Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


Why I don't listen to the radio

I'm not the most eclectic guy musically, but I do dabble in weirdness occasionally. I can never find a radio station that I really like all the time. Whenever I think I have found one, they play a song or two that I can't stand, and I have to flip around to another to find another song I like. It's frustrating. And no radio stations play everything I like. I'm too eclectic, at least, for that. So I listen to CDs. Here are the compact discs I bought last year. No radio station would ever play all of these:

The Arcade Fire, Funeral, released 2004: I don't find them as brilliant as "serious" music journalists do, but this is a pretty nifty album. I like "Neighborhood #3 (Power's Out)" the best, because the other songs seem to be less melodic than they could be. Maybe I'm just getting old.

Beck, Guero, released 2005: I like Beck a lot, and this is a fine album, although I don't like it as much as his previous few. It's certainly deserving of all the accolades heaped upon it. Unfortunately for me, I like the first two songs ("E-Pro" and "Qué Onda Guero") the most, but the rest of the album is good, too.

Black Eyed Peas, Elephunk, released 2003: You know, I just don't like this all that much. It's decent, but it doesn't grab me and shake me and get inside me. Does that make me racist?

Blessid Union Of Souls, Home, released 1995: I bought this because Roger included "Oh Virginia" on a CD he sent me and I loved it, so I bought the album it appears on. It's the best song on the album, so maybe I should have just listened to his CD, but the rest of the album is pretty good, despite a bit of a lean toward schmaltziness. "I Believe," the first track, is another fine song.

Kelly Clarkson, Breakaway, released 2004: "Since U Been Gone" is my favorite pure disposable pop song since "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" by En Vogue in 1992. I love it. Everything a pop song should be. The rest of the album is decent, with the first four songs ("Breakaway," "Since U Been Gone," "Behind These Hazel Eyes," and "Because Of You") the highlights. Nothing revolutionary, just good old-fashioned music.

Neil Diamond, 12 Songs, released 2005: Yes, Neil Diamond! I've always liked his songs, but never bought anything by him, because I just figured I'd always hear Neil Diamond songs on the radio if I really wanted to. I read about this album and how it's stripped down to him and a few instruments, so I bought it. Holy crap, it's brilliant. The first four songs ("Oh Mary," "Hell Yeah," "Captain Of A Shipwreck," and "Evermore,") are stunning, with "Evermore" one of the best songs I've heard in years. There's not a clunker in the bunch. I would recommend this to anyone - it's excellent. Go ask Tom if you need a second opinion.

The Donnas, Gold Medal, released 2004: Speaking of Tom, he's to blame for this one. He also sent me a CD with the first track of this album, "I Don't Want To Know (If You Don't Want Me)," on it, and I dug it so much I went out and bought it. Like the Blessid Union Of Souls album, it's the best song on the CD, but the rest kicks much ass as well. Good lite-metal with a poppy edge and nasty lyrics. Fun. If you think you haven't heard The Donnas, you have - their song "Fall Behind Me" (another excellent tune from this album) is on some SUV commercial that won that ugly JD Power award and all these x-treem athletes are carting it around the world. Dig it, people!

Steve Earle, The Revolution Starts Now, released 2004: I love Steve Earle, but it took me a while to pick this up. It's good. I like Jerusalem a bit more, but this is still very good. Notable excellent songs include the title track, "Home To Houston," "Rich Man's War," and "Comin' Around," his duet with Emmylou Harris (another singer I really should buy more of). Earle is an old-school country artist, meaning he's a lefty and he wears his politics on his sleeve. I don't have that big of a problem with the Nu-Skool Republican country singers' politics, but would it kill Toby Keith to make good music while he's praising Bush?

Fish, Internal Exile, released 1991, remastered version 1998, and Field Of Crows, released 2003: I just received these in the mail today (or, since they're from the UK, the post), because just try and find them in stores. I haven't listened to the newer one yet, but the first is my favorite Fish album and is one of the ones that was stolen from my car in 2001 when we were in Vancouver, B.C. It's nice to have it back. The highlights are "Shadowplay," "Credo," "Just Good Friends," and "Dear Friend." Fish likes friends, apparently!

Flogging Molly, Within A Mile Of Home, released 2004: When the Pogues died, I had to find another Irish folk/rock band singing about drinking, didn't I? One of my students introduced me to Flogging Molly, and although they're not as great as the Pogues (really, who can be?), they're good enough. This is a nice album, with some choice tunes on it, like "Screaming At The Wailing Wall," "Factory Girls," which is a duet with Lucinda Williams (see below), and "Tobacco Island."

Foo Fighters, In Your Honor, released 2005: I love Foo Fighters. They reached a peak with The Colour And The Shape, but they still make fantastic music. I like this double album, but it annoys me a little. The first disc is the "heavy" music, while the second is the "lighter" stuff. I wish they had mixed it up a bit, because the first disc gets a bit relentless, while the second one drags a bit. The songs are good, but I don't like the presentation.

