre is more in the 8-10 year range. All of these artists have a very different pace but they all continue to put out quality material. I think it's like anything creative. Each person is different. Each person creates at their own leisure. Stephen King puts out new books every week while JD Salinger is working on the 50-year cycle. And in literary circles...who is considered the more respected one? It's been ten years since the last James Cameron film...while Judd Apatow has made 10 movies in the past 2 years. Who has more Oscars? So to answer my question...how long is the proper amount of time to work on an album...it's however long the artist feels like it. Sure it's frustrating to fans...but if you rush creativity...you get Nickelback.

Here are the 11 Best Songs by the Killers:

1. Jenny Was A Friend (Hot Fuss)
2. Somebody Told Me (Hot Fuss)
3. Bones (Sam's Town)
4. Midnight Show (Hot Fuss)
5. Sam's Town (Sam's Town)
6. When You Were Young (Sam's Town)
7. Daddy's Eyes (Sawdust)
8. Mr. Brightside (Hot Fuss)
9. For Reason's Unknown (Sam's Town)
10. Bling (Sam's Town)
11. Tranquilize (Sawdust)

Buy the Killers new album Day & Age. It's only $3.99 at amazon!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The 11 Most Anticipated Moments in Rock To Come

For all those I asked...yes I did get a C&D because of a GNR track. Strangely, it was not a new Chinese Democracy track. It was an old demo for Civil War that the band gave permission to be traded a few years ago. Because of that, I did some digging and discovered the C&D did not come from the band but from the IFPI an international agency out of England who decides what is illegal and not the labels. Kinda of spooky that some shadow organization was given that power. So my anger toward GNR has subsided...because I'm very positive they were not behind it considering their tracks are being highlighted on other sites.

That said...

It's the day after Chinese Democracy Sunday. It's the end of an era. Not for GNR...but for life. Chinese Democracy ends the era of anticipation. All the mega-events in music and movies...even politics came to a close this year. Just think about all the huge events that have recently happened...events we thought would never happen: Led Zeppelin reunites, Van Halen reunites, Genesis reunites, Pink Floyd reunite, The Police reunite, Chinese Democracy, new Metallica album, new AC/DC album, a solo release for Q-Tip, a new Eagles record, Indiana Jones 4, new Portishead album, Smashing Pumpkins reunite (sorta), Stone Temple Pilots reunite, RATM reunite, a mini Zac de la Rocha album, REM decide to play rock music again, and of course...a black President.

Everyone take a deep breath...now, what's next?

Here are the 11 Most Anticipated Moments in Rock To Come:

1. Dr. Dre - Detox
2. The Smiths reunion
3. CCR reunion
4. New Michael Jackson album
5. Full Jackson 5 Reunion
6. N.W.A. reunion
7. Green Day's new album
8. Pavement reunion
9. Soundgarden reunion
10. Eminem - Relapse
11. Ryan Adams Box Set of unreleased material

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Open Letter To The Record Industry

Dear Industry:

I am a blogger. I have been a blogger for almost three years. I do this out of the love for music industry. I buy anywhere from 2-3 new albums a week. I believe in buying music. I believe in supporting the artists. And most importantly, I believe in the music business...the corporations, the suits, everyone pulling the strings behind the scenes. I believe in supporting them as much as I believe in supporting the artists, themselves. Without the suits...the industry would fall apart.

In the past few weeks, it has come to our attention that the music industry has gone on the offensive against the bloggers. Sending out Cease & Desist Letters, threatening to shut down the bloggers for posting tracks. Without a warning, bloggers are getting shot down for doing nothing more than promoting music.

Dear Industry...we are not the enemy...we are your biggest fans. We do not do this for money, trust me...there's no money to be made. We do this for the love of music. And not just the artists...like I said before...we do this for the love of the industry. The bloggers can't survive without you. We need the music industry as much as we need the artists. Therefore what we are doing isn't in an effort to undermine you...everything we are doing is to support you and ensure your survival. Like I said, there's no money in it for us...the only one who benefits from our posts is you.

