Bands and Songs

5 Wildly Overrated Bands

These are all Sam’s favorite bands so take what you want out of that. I’m not saying that I haven’t liked these band or songs at times, they only fell out of favor for me and seem to rest on their past more so then their present. A better way to put it is like this, when artists I like release an album, I listen to it at least once the entire way through. If these guys did, I’d wait to hear their overplayed song on the radio until I’d never want to hear it again.

Cold War Kids – Starting in 2008, the Cold War Kids have released 6 albums with 60 songs you’ve never, ever heard. They put their number 1 hit as the first track of an album and the next 10+ songs are easy to forget. I liked Hang Me Up To Dry (2007). Louder Than Ever (2011) was good. What happened next though is all of their songs sound exactly the same. Miracle Mile (2013) is forgettable.  All This Could Be Yours (2014) is tiring. First (2014) is a fine song but completely overplayed (77 million listens). Then Love Is Mystical (2017) sounds exactly the same as So Tied Up. It’s formula music and I don’t like it.

Cage The Elephant – I loved the song Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked. The sound was new and the lyrics were story telling. Next came Shake Me Down which I also liked. Then Come a Little Closer was the next hit and I wasn’t as in love with it. Next Mess Around and Cold Cold Cold which I’m not going to lie, I hardly listened to. Now Whole Wide World is playing and it’s not for me. Most of their songs have millions of listens on Spotify so they have obviously gotten major exposure, I just don’t know if they are as good as they once were.

The Lumineers – Their self titled album “The Lumineers” had absolute jams. Submarines, Ho Hey, and Stubborn Love are all worth listening to over and over. There cover of the Talking Head This Must Be The Place was great. Unfortunately they fell into a category of “too big too fail” and I don’t know how well deserved it is. I cannot listen to the song Ophelia ever again. Cleopatra’s only good line is “when I die alone”.  Angela stinks. No other song on the album have I listened to. It’s not that I think they are bad, I just don’t love them because I’m supposed to love them.

Alt-J – Robot music. “Are you afraid of it?” I don’t get this band. I can’t understand the lyrics because the lead singer sings them with a Bane mask on. Breezeblocks has 202 million listens and I can’t understand one word. I can’t see myself ever actively saying, “I want to listen to Alt-J”.

Kings Of Leon
Sex on Fire (267 million) and Use Somebody (193 million) are some of the best songs that cover bands play. Everyone knows the words, they are upbeat, and they are all around quality songs. All of their newer songs, I don’t care for. This isn’t surprising considering the band started in 2003 and didn’t produce a hit until 2008 when people started to take notice. Their 2010 album produced Pyro and Radioactive which weren’t bad. There latest album has Waste a Moment and Reverend are a step down. Plus this (not real but worth watching):

Bands I Like

It’s not fair to blast bands without writing bands that I enjoy. So in no real order:

Judah and the Lion
Young the Giant
Neon Trees
Fitz and the Tantrums
Electric Guest
JR JR
Bastille
888
Smallpools
Wild Cub
X Ambassadors
J. Roddy Walston & The Business
Capital Cities
Night Riots
Joywave
MuteMath
Barns Courtney
The Shins

By | 2017-09-01T13:51:26+00:00 September 1st, 2017|Music|1 Comment

I Like Country Music?!?!

Hafer will love this post. It’s a shame he doesn’t read anymore.

On our trip to Nashville we were at Honky Tonk and the band played this song:
Kenny Chesney – American Kids

The entire audience was going ham singing along and having a grand all time while I was standing around like a stickman. I pretty much stand around like a stickman anyway but especially to country music I’ve never heard before. While the song was playing I thought it sounded fine so I decided to start expanding into country music using Spotify. After going through Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, FGL, and Eric Church, I came to the conclusion that I still don’t like country. Sure I can listen to the favorites like The Dance, Cruise, Toes, and Springsteen but most of it isn’t for me. That being said I added these two songs to my playlist just for the heck of it and think they are pretty damn good.

Thomas Rhett – Unforgettable

Luke Bryan – Light It Up

Country songs all have the same simple themes to them which is alright. Getting drunk. Breaking up. Banging. Repeat. It’s relatable to the large majority of the population so I understand the appeal. The music seems to be secondary to the story. Just wanted to write this post to show my ever expanding music tastes. Any songs I should check out?

By | 2017-08-25T16:11:21+00:00 August 25th, 2017|Music|1 Comment

In A Land Of Confusion

JKash texted me yesterday asking, “what % of people our age would you expect to know the name of Phil Collins’ band before he was a solo artist?

