Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Under the Covers

So my fascination for today is covers. Yes, i know. They're the last vestige of bands without any new ideas but after hearing this band do a cover of Outkast's Hey Ya last night, i think that in some cases (as with Chris Cornell doing Billy Jean) the cover actually takes on a new life. It's amazing to me that these songs, when covered by someone with a guitar in their hands, sound like they could have been written that way originally.

So here's a hastilly written and poorly thought-out top 5 of my favorite covers.
1. Ghost of Tom Joad - Rage Against the Machine
2. Baba O' Reilly - Pearl Jam
3. Gin and Juice - Unknown (The Internets says it is Phish, i beg to differ.)
4. Dave Mathews - All Along The Watchtower (Technically Hendrix covered it from Bob Dylan, but hey, who's counting?)
5. Everywhere - Yellowcard (My Michelle Branch fascination is well documented.)

I'm practically begging you to add your favorites in the comments area. PLEASE.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday Morning Shuffle

Hope everyone had a good long holiday weekend and is now out of their Tryptophan induced coma. My family got me sick, which is wonderful. There’s nothing like being on your feet for 8-10 hours a day with a vicious cold that clogs your sinuses so much that your teeth hurt. Wonderful. On to the shuffle.

1. Anything, Anything – Grey Daze, off of No Sun Today
This is a fun story. This is originally a Dramarama song from the 70s. I had heard it a time or two and liked it, but never really knew who it was or where to find it (this was in middle school before words like downloading, Napster, burning or internet were real popular. Hell, CD was relatively new.) So anyway, the Edge (back on 106.3) had some kind of show on Sunday nights after SkaPunk, I can’t remember what it was called, but they played music from local bands and maybe 6 people listened to it. Well I was one of those 6, mainly because I liked that Chronic Future song, Scottsdale Brat, and that was the only place to hear it. Well, I was also an aspiring Bass guitarist at the time and so I was constantly listening for songs with good bass lines in them. One of those songs was by a band called Grey Daze and it was called B12, it had this funky slap bass lick that really drove the whole song. Fast forward a few weeks to the old Warehouse music store in PV mall and I found the CD in the local bands rack and bought it. The album cover was this dark background with a girl in pigtails and overalls walking through the grass. It kind of reminded me of the black hole sun video and I was into pigtails and overalls at the time, so it worked. Anyway, fast forward 4 years and I’m a senior in high school. I was kind of out of things to do so I tried out for show choir. To my surprise, I made it and during the first semester we had a retreat to get to know each other and work on some stuff. Anyway, I’m sitting at the fire the first night and I’m talking to this girl Jessica Rose -- this younger, tall drink of water with long brown hair and a million things to say about life and music and movies and everything else. And she starts talking about how her dad managed and produced all these local bands and asks if I had ever heard of the band Grey Daze…and I don’t need to tell you what my answer was. But it turns out that she was the girl from the cover, whom I had noticed in 7th grade but didn’t meet until late in high school. Small, weird world.
My random story aside, this song is awesome. In any form.

2. I Knew You Before – Dustin Kensrue, off of Please Come Home
Thanks to Chris Perry for hooking me up with this solo stuff from the singer of Thrice. More and more I’m getting to like sounds like this. It really reminds me of the Matt Costa stuff I was talking about a few weeks ago. Lots of good acoustic guitar, some blues and country sounds, harmonica and, of course, some very strong vocals. And since Chris is the man, here is the link to where it is uploaded. It takes a bit to download but it’s worth it. Enjoy, and many thanks to CP.

3. Would? – Alice in Chains, off of Alice in Chains Unplugged
It seems as though we’re getting an unplugged album on here each week. This is one of my favorite ones and Alice In Chains is certainly one of those bands deserving of what used to be the honor of being “Unplugged.” The funny thing about this CD is that some of the members of Metallica were sitting in the front row at this show. And you have to remember that this was pretty much at the absolute height of Metallica’s popularity. Jerry Cantrell and the members of Alice in Chains can’t help but make fun of them while they’re sitting there complete with a joke about LL Cool J and then playing the beginning of Enter Sandman. If you listen close to the album you can hear Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield laughing and saying stuff to the band. High comedy.

