Thursday, June 28, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By The Offspring

I have a theory that musical trends always come in twos.  Grunge had Pearl Jam and Nirvana.  Heavy metal had Guns N Roses and Metallica.  Glam metal had Def Leppard and Bon Jovi.  Nu Metal had Limp Bizkit and Korn.  Boy Bands had Backstreet Boys and *Nsynce.  Girl pop had Britney and Christina.  The duo trend goes on and on...Tupac and Biggie, The Beatles and the Stones, Michael Jackson and Prince, Boston and Journey, The Beastie Boys and Run DMC, Skrillex and Deadmau5, U2 and R.E.M., Depeche Mode and the Cure, Katy Pery and Lady Gaga, the White Stripes and the Black Keys.  Sure there are a lot of other grand bands that fill out the rest of a musical trend...but it always comes down to two who lead the pack...and it always split the fans.

In 1994, it was Green Day and The Offspring, when these two bands broke out into the mainstream with their albums Dookie and Smash.  It was a pop punk revolution that quickly silenced the grunge.  Loyalties either liked Green Day or The Offspring.  You couldn't like both or people would think you had no taste in music.  Green Day was seen as the Berkeley stoner punks who had one shtick in their arsenal...and that was to sound as much like the Clash and the Ramones as possible (note: another duo).  The Offspring were a bunch of white Orange County slackers who sang songs about the perks of being ghetto trash (ironically, the lead singer was a PHD candidate in molecular biology at USC).  Picking between these two bands said a lot about who you were personally.  Were you an earthy pothead or a surf dude looking for a fight?

Neither band was really given too much respect.  Though they exploded on the mainstream...both bands were viewed as being moderately talented and lacked range to sustain a real career.  Both bands have now been making music for twenty years consistently.  And to be even more impressive...both bands are as equally trendy and popular among fans as they were when they came out.  To survive twenty years in the music industry and still be trendy is an incredibly hard feat.  Most of the bands in the rock n roll hall of fame couldn't even do that.  As cheesy and ridiculous as some of the Offspring's songs are...maybe it's time we start giving them a little respect.

Here are the 11 Best songs By The Offspring:

  1. The Kids Aren't Alright (Americana)
  2. Self-Esteem (Smash)
  3. Gone Away (Ixnay on the Hombre)
  4. Forever And A Day (Ignition)
  5. All I Want (Ixnay on the Hombre)
  6. Bad Habit (Smash)
  7. Vultures (Conspiracy of One)
  8. Totalimmortal (Me, Myself, and Irene)
  9. A Lot Like Me (Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace)
  10. Smash It Up (Batman Forever)
  11. Session (Ignition)

Buy the Offspring's new album, Days Go!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The 11 Best Linkin Park Songs

On December 5th, 1994 I spent the evening standing out front of the Tower Records in Westwood, CA, waiting for the midnight release of Pearl Jam's Vitalogy.  The line stretched down the block, packed with kids who could have just as easily showed up the next morning to buy the exact same album.  It wasn't like we were waiting to buy concert tickets that might sell out...this album was going to be available everywhere.  Even Walmart had it.  But standing in line in the freezing temperatures (for LA that means like 50) was a rite of passage.  You earned the privilege to be one of the first to hear the album.  I stood in line with my friend Mike, shivering with anticipation...and we did nothing but talk shit about my friend Barry who didn't come with us because his girlfriend wouldn't let him.  He asked us to buy him a copy.  We told him to fuck off.  We earned it...he could go to Walmart.

The anticipation made the album more exciting.  It made it more worthwhile to go home at one in the morning and listen to the album on repeat, dissecting what the hell the band was thinking with "Hey Foxymophandlemama."  And we loved ever minute.  That excitement/anticipation is all but gone from buying music today.  Now, you can jump on your computer at 9:00 PM pacific time on any Monday...and get all the new releases with one click.  There's no don't have to earn anything...and honestly, I feel like it waters down the material.  When you had to work to get your music, it made you appreciate it more. Now...when it's handed to take it for granted.

So, what does this have to do with Linkin Park?  I'm sure most of you are cringing that I would even dare include them in a post mentioning Pearl Jam.  But this is an argument in defense of this very schizophrenic band, who might be the only ones who still get it.  Though they made a name for themselves as a metal/rap band, they've fought to break out of that mold.  And they've lost a lot of fans along the way.  Even I was a hater of their third album where they embraced their inner Backstreet boy.  But the fourth album, which pissed most fans off, won me back.  Their fourth album (A Thousand Suns) was a prog album, and it was freaking great.  For a band who had made a career crushing alternative radio with catchy took a lot of balls to release an album that had almost no potential singles, that left even the Mars Volta scratching their heads in disbelief.  This was the kind album Porcupine Tree should be putting out...not Linkin Park.  How in the world could this band snub commercial radio... the very thing that had made them who they are?  It's strangely similar to another band in the 90s who gave the middle finger to MTV and stopped making videos at the height of their popularity? hmmm...

