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.
I’m also working on comprising a thorough ‘best years in music’ ranking that will outline my favorite years for music.
Sickest concert ever. Will definitely be going back next year. Still can’t believe I got to see Tommy James, The Zombies, Kenny Chesney, and Dierks Bentley. Those 4 acts made it for me. I’m even more excited to see Brad Paisley again in less than 2 months. This weekend completely rejuvenated my love for country. I’d love to see George Strait one day too. However, the real amazing thing about it was the fact that thousands of young adults were cheering for classic guitar solos just like their parents probably used to in the 80’s and 70’s. I don’t know where else I would find that. Country appears to be one of the few places left for good old partying rock music.
These bands are the furthest thing from country artists, but they’re gonna be at stagecoach anyways. Good, because I fucks with them pretty hard. Basically, each band played covers and bubblegum music, then they randomly blew our minds with 1 good album each. Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells and Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies. These albums rock hard as shit, although Odessey and Oracle is superior in my opinion and probably most others.
Crimson and Clover is that quintessential San Fran hippie album. All the tacks are pretty good, especially the title track!!! One of my favorite songs ever. Rightfully so it was #1 pretty much everywhere in the world. Favorite Tracks: title track, Crystal Blue Persuasion, I’m Alive, and Smokey Roads.
I don’t even know how to describe Odessey and Oracle (1968), just listen to it. It’s Good. Favorite Tracks: Care of Cell 44, A Rose for Emily, Brief Candles and This Will Be Our Year. I’m bored of Time of the Season at this point, still a great song though like who the f doesn’t recognize time of the season.
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.
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).
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
This is my personal top 5 country artist ranking to celebrate fuckin ragecoach.
5. Luke Bryan
I would have hated myself for saying this 2 years ago but dammit Luke Bryan has some really good music. I still don’t like his voice but I can’t deny that he has a lot of great songs, especially if you are partying. Favorite Songs: “Do I” “Play it Again” and “I Don’t Want this Night to End”
4. Easton Corbin
All Over the Road is surprisingly a pretty good album. Don’t believe me? Give it a listen. He’s a little twangy but it’s ok. To me he’s a combination of Brad Paisley and George Strait (less talent though). Favorite Songs: “A Little More Country Than That” is easily his best IMO then “Lovin’ You Is Fun” and honestly “All Over the Road” is super cheesy but I love it.
3. Kenny Chesney
Whole career of great music. Nostalgic, Poignant, and lit as fuck. Favorite Songs: “The Good Stuff” and “I Go Back”
2. George Strait
The King of country is an appropriate title. The first CD I ever got for my car was a compilation called “50 Number Ones” and I can still listen to it all day long. His music takes you back to a simpler time in your own life. Although every other song is the saddest shit you’ve ever heard, it’s worth it. Strait’s music is just so honest that It’s almost off-putting at first but so beautiful when it grows on you. Favorite songs: “I Hate Everything” “I Just Want to Dance With You” “Go On” “You Look So Good In Love” “You Know Me Better Than That” and the beautiful “She’ll Leave You With a Smile”
1. Brad Paisley
Best lyricist, best guitarist, what more is there to say. Oh yeah and he kicks ass live. I wish he was going to be at stagecoach so badly. Probably going to see him this summer at the Honda Center
Top 10 Paisley Songs. 1 being the best and 10 being the “worst”
- We Danced
- Old Alabama
- She’s Everything
- Little Moments
- This is country Music
- Beat This Summer
- I’m Gonna Miss Her
- Letter To Me
Honorable Mentions for Artists: Zac Brown Band, Chris Young, Jason Aldean. Also I kept this modern and in the context of more contemporary coountry, so it’s missing great artists who made country albums or anything from the 60’s and 70’s like The Byrds’ “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” or the Allman Brothers Band.
