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 allmusic.com 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.
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.
T: UB lame.
M: Likeable for sure, but are they much more than a skilled cover band with an inspired idea?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?