Monday, October 31, 2011

New Hampshire (50 Songs For 50 States)

New Hampshire. I visited the state whose motto is "Live Free Or Die" back in 2003 and had a junior bacon cheeseburger at a Wendy's for 99 cents (back in the day when I used to eat fast food) I was thrilled...overjoyed by the no sales tax. The scenery driving though the Granite State is wonderful as well. It's kind of the forgotten state of New England.

What I love most is the tale of "The Old Man In The Mountain", a rock formation that looked like a face formed by a series of granite cliff ledges found in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. By happenstance, the only year I visited the state was the year the formation collapsed (6 months later to

Friday, October 28, 2011

New and Noteworthy: The Black Keys, Mazzy Star, Cass McCombs, Surfer Blood

The Black Keys-"Lonely Boy"
New album from The Black Keys is due out December 6th entitled "El Camino". That would be Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney's lucky number 7 LP. I've already designated it as the last New Music Review for station to station for 2011. And I'm going to have to throw in their latest video for the lead

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bands On Twitter: Streight Angular, The MudFlap Revival

One of the cool things about diving in to some new music is that the avenues to come in contact with bands from across the country (or around the world) is endless. Back in May, I was lucky enough to be contacted by a good sounding California based band The Alternates, via Twitter. I got to listen, and since, thoroughly enjoy the EP "Spiders and Webs". They've got a good formula going.

And since I started a Twitter account, I'll occasionally follow bands who seem interesting or at the very least, artists I'm curious to find out more about. Many offer to free downloads which is great, if I had the time to download them all I would. But two artists have just recently reached out for listens and I went ahead and checked out their offerings.

Am I going to drive thousands of fans their way? Probably Not! But I do like getting the word out about local music, even if it is not local to me. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday's Top Ten: The Psychedelic Furs Songs

It's Tuesday. How about ten favorites from the Psychedelic Furs. Their strongest sets were their first two albums but they've got enough material for a proper ten. "All Of This And Nothing"? That's underrated epic material...

1. All Of This And Nothing
2. Dumb Waiters
3. Love My Way
4. Into You Like A Train
5. Pretty In Pink
6. All That Money Wants
7. President Gas
8. India
9. The Ghost In You
10. Imitation Of Christ

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Music Reviews: Dum Dum Girls-Only In Dreams, Neon Indian-Era Era Extraña

Dum Dum Girls-Only In Dreams
In a matter of nineteen months, I've had the pleasure of getting to know the Dum Dum Girls. Their debut album back in March of 2010 didn't have me hooked at first. From initial thoughts I thought their debut was "A nice, if not totally satisfying debut." But as the year went on, songs like "Jail La La" and "Bhang Bhang, I'm A Burnout" had some killer hooks which made me appreciate it more. Lead singer Dee Dee brought a complete "sinister" bad girl kind of quality to the sixties beats melted with feedback ala "Psychocandy". I reviewed their EP "He Gets Me High" this past March and felt "The future looks bright, third time may be the charm for her all around focused classic. It's just a hunch." It was a nice if unnecessary 4 song sampler with a version of the Smiths "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". I couldn't resist. And while some of the feedback was cleaned up for the EP, the songs remained varied in a short outing. So this means the latest from the Dum Dum Girls, "Only In Dreams" released at the end of September, makes the band the most reviewed on station to station. This I didn't foresee happening a year and a half ago with a debut I thought was just alright.

