Friday, February 27, 2009

The Unknown: GBU'S - Covered 2009 (disc 1)

At the beginning of the year, sales are always slow. Even rock star giant Bruce Springteen's new album came out to meager numbers following his Super Bowl performance. So to keep fans hungry for more music, a plethera of compilations are making their way to stores, all filled with artists that would perform at a blogger's wet dream concert. Sweetheart, Heroes, and Revolution in Sound (March) feature modern bands covering classic artists...while Dark Was The Night (the most impressive) is a charity comp featuring 30 a-list artists. All the proceeds go to charity. These are the albums are getting the buzz in this early 2009.

So, I'm joing the club. I'd like to announce my first ever compilation. I call it Covered 2009. It features mostly current artists covering songs from the 80s. This is the first disc, which features alternative songs. Disc 2...out later this year will feature covers of metal songs. Coming up with the songs for this was virtually I narrowed it down with a few parameters. No songs from an artist's full-length release. I tried to limit the selections from tribute albums...I think one song made the cut.

Like the other comps...I'd like to donate some money charity in its honor. So I'm asking everyone who downloads something from this site to go out and purchase one of the outher compilation CDs. The money goes to charity. They're all really good albums. And you'll feel good about doing it.

The Good, The Bad, and the Unknown - Covered 2009 (disc 1)

1. Orange Crush - Editors (R.E.M.)
2. Message in a Bottle - Matisyahu (The Police)
3. Pulling Mussels (From a Shell) - Travis (Squeeze)
4. Enjoy The Silence - Failure (Depeche Mode)
5. An Cat Dubh - The Bravery (U2)
6. Love My Way - The Polyphonic Spree (Psychedelic Furs)
7. There Is A Light that Never Goes Out - Death Cab For Cutie (The Smiths)
8. Love Vigilantes - Iron & Wine (New Order)
9. Killing Moon - Pavement (Echo & The Bunnymen)
10. Oddfellows Local 151 - Weezer (R.E.M.)
11. Lovecats - OkGo (The Cure)
12. Seconds - Rogue Wave (U2)
13. Pretty In Pink - The National (The Psychedelic Furs)
14. Everyday Is Like Sunday - Colin Meloy (Morrissey)
15. Ceremony - Radiohead (New Order)
16. Love Will Tear Us Apart - The Cure (Joy Division)

Buy the new Heroes & Dark Was the Night comps now! Sweeheart, too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The 11 Best Songs By M. Ward

He's been called the Bob Dylan without talent, the Elliott Smith without pain, the Nick Drake without heart, the Ryan Adams without 8000 unreleased demos, the Joni Mitchell with testicles. (okay, I made up the last one). But the one thing that M.Ward persistant. I'll have to be perfectly honest, I was never a fan. That is until She & Him. If someone as hot as Zooey Deschanel thinks there's something special about this guy...then he's definitely worth another listen. And so far, Hold Time is my favorite album of the year. Since then, I've gone back to do some rediscovery and this is the result.

Here are the 11 Best Songs by M. Ward:

1. Poison Cup (Post-War)
2. Chinese Translation (Post-War)
3. Vincent O'Brien (Transfiguration of Vincent)
4. Post-War (Post-War)
5. Carolina (End of Amnesia)
6. Eyes on the Prize (Post-War)
7. Beautiful Car (Duets For Guitars)
8. Outta My Head (Transfiguration of Vincent)
9. Undertaker (Transfiguration of Vincent)
10. Sweethearts on Parade (Transistor Radio)
11. Let's Dance (Transfiguration of Vincent)

Buy M. Ward's new album, Hold Time now!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The 11 Best Songs By Asobi Seksu

The worst gift ever has to be those Visa Gift Cards. I know it seems like a great idea. But why is it a great idea? Aren't you just giving the person cash? If you want to give them cash...just give them cash. The Visa gift card gives off the illusion that it's more prestigous than cash...when it's really just cash.

