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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.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

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.)

I don’t like ELO either. Never did.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Would it kill you to play some foghat now and then?
Written By: Jon Henke
Nice pics, I’ll have to check some of them out.

My own recs from the last few months -

Band Disc

The Weakertans - Reconstruction Site
Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Jimmy Chamberlin Complex (x pumpkins/zwan drummer) - Life Begins Again
Written By: Talbot
URL: http://
I’d recommend The Cat Empire. An Australian group, I’m not entirely sure how available their music is in the US. They are simply excellent. Great beat, lyrics, wonderful use of brass. I adore them.
Written By: Ozymandias
URL: http://
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.
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
My best attempt at something edgy and new is THE KINGS OF LEON

especially songs like "Taper Jean Girl", "Pistol of Fire", and "The Bucket".

Guaranteed to make you wanta drive fast and dance like you were 20 again (and lovin it)
Written By: Mark Cancemi
URL: http://
Actually, Franz Ferdinand is a Scottish band.

Written By: Sarah
URL: http://
I think its a good selection, a little on the slow side of me but I suppose everyone has their own tastes eh? ;)
Written By: Butterfly

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