Indigo Girls, Rites Of Passage, released 1992, remastered version 2000: Another CD that got stolen in Canada (damned Canadians!), I finally went out and retrieved this. Lots of good stuff on this, but unfortunately the first three are the best: "Three Hits," "Galileo," and "Ghost," which is so good it's almost painful.

Le Tigre, This Island, released 2004: I posted a picture of them here, and now I'm going to talk about the album! This is another one I got because of a CD I was sent, this one by Andrea, who put "TKO" on her mixed CD. What a cool song. Lots of good songs on this, like "On The Verge," "After Dark," and "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo," plus their cover of "I'm So Excited." Their music was unexpected - I thought it would be more punkish, but it's more early 1980s New Wave-ish. Pretty cool.

John Legend, Get Lifted, released 2004: Nice, bluesy, jazzy kind of funky music. I love "Let's Get Lifted," even though it equates sex with smoking weed (I don't object to doing that, it just seems clichéd), and "It Don't Have To Change," and most of the other songs are very good, even though a few have annoying misogynistic lyrics. Only a few, though, so I can ignore those. Good piano player is Mr. Legend.

The Magnetic Fields, i, released 2004: This is not quite as epic (or good) as 69 Love Songs, but it's still a nice little album. Stephin Merritt has quite the way with evil little lyrics about love, and there are some very good songs on this, such as "I Don't Believe You," "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend," "I Wish I Had An Evil Twin," and "It's Only Time." Do you see how he got the name of the album?

Neutral Milk Hotel, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, release 1998: When I posted about Spin's 100 best albums of the past 20 years, a few people said I should get this. So I did. I'm such a sheep! It's certainly bizarre. I haven't quite made up my mind if I like it or not. I like a few songs a lot, but the whole thing has a grating quality, kind of like when you go see a junior high school orchestra. You know what I mean! So the jury is still out.

Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth, released 2005: I own all of Reznor's albums, so I had to get this one, right? It's better than the last one, The Fragile, which had some good songs but was a bit of a mess. It's more focused and tighter, which is a good thing. Lots of neat songs like "All The Love In The World," "The Hand That Feeds," "Every Day Is Exactly The Same," and "The Line Begins To Blur." It's always good when Trent gets in a bad mood - it means there's some good music a-comin'!

Oasis, (What's The Story) Morning Glory?, released 1995: Ashley gave me grief for liking Oasis, but I don't care. This is just a big, bombastic rawk album with some killer tunes, like "Wonderwall," "Don't Look Back In Anger," "Cast No Shadow," "She's Electric," and "Champagne Supernova." This is another one that was stolen from me by the furshluggener Canucks.

The Pogues, If I Should Fall From Grace With God, released 1988, remastered version 2001: I have this on tape, but I'm in the middle of transferring my tapes to CD, so I figured I'd just buy this because of the extra tunes in the remastered version. It's a magnificent album, full of classics (the title track, "Fairytale Of New York," "Thousands Are Sailing," "The Broad Majestic Shannon"), and it remains the best of the usually brilliant track record from the band.

Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters, released 2004: If you've been looking for an Elton John disco record, pick this up. Two problems: it's not Elton John, and it's not 1979. It doesn't matter - this is a fun album with lots of good stuff. The highlight is "Take Your Mama," but it includes a snazzy cover of "Comfortably Numb," and if "Filthy/Gorgeous" isn't in heavy rotation in every gay disco on earth, well, then, I haven't been to enough gay discos!¹

The Who, Who's Next, released 1971, remastered version 1995: I never owned this. So why not buy it? Do you really need a reason? "Baba O'Riley," "Bargain," "Love Ain't For Keeping," "Getting In Tune," Behind Blue Eyes," "Won't Get Fooled Again" - aren't those enough reasons????

Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, released 1998: I never wanted to own Lucinda Williams, because she was a country singer, but then I bought Steve Earle and he was singing duets with Williams, so I bit the bullet. Boy, I'm glad I did. This CD is brilliant. Lots of beautiful songs about the South, lost love, and the pain that goes along with it. Highlights: the title track, "Concrete And Barbed Wire," "Lake Charles," "I Lost It" (whatever the hell "it" is, but it has nothing to do with eBay, I can tell you that), "Greenville" (a duet with Emmylou Harris - damn it, I have to get something by Emmylou Harris!), and "Jackson" (Lucinda likes singing about places, apparently).

Link Wray and his Ray Men, Law Of The Jungle - The Swan Demos '64, released 2005: I bought this because Gordon convinced me to give Link Wray a try. I've only listened to a few tracks, but it's pretty good. A Beach Boys vibe that gets a nice edge from the grumbling guitars - it's the kind of music that shows up in Tarantino movies.

Now, you may notice that there ain't a lot of jazz, blues, classical, or hip-hop on that list, and not even, say, metal, which I used to like but now it chafes my tender eardrums! Those darned kids and their loud music! Even so, I would never find a radio station that plays all of my kind of music. Some radio stations would never play a lot of the music I like. This is why, when I'm dictator, there will be a radio station programmed by me. And it will dominate the airwaves! Who's with me?

