Written by: Matt Wardlaw
After I posted some more Top 15 lists from friends, I heard from more of my blogging pals, ATV readers, and friends who weighed in with their lists.
First up is my good pal Mel from Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Your Boyfriend. Yesterday was a busy day in Mel-Land - Mel announced that her blog is going on hiatus. Boo! Hiss! Boo! I guess I'll have to keep in touch with her more in the real world to keep up on all of the dirt. No problem there. Mel gets huge amounts of friend points for having Tom Petty's Wildflowers on her list. You should all have Wildflowers on your list.... Without any further ado, here's Mel!
No particular order and completely random, WITH my favorite song from each album. They all have certain particular reasons why they "changed my life," but good stuff nonetheless. How 'bout that?
1. Toadies - Rubberneck - "Tyler"
2. Janis Ian - Between the Lines - "At Seventeen"
3. Garbage - Version 2.0 - "You Look So Fine" (OMG, Shirley Manson I want to eat you up when you sing this to me!)
4. Olive - Extra Virgin - "You Are Nothing"
5. The Cure - Disintegration - "Pictures of You"
6. No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom - "End on This" (This is my theme song).
7. Tom Petty - Wildflowers - "Wake Up Time" (Editor's note: My favorite Wildflowers track varies from day to day. Today, it's this one.)
8. Carole King - Tapestry - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (Moms used to play this record Saturday morning when it was designated "Cleaning Day").
9. Moloko - Statues - "Over and Over"
10. The Prodigy - The Fat of the Land - "Breathe"
11. Fugees - The Score - "Ready or Not"
12. Stone Temple Pilots - Core - "Creep"
13. Basement Jaxx - ANY album... really. But the banjo house on Crazy Itch Radio completely changed my love of world music (as in, now I love love it). "Hey U"
14. Michael Jackson - Bad - "Smooth Criminal"
15. Mickey Mouse Disco - "Welcome to Rio" I still have this album. In fact, the only RECORD that I own. It's a kid thing.
My rock and roll bro Kevin:
Kev chimes in with his 15, complete with explanation, and a unique twist - listed alphabetically:
Okay, I'm in for the top 15 albums. Here are the first 15 that came to mind.
In alphabetical order:
1. AC/DC - Powerage
The best album of their catalog. They haven't rocked as hard and been as much fun ever since.
2. Allman Brothers Band - Live at the Fillmore East
A band on the brink of busting into the big time that is tight, hungry and loose enough to make one of the greatest live albums ever.
3. Dan Baird - Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired
What could have been the 4th Georgia Satellites album is the high point of his solo career.
4. ELO - A New World Record
Before the ship became bloated on Out of the Blue, it floated along beautifully with this
incredibly produced album that is ELO's best overall effort.
5. Ian Hunter - Ian Hunter
His first solo album following Mott the Hoople is one of the most complete and well-rounded in his career. Contains the original "Once Bitten Twice Shy."
6. Jason and the Scorchers - Thunder and Fire
Their most commercial album which should have put them over the top died when their label was sold the week the album came out. Lots of Warner Hodges and more rock and roll than you would expect.
7. Joe Jackson - Big World
Joe goes from angry young man to world observer with great success. A variety of songs and styles that all work and show his immense talent.
8. Los Lobos - The Neighborhood
One of America's most talented bands pulls it all together with a degree of lyrical and musical maturity that they continues to grow.
9. Lou Reed - New York
Brilliant observations, great storytelling and great rock and roll.
10. Smithereens - Especially for You
A total breath of fresh air at the time that still holds up after 20 years. "Blood and Roses" has one of the best bass lines in rock history.
11. Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food
New wave and punk were breaking and this group was very different from anyone. "Take Me to the River" put them over but there are many other great songs here as well.
12. Johnny Winter - Captured Live
One of the greatest rock/blues players ever steps out and shows why he was once the best in the business. Unbelievable dexterity and feel on guitar and a great voice too.
13. X - Under the Big Black Sun
Life in Los Angeles through the eyes of a poetic and drunk punk rock chick. Add one kick-ass band including the great John Doe on bass and vocals and this is a thing of dark beauty.
14. Warren Zevon - Sentimental Hygiene
His 1987 comeback album following a stint in rehab shows he hasn't lost a thing. One of his best albums in its entirety.
15. ZZ Top - The Best of
First put out in the late 70s, it captured every essential moment to that point. It doesn't get any better than this.
Joshua Jesty of Clevo locals thisisexploding (R.I.P.) and also the head jester guiding the good ship of all things Joshua Jesty:
Jesty goes in-depth describing his favorite albums and gives a nod to Spin Doctors (a favorite of mine as well...Up For Grabs, mmmmmm,) and also a very unexpected nod to Van Halen. Unfortunately, he also pads his list with three albums that he plays on. I guess I'll forgive that sinful move....
here we go, cause everyone else is doing it and you know I can't help myself from caving to peer pressure.
here's 15 records that affected me in the order I remember them.
