Tag Archives: The White Stripes

My Top 40 at 40!

Recently, and by recently I mean yesterday February 2nd, which just happens to be my day of birth, a buddy of mine threw down the musical gauntlet.  I have briefly and succinctly paraphrased the challenge below:

Top 40 Artists of your life. Not simply a list of 40, but a ranking from 40 to 1. You have to do it. It must be done. It’s your personal Hall of Fame. This is your preference, your jukebox, regardless of genre or generation. This isn’t educational or time relevant. It’s YOUR Top 40 of all time.

This did indeed get the blood rushing and made my musical pants go a little crazy.  I started to brainstorm a list (and by brainstorm I mean immediately sat down and pounded out 40 names, clarified his initial challenge, perused my list again, and started typing the first sentence you read. 

The initial list was not a difficult as I thought.  The ranking of 1-40 took a little bit of time as did my annotations (those are in my tiny, little head) as to why the band/musician made the list.  The list that lies before you is organic in nature and I believe it to be fairly finite to the time that it was written.  The list is not to be likened to a doctoral thesis, packed with statistics that verify the respective placement, resourced with renowned critical fawning, or any type of research other than my ears and their time on earth. 

Be mindful of the fact that there are only 40 spots on this list.  I can tell you that there are probably some glaring omissions on this list.  Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Waylon, Willie, and the boys, did not make the list as well as a litany of other great, well deserving artists.  This list is completely subjective and the omission of anyone is not meant to be a form of disparagement.  It is quite simply a list of bands/musicians that I have loved over the years and also value their contributions to the musical world. 

The final piece of the musical puzzle for this list was really a late night revelation.  I realize it has only been a moment or two since you began reading this but I actually have been running the various scenarios of greatness in my head all night.  And then it hit me, the true measure of an artist’s greatness is my personal commitment to that particular artist. 

  •  How much of myself have I invested in the artists? 
  • What percentage of their catalog do I own? 
  • Would I take the time to see them live if the following were aligned:
    • They are still alive
    • They band is still together
    • The venue was geographically conducive to seeing them live
    • The cost of the ticket did not require me selling my 1st born child.  Although at 15 years of age and being really good at being 15 I would be willing to barter for a really good show right now.

Oddly enough, this revelation did not greatly alter my original list, there were a few additions and subtractions of artists and then the harrowing process of ranking them, with reason, was underway. 

No musicians were harmed in this list.  Of course, egos might be slightly bruised if they ever happen to stumble upon this little read blog and realize their spot on or omission to the list.

So, I give to you my Top 40 at 40!

  1. The Beatles
  2. Bob Dylan
  3. Bruce Springsteen
  4. The Rolling Stones
  5. Led Zeppelin
  6. The Who
  7. Pink Floyd
  8. Tom Petty
  9. The Eagles
  10. Eric Clapton
  11. Elton John
  12. Jimi Hendrix
  13. The Doors
  14. U2
  15. Metallica
  16. Pearl Jam
  17. Van Morrison
  18. Billy Joel
  19. R.E.M.
  20. Rush
  21. Lynryd Skynyrd
  22. Simon & Garfunkel
  23. John Mellencamp
  24. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  25. Prince
  26. Nirvana
  27. Uncle Tupelo
  28. Eminem
  29. Nine Inch Nails
  30. Beck
  31. The Dave Matthews Band
  32. Rage Against the Machine
  33. Robert Earl Keen
  34. N.W.A
  35. The Black Crowes
  36. The Beastie Boys
  37. The White Stripes
  38. Ryan Adams
  39. Ben Harper
  40. Joe Purdy

 

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: People’s Names Part Deux!

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday, where I will WOW you with my wonderful compilation of music. Do to the overwhelming response of last week’s Name blog, here is a second helping of songs with names in the title.

 Today’s topic is People’s Names Part Deux!:

