Definitive Albums

CDEvery artist has a definitive album. That's not to say a band can't have more than one exceptional record, it's just that every band has one album you can point to and say "that's the one". This would be their magnus opus.

With the exception of a few artists, the definitive album is usually a no-brainer. Ask ten people to name it and they'll nail it. Starting tonight, while I await the "Six Feet Under" finale, I'll start naming artists and their definitive albums in blocks of ten, in alphabetical order. This should be fun.

  • 2pac - All Eyez on Me
  • 3rd Bass - The Cactus Album
  • A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory
  • AC-DC - Back In Black
  • Aerosmith - Pump
  • Alanis Morrisette - Jagged Little Pill
  • Alice In Chains - Dirt
  • Barenaked Ladies - Gordon

Feel free to disagree with my choices. That's what makes this so fun. More tomorrow...

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A Chronological History of My Ten Tracks

CalendarIn ascending order, here are My Ten Tracks by release date.

  • Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World (1968)
  • Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay (1968)
  • Dusty Springfield - Son of a Preacher Man (1969)
  • James Taylor - Sweet Baby James (1969)
  • Neil Young - Helpless (1970)
  • Pearl Jam - Crazy Mary (1994)
  • Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah (1994)
  • Nirvana - All Apologies (Unplugged) (1994)
  • Hayden - Bad As They Seem (1995)
  • Pearl Jam - Throw Your Arms Around Me (2003)

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My Ten Tracks

MusicI've taken dozens of notes and mulled the options for months but I've finally done it. I've managed to arrive at a list of ten songs that might just be my ten favourite tracks of all-time.

This was no easy feat. I started with a short list of about fifty songs and slowly whittled them down. There was much internal debate with some amazing personal favourites being relegated to the cutting room floor. All the heavy "hard rock" tunes seemed to bite the dust before the top ten with System of a Down's "Chop Suey!" being the last of that genre to go at the bitter end. Shockingly, no song from The Tragically Hip appears on this list, although a few were close. Without a doubt, this list is subject to change and will no doubt change before the month is through. Some days The Five Stairsteps is a slam dunk, some days it's barely a top fifty. Sometimes Radiohead is well represented, this time they're not. Sometimes all ten songs are from Arcade Fire's "Funeral", this time, not a single one.

Without further delay, I present to you my favourite songs of all-time. I call this entry, my ten tracks.

Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World
This one was a no-brainer for me. Its place in the soundtrack of my life was solidified sixteen summers ago when it was played on the Polar Express every night during the CNE after closing. It became the thought provoking anthem of my summer of '89 and I can't hear it without drifting back.

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
Tragically dead at the age of 30, Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" lives on as a haunting tribute. It's a special song, covered by many artists, but no one did it as well as Buckley. I'm sharing this track tomorrow.

Hayden - Bad As They Seem
I think I was hooked on Hayden immediately following the first time I heard the first three chords of this song. It's a simple and sweet folksy tune about a guy who digs a chick he can't have. I simply can't tire of this one.

Nirvana - All Apologies (Unplugged)
Following Kurt Cobain's suicide, the unplugged version of this song was my mourning anthem. The In Utero version was great, but this stripped down rendition was Cobain's swan song. It was a farewell to a generation that came of age to his poetry. That was my generation, and this was my farewell.

Pearl Jam - Crazy Mary
It's unbelievable that a band that has produced so much brilliant original material would appear on this list twice with two covers. This time, it's Victoria Williams getting the golden treatment by Ed and the gang and it's spectacular. To me, this song is my first year at U of T and riding the subway with my walkman.

Pearl Jam - Throw Your Arms Around Me
Pearl Jam took this song from Hunters and Collectors and made it their own. It's ultra romantic without being sappy and custom-made for weddings. A tasteful love song that truly will echo through the ages.

Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
If things are hectic and I need to chill, I listen to this song and all is well. Enough said.

Dusty Springfield - Son of a Preacher Man
This songs inclusion on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack instantly tattooed this gorgeous tune into my psyche. Lyrically and musically it's a gem.

James Taylor - Sweet Baby James
Always a favourite of mine, "Sweet Baby James" guaranteed itself a spot in my ten tracks when it came time for Taryn and I to name our son. We were having some difficulty finding common ground when I thought of this song. The rest is history and I can't hear this song without thinking about my sweet baby James.

Neil Young - Helpless
He's the godfather of grunge and a Canadian hero. One note from this man and my ears are ecstatic. Is "Helpless" his best? That all depends upon what day you're asking the question. Today, it's one of my ten tracks.

I'm emotionally exhausted from this exercise. With over 13000 songs in my collection, there are hundreds and hundreds that I absolutely love. When I embarked on this quest, I never imagined it would be as difficult as this. If you're up for the challenge, Share your ten with me and I'll post them. G'night all, I'm beat.

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Hot Times

SunIt's been way hot for so long now, I don't remember what sub 30°C temperatures feel like. Temps will be hovering around that 30°C mark until Wednesday, when we might get a brief reprieve. For the record, this isn't me bitching about the heat, I'm just commenting on the humid summer we've had thus far. Ok, I'm bitching.

Hot times like these require hot tunes. Better yet, how about my ten favourite songs with the word "hot" in the title. Here ya go!

