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Top 5 Favorite Christmas Songs December 20, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 11:53 AM

TNT’s Top 5
5. “Twelve Pains of Christmas” by Bob Rivers Comedy Troupe – You can’t appreciate Christmas without acknowledging all the pains…especially rigging up the light.
4. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid – Over-played?  Perhaps…but it’s still one of my favorites.  Plus, we still need to feed the world.
3. “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses – I get so happy when I hear this song, it had to make the list!
2. “Father Christmas” by The Kinks – It’s a little sad how true this song becomes as you get older.  I still love toys, but money is always a great fit.
1. “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon – World peace is by far the best Christmas present ever.  Even if Santa can’t leave this in my stocking, I find some peace and solace by repeating the line ‘War is over, if you want it.’

Honorable Mentions: “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt – I love this song, always fun to sing.  “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms – Reminds me of my great grandma, this was her favorite.  ❤

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C. – It’s Christmas time in Hollis, Queens.  Mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens.  Enough said.
4. “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft – I love Dr. Seuss and the lyrics he has composed for this song.  It contains the most wonderful insults!  Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots.
3. “Christmas Don’t Be Late” by The Chipmunks (Ross Bagdasarian Sr.)– It’s like hyped up kids sucked helium in anticipation of the big event.  Me, I want a hula hoop!
2. “Cool Yule” by Louis Armstrong – This song just makes me want to kick up my heels and dance!  So dig, Santa comes on big!
1. “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley – Not everyone is happy on Christmas.  You’ll be doing alright with your Christmas of white, but I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas.

Honorable mentions: “Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry, “Mele Kalikimaka” by Bing Crosby, “Christmas All Over Again” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and “Father Christmas” by The Kinks.

Klone’s Top 5
5. “Carol of the Bells” by Mykola Leontovych – Nothing like a Christmas song that also kinda sounds like a horror-movie score.  I don’t know how else to describe this one, but there’s something about the intensity that makes it resonate with me.
4. “Mozart and Memories” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra – These guys are awesome, and in this track they take the best of their world and combine it with a memorable section of Mozart’s “Requiem”, and the result is auditory ecstasy.
3. “The First Noel” performed by Crash Test DummiesA holiday classic crooned by the deep voice we all came to know and love from their hit “Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm”.  The deep vocals give this song a new reverence.
2. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid – A lasting impression from the 1980s, this instant classic from a megaband of stars on a mission to feed the world’s starving children has never lost a moment of relevance to me, and the anthemic jingle quality to the song has always made it easy to listen to and even easier to love.
1. “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Back to the intensity and darkness, but in such a beautiful way as only the Trans-Siberian Orchestra can.  Combining a full symphony orchestra with Metallica inspired guitars and drums, this group has certainly left its mark on the holidays, and now I know my holiday season is not complete without hearing “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” at least once.

Daniel-Edward’s Top 5
5. “Oi To The World” by No Doubt
4. “The Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler
3. “Twelve Pains of Christmas” by Bob Rivers Comedy Troupe
2. “What’s This?” by Danny Elfman
1. “Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses

Mark’s Top 5
5. “Merry F#%$in’ Christmas” by Denis Leary –  Always remember these words of wisdom from wise Mr. Leary, “Spread good cheer or burn in hell.”  Funny as hell and a great song to take the edge off of the pressures of Christmas.
4. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Irish Rovers I actually like this horrifically over-played tune, but only because the picturing of a drunken Grandmother getting run over by flying reindeer never fails to make me laugh.
3. “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney – Yes it is an insanely cheesy synth led Christmas tune, written in a style of music that one wouldn’t normally expect from a former Beatle.  But its happy-go-lucky delivery is exactly what makes this poorly aging song such a fun listen.
2. “Christmas Eve Sarajevo” by Savatage – This is one of the few mainstream radio holiday staples that I don’t mind hearing over and over.  What better way to signal the coming of Christmas than by an epic Metal song?
1. “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” by Alvin and the Chipmunks – One of the greatest Christmas songs EVER!  The whole Christmas with the Chipmunks album is worth a listen, but it is this song in particular that helps set the mood for the upcoming Christmas festivities.  And I still want my Hoola-Hoop.

Angela’s Top 5
5. “Little Drummer Boy” by David Bowie
4. “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) by The Ramones
3. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey
2. “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C.
1. “Dominick the Donkey” by Lou Monte

 

Top 5 Worst Christmas Songs December 13, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 9:28 AM

It’s that time of year again and I know there are some terrible Christmas songs out there that make us want to scream and rage.  Here are NVMP’s picks for the topic (more selections to come soon!)

