Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Puddle Of Mudd - Come Clean

I'm not sure if anyone even noticed, but I'm always late on my posts on Wednesdays. Some of you that did notice, may ask why. "Why B Side? Why when I get to work and need a nice music idea, on Wednesday you never come through for me?" To answer your harsh question, I work from home on Wednesday. I like to sleep in an extra hour or two to catch up on sleep. So I try to post by 9am on Wednesday, but today, it's nearly 11. Maybe someday this will be my full time job, and it can be my only worry. That's the hope B Siders! It does make me kind of curious at what point of the day most of my hits come. Is it really early? If so, I can make more of an effort. ANYWAY! Puddle of Mudd. This Kansas City post grunge band was another one to have made it big via Fred Durst. This was their studio debut back in 2001. They've since released 3 more records, of which I've heard zero. I need to get on that. I enjoy this record. I think for back in '01 - their sound wasn't super unique. You had other new bands coming onto the scene that sounded almost identical. But right now, I feel like listening to them is a blast from the past. I'd welcome this album as my 'pop' review of 2010. This is 3x platinum and if I had to guess, their best work. It's received really harsh reviews from other sites, and I don't really get it. It's no 5 star record for certain, but it's got good qualities to it. I'm going to tell you to check it out. You might be surprised. And if nothing else, it's a nice nostalgic trip back to a simpler time, the early aughts. Happy Hump Day B Side!!

1. Control
2. Drift & Die
3. Out of My Head
4. Nobody Told Me
5. Blurry
6. She Hates Me
7. Bring Me Down
8. Never Change
9. Basement
10. Said
11. P*** It All Away
12. Abrasive

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Drift And Die
2. Blurry
3. Bring Me Down

3 out of 5 stars

Colbie Calliat - Coco

It's a mood review day on the B Side. Now, I'm not certain - but I thought someone directed me to review Colbie, but I might be making that up. I can't find it in the Suggestion Box and short of plowing through every comment ever made on the B Side, I'll just trust my gut on it. Regardless of the potential suggestion, I heard of Colbie a really long time ago. In addition to being the Single Of The Week on iTunes in 2007, she also has a cool story about her MySpace page. Her page was so popular that she was the biggest unsigned artist for four months. I'm not exactly sure how they calculate that, but there must be some kind of metric. I think her music is good - not outstanding. I'm still really looking for that female Jack Johnson, a really laid back acoustic hammering lady. I had hopes for that with Bubbly, but the rest of the record doesn't match that sound. I have this, but don't listen to it very often. I'd much rather put on other records in my Mood catalog. The positive about her, is that she's pretty attractive - looks a bit like Jen Aniston to me. That's neither here nor there. I'd say check it out - there are a couple really good tracks on here. Just remember, that the album Coco has nothing to do with Conan O'Brien unfortunately. I'm with COCO!

1. Oxygen
2. Little Things, The
3. One Fine Wine
4. Bubbly
5. Feelings Show
6. Midnight Bottle
7. Realize
8. Battle
9. Tailor Made
10. Magic
11. Tied Down
12. Capri

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Realize
2. Battle
3. Capri

3.5 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ozzy Osbourne - Scream

So New Music Tuesday. I just got done talking about how it was my favorite day of the week, but man - what a chore this week. First off, there is NOTHING new coming out this week. There was a Papa Roach greatest hits album out today, which by the way - who do they think they are? What did they have, like 4 good songs, and they have the gumption to put out a greatest hits record? Lame. So then came the Indigo Girls with a new one, well that was odd. So they put out a new record today, but according to Wikipedia the album doesn't exist. And it was to be a double album that had some snags per multiple web sites but was out per others. AHH! I am going nuts. So finally I said forget it, and I'll post new music that was truly new on 6/22. I would have gotten to it back then, but the samples were not posted. ANYWAY, Ozzy. I don't think I need to yield too much background with him. If you don't know Sabbath or his solo stuff, you probably know his reality show - or other media he's done in the past decade. He truly is the definition of artist. He writes, performs and acts on a high level. He captured this 'Prince of Darkness' persona and always carries it through. That's kind of why the reality show was such a disappointment, but oh well. This is a very typical metal album from Ozzy. I don't think it's amazing, but it certainly isn't bad. It's just all too familiar for me. Plus, I'm in a bad mood from the whole fiasco. But even staying objective, this is simply average. I'd say if you're a big Ozzy fan, give it a go - otherwise, sit it out.

1. Let It Die
2. Let Me Hear You Scream
3. Soul Sucker
4. Life Won't Wait
5. Diggin' Me Down
6. Crucify
7. Fearless
8. Time
9. I Want It More
10. Latimer's Mercy
11. I Love You All

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Diggin' Me Down
2. Time
3. Fearless

2.5 out of 5 stars

Nikka Costa - Everybody Got Their Something

B Side!! I'm back! Sorry for my temporary absence, I was doing some music research out in the Colorado area for the last week. I scoured the Red Rocks Theater near Denver and will be doing a write up on that quite soon. Big thanks to Heidi for filling in and doing some writing, she did a great job. Coming back on a Tuesday was fairly fitting for me, since that seems to always be the review day I look forward to most. New music and a fresh dance album. I'll start today with Techno Tuesday and Nikka Costa. 'Techno' is semi-misleading for her - as she's more of a pure vocalist, but many of the tracks here are electronic. So all in all, the title fits. If you do listen to this, it's kind of odd that it'll go from super quick dance track to slow ballad. But's kind of a neat concept record if nothing else. Nikka grew up in Japan and was born onto a father that was a music producer. That meant she got her start very early in the biz, doing a callbo with Don Ho at an early age. She's been writing and singing her whole life, but this was her first real studio release in the year 2001. I will tell you that you more than likely should check it out. If you enjoy dance, there are a few tracks you'll like. If you like folk rock, there are a few tracks you'll like. If you like pop, there are...well, you get it. Really is a little something for everyone here, as the title may lead you to believe. Not a 5 star album by any stretch, but totally worth looking into. Happy to be back and Happy Tuesday B Siders!

1. Like a Feather
2. So Have I For You
3. Tug of War
4. Everybody Got Their Something
5. Nothing
6. Nikka What
7. Hope It Felt Good
8. Some Kind of Beautiful
9. Nikka Who?
10. Just Because
11. Push & Pull
12. Corners of My Mind (Hidden Track)
13. I Don't Want to Be the Rain (Bonus Track)

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Like A Feather
2. Nothing
3. Everybody Got Their Something

3.75 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 25, 2010

Heidi Presents, "Friday Gut Check - The Beatles."

Thank you John Cusack. Thank you for One Crazy Summer. Thank you for Lloyd Dobler. Heck, I'll even thank you for Must Love Dogs, which was obviously made to be played on cable for audiences who are too bored or too hung over to change the channel on Saturday mornings. (Seriously, NOTHING in the history of film angers me quite as much as the grand finale make out scene in the grocery store at the end of that movie, but I have seen that movie more times that I think is okay to admit. Must love Christopher Plummer.)

But, most importantly, thank you for bringing High Fidelity to the big screen and for introducing to the masses the Top Five List. I'm fairly certain the B Side and I have wasted too many hours of our lives playing this silly game - top five Zeppelin songs, top five movies from the 90s, top five songs that are named after a person - the possibilities are endless.

So readers, let's play. It's not even close to an original blog idea, but it's always enjoyable, particularly on a Friday. Let's play Top Five Beatles songs. Please note that the first top five you list are it, no takebacks. No overthinking. Make your list and do it!

