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May 17, 2009: "Megasus" by Megasus.
Another awesome piece of Rock Band DLC, "Megasus" drilled a little patch in my brain and sat there for weeks. Also one of the most poundingly fun songs to challenge on Expert Drums.
November 16, 2008: I'd be remiss if I didn't give special attention to three songs I've sang loudly in my car many, many times over the past few months. All three bands and songs were introduced to me through the wonder that is Rock Band. Here goes:
"Bullets and Guns" by Them Terribles
Winner of an online vote at MTV2, it was released as DLC earlier in the year and immediately planted itself in my head. Catchy as all hell and fun to sing (especially when playing guitar at the same time). Check it out on MySpace. "She showed me how to shake a complicated kind of past / Now I know just why she moves so fa-a-a-ast!"
"Yomp" by thenewno2
From Dhani (son of George) Harrison's band, "Yomp" is a groovy little rocker and another one that lends itself to dual-action guitar/vocals fun (by the way, a mic stand is an essential purchase for rhythm action junkies). This one's on MySpace too. "I read the signs / it's hard to see how / to have it all / if you want your soul..."
"A Jagged Gorgeous Winter" by The Main Drag
First off, great title. "Winter" came included on the RB2 disc and defies easy characterization. Quirky, catchy electropop featuring two singers, this one you can download for free. "Got a jagged gorgeous winter from a summer's thread / All the lies you told about me / They were totally, totally, totally true."
February 23, 2008: "Do One" by Gomez.
This came up on an MP3 shuffle the other day and it hit me like a blast of Prozac. Just try not to smile, dance and sing. "Find me some time to find a way out of here / I'd be inclined to walk my way home"
January 30, 2008: "Aberinkula" by The Mars Volta.
It usually takes me a few listens to start really appreciating a Mars Volta album, but "Aberinkula," the tremendous opener of The Bedlam in Goliath, grabbed me right away. Just try and resist Omar Rodriguez Lopez's prog-funk stomp. "Have you seen the living / Tired of their own shells"
November 4, 2007: "Black Bubblegum" by Dillinger Escape Plan.
Man, oh man, the new DEP album is going to be out soon! In a year that's already been filled with a ridiculous number of high-quality, high-profile releases, this is a great capper. The album's currently streaming on their MySpace page and it's a fantastic continuation of the growth they showed in 2004 Best of Award winner Miss Machine. "Black Bubblegum" and its poppy falsetto will likely turn off the OGs wanting another Calculating Infinity, but I'm hooked (and don't worry, there's plenty of thrash to be found elsewhere, starting with opener "Fix Your Face"). There's so much musical virtuosity at work in DEP that it would be a shame to limit it to one style or sound...which makes the dynamic Ire Works that much more exciting.
October 10, 2007: "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" by Radiohead.
Did you know that a new Radiohead album came out today? Seriously. In what amounts to a gigantic "Fuck You" to the music industry, Radiohead revealed a week ago that their new album would be released independently at www.inrainbows.com. The kicker? There is no set price. The album is available as a digital download for whatever "donation" you deem fit. Keen lads that they are, though, they're also offering a "Discbox" that includes CD and vinyl versions of In Rainbows, a disc of additional new material, and books of artwork and lyrics all packaged in a fancy box for 40 pounds. The discboxes don't ship until December, but pre-ordering one now gives you access to the digital download as well. Gee, which one do you think I bought? I'm so easy...
[Shout out to Mike for giving me a heads up on all this craziness last week]
September 7, 2007: "Jerry Was A Race Car Driver" by Primus.
Gotta thank The Bigs for this one. I've never listened to much Primus, but this is such an awesome song. LOVE the head-banging "chorus" and Les Claypool's bass acrobatics. Can we get this song in Rock Band, please?
August 16, 2007: "Johnny Appleseed" by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros.
RIP John From Cincinnati. It's been a fun few months letting you bewilder and confuse us and I'm very sad to see you go, especially since it means we won't get to watch the amazing opening titles sequence anymore (early lock to succeed Dexter for titles of the year). Go download the fantastic Joe Strummer song, though, and John will live on in spirit in your MP3 player forever...
