Week In Review (12/19/14)

So Some Guy Named D’Angelo Released An Album?

DAngelo-And-The-Vanguard-Black-Messiah-608x6081

And apparently it’s a big deal.

And The Award For The Most Hyped Producer For 2015 Goes To ZHU

And for good reason.

James Murphy Is Making An Album Made Out Of Tennis Sounds.

No, seriously.

Max Frost – “Let Me Down Easy”

So good.

 Will Nothing But Thieves Be The Next Big London Band That’ll Be Featured On Some NBC Drama Commercial?

https://soundcloud.com/nothingbutthieves/graveyard-whistling-2

It sure sounds like it, and in the best way possible.

This Group Of Recent High School Graduates Makes Me Feel Real Old

https://soundcloud.com/thehalocline/04-suicide-saturday

Expect great things from Minneapolis-bred Hippo Campus.

 And Your Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Class Of 2015 Is…

Lou-Reed

Lou Reed, Green Day, Joan Jett, Bill Withers, and some other famous people. But the real story is who didn’t get inducted.

Is This The Sexist Christmas Song You’ll Hear In 2014?

Or at least the one that sounds the most like the Human League?

Watch Bob Long III Play Inside An Indianapolis Brewery

Thank you Sun King, and thank you My Old Kentucky Blog.

Can’t It Just Be Summer Already?

https://soundcloud.com/forgenevieve/genevieve-colors

I guess I’ll stay in and listen to Genevieve to feel like there’s some sun left.

Anytime An Artist Calls Themselves ‘Indiana’ I Have To Talk About Them

It’s a bonus that this artist actually sounds great.

Male Bonding – “Falling”

Be on the lookout for a new album from these guys in 2015.

Kathleen Hanna aka The Punk Singer Is Back!

This is also the same girl who introduced Kurt Cobain to Teen Spirit.

This Will Be The Last ‘Week In Review’ For The Year!

I’ll be on vacation with the family from Christmas till New Years and I will not be near any sort of Internet. See you in 2015!

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In Case You Missed It: Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones Rerecorded An Everly Brothers Album

billiejoeandnorah

I always have been, and always will be, bias to support Green Day, but I’m the first to admit that the band’s recent run of more-miss-than-hit trio albums showed signs that Green Day might have hit a wall. But that’s not the first time that’s every happened to a 20+ year career (ex. Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam), and, through the concept albums and the broadway musicals, Green Day has continued through love, hate, and indifference to treck forward doing whatever works for them.

And this week we got something completely unexpected from lead man Billie Joe Armstrong, but this is more of a pleasant surprise.

Armstrong and Norah Jones (!) met up in NYC and rerecorded the Everly Brothers album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. The album will be called Foreverly and will be released November 25th.

This is a very random album to come along, but listen to their rerecording of “Long Time Gone” below and there’s a sign that this album might be great. I guess Armstrong still has some tricks up his sleeve. If anything, it might just spark some creativity back into his main project.

For a full interview with Armstrong and Jones detailing how this album was born, check out Stereogum.

“Long Time Gone”

And click here to hear the original Everly Brother’s album.

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Extra! Extra!: The Most Epic Monday In A Long Time

Today I woke up to a handful of great music news, all of which I’m gonna share with y’all. So let’s get right to it!

Here’s the new video for Jack White’s “Freedom at 21”, one of the better tracks off of Blunderbuss.

 

Here’s “Oh Love”, the first single off the first album in the upcoming Green Day album trilogy.

 

Here’s No Doubt’s first single “Settle Down” from Push and Shove, their first album in over a decade.

 

And finally, Mumford & Son’s new album has a release date, a track list, and an album cover! Click here to see them all.

 

Oh, and Ben Folds Five announce their reunion album The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind. To see more info, including the track list and tour dates, click here.

 

Happy Monday people, and as always thank you to Consequence of Sound for the music news.

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Green Day The (Mini) Movie!

In honor of the recent announcement that two documentaries of one of my favorite bands will be released in addition to their upcoming album trilogy, I have a movie for y’all!

Ok, technically it’s a music video for the 11-minute “Jesus Of Suburbia” off of 2004’s American Idiot, but it’s pretty much a mini movie. The story follows the Jesus of Suburbia (hence the title) as he goes through his life disillusioned by everything and everyone he sees.

It’s a great video to a great song – what more do you want??

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Eight Music Acts I Would Rather See At The Super Bowl Other Than Madonna

So Madonna is performing at the Super Bowl….and I’m not really excited.  Sure I’m glad the big game is coming to my former hometown, but Madonna isn’t my first choice.  She’ll be better than the Black Eyed Peas, but she won’t come anywhere near Prince (click here to see why).  Here’s my list of acts I would rather see perform in Indy for the big game in February.

Kings of Leon

The band is big enough now with plenty of great hits that they would be appealing for most people.  I just hope they don’t sound like this…

 

Green Day

I realize not everyone loves my favorite band, but they have enough hits to play a Super Bowl set, plus they would do well in a big stadium setting.

 

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire fans make up about 12% of Super Bowl watchers, but man that 12% would go crazy.  They do kill it live though.

