Sunday, December 17, 2006

Twostepcub's music chart for December 12, 2006...


Hey folks, happy holidays to everyone celebrating. I of course am way late here, due to getting ready for the holidays. I'll have this weeks by the end of the week, but here's last weeks tunes (I'll be posting links shortly). This week Evanescence returns to the top spot for a third week, while Kenny Chesney (above) stays in the top five for a second. Big moves are made by Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and Pink, and songs by Jack Ingram, Luther Vandross, Beyonce, and Nelly Furtado leave the chart. Cheers!

This Week Song/Artist (Last Week's Position In Parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Call Me When You're Sober - Evanescence (2)
2. Here It Goes Again - OK Go (4)
3. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' - Scissor Sisters (1)
4. You Save Me - Kenny Chesney (5)
5. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (8)
6. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (3)
7. Jump - Madonna (9)
8. Want To - Sugarland (10)
9. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (6)
10. Far Away - Nickelback (7)
11. When You Were Young - The Killers (11)
12. How To Save A Life - The Fray (12)
13. Through Glass - Stone Sour (16)
14. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (14)
15. Here (In My Arms) - Hellogoodbye (15)
16. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (18)
17. Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt (13)
18. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (30)
19. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (21)
20. Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (23)
21. My Wish- Rascal Flatts (17)
22. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (22)
23. Too Little Too Late - JoJo (24)
24. F*cking Boyfriend - The Bird & The Bee (26)
25. Tell Me Baby - Red Hot Chili Peppers (20)
26. Can't Let Go - Landon Pigg (28)
27. Once In A Lifetime - Keith Urban (19)
28. Love's The Only Drug - Ultra Nate (32)
29. Amarillo Sky - Jason Aldean (31)
30. Maneater - Nelly Furtado (33)
31. She's Everything - Brad Paisley (36)
32. Mama's Room - Under The Influence Of Giants (29)
33. Lost Yo Mind - Pepper Mashay (43)
34. Sensitivity - Shape:UK (35)
35. Be Still - Kaskade (25)
36. My Love - Justin Timberlake (53)
37. My, Oh My - The Wreckers (45)
38. Sexyback - Justin Timberlake (39)
39. Boston - Augustana (37)
40. Let Love In - Goo Goo Dolls (41)
41. U & Ur Hand - Pink (54)
42. Is It Any Wonder - Keane (42)
43. Ring The Alarm - Beyonce (52)
44. The DJ Made Me Do It - Robin (50)
45. My Little Girl - Tim McGraw (49)
46. Buttons - Pussycat Dolls (44)
47. Common Ground - Dave Aude & Tall Paul f/Sisely Treasure (38)
48. Supernature 2006 - Cerrone (40)
49. Gone - Sun (27)
50. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (60)
51. I Believe - Georgie Porgie (62)
52. Love Don't Let Me Go - David Guetta f/The Egg (47)
53. Good As Gone - Little Big Town (57)
54. Into The Ocean - Blue October (56)
55. Crash Here Tonight - Toby Keith (48)
56. What The World Needs Now - Joyce Sims (59)
57. A Good Man - Emerson Drive (58)
58. Is It Love? - iio (34)
59. Mountains - Lonestar (63)
60. So Insane - Smash Mouth (61)
61. My Number One - Helena Paparizou (46)
62. A Little Bit Of Life - Craig Morgan (64)
63. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks (73)
64. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (65)
65. Nothing In This World - Paris Hilton (74)
66. It Ends Tonight - All-American Rejects (82)
67. Hard - Africanism (68)
68. Heard The World - O.A.R. (71)
69. The Whistle Song (Revisited) - Frankie Knuckles (83)
70. The Diary Of Jane - Breaking Benjamin (72)
71. Love Like Winter - AFI (94)
72. Move Along - All-American Rejects (67)
73. Mandolin Moon - Sister Hazel (81)
74. The Pot - Tool (87)
75. What A Feeling - DJ Peter Luts & Dominico (55)
76. Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs (51)
77. What Hurts The Most - Rascal Flatts (69)
78. Head Over Heels - Emelee (66)
79. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (80)
80. So Excited - Janet Jackson (DEBUT)
81. Borderline - Jody Watley (DEBUT)
82. Moving Too Fast - Supafly, Inc. (DEBUT)
83. One Wing Into The Fire - Trent Tomlinson (91)
84. Anna-Molly - Incubus (92)
85. High School Never Ends - Bowling For Soup (85)
86. Irreplaceable - Beyonce (95)
87. Like Red On A Rose - Alan Jackson (75)
88. Tim McGraw - Taylor Swift (88)
89. Some People Change - Montgomery Gentry (89)
90. Getcha Some - Pleasure Center (90)
91. Starlight - Muse (97)
92. World - Five For Fighting (96)
93. You Gonna Want Me - Tiga (DEBUT)
94. Every Mile A Memory - Dierks Bentley (70)
95. Dance With You - Lauren Hildebrandt (98)
96. Alyssa Lies - Jason Michael Carroll (100)
97. Love You Lately - Daniel Powter (DEBUT)
98. Window In The Skies - U2 (DEBUT)
99. The Reason Why - Vince Gill (DEBUT)
100. Ladies Love Country Boys - Trace Adkins (DEBUT)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Get (Product) Red.....

I really admire the (Product) Red campaign, which pairs major brands with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Proceeds from stuff you buy goes to this charity, and its one of the great things I like about Bono (he's the chairperson). Here's a video commercial that's just fab for it, and by all means go over to I-Tunes and pick up the album/song by MIKA, "Love Today".

