Friday, August 31, 2012

The 11 Best Song By Minus The Bear

I know I've been bitching about the lack of good music/major releases over 2012.  After the most unlikely reunion of all time (Van Halen) kicked of the's really been downhill as far as marquee releases.  This fall...all that's about to change.  There are so many releases coming out in September that I tried to do a poll for the site but it got too big and the poll wouldn't save.  I cut the poll in half...and it still wouldn't save.  With about 50 big releases coming this month...yes 50...2012 may actually finish with a bang after starting with a whimper.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Minus The Bear:
  1. Fine + 2pts (They Make Beer Commercials Like This)
  2. Knights (Planet of Ice)
  3. Hold me Down (Omni)
  4. Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!! (Highly Refined Pirates)
  5. My Time (Omni)
  6. Throwing Shapes (Planet of Ice)
  7. Memphis and 53rd (Menos El Oso)
  8. Into The Mirror(Omni)
  9. Get Me Naked 2: Electric Boogiloo (Highly Refined Pirates)
  10. Spritz!!! Spritz!!! (Highly Refined Pirates)
  11. Buying Luck (Planet of Ice)
Buy Minus the Bear's new album, Infinity Overload now!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By dispatch

There's no better example of East Coast/West Coast divide than with the band Dispatch.  Dispatch is an East Coast college staple.  You couldn't get a diploma from an Eastern Time Zone college in the late 90s if you hadn't spent one night baking out to Bang Bang or Silent Steeples.  But if you went to school on the West Coast...the mere mention of the term "dispatch" made you think the cops were on the way to break up your party.  The only people on the West Coast who even know who the band were...are transplants from the East Coast who brought their box of CDs with them.  You never heard their albums thrown into mixes because they were always outvoted in Southern California by Sublime and in Northern California by Primus...and in Pac Norwest by Soundgarden (still!). Maybe a 12 year hiatus is what the band needs to seep into the audio pores of the rest of the country.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Dispatch:
  1. Flying Horses (Silent Steeples)
  2. Time Served  (Who Are We Living For?)
  3. Lightning (Who Are We Living For?)
  4. Mission (Bang Bang)
  5. Railway (Bang Bang)
  6. Mayday  (Silent Steeples)
  7. Even  (Who Are We Living For?)
  8. Melon Bend (Dispatch EP)
  9. Headlights (Who Are We Living For?)
  10. Turn This Ship Around (Dispatch EP)
  11. Cover This (Four Day Trials)
Buy Dispatch's new album, Circles Around The!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By Bloc Party

Lance Armstrong is getting stripped of his Tour De France titles.  It's like Santa stripping off his clothes and it turns out he's a little Jewish boy down the street named Ira Goldstein.  It's like getting punched in the stomach and the back at the same time, then are told to run 5 miles in the rain uphill with rabid sharks chasing you.  And just for your information, rabid sharks run really fast...much faster than normal sharks.  He was found guilty of blood doping, which is like Al Capone being found guilty of tax evasion.  But cheating is cheating.  His excuse?  It's not like he was using performance enhancing drugs...

We expect our heroes to be flawless.  So, with that incredible burden...they cheat their image to be greater than they really are in order not to let us down.  Sometimes being human and failing is okay.  It's empathetic. It's good for us to see our heroes go through the same struggle and every day strife we are going through.  Trying your hardest and failing is much more admirable than cheating your fans in order to win.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Bloc Party:

  1. Flux (Intimacy)
  2. Banquet (Silent Alarm)
  3. Biko (Intimacy)
  4. Kreuzberg (A Weekend In The City)
  5. This Modern Love (Silent Alarm)
  6. Version 2.0 (Another Weekend In The City)
  7. Positive Tension (Silent Alarm)
  8. Helicopter (Silent Alarm)
  9. The Prayer (A Weekend In The City)
  10. Secrets (A Weekend In The City)
  11. Ion Square (Intimacy)
Buy Bloc Party's new album, Four, now!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By The Darkness

So Mitt Romney finally picked a running mate.  He chose Paul Ryan.  Do you know how much I know about Paul Ryan?  Almost nothing...except I'm supposed to hate him.  That's according the 5,000 Facebook posts I see about him every day.  He's anti-abortion, he's anti-poor people, he's anti-gay rights...but he loves Rage Against the Machine.  Then Tom Morello came out and wrote a letter bashing Paul Ryan...that somehow disqualifies his taste.  I just find it funny how outraged the blogosphere is that the Republican nominee for President picked a Republican running mate.  Who else was he going to pick?  Hilary Clinton?  Michael Jordan?  He was going to pick someone conservative.  But if you listened to the rabid blog posts it's like he picked the worst Republican to ever run for office.  He's even worse that Mitt Romney who was the last worst Presidential candidate to run for office...or Sarah Palin who was the previous get my drift.

I read a review about the new Darkness album that slammed the new album for being more of the same.  They were upset that they didn't branch out and try new Radiohead.  Yes, Radiohead.  The Darkness aren't Radiohead.  Their groupies don't even shower in the same locker rooms.  When it comes to a band like the Darkness the do one thing great...and it's good to see they're sticking to what they do best.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Darkness:

  1. Is It Just Me? (One Way Ticket To Hell)
  2. One Way Ticket To Hell...And Back (One Way Ticket To Hell)
  3. Growing On Me (Permission To Land)
  4. Dinner Lady Arms (One Way Ticket To Hell)
  5. Get Your Hands Off My Woman (Permission To Land)
  6. I Believe In A Thing Called Love (Permission To Land)
  7. Planning Permission (Love Is Only A Feeling)
  8. Bald (One Way Ticket To Hell)
  9. Love Is Only A Feeling (Permission To Land)
  10. Black Shuck (Permission To Land)
  11. The Best Of Me (The Best Of Me)

