Thursday, July 29, 2010

so i've decided that drake is a genius

Just kidding..

But Kanye's production on "Find Your Love" has been totally making my brain jog around to try and locate a song from the early to mid 80's that has very similar production elements.. I'm kind of determined to figure out what song it is. Here's the Drake song.. In case you haven't heard, it's on the radio A LOT...

My best guess at the moment is this Hall & Oates relic...

And P.S. regarding the Drake video, it's about time they showed pop stars smoking cigs in videos.. Youtube made it possible. Yay carbon monoxide!! More forward thinking than Lil Wayne?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Lately this blog has been turning into "stuff I wrote down while I was bored at work..."

I have no idea how this occurred to me, but usually around this time of year is when they announced the VMA nominees, and I made a bet with myself that I could correctly predict what they're gonna foist onto the kids this year, keeping in mind that MTV is now obsessed with "celebrity" and "fashion" far more than music or music videos... The only reason they still show the VMA's every year is because corporations will pay huge bucks to have new commercials premiere, because they know that stupid people will tune in to see "celebrities."

I have no idea when they're supposed to announce these, but I'd guess within the next week... The predictions themselves have been bolded..

Best Video:
"Bad Romance", "Empire State Of Mind", "Rude Boy".. I'm pretty sure all 3 of these are locks.. They usually have something random and recent as well, which is why "California Gurls" might make an appearance here.. And they usually throw a bone to Eminem. I have no idea what any of his recent videos look like, but I'm gonna guess "Not Afraid" since "Love The Way You Lie" also features Rhianna, which would create redundancy clashing with "Rude Boy."

Best Male:
Usher's "OMG" and Drake's "Find Your Love" are more than likely the locks for this category.. I'm pretty sure Bieber's "Baby" will be nom'd as well, as it should be, since it recently became the #1 video in the history of Youtube. I'm not sure if "Empire State Of Mind" counts for this since Alicia Keys is featured so prominently, but if it does count, it will obviously be included here. And I'd be surprised if Eminem was left out.. If the Jay-Z collab does count for this, I can't see why "Love The Way You Lie" wouldn't be included here, since afterall it's the #1 song in the country right now... Although it wouldn't be out of the question to see someone like B.O.B. show up with "Nothin' On You..." It just somehow seems like less of a lock than those mentioned previously.

(EDIT 8/3/10: I recently discovered that "Love The Way You Lie" doesn't yet have a finished video.. They're actually shooting it this week. So while I have the chance, since this still hasn't been announced yet, Ima switch this over to "Nothin' On You.")

Best Female:
The most obvious inclusions here are those which are also up for best video: "Bad Romance", "Rude Boy", "California Gurls" .. It would be odd to see "Tik Tok" up against "California Gurls" since they're the exact same song, but stranger things have happened.. And closing things out, "Party In The USA" seems to fit in here just fine.

Elsewhere, I'd like to think they might be bold enough to nominated Phoenix's "1901" for "Best Rock," although I'd be shocked to see them win a VMA..

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

80 Jams From The 80's (the big list)

1982 and 1988 were the big winners.. 30 slots were filled between these 2 years (15 a piece) making them the grand winners.. Much congratulations goes to these 2 mighty titans of rock. (And if you count the 3 runners-up they actually filled up 33 positions...)

The big loser was 1986, which filled up a mere 2 positions. Strangely enough, once upon a time back in 2004, I managed to fill a 100-minute cassette with a decently badass selection of musics from 1986.. (especially if you count "In Too Deep" by Genesis as "badass"... it was the "1986 mix" believe it or not..) Heads will hang in shame tonight, as this is a very lonely and sad moment for 1986. I sincerely hope lessons have been learned.

80's (+3) Jams: Ministry "Stigmata" (1988)
80's (+3) Jams: After The Fire "Der Kommissar" (1982)
80's (+3) Jams: Def Leppard "Love Bites" (1988)

80. Camper Van Beethoven "Take The Skinheads Bowling" (1985)
79. Joe Jackson "Steppin' Out" (1982)
78. Daryl Hall & John Oates "Say It Isn't So" (1983)
77. Cheap Trick "I Can't Take It" (1983)
76. Public Enemy "Fight The Power" (1989)
75. Suicidal Tendancies "Institutionalized" (1983)
74. My Bloody Valentine "Nothing Much To Lose" (1988)
73. The Replacements "Alex Chilton" (1987)
72. Don Henley "The Boys Of Summer" (1984)
71. Duran Duran "Planet Earth" (1981)

70. Bronski Beat "Smalltown Boy" (1984)
69. Tears For Fears "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" (1985)
68. Eric B & Rakim "Lyrics Of Fury" (1988)
67. R.E.M. "Radio Free Europe" (1983)
66. Prince "Controversy" (1981)
65. Tears For Fears "Head Over Heels" (1985)
64. Berlin "The Metro" (1982)
63. Fugazi "Waiting Room" (1988)
62. Pet Shop Boys "West End Girls" (1984)
61. Pixies "Monkey Gone To Heaven" (1989)

