Friday, July 30, 2010

The 11 Best Songs of The Year (so far):

I'm a sucker for a request.  Had no intention of doing this...but if the fans want it...then...

Here are the 11 Best Songs of the Year (so far):

1.  I Was A Teenage Anarchist - Against Me! (White Crosses)
2.  25 To Life - Eminem (Recovery)
3.  Odessa - Caribou (Swim)
4.  Soft In The Center - The Hold Steady (Heaven Is Whenever)
5.  You Wanted A Hit - LCD Soundsystem (This Is Happening)
6.  Giving Up The Gun - Vampire Weekend (Contra)
7.  Valleys of Neptune - Jimi Hendrix (Valleys of Neptune)
8.  End Love - OKGo (Of The Blue Colour of The Sky)

9.  Can't Hear My Eyes - Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (Before Today)
10.  Flash Delirium - MGMT (Congratulations)
11.  The Fourth Night of Drinking - The Drive-By Truckers (The Big To-Do)

Buy any of the great releases from 2010 and more!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The 11 Best Albums of the Year (so far):

Over halfway through the year and I am unimpressed.  Eminem's new album is pretty good and definitely a return to form.  But the best of the year?  It's not even the best Em album.  Maybe 3rd best.  And Massive Attack, Morcheeba, and MGMT have all made nice albums...but these are far from their best material.  So what gives?  Last year at this time, the Animal Collective, the xx, Grizzly Bear, and Phoenix had all released albums.  I've listened to Sleigh Bells (a reincarnation of Atari Teenage Riot), Best Coast (the new Raveonettes), Surfer Blood (a watered-down Pavement), Beach House (a more moody Joan As Police Woman), & Local Natives (a less innovative Elbow) and have been underwhelmed by all of them. Where's the good music people?!

This decade is really starting off with a whimper.

Here are the 11 Best Albums of 2010 (so far):

1.  Eminem - Recovery
2.  LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
3.  Massive Attack - Heliogoland
4.  Morcheeba - Blood Like Lemonade
5.  Jonsi - Go
6.  MGMT - Congratulations
7.  Tokyo Police Club - Champ
8.  Against Me! - White Crosses
9.  Free Energy - Stuck on Nothin'
10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Mojo
11. Caribou - Swim

Buy these great 2010 albums and others now!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The 11 Next Best Songs By Zero 7

I was a little stunned to discover that Zero 7 was releasing a greatest hits comp.  They're just not the band I think of ever being a "hitmaker."  It's like making a compilation of Woody Allen's greatest action sequences.  You could do it...but wouldn't you rather watch the whole film?  This is kind of the reason I hate greatest hits collections.  Yeah...can you believe that coming from me?  My problem with the collections is there's no criteria.  Bands don't have "greatest hits."  They have songs that have been released to radio.  Those are not hits...they're promo singles, picked by a label to advertise an album to potential customers.  How does releasing a song to radio, automatically make it a hit?  It's silly.  And don't get me started on the term "greatest."  Greatest implies that these songs are the best of the songs that were hits.  That means a band would have to have dozens of hits to be able to have a selection of songs that were greater than the others.  Even then, how would you decipher which hits were greater than the others?  By sales charts?  Then wouldn't that make your comp the "Popular Hits" not the "Greatest Hits."  Just because something's popular doesn't mean it's good.  (Example:  Twilight.)  I'd like to think Zero 7 was a bit better than the Twilight franchise...but I guess everyone's got to make money.

This list includes all the "greatest" songs by Zero 7 that didn't make their greatest hits comp.

Here are the Next 11 Best Songs By Zero 7:

1. Crosses (The Garden)
2. Today (The Garden)
3. Warm Sound (When It Falls)
4. Morning Song (When It Falls)
5. Spinning (Simple Things)
6. Pop Art Blue (Yeah Ghost)
7. Passing By (When It Falls)
8. Dreaming (B-Side)
9. Left Behind (The Garden)
10. Speed Dial No. 2 (When It Falls)
11. This World (Simple Things)

Buy Zero 7's greatest hits collection, RECORD.  Now!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Unknown: Beck's Record Club - Kick

Here's my monthly bribe attempt.  Here's the lastest completed installment of Beck's Record Club.  It features members of St. Vincent, Os Mutantes, and the Liars.  And does an A+ job of re-imagining a classic.  I was never a fan of INXS before this covers record...I am now.

In return for this piece of internet-only music, check out my $5 store.  Tons of awesome albums this month: MGMT's Oracular Spectacular, Pearl Jam's Ten, Broken Bells, Gorillaz's Plastic Beach, Passion Pit's Manners, Adele's 19,  Spoon's Gimme Fiction, JT's FutureSex/Love Sounds, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Modest Mouse's Good News, Shins' Wincing The Night, The National's debut, Jakob Dylan's Woman and Country, Drive By Truckers' Big To-Do, K'naan's Troubadour, RX Bandits' Mandala...and a buttload of others.  I've also left in a couple of choice $5.99 albums from last month....

