Sunday, August 31, 2014

New Countdown: The Actual Actual End of Summer (Unless You're Counting Autumnal Equinox)


Milky Chance
Well here we are. Labor Day weekend. The official end of summer. All those weeks when I was talking about "the beginning of the end" and all of that were just a prelude to this. We go over the Summer Songs of the year and almost forget our annual discussion about weekends and organized labor :)

It's a fun one with just a little bit of rambling for all those fans of Rambling James!


Countdown #212

***Featuring***
alt-J
Big Data featuring Joywave
The Black Keys
Bleachers
Coldplay
The Dirty Heads
Gotye
KONGOS
Milky Chance
Vance Joy
Weezer

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 2013

Well it's time to recolorize your televisions. We're flying all the way back to 2013 to start going through the Billboard 200 in the same way we did the Hot 100. It's going to be slightly different due to Billboard's mysteriously missing archive data for album charts starting in 1983. But don't fret! It's Wikipedia to the rescue! Wikipedia has the Number One album for each week all the way back to sometime in the 40's so we'll always have something to throwback to, I just won't always be picking what it is. Ready? Ok. Here we goooooo

10. Florida Georgia Line - Here's to the Good Times
9. Tye Tribbett - Greater Than
8. Five Finger Death Punch - The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell: Volume 1
7. Imagine Dragons - Night Visions
6. Teen Beach Movie Soundtrack
5. Asking Alexandria - From Death to Destiny
4. Jay Z - Magna Carta...Holy Grail
3. Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines


1. Blurred Lines (featuring T.I. and Pharrell)
2. Take It Easy On Me
3. Ooo La La
4. Ain't No Hat 4 That [this is quite possibly my favorite song title of all time. other fun fact about this song: Big Daddy Alan Thicke got a cowriter credit]
5. Get In My Way
6. Give It 2 U (featuring Kendrick Lamar) [the original version had a verse from 2 Chainz, but it got leaked and became "the remix" and Kendrick recorded a verse for the "non-remix". The video you'll see below has both verses] 
7. Feel Good
8. Go Stupid 4 U
9. 4 The Rest of My Life
10. Top of the World
11. The Good Life

So probably everyone has heard the title track and can admit that, despite the controversial content (is it degrading to women? empowering to women?), is quite a catchy song. But I liked the third single better and have featured it in a video below. It peaked at #25 which is a crime even if you're only paying attention to the part where he talks about how she fell from heaven and then the music stops and he say "Angel." It's SO cheesy that I love it.


2. NOW 47
1. The Civil Wars - The Civil Wars

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.


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

Countdown #211

***Featuring***
Bastille
Big Data featuring Joywave
The Black Keys
Bleachers
Coldplay
The Dirty Heads
Gotye
KONGOS
Milky Chance
The Simpsons
Weezer
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.