Tag: favorites

sotd: Smashing Pumpkins – Spaceboy

I have stated at least once before on this very blog, that Smashing Pumpkins’ sophomore album, Siamese Dream pretty much shaped how I felt about music; and it was one of a couple albums that signaled the beginning of when I truly started to appreciate and enjoy music at the level that I do now. Before it, I never really payed enough attention to music, and mostly, I only listened to whatever was on the radio. Barring a few “favorite songs” here and there, I actually owned very few albums (it was mostly tapes at that time!), and honestly never bought an album for anything more than a song or two. However, that all changed when I saw Smashing Pumpkins’ videos on MTV. I liked every song that I heard, and this album was one of the first ones that I received in my very first BMG shipment. After hearing Siamese Dream, it was almost like I had an awakening; I had gotten a taste of wonderful music, and it would be from then on, that I would crave more and more (it was also Smashing Pumpkins’ music that motivated me to learn to play guitar). Literally, from that point on, I became almost obsessed with music; an obsession that has followed me until today.

Spaceboy is not only one of the best songs on Siamese Dream, I have no qualms in declaring that it is one of the best songs by the Smashing Pumpkins. The song is a touching tribute Billy Corgan wrote to his brother, and the sentiment of the words are echoed in the tenderness of the music. For me, this remains one of my favorite songs of all time, and hearing it really takes me back, and reminds me of the time when I truly learned what good music was all about. With all of that greatness, how could I not share that with you?

Since it was never a single, there isn’t a video, but, I found it on youtube, uploaded with a blank video, which I think is absolutely perfect:

In doing so, the person that uploaded it, has allowed you to focus on the music, the lyrics, and the sentiment that makes this song such an experience. Spaceboy is truly, a magnificent song, and is a wonderful addition to the song of the day catalog.


If the summer drought of good television is making you sad, well you are in luck, because one of the best shows ever made is now out, for the first time in Region one DVD goodness, as of today!!! That’s right ladies and gents, the one and only Spaced, starring the loves of my life Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, has finally crossed the pond, in a format that the less than tech-savvy masses can ingest.

If you enjoyed either Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, you will love Spaced, because both had roots in the show. The show is only two seasons long, but it is chock full of laughs, and is one of those programs that you can literally watch over and over again. Each episode has so much to it, that it really feels longer than a 30 minute comedy romp. Also, for all of you geeks out there, this is THE show that will speak to you; it is written by geeks for geeks pretty much.

While I already have it, because I bought it a while back on Region 2 DVD (when I got my fancy schmancy region free DVD player), I am more than pleased to see it is finally out on this side of the pond. (Speaking of formats… if someone could hook me up with the ipod version of the entire series, I would be ONE HAPPY CAMPER… hint hint…).

I am, however, sad that I wasn’t in NYC this week, because apparently, Nick and Simon are doing press tours, and NYC is one of the stops (I think that I would go into a gay frenzy if I got to meet either of them). Oh well… maybe some day. Either way, do yourself a favor and pick up one of my favorite shows on DVD, so you can make it one of your favorites too… it is truly a masterpiece of television.

5SF: june 27

This is going to be another “themed” five song Friday, because I haven’t really heard too many new things worth mentioning this week (and I have been listening to all of the good stuff from the recent months on repeat). I was trying to figure out what to post this week, when I thought that it might be fun to do a 5SF with songs that really changed how I felt about music; songs from the bands that really got me into loving music in the first place. It’s very difficult to narrow that down, but I thought that I would start with five songs by five bands that I really gravitated towards in high school; which is when I first became obsessed with music. These are songs that totally represent the groups for me, and are songs that totally take me back to that time so many years ago.

I’m sure that some of you will share love for these songs as well…

Blur – There’s No Other Way
Oh Blur… for so long, I have loved thee. I remember when I was introduced to Blur by some of my friends during my junior year, and after one listen to Parklife, I was hooked. However, it would be Leisure that would become the quintessential Blur album for me; and it is still, in my opinion, one of the best albums that I could ever hope to own. My friends and I completely played this album out; that is, if that were possible. Many car trips and times hanging out were accompanied by the soundtrack of early Blur. I love when I haven’t heard this record for a while and then I put it on, because I am always transported back to those summers and great times. I can definitely say without a doubt, that Blur was definitely one of my first “favorite” bands; and given their catalog, remains as such to this day.