Here is Beck's Record Club covering INXS' Kick:

1.  Guns in the Sky
2.  New Sensation
3.  Devil Inside
4.  Need You Tonight
5.  Mediate
6.  Loved One
7.  Wild Life
8.  Never Tear Us Apart
9.  Mystify
10.  Kick
11.  Calling All Nations
12.  Tiny Daggers

Check my $5 store now!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The 11 Best Songs By Crowded House

This week I went out to dinner with my daughters, and their little cousins.  We went to the culinary palace known as Islands.  It was packed.  Lots of kids.  But there was one couple across from us who were trying to have a romantic dinner and kept scowling at us all night.  It's Island's, you morons.  If you want romance, fork out a couple more bucks for a place that doesn't have kids' menu.  You should know better.   My biggest issue with the place was the service.  Our waiter was non-existant.  We asked for water, he brought us npakins twenty minutes later.  We asked for water, we got our apps.  We asked for water, we got our meals.  I didn't get my glass of water until halfway through my burger.  We never got our booster seats.  And though the waiter was nice and friendly, he wasn't very good.  It made me wonder.  Do restaurants ever make their employees play the game Diner Dash.  That game is brilliant.  I played it for weeks...after that I could waiter like nobody's business.  Watch out for screaming kids...water spills...don't make fat people wait for their food...and don't make lesbians wait for their checks (that's in the game).  It's the perfect training device.  There's no way anyone who masters this game wouldn't improve their waiting skills.  That said, why don't restaurants do this?  Maybe they're going for the wet floor, screaming kid, pissy lesbian ambience.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Crowded House:

1.  Don't Dream It's Over (Crowded House)
2.  Weather With You (Woodface)
3.  World Where You Live (Crowded House)
4.  Distant Sun (Together Alone)
5.  Something So Strong (Crowded House)
6.  Fall At Your Feet (Woodface)
7.  Four Seasons In One Day (Woodface)
8.  I Feel Possessed (Temple of Low Men)
9.  Say That Again (Time On Earth)
10.  Recurring Dream (Afterglow)
11.  Transit Lounge (Time On Earth)

Buy Crowded House's new album, Intriguer, now!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The 11 Best Song By Incubus (of the 00s)

The best thing about July is the lack of major new releases, giving me some time to catch up on some other stuff I may have missed.  And with the NFL pre-season still 3 weeks from kick-off...I should have no problem catching up by the time all the September major releases roll around.

Brandon Boyd, lead singer of Incubus, delivers his first solo album.  He promises it to be just as average as all the rest of Incubus' material.  Was that below the belt?

Here are the 11 best Songs By Incubus from the 00s:

1.  Megalomaniac (A Crow Left To The Murder)
2.  Rogues (Light Grenades)
3.  Anna Molly (Light Grenades)
4.  Wish You Were Here (Morning View)
5.  11 AM (Morning View)
6.  Agoraphobia (A Crow Left To The Murder)
7.  Let's Go Crazy (Monuments and Melodies)
8.  Nice To Know You (Morning View)
9.  Leech (A Crow Left To The Murder)
10.  Mexico (Morning View)
11.  Black Heart Inertia (Monuments and Melodies)

Buy lead singer, Brandon Boyd's new album, the Wild Trapeze, now!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The 11 Best Songs By Deer Tick

Mel Gibson is nuts.  Or is he?  Like everyone on this planet, I've now heard a few of Mel Gibson's rants and tirades to his girlfriend/ex-wife/floozy/mistrees.  I've heard them set to a slide show of Mel Gibson movies.  I've even heard them inserted into an episode of Dora the Exploerer (check youtube).  But is Mel Gibson is as crazy as he sounds?  Or was he baited?  I have a very hard time believing that Oksana was able to completely maintain a calm cool voice through-out the entire conversation...unless she had motive to do so.  She knew that the conversation was being taped, therefore she was on her best behavior.  Purposely.  And it's not hard to believe that she didn't call him first...push his buttons...get him angry...then hang up...wait for him to call back pissed...and then tape the conversation.  Trust me, my dad's a divorce attorney...this is something people do all the time.

