Grab Bag : Recent Releases

February 28, 2007 by · 2 Comments
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Who Reads The Directions Anyway ?

Just a mix of a bunch of the newer songs that I’ve been into lately, plus a few from last year that had sort of slipped through the cracks.

First up a couple of the songs that were the main inspiration for my Brian Eno History Lesson post a couple weeks back. She’s A Rejector, a guitar laden new wave-ish hip shaker from the new Of Montreal disc, and Strange Lights, a reverb drenched fuzzed out dirgey rocker from Deerhunter. (antichrist television blues) is one of my favorites from Neon Bible, the soon to be released Arcade Fire disc. It’s a blistering rocker of a song thats owes as much to Springsteen as it is does to the Velvet Underground. The reunited Dinosaur Jr returns to form, although unless he’s singing I can’t say I really hear Lou Barlow‘s being back in the fold influencing these new tracks much. The Kaiser Chiefs second disc picks up right where Employment left off, Everything Is Average Nowadays is one of the catchier songs on the new one. The next two will have you up and dancing for sure LCD Soundsytem doing Watch The Tapes from the forthcoming Sound of Silver and the Macromantics new one which uses a formula similar to Lily Allen but cranks it up another notch.

Winding it up with a handful from last year that I just recently picked up, if Fleetwood Mac ever decided to go alternative you’d have Midlake. Roscoe is Rhiannon for Alterna-Rockers. Silversun Pickups shows what can happen if you take all of those 80’s and 90’s influences like Pixies and Sonic Youth and put them to good use. Lazy Eye is one catchy song. And last but not least Sparks show they can still pull it off when they want to, Perfume is a bouncy hypnotic fun little ditty that is classic Sparks.

MP3: Of Montreal – Shes A Rejector
buy Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer ?
MP3: Deerhunter – Strange Lights
buy Cryptograms
MP3: Arcade Fire – (antichrist television blues)
buy Neon Bible
MP3: Dinosaur Jr – Almost Ready
buy Beyond
MP3: Kaiser Chiefs – Everything Is Average Nowadays
buy Yours Truly, Angry Mob
LCD Soundsystem – Watch The Tapes (link removed by request of label)
buy Sound Of Silver
MP3: Macromantics – Scorch
buy Moments in Movement
MP3: Midlake – Roscoe
buy The Trials Of Van Occupanther
MP3: Silversun Pickups – Lazy Eye
buy Carnavas
MP3: Sparks – Perfume
buy Hello Young Lovers

50 Great Singles of 2006 Part 5 of 5

December 8, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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Today is the big finale to or weeklong celebration of the great singles or should’ve been singles from 2006. We counted down 50 great song starting rom the shortest, Nellie McKay’s 59 second pop gem, “Pounce”, to the longest, “Road to Peace” clocking in at just over 7 minutes from Tom Waits. A little over three hours of music in all to rock your week, so kick back and enjoy. And remember, if you heard something you liked please support the artists by buying cds and going to their shows. It’s what keep sthe great music coming.

10: Lucero – I Can Get Us Out Of Here Tonight 4:14
Why, why why are these guys still rolling along in relative obscurity. Someone needs
to send this to Brandon Flowers of The Killers so he can learn about the proper usage of a Springsteen influence.

9: TV on the Radio – I Was a Lover 4:21
Captivating in its own surreal way.

8: The Black Keys – Strange Desire 4:21
The best White Stripes song this year. Maybe they should be called the Jack Keys.

7: Elton John – Tinderbox 4:26
Elton rediscovers whatever it was he was tapping into during his classic seventies era and comes up with a song that easily holds up against his back catalog.

6: Wolfmother – Joker & The Thief 4:40
Just raw, sometimes overblown guitar rock. Three guys making an awesome racket, so simple you gotta love it.

5: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dani California 4:43
You forgot these guys put out a great double album earlier this year, didn’t you ?

4: Grizzly Bear – On a Neck, On a Spit 5:46
Ethereal and majestic, like a soundtrack to a movie you haven’t seen. Grizzly Bear picked up a little bit of excessive hype this year, but they’re damn good in their own low key way.

