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Weekly MP3: Seasons from Chris Cornell

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Chris Cornell - Seasons
Teddy Vedder is a dude I play ball with on Thursday nights. I like Teddy Vedder because our musical interests overlap all over the place. Last Thursday, we were talking about Chris Cornell and his solo stuff.

I mentioned "Seasons", a nice little song Cornell added to the Singles soundtrack. Teddy Vedder was sure "Seasons" was a Soundgarden song and threatened to whip out his iPod (which had the song on it) to prove it. I didn't need proof, I knew I was right. Teddy Vedder, this one's for you. It's "Seasons", a great little solo track from Chris Cornell.

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Chris Cornell Quits Audioslave

musicIn my recent Edge analysis I referred to the upcoming Rage Against the Machine reunion. The RATM reunion might be more than a one off for Coachella. Chris Cornell has quit Audioslave.

"Due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences, I am permanently leaving the band Audioslave. I wish the other three members nothing but the best in all of their future endeavors," said Cornell.

I see this as a good thing. I liked Audioslave and all, but they were no Rage Against the Machine and they were no Soundgarden. If it takes an Audioslave breakup to bring back the Rage, we all win.

Cornell says he's going to concentrate on his solo career, but can a Soundgarden reunion be far behind?

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Let's Give Chris Cornell A Little Credit

idolIf you caught American Idol on Tuesday night, you saw David Cook sing Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". It was the best performance of the night and he received a great deal of praise for the arrangement and modern spin on the Thriller classic. The praise was well deserved, but it was directed at the wrong guy.

David Cook's cover of "Billie Jean" was actually a cover of Chris Cornell's cover of "Billie Jean". The arrangement and style was identical to Chris Cornell's, found on his recent solo album Carry On. I found it interesting that Cook didn't mention Cornell's version as he received praise from the judges and few seem to be acknowledging the fact Cook wasn't being that creative with the song.

And it's not like Cornell's cover was obscure. It was a hit, receiving plenty of airplay on our local modern rock station and I even put it on SLS17.

Here's David Cook's performance of "Billie Jean". Enjoy it, just make sure you track down Chris Cornell's version, too. Without Cornell's cover, Cook would have sung something else on Tuesday night.

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Chris Cornell, Dead at 52

Chris CornellChris Cornell was 52. He was best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Soundgarden and as lead vocalist and songwriter for Audioslave.

This one hits me square in my youth. I had a Badmotorfinger poster hanging in my bedroom as a teen. I just searched this blog for the term 'cornell' and see I've been writing about him for 15 years.

As I glance at those old entries, it's clear I always deemed him the best vocalist of the grungers. I may have been a bigger fan of Pearl Jam, but Nirvana and Soundgarden were right there on Mount Rushmore. Here's a few copy and pastes from yesteryear.

  • "Of all the great grunge rockers I've enjoyed through the years, nobody can touch the voice of Chris Cornell."
  • "Some great rock voices emerged from Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s. Kurt Cobain had that wicked scream and Ed Vedder had that definitive angsty croon but Chris Cornell had that impossible range. He was the best of the bunch and "Jesus Christ Pose" is that song I first skip to when I'm craving some Soundgarden."
  • "When I first read that the members of Rage Against the Machine were forming a group with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, it was music to my ears. I'm a huge fan of both Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden, and Audioslave didn't disappoint."

From Soundgarden to Hunger Strike to Audioslave and his haunting and exceptional solo covers of "Nothing Compares 2 U", "Billie Jean" and more, there was no other voice like his, and I'm going to miss hearing new music from the man.

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Sweet Tweet from Chris Cornell

TwitterChris Cornell wrote a very sweet tweet that excites this Soundgarden fan. "The 12 year break is over & school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!"

soundgarden

Back in October, Soundgarden appeared on stage together for the first time since '97 during a Pearl Jam show at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, CA. And now I'm getting my New Year's wish and a true reunion. It's time for new damage.

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Weekly MP3: Hunger Strike

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Temple Of The Dog - Hunger Strike
When Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood died of a heroin overdose on March 19, 1990, Soundgarden's Chris Cornell started Temple of the Dog. Temple of the Dog was essentially members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and the hit single from their 1991 album was "Hunger Strike", a great Cornell and Eddie Vedder duet. Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament rose from the ashes of Mother Love Bone to join Vedder and Mike McCready. The rest, is history.

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SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI recently submitted a tune for SLS13 consideration. I submitted "Be Yourself" from Audioslave.

Of all the great grunge rockers I've enjoyed through the years, nobody can touch the voice of Chris Cornell. He's great once again on "Be Yourself", a definite sing-alonger. SLS13 keeps getting better and better...

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Collateral

A Movie ReelCollateral: 6.5 out of 10.

Sure, Jamie Foxx is pretty good in this flick, but Tom Cruise might be better. In a different character for him he pulls it off nicely. The end result is not a bad little movie, but it could have been a great movie. Oh well.

A definite highlight is the use of Audioslave's "Shadow On The Sun" in a couple of key scenes. Cornell's voice sounds great in film.

