Saturday, March 31, 2007

Twostepcub's music chart for March 30, 2007....


Hey folks, it's time for my tunes for the week. This week, British band Muse make the top spot with the third single from their latest album, while Chris Daughtry (pictured above) moves into the top-5. Nickelback & Rob Thomas leave the list, while Gwen Stefani, Delerium, and Inaya Day make big jumps. Giddyup, cowboy!

This Week Song/Artist (Last week's position in parentheses)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Starlight - Muse (2)
2. Stupid Boy - Keith Urban (1)
3. Runaway - Jamiroquai (5)
4. This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race - Fall Out Boy (6)
5. It's Not Over - Daughtry (7)
6. Settlin' - Sugarland (8)
7. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (3)
8. Irreplaceable - Beyonce (4)
9. What Comes Around...Goes Around - Justin Timberlake (17)
10. Say It Right - Nelly Furtado (14)
11. U & Ur Hand - Pink (9)
12. Here (In Your Arms) - hellogoodbye (10)
13. Keep Holding On - Avril Lavigne (15)
14. Long Trip Alone - Dierks Bentley (18)
15. How To Save A Life - The Fray (11)
16. Minimal - Pet Shop Boys (12)
17. The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani f/Akon (31)
18. Into The Ocean - Blue October (19)
19. Snow ((Hey Oh)) - Red Hot Chili Peppers (13)
20. World - Five For Fighting (20)
21. Wasted - Carrie Underwood (25)
22. Proper Education - Eric Prydz vs. Pink Floyd (23)
23. Grace Kelly - Mika (27)
24. It Ends Tonight - All-American Rejects (16)
25. And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going - Jennifer Hudson (33)
26. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (22)
27. Stars Align - Kaskade (29)
28. And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going - Jennifer Holliday f/Rosabel (28)
29. Love Me Or Hate Me (F*ck You) - Lady Sovereign (38)
30. Last Dollar (Fly Away) - Tim McGraw (34)
31. By The Way - Jenna Drey (39)
32. From Yesterday - 30 Seconds To Mars (32)
33. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (26)
34. It's Just Sex - Billie Myers (35)
35. By My Side - Flanders (36)
36. Gravity - John Mayer (44)
37. Stand - Rascal Flatts (41)
38. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (30)
39. Dangerous Power - Gabriel & Dresden (24)
40. Good Directions - Billy Currington (47)
41. A Feelin' Like That - Gary Allan (43)
42. Look After You - The Fray (46)
43. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks (50)
44. Read My Mind - The Killers (51)
45. Angelicus - Delerium (58)
46. Beer In Mexico - Kenny Chesney (48)
47. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (53)
48. If Everyone Cared - Nickelback (52)
49. A Woman's Love - Alan Jackson (54)
50. Dashboard - Modest Mouse (59)
51. Don't Make Me - Blake Shelton (62)
52. Lay Down - 10 Monkeys f/Abigail (49)
53. New Shoes - Paolo Nutini (55)
54. Sex N Money - Oakenfold f/Pharrell Williams (42)
55. Pain - Three Days Grace (56)
56. U Spin Me - Inaya Day (70)
57. Face Down - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (37)
58. Famous Last Words - My Chemical Romance (66)
59. I'll Wait For You - Joe Nichols (60)
60. Discotech - Young Love (77)
61. Little Wonders - Rob Thomas (71)
62. Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now) - Bob Sinclar (45)
63. Colorful - Rocco DeLucca & The Burden (73)
64. Anyway - Martina McBride (67)
65. Leave The Pieces - The Wreckers (65)
66. High Maintenance Woman - Toby Keith (72)
67. I Need Someone - Ralph Falcon (68)
68. You Are Why - Dawn Tallman (82)
69. Pump - Chris "The Greek" Panaghi (74)
70. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (40)
71. Believe In Us - Joi Cardwell (64)
72. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (61)
73. Embrace Me - Leana (96)
74. Illegal - Shakira (57)
75. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (75)
76. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (21)
77. Cupid's Chokehold - Gym Class Heroes (89)
78. Dixie Lullaby - Pat Green (86)
79. My Love - Justin Timberlake (63)
80. Fidelity - Regina Spektor (81)
81. Ladies Love Country Boys - Trace Adkins (80)
82. Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs (99)
83. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (83)
84. Moments - Emerson Drive (95)
85. Hillbilly Deluxe - Brooks & Dunn (85)
86. Number One In Heaven - Nemesis (69)
87. Me & God - Josh Turner (93)
88. Lips Of An Angel - Jack Ingram (90)
89. Stolen - Dashboard Confessional (90)
90. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (88)
91. Over It - Katherine McPhee (DEBUT)
92. The Creeps - Camille Jones (DEBUT)
93. Rise - Samantha James (DEBUT)
94. Smile - Lily Allen (DEBUT)
95. Survivalism - Nine Inch Nails (DEBUT)
96. Better Than Me - Hinder (100)
97. Martyr - Depeche Mode (97)
98. Startin' With Me - Jake Owen (DEBUT)
99. Isn't That Everything - Danielle Peck (DEBUT)
100. Find Out Who Your Friends Are - Tracy Lawrence (DEBUT)

