Showing posts with label Ben Folds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ben Folds. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

25 Deep Cuts from the Golden Age of Alternative Rock

Earlier this week I posted my list of the 100 Greatest Songs from the Golden Age of Alternative Rock. The mid nineties was a time when the music business was so prosperous that even minimal effort could result in a Gold record. I doubt anyone outside of the Deal family could name a second song by The Breeders yet Last Splash still went platinum. I contributed to many of those RIAA certifications (R.I.P. BMG 10 albums for a penny deals that they kept letting you quit and renew for a new batch of albums).

1. Anna Begins – Counting Crows: Not only one of my favorite deep cuts from the era, but one of my favorite songs ever in the history of the world. “Every time she sneezes I believe it is love” meant everything to me in my youth. Still does.

2. The World Has Turned and Left Me Here – Weezer: The Blue Album had the most songs of any album on my list as every song is great. This is my favorite of the rest, just another great teenage anthem.

3. Where Did You Sleep Last Night – Nirvana: Quite possibly the greatest performance ever to air on MTV Unplugged.

4. Warehouse – Dave Matthew Band: Record companies are usually good at releasing singles, but for some reasons the singles off of Dave Matthews Band albums are never my favorites. Ants Marching may be my fifth favorite song off their major label debut. The best is Warehouse which only get more epic when you hear it live. And thanks for the band’s penchant for releasing live albums, which will be easy to find because even though they always switch up set lists, there is always a good chance that this song will be represented.

5. Bad Habit – The Offspring: The ultimate road rage song. I probably listened to it way too much while learning to drive.

6. Immortality – Pearl Jam: No list is perfect and my own personal eyeballing of mine is there could have been a lot more Pearl Jam. It is probably after the success of the first album, they decided to step back from the spotlight not making music video or releasing proper singles leaving individual radio station to play their own favorites. Immortality is just the kind of mood I am in right now, but anything on those next two albums is worth checking out.

7. Let Me In – R.E.M.: Those first three R.E.M. albums from the nineties are worth checking out, this is probably the best track on their most fuzzed out album of the trio.

8. Happy Endings – Better than Ezra: I recently read an article where the lead singer suggested that they may have had Goo Goo Doll’s career had they been on a better record label and not one that went under. As a owner of all their albums sans their last I would have to agree as they made some of the best adult contemporary music of the past decade. You can hear them go down that root on songs like this.

9. Sad Songs and Waltzes – Cake: The band had a minor hit with their I Will Survive cover, another stand out on the same album was this Willie Nelson classic. The irony of course was during the alt-rock era, depressing songs were all the rage.

10. I'm the Ocean – Neil Young: The godfather of grunge hooked up with Pearl Jam and made an album which sounded exactly like you expected. This seven minute epic without a chorus is the highlight of the Mirror Ball album.

11. I Love You Mary Jane – Sonic Youth and Cypress Hill: When I first started working on my list I considered some more “alternative” rap song like Insane in the Brain. Instead I will include Cypress Hill’s awesomely weird collaboration with Sonic Youth for the Judgment Night Soundtrack where the two bonded over their love of the sticky icky. The song worked a lot better than their track with Pearl Jam.

12. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – Smashing Pumpkins: In the of the alt-rock heyday, who would have expected the Smashing Pumpkins to start their double album with a sweet, well, melon collie, piano-based instrumental.

13. Sir Psycho Sexy – Red Hot Chili Peppers: The Peppers are weird to begin with, but this was easily their most bizarre track from Blood Sugar Sex Magic. The teenage version of myself loved the lady cop verse.

14. Slide Away – Oasis: That first album was brit-pop gold, this was definitely my favorite non-single.

15. The Wanderer – U2: Nirvana gets a lot of credit for the start of the alt-rock era, but with Achtung Baby, U2 was getting weird at the same time. They got even weirder on Zoorepa which ended with a country euro-trash song featuring Johnny Cash on vocals, a year before his carreer got resurrected with the American Recordings series.

16. Swing On This - Alice In Chains: Who would have guessed Alice in Chain would ever release a song that was actually danceable?

17. Pillar of Davidson – Live: There were plenty of epic songs on Throwing Copper, this song may have actually been the most epic.

