Bakers Dozen Best Bands With #'s in Their Names.

>> Monday, December 22, 2008

Alright. This is a challenge, only because, I have done like 8 rough drafts of this list, and then realize that I have forgotten someone essential. It is maddeningly impossible to not leave someone out, but here goes.

And since every list must have rules, here they are. The number mentioned, must be used as a number, ex. Secondhand Serenade does not qualify because the term Secondhand is a word meant to describe used. Also, the band name must not refer to the amount of people in the band itself, ex. The Jackson 5, The Four Tops, and so on.

Most of these bands are from the 90's, and its something that I call the U2 effect.

1. U2.
Ok, so, even though I am not at all a big fan of this band, the quality of the music they put out can not be denied. That alone merits their placement on this list.

2. Third Eye Blind.
One of my all time favorite albums is this bands debut. Maybe a little high in a historical sense, but not in a personal sense.

3. Matchbox Twenty
What I said about Third Eye Blind can also be said, word for word, about this band.

4. Ben Folds Five
In my eight rough drafts of this list, I forgot this band seven times. From "Brick" to "The Battle of Who Could Care Less" this band does not miss.

5. 311
What can I say about 311? I just love them so much. More than I would normally like to admit on a public forum. But for whatever reason, they just speak to me, or should I say they just rap-sing to me.

6. 2pac
It is already happening. 2pac is one of the greatest influences in music history. I think, normally, I would have mentioned that someday, he will become, blah, blah, blah.... But this has already happened.

7. Blink 182
Dude Ranch. I mean, what else needs to be said. One of my favorite albums from highschool.

8. Maroon 5
One of the best new voices in music. Granted their second album was not nearly as good as their first, but the first was so good, and the sophomore was not bad enough to demote them off this list.

9. Eve 6
This band gets overlooked as a flash in the pan, 2 hit wonder. But, their debut album is complete. And for anyone who knows me, that is not something i just toss around. From beginning to end it is a fine album.

10. Nine Days/Stroke 9
Ok, so these are a one hit wonder bands. Nine Days had "Absolutely(Story of a Girl)" and Stroke 9 had "Little Black Backpack" both released in the summer of 1998. Neither band picked up much steam after these initial singles, however, the albums are well worth a good listen.

11. nine inch nails
I know at least 3 people that would kick me in the shin for having this band at number 11. But, this is a "U2" type inclusion. I am not a big fan, but their word is undeniable.

12. 3 Doors Down
You may not realize how often you sing along to a Three Doors Down song. Consider this; "Kryptonite"..."Be Like That"..."When I'm Gone"..."Here Without You"..."It's Not My Time." Now tell me, you are not humming at least one of those tracks. "Be Like That" is one of my personal favorites.

13. 4 Non Blondes
Another one hit wonder. But its a great song, and a pretty good ringtone.

Also Considered

Three Dog Night

Leave comments on which ones i have missed.

Best Actors...

>> Thursday, December 18, 2008

Best Actors named Corey...

So I wanted to do a blog about the best actors named Corey. Then I looked up actors named Corey and realized after the obvious two there are none. Like really. So, without further ado the list of best actors named Corey:

1. Corey Feldman
2. Corey Haim

Fight me on the order, I dare you :) -Stevie

Top Albums of 2008

My life in music took a turn this year. If you know me, you know I am helplessly addicted to what I deem as Pussy Rock. You know, that singer songwriter that guys put on the jukebox to be sensitive and impress the nerdy girl at the bar. And, I have never shy'd away from the persona, I really do love Singersongwriters, and this Best Albums list, will have its fair share, however, my life has been a rollercoaster this year. It’s been a pile of pretty little shambles, and I have expanded my musical tastes to fill the holes whole.

These thirteen albums were released between Oct. 2007 and Dec. 2008. Yes, I realize this is longer than a year, but some albums need a couple months to gain traction, or are possibly released on an indie level and do not quite make their way to the Great Northwest until the following year.

Last year, I afraid to rank them in order, and I took the wuss way out and just did them alphabetical. However this year, I am more of a man, so... enjoy, in order, the Best Albums of 2008.

