Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The 55 Best Albums of 2013 (1-11)


Here they are...my 11 best albums of 2013.  Up next will be your top 111.  Last chance to send in your favorite albums now.  I will compile everyone's picks and publish the super list next week.  Just in time to start our chronicling of 2014.  Have a happy and safe new year!

Here are the 55 Best Albums of 2013 (1-11):
  1. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
  2. Haim - Days Are Gone
  3. Empire of the Sun - Ice on the Dune
  4. Small Black - Limits of Desire
  5. The Strokes - Comedown Machine
  6. Ra Ra Riot - Beta Love
  7. Kisses - Kids in LA
  8. The Arcade Fire - Reflektor
  9. Calexico - Spiritoso
  10. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
  11. Arctic Monkeys - AM
Buy these albums and more now!!

Don't forget to check out our blog's awesome new book The 111 Best Lists of the 2000s.  Available now!
Buy this book or everyone you know will die.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The 11 Best Songs By Burial



It's been a fun roller coaster ride with our new book, The 111 Best Music Lists of the 2000s. We've had a lot of good feedback from all our readers.  We've had a lot of attention on Twitter from some of the bands featured in the book including Tom Shear of Assemblage 23, Alison Mosshart of the Kills and Dead Weather, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, Erik Arnesen of the Great Lakes Swimmers, The Kings of Leon, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand.  I could not be more thrilled.

One of the last big releases of 2013 comes from Burial who is featured in our book for the album Untrue which makes our list of the 111 Best Albums of the decade.

Here are the 11 Best songs by Burial:
  1. Archangel (Untrue)
  2. Distant Lights (Burial)
  3. Unite (Box of Dub)
  4. Kindred (Kindred EP)
  5. Raver (Untrue)
  6. Loner (Kindred EP)
  7. Etched Headplate (Untrue)
  8. Ashtray Wasp (Kindred EP)
  9. Untrue (Untrue)
  10. Ghost Hardware (Untrue)
  11. Wounder (Burial)
Buy Burial's new album, River Dealer...now!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The 55 Best Albums of 2013 (12-22)



Part 4 of our countdown.  We still your picks for best albums of 2013.  Send them in via email or put them in the comment section below.  Send in your top 20...if you can't think of 20...any number will do.

And buy our book, The 111 Best Music Lists of the 2000s.

Here are the 55 Best Albums of 2013 (12-22):

12.  Sky Ferreira - Night Time My Time
13.  Jim James - Regions of Light
14.  Phoenix - Bankrupt!
15.  Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action
16.  A$AP Rocky - Long. Live. A$AP
17.  Midlake - Antiphon
18.  Late Night Alumni - The Beat Becomes A Sound
19.  Capital Cities - In A Tidal Wave Of Mystery
20.  Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of The City
21.  Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP2
22.  When Saints Go Machine - Infinity Pool

Buy these and more albums of 2013...now!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

The 55 Best Albums of 2013 (23-33)


Part 3 in our countdown of the best albums of 2013.  

Get your album favorites in now!!!  I'm counting on you for your best albums.  I need them to compile a top 111.  Just email them or put them in the comment section below.
Here are the 55 Best Albums of 2013 (23-33):

23.  Kanye West - Yeezus
24.  Moving Units - Neurotic Exotic
25.  CHVRCHES - The Bones Of What You Believe
26.  The Weeknd - Kissland
27.  Pickwick - Can't Talk Medicine
28.  Savages - Silence Yourself
29.  Tegan And Sara - Heartthrob
30.  Washed Out - Paracosm
31.  Drake - Nothing was the Same
32.  Rhye - Woman
33.  Volcano Choir - Repave

Buy these albums and more...now!!!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The 55 Best Albums of 2013 (34-44)


Part 2 of our countdown of the best albums of this year.  Don't like our choices?  Then it's your turn to vote.  Send me your 20 best albums of the year.  We're compiling a best of list from our fans.  Can't wait to see what you loved this year...there were a lot of great releases for sure.

Don't forget to pick our book...available now and it should arrive well before Christmas.  Buy three copies and it's free shipping!!

Here are the 55 Best Albums of 2013 (34-44):

34.  Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
35.  Grouplove - Spreading Rumors
36.  David Bowie - The Next Day
37.  Jason Isbell - Southeastern
38.  My Bloody Valentine - m b v
39.  Atoms For Peace - Amok
40.  The Civil Wars - The Civil Wars
41.  Kaskade - Atmosphere
42.  The Head and The Heart - Let's Be Still
43.  Dawes - Stories Don't End
44.  Mac Miller - Watching Movies With The Sound Off

Buy these albums and more...now!!