Here's my list, in no particular order.

Something - My God, this song is sexy. The opening guitar riff that's used throughout the song is pure rock and roll sex. It's hot, and I love it.

A Hard Day's Night - I love early Beatles, and the iconic opening chord of A Hard Day's Night helps this song to just barely edge out I Wanna Hold Your Hand's place on my list. Try listening to this without swaying your shoulders - it's impossible!

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - Nothing gets me into more pop culture arguments than my irrational and obsessive love of this song. I don't know if it's the honky tonk piano or the raucous feel of the band not taking the song seriously, but this song makes me dance like a crazy person. It's a fun song that I associate with good times. It's a winner.

Eleanor Rigby - The dark and gothic opening of Eleanor Rigby announces that this song is going to be epic. And the rest of the track delivers, with the strings in the driver's seat of creepy melancholy.

Let It Be - I can't overanalyze this one - I'm just going to let it be.

Okay, let's hear it. Tear me to shreds, and share you ideas. Not a Beatles person? Not a problem. Share any top five list.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heeeeeeeerrrreeee's Heidi!!!

I'm really more of a movie person than a music person, so when the B Side asked me to contribute, there was only one thing I could write about - the Soundtrack.

But, I'm not going to write about that now. Instead, I want to introduce myself. Hi . . . awkward pause . . . I'm Heidi, and I will be popping in on the B Side from time to time with comments on movie soundtracks and to sub in when the blog is left unattended. I just wanted to take this first post to describe my own personal pop culture philosophy. I think the easiest way to do that is to bear my soul, and tell you that my favorite movie is the Karate Kid and that my absolute all time favorite music group is Simon and Garfunkel (who, incidentally are no strangers to the movie soundtrack. I wonder what my first soundtrack post will be about. . . ?) Reactions?

Wow. Your judgment is palpable.

Let me explain, by no means do I think that the Karate Kid is the best movie ever made. But damnit, that endearing and sometimes unintentionally hilarious coming of age tale about mentorship and the triumph of the human spirit - that is entertainment! They don't make movies like that anymore, except for you know, the remake. And, right now, with all that our country has been through lately, that's all I want. I want to be entertained. I want joy. I want to watch Glee, and listen to the classic rock songs that I loved in middle school. I want to geek out with my friends and gush over how amazed I was by Paula Abdul at age six. Because, honestly, that's why I love pop culture, it's the random connections that our shared experiences create among us. That's why we read and write entertainment blogs. And, that's why I'm here.

So kids, why are you here? What do you love about music? What made you the type of person who reads a music blog? Please share.

Fresh Views, Wide Open Spaces

As some of you may already know, I've been tinkering with the idea of adding writers to the B Side. Well, I finally found a more than capable body to fill my fun idea.

I want to take the time to introduce Heidi, the newest contributor to the B Side!!

Heidi and I go way back about a decade. We've always enjoyed talking about current music, movies and television, and are both super nuts about trivia. Her insights and views about pop culture will be a welcome addition to the B Side family. Please give Heidi a nice warm welcome and comment on her first post!

And as a side note, I'm always looking for people to post their opinions and views. If you have the urge to write for the B Side, just let me know. We can always work a new perspective in!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eminem - Recovery


Finally one of the most highly anticipated records of 2010 is out. Finally one of the best hip hop artists of all time released an entire record that even he takes seriously. Finally we have a BIG rap artist putting out music on a regular basis. Finally I can stop using the word finally. I'm a realist, and I know that even though you shouldn't, most of you listen to the radio on a daily basis. Most of you have probably heard a couple tracks already released as singles. Those are both excellent tracks. This album was leaked all across the internet about a month ago, but I refused to listen. I wanted to wait. Really build that anticipation in my head. That could be dangerous as I might be expecting too much - but I really love Em. And even as mediocre as Relapse/Refill was, I still enjoyed it. Based on his own accord, this should be miles ahead of that in terms of quality - so yeah, I am expecting big things. Twice through now, it certainly has a different feel to it. Em isn't going back to shock value lyrics. He isn't going back to silly reggae beats with a dumb voice. He isn't even going back to silly 'my bum is on your lips' lyrics. Em is telling a story again. The same story that makes him one of the realest emcee's out there today. I want to listen to this another 10 or 15 times before I make my real judgment - but that doesn't work in blogging land. My opinion might change over the next couple weeks, but for right now, I think this is really good. It's not the most amazing record ever, but it's very good. The biggest thing I need to focus on is the actual words. That's what always made Eminem better for me than other artists. My first impression is that about half the album is flat out phenomenal, and the other half is decent. Above average, but not the same level as the other half. I'll still be happy if that's how I round out my opinion a month from now, but it's not going to be that infamous 5+ star record I think deep down I was hoping for. Give this a chance though. I really thing rap fans will enjoy it. Even the casual pop fan will probably dig it too. Happy Tuesday!

1. Cold Wind Blows
2. Talkin' to Myself
3. On Fire
4. Won't Back Down
5. W.T.P.
6. Going Through Changes
7. Not Afraid
8. Seduction
9. No Love
10. Space Bound
11. Cinderella Man
12. 25 to Life
13. So Bad
14. Almost Famous
15. Love the Way You Lie
16. You're Never Over
17. Untitled

Listen To Samples

~ On Fire
~ Not Afraid
~ No Love
~ Space Bound
~ Love The Way You Lie
~ You're Never Over

4.25 out of 5 stars (so far, subject to change)

Miley Cirus - Can't Be Tamed

Sarcastic hooray for New Music Tuesday today. Well, 50% sarcasm anyway. The first of two new music reviews is Miley Cirus. Can I operate under the assumption that everyone knows who she is? Maybe I can't. Here is a quick background check. Miley was born in 1992 as the daughter to one Billy Ray Cyrus - the guy that filled our airwaves with 'Achy Breaky Heart'. She gained fame by playing a character for Disney named Hannah Montana. I almost feel sorry for this girl, just because she got caught in the same trap all child stars get caught in. She was this innocent little Disney singer and then at some point around 16ish years old, she wanted to break away from that character and become you know, herself. Well, we all know that once you work for Disney - they own the rights to your soul, so she had issues with getting out. There were all sorts of controversies like her in a photo in just a bikini, or her underwear - you know, all things that a regular 16 year old girl would NEVER do. Stupid. I'm not sure how successful her solo career will be as Miley, just due to most fans seeing Hannah Montana and maybe not wanting to hear more provocative lyrics or even any subject other than homework and candy. This album isn't anything you haven't heard in a previous pop record. You can tell she influenced heavily by Gaga and she tried to add a lot of dance beats behind pop lyrics. It sounds like she wants this to be her last pop album ever, and she wants to lean more toward music that "inspires" her. We'll see if she ends up down a Britney type road. TBD.