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Sonic Youth - Superstar

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Sonic Youth - Superstar
Sonic Youth's cover of the Carpenters' "Superstar" is one of my favourite covers of all time. Wait a minute... the Carpenters aren't the original singers of "Superstar"? It was first released by Delaney and Bonnie back in '69 and many artists, including Bette Midler and Cher got to it before the Carpenters, but the Carpenters made it famous back in '71.

Sonic Youth recorded it for the 1994 tribute album If I Were a Carpenter and their version haunts me. Sonic Youth did for the Carpenters what Chris Cornell did for Michael Jackson. You may have heard this version recently in Juno. Enjoy...

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David Cook Didn't Sing Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon

idolDavid Cook has made his mark this season on American Idol because he rearranges songs so they sound current and edgy. I recently called him "cover artist extraordinaire".

On Beatles night, he performed "Day Tripper" the way Whitesnake covered it and "Eleanor Rigby the way Doxology covered it, then he performed "Billie Jean" the way Chris Cornell covered it. He does covers of cool covers, so when I found out tonight was Neil Diamond night, I would have bet the house on David Cook singing "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon", Urge Overkill style.

Urge Overkill covered Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" for Pulp Fiction. David Cook didn't sing it.

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David Cook: Cover Artist Extraordinaire

idolMy wife doesn't watch sports, so that makes American Idol the one show the entire family watches together. It's not music I would ever listen to outside of the competition, but for some reason this is the only reality show I enjoy. Maybe it's the singing, maybe it's Simon, I dunno... but for some reason I follow American Idol.

This season, I have a favourite competitor. Week after week David Cook gives the best performance. He has a knack for putting the best spin on songs, even if the arrangement isn't a David Cook original. Last week he covered Our Lady Peace and earlier in the competition he covered Chris Cornell's awesome cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". Last night, he made a Mariah Carey song sound pretty damn cool.

You've never heard Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby" sound like this.

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The Monday Shuffle

iTunesEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Rock N' Me - The Steve Miller Band
  2. The Wars End - Rancid
  3. Jesus Christ Pose - Soundgarden
  4. You Will Be Waiting - Barenaked Ladies
  5. Body and Soul - The Sisters of Mercy
  6. You're Not From Brighton - Fatboy Slim
  7. Six Feet Deep - Geto Boys
  8. Summer Cannibals - Patti Smith
  9. The List - Metric
  10. Highway Star - Deep Purple

Some great rock voices emerged from Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s. Kurt Cobain had that wicked scream and Ed Vedder had that definitive angsty croon but Chris Cornell had that impossible range. He was the best of the bunch and "Jesus Christ Pose" is that song I first skip to when I'm craving some Soundgarden.

It's totally manic, loud and proud and everything I love about rock. The video was awesome too. I saw it on MuchMusic several times but it was actually banned by MTV and hasn't aired there since 1991. I'm gonna share this one on Wednesday because it's killer.

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SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI submitted a song via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS11 consideration.

I submitted "Slither" by Velvet Revolver. "Slither" is a cool blend of STP and Guns N' Roses, two of my favourite bands of all time. Scott Weiland offers the STP-style vocals we all know and love while Slash and the others give you that taste of the Gunners. This is a very cool tune that gets better and better with every listen.

Velvet Revolver and Audioslave have a lot of similarities. Both are fronted by lead singers from very popular grunge-era bands. Audioslave's Chris Cornell was lead singer of Soundgarden while Velvet Revolver's Scott Weiland fronted the Stone Temple Pilots. The remainder of Audioslave were members of Rage Against the Machine while the remainder of Velvet Revolver were members of Guns N' Roses. The name Audioslave is rather similar to the name Soundgarden. Audio=Sound. Velvet Revolver's name is similar to the name Guns N' Roses. A revolver is a gun and it's juxtaposed with velvet much like gun was juxtaposed with roses. And finally, a song from each band will most likely appear on SLS11. Both Audioslave's "What You Are" and Velvet Revolver's "Slither" will make the cut. You can bet on it.

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My Ten Favourite Duets

musicretroCRUSH posted the best duets ever, so I've decided to follow their lead and throw down my top ten duets.

I've disqualified all duets from bands that are naturally duets. For example, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher and Stars. Here are my favourite ten.

10. Eminem and Dido - Stan

9. Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush - Don't Give Up

8. Kim Gordon and B-Real - I Love You Mary Jane

7. David Bowie and Freddie Mercury - Under Pressure

6. Ray Charles and Betty Carter - Baby It's Cold Outside

5. Joe Strummer and Johnny Cash - Redemption Song

4. Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York

3. Method Man and Mary J. Blige - You're All I Need

2. Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong - Summertime

1. Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder - Hunger Strike

Honourable Mentions: Eddie Vedder and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg, Chuck D and Scott Ian, Shabba Ranks and Maxi Priest, Neil Young and Randy Bachman, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow, Eminem and Dr. Dre, Tom Wilson and Sarah McLachlan.

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SLS17 Unveiled

slsIt is with great privilege and honour that I unveil to you the final song list for SLS17. For an SLS primer, go here and to see what appeared on SLS16, go here.

We listened to hours and hours of new rock before deciding upon these 20 tracks. Without further ado, I give you SLS17.