The 55 Best Albums of 2013 (45-55)


 It's that time of the year...time for the best of lists.  Here at GBU it's been a big year.  We had a book come out...and the music this year was worlds better than last year. As usual we like to put together a list of the best music that you loved and compile it into one big uber list of 111 albums.  So it's time for you to vote.

 We want your 20 favorite albums of 2013.  You can email us...or just post it in the comment section of the blog.  And if you can't think of 20...list as many as you liked. If you liked just 1 album...then tell us that.  We collect everyone's responses and tally them up. So let us have them.  And as always...we will start off the voting with our own list.  Enjoy!

  Here are the 55 Best Albums of 2013 (45-55):

45.  Kings of Leon - Mechanical Bull
46.  Noah and the Whale - Heart of Nowhere
47.  Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
48.  HBS - In Deep Owl
49.  Junip - Junip
50.  Disclosure - Settle
51.  James Blake - Overgrown
52.  Earl Sweatshirt - Doris
53.  Andrew Stockdale - Keep Moving
54.  Avicii - True
55.  Fitz and the Tantrums - More Than Just A Dream

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The 11 Best Reasons To Buy The 111 Best Lists of the 2000s

GBU 2000s front cover FINAL
 It's been one week since the release of our first book and the reception has been incredibly unexpected.  I thank everyone who has purchased the book...and am giving the stink eye to everyone who has not.  If you haven't picked up a copy yet...here are some amazing points at why you should.
 The 11 Best Reasons to Buy The 111 Best Music Lists of the 2000s:
  1. There are 111 lists - where most books go to 100 ours does them 11 better and goes to 111.
  2. It features many good artists including: Arctic Monkeys, Beck, The National, Wilco, and Radiohead
  3. It features many bad (ass) artists including:  The Black Keys, The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and the Foo Fighters
  4. It features unknown artists including: The Dirtbombs, Jay Reatard, Assemblage 23, Mr. Lif, and the Great Lake Swimmers
  5. It cost less money ($12.95) than a concert ticket and it lasts longer
  6. Reading makes you smarter.  This book will make you 111 times smarter.
  7. It makes for a great Christmas gift and a belated Hanukkah gift for all your Jewish friends
  8. It is proven to kill flies if you hit them hard enough with it
  9. It is a great conversation starter for a boring New Year's party (or any party for that matter)
  10. It is the perfect guide for making a '00s playlist for a '00s-themed party.
  11. There's a secret ending just like in the Marvel movies which hints at a bigger story.  Sorta.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The 11 Best Songs By Black Flag

Black Flag's punk presence hit our ears like a baseball bat smashing a Top 40 jukebox while Henry Rollins looked on with his boot heel firmly planted on the neck of a roller skating disco queen.  You have to be at school?  You have a project due?  That's a new suit?  Rollins and Ginn didn't give a shit.  They would take it from you with the sheer force of Rollins voice busting open your ear drum.  If there was a super hero with a super voice, Rollins would beat the crap out of him and throw him in a ditch.  Or at least, that was the Rollins of the '80s.  Now he's an actor, poet, and novelist.  Ginn has carried on with the Flag's legacy releasing their first album in 27 years.  It's been so long, their hiatus in between albums is eligible for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.  The new album title pretty much sums up what everyone is thinking.  Even without Rollins on board, the new album is strangely inviting.  This isn't the '80s...and the band is practically ready to enroll for social security...but there's no one out there brave enough to tell them they're too old to do shit.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Black Flag:
  1. Rise Above (Damaged)
  2. Damaged II (Damaged)
  3. Nervous Breakdown (Nervous Breakdown)
  4. Gimme Gimme Gimme (Damaged)
  5. Jealous Again (Jealous Again)
  6. Drinking and Driving (In My Head)
  7. The Bars (Slip It In)
  8. TV Party (Damaged)
  9. Wasted (Nervous Breakdown)
  10. Black Coffee (Slip It In)
  11. Slip It In (Slip It In)
Buy Black Flag's new album, What The...now!!!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The 11 Best Songs By Boston

