Thursday, June 30, 2016

#introvertproblems

Random strangers who try to make dumb chitchat while I'm wearing earphones:

I can barely hear what you're saying. I assume if you had something actually important to say, like "OMG your butt's on fire!" or "OMG there's a pack of wolves chasing you!" or "OMG there's a pack of wolves on fire chasing you!" you'd probably talk louder.

No, I will not take them out to hear your stunning observations about the weather. I'd rather keep listening to music, even if it's that stupid Kesha song I like for some reason. I don't know you, and I don't owe you anything, so don't be offended.

Do people not realize how much that shit annoys introverts, or do they just not care? I'm banking on the latter, considering how many people seem to view introverts as unconverted extroverts. *sigh* THAT"S NOT THE WAY IT WORKS.

/end rant

Just so this post isn't 100% bitchin', my tbt post was originally gonna be about old Mariah Carey videos, which are a major nostalgia blast if you were a teen in the 90s. Trust me. But after thinking about Kelsea Bananadaiquiri yesterday (something I don't recommend you do), I had to give a shoutout to some great women of country radio past. So, next Thursday will be Mariah. Her "Emotions" video is a real treat, if you can tolerate that high-pitched squeak thing she does. I think being around in the early 90s I'm automatically immune to it.

Wolves on fire would be terrifying.

TBT ~ the quest for lost female country hits

If you wanna be happy, they tell you, don't live in the past. Embrace the present, look towards the future. But if you wanna live in a world where good country songs by women are played on the radio*, you have to live in the past. They're not giving you a damn choice. So this throwback Thursday, let's excavate The Lost City of Country Women. Sounds like something the MST3K folks will be riffing soon. I'd like to look towards a future where Kacey Musgraves, Ashley Monroe and Brandy Clark are played on the radio, but I don't think that's gonna happen. Corporations who think we have shitty taste have bought our present and future. But they can't buy our past.

*or good country songs, period, but it's even worse for women.

So here are some ghosts of radio past. Enjoy, and try not to be too sad. We are living in a time when we can essentially make our own radio playlists with no shitty songs or ads, and I wouldn't change that to go back. I do miss these old songs, though. Nothing really sounds like this anymore. Try listening to the last song without smiling and tapping your feet. It's impossible!















Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wicked Good Wednesday ~ Creeper

And now for something positive, or at least as positive as I get these days. When I heard this band described as "AFI meets Jimmy Eat World with some My Chemical Romance" I was like um, okay?? Sign me up? I've been feeling the 2000s rock nostalgia hard lately and this past week, with the whole scammer thing, I've been raging to it pretty much nonstop.

So I gave Creeper a listen, and wow. They have a catchy, driving hard rock/punk sound that's just jibing perfectly with me right now. If you sorely miss MCR and want a band that will remind you of them at times but is very much their own, modern take on the genre, check out Creeper. They have 3 EPs, I've listened to the 2 most recent ones and really dig them both. Good rock in the 2010s, hallelujah! This band just formed in 2014 and already sound tight AF, so I can't wait to hear more from them.

And THANK YOU to ARTV Reviews for shouting these guys out!











Is that enough songs?? I'm not sure!

My "positive" post is for a band described as "horror punk." Sure, why not. I find that acceptable. Music makes everything okay.

Oh and I gave that bitch ass, would-be scammer a piece of my mind. It felt pretty good, as such things go.


Worst Billboard chart EVER??!

Here is the current Billboard top 10. If you haven't heard these songs, don't. They're not even worthy of a curiosity listen. I don't know why I subject myself to this. Every time I think I can't be shocked anymore things hit a new level, or in this case, a new amount of bad. But I guess I'm feelin' a mini rant (a rantlet?) so let's do this.

1. One Dance - Drake ft. some people
Drake drones his way through another snoozer. It'll probably be #1 forever. People suck.

2. Can't Stop the Feeling! - Justin Timberlake
He actually has some talent, but this generic dance pop is so not worthy of that exclamation point. I am revoking your punctuation privileges, Justin Timberlake.

3. Panda - Guy with gratuitous extra "I" in his name, fuck you
This is not music. I refuse to believe this is music. I don't know what this is, but I hate it, and it's not music.

4. Don't Let me Down - The Chainsmokers ft. Daya
Oh goody, it's the "Selfie" guys paired with the "fly as a mother" chick! And it's not even entertainingly bad like those songs were, once! It's EDM, I guess, which seems to stand for "chick singing over annoying noises." I don't know why they don't just call it CSOAN. Come on, that has a real ring to it!