Isn't this what bands are supposed to do?  Aren't they supposed to themselves?  Aren't they supposed to question the establishment?  Are they supposed to challenge what is expected of them?  Aren't they supposed to piss off fans in the hunt for something completely different?  And doesn't that make it more exciting?  Doesn't the anticipation of what crazy thing they'll do next make you a bit more interested?  I know I'll never convince everyone that Linkin Park deserves a second chance...but maybe I can convince you that they are not the sell-outs that you may have thought they are.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Linkin Park:
  1. Numb/Encore (Collision Course)
  2. In The End (Hybrid Theory)
  3. Pushing Me Away (Hybrid Theory)
  4. Faint (Meteroa)
  5. Bleed It Out (Minutes To Midnight)
  6. Crawling (Hybrid Theory) - w/ Chris Cornell
  7. Robot Boy (A Thousand Suns)
  8. Hands Held High  (Minutes To Midnight)
  9. When They Come For Me (A Thousand Suns)
  10. Runaway (Hybrid Theory)
  11. The Catalyst (A Thousand Suns)
Buy Linkin Park's new album, Living!!! (only $4.99)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The 11 Best Non-Pumpkins Billy Corgan Songs

The new Smashing Pumpkins album has been met with some trepidation.  Billy Corgan is now the sole remaining original member of the group.  Many critics have questioned whether one original member is enough to constitute the privilege of continuing to use the name.  Billy's response is a resounding..."fuck you."  Though that may seem like Billy is the one being the gigantic dick...are the critics really being fair?  When it comes to the amount of original members of a band...the critics seem as consistent as teenage girl's emotional stability. Guns N Roses (Axl Rose) are habitually abused...while no one questions that Mick Fleetwood (the freaking drummer) is the only original member of Fleetwood Mac.   Robert Smith gets a pass for being the only original member of the Cure as does Dave Murray and Iron Maiden.

I honestly don't think it should matter as long as the integrity of the band remains in tact.  Good music is good music...and the name of the artist is pretty irrelevant.  It's not like we're talking about Napalm Death or the Misfits who have no original members.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Billy Corgan (non-Pumpkins songs):
  1. Declarations of Faith (Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea)
  2. Lyric (Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea)
  3. Honestly (Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea)
  4. DIA (Billy Corgan - The FutureEmbrace)
  5. Come With Me (Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea)
  6. Mina Loy (Billy Corgan - The FutureEmbrace)
  7. Settle Down (Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea)
  8. Walking Shade (Billy Corgan = The FutureEmbrace)
  9. Love Is a Battlefield (Djali Zwan - Spun Soundtrack)
  10. The CameraEye (Billy Corgan - The FutureEmbrace)
  11. El Sol (Zwan - Mary Star of the Sea)
Buy Smashing Pumpkins new!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By Fiona Apple

For many of you who don't know...I've two sites.  It's the same blog post but just posted on two different sites.  The other one is (  I haven't jumped over to it because of the exhaustive amount of spam comments I get.  How many you ask?  About a million in the past six months.  Yes, one million.  So I only use it as a back up now because of these douche bag russian idiots trying to sell viagra to music bloggers.   Seriously dudes...know your audience.  No wonder you lost the cold war.

Recently I got a personal email from one of the spammers asking that their link be removed from my site because it no longer corresponded with their advertising agenda.  Really?  You put up your link on my site without my permission...basically hijacking my page for your marketing agenda...and now you want my help taking it down because you're afraid of associating your shitty project with my fanbase?  I don't know who is or Fiona.