1. Headquarters - The Monkees
when I was a kid I was nuts for the monkees. This shaped an awful lot for me. Since I watched the TV show everyday my parents started telling me the time in Monkee shows as is "hey dad, how long is this car drive going to take?" "2 monkees shows". Also, I remember feeling very betrayed whenever the whole group wasn't working as a unit. There were a few shows where Mike Nesmith just didn't show up and I can remember being disappointed every time one of those episodes came on. My parents had put a record player in my room at some point when I was 5 or 6 and I remember not really knowing why they had did this. Then one day while staying at my grandmas I noticed a stack of 3 records sitting by the front door. My aunt Jill had left them for me and they were what else but monkees records. I was jumping for joy when I brought them home and I remember spending most of my quiet playtime (time where I had to leave my parents alone that was designated as such) listening to those records and just laying on my bed singing along. I remember "shades of gray" coming on and being so taken with the mood of the song. I suppose that's not so bad for being 5 or 6. Years later when I found out they weren't really that real of a band it took me a few weeks to forgive them. When they reunited and put out a new TV special in the 90's I was hooked to that set like no one else.
2. Van Halen - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Van Halen in general marked a big turn for me as far as having a band that I liked, and that was mine. It wasn't in my parents collection, it wasn't the beatles, it wasn't whatever was on the radio station my parents played. It was my band, and I fully embraced it. This was the first record of theirs, and the next few records listed on this list were all records (or cassette tapes I should say) that I would listen to from start to finish while playing my NES that I bought with my own paper boy money. I played Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior while listening to these three tapes over and over and over and the smell of the carpeting in the room and the feeling of just sitting playing a boring old RPG that I was enthralled with crosses my senses every time I hear one of these records. When it comes to Van Halen I was so into them that at one point I could tell you every one of there releases and every song on every release in the order it was put out. I was a nut and most likely got into guitar as a result of hearing Eddie Van Halen rip it up.
3. The Spin Doctors - Pocket Full of Kryptonite
Fortunately for me I was saved from Van Halen as a result of this band and the counting crows. I often tell people that when I first heard Mr. Jones I was immediately turned off from the idea of what a guitar could do and turned on to the idea of what a song and particularly lyrics could do. However I never owned August and Everything After, but I did have Pocket Full of Kryptonite. I know most people find "two princes" to be an old hat one hit wonder type of deal, but to me it was a revelation. I loved hearing a song like that and just feeling good about everything as a result of the chord progression and the drums. The whole record was great. One time I jumped out from behind a tree and surprised the lead singer Chris something... and I shook his hand and just felt like I had honored the teen in me who listened to pocket full of kryptonite for a year straight (while playing video games)
4. Def Leppard - Hysteria
In the years since this record came out I learned to listen to EVERYTHING that Mutt Lange (the producer of this record) has done because I am just a nut for his production and writing. It truly is some of the most consistent pop music ever created. When I found out he wrote a song for Britney Spears, I listened to it, when I found out he wrote most of the songs for Shania Twain I listened. Bryan Adams, hell yes. When I found out he wrote a song for Nickelback, I listened, but I did pop a blood vessel. But I listened. This was a record that I loved from start to finish. I remember laying on my bed falling asleep and creating music videos for the songs in my head (one of my favorite pastimes from about 11-now). The sonic landscape of the record was so fulfilling. I suppose I wasn't fully aware of how carnal the songs were (As with most van halen stuff) but I just loved the overall sound and feel of the record.
5. Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
After I moved to Olmsted Falls, my dad willed me his first CD player about 3 months before christmas. What this meant was that I had a CD player but no CDs to play. So I sorted through some of the records my dad had and found this CD as well as the Crash Test Dummies "God Shuffled his Feet". If Spin Doctors and Counting Crows didn't fully knock me off the macho male rock of Van Halen then this was the straw that broke the camels back. Her complete honesty and sometimes very simple production made for a record that I couldn't put down. I felt guilty when I listened to "Me and a Gun" just because I was of the gender that inspired that song, "Tear in your hand" "Happy Phantom" "Silent All the Years" "Crucify" all would get stuck in my head. I was deeply into Tori Amos for several years and while I haven't been paying attention to her that much in recent times I respect her songwriting skills and I still can't understand half of what she's singing about since this first record.
6. the Police - Message in a Box
Yeah, it's not a record as it is a Box Set but it was one of the first CDs my parents got me for christmas and to me it felt like my new band. It was mine, all the other kids liked Nirvana and STP and smashing pumpkins and here I was with my collection of everything the Police ever did. I loved the overall view of all there recordings. Some good, some bad, some just silly little songs. I loved that every song they did always had all three members. I often times would fall asleep to "Every Breath you Take" and found it completely surprising that one day I was in school and I couldn't get "wrapped around your finger" out of my head. I also took the song "It's alright for you" and changed the lyrics to all the answers for a geography quiz and aced it. I spent many days and nights in my room listening to all these songs, making up music videos, picturing myself in a band that could play as good as the Police and make songs as memorable. Maybe not every thing they put out is grade A and I've grown to accept that, but this was a huge step in my musical growth
7. Talking Heads - Sand in the Vasoline
this is a two disc greatest hits collection. While I love the talking heads more and more I really only liked half of this collection at first. They were another band that for some reason I thought were completely mine during high school when no one else in my grade would like them. I really liked a lot off quotes that david byrne has fired off, one of them being that guitar should be without distortion and highly percussive. I think as a result of this I took out using any distortion on my guitar for the remainder of my high school days and played nothing but acoustic for the first year and a half of Love Screams existence. and come on, you can't beat "once in a lifetime". Try to do so and your head will explode.
