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.

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Top 40 Favorite Songs Of 2010


Most disappointing artist of 2010? Unfortunately…yes. I expected bigger & better things…

What a strange and wonderful year for music. So many great singles, so few great albums but so much to choose from! And I DID choose a lot. I’m pretty sure I downloaded over 200 songs and a boatload of albums off ITunes. With music becoming so easily accessible, it’s hard for a guy like me to NOT download too much. Seriously…having ITunes on my phone KILLS me. Anyway, here are what I consider to be MY favorite tracks from 2010.

40. The Weepies – “How Do You Get High” (alternative)
Boppy number from this notoriously slow ballad band. Bounces around and is a nice change for them.This is about as exciting as this married couple get!

39. Circa Survive – “I Felt Free” (alternative)
Don’t really know much about this band but heard this track on Pandora months ago and it has stuck with me. I like the lyrics and the anthemic sound. Good track! Check it out!

38. Passion Pit – “Let Your Love Grow Tall” (alternative pop)
I dig this track. Gotta a nice beat…and I can dance to it. ‘Nuff said.

37. T.I. – “Welcome To The World” (rap)
T.I. had a good year with getting out of jail and then dropping this album that was smokin’ hot! He has 2 tracks in my favs this year but really the whole album is top shelf!

They’re here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff!!!

36. Sex Bob-Omb – “Threshold” (rock)
Is this a real band? Eh…who cares when the music ROCKS like this! Straight from the “Scott Justice vs The World” soundtrack, this track grabs you by the ears and kicks you in the gut. Love it!

35. Anberlin – “Impossible” (pop rock)
Power rock pop that is impossibly peppy and is obviously right up my alley. Yep…that’s THIS track. And I don’t apologize for it.

34. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – “Hot Summer Night” (rock)
Seriously…this chick has got some serious pipes and considering how cold it is right now…I could use a little of THIS action!

33. Atomic Tom – “This Is How We Like To End” (alternative)
This was a surprising track for me, but I really like it and I like the words. Sad and yet somehow hopeful.

32. Taio Cruz feat Ludacris – “Break Your Heart” (pop)
Nothing defines my summer like this song. My kids love it and admittedly…so do I. It’s repetitive and catchy and I still find myself bopping my head along to it every time I hear it.

Sure…why not?

31. Crystal Bowersox – “Kiss Ya” (rock)
I don’t know what the future holds for this American Idol runner-up, but I’ve always thought she has an amazing voice and this track highlights her ability to hit the high notes. It rocks and so does she!

30. M.I.A. – “Believer” (alternative)
Is she fascinating? Overrated? Weird? Who cares? this song is TRIPPY and it lopes along in a weird funk, dripping with sexuality. I get it. Even if I don’t get her…

29. Greg Laswell – “Take Everything” (adult contemporary)
Something about this guy I really like and this song is sad and yet hopeful at the same time. If you like David Gray (which I do), you will like Greg Laswell.

28. Hanson – “Thinking ‘Bout Something” (pop)
Before you start thinking me crazy, go LISTEN to it yourself! Pop in all of its glory! Yeah…I know, I know…”MmmmBop” is annoying and the IDEA of liking these guys is slightly annoying but LISTEN to it and tell me you’re not shaking your ass and I’ll call you a liar. Oh…and it’s kind of a sad song…which makes it even more interesting…

27. Broken Bells – “The Mall and Misery” (alternative)
With simple cords and a poppy chorus, this song has been stuck in my head for months. With the lead singer of The Shins and the producer Danger Mouse, this reminds me of a modern “Simon & GarFUNKel.”

26. Stereoside – “Life Goes On” (rock)
I love me some rock and this single reminds me of classic 80’s hairband rock. Hailing from Florida, this band could almost be mistaken for Whitesnake! And that is pretty cool…

25. Justin Bieber – “Somebody To Love” (pop)
Well crap. Look…I don’t care what you say about this kid, he IS pop right now. And with Usher producing, this single is easily one of my favorite pop tracks of the year.

24. Kings Of Leon – “The Immortals” (rock)
I was so glad to hear that the Kings followed up their awesome “Only By The Night” with a comparable followup in “Come Around Sundown”. It’s different in all the right ways and very arena rock oriented and this is my favorite track off the album.

23. Frightened Rabbit – “Nothing Like You” (alternative)
What a unique and strange voice, but Scott Hutchinson knows how to put together a great song. This track moves at a frantic pace and is one of FR’s best!

22. Iration – “Wait & See” (pop/reggae)
My favorite new band of the year, this southern Cali band was a refreshing wave that had me hooked all summer long. I wore out their album “Time Bomb” and this track is one of the reasons.

21. JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys – “If You Let Me” (rock)
Chrissie Hynde IS the female voice of rock n roll and this track confirms it. Sultry and forceful at the same time, this track highlights everything about her that I love. Classic song about unrequited love…which ALWAYS makes for a great pop song!

20. Outasight – “Catch Me If You Can” (alt-rap)
Richard Andrew is doin’ something right and this hybrid of rap and funky soul is right up my alley. I can’t wait to hear what his new album sounds like but he released a 6 track EP back in May and this song has been on heavy rotation on my IPod ever since.

