Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Twostepcub's music chart for February 20, 2007...

Hey boys and girls, it's time again for my tunes of the week. 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 Pink remains at the top for a second week, while Beyonce (pictured above) moves into the top three. Songs by Sugarland, Gabriel & Dresden, Nelly Furtado, Dierks Bentley, Fall Out Boy, and Kaskade make big moves on the list, while Pepper Mashay and Madonna have songs leaving. I'll be headin' to Vegas, but already have 143 on the roulette. Cheers!

This Week Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. U & Ur Hand - Pink (1)
2. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (2)
3. Irreplaceable - Beyonce (7)
4. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (6)
5. Stupid Boy - Keith Urban (11)
6. Here (In Your Arms) - hellogoodbye (8)
7. How To Save A Life - The Fray (9)
8. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (4)
9. My Love - Justin Timberlake (3)
10. Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (12)
11. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (13)
12. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (10)
13. Snow (Hey Oh) - Red Hot Chili Peppers (17)
14. It Ends Tonight - All-American Rejects (16)
15. Starlight - Muse (21)
16. Face Down - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (22)
17. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (18)
18. Moving Too Fast - Supafly, Inc. (5)
19. Keep Holding On - Avril Lavigne (23)
20. Minimal - Pet Shop Boys (28)
21. Far Away - Nickelback (19)
22. It's Not Over - Daughtry (26)
23. Amarillo Sky - Jason Aldean (15)
24. Through Glass - Stone Sour (14)
25. Runaway - Jamiroquai (38)
26. Borderline - Jody Watley (27)
27. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (29)
28. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (20)
29. World - Five For Fighting (34)
30. Illegal - Shakira (33)
31. Let Love In - Goo Goo Dolls (25)
32. Dangerous Power - Gabriel & Dresden (47)
33. Say It Right - Nelly Furtado (55)
34. Into The Ocean - Blue October (42)
35. Melt With The Sun - Amber f/Sweet Rains (37)
36. Long Trip Alone - Dierks Bentley (54)
37. Settlin' - Sugarland (80)
38. She's Everything - Brad Paisley (36)
39. I Go Crazy - D.H.T. (45)
40. Believe In Us - Joi Cardwell (41)
41. From Yesterday - 30 Seconds To Mars (51)
42. We Ride - Rihanna (43)
43. Rock This Party - Bob Sinclar (53)
44. Party People - Altar f/Jeanie Tracy (35)
45. Proper Education - Eric Prydz vs. Pink Floyd (61)
46. Wasted - Carrie Underwood (56)
47. So Excited - Janet Jackson (32)
48. One Day My Love - N'Dea Davenport (49)
49. It Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race - Fall Out Boy (72)
50. Wind It Up - Gwen Stefani (50)
51. Stars Align - Kaskade (81)
52. Anna-Molly - Incubus (46)
53. Love Like Winter - AFI (39)
54. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (60)
55. A Feelin' Like That - Gary Allan (57)
56. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (40)
57. The Real Thing - Rachel Panay (44)
58. Number One In Heaven - Nemesis (59)
59. If Everyone Cared - Nickelback (63)
60. Sex N Money - Oakenfold f/Pharrell (67)
61. Good As Gone - Little Big Town (31)
62. Leave The Pieces - The Wreckers (48)
63. Like A Star - Corinne Bailey Rae (64)
64. Pain - Three Days Grace (66)
65. I'll Wait For You - Joe Nichols (65)
66. My, Oh My - The Wreckers (24)
67. When You Were Young - The Killers (30)
68. By The Way - Jenna Drey (68)
69. Alyssa Lies - Jason Michael Carroll (70)
70. By My Side - Flanders (84)
71. Martyr - Depeche Mode (58)
72. Lay Down - 10 Monkeys f/Abigail (85)
73. Last Dollar (Fly Away) - Tim McGraw (83)
74. Beer In Mexico - Kenny Chesney (82)
75. Little Bit Of Life - Craig Morgan (86)
76. And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going - Rosabel f/Jennifer Holiday (DEBUT)
77. It's Just Sex - Billie Myers (DEBUT)
78. Here It Goes Again - OK Go (71)
79. One Wing In The Fire - Trent Tomlinson (78)
80. Look After You - The Fray (89)
81. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (77)
82. Boston - Augustana (75)
83. Gravity - John Mayer (93)
84. Too Little Too Late - JoJo (52)
85. Anyway - Martina McBride (87)
86. All Good Things (Must Come To An End) - Nelly Furtado (92)
87. Rockstar - Nickelback (79)
88. Ladies Love Country Boys - Trace Adkins (90)
89. I Believe - Georgie Porgie (73)
90. I Need Someone - Ralph Falcon (96)
91. The Whistle Song (Revisited) - Frankie Knuckles (74)
92. Go! - Jupiter Rising (95)
93. Bones - The Killers (69)
94. Good Directions - Billy Currington (DEBUT)
95. Hillbilly Deluxe - Brooks & Dunn (99)
96. Grace Kelly - Mika (DEBUT)
97. Stand - Rascal Flatts (DEBUT)
98. Red High Heels - Kellie Pickler (62)
99. I Just Came Back (From A War) - Darryl Worley (100)
100. Little Wonders - Rob Thomas (DEBUT)