18. Bogusflow – Beck: DGC Rarities vol. 1 was a must own by any alt-rock fan with plenty of rare gems. At the time, Beck was heading for one hit wonderdom and this drunken Bob Dylan type song was not going to help him out of that label but was awesome nonetheless. I am still waiting for vol. 2.

19. Mad Dog 20 / 20 – Teenage Fanclub: Fun fact: The first legal drink I ever bought was Mad Dog 20/20. I cannot confirm nor deny it is because of this song.

20. April 29, 1992 (Miami) – Sublime: Humorously the band actually got the date wrong in the actual lyrics song (April 26), legend has it that the take with the mistake was the best so they kept it.

21. Steven's Last Night In Town – Ben Folds Five: There were not many New Orleans inspired tracks during the alt rock era, but this one was really good.

22. Brother – Toad the Wet Sprocket: This was off their “rarities” album which was one of the few albums that was just as good as the “proper” albums in an artist discography.

23. Price to Pay – Blues Traveler: Just great storytelling in this song and of course plenty of harmonica.

24. Carrion – Fiona Apple: The big hits of this album were song of Fiona’s more angry songs; I also appreciate her more subtle songs like this one.

25. Nada – The Refreshments: In the introduction I mentioned how easy it was to get a Gold album, this is one of the few bands from the time that did not manage one and I am not sure why, I really enjoyed both of their albums. Maybe too southern and not enough alternative in their rock. And then too weird for the country crowd. Nada was a great way to end that first album.

Honorable Mentions

Shamrocks and Shenanigans (Butch Vig Mix) – House of Pain: Another rap song I considered for this list, but the Butch Vig version. Vig was fresh from producing Nevermind and a few years away from becoming a founding member of Garbage and gave an alt-rock bent to the song.

Iron Man – The Cardigans: I considered a couple songs by the band for this list but Lovefool was a bit too poppy and Been It just missed the cut (had I expanded the end date by a year, My Favorite Mistake would definitely made the list). But the album was much more weird and darker than you would expect from the group that brought you Lovefool, case in point this trippy cover of the Black Sabbath song.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 7/24/13

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Black Skinhead – Kanye West

Okay, the above video is just Kanye West’s performance from Saturday Night Live a couple months ago because the actual music video is not embeddable. And if you thought Yeezus was inaccessible, the music video is even harder to get into. The rapper posted the interactive on except when I went there, it was only a picture of what looked to be a picture of three black dudes in black KKK hoods. After about five minutes of nothing I figured maybe Chrome was the problem and dusted off Internet Explorer which had a launch button. But when I clicked on it, the music started playing, but there was no video. Supposedly the interacted video can “synched, posted and shared” so videos will probably pop up on YouTube any minute now (and probably already have by the time you have read this) and I may check a few up is I still care by then.

Wasting All These Tears - Cassadee Pope

It was a big week for The Voice last week as the most recent winner Danielle Bradberydropped her first single just days before season three winner Cassadee Pope released her first country music video. Both songs are your typical boring pop-country fare (Pope's is just a pop-rock song with a banjo and whiskey soaked intro) that will probably have minor success on country radio but not interesting enough to cross over unless The Voice audience gets curious about them (maybe Blake should have gotten his wife Miranda Lambert to help write something more interesting). I would slightly give Danielle the first round, but neither song is as good as Inventing Shadows (speaking of Dia Frampton, she just released a song via YouTube called Footsteps which is better than anything on her first solo album and certainly better than the above two songs).

Slow Down - Selena Gomez

On her previous albums, Selena Gomez songs ranged from catchy to non-offensive and even the first single off her new album falls within that catchy category. The rest of Stars Dance really ranges between annoying to painfully bad and the new single definitely falls somewhere on that spectrum (this will probably serve as my official review of Stars Dance). At least Selena had the wherewithal to leave Spring Breakers half way through the movie. Maybe she should stick to acting or at the very least bring back The Scene.

Sky High – Ben Folds Five

When can I get Ben Folds Five to play in my living room? Granted I would probably request A Song for the Dumped and end up trashing my own place so it may be for the best if they do not.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The 50 Best Music Videos of 2012

I have embedded the first couple, for the rest, you can click on the link to be taken to YouTube. If you would like to purchase the music video or the song, click the iTunes button next to the name to be taken to the store.