7. For Squirrels - Example
this was the last big record of my high school life. My friend Jess turned me on to these guys, and I might have gotten a little lost in the whole aspect of most of the band being dead, but I also couldn't help but appreciate how inconsistent yet good the whole record was. I mean you have a few big loud screamy songs that sound like the world is falling apart, and then you have these nice little ditties that sound like REM knock offs, accept better to me. Then there's Disenchanted. An epic masterwork from a band that I wish would've been able to put out many more records. In high school my band Remain Standing covered at least 8 out of 10 of the songs on this record. Maybe we did them all at least once. But we always did Disenchanted, and still to this day I can't get over the feeling that comes over me when I hear the end of that song. I don't think Remain Standing ever re created it perfectly, and it's a song that is always worth hearing. go listen to it now is what I'm saying.
8. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity
I remember hearing this record coming out of a friends room at Berklee. You know what, I might not have even known him at the time. I just walked in the room cause I was immediately taken and said "who is this?". I burned half the record on my mini disc player and eventually got my own copy. These guys changed the game for me in many ways. "For Me this is Heaven" still kicks me in the heart every time I hear it. When I came back from college a reformed version of Remain Standing covered at least 8 songs off this record over the course of a summer. I can't even tell how it played a crucial role in my songwriting or life, I just know that it affected me
9. Love Scream - More Songs about the Reproductive Cycle
this record and every official record I've put out has affected me in a big way. Even though I made a few records with Remain Standing and even put out a solo record I just didn't feel like I had made a record. You know, I heard other friends records and they just didn't sound real to me, not like the ones that I heard on the radio. With More Songs... I really think we set out to make a real sounding record and we pretty much got there. When I hit college I just found my voice through writing in practice rooms alone all night but I couldn't finish the deal. I could write the songs, the hooks, and all of that, but having Kaler, Owen and Dan with me to take the songs from just songs to events was an amazing experience. My life musically wouldn't be nearly what it is today it I hadn't had the fortune of having these guys in my life. I often go on about how it broke my heart when we broke up to the nth degree, and it did. But several years later when we were all in a room that was fully stocked with instruments we looked at each other and kind of asked "should we play something together?" and we all answered "no, there's no point". And really, I think on the positive side of that statement there was no point cause we had already affected each other and done what we were ultimately supposed to do. It wasn't selling out shea stadium, but it was growing immensely as a writer and performer and a person. I remember many nights of laughter, a lot of silly inside jokes, and a lot of head butting which ultimately lead to some of the best musical experiences of my life at that point. I remember arguing about artwork from 10pm till 6am and taking the train out to work at 8am. I remember opening the box with the CDs. All the train rides to Riches house to record vocals. I remember getting back from Cleveland at 1am and having Owen great me and running to our room that we shared and just rolling around in our beds laughing hysterically about how famous we were going to be as a result of this record. They felt like my brothers then, and they still feel that way now.
10. the Afghan Whigs - 1966
I remember hearing the single off of this record on WBWC and just realizing that it was mine. I envied the fact that 1965 had been written and that I wasn't the writer of it. I listened to that record non stop and pictured a rock opera about a lonely vampire. I also bought "Reinhold Messner" by Ben Folds, but my dad stole the CD from me. Still this record holds up every time I come back across it. And even after the end of Love Scream, hearing these songs made me feel alright and gave me hope that I could make big bombastic pop like this at some point.
11. this is exploding - Until the Next Red Light
making this record was another huge point in my musical life. We wrote and rehearsed and existed for a year and a half before we got in the studio to do this. A little side note, one of my happiest memories about the demo record that we made was when Dan came over and I just got in his car and we drove around listening to the mixes, just going all over the place and having those songs hit my ears. I couldn't believe I was a part of the music coming out of those speakers. By the time we made Until the Next Red Light I felt like we were beyond ready to make a record. It went by pretty quickly and there were some rough moments, like Nick being booted out by the end of the recording process, and I also remember having a horrible first day of vocal recording, which led me to waking up early every morning before the session, taking a jog, and eating nothing but carrots and vocally warming up before each session. I was also proud of the fact that I broke a condenser mic while recording this record by singing to powerfully (I feat I had managed to pull off while recording the Love Scream record as well). For me the record is bittersweet, since it's a essentially a compilation of about 3 or 4 of the best songs we had from our early days together and 6 songs that were basically written shortly after and deal pretty exclusively with the matter of my fathers passing. In that sense it's a very somber record and at times its hard to listen to for me. But for the first time in my life the feeling that would well up in me when I heard songs like "disenchanted" would also well up in me when I heard a song like "Mourning". I knew I was doing something that was unique and impossible for me to replicate with this is exploding. Where Love Scream would take my songs and make them into something bigger and better, this is exploding would essentially walk into a room with each other, plug in, say hi, and then crank out these amazing riffs and textures and structures and I just have no idea where any of them came from. I used to bring in riffs to help us along if we were short on ideas, but for a few years it just felt like we were never short on inspiration. These guys also become brothers to me, and I do miss the music we made as I know that while I can write another Love Scream song (and sometimes I feel I do) I feel that I will never write another this is exploding song, as I can't without the sonic friction of the other guys distinct voices thrashing violently against mine and composing something truly different from what I could ever imagine alone. It was a wild record to make, and it didn't take that long either which was nice.
