Showing posts with label Dave Matthews Band. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dave Matthews Band. 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, August 28, 2013

I Want My Music Television: 8/28/13

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.

Rock and Roll – Avril Lavigne

I am trying to figure out what the most offensive part of this music video is: 1) the shameless product placement, 2) the shameless rip-off of the November Rain video, or 3) that Avril Lavigne got to make out with Winnie Cooper before I did. #3, definitely number three.

Rooftop – Dave Matthews Band

It seems like once per album where the Dave Matthews Band puts out a music video where Dave just walks around like a crazy person, this time around they actually put him in an asylum. Makes you wonder what would have happened to him had he not been the lead singer of the biggest touring band of his generation.

Mind Your Manners – Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam is back with a new music video and it pretty much looks like every other video they have made since they started making videos ago where they just play in front of images of vaguely political images.

Home Again – Elton John

Elton John has also shunned music videos of late as I cannot remember the last time he appeared in one of his own; he even had Justin Timberlake stand in for him a couple years ago. But now it is some random dude who at some point lived about a mile from the moon? Or some dude who lives on the moon which is a mile from the Earth? I am not entirely sure what this video is trying to say except for maybe it is hard to go back home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Don’t Waste Time Trying to Be Something You’re Not

Away From the World - Dave Matthews Band

After ten years of putting out a bunch of good, but not great albums, Dave Matthews Band ended the ’00 with their best album in a decade with Big Whiskey and the Groo-Grux King, an album so good, one critic said the album was a Dave Matthews Band album for people who do not like The Dave Matthews Band. After the great previous album, news only got better that Steve Lillywhite, who produced the band’s first three (and the aborted fourth that eventually turned into Busted Stuff without him) is back as producer for the first time in over a decade.

So expectations were high for the release of their eight studio album Away from the World. The only problem is the album turned out to be a bit of a bore. Sure the first single Mercy was a bit sleepy, but the band usually does not release the best song first (or usually at all). But it turned out the whole albums sounded as if the whole band was slipped an Ambient before recording started.

It does not help that one of the songs, Belly Belly Nice, sounds as if it were written by a Dave Matthews Band tribute band trying encapsulate the band’s essence and even throws in a nursery rhyme (Jack and Jill this time around) for good measure which is almost cringeworthy. The songs as a whole are the most unremarkable the band has ever written and is only kept out of the bottom of the band’s catalogue by the time they tried to cram their music into four minute pop songs.

Even though within five years I expect most of the songs from Away From the World will appear on as many setlists as the songs from Everyday, there are a few songs I cannot wait to hear live even if the studio version are uninspiring. Sweet (which does appear in live form, from here in Cleveland, on the Deluxe Edition of the album which finds Matthews at his falsetto best), with its ukulele intro that expands a couple minutes later into the full band, is the most simple song from the band since the haunting piano based Out of My Head. But Sweet has the exact opposite reaction for the listener and lives up to its title.

But it is Drunken Soldier that will be a highlight of many concerts to come and will probably end up being an encore staple. In true Dave Matthews Band fashion, the song is split into four sections, there is the ho-down beginning, which transitions into a more traditional beginning which I can see being stretched into five to ten minutes live which includes a beautiful solo from violist Boyd Tinsley, before transitioning into the most earnest lyrics by Dave on the whole album. The song ends with a segment that sounds like it is floating away on a lazy river in the moonlight. If I do not hear a twenty minute plus version of this song the next time I hear the boys live, I will be severely disappointed.

Song to Download - Drunken Soldier

Away from the World gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Five Most Anticipated Albums of Fall 2012

Back in April I was surprised in how much good music was released that month and hoped that it was a sign of things to come. It was not because good music was few and far in-between of the summer month. But with Christmas just around the corner, record companies are lining up their big guns for release. Here are some I am looking forward to. Click the artist name to be taking to their iTunes page, and the name of the album to pre-order it on Amazon. Release dates are subject to change.

1. Babel – Mumford & Sons (September 25): The band may not have kickstarted the folk rock revival of recent years (that may go to the second band on this list), but the put it into high gear. The managed to outsell almost everyone else in that time not named Adele and now they look to shake the sophomore slump. They said that they have not changed their sound from their debut and first single I Will Wait backs up their charge which had fans of their first album dusting off their air banjos.