Smashing Pumpkins – Rocket

I credit Siamese Dream as being my favorite album of all time. For me, it was what Nevermind was for many others; it was a beginning of a new era of music. The alternative sounds that bled off of this album fully soaked my brain, and I was immersed into the full experience that was the Smashing Pumpkins for many, many years. I long considered them my favorite band of all time, but my interest in them quickly waned when their sound changed so dramatically after Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. However, even after several missteps, there is no denying the brilliance of this record, and I have no problem hanging in the moment that Siamese Dream blasted from my first car’s meek stereo speakers. This album is also credited with the reason that I got into playing guitar; in fact, my first guitar was bought not long after I received this record in my very first BMG shipment.

Weezer – Say It Ain’t So

If you’ve been paying attention, by now, you know that yes, I am a huge fan of Weezer. I am loving their new record, but for me, nothing can top the experience of hearing the Blue Album for the first time; it too was a part of my first BMG shipment (I got 7 pretty slamming albums). Every song on that record can take me right back to my room, where I would jam out to Weezer on my boom box. It has always been one of my favorites, and I am just glad that they have continued to make amazing music, and I have been along for the ride. This is my all time favorite Weezer song, and with good reason; it fucking rules.

The Cardigans – Been It
As with the other bands listed, if you haven’t figured out by now that the Cardigans are one of my favorite groups, then clearly you haven’t been listening to me. This album was primarily purchased because of the fantastic “Lovefool”, but upon receiving it, I was exposed to something so much more than I could have expected. This album is a masterpiece to me. Every song is amazing, and it is one of those records that has definitely stood the test of time. Interestingly enough, the Cardigans have only gotten better with age, so their more recent albums have built upon this (their sophomore release) album’s fantastic music. It was my first Cardigans record, and this song was the one that made me realize that they were more than just a one hit wonder for me… it showed me that I would be a life long fan of this Swedish super group.

Nirvana – In Bloom
Last but certainly not least, is my all time favorite song by the amazing Nirvana. What happened to Kurt Cobain is seriously one of the more tragic incidents to occur to music at the time, as he was clearly a visionary with talent that never got to see it’s full potential. At the time, I wasn’t the “hugest” Nirvana fan, perhaps because of my deep love for the Pumpkins, but I nevertheless appreciated great music when I heard it, and this is certainly it. I still get chills when I hear this song because of how fantastic it is.

Well, it is clear that I was an alternative kid when I was in high school. My musical tastes may have changed some, but I still love each and every one of these songs, and the records that they come from. These songs/albums/groups help shape what I thought was good about music, and helped me appreciate music with a depth that is still very strong in me today. I hope you guys enjoyed this 5SF, and be sure to let me know what songs/albums/artists did the same for you. Loving music is a huge part of my life… and now you have a pretty good idea of where it truly started.

5SF: february 15

I was actually scratching my head and wondering most of this week about what I was going to pick for my five songs this week, as I haven’t really been blown away by any of the stuff I have been checking out lately (new or otherwise). Maybe I am just in a lull? Who knows… however, it has allowed me to reexamine some stuff that I really love, and I figured it would be fun to post a few of those songs today. I am sure that there is a chance that it might be the first time someone is hearing it, or it may re-awaken interest in something you haven’t listened to in forever; either way, it’s all about the music. Since I have been in such a rut lately with finding new, great stuff, PLEASE send me your recommendations, okay? Now, on with the show!

Note: No videos this week, so feed readers, come by and listen up!

The Postal Service – Brand New Colony
One of my favorite records, Give Up by the Postal Service, drifted back into my focus recently, and I have been enjoying reexamining this fantastic album. I really hope that Ben Gibbard gets around to doing a follow up record at some point, because I would love to have some new Postal Service material. I love the whole album, but this is one of the songs that I tend to listen to over and over from the record; such great lyrics (a couple of which can be found in my header from time to time).

