Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ridiculous Band Names

Cracked Magazine (yes, it's back) has made a list of the Top 25 Most Ridiculous Band Names and it's pretty funny. I have to say that the list seems rather proportional to the suckiness of the band as well...

Here's my personal top 5 list of ridiculous band names:
5. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (How about no, no, no.)
4. Five For Fighting (Pretty sissy song for a band named after a hockey penalty...)
3. Fountains of Wayne (huh?!?)
2. Jefferson Starship (was supposed to be an updated version of Jefferson Airplane, might have turned out to be the worst band ever.)
1. Snow Patrol (I actually briefly enjoyed their work so this isn't based on my taste for their music at all. I just hate this name with a passion. It has no relevance to their body of work and just seems one of those names that happened when everyone was stoned and someone said something and everyone stopped and said, "That would be a good band name, dude." only it sounded clever while everyone was messed up. Upon becoming sober, most people would have forgotten the name, these guys, however, were nominated for a grammy with it...Here's the story (from Wikipedia): "In a recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine, bass player Paul Wilson joked the reason for the name stemmed from an encounter with police in Telluride, Colorado. The band members apparently were caught trying to cut down a Christmas tree from the skiing hotspot. The band successfully eluded the police when they hid in a cave for over five hours. Drummer Jonny Quinn suffered from pneumonia after the ordeal."

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Monday Morning (ok, Night) Shuffle

Sorry this took me so long to get to. I had an insane morning, there was just no way i could take the time out to write it. My apologies.
This will also be interesting because these will not be the first 5 songs of my day, as they typically have been, instead, i have listened to music a lot today and this will be the last 5 songs of my day. Could be interesting....

On with the shuffle:
1. Fuck You Slowly - Tenacious D
No little kids read this right? Right?
Funny that this song came on because i just happened to make a pilgrimage back to Mill Avenue and The Big Bang Saturday night. It was probably the first time since i graduated that i was back hanging out with the college kids, raising a glass (of water) and singing my lungs out to the dueling pianos. That place is still fun, even if i felt like 420 years old.
Well they play that song at the Big Bang, because it's just generally an awesome song to play in a room full of 20-somethings that are drinking and hoping to end up sharing body heat with someone later in the evening.
Great song, great subject matter. No art needed. Just come right out and say it. HAHA. I've probably heard it 500 times, and it still makes me laugh. (also appropriate given the title of this blog and the Jack Black connection that lay theirin...if you don't know what i'm talking about, stop reading and go watch High Fidelity. Don't come back until you do. Seriously, i'm not even joking.)

2. In The Cold Cold Night - The White Stripes, off of Elephant
This song is surprisingly beautiful and enjoyable. I've NEVER liked the White Stripes, not even a bit. But not there are 2 songs on this CD that i like and i'm wondering if, like a virus, this CD is starting to spread a little bit. I don't think i'll ever completely like it, but it is growing on me.
I was kinda writing the last few sentences of the last song as this one came on, and i didn't immediately recognize it...so i open up iTunes to see what it is and i was pretty surprised with the result.

3. No Joy In Mudville - Death Cab For Cutie, off of We Have The Facts And We're Voting Yes
Mostly, i really like Death Cab. This song is not working for me. Too slow, too many effects and weird sounds. I'm sure i'd love it in the flow of the entire album, it just isn't working for me in this venue. It's actually actively bothering me. I'm hitting next. I never do this.

4. Cambridge - Motion City Soundtrack, off of I Am The Movie
So i've often spoke of the traits of my favorite CDs...a good flow from song to song, how the organization is important, how the first song - like a lead-off hitter in baseball - can set the tone for an entire album, and if the first song doesn't work, it can ruin an album. So let's do a little top 5 of best Track 1's, Side 1's in my uneducated opinion:
5. Bombtrack - Rage Against The Machine
4. Black Dog - Led Zep IV
3. Enter Sandman - Metallica, Metallica
2. Son Et Lumiere - The Mars Volta, De-loused in the Comatorium
1. Welcome To The Jungle - Guns and Roses, Appetite For Destruction