4. A Camera Lens and Careful Days – Lydia, off of This December; It’s One More and I’m Free
Lydia is a great local band, although they’re kinda missing a crucial member right now. Mindy’s voice is pretty amazing/haunting/goose-bump inducing and now it’s gone, but you can still enjoy it on This December… This is a pretty mellow track but it fits in the vein of the whole CD and is one of the more beautiful tracks as well. A lot of these local bands are going after it Ramones style, just jamming as hard as possible and screaming and being so emo it hurts but Lydia actually takes some time to make some art and we’re all the better for it. They put more thought into their music than most of the acts I’ve been into lately and I guess that catches me by surprise sometimes…which is weird.

5. No Sleep Til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys, off of Licensed To Ill
What can you say? Great track on one of the greatest/most influential/most unique albums ever created. Nothing else I can say.

Anyway, that’s enough for today. I’m glad I posted this baby early today because now I get to serve Italian food to stuck-up Scottsdale bitches and blue haired snowbirds from Minnesota, and lord knows I didn’t want this hanging over my head.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Concert Review - The Rolling Stones

How many times have you seen them on TV? Super Bowl halftime shows, commercials, HBO Specials, millions of things. So when they walk out onto a stage right in front of your face, it’s pretty damn surreal. And I mean, laughter inspiring surrealism. I probably laughed through the first 3 songs. Seeing Mick Jagger strutting and doing the chicken walk across the stage and seeing Keith Richards playing guitar bent over awkwardly like he was being held up by puppet strings, hearing those songs that I’ve heard thousands of times, it was just hilarious. It can’t really be described.
What can be described is how much I hate arena shows. This was the first concert at the new Cardinals stadium and man does that place suck. It’s gigantic and has a massive concrete wall at the far end, opposite of the stage. So what happens to music waves when they hit a flat concrete wall? Yeah, there’s just a wee bit of an echo. So if you’re sitting perpendicular to the stage, you hear the music from the speakers in one ear and then hear the echo of the sound in your other ear about 2 seconds later. It makes for a pretty interesting (annoying) experience. Also, sitting in the upper deck at the far end of the stadium makes the Stones look like ants. This is nothing new, but it’s the first time I’ve been to a show like that since high school so it reminded me just how useless it is to be in attendance.
Finally, the Rolling Stones, for as old as they are, are still real good. They don’t really do anything but play the same old songs but to be fair, they they play those old songs – which they’ve probably played 10s of thousands of times – with the same energy and passion as they did the very first time they played them. Would I still be excited about playing “Satisfaction” after 40 years? Hell no. But did the Stones come out and rock it just as well as ever? That would have to be a “yes.” Keith Richards actually ran around. Literally ran. The stage itself lifted up on hydraulics and drove down a track through the middle of the arena and sat back down at the other end of the stadium, giving a whole new set of people front-row seats. The backdrop of the stage was 90 feet tall and hollow so a few dozen people, who paid $500 for the seat, actually got to stand above the stage, look down on the band, and look out at the crowd. All in all, it was one of the coolest and most in-depth stage productions I’ve ever seen. It was like Cirque De Sole without the flying.
In the end, The Rolling Stones are just one of those bands that should be on everyone’s lifetime list. They’re just that kind of institution. That being said, if you’ve seen them on TV, that’s more or less the same thing too.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday Morning Shuffle

I'm up early (well, kinda) to get the Monday Morning Shuffle done in the Morning this time. I know i promised a concert review last Wednesday too but i got a little busy (socially) and never got to it. I'm still going to do it, probably have it up by this Wednesday instead. Additionally, i've taken all of your suggestions and made a list and i've been downloading them like a madman. As soon as i can organize them into CDs and listen to them, i'll give them their very own spots here. In a related technological tragedy, my iPod is now full, so whenever i get new music, i have to delete something old. This is obviously a painful process for me. So, like i said from the beginning, if you discover a band and would like to review them yourself, i'd love to have some guest posts up here. I appreciate the suggestions of course, but i'd love for this to be a chorus instead of a solo project. Just let me know in the comments who the band you're reviewing is and when you'll have it done and i'll get it posted for you.

