Weekend Album Of Choice – System of a Down

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I write this weekend review as going in to I had not an album to write about and was left in that searching stage.  Well luckily for me I a was in my garage working out and I have my music library on my phone.  In that library of over 500 songs I have one album with all songs.  When in the military I remember we would play this album and it would pretty much fulfill the workout.

So what is the album?  It is Toxicity by System Of A Down.  System Of A Down formed in 1994 in Southern California.  Toxicity is their second release is an album that launched them to the front of their music career and rightfully so as this album produces song after song.  I personally had the pleasure of seeing System Of A Down at Ozzfest in Somerset, WI when OzzFest merged with Warped Tour.  I previously talked about this experience here.  While I did not follow on listening to much of their music, this album remains a sentimental favorite.  It reflects my time in the military with fellow Marines bringing it in the gym and I continue to listen to it this day in the gym (or my garage nowadays where the music blasts).  Either way it is an awesome hard rock album that delivers song after song.  Also if you are looking for that hard rock album to work out to…this is at the top of the list.

1. Prison Song 0:00
2. Needles 3:21
3. Deer Dance 6:35
4. Jet Pilot 9:30
5. × 11:37
6. Chop Suey! 13:35
7. Bounce 17:06
8. Forest 19:00
9. ATWA 23:00
10. Science 25:56
11. Shimmy 28:39
12. Toxicity 30:30
13. Psycho 34:10
14. Aerials 37:56

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings yet another band that emerged from the early punk rock scene of California. I know I am getting repititous with the opening line. Well all I can say is that I listened to a lot of punk rock growing up and continue to this day. Also many of the bands emerged from the West Coast, specifically California scene. The band NOFX formed in 1983. They underwent changes through the years but then emerged with consistency with their first debut album Liberal Animation which was released in 1998.

While I am a big fan of their 1990’s releases, it was hard to choose which of their albums I was going to choose. In the end I decided to go with their 4th studio release White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean, released in 1992. This album brought in El Hefe, who played guitar and brought in the mix sound of the trumpet and trombone into some tracks. This addition also brought in a jazz sound to NOFX to which added to their punk rock sound and mixed in with success.

NOFX remains a favorite band of mine that I have enjoyed listening to through the years. Their comical personality can be found in the lyrics and they keep bringing it to this day. As mentioned in a previous post I attended the 1998 Warped Tour in Somerset, WI and one of the coolest stages featured what was called “Punk Rock Karoake”. This is a time that I will never forget and shows how awesome these band members can be. Fans had the chance to go sign up, pick a song they wanted to sing, and then go on stage. Funny part was that there were not many people who signed up, nerves I guess. Anyway I did and will remember it to this day. I can’t remember who the drummer was but the two guitarists were Greg Hetson of Bad Religion (who is a guitar idol of the band I admired) and Eric Melvin of NOFX. These guys were awesome down-to-earth guys and they played the guitar beside me while I was on-stage singing Judy Is A Punk by the Ramones. Something I will never forget as it was like a little wish come true; too bad YouTube video upload was not available like it is today.

Sticking to 5 tracks here are some that I like to listen to, in order on the album:

  • Bob
  • Liza and Louise
  • The Bag
  • Warm
  • She’s Gone (top track in my opnion)

01. soul doubt 00:00
02. stickin in my eye 02:45
03. bob 05:09
04. you’re bleeding 07:11
05. straight edge 09:23
06. liza and louise 11:34
07. the bag 13:56
08. please play this song on the radio 16:42
09. warm 18:58
10. i wanna be your baby 22:30
11. johnny appleseed 25:26
12. she’s gone 28:03
13. buggley eyes 31:00

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings another band that emerged from the CA punk rock scene.  Unwritten Law formed in 1990 and continues to play to this day.  I had the privilege of seeing them play once at the Van’s Warped Tour in 1998.  This Warped Tour was a special event as it was the first time ever that it merged with Ozzfest.  It truly was awesome as on one side you had Ozzefest on two stages and then you walked over the hill and on the other side you had Warped Tour on 10+ stages, can’t remember the exact stage count.  I was able to catch some kick ass punk rock shows of many bands during the day and then at night enjoy the sound of Tool, Megadeth, System of a Down and others.  Truly a great event for $40 or so.  Needless to say, a lot of calories were burnt during those two days.

On to Unwritten Law.  I have grown apart through the years from this band as they started to go more toward the rock side, dropping some the punk sound with fast guitar and drum beats that I grew accustomed to.  I still love their early albums and still respect them as a band.  I am not in the business so I can not judge others for their decisions.  But I do not listen to any of their new stuff.  Hell they might have changed back to their roots and I will have to check on that.  But I do enjoy their earlier music of their first 3 releases and the album Elva (2002) is when I stopped listening to their new stuff as I was disappointed.