Veteran country singer Tracy Lawrence returns with his new song "Find Out Who Your Friends Are"....



Meanwhile, Danielle Peck puts her third song from her debut album on the chart, with "Isn't That Everything"...



On the other end of the prism Nine Inch Nails returns to the list with "Survivalism"...



Lily Allen debuts with a huge hit from England, "Smile"...



Samantha James' song "Rise" also debuts; it didn't have a video I found, but I found a cool youtube "tribute" video...



Camille Jones reenters the chart with the song "The Creeps", now remixed by Dutch DJ Fedde Le Grand.



...and the highest debut is American Idol's Katherine McPhee with her song "Over It".



Cheers!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Come on baby, why don't you show some class, why we gotta move so fast...

There are songs you have no idea how they get popular, then you realise they're stuck in your brain like a tumor. Behold.


Jermaine Stewart started out as a dancer on Soul Train and tried out for the lead in Shalamar along ST vets Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniels. Alas, not to be. Fast forward to Stewart singing backup on Culture Club's Colour By Numbers album, which apparently gave him enough clout for a record deal with Arista. After a first album produced a minor R&B and pop hit ("The Word Is Out"), Stewart's second album, Frantic Romantic surprised most by producing the top-5 song "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" courtesy of hitmaker-of-the-time Narada Michael Walden. I remember the big talk being about the supposed "safe-sex" message, completely missing the fact that this is being sung by the prissiest guy this side of Boy George (in fact George seems to outbutch him). Doesn't take away the geniune fun of the song considering the lyrics are about slowing things down. The rest of his album runs from the dated R&B in Walden's repetoire (songs like "Dancefloor" and "Don't Ever Leave Me") to the embarassing (the obvious double-entendre "Versatile" and suckup ode to Ms Watley in "Jody"). But the nadir comes in the track "Out To Punish", which is somehow trying to cast Jermaine into some sort of "leather daddy". This guy.


This is complete with him asking for his "whip" and some hired female moaning in the background. OMFG.  (Right-click to bring it up in another window). Not that I'm the most masculine guy on the planet, but come on. I know it's sad (and kind of ironic) that Stewart passed from AIDS in 1997. A rarity CD now, unfortunately for his upbeat voice and earnestness, doesn't quite live up to expectations. Get the "We Don't Have To.." on any compilation you can find, though, if you can.

Grade: D+
Best Cut:
"We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off"
Weakest Link: "Out To Punish"

Frantic Romantic hit #34 pop albums and #31 R&B albums in the US, and #49 in the UK.
"We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off" hit #5 pop singles, #41 dance club, #64 R&B and #2 in the UK.
"Jody" made #42 pop, #18 R&B, #9 dance club, and #50 in the UK.
"Dancefloor" hit #9 dance club as the flip to "Jody".


If you'd like to pick up a copy of Frantic Romantic, you can find it at websites like here and here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Weblink of the week....


Jasonhare.com
each week has cool music-geek features like "Adventures In Mellow Gold" dissecting soft-rock classics, and "Chart Attack" which reminisces about the top 10 of a particular week.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Twostepcub's music chart for March 23, 2007...


It's that time again, my tunes of the week (now I'm even early for Friday's list. Who knew?). As always you can click on any highlighted artist name to go to their website (it's better to rightclick to bring up another window or tab, but whatever). This week Keith Urban spends a second week in the top spot, while Fall Out Boy (pictured above) catapult into the top-10. DHT, Stone Sour, Goo Goo Dolls, Amber, Jody Watley, and Rachel Panay all have songs falling off the list, while Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, the Dixie Chicks, and Modest Mouse make some of the biggest moves. Lying in bed with the radio on moonlight falls like rain...