60. Guns N' Roses "It's So Easy" (1987)
59. The Bangles "Eternal Flame" (1988)
58. The Human League "Human" (1986)
57. The English Beat "Mirror In The Bathroom" (1980)
56. Hüsker Dü "Celebrated Summer" (1985)
55. Daniel Johnston "Casper The Friendly Ghost" (1983)
54. Crowded House "Don't Dream It's Over" (1986)
53. Musical Youth "Pass The Dutchie" (1982)
52. The Replacements "Kiss Me On The Bus" (1985)
51. Nirvana "About A Girl" (1989)

50. David Bowie "Modern Love" (1983)
49. Modern English "I Melt With You" (1982)
48. Madonna "Lucky Star" (1984)
47. The Church "Under The Milky Way" (1988)
46. Mudhoney "Touch Me I'm Sick" (1988)
45. Def Leppard "Photograph" (1983)
44. The Replacements "Bastards Of Young" (1985)
43. Fleetwood Mac "Little Lies" (1987)
42. The Soft Boys "I Wanna Destroy You" (1980)
41. The Primitives "Crash" (1988)

40. A Flock Of Seagulls "I Ran"(1982)
39. New Order "True Faith" (1987)
38. The Human League "Seconds" (1981)
37. Queen "The Hero" (1981)
36. Pixies "Caribou" (1987)
35. Eric B & Rakim "I Know You Got Soul" (1987)
34. Blue Oyster Cult "Burnin' For You" (1981)
33. Japan "Ghosts" (1982)
32. Prince & The Revolution "The Beautiful Ones" (1984)
31. The Jesus And Mary Chain "Just Like Honey" (1985)

30. Soft Cell "Tainted Love" (1982)
29. Pixies "Gigantic" (1988)
28. Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" (1982)
27. Joy Division "24 Hours" (1980)
26. My Bloody Valentine "Lose My Breath" (1988)
25. Echo And The Bunnymen "The Killing Moon" (1984)
24. Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield "What Have I Done To Deserve This" (1987)
23. The Cure "All Cats Are Grey" (1981)
22. New Order "Ceremony" (1981)
21. The Smiths "How Soon Is Now" (1984)

20. INXS "Don't Change" (1982)
19. N.W.A. "Express Yourself" (1988)
18. Depeche Mode "Never Let Me Down Again" (1988)
17. Beastie Boys "Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun" (1989)
16. The Cure "Disintegration" (1989)
15. Dinosaur Jr "Freak Scene" (1988)
14. Metallica "One" (1988)
13. Prince "Little Red Corvette" (1982)
12. The Psychadelic Furs "Love My Way" (1982)
11. The Plimsouls "A Million Miles Away" (1982)

10. Michael Jackson "P.Y.T." (1982)
09. Hall & Oates "I Can't Go For That" (1981)
08. Motorhead "Ace Of Spades" (1980)
07. My Bloody Valentine "Feed Me With Your Kiss" (1988)
06. New Order "Temptation" (1982)
05. Queen & David Bowie "Under Pressure" (1982)
04. Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (1980)
03. Prince & The Revolution "Purple Rain" (1984)
02. The Cure "Just Like Heaven" (1987)
01. My Bloody Valentine "You Made Me Realise" (1988)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

80s Jams #01: My Bloody Valentine "You Made Me Realise" (1988)

During live performances the band would repeat a single chord from the song for as long as they felt bearable, the song descending into cacophony. The band referred to this as the "holocaust section", which could last for anywhere from ten to forty minutes. For the 2008 reunion shows, "You Made Me Realise" has brought each show to an ear-splitting conclusion, reaching up to 130db. It is ranked at number 2 on Rate Your Music's list of the greatest EPs of all time. -- Wikipedia

80s Jams #02: The Cure "Just Like Heaven" (1987)

Robert Smith said he considers "Just Like Heaven" to be one of the band's strongest works, and called it "the best pop song the Cure have ever done". Several high-profile fans have expressed their appreciation of the song. Musician Ben Folds told Blender "everything about it—the songwriting, the music—is state of the art. It’s as good as it gets. Anytime I hear it on the radio or a mix tape, I jump around like a freak." J Mascis said his band Dinosaur Jr's affection for the song inspired them to record a cover version that was released in 1989. On 16 July 2006, "Just Like Heaven" was played as a wake-up call for the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery on their flight STS-121 at the request of astronaut Piers Sellers' family; Sellers told Mission Control Center that the song reminded him of "the wild, happy, drinking-beer years of my youth." -- Wikipedia

80s Jams #03: Prince & The Revolution "Purple Rain" (1984)

Prince designed Purple Rain as the project that would make him a superstar, and, surprisingly, that is exactly what happened. Simultaneously more focused and ambitious than any of his previous records, Purple Rain finds Prince consolidating his funk and R&B roots while moving boldly into pop, rock, and heavy metal with nine superbly crafted songs. The anthemic title track is a majestic ballad filled with brilliant guitar flourishes. Although Prince's songwriting is at a peak, the presence of the Revolution pulls the music into sharper focus, giving it a tougher, more aggressive edge. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #04: Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (1980)