1. Liberty Walk
2. Who Owns My Heart
3. Can't Be Tamed
4. Every Rose Has It's Thorn
5. Two More Lonely People
6. Forgiveness and Love
7. Permanent December
8. Stay
9. Scars
10. Take Me Along
11. Robot
12. My Heart Beats For Love

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Forgiveness And Love
2. Two More Lonely People
3. Stay

2.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, June 21, 2010

Boston - Self Titled

Classic rock. Music that I love, but apparently don't listen to as often as I think based on my Top 25. Boston is a band that has always intrigued me. I've always been a fan of combining the fast paced guitar with the electronics and calling it great music. Bands like Boston, Styx and Supertramp have such a different sound that is tough to master. There are a million great guitar players out there, and sometimes that heavy sound can start to all sound the same. Add in some synth and some great vocals and you've got the magic that is Boston. If you don't believe me on how good this record is, take a guess as to how many albums it's sold? Go ahead guess. I'll wait. Got a number in mind? And you're thinking...hmm, Platinum. Maybe 3x platinum. Close. 17 TIMES PLATINUM! Absolutely amazing. And it is indeed that good! Only 8 tracks which was about the max you could get on old LP's. But that's what makes these records so good. You'd get 8 tracks, and about the same time as a cd today, but they were solid start to finish. You didn't have fluff tracks like you do today just to fill space and make it 14-18 tracks. As you could guess the band is from Boston. The lead singer went to MIT and started writing there, and that's how the band got started. I promise you you'll enjoy this record. Please check it out!

1. More Than a Feeling
2. Peace of Mind
3. Foreplay/Long Time
4. Rock and Roll Band
5. Smokin'
6. Hitch a Ride
7. Something About You
8. Let Me Take You Home Tonight

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Foreplay/Long Time
2. More Than A Feeling
3. Peace Of Mind

4.75 out of 5 stars

Dierks Bentley - Up On The Ridge

Welcome back Monday. It's a bittersweet day for me, as I love coming back and writing on the blog - but who enjoys Monday? Ugh, coming back to work - longest possible time for the weekend to come back. It can be brutal. The music can be the only thing that keeps me going, so let's get to it! It's country day again at the B Side, and I decided to hit Dierks Bentley. I wanted to get to this review on June 8th, since it could have been part of New Music Tuesday. Problem was, the samples weren't available for you guys to pick up on. They are now, so here we go. Normally for an artist I don't know much about, I try to post a little background or odd things that have happened to the group. Well, for Dierks, nothing is really interesting. He's from Phoenix, moved to Nashville where he was discovered. He's married, has dogs that have been seen in his music videos. Yeah, that's about it. His sales to date are pretty meager. Two platinum records and one gold. This album is his fifth studio release, and I'm assuming will do fairly well. This album is very bluegrass type country, which as I read is very different than his other records. A change for the better per most critics, as it's fairly unanimous that this is a near 5 star record. I don't totally disagree with that remark, as it actually is pretty good. There is a Bob Dylan cover here and a U2 cover here that are both surprisingly good. I love Dylan and dislike U2, but both are tracks I'd actually actively listen to. Worth checking out B Siders, even if you're not a country fan. I think it's got a little something for everyone.

1. Up on the Ridge
2. Fallin' for You
3. Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)
4. Rovin' Gambler
5. Draw Me a Map
6. Bad Angel
7. Fiddlin' Around
8. You're Dead to Me
9. Pride (In the Name of Love)
10. Love Grows Wild
11. Bottle to the Bottom
12. Down in the Mine

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
2. Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
3. Down In The Mine

3.75 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cake - Fashion Nugget

Man do I love cake. And I'm not just talking about red velvet, carrot and banana, I'm talking about a little slice of musical heaven. I find this record to be VERY overlooked in terms of great albums that came out in 1996. I have these guys down as a solid alt rock band, but they do splash in a lot of other elements. You can hear a jazz, rockabilly and jamband type style in some of their songs. Really a diverse listen. You couldn't tune a station on the radio back in fall '96 without hearing 'The Distance' and that's probably because it's one of the greatest songs ever made. If you recall, it was reasonably high on my Top 100 of the 90's list. Great stuff. While this album is pretty tame, they drop the F bomb in two songs (I Will Survive and Nugget) giving this a PA sticker on the cover. I'm semi surprised there was more backlash for cursing in Gloria Gaynor's track, just because you're rewriting a couple lyrics in a historic song. I think it's great personally, as it gives a great song an identity for Cake. This album has gone meagerly platinum, and should have reached more households than that. It's too good not to be heard. By no means is this music history, but it's neat and fun to listen to. I can't listen to the whole thing over and over, but the few tracks I really love - I really love. Totally worth a listen if you've never played it through before. At the very least, check out my Top 3. You'll certainly enjoy those. Happy Friday!

1. Frank Sinatra
2. Distance, The
3. Friend Is a Four Letter Word
4. Open Book
5. Daria
6. Race Car Ya-Yas
7. I Will Survive
8. Stickshifts and Safetybelts
9. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
10. It's Coming Down
11. Nugget
12. She'll Come Back to Me
13. Italian Leather Sofa
14. Sad Songs and Waltzes

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. The Distance
2. I Will Survive
3. Friend Is A Four Letter Word

4 out of 5 stars

Squirrel Nut Zippers - Hot

Good news B Siders, you've all made it to Friday on this seemingly 10 day week. Not sure about you, but I could go for a weekend. Relating weekends to music, I find myself playing my music the loudest on the weekends. I have an iPod dock on my 7.1 surround system, and it's nice just to crank it up and drift away. Maybe some of you will want to crank up the old Squirrel Nut Zippers this weekend, as I bring them up as my 'odd' review of the week. I guess they're classified as a jazz band, but they bring that swing element to their work as well. Believe it or not, there was a fairly big swing revival period in the mid '90s when alt rock was the boss. A niche was created by bands like this, Brian Setzer and Cherry Poppin' Daddies. What a great name that is. Anyway, these guys formed in Chapel Hill, NC in 1993. They made music and played around the country all through the late 90's. They decided to hang 'em up for a while due to solo works and two of the members getting a divorce. Good news for fans is that they reconnected back in 2007 and are touring the US to this day. Most recently I read they played a show in New Orleans on Halloween of '09. Hot and their next album did really well with critics and Hot has at the very least gone platinum. I guess I'll classify this as a good record if you're in the mood for it - which isn't often for me. But it's overall kind of fun, and toe tapping. Worth a peek if you enjoy the big band days.

1. Got My Own Thing Now
2. Put a Lid on It
3. Memphis Exorcism
4. Twiligh
5. It Ain't You
6. Prince Nez
7. Hell
8. Meant to Be
9. Bad Businessman
10. Flight of the Passing Fancy
11. Blue Angel
12. Interlocutor, The

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Hell
2. The Interlocutor
3. Blue Angel

3 out of 5 stars

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Staind - Break The Cycle

People who know me, know that I enjoy a good mix of metals. I certainly would put Staind in the hard rock category, but not the same style as a Metallica, Slipknot or even Korn. They have a hard sound that is I guess more similar to a Seether or something where it's hard, riff heavy - but still kind of poppy at the same time. Whatever the mix is, Staind makes it work to perfection. Especially with this record that has gone 5x platinum. I've seen some other sites give this pretty low ratings, and I really don't understand it. I'd like to know why anyone doesn't like the record. It's got such great lyrics, vocals and arrangements. Very pleasing to listen to. Interesting story - fans might recall Staind playing 'Outside' at a show in Biloxi that was pretty commonly heard on the radio. (it's also a bonus track on this cd). Anyway, in that live version, Fred Durst from Limp is on stage with Aaron Lewis and giving him serious credit for the passionate vocal. It would seem these fellas were pretty tight, and Durst gave Staind a real shot. Well, that almost didn't happen. They were touring in Connecticut, and Durst caught wind of the controversial cover art on Staind's self released debut album. It's really sloppy artwork, but the depiction is of a Barbie on a Cross that is impaling the Bible. Durst attempted to kick Staind off the tour, but changed his mind after hearing them play a set and being so impressed. Crazy how that works. If Durst doesn't hear the set, Staind is booted any maybe never cracks the big show. Because of one guy - that close. Anyway, check this out. If you've heard it before, toss it in again - it's always worth listening to.

