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Songs You Should Listen to Part Four

Updated on June 11, 2013
PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award-nominated author based out of Juneau, Alaska.


La Dispute, "Said the King to the River"

I discovered this amazing Michigan band (with a stupid name. Named after the 1744 prose comedy play by Pierre de Marivaux) on Nov 4th, opening for Thrice. They are a cross between Glassjaw (see below), MewithoutYou and Rage Against the Machine. Very intense live and on record. Their trademark seems to be vocalist Jordan Dreyer's inability to control his voice, going from singing to screaming seemingly at random. Their music could best be described as spoken word poetry set to aggressive music. The rapid fire rhymes and deliberate guitars will get this song stuck in your head. They even have a series of records called "Hear Hear" which explores this idea. This is a great song that covers the totality of their musical interests.

"'Up, M'Lady--Pack your things, this place is not your home. Nor was it ever, sever every tie, tonight we ride. Tonight we ride.'"


A Live Record that CANNOT be overlooked

Dredg, "Bug Eyes"

Dredg, from Los Gatos, California, is one of the most amazing bands that a lot of people don't know about. Their music is well thought out and intricate without being pretentious. The lyrics are obtuse but not annoyingly so. Vocalist and slide guitarist Gavin Hayes has an operatic quality to his voice that loses nothing in the live performance. The rhythm section of Drew Roulette (Bass) and Daniel Campanella (drums) offers the right amount of melody and rhythm and Mark Engles (guitar) plays odd chords reminiscent of Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers). Catch Without Arms (2005, Interscope), in typical Dredg fashion, took eight months to write and ten more to record. Like most of their records, Catch Without Arms is a concept album, this one focusing on opposites, particularly positives versus negatives. It's a phenomenal record highlighted by this song.

"Your journey back to birth its haunting you/ it's haunting you/Your departure from the earth, its haunting you, it's haunting you"

One of The Best Rock Bios I've Ever Read

Pearl Jam, "Even Flow"

Oh pearl Jam, how I love you and your uber-anti-commercialism, your blues based grunge rock, your flannel, your long hair, your aging with dignity rocker status, your album Ten (1991, Interscope). PJ has been churning out rock 'n' roll classics since the 90's (earlier if you count their respective stints in Mother Love Bone and Temple of the Dog), even creating one of the finest rock records of the 90's in Ten . Pearl Jam survived the initial grunge phase and has been going strong for twenty years as a great rock 'n' roll band. Even Flow , the second track off Ten, is a scathingly real account of life on the streets for a homeless youth. It marked a trend in pearl jam's music: political lyrics, with feeling and true compassion and empathy. These guys practice what they preach with their infamous war against Ticketmaster over ticket pricing an only one of many examples. True rock legends, when i hear them on classic rock radio stations it makes me feel old, but it also makes me want to put on a flannel shirt and some long johns and stand in the rain.

"Even Flow/Thoughts Arrive Like Butterflies/He don't know/so he chases them away."

A live version

One of the Coolest Album Covers ever

Glassjaw, "Ape Dos Mil"

I love New York's Glassjaw! Vocalist Daryl Polumbo suffers from Crohn's Disease and you can hear his rage, his vitriol, his pain, in the way he sings and screams and sings again. Ape Dos Mil is the highlight from the 2002 angst-core masterpiece, Worship and Tribute (Warner Brothers). Ape Dos Mil has a driving bass line, spare yet insistent guitars and of course, Polumbo's unique and instantly catchy vocals. Glassjaw is not for the faint of heart, both musically and lyrically. They're still kickin' around writing kick ass songs about the usual rock n roll themes: sex, drugs, pain, loss, angst. They're a very cerebral band with a heavy edge. Check them out.

"Yeah he's a winner/He's a g**damn sinner/While he dines I'm on the wrong side of the day."


2Pac, "Changes"

What do you get when you combine 2Pac's harsh street smart rhymes and baritone delivery with Bruce Hornsby's famous hook and melody? You get a true posthumous hip hop classic. Released after 2Pac's still unsolved murder in 1996, Changes tells the story of the black man's struggle to progress and gain acceptance in society. Fairly typical gangsta rap themes, but poignant and important coming from 2Pac, who's own stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, is an imprisoned revolutionary. 2Pac offers highly intelligent rhymes, and, as an avid reader of everyone from Shakespeare to Vonnegut, he offers an intellectual view to the "Thug Life". I also advise you to check out his book of poetry (Listed underneath his photo). This is one of my staple karaoke songs.

"I see no changes/ wake up in the mornin' and i ask myself/ Is life worth livin' should I blast myself?"

