Top 15 Wilco Songs

I haven’t posted often enough so this is the top 15 songs of one of my new all time favorite bands, who has since replaced the Flaming Lips in my top 5 bands list. This list was actually pretty tough to make because they have so many bangers on every album I’ve listened to so far. I’ll put the song first, followed by the album and year of release.

15. What’s the World got in Store – Begin There 1996

14. War on War – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

13. Either Way – Sky Blue Sky 2007

12. California Stars – Mermaid Avenue 1998

11. How to Fight Lonliness – Summerteeth 1999

10. Red-Eyed and Blue – Begin There 1996

9. Impossible Germany – Sky Blue Sky 2007

8. Via Chicago – Summerteeth 1999

7. Ashes of American Flags – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

6. If I Ever Was a Child – Schmilco 2016

5. Heavy Metal Drummer – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

4. Pot Kettle Black – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

3. I’m the Man Who Loves You – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

2. Jesus, Etc. – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

1. She’s a Jar – Summerteeth 1999

Current Listens

Crack Up – Fleet Foxes (new release)

Ten – Pearl Jam (1991). Bangin.

Love and War – Brad Paisley (2017). this one has some crazy features on it, most notably Mick Jagger and John Fogerty. The title track is my favorite thus far.

My Aim Is True – Elvis Costello (1977). Not a new one for me, but this album is so damn good I’m hooked all over again.

Closer – Joy Division (1980). I couldn’t get with Joy Division before, but I’m giving it another chance.

Automatic for the People – R.E.M. (1992)

Murmur – R.E.M. (1983). My favorite R.E.M. Album at the moment.

Current Favorite All Time Bands

I think it’s about time I make a personal list. Also I mean bands so I’m excluding solo artists for this lists, which doesn’t mean they wouldn’t otherwise make the top 5

5. The Velvet Underground 

I’m very new to the Velvet Underground, but they have undoubtedly blown my mind to pieces. I finally realize just how influential they were and just how many artists whose sounds I can track back to the Velvet Underground. Loaded, Te Velvet Underground, and The Velvet Underground and Nico will all be new additions to my favorite albums ever list. What really makes them special is the fact that they really weren’t doing anything special: they didn’t use any really experimental studio techniques like the most recognized artists of the time. They just created great, wholesome music and that is what I truly admire.

Loaded and The Velvet Underground are my favorite albums 

4. The Flaming Lips

I’m new to this one too. Something about Wayne Coyne’s repulsively whiny vocals just gets me. I love the heavy use of synthesizers and random electronic sounds that somehow come together to produce great songs. I think they write phenomenal lyrics that are really dark in contrast to the upbeat music. I hope to see them this year while they’re on tour. 

The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots are my favorite albums (the latter is one of my all time favs)

3. The Rolling Stones

There is no straight up rock band better. The Rolling Stones are the kings. Is there another group whose music is more apt for a night of partying?

Exile on Main St. is, in my opinion, the greatest pure rock and roll album ever.

2. The Beatles

Admittedly, The Beatles are the chosen ones. The masters. The group that could do literally anything and it sounded better than anything else anyone could do. There is no better collection of heart wrenching music, rock and roll, psychedelia, and R&B. In all honesty I feel the beauty more with John’s music than with Paul’s. John was the aggressive, honest visionary. Sgt. Pepper’s may have been Paul’s concept, but it was championed by John. 

Favorite albums: Rubber Soul and Revolver 

1. The Beach Boys

Now these guys really get me. Brian Wilson, the mastermind, contrived the most sonically appealing sounds I’ve ever heard. Arguably the best singing group of all time. Their discography is massive so there is a lot of subpar crap in there, but an overwhelming majority of their music in the decade after Pet Sounds is insane. Beautiful instrumentation matched with embarrassingly cheesy lyrics is basically the hallmark of The Beach Boys. I’ll have to make a comprehensive ranking of their albums in the future. For now it goes like this:

5. Wild Honey

4. Friends

3. The Beach Boys Today!

2. Surf’s Up

1. Pet Sounds

1, 2, and 3 are all interchangeable sometimes. However, Pet Sounds is the undeniable Magnum Opus and reigns supreme. # 4 and 5 may not be palatable to most, so I reccomend trying out # 3 first then moving to # 2 and 1. I’ll also make a list of my top 50 or so Beach Boys songs. 

