Wednesday, September 28, 2011
What better way to celebrate the Jewish New Year than with a list by the metal band Mastodon. Five years ago, Mastodon was one of two bands I had stumbled upon that I never thought would try to go mainstream (the other being Fucked Up). It wasn't that I didn't think they would go mainstream...I wasn't sure they could. But early this year, Fucked Up or F'd Up now...found their way onto alternative radio. This time Mastodon has made a splash on rock radio with a straight ahead rocker, Curl of the Burl. Now, there's nothing with being a mainstream radio band. Led Zeppelin was mainstream, The Beatles, Guns n Roses, Metallica, Nirvana, as well. And I would much rather hear the likes of Mastodon blasting out of my radio speakers than the newest Switchfoot. I think it just goes to show that even those bands who start off the most independent of intentions...all have the same goal in mind. They all want people to hear their music.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Mastodon:
1. Iron Tusk (Leviathan)
2. The Last Baron (Crack The Skye)
3. Colony of Birchman (Blood Mountain)
4. Hands of Stone (Blood Mountain)
5. Oblivion (Crack The Skye)
6. Naked Burn (Leviathan)
7. Trainwreck (Remission)
8. Hail to Fire (Call of the Mastodon)
9. Blood and Thunder (Leviathan)
10. Crack The Skye (Crack The Skye)
11. Crusher Destroyer (Remission)
Buy the new Mastodon album, The Hunter...now!!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
The other day I was trying to compare the choosing of song files (MP3 vs. AAC) to what it was like choosing between VHS and BETA. Back in the 80s, this was an issue that split societies. I remember losing friends because my parents went rogue with the less main stream Betamax, despite it being the higher quality choice. One day I was at a swim party and a friend offered to loan me his copy of ET on VHS. I had to admit publicly the reason why I couldn't take it. I could have said I didn't like Ewoks and I would have received less flack from the crowd (remember it was the 80s...ewoks were still okay). Betamax was hot for one minute then then quickly became the Arbys of home entertainment and it took all its loyal social standing with it. You had to live in that era to get that. so when I was making this comparison to a bunch of kids who were born in the 90s...it went over their heads. I changed my strategy to "choosing between Team Edward and Team Jacob" and they knew exactly what I was talking about.
I wonder if the band, VHS or Beta's name makes sense to the audience they're trying to sell their music to?
Here are the 11 Best Songs By VHS or Beta:
1. The Melting Moon (Night On Fire)
2. Alive (Night On Fire)
3. Take It or Leave It (Bring On The Comets)
4. Bring on the Comets (Bring On The Comets)
5. Night on Fire (Night On Fire)
6. You Got Me (Night On Fire)
7. We Could Be One (Bring On The Comets)
8. Ocean (Night On Fire)
9. Heaven (Le Funk)
10. Feel It When You Know (single)
11. Disco Paradise (Le Funk)
Buy the new VHS or Beta album, Diamonds and Death...now!!!
Monday, September 26, 2011
This week the Flaming Lips released a new song to hear online for free. Now this being the Flaming Lips...nothing is what it seems. Now I've always been told, you get what you pay for. So what's the catch? The catch is that the song is 6 hours long. Obviously, my curiosity is high to hear what a six hour song sounds like. But do I want to listen to six hours of the Flaming Lips chaotic anti-songs...let alone any band for a whole six hours? I'm not sure I'd want to do anything for a full six hours. I tried watching all three LOTR movies in a row and only made it through the second one. I've tried to do a Mad Men marathon but I never get past three episodes in one sitting. I run and my marathon times taps out in less than 5 hours.
