Wednesday, 31 July 2013

10 Great Songs Involving Time

I just got back from Europe and I was really deep sixed by that tricky fucker jet lag. It got me thinking about how time can have such an effect on our day to day lives and our relationships. Obviously i'm not the only one who thought about it because there are many artists who have written songs about time. Whether it's wishing they could stop it or travel it or they're singing about how it's a friend or foe. Here are 10 Great Songs Involving Time.

1. Pink Floyd - "Time"

This list could really begin and end here. "Time" comes off Pink Floyd's legendary breakthrough album Dark Side Of The Moon. Roger Waters got the idea for the song after he had turned 28 and realized he was no longer preparing for anything in life, he was living it. Life waits for no get on with it

2. John Lennon - "Watching The Wheels"

One of Lennon's more famous quotes is "Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted" and his song "Watching The Wheels" seems to speak directly to that. This album Double Fantasy was released 6 years after Walls And Bridges which came out in 1974, and people wondered what he'd been doing during that time. The answer is also in the lyrics to this song.

3. Aqua - "Turn Back Time"

One of my favourite guilty pleasure songs. Though "Turn Back Time" is of a different vein from the style of songs that Aqua became known for in the late 90's. It touches on a very common theme in art such as music and movies. It ponders that eternal and universally relatable question: "What If?"

4. The New Meanies - "Letting Time Pass"

Originally called The Blue Meanies this quartet from Winnipeg switched names due to confusion with other bands recording at the time and the fact that people mistook them for a Beatles tribute group. "Letting Time Pass" was off their only major label release Three Seeds. The have since returned to the indie scene.

5. Muse - "Time Is Running Out"

This one topped my list of Best Songs From 2003. In this case the time which is expiring is the perverbial ticking clock of a relationship. Great video and I love that bass line, just drips raw animalistic power and sexual energy.

6. Rolling Stones - "Time Is On My Side"

I'm not sure Mick Jagger feels the same nowadays, but when he recorded this back in 1964 time most certainly was on his side. How good were The Rolling Stones? So many great songs of varying styles and themes.  I'm sure they have the record of appearing on more of these lists than any other artist.

7. Goldfinger - "Counting The Days"

An often forgotten band from the 90's Goldfinger had many great songs and always brought a high energy to their live shows, but somehow managed to avoid the mess that comes with being in the mainstream. "Counting The Days" relates those painful moments we've all been through when a relationship dissolves were the majority of the time after is spent reliving mistakes.

8.  Mudmen - "5 O'Clock"

Ok this one isn't about time so to say, but rather a specific time of day, yet it touches on what brought this theme into my mind: Time zones. Also it's a great drinking song and as Canada's Mudmen explain here, it's never too early to have a jar of beer because it's 5 O'Clock somewhere!

9. Hawksley Workman - "We'll Make Time (Even When There Ain't No Time)"

Another Canadian artist here dispenses some wise knowledge about our little friend time. You've got to make time for those things that are important to you. Even in this modern world where every little, mundane task seems so large and important, taking time for little things and those close to you is just as important. If not the most important.

10. Cyndi Lauper - "Time After Time"

End on a sweet note. One of the 80's biggest names and certainly music's brightest female star was Cyndi Lauper. "Time After Time" was a late inclusion to her debut album and even though it was written quickly and didn't get a demo it became an instant hit. Her first #1 song. And speaking of time this song has definitely stood the test of it. Hip Hop group INOJ released a version in 1998 and was a modest hit of it's own. Though Lauper's career has cooled since the 80's she'll always be a key member of an important time for music.

Thanks for your time!



Wednesday, 10 July 2013

10 More Great Songs With Girls' Names

Women are sexy

1. "Caroline" - David Gray

Gray first made his mark on the western music world when "Babylon" became a hit in 2000, mainly because of it's use in Serendipity. The lad from Cheshire has been making melodies since the early 90's however. "Caroline" comes off the 2002 record A New Day At Midnight. Caroline seems to be a very inspirational name as other artists have written songs about such a girl, Neil Diamond and Old Crow Medicine Show come to mind.

