Monthly Archives: June 2013

11 Albums For the Summer

 

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Choosing a list like this proved to be quite daunting. I didn’t want to go to the obvious route and include an album by The Beach Boys or one with direct references to summer. I was looking for albums with an overall feeling of summer – whether it be laid-back or general feelings of heat and exhaustion.

“Sweetheart of the Rodeo” – The Byrds

For all intents and purposes alt-country starts here. It’s well-known The Byrds had already dabbled in country music prior to Sweetheart and helped usher in folk-rock.  Led by Gram Parsons their country leanings now sounded authentic with a  song selection included two originals mixed traditional C&W songs and covers of Dylan, Merle Haggard and the Carter Family tunes. It’s the perfect album for lazy days out in the sun with a cold beer in hand. Its easy and laid-back, but exciting enough not to induce a sleep which could cause an un-wanted sunburn.

“Victim of Love” – Charles Bradley

The first time I heard Bradley’s version of “Heart of Gold”(off of No Time for Dreaming) , I was convinced I had missed out on a gem from 1973.  So I decided to check out his latest album, Victim of LoveVictim of Love is classicist Soul at its best: tight drums, thick bass-lines, heavenly background vocals, and full-throated singing.  Bradley commands Victim of Love with his booming voice, but his stellar band is the ace in the hole. Victim of Love is the type of album you put on when you want everyone to be in a good mood.  If they’re not in one when this is on, you probably don’t want them around anyway.

“It’s Too Late to Stop Now” – Van Morrison

For a long time, this my “go-to” album during the summer. If I couldn’t think of anything else to listen to, I figured It’s Too Late To Stop Now would make me feel good. Morrison’s patented “Celtic Soul” is never better than it is here. Backed by a 17-piece band, Morrison delivers beautiful renditions of such classics as “Into the Mystic” and “Caravan”.  But it’s the  10-minute version of “Cypress Avenue” that is truly mind-blowing and transcendent complete with several false stops.

“Phrenology” – The Roots

Perhaps I only included this one for nostalgic reasons – I first listened to it the summer between my junior and senior years in college. Most Roots albums are dark – and this one has its moments as well – but the band’s delivery on the songs sound lighter and more retro here than other efforts. The heavy bass of “Rock You” feels like a sweaty night in the city.  The circular guitar riff that propels “The Seed” plays like something out of ’70s.  And if you don’t believe that ?uestlove is a fucking machine – which you should – check out his beat on “Rolling With Heat”.

“The Harder They Come” (Soundtrack) – Jimmy Cliff

For my money, this is the reggae album. It’s got songs from Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytalls and Desmond Decker and they’re all classics. “The Harder They Come” and “You Can Get It If You Really Want” are perhaps the most well-known, but check out the Maytalls’ honey-dripping harmonies on “Sweet and Dandy” and the Slickers groove on “Johnny Too Bad”.  The Harder They Come was another one of my “go-to” albums for the summer.

“Sticky Fingers” – The Rolling Stones 

This album could make the cut solely for the Latin-infused coda that ends “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” – perhaps Mick Taylor’s finest moment on record with the Stones – but the rest of the album plays like a sweat on your forehead that you just can’t shake. Its in the blues rave-up of “Bitch”, the country of “Wild Horses” and “Dead Flowers” and the late night come-down of “Moonlight Mile”.  And then of course, there’s “Brown Sugar” which exudes steamy summer sex with its immortal riff and not so subtle lyrics.

“1999” – Prince

“Little Red Corvette” is the ultimate summer hook-up song. Prince has lots of great songs about the act, but this one is the best. The title track might be the end of the world, but being Prince he decided to turn into a party.  It’s as if Bob Dylan decided that “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” would be better off with some grooves.  “The Minneapolis Sound” is perfected on this record on such songs as “D.M.S.R.” and “Lady Cab Driver”.

“Z”- My Morning Jacket

The secret to “Z” is the open space. Its a very full sounding record, but MMJ were smart enough to let the songs breathe and create the ambiance of a cool summer night. Jim James’ proves himself to be one of rock’s most versatile vocalists on this one. He can be soft and crooning as evident in the slow burn of  “Dondante” and powerful and tuneful on “Anytime”.  But it’s the psychedelic soul of “Into the Woods” where both he and the band create something that sounds so familiar yet is also fresh and original.

