Thursday, May 22, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By Coldplay

Coldplay has the dubious distinction of being that band that everyone loves but no guy ever admits that they actually like.  When your friends come over to your house and see a Coldplay CD sitting around, you make up some excuse that it actually belongs to your mom.  This works since no one buys CDs anymore except old people.  Coldplay may not be the opening music to the next heavyweight championship or football send-off. No one cruises around looking for chicks while blasting Coldplay.  And you're not going to hear the band being played over the background of your favorite video game.  But Coldplay, believe it or cooler than all that.  At the end of the day, as soft as their music is...every chick in the world wants Chris Martin.  And that in itself is winning.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Coldplay:
  1. Viva La Vida (Viva La Vida)
  2. Don't Panic (Parachutes)
  3. Clocks (A Rush Of Blood To The Head)
  4. Speed of Sound (X&Y)
  5. Square One (X&Y)
  6. The Scientist (A Rush Of Blood To The Head)
  7. Life in Technicolor ii (Prospekt's March)
  8. Talk (X&Y)
  9. Major Minus (Mylo Xyloto)
  10. Violet Hill (Viva La Vida)
  11. White Shadows (X&Y) 
Buy Coldplay's new album, Ghost!!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The 11 Best Solo Songs By Conor Oberst

The internet went into an outrage today when a big announcement was unveiled. revealed which rock/pop singers have the greatest recorded vocal ranges.  At the top of the list is the not completely surprising:  Axl Rose. Mariah Carey, Prince, Steven Tyler, and James Brown round out the top five.  Now, the website determined this by looking at the difference between the singer's highest and lowest recorded notes.  It's by no means definitive...but a unique way to create a ranking; and interesting at that.  It's no surprise that Axl's five octave range ranks up at the top...what is surprising is the massive amount of anger and doubt that has spilled out across the internet.  From people screaming that Axl should be no where near the top of the list because he's a terrible singer to people completely doubting the legitimacy of the list's rankings.  How the hell can you be angry at this list?  It's a fun list.  No one is saying this is the only list that matters and the singers at the top are the only great singers out there...but the reaction from the internet is like that's exactly what they are saying.  Why does everyone on the internet have to blow everything that's reported out of proportion?  No one is ranking religions or races but that's how the internet reacts to...everything!  People...calm the fuck down.  It's just a list.  It's just for amusement.  But if you take it so seriously that you have to blast the creator of the list because they got everything wrong...then problem isn't the list...the problem is you.  Trust me...I know.  Step back, take it for what it is...and if you don't have anything nice to say, go eat at Chipolte. Here are the 11 Best Solo Songs By Conor Oberst:
  1. I Got A Reason (Outer South)
  2. Milk Thistle (Conor Oberst)
  3. Kodachrome (One Of My Kind)
  4. Lenders in the Temple (Conor Oberst)
  5. To All The Lights In the Windows (Outer South)
  6. Spoiled (Outer South)
  7. Synesthe Song (One Of My Kind)
  8. Breezy (One Of My Kind)
  9. Souled Out!!! (Conor Oberst)
  10. Cape Canaveral (Conor Oberst)
  11. Ten Women (Outer South)
Buy Conor Oberst's new album, Upside Down!!    

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Monday, May 19, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By The Me First & The Gimme Gimmes