The Visa gift cards are actually a rip-off. You have to pay $5 just to activate the card. Then if you don't use all the money on the card during the first can't get it. I had a $50 card and I spent $44 of it. I had $6 remaining. But no matter where I went, I could not access the cash. I called Visa, they said I could only use the card to purchase the exact dollar amount remaining on the card, which for me was $6.71. I tried that...with the friendly help of a cashier. Still didn't work. I called Visa again. They said the cashier didn't know what they were doing and to try it again. I tried it at three different places. Still didn't work. Visa assured me that the card was was just the cashiers who didn't know what they were doing. I asked them if they could send me a check for the remaining balance. They said I already had the card...which works just like cash. I assured doesn't.

Lesson to be learned: There is nothing better than cash.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Asobi Seksu:

1. New Years (Citrus)
2. Goodbye (Citrus)
3. I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me (Asobi Seksu)
4. Strings (Citrus)
5. Walk On the Moon (Asobi Seksu)
6. Strawberries (Citrus)
7. Red Sea (Citrus)
8. It's Too Late (Asobi Seksu)
9. Nefi + Girly (Citrus)
10. Sooner (Asobi Seksu)
11. Mizu Asobi (Citrus)

Buy Asobi Seksu's new album, Hush.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The 11 Best Songs By ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead

With George Bush leaving office, it doesn't just mark the end of his Presidency but a decline of all things Texas. Over the past year, Texas sports have lost prestige (Dallas Cowboys went from a virtual lock halfway through the season to not even making the playoffs, Houston Rockets are mildly chugging along in the NBA, Not 1 Texas team is ranked in the Top 25 for NCAA basketball). Gas prices have cashed through the floor. And now the Texas music scene is on the serious decline. Country music sales are plummeting and Texas rock bands are no longer making waves. Eight years ago, the At The Drive-In family and its spin-off bands like Mars Volta, Sparta, and any side project featuring Jim Ward, would rule the college music "hip" scene. But now these bands have been downgraded from trendsetters to "yeah, I think I've heard of those guys." Only Spoon and Okkervil River continue to polish Texas' good name. But most people think Spoon is from the U.K. so that's not helping much. Trail of Dead is following a very similar course as George W. (or is George H.W....I've already forgotten) In 2002, at the peak of Bush's popularity, Trail broke through with the outstanding Source Tags and Codes. But in 2005, at the same time as Katrina, Trail's follow-up came out and their popularity took a nose dive. They return this week, but as excited I am that they are still making music...I just wonder if they still have anything left.

Here are The 11 Best Songs By ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead:

1. Will You Smile Again? (Worlds Apart)
2. It Was There That I Saw You (Source Tags & Codes)
3. Ounce of Prevention (AYWKUBTTOD)
4. Heart in the Hand of Mat (Source Tags & Codes)
5. Mach Schau (Elena's Tomb)
6. Half of What (AYWKUBTTOD)
7. Blight Takes All (Madonna)
8. Sunken Dreams (So Divided)
9. A Gargoyle Waiting (AYWKUBTTOD)
10. Another Morning Stoner (Source Tags & Codes)
11. Mistakes and Regrets (Madonna)

Buy the new album by AYWKUBTTOD: Century of Self

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The 11 Best Morrissey Albums

I wanted to do a list of Morrissey's best B-Sides but I am severely lacking in that category. I have about 20 of them...but am missing at least 20. Who knew he was that prolific? I guess it's time he put out another B-Side comp.

I've included some of the B-side comps since they rank well alongside the albums.

The 11 Best Morrissey Albums:

1. Viva Hate (1988)
2. Your Arsenal (1992)
3. Vauxhall and I (1994)
4. Bona Drag (1990)
5. You Are The Quarry (2004)
6. Ringleader of the Tormentors (2006)
7. Maladjusted (1997)
8. World of Morrissey (1995)
9. Southpaw Grammar (1995)
10. My Early Burgalary Years (1997)
11. Kill Uncle (1991)

Bonus B-side from way back: Get Off The Stage

Buy Morrissey's new album: Years of Refusal for only $3.99 ( can't beat that with a stick!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The 11 Best Songs By Morrissey

Record labels are determined to blame the down swing in the record sales on illegal downloading...peer-to-peer networks, bloggers, 11-year-olds in their parents basement...all of them are the most evil people on the planet. But do you know who the biggest culprit of sharing music? Do you know who gives away more free music than anyone else? Don't worry, you'll never guess it. It's the PUBLIC LIBRARY! Yes, that's right. Public libraries stock CDs. Hundreds upon hundreds of CDs. And all of these CDs can be checked out. What happens? People come in...check out a dozen CDs...go home...burn them...then come back a week later for another dozen. And libraries aren't just stocked with the bottom of the barrell. Many times, the libraries are given new releases by the record labels themselves. California alone has over one million CDs in its libraries. And the funniest thing about's all one hundred

Do I have to guess where you'll be going tomorrow?