“10%. 15 tops.”

So before I go on to give my thoughts on this topic, let’s take a poll (be honest):

Do You Know the Name of Phil Collins' Band Before His Solo Career?

View Results

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Should You Know This Band?

They dressed like this for concerts?!?

People in their 30’s were born in the early 80’s if you don’t know how old I am. Genesis, the band in question, first released an album in 1969. Believe it or not, I watched some documentary on Genesis and their early music was, for lack of a better word, weird. The band didn’t take shape until Phil Collins, the drummer, started taking a bigger role with the release of Duke in 1980. If this sounds oddly familiar, Patrick Bateman in American Psycho did a great synopsis of Genesis/ Phil Collins career arc which you can watch below. Around this time, Collins went solo and produced monster hits like In The Air Tonight, You Can’t Hurry Love, Easy Lover, and Sussudio over the coming years. This is why most likely every time you hear the slamming drum solo of In The Air Tonight at a sporting event, you know of Phil Collins but have probably never heard of Genesis.

Did you know that Peter Gabriel is in Genesis? Once again in solo fashion, you’ve probably heard of In Your Eyes and Solsbury Hill and have heard the name Peter Gabriel. So how come more people don’t know Genesis? I could be way off on my prediction (and I’m writing this before the poll ((which will have such a small sample size that it won’t matter anyway)), but I don’t think their hits are worth playing which is why no one has heard of them. Let’s break it down.

Invisible Touch –  The top song on Spotify and I would classify it as nice, but not a song I’m looking to jazz up a party with. I should add though that I’ve probably played the song a hundred  times when I first heard it because I enjoyed it so much.

I Can’t Dance – I like this song and can relate to not being able to dance. It’s not a song though that I’m ever playing with a group of people and I’m not sure when I would want to listen to it myself.

Land of Confusion – Odd music video for a song in between Classic Rock and 80’s synth. Fine song.

Jesus He Know Me – Never heard it.

That’s All – The best song by Genesis.

In Too Deep –  Not a bad song if I want to cry myself to sleep.

These songs have been listened to between 5 and 25 million times on Spotify. Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight has 110 million listens. Even You’ll Be in My Heart, the cheesy Tarzan song that I like, has 62 million. As such, you probably have heard of Phil Collins, but never of Genesis. I was surprised I knew as many songs by Genesis as I did but I never find myself actively seeking music from Genesis. Was I wrong with my 10-15% guess?

By | 2017-07-25T11:52:29+00:00 July 25th, 2017|Music|5 Comments

Why You Should Listen to Capital Cities

Capital Cities released Swimming Pool Summer EP on July 7th, 2017. As an EP, there are only 4 songs, but I’m urging you to listen to all of them found below, and then add them to your playlist. What I like most about these songs is that I don’t feel like I’m listening to them. I know that’s an odd description, but the beats are flowing and the lyrics meld in. It’s great party music because it’s upbeat and has a modern sound. Make sure you listen to Girl Friday as I believe this will be the biggest hit of the group.

Swimming Pool Summer

Drop Everything

Girl Friday

Drifting

By | 2017-07-18T20:36:54+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Music|0 Comments

Imagine Dragons – Evolve

The 2012 album Night Visions by Imagine Dragons is a top 25 “of all time” album for me. The deluxe version has 16 songs and it’s safe to say that every single one is worth listening to. The hits were Radioactive, It’s Time, Demons, and On Top of the World. The lesser known tracks of Tiptoe, Hear Me, Every Night, and America are dynamite as well. Monster introductory album.

The 2014 Album Smoke and Mirrors was an expected let down. How can you top 16 stellar tracks? I Bet My Life, Gold, and Shots were hits off of it but the secondary tracks weren’t worth listening to. For most bands, 3 hits would be considered a smashing success but for Imagine Dragons the band needed to go back to the drawing board.

Evolve

This brings us to 2017 and the album Evolve was released last week. Evolve is a dumb name for an album because it’s like the band is making the point that they are evolving, which if you have to make the point, I think it’s missing the point. Nevertheless, tracks have been slowly released for a few weeks now so there were 7 or 8 that were fresh on the market. Pre-released tracks were Whatever it Takes, Believer, and Walking the Wire. Believer made it big and the other two were so-so. The best songs on the current album are I Don’t Know Why and I’ll Make It Up To You. I’ve listened to the rest of the album a few times and it doesn’t blow me away. It’s not bad, but it’s not Night Visions. I can’t quite explain why. It’s just not music that I’m going to actively select on my playlist. Take the song Fool by Fitz and Tantrums and I think they have a better feel for the 2017 music game. Give it a listen and see what you think.

