Sunday, 26 July 2015

10 Great Songs With Times As Titles

Time...what a tricky fucker. Time zones, daylight savings time, nick of time, out of time. Let's face it time runs our daily lives. Watches, clocks and phones always beeping at us, reminding us of where we need to be and when. Well it is right now and i'm right here. I'm gonna share with you 10 Great Songs That Deal With Times.

1. MAdE - "Half An Hour"

MAdE (yes, it's stylized as such) were a Canadian band from Toronto that formed in the early 90's. They gained a substantial following doing the club circuit in Toronto and had a record deal with Universal which saw their major label debut Bedazzler released in 1997. Not much else has been heard from their camp since then, but rumours are abound that a revival is in the works

2. Mudmen - "5 O'Clock"

Before Sandy and Robby Campbell decided to form a band they worked with bricklayers and mixed mortar, cement and mud for a living. When it became time to name their Celtic-inspired rock group, the term Mudmen seemed appropriate.

3. Matchbox Twenty - "3am"

Got some alliteration happening here it seems. Florida band Matchbox Twenty (for some reason they changed it to the spelled out version of 20) made a tempest-like splash on the music scene when their album Yourself Or Someone Like You was released in 1996. Spawning 4 major hits, out of which "3am" got the most attention. Rob Thomas and the boys are still active today, but have yet to recapture the appeal that their first album came with.

4. Our Lady Peace - "4AM"

Our Lady Peace's second album Clumsy was a monumental achievement for the group. The maturation of lyrics and songwriting is evident on all songs. The vocals and drums are on full display on Clumsy, both elements would be jarring on any other recording but OLP found a way to use them in a way that compliment the songs perfectly. It can be argued that this song's title is not a reference to the time of day, but rather singer Raine Maida's father Anthony (For Anthony Maida) but it's left open to interpretation.

5. Chicago - "25 Or 6 To 4"

Before a huge shift in style and content in the 80's Chicago was one of the more innovative rock groups of the 60's and 70's. Using big band ideals and multiple vocalists and musicians in their songs made Chicago stand out in the crowd and grow a worldwide fanbase. Sadly group turmoil and the death of their guitar player in the late 70's saw a change in the band's dynamics and they would focus on more commercially appealing music and power ballads. The title of "25 or 6 to 4" is often debated but the usual and simplest explanation is that it was written at 3:35 or 3:36 am, hence "25 or 6 to 4"

6. Iron Maiden - "2 Minutes To Midnight"

One of Iron Maiden's biggest hits and most well known songs is "2 Minutes To Midnight". Bruce Dickinson said it was written about the Doomsday Clock that was often referenced during the Cold War and the threat of a nuclear attack. It touches on humanities dual fear and fascination with such an event

7. Michael Franti & Spearhead - "11:59" feat. Sonna Rele

Michael Franti and his group Spearhead are an American hip-hop group known for fusing their music with elements of ska, punk, rock and most notably reggae. Franti himself is a large advocate for peace and outspoken about many social justice issues. He explains that this song is about enjoying every second we have on Earth and to use the time we do have to fight for what we believe in.

8. Incubus - "11am"

Perhaps my favourite album by Incubus is Morning View released back in 2001. The album was written in a beach-side house that the band had rented and many of the songs have a slower, easy-going vibe to them, such as "11am". There are some moments of all out heavy aggression but for the most part it's a great album to put on while you're lying in a hammock or just staring up at the stars on a warm summer night.

9. K'naan - "Take A Minute"

I like that we're on this vibe of peaceful, chill out and socially conscious songs. I guess alot of those songs have time frame themes because this world can't go on forever unless we all learn to coexist and love one another. K'naan is a Somali Canadian poet, rapper and songwriter, who is probably known best for his song "Wavin' Flag" which was used as a theme song during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

10. Fallout Boy - "7 Minutes In Heaven (Atavan Halen)"

Let's end with a more upbeat song. A good one to be used as an alarm to go off every morning, ripping you from a peaceful dream. I haven't really understood nor enjoyed anything Fallout Boy has done since their 2005 album From Under The Cork Tree, but that album and 2003's Take This To Your Grave has many memorable moments and great pop-punk, dare i say, emo tracks. Sadly I just feel since then they've been riding the success and intrigue of "Sugar, We're Going Down" and haven't been coming up with anything groundbreaking or interesting since.