Today marks the release of Boston's sixth album in their 37 year career.  Even though, Boston has released music in five different decades, they released less songs in their entire career than are found on a single New York rapper's mixtape.  They've had more lead singers than they have albums.   Their debut album held the record for the best selling rock debut until Appetite For Destruction.  Currently, their debut still sits in the top ten as one of the best selling hard rock albums of all time.  They've never had a live album.  They've never done a duet with Ke$ha.  They've never partied with P.Diddy.  They have less music videos than Pearl Jam.  They are about one thing...and one thing only:  Rock n' Roll!  Okay, that might be two things.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Boston:
  1. More Than A Feeling (Boston)
  2. Peace Of Mind (Boston)
  3. Don't Look Back (Don't Look Back)
  4. I Think I Like It (Third Stage)
  5. Feelin' Satisfied (Don't Look Back)
  6. It's Easy (Don't Look Back)
  7. Foreplay/Long Time (Boston)
  8. Something About You (Boston)
  9. Can'tcha Say You Believe In Me: Still In Love (Third Stage)
  10. Amanda (Third Stage)
  11. Someone (Corporate America)
Buy Boston's new album, Love Life and Hope...now!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The 111 Best Music Lists of the 2000s



Is this the greatest book ever written?  Probably not but it's close.  I've been writing this blog for the past six years; I've written hundreds of lists.   Taking some of the best lists directly from the site and adding in some brand new lists, I am proud to present my first book.  Sticking with the theme of my blog I've delivered a book that takes a look back at one of the most chaotic decades in music.  It was the decade where music went from being physical to only existing in a digital space.  It was an era where pop dominated and rock was stuck taking the bus.  With this book, I hope to right the ship and look back at some amazing bands that were overlooked.

You can purchase the book now at Amazon and Kindle.  Right in time for all your holiday shopping needs.

The 111 Best Music Lists of the Decade

Enjoy!






Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The 11 Best Songs From The Twilight Soundtracks


Harry Potter proved that a great franchise can make you a whole lot of money.  Twilight proved that a shitty franchise can do the exact same thing.  The one thing that Twilight did right was its soundtracks.  As crappy as the movies were, the soundtracks were some of the best movie soundtracks being made.  The Hunger Games franchise has arrived giving us the best of both worlds.  A great franchise and a great soundtrack.  Too bad Cameron Crowe never made Singles into a movie franchise.

Here are the 11 Best Songs From The Twilight Soundtracks:

  1. Eclipse All Yours - Metric (Eclipse) 
  2. Meet Me On The Equinox - Death Cab For Cutie (New Moon)
  3. Spotlight - Mutemath (Twilight)
  4. Ours - The Bravery (Eclipse)
  5. Neutron Star Collision - Muse (Eclipse)
  6. Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron & Wine (Twilight)
  7. Let's Get Lost - Beck & Bat For Lashes (Eclipse)
  8. No Sound But The Wind - Editors (New Moon)
  9. What Part Of Forever - Cee-Lo Green (Eclipse)
  10. From Now On - The Features (Breaking Dawn 1)
  11. Where I Come From - Passion Pit (Breaking Dawn 2)
Buy the Catching Fire Soundtrack...now!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The 11 Best Supergroup Duos



Side projects and supergroups always draw amazing attention but usually end-up disappointing greatly.  It's hard for an artist to experiment with a new sound because of the expectations they bring with them.  A few artists manage to exceed expectations usually by throwing a big curve.  If it is too outside the box, it tends to scare listeners away...and if it's too inside the box...it leaves listeners wondering what the point was in the first place?  Billie Joe of Green Day and Norah Jones of pianos team-up today to play a collection of Everly Brother songs.  Which side of the box does this fall In?  Out?  Under? Over?  Ever?

Here are the 11 Best Supergroup Duos:

  1. Electronic (Bernard Sumner of New Order & Johnny Marr of The Smiths)
  2. She & Him (Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward)
  3. Pinback (Zach Smith of Three Mile Pilot & Rob Crow of Heavy Vegetable and Thingy)
  4. Felt (Murs & Slug of Atmosphere)
  5. Quasi (Sam Coomes of Heatmiser and Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney)
  6. Discovery (Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend & Wesley Miles of Ra Ra Riot)
  7. Bad Meets Evil (Eminem & Royce Da 5'9")
  8. Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
  9. Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles)
  10. The Evens (Ian McKaye of Fugazi and Amy Farina of The Warmers)
  11. WZRD (Kid Cudi & Dot Da Genius)
Buy Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones new album, Foreverly...now!!



The 11 Best Covers By Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs


A great cover is hard to come by.  When making a covers album, artists have two hurdles to overcome.  They have to uphold to their own standard of music quality, plus they have to make a song that is respectable to the artist's original track.  This creates an even bigger double edge sword because the artist doing the cover has to honor the original track by not completely bastardizing it but they have to put their own stamp on it by making it their own.  Not everyone can be Jimi Hendrix covering Dylan or Cake covering Gloria Gaynor but they need to have their own voice.  The homespun duo of Sweet and Hoffs recreates classic tracks like Baez and Simon on a road trip through our AM psyche.  Their newest '80s offering promises to turn our MTV up to 11, so until then, let's flashback to the summer of sixty, um, seventy, um, yeah.