There are a ton more we could list, but these were all Lead-off Homeruns. Now let's talk about this song: IT'S A TOTAL STRIKEOUT! I bought this CD because i liked one song off of an epitaph CD sampler and i put it on at the beginning of a road trip, and this song was just putrid. Almost ruined the trip...but i forged through it and I can say that i've liked every single one of their songs on 2 cds since this song. That's 25 out of 26 songs that i've loved, and 1 that i can't listen to at all. How the hell did that happen?
5. Carry On - Crosby, Stills and Nash
This is one of my favorite CSN songs of all time. Between this one and "Lee Shore" these are really the only two songs that i'll actively search out and listen to on purpose. This song has this raging guitar intro that would absolutely thrash were it not played on an acoustic guitar. Then there's this little break down section in the middle that is almost jazzy, with the 3 men succeeding in sounding like a 25-person chorus in the high-harmony that is so characteristic of their finest music. A terrific song all around, and a perfect way to end the Monday Night Shuffle.
Goodnight all.

The Monday Morning Shuffle

Will be written tonight...probably. Sorry.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday Morning Shuffle

Alright, busy day today. Lot's going on. Let's just get right down to it.

1. Flesh Into Gear - CKY, off of Infiltrate.Destroy.Rebuild
Most of you are familiar with CKY's sound from countless hours of watching Jackass. Bam's brother Jess is the drummer of this band and Jackass (and Bam) really got their start from being complete idiots on these promo videos called, creatively, CKY. If you haven't seen them, and you want to explore the roots of Bam, The Margera family, some sick skating and the performance art chaos that these fine individuals have perfected, then go find CKY, CKY2k, CKY3 and most importantly, Landspeed. Landspeed started it all...very few people know this. Also, CKY stands for Camp Kill Yourself.
As far as the band goes, i really like them. They rock for the sake of rocking. They have a crisp metal sound that doesn't go over the top in its brutality and i really like the sound of the lead singer's voice. They do some pretty unique things with effects and lyrics and they're definitely worth a listen. Some of it is actually rather catchy.

2. Don't Drag Me Down - Social Distortion, off of White Light, White Heat, White Trash
Last week, I decided to go nuts and download every Social D and Deftones song i could find. I was honestly surprised that the RIAA police didn't knock down my door that very moment. These are two bands that have massively obsessed followings that i never got into myself. I decided to give them a chance.
I've always liked Social D for the same reasons i like CKY above. They just rock for the sake of rocking. Let's get everything up tempo, let's get some good hard guitar going, let's beat the drums until our knuckles bleed and lets sing the lyrics like we've got an extra set of vocal chords, if we ruin these ones.
This song is no different. Good solid rock and roll fundamentals...verse, chorus, verse, guitar solo, chorus, done. I love it.

3. Free Bird, Lynrd Skynyrd
Jesus, am i over my head now or what? How do i write about this song? How do i even put it into context? Which part of the 10:07 do i talk about?
Ok, i figured out what to talk about: Why do people yell 'Play Freebird!!' at every concert? A simple google search proves that other people have spent quite a bit of time thinking about this very thing...in fact, the Wall Street Friggin Journal wrote quite a few words about it.
My favorite "Play Freebird!" moment happened a few months back when i was at the Mos Def show in Brooklyn. It was kinda quiet, Mos took a ton of time in between songs, looking at the set list, talking to the musicians, taking his jacket off, drinking water, talking to the audience...so he walks up to the mic after what had to be 3-4 minutes of silence and right as he's about to say something, someone yells it...Mos immediately cracks up, stumbles back a few steps and then just sits down in the middle of the stage with his head in his hands, laughing his ass off. I think he laid down at one point, and then gets up, walks back to the mic and says, "Fucking Free Bird???" and they go into the next song. Hilarious.
(and because it deserves mentioning, i pulled up google, did the search, read the article, wrote my little story about it and already typed the number 4 for the next song before Freebird finished...)

