Tag: New Wave

So fresh — 10 Billy Joel songs that will never get old

So fresh — 10 Billy Joel songs that will never get old

Music
If you came here expecting or hoping to find an article bashing Billy Joel as an overrated, mediocre pop songwriter, you've come to the wrong place friend. I happen to love the man's music -- most of it anyway -- and think he takes an unfair slagging from hipper-than-thou music critics and fans. Sure, he hasn't exactly helped his case with his less-than-stellar later material and his troubled personal life. But buried in 13 studio releases are some of the best pop music of the '70s and '80s. I've gone through those albums -- having listened to them for years -- and picked ten songs that represent Joel at his best. I've tried to avoid including his biggest hits, although in some cases those are his best songs. Enjoy! 1 -- "Don't Ask Me Why" (from Glass Houses, 1980) This is the tune...
30 for 30 — Our Favorite MTV Music Videos of All-Time

30 for 30 — Our Favorite MTV Music Videos of All-Time

Featured Posts, Music, TV & Radio
It seems like forever since watching videos on MTV was a regular part of our lives, but once upon a time it was. We could go on and on about how the station -- which turns 30 on August 1 -- turned to crap years ago for one reason or another, or about how the "M" in MTV seems to stand for Mook now, but let's not go there. Let's make this post a happy remembrance, one in which we celebrate what was rather than lament what isn't. So in that spirit of celebration, here is a list of our 30 favorite music videos of the MTV era (which kicked off on August 1, 1981). Not the best videos, necessarily, but the ones that had the most impact on us. Oh, and for you ranking junkies -- sorry, this is strictly in alphabetical order. 1. Daft Punk, "Around the World" In college we had a primitiv...
Album review roundup: The Zombies, Build, and the Cars

Album review roundup: The Zombies, Build, and the Cars

Music
The Zombies -- Breathe Out, Breathe In (Red House) Well this was surprisingly pleasant, although nowhere near the greatness of the original incarnation of the group. The opening title track is a dead ringer for latter day Steely Dan, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But that's not really the Zombies that people are expecting to hear, is it? Still, it's clear that founding Zombies Colin Bluntstone and Rod Argent -- who receive featured billing status on Breathe Out, Breathe In -- still have plenty of songwriting gas left in the tank, as evidenced by strong songs like the prog-tinged rocker "Another Day," the delicate and melodic "Any Other Way," and the surprisingly effective and overtly religious "Christmas for the Free" -- the last of which comes damn close to recreating the vinta...
Album review mini-roundup: Alison Krauss & Union Station, Duran Duran, and Jim Noir

Album review mini-roundup: Alison Krauss & Union Station, Duran Duran, and Jim Noir

Music
Alison Krauss & Union Station, Paper Airplane (Rounder Records) -- Even if Union Station's brand of bluegrass and sweet country pop isn't your cup of sassafras tea, you need to listen to this at least once. Krauss has one of the most beautiful voices in music, and you should never pass up a chance to hear her. Turn off your cell phone, sit down, relax, and let the beauty of tracks like "Lay My Burden Down" and "Dimming of the Day" take you away. Paper Airplane is a subdued affair, and not exactly what you'd play at a party, but the performances are top notch and the production is warm and intimate. There is a little more grit on the songs led by Dan Tyminksi (whose voice many will recognize as the man actually singing George Clooney's parts on O Brother, Where Art Thou?), but "Dust ...
Album cover of the week: Jesus of Cool

Album cover of the week: Jesus of Cool

Album Cover of the Week, Music
I've been in the mood for power pop lately, so I can think of few better albums to spotlight for this series than one of the best ever — Nick Lowe's 1978 debut LP, Jesus of Cool. This was how the album was issued in most countries in '78, via Radar Records. But in the good ol' USA, Columbia Record execs didn't think that title would fly. So the album was rechristened (get it?) as Pure Pop for Now People. The Americanized version featured a few different pictures on the front and a different track listing. At least this change, silly as it was, made a little sense. If you look closely at the first cover, you can see the phrase "Pure Pop for Now People" spelled out in the borders of the pictures. Nevertheless, this bit of meddling was rectified in 2008, when Yep Roc reissued th
New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 3

New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 3

Music
It seems like a totally foreign concept now, but there was a time when bands managed to tour and release albums on a regular basis. An album per year was standard for most acts, and some overachievers managed two per year. Now fans are lucky to get a new record every three years or so. I don't know how this started or why, but it sucks. I'd rather get a new release every year, with eight or nine songs, than these 14 or 15-song monstrosities that come out whenever a band gets around to it. Anyway, we're knee-deep in my journey through R.E.M.'s discography in case you hadn't noticed. They kept up an old-school release schedule throughout the 1980s, with a new studio recording every year from 1982 through 1988. Pretty damn impressive if you ask me. We're up to LP number three right now, Fa...
Album review roundup: The Go! Team, Cut Copy, and Adele

Album review roundup: The Go! Team, Cut Copy, and Adele

Music
It's just an extravaganza of music reviews on the Suit this week, no? Here's three more we didn't want to go without mentioning. The Go! Team — Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries) Wow, has it really been seven years since Thunder, Lightning, Strike came out? That hardly seems possible. The Go! Team did release an album between then and now, Proof of Youth, but it never even appeared on my radar. Luckily this album did, because I like it a lot. The opening track, "T.O.R.N.A.D.O.", is a 20-megaton blast of what makes the Go! Team so fun — big beats, clever orchestration, and of course those cheerleader vocals. The fun doesn't really let up over the course of a baker's dozen tracks. While a lesser outfit might be tempted to let the layered, dense arrangements do all the heavy lift
Listening booth — “Blue Tip”

Listening booth — “Blue Tip”

Listening Booth, Music
The first official track from one of the most unlikely band reunions of the decade is here. It's "Blue Tip," the lead single the first Cars album in 24 years, Move Like This. Yes sir, I like this very much. It's got that unmistakable Cars feel, and it seems that Ric Ocasek hasn't lost a step in his singing or songwriting. Let's also show some love for those bouncy, vintage Greg Hawkes keyboards and for Elliot Easton's always tasty guitar playing. We all miss Ben Orr but man, I am really stoked for this record now! Not even the lame cover art can put me off: Move Like This comes out May 10 on Concord Music, but you can pre-order it now from Amazon.
New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 2

New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 2

Music
Welcome back! In today's installment of my musical journey through R.E.M.'s discography, I tackle the first two full-length albums from the Athens, Georgia quartet. The first one, 1983's Murmur, pops up in just about every list of the greatest pop/rock albums ever made, so I was really curious to hear what all the hype was about. And then it's on to next year's Reckoning and the first major stylistic change for the group. While the two records were released almost exactly one year apart, they really are very different artistic statements. So anyway, Murmur.  Hey I recognize that first song! It's a re-recorded version of the band's first single, "Radio Free Europe." Well one thing's for sure, this new version is a lot cleaner-sounding and much more professional. Too bad it doesn't quite