Song:              Kylie

Artist:              William Fitzsimmons

Album:            Until When We Are Ghosts

Song:              Johnny 99

Artist:              Bruce Springsteen

Album:            Nebraska

Song:              The Ballad of Carol Lynn

Artist:              Whiskeytown

Album:            Pneumonia

Song:              Jonathon Fisk

Artist:              Spoon

Album:            Kill the Moonlight

Song:              Billy Breathes

Artist:              Phish

Album:            Billy Breathes

Song:              Regular John

Artist:              Queens of the Stone Age

Album:            Queens of the Stone Age

Song:              Dani California

Artist:              Red Hot Chili Peppers

Album:            Stadium Arcadium

Song:              Mariano

Artist:              Robert Earl Keen

Album:            West Textures

Song:              Camilo

Artist:              State Radio

Album:            Us Against the Crown

Song:              Anna Begins

Artist:              Counting Crowes

Album:            August and Everything After

Song:              Roderigo

Artists:            Seven Mary Three

Album:            American Standard

Song:              Tommy Jackson

Artist:              Randy Rogers Band

Album:            Like It Used To Be

Song:              Ava Adore

Artist:              Smashing Pumpkins

Album:            Adore

Song:              Eric’s Trip

Artist:              Sonic Youth

Album:            Daydream Nation

Song:              Billy and Bonnie

Artist:              Steve Earle

Album:            I Feel Alright

Song:              Courage (For Hugh Maclennan)

Artist:              The Tragically Hip

Album:            Fully Completely

Song:              Tweeter and the Monkey Man

Artist:              Traveling Wilburys

Album:            Traveling Wilburys

Song:              Madame George

Artist:              Van Morrison

Album:            Astral Weeks

Song:              My Name is Jonas

Artist:              Weezer

Album:            Weezer (The Green Album)

Song:              Suzy Lee

Artist:              The White Stripes

Album:            The White Stripes

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: Numbers

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday, where I will WOW you with my whimsical list of wonderful music which is brought to you by the wonder of the World Wide Web. 

Today’s topic is Numbers:

Song:             One

Artist:              U2

Album:            Achtung Baby

Song:              16 Days

Artist:              Whiskeytown

Album:            Strangers Almanac

Song:              Seven Nation Army

Artist:              The White Stripes

Album:            Elephant

Song:              Angel Dream (No. 2)

Artist:              Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Album:            She’s the One

Song:              Say Hello 2 Heaven

Artist:              Temple of the Dog

Album:            Temple of the Dog

Song:              40 Oz. To Freedom

Artist:              Sublime

Album:            40 Oz. To Freedom

Song:              Seven Bridges Road

Artist:              Steve Young (Popularly covered by the Eagles)

Album:            Rock Salt & Nails

Song:              One for the Cutters

Artist:              the Hold Steady

Album:            Stay Positive

Song:              99 Problems

Artist:              Jay-Z

Album:            The Black Album

Song:              Dash 7

Artist:              Wilco

Album:            A.M.

Song:              Nine Bullets

Artists:            Drive-By Truckers

Album:            Pizza Deliverance

Song:              Little One

Artist:              Elliott Smith

Album:            From A Basement On the Hill

Song:              60 Feet Tall

Artist:              Dead Weather

Album:            Horehound

Song:              9 Crimes

Artist:              Damien Rice

Album:            9

Song:              40 Dogs

Artist:              Bob Schneider

Album:            Lovely Creatures

Song:              One Road to Freedom

Artist:              Ben Harper

Album:            Fight for Your Mind

Song:              1000 Bpm

Artist:              Beck

Album:            The Information

Song:              One Last Dance

Artist:              Badly Drawn Boy

Album:            Born in the U.K.

Song:              Ten Thousand Words

Artist:              The Avett Brothers

Album:            I and Love and You

 Song:              17

Artist:              Cross Canadian Ragweed

Album:            The Purple Album

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to The Black Keys!

The Black Keys are the amazing bluesy, rocking dynamic duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney.  They formed in 2001 in Akron, Ohio and have been compared to another bluesy power duo known by the name The White Stripes.

Their debut album, The Big Come Up, was released on 2002 and followed up with Thickfreakness in 2003.  2004 saw the release of Rubber Factory.

Much like other artist of today, The Black Keys music has gained commercial recognition from T.V. shows, commercial advertising, and the silver screen. 

 T.V. Shows:

  • The O.C.
  • Big Love
  • Rescue Me
  • Dexter
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • One Tree Hill
  • Gossip Girl
  • Entourage
  • Friday Night Lights

 Advertisements:

  • Sony Ericsson
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • American Express

Movies:

  • Cloverfield
  • School of Rock
  • Zombie Land
  • Black Snake Moan
  • RocknRolla

Their fourth album, Magic Potion, was released in 2006 along with the EP Chulahoma.  In 2007 they released the Danger Mouse produced Attack & Release.  This was the first album that they released that was produced in an actual studio.

The Black Keys Discography:

  • The Big Come Up
  • Thickfreakness
  • The Moan (EP)
  • Rubber factory
  • Magic Potion
  • Chulahoma (EP)
  • Attack & Release
  • Brothers (Set to release May 2010)

The boys have toured with bands such as Pearl Jam, Beck, and Radiohead.  In addition to both critical and commercial success, they have quite a few fans that are in the business.  Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Josh Homme (Them Crooked Vultures & Queens of the Stone Age), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), and Kirk Hammett (Metallica) have all gone on record extolling the greatness of The Black Keys.