Thursday, December 14, 2006

And so this is Christmas, and what have you done....


Ahh, what's next, the Dido Christmas spectacular? Actually, Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong isn't as much a stretch as you'd might believe. Sarah's voice works perfectly with some of the classic songs on here, like "Silent Night", "In The Bleak Midwinter", and "O Little Town Of Bethlehem". And its refreshing to hear takes on more non-Xmas winter fare from fellow Canadians like Joni Mitchell's "River" and Gordon Lightfoot's "Song For A Winter Night" which she does an excellent job with. Sure, there are really out-of-place points, usually happening when McLachlan tackles a pop-standard Christmas song like "I'll Be Home For Christmas" or "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" which both seem tacked on for popular consumption. Also, the beauty of her vocal performance on "The First Noel" is disjointed somewhat by adding a bit of "Mary Mary" which was done more believably and soulfully by Joan Baez. "What Child Is This" find Sarah transforming the melody into a jarring experience. And the cover of John Lennon's classic "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" is a little cutesy but does get points for a) being timely at this stage in our history, and b) allowed me to sort out some of the lyrics. Hidden at the end of the album is the ringer, a cover of Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here" that you might remember from the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Duetting with Diana Krall, McLachlan does this standard justice.

As a whole, Wintersong comes across only halfway as a career-filler, that dreaded thing reserved for live albums and Christmas sets. However, its definitely a good album to listen to, and wouldn't feel out of place at your swanky little house party.

Grade: C+
Best Cuts:
"Christmas Time Is Here", "Song For A Winter Night"
Weakest Links: "I'll Be Home For Christmas", "What Child Is This"

Wintersong so far has hit #7 Pop Albums and #1 Holiday Albums.
"River" has so far hit #78 pop singles and #14 Adult Contemporary.
"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" has so far hit #11 Adult Contemporary and #107 pop.
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" has hit #15 Adult Contemporary.

You can pick up Wintersong at websites like here and here.

You can listen to the song "In the Bleak Mid-Winter" by clicking here to download (Right-Click to bring up another wind0w).

And here's the video for her version of John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" I hope the new year brings Lennon's lyrics to fruition. I especially am aghst at the beginning lyric (the title of this item).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Twostepcub's music chart for December 5, 2006...

Hey guys, it's time for my tunes of the week. As per the drill, you can click on the highlighted name of the artist to bring up their webpage (it's better to rightclick to bring it up in a new window). This week the Scissor Sisters spend a fourth week in the number one spot, while OK Go (above) sees their hit make the top five. Big moves are made by Pepper Mashay, Beyonce, and Georgie Porgie, and former #1 songs by Panic In The Disco, Corinne Bailey Rae, Christina Aguilera, and Gnarls Barkley all leave the chart. And Beyonce now has three songs on here. Cheers!

This Week Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' - Scissor Sisters (1)
2. Call Me When You're Sober - Evanescence (2)
3. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (3)
4. Here It Goes Again - OK Go (7)
5. You Save Me - Kenny Chesney (6)
6. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (4)
7. Far Away - Nickelback (5)
8. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (12)
9. Jump - Madonna (13)
10. Want To - Sugarland (11)
11. When You Were Young - The Killers (10)
12. How To Save A Life - The Fray (9)
13. Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt (8)
14. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (14)
15. Here (In My Arms) - Hellogoodbye (16)
16. Through Glass - Stone Sour (20)
17. My Wish - Rascal Flatts (18)
18. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (24)
19. Once In A Lifetime - Keith Urban (15)
20. Tell Me Baby - Red Hot Chili Peppers (17)
21. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (25)
22. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (21)
23. Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (28)
24. Too Little Too Late - JoJo (26)
25. Be Still - Kaskade (19)
26. F*cking Boyfriend - The Bird & The Bee (30)
27. Gone - Sun (23)
28. Can't Let Go - Landon Pigg (29)
29. Mama's Room - Under The Influence Of Giants (22)
30. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (39)
31. Amarillo Sky - Jason Aldean (33)
32. Love's The Only Drug - Ultra Nate (43)
33. Maneater - Nelly Furtado (45)
34. Is It Love? - iio (27)
35. Sensitivity - Shape:UK (36)
36. She's Everything - Brad Paisley (40)
37. Boston - Augustana (37)
38. Common Ground - Dave Aude & Tall Paul f/Sisely Treasure (32)
39. Sexyback - Justin Timberlake (44)
40. Supernature 2006 - Cerrone (41)
41. Let Love In - Goo Goo Dolls (46)
42. Is It Any Wonder? - Keane (42)
43. Lost Yo Mind - Pepper Mashay (57)
44. Buttons - Pussycat Dolls (37)
45. My, Oh My - The Wreckers (53)
46. My Number One - Helena Paparizou (35)
47. Love Don't Let Me Go - David Guetta vs. The Egg (48)
48. Crash Here Tonight - Toby Keith (49)
49. My Little Girl - Tim McGraw (50)
50. The DJ Made Me Do It - Robin (52)
51. Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs (34)
52. Ring The Alarm - Beyonce (75)
53. My Love - Justin Timberlake (64)
54. U & Ur Hand - Pink (58)
55. What A Feeling - DJ Peter Luts & Dominico (56)
56. Into The Ocean - Blue October (60)
57. Good As Gone - Little Big Town (79)
58. A Good Man - Emerson Drive (62)
59. What The World Needs Now - Joyce Sims (66)
60. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (68)
61. So Insane - Smash Mouth (71)
62. I Believe - Georgie Porgie (81)
63. Mountains - Lonestar (65)
64. A Little Bit Of Life - Craig Morgan (74)
65. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (73)
66. Head Over Heels - Emelee (67)
67. Move Along - All-American Rejects (59)
68. Hard - Africanism (69)
69. What Hurts The Most - Rascal Flatts (54)
70. Every Mile A Memory - Dierks Bentley (31)
71. Heard The World - O.A.R. (85)
72. The Diary Of Jane - Breaking Benjamin (72)
73. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks (88)
74. Nothing In This World - Paris Hilton (95)
75. Like Red On A Rose - Alan Jackson (51)
76. Love You - Jack Ingram (47)
77. I Can't Hate You Anymore - Nick Lachey (55)
78. Shine - Luther Vandross (63)
79. Deja Vu - Beyonce (61)
80. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (80)
81. Mandolin Moon - Sister Hazel (DEBUT)
82. It Ends Tonight - All-American Rejects (DEBUT)
83. The Whistle Song (Revisited) - Frankie Knuckles (DEBUT)
84. Fly Me Away - Goldfrapp (70)
85. High School Never Ends - Bowling For Soup (96)
86. I Loved Her First - Heartland (84)
87. The Pot - Tool (99)
88. Tim McGraw - Taylor Swift (89)
89. Some People Change - Montgomery Gentry (90)
90. Getcha Some - Pleasure Center (91)
91. One Wing In The Fire - Trent Tomlinson (100)
92. Anna-Molly - Incubus (92)
93. Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado (87)
94. Love Like Winter - AFI (DEBUT)
95. Irreplaceable - Beyonce (DEBUT)
96. World - Five For Fighting (DEBUT)
97. Starlight - Muse (DEBUT)
98. Dance With You - Lauren Hildebrandt (DEBUT)
99. I Don't Know Why - Brand New Heavies (DEBUT)
100. Alyssa Lies - Jason Michael Carroll (DEBUT)