Maybe Wilco...maybe if Wilco made a six hour song I could get excited to listen to the whole thing. But for now...I'll have to settle for their new album.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Wilco of the 00s:
1. Heavy Metal Drummer (Yankee Foxtrot Hotel)
2. I’ll Fight (Wilco The Album)
3. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart (Yankee Foxtrot Hotel)
4. Sky Blue Sky (Sky Blue Sky)
5. One Wing (Wilco The Album)
6. You And I (Wilco The Album)
7. Kamera (Yankee Foxtrot Hotel)
8. Either Way (Sky Blue Sky)
9. Thelogians (A Ghost Is Born)
10. War On War (Yankee Foxtrot Hotel)
11. You Never Know (Wilco The Album)
Buy Wilco's new album, The Whole Love...now!!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
The Jayhawks are the perfect example of the bands we don't know we love until they're gone. I remember when they came out in the 90s. They were a cool filler in between Uncle Tupelo and Archers of Loaf. But they were never the band you stayed tuned to listen for. Though they had a very prosperous 90s...they were always fighting against the trends of garage grunge, adrenaline-charged rap-rock, and effervescent pop. Then they went on a hiatus and sadly, no one really noticed...until a new breed of folk hero took over. So much of the modern folk sound shared a lot with the Jayhawks alt country swagger that all of a sudden they were missed. Today, the sounds of the Jayhawks fits all too squarely on the pulse of our musical ear. Their signature sound is comforting and the return of the band is certainly welcome.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Jayhawks:
1. It's Up To You (Sound of Lies)
2. I'd Run Away (Tomorrow The Green Grass)
3. Two Angels (Blue Earth)
4. Waiting for the Sun (Hollywood Town Hall)
5. Somewhere in Ohio (Smile)
6. Save It For A Rainy Day (Rainy Day Music)
7. People in this Place on Every Side (The Jayhawks)
8. Eyes of Sarah Jane (Rainy Day Music)
9. Real Light (Tomorrow The Green Grass)
10. Martin's Song (Hollywood Town Hall)
11. Bad Time (Tomorrow The Green Grass)
Buy the Jayhawks new album, Mockingbird Time...now!!!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Alternative Trendsetters. Rock N Roll Legends. American Icons.
January 1980 - September 2011
Here are the 111 Best Songs By R.E.M.:
- Country Feedback (Out of Time)
- These Days (Life's Rich Pageant)
- Losing My Religion (Out of Time)
- Harborcoat (Reckoning)
- Pretty Persuasion (Reckoning)
- Driver 8 (Fables of Reconstruction)
- The One I Love (Document)
- Orange Crush (Green)
- Talk About the Passion (Murmur)
- Begin The Begin (Life's Rich Pageant)
- Radio Free Europe (Murmur)
- So. Central Rain (Reckoning)
- It's The End of the World As We Know It (Document)
- Carnival of Sorts (Chronic Town)
- Texarkana (Out of Time)
- Pop Song 89 (Green)
- I Believe (Life's Rich Pageant)
- West of the Fields (Murmur)
- Hyena (Life's Rich Pageant)
- Leave (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
- Drive (Automatic For The People)
- Wolves, Lower (Chronic Town)
- Moral Kiosk (Murmur)
- Catapult (Murmur)
- Gardening At Night (Chronic Town)
- Fall On Me (Life's Rich Pageant)
- Living Well Is The Best Revenge (Accelerate)
- Finest Worksong (Document)
- Low (Out of Time)
- (Don't Go Back To) Rockville (Reckoning)
- Uberlin (Collapse Into Now)
- World Leader Pretend (Green)
- Man-Sized Wreath (Accelerate)
- Get Up (Green)
- Bad Day (Life's Rich Pageant Deluxe Edition)
- Ignoreland (Automatic For The People)
- Little America (Reckoning)
- Wake Up Bomb (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
- Can't Get There From Here (Fables of Reconstruction)
- Life and How To Live It (Fables of Reconstruction)
- All The Best (Collapse Into Now)
- Superman (Life's Rich Pageant)
- How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
- Supernatural Serious (Accelerate)
- Walk Unafraid (Up)
- 9-9 (Murmur)
- Final Straw (Around The Sun)
- Departure (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
- Circus Envy (Monster)
- The Apologist (Up)
- Accelerate (Accelerate)
- King of Comedy (Monster)
- Man on the Moon (Automatic For The People)
- Oddfellows Local 151 (Document)
- Half A World Away (Out of Time)
- I'm Gonna DJ (Accelerate)
- Bang and Blame (Monster)
- All The Right Friends (In Time)
- So Fast, So Numb (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
- Mine Smell Like Honey (Collapse Into Now)
- Monty Got A Raw Deal (Automatic For The People)
- Crazy (Dead Letter Office)
- Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter (Collapse Into Now)
- Leaving New York (Around The Sun)
- Binky the Doormat (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
- Horse To Water (Accelerate)
- First We Take Manhattan (Drive)
- Someone Is You (Collapse Into Now)
- At My Most Beautiful (Up)
- Crush With Eyeliner (Monster)
- Revolution (Batman & Robin)
- Swan Swan H (Life's Rich Pageant)
- Ages of You (Dead Letter Office)
- Lotus (Up)
- Try Not To Breathe (Automatic For The People)
- 1,000,000 (Chronic Town)
- The Outsiders (Around The Sun)
- Sitting Still (Murmur)
- Discoverer (Collapse Into Now)
- Just A Touch (Life's Rich Pageant)
- Cuyahoga (Life's Rich Pageant)
- Imitation of Life (Reveal)
- Second Guessing (Reckoning)
- Bittersweet Me (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
- E-Bow The Letter (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
- Find The River (Automatic For The People)
- I'll Take the Rain (Reveal)
- Stumble (Chronic Town)
- Houston (Accelerate)
- Star 69 (Monster)
- Suspicion (Up)
- Animal (In Time)
- Maps and Legands (Fables of Reconstruction)
- Burning Down (Dead Letter Office)
- The Great Beyond (Man on the Moon Soundtrack)
- Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight (Automatic For The People)
- Everybody Hurts (Automatic For The People)
- #9 Dream (Instant Karma)
- Shaking Through (Murmur)
- Radio Song (Out of Time)
- Mystery To Me (And I Feel Fine...)
