Top Ranking Albums of February 2011

Second Chance

February 2011

  1. Peter Bjorn and John Second Chance [Almost Gold/Startime International 2011]
  2. Elephant ManDance & Sweep! – Adventures Of The Energy God [VP Records 2011]
  3. Lucinda Williams Blessed [Lost Highway 2011]
  4. Dennis Brown Tribulation Times [Kingston Sounds 2011]
  5. Derrick Morgan No Dice: All Original Jamaican Mono Recordings 1966-67 [Reggae Retro 2011]
  6. Black Joe Lewis & the HoneybearsScandalous [Lost Highway 2011]
  7. Various ArtistsThe Bombing Volume 2: The Very Best of Bost & Bim Reggae Hip Hop & RNB Classic Inna Reggae Style [Beats Mob France 2011]
  8. Amos LeeMission Bell[Blue Note 2011]
  9. Various ArtistsReggae Wave [Reggae Wave 2011]
  10. Various ArtistsCultural Vibes [Heartbeat Europe 2011]

Dance & Sweep! - Adventures Of The Energy God

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Top Ranking Albums of February 2011

Top 100 Ranking Singles of 2010

The Top Ranking Singles of 2010
  1. Damian Marley, Nas, and Dennis BrownLand Of Promise
  2. Alborosie & Dennis BrownCan’t Stand It
  3. Cee LoFuck You
  4. GyptianHold You
  5. Jamey Johnson – Set ‘Em Up Joe
  6. Busy SignalSweet Love (Night Shift)
  7. Chuckle Berry, Sly & RobbieGood Life
  8. Courtney JohnLove Is
  9. Ryan BinghamThe Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)
  10. Carolina Chocolate DropsHit ‘Em Up Style
  11. AlborosieNo Cocaine
  12. Gappy RanksPut The Stereo On
  13. Erykah Badu Window Seat
  14. Romain VirgoMi Caan Sleep
  15. Busy SignalOne More Night
  16. Damian Marley & NasAs We Enter
  17. Spragga Benz – Shotta Culture
  18. AlborosieMama She Don’t Like You
  19. Prince Fatty & HorsemenInsane In The Brain
  20. Johnny Cash Ain’t No Grave
  21. Broken Bells The High Road
  22. Lloyd Brown Cold Blooded
  23. Michael Franti & SpearheadThe Sound Of Sunshine
  24. Spragga Benz, Shabba Ranks, Kardinal Offishal, & Swizz Beatz Red Dot Special (Rhatata)
  25. Willie Nelson, Leon Rausch, and Asleep at the WheelTruck Driver’s Blues
  26. Ed RobinsonOur Heroes
  27. Spragga Benz & Nas – This Is The Way
  28. AlborosieBlue Movie Boo
  29. Damian Marley, Nas, & Lil WayneMy Generation
  30. GorillazOn Melancholy Hill
  31. Yim Yames & the Preservation Hall Jazz BandLouisiana Fairytale
  32. Sean Paul Turn Me On
  33. Kings Go Forth – One Day
  34. Gappy RanksButterflies
  35. Merle Haggard I’ve Seen It Go Away
  36. Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know
  37. Lil Jon, Damian Marley, & Stephen MarleyOn De Grind
  38. Prince Fatty & Winston FrancisDry Your Tears
  39. Vampire WeekendHoliday
  40. Lee “Scratch” Perry & George ClintonScary Politicians
  41. Junior Kelly Too Late
  42. Damian Marley, Nas, & K’NaanTribes At War
  43. Jamey Johnson – Lonely At The Top
  44. Rootz UndergroundMakisupa Policeman
  45. Gorillaz, De La Soul, and Gruff Rhys – Superfast Jellyfish
  46. John Legend, Common, Melanie Fiona, & the RootsWake Up Everybody
  47. Kanye WestRunaway
  48. Spragga BenzDread Don’t Go Down
  49. Robert Plant Angel Dance
  50. Gappy RanksHeaven In Her Eyes
  51. Alejandro Escovedo – Anchor
  52. Damian Marley & NasPatience
  53. JonsiGo do
  54. Major Lazer, Collie Buddz, & Linda OrtegaGood Enuff
  55. Vampire WeekendHorchata
  56. Vybz Kartel & Popcaan Clarks
  57. Cypress HillBang Bang
  58. Kanye West Monster
  59. Overproof SoundsystemKing Step
  60. Cas Haley & Tanya Stephens Wolfman’s Brother
  61. Lil’ Wayne Gonorrhea
  62. Alborosie & Steel PulseSteppin Out
  63. Michael Franti, Lady Saw, and Spearhead Shake It
  64. Ray Benson, Jason Roberts, Leon Rausch, and Asleep at the WheelIt’s a Good Day
  65. I-Octane Puff It
  66. Lil Jon & Ying Yang TwinsRide Da D
  67. Romain Virgo Alton’s Medley
  68. Willie Nelson & Mishka Homegrown
  69. Damian Marley & NasNah Mean
  70. Tony AllenSecret Agent
  71. AssassinHand Inna Di Air
  72. Gorillaz, Mod Def, and Bobby Womack Stylo
  73. Prince Fatty & Horseman Shimmy Shimmy Ya
  74. Spragga Benz, Queen Ifrica, Stephen Marley, & Jah Cure – More Life
  75. Surfer BloodFloating Vibes
  76. Lil Jon, Ice Cube, & Elephant ManKillas
  77. Justin Townes EarleHarlem River Blues
  78. Damian Marley & NasCount Your Blessings
  79. SpoonWritten In Reverse
  80. Chalice & YellowmanBouncing Around The Room
  81. Broken BelllsThe Ghost Inside
  82. Alborosie & Horace Andy Money
  83. Cypress Hill, Pitbull, & Marc AnthonyArmada Latina
  84. Prince Fatty and Little Roy Christopher Colombus
  85. Vampire WeekendDiplomat’s Son
  86. MGMTCongratulations
  87. Gorillaz, Snoop Dogg, & Hypnotic Brass EnsembleWelcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach
  88. Kanye WestAll Of The Lights
  89. Two Door Cinema ClubSomething Good Can Work
  90. Carolina Chocolate DropsYour Baby Ain’t Sweet Like Mine
  91. Elizabeth Cook – El Camino
  92. Broken BellsVaporize
  93. NnekaHeartbeat
  94. The Rolling StonesPlundered My Soul
  95. Kanye WestPower
Top 100 Ranking Singles of 2010

