Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Sonic Youth of the 00s:

Sonic Youth never had a hit single.  They never had a hit album.  They never had a hit video.  They never tune their guitars.  They have never had their albums produced by Timberland.  They have never played Saturday Night Live.  They have never hired the paparazzi to chase them around for a pre-planned nip slip.  They have never tried to make a commercial album.  They have never tried to write a radio hit.  They have never sold out.  They have never cashed in.  They have done every single thing that a successful rock band is supposed to do.  Yet, the band is now entering into their 30th year.  They have lasted longer than 99% their mainstream contemporaries.  They have lasted longer than 99% of their critics.  They have lasted 99% longer than everyone at every record label who rejected them or told them they would never make it in the business, playing music their own way.  Popularity can be productive, but longevity is earned.  A pop artist who is only as good as the people around only good when there are people around them.  Sonic Youth has proven you don't need anyone when you have talent.

The 11 Best Songs By Sonic Youth:

1.      Stones (Sonic Nurse)
2.      What We Know (The Eternal)
3.      New Hampshire (Sonic Nurse)
4.      The Empty Page (Murray Street)
5.      Sleeping Around (Rather Ripped)
6.      Poison Arrow (The Eternal)
7.      Dude Ranch Nurse (Sonic Nurse)
8.      Reena (Rather Ripped)
9.      Pattern Recognition (Murray Street)
10.  Anti-Orgasm (The Eternal)
11.  Incinerate (Rather Ripped)

Buy Sonic Youth's new album, Simon Werner a Disparu

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By G. Love

I'm getting sick of Rihanna.  Strangely, she's one of the few pop stars I can actually tolerate.  And I assume, I'm not the only one who feels the same way.  She performed twice at the Grammy's...a task that not even Mick Jagger has ever performed.  One week later, she was the half-time show at the NBA Allstar game.  Are there really no other great pop stars out there today to perform the half-time show at the NBA Allstar game?  Beyonce was sitting there with Jay-Z...they couldn't have pulled her up on stage?

And why does it half to be pop?  Why not a rock star?  Why not G. Love?  The guy does more basketball influenced songs than anyone else out there.  He's your biggest promoter next to Nike.  Give the guy a shot.

Twenty years in, G. Love is a tireless blues enthusiast.  He paved the way for Jack Johson, The White Stripes and the Black Keys, who in turn paved the way for Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers, who in turn have produced G. Love's new album.  BTW Jack White...G. Love did a Coca Cola commercial first.

Here are the 11 Best Solo Songs By G. Love:

1.  Don't Drop It (The Hustle)
2.  Ain't That Right (Lemonade)
3.  Rainbow (Lemonade)
4.  The Fishing Song (The Hustle)
5.  Hot Cookin' (Lemonade)
6.  Back of the Bus (The Hustle)
7.  Sauce (Oh Yeah)
8.  Yeah Yeah (Lemonade)
9.  Breakin' Up (Lemonade)
10.  Greatest Hits (Look At All the Love We've Found)
11.  Rhyme For the Summertime (Oh Yeah)

Get G. Love's new solo album, Fixin' To Die (produced by the Avett Bros.)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Radiohead (of the 00s)

Less than a week ago, the only thing anyone knew about a new Radiohead album were faint internet rumors.  It was coming!...was about the detailed extent of it.  We could hope it was sooner than later, but with Radiohead, it could be any day...or a year away.  Today, as I write this, the new Radiohead album is booming from my computer speakers.  The band announced a new album on Monday, and a mere five days later, it was available for all the world to buy.  With the all the big music news this week...including Arcade Fire's miracle win, new music by Green Day and Foo Fighters, and Justin Bieber's pregnancy plans for Selena Gomez, all anyone talked about was that a new Radiohead album was coming...because honestly...that's all that mattered.

