what makes a thing a thing?

here they are.

John LT
Suburban Superstar
Fun little poppy thing. I had not heard about this guy before, but it sounds like he’s got some good chops. A lot of just great fun pop/rock songs.

The Trews
Thank You And I’m Sorry
It sounds like all their other records. Very well polished, loud pop/rock with a soulful voice. Hey, I applaud consistency in all forms.

Tim Adams and Mike Viola’s Harem
Songs from the movie “That’s What She Said”
Mike Viola does it again! A collection of songs he and Tim Adams wrote/produced, all sung by the best female vocalists out there, including Kelly Jones, Rachael Yamagata and Nicole Atkins. Love it!

Tony Scalzo
My Favorite Year
The new album from Fastball’s Tony Scalzo. Very much in the same vein as that music, but a lot less polished, and seems more personal. I like that a lot.

Eric Burdon & The Greenhornes
Eric Burdon & The Greenhornes
Bluesy EP from former Animals lead singer and the Greenhornes. All parties seem to keep their authenticity, but it doesn’t really move me.

make it happen, Jerome!

Did you miss me? I know, bad me, for missing out last week and this week’s Monday deadline. I am going to make up for that by spinning you 10 whole reviews at the fast paced rate you have come to love me for. Hold on to your wallets and start spending. THIS is your holiday shopping gift guide! Time to pop it up with all your friends! Let’s GOOOOOOOOO!

The Honeydogs
What Comes After
You still can’t go wrong with the Honeydogs, they always have engaging, interesting music. I love the vocal style of the band, it feels real and pulls you right in.

The Wellingtons
Hey Hey
A fun poppy explosion of awesome is what makes this EP a winner in my book. I love the Wellingtons, and this does nothing to deter that love any more. Keep it up you crazy cats!

Mike Keneally
Wing Beat Fantastic Songs Written by Mike Keneally and Andy Partridge
Interesting record from these two. Fits along most of the other music being done by Andy Partridge these days, very artful and loose, but lacking in a certain punch.

Gavin Guss
On High
Pretty great album from this guy. Very much the classic power pop sound, very well produced and professional sounding. Definitely worth checking out.

Ruby Free
Introducing Ruby Free
Awesome album from Maple Mars’ Rick Hromadka and his wife. It is very fun and retro sounding, fun song ideas, and a general good time is had by all.

Mando Diao
Awesome album in Swedish. I don’t know what the songs are about, but they have the classic Mando Diao sound. I feel like there is an extra depth of meaning in these songs, they feel much more personal.

Bryan Scary
Daffy’s Elixir
Amazing record from Scary. He specializes in over the top pop-rock that is loud, engaging, exciting, and interesting. He pulls out all the stops for this one, a great record.

Live 2012
Live album. Fine, but did not do much for me. Coldplay has a ton of great songs, and they played most of them.

Rachael Yamagata
Always good to hear from Rachael Yamagata, and this album takes on the more heartbreak themes she is known for. There are no jaunty numbers on this one, but they are all great songs by any standard.

Michael Andrews
Spilling a Rainbow
After researching who did the best theme song of the fall season, Ben and Kate, I found out it was by Michael Andrews, so I checked out his album. There are no songs resembling a theme song here, but it is good, slow, interesting pop. I liked it.

Making Playlists: set your music free!

Hey there everyone, today I thought I would step away from my usual reviewing standpoint and try to wax philosophical about something that has been intriguing me recently, making playlists. I have found myself recently making a few, having some newer co-workers and meeting other people. I really have a lot of fun making them. It helps me review my own musical tastes from time to time, helps me learn about other music, and helps me get to know people a little better.

So I am in a constant rotation of new music. Having a big appetite for anything new is a blessing and a curse. While I can stay current and hear all the new stuff being produced every day, I often hear something once and move on, forgetting it as soon as it leaves my iPod. Making these mixes forces me to review these recent listens again, and delve into my back catalog to grab the best of everything I own. I have pulled out CD’s I hadn’t listened to in years, and even if I am sampling one or two tracks, it gives me an incredible amount of joy in the reminiscing of where I was when I was digging that record.

The next benefit of making mixes is that I get one back! I have been trading music with my co-workers, and they have interesting tastes. I can hear some bands that I dismissed, and by seeing that someone else gets something out of it, then I reconsider, because there might be something there I missed before. It can be highly revelatory. I feel like hearing a person’s music can really give you an idea of their personality and even make you think about that person’s experience in a whole new light.

I also get feedback from the people listening to my mixes. They might not like a band I love, and while I’m probably not going to change my mind, hearing their perspectives shows me another way music can be seen in so many different lights. One thing I love is when the perfect symmetry occurs and a song hits someone else and they can get something out of it. And really, this is what it is all about, sharing the music, sharing the passion for music and spreading the love around. Music is really a universal thing, magical in its appeal and wonder. Here’s a recent mix I made for someone, please enjoy it, and hey, share yours here on the blog! Comment back on what tracks you might put on a playlist, and let’s build the most amazing playlist the world has ever seen!


Song Artist
Monster Ballads Josh Ritter
Never Do That Again Ivy
Running Out Of Ink Barenaked Ladies
Saturday Morning Rachael Yamagata
Tropical Birds Miniature Tigers
Against History Dan Wilson
Don’t Be A Fool The Nines
Crystal Run Robbers On High Street
Say Yes Readymade Breakup
You Probably Get That a Lot They Might Be Giants
There Goes My Baby Mike Viola & Kelly Jones
Nice Day Persephone’s Bees
No More Lies Tony Cox
Zavelow House Owsley
Rocket Ship Love (Album Version) Julian Berntzen
Five Colours In Her Hair McFly
Quiet Town Josh Rouse
Indiana David Mead