Today’s pick is a swingin track with a certain shyness to it, much like you would see from the tamer tunes of Dismemberment Plan or Q and Not U. The rhythm is delightfully clumsy and foot-tappingly catchy. If you’re to find yourself standing while listening, be aware of your surroundings, not for fear that you’ll tumble over random objects, but more so because you’ll be dancing the most white-person dance imaginable in front of windows or people. I love this song, and I’ve embarrassed myself more than once being caught in the moment.
“Burning” by The Whitest Boy Alive
Give thanks with today’s pick from Led Zeppelin. Happy Thanksgiving folks. Stay safe in the Black Friday debacle.
“Thank You” by Led Zeppelin
album Led Zeppelin II
Step 1: Plant groceries
Step 3: Profit
Ella Fitzgerald by no means wrote todays pick, as evidenced in the album title below. However, she has one of THE best performances of the song. Her soulful voice beautifully emphasizes the tone of the breakup and the depression of the lyrics making this rendition divine. Side note: I wanted this song to be played at my wedding despite it’s message. I loved this version that much. Enjoy!
“Stormy Weather” by Ella Fitzgerald
album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Harold Arlen Songbook
Late night metal pick…I don’t usually throw out a band that’s been all over the Top 40, much less from anyone who’s ever won a Grammy, but Tool has a special place in my soul. The haunting vocal stylings of Maynard James Keenan, the hypnotic drums of Danny Carey, the transcendent guitar work of Adam Jones, and the brooding bass lines of Justin Chancellor all combine to make one of the most complex and thought provoking prog-metal bands i’ve ever listened to. When I first purchased their Aenema album in high school, I played it non-stop. After my parents took it away from me for fear that dark music might be a bad influence, I copied it onto a cassette tape from a friend and then listened to it nonstop. After I got dumped by a girl sophomore year, I made a special journey to her parents house to recover said cassette tape, and then I listened to it nonstop. I would’ve fought for that album. Today’s pick, though not from the same record, is still profound, in my opinion. It was completely unexpected from the direction I thought they were going to take after their previous album.
New to Tool? Here’s a quick to-do list:
- Buy Aenema
- Connect the dots between Lateralus & the Fibonacci sequence
- Buy the CD of 10,000 days. Usually, I would push the vinyl, but the CD comes with stereoscopic lenses and 3D artwork by the bands resident artist, Alex Grey.
“The Pot” by Tool
album 10,000 Days
I had this idea about a year ago. Seriously, someone email me so we can make this idea happen and start making billions.
I am a sucker for shoegaze. Always have been and always will be. The fuzzed out sound, the drone, the subdued lyrics, they all work so wonderfully together. To me it always seemed like a genre that played as the soundtrack to my daily routine…a sound either to put on and forget, or to set the stage and live for the day. Long car rides and jogs are much more meaningful to me when I put on a band like Young Prisms. Hailing from San Francisco, these guys are well versed in the arena of droning neo-psychedelia. Their overlayed, somewhat unclear vocals have been compared to the hypothetical lovechild between Mazzy Star & The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Some quick advice: if you find yourself driving down a highway suffering through the banality of your commute, play today’s pick shatteringly loud, and feel at least a little ambitious.
“Runner” by Young Prisms
album In Between
Today’s pick is from a band labeled by Wikipedia as Gypsy Punk, which is honestly a label I’ve never heard before, but then again, new labels are created everyday. Headed up by who I’ve labeled as the gypsy Zappa, Eugene Hutz looks like he crawled in from the streets. His music and energy is wildly entertaining and hard to match. I chose to include their Tiny Desk Performance from NPR’s All Songs Considered, as I felt it gave more of a feeling of what their live shows would be like. They showed up hammered, brought their own alcohol, and danced all over Bob Boilen’s desk, flawlessly I might add. Gogol Bordello should be on everyone’s concert bucket list. Just make sure it’s a small venue so that the entire room becomes part of the show.
Gogol Bordello Tiny Desk Concert Performance
via NPR’s All Songs Considered
[How to Dance Goth]
[Goths Posing in Trees]
Here’s a great pick by The Cure released in 1987. FYI – Robert Smith is the demigod of goths.
“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
album Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, a collaboration that meets mostly to create film & theater scores, have produced beauty with this instrumental string-centric track. Originally developed for the 2009 movie, The Road, starring Viggo Mortenson, today’s pick is a definite mood, and possibly pace setter, (still haven’t seen the film yet). Soundtracks are often forgotten in the realm of album reviews and music awards, but setting the ambiance of a film is extremely important, and in some cases can ruin the film. Take for instance, the entire soundtrack to A Knights Tale starring Heath Ledger. That movie was terrible, and I would’ve given it more of a chance if they didn’t blast rock-n-roll at every slow motion sequence like it was a football movie. Songs like “We Will Rock You”, though good, seem like a cop-out, especially when your movie takes place many centuries before the advent of Freddie Mercury. The best soundtracks should be original compositions catered specifically to increase tension, or elicit a specific emotion from a viewer. Take, for example, the soundtrack to The Fountain, directed by Darren Aronofsky. This soundtrack was composed by Clint Mansell and perfectly creates a feeling of elation towards the conclusion of the film. This movie was a work of art, and it has remained on my list of top 3 (seriously) films since it’s release in 2006. Go see it. Also check out the video below.
“The Mother” by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
album The Road soundtrack (2009)
Everyone remembers the Zach Morris phone. It was a simpler time when cell phones weighed more than dogs, and clothes were flashy as hell. Thank god we’ve moved on.
Quick pick today since I’m catching up on a lot of extra stuff that needs to get done.
“Babyhead” by Diarrhea Planet
album I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
Not every punk fan followed this path mind you. I loved punk and I never once chased the dragon. Stay in school kids.
Released during the “somewhat official” birth year of punk (1977), today’s pick comes from the debut album by The Jam. Taking most of their influence from the Who, these mod revivalists set the bar extremely high. This song ranks in my top 10 punk songs of all time, and that will never change. Throw up your favorite punk songs in the comments. If i get at least 30, I’ll throw them up in a Soundcloud playlist and link it to the site.
“In The City” by The Jam
album In The City