I didn't make a New Year's resolution to listen to more new music in 2011, but it just seems to be working out that way. And so far I've been rewarded with some pretty decent stuff. Will the good times continue? Let's find out... Cage the Elephant – Thank You, Happy Birthday (Jive) Here's another group that managed to become pretty popular without even appearing on my radar. I can't speak to how Cage the Elephant may or may not have changed since their first album, but this one is pretty damn good. For a so-called indie rock band, Cage the Elephant displays a real knack for catchy aggression and a willingness to incorporate whatever sounds and styles necessary to get their point across. Album opener "Always Something" nails the slinky, urban vibe that My Morning Jacket went for
*February 23, 1927: The Federal Radio Commission (precursor to today's FCC) is created with the passage of the Radio Act of 1927. President Calvin Coolidge urges the Commission to execute their duties with "all urgent haste", as Howard Stern's first show is only 50 years away. *February 25, 1964: A 22-year-old Olympic champion upstart by the name of Cassius Clay defeats heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston by TKO. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali a week later, but I don't care. His momma name him Clay, I'm gonna call him Clay. *February 24, 1988: With their 8-0 verdict in Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, the United States Supreme Court rules that public figures cannot sue for being made the subject of satire. The decision clears the final obstacle in the path of Larry
Here's an oldie but a goodie - from 1963, it's "Mr. Bass Man" by the late Johnny Cymbal. I dare you to listen to this and not crack a smile. Told you so. The Bass Man in question is Ronnie Bright, an R&B/doo-wop singer who was in groups such as the Valentines, the Cadillacs, the Deep River Boys, and the Coasters. But what I want to know is, is he the mystery man behind this vintage Ajax commercial?
Since it was written 75 years ago "I Only Have Eyes for You" has been covered by a lot of acts. But there is only one version that really matters, and it was released by the Flamingos in 1959. Some words that come to mind with this are 'beautiful', 'haunting', and 'classic'. The tenor lead on the song is Nate Nelson, who joined the group in late 1954 and left in 1961 to form the Modern Flamingos. He joined the Platters in 1964 and spent pretty much the rest of his career with them until he died of heart disease in 1984 at age 52. (this is the best-sounding video I could find on YouTube - it's admittedly not a lot to look at)
Looking back, mixtapes sure were a pain in the ass to put together. But man, were they fun. So for just a minute, let's imagine iPods don't exist (I know, scary) and we are putting together a new one. The ground rules for the songs on this mixtape are: Each song was released as the B-side of a commercially available single. The songs did not appear on a regular album (at least not at first). No more than one song per band. I must like the song (the critical part). "Total Eclipse" (Iron Maiden) - Over the years Iron Maiden has compiled what is probably the strongest collection of B-sides in heavy metal history. This one nearly made it onto the group's seminal 1982 album, The Number of the Beast, but was left off and instead included on the "Run to the Hills" single. Th...