The best thing about a new Radiohead album (if In Rainbows was any indication) was that the album was only the beginning of the digital musical floodgates.  Last time, we were treated to multiple live shows, a BBC show, a B-side album, a Remix album, and much more.  Let's hope they have similar plans this time around.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Radiohead of the 00s:

1.      Knives Out (Amnesiac)
2.      How To Disappear Completely (Kid A)
3.      Where I End And You Begin (Hail To The Thief)
4.      Reckoner (In Rainbows)
5.      Idioteque (Kid A)
6.      Sit Down. Stand Up. (Hail To The Thief)
7.      Like Spinning Plates (I Might Be Wrong)
8.      Nude (In Rainbows)
9.      Last Flowers (In Rainbows CD2)
10.  A Punchup At A Wedding (Hail To The Thief)
11.  Jigsaw Falling  Into Place (In Rainbows)

Buy Radiohead's new album, King of!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Asobi Seksu

In the 90s, the shoegazer genre left faster than it came.  By the time most people discovered it, it was already gone.  My Bloody Valentine and Ride broke up within years of forming.  Lush went pop.  And  most fans of the genre were stuck discovering the other various bands through the used CD racks and cassettes of bootlegs from poorly sounding shows.

As with all good genres, they may burn out quickly, but their influence last forever.  In recent years, shoegazing has sprang up everywhere.  It's like everyone was so desperate to hear more music from the genre, that they went out and started making the music themselves.

Asobi Seksu has made a solid career out of working diligently in trying to sound like they've been transplanted to our time from the 90s, to save us from Fergie.  Thank you, time traveling Asobi Seksu...thank you.

Here Are the 11 Best Songs By Asobi Seksu:

1.  New Years (Citrus)
2.  Strawberries (Citrus)
3.  Me and Mary (Hush)
4.  Walk on the Moon (Asobi Seksu)
5.  I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me (Asobi Seksu)
6.  Glacially (Hush)
7.  Thursday (Citrus)
8.  Goodbye (Citrus)
9.  It's Too Late (Asobi Seksu)
10.  Mizu Asobi (Citrus)
11.  Transparence (Hush)

Buy Asobi Seksu's new album,!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By The Dears

Believe it or not...I don't really have an opinion on Justin Bieber.  I'm not a big pop music fan, so I don't really pay him mind either way.  But one thing, I will say, is that I've lived long enough to see plenty of Justin Biebers explode onto the scene only to fizzle away.  Remember the Jonas Brothers?  Hanson?  How's 98 Degrees career going?  But that's the shelf life of a pop music star.  Very very few male pop stars make it past the age of 25.  It's just a fact.  Once you're not cute and cuddly anymore, you're done.

What seems to be different this time is the fanatics behind the Bieber movement.  Every one says that Bieber fans are nuts, bordering on psychotic.  But are Bieber fans any different than any other crazed fans that have come before them...or is it that they now have an extrememly public outlet that other fans of the past didn't have?  I remember back in high school, I made a joke about the singer, Tiffany.  Some rabid Tiffany fan threatened to stab me in the heart if I ever said anything bad about her again.

I give Bieber 3 years.  And that's not because I don't like the kid...he is just a kid.  But when you come out huge...there's no where to go but down.

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.  Crisis 1 &2 (Missiles)
4.  Bandwagoners (Gang Of Losers)
5.  Raise the Dead (Gang Of Losers B-Side)
6.  Lights Off  (Missiles)
7.  End of A Hollywood Bedtime Story (End of A Hollywood Bedtime Story)
8.  Threats  (Missiles)
9.  Pinned Together, Falling Apart (No Cities Left)
10.  This Is A Broadcast (End of A Hollywood Bedtime Story)
11.  Summer of Protest (Summer of Protest EP)

Buy the Dears new album, Degeneration!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By The Drive-By Truckers

Let’s get one thing straight, country music today is not country music.  It’s pop music.  Just because you wear a cowboy hat and sing with a twang in your voice does not mean your music is country.  Carrie Underwood has more in common with Norah Jones than she does Patsy Cline.  Kenny Chesney has more in common with John Mayer than he does Hank Williams.  Country music is about the down-trodden.  About the working man.  About trying to pay your bills and failing.  About losing everything and never getting it back.  It’s about never trusting the government, even if they’re Republicans from Texas.  Country music was created at a time when citizens felt like America had turned their back on them.  Today, modern country preaches the glory of America even though times are at their worst.  At least one band hasn’t forgotten.

