Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Festive Fifty 2014 (Part 3)

We did it! We got all three episodes published before the new year and I couldn't be more stoked. Thank you to everyone that contributed and voted and made all of this possible. I hope you've enjoyed these episodes and will decide to participate next year, too!


Festive Fifty 2014 (Part 3)

17. King Creosote - Something to Believe In (Shaun)
16. The Amazing Snakeheads - Here It Comes Again (Kathy)
15. War on Drugs - The Ocean In Between the Waves (Nat)
14. Big Data featuring Joywave - Dangerous (Alan (Big Data))
13. FKA Twigs - Two Weeks (Rachel)
12. Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting on You) (Kev/Bella)
11. Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues (Andrew)
10. Tiny Ruins - Me at the Museum, You at the Wintergardens (Tim via James)
9. Shakey Graves - Dearly Departed (Marc)
8. St. Vincent - Prince Johnny (Katy)
7. Johnny Marr - Easy Money (Rob G)
6. War on Drugs - Red Eyes (Mad Mackerel)
5. First Aid Kit - My Silver Lining (Stuart)
4. Elbow - My Sad Captains (Robert Todd)
3. Jenny Lewis - Just One of the Guys (Rick)
2. Hozier - Take Me to Church (Jason)
1. St. Vincent - Digital Witness (Rob G)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Meghan Trainor "Lips are Movin"

Not a huge fan of this video or song. It feels like she's trying to ride her own coattails from the success of "All About That Bass" and it just doesn't work for me. What do you guys think?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Festive Fifty 2014 (Part 2)

Here is Part 2 of the Contrast Podcast Festive Fifty for 2014! It just gets weirder and weirder and I couldn't be happier! :)

Festive Fifty 2014 (Part 2)

33. Withered Hand - Horseshoe (Tricia)
32. Bastard Mountain - Drone Armatrading (Rory from Bastard Mountain)
31. Jenny Lewis - Late Bloomer (Marc)
30. Panda Bear - Mr. Noah (Kristen)
29. Hookworms - On Leaving (Eiron)
28. Jonnie Common - Shark (Jonnie Common)
27. Mary Lambert - Dear One (Victoria)
26. Real Estate - Talking Backwards (Jeremy)
25. Joan as Police Woman - Holy City (Brendan)
24. Caribou - Can't Do Without You (Shaun)
23. Caribou - Silver (Linda)
22. Elbow - Color Fields (Brendan)
21. Spoon - Knock Knock Knock (Jason)
20. Sharon van Etten - Every Time the Sun Comes Up (Jeremy)
19. Death Vessel - Mercury Dime (Linda)
18. Pharrell Williams - Happy (EJ)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 Year End Countdown!!!

Well here we are at the end of another year. It's been a year of breaking bands, for the most part and this countdown reflects that. I think you'll find this is a very enjoyable countdown and I had a lot of fun making it, as well as all of the countdowns this year.

See you next week for the Artists of the Year countdown and then the week after that for the first new countdown of 2015!!!

Year End Countdown

Arctic Monkeys
Big Data featuring Joywave
The Black Keys
Cage the Elephant
Fitz & the Tantrums
Milky Chance
Neon Trees
Vance Joy

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Christmas on SNL

Merry Christmas! Here are two classic Christmas songs performed by two classic casts of SNL.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Festive Fifty 2013 Top Ten

And this catches us up to last year! You can look at similar posts from the previous Festive Fifties, or listen to the new episodes for this year as they come out by clicking the Festive Fifty tag at the bottom of the page!

10. Josh Ritter - Joy to You Baby
9. The National - I Should Live in Salt
8. MS MR - Hurricane
7. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
6. Bastille - Pompeii
5. James Blake - Retrograde

4. Dessa - Skeleton Key

3. Dessa - Fighting Fish

2. Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams - Get Lucky

1. Lorde - Royals

Top Ten Tuesday: Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud"

Very sweet video this week. A lot of people have been saying that this is going to be in a lot of weddings and I didn't believe them until I heard it. And they're right. The video is pretty amazing, too. Second Ed Sheeran video in a row with some amazing choreography.

There's also a behind the scenes video that I haven't watched, but it seems like a cool thing to have shot for such a complex video. Enjoy!

Monday, December 22, 2014

New Countdown: Welcome to the Future!!!

Milky Chance
Oh boy, we are cooking with grease now! It's only 4.5 years in and I finally found out how to embed a track into my blog. So now you don't have to download it to listen to it! Plus, now you don't have to leave the blog to download it! What an amazing age we live in.

This is the last new Countdown of the year and I hope you'll join me next week (presumably Sunday, though who knows, you know?) for the Year-End Countdown, where I count down the 10 best charting Alternative Songs of the year according to me using Billboard data.

