Thursday, September 8, 2011

Song of the Day: The Dream Syndicate - Tell Me When It's Over

The Dream Syndicate's The Days of Wine and Roses is often talked about as an influential album, and apparently it was even pretty successful, yet I imagine the average person has never heard of it (or the band). Which is a shame, because it is a pretty damn good album - not as good as the obvious touchstone, The Feelies, but still quite good. Both bands existed around the same time, had Velvet Underground comparisons and are now considered cult acts, and both are well worth your time. This is the opening track off of the aforementioned LP. Steve Wynn's voice took some getting used to for me, but the guitar tone in this song instantly connected.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Song of the Day: The Anniversary - Sweet Marie

I had the CD for Your Majesty, the second album from The Anniversary, but I have no recollection of buying it. I just had to look at to find out more about the band, and nothing sticks out as to what led me to the band. In fact, I know this song because I put it on a mix CD and heard it a lot; as for the rest of the album, I can't name another track. That said, this is a pretty great track, with a killer hook in the chorus. Perhaps this is an album worth revisiting.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Song of the Day: Throwing Muses - Counting Backwards

I just read a review on Pitchfork of a new Throwing Muses anthology, and I was surprised to see that one of my favorite songs has been left off. I suppose "anthology" doesn't mean "greatest hits," and of course no compilation is going to please everyone. So instead I'll make amends - this is the opening track off the 1991 album, The Real Ramona.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Song of the Day: The Who - Heaven and Hell [live]

I've had The Who on the brain recently. First it was an old New Yorker article about Keith Moon; then last week it was the 1975 Tommy movie (which, truth be told, I hated to the point where I ended up fast-forwarding through most of it). Then this morning, my iPod started off my walk to work with this version of "Heaven and Hell" from the Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 LP (one of my favorite live albums, incidentally; I'd say it trumps Live at Leeds).

The song is one of Entwistle's best, but two things I love about this version have nothing to do with the song itself. One is the intro, in which it sounds like the announcer is saying "The You." Then at the end, Pete Townshend tells the crowd, "Smile you buggers...pretend it's Christmas." Kills me every time.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Song of the Day: Brian Wilson - Child Is Father of the Man

I'm not a huge Beach Boys fan, though I did enjoy Brian Wilson's Smile LP. So when it was announced earlier this week that the Beach Boys' own Smile was finally going to be released, I was pretty excited - so much, in fact, that I've already pre-ordered it (I went for the vinyl version, which I'm really hoping includes a download). Here's a version of Brian Wilson's album of "Child Is Father of the Man."

Playlist: August 2011 blog songs

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Songs of the Day: Minutemen - "Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth" and "Little Man with a Gun in His Hand"

Minutemen released so many great songs (and so many songs, period) that it's difficult to pick just one, so as I've done before, I'm breaking my own non-existent rules and posting two songs. It's nearly impossible to talk about Minutemen without mentioning their 45-song (43 on CD) double LP Double Nickels on the Dime. If you watched MTV in the past 10 years, you know at least one song from it, courtesy of Jackass. The album is all over the place musically, ranging from 1-minute punk songs to acoustic instrumentals to songs that actually sound like some sort of jazz.

If you didn't catch it from the name of this post, Minutemen also have some of the greatest song titles of all time, from "There Ain't Shit on TV Tonight" to "Maybe Partying Will Help" - and those are just from Double Nickels. The first song below is also from that album and shows off the band's softer side, while the second song is from Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat (and the DNotD vinyl) and more indicative of their punk side (though it does cross the 3-minute mark). While Double Nickels is a must-own, I'd also recommend Post-Mersh Vol. 2 on CD, which combines Buzz or Howl and the Project: Mersh EP.