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Music Recommendations
Posted by: Dale Franks on Sunday, March 05, 2006

I've been sick this week (a story about which I'll go into on the Podcast tomorrow), and haven't felt much like blogging. So, I've had time to pull down some songs from iTunes. Which means that, once again, it's time to take a look at some of my most recent acquisitions from iTunes, and make a few recommendations. As always, the song title is linked to a brief MP3 sample of the song. Please remember that, no matter how snarky I get about the song, I downloaded it—and am recommending it—because I like it for some reason.

Song Info Comments
Song: All That I've Got
Artist: The Used
Album: In Love and Death
Year: 2004
The Used is an alternative band from Orem, Utah. Frontman Bert McCracken says, ""I've rebelled against all types of conformity throughout my life, not just Utah's conservative culture. I rebelled against the Mormon Church by going to other churches. I rebelled against my parents by not eating meat. I rebelled against my friends and myself by doing drugs. And I rebelled against everything that was holding me down by playing music with these guys."I'm kinda curious as to whether the promiscuous churchgoing preceded or followed the drug use. In any event, this is a pleasant, mellow, little tune.
Song: Blue Orchid
Artist: The White Stripes
Album: Single Release
Year: 2005
Nice, driving tune with thumpy beat, distorted know, the whole alt-rock schmear. I like this tune, although I'm not a big fan of The White Stripes, generally. There's a whiny quality to the vocals that kinda irks me.
Song: C'mon C'mon
Artist: The Von Bondies
Album: Pawn Shoppe Heart
Year: 2004
The Von Bondies have kind of a punk-influenced, 80's New Wave fusion kind of sound. This is a good party track.
Song: Gold Lion
Artist: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Album: Single
Year: 2006
Don't ask me why I like this song. First, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound exactly like Tegan and Sarah. And almost every other alt-rock girl band. What's with the little-girl vocals? And, the lyrics don't even make sense. "Gold Lion's gonna tell me where the light is." Why does she need an excessively tawny panthera leo to direct her to the lights? And where does a large carnivore obtain his zen-like mastery of illumination?

And yet, I do like it. Go figure.
Song: Jetsetter
Artist: Morningwood
Album: Morningwood
Year: 2006
This is the new single release from Morningwood's debut album. It's a bit unusual, but very cool.
Song: King Without a Crown
Artist: Matisyahu
Album: Live at Stubb's
Year: 2005
Matisyahu is, as far as I know, the only Hasidic Jew who is doing Inspirational Reggae music at the current time. I suspect, he may, in fact, be the only Hasidic Jew who's ever done so. Still, dreadlocks, sidelocks, what's the difference? It is a bit shocking, I'll admit, to hear the music—which sounds as if it's being performed by a Jamaican fellow—then to see Matisyahu performing in full Hasidic regalia. But he's very talented, and he's become a minor phenomenon, doing what is really the only purely inspirational music to make it in the Alternative music...uh...mainstream.
Song: Little Sister
Artist: Queens of the Stone Age
Album: Single
Year: 2005
Well, it's the Queens of the Stone Age. What can you say? It's good.
Song: Out of Control
Artist: Hoobastank
Album: The Reason
Year: 2003
I like the song, but why all the yelling? I mean, we get it, you're out of control. You don't have to scream at me. Exercise some restraint, for cripes sake.
Song: Paralyzed
Artist: Bob Mould
Album: Body of Song
Year: 2005
The former Hüsker Dü frontman now looks like a middle-aged financial advisor. Do any of you even remember Hüsker Dü? Well, I Dü. So, seeing Bob all gray and bald reminds me of my own age. He's still pumpin' out the tunes, though.
Song: Perfect Situation
Artist: Weezer
Album: Make Believe
Year: 2005
This is yet another single from Weezer's most recent album, which also contained the hits "Beverly Hills" and "We Are All On Drugs". Another solid offering from a solid band.
Song: Seether
Artist: Veruca Salt
Album:American Thighs
Year: 1994
An oldie but a goodie. Along with "Volcano Girls" this song is the quintessential Veruca Salt.
Song: Stupid Girl
Artist: Garbage
Album: Garbage
Garbage's female vocalist, Shirley Manson, has a sound very similar to Kate Bush. The band itself was described by Jeff Bateman as "Cool, calculating, and Euro-trashy in the grand tradition of Roxy Music and the Eurythmics", which is as good a description as any I can think of.

BY the way, it's odd how many songs over the last 40 years or so have been titled "Stupid Girl", or some minor variation of that. In fact, Pink just released a single called "Stupid Girls".
Song: Use It
Artist: The New Pornographers
Album: Twin Cinema
The New Pornographers keep up the power-pop sound in their third album, from which this single is taken. This song sounds really familiar to me. It reminds me extremely strongly of an REO Speedwagon tune from the 1970s.

Now, follow my wierd stream-of-consciousness meandering here. TNP is a Canadian Group. My favorite Canadian television show is "Made in Canada", which was kind of like a Canadian version of "The Office". The show revolved around a Canadian TV production house that had, as its primary property, a TV show called "Beaver Creek", a melodrama set in the 19th century Candian frontier. In one of the episodes, it was learned that a porn video take-off of "Beaver Creek" had been made, and, as it turned out, the producers of the television show had actually been the producers of the porn video. Which brings us to the following bit of dialogue, between the peeved star of the real "Beaver Creek" and the show's producer:

Acress: So, what did you call the porn version of "Beaver Creek"?
Producer: [As if the answer should be obvious] "Beaver Creek".

So, that's a little glimpse inside my mind. Frightening, isn't it?

So, there you go with this round's crop of recommendations.

And, yes, it would kill me to play some Foghat once in a while.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

The Von Bondies song is also the theme song from Rescue Me on FX, that is how I discovered it. Great song, and songs.
Written By: Morgyman
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