4. The Arcade Fire - Neighborhood 3 (Power Out), off of Funeral
I could have sworn i talked about this song in a shuffle before but it turns out that i haven't. I did mention it a week or two back in my Beats, Part 1 post.
This is without a doubt my favorite Arcade Fire song to date...it just rocks. I love the sound of it, the beat and the guitar. This is a song you can dance to. I really fell in love with it one night at The Hard Rock casino in Vegas when i was there with Nole, Ron and Jesse for the POOL show. We had met some other guys from the show and they had driven us over to the casino to hit another bar (we had been at The Palms and it sucked). As we were walking in from the parking garage, this song was playing over the main stereo and i asked the guy i was walking next to what he thought of the band, since i was still deciding if i liked them or not. He gave me a great explanation (although i'll be damned to remember what it was.) and the song just struck me as awesome as we walked through the casino listening to it.
Oh, and here's the inspiration for the song...

5. Every Ghetto, Every City - Lauryn Hill, off of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Again, i'm out of my league here. This song, this CD, this artist, is just flat out amazing and nothing i can say can do it justice.
This is one of my favorite songs on the album, just because her voice is so alluring and the beat is such a toe-tapper. It's just good.
Come back Lauryn. We need you. (i'd take a solo cd, a Fugees reunion, anything.)

Alright, that turned out pretty well. Wish i had some more time to discuss, maybe i'll come back tonight and add to it.

Have a good Monday.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday Morning Shuffle

Too tired for stories. Let's just get on with it. (Back in the day when i started this, i was unemployed with no prospects. I created this blog -- and the others -- as a forum to continue reading and writing and push myself creatively instead of sitting on the couch all day. I picked Monday MORNING Shuffle because it had a nice ring to it and because i needed a reason to get out of bed before noon. Now that i'm gainfully employed and i'm waking up early anyway, Morning is a regrettable choice. However, I will push on.)

1. We Know - Talib Kweli, off of The Beautiful Struggle
When this CD first came out, i listened to it a lot. And then i just quit. Not sure why. But this weekend, after spending about 12 hours in the car driving to LA and back, i listened to it straight through. Actually i pretty much listened to every Kweli song i had on there and i gotta say i think i'm getting back into him in a big way. There was a lot of stuff that i missed the first times through. Don't you love that?
Anyway, this song is a slow one but beautiful in both its sound and subject matter. It is also dated in some of its rhymes, which is kinda hilarious just because things have changed so much since then. Kweli says something like, "We can cruise like Tom and Penelope." and until i heard that, i totally forgot that relationship ever existed. Hilarious.

2. The Late Greats - Wilco, A Ghost is Born Again
Wilco is another one of those bands, like The Decemberists, that i find myself loving and hating depending on the mood i'm in. This song i particularly love. Not sure exactly why, the music just strikes me as compelling and the melody is catchy. Some of their stuff is slow and boring and experimental and noise for the sake of noise and the vocals aren't good enough and the lyrics not interesting enough to make me continue listening. This song is the opposite of that.

3. Don't Ask Me - OK Go
Has a band ever received more fans from a youtube video ever? Because i never listened to them much before this video and now i'm constantly keeping my eyes open for them. Good for them and hurrah for technological liberation.

This thing has over 4 million views...

4. Wonderful Day - O.A.R., off of Stories of a Stranger
This CD is one of the best road trip albums ever (in fact, i'm kind of angry with myself for not listening to it over the weekend.) It's happy, it's poppy, the sing-a-long factor is through the roof. This is a CD that will keep you awake on 1 hour of sleep (especially when added to Red Bull and sunflower seeds.). I don't even care if this isn't your type of music. If you're a music fan, then you like beats and melodies that compel you to move and sing. You can't argue with me about this. If you don't have this CD, or are too emo to think that you'll like happy music, then you've completely missing out.