TNT’s Top 5 Worst Christmas Songs
5. “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy – I love my Grandma and respect her enough to not like this song.  It also a red-neck taste, which immediately turns me off.
4. “I’m Gettin’ Nothin’ For Christmas” by Art Mooney and his Orchestra – This one always got on my nerves.  We can’t be as good as gold all year long and I never wanted to think I was getting nothing for Christmas, that would blow.
3. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jimmy Boyd – This is the kind of shit that messes up kids.  Cheating on your loved one with a fat man dressed in red?  Even if we’re supposed to think that the “santa” mommy is kissing is just daddy dressed up as jolly St. Nick, what will the children think when they grow up?  I say save yourself the family drama and skip this tune.
2. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Bing Crosby – Nothing says holiday cheer better than a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis, just not feeling this one.
1. “Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)” by John Denver – Really John Denver?  I love all of your Christmas songs, but this one never got me into the holiday spirit.  And if your family has to worry about daddy getting drunk this Christmas, coming home at a quarter past eleven and falling down underneath your Christmas tree, then I feel sorry for you.  Gift idea for this daddy?  Rehab.

Hoverbee’s Top 5 (Worst)
5. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy – Sure, the lyrics are good for a laugh, but the vocals and the music are simply awful.
4. “Dominick the Donkey” by Lou Monte – This is one of the most annoying Christmas songs ever.
3. “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt – Santa is this woman’s sugar daddy.  She sensually begs him for a fur, a car, a ring and a yacht.
2. “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys bastardize “Little Deuce Coup” for a holiday hit.
1. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jimmy Boyd – Presumably, the man seen kissing mommy is the child’s father in a costume.  For some reason, I just think your mom’s a strumpet.

Mark’s Top 5
5. “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey – ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  Proving again and again that shitty, unoriginal and uninspired music can indeed happen during Christmas, and assholes will still buy it.  GAG.
4. “The Hannukah Song” by Adam Sandler – It was only funny the first time that I heard it.  After losing relevance within the first year of existence, DJs and Program Directors all over the country continue to display their “mastery” of the U.S. music markets by continuing to play and play and play and play and play this shit from Thanksgiving through the New Year.
3. “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano – Over-kitschy, corny and wayyy over-played.  But thank you for the Christmas wishes anyway.
2. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon – Not a bad song actually.  This makes #2 on the list due to the fact that the song is a “delightfully cheerful” condemnation of war (in this case, Vietnam) by way of Christmas themes, with Lennon slamming his audience over the head with drama.  Thank you for mixing events and making Christmas seem bleak and unhappy.  And this tune also has the dubious honor of being one of the most over-played Christmas related songs ever.
1. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid – Shit, complete and utter self-indulgent shit.  Was it for a good cause?  Sure.  Is the song good?  NO!  If they cared so much, why didn’t they just donate a part of their album sales, or just give some money from their own pockets?  Perhaps even releasing the single to raise more money in addition to their own?  No way.  Instead, they rush to write a dreadful song, with tons of artists who mostly go unnoticed during the song and release a cheery, yet dramatic holiday single to raise the money to help alleviate Ethiopian famine: by raiding their fans pockets.  All of the glory, none of the responsibility.  Boo, Bob Geldof…BOO!

 

Top 5 Songs To Play When You’re Angry December 6, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 9:22 AM

TNT’s Top 5
When I put any of these songs on, your best bet is to steer clear of TNT.
5. “Don’t Shake My Tree” by The Hard Lessons – This song is great to forewarn people not to fuck with me.  Don’t shake my tree!
4. “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit – How could this not make the list??  It’s just one of those days….
3. “We Want More” by The Living End – This track could be used for any purpose or feeling, but I prefer it when I’m angry.
2. “Cyanide” by Metallica – Honestly, this entire list could have been Metallica, so at least I diversified a bit.  This is my favorite track from Death Magnetic, “End of the Line” was a close second for my #2 spot.
1. “Don’t Tread On Me” by Metallica – When someone pisses me off, this is the song that goes on.  I blast this song in hopes that the people surrounding me know that I’m angry and not to mess with me.

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “Rusty Cage” by Soundgarden – The frantic riffs and vocals of Chris Cornell make this the perfect song to blow off some serious steam.  It makes me feel like I can free myself from the turmoil that caused a furious mood.
4. “N.W.O” by Ministry – Although this song is about the anger felt toward politicians, it still does the trick when I need to purge myself of an irate mood.  I love the voices in the background and the intermittent long screams.
3. “Wish” by Nine Inch Nails – The driving beats and riffs are great, but I really love the lyrics of this song.  It sums up how I’ve felt about certain people in my life.
2. “Surprise! You’re Dead!” by Faith No More – When in a fit of rage, I play this song and immediately begin to laugh along with Mike Patton.  It’s an angry, yet fun song.
1. “Drug Against War” by KMFDM – This song makes me want to beat my head against a wall in a good way.  Sounds of bombs falling, machine guns, and voices saying “kill everything, bomb the livin’ bejeebers out of those forces” are just a few of the delights in this song.

Angela’s Top 5
5. “Surfacing” by Slipknot
4. “Twist/Chi” by Korn – There is nothing like the angry guttural sounds of Jonathan Davis to cheer me up.
3. “If You Keep Losing Sleep” by Silverchair
2. “White America” by Eminem
1.  “I Will Be Heard” by Hatebreed – Everytime this song comes on, be it via radio or live, I go crazy.  It’s the type of song where I fear no burly six-foot something sized man in a pit; I go full force.