The album featured tonight is their first release titled Blue Room and was released in 1994.  This album has a consistent fast tempo of drum beats with clean vocals and guitar to match.  One of their more popular songs to this day is  C.P.K. (Crazy Poway Kids), which is in reference to the band’s hometown of Poway, California.  When I saw them at Warped Tour lucky for me they didn’t conform to their more hard rock ways just yet and I was able to catch their punk rock side.  Overall this is a great album that still has that “garage” sound.  But as I write this I will have to listen to some of their newer stuff.  I was so disgruntled about their style change 10 years ago I haven’t listened to them since (besides their older stuff), but it’s time I give them another shot…they deserve it.  Some of my favorite songs include:

  • C.P.K.
  • Shallow
  • Lessons
  • Kill To Breathe
  • Blurred, Pt. 2

I could not find the whole album so I uploaded my favorite track on the album.  What I like about this track is that it has a nice slow intro that you can tell is going to break out at any moment.  Then at the 1:10 mark they kick up the guitar and it goes from their.  Stuff I love to listen to and suggest to anyone else.  Below is the track titled Kill To Breathe:

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weeks band goes back to the early 90’s when they were more unknown. Before Dookie and American Idiot and other popular newer releases Green Day came out with Kerplunk. Green Day formed in 1987 and came from the popular California punk rock scene. The lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong is actually the younger brother of famed punk rock singer/guitarist Tim Armstrong of Rancid. When Green Day formed, they were actually inspired by Operation Ivy (previously profiled) who older brother Tim was a member of.

Kerplunk was released in 1992 and was Green Day’s 2nd album release under Lookout! Records, who also previously had Operation Ivy under their label. In my opinion it still remains my favorite release by them as they have a good mix in this album of a faster punk rock tempo and have tracks that slow down the tempo. It is these tracks (Christie Road, No One Knows) that are actually my favorite on the album. Green Day released Dookie after this album and it was Dookie that launched their career and fame with repetitive video appearances on MTV. Green Day is also well-known for the famous mud fight at Woodstock ’94 (video below) in where they played as well threw back the mud….great stuff!

Some of my favorite songs on the album include:

  • One For The Razorbacks
  • One of My Lies
  • Christie Road (slower track)
  • Android
  • No One Knows (slower track)

http://youtu.be/WhTF4FolEHw
01. 2000 Light Years Away 0:00
02. One For The Razorbacks 2:24
03. Welcome To Paradise 4:54
04. Christie Road 8:25
05. Private Ale 11:58
06. Dominated Love Slave 14:24
07. One Of My Lies 16:06
08. 80 18:26
09. Android 22:05
10. No One Knows 25:06
11. Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? 28:46
12. Words I Might Have Ate 31:30
13. Sweet Children 34:02
14. Best Thing In Town 35:44
15. Strangeland 37:47
16. My Generation 39:55

And here is the Woodstock ’94 Mud Fight:

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings another popular band, last being Guns N’ Roses.  I will not go into the history as this band is obviously well-known and probably one of the most popular metal bands of all-time.  Metallica is a band that I started listening to before turning 10 years old.  It paid to have a brother 5 years older than me as he was someone I wanted to emulate and of course I listened to what he did.

I remember when he got Metallica’s Master of Puppets tape and brought it home and put it in the boombox.  What stood out to me was the crosses on the front of the tape cover and it reminded me of the cemetery area in the Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda.  Master of Puppets was released in 1986 and was their third official studio release following Kill’em All and Ride the Lightning.  It was also the last album that bassist Cliff Burton would play on as a bus accident resulted in his death.  To this day his bass solos on Kill’em All remain some of my favorite along with his solo on Orion (a track on Master of Puppets).

Master of Puppets is by far my favorite album from Metallica.  It is just a complete album from heavy metal that makes you want to go punch people who piss you off (Leper Messiah, Disposable Heroes, Damage Inc); to slower tracks (The Thing That Should Not Be, Welcome Home (Sanitarium)) that you can sit back and listen to; to the instrumental Orion that makes you appreciate the sound that a musician can bring out of an instrument.  For these reasons I rate Master of Puppets easily as one of the best metal albums of all-time.

http://youtu.be/-OwS3pPiAR8

1.Battery (0:00-5:12)
2.Master Of Puppets (5:13-13:49)
3.The Thing That Should Not Be (13:50-20:27)
4.Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (20:28-26:55)
5.Disposable Heroes (26:56-35:13)
6.Leper Messiah (35:14-40:54)
7.Orion (instrumental) (40:55-49:23)
8.Damage Inc. (49:24-54:54)

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings back the punk rock genre and comes from a band that is well-known in the punk rock community. While I have already featured some members their former band, this is the band that launched them to success. Rancid comes from the California punk rock scene and formed in 1991 after Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman disbanded from their former band Operation Ivy and other bands in between. Rancid released one album and then picked up the awesome guitarist Lars Frederikson and the rest is history.

While this weekend does not bring my favorite album of theirs (sure to be featured in a later date), I believe that their 1995 release …And Out Come the Wolves is the album that put them on the forefront and made them heard. It was this album in where they also brought in some of their ska and reggae roots to compliment the tempo of punk rock music. The album peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200 album chart and five months later was certified gold. Also, several songs on the album were made in to MTV music videos (when MTV played music videos). Major accomplishments especially for a punk rock band.

In my opinion this album to date is their best collaboration of music genres from punk to ska to reggae. Rancid did a great job of incorporating these styles and Tim brings a voice as unheard in previous albums. …And Out Come the Wolves is a top album in my opinion for entertaining the listener throughout. Immediately the album brings the genre mix in its first songs on the album. It starts with the punk rock style of Maxwell Murder and then the third and popular song Root Radicals brings a more ska style followed by the fourth song Time Bomb which brings in the reggae. In my opinion this is a historical album for Rancid as they show their ability to mix these styles that is second to none. Songs featured on MTV include: Roots Radicals, Time Bomb, and Ruby Soho. If I had to pick 5 (besides those popular) they would be, in album order: Olympia WA, Junkie Man, Daly City Train, Disorder and Disarray, You Don’t Care Nothin’.