5. Papa Loved Mama - Garth Brooks, off of Ropin' The Wind
This is interesting twist to the shuffle...Garth is absolutely the only country i will allow on my iTunes (only mainstream country that is...Pat Green, Robert Earl Keen and other "texas" country artists are allowed.)
I have to give Garth (and country music) a little credit in this one rite, it is the only genre of music that will sing about a truck driver husband driving his rig into a hotel room, thereby killing his cheating wife and presumably her lover, and make it sound like a great song to sing along to, dance to and cheer for at a live concert. It's absolutely hysterical.
My favorite Garth moments in life, and believe me these happened a lot, were when i'd get home from work in college and Danny Bogen, my roommate at the time, would already have a big drink poured for me, a few shots lined up, the Playstation tuned up to NHL Hitz and Garth blaring on the stereo. I can't tell you how many times we'd be signing and hooting and hollering and generally howling at the moon in our living room until the wee hours of the morning as we got piss drunk and laughed our asses off singing Friends in Low Places. I tell you what, it may seem stupid to you, but those nights were some of my favorites ever. Ever.

Alright, thanks for reading. Have a good week.

Friday, June 08, 2007

This is Why i Hate, This Is Why, This is Why, This is Why, This is Why I Hate

Not that long ago, i wrote a few thousand word defense of rap and hip-hop (which received one comment. Seriously, what the fuck?!?). Today, i came across this Village Voice "breakdown" of This Is Why I'm Hot which just made me laugh. It's top notch, tongue in cheek and absolutely the reason that i hate this song, and others like it.

Also, check out Kweli's take on this song. Pretty quality.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Like Heavy metal for girls..."

Here's a good article for all you Fall Out Boy-genre haters (and a new reason to hate them, because Wentz compares himself to Bob Dylan, which makes me want to puke a little bit.):

