Songs You Should Listen to Part Nine
Rock That Vote, ya'll
It's taken about seven months, but part nine in this series is finally here. Thank you to all who have read it and contributed by voting on songs and leaving comments. I hope you've enjoyed hearing some new tunes along the way. Part ten will be a greatest hits collection, and I need your help. Please go back and read all the previous installments and, if you haven't yet voted on each one, vote. The top vote getter from each installment will be included as part of part ten, along with my own personal favorite.
Part ten will be your chance to showcase a song you would like showcased.
Thanks so much for your continued support and please enjoy this latest installment!
Franky Perez, "Something Crazy"
Franky Perez is the rarest of all creatures on earth: a Las Vegas, Nevada native. I lived there myself for three years and didn't meet anyone who was born and raised in Sin City until I met Franky. He played a company picnic for In N Out Burger, my ex-wife's former employer, and later had a free weekly show at the Orleans. He has a band called the High Way Saints and he's Slash's touring guitar player. With that buy schedule, he still seems to find a way catchy rock n roll songs, including this gem off his debut solo album. The song has an upbeat tone in spite of its grim subject matter (physical abuse). Enjoy the track, and buy the album.
"We get together once a week/To bare our souls in my back seat/She makes me wear my heart on my sleeve/She cries a bit, I act the fool/We reminisce about high school/I ask her why she didn't choose me"
The Dear Hunter, "Where the Road Parts"
In 2005, Casey Crecenzo formed this band as a side project from his band The Receiving End of Sirens. IN 2007, that band broke up and Casey focused full attention on this project. This song comes from their second album Act II: Meaning of & All Things Regarding Ms. Leading which is part two of a six part story. This album begins with the death of the main character's mother, Ms. Terri. He travels to a nearby bordello to learn more about his mother and the life she lived as a prostitute, as he himself was the product of her profession. He finds love in a prostitute named Ms. Leading, but the relationship falls apart due to his inability to cope with her chosen profession. This song tells part of that story.
"Although I won't seem so I can promise you my egos running me/Then I'd be called you were the only one that didn’t fold/But I just broke right down for you in an attempt to gain control/Maybe I'm a waste of time/You were the only one that didn’t fold"
Sonic Youth, "Hey Joni"
I don't know how Sonic Youth has waited until the ninth edition to make this list. They've been one of my favorite bands for years and Daydream Nation is one of my all time favorite albums. It's 24 years old now, and still as fresh and wondrous as it was when I first heard it. The band members are all pushing sixty now, so, perhaps the bands moniker should be changed (A punk band once formed as Blaster the Rocket Boy, they later became Blaster the Rocket Man, for example). Unfortunately, due the separation of guitarist Thurston Moore and Bassist Kim Gordon (they've been married for well over two decades) the band is on indefinite hiatus. Enjoy this and pray for more. Also, this song is sung by guitarist Lee Renaldo, not by Thurston or Kim, who generally are tasked with the lead vocal duties.
"Hey Joni, put it all behind you/There's something turning, turning right to you /My head burns, but I know you'll speak the truth, hey! /Hey Joni, put it all behind you"
Dropkick Murphys, "Good Rats"
The Dropkick Murphy's are a celtic punk band from Boston, Massachusetts. They combine banjos, bagpipe (and other traditional Celtic instruments) and kilts with tattoo sleeves, beer, piss, vinegar and other traditional punk rock staples. You may also recognize their sound from the opening of Martin Scorcese's epic crime drama, The Departed . One of the most infectious and attitude inflected bands around today. But don't confuse them with Flogging Molly. This is a song about rats getting hammered... with beer... We're off to a good start.
"It started with a little lad named vermin McCann/who fell upon a drink that made him feel like quite a man/he rounded up his furry boys,/though some wore a frown/they quickly changed their tune and they slammed a couple down."
Demon Hunter, "My Heart Strings Come Undone"
If the name wasn't clue enough, Seattle, Washington's Demon Hunter is an intense band, which is what makes this mellow, melodic piece, stand out so much. They're also hella nice guys that love to meet their fans (see the photo for proof. OMG, did I just say hella? OMG did I just say OMG?), and not just when you sneak to the band's only area and walk by their tour bus casually.
