Here are 15 albums I really appreciate:
Backstreet Boys S/T. Pure 90’s pop. I would actually put LFO or NSYNC on this list, but I’m putting this album strictly because I’ve listened to it much more recently than the others. I prefer LFO (even more so now that Rich has passed away) and NSYNC just because their songs are ridiculous and poppy and great, but I listened to this album just three weeks ago. It’s wonderful. Just sappy pop loves songs, crafted specifically to make little girls scream and gay dudes gayer. And people like me who are dumb, and think catchy songs are awesome. I love this album.
The Lawrence Arms: The Greatest Story Ever Told. This album is beautiful. It’s simply one of the best punk albums of all times. I can’t even begin to explain how great it is. The contrast between Chris’ and Brendan’s voices is one of the best things in the world. Where Chris sings softly and sweetly, Brendan screams like a banshee. The lyrics are incredible (They even have a song that references Juggalos) and this album even has continuity. It starts and ends with an intro and a reprise, and lyrics are repeated throughout the album tying things together. This album is amazing. I love it. (On another note, listen to “Are you there Margarete, it’s me god” on Oh Calcutta! It really shows the contrast of their voices…)
Ludo: Broken Bride EP. This is the best rock opera ever. It trumps The Who, it trumps everyone. Maybe Green Day? Naw. But still it is amazing. It is the story of man who loses his wife in a car accident in 1989, and spends the next 15 years of his life building a time machine so he can go back in time, and save his wife. He ends up traveling too far into the past and too far into the future, where he encounters dinosaurs, dragons, and a zombie apocalypse. It’s genius. It’s beautiful. The lyrics and incredible, the genres bounce from pop punk, to hardcore, to folk, to metal, to indie, to pop, to everything else. It’s amazing. I love this one so much.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Americana Deluxe. Swing has always been one of my favorite genres. Before I got into any other type of music I would listen to Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey and Cab Calloway and Harry James with my grandparents. Swing revival is no exception. Here it is at it’s finest. Now this album is constantly mistaken as a S/T but it’s actually called American Deluxe. They cover Cab songs, and they write some brilliantly composed and catchy songs about everything. Drinking, girls, love, leaving, and a lot of things. Select cuts: “Mister Pinstripe Suit”, “You me and the bottle makes three”, and “So long, farewell, goodbye.” I adore this album. It’s just so much fun, and I recommend it to everyone ever.
The Clash: The Clash on Broadway. Joe Strummer is god. The only reason I put this album on is because The Clash are one of my favorite bands of all time. I couldn’t choose just one album because I love them all so much. (I still don’t know what the hell I’m going to do about green day…) But I love The Clash so much. Here is the most important band. “The only band that matters.” The Clash single-handedly added politics and ska/reggae into punk rock. Without this band we wouldn’t have any ska punk band, and we wouldn’t have political punk rock. Joe Strummer and Mick Jones are one of the best song writing teams ever, and every song they wrote was golden. Listen to “Safe European Home”, “Career Opportunities” and “Lost in the Supermarket.” I assure you, this is important. Their passion is unmatched.
The Beach Boys: Good Vibrations, thirty years of The Beach Boys blah blah blah…
When I was little my mom listened to Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys. This rubbed off on me so much. To this day, I constantly listen to both of those artists, and I enjoy them more than ever. The Beach Boys have a way with harmony that is devastatingly beautiful. The first album I ever bought was a best of by the beach boys cassette with a girl in a blue bikini on the cover. Brian Wilson is a musical genius. Favorite song: “Disney Girls”.
The Ergs!: Dorkrockcorkrod. When I was a junior, I loved the shit out of The Ergs! I listened to them constantly. (Favorite memory: sitting in Eddie’s car on black friday 2008 and blasting this album with my new headphones) But do you ever have a friend that you get into something and then they ruin it for you? Yeah, that happened with me and The Ergs! and a skinny man who will not be named. But now that I’ve been around said fellow a lot less, I’m listening to them a lot more, and I’m preparing to dust of my ergs shirt/cd’s and start all over again. Also, I met Mikey Erg like a couple weeks ago. Awesome. Simply a wonderful pop-punk album.
Blue Scholars S/T. This is my favorite Hip-hop album. The music is super jazzy, and the lyrics are passionate and strong, and it’s an all around great listen. I chose to put this album on here because I listen to it constantly. It’s constantly on rotation in my car, and it is beautiful. Some of my favorite Blue Scholar songs aren’t on this album, but collectively this one is the best. Check it out.
Bowling for Soup: A hangover you don’t deserve. Okay, well as this list goes on I make myself look dumber and dumber, but this album is a pop masterpiece. Jaret’s voice is so wonderfully poppy that it’s incredible. Also, this album has less potty humor and much more heart wrenching love songs and absurd situations, and when you add it all together it’s just great. “Ridiculous” has been one of my favorite songs for years. This album, I don’t even know what to say about this album. But everyone that has listened to this album, REALLY LISTENED TO IT with me agrees. It’s an incredible pop-rock album.
