Welcome Back, No Doubt!

After taking a rather LONG hiatus (since 2001’s classic “Rock Steady”), Gwen Stefani and the boys are finally back and have released a new single called “Settle Down” today. This is the initial single before they release their latest album next month entitled “Push & Shove.” If I must say, this is a great return for this 90’s ska band that has been an influence for so many pop/ska bands that proceeded it. Here is the latest and here’s hoping the rest of the album is just as strong! There’s no doubt that No Doubt is back!!!

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Tunes From ITunes_5.8.11

“Can’t…get…enough…SYNTHESIZER!!!!”

If it seems as if I haven’t been spending a lot of time on my little music blog here it’s simply because…well…I haven’t been. So this obviously means that I have a LOT of music backed up that I need to let you know about so let’s get right to it on this rainy spring day, mmmmkay?

Santigold – “This Isn’t Our Parade” (alt-pop)
Fusing a lot of different genres into her sound, Santi White sends out yet another message in her music. With heavy electronic claps and underlying synthesizers, no one does this sound better.

ALO – “Dead Still Dance” (rock)
Bluesy rock with a simple beat that caught my ear, this California band is worth a listen! This is the catchy opening track to their new album “Sounds Like This!” Go check out the whole album!

Animal Kingdom – “White Sparks” (alternative)
With the ITunes “Freebie of the Week” being a cool single off their new album,  “The Looking Away,”  I figured I’d go try out something else other than “Strange Attractor” and I pick this sexy and mesmerizing track. With heavy synthesizer, this track sucked me in.

Silversun Pickups – “Mean Spirits” (alt-rock)
Leaving right where they left after their 2009 album, “Swoon,” I’m happy to say that the Pickups haven’t changed much! Heavy hooks dominate their new album but this rocker is my favorite.

Garbage – “Automatic Systematic Habit” (alternative)
This free track from their upcoming new album (the first since 2005’s “Bleed Like Me”) is nothing to get excited about. Shirley Manson’s vocals are good enough but the song gets repetitive and boring. Here’s hoping this isn’t the best they have to offer.

Justin Smith (featuring Elise Testone) – “Ride With Me” (R&B)
Sounding like a half-assed Everclear, the only reason I bought this song was because it featured Elise Testone, my favorite singer on American Idol this year. The song isn’t very good but Elise sounds great! Here’s hoping she can put together a great solo effort now that she doesn’t have to worry about the Idol madness anymore.

Elise Testone – “Whole Lotta Love” (rock)
The highlight of this season for me was Elise’s rawkin’ version of Led Zep’s classic track! Her vocals are awesome and fun! Give it a listen!

Mickey Avalon – “Party In My Pants” (rap)
Oh Mickey…your swagger is so much fun!  Straight from Hollywood, this song pretty much captures the essence of who Avalon is. It’s repetitive and silly but this song will be playing on my IPod for a while. Also bought “Tight Blue Jeans,” which has a heavy guitar riff and would be excellent in a strip joint…

B.o.B. – “Outta My Mind” (rap)
The highly anticipated new album from Bobby Ray falls short of his last album but there are some good tracks here that will get all kinds of radio play. Obviously the new track, “So Good,” is top notch pop but this track featuring the eclectic Nicki Minaj is a gem. It could have been included on Nicki’s new album also for that matter. It seems to be more up her alley but B.o.B. takes the reins and reels it from her grasp even though Minaj does a mean rap mid-song!

Carina Round – “Got To Go” (alternative)
Don’t know much about this singer/guitarist but I liked this song upon first listen. Unfortunately it kind of wore itself out with me quickly. I will put her up there as an artist with some potential but for whatever reason I feel like I’ve heard this song before. Odd…

Metric – “Youth Without Youth” (rock)
I LOVE me some Metric and with this being the first single released from  the new album, I can’t WAIT to hear what the rest of it sounds like! Heavy on the beat and catchy as hell, this song will be one of my favorites for this year, I’m sure. Sure…they’re a Garbage hybrid, but for whatever reason, I totally dig Emily Haines’ vocals and I really liked their last album. Can’t wait to hear the rest of this one (“Synthetica” is due out in June)!

Luce – “Buy A Dog” (pop)
This song was released in 2005 and I had never heard of this band until the other day on the radio I hear that they are suing Selena Gomez for one of her new songs. Apparently she (or her producers) stole the hook of THIS  song and used it. I can’t say one way or the other, but it DOES sound remarkably similar. Anyway…this song is excellent and I can’t help but promote a song that is not only good, but also a band that stands by its material! Go Luce!

Greg Laswell – “Come Back Down” (alternative)
Laswell has one of those familiar voices that never seems to change. This song isn’t a new sound for him but with the added vocals of Sara Bareilles and a catchy refrain, it’s well worth your money!

Foxes – “Youth” (electronic pop)
I don’t know if I’ve categorized this song correctly but either way, it’s got a lot of synthesized beats and echo so…I’ll call it electronic pop! I really like this track and I am looking forward to hearing more from…uh…whoever this singer is. Check this one out if you’re into this kind of sound…

Future – “Go Harder” (rap)
My son is totally into the rap right now and this is right up his alley. It’s a sports anthem wrapped up in heavy beats and tweets. He digs it! I don’t…

Neon Trees – “Moving In The Dark” (alternative)
The new single, “Everybody Talks” is getting worn out on alternative radio so I went looking for the next big single and I dig this track! It’s a slow build then it gets bombastic with almost a gospel tinge. Interesting and cool…

Soundgarden – “Live To Rise” (rock)
Featured in the new movie, “The Avengers,” this credit sequence track should be a rock radio staple for a while. Its a nice return for Chris Cornell and the boys, who haven’t released a new album since the mid-90’s.

Linkin Park – “Burn It Down” (rock)
This song COULD have been featured in the new “Avengers” movie. It would have fit in well actually but apparently it didn’t make the cut. This song is just like every other Park song….loud, heavy on guitar, got a rap in the middle. It’s okay but I’m kind of tired of this band already. But if you like The Park? This song won’t disappoint!

Fun. – “All Alone” (pop)
Sure…the song “We Are Young” is the HOT new song right now, but this band has a few other tricks up its sleeve. This is one of my favorite songs off the new album!

Alex Clare – “Too Close” (alternative)
Oh…you’ve heard it, you probably just don’t realize it. Featured in an “Internet Explorer” commercial, this song has this crazy hook that is mesmerizing! Check into this one!

Chiddy Bang – “Handclaps & Guitars” (rap)
Yep…that’s what it is!

Maroon 5 – “Payphone” (pop)
Here’s the deal…this is a GREAT pop song. But for whatever reason, Adam Levine feels the need to throw the words “sh%$” and “F%$*king” in there to prove what a badass he is so…they lose points on that one (especially since I downloaded the song BEFORE realizing there was a CLEAN version). But otherwise…this is as pure a pop song as you’ll find out there right now.

Reptar – “Orifice Origami” (alternative)
Um…dunno what the title is all about however…this song is AWESOME! It’s a mix of alt-pop and Elvis Costello and I DIG IT! Check this one out!

Other tracks I would recommend:

White Rabbits – “Temporary” (alt-pop),  Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe (pop), Jennifer Hudson & Ne-Yo – “Think Like A Man” (R&B),  Deep Sea Arcade – “Girls” (alternative), All-American Rejects – “Fast & Slow” (rock), Escort – “Makeover” (alternative)

Tunes From ITunes_February 2012

Actually she’s good. I mean…very, VERY good…

Hello there. It’s been a while. Sorry about that but the end of 2011 found very little music to rave about but now we’re well into February and I figured it was time to find some music to get you through these cold winter months! Here are just a few tunes you should (or shouldn’t) go download…RIGHT NOW!

Frankie Rose – “Know Me” (alternative)
Dreamy vocals and a familiar 80’s retro backbeat makes this a familiar sounding song which comes as no surprise since Rose is in the Dum Dum Girls (which had a new album last year off the Sub Pop label). It’s a slice of alt-pop heaven and is available this week (2.7.12) on ITunes!

Red Wanting Blue – “Playlist” (rock)
This band hails from Athens, OH…home of Ohio University, which is where this “critic” attended college! Although somewhat repetitive lyrically, I love the hook and it reminds me of the late 90’s guitar bands. Think Collective Soul with a hint more blues.

The Fray – “1961” (pop)
Not as much piano on this track (which is nice) and this song ALSO sounds kind of 90’s-ish. Not a complete changeup for this band but the chorus soars and I like that it’s subtle but not a slow ballad.

Chevelle – “Revenge” (alt-metal)
Sounding a LOT like Tool, this Chicago-based band reaches for the stars on this track a pulls it off. Soaring guitars and vocalist Pete Loeffler channels his best Maynard James Keenan to pull this out of a pile of wannabe’s and makes it their own.

Johan Reinhold – “Shoot Me Down” (alternative)
I dig this track. It’s kind of mellow and fits my mood right now. And there’s a remix of it that is kind of eerie that I also like a lot.