5. This is What You Came For - Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna
Oh god this is insufferable I want to punch it. If this isn't why T-Swift broke up with this guy, it should be.

6. Cheap Thrills - Sia ft. Sean Paul
Does EVERY song have to have a bloody feature on it?? I'm gonna dig out my old post on that from a couple years ago. That was funny. This is just more pointless CSOAN. (If I keep saying that it's gonna catch on, right?)

7. Work from Home - Fifth Harmony ft. (sigh) Ty Dolla $ign
It pained me to type that. I think I have carpal tunnel now. Anyway, remember "Work," that dull drone of a Rihanna song? You probably don't, even though it was #1 for like a hundred weeks this year. And that's not even possible! Yeah, this is the same thing but even MORE mindless and boring! Yay! This is my least favorite song on this list, and wooooooow, is that saying something. A shoo-in for my top 10 worst of the year. It's boring, yes, but it's that special kind of boring that goes into bad. You know it when you hear it. I'll call it "Fight Song Syndrome," but that might be an insult to Fight Song.

8. Needed Me - Rihanna
Oh god, why isn't this my least favorite? And why in the name of almighty Zeus is this noise considered "radio friendly??" Remember in the 80s, when radio friendly was... friendly? Or hell, even older Rihanna songs like "Pon de Replay" and "Don't Stop the Music?" That shit is all up in my walking playlist. Fun stuff. But THIS? It sounds like an industrial accident. I'm not saying it shouldn't exist, or you shouldn't listen to it if you like it, I'm asking why in the hell is this played on the RADIO instead of songs that are... catchy... melodic... pleasing to the ear... you know, songs?!

9. Don't Mind - Kent Jones (WHO?)
Well, this barely exists. Next!

10. Ride - twenty one pilots
And we reach the one somewhat tolerable song, way down at the ass end of the list. I like some top, but this is far from their best. I'll give it a pass because it does have a bright, summery vibe. But I've been listening to "Car Radio" a lot lately because it's a freakin lyrical masterpiece that really speaks to me, and this seems pretty average by comparison. Not bad, but nothing I'd go out of my way for.

This could easily be my top 10 worst of the year, minus Justin Timberlake, top, and whoever Kent Jones is because he doesn't exist. So... top 7 worst right here, without even breaking a sweat. I can safely say I'd rather listen to "Ice Ice Baby" 10 times in a row than this current top 10 even once. I know that because I did it. For science.

...and there wasn't even a single Meghan Trainor song in there. Holy crap, people. This feat was achieved without the Queen of Smug Entitled Suck Music. I don't even know what to say.

List of alternate Kelsea Ballerininini names

Cause you can't have too many!

Kelsea Bacardibreezer
Kelsea Ballandchain
Kelsea Balloonerini
Kelsea Ballisticsreport
Kelsea Belladonna
Kelsea Bellybutton
Kelsea Belugacaviar
Kelsea Belalugosi (my personal fave)
Kelsea Baloneyonrye
Kelsea Billnyethescienceguy
Kelsea Barbarella
Kelsea Blandasfuck
Kelsea Bollweevil
Kelsea Ricearoni
Kelsea Itsybitsyteenyweenyyellowpolkadotbikini

I guarantee that was more enriching than listening to any of her music. And HELL YEAH I'm pissed that she and Carrie are the ONLY consistent female presence in mainstream "country" for the past damn year!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Music Monday ~ your popsicle's melting

A couple funky, tropical, summery tunes from Beck!




Friday, June 24, 2016

P.S. - I did get to say to my husband, "In the wise words of Taylor Swift, shake it off!" and received a very rewarding eye roll. :D

...Friday...?

Should I do a feel good Friday, or not? Should I write about the weird-ass thing that happened last night, or not?

Okay, here goes. I stopped writing personal stuff here many years ago for the love of all that's decent, but I think I can safely say I'm well out of my emo years and heading into my "salty anecdote" years. Let's just say my tolerance for humanity is at an all-time low. No, not the band.

It's hard to be an adult. Specifically, it's hard to make friends as an adult. Most people I've known with a circle of friends have stayed in the place they grew up, and have known their friends since school days. When you move around, as both my husband and I have, you find yourself untethered to the kind of life many might take for granted.