1. B-Sides and Rarities - The Format.

Ok, so yes, this is an album from last year, but it is the only one on here, I promise. I purchased this release in January because of a song I heard online, "Faith in Fast Cars" on my friends Stevie's Myspace page. This band, and more particularly, this Album (which you will find on my Top 50 Albums, Top 100 Songs [Stevie’s as well] and my Top 50 Artists entries) is a beautiful mix of quirky melodies, insanely well written lyrics and a sorrow-ridden, nursery rhyme enriched vocals.

*Tracks Not to Miss – The aforementioned “Faith in Fast Cars”; “For You”; “Seven Digit Pin Code”; “Threes”

*Tracks that Miss – “Does Your Cat Have a Mustache?”; Do You Believe In Magic (Cover)”

2. Holly – Justin Nozuka

Justin Nozuka is a chameleon. Every song on this beautiful album could be accompanied by a different persona. From the bluesy Johnny Lang like rifts and lyrics on “Be Back Soon,” To the Jason Mraz campfire acoustic bliss on “After Tonight,” and finally to the lyrical heart break in the vein of Damien Rice on “Save Him.” This is a complete album, but, a relatively overlooked one as well. I believe that the same reason I have become so enamored with him, his ability to break the mold of the typical Singersongwriter, is the same reason, so many people missed this slice of gold.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “Be Back Soon”; “After Tonight”; “Save Him”; “Down In a Cold Dirty Well”

*Tracks That Miss – “Criminal”

3. Hold On Now Youngster! – Los Campesinos!

Whirlwind. Whirl! Wind! This seven piece band out of Cardiff, Wales is the most divisive band that I have exposed to my friends in the last year. I have gotten several, “wow, this is amazing”’s, I have gotten more than a few, “I could not listen to a whole record of this stuff, but I like it”’s, and just as many “No”’s. This is high energy, beat the drums til music comes out, harmonize-like-kindergarten-choir-practice, music. The band has every instrument going full tilt, full time. The two lead singers, sing like bickering brother and sister, and I would not have it any other way. This albums is brilliant, the lyrics are insightful and biting. The melodies would get a paraplegic to tap their toe. And this is only the first appearance of this band on my list.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “Death to Los Campesinos”; “You! Me! Dancing!”; “Don’t Tell Me To Do The Math(s)”; “Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats”; “This Is How You Spell ‘HAHAHA, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics’”

*Tracks That Miss – None

4. For Emma, Forever Ago – Bon Iver

This is the kind of album that you have to take pause with. When listening to, you have to sit back and realize that you are invading on Justin Vernon’s very soul. This album was recorded as basic as they get, in a wooded cabin deep in the Wisconsin wilderness. The subtleness and tenderness of his voice can only be appreciated in doses. Now, that does not at all mean that this is the kind of album that you need to be cautious of, or that you will get sick of easily. In fact, just the opposite, when I say “doses,” it is more of a warning of addiction. This will stick with you.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “Skinny Love”; “Re:Stacks”; “Blindsided” “Wolves (Act I & II)

*Tracks That Miss – None

5. We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. (Extended iTunes Version) – Jason Mraz

I am not sure this would make my list if the extended version with acoustic and b-sides adaptations of the songs was not released. Yes, the album is solid as a whole, but would it have beat out 13 others in such a good year for music if not for 14 bonus tracks? Doubtful. This is typical Jason Mraz, great wordsmith, nearly perfect vocals, and just right hint of self-deprecating humor. Jason knows himself, and he does not try to be anything he is not. And it’s this kind of quality that will always keep him on my Top Artists of all Time list.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “Butterfly(both the album and bonus version”; “Details in the Fabric w/James Morrison”; “I’m Yours”; “Coyotes”; “Life is Wonderful (Bonus)”; “Man Gave Names to All the Animals(Bonus)”

*Tracks That Miss – None

6. Magic Vs. The Machine – The Nextdoor Neighbors.

This is a local all girl two-piece band that has not had a major release just yet, but Bicycle Records in Olympia, WA, helped them put out this gem of a record. To me, this sound, self-defined by the band as electro-folk-hop, is 100% unique. The dynamic of this band is what makes it so special, the coming together of these two beautifully talented souls is magic. The incredible melodies are sweetened by the haunting vocals and inspired lyrics. I do not know where in the pantheon of radio these girls would fit in, however, this album is hypnotic.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “Town Full Of Mannequins” (although, the EP version of this song was slightly better); “Liars”; “The Body Song”; “The Train Song”; “Magic Vs. The Machine”

*Tracks That Miss – “We Are The Future”

7. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

I fought this band for most of the year. You know, they were the new “it” band, and although I had heard of them, I was not in the know, and I hated that. But eventually, I caved, picked up the album and, like everyone else, was blown away. Biting and clever lyrics litter this album from beginning to end. They do not sing down to us as a band, nor do they dumb themselves down either. They are very happy just being who they are and saying, “like us, or don’t, whatever,” and that, to me is endearing.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “A-Punk”; “Oxford Comma”; “M79”; “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance”

*Tracks That Miss – “Walcott”; “One (Blake’s Got a New Face)”

8. When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold – Atmosphere

Hip-hop albums do not make standard best of lists. They are often too flawed with throwaway tracks, nonsensical intros, and over reaching beats. However, that is not at all the case with Atmosphere. This is intelligent hip-hop, with rhymes about the state of the economy, family, and real trials and tribulations that we all go thorough. I will let some lyrics do the rest of this review, just to prove my point;

My better half is mad at makin' magic outta can goods
My tax bracket status got her questionin' my manhood
My shorty got caught smokin' weed at a concert
And if I smack 'em everybody treats me like a monster
My neighbors ain't doin' much better
And we makin' competition instead of stickin' together
Can't save no nest egg, in fact this nest is rented
In fact that rent is late, wait

The money ain't here, the raise ain't comin'
Just me and my son and that crazy woman


*Tracks Not To Miss – “Guarantees”; “Her Music Box”; “The Waitress” “Shoulda Known”

*Tracks That Miss – “You”; “The Skinny”

9. Visiter – The Dodo’s

This album was a surprise. I fell in love with the track “Fools” and anyone who has had access to my MySpace page, can attest that this song made at least 4 appearances on my playlist. It is driving, urging, steady, sturdy music. But, I, never picked up the album, I figured that “Fools” was such an interesting song by composition standards alone that it was probably an anomaly. I was wrong. This, drum driven band does not disappoint. If someone in a lab would genetically create a cross between African Tribal Drum Circle Music, Folk, and Indie, they would be left with The Dodo’s. Pick up this album, and send me an email for enriching your life.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “Fools”; “Eyelids”; “Walking”; “God?”

*Tracks That Miss – “Red and Purple”

10. Gossip In The Grain – Ray LaMontagne

There are two factions of music people. Damien Rice people and Ray LaMontagne people. And for years, I was all Damien, and fought off the offers of people to “introduce” me to Ray. But then a couple years ago I picked up “Live from the Mountain Music Lounge” a compilation disc that is released annually by KMTT in Seattle (pick it up every year if you can, it is jam packed full of one of a kind tracks) and I fell in love with a song called Trouble with out even knowing who it was. Turns out, that man, was the Bearded Musical Messiah himself. And now, I am still a Damien Rice person, but I have more than made room for Mr. LaMontagne. This album is a slight departure from the previous two. It is on a slightly grander scale musically, but still sung in a breathy whisper. Its beautiful.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “Let It Be Me”; “He me, Hey Mamma”; “You Are The Best Thing”

*Tracks That Miss – “Meg White”

11. Songs for You, Truths for Me – James Morrison

I have an unnatural fear of Sophomore Releases. They always disappoint and never live up to the standard that brought the artist into our sights in the first place. I could write a whole blog about sophomore albums that fell short of their freshmen counterparts. However, there are exceptions. James Morrison is not one. His second album, in no way surpasses Undiscovered, but, it does not fall that short. Considering that Undiscovered was tied for my favorite album last year I have to give credit where credit is due. James Morrison is the man. He skillfully blends Singersongwriter/blues/R&B into a beautiful mess of melody and lyric and allows you to just get lost. I will admit, I do enjoy broken hearted James a bit more than this Happy-Go-Lucky guy presented on this disc, but it is still a masterpiece.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “You Make It Real”; “Sitting on a Platform”; “Once When I Was Little”; Precious Love”

*Tracks That Miss – “Broken Strings” I really, really want to like this song, and I think acoustic I would love it, but the synth bothers me.

12. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

I will be honest, I just got this album last week, and by knowing that, you would think, that it probably has no right to be included on this list. But with in one listen, it made its case. If I would have picked up this record in July, I can almost promise it would be number one on this list. It is that good. Now, I do not know enough to give a proper full review, so I just beg of you, give this band a listen. Judge for yourself.