12. Peter Gabriel - US
the ultimate record to listen to after things fall apart. At least it was for me. I can't even put my finger on it, cause I loved this record back in college too, but it just kept coming back and letting me bury my head in it whenever I needed it
13. Weezer - Pinkerton
This one is obvious because I covered it twice, at two different but similar times in my life when things were coming to an end and things were beginning all over again. Every song on here is wonderful and a bit dark and honest and abrasive, which is what I think makes for great rock music. honest and abrasive, maybe only because of the honesty itself. These guys had a vision for the sound, and it's just perfect execution in my mind. I'm glad I've been able to study and attempt to emulate these songs as much as I have.
14. Joshua Jesty - Finally, Joshua Jesty is making a record with a short title, and the title of the record is "Girl"
So yes, I've been talking a lot about my own records but they were the ones that affected me the most, and I've heard the songs on Love Scream, this is exploding, and my own solo records more then you will listen to any 3 or 4 records in your life I guarantee it. This record feels like my first true solo record and to me it is the most honest and abrasive record I could have made ever. It has a few moments that feel like "Disenchanted" moments to me, it has a few moments that feel like the poppy goodness of "two princes" or "1965" to me. It was recorded in my little home studio (wherever home was) for the better part of 2 years, with a trip to south carolina and a bunch of mixing in Boston for good measure. It has gone through at least a dozen revisions tracking wise, and I have been very blessed in the sense that a lot of things with the record came together at the last minute and I managed to gather up and include a majority of the people that have affected me personally and musically in the past decade or so and get them to be a part of the record (even if in a small way). It's not necessarily a record that will top the charts or make me big in Japan, though I wouldn't mind it. But I hope that one day if someone who has no bias towards me listens to the record they will give it a full listen and say "that sounds like a record that had to be made". If one person does that then I feel like I will have achieved what I wanted to with this record. Then the next one can be my big pop sell out record. For now, this record will go down as my way of stating that loss is gain, and that might be one of the few lessons worth learning and holding onto throughout life.
15. the dismemberment plan - Emergency and I
as well as the flaming lips, but must more specifically with the Dismemberment plan, I was smacked upside the head with all these new possibilities of what a pop song could do and what it could be. Simply amazing. I'm very glad I was dragged to a show against my will in Boston, and it will stand as one of the best shows I've ever seen. They never gave it 100% in Cleveland.... peeh.
Jose Feliciano from Sensory Overload:
I am always changing what music I like so this is very difficult, just shooting from the hip in no order here are my 15 or so. I am sure I might think of others on another day but these are the ones I thought of today. I had explanations for why I chose what I chose but stupid facebook did not want save the first one so here is the lazy one.
15. Jawbreaker - Dear You
14. Sublime 40 Oz to Freedom
13. Bouncing Souls- Maniacal Laughter
12. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity
13. Greenday - 1039 Slappy Smoothed Out Hours
12. Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Don't Know How To Party
11. Frank Sinatra - The Sinatra Christmas Album
10. Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary
09. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
08. The Pixies - Death to The Pixies
07. Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
06. Dre. Dre - The Chronic
05. DJ Shadow - Entroducing
04. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
03. At The Drive In - In Casino Out
02. The Roots - Things Fall Apart
01. Soul Coughing - Irresistible Bliss
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Nine Inch Nails are currently on tour in Australia, and NIN mainman Trent Reznor gave a rare in-person interview yesterday (2/22) to Triple J Radio. Reznor discusses the upcoming planned hiatus for NIN, the tour with Jane's Addiction, and a wealth of other subjects. The interview runs 16 minutes and includes some cool memories of Reznor's first Jane's Addiction concert here in Cleveland.
PS - I can't confirm, but I do believe that my good friend Burgo helped hold the microphone for this interview. I kid, I kid.more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Late last week, someone made reference to Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh contributing his signature guitar licks to Richard Marx's rockin' debut single "Don't Mean Nothing'." The tune went Top 5 for Marx - not bad for an opening shot, and as you know now, the track was the first of four massive hits for Marx from his 1987 self-titled debut, including an eventual number one chart notch with "Hold On To The Nights."
I was floored. I had NO idea.
When I mentioned the Walsh connection on Twitter, I got quick reaction from @JacobyDave:
"You didnt know that? I knew that was Joe Walsh when it was new!"
As soon as I heard the Walsh tidbit, I could immediately hear it in my head. How could I have missed this one? As a liner notes junkie, it was a shameful moment. I kid you not, "Don't Mean Nothing" was one of my favorite tunes of the 80's, with the previously mentioned "Hold On To Nights" eventually snagging the top spot among my favorite Marx tunes, thanks to this famous live version released as the official video.
But today, we're talking about "Don't Mean Nothing," a track that featured not only Walsh, but also fellow former Eagles members Timothy B. Schmit and Randy Meisner on background vocals. As Marx notes in the video below, it was the first time that Schmit and Meisner had sung together in the studio, since they weren't actually in the Eagles together. In fact, Schmit had been Meisner's replacement twice - first in Poco in 1970, and later in 1978 in the Eagles after the Hotel California tour.
Marx comments on the writing and recording of "Don't Mean Nothing."
The Marx incident reminded me of another famous guest appearance that always makes for good conversation - George Harrison's solo on Belinda Carlisle's solo hit "Leave A Light On."
Some info from Songfacts.com:
In the 1980s and '90s George Harrison didn't work with many other people, and after his death, Olivia Harrison told Belinda Carlisle that he agreed to work on her album because he loved her voice. George Harrison wrote Rick Nowels a letter saying he "Hopes he likes his guitar work because he got a blister playing it."