1. “Maxwell Murder” 00:00
2. “The 11th Hour” 01:25
3. “Roots Radicals” 03:53
4. “Time Bomb” 06:40
5. “Olympia Wa.” 09:04
6. “Lock, Step & Gone” 12:33
7. “Junkie Man” 15:00
8. “Listed M.I.A.” 18:05
9. “Ruby Soho” 20:27
10. “Daly City Train” 23:04
11. “Journey to the End of the East Bay” 26:26
12. “She’s Automatic” 29:38
13. “Old Friend” 31:12
14. “Disorder and Disarray” 34:06
15. “The Wars End” 36:55
16. “You Don’t Care Nothin'” 38:58
17. “As Wicked” 41:17
18. “Avenues & Alleyways” 43:57
19. “The Way I Feel” 47:09

Weekend Album of Choice (with accompanied personal story)

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This weekend brings what is going to be one of my most popular or if not thee most popular album that I will be highlighting.  I am not going to go into the details of the band because quite frankly if you have never heard of them then you are aren’t alive, simple as that.  So instead of going about the usual and pulling up some history and giving a brief description of the band I will instead go into so personal story connections to them.  The band Guns N’ Roses definitely does not need the introduction as their history from great music to tribulations is well-known and has been highlighted over many times by the media.  I personally will say they put out great music led by the unique voice of Axl Rose and just about everyone loves the former and great lead guitarist that played some of the most memorable riffs of all time, Slash.

Guns N’ Roses debuted with the album Appetite For Destruction.  In my opinion this has to be one of the greatest albums of all time in the history of Hard Rock.  The first time that I heard them that I remember was with their obvious exposure on MTV.  Now when most people think of Guns N’ Roses the three songs that pop out are Welcome to the JungleSweet Child o’ Mine, and Paradise City and rightfully so as these songs were hammered on MTV and Radio.  These also are the three songs that I remember as a kid that were played and to me they were the face of Guns N’ Roses.  Now after listening to the album many times over through the years I have to say they are the songs that annoy me the most.  I sure the hell can’t stand listening to Sweet Child o’ Mine re-sung by people on these singing shows such as American Idol….just stop already!

The song that first stuck out to me goes back to my summer vacation place in Minnesota, my home state.  There’s a well-known and one of the biggest MN lakes named Leech Lake well-known for walleyes and for those big anglers looking to land trophy Northern Pike and Muskies.  My grandparents had a small cabin (okay really it was a single-wide trailer) and I would frequent there during the summer.  There’s a resort there named Huddle’s Resort and it was their harbor that my grandparents docked their boat.  The owner, Roy Huddle, and my grandparents were long time friends as they both arrived at that end of Leech Lake around the same time before Huddle’s Resort became a tourist spot and what it us today  I always felt like a celebrity when I went there because all I had to do was say who my grandparents were as I fished the harbor and all the older men would treat me like their own grandson as my grandparents were well-known and they and friends were known to bring in the walleyes.

A picture of some of the harbor as I remember it.  Cleaned many fish in those fish cleaning shacks.

Anyway when I was around 9 or so I was in the harbor and then I heard the lyrics come over screaming “Well, well, well you just can’t tell…Well, well, well my Michelle” and that song just stuck and I loved it.  It then donned on me that the voice sounded like a lot like the voice of that guy on the TV and radio as Axl had that unique voice.  Anyway I loved what I heard and it kicked the ass of what I heard from their other three popular songs noted above.  I remember asking the hired harbor guy what the name of the tape (yes tape at the time) was and he told me it was Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction.  When my family went to town for gas I went into the gas station and spun that carousel of tapes and lo and behold the tape was in there.  Probably not unusual given the popularity of the album/tape but being around 9 years old this was the find of the trip.  I asked my dad if I could have it and since I was responsible and cleaned my own fish…the tape was mine.  I have since lost the tape since which sucks because its good memories but the music still remains.

Like I said I can’t stand listening to those threesongs anymore but not because they are/were overplayed but there are so many other underrated songs on there that they truly make this a great and one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time.  Since I like almost all the songs and I had to pick 5 they would be:

  • Think About You
  • My Michelle (as noted)
  • Rocket Queen
  • Out Ta Get Me
  • Nightrain

Also the image below was the cover and I remember my dad looking at it, looking at me with that “dad” look, and then threw it on the counter…now that’s awesome; thanks Dad!
http://youtu.be/xPrh6vbdb90

1) Welcome to the Jungle
2) It’s So Easy: [4:33]
3) Nightrain: [7:56]
4) Out ta Get Me: [12:24]
5) Mr. Brownstone: [16:48]
6) Paradise City: [20:38]
7) My Michelle: [27:24]
8) Think About You: [31:03]
9) Sweet Child O’Mine: [34:55]
10) You’re Crazy: [40:51]
11) Anything Goes: [44:09]
12) Rocket Queen: [47:35]

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings the 10th choice since I started sharing albums that I thought recognized some attention or that I personally enjoy listening to. While I have previously mentioned that I try to stay away from live albums, I also will include them if they have a good sound that represents the band. If a new listener were to listen, they would be able to get the familiar sound from the studio album and the live album.