Anyway, on to the shuffle.

1. Where you Gonna Run - Talib Kweli, off of Right About Now: The Official Sucka Free Mix CD
The iTunes is loving the underground hiphop lately. This is Kweli's most recent release and the official story is that these were tracks he recorded through his career but never released and he wanted to get them onto an album before the recording studio leaked them onto the internet for free. I really haven't had a chance to disect this album like i have the others but there are some superior tracks on this such as Where you Gonna Run, Ms. Hill (about Lauryn Hill) and Drugs Basketball & Rap. Additionally, for all you Phoenix people, Kweli is going to be performing at the Clubhouse (an excellent small venue for this type of show) on Dec. 2nd. I'd love to go but don't really know anyone else that would be interested. So, if you're at all interested, let me know in the comments. Drinks are on me.

2. Tao of Now - Saul Williams
I've always had this thought that of all the things that we try to make equal in this world, talent is the one thing we absolutely can't control. Some people are born with none, some people are born great at one thing and one thing only, and some people are born with heaps and heap of it and find skills in any avenue they persue. Saul Williams is the latter. He acts, he writes music, he writes books, he is one of the undisputed Slam Poetry champions in all of the world, he is one of the greatest political voices of our generation (think Ginsberg, DuBois, Robeson and Shakur wrapped into one) and most of you have probably never heard of him.
I first heard of Williams when a class i was in watched his movie Slam. It was about a guy arrested for selling small amounts of pot and put in jail next to the murderers and the rapists. He writes slam-style poetry in jail, pounds out beats on his bars and makes a few friends and avoids some ugly situations through his words. It kinds sounds hokey when i describe it that way, but it isn't and i highly suggest you rent the film. Anyway, i became a huge slam poetry fan after that and absorbed everything i could. Williams has 3 books or poems out, She, 'Said the Shotgun to the Head, and his most recent, The Dead Emcee Scrolls. He also has 2 solo cds out, Amethyst Rockstar and a self-titled album, both of which are fantastic. His music is mainly his poems set to beats but the productions and creativity is fantastic. This song, Tao of Now, is off of a compilation CD called Lyricist Lounge, and is probably one of my favorite poems and beats that he has.
I went to see him live in Boulder, CO when i lived there. The two opening hiphop groups got the house all wound up and excited and then Saul walked out onto this stage in this dark blue light. We didn't know if he was going to have a DJ or a band or if he was just going to read poems, but everyone was standing there, hot and sweaty from dancing, and Saul just said, "Everyone can take a seat because the only music i'll be playing is between the lines." He was carrying a tattered canvas messenger bag, wearing old Chuck Taylors like he was on his way to class or something, and he pulled out a journal from his bag, set the bag against the mic stand and just started to read various poems. In between he took questions from the audience and talked about where the world was headed and what we could all do to fix it. It was one of the most inspirational and moving nights of my existence.
If you haven't heard of Saul Williams, i highly, highly suggest you get into him. Whether it's the music, or the books, or the movie, or just looking him up on Wikipedia and reading some of his poems, you won't be sorry. He is one of the greatest artists of our short time here. I don't even hesitate to say it.

