Monday, July 12, 2010

Recent iTunes purchases-pt. 2

By Nick
Due to the fact that iTunes prices all the good songs thirty cents higher than everything else, I was not able to download any of the good stuff (I.e. "Crazy Train"), so I settled for these musical discoveries.

"Live It" by The Cherryholmes.
A free "discovery download". It's kind of sweet and mild-don't expect some sort of super depressing Ryan Adams alt-country-but it's bluegrass, and bluegrass is like pizza-when it's good it's good, and when it isn't good, it's still pretty good. This is good.

"Where Did You Sleep Last Night" By Nirvana.
And on the other end of the bluegrass spectrum, we have this haunting track from Nirvana's landmark Unplugged In New York. Nobody could sound like Kurt Cobain, and his raspy voice fits this dark Appalachian ballad perfectly. The cello adds a faint glimmer of hope, and Cobain's screams at the end capture the sense of loneliness and desolation. Admit it, haters: Nirvana is awesome.

"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" by The Killers
And also in the category of country songs redone by rock artists, we have this gem from the Killer's B-side album, Sawdust. The musical arrangement isn't very different from the original Kenny Rogers version. What sets this version apart is the difference between Kenny Roger's whispers and Brandon Flower's well-developed, though restrained, tenor.

"Life" by Beckah Shae
Yes, I admit-I am a sucker for electronic pop. Ever since I heard "Believe" by Cher and "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" by Eiffel 65 (You know, "I'm blue, if I was green I would die..." and so on.) I have periodically lost my musical credibility and indulged in the world of electronic beats and synthesizer powered anthems. This song is a decent pop effort, though a little weak on the lyrical side, but it was free.

"My City Was Gone" by The Pretenders
You may recognize this as the theme music from the Rush Limbaugh radio show. Aside from its ability to bring fear into the hearts of liberals, it's a good song in its own right. It's got driving drums, a funky bassline, and rockablilly-enfused guitars, but the real star of the show is Chrissie Hynde's vocals, which take us back to the time when girl singers relied less on vocal affectations (Oooh-ooh-ooh!), and more on the ability to belt it out.

"Devil's Dance Floor" By Flogging Molly
Flogging Molly blends pennywhistles with punk on this track. Sounds like the soundtrack to a pub brawl or a pirate attack.

"Summer Thing" by Troy Olsen
Another free track. It's by-the-numbers radio country, but it's not bad, and it's not Kenny Chesney, which are two things in its favor.

"Paris (Ooh La La)" by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
If this song had come out in the Seventies it would have been a number one. It sounds like Heart meets The Eagles with some Cream thrown in. Be on the lookout for Grace Potter and The Nocturnals to make some of the best classic rock music ever, then become famous and start making techno songs.


  1. Nick, always enjoy reading your reviews, even if 9 times out of 10 I am clueless about who you are reviewing. How about a review of the Christies? Or the Easybeats? That Stevie Wright was quite the bundle of energy. (check him out singing "Friday on My Mind," on youtube. Anyway, just wondering. David

  2. The Christies? The Easybeats? These are not part of my musical vocabulary. Sounds like an evil attempt to make me listen to skiffle music. "Friday on My Mind" was one of my favorites on the oldies station that I listened to in 7th/8th grade before it changed to a screaming gospel station. I just downloaded "Walk Away Renee" by Left Banke on iTunes, which is another sixties classic. Don't assume that I don't know anything that came before FallOut Boy.

  3. Nick - You could do worse than listening to skiffle music. Moodies, Stones, Van Morrison as well as about everybody out of the British 60s started there. I like the song "Walk Away Renee" very much though I would have been hard pressed to recall from memory who sang it, but I do recall it being on the radio in the late 60s or early 70s. I do not know Fall Out Boy, though I do suspect it may have been a name assigned to me by my cross country coach 40 years ago. By the way, check out the The Small Faces on youtube. Perhaps you had to have been a teen in the 60's as I was to appreciate Itchycoo Park. And Lazy Sunday Afternoon(I think it is called)by the SFs is about as unpretentious as popular music gets. Oh, and Nick, it is clear you know a great deal about music, you know far more about 60/70s than I know about current music, but my young friend, you werent are like a musical historian. You werent listening to these things on your record player (you know, the pre-8 track, cassette, c.d. itune deal, etc etc) or radio as they came out and were fresh and novel, current and in. So, you listent to the music of the 60s like I listen to music of the 20's. Wait, I dont listen to the music of the 20's. But you get the point.

  4. Hey, I know what a record player is-I bought about 60 records the other day. I don't know Itchycoo Park-sounds suspiciously like a cross between The Good Ship Lollipop and Poison Ivy. And I don't think it's a great accomplishment that I know more about 60s/70s music than you know about current music, because I know more about current music than most of my friends, who usually know the same 50-100 artists, and are in the dark when it comes to The White Stripes, The Foo Fighters, The Ramones, and other luminaries.

  5. I'll never understand why the Beatles chose such a mundane group name when the name "Foo Fighters" was yet untapped. Truly bizzare.