If you’ve been reading you know I favor punk rock. When you combine punk rock with some old celtic music you get celtic punk with the awesome addition of bagpipes or my favorite instrument, the tinwhistle. Right away many people think of the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, but one band that formed before these were The Tossers.

The Tossers hail from Chicago and formed in 1993. What I love about their music is the distinct sound of the mandolin, banjo, and tinwhistle with the background sound of a violin/fiddle. I personally love to hear one of two brothers, Aaron Duggins (the other is lead singer Tony Duggins), play the tinwhistle and the more the better in my opinion. Also, I like the fact that The Tossers play impromptu sessions in the Chicago area pubs and they truly are a fans band. If you are a fan of traditional Irish music you can find them playing traditional Irish tunes as well.

The album featured was recorded live on St. Patricks Day in 2008 at the Metro in Chicago. If you purchase the CD it also comes with the live show on DVD. The album is titled “Gloatin’ and Showboatin’: Live on St. Patrick’s Day”. Overall The Tossers bring that sound of their instruments to where you can distinctly hear them and the album was recorded quite well with no disrupting sound distortions or with the vocals bleeding the sound of the instruments or vice versa.

Some of my favorites include:
The Crutch
I’ve Pursued Nothing
Altercations (hidden at the end of Teehan’s)
Holy Ground
Crock of Gold

Below is a clip from their live show from the album. The song is “Crock of Gold”. It starts out slow and then they turn it up at the 2:53 mark (love the whistle in this one).

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend is a sentimental one as it comes from my first three.  I was turning 11 years old and my brother of 5 years older bought me 3 CD’s to turn me to the punk rock side of music to which I still appreciate to this day.  Those 3 CD’s consisted of Face to Face “Over It”, Bad Religion “Suffer” (highlighted here), and the Descendents “Somery”.  Thanks brother!

The Descendents are a band that formed in the late 1970’s in the California punk rock scene and still play hard to this day.  Since they formed they have had members in and out, notably lead singer Milo Aukerman who left to pursue his degree in biochemistry to which he now holds a doctorate in.  Funny enough, their debut album was titled Milo Goes to College.  The Descendents are considered pioneers and influenced many punk bands that came along.  They have a long history much like many punk bands that formed in the 70’s and 80’s but like those bands, they impress me with their consistent and aggressive play through all the years.  In my opinion the Descendents are one of the most underrated bands that formed in those early years and one that still stays true to their fans and roots.

Somery is an album that is in a sense a summary of all their early albums.   But if there was one album that I could recommend to a new listener it would have to be this one as it is one that can be be played continuos and allow the listener to get a complete feel of the Descendents.  I remember being an 11 year old kid and playing this with themes that were probably above my age, such as “Clean Sheets”, “Bikeage”, and “Hope”; they played in my new boombox CD player on a consistent basis as it was the aggressive style and beat of the Descendents that got my attention.

While I could not find the full album video I uploaded two of my favorite songs that I still love to listen to.

1)  Hope – chose the live version as they follow the album version closely and this allows the reader to see them play

2)  Bikeage – a song that has been played by other punk bands as a tribute, chose album version for sound clarity

Weekend Album of Choice

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While keeping mostly to the punk rock genre for the weekly album choice, this weeks album offers something a little different.  While I am not in tune to modern or newer country artists, one that can be heard in my garage throughout the week and weekend is Hank Williams III.  Hank III comes from the famous Hank Williams line of  Senior and Junior and was exposed to music early in his life due to his grandfather and fathers country music popularity.

Hank III broke out of the family country music theme and took on diverse roles within the punk rock and metal community.  In my opinion I do not believe that he gets enough credit for his musical ability and talent.  He is probably one of the more diverse musicians that I can think of.  He also has another self-titled album out under the band name of Assjack.  This is a different side of Hank III and he incorporates other band mates with a hardcore metal/punk sound.  While many are not fans of this side, from the point of view of a metal and punk fan I like the album.  I just find that many of his country fans do not like this sounds thus referencing it to him.  I personally believe it adds to Hanks musical diversity and if you attend a live show you will find that both styles are played.

However, the country-style of Hank III is what I enjoy the most.  It reminds me of the classic country musicians.  One of my favorite albums is Straight to Hell.  There is some faster paced country with Hank on the guitar and that define “twang” he has in his voice to slower paced country songs where the “deeper” voice comes in.  Overall just a great country album. 

You can catch Hank III in the movie The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia playing the guitar while Jesco White dances.  He is also shortly interviewed in the film as he is a friend to the White family.  I bring this up because the song D. Ray White is on this weekends album and is about the story of D. Ray White and his family.

Hank III now has his own music label Hank3 and is known under that name.  While like many other musicians, he has been through the dirty business side of music labels and even nicely exploits some of it in the song Dick In Dixie.  Hank is a man that is not afraid to express his opinion in his music.

1. Satan is Real / Straight to Hell (Medley) 0:00
2. Thrown Out of the Bar 3:08
3. Things You Do to Me 5:16
4. Country Heroes 7:38
5. D. Ray White 11:08
6. Low Down 14:55
7. Pills I Took 18:20
8. Smoke & Wine 20:51
9. My Drinkin’ Problem 23:27
10. Crazed Country Rebel 26:10
11. Dick in Dixie 29:19
12. Not Everybody Likes Us 31:56
13. Angel of Sin 36:27

Weekend Album Of Choice – System of a Down

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I write this weekend review as going in to I had not an album to write about and was left in that searching stage.  Well luckily for me I a was in my garage working out and I have my music library on my phone.  In that library of over 500 songs I have one album with all songs.  When in the military I remember we would play this album and it would pretty much fulfill the workout.