You may disagree, but take time to read our blogs. All we are doing is promoting music. Your music. And we do this for free. FREE. We do not ask for a dime in return. What we ask is for our readers to go out and BUY your music. Since most of us do not get paid, we do not waste time writing about music we don't like. Therefore if we're spending our time writing about music, it's in an effort to encourage our readers to go out and buy it...to go out and BUY YOUR MUSIC.

Your issue with us is that we give away songs. But please, believe us when we say we only do this to convince our readers that the music we are praising is as good as we are claiming. We do not believe in giving away albums. That is not our goal. Our goal is to give our readers a taste of your product in order to get them to BUY the whole thing. The practice of giving away full albums or albums prior to their release is heavily frowned upon in our community.

Up until now, we have asked nothing of you except to put out good music for us to talk about. But today, I am asking for something. I am asking you to stop sending the Cease & Desist letters. When you do that...our posts are deleted...destroyed. It's not just the tracks that get taken down...our writing is taken away with it. And that's not fair.

Work with us...not against us. We are your biggest asset. Many artists encourage the bloggers to post their tracks so it is impossible for us to know who wants our assistance and who does not. Please, in the future, if one of us posts a track that you wish removed, email us and tell us (our emails are readily available on all our sites). We will take it down, immediately. Like I said, we are not your enemy and do not wish to hurt your stability. We want to work with you, not against you.

Why not even take it one step further? Why not provide us a list of artists you do not want promoted on our blogs? We will honor it, we promise. At least give us the chance to prove ourselves.


The Good, The Bad, The Unknown

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The 11 Best Songs by New Order

We all have music that acts as the soundtrack to our lives. There's always that certain song that reminds you of a day in high school. Or there's a band that reminds you of an ex-girlfriend. And everytime that song or band starts playing a vivd memory comes crashing back as if someone flipped a light switch. New Order is that band to me. Listening to New Order is my audio memory of high school. Everytime I listen to Love Vigilantes, I can remember the first time I heard the song. I was standing on a high school pool deck waiting for our relay team to race. Some of the older kids were playing Low-Life and singing along to the song. 20 years later, that memory sticks with me better than almost anything I did last week. Why is that audio senses afflict such vivid memories? Maybe that's my attraction to music so much. A great song never changes. It's always great. And everytime you listen to it...it reminds you what is so great about it.

Here are the 11 Best Songs by New Order (of the 80s):

1. Love Vigilantes (Low-Life)
2. Broken Promise (Brotherhood)
3. True Faith (Substance)
4. Temptation (Factus 8)
5. Shell-Shock (Substance)
6. Mr. Disco (Technique)
7. Subculture (Low-Life)
8. All The Way (Technique)
9. 1963 (Substance)
10. Sooner Than You Think (Low-Life)
11. Bizarre Love Triangle (Brotherhood)
Buy any of New Order's reissues now!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The 11 Best Songs By Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

When you have two kids, getting free time is almost better than sex. During free time, you get to do anything you want to clear your head. Having sex you run the risk of having another kid and even less free time.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Ryan Adams and the Cardinals:

1. If I Am A Stranger (Cold Roses)
2. Don't Fail Me Now (Jacksonville City Nights)
4. Sweet Illusions (Cold Roses)
5. Always On My Mind (Hot Tulips)
6. These Girls (Easy Tiger)
7. Meadowlake Street (Cold Roses)
8. The Hardest Part (Jacksonville City Nights)
9. Let It Ride (Cold Roses)
10. September (Jacksonville City Nights)
11. Down in A Hole (Follow the Lights)

Buy Ryan Adams new album...Cardinology now! Hurry up before he releases another album.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The 11 Best Songs By A Tribe Called Quest

I can't believe it happened. We've been waiting 8 years. 8 years for a new dawn. We've been given promises for something new every 4 years...but for some reason...they've never seen the light of day. Of course I'm talking about Q-tip's solo work. First Kamaal The Abstract (maybe one of the most innovative hip-hop albums of all time) gets shelved for no apparent reason. A few years later, his follow-up to his shelved album, Open, also is shelved.
On November 4th...all that changed. Q-tip returns to mainstream music with one of the best hip-hop albums of the year...if not the decade. And easily his best material since Midnight Mauraders. Why does it take so long for America to catch up with such progressive thinkers?