Lesser known Imagine Dragons Song

By | 2017-06-26T10:12:50+00:00 June 26th, 2017|Music|0 Comments

Here, There And Everywhere

James Mercer of the Shins

While driving in the car yesterday I heard a song on the Sirius Station XMU covered by the Shins. I started listening to XMU because my main stations, AltNation and the Spectrum, have grown tired to me. Aside from Advanced Placement on AltNation, I’m 3-4 weeks ahead of all the music they routinely rotate. Spectrum has a wider range but it’s rare that I hear songs I don’t recognize. XMU is a more indie station and even though I don’t like all the music, at least it’s new. Anyway, I heard Here, There And Everywhere which is a Beatles song covered by James Mercer of the Shins and thought it was awesome. I tried to find this song on Youtube but it was performed in the Sirius radio studios and only they have access to it.  Give it a listen as a lesser known Beatles track off of Revolver.

I probably wouldn’t be making this post if I didn’t already hear the Shins cover Panic by The Smiths. You can find it on Spotify but it’s not on YouTube so your going to have to do some active searching on your part if you want to hear it. Here’s the original song which I’m sure you’ve never heard.

In terms of music, I know I don’t listen to the same music most people do. This post though outlines 3 of my favorite bands to listen to. The Shins, The Smiths, and The Beatles. Apparently to be liked by me you have to be The “…”. The Beatles and Smiths are no longer producing music so it’s cool to me to have another band I like covering their music. James Mercer and the Shins deserve a lot of credit for the release of Heartworms which was released this year. After 5 years of taking time off, The Shins started where they left off. Give the 11 tracks a listen and I believe you’ll agree.

By | 2017-05-29T09:13:19+00:00 May 29th, 2017|Music|0 Comments

New Music 5/13/17

Since 2 people said they read my post about what’s hot as new music, and actually liked it, I’ll continue because I stay up to date on new music. I follow the new songs every Friday, I listen to Advanced Placement on AltNation, and I check AlternativeAddiction for the latest tracks. No I don’t know the pop world that well. On to the music.

Paramore – Rose Colored Boy & Forgiveness
The new Paramore album was released and I haven’t had a chance to go through the all the tracks. I have listened to a few though and I like what I hear. I like the lyrics of “let me cry a little bit longer, I ain’t gonna smile if I don’t want to…” in Rose Colored Boy. Hayley Williams has a good voice and I like the beat. I’ll probably write about a few more as I get a chance to listen to more. I’ll add Forgiveness as a slower track that sounds nice.

Dispatch – Begin Again
4k views! Talk about an older type artist that is doing a great job distributing their music. This is the formula! Release a new track every week to give people a taste and then drop the album. This is the 3rd great track from Dispatch and I would 100% give the album a listen. Do you realize how hard it is for an artist to get people to listen to the entire album? Same type of slow build up to a flowing song which is well sung. 2 thumbs up.

Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes
On the opposite side of listens with 5 million in 4 days is the becoming over-hyped Imagine Dragons. The good news is that this song has a little more excitement to it. It sounds like Dan is caring a bit more than just churning out the songs. The sound is similar and different at the same time. Still not as original as they were when NightVisions came out but that’s just what happens when you create a popular song.

Magic Giant – Jade
For a band I’ve never heard of, this song delivers. If this group blows up, you saw it here first with 197 views on YouTube. The 2nd verse where it starts picking up with, “Hey Jade, go save the day…” is well done.

It’s not out yet but the Miley Cyrus song Malibu is not bad. The Katy Perry song Bon Appetit is fucking horrible. Good god, if she didn’t have that rack, she should be buried to stop these songs. 91k downvotes!

By | 2017-05-13T10:35:46+00:00 May 13th, 2017|Music|0 Comments

New Music – 5/1/17

I look forward to New Music Friday’s. Artists have adapted to releasing a single on a weekly basis and you develop a connection to the artist’s newest work. That being said, this past week was a load of fire flames jams. You can stay up to date with these if you follow my Spotify playlist but I know you won’t.

One Republic – No Vacancy
No Vay-Can-Cee. I’m not sure if it’s the way Ryan Tedder says vacancy but this song delivers hard. The beat is sick and the lyrics accompany it excellently.


Imagine Dragons – Thunder

If we are being honest, all of Imagine Dragons songs are starting to run together. Big drum in the background. Nice choruses. Words that mean virtually nothing. I’m including this not as my favorite, but because it was released.