3: Dixie Chicks – Voice Inside My Head 5:52
My favorite song from the sometimes controversial Taking The Long Way home disc.

2: Bob Dylan – Thunder On The Mountain 5:55
Bob Dylan. Like the energizer bunny on a tear, he just keeps them coming.

1: Tom Waits – Road To Peace 7:17
How do you narrow an album of 56 great songs down to just one pick ? Easily one of the most politically charged songs he’s ever done.

50 Great Singles of 2006 Part 4 of 5

December 7, 2006 by · 1 Comment
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Welcome to part 4 of our series counting down 50 great songs/singles of 2006. It’s been a fun ride for me and I hope for you as well. Leave a comment let me know what you liked or what you think I missed, but most all of enjoy the music.

20: The Decemberists – O Valencia 3:47
I have to admit, I was not a Decemberists fan before this record. This is a great song, part REM, part Brit Pop, and the rest of The Crane Wife disc is just as good if not better and I’m more than happy to jump on the bandwagon.

19: Golden Smog – Corvette 3:51
A total rocker from the “supergroup” that is really starting to sound like more than the sum of its parts.

18: Clipse – Chinese New Year 3:56
It was a long time coming, but this record makes the return of Jay-Z and Snoop Dog this year seem irrelevant.

17: Prince – Fury 4:02
The incendiary performance of this song on Saturday Night Live kicked off a year which saw Prince opt to open his own Las Vegas club “3121” instead of touring. Make the pilgrimage.

16: Primal Scream – Country Girl 4:02
Primal Scream out Stones-ed the Rolling Stones on this country blues romp.

15: Justin Timberlake – SexyBack 4:03
Better than you think it would be, give it a shot, I did, I like it, enough said.

14: The Hold Steady – Stuck Between Stations 4:05
Forget about the fifth horse in the sixth race named chips ahoy for a bit, the lead off track on what may be the best rock disc of the year kicks it just as hard.

13: Yo La Tengo – Mr. Tough 4:05
It took 20 years but Yo La Tengo finally made their masterpiece, check out this nice little faux-motown style number.

12: Ray Davies – All She Wrote 4:10
My favorite song on a disc full of the classic Ray Davies songs we all know from his glory days fronting The Kinks.

11: The Roots – Here I Come 4:11
Powerful,intelligent, and engaging, a fierce song from the best rap/hiphop disc of the year.

If you like what you’ve been hearing, please support the artists.
Go to the shows and buy the cds.

50 Great Singles of 2006 Part 3 of 5

December 6, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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We’re up to part three, numbers 21 to 30, and over the halfway mark in our countdown of singles from 2006. Counting them down from shortest to longest giving you even more music to enjoy with each day. I hope you’re all enjoying it and stayed tuned because there’s 20 more great tracks still to come.

30: The Slip – Mothwing Bite 3:29
Organ flourishes,strummy acoustic guitar,catchy vocal hooks, what more do you need.

29: The Format – The Compromise 3:29
The first single from THE power pop disc of the year and the ultimate FU to the record company that dropped them. Twice.

28: Robert Randolph & the Family Band – Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That 3:32
This song is flat out smoking hot guitar playing, you may recognize it as the background music from the barrage of fall show promo spots on NBC

27: The Raconteurs – Steady, As She Goes 3:35
Jack White somehow managed to avoid the backlash that usually comes from overexposure and cranked out a bunch of catchy garage rock songs with this side project

26: Fergie – London Bridge 3:35
So what if it sounds just like all the hits from the Black Eyed Peas, like they used to say on American Bandstand “It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it”

25: Pernice Brothers – Somerville 3:35
The Pernice Brothers strip it back down for this album and make another classic, Somerville is just one of the highlights, got to love that guitar hook.

24: The Killers – When You Were Young 3:38
The song that spawned a million Springsteen comparisons. It may not be their Born To Run but it holds its own as one of the truly great singles of the year

23: Soul Asylum – Fearless Leader 3:40
The silver lining inside The Silver Lining is this hidden track from new Soul Asylum disc. A fantastic Dave Pirner acoustic number.