Here are The 11 Best Songs By A Tribe Called Quest:

1. Award Tour (Midnight Mauraders)
2. Can I Kick It? (People's Instinctive Travels)
3. Scenario (The Low End Theory)
4. Description of A Fool (People's Instinctive Travels)
5. Stressed Out (Beats Rhymes & Life)
6. Electric Relaxation (Midnight Mauraders)
8. Steve Biko (Midnight Mauraders)
9. Bugging Out (The Low End Theory)
10. Like It Like That (The Love Movement)
11. I Left My Wallet In El Segundo (People's Instinctive Travels)
Buy Q-Tip's new album...The Renaissance. For less than $10! It's great!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The 11 Best Albums by Ryan Adams

For some reason, Itunes went buggy this weekend and erased all the information I had on my itunes library. Though all the songs remain intact...all the rating, folders, renaming of tracks has all completely vanished. It's beyond frustrating...I've honestly never used a program that had as many bugs and flaws as itunes. I've used microsoft word for 15 years...never had it crash or destroy any information on any of my documents. But itunes crashes about once ever 6 months, erasing all of my data. And somehow...Mac people think that anything mac does is perfect and anything microsoft does is evil. Explain that one to me...

The 11 Best Albums Featuring Ryan Adams
2. Stranger's Almanac (Whiskeytown)
3. Cold Roses (&The Cardinals)
4. Love is Hell (complete)
5. Heartbreaker
6. Pneumonia (Whiskeytown)
7. Rock N Roll
8. Jacksonville City Nights (&The Cardinals)
9. Faithless Street (Whiskeytown)
10. 29
11. Demolition
Buy Ryan Adams and the Cardinals new album...Cardinology

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The 11 Best Cure Songs (post-Disintegration)

Instead of a rant or a little story that quietly refers to the music I'm blogging about...today, I have a question for you.

What is more influential...more memorable: an album or a band?

(example: Nirvana or Nevermind...Guns N Roses or Appetite for Destruction....The Cure or Disintegration)

The 11 Best Cure Songs (post-Disintegration)

1. Cut (Wish)
2. Trust (Wish)
3. Watching Me Fall (Bloodflowers)
4. Apart (Wish)
5. Bloodflowers (Bloodflowers)
6. Anniversary (The Cure)
7. Treasure (Wild Mood Swings)
8. From The Edge of a Deep Green Sea (Wish)
9. 39 (Bloodflowers)
10. Open (Wish)
11. The Promise (The Cure)

Buy The Cure's new album, 4:13 Dream...now!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The 11 Best Cure Albums

Used CD stores are killing the music industry. It's a bold statement. Most people want to blame greedy college kids in dorm rooms for bringing down the sincere music exec's salary by downloading millions of songs illegally. But there's one problem with that theory...which I've repeated many times...college kids don't have any money. They can't afford to buy albums anyway. If a kid has $20 in his pocket, he can only afford to buy 1 CD. Even though he may sit in his dorm room and download every seattle grunge rock album, that doesn't mean he had the money to buy that music. Granted, I'm not trying to say it's legal...it's still not legal...but that's not what is causing the downturn. The downturn is coming from the used CD stores.

Why you ask? Used CD stores put a value on a CD. In a regular music store...all music is the same list price...or relative of that. But in a used CD store...the prices fluxuate based on demand. The new Jakob Dylan album...though only a couple of months old was selling for a meager $4.99...while Bob Dylan's "Oh Mercy" was selling for $11.99. Both used. Bob's album is in fact selling for more "used" that it is new in most retail locations. Here's where the problem lies. Used CD stores are the way station between retailers and the internet. Though the money doesn't go to the muscians...they keep certain albums in circulation. Once the Used stores try manipulating the market for financial gain...it will just the customer to other forms of purchasing (or stealing) music. People go to Used CD stores for an alternative. But if the alternative is less satisfying than the retailer...it's going to turn off music buyers completely.