Here are the 11 Best Covers By Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs:
  1. You're So Vain (Carly Simon, Under the Covers Vol 2)
  2. And Your Bird Can Sing (The Beatles, Under the Covers Vol 1)
  3. Different Drum (Stone Poneys, Under the Covers Vol 1)
  4. Maggie May (Rod Stewart, Under the Covers Vol 2)
  5. You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor,  Under the Covers Vol 2 Bonus Disc)
  6. Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac, Under the Covers Vol 2)
  7. Peace Love And Understanding (Nick Lowe, Under the Covers Vol 2 Bonus Disc)
  8. Melissa (The Allman Brothers, Under the Covers Vol 2 Bonus Disc)
  9. Hello It's Me (Todd Rundgren, Under the Covers Vol 2)
  10. Sugar Magnolia (Grateful Dead, Under the Covers Vol 2)
  11. Care of Cell #44 (The Zombies, Under the Covers Vol 1)
By Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs new album, Under The Covers Volume 3...now!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Next 11 Best Songs By The Killers


I've never been of a fan of greatest hits packages.  Ironic, huh?  The problem is most greatest hits packages are never a truly accurate collection of a band's best songs.  Most of the times, they are just a collection of a band's singles.  That's not greatest hits, that's just songs picked for radio promotion.  And "greatest"... that implies that these songs are the best songs of the songs that were picked for radio play.  That means a band would have to have dozens of hits in order to select the greatest ones. And who's to say that they are all hits?  Once a band is past their creative peak, most of their radio songs fail miserably, which would be the opposite of hit.  I'd love to see a label put out a collection of "Greatest Misses," underrated songs that flopped.  That would actually be interesting.  Many bands' best songs are hits...but great bands always have a collection of songs just under the skin that are on par with the best of their hits.

Here are the Next 11 Best Songs By The Killers:
  1. Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine (Hot Fuss)
  2. Bones (Sam's Town)
  3. Bling (Sam's Town)
  4. A Matter of Time (Battle Born)
  5. On Top (Hot Fuss)
  6. Deadlines And Commitments (Battle Born)
  7. Losing Touch (Day & Age)
  8. Under The Gun (Somebody Told Me)
  9. Sam's Town (Sam's Town)
  10. Shadowplay (Sawdust)
  11. All The Pretty Faces (When You Were Young)
Buy The Killers new album, Direct Hits...now!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Unknown: The Visitors


The Visitors conclude our blog's salute to a handful of stellar up-and-coming unknown bands.

Off the streets of New York, this quartet is a drag-down, cranked-up, surly bunch of croonsters unleashing their inner Julian Casablancas while swaggering like Simon Le Bon.  They're the kind of band you'd imagine playing in the basement of speakeasy, where Tony Soprano, Ray Luca, Jessica Rabbit, and Barry Manilow discuss music and fashion.  A place so thick with cigarette smoke, you can't even see the band, their music beckons from some far off corner where it is just loud enough to serenade to your evening, but quiet enough to create a mood-setting audio curtain that encompasses you like a warm blanket. The rumor is the band are all ex-convicts living under false identities to protect themselves from the Feds, the criminals, and any scorned lovers.  They play like they have something to hide, and they're enjoying every minute of it.

Their debut EP drops on Dec. 1st.  But get a sneak peak...right now.

Check them out:

https://soundcloud.com/thevisitors2013-1/sets/the-visitors-ep-sneak-peak

Follow:

facebook.com/thevisitorsmusic
twitter.com/therealvisitors
ig @thevisitorsmusic

Band:

Jason Forman: Vox/Guitar
Jeremy Arambulo:  Bass/Vox
Joe Zizzo: Drums
Cameron Keym: Keys/Guitar




Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Unknown: Heaventide


In the '00s, music was all about "more."  Everything had to be bigger, louder, with more layers and more singers.  More guests, more instruments, more BPM.  It was like every song had to be packed with more goodies than a Vegas-style buffet.  But instead of having more to offer, the songs felt less human and had less emotional connection.  We want our songs to sound more human and less like computers.

Heaventide ushers in a fresh, nostalgic presence that we haven't felt in music since the early '90s.  Their bare bones approach defies any genre.  With a groove that would make R. Kelly bounce and a headstrong female voice that would motivate Ani DiFranco to kick off her Birkenstocks and dance, Heaventide is a shining example of what music with a soul is supposed to sound like.  With as much Massive Attack as Erykah Badu, their song "The Chore" is a murky bruiser of a broken-hearted love song. There's a dark vibe to this angelic tune, a fore-warning to anyone who dares to scorn the hearts of this trio of women from Canada.  If more music would have this kind of emotional strength, it would make Katy Perry's roar sound more like a whimper.