Making friends as a kid isn't too hard, even for a shy person like me. There's just so much help out there. School, activities, youth groups. Adults generally go to work and come home, so unless you happen to like your co-workers, how exactly do you go about meeting people? (My husband dislikes his co-workers.) Even things like church or adult ed classes don't really seem to be structured towards adult friendships. There seems to be a prevailing notion that adults, being adults, are just fine on their own and can take care of things themselves. When in fact this mindset can lead to just the opposite result. It's lonely out there. Unless you "already" know someone, you don't know anyone. We need some help, because meeting kindred spirits, as adults in an area you didn't grow up in, can be like waiting for lightning to strike.

Cue the Edmonton Craft Beer Fest a few weeks ago. The last group of friends I had were all craft beer geeks/homebrewers, and my husband's getting into beer, so it's as good a setting as any to possibly jibe with people. We were well into our stouts and bacon-wrapped goodies when a couple sat across from us. Somehow my husband and the guy started talking. It was about politics, which I hate, so I excused myself to the ladies' room. When I got back the couple had moved on, but apparently my husband and this guy had hit it off and exchanged numbers. Cool. Beer friends are good friends, even if I personally hate political discussions. Maybe something good can come from this.

They met for a beer, had a great time, talked a lot on facebook, and we had planned to go out with him and his wife to a craft beer restaurant this weekend. Until last night happened. I was a little suspicious when my husband mentioned this new friend wanted to meet with him to discuss some sort of "social business venture" thing?? (still not really sure what it was), but I wanted to support a possible friendship. I joked with him before he left to not drink any Kool-Aid. He laughed. I was joking... mostly. :(

BUT, apparently, this guy was trying to sell some kind of scheme, one of those barely legal, vaguely cultish things that requires you to pay for stages of information with the promised result of "success!!!" Of course when I hear such things, I immediately think of



My husband, not being born 5 minutes ago, knew what was up and extracted himself from the situation. Our dinner plans were cancelled and faith in humanity, a little shaken. Because these scammers KNOW how hard it is to connect with people; that's how they get you. They rope you in with friendliness. And that's a rotten thing to do. (This sounds like pretty much what happened. It even went down in a Starbucks. So beware. Beware of humans. http://lallouslab.net/2015/03/25/7-tips-to-help-you-spot-amway-wwdb-recruiters-in-coffeeshops/)

So I'm angry and a little frustrated today. Trust no one, I guess. Or trust everyone, and let the chips fall where they may. I don't know. I don't have any answers. Or peeps. All I have is a growing collection of anecdotes from a strange world.

I can say, if life is a personal journey, so be it. Embrace things like the way music makes you feel, or a good glass of wine, or a walk in the woods. The way it smells after it rains. These are valid life experiences that are not diminished by lack of other people. Sometimes, they're enhanced. I guess what I'm saying is, even when something shitty happens, it's still okay. You're still you, and life goes on. But damn, some people suck.

Now let's listen to some old Green Day, because why not.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

tbt ~ ghostbusters!

In light of Fall Out Boy's pretty damn terrible Ghostbusters theme, here's Bobby Brown's pretty damn fun Ghostbusters II theme.



I'm not posting the official video because DONALD MOFOIN' TRUMP is in it. There is no escaping that asshole. Yeah Bobby Brown is also an asshole, but at least he made some good music and doesn't want to destroy the world (as far as I know).

BONUS! I've sort of come around on Fall Out Boy, so I don't want this post to be a slam on them. Their debut album is pretty damn good if you like that old pop punk sound, and their next two albums are also decent if you can look past the ego and just enjoy the music. It's not my favorite style of rock, and a lot of their later stuff doesn't do it for me, but you could do a hell of a lot worse than early Fall Out Boy. I kind of regret overlooking them at the time. I think I brushed them off as a more smug, less rockin' version of MCR, which is unfair. I loved MCR, but you shouldn't judge one band by another.

So here's one of my favorite FOB songs, which happens to feature Motion City Soundtrack frontman Justin Pierre. Hmm, coincidence??



Actually, that makes the Ghostbusters thing even more depressing by comparison. This was a mistake. *goes back to jamming to Bobby Brown* Ya ya ya know it!

Worthless Yahoo Headline of the Day

"Bridezilla Demands Bridesmaids Pay for Her $10,500 Wedding Dress"

I... can't believe that's actually some people's lives.

FUN FACT: My wedding cost $100. The Las Vegas Wedding Wagon came to our hotel room. I wore an A&F sundress and a cardi I already had in my closet, and I REGRET NOTHING except that hideous gold curtain.