  1. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
  2. Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
  3. Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
  4. Tokyo Police Club - Nature of the Experiment
  5. The Fratellis - Flathead
  6. Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks
  7. Queens of the Stone Age - Sick, Sick, Sick
  8. Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm
  9. Modest Mouse - Dashboard
  10. Fallout Boy - This Ain't A Scene
  11. The Shins - Phantom Limb
  12. illScarlett - One-A
  13. Sam Roberts - With A Bullet
  14. Chris Cornell - Billy Jean
  15. Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
  16. Linkin Park - What I've Done
  17. Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves
  18. Smashing Pumpkins - Tarantula
  19. Incubus - Anna Molly
  20. Alexisonfire - Boiled Frogs

I just updated The Complete SLS Database. Look for SLS18 in late December, 2007.

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Deconstructing SLS17

SLSNow that SLS17 is in the bag, it's time to deconstruct the 20 tunes that made the final cut. How much of SLS17 is CanCon? How many artists are making their first appearance on SLS? Find out the answers to these questions and more below.

  • Canadian Content - 6 (AlexisOnFire, Arcade Fire, Billy Talent, illScarlett, Sam Roberts & Tokyo Police Club)
  • Making Their SLS Debut - 6 (Fallout Boy, The Fratellis, Peter Bjorn & John, The Shins, Silversun Pickups & Tokyo Police Club)
  • Artists That Also Appeared On SLS16 - 5 (AlexisOnFire, Arctic Monkeys, Billy Talent, IllScarlett, & Sam Roberts)
  • Providing a Female Voice - 2 (Tokyo Police Club & Peter Bjorn & John)
  • Longest Current SLS Streak - 3 (Arctic Monkeys & Billy Talent)
  • Longest SLS Drought Ended - 14 (Chris Cornell)

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SLS17 Is Almost Here

slsHoly crap, June is almost half over. That means SLS17 is almost due.

Mark and I were talking about SLS yesterday and we realized it will celebrate its ten year anniversary next year. Don't know what SLS is? Start by reading the guide then check out this list of every SLS song, ever.

Here are the tunes that will get heavy consideration for SLS17.

  • Velvet Revolver - She Builds Quick Machines
  • Smashing Pumpkins - Tarantula
  • Chris Cornell - Billy Jean
  • Peter, Bjorn & John - Young Folks
  • Queens of the Stone Age - Sick, Sick, Sick
  • The White Stripes - Icky Thump
  • Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm
  • The Kooks - Naive
  • The Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
  • Linkin Park - What I've Done
  • The Fratellis - Flathead
  • Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running
  • Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
  • Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
  • The Shins - Phantom Limb
  • Sam Roberts - With A Bullet
  • Modest Mouse - Dashboard
  • Incubus - Anna Molly
  • The Tragically Hip - Lonely End of the Rink
  • Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves
  • illScarlett - OneA

It's not too late to submit a tune for consideration. This compilation is the 20 best new rock tunes from the previous six months, according to the esteemed SLS committee.

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Retro Apartment Signage on Lake Shore

Along Lake Shore, in the west end of the city, there's a series of apartment complexes just east of RoyalYork that continue to sport their original signage. This retro signage dons names like "The Deauville", "The Eldorado" and "Cornell Manor".

Yesterday, I decided to snap a few pictures before these apartments are razed for pricey waterfront condos. (Don't panic, tenants... this hasn't been announced, I'm just looking into my crystal ball.)

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20160723_180738

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Grunge Forever

Nirvana's NevermindMusic peaked in 1991-1994. Specifically, the days between the release of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and the moment a self-inflicted gunshot pierced Kurt Cobain's brain. There is little doubt of this fact.

Here we are in the year 2002..almost 2003 and this music from the early 90's "grunge" scene continues to dominate rock charts. Lets take a closer look at the current top 7 from CFNY's (I'm well aware they're now Edge102, but they'll always be CFNY to me) Thursday 30 which I have posted below.

  1. Nirvana - You Know You're Right
  2. Foo Fighters - All My Life
  3. Pearl Jam - I Am Mine
  4. Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows
  5. U2 - Electrical Storm
  6. Audioslave - Chochise

Notice anything interesting about these bands? Am I stuck in a time-warp? Holy moly Marge...every band represented or at least a part of every band represented is straight outta 1991. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Nirvana - A band straight outta 1991.
Foo Fighters - A band with a lead singer and song writer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
Pearl Jam - A band straight outta 1991.
Queens of the Stone Age - A song with a drummer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
U2 - A band straight outta 1991.
Audioslave - A band with a lead singer straight outta Soundgarden which is a band straight outta 1991.

Get the picture? Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell and Dave Grohl have something to do with 6 of the top 7 songs in the current Thursday 30. Further proof that 1991 Seattle was the epitome of rock unquestionably, undeniably and unarguably.

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This Blog Turns Two

This Blog Turns TwoI've maintained a website at http://torontomike.com since 1999. Over the past five years, there's always been a page for news of sorts or the hot items of the day, but this detail was never archived and would just vanish when I over wrote it with another blurb. Until two years ago today, this front page was divided into four quadrants, each hosting a different item of interest. Then, on November 30, 2002, I started this blog with an entry I called "Grunge Forever". Below, in it's entirety, is that first entry.