Dispatch – Curse & Crush
I was floored by the past Dispatch song Only the Wild Ones which is getting no play time anywhere. This song has the Dispatch feel and the build is great to the chorus. A fun song to listen to.

Foster the People – Doing It for the Money
Foster released 3 new songs and I found this one to be the easiest to listen to. Same sound as before and the chorus is catchy.

Sylvan Esso – The Glow
I actually listened to the entire Sylvan Esso album after hearing this sound and was underwhelmed. Die Young and Radio have been played on the Radio and they are OK, but this song was my favorite.

Lady Gaga – The Cure
Everyone knows about Lady Gaga at this point. Her huge range from pop, to whatever she does with Tony Bennett, to successful song after successful song isn’t going anywhere. She will forever be in the limelight whereas you see Katy Perry flopping with her mediocre skills.

Prides – What’s Love Got To Do With It
Not on YouTube so you can hear it on Spotify. Listen to this cover of Tina Turner’s song. It’s an absolute banger of a cover.

Also MisterWives Drummer Boy and Paramore’s Hard Times are worth listening to, but they were out last week.

By | 2017-05-01T10:44:54+00:00 May 1st, 2017|Music|0 Comments

David Bowie – Hunky Dory

David Bowie released Hunky Dory in 1971. I’m not a massive David Bowie fan and frankly think a large majority of his songs are overrated. Rebel Rebel, Modern Love, Let’s Dance, and Heroes to name a few that don’t thrill me. When I move past those overplayed songs, I run into Hunky Dory which has taken over my listening time.

  1. Changes – The movie the Breakfast Club opens up with this quote, These children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations, they’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”  For a movie as iconic as the Breakfast Club, it should stand as a testament to the power of this song and Bowie. It’s a nice song that deals with one of the most common themes that everyone goes through, change. The chorus is also catchy. CH-CH-CH-CH-Changes!
  2. Oh! You Pretty Things – Let me thank South Bowl for introducing me to this song. The opening to this song is fantastic piano playing, lyric accompanying,  that builds into a crescendo of “Oh! You Pretty Things!” It’s not a great party song and has to do with aliens taking over. You gotta make way for the Homo Superior.
  3. Eight Line Poem – Oh! You Pretty Things leads right into this 2:55 snooze fest that leads right into the best song on the album.
  4. Life on Mars? – If you asked me what my favorite Bowie song was, I’d tend to answer with Life on Mars? I heard Chris Martin cover it and was blown away. I’m not comparing the two versions but the song is absolutely a top 100 of all time in my book. After some research, Bowie quotes about the girl in the first verse, “I think she finds herself disappointed with reality… that although she’s living in the doldrums of reality, she’s being told that there’s a far greater life somewhere, and she’s bitterly disappointed that she doesn’t have access to it.” This goes along with her watching TV and how it’s not what she expects. He may also be asking the question, is there Life on Mars? because he wants to leave Earth.
  5. Kooks – What has oddly become my favorite song to listen to on the album because I never listened to it before. I can’t find much info on it but it has this fun melody to it and being described as “a couple of kooks, hung up on romancing.”

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I would do the whole album but those 5 songs are the best and I don’t think too many people care much further. Give the album a listen to on Spotify and see if you agree with my sentiment that these songs rock. I’d also like to know if you enjoyed reading this post because I honestly enjoy listening to albums that are off the radar and hopefully bringing some new songs to people’s attention.

By | 2017-03-28T21:00:31+00:00 March 28th, 2017|Music|1 Comment

Have You Heard of the Smiths?

If You Were Here by the Thompson Twins was playing on 1st Wave and I said to my mom, “I wish I was born years earlier so I could have grown up with this type of music.” If You Were Here was the song playing in 16 Candles when Jake Ryan and Sam finally kiss if you were wondering. Pretty iconic. Anyway, I started naming other artists I liked such as The Cure, Tears for Fears, and The Smiths. My mom asked me, “who are the Smiths?”

 

UHHHH, Morrissey, ever heard of him? The most popular song on Spotify, There is a Light That Never Goes Out, has 66 million listens. I understand not liking the Smiths or not hearing their music, but never even heard of there existence?!?!

Now I’m hoping my audience is truthful and wants to participate in a poll. Please let me know below if you’ve ever heard of the rock band, The Smiths?

Have You heard of the Smiths?

View Results

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My favorite songs below.

Technically not the Smiths, but Morrissey is the Smiths

By | 2017-03-10T15:01:07+00:00 March 10th, 2017|Music|3 Comments

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