 

Coldplay

Everyone would love to sing along with their arsenal of big hits such as “The Scientist”

 

Dave Matthews Band

Why these guys? BECAUSE IT’S DAVE!

 

Pearl Jam

These rock vetrans still kill it live, and it would be hard for anyone not to sing along with “Even Flow” and “Alive”, even if nobody understands what Eddie Vedder is singing about.

 

Eric Clapton

A guitar God performing songs everyone knows?  Sounds good enough for me.

 

Jay Z

Songs like “99 Problems” would be perfect for a Super Bowl halftime show.  He could even bring Kanye with him for a couple of songs.

 

So if the commissioner for next year’s Super Bowl is reading this, here are your options.

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Music Journal: A Few Words In Defense Of Green Day

When people ask me what my favorite band is, I’m always a little hesitant.  Do I tell them what would seem like a reasonable answer for the kind of music I listen to, like Ryan Adams or Wilco?  Or do I tell them the band that is truly my favorite, the one that I have grown up with and went through many ups and downs of my life with their music as a source of guidance and power?  Do I really tell them that my favorite band is Green Day?

Yes, Green Day is my favorite band.

Now I’m guessing that after reading the above sentence you either smiled or cringed.  When I tell people Green Day is my favorite band I get more of the latter, followed by many statements attacking the band’s legitimacy as a “punk-rock band”.  When I try to express my love for this band I am usually shut down rather quickly, and my credentials for having good music taste are written off.

All this hate really makes me wonder: Why do so many people hate Green Day so much?

I think it’s simple: they’re extremely popular.

Green Day’s third album Dookie became one of the biggest albums of 1994, and they became one of America’s biggest bands in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. 2004’s American Idiot only made them bigger, and many people discovered, and rediscovered, the band.  They have fans all over the world and have won many music awards.  But with success comes a price.  Many fans were turned off by the band’s huge popularity, and music snobs all over the world raised their noises at the band for “selling out”.  I reject this notion that Green Day ever sold out, and the bickering of the band’s pop-disguised-as-punk sound is unnecessary.

So why should you give Green Day a chance?  I’ll tell you, but first a little back story.

When I was eleven my sister gave me her copy of Dookie and I really liked it.  I listened to that CD nonstop in my portable CD player (man weren’t those the days?) and I had found my first favorite band.  Everything about the band I loved – The attitude, the sound, and their look.  For the eleven-year-old me, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool were the coolest guys alive.

Then on my twelfth birthday – as if it were destiny – American Idiot was released, and my life was never the same.  I will always remember the first time I saw the music video for “American Idiot”, and I will always remember the first time hearing the word fuck on MTV.

I knew then that this wasn’t just another album – this was special.  The album spoke of chaos and fear on a national political scale, but I related it to the chaos and fear of a shy twelve-year-old kid growing into adolescence and trying to find his place in the world.  The album was a source of comfort for me, and I owe a lot to this band for creating something that I care about so much.

So obviously I’m biased towards this band.  I love all of their albums – shout out to Nimrod especially – and I will always support whatever the band is doing (though I hope their next album isn’t another concept album).  You may not have the kind of history with the band as I do, but I guarantee you have some opinion on the band.

So here are some key points we should keep in mind when it comes to Green Day.

1. You probably grew up with Dookie.

And you loved it!  For a lot of us, Dookie was the first album we bought or listened to.  It’s fast, furious, and sometimes really funny (wait till the final hidden track and you’ll see).  The band may have never sounded like The Sex Pistols, but they sure talked like them.  With songs full of getting high, masturbation, and achieving as a underachiever, this is as punk as it can get without its political side – The Clash these guys are not.  After seventeen years this album still kicks ass.

2. American Idiot is better than most of you will ever admit.

This album got huge MTV air time and was very popular, and just because of that many fans were turned off.  For me this album perfectly summed up what it was like living in the hectic early years of the 21st century, and can anyone disagree?  Yes it’s very likely your mom knows some of the words to “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, but the album has incredible depth.  Two nine minute songs that don’t suck, no weak tracks, and “Letterbomb”, arguably the album’s best song that stacks up with the band’s best songs.  If you can get over yourself, you’ll find this to be a strong album.

3. Green Day is one of the last big rock bands, and Billie Joe Armstrong could very well be one of the last rock stars.

This is a pretty bold statement I know, but I’m going with it anyways.  Why are there no more Pete Townsends in popular music?  Why is it that Rolling Stone magazine only have Bruce Springsteen, Bono, and Mick Jagger on its covers and no one born after 1970?  Probably because rock bands, and rock stars, are a dying breed.  Indie rock has done many things to music, but mainly it has challenged them to be underachievers and to dismiss any popular music as crap.  There are a few bands remaining that are as universally popular as Green Day, and Billie is the closest thing to my generation’s Pete Townsend (I’m talking about American Idiot era, not Dookie era).  He’s outspoken, a great live performer, and a talented songwriter that actually cares about the music.

