Top 10 Albums Of 2017

27 Dec

#10 – Daddy Issues – Deep Dream

The Good – Grunge is alive.

What I Think – This sounds like it’s from 1993, not 2017. Three nice girls from Nashville telling you how it is, but girl’s aren’t always nice. Nashville’s Daddy Issues is proof. In an awsome I want more kinda way. Plus there’s a kick ass cover of Boys Of Summer.

Best Tracks – In Your Head, Lemon, Boys Of Summer

#9 – The Lulls In Traffic – Rabbit In The Snare

The Good – Copeland frontman Aaron Marsh and rapper Ivan Ives collaborate on an album seven years in the making.

What I Think – At times, listening to this album gives you the feel that you are eavesdropping on someone’s personal conversation. At other times, you start to feel that maybe it’s a conversation you also had in the past. It’s deep and not all that happy. There are catchy choruses, haunting keyboards and enough beats to keep you interested. It’s a cold winter night and winter seems to last forever. Copeland and Ives knock it out the park with one of the best “indie rock/hip hop” albums to date.

Best Tracks – Coldest Night, Regret, I Can Hear Your Laughter In The Wind

#8 – Craig Finn – We All Want The Same Things

The Good – The Hold Steady Frontman is back with his third solo album.

What I think – FULL DISCLAIMER! I am a HUGE fan of The Hold Steady so basically this could be an album of just armpit farts and I would be like “amazing!” Lucky for us, it’s not. Finn has always been a great storyteller and We All Want The Same Things takes storytelling to new heights. The massive nights and celebrations are long gone. The struggle to survive is here. There are many great stories on this album but the spoken-word God In Chicago is like nothing you’ve heard before.

Best Tracks – God In Chicago, Ninety Bucks, Jester & June

#7 – Benjamin Booker – Witness

The Good – Benjamin Booker gives us a soulful and gospel influenced second.

What I ThinkWitness isn’t as guitar heavy as Booker’s first album but that doesn’t mean it’s not as awesome. The legendary Mavis Staples helps out in the choir and together, with all due respect to Prophets Of Rage and the great Unfuck the World, they give us the best protest song of the year in the title track. Booker didn’t forget how to rock, he just got a little more soulful doing it and for that I say thank you.

Best Tracks – Witness, Right On You , All Was Well

#6 – Strand Of Oaks – Hard Love

The Good – Timothy Showalter’s fifth album as Strand Of Oaks doesn’t disappoint.

What I Think – 2014’s Heal is one of my favorite albums of all-time. I didn’t do a list that year but it would probably be number one. Hard Love is almost as good. When Strand Of Oaks turns it up a notch, that’s when they’re at their best.

Best Tracks – Rest Of It, Hard Love, Cry

#5 – Ron Gallo – Heavy Meta

The Good – Rock and Roll!

What I Think – Punk, Glam, Garage, Psychedelic, you name the Rock and it’s here. The confidence of this album makes it a repeat listen.

Best Tracks – Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me, Put The Kids To Bed, Please Yourself

#4 – Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life

The Good – Never make the same album twice.

What I Think – A Lot of Japandroids fans thought this album was a bit too polished or not as raw sounding as previous ones. And they would be correct. But change is good and they really haven’t changed all that much. The title track will get you fired up. You will keep listening. Over and over. The standout track is an ode to their homeland. We can all start to forgive Canada for Nickelback now.

Best Tracks – North East South West, Near To The Wild Heart Of Life, No Known Drink Or Drug

#3 – Goodbye June – Magic Valley

The Good – Goodbye June gives us the album Kings Of Leon wish they made.

What I Think – Throughout the album you can hear influences from the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin to early Kings Of Leon. Lead Singer Landon Milbourn’s vocals throughout Magic Valley are increible and fierce. Truely a band to keep on eye on going forward.

Best Tracks – Daisy, Oh No, Bamboozler

#2 – Curtis Harding – Face Your Fear

The Good – Curtis Harding avoids the sophomore slump and gives us the best Soul album in years.

What I Think – This is Soul music with a bit of an edge. Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke and plenty of others set the standard. Harding is here to make sure it stays. This is baby making stuff.

Best Tracks – Need Your Love, On And On, Wednesday Morning Atonement

#1 – White Reaper – The World’s Best American Band

The Good – The Louisville rockers return with their second full length.