His poetry book/spoken word CD

Glen Hansard and partner Marketa Irglova. Also known as "Swell Season"
Glen Hansard and partner Marketa Irglova. Also known as "Swell Season"

Glen Hansard, "When Your Mind's Made Up"

Apparently Ireland's Glen Hansard has been making music for a long time, as a member of the Irish folk rock band The Frames and in the duo Swell Season with one time lover Marketa Irglova. it was not until the film Once (2006, Fox Searchlight, directed by John Carney, starring Hansard and Irglova as "Guy" and "Girl") that I became aware of the brilliance of Mr Hansard. The most recognizable song from the film is the smash hit Falling Slowly , but I've always been drawn to this one, with it's unique time signature (5/4) and nearly hushed vocals. Like many Hansard penned tunes, the song builds to a crescendo, driven by his impassioned vocals and Irglova's haunting piano. The film is excellent (though subtitles are a MUST), the soundtrack is amazing, and Hansard is a genius. Sorry for all the cliches, but it's true. Check out the film and the soundtrack.

"You see/You're just like everyone/When the shit falls all you want to do is run away/And hide all by yourself."


The BEST album of the 90's

Gin Blossoms, "29"

I will make a bold statement here, which i am not prone to do (;-p) that New Miserable Experience (1992, A & M) is the greatest record of the 90's. jangly, country, pop, alt rock tunes with infectious hooks and themes as sad as the album title suggests make this album irresistible. 29 is the song that defined my 29th year. The song is very melancholy yet upbeat, like every other song written by late guitarist Doug Hopkins (Who committed suicide in 1993 shortly after his departure from the band. He was removed due to erratic behavior due to his alcoholism. This inspired the title of their second record, Congratulations, I'm Sorry, because people would always approach them and say "Congratulations on your success, sorry about Doug.") and with his passing, the band lost something it has never regained. Even though they're still writing songs and touring, there's something about New Miserable Experience that forever fills me with a happy sense of nostalgia and takes me back to my childhood.

"29, you'd think I'd know better/Living like a kid/'Cause when my lies may seem less than clever/It's when I fall for it."


Mumford and Sons, "Little Lion Man"

London's Mumford and Sons are bringing back the banjo big time. Of course,with every member of the band being a multi-instrumentalist, you never know what kind of eclectic sounds this band will bring, but you know they'll be good. They primarily make alternative folk rock that's insanely catchy and decidedly un-British. Little Lion Man earned Grammy nominations for Best Rock Song and the band itself was nominated as best new artist in 2010. Easy listening yet intense, soft spoken yet in your face, Mumford & Sons are quickly rising on my personal album charts and Little Lion Man is my favorite track off of 2010's Sigh No More and is a song that is constantly song and hummed around my house. it gets stuck in your head. In a good way.

"Rate yourself and rape yourself/Take all the courage you have left/Wasted on fixing all the problems /That you made in your own head."

Further Seems Forever, "How to Start a Fire"

Florida's Further Seems Forever formed from the ashes of Christian hardcore act Strongarm became one of the premier emo pop punk bands of the last decade. Their original vocalist, Chris Carabba, left after their debut album to form the highly successful band Dashboard Confessional. How to Start a Fire (2003 Tooth and Nail) was the first and only record to feature second vocalist Jason Gleason (who also performed a great cover of 'NSync's Bye Bye Bye with the group for the Punk Goes Pop record series before departing in 2004, during the recording of the last studio album, Hide Nothing .) and How to Start a Fire is the upbeat title and opening track of that album. Great hook and great lyrics, the song shows hints of the groups hardcore roots with the chunky guitars, but still lie firmly in that ever so ambiguous and oft mocked genre of emo. This is a great song from a great Floria band. They've recently announced that they've reformed with the original lineup (read, Chris Carabba on vocals) and if you get a chance to see them at a local club near you, do it. They are a fantastic live band.

"This is the last time we will ever bleed to feel alive/Consider this a rehearsal/your heart of hearts rekindled."


Mae, "Embers and Envelopes"

Virginia's Mae is one of those bands that keeps putting out fantastic records (and I recommend owning all of them) but, there's something about their 2003 debut Destination: Beautiful (Tooth and Nail) that continues to stick with me. It's unassuming euro rock with catchy hooks and interesting lyrics make for a classic, easy listening record, with some bite to it. Embers and Envelopes remains my favorite song by them with the funk influenced guitar riff, twirling keyboards, sweet harmonies, it's a song that has an important message (forgiveness) but doesn't flaunt it or come off as trite or phony. It's just a charming song from a young band that had no idea they would grow into a mainstay of the alternative rock soon, a decade later. I recommend this song without reservation. Plus, how often do you get to hear the word "Envelopes" in a song?

"Please consider all things trite/forgiveness will be the thing that gets us by/I know to have something like this/broken is hard to fix."

My poetry collection

Thanks for Reading.





How Many of These Songs Have you Heard?

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Which of These Songs Was Your Favorite?