June 29, 2007: "Metal Airplanes" by Matthew Good.
The album version is only available on the Hospital stream for now, but I've been wearing out an MP3 of Matt performing "Airplanes" acoustically on a radio show. It's why nothing is going to keep me from seeing Matt on tour this fall. "Don't you mind the gap when you leave / There'll be time enough to turn tail tomorrow."
June 7, 2007: "Putting Holes in Happiness" by Marilyn Manson.
I'm not ready to comment on the new album as a whole yet, but you're guaranteed at least a handful of great songs with each new Manson album and "Happiness" is one of them. It's a return in sound to the fantastic Mechanical Animals and has one of his best choruses along with a roaring guitar solo by Tim Sköld. "You wear your ruins well / Please run away with me to hell."
May 29, 2007: "Atlas" by Battles.
Check out these YouTube clips for more Battles goodness: the awesome video for "Atlas" as well as a live performance; an interview with the band; and a clip from a live performance of "Tonto." You'd think they couldn't reproduce these songs live, but the members of Battles, all ultra-talented multi-instrumentalists, prove you wrong.
April 24, 2007: "Vessel" by Nine Inch Nails.
I want to give Trent a big hug for Year Zero, the closest he's come yet to the NIN dance album I've been begging for for years. The pounding techno gear grind, the computer spilling its innards in an orgy of noise, yeah, this is what I want from Nine Inch Nails.
April 5, 2007: "A Single Explosion" by Matthew Good.
Appearing on Matt's website earlier in the week, "Explosion" is our first taste of Matt's new album and I've listened to it a few dozen times already (gotta love ripping MP3s off of streaming music). I need this album so badly. The ending, where the instruments drop out and it's just Matt and a few piano chords, is heart-achingly beautiful. "By the bright lights in some ICU / On my chest you put your head / And said there you are / There you are / There's my heart"
March 30, 2007: "Capillarian Crest" by Mastodon.
This could have the SOTM for any of my posts from December on since "Crest" was never far from my playlist. However, I didn't include it before to keep my Best in Music winner a surprise. I worship this song. Watch the video and join the cult.
March 23, 2007: "Handshake Heart Attack" by The Photo Atlas.
More proof that licensed music for video games isn't wasted money: I've already bought Photo's new album. Thanks to Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam for this one. Here's the video.
March 2, 2007: "Pattern Against User" by At the Drive-In.
I've been listening to a good share of Mars Volta over the last few months, so it's inevitable I'd make my way over to At the Drive-In. Here's a nice live performance of "Pattern."
February 8, 2007: "The Rat Who Would Be King" by Matthew Good Band.
When I'm creating my Hall of Fame of "Songs I Sing/Bellow In My Car At The Top Of My Lungs," "Rat" would be a first ballot inductee (along with Matt's "When We Were Hunting Rabbits"). Wonderful catharsis after a long day. God, I love Matt so much. "And I've a grenade / With our names scratched on the side / But that's just love / And you know that love's not enough."
February 5, 2007: "The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)" by David Bowie.
From Bowie's wildly pretentious and overly ambitious concept album Outside. Such a strange album. Something about "art crime" and murder in the future, you've got creepy/ridiculous spoken word segues from the characters (all performed with loads of digital manipulation by Bowie, including the fourteen-year-old Baby Grace), some icky artwork, and, thankfully, a handful of good songs mixed in there (thanks a great deal to guitarist Reeves Gabrels and pianist Mike Garson). I mean, just look at the name of this song (it also features one of my favorite Bowie bizarro-lyrics, "Research has pierced all extremes of my sex / Call it a day / Needle point life blinds the will to be next / Call it a day"). For the record, the "anxiety descending" that appears in the title bar of my Journal Archive comes from this album's "I Am With Name." Just thought it sounded cool...
January 26, 2007: "11am" by Incubus.
