Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 2004

10. Sum 41 - Chuck
9. Tim McGraw - Live Like You Were Dying
8. Good Charlotte - The Chronicles of Life and Death
7. Green Day - American Idiot

     1. American Idiot
     2. Jesus of Suburbia
          I. Jesus of Suburbia
         II. City of the Damned
        III. I Don't Care
        IV. Dearly Beloved
         V. Tales of Another Broken Home

     3. Holiday
     4. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
     5. Are We the Waiting?
     6. St. Jimmy
     7. Give Me Novacaine
     8. She's a Rebel
     9. Extraordinary Girl
   10. Letterbomb
   11. Wake Me Up When September Ends
   12. Homecoming
         I. The Death of St. Jimmy
        II. East 12th St.
       III. Nobody Likes You
       IV. Rock and Roll Girlfriend
        V. We're Coming Home Again
   13. Whatsername

An appropriately intense video for an album that is a lot more intense than people remember. I probably talked about this when I did the "Wake Me Up When September Ends" video the first time 2005 came around on this series, but I'll never forget listening to this in the car with my friend Riley and marveling at how innovative it was. And I'll stand by that feeling to this day.

6. Hilary Duff - Hillary Duff
5. Mos Def - The New Danger
4. Celine Dion - Miracle
3. Nelly - Suit
2. Usher - Confessions
1. George Strait - 50 Number Ones

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Ed Sheeran "Don't"

Wow! This is an amazing video. It's a good song, but the video is amazing. Let's do some internet research to see who this dancer is...

His name is Philip Chbeeb and he's from I.aM.mE, a dance crew that won the 6th season of the television show America's Best Dance Crew. He is also in Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" video that was featured on Top Ten Tuesday last month!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Countdown: And so shutters shut and so and also.

Vance Joy

So, right before I went to bed last night, I tweeted: "I'm going to wager that my podcast this week is the only one that starts with Rise Against and ends with Gertrude Stein"

And I think that pretty much covers it.

Enjoy the journey! (No songs by Journey appear on this episode)

Countdown #220

Arctic Monkeys
Big Data featuring Joywave
The Black Keys
The Dirty Heads
Gertrude Stein
Milky Chance
Rise Against
Vance Joy

Festive Fifty 2014

So I sent this email out on Friday. If you didn't get it, consider this blog post your formal invitation to participate!

Hey Everyone!!!

Well, it's nearing the end of October and so that means it's time to start constructing the Festive Fifty for this year! 

And now...the rules :)

1. Choose up to 50 (yes fifty) songs that were released in 2014 that you like. If you can only think of 10 (or even just one!) .. don’t worry .. We'd still like to know what they are.

2. Our resident 'statman' James has agreed to do the adding up, so please send your list to him at 

starting with your favorite track first. (I could have changed this, but i always like thinking of myself as "statman")

3. Do this by Sunday 9th November (Midnight Pacific Time (so, 3 am Monday on the East Coast and 8 am Monday in England) at the latest .. and try to get other people to vote too .. please!! (Share it on Facebook!)

4. I will compile a short list of the top 100 songs which we will vote on to be in the top 50 and then we'll start inviting people to record introductions.

5. Any questions? .... good ... get thinking!!!

Looking forward to your lists,


Friday, October 24, 2014

Festive Fifty Tips: The Longlist

This is going to be one of a series of probably two posts about the Festive Fifty which is a series of three podcasts that I put together in association with the Contrast Podcast every year idealistically publishing it over the last three weeks of the year (though usually it's in the first month or two of the new year)

Basically, you send in a list of 50 songs from the current year ranked from 1 to 50 (the "longlist") and then I tabulate all of those votes into a list of 100 songs (the "shortlist"). You will then vote on your favorite 10 songs from that list (with the option to "downvote" one song in addition to your list of 10). I compile those votes into a list of Fifty songs. Then I ask people to introduce a song or two. Then I make it into three podcasts and we all enjoy it!