Top Ranking Albums of November 2010

Supersize

Top Ranking Albums of November 2010

  1. Prince Fatty – Supersize [Mr Bongo 2010]
  2. The Tamlins Rebirth [Shengen 2010]
  3. Rocky DawuniHymns For the Rebel Soul [Aquarian Records 2010]
  4. The Shinyribs Well After Awhile [Nine Mile Records 2010]
  5. EtanaFree Expressions [VP Records 2010]
  6. LucianoWrite My Name [Footprintz Music 2010]
  7. Jahdan Blakkamore Babylon Nightmare [Lustre Kings 2010]
  8. Kanye West –  My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [Roc A Fella Records 2010]
  9. AlpheusFrom Creation [A-Lone Productions 2010]
  10. Various ArtistsBlow Your Head – Diplo Presents: Dubstep [Mad Decent Records 2010]
  11. Lil WayneI Am Not A Human Being [Cash Money 2010]
  12. Black Dub Black Dub [Jive 2010]

Well After Awhile

Top Ranking Albums of November 2010

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2010 – DAY TWO

On day two of the Austin City Limits Music Festival we started the day at the Austin Ventures Stage with an electro-pop alternative/indie rock band from Northern Ireland called Two Door Cinema Club. The setlist included a hard-hitting barrage of tracks: “Cigarettes in the Theatre,” “Undercover Martyn,” “Do You Want It All?,” and the solid hit “Something Good Can Work.” The boys from Bangor, Northern Ireland played several tracks like “This Is Life,” “You’re Not Stuboorn,” “What You Know,” and “Eat That Up, It’s Good For You” from their new album Tourist History. And with the closers “Come Back Home” and especially the single “I Can Talk” the young rockers finished strong.