That's not nice...I used to be neighbors with Fiona.  She's a cool chick...just wish she put out albums more than once every five years.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Fiona Apple:

  1. The Way Things Are (When The Pawn Hits...)
  2. Criminal (Tidal)
  3. Fast As You Can (When The Pawn Hits...)
  4. Limp (When The Pawn Hits...)
  5. Used To Love Him (Extraordinary Machine Bootleg Version)
  6. Shadowboxer (Tidal)
  7. Get Him Back (Extraordinary Machine Official Version)
  8. Paper Bag  (When The Pawn Hits...)
  9. Not About Love (Extraordinary Machine Bootleg Version)
  10. Get Gone (When The Pawn Hits...)  
  11. Sleep To Dream (Tidal)

Buy Fiona Apple's new album...The Idler!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By Hot Chip

Having kids changes what you can listen to.  Even a band like Mars Volta might not swear as much as others but it gets hard to prog out in the car with a 3-year-old who is trying to comprehend Cedric's obtuse verbose with about as much success as a heroin addict trying to fill out a job application.  You can't really listen to pop radio because most of those songs are way more R-Rated than N.W.A.  They may not swear...but the subject material is about getting blackout drunk and having threesomes on Friday nights is far more offensive than Ice Cube giving the police the middle finger.  Somehow indie rock/pop has risen to the top.  Kids like to something with a beat is always preferable.  Then dorky lyrics that don't make a whole lot of sense except to be corny are always a hit.  I'm not saying that all artists should skew their music to the pre-school crowd...but it sure is appreciated so I don't have to listen to Tyrone, Austin, Pablo, Uniqua, Tasha one more time.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Hot Chip:
  1. And I Was A Boy From School (The Warning)
  2. Ready For A Fall (Made In The Dark)
  3. Touch Too Much (Made In The Dark)
  4. No Fit State (The Warning)
  5. Hand Me Down Your Love (One Life Stand)
  6. One Pure Thought (Made In The Dark)
  7. One Life Stand (One Life Stand)
  8. My Piano (DJ-Kicks)
  9. Over and Over (The Warning)
  10. I Feel Better (One Life Stand)
  11. Take It In (One Life Stand)
Buy Hot Chip's new album, In Our!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By Metric

We need more strong women in rock.  It's a sad dirty plague of pop fraudulent sexless bombs that have permeated the airwaves for far too long.  Where are the axe-grinding, glass-ceiling busting destroyers that the Runaways promised us?  Courntey Love is an embarrassment.  Amy Lee is a novelty at best.  Sleater-Kinney kicked a bunch of hard ass like they were gun-toting truck drivers pounding the shit out of over-privileged youth at a 99%er rally.  But that's the exception...not the rule. The rest of the women in music may be able to knock a crowd flat at a karaoke bar at last call on a Sunday night but as role models...well, we could do a whole lot better.  Katy Perry is as much a fabricated songstress as her music.  Rhianna's gnarly-looking tattoos didn't do her much good when she was Chris Brown sparring partner.  And Lady Gaga might want to be Laverne to Madonna's Shirley...but she needs to stop showing up dressed like Squiggy.

Emily Haines still may not be able to hang out with Lita Ford in a dark alley smoking unfiltered cigarettes...but if Metric ever opens for Coldplay...Chris Martin will be the one wearing the dress.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Metric:

  1. Gimme Sympathy (Fantasies)
  2. Empty (Live It Out)
  3. On The Sly (Grow Up and Blow Away)
  4. Dead Disco (Old World Underground)
  5. Gold Gun Girls (Fantasies)
  6. Eclipse I'm All Yours (Twilight Eclipse)
  7. Sick Muse (Fantasies)
  8. Hustle Rose (Old World Underground)
  9. Live It Out (Live It Out)
  10. Satellite Mind (Fantasies)
  11. Black Sheep (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World)
Buy Metric's new album,!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The 11 Best Solo Songs By Chris Robinson

The Kings win.  Sho Nuff.

A true Robinson fan will get it.

Here are the 11 Best Solo Songs By Chris Robinson:
  1. Barefoot By The Cherry Tree (New Earth Mud)
  2. The Never Empty Table (This Magnificent Distance)
  3. Safe In The Arms of Love (New Earth Mud)
  4. 40 Days (This Magnificent Distance)
  5. Kids That Ain't Got None (New Earth Mud)
  6. Piece of Wind (This Magnificent Distance)
  7. Sunday Sound (New Earth Mud)
  8. ...If You See California (This Magnificent Distance)
  9. Better Than The Sound (New Earth Mud)
  10. Sea of Love (This Magnificent Distance)
  11. The Red Road (Banger Sisters)

Buy Chris Robinson Brotherhood's new album, Big Moon!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By The Hives