This Week Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Stupid Boy - Keith Urban (1)
2. Starlight - Muse (3)
3. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (4)
4. Irreplaceable - Beyonce (2)
5. Runaway - Jamiroquai (6)
6. This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race - Fall Out Boy (16)
7. It's Not Over - Daughtry (9)
8. Settlin' - Sugarland (14)
9. U & Ur Hand - Pink (7)
10. Here (In Your Arms) - hellogoodbye (10)
11. How To Save A Life - The Fray (11)
12. Minimal - Pet Shop Boys (13)
13. Snow ((Hey Oh)) - Red Hot Chili Peppers (8)
14. Say It Right - Nelly Furtado (19)
15. Keep Holding On - Avril Lavigne (17)
16. It Ends Tonight - All-American Rejects (12)
17. What Comes Around...Goes Around - Justin Timberlake (28)
18. Long Trip Alone - Dierks Bentley (20)
19. Into The Ocean - Blue October (23)
20. World - Five For Fighting (22)
21. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (5)
22. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (15)
23. Proper Education - Eric Prydz vs. Pink Floyd (25)
24. Dangerous Power - Gabriel & Dresden (18)
25. Wasted - Carrie Underwood (31)
26. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (24)
27. Grace Kelly - Mika (34)
28. And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going - Jennifer Holliday f/Rosabel (29)
29. Stars Align - Kaskade (30)
30. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (26)
31. The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani f/Akon (46)
32. From Yesterday - 30 Seconds To Mars (32)
33. And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going - Jennifer Hudson (40)
34. Last Dollar (Fly Away) - Tim McGraw (38)
35. It's Just Sex - Billie Myers (37)
36. By My Side - Flanders (39)
37. Face Down - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (21)
38. Love Me Or Hate Me (F*ck You) - Lady Sovereign (50)
39. By The Way - Jenna Drey (43)
40. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (27)
41. Stand - Rascal Flatts (47)
42. Sex N Money - Oakenfold f/Pharrell Williams (44)
43. A Feelin' Like That - Gary Allan (45)
44. Gravity - John Mayer (51)
45. Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now) - Bob Sinclar (35)
46. Look After You - The Fray (54)
47. Good Directions - Billy Currington (57)
48. Beer In Mexico - Kenny Chesney (55)
49. Lay Down - 10 Monkeys f/Abigail (49)
50. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks (63)
51. Read My Mind - The Killers (60)
52. If Everyone Cared - Nickelback (52)
53. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (53)
54. A Woman's Love - Alan Jackson (61)
55. New Shoes - Paolo Nutini (66)
56. Pain - Three Days Grace (56)
57. Illegal - Shakira (33)
58. Angelicus - Delerium (72)
59. Dashboard - Modest Mouse (70)
60. I'll Wait For You - Joe Nichols (62)
61. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (36)
62. Don't Make Me - Blake Shelton (75)
63. My Love - Justin Timberlake (41)
64. Believe In Us - Joi Cardwell (58)
65. Leave The Pieces - The Wreckers (65)
66. Famous Last Words - My Chemical Romance (85)
67. Anyway - Martina McBride (74)
68. I Need Someone - Ralph Falcon (71)
69. Number One In Heaven - Nemesis (64)
70. U Spin Me - Inaya Day (96)
71. Little Wonders - Rob Thomas (84)
72. High Maintenance Woman - Toby Keith (92)
73. Colorful - Rocco DeLucca & The Burden (90)
74. Pump - Chris "The Greek" Panaghi (97)
75. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (79)
76. Like A Star - Corinne Bailey Rae (48)
77. Discotech - Young Love (DEBUT)
78. Alyssa Lies - Jason Michael Carroll (67)
79. Far Away - Nickelback (42)
80. Ladies Love Country Boys - Trace Adkins (82)
81. Fidelity - Regina Spektor (86)
82. You Are Why - Dawn Tallman (DEBUT)
83. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (78)
84. We Ride - Rihanna (73)
85. Hillbilly Deluxe - Brooks & Dunn (89)
86. Dixie Lullaby - Pat Green (98)
87. Wind It Up - Gwen Stefani (68)
88. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (88)
89. Cupid's Chokehold - Gym Class Heroes (DEBUT)
90. Stolen - Dashboard Confessional (95)
91. Lips Of An Angel - Jack Ingram (93)
92. Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (59)
93. Me & God - Josh Turner (100)
94. One Day My Love - N'Dea Davenport (69)
95. Moments - Emerson Drive (99)
96. Embrace Me - Leana (DEBUT)
97. Martyr - Depeche Mode (91)
98. Catch You - Sophie Ellis-Bextor (DEBUT)
99. Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs (DEBUT)
100. Better Than Me - Hinder (DEBUT)

This week, Hinder puts a second song in the lower regions of the list. They had a contest for the video for "Better Than Me". Here's a good entry...



