Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Ariana Grande, Jessie J, and Nicki Minaj "Bang Bang"

This one is interesting because I think I liked the song more before I saw the video. That doesn't often happen. I know that I'll probably go back to liking it as much as I did before, but this video seems a lot like just an ad for Beats Audio stuff. I mean...I guess it's fine, but I was hoping for a little more I think.

Weird. I don't often say things on here that aren't positive. I don't think this was a negative review necessarily. Just sort of an "oh."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Griswolds - Be Impressive (Album Review)

This is the debut full-length for this Sydney, Australia band and it's another example of how Oceania is taking over the music world.

When I first listened to the album, I had no idea what to expect. The Griswolds are a band that have been getting blog buzz for a number of years, just not the ones that I happen to read, apparently. I did no research on them before I hit "Play" because I wanted to come to the album with absolutely no context. It's more fun that way.

Having listened to the album several times now, I looked at their Wikipedia page and was unsurprised to learn that the band cites Vampire Weekend as one of their influences, but it kind of feels like it should be the other way around. Like, Be Impressive sounds like it should be an obscure Australian album from the mid-80's that the guys from Vampire Weekend bonded over in their dorms. It's like they've distilled the quirky, synthy sound that is one aspect of Vampire Weekend's sound and made it into ultra-concentrated moonshine that not only makes you dance, but also takes you back in time.

The Griswolds have a knack for the ninja hook, that particularly infectious hook that you don't realize has hooked you until it comes back around in the chorus and you're filled with endorphins. It's amazing. Almost every song on the album does it. They show it to you at the beginning, then take the song all over the place, then return to the hook and it's been transformed into something you've known the whole time.

For me, the standout tracks on this one are "Beware the Dog", "Be Impressive", and "Thread the Needle" but really the whole thing goes together so well, it's almost not worth it to cherry-pick.

Here's the video for "Beware the Dog", the first single that is slowly working its way up the Alternative Songs chart!

You can pick it up starting August 25th at Amazon, iTunes, and Bandwagon

New Countdown: Like My Loafers? Former Gophers.

Not much to say about this one. Just another crop of great tunes. Enjoy!

Countdown #211

Big Data featuring Joywave
The Black Keys
The Dirty Heads
Milky Chance
The Simpsons
Vance Joy

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 1958

Well this is the first year that the Hot 100 existed. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'd like to start counting back to the current year by weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart, but I know it started later than 1958. So we'll see.

10. Bobby Darin - Splish Splash
9. Peggy Lee - Fever
8. Duane Eddy and the Rebels - Rebel 'Rouser
7. Kalin Twins - When

I'd never heard of this song before but I was super stoked to find a live performance. It says it's from 1959, but we're going to call that good enough. You know performers really hit a plateau on the whole lip-synching thing, didn't they?

6. I cannot, for the life of me, find out what song was in this position. Billboard skips it. Anyone able to track it down?
5. Jimmy Clanton and His Rockets - Just a Dream
4. Rickey Nelson - Poor Little Fool
3. Jack Scott - My True Love
2. The Elegants - Little Star
1. Domenico Modugno - Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Charli XCX "Boom Clap"

This is a kind of video that you don't see very often anymore. They used to roam the wild plains of Music Television like the mighty buffalo. It's a video from a soundtrack of a movie and in the video, the singer (Charli XCX in her first non-feature Top Ten hit) sings the song in some slightly related environment and clips from the movie are interspersed throughout. Think Bryan Adams's "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves which featured Adams singing in "the forest". To be fair, it's entirely likely that it was the same forest from the movie. But it could just as easily have not been. Similarly, Charli XCX is singing in "the city" and I, not having seen the movie or read the book, don't know if she's singing in one of the locations from the movie or what, but the feeling that she is is conveyed loud and clear.

This would go on my list of my Top 15 favorite Top 40 songs of this summer.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New Countdown: In Which I Actually Look Up Two Word Definitions At One Point, or, Non-Stop Fun on The Podcast

The Dirty Heads
The title of this blog post is both sarcastic AND factual. I *do* look up the definitions of two words in one intro, but it's also pretty much non-stop fun around here. Is there a word for when you're being sarcastic but also sincere about the exact same thing?

Kind of a lot of rambling on this one, but I like to listen back to some of these rambles that I occasionally get myself lost in. Hopefully you will too!

Countdown #210

Arctic Monkeys
Big Data featuring Joywave
The Black Keys
The Dirty Heads
Milky Chance
Vance Joy

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 1959

When this chart came out, my Dad was a little younger than my daughter is right now. She starts preschool in the fall.

10. Stonewall Jackson - Waterloo
9. Ray Charles - What'd I Say (Parts 1&2)

This is a classic and it's weird to see what contemporaries it had! I almost played the Drifters song or the Elvis song but I couldn't find good videos for them. Enjoy!

8. Dinah Washington - What a Diff'rence a Day Makes
7. Johnny Horton - The Battle of New Orleans
6. Fabian - Tiger
5. Sammy Turner - Lavender-Blue
4. The Drifters - There Goes My Baby
3. Carl Dobkins, Jr. - My Heart is an Open Book
2. Paul Anka - Lonely Boy
1. Elvis Presley and the Jordanaires - A Big Hunk O' Love