Showing posts with label Feed Your iPod. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Feed Your iPod. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Feed Your iPod: LXXXV: Walls (Circus)

Tom Petty released a new album today and like his last couple it is good (granted the best new Tom Petty song out today is probably his contribution to Eric Clapton’s The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale), but he really has not done anything great for almost two decades. The mid-nineties was Tom Petty’s “weird period” (which was pretty weird because he has always been slightly left of center for classic rock acts) which ended with his album that served as the soundtrack for She’s the One. Maybe these songs got lost because it was a forgettable movie (Ed Burns wrote and directed the well received indie flick The Brothers McMullen and was given a bigger budget for his follow up with big name stars like Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz and a soundtrack by Petty but made about as much money as his indie debut; since then Burns is forever the fourth lead in dramas but still occasionally makes indie flicks that you probably have never seen or even heard of). The standout on the soundtrack is Walls, a Phil Spector-ish song deep in layered vocals and a wall of sound (but no Indian influence despite the music video theme). After another straight rock album that was released today that was just okay, maybe Petty should get into another “weird period.”

Walls (Circus) – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Feed Your iPod LXXXIV: One More Minute

Yesterday I was going through “Weird Al” Yankovic withdrawal which was the first day i9n over a week he did not release a new music video. Of those eight videos I was not too keen of the originals when I made my list from best to worst with the four original making up the bottom of the list. Sure Weird Al is mostly known for his parodies, his latest album notwithstanding, he still has plenty originals that are just as good as the parodies. My favorite of his originals is One More Minute, a sad bastard song in a doo-wop style with Al hilariously breaking up with his girlfriend. I like to believe that You Don't Love Me Anymore, Al’s second best original, is a response song to One More Minute from the person on the other end of the song. At any rate, both songs are worth just watching the music video, the second of which parodies Extreme’s More than Words.

One More Minute – “Weird Al” Yankovic

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Feed Your iPod LXXXIII: Banditos

The music industry printed money back in the nineties when a song on MTV would guarantee at least a gold record. It did not even have to be on heavy rotation, all it need was to be made fun of by Beavis and Butt-head. Seriously, Rob Zombie owns his whole career to the duo. It did even matter how weird you were. I lived through a time when Ween was actually a thing (again, with some help to Beavis and Butt-head). Even though how easy it was to break band back then, there were some act that never broke as big as they should have. One of those bands was The Refreshments who put out to very good albums in the mid-nineties headlined by the song Banditos, a catchy alt-southern rock song. In a time where most of the big hits were self loathing, The Refreshments dreamed of going on a robbing spree because, the world is full of stupid people.” There was also a funny music video that accompanied by there is currently only a low quality version currently on YouTube (seriously, it is 2014, how is every music video ever produced not have an official YouTube video yet?). Though I do not recall the band ever getting the Beavis and Butt-head treatment, If you only known one song by the band it is probably from Mike Judge’s other show as the wrote King of the Hill Theme. Their lack of hits may have been because no one wanted the alternative rock of the time mixing with country music or maybe it was bad timing as the band predated the alt-country boon that came a couple years later with bands like Old 97's and Whiskeytown. But if you did miss The Refreshments the first time around, give them a try as they would fit better in the current folk rock boon. Except these guys had a sense of humor.

Banditos - The Refreshments

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Feed Your iPod vol. LXXXIV: Break Your Heart

This week is sort of a Lilith Fair revival week as both creator Sarah McLachlan and tour mainstay Natalie Merchant released new album. I saw them both when the fest came to town along with Dixie Chicks and Deborah Cox. It was a weird scene for a dude to be even if I was being paid to be there. But anyway. Neither of the new albums is worth talking about. I was not a big fan of Merchant’s group 10,000 Maniacs or her first solo album. But I came around for her second album Ophelia (which of course was not as big as her first). My favorite from the set was Break Your Heart which featured backing vocals from N’Dea Davenport of The Brand New Heavies. In a time when I was heavily into agro music, Break Your Heart was a get way to mellow out at night as a way to calm down in the evening with a sweet trumpet part which was rare in pop music until recently with hits by Macklamore adn Ryan Lewis and Jason Derulo. Even more recently Ariana Grande has been sitting on top the iTunes chart with a horns heavy track even though I pretty much have the same reaction to the song as Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. Granted those are all dance tracks, I take Merchant’s more subtle take on the instrument.

Break Your Heart - Natalie Merchant

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Feed Your iPod LXXXIII: Shelter

Ray LaMontagne has a new album coming out next week and in an era of instant stardom; he is one of the few artists this century that has been able to build his fanbase steadily through the years. His earliest work got modest play on public radio and by his third album he started getting into heavy rotation on adult contemporary stations. For those that got into Ray late, the song off his first album they are most likely to know is Trouble thanks to a doggie themed commercial from a couple years ago. If there is only one song off his first album you know, be sure to also check out Shelter, another emotionally charged folk ballad from the singer.