Hellogoodbye – All Time Lows
After the aforementioned disappointment that I have been having trying to find new stuff to check out, I also stumbled on Hellogoodbye again, which is one of those rare CDs that I loved instantly from beginning to end. I absolutely adore their electro-pop-rock sound, and after I saw them live, I became a permanent fan. These guys are awesome, and they totally rock that whole “nerdy-cool” vibe, which fits them, and makes me swoon like the other little girls at the concert were. If you like this song, I highly recommend the whole album; I am looking forward to more from these guys. Hearing this again is definitely a great reminder of some of the great stuff in my massive music collection.

RyanDan – The Face

Not only are these two identical twin brothers totally gorgeous, but they have this amazing harmony and quality to their singing. While most of their record is watered down with cheesy covers, the two opening songs are fantastic. The Face, which is one of those two openers, is my favorite song of theirs, and is one that I find myself listening to often. It is a totally beautiful song. Sometimes a cheesy ballad is EXACTLY what I need.

Lumidee – She’s Like The Wind

True story: recently, I was riding in my car to get some lunch, and randomly, She’s Like the Wind (the Patrick Swayze version) popped into my head. I had to turn off the radio and sing the whole song… cheesy, right? Well, I actually kind of love that song, and found out that it had been remade into kind of a great little hip hop number last summer. I have to say, that I kind of like this remake, the sample fits really well with the hip hop beat.

Sugababes – I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor
A long while back, my good buddy Stu was giving me a “crash course” in order to bring me up to speed with the Sugababes (who I hadn’t really heard much from at that time), and this cover of the Arctic Monkey’s song of the same name was one of the songs he exposed me to. Not only does it tower over the original version, but it truly highlights what one should do when attempting to cover a song; fucking blow it out of water. See, I don’t mind when you cover a song, and actually cover it really well. In this case, the cover is far better than the original.

Now are you beginning to see just how varied my music tastes are, right? I like a little bit of everything! As always, I hope you enjoyed the songs, and I hope even more that you have some feedback/suggestions yourself! Have a great THREE DAY weekend everyone!

the 31 best of 2007 – 1: Sara Bareilles – Little Voice

Drum roll please… we have made it to the top of my list of the 31 best CDs of 2007!! I am sure that my number one pick will not come as a surprise to those that know me, and to even those that follow this blog regularly, because I have been screaming like a school girl with excitement about Sara Bareilles ever since I heard her back in 2005 at a Marc Broussard concert. From the first time I saw her in concert, I was mesmerized by her powerful voice, and her amazing ability as both a song writer, as well as a singer. Sara is the real deal, she is an amazing artist who is filled to the brim with talent, and it is refreshing and exciting to see her finally getting her chance to shine.

Little Voiceis one of the most well crafted albums that I own, let alone discovered in 2007. From the first time I listened to this record, I was hooked by the new catchy songs like Love Song and Bottle It Up, which both serve as frustrated anthems from an artist struggling to get the music industry to just let her perform the way in which she does best. I was welcomed by fresh retakes on songs from her “demo” record, Careful Confessions, which I have been clinging to and playing on repeat, since the night I scored it for $5 at the concert I first saw her. What’s so fantastic about each and every one of those re-takes on her already amazing songs, was that she managed to make them better; which is something that I didn’t think was possible, because of how much I liked the “demo” versions. What’s even more amazing, is that songs like Vegas, which I had only been familiar with the live demo cut, quickly became one of my favorite songs from Little Voice,because the new production on this, and others, takes it from a “good live version” of a song to a fantastic one.

There really aren’t enough nice things that I can say about Sara Bareilles, and that is mainly because she deserves all of them. She is a performer who puts her heart into each song, and when you see her perform, you can see that she feels what she is singing. As she says in the song Bottle It Up, she is in this for love; the love of making amazing music. Fortunately, Sara was able to craft an album, despite pressures and set backs from the record company, that is destined to receive the true attention that it deserves. There are very, very few artists that I have discovered, and instantly, I was mesmerized by the sheer amount of talent they possess. If every singer could be as talented, and make records as great as Little Voice,the radio would be a much more listener friendly medium… but I don’t need the radio to hear Sara; I have the record, and trust me, it doesn’t get far from my player.