- Electron Blue (Around The Sun)
- Undertow (New Adventures in Hi-Fi)
- Fretless (Until The End of the World)
- Disturbance At Heron House (Document)
- Hope (Up)
- Feel Gravity's Pull (Fables of Reconstruction)
- She Just Wants To Be (Reveal)
- Welcome to The Occupation (Document)
- Fireplace (Document)
- Throw Those Trolls Away (Fables of Reconstruction Deluxe Edition)
Buy R.E.M.'s full catalog now.
Monday, September 19, 2011
A recent article stated that most department stores a la Target, Best Buy, Walmart will completely remove CDs from their shelves by 2014. It's crazy to imagine that the entire physical element of the music industry will be gone in less than three years. It will exist in space, in a place between nowhere and our ears. Some will go kicking and screaming...clutching the physical form until their fingers are pried from its cold dead plastic case. Others have already embraced the future.
This is something I admire about CYHSY...they were one of the first to embrace the internet and use it to their advantage. Without a label, they conquered the music world by manipulating the empty space between our CD players and our headphones. They jumped on the blogosphere and rode it into our hearts. Now, on their third album...they're not an indie rock underground secret...they're a main stream staple. Rolling Stone and Spin are pimping CYHSY's new album...while ignoring Mick Jagger's newest supergroup. And they did it without needed to buy space on the CD shelves.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Clap Your Hands Say Yeah:
1. The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
2. Is This Love? (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
3. In This Home On Ice (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
4. Cigarettes (BBC - This Home On Ice)
5. The Sword Song (Some Loud Thunder Bonus Track)
6. Satan Said Dance (Some Loud Thunder)
7. Over and Over (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
8. Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
9. Graceful Retreat/Some Loud Thunder (KCRW - Morning Becomes Eclectic)
10. Heavy Metal (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
11. Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles in the Air Burning? (Some Loud Thunder)
Buy the new CYHSY...Hysterical...now!!
Friday, September 16, 2011
So here's a little rundown of my Spotify saga....
First, when I went to sign in Spotify told me that it could not connect to the server for an update.
Then, I went to the website and they told me to download a new update from the site. So, I downloaded the new update and installed it. It told me that it could not connect to the server for an update.
I went back the website they said I needed to restart my computer and try re-installing. I did this...it still told me that it could not connect to the server for an update.
I checked again and it told me that I had firewall problems. I don't have a firewall...so that was wrong.
Then it told me to try a clean installation, which meant that I completely removed Spotify from my computer and re-install it. I did that...I still could not connect to the server for an update.
At this point, I'm through trying to get something to work that I'm paying for that should already be working.
So, I decided to cancelled. So much for that....