Mark’s Top 5
Whenever I’m in an agitated mood, my musical tastes tend to range from ‘please cheer up’ to ‘descent into madness’.  Here is my list of those extremes.
5. “Steal my Sunshine” by Len – If you are a fan of the film GO, then you are familiar with this sugary pop song.  It is so fluffy, light-hearted and catchy, that there is no way I can refrain from mock hip-hop dancing with a goofy grin.  Another near instant remedy for my anger issues.
4. “Wish” by Nine Inch Nails – The king of untamed aggression unleashes a surprisingly rhythmic tune to aid in the fantasizing of cracking someone’s skull to, or even just to kick the shit out of a punching bag, or destroy your room.  Whatever choice is made, this song matches my mood beat for stressed out, pounding beat.
3. “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats – The greatest New Wave era tune written, EVER!  I can never stay in a bad mood when this tune comes on. It’s pretty much an instant cure for anger, I mean how could you be sad when you think about the music video, with a medieval village full of magical dancing, flutes and Safety dancing midgets?  Or the whole deal being repeated almost verbatim in the Paul Shore film Bio-Dome?  Yessssss.
2. “Prophecy” by Gary Numan– This is more of a mood neutralizer, taking the edge off of agitation while I wallow in complete frustration and anger, and allowing me to function while in the depths of gloom.
1. “Get to the Gone” by Static-X – #1 with a bullet, the ultimate in rag inducing (or encouraging) songs from one of the finest Evil-Disco bands around.  This song has aided in inducing road rage, making frustration worse and allowing me to fully envision my aggressive fantasies of kicking in the head of whoever has pissed me off that day.

 

Top 5 Songs To Be Thankful For November 22, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 10:13 AM

TNT’s Top 5
5. “Happy Holidays” by Andy Williams – This song makes the list because of one line…”It’s the holiday season (holiday season), with the whoop-de-doo and hickory dock”.   Oh Irving Berlin, no one could ever pull off the phrase ‘whoop-de-doo’ in any song today, not even Lady Gaga.
4. “Blue Monk” by Thelonious Monk – Without this song, I fear I would have never gotten into jazz.  I will forever give thanks for “Blue Monk”
3. “The Thanksgiving Song” by Adam Sandler – Another classic!  “Turkey for me, turkey for you, let’s eat the turkey in my big brown shoe”.
2. “Jesus of Suburbia” by Green Day – It was a toss-up between this track and “American Pie”, after further thought, I compared “Jesus of Suburbia” to a modern-day version of the classic by Don McLean.  Can you see the similarities?  Discuss.
1. “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie – It’s not Thanksgiving if you don’t hear “Alice’s Restaurant”, it’s a tradition!!

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” by Marvin Gaye – The lyrics say it all.  I want to stop and thank you baby.
4. “I Want to Thank You” by Otis Redding – I want to thank Otis for making music and using his fantastic voice.
3. “Look What You Done for Me” by Al Green – I’m so thankful for Al Green and all of his music.  He sets my heart free.
2. “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin – Written by Robert Plant to his then wife Maureen, the lyrics of this beautiful song express thanks to a partner or significant other.
1. “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly & the Family Stone – I love this funky tune.  I’d also like to thank all those who let be myself.

Klone’s Top 5
5. “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses – This was my first bit of musical rebellion.  My sisters and I loved this when it exploded on the scene, despite the fact that we were in elementary school at the time.  Mom hated it because of the lyrics and type of character Axel Rose was.  Without Guns N Roses, I would’ve never broken away from my elders and formed my own musical tastes, and for that, I am thankful.
4. “Enter Sandman” by Metallica – This was the song that introduced me to what would become my favorite band of all time, Metallica.  For that, I am thankful.
3. “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly – This was my introduction to epic musical masterpieces.  Without this song, I would have no appreciation for long-form tracks, and for that, I am thankful.
2. “Not Quite Sonic” by I Mother Earth – This was a track that taught me all about music from our Northern neighbors in Canada, and how their rock kicked ass like ours.  In fact, one could argue that they picked up the torch once we dropped it here in the U.S. and continue to put out awesome rock heavily influence by the mid-to-late 90s grunge explosion, but with all the heavy metal roots from the 80s still very present, and for all of that, I am thankful.
1. “Mandel Groove” by Blue Man Group – This song, among the rest of the Blue Man Group’s repertoire, has helped me shed my fear of aliens and look at them more conceptually than as horror movie bad guys, and expanded my perception to the possibilities of music.  With instruments of their own invention, the Blue Man Group is able to captivate the imagination by doing something incredible and new, but also create music using the same notes we recognize, only we have an easier time recognizing them when they emit from a guitar or keyboard.  They are a successful experiment, and an evolution of music, and for that I am thankful.