Jesse Thomas – Fire (acoustic)
Jesse has a cool, raspy voice and this song soothes my soul. Very nice and FREE on ITunes this week!

Bruno Mars – “The Other Side” (pop)
After seeing him perform on the Grammy’s, I decided I wanted to know more about him than just his hits and I found this track. With appearances by Cee Lo Green and B.o.B., this one is probably gonna be a hit sometime!

deadmau5 – “Raise Your Weapon” (dance/electronica)
Okay…so I saw deadmau5 on the Grammy’s and wanted to see  what the guy with the Mickey Mouse head was all about and downloaded his most popular track. I get it. It’s really DISCO with a lot of beeps and whistles! Nice…

Mikey Wax – “Counting On You” (pop)
My wife found this one. Dunno how SHE heard it before me but this guy is on par with Pete Yorn (who is a favorite of mine). First class track if you like radio ready pop music!

Van Halen – “The Trouble With Never” (rock)
Oh how I WANTED to like the new album but unfortunately…I don’t. And the first single is HORRIBLE. But with that being said, there are a couple tracks worth salvaging in this mess and this is my favorite! Old school DLR doing it the way I remember it! Wish they all were so good…

Tim McGraw – “Felt Good On My Lips” (country)
Let’s face it…most of McGraw’s music starts to all sound the same after awhile and this one is fairly typical but I like the summer-time feel it has and I imagine it will be a big hit.

FM Attack – “A Million Miles Away” (synth pop)
Somewhere since the last time I posted I went through a synth pop faze and started downloading some 80’s retro tracks like this one. FM Attack, Tesla Boy, etc and this one is my favorite of the bunch!

LMFAO – “I’m In Miami Trick” (dance)
Actually, the title is “I’m In Miami Bitch” but I can’t really play THAT in my car when taking the kids to school. Actually…I can’t play the edited version EITHER! LOL! But this is a party anthem much like every other song these guys put out and it’s better than “Sexy And I Know It.”

Sleigh Bells – “Comeback Kids” (alternative)
EVERYONE loves the Sleigh Bells! Oh what joyous noise they make! And this first track off their upcoming new album is every bit worth the attention. Can’t wait to hear what else they have in store for us…

Jay Park – “I Love You” (pop)
Yes…he’s Japanese and yes…he SINGS in Japanese. But ya know what…the language barrier is broken on this track because this is just as worthy of your attention as just about anything on the radio these days! Go check it out and tell me the lyrics really matter…

ALBUMS YOU NEED TO BUY:

Okay…I know it’s February and no one wants to go out in the cold so stay in, log onto ITunes and buy these next few albums ’cause they’re worth EVERY penny! LOVE them!!!!

Snow Patrol – “Fallen Empires” (rock)
Just carrying on what they’ve been doing since 1994 but with U2 out of commission for awhile, Snow Patrol becomes the next in line for deserving a large arena tour. Their anthemic songs with the soaring choruses and the guitars and the drums…well…I just LOVE it! This one features many great tracks including “This Isn’t Everything You Are,” “Fallen Empires,” and “Called Out In The Dark.”

Graffiti6 – “Colours” (R&B pop) 
Where did this band come from?  Sounding a little like Gnarls Barkley, I love their pop sensibility and many of the tracks on here are radio worthy! Love “Colours,” “Annie You Save Me,” “Never Look Back,” and “Free.”

Mark Lanegan Band – “Blues Funeral” (rock)
The former frontman for the 90’s alt-rock band Screaming Trees returns with a blistering blues-tinged album that has so many great tracks. Love the darkness of it and Lanegan’s vocals are from the depths of hell. He is the modern day Man In Black and he nails it out of the park with this superb album! Download “Riot In My House,” “Ode To Sad Disco,” “The Gravedigger’s Song,”  & “Harborview Hospital” if you’re picky.

Lana Del Rey – “Born To Die” (60’s Retro Pop?)
I knew nothing about the viral song “Video Games” that Del Rey released online back in 2011 and honestly, with her being a “throwback” type singer, I didn’t really give her a second thought when her album was released a couple weeks ago. But then I caught wind of her performance on SNL and how bad it was and HAD to see for myself. Needless to say…I didn’t think her performance was that bad and so…off to ITunes I went and ya know what…I’ve bought into her schtick! In the 90’s, I went through a Julee Cruise/Mazzy Star phase and so…this was kind of in that realm only with more pop influences. I gotta tell you…this might be a surprise album on my favorites of 2012 when it’s all said and done. LOTS of likable  songs on here but if I HAD to choose, I would go with “Blue Jeans,” “Off To The Races,” “Radio,” and “National Anthem.” Buuuuut I also like “Million Dollar Man” and “”This Is What Makes Us Girls.” Oh yeah…and then there’s “Video Games.” Ahh…to hell with it…just buy the whole damn thing. It’s worth it.

Single Of The Week: Electric Guest’s “This Head I Hold”

Danger Mouse is one of the more prolific producers out there today and this new track from the band “Electric Guest” definitely benefits from his soul. This track is catchy as hell and will crawl into your head for days! From the opening clink of the piano keys, this song sets itself up as classic R&B but has that neo-soul feel that is getting so popular these days. Download it here for free and enjoy!

Single Of The Week: “Before The Light Takes Us” by Darkness Falls

Gotta love the ITunes freebie of the week! This week (December 20, 2011) they are spotlighting the band Darkness Falls. And what a great pick! With a throbbing (almost naughty) beat that reminds me of Joan Jett’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me There,” this track could be featured in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Apparently the 2 members of Darkness Falls are Danish and they’ve been together since 2009. Huh…who knew? The new album is called “Alive In Us” and it features this song. Go get it and tell me you don’t feel kinda dirty afterwards…

Here’s where you can get it on ITunes this week for FREE!!!

SOTW_11.2.11 – Gym Class Heroes’ “Ass Back Home”

Gotta love this rap/pop band. They consistently produce top notch pop singles (they’re holding the #3 spot on Billboard’s Top 100 right now with “Stereo Hearts”) and are usually dead on when it comes to what the masses enjoy listening too. Here is their latest single and the lyrics hit me because of all my traveling. Here is “Ass Back Home”…the next big hit for Gym Class Heroes!

I don’t know, where you’re going
Or when you’re coming home
I left the keys under the mat to our front door
For one more chance to hold you close
I don’t know, where you’re going
Just get your ass back home

We both knew this type of life didn’t come with instructions
So I’m trying to do my best to make something out of nothing
And sometimes it gets downright shitty in fact
When you call and I don’t know what city I’m in at
Or what day of the week in the middle of the month
In a year I don’t recall
It’s like my life’s on repeat and the last time we spoke
I told you I wouldn’t be long,
That was last November, now December’s almost gone
I’d apologize but I don’t realize what I’m doing wrong

And you’ve been nothing but amazing
And I never take that for granted
Half of these birds would have flew the coop
But you, you truly understand it
And the fact you stood beside me,
Every time you heard some bogusness
You deserve a standing o ‘cause they’d a just been over it

Let em talk, let em talk, let em talk, let em talk
Like we don’t hear what they saying
Let em walk, let em walk, let em walk, let em walk
We’ll just drive by and keep waving
Cause you and I above all that
Just let them wallow in it
Now they all choked up, yuck
Cause they be swallowing it

No one hold me down like you do sweetheart
You keep doing that, I keep doing this
We’ll be alright in the end
Trust that
We put the us in trust, baby
Let’s go

I don’t care what you’re after
As long as I’m the one, no
I don’t care why you’re leaving
You’ll miss me when you’re gone

I don’t know, where you’re going
Or when you’re coming home
I left the keys under the mat to our front door
For one more chance to hold you close
I don’t know, where you’re going
Just get your ass back home.

Single Of The Week: 10/18-10/23/11: Friendly Fires – *Blue Cassette*

I love it when I discover new songs by alternative pathways. Sometimes I happen onto a song via the internet, sometimes on ITunes, sometimes XM Radio. But in the case of this song, I heard it playing in a clothing store while waiting for my daughter to find new clothes. Apparently this band is from England and have 2 albums to date. One is “Pala” which was released earlier this year. “Blue Cassette” hasn’t been released as of yet as a single but I really like it. Kind of reminds me of classic 80’s alternative…which, as we ALL know, I’m partial too. Here is Friendly Fires with a great track from their latest release…

Tunes From ITunes: 10.11.11

Ah October…how I love thee! The leaves change colors, the weather gets cooler, it stays darker later & longer. Halloween is around the corner and there are so many options. What should I be this year? A sexy pirate? A sexy caveman? A sexy nerd? How about a zombie? Yeah…THAT will work. Speaking of zombies, I’ve been ambling along, being somewhat despondent about highlighting new songs from ITunes that I buy every week. So I’ve created the “Featured Singles” to allow for me to highlight at least one song a week for anyone who might be interested. Anyway, here are some tracks that I’ve downloaded over the past month or so. Let me know what you think!