June 6, 2007 -- ONLY a few years ago, Jonathan Daniel had hit 40 as a failed hair-metal god replete with gray hair, stolid paunch and a penchant for faded, tapered denim jeans. Bob McLynn, a Mr. Clean look-alike one decade younger, was a failed post-hardcore bass player living off a deficit account.
So it makes an odd kind of poetic sense that together, as the masterminds behind the New York-based agency Crush Management, they are responsible for some of the most popular, ubiquitous and critically savaged emo/pop-punk bands of the moment - Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, The Academy Is . . . basically, any band that a 13-year-old girl with a blog and Hot Topic habit obsesses over.
“[I thought] as long as I could figure out how to make money with artists, it’ll be a business,” says Daniel, whose face shines with a fine film of sweat and who punctuates nearly every thought with a high-pitched, machine-gun-style laugh. “And the turning point came when I found Fall Out Boy.”
How Daniel found Fall Out Boy is in dispute (he says he stumbled across a song on the Web; FOB bassist/lyricist Pete Wentz recalls mailing in a tape), but the band was the first act Daniel and McLynn signed to their struggling company - though Daniel was skeptical.
“I was like, ‘I don’t know. They’re so green,’ ” he recalls. “But Bob was like, ‘I know what to do.’ ”
McLynn threw the band in a van and had them tour the country for a year, while Wentz intuitively built up a fan base - albeit primarily among 13-year-olds - by creating a patina of intimacy with them online. Which, to suburban girls suffering from strip-mall ennui, felt very real.
“And then I went to see FOB down at the Continental for a little Sunday afternoon show, and there were 300 kids there, at 3 in the afternoon, singing every word to every song,” says Daniel. “I started going crazy. This was the new way to reach kids.”
Fall Out Boy’s success has spawned a legion of sound-alike, look-alike bands, several of which are now signed to Crush, including Panic! and Academy - both discovered by Wentz. He also encouraged Crush to sign the supremely goofy rap-rock outfit Gym Class Heroes, who just had a No. 1 hit with “Cupid’s Chokehold.”
Much like Lou Pearlman - the crooked impresario who created and controlled the ubiquitous boy bands of the mid- to late ’90s - the guys behind Crush have successfully marketed a critically dismissed, yet commercially successful, stable of cute boy bands to timid teenage girls not yet ready for real rebellion.
“It’s no different than *NSYNC with guitars,” says Butch Walker, a producer and songwriter who has worked with FOB and Academy. “Which they’re not. But I don’t think [these] kids are as critically discerning as they would be if they were older.”
Crush’s management style borrows from Pearlman’s business model, as well as parts of Motown and the Brill Building. They’re a factory, operating out of a single loft-like office space on East 11th Street.
The recording studio is in the back, as is the in-house producer, a lanky, talkative 37-year-old journeyman named Sam Hollander. The merchandising is run out of the front. The on-call video director, a super-chill 38-year-old “Sound of Music” obsessive named Alan Ferguson, has a room of his own, littered with candles and DVDs of old Hollywood musicals, while core songwriter and producer Walker is based out of Los Angeles.
Shrewdly, Crush simply manages this team. None of these artists is on the Crush payroll, but when they work with Crush artists, Daniel and McLynn - who pointedly and often refer to their company as a “family” - get a cut.
“It’s not as ugly, seedy, inside-job as it seems with us,” says Walker. “It’s really like a family.”
Until now, Daniel and McLynn have intentionally remained anonymous, which allows their biggest bands to seem like part of an organic movement rather than extensions of a calculated, cultivated brand.
Fall Out Boy, Panic! and Academy specialize in baroque videos with narratives not seen since the ’80s, as well as logorrheic song titles only an adolescent could love: “Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part To Save the Scene and Stop Going to Shows),” “Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends” - Fall Out Boy tracks both. “The kids get so deep on the lyrics,” says McLynn. “They speak to kids on a level that no one’s spoken to them before.”
Also unofficially employed by Crush is Fall Out Boy lyricist/bassist Wentz, the band’s most famous member and the elfin, guylinered mascot of the entire scene. A pop-culture obsessive who spends an inordinate amount of time online, Wentz basically works as their A&R guy, having signed all three bands to his own label, Decaydence, which is also managed by Crush, as is Wentz’s clothing line, Clandestine.
“It can get incestuous,” Wentz concedes. “Crush manages everything I do - almost everything. I pee on my own. But it’s a trickle-down theory of economics that really works.”
“Wentz is an entrepreneur,” says Walker. “He was a bored kid from the suburbs who was like, ‘I’m gonna have more T-shirts to sell than songs in my set list.’ ”
Wentz himself - who recently hit a new, Us Weekly level of celebrity by hooking up with the dubious likes of Ashlee Simpson - admits that “Fall Out Boy is the way I support my lifestyle.”
“All the bands judge each other by how much merch they sell,” says Daniel.
Such crass commercialism has long had its place in hip-hop - Wentz himself aspires to be like his mentor and Island/Def Jam president Jay-Z - but in Wentz’s scene, not so much. This makes him one of the most loathed figures in rock, suspected of exploiting his fans’ false sense of a confessional community in the interest of selling CDs at $20 a pop. And the Crush bands are among the very few, in the age of file-sharing and downloads, who can; FOB’s latest record, “Infinity on High,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Yet these profit-margins haven’t translated to critical respect, or fans over the average age of 15. Daniel, to his credit, isn’t so shocked. He admits that the bulk of his bands aren’t so familiar with rock.
“Panic! in particular - I think their musical history traces back to the first Third Eye Blind album,” he says. “That’s it. Like, the guy producing their record gave them ‘The Beatles Anthology.’ And they were very excited, but they didn’t know any of it.”
Also, Daniel thinks that FOB and its spawn are disparaged by critics because “they’re very much like the hair bands of the ’80s, like Motley Crue - it’s, like, heavy metal for girls. This scene is very much like that. It’s very female-based.”
“He couldn’t be more on the mark,” says producer Hollander of Daniel’s assessment. “Dead on. If you were a hipster, like I was at that age - God, you wanted to laugh at it. That’s exactly right.”
“It’s not edgy,” says songwriter Walker (he’s also written and produced for Pink, Avril Lavigne and Bowling for Soup). “It’s no different than the hair metal movement that Bon Jovi pioneered,” he says. “When those girls outgrew New Kids on the Block and Debbie Gibson and started smoking cigarettes and hanging out with boys who drive Camaros, they started listening to Bon Jovi. And that music was not good either.”
Walker, whose tastes run more toward the Arcade Fire, concedes that a lot of the Crush bands sound “so same-y - they all have the same look, play the same guitar songs, all the songs are about the same s - - -. I think that’s why the critics don’t like it.” He pauses. “Jonathan may not be the poster boy for what is indie-cred cool, but if he was, he wouldn’t be successful. Let’s not have our head up our ass and shoot ourselves in the head with the hipster gun. And I think that’s why the company is equally loved and loathed.”
To Wentz, it’s all just white noise. He sees himself as one in a long line of great artists who, in their prime, were profoundly misunderstood: “You know, Bob Dylan plugged in and everyone started booing,” he says. “Thirty years later, he’s hailed as one of the greatest artists of all time. There are plenty of ways to get rich. It’s very easy. But if you want to be involved in this, you want to be involved for the legacy of your art.”
He prefers to see himself and Crush as a latter-day version of Andy Warhol’s Factory. “The most important thing is the brand, and the shift in popular culture we’re making,” he says. “We don’t have meetings about what color we should dye our hair.”
And so next month, the band - which to date has employed monkeys, Wentz’s dog Hemingway, and Kim Kardashian in its videos - will expand its navel-gazing oeuvre by shooting its next video in Uganda.
“Pete and the band want to focus a lot of attention on humanitarian efforts,” says director Ferguson. “The band is going to meet at orphanages, political leaders. Fall Out Boy will play at a school, for example. You know those big, inflatable things that kids jump on at carnivals? We’re gonna bring one of those to the orphanages for a day so the kids can play with it.”
Trickier, he says, is capturing the mood: “I need to make it compelling. You don’t want it to look like a Sally Struthers commercial. This is a ‘TRL’ video.”
But for now, there’s a tour to wrap up: FOB played Jones Beach last night, along with Crush stablemates Academy and Cobra Starship, after which Wentz headed over to his 28th birthday party at Angels & Kings - a theme park-y dive bar in the East Village recently bought by Crush (all their artists are investors).
The opening night party hosted Jay-Z, Helena Christensen and Kate Bosworth, though of course the Crush guys prefer to position it as just a dirty little clubhouse for their artists. Wentz, hilariously, told The Post at the opening that his own bar was a necessity because he wasn’t “cool enough” to get into most clubs. “We just want someplace where we can hang out and be ourselves.” And which, no doubt, will lure kids from Long Island and New Jersey, hoping to “hang out” with their favorite uncool, superfamous rock stars.
Wentz and Crush, though, aren’t worried about the little girls catching on. “I feel like our fans could smell a fake,” Wentz says. “I do the things I believe in.”
“Wentz, as much as he is hated on by the cred kids - they have no idea what kind of force they’re reckoning with,” Walker adds. “A lot of people think he’s cashing in on empathy and pain. But whatever.”