Buy The Darkness' new album, Hot Cakes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By Conor Oberst

The tale of the new Conor Oberst is a great example of how upside-down the music industry is right now.  Maybe the issues are a good thing...or just another of example of its descent into self-destruction.  This B-side/alternative track collection came out in May.  I just discovered its release this weekend.  I discovered it at (of all things) a record store.  I saw the vinyl...thinking it was a vinyl only release.  I did some quick searching and found a CD copy, too.  I was so excited to know this had come out, I didn't give it too much thought why I hadn't heard about this until now.  When I got home, I figured it out quickly.  The album hadn't been released digitally.  It was a physical release only.  And unless it's Record Store Day, in this day of digital music, physical releases are about as important as a new model of rotary dial phone.  Probably less important...

I'm mixed about this.  It's a sad state that an artist as important and respected as Conor Oberst can put out a new record (albeit b-sides) but it goes completely unnoticed because it didn't come out digitally.  To the music industry not coming out digitally is practically the same as not existing at all.  At the same time, it's kinda cool.  It's been years since I've discovered a new release by one of my favorites artists by sifting through CD racks instead of seeing the torrent thread.  It made the purchase exciting.  It made it more relevant.  And it made the music more interesting.  Sometimes it's the hunt for the music...the hurdles you have to go to get it...that's as important as the music itself.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Conor Oberst:
  1. I Got The Reason (Outer South)
  2. Spoiled (Outer South)
  3. Lenders in The Temple (Conor Oberst)
  4. Moab  (Conor Oberst)
  5. Danny Callahan (Conor Oberst)
  6. To All the Lights In The Window (Outer South)
  7. White Shoes  (Outer South)
  8. Sausalito (Conor Oberst)
  9. Roosevelt Room (Outer South)
  10. Gentlemen's Pact (Gentlemen's Pact EP)
  11. Cape Canaveral (Conor Oberst)
Buy Conor Oberst B-Side Collection, One Of My!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By No Use For A Name

The story of the under appreciated band that persevered may be no less apparent than the story of No Use For A Name.  It's not because they spent 25 years pursuing that rock star dream without attaining's tragic because of how close they actually came to achieving it.  I worked in radio back in the 90s when the crest of the pop punk movement was just about to cascade all over the radio.  We at the radio stations had been given a choice:  No Use For A Name's "Growing Down" or Blink-182's "Dammit."  It was a toss-up by most stations. Our station picked NOFAN. I looked at their solid track record and predicted their music would only get better.  Blink-182 seemed more like a flash in the pan when I considered the poor quality of their previous albums.  Obviously, most stations chose Blink and the rest is history.  I wonder if it would have been different if NOFAN had the support of radio stations across the country.  "Growing Down" was on NOFAN's Making Friends album...which is sadly their best effort but at the same time their least popular.  Now with the passing of Tony Sly at a young 41-years-old, it's their perseverance that was their achievement.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By No Use For A Name:
  1. Growing Down (Making Friends)
  2. Death Doesn't Care (Don't Miss the Train)
  3. A Postcard Would Be Nice (Making Friends)
  4. Tollbridge (Don't Miss The Train)
  5. The Answer is Still No (Making Friends)
  6. Justified Black Eye (Leche Con Carne)
  7. Fairytale of New York (More Betterness!)
  8. International You Day (Hard Rock Bottom)
  9. Hail To The King (Incognito)
  10. I Want To Be Wrong (The Feel Good Record of the Year)
  11. Soulmate (Leche Con Carne)

Saturday, August 04, 2012

The 11 Best Songs By The Toadies

Why is it that this Chick Fil A issue has only made me want a chicken sandwich more than ever?

I'm not sure I even understand the controversy.  All the CEO did was say that he believed in the traditional definition of marriage. Hundreds of people say this every day.  Granted...who the heck knows what the "traditional" definition of marriage is anyway? Wasn't it that woman are property?  That said...even if the the guy believed that, what difference does it make what he thinks inside his head?  As long as he doesn't discriminate against hiring or serving people of a different sexual orientation then it shouldn't matter his beliefs. (kind of ironic, huh?)  In-N-Out Burger and California Chicken Cafe have very religious owners...who cares as long as the food is good?  50% of America doesn't believe in same sex marriage...are you going to protest every other person who walks down the street?  All that's going to accomplish is heightening adversity from the other side.

My problem with the controversy is how Chick Fil A handled it...especially when the Muppets pulled out.  Instead of owning their position and letting it go.  They tried to spin it.  First it started with fake signs about defective make it seem like The Muppets were the bad guys.  That was a douche bag move.  Then sending the fake people out onto Facebook and Twitter.  That's douchey times two.  That is deceptive and in my opinion, far worse than their private ideologies.  At least their ideologies were their honest opinions.  This campaign of spin is just straight up lies.

Guess I'll stick to Freebirds and Five Guys this weekend.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Toadies:

  1. Tyler (Rubberneck)
  2. Possum Kingdom (Rubberneck)
  3. Away (Rubberneck)
  4. Push The Hand (Hell Below /Stars Above)
  5. Doll Skin (Hell Below/Stars Above)
  6. Pressed Against the Sky (Hell Below/Stars Above)
  7. Little Sin (Hell Below/Stars Above)
  8. Jigsaw Girl (Hell Below/Stars Above)
  9. You'll Come Down (Hell Below/Stars Above)
  10. Sweetness (Hell Below/Stars Above)
  11. A Forest (No Feeler)
Buy the Toadies new album, PlayRockMusic, now!!!

* Today's list brought to you by guest blogger, Jesse Lawson.