2. The Carpenter – The Avett Brothers (September 11): If there is such a thing as folk-punk, The Avett Brothers are it. The Carpenter is the group’s second album produced by Rick Rubin who was behind the board for their breakthrough I and Love and You and lives up to the greatness of its predecessor. Cannot wait a week to give the album a listen? You are in luck because is streaming The Carpenter in its entirety.

3. Away from the World – Dave Matthews Band (September 11): The big news about Dave and the boys eighth studio album is it their first in over a decade with producer Steve Lilywhite who produced their first three albums (and the aborted fourth album that got leaked to the internet under the moniker The Lilywhite Session before getting a proper released that Stephan Harris finished producing under the appropriately titled Busted Stuff). First single Mercy is a bit sleepy, but for some reason their first singles off their albums are never the best (my guess is the reason is their best songs are over the radio friendly five minutes long).

4. Battle Born – The Killers (September 18): I have a love / hate relationship with the band. I loved their dance rock debut / hated their pretentious we want to be Springsteen follow up. By the time their third album came around I was ready to reluctantly accept their absurdity. After hearing the first single off their four album Runaways, it sounds like the Vegas boys are still looking for that elusive last chance power drive. And still coming up short.

5. Red – Taylor Swift (October 22): Okay, first single We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together is painfully bad (although the cute one take accompanying music video almost makes it listenable, almost) but I will admit I am an unabashed fan of her first three albums. Last time around, Swift wrote and co-produced every song on Speak Now and for better or worse she is bring in a bunch of collaborators including pop maestro Max Martin (which would be part of the “worst” considering he is responsible for Never Ever). The only other confirmed collaborator is English songwriter Ed Sheeran.

SunCat Power
NorthMatchbox Twenty
MagicSmash Mouth

September 11
Tempest – Bob Dylan
La FuturaZZ Top
CoexistThe xx

September 18
Mirage RockBand of Horses
The Sound Of The Life Of The MindBen Folds Five
Hallelujah! I'm a BumLocal H
TomorrowlandRyan Bingham
Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer
CharmerAimee Mann
I Bet On SkyDinosaur Jr.
The Spirit IndestructibleNelly Furtado
KissCarly Rae Jepsen

September 25
Cedar + Gold – Tristan Prettyman
Food & Liquor II: The Great American RapLupe Fiasco
UnoGreen Day
Mystic PinballJohn Hiatt
Push And ShoveNo Doubt

October 2
Glad All OverThe Wallflowers
Traveling AloneTift Merritt
The 2nd LawMuse
Born To Sing: No Plan BVan Morrison

October 9
Wrote a Song for Everyone – John Fogerty
PinesA Fine Frenzy
Songs for the End of the WorldRick Springfield
Monster - KISS

October 16
Former Lives – Ben Gibbard
Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary

October 23
The Haunted Man – Bat for Lashes
Man With the Iron Fists
TBD – Gary Clark Jr.

October 30
Merry Christmas, BabyRod Stewart

November 6
Music From Another DimensionAerosmith

November 13
Dos – Green Day
TBD – Soundgarden
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors – Big Boi

November 27
Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys
The Art of War III – Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

January 15
Tre – Green Day

James River – D'Angelo
Watch the Throne 2 – Kanye West and Jay-Z
Psychedelic Pill – Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Matangi – M.I.A.
Indicud – Kid Cudi
The Evil Empire of Everything – Public Enemy
Rooted – Scarface
Alice In Chains
Christina Aguilera
The Bird and the Bee

And let’s not forget the obligatory this may be the year that Dr. Dre releases Detox. Of course if he does, that may mean the Mayans were right.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Want My Music Television - 8/30/12

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.

Mercy – Dave Matthews Band

I am a bit offended that I was not included in the new Dave Matthews Band video. I guess I should have submitted something. And if I learned one thing from the new video, you cannot be clean shaven to be a fan of the band.

Duquesne Whistle – Bob Dylan

I am not sure if this is the greatest romantic comedy idea ever or the worse. And is that Gene Simmons in Bob Dylan’s posse?

End of the Line – Sleigh Bells

An odd clip from the Sleigh Bells, it is as if they started out making a moody dark video, and when they were done looked at each other and though, do you know what this needs: us riding around the suburbs on bike. Done.

