Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Last week Grantland posted their 2013 Summer Playlist and I really did not think much of as it ranged from pretentious crap to not even semi-ironic crap. My view of a summer jam playlist is something you throw on at your backyard barbecue with songs everyone will enjoy, sing, and groove along to. Realistically, I would just summer jams of the past like Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, The Sundays, and Sam Cooke and basically the entire The Beach Boys library with a couple new songs sprinkled in. Here are a few new songs that made it in this year that would add an extra hour to your playlist which you can listen to on Spotify.
Get Lucky [Daft Punk Remix] – Daft Punk featuring Pharrell: The most egregious omission from the Grantland playlist, maybe because it is just too obvious. Not only is it wise to have this in your summer playlist, but go ahead and also add the radio edit and the ten minute remix too. And if you want to mess with your guests, play the Daughter version and wait and see how long it takes people to realize what they are listening too.
Blurred lines – Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I.: It is the summer of Pharrell, just give in. Well, you can skip the 2 Chainz song but as the great philosopher Meat Loaf once said, two out of three ain’t bad.
Royals – Lorde: The only song that also appears on the Grantland, and since I have already sprayed the some hyperbolic superlatives, I may suggest you just go ahead and add her whole EP if you are going with an all 2013 playlist.
Falling – Haim: Ever wonder what Stevie Nicks would sound like if she instead of joined Fleetwood Mac, recruited two sisters and tried to be a nineties RnB girl group? Haim may just be that. It should not work, but it does. Hopefully the group has a full album out by the end of the year. No matter who is at your party, fans of RnB, Rock, Pop; they should all enjoy this song.
Little Numbers – Boy: You will be hard pressed to find a catchier song this summer. Even if they have not heard it before, they will be tapping along in no time.
The War Within – Churchill: I could have gone with this song or Change, but this is newer, more upbeat and a much more fun song.
Diane Young – Vampire Weekend: Any good summer song has a great hook and you cannot help yourself from singing along to the Baby chorus which takes you back to the summer jams of the fifties and sixties.
San Francisco – The Mowgli’s: Sure the songs veer too far in the direction of hippies; “I’m been in love with love” which I guess should be expected from a song called San Francisco but the choir sing-along is infectious.
I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like) - Michael Franti and Spearhead: I all for any song with a whistle solo as a summer song.
Pompeii – Bastille: This may be the weirdest chanting in a song that works since Hooked On a Feeling.
Bleeding Out – The Lone Bellow: For those not yet tired of the passion folk the Mumford & Sons ushered in, you definitely will want to check out this Brooklyn band.
Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker: Darius Rucker and been making catchy songs that will never make it on pretentious music critics lists for two decades now but sing-along’s are key for summer playlist and everyone will be singing along whenever the chorus hits.
Follow Your Arrow – Kasey Musgraves: I have to roll my eyes when liberal communists try to talk themselves into that horrible Same Love song from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. A good message does not make a good song. I would much rather listen to the anti-gay Check Yo Self (and before you call me anti-gay, I would totally push my way through a group of women to make out with Shamar Moore). For those that want a pro-gay anthem that is actually good, you should check this song. It also gets bonus points for bea pro-gay country song which should trick the conservative wackjobs at your party into liking it and also gives time to the much more important cultural issue: the ability to roll a joint if you want to
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line: Yes this song is horrible, especially the Nelly version, aand it will probably be very high on my Worst Songs of 2013 list, but the thing is, if you put this song on at your party, everyone will spend the first verse talking about how horrible the song is, but will be signing along, possibly loudly depending on how much alcohol you provided to them, by the time the chorus hits. And if you want a more palatable version of this song, you should check out the Dia Frampton, Kina Grannis more mellow, backporch version.