Daniel-Edward’s Top 5
5. “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey – I’m thankful this is the unofficial karaoke anthem for pretty much every karaoke establishment in the United States.
4. “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones – It’s the soundtrack to one of the best pieces of marketing (Call of Duty: Black Ops commercial) to grace televisions this holiday season, and for that I’m thankful.
3. “Fuck You” by Cee-Lo – I’m thankful for its tongue-in-cheek humor and for the fact that someone made “fuck you” into such a catchy, melodic chorus.
2. “Dancing With Myself”by Billy Idol – By far one of my favorite songs to karaoke to.
1. “Bad Romance” by Lady GaGa – I’m just thankful for GaGa, and “Bad Romance” is the perfect rocky relationship song.

Mark’s Top 5
5. “Moonlight Sonata (1st Movement)” by Ludwig van Beethoven – Beethoven’s masterpiece for the piano, as far as I am concerned.  To me he is a pioneer in the emotionally dictated compositions, lacing each note of this piece with unfulfilled fantasies and long-standing heart ache, allowing one’s mind to truly envision what he dreamt while creating this longing piece.
4. “Foreplay/Long Time” by Boston – Thank you Tom Schulz and Co., you helped me to understand from a young age what real rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to sound like, and that if you want to truly realize your sound, just do it all yourself.
3. “Message in a Bottle” by The Police – The song that caught my interest in the Police.  I am musically forever in debt to Sting, Andy Summers and above all, Stewart Copeland, for showing me how to infuse both your influences and musical individuality in each song without going overboard.
2. “Flaming June” by BT – Sure, I have included this on numerous lists, and for good reason.  Mr. Transeau’s amazing compositions helped
to introduce me to the concepts of the emotional and spiritual connections to music, and how one’s inner spirit can guide both the composer and listener through the meanings behind each notation or audio edit.
1. “Bliss” by Mystica – In one word: Perfect.  A masterful and exotic chill-out electronic tune from an Israeli dance group, featuring grainy, floating synths delicately flirting with Middle-Eastern influenced samples.  A song that is a true milestone to me, as it was a major turning point in the shift of my musical taste.  It opened my eyes and ears to the ever expansive world of electronic music, and to the very skilful mixing of Globe-trotting DJ Paul Oakenfold.  And it opened my eyes to the international parts of the world, where music and dancing weren’t just fun past times, they were simply a beautifully crafted way of life.  Thanks Mystica and Paul.

Stigz’s Top 5
5. “Tommy the Cat” by Primus – Yea, anybody that’d heard this knows why I’m thankful for it.  The sheer amount of originality is one reason.
4. “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” by The Rolling Stones – Songs like this are what revolutions are made of…and we thank you thirty years later.
3. “Illusion, Coma, Pimp and Circumstance” by Prince – Besides being uber-funky, this song paints a hilarious picture.
2. “#1 Radio $ingle” by PsychoStick – One of the best things to happen to metal…ever, and they rip on the all too prevalent formula-bound “musicians” polluting the airwaves…Drum Fill!
1. “The Bed Intruder Song” – For some reason, I love that someone besides Kanye West and the other no-talent “hip hop artists” found Auto-tune and did something worthwhile and hilarious…thank you…and remember, “hide ya kids, hide ya wife!”

 

Top 5 Songs To Fall Asleep To November 15, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 1:06 PM

TNT’s Top 5
5. “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie – The tempo is relaxed and I find the lyrics comforting; “If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks, then I’ll follow you into the dark”.
3. “Bouncing Ball” by Honey Honey – The hums in this song alone could put me to sleep, very soothing.
3. “Hannah Hold On” by The Get Up Kids – You knew there was going to be a song from The Get Up Kids on here.  It’s a sad song, but calming at the same time.
2. “Shortly Before the End” by Ok Go – The echos in this song make me feel like I’m drifting or floating off into an unknown oblivion…or sleep.
1. “Come Away With Me” by Nora Jones – When I think of Nora Jones, I think of relaxation.  Her voice alone could put me into a deep sleep, and the entire album Come Away With Me does the trick.

Daniel Edward’s Top 5
5. “Sleep” by The Dandy Warhols
4. “Kelly Watch the Stars” by AIR
3. “Across the Universe” by Fiona Apple
2. “When Stars Go Blue” by The Corrs featuring Bono
1. “Don’t Blame Your Daughter [Diamonds]” by The Cardigans

Honorable Mentions: “Come Away With Me” by Nora Jones, “The Engine Driver” by The Decemberists

Mark’s Top 5
5. “Halcyon+On+On” by Orbital – A beautifully repetitive electronic journey.  It always gave me the sensation of being on the beach on a quiet day, floating in and out of consciousness as I hear the waves rhythmically crashing in.  Even when the beat kicks in, it maintains its calm demeanor, allowing you to get some rest.
4. “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck Quartet – Back in my ‘cool jazz’ faze, I used to obsessively listen to Brubeck’s landmark album Time Out, with “Take Five” being played most often.  Even with such a strange and disjointed time signature, it is a remarkably easy tune to relax to.  Sweet dreams.
3. “Over Now” (MTV Unplugged version) by Alice In Chains – A fine tune by a great rock band, the remarkable talents of the members made more apparent by a superior to the original acoustic arrangement.
2. “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson – One of Michael’s best early songs, in a smooth jazz by way of pop arrangement.
1. “No Words No More” by Love and Rockets – A slightly creepy but strangely soothing song, led by a simple acoustic guitar, whispered vocals and rounded out with mysterious vibe hits and harmonica.  Just give it a listen and you’ll understand.