I don't think it's right to not talk about the ridiculous success of the ice hockey's L.A. Kings.  Now that they're up 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals, I'm hoping that it's pretty safe to talk about their winning streak without jinxing it.  Only twice has any team ever come back from a 3-0 deficit (sure, once being in hockey).  But I figure at this point even if it does happen...that will at least give me something else to talk about.  I keep trying to explain how insane the Kings playoff run to people.  Non-sports people are still baffled by the concept that it's sports...but even sports people (who are not hockey fans) don't seem to be too blown away.  Here's the deal...the Kings were not even supposed to make the playoffs.  They barely won the final playoff spot sliding in as an 8th seed.  They then went one to beat the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place team in their division...and they didn't just beat them in a last second Tebow-like out-of-their-ass fashion...they've been blowing people out like they were the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls.  They've only lost twice in the playoffs.  Their playoff record is an astounding 15-2...against the best teams in the league.  How is this possible?  First place teams don't even do this well...let alone the last place stragglers.  Let me put this in perspective.  This would be like Ron Paul running for President as an Independent and winning 48 of the 50 states in the General Election (Obama of course winning Illinois and Romney winning Utah).  Their run is truly amazing...and it can only be explained by the team's persistence.  There's a good chance that on Wednesday....history will be made.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Hives:

  1. B Is for Brutus  (Tyrannosaurus Hives)
  2. You...Got It All Wrong (The Black and White Album)
  3. Won't Be Long (The Black and White Album)
  4. Hate To Say I Told You So (Veni Vidi Vicious)
  5. AKA I-D-I-O-T (Barely Legal)
  6. A Little More For Little You (Tyrannosaurus Hives)
  7. Main Offender (Veni Vidi Vicious)
  8. Tick Tick Boom (The Black and White Album)
  9. Automatic Schmuck (Barely Legal)
  10. A Get Together To Tear It Apart (Veni Vidi Vicious)
  11. Theme From... (Barely Legal)
Buy the Hives new album, Lex!!

Monday, June 04, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By Regina Spektor

Sigur Ros loses out this week.  Their new album (Valtari) was the album I was most excited to hear this summer season and turns it might be the biggest let down of the year.  On their last album, the Icelanders took a giant step forward, crafting some of the best work of their career.  Everyone thought this was a sure sign that they were headed for Radiohead-like Godness.  And when I say everyone...I mean me.  This new album is anything but's anything but's so's pathetic.  Basically, the band has made an hour long lullaby that even Explosions in the Sky would find tame.  What's worse is I bought the album on CD, spending almost $12 after tax.  Had I opted to buy it on line...I could have spent only $4.99 and downloaded 2 bonus tracks.  That's just ass.  I spent almost twice as much money for a nice package (it was weak) for a great new album (it is not) and I get rewarded by getting the version of the album with two less tracks.  I'm not even sure what I understand the record company is trying to pull with this one.

That said...I don't suggest the new Sigur Ros.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Regina Spektor:
  1. On the Radio (Begin To Hope)
  2. Laughing With (FAR)
  3. Fidelity  (Begin To Hope)
  4. Eet (FAR)
  5. The Calculation (FAR)
  6. Braille (11:11)
  7. Hotel Song  (Begin To Hope)
  8. Blue Lips (FAR)
  9. Better  (Begin To Hope)
  10. Us (Soviet Kitsch)
  11. Folding Chairs (FAR)
Buy Regina Spektor's new album, What We Saw From The Cheap!!

Friday, June 01, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By Public Image Ltd.

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend I hadn't seen and barely talked to in six years.  Even though hundreds of things had happened in that span of time including how different our lives were now from's was crazy how we could just sit down and seamlessly pick up where we left off.

The odds of a new PiL album being good (even being listenable) were extremely low.  Especially considering how unlistenable some of their older stuff already was.  It's been twenty years since John Lyndon has even bothered to pick up a mic and sing anything original.  Many were worried there might be cameos by Ke$ha and Bieber...on the same song.  Would PiL sellout to stay afloat?  Surprisingly, the new album upholds many of the experimental principles that were so prevalent on their 70s and early 80s releases.  I honestly don't know how an album like this even managed to get released.  It doesn't follow any mainstream production tactics but is far more enjoyable than almost anything that has come out this year.  Lyndon still has it...thankfully...for us.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Public Image Ltd.:

  1. This Is Not A Love Song (This Is What You Want...This Is What You Get)
  2. Rise (Album)
  3. Public Image (First Album)
  4. Seattle (Happy?)
  5. Like That (9)
  6. Home (Album)
  7. Unfairground (That What Is Not)
  8. Attack (First Album)
  9. Under the House (Flowers of Romance)
  10. Open and Revolving (Happy?)
  11. Warrior (9)
Buy Public Image Ltd.'s new album, This is!!!