22: The Rapture – Whoo! Alright Yeah…Uh Huh 3:40
The best of 80’s alternative dance rock recycled for the indie hipsters of today

21: Rosanne Cash – World Without Sound 3:42
Cash was defnitely a name to be reckoned with 2006, and Johnny wasn’t the only one, like father, like daughter.

50 Great Singles of 2006 Part 2 of 5

December 5, 2006 by · 1 Comment
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Ten more for your listening enjoyment including the year’s HUGE smash “Crazy” and the surprisingly good return of The Who.

40: Damien Rice – The Rat Within the Grain 2:54
The best song on a disc that is essentially “O” part 2.

39: Gnarls Barkley – Crazy 2:58
Mashup goes mainstream for hands down the biggest single song of the year, really, who didn’t cover this one this year ?

38: The Who – We Got A Hit (Extended Version) 3:03
With only 2 original members a potential disaster in the making turned out to not be a half bad record after all.

37: James Hunter – No Smoke Without Fire 3:05
Smoking soul, this song can start its own fire.

36: Pearl Jam – Unemployable 3:06
The least typical song and my favorite from Pearl Jam’s best disc since VS.

35: Tom Petty – Flirting With Time 3:15
Petty goes back to the roots aand regains himself after the flop of a disc that was the Last DJ

34: Drive By Truckers – Aftermath USA 3:16
A classic trailer park white trash anthem.

33: Willie Nile – Best Friends Money Can Buy 3:17
One of many great songs from a disc that is so below the radar most people don’t know it was even released, Willie Nile is one of the great underrated songwriters around today.

32: New York Dolls – Gimme Luv And Turn On The Lights 3:19
Despite losing multiple members over the past year or so, the Dolls proved they can
still bring the rock.

31: Outkast – Idlewild Blue (Don’tchu Worry About Me) 3:24
One of the couple gems on this year’s stinker of a film and album from Oukast

50 Great Singles of 2006 Part 1 of 5

December 4, 2006 by · 1 Comment
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Well it’s that time of year again, make a list, check it twice, find out who… oh you know the rest. While I continue pondering over my choices for the best albums of 2006 I’d thought I’d give you some of my picks for the best singles, or should’ve been singles of the year.
To avoid the typical ranked from worst to first I’ve sorted them by length from shortest to longest, because isn’t a single really about the making the biggest impact in the least amount of time.
So without further ado here’s the first 10 songs for your listening enjoyment.

50: Nellie McKay – Pounce :59
Sure it’s simple and it’s short, but it’s catchy as hell. 59 seconds of pure bouncy pop.

49: The Blow – Pile of Gold 2:12
Like a new wave version of Hey Ya, this one really sticks with you, try not to sing along “all the girls are sitting on a pile of gold and the boys they want it, want it”

48: Jerry Lee Lewis with Jimmy Page – Rock And Roll 2:14
Rock and Roll kind of says it all. Everything you’d imagine this pairing can deliver.

47: Chelsea Taube – Save My Soul From The Devil 2:15
A gem from a star in the making.

46: Nada Surf – I Like What You Say 2:33
The only thing new from Nada Surf this year is brilliant, but you could only hear it on myspace

45: The Shrinking Islands – Swallowed In Grace 2:38
A great song from a great record that needs to be heard. The latest release from Sort Of Records out of Pittsburgh, a new label with good things happening.

44: Lloyd Cole – Antidepressant 2:39
Lloyd Cole pours the experience of his years into song and makes a fine new disc, this is the title track.

43: Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs – The Kids Are Alright 2:48
A Sweet and a sweetheart making sweet harmonies on this, one of the best tracks from their covers disc.

42: Pete Yorn – The Good Advice 2:50
This is from the Westerns EP which was only available at Pete’s shows. Better than just about anything on the full length Nightcrawlers disc.

41: KT Tunstall – Black Horse & The Cherry Tree 2:52
Potentially a one hit wonder in the making, nothing else on her record is near this good. Time will tell.