Thursday, January 29, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 1993

10. Wrecx-N-Effect - Hard or Smooth
9. Pearl Jam - Ten
8. Shai - If I Ever Fall in Love
7. Dr. Dre - The Chronic
6. Michael Bolton - Timeless (The Classics)
5. Garth Brooks - The Chase
4. Billy Ray Cyrus - Some Gave All
3. Eric Clapton - Unplugged

     1. Signe
     2. Before You Accuse Me
     3. Hey Hey
     4. Tears in Heaven

     5. Lonely Stranger
     6. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
     7. Layla

     8. Running on Faith
     9. Walkin' Blues
   10. Alberta
   11.  San Francisco Bay Blues
   12. Malted Milk
   13. Old Love
   14. Rollin' and Tumblin'

Here's the whole thing, if you'd like to see it!

So this is a nice one to take a look at this week. Every song is fantastic and it's no surprise that it went on to win Album of the Year! I would recommend you watch the whole thing. It's pretty fantastic. What a talented dude.

2. Kenny G - Breathless
1. Soundtrack - The Bodyguard

Diet Cig "Harvard"

Just heard this on The Hype Machine's weekly playlist of the most blogged songs, The Stack.
(Here's a link to the specific episode I heard it on. You can subscribe at the bottom. You should.)

I'm super stoked about this song and this band. You can pick up their debut EP RIGHT HERE! It's only 5 bucks (plus shipping) and it's a cassette!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Desaparecidos News!

So, Conor Oberst's punk band Desaparecidos has signed to Epitaph records and will be releasing a new album in 2015. This is fantastic news!

Top Ten Tuesday: Maroon 5 "Sugar"

I love a video with a cool story, even if, when you stop to think about it, it kind of falls apart. I like the idea of this video and it definitely helped improve my enjoyment of the song, which was fine, but it's certainly not my favorite song I've heard from the album. This is fun! Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Countdown: A Voice Before Ice Cream

Modest Mouse
Well this is an interesting one. I've begun the process of losing my voice, and it's documented on this podcast! The really funny thing is that right after I hit "OK" and began to turn the file into an mp3, I had a big bowl of ice cream and now I sound semi-normal. So, maybe I should have had a glass of water to wet my whistle instead of having absolutely nothing at all. Live and learn. And today's lesson learned is: Ice cream solves problems.

So this is one to mostly enjoy for the music. And the music is very enjoyable :)

Countdown #231

Arctic Monkeys
Big Data featuring Joywave
Cage the Elephant
Foo Fighters
Imagine Dragons
Milky Chance
Modest Mouse
Vance Joy
Walk the Moon

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Happy Fangs - Capricorn

You know those albums that you put on, knowing that you're going to be listening to the whole thing? That's the kind of record Capricorn is. It kicks off with "Raw Nights", a song that gets the listener dancing from the start, and then, just as Michael Cobra's buzzsaw guitar reaches a fever pitch in the middle of the song, everything drops out and lead singer Rebecca Bortman purrs, "Excuse me, sir. Do you have a minute to talk about rock 'n' roll?" and then the song kicks back into gear. It's a thrilling moment that shows no signs of getting old with repeated listens. I asked Rebecca if there was any story behind that section which seems almost like a manifesto for the rest of the album. Here's what she said.

The first time that Mr. Cobra and I played CMJ  when we were just a duo, we wanted to make the most of traveling all the way to the East Coast from San Francisco, so we tried to book gigs on our off-days of the festival in surrounding cities. One of the shows we ended up getting was on ye 'ol Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge on a Tuesday. There was a Red Sox play-off game and a Pearl Jam concert and Janelle Monae concert. Aka: we picked the WORST night of the year to play Boston. Mr. Cobra and I walked down Mass Ave with the sinking feeling that we might be playing for the bar staff and no one else, so I started walking up to people and asking them, "Excuse me, sir. Do you have a minute..." Every single person would look away, try to avoid eye contact " talk about rock & roll?" That got every single person's attention. And we talked to a dozen on our walk. We got to tell every single one of them about Happy Fangs.

And listening to the album, you feel the almost evangelical zeal that this band has for their craft. Look no further than the last minute of the blistering "Hiya Kaw Kaw," a song that led off the band's self-titled EP back in 2013 and which finds itself leaner and meaner with the addition of drummer Jess Gowrie (who is celebrating her one year anniversary as part of the band this month!).

The band is, as I'm writing this, filming a video for "Raw Nights" so I'm going to include the video that they submitted for NPR's Tiny Desk Contest for their song "Ton of Bricks." It's bathed in black and whites and shows that the band can destroy on a slower jam, too.