Here are the 11 Best Cure Albums:

1. Disintegration (1989)
2. Wish (1992)
3. Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (1987)
4. Three Imaginary Boys/Boys Don't Cry (1979)
5. Head on The Door (1985)
6. Pornography (1982)
7. Bloodflowers (2000)
8. The Top (1984)
9. Faith (1981)
10. Seventeen Seconds (1980)
11. Wild Mood Swings (1996)

Pre-Order The Cure's new album...4:13 Dream.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The 11 Best Cure B-Sides

I often get emails why I don't include new songs on the "best of" lists. The whole point of the site is to take a look back at the bands (that I like) as they are on the cusp of a new stage of their career with a new release. Lots of times, it's hard to really feel where a "new" song deserves to fall until you've listened to it a few dozen times...then take a break from it...then come back to it. Usually, initial listens don't do the song justice. If you're really excited about a new release, you tend to fall in love rather quickly...wow, this is the greatest song ever!! But after the novelty wears off...I've found myself almost embarrassed that I liked the song to begin with. Other times...I've hated new songs only to find myself a few months later digging through my boxes of CDs because I can't a certain tune out of my head. Hope that makes sense.

Barring anymore delays...the new Cure album should hit stores next week. One of the best parts of the Cure's career has been their vast depth of B-sides. The Cure's b-sides have never been cute little additions to CD singles in hopes of getting you to shell out another 5 bucks for a song you already own. The Cure's b-sides are more like extensions of the album. Taking the sound of the band at that moment in time and expanding out....testing the waters in ways that sometimes were too limiting on the constrictive nature of the album. I honestly can't think of Disintegration or Wish without thinking about their b-sides. Maybe this is why the Cure chose to honor their b-sides with a proper box set release (Join the Dots). If you don't have it...get it.

The 11 Best Cure B-Sides

1. Harold and Joe (Mixed Up)
2. This Twilight Garden (Wish)
3. Burn (The Crow)
4. Scared As You (Wish)
5. Babble (Disintegration)
6. A Foolish Arrangement (Wish)
7. Fear of Ghosts (Disintegration)
8. Snow in the Summer (Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me)
9. This Morning (The Cure)
10. Out of Mind (Disintegration)
11. A Chain of Flowers (Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me)
11. Play (Wish)

(I honestly couldn't choose between the last two songs...I rarely do this...but it's a tie. Which one is your favorite?)

Buy the Cure's new album...4:13 Dream

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The 11 Best AC/DC Songs (Brian Johnson)

Buying Halloween costumes for kids is harder than buying a new car. Both take months of research. Looking up ideas online...getting expert's opinions...finding out which one is the least likely to spontaneously burst into flames. Once you decide on the make and model you want to be...then comes the legwork. Then comes the actual shopping. Going from store to store to find out if they first have the costume you're looking for...finding out if it's the right material...the right color...the right features...then finding out if it actually fits! And once you get all that done. Once you have all the ducks in a row, quacking...or screaming...take your pick...then you have to hope that after you purchase the "all sales final" costume that your kid doesn't go home and turn on the TV and decide she wants to be something else.

Here are the 11 Best AC/DC Songs (Brian Johnson):

1. You Shook Me All Night Long (Back In Black)
2. Back in Black (Back In Black)
3. Who Made Who (Who Made Who)
4. Jailbreak ('74 Jailbreak)
5. Thunderstruck (The Razor's Edge)
6. For Those About To Rock (For Those About to Rock)
7. Nervous Shakedown (Flick of the Switch)
8. Shoot To Thrill (Back In Black)
9. Evil Walks (For Those About to Rock)
10. Shot of Love (The Razor's Edge)
11. Hells Bells (Back In Black)

Buy AC/DC's new album Black Ice.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The 11 Best Songs By The Dears

I'm not sure what to think of the Dears. To me, the band has always had more potential than punch. Maybe it was because I always confused them with TV on the Radio...or maybe it's that I'm always waiting for them to deliver that knock-out album slathered to the brim with sugar-coated Morrissey-influenced tunes. But they always fall short, shining through on a couple of songs then spending the rest of the album running around like a blind cameraman...without focus. I have yet to listen to their new album and am hesitant to do so. Usually I would run out and buy the album the day it comes out. (I always do this for bands I like...yeah, yeah...I still pay for most my music) But part of me is afraid that it will be a letdown like their other material. Until I make the decision whether the purchase will be worth the gamble on my wallet...

Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Dears:

1. Lost in the Plot (No Cities Left)
2. Ballad of Human Kindness (Gang of Losers)
3. Bandwagoneers (Gang of Losers)
4. Summer of Protest (Protest EP)
5. Who Are You, Defenders of the Universe (No Cities Left)
6. Whites Only Party (Gang of Losers)
7. The Second Part (No Cities Left)
8. This is a Broadcast (End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story)
9. Howlin' (Gang of Losers B-Side)
10. Raise The Dead (Gang of Losers B-Side)
11. End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story (End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story)

Buy The Dears new album - MISSILES

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The 11 Best AC/DC Songs (Bon Scott)

Here's a question: Would Bon Scott be for or against digital downloads? Hard to imagine that guy was against anything as long as he could party. Part of me is skeptical of AC/DC's stance against digital downloading since they make "albums" not "singles" when they've made a career by having some of the most successful rock radio singles of all time. But their albums sales continue through the roof...so at the same time, it's hard to argue against them.

And I'm not about to tempt fate with some AC/DC mp3s...but they can't stop me from doing a list.

Here are the 11 Best AC/DC Songs (Bon Scott):

1. Ride On (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap)
2. Highway To Hell (Highway To Hell)
3. TNT (TNT)
4. Rock N Roll Damnation (Powerage)
5. If You Want Blood, You Got It (Highway To Hell)
6. Sin City (Powerage)
7. It's A Long Way to the Top (TNT)
8. Let There Be Rock (Let There Be Rock)
9. Up to My Neck In You (Powerage)
10. Big Balls (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap)
11. Whole Lotta Rosie (Let There Be Rock)

Buy Ac/Dc's new album...BLACK ICE...at midnight!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The 11 Best Cure Songs (Part One)

Let's be honest...if I were to do a true "best of" list for the Cure it would look something like this...

1. Disintegration (Disintegration)
2. Lovesong (Disintegration)
3. Prayers For Rain (Disintegration)
4. Same Deep Water As You (Disintegration)
5. Homesick (Disintegration)
6. Pictures of You (Disintegration)
7. Last Dance (Disintegration)
8. Plainsong (Disintegration)
9. Fascination Street (Disintegration)
10. Closedown (Disintegration)
11. Lullaby (Disintegration)

...so, the only fair way to do this was to split the Cure's career up into two categories...the Best Cure songs pre-Disintegration...and the Best Cure songs post-Disintegration...

Each era represents a sharply different sound for the band...the early material harkens back to a darker gothic style born out of the post-punk of London's underground...while the later material finds the band perfecting their pop sensibilities. This isn't to say that one is better than the other...but that they are just vastly different and each deserve their own list.

In the 70s, the Cure set off on their own path by layering their own music with emotional mood rather than the typical raw angry emotion of the waning punk scene. If you listen closely to Smith's vocals in the early days, you can hear the perpetual punk pang honed by Johnny Rotten, which sounds more like he was shouting orders rather than the crooning of their predecessors. In these days, even though he emulated some of his punk commrades, it was Smith's rich textured voice that set him apart...it was the emotion tank that was deep in the back of his voice that would eventually carry his music through 4 decades...spanning a longer musical career than any of his peers.

Though the Cure is best thought of for their dark brooding material, in all honesty, it's their more lively energetic songs (Primary, 10:15, How Beautiful), where the band truly excels.

Like the Travis disc...the Cure's new album has also been pushed a couple of weeks...so the second part of this list will surface around that time.