3. Mo Money, Mo Problems - Notorious BIG
Wow, talk about your all-time 180s. We go from one of the greatest poet activists of our time, to one of the people who was most resposible for turning rap into what it is today. Now don't get me wrong, this is a great song: a great beat, good rhymes, all the featuring artists you could ever want, but to mention Saul in the same shuffle with Biggy just doesn't seem right. I think the BIG man did some good things in his career, he had some songs that changed things, he said some things that got people thinking, he was absolutely one of the forefathers of rap music, he was influential to thousands of artists. Whether he made the right influences or not is up for you to decide. You can hear a little bit of biggy in every album out today, from the superb College Dropout album to the absurd Lil John albums. Just depends on which side you'd like to take.

4. Brand New Colony - The Postal Service, off of Give Up
I'm not going to lie to you. When i clicked next after Mo Money, Mo Problems it went back to Saul Williams then to a skit on Kanye's Late Registration, then to Common, then to this. And we've just had enough hiphop in the last 2 weeks so i had to skip forward and break the streak. I don't know what the shuffle on my iTunes is smoking, but it's probably Chronic.
I love this song from Ben Gibbard because it just sounds like the sounds from a really old video game, like PacMan or something. The Postal Service is great, i don't need to tell any of you this, let's move on.

5. As i Rise - The Decemberists, off of Her Majesty
There have been calls for The Decemberists for a long time so i'm glad they finally came up on the shuffle (Happy now Courtney???). I haven't had a chance to listen to this CD in it's entirety from front to back so i'll reserve passing too much judgement right now. But at first glance, i like this song. Despite it's only being 2:15 long, i think it has an interesting parlor song feel to it and i'm curious to hear how it fits into the mix of the rest of the CD.

Alright, i'll post something else this week, hopefully the concert review. If i don't catch you before Thursday everyone have a happy Turkey day and fall into a tryptophan induced coma on the couch listening to something good (or watching the Broncos win.).

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ron's Idea Come To Life

In yesterday's shuffle, Ron provided a great idea in the comments and that idea was to have a running list of musicians we'd love to see doing new stuff, reuniting with old or different bands, or just reincarnating themselves in different forms, etc.
His idea was Zach De La Rocha getting together with ?love and The Roots band and putting out a new album. And i couldn't agree more. I miss Zach's voice, his lyrics and his energy (Download Blackalicious - Release, Saul William -Act III, Scene 2, Shakespeare). So that's a great combo, and a great idea. Thanks Ron, for the comments and for the great idea.

So i could think of nothing, and i mean absolutely nothing, better than kicking this idea off with something that has already happened.
Preface: When Soundgarden broke up, i was sad. When Rage broke up, i was really sad. When i heard Chris Cornell and the remaining members of Rage were going to get together and form a band, i was super excited. When i finally heard Audioslave, i could not have been more disappointed.
So here's my wet dream of a band, that fortunately has already been done: Chris Cornell by himself, singing Billie Jean. And it's your lucky day, here is the link.

I always loved Cornell's voice, and it alternately sounds great and horrible in that track. And some of the guitar bugs me, but seriously, how haunting are those lyrics when he sings it? It gave me the chills. Please provide your ideas in the comments.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday Morning Shuffle

The Monday Morning Shuffle is consistently becoming the Monday Afternoon Shuffle but for the sake of continuity we’ll just leave it that way. I apologize for the tardiness but I’m betting nobody really cares.

Anyway, I want to address a few of Courtney’s comments from my last post before we get to the shuffle.

First off, I know Courtney has seen the movie from which this blog’s name is derived and I bet if she watched that movie again she would figure out where Kathleen Turner Overdrive came from and it really has nothing to do with Taking Care of Business or the amount of Kathleen Turner movies they play in AZ.

Second, I appreciate and agree with everything she said. A CD is a book, the songs are the chapters, you can’t just listen to one or two songs and judge the whole album. I talked about this in an earlier post, about how all songs are on a CD in a specific order and some bands and some producers put an incredible amount of time and effort into deciding the order. I’ve always liked and appreciated albums that were put together correctly and recently (since the days I lived with Courtney in CO) have become almost fundamental in my quest for listening to albums in their entirety. I guess when I lived with Courtney I had a tendency to download partials CDs and base judgments on that. I’ve grown up a little since then and now am a very staunch believer in having the entire CD before I press play. Even if I downloaded it off of Kazaa (or Limewire, if you will). So my judgments on my posts last week and, as you’ll notice, quite a few of my statements on the Monday Morning Shuffles, are based on the entire albums versus just a few songs.