Shelter – Ray Lamontage

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Feed Your iPod LXXXII: Potholes in My Lawn

Earlier this week De La Soul celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising by putting up their entire catalogue for free for twenty-five hours. De la Soul seems to be lost in the annals of time. Maybe because it was because they were never flashy, just good. Maybe it is because A Tribe Called Quest gets all the backpack rapper shine. Maybe it was because their albums did not make it to the digital age (at least legally) because of licensing issues. But going through their catalogue, especially those first three albums are worth rediscovering so hopefully you grabbed them when you could. When I think of De La Soul, my mind usually goes first to Potholes in my Lawn, a phrase to this day I still laugh at(at least until I found numerous potholes in my own lawn), which was the first De La song I ever heard and to day, remains one of their best.

Potholes in My Lawn – De La Soul

Monday, February 10, 2014

Feed Your iPod LXXXI: Silver Lining

One of the bigger upsets at this year’s Grammy’s was in the Best Country Album when newcomer Kacey Musgraves beat out one of the few musical tent poles out there Taylor Swift. Okay, it was only an upset just when you look at album sales because Red did not really even belong in the country category considering it did not contain one country song. More importantly Same Trailer, Different Park was better. Though relatively unknown at the time, millions of people saw Kacey and her electric boots perform Follow Your Arrow, but the whole album deserves a listen. When I reviewed the album, I listed the foot-stomping Stupid as the song to download, but now after almost a year with the album, I am more inclines to say melancholy Silver Lining is the best song on the record. In the review I declared “Woke up on the wrong side of rock bottom” as the best opening line of a debut album ever. But despite the sad sack opening line, just like how she made the be yourself anthem of Follow Your Arrow without making you roll your eyes with another one of those types a songs, Kacey gives a fresh take on the make lemon out of lemonade type songs. So if you saw Kacey Musgraves for the first time on the Grammy’s and like what you saw, give the whole album a chance starting with the album opener Silver Lining.

Silver Lining – Kacey Musgraves

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Feed Your iPod LXXX: The Woodpile

I first discover Frightened Rabbit with their song Swim Until You Can’t See Land, a sweet ode to diving into the unknown. Sure, there are times I get the Scottish band confused with the American rock band White Rabbits (it certainly does not help that the latter band's second album is entitled It's Frightening). Frightened Rabbit released its first major label album early last year and though its first single The Woodpile got heavy play in my library last year, I do not think I mentioned it until the video popped up on my list of The 50 Best Music Videos of 2013. The song would go on to be lucky number thirteen on my list of The 100 Best Songs of 2013. It may not have been a big hit; the song does deserve to be noticed. It is an epic song that sounds like Coldplay sifted through a heavy Scottish filter that would not sound out of place on mid-nineties Alternative radio stations. For those that saw my Best Songs of the year list and now want to listen to it, I have created a Spotify playlist which you can listen below under the YouTube video of The Woodpile (do not ask me why only half the songs show up in the embed, I checked on my tablet and all 100 songs are in the playlist when you open up Spotify).

The Woodpile – Frightened Rabbit

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXXIX: Don't Follow

With the new album by Pearl Jam and the 20th anniversary of In Utero (Nirvana Unplugged was also recorded twenty years ago yesterday) I have been thinking about grunge lately and let’s face it: the genre has not aged well. Sure you can blame it on the second wave of grunge acts like Bush and Candlebox and it got completely bastardized by the time Nickelback co-opted the sound. Lackluster reunions recently by Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots certainly did not help either (at least Bush has stayed retired). Despite the unnecessary reunion, Alice in Chains is one of the few grunge acts I still look back fondly at. Would? remains my favorite grunge song of all time (naturally it was on the Single soundtrack). The band also has some deep cut that need to be rediscovered mostly on their two lesser owned EP. Don’t Follow on the Jar of Flies EP is the rare power balled from the band that even had a down south vibe to it thanks to a well placed harmonica.

Don’t Follow – Alice in Chains

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXXVIII: The Chase, Part II

This week twenty years ago saw the release of the debut album from Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), R.Kelly’s first solo outing 12 Play, and the best Tribe Called Quest album Midnight Marauders (if you thought that was a great release date, that was not even the most impressive week a Tribe album dropped; The Low End Theory was released on the same day as Nevermind, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and the first CD I ever bought, Bryan Adam’s Waking Up the Neighbours). Even the casual rap fan knows Award Tour (which was number four on my list of the 100 Greatest Songs from the Golden Age of Hip-Hop) as well as Electric Relaxation, so let me highlight another song from the album, which was actually the bane of my existence shortly after hearing it.