The English rock band Kaiser Chiefs return with a great new track, "Ruby"...



Fellow Brit Sophie Ellis-Bextor also comes on with "Catch You"...



Gym Class Heroes (with the help of Fall Out Boy Patrick Stump) channel Supertramp's "Breakfast In America" with "Cupid's Chokehold"...



And one-man band Young Love has the highest debut with "Discotech"...



and my "Bubbling Under" clip of the week...Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good" (another British singer no less!)



Cheers!

The sun was spittin fire, the sky was cold as ice, I felt a little tired, so I watched Miami Vice...


In the world of 80s pop-soul, there were weird acts, mostly for the way they dressed more than their cookie-cutter music that prevailed in that decade. Nobody with tunes as weird as Was (Not Was) had any chance of making any success. Who knew. On their third album, the collective masterminded by non-relatives David (Weiss) Was and Don (Fagenson) Was scored with three charting songs, with two hitting the top-20 in 1988. What Up, Dog? frames those three with a hodgepodge of experiments that would pretty much shock anyone expecting an album full of glossy R&B. "Somewhere In America There's A Street Named After My Dad" is a strange enough beginning to the set, not so much for the long title but for the laidback jazz groove. It would've made a good middle interlude to the album, but somehow was pushed in front. Next comes "Spy In The House Of Love", which is miles above the rest of the album in quality, with it's Brit-soul-like production of rubbery keyboard-bass and subtle backing vocals. The lyrics are a really scary prospect ("I'll read your mail, I'll tap your phone, I'm on your trail, you're never alone") but the production sounds so clean and suave that it glosses you over, and even seduces you with it. The album then ambles into art-soul (a new genre?) category, though it really is a hard listen, with toss-offs like the simpleton remake of their 1981 club song "Out Come The Freaks" (pretty much most dance music from 1981 sucked), and the weird JFK assassination piece "11 MPH". Stuck in the middle is the passable pop number "Anything Can Happen", then a couple more tripouts (including a cameo by an annoying Frank Sinatra Jr.). The latter part of the CD picks up a bit, with the campy doo-wop "Anytime Lisa", the by-the-numbers remake of Otis Redding's "I Can't Turn You Loose" that won't make you forget the original, and the somewhat interesting Elvis Costello co-write "Shadow & Jimmy". And of course there's "Walk The Dinosaur". I remember the whispers that the song was really about "taking care of your own business", if you know what I mean. Actually, I sort of just consider it just another silly sendup of a past genre, this time the dance-song (think "The Twist" and "Mashed Potatoes"). However, put in a much more conventional arrangement, it works better than the other novelty numbers on here, and surprisingly gave the group it's only top-10 appearance. However, as jarringly slow as this album started, it ends with the screechingly unlistenable "Dad I'm In Jail", which maybe was tacked on for some sort of bookend with the father theme of "Somewhere In America...". Hired hand singers "Sweet Pea" Atkinson and "Sir" Harry Bowens each have a great distinctive and complimentary voice to each other, but they seems to be often wasted in the crazy lyrics and overproduction. Since then Don Weiss kept the pseudonym to go on to better recognition as a producer, most notably with Bonnie Raitt (Nick Of Time) and the B-52's (Cosmic Thing). And as a group, the band had one more album (the midchart hit Are You Okay?) before disintegrating, so a best of really mostly consists of the couple of songs on here. Since neither of the two songs are anthologized much (especially "Spy...") it my be worth searching this out, if only to rip a couple of tunes from it. Or get the hard-to-find Dad, I'm In Jail compilation, with all their hits though an extended version of "Walk The Dinosaur".

Grade: D+
Best Cuts:
"Spy In The House Of Love"
Weakest Links: "Dad, I'm In Jail", "11 MPH", "Earth To Doris", "What Up, Dog", etc...

What Up, Dog? hit #43 on the Pop albums chart in the US and #47 in the UK.
"Spy In The House Of Love" hit #16 pop singles, #1 dance club play, #77 R&B, and #21 in the UK.
"Walk The Dinosaur" made #7 pop, #11 dance club, #30 modern rock, & #10 in the UK.
"Out Comes The Freaks" (the remake) hit #44 in the UK.
"Anything Can Happen" made #75 pop, #19 dance club, and #67 in the UK.