My feeling on the situation...Oksana and Mel deserve each other...sadly, their kid does not.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Deer Tick:

1.  Baltimore Blues No. 1 (War Elephant)
2.  Long Time (War Elephant)
3.  Easy (Born On Flag Day)
4.  Art Isn't Real (War Elephant)
5.  Friday XIII (Born On Flag Day)
6.  Smith Hill (Born On Flag Day)
7.  Still Crazy After All These Years (B-Side)
8.  Dirty Dishes (War Elephant)
9.  Beautiful Girls (CMG Podcast)
10.  Little White Lies (Born On Flag Day)
11.  The Ghost (Born On Flag Day)

Buy Deer Tick's new album, the Black Dirt!! (only 5.99!!!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The 11 Best Songs By Outkast of the 00s

I feel like every month or so I make a list for a band that doesn't deserve to be narrowed down to 11 songs.  This month, it happens to be OutKast.  I'm only constructing a list of songs from one decade, I would hate to do this list and include their albums from the 90s.  And songs from Andre 3000's solo kids' album didn't make the list.  Yes, he has a kids album...look it up.

My favorite thing in the world will likely happen with this list.  I will get some moron who says I don't know what the hell I'm doing and send me their list that will be identical to my list...with only 1 song different.  And that one song will either be a duplicate of another song on the list...or a song that's not eligible...or by some other artist altogether.  True stuff...someone sent me a Depeche Mode list with an Erasure song on it.  Can't wait to see what Goodie Mob song gets mistakenly put in.

Here are the 11 Best Songs by OutKast of the 00s:

1.  Hey Ya! (The Love Below)
2.  Mrs. Jackson (Stankonia)
3.  Roses (The Love Below)
4.  Flip Flop Rock (Speakerboxxx)
5.  The Way You Move (Speakerboxxx)
6.  B.O.B. (Stankonia)
7.  PJ and Rooster (Idlewild)
8.  Humble Mumble (Stankonia)
9.  Dracula's Wedding (The Love Below)
10.  So Fresh, So Clean (Stankonia)
11.  Morris Brown (Idlewild)

Buy Big Boi's new solo album, Sir Lucious Left Foot!

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Unknown: Public Affection - Death of a Dictionary

According to Prince, the internet is dead.  Itunes is about to go the way of MTV and the Dodo.  And you know what, he may be onto something.  The internet itself is not dead.  But getting music via the internet may be hitting its peak.  It's too easy to get music on the internet.  There's too much of it.  And when you have too much of something, you stop appreciating it.  There was a time when getting an album was an event.  You look forward to it for weeks.  Saved up for it.  Even waited in line for it.  Then when you got it, you listened to it...over and over.  All the way through.  You didn't listen to 30-seconds of a song than skip ahead.  You cherished the whole album.  That doesn't happen anymore.  It means...people just don't care.  Or do they?

In the past couple years vinyl has been making a comeback.  Even I have gone back to listening to records...and it makes a huge difference.  I like the music more.  And that's not all...cassettes are even making a comeback.  Cassettes!

I picked up Public Affection, Live's first demo album, 15 years ago.  It took me months to find.  I asked friends.  Friends of friends.  Even random people at concerts.  I finally found a cousin of an ex-roommate from South Carolina who burned me a copy and mailed it to me.  Getting a copy was like finding buried treasure.  I listened to it religiously when I got it.  More than their regular albums.  Because it was mine.

Now, getting the album is easy.  You just need to type the album name into google.  And spend a few minutes downloading.  And you have instantly what took me months to acquire. It's just not the same.

The internet may not be dead...but it is time for someone to kill it.

Here is Public Affection - Death of a Dictionary:

1.  Savior For A Day
2.  Who Put The Fear In Here
3.  Good Pain
4.  Morning Humour
5.  Paper Flowers
6.  The Hands of a Teacher
7.  Sister
8.  Raising a Man
9.  Libra
10.  Ball and Chain

Buy Ed Kowalczyk's new solo album,!!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The 11 Best Songs By Bloc Party

I'm back from vacation.  Well, I wouldn't call driving up and down California for 10 days in a car with a whiny 5-year-old and attention-starved 2-year-old much of a vacation.  I didn't I find sleeping in 5 different strange beds very restful.  Nor, did I enjoy the endless supply of grease-filled foods at the roadside rest stops.  And most importantly, nothing was more pain-inducing than listening to the same Dora the Explorer album...50 times in a row.  I'm just glad to be home so I can finally get some rest.

I know I'm a bit behind on my lists.  Kele Okereke, lead singer of Bloc Party, has a solo album out.  Go buy it.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Bloc Party:

1. Helicopter (Silent Alarm)
2. Two More Years (Silent Alarm B-side)
3. Positive Tension (Silent Alarm)
4. The Once and Future King (Another Weekend In the City)
5. Hunting For Witches (A Weekend In the City)
6. Banquet (Silent Alarm)
7. Flux (Intimacy)
8. Halo (Intimacy)
9. Song For Clay (A Weekend In the City)
10. Version 2.0 (Another Weekend In the City)
11. I Still Remember (A Weekend In the City)

Buy Kele Okereke's new solo album, The!!