So what is the album?  It is Toxicity by System Of A Down.  System Of A Down formed in 1994 in Southern California.  Toxicity is their second release is an album that launched them to the front of their music career and rightfully so as this album produces song after song.  I personally had the pleasure of seeing System Of A Down at Ozzfest in Somerset, WI when OzzFest merged with Warped Tour.  I previously talked about this experience here.  While I did not follow on listening to much of their music, this album remains a sentimental favorite.  It reflects my time in the military with fellow Marines bringing it in the gym and I continue to listen to it this day in the gym (or my garage nowadays where the music blasts).  Either way it is an awesome hard rock album that delivers song after song.  Also if you are looking for that hard rock album to work out to…this is at the top of the list.

1. Prison Song 0:00
2. Needles 3:21
3. Deer Dance 6:35
4. Jet Pilot 9:30
5. × 11:37
6. Chop Suey! 13:35
7. Bounce 17:06
8. Forest 19:00
9. ATWA 23:00
10. Science 25:56
11. Shimmy 28:39
12. Toxicity 30:30
13. Psycho 34:10
14. Aerials 37:56

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings yet another band that emerged from the early punk rock scene of California. I know I am getting repititous with the opening line. Well all I can say is that I listened to a lot of punk rock growing up and continue to this day. Also many of the bands emerged from the West Coast, specifically California scene. The band NOFX formed in 1983. They underwent changes through the years but then emerged with consistency with their first debut album Liberal Animation which was released in 1998.

While I am a big fan of their 1990’s releases, it was hard to choose which of their albums I was going to choose. In the end I decided to go with their 4th studio release White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean, released in 1992. This album brought in El Hefe, who played guitar and brought in the mix sound of the trumpet and trombone into some tracks. This addition also brought in a jazz sound to NOFX to which added to their punk rock sound and mixed in with success.

NOFX remains a favorite band of mine that I have enjoyed listening to through the years. Their comical personality can be found in the lyrics and they keep bringing it to this day. As mentioned in a previous post I attended the 1998 Warped Tour in Somerset, WI and one of the coolest stages featured what was called “Punk Rock Karoake”. This is a time that I will never forget and shows how awesome these band members can be. Fans had the chance to go sign up, pick a song they wanted to sing, and then go on stage. Funny part was that there were not many people who signed up, nerves I guess. Anyway I did and will remember it to this day. I can’t remember who the drummer was but the two guitarists were Greg Hetson of Bad Religion (who is a guitar idol of the band I admired) and Eric Melvin of NOFX. These guys were awesome down-to-earth guys and they played the guitar beside me while I was on-stage singing Judy Is A Punk by the Ramones. Something I will never forget as it was like a little wish come true; too bad YouTube video upload was not available like it is today.

Sticking to 5 tracks here are some that I like to listen to, in order on the album:

  • Bob
  • Liza and Louise
  • The Bag
  • Warm
  • She’s Gone (top track in my opnion)

01. soul doubt 00:00
02. stickin in my eye 02:45
03. bob 05:09
04. you’re bleeding 07:11
05. straight edge 09:23
06. liza and louise 11:34
07. the bag 13:56
08. please play this song on the radio 16:42
09. warm 18:58
10. i wanna be your baby 22:30
11. johnny appleseed 25:26
12. she’s gone 28:03
13. buggley eyes 31:00

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings another band that emerged from the CA punk rock scene.  Unwritten Law formed in 1990 and continues to play to this day.  I had the privilege of seeing them play once at the Van’s Warped Tour in 1998.  This Warped Tour was a special event as it was the first time ever that it merged with Ozzfest.  It truly was awesome as on one side you had Ozzefest on two stages and then you walked over the hill and on the other side you had Warped Tour on 10+ stages, can’t remember the exact stage count.  I was able to catch some kick ass punk rock shows of many bands during the day and then at night enjoy the sound of Tool, Megadeth, System of a Down and others.  Truly a great event for $40 or so.  Needless to say, a lot of calories were burnt during those two days.

On to Unwritten Law.  I have grown apart through the years from this band as they started to go more toward the rock side, dropping some the punk sound with fast guitar and drum beats that I grew accustomed to.  I still love their early albums and still respect them as a band.  I am not in the business so I can not judge others for their decisions.  But I do not listen to any of their new stuff.  Hell they might have changed back to their roots and I will have to check on that.  But I do enjoy their earlier music of their first 3 releases and the album Elva (2002) is when I stopped listening to their new stuff as I was disappointed.