Check out their song "The Chore:"  https://soundcloud.com/heaventide/the-chore

Follow:

https://youtube.com/heaventideofficial/
https://twitter.com/heaventide



The Unknown: Off Orbit


There's been a huge resurgence of the blues appreciation this past decade.  While the White Stripes and Black Keys stole much of the lime light with their blues-turned up to 11, traditional blues took a back seat.  Off Orbit is a pure blues rock band out of Miami, Florida.  While many blues rock bands before them like the Black Crowes or even the Stones were noticeably influenced by the blues greats, Off Orbit truly tries to harness the power of the BB Kings, the Stevie Ray Vaughns and the John Lee Hookers in their music.  There's struggle in their songs.  There's a fight that can only be found in a blue collar bar band that plays their heart out every night to the one regular who's drowning himself in a beer in the back of the bar.  The Beatles started this way, too, look where it got them.  Absorbing the atmosphere of the Latin culture of Florida, Off Orbit adds their own touch of flair to a grimy genre.  Their guitars sizzle with style backed by a rhythm section that provides a punch of disco soul.  When it all comes together there's a psychedelic vibe shaking the songs from the inside, with Moises' lead vocals as our humble guide.  If all the records in a vinyl shop climbed off the shelves and had a party when we all went to sleep, it might sound something like this.

Check them out here:

http://offorbitmusicgmailcom.bandcamp.com/
http://www.soundcloud.com/offorbit

Follow:

http://www.reverbnation.com/offorbit
http://www.soundcloud.com/offorbit
http://www.facebook.com/offorbit
http://www.twitter.com/offorbit
http://www.youtube.com/lostsatellites




Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Unknown: Kobra Kicks







I'm extremely impressed by the amount of great music coming out of Europe.  I guess there's a common universal language about wanting to rock the fuck out.  Up next, let's head over to Finland and discover The Kobra Kicks.

It's a little hard to believe that it's been over a decade since the indie lo-fi fuzzbox of the Strokes shook their way into our world.  It's been so long that the Strokes don't even sound like the Strokes anymore. It's their influence that is now rippling its way into a whole new slate of bands.  Kobra Kicks employ all the best parts of the early 2000s indie rock movement.  From their Tokyo Police Club tongue-in-cheek chatter to their Libertines swagger, Kobra Kicks unleashes slacker party anthem that would be the theme song to the 3:00 AM after party you didn't tell your parents you were going to.  It's fun, catchy and everything that's gets us excited about new music.

They are currently recording their debut album.  When they blow up...remember you heard about them here first.

Check out their kicking song, Krokodil:  https://soundcloud.com/the-kobra-kicks/the-kobra-kicks-krokodil


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Unknown: Mikey J



The amazing thing about rap today is the legacy that comes with it.  Last decade, we saw a generation of rappers who were influenced by the originators of the genre.  Today's rappers were born into a world where rap always existed.  It was part of their environment.  It is a part of their culture.  When rap first started, it was the voice of a people who didn't have a voice.  Now, it's an avenue for anyone to be heard.

Mikey J is of this new generation of rapper.  Where the rules and the limitations have been completely torn down and are ready to be reinvented.  With samples straight out of indie rock's back catalog, Mikey J spouts lyrics that flow from his head in such a stream of consciousness fashion, it feels like a best friend pulling you close telling you how it is.  Even the songwriting invokes an entirely new plane of thinking, where it could as easily be right at home next to Mac Miller as it could be next to Mike Shinoda. If hip-hop one day takes over the world, the world will be a better place.

Mikey J will be performing in the tri-state area in 2014.

Check out Mikey J's mixtape:  We Are the Rocket Boys

Follow Mikey J here:

https://soundcloud.com/mikeyjmusic

https://www.facebook.com/WhoMikeyJ

https://twitter.com/WhoMikeyJ

http://beaconentertainmentmgmt.com/artist-management.html


Contact Mikey.J@BeaconEntertainmentMgmt.com 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Unknown: The Underhill Family Orchestra



They're rowdy and rough. They're flag-waving country punks with swing-a-billy boots stomping the floor. Imagine Zac Brown at a Pixies show or Dwight Yoakam dueting it up with the Arcade Fire.  There are so many influences in The Underhill Family Orchestra, it's as if they pulled a little something from every nook and cranny in Miss Liberty's kitchen, including the kitchen sink.  They play with such high-energy, it's like they are trying to entertain all of America from their back porch in Mobile, Alabama.  And don't tell them they can't do it, it will only make them play louder, faster, and with more spirit than Thomas Jefferson wearing an American flag tuxedo.  And, if you spill your beer from dancing too much, you won't even care.