“The Basement Tapes” – Bob Dylan & The Band

The Basement Tapes might be the ultimate summer record. Like a good summer night, its full of hilarious moments and captures the sound of friends coming together.  Due to the nature of the recordings, no song is ever forced. Most of the songs are fully formed – others are mere sketches (“Apple Suckling Tree” for instance), but they’re all brilliant.  As Dylan sings in “Odds and Ends”, “you know what I’m saying and you know what I mean.”

“By the Way” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

I miss John Frusciante as a Chili Pepper. Does anyone doubt that they made their best records with him? By the Way finds the group mostly abandoning their rap/funk hybrid, and it’s all the better for it. Frusciante is the mastermind behind this surf-pop inspired record. With a few exceptions, the band never really rocks out, instead opting for laid-back grooves and tasty guitar playing from Frusciante.

“Chronicle” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

This one is technically cheating, since it’s not really an album.  But I’m including it because 1.) this is the only CCR record you need and 2.) these songs were meant to be blasted from open windows during the summer. Like The Band, CCR was a kick in the face to other bands in the late ’60s with their down-home sound. Rock n’ roll rarely gets better than it does on Chronicle.

Song of the Week: “Walk of Life” – Dire Straits

 

“Walk of Life” is a song I always associate with my childhood. Its circular synthesizer riff always seemed to be blasting out of speakers. Sometimes I would hear it in department stores while my mother shopped for clothes.  I distinctly remember Mark Knopfler’s yelps of “woo!” overpowering the noisy crowds one morning at Denny’s.  I had ordered a cup of coffee because I thought I was cool, not because I actually liked it.

I can still taste the burnt and stale coffee in my mouth every time the song comes on. It’s funny how songs can bring back memories, little fragments of life that you would have forgotten about otherwise.

I mention memories and nostalgia, because those two things are the centerpiece of the song. Mark Knopfler might not believe in rock and roll as a vehicle to change the world the way Bruce Springsteen does, but he does understand how it is integrated into the fabric of many people’s lives. Like “Sultans of Swing” – one of Dire Straits’ other masterpieces – the song focuses on the golden age of rock and roll. Here,the narrator is standing around the jukebox and plays several classics including “What’d I Say” and “Mack the Knife”.

And Knopfler – one of rock’s most under-rated guitarists – knows that there’s something to be had for the power that a kid can find when he plays a few chords and has an amp behind him. When he sings “oh yeah the boy can play” – it’s a declaration of hope for every single kid who has ever dreamed of being in a rock and roll band.

Of course, it’s slightly ironic that as he is being nostalgic for an early version of rock and roll the song’s signature part is its synthesizer riff.  Or maybe that was Knopfler’s point all along.

Mad Men Finale: 10 Songs from 1968

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Mad Men’s 6th Season ends tonight.  I’ll reserve judgment on the entire season until I’ve seen the season finale.  But since this past season took place in 1968 here’s a list of some of my favorite songs from that year.

“Piece of My Heart” – Big Brother & The Holding Company

“Piece of My Heart” is one of the all-time great covers.  It’s raw, bluesy and a perfect showcase for Joplin’s tortured and wild vocals.  Her scream around the 3:30 mark still causes shudders 45 years after its original release.  The song was used perfectly in this season of Mad Men when Pete Campbell – perhaps the show’s most uptight ad man – takes a huge puff of a joint in a moment of frustration and anguish.

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye

If you grow up in the ’80s like I did, you probably might have first heard this song being song by the California Raisins.  No joke – for a long time I thought it was written specifically for that.  Gaye’s version is dark and ominous especially when the background singers echo in.  Though it’s pure Motown  I’ve always thought of it as a precursor to his magnum opus Whats Going On.

“Madame George” – Van Morrison

“Madame George” is the centerpiece of Morrison’s most acclaimed album, Astral Weeks. It’s not so much a song, but rather a sonic equivalent of an Impressionistic painting.  Morrison’s surrealistic lyrics about a transvestite found by some kids reaches its climax around the 8 minute mark when he implores the listener repeatedly to “say goodbye to Madame George”.

