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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

June Choons

A lot of things to catch up on, and the universe has conspired to give me a nasty summer themed cold on the weekend when the weather finally returns to some semblance of normativeness. So I’m taking Will’s suggestion and parking myself in front of 2 screens.

June’s picks:

1. Alley Cat – Sherwood
One of the three bands I played to death this month. This song sums up Sherwood almost perfectly. Loops, guitars and lyrics I wish I had written myself.

2. Stars and Boulevards – Augustana
Shades of Travis in the opening chords, but much much better. Augustana join Sherwood as great discoveries made in June. Best lyric: Look out, they’re coming after us with big guns, they’re only gonna tell you all the bad things I’ve done, even if the words they say aren’t true, they’ve won, and now I’m left here dying in the sun

3. Over My Head (Cable Car) – The Fray
A popular choice, love the piano – guitar combo throughout.

4. Stuck Between Stations – The Hold Steady
This song has grown on me, and I’m still listening to The Hold Steady heavily. You have to go to Minneapolis to really feel them. Best lyric: We drink and we dry up and then we crumble into dust

5. Bruised – Jack’s Mannequin
Jack’s Mannequin (and Something Corporate) are one of my top 5 ever bands. Andrew McMahon would sing on the soundtrack to my life’s movie. Best lyric: I lace my trucks, I walk the aisle, I take my pills, the babies cry, all I hear is what’s playing through the in-flight radio, now every word of every song, I ever heard, that made me wanna stay, is what’s playing through the in-flight radio..

6. Leave Out The Rest – Linkin Park
Another slow(er) song from the new album that hits the sweet spot. Maybe they should give up the crunching industrial guitars..

7. August and Everything After – Counting Crows
Unreleased, quite rare and utterly anthemic. One of the best songs ever written. Really.

8. Familiar Landscapes – New Found Glory
Punchy pop-punk about going home to find things have changed. Best lyric: I’m on my way to a coast, where I know the roads, like the back of my hand, familiar landscapes..

9. Hater – Everclear
Art Alexakis is a really good songwriter, from the ‘less is more’ school of music creation. A great voice as well.

10. Hurry – The Starting Line
I’ve gotten my hands on the pre-release of the new album. This is one of my favorites. A feel good breakup song. Best lyric: I wrote a note, to my future ghost quoting words I spoke, that I meant only half the time

11. Lost It – Cartel
The song for June. Cartel’s August release is my most awaited album of the summer. June in a song line: It’s all coming back around, there she sees me on the ground, oh my God this is who I’ve been.

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Monthly Muzak

Something I started doing years ago was every month, making a tape/cd/minidisc/playlist (amazing how when I type that, I feel old – despite not having lived for a quarter of a century yet) of my 12 favorite songs. I wanted to be able to capture whatever mood I was in for that month so sometime down the line, I could try and figure it out.

May’s picks are here:

1. Sheila – Jamie T

One of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a long time, I love it when someone from the Isles refuses to sing in an American accent. Best lyric: Good heavens you boys, blue-blooded murder of the English tongue.

2. Who Says You Can’t Go Home – Bon Jovi
They may never be the choice of purists (and merely putting this up here will probably put me in the rejection pile at some agencies), but this song – about never being in the place you call home, reverberates with me in having moved so many times growing up. An emotional choice.

3. Hornets! Hornets! – The Hold Steady
The Hold Steady are one of my favorite bands at the moment, kudos to Pandora for figuring out I’d like them. Crafted lyrical angst = genius.

4. Come Right Out and Say It – Relient K
Power pop with a moral message. Musically it may be relatively simple, but the words run deep.

5. B.O.L.D – The Sugi Tap
Two-thirds of my favorite band ever (Eve 6) return with an EP full of great songs. Again I’m drawn to the lyrical depth as well as the throwback sound. Best lyric: I’ve been kept in the dark, and followed by the rain, I’m running down the drain, kid I’m falling down

6. Island – The Starting Line
Although not released yet, The Starting Line’s new record is probably going to be on of my most played records this year. Roughly the same age as me, I like the way they are growing up (and am getting there with me as well).

7. October 16th – Faulter
A deeply personal choice. Not much else to say. Best lyric: Better luck is on my wishlist

8. First Night – The Hold Steady
Listening to The Hold Steady’s albums is like reading a book, each one is a chapter with the main characters’ lives unfolding in your headphones. Love the piano in this song.

9. Hands Held High – Linkin Park
Generally I’m not as big a fan of LP as I used to be, but this song is anthemically politically charged. Shades of Fort Minor add a new dimension to the LP sound. Best lyric: My brother had a book he would hold with pride/a little red cover with a broken spine/on the back, he hand wrote a quote inside/when the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die

10. Little Wonders – Rob Thomas
I love Matchbox Twenty, having discovered them in my teens. A song about moving on.

11. Call Me Ishmael – Get Cape, Wear Cape. Fly
Acoustic guitars (and the piano) make words seem more raw to me.

12. Red & Black – The Sugi Tap
More Sugi Tap. See a pattern? This is an awesome song.
Lyric that sums up May: I’m alive, like the sound of the wrecking crew/I’m alone with the lights of the avenue/I don’t know, if I know where I’m going to/But it’s ok, I’ve got a clean slate.

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