and for a bonus here's the video for AFI's neo-poppy "Love Like Winter"....



And here's a double bonus - the Brand New Heavies' version of the Stevie Wonder classic "I Don't Know Why (I Love You)"

I'm addicted to the Youtube....

I know I'm slow for all of this, but this is hysterical...

So THATS who the father is...

Now that I am working a morning schedule, I miss Colbert most nights. However this clip on Mary Cheney takes the cake.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Product placement of the year....

Ok, cub that I am, this would make me go right out and buy this. Kudos to Norelco.

The plot gets old, do you know what I mean?....

I had just seen Little Big Town on CMT this week with Lindsey Buckingham on the show Crossroads, where country artists pair up with rock artists to perform each others' songs. This show is great, and this pairing was no exception. The group is a cleaned up version of Fleetwood Mac for sure, and The Road To Here brings out the harmonies of Mac's "The Chain" to a whole albums' worth. Little Big Town's first self-titled album came out in 2002, with minor success (one top-40 country hit in "Don't Waste My Time"). Waiting three years to release The Road From Here is really worth the wait. With the help of better songwriting (courtesy of help from "Wrapped Up In You" and "Change The World"'s writer Wayne Kirkpatrick) and class-A vocal performances, this album snuck up to be one of the best country albums of this year.

Kicking off with the kiss-off wall of harmony on "Good As Gone", the groups' secret weapon of four equality good lead singers trade off quite nicely. "Boondocks", while bordering on hokey with its almost-too-defensive tack on being hick-like, wins me over with its performance and simplicity. After that comes the rewrite of Mac's "The Chain" in "Bones" which actually is the best song on the album, with its backwoods acoustic guitar accompaning the tightest harmonies I've heard since the Eagles. The standard-love-song single "Bring It On Home", the biggest hit from the album, would find just as good a place on lite-pop radio as on country, and actually not in a bad way. The pace picks up a little with "Wounded", a good counterpart to "Good As Gone" in the broken-hearts category. More pop-country goodness comes with songs like "A Little More You", the Eagles re-dux "Mean Streak", and the quieter "Live With Lonesome". "Lost" would've been a great closer, with the powerful performance and the epic theme of mourning, made more poignant with the loss of band member Kimberly Roads' husband before the recording of the album. It would have grandly closed the album, but there are three more not-so-bad but not-so-classic songs at the end, including the hillbilly novelty "Welcome To The Family", the unexceptional "Fine With Me" and the serene "Stay".

Not once on this album does the harmony and vocal interplay between the two men and two women of Little Big Town stop. That by itself makes it an interesting album. Paired with stronger songs helped along by Kirkpatrick, The Road To Here is a real winner for those looking for a little "countrier" version of pop-country.

Grade: A-
Best Cuts:
"Good As Gone", "Boondocks", "Bones", "Bring It On Home", "Wounded", "A Little More You", "Live With Lonesome", "Mean Streak", "Lost"

The Road To Here hit #12 on the country and #51 on the pop albums chart.
"Boondocks" hit #9 country and #46 pop singles chart.
"Bring It On Home" made #4 country and #58 pop.
"Good As Gone" so far made #27 country.

To buy The Road From Here you can go to sites like here and here.

To listen to the song "Bones" you can download by clicking here (rightclick to bring up in another window).

And here's the video for the single "Good As Gone".