NEEDTOBREATHE – “Keep Your Eyes Open”  (rock)
With 4 studio albums in their arsenal, this Christian rock band from South Carolina have a polished pop/rock sound and this track has a simple & familiar sound to it. Not gonna say I LOVE it but it certainly has a message and I would have to imagine there will be at least 1 track off this new album (The Reckoning) that will find its way to pop radio. Dunno if this will be it but it has potential.

Pearl Jam – “Ole”  (rock)
A freebie on ITunes and it rocks! I’m a big PJ fan and considering the other option (which is Vedder doing ukele songs), I’ll take this! Is it fresh & different? For PJ, no. But it gave me a good kick in the butt this morning and I’ll be putting it in my workout mix now, thank you very much!

James Morrison feat. Jessie J – “Up”  (pop)
Simple & soulful, I really like this track and with Jessie J’s soulful vocal powering this to “above average” status, I have to imagine this one will hit on adult contemporary radio at some point! This is easily the best track on the album (from what I heard).

Joe Jonas – “Fastlife” (pop)
So Justin Timberlake is hanging up his pop cleats, huh? Well…seems he may have already been replaced. One of the 3 Jonas brothers, this kid has got it firing on all cylinders. With his hit “See No More” and his latest release, “Just In Love,” Jonas is moving into Timberlake territory. This track is the jam!

Manchester Orchestra – “Leave It Alone”  (rock)
A lovely mellow rock track from this Atlanta band. Reminds me of Pink Floyd a bit and the lyrics of a broken relationship are true. Love this one!

Mayer Hawthorne – “No Strings” (R&B)
This has a traditional R&B sound with a modern pop twist. Suggestive lyrics and Hawthorne’s smooth vocal make this an excellent choice for anyone who likes a little music for their bow-chicka-bow-wow…

Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down”  (rock)
Lead singer Dee Dee has a similar vocal style of Annie Lennox and this track sounds a LOT like Mazzy Star with fuzzy guitars and reverb. I imagine it being played in one of those old desert town bar jukeboxes. It has a sexy edge and makes me want to drink my sorrows away. I recommend this one! I also HIGHLY recommend “Bedroom Eyes” and “Wasted Away” from their album “Only In Dreams.”

Blink 182 – “Wishing Well”  (rock)
8 years since releasing their last album, this punk pop band have returned with a decent effort and this track has a familiar sound as Tom DeLonge brings his best Angels & Airwaves impersonation to the Blink reunion. I love A&A and this track sounds like just about everything else on that bands’ albums…so that means it’s good!

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – “Atlas Hands”  (adult contemporary)
Mellow and beautiful, I can’t say it’s original but I love the lyrics and it IS refreshingly simple. Think The Weepies. If you like them, you’ll LOVE this.

David Nail – “Let It Rain”  (country)
Guilt is a very strong emotion and this song conveys that to a tee. Originally released in February, I recently heard it while in Nashville. Love it!

The Kooks – “Rosie”  (pop rock)
Not sure how to define this track. If you liked their hit single “She Moves In Her Own Way” from their 2006 album, “Inside In/Inside Out,” then you will probably like this track. I REALLY like it and it will probably be one of my favorite tracks from this year!

Bush – “Red Light”  (rock)
For whatever reason, this doesn’t sound like Bush at all to me. And that’s a good thing (I think). This is ultimately a generic pop rock song but I kinda dig it and I would recommend checking it out if you like Top 40 rock artists like Daughtry or David Cook.

Wild Flag – “Romance”  (rock)
This all-girl, all-star band featuring rockers from Sleater-Kinney and the Minders show they can hang with the big boys and crank out a guitar-laced homage to love & romance…hence the name, I suppose…

Lights – “Peace Sign”  (pop)
Generic dance pop that my kids tend to love. It has a catchy refrain and kept me interested for a few listens but for the most part, it’s average at best.

ALBUM OF THE MONTH THAT DOESN’T QUITE LIVE UP TO THE PREVIOUS ALBUM BUT I LIKE IT ANYWAY:

Mute Math – “Odd Soul”  (alternative)
Oh how I wanted to say that this one is as good if not better than the band’s previous album, “Armistice,” nut unfortunately I can’t. It does start out very strong with songs like “Prytania” and “Tell Your Heart Heads Up” (my personal favorite), but it drifts into experimental rock territory in the latter half of the album and never seems to recover. Songs like “Quarantine” and “Walking Paranoia” have a jam band quality to them, featuring distorted vocals and 70’s flavored tempos that just don’t gel with me. It’s funky in places but never quite reaches the potential that it strives for. That being said, it DOES have several strong tracks and I wouldn’t call it a disappointment at all, it’s just not as good as “Armistice.”

Recommended Tracks: Tell Your Heart Heads Up, Sun Ray (instrumental), All Or Nothing, Prytania, Odd Soul

Single Of The Week: 10.4 – 10.10.11 *The Raveonettes – Oh Stranger*

This week’s hot single is a release from the soundtrack to the popular videogame that came out today called “Batman: Arkham City.” The Raveonettes’ awesome single, “Oh Stranger” is controlled chaos. Screeching guitars over a pounding drum and haunting vocals by lead singer Sune Rose Wagner, this band is a favorite of mine (check out their single, “Ignite” from their album “Raven In The Grave”) and I love this new track!

The only way I can post it is if I link you to THIS site. Go about halfway down the page. The track is featured there! Rock on!

Single Of The Week: 9.27 – 10.3.11 *Chickenfoot – Come Closer*

The start of something great? We shall see. But this is my latest category that allows you, my valued reader, a little break from spending your hard earned cash hand over fist. Here’s the deal…I’m gonna feature ONE song a week because 9 weeks outta 10 I ALWAYS download SOMETHING. I can’t remember when I didn’t. So this category will allow me to introduce you to something new without having to do it in bulk in my “Tunes From ITunes” category.

And my first featured single is from the supergroup known as Chickenfoot. With Sammy Hagar in the lead singer spot, former Van Halen bandmate Michael Anthony on bass, Joe Satriani on guitar and RHCP drummer Chad Smith, this band has all the street cred without some of the skepticism of OTHER supergroups (Mick Jagger, A.R. Rahman & Damian Marley? Who came up with that?). This track, the 4th track on their 2nd album “III,” is a slow burn and a layup crossover if they release it as a single. Here’s “Come Closer” from Chickenfoot. Great rock n roll, for sure…

“Come Closer”
by Chickenfoot 

Tunes From ITunes_9.2.11

If only Cobra Starship had HALF of this guys’ charisma…or ability. 

Comfortable temperatures are in the forecast and even though it’s too early for the leaves to start changin’, there certainly is a nip in the air in the morning and the neighborhoods are a lot quieter now that the kiddies are back in school. So here I am, 11am on a Friday and I figure it’s time to dole out my recommendations as far as new music is concerned. Here are some singles that you can spend your hard earned dollar (or in ITune’s case…$1.29)!

Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Even You Brutus?”  (alt-rock)
It’s the return of Flea and the boys and they are back with a familiar bass line and hip lyrics. This one seems to be about meeting girls and Brutus must be a lousy wingman. Either way, it’s funky in the way only the Peppers can be.

Jon Fratelli – “Santo Domingo”  (rock)
Lead vocalist for the band The Fratellis (imagine that) goes solo and this is pretty straight forward for fans of that band. Catchy and downright addictive even if the refrain is repeated maybe a bit few too many times.

Lenny Kravitz – “Everything” (Funk)
If there is one thing that Kravitz can do it’s rock like the good ol’ days. This track off his new album, “Black And White America,” is fairly typical but funky and easy on the ears. I can also recommend “Boongie Drop,” “I Can’t Be Without You,” “Stand,” and the song he performed in Seattle when opening for U2, “Come On And Get It.”

Glen Campbell – “Ghost On The Canvas”  (country)
I remember when I was a kid, listening to Campbell sing about the “Rhinestone Cowboy” and the “Wichita Lineman.” He was a definitive voice for country back when country & pop were commonly mixed. Now he returns with what he says is his last album. He’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is embarking on his farewell tour this year. This free track is worth listening too for those not sold on Campbell’s back catalogue but I would also recommend “In My Arms,” A Thousand Lifetimes,” “Strong” with the Dandy Warhols and  “It’s Your Amazing Grace.” Hell…just download the entire album. It’s worth it and it really doesn’t sound like country at all. It’s just really good pop with a country twinge. And go check out his greatest hits. You’d be amazed how many of the songs you probably know but didn’t know it!

David Guetta feat. Chris Brown & Lil Wayne) – “I Can Only Imagine” (dance)
Guetta is making a mint recycling the same techno beat that’s been used over & over since the mid-90’s but this track breaks out a beat that is so freakin’ funky that I had to get it. I dunno if it’ll be a hit but I like it and imagine I’ll be crankin’ it up on my IPod for awhile.