A chilling tale of love set adrift with an equally cool, precise accompaniment, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" was the last single recorded by Joy Division, mere months before doomed frontman Ian Curtis committed suicide in May 1980. It's presumed -- perhaps rather hastily -- that the lyrics are autobiographical, an insight into Curtis' fragmenting marriage and his growing relationship with a Belgian girl who followed the band. Whatever the nature of the material, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" functions as an insight into what made Joy Division the most unique band during the era of punk aggression and extremism. -- Allmusic

Kinda bullshit that the full video cannot be found on Youtube due to copyright claims, but at least the majority of it is available in this clip...

80s Jams #05: Queen & David Bowie "Under Pressure" (1982)

...The album's undeniable saving grace is the concluding "Under Pressure," an utterly majestic, otherworldly duet with David Bowie that recaptures the effortless grace of Queen's mid-'70s peak, but is underscored with a truly affecting melancholy heart that gives it a genuine human warmth unheard in much of their music. Frankly, "Under Pressure" is the only reason most listeners remember this album, which is as much a testament to the song's strength as it is to the rather desultory nature of the rest of Hot Space. -- Allmusic

P.S. For the record, "Body Language" is also on Hot Space which is not nearly as good as "Under Pressure," but is still nothing short of fucking awesome. Although next to "Under Pressure," there isn't much left from the 1980's that can really hold a candle.. Kind of an unfair comparison...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

80s Jams #06: New Order "Temptation" (1982)

While New Order continued on an introspective track, even their saddest songs glimmered with more hope than most of Curtis' bleak and fatalistic pronouncements like "Love Will Tear Us Apart." On "Temptation," New Order sounds like Up With People comparatively. The end product sounds like Joy Division meets Donna Summer with a bit of the tunefulness of the Cure thrown in. Another of the song's major hooks comes in the way of an infectious singalong chorus. This would have been a shock to the band's old fans; Joy Division was not known for singalongs. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #07: My Bloody Valentine "Feed Me With Your Kiss" (1988)

More in keeping with the moody, gothy rock of My Bloody Valentine's much-inferior earliest records, "Feed Me With Your Kiss" has a peculiar feel, pitched somewhere between the bombastic self-importance of mid-'80s Nick Cave and the ethereality of prime Cocteau Twins, mixed with the same sort of slightly dopey S&M-tinged lyrics as the roughly contemporaneous "Cigarette in Your Bed," proving that it was in the long run a very smart idea for Kevin Shields to completely bury the lyrics on My Bloody Valentine's later work. -- Allmusic Did someone seriously get paid to write that?

80s Jams #08: Motorhead "Ace Of Spades" (1980)

The single best expression of Motörhead's loud-fast-rules aesthetic, "Ace of Spades," also stands as one of heavy metal's all-time greatest anthems, with vocalist/bassist Lemmy Kilmister spitting fearlessly in the faces of failure and death over the visceral blast of the band's speed-freak instrumental work. While followers like Metallica would add high levels of technical flash to Motörhead's dizzying adrenaline rush, the key to "Ace of Spades" is its simplicity. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #09: Hall & Oates "I Can’t Go For That" (1981)

Though they continued their streak of excellent hit singles, Private Eyes was the culmination of the sound they'd been developing since Along the Red Ledge, and it stands as the pinnacle of their time as the biggest pop act in the U.S.A. Lots of subtle effects are layered on the voices, guitars, and pianos as they mingle with synthesized instruments, from the keyboard loops that give "Head Above Water" a restless momentum to the drum machine that lends "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" a sexy, seductive groove. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #10: Michael Jackson "P.Y.T." (1982)

The original demo version of the song was re-done to a more up-tempo beat by James Ingram and producer Quincy Jones with Michael Jackson. Ingram later described working with Jackson and Jones as being in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. "It's almost like I got the chance to go to Oz and Quincy was the Wizard of Oz and Michael was who he was dealing with in his world. Their work ethic is unbelievable." Two of Jackson's sisters, Janet and La Toya, provided backing vocals in the guise of the P.Y.T.s. The two sisters sang "na na na" back at their brother towards the end of the song. -- Wikipedia

Whatever happened to TV shows with people dancing to awesome music?

One More Time For 2009

I'm watching Crazy Heart which I think was technically 2009, but it didn't have a wide release until 2010.. It's kinda badass. But anyway, this got finished while I was watching it... With 6 months hindsight, this looks a lot better than the one that got posted on January 1st, which is usually how it is...

I included stuff like BEAK> even though I didn't get around to hearing that album until early this year, as well as album tracks from Japandroids, Black Dice and Pill which severely grew in magnitude over the past 6 months... Seriously, is ANYONE having a good 2010? I feel like not... Whatev's...