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Twostepcub's music chart for 11-28-06


Hey boys and girls, it's time for my tunes of the week. (sorry for being a little late in posting, it's been a busy week at work). As always, you can click on the highlighted name of the artist to bring up their webpage (it's better to right-click and then bring up in a new window or tab). This week the Scissor Sisters remain on top for a third week, with Carrie Underwood (above) hitting the top three with the fifth single from her debut album. Leaving the chart are songs by Five For Fighting, Janet Jackson, and George Strait, while big moves are made by Ultra Nate, Nelly Furtado, and The Wreckers. Be well!

This Week Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' - Scissor Sisters (1)
2. Call Me When You're Sober - Evanescence (2)
3. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (4)
4. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (3)
5. Far Away - Nickelback (6)
6. You Save Me - Kenny Chesney (8)
7. Here It Goes Again - OK Go (11)
8. Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt (9)
9. How To Save A Life - The Fray (5)
10. When You Were Young - The Killers (7)
11. Want To - Sugarland (13)
12. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (14)
13. Jump - Madonna (15)
14. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (10)
15. Once In A Lifetime - Keith Urban (12)
16. Here (In My Arms) - Hellogoodbye (24)
17. Tell Me Baby - Red Hot Chili Peppers (17)
18. My Wish - Rascal Flatts (19)
19. Be Still - Kaskade (20)
20. Through Glass - Stone Sour (22)
21. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (16)
22. Mama's Room - Under The Influence Of Giants (21)
23. Gone - Sun (25)
24. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (31)
25. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (28)
26. Too Little Too Late - JoJo (30)
27. Is It Love? - iio (23)
28. Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (34)
29. Can't Let Go - Landon Pigg (33)
30. F*cking Boyfriend - The Bird & The Bee (40)
31. Every Mile A Memory - Dierks Bentley (18)
32. Common Ground - Dave Aude & Tall Paul f/Sisely Treasure (32)
33. Amarillo Sky - Jason Aldean (36)
34. Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs (26)
35. My Number One - Helena Paparizou (35)
36. Sensitivity - Shape:UK (38)
37. Boston - Augustana (27)
38. Buttons - Pussycat Dolls (29)
39. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (49)
40. She's Everything - Brad Paisley (42)
41. Supernature 2006 - Cerrone (43)
42. Is It Any Wonder? - Keane (37)
43. Love's The Only Drug - Ultra Nate (60)
44. SexyBack - Justin Timberlake (46)
45. Maneater - Nelly Furtado (57)
46. Let Love In - Goo Goo Dolls (54)
47. Love You - James Ingram (45)
48. Love Don't Let Me Go - David Guetta vs. The Egg (51)
49. Crash Here Tonight - Toby Keith (50)
50. My Little Girl - Tim McGraw (55)
51. Like Red On A Rose - Alan Jackson (39)
52. The DJ Made Me Do It - Robin (83)
53. My, Oh My - The Wreckers (74)
54. What Hurts The Most - Rascal Flatts (44)
55. I Can't Hate You Anymore - Nick Lachey (56)
56. What A Feeling - DJ Peter Luts & Dominico (58)
57. Lost Yo Mind - Pepper Mashay (85)
58. U & Ur Hand - Pink (59)
59. Move Along - All-American Rejects (41)
60. Into The Ocean - Blue October (64)
61. Deja Vu - Beyonce (47)
62. A Good Man - Emerson Drive (75)
63. Shine - Luther Vandross (52)
64. My Love - Justin Timberlake (89)
65. Mountains - Lonestar (69)
66. What The World Needs Now - Joyce Sims (84)
67. Head Over Heels - Emelee (68)
68. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (92)
69. Hard - Africanism (70)
70. Fly Me Away - Goldfrapp (62)
71. So Insane - Smash Mouth (100)
72. The Diary Of Jane - Breaking Benjamin (73)
73. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (81)
74. A Little Bit Of Life - Craig Morgan (96)
75. Ring The Alarm - Beyonce (DEBUT)
76. I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic At The Disco (48)
77. Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae (53)
78. Chelsea - Stefy (63)
79. Good As Gone - Little Big Town (DEBUT)
80. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (80)
81. I Believe - Georgie Porgie (DEBUT)
82. It's Too Late - Dirty South vs. Evermore (66)
83. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley (72)
84. I Loved Her First - Heartland (82)
85. Heard The World - O.A.R. (86)
86. Ain't No Other Man - Christina Aguilera (65)
87. Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado (78)
88. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks (98)
89. Tim McGraw - Taylor Swift (91)
90. Some People Change - Montgomery Gentry (90)
91. Getcha Some - Pleasure Center (99)
92. Anna-Molly - Incubus (94)
93. A Public Affair - Jessica Simpson (71)
94. Satellites - September (95)
95. Nothing In This World - Paris Hilton (DEBUT)
96. High School Never Ends - Bowling For Soup (DEBUT)
97. Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray (61)
98. Would You Go With Me - Josh Turner (67)
99. The Pot - Tool (DEBUT)
100. One Wing In The Fire - Trent Tomlinson (DEBUT)

And for the bears out there, here's the video for Bowling for Soup's "High School Never Ends"...

You say your every day is a bad dream that keep repeating...

Karma's a bitch, isn't it?

You know, I just couldn't write a more delicious piece of turnaround if I tried. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, here's the short of it. Sara Evans is a country singer, a really good country singer, that I had such the swoon for. However she fell into the "soccer mom" Republican Stepford Wife syndrome Martina McBride apparently succumbed to after her lobotomy (jk). Performing in all her wholesome white-girl glory at the 2004 Republican National Convention, she's one step farther and married a right-wing hack by the name of Craig Schelske, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Oregon. Here's their "warm and fuzzy" photo with the preznit.
And here's the total Stepford wife collection (the caption reads "There's nothing more beautiful than a Republican woman!")Looks like a big night out at the drag queen show. (And Reba, cut a little back on the face peel between lifts...) Schelske ran on the morals and guntoting ticket, and apparently schlepped Sara to wherever he needed to campaign. And still lost. In 2002 even.