I said last week in my comments about Radiohead that they were one of the bands that I just missed. Completely. So yes, I missed a lot of context by not hearing OK Computer and whatever other albums came between. One of these days maybe I’ll have the chance to go back and really dive into Radiohead. The reason I wrote that post was for someone to challenge me to really dig into the groups I didn’t understand, and Courtney did exactly that. I never pretended to say that I have really studied any of those bands and could make a seriously educated deduction. The initial title of the post was going to be “Bands I Don’t Like” but while I was writing, I was listening to them and was really actually enjoying the music. So I had to seriously backtrack and re-evaluate my position. That’s the point of the blog, to get stuff out in the open, to air it out, and to learn about music and become a better music fan. I’m glad that is starting to happen.
Finally, I appreciate Sigur Ros and their roots and their influences and I think that just sitting there and listening and meditating and feeling their music would be an excellent and enjoyable experience. However, as I’ve said before, my favorite bands and favorite albums are ones that I can put on anytime, anywhere and enjoy without having to put away special time or special incense for. That’s never going to change, I don’t think, and that’s why Sigur Ros and some of the other bands I’ve named will never make my Top 5 list of all-time favorites, no matter how good they may be.

Thanks for your time, on with the shuffle.

1. Extracurricular – At The Drive-In, off of Relationship of Command
Before they blew the world away with the Mars Volta (and to a much, much lesser extent, with Sparta), At The Drive-In put out some pretty damn good hardcore screamo whatever label you want to call it. Extracurricular is second only to One-Armed Scissor as far as my favorite ATDI songs. It has a really catchy hook and beyond that, it just pretty much rages. The drums really drive this song along in a hectic, loud and borderline out-of-control kind of way, but they never cross that line into noise. Very few bands pull that off. I also really like the guitar riff that echoes through during the chorus. Let’s put it this way, if you’re really feeling Remy Zero right now, you probably won’t want to get into ATDI, but if you’re loving the new Tool, then ATDI might be a logical step. Great workout music, to say the least.

2. Heart of the City – Jay-Z, off of Jay-Z Unplugged
Remember last week when I said that some people really deserved unplugged albums and lately MTV had just sold them out (wait, am I really surprised???) to anyone with more than 5 minutes of stage experience. Well I failed to mention that Jay-Z was one of those that I really liked. Whether he deserved the shot or not could be argued (I would say Yes) but what Jay did was completely make the most out of his unplugged shot. And it’s not even so much him, as in, we know he can rap, he really doesn’t do anything special in his own performance. But what he does do is get the Roots band to back him up. I love the Roots, and I love the fact that it’s Hip Hop to a live band. They’re amazing musicians and I love that they make so much better music than anyone with turntables and a beta machine could ever dream of. And to have them backing up Jay-Z and playing his beats and adding nuances and layers to his music that blow his records out of the water, it just makes the whole album. When they open up with Izzo, well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have goosebumps.

3. It’s Going Down – Blackalicious, off of Blazing Arrow
Blackalicious is one of my favorite hiphop groups ever. The lead MC Gift of Gab is one of the most talented rappers to never get played on the radio. Most know him from the Alphabet Aerobics track when he just rattles off rhymes using only words with the first letter of the alphabet, in order. It’s an impressive track to say the least but he has many more genius moments on the albums Nia and Blazing Arrow. My favorite track is the song “Release” which features vocals from Zach DeLa Rocha from Rage and of course my favorite poet in the world, Saul Williams. That song blows my mind. (I heard Gift’s solo stuff is also amazing.) One of my favorite Blackalicious moments happened when I would hang out and drink beers at Adam Pierce’s house in Tempe and he would put this record on (that’s right, vinyl). He had just the instrumental of the entire Blazing Arrow album, no lyrics, but it was just about the coolest fucking thing ever to chill out and talk while listening to. You can’t say that about too many rap albums.

