Sunday, August 13, 2017

Song Of The Week: 8/13/17







Song: "Detroit"

Artist: Everclear

Album: "White Trash Hell" EP

Year: 1997

Place Of Origin: Portland, Oregon

Years Active: 1991 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

There doesn't appear to be much to the lyrics of "Detroit". The vocalist is "dreaming of a Michigan girlfriend". In a way it seems he is wishing for something he can't have. Maybe, she is just made up in his own mind and he's just longing for something that's not real. Just a dream girl made up in his mind. "Detroit" was one of seven demos recorded during the "Sparkle And Fade" sessions in 1994 but it didn't see the light of day until 1997 when it was released on the EP "White Trash Hell".

EVERCLEAR DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1993 - World Of Noise (Tim/Kerr Records)
1995 - Sparkle And Fade (Capitol Records)
1997 - So Much For The Afterglow (Capitol Records)
2000 - Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1: Learning How To Smile (Capitol Records)
2000 - Songs From An American Movie Vol. 2: Good Time For A Bad Attitude (Capitol Records)
2003 - Slow Motion Daydream (Capitol Records)
2006 - Welcome To The Drama Club (Eleven Seven Records)
2008 - The Vegas Years (Capitol Records)
2009 - In A Different Light (429 Records)
2011 - Return To Santa Monica (Cleopatra Records)
2011 - Extended Versions (Sony/BMG Records)
2012 - Invisible Stars (eOne Records)
2015 - Black Is The New Black (The End Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF EVERCLEAR:

Just after the grunge explosion of 1991 and 1992, there was another emerging alternative rock scene that was about to take off as well. Portland, Oregon's Everclear was one of the pioneers of this next phase of rock music. While their music was rooted in grunge/punk/garage rock, it would be the second single from their sophomore album, "Sparkle And Fade", that would really put Everclear on the musical map. "Santa Monica" was like the car moving upwards on a roller coaster. The band's next album, 1995's "So Much For The Afterglow" would prove to be that same car stopping at the top of the roller coaster. This would be Everclear's most successful album, going double platinum thanks to hit singles like "Everything To Everyone", "So Much For The Afterglow", "Father Of Mine" and "One Hit Wonder". The band's next album, 2000's "Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1", featured Everclear's highest charting single ever, "Wonderful". Now, however, the roller coaster car begins going down the hill. The band released "Songs From An American Movie Vol 2" just four months after Vol. 1 creating a bit of confusion among music buyers. Perhaps, it was an oversaturation. After the band released "Slow Motion Daydream" in 2003, their longtime relationship with major label Capitol Records ended and bassist Craig Montoya and drummer Greg Eklund decided to part ways with Everclear leaving frontman/guitarist Art Alexakis to ponder the future of the band. After doing a successful solo tour, many thought Alexakis might just go the solo route, but he would re-tool Everclear with new members and release "Welcome To The Drama Club" in 2006. It would be six more years till Everclear would release a proper studio album but in that time, they would put out a covers album, a few re-recorded albums and a live album. The band's most recent release was 2015's "Black Is The New Black". As I said earlier, Everclear was definitely at the forefront of the alternative rock scene in the mid-90's. Art Alexakis' songwriting is very clear, meaning that his lyrics are usually literal and not obscure. You can pretty much know what he is singing about without having to look really deep into the lyrics. While some of the themes may have been as dark as the earlier grunge bands, Everclear had a way of making even those types of songs appear "happier" for lack of a better term. They had a keen sense of creating a pop rock song, while giving it some bite with fuzzy distortion. I always looked at Everclear as kind of the Tom Petty of alternative rock. Simple songs. Catchy songs. While their popularity waned from the mid 2000's to the present day, the band has carried on, releasing music and touring. In fact, they've created their own summer tour called the "Summerland Tour" which features Everclear alongside other 90's alternative acts like Live, Sponge and Fastball. I actually would like to see Montoya and Eklund return to Everclear. I'm just not sure that will ever happen as they didn't leave on the best of terms. Still, Everclear is one of my favorite bands and I was really impressed with their latest album, "Black Is The New Black".