We love to joke about DJs.  We joke about how all they do is go up on stage and play their ipods.  We joke about how they're overpaid button pushers yet somehow have huge followings. How could some who plays other peoples' somehow be a rock star themselves?  We think this is some strange new trend...but this has been going on since the beginning of rock n roll.  For years, radio DJs were the authority when it came to music.  They were the ones who unveiled new music on the world.  Because of their musical insight, they gained followings of devoted listeners.  People tuned into the radio to hear the DJs as much as they tuned in to hear the music.  Mainly, because they knew the DJs would play music they loved to hear.  Many radio DJs had authority over what they would play.  It made them into rock stars.  Wolfman Jack, Rodney Bigenheimer, Ryan Seacrest, Carson Daly, and Casey Kasem were all DJs who all became famous for playing other peoples' music.  But that ended in the 90s, when radio conglomerates came in and overtook the radio stations.  They fazed out the radio DJs in lieu of pre-determined water-down playlists.  They wanted to make their stations more appeasing to a wider audience because they thought people listened only to the music.  They didn't realize that the reason the people listened to the music in the first place was because the DJs made them want to listen to it.  Once that ended, people stopped listening even though all their market data said otherwise. Today, DJs have found a way to survive.  People don't want to listen to music programmed by a computer to appeal the widest market.  They want to hear something personal.  They want to hear a playlist that comes from a human being.  Why do you think mixtapes were so popular?  Music is a personal message.  It speaks how we feel.  A personalized playlist conveys an emotional message from the creator of the list.  A computerized playlist is just empty words.  Today's DJs feed off crowds and audiences.  They don't just create a playlist, they create an experience. Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Me First & The Gimme Gimmes:
  1. Rocket Man (Have A Ball)
  2. Wild World (Blow In The Wind)
  3. Crazy (Take A Break)
  4. Science Fiction Double Feature (Are A Drag)
  5. Danny's Song (Have A Ball)
  6. Uptown Girl (Have A Ball)
  7. Rich Girl (Have Another Ball)
  8. Sweet Caroline (Have A Ball)
  9. Goodbye Earl (Love Their Country)
  10. Hello (Take A Break)
  11. Jolene (Love Their Country)
Buy the Gimmes new album, Are We Not Men? We Are!

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Friday, May 16, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By The Black Keys

Net neutrality has been a growing viral meme lately.  The FCC is about to make a landmark decision regarding the future of the internet; whether to leave it in the control of the people, or give the control to the corporations.  There is only one choice, and I mean there is really only one choice.  The power will always remain in the hands of the people.  Let the FCC try to regulate it.  It would be like trying to regulate the air.  When it comes to computers and technology, the government will be and always has been about ten steps behind everyone else.  The second they try to block it and regulate it, will be the second that some programmer in Wichita comes up with a way around the blocks.  Every single time a corporation or power-hungry entity has tried to cease control of something on the internet, it has only back-fired and ended up in a massive flood of information in the complete opposite direction. It will not end well for the FCC if they try this route.  If they don't believe me...just as the music industry how fighting illegal downloading worked out for them. Here are The 11 Best Songs By The Black Keys:
  1. Tighten Up (Brothers)
  2. Gold On The Ceiling (El Camino)
  3. I'll Be Your Man (The Big Come Up)
  4. Lonely Boy (El Camino)
  5. 10 AM Automatic (Rubber Factory)
  6. Set You Free (Thickfreakness)
  7. Howlin' For You (Brothers)
  8. Midnight In Her Eyes (Thickfreakness)
  9. So He Won't Break (Attack & Release)
  10. Dead And Gone (El Camino)
  11. Just Got To Be (Magic Potion)
Buy The Black Keys new album...Turn!!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The 11 Best Michael Jackson Solo Songs (Pre-Off The Wall):

Thriller is iconic.  Bad is iconic.  Dangerous is iconic.  Off The Wall is iconic.  Invincible is...not too bad.  Since 1979's release of Off The Wall, everything Michael Jackson has done has been woven into the fabric of our culture.  His music is a recognizable as Mickey Mouse.  How many pop singers have their own Disneyland attraction?  But what a lot of people don't know is that MJ had a career before the super stardom.  No, I'm not talking about The Jackson 5, I'm talking about MJ's lesser known 4 solo albums from the 70s.  Before he moonwalked across the stage, he was a kid figuring out his own path.  Before he asked Annie if she was okay, he was singing ballads to rats.  And before he was innovating the music video, he was singing songs about birds.  Most of these early songs are not as iconic as MJ's later material, but that doesn't mean these songs are great.  They're MJ's growing pains.  And even MJ's evolving material is stronger than many musicians' best.  
Thanks to Sonny, my special guest writer, for his list!!  Trust me, this guy knows MJ.
The 11 Best Michael Jackson Solo Songs (Pre-Off The Wall):
  1. Got To Be There (Got To Be There)
  2. Ain't No Sunshine (Got To Be There)
  3. Girl Don't Take Your Love From Me (Got To Be There)
  4. I Wanna Be Where You Are (Got To Be There)
  5. Love Is Here And Now You're Gone (Got To Be There)
  6. Rockin' Robin (Got To Be There)
  7. Ben (Ben)
  8. We've Got A Good Thing Going (Ben)
  9. We're Almost There (Forever Michael)
  10. Dear Michael (Forever Michael)
  11. You Can't Win (The Wiz)
Buy Michael Jackson's new album,!!

