Playlist: 20 Songs For February 2015

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February in the Midwest is always a great time to listen to lots of music, since it’s too cold to leave the house. This month’s playlist includes many new songs and some deep tracks from Joe Cocker and Oasis.

Here are my 20 songs for February 2015:

1. Pink Gloves – “80’s Girls”

2. Girlpool – “Chinatown”

3. Taylor Locke – “Running Away From Love”

4. Joe Cocker – “Space Captain”

5. Title Fight – “Your Pain Is Mine Now”

6. Father John Misty – “Holy Shit”

7. Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – “No Action”

8. Quarterbacks – “Not In Luv”

9. Kendrick Lamar – “The Blacker The Berry”

10. Kevin Garrett – “Control”

11. Drake – “Energy”

12. Blur – “Go Out”

13. Oasis – “Songbird”

14. Passion Pit – “Where the Sky Hangs”

15. Stonefox – “This City”

16. Beach Slang – “Too Late to Die Young”

17. Open Mike Eagle – “Split Pants in Detroit (Or Hyrule)

18. Calexico – “Cumbia de Donde”

19. James Davis – “Better Than You Are”

20. Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers – “Captain America”

 

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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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My Top 10 Favorite Cover Songs

Recently Rolling Stone posted a reader’s poll of the top 1o cover songs – you can view that list here.

The list was pretty decent, covering most of the stable cover songs – i.e. Hendrix’s take on “All Along The Watchtower,”
Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” and Johnny Cash’s haunting “Hurt.”  However, there are plenty of other great covers that aren’t as popular but are just as good, if not better, than the original.  So here’s my personal list, not in any particular order, and a video of each cover.

Heartbeats – Jose Gonzalez (The Knives)

 

Dancing In The Dark – Pete Yorn (Bruce Springsteen)

 

Wonderwall – Ryan Adams (Oasis)

 

River – Herbie Hancock (Joni Mitchell)

 

Such Great Heights – Iron & Wine (The Postal Service)

 

Romeo and Juliet – Matt Nathanson (Dire Straits)

 

Love Me Tender – Norah Jones (Elvis Presley)

 

Hey Ya – Obadiah Parker (Outkast)

 

I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You – Hootie & The Blowfish (Tom Waits)

 

Imagine – Jack Johnson (John Lennon)

 

Any songs I left out?  Comment and let me know what your favorite cover songs are.

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Double Feature: Oasis – Definitely Maybe, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?

The fun Saturday night and the bitter Sunday morning.

You would think with The Beatles being the most popular band in history that more bands would try to sound like them.  There are plenty of Rolling Stone rip offs – I’m looking at you Aerosmith – and there are more than enough folkies trying to be weird like Bob Dylan including Conor Oberst and Josh Ritter.  With the exception of Panic! at the Disco’s latest album, There have not been many bands that have tried to sound like the fab four.  But then 1994 came and a little British band named Oasis became the biggest band in the world.

Oh wait, you’ve never heard of Oasis?  Well if you’re American that’s understandable.  The band’s debut Definitely Maybe went number one in Britain (until 2006 it was the UK’s fastest selling debut album), but the band made little impression over here in the states.  Then their followup, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory, did very well in America, especially with their mega hit “Wonderwall”, and in England it is the third biggest selling album of all time behind The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Queen’s Greatest Hits.  With these two albums, Oasis became international stars and it seemed like the second coming of The Beatles – too bad they never made a good album after 1995.

So what was their secret to success? Simple, copy The Beatles.  The number of artist influenced by The Beatles is ridiculous, but Oasis is a rare band that can musically share with their music heroes.  Brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher wrote songs and sung – or at least tried to – like John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Liam sounding nasally and strong like Lennon and Noel more melodic like McCartney, and it shows in both albums.

Defiantly Maybe is considered one of the most important British albums of all time, but listening to it now the album…isn’t that amazing.  Most of the songs sound too much the same and drag on, making the album seem longer than it actually is.  To make up for that, the guitars are loud and the songs are fast, making this a more explosive and fun album.  “Live Forever”, Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”, and “Supersonic” all went on to become huge hits and are the best tracks on the album and are some of the best songs of the Britpop era.

Of the two albums, (What’s The Story) Morning Glory is the better one, or at least more appealing, for various reasons.  It has a better flow and each song sounds different and unique.  The melodies are strong, the singing is top-notch, and of course there is “Wonderwall”, one of the biggest hits of the 90s.  The album is more introspective than Defiantly Maybe, which was all about fast guitars and having a good time while this is all about lovers at crossroads and the confusion of life.  If Defiantly Maybe is the fun drunken night, Morning Glory is the ugly hangover and reflection on what went wrong.

It is hard looking back to imagine how this band became so big with a so-so debut and a great, but maybe not excellent, followup.  But back in 1994 these guys really seemed to be the next Beatles, hell they even looked like them, and these two album will forever be in high remarks in music history.

Here’s a rare acoustic version of “Morning Glory”, sung by Noel.

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