Hopefully i'll have TIME to update more often.
Get me some requests for lists and i'll have some more inspiration for 'em!


Saturday, 11 July 2015

10 Great Songs With Sirens In Them

POLICIA!! Ever been cruising through town with the radio turned up? Enjoying a sunny day, with some shades on and hearing some new tunes? Then all of a sudden the sound of a police siren comes wailing out of nowhere. A quick glance at your spedometer and then around to your mirrors. Nothing. After surviving that mini heart-attack you realize that some sick bastard included the sound of a police siren in their song! Here's 10 of them that are guilty of that infracture

1.  Sloan - "Money City Maniacs"

This was most of the country's first exposure to Sloan, Canada's fab four. It comes off the 1998 album Navy Blues the follow-up to their brilliant 1996 album One Chord To Another. I don't think many drivers would be fooled by the sirens at the beginning of this song, as they tend to be more old-timey than modern. PS I don't know why in the christ I can't find the actual video here. Someone needs to get on uploading that

2. Sweet - "Blockbuster!"

We're going even more old-timey with this siren, but it gets a bit of a pass since the song is from 1973.  Sweet (or The Sweet depending on what side of the ocean you're on) were one of Britain's biggest glam rock groups of the 70's and 80's. They are probably more well known for their songs "Ballroom Blitz" and "Fox On The Run"

3. Tune-Yards - "Gangsta"

Though they usually stylize their name as the tUnE-yArDs, i'll look past that nonsense and focus on their music, which is quite original and refreshing. "Gangsta" not only starts with a feint siren, but some of the vocals mimic sirens throughout the song as well. The Tune-Yards is a musical project of Merrill Garbus, a Smith College graduate from New England.

4. Coheed & Cambria - "Number City"

Modern day prog-rockers and conceptualizers Coheed & Cambria have announced that they will be releasing a new album later this year. Fans are a little divided on the matter as they have decided to take a break from their Amory Wars narrative that the rest of their catalog was submersed in. As long as the songs are good and can listened to, i'm fine with them changing up the subject matter. "Number City" was a song off their last album, listen for the sirens during the quiet part near the middle.

5. Dickies - "My Pop The Cop"

Stop giggling! The Dickies were pioneers of the American Punk scene in the late 70's. Some would even say they engineered the whole pop-punk wave that would become popular by bands like Blink 182, NOFX, New Found Glory and Sum 41. Many of those bands cite The Dickies as influences too.

6. Erykah Badu - "Danger"

"Danger" comes off Badu's 2003 album Worldwide Underground. It serves as a sequel to one of earlier songs "Otherside Of The Game" in fact it uses samples from that song. Wondering what Badu is up to these days? She is reportedly working on a new album due for a release later this year. She has also been doing some modeling for fashion designer Tom Ford and was the face of Givenchy's 2014 Spring Collection

7. KO - "Capable"

That's pronounced "coe" not K-O and he's a hip-hop artist with folky vibes from Toronto. This song is from his 2009 album Let's Blaze, but his last release was in 2012. No word on whether he has another release pending or what he's up to these days. Chill song though.

8. Danny Michel - "Feather, Fur & Fin"

Plenty of Canadian content on this go around. Michel is a singer/songwriter/producer and even filmmaker from Kitchener, Ontario. "Feather, Fur & Fin" is a great song that uses many different sound samples released in 2008. It's Earth friendly message got it used on Playlist For The Planet by the David Suzuki Foundation and Michel even landed a spot on Suzuki's Last Blue Dot tour

9. The Clash - "White Riot"

Perhaps the most famous song with sirens at the beginning "White Riot" was one of the Clash's best known crowd pleaser before Combat Rock came along and ruined everything. This was true punk anger and anarchy in the UK.

10. Black Sabbath - "War Pigs"

The subtle, almost ambiguous siren heard near the beginning of the song has the hallmark of an air-raid siren that would blare to warn of an imminent attack. Black Sabbath said they wrote 'War Pigs" after hearing stories while playing a show at a US Airforce Base and after playing in a grim and desolate location in Zurich, Germany.

Thanks for reading and keep your wits about you whilst driving!!