Top 5 The Black Keys Songs:

  1. Oceans& Streams (Attack & Release)
  2. Set You Free (Thickfreakness)
  3. Girl Is On My Mind (Rubber Factory)
  4. I Got Mine (Attack & Release)
  5. Strange Times (Attack & Release)

Musically, there is a raw, emotional connectivity that is heavily influenced by the blues.  The amazing thing about the group is how much sound they can produce between the two of them. 

Check out The Black Keys at www.theblackkeys.com.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHeF2lFO3IQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nWJ-e9pLSs&feature=related

 Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Jack Johnson!

Jack Johnson is the easy, breezy, heir apparent to the acoustic strumming of today’s folksy surf/beach music.  In addition to being a singer/songwriter/musician, Johnson is also a film maker and former professional surfer.

Johnson splashed (notice the subtle water reference) on to the musical scene by way of surfing when he and G. Love became acquainted.  G. Love recorded Johnson’s song “Rodeo Clowns” on his 1999 release Philadelphonic.  Johnson sang and played on the track and it was the first single from the album. In 2000, he co-directed and composed the soundtrack for the surf film Thicker Than Water.  The soundtrack, coincidentally, contains four of Johnson’s songs.

With the release of his 2001 debut album Brushfire Fairytales Johnson was able to get Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) and Ben Harper (with his beautiful lap guitar skills) to appear on the album.  In 2002 Johnson starred in and directed the surf film The September Session.  Johnson has two songs on the soundtrack, one of which is a cover of Jimmy Buffet’s “A Pirate Looks at 40”.

His sophomore release, On and On, continues the mellow vibe of his previous album and does not deviate much on his third album In Between Dreams. His third album brings Zach Gill (Animal Liberation Orchestra) in to the musical mix and is the beginning of a series of fruitful collaborations with the multi talented Mr. Gill. 

Jack Johnson Discography:

  • Brushfire Fairytales
  • On And On
  • In Between Dreams
  • Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George
  • Sleep Through the Static
  • En Concert

The 2006 soundtrack Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George is a menagerie of musical talent that includes Ben Harper, G. Love, Matt Costa, and Zach Gill.    Johnson riskily yet skillfully covers The White Stripes “We Are Going To Be Friends”.  The soundtrack made #1 on the billboard chart and has sold over three million copies. 

Top 5 Jack Johnson Songs:

  1. Breakdown (In Between Dreams)
  2. Gone (On And On)
  3. Cookie Jar (On And On)
  4. Upside Down (Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George)
  5. Flake (Brushfire Fairytales)

In 2008 Johnson released his fourth album Sleep Through the Static which has electric guitars and keyboards playing a more prominent musical role than on previous albums. Lyrically, Johnson seems more mature and at times, a bit dark.  Not in a Nine Inch Nails kind of dark, mind you, but a slight departure from the relatively sunny nature of his previous efforts.

A world tour followed the release of Sleep Through the Static and from that tour, came the live album En Concert.  This album captures various performances throughout the tour and has a duet with Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and a performance with Ben Harper.

Johnson’s music is easy to digest and does not require a lot of attention.  You can get lost in the vibe of each album or song.  He has a capable voice, good musical sense and surrounds himself with great talent. 

I’ve seen him several times in concert and his live shows are just as laid back as his albums.  He is typically in bare feet or flip flops, jeans, and t shirt.  His guitar slung over his shoulder while he strums.  Jack tends to be a stationary performer and allows his music to fill the room instead of his personality or presence. 

Check out Jack Johnson at www.jackjohnsonmusic.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UbT3U-fQt4

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZRvtr2g3z0&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jIca_LpXSM&feature=related

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to The Dead Weather!

Ok, I’m on a bit of a Jack White (White Stripes, The Raconteurs)bender and today’s blog is about his other musical love child The Dead Weather.  This incarnation finds White and Raconteur cohort Jack Lawrence (The Greenhornes) pillaging the musical talent of Allison Mosshart (The Kills, Discount) and Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age). 

The genesis of this side project gone right, was an impromptu jam session (Don’t they all seem to start that way?) at White’s Third Man Studio.  This was followed by two and a half weeks of song writing and recording and two months later, the band debuted at the opening of Third Man Record’s headquarters(founded by, you guessed it, Jack White) in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Four months after the band’s unveiling, they released their debut album, Horehound which entered the U.S. Billboard 200 Album Chart at # 6.  At this point, does anyone else think that Jack White might be this generation’s version of Robert Johnson?  If that reference is too obtuse, Robert Johnson was a blues guitarist who allegedly made a deal with the devil for his musical prowess. 