“Tears of Rage” – The Band

The obvious Band pick might be “The Weight” (which is also off of Music From Big Pink), but “Tears of Rage” sounds unlike anything else from that era with a mix of country, Soul New Orleans jazz.  As an album opener, it’s a pretty ballsy move.  The Band had already recorded a version of the song with Dylan a year earlier that eventually wound up on The Basement Tapes.  This arrangement with Richard Manuel’s vocals as the centerpiece, blow the original out of the water.

“Folsom Prison” (Live at Folsom Prison) – Johnny Cash

This is the song that solidified Johnny Cash as a country bad-ass. The version from the Live at Folsom Prison is given an extra charge for obvious reasons. Both the crowd and Cash feed off of each other. The more Cash and his band give, the louder the crowd cheers for more.  An awe-inspiring performance.

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Even for Jimi Hendrix, this song goes into uncharted territory.  The opening riff would be a perfect soundtrack for some kinky sex, but then explodes into a fireball of noise.  It’s the loudest and most radical song Hendrix ever cut, and it still sounds just as wild today.  It’s part heavy-metal, part jazz, part blues part funk, part-garage rock and pure Hendrix.

“Happiness Is a Warm Gun” – The Beatles

The whole song is brilliant, but I really love the hypnotic guitar line that begins the song. Its full of dread and despair – something that the Beatles aren’t really known for.  John Lennon said that the song with its multiple sections was meant to be a musical history of rock and roll.  I’ve listened to the song thousands of times, and I’m not sure I hear it.  But if that was Lennon’s inspiration, who cares?  It’s one of the Beatles’ best.

“You Send Me” – Aretha Franklin

This Sam Cooke cover was the B-side to Franklin’s other 1960’s feminist anthem, “Think”.  As is usual with Franklin, she takes a great song and takes her version straight to heaven.  Her version of the song is more groove-based than Cooke’s, but it’s her trade-mark wails that really set the song apart.

“Sister Ray” – The Velvet Underground

Anyone who thinks that The Doors represented the dark-side of rock and roll in 1968 should take a listen to this song.  If it was sleazy and decadent in 1968, there’s a good chance Lou Reed mentioned it in this 17-minute noise tour de force.  The Velvets had a lot of bad blood in later years, but here they seem to be daring each other to go further and louder than anyone had thought possible at the time.

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” – The Rolling Stones

Without a doubt, the most obvious song on this entire list.  But with the exception of perhaps “Satisfaction”, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” remains the Stones’ most recognizable song. And with good reason – it’s got all the elements of a great Stones song – a riff that cuts like a knife, super-charged vocals from Mick Jagger and a steady beat by Charlie Watts to keep it all together.

“Knock on Wood” (Video) – Elephant 12

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Elephant 12 have just released the video for their latest single “Knock on Wood” from their EP Sold Out.  With its fuzzy guitars and distorted and sing-along chorus,”Knock On Wood” is sure to keep you humming all summer.

Check out the video below:

Exclusive Interview With Experimental Folk Artist Mree

 

Mree is an emerging experimental folk artist whose music has drawn the attention of music industry professionals including Grammy Award Winning Artist Bon Iver (Justin Vernon), who recently shared several of her music videos with his fans and followers. She is a skilled multi-instrumentalist whose voice is often described as “angelic” while her lyrics portray a depth well beyond her nineteen years of age. Mree is the consummate artist who not only records and produces her own music but films and edits her music videos with stunning visual results. Her videos have been featured by numerous bloggers and on a variety of websites including the YouTube home page as part of an “up and coming” singer/songwriter feature.​

Mree’s sophomore album, “Winterwell”, due to be released August 6th, 2013, features an electronica component to further enhance the acoustic, ambient, vocal layering that her fans are accustomed to hearing from her.  The album reveals the work of an artist who is “maturing” and finding her own unique sound and niche in the eclectic indie music scene. 

What’s the difference between your first album, Grow and Winterwell

I feel like with Grow, I was finding my place.  It’s definitely more singer-songwriter.  I was getting used to recording myself and I think with Winterwell I was definitely showing my influences and putting it together into my own kind of style.  I’ve got more experience to find my own sound.  Winterwell is a mixture of that same ambient and electronic side.

Your music is described as experimental – would you describe yourself as that?

Yeah, I definitely think so.  I like not really having any definite genre to stick to.  I really like the fact that there are so many different categories of music nowadays.  I like to just see where it can take me so I would definitely consider myself experimental.

