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.