Monday, February 19, 2007

I'm not a bad man, I'm just overwhelmed....

A little history.

In the mid to late eighties, I lived in Chicago for college. At that time I was already a music junkie from coming from Jersey, but I was mostly a pop music junkie, except for the smattering of British pop I got from buying the old Now That's What I Call Music cassettes at the old Listening Booth music store in the mall. Of course college brings together people of all cultures, and being in a big city also blends in a whole heaping of variety, and I found myself exposed to all sorts of music. I had actually become bigtime into the goth-lite bands like Nitzer Ebb and Depeche Mode and the poppy electro of Erasure and New Order. Dressed in black a whole lot and dying my bangs alternatingly electric blue and purple, I was unrecognizable to who I am today. A shy, ultraslim, brooding young man, with my friend Cherrill we went to the big industrial dance clubs of the time there, where I would just let loose in a dancing frenzy. No alcohol, no drugs, just the music to satisy my soul.

She Wants Revenge is a fond flashback to that era, where music like this was embraced by people who sought it out, not force fed like the pop/metal fare at the time. Comprised of "valley boys" Justin Warfield and Adam Bravin, She Wants Revenge sounds like they've studied Bauhaus, Cure, and early New Order records in a locked room for a week, and with great results. Nasal, dark vocals compliment the robotic dance-step production the band uses in the album. Beginning with "Red Flags And Long Nights", which starts with a Cure guitar lick over seemingly the drum beat from Depeche Mode's "New Life", fades in to create the somber yet urgent atmosphere they're apparently going for. "These Things" is more epic, though more eerie in its lyrical content, with an air of paranoia swirling around Warfield. There are somewhat brighter spots on the record, like "Monologue" (which to me seems to incredibly lift the bassline from the Backstreet Boys' "Larger Than Life" and graft it on a goth track), though the minor chords obviously hold sway on the whole set. "Someone Must Get Hurt" sounds more current than the rest of the album, though not in a bad way. And the big modern rock hit from the album, "Tear You Apart", doesn't flinch from the pattern of angry, focused words over the music filled with every hook from the new wave rulebook. If fact almost every one of the songs on this set could've found a home on college radio ten years ago, let alone today. However, She Wants Revenge doesn't sound dated and stale, and is a very cool listen, but don't put in on the stereo for a peppy type of party, mind you. But for a night of "F*ck the world" dancing by yourself, this CD does the trick.

Grade: B+
Best Cuts:
"Red Flags And Long Nights", "These Things", "Monologue", "Someone Must Get Hurt", "Tear You Apart"

She Wants Revenge hit #38 on the US albums chart, and #3 Electronic albums.
"Tear You Apart" hit #6 modern rock and #122 pop singles.
"These Things" made #22 modern rock.

You can pick up She Wants Revenge at sites like here and here.

To listen to the kickoff track "Red Flags And Long Nights" you can click here to download (it's better to rightclick to bring up another window).

and here's the fab video for the song "These Things", featuring Shirley Manson of the band Garbage.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Show me that smile again, don't waste another minute on your crying...

Ah, the 80's. As much as that decade was a fertile one for pop and rock music, it was pretty much a septic pool in country music. Don't let any of those idiotic so-called "traditionalist" country music fans tell you otherwise. Current country music has nothing on the late 70s early 80s in term of plain old cheese. And not even good cheese. Velveeta. Hard Velveeta. Gone were most anything sounding "country", and in goes electronic drumpads, synths up the wazoo, and a sterile production that makes Kraftwerk seem like Aretha Franklin. Now occasionally this cheese is fleetingly good. And in small and varied doses even enjoyable. However put together, especially if by one artist, it can be grating.