Drive By Truckers are one of the last remaining bands that embody the spirit of classic country.  Their songs are overflowing with broken characters ripe of desolation.  Of criminals forced down the wrong path.  Of good intentions spoiled by fatal flaws.  As dark and disturbing as their songs are, they’re stories are real.  There are pieces of ourselves in these songs.  We relate to the character’s weaknesses and their choices.  We relate to their challenges and their short-comings.  The Drive By Truckers remind all of us that even in our darkest times, we’re not alone.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Drive-By Truckers:

1. My Sweet Annette (Decoration Day)
2. The Day John Henry Died (The Dirty South)
3. The Sands of Iwo Jima (The Dirty South)
4. Sounds Better In The Song (Decoration Day)
5. The Righteous Path (Brighter Than Creation's Dark)
6. Carl Perkins Cadalliac (The Dirty South)
7. The Boys From Alabama (The Dirty South)
8. Ronnie And Neil (Southern Rock Opera)
9. Two Daughters and A Beautiful Wife (Brighter Than Creation's Dark)
10. Puttin' People on the Moon (The Dirty South)
11. The Fourth Night Of My Drinking (The Big To Do)

Buy the Drive-By Truckers new album, Go-Go Boots now!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Bright Eyes

Today was an uber-epic day in the world of music.  Despite Radiohead announcing a new album out this Saturday, Green Day, The Flaming Lips and Foo Fighters releasing new songs, Quesadilla spaulding attacked by pre-pubescent tweens in need of pubes...there was one thing on the tip of everyone's tongue:  Who the fuck are the Arcade Fire?

I'm not a fan of award shows, you should know that by reading this blog.  I do watch them for the performances.  I don't really care who wins...but Arcade Fire swiping the album of the year was something worth smiling about. What is even more perplexing is how many so-called music experts took to the Twitter-verse to voice their complete and utter ignorance of the band.  Because these self-proclaimed musical geniuses hadn't heard of the band, they felt that they should not have won.  How is bragging that you've never head of Arcade Fire make you a musical expert? Would that be like publicly admitting your musical ignorance?  Arcade Fire isn't an unknown band.  They were probably the biggest rock band of last year.

Here's a crib list of Arcade Fire's musical accomplishments from the last year:

- August 8th, 2010, The Suburbs moved 160,000 units to have the #1 album on Billboard's Top 200...ousting Eminem from the #1 spot and beating Lady Gaga's remix album debut
- Had the highest critical ranking of any album in any category nominated for a Grammy
- Ranked in the Top 5 as one of the best albums of 2010 by Q magazine, MTV, Stereogum, Rolling Stone, Spin, NME, and Time Magazine
- It sold 500,000 copies in 2010 (and was only out for 5 months)
- The band will headline Coachella 2011

Oh yeah...and there's a new Bright Eyes out today...can't wait to see what happens when Conor finally wins something.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Bright Eyes:

1. Let's Not Shit Ourselves (Lifted or the Story is in the Soil)
2. Lua (I'm Wide Awake)
3. You Will. You?Will. You? Will. You?Will. (Lifted or the Story is in the Soil)
4. Middleman (Cassadega)
5. Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh (Fevers & Mirrors)
6. Something Vague (Fevers & Mirrors)
7. First Day Of My Life (I'm Wide Awake)
8. Ship In A Bottle (Digital Ash In a Digital Urn)
9. Four Winds (Cassadega)
10. Don't Know When But A Day Is Gonna Come (Lifted or the Story is in the Soil)
11. Light Pollution (Digital Ash In a Digital Urn)

Buy Bright Eyes new album The People's Key ($3.99 for a limited time!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Thin Lizzy

As hard as it was to see the White Stripes break up last week, we all know they're going to be reuniting in the near future.  It's harder when we truly lose someone forever.

This week, lead guitarist for the epic 70s rock band Thin Lizzy passed away.  Gary Moore laid down some of the truly great guitar riffs of the 70s inspiring everyone from Metallica to Bruce Springsteen to John Cougar Melloncamp.  He was a legend that delivered some of the most memorable rock songs of all time and inspired countless more.