Knock Knock – Hand of Horses

“Epic 4:3 Aspect Ratio”. Ha. Well done Band of Horses.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lyrics Quiz: So Much to Say

Last week I reviewed So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band – 20 Years on the Road (see: You and Me and All Our Friends, Such a Happy Human Race) and so I thought I would take the song that inspired the title and put it though iTunes Genius function and here are the songs it suggested. As always leave your guesses, both artist and song title, in the comment section or e-mail me. If you are correct I will un-bold the lyric and give you credit. Please keep in mind the lyrics quiz is for entertainment purposes only so please only use your own meandering mind to guess them.

1. Cyrus Jones 1810-1913: made his great grandchild believe you could live to 103. 103 is forever when you’re just a little kid so Cyrus Jones lived forever. (Gravedigger - Dave Matthews; guessed by Angie)
2. They love to tell you stay inside the line. When something’s better on the other side. (No Such Thing - John Mayer; guessed by Angie)
3. Rainstorms keep me away from the norm. I gotta tell you something, this phenonamon, I had to put it in a song.
4. Coming down the world’s turned over. Angels fall without you there. I go on as you get colder. (Black Balloon - Goo Goo Dolls; guessed by Angie)
5. You live in a church where you sleep with voodoo dolls and you won’t give up the search for the ghosts in the halls. (Building a Mystery - Sarah mcLaughlin; guessed by Angie)
6. I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now. (Wonderwall - Oasis; guessed by Angie)
7. Now I love to feel that warm summer rain. Just to hear it fall is the sweetest sounding thing. And to see you it fall on your simple summer dress, it’s like heaven to me I must confess. Steal My Kisses - Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals; guessed by Angtie)
8. Won’t you kiss me on this midnight street, sweep me off my feet. Singing ain’t this life so sweet.
9. From the moment I wake, to the moment I sleep, I’ll be there by your side; just you try and stop me. I’ll be waiting in line, just to see if you care.

10. We’ve come a long, long way together through the hard times to the good, I have to celebrate you baby. (Praise You - Fatboy Slim; guesed by Angie)
11. Hipsters unite. Come align for the big fight to rock for you. But beware all those angels with their wings glued on.
12. I got a hole in me now. I have a scar I can talk about. She keeps a picture of me in her apartment in the city. (Bright Lights - Exile On Mainstream - Matchbox twenty; guessed by Angie)
13. But under skinned knees and skid marks, past the places where you used to learn, you howl and listen. Listen and wait for the echoes of angels who won’t return. (Everything You Want - Everything You Want - Vertical Horizan; guessed by Angie)
14. This is what you get, this is what you get, this is what you get when you mess with us.
15. When I talk about it, it carries on. Reasons only knew. When I talk about it, Aries or treasons all renew.
16. I left you heartbroken, but not until those very words were spoken. Has anybody ever made such a fool of you?
17. Oh sometimes, yeah it’s true, you really do abuse me. You get in a crowd of high class people and then you act real rude to me. But oh baby, baby, baby, baby when you love me I can’t get enough.
18. The world begins to disappear. The worst things come from inside here, all the kings men reappear.
19. I want to hold the hand inside you. I want to take a breath that's true. I look to you and I see nothing. I look to you to see the truth.

20. Do you remember your President Nixon? Do you remember the bill you have to pay? Or even yesterday? (Young Americans - David Bowie; guessed by Angie)
21. I don’t mind the sun sometimes, the images it shows. I can taste you on my lips and smell you in my clothes. 22. The dawn is breaking. A light shining through. You’re barely waking and I’m tangled up in you. (Collide - Howie Day; guessed by Angie)
23. I love myself I want you to love me. When I feel down I want you above me. I search myself I want you to find me. I forget myself I want you to remind me. (I Touch Myself - Divinyls; guessed by Angie)
24. Seen a million places, seen a million faces die. And I wonder who will walk with me when I get to Heaven.
25. She said I’m fine” won’t cover, up your trembling hands. There’s indecision when you know you ain’t got nothing left.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

My Twenty Favorite Dave Matthews Band Songs

While reading and writing my review of So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band – Twenty Years on the Road (see my review: You and Me and All Our Friends, Such a Happy Human Race) I also spent the time listening to my DMB albums and I thought I would revise my list of the best songs from the band which I originally published right before the release of Stand Up (see DMB Week: Ranking the Songs) but upped the number to twenty to commemorate the number of years the band has been touring. This could also double as my fantasy set list (although I may throw in a cover like Long Black Veil in there) and tinker with the sequencing.