Little Voice is one of those albums that are really, really few and far between in my music collection. What I mean, is that with every listen, I truly am enthralled and engaged from beginning to end. I don’t like every song, I LOVE every song. That is something that is so rare for an artist, that when one comes along as amazing Sara, I am captivated. Little Voice is my album of the year, because even after getting it at the end of July, I still have it on HIGH rotation; and it gets better with each listen. There isn’t a bad track anywhere near this record, and with Little Voice,Sara Bareilles has made one of the strongest debuts that I have ever been exposed to. My hope, is that this level of talent in one person will truly be seen by everyone, and not just me, because it is my sincere desire to have many, many more records by the amazing Sara Bareilles in my collection in the years to come.

If you were looking for where it is at, and wanting to find the next biggest thing to happen to music, you need look no further than the amazing debut by Sara Bareilles, Little Voice. Seriously, I know I am gushing here, but it really is as good, and even better than I am getting on… and don’t say that you didn’t know it when she is huge; I have been going on, and will continue to go on, about Sara Bareilles for a while now. Sara has solidified her place as the number one album pick of 2007 for me, and she has also found a place amongst my favorite artists as well. If there was only one record that I could own from all of 2007, this would definitely, without a doubt, be the one that I would want; do yourself a favor, and run out and buy it for your collection now.

Favorites from Little Voice:(all of them, seriously)
Between The Lines
One Sweet Love
Love Song, Bottle It Up, and Fairytale. (link for you tube goodness!)


the 31 best of 2007 – 2: Feist – The Reminder

As I said yesterday, it was really hard to rank the number 2 and 3 spots, because both records are so wonderful, that I really love them both about the same; however, Feist’s The Reminderdoes have a sliver of an edge, which makes it number 2 on my list. Feist is one of those “obscure” artists that burst onto the scene this year, with a little (okay, a LOT) help from a small company called Apple, and one of their ads for the rarely sought after iPod. With Feist’s infectious pop hit 1234 blasting on every TV commercial for the mp3 player, and her music gaining more attention because of this exposure, it is no wonder that I took notice. Even after many people had suggested that I might like Feist, I’ll admit that it still took all of those ads for me to finally listen; and I am really glad that I finally did. What I got by paying attention was a brilliant album from a truly talented artist, and a record that I have listened to incessantly ever since I got it.

Melodic, peaceful, sad, romantic, profound; these are all words that come to mind when I listen to this record. The Reminder truly is a reminder; of what great music sounds like. I love the delicate nature of Feist’s voice, and how she elegantly takes you through emotion after emotion on this record. I also love how she throws you for a complete tailspin when she brings on Sea Lion right after tugging so hard at your heartstrings on the previous two tracks. She is truly full of wonderful surprises, and she shows us too.

Her voice may not be the most powerful, but what it lacks in technical power, it makes up for in spirit and the feelings that it can stir inside you. There aren’t many records that I can listen to over and over, and get tingles when I hear certain songs; but this is definitely one of those records. Specifically, the song, How My Heart Behaves, is one that I would easily consider to be among my favorites of all time; and each time I hear it, I get goosebumps all over.

Feist reminds me a bit of Karen Carpenter; not just because she looks a little like her or how they sound, but because both of these women conjure such emotion in me, and their music really tugs at my heart. When you listen to Feist, you FEEL; which is an amazing, but rare experience when listening to music. I am just glad that I was able to overcome my initial ignorant rejection of this magnificent album; because it solidly deserves to be on everyone’s top records of the year list.

If you are one that really values a softness, subtlety, and feeling, all wrapped up in a shining talent in your music, then you will embrace this record as a shining example of all of these things. When I listen to this record, I realize how you can love something instantly and wholly; and recognize that your love only manages to grow over time. Feist’s The Reminder is truly an exceptional album, and one that demands attention. I am glad that she is gaining exposure from the commercial use of 1234, but after listening to the entire record, I would definitely shout to anyone and everyone listening, that there is a whole lot more to her than just that song. The Reminderis fantastic.