Their second album is set to be released in December 2013, with an extensive tour of the Southern states.  For all of us on the West Coast who will miss their rambunctious good time (for now), we'll have to settle for debut album, "This Is..."

Purchase and preview, their debut album, "This Is..." and their new single "Showdown at St. Lawrence" over at their Bandcamp Page.

http://theunderhillfamilyorchestra.bandcamp.com/

Check out their video for "Showdown at St. Lawrence" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oMoTsG0Jao&list=TLEEscmKQbgnM7CuDFGfG0HUOqvGaI1lQM

Follow them to the ends of the Earth here:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/TheUnderhillFamilyOrchestra

Website- http://www.theunderhillfamilyorchestra.com/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/underhillfamily

The Underhill Family Orchestra is:

Jeremy - Drums/Guitar/Vocals
Brian - Guitar/Bass/Vocals
Joelle - Tambourine/Vocals
Steven - Guitar/Drums/Vocals
Ben - Mandolin/Guitar/Vocals

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Unknown: SchnarffSchnarff



Moving forward with Unknown week, let's stick with the international theme and check in with SchnarffSchnarff from Glasgow.  This working man's European rock outfit howls with the spirit of Springsteen and wails with the grit of Grohl.  The guitars hum with a forceful bounce right out the Sleater-Kinney playbook while drums pick up the groove with a Black Keys swagger.  These guys may come from the other side of the pond but they bare their souls like they've spent their lives in Heartland of America, working 16-hours days, scrubbing their fingers to the bone, just to eke out enough money to keep their electricity on for one more day.  There's a sense of true struggle that cries for attention underneath the crash and tumble.  These guys don't just deserve a listen...they demand it.

A European tour is in the works.

Here's an MP3 of their song "Urrrgh"

Check out their video for their lead single "Urrrgh":  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZwescgAI-g

More SchnarffSchnarff goodness as Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/SchnarffSchnarff

www.twitter.com/SchnarffBeys

www.facebook.com/SchnarffSchnarffSchnarffSchnarff.com

schnarffschnarffy@hotmail.com
Band Details:

Vocalist - Myles Bonnar
Guitarist 1 - Andrew Maclean
Guitarist 2 - Richard Douglas
Bassist - Brian Farguhar
Drums - Jaamie Douglas





Friday, November 08, 2013

The Unknown: The Colaars



As a music blogger, you get tons of submissions from bands requesting you present their music to the world.  That's one of the main reasons I have an "unknown" section.  It's hard to sift through a lot of the material and find good stuff.  I have neglected it.  So starting today and over the weekend and next week, I would like to present some of the best submissions I've received these past few months.

Up first, all the way from the freaking Ukraine is the indie rock band, Colaars.  Isn't amazing how easy it is to get a submission from the other side of the planet?  This wouldn't have been possible 20 years ago.  Now it's normal...and it is to our benefit.  These guys have been tearing up Europe since 2010 and their music is slowly making its way over to the states.  With the driving force of Modest Mouse, the ambiance of U2 and the complexity of Explosions in the Sky, Colaars is an energetic kick in the pants of the post-punk, post-rock hole-in-the-wall club circuit.  They're the kind of band you expect to open for a headliner and would end up blowing the headliner out of the water.  They're the kind of band who you would stumble upon at a club, who would draw you in and leave you sweating by the end of their set.  They're the band that would be ringing in your ears the next morning with that feeling of wanting more.  I've said my piece...now go listen to these guys for yourself.  

You can download their EP Wood Arsenal here.  Be sure to give them some Facebook love.  And check them out on tour in Europe in 2014 in support of their upcoming full-length album.


Vanya - guitar / back vocals

Bogdan - bass / back vocals

Eugene - drums

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The 11 Best Songs By Cut Copy


Cut Copy's magical ability to capture the carefree '80s synth neon perfection is only outdone by their grounded creativity to deliver modern-sounding music without feeling dated.  Though the John Hughes and Martha Quinn influence drips throughout the melodies, there's a powerful strobe light backbone whose true home would be at the Electric Daisy Carnival.  Their songs have the charm of a mall-induced power ballad which are enhanced with the murky undertone that could set the mood for an after hours Tinder hook-up.  It's music that captures the atmosphere of a generation for a generation whose main concern seems to be capturing itself.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Cut Copy:
  1. Hearts On Fire (In Ghost Colours)
  2. Out There On The Ice (In Ghost Colours)
  3. Lights and Music (In Ghost Colours)
  4. Pharaohs & Pyramids (Zonoscope)
  5. Feel The Love (In Ghost Colours)
  6. Future (Bright Like Neon Love)
  7. Time Stands Still (Bright Like Neon Love)
  8. Take Me Over (Zonoscope)
  9. Unforgettable Season (In Ghost Colours)
  10. Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat (Zonoscope)
  11. Need You Now (Zonoscope)
Buy Cut Copy's new album, Free Your Mind...now!!!