4. Bedstuy Parade – Mos Def, off of The New Danger
Wow, this is turning into the underground hiphop shuffle today. Not that you could call Mos Def underground anymore but you can’t exactly say that his music is mainstream either. Mighty Mos is one of my favorite artists of all time but I can’t say that I really got into this CD. I love “Black on Both Sides” but this album just never caught me in the same way. I really appreciate what Mos tried to do on this album, he incorporated a bunch of different instruments and a lot of heavy guitar sounds and a lot of really atypical things that you wouldn’t hear on an album of this genre. And I appreciate his effort but it really didn’t work for me. It’s almost like he tried to be too different and use too many different time signatures and things. I don’t know. I’m hoping he gets back to basics on his next album. We’ll see.

5. Could Be Anything – The Eames Era, off of Grey’s Anatomy Soundtrack
My good friend Suzanne burned this soundtrack for me and as TV show soundtracks go, well it’s everything you’d expect. It has the token Postal Service, Rilo Kiley and Tegan and Sara songs, a little old school with Medeski, Martin and Wood, and a bunch of random cutesy tracks designed to make you feel like no matter how many bands you think you know, you’ll never know as much as whoever put that soundtrack together.

Alright, that’s enough for today. On Wednesday we’re going to have Championship Vinyl’s very first concert review. Yep, I finally made it out to see someone live for the first time in forever and I’m going to share about it. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Don't Make Me Work To Like Your Music

This was going to be called the Top 5 bands I’ve listened to and haven’t really liked, but then I realized I probably hadn’t given them enough time. So I went back and listened to each of them and realized that I was wrong about a few of them. So this Top 5 List is going to be called the “Tasted Better on the Way Up” Top 5.

1. Sigur Ros – Didn’t like them the first time, didn’t like them the second time. Although I do think it’s ballsy to call your CD “untitiled” and then have all the tracks be called “untitled 1-8.” Sometimes you’re just looking for music to ignore, you want something playing, but you don’t want to pay attention to it of be moved by it in anyway. That is Sigur Ros for me. I’m not taking anything away from them as musicians, because some of the songs are absolutely beautiful, but I just crave more from my music. I want it to effect me, and this doesn’t.

2. The White Stripes – I know some of you will be offended by this but I can’t like the White Stripes no matter how much I listen to them. I’ve tried, I really have. And sometimes I can even get through a song or two, but I just don’t get them, I don’t get what they’re about and sometimes I feel like they’re just making noise for the sake of making noise. Some bands can pull this off (Modest Mouse) and some just can’t. I liked that video, and I liked it when they were on the Simpsons, I just don’t like their music. Here’s hoping the Racontuers are better.

3. Elliott Smith – I like Elliott, I wish that I had known him pre-mortem, and I like his music in the right mood or when I need something to ignore. That being said, I’m a happy person and I’ve never been sad enough to really enjoy his music. Whether that’s a blessing or a curse is up to you to decide.

4. Arcade Fire – These guys definitely took some time to grow into. They were one of those bands who came out of nowhere and people were instantly obsessed and buzzing about them and I looked them up on Wikipedia before I even listened to them. I noticed they were from Quebec (French-canadian) and that they were some internet phenomenon. Well when something gets picked up by a ton of people and I miss it, I have a tendency to just naturally hate it, you know, just because everyone else likes it (see: Titanic, Livestrong Bracelets, Reality TV). So when I finally listened to The Arcade Fire, all I could think of was sissy French music with no drive or destination. It occurs to me now that I had already decided not to like them and so it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have listened to them a few times now and they’re growing on me. But there’s still something that sticks with me and I’ll cover that more at the end of this post.