What I Think – It takes balls to name your album The World’s Best American Band but they did name their first album White Reaper Does It Again so who knows what they are trying to say. This was my pick for album of the year so they are onto something and the rest of us should start paying attention.

Best Tracks – The World’s Best American Band, Party Next Door, Judy French

Advertisements

10 Alternative Rock Songs From the 90’s You May Have Forgotten About

13 Dec

The 90’s gave us some great alternative rock songs. They also gave us some songs you probably forgot about. Here is a list of 10 alternative rock songs from the 1990’s that deserve to be heard again.

1. Green Apple Quick Step – Dirty Water Ocean

Man, I loved GAQS. I even own their album New Disaster, even though it was never released. This is off their debut Wonderful Virus that you can probably pick up somewhere for a dollar. It will be the best dollar you ever spent.

2. Eve’s Plum – I Want It All

They only had two albums and this is from their first one, Envy. The band was fronted by Colleen Fitzpatrick, who you might remember more as the fifth Spice Girl or some shit. How do you go from a kick ass rocker chick to some pop crap and call yourself Vitamin C? The 90’s were weird.

3. Might Joe Plum – Live Through This (Fifteen Stories)

Sticking with plums, Mighty Joe Plum had a minor hit with this song. I know I remember a video for this but it’s not on the internet anywhere. They only had one album, The Happiest Dogs in 1997.

4. Sugar – A Good Idea

Ok, so nobody forgot about Sugar but you never hear this song. Copper Blue is a great album. In fact, one of the best of the 90’s.

5. Super 8 – King Of The World

A rapper named Bronx Style Bob gets a rock band together. They only had one album, in 1996. King Of The World is a great tune.

6. Baby Chaos – Buzz

I forgot about these guys until recently when I was putting my CD’s in alphabetical order. I think they are still making music. This is from 1994’s Safe Sex, Designer Drugs & The Death Of Rock´N´Roll.

7. Stir – One Angel

It’s hard to believe that Stir only had two major label albums, their self-tilted one from 1996 that this is from, and the equally as good New Beginning. I love the words to this song.

8. Mike Watt – Against The 70’s

Former Minutemen and Firehose bassist, songwriter and singer Mike Watt made a solo album called Ball-Hog Or Tugboat in 1995. He didn’t have a backing band so he got some of his friends together. Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Flea, Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, Frank Black, the list goes on and on. The album is fantastic and you should get reacquainted with it. Big Train is another great track but Against The 70’s was my favorite.

9. Our Lady Peace – 4AM

Everyone remembers the album Clumsy but for some reason this is a song from it you never hear anymore.

10. 8stops7 – Question Everything

Another song about real life. This song always makes me sad. From the 1999 album In Moderation, which still holds up as a great rock record today.

My New Favorite Song This Week

7 Aug

This week’s favorite song comes from New England’s tUnE-yArDs. So bizarre and cool, it’s like my brain on a daily basis. This is Water Fountain.

My New Favorite Song This Week

8 Jul

It’s been awhile since I did this and I’m bringing it back.

My new favorite song this week comes from the phenomenal Nikki Lane. I wasn’t familiar with Lane before I went to see her open for The Whigs in Jim Thorpe, Pa. Man, did she put on a show. I ended up not only buying her new album, All Or Nothin’ but also her first album Walk Of Shame. Here’s a few pics from that show.

TA_IMG_20140502_094223_large[1]

nikki lane

This is the first single off the excellent All Or Nothin’ album. It’s called Right Time.

Midnight Madness – Where Are They Now

13 May

midnightmadness

Midnight Madness is a cult favorite. Anyone who grew up in the 1980’s should remember this movie. HBO played it constantly. For many years the movie was out of print but has been widely available on DVD for years now.

From Wikipedia:

Midnight Madness is a 1980 comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and starring David Naughton, Stephen Furst and Maggie Roswell. The film is about a group of college students who participate in an all night puzzle solving race. It is Michael J. Fox’s film debut.

Leon (Alan Solomon), a genius, summons five college students to his apartment and challenges them to participate in his latest game creation: The Great All-Nighter. He tells them about his game and instructs them to form teams. At first, the leaders refuse to play. However, rivalries between them lead all five to change their minds by the game’s start time.

The game works like this:

Teams are given an initial clue to solve.
When the clue is solved, it will lead to a location.
At that location they must find and solve another clue leading to another location and eventually the end.
Leon, as “game master,” keeps track of the teams locations with a giant map, and various radio equipment. The teams are supposed to call and check in at each clue (though many of the teams end up skipping at least one location).