Case in point - Louise Mandrell's Anthology. Compiling 21 of her best-known songs, while Anthology does succeed in chronicling the most successful single Mandrell had, as a listen its about a dozen songs too many. She had 5 top-10 country songs in her career, and they're all here, with her biggest, "I Wanna Say Yes", the most enjoyable song on here, with it's almost ABBA-like backing vocals, and fun vibe. "Save Me" has a good chorus that overshadows a duller verse, and "Some Of My Best Friends Are Old Songs" is more authentic than a majority of the rest. "Goodbye Heartache" is a passable rewrite of Dottie West's "Lesson In Leavin'", while "(You Sure Know Your Way) Around My Heart" would feel at home on an old Olivia Newton-John album, with it's slick production contrasting the raspier-than-usual vocals. And uber-pop god Eric Carmen comes up three times, twice in his compositions ("I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips" and "Maybe My Baby") and once in a duet on the theme from Growing Pains, "As Long As We Got Each Other", while former hubby R.C. Bannon shows up on four numbers, though his voice is no match for even hers. The remainder of the album was standard unmemorable pop-country trifle. For fans of country like Ronnie Milsap, her sister Barbara, and the Oak Ridge Boys, Anthology is worth the find to get all the hits. To the casual country listener, better to find scattered 80s compilations with a song of hers on it.

Grade: C
Best Cuts:
"I Wanna Say Yes"
Weakest Links: "Reunited", "Jean Paul", Some Girls Have All The Luck"

"Reunited" hit #13 country.
"Where There's Smoke There's Fire" hit #35 country.
"(You Sure Know Your Way) Around My Heart" made #35 country.
"Our Wedding Band" made #56 country.
"Some Of My Best Friends Are Old Songs" hit #20 country.
"Romance" hit #22 country.
"Christmas Is Just A Song For Us This Year" made #35 country.
"Save Me" made #6 country.
"Too Hot To Sleep" hit #10 country.
"Runaway Heart" hit #13 country.
"I'm Not Through Loving You Yet" made #7 country.
"Goodbye Heartache" made #24 country.
"This Bed's Not Big Enough" hit #52 country.
"Maybe My Baby" hit #8 country.
"I Wanna Say Yes" made #5 country.
"Some Girls Have All The Luck" made #22 country.
"I Wanna Hear It From Your Lips" hit #35 country.
"Do I Have To Say Goodbye" hit #28 country.
"Tender Time" made #74 country.
"As Long As We Got Each Other" made #51 country.

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

To listen to the track "I Wanna Say Yes", you can click here to download (rightclick to bring it up in another window).

And here's a concert rendition of the top-10 "Too Hot To Sleep"...

(almost) jump the shark time...

Well, tonight marked the season premiere for the 11th run of The Amazing Race, this time the dreaded "all-star" edition. (Though in actuality, are we really talking about stars here?) As a person who normally despises the reality show genre as it is, AR has proven to be a smart, exciting, and mostly non-explotative show. That being said, my stomach was turning when I found out about the "all-star" edition, which features annoying Survivor-fame hacks Rob and Amber, the most vile team from the last season (the beauty queen slash nutcases), and a bunch of people who either weren't good but had somewhat of a personality (Myrna and Chmyrna, I have no idea who is who except one's a "Little Person", and Kevin And Drew who've parlayed fame from season one better than the rest, and the David & Mary "You've won a house" show), to people I don't remember racing (the John Vito-Jill, Oswald & Danny, Teri & Ian teams). My first impressions:

1) It wasn't as bad as it could've been. Nobody was really nasty to anyone, well, save for David and Mary trying to lie to the beauty queens, but since I don't like them anyways, it's a wash.

2) Rob and Amber, while egotistical maniacs, weren't as gruesome as they were in the past, and it seemed like the editing made them seem worse.

3) Danny & Oswald win out for the better of the two gay couples in the race. Just for being more peppy.

4) Teri & Ian are really likeable and I hope they stick around.

5) Myrna/Chmyrna are very lucky they weren't eliminated.

6) Ditto Kevin and Drew. In a fair world both of those teams would've been gone the first week.

7) No Roadblock? on the first leg? What gives?

8) This paying for a taxi to follow it has got to go. It's stupidly boring.

9) Why couldn't David and Mary just go to American? Did they make it so you can't buy more tickets? That's been done before.

10) I can't get enough of Phil Keoghan's eyebrow raise. Classy. The Tim Gunn of subtle gestures.

11) Nobody did the finding challenge (though Rob and Amber tried at first). Everybody's wised up.

Robo-model couple John-Vito and Jill were eliminated. Don't remember them anyways, so no hurt so far to the show. DOn't know how much more Kevin and Drew can last. If their in such bad shape, how'd they get picked for this?

peace out.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Twostepcub's music chart for Febuary 13, 2007...