Weird one this. I'm a casual fan of Incubus, meaning I mostly know the singles. I do have Morning View, though, and randomly gave it a listen a few weeks ago for the first time in years. Cut to the morning a couple days ago, I wake up and have a song repeating over and over in my head. Only thing is, I don't know what song it is. Sounds like a chorus, but I can't place it at all. I really want to figure it out, though, so I keep singing it in my head so it doesn't fade into my brain fog. Eventually, I manage to place the singer's voice as Brandon from Incubus and from there it was just a matter of grabbing my MP3 player and finding it. I don't know what subconscious desire to hear that song put it in my head that morning, but, accordingly, I've listened to it a thousand times since then (exaggeration). A nice, catchy little alt-rock song, it would fit perfectly with their other singles.
January 12, 2007: "Snail" by The Smashing Pumpkins.
Been on a Pumpkins kick lately. God, I hope Billy's still got his magic. It would be devastating on so many levels if the new Pumpkins album turned out to be a disappointment. Anyway, "Snail" is my favorite song off Gish. "Flower chase the sunshine..."
December 8, 2006: "Through Glass" by Stone Sour.
Same old, same old alt-rock, but it's been on repeat in my head all morning. "And it's the stars / The stars / That shine for you."
December 5, 2006: "My Out of Style is Coming Back" by Matthew Good Band.
Classic MGB from their second album. Always gets me in a good mood. "I sold the skin that I am in for a plan."
December 4, 2006: "Papagenu (He's My Sassafras)" by Tenacious D.
Yep, I'm still on the Pick of Destiny soundtrack...
November 28, 2006: "The Government Totally Sucks" and "The Metal" by Tenacious D.
Rocket sauce, cream dream goodness from the soundtrack to The Pick of Destiny. Any new D is always cherished and it's impossible to resist a song called "The Government Totally Sucks." Fun note: the song actually isn't in the movie; it's featured in a deleted scene with David Koechner and will be back on the DVD. "The Metal" runs during the closing credits--gotta love the tasty metal groove. Obey the D.
November 16, 2006: "Fuck the Pain Away" by Peaches.
Thanks to Jackass Number Two for this one (it basically got a whole music video during the "Old Man Balls" scene). I missed out on the Peaches fun when she hit the scene back in 2000, but damn this is a catchy song. Gotta love the no-money low-tech beats and sex, sex, SEX subject matter. Plenty of songs can get stuck in your head, but only this one will have you singing all day long, "Suckin' on my titties like you wanted me / Calling me all the time like Blondie / Check out my chrissy behind / It's fine all of the time / Like sex on the beaches / What else is in the teaches of Peaches? Huh...what..."
November 8, 2006: "Day of the Baphomets" by The Mars Volta.
Amazing song on an amazing album. The best part of this 12-minute epic is that it's really four or five great songs all in one. Crazy, adventuresome musicianship and songwriting by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala (fueled by raging guitar by John Frusciante) lead the way. Take a chance on this and current single "Viscera Eyes."
September 21, 2006: "Eurochild" by Massive Attack.
So, yeah, I'm now listening to Protection. If only Tricky could go out on tour with them...
September 14, 2006: "Butterfly Caught" and "Special Cases" by Massive Attack.
Finally, finally getting to see Massive Attack live at the end of the month, so I've been taking an extended jaunt though their back catalog. These two are from their 2003 album 100th Window. Can't get over the hypnotic, pulsing beats of Butterfly.
September 10, 2006: "Dani California" by Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Such a great song. Fantastic chorus, barnstorming outro solo, four stars all around.
August 25, 2006: "Lyrics of Fury" by Tricky.
Gotta love old school Tricky. "Fury" is notable as one of the only rap songs I can recite every single word to. God, that song is amazing. Also can't keep away from "Vent," "Sex Drive," and "Christiansands" elsewhere on Pre-Millennium Tension.
August 11, 2006: "Topless" and "The Diary of Jane" by Breaking Benjamin.
New album out this past Tuesday and these are my current favorites. I first heard "Topless" years ago when my friend Peter found a live copy, so I'm ecstatic to finally have a sexy studio version of it. It's generic alt-rock all the way, but when I have ever shied away from that?