The 11 Best Songs By Morrissey:

1. Tomorrow (Your Arsenal)
2. Everyday Is Like Sunday (Viva Hate)
3. Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself (Vauxhall and I)
4. I Don't Mind If You Forget Me (Viva Hate)
5. First of the Gang To Die (You Are The Quarry)
6. The National Front Disco (Your Arsenal)
7. Suedehead (Viva Hate)
8. Will Never Marry (Bona Drag)
9. I Just Want To See The Boy Happy (Ringleader)
10. Late Night, Maudlin Street (Viva Hate)
11. The Youngest Was the Most Loved (Ringleader)

Buy Morrissey's new album: Years of Refusal - only $3.99

Monday, February 16, 2009

The 11 Best Songs By The Smiths

The Smiths are one of those bands that no matter what top ten list I pick, I'm going to piss off some rabid Moz fan who is going to hunt me down for failing to include "The Night Has Opened My Eyes" or "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore." But seriously...this is the Smiths we're talking about. I could pick 11 songs at random and it would be a fairly solid list. But to avoid controversary...let's just say this is a "favorites" list.

And if you don't like it...let's see your lists!

Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Smiths:

1. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Queen Is Dead)
2. Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (Louder Than Bombs)
3. Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before (Strangeways)
4. Half a Person (Louder Than Bombs)
5. Queen Is Dead (Queen Is Dead)
6. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (Strangeways)
7. I Want The One I Can't Have (Meat Is Murder)
8. Still Ill (The Smiths)
9. Sweet and Tender Hooligan (Louder Than Bombs)
10. This Charming Man (The Smiths)
11. Work Is A Four-Letter Word (B-Side)

Buy Moz's new album (Years of Refusal)...tomorrow!! Buy it from my Amazon Store for only $3.99...can't beat that price!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The 11 Best Free Albums on the Internet

For the past few months, a UK-based company called...yes, believe it or not...the Web Sheriff has begun a crackdown of Music Blogger posts. You can read about this assualt in a recent LA Weekly article. So, here's my middle finger to them.

All the albums below are 100% free. Now there are tons of free albums on the web...but these album were purposely made for internet distribution and are all sanctioned by the artists themselves.

Here are The 11 Best Free Albums on the Internet (actually 13):

1. Nine Inch Nails - The Slip & Ghosts (disc 1)
2. Smashing Pumpkins - Machina 2: Friends & Enemies
3. Ben Lee - Against Me!'s New Wave
4. Girl Talk - Feed The Animals
* when asked for a $$ amount...just enter 0.00
5. Duff McKagan's Loaded - Dark Days
* technically this was made to be a physical release...but never was offiicially released.
6. R.E.M. - I.X.
7. Okkervil River - Golden Opportunities
8. Explosions in the Sky - The Rescue
9. Jay Bennett - Whatever Happened I Apologize
10. Atmosphere - Strictly Leakage
11. Stereogum's Tribute Album Series - Bjork's Post/R.E.M.'s Drive
* The Tribute to Radiohead's OK Computer is no longer avail for download but can be streamed here.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The 11 Best Songs By Jellyfish

This weeks sees the release of Roger Manning's second solo album since the epic break-up of Jellyfish some 15 years ago. Manning's last album was not what Jellyfish fans had been waiting decades for...some were just happy to hear him once they appreciated what they were given...but deep down in their souls...they knew it was just not the same. Though nothing will replace a Manning reunion with singer Andy Strummer...the new album comes close to what the reunion might sound like. Capturing the spirit of E.L.O., Manning rips through the album sounding more like "In Color" era Cheap Trick than the Beach Boys fueled tracks from his previous release.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Jellyfish

