Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 1976

Happy Bicentennial!!!

10. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

I was actually going to play the Peter Frampton song below, but watching the video for this song changed my mind. MAN is it a good song. Sorry Peter. Better luck next week.

9. Peter Frampton - Show Me the Way
8. Gary Wright - Dream Weaver
7. Commodores - Sweet Love
6. Dr. Hook - Only 16
5. The Sylvers - Boogie Fever
4. Captain & Tennille - Lonely Night (Angel Face)
3. Maxine Nightingale - Right Back Where We Started From
2. Bellamy Brothers - Let Your Love Flow
1. Johnnie Taylor - Disco Lady

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

One Year, 100 Albums: #22 Yellowcard "Ocean Avenue"

Yellowcard Ocean Avenue, 2003

A pop-punk band with a fiddler. Who does backflips off speaker stacks. Yellowcard must seem like such a novelty act and I'm sure everyone is as surprised and pleased as I was when I first saw them on the 2003 Warped Tour.

It was my first full summer after my family had moved to Virginia Beach and so this was pretty much the perfect album to commemorate that atmosphere at that time of my life (just after Sophomore Year (of College) (SYoC, for people who have been reading these posts from the beginning). I didn't really know a lot of people in the area, but the weather sure was...well, hot. But sometimes that's ok. The weather was hot and I did a lot of driving. And I was missing a girl in Northern Virginia.

All of that meant that this album really connected with me. There's something about the driving pace of the pop-punk with the smooth lilt of the fiddle. It's the vulnerability of the singer's voice, the heartfelt lyrics, the regret and heartbreak and hope and pride and love. This is a very important record to me.

In honor of the 10th anniversary, they released an all acoustic version of the album, but I don't believe I will be picking it up. I need the loud to make the quiet mean more. A fiddle in an acoustic song doesn't seem so out of place. In a song where it's drifting over the electric guitars, it entrances you like a siren song.

This video is for the song that starts the album. You could say it starts with a bang.

Yellowcard - Empty Apartment
Yellowcard - View From Heaven

You can buy Ocean Avenue at Amazon, Amazon MP3, and iTunes

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (UK Edition): Sigma "Nobody to Love"

So, because there aren't any new songs on the Top Ten in America, I decided to go check out the UK charts. Well, it turns out, they have a new number one over there. And here it is!

Now, to some of you, this might sound a little familiar. Well, it turns out this song started life as a bootleg remix of the last (and in my opinion best) track on Kanye West's latest album, "Bound 2". Pretty cool. I wish they'd gotten the original vocalist from this part, Charlie Wilson, but it's still kind of cool to see something so underground DEBUT at #1. It really is a different world over there, strictly speaking of charts, of course. Here's the video for the original song.

And then a shot-for-shot tribute video from Seth Rogen and James Franco

And then just for the sake of completeness, here they are side-by-side:

Congratulations Sigma!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Countdown: Gonna be sleeping in the podcast doghouse for a bit here...

The Black Keys
Well, once again, I've forgotten the anniversary of the podcast. that I think of it, this is the first time that's happened. I was thinking of the anniversary of the blog itself, which i have missed, I believe, every single year. No, I usually remember the podcast's birthday. Hopefully, the 4th birthday isn't a big one.

It's a great show this week. A bunch of movement and surprises and bonus songs and stuff that I included without remembering that i could be playing bonus songs to celebrate, but rather just playing bonus songs because I like them! (Idea for t-shirt: "Live life like it's your podcast's birthday")

Countdown #193

Alan Wilkis
Arctic Monkeys
The Black Keys
Cage the Elephant
Fitz & the Tantrums
Foster the People
Young the Giant

Friday, April 11, 2014

One Year, 100 Albums: #23 Cartel "Chroma"

Cartel Chroma, 2006

Cartel's Chroma is the best pop-punk/power-pop album that I've never heard anyone else mention. I first encountered the band with their video for "Honestly" which is a great song. If that was all I ever heard from them, I'm sure I wouldn't have the pleasure of knowing this album. But then "The Minstrel's Prayer" was put on the Take Action Vol. 5 comp and the combination of the two sealed it for me.

One of the things I like about bands like Pink Floyd and Coheed & Cambria is they will often refer to one or more of their other songs. When this is done within the context of a single album, it gives the album a feeling of inevitability and organization that might not otherwise be evident.

The song "A" is an amazing song (flowing directly out of the song "Q", of course) because it ties at least 4 of the other songs on the album together into this nearly 10 minute opus to close out the album. It's a bold choice. For me, it makes every replay of the album better. Like, instead of hearing separate tracks, we're just hearing parts of a symphony that are tied together in the end. It's powerful stuff and I am simply appalled to feel like the only person who loves this album.

I love this album so much, in fact, that their follow-up was a crushing disappointment to me. And I hate crushing disappointments. But then I just put this one on again and all the pain just drifts away.

It's no surprise to anyone, I'm sure, that I love this album. It's like the band tapped into my brain and figured out all the elements of what I like about their particular brand of music and then crafted the album to suit those preferences.

Cartel - Say Anything (Else)
Cartel - Luckie St.

You can buy Chroma at Amazon, Amazon MP3, and iTunes

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 1977

10. Atlanta Rhythm Section - So In To You
9. Barbra Streisand - Evergreen (Love Theme From A Star is Born)
8. Natalie Cole - I've Got Love on My Mind
7. Eagles - Hotel California

Promised a more rockin' song this week and I think I did pretty well. I love this song and I think maybe a lot of people do, too. I think a lot of people think the Eagles are the worst, as well, though. To each their own, though, right!

6. 10cc - The Things We Do For Love
5. Glen Campbell - Southern Nights
4. Daryl Hall & John Oates - Rich Girl
3. Thelma Houston - Don't Leave Me This Way
2. David Soul - Don't Give Up On Us
1. ABBA - Dancing Queen

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

One Year, 100 Albums: #24 The Get Up Kids "Something to Write Home About"

The Get Up Kids Something to Write Home About, 1999

When I first heard this album Freshman year of College, I was disappointed it wasn't more blatantly about girls and being sad about unrequited love. The album felt choppy and weird. And frankly, it didn't exactly blow me away.

But, for whatever reason, I kept coming back to it. And now, 13 years later, it's an indispensable piece of my music collection. Every song is fantastic and I am constantly coming back to it for the pop sensibilities and the heartbreak in the lyrics and the synths. I sing along to every word and dance around like an idiot if I happen to be standing while listening to it.

The thing that gives "emo" it's bad rep is that people think of it as whiny and shrill and just pain, pain, pain. Something like a mix between Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Chris Carraba (Dashboard Confessional), and Robert Smith (The Cure). But The Get Up Kids prove you can be wounded and smart and catchy in your music while also not making your eyeliner run down your face by the end of every show.

If you like this album and you also like live albums, you should definitely check out The Get Up Kids
Live at the Granada Theater. It's one of my favorite live records of all time, depicting what was, at the time, the band's final performance (they've gotten back together since then).

The Get Up Kids - My Apology
The Get Up Kids - Ten Minutes

You can buy Something to Write Home About at Amazon, Amazon MP3, and iTunes