Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The 11 Best Songs By The Great Lake Swimmers

I think what I love about the Great Lake Swimmers is they remind me of everything I loved about My Morning Jacket when I first discovered them. That bare bones approach to songwriting, where emotion far exceeds production value. Now that MMJ is using a production studio like it was a fulltime member of the band, there's been something lost from the days where they recorded in a grain silo. Though GLS has also ditched the days where they recorded on porches with the sounds of crickets keeping time, there is still something pure to the way they are making their music. No one wants to make pretzels and cheese all their lives. I get that. And I think the world would be a much better place if bands like Great Lake Swimmers and My Morning Jacket were dominating the airwaves over the Nickelbacks and Fall Out Boys. But it's nice to hear band through out a few nuggets to let the fans know they still remember what made them great in the first place.

Here are The 11 Best Songs By The Great Lake Swimmers:
1. Bodies and Minds (Bodies and Minds)
2. Your Rocky Spine (Ongiara)
3. I Saw You In The Wild (Bodies and Minds)
4. Moving Pictures Silent Films (Great Lake Swimmers)
5. Song For the Angels (Bodies and Minds)
6. Moving, Shaking (Great Lake Swimmers)
7. Gonna Make It Through This Year (Hands In the Dirty Ground)
8. Changing Colours (Ongiara)
9. Let's Trade Skins (Bodies and Minds)
10. Imaginary Bars (Bodies and Minds)
11. I Could Be Nothing (Bodies and Minds)
Buy the GLS new album, Lost Channels.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Unknown: Pearl Jam - Found Cats

My quest to buy the new Pearl re-issue of "Ten" is a surefire sign of our times. I went to 4 different stores to find it: Best Buy, Target, Fryes, and Costco. Everyone had the typical 2-disc version. But no one carried the 3-disc (CD/DVD) version. I even went to one of the last standing CD stores in the Valley...they too were sold out. At this point, my focus is waning...the longer I have to think about purchasing it...the less I'm likely to do it.

I'm torn about the new Pearl Jam. I feel like the re-issue treatment falls a bit short. I am excited to hear the new remix of the album...but excited in the way I was to see the "updated" version of Star Wars. They were exciting once...then I went back to watching the old versions. I kinda feel the same way about Ten...sounds exciting once (no pun intended) but I know I'm going to prefer the original version. And the bonus tracks...though are all very very cool...where are the Ten B-sides? We've seen some on Lost Dogs...but what about I've Got a Feeling? And why a DVD of MTV Unplugged? Why not an audio version too?...or at least a download code to get it? Until it gets sorted out...here's the remaining B-side studio tracks from PJ that didn't quite make the Lost Dogs cut.

Pearl Jam - Found Cats

1. I've Got A Feeling
2. Sonic Reducer
3. Angel
4. Crazy Mary
5. Leatherman
6. I Just Wanna Have Something To Do
7. Olympic Platinum
8. Someday At Christmas
9. Happy When I'm Crying
10. Love, Reign O'er Me
11. Long Road

Buy Pearl Jam's re-release of Ten now!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The 11 Best Songs By the Libertines

No one has struggle more to be a modern day rock star than Pete Doherty. I'm not talking about his music production...which has been quite modest: Two bands, a handful of albums, nothing exceptional...but some quality material in there. I'm talking about his life in the eyes of the media. He has attended more parties, done more drugs, gotten in more fights, and caused more genereal ruckus than all of his contemporaries combined. Not even Britney Spears and Paris Hilton running around Vegas naked with a backpack full of crystal meth could cause as much of a scene as Doherty could cause with one hand tied behind his back. Whether it's "despite of" or "because of" his antics...Doherty stays relevant and has just released a solo album of probably his best material to date.

The 11 Best Songs By The Libertines:

1. What A Waster (Up The Bracket)
2. What Became of the Likely Lads (The Libertines)
3. Death on the Stairs (Up The Bracket)
4. The Ha Ha Wall (The Libertines)
5. The Man Who Would Be King (The Libertines)
6. Don't Look Back Into the Sun (I Get Along)
7. Horror Show (Up The Bracket)
8. Can't Stand Me Now (The Libertines)
9. Last Post on the Bugle (The Libertines)
10. Tomblands (The Libertines)
11. Cyclops (Can't Stand Me Now)

Buy Peter Doherty's new solo album, Grace/Wastelands.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The 11 Best Decemberists Non-Album Tracks

Since most of the Decemberists b-sides and bonus tracks are found on EPs, it was hard to pool them as a GBU created Unknown album. While so many bands put a different track on every version of their album, forcing fans to buy 8 copies...the Decemberists play a different game. Though they throw a couple songs on a CD single (do those really exist anymore?), they most wait and pool all their bonus tracks onto an EP making things far more affordable for their fans. So...bravo to that.