Nashville Skyline, released in 1969 is, in my opinion, Dylan’s most overlooked album. It shouldn’t be far behind the top 3 (Blood on the Tracks, Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61). This was Bob Dylan’s straight country album… and it’s FUCKING GREAT. I’m not in love with the title song too much but other than that it’s SPOTLESS. It’s a classic feel good album. In a time when music was heavily political, the grand master of topical music makes complete 180 and goes the simpler route. Track 1, the duet with Johnny Cash, is one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard. “Lay Lady Lay” is another one for the ages. Two tracks that will never get old to me and my favorite two Dylan tracks.
- Girl from the North Country *favorite
- Nashville Skyline Rag
- To Be Alone With You
- I Threw It All Away
- Peggy Day *favorite
- Lay Lady Lay *favorite
- One More Night
- Tell Me that It Isn’t True
- Country Pie
- Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With you *favorite
After I discovered Best Ever Albums I wanted to believe Radiohead was overrated (I still think they are a little). I couldn’t resist it for long though, The Bends (1995) has got to be one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. It’s a serious mind blower. Every song is so emotional and intense (maybe it’s just the achey vocals tho). Extremely consistent and it rocks too hard to get boring. “High and Dry” is the most recognizable track at first listen. Not coincidentally I think it’s my favorite too, but it’s tough to be picky with an album this beautiful. #16 all time on BEA seems fitting. *Edit – is it just me or does “Just” totally sound like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”????????
- Planet Telex
- The Bends *favorite
- High and Dry *favorite
- Fake Plastic Trees
- Bones *favorite
- (Nice Dream)
- My Iron Lung *favorite
- Bullet Proof… I Wish I Was
- Black star
- Street Spirit (Fade Out)
I’m not a huge rap guy so I’m not even going to fuckin try to act like it, but I do like both Kendrick and Kanye. Kendrick’s new album is pretty ok in my opinion it gets kind of monotonous to me. I wasn’t hot about it the first time around, but it’s warming up to me so I’ll update this after more listens. Idk how it will stack up to his previous releases though. “DNA” and “YAH” are ok but get old for me quickly. Not huge on “LOVE” either. Really like “XXX” (fuckin Bono) and “DUCKWORTH” and of course “HUMBLE”
Finally checked out Cream for the first time by listening to Disraeli Gears, Fresh Cream, Wheels of Fire, and Goodbye. DG was definitely my favorite of their small catalog. Really sounds like a psych-blues jam band. They remind me a lot of Buffalo Springfield. Both supergroups whose short lives spanned the same period. Only 3 or 4 albums each yet brilliant all the same.
- Strange Brew (favorite)
- Sunshine of Your Love
- World of Pain (favorite)
- Dance the Night Away
- Blue Condition
- Tales of Brave Ulysses (favorite)
- We’re Going Wrong
- Outside Woman Blues
- Take It Back
- Mother’s Lament
Next was Slowhand at the suggestion of a friend and SHIT this album is FUCKING DOPE. I liked Clapton before, but now I really am a fan. Every track is just awesome with the iconic love song, “Wonderful Tonight”, to George Harrison’s ex-wife/ Clapton’s future wife Patti Boyd (that love triangle is hilarious to me although pretty fucked when you think about it b/c Clapton was writing love songs for his buddy’s wife while they were still married @’Layla’). And who could forget “Cocaine” or “Lay Down Sally”. Even the softer tracks rock your fucking socks off.
Track Listing: (can’t pick any favorites all tracks are equally great)
- Wonderful Tonight
- Lay Down Sally
- Next Time You See Her
- We’re All the Way
- The Core
- May You Never
- Mean Old Frisco
- Peaches and Diesel
Conclusion: Clapton is the master of the supergroup. From Cream to the Yardbirds to Derek and the Dominos and finally solo work. He even toured with the Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band. No wonder the man is the only 3x hall of fame inductee. Clapton also played lead on my favorite ever Beatles song. I’ll likely listen to some Yardbirds stuff in the future and more solo stuff like “Unplugged”.