The 11 Best Songs By The Horrors

There's been a lot of outrage over Michael Sam getting drafted by the NFL.  Some players have sent obnoxious tweets.  Some people have claimed he has no right in the NFL.  Others are mad because he kissed another man on national TV.  But the people who are getting the angriest are the ones who are saying that the haters should be defended and have the right to say whatever they want.  Haters shouldn't be punished for having a negative reaction.  It's their freedom of speech right to talk shit about others.  On one end, they are correct, the players should have a right to voice their opinions freely.
...on another end, they're completely contradicting themselves.
Many people are using the example of Tim Tebow...that his post-play actions, filled with religious praise, were constantly ridiculed and the haters were allowed to do this without repercussion.  First off, let me say, anyone who made fun of Tebow's actions is an asshole.  Tebow was one of the most exciting, electric players to play football in the past decade.  As a Bronco fan, I was sad to see him go.   Peyton hasn't won us a championship yet.  Players are supposed to be emotional.  They're supposed to be loud.  I enjoyed Tebow's antics.  They were a great part of the game.  But how ridiculed was Tebow really?  Was he as ridiculed as much as the religious sector claimed he was ridiculed?  With the recent issues over Sam, I went back and looked at what Tebow had to endure.  Yeah, there were some douche bag radio hosts who mocked him...but they mocked everyone.  One writer said that an opposing fan held up a "Welcome To Hell" sign at a football game.  The writer made a point that the sign was meant for Tebow.  Was it really?  It's a football game.  That's one of the nicest signs I've seen a rival team's fan hold up.  That's nothing...if it was actually meant for Tebow...or the whole team.  Also, they mentioned a Detroit player mocking Tebow's post-play prayer after sacking him.  That's what defensive players do. They mock the player they tackle.  They did it to Terrell Owens and they did it to Cam Newton.  In fact, they do it to everyone.  Getting just a waste of time.
But here's where the contradiction comes in.  The NFL didn't fine Don Jones for his mocking tweet...The Miami Dolphins did.  The same team that dealt with bullying issues last year.  They were sweeping something under the rug before it became another embarrassment.  And the same rights that everyone is bitching about Don Jones having...The Dolphins as employers have too.  They have contracts.  And the players have specific off-the-field decorum they must follow.  As an employer...if an employee breaks these rules, the employer is allowed to fine them.  Just as Donald Trump had the right to fire Miss California for not following the rules of the Miss America pageant, the Dolphins have the right has employers to enact their own rules.  I'm sure as a business man, Donald Trump stands by the Dolphins' rights...right?
Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Horrors:
  1. I Can See Through You (Skying)
  2. Scarlet Fields (Primary Colours)
  3. Draw Japan (Strange House)
  4. Mirror's Image (Primary Colours)
  5. You Said (Skying)
  6. She Is the New Thing (Strange House)
  7. Moving Further Away (Skying)
  8. Three Decades (Primary Colours)
  9. Little Victories (Strange House)
  10. Seas Within A Sea (Primary Colours)
  11. Who Can Say (Primary Colours)
Buy The Horrors new album,!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By Liam Finn