TEN EVERCLEAR SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Heroin Girl
2. So Much For The Afterglow
3. Learning How To Smile
4. The Swing
5. Wonderful
6. Santa Monica
7. American Girl (Tom Petty cover)
8. Blackjack
9. Pocahontas (Neil Young cover)
10. Be Careful What You Ask For

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Song Of The Week: 8/6/17







Song: "Black Hole Sun" (acoustic version)

Artist: Soundgarden

Album: Unknown ?

Year: Unknown ?

Place Of Origin: Seattle, Washington

Years Active: 1984 - 2017



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

Chris Cornell has stated that the lyrics of "Black Hole Sun" were really him just playing with words and piecing them into something that he was happy with. He didn't really have a meaning to them when he wrote the song. But, as I read the lyrics, I get a sense that he was thinking about dishonest people and backstabbing people. Perhaps, he's just so fed up in a world that's filled with snakes and cunning people that he wishes for it to be wiped out! The original version of "Black Hole Sun" appears on Soundgarden's 1994 epic release, "Superunknown". This version is an acoustic version that sounds like it was recorded in a studio but I don't think it is on any of the band's releases. Could very well be just a Chris Cornell solo recording also. Not sure when this version was recorded.

SOUNDGARDEN DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1988 - Ultramega OK (SST Records)
1989 - Louder Than Love (A&M Records)
1991 - Badmotorfinger (A&M Records)
1994 - Superunknown (A&M Records)
1996 - Down On The Upside (A&M Records)
2011 - Live On I-5 (A&M Records)
2012 - King Animal (Republic Records)
2014 - Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path (A&M Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF SOUNDGARDEN:

When you think of the very beginnings of "grunge" music, this is one of the bands that should immediately come to mind. Before Alice In Chains, before Nirvana and before Pearl Jam, there was Soundgarden. Formed in 1984, Soundgarden along with the bands Green River, Skin Yard, Malfunkshun, The U-Men and The Melvins laid the foundation of the Seattle sound in the form of the 1986 compilation, "Deep Six". Soundgarden would be one of the first bands to sign with underground Seattle label Sub Pop as well. Not to be outdone, or "outshined" if you will, the boys in Soundgarden would be the first grunge band to sign with a major label as their second full length album, "Louder Than Love", was distributed by A&M Records, which the band would have a career spanning relationship with. Now to the good stuff! 1991. Pearl Jam has "Ten". Nirvana blows up with "Nevermind". Laying in the weeds with "Badmotorfinger" is the mighty Soundgarden!! Though they didn't blow up right away like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, their music could not be denied. They were a part of the legendary Lollapalooza '92 line-up, along with Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ministry and the Seattle sound was God! 1994. Soundgarden releases one of the best albums of all time. I didn't stutter. All time!! "Superunknown" with songs like "Spoonman", "Superunknown", "The Day I Tried To Live", "My Wave" and the biggest single in the band's career, "Black Hole Sun", the band was catapulted to multi-platinum status and Grammy Award winning artists. Their 1996 follow up album, "Down On The Upside" wasn't as criticaly acclaimed as "Superunknown", nor as successful, but even among growning tensions within Soundgarden, this album was a killer album. The tensions proved to be too much for the band however and in 1997, the guys decided to break up. In the next 13 years, all of the band members focused on other projects, most notably, Cornell doing some solo stuff then hooking up with the guys from Rage Against The Machine to form Audioslave. Drummer Matt Cameron joined Pearl Jam as an official member while guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Ben Shepherd also kept busy doing their own thing. Much to the delight of their fans, in 2010, Soundgarden announced they were reuniting and headlining select festivals. 2012 saw the band release their first studio full length album in 16 years, "King Animal". This band still had it's teeth no doubt! In 2014, Soundgarden released "Echo Of Miles", a career spanning, three disc album containing most of the band's b-sides and rare tracks. In 2016, rumors were that the guys had about six songs pretty much complete and were working on more in hopes of having a new album out possibly in late 2017 or early 2018. Fast forward to May 18, 2017. After performing a show in Detroit, Michigan with Soundgarden, lead singer Chris Cornell retreated to his hotel room where he committed suicide by hanging. Though Cornell had fought with addiction and depression in his life, he seemed like he was in a really good place. He loved his family. He loved making music. He had so much talent and so much more to give. It's still a bit unreal to know that he is gone. He's one of the most powerful lead singers of any genre, period. He was that good. From his lyrics, you could tell their was a lot of dark in there. Maybe so much that he couldn't get it all out. Soundgarden will go down as one of the most influential and one of the all around best bands of all time. I believe that the early 90's Seattle sound is the last rock music to come out that felt like it changed the world. I'm pretty sure that Soundgarden will no longer exist as a band. Cornell meant way too much to just throw another lead singer in there. Plus, who could they find to replace him? No one has that guy's pipes. Maybe they do something like Nirvana did at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and get some singers to perform with them one last time cuz this band will definitely get in, in fact, they should already be in. I'm hoping the band has a few new songs in the can that surface at some point because we all need more Cornell!!