1. Open Your Eyes
2. Pressure
3. Fade
4. It's Been Awhile
5. Change
6. Can't Believe
7. Epiphany
8. Suffer
9. Warm Safe Place
10. For You
11. Outside
12. Waste
13. Take It
14. Outside [Live Version]

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Epiphany
2. Fade
3. Outside (Live Version)

3.75 out of 5 stars

Dirty Heads - Any Port In A Storm

Hello Thursday. Good to see you again. Thursday seemed like a good day to get to yet ANOTHER suggestion from the box. The Dirty Heads were a request from follower JenInTosa. Jen has been known in B Side circles as a Country lover, but a very highly rated recommender. She didn't let me down again this time with these fellas! I do love me some Sublime, and these guys have that reggae type rock similar to Sub. They have sort of an odd background. Just a few guys from California who decided to make some music. They released 'Any Port' back in 2008, and then re-released it in 2010 as this Special Edition with a couple extra tracks on it. That's not really industry standard. Quite odd actually. This is the explanation of how they arrived at their name, "The name comes from an occasion where the two were stealing a 12-pack of beer and had someone shout at them “Come here you little dirty heads!”". Kind of a neat story. They really give a shoutout to Sublime and lead singer Bradley Nowell in track 12. I love it. They seem to know who their influences are and on this record, stay true to form. Hopefully if they ever run a follow up, it's just a true as this one. I do seriously enjoy this record. It's a HAVE TO check out B Siders! Happy Thursday!

1. Neighborhood
2. Stand Tall
3. Shine
4. Driftin'
5. Taint
6. Morning Light
7. Insomnia
8. Easy
9. Knows That I
10. Chelsea
11. Check the Level
12. Believe
13. Hip Hop Misfits
14. Everything I'm Looking For
15. Stand Tall [Acoustic]
16. Sails to the Wind
17. Headphones
18. Lonely One
19. Lay Me Down
20. Antelope
21. Rains It Pours
22. I Got No Time

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Stand Tall (Acoustic)
2. Believe
3. Lay Me Down

4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Music Is My Savior...What's Your Twenty-Five?"

Happy Wednesday B Siders! I had a suggestion from follower Janis, and I thought it was a really neat idea. Here is the challenge, open up your iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp etc etc - and post what your Top 25 most played songs are. Don't cherry pick a certain playlist or anything, just select all your music and toss the Top 25 out there. No cheating either. Even if you're the hardest guy in the world and Barracuda by Heart comes up - you throw it on here! I really believe the music you listen to says a lot about who you are. It's also neat to see what genre you listen to most. I have no idea what will come up for me, but I have a feeling I'll be all over the board. Let's See!!

25: Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots
24: Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam
23: Don't Stop Believin' - Journey
22: Nothing But A G Thing - Dr. Dre
21: The Blowers Daughter - Damien Rice
20: Only God Knows Why - Kid Rock
19: Bleeding Me - Metallica
18: Can't Tell Me Nothing - Kanye West
17: Like I Love You - Justin Timberlake
16: Plush - Stone Temple Pilots
15: Lonely Day - System Of A Down
14: It's Okay (One Blood) - The Game
13: Say It Ain't So - Weezer
12: Zero - Smashing Pumpkins
11: My Immortal - Evanescence
10: Here In My Room - Incubus
9: Brighter Than Sunshine - Aqualung
8: Apologize - Timbaland
7: Karma Police - Radiohead
6: Still Tippin' - Mike Jones
5: Lollipop - Lil Wayne
4: The Luckiest - Ben Folds
3: Soul To Squeeze - Red Hot Chili Peppers
2: Jesus Walks - Kanye West
1: All These Things That I've Done - The Killers

Some of those are semi surprising. I do like Apologize a lot, but had no idea it was in my top 10. The really odd thing, I LOVE classic rock. Not one song. Shows I guess that I don't listen to that at work ever. I figure, that's how my 'Top 25' is really formed, since I listen to my iPod 8 hours a day at work. That's most of my listening. Crazy. Anyway, POST YOURS!! I think you might even surprise yourself!

The Strokes - Is This It

I've decided to run a post/rant day today. Usually when I rant, it's just a one post day - but hey, I'm feeling festive. Plus, I had an odd amount of genre reviews and I was off by one. So I figured I'd hammer this one out today - plus, I love the Strokes! This album is really good - top to bottom. They only have 3 studio releases since 2001, with this being the first of that trio. Honestly, I have not heard any of their other stuff - so I'll have to get to that sometime soon. Style wise, I'm classifying them as a generic rock band, but they probably fit into other genres too. They're a little poppy on some tracks, and they have a very upbeat Brit Rock style to them too. They're not British - just have that feel to them. That's probably why they have a very large following in the UK. Anyway, this is another record to have faced some controversy. They originally had cover art of a nude woman seductively bent over with a black glove running down her hip. For some reason, they thought that it would be too risque in the states, and changed it to the microscope version you see above. They also had a track called "New York City Cops" that was changed due to the September 11 attacks against America. That track is now listed as "When It Started". Anyway, I think you'll enjoy this. It's got a great jam out feel to it. It has excitement around it that is very contagious. Check it out!!

1. Is This It
2. Modern Age, The
3. Soma
4. Barely Legal
5. Someday
6. Alone, Together
7. Last Nite
8. Hard to Explain
9. When It Started
10. Trying Your Luck
11. Take It or Leave It

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Last Nite
2. Someday
3. Soma

3.75 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Drake - Thank Me Later

Devotees to the blog will recall my rant a couple months ago about how slow of a time it is for hip hop. Well you might also recall my shoutout to Drake saying he and Cudi were two of few keeping the game alive. Drake strapped himself to Weezy and is riding him to the top of the charts. He certainly doesn't have the flow of Bone, the raw emotion of Em, the hard image of DMX - none of that. He's a daytime soap actor turned artist. Some of his songs teeter on that R Kelly obscurity and sexual connotations. The thing he's got is clever lyrics, and usually slow solid beats. Plus, Weezy blew up a few years back with Tha Carter III, and he can carry an artist easily. This is Drake's first studio recording, and some of you might say to me, "HA! What do you know B Side? Drake put out So Far Gone last year!!" Well, my response would be, that release was actually a mixtape and not a studio recording. In case you didn't notice, that release was only a handful of tracks, where this one is 14. And it's pretty good. I don't think it stacks up to the mixtape, but it has it's shining moments. There are some HUGE callabos on this record, which speaks volumes to how the industry sees Drake right now. Guys are clamoring to work with him and ride the wave. Appearances by Jeezy, Jay-Z, Weezy, Alicia Keys and TI. Big time names. I think if you're a hip hop fan, an R&B fan or even a pop fan - you'll enjoy this one. There not a track like 'Forever' on it, but just a bunch of really solid hits. Please check it out. I think I'm going to go buy it today.