2. "Miss Amanda Jones" - The Rolling Stones

Yep the Stones were featured on my first list of songs with girls' names. Can't blame me for adding them again they have many songs to pick from. I guess Jagger and Richards' long tenure in the rock world gave passage to them meeting plenty of museful women. See also "Angie", "Claudine", "Cherry Oh Baby" and "Sweet Virginia".

3. "Omabolasire" - Prozzak

Before the Gorillaz appeared on the scene another "virtual" band was stepping onto the pop scene in Canada. Cartoon duo Milo and Simon were Prozzak, though the true artists behind the band were never scene in videos they were revealed to be two former members of The Philosopher Kings Jay Levine and James McCollum. "Omabolasire" was their first (and best) single about meeting your love while on tour and yearning to get back to her, even if that love happens to be the Princess of Nigeria.

4. "Waiting For My Ruca" - Sublime

Going with some less than common women's names this time around.  "Waiting For My Ruca" was the first track off of 40 oz To Freedom the breakthrough release for Sublime. The track kicks off with Bradley Nowell's dalmation Lou Dog giving some backing vocals. It's a chill slow paced song, sort of different from what later Sublime songs would be known for.

5. "Oh, Ellen!" - Gob

I've warmed up to Gob over the years. I have a theory that people typically steer away from artists who are younger than them, I think that's what I was experiencing with Gob. It doesn't hurt that their music also seemed to mature as they did. "Oh, Ellen!" Great tune.

6. "Song For Zula" - Phosphorescent 

This was my pick for top track of 2012 and 7 months later I still love it. Phosphorescent is the stage name for Matthew Houck who writes, records and even produces most of his own work. 2013's Muchacho was no exception as he recorded the album in his own home.  I take this song as someone desperately trying to be strong, even if they're tearing up inside. The singer likens himself to a wild or caged animal. He claims to be different by swearing off love, but there is a hint of recoil in the tune that makes me believe he'll be drawn back in.

7. "Debra" - Beck

Though it was intended for 1996's Odelay "Debra" was kept off the album, yet was frequently played during concerts. The song grew as a fan favourite among audiences and it finally saw the light of release on 1999's Midnite Vultures. All the cheekiness and eccentricities one would expect from a Beck song are fully intact here in "Debra".

8. "Ramona" - Guster

The more I hear about Guster the more they climb the ranks of my favourite bands. The 4 members are multi-instrumentalists and live concerts are a thing to behold. They usually switch instruments and vocal duties during the sets. "Ramona" features lead vocals by Adam Gardner who is the featured lead guitarist instead of lead vocalist Ryan Miller. Seriously if you ever get a chance to take in a Guster show, do it!

9. "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1" - The Flaming Lips

Perhaps one of The Flaming Lips' best known songs, Flaming Lips front man Wayne Coyne took the name Yoshimi from a friend of his, she actually contributes some backing vocals to the track as well. Although the song sounds like its about giant monsters destroying a city, the character Yoshimi is dying of cancer and the pink robots are manifestations of the disease. You'll have to listen to part 2 to see who wins.

10.  "Ilona" - See Spot Run

Shit, remember these guys? Short lived Canadian group See Spot Run most known for "Au Naturel" and "Terrified". "Ilona" is a solid track, best remembered for perhaps being the first song to have "email" in the lyrics. I wonder if i'll even be able to find a video for it...


BUT! They have a song called "Lucy" which fits the i'll link that one...but im gonna right this wrong and get 'Ilona' on youtube like it deserves

Not enough views to imbed...

Such a shame

Thanks for reading!

Sexy ladies...



Tuesday, 2 July 2013

10 Great Songs Without A Chorus

A chorus is what holds a song together. A clever, repetitive lyrical hook is what draws people in and makes the song memorable. What happens when the artist decides to go left of the norm and release a song without repetition? Without a chorus? Trainwreck, yea? Well there are some rather popular songs that don't have anything resembling a chorus. As we shall see in 10 Great Songs Without a chorus

1. "Paranoid Android" - Radiohead

Coming off the success of their 1995 album The Bends, Radiohead realized that they had a large task ahead of them to follow it up. All expectations were blown into the stratosphere when OK Computer was released in 1997, an album that is still regarded as one of the best of all times. The first single was the etheral almost dream like "Paranoid Android" which comes off as a narrative to a drug trip gone bad. Thom Yorke actually got the idea after a night out in some of London's more obscure nightclubs. The characters and conversations were similar yet different, so the song comes together like pieces of other songs.