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

More Beats, Part 1

On the shuffle Monday, i made a quick Top 5 list of my staple beats if -- and when -- i ever become a DJ (or really, just get to spin once.)

So i've been thinking about it more and more and i've come up with a few more of my favorite beats that i would spin. In no certain order and not always with explanation:

Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine - The beat of this song was used for some rap song that i heard and i was kinda pissed about it at the time but it did make me realize how good the beat actually is, and actually, you could use the vocals over a different beat. I absolutely will use this a lot of ways. You know, when i get my tables.

Journey - Seperate Ways - Totally random song but i'm definitely playing this right at the beginning of my set. There's just something about this song that pounds through the speakers and gets people tapping, nay, stomping their feet.

Jurassic 5 - Quality Control + What's Golden - Have you ever met anyone who didn't like Quality Control? I think that even Nole would like this beat and this song.
And What's Golden has got to be one of the better party songs created in the last 10 years.

The Roots - The Seed 2.0

The Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

Asia - Heat of The Moment

Arrested Development - Tennessee

Beastie Boys - Rhymin and Stealin (or, as it's also known, When The Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin)

Boyz II Men - Motown Philly

The Caesars - Jerk It Out - Yeah, it's kinda tired but still a great song.

Dre - Keep Their Heads Ringing

George Clinton - Bop Gun

Ina Gadda Da Vida - Iron Butterfly - Maybe speed it up a bit, but it's a great riff and could be applied to any vocals.

Jay -Z - The Threat, 99 Problems

Johnny Cash - God's Gonna Cut You Down - I think this is an amazing song and the beat could absolutely be adapted to the club. There's just a sound to it that'll get people stomping and clapping. I think it would work.

Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing - I mean, who doesn't want to hear this when they're out and have had a few cocktails?

Alright, that's enough. Part 2 later.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Monday Morning Shuffle

Another nice musical weekend...i finally sacked up and with the help of a birthday gift certificate to best buy, bought a really nice surround sound package to go with my really nice TV. The musical importance of this is that my new surround sound receiver comes with an iPod dock. I just plug it in, the same way you would to charge it, and the iPod plays through all 5 speakers and the sub-woofer. It can also be controlled from the remote control and the menu pops up in the corner of the TV so you can see where you're scrolling. It also charges while connected...
It's a pretty awesome feature and one that i'm sure will keep me listening to music even more than i already do.

On with the Shuffle:
1. New Desert Life - Further Seems Forever, off of The Moon is Down
FSF has more reincarnations than the Buddha himself but i think this one is my favorite. I would have passed up on every Dashboard song i'd ever heard to keep this one together.
This album, along with Yellowcard - One for the Kids and Taking Back Sunday - Tell all your Friends, was my baptism into the world of "emo", so to speak. Sophomore year of college. I was pissed about pretty much everything and this seemed like the perfect music to connect with, at the time.

2. How Come - Ray LaMontagne, off of Trouble
We've been over him a few times, but this is definitely one of the better songs on the album. If you haven't started listening to Ray yet, definitely give him a shot. That's all i can say...

3. Bow Wow W0w - Snoop Dogg
This is one of my favorite main stream rap songs ever. I love the beat, absolutely love it. I can blast this in my car like nobodies business. The collaboration between Snoop and Dre is just classic and i love Snoop's delivery back when he was just getting started. It seems like he worked a little harder on his rhymes then...
Anyway, i was at Pussycat Lounge Saturday night...and i friggin hate that place...but, the DJ is always really good. He plays a really good mix of classic rock, 80s rock, hip hop, old school, everything...and he gets really creative with how he mixes it all together. He plays the most obvious riff of a song just to get everyone excited and then he goes away from it as a tease, only to bring it back a minute later, just at the moment everyone is going, "I know i heard that beat...i'm mad he didn't play the whole song.." It's exactly the kind of DJ i like to think i would be, and i really am considering getting some tables and learning how to spin. I don't even care if i get any good, i just want to spin for my friends one night, at one party, and i would be happy. I think i'd be good. Anyway, i was thinking on Sunday morning about my 5 absolute staple beats that i would have to spin every night:
1. Ain't No Fun - Snoop
2. Juicy - Notorious BIG
3. That Girl is Poison - Bel Biv Davoe
4. Pistol Grip Pump - E40
5. Boyz In the Hood - Eazy-E

4. Summersong - The Decemberists, off of The Crane Wife
This song falls on the side of Decemberist songs that i actually like. In fact, The Crane Wife is probably my favorite album from them so far. I don't know why i like this song and i don't like others...i think the music is more full and rich and so it's not the vocals i notice so much as it is the Sea Shanty quality that the music has. The hook and chorus are just more compelling than other songs i've heard. This is a good one though.

5. Smiley Faces - Gnarls Barkley, off of St. Elsewhere
Does Charles Barkley like Gnarls Barkley? These are the thoughts that keep me up at night...

As sick as i am of hearing Crazy as every one's ringback tone of their cell phone, i still like it. (I think that i don't get sick of popular songs as fast as everyone else because i don't listen to the radio...) but this song really kicks ass. There's a lot of other good tunes on this CD but this one is definitely one of my favorites. I love the old school/new school hybrid of their music. There's some Doors -esque organ in this song and the beat just seems like something the Temptations should be singing over. If you have only heard Crazy and are writing Gnarls Barkley off, i suggest you check out the rest of their album.
It's not very often that the Labels let something this experimental (it's experimental today...wouldn't have been 30 years ago...which makes it retro-cool) slip through the cracks.
In fact, when this song ended, an old Al Green song came on right after and i thought that i had accidentally turned the shuffle button off and it was playing another Gnarls' song...interesting.

Alright, i have a huge busy day so i'm licking the stamp and mailing this Shuffle in just a little bit. Still, such a good way to start the day...