1. Fireworks
2. Karaoke
3. Resistance, The
4. Over
5. Show Me a Good Time
6. Up All Night
7. Fancy
8. Shut It Down
9. Unforgettable
10. Light Up
11. Miss Me
12. Cece's Interlude
13. Find Your Love
14. Thank Me Now

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Over
2. Miss Me
3. Find Your Love

3.75 out of 5 stars

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Mojo

New Music Tuesday is back with Tom Petty. I don't think I need to go into too much background with him, since I think if you're unfamiliar with his previous work or style - you must have been hiding under a rock for the last what, 4 decades? The one cool thing about Tom that you might not know, is his desire to control the rights and manage his music. Most artists don't want to bog themselves down in the day to day - and they let a legal team take care of all that stuff. Well not Mr. Petty. He takes control of his pricing, distribution and even the legal matters involving sampling of old tracks. He's heard of other bands using riffs of his for their work (The Strokes, RHCP) and instead of being crotchety about it, he shrugs it off and tosses it into the rock and roll file. As long as it's not used with what he determines as malicious intent, then he has no reason to act. Kind of cool. I think many artists would have a lawyer approaching them with some big dollar signs and they'd immediately go after it and try to settle for big money. It's a crazy world we live in. Anyway, this is the five hundredth studio release for Tom (please know I'm joking). This being the first since 2002. Petty is performing with ZZ Top two days at the mainstage this year at Summerfest. I don't think I'd come anywhere near that show for the price they want. Especially when they're going to want to play this entire record, and not all old stuff. It's possible they'll even break it up, one day the new album next day the hits. I'd hate to have tickets to the 'new' show. Not to say this album is bad, it's just there is something more fun about going to a show and singing along with all the classics. Plus, I never found Petty to be a great performer anyway, seemed to lack the energy whenever I went. Regardless, check this out. It's got a folksy, blues feel to it. Petty fans will probably enjoy it.

1. Jefferson Jericho Blues
2. First Flash of Freedom
3. Running Man's Bible
4. Trip To Pirate's Cove, The
5. Candy
6. No Reason To Cry
7. I Should Have Known It
8. U.S. 41
9. Takin' My Time
10. Let Yourself Go
11. Don't Pull Me Over
12. Lover's Touch
13. High In the Morning
14. Something Good Coming
15. Good Enough

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. No Reason To Cry
2. I Should Have Known It
3. Takin' My Time

3 out of 5 stars

Monday, June 14, 2010

R.E.M. - Automatic For The People

So seriously, how many of you like REM? How many of you have heard at least 3 songs that you enjoy listening to? Now, how many of you actually own an album by them? How many of you have even thought to yourselves, gosh - I should go pick up an REM record? I bet that number is quite small. I picked up the 'Monster' record way back in the day, but never really listen to it. That sound is much different than this record though - which is mostly a mood type genre. Very slow paces, chalk full of melody and ballad. This came out in 1992 right before the ruckus grunge movement, and might have been the best album to come out of 1992. This was their 8th album release and they had pretty much been a college cult following until 1991's 'Out Of Time'. Crazy that had it not been for Losing My Religion, no one might have known who REM is to this day. They put out another record as recently as 2008 and might still be working on new material, with something coming out late 10 or early 2011. I have not heard of them touring at all lately, so it might be a listen to on headphones only type band nowadays. This flows right into the same groove as my previous review in terms of political activism. Michael Stipe and company are huge liberal activists and seem to always be focusing on helping with some charity work. Not nearly the controversy of the previous, but more of the helping good stuff. As amazing as this record is, only 4 million copies of it have been sold. That's nuts. This has to be nearly a 5 star record...hmm, I'll get to that at the bottom. Please, listen to this. If you haven't heard it start to finish, it's worth it through and through. I promise, it'll make Monday seem like Friday since you'll be whisked away into the whimsical worth full of intrigue that is REM.

1. Drive
2. Try Not to Breathe
3. Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite, The
4. Everybody Hurts
5. New Orleans Instrumental No. 1
6. Sweetness Follows
7. Monty Got a Raw Deal
8. Ignoreland
9. Star Me Kitten
10. Man on the Moon
11. Nightswimming
12. Find the River

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Everybody Hurts
2. Nightswimming
3. Drive

4.5 out of 5 stars

Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces

Monday brings to me another country review on the B Side. Today it's the Dixie Chicks per request from the good ol' Suggestion Box. Another plug for the box, please use it. I know it doesn't look 'pretty' right now, but I have my crack staff working hard on it. I'm confident that they'll have it up and running sometime in the next month. ;-) Anyway, to the Chicks...I don't know all that much about them. I was shocked to learn that they had been making music since 1990 and yet it seems this was their first breakthrough commercial record all the way in 1998. And this record has sold an AMAZING 12x platinum!! That's nuts. They have been in WAY too much controversy for a contemporary country band. First it was their music - they started off as a bluegrass type band - but decided to switch over to a more pop sound I guess for monetary gain. At least one member of the group took issue, and left after that. Then came the whole GW Bush thing. On stage at a show they were quoted to say, "Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." This was in response to the war in Iraq back in 2003. That one wasn't so easy to pull through, as a poll indicated that 76% of their fans then regretting buying their albums. Not good for business. Seems like their bigtime status has been removed since that incident, and then a couple smaller incidents since then. I will say that I had actually heard most of this album before - and wasn't impressed. Upon reviewing it again today, it's still not all that great. Certainly not 12 million copies worth. This isn't the worst country record I've heard - but also isn't worth listening to. If you're a country nut, I'm sure you'll love it. If you're a girl who likes pop music, you might enjoy it also. But a guy like me, it doesn't tickle my fancy.

1. I Can Love You Better
2. Wide Open Spaces
3. Loving Arms
4. There's Your Trouble
5. You Were Mine
6. Never Say Die
7. Tonight the Heartache's on Me
8. Let 'Er Rip
9. Once You've Loved Somebody
10. I'll Take Care of You
11. Am I the Only One (Who's Ever Felt This Way)
12. Give It Up or Let Me Go

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Wide Open Spaces
2. You Were Mine
3. I Can Love You Better

2.5 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 11, 2010

Alice In Chains - Dirt

Let me tell you something folks, Alice in Chains is awesome. If you don't own at least one AIC record, you're just not listening to great tuneage. These guys have put out rock solid album one after another - and don't ever seem to get the respect they deserve. I wanted to review their Unplugged record - which is ALMOST just as amazing as Nirvana's. But I didn't...because I think this album NOT being a 'greatest hits' type record is just as good. Which is saying a lot. This was their 2nd studio release and their best selling to date. Again, that says a lot. Anytime you put out a live greatest hits record, that's almost always going to be your top seller. But for AIC, Dirt is just that awesome. They took a hiatus for about 6 years due to the death of band member Layne Staley. They reunited for a show in 2005 to benefit the tsunami victims in Asia. So far so good, and it sounds like they may put out another record this year. They put one out in 2009 called 'Black Gives Way to Blue', but I honestly have not heard anything off of it. I need to get to it soon though. Please, do yourself a favor and listen to this today. You'll appreciate every second of rock awesomeness.

1. Them Bones
2. Dam That River
3. Rain When I Die
4. Down in a Hole
5. Sickman
6. Rooster
7. Junkhead
8. Dirt
9. God Smack
10. Iron Man
11. Hate to Feel
12. Angry Chair
13. Would?