Well, funny thing. Turns out they weren't the lovely god-fearing couple after all. Amidst Sara appearing on Dancing With The Stars, it suddenly came out that she was quitting the show while divorcing Schelske. And not just the run-of-the-mill we just can't work it out divorce. I'm talking the "he's exposed the kids to porn" and "taking anal sex pictures with different women on the computer" kind of divorce. He fired back that she was having an affair on him and having a nervous breakdown. Meanwhile he's accused of advertising on Craiglist (no pun intended) for women and threeways. Hmmmm, this from a man who reportedly refused to let Evans' costumer from Dancing With The Stars come in their house becuase he was a "sodomite". Well touche', Craig, I guess I'll save a seat for you in hell, then.

Well, some people may feel the pity on Sara, as the attacked and scorned woman. Me, notsomuch. In the immortal words of Ricky Ricardo, "Lucy, you've got some 'splainin' to do". Just goes to show that the more people proselytize, the more these holy-rollers are hiding in their respective closets.

And thus end my rant.

By the way, A Real Fine Place is a fantastic album.

As opposed to Martina McBride, who's now stuck in the feel-good swamp of SUV country, Evans actually is still using her talent. And it must be good to overcome the built-in prejudice I had going in (see above rant for that). But A Real Fine Place continues the A-team pattern established with her previous albums Restless and Born To Fly. The best songs are frontloaded, though, with classic tracks like the bouncy title love song, and the epic "New Hometown". The album begins with the fun and sexy swing of "Coalmine", and the poppy production of "Supernatural" would have been a good choice for a radio single. Though sad to say (well, for her) the highlight of this album is the sassy single "Cheatin'", where Sara reconnects to see how bad her unfaithful ex is doing. (Hmmm... were you planning on singin' that anytime soon, now?). "You'll Always Be My Baby" surprisingly teaches the value of forgiveness (hmm, you think then you wouldn't be preaching about others' differences?). The rest of the album isn't so much memorable, but well done and very listenable. I got the special edition with four extra songs, with one good one ("Caged"), two toss-offs, and one not-bad but not-so-necessary live version of an older hit ("Suds In The Bucket").

Well, If you ignore the gossip and take the album on its own merits, A Real Fine Place is a real winner, not as great as Born To Fly or Restless, but a great addition to a good country album collection.

And Martina, I'm not through with your sorry self. I'll be reviewin' you very soon. And you'd better check your hubby's e-mail, he does have a purty mouth.

Grade: B+
Best Cuts:
"Cheatin'", "A Real Fine Place To Start", "Coalmine", "New Hometown"
Weakest Links: "Best Days Are Coming", "You" (both on special edition).

A Real Fine Place hit #3 pop albums and #1 country albums.
"A Real Fine Place To Start" hit #1 country, and #38 pop.
"Cheatin'" made #9 country and #69 pop.
"Coalmine" made #37 country.
"You'll Always Be My Baby" so far made #27 country.
"Missing Missouri" so far hit #56 country.

You can pick up A Real Fine Place at websites like here and here.

To listen to the song "New Hometown", you can download by clicking here (right click to bring up a new window)

And here's an older video of Sara's, I love it to pieces, it's one of her best songs, "Saints And Angels".



And here's the video from this album's "You'll Always Be My Baby".


Thursday, November 30, 2006

A little re-introduction....

Hey boys and girls...I had written a little blurb in the yahoogroup for my rodeo association, and since it kinda help understand what I do there, I wanted to reprint it here.