Hey folks it's that time again, for my tunes of the week. As per the drill, you can click on any highlighted name of an artist to bring up their webpage for more info about them (it's better to rightclick to bring up a new window). This week sees Pink reach the top spot, and Supafly, Inc. (pictured above) make it into the top five. Saying goodbye to the chart are songs by Sugarland, Beyonce, Ultra Nate, Rascal Flatts, Nelly Furtado, and Evanescence, while making big moves are Keith Urban, Gabriel & Dresden, Jamiroquai, and Fall Out Boy. L'amour, l'amour...

This Week Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. U & Ur Hand - Pink (3)
2. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (4)
3. My Love - Justin Timberlake (1)
4. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (2)
5. Moving Too Fast - Supafly, Inc. (6)
6. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (7)
7. Irreplaceable - Beyonce (10)
8. Here (In Your Arms) - hellogoodbye (8)
9. How To Save A Life - The Fray (9)
10. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (5)
11. Stupid Boy - Keith Urban (22)
12. Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (12)
13. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (14)
14. Through Glass - Stone Sour (11)
15. Amarillo Sky - Jason Aldean (16)
16. It Ends Tonight - All-American Rejects (18)
17. Snow (Hey Oh) - Red Hot Chili Peppers (23)
18. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (20)
19. Far Away - Nickelback (19)
20. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (13)
21. Starlight - Muse (28)
22. Face Down - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (26)
23. Keep Holding On - Avril Lavigne (31)
24. My, Oh My - The Wreckers (15)
25. Let Love In - Goo Goo Dolls (25)
26. It's Not Over - Daughtry (35)
27. Borderline - Jody Watley (27)
28. Minimal - Pet Shop Boys (41)
29. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (29)
30. When You Were Young - The Killers (17)
31. Good As Gone - Little Big Town (21)
32. So Excited - Janet Jackson (24)
33. Illegal - Shakira (43)
34. World - Five For Fighting (40)
35. Party People - Altar f/Jeanie Tracy (30)
36. She's Everything - Brad Paisley (32)
37. Melt With The Sun - Amber f/Sweet Rains (38)
38. Runaway - Jamiroquai (51)
39. Love Like Winter - AFI (33)
40. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (42)
41. Believe In Us - Joi Cardwell (46)
42. Into The Ocean - Blue October (45)
43. We Ride - Rihanna (44)
44. The Real Thing - Rachel Panay (37)
45. I Go Crazy - D.H.T. (47)
46. Anna-Molly - Incubus (39)
47. Dangerous Power - Gabriel & Dresden (67)
48. Leave The Pieces - The Wreckers (48)
49. One Day My Love - N'Dea Davenport (49)
50. Wind It Up - Gwen Stefani (52)
51. From Yesterday - 30 Seconds To Mars (56)
52. Too Little Too Late - JoJo (36)
53. Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now) - Bob Sinclar (59)
54. Long Trip Alone - Dierks Bentley (64)
55. Say It Right - Nelly Furtado (61)
56. Wasted - Carrie Underwood (69)
57. A Feelin' Like That - Gary Allan (57)
58. Martyr - Depeche Mode (58)
59. Number One In Heaven - Nemesis (66)
60. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (62)
61. Proper Education - Eric Prydz vs. Pink Floyd (72)
62. Red High Heels - Kellie Pickler (50)
63. If Everyone Cared - Nickelback (77)
64. Like A Star - Corinne Bailey Rae (82)
65. I'll Wait For You - Joe Nichols (70)
66. Pain - Three Days Grace (73)
67. Sex N Money - Oakenfold f/Pharrell Williams (83)
68. By The Way - Jenna Drey (68)
69. Bones - The Killers (53)
70. Alyssa Lies - Jason Michael Carroll (74)
71. Here It Goes Again - OK Go (34)
72. It's Not A Scene, It's An Arms Race - Fall Out Boy (94)
73. I Believe - Georgie Porgie (55)
74. The Whistle Song - Frankie Knuckles (65)
75. Boston - Augustana (60)
76. Window In The Skies - U2 (71)
77. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (75)
78. One Wing In The Fire - Trent Tomlinson (78)
79. Rockstar - Nickelback (79)
80. Settlin' - Sugarland (DEBUT)
81. Stars Align - Kaskade (DEBUT)
82. Beer In Mexico - Kenny Chesney (91)
83. Last Dollar (Fly Away) - Tim McGraw (99)
84. By My Side - Flanders (DEBUT)
85. Lay Down - 10 Monkeys f/Abigail (DEBUT)
86. Little Bit Of Life - Craig Morgan (86)
87. Anyway - Martina McBride (88)
88. Lost Yo Mind - Pepper Mashay (63)
89. Look After You - The Fray (DEBUT)
90. Ladies Love Country Boys - Trace Adkins (93)
91. Jump - Madonna (54)
92. All Good Things (Must Come To An End) - Nelly Furtado (97)
93. Gravity - John Mayer (DEBUT)
94. I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab For Cutie (95)
95. Go! - Jupiter Rising (DEBUT)
96. I Need Someone - Ralph Falcon (DEBUT)
97. Set Fire To The Third Bar - Snow Patrol (DEBUT)
98. 'Fore She Was Mama - Clay Walker (98)
99. Hillbilly Deluxe - Brooks & Dunn (DEBUT)
100. I Just Came Back (From A War) - Darryl Worley (100)