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The 11 Best Songs By Midlake


My heart broke when I first learned that ex-lead singer Tim Smith had left Midlake.  Their break-out album, Van Occupanther, was such a mythical delight, it was like someone had journeyed it from the top of Mt. Doom and dragged it out of Middle Earth for our pleasure.  One listen and you were transported to a world where Hobbits smoked long pipes and androgynous Elves are really good archers.  Tim Smith was our Gandolf, leading us on an adventure that we might not return from...and we weren't sure we wanted to.  Now, our Gandolf is gone.  The shock was so great, we didn't want to go on.  We considered going home and giving up.  But maybe...just maybe... a new leader would emerge from the Dark Side of Rivendale.  From the bard-like timber of Smith the Grey to the ranger-fueled grit of new singer Eric Pulido the White, Midlake emerges as determined as ever to get the Gollum off their backs.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Midlake:
  1. Roscoe (The Trials of Van Occupanther)
  2. Rulers, Ruling All Things (The Courage of Others)
  3. Head Home (The Trials of Van Occupanther)
  4. Acts of Man (The Courage of Others)
  5. Van Occupanther (The Trials of Van Occupanther)
  6. In This Camp (The Trials of Van Occupanther)
  7. Children of the Grounds (The Courage of Others)
  8. It Covers The Hillside (The Trials of Van Occupanther)
  9. Kingfish Pies (Bamnan & Silvercork)
  10. Winter Dies (The Courage of Others)
  11. Young Bride (The Trials of Van Occupanther)
Buy Midlake's new album, Antiphon...now!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The 11 Best Eminem Guest Spots of the 00s



With less than a month until the release of my book...promotion will be started any day now.  I look forward to everyone buying at least 10 copies.  It's Christmas, you know...and a very early Hanukkah.

Here is another list from the book:  Eminem

Let me know what you think!!

EMINEM

Does one of the best-selling artists need more exposure?  The answer is yes.  Eminem is a great example of how to stay relevant in a rapidly changing field.  One of hip-hop's greatest innovations is the "guest spot."  Sometimes rappers can overdo it and include too many guests on their album.  There is nothing more annoying than a rapper having so many guests that he barely has any time for himself.  Featuring a couple of really great guests can have a huge impact on your album credibility, not to mention more exposure for the guest.  Eminem is the best guest any rapper can ask to have on his album.  Em's drop-ins are magnetic, not just elevating the songs but inspiring his fellow rappers, too. Would 50 Cent be a household name without Em's involvement? Would Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001 be as legendary without young Eminem's pugilistic word-wit? 

Eminem is not successful because of his guest spots.  It’s his lyrics.  He is one of the best lyricists of all time in any genre. It just goes to show that everybody can benefit from a little help, even the best.

Fun Fact:  In America, Eminem was the top-selling artist of the '00s, selling 32 million albums.  Close behind in second place were The Beatles.
  
The 11 Best Eminem Guest Spots:

1.      Renegade (Jay-Z - Blueprint)
2.      Outro (Obie Trice - Cheers)
3.      Gatman And Robbin (50 Cent – The Massacre)
4.      Drama Setter (Tony Yayo – Thoughts of A Predicated Felon)
5.      We Ain’t (The Game – The Documentary)
6.      It Has Been Said (Notorious B.I.G. – Duets)
7.      Don’t Approach Me (Xzibit – Restless)
8.      On Fire (Lloyd Banks – Hunger For More)
9.      Rush Ya Clique (Outsidaz – Night Life EP)
10.  Chemical Warfare (The Alchemist – Chemical Warfare)
11.  Touchdown (T.I. – T.I. vs. T.I.P.)


Buy Eminem's new album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2...now!!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The 11 Best Songs By Live of the 90s


It may be Halloween but it's also throwback Thursday.  So a little treat for you, let's go back to Live (the band) in their heyday.  Throwing Copper is easily the most underrated album of the decade.  When it came out many people thought Live might actually become bigger than Pearl Jam because of it.  It does hold up and it was a struggle to not have an entire top 11 with just Throwing Copper songs...and honestly, would anyone have argued against it?