Hi, my name's Ernie, and I'm honored to be serving as your trustee for the Liberty Gay Rodeo Association. I wanted to introduce myself, and tell everyone a little about what it is I do, what the association has coming up, and a little request to boot. But first of all, I'd like to thank everyone who has joined LGRA as a member, whether it be at one of our events or through the website. You are really helping to invest in our plan to bring the rodeo to Philadelphia for the first time in May of 2008. In under a year, LGRA has grown to over 150 members, which is comparable to a big chunk of the other rodeo associations around the country that have been around for years. I am committed to giving 110% to contributing my part in helping put on an event its members deserve, and something long-lasting for the community. Also, I am very grateful for the men and women who have aided us so much with the work and events we have already done. Volunteers like Jeff C, Shane, Mark, Ed, Chris, Jim, as well as June, John, and Cliff (I'm really sorry if I've left out anybody) have given much time and effort at our different events, and I as well as the rest of the board are so appreciative of their help. And I want to give special thanks to John Stypa, for devoting so much time for developing such a smashing website, and Jade Meskunas for putting out a great newsletter. And finally in the thank you department, thanks to Michael, Jen, Jeff, Rocco, and Cindy for helping put this thing together before I came aboard.
Now as for me, if you don't know me, I've been a resident of Yardville, New Jersey all of my life (save for a college stint in Chicago). I've worked for Verizon for seventeen years, currently in repair dispatch. My "route to this destination" of helping with the rodeo comes from 16 years of country dancing between Pennsy, Jersey, and New York. The "two-stepping community" as it is has been a great social and physical outlet that I think defies the normal stereotypes of gay life, either by us or by the mainstream. I am lucky to have as a result the best of friends and buddies a man can dream of. And let me tell you, I was obsessed. At one point, I was going to different places sometimes 4-5 times a week. Ah, the days of lower gas prices. Well in 1992 I found out about the gay rodeo in DC and was able to make it down there. I was floored. I have seen rodeo events before, but nothing like this. Between the regular steer and bull riding, calf roping, and horse events, there were fun "camp" events like Goat Dressing, Steer Deco, and the Wild Drag Race (you can see descriptions and videos for all these events on DC's excellent website www.asgra.org ). All this amongst bleachers full of ordinary men and women enjoying the time of their lives. I haven't missed attending one since in DC. A few years back, my friends Jeff (our membership chair), Mark, and I got the nerve to enter ourselves in the "Dolly Madison Race" (a camp event that is like an obstacle course from the netherworld). Let me tell you we were all sorts of nervous. But it was an amazing experience. Since then I have learned how to do Steer Deco (which Jeff and I competed last year), Goat Dressing, and Chute Dogging with the help of the "play day" LGRA and ASGRA put on last August (my birthday weekend, even) in New Jersey. And if you ever have been to the rodeo, and though about trying something out, that is the way to go. You never know until you try, and heck, you can just do it for fun or even compete in the rodeo itself (we got a ribbon for 4th place, and believe me, I was very happy about it). We will be putting on another play day or two next year, and will keep everyone posted on it. C'mon and cowboy up!
Now as I had said before, I'm Liberty GRA's trustee. As such, firstly I'm our association's "voice" on the board of directors for IGRA (The International Gay Rodeo Association, our parent organization), almost like a "union steward", representing us at board meetings and at various rodeos. I'm the liaison to bring information on national happenings in IGRA. Secondly, I'm conversely IGRA's link to our rodeo, and I am responsible for enforcing and administering IGRA's standards to our rodeo as well as other rodeos in our circuit. The trustees are required to make sure all rodeo specifications (safety rules, event specs, etc.) are being met, clear any variances for rodeo events, and resolve any disputes on judging and execution of the rodeo itself. In doing this, I am not only preserving the quality and uniformity of the events that IGRA sanctions throughout the US and Canada, but also protect the contestants and spectators as well. I hold this responsibility in the highest regard. In addition to all this, I'm right now being a jack-of-all-trades, helping the rest of the board with the long but important journey in setting up our first rodeo. I'll be the first to admit I've got a lot to learn still, but I'm committed to helping in anyway I can. If you have any sort of question about either our rodeo or the other rodeos around the country, or even IGRA's goings-on in general, please write me or see me out, if I don't know myself I know how to find out.
Liberty has a great even coming up, our first bachelor/bachelorette auction at Woody's on Friday, December 8th. Dancing will be extended from 6-11pm, and the auction will be interspersed with dancing starting at 9pm. You can look at the wonderful people (and one horse) who volunteered their time for this and are up for "bid" by checking the website www.libertygra.org under "events". Also even though the leaves are falling, we are still doing trail rides the first sunday of each month. It's a great oppurtunity for those who love to ride as well as those that want to learn (absolutely no experience needed). Details are also in the events section.
Lastly, I said I had a little request. Actually, I have two requests. First, if you see me round at twostepping or anywhere else, please come and introduce yourself to me. I know a lot of our members already from country dancing, but there are a lot I have yet to meet, and would love the opportunity to do so. You can ask me anything (well....) and I promise to be helpful and honest. You can also get ahold of me at the email trustee@libertygra.org. Secondly, and most importantly, I would like to ask everyone to get involved. This association is really a team effort, and is definitely not the vehicle or one or a few people. Between the rodeo events themselves, LGRA also is involved in a whole myriad of other things, like fundraisers, community work, promotion, and your talents can really help. If you don't think you would have anything to contribute, either skillwise or timewise, please reconsider. You never know what assistance we need that you may be helpful with until then. As I mentioned before, many people have put time and effort into helping this along, and I am so more than grateful for that. My feeling is the more people involved with this, the better this organization can be. Especially helpful right now would be anyone who would like to help with public relations, artwork, sponsorship, and social events. Heck even if you want to give an idea you have or to help set up something for an event we're doing, I'd really love to hear from you.
I'd like to close by saying I'm really excited about our future. We've got a long road ahead, but I am confident we're gonna be putting on a show to remember in 2008!
Let's rodeo

Monday, November 27, 2006

You'll find another way to begin, and you'll trust in someone...


Ok, first off, do NOT go by the horrible air-brushed-to-the-point-of-drag-queen-ishness cover. Beneath that lies one of the greatest female artists in country today, Wynonna Judd, with an album that was so unfairly overlooked in the male-dominated country atmosphere of 2003. With only Oprah to save sales of the record, anyone only listening to radio would miss the appearance of What The World Needs Now Is Love, with only one mid-hit single, the title song. But this album is one of the best, if not the best, country record of that year.

The first sign of that is that the title song, good as it is, even pales besides a boatload of songs that are mixed throughout the album. The song fits into Wynonna's all-inclusive spirituality based on love, not fear of god. That is followed by "Heaven Help Me", a classic ballad yearning for her love not to leave. "It All Comes Down To Love" fits the theme of the title song, with a Bonnie Raitt-like groove behind it. Mom Naomi joins in for one song, the nostalgic "Flies On The Butter (You Can't Go Home Again)" bringing at least a Judds reunion for a brief glimpse. The inspirational mood continues with the simple but powerful anthem of "I Will Be" which segues nicely to a version of Foreigner's "I Wanna Know What Love Is" that is not only superior for her delivery, but made he even more appreciate the original. "It's Only Love" is a pleasant enough number, and "Sometimes I Feel Like Elvis" is way better than the title would imply. The only misstep is ironically following that up with a remake of the King's "Burning Love" from the Disney product Lilo And Stitch that doesn't really add anything to the original. Wynonna rebounds thankfully with two perfect songs, the remarkably Babyface-like "Who Am I Supposed To Love" and the most moving song I've heard in years, "Your Day Will Come". Just gander at lyrics like these....