Harrison also played 12 string and bass on "Deep Deep Ocean," another track on the same Runaway Horses album that contained "Light."
Here's a humorous video interview with Eric Clapton and George Harrison during their 1991 Japanese tour. During the interview, Clapton references a current single on the radio with a guitar player that sounds a lot like George. Clapton is talking about "Leave a Light On," and it's funny to watch the two of them trying to figure out the song that Clapton is referencing. The interview portion begins at about 1:50 in on the video below.
What are some of your favorite little-known guest appearances on songs that were huge?more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
No, no - I'm not talking about the television show.
In response to 15 Albums That Changed My Life, a number of my friends weighed in with their own lists.
I thought I'd share several of my favorites with you here.....the best part of being a music fan, is the diverse group of fellow music fans we find as friends!
What's on your list? Feel free to share it in the comments below....
Now, on with the lists!
All of Dan's albums are from vinyl, btw! Dan's list generated a LOT of fun commentary and lots of follow-up lists from his friends.
1. Moody Blues - In Search of the Lord Chord
2. Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
3. Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
4. Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children Children
5. Beatles - Sgt. Peppers
6. Elvis Costello - This Year's Model
7. Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks
8. Dire Straits - Making Movies
9. The Doors - Morrison Hotel
10. Jethro Tull - Aqualung
11. Patti Smith - Horses
12. Lou Reed - Rock 'N Roll Animal
13. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
14. Tom Petty - You're Gonna Get It
15. The Who - Who's Next
CB a.ka. "The Cleveland Bachelor":
1. The Flaming Lips - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
2. Billy Joel - Piano Man
3. Weezer - Weezer (The Blue Album)
4. Elliot Smith - XO
5. Wilco - Being There
6. Cheese Pizza - Tavern Tour
7. Wreckless Pennsylvanians
8. Failure - Fantastic Planet
9. The Knack - My Sharona
10. Daniel Johnston - Welcome to my World
11. Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell
12. Cracker - Garage D'or
13. Marshall Tucker Band - Country Tucker
14. Phish - Hoist
15. Parlaiment Funkadelic - The Bomb
Kelly Feliciano of Sensory Overload:
(In no particular order)
1. Fiona Apple - Tidal
2. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity
3. Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
4. Heather Nova - Siren
5. Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
6. Cat Power - You Are Free
7. Weezer - Blue Abum
8. Sarah McLachlan - Stumbling Towards Ecstasy
9. Azure Ray - Hold On Love
10. Air - Moon Safari
11. The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
12. Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
13. Emiliana Torrini - Fisherman's Woman
14. The Juliana Theory - Emotion Is Dead
15. Third Eye Blind S/T
Paul Lackey. Um, Paul....hmmmm, well, Paul shares my love for Dada, Night Ranger, Dream Theater, and Survivor. 'Nuff said!
Paul went into great impressive detail about each item on his list. If I would have done the same, you never would have seen my list. Anyone seen my best of 2008 list? Exactly.
1 Black Sabbath - SABOTAGE
I was little when I inherited it from one of my brothers.. Simultaneously scared the begeebers outta me & caught my interest
2 Judas Priest - SAD WINGS OF DESTINY
Halford has been a huge influence on my singing ever since
3 Boston - Boston
not so much when it was new, because music hadn't bitten me quite yet. In retrospect, this album grabbed me by the throat, and shook until blended. Awesome production, uncompromising hook & positive attitude throughout.
4 Kansas - LEFT OVERTURE
See notes about Boston
5 Night Ranger - MIDNIGHT MADNESS
This is when I REALLY began getting sick of radio programming. The fact that most people only remember "Sister Christian" will NEVER stop irritating the crap out of me. This album is full of great songs no one noticed.
6 Survivor - CAUGHT IN THE GAME
Survivor suffers from "Sister Christianitis" also. If you think they are the theme from Rocky, you are sadly mistaken.
7 Neal Schon - LATE NIGHT
I knew he could play guitar, but I never really understood what he was capable of until I heard this one.
8 Tony MacAlpine - MAXIMUM SECURITY
I finally "got" what my brother had been raving about with Yngwie Malmsteen, but I still like this album far more than any other neoclassical shred.. Well, Vinnie Moore's MIND'S EYE is right up there with this one.
9 Giant - LAST OF THE RUNAWAYS
See comments re: Night Ranger & Survivor & multiply by Pi^3. (remember "I'll See You in My Dreams?") Dann Huff is arguably my favorite guitarist, and the songs on the first two Giant albums stand pretty much alone in the development of music as far as I've heard it..
10 Vicious Rumors - DIGITAL DICTATOR
I was heavily into buying independent metal & AOR mostly blind back in these days, going by song titles, production standards of the packaging, names of backline people I could trust, etc. I found VR's debut album when it was new, and it was pretty fine American metal. I bought this second installment, and by the time I got to the last song on side A, "Lady Took a Chance," the walls were coming down around me. Shiver-inducing, powerful stuff..
11 Chastain - MYSTERY OF ILLUSION
And this album was I'm pretty sure my first blind buy indie metal album the purcahse of which wasn't influenced by input from my older brothers (who were mostly responsible for my headbanging development up til this). Bought it from the Waxie Maxie in Greenbelt Plaza back in the day. Great production, great tunes, great vibe.. I was hooked immediately by the lure of discovery. (in retrospect, this slot may also belong to Broca's Helm - INTO BATTLE, but I'm fairly certain it was the Chastain, and I'm not wasting two slots on this event in my life)
12 Dada - PUZZLE
When I learned that I didn't think ALL modern pop sucked. Start to finish, this album rules.. Oh, and it also suffers a bit from "Sister Christianitis," as you'll probably remember "Dizz Knee Land," and not care for it much (maybe). This whole album delivers introspective, insightful lyrics, catchy melodies, unusual harmonies, and loads of atmosphere.