What part has that hideous gold curtain played in my actual married life? None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. A big fat gold doughnut*. You see what I'm trying to say here? MORE PEOPLE SHOULD BE LIKE MEEEEE. Stupid entitled brats. These are the people who are buying Meghan Trainor songs, aren't they? I see you. I know what you did and you should be ashamed!!

*mmm, gold doughnut.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Happy summer! Mid-year music report ft. country women, alt rock, 2002emo! me, and more

Tuck in, this'll probably go long.

This blog was pretty much built on snark. Actually, it was built on my early 2000s emo ramblings, but give me a break. Everyone was emo in 2002. 9/11 happened and, while not as horrific, 9/11 happened to country music, which sent me scrambling to find musical options that better suited my mindset. No, I didn't have a stupid myspace haircut, I was just emotional and listened to higher-than-recommended doses of Jimmy Eat World and Motion City Soundtrack, okay?* ... I still like those bands. Anywayyy, when I returned after a hiatus about 5 years ago, it became all about snark. Then I focused on music snark, specifically. And, sadly or not, there's been a dearth of snark here lately. Which might make for less interesting reading, and I do love me a good rant, but we just have to face it: 2016 has been a good year for music so far. Um... sorry?

Oh nonono, not mainstream music. Not the charts. That shit is shittier than ever. Todd in the Shadows covered it perfectly in his "7 Years" review. A song that is terrible, but at least recognizably terrible, unlike stuff like "Work" or "Panda" which is basically just white noise at this point. The country charts are the most boring and soulless they've probably ever been. So, fuck all that. I'm done. It ain't getting better, that ship has sailed, etc. And that's the thing. When you reach maximum suck point, there's no going back. I genuinely don't care anymore. I'll still follow the charts, but now it's like following a stranger, rather than a friend I'm concerned about. Okay, that sounded creepy.

*"The Future Freaks Me Out" by MCS was my jam for a good part of the early 2000s. If I knew what the future actually held, I would have been significantly freaked out-er. I mean, this is a post I made in December 2002:

MTV continues to upset me. I was reminded the other day of how exciting it seemed when it first came out; even if it was mostly crappy videos by Men Without Hats, at least there was a sense of adventure to it. Now it's like this endless commercial for an empty culture that people are actually buying. Am I taking Britney Spears and N'Sync and Thong Songs too seriously? Should I be thinking about President Doofushead and Iraq instead? Perhaps, but I do take the seeming death of culture seriously. By culture I mean uniqueness, a sense of exploring new ground, not necessarily anything highbrow. I'm sick of the same stale things being mass-produced and spit out by the media combine.

I watch too much TV. I don't even like TV very much. I need a new life.


Oh 2002 me, you have no idea how bad it's going to get. Jeez. TV did get better though, so cheer up. You have Breaking Bad and Walking Dead and Supernatural to look forward to. Just not MTV. Sorry.

Okay, enough throwbacking. It's not even Thursday, what am I thinking? On to 2016!

You'd never know it by the charts, but 2016 has been a great year for country women. From Miranda's beautiful contribution to the Southern Family album, to Brandy Clark's just-released masterpiece, to Margo Price's haunting debut, I can't get enough.

I talk a lot about 90s country men, because Garth and Alan and George and Clint and Brooks and Dunn were like, my life, and I still listen to them all the time. But let's never forget about Patty Loveless and Trisha Yearwood and Pam Tillis and Mary Chapin Carpenter and LeAnn Rimes and the Dixie Chicks and, possibly the funnest guilty pleasure artist ever, Shania Twain. Actually, no. I like Shania and I'm not even guilty about it. Come at me, internet. I can tell you why I like her better than today's crop of pop-country starlets. One word: charisma. She had immediate star power that was like, "yes, I see why this person is popular" even if you weren't into her. Her music very much had its own unique sound. I remember the first time I heard "Any Man of Mine" and how fun and catchy and different it was. I couldn't tell you a damn thing about Kelsea Belugacaviar or even hum one of her songs, but Shania was the real deal.