And here comes the videos...first the new song by Sugarland, "Settlin'"...



and here's Snow Patrol with Martha Wainwright's "Set Fire To The Third Bar"



Cheers!

It all comes back around....


Well, the Grammy awards were a definite hit and miss. Bigtime hit was the five awards the Dixie Chicks won, including the trifecta of album, record, and song of the year. In addition, they got the best country album and group performance, surprising since country radio is still too chickenshit to play their songs. Yeah, that's why you're failing, country radio. Chickenshit. You heard it. Also Mary J. Blige kicked ass singing last night as well. Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man" was a deserved pop female win, as well as John Mayer's "Waiting On The World To Change" (usually these have of late gone to little-heard songs by the "dinosaurs"). And speaking of dinosaurs, a relevant recording, this time Bob Dylan's "Someday Baby", got best rock vocal, as well as the Red Hot Chili Peppers getting 3 rock Grammys for rock album, song, and group performance. Gnarls Barkley at least got Alternative rock, though they objectively should've gotten record of the year. And Lewis Black won over the comedy album award.

On the flipside, the Fray and Keane were robbed by "My Humps" winning best pop group performance. How an outcome like that could come out I have no clue, other than all the sane people split the votes from three of the other contenders (the Pussycat Dolls had no right even being in this category with "Stickwitu", since only Nicole I-can't-spell-her-name-whatever ws the only voice on the record). Also, did we really need that reality-show cheese on who was gonna sing with Justin Timberlake? I mean, he sang one song already anyways, and it just seemed like promo product live. Tony Bennett got the "give the old geezer a gift" award for pop collaboration for his rehash of "For Once In My Life" with Stevie Wonder, and even though I like Tony, more deserved and original fare like Sheryl Crow & Sting's "Always On Your Side" and Nelly Furtado & Timbaland's "Promiscuous". It was also a shame to see Prince striking out, even with a "comeback" album 3121 and all. And Jersey Boys, the latest in the running-out-of-ideas-so rehash-a-known-commodity Broadway phase, won over Drowsy Chaperone in the cast album category. And the Police? Ho Hum.

That's my rant and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I'll always remember the song they were playing the first time we danced and I knew...

There's a great music blog by Jason Hare, www.Jasonhare.com, which I read religiously. Aside from his weekly flashback to the top-ten music charts of yesteryear, he also writes a weekly column called "Adventures In Mellow Gold". Concurrently reminiscing, dishing, and trashing soft-rock "classics", it's a funny read every time. One of the most recent columns, about Mary MacGregor's "Torn Between Two Lovers", argued the fact that there are few and far between women that would put together the rigth combo of sap and sugar of a mellow-gold nugget, but I'd like to offer a case for Anne Murray's "You Needed Me". Check out these lyrics...

I cried a tear, you wiped it dry
I was confused, you cleared my mind
I sold my soul, you bought it back for me
And held me up and gave me dignity
Somehow you needed me

You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me

And I can't believe it's you
I can't believe it's true
I needed you and you were there
And I'll never leave, why should I leave?
I'd be a fool 'cause I finally found someone who really cares

You held my hand when it was cold
When I was lost you took me home
You gave me hope when I was at the end
And turned my lies back into truth again
You even called me "friend"

You gave me strength to stand alone again
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity
You needed me, you needed me
It has the perfect combination of vulnerability and ballsiness (the "you needed me" and denial parts) that make it mellow gold.