I still haven't bought HOL yet...since the reviews have varied from great to awful...I haven't been able to make up my mind. What do you guys think of the new album?

By the way, Kingdom of Spain is not the same version as on the Picaresqueties EP.

The 11 Best Decemberists Non-Album Tracks:

1. The Tain (Tain EP)
2. Angel, Won't You Call (5 songs EP)
3. Valerie Plame (Always The Bridesmaid)
4. Constantinople (Picaresqueties)
5. Kingdom of Spain (16 Military Wives)
6. After The Bombs (O Valencia!)
7. Think About Me (Bridging The Distance)
8. Days of Elaine (Always The Bridesmaid)
9. Everything I Try To Do (Billy Liar)
10. Human Behavior (Read: Interpreting Bjork)
11. Clementime (To: Elliott, From: Portland)

Buy The Decemberists new album, Hazards of Love.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The 11 Best Songs By the Decemberists

I'm in the process of moving my blog over to a new host at Word Press. I've currently got the site up and running but haven't made the official move yet. My big problem is figuring out a whole new system. I'd love to make my graphics and look my own but really don't have the time or the skills to do it. Which is bizarre since my first job out of college was programing html and javascript...now I barely know how to twitter.

So here's the new site (http://www.goodbadunknown.com/).

I'd love to know your thoughts...advice, etc. And trust...I can use all the advice I can get. I've spent about 3 years getting used to blogger. Starting this all over again is a bit overwhelming.

Here are the 11 Best Decemberists Songs:

1. The Island (The Crane Wife)
2. Los Angeles, I'm Yours (Her Majesty The Decemberists)
3. O Valencia! (The Crane Wife)
4. We Both Go Down Together (Picaresque)
5. Cocoon (Castaways and Cutouts)
6. The Chimbley Sweep (Her Majesty The Decemberists)
7. July, July! (Castaways and Cutouts)
8. Perfect Crime #2 (The Crane Wife)
9. The Legionnaire's Lament (Castaways and Cutouts)
10. The Infanta (Picaresque)
11. The Crane Wife #3 (The Crane Wife)

Buy the Decemberists new album, Hazards of Love now!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The 11 Best Chris Cornell Songs

I like peanut butter. And I like omelets. But I do not like peanut butter omelets. I like Jack Nicholson. I like Natalie Portman. I do not like them as romantic leads in a movie. I like cooking. I like pets. I do not like cooking my pets. I haven't experienced any of these things. Because I am pretty sure I wouldn't like them. Which is my same apprehension from listening to the new Chris Cornell R&B album. Sure, the Billie Jean cover was pretty cool. But that was a novelty. Trying to make a whole album of novelty songs...then you're make a Weird Al record.

The 11 Best Chris Cornell Songs:

1. You Know My Name (Carry On)
2. Sunshower (Great Expectations)
3. Can't Change Me (Euphoria Morning)
4. Killing Birds (Carry On)
5. Seasons (Singles)
6. Billie Jean (Carry On)
7. Flutter Girl (Euphoria Morning)
8. Moon Child (Euphoria Morning)
9. No Such Thing (Carry On)
10. Disappearing One (Euphoria Morning)
11. Mission (Euphoria Morning)

Buy Chris Cornell's new R&B album, Scream. Only $2.99! You can't even get a ringtone for that cheap!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The 11 Best U2 Songs of the 00s

In the 90s, U2 kept trying to re-invent themselves. Achtung Baby stands out as an epic achievement...while Pop and Zooropa floundered with the band, trying to find their way. But as the new decade opened, U2 realized that re-discovery of their own sound was as powerful as any new tangent they could embark on. With ATYCLB and HTDAAB, U2 embraced who they were...a rock n roll band. In the 90s, it seemed like they were chasing the musical trends. But they don't need to do that...they are U2...they are the trend. They proved that when they re-established themselves with Beautiful Day. Within weeks, radio scrambled to find the next U2. Not long after, bands like Coldplay, Travis, Elbow, Muse, Clinic, and the Doves had been thrust into the limelight right along side the world's favorite Irish chaps.