You started playing the piano at age 5.  Do you still use the piano when you’re composing music?

Yeah.  It’s funny because even though, I started out on piano, but playing on the guitar is so much easier for me.  That might have been because performing live you can’t really bring the piano everywhere.  I love adding layers and plucking.

Let’s talk about the layers for a second.  Do you write the melody first or the music first?

It always kind of different, but I lean towards the music.  Sometimes I have a melody or chord progression in my head.  The first thing I do is go to Pro-tools and put that first layer down and then see what else I can add.  Then I kind of form around that, maybe a line that kind of sticks with me and I’ll kind of work myself towards that.

You got you start covering songs and putting them up on Youtube.  Do you approach cover songs differently and take them on as your own interpretations? 

Everyone was doing that kind of thing and putting covers up on Youtube.  I thought I would give it a shot.  I’m not really doing much creatively to the songs, but when I’m doing covers thought I could see what else I could draw from it.

You’re also involved in your visual representation as well and have produced some amazing videos.  Do you see the videos as an extension of your music or do you look at them differently?

I definitely see that as an extension.  I love video editing.  I really enjoy it and if I kind of extend what I’m visualizing in a song and hopefully other people can feel that. I like when art mixes with media and can get my message across.

Is it weird that your songs are being covered by artists on YouTube, considering that that is how you got your start?

It’s crazy!  I was one of those people putting songs up on YouTube and it’s absolutely crazy.  I’m so thankful that people connect to my music and post their covers. It’s very mind-boggling!

Are you planning on doing some live shows when Winterwell comes out?

Yeah, but it’s going to definitely be different because when I performed Grow it was acoustic and I wasn’t that comfortable – it was just me and my guitar.  But I’ve been practicing with a band and its very very different – but a good kind of different.   The sounds on Winterwell have so many layers and I really wanted my songs to sound the same way they do on the album.

You’re still in school, right?  What have you learned there that you’ve bought to the music?

I’m at NYU, The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.  I think I’m way more open-minded now because I was so concerned with the singer-songwriter mode I had on Grow, and now I want to explore what else I can do.  Just being with all these crazy minds and minds -so much has come from collaborating.

Winterwell will be released on August 6th, 2013.  For more info on Mree, check out her web-site at http://www.mreemusic.com

The Rolling Stones 6/18 Philadelphia, PA (Review)

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“Let’s hear some rock and roll,” I told my friend as we walked towards our seats for The Rolling Stones show in Philadelphia.

And throughout the 2 hour-plus concert, The Stones delivered that and more. If you had to sum up rock and roll at its best, you’d be hard pressed to think of a more definitive band than the Rolling Stones.  And 50 years in, they sounded better than ever.  The familiar riffs of “Satisfaction”, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Brown Sugar” still sounded vital and fresh. Keith Richards has surely played those chords thousands of times at this point, but the smile on his face said it all. Mick Jagger has long been rock’s best and energetic frontman, but his signature moves and prances hardly seemed like a parody of his former self from where I sat.

The set-list focused mainly on the group’s hits – but whose going to complain when you have a catalogue like that?  Every single song was delivered for maximum impact and delivered with an energy that suggested that even after 50 years, The Stones still love performing.

Even though the songs were mostly delivered in a similar vein to their studio incarnations, there was still plenty of surprises.  Richards played the signature sitar riff of “Paint It Black” on his guitar giving the song a harder and more sinister edge.  “Gimme Shelter” retained its ominous spirit.  Back-up vocalist Lisa Fisher was given the task of replacing Merry Clayton’s earth-shattering vocal. It’s a daunting job to take on, but Fisher proved herself with a powerhouse performance.  As the song closed, she and Jagger didn’t sing together as much as battle each other vocally until the song’s conclusion.

For the 50 & Counting Tour, the Stones have given younger stars an opportunity to appear and play with them. Before the show, it was announced that Brad Paisley would be Philly’s guest. My initial reaction to that news was one of dread.  Brad Paisley?!  But Paisley’s turn on the country-infused “Dead Flowers” actually worked pretty well. Paisley for his part, added a cool country-twinged solo.  Wearing a Stones t-shirt and a huge smile on his face, Paisley looked like he was having a blast.