Capricorn comes out on 1/27. You can get it on iTunes and Bandcamp and Amazon. And remember: Pre-ordering helps the band just as much as waiting for the release date. More, probably.

Throwback Thursday: 1994

10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits
9. Reba McEntire - Greatest Hits Volume 2
8. Jodeci - Diary of a Mad Band
7. Bryan Adams - So Far So Good
6. Janet Jackson - janet.

     1. Interlude: Morning
     2. That's The Way Love Goes

     3. Interlude: You Know...
     4. You Want This
     5. Interlude: Be a Good Boy...
     6. If
     7. Interlude: Back
     8. This Time (featuring Kathleen Battle)
     9. Interlude: Go On Miss Janet
   10. Throb
   11. What'll I Do
   12. Interlude: The Lounge
   13. Funky Big Band
   14. Interlude: Racism
   15. New Agenda (featuring Chuck D)
   16. Interlude: Love Pt. 2
   17. Because of Love
   18. Interlude: Wind
   19. Again

   20. Interlude: Another Lover
   21. Where Are You Now
   22. Interlude: Hold On Baby
   23. The Body That Loves You
   24. Interlude: Rain
   25. Anytime, Anyplace

   26. Interlude: Are You Still Up
   27. Sweet Dreams/

Man, this album had a lot of interludes! I picked this one because I was surprised by how many songs I knew from it. And also Kendrick Lamar samples "Anytime, Anyplace" on his song "Poetic Justice" (which is a reference to a movie that starred Janet Jackson and had the song "Again" associated with it).

5. Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell
4. Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggy Style
3. Michael Bolton - The One Thing
2. Pearl Jam - Vs.
1. Mariah Carey - Music Box

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Video: Dessa "Sound the Bells"

Well, Dessa has a new video out for her song "Sound the Bells" it's serene and peaceful, but also kind of dark, and I'm not sure where I get the darkness from, but it's there, I swear.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (UK Edition): Philip George "Wish You Were Mine"

"Uptown Funk" is Number 1 across the pond, as well, so this song is at #2. It's a fun little dance number. I feel like there are a lot more fun little dance numbers over in the UK. Maybe they tally their charts differently?

Oh also the foley work at the beginning is amazing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Countdown! Subscriptions available!

Vance Joy
First of all, you can now subscribe to my podcast! If you're using iTunes, go to File --> Subscribe to Podcast... and then paste this link ( ) into the blank. Then you don't have to download the file and add it to iTunes. It'll download as a podcast and the new episodes will download when they're available (I'm pretty sure)

Lots of bonus songs on this one, for reasons that I go into in the episode. Enjoy!

Countdown #230 

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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 1995

7 out of the 10 albums on the Top Ten for 1995 made me go "Whoa! And that one is on here too?!" So I figured we'd break from tradition and have a video from each album on the Top Ten. I think you'll agree it was a bumper crop.

10. The Cranberries - No Need to Argue

9. Tom Petty - Wildflowers

8. Aerosmith - Big Ones

7. Nirvana - MTV Unplugged in New York

6. The Offspring - Smash

5. Eagles - Hell Freezes Over

4. Green Day - Dookie

3. Boyz II Men - II

2. Pearl Jam - Vitalogy

1. Garth Brooks - The Hits

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Chart

And just like last year, on the second week where there wasn't a new song on the Top Ten, I played a video that showed clips of the Hot 100 Year-End Chart! This is how traditions start, people :)

Enjoy looking back at 2014 one more time!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Countdown: Welcome Back!

Alan Wilkis (Big Data)
Alright. Let's see if I still have this "new countdown" business sorted. Welcome to 2015, everyone!

The year always starts off a little slow, so I'm able to ease back into things.

I really like the songs that are on the countdown these days. They are eclectic but they mesh very well together.


Countdown #229

Arctic Monkeys
Big Data featuring Joywave
Cage the Elephant
DNA featuring Suzanne Vega (or, Suzanne Vega with DNA on the remix)
Fall Out Boy
Foo Fighters
Imagine Dragons
Milky Chance
Vance Joy
Walk the Moon

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 1996

10. TLC - crazysexycool
9. Alan Jackson - The Greatest Hits Collection
8. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Disc One: Dawn to Dusk
     1. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
     2. Tonight, Tonight

     3. Jellybelly
     4. Zero

     5. Here Is No Why
     6. Bullet With Butterfly Wings

     7. To Forgive
     8. Fuck You (An Ode to No One)
     9. Love
   10. Cupid de Locke
   11. Galapogos
   12. Muzzle
   13. Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
   14. Take Me Down

Disc Two: Twilight to Starlight
     1. Where Boys Fear to Tread
     2. Bodies
     3. Thirty-Three

     4. In the Arms of Sleep
     5. 1979

     6. Tales of a Scorched Earth
     7. Thru the Eyes of Ruby
     8. Stumbeline
     9. X.Y.U.
   10. We Only Come Out at Night
   11. Beautiful
   12. Lily (My One and Only)
   13. By Starlight
   14. Farewell and Goodnight

I put the CD tracklist on because, though the vinyl tracklist is different, I feel like most people probably bought this album on CD or cassette.