13 Dream Theater - WHEN DREAM AND DAY UNITE
Bought this one without knowing the eh-hem.. "majesty.." of Majesty. I remember on first spin thinking, "WTF? Um.. I'm not sure what's going on, but I MUST listen to this again.. And again.. And again.." I don't care what anyone says, Charlie Dominici's voice is fine. The production kinda sucks, but what can you do?
14 Vicious Rumors - WORD OF MOUTH
I know, I already mentioned VR, but, not only does this album rule, it's when I discovered that many of my favorite bands thrived during the onslaught of "grunge," just not here in the US. This album was only available as an import. It's got some great tunes on it, and was one of the initial acquisitions that fueled my downfall further into buying via the internet.
15 Riot - PRIVILEGE OF POWER
OK.. I admit it.. I've already hit that wall of (what the heck should fill these last two or three slots?) This one gets the nod for introducing me to the fact that some drummers KILL. Rob Jarzombek does some truly sick stuff on the Riot albums on which he played (Deen Castronova, now in Journey, but formerly in Wild Dogs, Dr. Mastermind, and as a session drummer for Shrapnel Records, also opened my eyes). Also, this is a metal album that prominently features the Tower of Power horn section, which to me seems antithetical, and groundbreaking, yet I immediately found it cool & interesting rather than sell-out.
16 Metallica - RIDE THE LIGHTNING
DAMN! How did I forget this one?? This was important enough to warrant overtime! This was the album that CEMENTED my understanding of how important (to me) good production is. Not only was Metallica's "sound" (musically) inventive (for me, anyway), the crunchy/chunky guitar tone, and the way it was employed, opened new avenues to creating infectious metallic music. This is when I began developing my lust for guitar TEXTURE (I employ this term rather than "tone," because for me it really is more tactile than auditory)
Brian from Broken Headphones:
15 is such a small number to ask of...there are plenty more but these are just the first that popped into my head. These are in no particular order at all...
1. Social Distortion - Social Distortion
2. Radiohead - The Bends
3. NIN - Pretty Hate Machine
4. Bad Religion - How Could Hell Be Any Worse?
5. Sublime - 40oz. To Freedom
6. Cracker - Kerosene Hat
7. Ben Folds Five - Whatever And Ever Amen
8. The Clash - The Clash
9. NOFX - White Trash Two Heebs & A Bean
10. Wu Tang Clan - Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers)
11. Minor Threat - Complete Discography CD
12. Ramones - Ramones
13. Cake - Motorcade Of Generosity
14. Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill
15. NWA - Straight Outta Compton
And we'll leave off for now, with my man Corey....who started this thing!
Here goes (In no certain order):
Motley Crue - Too Fast For Love
Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
Kiss - Hotter Than Hell
Poison - Open Up and Say...Ahh!" (aw, hell...the whole Poison catalog)
The Monkees - Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones Ltd.
Def Leppard - Hysteria
T-Ride - s/t
Enuff Z'Nuff - Paraphernailia
Butch Walker - Letters
New Kids on the Block - Hangin' Tough
Skid Row - Slave to the Grind
Slaughter - Fear No Evil
Buckcherry - Time Bomb
Ritchie Valens - Live at Pacoima Junor High School
LA Guns - Cocked and Loaded
Thanks kids, that was fun! Will the list-making fun continue?
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
What can you say about Beck?
Well....where do you want to begin? We probably don't have the time...
I'll tell you this. Like everybody else that was in a band during the 90s, I covered "Loser" in my high school rock band. Looking back, we shoulda done "Pay No Mind" instead - I like that one a lot better.
My buddy Tony would tell you that Beck is "rockin" during the show below. You shouldn't worry about the fact that Tony is usually referring to a moment during a Springsteen show when Bruce decides to pull out "Darlington County." Or "Ramrod." I still think we can totally apply Tony's idea of "rockin'" to the show below.
Just look at that setlist. Seriously. Cool setlist, plus some nice bonus material - particularly the Letterman performance of "Where It's At." "Pay No Mind" is a rare full-band version, and honestly, there's nothing bad that I can say about this show.
Now, go listen to it....
complete zipped download
Download lossless files of this show at Dimeadozen
1. Lord Only Knows
2. Devil's Haircut
6. Pay No Mind (Snoozer)
8. Truckdrivin' Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)
9. Where It's At
10. New Pollution
13. High Five (Rock The Catskills)
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Thanks to Alexa for this.....this is without a doubt, the funniest thing I've seen all day.more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Clutch is one of those bands. You either like 'em, or you don't. But from my side of the fence, how can you not? I'll admit that it took me a little bit of time to figure out what Clutch was all about. And then I figured it out - if you like rock and roll, Clutch might be the greatest rock and roll band you've never heard. They're certainly one of the greatest live bands you haven't seen. You've been leading a sheltered existence, and now it's time for you to get out a little bit more.