The Foxboro Hottubs-Stop, Drop, and Roll. Green Day-Nimrod. The Network-Money Money 2020. Pinhead Gunpowder-Kick Over the Traces. Okay, this is super cheating, but I can’t help it. Green Day has been my favorite band for as long as I can remember, and I know that’s not very ‘punk’ of me, but WHO CARES. Green Day don’t exactly have a good compilation, so I chose Nimrod based on the fact it was the first album I remember buying by them. Also, this album shows them exploring different sounds, and pulling it off wonderfully. It has “Platypus (I hate you)” and “Take Back” which are two of their hardest songs to date, a long with “Good Riddance (Time of your Life)” and “Walking Alone” (harmonica solos are awesome). Mostly why this is cheating is because I included other Green Day/Billie Joe projects as number 10. The foxboro hottubs album is an amazing garage rock album with some incredibly written songs and a catchy late sixties sound. The Network has Green Day at their silliest. Writing songs about supermodel robots, and jerking off, and x-ray hamburgers, and all this other crazy stuff, but still managing to write one of the best love songs in Green Day histroy: “Roshambo”… And last, but not least, is the recent Pinhead Gunpowder compilation “Kick over the Traces”. I was lucky enough to see Pinhead at Gilman not too long ago, and it was just incredible. Billie Joe wore a dress, and they played some great songs. I must say, pick up all these albums. You won’t be disappointed.
Cap’n Jazz: Burritos, Inspiration Point, Fork Balloon Sports, Cards in the Spokes, Automatic Biographies, Kites, Kung Fu, Trophies, Banana Peels We’ve Slipped on and Egg Shells We’ve Tippy Toed Over. This album is amazing. I put this album specifically because I think the title is the best thing in the world, but I actually have Analphabetapolothology. It has all the same songs and more, so what ever. Anyway, early emo has quickly become one of my favorite types of music. It’s so passionate and weird, and I really can’t get enough of it. Cap’n Jazz are one of current favorite bands, and it’s absolutely amazing because although they broke up in like 1995, they reformed this year, and I saw them in SF a couple weeks ago. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. They were mind blowing. The ripped through their set playing everything they knew how to play. It was something I’ll never forget. I’m seeing them again in Chicago next month, and I couldn’t be more excited.
The Queers: Love songs for the retarded. This is probably my favorite pop-punk album of all time. The songs are short, simple, and snotty. The three S’s that go with pop-punk. The songs are great and about everything. Girls, boobs, life, beer, a chick named Ursala, hippies, and other stuff. Select song: Debra Jean. This song is tinged with a 50’s-ish style, and it’s a sweet love song, and definitely my favorite queers song. My old band used to cover it religiously, and I even got to sing it with the queers back in 2008 at a local venue. My life is awesome.
Shinobu: Herostratus Vs. Time. Okay, so I feel a bit weird posting this because I know most of the guys in the band, but that won’t stop me. This album has probably been listened to in my car more than any other album. Every single song is moving and passionate and incredible. If you like The Weakerthans (which just barely didn’t make this list) then you’ll love this album. The first song on this album tore me to pieces with these lyrics: “Here’s a list of all the things I’ll miss on the day I die: laughing when you mean it, smiling though you’re not sure why, your stomach dropping when you’re in love, and belting something you believe in. Music, love, and friends, I hope they’re with me till the end.” Mike writes some incredible songs. Shoot, I love this album so much. Nothing else to say.
Harry James and His Orchestra Featuring Frank Sinatra: The complete Recordings 1939. Like I said earlier, Frank Sinatra was and has always been one of my favorite performing artists. Hell he is one of my idols. His voice (prior to the 1950’s) is one of the most charming male voices in history. He sorta lost it in the 50’s, and that’s one of the reasons I chose this album. Also, I chose this album for Harry James. My grandparents (both born in the 1920’s) love swing. So as I was growing up, this is something I heard often. My Grandpas is quite fond of Harry James, so I am as well. This album is Harry James at his best, with Sinatra at his best, and it is possibly one of the greatest things ever. Listen to All or nothing at All or My Buddy, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Test Icicles: For Screening Purposes Only. Now as I reach 15, I reach my most bizarre. This album came out 2005, and when it came out, I pretty much only listened to this album. My friend Joey and I had at that point never heard anything like this before in our lives, so we though it was the best thing ever. Looking back on it, it’s still pretty good. The three guys in the band has such different personalities, it’s no wonder they split. Dev was sensitive and more musically diverse, where Rory was weird and awesome and wanted to do what they were doing (I guess) and Sam hated the attention and the music and didn’t want to be getting big like they were. You can even tell in the lyrics “It’s not so hard, not so hard when I’m wasted” I love this album to this day, and will always support the band members in their new bands.
- Pucker Up-Teen Idols
- Broken Van-The Broadways
- It’s Alive- The Ramones
- Welcome the Problems- Colossal
- Addicted to Bad Ideas-WIFS
- Versus God-Dillinger Four
- You’ll always remember your first time-Sex Before Marriage