Friday, July 6, 2012

Currently listening to:Week of July 2, 2012

To really hear an artist's work, you must look past the hit singles. The entire album is worth hearing to truly get a glimpse of it all in one body of work. Here are some of the albums I am listening to this week.

Descendents - 'Merican EP (2004)

The Descendents are a band that has pioneered skate punk, pop punk and even hardcore since their inception in 1978. This EP is from 2004 and predates their 2004 album Cool To Be You. Their last album prior to that was 1996's Everything Sucks which was seen as a comeback album after Milo rejoined the band after their ALL incarnation. The title track from this album is one of my favorites and especially one to enjoy this July 4th. It talks about how America is a land of contradictions: for every Otis Redding or Walt Whitman there is a Joe McCarthy or Ku Klux Klan. Great song, great anthem. The song I Quit talks about Milo's frustrations about touring. Great EP, check out these songs:

I Quit:
Here With Me:

Duran Duran - Duran Duran (1981)

One of the best debut albums of all time. This album introduced Duran Duran to the world and hit the US top 10. Rio was the bands most successful album in the States but this album cannot be underestimated. Hit singles include Planet Earth, Girls on Film and Is There Something I Should Know which was from the 1983 rerelease. They don't quite make albums like this nowadays, a great intro for someone who is not quite familiar with their work and wants to explore deeper. Here are some hit songs:
Planet Earth:
 Girls on Film:
Is There Something I Should Know:

The Clash - London Calling (1979)

This is one of the most important records, especially in the late 70s. This marked a change in the Clash's sound, featuring elements of ska, reggae, rockabilly, punk, and even jazz and funk. The title track still gets played on radio today and it talks about unemployment, and drug use and is now the theme song for the Olympics, ironically. This double album features some of the most popular songs from the Clash including Rudie Can't Fail, Lost In The Supermarket and Train In Vain, which was covered by Annie Lennox and sampled by Garbage in the song Stupid Girl. A legendary album and a necessary addition to anyone's collection. Punk rock never sounded so diverse. Here are some great tracks:
London Calling:
Train In Vain:
Lost in The Supermarket:

Bad Religion - The Empire Strikes First (2004)

Released before the 2004 presidential election, this album sees Bad Relgion at their most political, especially in songs like Let Them Eat War (with rapper Sage Francis) and Sinister Rouge. The title is a reference to the Bush doctrine of preemptive war, along with the second Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back. The band got a surprise radio hit with Los Angeles Is Burning, as well, which was about the 2003 California wildfires. Bad Religion returns on familiar territory on songs like God's Love, attacking hypocritical Christianity as well as the song Atheist Peace. You pretty much know what you're gonna get with Bad Religion and they never fail to deliver hardhitting, catchy, punk rock. Love this album so much, it continues to resonate with me today. Here are some of my personal favorites:
God's Love:
Atheist Peace:
Sinister Rouge:

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