I often hear about people who feel like they didn't get any songs they liked on the Festive Fifty. Usually, it's that none of the 50 songs they submitted made the 100 song shortlist. So I decided to let you in on some of the behind-the-scenes stuff and the kinds of things I see when I'm tabulating results to maybe help you "game the system" as it were. I am not sure if the system will change if everyone tries to game it, but I suppose we shall see.

1) Song Ranking

In a perfect world, you'd make your long list of 50 songs in order of preference. #1 would be your favorite song of the year and #50 would be your 50th favorite song of the year.  But what usually happens is that 5 or 6 songs get LOTS of votes and the rest get one or two people voting for them.

My first recommendation for getting your songs on the Festive Fifty is to put the songs that you feel like everyone might vote for below songs that you think you might be in the minority of liking. So, for instance, I really liked KONGOS's song "Come With Me Now" this year, but I have a feeling I'm not alone in this. So I will put that song in the teens or even 20's (depending on how popular I think the song is) and I'll put more obscure songs above it.

Now, there are problems with this. You're risking being wrong about the popularity of a song and having a song you love not make the list.

There's also the issue of having a list of 50 songs that are ALL obscure. To those people, I would just offer my best wishes and point out that people following my advice might level the playing field a little and make it more feasible for your songs to make the shortlist!

2) Artist Limit

One of the rules that I implemented a couple years ago is the Artist Limit rule. If, for example, St. Vincent has 4 songs that are in the Top 100 songs from the Longlist Votes, only the top 2 will make the Shortlist. The other 2 will be cut and the songs below them will be moved up.

This is where I'm torn. I could advise you to therefore limit your votes to only two songs per artist so that you aren't diluting your vote among many songs. But I could also advise you to put as many songs as you'd like by an artist into your longlist, so that any songs that anyone else voted for will get a boost from your vote. I'm not sure which way is better, so that'll have to be up to you.

So that's my advice for the longlist vote. It's not much, but hopefully it can help you when you're constructing your longlist! When we get closer to Shortlist Voting time, I'll post some tips for that!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 2005

10. Faith Hill - Fireflies
9. The Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business
8. Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
7. Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine

     1. Extraordinary Machine
     2. Get Him Back
     3. O' Sailor
     4. Better Version of Me
     5. Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)
     6. Parting Gift
     7. Window
     8. Oh Well
     9. Please Please Please
   10. Red Red Red
   11. Not About Love

   12. Waltz (Better Than Fine)

Oh this album. This is one that will always remind me of Kristen's Bridal shower. I played the title track in my Best Man Riley's car on our way either to or from (or both) going to see Dave Chappelle's Block Party (which was fantastic, by the way). We agreed that it sounded very Disney but it a twisted Fiona Apple way.

So "Not About Love" is my favorite track on the album and I thought there was no way I could like it more. And then I watched this video. Holy cannoli. I love watching the two of them interact. And I think you will too.

6. Kanye West - Late Registration
5. Sheryl Crow - Wildflower
4. Gretchen Wilson - All Jacked Up
3. Sara Evans - Real Fine Place
2. Twista - The Day After
1. Nickleback - All the Right Reasons

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Bobby Shmurda "Hot Boy"

Well, this is a song that's in the Top Ten this week. It's not technically actually called "Hot Boy."

And here's the song at #54 this week. It's much much less popular than the song above. So, I mean, think on that for a while.

Another Mockingjay Soundtrack Update

So iTunes revealed almost all of the tracklist for the Mockingjay Part One soundtrack. The two songs we knew about this afternoon are still on there (why would they go anywhere? why did I write that sentence??) and 11 more tracks have been revealed. There's still a track that's called "Track 5" by "Various Artists" that's listed with a duration of six seconds, so that'll probably be revealed later.

iTunes says the soundtrack will be available on November 17th. Here's a link to the iTunes page. It's not going to take you to iTunes, but it's basically like the browser version of iTunes.