August 3, 2006: "What Are You To Me?" by UNKLE.
Considering how much I love UNKLE's first album, it took me far, far too long to pick up their followup, Never, Never, Land. Sadly, DJ Shadow has departed, but Richard File ably fills in and even lends vocals to this track, a beautiful mesh of acoustica, piano, and breakbeats. Those open to some genre mishmash owe UNKLE a listen.
July 26, 2006: "Because of Me" by Seether.
The recipe for your generic alt-rock song is simple and reliable, which is why we've heard it so many times. Chunky guitar riffs, catchy, singable choruses...toss in a breakdown/solo leading to the final propulsive repeats of the chorus and you've got yourself an alt-rock hit! This one's just like all the others, but man, did I get hooked on it. If you turn your nose up at this stuff, walk away, but otherwise you'll be singing along before your first listen ends.
July 13, 2006: "The Eraser" by Thom Yorke.
I had no idea this album existed until my friend Jason told me a few weeks ago, so I guess that shows how out of the Radiohead loop I've been over the last couple years. Anyway, the album hit stores this past Tuesday and is worth a purchase for you true blue Radiohead fans out there. It's exactly what you'd expect: lots of blips and bloops, drum loops, Thom's trademark moans (though refreshingly clean of production wizardry), and a disappointing (though not unexpected) lack of guitar. The title track's my favorite right now. "The more you try to erase me / The more that I appear..."
June 28, 2006: "Alsatian" by White Rose Movement.
Much love to Entourage for introducing me to this one. Some songs just have that ineffable something that wins you over--"Alsatian" played during the closing credits of this past Sunday's episode. Two minutes after the show ended, I was online finding out the name on HBO's website and I bought the CD the next day (it's only out in the UK, so a nod of appreciation to Tower for having it for surprisingly cheap for an import). Something like Duran Duran if they had been writing gloomy metal songs, I'll be giving this album a lot of attention. Check out the video here and give it a listen.
June 27, 2006: "Bullet Charm" by Pretty Girls Make Graves.
Love that opening guitar riff and drum line. "We're running through alleys / And kissing in doorways."
June 9, 2006: "Only Hurts Awhile" and "Used Up" by Injected.
Yes, I'm still listening to the Injected album (pretty much a lock for a Belated Best Of Award at this point), but I've moved on to these two songs which have been camped out in my head for the last couple weeks. Well worth a listen. "Falling faster towards the ground / you are..."
May 23, 2006: "Faithless," "Bullet" and "I, IV, V" by Injected.
For a few week period in the Spring of 2002, if you watched any MTV2, you saw the "Faithless" video. I got hooked quickly and ended up buying Injected's debut album. It's been a few years, but I randomly broke out the CD again over the weekend and was blown away. It's your basic alt-rock and won't win any creativity awards, but the chunky riffs and choruses put it high above its Puddle of Mudd and Trapt ilk. Check it out.
May 5, 2006: "Rosetta Stoned" and "The Pot" by Tool.
Very happy with the new Tool album. The wank-off running-in-place sections of Lateralus have been cut, the "segues" are, for the first time, not just there to skip over and actually keep the album flowing gracefully, and the songs feel like they need to be 8, 9, 10 minutes long to get everything out, not that they were artificially stretched out. From the fragile, melodic opening to "The Pot" to the machine-gun spoken-word of "Stoned," there's a refreshing ebb and flow that makes the album's 76 minutes seem half as long. I simply can't stop listening to this album.
April 21, 2006: "Vicarious" by Tool.
As for the song itself? Thumbs up. I've been listening to Tool for a long time now, but I hated Lateralus. Self-indulgent, needlessly drawn-out, and punctuated by excruciating stretches of silence, it was a complete 180 from their brilliant Aenima. "Vicarious" only gives us a hint of what to expect from 10,000 Days, but I'm now cautiously optimistic. It runs over seven minutes, but the pounding guitars and drums take center stage the whole time with none of the grind-to-a-halt moments of Lateralus (it's much more akin to one of the longer tracks on Aenima). Maynard's vocals are pushed to the back of the mix, though if I want to hear his voice soar, I've got all the Perfect Circle albums for that. It's angry and driving (nothing better than Maynard growling "I need to watch things die") and could mark a return to form for the band (especially good since it takes them five or six years between albums).