4. Green Day are a POP-punk band – they have never claimed to be anything else.

If you listen to the band’s first album and compare it to their newer stuff – ok maybe not including 21st Century Breakdown – you’ll find that the music is still similar.  1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hour and Kerplunk! might be rougher, but the music is still poppy.  They have never said they were at any time better than The Clash, The Sex Pistols, or The Ramones.  To call these guys sellouts is redundant, is any band guilty of selling out if they write great music and gather new fans because of it?

5. The band has six other awesome albums.

Dookie and American Idiot are their most successful albums, but the band has a great track record with all their albums.  American Idiot is more meaningful to me, but I probably listened to Nimrod more, and Warning is a unique album for this band to make (a mexican shuffle in a song about getting high?).  I’m not even including two great live albums, a fantastic greatest hits complication, and an album full of B-sides that don’t suck.

No matter what is said about the band I will still love them.  American Idiot will always be my favorite album, and I owe a lot to this band for my passion of music.  I’m not telling you that you should love this band, but I am saying that you shouldn’t be surprised when ten or twenty years from now we’ll be putting up American Idiot as one of the best albums of the noughties.  Give me a call when these guys are inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame – it should be coming up soon.

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Playlist: Great Songs Over Seven Minutes

As technology advances at the rapid rate that it does, It seems that our attention spans are getting severely short.  The invention and popularity of the iPod was truly revolutionary, but music took a huge hit.  Listening to albums used to be an event, you would devote time to listen to a whole album in one setting.  Now we have trouble just listening to one song without skipping forward to the next song, and when was the last time you listed to an album from start to finish without stopping?  This is tragic – artist do not create music so that their work can be skipped after the first five seconds if the music does not entice you fast enough.  The following songs make you wait – the best part isn’t in the first ten seconds, twenty seconds, or even the first minute.  They are song that challenge you but soon reward you.

I hope you have some time on your hands, because all these songs are over seven minutes long!  It should be pointed out that I’m not including live tracks.

LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”

 

Bob Dylan – “Hurricane”

 

Led Zeppelin – “Stairway To Heaven”

 

Ryan Adams – “Nobody Girl”

 

Neil Young – “Down By The River”

 

Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Free Bird”

 

Green Day – “Jesus Of Suburbia” (Sorry but you’ll have to follow the link.)

 

Kanye West – “Runaway”

 

Eric Clapton – “The Core”

 

Prince – “Purple Rain”

 

The Who – “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

 

Don McLean – “American Pie”

 

Dave Matthews Band – “Crush”

 

The Beatles – “Hey Jude”

 

The Rolling Stones – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

 

Oasis – “Champagne Supernova” (Sorry but you’ll have to follow the link.)

 

Derek and the Dominos – “Layla”

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Top Lists: The Greatest 3rd Albums

Third time’s the charm, especially in music.  If your band’s first album is successful there will be a lot of buzz about you – and a lot of pressure to make a followup album that’s just as good, if not better, than your debut.  If your second album is a success then your career looks long and promising.  Now you’ve made two solid albums and now you have the creative freedom to make the album you want to make.  Some of the best albums of rock n roll are third albums, and many artist became household names because of their third album.  Here are the list of the best of the third albums.

The Clash – London Calling

Radiohead – OK Computer

The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead

Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run

Green Day – Dookie

The Replacements – Let It Be

The White Stripes – White Blood Cells

Pearl Jam – Vitalogy

My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade

Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland

Neil Young – After The Gold Rush

Were there any that I missed?  Let me know via Twitter @BradyWGerber on your favorite 3rd albums!

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Playlist: (Good) Songs about America

4th of July weekend is upon us!  This is a glorious time of cookouts, fireworks, and great tunes, and I can provide at least one of these. Here are some songs to celebrate (for the most part) our glorious nation that is America.

“American Saturday Night” – Brad Paisley

“American Girl” – Tom Petty

“American Baby” – Dave Matthews Band

“American Pie” – Don McLean

“American Idiot” – Green Day

“North American Scum” – LCD Soundsystem

“Little America” – R.E.M.

“Do Miss America” – Ryan Adams

“America” – Simon & Garfunkel

“Ashes Of American Flags” – Wilco

“Born In The U.S.A.” – Bruce Springsteen

“I’m So Bored With The U.S.A.” – The Clash

“R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.” – John Mellencamp

“Geek U.S.A.” – Smashing Pumpkins

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Playlist: Songs To Celebrate Graduation

Well today I have graduated from high school.  This is such an eventful time and I always try to find the perfect songs to fit the mood.  Here are some of my favorite songs to celebrate the end, and the beginning, of one of the many stages of life.  I tried to find songs that leaned more towards graduation and moving on, but all these songs on this list are about big changes in life and reflecting on it.

Head Automatica – “Graduation Day”

Green Day – “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”

Alice Cooper – “School’s Out”

Smashing Pumpkins – “Today”

The Beatles – “In My Life”

John Mayer – “No Such Thing”

Eagle Eye Cherry – “Save Tonight”

Eve 6 – “Here’s To The Night”

Foo Fighters – “Times Like These”

Semisonic – “Closing Time”

Steely Dan – “Reelin In The Years”

Fleetwood Mac – “Landslide”

Wilco – “What’s The World Got In Store”

LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”

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