TEN SOUNDGARDEN SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Outshined
2. Fell On Black Days
3. Rusty Cage
4. Pretty Noose
5. Black Hole Sun
6. Slaves And Bulldozers
7. Burden In My Hand
8. By Crooked Steps
9. Bleed Together
10. Birth Ritual

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/30/17







Song: "Waiting For The Sun"

Artist: The Doors

Album: "Morrison Hotel"

Year: 1970

Place Of Origin: Los Angeles, California

Years Active: 1965 - 1973



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

Back in 1968 when "Waiting For The Sun" was written, there was a strong sense of unity and peace and togetherness among many of the youths of America. The description of the sunrise at the shore and the communal feel of those who race to the sea to witness it gives you a strong sense of freedom intertwined with the beauty of nature. Like it's signifying a new day, literally and figuratively. Jim Morrison always thought that the youth could take over, just in a pure numbers standpoint. Listen to "Five To One" and you'll get what I'm saying. "Waiting For The Sun" seems like a theme for the youth and their unity in America at that time.

THE DOORS DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1967 - The Doors (Elektra Records)
1967 - Strange Days (Elektra Records)
1968 - Waiting For The Sun (Elektra Records)
1969 - The Soft Parade (Elektra Records)
1970 - Morrison Hotel (Elektra Records)
1970 - Absolutely Live (Elektra Records)
1971 - L.A. Woman (Elektra Records)
1971 - Other Voices (Elektra Records)
1972 - Full Circle (Elektra Records)
1978 - An American Prayer (Elektra Records)
1983 - Alive, She Cried (Elektra Records)
1987 - Live At The Hollywood Bowl (Elektra Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF THE DOORS:

The origins of The Doors begins when a young Jim Morrison sang the song "Moonlight Drive" that he had written to keyboardist Ray Manzarek in 1965. Soon enough, the band was rounded out by Robby Krieger on guitars and John Densmore on drums and the legend began. Honing their sound, The Doors became the house band at the famous Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles and eventually were signed by Elektra Records, a relationship that spanned the band's entire career. The band's self-titled debut album in 1967 has gone 4X platinum in the United States alone, spawning perhaps the band's biggest hit, "Light My Fire". In fact, every album The Doors released with Jim Morrison on vocals has gone on to achieve at least platinum status, making them one of the most successful rock and roll bands of all time. Jim Morrison's legend as a fiery and charismatic front man soared to an all new level after the New Haven, Connecticut incident in 1967. Morrison was making out with a girl backstage and both were maced by cops after they were told to leave and refused. The cops, non knowing Morrison was the lead singer of The Doors, faced a verbal lashing by Morrison when the band took the stage. Infuriated, the cops arrested Morrison during the band's performance! Over the next few years, Morrison and The Doors would endure their share of incidents with the local police in various cities. By the time the band's third album was released, Morrison's drug and alcohol problems were starting to affect the band. Though the addictions were making Morrison less reliable, it did not stop the band from churning out hit after hit, "Hello, I Love You", "Touch Me", "Roadhouse Blues", "Love Her Madly" and "Riders On The Storm", just to name a few. By 1970, the road was becoming too much for Morrison and the band decided that touring was probably a thing of the past. The group, with Morrison, performed their last live show on December 12, 1970 in New Orleans. The band was clearly firing on all cylinders in the studio however, as the 1971 release "L.A. Woman" can attest to. Shortly after the release of "L.A. Woman", Morrison retreated to Paris with his girlfriend for a much needed hiatus from the band. Tragedy struck on July 3, 1971 however, when his girlfriend found him unresponsive in the bathtub of their apartment. At the young age of 27, the hopes and dreams of a surging band and their captivating frontman were dashed with Morrison's death. The three remaining members of The Doors did release two more albums as The Doors but there was no way the could sustain being a band without someone as huge as Jim Morrison. In 1973, the remaining members of The Doors announced the band was over. Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore did get together to put backing music to Morrison's poetry in a 1978 album called "An American Prayer". They also got together to perform "Light My Fire", "Roadhouse Blues" and "Break On Through" with Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam during The Doors' 1993 induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The band also got together with various singers including Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots and Creed's Scott Stapp for a recording of VH1's Storytellers in 2000. Manzarek died in 2013 leaving Krieger and Densmore as the only two surviving members of The Doors left. The Doors' legacy is unmistaken. They merged psychedelic rock with the blues to become one of the biggest bands of all time. In less than 10 years, the band released six albums that would go on to achieve platinum and multi-platinum status! Jim Morrison is bascially the poster child of what a rock and roll front man should be. Mysterious, sexual and dangerous, front men have been basically biting his style for years after his death and i'm sure will continue to in the years to come. The Doors are truly one of a kind and their music is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago!

TEN THE DOORS SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Roadhouse Blues
2. Love Me Two Times
3. Break On Through
4. Light My Fire
5. L.A. Woman
6. Five To One
7. The End
8. Waiting For The Sun
9. The Crystal Ship
10. Love Her Madly

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/23/17







Song: "This One Calls For A Better Title"

Artist: Never Hit Again

Album: "Slow Motion Impact"

Year: 2009

Place Of Origin: Quebec, Canada

Years Active: 2004 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"This One Calls For A Better Title" appears to be about regret. Regrets that you were too prideful to own up to your mistakes. Regrets that you thought only about what was right for you without caring about the feelings of those who were close to you. And, regrets that it is too late for saying sorry to those people. Those who were closest have cut their ties with the vocalist. All he has left is to wish that something, anything, can make his wrongs right.

NEVER HIT AGAIN DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2006 - It's Not An Option, It's Just A Wise Choice (self-released)
2009 - Slow Motion Impact (The Albinos Records)
2011 - Sinkers (self-released)

CURRENT STATUS OF NEVER HIT AGAIN:

Never Hit Again's origins date back to 2004. This Canadian band is all about the DIY ethic, self-releasing their debut album in 2006, "It's Not An Option, It's Just A Wise Choice". A few short years later, the band hooked on with label The Albinos for the release of their second album, "Slow Motion Impact", in 2009. For their last full length studio album, Never Hit Again decided to handle the release themselves again, putting out "Sinkers" in 2011. Most recently, Never Hit Again released the EP "Basement Blues" which can be found on their Bandcamp page. Never Hit Again's style is that of a melodic hardcore band. If you are a fan of bands such as Propagandhi, A Wilhelm Scream, Strung Out, DC Fallout and This Is A Standoff, then you would most likely enjoy Never Hit Again. I've said it before in some of my posts, but with bands of certain genres there are those who are the leaders, such as Propagandhi, and then there are those who are followers. I would put Never Hit Again in the follower pack. Good band. Solid band. Just nothing that stands out from the crowd.