March 30, 2006: "Way Out" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Their new album just came out on Tuesday and will be my constant soundtrack for at least the next few weeks. Polished and refined, it's an album of serious growth for the band and it can all be found in this track, a pop blast that absolutely must be a single soon.
February 10, 2006: "Blame" by BT.
Heard this last week on Drexel's awesome student-radio station WKDU, one of the few places to actually hear electronic/trance/weird/etc. music (too bad the signal doesn't even make it all the way to my apartment). BT's known more for his dancier tracks, but "Blame" shows he can write verse-chorus-verse rock with the best of them (tangent: one of the best concerts I've ever been to was BT with Hooverphonic opening).
February 1, 2006: "Nu Rock" and "Televisor" by Morningwood.
Another band I learned of thanks to Burnout Revenge (you'll read about the other one in the Best of 2005), Morningwood is a blast of pop-rock fun. Besides having a great band name (especially for a female-fronted band), they've got infectious hooks and sexiness to spare. They're not going to revolutionize rock music, but I'll settle for an RBI double instead of a home run.
November 17, 2005: "Hunting (The Universe Breaks My Heart)" by Abandoned Pools.
Abandoned Pools finally released their second album and it's fantastic. If you were a fan of the first one, go track it down immediately. Catchy as hell, great lyrics, propulsive drumming, there's lots to love here. "I've been hunting through forests, through the fields / I've been sailing across the raging seas"
September 22, 2005: "Just Got Wicked" by Cold.
No, it's not 2000 again, but I broke this CD out the other day for the first time in years and right away remembered why I bought it (along with "She Said"). Brings me right back to Sophomore year of college...
September 16, 2005: "The Fantasy" by Thirty Seconds to Mars.
I'm going to write more on 30STM some time later, but for now, just go to www.thirtysecondstomars.com and you can listen to the first three tracks off their awesome new album.
February 28, 2005: "The Mullet Burden" and "Sandbox Magician" by the Dillinger Escape Plan.
Yes, I'm still listening to DEP nonstop. These two kick off their first EP and run a little over four minutes long together. Furious blasts of early DEP glory. Savor the awesome riff that ends "Sandbox."
January 10, 2005: "Has It Come to This?" by The Streets.
Exuberant, very British garage rap; Mike Skinner lays down brilliant rhymes over a simple, bedroom-produced mix of slow techno-pops and jazz horns. A catchy oasis from the repetitive slog of today's pop music. "I do the science on my laptop / Get my boys mashed up / You're listening to the Streets / You'll bear witness to some amazing feats"
December 16, 2004: "Panasonic Youth" and "Baby's First Coffin" by Dillinger Escape Plan.
I'll be writing more about DEP very soon, but these are two of the best new songs I've heard all year long. Insane time-signature switches, tremendous technical prowess, and a lead singer who can take his voice all over the map. Loud, cathartic, and staggeringly original, Dillinger Escape Plan deserve to be loved by anyone who cares about rock/metal music. Amazingly, MP3s of both of these songs are available on DEP's official site (in the Discography section).
November 23, 2004: "Lakini's Juice" by Live.
Been listening to a lot of Live lately since their greatest hits came out. This one's by far and away my favorite Live song. A crunching, razor-edge guitar riff complemented by a swirl of violins and some of Ed's best inscrutable lyrics. I love this song...
November 17, 2004: "Evil" by Interpol.
Been on an Interpol kick lately, I'll admit, but this is probably the best song on their new album and should hopefully be one of their next singles.
November 4, 2004: "Passive" by A Perfect Circle.