November 30, 2002 / 12:27 EST

Nirvana's NevermindGrunge Forever
Music peaked in 1991-1994. Specifically, the days between the release of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and the moment a self-inflicted gunshot pierced Kurt Cobain's brain. There is little doubt of this fact.

Here we are in the year 2002..almost 2003 and this music from the early 90's "grunge" scene continues to dominate rock charts. Lets take a closer look at the current top 7 from CFNY's (I'm well aware they're now Edge102, but they'll always be CFNY to me) Thursday 30 which I have posted below.

  1. Nirvana - You Know You're Right
  2. Foo Fighters - All My Life
  3. Pearl Jam - I Am Mine
  4. Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows
  5. U2 - Electrical Storm
  6. Audioslave - Chochise

Notice anything interesting about these bands? Am I stuck in a time-warp? Holy moly Marge...every band represented or at least a part of every band represented is straight outta 1991. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Nirvana - A band straight outta 1991.
Foo Fighters - A band with a lead singer and song writer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
Pearl Jam - A band straight outta 1991.
Queens of the Stone Age - A song with a drummer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
U2 - A band straight outta 1991.
Audioslave - A band with a lead singer straight outta Soundgarden which is a band straight outta 1991.

Get the picture? Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell and Dave Grohl have something to do with 6 of the top 7 songs in the current Thursday 30. Further proof that 1991 Seattle was the epitome of rock unquestionably, undeniably and unarguably.

Thanks to the Internet Archive waybackmachine, you can take a look at this site as it appeared on April 5, 2001, October 7, 2001, October 20, 2002, and December 19, 2002.

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Three Years Of Gibberish

BalloonsThree years ago today, I added a Blog page to this web site. The morning of November 30, 2002, I heard "You Know You're Right" on the radio and realized that I'm hearing the same voices I was hearing ten years earlier. I banged off a quick summary of my analysis and emailed it to a group of friends and family.

At this time, blogs were starting to surface on the world wide web and the format appealed to me. What if I banged off these rants/observations, parked them on a public web site and never deleted them? In reverse-chronological order I could maintain a collection of this gibberish that could be revisited at any time. That "Grunge Forever" entry became the first of thousands. Here it is...

November 30, 2002 / 12:27 EST

Nirvana's NevermindGrunge Forever
Music peaked in 1991-1994. Specifically, the days between the release of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and the moment a self-inflicted gunshot pierced Kurt Cobain's brain. There is little doubt of this fact.

Here we are in the year 2002..almost 2003 and this music from the early 90's "grunge" scene continues to dominate rock charts. Lets take a closer look at the current top 7 from CFNY's (I'm well aware they're now Edge102, but they'll always be CFNY to me) Thursday 30 which I have posted below.

  1. Nirvana - You Know You're Right
  2. Foo Fighters - All My Life
  3. Pearl Jam - I Am Mine
  4. Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows
  5. U2 - Electrical Storm
  6. Audioslave - Chochise

Notice anything interesting about these bands? Am I stuck in a time-warp? Holy moly Marge...every band represented or at least a part of every band represented is straight outta 1991. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Nirvana - A band straight outta 1991.
Foo Fighters - A band with a lead singer and song writer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
Pearl Jam - A band straight outta 1991.
Queens of the Stone Age - A song with a drummer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
U2 - A band straight outta 1991.
Audioslave - A band with a lead singer straight outta Soundgarden which is a band straight outta 1991.

Get the picture? Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell and Dave Grohl have something to do with 6 of the top 7 songs in the current Thursday 30. Further proof that 1991 Seattle was the epitome of rock unquestionably, undeniably and unarguably.

That first entry was written for a small collection of friends and family and to this day I write for this small group of people. If others want to peak in on the action, it's all good. That's the beauty of this medium. Just about everything I write is off the cuff with almost no revision. I hand code every character in a basic text editor and before I upload a change I only pass the content through a single filter: Is this fit for public consumption? If yes, upload. If no, delete. It doesn't get any easier than that.

All three years are just a click away...

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Top 102 Songs of 2003

Best Songs of 2003On New Year's Eve I posted my five favourite tunes of 2003. My only rule was that the song had to have been released in 2003. Songs released in 2002 that experienced most of their airplay in 2003 were ineligible. To refresh your memory, here was my top five.

  1. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
  2. The Distillers - Drain The Blood
  3. The Strokes - 12:51
  4. Stone Temple Pilots - All In The Suit That You Wear
  5. Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl

Later that night, CFNY Edge 102 played their top 102 songs of 2003. Below I will reveal my feelings about their top five. Unlike my list, CFNY Edge 102 did not insist that the song be released in 2003. Here are their top five and my comments.