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Would?
2. Rooster
3a. Them Bones
3b. Down In A Hole

4.25 out of 5 stars

Jim Croce - You Don't Mess Around With Jim

Yikes!! I've really let down my B Siders this week! No posts again yesterday - and I guess that was for two reasons. 1) I had a work outing at Miller Park to see the Brewers beat up on those silly Cubs. And 2) Windows ran an update on my home machine and decided to fail - and not load Windows anymore. Fun stuff. This just emphasizes my need for another writer, and hopefully I find someone really soon! Anyhow, I come in refreshed with one straight from the often imitated, never duplicated Suggestion Box. I have a feeling a guy named Penis McSmackerton didn't REALLY suggest this, but it was a good request nonetheless. I know many people who love some Croce, but I never really heard a lot of his stuff before. Here and there I'd hear samplings, but I've always meant to listen to more. Well, now is my chance! This request was Jim's third studio release and seems to have seen pretty good success via the Time in a Bottle track. Not sure that will make my Top 3 having listened a few times, but it's a pretty good song. He has a legacy that is actually quite amazing...almost Hendrix like. He only really made music for ~2 years and has a rock solid following. He died in a plane crash just after really hitting it big on the charts. It's a shame really, as I think he would have put more really good stuff out there. I guess re-check out this one if you've heard it already. If you haven't - it's certainly worth a go 'round.

1. You Don't Mess Around With Jim
2. Tomorrow's Gonna Be A Brighter Day
3. New York's Not My Home
4. Hard Time Losin' Man
5. Photographs And Memories
6. Walking Back To Georgia
7. Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)
8. Time In A Bottle
9. Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)
10. Box #10
11. A Long Time Ago
12. Hey Tomorrow

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Walking Back To Georgia
2. You Don't Mess Around With Jim
3. Box #10

3.75 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Limp Bizkit - Significant Other

The Limp's also a little hard to believe I've gone this long without reviewing a Limp record. I do enjoy a little Limp. That sounds bad, but roll with it. This wasn't their first album and it isn't their last. They in fact have another one coming out sometime this year called Gold Cobra. This might be my favorite of all time though, just mainly because of what will be listed as my number one track. They have a bit of an odd style, a lot of metal with the heavy guitar - but they mash certain elements of hip hop in there and lyrically are somewhat poppy. The blend really does seem to work though, as this record is 7x platinum. They've been centered around controversy for rough lyrics that induced riots at Woodstock and a death at a show. Mainly stemming from the track 'Break Stuff' in which at Woodstock many people went crazy and many sexual assaults were reported. Not good. A woman also died of asphixiation at a show, after she got caught in a most pit. Also not good. But as we all know, controversy creates cash in most cases, and those stories probably opened up even more doors for Limp as far as increasing fanship. Since I got torn down for it with Brad Paisley, they mention Milwaukee in the track 'Show Me What You Got' - but that would be about the only reason to listen to that one. It's not great. Anyway, toss this one in to end your hump day. It's pretty solid.

1. Intro
2. Just Like This
3. Nookie
4. Break Stuff
5. Re-Arranged
6. I'm Broke
7. Nobody Like Yo
8. Don't Go Off Wandering
9. 9 Teen 90 Nine
10. N 2 Gether Now
11. Trust?
12. No Sex
13. Show Me What You Got
14. Lesson Learned
15. Outro
16. Mind Of Lies

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. N 2 Gether Now
2. Re-Arranged
3. Break Stuff

3.5 out of 5 stars

Hot Hot Heat - Future Breeds

Sorry for being tardy today B Siders. I had a conference call this morning with the President of our parent company - and let me tell ya, you don't miss those! No excuses though, I should have gotten a review to you sooner. I selfishly ate lunch afterward, and that shows zero dedication! Anyway, this review could have been a new music Tuesday installation yesterday - but I 1) forgot about it and 2) wanted to review a pop album. So today is just as good as yesterday right? This was also a request from the Suggestion Box, from Shaquanda or however you spell it. So here it goes, Hot Hot Heat. Never heard any of their music before today. Found out they formed in '99 in Canada. They seem to be a band with a cult following, but not really a commercial one. They do a lot of random movie, tv and video game work - which screams to me they're trying to find a way to break through. They only have a handful of studio album releases, which might be the downside on playing within other medium. Regardless, their style is mostly punk/emo with a side of pop and extra melody. This album is kinda groovy - nothing I'd write home about but certainly not bad either. If nothing else, it makes me want to listen to other records by them for a contrast compare session. I would give it a shot to wind down your Wednesday, see if it makes the time fly by.

1. YVR
2. 21@12
3. Times a Thousand
4. Implosionatic
5. Goddess on the Prairie
6. Zero Results
7. Future Breeds
8. JFK's LSD
9. Jedidiah
10. Buzinezz Az Uzual
11. What Is Rational?
12. Nobody's Accusing You (Of Having a Good Time)

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. 21@12
2. Buzinezz Az Uzual
3. Implosionatic

2.75 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Christina Aguilera - Bionic

New Music Tuesday has really disgusted me this week, as this is honestly the best I could come up with. The only other even remote option would have been a new Dierks Bentley record, which I know less about them than Aguilera somehow. This is seriously awful. I mean, if someone gave me this cd to listen to for free, I would throw it away faster than you can say genie in a bottle. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse than Ke$ha, boy howdy was I wrong. I would rather listen to Tik Tok on loop, for one hundred and twenty minutes in lieu of listening to this complete garbage. I don't think there is any way anyone can like this. Ugh...I feel a little dirty that this even graced my ears this morning. I'm angry...really angry about this. I can't even pinpoint why - it's just sheer anger waving over my emotional plain. What can you expect from someone that has only put out 4 records since 1999 though? What better way to please your fans than putting out records every 3 years. And better yet, put one out like this one - that could easily have been recorded and written and produced all in 1 day. GARBAGE!!! It's like she's trying to mimic Gaga's success here with the album cover, some of the lyrics and the overall style. She also took some of the super sophomoric lyrics and beats from a Ke$ha type. I know that someone like her has never really had her own identity, because when she broke Spears was already much further ahead in sales. So she's always lived a bit in the back burner. But a track like 'My Girls', man - it just makes you wonder how she has 1 single fan. Just awful. Please, don't listen to this. Ever.

1. Bionic
2. Not Myself Tonight
3. Woohoo
4. Elastic Love
5. Des Nudites
6. Love & Glamour (Intro)
7. Glam
8. Prima Donna
9. Morning Dessert (Intro)
10. Sex For Breakfast
11. Lift Me Up
12. My Heart (Intro)
13. All I Need
14. I Am
15. You Lost Me
16. I Hate Boys
17. My Girls
18. Vanity

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Some Other Album
2. Some Other Artist
3. You Get The Point

.25 out of 5 stars

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Some might call this weeks installation of 'Techno Tuesday' a stretch, but not this guy. Having now been introduced to Phoenix by a Suggestion from the awesome, somewhat still new, suggestion box, many sites have these guys listed as alternative or indie rock, but I don't hear that. They have a very electronic feel over more of a pop lyric. I'd certainly put them with other electronic type tracks though if I was making a playlist. So that's my classification - and deal with it. These gents are from France, and have been making music since 2000 or so. This is their most recent album, and it came out in 2009. I went back and briefly sampled some of their other stuff, and I think off the top of my head it would be safe to say that I'd enjoy this one the best. It's got a really different feel to it than the others. The songwriting and background arrangement is quite seemless track over track. I always like when you have the synth over a regular track. You don't have to look any further than number one to hear what could easily pass as a current punk/emo band and then add some nice electronics over the top, without the use of the dreaded autotune. Rarely do you get that with real techno/dance bands. I guess what I'm getting at is, I dig this. I'm not sure I'd rush out to the store to buy it, but I definitely would put it on from time to time. It's a little different, but give it a shot - I think you might be surprised too.