Flo Rida – “Good Feeling” (rap)
Why this track wasn’t released during the summer months is beyond me. It’s got that summer “party on the beach” sound that is Flo is known for. This one should be heating up the DJ turntables for awhile. It’s familiar yet unique with it’s refrain and will mix with just about any pop song out there today. If you like Top 40, you’ll LOVE this one.

Gotye – “Don’t Worry, We’ll Be Watching You” (alternative)
Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician Wouter De Backer brings the lights down with a slinky single off the new album “Making Mirrors.” Thanks to my buddy Ethan for bringing this one to my attention. It’s a good combo of pop & alternative but Wouter knows how to rock a little also. I downloaded “Easy Way Out” & “I Feel Better” as well but really I’ll probably end up getting the entire thing before too long. It all sounds pretty damn good.

Florence + The Machine – “What The Water Gave Me” (alternative)
This first single from the band’s yet-to-be-titled November 7th upcoming 2nd album is typical Florence and that means it’s pretty damn good. If you liked the first album, this is exactly what you’d expect.

Jacuzzi Boys – “Cool Vapors” (rock)
Garage punk at it’s best. This Miami band knows how to put together a good beat and Spin magazine gave em 7 out of 10 on their new album, “Glazin’.” This track is slammin’ in all the right ways!

Nas  – “Nasty” (rap)
This is a return to 1985. The way rap USED to be. Nas always has something to say and this could be on the latest Kool Moe Dee or  EPMD album. Sweeeeet….

Rihanna – “Fading” (R&B/pop)
I know, I know…really? Well…I have to admit, I’m a fan and this track is one of the few that HASN’T hit pop radio yet. Which I don’t get because it’s MY opinion that this is a lot better than “California King Bed.” But leave it to a recording label exec to screw that one up. It’ll hit soon enough, I imagine but you can say you heard it first!

Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera – “Moves Like Jagger” (pop)
I like it. Bite me.

Mickey & The Motorcars – “A Thousand Tears” (country rock)
This band could be in a local bar and you wouldn’t know it. I like the grungy sound yet familiar twang of it. Dunno if they’ll ever hit big but I like this track.

Kanye West & Jay Z – “Why I Love You” (rap)
This album blew up with so much pomp & circumstance that I had to check it out and was almost ready to buy it but honestly…I can only stand for so much chest-thumping. Are Kanye & Jay the biggest names in rap? Of course. So why do they have to ram it down our throats? Either way, I downloaded this and “Otis.” Are they the best songs I’ve ever heard? Nope. But they’re good enough to give them a listen.

Mat Kearney – “Ships In The Night” (pop)
I have been listening to “Hey Mama” since last May so why it’s just now hitting the radio is beyond me. Either way, it’s time to move forward and this track SHOULD be his next release. Perfect for pop and adult contemporary radio, this is a “John Mayer-ish” single that could be huge! But probably won’t be. But it WILL be one of my favorite songs of this year!

Mickey Avalon – “Stroke Me” (rock rap)
If you have ever heard Avalon, you know this guy is not afraid to make you blush and with this track he takes Billy Squire’s big hit and strips it of any hidden context. Probably don’t wanna be listening to this one with the kids in the car but with the familiar hook, it sure does rock!

Roxette – “Speak To Me” (pop)
I’ve heard the first single on XM (“She’s Got Nothing On But The Radio”) so I went to check out the album and honestly, there’s not a lot to say about it. It’s kind of boring and it’s obvious that this band wore out it’s welcome back in the late 80’s. But this little track reminds me of their older stuff and is on par for them. Not a great song but if you’re a fan, it’s not bad.

Peter Murphy – “Seesaw Sway” (alternative)
Murphy has been around forever and his warbling crooning has been an alternative radio staple for years. This new track is excellent and is featured on his new album, “Ninth.” If you have ever liked anything by him, you should get this one now!

Memory Tapes – “Wait In The Dark” (alternative)
This song sounds like it was recorded in a garage with an old tape recorder and synthesizer. I recommend it highly for listening when you’re in the mood for something a little mellow yet not sleep inducing.

Kenny Chesney – “Somewhere With You” (country)
This guy just cranks out hit after hit and this was big earlier this year but I just heard it not too long ago and love it. I’m not a huge country fan but it’s songs like this that remind me that country is actually the new pop while most pop has become mostly dance. It’s fun watching music genres flip flop and country music is easily the most accessible form of music. Straightforward lyrics and easy to understand with simple guitar hooks and familiar bass lines. I get it and so do millions of fans.

Global Communication – “Maiden Voyage” (electronica)
This is essentially lifted straight from Tangerine Dream’s “Love On A Real Train” but with added beats. If you are a fan of TD, you’ll like this remake that picks up the pace a little bit.

Jeff Bridges – “What A Little Bit Of Love Can Do” (country)
This was a free track on ITunes a few weeks ago and I downloaded it and I can’t stop listening to it. This is pure pop country but Bridges’ singing style reminds me of the classic country sound. It’s a simple song that is effective and perfect in every way.

He Is We feat. Owl City – “All About Us” (pop)
You will be hearing this on pop radio and at weddings everywhere in 5…4…3…2…1… (you heard it here first though)

The Head – “Separate Bodies” (alternative)
Reminds me of any number of bands and nothing here is original but I like the familiar sound of it and reminds me of just about anything I listened too in the early 90’s.

MOST DISAPPOINTING ALBUM FROM A GUY THAT I’VE BEEN LISTENING TOO FOR OVER A DECADE: Mike Doughty – “Yes And Also Yes”
Dunno what Mike was thinking but this is about as bland as anything I’ve ever heard from him. I don’t know if his odd vocal style has finally worn out its welcome with me or what but man…this stuff is BORING.

WORST FREEBIE FROM ITUNES IN A WHILE THAT I DOWNLOADED THEN DELETED ‘CAUSE IT’S THAT BAD: Cobra Starship – “Don’t Blame The World, It’s The DJ’s Fault” (dance)
Repetitive and horribly boring. I can’t even understand how stuff like this gets made.

Tunes From ITunes: Beating The Heat

It’s the dreaded summer swoon when it’s too hot to go outside unless you’re at the pool and all the plant-life around your house is drying up and turning to tumbleweeds (unless you actually water your plants…which we don’t). So what do I like to do? Spend my hard-earned money on music. And I’ve been a very bad boy when it comes to sharing my favorite music. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Teddybears – “Rocket Scientist” (pop/dance)
Funky new track with a serious attitude. Eve guest stars and as the ‘Bears proclaim “Them drum machines ain’t got no soul”…they obviously have tongue planted firmly in cheek. I also downloaded “Cho Cha” which features Cee Lo Green and it also adds a small dose of humor with a cool beat.

Nicole Scherzinger feat. 50 Cent – “Right There” (pop)
I’ve been hearing this one all over the radio and it’s high on the list for “dumbest lyrics of the year” award, however there’s something that I like about it once it gets past that. Catchy hook but beyond that…very sugary with lots of aftertaste.

Evaline – “Beneath The Fire” (rock)
Love me some guitar anthem rock and this band supplies it. Soaring vocals and a dramatic drumbeat, this freebie is in my playlist right now but I doubt it will be there for very long.

Matt Nathanson – “Mercy” (alternative pop)
Catchy tune (and one in a long line with the title “Mercy”) and goes well with sour lemonade.

Ziggy Marley – “Forward To Love” (reggae)
The prodigal son returns with this catchy ditty. Easy on the ears and will go well when you’re hanging by the pool bar.

Florrie – “Begging Me” (dance pop)
This track should be bigger. Don’t know why no one has picked up on this fun pop song but I have yet to hear it on pop radio. The entire EP is good but this is the diamond. Download it now if you like pop music…

Laza Morgan – “This Girl” (pop reggae)
Hmmm…how I ended up downloading this one, I’m not sure but I like the slight reggae beat and the pop sound.

Eddie Vedder – “Longing To Belong” (adult alternative)
EV slows it down to a crawl and breaks out his ukelele for this sweet song. Not much to it but I like it. Of course I’d like just about anything this dude does…

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Morning Thought” (alternative)
Slow and methodical, it’s almost hypnotic how this song grabs me. I totally dig it and it reminds me a little of Phish.

Arctic Monkeys – “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Seat” (rock)
Bluesy track with weird lyrics. You’ll either like it or you won’t. I like it…but in small doses.

Coldplay – “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” (pop)
This band is one of my favorites but they can do better than this track. It’s decidedly average but works for now. But I expect more if they’re getting ready to release a new album!

Joe Bonamassa – “Dust Bowl” (blues)
Originally released back in March, I LOVE this song. Awesome in every way. Download it now! And you might as well just get the entire album cause it’s that good!

Thievery Corporation – “Culture Of Fear” (trip hop)
Although TC isn’t really a rap group, they enlist various artists to work with them for many of their tracks on their new album. The title track is an awesome fusion of jazz and rap with Mr. Lif laying down the rap track. Excellent track!