2. "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" - The Beatles

Partly inspired by the US' complicated fascination with firearms and Lennon's sexual passion for Yoko Ono "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" is often cited by the members of the Beatles as one of their favourites. Because of the song's changing pace, style and time signatures it took almost 15 hours and over 100 takes to put the song to tape.

3. "Nautical Disaster" - The Tragically Hip

When writing songs for the 1994 album Day For Night Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie asked his grandfather about his time in the Second World War and any stories he may have heard from the time. He was recanted with the story about the doomed German battleship Bismarck. The story haunted Downie and he intentionally recorded the vocals slightly lower and made the lyrics slightly vague in an effort to neither glorify or diminish the horrors of war.

4. "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Queen

Often mentioned in conversations about the greatest songs of all time "Bohemian Rhapsody" is by far the most popular song on this list. Queen have been voted by Britons as the best band to ever come out of the UK. At the time of it's recording it was too long to be considered a hit single as radio stations wouldn't play it. The song was played when one of Freddie Mercury's friends got in on air on Capital Radio and became an international sensation.

5. "Unsent" - Alanis Morissette

It seems when an artist attempts to follow up a colossal smash of an album, the succeeding record has experimental songs; They seem to steer away from the formulaic. While it might not bring them hit singles and appearances in movies, it's often a critically acclaimed effort. Alanis' Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie was the follow-up to an obscure CD called Jagged Little Pill. While it didn't earn the accolades that her previous album did,, Junkie spawned some of my favourite Alanis Morissette songs. "Unsent" is a series of letters written to past boyfriends. The names are actually names of Alanis' past flames and she did get permission from each of them before releasing the song. It's actually a very therapeutic technique. Try it out.

6. "Sometime Around Midnight" - The Airborne Toxic Event

The Airborne Toxic Event was originally conceived as a novel by writer Mike Jollet. He decided his words could work with music behind them and in a song format so he assembled a group of musicians and released the album in 2008. "Sometime Around Midnight" centers around bumping into an ex-girlfriend while trying to have a relaxing night out.

7. "Triumph" - The Wu-Tang Clan

Released at the peak of their popularity "Triumph" came off the Wu-Tang Clan's album Forever. Clocking in at over six minutes and featuring all nine members of the group and guest rapper Cappadonna, it was different than anything being played on Hip Hop radio at the time.

8. "Astronomy" - Blue Oyster Cult

Believe it or not Blue Oyster Cult have other songs besides "Don't Fear The Reaper", just this one wasn't made famous by an admittedly hilarious SNL sketch.  The song features lyrics taken from a poem called "The Soft Doctrines Of Immaginos" written by the band's producer Sandy Pearlman. The entire album this song is off of (Imaginos) is based on similar themes and "Astronomy" uses many references to celestial bodies and constellations as imagery. Wonderful song which would later be covered by Metallica in 1998.

9. "The End" - The Doors

Love or hate Jim Morrison or The Doors, this song undeniably grew a life of it's own and is one the most abnormal songs ever released by a popular American rock band. Sure some of the lines are repeated, but it's the changing intensity of the words that is actually what hooks you in with this song. Not a catchy verse or chorus. This song mutated in Doors live sets to an opus well over 12 minutes and often featured Morrison changing the lyrics on the spot into something more shocking or unsettling and improvising the spoken part near the middle of the song. To this day it is one of The Doors' most well known songs yet it rarely (if ever) is played on popular radio.

10. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" - Bob Dylan

Perhaps Dylan's most iconic song is "Subterranean Homesick Blues". Yep it's catchy, yep it's memorable but it's just one long stream of consciousness. No choruses or even much of a let up of any kind. The video has become a piece of Americana as well being parodied or references by artists like Weird Al, INXS and Les Claypool.

Thanks all!
Let's hear some requests this July!

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