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Live of the 90s:
  1. White, Discussion (Throwing Copper)
  2. I Alone (Throwing Copper)
  3. Operation Spirit (Mental Jewelry)
  4. Lakini's Juice (Secret Samadhi)
  5. Pillars of Davidson (Throwing Copper)
  6. Lightning Crashes (Throwing Copper)
  7. Waitress (Throwing Copper)
  8. Heropsychodreamer (Secret Samadhi)
  9. Pains Lies on the Riverside (Mental Jewelry)
  10. Iris (Throwing Copper)
  11. The Dolphin's Cry (The Distance to Here)
Buy Ed Kowalczyk's new album, The Flood and The Mercy...now!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The 11 Best Linkin Park Remixes


Thirteen years ago, I had my own email blast that went out to about 1000 people called The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown.  Funny, huh?  Each week, I would review 3 albums.  A good album, a bad album, and an unknown artist.  I would review each album song by song in a humorous way.  One week I took a break and reviewed 4 of the trending nu metal bands.  I didn't include the song reviews...but it's interesting to see what I thought of the band then, and now how my review stands up.

Papa Roach “Infest”
The new favorite sons of the metal movement.  Not sure why.  The singer sounds like his tongue is too big for his mouth.  Sylvester the cat has better pronunciation skills.  And the music is just okay.  No skill required.  It’s supposed to hardcore, but it sounds like they just got out of bed. Of course, who said it takes skill to get played on the radio?

How this album ranks: C
Will they be around in 5 years? 15%

********

Disturbed “Sickness”
They’re from the south side of Chicago.  So I can understand the burning anger building up inside of them.  But I’m confused at how making bizarre animal noises is an outlet for that anger.  I knew a kid in junior high school who used to make animal noises in class.  He's in jail now.

How this album ranks: C-
Will they be listened to in 5 years?  10%

*******

Slipknot “Slipknot”
What do call a bunch of dorks who dress up in clown costumes and pretend to be something they’re not?  Okay, if you said Republicans, then you’re half-right.  It’s actually the band Slipknot.  Since their music bares no originality (they sound like Korn), they’ve decided to dress up like clowns because no one has ever done that before (Insane Clown Posse).

How this album ranks: C-
Will they be around in 5 years?  20%

********

Linkin Park “Hybrid Theory”
Don’t know a lot about this band except they sound exactly like a cross between Stabbing Westward, God Lives Underwater, and Depeche Mode.  Poor Depeche Mode.

How this album ranks: B

Will they be around in 5 years? 50%


Here are the 11 Best Linkin Park Remixes:
  1. Numb/Encore (Collision Course)
  2. Enth E Nd (Reanimation)
  3. Frgt/10 (Reanimation)
  4. Nobody's Listening - Evil Genius Remix (We Major)
  5. The Catalyst - King Fantastic Remix (The Catalyst)
  6. 1stp Klosr (Reanimation) 
  7. Jigga What/Faint (Collision Course)
  8. Rnw@y (Reanimation)
  9. H! Vltg3 (Reanimation)
  10. What I've Done - M. Shinoda Remix (LPUX)
  11. WTH> You (Reanimation)
Buy Linkin Park's new remix/reinterpretation album, Recharged...now!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The 11 Best Songs By The Arcade Fire


South Park told us to blame Canada but today we may need to thank Canada for saving rock n roll.  Ten years ago, The Arcade Fire put a smile on our face with a Funeral...now they're brightening our lives with a Reflektor.  It took their return to make us realize how silent our world had been without them to show us how it is done.  It's like David Bowie stuffed the Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, and a French teacher and in a hypodermic needle and injected them into our veins.  The Arcade Fire have made a career of shining light on dim worlds.  From enlightening a funeral to electrocharging religion to enriching everyday life, The Arcade Fire is the dawn from the dusk.  Which reminds me, don't forget to set your clocks back this weekend for Daylight Savings Time.  It gives you an extra hour to listen to the new album.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Arcade Fire:
  1. Suburban War (The Suburbs)
  2. Ready To Start (The Suburbs)
  3. Neighborhood #3 Power Out (Funeral)
  4. Rebellion Lies (Funeral)
  5. We Used To Wait (The Suburbs)
  6. Month of May (The Suburbs)
  7. No Cars Go (Neon Bible)
  8. Keep The Car Running (Neon Bible)
  9. The Suburbs (The Suburbs)
  10. Wake Up (Funeral)
  11. Antichrist Television Blues (Neon Bible)
Buy The Arcade Fire's new album, Reflektor...now!!