TEN NEVER HIT AGAIN SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. What I Do
2. Go!
3. Punk Rock Song In E Minor (Fuck You)
4. This Song
5. Superhero
6. Leaves Are Falling Again
7. Alone In A Hallway With Only A Shirt On
8. Don't Believe What This Idiot Says
9. Wine
10. The Headlights & The Hourglass

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/16/17







Song: "Without Me"

Artist: PMX

Album: "Dark Days" EP

Year: 2015

Place Of Origin: Perth, Scotland

Years Active: 1997 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Without Me" appears to be yet another song of a broken relationship. The vocalist has been left by the one he loves. All of his forgiveness doesn't change anything. She took her heart home while shattering his when she left him behind. The sense is the vocalist has been left in a depressed state, clearly not taking the separation well.

PMX DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2004 - Rise And Shine (Milk & Cookies Records)
2013 - The Ballad Of Tony Montana (Bells On Records)
2017 - Unreleased (self-released)

CURRENT STATUS OF PMX:

PMX is a Scottish punk band that had it's origins in 1997. However, it wasn't until 2004 that the band released it's debut album, "Rise And Shine". Generating some buzz in the U.K., PMX landed several opening slots on the European tours of bands such as Anti-Flag, Taking Back Sunday and Propagandhi. Surprisingly, it took the band nearly 10 years to release it's follow up album, 2013's "The Ballad Of Tony Montana". This album is actually just one 25 minute song called "The Ballad Of Tony Montana" and it is bascially the story of the legendary character in the movie "Scarface". In 2015, the band dropped the "Dark Days" EP and most recently self-released a digital album of rare tracks on their Bandcamp page called "Unreleased". As of May of 2016, the band has said that they were in the process of making what will be their third full length studio album. PMX is a melodic punk band that at times seems torn between shifting more towards pop punk, while other times they veer more towards a melodic hardcore style. I'd say if you're a fan of bands like Never Hit Again, Slick Shoes, Down By Fire, Laughing In The Face Of or The Artist Life, then you may enjoy PMX's music. I see them as a good band, not spectacular. It seems in the recent years they have been much more active than earlier on in their career. My jury is still out on them. I'm hoping that their new album will win me over completely but until then, I'll call them a good band but not a great one.

TEN PMX SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Adolesence
2. Oceans
3. Eulogy
4. Pull The Trigger
5. Like Or Share
6. The Ballad Of Tony Montana
7. Enter The Pigeon
8. PMX TV
9. The Epic
10. Dark Days

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/9/17







Song: "I'm Broken" (demo)

Artist: Mark Lind

Album: "Demos"

Year: 2013

Place Of Origin: Charlestown, Massachusetts

Years Active: 1995 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"I'm Broken" appears to be a song about the fear of being alone. By that I mean not having someone to live your life with. The vocalist clearly wants someone to be there for him throughout his life, even till his dying day. Just the thought that he could be alone at the end weighs on him. Definitely another "relationship that didn't work out" type of song with the vocalist left "broken" to ponder the mistakes that he's made. This song would eventually see the light of day on The Ducky Boys' 2011 album, "Chasing The Ghost".

