Tag Archives: Green Day

TunesDay: what’s in your collection?

There are all kinds of fun arguments to be had over which band is best or whether one’s taste is critically defensible (*cough*Brian used to listen to Madonna and Gloria Estefan*cough*) and, of course, my favorite – can we separate what we like from our critical faculties (that is, is your “favorite” list different from your “best” list)?

But there’s one sure measure of what music we really care about the most, for whatever reason, and that’s how much of our money we spend on it. So today’s TunesDay question is this: what artists do you own the most music from?

Feel free to answer however makes sense, and yes, we take into account the fact that you may own everything from a band that quit too soon. I have one of those myself. Here’s my list: Read more

TunesDay: Name those bands – and the winner is….

bandssamlovesThe results of last week’s Name Those Bands contest are in. In first place we have … a disqualification, sorta. Our friend Ubertramp logged in with an impressive 47 of 53. Seriously, that’s pretty damned good. But he has disqualified himself because I’m the one who turned him onto most of these outstanding artists and he felt like he might as well be cheating under the circumstances.

Wow – sportsmanship. What a concept.

So our next highest scorer, and the official winner, is … Read more

TunesDay: The best CDs of 2008, pt. 1 – the Gold LPs

Most years are pretty good for music if you know where to look, and 2008 was no exception. It’s a shame that you have to search so hard, of course – once upon a time all you needed to keep track of what was good in the world of music was a radio. These days it requires a little effort, though, and while I lost count a long time ago, I probably sampled a few hundred CDs in the last 365. Thank the gods for the Internet and a growing network of friends who make sure to let me know whenever they hear something worthy, huh?

This is part one of three. The Platinum LP Awards will be along soon, and that will be followed by the CD of the Year post. So here we go with last year’s Gold Awards for Very Good CDs. These are in alphabetical order, more or less. Band Web sites link to the band name, and if the CD is available via eMusic, that links to the CD title. If you want to purchase from eMusic, click on the link in the right column for a really good deal (as in lots of free downloads).

The 2008 Gold LPs Read more

The Scholars & Rogues Manifesto: what are we doing here?

It has been alleged that Scholars & Rogues is not, strictly speaking, a political blog. Sure, we write about overtly political issues and devote our share of time to things like media policy, energy and the environment, business and the economy, and international dynamics. Yes, we were credentialed to cover the DNC, but we don’t really do hard, insider, by god politics. Daily Kos is a political blog. Firedoglake is a political blog. Little Green Footballs, The Agonist, Politico, The Seminal – these are real poliblogs.

S&R, on the other hand, writes about music. About literature and poetry. About art. Education. Sports. Culture and popular culture. The Ramsey case and what it tells us about the state of media. And now that the election is over, S&R is writing about politics less than ever.

So really, what is S&R? Read more

The Best CDs of 2004

2004: the year of Nu Wave. And an interesting year, for me, because I’ve always thought the New Wave explosion of 1978-79 was the greatest musical moment of my life, and the “New Wave of the ‘80s” stuff that trailed along in its wake was frequently pretty cool, too.

So when I realized that there was a new generation of bands coming along who’d been listening to New Wave (Elvis Costello, Police, Joe Jackson, Wire), late ‘70s ska (Specials, Selector), technopop (Eurythmics, Human League, Duran Duran), American Punk, Art Pop, and Power Pop (Talking Heads, Devo, Blondie), and Post-Punk (Joy Division, The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths), I was elated. Sure, there was going to be some wannabe drivel, but every movement produces some genuinely worthy work, as well.

And there was. There was also plenty of good music in other genres, and it being one of the most contentious election years in memory, there were several bands who used their music to launch scathing broadsides at political cynicism, corruption, and abuses of power.

All in all a darned fine year, was 2004, marred only by the fact that I had neither time nor money enough to do it justice.

So, away we go. At the top of the list:

1. Green Day – American Idiot Read more

The Best CDs of the 1990s

Below is my Best CDs of the 1990s list. I never kidded myself for a second that I could produce a definitive review – if I can’t even convince myself that the list is as good as I’d like it, I can hardly fault others for disagreeing here and there, can I?

In the end I wound up deciding on a Top 25 list, and I also offered comments on 25 more honorable mentions. The whole thing, top to bottom, is something like 10 pages worth of reviewing, analysis, and self-defense. I even employed multiple methodologies. First, I tried laying it out by a “connoisseurship” model – that is, I made my own estimates based on my own sense of how things qualitatively met the criteria I established for the project. Then I played a little game where I weighted each criterion and then rated each entry mathematically, thereby generating a quantitative estimate. This had the effect of making me seriously reconsider my initial rankings (for instance, it forced me to give Pearl Jam more credit than I really wanted to – see below for more on that).

Then I sent the list to some friends whose opinions I respect and invited criticism (which I got, in spades – thanks, Greg). That forced some more noodling. Then I set about writing and justifying my picks, and that ALSO led to some revision (if I have a hard time justifying its place in the Top 25, that could mean I’m over-relying on my “like” reflex). Read more