Top Ten : 1/27/08 - 2/3/08

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6 Feb 2008, 7:09

I decided to start this little thing, mostly as a way to get myself into working on a schedule. I tried it before with a blog, but that ran out of steam real quick because they always ended up being so long and I could never decide what to write about. So I came up with the new idea to make a little journal entry every week (Monday night, hopefully, at least after this one) and talk about each one of the bands that shows up in my top ten for the previous week. Nothing specific, just anything that I feel can relate to each band. So let's get into this bitch:

..January Twenty-Seventh to February Third (2008)..
I got into a lot of new music this week for some reason. Actually, many of the artists that show up here are ones that I'd never heard before, so hopefully I'll be able to find something interesting to say about each...

1. Billy Bragg (34 plays)
For some reason, before ever hearing him, I had, in my mind, written Billy Bragg off as some sort of nazi or rascist. I have no idea where this stigma came from. I think it was perhaps during some adventures throughout my youth spent on messageboards, particularly one of the webcomic Nothing Nice To Say. I feel like someone may have mentioned his name, someone else possibly posted a picture of a man standing in front of a confederate flag, and my naive brain, as perforated as it had become by lengthy periods spent on the internet, put two and two together and got five, so to speak. So it wasn't until earlier this week that I actually gave him a listen (after finding out that he wasn't in fact, any of the things I thought), and discovered that he is actually quite good.

2. Youth Brigade (32 plays)
These guys are cool. I used to have a shirt of their's that said "Guns are for Killing" on the back, and I remember being hesistant to wear it to a friends house because I was under the impression that his father was an avid hunter. I have no idea where that shirt went to, as is what seems to happen to so many of my shirts...

3. Frank Turner (30 plays)
I'll admit it: I download music illegally. Quite often, in fact. And in large amounts. Now, I have a number of rules and philosophies when it comes to the acquisition of this material, but for the most part I just go nuts. One thing I try to adhere to though, is to not download somthing if it has the potential to hurt the artist. Now I know that sounds a little paradoxical, as downloading music for free is pretty much doing just that. I don't really feel like getting into it too much, but in most cases I figure that they're not getting my money anyway, because chances are I'm not going to buy the CD. If I download the music, they're at least getting another fan that will go to shows, and buy merch and albums in the future. The reason I'm talking about all this is because I downloaded Frank Turner's Sleep Is For the Week and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's seriously very awesome. It wasn't until after a number of listens that I visited his site in search of lyrics that I read the bit about him not wanting people to download his music. This sort of threw the whole thing into question, and brought me to realize that, if I really have to keep this up, I really should only be downloading from artists it won't affect, i.e. Ones that are already hugely successful, or ones that are already broken up. The problem I have though is that I am one broke bastard and I can't afford as much music as I'd like. But I realize that the whole downloading thing is pretty dick-move to begin with, and if I'm gonna keep it up I need to regulate it a bit more.

4. Beirut (25 plays)
I don't know how I made it this long without being into this Beirut. It is so unlike anything and so fantastically fantastic. It's people like Zach Condon that make me hate myself for having not even a fraction of his talent.

5. The Soviettes (23 plays)
I used to say that everyone had at least one band that only they liked, and I would claim that for me it was the Soviettes. This was during my by-the-book punk phase, and I think I mostly said it as a coping mechanism to make myself feel better for liking a band that wasn't hardcore streetpunk.

6. Zebrahead (22 plays)
One of my oldest friends (whom I've sadly fallen out of touch with) used to be into these guys a looooong time ago and he suggested them to me. I downloaded Waste of Mind, (using Napster, probably) fell in love, and bought the CD of the same title shortly after. One of my favorite concert memories is going to a club in Boston called the Axis with a bunch of friends with the intention of seeing a friend of a friend's band open for Alien Ant Farm. The show was sold out when we got there, and so out of curiousity we checked out who was playing at the neighboring club, the Avalon. And in some serendipitous twist of fate, it happened to be Zebrahead and Reel Big Fish in what turned out to be one of the most fun shows I've been to. Sidenote: I bought a Zebrahead shirt at this show, which has since also been lost.

7. The World/Inferno Friendship Society (17 plays)
It's going to be hard to come up with things to keep saying about these guys, as I'm sure they're going to be showing up here quite frequently. So I'll start with this: I'd been trying to see them for a long time and for whatever reason I kept getting screwed out of it. I finally made it last Friday, and without going into crazy detail, it was easily the best show of my life.

8. Sleater-Kinney (14 plays)
When I get into something, I tend to skip the essential stuff and bury myself deep right away. For instance, when I started listening to punk I never really got into [artisit]The Sex Pistols or The Ramones, and just headed right for bands like The Casualties and [artistThe Unseen, then from there tried to go as deep in as I could. There are lots of examples of this, but when it comes to music in general, there are a number of important bands that I've never really heard. I've been working to fix this problem on all fronts, and my recent interest in Sleater-Kinney, while I'm not sure if they'd actually be considered essential at all, is a result.

9. St. Vincent (13 plays)
I had expected St. Vincent to be a bunch of sweet soft songs performed by a sweet soft girl. While it is often sweet and soft, they are simultaneously dark and unsettling and even abrasive at times. Really really fucking good.

10. Against Me! (12 plays)
A lot of people think New Wave sucks. And that Against Me! are sellouts. And blah blah blah. Now I'm not an "original fan" or anything, I've been into them since about the time the As the Eternal Cowboy was new and I've greatly enjoyed all of their stuff (although I never listened much to Searching for a Former Clarity). I don't think they suck, and I don't think they're sellouts. That's all.

So there you have it. Volume One of my weekly top ten list thing. Here's to Volume Two next week.

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