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

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“The 80’s Were Totally Awesome Dude” Soundtrack Mix

Are you in your late 30’s or early 40’s? If you are…that means you grew up in the 80’s. And if you grew up in the 80’s, that means you grew up in a cultural explosion that meshed pop culture with just about everything. From music, movies and television, the 80’s was as colorful a decade as you’ll find (literally…go check out the clothes!). Technology was booming, music & television merged with MTV and movies became a must-see event in the summertime. Living in a small town, there was nothing better to do on a Friday night than to cruise the main strip with the windows down, listening to the radio and then heading out to the local theater to catch the latest blockbuster. And it’s with those memories that I give you this mix of great tunes! Straight from the soundtracks of my favorite 80’s flicks…here’s a mix of the best songs that you may or may not of heard of that are featured in my favorite movies from my youth. First 3 people who know which scene that 3 of them are featured in I will mail you a copy of the playlist! And I predict no one will even try…lol

Shark Island – “Father Time”
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Keanu Reeves got his start playing the goofy Ted and the soundtrack is kinda kickass! Check out this hair band from Los Angeles! Reminds me a little of Billy Idol…

Flesh For Lulu – “I Go Crazy”
Some Kind Of Wonderful
I remember listening to Flesh For Lulu when I was in college in 1988. Dig this progressive alt-band!

Max Carle – “The Circle”
Weird Science
Seriously…this is a TOTALLY AWESOME soundtrack that has never been released on CD, so it’s unbelievably difficult to find. However I finally found it and now I’m playing it out! This is my favorite track off the album. Just good pop…

Wild Men Of Wonga – “Why Don’t Pretty Girls (Look At Me)”
Weird Science
Who was this band? Where did they go? Who knows…but I love this song and it’s alt-rock-pop-punk sound is VERY 80’s…

Mick Smiley – “Magic”
Ghostbusters
It starts out slow, then it kicks in towards the middle and becomes kind of haunting. Considering the movie it was in, that makes sense, right?

Tim Cappello – “I Still Believe”
The Lost Boys
With a sax to die for (literally), this gem from one of my favorite 80’s vampire flicks.

Commuter – “Young Hearts”
The Karate Kid
Everyone remembers that Peter Cetera’s “Glory Of Love” was the featured song in TKK II, but who remembers THIS track from the original? Nice pop track…

Jermaine Jackson – “Closest Thing To Perfect”
Perfect
John Travolta’s worst movie ever? Considering it’s a film about aerobics and…uh….well, who knows what else, that’s up for discussion. But this little pop gem is from the OTHER non-female Jackson and it’s pop R&B at it’s finest!

Miami Sound Machine – “Hot Summer Nights”
Top Gun
This is just a great album that captures the essence of the decade in it’s entirety. And the movie ain’t half bad either. And this song was pretty much ignored and never released (as far as I know), but I love it anyways!

Wang Chung – “Fire In The Twilight”
The Breakfast Club
What would the 80’s have been without Wang Chung? Not only did they manage to release a song that made absolutely made no sense, it became a hit AND it was named after the band. THIS track is a MILLION times better than “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”, but who woulda known?

Starship – “Wild Again”
Cocktail
Not one of Tom Cruise’s best movies, you say? Well…that might be true, but this song features the kind of soaring vocals by Grace Slick that was all over pop radio in the 80’s. No matter what their name was, Starship (aka Jefferson Airplane AND Jefferson Starship) rocked my world!

Tangerine Dream – “Lana”
Risky Business
An instrumental track from this German band, the movie was littered with their distinctive sound. And this song is featured in possibly the most defining scene in the film. How hot was Lana? I’d say it was this scene that many teenage boys fantasized to in the 80’s. Well…except for THIS scene…

The Cars – “Moving In Stereo”
Fast Times At Ridgemont High
Oh come on…if you don’t know what scene I’m talking about here, you weren’t a teenage boy growing up in the 80’s…

Elizabeth Daily – “One Way Love”
Better Off Dead
Whether it’s Elizabeth or E.G., this pop songstress has that distinctive screechy vocal that could blow Cyndi Lauper away. Ok…maybe not…but this song is as fun and poppy as anything else on this list!

Sparks – “Angst In My Pants”
Valley Girl
I can only imagine what it was like growing up in southern California in the 80’s, but this song almost epitomizes what it was like being a teenager ANYWHERE in the United States!

Ollie & Jerry – “Electric Booglaoo”
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo
Oh come on…if you were dancin’ in the 80’s, you were breakin’ and THIS track is fun R&B that makes ya wanna do the robot…

Chris Farren & Amy Holland – “Learn To Love Again”
Night Of The Comet
How much do I love this movie? Well…that can be argued. However the soundtrack is classic 80’s pop and it’s not available on CD ANYWHERE but I found it! Here is my favorite track and it has NOTHING to do with zombies or cheerleaders. Just so ya know…

Kim Wilde – “Say you Really Want Me”
Running Scared
What a great fun song! With keyboards galore and great riffs, this track is undeniably 80’s!!!

Jude Cole – “Back To School”
Back To School
Great pop song that is featured in the classic Rodney Dangerfield flick about a guy who goes back to school to be with his son and along the way finds love and happiness…or something like that. Either way…this song is awesome!!!

Dan Hartman – “I Can Dream About You”
Streets Of Fire
This song has gotten enough airplay through the years and was fairly popular, but it’s one of my favorite songs from that decade and it would be a shame to NOT include it here! Great

Lindsay Buckingham – “Holiday Road”
Vacation
John Hughes’ choice in music was impeccable when it came to his soundtracks and this song is taylor made for this film. A perfect choice by the 80’s filmmaking genius!

Once again…first 3 people who know which scenes these tracks were featured in gets a copy! Aaaaand go! I’ll be waiting by my computer…or not.