Stuck near the end of the album is The Chase, Part II, another slow head nodder which features Phife Dog rapping, “you’re styles are incomplete same as Vinnie Testeverde.” For the youngsters out there, as the lyric suggest Vinnie was a horrible quarterback who was always near the top of the league in interceptions and holds the record for most loses for a starting quarterback in NFL history. Of course the Cleveland Browns just signed him when the album was released and the team then turned around and traded beloved local hero Bernie Kosar (who would go on to win a Super Bowl ring that season). After the Browns signed Vinnie, they became so bad that the owner was able to move the team and the Browns have made the playoff twice since the song was released and only had three winning seasons. As Bill Simmons would say, “God hates Cleveland.”

The Chase, Part II – A Tribe Called Quest

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Feed Your iPod vol. LXXVII: Listen

Amos Lee put out an album yesterday Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song and if I do not get around to reviewing it, let me quickly say it is another solid folk album from the singer-songwriter. Also Chill in the Air is probably my favorite song off the album. For those unaware of Amos Lee (his last album was number one on the Billboard charts), he came up during the same time as Ray LaMontagne and had the same laid back mountain man vibe, much more mellow than the current folk-rock boon. Though not a house hold name, he is one of those artists who gets his music placed in plenty of television shows and movies. My favorite Amos Lee song is Listen off his third album, Last Days at the Lodge which a bit darker and edgier than his previous work.

Listen – Amos Lee

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXXVI: Breathless

Last week I went down the rabbit hole that is Spotify’s 90’s radio station which was quite addicting as it kept playing great songs from my formative years. Sure I wish it played more rap than it did (it probably did not help that I kept down-voting the “amended” versions; of course they probably played the amended versions instead of the explicit versions already on my computer so Spotify could play more ads because they are shady like that). One song that really stood out from the rest during this time was Desperately Wanting by Better Than Ezra. They were one of my favorite groups from that era and I own all of their albums except the most recent (it was kind of eh) but have not dusted them off in a couple year and had to take the weekend revisiting them. Sadly the group has not had a hit since the nineties; they did have a couple pop culture moments over the past decade. Juicy, which never was one of my favorites, was used in ads for the second season of Desperate Housewives.

Then in 2010, in lieu of playing one of her own songs, Taylor Swift chose to perform an obscure track by the band Breathless for the Hope for Haiti telethon, a song that closed out their Before the Robots album. I remember prior to the telethon wonder what she would would perform before none of her songs have the emotional weight that songs on these specials tend to have. I did not recognize it at first, thinking it may have been one of hers I had not heard before, but it started to spark a memory by the time she hit the chorus that it was the Better Than Erza song that probably no one knew of unless they owned their album. It was a perfect choice by Taylor, it is a simple song in her wheelhouse with an uplifting message that fit the occasion very well. Unfortunately the song is no longer available on iTunes so you are stuck with a crappy YouTube version if you did not buy it earlier, but you should definitely pick up the original. As for Better than Erza, my sources tell me the group is working on their seventh album would could see the light by the end of this year. Now if you excuse me, I need to dust off my Blues Traveler CD’s.

Breathless – Better Than Erza

Breathless Taylor Swift

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXXV: Who's Gonna Save My Soul

I was planning on reviewing the new Goodie Mob album but I made it through about three songs before giving up. And I spent much of those three minutes thinking I would much rather be listening to a new Gnarls Barkley instead. Gnarls Barkley of course is Cee-Lo Green’s other group made up of him and producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse. Supposedly there is a third Gnarls Barkley album coming but who knows when (Cee-Lo has another solo album in the works as well as his day job on The Voice while Mr. Mouse spent most of this year producing the yet to be announced new albums from U2, The Black Keys, and Frank Ocean, and well as recording a sophomore album with his other side-project Broken Bells). It is depressing to think that some people believe Gnarls Barkley is a one hit wonder, almost as depressing as Crazy being left off Grantland’s Best Song of the Millennium bracket, because both their albums are worth picking up. My second favorite song from the group is Who’s Gonna Save My Soul, a haunting song with one of the greatest opening lines ever, “Got some bad news this morning which in turn made my day” and a creepily funny video. So if you only know Gnarls Barkley for what is truly the best song of the millennium, be sure to check out some of their other work, and then start homing we do not have to wait long for a third album.