Here's the tracklist:

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 OST:
01 Stromae: Meltdown [ft. Lorde, Pusha T, Q-Tip, Haim]
02 Chvrches: Dead Air
03 Tove Lo: Scream My Name
04 Charli XCX: Kingdom [ft. Simon Bon]
05 Various Artists: Track 5
06 Raury: Lost Souls
07 Lorde: Yellow Flicker Beat
08 Tinashé: The Leap
09 Bat for Lashes: Plan the Escape
10 Grace Jones: Original Beast
11 Lorde: Flicker (Kanye West Rework)
12 XOV: Animal
13 The Chemical Brothers: This Is Not a Game [ft. Miguel]
14 Lorde: Ladder Song

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mockingjay Soundtrack Update

So another song has been announced on the soundtrack that Lorde is curating for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

So, so far we have these songs:

Lorde - Yellow Flicker Beat
The Chemical Brothers, Miguel, and Lorde - This Is Not a Game

Here's a Radio Rip from Zane Lowe's BBC1 Show:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Countdown: From Off the Wall to Right Smack Dab in the Middle of the Wall

The Black Keys
Ok, so based off the title, you might be thinking this podcast has some early solo era Michael Jackson and maybe Pink Floyd singing "Hey You." And you'd be well within your rights to think that. But it is sadly not the case. Although it occurs to me now that those two albums were out right around the same time, which is weird to me.

No, the title just is referring to the range of song on the countdown this week. Sometimes the really kooky songs are immediately followed by songs that are 100% safe. There's nothing wrong with either category and I think the show is helped by a healthy serving of both!


Countdown #219

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 2006

10. Weird Al Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood
9. Fergie - The Dutchess
8. Clay Aiken - A Thousand Different Ways
7. Hinder - Extreme Behavior
6. John Mayer - Continuum
5. Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds

     1. FutureSex/LoveSound
     2. SexyBack featuring Timbaland
     3. Sexy Ladies/Let Me Talk to You (Prelude)
     4. My Love featuring T.I.

     5. LoveStoned/I Think She Knows (Interlude)
     6. What Goes Around.../...Comes Around (Interlude)
     7. Chop Me Up featuring Timbaland and Three 6 Mafia
     8. Damn Girl featuring
     9. Summer Love/Set the Mood (Prelude)
   10. Until the End of Time
   11. Losing My Way
   12. (Another Song) All Over Again

I was relieved to learn that I hadn't posted about a song from this album when 2006 came around the last time. Relieved and surprised. This is a great album. Actually, I can only attest to the singles. I have it on my iPod, but I can't say that I've listened to the whole thing all the way through. I'll rectify that soon.

Of all the catchy singles, "My Love" has always been my favorite. It's such a steady, smooth, chill song. I like the video too. Good dancing. Having just finished watching it before I started writing, I have to say my favorite moment is when the girl is pulling the rubber band on T.I.'s wrist with her teeth and it breaks and he smiles and she smiles and mouths "Sorry". It was an honest moment and I liked it.

4. Alan Jackson - Like Red on a Rose
3. Tony Bennett - Duets: An American Classic
2. Janet Jackson - 20 Y.O.
1. Ludacris - Release Therapy

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Maroon 5 "Animals"

Well, it's 17 days early, but this is the perfect video for Halloween. We've got Adam Levine the Butcher stalking mostly naked model girl and also hanging out in a meat locker and then it ends in a bloodbath. The visuals are great and Adam Levine is super creepy (and believable) as a...well, Super Creep. Oh, I also really like the song which means 2/2 of the Top Ten Singles from this album.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New Countdown: Is Hozier a BNL Fan??

 Whoa a gif for a cover photo! It's like we're living in Harry Potter or something!

Pretty straightforward show this week. I kind of have an idea about what I'm going to do for bonus songs for a while, so that's good.

And, even though it's 1:44 in the morning as I'm typing this, I'm not feeling too tired, so that's good!