1. Lisztomania
2. 1901
3. Fences - (featuring Philippe Zdar)
4. Love Like a Sunset, Pt. 1 - (featuring Cedric Plancy)
5. Love Like a Sunset, Pt. 2 - (featuring Cedric Plancy)
6. Lasso
7. Rome
8. Countdown
9. Girlfriend
10. Armistice

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Fences
2. Love Like A Sunset Part 1 or 2
3. Girlfriend

3 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 4, 2010

No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom

First and foremost, let me start by saying I love this record. I seem to recall buying this simply for the 'hits' like Spiderwebs and Don't Speak - but truthfully, it's amazing start to finish. I mean, that fact was lost on me when I bought it at 12 years old, but today it resonates through and through. Plus, what teenage boy wasn't in love with Gwen Stefani in the 90's? These guys get classified as a lot of genres, ska, punk, alt rock and the list goes on. Whatever they are, they're really good. None of their other albums have reached ANYWHERE near the success of this one, but I think that's just a testament to how awesome TK is. I mean, it's diamond status - which is pretty crazy. Stefani left the band in 2004 to work on some solo stuff (which who doesn't recall Hollaback Girl??), but they reformed again in 2008. They have their sixth studio album, yet to be named, coming out sometime this year yet. I can't say I'm super excited over the new drop, but I'll certainly give it a listen. If it's half as good as this one, it'll be worth every listening second. I don't listen to this nearly as much as I should, but maybe if I remind you guys and myself - I'll put it in more often. It really is awesome. There no doubting (HA!!!) why this record ruled the radio airwaves back in the mid 90's and no reason why it can't rule your headphones in the early 10's. Happy Friday B Side!

1. Spiderwebs
2. Excuse Me Mr.
3. Just a Girl
4. Happy Now?
5. Different People
6. Hey You
7. Climb, The
8. Sixteen
9. Sunday Morning
10. Don't Speak
11. You Can Do It
12. World Go 'Round
13. End It on This
14. Tragic Kingdom

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Don't Speak
2. Spiderwebs
3. Tragic Kingdom

4.5 out of 5 stars

Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American

Friday brings me to Jimmy Eat World, a band that probably everyone is semi-familiar with. Very rarely do I get to offer up a band that was formed in Arizona. Not that it really matters to me, but for some reason I can't think of any others that came from that hot, hot state. Kind of an interesting tidbit on how they came up with their name: The band's name came from a crayon drawing made after an incident between Linton's younger brothers, Jim and Ed, who fought frequently. Jim usually won, but Ed sought revenge by drawing a picture of Jim shoving the Earth into his mouth; the picture bore the caption "Jimmy eat world". Kind of a neat story. Typically you don't ever learn how bands come up with their name, or it's a really stupid story like that of Nickelback. Man I hate them. I should rant about that someday. Oh well. Anyway, Jimmy's got a pretty good feel to it. Another interesting fact, 'Bleed American' was retitled to a self titled album after the 9/11 attacks on America. That's a touch confusing since their 1994 debut was self titled, but the message was well received. This is their best selling record ever, and for good reason. It's pretty solid all the way through. I would recommend checking this one out to blast through your Friday.

1. Bleed American
2. Praise Chorus, A
3. Middle, The
4. Your House
5. Sweetness
6. Hear You Me
7. If You Don't, Don't
8. Get It Faster
9. Cautioners
10. Authority Song, The
11. My Sundown

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Sweetness
2. A Praise Chorus
3. My Sundown

3.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Clipse - Lord Willin'

Seriously, you want to hear about one of the best rap acts out there that you're not listening to? Try Clipse on for size. Lord Willin' was their first studio release and it's not my favorite, but still brings the house down. The group consists of Malice and Pusha T and all their stuff is produced the The Neptunes. If you aren't familiar with the Neptunes, then you're either not paying attention or simply not a big hip/hop fan. Basically, every song is produced by Neptunes/Pharrell, Timbaland or Dr. Dre. And if you don't use them, you're song isn't going to be huge. Kanye does some, and Swizz Beatz to some...but they don't have the huge following of the previous acts mentioned. One thing is for sure, the VA based Clipse knows how to flow and they know all about the drug game. People argue raps about drugs, money, girls are tired and boring...but if you can the story - tell it well. Clipse does exactly that. Not only are you hearing the story in Grindin', but you're also hearing one of the sickest beats that I had heard in a really long time. When this dropped in 2002, it was kind of a slow time for rap. The game was about to explode again with the poppish Get Rich or Die Tryin and Em's Eminem Show. Clipse really kept it real on this one and their subsequent release Hell Hath No Fury. (which by the way, is my favorite Clipse record and I'll certainly review it soon). Anyway, check these fellas out. If you're a rap mogul, this is certainly for you. 2 thumbs way up!

1. Intro
2. Young Boy
3. Virginia
4. Grindin'
5. Cot' Damn
6. Ma I Don't Love Her
7. Famlay Freestyle
8. When The Last Time
9. Ego
10. Comedy Central
11. Gangsta Lean
12. I'm Not You
13. Let's Talk About It
14. Grindin' (Remix)
15. Grindin' (Selector Remix)

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. When The Last Time
2. Grindin'
3. Intro

3.75 out of 5 stars

Brad Paisley - Time Well Wasted

Time for another B Side infamous Country review. Today brings me over to one straight from the Suggestion Box in Brad Paisley. Speaking of that, please do drop suggestions in the box. It's fun for me to listen to new stuff, and it should be fun to see how your favorites stack up in my opinion. Then you can tell me how smart I am or how dumb I am. Either way, it's fun. This particular album is tied for best selling ever for Mr. Paisley, and was his 4th studio release. After doing a touch of research on him, he's basically the country god at this point in time. A prominent reviewer referred to him as the "standard bearer" for all of the genre. How many country fans agree with that? Because frankly, I don't see it. First and foremost, his highest selling album is 2x platinum? Really? That's it? Your gold star performer can't outsell basically any current punk band? Huge genre acts go 2x in a month, and this record came out in 2005. It just doesn't seem like that acclaim fits the actual results. He seems to bounce around from slow ballad from time to time and then punch out mostly sophomoric or 'fun' type tracks. He's certainly a throw back to the old school country I dislike and not that new pop country that I've actually started to semi-enjoy. Oh, Lady Antebellum has already gone 2x platinum and that came out in JANUARY of THIS YEAR!! I'm going to revert into my country hater status for this one...if you enjoy this, please tell me why. It offers nothing good to my primed up ears.