1. The Baddest Man Alive - The Black Keys featuring RZA The Baddest Man Alive - The Black Keys

2. Do it Anyway - Ben Folds Five

3. Mercy - Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz Mercy (feat. Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz) - Kanye West

4. Somebody That I Used to Know - Goyte featuring Kimbra Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra) - Gotye

5. Leave the Lights On - Meiko

6. Lost in the Echo - Linkin Park

7. Pyramids - Frank Ocean Pyramids - Frank Ocean

8. Bad Girls - M.I.A. Bad Girls - M.I.A.

9. Stray Heart - Green Day Stray Heart - Green Day

10. Bottom of the River - Delta Rae Bottom of the River - Delta Rae

11. Simple Song - The Shins Simple Song - The Shins

12. No Church in the Wild - Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean No Church In the Wild (feat. Frank Ocean & The-Dream) - Jay-Z & Kanye West

13. Every Single Night - Fiona Apple Every Single Night - Fiona Apple

14. Happy Pills - Norah Jones Happy Pills - Norah Jones

15. Mustache Man (Wasted) - Cake Mustache Man (Wasted) - Cake

16. Sweet Talk - Jessie Ware

17. Easy Way Out - Gotye Easy Way Out - Gotye

18. Warrior - Kimbra, Mark Foster, and A-Trak

19. Man on Fire - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero

20. Sixteen Saltines - Jack White Sixteen Saltines - Jack White

21. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift

22. Brendan’s Death Song - Red Hot Chili Peppers

23. Curtain - Eve 6 Curtain - Eve 6

24. All the Rowboats - Regina Spektor All the Rowboats - Regina Spektor

25. Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men

26. (Expletive Deleted) in Paris - Jay-Z and Kanye West Ni**as in Paris (Explicit) - Kanye West & JAY Z

27. Dance in the Graveyards - Delta Rae

28. All I Need Is Love - Cee-Lo Green featuring the Muppets

29. Diversity - Family of the Year Diversity - Family of the Year

30. Payphone - Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa Payphone - Maroon 5

31. Some Nights - Fun. Some Nights - Fun.

32. Princess of China - Coldplay and Rihanna Princess of China - Coldplay & Rihanna

33. Ships in the Night - Mat Kearney Ships in the Night - Mat Kearney

34. Queen of California - John Mayer Queen of California - John Mayer

35. Ho Hey - The Lumineers Ho Hey - The Lumineers

36. Knock Knock - Band of Horses Knock Knock - Band of Horses

37. Duquesne Whistle - Bob Dylan Duquesne Whistle - Bob Dylan

38. Let's Go - Matt and Kim

39. One Woman Army - Kate Earl One Woman Army - Kate Earl

40. I'm Shakin' - Jack White

41. Heartbeat - JJAMZ

42. Houdini - Foster the People Houdini - Foster the People

43. Hurts Like Heaven - Coldplay Hurts Like Heaven - Coldplay

44. Ray Charles - Chiddy Bang Ray Charles - Chiddy Bang

45. I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift

46. Don't Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas) - Regina Spektor Don't Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas) - Regina Spektor

47. One More Night - Maroon 5 One More Night - Maroon 5

48. Cherokee - Cat Power Cherokee - Cat Power

49. Cheerleader - St. Vincent Cheerleader - St. Vincent

50. Tongue Tied - Grouplove Tongue Tied - Grouplove

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You Might Put Your Love and Trust on the Line

Ben Foldes Five!

Fraggle Rock!!

Stacey Pilgrim!!!

The dude from Singled Out!!!!

The dude from Hot Tube Time Machine!!!!!

This is so awesome I do not even care if Weezer (who ironically wrote a song about Fraggle Rock (at least I want to believe the Doozers in My Name Is Jonas is a Fraggle Rock reference)) did the same video with The Muppets a decade ago. If there was a complaint to be had it is the lack of Marjory the Trash Heap.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Ten Most Anticipated Albums of Fall 2010

We are coming upon the fourth quarter which means record companies will actually start releasing albums in hopes that you will buy some to giveaway at Christmas. Please note that release dates are subject to change. Click the album name (or album artwork) to pre-order it on Amazon. Click the artist’s name for their iTunes page.

1. Dark Twisted Fantasy (working title) – Kanye West (11/16): He really shouldn’t be this high considering his last album was one of the worst of last decade. But this will be a return to rap, and it is hard not to get excited when the album will be headlined by two stellar tracks, Power and Runaway. I suspect there will be plenty of toasting to this douchebag this fall.