The album featured tonight is their first release titled Blue Room and was released in 1994.  This album has a consistent fast tempo of drum beats with clean vocals and guitar to match.  One of their more popular songs to this day is  C.P.K. (Crazy Poway Kids), which is in reference to the band’s hometown of Poway, California.  When I saw them at Warped Tour lucky for me they didn’t conform to their more hard rock ways just yet and I was able to catch their punk rock side.  Overall this is a great album that still has that “garage” sound.  But as I write this I will have to listen to some of their newer stuff.  I was so disgruntled about their style change 10 years ago I haven’t listened to them since (besides their older stuff), but it’s time I give them another shot…they deserve it.  Some of my favorite songs include:

  • C.P.K.
  • Shallow
  • Lessons
  • Kill To Breathe
  • Blurred, Pt. 2

I could not find the whole album so I uploaded my favorite track on the album.  What I like about this track is that it has a nice slow intro that you can tell is going to break out at any moment.  Then at the 1:10 mark they kick up the guitar and it goes from their.  Stuff I love to listen to and suggest to anyone else.  Below is the track titled Kill To Breathe:

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weeks band goes back to the early 90’s when they were more unknown. Before Dookie and American Idiot and other popular newer releases Green Day came out with Kerplunk. Green Day formed in 1987 and came from the popular California punk rock scene. The lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong is actually the younger brother of famed punk rock singer/guitarist Tim Armstrong of Rancid. When Green Day formed, they were actually inspired by Operation Ivy (previously profiled) who older brother Tim was a member of.

Kerplunk was released in 1992 and was Green Day’s 2nd album release under Lookout! Records, who also previously had Operation Ivy under their label. In my opinion it still remains my favorite release by them as they have a good mix in this album of a faster punk rock tempo and have tracks that slow down the tempo. It is these tracks (Christie Road, No One Knows) that are actually my favorite on the album. Green Day released Dookie after this album and it was Dookie that launched their career and fame with repetitive video appearances on MTV. Green Day is also well-known for the famous mud fight at Woodstock ’94 (video below) in where they played as well threw back the mud….great stuff!

Some of my favorite songs on the album include:

  • One For The Razorbacks
  • One of My Lies
  • Christie Road (slower track)
  • Android
  • No One Knows (slower track)

http://youtu.be/WhTF4FolEHw
01. 2000 Light Years Away 0:00
02. One For The Razorbacks 2:24
03. Welcome To Paradise 4:54
04. Christie Road 8:25
05. Private Ale 11:58
06. Dominated Love Slave 14:24
07. One Of My Lies 16:06
08. 80 18:26
09. Android 22:05
10. No One Knows 25:06
11. Who Wrote Holden Caulfield? 28:46
12. Words I Might Have Ate 31:30
13. Sweet Children 34:02
14. Best Thing In Town 35:44
15. Strangeland 37:47
16. My Generation 39:55

And here is the Woodstock ’94 Mud Fight:

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings another popular band, last being Guns N’ Roses.  I will not go into the history as this band is obviously well-known and probably one of the most popular metal bands of all-time.  Metallica is a band that I started listening to before turning 10 years old.  It paid to have a brother 5 years older than me as he was someone I wanted to emulate and of course I listened to what he did.

I remember when he got Metallica’s Master of Puppets tape and brought it home and put it in the boombox.  What stood out to me was the crosses on the front of the tape cover and it reminded me of the cemetery area in the Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda.  Master of Puppets was released in 1986 and was their third official studio release following Kill’em All and Ride the Lightning.  It was also the last album that bassist Cliff Burton would play on as a bus accident resulted in his death.  To this day his bass solos on Kill’em All remain some of my favorite along with his solo on Orion (a track on Master of Puppets).

Master of Puppets is by far my favorite album from Metallica.  It is just a complete album from heavy metal that makes you want to go punch people who piss you off (Leper Messiah, Disposable Heroes, Damage Inc); to slower tracks (The Thing That Should Not Be, Welcome Home (Sanitarium)) that you can sit back and listen to; to the instrumental Orion that makes you appreciate the sound that a musician can bring out of an instrument.  For these reasons I rate Master of Puppets easily as one of the best metal albums of all-time.

http://youtu.be/-OwS3pPiAR8

1.Battery (0:00-5:12)
2.Master Of Puppets (5:13-13:49)
3.The Thing That Should Not Be (13:50-20:27)
4.Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (20:28-26:55)
5.Disposable Heroes (26:56-35:13)
6.Leper Messiah (35:14-40:54)
7.Orion (instrumental) (40:55-49:23)
8.Damage Inc. (49:24-54:54)

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings back the punk rock genre and comes from a band that is well-known in the punk rock community. While I have already featured some members their former band, this is the band that launched them to success. Rancid comes from the California punk rock scene and formed in 1991 after Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman disbanded from their former band Operation Ivy and other bands in between. Rancid released one album and then picked up the awesome guitarist Lars Frederikson and the rest is history.

While this weekend does not bring my favorite album of theirs (sure to be featured in a later date), I believe that their 1995 release …And Out Come the Wolves is the album that put them on the forefront and made them heard. It was this album in where they also brought in some of their ska and reggae roots to compliment the tempo of punk rock music. The album peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200 album chart and five months later was certified gold. Also, several songs on the album were made in to MTV music videos (when MTV played music videos). Major accomplishments especially for a punk rock band.

In my opinion this album to date is their best collaboration of music genres from punk to ska to reggae. Rancid did a great job of incorporating these styles and Tim brings a voice as unheard in previous albums. …And Out Come the Wolves is a top album in my opinion for entertaining the listener throughout. Immediately the album brings the genre mix in its first songs on the album. It starts with the punk rock style of Maxwell Murder and then the third and popular song Root Radicals brings a more ska style followed by the fourth song Time Bomb which brings in the reggae. In my opinion this is a historical album for Rancid as they show their ability to mix these styles that is second to none. Songs featured on MTV include: Roots Radicals, Time Bomb, and Ruby Soho. If I had to pick 5 (besides those popular) they would be, in album order: Olympia WA, Junkie Man, Daly City Train, Disorder and Disarray, You Don’t Care Nothin’.