The album has a really raw feel to it not unlike the garage rock influence that White brings to his other musical entities.  Mosshart handles most of the vocals with a fiery primal deftness.  White is back behind the kit and reminds you that he has some pretty impressive drumming skills.   One surprise is the cover of Bob Dylan’s New Pony.  

With this addition to his musical resume, White is 3 for 3!

Check out The Dead Weather at www.thedeadweather.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tndP407luk

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYWdRpM6Tp8

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg2L28uZ5RQ

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to The Raconteurs!

The Raconteurs are supplementary proof of Jack White’s (The White Stripes, Dead Weather) musical brilliance, greatness, importance, etc…Formed in Detroit, Michigan (picture my surprised face) and featuring members of assorted other bands such as Jack Lawrence (The Greenhornes, Blanche), Patrick Keeler (The Greenhornes), and Brendan Benson.  The group actually began as a duo (Jack and Brendan) recording one song and then morphed into a four piece band and an album worth of material.

Their debut album, Broken Boy Soldiers, was released in 2006 and was nominated for two Grammys: Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocals for “Steady as She Goes”.  In 2008 they released their follow up Consolers of the Lonely.

Due in large part to Jack’s already impressive musical profile, they quickly hit the festival scene and played, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Lollapalooza.  They also opened for Bob Dylan on part of his U.S. tour. 

The Raconteurs Discography:

  • Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Consolers of the Lonely

Top 5 Songs by The Raconteurs:

  1. Steady As She Goes (Broken Boy Soldiers)
  2. Broken Boy Solider (Broken Boy Soldiers)
  3. Salute Your Solutions (Consolers of the Lonely)
  4. Many Shades of Black (Consolers of the Lonely)
  5. Hands (Broken Boy Soldiers)

I was fortunate enough to catch them in Austin in 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed the show.  I’ve seen them twice and also caught Jack White’s other love child The Dead Weather as well.  I’m beginning to think that Jack cannot focus on one thing for too long.  And for that, Jack, I thank you!

Check out The Raconteurs at www.theraconteurs.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7aOWIFgIZQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7npSXQkxE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm4_htUbgrU

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to The Strokes!

The Strokes are the hip, happening New York band that careened on to the music scene in 2001 with their garage rock debut Is This It.  They packed the one, two punch of critical acclaim; their debut recently was listed as one of the top 50 Albums of the Decade by Rolling Stone Magazine, and commercial success. 

In addition to playing a variety of festivals, they had some sweet opening slots for bands such as the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Weezer, and The White Stripes.  In 2003 they released Room On Fire, which was also well received by critics and achieved Gold status.  This was followed by the release of First Impressions of Earth.  The album was seen as a bit of a musical retreat for the band and did not receive the commercial or critical success of their previous two efforts. 

The Strokes Discography:

  • Is This It
  • Room On Fire
  • First Impression of Earth

The Strokes Top 5 Songs:

  1. Last Night (Is This It)
  2. Is This It (Is This It)
  3. 12:51 (Room On Fire)
  4. You Only Live Once (First Impressions of Earth)
  5. Reptilia (Room On Fire)

Their music is daring with a slight pop edge and exploding with an early raw punk sound.  Reminiscent of the 70’s New York scene, think Stooges and Velvet Underground, yet, they manage to sound fresh and original while not hiding their influences. 

Check out The Stokes at www.thestrokes.com.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlYsDNilKDQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSieZdwxxuk&feature=PlayList&p=CE5BEB60627F516D&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Great music awaits!


Music you should have listened to last month but can now watch!

Greetings music fans,

Today I will highlight the artists from last month and give my selection for their best album and song. 

This may seem like a copout blog, and it kind of is.  But, with good reason, we became foster parents to three endearing and for the moment, little puppies on Saturday, and they necessitate and deserve more attention than you!  Just kidding, you too deserve some attention, but this is as good as it gets today.  However, I did pull video for each song selected.  That should count for something!