IF YOU FUCK WITH THE BEACH BOYS YOU FUCK WITH ME!

Top 10 Billy Joel Songs (5/13/17)

I’m going to try to make personal rankings/lists more often just to see where I stand at the moment and I can update them in the future when my opinions change (because they always do). It’s just something fun to motivate me to post more often.

Starting with Billy Joel since I am going his concert tonight after all.

10. My life

9. She’s Got a Way

8.  Vienna

7.  Tomorrow is Today

From what I’ve heard so far of Billy Joel’s first studio album, Cold Spring Harbor, I have really enjoyed. I might do a post about this whole album in the future.

6. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant

I’m a really big fan of storytelling in songs. That’s what attracts me to country music.

5. Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)

4. The Stranger

3. Piano Man

Who doesn’t love this shit

2. Only the Good Die Young

I may be totally sick of hearing this song, but still undeniably one of the best and still one of my favorites. I just have to listen to it sparingly- the same way I feel about pretty much anything from Fleetwood Mac.

1. Just the Way You Are

The first time I heard this song I was bored immediately. The simple lyrics were tiring and only reaffirmed my prior belief that Billy Joel was nothing but a bubblegum songwriter. A couple more listens and I am totally hooked man I absolutely love this song. It’s so beautiful and simple. When he said “I don’t want clever conversation, I never want to work that hard,” that was all I needed. Great song.

 

I’ll try to update this post in the future some time. This list is 100% likely to change.

Billy Joel: Hear me out

It appears that there is no consensus on Billy Joel’s music. Most people either loathe him or love him. I didn’t hate him, but I never took him seriously as an artist and most other friends I have that are pretty into music aren’t hot about him either. Of course I knew all the huge pop hits of his: Piano Man, Uptown Girl (still can’t get with that one), It’s Still Rock n Roll to me, My Life, We Didn’t Start the fire, Only the Good Die Young… you get the gist. Anyways I liked those songs to an extent, but they get pretty old after a while. So he’s performing at dodger’s stadium on Saturday and the tickets are cheap as shit so I thought what the hell you know I’ll go for the hits, buuuut I decided to give some of his other stuff a try just so I know more songs at the concert. What I did know was that The Stranger is like his artistic zenith so that’s where I started. Last 3 tracks on it are whatever IMO, but for the most part that albums fuckin bangs. I’d never heard Vienna, Italian Restaraunt, Just the Way You Are, or Movin’ Out. SO HEAR ME OUT. I must admit The Stranger is a pretty good album! I moved on to the rest and I was indifferent just like before, but he does have many redeeming hits spread out across his discography. He’s great at coming up with original pop melodies that are REALLY catchy and he’s a master pianist. Personally I don’t think he’s a great lyricist, but that’s just me. I’m not bashing Billy Joel right now I am saying that he definitely has more to offer than I originally thought (I still don’t think he’s amazing so ok maybe a little bashing…. but I’m not all the way through his discography yet so who knows maybe I’ll fall in love with it).

I am actually pretty excited for this concert now!

the stranger

Top 5 Songs for a Rainy Day

Really bored. Do not feel like writing a research paper. Here are 5 great songs for a rainy day.

5. Rhythm of the Rain – The Cascades (1962)

4. And it Stoned Me – Van Morrison (1970)

Subject-appropriate. A great emotional piece that may or may not make you feel better about the depressing rain.

3. All This is That – The Beach Boys (1972)

Does not have anything to do with rain, but those harmonies are wet AF. It fits a rainy morning.

2. Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson (2005)

This song is the shit I don’t care how overplayed it is. This one always picks you up.