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum – The haunting organ melody of this song is relaxing and helps put me in the mood to catch a few z’s.
4. “Sea of Love” by Phil Philips – The rolling piano and smooth vocals are perfect for drifting off to dreamland.
3. “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison – Van the Man’s voice, the piano and the horns of this tune put me in a coma.
2. “Sleepwalk” by Santo & Johnny – The steel slide guitar melts my limbs and numbs my mind.  I’m sleeping like a baby.
1. “Echoes” by Pink Floyd – Coming in at 23 minutes and 31 seconds, this song is perfect to lull me into a deep sleep.  The pings at the beginning of the song and the many instrumentals are sure to knock me out.

Klone’s Top 5

5. “Silent Lucidity” by Queensryche – From the guys who sang about a “Jet City Woman”, this sweet lullaby was a mega-hit for Queensryche in the early 90s, from their album Empire, and was performed at the 1992 Grammy Awards with a full orchestra accompaniment.  With a vocal track discussing taking control on one’s own dream in the middle of the song, it would be hard to imagine that this song wasn’t written to be listen to while drifting off to slumber.
4. “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd – Not sure this one really needs an explanation.  What’s the next logical step when you’re feeling “Comfortably Numb”?
3. “Blue” by A Perfect Circle – From the side-project of Tool front-man Maynard James Keenan, one wouldn’t expect a meditative, calm-inducing track like this, but for me this song is supremely relaxing and introspective.  I’ve survived many a tired commute to work with “Blue” and the rest of The 13th Step album echoing through my head.
2. “My Immortal” by Evanescence – Part of the concept behind Evanescence was that their music was written with the idea that it would inspire, or be perfect for films.  Their tracks seem to have a level of drama built into them, both lyrically, and as a stylistic feel to the music.  My first exposure to this song was at the funeral scene in the Dare Devil atrocity of a film, but these somber, delicate tones really made that scene a moment that I could hold onto in the film.  When I finally bought their Fallen disc, this song had earned a solid spot in my songs to mellow out, or fall asleep to.  A sad tune, no doubt, but perhaps its that beautiful sadness that makes it such a relaxing song.
1. “Orion” by Metallica – Just one of Metallica’s many, beautifully complex instrumentals, I’ve always felt “Orion” was one that stood alone as more of a musical masterpiece.  Appearing on the “Master of Puppets” album, the deep and heavy opening gives way to a cosmically wondrous mid-section that sends your imagination off reeling into a realm of possibilities.  There’s something mystical about that elusive space just past the edge of consciousness but before crossing fully into dream, and “Orion” is one of the songs that serves as a key to that doorway.
Honorable Mentions: “Halcyon + On + On” by Orbital – Everyone can take or leave a little bit of every genre of music, and in the electronic music world, I defy you to find a track as lovely as this one, Hero of the Day (S & M version)” by Metallica – The orchestration makes this song even more incredible than the original studio version.

 

Top 5 Artists You Want Your Kids to Listen To November 8, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 10:10 AM

TNT’s Top 5
5. The Beatles – I was not brought up on The Beatles and learned everything once I hit college.  The Beatles had a huge influence on so many that I feel it’s a necessity for any musical background.
4. Rancid – We need to start the punk category somewhere, so why not start with Mom’s favorite?  The Ramones and Green Day are also included here, but they’ll be singing “Ruby Soho” first.  Ska music will soon be to follow.  I like to jump around a little, keep the kids on their toes.
3. Queen – Imagine how much fun road trips will be when Queen is playing and everyone is singing along!  But seriously, a crash course of Queen will be mandatory.
2. Metallica – Mom was raised on Metallica and her children will be too.  My kinder will be the ones giving  the devil horns in their playpens.
1. Grateful Dead – I’ve covered a lot of genres with this list, but no band has ever given me a feeling like the Grateful Dead.  Please excuse me, but my hippie side is about to come out.  There is just something about the music that moves you, that makes you feel like anything is possible and you can have no worries in the world.  If only it was 1969 today.
Honorable Mentions: The Get Up Kids would of course be on this list, but I want my kids to listen to this when I did, around 15 or 16 years old.  George Gershin, because he is an American musical genius, and a good mix of blues/jazz musicians.  Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Allman Brothers, Meatloaf, and of course Lynyrd Skynyrd– no explaination needed, these artists were almost too obvious to put on the list, but had to included them.

Angela’s Top 5
This is a great topic because, no lie, I’ve imagined in my head what bands I will one day be responsible for introducing my kids to.  We all know that the kids of the critics and artists are going to be given a fine course in musical stylings.
5. B.B. King and other assorted blues artists – You can not have a proper musical education if you do not include the blues.  That’s where contemporary rock and roll started, and some of those old recordings by Muddy Waters and the like are simple, yet brilliant.  I feel like I would be doing my kids a disservice if they missed out on listening to the blues.
4. Green Day – If mom’s a die-hard Green Day fan, then so too shall the children be.
3. The Ramones – Legends of punk, The Ramones are integral to them understanding the punk evolution.  You do realize the children are going to be well versed in the history of punk rock, right?
2. The Beatles – It would be wrong of me to not include the Beatles as part of their musical education.
1. Queen – You should have known that this was going to be my number 1.  My kids are going to know the amazing music of Queen and the genius that was Freddie Mercury.