Starting at sundown, the five teams meet and are given envelopes with the first clue. They travel around Los Angeles, deciphering new clues in various locations, including the Griffith Observatory, a piano museum, the Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery, a restaurant, a mini golf course, the Los Angeles International Airport, and a video arcade. The first team to reach the final destination, a room in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, wins the game.

The movie focuses mainly on the struggle between the yellow and blue teams. The adventures of the other three teams are subplots, as well as the situation at Leon’s apartment (“Game Control”). Here, along with his female assistants (Candy and Sunshine), Leon monitors the progress of the game. Already unpopular with his landlady, Mrs. Grimhaus, for the amount of noise he makes, Leon faces eviction if any of the other tenants complain. Several of them do show up to complain, but as Leon explains the mechanics of the game to them, they become fascinated with it and help run it, much to the annoyance of Grimhaus.

The game culminates in a race-to-the-finish at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, followed by a huge party

Now we all know what happened with Michael J. Fox and Paul Reubens. Let’s see what we can find out about the remaining cast members.

David Naughton – Adam Larson, Yellow Team Leader
dnmm

Naughton is very much still acting. He can currently be seen on Granite Flats as Dr. Millard Whittison. The show airs on byutv, whatever that is. Other than that he has appeared in many TV shows and voice work.

This is him today.

David+Naughton+Academy+Motion+Picture+Arts+7oqsIuvtwSel

Debra Clinger – Laura, Yellow Team
dcmm

Clinger was best known a Superchick from the 1976 TV series The Krofft Supershow. She was also a very talented singer. Here’s a clip from 1969 with her band The Clinger Sisters.

She was also in a band called Rock Flowers. The album was recently added to iTunes.

According to her IMDB page, Midnight Madness was the last thing she acted in. Too bad, the woman was talented (and hot). A documentary, The Clinger Sisters: The First Girls of Rock & Roll, came out in 2013 that you can buy on Amazon. She has been happily married since 1980, the same year Midnight Madness was released.

This is her today.

dclinger

David Damas – Marvin, Yellow Team

ddmm

Damas is another actor who hasn’t done much since Midnight Madness. In 2005 he appeared in the Christian movie Don’t Touch If You Ain’t Prayed. The movie has horrible reviews. I think I’ll pass. Today, Damas works as a basketball coach for high schools and youth groups. In 2011 the LA Times did a story about the apartment building he lives in.

This is him today.

damas

Joel Kenney – Flynch, Yellow Team

joelk

Flynch was the least likable member of the Yellow Team. He is also the least likable in real life. We will get to that in a moment. Midnight Madness was his acting debut. He was also had a small part in the 1986 teen movie The Malibu Bikini Shop. Today, Kenney is known as inmate number 112664 and is incarcerated for life in Arizona for sex crimes against children.

This is him today.

jk

Stephen Furst – Harold, Blue Team Leader

sfmm

Furst is best known as Dorfman from Animal House. He hasn’t acted since 2006 but is busy directing and producing movies like My Sister’s Keeper and The Tenth Circle. Since June 2006, Furst has co-hosted the Renal Support Network’s webcast KidneyTalk with Lori Hartwell.

This is him today.

sf

Patricia Alice Albrecht – Lucille, Blue Team

paamm

Albrecht’s character stole the show in Midnight Madness as Harold’s girlfriend Lucille, but she is probably best-known as the voice of the green-haired Pizzazz on the 1980s animated television program Jem & The Holograms. Other than that, she hasn’t done much.

This is her today.

Patricia_Alice_Albrecht

Andy Tennant – Melio, Blue Team

atmm

Tennant only acted in one movie after Midnight Madness, the horrible Grease 2 in 1982. Today he is one of the top Directors in Hollywood. His directing credits include Fools Rush In, Anna and the King, Sweet Home Alabama, Hitch, Fool’s Gold and The Bounty Hunter.

This is him today.

aten

Brian Frishman – Barf, Blue Team

barf

Who can forget Barf? Fagabeefe!

Fishman’s last movie was Starforce in 2000. He still appears as a guest star at comic book events. Today, Frishman is the Theater Director at the Sacramento Country Day School. Here is a preview of the latest high school play he is directing, Almost, Maine.