You can pick up a copy of What Up, Dog? at websites like here and here.

To listen to the "New York Dangerous" remix of "Walk The Dinosaur", you can click here to download (right-click to being up another window).

And here's the clip from the album's highlight, "Spy In The House Of Love" (of course recorded from Night Tracks, ah do I remember that show)... enjoy.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Crazy video of the week....


I'm spending the weekend cleaning the house, but came across this while snacking (don't ask me how, youtube has some weird suggestions. All I know is, it's one half OMG and one half WTF. Apparently according to Wikipedia, this guy is huge in Bulgaria. Imagine.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Twostepcub's music chart for March 16, 2007...

Hey boys and girls, it's time for the weekly music, now on Fridays for real this time. This week, newly-rehabilitated Keith Urban makes #1 with his second single from Love, Pain, and the Whole Crazy Thing, while Jamiroquai (pictured above) makes a big jump into the top 10. Jennifer Hudson, Gwen Stefani, Lady Sovereign, Alan Jackson, and Paolo Nutini make big moves, while Supafly, Inc., Brad Paisley, Incubus, and Janet Jackson leave the list. C143SB, baby!

This Week Song/Artist (last weeks position in parentheses)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Stupid Boy - Keith Urban (3)
2. Irreplaceable - Beyonce (2)
3. Starlight - Muse (6)
4. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol (4)
5. It Just Comes Natural - George Strait (1)
6. Runaway - Jamiroquai (12)
7. U & Ur Hand - Pink (5)
8. Snow (Hey Oh) - Red Hot Chili Peppers (7)
9. It's Not Over - Daughtry (11)
10. Here (In Your Arms) - hellogoodbye (8)
11. How To Save A Life - The Fray (9)
12. It Ends Tonight - All-American Rejects (10)
13. Minimal - Pet Shop Boys (13)
14. Settlin' - Sugarland (19)
15. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall (15)
16. This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race - Fall Out Boy (22)
17. Keep Holding On - Avril Lavigne (17)
18. Dangerous Power - Gabriel & Dresden (18)
19. Say It Right - Nelly Furtado (20)
20. Long Trip Alone - Dierks Bentley (23)
21. Face Down - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (14)
22. World - Five For Fighting (24)
23. Into The Ocean - Blue October (25)
24. Welcome To The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance (16)
25. Proper Education - Eric Prydz vs. Pink Floyd (26)
26. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer (27)
27. Watching You - Rodney Atkins (21)
28. What Comes Around...Goes Around - Justin Timberlake (38)
29. And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going - Jennifer Holiday f/Rosabel (39)
30. Stars Align - Kaskade (34)
31. Wasted - Carrie Underwood (37)
32. From Yesterday - 30 Seconds To Mars (32)
33. Illegal - Shakira (28)
34. Grace Kelly - Mika (41)
35. Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now) - Bob Sinclar (35)
36. Hurt - Christina Aguilera (30)
37. It's Just Sex - Billie Myers (42)
38. Last Dollar (Fly Away) - Tim McGraw (45)
39. By My Side - Flanders (43)
40. And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going - Jennifer Hudson (82)
41. My Love - Justin Timberlake (29)
42. Far Away - Nickelback (31)
43. By The Way - Jenna Drey (47)
44. Sex N Money - Oakenfold f/Pharrell Williams (44)
45. A Feelin' Like That - Gary Allan (46)
46. The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani f/Akon (71)
47. Stand - Rascal Flatts (54)
48. Like A Star - Corinne Bailey Rae (48)
49. Lay Down - 10 Monkeys f/Abigail (51)
50. Love Me Or Hate Me (F*ck You) - Lady Sovereign (80)
51. Gravity - John Mayer (59)
52. If Everyone Cared - Nickelback (52)
53. Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood (53)
54. Look After You - The Fray (60)
55. Beer In Mexico - Kenny Chesney (61)
56. Pain - Three Days Grace (58)
57. Good Directions - Billy Currington (68)
58. Believe In Us - Joi Cardwell (50)
59. Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas (33)
60. Read My Mind - The Killers (70)
61. A Woman's Love - Alan Jackson (74)
62. I'll Wait For You - Joe Nichols (63)
63. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks (75)
64. Number One In Heaven - Nemesis (56)
65. Leave The Pieces - The Wreckers (64)
66. New Shoes - Paolo Nutini (89)
67. Alyssa Lies - Jason Michael Carroll (67)
68. Wind It Up - Gwen Stefani (49)
69. One Day My Love - N'Dea Davenport (57)
70. Dashboard - Modest Mouse (79)
71. I Need Someone - Ralph Falcon (73)
72. Angelicus - Delerium (85)
73. We Ride - Rihanna (65)
74. Anyway - Martina McBride (77)
75. Don't Make Me - Blake Shelton (96)
76. I Go Crazy - D.H.T. (36)
77. Through Glass - Stone Sour (40)
78. Nothing Left To Lose - Mat Kearney (66)
79. You'll Always Be My Baby - Sara Evans (76)
80. Let Love In - Goo Goo Dolls (69)
81. Melt With The Sun - Amber (55)
82. Ladies Love Country Boys - Trace Adkins (84)
83. A Little Bit Of Life - Craig Morgan (72)
84. Little Wonders - Rob Thomas (90)
85. Famous Last Words - My Chemical Romance (94)
86. Fidelity - Regina Spektor (99)
87. Borderline - Jody Watley (62)
88. Lips Of An Angel - Hinder (81)
89. Hillbilly Deluxe - Brooks & Dunn (91)
90. Colorful - Rocco DeLucca & The Burden (95)
91. Martyr - Depeche Mode (86)
92. High Maintenance Woman - Toby Keith (100)
93. Lips Of An Angel - Jack Ingram (98)
94. The Real Thing - Rachel Panay (87)
95. Stolen - Dashboard Confessional (97)
96. U Spin Me - Inaya Day (DEBUT)
97. Pump - Chris "The Greek" Panaghi (DEBUT)
98. Dixie Lullaby - Pat Green (DEBUT)
99. Moments - Emerson Drive (DEBUT)
100. Me & God - Josh Turner (DEBUT)