Paisley’s expression summed up the entire night. Everyone was having a great time. The entire arena sang almost every single word and sang back Jagger’s non-verbal chant during “Miss You”.  The band too, must have been feeding off the crowd’s reaction.  Several times the band members looked back at each other with huge grins as if to suggest: this is fucking amazing.

And it certainly was.  The night’s biggest moment came when former guitarist Mick Taylor came out for a jammed out version of “Midnight Rambler”.  It’s rather ironic that one of the Stones’ most twisted songs has turned into something of a party.  Taylor’s bluesy and fluid leads proved that even after all these years that he hasn’t lost his edge and he still remains the Stones’ best lead guitarist.  Even Ronnie Wood – his replacement – stared in awe at Taylor’s playing.

But Wood himself is no slouch either. While Richards remains the human-riff, Wood did a good chunk of the heavy lifting throughout the show.  His solos were bluesy and off the cuff but never smelled of excess.  He might not have played on the studio versions of most of the classics, but he also severed under-rated.

Seeing The Rolling Stones has long been one of my rock and roll dreams. They’re the definitive rock n’ roll band. Some people might suggest that they’re too old to be out there playing.  But the Stones have always done things their way and torn down the conventional rules. Playing into their ’70s – when most other people retire – is just as rebellious in its own way.

New Music: “Fresh Lemonade” – Broken Anchor

 

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For every punk band that uses the Ramones as a template, there’s always going to another rock artist who uses After the Goldrush as his.  Using ’70s Neil Young is a good place to start: he’s an idol for both the big-time bands and indie-rockers.  Broken Anchor are clearly an indie band, but songwriter and driving force Austin Hartley-Leonard strives for bigger things whether it’s in the booming choruses and lush arrangements found throughout Fresh Lemonade.

Broken Anchor’s Fresh Lemonade harkens back to the rock and roll singer-songwriter era of the 1970’s. Fresh Lemonade is the type album made for the open road, and a time when our lives weren’t so busy with technology and social media.  It’s a love-affair for the simpler things in life.  This love is found in the reverb in the wide-eyed chorus of “Canada”.  The sonic palette conjures up the feeling of the great northern forests.  The slower and mediative “Matador” has the feeling of foggy mornings along the western coast.

Fresh Lemonade is a rare breed these days.  It’s a mature and focused album that doesn’t get lost in its own ambition.  At the same time though, it’s not too tight.  There’s plenty of extra room to let the music sink and take you for a ride to where ever you want to go to escape the business of our times.

http://www.brokenanchormusic.com

Fresh Lemonade will be available on August 20th.

Exclusive Interview with New York’s Samia

 

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New York’s Samia has often been described as a “female Steven Tyler”, but her debut single “Lose Me” recalls the early days of The Black Crowes than the Toxic Twins.   Like the Crowes’ “Lose” is pure rock and roll swagger and sweat, but with elements of soul blues and  country thrown in.  Samia sounds right at home belting out bluesy yelps over greasy guitar leads and a tight rhythm section.  “Lose Me” is a good reminder that good old fashioned rock and roll never truly fades away.

“Lose Me” is off of Samia’s forthcoming eponymous EP.  Check it out here as well as an exclusive interview below.

“Lose Me” has a big old-school rock and roll feel to it.  To me it kind of recalls some early Black Crows, with bits of soul and Janis Joplin thrown in.   Did you grow up with that kind of music?

I grew up with all kinds of music. My tastes have always been wildly eclectic. As a child, I was usually bouncing around singing everything from showtunes to disco to classic rock. When I write, I don’t focus on genre; I focus on what the song wants to be. “Lose Me” had to be big angry rock song. It’s about a love lost for the wrong reasons…it’s about being angry that all the love you had for someone wasn’t appreciated until it was gone. That’s a very Janis sentiment, so I’m not surprised she came through. I love that woman. I wish she was still around. She and I have a lot in common.

In the ‘90s there were tons of women singing with loud rock bands behind them.  Now it seems that when many women want to express themselves musically they either opt for a pop or country route.  Do you see yourself as sort of filling that void? 