1. “Maxwell Murder” 00:00
2. “The 11th Hour” 01:25
3. “Roots Radicals” 03:53
4. “Time Bomb” 06:40
5. “Olympia Wa.” 09:04
6. “Lock, Step & Gone” 12:33
7. “Junkie Man” 15:00
8. “Listed M.I.A.” 18:05
9. “Ruby Soho” 20:27
10. “Daly City Train” 23:04
11. “Journey to the End of the East Bay” 26:26
12. “She’s Automatic” 29:38
13. “Old Friend” 31:12
14. “Disorder and Disarray” 34:06
15. “The Wars End” 36:55
16. “You Don’t Care Nothin'” 38:58
17. “As Wicked” 41:17
18. “Avenues & Alleyways” 43:57
19. “The Way I Feel” 47:09

Weekend Album of Choice (with accompanied personal story)

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This weekend brings what is going to be one of my most popular or if not thee most popular album that I will be highlighting.  I am not going to go into the details of the band because quite frankly if you have never heard of them then you are aren’t alive, simple as that.  So instead of going about the usual and pulling up some history and giving a brief description of the band I will instead go into so personal story connections to them.  The band Guns N’ Roses definitely does not need the introduction as their history from great music to tribulations is well-known and has been highlighted over many times by the media.  I personally will say they put out great music led by the unique voice of Axl Rose and just about everyone loves the former and great lead guitarist that played some of the most memorable riffs of all time, Slash.

Guns N’ Roses debuted with the album Appetite For Destruction.  In my opinion this has to be one of the greatest albums of all time in the history of Hard Rock.  The first time that I heard them that I remember was with their obvious exposure on MTV.  Now when most people think of Guns N’ Roses the three songs that pop out are Welcome to the JungleSweet Child o’ Mine, and Paradise City and rightfully so as these songs were hammered on MTV and Radio.  These also are the three songs that I remember as a kid that were played and to me they were the face of Guns N’ Roses.  Now after listening to the album many times over through the years I have to say they are the songs that annoy me the most.  I sure the hell can’t stand listening to Sweet Child o’ Mine re-sung by people on these singing shows such as American Idol….just stop already!

The song that first stuck out to me goes back to my summer vacation place in Minnesota, my home state.  There’s a well-known and one of the biggest MN lakes named Leech Lake well-known for walleyes and for those big anglers looking to land trophy Northern Pike and Muskies.  My grandparents had a small cabin (okay really it was a single-wide trailer) and I would frequent there during the summer.  There’s a resort there named Huddle’s Resort and it was their harbor that my grandparents docked their boat.  The owner, Roy Huddle, and my grandparents were long time friends as they both arrived at that end of Leech Lake around the same time before Huddle’s Resort became a tourist spot and what it us today  I always felt like a celebrity when I went there because all I had to do was say who my grandparents were as I fished the harbor and all the older men would treat me like their own grandson as my grandparents were well-known and they and friends were known to bring in the walleyes.

A picture of some of the harbor as I remember it.  Cleaned many fish in those fish cleaning shacks.

Anyway when I was around 9 or so I was in the harbor and then I heard the lyrics come over screaming “Well, well, well you just can’t tell…Well, well, well my Michelle” and that song just stuck and I loved it.  It then donned on me that the voice sounded like a lot like the voice of that guy on the TV and radio as Axl had that unique voice.  Anyway I loved what I heard and it kicked the ass of what I heard from their other three popular songs noted above.  I remember asking the hired harbor guy what the name of the tape (yes tape at the time) was and he told me it was Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction.  When my family went to town for gas I went into the gas station and spun that carousel of tapes and lo and behold the tape was in there.  Probably not unusual given the popularity of the album/tape but being around 9 years old this was the find of the trip.  I asked my dad if I could have it and since I was responsible and cleaned my own fish…the tape was mine.  I have since lost the tape since which sucks because its good memories but the music still remains.

Like I said I can’t stand listening to those threesongs anymore but not because they are/were overplayed but there are so many other underrated songs on there that they truly make this a great and one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time.  Since I like almost all the songs and I had to pick 5 they would be:

  • Think About You
  • My Michelle (as noted)
  • Rocket Queen
  • Out Ta Get Me
  • Nightrain

Also the image below was the cover and I remember my dad looking at it, looking at me with that “dad” look, and then threw it on the counter…now that’s awesome; thanks Dad!
http://youtu.be/xPrh6vbdb90

1) Welcome to the Jungle
2) It’s So Easy: [4:33]
3) Nightrain: [7:56]
4) Out ta Get Me: [12:24]
5) Mr. Brownstone: [16:48]
6) Paradise City: [20:38]
7) My Michelle: [27:24]
8) Think About You: [31:03]
9) Sweet Child O’Mine: [34:55]
10) You’re Crazy: [40:51]
11) Anything Goes: [44:09]
12) Rocket Queen: [47:35]

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend brings the 10th choice since I started sharing albums that I thought recognized some attention or that I personally enjoy listening to. While I have previously mentioned that I try to stay away from live albums, I also will include them if they have a good sound that represents the band. If a new listener were to listen, they would be able to get the familiar sound from the studio album and the live album.