Countdown #218

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 2007

10. Twista - Adrenaline Rush 2007
9. KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic
8. Chamillionaire - Ultimate Victory
7. James Blunt - All the Lost Souls
6. High School Musical 2 Soundtrack
5. Kenny Chesney - Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates
4. Barry Manilow - The Greatest Songs of the Seventies
3. 50 Cent - Curtis
2. Kanye West - Graduation

     1. Good Morning
     2. Champion

     3. Stronger
     4. I Wonder
     5. Good Life featuring T-Pain
     6. Can't Tell Me Nothing
     7. Barry Bonds featuring Lil Wayne
     8. Drunk and Hot Girls featuring Mos Def
     9. Flashing Lights featuring Dwele

   10. Everything I Am featuring DJ Premier
   11. The Glory
   12. Homecoming featuring Chris Martin
   13. Big Brother

Ok so the last time I did 2007 on this series, I featured "Stronger" from this album and so I wasn't going to feature the album this time around, but I realized how much I love this album (even though 2 of my least favorite Kanye songs are on it) and how much it "throws me back" to the morning I listened to it for the first time. It was in the lab I was working in and I was there early and I was the only one there. I'll never forget laughing out loud when "Champion" started. I had never heard the Steely Dan song it samples, but I love the way Kanye interacts with the sample.

And then we get to songs like "Flashing Lights" with one of the darkest videos of all time. The video is pretty mesmerizing, but listen to the song, too. No one else was making this kind of hip-hop.

Graduation is truly a fantastic album and well worth your time (except for those two songs I don't like)

1. Reba McEntire - Reba Duets

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Tove Lo "Habits (Stay High)"

When I first heard this song, I wasn't really fazed by it. It seemed like just another pop song and I mean, it IS another pop song, but I think this one is interesting because it's about drinking and partying and living that lifestyle as a way of numbing the pain of a broken heart. Familiar territory tread in kind of a new way. I can dig it.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New Countdown: Pecos Bill

I was listening to the 2000-2009 station on SiriusXM yesterday and "New Divide" by Linkin Park came on and it made me think about how much the chart has changed in the time that I've been doing the countdown. It's gotten a lot weirder, and maybe a little more mellow?

I know that music is in constant flux and I'm just really happy to have lassoed onto that flux so that we can enjoy the ride together!

Countdown #217

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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 2008

10. The Game - LAX 65
9. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III 84

     1. 3 Peat
     2. Mr. Carter featuring Jay-Z
     3. A Milli
     4. Got Money featuring T-Pain
     5. Comfortable featuring Babyface
     6. Dr. Carter
     7. Phone Home
     8. Tie My Hands featuring Robin Thicke
     9. Mrs. Officer featuring Bobby V
   10. Let the Beat Build
   11. Shoot Me Down featuring D. Smith
   12. Lollipop featuring Static Major

So I had an interesting situation arise for this week's Throwback Thursday. I had heard none of the albums on the Top Ten. So I had no clue what to pick to feature. So I decided to go logical and feature the album with the highest Metacritic score (The numbers next to the album titles this week are the Metacritic scores). The winning album was Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III album. I was a little crestfallen because I've not really cared for Lil Wayne's stuff in the past.

But I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy pretty much the whole thing. It's raunchy and vulgar at times but there's humor to it, too. And, what most surprised me, heart.

I had wanted to play the Jay-Z collaboration, but I couldn't find an actual music video for it. I found a live version, but Jay's part was just played over the system, which was disappointing.

So I played the single I didn't think I liked, "Lollipop". I thought it was dumb and sophomoric. And it is. But it's also very catchy and kinda clever.

I'm really happy to say that I've come around a lot on the Lil Wayne front.

   13. La La featuring Brisco & Busta Rhymes
   14. Pussy Monster
   15. You Ain't Got Nothin' featuring Juelz Santana & Fabolous
   16. Dontgetit

8. Buckcherry - Black Butterfly 50
7. DJ Khaled - We Global 58
6. Young Jeezy - The Recession 72
5. Darius Rucker - Learn to Live 66
4. Kid Rock - Rock N Roll Jesus 63
3. Nelly - Brass Knuckles 61
2. Ne-Yo - Year of the Gentleman 79
1. Metallica - Death Magnetic 78