THE SONG THAT WILL REMIND ME OF THIS SUMMER NO MATTER WHEN I HEAR IT: Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass” (pop/rap)
If only Nicki could have kept the lyrics a little cleaner this would have been the PERFECT summer track in the same vein as Taio Cruz’s “Break Your Heart” from last summer. Nevertheless…it is what it is and I love it. This song just bleeds “summertime pop” and I can’t help but turn it up everytime I hear it!

Tunes From ITunes: April Showers Bring May…Showers?

Waddaya mean we’re rippin’ off “The Lonely Island” guys?!?!

Damn all this rain! All over our country, the weather is keeping us from doing the one thing we ALL enjoy and that is…cruising with our tops down and our music cranked up! If we get any more rain, I might have to attach floaties to my house and hope for the best. Either way…I’m good to go because I got ITunes and it has been SMOKIN’ the last couple of weeks! ALL KINDS of new releases from bands that I love and so…without a care in the world…I present this months mix of GREAT MUSIC!!!! Prepare for a flashback….

Raphael Saadiq – “Heart Attack” (R&B)
Oh yeah…THIS one is gonna be burning up my IPhone for the rest of the summer! Nothing better than classic R&B and Raphael is in a class of his own with this return to that classic retro sound. Go here if you wanna hear it! It’s HAWT!!! To recommend anything less than buying the entire album would not do Raphael’s work justice. Get the entire album…it’s worth it!

Mat Kearney – “Hey Mama” (pop)
Catchy and smooth, kinda like a milkshake at the local ice cream shop.  Got a great hook and Kearney is one of those under-appreciated artists who deserve a big hit!

The Cars – “Free” (rock)
Thankfully, the new Cars album doesn’t suck! It’s actually a very strong return to form for this great alt-rock 80’s band! So with much pleasure I give you MY favorite track off “Move Like This.” Classic Cars and will please all of their fans! If you like this, the lead single, “Sad Song,” is also great and you can also buy “Keep On Knocking” or “It’s Only.” RIP Benjamin Orr…your talents would have made this album even THAT much better…

Jennifer Lopez – “(What Is) Love?” (pop)
You can put it down now…this will be a big hit. Look for it burning up pop radio in 5…4…3…2…1…

The Lonely Island featuring Michael Bolton – “Jack Sparrow” (comedy)
Not only is this a great song with one of the most ridiculous (big, sexy) hooks I have ever heard, it also features a classic 80’s artist making fun of himself. It’s a great return to form for Bolton who could use a little of the limelight and his ability to laugh at himself makes this that much more entertaining! Check it out! You can also get the SNL classic “Motherlover,” “After Party” or “I Just Had Sex!”

Kram – “Satellite” (alternative pop)
Not surprisingly, I get a lot of my music from movies and this track is featured on one of the better movies from last year. If you haven’t seen “Easy A”, you should. It is an homage to the great John Hughes films of the 80’s with more modern music! This is my favorite of the bunch!

Katie Cole – “Gravity” (rock)
Not surprisingly, I get a lot of my music from the boob tube also and this track is featured on the latest Movado watch company commercial. Relatively unknown, Katie Cole reminds me of some of the great female rockers of the 90’s. You can’t get this song on ITunes yet but if you’re on Facebook or Myspace you can download it for free! Go get it and wish her well…she’s got a great future ahead of her!

Dum Dum Girls – “He Gets Me High” (rock)
Speaking of great female rock artists, here’s the latest from this retro rock all-girls band. After last years excellent album, “”I Will Be,” I will listen to anything Dee Dee and the girls pump out and this track is excellent! I’m digging the girl bands right now. When is Metric gonna release a new album??? Oh well…this EP will hold me over…for now.

Beastie Boys – “Here’s A Little Something For Ya” (rap)
O…M…G…This track is TEARING up my CD player in my car!!!! A complete return to form for our favorite New Yorkers and the beat in this one is GUARANTEED to make your ass shake! I’m thinking you’re gonna be hearing this one on the radio (I hope, I hope, I hope…) this summer. It’s just too damn good to NOT listen too! Welcome back Boys! We missed ya! I also downloaded the Santigold featured track, “Don’t Play No Game I Can’t Win” and their pre-released single “Make Some Noise.” All 3 are CLASSICS! Here’s “Make Some Noise”…

Music Soulchild – “Single” (R&B)
Not gonna lie…this track reminds me of something Keith Sweat might have done. Smooth R&B with lyrics that have a little bit of a “grass is always greener” tilt to it. I like it but it doesn’t blow me away. Check it out though!

Other Lives – “Dust Bowl III” (alternative)
Straight from Stillwater, Oklahoma, you can feel the desert heat and the dry wind in your face when this band plays. I got a lot of love for this sound and I totally love this song. I also downloaded “For 12.” Reminds me of Chris Isaak only darker…MUCH darker…

Dredg – “The Thought Of Losing You” (alternative)
Average alt-pop track that gets somewhat repetitive. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. But the band sounds tight and I have hopes that maybe I’ll hear something better from them sooner or later.

Raekwon – “Rock ‘N’ Roll” (rap)
This is a slow burn with featured artists Ghostface Killah & Kobe Honeycutt. I dig it but it’s for rap enthusiasts only.

Medina – “Addiction” (dance)
If you like dance tracks by Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga, this will fit in your playlist! I picture this one getting airplay at your local dance club. I like it!

Foo Fighters – “Bridge Burning” (rock)
So the new Foo album is out and I ran out to get it and right out of the gate, the first track is this one. I swear…I couldn’t hear for 2 days after cranking it OUT in my car. Unfortunately, as much as I WANTED to love this entire album, THIS is the best track on it. Great hook, Dave Grohl’s vocals are excellent and everything just works! As for the rest of them album, there’s nothing wrong with it…I guess I just was expecting something fresher. Instead, it’s classic Foo and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I was hoping for something new, I guess. I dunno. I’m very confused…

Nicki Minaj – “Here I Am” (rap)
Everyone LOVES Nicki and I have to admit, I’m a HUGE fan of hers when she’s a featured artist on other artists’ tracks (see Kanye West’s “Monster” for one of the best raps EVER by a featured artist! She tears it up!), but I can’t really say I love her album “Pink Friday.” That being said, I don’t know that she made the album to cater to a 40-something white male. So what I can say is I really like this track which has a smooth R&B tip and cool piano. Dig it!

Uh…yeeeeah….

SURPRISE SONG OF THE WEEK THAT I THOUGHT I WOULD HATE BUT I DON’T: Lady Gaga – “The Edge Of Glory” (pop/dance)
Okay…here’s the thing…THIS track belongs in an 80’s movie final credits. Think “Footloose” (which is being remade as we speak. Maybe this song will end up on the soundtrack?) with a dance hook. I am gonna go on record as saying this is my…(cough)…favorite…(ack)…Gaga song. It even has a saxophone solo in the middle. It’s like she knew how to finally get to me. I hate you Gagag! But I DO like this song…dammit.

WORST SONG RELEASED IN THE PAST 3 YEARS: Lady Gaga – “Judas” (doesn’t matter. It sucks)
So to counter the surprise that is “The Edge Of Glory” I am back to my bashing of Gagag. This song is easily the WORST in her collection. I don’t know if it’s gonna be released on her to new album or what but whoever decided to release this below average B-side should be smacked in the face with a 2×4.  Not only did they release it just before Easter, but the lyrics and the music are just horrible! The Gaga backlash lasted a second and then the song was gone. Thankfully. But I would love to point out the fact that Madonna released a sex book with her naked throughout most of it earlier in her career so…this is just as bad.

Tunes From ITunes: Taking A Break From The 30 Day Challenge

Since I started the 30 Day Challenge, I have worked 2 weeks of NCAA Tournament play, 1 week of The Masters and the Opening Series here in Cincinnati for the Reds. Needless to say…I’ve been kinda busy. And I’ve been neglecting my OTHER responsibilities…like my other blogs and my kids and stuff. So while the kids are in school, the wife is gone and it’s just me and the dogs, I’m laying down some of the newer tunes that I’ve been downloading this May. Hope you like em!

Bell XI – “Velcro” (alternative)
From the band that brought you “Bad Skin Day,” this little tune fits as snug as a glove. Nothing unfamiliar here and I like it that way!

Kerli – “Army Of Love” (dance)
Oh sure, there are a lot of dance tracks out there with the same beat and with so many artists slamming the pop airwaves with this kind of music, you’d think I’d dismiss this one. But I like Kerli’s past efforts and I think she’s got potential. That being said, with Rihanna, Jessie J, Lady Gagag and so many others, I figure this track will get buried in the mix.

Brett Dennen – “Can’t Stop Thinking” (reggae pop)
Fun little song about unrequited love. Simple with a pop backbeat and a reggae tinge that sets it up for the future summer months. Has a Citizen Cope feel and that’s a compliment!

