I went to the gym tonight and put my Ipod on shuffle. I probably got through 20 songs over the course of the workout, but was pleased that 5 great tunes came up. Here they are:
Doves - The Outsiders (Kingdom Of Rust)
I think these guys have 5 albums out and I love 3 of them. "The Outsiders" is the 3rd song on the album and encapsulates everything I like in music - noisy droning guitars, plenty of modulation and filtering effects, old school synth blips and squeals, and lazy minor key vocals. The song has a great tempo as well, so it's a great running song. If I had a band I would want to sound like this.
Bob Mould - City Lights (Life And Times)
Bob's been around since the 1980's. First with Husker Du, then solo, then with a band called Sugar, then solo again where he's remained for at least the last 10 years. In a certain sense, Bob has only got one song. But it's a GREAT song, and "City Lights" shines. I love that he always records with drummers who play simple patterns but hit the crap out of their kits. Then there is the famous 12 string acoustic/6 string electric guitar blend, with the a chimey arpeggio sitting on top of the moving bass line. Bob always finds a great vocal melody, and this song is no exception. Plus I like guys who have been around forever who make records that still rock.
AC/DC - Walk All Over You (Highway To Hell)
Could you ask for a better song when you are in the gym? I think not. Perfect for acting tough, grunting, and throwing weights around. If "Smoke On The Water" is the first song every kid plays on guitar when they learn how to play barre chords, then "Walk All Over You" should be the song that every kid plays when they master full "G" and "D" chords. A classic. I've loved this song since the 6th or 7th grade.
Sloan - Underwhelmed (A Sides Win)
Sloan is from Canada. Except for some notable artists like Neil Young and Rush, Canadian rock bands haven't historically done so well in the US. I guess Arcade Fire is a recent exception. It's a shame because there are some great Canadian bands. Sloan write great power pop with an edge - think a post punk Cheap Trick with an occasional trace of that groovy '70's California sound. I've always liked this song lyrically as well. It's a Frankie Valli girls and cars song updated for the slacker sensibility of the early nineties.
Groove Armada - What's Your Version Of Things (Soundboy Rock)
What makes the Rolling Stones cool? We'll these days nothing, but 1968-71 albums like Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, and Sticky Fingers are amazing. I think these albums are great because above all, the individual playing is sloppy yet as an ensemble it sounds perfect. But when you are a band like Groove Armada and you are flying in samples left right and center, math becomes essential and the timing is right on the money. A lot of the time, the unintended consequence is that the perfection sucks the feeling out of the track. But not on this song. There is a folky, Dylanesque acoustic guitar and vocal track that's perfectly imperfect and all over the map. And it lies over a well programmed and beautifully symphonic backing track. Song structure wise, the cart is pulling the horse. I love this song.
Till next time...