And now we have this amazing current crop of country women, who are sadly not played on the radio like their 90s forebears, but are every bit as worth a listen. Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, Elizabeth Cook, Margo Price, Aubrie Sellers (the daughter of the awesome Lee Ann Womack), Sunny Sweeney, to name a few. Spoiler: Brandy Clark's Big Day in a Small Town is already a strong contender for my album of the year and her song, "Since You've Gone to Heaven," is actually the main reason for this monster of a post. Yes, we've finally reached the point! *claps*

This song is gorgeous, and I'm declaring it the official anthem of 2016. Nothing could possibly beat this. Why? Well, the song itself is about the death of a patriarch and the grim effect it has on not only his family, but the small town he lived in. The song is both personal and a bigger allegory to the death of small town American life. Basically, everything country music SHOULD BE. CAPSLOCK AND ITALICS BECAUSE SERIOUSLY, FUCK SONGS ABOUT SNAPBACKS. "Since you've gone to heaven, the whole world's gone to hell." I don't know about you, but that kinda rings the bell for 2016 as a whole, doesn't it? We've lost so many amazing people this year, which seems even more tragic in the midst of an already dying culture. It works on so many levels.

(I'd embed it, but it's not on youtube.)

As for albums... wow this is gonna be a tough year to pick favorites, and it's only half over. Weezer, Sturgill, Brandy Clark, Margo Price, Elizabeth Cook, Southern Family. There are also some albums from 2015 that I LOVE and only just listened to this year, so they obviously didn't make my 2015 list. I hate to leave them out due to my being slow as molasses running uphill sometimes, especially since three of them are among my favorite albums this decade (really). So I'm gonna have a lot to write about come December. I'm not going to talk about any albums in-depth til then most likely, so I don't repeat myself.

In addition to this year's killer country albums, I'm pleased to see alt-rock isn't dead. Weezer's White Album is a favorite contender, I'm enjoying both Catfish and the Bottlemen albums, and I've gotten pretty obsessed with The Maine. (American Candy is from 2015, but I've played it as much as anything this year.) And... I kinda dig that new Blink-182 song. Is a thing I just said in 2016. Who knew?? I've been in serious nostalgia mode for that early-mid 2000s rock period lately, so I'm glad the genre still has a pulse. Heck, even that new Panic at the Disco record is kind of a guilty pleasure. Idk, are they a guilty pleasure band? I kinda feel like they are. But hey, whatever rocks your socks.

I know a lot of things suck, and sometimes I feel an Emo Part Deux phase coming on, but it's a pretty good time to be alive. Just find some great tunes and good beer. hell, even a depressing song like "Since You've Gone to Heaven" feels good in a way, because it's real. It resonates in the bones. And what more can you ask for, really?

Happy Summer!

On fire and about ready to bust a move,
M.

Monday, June 13, 2016

New music Monday ~ Catfish and the Bottlemen

Kind of a 90s, post-grunge, alt-rock vibe? Melodic and crunchy and I dig it.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Feel Good Friday - Supernatural/Foreigner/CtE/Kansas

So Supernatural, one of my all time favorite shows, is coming back for a staggering 12th season. While the show has lost some of its storytelling and character magic that made the first several seasons so great, not to mention its two best supporting characters in Bobby and Charlie, a very important thing remains. This is something only a music dork would care about, but that's why it's being written about here. Duh.

Every year SPN stays on, more teens and 20somethings hear great music and get into it. The show primarily plays classic rock of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, the kind of music you wanna crank driving down a dusty Kansas road in your Impala. Getting young people into classic rock they might not have heard otherwise is wonderful, but it doesn't stop there. Last season also featured "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and Patty Griffin's beautiful "Go Wherever You Wanna Go" (which was the ONLY acceptable part of Charlie's death.) :( Considering this is a show primarily watched by young women who are socially expected to listen to the latest top 40 dreck, I have to stand up and cheer.

Because whenever I cross paths with a teen or 20s SPN fan online, I see how much they love this music. Everyone owns "Carry on Wayward Son," and not just because OMGSAMANDDEAN<3<3!! but because it's damn good music. I'm not surprised by this at all. We should expect better out of young people than the mainstream music industry does. Which isn't to say these fans aren't also listening to Drake and Justin Bieber, maybe they are. And that's fine. 10 years from now they'll probably roll their eyes at that stuff and only listen to it out of nostalgia. But I bet they'll still be listening to Kansas, CCR, and Journey. Timeless music belongs to everyone, and I thank Supernatural for bringing that aesthetic to a new generation.

Hell, even I've discovered some new music from the show. While I'm a classic rock fan, anything pre-80s is before my time so I obviously haven't heard everything. SPN introduced me to that delightful yodel rock song, as well as this gem by Foreigner, which is now my favorite of their songs.



Not only that, I think the show creates excitement about rock in general, something which is sorely missing from the world right now. I like to think about which current bands would fit into Dean's playlist. I think he'd like Royal Blood and Cage the Elephant. This would be a really cool song to play on the final episode, if there ever is one lol. (Side note: Tell Me I'm Pretty is a really unfairly maligned album. I like it a lot.)