MARK LIND DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2007 - Compulsive Fuck Up (State Line Records)
2009 - Homeward Bound (State Line Records)
2013 - Demos (State Line Records)
2016 - Death Or Jail (State Line Records)
2016 - The Truth Can Be Brutal (State Line Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF MARK LIND:

Back in 1995, Mark Lind and his cousin Jason Messina formed The Ducky Boys. Newcomers to the Boston punk rock scene, their sound caught the ear of Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys who took the young band under his wing. The band endured some turmoil and disbanded in 1999. Lind would then work with his brother Rob, who played in the band Blood For Blood, and formed Sinners And Saints. This band took a slightly different sound compared to the straight street punk of The Ducky Boys. It was much more mainstream. In 2003, Lind and Messina would form a Ducky Boys-like band called Dirty Water which would be a short-lived project as The Ducky Boys would reform that same year. By 2005, Lind decided to work on some extra Ducky Boys tracks and release them as a solo project. Lind would go on to have 5 total releases as a solo performer, two of which featured a backing band that he put together called the Unloved. Those two albums are 2009's "Homeward Bound" and 2008's "The Truth Can Be Brutal". While Lind did have a deal with Sailor Grave Records for some of his releases, he eventually would release all of his albums on his own label, State Line Records. Most recently, Lind is the lead vocalist for yet another Boston punk rock band called The Warning Shots. Their most recent release was 2017's "Tonight". Mark Lind has been a constant in the Boston punk scene. The Ducky Boys are his calling card but that's not to diminish his other bands or his solo material. Lind is like several other punk rock frontmen who have done solo acoustic stuff on the side. Chuck Ragan, Dave Hause, Tony Sly, Tim Barry, Joey Cape to name a few. If you are into Boston punk bands like Street Dogs, Dropkick Murphys, Far From Finished and OC45, then you would most likely enjoy Mark's music and all the bands he's been in. I find that Mark's solo material, and even some Ducky's stuff has kind of a Social Distortion vibe to it. While being punk, it definitely has some Stones-y blues elements to some songs. While I love Mark's solo stuff, The Ducky Boys is what hooked me on his music. I'm also very happy with his new band, The Warning Shots. Great stuff!!

TEN MARK LIND SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Coke & Jack
2. Wasted Years
3. Everything Falls Apart
4. New Year's Day
5. Better Days
6. Wolves
7. Cold Hearted (Son Of A Bitch)
8. Be Your Man
9. An Open Letter To Boston
10. Whatever Road

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Song Of The Week: 7/2/17







Song: "Directions Never Hold"

Artist: Arliss Nancy

Album: "Wild American Runners"

Year: 2013

Place Of Origin: Fort Collins, Colorado

Years Active: 2007 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Directions Never Hold" appears to be a song about a relationship that has dissolved for the vocalist. You get a sense that he is lamenting "the one that got away". He looks back on what they had, especially when the relationship was young. How time didn't matter to them, as long as they were together. Sometimes, however, time can make something that was once close start to drift apart. Eventually, she leaves him and he's left to ponder on the mistakes he made and yearn for something that will probably never be.

ARLISS NANCY DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2009 - Dance To Forget (self-released)
2012 - Simple Machines (Gunner Records)
2013 - Wild American Runners (Gunner Records)
2016 - Great Divides (Gunner Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF ARLISS NANCY:

Arliss Nancy is an indie punk/alt. country band from Colorado that formed back in 2007. The band self-released their debut album, "Dance To Forget", in 2009 and in 2010 self-released an EP, "Truckstop Roses". These two releases caught the ear of label Gunner Records whom built up a relationship with Arliss Nancy which has continued to this very day. Through Gunner, the band released three full length albums, 2012's "Simple Machines", 2013's "Wild American Runners" and 2016's "Great Divides". Arliss Nancy is often classified as indie punk and I agree with that to an extent. They have a rootsy feel to them, sometimes incorporating alt. country and Americana type rock and roll. I'd say their style is somewhat similar to bands like Onward Etc, The Grizzly Band, Cub Country, The Gaslight Anthem and Chuck Ragan. The band writes good melodic and catchy songs simple and plain. Good, solid band!

TEN ARLISS NANCY SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Both Got Old
2. The Crease
3. Blessings I Ain't Never Had
4. Can't Go Back
5. Wrong Or Right
6. Abacus
7. Don't You Forget
8. Front Seat
9. Vonnegut
10. Momentum