I haven’t been listening to the radio much this past few months. But this morning, I found myself immersed in music on last.fm. By the way, you should go check this website out. It’s like satellite radio, only it’s free. Also, the music selection is world-wide and not just your typical top 40 variety, so you get to broaden your spectrum. Anyhow, I was tuning in to music that came out in the last 5 or so years, and it reminded me of the classic Desert Island Discs. Remember those? You picked your ten all-time favorite CDs. Yeah, back then, it was the entire CD (or LP :)) that counted.
I thought of gathering my latest DID then. And since we’re now living in the age of iPods and MP3s, I thought it was more appropriate to go by individual songs instead. I could jot down a personal DID for each decade since the 60’s but it’s just old and pointless to me. I wanted to come up with one that only included new music from – say, within the last 6 or 7 years. There’s so many killer songs and I could go on forever. But in true DID fashion, I’d like to keep it down to just ten. As hard as it may be. So, without further ado… here they are, my 10 Desert Island, uhh, MP3’s! In no particular order.
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Nine Inch Nails – All the Love in the World
I’ve always loved NIN’s music. You can almost feel a physical pain when listening to their music (like in the song “Hurt” for instance). To this day, Trent infuses an amazing amount of vulnerability (and madness) into his music and lyrics. And he lays it down with perfectly quantized rhythm! Insane! The combination of techno beats & samples and the piano creates an extremely eerie contrast that relentlessly grabs your attention. At least it does mine.
Disturbed – Down With the Sickness
Talk about badass! They remind me of Metallica with razor-sharp, machine gun-like rhythmic precision – similar to early Megadeth perhaps, but very modern. Godsmack is another one that I like. But this particular song makes me stop what I’m doing and just groove to it. Also, check out their cover of Genesis’ Land of Confusion. Man, this is brilliant! Who’s saying rock is dead? Me? All I can say is… ooh-wa-a-a-a!
Metallica – St. Anger
Their first time not doing any guitar solos. Weird but refreshing. I love the whole CD because it’s so Metallica but at the same time, it’s so NOT Metallica. The video was shot at a concert inside San Quentin prison. Pulling off a Johnny Cash trick, you say? Perhaps. But I read an interview of him saying they’re his favorite rock band and he actually went to their shows with his son back in the 80’s. I say… \m/ GO JOHNNY, GO! \m/
Marilyn Manson – Mobscene
It’s unfair to say that this song takes the cake but the ones I like better where recorded in the late 90’s. I think listening to his music is like looking at a Van Gogh painting. I know cause I’ve been to a Van Gogh exhibit and it really does transport you to a different dimension. This kind of music to me has an element of art to it that’s more than just the music itself. Although this song stands on its own, just like most of his material, the video helps paint a more complete picture.
Jack Johnson – Flake
Surf’s up! I remember hearing this song for the first time, it never occured to me that he could’ve been playing it on the beach under a tree or something. I’m a sucker for a great melody and I think his songs, especially this one, hooks you right in. This particular one took me back to the late 90’s when I was playing open mic nights at coffee houses down Venice Beach, CA! I miss those days.
Def Leppard – Long Long Way to Go
This could be the oddball in this collection. I’ve always been a big Lep fan, not only because they’re hookmasters, but also because they’re able to reinvent themselves even to the point where you’d never imagine them going. I think that’s genius. Sounding like AC/DC at one point, and then pulling off a ballad worthy of a cover from Mariah Carey at another? Uhh, love it!
John Mayer – Waiting on the World to Change
I remember playing at Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta years ago. They said John Mayer used to play here, and so did the Indigo Girls and other acoustic artists that are now in the big time. Wow! But to be honest, I wasn’t too hot on this guy. I don’t know. Not enough soul, I guess. But when this song came out, my head turned. I thought Curtis Mayfield is back from the dead! I mean, doesn’t this song remind you of “People Get Ready?” Now, that’s good enough soul for me! BTW, I used to cover “People Get Ready?” in a band when I was in L.A.
Green Day – American Idiot
To be honest, I like Green Day but I’m not a huge fan. I think their songs are catchy and Billie Joe’s Marshall amp’s got one of the best tones since Van Halen. But when this CD came out and they had a spot on VH1’s Storytellers, I saw it and was mesmerized with the songs on that album. I mean, on their other albums, I like a song here and there, but on this one, it was like… everything! Every song was a knockout! And this particular song blows your face out in the gutter right from the beginning!
Velvet Revolver – Slither
I know I’m strange but I hate GNR. I don’t particularly like their songs and Axl’s voice is like a scratch on the chalkboard! But man, do I love Stone Temple Pilots! I think they’re one of the greatest rock bands ever in terms of the quality of music! Velvet is okay. But I can’t help but admit that this particular song hits me in the gut and I just couldn’t ignore it. I guess a good rock song is a good rock song regardless of who did it.
Evanescence – Call Me When You’re Sober
Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of other chick singers too but this band has something different to offer. For me, they’re kind of a blend of Linkin Park, NIN and a pop vocal diva singer with a gothic sensibility. It’s almost like Tori Amos with down-tuned guitars. And like Marilyn Manson’s music, you gotta experience the video to fully comprehend the complete package.
Tool – Lateralus
Tool has got to be one of those groups that could last a very long time. They are not only a great progressive band, but they also have the mysticism that some of the classic bands of yore had. You don’t see their faces a lot. And they’re not known for doing clinics showing off their prowess and making a household name for themselves. “Lateralus” is like the modern day “2112” or “Cygnus X-1” in my opinion. But then again, most of their material fit into that category as well.
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So, there you have it. My top ten. What? Eleven? There’s eleven in there? You sure? Ooops! Oh well…
But I am so tempted to add another ten. At least! But no, I will restrain myself. Who knows, I might change my mind some other time and replace these with a brand new compilation.
Hope you enjoyed these selections, though. See you next time.