1. Baby's Coming Back (Bellybutton)
2. Now She Knows She's Wrong (Bellybutton)
3. The Ghost of Number One (Spilt Milk)
4. The King Is Half-Undressed (Bellybutton)
5. Glutton of Sympathy (Spilt Milk)
6. The Man I Used To Be (Bellybutton)
7. That Is Why (Bellybutton)
8. Joining A Fanclub (Spilt Milk)
9. Calling Sarah (Bellybutton)
10. Too Much, Too Little, Too Late (Spilt Milk)
11. All I Want Is Everything (Bellybutton)

Buy Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.'s new album now!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The 11 Best Songs by the Von Bondies

The Von Bondies have always lived in the shadow of their Detroit counter-part, the White Stripes. Both bands share very similar bare bones, blues-influenced, in your face, blow out your speakers, rock 'n' roll. Both bands are male-female combos. The only real difference is that the Von Bondies are 4-piece and the White Stripes are humongus rock stars.

What's most compelling about the two bands is the path they took. As the White Stripes got bigger, they found a way to re-invent their sound, experimenting and keeping their music fresh. While the Von Bondies (though they owe much of their survival to Dennis Leary), have struggle for success and allowed their sound to become more polished and produced, hoping just to find a place to fit in.

Here are the 11 Best Songs by the Von Bondies

1. C'mon C'mon (Pawn Shoppe Heart)
2. Pawn Shoppe Heart (Pawn Shoppe Heart)
3. Broken Man (Pawn Shoppe Heart)
4. It Came From Japan (Lack of Communication)
5. Only To Haunt You (Lost Boys 2)
6. Please Please Man (Lack of Communication)
7. The Fever (Pawn Shoppe Heart)
8. Not That Social (Pawn Shoppe Heart)
9. No Sugar Mama (Lack of Communication)
10. No Regrets (Pawn Shoppe Heart)
11. Heartlessly Hopeless (C'mon, C'mon single)

Buy the new Von Bondies album, Love Hate and Then There's You.

Monday, February 02, 2009

I can't say I was a fan of yesterday's Super Bowl. I was pulling for the Cardinals...but I'm not really an Arizona fan...nor a Kurt Warner fan. And that said...I kinda of like the Steelers. I've had both Willie Parker and Big Ben in my Fantasy League over the past two years. Both did very well for me. Had the Steelers come in and blown out the would have been a bummer...but the Steelers would have earned it. But they didn't. The Steelers were supposed to dominate. They didn't. The Cardinals were supposed to fold under the pressure. They didn't. And what turned into an intense and exciting 4th quarter ended on a very fanti-climatic moment.

When tackled, Kurt Warner was attempting to throw a pass, which should have been called an incomplete pass. Same thing happened to Big Ben in the 3rd was called an incomplete pass. But against Warner, the referee called it a fumble. Upon instant replay, it was pretty clear...this was an incomplete pass. But the referees didn't even review the play. Even if it was beyond clear that this was a fumble, considering this is the most important game of the year...why wouldn't they take an extra minute just to be sure?! And what's worse...there wasn't even an explanation of the call. The game just ended. Granted, Arizona had to score a touchdown in 4 seconds to win...but after the Personal Foul on the Steelers...they would have been inside Pittsburgh's 30 with a very good shot at scoring. But that didn't happen...the officials ended the game without conferrring...without double-checking...and without respect for the teams playing.

What's more frustrating about the end of this game...this is now the 2nd Super Bowl with a ton of contested calls that all went in favor of the Steelers. Forgot about the last Super Bowl with the Steelers...just ask the Seattle Seahawks to remind you.

Hear are The 11 Best Bruce Springsteen Albums
(as voted by you)

1. Born To Run
2. Nebraska
3. The Rising
4. Darkness On The Edge of Town
5. Born In The USA
6. Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle
7. The Ghost of Tom Joad
8. Greetings From Astbury Park
9. Tunnel of Love
10. The River (Two Hearts - Live)
11. Magic

Buy Bruce's new album "Working on a Dream"