Here are the 11 Best Cure Songs (pre-Disintegration)

1. A Night Like This (Head on the Door)
2. A Forest (Seventeen Seconds)
3. 10:15 Saturday Night (Boys Don't Cry)
4. How Beautiful You Are (Kiss Me)
5. Primary (Faith)
6. Like Cockatoos (Kiss Me)
7. Kyoto Song (Head on the Door)
8. Siamese Twins (Pornography)
9. Charlotte Sometimes (Charlotte Sometimes)
10. Killing an Arab (Boys Don't Cry)
11. Just Like Heaven (Kiss Me)

Pre-Order the Cure's new album...4:13 Dream to be released on October 28th.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The 111 Best Bob Dylan Songs:

It's my 300th post. Bob Dylan is releasing his 10,000th album today. In celebration...

Here are the 111 Best Bob Dylan Songs:

1. Hurricane (Desire)
2. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
3. My Back Pages (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
4. It Ain't Me Babe (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
5. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bringing It All Back Home)
6. Lay, Lady, Lay (Nashville Skyline)
7. Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid)
8. Wedding Song (Planet Waves)
9. Masters of War (Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
10. Things Have Changed (Wonder Boys Soundtrack)
11. Ballad of a Thin Man (Highway 61 Revisited)
12. A Hard Rain's A-Going Fall (Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
13. Like a Rolling Stone (Highway 61 Revisited)
14. Tombstone Blues (Highway 61 Revisited)
15. With God On Our Side (The Times They Are A-Changin')
16. Precious Angel (Slow Train Coming)
17. Stuck Inside of Memphis with the Mobile Blues (Blonde on Blonde)
18. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (Bob Dylan)
19. Desolation Row (Highway 61 Revisited)
20. I Want You (Blonde on Blonde)
21. The Times They Are A-Changin' (The Times They Are A-Changin')
22. Tangled Up In Blue (Blood on the Tracks)
23. You Ain't Going Nowhere (Basement Tapes)
24. Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest (John Wesley Harding)
25. Bob Dylan's Dream (Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
26. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands (Blonde on Blonde)
27. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (The Times They Are A-Changin')
28. Only A Pawn in Their Game (The Times They Are A-Changin')
29. Absolutely Sweet Marie (Blonde on Blonde)
30. Simple Twist of Fate (Blood on the Tracks)
31. North Country Blues (The Times They Are A-Changin')
32. Love Sick (Time Out of Mind)
33. All Along the Watchtower (John Wesley Harding)
34. You're No Good (Bob Dylan)
35. Subterranean Homesick Blues (Bringing It All Back Home)
36. Tonight, I'll Be Staying Here With You (Nashville Skyline)
37. Blowin' In The Wind (Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
38. Girl From North Country (Freewheelin' Bob Dylan/Nashville Skyline)
39. Maggie's Farm (Bringing It All Back Home)
40. Visions of Johanna (Blonde on Blonde)
41. He Was a Friend Of Mine (Bootleg Series Volume 1)
42. Most of the Time (Oh, Mercy)
43. One More Night (Nashville Skyline)
44. Just Like A Woman (Blonde on Blonde)
45. Dignity (Greatest Hits 3)
46. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts (Blood on the Tracks)
47. Bob Dylan's 115th Dream (Bringing It All Back Home)
48. Boots of Spanish Leather (The Times They Are A-Changin')
49. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry (Highway 61 Revisited)
50. Most Likely You'll go Your Way and I'll Go Mine (Biograph)
51. Going To Alcapulco (Basement Tapes)
52. Love Minus Zero/No Limit (Bringing It All Back Home)
53. Jokerman (Infidels)
54. Not Dark Yet (Time Out of Mind)
55. Political World (Oh, Mercy)
56. Highway 61 Revisited (Highway 61 Revisited)
57. Mississippi (Love and Theft)
58. Nobody 'Cept You (Bootleg Series Volume 2)
59. Fixin' To Die (Bob Dylan)
60. One More Cup of Coffee (Desire)
61. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (Blood on the Tracks)
62. Going Going Gone (Planet Waves)
63. The Ballad of Hollis Brown (The Times They Are A-Changin')
64. Shelter From The Storm (Blood on the Tracks)
65. Honest With Me (Love and Theft)
66. Lily of the West (Dylan)
67. Changing of the Guards (Street Legal)
68. When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky (Empire Burlesque)
69. Quinn The Eskimo (Self Portrait)
70. All I Really Want To Do (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
71. I'll Remember You (Empire Burlesque)
72. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean (Bob Dylan)
73. Million Dollar Bash (Basement Tapes)
74. Highlands (Time Out of Mind)
75. In Search of Little Sadie (Self Portrait)
76. Forever Young (Planet Waves)
77. Tell Me That It Isn't True (Nashville Skyline)
78. Just Like Tom Thumb Blues (Highway 61 Revisited)
79. She Belongs to Me (Bringing It All Back Home)
80. Highway 51 Blues (Bob Dylan)
81. You're a Big Girl Now (Blood on the Tracks)
82. Covenant Woman (Saved)
83. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (John Wesley Harding)
84. From A Buick 6 (Highway 61 Revisited)
85. Sweetheart Like You (Infidels)
86. Idiot Wind (Blood on the Tracks)
87. Standing In The Doorway (Time Out of Mind)
88. As I Went Out One Morning (John Wesley Harding)
89. Mozambique (Desire)
90. To Ramona (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
91. If You See Her, Say Hello (Blood on the Tracks)
92. On A Night Like This (Planet Waves)
93. Sara (Desire)
94. Blackjack Davey (Good As I Been To You)
95. Thunder On the Mountain (Modern Times)
96. Chimes of Freedom (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
97. Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee (Love and Theft)
98. Emotionally Yours (Empire Burlesque)
99. Series of Dreams (Bootleg Series Volume 3)
100. Tears of Rage (Basement Tapes)
101. If Not for You (New Morning)
102. Talkin' World War III Blues (Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
103. Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Biograph)
104. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) - (Bringing It All Back Home)
105. World Gone Wrong (World Gone Wrong)
106. Days of 49 (Self Portrait)
107. I Shall Be Free (Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
108. I Threw It All Away (Nashville Skyline)
109. Caribbean Wind (Biograph)
110. Buckets of Rain (Blood on the Tracks)
111. Ain't Talkin' (Modern Times)
Buy Dylan new addition to the Bootleg series...Voulme 8. This guy has more bootleg albums than people have actual albums...crazy.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The 11 Best Songs by The Streets