This song shows the tremendous diversity for this band. They can create abrasive, intense modern metal, but they can also tone it won with a melodic and it's my personal favorite song off of their second album, Summer of Darkness . I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do.
"When my heartstrings come undone/I will wait for you, I will pray for you/Before I make my final run/I will stay with you, decay with you"
Silversun Pickups "It's Nice to Know You Work Alone"
It took me awhile to realize the Silversun Pickups were even a band. When I first saw their name, I couldn't decide if they were an electric guitar pickup or a pickup truck. I eventually discovered that they were a band, and a very fine one. The vocals are understated and this music is stunningly complex without bringing attention to itself. This is a terrific song and, if you like yourself at all, you'll buy the album, Swoon , that this song appears on.
"Disembody the move action/With water marks on a pillowcase/With all the nerves turned on, on/Overriding the obsession/To take it all and be on my way/Dragging the lead along, along."
In the Christian rock underground of southern California, Stairwell was a super group, of sorts, with members of Innermeans, Supertones, and Bloodshed converging to form a brilliant power pop band. This band later went on to become Rock Kills Kid. Boxcar , like most tracks on this album, is ridiculously catchy and charming. It recalls simple times of fun in the sun, without being hokey or cheesy and should appeal to fans of Jimmy Eat World, the Get UpKids, Teenage Fan Club and Weezer. This song is a hidden gem and I cannot recommend it enough.
"It's a time bomb/Just waiting to explode/The world is ending/Most of the people don't even know/It's a boxcar/with alterations/To make us go faster in a fast world."
Copeland, "Take Care"
Copeland was a terrific band out of Florida. They fit equally in the alternative, soft rock and emo categories. this track, off of their debut album tells the story of vocalist, Aaron Marsh's grandmother as she was passing away from cancer. It is her talking to her family, trying to comfort them. It's beautiful and poignant.. In fact, the entire album, Beneath Medicine Tree , tells that story. The song is typically Copeland, full of beautiful harmonies, textured with lush instrumentation. It's hard to find a highlight off this album, but, if you held a gun to my head, it would be this one.
"It was a straight faced lie/I believed/It was a straight faced lie/You would ever leave me/So for now I'll keep believing your words/Soon enough my strength will return."
Victory Records was a hardcore label in the late 90's and they were bleeding money, fast. They changed their business model, as any good label should, and they begin to sign up and coming alternative, emo and screamo acts, in addition to their hardcore lineup, which included bands like Earth Crisis and Hatebreed. Thursday, Silverstein and Bayside were among their better known acts. Others, including The Junior Varsity and Straylight Run complemented the label nicely and wrote some pretty damn good songs. June was another of those bands, and Patrick was one of those songs.
"Is this what you wanted?/Now and again through your ears I'm listening/It's just impossible to get your attention/And it always comes down to just how you say it/Come home/When I promise/let down/but would you let me go if the time was right"
Steve Earle, "Ben McCulloch"
Steve Earle has been on this list, and he probably will be again. He's one of our best-- and most underrated-- storytellers of our time. He's generally considered a country artist, but often is found delving into the realms of gospel, blues, rock and folk. Ben McCulloch is one of this most scathing songs, and one of his best. It's worth a listen, and Earle's catalog is worth owning. If you ever get a chance to see him live, do it, but be prepared for cursing and even ranting. He speaks his mind, he speaks it boldly, and he doesn't care if you agree with him or not. Thsi song tells the story of a civil war soldier, and it's far from sentimental.
"Well they marched us to Missouri and we hardly stopped for rest /Then he made this speech and said we're comin' to the test/Well we've got to take Saint Louie boys before the yankees do/If we control the Mississippi then the Federals are through."
How Many of These Songs Had You Heard Before Today?
Be sure to cast your Vote for the "Greatest Hits Collection"
Which of These Songs Did You like The Best?
Read all the Previous Installments, beginning with eight
- Songs You Should Listen to Part Eight
Another collection of songs suggestions. Includes Stone Temple Pilots, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Eat World, Opeth, Thursday, Thrice, The Juliana Theory, Karmin, Queen and Hum