Category Archives: Music

Life is short… filled with stuff

Bad Music for Bad People

I read that Lux Interior died yesterday, which made me sad. All the punk rockers are starting to die of predictable and natural causes.

In a strange coincidence, this week is the 50th anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death.

I put a notice on Twitter about Lux and was a bit astonished at the small, but fervent outpour of related comments. There was a lot of hopeful skepticism about it, which got me thinking about how few iconic figures were left in music.

If the dude from Nickelback died, there’s a dozen to fill his place. Lux died, and he left a giant hole that won’t likely be filled.


With My Old Man Shoes and My Scientist Heart – Great Songs of 2008

Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?
by The Gaslight Anthem from the 7″ EP Señor And The Queen
My unofficial theme song for this year. Yes, they put out an EP as well as the best album of the year.

Wishing Well
by The Airborne Toxic Event from the album The Airborne Toxic Event
Some pop songs grab you, some don’t. This one did, despite the horrid band name.

I Feel Better
by Frightened Rabbit from the live album Liver! Lung! FR!
After listening to this live version, I wasn’t sure why he bothered with the studio

Burn Bridges
by The Grates from the album Teeth Lost, Hearts Won
Great pop band fronted by crazy girl with crazy name #1 (Patience Hodgson)

The Kelly Affair
by Be Your Own Pet from the album Get Awkward
Great pop band fronted by crazy girl with crazy name #2 (Jemina Pearl Abegg)

Hair Pool
by Defiance, Ohio from the Pink Couch Sessions
Live track from the wonderful Pink Couch (Link). Can’t wait for a new album.

Falling Down
by Scarlett Johansson from the album Anywhere I Lay My Head
Yes, yes… I know. Just close your eyes and pretend it’s a This Mortal Coil track from ’83.

Everything Is Not the Same
by Zita Swoon from the album Big Blueville
Great track from an album I picked up in Paris and haven’t put down.

Blackboots Blackhearts
by Sweet Jane from the EP Blackboots & Blackhearts
Taking up the Velvets / JMC mantle the Ravonettes couldn’t keep up with.

Out Of Time
by Jason Collett from the album Here’s To Being Here
Great track with a Lou Reed groove.

Hey Momma’
by Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground from the album Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground
Crazy and funky and fun.

Two Angry Kids
by Street Dogs from the album State of Grace
Yes, I remember.

Storm Rising
by In Tua Nua from the album When Night Comes Down On Sunset
Lovely bit of Irish rock, recorded in 1987. Some stuff is too good to leave on a shelf.

Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
by She & Him from the album Volume One
Super sweet song. I still love it even tho Zooey decided to marry that chode from Death Cab instead of me.

Don’t Stop Believin’
by Marnie Stern
Only Marnie could make this song cool. I love the bit when the drums kick in.

Threat Level Midnight
by The Riot Before from the album Fists Buried In Pockets
Just a great song. Fun to sing along with.

by Vetiver from the album Thing Of The Past
One of those songs that knocks it all back into place.

Last Day of Magic
by The Kills from the album Midnight Boom
Great song from an album that should have made my top 10 albums, but somehow got lost in the shuffle.

The Captive Mind
by The Helio Sequence from the album Keep Your Eyes Ahead
Another great song from an album that should have made my top 10 albums, but somehow got lost in the shuffle.

Back To Me
by The Dutchess and the Duke from the album She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke
Great bit of throwback rock and roll. I need an army jacket and a boogie hat.

Bad Old World
by New Model Army from the live album Fuck Texas, Sing For Us
Always been one of my favorite NMA songs. Love the intro.

Have a Nice Day
by Kinetic Stereokids from the EP Have a Nice Day

by Hello Saferide from the album More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide
A fitting song for the end of the year

The Best Albums of 2008


The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound

Undoubtably the Album of the Year. I can’t say enough good things about this album, just buy it and listen.

Buy CD or Vinyl from Side One Dummy

Listen to High Lonesome : DOWNLOAD


Cloud Cult – Feel Good Ghosts

Every person I share this album with is an instant fan. It only takes one to get you hooked. Amazing songwriting, astounding lyrics, moments of epiphany.

Buy from the band

Listen to Journey of the Featherless : DOWNLOAD


Fucked Up – The Chemistry Of Common Life

Quite possibly the best punk-rock head-trip concept-album that is not a concept album of all time. Your brain may not be the same after this.

Buy from Amazon

Listen to Crooked Head : DOWNLOAD


Poi Dog Pondering – 7

Another in a long string of amazing records. Some bands just keep getting better.