*Tracks Not To Miss – Check Back.

*Tracks That Miss – Check Back.

13. We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed – Los Campesinos!

Its rare when a band will release a second album nearly as good as their debut (see James Morrison) Let alone, release it within 7 months. This band just does not let down or slow down for that matter. This album was originally intended to be released as an online “B-Sides” treat, however, it was soon evident that these songs did not belong as the b-side of anything. There is not much that separates this album from Hold On Now Youngster! which made number 3 on this very list. In fact, if both discs were put on shuffle with each other, they would feel very much at home. However, this fact does not detract from the quality of this record as one might think it would. I mean how much would you expect a band to change with in 7 months. If anything else, they have the best song titles in music.

*Tracks Not To Miss – “You'll Need Those Fingers for Crossing”; “Miserabilia”; “We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed”;” It's Never That Easy Though, Is It? (Song for the Other Kurt)”

*Tracks That Miss – None


Just Missed the Cut.

Nick & Norah Infinite Playlist; “Alopecia” – Why?; “Where the Light Is” John Mayer

The Ultimate List That You All Have Been Begging For.

Bakers Dozen - Best All Time LUNCH MEATS!

1. Ham - I mean, come one, that's easy. Nothing better than a honey smoked ham on a soft roll.

2. Pork/Pulled Pork - This is honestly my personal favorite, and yes, technically, lunch meats are meant to be eaten cold, and pulled pork is generally best warm, but it is just awesome enough cold to make this spot on the list.

Bologna - (I had to sing to spell it, awesome) This, is my guilty pleasure lunch meat. You know what I mean. You place it on the conveyor belt and try not to make eye contact with the cashier, like your buying condoms, tampons, and toilet paper all in one visit, but its a meat. No meat not named veal should make you feel this awkward.

4. Meatloaf - Toss a little Ketchup on your leftovers, slap on some old school "Wonder Bread" and enjoy.

5. Turkey - Another really safe bet, although, I would avoid it in the Lunchable form. Ew.

6. Pastrami - This sandwich is like dating a Canadian, it feels exotic because they are from another country, but they are just basically a slow American.

7. Mortadella - If you have not tried this meat, give it a shot. I found it at the Meat and Cheese Italian Deli at Pikes Place. Really, really good.

8. Chicken - Historically.... safe bet. Kinda boring.

9. Roast Beef - This, as I have grown up, is becoming an acquired taste.

10. Summer Sausage - I don't know what that is, but the name makes me think of summer camp in 8th grade. hmmm.

11. Salami - Not an everyday option, but a good way to mix up your routine.

12. Prosciutto - Yes, basically ham, unless prepared correctly, the salty brine shrivels your tongue in the best of ways.

13. Day after Thanksgiving Leftovers - Should be number one for the chance to put dark meat on a sandwich alone, but it is technically not a lunch meat.

Scenes from a Life by Stevie

>> Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This also from a myspace blog...

Can you ever really go home again? There's that adage that you can't, that nothing is ever the same. And why is that? Do people really change all that much or is it that once one travels, hits the road, makes the decision to leave the place where they are from, that they themselves are somehow changed? Like a puzzle piece that no longer fits with the pieces around it. For a while I think I returned and never felt like it was quite me anymore as though your surroundings define who you are. And maybe they do- maybe it does define a bit of yourself, what you like, what you do- it has to right? Then something inside you shifts and you feel, like really feel that unsettling, that wanderlust. You take off in to the world, hopefully to the unknown, I think that's the best way and you try to redefine yourself against a new backdrop. Then, what…On vacation in Prague I stayed in a hostel with this girl who arrived in Praha and promptly tattooed "Not All Who Wander Are Lost" – you've heard it before, it's not new. At first I thought it was kind of stupid but now I'm slightly enchanted by the idea, impressed with all those travelers I met that had been gone for months, even years. People that had quite literally left everything behind to go and… discover? Learn? Risk? So someone once asked me (today, haha) if your life was a movie what song would play your opening credits. I love this type of question. What would it be? I answered "Let Go" by Frou Frou but moreso I was thinking what else would play my soundtrack? What would play yours? I usually don't reach out to people in blogs but I'm curious about this idea, this question. What songs would play the scenes of your life? The tragic ones, the great loves, the successes, the scenes where it's you just being you?Some ideas for mine…Supertramp "take the long way home"
Cranberries "Ode to my family"
Radiohead "Talk Show Host"
SnowPatrol "chocolate"
Smashing Pumpkins "1979"
The Fray "Over My head (cable car)"
The Pierces "Three Wishes"
Otis Redding "That's How Strong My Love Is"
Fleetwood Mac "Gold Dust Woman"
Tom Petty "Learning to Fly"
The chorus part of Remy Zero's "Fair"
Howie Day "collide"
Pete Yorn "Lose You" or "On Your Side"

