Sunday, July 5, 2009

iTunes Running Diary – July 5, 2009

This week's artists.

- "The Trees" by Rush. I originally downloaded this song after hearing it in either Rock Band 2 or one of the Guitar Hero games, but honestly, I could probably listen to just about any Rush song at just about any time. They have this weird, odd sound that is so distinctive that I never really tire of it.

This is often a key factor in my enjoyment of a band. Unique can be very, very good to me, as other favorites are The Presidents of the United States of America, Pink Floyd, Interpol and The Dismemberment Plan (poor sound quality, sorry, but the song is about Boston at least). All of these bands have their own distinctive "feel" even though there is now music similar to each one of them out there.

It is also a factor in why I've turned on some bands, like Everclear and Pearl Jam. If you're responsible for some great songs, then don't change. If you're a generic rock band – not surprisingly, Nickelback springs to mind – then you should experiment and refine your sound. If you're Pearl Jam, and you want to change, then by god make sure your new experimental album is something I would actually like to listen to. (Sorry, I inadvertently channeled Hunter S. Thompson for the previous sentence. I'm reading a book about the founding of Rolling Stone, I blame that.)

- "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Since yesterday was the Fourth of July, it seems appropriate to mention that I have seven songs with all or part of "America" in its title, along with songs by American Hi-Fi and the All-American Rejects. So, it seems to be a pretty popular topic among singers and songwriters.

When I think of great musicians, Tom Petty somehow strays from my thoughts, much like Rush in the previous song. My mind jumps more to bands like The Rolling Stones, yet except for two of their songs ("Get Off Of My Cloud" and "You Can't Always Get What You"), I'm not a huge fan of their work. I just feel obligated to use them as an example.

He doesn't need my help, but I really should be pimping Tom Petty more. The guitar portions of "American Girl" set the tone of the song perfectly, and Petty's rhythmic verses just push the song over the top for me. "Don't Do Me Like That" is also a favorite of mine, as it incorporates the piano / keyboard / organ / whatever is it well. Petty's voice definitely suggests that he smokes a ton of weed, yet he doesn't have any issue hitting the high notes, which is better than pretty much every grunge rocker ever.

- "Gives You Hell" by The All-American Rejects. Speak of the devils. I really enjoy this song, and this band in general. I don't think they're critically or artistically respected at all, but they do make good, catchy music.

I first remember this sort of music coming into vogue with Blink 182, after Green Day, but Blink is kind of tolerated and respected now, just because everyone listened to them in high school and college. After them, there was a slew of bands who, while they didn't release anything super deep to me, I liked listening to: Bowling for Soup, Diffuser, The All-American Rejects, Paramore, Yellowcard, Simple Plan, The Ataris.

- "Everybody Get Dangerous" by Weezer (unofficial video, shockingly good). This is yet another song from the Red album by Weezer, which has had pretty good staying power on my iTunes with "Pork and Beans", "Troublemaker" and "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived." Good times, good times!


  1. Nice American Hi-Fi reference. I thought the song Another Perfect Day was an underrated gem of theirs...

  2. The Franchise! On my blog! It's an honor, fine sir.

    And, I'll check that track out. I love "Flavor of the Week" by them, which reminds me of every A-hole that was dating a hot girl when I was in high school and college.


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