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.