January 15, 2010

Favourites: Shriekback with Nemesis

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the 80s.

Formative years for me and so a number of my favourite tunes were found in this impressionable time. I read something recently about the changes one goes through in the teenage years that cause songs to be so embedded in our consciousnesses. I don't have the link handy, so you're going to have to trust me on this.

One 80s song that made a big impression on me is "Nemesis" by Shriekback. About a year and a half ago I had the good fortune to have convinced my band mates to play this song. It was just as much of a blast to play live as I always thought it would be. I love it when a plan comes together.

Not sure what's up with youtube/vevo but I don't seem to be able to embed their video for the song. I did manage to find this one. Hope you like it or have a good 80s flashback.

January 11, 2010

Best of: Top 50 Most Played Songs from 2000-2009

Here's a list that's actually ranked - by play count - from my iTunes library. My 50 favourite and most-played songs from the past decade. Rock out with your bad selves.

1. "The Heinrich Maneuver" - Interpol
2. " Banquet" - Bloc Party
3. "Starlight" - Muse
4. "Time to Pretend" - MGMT
5. "Thank God" - Storm Large
6. " Positive Tension" - Bloc Party
7. "Feel Good Inc." - Gorillaz
8. "No I In Threesome" - Interpol
9. "Golden Skans" - Klaxons
10. "This Fire" - Franz Ferdinand
11. "Supermassive Black Hole" - Muse
12. "Beautiful" - Storm Large
13. "Munich" - Editors
14. "Kids" - MGMT
15. "Helicopter" - Bloc Party
16. "Y Control" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
17. "Chocolate" - Snow Patrol
18. "An Honest Mistake" - The Bravery
19. "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" - Editors
20. "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" - Stars
21. "Tony The Beat" - The Sounds
22. "Valerie" - The Zutons
23. "An End Has a Start" - Editors
24. "Inside And Out" - Feist
25. "Rain" - Bishop Allen
26. "She's Hearing Voices" - Bloc Party
27. "Passenger Seat" - Death Cab For Cutie
28. "Song With A Mission" - The Sounds
29. "Wish I" - Jem
30. "LDN" - Lily Allen
31. "Combat Baby" - Metric
32. "Not Alright" - Storm Large
33. "24" - Jem
34. "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" - Arctic Monkeys
35. "Like Eating Glass" - Bloc Party
36. "Atlantis to Interzone" - Klaxons
37. "Our Velocity" - Maxïmo Park
38. "Hysteria" - Muse
39. "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe" - Okkervil River
40. "Feel Good Time" - P!nk
41. "Soft Revolution" - Stars
42. "Last Nite" - The Strokes
43. "There Goes the Fear" - Doves
44. "Great DJ" - The Ting Tings
45. "Since U Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson
46. "Electric Feel" - MGMT
47. "Naïve" - The Kooks
48. "The Jessica Numbers" - The New Pornographers
49. "New Slang" - The Shins
50. "Glass Ceiling" - Metric

Also, in case you missed them, check out my 25 Great Songs of 2009, 30 Great Albums of 2009 and 70 Absolutely Awesome Albums from 2000-2009 lists or check the whole best of series.

Photo from thetingtings.com.

January 8, 2010

Favourites: Ned's Atomic Dustbin's Happy

It was 1991. I was going to university and doing college radio. I was a rocker getting exposed to lots of cool music that I'd never heard before. One of the bands I was introduced to at that time was Ned's Atomic Dustbin. They got their name from The Goon Show and they offered up a great blend of fast, hard driving music with very melodic pop song structures. And they had not one but two bassists (a nuance not lost on a member of a band that always seemed to be searching for a great bassist - how come Ned's got two and I couldn't find one?!?). The God Fodder album (great title, by the way) has been in heavy rotation ever since.

Here's the video for "Happy". I'm pretty sure that more Ned's will creep into my Favourites posts in the future.

There's a great live studio recording called Session on emusic. It's 28 tracks recorded off the floor. Great stuff for the Ned's fan. They've also got a live CD/DVD called 21 Years 21 Songs that was recorded in May 2009. It's for sale on their web site. If they decide to tour Canada again, I'll be sure to check them out live.

January 6, 2010

Best of: 100 Absolutely Awesome Songs from 2000-2009

Here are my favourite songs of the past decade, lovingly hand picked from the top-rated tunes in my iTunes library. What a great decade of music it was. Top 10? Top 50? Couldn't do it. Here's a laundry list of 2000-2009's greatness.

In some cases, where an album was so awesome and jam-packed with great tunes, I chose to leave the individual songs off the list below and just have the album on my album list.

all systems go - "tell vicki"