Following the evolution of Dee Dee and company has brought them to a completely cleaned up album. Dee Dee doesn't play the sinister bad girl anymore. Instead, "Only In Dreams" sounds like she

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Stone Roses Reuniting, Planning World Tour

Well, call me a day late to the party. Here's a reunion I didn't see coming (or maybe I did but just wasn't paying attention enough). Break out the baggies, Madchester is making another round it appears. Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni announced Tuesday that they were reuniting for two shows in June in Manchester followed by a world tour. 1996 is when the band dissolved and rumors of reunions have always been quickly squashed by band members. But apparently, the four

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday's Top Ten: Ten Songs From Spoon

I've been in the mood for some Britt Daniel and Spoon a bit lately. Why not just run my favorite ten Spoon songs, throw a week long Spoon album poll up, and look back at one of the sturdiest bands of the past decade while they're on a brief hiatus before their next effort. "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" heavy? A bit. I'm thinking it's my favorite "moments" album from the band. Although I still hold "Gimme Fiction" as my favorite "whole" album. Links for each song connected to the titles. Enjoy your Tuesday!

1. My Mathematical Mind
2. Finer Feelings
3. Jonathon Fisk
4. Everything Hits At Once
5. I Summon You
6. All The Pretty Girls Go To The City
7. The Underdog
8. Trouble Comes Running
9. I Turn My Camera On
10. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ohio Road Trip Playlist: Songs For Ohio Cities and Towns

Let's take a road trip today around Ohio. After a trip across I-70 last weekend to Pittsburgh, I officially know that I've traveled more miles by vehicle across the Buckeye State than any other state in the country. A no brainer. The turnpike...done that...many times. The Route 11 to Youngstown. Been there. The Route 23 across north central Ohio...did that a many times back in the day. I-74 to Cincy for ballgames and concerts, yep. It's probably mind numbing how many miles have been logged through the heart of it all. If you take the heart out of it, we probably could have saved thousands of miles and dollars through the years. But I wife grew up there and I've had many a friends from the state.

So a tribute to Ohio (my love of geography and music melt together) with a road trip and play list for the circumnavigation of the Buckeye State.

1st Stop: Defiance
Artist and Song: Destroy!-Defiance
Famous Person From Defiance: Sam Hornish Jr.
We'll start in Defiance. Cue up the playlist to late eighties punk metal band Destroy! and their song Defiance. Here's a town that got it's name from General "Mad" Anthony Wayne who stated that he defied the English, Indians and all the devils of hell to take it. Wayne seemed like an interesting guy. I enjoyed his beer and golf tournaments in Fort Wayne...

2nd Stop: Bowling Green
Artist and Song: Everly Brothers-Bowling Green
Famous Person From Bowling Green: Figure Skater Scott Hamilton
An hour trip down OH 281 will get us to Bowling Green. True the Everly Brothers song is probably about the town in Kentucky, but what the hell....half of the songs here aren't REALLY about an Ohio town. Hey, did you know the Nation Tractor Pulling Championships have taken place in Bowling Green since 1967 Neither did I. Let's plan the trip around this!

3rd Stop: Toledo
Artist and Song: John Denver-Saturday Night In Toledo, Ohio
Famous Person From Toledo: Katie Holmes
24 Miles north from Bowling Green we head into the Glass City. Toledo isn't that bad of a city. not as bad as John Denver made it out to be in his song "Saturday Night In Toledo, Ohio." Originally written by Randy Sparks in 1967 after a bad visit to the Glass City, the lines: "Saturday night in Toledo, Ohio is like being nowhere at all/all through the day how the hours rush by, you sit in the park and you watch the grass die." That's pretty harsh, but humorous..especially the part about going to the bakery to watch the buns rise for entertainment in Toledo.

4th Stop: Sandusky

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Music Reviews: Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks-Mirror Traffic, Wilco-The Whole Love

Stephen Malkmus and Jeff Tweedy (Malkmus with Pavement and solo, Tweedy with Uncle Tupelo and and Wilco) have been at it now for two decades and I've got to hand it to them both, their latest efforts are the best that they've released in the past ten ten years. At a time in both their careers where I would normally pick and choose what albums I'd want to give a try and continue listening to the material, they've both rebounded nicely.
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks-"Mirror Traffic"
Starting with Malkmus, I really enjoyed his self titled debut released ten years ago. But somewhere along the way have gone from mildly curious to completely ignoring his materiel with his band the Jicks since then. It felt like a bit of the imaginative slacker energy he managed to carry over from his Pavement days to his solo career had slowly waned and so did my enthusiasm. Can we chalk it up to a Pavement reunion tour that sparked my interest? Or the fact that Beck was in charge of the production on "Mirror Traffic"? Or even better off, how about the fantastic artwork on the cover of the album? I'm giving all three of those questions yeses to the fact that I wanted to see what he had left to offer.

