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College was weird...

From my college notebook, presented without context (cuz I don't remember):
11/11/14 JAMS 562
1. A song? A blog post? Does creativity even count? 2. Nothing ever 3. Magic cards Outrageous amounts of meat 4. Right Goddam NOW 5. Hell if I know
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I did it.

I'm creating things again.

And I'm hungry for more.

The timing obviously stinks, since this list is six weeks too late.  But I did it, and the review for number one is the best review I've ever written.  I did the work and it proves to me that I'm still capable of doing the work.  I want to make it.  I want to be alive.  And I want to share that shit with every motherfucker I can get my voice to.  Whether what I have to say is any good?  That's up to you.  But this is the year I will finally be heard.  And this is the first step.

On to the albums:

The list this year was split into two parts, because a) I was worried no one would want to hear more than 80 minutes of monologue, even with musical backing and a few audio surprises to help illustrate points and b) By January 16th, all I had was the first 24 entries.  After that, I decided to script them, and part two gets better as a result.  Besides, there wasn't a whole lot to talk about with some of the…

THE TOP 20 SONGS OF 2017 (Updated)

Here it is: My favorite songs of 2017.  This podcast won't be up forever so listen while you can before I end up putting something else up on Soundcloud (with its 3 hour limit ass).  [BLOGGER'S NOTE: The Top Albums podcast was longer than I anticipated, so it's already down.  Sorry.  Instead, I've linked to the songs below.]  I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labor.  This year has been better than quite a few in recent memory, which took me by surprise.  Music is pretty sweet if you know where to look.

20. "Gucci" Qveen Herby
19. "Learn To Let Go" Kesha
18. "New York" St. Vincent
17. "Praying" Kesha
16. "Avalanche Alley" The New Pornographers
15. "Automaton" Robotaki
14. "Dreams" Beck
13. "Them Changes" Thundercat
12. "Woman" Kesha
11. "Rainbow" Kesha
10. "Automaton" Jamiroquai
9. "Constellations" Grant & Jessi Mason
8. "Wow Wow" Neil Cicierega
7. &qu…


This has certainly been a heck of a thing.

Writing this started out as a labor of love to a subgenre of rock and roll that came along at the perfect time for me (both when I was entering middle school in the bottom 5 of the popularity pecking order and when I started buying albums at the impressionable age of 11).  It obviously took a long time to put together: August 29th, 2016 is when I began planning, May 24th is when I wrote the last entry, the wee hours of August 1st, 2017 is when I finished proofreading and uploading the entries to the blog with video links, and here I am typing these words on August 15th.

The elephant in the room is this genre seems to be built on death.  Three of the four frontmen of these bands are dead, one of which occurred during the run of this series.  (Shouts to Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr as well.  R.I.P.)  On top of that, Pearl Jam only exists because the lead singer of Mother Love Bone died, causing that band to break up.  If you go down the nex…


Match 127:

Alice N' Chains "Lip Lock Rock" (1987)
Nirvana "Seasons In The Sun" (1993)
Pearl Jam "Future Days" (2013)
Soundgarden "A Splice Of Space Jam" (1996)

In 1984, a band called Sleze auditioned a new singer named Layne Elmer.  Elmer would later change his name to Staley, but you've probably already figured that out.  What you probably didn't know is the history of the band.  Johnny Barcolas played guitar, James Bergstrom played drums, and later members Nick Pollock and Jim Sheppard would join on guitar and bass respectively, but not necessarily concurrently.  (This is further complicated because Barcolas left, then rejoined as a bass player at one point.)

The band decided in 1986 to rename themselves Alice N' Chains.  (I'm not kidding.)  They recorded two demos, with the lineup of Layne Staley on vocals, Nick Pollock on guitar, Johnny Barcolas on bass and James Bergstrom on drums.  This demo is where today's song comes …


Match 126:

Alice In Chains "Choke" (2013)
Nirvana "Talk To Me" (1992)
Pearl Jam "Yellow Moon" (2013)
Soundgarden "Night Surf" (1993)

With "Choke", "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" is finally put out of its misery, and not a moment too soon.  If you mashed up "Choke" and "Hung On A Hook", you really would have "Down In A Hole" except not.  MAN this is some lazy shit.

"Talk To Me" is an original song by Nirvana, but the only recording of it that seems to exist is a bootleg camcorder version from a concert in 1992.  It's a lot more poppy than anything they were working on for "In Utero", but it's definitely good, walking that line of early 60's pop rock and 90's cuthroat harshness.  It would have been in the pantheon of Nirvana songs we're sick of if they'd ever bothered to issue it as a single (or, you know, record it at all).

No, "Yellow Moon" isn…


Match 125:

Alice In Chains "Hung On A Hook" (2013)
Nirvana "Territorial Pissings" (Live '91)
Pearl Jam "Sleeping By Myself" (2013)
Soundgarden "Twin Tower" (1988?)

Holy SHIT that lead is trying and failing to be "Down In A Hole".  The whole song feels like it wants to be "Down In A Hole" part two.  At least they let William DuVall sing a clear lead on this one.  It's not as bad as the dregs of this album, but it sounds like a lesser version of something Alice In Chains has already done.  (For real, it's almost "The Unforgiven II" up in here.)  The other problem "Hung On A Hook" has (besides not living up to its awesome title) is it's too sleepy to be threatening, even during the bridge where they try to tighten the noose, it doesn't rock nearly hard enough to do what it wants to do.

A shitty bootleg of Nirvana's fastest song from 1991.

Dude, if "Infallible" gave me commercial …