This was not an easy list to make.  There are dozens of other Thin Lizzy songs that deserve please...explore.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Thin Lizzy:

1.  Whiskey in the Jar (Vagabonds of the Western World)
2.  Jailbreak (Jailbreak)
3.  Little Girl in Bloom (Vagabonds of the Western World)
4.  Emerald (Jailbreak)
5.  Dancing in the Moonlight (Bad Reputation)
6.  Roisin Dubh (Black Rose)
7.  Johnny (Johnny The Fox)
8.  Got To Give It Up (Black Rose)
9.  Cold Sweat (Thunder and Lightning)
10.  Romeo and the Lonely Girl (Jailbreak)
11.  Opium Trail (Bad Reputation)

Buy the newly released Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak Deluxe Edition 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

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

Itunes hates the Trail of the Dead.  For some reason...adding "..." to the beginning of your band title does not jive well with Itunes Maoist operations.  Even though I've imported their CDs into my computer countless times, whenever I go to play the band, Itunes can't find their music. Even if I search by album title or song title,
 nothing comes up.  When I go to re-import the music...then Itunes freaks out that the music already exists.  If it exists, then why can't I find it?

And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead is not only under appreciated by Itunes, they are also under appreciated by many music fans critics.  Their debut was great and praised by all...but they've never been able to completely rekindle that fire. Their follow-ups have had some great moments, though only moments.  Still, many of those moments are worth seeking out and discovering.

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 Matter (Source Tags & Codes)
5. Far Pavilions (Century of Self)
6. Mach Schau (Elena's Tomb)
7. Half of What (AYWKUBTTOD)
8. Blight Takes All (Madonna)
9. Sunken Dreams (So Divided)
10. Another Morning Stoner (Source Tags & Codes)
11. Isis Unveiled (Century Of Self)

Buy the new album by AYWKUBTTOD...Tao of the Dead.

Monday, February 07, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Cut Copy

Yesterday the Black-Eyed Peas played the Superbowl.  Despite what every talk show said...most people I know...if not every one I know, hated the halftime show.  Sure it was a great visual display, but it completely took you out of the game.  I spent two hours watching modern day gladiators rip each other hearts out, and then I have pause for a half hour and watch the IceCapades. It totally broke the momentum of the game.  Even though the second half was exciting, it was really difficult to get back into it because most people had been lulled to sleep.  In fact at our Super Bowl party, at halftime, we went from about 90 people to about 40 people at the start of the 3rd quarter.  We later found out that a few people left because they thought the game was over!!

Good job Super Bowl producers.  Good job.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Cut Copy:

1.  Hearts On Fire (In Ghost Colours)
2.  Strangers In The Wind (In Ghost Colours)
3.  Time Stand Still (Bright Lights Neon Lights)
4.  Lights & Music (In Ghost Colours)
5.  Out There On Thin Ice (In Ghost Colours)
6.  Future (Bright Lights Neon Lights)
7.  Bright Neon Payphone (Bright Lights Neon Lights)
8.  Nobody Lost, Nobody Found (In Ghost Colours)
9.  Far Away (In Ghost Colours)
10.  A Dream (Bright Lights Neon Lights)
11.  Feel The Love (In Ghost Colours)

Buy Cut Copy's new album,!!!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Unknown: The White Stripes - Get In Front Of Me Jesus

We start next week in a world without the White Stripes.  And after the Super bowl today, we may start the week in a world without NFL football.  Negotiations pending, could be the end of an era.

Let's enjoy both while they're still around.  (PS...this will be up for a limited time...get it while it's hot)

Here is The White Stripes - Get In Front Of Me Jesus:

1.  What Goes Around
2.  Black Jack Davey
3.  Hand Springs
4.  Walking With A Ghost
5.  It's My Fault For Being Famous
6.  Cash Grab Complications
7.  Honey, We Can't Afford To Look This Cheap
8.  Though I Hear You Calling
9.  Good To Me
10.  Who's to Say
11.  Baby Brother
12.  Shelter of Your Arms
13.  Who's a Big Baby
14.  Jolene
15.  Tennessee Border

Check Jack White's Third Man Records now for some great rare White Stripes material.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By The White Stripes

This past decade, one band has managed to keep the Led Zeppelin torch lit: The White Stripes.  In an era where karaoke contests determined the next music sensation, the White Stripes stuck to the basics.  Their break-out release White Blood Cells was recorded on a 4-track.  Their follow-up, Elephant, was recorded for less than the crafts services table at a stage Britney Spears paparazzi shoot.  If you look at the best selling artists of all time, in the top 80, only 14 are pop artists…yet, 36 are rock.  Makes you wonder if the labels want to sell more music why they don’t want more music like the White Stripes around.