50 The Hood Internet “Comfortable Up Here”
49 Taylor Swift “Forever And Always”
48 BEAK> “Iron Acton”
47 Junior Boys “Hazel”
46 Clipse “Kinda Like A Big Deal”
45 Black Dice “Night Crème”
44 Tinted Windows “Kind Of A Girl”
43 Kid Cudi “Sky Might Fall”
42 Free Energy “Free Energy”
41 P.O.S. “Drumroll”

40 Washed Out “Feel It All Around”
39 Pill “Addicted”
38 Bat For Lashes “Daniel”
37 Japandroids “Heart Sweats”
36 Animal Collective “Bluish”
35 The XX “Crystalised”
34 Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Heads Will Roll”
33 Basement Jaxx “Raindrops”
32 New Boyz “You’re A Jerk”
31 Hush Arbors “Devil Made You High”

30 Dinosaur Jr “Whenever You’re Ready”
29 Lady Gaga “Paparazzi”
28 Phoenix “Lizstomania”
27 Sunset Rubdown “You Go On Ahead”
26 Goblin Cock “We Got A Bleeder”
25 Silversun Pickups “Panic Switch”
24 Lady Gaga “Poker Face”
23 Pill “Trap Goin’ Ham”
22 DJ Quik & Kurupt “9x Outta 10”
21 Japandroids “Young Hearts Spark Fire”

20 Pill “Dimes Of Hard”
19 BEAK> “Ham Green”
18 Drake “Successful”
17 Neon Indian “Should’ve Taken Acid With You”
16 The Brontosaur “This Is Not A Paradise”
15 Silversun Pickups “The Royal We”
14 Japandroids “Sovereignty”
13 Clipse “I’m Good”
12 Silversun Pickups “It’s Nice To Know You Work Alone”
11 Panic At The Disco “New Perspective”

10 Phoenix “1901”
09 Pearl Jam “The Fixer”
08 Kanye West “Paranoid”
07 Japandroids “Wet Hair”
06 Animal Collective “Summertime Clothes”
05 Silversun Pickups “There’s No Secrets This Year”
04 Japandroids “Crazy/Forever”
03 Drake “Best I Ever Had”
02 Lady Gaga “Bad Romance”
01 Animal Collective “What Would I Want? Sky”

Friday, July 16, 2010

2008's Greatest Hits

Yesterday marked the 11-month anniversary of the "blog" version of T.M.K. It's still in disarray and has no real focus, but I think that's how it's supposed to be anyway.. Looking back on the posts from August '09, the first random list was a reworking of 2007's Greatest Hits, which got rewritten because my opinion after 2 years had changed so drastically that I ended up kind of offending myself. And looking back now, it really hadn't occurred to me how great 2008 was for music.. Unlike the 2007 list, my opinion hasn't changed quite as drastically, but I just enjoy seeing the difference anyway.. And something inside of me still believes that anyone truly cares, or may use this for recommendations..

There's something about 2-summers-ago that always makes me nostalgic, and now is no exception. I'm really trying so hard to find good 2010 music.. And for some reason, finding good new stuff is more frustratingly difficult than it's possibly ever been for me.. But anyway, while the fun and sun of '08 is still 2-years-fresh, I decided to take a quick break from posting 80's videos and got way WAY too exciting while throwing together this revamp...

50 Katy Perry “Hot & Cold”
49 Hot Chip “Wrestlers”
48 The Ting Tings “That’s Not My Name”
47 Black Kids “Hurricane Jane”
46 Wolf Parade “An Animal In Your Care”
45 Bon Iver “For Emma”
44 Autolux “Audience No. 2”
43 Kid Cudi “Day N’ Nite”
42 Jay Reatard “See Saw”
41 Lil Wayne “Dr. Carter”

40 TV On The Radio “DLZ”
39 Lil Wayne “Lollipop”
38 Neon Neon “I Lust U”
37 Neyo “Closer”
36 Death Cab For Cutie “I Will Possess Your Heart”
35 Lil Wayne “Shoot Me Down”
34 CSS “Move”
33 MGMT “The Youth”
32 Chris Brown “With You”
31 Vampire Weekend “Oxford Comma”

30 Blitzen Trapper “Black River Killer”
29 Kanye West “Heartless”
28 The Mars Volta “Goliath”
27 The Ravonettes “Aly Walk With Me”
26 Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown “No Air”
25 Holy Ghost! “Hold On”
24 Wolf Parade “The Grey Estates”
23 Alphabeat “Fascination”
22 No Age “Eraser”
21 Estelle “American Boy”

20 Blitzen Trapper “God And Suicide”
19 Lil Wayne “A Milli”
18 Panic At The Disco “That Green Gentleman”
17 Cut Copy “Far Away”
16 Beyonce “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”
15 No Age “Ripped Knees”
14 Blitzen Trapper “Sleepy Time In The Western World”
13 Kanye West “Flashing Lights”
12 MGMT “Electric Feel”
11 Lil Wayne “Comfortable”