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. Pink Floyd – My parents were huge Floyd freaks and raised me on their music.  It only seems fitting to introduce my offspring to the music of Pink Floyd and perhaps the solo albums of Syd Barret as well.
4. Led Zeppelin – The first time I heard Led Zeppelin as a kid it hit me hard.  I remember thinking “do they have a song I don’t like?”  I had never experienced that feeling before.  I decided it was my mission to acquire every album to answer this question.  As it turned out, they didn’t.  It would be nice to if my son or daughter had a similar experience.
3. The Talking Heads –  The music is a hodgepodge of genres with a touch of eccentric freakishness a la David Byrne.  The songs make me dance and sing while laughing out loud at the little absurdities nestled within.  All in all, it’s a lot of fun.  My kids would probably think I’m a weirdo, but they would have to face the inevitable fact that they are related to me and therefore weird by proxy.  Maybe they might like it.
2. The Beatles – I’m a big fan of The Fab Four’s entire catalog.  “Do You Want To Know A Secret” and “I Should Have Known Better” are among my favorites.  There are so many great tunes to choose from that even if my kids didn’t like the older stuff, they might be able to get into the later albums.
1. Sam Cooke – I love soul music and Mr. Cooke is the king of soul.  He introduced soul music to the mainstream and inspired other great soul singers like Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, and James Brown.  I hope that my child or children would have a diverse interest in music and give Sam a chance.
Mark’s Top 5
5. Boston – It would be important for my kids to understand the basis of what makes good rock music, what era best illustrates the sound and one of the bands that epitomizes that sound.
4. Gary Numan – Introducing the offspring to different musical genres would be really important to giving them a solid musical grounding.  This covers goth/new wave/electro, and even some rock territory, and is a great way to show them that there is a whole world beyond just guitar/bass/drums.  Plus, whatever Dad likes, they will have to listen to for quite sometime.
3. Depeche Mode – They will have to get to know another of their Father’s favorite bands, as I show them music based completely on electronics, and to introduce them to gloom, doom, and dancing.  Maybe I can even encourage them to start dyeing their hair.
2. The Police – One of the greatest bands to ever grace the music scene.  It would best show the young-ins what happens when great songwriting and amazing musicianship come together.  It might even encourage them to take up an instrument.
1. BT – The Sonic architect has to be heard to be understood.  A great way to help them understand how musical notation and emotions go together, or to encourage them to study hard and follow their dreams, whatever they may be.
Klone’s Top 5
5. Alice In Chains – Placing them as the #5 slot doesn’t diminish their importance in the lexicon of my musical tastes.  Anyone who’s read any of my posts should-be been able to guess these guys would’ve been on the list, but I want to be clear that the Alice I want my kids to listen to is the original line-up, with Layne Staley on vocals.  Even though it will be impossible for them to ever see the original line-up live, I want them to understand the bands roots before they learn of their evolution.  One of the greatest rock bands of all time.
4. Meatloaf – An oldie but a goodie, it’s the closest I get to the classic rock of the 1970s, as far as bands influential or inspiring enough to make them part of my kids’ musical education regimen.  His albums are story books, each song an elegant chapter, and the man himself will always have a larger than life quality (no pun intended) that will always make his music special.
3. Extreme – It’s not all about “More Than Words” with this band, especially when they consider that song the kiss of death for their career.  Extreme is a kick ass, hardcore guitar rock band.  “More Than Words” was their power ballad fluke that propelled them to mega-stardom, but it wasn’t representative of the rest of their work.  Pornografitti is an incredible album, and Nuno Bettencourt is a living guitar legend.  Just because the rest of the music world seems to have forgotten that, I feel like most of the public never really knew, and those of us who did and still do could be considered a cult of followers.
2. Tool – There are some artists or groups that are beyond words, and Tool is one of them.  Their music has always mesmerized me, and helped open my mind to all the possibilities that exist in music.  I would definitely want them to listen to AENEMA.  I once saw an entire abstract, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”-type movie in my head while listening to this album from beginning to end.  I one day hope to make the film, but until then, I’ll keep listening to Tool, and make sure my kids do too.
1. Metallica – Distant as I’ve grown to their recent works, there’s no denying that Metallica shaped and defined some of my most formative years…take that for what you will, good or bad.  Metallica is one of those bands, at least for me, that are legends from an earlier time, and earlier renaissance of music, where the disconnected youth needed an outlet for their angst and anger.  I know there’s no shortage of anger in today’s world, but the outlets are nowhere near the caliber that Metallica is, hence their continued success.  I feel like if my kids didn’t at least listen to, if not love Metallica, they would not truly know part of what makes me who I am, as a person, as a man, as their father.
Honorable Mentions: (Let’s face it, there’s so much music I’m going to need to expose my kids to, I could never narrow the list down to 5 without mention a couple of others.) Type O Negative – Peter Steele’s legacy will live on in my household, as Type O was hugely important to me as I was growing up.  Smashing Pumpkins – It’s a sin that they aren’t in the Top 5, but I’m taking into account that they’re not always everyone’s cup of tea.  I didn’t need to acquire the taste, but others do sometimes…I want to expose my kids to all kinds of music, but I don’t want to be tyrannical.
 