arctic monkeys - "i bet you look good on the dancefloor"
athlete - "el salvador"
band of horses - "is there a ghost"
the big pink - "dominos"
bishop allen - "rain"
bloc party - "helicopter"
bob mould - "circles"
boy kill boy - "suzie"
broken social scene - "7/4 (shoreline)"
broken social scene - "cause = time"
cinematics - "keep forgetting"
cold war kids - "hang em up to dry"
coldplay - "yellow"
the darkness - "i believe in a thing called love"
datarock - "fa-fa-fa"
the dead 60s - "riot radio"
the dears - "don't lose the faith"
franz ferdinand - "take me out"
franz ferdinand - "this fire"
friendly fires - "paris"
frou frou - "let go, breathe in"
the gaslight anthem - "the 59 sound"
gnarls barkley - "crazy"
gomez - "girlshapedlovedrug"
gorillaz - "feel good inc."
gossip - "standing in the way of control"
guillemots - "trains to brazil"
heavens - "patent pending"
hilotrons - "dominika"
holy fuck - "lovely allen"
an horse - "camp out"
howling bells - "wishing stone"
immaculate machine - "jarhand"
imogen heap - "goodnight and go"
jet - "are you gonna be my girl"
julian plenti - "games for days"
kaiser chiefs - "i predict a riot"
keane - "is it any wonder"
kelly clarkson - "since u been gone"
kenna - "say goodbye to love"
the killers - "mr. brightside"
kings of leon - "use somebody"
kings of leon - "molly's chambers"
klaxons - "golden skans"
les savvy fav - "patty lee"
the long blondes - "century"
los campesinos! - "you! me! dancing!"
mark ronson with lily allen - "o my god"
mgmt - "time to pretend"
mgmt - "kids"
mgmt - "eletric feel"
mike doughty - "27 jennifers"
the moog - "i like you"
mother mother - "o my heart"
mstrkrft - "easy love"
n*e*r*d - "she wants to move"
nine inch nails - "only"
noisettes - "scratch your name"
okkervil river - "our life is not a movie or maybe"
okkervil river - "unless it kicks"
outkast - "hey yeah"
pearl jam - "the fixer"
a perfect circle - "lilith"
p!nk - "get the party started"
regina spektor - "fidelity"
the russian futurists - "paul simon"
santogold - "l.e.s. artistes"
scissor sisters - "take your mama"
sia - "breathe me"
silversun pickups - "lazy eye"
soul coughing - "circles"
soul coughing - "super bon bon"
spinnerette - "ghetto love"
spiral beach - "domino"
spiral beach - "made of stone"
spoon - "the underdog"
stars - "elevator love letter"
the strokes - "juicebox"
the strokes - "last nite"
the strokes - "12:51"
tapes n tapes - "the illiad"
tapes n tapes - "just drums"
these electric lives - "we should be believing"
the ting tings - "great dj"
the ting tings - "shut up and let me go"
turin brakes - "pain killer"
via audio - "harder on me"
the vines - "outtathaway"
the von bondies - "pale bride"
the von bondies - "c'mon c'mon"
wintersleep - "archaeologists"
yeah yeah yeahs - "y control"
yeah yeah yeahs - "maps"
yeah yeah yeahs - "zero"
the yoko casionos - "loose cannon"
young galaxy - "outside the city"
the zoutons - "tired of hanging around"
the zoutons - "valerie"
1990s - "see you at the lights"

Also, in case you missed them, check out my 25 Great Songs of 2009, 30 Great Albums of 2009 and 70 Absolutely Awesome Albums from 2000-2009 lists or check the whole best of series.

Photo from LA Weekly.

January 4, 2010

Best of: 70 Absolutely Awesome Albums from 2000-2009

Boiling down a decade's worth of great albums into one list is exceedingly hard. Coming up with a Top 10 list is just about impossible. As you'll see in the list below, ranking these albums was too much for me. I chose these albums by looking at the star ratings I gave to all the 2000-2009 albums in my collection. These came out on top.

all systems go - mon chi chi
arctic monkeys - whatever people say i am, that's what i'm not
ash - free all angels
the automatic - not accepted anywhere
bella - no one will know
biffy clyro - puzzle
bloc party - silent alarm
boy kill boy - civilian
death cab for cutie - transatlanticism
doves - the last broadcast
editors - an end has a start
fiona apple - extraordinary machine
franz ferdinand - franz ferdinand
friendly fires - friendly fires
the gaslight anthem - the 59 sound
the go! team - thunder lightning strike
hard-fi - stars of cctv
the hold steady - boys and girls in america
the hold steady - stay positive
the hold steady - a positive rage
an horse - rearrange beds
interpol - antics
interpol - turn on the bright lights
interpol - our love to admire
jem - finally woken
kaiser chiefs - employment
kasabian - kasabian
killers - hot fuss
kings of leon - because of the times
kings of leon - only by the night
klaxons - myths of the near future
the kooks - inside in inside out
lily allen - alright still
long blondes - someone to drive you home
lowest of the low - sordid fiction
maximo park - a certain trigger
maximo park - our earthly pleasures
maximo park - quicken the heart
metric - live it out
metric - old world underground, where are you now?
mike doughty - haughty melodic
muse - absolution
muse - black holes & revelations
my morning jacket - z
the national - alligator
the national - boxer
the new pornographers - electric version
the new pornographers - mass romantic
the new pornographers - twin cinema
nine black alps - everything is
norah jones - come away with me
the postal service - give up
the raconteurs - steady as she goes
radiohead - in rainbows
ron hawkins - chemical sounds
ron hawkins - crackstatic
the shins - chutes too narrow
sid six - sid six
simon wilcox - the charm and the strange
snow patrol - final straw
the sounds - dying to say this to you
stars - set yourself on fire
stellastarr* - stellastarr*
storm large - the calm years
the strokes - this is it
teenage head - teenage head with marky ramone
the ting tings - we started nothing
we are scientists - with love and squalor
1990s - cookies

Also, check out my 25 Great Songs of 2009 and 30 Great Albums of 2009 lists or check the whole best of series.

photo from emusic

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year's!

I guess I'll get all the cliched greetings out during this first year of blogging. I wish anyone reading this all the best for the new year to come. I hope it's filled with love and lots of great music!