TV On The Radio – “Caffeinated Consciousness” (rock)
I love this band. Unfortunately I wasn’t as impressed with the snippets of their new album, “Nine Types Of Light.” But THIS track is pretty damn good! I’ll be listening to it for a long time…

The Airborne Toxic Event – “Numb” (alternative)
My gut feeling is this will be big on alt-rock radio. Great track from Airborne and I have many friends who are gonna totally dig this one (Talking to you, DL!)

The Raveonettes – “Ignite” (alternative)
This WILL be in my Top 10 favorite tracks of 2011. LOVE this song. 100% perfect alt-rock song that reminds me of my college days.

The Kills – “Future Starts Slow” (rock)
With Alison Mosshart’s sweet vocals and an amazing guitar riff from Jamie Hince, this track is sweet classic alternative rock. Nothing out of the ordinary but it is awesome!

Bjork – “Army Of Me” (alternative)
Going back a little bit but this track was featured in “Sucker Punch” and was so perfect that I had to go buy it! Good workout track and it’ll make you wanna karate chop!

The Black Eyed Peas – “Someday” (pop)
A great workout song that isn’t pretentious or silly, this song actually has a story to tell and is a nice compliment to some of their latest hits. I hope this song makes it to pop radio!

Bibio – “Take Off Your Shirt” (alt-rock)
It starts out sounding like the MTV theme song and then morphs into a pop/rock anthem that could use more cowbell! Love it!

Peter Bjorn & John – “Second Chance” (alt-pop)
If there is any song in this list that I really feel will be a big hit, this is it. A perfect pop melody with a hook that is undeniable. This one is excellent. Go buy it now!

Wiz Khalifa –  “Get Your Shit” (rap)
Breaking up is hard to do but this track handles the drama extremely well. Wiz tells a story of heartbreak and takes us on a lovely ride. Usually this is Eminem territory but Wiz handles it with class!

Chris Brown – “Love Them Girls” (rap)
Uh oh…he’s back and he’s ready for some sexual healing. This track oozes sexuality and Brown sounds great. Nothing like this one the radio right now. And if you’re really “in the mood,” download “Wet The Bed” also. Makes ya wanna love the one you’re with, fo sho!

The Cars – “Sad Song” (rock)
THEY’RE BACK!!!! And if this song is what we have to look forward to then The Cars are gonna be around a while! This could have been stolen from my senior year in high school! I love it!!!!

Rise Against – “Wait For Me” (rock)
Pretty standard fare from this alt-rock band. Kind of mellow with the typical rock chorus with bombastic drums and guitar. Maybe a bit repetitive but I like it when I’m in the mood for a little rock that’s not too loud.

Travis Barker featuring Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, E-40 & Dev – ” Knockin'” (rap/rock)
With the bonus of having 2 of the greatest rappers of the past decade, you would think this track would be a little hotter. Insteead it’s only average with references to Lindsay Lohan and chest thumping. I would think that Blink 182 drummer could hook us up with something a little more interesting but maybe there were too many egos in the room? Dunno…

Warren G – “Regulate” (rap)
With his passing last month, I HAD to get this 1994 classic. Nothing smoother than the west coast sound in the early 90’s and Warren G was one of the best. May he rest in peace.

Beady Eye – “The Roller” (alt-rock)
It’s really Oasis without one of the brothers and that’s okay. Only problem is…this song is kind of boring. It’s like without that tension the band is just going through the paces.

Kurt Vile – “Puppet To The Man” (rock)
Sounding like classic Rolling Stones, I can only imagine Mick Jagger twisting on stage to this one. Dunno who Vile is, but this track is HOT! Go get it now!

Lupe Fiasco – “I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now” (rap)
It’s gonna be a big hit. Listen for it this summer on a radio station near you. That’s all.

NLX – “Find Love” (alternative)
It’s an updated sound of Alanis Morrissette for this generation. Dunno anything about this band but I heard it on one of the tv shows my wife watches and liked it. It’s a heartbreaking song about love lost and moving on. Its a  little long but I can appreciate the effort!

SURPRISING ALBUM OF THE MONTH:

Duran Duran’s “All You Need Is Now”
Yeah…I bought it. And you know what? I don’t regret it at all! Lots of great songs on here that includes “Girl Panic!”, “Blame The Machines” and my personal favorite, “Leave A Light On.” Nicely done by a band that I thought had peaked and would be doing their greatest hits at the local fairground for the rest of their careers!

MOST DISAPPOINTING ALBUM OF THE MONTH SO FAR: The Strokes – “Angles”
I’m over them. Maybe it’s my state of mind right now but I read a lot about their “comeback” and I gotta tell you…they sound bored. This band needs a kick in the ass because I WANT to like them but still….decidedly average effort in my opinion.

Tunes From ITunes_Febru…er…March Edition


No…this is NOT the set of the latest “Walking Dead” episode…

Wow! February just flew by and now it’s March already??? What happened? Oh well…March Madness is in the air and I’ve been working too much but I’ve still had time to download some new music and if there’s one thing that keeps me plowing through these cold, winter months…it’s good music. So here are some tracks to keep you warm while the ice and snow start to melt outside…

Radiohead – “Separator” (alternative)
Hypnotic and beautiful, Yorke & Co. have come up with another instant classic! I have to admit though, the backing instrumental kind of reminds me of Dario Gands’ “Voices”…but it’s still excellent!

Bright Eyes – “Shell Games” (alternative)
The modern Bob Dylan strikes again with some fancy lyric work and a catchy tune. This is a must have and is one of Conor Oberst’s better tunes off the new album “The People’s Key.”

Hugo – “99 Problems” and “Bread & Butter” (alternative)
Yes…it is a spin on the Jay Z song with a banjo and a driving beat that keeps your toes tappin’. As for “Bread”…well…let’s just say it has some edge to it. Download them both and keep hoping this guy releases an entire album of this stuff!

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – “No” (rock)
I LOVED Adams’ “Rock N Roll” album from a while back and although everyone likes his acoustic guitar stuff, I’m all about his electric guitar. This track rocks with the best of his best and I love the lyrics…
“No wonder I fell

Nobody was underneath me there to catch me
When I go under and down again and on and on…”

Mona – “Listen To Your Love” (rock)
Catchy refrain and some deft guitar work sets this track apart from many rock tracks. Never heard of this band but I’m gonna keep an eye on them, especially after this track!

The Twilight Singers – “Blackbird and the Fox” (alternative)
Not my favorite TS track but still so much better than some of the stuff out there. A little melodic piece from Greg Dulli’s “other” band.

Runner Runner – “Hey Alli” (pop)
Like so many pop rock bands that sing about love and heartbreak, this is one of many. However if you have kids who dig The Disney Channel, this ain’t so bad.

PT Walkley – “Save The World” (alternative)
Great song! Love the horn section in the middle. Love the lyrics. Love the violins. Just an all-around fantastic little song!

The Cave Singers – “Black Leaf” (rock)
HOLY CRAP! Stealng a little bit of thunder from The Black Keys, this song KICKS and THRASHES you around in a bluesy frenzy! LOVE IT!

Lupe Fiasco – “Words I Never Said” (rap)
Hmmmm…the jury’s still out on this one. Like the loping beat and the refrain by Skylar Grey, but there is something a little too familiar here…

Paul Simon – “The Afterlife” (pop)
What a great return single from the better half of the 70’s supergroup (?) Simon & Garfunkel. Sounding very much like his heyday of “Graceland,” this song is a MUST!

Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blue” (alternative)
Speaking of Simon & Garfunkel…this sounds like a track that could have been released in the 60’s. Simon & Garfunkel…step aside! Here’s your replacement! Very mellow and songwriter-ish.

Beady Eye – “Wigwam” (rock)
The latest from Oasis…er…maybe not? Apparently one brother skipped out so now it’s the rest of the band and a new name. Very exciting. However this track is not. Kind of slow and long. But it IS Oas…wait…I just covered this…

The Hundred In The Hands – “Lovesick (Once Again)” (alternative)
Very catchy song, reminds me of classic Heart a little. Without the Wilson sister range. But still…not a bad track!

Wiz Khalifa – “Black & Yellow” (rap)
I’m sorry…but I LOVE this song. Too bad its by a Pittsburgh rapper. But still…it’s EXCELLENT!

Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks (alternative)
Almost too hip for itself, this track is catchy as hell and plays well in my car stereo!

White Lies – “Bigger Than Us” (alternative)
I absolutely loved “Death” from their previous album, “To Lose My Life.” This track isn’t quite as strong, but it’s still up to par. Give it a listen, tell me what you think!

Iration – “Fresh Grounds EP” (alt-pop-reggae)
5 tracks of pure pop/reggae awesomeness! I loved this band’s album “Time Bomb” last year and this just continues the trend!
Favorite Track: “Can’t Wait”

Wye Oak – “Civilian” (alternative)
How much do I love this song? Let me count the ways…

Raphael Saadiq – “Stone Rollin'” (blues)
It’s always refreshing to hear a little blues that tries to mix it up. This song smokes up the room with a little harmonica and female backup singers that give it a sexy tinge. LOVE IT!