1. World, The
2. Alcohol
3. Waitin' on a Woman
4. I'll Take You Back
5. She's Everything
6. You Need a Man Around Here
7. Out in the Parkin' Lot
8. Rainin' You
9. Flowers
10. Love Is Never Ending
11. Uncloudy Day, The
12. When I Get Where I'm Going
13. Easy Money
14. Time Warp
15. Time Well Wasted
16. Cornography (Bonus Track)

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Time Warp (Praise BP for no lyrics)
2. Alcohol
3. She's Everything

.75 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Cars - Self Titled

Hump Day on the B Side brings me to a classic review. I was revisiting my Powerman 5k review this morning as Janis graciously commented with her thoughts on it. I was explaining how I only put 'Good Times Roll' on my Top 3 since I love the Cars so much. Well...that's when it hit me, BAM! Punch to the face. Why not do a Cars review? I mean, duh - it's only logical. So here I am, finally getting to one of my favorite bands ever. I'm not even sure why I enjoy them so much. I picked up their Greatest Hits album back in like 2005 and just fell in love. It's not that their sound is so unique, their beats haunt me or their lyrics just blow my mind - I guess this is as close to pop music as I get that I love. I mean, every song is incredibly catchy and makes you want to hear another...and another...and another. So I decided to run with their debut album, and the one that has outsold their other works by 2x platinum. Their self titled debut has now gone platinum 6 times over...not bad for a band that doesn't seem to get much recognition in any sort of best of conversation. This record was only 9 tracks deep, but nearly every one of them is on their GH compilation. Think about that. If you started a band and your debut record was that good, that 30 years later your fans knew every track on it and wanted them on your best of after retirement. That's incredible to me. They didn't stop making good music there either. They made great tuneage all the way through 1988 when they decided to split for good. I think it's unanimous that this album rocks the house, and you should most definitely listen to this today...I know I will!!

1. Good Times Roll
2. My Best Friend's Girl
3. Just What I Needed
4. I'm in Touch With Your World
5. Don't Cha Stop
6. You're All I've Got Tonight
7. Bye Bye Love
8. Moving in Stereo
9. All Mixed Up

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Moving In Stereo
2. You're All I've Got Tonight
3. Just What I Needed

4.75 out of 5 stars

Butthole Surfers - Electric Larryland

This is an odd band to figure out. Larryland didn't come out until 1996, but they'd been making music since 1984. Their older stuff was very underground and only released on independent labels. This was their second major studio release, and it sounds like many of the old die hards were upset that this became all about hard guitar and less about out there odd lyrics. I think they called it the 'Maturation of the Buttholes' which is kind of an odd statement to type out. There is really no doubt in my mind that if anyone has listened to this record, they'll admit it rocks out pretty hard. I guess it's lacking something though, as I've only tossed it in maybe once in the last decade. No denying Pepper is an outstanding track (and probably the only one casual fans have heard). After that, it's a bit of a free-for-all in terms of what else is solid. There are a couple I enjoy, a couple I skip everytime and a couple I'm indifferent on. This will certainly go down as my 'oddball' review of the week, and hopefully someone out there can identify with these guys. I won't lie to you and say I celebrate their entire catalog, but maybe someone does. Worth checking out, not worth buying...probably worth your time on a rainy Wednesday afternoon.

1. Birds
2. Cough Syrup
3. Pepper
4. Thermador
5. Ulcer Breakout
6. Jingle of a Dog's Collar
7. TV Star
8. My Brother's Wife
9. Ah Ha
10. Lord Is a Monkey, The
11. Let's Talk About Cars
12. L.A.
13. Space

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Pepper
2. Jingle Of A Dog's Collar
3. The Lord Is A Monkey

2 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jack Johnson - To The Sea

It's a triple review day on the B Side, with a second edition of New Music Tuesday. I figured since it was a long holiday weekend, I can repay the readers with an extra review! And it so happens that one of my favorite 'mood' genre acts has another drop today. If you can recall, I reviewed Mr. Johnson's 'Brushfire Fairytales' a couple months ago. While I love that album, a couple of this other studio releases were misses for me. This one reverts right back into Fairytale quality. Superior acoustics and vocals on a number of tracks makes this a must listen. In January Johnson reported that they entered the studio to begin work on a new album, and on February 1st they announced that their currently untitled fifth studio album was slated for a June 1st release, to be followed by a world tour. The album was recorded over three weeks in Johnson's two solar-powered studios, The Mango Tree in Hawaii and the Solar Powered Plastic Plant in Los Angeles. And how neat is that? When asked about the album title, his comment to press was, "I guess it's a reference to a father leading his son to the sea, with the water representing the subconscious. So it's about trying to go beneath the surface and understand yourself." As I stated earlier, check this one out. If you're a Jack fan, you'll love it.

1. You and Your Heart
2. To the Sea
3. No Good With Faces
4. At or With Me
5. When I Look Up
6. From the Clouds
7. My Little Girl
8. Turn Your Love
9. Upsetter, The
10. Red Wine, Mistakes, Mythology
11. Pictures of People Taking Pictures
12. Anything But the Truth
13. Only the Ocean

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. You And Your Heart
2. Anything But The Truth
3. To The Sea

3.5 out of 5 stars

Taio Cruz - Rokstarr

New Music Tuesday and the pop day of the week align today with Taio Cruz's sophomore record. This is another example of a guy that worked behind the scenes for YEARS writing and producing music for other well known acts. Similar to Keri Hilson, Taio got a little tired of the credit hogging stars and decided to step up to the microphone. His original drop back in 2008 'Departure' only saw modest success and only in the United Kingdom. (He's from the UK) This album coincides with the release of his new clothing brand called Rockstar. The only thing I've heard of on that line is the sunglasses, and I've seen those being worn by people like Hilson, Kid Cudi and Kanye West. I might have to run out and pick up a pair for myself. Since I've thrown the Hilson comparison in there already, I think this experiment will end up about the same. Hilson hasn't received any acclaim for her record and I don't expect this to do much either. It's a pretty heavy pop record start to finish with a couple decent breaks from pop in the middle. This came out way back in Sept 09 in UK along with the clothing line release the same day. This is FINALLY getting to be dropped in the US, with our country having heard half the album already in the radio singles. This album makes me a little mad, since it does have the couple tracks that could really be solid, then it has tracks like 'Dirty Picture' which revert back to Ke$ha like qualities and make me not take it seriously. I'm guessing this will end up being a nice little fun project for Cruz, and he'll end up going back behind the scenes. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think this one has the staying power.

1. Dynamite
2. Break Your Heart
3. Dirty Picture
4. Take Me Back
5. I'll Never Love Again
6. I Can Be
7. No Other One
8. Come On Girl
9. Falling In Love
10. Higher
11. Feel Again

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Break Your Heart
2. I'll Never Love Again
3. Feel Again

2.25 out of 5 stars

MSTRKRFT - The Looks

Techno Tuesday brings to the spotlight another lesser known electronic band. MSTRKRFT has been putting out fat, funky beats for nearly half a decade now, and not many people would recognize them. While they've only released two studio albums (this being their first) they have created many, MANY remixes of popular music. A small sampling of those include: Love in this Club by Usher, Zero by Yeah Yeah Yeahs and John Legend's Green Light. I absolutely love their beats and the mixing work they do over the top of them. It's crazy to think that so many of the better dance groups have come from Canada. These guys being from the Toronto area, there must be a happening night life up there for my northern neighbors. Anyway, I think if you're an electronic nut like me, you'll really dig these guys. They're not making more commercial type stuff like the more commonly heard groups, but it still knocks your socks off and makes you want to move. I know someone who went to a concert of theirs a while back, and said it was awesome. That makes perfect sense because the way the music is laid out, it would seem you could have some pretty amazing effects going on as a compliment. Check 'em out B Side!

1. Work on You
2. Easy Love
3. She's Good for Business
4. Paris
5. Looks, The
6. Street Justice
7. Bodywork
8. Neon Knights

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Easy Love
2. Neon Knights
3. She's Good For Business

3.25 out of 5 stars