If you’ve been reading you know I favor punk rock. When you combine punk rock with some old celtic music you get celtic punk with the awesome addition of bagpipes or my favorite instrument, the tinwhistle. Right away many people think of the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, but one band that formed before these were The Tossers.

The Tossers hail from Chicago and formed in 1993. What I love about their music is the distinct sound of the mandolin, banjo, and tinwhistle with the background sound of a violin/fiddle. I personally love to hear one of two brothers, Aaron Duggins (the other is lead singer Tony Duggins), play the tinwhistle and the more the better in my opinion. Also, I like the fact that The Tossers play impromptu sessions in the Chicago area pubs and they truly are a fans band. If you are a fan of traditional Irish music you can find them playing traditional Irish tunes as well.

The album featured was recorded live on St. Patricks Day in 2008 at the Metro in Chicago. If you purchase the CD it also comes with the live show on DVD. The album is titled “Gloatin’ and Showboatin’: Live on St. Patrick’s Day”. Overall The Tossers bring that sound of their instruments to where you can distinctly hear them and the album was recorded quite well with no disrupting sound distortions or with the vocals bleeding the sound of the instruments or vice versa.

Some of my favorites include:
The Crutch
I’ve Pursued Nothing
Altercations (hidden at the end of Teehan’s)
Holy Ground
Crock of Gold

Below is a clip from their live show from the album. The song is “Crock of Gold”. It starts out slow and then they turn it up at the 2:53 mark (love the whistle in this one).

Weekend Album of Choice

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This weekend is a sentimental one as it comes from my first three.  I was turning 11 years old and my brother of 5 years older bought me 3 CD’s to turn me to the punk rock side of music to which I still appreciate to this day.  Those 3 CD’s consisted of Face to Face “Over It”, Bad Religion “Suffer” (highlighted here), and the Descendents “Somery”.  Thanks brother!

The Descendents are a band that formed in the late 1970’s in the California punk rock scene and still play hard to this day.  Since they formed they have had members in and out, notably lead singer Milo Aukerman who left to pursue his degree in biochemistry to which he now holds a doctorate in.  Funny enough, their debut album was titled Milo Goes to College.  The Descendents are considered pioneers and influenced many punk bands that came along.  They have a long history much like many punk bands that formed in the 70’s and 80’s but like those bands, they impress me with their consistent and aggressive play through all the years.  In my opinion the Descendents are one of the most underrated bands that formed in those early years and one that still stays true to their fans and roots.

Somery is an album that is in a sense a summary of all their early albums.   But if there was one album that I could recommend to a new listener it would have to be this one as it is one that can be be played continuos and allow the listener to get a complete feel of the Descendents.  I remember being an 11 year old kid and playing this with themes that were probably above my age, such as “Clean Sheets”, “Bikeage”, and “Hope”; they played in my new boombox CD player on a consistent basis as it was the aggressive style and beat of the Descendents that got my attention.

While I could not find the full album video I uploaded two of my favorite songs that I still love to listen to.

1)  Hope – chose the live version as they follow the album version closely and this allows the reader to see them play

2)  Bikeage – a song that has been played by other punk bands as a tribute, chose album version for sound clarity

Weekend Album of Choice

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While keeping mostly to the punk rock genre for the weekly album choice, this weeks album offers something a little different.  While I am not in tune to modern or newer country artists, one that can be heard in my garage throughout the week and weekend is Hank Williams III.  Hank III comes from the famous Hank Williams line of  Senior and Junior and was exposed to music early in his life due to his grandfather and fathers country music popularity.

Hank III broke out of the family country music theme and took on diverse roles within the punk rock and metal community.  In my opinion I do not believe that he gets enough credit for his musical ability and talent.  He is probably one of the more diverse musicians that I can think of.  He also has another self-titled album out under the band name of Assjack.  This is a different side of Hank III and he incorporates other band mates with a hardcore metal/punk sound.  While many are not fans of this side, from the point of view of a metal and punk fan I like the album.  I just find that many of his country fans do not like this sounds thus referencing it to him.  I personally believe it adds to Hanks musical diversity and if you attend a live show you will find that both styles are played.

However, the country-style of Hank III is what I enjoy the most.  It reminds me of the classic country musicians.  One of my favorite albums is Straight to Hell.  There is some faster paced country with Hank on the guitar and that define “twang” he has in his voice to slower paced country songs where the “deeper” voice comes in.  Overall just a great country album. 

You can catch Hank III in the movie The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia playing the guitar while Jesco White dances.  He is also shortly interviewed in the film as he is a friend to the White family.  I bring this up because the song D. Ray White is on this weekends album and is about the story of D. Ray White and his family.

Hank III now has his own music label Hank3 and is known under that name.  While like many other musicians, he has been through the dirty business side of music labels and even nicely exploits some of it in the song Dick In Dixie.  Hank is a man that is not afraid to express his opinion in his music.

1. Satan is Real / Straight to Hell (Medley) 0:00
2. Thrown Out of the Bar 3:08
3. Things You Do to Me 5:16
4. Country Heroes 7:38
5. D. Ray White 11:08
6. Low Down 14:55
7. Pills I Took 18:20
8. Smoke & Wine 20:51
9. My Drinkin’ Problem 23:27
10. Crazed Country Rebel 26:10
11. Dick in Dixie 29:19
12. Not Everybody Likes Us 31:56
13. Angel of Sin 36:27

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