Pack up all your tears
Bury the past
Send them away
Don't let 'em hold you back
Love will find you again
You'll find another way to begin
And you'll trust in someone
Your day will come...

Trust me, I've been there. I think we all have been there at one point. This song has become my mantra. After that the end of the album is a little bit of a denouement, though still quality, with the rockin' "(No One's Gonna) Break Me Down", the by-the-numbers soundtrack filler "You Are", and the earthy closer "Rescue Me". There's not an unlistenable moment on the album ("Burning Love" is not unlistenable, only unnecessary). You can't go wrong with What The World Needs Now Is Love, either as a glimpse of Wynonna Judd or country music in itself. If only country radio would get a clue.

Grade: A-
Best Cuts:
"What The Worlds Needs", "Heaven Help Me", "I Will Be", "I Want To Know What Love Is", "Sometimes I Feel Like Elvis", "Who Am I Supposed To Love", "Your Day Will Come"
Weakest Link: "Burning Love"

What The World Needs Now Is Love hit #1 country albums and #8 pop albums.
"What The World Needs Now" hit #14 country & #70 pop.
"Heaven Help Me" made #37 country.
"Flies On The Butter" made #33 country.
"I Want To Know What Love Is" hit #14 Adult Contemporary, and #12 dance radio.

To listen to the awesome track "Your Day Will Come" download by clicking here (rightclick to bring up another window).

and then once you do go buy the album. You can find it at sites like here and here.

And with no video, here's a bonus, the dance remix to "I Want To Know What Love Is" download by clicking here (rightclick to bring up another window).

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Twostepcub music chart for 11-21-06...

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US. Here's my tunes for the week, and as always you can click on the highlighted name of the artist to bring up their webpage (you can rightclick to bring it up in a new window). This week the Scissor Sisters stay on top for a second week, with the Fray (above) staying a second week in the top five while having another song linger on the chart. Saying goodbye are songs by the Pet Shop Boys, KT Tunstall, and Rodney Atkins, while big moves are made by George Strait, Christina Aguilera, and Pink. Gobble Gobble!

This Week Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' - Scissor Sisters (1)
2. Call Me When You're Sober - Evanescence (2)
3. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (3)
4. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (4)
5. How To Save A Life - The Fray (5)
6. Far Away - Nickelback (8)
7. When You Were Young - The Killers (7)
8. You Save Me - Kenny Chesney (11)
9. Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt (9)
10. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (10)
11. Here It Goes Again - OK Go (13)
12. Once In A Lifetime - Keith Urban (12)
13. Want To - Sugarland (15)
14. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (18)
15. Jump - Madonna (19)
16. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (14)
17. Tell Me Baby - Red Hot Chili Peppers (17)
18. Every Mile A Memory - Dierks Bentley (6)
19. My Wish - Rascal Flatts (21)
20. Be Still - Kaskade (20)
21. Mama's Room - Under The Influence Of Giants (16)
22. Through Glass - Stone Sour (23)
23. Is It Love? - iio (24)
24. Here (In Your Arms) - Hellogoodbye (28)
25. Gone - Sun (26)
26. Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs (22)
27. Boston - Augustana (27)
28. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (30)
29. Buttons - Pussycat Dolls (25)
30. Too Little Too Late - JoJo (34)
31. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (47)
32. Common Ground - Dave Aude & Tall Paul f/Sisely Treasure (33)
33. Can't Let Go - Landon Pigg (41)
34. Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (45)
35. My Number One - Helena Paparizou (36)
36. Amarillo Sky - Jason Aldean (44)
37. Is It Any Wonder? - Keane (37)
38. Sensitivity - Shape:UK (43)
39. Like Red On A Rose - Alan Jackson (29)
40. F*cking Boyfriend - The Bird & The Bee (49)
41. Move Along - All-American Rejects (31)
42. She's Everything - Brad Paisley (46)
43. Supernature 2006 - Cerrone (50)
44. What Hurts The Most - Rascal Flatts (32)
45. Love You - Jack Ingram (39)
46. SexyBack - Justin Timberlake (48)
47. Deja Vu - Beyonce (42)
48. I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic At The Disco (38)
49. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (67)
50. Crash Here Tonight - Toby Keith (54)
51. Love Don't Let Me Go - David Guetta vs. The Egg (62)
52. Shine - Luther Vandross (40)
53. Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae (35)
54. Let Love In - Goo Goo Dolls (65)
55. My Little Girl - Tim McGraw (61)
56. I Can't Hate You Anymore - Nick Lachey (68)
57. Maneater - Nelly Furtado (75)
58. What A Feeling - DJ Peter Luts & Dominico (59)
59. U & Ur Hand - Pink (81)
60. Love's The Only Drug - Ultra Nate (DEBUT)
61. Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray (56)
62. Fly Me Away - Goldfrapp (63)
63. Chelsea - Stefy (53)
64. Into The Ocean - Blue October (87)
65. Ain't No Other Man - Christina Aguilera (57)
66. It's Too Late - Dirty South vs. Evermore (55)
67. Would You Go With Me - Josh Turner (51)
68. Head Over Heels - Emelee (69)
69. Mountains - Lonestar (74)
70. Hard - Africanism (72)
71. A Public Affair - Jessica Simpson (58)
72. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley (52)
73. The Diary Of Jane - Breaking Benjamin (73)
74. My Oh My - The Wreckers (85)
75. A Good Man - Emerson Drive (79)
76. I Call It Love - Lionel Richie (64)
77. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is - Jet (60)
78. Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado (66)
79. The Riddle (You & I) - Five For Fighting (70)
80. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (80)
81. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (90)
82. I Loved Her First - Heartland (82)
83. The DJ Made Me Do It - Robin (DEBUT)
84. What The World Needs Now - Joyce Sims (DEBUT)
85. Lost Yo Mind - Pepper Mashay (DEBUT)
86. Heard The World - O.A.R. (89)
87. Life Is A Highway - Rascal Flatts (84)
88. Call On Me - Janet Jackson f/Nelly (71)
89. My Love - Justin Timberlake f/T.I. (DEBUT)
90. Some People Change - Montgomery Gentry (94)
91. Tim McGraw - Taylor Swift (93)
92. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (98)
93. Move In My Direction - Bananarama (77)
94. Anna-Molly - Incubus (96)
95. Satellites - September (95)
96. A Little Bit Of Life - Craig Morgan (100)
97. Give It Away - George Strait (91)
98. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks (99)
99. Getcha Some - Pleasure Center (DEBUT)
100. So Insane - Smash Mouth (DEBUT)

