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I was going to write yet another thing about Halloween and then offer up a download of the song Halloween by the Misfits, but they are just one of those bands that I never bothered ripping the discs of when I got the new hard drive. I don’t know what happened. I used to love them, then one day I put on Walk Among Us and realized that two minute, four-chord retelling of B-grade horror movies just didn’t do it for me anymore.

This got me to thinking about bands I loved that just faded from my playlist for one reason or another. Sometimes you just grow tired of certain music. Sometimes you outgrow it. And sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that make you delete every folder containing a certain band from your hard drive. Which is a shame. As much as I used to love Faith No More – I was obsessed with them for years – I have such a hard time listening to them now because they remind me of things I don’t want to be reminded of. Where their entire catalog used to be a source of musical pleasure for me, they now remind me of lies and anger and empty promises and every time I try to enjoy Angel Dust again, I’m left with a taste of bitterness that hangs on the entire day.

Yet there are bands I loved that went through tough times with me that I stuck with. Maybe the years have taken the edge off the memories. I can bring out the entire Husker Du catalog without thinking about that messy breakup. I can listen to Black Flag’s Damaged without experiencing the ensuing black hole of depression that used to follow it. I didn’t lose all my good music just because I associate bands and songs with emotions. Maybe I shove them on the back burner for a while, but they come back.

Then there are those bands you just had enough of. I went through my regressive emo stage and I can really live without Taking Back Sunday now. And then there are the bands you once adored and you try to listen to their music now and your reaction is “what the hell was I thinking?” Did I once really think The Doors were anything more than dime store poetry sung by a man with a grand self-perception rivaled only by Jesus? Did I really have the cover to Yes’s Fragile painted on the back of my Levi jacket?

Another band that falls into that category, like the Misfits, is the Ramones.

Yes, I said it. The Ramones. It feels almost blasphemous to write that. A New Yorker who grew up in the 70’s and was around for beginning of that band’s rise to fame is done with them? I hear a collective gasp from the die hard Ramones fans I know. I know the way they think. They’ll hear me say something like this and come after me with pitchforks and torches, crying about my lost punk roots and how my cred is completely shot. So be it. I really don’t like you “punk lived and died in the 70’s” people, anyhow. Just for good measure, I’m going to tell you that I no longer listen to the Clash, either. It’s not that I threw alway all my punk records and gave up on the genre. I just stuck with the ones that stood my test of time. I’d rather listen to the Circle Jerks or 7 Seconds or Minor Threat all day than listen to the same song, different words from the Ramones.

There are tons of bands and whole genres that came and went in my life. Lots of bands that don’t matter, bands I forgot about, albums I wish I never spent money on. Your life changes, you grow up, move on, your tastes change. I still listen to a hell of a lot of the music I loved in my misspent youth. I love me some good, old fashioned metal and I’ll never tire of Pink Floyd.

It doesn’t bother me so much that my Misfits and Ramones CDs are going to collect dust now. What bothers me is when my music is taken from me through circumstances. Sure, they are self-made circumstances. There’s a reason I won’t listen to Stabbing Westward’s Darkest Days anymore and it has nothing to do with anything but me and my tendency to be overwrought in my wallowing. I’m not going to blame anyone but myself that I can’t listen to Faith No More or Nick Cave with the enjoyment I used to. Hopefully, like with Husker Du, I’ll get that musical pleasure back some day. As for the Doors and most of the Led Zeppelin catalog and Lynyrd Skynyrd, those phases are long gone and I don’t want them back.

I was supposed to be writing a Halloween thing here. Just another example of how my mind works at 5am. I’ll do the Halloween thing later.

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I stole this from Sheila.

What music are you currently grooving to?

I’m currently stuck on three things: Clutch’s Blast Tyrant, Chamillionaire’s Ultimate Victory and Beck’s GameBoy Variations.

Here’s Beck’s “GameBoy/Homeboy” [Que’ Onda Guero], remixed by the band 8-bit, using sounds from a GameBoy. Very cool stuff.

“Top 25 Most Played Songs on iPod”
I have a Nano, so my iPod selection is small, compared to my overall music collection, but this is the music that mostly gets me through my workday (at least this week), so I don’t have to listen to the radio of the woman two cubicles down who has a Michael Bolton fetish.