1. Bartender (The Lillywhite Sessions / Busted Stuff)

2. Warehouse (Recently / Under the Table and Dreaming)

3. Jimi Thing (Under the Table and Dreaming)

4. Grace Is Gone (The Lilywhite Sessions / Busted Stuff)

5. You Never Know (Busted Stuff)

6. Funny the Way It Is (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)

7. Halloween (Recently / Before These Crowded Streets)

8. The Stone (Before These Crowded Streets)

9. Out of My Hands (Stand Up)

10. Ants Marching (Remember Two Things / Under the Table and Dreaming)

11. You and Me (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)

12. Don't Drink the Water (Before These Crowded Streets)

13. The Best of What's Around (Under the Table and Dreaming)

14. Granny (Listener Supported)

15. Stay (Wasting Time) (Before These Crowded Streets)

16. Crush (Before These Crowded Streets)

17. Say Goodbye (Crash)

18. Recently (Recetnly)

19. Spaceman (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)

20. So Much to Say (Crash)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

You and Me and All Our Friends, Such a Happy Human Race

So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band - 20 Years on the Road

Back in April, the Dave Matthews Band celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their very first performance together. Ironically to commemorate the occasion, the group decided to take the summer off for the first since that very first show in the band’s hometown of Charlottesville. Dave and the boys are playing four festival shows in Atlantic City (June 24-26), Chicago (July 8-10), New York), August 26-28), and their annual Labor Day weekend at The Gorge in Washington (September 2-4). Head over to DMBCaravan for more details for full lineups (act ranging from Ray LaMontange to The Roots to The Flaming Lips performing Dark Side of the Moon at different sites) and tickets.

If you cannot make it to one of the show but still need your Dave Matthews Band fix aside from all the Live Trax concerts you own, writer and DMB enthusiast Nikki Van Noy is celebrating the band’s vigintennial with her book So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band – 20 Years on the Road. And if you are going to one (or more) of the festivals, the book makes for a great read in between sets as you brush up on your DMB history before the band writes its next chapter.

After starting off the book with her own history with the band (An Evening Spent Dancing) where she went from a reluctant concert goer to an instant fan, Nikki goes into a chronological history of the band starting with their formation (Getting Started) to the start of heavy touring schedule (The Little Red Van). The book then veers into the studio with their best known music (The Big Three), then the Lillywhite Sessions and the two albums born directly out of it (The Album That Wasn’t), and the following album Stand Up (Searching for the Sound). Then there is the tragic death of the band’s saxophonist (LeRoi Holloway Moore) and the album that was born from his death (LeRoi’s Legacy).

Yes the band’s history is the core of the book, but So Much to Say is as much about the band is it is about the fans of the Dave Matthews Band. Van Noy included personal accounts from every stage of the band’s careers from those that were there at the launch and talk about the shows from their weekly engagement as the now defunct Trax to fans as far flung as Australia where the band has only visited twice in the band’s career. The book even includes more than thirty-five original fan photos.

What really becomes clear throughout So Much to Say is there is no band out there that harnessed the internet better than the Dave Matthews Band and their fans. In the early years, word of mouth traveled easy from the early users of the new electronic-mail: college student. Then came mailing lists, message boards, blogs to today (seriously, type “Dave Matthews Band” in YouTube and see just how many performances have been uploaded); Nikki pulls quotes and talks to users and the people behind the sites frequently in the book. She even makes an apt comparison that the stat heavy national pastime is similar to DMB fans, just go to sites like DMBAlmanac to see just how true it is. Really the final two chapters in the books are pretty much just about the fans.

Some great tidbits throughout the book include a section on how some of the song titles came about (like how Dave liked to number the songs he wrote in order yet #27 was actually the 133rd song he wrote) to a part on wrong names that were dubbed by soundman Jeff “Bagby” Thomas (I’ll Back You Up labeled Let’s Get a Beer and rarity Heathcliff’s Haiku Warriors actually keeping its wrong name). There is also plenty of mythology sprinkled by fans during the book (a couple pages get devoted to the holy grail of DMB songs: Machead) which reminds me of the time my college roommate told me a tale of how his sister who went to Virginia saw Dave Matthews Band and Hootie & The Blowfish at the same frat house on the same night. And of course a good portion of the book is devoted to the band’s taping culture, which may have as much to do with the band’s success than anything else, and how it evolved over the years.