  1. Linkin Park - Somewhere I Belong
    I'm rather shocked this is ranked as high as #1. I enjoy Linkin Park as much as the next guy, but this was only the third best song off of Meteora to receive heavy air play in 2003. I'll take the far superior "Faint" or "Numb" any day of the week. They were ranked #9 and #29 respectively. Does anyone really think "Somewhere I Belong" is a better song than "Faint"? If you do, write me.
  2. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
    What more can I say about the tune I had ranked as my favourite of 2003. The haunting simplicity of that bass line still finds its way into my psyche on a regular basis. The entire Elephant CD is great, but this was one helluva lead single. Awesome tune.
  3. Audioslave - Like A Stone
    I'm a huge fan of this entire CD. It's fair to say this band had me at hello. When I first read that the members of Rage Against the Machine were forming a group with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, it was music to my ears. I'm a huge fan of both Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden, and Audioslave didn't disappoint. I too read the mediocre reviews, but then I gave it a spin. "Chohise" was one of my favourite tracks of 2002 (along with Nirvana's "You Know You're Right", Queens of the Stone Age's "No One Knows" and Johnny Cash's "Hurt") and this melodic trip ranks right up there as well. Of course, all songs off this CD did not qualify for my top five, having been released in November of 2002.
  4. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop
    Lord knows CFNY Edge 102 played this song enough, but I just couldn't get into it. I liked it, but I didn't love it. It was a catchy ditty that I found myself singing each time I heard it, but I can't say it deserved a ranking as high as this.
  5. Three Days Grace - I Hate Everything About You
    And now for the CanCon portion of our chart. Three Days Grace are a Toronto-based trio originally from Norwood, Ontario. Don't get me wrong, "I Hate Everything About You" was a great tune, but the fifth best song of the year? Not if they're from Texas. Naturally, CFNY Edge 102 is going to favour a young Toronto-based band like this, and there's nothing wrong with that. A top five without any Canadian representation would be just wrong!

There you have it, my reaction to CFNY Edge 102's top five songs of 2003. If you're curious where the rest of my top five ranked on their chart, they had The Distillers at #94, The Strokes at #34, Stone Temple Pilots at #64 and Jet at #31.

I'm on my way back to the hospital now. If all goes well, James will be coming home tomorrow. I'm just looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, something I've yet to do this year. I'll update you all on his status tomorrow.

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Pearl Jam Twenty Soundtrack

pearljamBillboard has a great synopsis of the Pearl Jam Twenty soundtrack.

The die-hards have probably already seen it. If you're one of those early birds, please don't give away the ending. I want to see this.

"Release" (from Sept. 16, 2006 Verona, Italy)

"Written shortly after Eddie Vedder's arrival in Seattle, 'Release' always felt like a personal epiphany as well as an invitation to write from the heart," Crowe writes. And the version of this slow-burn "Ten" ballad documents a loving Italian crowd.

"Alive" (from Dec. 22, 1990 Seattle)

Says Crowe, "This is when many of the group's friends and family first heard the band and by the time they played 'Alive' heads were turning." The song that became the band's earliest signature song shows its power even here only two months after the band formed. Still a bit shy at this point, Eddie Vedder's powerful baritone shines through clearly.

"Garden" (from Feb. 19, 1992 Zurich Switzerland)

"Their first trip to Europe and the casual idea to play an acoustic show… a recipe for chaos turned into a beautiful chaos indeed," writes Crowe. This show paved the way for the band's memorable MTV Unplugged performance the next month.

"Why Go" (from March 10, 1992 Hamburg Germany)

Crowe: "A real-time document of the band finding their voice and an early crowd discovering  it right along with them."

"Black" (from March 16, 1992 MTV Unplugged)

Crowe: "Vedder shuts his eyes, forgetting the cameras, and provides a truly galvanizing moment… singing one of this most personal songs." And rock fans all over the country saw it, complete with inspired additions, his voice booming over the acoustic guitars.

"Blood" (from March 25, 1995 Aukland, New Zealand)

A raw live version of the track from 1993's "Vs." Crowe: "It's an in-the-moment response to the group's increasing success. The performance is almost violent, a demand for oxygen."

"Last Exit" (from Feb. 24, 1995, Taipei Taiwan)

Crowe: "It was a challenging time to go, … 'We might be a different band right now'" says Stone Gossard. "And maybe [the audiences] will like the new band." They did.

"Not For You" (from Feb. 26, 1995 Manila)

Crowe: "Spurred by Vedder's early defiance that the band not be used as a took for salesmanship. This cornerstone song from 'Vitalogy' shows the band at full raging force."

"Do The Evolution" (from Jan. 31, 1998 Monkeywrench Radio)

The raw, infectious rocker from 1998's Yield sent out from their Seattle studio space into the radio ether. Crowe: "The band filmed the performances, making the most of a small room filled with big noise."

"Thumbing My Way" (from Sept. 6, 2002 Seattle)

"This graceful acoustic performance captured the spirit of one of the band's favorite tracks from 'Riot Act'," Crowe writes. "We used it [in the film] to score a trip to Montana with Jeff Ament."

"Crown Of Thorns" (from Oct. 22, 2000 Las Vegas)

On Eddie Vedder's request at Pearl Jam's 10th anniversary show, the band covers this song by the late Andy Wood, frontman of pre-Pearl Jam band Mother Love Bone. Crowe: "Asked about it in 2010, Vedder recalled their afternoon soundcheck rehearsal of the song as a 'nearly blinding light-show of emotions."