I wonder how many fans have gotten into rock at least partly because of SPN, including current rock. Youtube comments seem to alternate between "Supernatural got me into this song!" and "I knew about this band BEFORE Supernatural" hipsters. Really snobs, you're not helping. Don't you want people to get into good music? Music isn't, idk, beans, you don't have to hoard it all or it'll run out. Share the love! So, what better subject for feel good Friday than a shout out to a force for musical good? I salute you, Supernatural. And my Jensen Ackles crush will never die. (Sorry, once a fangirl, always a fangirl.) Play me out, Kansas!



Thursday, June 09, 2016

A brief illustration of how my brain works

In lieu of throwback Thursday, I present something completely different, for no reason other than it made me laugh. The "kids today" love saying how OMGRANDOMLOL!!!1 they are, but... my brain is seriously random. That is probably evident by some of the stuff in this blog. Especially when I'm faced with something already made random by life. So, this.

Pharmacist, handing me meds for a dental procedure: Make sure you don't eat grapefruit while taking these! (Now I can't remember the last time I ate a grapefruit, since they're generally breakfasty and I don't eat breakfast. "Not a morning person" is not just a pithy coffee mug saying for me, it's a lifestyle brand. Anyway.)

Me: Okay...? *implied ellipses and question mark, like ok I won't but that's weird!* *turns to husband* I guess someone had a bad grapefruit experience. *AND THEN THE ACID KICKED IN, APPARENTLY* OMG, that would be the best name for a jam band! The Bad Grapefruit Experience! Like the String Cheese Incident!

Husband: ... (clearly, he has not heard of String Cheese Incident. Understandable. However, I learned this year that he's also never heard of Merle Haggard or My Chemical Romance, the latter making me almost scream out loud in a movie theater. I didn't because the movie hadn't started yet, and also we were seeing Zootopia and not like, Insidious 4 or whatever, so yeah. Merle I at least kinda understand, he's our parents' generation and my husband isn't into country. BUT I DIGRESS.)

Me: You don't understand, this is amazing, I could make so much money off of hippies!

Him: ...

Me: You wouldn't think hippies would be a lucrative market, but the amount and career longevity of touring jam bands says otherwise!

Him: ... you need help.

Me: Maybe I have a grapefruit deficiency.

THE END! And OMG, what if that's been my problem all long? I guess I can't find out til I'm done taking these pills, dammit.

Actually, I will do a throwback Thursday, since I feel like Merle needs some love now. This is my favorite of his songs, btw. I use this line possibly more than I should, but it's just so damn fitting for life in general.



This blog started at grapefruit and ended at Merle Haggard, which is really all you need to know about me, I think.





Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Let's... look at the charts.

Wow, it kinda feels like everything is a big ol dumpster fire right now, doesn't it? Well let's dive right in to the dumpster that is the Billboard country top 25! Cause I'm feeling reckless today.

First, let's count on my one hand here the number of songs I actually like. (Note: there are a few songs on the list I haven't heard.)

There's Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw, which pretty much sounds like the BEST SONG EVER right now, by sounding like an actual country song with a heart. Tim's been doing that a lot lately. Keep it up. I'm glad there's one 90s artist left who's still popular and making good music. (No, I haven't forgotten about Kenny. We'll get to him.)

My Church by Maren Morris. I was so intrigued by this cool, different song that I immediately listened to some of her other songs after I heard it. Pop crap, like what Kelsea Ballerinininini might do. Very disappointing, especially since I thought this might be another Cam situation. (I don't love everything Cam has done so far, but I think she's the real deal.) I have no idea what Maren Morris is about. This is a good song though, delivered with conviction that gives me a tiny shred of hope she's got more good in her.

Church Bells by Carrie Underwood. Really people, when I have to keep holding up Carrie Underwood as an example of good country music, or at least good pop/rock-country music, you know things are dire. Not my favorite of her songs, but I actually enjoy listening to this. It has a kind of Reba vibe.

Record Year - Eric Church. Might be my #1 hit song of the year. I can't believe something this good is climbing towards the top 10, but I'll take it! This is a song about dealing with heartbreak through one of the few things that inspires the same kind of passion as love - music. I LOVE how this song is framed, and how relatable it is as a music fan. When he sings about spinning Hank and Jones and Jennings, you believe it. My favorite part? "I rediscovered Red Headed Stranger, Got down with old James Brown, And found New Grass Revival
If you find your way back, I owe you a beer, For my record year." A serious song for serious music lovers. Bravo, Eric Church. I love this album SO MUCH.