Here are the 11 Bests Songs By Girls:
1. Lust For Life (Album)
2. Heartbreaker (Broken Dreams Club)
3. Laura (Album)
4. Hellhole Ratrace (Album)
5. Alright (Broken Dreams Club)
6. Solitude (Hellhole Ratrace)
7. Morning Light (Album)
8. Summertime (Album)
9. Life in San Francisco (Lust For Life)
10. Big Bad Mean Motherfucker (Album)
11. Carolina (Broken Dreams Club)
Buy Girls new album, Father Son Holy Ghost...now!!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Only a real Primus fan will agree with me.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Primus:
1. Harold of the Rocks (Frizzle Fry)
2. John The Fisherman (Frizzle Fry)
3. Professor Nuterbutter's House of Treats (Tales From The Punchbowl)
4. Making Plans For Nigel (Miscellaneous Debris)
5. Speghetti Western (Frizzle Fry)
6. Fish On (Sailing The Seas of Cheese)
7. Over The Electric Grapevine (Tales From The Punchbowl)
8. Jerry Was a Race Car Driver (Sailing The Seas of Cheese)
9. Tommy The Cat (Sailing The Seas of Cheese)
10. Wynona's Big Brown Beaver (Tales From The Punchbowl)
11. Amos Moses (Rhinoplasty)
Buy Primus' new album, Green Naughahyde now!!!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Wasn't sure what to talk about...but now I have something. My first issue with Spotify. I signed up for the Premium because I like being able to have this wealth of music on my phone. Even though I have spotty cell service in my car, I found it to be rather handy. Until today. Spotify needs me to update my player. Until I download an update...I can't use Spotify. Here's a big problem...I'm paying to use Spotify! You can't just discontinue my service until I perform an update. What if I'm at work and I can't perform one on the office computers? Because that's the situation I'm in. Why can't I just use the old version until I'm able to update? Itunes...as evil as they are (okay they're not really evil...just for the sake of the story)...don't force you to have an update and their service is free. Honestly Spotify...this is enough to almost have me cancel. If I can't get this to work by the end of day...you're gone.
Here are the 11 Best Songs by St. Vincent:
1. Laughing With a Mouthful of Blood (Actor)
2. Actor Out Of Work (Actor)
3. All My Stars Aligned (Marry Me)
4. Marry Me (Marry Me)
5. Black Rainbow (Actor)
6. Landmines (Marry Me)
7. Your Lips Are Red (Marry Me)
8. The Strangers (Actor)
9. Not Now (Marry Me)
10. Marrow (Actor)
11. Roslyn w/ Bon Iver (Twilight: New Moon)
Buy the new St. Vincent album, Strange Mercy....now!!! (only $3.99)
Monday, September 12, 2011
With an insane week of new releases...I have no idea where to start or even where to go from here. New albums drop on Tuesday from Das Racist, Ladytron, Mates of State, Blitzen Trapper, Kevin Devine, Girls, Kooks, Lady Antebellum, St. Vincent, Saves The Day...not to mention some classic artists making big returns like Primus, Alice Cooper, Bush, Anthrax, Blondie, and the Human League. The biggest drop might be two enormous live Hendrix box sets.
My favorite and easily my most anticipated is the newest supergroup featuring members of Sleater-Kinnery and Helium, Wild Flag. It's about time we have some women making real rock again...and I know the girls of SK will not disappoint. Here's a reminder of how bad ass SK used to be.
Here are the Sleater-Kinney BBC Sessions (Compilation):
1. One More Hour
2. I Want To Be Yr Joey Ramone
3. Turn It On
4. Banned From The End Of the World
5. Words and Guitar
6. End of You
7. Not What You Want
8. Get Up
9. Words and Guitar
10. Good Things
11. Battle of a Ladyman
12. The Professional
13. You're No Rock N Roll Fun
14. Fortunate Son
Buy Wild Flag's new album, Wild Flag....now!!!
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Punk bands were never supposed to get old. When I was a kid, the whole point of listening to punk rock was to reject the big name dinosaurs making rock music. Those guys in their forties had no idea what they were doing. We listened to punk rock because it was louder, smarter, and better than any of that mainstream shill. Twenty years later, punk bands are not only in their forties, they're hitting their fifties. And now they've become the dinosaurs they rebelled against. What amazes me most about punk, it's not about age, it's about attitude. No longer are dinosaurs making mainstream rock music...it's snot-nosed kids equipped with a keyboard and auto-tune machine. And still, with punk bands closer to social security than their high school years, they some how manage to continue to make rock music that is still louder, smarter, and better than any of that mainstream shill.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Samiam:
1. Full On (You Are Freaking Me Out)
2. Stepson (Clumsy)
3. Capsized (Clumsy)
4. If You Say So (You Are Freaking Me Out)
5. Don't Break Me (Billy)
6. Super Brava (Ashtray)
7. Slumbering (Soar)
8. Take Care (Whatever's Got You Down)
9. Home Sweet Home (Samiam)
10. As We're Told (Clumsy)
11. Regret (Billy)
Buy Samiam's new album, Trips...now!!!