  1. Brand New – Me v. Maradona v. Elvis
  2. QOTSA – In My Head
  3. QOTSA – Autopilot
  4. Chamillionaire – Hip Hop Police
  5. Beck – Gameboy/Homeboy (Que Onda Guero)
  6. Brand New – Failure By Design
  7. Taking Back Sunday – You’re So Last Summer
  8. QOTSA – Make It Wit Chu
  9. Clutch – The Mob Goes Wild
  10. Clutch – Promoter
  11. Clutch – 10001110101
  12. Husker Du – Books About UFOs
  13. Husker Du – Celebrated Summer
  14. GBH – High Octane Fuel
  15. Fang – Landshark
  16. My Chemical Romance – I Never Told You What I Do For A Living
  17. Ice Cube – Wicked
  18. Panic! At The Disco – I Write Sins Not Tragedies
  19. Pixies – Cactus
  20. Swingin Utters – Windspitting Punk
  21. 7 Seconds – I See You Found Another Trophy
  22. White Stripes – Dead Leaves And Dirty Ground
  23. Love and Rockets – All In My Mind
  24. Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance
  25. Fear Factory – Replica

What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album?
I hate this question, just because it could change every day. And because there really is no ONE good answer. Well, maybe Faith No More’s Angel Dust. Or..wait, Weezer’s Blue album. Uhh..no, what about Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabies to Paralyze? Or Black Flag’s Damaged? WAIT! I MEANT DARK SIDE OF THE MOON! No, no I meant……..ah, forget it. I’m not answering this.

What was the first record you ever bought? And where did you buy it?

I’m not counting the Patridge Family albums I had. Or Leif Garret. Or that other guy in the early 70’s with the blonde hair that everyone loved. Bobby something. We’ll fast forward to when I was about eleven years old. I saved up my allowance and walked to Modell’s (before it was a sporting goods store, it was a crappy department store) to purchase Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy, but walked out with Dark Side of the Moon instead.

Which musician have you ever wanted to be?
None, really. Always seemed like too much trouble. Though, if I could ever be a guy for a day I might want to be Henry Rollins.

What do you sing in the shower?

In my shower world, I am a star. I sing in musicals. I belt out songs from South Pacific and Guys and Dolls and The Music Man and West Side Story and, most of all, Jesus Christ Superstar. On those days when I want to spend a little time in the shower, like if I have to shave my legs or play with the shower head, I will attempt go through almost the entire soundtrack. By the time I get to this song, there are people banging on the door. Not just Todd or my kids needing to get into the bathroom, but my neighbors, begging me, for the love of Jesus Christ Superstar, to stop the noise. Of course, in my shower world, they are actually begging me to sing MORE and LOUDER and saying things like WHY AREN’T YOU ON BROADWAY? To which I say, Oh, but I am. Showerland is a great place to be.

What is your favourite Saturday night record?

Saturday night is for feeling energetic, like you could go out on a drinking rampage and get into a bar fight and then maybe go drunken bowling and then cruise down the main strip in your hot rod until the cops chase you home. That’s if you drank. Or had a hot rod. Or liked bowling. Or if your town had a main strip. Doesn’t matter, I still listen to the Supersuckers, Evil Powers of Rock and Roll as if we weren’t just driving to Home Depot for a bucket of grout.

And it’s favorite. No U.

And your Sunday morning record?

Duh.

The “name our Halloween town” thing will remain open til tonight, by the way. There are some really good names there so you’ll have to be creative to match up to what’s been offered already.

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spooky town in progress

Spooky Town (and we do need a better name for it, rather than the ™ name) is about 3/4 done. Once we get it in the window we are going to need a soundtrack for it. Sure, a lot of these houses and stuff make noises, but what would a Halloween be without my “suggest a cool mix cd for me” post? What would Halloween be at my house without the music of some psychobilly band followed by “I Put A Spell On You” blasting from my living room window? I have done this mix suggestion every year I’ve been blogging during Halloween, which makes this the 5th or 6th mix. Not sure.

So, what I need from you are scary, creepy tunes. Could be pure Halloween music or movie scores or Cannibal Corpse songs or anything I between. I like to stick mostly to rock, but putting true spooky music between the Misfits and Rob Zombie always seems to work. Anything with creepy lyrics works as well as anything with eerie music.