Top 5 Personal Theme Songs November 1, 2010

Filed under: Manic Monday Top 5 — NVMP @ 11:27 PM

Sometimes when we hear a certain song, we think about how much it describes ourselves, whether it be a personal anthem or lyrics that just fit your personality just right…or just right at the moment.  This week, NVMP dug deep and came up with our Top 5 Personal Theme Songs.  Enjoy!

TNT’s Top 5
5. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen – I know this song has made many of my top 5 lists, but hopefully by now you realize just how amazing it is.  “Don’t stop me now/I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball.”  I’m grateful to say this song is one of my personal themes; I’m always having fun.  If you’re not having fun, then what’s the point?
4. “Touch of Grey” by Grateful Dead – “I will get by, I will survive.”  Sometimes we all need to repeat this line.  This song frequents many playlists of mine; it’s so uplifting, no matter where you are in life.
3. “Queen of the World” by Ida Maria – “I’m queen of the world/I bump into things/I spin around in circles/And I’m singin’ and I’m singing’ and I’m singing”.  Well, I am always singing and I do spin in circles at random.  I am also very clumsy and at times, think I’m queen of the world (majority of the time I’m drunk…good thing the first line of this song is “Whiskey please, I need some whiskey please.”)
2. “Eyes of the World” by Grateful Dead – “Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.”  This song is full of lyrical gems like this one!
1. “TNT” by AC/DC – Well, this was a no brainer, being that my initials really are TNT  🙂

Hoverbee’s Top 5
5. “Nitemare Hippy Girl” by Beck – Once upon a time, in a land far away, this was my theme song.  I was a magical, sparkling tease.  I was a rainbow choking the breeze.
4. “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” by Cake – I was the girl who gets up early and stays up late.  My fingernails shined like justice and my voice is still dark like tinted glass.
3. “Born Under a Bad Sign” by Albert King (Cream’s Cover Version) – Born under a bad sign, I’ve been down since I began to crawl.  If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.
2. “Changes” by David Bowie – The only constant theme in life is change.  Oh how the others must see a faker, but I’m much too fast to take that test.
1. “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan – When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.  I have no direction home and my life is a complete unknown.

Mark’s Top 5
5. “Steady As She Goes” by Voodoo Glowskulls – Raucous and fun metal tinged-ska.  Not so much a personal theme as it would be a ‘going to the bar or show’ theme.
4. “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck Quartet – Leading a stress free life would be made much simpler if I had good ol’ Dave’s best known tune to slow things down and smooth the rough patches over.  Everything’s gonna be just fine.
3. “Superman Main Theme” by John Williams – EPIC.  The perfect excuse for smashing through people’s windows instead of ringing their doorbells.  As long as this music is behind me, no one could ever get upset.  In fact, they would probably clap and cheer.
2. “Love on Haight Street” by BT–  Glitchy, yet smooth hip-hop beats led by the impeccable flows of Roscoe and Fifty Grand, perfect for my slow motion walks into various establishments, or leading the transition from party down to late-nite chillin’ with friends.
1. “Theme from Star Trek: The Next Generation” by Jerry Goldsmith – A swashbuckling and sweeping score that would be fitting as any man’s theme song, especially that of a Trekkie.  I can hear it roaring in its epic glory as I explore the galaxy, or head to the bar to drink, so either way I’ll end up in space with a great theme to follow me.

Angela’s Top 5
5. “Gimme More” by Britney Spears
4. “Turnin Me On” by Keri Hilson ft. Lil Wayne
3. “Disappearing Boy” by Green Day
2. “Lil’ Freak” by Usher
1. “Paralyzer” by Finger Eleven

Stigz’s Top 5
5. “Drug Ballad” by Eminem –  Rarely would I ever say a hip-hop track should be my theme song, but back when Mark Wahlberg was Marky Mark, this is how we used to get the party started….lol
4. “The Big Payback” by James Brown Don’t ask me why, but this track makes me want to put on sunglasses and walk down the street, kicking over garbage cans and small children.
3. “Show Me How To Live” by AudioslaveLyrical evidence of my disdain for religion, authority, social norms, and anything else that passes as status quo.
2. “Idiot Box” by Incubus – Just the opening lyrics say it all. “You keep your riches and I’ll sew my stitches/you can’t make me think like you, mundane”
1. “This Could Be Love” by Alkaline Trio – “I got a book of matches/I got a can of kerosene/I got some bad ideas/involving you and me”.