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Tomorrow starts another NFL season...and better yet another fantasy football season. I have an ongoing argument with a friend whether fantasy football takes away from what football is about or that it makes it better. I believe the latter. I think the fantasy aspect brings fans closer to the sport. It makes us feel like we are a part of it. It's the closest most of us will ever be to coaching or playing the real thing. But by winning our fantasy leagues, we feel that little piece of exhilaration that a real coach or player might feel.
It's similar with music. Most of us will never be rock stars. But having blogs and MP3 playlists bring as close to being part of the music industry as we might ever be. Getting congratulations on suggesting good music makes us feel like we're part of the music. That we contributed a little bit to the big machine.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Rapture:
1. Get Myself Into It (Pieces of the People We Love)
2. Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks (Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks)
3. Don Gon Do It (Pieces of the People We Love)
4. Olio (Echoes)
5. Echoes (Echoes)
6. Whoo! Alright - Yeah...Uh Huh. (Pieces of the People We Love)
7. House of Jealous Lovers (Echoes)
8. Devil (Pieces of the People We Love)
9. Heaven (Echoes)
10. Coming Of Spring (Echoes)
11. No Sex For Ben (Grand Theft Auto IV)
Buy The Rapture's new album, In the Grace of Your Love...now!!!
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
This weekend I watched "Take Me Home Tongiht" and "Gnomeo and Juliet." Both films relied heavily on soundtracks to help keep the audiences entertained. "TMHT" was slathered in 80s hits, strangely Eddie Money's party anthem (for which the movie is named) is not used in the movie. Nothing bothered me more when watching the movie as I was waiting through the entire film for that pivotal moment in the plot when they would play the song...and they never did. What's the point of naming the movie after a song you don't use that song?! It's sad that the song your movie is named after is the best part of the movie...and it's not even played during the movie. "Gnomeo" on the other hand was based on Shakespeare's play mixed with lyrics from Elton John songs. And guess what? They played real Elton John songs in the movie. I didn't feel cheated while watching the movie. I'm not even an Elton John fan and I was far more satisfied with the music in "Gnomeo" over "TMHT" despite growing up on 80s John Hughes movies. You have to try hard to make a bad 80s teen movie.
That said...one of my all time favorite 80s movies was "Vacation." And that movie was catapulted into my memory as a kid...well by the swimming pool scene...and punching the moose in the nose...and the dead grandmother on the roof of the car...AND of course the fantastic theme song by Lindsey Buckingham.
Here are the 11 Best Solo Songs By Lindsey Buckingham:
1. Go Insane (Go Insane)
2. Trouble (Law & Order)
3. Doing What I Can (Out of the Cradle)
4. Holiday Road (Vacation Soundtrack)
5. Wrong (Out of the Cradle)
6. Slow Dancing (Go Insane)
7. Love Runs Deeper (Gift of Screws)
8. Right Place To Fade (Gift of Screws)
9. You Do Or You Don't (Out of the Cradle)
10. Loving Cup (Go Insane)
11. Countdown (Out of the Cradle)
Buy Lindsey Buckingham's new album, Seeds We Sow...now!!
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Thursday, September 01, 2011
I think great music is like a disease. It's contagious. I hadn't planned on doing a Beirut list. I was leaning toward Tom Morrello...but that meant listening to him sing for a couple hours which I wasn't looking forward to do. A co-worker asked me if I had heard the new song by Beirut. I had heard it months ago...but she started listening to it at her computer. I found myself nodding along...and soon I was listening to it at my computer. Another co-worker passed me and asked what I was listening to I told him...and he was listening at his computer only minutes later. That kind of social contagion is what the radio is supposed to do but doesn't do. It's a nice feeling when you turn someone onto a song or band. I know they have to play music that the labels want them to play...but wouldn't it be more satisfying spread a musical viral sensation?
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Beirut:
1. My Night With the Prostitute From Marseille (March of the Zapotec)
2. Postcards From Italy (Gulag Orkestar)
3. Guyamas Sonora (Flying Cup Club)
4. My Wife, Lost In The World (March of the Zapotec)
5. Elephant Gun (Lon Gisland EP)
6. Rhineland (Gulag Orkestar)
7. Nantes (Flying Cup Club)
8. Forks and Knives (Flying Cup Club)
9. Prenzlauerberg (Gulag Orkestar)
10. Napoleon on the Bellerophan (Pompeii EP)
11. East Harlem (East Harlem EP)
Buy Beirut's new album Rip Tide, now!!!