Favorites from The Reminder:
How My Heart Behaves
The Park
I Feel It All
Past In Present, 1234, Intuition, and The Limit To Your Love. (again, difficult to pick only a few… and click for videos too!)


the 31 best of 2007 – 3: Kate Nash – Made Of Bricks

Wow. I can’t believe how hard it was to rank these next two CDs. Seriously, this may be the hardest one to do out of the top of this list, because both the number 3 and the number 2 CDs are so close for different reasons, that I really didn’t know which one to put below the other. However, I do love both of the CDs very much, and they did make the top of my list, so I guess it really isn’t that big of a deal, now is it? Right. Now, in at number three (practically number 2 if we did ties), is Kate Nash’s brilliant debut record, Made of Bricks.

I originally heard of Kate Nash through one of those random “Now!-type samplers”, where the song Foundations was included. After hearing it, I was hooked; and I knew I needed more. What I got, was an amazing CD, chock full of interestingly told stories about childhood rebellion, lovers professing, and missed love connections. Kate is one of those really rare singers that crafts these everyday stories into songs, and does so in a way that defies the conventional way of writing a chorus, refrain, and following a typical song pattern. What happens, is you get crafty songs like Birds; which is full of strangely chosen sentences and weird ways of describing love that come across as both sincere and heartwarming. While some may be off-put by this alternative method of “waxing poetic”, I think that it really shows depth and a level of interestingness that is definitely a welcome thing in today’s music scene.

There are a lot of comparisons between Kate Nash and Lily Allen; they are both Brits with an alterna-pop, single female fronted record, filled with stories about their trials and tribulations, and both exhibit a bad girl edge that is not afraid to stick it to the guy that fucked them over. I think, however, that they both have something, that sets them apart from one another; and serves to be something that prevents Kate from being a Lily “clone”. Where Lily Allen masterfully creates brilliant songs that do tend to stick to the aforementioned pattern of “song crafting”, Kate steps outside of the box, and on both accounts, I have found two female artists that I really completely enjoy. Is Kate Nash the Lily Allen of 2007? Perhaps, but she is different enough, that the comparison will only garner interest in her music; and not have people thinking that she is a carbon-copy (which she definitely is NOT).

The songs that fill Made of Brickswith such joy, pain, suffering, and happiness really take you on an emotional journey; that both make you feel great, and also leaving you feeling like “ugh, I have been there too, and yes, it does suck”. It is one of those records that allow you to have fun, and poke fun at those situations when you too found out that you weren’t going to get the guy, and as such, got drunk in a bathroom at a party to make yourself feel better. I personally love the way that Kate sings, and I think that the combination of her sweet and sincere British voice, mixed with her alternative story telling methods, you really feel like you are getting to know the woman behind the music when you listen to this record.

Made of Bricks is fun, and has so many catchy songs on it, that you will definitely have a difficult time getting several of them out of your head. The single Foundations is one that demands to be played on repeat; but is only the tip of the fantastic pop-iceberg that makes up the rest of this glorious CD. Like I said, it was really hard to rank this at number 3, because I do love it so very, very much, but it only slightly (seriously, like a sliver of glass less) falls below my number 2 choice, which will be up tomorrow. If you are in the market for one of those amazing talents that have created a record that everyone should be talking about, Made of Bricks is where it is at; it is purely brilliant, and amazingly crafted. I fully love everything about this record; and am so happy that I discovered the talented Kate Nash when I did. This record is one of those records that you listen to, instantly realize that you have found something brilliant, and then love time and time again each and every time you listen to it. This is one that demands a spot near the top of my collection; and not just for 2007. Finally, if you like this CD (and how can you not), make sure to pick up the EP she has on iTunes, which contains a few more equally brilliant songs.

Favorite tracks from Made of Bricks:
Nicest Thing
We Get On, Skeleton Song, Merry Happy, Pumpkin Soup, and Mariella. (all of them, really! Also, links for video; definitely check out the foundations video… so cute!)


the 31 best of 2007 – 4: The Pipettes – We Are The Pipettes!

Despite criticism for choosing some albums that were “officially” released in 2006, yet did not actually see official US releases until 2007, I am going to risk further criticism and bring you another amazing CD that was released recently (finally) here in the states; The Pipettes’ debut album, We Are the Pipettes.With the American release of their record back in October, they reworked several of the songs, making them even more crisp than they were previously (if that is really possible), updated the cover art, and even added a couple of extra tracks; one of which quickly became one of my favorite songs from the Pipettes. This album is definitely one of the best records released in either 2006 or 2007; and since it debuted stateside this year, here she is, near the top of my list.

