Music and Stuff

Hello, and welcome to this blog , the perfect place to find reviews of all types of music; rock, electronic, hip hop, and others, reviewed by a teenager completely immersed in all music. Here I will review classic albums, both famous and obscure. So, enjoy my opinions.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Songs For Dustmites: Steve Burns, 2003

This is a masterpiece. But you've never heard of it.
Of course, even if you don't know the name, you know the guy.
That's right. "It's mailtime!". Steve Burns was "Steve" from "Blues Clues", the original host of the most popular kid's show of all time. Steve was and is adored by toddlers, teenagers, college kids, and moms. And people like me. Steve was my idol when I was 5, and like everyone else, I was crushed when he "went to college" and his "brother" "Joe" replaced him. But he's still my idol. He's progressed into the coolest man alive. This album can please everyone. It has a pleasing mixture of his highly original alternative rock and songs where it's just him and a guitar. That balance makes this debut an extremely cohesive listen. On the alternative rock stuff (For example "Mighty Little Man", "What I Do On Saturday","Maintain", and "Henry Krinkle's Lament"), he shows that having The Flaming Lips members helps (Lips keyboardist/ guitarist/ former drummer Steven Drozd and bass player Michael Ivins played drums and bass (respectively) and Ivins engineered it, while Lips producer David Friddman produced it) and are able to become some of the most memorable songs of the 2000's, and the acoustic tracks (For example ">1", "A Reason") are great as well. He also manages to throw in a Brian Eno-esque instrumental ("Music For Montgomery County, PA"), an amazing cover ("A Song For Dustmites"), and an ethereal spacey alternative track ("Troposphere")
This gets five stars of five.
http://www.amazon.com/Songs-Dustmites-Steve-Burns/dp/B0000AINL3
That's a link to Amazon to buy that album. Buy it.
Don't care about the cost (It IS only 13 dollars, but some people are budget sensitive), this is too good to pass up.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Top 500!

