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.

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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.

The Cars Sing A “Sad Song”

A while back I reported that The Cars were working on new material and will possibly tour at some point this coming year? Well…the new single is up on YouTube and it is very much a return to the great sound of the 80’s for them! It’s excellent! Can’t wait to hear what they have in store for the rest of the album!

Uh-Oh…It’s Magic!

If you’re a child of the 80’s, odds are good you grew up listening to the new wave band, The Cars. After getting their start in Columbus, Ohio in 1977, the band, fronted by lanky vocalist, Ric Ocasek, had hit after hit and went on to become one of the more prolific bands of that generation. With songs like “Moving In Stereo,” “Just What I Needed,” “You Might Think,” “Magic,” My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Magic,” and so on, the band was a hit machine for over a decade.

After breaking up in 1988, the band went their separate ways and a reunion was thought to be out of the question. According to Wikipedia, in 1997 Ocasek was quoted as saying, “I’m saying never and you can count on that.” Well…hell hath frozen over and now the remaining band members are talking comeback!

In 2000, vocalist/guitarist Benjamin Orr passed away and 2 of the original bandmates of The Cars attempted a comeback with a band called “The New Cars” in 2005 with Todd Rundgren, but without Ocasek the idea of a true reunion was null & void…until now.

So now Rolling Stone is reporting that a new album is in the works and a tour is possible following. Can I just say that this will be a must-see show for me. Much like The Police, who went on tour a few years ago, The Cars are one of those bands that I listened too on repeat for my entire youth and seeing them live (even without Benjamin Orr) will be a treat. With so many songs that fans love and with a frontman as interesting as Ocasek, it should be a “sold out at every stop” event.

23 years is a long time to be gone and I’m sure there might be a little rust, but for MY money, you can’t go wrong with a classic band with the kind of stage experience that this band has. Let’s just hope they can come to grips with whatever conflicts they might have had in the past and this thing comes together. It really will be an event for old guys like me! 🙂

Remember this one…?