Who’s Gonna Save My Soul – Gnarls Barkley

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Feed Your iPod vol. LXXIV: If its the Beaches

The last album from The Avett Brothers may have just come out last November but the group is gearing up for another release when Magpie and the Dandelion dropping the Ides of October and will be their third straight produced by Rick Rubin. The quick turnaround is not surprising because the album was recorded during the same sessions as The Carpenter. The first time I ever heard The Avett Brothers was during the second season of Friday Night Lights when Landry finally chose Trya over the weird math chick, which, let’s face it, was not much of a chose at all, with If it’s The Beaches playing in the background. (Jason Katims, who was the showrunner for Friday Night Lights also really likes The Avett brothers too because he has already put two of their songs on his other show Parenthood, I wonder how long until they show up at the Lunchenette). To this day, If it’s the Beaches remains my favorite song by the group (with The Battle of Love and Hate a close second, but that is a story for another day) and if you just discover The Avett Brothers when they started working with Rick Rubin, you should go back and check out some of their more passionate earlier work. And if you have never heard of them up to now, you will want to send the next day on their Spotify page. You will not be disappointed.

If it’s the Beaches – The Avett Brothers

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Feed Your iPod vol. LXXIII: Clarity

John Mayer releases a new album later this month which may be for the best because the last one released just fifteen months ago was a bit of a bore, and the one before that was his worst of his career. But his first three stand up as one of the best trio of first three albums by most artists so hopefully Paradise Valley rekindles some of that magic (first single Paper Doll is already better than anything on Born and Raised). It is a little disconcerting that Mayer’s second album Heavier Thing turns ten years old next month. My favorite track off that album was the second single Clarity which undeservedly floundered on the charts. It is an uncharacteristic John Mayer song, the guitar is pushed to the back in favor of piano and horns section (the song also features Questlove on the drums). As Heavier Things hits the decade mark, it is time to go back and give it another listen, especially Clarity.

Clarity – John Mayer

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXXII: Hot Knife

It has been over a year since Fiona Apple released her latest album which was around the time the first and only music video was released which featured Fiona wearing an octopus hat. Well better late than never, we finally get a second clip for the best track off the album Hot Knife which helped by famous director, and former boyfriend, Paul Thomas Anderson who also directed all her music videos from her When the Pawn… era. And just like the song, the video is somewhat creepy, but always awesome. Hopefully the song will have the timpani replace the cello as the en vogue instrument of the moment.

Hot Knife – Fiona Apple

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXXI: Sometimes I Wonder

Earlier this week Darius Rucker released his third solo country album. Yawn. Wake me up when he finally gets back together with Hootie and the Blowfish. True Believers is actually his fourth solo album overall as his first foray into non-pop rock of Hootie was actually a pure RnB record (which actually featured the first time the world ever got to hear Snoop Dogg sing; after hearing his reggae album, sadly it was not the last). The best song on the album was a duet with Jill Scott. Unfortunately Back to Then is an album time forgot (it was better than an Hootie album they put out since) but Sometimes I Wonder does deserve to live on.

Sometimes I Wonder – Darius Rucker featuring Jill Scott

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXX: You Don't Love Me Anymore

In this month’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame, I only talked about “Weird Al” Yankovic’s parodies and the polka because many of his originals are pretty forgettable. But there are a few good ones like You Don’t Love Me Anymore about a a boyfriend that just not get a clue that his girlfriend does not want to date him anymore (making fun of break up songs is a Al specialty because One More Minute is his second best original). But for the video, Al does get to parody one of the bigger videos of the time, Extreme’s More Than Words which features the janitor from Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit video (and Al’s parody Smells Like Nirvana). So if you only know “Weird Al” for his parodies, you should check out some of his originals too.

You Don't Love Me Anymore - "Weird Al" Yanovic

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXIX: Give it Up

Next month Public Enemy will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and it was announced yesterday that DJ Terminator X will be attended the ceremony (unlike last year when almost nobody showed up due to illness like Adam Yauch and Rod Stewart, or ambivalence like Axl Rose). I was not sure what surprised me most, that Terminator X left the group in 1998 or that he was been raising African black ostriches ever since. I guess it is easy to forget everything after the group released Apocalypse ’91… The Enemy Strikes Black as the follow up was a dud (though I do stand by the soundtrack to He Got Game despite the silly Stephan Stills collaboration). And thought Muse Dick-n-Hour Mess Age was underwhelming, the lead single Give it Up stands up with the rest of their more beloved hits. And if I am not mistaken, the song was the inaugural MTV Jam of the Week (which ironically discontinued right after Jay-Z mentioned it in Big Pimpin').

Give it Up – Public Enemy

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feed Your iPod vol. LXVIII: No One's Gonna Love You

It is weird to entitle a love song No One’s Gonna Love You and leave out the second half of the line, “more than I do” (maybe the printer charged a heavy per letter price) and then open up the song with “It's looking like a limb torn off” but even with those two strikes against them, Band of Horses still ended up knocking that song out of the part with one of the great love songs of the past decade. It was so good even Cee-Lo Green became inspire to put out a cover almost immediately (Band of Horses returned the favor by recording his Georgia with the University of Georgia Redcoat Marching Band). The song is so beautiful it should become a standard by the end of the next decade.

No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses

No One’s Gonna Love You – Cee-Lo Green