And Here's the video for Emerson Drive's "Moments", debuting this week...

She's right here behind the glass, you're gonna like her cuz she's got class


There are bands that I thought were way cooler than they actually were. Take the Tubes. The first I can remember them, they had a proto-new wave-ish song called "Talk To Ya Later" which combined American crunchy guitar riffs with neo-keyboard solos taken from a Halloween show. It came together with some throw-off kiss-off lines to make a pop nugget that has aged much better than the majority of American rock in 1981. That was followed two years later by "She's A Beauty", which catapulted them into the pop top-10 and provided me with hairbrush lipsyncing bliss for weeks. Basically a song built from a hundred hooks, it was at the time a rock masterpiece in my ninth-grade eyes. Little did I know both those songs are the product of a fledgling producer names David Foster, who would go on to curse/bless the world with the likes of Celine Dion and pussy-era Chicago.These two songs anchor EMI-Capitol's The Best Of The Tubes 1981-1987, which collect 10 songs from 2 albums with a stray promo track. Six of these songs are from 1981's Completion Backward Principle, and aside from "Talk..." and the top-40 ballad "Don't Want To Wait Anymore" (which definitely sounds like Bill Champlin with aforementionned Chicago more than the Tubes, since second-lead Bill Spooner is singing), the other tracks are definitely movie-soundtrack background-music fodder. Three songs are taken from their biggest hit album, and #18 Outside Inside, with "She's A Beauty" and the equally white-boy-funky "Tip Of My Tongue" (think an American ABC) standing miles above the karoake cover of Major Lance's "Monkey Time". The final track, "Sports Fans", is an unlistenable products apparently meant for segueing into am-sports radio shows. The band actually was actually putting out workingman pop since 1975, and it would've been nice to include some of their older material from A&M (like the fab "White Punks On Dope" instead of most of this. For a listen to that, check out their 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection set. Also there's no excuse to at least include a track or two from their third Capitol album, Love Bomb, being produced by power-pop god Todd Rundgren, and him not totally sucking, and them getting a single on the charts from it and all. Oh well. For the budget price, The Best Of The Tubes 1981-1987 does deliver 4 classic power-pop songs, though you'll find yourself skipping through everything else.

Grade: C-
Best Cuts:
"She's A Beauty", "Talk To Ya Later"
Weakest Links: "Sports Fans", "Sushi Girl"

"Talk To Ya Later" hit #7 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
"Don't Want To Wait Anymore" hit #35 pop, #22 rock, and #60 in the UK.
"She's A Beauty" made #10 pop, #1 rock, and #79 in the UK.
"Tip Of My Tongue" made #52 pop.
"Monkey Time" hit #68 pop and #16 rock.

