A music nut, I've never been. I have never been one that religiously follows the music scene or goes to a lot of shows. At best, I'd buy about three, maybe four, new albums a year. I've had my bands and artists that I've loved for some time, as well as the music that came to define a certain time period in my life. For the most part, I don't keep up with what's coming out on the musical scene and certainly not new stuff.
So it was weird that in the past year, I've bought close to a dozen albums and a little over half of them from new (or at least new to me) artists. Maybe it's the low prices you can find at Target or on Amazon. Maybe it's the well written reviews I keep reading in Entertainment Weekly. Maybe I am fighting my 30's and trying to remain relevant to all the cool kids.
I used to love to make mix tapes/CD's for my friends (and sometimes the guys I liked but not often because I generally kept that shit to myself). If I were to make everyone a mix of the best from my recent music binge, it would sound something like this:
1. Other Side of the World, KT Tunstall: I am not ashamed to admit that I first got interested in her music from hearing it on, not one, but two reality shows. I used to play this album a lot for Little A in his first few months of life. It's sweet, charming, and baby-friendly.
2. I Don't Feel Like Dancing, Scissor Sisters: Why the Sisters don't get more love here in the States is beyond me, especially with all the drivel that gets pushed on the radio. This album is one of the rare sophomore attempts by band that is as good, if not better, than its predecessor.
3. There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet, Panic! at the Disco: This was one of those purchases I made because I wanted to qualify for free shipping on Amazon and the CD was only $7. After a few listen-throughs, these nutty emo-guys grew on me. Little A also enjoys rocking out to this album.
4. Knock 'Em Out, Lily Allen: Lily's my GIRL. I would so love to share a pitcher (or two) and plate of cheese fries. We'd smoke too much, get rowdy, and make fun of people. Alright, Still is a hysterical, brilliant pop gem. My favorite part about this song is the excuses she gives to sleaze bags hitting on her.
5. Welcome to the Black Parade, My Chemical Romance: I've already shared on this blog my affection for Gerard and the boys. The Black Parade is one of the few albums where I love every song. This also happens to be Little A's favorite album for riding in the car.
6. Keep the Car Running, The Arcade Fire: I heard good things about this band, then I made the mistake of seeing them perform on SNL. They looked like the therapeutic band at a mental hospital. But I bought the album anyway. Sometimes it borders on high mindedness that I normally find icky in rock music, but TAF pulls it off.
7. God's Gonna Cut You Down, Johnny Cash: Johnny's like the Tupac of folk-country music. He's been dead for two years and keeps releasing stuff. This is a great bad ass song about God. There needs to be more bad ass songs about God because God is a Bad Ass. And Johnny Cash was the perfect man to sing about it.
8. Stockholm Syndrome, Muse: Okay, this isn't new, and I didn't buy the album. But Adrian turned me on to it, and I enjoyed their show at W&M.
9. Body and Soul, Tori Amos: I could devote entire posts to my feelings on the recent albums of Cousin Tori. I was sorely disappointed with her last outing, The Beekeeper. I didn't connect with the songs, and musically I thought it was "eh". Her latest, American Doll Posse, has returned her to my good graces. It's no Little Earthquakes, and I don't know what half the songs are even about; but I like it.
10. Rehab, Amy Winehouse: It's bizarre that this incredible voice comes from a wafer-thin British chick with old school sailer tats and who wears a scary beehive weave and too much eyeliner. But damn; she can sing.
11. Sleep, My Chemical Romance: Just because the album's awesome. It warrants two songs on my mix.
12. Dashboard, Modest Mouse: Ten years ago, I would have hated this band. Admittedly, their stuff is not the most approachable rock, but I dig it. Zany guys.
13. Big Wheel, Tori: C'mon, it's TORI. Besides, she lets her freak flag fly on this one, using "MILF" in her chorus.
14. Love Today, MIKA: MIKA is like this cartoon mash up/love-child of Freddie Mercury, Elton John, and Jake Shears. He makes catchy and tart pop confections. It was hard choosing amongst several of those songs on his album, but this one rocks.
15 Kiss You Off, Scissor Sisters: I ran the Monument Ave 10K to this album and am pretty sure I sang aloud to this song whilst running.
16. Jambalaya, Harry Connick, Jr.: I love Harry. I love NOLA. 'Nuff said.
17. Smile (Version Revisited), Lily Allen: I prefer this version to the original which gets all the airplay. It's more booty-shaking. I'd put all the songs from Alright, Still and the Black Parade on here if I could.
Wanna copy of my mix tape? It's killer.