This is him today. He hasn’t changed!

barf1

Sal Lopez – Blade, Blue Team

blade

Did Blade even speak in Midnight Madness? I think all we got from him was a quick smirk. Lopez has appeared in many movies including Full Metal Jacket, The Onion Movie and Beverly Hill Chihuahua as well as many popular TV shows like ER, Entourage and The Shield.

This is him today.

blade1

Maggie Roswell – Donna, Red Team Leader

mgmm

I hated the red team but I liked Donna. Roswell is best known for her voice work with The Simpsons. Her characters include Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Elizabeth Hoover, Luann Van Houten and others. Check out her website.

This is her today.

Maggie_Roswell

Robyn Petty – Berle, Red Team

bmm

I hated Petty’s character. I didn’t even know her name until I started doing this post. Petty didn’t do much in her acting career. A few shows I never heard of and an episode of CHiPs. Midnight Madness was her last acting role. And I have hit my first bump in the road. I can’t find anything on what Robyn Petty is doing today.

Betsy Lynn Thompson and Carol Gwynn Thompson – Peggy and Lulu, Red Team

peglulu

Who could forget Peggy and Lulu? Also the sisters appeared in my second favorite movie, Hamburger: The Motion Picture. Today, Betsy Lynn lives in Atlanta and Carol Gwynn is a Chiropractor in California.

This is them today.

betsy

Eddie Deezen – Wesley, White Team Leader

deez

Deezen still acts and does a lot of voice over work. There’s also this… something called I Love You, Eddie Deezen. Great, now I have something else I must hunt down to see. Here’s the trailer.

Check out his website where he’s asking you to send him money. No go ahead. I’m serious.

This is him today.

deezen1

whiteteam

Marvin Katzoff – Debater #1, White Team
Christopher Sands – Debater #2, White Team
Michael Gitomer – Debater #3, White Team

Besides Midnight Madness, Katzoff was in a few other 80’s movies including Hardbodies. His last acting credit was in 1995.

Sands last credit was as a production coordinator for the movie Hollywood Kills in 2006.

Gitomer was in two movies, the last being Midnight Madness.

As for the picture of who is who, you figure it out.

greenteam

Brad Wilkin – Lavitas, Green Team Leader
Curt Ayers – Armpit, Green team
Trevor Henley – Cudzo, Green Team
Keny Long – Gerber, Green Team

I can’t find anything on Wilkin. Ayers currently lives in Glendale, California. I got nothing on Henley. Long lives in LA.

Dirk Blocker – Blaylak, Green Team

blay

Blocker has been in a ton of movies and TV shows. He is currently playing Hitchcock in the show Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

This is him today.

dirk

Alan Solomon – Leon

leon

Solomon quit acting in 1988 and produced and developed game shows until he retired. He’s 63 years old now. Time flies.

Here’s a video from 2008 with Solomon and Deezen talking about Midnight Madness.

Here he is today.

leon2

Debi Richter – Candy

cansun

Richter appeared in a ton of movies in the 80’s and recently released a short film called Foraging With Fennel in 2013.

This is her today.

candymm

Kirsten Baker – Sunshine

cansun1

Baker is best known for Friday the 13th Part 2. In 2002 and 2003 she was arrested multiple times for driving under the influence. Here is one of her many mugshots.

Kirsten-A-Baker_mugshot.400x800

Baker is no longer in the business. She is employed at an art gallery on Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles.

This is her today. Still gorgeous.

kb1

Top 5 Songs Of 2012

19 Dec

Here is my list of the top five songs of 2012.

#5 Foxy Shazam – I Like It

Honestly, this whole album is great. If I decide to do a top album list, it will certainly be on it.

#4 Craig Finn – Honolulu Blues

I love The Hold Steady. America’s best bar band. This was off Finn’s first solo album. Nothing that Finn does will get a bad grade in my book.

#3 Gotye (feat. Kimbra) – Somebody That I Used to Know

Everyone is the world is sick of this song. A few months ago you couldn’t go an hour without hearing it. There’s a reason for that. Somebody remained No. 1 for eight weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Because it’s fucking brilliant.

#2 Alabama Shakes – Hold On

Front woman Brittney Howard is the voice that will save southern rock ‘n roll. If we hold on long enough, Alabama Shakes will take over the world.

#1 Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built

You just can’t help but sing along to the chorus, and if you don’t think this is the best song of the year, I tell you all to go to Hell.

Merry Motherfuckin’ Christmas

16 Dec