Sunday, 10 January 2016

10 Great Songs From 2015

2015 was an interesting year in music, for me anyway. We got plenty of good releases from familiar artists and a few great ones from some new comers as well. I'm not doing a traditional end of the year "Best of" list, because there wasn't that one song that I can definitely say was the year's top track. I'm sure a few years down the road i'll hear a song that was released this past year and it will blow me away, but for now here are 10 Great Songs From 2015. In no particular order...

1. Beck - "Dreams"

Not long after winning the Grammy for Rock Album of the Year in 2014, Beck released the single "Dreams" in June of this year. Beck said he made a conscious effort to release a song more upbeat and fun than what was on his last album Morning Phase. Something that could be enjoyable to play live. "Dreams" will be on his as of yet untitled upcoming album.

2. Kalle Mattson - "Avalanche"

This guy lives just around the corner from me here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada! "Avalanche" is a catchy little track that features his shy vocals over a continuous pulsing drum beat. The video for the song got a lot of internet attention as well, it recreates several famous album covers. Albums that i'm sure influenced Kalle in some way or another

3. Viet Cong - "Continental Shelf"

Fellow Canadians and Polaris award nominees Viet Cong have announced that will be eventually changing their name to avoid any further offense, but to date no change has been made, so for now they remain Viet Cong. "Continental Shelf" is the first single off their self-titled album.

4. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - "S.O.B"

As a young teenager growing up in Missouri, Nathaniel Ratliff was writing songs at an early age. Inspired by the rock & roll and R&B roots of his home state. He has several solo albums, but 2015 saw the first release with his band The Night Sweats, it features the rockin', lamentful drinking song "S.O.B" who's video is a tribute to the end of the movie Blues Brothers.

5. Courtney Barnett - "Pedestrian At Best"

If anyone on this list has built a time machine back to the 90's grunge rock era through there music it's Courtney Barnett. "Pedestrian At Best" has the same vibe as Blur's "Parklife" or Suicidal Tendacies' "Institutionalized". That chorus has Sonic Youth and The Pixies' sweat stains all over it too.

6. Moon Taxi - "All Day & All Night"

If I had to pick a top song of the year (I won't) this one would be a serious contender. Moon Taxi come out of Nashville, Tennessee and they seem to have avoided the Country Western birthmark that most bands from that area walk around with. Daybreaker is their fourth studio album and it's there that you can find "All Day & All Night"

7. Adele - "Hello"

I didn't really pay much attention to Adele's previous albums and was perfectly content to let 25 come and go as well, that is until my girlfriend asked to buy the vinyl for her. This entry on this list could really be any song off her new album, I was impressed by how good it was "Send My Love" was the one that stood out more for it's creativity and catchiness, but I can't find a video for it. So we'll do "Hello"

8. Titus Andronicus - "Dimed Out"

I was surprised to see that these New Jersey punks have 4 studio albums to their name as I had never heard of them until I heard "Dimed Out" this year. I likened the experience to the first time I heard Against Me!, who quickly became one of my favourite bands. I guess I got some back-listening to do. "Dimed Out" is the type of punk many people lament not hearing anymore. Just gotta know where to look I guess.

9. Blur - "Ong Ong"

Hey guys, Blur came back. Damon Albarn has been busy with the Gorillaz and Graham Coxon had his share of side projects too. It seems they still had a few Brit-pop gems stashed away somewhere though as "Ong Ong" picks up where they left off in 2003. Good stuff.

10. Chris Cornell - "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart"

Still no word on that new Soundgarden material. Apparently it's coming soon but who knows. In the mean time frontman Chris Cornell released a new solo album Higher Truth which features the unmistakable track "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart"

Bring on 2016!!!


Friday, 1 January 2016

10 Great Music Videos With Nudity

Alright now that the holidays are done with we can dispense with all the wholesome, clean, family-oriented festivities that go along with them and delve into some serious hardcore action!! Sometimes videos feature nudity that's intentionally blurred out for effect, other videos get a second uncensored version, then are those videos that never get seen because of the X-Rated material that mainstream video channels wouldn't play. Let's look at a few.

1. The BPA - "Toe Jam" feat. David Byrne & Dizzee Rascal

The Brighton Port Authority (BPA) is a side project of Norman Cook better known as Fat Boy Slim.
The video for the song "Toe Jam" got alot of internet intention because of it's clever use of the censor bars that cover up the naughty bits of the naked men and women who dance throughout the video

2. Alanis Morissette - "Thank U"

Morissette's 1995 mega album Jagged Little Pill put the young lady from Ottawa on the globe and shattered countless of records. When it came time for her follow-up expectations were high. Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie was released in 1998 and was met with mixed reviews. Alanis handled the pressure extremely well and made the album she wanted to. The video for the first single "Thank U" featured a fully nude Alanis singing the song on street corners and subways. Yes it was blurred out

3. Sir Mix Alot- "Put 'Em On The Glass"

Yes you know Sir Mix Alot likes big butts...he can't lie after all, but he can withhold some truths. For example did you know he also likes big, fake breasts? And really likes it when the women who own them press them up against glass? It's true! Just watch this video...

4. The Dandy Warhols - "Bohemian Like You"

This video may not have the nudity front and centre like some of the other ones on the list. Also most other videos on the list it features male and female nudity. It's brief, but it's there.

5. Robin Thicke - "Blurred Lines" feat. Pharrell & T.I.

Everyone knew this video was going to be on here. It's not often that a music video helps boost a non-musician's career but it appears that's what happened with model Emily Ratajkowski. Since appearing (showing her stuff) in this video she's been in the Entourage movie and Gone Girl.

6. Foals - "Late Night"

Foals are an English band out of Oxford who got their start in 2005. With 4 studio albums to their name and even winning a couple awards the future looks bright for Foals. Their 2013 album Holy Fire was critically acclaimed in North America and was helped by the single "Late Night" which features a few steamy scenes in the music video.

7. Motley Crue - "Girls, Girls, Girls"

I guess this was part of the appeal of the Hair/Glam Rock genre, substance-less music, that's just a whole bunch of fun. The music videos were lined up right along with the lyrics too. Motley Crue wrote what they knew about, strippers and partying, guess you can't fault them for that. 80's girls were hot.

8. Scooter - "Weekend"

European dance music is all about shaking booties and hot sweaty bodies grinding up against on another. Scooter is a trance group from Germany who's videos I remember fondly from my younger days watching BPM on Satellite. It's a strange video with some sexiness and creepiness mixed in together. Also respect to the man in the ice cream van!

9. Blink 182 - "What's My Age Again?"

It's got some male ass at the end, but for the most part the nudity in Blink 182's lead off video for the album Enema Of The State is blurred out and played for laughs. Good stuff.

10. The Flaming Lips - "Watching The Planets"

The Flaming Lips were never a conventional band. They likely didn't care less if a video they made was deemed inappropriate for music television. They made the video they wanted to make. This one appears to include members of a nudist colony. Fitting.

Let's get naked!!