Top 10: 27 Nov - 4 Dec

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5 Dic 2005, 7:23

8. Keller Williams, Phish, Coldplay (4) - Look at me! I can make artist tags! Another way for me to force my music taste down people's throats! Anyway, if it wasn't already obvious from looking at the bottom of the top ten, it was a slow week. When I don't get to listen to many full albums and work takes over my life (stupid Christmas retail season), you get poorly balanced top tens like this one. But speaking of Christmas and music, no Christmas is complete without a healthy dose of Mannheim Steamroller. Even if you've spun your Christmas in the Aire CD a billion times or worn out the cassette tape (*raises hand*), it's always fresh once again come Yuletide season. Look for MS to start creeping into my recent listens and maybe even a top ten; XM 76 made a ballsy move by playing some non-Christmas Mannheim Steamroller the other night, and I found it absolutely fantastic. Go download Toccata if you can find it. Amazing how they blend the synthesizer with the real instruments. Really, it is. This track alone moved me to add Fresh Aire III to my Amazon wishlist. In related news, I'm looking to get a $150 Amazon gift certificate for Christmas from my parents. Oh, what a windfall that will be.

6. Bad Livers, Kyle Hollingsworth (6) - I don't think the Bad Livers popped up in the top ten last week, which is sad because it didn't give me an open chance to rave about them. But now here they are, in all their sixth place glory! I was only marginally interested in bluegrass until my dad pushed me to order Industry and Thrift off of Amazon. He had heard a song called "Lumpy, Beanpole & Dirt" on the radio at work and told me to download it. I couldn't find it on any P2P programs, so I took the plunge and just bought the album. Turned out to be one of the best blind buys I've ever made. This isn't your grandpappy's brand of Bill Monroe & Ralph Stanley-type of bluegrass. There are shades of hard rock, punk, and even klezmer on this album. The banjo and tuba players have incredible chops, and the vocals combined with the lyrics make for quite an interesting album. There are a lot of similar alterna-bluegrass bands I was moved to check out as a result of this album - the meat purveyors and Split Lip Rayfield, to name a few - but none of them compared to the original article. Step out of your comfort zone and check these guys out.

4. Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa (10) - More usual suspects rounding out the top half of the top ten. I think I am finally starting to see to a small extent why everyone elevates Zeppelin to the godly status that they do. If I had more time to listen to music this week, I would have tracked down a lot more of their stuff, but I only cherry-picked a couple of songs. I forgot how much I loved Moby Dick as well. Drum solos can get tedious, especially live cuts of this one that barrel headfirst through double-digit minute counts, but that guitar at the beginning just makes me want to kick people's asses. I love music that makes me want to kick people's asses, except for the thing that I look really stupid flailing around while I listen to it and there are often other people in the house at the time.

3. Umphrey's McGee (15) - I think I have owned Anchor Drops for the better part of two years without ever having given it a complete listen-through, which was a stupid mistake on my part. It took XM 51 playing Miss Tinkle's Overture during one of their jam blocks to make me pull this CD out and give it a spin. After going through it, I can say that it's actually pretty amazing. Reading the article devoted to them on Wikipedia gives even more insight into their sound and the way they work as a cohesive unit on stage. If the better part of the information in the article is true, I have to see these guys live sometime. I just have to. Their dual guitar lead makes them reminiscent of some of the old-time powerhouse prog rock bands like Rush, giving them a unique sound in the jam band world. Unfortunately, a lot of their early material is out of print, which is sad, since I like listening to band discographies chronologically to see how they evolved throughout their careers.

2. Dire Straits (19) - Can you believe I went all this time without having Brothers in Arms (the song, not the album) on my playlist? That thunderous intro sends chills down my spine every time I hear it, and the lyrics just ring too true in my life right now. XM has been playing a lot of the underrated not-quite-their-best-but-still-good material from Communiqué lately, so I need to grab up some of that as well. Do yourself a favor and listen to Portobello Belle. Original or the live cut from the Money for Nothing compilation, doesn't matter.

1. String Cheese Incident (29) - Is anyone surprised? Shouldn't be. I have nearly 50 SCI studio tracks on my miscellaneous playlist, and it doesn't look like too many of them are coming down in my upcoming playlist audit. Every now and then, I clean out my playlist, ridding it of songs I've grown sour on or just don't listen to anymore for whatever reason. Usually I do this at around 250 songs, but recently I've let it balloon to 443. I guess that's what happens when you start getting an influx of download ideas from satellite radio. Best Christmas present I ever received.

Back next week, hopefully with a more varied top ten.

Comentarios

  • Le_THieN

    ...except for the inclusion of the abysmal Coldplay. Chris Martin, man! Mr. Chris Whinier-Than-Thou, I-Have-Rainbow-Electric-Tape-Around-My-Fingers, I-Rhyme-in-Couplets, Sappier-Than-Morrissey Martin! But I shure do love me some String Cheese. =) Peace out, Casey's Friend (TM).

    5 Dic 2005, 9:28
  • roundthewheel

    Coldplay isn't the greatest act on the face of the planet, but they're far from abysmal. I've had scattered thoughts whizzing about my brain for about a week on how music is analogous to food, and Coldplay made me think about pop music, which I equate with candy. It's not very healthy, and as a form of nourishment, it's insubstantial and unfilling. And yet sometimes, candy is exactly what you want. The ideas aren't exactly cohesive yet, but I've hammered out a few into my loose thoughts notebook (e.g. Phish = pizza: when it's good, it's great; when it's bad, it's terrible). Maybe one of these days I'll pump out an essay on it. A small sample: Kenny G is diet soda. You figure that one out. But Coldplay's not terrible. Overrated, yes, but not terrible.

    6 Dic 2005, 5:04
  • Le_THieN

    ...I'll get into my perspective on Coldplay when I get around to an [i]X&Y[/i] review, but I wouldn't even evelate those guys to the prestigious level of being a guilty pleasure. I just happen to think there are more talented, lyrically-driven international acts with that familiar epic Britpop sound out there, with Doves being the most premiere example. Not to say I don't like anything about Coldplay - it's just that I think they've gotten progressively worse with each album since [i]Parachutes[/i]. And Gawd. Kenny G? Brother, please. *smirk* I'll take my Jeff Coffin steak over that any day.

    6 Dic 2005, 5:27
  • roundthewheel

    Well, I don't even have guilty pleasures. I like what I like and I'm not apologetic about it. I don't guess I conveyed very well that I hate Kenny G. Because I do. With unmitigated vitriol. If you've never read the thing where Pat Metheny just completely reams him in writing, you should. It's dated around 2002, I think, but it still holds up as a fantastic piece of verbal ownage. Just Google Pat Metheny Kenny G, it shouldn't be too hard to find. You'll know it when you see it. Jeff Coffin rules. Flecktones forever. I'm gonna friend you if'n you don't mind.

    6 Dic 2005, 5:51
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