Female politicians are like the white rappers of hip-hop. It doesn't matter how talented (or talent-less) they are, other rappers of the genre always look down on them with disdain...as if they don't belong. Even the Beastie Boys who are as integral to bringing hip-hop to the main stream as anyone (even though they did it in their own rather boiterous, obtuse way) are by many people not considered rappers. Many rappers protested the VH-1 Hip-Hop Honors when the Beasties were honored. But like any closed clubs...eventually the walls come down. Mike Skinner and the Streets have already broken boundaries with their 2nd album, a concept album, which had seldom seen in the hip-hop world (only Mr. Lif's I Phantom comes to mind). But now Skinner reveals that this 4th release is actually the 4th chapter in a 5 album series, which is supposed to tell an entire story when all combined. Take that Pink Floyd.

The 11 Best Songs by The Streets:

1. Dry Your Eyes (A Grand Don't Come For Free)
2. Blinded By The Lights (A Grand Don't Come For Free)
3. Never Went To Church (The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living)
4. It's Too Late (Original Pirate Material)
5. Has It Come To This? (Original Pirate Material)
6. Fit But You Know It (A Grand Don't Come For Free)
7. Could Well Be In (A Grand Don't Come For Free)
8. Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living (The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living)
9. Pranging Out (The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living)
10. Don't Mug Yourself (Original Pirate Material)
11. Empty Cans (A Grand Don't Come For Free)

Buy The Streets new album...Everything Is Borrowed.