The Best...So Far collects twenty nuggets like this taken from Murray's 25 years of performing in 1993. Containing all of her top-40 hits, it's the perfect way to get the best of her country-pop goodness. Starting with her breakthrough record "Snowbird", a gem in the Olivia Newton-John vein of country. The set is not in any sort of chronological order, but does flow well since her music didn't change much over the years. Highlights are the Loggins/Messina song "Danny's Song" (you'd know it as "even though we ain't got money....everything will bring a chain of love"), the soft-rock "powerballads" (read 70s wedding standards) "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" and "I Just Fall In Love Again", the John Denver-like "A Love Song", "Could I Have This Dance" (from Urban Cowboy), and the forementionned "You Needed Me", a saccharine-sweet song made fragily touching due to Murray's pitch-perfect but just-cracking voice. The only parts of the compilation less strong are the forays into soft-country in the 80s, like "Somebody's Always Saying Goodbye", though even that is done with class and feeling.

Suffice it to say, if you're a fan of female singers like Joni Mitchell, country-rock like Poco, and very commercial soft country like Olivia Newton-John, by all means pick of The Best...So Far. You won't be disappointed at all. And it makes a great CD to play on a romantic dinner (and with Valentine's Day coming up...)

Grade: B+
Best Cuts:
"You Needed Me", "Could I Have This Dance", "Danny's Song", "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do", "A Love Song", "I Just Fall In Love Again", "Could I Have This Dance"
Weakest Link: "Somebody's Always Saying Goodbye"

"Snowbird" hit #8 pop, #10 Country, #1 Adult Contemporary, and #23 in the UK.
"Danny's Song" hit #7 pop, #10 country, and #1 AC.
"Love Song" made #12 pop, #5 country and #1 AC.
"You Won't See Me" made #8 pop and #1 AC.
"You Needed Me" hit #1 pop, #4 country, #3 AC, and #22 in the UK.
"I Just Fall In Love Again hit #12 pop, #1 country, #1 AC, and #58 in the UK.
"Shadows In The Moonlight" made #25 pop, #1 country, and #1 AC.
"Broken Hearted Me" made #12 pop, #1 country, and #1 AC.
"Daydream Believer" hit #12 pop, #3 country, #1 AC, and #61 in the UK.
"Could I Have This Dance" hit #33 pop, #1 country, and #3 AC.
"Blessed Are The Believers" made #34 pop and #1 country.
"Another Sleepless Night" made #44 pop, #4 country, and #11 AC.
"Somebody's Always Saying Goodbye" hit #7 country and #36 AC.
"A Little Good News" hit #74 pop, #1 country, and #11 AC.
"Just Another Woman In Love" made #1 country and #7 AC.
"Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" made #1 country and #10 AC.
"Time Don't Run Out On Me" hit #2 country and #11 AC.
"Now And Forever (You And Me)" hit #92 pop, #1 country, and #7 AC.

To pick up a copy of The Best...So Far, you can go to websites like here and here.

To listen to the classic song "Could I Have This Dance" you can click here to download (Right-click to bring up another window).

And here's the "karoake" video for Murray's "You Needed Me" sung by her. Enjoy.



Bonus....somebody made a very touching montage to go with the song "I Just Fall In Love Again." Couldn't resist.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Twostepcub's music chart for February 6, 2007...

Hey guys and gals it's time again for my tunes of the week, and as always you can click on the highlighted name of any artist to bring up their website for more info, videos, soundbites, etc. This week Justin Timberlake spends a second week at the peak, while Pink (pictured above) moves into the top 3 with the third single from her I'm Not Dead album. Keith Urban, the Pet Shop Boys, Jamiroquai, and Shakira make strong jumps on the chart, while leaving the list are songs by Justin Timberlake, Keane, and the Dixie Chicks (for the third time). Happy Jeffuary! (h/t to my buddy JS, whose birthday is this month)