Of course I was going to pick this album. I tried not to. I thought about doing a twofer of TLC and Mariah Carey, but the call of this album was too strong. This was my first Smashing Pumpkins album. It will always be special to me.

You'll note that I posted multiple songs. These are all the music videos made for this album. I love this one a lot.

7. Mannheim Steamroller - Christmas in the Aire
6. Alanis Morrissette - Jagged Little Pill
5. Hootie and the Blowfish - Cracked Rear View
4. Garth Brooks - Fresh Horses
3. The Beatles - Anthology 1
2. Soundtrack - Waiting to Exhale
1. Mariah Carey - Daydream

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Mashups

So last year, right around this time, there weren't any new songs on the Top Ten. So I did a post with the year-end mashups that DJ Earworm and Daniel Kim put together. Guess what? Same situation, same response. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Artists of the Year Countdown

St. Vincent
Just as the Year End Countdown (which went up last week) closes out the year, the Artists of the Year Countdown kicks off the new one.

Sometimes it feels like it's the same artists every year, but I think there's enough variety and variance to still make it a fun listen. Hopefully you agree!!

2014 Artists of the Year Countdown

The Beatles
Idina Menzel
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
New Found Glory
Smashing Pumpkins
St. Vincent

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 1997

Hey. TECHNICALLY, it's still Thursday. Happy New Year, by the way :)

10. Soundtrack - Evita
9. Kenny G - The Moment
8. LeAnn Rimes - Blue
7. Soundtrack - Space Jam
6. Toni Braxton - Secrets
5. Soundtrack - Romeo + Juliet
4. Bush - Razorblade Suitcase

     1. Personal Holloway
     2. Greedy Fly

     3. Swallowed
     4. Insect Kin
     5. Cold Contagious
     6. A Tendency to Start Fires
     7. Mouth
     8. Straight No Chaser
     9. History
   10. Synapse
   11. Communicator
   12. Bonedriven
   13. Distant Voices (Includes hidden track "23 Seconds")

I always forget what a great album this is and the video for "Greedy Fly" is so good. It was one of the first videos I'd seen with an overarching concept that just happened to also have a song in it. There was no question that this was the video I'd feature from this album, but it must be said that "Swallowed" is my favorite Bush song of all time.

3. Soundtrack - The Preacher's Wife
2. Celine Dion - Falling Into You
1. No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom

FOUR soundtracks on this week's Top Ten. That seems like something near the record. I have asked people at Billboard what the record is. Hopefully, I'll know soon! Here are songs from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack and the Space Jam soundtrack. Two songs I love.

The Everclear song comes from a channel on YouTube called Woodstock Poland that has individual songs as well as whole sets from Woodstock 99. It's pretty exciting to see that that exists for me to comb over.

January 2015 Media Update

Last Thing I Watched: Kristen was wearing the Veronica Mars Kickstarter t-shirt that I gave her (it looks better on her) yesterday, so we decided it would be fun to watch the Veronica Mars movie while we waited for the ball to drop. We didn't get it entirely finished and we'll probably watch some more starting in a couple of minutes.

Last Thing I Read: I'm reading and LOVING Live From New York, which is an oral history of Saturday Night Live. It is far far better than the MTV oral history I read before it. Right now I'm in the 90's with Myers and Spade and Rock and Farley and Sandler and Hartman. It's so fun to read and I'm really enjoying it a lot.

Last Thing I Listened To: I'm making my sister a mix CD for Christmas. It's cool because she's in Spain so I have some extra time. So I was listening to it while reading the SNL book and I made it to Everclear's "Amphetamine" which is a song that I have liked a whole lot for a long time. (By the way, this is the song I wanted to see them play at Woodstock 99 but I had to stick with the adults. A good call on their part, responsibility-wise, but a drag as an Everclear fan)

Things I'm Seeing On the Internet: Lots of Happy New Year posts. Lots of "2014 was great/2014 sucked/2014 had its ups and downs" posts. I keep thinking about how arbitrarily we think of the New Year as a reset and how every day is the start of a New Year. Just not one that's necessarily reflected on the numbers of the calendar. Deep stuff, I know.