Due to a request from my awesome follower maxgmooney, I am now going to review Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums. That's right people. All 500. But if there's an album I have no real comment or opinion of, I just won't do it. Watch out; I'm tough.
1. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band- The Beatles: No. That's right. I said no. Number two is right where it belongs!
2. Pet Sounds- The Beach Boy): Number three. It is very good, despite the pop sensibilities of earlier and later Beach Boys albums.
3. Revolver- The Beatles: Number 1! That's right, this is the best ever. I love it, and I have literally listened to it since I was 3.
4. Highway 61 Revisted- Bob Dylan: Not sure. I liked "Bringing It All Back Home" more. Top ten though.
5. Rubber Soul- The Beatles: Switch this with "The Beatles"
6. What's Going On- Marvin Gaye: I heard this was good, but since I haven't heard it yet, I'll stick it in the top 20 at least.
7. Exile On Main Street- The Rolling Stones: I'll keep this top 20, but I have a large bias against the Rolling Stones, so I won't actually review it because I'll just hate it.
8. London Calling- The Clash: I'm not too sure. I still hold "The Clash" UK edition in higher regard, but this was far more diverse, so I'll keep it here.
9. Blonde On Blonde- Bob Dylan: Yes. This is one of those albums that can easily be listened to from start to finish.
10. The Beatles- The Beatles: Switch with "Rubber Soul"
11. The Sun Sessions- Elvis Presley: Top 50 if it's even in the top 100 for me. I don't see what's so good about it...
12. Kind Of Blue- Miles Davis: Switch with John Coltrane's "Blue Train".
13. Velvet Underground and Nico- The Velvet Underground: Take "What's Going On"s place. This was way too good for 13.
14. Abbey Road- The Beatles: Yes. This isn't my favorite, but it was still their swansong, and it ended the Beatles phenomenon well.
15. Are You Experienced?- The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Yes. Hendrix was at the top of his skill (He would remain there until he died), and he was a master composer as well.
16. Blood On the Tracks- Bob Dylan: Yes.
17. Nevermind- Nirvana: NO! I swear, Rolling Stone is in love with Kurt Cobain! One song with a catchy riff and two or three other good songs does not make a good album! This was good, but only good enough to make the top 200 for me.
18. Born To Run- Bruce Springsteen: No. Top 100 though.
20. Thriller- Michael Jackson: I can't believe I'm saying this, but top 100. Rock and roll tears are running down my face right now...
22. Plastic Ono Band- John Lennon: I don't think so. Top 70.
25. Rumours- Fleetwood Mac: Yes.
26. The Joshua Tree- U2: Switch with "The Unforgettable Fire".
28. Who's Next- The Who: Yes, but points off for the horribly corny title.
29. Led Zeppelin- Led Zeppelin: No. Switch with Led Zeppelin II. This isn't as strong a sound as the second album is.
31. Bringing It All Back Home- Bob Dylan: Switch this with "Highway 61 Revisited"
33. Ramones- Ramones: Top 20. This started punk.
35. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders
From Mars- David Bowie: Top 20. This was Bowie's entrance into popular music.
39. Please Please Me- The Beatles: This isn't even their best and it's still awesome.
41. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols-
The Sex Pistols: Yes. This gave punk it's stereotype, but a good one at that.
42. The Doors- The Doors: My personal intro to psychedelic music.
43. The Dark Side of the Moon- Pink Floyd: Yes. Not my favorite prog album, but very very good.
44. Horses- Patti Smith: Yes. This started art punk.
49. Live At Fillmore East- Allman Brothers: Lower, 200's. I never got into this much, but it was pretty good, as live albums go.
54. Electric Ladyland- The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Legendary. Yes.
58. Trout Mask Replica- Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band: I can take Frank Zappa, but not this. This is just way too weird. 200's simply for influentialness.
59. Meet the Beatles- The Beatles: I don't count this as an actual Beatles album because it's an american version, meaning half of the songs are on "Pleas Please Me", and half are on "With the Beatles". Substitute with "Magical Mystery Tour".
61. Appetite for Destruction- Guns n' Roses: I hate Guns n' Roses SO much. I will not even include this at all. Nothing was good about it at all.
62. Achtung Baby- U2: Replace this with "The Unforgettable Fire"
66. Led Zeppelin IV- Led Zeppelin: Yes. This had it's faults, but was still great. Points off for "Stairway To Heaven" being on the radio every second of every day.
70. Physical Graffiti- Led Zeppelin: 200's. I've never really liked this one too much, but the best songs are some of the best ever.
73. Back in Black- AC/DC: Yes.
75. Led Zeppelin II- Led Zeppelin: Switch with Led Zeppelin I.
76. Imagine- John Lennon: 300's.
77. The Clash- The Clash: Higher. My favorite Clash album.
82. Axis: Bold as Love- The Jimi Hendrix Experience: My personal favorite by Hendrix, so higher.
86. Let It Be- The Beatles: No. This one had way too many problems.
96. Tommy- The Who: Yes.
98. This Year's Model- Elvis Costello: Switch with "My Aim Is True"
101. Fresh Cream, Cream: Sure. It's got some classics on it.
105. Rocket to Russia, Ramones: Yes. a classic Ramones album.
107. Hunky Dory, David Bowie: The most underrated Bowie album. Top 50.
