Monday, March 31, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By The War On Drugs

With the news of Tom Petty's new album, Hypnotic Eye, (a major news flash in itself) the initial thought that hit me...seems to have hit just about everybody in the collective music community that the universe might just be aligning for the perfect tour:  Tom Petty with special guests, The War On Drugs.  It was epic enough that Christine McVie was returning to Fleetwood Mac (too bad Rilo Kiley isn't still around to open).  But to have two seemingly connected bands (one the leader and the other the padawan) release albums at almost the same time seems too good to be true.  The War On Drugs new album is their best album to date.  It's one of the first albums of the year I've been urging my friends to go out and buy.  With WOD's obvious similarities to Petty & co...the mere thought of the two of them sharing a stage was something more of a lost dream than a potential reality.  Like Wilco & Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam & Neil Young, Steel Panther & Spinal Tap...sometimes dreams do come true...let's keep our fingers crossed that this one might just happen. Here are the 11 Best Songs By The War On Drugs:
  1. Best Night (Slave Ambient)
  2. Taking the Farm (Wagonwheel Blues)
  3. Baby Missiles (Slave Ambient)
  4. A Needle In Your Eye #16 (Wagonwheel Blues)
  5. Your Love Is Calling My Name (Slave Ambient)
  6. Arms Like Boulders (Wagonwheel Blues)
  7. Comin' Through (Future Weather)
  8. Brothers (Slave Ambient)
  9. Show Me the Coast (Wagonwheel Blues)
  10. Pushing Corn (Barrel of Batteries)
  11. The History of Plastic (Future Weather)
Buy The War On Drugs new album, Lost In The!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By The Hold Steady

 No lyricist can capture life better in a song than Craig Finn.  If you need to hire someone to paint a picture of the tired, the working class, and the rejected in one portrait than the Hold Steady can put it to music.  They're the blue collar garage rockers to white collars of mainstream rock radio.  What Springsteen was raging about before he found his calling as a runner, The Hold Steady delivers with a habitual grind of grit, pantheon and pride.  They're the Northern States answer to the Skynyrds and the Tuckers.  From a world of skyscrapers, coffee carts and bitter cold, where salvation is defined by finding just enough pocket change in your coat for a cab ride home.  It's about staying positive when life is at its most mundane.  That no matter the height of the struggle, everyone of us is in it together.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Hold Steady:
  1. Chips Ahoy! (Boys And Girls In America)
  2. Soft In The Center (Heaven Is Whenever)
  3. Both Crosses (Stay Positive)
  4. Cattle And The Creeping Things (Separation Sunday)
  5. Stuck Between Stations (Boys And Girls In America)
  6. Your Little Hoodrat Friend (Separation Sunday)
  7. Stay Positive (Stay Positive)
  8. Knuckles (Almost Killed Me)
  9. Sequestered In Memphis (Stay Positive)
  10. The Swish (Almost Killed Me)
  11. Hot Soft Light (Boys And Girls In America)
Buy The Hold Steady's new album, Teeth!!!

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By The Tokyo Police Club

One of the most alarming things I read today was that Kiss is about to have their first Rolling Stone cover...ever.  Ever!  WTF Rolling Stone.  I'm not pissed that Kiss is getting a Rolling Stone cover...I'm in shock that it has taken almost 40 years for them to get one.  Justin Beiber's had THREE covers!  And he sucks.  Miley Cyrus has been on the cover of Rolling Stone.  But not Kiss.  Clay Aiken, Creed, Wilson Philips, Adam Lambert, and Snooki have been on the cover.  But not Kiss.  Charles Manson and the Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have made the cover of Rolling Stone.  But not Kiss.  A terrorist gets priority over Gene Simmons!  Seriously?!!  At least, Charles Manson put out an album.
On a positive note, Kiss does get their cover before The Pixies, Public Enemy, My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, The Kinks, New Order and The Velvet Underground.  
Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Tokyo Police Club:
  1. Favourite Colour (Champ)
  2. If It Works (A Lesson In Crime)
  3. Your English Is Good (Elephant Shell)
  4. Cut Cut Paste (Smith)
  5. Tessellate (Elephant Shell)
  6. Nature of the Experiment (A Lesson In Crime)
  7. Wait Up (Champ)
  8. Big Difference (Champ)
  9. Little Sister (Ten Songs, Ten Years, Ten Days)
  10. Box (Smith)
  11. Since U Been Gone (Ten Songs, Ten Years, Ten Days)
Buy Tokyo Police Club's new album,!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By Wolfmother