And... that's it. Unless one of the few songs I haven't heard is secretly great, I like a whole 4 songs out of 25. Considering in the 90s, when I got into country music, I enjoyed the majority of songs on some level, that's a pretty sad state.

Before I go any further, I need to say this. In the 90s, you could hear a song like "Hurtin (On the Bottle)" on the radio. Chris Stapleton would be a radio *cough* staple (sorry). A slew of artists I haven't even heard would be popular, if they weren't shut out by the massive "talents" of Thomas "Nepotism" Rhett, Kelsea Ballerninininin, Old Fucking Dominion, etc. So please, mainstream country fans and media, stop trying to tell me that things aren't worse now. This is by far the most cheap, lackluster "country" music I've heard in my lifetime. No, I'm not stuck in the 90s. I've happily followed current artists like Miranda, ZBB, Dierks, etc. who have made overall good music. Hell, I've praised Carrie Underwood multiple times on this blog. I even accepted the clearly non-country Taylor Swift because she wrote some good songs. But enough is enough. Maybe popular music has always been a factory of sorts, but this is the first time it's really sounded like one.

Speaking of Dierks... there's a duet out by him and Elle King. DIERKS BENTLEY AND ELLE KING. And... I don't really like it. :( Dierks is fine on it, he has this kind of warm, reassuring voice, like even when it's not his best song it's still gonna be ok. But Elle King... where are you?? This song sounds nothing like her! Elle King has this larger than life voice and personality, and she's so subdued here I don't even recognize her. "Different for Girls" is the polar opposite of "Ex's and Ohs" and no, I don't want her to make the same kind of songs over and over, but this is like making her into a Disney princess or something. Actually wait, that would be awesome. I would buy tickets for that. My point stands, though. This song does not suit her or her voice.

There's also a duet by two more vocal powerhouses, Chris Young and Cassadee Pope, both of whom I really like as singers. This one's a little better, but not by much. It's pretty forgettable, and they could do so much better. It's like people WANT all this current music to be forgotten. "Take the money and run!" Seriously, how many of these songs will be remembered next year? And how many 90s songs are still remembered today? Still think there isn't a problem?

Okay, I'm gonna sort the remaining songs into 3 categories: hot garbage, boring, and inconclusive. Whee, I can't wait.

HOT GARBAGE: FGL (not their worst song, but that's not saying much), Somewhere on a Beach (sorry Dierks, but this is dreadful), T-Shirt (shudder), Snapback (yes, let's have two top 10 songs that are literally just about articles of clothing! That's good songwriting!), Make You Miss Me (yeah, the pass I gave Sam Hunt for the enjoyable "Leave the Night on" has worn right out. This is Old Dominion-level dreck), Fix (I love me some Breaking Bad, but it's probably the least romantic show ever. BAD REFERENCE CHRIS WHOEVER-YOU-ARE, BAD!!)

BOOOOOOORING: Blake Shelton, the most boring artist in country today. Talk about coasting. Huntin, Fishin' and Bein' Country As Fuck Erry Day - not as bad as the title suggests, just boring! Lights Come On - I don't hate this, but it's pretty generic. Wasted Time - pop garbage with a spamjo. Not interesting enough to be hot garbage. Noise - well-intentioned, and I do like Kenny, but just not interesting to listen to at all. American Country Love Song - woooooow generic. Do I have to bust out all my "Fight Song" material again? Cause I will. Peter Pan - by far the best I've heard from Kelsea Bacardi, but still completely uninteresting and unengaging. You Should Be Here - I wrote a whole blog post about the frustration of this song not making me cry. Go read it!

INCONCLUSIVE: Head Over Boots - I heard this once and I think I liked it? It didn't stick with me though. From the Ground Up - I don't think I've ever heard a single Dan + Shay song, or if I did I don't remember. I think I wanna keep it that way. Night's on Fire - just haven't heard this one. Ditto Frankie Ballard, who I don't think I've ever heard at all. And finally - "You Look Like I Need a Drink." Okay, I haven't listened to this cause Justin Moore's voice is like rusty nails on a chalkboard in hell, but that title makes me laugh, I admit it. And it's kinda classic country wordplay. Maybe I'll give him a shot... when I've had a few drinks. (Get it, a SHOT? GET IT???)

