iTunes Recommendations Posted by: Dale Franks
on Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Aah! Once again, it's time for me to recommend some hot tunes you can download from iTunes. Now, I understand that most of you aren't fans of Alternative music, so please, feel free to skip over this entry and look at something else.
Oh, and, as an aside, it's kinda wierd that I'm the one who does this. After all, Jon is the one that works at the Alternative radio station. I haven't done rock & roll radio since 1991. Since then, all I've done is talk radio. Yet, I'm the guy who does all the music stuff. In fact, Jon, as he's related here before, doesn't even like music. Yet he's the rock & roll radio guy. Go figure.
Anyway, for the rest of you, here's the newest crop of music recommendations. The links go to MP3 samples of the songs, long enough to get a good idea of the song's sound, but short enough not to violate the fair use doctrine.
Artist: Veruca Salt Song:Volcano Girls Comment: Veruca Salt is one of the post-Nirvana bands that came out of Seattle in the aftermath of the Grunge breakthrough. They're named after the spoiled little girl character in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This song is hot! I love it! Also, it's a band with a female lead vocalist, and I love chick bands. They're just sexy! All I can say is, if she's lying here, I'm not gonna leave her lying here. If she doesn't wanna go, I don't wanna go, either. Oh, and I don't care what you think, I'd do Courtney Love, too, so bite me. In fact, I hope she did kill Curt Cobain. That'd make doing her even better. (Well, actually, The Lovely Christine would have a problem with that, so the last bit is really a theoretical statement, not an actual statement of fact.)
Artist: HIM (His Infernal Majesty) Song:Wings of a Butterfly Comment: The whole "I worship Satan" thing is old. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Did it 30 years ago, in fact, with Ozzy and Black Sabbath. It's passe. (The really sad thing is that I'm old enough to remeber when Ozzy and Black Sabbath were putting out new albums.) Nice song though, if you ignore the references to blood and whatnot. Even Chris likes this song. I can only assume it's because she's never taken time to listen to the creepy lyrics.
Artist: The Killers Song:Jenny Was a Friend of Mine Comment: The Killers' debut LP, Hot Fuss is a musical tour de force. If they get another hit off this album, they'll have to start wearing one sequined glove and molesting young boys, because they'll be in Michael Jackson Thriller territory. Weird fact: There's already a Killers tribute band with an album out.
Artist: Gogol Bordello Song:Not a Crime Comment: This is a Russian group, and their music is very...Russian. I mean, it's complete with accordions and violins. If you ever wanted to know what Russian rock & roll ever sounded like, look no further. Also, I have no idea what this song is about. Apparently, in the old times, it was not a crime, although it is now, evidently. No clue what it is, by the way. No clue where these guys learned English, either. As the band says, "It's all nonsensensical!" Whatever that means. But, hey, drop the freakin' charges, eh? Or, as the Gogol Bordello guys would say, "Drob de jarjes!"
Artist: Coheed & Cambria Song:The Suffering Comment: Coheed & Cambria has a very distinctive sound, mainly because their lead singer has an extremely high tenor voice. I've become addicted to their music, though, mainly because of songs like this.
Artist: Armor for Sleep Song:The Truth About Heaven Comment: I don't really know anything about this band. I caught this song on XM, and fell in love with it. I'm betting you will, too.
Artist: Tegan and Sarah Song:I Was Walking With a Ghost Comment: I like Tegan and Sarah. You know what they say about girls with tatoos & piercings, don't you? (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.) Cool song, though. So cool that The White Stripes covered it, too, although Tegan and Sarah's version is better.
Artist: Hard-Fi Song:Cash Machine Comment: Hard-Fi reminds me of Pink Floyd for some reason. I dunno why. They don't sound like Pink Floyd. But, there you go. Maybe it's because I relate this song to "Money" for some unexplained psychological reason. In any event, this is the title track from the Cash Machine album.
Artist: Morningwood Song:The Nth Degree Comment: In the 1980s, this would've been pop music. In 2006, it's Alternative. This is from Morningwood's eponymously titled debut album, and it's catchy, if not very deep. Unlike other alternative music, there's no musing about death or the essential nihilism of life. Which is a bit of relief when you remember that most ALternative artists, for all their droning about the attraction of death and the pointlessness of life, don't seem all that interested in shuffling off this mortal coil. I mean, all the guys from The Cure are still around, lighting up Havana Torpedos with $100 bills, their music's lyrics notwithstanding. Oh, and even though this group is named Morningwood, I think we can do without your snart-aleck little comments about "morning wood". Grow up, for Cripes' sake. (Although, oddly, that was The Lovely Christine's first thought when she heard the band's name. I think I can explain that satisfactorily, though.)
Artist: Kaiser Chiefs Song:I Predict a Riot Comment: No matter what decade this song was released in, it would've been Alternative music. Very, very British sound to this track. Completely so, right down to the quaint accents of the vocalists.
Artist: Gorillaz Song:Dare Comment: Another British alternative group. Odd song, yet still sort of cool. Kind of a cross between 1980s Stock, Aitken, and Waterman dance music and modern Alternative. It's an unusual—yet catchy—song with an unusual sound.
Artist: Panic! At The Disco Song:The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Publicity Comment: Good music, kind of acoustic, kind of alternative. I have one gripe, though. This band goes for long-winded titles. Hard for DJs to "hit the post" when the song title take 30 seconds to recite. Brevity, gentlemen. It's the soul of wit. One interesting bit about this song is that the vocals use a lot of slides like early 1980s Ozzy Osborne, which, oddly, fit into the whole acoustic millieu of this track. I can't explain it.
Artist: Franz Ferdinand Song:The Fallen Comment: Yet another British alternative group. I tell you, those Brits and their music. There's hardly any room for American artists with all the talented Brits out there. Oh, and the Canadians. Talented bastards. On the other hand, Franz Ferdinand is the type of artist that you want to listen to over and over again, no matter what your nationality. Franz Ferdinand just rocks. Everything they do makes your toes tap.
So, there you have it, my newest recommendations for music.
Oh, and one final note: Don't bother to comment how much better The Eagles or Electric Light Orchestra was. For two reasons. A) ELO sucked, because Jeff Lynn should never have been allowed to produce any album for anybody, and B) The 70s are dead. We killed them when we buried Jimmy Carter at the ballot box.
By your reviews, Dale, it looks like we both think the pickings have been slimmer than usual in the last few months. My best recent acquisition has been Roine Stolt’s "Wall Street Voodoo" album, and it’s only fair. Not as good as most of his Flower Kings output. (Stolt is Swedish, for those unfamiliar with him or his band.)
Well, Dale, part of the reason Panic! at the Disco might have struck you that way is, they ripped the entire song title from Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club. They also ripped a handful of his lines from various books to use as lyrics.
But they’re obvious enough that I suppose they’re supposed to be gracious nods, rather than ripping.