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    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin W Price 

      5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thanks nArchuleta. No Rammstein yet, but that doesn't mean it won't happen sometime...

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin W Price 

      5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thanks Rebecca. Pearl Jam's first two albums are two of the best of the era.

    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 

      5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Love the 'Jam. Saw them live 3 years ago in France. They rocked!

      Any Rammstein songs in your list?

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is a great review for popular rockers. I have always been a Pearl Jam fan....LOVE Evenflow. Thanks for the memories!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thanks Practical. you can't really go wrong with either, if we're being honest!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Pearl Jam will always be one of my favorite bands!! Mumford and Sons is a new favorite now as well. Great hub! :)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Dim, part five is coming on soon! Never be too old for anything. I can't really head bang either and I get annoyed at kids when I go to concerts. Hope you discovered some good new tunes and rediscovered some old ones. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Veronica, than you very much. This was probably my most obscure list but I'm also surprised at the number of zeroes on this poll as well!

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Makes my hard work rewarding!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 

      6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Grrrreat list. I'm pretty impressed with your musical tastes! I'm surprised by how many people voted that they had not heard any of these songs. Like you said, though, that's why you created the hub! =] & you did it brilliantly!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      6 years ago from Great Britain

      WOW!!!! Don´t know when l ever saw a hub like this.Fantastic. Somehow l seem to NOT be getting too old for Rock, l just can´t headbang like l used to-

      This was a real treat. Thank you.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Brain, thank u! It is a lot of effort but, to me, it's worth it!

    • Brian Burton profile image

      Brian Burton 

      6 years ago

      A lot of effort here and interesting. Nice :)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin W Price 

      6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Jim, who really knows these days. Fame changes people, sadly, and, of course, gossip columns are going to skew the truth to sell papers.

      jen, diversity is the spice of life. I'm glad you enjoyed my selections!

      Gypsy, I'm sure they'll be some Billy Joel down the road, I do have some elton and hall and oates in some of the previous ones

      epi, thanks. My dad is also quite the rock star. Or used to be. These hubs are indeed hard work, but they're worth it when people read and comment and discover new tunes.

      Thank u all for reading and commenting!

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      ....epic labor of love in this hub subject part four - and thank you sincerely for your passion here and my education of it - and yes you do have a bonafide rock and roll star here in the righteous presence of my buddy The Man with no pants - and you're pretty righteous yourself with your excellent taste in music.

      lake erie time ontario canada 2:18pm

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      7 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      As much as your hub was informative and interesting I am a child of such singers as Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Bob Seeger among others. In other words I love the songs of the 50s, 60s. 70s and 80s but they lost me somewhere in the 90s.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I can't help but smile with 2 pac and ginblossoms on the same play list, I really dig these hubs, for i am entering new bands to listen to and enjoy the selections.


    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      7 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      Personally I found him to be very cool. Very quiet and soft spoken. We were both buzzed and the conversation was mostly about Mexican jails. Seemed like a good dude though.

      Yeah, I was always hoping I'd die by being torn apart by thousands of naked screaming chicks back stage at what would be my last gig. Now I've got kids and some grand kids, and I'm glad it didn't work out for me. (laughinhg)


    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin W Price 

      7 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Thank u all for your comments and kind reads and comments. I tend to post the ten songs I'm listening to the most at the moment and since i have quite eclectic and diverse tastes, you're going to get many obscure artists and songs and a variety of styles. I like to have something for everyone. I hope you guys will take the time to watch the videos posted. They're all good songs. trust me!

      Pants, I've heard Eddie Vedder isn't the most personable guy out there. What was your experience like with him? And you are so right. I've only had regional success in music, but I thought, just once, it'd be fun to have a full crew and as crowd chanting my name and singing my songs. Not asking a lot. just ONCE!

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      7 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      PJ with Even Flow, and Still Alive are well above the rest for me. I met Eddie Vedder in a bar in Tijuana about 6 months before they made their big splash. We talked for a while without me even knowing he was with the band playing there. Half way through the first song, I knew they were going to be big. Back in the day my band struggled, starved, and never made it beyond hometown heros. It's like that with most musicians, but every once in a while you see a band that you know can't be stopped. Pearl Jam with Vedder as front man could never have failed. They're that strong. Hard to find a weak spot with these guys.

      I love this stuff man. Keep it coming!


    • Nurfninja profile image


      7 years ago from Earth

      oh my oh my, what great taste you have!

      very clean presentation.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Sadly, a mix of old-timerism and hearing loss means that I have no idea what rockers are saying anymore. I have to read the lyrics these days.

    • chrisam01 profile image


      7 years ago from Los Angeles, California, USA

      Very eclectic group of songs!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      PDX, I'm feeling like a music slacker...I'm a zero this time around! Good thing you posted the videos! Fab hub!


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