Last month’s featured artists, in no particular order:

Artist Best Album Best Song
The Avett Brothers I and Love and You Ten Thousand Wordswww.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt6k8htvc9k
Bruce Robison Wrapped My Brother & Mewww.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3q8ShBkqBI
Counting Crows August and Everything After Anna Beginswww.youtube.com/watch?v=1tY9SNFAK2I
Doyle Bramhall II Jelly Cream So You Want It to Rainwww.youtube.com/watch?v=N52cpz6NJ_4
Drive By Truckers Brighter Than Creations Dark Gravity’s Gonewww.youtube.com/watch?v=BHnbiiPoMSU
G. Love & Special Sauce Philadelphonic Rainbowwww.youtube.com/watch?v=5glVe3BmjmM
James McMurtry Childish Things We Can’t Make It Herewww.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbWRfBZY-ng
Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard One Fast Move or I’m Gone Big Surwww.youtube.com/watch?v=NNIWA5esH4o
The Jayhawks Smile Bluewww.youtube.com/watch?v=GUVVGQjWFg4
Josh Ritter The Animal Years Wingswww.youtube.com/watch?v=X3OiUUEzwwI
Mason Jennings Boneclouds Fighter Girlwww.youtube.com/watch?v=ABfK9zajLdo
My Morning Jacket Z One Big Holidaywww.youtube.com/watch?v=_0Q9iAcPjzc
One Day as a Lion One Day as a Lion Wild Internationalwww.youtube.com/watch?v=6mKtt7F0rPU
Reckless Kelly Under the Table and Above the Sun Let’s Just Fallwww.youtube.com/watch?v=mW5uP8aYZsk
Robert Earl Keen Walking Distance Shades of Graywww.youtube.com/watch?v=eEgY93WECEc
Ryan Adams Gold Wonderwall (Cover)www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6xX6ZE16PI
Silversun Pickups Swoon There’s No Secrets This Yearwww.youtube.com/watch?v=Qbz-SqEd7JQ
Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures Scumbag Blueswww.youtube.com/watch?v=2M53SxSLHYk
The White Stripes Icky Thump Seven Nation Armywww.youtube.com/watch?v=xi8KdTk0u0g
Wilco Being There Sunken Treasureswww.youtube.com/watch?v=j_GQWm35Ndo

 

Great music waits!


You should be listening to The White Stripes!

The White Stripes is the formidable rock duo that hails from Detroit.  Anchored in Meg White’s skillful percussions and Jack White’s bluesy, rocking guitar and ever-changing, expressive vocals the White Stripe are everything that is right with the minimalist approach to music.  Formed in 1997 and claiming to be siblings, when in fact they were married, Jack and Meg White incorporated their musical interests of rock, folk, blues, and punk and added a red and white color scheme to their clothes and album art and the White Stripes were born.

The self titled debut album was released in 1999 on the heels of successful tours with Pavement and Sleater-Kinney.  Their sophomore album De Stijl was released in 2000 but it was the release of 2001 White Blood Cells that really established the White Stripes in the music world.  With the release of 2003’s Elephant came more critical acclaim as well as platinum sales.  Elephant spawned the awesomely bombastic single “Seven Nation Army”. 

In 2005 they released Get Behind Me Satan which had been written and recorded in two weeks.  Later that year, Jack White formed The Raconteurs, which would become one of his many side projects (check out The Dead Weather), with Brendan Benson, jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler.  Much of 2006 was spent touring in support of the band’s debut album Broken Boy Soldier.  I saw The Raconteurs at ACL in 2006 which furthered my musical appreciation of the greatness that is Jack White.

In 2007 The White Strips released yet another commercially and critically successful yet oddly titled album Icky Thump.  It won a Grammy and was recorded in three weeks.  Hey Mr. Rose, you might want to get with Jack if you ever decided to release another album in your or more importantly, my life time.  In late 2007 Meg White suffered severe anxiety attacks that caused the cancellation of 18 tour dates and have not performed live since, with the exception of the final episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien on Feb. 20th, 2009.

White Stripes Discography:

  • The White Strips
  • De Stijl
  • White Blood Cells
  • Elephant
  • Get Behind Me Satan
  • Icky Thump

Top 5 White Stripes Songs

  1. Seven Nation Army (Elephant)
  2. Fell In Love with a Girl (White Blood Cells)
  3. Blue Orchid (Get Behind Me Satan)
  4. We’re Going To Be Friends (White Blood Cells)
  5. You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Do As You’re Told)

With a sound that is deeply rooted in the blues and early punk, and stark, basic instrumentation, The White Stripes are a minimalistic group that has been a massive force with a low-fi sound.  Their music, both live and recorded, centers on the number three.  Whether it is vocals, percussion, and guitar, or piano, guitars, and vocals, three is their perfect number.

Check out The White Strips at www.whitestripes.net

The White Stripes’ music is available at iTunes, music stores, and www.whitestripes.net.

Great music awaits!