and some new additions...
Pixies "Where is my Mind"
Adam Sandler "Hold the Remote control"
Mel Torme "Dream a little dream of me"
Otis Redding "I've Got Dreams to Remember"

to be continued...

Stevie's 50 Best Albums

*First posted July of 2008*
(from myspace...)

So Addi made this blog of his favorite 50 albums so I wanted to do the same. My disclaimer is that these are my favorite albums and not like the seminal albums of all time that everyone subscribes too. I didn't include soundtracks because I think that'd be cheating although if I did I would have included Garden State, Elizabethtown, Empire Records, and Magnolia. I also didn't include some cd's that I listen to often for their 1 or 2 songs I love. So here goes, feel free to peruse and make your own list. I'm sure I've forgotten some favorites so there will probably be a follow up. In not necessarily the correct order...

1. Pete Yorn- Music for the Morning After
2. Otis Redding - Greatest Hits
3. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
4. Fleetwood Mac - Rumors
5. Bush - Sixteen Stone
6. 7 Year Bitch - Viva Zapata
7. Counting Crows - August and Everything After
8. Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
9. Jack Johnson - Brushfire Fairytales
10. Madonna - Immaculate Collection
11. Counting Crows - This Desert Life
12. The Shins - Chutes too Narrow
13. Third Eye Blind - 3EB
14. Van Moorison - Moondance
15. Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
16. Fiona Apple - Tidal
17. The Postal Service - Give Up
18. The Fugees - The Score
19. Jack Johnson - On and On
20. Nirvana - Unplugged
21. Supertramp - Breakfast in America
22. Weezer - The Blue Album
23. The Cranberries - No Need to Argue
24. David Gray - White Ladder
25. Iron and Wine - Creek Drank the Cradle
26. Jeff Buckley - Grace
27. Nas - It Was Written
28. Nelly Furtado - Whoa, Nelly
29. Boat - Comic Book Rock
30. Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
31. Counting Crows - Recovering the Satellites
32. GreenDay - Dookie
33. Journey - Greatest Hits
34. Juliana Hatfield - Become what You Are
35. Natalie Imbruglia - Left of the Middle
36. Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape
37. The Fray - How to Save A Life
38. Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
39. 2Pac - Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z (lol)
40. Damien Rice - O
41. Eels - Beautiful Freak
42. Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams
43. Jose Gonzalez - Veneer
44. The Cars - The Cars
45. The Pierces - Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge
46. SWV - Its About Time
47. Justin Timberlake - Justified
48. Tom Petty - Greatest Hits
49. Boomkat - Boomkatalog One
50. Pearl Jam - Vitalogy

Stevie's 100 Best Songs List

*this first posted on July of 2008*
So Ad asked me to contribute to this lovely blog since lists are like our mini obsession. So I decided to post some of the oldies first...

(Rough Draft and in no particular order)