"Let Me Sleep" (from Sept. 16, 2006 Verona pre-show)

Crowe: "A stolen moment from the road captured for posterity by Danny Clinch's cameras."

"Walk With Me" (from Oct. 23, 2010 Mountain View, CA)

Crowe: "Always searching for a song to perform together, PJ picked a choice track from [Neil] Young's 'Le Noise.' Young obliged and the result is this soulful union of old friends."

"Just Breathe" (from March 13, 2010, 'Saturday Night Live')

Crowe: "The group's history only makes this open-hearted composition more powerful." Vedder's ballad of enduring relationships, from 2009's "Backspacer," performed live on television.

"Say Hello 2 Heaven" (Temple of the Dog Demo, 1990)

Crowe: "Hearing this track and others brought back a flood of memories for everybody involved." One of Chris Cornell's first songs written in tribute to the late Mother Love Bone frontman Andy Wood, it became the beginning of the Temple of the Dog project that joined MLBer's new band, Pearl Jam, with half of Soundgarden.

"Times of Trouble" (Instrumental Demo, 1990)

Crowe: "'Times Of Trouble' is a track from the original demo tape made by Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament with help from Mike McCready and Matt Cameron. The one missing ingredient -- a singer." When the tape landed with Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, it became Temple of the Dog's song by this name. When it landed with San Diego surfer Eddie Vedder, it became the Pearl Jam song "Footsteps."

"Acoustic #1" (1991 Demo)

Crowe: "Eddie and Stone [Gossard] trading ideas and rhythms, exploring their newly minted potential." The singer, in big-voiced "Yellow Ledbetter" mode, ad-libs his way through the guitarist's loosely grooving riffs.

"It Ain't Like That" (1990 Demo)

Crowe: "A heavy slice of rehearsal magic." Chugging guitars and some tongue-in-cheek bon mots from Eddie Vedder.

"Need To Know" (2007 Demo)

Crowe: "A self-made demo that [Matt] Cameron would later submit to the band." In this form, it sounds destined for the drummer's post-punk side band Wellwater Conspiracy. When Eddie Vedder and the rest of Pearl Jam worked with it, it became the poppy 2009 single "The Fixer."

"Be Like Wind" (2010, Score)

Film scoring is "another home for [McCready's] sometimes ferocious, sometimes delicate always truthful style," says Crowe.

"Given To Fly" (2010, Instrumental)

The 1997 "Yield" single, "was originally written during a snowstorm shortly after McCready battled back some blizzards of his own," Crowe writes, perhaps obliquely referring to the guitarist's mid-90s struggles with alcohol. The Zeppelin-like music is played here by McCready as a soaring instrumental.

"Nothing As It Seems" (1999 Demo)

"'Nothing As It Seems' will forever feel like a portrait of [Jeff Ament's] roots," says Crowe. Here the bassist's demo, complete with his own Pink-Floydesque vocals, shows the song's beginnings.

"Nothing As It Seems" (from Oct. 22, 2001 Seattle)

The song, writes Crowe, "here finds its home on the stage." With a particularly enflamed Mike McCready solo, Ament's song is performed to a hometown arena crowd.

"Indifference" (from Bologna, Italy Sept. 14, 2006)

The closing song of 1993's "Vs." performed live. Crowe: "A visual and sonic highlight from our film."

"Of The Girl"

A deep album cut from 2000's "Binaural," resurrected here as an atmospheric instrumental. "[We] often found ourselves just listening in the editing room, appreciating all the layers to the 3D sound," explained Crowe.

"Faithfull" (from Sept. 20, 2006 in Pistoia, Italy)

A soundcheck moment, "outdoors in the sun, a world away from Seattle," writes Crowe.

"Bu$hleaguer" (from April 30, 2003 in Uniondale, NY)

Crowe: "A portrait of PJ at their most political." To say the least. The Long Island performance of the song, from 2002's "Riot Act" elicited a chorus of boos as Vedder donned a George W. mask and sang about "the haves have not a f*ucking clue." It was a difference of opinion between band and crowd that Pearl Jam was actually proud to countenance.

"Better Man" (from May 21, 2010 New York)

Crowe: "A PJ show anywhere in the world will often take you to a place like the one captured in this recent recording from Madison Square Garden." Here, the arena is filled with 20,000 fans singing louder than Vedder to this crucial track from 1994's "Vitalogy." It's also a key moment in the film that illustrates just how moving current Pearl Jam shows can be.

"Rearviewmirror"  (from Oct. 1, 2009 Universal City, CA)

"The 'Rearviewmirror' jam is one of the best examples of what happens when the band is at the wheel and the ride is often psychedelic in its intensity," writes Crowe. And this latter-day rock out of a 1993 "Vs." tune shows how the band is constantly reinventing its live presence.

Discuss "Pearl Jam Twenty Soundtrack" (9 comments so far)


My Favourite Albums of 2005

CDWith only a few days remaining in the calendar year, it's time to write a bunch of year-end "best of" entries. I've already hit you with my favourite television shows in 2005 and my favourite musical guilty pleasure of 2005 but now it's time for a biggie. Here are my ten favourite albums of the year that were released in 2005.