10 Black Moth Super Rainbow “Zodiac Girls”
09 Wolf Parade “Call It A Ritual”
08 Vampire Weekend “A-Punk”
07 Cut Copy “So Haunted”
06 No Age “Sleeper Hold”
05 Silversun Pickups “Little Lover’s So Polite”
04 Hot Chip “We’re Looking For A Lot Of Love”
03 Wolf Parade “Soldier’s Grin”
02 MGMT “Kids”
01 No Age “Teen Creeps”

Sunday, July 11, 2010

80s Jams #11: The Plimsouls "A Million Miles Away" (1982)

Packing all of the passion and punch of some of John Lennon's finest recordings with a wonderful power-driven Byrds-like arrangement, "A Million Miles Away" started its life as a single in 1982 before making its way onto the Plimsouls' album, Everywhere at Once, and onto the soundtrack to the totally '80s cult movie Valley Girl; it remains a new wave and jangle rock standard. One explanation for why it clicked and lives on could be that the poppy song with the tense lyric encapsulated everything the overlooked but exciting, loud and raw Plimsouls ever did and honed it to a fine edge. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #12: The Psychedelic Furs "Love My Way" (1982)

At once a celebration of an era, a sound and a band, "Love My Way" is one of the slyest and best singles from the early '80s, a deserved cult hit in the States well-remembered in modern rock circles. While the Psychedelic Furs' usual sound was rough post-punk sonics and dreaminess, a spiked brew not too far off from where Echo and the Bunnymen were living, when Todd Rundgren worked with the band on its Forever Now album, things shifted just enough to let this great number emerge. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #13: Prince "Little Red Corvette" (1982)

"Little Red Corvette," a slow-burning funk-pop odyssey which is most definitely not about a sports car, is an after-dark masterpiece, aural soft porn rendered with the inextricable combination of perversity and sophistication which defines virtually all of his best work. Everything about the song is suggestive, from its moaning synthesizers to its bump-and-grind rhythm to the orgasmic squeals which punctuate Prince's vocals. Not just Prince's first major hit single, "Little Red Corvette" may be his very best -- only fitting that a song about staying power would have so much of its own. --

80s Jams #14: Metallica "One" (1988)

"One" became Metallica's first Top 40 hit in early 1989, based almost entirely on the single's gold-level sales -- pop radio certainly wasn't about to play a seven-and-a-half-minute progressive thrash metal epic about an armless, legless soldier deprived of all sensory input. The various sections and components of "One" are seamlessly integrated and flow logically from one to the next, unlike some Metallica epics, which felt like series of good riffs connected without much in the way of transitions. It sums up the band's tremendous range of musical expression in one shining epic, and as such is arguably the defining individual moment of their career. "One" has the power to frighten, to disturb intelligently, to awe listeners with its sheer force; it's simply one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time. --

80s Jams #15: Dinosaur Jr "Freak Scene" (1988)

The opening track to Dinosaur Jr.'s third album, Bug, remains one of the brightest moments of the post-punk era. Predating Nirvana's breakthrough hit, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," by three years, "Freak Scene" hinted at the latent potential of the then-burgeoning indie rock scene. Singer J. Mascis relates the state of a messy relationship in a humorously frank, laid-back style. --

Music journalist Everett True writes that "Freak Scene" "invented the slacker generation. J. plays the guitar like he skis: effortlessly and fully in control. The song slows down, catches on fire, whispers sweet harmony and then starts blowing a tornado. Jess Harvell of Pitchfork Media believes "'Freak Scene' is probably indie rock's greatest guitar performance and the band's greatest pop song, somehow finding room for Psychedelic Furs jangle, Edge-style ascending harmonies, Eddie Van Halen in the drunk tank, pickled country, and a cherry on top in three and a half minutes without feeling at all cluttered." --

Saturday, July 10, 2010

80s Jams #16: The Cure "Disintegration" (1989)

Blasting along at a quick, roaring pace but completely drowning in sorrow and collapse while it does so, the title track to the Cure's masterful 1989 album in some ways encapsulates the album as a whole -- accessible but ultimately harrowing destruction. Beginning with the sampled sound of shattering glass that immediately blends into an energetic Boris Williams drum line and higher-pitched bass motif from Simon Gallup, "Disintegration" almost pitilessly portrays a relationship tearing itself to pieces in drama and soul-wrenching grief. Relentlessly building to a final, blasting climax, "Disintegration" remains a monstrous, compelling listening. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #17: Beastie Boys "Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun" (1989)

Paul's Boutique is a considerable change from the hard rock of Licensed to Ill, shifting to layers of samples and beats so intertwined they move beyond psychedelic; it's a painting with sound. Paul's Boutique is a record that only could have been made in a specific time and place. Like the Rolling Stones in 1972, the Beastie Boys were in exile and pining for their home, so they made a love letter to downtown New York -- which they could not have done without the Dust Brothers, a Los Angeles-based production duo who helped redefine what sampling could be with this record. -- Allmusic

"Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun" contains the most live instrumentation on Paul's Boutique, with guitar and bass played by Adam Horovitz and Adam Yauch respectively. Songs Sampled: "Time" by Pink Floyd, "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain, "Last Bongo in Belgium" by the Incredible Bongo Band, "Put Your Hand in the Hand" by Ocean

80s Jams #18: Depeche Mode "Never Let Me Down Again" (1988)

As for the music the masses got this time around, the opening cut, "Never Let Me Down Again," started things off wonderfully: a compressed guitar riff suddenly slamming into a huge-sounding percussion/keyboard/piano combination, anchored to a constantly repeated melodic hook, ever-building synth/orchestral parts at the song's end, and one of David Gahan's best vocals (though admittedly singing one of Martin Gore's more pedestrian lyrics). It feels huge throughout, like they taped Depeche recording at the world's largest arena show instead of in a studio. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #19: N.W.A. "Express Yourself" (1988)

Unlike most songs by N.W.A, "Express Yourself" is almost devoid of profanity and violent content. The song's lyrics center around ideas of free expression and the constraints placed on rappers by radio censorship. In 1990, the Australian government youth radio station Triple J played the song on continuous loop for 24 hours (360 times in a row) whilst the station went on a protest strike against censorship. -- wikipedia

80s Jams #20: INXS "Don’t Change" (1982)

The Andrew Farriss synth part that starts the song is momentous enough, a Brian Eno-inspired effort that captures a slow, melancholic mood in its propulsive descent. Then a sudden guitar sting heralds the entry of the rest of the band with a bang, and in that instant "Don't Change" becomes not merely INXS' eternal anthem, but one of the best rock songs of the '80s, period. The sheer focus and drive of the band at this point in their career was simply awesome and the six members put it all together here with nary a flaw -- all the strength of prime heavy metal welded to post-punk's energy and topped it off with a perfect, memorable pop gloss. -- Allmusic

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

80s Jams #21: The Smiths "How Soon Is Now" (1984)

Probably the most played Morrissey/ Marr song of all time, "How Soon Is Now?" is an epic throwback to '60s psychedelia, a lushly produced symphony of Johnny Marr guitar perfection, and perhaps the ultimate statement of Morrissey's bold miserablism. Morrissey exudes confident depression, foregoing the crooning whine present on so many of the band's early songs. Though it isn't necessarily indicative of the Smiths' general style, and though die-hard fans might feign disgust at those who instantly label it a favorite, "How Soon Is Now?" etches and rattles with a seemingly timeless sense of cool. So what if it was the first introduction to a mass audience across England's borders? So what if the song makes countless appearances across the band's discography? Any song at once so standoffish and yet so charming deserves as broad an audience as possible. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #22: New Order "Ceremony" (1981)

The debut New Order single was actually one of the last songs written by Joy Division and sounds it, not least because of Martin Hannett's production and the tense, strong energy that that band made legendary. However, like "Love Will Tear Us Apart," it also showed a new warmth and spirit, a sense that while the frustrations of connection still dominated Ian Curtis's lyrics, a more optimistic surge of energy carried all before it in the end. Sumner's singing is restrained and still very much in Curtis's vein, unsurprising for someone who never expected to be the vocalist, but effective nonetheless, with the wounded, gently human edge that would become his own calling card already starting to appear. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #23: The Cure "All Cats Are Grey" (1981)

Nearly any track from the Cure's astonishing Faith album could be singled out as particularly strong or striking even for them, but "All Cats Are Grey" has a better claim than most. A lengthy number, with drummer Lol Tolhurst's simple but effective work, softly echoing and bouncing from speaker to speaker as the song progresses, it's one of the band's best codifications of bleak mood as surprising, close warmth, musically and vocally. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #24: Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield "What Have I Done To Deserve This" (1987)

Though it received much attention for an inspired touch suggested by a worker in the duo's then-management office -- namely, to get blue-eyed soul legend Dusty Springfield on the performance to make it a duet -- "What Have I Done to Deserve This" would have been a winner on its own. One of the duo's instantly catchiest melodies, purely pop without losing the sense of dancefloor punch that has always driven the Pet Shop Boys, "What Have I Done to Deserve This" springs to life with a seemingly off-kilter drum break, then slides right into a smart, deceptively simple, and full-bodied combination of big drums and sparkling keyboards. Credit to the song's co-writer Allee Willis, though, who came up with the "since you went away" part that Springfield went to town on, showing that she hadn't lost any of the beautiful power that had made her a legend. It's a contrast in vocal styles that theoretically shouldn't work, but which connects just right. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #25: Echo & The Bunnymen "The Killing Moon" (1984)

The centerpiece track of 1984's Ocean Rain, the epic "The Killing Moon" is the point at which Echo & the Bunnymen turned from second-string post-punkers into members of the pantheon of heroes to the mildly alienated suburban teens of the mid-'80s, up there with Depeche Mode and the Cure. Crucially, the band made an atypical move in the arrangement of this song by modulating upward for the chorus; historically, the upward modulation is used to signify happiness or the release of tension, and its use in the midst of the minor-key melancholy of the verse melody makes a huge dynamic shift in the song. -- Allmusic