2. Speak Now - Taylor Swift (10/25): And how can you mention Kanye West without Taylor Swift? She gave us a definitive answer at the Video Music Awards to the question of if she would be addressing the Kanye incident from last year on the new album. Between Innocent and Mine, it sounds like Taylor is growing up quickly and moving further away from her country roots.

3. Wake Up!John Legend & The Roots (Today): Fall 2010 looks like the season of collaborations with Ben Folds teaming with writer Nick Hornsby, Elthon John recording with his idol Leon Russell, and Mark Ronson hooking up with, well, everyone. But the union I am most interested in is this one from The Roots and John Legend covering mostly obscure soul records.

4. Record CollectionMark Ronson & The Business Intl. (9/28): After bringing retro back in style with Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, and his second album, Ronson has been working with Duran Duran and that comes though in a big way on this album which sounds very synth heavy. Look for appearances by Q-Tip, Ghostface Killer, Boy George, D’Angelo, and Simon LeBon himself.

5. Come Around SundownKings of Leon (10/19): After their breakout with Only by the Night it is interesting how the Followell boys will follow up the success. From the sound of first single Radioactive, it will be more of the same.

6. Hands all OverMaroon 5 (Today): After a pretty good debut album, every successive Maroon 5 album has gotten blander than the previous one. First single Misery doesn’t give me too much hope that Hands all Over will turn that around, but the album was produced by hair-band uber-producer Mutt Lange, so maybe it will be worth a listen.

7. Second Chance - El DeBarge (9/28): C’mon, who isn’t down with an El Debarge comeback? One can only be disappointed in that he didn’t bring the whole family with him.

8. Lonely Avenue – Ben Folds and Nick Hornby (9/28): Here was an album I had to do a double take when I first saw it announced. Quirky pop master Ben Folds and novelist Nick Hornby. For illiterates like me that are unaware of Hornby, his books that have been turned into movies include High Fidelity (which was number 10 on my list of The 100 Greatest Movies of the 00’s), About a Boy, and Fever Pitch (but do not blame him about the horrible adaptation because his book was actually about soccer). Hornby contributed the lyrics with Folds coming up with the music including a song about Alaska’s least favorite son Levi Johnston.

9. The Lady Killer - Cee Lo Green (12/7): I really was not interested in a Cee-Lo album that didn’t involve Danger Mouse, but after hearing the ultra-catchy (Explative Deleted) You, color me intrigued. But seriously, after this, lets get another Gnarls Barkley album out please.

10. Hot Sauce Committee part 1 - Beastie Boys (TBA): Putting this on the list may be a bit of wishful thinking because there is no release date announced yet, but with Adam Yauch doing better these days, he’s hoping he is well enough to do the rigors that surround promoting a new album.

Other albums of note:

The Sound of SunshineMichael Franti and Spearhead
Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All TimeSantana
You Get What You GiveZac Brown Band
A Year Without RainSelena Gomez and the Scene

September 28
ClaptonEric Clapton
InventedJimmy Eat World
Pete YornPete Yorn
Le NoiseNeil Young
6: Commitment - Seal
The Dissent of ManBad Religion
Going BackPhil Collins

October 5
Tiger SuitKT Tunstall
GlowDonavon Frankenreiter

October 12
Charleston, SC 1966Darius Rucker
The Rock and the TideJoshua Radin
The Age of AdzSufjan Stevens

October 19
Sale el Sol - Shakira
The UnionElton John and Leon Russell
Libra ScaleNe-Yo
Fly Me to the Moon... The Great American Songbook Volume V - Rod Stewart

October 26
Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager - Kid Cudi

November 2
...Featuring Norah JonesNorah Jones
National RansomElvis Costello
DreamsNeil Diamond
SidewalksMatt and Kim

November 16
Born FreeKid Rock

November 23
Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes – Social Distortion

Unknown Dates
Songs of Ascent – U2
The Believer – Common
Walk with Me Now and Fly with Me Later – DMX
Give Till it’s Gone – Ben Harper and Relentless7
Nothing – N.E.R.D.

And what would a music preview be without an obligatory this may actually be the season that Dr. Dre releases Detox mention.