There really aren’t any negative comments I have about this CD; it truly is a flawless pop record. When I listen to this album, I totally feel like I have been transported back in time, back to the 50s or 60s; to a basement all night sleep over/sock hop/party. The three ladies that make up the Pipettes have sweet harmonies, slick vocals, and self assurance to boot. Another thing that I completely LOVE about them, is that they don’t mask their British accents; this really brings a feeling of British “invasion” to this early throw-back pop-rock style that they so masterfully produce on this record.

While the songs may be simple, and sometimes silly, they are definitely catchy, and will have you bopping your head and tapping your toes. If I were going to have a themed party, one of polka dots, fancy cocktails, and retro glasses, and one where I wanted to get the party hopping with dances like the Chubby Checker and the Twist, I would pull out the Pipettes CD and start the fun. I seriously don’t think that there is much more fun you can have listening to a disc than this one; it is catchy, poppy, deliciously infectious, and will leave you wanting more. They are the Pipettes, and they are here to move you (as well as to get into your brain with their infectious pop numbers!)!

Well, I can tell you this; I have been moving for a while now to the Pipettes, and I have been loving them more and more with each listen. I saw them in concert not to long ago, and they completely delivered at the show. I left that concert as more of a fan, if that was even possible, because I truly love this group thoroughly. If you get the chance to see them in concert, I HIGHLY recommend you go; they have the total package (choreography, costumes, they have it all!). I think that they are fresh, exciting, and a welcome retro-pop reminder of how fun music can be. The Pipettes are amazing, and have made one of my favorite records of this year with We Are The Pipettes. If you don’t get this record now, you are REALLY missing out. Each and every song on this record is fantastic; trust me, the Pipettes are where it is at!

Favorite tracks from We Are the Pipettes:
Pull Shapes
Dance and Boogie
Your Kisses are Wasted on Me
Why Did You Stay, It Hurts to See You Dance So Well, and Dirty Mind.


the 31 best of 2007 – 5: Rilo Kiley – Under The Blacklight

It’s the final five, y’all!! Coming in at number 5, is the current album by Rilo Kiley, titled, Under the Blacklight.First, let me start by saying that I honestly didn’t care very much for this album the first time that I heard it. I ended up getting it, because of my deep love for the opening song, Silver Lining, but something made me give the album more than a few spins. After each spin, I found something more that I liked, and after a while, I really realized how great this record is. I love it when something comes across as odd or off putting in the beginning, only to grow on you, and become a favorite; those are sometimes the best albums in your collection.

Rilo Kiley are one of those bands that I have had recommended to me time and time again, and for whatever reason, I always ignored those suggestions. However, that’s the way I am sometimes; sometimes, I need to just discover something for myself, which is what happened with Rilo Kiley and this amazing album. I heard Silver Lining, and loved it so much, that I wanted to hear more. What I got, was a well crafted album, filled with great rock songs; all of which have their own feel and flavor.

I have to say, that one of my favorite things about this record, is the lead singer, Jenny Lewis’ vocal style. Her voice is sweet, but with an almost rough edge to it, which really goes nicely with the heartfelt songs she sings on the record. It also makes for the perfect companion on upbeat songs, that aren’t meant to be as serious. All in all, what you have is one of the best female vocals in my record collection, and a great pop-rock band backing her up. This record is raw, gritty, and well produced and polished at the same time; it’s just damn good!

If you have heard this album, and only liked it a little, I highly recommend you spend some time with it; you haven’t let it reach the true potential that it exhibits. Let it marinate; you will discover the intricacies that make it so fantastic. No one was more surprised than I was, when I realized how great this record was, and it solidified itself near the top of my list; seriously, my initial snap judgment couldn’t have been more wrong. This is definitely a great record, indeed; one that is filled with songs that really stay with you… in a good way.

Favorites from Under the Blacklight:
Silver Lining (one of my favorite songs this year)
Smoke Detector
Breakin’ Up
Under the Blacklight, Angels Hung Around, and 15.