Friday, October 13, 2006

599 to 550

599. Cyndi Lauper

T: Brilliant voice, goofy shtick, wrestler manager… I love it all. And Robert Hazard thanks you from his yacht on Ibiza.

M: Love her. Love her, love her, love her. She’s fearless and she can sing her ass off (“Money Changes Everything”) or she can make hearts stop on a dime (“True Colors”).

598. Steve Miller Band

T: For a guy who wrote short, uber-catchy singles that should have been right up my alley, I never fully embraced “The Joker”. But the pre AM radio incarnation was stellar.

M: Like meatloaf and mashed potatoes, sometimes it just feels right.

597. Breaking Benjamin

T: I was gonna go to to find out who they were, but I just don’t care enough to be bothered.

M: I’ve kissed a girl, so I’m a bit out of the demographic.

596. Grey Eye Glances

T: You (dear reader) probably know them better than I do. What do you think?

M: I’m not from Philly, so I’m a bit out of the demographic.

595. James Blunt

T: Sung to the tune of “You’re Beautiful” – “You’re Kidding Me”.

M: Man, how I wish he’d met that girl.

594. Over the Rhine

T: So this is what 100 spots better than M Ward sounds like. Probably huge on WKRP.

M: Under the Radar.

593. Linkin Park

T: There are people who listen to WXPN or even Y Rock who voted for these guys? I don’t believe it. Present yourself or by the power vested in me this spot goes to Jesse Malin.

M: I’m thinkin’ snark.

592. Yonder Mountain String Band

T: There are people who listen to WXPN who voted for these guys? I don’t believe it. Present yourself or by the power vested in me this spot goes to The Format.

M: Kick out the jam bands, mother&#@%*^$.

591. The Catherine Wheel

T: What goes up.... must come down. Wheel good.

M: I like that one song, don’t I? You know the one.

590. Jackie Wilson

T: I’ve got a Jackie Wilson hits collection that is its own party.

M: Mr. Excitement!

589. De La Soul

T: You know who likes these guys? Me, myself and I.

M: The first album is, without doubt, my fave hip hop record. Such languid, funky beats. Surprised to see them before A Tribe Called Quest (we will see them, right?).

588. Loretta Lynn

T: I’ve only come to know her songs in the last 10 years or so, so I am definitely a Johnny Come Lately. But Van Lear Rose is one of the best records in this decade.

M: Miss Loretta proved that country audiences can handle the truth, so why won’t Nashville execs let anyone else tell it?

587. Bobby Darin

T: Oh the shark babe…

M: It’d be a lie to tell you that I know more than “Splish Splash” and “Mack the Knife.” I bet Bobby got lots of girls.

586. Great Big Sea

T: There must be a great big sea of groups that have never heard of me either.

M: Not familiar.

585. The Afghan Whigs

T: I remember liking Congregation and Gentlemen, but I haven’t played them in years.

M: A fierce band. There is no more explosive break-up album than Gentlemen.

584. Marah

T: Local heroes made good, signed by Steve Earle, then dropped (on merit) and now they’re back to doing what they do best – sloppy, frantic, emotional rock and roll. With huge nods to Westerberg and Springsteen.

M: They’re like the hot shot pitching prospect who shows great stuff (“Point Breeze”) and then fumbles around for a while (Float Away …) before finally pulling it all together and becoming virtually untouchable (If You Didn’t Laugh You’d Cry). One of the best bands going.

583. UB40

T: UB lame.

M: Likeable for sure, but are they much more than a skilled cover band with an inspired idea?

582. Spoon

T: I’ve heard they’re earlier stuff is supposed to be great. I started with Gimme Fiction, one of 2005’s best. What should I get next?

M: Over the last five years, they’ve been one of the ten best bands in the world, and Jim Eno is the best drummer you’ve never heard of.

581. The Animals

T: Eric Burdon has one those voices that carries the weight of nations. The saltiest of the British Invasion bands.

M: Unlike a lot of Brit bands who approached American music as academic study, these guys had genuine soul.

580. Robert Fripp

T: He’s way out of my comfort zone but can I give him some love for that Roches album he produced?

M: As an artist, he’s above reproach. He’ll go wherever the music takes him.

579. eels

T: More a fan back when he was just E, I’ve heard some killer Eels songs. But he can be a downer.

M: Too prickly to be fully embraceable, but too good not to like. The inside of Mr. E’s head must be a scary place, indeed.

578. Porcupine Tree

T: Sounds like some ballot stuffing from those Gnosis Project guys.

M: What, were they voting over at Radio Paradise, too?

577. The Meters

T: A national treasure… and Funky Friday staple.

M: Friggin’ brilliant. Absolutely first-rate-dance-your-ass-off-gut-bucket funk.

576. Iron & Wine

T: There’s something good here… but it requires NO-DOZ to get there.

M: Like slipping into a warm bath.

575. Jamie Cullum

T: Music for people who wanna like jazz but don’t have time to dig deeper than last week. I believe the word swoosh was invented for this guy.

M: It’s just sitting there on a tee and I’ve got nothing.

574. R. L. Burnside

T: Scary stuff… seems like the genuine article.

M: He was just sitting there all those years, undiscovered. Makes you wonder how many anonymous wild-eyed genius bluesmen are just sitting on Mississippi barstools.