Luckily for you, there is plenty to catch up on: The band have kicked out the best 3 album cycle in recent memory with the back to back releases of Blast Tyrant and Robot Hive/Exodus in 2004 and 2005 respectively, followed by the release of From Beale Street to Oblivion in 2007. The band summarized their recording and touring activities of the past few years with a live CD/DVD release, Full-Fathom Five: Audio Field Recordings, released late last year.
With the Clutch project running like a well-oiled machine, it was time for the individual members to take care of some side business. Today marks the release of El Rojo, the first proper full-length studio album from The Bakerton Group. The Bakerton Group is an all-instrumental affair that takes the jam factor of Clutch to a whole new level, while pushing onward musically into previously uncharted territory for a musical trip that boasts a more southern, psychedelic improvisational feel in comparison to the traditional Clutch sound. "Psychedelic" is the key word that popped out while listening to "Work 'Em," the seven minute-plus jam that pops up 3/4 of the way through El Rojo Listening to it, I swear to God that the alien from the Aliens franchise makes a guest appearance. Creepy. And I like it like that.
For years, the instrumental alter-ego of The Bakerton Group has provided a forum for the members of Clutch to open for themselves. What a concept - an opening act that you KNOW you'll get along with. El Rojo features all four original members of Clutch, with the addition of Per Wiberg from Opeth for keyboard duties on the album. The band recorded El Rojo at home in Maryland at Magpie Cage Studios with J. Robbins producing.
The Bakerton Group are currently on the road promoting El Rojo with an evening of music featuring a special headlining set from Clutch to close each show on the tour. The Bakerton Group are also performing two headlining dates in Detroit and Chicago this week.
Here are the complete tour dates for The Bakerton Group with Clutch and special opening act Red Fang.
2.17.09 - The Majestic Theater, MADISON, WI
2.18.09 - The Double Door, DETROIT, MI**
2.19.09 - The Vogue, INDIANAPOLIS, IN
2.20.09 - The Terminal, TRAVERSE CITY, MI
2.21.09 - The Shelter, CHICAGO, IL **
2.22.09 - The Machine Shop, FLINT, MI
2.24.09 - Montage Music Hall, ROCHESTER, NY
2.25.09 - Higher Ground, BURLINGTON, VT
2.26.09 - The Asylum, PORTLAND, ME
2.27.09 - The Chance, POUGHKEEPSIE, NY
2.28.09 - The Crazy Donkey, LONG ISLAND, NY
3.01.09 - The Chameleon Club, LANCASTER, PA
**The Bakerton Group headlining show
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
The following post is ripped straight from my Facebook page.....kind of. I've been amused recently by the people that are irritated by the rising amount of Top 5/10/15/25 "chain letter" posts on Facebook. "Don't turn Facebook into Myspace," is one of the pleas that I read from one person. I actually enjoy reading this kind of stuff - probably because most of the ones that have been coming my way, have been music-related.
As soon as I hit submit on this particular post on Facebook, I started thinking of albums that I had left out - including one of the first ones that had come to mind - August and Everything After by Counting Crows. My friend Cristi left me a FB comment asking me to "let her know when I finish the list."
With that in mind, I thought about adding 5 more, and then 10 more, and I settled for an additional 15 albums, which are tacked on below. It still doesn't cover 'em all, but I had fun putting this list together.
Original post follows - enjoy!
Wow, this is going to be fun. There's no way I can even begin to include all of the albums that have inspired me. I'd need a lot more than 15 slots. This list is in no particular order, although I like the running order on this one. It's tough, because Blue Rodeo could easily be at #1 on this list, same for Bruce Springsteen, etc. etc. etc.
Without a doubt, these are 15 albums that all made my life a little bit brighter at the time I got them. They continue to inspire me to this day, and when I hear them individually, they remind me of where I was the first time that I heard them, and the people I was with. Good times.
I'd like to thank Corey for tagging me in his note, and for having the courage to include T-Ride in his list of albums. Now that I've done that, I'm going to steal his entire setup paragraph:
Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you're over 40) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wazoo, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others, including moi. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it!
1. Del Amitri - Twisted
2. Gin Blossoms - New Miserable Experience
3. Weezer - Weezer (The Blue Album)
4. The Wallflowers - Bringing Down The Horse
5. Bruce Springsteen - Live 1975-1985 (Honorable mention to Lucky Town)
6. The Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray
7. Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
8. The Smithereens - 11
9. Blue Rodeo - Five Days in July
10. The Jayhawks - Hollywood Town Hall
11. Sting - The Soul Cages
12. INXS - Kick
13. Jackson Browne - I'm Alive
14. Dada - El Subliminoso
15. Tonic - Sugar
16. Social Distortion - Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell
17. Alice in Chains - Dirt
18. Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
19. Counting Crows - August and Everything After
20. Van Halen - 5150
21. Michael Penn - Free-for-All (Now We're Even is STILL one of my favorite tunes!)
22. Tom Petty - Wildflowers
23. Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds Five
24. E - A Man Called E (honorable mention to Broken Toy Shop)
25. U2 - Achtung Baby
26. Tears For Fears - The Seeds of Love
27. Peter Gabriel - US
28. Yes - 90125
29. The B-52's - Cosmic Thing
30. Faith No More - Angel Dust
31. Def Leppard - Hysteria (okay, so I ended up with 16 more....)
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
This is my first V-Day post, so it's not quite a tradition yet...but just wait until next year! I've got a suspiciously timed dinner with my parents tonight, arranged with an early morning phone call.