*Just no Monster Mash, please. I think we are all sick of that in the same way we don’t want to hear Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer every again.

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300 bands, 300 songs (updated)

See post below for reference.

I decided to do the 300 bands, 300 songs thing. Who knows, it might turn into 500 if I get enough participation.

Here’s how it works:

Rather than do yet another list of my favorite songs (which would really just be updating my 500 songs list from ages ago), I am going to make a list of my favorite song from 300 different bands.

I will be using some of my favorite bands, of course. But a lot of it is up to you. Your job here is to throw bands at me, and I’ll have to come up with one song from each of them that will go on my list. I think it’s much harder this way and poses a greater challenge than just listing off songs randomly (and choosing, say, 45 Queens of the Stone Age songs). Also, I have to write at least once sentence about why I chose each song. I will include either a download or youtube link where I can.

A few rules:

  • You leave the band suggestion in a comment on this post.
  • You can only leave one band at a time. Make as many comments as you want, but I don’t want to end up doing 40 bands by one person in a row.
  • You can try to throw me some curveballs, but please know that my musical taste is incredibly varied and I can come up with songs I like from most any genre.
  • However, we are sticking to rock and pop here. Rock, for the purpose of this list, includes all sub genres, including punk, new wave, metal (heavy, death, speed), hardcore, emo, etc. Pop includes bands that may qualify as rock but are a bit lighter.
  • Final judgment on whether or not I use a band lies with me. Really, the only reason I will reject your band suggestion is that I don’t know any songs by them. So you may want to throw some obscure accordian metal band from your small town in the midwest at me, but if I don’t know them, they’re out of here. I’m not going to pretend to like anything. I want this list to really reflect my tastes when all is said and done.
  • I may reject a band I hate. See above. If I can’t find a song I truly like, they don’t deserve to be on the list.
  • I will be using my own suggestions, obviously. I will probably start the list with a QOTSA song (tomorrow morning) and continue it using 10 band Todd gives me, then work my way through your suggestions from there.
  • The more bands, the merrier. This means I’d like to get as many people in on this as possible. So feel free, if you have a blog, to link this and send your readers over to make demands of me.
  • I will post at least one song every day. Some days I will do a whole bunch, but I can’t promise that every day. However, I do promise to finish this list. I’m not saying by when, though.
  • Why am I doing this? Because I love music and I love lists and I love writing lists about music and talking about the songs I love. Maybe because I am a bit OCD.

If you have any other questions about what I’m doing or how this works, feel free to ask. But THIS is the place where you start naming bands, and I’ll keep coming back to this post to add on to my listmaking.

So start naming bands and spread the word, please. My most ambitious list making to date is about to get underway.

Update:
Artists count as well as bands.
You can now leave more than one suggestion at a time.

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The Shuffled Soundtrack Of My Life

When someone posts a blog meme and then says something like “I’m dying to see how Michele’s turns out,” I think that means I’m supposed to do this.

Which is just fine, as it means I don’t have to think of anything to write this morning.

Here’s the deal:

1. open your library (iTunes, winamp, media player, iPod)
2. put it on shuffle
3. press play
4. for every question, type the song that’s playing
5. new question– press the next button
6. don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool

It’s like letting your media player choose the soundtrack the movie of your life. I’m game.

Opening Credits

Nachtmystium – AntiChrist Messiah (ha!)

Waking Up

The Dwarves – What Hit You

First Day at School

Mr. Bungle – Afterschool Special

Falling in Love

DRI – Busted

Breaking Up

Pantera – By Demons Be Drive

Prom

Korn – Dead Bodies Everywhere (apparently, I’m Carrie)

Life’s Okay

KMFDM – A Drug Against War

Mental Breakdown

Van Halen – Somebody Get Me A Doctor (it’s like my winamp is sentient!)

Driving

Rammstein – Engel

Flashback

Phantom Planet – Big Brat

Getting back together

Butt Trumpet – I’ve Been So Mad Lately

Wedding

The Who – Anyway Anyhow Anywhere

Birth of a child

Stanford Prison Experiment – You’re The Vulgarian

Final Battle

Turbonegro – Age of Pamparius (a song about pizza. must be some battle scene)

Death Scene

Nine Inch Nails – March of the Pigs

Funeral Song

Monster Magnet – Bummer

End Credits

Danzig – When Death Has No Name

Some of them worked out great, others, not so much. But it was fun to do. And I didn’t have to use my pre-caffeinated brain.