Unfortunately, the White Stripes have disbanded.  Here are some fun live recordings to say goodbye.

Here are the 11 Best White Stripes songs:

1. Seven Nation Army - Elephant
2. I Fell In Love With A Girl - White Blood Cells
3. Denial Twist - Get Behind Me Satan
4. I Can't Wait - White Blood Cells
5. Black Math - Elephant
6. Ball & Biscuit - Elephant
7. Truth Doesn't Make A Noise - De Stijl
8. A Martyr For My Love For You – Icky Thump
9. Hotel Yorba - White Blood Cells
10. We're Going To Be Friends - White Blood Cells
11. Apple Blossom - De Stijl  

Check out Third Man Records for lots of cool rare White Stripes stuff.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Cracker

The big news of the day is that White Stripes are breaking up.  For good.  Or so they say.  It's definitely sad news for die hard rock fans.  But they're on good terms...and there's only 2 of them.  The chances of a White Stripes reunion in the next 5 years probably falls under the category "highly likely."

The big news should really be about the Decemberists hitting number one on the Billboard 100 album charts.  Not only have the folk rockers ripped the #1 spot away from the pop divas, 4 out of top 5 slots went to rock albums.  Yes, rock and roll won the week.  Maybe there is some hope for a new rock music revolution.

Cracker reminds me of a 90s version of Decemberists.  They were pigeon-holed with other alternative bands and genre of the decade, but always persevered with their own sound.  David Lowery has a respected 25-year career to show for it, Decemberists have a #1 record.  I call that a win-win.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Cracker:

1. Teen Angst (Cracker)
2. Low (Kerosene Hat)
3. Forever (Forever)
4. I Want Everything (Kerosene Hat)
5. The Golden Age (Gentlemen's Blues)
6. Been Around the World (Gentlemen's Blues)
7. We Shine A Light (Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey)
8. 100 Flower Power Maximum (The Golden Age)
9. I Hate My Generation (The Golden Age)
10. Turn On Tune In Drop With Me (Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey)
11. Another Song About The Rain (Cracker)

Buy David Lowery's new solo album, The Palace Guards now!!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Matisyahu

One of the most coveted musical honors is getting to play the Superbowl halftime show.  This year, we get to be dulled to sleep by the Black Eyed Peas.  Don't they realize the band's last album tanked?  I really hate it when the network tries to go after ratings instead of giving football audiences what they want and like.  You really think a bunch of 13-year-old girls are going to sit around and watch two hours of commercial-heavy football just to see their favorite band lip sync through a distorted-filled audio malaise?  Or are they going to sit in their bedroom and gossip about cute guys and wait for the GLEE halftime show re-invention of Thriller?  I get the geriatric rockers.  It's something for every one.  Most football fans appreciate it.  But going young & hip?  Has that ever worked?  Just be sure to keep Fergie's boobs in a tight dress.

What does this have to do with Matisyahu?  Really nothing.  Just go buy the new live album.  It's back to his stripped down musical basics.  It's the Matisyahu we love...not the overproduced Matisyahu we don't.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Matisyahu:

1. Jerusalem (Youth)
2. King Without A Crown (Live at Stubbs)
3. Youth (Youth)
4. Message in A Bottle (Chop 'Em Down)
5. Chop 'Em Down (Shake Off The Dust)
6. So Hi So Lo (The Louisville Light Sessions)
7. WP (Youth)
8.  Close My Eyes (Shake Off The Dust)
9. I Will Be Light (Light)
10.  Got No Water (Shake Off The Dust)
11.  On Nature (Light)

Buy Matisyahu's new album,  Live at Stubb's 2.