19. Vampire Weekend – “Cousins” (alternative)
This song is like listening to a hummingbird, it bops and bounces all over the place! And with that now famous Vampire Weekend verve, it sucks you in and shakes you along with it.

18. Kanye West – “Power” (rap)
From the first note it hooks you then Kanye kicks it with a siren wail and a blistering rap. Seeing as how he has somehow made good on the “Taylor Swift incident,” I guess it’s safe to say he’s back…and still kinda pissed off and full of himself. But what’s a rap track without a little bit of bravado, right?

17. Metric – “Black Sheep” (rock)
This little track appeared on the “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” soundtrack and it stuck in my head immediately!  Sounding a lot like “Garbage” back in the day, I totally loved Metric’s album from last year and now I can’t wait for the next Metric album to drop.

16. Arcade Fire – “City With No Children In It” (alternative)
This album got all kind of props this past year from the music community. Personally, I thought it was ok, but not the “White Album.” This track, however, is right up my alley and I like the message.

15. OK Go – “White Knuckles” (pop)
Coming across sounding like Prince, this jam is quirky, loud and funky! If you need a reason to shake your booty…this is it!

14. Deerhunter – “Desire Lines” (alternative)
I could listen to this song over & over again. It reminds me of 90’s Smashing Pumpkins lite. Not too hard but not so slow either. It’s just right. And I dig the lyrics…

13. Mike Posner – “Please Don’t Go” (pop)
This guy is smoooooth and this pop concoction is the perfect track for wooing the women. Nice beat, slick lyrics and the kid from Duke shows that he knows how to put together some good pop music.

12. The Black Keys – “Howlin’ For You” (rock)
Dirty, grungy bluesy rock track from Akron’s new favorite sons. This band is HOT right now with a summer tour with Kings Of Leon and several appearances at key festivals, they are finally getting the attention they deserve.

11. T.I. – “Ya Hear Me” (rap)
After spending some time in jail, T.I. decided to write an album that documented his feelings on being in the lockup. This is a highlight off a pretty damn good album! Kicks in all the right places and T.I. shows he’s not gonna let anything slow him down!

I know it’s not HER song…but work with me here…

10. Eminem feat Rihanna – “Love The Way You Lie” (rap/pop)
Overplayed? Yes. But there isn’t another song out there with more compelling lyrics this year and Rihanna’s soulful chorus makes it resonate even more.

Yeah…I got nuthin’…

9. Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream” (pop)
I know, I know…I got a lot of pop songs in here but my kids are at an age where they are loving the pop and I have to listen to what THEY listen too and quite frankly…I like ALL these songs! Katy Perry was HUGE this year and this song is a big reason why. It’s a love song with some sexual edge to it and that makes for one of the best pop songs of the year!

8. Third Day – “Make Your Move” (rock)
Listed as Christian Rock, I don’t think so. This is blues rock at its best! With a nasty bassline and wicked drums, I think this is one of those songs you grind too in a dirty bar somewhere. Christian rock? Huh….I doubt it.

7. Iration – “Time Bomb” (reggae pop)
This southern Cali band is making a play for my favorite album of the year with the title track coming up just short for my favorite song of the year! But this entire album is awesome and hit at just the right time for me. This song of a girl on a destructive path is perfect in every way and is definitely a must hear!

6. Big Boi – “Daddy Fat Sax” (rap)
Sweet jam with some of the slickest lyrics this year, Big Boi cranks the funk and jams! Who needs Outkast when you have 2 individual artists cranking out such great music! LOVE this track!

5. Linkin Park – “When They Come For Me” (rock)
Some would argue they’ve lost their edge but for me, this track is what alt-rock is all about. With their middle finger high in the air, Linkin Park tackles all the naysayers and brings it with a hot bassline and a vicious rap.

4. Atomic Tom – “The Moment” (alternative)
Something about this song that really appeals to me. It has an 80’s alternative sound and the lyrics about that one second when everything falls into place are something we all think about. And when that moment does happen? It’s pure heaven…

They are NOT the Black Eyed Peas!!! Mostly because they don’t have a Fergie to look at…

3. Far East Movement – “Don’t Look Now” (dance)
With a huge hit under their belt (Fly Like A G6), this band made some big waves this year with a great dance album. This song is my personal favorite. With Keri Hilson supplying a guest vocal, this song will eventually make it to pop radio…I promise.

2. John Butler Trio – “Close To You” (rock)
An awesome riff that takes you and shakes you and just won’t let go! This song is so damn good that it SHOULD be a tie for #1 because I love both of them so much. This is easily my most listened to track on my IPhone this year.

1. Trapt – “The Wind” (rock)
The only reason I’m taking this song over “Close To You” is for a simple reason…the lyrics. 2010 saw me all over the place, from one end of this country to the other, and this song is about how life can take you away and be exhausting and overwhelming at times. But at the same time, it opens up new doors and allows you to shine. I feel that way right now. And so that is why “The Wind” is MY favorite song of 2010.

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…