573. Luna

T: I’ve heard enough to know I’d like to hear more. If only there was a radio station that would put them in rotation.

M: Having kids changes everything. Now I hear “Luna” and I think of the moon on Bear and the Big Blue House. Used to be I’d think of the epitome of indie elegance.

572. The Mars Volta

T: Massive aural attack with apparently no notice to song structure or melody.

M: I’ve never paid a lick of attention. I admired their previous incarnation (At the Drive In) more than I liked it.

571. The Dandy Warhols

T: Lou Weed.

M: Can’t wait to hear the Dedie Sedgwicks.

570. David Gilmour

T: Does this mean Roger Waters solo is even higher? Oh boy.

M: On his own, he lacks songs, but the guitar sings.

569. Blood, Sweat & Tears

T: I know David Clayton-Thomas was an over-the-top, bombastic, Meatloafian singer – but I was a fan of their early 70’s singles, especially “And When I Die”.

M: By the time I became aware, the Al Kooper era was over, and I’m told that was the high point. He’d be a blast to get drunk with.

568. Laurie Anderson

T: True Story. By necessity in my first apartment my brother moved in me. We shared a bedroom as adults (alright quasi-adults). One night “O Superman” came on the clock radio. We laughed out loud.

M: Her music is like her boyfriend, cold and fussy, but she makes it seem warm and likeable.

567. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

T: Harry's sister?

M: I’m always wary of bands who tee up a joke right in the name.

566. Better Than Ezra

T: Somebody had a joke with these guys hit # 1. It went like this:
# 1 - Better Than Ezra
# 2 - Ezra

M: At least they’re better than someone.

565. Phil Roy

T: Raise your hand if you Phil Roy scoring higher than the Meters.

M: Again, I’ll let the indigenous people comment.

564. Fats Domino

T: New Orleans is rich in rock and roll heritage. None stand taller than Fats.

M: Roll me over, Romeo.

563. Social Distortion

T: Have seen these guys a few times and they believe. Matter of fact, come say hi to me and T-Dawg Oct.21 at the TLA. I’ll be the one above it all.

M: Mike Ness is the living embodiment of rock and roll. Some bands affect a pose. Others destroy all poseurs.

562. The Carpenters

T: I sheepishly dug them as a teen. But Karen Carpenter had a crystal clear voice that carried the day. Special props to “Top of the World”, one of my Mom’s favorite songs. I’ll take the Carpenters any day over the Mars Volta.

M: I ain’t afraid to admit it. The Carpenters were just part of the atmosphere when I was a kid, and I’ve never been unhappy to hear “Close to You.”

561. The Alan Parsons Project

T: I Bored.

M: “Ladies and gentlemen, YOUR CHICAGO BULLS!”

560. Toots and the Maytals

T: Funky Kingston has the title song, “Time Tough” and “Pressure Drop”. They also named a genre.

M: “Pressure got the drop on you.” Best band we’ve heard in hours.

559. Rhett Miller

T: His voice kills me and The Instigator is pure pop for wow people. Also this placement means we probably won’t get to hear solo Murry Hammond.

M: The boys want to be him, the girls want to be with him.

558. Dream Theater

T: This one hurts… ahead of Toots and Fats – say it ain’t so.

M: The metal fans have come out in force. Can Queensryche be far behind?

557. Kraftwerk

T: The hypnotic allure of “Autobahn” cannot be denied. Music would sound different without these guys.

M: A good 400+ places too low. It would be a very different world without them.

556. Matisyahu

T: I’d have a tough time putting him at # 556 in the top guys with goofy shtick countdown.

M: I’ll always remember hearing someone ask about “The Modest Yahoos,” as if he were a demure cowboy band.

555. Willie Dixon

T: Gave the Stones and Zeppelin a career.

M: It’s great that he’s here. The architect of Chicago blues, but never the face of it, Willie Dixon is a giant of the culture.

554. Don Henley

T: Whilst I love “The Heart of the Matter”, Mojo Nixon was on to something. Oh yeah and “Dirty Laundry” makes my skin crawl.

M: Imagine my shock when I discovered that I kind of enjoyed his solo work. I’m already working on contingency plans in case Glenn Frey shows.

553. New York Dolls

T: I’m crushed. These guys invented punk rock, have a slew of rip-snorting classics, the greatest American frontman this side of Springsteen, a bonafide guitar hero and they’re stuck down here in the 500’s. I better not see Shawn Mullins up ahead.

M: What he said.

552. Zero 7

T: I’m still pissed about the Dolls.

M: A tad chilly for me, at times, but plenty capable. Not exactly in the New York Dolls’ league, but the numbers are the numbers.

551. Disco Biscuits

T: These guys cut their teeth at Penn, so I’m guessing they got the friends and family plan. Up next… Beru Revue.

M: I like disco and I like biscuits but I can’t imagine I’d like this band.

550. Shawn Mullins

T: I’m still pissed about the Dolls.

M: Is this that guy who talks all low and slow through that song?

1 comment:

Shuggie said...

582. Spoon

T: I’ve heard they’re earlier stuff is supposed to be great. I started with Gimme Fiction, one of 2005’s best. What should I get next?

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