1."Stand By Me" Otis Redding
2. "Young Folks" Peter Bjorn and John
3."Betterman" Pearl Jam
4."Collide" Howie Day
5."Ex Factor" Lauryn Hill
6."California Dreamin" The Mamas and the Papas
7."New Slang" The Shins
8."Gold-Dust Woman" Fleetwood Mac
9."Disarm" Smashing Pumpkins
10."Motorcycle Drive-By" Third Eye Blind
11."Paint it, Black" The Rolling Stones
12."On Your Side" Pete Yorn
13."Chocolate" Snow Patrol (Acoustic version)
14."Trapeze Swinger" Iron and Wine
15."Lake of Fire" Nirvana
16."Imagine" John Lennon
17."Dancing in the Dark" Bruce Springsteen
18."That's How Strong My Love Is" Otis Redding
19."Glycerine" Bush
20."Everlong" Foo Fighters
21."Eight Days A Week" The Beatles
22."Sweet Caroline" Neil Diamond
23."The Only Living Boy in New York" Simon and Garfunkel
24."It's All Understood" Jack Johnson
25."All I Want Is You" U2
26."You've Got a Friend" James Taylor
27."Crazy for You" Madonna
28."Crash Into Me" Dave Matthews
29."Take the Long Way Home" Supertramp
30."Perfect Blue Buildings" Counting Crows
31."Ode to My Family" The Cranberries
32."Mr. Tambourine Man" Bob Dylan
33."I Walk the Line" Johnny Cash
34."People are Strange" The Doors
35."Grace" Jeff Buckley
36."Tiny Dancer" Elton John
37."Kissing You" Des'ree
38."Santa Monica" Everclear
39."Everything In Its Right Place" Radiohead
40."Save Me" Aimee Mann
41."This Years Love" David Gray
42."Over My Head (Cable Car)" The Fray
43."Heartbeats" Jose Gonzalez
44."Novocain For the Soul" The Eels
45."Irish Bars" Dean Fields
46."Learning to Fly" Tom Petty
47."Let's Stay Together" Al Green
48."Faith in Fast Cars" The Format
49."Where is my Mind?" The Pixies
50."6 Underground" Sneaker Pimps
51."Have You Seen The Rain" Creedance Clearwater Revival
52."I've Got Dreams to Remember" Otis Redding
53."Mayonaise" Smashing Pumpkins
54."Lose You" Pete Yorn
55."Chariot" Gavin DeGraw
56."Chasing Cars" Snow Patrol
57."The District Sleeps Alone Tonight" The Postal Service
58."I Will Follow You Into The Dark" Death Cab for Cutie
59."The Man Who Sold the World" Nirvana
60."When She Believes" Ben Harper
61."When I Come Around" GreenDay
62."God Only Knows" The Beach Boys
63."Eleanor Rigby" The Beatles
64."With or Without You" U2
65."Upside Down" Jack Johnson
66."I'm Like a Bird" Nelly Furtado
67."Colorblind" Counting Crows
68."Let Go" Frou Frou
69."Rhiannon" Stevie Nicks
70."How to be Dead" Snow Patrol
71."The Sound of Settling" Death Cab for Cutie
72."Come As You Are" Nirvana
73."Into the Mystic" Van Morrison
74."Broken" Jack Johnson
75."A Long December" Counting Crows
76."Last Goodbye" Jeff Buckley
77."Dreams" Gabrielle
78."Don't Stop Believin" Journey
79."At Last" Etta James
80."Plowed" Sponge
81."Come Pick Me Up" Ryan Adams
82."A Lack of Color" Death Cab for Cutie
83."Ring of Fire" Johnny Cash
84."Wise Up" Aimee Mann
85."Songbird" Fleetwood Mac
86."1979" Smashing Pumpkins
87."Such Great Heights" The Postal Service
88."Circles" Soul Coughing
89."The Scratch" 7 Year Bitch
90."Keep Ya Head Up" 2Pac
91."Secret" The Pierces
92."Killing Me Softly" The Fugees
93."Molly" Sponge
94."Caring is Creepy" The Shins
95."Wouldn't it Be Nice" The Beach Boys
96."Torn" Natalie Imbruglia
97."My Fathers Gun" Elton John
98."Boston" Augustana
99."Counting Blue Cars" Dishwalla
100."Fields of Gold" Sting

In the works....

>> Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Right now I am putting the finishing touches on my Top Albums of 2008. Look for it by Christmas.

Also in the works, best recently rediscovered. As we get older, and our tastes change, we often lose track of some of the great albums, books and movies of our past. This last year, I did quite a bit of looking back, and rediscovered some amazingalities.

As well as, Greatest TV Romances. Best Things for a 27 Year Old to Yell in a Bar. And, as requested, Best Lunch Meats.

I will list very soon.

Insanely Hard. (Top 50 Artist/Bands of all time.)

*Original Posting Date - Friday, November 21, 2008
I need a new challenge. So, i am going to rank my subjective top 50 musical artists/bands list. To qualify for this list, one must have released at least 2 albums.

Again, this list is going to be subjective. I am not saying these are the historical rankings that you would find on VH1 on a Sunday morning. This is the music that relates to my life. So, you will not find U2, Radiohead, The Stones, Doors, Band, Fleetwood Mac, Hendrix or Elvis. Deal with it.