109. Loaded, The Velvet Underground: Yes. This last Velvets album was a high note in their career, which is really saying something.
112. Disraeli Gears, Cream: Now that I think of it, switch this with "Fresh Cream".
115. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, Derek and the Dominos: An Eric Clapton "Supergroup", this is one of Clapton's best releases.
125. Raw Power, Iggy & The Stooges: Top 100. This is my favorite thing with Iggy Pop on it.
126. Remain in Light, Talking Heads: Yes. This is amazing, but still ranks at number 4 on the best Talking Heads albums.
128. Marquee Moon, Television: This is awesome, top 50 at least.
136. Tim, The Replacements: Top 50. This is where the band breaks the barrier between "Great" and "Magical".
140. Parallel Lines, Blondie: Yes.
149. Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin: One of the best Led Zeppelin albums.
152. The B-52's, The B-52's: Yes. So weird, but so good...
155. Pretenders, The Pretenders: Top 100.
157. Closer, Joy Division: I would put their "Unknown Pleasures" album before this one.
160. Electric Warrior, T. Rex: Top 100. This is one of the best glam albums, and an essential purchase.
166. Imperial Bedroom, Elvis Costello: Yes.
168. My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello: NO. WAY. Top 30 at the very least.
170. Live at Leeds, The Who: 200's. Memorable, but it's hard to make a live album as good as a regular album.
183. Fleetwood Mac, Fleetwood Mac: Top 100.
185. The Stooges, The Stooges: NO WAY! Top 30! This is too good!
187. So, Peter Gabriel: Yes, one of my favorite 80's records.
191. Funhouse, The Stooges: Top 100. Has a different, more clean feel than other Stooges stuff, but that doesn't always help.
194. Transformer, Lou Reed: Top 50. Reed's best album excluding his Velvets work.
197. Murmur, R.E.M.: Top 30.
203. Wheels of Fire, Cream: Yes.
213. New York Dolls, New York Dolls: Yes.
216. The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths: Yes.
221. War, U2:Yes.
230. A Night at the Opera, Queen: Yes.
236. The Who Sings My Generation, The Who: Yes.
239. Let It Be, The Replacements: Yes.
243. Freak Out!, The Mothers of Invention: Top 50.
247. Automatic for the People, R.E.M.: This is one of my least favorite R.E.M. albums. I wouldn't even put it on the list.
249. Low, David Bowie: Top 100. This is one of my personal favorites by Bowie, a part of his amazing "Berlin Trilogy"/
253. Trans-Europe Express, Kraftwerk: Top 100. One of the top albums of the period.
266. Quadrophenia, The Who: Yes.
268. Psycho Candy, The Jesus and Mary Chain: Yes. Crazy but great.
277. Aladdin Sane, David Bowie: Top 100. My favorite album of David Bowie's glam rock period.
286. Los Angeles, X: Yes, a great hardcore album.
290. Talking Heads: 77, Talking Heads: Top 30. Amazingly weird.
292. White Light / White Heat, The Velvet Underground: Yes. Almost as good as the first album.
296. We're Only In It For the Money, The Mothers of
Invention: I'm not too sure, it's really weird, but okay.
301. John Wesley Harding, Bob Dylan: Yes. Bob Dylan's most underrated album.
305. Odelay, Beck: Yes. Not perfect, but Beck's best and most Beck-ish album.
313. Damn the Torpedoes, Tom Petty and the
Heartbreakers: Yes. One of my favorite albums by the Heartbreakers.
314. The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground: Yes.
322. Ghost in the Machine, The Police: Yes.
323. Station to Station, David Bowie: No way, this is way too good. Top 10.
329. Daydream Nation, Sonic Youth: Yes.
332. Help!, The Beatles: Yes.
340. Damaged, Black Flag: Higher. One of the best hardcore albums ever.
344. Berlin, Lou Reed: Yes.
345. Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads: No. Maybe put it in the 500's.
358. Singles Going Steady, Buzzcocks: Yes. A great example of english pop-punk.
361. Substance, New Order: Yes.
362. L.A. Woman, The Doors: Yes.
366. Mott, Mott the Hoople: Higher. An underrated album by an underrated band.
369. Reggatta de Blanc, The Police: Top 200.
371. Siren, Roxy Music: Yes.
381. Modern Lovers, Modern Lovers: Yes.
382. More Songs About Buildings and Food, Talking Heads: Top 100.
388. A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles: Yes.
394. For Your Pleasure, Roxy Music: Yes.
403. Radio City, Big Star: Top 50.
404. Sandinista!, The Clash: Yes.
407. Strange Days, The Doors: Yes.
408. Time Out of Mind, Bob Dylan: Yes.
409. 461 Ocean Boulevard, Eric Clapton: Yes.
410. Pink Flag, Wire: Yes. A great art-punk album.
411. Double Nickels on the Dime, Minutemen: Top 300. This is great.
417. Boy, U2: Yes.
418. Band on the Run, Wings: Top 100. This is why Paul McCartney is a sucessful solo artist.
425. Changesone, David Bowie: I'm not so up for best of albums being included, so I'm not sure.
433. Another Green World, Brian Eno: Top 100.
434. Outlandos D'Amour, The Police: Top 100.
436. Here Come the Warm Jets, Brian Eno: Top 100.
437. All Things Must Pass, George Harrison: Yes.
438. #1 Record, Big Star: Top 100.
440. Sea Change, Beck: Top 300. Very good.
447. Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Devo: Yes.
455. Synchronicity, The Police: Yes.
469. Metal Box, Public Image Ltd.: Higher.
470. Document, R.E.M.: Yes.
481. The Smiths, The Smiths: Higher.
482. Armed Forces, Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Yes.
490. Entertainment!, Gang of Four: Yes.
491. All the Young Dudes, Mott the Hoople: Yes.