What I'm most surprised with his how consistently good of an album "Mirror Traffic" is. Malkmus has always had a knack for throwing a couple duds into the mix (even back to his Pavement days) but "Mirror Traffic" wins because it is so consistently engaging across the board. I've got nothing bad to

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nevada (50 Songs For 50 States)

Well, we could a million different avenues in Nevada be it on the range or in the bright lights of Vegas. Ah, Vegas. I could go for six dollar steak dinner with a dollar pint at Ellis Island right about now. Maybe a top ten "Vegas" songs is in order before our next trip to sin city (hint: Gram Parsons is a favorite of mine, his classic "Sin City" would make the ten). But we've got to stay the course and enter a song with the state title in it. That's a bit harder than I expected...but thanks to the trusty world wide web, I narrowed picks down to Pere Ubu and Deer Tick. Both have songs with Nevada in the title. Both have a different take on Nevada. Pere Ubu's "Nevada" sounds like a carnival, while Deer Tick's "Nevada" sounds like a psychotic campfire song. I'm going the Deer Tick route since Pere Ubu always resonates "Cleveland" to me. So Nevada, you're a favorie state of mine, let's give you a Deer Tick and their campfire ditty "Nevada". Enjoy, as the trip takes us into "New" states next....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday's Top Ten: Songs For Columbus Day

Next Monday is Columbus Day in the states. Most people look at it as a federal day off or a holiday of some sort for others. I'm taking an opportunity to honor Christopher Columbus with ten modern songs that if Chris had an IPOD he would be cranking for his journey across the Atlantic on the Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria. Christopher Columbus jamming to Christopher Cross and Grand Funk Railroad. Giddy Up! So why not make these songs part of YOUR Columbus Day celebration. Here's the top ten songs for Columbus Day next Monday! Enjoy a long weekend (perhaps!)

1. Todd Rundgren/The Nazz-Christopher Columbus
2. The Doors-Land Ho!
3. Counting Crows-1492
4. Grand Funk Railroad-I'm Your Captain
5. Charlotte Gainsbourg-Voyage
6. World Party-Ship Of Fools
7. Echo and the Bunnymen-Blue Blue Ocean
8. Soul Asylum-New World
9. Christopher Cross-Sailing
10. Neil Diamond-America

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Year Was...2002

Random Playlist For 2002:
1. The Vines-Get Free
Even if it was Nirvana to the T, it was brief fun from the lads from down under.
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers-By The Way
Probably their best chorus in their later years...
3. Wilco-Jesus, Etc.
The strings make the song...and Tweedy's lyrics...
4. Bruce Springsteen-The Rising
In the wake of 9-11 came the tribute from the boss. Kind of resurrected his career.
5. Queens Of the Stone Age-No One Knows
The year QOTSA made their deepest impression.
6. Justin Timberlake-Rock Your Body
Everywhere in 2002. I repeat everywhere.
7. Spoon-The Way We Get By
We get high in the back seats of cars AND break into mobile homes!
8. Beck-Lost Cause
Beck showed a softer side...and it worked exceptionally!
9. Elvis Presley vs. Junkie XL-A Little Less Conversation
A fun mash up! Makes me want to go watch an Ocean's 17 movie!!!
10. The Roots-Seed 2.0
Would you name your baby Rock 'n Roll? Why not...
11. Flaming Lips-Do You Realize??
Besides battling robots, the Flaming Lips released this beauty in 2002.
12. Coldplay-Clocks