Author Archive

January 6, 2014

25 good songs from 2013, by the guy who didn’t have a post in 2013

Hey, just because I don’t really write about music anymore doesn’t mean I don’t still have opinions on music. See, here’s, like, 25 whole opinions. Plus I put them all in a handy-dandy Spotify playlist that is in no particular order. Now, in actually somewhat of a particular order, here’s 25 really good songs I heard in 2013, which was a year, but is no longer this year.

Ha Ha Tonka – Lessons

Ha Ha Tonka is such a great and underrated band, and they played perhaps the best show I saw all year at Seattle’s Tractor Tavern in October. “Lessons” grooves a hell of a lot more than you would expect from an alt-country band, and it’s catchy as hell.

Queens of the Stone Age – If I Had a Tail

Oh yeah, my favorite band released an album this year and it was the best album of the year and “If I Had a Tail” is a fantastic idea for a song so there you go.

Neko Case – Night Still Comes

In my opinion this was Neko’s strongest album yet vocally, and the chorus (aided by a who’s who of harmony singers, most recognizably Jim James) of “You never held it at the right angle” just gets right into my feel places.

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December 27, 2012

ManSquatch’s Top 20 albums of 2012 (AND THEN SOME)

Tramp

1. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

That voice, those songs, the intensity — Sharon Van Etten, this isn’t a review so much as a marriage proposal. Where did you come from? Why are you so good at everything? Can I have your number?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBldhDijhfg

2. Deep Sea Diver – History Speaks

That voice, those songs, the intensity — Jessica Dobson, this isn’t a review so much as a marriage proposal. Where did you come from? Why are you so good at everything? Can I have your number?

Oh, I said that already about SVE? WHAT ARE YOU, THE INDIE ROCK CRUSH DREAM KILLER?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alsfAS4l1FY

3. Father John Misty – Fear Fun

J. Tillman writes like a honty-tonk Beatle, sings like a Fleet Fox (because he was a Fleet Fox), and has a sense of humor that is somewhere in the middle of Nilsson and Zappa. No way I’m not loving that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS84BMFszW0

4. The Orwells – Remember When

Listen to the album, and then realize that these lo-fi punk-rocking fuckers are all still in high school. Something’s in the water in Chicagoland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXrd6pnehpA

5. The Lumineers – S/T

Hey, Mumford & Sons — suck it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2yTiDlr8Mc

6. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyhKQKtPLl4

7. Grizzly Bear – Shields

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuG9i5cwGW0

8. Soundgarden – King Animal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iyv4le1ap8

9. Sera Cahoone – Deer Creek Canyon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YWR7ZM7xQE

10. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROla_B49KbQ

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May 23, 2012

Band I Dislike, Song I Do Not: Foreigner, ‘Long, Long Way From Home’

Reasons I dislike Foreigner

  • I’m pretty sure when the band started they were just looking to fill that “poor man’s Bad Company” void.
  • Somehow Ian McDonald went from being a member of King Crimson when they did this to playing guitar on this horseshit.
  • If you’re like me and grew up in a town where your radio choices were basically “the good classic rock station” and “the bad classic rock station,” you’ve heard enough fucking Foreigner in your life. See also: Boston, Journey, Boston, Styx, Boston.
  • “I Want To Know What Love Is.” Get away from me.

Reasons I like “Long, Long Way From Home” 

  • If the sound of a clavinet doesn’t immediately arouse you, you might be dead.
  • If there’s one thing Foreigner could do, it was write a seemingly epic but mostly pointless story song with badass power chords. (I also really like “Jukebox Hero,” too, but that’s mainly for ironic reasons.)
  • Mmmm. Sax-UH-ma-PHONE!
  • It’s not one of the five Foreigner songs played to Goddamn death by classic rock radio. And it’s really short.
May 18, 2012

Band I Dislike, Song I Do Not: The Eagles, ‘Those Shoes’

Reasons I like “Those Shoes”

  • Joe Walsh. Talk box. My ears.

Reasons I dislike The Eagles

  • C’mon. They’re The Eagles. They fucking suck.
May 11, 2012

Band I Dislike, Song I Do Not: U2, ‘Bullet the Blue Sky’

Reasons I dislike U2

  • Bono isn’t a good vocalist.
  • The Edge’s revolutionary guitar style usually involves playing through three separate delay pedals and going “Hey guys, doesn’t that sound WEIRD?”
  • They haven’t made a legitimately good record since the late ’80s yet the press keeps S-ing their D’s.
  • Did I mention their names are Bono and The Edge? You’re musicians, not damn comic book characters.
  • The sunglasses, the leather jackets, the beanies. Make up your minds — are you hot or cold? Guess what, it doesn’t matter, you’re probably indoors. Douchebags.

Reasons I like “Bullet the Blue Sky”

  • Driving bass line, which is basically what the whole song is built around. Lead bass FTW. ALWAYS.
  • Nice, somewhat understated slide guitar. Touché, Edge. (You’re still bald. Not fooling anybody with those hats.)
  • The “rattle and hum” lyric, which made for one of the best concert video titles of all-time.
  • That whole “arms of America” ending reminds me of the ending of this song (and that song just happens to be the song that made me pick up a guitar, so… there).
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May 4, 2012

Band I Dislike, Song I Do Not: Def Leppard – Rock of Ages

Reasons I dislike Def Leppard

  • “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” Everybody is dumber for having heard that song. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your souls.
  • I’d rather have to hear the sessions of that one-armed drummer relearning how to play than Joe Elliott yelp his way through “Photograph.”
  • Def Leppard was like the biggest thing in the world in the mid-’80s, so obviously they’re terrible.
  • The spelling. If it wasn’t for their dumb British asses we wouldn’t have had to endure through stupidly-spelled acts like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, or Jackyl with a Y.

Reasons I like “Rock of Ages”

  • “Unta gleeben glouten globen.” So stupid…LY AWESOME!
  • They stole the riff from Led Zeppelin’s atrocious “In the Evening” (0:57 mark), but they’re not the greatest rock band of all time so it isn’t a huge letdown.
  • That chorus? Pretty bitchin’.
  • Secretly I’m a big dumb dipshit who likes sports, a nice slab of steak, and shout-singing “I WANT ROCK-A-ROLL!” That’s right, I’m a man. Deal with it.