Come & Get It – Selena Gomez: Yeah, we have hit the guilty pleasure portion of the summer playlist, might as well just stop here.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Earlier this week Darius Rucker released his third solo country album. Yawn. Wake me up when he finally gets back together with Hootie and the Blowfish. True Believers is actually his fourth solo album overall as his first foray into non-pop rock of Hootie was actually a pure RnB record (which actually featured the first time the world ever got to hear Snoop Dogg sing; after hearing his reggae album, sadly it was not the last). The best song on the album was a duet with Jill Scott. Unfortunately Back to Then is an album time forgot (it was better than an Hootie album they put out since) but Sometimes I Wonder does deserve to live on.
Monday, March 25, 2013
There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.
Sure Rand Paul may fillerbuster me for making this statement, but I have no problems living dystopian society that quarantines all the teenagers in the land. Thanks for the idea Noah & The Whale.
Darius Rucker watches Duck Dynasty? Okay Hootie, we get it, you are really country now. Now how about trading the bowler hat for you Gamecocks cap and get back together with the Blowfish and make real music again.
As much as I would like RnB to return to the silver age of the nineties with the likes of Boyz II Men, Babyface, and Brian McKnight, this just is not going to cut it. And turn down the thudding, Brian; you are not a cheesy techno RnB act.
They could not pay me to watch Smash (at least for anything under a thousand an episode), but I kind of like this song from Megan Hilty.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
It seems like once a week I am listening to my iTunes library and I hear a song that makes me go, this artist really needs a comeback. So I thought I would start a new feature here on the 9th Green highlighting an artist that really needs to reenter the public consciousness. The only criterion is that the artist hasn’t had a legitimate hit in over a decade.
Due for a Comeback: Hootie & The Blowfish
Biggest Hit: Only Wanna Be with You
Last Hit: Get Out of My Mind (2006)
Where Are They Now: Hootie went on an extended hiatus back in 2008 but routinely reunite every year for their Day After the Masters charity and other various events. Since the hiatus, lead singer Darius Rucker went on to be the most successful black country singer since Charlie Pride with both of his albums chopping the Country Albums Chart and five number one singles (in comparison, Hootie only topped one singles chart in American when Time topped the Adult Top 40 chart). Guitarists Mark Bryan and drummer Jim Sonfeld continue to make music on their own while bassist Dean Felber has taken up winemaking in between Hootie gigs.
Why the World Needs a Hootie and the Blowfish Comeback: Because it certainly does not need another Darius Rucker country album. Sure he has racked up the number ones but is anyone actually clamoring for more country music (I would not mind another RnB album like he made in 2002 with Back to Then) from him? His third, True Believers, is set to be released in June but at this point I would much rather a Hootie reunion album (which supposedly in the works). Crackedrearview is the finest pop-rock album ever forged and though most people had Hootie fatigue by the follow-up, Fairweather Johnson and Musical Chairs were solid albums. I would certainly take a Hootie and the Blowfish reunion over a Fall Out Boy reunion.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.
You may remember Peter, Bjorn and John from their whistling song, and if you don’t, what hole were you hiding in back in 2007? Naturally there new song isn’t as catchy but at least the video is classic, featuring choreographed, Japanese, Elvis bikers. Brilliant.
I have never seen Flight of the Conchords before on account that I am too cheap to order HBO. But this chorus of ex-girlfriends may get me to throw the DVD into my queue. Granted it may two to three year to get through it.
Why? Why Lionel Richie Why would you stoop so low to recruited Akon to make music? He has had his hand on some of the worst music of the 00’s. You need to just go back to writing and producing your own music. And if you need a duet partnet, just get the Commodores back together.
I really miss Hootie.
Monday, September 22, 2008
In a story I broke last week, everyone is going country. But unlike Jessica Simpson and people of her ilk, Darius Rucker, you may know him better as Hootie of Hootie and the Blowfish fame, just doesn’t put on the cowboy boots and ten gallon hat and throw in a fiddle or two hoping to appeal to country fans without going too far away from their pop roots, Rucker has dove head first into his country debut Learn to Live and you even believe when he talks about owning the Best of Patsy Cline.