And here's the way cool video for Justin Timberlake's "My Love"...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

When you think the ride is over, you're back at the beginning....

Well to make things short, this was the best country album released in 2005. Yeah, I know it's kinda late but I felt it best to start with that.In fact, If your a newbie to country music, and want to listen to something to start, you can't go wrong here. Brad Paisley has carved a career of being simply the best male country singer/guitarist around now (sorry, Vince), and Time Well Wasted has continued his string of near-perfect albums of down-home goodness. He does usually have a pattern with his albums, but puts a winner in each of them.

Time Well Wasted starts out with the #1 song "The World", which is a cute little love ditty he's so good with, with lines like "to the waiter at the restaurant, you're just another tip....but to me you are the world...", and with charm celebrates the joy of the plain and simple without resorting on dumping on the urbane (the way a lot of other country artists fall back on). Next is his requisite drinking song, here being "Alcohol", which this time treats the subject with humor (as opposed to the somber subject in his last album's "Whiskey Lullaby"). However, next inexplicably comes a non-descript number "Waitin' On A Woman" which doesn't exactly suck but isn't really a keeper either. However Paisley is back on track with the best "fun" track on the album, the hilarious "I'll Take You Back", which is a litany of unbelievable things that must happen before he'll forgive his ex. "She's Everything" is a little bit of a by-the-numbers love song, but better delivered than "Waitin'...". The swing song requirement is covered by the female-baiting "You Need A Man Around Here", with his "aw, shucks I'm just a man" sweetness that even works on me. Alan Jackson joins Paisley on the fan-admiring song "Out In The Parking Lot", which is a great description of the people who pay these guys' salaries by coming to their shows. "Raining You" is a sweet, soft number to break the frivolity for a little bit in the middle of the album. Paisley then gives us a taste of his classic approach with the honky-tonk of "Flowers", as in "how many flowers have to die before you'll forgive me". After this, just when you think you're in a simple flow of the album, Paisley knocks me out with the two best cuts on the album, where he shines the most with his inspiring tales of everyday life, this time with the upbeat "Love Is Never Ending" , which sounds like a perfect sunny day song, and the classic duet with Dolly Parton, "When I Get Where I'm Going", sure to be a funeral standard (and that's in a good way) for years to come. "Easy Money" is a hat tip to his band, which is rare these days in the faceless NashYork machine. Paisley puts a killer instrumental in every album, and this time its the frenetic "Time Warp" which goes from lightning speed guitar runs to a grinding blues solo, and then back right again to the whirlwind pace it started with. The albums songs conclude with the sweet title cut, which is a good comedown from the pace of the album. However, it's not the end, with the comedy number "Cornography" closing things off with help from George Jones, Dolly Parton, and Little Jimmy Dickens again stealing the show. If you got your CD from Target, you get a second CD which has four songs, all of them good but not essential, including the standard songs "Yes You Will" and "Hard To Say Hello" and the novelties "Ode De Toilet" and "College" (and older song from an earlier Pat Green album).

All the songs here show the triple threat, Paisley can be, as a singer, a guitarist, and a songwriter. There is so much quality on here I can imagine almost every song here to be a hit single if given the chance. And with Time Well Wasted, he puts the best example of what country music is today. Buy it. Love it.

Grade: A
Best Cuts:
"The World", "Alcohol", "I'll Take You Back", "Out In The Parkin' Lot", "Love Is Never Ending", "When I Get Where I'm Going", "Easy Money"
Weakest Link: "Waitin' On A Woman"

Time Well Wasted hit #2 pop albums and #1 country albums.
"Alcohol" hit #4 country and #28 pop singles.
"When I Get Where I'm Going" made #1 country and #39 pop singles.
"The World" made #1 country and #45 pop.
"She's Everything" hit #10 country so far and #35 pop singles so far.

You can pick up a copy of Time Well Wasted at sites like here and here.

If you'd like to listen to the classic track "Love Is Never Ending" click here to download (rightclick to bring up in a new window).

And here's the video for the first single, "Alcohol"...