1. Love Song – The Cure (1989)

I know there are much more relevant songs on Disintegration to choose from, but I’d rather listen to this one while driving through the pouring rain at night.

Jackson Browne

Listened to my mom’s vinyl of Running on Empty last night while studying. I was amazed at how beautiful every song was. I always liked Jackson Browne and thought he was a great songwriter. Little did I know he’s a fuckin genius. I listened to Running on Empty and The Pretender twice each because they are just so good. Every song is nostalgic yet peaceful. It’s life in music. I especially love his cover of “Stay” it’s easily the best version of the song I have heard.

Post Stagecoach/ Current listens

So stagecoach has come and gone and while it was nice to return to country, the current music kick I’m on has persisted.

 

Nothing’s Shocking – Jane’s Addiction (1988)

At War With the Mystics – The Flaming Lips (2006)

Clouds Taste Metallic – The Flaming Lips (1995)

Transmissions from the Satellite Heart – The Flaming Lips (1993)

The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (1989)

 

I’m getting much deeper into the Flaming Lips catalog, beyond The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi. These 3 albums are all great. At War With the Mystics is my favorite at the moment. It’s got a lot of the same features as the two I just mentioned. Super heavy synth. I love the harmonies they put together across the album. I wasn’t too into Clouds Taste Metallic the first time around like I was the other two so we’ll see how I like it in a couple days.

 

 

 

The Stone Roses is an A+ 110% 5 stars AND it was their debut album. Gotta be one of the best debut albums ever. Standing alone, every song is amazing. There are no favorites to be had on this one. MAYBE “Shoot You Down” … maybe.the-stone-roses-628

 

I’m also working on comprising a thorough ‘best years in music’ ranking that will outline my favorite years for music.

The Flaming Lips + Arcade Fire thoughts

2 new discoveries. The Flaming Lips and Arcade Fire. I’ll start with the Flaming Lips. 2 albums blew my brains out at first listen. To Flaming Lips fans they are not surprisingly The Soft Bulletin (1999) and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002). Both of these blew me away immediately. To me this music seems so cliche with their farty, robotic synth drum beats and synth strings and super-whiney vocals, but it just isn’t. It’s amazing. It’s art. Both albums come with ridiculously complex arrangements I can’t even get what exactly is going on sometimes. Many beautiful harmonies and the melodies are generally mellifluous which makes it way easier to digest at first listen. These two albums are perfect and immediately jumped into my ‘favorite ever’ list. I’m excited to listen to the rest of their discography. I hope it matches these two gems.

yoshimi battlesSoft_Bulletin_cover

 

Next up Arcade Fire. I’ve known about them for a bit longer but still very new to me. So far I’ve listened to The Suburbs (2010) and Funeral (2004). As of right now I prefer the Suburbs to Funeral, but that could change. I will likely listen to Neon Bible and Reflektor this week too. Supposedly they’ve finished their newest studio album and it’s due this year. I actually am excited as I’m beginning to fall for this band. At first listen I wasn’t feeling The Suburbs, but second time around was jaw-dropping. This album really hits me emotionally more so than Funeral. Not to say Funeral is bad, it’s crazy good and I don’t doubt I’ll come around eventually. It may be typical, but I don’t care, “Wake Up” is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. Anyways back to The Suburbs. I love Sprawl 2 and Regine Chassagne’s voice, I wish she sang lead on more tracks.

Conclusion: The Soft bulletin = Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. The Suburbs > Funeral (subject to change).

Beginning of the week listens

Finally making my way around to more 21st century music. I look to BEA for help on that otherwise I would never have heard a lot of this really awesome music. I’m kinda on an alternative overload this week I don’t usually get hooked on this many albums at one time, not a bad thing at all though.

The Suburbs – Arcade Fire (2010)

Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animal Collective (2009)

Psychocandy – The Jesus and Mary Chain (1985)

On the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel (1998)

The Soft Bulletin – The Flaming Lips (1999)

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots – The Flaming Lips (2002) 

Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes (2011) 

 The Suburbs album cover