5. Radiohead – This one will probably piss more of you off than the others and deservedly so. I remember when I was in 7th grade and the “Creep” song came out and I loved it. It had just the requisite amount of angst and a nice crisply-edged guitar riff and I really liked it. I actually heard it on the radio a few nights back and was reminded about how much I had completely lost Radiohead in all of their reincarnations since that song. Fast forward a few years and I’m listening to Kid A and I just don’t get it. I like it, but I just don’t understand it. Some of the choices they made in the sound effects and vocal arrangements just don’t make any sense to me. It’s like they messed with some funky effect and pedals just for the sake of messing with it and I’ve never understood why bands do that. I think the bottom line for me is that there are so many people who are just obsessed with Radiohead and everything the band does just connects with these people so deeply and so powerfully and that just doesn’t happen with me (if you’re one of those people, PLEASE explain it to me in the comments. Am I missing something?). I like them, but they don’t unlock the secrets of the universe for me like they do for others. Who knows, maybe I’m jealous.

Alright, here’s the thing about my relationship with these bands and bands like them. To really like a CD or a band, I don’t feel like I should have to be in a certain mood for it. A band that really jives with what I’m into, I will like any time, anywhere, in any mood. I like 85% of all the music I hear, so when I have to really work at liking a band, it catches me by surprise and it instantly turns me off. Music has always been one of the only things in my life that has come completely without effort and I really like to keep it that way. So for those bands that are going to make me work to understand them, it’s probably not going to happen. I like my art to be effortless and sometimes it seems like these bands put so much effort into being different or ground breaking or they're so worried about being mainstream that they over-complicate their own music. They add all these effects and weird instruments and they make musical decisions that although they may come off as genius and unique to some, they just come off as smug and arrogant to me. It's like they said, "Well let's record a cat dying right in the middle of this song and a nail file in this one and a pipe bomb full of goldfish in this one and fuck them if nobody likes it, we're artists and we're better than them." And sometimes that arrogance transfers to their fans to, but hey, that's a whole other post.

Send your hate mail and death threats in the comments.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Morning Shuffle

1. False Media - The Roots, off of Game Theory
I'll be honest, i just got this CD and i haven't had a chance to really digest it. That being said, i love the Roots, i've heard nothing but good things about this CD, and i'm really glad the Roots took another turn at making a political statement. People with the loudest voices need to be saying these things. I talk about them on Everything is A-Ok all day long, but like 7 people read that right now. Anyway, this CD is going to have to be really damn good to compare to the Tipping Point (their last album), but i'm crossing my fingers. Bottom line, The Roots have always been good, they've been around a long damn time and unlike another formerly good formally underground hip-hop group i could mention, they haven't resorted to hiring a meth-head with very little talent and a heinous face but a decent body to sell their records.

2. Running on Faith - Eric Clapton, off of Eric Clapton Unplugged
Remember when MTV did unPlugged shows with only the biggest groups and even then, only with people who actually had the talent to pull it off? Nirvana, Eric Clapton, Alice-In-Chains...all of them talented, and huge draws at the time they did the show. Yesterday while channel surfing i was a show that said "MTV Unplugged" so i clicked on it to see who it was, hoping for one of the greats. It was fucking Ricky Martin.

3. Midnight Show - The Killers, off of Hot Fuss
I love this CD when it first came out and then it got overplayed in a hurry. Some people think it compares to Pearl Jam in its longevity but i disagree. Does anyone have any thoughts on their new CD? I haven't heard it yet but i have heard mixed reviews. Anyone who loves it/hates it can have their own post on this site if they'd like to review it for me. (And send me a copy.)

