Once again I have chosen a song not released in 2011 as the link to my best of 2011. I’m compiling (with a little help from my friends) a list of songs that are worthy of a slot on the best of 2011 list, so I’ve decided to shove a few in here and there where I can. I’m pretty sure “AFK” would’ve made my best of list for the year it was released, so I’ve grouped it in with a number of songs that have similar characteristics- well as similar as I can make them in my own mind. I’ve always had a bit of trouble trying to identify or specify distinguishing characteristics of artists that fall under the giant yellow umbrella that is “indie-rock”. For some reason the label Indie always conjures images of 8-track cassette recordings with xeroxed cover art folded into the case. While indie-rock is not quite mainstream, it has permeated into all areas of our lives, from Levi commercials to Starbucks counter-tops. The spectrum of “indie-rock” is much wider than even I want to consider trying to categorize, so I will just say, there is a shit-ton of music I consider to be indie-rock, and here is some of it. . . Pinback – AFK, the show
In the second installment of the best of 2011, I picked a song that wasn’t even released in 2011 but came out 3 years earlier on the album The Chemistry of Common Life. The song, “No Epiphany,” is not new but it is the first song I heard by Fucked Up years ago, and immediately liked. Fucked Up has a fucked up name but whatever, they put out a really good album, an excellent album this year, with 18 fucking tracks on it, so don’t just pick and choose, drop the 9.99 and get the whole god damned thing. For some reason I never bought any of their albums up until now, and David Comes To Life is good straight up, no frills punk rock. No gimmicks, other than their fucking name. Whatever. . . they’re basically just Coldplay with a scrowling singer. . .~58 minutes
This is the first installment of my best of 2011. Tom Waits has been writing, recording and performing phenomenal music for longer than I have been alive, and I am not young, anymore. Bad as Me, his latest offering, the first in many years instantaneously filled a vacancy within me that I hadn’t known was there. I didn’t know a new Tom Waits album was coming nor had I even wondered if he was going to put another one out; then one fine day while booting up Terri Gross’ Fresh Air podcast I’m whisked back to a warm, comfortable place filled with familiar faces and unmistakable sounds. There isn’t a whole lot more I can write here that I didn’t already say in the show, have a listen and go get “Bad as Me.” ~57 minutes
My son really liked the video for “Satisfied” as do I.
Ozzy is the Prince of Darkness and he is the grandfather of Heavy Metal- any argument to the contrary is laughable. The myth is mightier than the man, no matter how you feel about his vocal skills or his songwriting or even his frantic antics onstage, Ozzy Osbourne is the incarnation of Heavy Metal. After leaving Black Sabbath, the Gods of Metal smiled down upon Ozzy, bestowing the golden guitarist Randy Rhodes upon his Ozzifulness. The collaboration bore much Heavy fruit, hundreds- nay, thousands- nay, hundreds of thousands of young, long haired, mono-syllabic suburbanites began to bang their heads simultaneously, shaking the roots of rock and roll to its very foundation. Garages across middle American were the petri dishes of what would become fondly known as- for decades to come- “80’s music”. Heavy Metal was just one musical facet of that glorious diamond of a decade, genre upon genre upon genre seeped into the mainstream propelling the x generation towards mediocrity and malaise. What began as Heavy Metal in the early 80’s evolved and mutated into speed metal, death metal, industrial, metalcore, black metal, hardcore, thrash metal and anything you could bang your head to. So, what are you waiting for? Start Banging!
If you’ve heard of Mudhoney, then you’ve heard of the song “Touch Me I’m Sick.” Mudhoney’s sound fell solidly under the “Grunge” moniker, and the industry immediately slapped the Seattle label all over everything they wrote, played, wore, whatever. You could easily answer the question, “What is Grunge?” by playing Mudhoney’s first two studio albums, then Soundgarden’s first 2 studio albums and wrap it up with Nirvana’s first 2 studio albums. In my conversations on the show there was a general agreement on these albums, even though Soundgarden’s “Badmotorfinger” is technically their third album it still got many votes. Working my way through some of Mudhoney’s later albums I came across a number of excellent tracks that perpetuated their original style- outstanding vocals, heavy tones and satisfying rhythms tinged with grunge i.e. “Suck You Dry,” “Ghost,” and “Acetone.”
Playlist for Mudhoney – Touch Me I’m Sick
Soundgarden – Outshined; but also recommends the whole album, Badmotorfinger
Nirvana – Love Buzz; Floyd the Barber
Temple of the Dog – Hungerstrike (Scott recommends the entire cd)
Pearl Jam – Jeremy
Dead Kennedy’s – MtV Get Off the Air
Nirvana – Sliver
Sonic Youth – Halloween
Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger (the whole album) [i suggest Jesus Christ Pose]
Ryan couldn’t make it on the show but he writes:
Two tunes that come to mind are Nirvana’s “Negative Creep” and Soundgarden’s “Big Dumb Sex”. When the grunge thing was just blasting off and these bands were getting loads of attention and Mudhoney was throwing down just as many songs for an even longer time, these songs were big hits in the stock room at SSU bookstore. I priced lots of text books listening to grunge.