R.E.M. – “UBerlin” (alternative)
Michael Stipe and the boys are back and this song kind of hints to a return to the R.E.M. of “Around The Sun.” Not a good thing. I really don’t like this song at all but it was free and I LOVE their classic 80’s stuff so I’ll give ’em the benefit of the doubt. There had to be a reason this was free in ITunes…right?

Telekinesis – “Car Crash” (alt-pop)
Great beat, great guitar, great sound. And the leader, Michael Benjamin Lerner, is from Seattle! LOVE IT!

S. Carey – “In The Dirt” (alternative)
I just love this song. Pretty piano with hand claps in the background. Kind of mellow in all the right ways. I dig it…

CLASSIC TRACK OF THE WEEK: The English Beat – “Tears Of A Clown”
What happens when you take a classic R&B song, add a reggae beat and bring the tempo up a few notches? Pure pop goodness! And The Beat know how to do a remake the right way!

 

Tunes From ITunes_1.18.11 (Welcome To The New Year!)


We’re SO happy to be relevant!!!

2011.

Really? Already? Needless to say, I haven’t been on here much and I have been slacking as far as my little music blog here is concerned. Unfortunately, after the holidays, there’s really not a lot to talk about. Most of the good stuff has been released and the music industry goes into it’s long winter slumber. And considering the credit card bill for Christmas has arrived, there’s not much I can afford to buy anyways. But I think I’ve got a few tracks here that can liven up your winter blahs & your credit card blues. Here’s a look at some tuneage that should get your butt shakin’ and your ears quakin’!!! (I coulda been on the radio, doncha know…)

James Blunt – “These Are The Words” (pop)
Blunt has a distinct croon and this power pop song is perfect for the radio. Will it make it to the Top 50? Who knows (or cares) but I like this song. A little more uptempo for him and I like the lyrics.

The Limousines – “Internet Killed The Video Star” (electropop)
Oh come on now…you KNEW eventually this song was gonna have to happen. I just find it amusing that it was a no-name band that finally did it. Who are the Limousines? Well…they’re from San Francisco and they  released an album last year that included the song “Flaskaboozendancingshoes.” Good stuff…and I like the play on the old Buggles song even if this song sounds nothing like THAT historic track.

Toby Keith – “Bullets In The Gun” (country)
Has Toby gone U2 on me? Because THIS track is awesome and sounds like it could be HUGE in concert. LOVE the guitar and the story is classic country. LOVE it!

Edward Maya – “Stereo Love” (electronica)
This song has been stuck in my head and bouncing around for weeks. Seriously…if this song was any catchier you’d have to go to the doctor to get  a prescription.

Cee Lo Green – “Cry Baby” (r&b)
His “FU” song gets all the airplay but this is a gem and I’d LOVE to hear it on pop radio! I expect to see this album winning a bunch of Grammy’s…

Jon Hopkns – “Candles” (instrumental)
Featured in my favorite film of 2011, “Monsters”, this track is subtle and relaxing. And lately I’ve been needing more of that. So I downloaded it…and it’s beautiful.

Cage The Elephant – “Around My Head” (alternative)
A one-hit wonder? Probably not. “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” is a classic but from what I heard of this new album, called “Thank You Happy Birthday,” this Bowling Green, KY band is gonna be around for a long time. This was a freebie on ITunes a couple of weeks ago and I really dig it!

Young The Giant – “My Body” (rock)
With a slow guitar grind, this little rocker builds to a nice boil then assaults you! Another freebie and well worth the price I paid for it but if you didn’t get it, you’re missing out!

Social Distortion – “Machine Gun Blues” & “”California (Hustle & Flow)” (rock)
Classic rockers from a classic rock band. This band has been around since the mid-80’s and there’s a reason why: They are an awesome live act and they know where their money comes from. Tradition rock/blues tracks like these only enhance their already packed greatest hits lineup. Pick up the entire new album called “Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes.” You can’t go wrong.

Ra Ra Riot – “Too Dramatic” (alt-pop)
I’m not sure what drew me into this band or this song but it’s poppy and has a cool backbeat so I kinda dig it!

Duran Duran – “All You Need Is Now” (alt-pop)
Welcome back, D2! This has a weird intro that is typical of this band and I hear the new album is a return to their roots. If this song is any indication, it probably has several tracks that will remind you of their glory days and is a return to “Rio” which is a good thing!

Duran Duran – “Sin Of The City” (alt-pop)
Speaking of Duran Duran, listening to their new single made me wanna listen to some of their older stuff and this track off their 1993 “Wedding Album” is a bonus track that isn’t offered for sale on ITunes. It’s a great track that went unnoticed and if you happen to have that album you should revisit this track. It’s great!

Great Lake Swimmers – “She Comes To Me In Dreams” (alternative)
A tradition 80’s alt-sound that goes down great with a cup of coffee. I imagine I got this one from Starbucks or someplace and I like it!

Cross Canadian Ragweed – “Alabama” (country)
Released in 2004, a close friend of mine turned me onto this song and I love it. Great country rock track and the lyrics speak of a long distance love that burns brightly.

Hedley – “Scream” (pop)
This could be Hanson or any other pop boy band out there but I kinda like this song. Good workout track.

CLASSIC OLDIE OF THE WEEK: Joe Jackson – “I’m The Man”  (alt-rock)
If there ever was a question of Jackson’s influence (or Elvis Costello for that matter), check out this classic track that is a great memory of the way music used to be made. I would love to see him perform this one in concert!  And it’s also a great workout song…

DON’T BOTHER UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR EARS TO BLEED ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Band From TV – “Hoggin’ All The Covers”
Seriously? This is karaoke at it’s absolute WORST. Apparently this is a band that is made up of actors from your favorite tv shows (not mine) and the proceeds go to charity, but this is TERRIBLE! I listened to a few snippets and my head started to hurt and my knees got weak. Whatever you do…do NOT download any of this drivel. It’s horrible and whoever is responsible for releasing it should be shot. Just send your money to the charity itself and save your ears from the hate.

 

Tunes From ITunes_11.5.10

So my favorite month has come and gone. October blew by and I barely got a chance to enjoy it. But now we’re moving into the winter months. The cold will blow through here with some snow and sleet and what do we have time to do? Download new music of course! So if you got a few extra dollars and are looking for something new…here are some tunes to kickstart your winter months. Not gonna lie…my kids played an influence over today’s downloads sooooo…ya get what ya pay for…

Rihanna (feat Drake) – “What’s My Name” (pop)
Everyone is waiting for the new Rihanna album to drop and she keeps releasing singles to prep ya for it. But I got this track and it’s pretty damn good pop! Kind of looking forward to the rest of the album…which is supposed to drop in a couple of weeks.

Al Green – “Here I Am” (classic R&B)
Remade by everyone from rock to reggae bands, this soulful classic reminds me why I love music to begin with and no one is as smooth as Al. Plus he’s got a cool first name…

T.I. (feat Chris Brown) – “Get Back Up” (R&B)
T.I. has impressed me with his new stuff and this track is killer! Not as good as “Ya Hear Me” (which is one of my favorite tracks this year), but it’s still got a good flow and adding Brown’s vocals is a smooth move!

Sean Kingston & Justin Beiber – “Eenie Meenie” (pop)
My daughter likes this song. And that’s all I got.

Mike Posner – “Please Don’t Go” (pop)
Admittedly Posner’s “Cooler Than Me” has worn out its welcome on pop radio right now. It’s been played out. But this new track is as cool as that one and will probably be just as big! Also…check out the video. The dude is wearing an Ohio University t-shirt in it! And THAT is worth a purchase in MY book!

Monster Magnet – “Dig That Hole” (rock)
I wanted to like this track more than I do. With a brooding guitar that sets the tone, it turns generic pretty quick. Which is too bad…

Finger Eleven – “Whatever Doesn’t Kill Me” (rock)
Every cell in my body screams to NOT like this band, but damn if this isn’t a good pop rock track! I can’t…stop…singing…GAH!!!!

Fran Healy (feat Neko Case) – “Sing Me To Sleep” (pop)
Slow and simple, the vocals are haunting and Case’s appearance adds to the ambiance. I really like this track and seeing as how it’s free this week on ITunes…you should too! Go get it!

Tim Armstrong – “Into Action” (pop reggae)
Believe it or not, Stephen King recommended this song to me via Entertainment Weekly. It IS addictive and ranks up there with Michael Franti & Spearheads “Say Hey” as the most likely song to drive you insane once it gets stuck in your head.

Alicia Keys – “Unthinkable” (R&B)
Damn this woman is sexy and when I heard she had a baby boy I had to go download something to celebrate. Might as well go with this slow jam. Quite possibly her best song ever? You check it out and let me know what you think!

Marquis Houston (feat Rick Ross) – “Pulling On Her Hair” (R&B)
Oh so naughty and catchy as hell, this ranks up there as one of the best fetish songs I’ve heard in a while…lol

Good Charlotte – “Right Where I Belong” (rock)
Good Charlotte channels Angels & Airwaves and puts together a classic arena rock anthem. Joel Madden and band rock it on this single which is a step above anything else on their latest, “Cardiology.”