It's been a year of surprise releases as I've mentioned before:  Beyonce, Skrillex, Kid Cudi, and now a reformed Wolfmother can be added to the list.  But this is the season for surprises...because it's March...and there are no rules.  It's madness. Warren Buffet made the genius promotion to offer one billion dollars for anyone who could fill out a perfect March Madness bracket.  Though the probability seems impossible, it's not.  Don't get me wrong, it's not an easy task.  Out of 11 million people who tried to do it, no one person made it past the first round.  But outside of the Mercer upset, the rest of the games were not total surprises but loosely predictable.  Dayton beats Ohio State in an in-state rivalry game, which can always go either way irregardless of seeding.  An extremely well-coached Harvard was a very popular upset pick.  North Dakota State is one of the best shooting teams in the country playing against a mediocre, under-preforming Oklahoma squad.  And Stephen F Austin was on a hot win streak playing against an injury-stricken VCU team.  Across two of my brackets, I had picked all the upsets (except for the Mercer game).  In retrospect, the Atlantic Sun was the conference that gave us Florida Gulf Coast last year, maybe Mercer wasn't that big of a shock?  But Duke losing in can you pick against that? That said, it can be done.  A perfect bracket is obtainable.  If Wolfmother can reform then anything can happen. Here are the 11 Best Songs By Wolfmother:
  1. Violence of the Sun (Cosmic Egg)
  2. Joker & The Thief (Wolfmother)
  3. New Moon Rising (Cosmic Egg)
  4. Woman (Wolfmother)
  5. Cosmic Egg (Cosmic Egg)
  6. Back Round (Cosmic Egg)
  7. Where Eagles Have Been (Wolfmother)
  8. Pleased To Meet You (Spiderman 3)
  9. Colossal (Wolfmother)
  10. Sundial (Cosmic Egg)
  11. Pyramid (Wolfmother)
Buy Wolfmother's new album, New!!!  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By Skrillex

People say a lot crap about Skrillex.  He's small and scrawny.  He's a geek, a loser, and a poser.  His music sucks; it's uncreative, derivative or just plain lame.  He's been blasted for not being a "real" dubstep artist (a label given to him by the media - not self-inflicted). He's been teased for originally being in a screamo band and now merely jumping on the EDM bandwagon to stay relevant.  Even with the deck stacked against him, Skrillex found a way to make some of the most captivating, compelling, and addictive music out there.  Like the Dayton Flyers or the Mercer Bears, who knocked aside Syracuse and Duke respectively, Skrillex doesn't listen to those who say he "can't" instead, he listens to nobody except himself, making the music he knows how to make, irregardless if it's dubstep, brostep, EDM, pop, schlock, or Beethoven's 5th. Here are the 11 Best Songs By Skrillex:
  1. Bangarang (Bangarang EP)
  2. Rock N Roll Will Take You To The Mountain (Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites)
  3. Right In (Bangarang EP)
  4. All I Ask Of You (Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites)
  5. Weekends!!! (My Name Is Skrillex)
  6. First of the Year - Equinox (More Monsters and Sprites)
  7. Summit (Bangarang EP)
  8. Kill EVERYBODY (Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites)
  9. Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites)
  10. With You, Friends Long Drive (Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites)
  11. My Name Is Skrillex (My Name Is Skrillex)
Buy Skrillex's first full length album,!