Tanya’s got one going, too.

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People write about their “desert island discs” all the time. You know, the five or ten albums you would take with you to a desert island.

Tesco has taken that idea one step further and come up with his Desert Island Band. It looks like it was an easy choice for him (and I figured right away it would be The Clash), but I’m having a hard time with this.

Think about it. One band to listen to forever. The same band. Over and over. I suppose if I took the whole “desert island” thing literally I would take into consideration the band members themselves and the fact that they probably have their instruments with them and could make new music at any time. But where would you plug in an amp on an island? Come to think of it, where would you play all those desert island discs? Last I remember, deserted islands do not come with electricity.

Ok, I’m stretching that idea. Sorry. What Tesco means is this:

The fact is, however, a favorite band of all time should be treated exactly like your “island band” because this is the band that you can safely say you would have no problem being stuck with for the rest of your life, the one band that you can hear a billion-trillion (real number, it is really!) times and not get sick of. The same band that if you can, you will listen to everyday.

That’s a tough one. At first I thought, you’d need a band with a large catalog so you would have a large variety of music to choose from. Even then, you would probably get sick of them after a while. In which case, you could always just turn off the music an do something else, like whittle statues of Japanese monsters out of wood or make invisible friends (see, I’m still taking the desert island thing literally). Then again, if you’re whittling, you could make a flute out of some balsa wood and make your own music. By the time they rescue you, you’d have a whole repertoire of songs laid out and you’d be the next Zamfir. Imagine that – when they have the press conference announcing your rescue (WOMAN FOUND AFTER 28 WEEKS ON DESERT ISLAND, LIVED OFF NUTS AND BERRIES WHILE PRAYING TO A WOODEN STATUE OF MOTHRA)you could whip out your homemade flute and get yourself a book deal and a recording contract at the same time.

Anyhow. The band.

After much brainstorming on this question I decided that my desert island band would be Queens of the Stone Age.

They don’t have a very extensive catalog (five albums), but the albums and the songs within contain such a wide scope of musical stylings that you can’t possibly get bored with it. They run through so many genres in their music that sometimes you feel like you are listening to several different bands. There are songs to rock out to, songs to fall asleep to, songs to ponder the existence of life on a desert island to, songs to make you want to dance or cry, that make you want to look around the island for some mind altering plant to smoke, songs that make you want to break stuff or sit quietly and whittle wood.

I could also take this one step further and say that, by extension, if I choose QOTSA as my favorite band I get not only their catalog, but the catalog of all the band members, past and present, which would include albums by The Dwarves and Foo Fighters and Perfect Circle and Failure and Kyuss and Eagles of Death Metal and Screaming Trees and…..well, that might be cheating. But it’s a good thought (However, I think I should get all the Desert Sessions stuff because that is, more or less, QOTSA).

I can’t imagine having to listen to one singular band for the rest of my life. But if I absolutely had to, QOTSA would be it. Besides, this is really more about naming your favorite all time band than about sitting on an island talking to an inanimate Godzilla eating what could be poisonous mushrooms as you contemplate throwing yourself into the ocean because the whole scenario reminds you of that Tom Hanks movie you hate.

So, my favorite band is QOTSA.

I wonder how “I Was A Teenage Hand Model” would sound on a homemade flute.

[for those of you who knew me when and are wondering what happened to make Faith No More be displaced as my all time favorite band, let’s just say that certain life things have caused their music to leave a bad taste in my mouth. i’ll get over it eventually]

QOTSA: Go With The Flow

I Never Came (live)

Avon (live with Grohl)

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the best songs you never heard, volume 3

Another CD I found in Todd’s collection – a compilation from Amrep (Amphetamine Reptile) Records. The label has put out records by Helmet, The Melvins a bunch of other bands you might have heard of and some you probably haven’t.

This particular compilation has a few great songs on it, notably the selections from Supernova, The Cows and Unsane. But the one that really caught my ear was from a band I never heard of (and can’t find out much about) – Gnomes of Zurich. The song is called Big Teeth, Skeletal Face and it kicks ass. Enjoy.

Gnomes of Zurich – Big Teeth Skeletal Face

Volume 1
Volume 2

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