This Week’s listens

The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground (1969)

The Velvet Underground – Loaded (1970)

The Velvet Underground and Nico – The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967)

Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)

I know I know I’m late to the Velvet Underground party. It’s never too late though because they rock. Personally, I prefer The Velvet Underground and Loaded to The Velvet Underground and Nico at the moment. I am starting to realize just how influential they were as it seems they just kind of invent sub genres with each song. 

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.

Stagecoach 

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.

Tommy F*ckin James and the Shondells + The Zombies

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.

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