Klone’s Top 5
5. “Hero of the Day” by Metallica – I think there was a time in my life, especially circa the release of the Load album, where this was the kind of song that would literally call out to me.  I can vividly remember being in a friend’s car, driving around listening to the “new” Metallica album (as it had been years between their self-titled album, commonly known as “The Black Album“, and Load) and thinking to myself that Metallica was really the band that I identified with.  For the guys who brought us “Sanitarium (Welcome Home),” “One,” and “My Friend of Misery” to also have this torn ballad within them, was just mind-blowing to me.  Of course the friend who was driving skipped the track ahead after a single verse and chorus, which led me to believe that he, among the millions of other fans who detested Load, just didn’t get it.  (Of course, come St. Anger and I’m off the Metallica bus, but that’s a different story…)
4. “All Along The Watchtower” by Bear McCreary ft. Bt4 (cover) – I’ve never been a particular fan of the original rendition of this song by the prolific and gifted Bob Dylan, in fact I wasn’t even crazy about the Jimi Hendrix version of the song either, but understood its place in the pantheon of classic rock.  When I heard this rendition, heavily stylized for its use in the ScyFy series “Battlestar Galactica”, I was instantly enthralled.  The atmosphere alone is awe-inspiring, and the sense of drama that drips from the track, whether you experienced it by watching the show or heard it played on its own, is dark and foreboding yet breathtaking.
3. “The Crowing” by Coheed & Cambria – If Rush and Tool ever got too drunk at a party and hooked-up sans protection, the unintended love-child would be Coheed & Cambria.  A concept band where you can take or leave the concept and still enjoy the music, Coheed’s songs are very complex and heavily laden with time-changes and so many parts you’d almost call them chapters.  “The Crowing” in particular is a track that is rooted in traditional guitar rock, with very precise and deliberate pick-strokes that create a sense of urgency that drives the song.  It ultimately goes through a time/key change and moves into this very dramatic, grandiose ending.  The lyrics are clearly telling a small part of a larger story (one where “The Crowing” is some sort of person or event worth revering), but even without having the context to make the story accessible, the lyrics flow like poetry.  The song is an anthem…and I’m glad to co-opt it and make it one of my anthems.
2. “She Gathers Rain” by Collective Soul – There’s no big explanation about this one, other than I feel like I was a rock-oriented kid who gave these guys a chance when they were new on the scene.  Of course, catching them open for Van Halen somewhat helped in that regard, but these guys are actually a pretty bad-ass rock band as long as you’re not listening to “The World I Know”.  If you listen to this and don’t get that awesome rock feeling, you might be dead.
1. “Nobody Like You” by Limp Bizkit feat. Jonathan Davis  and Scott Weiland – SICKNESS!  TOTAL SICKNESS!  Not to mention that it’s pulled off by a consortium cats who define cool…in that way Gods of Rock and Metal can.  This was an amazing collaboration from an album that was already an eye-opener in the surprise department.

***BONUS!!  Klone’s Top 5 Horror Movie Soundtracks***
Now that we can officially say “Rest In Peace” to Halloween 2010, in honor of the season for screamin’, I thought we could pay a special tribute to some of the films that give us our costume ideas and make legends of those who can scream and die with style, and plenty of red-dyed corn syrup.  I am proud to present my Top 5 Horror Movie Soundtracks… 

5. “The Lost Boys” (1987) – With horror movies, it’s all about the where and when, and the when for “The Lost Boys” is the late 80s.  (Before you audibly groan, just keep in mind that 1987 saw the appearance of Guns N’ Roses.)  Who can forget the Echo and the Bunnymen cover of “People Are Strange”, and that muscle-bound guy with chains around his neck, playing saxophone on the beach?  (That song is called “I Still Believe” by Tim Cappello…so buff, he didn’t even need a rock n’ roll stage name.)
4. “Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight” (1995) – Okay, any disc that can boast both the world-wide introduction of Filter with “Hey Man, Nice Shot” and has a radio edit of Pantera’s “Cemetery Gates” kicking the whole thing off leading to tracks by Ministry and Megadeth, is a MUST HAVE FOR EVERYONE!  PERIOD!!
3. “Scream” (1996) – The alternative rock of the 90s was the perfect soundtrack to a homage to John Carpenter’s “Halloween”, and made watching over-privledged teens with a love for horror movies get themselves filleted way more fun.  Tracks worth mentioning: “Youth of America” by Birdbrain, a cover of “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Gus, “First Cool Hive” by Moby, “Better Than Me” by Sister Machine Gun, and the classic “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
2. “The Rage: Carrie 2” (1999) – As if Paradise Lost and Fear Factory on the same compilation weren’t enough, this album is sold by RA’s track “Crazy Little Voices”, hands down.
1. “Freddy Vs. Jason” (2003) – When two franchises collide, they rock our world…and when two horror movie icons collide, they bring the party with them.  The guest list is long and distinguished (fill in lewd comment here), and includes such heavy hitters as Type O Negative, Powerman 5000, Sevendust, Slipknot and Killswitch Engage, but for me, the piece de resistance is truly Ill Nino’s “How Can I Live?”

Until next year…we’ll be scaring you!  Muah, ha, ha, ha, ha…