  1. Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod
  2. Billy Idol - Hot In The City
  3. Beck - Hotwax
  4. Sly And The Family Stone - Hot Fun In The Summertime
  5. Stone Temple Pilots - Heaven & Hot Rods
  6. Redhead Kingpin And The FBI - Pump It Hottie
  7. Everlast - Hot to Death
  8. Jimi Hendrix - Long Hot Summer Night
  9. Limp Bizkit - Hot Dog
  10. Robert Palmer - Some Like It Hot

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Memorable Movie Quotes

MoviesAFI counted down what they deem to be the top 100 quotes in American movie history. Here is their top 10.

1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," "Gone With the Wind," 1939.
2. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse," "The Godfather," 1972.
3. "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am," "On the Waterfront," 1954.
4. "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.
5. "Here's looking at you, kid," "Casablanca," 1942.
6. "Go ahead, make my day," "Sudden Impact," 1983.
7. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," "Sunset Blvd.," 1950.
8. "May the Force be with you," "Star Wars," 1977.
9. "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night," "All About Eve," 1950.
10. "You talking to me?" "Taxi Driver," 1976.

There are some glaring omissions on that list. Here are five obvious ones that didn't make their top 100.

  1. "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?" - Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction
  2. "All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine." - Jeff Spicoli, Fast Times At Ridgemont High
  3. "It's not until you lose everything that you are free to do anything." - Tyler Durden, Fight Club
  4. "Keaton always said, "I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him." Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze." - Verbal Kint, The Usual Suspects
  5. "Hey Peter, man, check out channel 9, it's the breast exams." - Lawrence, Office Space

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Days Of The Week Songs

MusicHave you ever wondered what the best days of the week songs were? I was just thinking about it, and I've come up with this list.

Here are my favourite days of the week songs.

  • Monday - The Boomtown Rats' "I Don't Like Mondays"
  • Tuesday - Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone"
  • Wednesday - Simon and Garfunkel's "Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m."
  • Thursday - Jim Croce's "Thursday"
  • Friday - The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love"
  • Saturday - Marcy Playground's "It's Saturday"
  • Sunday - I Mother Earth's "Another Sunday"

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Spin's Top Albums From The Past 20 Years

MusicSpin Magazine has listed what it believes to be the top albums of the past 20 years. I'm always interested in this kind of thing, so lets take a look at Spin's top ten.

  1. Radiohead - OK Computer
  2. Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  3. Nirvana - Nevermind
  4. Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted
  5. The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
  6. The Pixies - Surfer Rosa
  7. De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
  8. Prince - Sign o' the Times
  9. PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
  10. N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton

That's an awesome top three. Their numbers 2 and 3 appear in my top five as well. In my opinion, the further away we get from "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back", the more innovative and exceptional it seems. I listened to it again last week and wondered why we don't hear anything like that anymore. The closest we come to "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" is System of a Down.

Radiohead, Public Enemy and Nirvana...three bands that made the past twenty years something awfully special. As relevant today as ever.

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Worlds 10 Largest Newspapers By Circulation

NewspaperIf you're a useless trivia junkie like me, you'll probably appreciate this list of the world's 10 largest newspapers by circulation.

  1. Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan) 14,532,694
  2. Asahi Shimbun (Japan) 12,601,375
  3. Sichuan Ribao (China) 8,000,000
  4. Mainichi Shimbun (Japan) 5,845,857
  5. Bild (Germany) 5,674,400
  6. Chunichi Shimbun (Japan) 4,323,144
  7. Sun (England) 3,718,354
  8. Renmin Ribao (China) 3,000,000
  9. Sankei Shimbun (Japan) 2,890,835
  10. Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Japan) 2,705,877

The Toronto Star, Canada's largest newspaper by circulation, doesn't crack the world's top 100.

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More Body Parts

MusicThis weekend's theme at CFNY Edge 102 is "body parts". They'll group together song titles and artists with a body part in the name. All weekend long, I've been throwing down my ten favourite songs with various body parts in the title. I've covered "hand", "face", "head" and "arm". As it turns out, I've already been down this road. I listed my favourite songs with "heart" in the title on Valentine's Day. Here they are as they were.

  1. Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box
  2. The Tragically Hip - Boots Or Hearts
  3. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  4. Neil Young - Heart Of Gold
  5. Ray Charles - Unchain My Heart
  6. Stone Temple Pilots - Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart
  7. Janis Joplin - Piece Of My Heart
  8. The Distillers - Beat Your Heart Out
  9. Rush - Closer To The Heart
  10. The White Stripes - I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart

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"Arm" Songs

MusicThis weekend's theme at CFNY Edge 102 is "body parts". They'll group together song titles and artists with a body part in the name. This got me thinking. What are my favourite songs with the word "arm" in the title?

The answer is below!

  1. Pearl Jam - Throw Your Arms Around Me
  2. Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
  3. The Tragically Hip - Twist My Arm
  4. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Into My Arms
  5. Foo Fighters - Up in Arms
  6. Violent Femmes - I Held Her In My Arms
  7. Barenaked Ladies - Wrap Your Arms Around Me
  8. U2 - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World
  9. The Lemonheads - Into Your Arms
  10. Otis Redding - These Arms Of Mine

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