Okay, I'm done. I'm not even touching the pop charts. That dumpster has flaming dirty diapers in it, and my hazmat suit is at the cleaners. Peace!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Girl Power! Playlist

I discovered, somewhat accidentally, that the music of Kacey Musgraves and Paramore actually jibes quite well. So I had to make a big ol' rock/pop/country playlist of awesome songs by women!

Feat. Kacey Musgraves, Paramore, Ashley Monroe, Alison Krauss, 100 Watt Smile, Best Coast, Elle King, The High Water Marks, Jenny Lewis/Rilo Kiley, Lady Gaga, Lydia Loveless, Miranda Lambert, The New Pornographers (Neko Case), Kay Hanley/Letters to Cleo, Aubrie Sellers, Lana del Rey, Lucy Hale, Margo Price, Pistol Annies, The Pierces, Stone Poneys, Sunny Sweeney, The Wreckers, Lee Ann Womack.

https://play.spotify.com/user/12177235955/playlist/0XdRqRb3JXYhNh1pBjkrCs

New Music Tuesday

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Miranda Lambert is AWESOME.



THE END.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Feel Good Friday - hey it's modern rock!

I'm glad yesterday wasn't Friday, cause I was just in a terrible mood. Today isn't much better but rock n roll can still save your soul.

1. ROYAL BLOOD



I LOVE THIS BAND THEY ROCK SO HARD AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. I can't recommend this album enough, and eagerly anticipate new music!

2. NOTHING MORE



Umm this is not a feel good song, it's about mental illness and death. I'm sorry. But the musical structure of the song, and this band's music in general, makes me feel good. It's a modern update on a classic rock sound, with that big, 80s-type chorus, and I love it. Eagerly anticipating new music from them as well.

3. THE STRUTS



Just good, catchy, timeless rock, again with the big 80s arena rock chorus, and a bonus glam vibe. Thumbs up from me!

4. THE MAINE



This is a band I got into, I think late last year when I went on my epic FIND NEW MUSIC quest. I may or may not have worn a cloak and carried a longsword. Anywayyyy... they're more of a rock/pop band, I've seen them called pop punk, but they kind of defy description for me. Like Weezer. I mean, you hear pop punk you think, idk, Blink, Green Day, etc. right? And I like a lot of that music, but The Maine is kind of bigger than one sound. Their latest album American Candy is my favorite so far, but I've enjoyed all their albums. My favorite song is probably this weird little thing called "Birthday in Los Angeles" from Forever Halloween that doesn't really even sound like most of their music. That's what I mean about them. They're interesting. And boy, do those lyrics speak to me.

5. ELLE KING



Of course I've gotta have badass chick music. Elle isn't strictly a rock artist, her songs are heavily blues leaning and some have a more country vibe as well. But this song rocks hard, and everything about her just says ROCKSTAR. "Ex's and Oh's" was my favorite hit song of last year, and one of my favorite songs of recent memory, period. I finally delved into her album earlier this year and WOW. She is not just about a catchy single, the whole damn album is great.

6. last but not least... WEEZER



I LOVE THE WHITE ALBUM. I love that they made the bold move of making a motherfucking white album and it totally paid off. Call it off-kilter beach music. I like to play this back to back with Best Coast's California Nights for a weird but melodic vacation in my head. I have strange hobbies. This is probably my third favorite Weezer album, after Maladroit and Everything Will Be Alright. It's that good. And yes, I do love the Blue Album and Pinkerton. We're talking about Weezer here, I can't make everything my favorite even if I want to! Anyway, if you like Weezer, or want to get into them, I can't recommend this album enough. I've been playing it constantly since its release date.

And that is all. Have a rockin' weekend. Tomorrow is our craft beer fest, so a rockin' weekend is all but guaranteed here.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

TBT ~ some late 80s country

Damn, I love this song. Perfection. Does anything sound like this anymore? Cause I'd like to hear it.

Pissy headline of the day!

Okay, the judgy nature of this one really made my skin crawl. I'm not even linking to the preachy article, fuck that. That's what I get for clicking on random crap on the internet, I guess.

"Saying Your Dog Is Your "Baby" Is an Insult to Moms Everywhere"

Boo freaking hoo. I don't have kids, my cats are my babies to me, and I'll call them whatever I please. You do you, honey, and I'll do me.

Remember when you only had to deal with people's opinions in like, newspapers, and once a year at Thanksgiving? Why, you could go days without seeing or hearing anyone's opinion! Those were good times, weren't they?

Okay, back to music.