Countdown #228 (To stream, hit the play button above. To download MP3, right click + save the file)

Arctic Monkeys
Big Data featuring Joywave
Cage the Elephant
Fall Out Boy
Foo Fighters
Imagine Dragons
Milky Chance
Vance Joy
Walk the Moon

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 1998

10. Shania Twain - Come On Over

9. 'N Sync - Home For Christmas

     1. Home For Christmas
     2. Under My Tree
     3. I Never Knew the Meaning of Christmas
     4. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

     5. The Christmas Song
     6. I Guess It's Christmas Time
     7. All I Want Is You This Christmas
     8. The First Noel
     9. In Love on Christmas
   10. It's Christmas
   11. O Holy Night

   12. Love's in Our Hearts (On Christmas Day)
   13. The Only Gift
   14. Kiss Me at Midnight
I figured that, since nothing really jumped out at me this week, I would feature the Christmas album on the list. This is the last Throwback Thursday before Christmas (Technically, Christmas is a Thursday. But I will probably post a couple of classic Holiday songs, regardless of when they're from).

So the first video is the super produced video for the single. And then the second one kind of showcases the actual talent of these guys.

I feel like it's a sign of my ever-increasing maturity that I can post about a late 90's boy band and not be worried about being made fun of. I never owned this Christmas album, but I certainly can appreciate the talent that was there!

8. Backstreet Boys - Backstreet Boys
7. Mariah Carey - #1's
6. 2Pac - Greatest Hits
5. Metallica - Garage Inc.
4. Jewel - Spirit
3. 'N Sync - N'Sync
2. Celine Dion - These Are Special Times
1. Garth Brooks - Double Live

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Video: Doomtree "Gray Duck"

So the new single from the forthcoming Doomtree crew album All Hands (Out on 1/27) has a video. And it's weird. And menacing. And fun. And funny. Check it out and enjoy!

Festive Fifty 2014 (Part 1)

 Well, here it is! And on schedule! Enjoy and come back, ideally next week for Part 2!

Festive Fifty 2014 (Part 1)
(as always, I apologize for this not being available as a podcast on iTunes, but hopefully this will suffice)


50. Fink - Looking Too Closely (Niels)
49. Bleachers - Rollercoaster (James)
48. Damien Rice - I Don't Want to Change You (Victoria via James)
47. Angel Haze - Black Synagogue (Pieter)
46. Vance Joy - Mess Is Mine (Nat)
45. Morrissey - Kiss Me a Lot (Tricia)
44. Milky Chance - Stolen Dance (Kathy)
43. Real Estate - Past Lives (EJ)
42. Sinéad O'Connor - Take Me to Church (Jeremy)
41. Stars - No One is Lost (Rachel)
40. Phantogram - Bill Murray (James)
39. Perfume Genius - Queen (Kristen)
38. Temples - Shelter Song (Kathy)
37. Beck - Blue Moon (Kev and Bella)
36. Wye Oak - Shriek (Linda)
35. Warpaint - Love is To Die (Linda)
34. Alvvays - Archie, Marry Me (Andrew)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Festive Fifty 2012 Top Ten

The new Festive Fifty will be out soon. Here's the top ten of the 2012 list to tide you over. Click the "Festive Fifty" tag to see previous years!

10. First Aid Kit - Emmylou
9. The Lumineers - Ho Hey
8. Jack White - I'm Shakin'
7. Adele - Skyfall
6. Father John Misty - Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
5. Alabama Shakes - Hold On

4. Gotye featuring Kimbra - Somebody That I Used to Know

3. Of Monsters and Men - Little Talks

2. Tame Impala - Elephant

1. fun. - Some Nights

Top Ten Tuesday: Nick Jonas "Jealous"

So there were two new songs on the Top Ten this week and I can't say I'm a fan of either. But this one seems slightly less derivative. SLIGHTLY. If there are no new songs to pick from, I suppose you might get to see the other song that is basically riding the coattails of the previous single from the singer.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Green Day

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that Green Day introduced me to punk and pop-punk music. They are an important band in my life. Here are some videos.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New Countdown: "Improvement"!

Foo Fighters
So, here this is!  A day later than scheduled but a day EARLIER than last time it was late, and that's what they call, in the industry, "improvement"!

It's the penultimate countdown-based-on-a-new-chart of the year, you guys, so soak it in. I love when we have a run of weeks with debuts every week. I'm not necessarily hinting at anything, but i'm not necessarily NOT hinting at something

Countdown #227

Big Data featuring Joywave
Cage the Elephant
Fall Out Boy
Foo Fighters
Imagine Dragons
Milky Chance
Vance Joy
Walk the Moon

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 1999

10. Christina Aguilera - Christina Aguilera

     1. Genie in a Bottle
     2. What a Girl Wants

"Boys, stop doing all those boy things. Us girls have prepared a dance routine! Have that creepy clown watch, too!"

     3. I Turn to You
     4. So Emotional
     5. Come On Over (All I Want is You)

     6. Reflection
     7. Love For All Seasons
     8. Somebody's Somebody
     9. When You Put Your Hands on Me
   10. Blessed
   11. Love Will Find a Way
   12. Obvious

Well, this is certainly an interesting week in an interesting time, isn't it? Two Millennium references, Britney, Christina, and Backstreet Boys all in the Top Ten, plus Santana's HUGE Supernatural album. There were a lot of great options for me to choose from, and maybe you're saying, "Yeah, and you somehow screwed it up. Also, why TWO songs??" Well, these songs take me back to the era (that choreography! seriously.), plus I think they're really enjoyable pop songs. So there :) Consider yourself thrown back.