Perhaps my parents have me on suicide watch on this hallowed chocolate covered day of luv.
Or perhaps they just wanted to see their son.
From my perception, I've won. A year has passed, and I've managed to stay free from the clutches of an evil soul-sucking relationship with any member of the female kind.
But don't worry folks, I was hanging out just last night with a member of the female species, having friendly conversation while watching live rock and roll. We had late night eats at My Friends (that's for you, Brian,) and we spent a good portion of the evening laughing at others. Not with them, at them. I realize that that part of the evening wasn't very nice behavior. But must I be nice all of the time?
I think not.
Today has been a productive Valentine's Day. I've acquired thanks to @WritingHannah, a list of girls worldwide that if I should ever get back into that "relationship" kind of thing, I now have a list of women that I will not wrong/offend/mistreat/etc. See it for yourself in the video below, and exercise your own personal caution.
Here's some more V-Day stuff for you:
He's also got the #1 song about having a broken heart.
Robert Cass at Popdose shares a great Pearl Jam show. That's not saying much, because I've YET to meet a PJ show that I didn't like. Sadly for you V-Day lovers, there's no "Love Boat Captain," but there is an electrifying banjo-enhanced rendition of "Once" in the encores. Okay, you're right - I'm lying about the banjo part.
For me personally on this Valentine's Day, I'm loving the HELL out of the new Damnwells album. Which is *ahem* a FREE download. If we are friends, and you've missed my Twitter updates, Facebook postings, and posts right here on this blog....well, what kind of friend are you?
"Bastard of Midnight" is bliss delivered via headphones....
Trouble keeps the bar lights on for your heartache…
Be good to each other. Hold me.
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
My friend Pat sent me a Twitter message, "Dude, I can't believe you didn't respond to my Fountains of Wayne reference on Twitter."
"I was READING A BOOK," I replied.
"In no way believes that @addictedtovinyl was reading anything that was not online" was the Twitter reply from Pat.
Strange but true.
It wasn't a shock that When We Get to Surf City grabbed my attention when I read a piece from Bob Lefsetz about the book. As a kid, I grew up as a big Beach Boys fan, and my quest to soak up everything Beach Boys-related eventually led me to the music of Jan & Dean. I never owned any of their music, and it wasn't until a few years ago that my knowledge of the group grew a bit more from reading a different Lefsetz piece about the Jan & Dean live album Command Performance. All of this led to my eventual purchase of Command Performance, and when I read about Greene's book much later, I had to acquire it, pronto!
It sat on my bookshelf for a few short weeks before I picked it up last weekend, and I proceeded to crank through it in a few short evenings. Bob Greene's writing style is simple yet it paints a vividly detailed picture. He's a great storyteller, which allowed him to carve out an admirable career as a journalist and author over the past 30 years. When We Get to Surf City was a surprise from the first moment that I heard of it. I had no idea that Jan & Dean had been on the road throughout the years. Like many, I assumed that the group had faded quickly following Jan Berry's tragically ironic car accident in the late 60s. Instead, Jan & Dean had continued to tour regularly until Berry's death in early 2004.
When We Get to Surf City is a great look into the world of a band on the oldies circuit. The past glories have faded, and everyone has a few more pounds than they did back in the day. But they still have the songs that made an initial connection so many years ago via the car radio on a summer night, on the dance floor at a high school dance, and other locations, all the while providing a soundtrack to the memories as a generation came of age.
Greene is one of those people that grew up listening to those songs like any other music fan, and then got the ultimate unbelievable souvenir and gift - a chance to go on the road with his musical icons to play those songs for an incredible 15 year journey while discovering the hidden treasures across America. The gig put Greene front and center with many of the other groups that he grew up with as Jan & Dean shared the stage with bands and artists including James Brown, Ben E. King, Chuck Berry, Gene Pitney, and their musical peers The Beach Boys.
When We Get to Surf City offers many poignant moments, including a look at the daily struggles that Jan Berry dealt with, a lingering result of his injuries decades earlier.
One of the moments that really connected with me personally, was the following passage from Greene:
Who could have known it at the time - who could have known how long this would endure? On the loneliest nights, on the most joyful afternoons, during the sultriest summers and frigid winters, the music, since it was new, has been so profoundly and consistently welcome. In the very worst of times, and in the very best, this music - structurally uncomplicated, four chords in most of the songs, lyrics usually basic and bare - has been like a friend, something to be counted on and treasured. Magic: just guitars and drums and vocals, yet it has always been, without my even having to think about it, the most loyal and steadfast of companions. Wherever I have been, I have needed only to hear three or four seconds of any of hundreds of these songs, coming out of a radio or a loudspeaker or merely out an window on a city street, and I'm instantly somewhere I've been before, somewhere I want to be, familiar and somehow safe.
Doesn't that just sum up everything that is great about being a music fan? Relationships, friendships, people - they come and go. But music has been in my experience, the one thing you can count on as something that will remain constant, something that will always be there for you with no letdown.
When We Get to Surf City is a getaway vacation that requires no plane ticket or travel budget. Whatever the purchase price, it might be the best money you'll spend on a book this year. And chances are good that after you read it, you'll be like me, sketching out plans for some future trips to some of the many landmarks that are part of the scenery in this book.
Jan & Dean official website
Purchase When We Get to Surf City by Bob Greene - Amazon
Purchase Jan & Dean - Command Performance / Jan & Dean Meet Batman - CDmore