Here are the 11 Best U2 Songs of the 00s

1. Walk On (All That You Can't Leave Behind)
2. City of Blinding Lights (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
3. Beautiful Day (All That You Can't Leave Behind)
4. Stateless (The Million Dollar Hotel)
5. Miracle Drug (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
6. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
7. The Ground Beneath Your Feet (The Million Dollar Hotel)
8. Electrical Storm (Best of 1990 - 2000)
9. Original of the Species (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb)
10. New York (All That You Can't Leave Behind)
11. Beat on the Brat (We're A Happy Family)

Buy U2's new album, No Line on the Horizon.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The 11 Best U2 Songs of the 90s

U2's 90s material is a perfect example of why I don't include music from a recent release in my current lists. Some music can only be appreciated from a distance. Excluding Achtung Baby, much of U2's 90s fare was difficult to grasp upon the initial listening. Every time I'd hear a new song, I spent the first few spins trying to figure out if they were being serious or not. The jury's still out over "Lemon." But years down the road, I can listen to Pop and Zooropa and at least appreciate what they were trying to do. And surprisingly rediscover a new fondness for Edge's "Numb."

The 11 Best U2 Songs of the 90s:

1. One (Achtung Baby)
2. Love Is Blindness (Achtung Baby)
3. Until The End of the World (Achtung Baby)
4. Staring At The Sun (Pop)
5. Do You Feel Loved (Pop)
6. Ultraviolet (Achtung Baby)
7. 2 Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad (B-Side)
8. If God Will Send His Angels (Pop)
9. Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (Achtung Baby)
10. Paint It Black (B-Side)
11. Numb (Zooropa)

Buy U2's new album, No Line On The Horizon for only $3.99.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The 11 Best U2 Songs of the 80s

As I've noticed in the past, artists whose careers span decades can't be categorized in one giant lump. There is no comparison of U2's material of the 80s to the stuff their making now. Don't get me wrong, there's some great material coming out of the band. But it's not just material you're comparing. You just can't compare music being made in the 2000s by guys in their 40 against music being made in the 1980s by guys in their 20s. The circumstances are different. The time is different. Their lives are different. The societies are different...the trends are different...the worlds are different. In the 80s, they were struggling musicians. Today, they are millionaires, helping shape world politics. They're not the same band. So, to be fair...I'm splitting this into a three-day look at U2's best songs.

Here are the 11 Best U2 Songs of the 80s:

1. New Year's Day (War)
2. I Will Follow (Boy)
3. With Or Without You (The Joshua Tree)
4. Pride (The Unforgettable Fire)
5. Where The Streets Have No Name (The Joshua Tree)
6. Like A Song (War)
7. Sunday Bloody Sunday (War)
8. The Unforgettable Fire (The Unforgettable Fire)
9. Gloria (October)
10. All I Want Is You (Rattle & Hum)
11. Red Hill Mining Town (The Joshua Tree)

Buy U2's new album, No Line On the Horizon for only $3.99.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The 11 Best U2 Albums

When will U2 finally get the respect they deserve? Everyone considers U2 a heavyweight. Most would consider them to be the best artist of the 80s. But when lists of the greatest artists of all time come out, U2 tends to find themselves at the tail end of the top 25...with a novelty nod. U2 deserves better. Has there ever been a band who has had as much continued success as the Irish lads? Maybe only the Rolling Stones. Springsteen? Dylan? It's a short list. Many artists who manage to stay around may rake in the bucks on the road but struggle selling new albums. U2 has done both...and they have done something that no one else has ever accomplished...they remain trendy. Most artists can't remain trendy for 3 years let alone 30. That in itself is a major feat.
Here are the 11 Best U2 Albums:
1. War
2. Joshua Tree
3. The Unforgettable Fire
4. Boy
5. Achtung Baby
6. Atomic Bomb
7. October
8. Rattle and Hum
9. Pop
10. All that You Can't Leave Behind
11. Zooropa

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The 11 Best Cursive Songs:

As album sales continue to slide, bands are looking for new ways to get people to buy their product. Cursive is the newest band to adapt to the digital market with their newest promotion. Today, March 1st...you can buy their new album (Mama, I'm Swollen) for only $1 from the Saddle Creek website. On March 2nd, it will be $2...on March 3rd it will be $3...and so on until the official release on March 10th.

So what are you waiting for? ...grab some laundry quarters and go download the album.

The 11 Best Songs By Cursive:

1. Rise Up! Rise Up! (Happy Hollow)
2. Some Red Handed Slight of Hand (The Ugly Organ)
3. Dorothy At Forty (Happy Hollow)
4. The Recluse (The Ugly Organ)
5. Into the Fold (Happy Hollow)
6. The Great Decay (Burst and Bloom)
7. The Martyr (Domestica)
8. Sierra (The Ugly Organ)
9. The Night I Lost the Will To Fight (Domestica)
10. Art Is Hard (The Ugly Organ)
11. Nonsense (Saddle Creek 50)

Buy Cursive's new album, Mama, I'm Swollen now.