Also, I had COMPLETELY forgotten about Christina's involvement in Mulan (She sang the song "Reflection" which is also included on this, her debut!). What an important movie that was! (Seriously. I love that movie.)

9. Will Smith - Willennium
8. Santana - Supernatural
7. Nas - Nastradamus
6. Britney Spears - ...Baby One More Time
5. Korn - Issues
4. Backstreet Boys - Millennium
3. Dr. Dre - 2001
2. Metallica - S&M
1. Celine Dion - All The Way...A Decade of Song

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk!"

This is a fun video and fun song. Kind of an old-school feel. I was going to also include the recent SNL performance of this song, but it's pretty much just a recreation of this video on the SNL stage.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

New Countdown: Done Early, For Once!

Fall Out Boy
 Well I had some time to myself on Saturday morning/afternoon. So that, plus the announcement of the Grammy nominees yesterday made for a quick and easy recording session. I was done recording by 11pm!

So there are lots of Grammy nominee things on this one, and that's the kind of thing I like: when the songs that we've been looking at all year start pulling Grammy noms!

It's a good one! Enjoy!

Countdown #226

Big Data featuring Joywave
Fall Out Boy
Foo Fighters
Imagine Dragons
Milky Chance
Vance Joy
Walk the Moon

Friday, December 5, 2014

2015 Best Alternative Music Album Nominees Announced

So the Grammy announcements are going on today and they just announced the 5 nominees for Best Alternative Music Album (the award that we just spent a couple years going through every winner on the podcast). The nominees are:

I'm pulling for St. Vincent to win this one, but really, I'd be ok with Jack White or Cage the Elephant to win, as well. The other two are contenders, but I can't say I'm really pulling for them.

In any case, we'll see what album we're looking at for the month when the Grammy Awards happen on February 8th on CBS

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 2000

10. Nelly - Country Grammar
9. The Offspring - Conspiracy of One

     1. Intro
     2. Come Out Swinging
     3. Original Prankster
     4. Want You Bad

     5. Million Miles Away
     6. Dammit, I Changed Again
     7. Living in Chaos
     8. Special Delivery
     9. One Fine Day
   10. All Along
   11. Denial, Revisited
   12. Vultures
   13. Conspiracy of One

This was the album after Americana. It came out and I was less than enthusiastic about it in general. But I really liked "Want You Bad" and would always forget that it was The Offspring, because it had a more "classic" pop-punk sound. I kept thinking it was Allister or someone.

8. Jay-Z - The Dynasty Roc La Familia (2000--)
7. Limp Bizkit - Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water
6. Outkast - Stankonia
5. R. Kelly -
4. Ricky Martin - Sound Loaded
3. Sade - Lovers Rock
2. Now 5
1. The Beatles - 1

I could have featured the Beatles this week, but they'll have their chance soon, won't they? ;-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Doomtree album and Tour Announcement!!

So, Doomtree dropped a new track from their new album today. AND ALSO ANNOUNCED THE ALBUM! It's going to be called All Hands and it'll be coming out on 1/27/15. I'm so excited. Here's the track. It's called "Gray Duck"

They also announced the tour they're going to be doing in support of the album. Here are the dates:


Top Ten Tuesday: DOUBLE FEATURE: Taylor Swift "Blank Space"/Sam Smith "I'm Not the Only One"

So, to kick off my Thanksgiving week of not having any regular features happen the way they normally do (kinda like I'm a real network!), I didn't have a Top Ten Tuesday last week. So this week, we're going to feature two songs!!

It's really a shame that I missed out on featuring this Taylor Swift song the week it went to number one. In doing so, it made Taylor Swift the first female artist (and tenth overall) to replace themselves at #1. The other 9 were: The Beatles, Boyz II Men, Puff Daddy, Ja Rule, Nelly, Outkast, Usher, T.I, and the Black Eyed Peas. Pretty amazing stuff.

This video is pretty amazing, too. Great visuals to a song that, I don't know about you but, I really like a lot!

And for the second part of our double feature, another very cinematic, very old-school-feeling video from Sam Smith. It features the girl who played Quinn on Glee and the guy who plays Danny on The Mindy Project, which feels like it should be a generation off, but I guess isn't?

New Countdown: Indestructible!!

Milky Chance
Well, we did it. It's finally done. 225 nearly defeated me, but I said, "Nay! I will not let a nasty stomach bug prevent the Alternative Tunes from reaching the ears of my fans! They've worked too hard for too long to keep up with my ramblings for me to quit now! I must create an episode with extra ramblings! Extra windy ramblings!"

And that's just what I did :)

Countdown #225

Big Data featuring Joywave
The Black Keys
Fall Out Boy
Foo Fighters
Imagine Dragons
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Milky Chance
Vance Joy