10. Feist's Let It Die
I first heard Leslie Feist on Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It In People. Let It Die, her second solo effort, was my quiet album of 2005. It's a great deal slower than my usual fare but it gently rocks my world. There's definitely something about her I dig.
Essential Track: Mushaboom

9. Neil Young's Prairie Wind
I really wanted this to be good. Neil Young is a musical hero of mine and earlier this year, his sixtieth, he required emergency surgery for an aneurysm. On Prairie Wind he's clearly looking back, writing about his recently deceased father and growing up in the prairies, but he's looking back in a collection of solid songs that will please any Young fan.
Essential Track: When God Made Me

8. Kanye West's Late Registration
My ears were very pleased with Kanye West's follow up to his debut smash The College Dropout. Every track sounds great with solid rhymes over solid rhythms. It was the best rap album of the year and, in my humble opinion, West's best effort to date.
Essential Track: Hey Mama

7. Stars' Set Yourself On Fire
I call this sweet rock. It's heavy, but in a soft and melodic way. Just before "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" we're told "When there's nothing left to burn, you must set yourself on fire." That pretty much sums up this great album out of Montreal.
Essential Track: Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

6. System of a Down's Mesmerize/Hypnotize
Yes, System of a Down released these as two separate albums, but they're clearly meant to be a double album and that's exactly how I view them. Legend has the guys taking their lead from Quentin Tarantino who released Kill Bill as two separate films even though they're two parts of a single whole. In total we have 23 typically awesome SOAD tracks, aggressive, manic and thought provoking.
Essential Track: B.Y.O.B.

5. Death From Above 1979's You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
I listened to this album after my brother Steve suggested I'd like it. He was right. It's all pretty heavy and groovy and they're from Toronto to boot. The remix album is awesome too.
Essential Track: Romantic Rights

4. Audioslave's Out of Exile
Admittedly, my vulnerability to nostalgia had me digging Audioslave before I heard a note from them, but this is their second album and I've loved them both. They've both been chock full of great rock songs that get me singing along with Chris Cornell. Out Of Exile is fantastic, three singles deep with more on the way.
Essential Track: Doesn't Remind Me

3. The White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan
I wonder if these two can do no wrong? Their seven appearances on SLS tie them with the Foo Fighters for first place overall. I consider every album they've released to be pure play-throughs. Get Behind Me Satan is no exception, even if it is a slight step back from Elephant and White Blood Cells.
Essential Track: My Doorbell

2. Broken Social Scene's Broken Social Scene
I describe Broken Social Scene as absolute melody in a most chaotic way. Listening to their latest album I'm overwhelmed by this chaotic order that somehow, against all odds, melts into such beauty. Play a game of Six Degrees of Separation with this band and you'll smack right into other personal favourites like Feist, Metric, Stars, Arcade Fire and more. It's incredible what's come out of the Toronto alt-rock scene in recent years.
Essential Track: 7/4 (Shoreline)

1. The New Pornographers' Twin Cinema
Best album released in 2005! If the idea of a Canadian album with great harmonies, greater melodies and spectacular play-through quality is at all appealing to you, this is your band. Buy it! Borrow it! Listen to it!
Essential Track: Use It

Other Great Albums From 2005: Beck's Guero, Foo Fighters' In Your Honor, Metric's Live It Out, Wolf Parade's Apologies To The Queen Mary, Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have It So Much Better, Gorrilaz's Demon Days.

It was a great year for music, but nothing sounded as good as 2004's Funeral from Arcade Fire. Although it was released in 2004 and didn't qualify for this top ten list, it truly was my favourite album of the year.

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Rain Songs - Updated With 50% More Rain!

rain musicI tweeted a five year old collection of rain songs earlier on this rainy Saturday, and I wish I hadn't. A playlist this important needs to be fresh.

Here's a fresh filter in my iTunes of all songs with the word rain in the title. I had to manually remove all my train and brain songs.