It’s hard to recommend So Much to Say to anyone not already a fan of Dave Matthews Band because there is no deep introspective passages of the band or even any new interviews with band members themselves. So Much to Say is a book written by a fan for fans and about fans. A newbie can read the book and have a deeper appreciation for the band and the fandom while longtime fans will enjoy the trip down memory lane even if they know all of the stories behind the band. Here’s hoping after this summer off we will get another twenty summers worth of shows where we can eat, drink, and be merry.

Full Disclosure Notice: This book was given to me by Simon and Schusters for the purpose of reviewing it.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

57 Channels and Only This Is On - 6/8/11

Quote of the Week: She kinda looked like Alanis Morrissette when she was better looking. That’s why she stood out. (Cabbie, The Killing)

Song of the Week: I'm Not In Love – 10cc (as sung by Zach Morris, Franklin and Bash)

Big News of the Week: Start of the Summer Television: The spring television season just ended but summer is almost already in full swing. Here is the shows that will keep me inside when the sun is shining and when they premiere.

9:00 – Leverage (6/26 on TNT)
10:00 – Falling Skies (6/19 on TNT; premieres at 9:00 before moving to 10 the next week)

8:00 - Pretty Little Liars (6/14 on ABC Family)
9:00 – The Nine Lives of Chloe King (6/14 on ABC Family)
10:00 - Covert Affairs (6/7 on USA)

10:00 – Rescue Me (10:00 on FX)

10:00 – Wilfred (6/23 on FX)
10:30 – Louis (6/23 on FX)

The Killing: It seemed like the assistant guy had a complete personality adjustment in between episodes. It was as if the writers went up to the actor before the episode and say, “oh yeah, we are going to make you a suspect now so we want you to act emotionally stunted so it fits with the story we now want to tell.” Would it been to hard to tell the actor to act a little creepy from the beginning? You can download The Killing on iTunes.

Friday Night Lights: Holy Matt Saresen sighting! I did not see that coming, at least she did not make a u-turn to Tennessee. But I am beginning to fear for Coach Taylor because he has lost his cool multiple times over the past two episodes. He should not even threaten to bench Vince he should have done it after the stunt he pulled at the end of the game with the Panthers and the Oklahoma Tech visit should have put it over the edge. Hopefully Coach can get QB1 under control and quick. You can stream recent episodes on Hulu.

Friday Night Lights on iTunes

Free Download of the Week: Tripping Billies (Live At Wrigley Field) - Dave Matthews Band (Amazon MP3)

Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5 Each: It is not the 1000 plus albums that Amazon had on sale last month, but during the month of June you can get the new album from Death Cab for Cutie, Kanye West, Alicia Keys and the Shaft Soundtrack, which I hear is a bad mother… maybe I should just shut my mouth and let you listen for yourself.

New Album Release of the Week: The Book of Mormon - The Original Broadway Cast

New DVD Release of the Week: Just Go With It

Video of the Week: I hope you have a half an hour of free time today because there is a new Gathering of The Juggalos infomercial for 2011 has just dropped (of course they waited the week after Saturday Night Live wrapped up their season to release it). This should go without saying, but this video is not safe for work, children, pregnant woman, the elderly, Ass Dan or just about anyone.

2011 Gathering of the Juggalos Infomercial

Next Week Pick of the Week: Covert Affairs, Tuesday at 10:00 on USA: The first season was decent summer fluff (or so I think, I do not remember much of what happened during the first season) so hopefully the second season is as enjoyable (and maybe more memorable).

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

When I Was Young I Didn’t Think About it and Now I Just Can’t Get it off My Mind

The Lillywhite Sessions - Dave Matthews Band

The good people over at Simon and Schuster were nice enough to send me over a copy of So Much to Say: Dave Matthews Band 20 Years on the Road (look for my review next week to coincide with the book hitting bookshelves) and in honor of the book’s release, this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame is the band’s unreleased gem known as The Lillywhite Session.

Naturally So Much to Say dedicated a whole chapter to the time period. As legend has it, the Dave Matthews Band went into the studio with longtime producer Steve Lillywhite and recorded a batch of songs only to ditch them to go back on the road. When the tour was over, instead going back to the Lillywhite songs, Dave hooked up with Alanis Morrisette producer Glen Ballard for an album of much tighter and poppier songs the band had ever done called Everyday. Months after the released, songs from The Lillywhite Session hit file sharing site where anyone could hear the album that might have been.