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, March 20, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By Metronomy

  Today should be a national holiday.  It's the first day of March Madness. (Thank you Harvard for losing me 1 billion dollars!!!) It's the first day of spring.  It's World Happiness Day (because apparently the rest of the year the world is just a miserable asshole).  Fred Phelps, the leader of the First Baptist Church of Dickheads died today.  (If this is the first Baptist, does this mean there's a Second Baptist Church that are bigger dicks than these guys?)  John & Yoko were married 45 years ago today. (Not really relevant to an America holiday) And most importantly for any music lover...the official release list for Record Store Day was unveiled.  Hundreds of amazing albums will arrive on vinyl just 29 days from now.  The list is so big...I haven't even been able to read through the whole thing yet.  So, through the week-end as I watch my bracket get torn to shreds.  I'll digest the list, talk about my favorites, and the albums to look for while catching up with my lists and commenting on the college world's glorious madness. Here are the 11 Best Songs By Metronomy:
  1. The Bay (The English Riviera)
  2. Heartbreaker (Nights Out)
  3. Corinne (The English Riviera)
  4. A Thing For Me (Nights Out)
  5. The Look (The English Riviera)
  6. She Wants (The English Riviera)
  7. Do the Right Thing (Not Made For Love)
  8. Holiday (Nights Out)
  9. Everything Goes Way (The English Riviera)
  10. Back On The Motorway (Nights Out)
  11. Let's Have A Party (Heartbraker Vs Holiday)
Buy Metronomy's new album, Love!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By The Drive-By Truckers

 The Drive By Truckers might be one of the hardest working, underrated bands spewing out music today.  This band is so prolific, I could have done a top 111 list and all the songs that were left over would still be world's better than anything One Direction has ever done.  Yeah, I went there.  The Truckers may owe their fastidious nature to the ever-rotating list of singers that have graced the microphone.  Not since Fleetwood Mac has a band been so open to sharing lead vocals with such a cross-section of talent.  So far, there have been 5 lead vocalists on DBT tracks, including Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood, Rob Malone, Jason Isbell, and Shonna Tucker.  With that much creative juices flowing, it's no wonder they produced the rich quality of material they have...and then some.
Currently the Truckers are back down to their core duo leads of Cooley and Patterson for the new album, but if history repeats, we're sure to see (hear) the Truckers continue to evolve adding new voices to the spotlight...and maybe some old ones. 
Here are the 11 Best Songs By The Drive-By Truckers:
  1. Used To Be A Cop (Go-Go Boots)
  2. My Sweet Annette (Decoration Day)
  3. Boys From Alabama (The Dirty South)
  4. The Day John Henry Died (The Dirty South)
  5. The Fourth Night Of My Drinking (The Big To Do)
  6. Two Daughters and A Beautiful Wife (Brighter Than Creation's Dark)
  7. Ronnie And Neil (Southern Rock Opera)
  8. Birthday Boy (The Big To Do)
  9. The Sands of Iwo Jima (The Dirty South)
  10. Easy On Yourself (A Blessing And A Curse)
  11. Sink Hole (Decoration Day)
Buy The Drive By Truckers new album, English!

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

The 11 Best Songs By We Are Scientists

In this digital age, releases follow no rules.  Last week, Kid Cudi dropped an album (Satellite Flight) without any warning.  Beyonce dropped an album out of the blue at the end of last year.  My Bloody Valentine left us hanging for 22 years before their new album appeared out of nowhere.  On the other hand, U2 and Tool spent all last week baiting us with the prospect of a new album only to swipe the rug out from under us for yet...another year.  As much as Axl Rose let us hang least he leaked a song or two (or three) in the hiatus.
We Are Scientists may not have the same world-wide phenomenon status  as the other bands, but they are a diligent workingman's band.  It's been four years since the band's last album and there's been fewer updates in between their last release, Barbara, in 2010, than whatever JJ Abrams is currently working on.  News of their new album was a welcome surprise for a band that left the impression that they may never be coming back.  Lucky for us...they did.
Here are the 11 Best Songs By We Are Scientists:
  1. Cash Cow (With Love And Squalor)
  2. Lethal Enforcer (Brain Thrust Mastery)
  3. I Don't Bite (Barbara)
  4. Worth The Wait (With Love And Squalor)
  5. That's What Counts (Brain Thrust Mastery)
  6. Chick Lit (Brain Thrust Mastery)
  7. This Scene Is Dead (With Love And Squalor)
  8. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt (With Love And Squalor)
  9. Jack & Ginger (Barbara)
  10. It's A Hit (With Love And Squalor)
  11. The Great Escape (With Love And Squalor)
Buy We Are Scientists new album, TV En!