This Week Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. My Love - Justin Timberlake (1)
2. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (2)
3. U & Ur Hand - Pink (5)
4. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (4)
5. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (3)
6. Moving Too Fast - Supafly, Inc. (7)
7. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (8)
8. Here (In Your Arms) - hellogoodbye (6)
9. How To Save A Life - The Fray (9)
10. Irreplaceable - Beyonce (16)
11. Through Glass - Stone Sour (11)
12. Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (12)
13. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (10)
14. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (17)
15. My, Oh My - The Wreckers (13)
16. Amarillo Sky - Jason Aldean (18)
17. When You Were Young - The Killers (14)
18. It Ends Tonight - All-American Rejects (23)
19. Far Away - Nickelback (19)
20. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (21)
21. Good As Gone - Little Big Town (15)
22. Stupid Boy - Keith Urban (36)
23. Snow (Hey Oh) - Red Hot Chili Peppers (27)
24. So Excited - Janet Jackson (20)
25. Let Love In - Goo Goo Dolls (30)
26. Face Down - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (37)
27. Borderline - Jody Watley (28)
28. Starlight - Muse (39)
29. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (29)
30. Party People - Altar f/Jeanie Tracy (31)
31. Keep Holding On - Avril Lavigne (34)
32. She's Everything - Brad Paisley (25)
33. Love Like Winter - AFI (33)
34. Here It Goes Again - OK Go (22)
35. It's Not Over - Daughtry (43)
36. Too Little Too Late - JoJo (26)
37. The Real Thing - Rachel Panay (38)
38. Melt With The Sun - Amber f/Sweet Rains (41)
39. Anna-Molly - Incubus (40)
40. World - Five For Fighting (42)
41. Minimal - Pet Shop Boys (76)
42. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (49)
43. Illegal - Shakira (70)
44. We Ride - Rihanna (48)
45. Into The Ocean - Blue October (47)
46. Believe In Us - Joi Caldwell (60)
47. I Go Crazy - D.H.T. (58)
48. Leave The Pieces - The Wreckers (50)
49. One Day My Love - N'Dea Davenport (54)
50. Red High Heels - Kellie Pickler (51)
51. Runaway - Jamiroquai (77)
52. Wind It Up - Gwen Stefani (56)
53. Bones - The Killers (53)
54. Jump - Madonna (24)
55. I Believe - Georgie Porgie (32)
56. From Yesterday - 30 Seconds From Mars (62)
57. A Feelin' Like That - Gary Allan (61)
58. Martyr - Depeche Mode (59)
59. Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now) - Bob Sinclar (63)
60. Boston - Augustana (53)
61. Say It Right - Nelly Furtado (65)
62. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (57)
63. Lost Yo Mind - Pepper Mashay (45)
64. Long Trip Alone - Dierks Bentley (73)
65. The Whistle Song (Revisited) - Frankie Knuckles (47)
66. Number One In Heaven - Nemesis (81)
67. Dangerous Power - Gabriel & Dresden (94)
68. By The Way - Jenna Drey (69)
69. Wasted - Carrie Underwood (100)
70. I'll Wait For You - Joe Nichols (74)
71. Window In The Skies - U2 (64)
72. Proper Education - Eric Prydz vs. Pink Floyd (96)
73. Pain - Three Days Grace (89)
74. Alyssa Lies - Jason Michael Carroll (79)
75. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (75)
76. Want To - Sugarland (35)
77. If Everyone Cared - Nickelback (91)
78. One Wing In The Fire - Trent Tomlinson (78)
79. Rockstar - Nickelback (83)
80. Ring The Alarm - Beyonce (67)
81. Everlasting Love - GTS f/Mink (66)
82. Like A Star - Corinne Bailey Rae (95)
83. Sex N Money - Oakenfold f/Pharrell Williams (97)
84. Love's The Only Drug - Ultra Nate (68)
85. My Wish - Rascal Flatts (55)
86. A Little Bit Of Life - Craig Morgan (86)
87. Mandolin Moon - Sister Hazel (85)
88. Anyway - Martina McBride (88)
89. Save A Place On The Dancefloor For Me - Dawn Tallman (72)
90. Maneater - Nelly Furtado (71)
91. Beer In Mexico - Kenny Chesney (98)
92. Call Me When You're Sober - Evanescence (44)
93. Ladies Love Country Boys - Trace Adkins (93)
94. This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race - Fall Out Boy (DEBUT)
95. I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab For Cutie (DEBUT)
96. Tim McGraw - Taylor Swift (92)
97. All Good Things (Must Come To An End) - Nelly Furtado (DEBUT)
98. 'Fore She Was Mama - Clay Walker (DEBUT)
99. Last Dollar (Fly Away) - Tim McGraw (DEBUT)
100. I Just Came Back (From A War) - Darryl Worley (Re-Entry)

And for a bonus here's the video for the song "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" by Death Cab For Cutie....



And here's the video for the song "This Ain't A Scene It's An Arms Race" by Fall Out Boy...



and finally here's Nelly Furtado's "All Good Things", one of her three songs on here.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I keep looking for something I can't get, broken hearts lie all around me...

Even for those alive in 1987 who forget Cutting Crew can sing along to the chorus of "I just dye-yeeed in your arms tonight". That song was ubiquitous to that year's progression from new wave greatness to pop-rock drivel. However, the band's Broadcast album was a little of an overlooked gem. Coming from the crossroads of big-sounding rock like Bryan Adams-land and new wave-ish fey-ness like the Icicle Works, the album actually sounds less dated than similar albums released around the time (Honeymoon Suite, anyone?).