¹ Can we ever really go to enough gay discos?


Blogger Tom the Dog said...

First of all, I JUST NOW posted about Neil Diamond, and put his album on my sidebar. And you've already got a link to me?? DAMN! Did I mention him before or something? Either way, impressive timing.

Also, I'm glad you picked up the Donnas album. Their previous album, Spend the Night, is also excellent, and had a bigger, better hit single (also featured in a commercial or two), "Take it Off." I think Gold may be the better album overall -- but it's close.

Our musical tastes are more similar than I'd have expected:

--"Since U Been Gone" is also my favorite guilty pleasure single of the past couple years (though I don't think I could ever bring myself to buy the album).

--I keep meaning to get Earle's Jerusalem, but keep forgetting to. Maybe this time I'll remember. Ditto on the Lucinda Williams. In the same vein, I just copied an album from my brother-in-law (which I'd bought him for Christmas!) by someone you might like to check out -- Kathleen Edwards. It's her second album, Back To Me, and it's awesome. And her first is supposed to be even better.

--Flogging Molly is very good; you might also want to try Dropkick Murphys (in fact, I think I put one of their songs on my mix). Boston Irish punks with bagpipes.

--I'm also a little disappointed by the new Foo. It's too much, and it's too strictly segregated, for me to really get into it. You're right, they should've mixed it up, and probably dropped a few tracks as well.

--Rites of Passage is also my favorite Indigo Girls. Whenever I have to fly, "Airplane" runs through my mind both on takeoff and landing.

--I have to disagree on the Pogues: I think Rum, Sodomy and the Lash is even better. Produced by Elvis Costello!

--Hell YEAH you better have Who's Next. Only the greatest rock album of all time, sucka!

See! SCARILY similar tastes. Who knew? Keep on rockin' bro!

5/1/06 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get satellite radio! If you are as frustrated as I was regarding music on the dial, then satellite is the answer for you. While I haven't found a station to play everything found on your list, some of the variety on a few stations is not to be believed. The other day I heard songs from Morrissey, Buddy Holly, David Bowie, The Damned, and T-Rex...ALL IN A ROW! Satellite is worth purchasing, no matter how many organs you need to sell in order to do so.

5/1/06 10:56 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Tom - You mentioned you were getting Neil Diamond for your mother and that you were going to copy hers. So I'm not psychic, I just have a good memory.

Kathleen Edwards ... just someone else to check out. Damn. And I think Larry put Dropkick Murphys on his mix. Someone sure did.

And Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash is, I think, second on the list.

Satellite radio is probably not in my immediate future, Anonymous, although the wife and I have both thought about it. Maybe if we're feeling like splurging for a big date like our anniversary we'll go for it. I think I'd become as addicted as I am to the Internet if we had it. My kids don't recognize me already!

5/1/06 11:05 PM  
Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

1. No, you're not racist for not liking the BEP album. Silly, perhaps.
I bought the BUoS album, having heard none of it, because my brother-in-law said it was the "future of music"; well, no, but it is pleasant enough.
Gotta get Neil Diamond!
You have the only Oasis album I own; like it a lot.
You never owned Who's Next? And I still talked with you? Glad THAT'S rectified.
I LOVE that Lucinda Wms album. I've seen her twice live.

6/1/06 7:42 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

You don't like the Black Eyed Peas and wonder if this makes you racist?

No, no, Greg. It makes you sensible. The Black Eyed Peas are awful.

6/1/06 9:12 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I owned Who's Next, Roger, but it was a tape of a tape and the quality wasn't very good. This is the first time I've owned it on CD. I hope I'm forgiven. And yes, you do need to get Neil Diamond.

Where were you when I was buying the album, Gary? Where were you???? I don't think they're awful, but they're nothing great.

6/1/06 9:25 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Um. I was writing an epic on the struggle for world freedom. Read it for yourself by clicking on my name and following the link.

6/1/06 1:14 PM  
Blogger Nik said...

Glad to see you've discovered Lucinda, "Car Wheels" is one of the classic albums of recent years.

6/1/06 3:31 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

I stand by my assertion that BEP are awful. In order to back it up and suggest an alternative I will email you a new song to broaden your horizons. Prepare for Danko Jones. I am unofficialy trying to convert bystanders into fans for the release of his new album in February.

6/1/06 7:35 PM  
Blogger layne said...

You and I also have similar tastes, I think (Although I really really don't dig most hip hop).
If you ever do get a hankering for radio, I'd suggest Minnesota Public Radio's The Current.
Although some of the announcers suffer from the dreaded public radio smarmy/smugness syndrome, they usually keep the blathering to a bare minimum, and since I think each one does their own programming, they play a good eclectic mix. With the exception of Fish & John Legend (Who I'm not familiar with, so I wouldn't be able to identify), all the folks you listed have gotten airtime there.

7/1/06 11:50 AM  

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