Just as his first solo album Back to Then was a seamless transition from the frat rock of Hootie into a classic R&B singer, the baritone of Darius is a perfect fit singing in front of fiddles, banjos and slide guitars. And he goes full country where he loses the girl, loses the dog, but that’s okay because there is plenty of whiskey to drown his sorrows. Things do not get much more country than All I Want where he tell the cheating hussy to take the house, the money because, “All I want you to leave me is alone.” That’s some Garth Brooks stuff right there. Also in that vein is the equally entertaining song about drunk dialing, the appropriately titled Drinkin’ & Dialin’.
But Live to Learn is filled with plenty of country music cliche with quicky plays on words like Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It. Then there are more than enough over dramatic songs like It Won’t Be Like This For Long, an ode to a daughter that is growing up to fast (don’t they all) or the even more sappy I Hope They Get to Me in Time, a first person account of a car crash victim. Then there is the title track which sounds like a cast off from a Carrie Underwood album.
It should be noted that the first single, Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It just so happens to be the first top five country song by a black dude in twenty years. Charlie Pride anyone? Remember the good ol’ days when Ray Charles and Lionel Richie could be found on the country charts and Kenny Rogers could be found on the R&B charts before music got so homogenized.
Song to Download - All I Want
Learn to Live gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
To say the summer for music was bad would be an understatement. Between Coldplay and Metallica which was released this past weekend, there were no releases to get excited about unless you were a fourteen year old girl (horary Jonas Brothers). Need more proof, check out Tapeworthy’s list of the Best Songs of the Summer. Yeah, sad (but where was I’m Yours?). And fall got a little less anticipated with the recent announcement that U2 has pushed No Line on the Horizon back to 2009. But here is a list of the albums you can plan to give to loved ones for Christmas this year (dates subject to change; click the album name for Amazon pre-order and the artist name to check out them on iTunes). If I left off your favorite artist, let me know in the comments and I will add it later:
Learn to Live - Darius Rucker
The Way I See It - Raphael Saadiq
Keep Coming Back - Marc Broussard
Gift of Screws - Lindsey Buckingham
Love, War, and the Ghost of Whitey Ford - Everlast
Big Bad World - Plain White T's
Loyalty to Loyalty - Cold War Kids
Acid Tongue - Jenny Lewis
Lenka - Lenka
Way to Normal - Ben Folds
Something Else - Robin Thicke
The Glass Passenger - Jack’s Mannequin
Covers - James Taylor
Dig out Your Soul - Oasis
OK Now - Jon McLaughlin
Break Up the Concrete - The Pretenders
Elephants - Rachael Yamagata
Multi-Dimensional Warrior - Santana
Gossip in the Grain - Ray LaMontagne
Pebble to a Pearl - Nikka Costa
Perfect Symmetry - Keane
Be OK - Ingrid Michaelson
Black Ice - AC/DC
A Hundred Million Suns - Snow Patrol
Evolver - John Legend
Come - Prince
Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty - Big Boi
Padded Room - Joe Budden
The Renaissance - Q-Tip
Folie A Deux - Fall Out Boy
Safe Trip Home - Dido
Scream - Chris Cornell
Fearless - Taylor Swift
On My Radio - Musiq Soulchild
Soul - Seal
Under the Radar - Daniel Powter
When the World Comes Down - The All-American Rejects
Untitled - Beyoncé
Untitled - Kelly Clarkson
Untitled - Nickelback
Untitled - David Cook
(Scooter’s Note: Anyone want to bet that at least three of these Untitled albums are moved?)
Day and Age - The Killers
24 Hours - Tom Jones
The Circus - Britney Spears
Before I Self Destruct - 50 Cent
808's & Heartbreak - Kanye West
You may also expect new albums from, Michelle Branch, Rhymefest, Fabolous, Goo Goo Dolls, Eminem, R. Kelly, Franz Ferdinand, and The Fray. Being Christmas season there is your usual Greatest Hits packages from Bob Dylan, Sarah McLauglin, Christina Aguilera, Switchfoot, Celine Dion, Hilary Duff, Bette Midler, and Tim. McGraw. Then actual Christmas albums from Faith Hill, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Jr., Elvis Pressley, Kristin Chenoweth, Chris Isaak, Al Jarreau, and The Wiggles.