Feel free to judge, or better yet, try your own list, start small, maybe 10 or 13, but its fun to rank things. or maybe I am compulsive. I will try to provide some insights behind the placement of some of the names.
1. Harry Chapin -- The best storyteller music has ever seen. He is half the reason I want to write.
2. Damien Rice -- For an artist that has only had two major releases, to already be considered epic and timeless is an amazing feat. No one can sing such dirty lyrics so sweetly. Want proof, listen to "Accidental Babies" or "Woman Like a Man."
3. Jimmy Buffett -- So, I had a really hard time not putting Buffett first, I am not sure there is an artist out there who has a more complete collection.
4. John Mayer -- So, I am going to get ragged for this one, maybe even called gay. But this guy can write and play the guitar. The best guitar player of my generation if you ask me.
5. Counting Crows -- I often forget how amazing August and Everything After is until it comes up on random on my iPod, and then I am suddenly 15 years old with my DiscMan singing "Perfect Blue Buildings" under my breath.
6. The Beatles -- I know 18 people that would have this as their number one band of all time, but honestly, this is even a little bit high for me.
7. Van Morrison -- I am not sure this placement needs an explanation. Find me one person that does not love any Van Morrison songs and I will junk punch 'em, yelling "You Know Why!"
8. Bob Dylan -- Same as above.
9. Howie Day -- Ok, so this is a spot where my list will take a turn, and I understand your hesitation while reading this entry. But seriously, if you have to ask you have not listened or seen, find him on Youtube. He is one man, with one guitar, but he creates a whole band with some ingenuity and pedals. He simply blows my mind, and man can he write a song.
10. Jason Mraz -- Now, how can someone who does not even appear on my greatest albums of all time list make my top ten on my greatest artists list? Well, his albums are never complete, they are 90% brilliant and 10% faltered. But his work overall, especially as a wordsmith, cannot be ignored. Also, he is a completely different artist live, on another level, so that earns him points as well.
11. Queen
12. Sublime
13. Live -- Mental Jewelry and Throwing Copper are two of the most complete well made albums ever released. Secret Samadhi is not bad either
14. Dave Matthews/Band
15. Matt Nathanson -- If I were just judging on live performances he would be top 5 easy.
16. Travis -- This is a band that got lost somewhere between Radiohead and Coldplay. And, honestly, they are far superior.
17. The Eagles
18. Bishop Allen -- My Favorite new band. Creative, lyrical, risk takers, eclectic, and awesome.
19. David Gray
20. Bob Marley -- I mean, come on.
21. James Taylor
22. The Format -- Another new band, outside the box, interesting vocals, powerful lyrics, and very intelligent.
23. Little Willie John
24. Ella Fitzgerald
25. Eminem -- I think we all know that in 20 years, he will easily be considered one of music's greatest influences of all time.
26. Nirvana
27. Janis Joplin -- My favorite voice in rock history.
28. Simon and Garfunkel/Paul Simon
29. Smashing Pumpkins -- I forgot about this band, I always do. But seriously go and pick up Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Siamese Dream and tell me you are not listening to pure greatness.
30. The Fugees/Lauren Hill
31. The Beastie Boys -- Changed music.
32. Eric Clapton
33. Ray Charles
34. Crosby , Stills & Nash/Young
35. Third Eye Blind -- This one is really personal. If you know me, you know I LOVE this band. Also, I am not sure there is a better tail-end of an Album than the one on their debut, "I Want You" "The Background" "Motorcycle Driveby" and "God of Wine." You cannot finish an album any better.
36. Tracy Chapman
37. The Refreshments
38. Bob Seger
39. Shawn Mullins -- When I was 15 I picked up a guitar and tried to teach myself to play, three days later, I gave up. But I have Shawn Mullins to thank for getting me to try.
40. Matchbox20
41. Atmosphere -- Easily the smartest, most intelligent, active rapper in the game today.
42. Ray LaMontagne
43. Tori Amos -- This Bitch is crazy, but I love it.
44. Al Green
45. Edwin McCain -- Easily one of my all time favorite albums Misguided Roses, but the rest of his albums fell well short to get him higher on this list.
46. Ryan Adams -- The same as above with having one AMAZING album, Gold. But with the rest falling short of that debut.
47. Glen Phillips/Toad the Wet Sproket
48. O.A.R
49. Loggins and Mussina -- This is a band my mother ingrained in me.
50. Timbaland & Magoo