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.

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Lady Gaga Is A Marketing Genius…And A Thief

For months now I’ve been arguing that Lady Gaga is nothing original. I’ve been “discussing” my feelings ad nauseum over on “A Round World” since over a year ago. If anything, she’s a thief, a recycler of ideas. Another example of her lack of originality appeared recently in the form of a video that is straight-up a ripoff of Quentin Tarintino. Her vision for her latest video called “Telephone” is what some might call an “homage” to the B-movies of the 70’s. It’s a long video and flashy with lots of skin and sexual innuendo. Not exactly a video for kids. However MTV is airing it (albeit edited for tv) and now anyone can watch it online.

So now I have to ask…what is it with this artist that everyone loves so much? I watched this video and it is nothing that hasn’t been done before (I actually found it to be hysterical. She looks absolutely retarded through most of it with pop cans in her hair and outfits that would make a martian blush). She’s wearing Madonna’s bra from the 1980’s. She’s stealing riffs from other songs. She’s oversampling her voice. Everyone argues that she writes her own songs. They say she has talent, that she studied music in New York, that she is a proficient piano player, that she is an outstanding pop influence. I don’t get it. I call “bullshit”. I rate her only as a marketing genious, because frankly everything else about her is fake. Her music has all been done before. Is it catchy? Yes. In some cases. I think “Bad Romance” might be one of the worst songs I’ve heard in years. But “Paparazzi” is catchy. So is “Telephone” for that matter. But it’s nothing that a generic artist like Ke$ha can’t do. It’s watered-down pop electronica. And it’s not all that good watered-down pop electronica.

So I’ve been arguing and trying to make my point. Everyone has been giving me crap about the fact that I won’t let it go. They say I spend to much of my time obsessing about this artist. But seriously…you can’t look anywhere without seeing her and her stupid outfits and ridiculous hair. You can’t turn on the radio without hearing one of her 5 hit songs that Clearchannel has apparently decided it needs to play in order to sell commercial time. People LOVE Lady Gaga. Or do they?

What is YOUR take on the Gaga? Have we ever seen someone who shows up at award shows dressed in balloons and muppet attire. Oh wait…that’s right…Bjork did it in 2001 when she arrived at the Oscars in a swan dress. Ok…then have you ever heard anything like her before. Oh wait…there are plenty of artists who are making this kind of music, from Kascade to Goldfrapp. Ok then…I’ve never SEEN anything like her before. Oh wait…there was a certain blonde singer in the 80’s & 90’s who used her sexuality as a sticking point and fired up critics with a book of images of her naked. All of the arguments over her sexuality seem to be what is keeping Gaga in the limelight. And maybe THAT is what has me so confused. Because I don’t really care about her sexuality. If she’s straight. Fine. If she’s gay. Fine. If she’s a hermaphrodite. Fine. I’m not having sex with her…so why do I care? What I care about is the music and the influence she has on teenagers. And in THAT realm…she’s a fake and a lousy role model.

Call her what you want but if she’s all that, then why does hide behind the synthesized sound? Why does she take her ideas from other artists? What is it about her that YOU like so much? Because I’ve been listening to the loonies over on my other site for months and it’s time to open up a more adult forum about this. Plus I got nothing better to do right now. So go at it. Gimme your thoughts on the Lady Gaga. Is she all hype with no substance or am I completely wrong and she’s the next best thing since sliced toast?

Aaaaaand go.