Then the battle of long delayed album is heating up again between Dr. Dre and Guns ‘n’ Roses. A tie in with Detox for Dr. Dre’s own cognac is scheduled to roll out this fall but no date for that or the album. While on the Chinese Democracy front, one track will be featured on the latest Rock Band game but no set date for the whole album. But cross your fingers because if it does come out this year, Dr. Pepper will give everyone in America a free can.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Even though many don’t ever release Christmas albums, most artists have a holiday song for radio stations to play in December. For years there wasn’t a way to have those songs in your collection unless you sit in tape them off the radio, yes kiddies, this was how we got our music in a time before the internet and CD burners. But in 1987, a compilation of holiday music came out with the biggest names in music titled A Very Special Christmas which is naturally December’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame. As an added bonus proceeds from the album were donated to the Special Olympics.
The album was a mixture of rock legends like Bob Seger, with Little Drummer Boy and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s rendition of Merry Christmas Baby, granted his version of Santa Clause Is Coming to Town is more associated with him, but the Pointer Sisters version of that song is what appears on the album. The eighties upstarts represented weren’t too shabby either including Madonna appropriately doing Santa Baby and Whitney Houston’s rendition of Do You Hear What I Hear? And long before the genre became mainstream, Run-DMC’s Christmas in Hollis made the tracklist. But the highlight of the album is my personal favorite Christmas song of all time Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2.
Five years later, a second volume was released including contributions from Boyz II Men (The Birth of Christ), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Christmas All Over Again), and Debbie Gibson (Sleigh Ride). Then in 1997 the third album featured Dave Mathews Band (Christmas Song), Blues Traveler (Christmas), and another personal favorite Hootie and the Blowfish’s rendition of The Christmas Song. 2001 saw the release of the fifth installment and the series also includes Jazz, World Music, Live and Acoustic albums. Today with advent of iTunes you can mix and match your favorites but it would be hard find a better array of Christmas music than that found on the original A Very Special Christmas. Now only had it included The Twelve Pains of Christmas it would have been perfect.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Every once in a while I like to compile a list of songs that I’m currently listening to onto a CD to listen to in the car. So here’s some suggestion that you should be listening to. The CD comes in at 78:15.
1. Ohio (Come Back to Texas) - Bowling for Soup
2. I Wish My Doorbell Rang (Sam Flanagan Mix) - Skee-Lo vs. the White Stripes
3. Boulevard of Broken Songs (Dean Gray) - Green Day vs. Oasis
4. Breakdown - Handsome Boy Modeling School (This essentially boils down to a remix of the same song that appears on the Jack Johnson album)
5. Original of the Species - U2
6. Don’t Give Up (Africa) - Bono & Alicia Keys (This is a remake of the old Peter Gabriel song with proceeds going to the “Keep a Child Alive” charity)
7. Adelaide - Old 97’s ( This song was featured at the end of the Veronica Mars episode where Duncan rode off with his daughter into the sunset; you can either buy the song from iTunes or if you are a cheapskate, the band has the song available for free on their website http://www.old97s.com/)
8. O’ Sailor - Fiona Apple (See my album review - I Promise Everything Will Be Just Fine)
9. I Wasn’t Prepared - Eisley (See my album review - You Humor Me Today)
10. Talk - Coldplay (See my album review - All That Noise, All That Sound)
11. Landing in London - 3 Doors Down & Bob Seger (See my album review - If I Get Boring, Would You Still Call Me Superman?)