  1. After the Rain - Blue Rodeo
  2. Amazon Rain - Paul Janz
  3. Another Rainy Day In New York City - Chicago
  4. Black Rain - Soundgarden
  5. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain - Willie Nelson
  6. Box Of Rain - Grateful Dead
  7. Carl Thomas: Summer Rain - DJ Jazzy Jeff & Mick Boogie
  8. Come Rain Or Come Shine - Frank Sinatra
  9. Come Rain or Come Shine - Ray Charles
  10. The Crying Rain - Emm Gryner
  11. Didn't It Rain - The Band
  12. Didn't it Rain - Louis Armstrong
  13. Don't Rain On My Parade - Glee Cast
  14. Early Morning Rain - Gordon Lightfoot
  15. Easy As The Rain - The Little Willies
  16. Entranced By The Rain - James Heatherington
  17. Every Morning [Raindropz Remix] - Basshunter
  18. Every Time it Rains - Nazareth
  19. Famous Blue Raincoat - Leonard Cohen
  20. Fire and Rain - James Taylor
  21. Fool In The Rain - Led Zeppelin
  22. Go Ahead in the Rain - A Tribe Called Quest
  23. Happy When It Rains - The Jesus And Mary Chain
  24. Have You Ever Seen The Rain? - Spin Doctors
  25. Have You Ever Seen The Rain? - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  26. Here Comes The Rain Again - Eurythmics
  27. Hey Mr. Rain [Version I] - The Velvet Underground
  28. Hey Mr. Rain [Version II] - The Velvet Underground
  29. I Can't Stand The Rain - The Commitments
  30. I Can't Stand The Rain - Tina Turner
  31. I Think It's Going to Rain Today - Randy Newman
  32. (I Want To Be) The Rainmaker - The Band
  33. I Wish It Would Rain Down - Phil Collins
  34. In The Rain - The Dramatics
  35. It's Gonna Rain - Steve Reich
  36. It's Raining on Prom Night - Cindy Bullens
  37. It Can't Rain All The Time - Jane Siberry
  38. It Never Rains In Southern California - Albert Hammond
  39. Keeps On Rainin' - Billie Holiday
  40. Kiss the Rain - Billie Myers
  41. Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) - Melanie with the Edwin Hawkins Singers
  42. Let It Rain - Cypress Hill
  43. Little Black Rain Cloud - Disney
  44. Little Rain (For Clyde) - Tom Waits
  45. Make It Rain - The KLF
  46. Naked In The Rain - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  47. The Naked Rain - The Waltons
  48. Neon Rainbow - The Box Tops
  49. No Rain - Blind Melon
  50. Nothing Like the Rain - 2 Unlimited
  51. November Rain - Guns N' Roses
  52. Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage
  53. Only Happy When It Rains (Garbage) - Richard Cheese
  54. Over The Rainbow - Glee Cast
  55. Over The Rainbow - Judy Garland
  56. Over The Rainbow - Ray Charles
  57. Purple Rain - Prince
  58. Rain - Bob Geldof & The Boomtown Rats
  59. Rain - The Cult
  60. Rain - Guano Apes
  61. The Rain - k-os
  62. Rain-O - Chilliwack
  63. The Rain Came Down - Steve Earle
  64. Rain Dance - The Guess Who
  65. Rain King - Counting Crows
  66. Rain Man - Eminem
  67. Rain On Your Parade - Duffy
  68. The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin
  69. Rain Street - The Pogues
  70. Rain When I Die - Alice In Chains
  71. Rain Will Fall - I Mother Earth
  72. Rain, Rain, Rain - Rheostatics
  73. The Rain, The Park & Other Things - The Cowsills
  74. The Rainbow - Ween
  75. Rainbow in the Dark - Dio
  76. Rainbows All Over Your Blues - John Sebastian
  77. Raindrop - Tripping Daisy
  78. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head - B.J. Thomas
  79. Rainfall - The Vines
  80. Rainin' In My Hart - Slim Harpo
  81. Raining In Baltimore - Counting Crows
  82. Raining In My Heart - Buddy Holly
  83. Raining In My Heart - Leo Sayer
  84. Raining Like Magic - Raffi
  85. Raining Men - Rihanna
  86. Raining On Our Love - Shania Twain
  87. Raining Revolution - Arrested Development
  88. Rainman - Jamie Foxx
  89. The Rains Came - Doug Sahm and The Sir Douglas Quintet
  90. Rainshine - Bran Van 3000
  91. Rainy Day People - Gordon Lightfoot
  92. Rainy Day Woman #12 And 35 - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
  93. Rainy Day Women #12 and 35 - Bob Dylan
  94. Rainy Days And Mondays - Carpenters
  95. Rainy Dayz - Raekwon
  96. Rainy Night in Georgia - Brook Benton
  97. Rainy Night in Georgia - Ray Charles
  98. Rainy Night in Soho - The Pogues
  99. Red Rain - Peter Gabriel
  100. Red Rain - The White Stripes
  101. Remember When It Rained - Josh Groban
  102. Rider in the Rain - Randy Newman
  103. Right As Rain - Adele
  104. Right As Rain - The Band
  105. Rusted From The Rain - Billy Talent
  106. Sad Sad Rain - Platinum Blonde
  107. Saddle In The Rain - John Prine
  108. See The Sky About To Rain - Neil Young
  109. She Gathers Rain - Collective Soul
  110. She Talks To Rainbows - The Ramones
  111. Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Jeff Beck
  112. Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
  113. Standing In The Rain - Billy Talent
  114. Steel Rain - Chris Cornell
  115. Summer Rain - Carl Thomas
  116. Summer Rain - U2
  117. Tears and Rain - James Blunt
  118. Tomato In The Rain - Kaiser Chiefs
  119. A Walk In The Irish Rain - The Irish Descendants
  120. When It Rains - Kid Rock
  121. Who'll Stop The Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  122. Why Does It Always Rain On Me? - Travis
  123. Wilma's Rainbow - Helmet
  124. Yesterday I Heard The Rain (Esta Tarde Vi Llover) - Tony Bennett
  125. Rainmaker - Sparklehorse
  126. Black Rainbows - Type O Negative

If you have a rain song that I don't have, let me know in the comments.

Discuss "Rain Songs - Updated With 50% More Rain!" (30 comments so far)


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