Well, that's it. And may I say one thing: WHERE IS "THE SOFT BULLETIN" BY THE FLAMING LIPS?!!!! THAT'S THE BEST ALBUM OF THE NINETIES!!!! I'M PUTTING IT IN THE TOP 10, AND IF ANYONE DISAGREES I'LL BITE THEIR HEADS OFF!!!!
Thank you.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Trick of the Tail: Genesis, 1976

In 1975, one of the worst things happened to Genesis: Peter Gabriel quit. This set them back quite a bit. Step one for them after Gabriel quit was of course to find a new singer. A rumoured 500 people auditioned. Only one came close. Mike Stanton was brought in, but after singing along (They had recorded all the backing tracks), it was realized that he couldn't sing in that key. This was not good. There was only one last option: Phil Collins. The man behind the drum kit had been singing background for Peter Gabriel since 1971. After a while, they convinced Collins to try it out, and of course he just happened to be perfect. With that said, I'm not sure Peter Gabriel would have even sounded well on this album. Unlike the previous "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", this was focused on their instrumental ability rather than Gabriel's fantastic lyrics. This is also too far different from "The Lamb..." in its medevial-sounding instruments and Collins' bard-ish vocals. It's closer to that of a sequel to "Selling England By the Pound" from 1973. Still, Genesis were able to prove that they could be great without Peter Gabriel,and they got back on track with one of their best albums.
Four and a half stars.

Response

I can't sem to figure out how to respond to comments, so I'll just do it here.
Mr. Pippen: I have already seen most of the videos from "So" and around that period, and along with David Bowie, his video's are some of the best of that era. "Sledgehammer", "Big Time", "Shock the Monkey", "Solsbury Hill", and "Games Without Frontiers" (The only version that I could find of the last one was a version with a moody alternate version) are great. I highly reccomend you check out David Bowie's late 70's and early 80's work with David Mallet; "Ashes To Ashes", "Fashion", "Look Back In Anger", "DJ", and "Boys Keep Swinging" are wonderfully haunting.
And as to your second comment, now that I reconsider Jack Bruce's playing, you're probably right. He is better than I thought; Eric Clapton kind of just drowned him out (On a second note though, I don't think Clapton actually played to his best ability on Cream recordings. I've never heard a Cream song with a solo or anything I couldn't handle myself on the guitar, yet once Cream broke up, he was playing mind-boggling solos left and right)
And on a slightly unrelated note, Ginger Baker should be declared legally insane.
Thank you for the comments.