12. U Been Throwing it Away - Kelly Clarkson vs. Genesis (The great Clarkson mash-ups just keep on coming)
13. Me Plus One (James Iha Remix) - Annie
14. Be Without You (Remix) - Mary J. Blige & Stat Quo (See my album review - Anyone Who’s Ever Loved You Know What I Mean)
15. Heard ‘Em Say - Kanye West & Adam Levine (See my album review - You Gotta Love it Though, Somebody Still Speaks From His Soul)
16. Keep Doin’ - 2 Skinny Dorks (A local band, I even had a class with one of the dorks in college; you can check out their music and download this song at their website http://www.2skinnydorks.com/)
17. Get Out Of My Mind - Hootie & the Blowfish (See my review - State Your Peace)
18. Nice Talking to Me - Spin Doctors (See my review - The Longer We Talk the Less We Say)
19. Lazy Sunday - Chris Parnell & Andy Samberg (Best SNL skit in ages)
Saturday, December 17, 2005
With Christmas only week away, it’s officially time to break out my mix tape of my favorite holiday songs. I really try to avoid Christmas music more than a week from the holiday because it always seems I get burned out from it if I start listening to it after Thanksgiving, which most department store start to play them. Even today as I listened to my personalized Yahoo radio station (see the link in my sidebar to listen to it yourself) I heard three different versions of The Christmas Song. But anyways. Hear are my favorite holiday tunes that easily fit on a single CD and feel free to leave a comment letting me know some of your favorite holiday tunes:
1. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
2. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – John Mellencamp
3. Run Run Rudolf – Bryan Adams
4. Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer – Harry Connick Jr.
5. Christmas in Hollis – Run-DMC
6. Santa Baby – Keith Murray, Mase, Onyx, Puff Daddy, Reverend Run, Salt-N-Pepa, Snoop Dogg
7. All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
8. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – U2
9. Merry Christmas Baby – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
10. Let it Snow – Harry Connick Jr.
11. The Christmas Song – Hootie and the Blowfish
12. Children Go Where I Send Thee – Natalie Merchant
13. Little Drummer Boy – Bob Seger
14. Silent Night – Stevie Nicks
15. O Holy Night – Tracy Chapman
16. Winter Wonderland – Eurythmics
17. I Saw Three Ships – Sting
18. Christmastime – Smashing Pumpkins
19. The Christmas Song – Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
20. Christmas – Blues Traveler
21. The Chanukah Song – Adam Sandler
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Recently, I review the latest Hootie and the Blowfish album (State Your Peace) and was disappointed with how mediocre Lucking for Lucky was, giving it a Terror Alert: Elevated. Granted I may be a little harsh on the band considering they were my favorite band for most of the mid-90’s. The three albums that Hootie released in the 90’s, Cracked Rear View, Fairweather Johnson, and Musical Chairs get massive play from my CD players to this day. In the new millennium, the boys have been spotty, at best, except for Darius Rucker’s solo album, but at least we have their earlier work, in including their debut, Cracked Rear View, which is September’s induction into the Scooter Hall of Fame.
The album starts out with an explosion of sound in Hannah Jane then transitions into the three big hits off the album beginning with the biggest of them all Hold My Hand. I remember hearing them performing the song as an unknown band on Letterman one night and made my way to the local record store the next day. The song, aided by David Crosby on backing vocals, slowly became an anthem for drunk people everywhere, especially frat houses. The song was followed by equally big Let Her Cry, the go to break up song of its time. Hootie got back to the upbeat pop with the next song, Only Wanna Be with You, whose ESPN themed video still remains one of the most entertaining videos of all time. Of course Dan Marino was featured to clear up the line, “I’m such a baby, yeah, the Dolphins make me cry” because crying for men is only socially acceptable when its sports related.
Even beyond the big three, the album is very listenable and doesn’t feature a song that worthy of the skip button. Running from the Devil, with its violin and bongos, give the song a down home feel, and I love how Darius delivers the line “I gave up on you along time a go, but there’s something I want you to know.” Every great pop record isn’t complete without a monosyllabic chanting, and I’m Coming Home delivers that with it’s, “Sha la la, sha la la,” chorus. The song is another good down home sing-along. Look Away starts earnestly enough with, “Saw her standing there,” and continues from there with a mellow look at a failed relationship that shouldn’t be ending.