“WORST ALBUM COVER ART RIPOFF OF THE MONTH”
Escape The Fate – “Escape The Fate”
So I was checking out this album and it sounds like extremely generic pop rock in the same vein as Finger Eleven even though they apparently are a goth rock band. But what really caught my eye was the cover art. Remember THIS classic Queen album?

Well…Escape The Fate TOTALLY ripped it off with THIS…

C’mon now…seriously? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Freddie Mercury would STOMP all over this hack band…

Tunes From ITunes_The Leaves Are Falling Mix

So Autumn has arrived in all her beauty. Leaves are scattering all over the ground and oranges, reds and yellows splash the Ohio Valley hills. I love this time of year and lately there has been some pretty damn good music coming out which makes my mood even brighter! Here are some tunes you should check out as soon as possible. You’ll see I’ve been in more of a rockin’ mood…which is ALWAYS a good thing…

Trapt – “The Wind” (rock)
Although I consider Trapt to be one of many bands that produce this kind of pop/rock sound, I kinda like Chris Taylor Brown’s voice and this track speaks to me lyrically. Consider the refrain…

Whichever way the wind blows
that’s where I’ll go
I can’t think about tomorrow.
Another road to the unknown
I will follow.
No more time left to borrow.”

I dig it!

Atomic Tom – “The Moment” (alternative)
Recalling the Psychedelic  Furs, this track is a throwback to the 80’s and, of course, I ALWAYS dig that. Good fall music…

10 Years – “Fix Me” (rock)
Slow tempo rocker from one of those OTHER bands that produces pop/rock. I know, I know…some consider it cheesy, but I grew up on hair bands so that love just sorta morphed into this. Sue me.

Kings Of Leon – “The Immortals” (rock)
Go read my review of the entire album here, but this is my favorite track. Love the guitar work and it’s got an arena rock sound I dig. Check it out!

Third Day – “Move” (ITunes calls it “Christian & Gospel.” I call it ROCK all the way!)
Yes…this IS a Christian rock band. Bluesy and sizzlin’ hot, THIS is the best track in this list. So f%$#in’ awesome (can I say that about a GOSPEL band???)!!! You should donwload it right now and it WILL be one of my favorite tracks this year.

Mark Ronson & The Business Intl – “Somebody To Love Me” (pop)
Pairing up with Culture Club lead singer Boy George, this DJ turned entertainer puts out an album and off it comes this gem.  You can also download “Bang Bang Bang” but this is my favorite of the two.

Zac Brown Band – “Keep Me In Mind” (country)
I like it when I come upon a sweet little country song about love and longing. This track is perfect for that. And it should be a monster country hit. Let’s wait and see….

Group 1 Crew – Live It Up (pop)
My kids like this track. Sounds sort of standard bfor pop fair these days but there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s poppy and over-produced but entertaining none the less.

Pink – “Raise Your Glass” (pop)
Its all over the radio and I’m sure I’ll get sick of it soon but for now, it seems like Pink has herself another hit song!

Far East Movement – “Don’t Look Now” (pop/dance)
Right now this band has a super hit in it’s “Like A G6” single, but I predict this one is gonna follow it up as soon as the hype dies down. This is a better track but in the same vein. You’ll be shakin’ your butt…promise.

Idlewild – “Post Electric” (rock)
This Scottish band has been around for a while but I really don’t know much about them. This track is off their new album called “”Post Electric Blues.” Great song and I will look into this band a little bit more and get back to ya…

Shakira – “Rabiosa” (dance)
Um…I know I’m gonna raise a few eyebrows with this one but Shakira (which means “loose booty” in spanish) has got somethin’ here. Teaming up with Pitbull helps and this track is undeniably catchy. Seriously.

Hinder – “All American Nightmare” (rock)
Something for Halloween maybe? Eh. I wouldn’t go that far. Truthfully…this is the worst track on this list. Seriously generic in every way. Sorry Hinder fans…

Trent Raznor – “A Familiar Taste” (instrumental rock)
An instrumental from the Nine Inch Nails lead singer that is featured on “The Social Network” soundtrack, this jam cranks it up a notch and rips you around with a throbbing house beat.  I also like the more subdued “Painted Sun In Abstract.”

CLASSIC OLDIE OF THE WEEK: INXS – “Elegantly Wasted”
I totally dig INXS and I heard this track on XM a few days ago and had to go get it. Featured on the 1997 album of the same name, this was Michael Hutchinson’s last hurrah with the band. Later that year he was found dead in a Sydney hotel room. The album only got to #41 on the American charts which is unfortunate. It has a lot of good songs but this is my favorite!

“SHE’S HAD HER MINUTE AND NOW SHE SHOULD RETIRE” ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Liz Phair – “Funstyle”
Don’t get me wrong…I LOVED me some Liz Phair back in the 90’s…especially “Whitechocolatespaceegg”…but listening to snippets of this new album made me wanna tear my eyes out. Or at least plug my ears. Seriously…not good at all. Dunno what happened to poor Liz. I imagine she is torn about what she wants to be. Is she alternative? Is she pop? Who knows. At this point she is listed in “Bargain Bin.” This one won’t even chart…

Tunes From ITunes_The End Of Summer Mix

Summer, it turns me upside down
Summer summer summer
it’s like a merry-go-round

-The Cars

It’s the end. The end of baseball season. The end of days at the pool and at county fairs. The end of cookouts in 100 degree heat. Now it’s time to watch the leaves change, watch some football and hunker down for the big snow. Well…at least that’s what we’ll be doing here in MY part of the world. As for music, I imagine the Katy Perry pop songs will give way to new rock and some songs about heartbreak and headaches. But before we go getting all somber and stuff, let’s check out one more listing of stuff I’ve been downloading that is sure to keep a smile on your face and the sun shining in your heart! (For the record, I have no idea what I’m talking about here. I just made that up and it seemed to work so…I’m going with it…)

Stereoside – “Life Goes On” (rock)
Sounding more like Nickelback than anything else, this standard rocker fits the bill if you need something to crank up! Guaranteed to be on my favorite list this winter…

The Weepies – “How Do you Get High” (pop)
Answering that age old question…this little ditty is classic Weepies. Not too hard but a little more uptempo than what you normally hear from them! I like it!

Los Lobos – “On Main Street” (rock)
It’s like a stroll down…well…down Main Street. Kinda sauntering along, this band has been around for years and it shows on this tune. They know how to take it slow and make it sound fresh!

Robert Plant – “Monkey” (rock…kinda)
Very subtle and eerie, not your typical Plant vocal. He takes us on a low-key ride that is really more about the guitar than the vocal…but it’s still vintage Plant!

Linkin Park – “When They Come For Me” (rock)
You’re not gonna find a better rocker than this one for your workout mix. With a scattered drum and a thunderous encore, this track is HAWT!

Kanye West – “Power” (rap)
Coupled with “When They Come For Me”, you got yourself a strong twosome that have similiar styles. Kanye bounces back from that ridiculous situation with Taylor Swift and he seems to be a little angrier than ever…which is ALWAYS better than a fat cat rapper who has lost his edge.

Ne-Yo – “So Sick” (pop)
Apparently this song has been around for a while but I must have missed it. Reminds me of old school R&B pop of the 80’s. You could cue up just about anything by New Edition and it sounds like this! I dig it!

Maroon 5 – “Never Gonna Leave This Bed” (pop)
It’s my opinion that this pop band was borderline boring until they enlisted mega-hit producer Mutt Lange to amp up the wattage. This track isn’t rockin’ but I love the flow of it and finally the ship seems to be righted for Maroon 5!

My Darkest Days – “Porn Star Dancing” (rock)
I can only imagine this track is gonna be HUGE at strip bars across America! Typical rocker that is straight outta the Nickelback playbook. The added touch is having Ludacris show up and liven it up a bit!

The Ruse – “Down In A Hole” (alternative)
I like the guitar in this one, very subtle yet makes this a little different than the average, plodding alt-pop single. But besides that…it’s really not much.

Cee Lo Green – “Forget You” OR “Fuck You” (R&B)
Depending on the age group that might be in your car, this is a throwback to the 70’s R&B you grew up with…with a little bit of a kick. Might wanna watch the younger ears if you go with the better (and more vulgar) mix, but it’s worth it. Nice track that’s IN YOUR FACE!

Interpol – “Success” (alternative)
Know that plodding alt-band music I was talking about in my intro? Well…this is it. Good track though!

James – “Crazy” (alternative)
Really more pop than alternative, but I remember when this band was a relevant  alternative force. Now they just seem to be bored. Not a great track and I’m a little disappointed that there wasn’t something a little more groundbreaking done.

Bruno Mars – “Liquor Store Blues” (pop)
With a reggae twist, Bruno Mars swings in a different direction from his huge hit “Just The Way You Are” and does something a little different! It’s a good ending to the summer…