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Weezer: Pinkerton: Deluxe Edition

Weezer's Pinkerton "Deluxe" edition (complete with bonus disc which will prolly have like 14 bonus tracks, just like last time with "the blue album") has been confirmed for release in October. I'm guessing that this is gonna be the last Weezer release that matters, since the possibility is strong that at least one (or possibly several) songs will be appearing on this album that have either #1 never been released in any form (!!!), or #2 have been release in some form, but will appear on the "deluxe" Pinkerton sounding far more polished and well-produced. One of these is bound to be the long sought-after "Getting Up And Leaving," which appears on Rivers "Alone with friends" (or whatever) DVD which is a pile of shit that I can barely stand to watch for 60 seconds on Youtube, let alone sit through an entire 45 minute DVD of frat-idiots singing along to 40-something batshit-crazy Rivers convinced that he's having a good time with his asshole fans.

And with the release of this "Deluxe" Pinkerton, the 90's Weezer vaults will be sadly depleted, and I'll get to finish my "Weezer In The 90's" mix that I threw together last February, which I assumed was complete up until about 20 minutes ago.

80s Jams #26: My Bloody Valentine "Lose My Breath" (1988)

Though it's often seen as just a precursor to their magnum opus Loveless, in its own way My Bloody Valentine's Isn't Anything is nearly as groundbreaking as their 1991 masterpiece. Not only was it the most lucid, expansive articulation yet of the group's sound, it virtually created the shoegazing scene and spawned legions of followers. The album's tightly structured songs still bore traces of My Bloody Valentine's previous incarnation as jangly indie popsters, but Kevin Shields and company crafted wide-ranging experiments within those confines. --

80s Jams #27: Joy Division "24 Hours" (1980)

The absolutely devastating heart of Closer, "Twenty Four Hours" may be as close a view into the private mental torture chamber of Ian Curtis as exists; even with the fact of his life and death set aside, it's a disturbing vision of a soul on the abyss, the music perfectly capturing a sense of slow burn drama and anguished release. It's the tension between action and blankness, so often Joy Division's ace in the hole, that again serves them well - a truly gothic, melodramatic song with a deep, piercing strength. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #28: Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" (1982)

Quincy Jones had objections to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." The veteran composer/arranger/producer thought that the title would be confusing, leading listeners to think that the title referred to pro tennis player Billie Jean King. It was suggested that the title be changed to "Not My Lover." Actually, the song's title character was based on all the women who'd brought maternity suits against Jackson and his brothers when they were known as the Jackson 5. Ironically around the time of "Billie Jean"'s release, Jackson was slapped with a paternity suit. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #29: Pixies "Gigantic" (1988)

Like many songs by bandmate and Pixies leader Black Francis (aka Frank Black; Charles Thompson), the lyrics of "Gigantic" are more than a bit idiosyncratic. In this case, the lyric is unabashedly about sex, specifically with a particularly well-endowed man. It is just barely veiled in a metaphor -- if you want to call it that -- for humor's sake: "Gigantic/A big, big love." "Gigantic" offers a change of pace from Francis' obsessions. Deal once offered her perspective on the different styles, "Do I write the same kind of songs as Charles? No! Get outta here! I don't care about the Bible! I don't care about UFOs! Who wants to know about that stuff?" No song celebrates and captures erotic joy better than "Gigantic." -- Allmusic

80s Jams #30: Soft Cell "Tainted Love" (1982)

Inescapable. That's the only way to describe this song's impact in the early '80s, and for Marc Almond in particular it was the burden that never quite escaped him in America, the U.K., and elsewhere. But it was ultimately the kind of problem one wanted to have, because in under three minutes Almond and Dave Ball, with the production help of Mike Thorne and the model of Gloria Jones' excellent soul cover to draw on, transformed Ed Cobb's obscure nugget into an era-defining pop monster. More than anything else, "Tainted Love" completely showed up the stereotype of passionless robot synth music as what it was -- this was alive, desperate, emotionally wracked, with nary a guitar or real drumkit in sight. -- Allmusic

Friday, July 2, 2010

new autolux


80s Jams #31: The Jesus And Mary Chain "Just Like Honey" (1985)

With its "Be My Baby" drum beat that sounds as if it is crying out from a torture chamber, this feedback and drone-soaked, Phil Spector wall-of-sound-gone-sour number opened the Jesus & Mary Chain's important 1985 debut album, Psychocandy. The early single and "buzz saw guitar" number was a defining track for brothers Jim and William Reid and the noise pop genre. Its refrain is a sweet as sugar "just like honey" with a high background vocal attached; the line preceding it is a bit more harsh: "Eating up the scum is the hardest thing for me to do." Sweet irony is the name of the Mary Chain's weird game; drink it in and it goes down just fine. --

80s Jams #32: Prince & The Revolution "The Beautiful Ones" (1984)