"Any Colour" is a good opening anthem, with busy guitars and synths overlaying a soaring theme of love found. After that comes two of the hit singles, the bizarrely cool "One For The Mockingbird", which pulls the mid-80's "somehow I'm on some kind of adventure song", and the by-numbers ballad "I've Been In Love Before", which sound good as long as you don't pay too much attention to the almost-banal lyrics. "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" of course is the highlight of the record, with its catchy hook and cool tone. And remarkably most of the non-single tracks being just as listenable, save for a couple passover tracks near the end. For 80s music fans, seeking Broadcast out is worth it.

Grade: B-
Best Cuts:
"(I Just) Died In Your Arms", "One For The Mockingbird"
Weakest Links: "Sahara", "It Shouldn't Take Long"

Broadcast hit #16 pop albums in the US and #41 in the UK.
"(I Just) Died In Your Arms" hit #1 pop, #37 dance club play, #4 mainstream rock, #29 adult contemporary, and #4 in the UK.
"One For The Mockingbird" hit #38 pop, #29 mainstream rock, and #52 in the UK.
"I've Been In Love Before" made #9 pop, #2 adult contemporary, and #24 in the UK.

.
And here's the video for "(I Just) Died In Your Arms"...

A little perspective....


Yeah, I'm bummed Da Bears lost. Grossman was way responsible for the flubs, having a much poorer handle on the rainy turf than Manning. And the Colts are much better at protecting their quarterback on the rush. However, Grrrlacher tried his best on defense.

However all is moot after reading columns like this one and this one about openly gay high-school quarterback Anthony Castro, who died in a car accident in January. His story is really memorable. Able to step to the plate from fullback to quarterback while dealing with harrassment and being kicked out by his mother, this is a profile in courage.

"I was too scared to come out when I was in high school," says Mariscal, who was driving the truck in the accident. "There were no gay people when I was there, and it is very tough to be openly gay outside of school because we live in such a small town. But if there's one thing that Anthony taught me, it's to stop being afraid.

"I loved him very much. He changed my life, and I'll never be the same without him."

Neither will Banning High.

Takacs said that there are now 10 openly gay students at the school that he is aware of and that the community is a lot more tolerant.

"Anthony changed a lot of people's attitudes about gay people by simply having the strength to follow his heart," Takacs said.

May he always be remembered.

(hat tip to the venerable JoeMyGod for putting me on to this)

At least I won the party pool...


Why? Why? Why?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

We're not here to start no trouble....

You know I couldn't resist. And yes, I know it's bad. Super bad. How it got nominated for a Grammy all I could say is that it was the coke years. I'll be all decked out in my Urlacher jersey tomorrow. Da Bears!

Ooh and if he asks me some questions, well, I don't tell him lies and I don't have the need for alibis...


When it comes to Fleetwood Mac, as much as I like Stevie and Lindsey, I'm a Christine boy at heart. I always was more drawn to her sweet-yet-fragile songs like "Say You Love Me" and "You Make Loving Fun". And 1982's Mirage album featured McVie's "Hold Me" as the big single. Which makes Christine McVie's 1984 solo venture Christine McVie a familiar affair. "Hold Me" would've fit quite nicely on it, though it would've been the most esoteric cut on the album. This album is square in the mainstream fold, with "Love Will Show Us How" and "The Challenge" recalling hooks lifted from Mirage. "One In A Million" features Steve Winwood, which made me relisten to the album and think, this really is a lighter Back In The Highlife, with this song being the "Freedom Overspill" of the album, with the tight bass guitar hook, while "Ask Anybody" is her "Back In The Highlife Again". "Got A Hold On Me" of course would be the ultra-mellow version of "Higher Love", and it did deserve making the top 10. There's a lot of "filler" songs in between written by various band members, though thankfully mcVie's own "The Smile I Live For" comes at the end a sweet reminder of her sad ballads from the Mac albums. Christine McVie is a "nice" album, though not as notable as those of her bandmates in the Mac.


Grade: C+
Best Cuts:
"Got A Hold On Me", "Love Will Show Us How"
Weakest Links: "I'm The One", "So Excited"

Christine McVie hit #26 on the pop albums chart in the US and #58 in the UK.
"Got A Hold On Me" hit #10 pop and #1 adult contemporary.
"Love Will Show Us How" made #34 pop.

You can pick up a copy of Christine McVie at sites like here and here.

To listen to the track "The Smile I Live For" you can download by clicking here (right-click to bring it up in another window).

And here's the totally 80's video for the song "Love Will Show Us How". Enjoy.