From their newly released album of politically-tinged covers, eMOTIVe, this is actually the one original song on the album (besides an industrial remix of "Pet"). Here's why the song is so notable, though. Long-time Perfect Circle fans will recognize the song immediately, but not from the name "Passive." They'll know it as "Vacant," the long-in-limbo Tapeworm song that APC debuted at concerts over the past few years. Tapeworm was a side-project with Trent Reznor, Maynard James Keenan, and Danny Lohner, among others. While songs were allegedly written and recorded, none of them ever saw the light of day except "Vacant," which APC reinvented and played on tour in 2001. An awesome live song, it's finally gotten a well-deserved release and sounds great. Anyone who's heard of "Vacant" probably has eMOTIVe already, but if not, it's certainly worth of a purchase for "Passive" alone.
November 1, 2004: "Untitled" by Interpol.
An utterly perfect introduction to Interpol's 2002 album "Turn on the Bright Lights," it mixes a solemn, gorgeous guitar line with dirgeful drum and bass. Not only a great album opener, but an ideal concert starter too. The first five tracks of this album are across the board A+ ("Untitled," "Obstacle 1," "NYC," "PDA," and "Say Hello to the Angels").
July 29, 2004: "Bones in my Teeth" by Chainsaw Kittens.
On an entirely different wavelength from Error is Chainsaw Kittens, a playfully flamboyant pop-rock band. The catchy "Bones" goes from bouncy verses to slick rock choruses ("I like the noise / But it scares the ghost away / And I like to smoke / But it wastes my day").
July 20, 2004: "Nothing's Working" by Error.
Incredibly violent drill and bass from a new project by Atticus Ross (currently working with Trent Reznor on the interminably delayed new NIN record), his brother Leopold Ross, Brett Gurewitz (of Bad Religion), and Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Gregg Puciato. There's always a time and place... Download here. Enjoy!
July 19, 2004: "Frail and Bedazzled" by the Smashing Pumpkins.
Billy Corgan has b-sided more great rock songs than most bands will ever write and this one comes from 1994's collection of Siamese Dream and Gish outtakes, Pisces Iscariot. "She don't know / That I have / Stole my smile / From a Cheshire Cat."
July 13, 2004: "Giddyup" and "Free Los Angeles" by Baby.
Craig Wedren is a musical genius (see: Shudder to Think) with a voice in my personal top-five of all singers and Baby is his new disco-deathpop band featuring three singers (Craig and two sultry women), a delirious amount of computer production, and some of the quickest, catchiest songs around. Check out the samples on Baby's official site or Craig's site. The 11-song album is 32 minutes of great pop fun.
June 14, 2004: "The Blister Exists" by Slipknot.
Slipknot's new album "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses" is out and it is awesome. Early favorite for Album of the Year. They've expanded their sonic repertoire (Slipknot acoustic?? Fuck yeah, Slipknot acoustic!) and turned in their most accomplished album yet. "Blister" holds the coveted track two position on the album and takes no prisoners. A raging guitar line, punishing drums of death, and a rock-solid chorus. If your ears are the least bit attuned to aggro-speed-metal, check this out immediately.
May 24, 2004: "So Cold" by Breaking Benjamin.
Breaking Benjamin are awesome. Anyone who's a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins, Matt Good, and anyone else of that ilk owe it to themselves to check them out. Their first album is wire-to-wire great and their second is coming out at the end of June. Can't wait. This is their first single from the new release and is currently being streamed at www.breakingbenjamin.com.
May 5, 2004: "Alert Status Red" by Matthew Good.
Currently streaming off of his official site, it's the first single off his new album. Nice, stripped down four-piece rock.
April 9, 2004: "Maps" by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
This song's been my nonstop soundtrack for the past few days. Simple guitar/drums/vocals rock that I've just wanted to listen to over and over again.
April 1, 2004: "She Wants to Move" by N.E.R.D.
I've only been lukewarm on N.E.R.D. before, but this song is far too infectious to ignore. Impossible not to move when you hear it. Awesome bass line.
March 2, 2004: "Shiver" by Maroon 5.
This song owns me. Maroon 5 MUST make this a single at some point because I want it on the radio. Catchy and cool.
February 27, 2004: "I Am Hated" by Slipknot.
Oooh yeah, that Slipknot concert is only a little over a month away.