 In the NBA, legacy plays a huge factor.  Some of the most legendary franchises in the sport did not make this year's playoffs:  The Lakers, The Celtics, The Knicks, The Suns, and The 76ers are at home watching while new blood is being spilled by The Clippers, The Warriors, The Thunder and The Raptors.  The expectation to be great can be a curse as much as it's a blessing.  When playing for a legendary franchise, the path may be paved for you...there may chauffeurs, better coaching, better meals, better training facilities, and more involved fans.  But with all that pomp there are less chances to evolve and grow.  Mistakes are not means of improvement but reasons to be traded.  Some players come out of the gates great.  Other take years to rise.  The music industry follows much of the same pedigree.  Hype, whether real or media-created, raises the bar for an artist before they've had the chance to step out onto the track and show people what they're capable of.  Our unrealistic expectations for greatness on artist can hamper their progression before they reach the plateau they have the ability to reach. 
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Liam Finn:
  1. Energy Spent (I'll Be Lightning)
  2. Don't Even Know Your Name (FOMO)
  3. Remember When (I'll Be Lightning)
  4. Won't Change My Mind (Champagne In Seashells)
  5. Long Way To Go (Champagne In Seashells)
  6. Wide Awake On The Voyage Home (I'll Be Lightning)
  7. Reckless (FOMO)
  8. This Place Is Killing Me (I'll Be Lightning)
  9. Gather To The Chapel (I'll Be Lightning)
  10. Cold Feet (FOMO)
  11. Chase The Seasons (FOMO)
Buy Liam Finn's new album, The!!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By The Chris Robinson Brotherhood

 They say cassettes tapes are making a comeback.  It's true.  And it's not a retro hipster, trend for colored sock wearing, organic clothing-only, beard smoking 20-somethings.  It's a physical device that is so innovative that one cassette can hold up to 185 terabytes.  That's the equivalent of about 370 laptops of hard drive space.  That's the equivalent of about 3,500 Blu-Rays.  It's enough space to hold every album ever released between the years 1991 and right now.  Or that's the equivalent space to hold about half of the Grateful Dead bootlegs.
What the most interesting thing about this, isn't the insane about of space provided, it's how all the while streaming and cloud services are getting stronger and better quality, there has a resurgence for audiophiles to return to physical releases.  It's a poignant statement that music may not just be an audible medium.  That it is a physical and visual one as well.  Owning an album, is like owning a piece of the band.  It makes it more personal and connective. Even if it's on cassette.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Chris Robinson Brotherhood:
  1. Vibration and Light Suite (The Magic Door)
  2. Beware, Oh Take Care (Big Moon Ritual)
  3. Star or Stone (Big Moon Ritual)
  4. Girl I Love You (7-inch single)
  5. Rosalee (Big Moon Ritual)
  6. Little Lizzie Mae (The Magic Door)
  7. That's How Strong My Love Is (7-inch single)
  8. Someday Past The Sunset (The Magic Door)
  9. Appaloosa (The Magic Door)
  10. Blue Suede Shoes (7-inch single)
  11. Wheel Don't Roll (The Magic Door)
Buy The Chris Robinson Brotherhood's new album, Phosphorescent!!!

Thursday, May 01, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By Rodrigo y Gabriela

What's the best way to be label as a racist?  Get caught saying something really stupid.  
Let's get one thing straight.  Don Sterling didn't get banned from the NBA for being a racist.  He didn't get banned for saying something ignorant.  He got banned because the NBA owners hated him.  In the 90s, the NBA owners had a deal with each other.  Those teams on the losing end also lost financially, so the winning owners would kick in money to help the losing owners stay afloat.  Don Sterling figured out it was more cost effective to underpay his players and have a losing season, while receiving NBA welfare from the prosperous owners than it was to try and have a winning season.  For years he purposely tanked his team, and became richer for it.  If you were an NBA owner who took chances and paid the high cost of having the best players and at the end of the season had to turn over some of your riches to a lazy asshole milking the NBA for all it was worth...wouldn't you look for a way to get rid of him?  This was the first piece of concrete evidence they've had against him.  And they used it.
 What Sterling said was horrible.  What his girlfriend did to him was shady.  But Sterling was punished for his greed.  It's good he's gone.  And if he does have cancer...then for once, cancer got it right.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By Rodrigo y Gabriela:
  1. Hanuman (11:11)
  2. Tamacun (Rodrigo y Gabriela)
  3. Master Maqui (11:11)
  4. Ixtapa (Rodrigo y Gabriela)
  5. Paris (Re-Foc)
  6. Orion (Rodrigo y Gabriela)
  7. Buster Voodoo (11:11)
  8. 11:11 (11:11)
  9. Foc (Re-Foc)
  10. One (Live in Japan)
  11. South of Heaven's Chanting Mermaids (Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides)
Buy Rodrigo y Gabriela's new album, 9 Dead Alive... 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.