I don’t know that there’s a dearth of female rockers, necessarily. P!NK is tearing it up right now with her Truth About Love tour, and I just saw Garbage kill it to a packed house at Terminal 5 in NYC. The rocker chicks are still out there representin’! But yes, I definitely want to add my voice to what’s already there. I believe women shouldn’t be afraid to be ballsy as hell. I’d rather be exactly who I am than try to conform to what the mainstream wants me to be. I’m just as masculine as I am feminine, and I want my music and my image to reflect that. Writing and singing rock music is an extension of my personality.

Your new song “We Have the Right” is a call for marriage equality.  In a way that issue has become our generation’s equivalent of ’60-era protest songs against the war.  Do you normally write topical songs or is this a one-off for a worthy cause? 

I love that you compared the fight for marriage equality to the anti-war protests in the ‘60s! You’re absolutely right – it is THAT important of a cause. I believe strongly that the future of our entire species depends on eliminating bigotry and hate from the many cultures of the world. Equal rights for all is a very important stepping stone in that fight.

To answer your question, “We Have The Right” is my only topical song to date, and it will be included as a bonus track on my upcoming debut EP. It’s also the only song we have made a music video for. The message is so important to me and I really wanted to make that contribution to the Pride celebration this year. Of all the songs I’ve ever written, it’s the one I’m proudest of.

When I feel strongly about something, I always write about it. I’m sure there will be more topical songs from me. Lately I have been utterly heartbroken over the ordeals suffered by women in Afghanistan. I saw a news story about a girl who was mutilated by her husband’s family for trying to escape from their daily abuse, and I cried my eyes out. I think she will become the subject of a song. Her name is Aisha, and she lives in the US now. I would love to show her how deeply she has touched me. That woman has overcome so much, and she’s still smiling.

You played a lot of NY hot-spots including The Bitter End and Arlene’s Grocery.  What’s your favorite place to play?

It was such a huge adrenaline rush for us to debut at the famous Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They have this huge stage and gorgeous lights and sound. It was an amazing way to launch my band. The Bitter End and Arlene’s Grocery are killer spots too – we had a blast playing both of those venues! Next up, we’re playing Rockwood Music Hall Stage II for our EP release show on Thursday, July 18 at 8:30pm. I LOVE that venue. It’s gorgeous, the sound is crystal clear, and I’ve been wanting to play there since they opened. It’s gonna be so epic!!!

Is the full rock sound found on “Lose Me” a preview of things to come on the Samia EP? 

Yes and no. As I said before, I don’t concentrate on genre when I write. As a newer artist, I am still exploring and finding my voice. On the EP, you’ll find a nod to soul in “Best of You,” gritty blues/rock with just a touch of electronica in “Burnin’ Up,” joyful 80s power pop in “Only Wanna Dance,” and raw emotional power-ballad awesomeness in “Don’t Know What I’d Do.” And “We Have The Right” is a pop/rock anthem. I also have an unreleased track that is full-on electro-pop. It’s called “Take A Step Today,” and it’s about taking charge of your life and pursuing your dreams. All of my songs can be classified as pop/rock, but no two sound exactly the same. I hope my audience appreciates that diversity, because it’s the only way I know how to write and sing. I have a lot to say, and I’ve never wanted to be limited to one thing.

 

http://www.samiamusic.com

 

Song of the Week: “1979” – Smashing Pumpkins

 

This song always reminds me of summer with its laid-back groove and smooth bass-line.  It’s also the closest thing that the Smashing Pumpkins ever came to writing a pure pop song.  Indeed, it’s light weight feel comes as a welcome relief to the heaviness that surrounds the rest of Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness.  Billy Corgan isn’t usually one who comes off as fun, but “1979” sounds downright fun compared to some of his other songs.  Even the name is bouncy compared to such other song titles as “Fuck You (An Ode to No One)”, “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”, “Cherub Rock,” etc.

What’s odd though, is that’s its’ not the melody that gets stuck in your head but the background voice that is looped throughout the entire song.  That’s the part that everyone remembers about the song.

The video seems to capture the song’s feel and brings in a feeling of nostalgia.  There’s parties abound: a roll of toilet paper being thrown at Corgan as he sings.  It’s a direct contrast to the video for “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” where the band plays in a mud-bath.  That video screamed self-loathing as did the song’s famous hook.  But “1979” offers something much simpler, which is why even when I grow tired of The Smashing Pumpkins and Corgan’s ego posturing, I still love this song.