You can pick up a copy of The Best Of The Tubes 1981-1987, you can go to sites like here and here.

To listen to the song "Tip Of My Tongue" you can click here to download (right-click to bring up another window).

And here's a clip of them in 2001 doing "She's A Beauty", which actually does it justice so many years and live as well later...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Twostepcub's Music Chart for March 10, 2006...


Well, it started with the best of intentions... due to my schedule I was gonna change my chart date to Friday, making it easier to put on here. However due to some bad (work) and really good (you know) distractions, it's a little late. Apologies and all that. This week George Strait remains on top for a second week, while English band Muse (pictured above) moves up in the top-10 with their third single from their latest album. Jason Aldean, Altar, AFI, The Killers, Little Big Town, and the Wreckers (with their newer of 2 singles, even) fall off the chart, while Fall Out Boy, Justin Timberlake, Mika, and The Killers make big jumps. And after the Oscar buzz, the Dixie Chicks returns for a fourth time. It just comes natural, baby...

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

Now last week, there were two versions of "Lips Of An Angel" on the chart. This week, they're still on, and by coincidence another song puts two different versions on here. Jennifer Holiday's 2001 version of "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" with Rosabel is at #39, while Dreamgirls the movie star Jennifer Hudson debuts with her version at #82. There's no video on youtube, but of course that song is rife for the lipsyncing phenom, and this one is pretty much the best.



In case you didn't see, here's the Dixie Chicks from the Grammys with "Not Ready To Make Nice" which reenters for the third time this week.



and Lady Sovereign's "Love Me Or Hate Me" debuts, and here's the cool clip...



Scottish singer Paolo Nutini (I know, that sounds so Scottish) comes on with "New Shoes"...here's a peek.



My Chemcal Romance's followup to the #1 "Welcome To The Black Parade", "Famous Last Words", debuts, and here's the video..



Emo fave Dashboard Confessional comes to the chart with "Stolen"...



Blake Shelton's new song "Don't Make Me" debuts at 96.



Regina Spektor's "Fidelity" has been bubbling around for awhile, and finally makes it onto my chart.



and finally the (very crudely copied) video for Toby Keith's "High Maintenance Woman".



g'day!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Like a tide at its ebb, I'm at peace in the web of your arms...


Without the Righteous Brothers, there would be no room for white guys to be seen as legitimately soulful singers. In the age where artists like Pat Boone and the like made sterile the best of the soul acts of the fifties and early sixties, Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley brought the true soul goods. A true 2-lead-singer duo, with each as distinct from each other as Lennon and McCartney, in a very short time generated a handful of classics still lauded as among the best singles in the rock era. However, that candle burned brightly but quickly; the pair's best work was within a year and a half's time. After that, scattered collections attempted to collect portions of their work, with only the recent Gold album truly capturing the best of the groups early and revival periods. I picked up a couple older CD's recently by them, one that was once the definitive hits set, the other a toss-off of their 70s material.

The Very Best Of The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody is a short but sweet collection of their 65-66 period, with all of their top-40 hits of that time on here. Four of the most memorable are produced by the legendary (and now insane) Phil Spector, and also appear on his classic compilation Back To Mono, however here they appear in the stereo mix apparently instead of the original versions. They include the pinnacle of their career, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", which isn't just the highlight of their work, but is one of the cornerstones of popular music, period. The interplay between Medley and Hatfield flows so seemlessly you forget that it's two men singing (possibly to another woman, the same woman, each other?). And the different patterns in the song (which I feel greatfully influenced Brian Wilson's best Beach Boy work) make the song seem endless, as well as timeless. "Unchained Melody" unexpectedly eclipsed the former song in notoriety because of it's inclusion in the movie Ghost, however removed from the overexposure that film provided in 1990, it soars above any pop ballad of that time. With only a few lyrics and no mention of the title anywhere in the song, "Unchained" trascends the "slow dance" song with Hatfield commanding a building crescendo of longing and hope. "You're My Soul And Inspiration", the best-known non-Spector single, still is obviously inspired by his production, building on the "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" pattern, though bringing the goods in the hook and feelin' department, and for once has a believeable spoken-word interlude. These three songs provide the 1-2-3 knockout punch which start off the collection. The ability for the group to not conform to the normal pop-song pattern are evident in intricate numbers like "Ebb Tide", with its oblique chord-changes and poetic lyrics, and "For Once In My Life", which shows their power in blending their voices for a more dramatic effect. The "Brothers" also proved they can tackle a standard with their version of "White Cliffs Of Dover", a minor hit in England, without getting stale. The second half of the set has their lesser hits, with "He" and "Hung On You" just as good as the top-10 material. "Little Latin Lupe Lu", while being more fluffy, does belong here as their kickoff single, and "See That Girl" is an interesting album cut, though that could've been replaced by one of their other minor hits of the time (you can get almost all their hits now on the Gold collection). The other two songs, "Go Ahead And Cry" and "On This Side Of Goodbye", are good straightforward pop exercises. In being short but (bitter)sweet, The Very Best Of The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody provides the best brief introduction to the band in terms of song selection. To the audiophile, the stereo mixes are just a small notch down from the intended mono mixes, but that's up to you to decide.