Being in a pop band, Darius and the boys aren’t afraid to talk about serious topics. Drowning deals with living as a black man in the South and asks the important questions such as, “Why is there a rebel flag hanging from the state house walls?” The song later features a line that has puzzled me for years, “PE’s coming.” I’ve been wondering since I’ve first heard it if PE stands for Public Enemy, another group that talked about the plight of the black man. Time, which I believe was the tenth single off the album, also deals with some tough subjects such as, “Children killing in the street, dying for the color of a rag.”
The album closes with a couple of sadder songs starting with my favorite track from the Cracked Rear View, Not Even the Trees. The song deals with the loss of a loved one. The song was very conforming to me as I lost a few friend and family around the release of the album. There were many times I would rewind the song to hear the lyrics, “Does he realize, he came down and took you too soon.” I love hearing this song live as Darius slows this line down to give it an extra impact. The official closing song, Goodbye, is the perfect closing time anthem set against an elegant piano melody. Just a great, cry in your beer type of song that is easily relatable to any college aged person. “So baby while we’re young, lets figure out together.” The album really comes to a close after Darius gives a soulful acapella version of the old standard, Motherless Child.
Over the years, people have drifted away from Hootie and the Blowfish in a case of being too big too fast and a natural backlash came. This was unwarranted as the boys never presented themselves as anything but who they were, a bar band from the South. All of their songs sound better in a bar as the album deals with great college experiences that will eventually happen in your local watering hole. Even though they haven’t put out a quality album lately, the boys can still pull off a great live show as I seen them throw in covers such as Soft Cell’s Tainted Love and Stone Temple Pilots’ Interstate Love Song showing their strengths of a bar band. In fact, their cover album, Scattered, Smothered & Covered, rivals their earlier albums in quality. And then there is the video Summer Camp with Trucks featuring a show circa their major label debut which is also worth checking out if just hearing Darius trying to rap. But it’s Cracked Rear View that has the greatest impact on my life and thus makes it a worthy entrant in the SHoF. I still consider this group of songs as the most perfect pop-rock album ever made.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Back in 94, I was watching Letterman, which I did obsessively back then, and caught a brand new band perform one of the most refreshing song I’ve heard for the longest time. The next day, I strolled down to the local Borders and picked up Hootie and the Blowfish’s Cracked Rear View. For me, it the best pop album ever made, any song on it could have been a hit. From there, I religiously drank the Hootie kool-aid, buying up shirts, hats, towels and playing the album for anyone who would listen. Months later, as everyone knows the story by now, they exploded with Hold My Hand, Let Her Cry, and Only Wanna Be with You getting played on the radio about once every half an hour. I had one buddy of mine told me he knew Hootie was over exposed the moment his sister bought their CD.
With Fairweather Johnson, the band expanded their horizon taking more chances. Same goes for Musical Chairs although there were some missteps on that album. By the time their self titled album came around, it seemed they had fallen into a rut. None of the songs really stood out or compared with earlier triumphs. Darius Rucker did bounce back on his solo album, Back to Then, so I did have hope going their latest album.
But the boys settled back into their self-titled rut with the release of Looking For Lucky as there are not many stand out tracks that are on par with their earlier work or even Darius’ solo project. Leaving comes close with its bluegrass influence and harmonies by a female vocalist. The closer, Waltz into Me feature a mandolin set to, obviously, a waltz. Get Out of My Mind is the best “pop” song on the album. But the other songs just seem to run into each other and before you notice, the album is done.
Hootie has become more overtly political on this album. Granted that have touch on issues such as racism in the past, but they were at times subversive. The opener, State Your Peace, is an ode to our first amendment rights. Yet a couple songs later, they also encourage people to make sure they watch what they say with The Killing Stone. Another Year’s Gone By, which has a great guitar hook, is about dealing with the effect that 9/11 had on our society years after the fact. Looking for Lucky, as a whole, is better than the self titled album, but I’m still waiting for something as good as the albums they made during the 90’s.
Song to Download – Leaving
Looking for Lucky gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.