Buy from the band

Listen to Butterflies : DOWNLOAD


HiFi Handgrenades – Carry On

Speck and Co. release yet another gem of punk/power pop songs, yet again criminally overlooked. Carry On is my song of the year, it’s that fucking good.

Buy from New Romance For Kids Records

Listen to Carry On : DOWNLOAD


Daniel Lanois – Here Is What Is


Buy from Red Floor Records

Listen to Bladesteel : DOWNLOAD


Marnie Stern – This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That

She’s hot. She plays guitar like no one else. She writes crazy songs you can’t stop listening to. Bonus points for best album name of the year.

Buy from Insound

Listen to Transformer : DOWNLOAD


Menahan Street Band – Make The Road By Walking

I can only wish my life was cool enough to have this as a soundtrack.

Buy from Amazon

Listen to Tired of Fighting : DOWNLOAD


Paramount Styles – Failure American Style

The dude from Girls Against Boys. Downtempo, acoustic guitar, biting and searing lyrics. Cooler than you.

Buy from Insound

Listen to Drunx, Whores & MZK People : DOWNLOAD


Mercury Rev – Snowflake Midnight

They put down their guitars and picked up electronics. Stunning.

Buy from Yep Roc

Listen to Senses on Fire : DOWNLOAD


Robots In Disguise – We’re In the Music Biz

Snarky, trashy and awesome.

Buy from Amazon

Listen to The Sex Has Made Me Stupid : DOWNLOAD


Off With Their Heads – From The Bottom

Great, straight-ahead hardcore. Melodic and raw with great sing along vocals.

Buy from No Idea Records

Listen to Wrong : DOWNLOAD

And, as always, Let the Children Lose It… Let the Children Use It… Let All The Children Boogie.

The Album of the Year


“Maria came from Nashville with a suitcase in her hand, I always kinda sorta wished I looked like Elvis…”

True believers rejoice, the spirit of rock has not left us. The ’59 Sound by The Gaslight Anthem will be released on August 19 by Side One Dummy, in the meantime, listen to the title track here.

The math on their first album was easy… add ’90s era Social Distortion to ’70s era Bruce Springsteen, a dash of early Tom Waits and a slice of old-school rockabilly. It was a great album that made my top ten list for 2007. Not bad for a debut album from a young band staggering out of Jersey.

But this new one… it’s something else entirely. Yes, it’s definitely (and defiantly) still them, and although it doesn’t contain the expanded lyrical and songwriting sense of the EP that showed up between the 2 LPs, it’s an amazing LP of great rock songs that make me believe a little sliver of Joe Strummer’s spirit found a new home.

Lyrically, they know how to turn a phrase, such that any dreamers in the world will see their life spelled out in each line. They play fast and loose with some archetypes, and occasionally stray into lyrics that any other band would fail trying to sing, but they pull it off with authenticity and style.

There are few honest bands around, this is one of them… perk up your ears, your life is calling.



Sink or Swim, 2007 : iTunes | Amazon

Señor and the Queen EP, 2008 : iTunes | Amazon

The ’59 Sound, 2008 : iTunes | Amazon

Best Album This Year (so far)

Reigning Sound – Live at Goner’s

I can’t get enough of this record! If you like any era of rock and roll, from 1957 to yesterday, you’ll probably love the Reigning Sound.

This is a vinyl only release from Goner Records the store / label from Memphis that champions the dirty dirty dirty rock sounds from around the world.

The album has some of the best tunes from Reigning Sound and the Oblivians; and contains some great covers of what Greg Cartwright calls “I’m back in Tennessee songs”

Do yourself a favor and dust off your turntable and drop the needle on this album. You will thank me later.


P. Diddy calls Bjork

A bit old, but ever so funny.

Under the Covers

My weakness for Susanna Hoffs has not waned over the years.

For those who've discussed this with me, I know it's odd. It could have been The Allnighter (IMDB Link) It could have been the Bangles, it could be that she's a cute girl with a Ricky… who knows.

Anyway, she and Matthew Sweet have gotten together to do a covers album of songs they love from the late 60's to early 70's.

Susanna is no stranger to cover albums, having been part of the wonderful Rainy Day album (link) and revisits a few of the artists covered on that album, most notably Neil Young, with 2 cuts from the 1969 album Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

The vocal pairings are grand, and the arrangements, done by Van Dyke Parks, is wonderful.

Do yourself a favor and check it out. You can hear songs streamed from the site Sid n' Susie

album cover