Grade: A-
Best Cuts:
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", "Unchained Melody", "(You're My) Soul & Inspiration", "Ebb Tide", "Just Once In My Life", "The White Cliffs Of Dover", "He", "Hung On You"
Weakest Link: "See That Girl"

(The original 1990 22-song version of Greatest Hits on Verve on 1990 made it to #31 on the Pop Albums Chart.)
The Very Best Of The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody hit #14 on the Pop Catalog Albums Chart and #11 in the UK.

"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" made #1 pop singles for 2 weeks, #3 R&B, and hit #1 in 1965, #10 in 1969, #42 in 1977, and #3 in 1990 in the UK.
"Unchained Melody" made #4 pop in 1965 and #13 pop in 1990, #6 R&B in 1965, #1 adult contemporary in 1990, and both #14 in 1965 and #1 in 1990 in the UK.
"(You're My) Soul & Inspiration" hit #1 for 3 weeks pop, #13 R&B, and #15 in the UK.
"Ebb Tide" made #5 pop, #13 R&B, and in England hit #48 in 1965 and #3 in 1990 as the flipside of "You've Lost..."
"Just Once In My Life" hit #9 pop and #26 R&B.
"The White Cliffs Of Dover" made #21 in the UK.
"He" hit #18 pop.
"Hung On You" made #47 pop.
"Little Latin Lupe Lu" hit #49 pop.
"Go Ahead And Cry" made #30 pop singles.
"On This Side Of Goodbye" hit #47 pop.

You can pick up a copy of The Very Best Of The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody at websites like here and here.

While The Very Best Of... distills the cream of the RB's mid-60s material, the duo experienced a minor comeback in the mid-70s, placing three songs in the top-40 pop chart in 1974, and a #27 album as well. Rock And Roll Heaven (CEMA-1991) gathers together 10 songs from 2 albums and a couple stray tracks. Four of those are from the forementionned hit Give It To The People album, even using the cover picture, though inexplicably not including the title song, which made it all the way into the top-20, and definitely takes the need for the set down a notch. The nostalgic reunion track "Rock And Roll Heaven" and the album highlight "Dream On" are here though, and "I Just Wanna Be Me" is also an OK listen. The set also picks four from the followup Sons Of Mrs. Righteous, with a couple keepers, like "Never Say I Love You" and "Nobody But You" which are definitely trying to be more contemporary, though their soulful vocals still amaze. Even the discofied "Hold On To What You've Got" is kinda kitschy-cute in a Donny-and-Marie-show-special-guest sort of way. The rest is really fluff, but not for their lack of trying. Rock And Roll Heaven definitely isn't as satisfying as the earlier collection, but is an interesting period-piece as it is, and an example of a rare comeback for a past-prime group. Since then the three singles are now included in the Gold collection as well, but this set have a few more album cuts for those digging deeper.

Grade: C
Best Cuts:
"Dream On"
Weakest Links: "Together Again", "Young Blood", "Let Me Make The Music", "Is It So Wrong"

"Rock And Roll Heaven" made #3 pop singles.
"Dream On" hit #32 pop and #6 adult contemporary.

You can pick up a copy of Rock And Roll Heaven at websites like here and here.

For a deeper look at the duo, the two-disc Gold set is indispensible. You can pick in up in places like here and here.

And to listen to the disco track "Hold On To What You've Got", click here to download (rightclick to bring up another window).

And here's a couple videos for ya...first the classic "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"



then the late great Bobby Hatfield alone on "Unchained Melody"