Mortality has never been a shy subject for the band, but Before these Crowded Streets took a decidedly darker turn from their previous work and The Lillywhitte Session took them deeper into the rabbit hole with songs like Grey Street, Digging a Ditch, Big Eyed Fish and maybe their saddest song to date Grace Is Gone. The latter of which Dave himself references to as the sad bastard song and still is in my repertoire of songs I go to when I am in my drunken sad bastard mood.

The standout track of The Lillywhite Session, and quick live performance staple, was Bartender. If there is one thing the band does best is sweeping epics that they can jam on for over ten minutes such as Warehouse and Two Step, and Bartender is where it all came together in a sweeping ode to a priest stand in that serves beer on the side. By the time the track hits the midway point, Mathews is wailing vocally like a one man choir before giving way to LeRoi Moore, one of his finest moments in the studio, who take the song home before ending it with a sweet pennywhistle.

The songs of The Lillywhite Session would later be revived a year later as the band convened in the studio but without Steve Lillywhite this time around for the proper release the appropriately titled Busted Stuff which despite sharing nine songs sounded lighter and more hopeful in spirit (thanks in part to new songs Where Are You Going and You Never Know). Grace Is Gone got turned into full country bar tune, a couple minutes were shaved from Bartender, Kit Kat Jam was stripped of lyrics, and JTR, Sweet Up and Down, and Monkey Man were cut from the final version. Though Dave Matthews Band songs are never fully realized until they are road tested for an entire summer, the release of Busted Stuff must have been cathartic to the band and fans alike after the tumultuous two years from the start of The Lillywhite Session to the release of Everyday, to the leak of the unfinished tracks.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Breaking Down the 1000 Greatest Songs of the 00’s

Back in 2006 someone asked me what I thought was the best song of the year was and I responded that Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy wasn’t just the best song of the year, but it was the greatest song of the decade. It was at that moment I thought about doing a Greatest Songs of the 00’s list and started a playlist that ended up with around 1400 songs four that I then widdled down to my favorite even thousand. If you have not done so yet, head over to The 1000 Greatest Songs of the 00’s for the complete list. Here is how the list broke down by the numbers. Now if excuss me, I need to get started on my list of the 1000 Greatest Songs of the 10's.

Artist with Double Digit Songs:
Kanye West - 22
Jay-Z – 17
U2 - 17
Coldplay – 16
John Mayer (Trio) - 15
Alicia Keys - 14
Dixie Chicks – 13
Dave Matthews (Band) – 12
Snow Patrol - 12
Jack Johnson – 11
Michelle Branch (The Wreckers) – 11
Nelly Furtado – 11
Beyoncé (Destiny's Child) - 10
The Roots – 10
Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs) – 10

Songs by Genre
Pop - 204
Rock- 191
Rap – 159
Alternative - 155
Adult Contemporary – 142
RnB - 97
Country – 40
Electronic – 12

Songs by Year
2000 - 91
2001 – 94
2002 – 96
2003 – 77
2004 – 96
2005 – 91
2006 – 90
2007 – 116
2008 – 124
2009 - 125

Top 100 by Year
2000 – 12
2001 – 12
2002 – 11
2003 – 10
2004 – 11
2005 – 9
2006 – 9
2007 – 8
2008 – 11
2009 – 7

Top 100 by Genre
Adult Contemporary – 28
Alternative – 19
Rap – 19
Rock - 12
Pop – 8
RnB - 8
Country – 5
Electronic - 1

Most Songs in top 100 – The Killers (5)
100’s – John Mayer (5)
200’s – U2 (3)
300’s – Jack Johnson, Jay-Z (3)
400’s – Alicia Keys (5)
500’s – The Roots (4)
600’s – Coldplay (3)
700’s – Dixie Chicks (4)
800’s – Kanye West (4)
900’s – LeAnn Rimes (3)

Artist with 1 Song: 201

Number of Cover Songs: 34
Number of 00’s Cover Songs: 6
Television Theme Songs: 4

Shortest Song: Fell in Love with a Girl (1:50)

Longest Song: I Will Possess Your Heart - Death Cab for Cutie (8:36)

Time it would take you to listen to the 1000 Greatest Songs of the 00's: 2 days, 17 hours, 14 minutes, and 46 seconds.