"The Beautiful Ones" is a haunting musical tale of emotional longing and unrequited love. Starting out as a slow falsetto ballad, with Dr. Fink's piano and organ-sounding synthesizers providing a lush backdrop, it gradually builds in volume and intensity, and by the end of the song, Prince is screaming out "Do you want him, or do you want me? 'Cause I want you." The song comes to a quiet close, with Fink's and Bobby Z's drums serving as the closing instrumentation. -- Wikipedia

80s Jams #33: Japan "Ghosts" (1982)

Only the Talking Heads showed the same attempt at reach and variety at the time, at least in the Western rock world, but Japan arguably outstripped the New York band with its sheer sense of theatrical style. To top it all off, the band was more popular than ever, with "Ghosts," an appropriately haunting ballad notable for its utterly minimal arrangement, almost entirely eschewing beats for Barbieri's textures and Jansen's work on marimba, becoming a Top Ten hit in the U.K. -- Allmusic

Note: God I love this video...

80s Jams #34: Blue Oyster Cult "Burnin’ For You" (1981)

By the time the '80s had arrived, B.Ö.C.'s days that summoned dark spirits, spectres, and a fear of the apocalypse were well behind them, and any efforts to revive them were well past their prime. Instead, they decided to emulate the same well-tailored, hard rock recipe that gave them a hit five years prior with "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," merging Eric Bloom's sturdy, arena rock vocal glide with a hook-laden mainframe that puts the guitar at the forefront. Quite unlike their heavier material that made up Blue Oyster Cult, Tyranny and Mutation, or Secret Treaties, "Burnin' for You" is a custom-built, radio rock song with enough guitar sustenance in its chorus to be deemed "catchy," even by heavy metal fans. --

Note: Wow, just checked the lyrics... He really does say "Time to play b-sides" (at 2:25 in the video..) I always figured this was a misheard lyric.

80s Jams #35: Eric B & Rakim "I Know You Got Soul" (1987)

One of the most influential rap albums of all time, Eric B. & Rakim's Paid in Full only continues to grow in stature as the record that ushered in hip-hop's modern era. Rakim's technique on the mic still sounds utterly contemporary, even state-of-the-art -- and that from a record released in 1987, just one year after Run-D.M.C. hit the mainstream. Rakim basically invents modern lyrical technique over the course of Paid in Full, with his complex internal rhymes, literate imagery, velvet-smooth flow, and unpredictable, off-the-beat rhythms. -- Allmusic

Thursday, July 1, 2010

80s Jams #36: Pixies "Caribou" (1987)

Amazingly, the Pixies' 1987 debut EP, Come on Pilgrim, was compiled from the quickly, inexpensively made demo tape -- paid for by Black Francis' dad -- the band made at Boston's legendary Fort Apache studio soon after they formed. Francis' lyrical fetishes for sex, death, and religion and his twisted sense of humor crop up on every track, from the eerie opener "Caribou," which urges listeners to "Reeeeepent!," to the final song, "Levitate Me," which borrows Christian folksinger Larry Norman's catchphrase: "Come on pilgrim, you know he loves you!" -- Allmusic

80s Jams #37: Queen "The Hero" (1981)

While writing and recording The Game, Queen were asked by renowned movie director Dino DeLaurentis to provide the soundtrack for his upcoming sci-fi epic Flash Gordon. The band accepted and promptly began working on both albums simultaneously. It was the two more conventional songs that were the album's two best tracks — the anthemic U.K. Top Ten hit "Flash's Theme" and the woefully underrated rocker "The Hero." With Queen involved, Flash Gordon is certainly not your average, predictable soundtrack. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #38: The Human League "Seconds" (1981)

Dare! captures a moment in time perfectly -- the moment post-punk's robotic fascination with synthesizers met a clinical Bowiesque infatuation with fashion and modern art, including pop culture, plus a healthy love of songcraft. Dare! struck a chord with listeners who didn't like synth pop or the new romantics in 1981, and it still sounds startlingly original decades after its original release. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #39: New Order "True Faith" (1987)

A tremendous single for New Order - a brilliant standalone effort and the triumphant conclusion of the peerless singles collection Substance - "True Faith" deservedly hit the charts in America, the UK and elsewhere, a marvelous valediction for a band with a core that had stuck to its guns for ten straight years. "True Faith" resisted being conventional for all that it was poppy, catchy, a radio-friendly song with its own unexpected edge. Bernard Sumner's lyric hints at a strange desperation at play, sung with an unsure, nervous emotion. -- Allmusic

80s Jams #40: A Flock Of Seagulls "I Ran" (1982)

The band benefited from heavy play on MTV and quickly became known for their outrageous fashion and lead singer Mike Score's waterfall-like haircut. However, their self-titled debut is an enjoyable romp that was set apart from other synth-heavy acts of the time by Paul Reynolds' unique guitar style. The kinetic "I Ran (So Far Away)" became a video staple and a Top Ten radio hit. -- Allmusic