4. The Velorium Camper III: Al the Killer - Coheed & Cambria, off of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
That's a damn mouthful isn't it? Full Disclosure: Co&Ca is one of my absolute favorite bands. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being a basic music fan, 10 being the obsessed kids flipping through the comic books and liner notes trying to pick up any single clue they can as to the story of Coheed and Cambria, i'm about a 7. I'm not trying to determine the story for myself, but i'm definitely interested in it and will be in line buying the next CD the moment it comes out (unless Perry can get it for me early, like he always seems to do.). So anyway, for those of you who don't know, here is a basis of the story so far. And for those of you who have never listened, i definitely suggest giving them a try. They're not for everyone so i can't guarantee everyone who reads this will like them (Suzanne, ahem.) but if you like addictive guitar riffs, soaring solos and a lead singer with a massive afro who sounds like Geddy Lee from Rush, i highly suggest you check them out.

5. So Far Away - Dire Straits, off of Sultans of Swing
Not the song i would have picked from this Cd but hey, it's the shuffle, you can't argue. Anyway, back in the day, when i still thought i loved country music, i was in a car on the way to baseball practice when one of my friends (who may, or may not have been Brandon Peyton) had Money for Nothing playing in his Dad's truck. The guitar solo at the beginning was so damn mind blowing that it just stuck with me. This is probably one of the very first glimpses i had of what rock music could be like and while it may not have been the defining moment in my conversion from country, it was definitely a crumbling in that foundation. Dire Straits is a great older band and really has a lot of the same characteristics of what i like in a band as coheed. Great catchy riffs, pretty great lyrics and awesome solos. I didn't think i'd ever be comparing Dire Straits to Coheed but hey, that's what you get with the Shuffle. Oh and MBFY.

Alright, that's enough for today. Tune in Wednesday when i inject some major controversy into Championship Vinyl.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Half-Marathon Playlist

Alright, this isn’t finished yet but this is what I came up with just scrolling through iTunes. I like to work out to harder music with a solid beat and stuff that will distract me (ie. Good lyrics, a story, etc.). I also like some continuity among the music so I put a couple songs in a row. We’ll see how it works out. I’m going to go give it a test run (pun very much intended) right now.

1. Tom Petty – Running Down a Dream
2.-8. Rajiv Patel – The Retaliation for what they’ve done to us
I’m using this whole CD because it has a great beat to run to and it’s perfect to get me into the rhythm I’ll need. It’s 27 minutes long and should get me through at least 2.5 miles.
9. Fall Out Boy – Of All The Gin Joints In All The World
10. Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance
11. Fall Out Boy – Sugar We’re Going Down
12. Modest Mouse – Float On
13. Mos Def – Fear Not of Man/Hip Hop
14. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Higher Ground
15. RHCP – Suck My Kiss
16. RHCP – Slow Cheetah
17. RHCP – Make You Feel Better
18. Tool – Vicarious
19. Tool – Jambi
20. Tool – Schism
21. A Perfect Circle – Magdalena
22. A Perfect Circle – Three Libras
23. Coheed & Cambria – Ten Speed
24. Coheed – The Suffering
25. Coheed – 33
26. Coheed – A Favor House Atlantic
27. Fivespeed – Fair Trade
28. Guns & Roses – November Rain
29. Bob Seger – Against the Wind
30. Eric Clapton – Running on Faith
31. Hoobastank – Running Away
32. Run Fay Run – Isaac Hayes
33. Pink Floyd – On The Run
34. Snow Patrol – Run
35. Soul Asylum – Runaway Train
36. Steve Miller Band – Take the Money and Run
37. Talib Kweli - Where you Gonna Run
38. Three Doors Down – Duck and Run
39. Thursday – Running from the Rain

40. I need something to end with. We Are the Champions is a little too cliché and maybe a little too dramatic for a kid who will stumble in the middle of the pack on a HALF marathon and isn’t actually winning anything.

Alright, this is just a preliminary list. Just like the race, this will take some training and some dedication. It’s all out of order and doesn’t really have the continuity I need it to. Besides, it’s already at 2.5 hours and I really wasn’t planning on running that long. We’ll see I guess. I’m sure I’ve missed some crucial songs.

Please give me your suggestions in the comments.