Tourist History

Following Two Door Cinema Club, Andrew Mayer Cohen aka Mayer Hawthorne representing Ann Arbor, Michigan brought the soul of the Motor City to Austin City Limits. The sweet sounding “Maybe So, Maybe No” set the vibe for the afternoon set. Mayer Hawthorne and the County then flipped the script playing the remixed versionGangsta Luv” recorded with the smooth rhyming rapper Snoop Doggy DoggThen he slowed down again for a chill version of “I Wish It Would Rain.”

His neo-soul sound flows in the same manner as the R&B and Soul revivalists: Mark Ronson, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and Amy Winehouse. Not that Hawthorne sounds like these contemporaries but rather he sounds more like the classic crooners of old–Smokey Robinson and the Miracles or Marvin Gaye. The soul session then evolved into a sing along with a spot on cover version of the classic Doobie Brothers trackWhat A Fool Believes.” And, ultimately Mayer Hawthorne returned to his roots with the R&B jam ” Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out.”

I left the Austin Ventures stage for the Broken Bells. My family stayed behind for the Local Natives, which they reported were awesome ,especially since the 15-year old virtuoso fiddle player and singer-songwriter Ruby Jane joined the band for a musical ride. Unfortunately, this is the problem with Austin City Limits: there are too many bands at the same time to really see all the bands that you want to see.

I hated to miss the Local Natives, but the Broken Bells beckoned. Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse and James Mercer of the Oregon Indie Rock band The Shins align to make melodic space rock music like “Vaporize” andOctober.” And, I especially like the tracks “The Ghost Inside” andThe High Road.” Some tracks are more punchy like “The Mall & Misery,” but for the most part Broken Bells songs are spaced-out, well crafted, and textured rock songs. Danger Mouse adds layers of synths and keys atop the haunting vocals of James Mercer.

The Monsters Of Folk are a 2010 version of a folk-rock supergroup. They are our generation’s Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Combine the breathtaking vocals of  Yim Yames aka Jim James from My Morning Jacket with the rootsy vocals of Conor Oberst and the talents of multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes; then mix in the vocalist and music maker M. Ward, the genius behind groups like She & Him and you’ve got one hell of a supergroup.

The show opened with the harmonizing vocalists singing “hold out your hands” and “Say Please.”  Although festival organizers should have put this top notch band on a bigger stage, they still managed to put together a wonderful set, including songs from the album Monsters Of Folk. The set included: “The Right Place,”Man Named Truth,” “Ahead of the Curve,”Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.),” “Slow Down Jo,” “The Sandman, The Brakeman And Me,” and “Baby Boomer.”

But the band also played songs from other projects including the Bright Eyes tunes “Soul Singer in a Session Band,” ‘Hit the Switch,” “At the Bottom of Everything,” and “Another Travelin’ Song.” They also played a wonderful version of the M. Ward song “Vincent O’Brien” and the My Morning Jacket tracks “Golden” alongside a fantastic take on “Smokin from Shootin.” Although the guys covered material from other projects they stayed true to their collaborative material playing Monsters of Folk originals like “Whole Lotta Losin’,” “Temazcal,” and “Map Of The World.” And they closed with the haunting “His Master’s Voice.”

Matt & Kim provided a nice interlude between Monsters of Folk and M.I.A. I liked how the duo interlaced their indie dance rock with dance tracks. At one point, I heard a rip-roaring dancehall cut from Diplo’s Major Lazer album Gunz Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do called “Pon De Floor.” Plus there was a nice cover of the Biz Markie favorite “Just A Friend.” Essentially Matt & Kim threw a party on their stage playing their own stuff like “Daylight” alongside other great samples and beats.

Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam aka M.I.A. is a performing artists. For this show, we got up close and danced our assess off. From the slamming “Galang” to the hardcore “World Town” M.I.A. brought anarchy to ACL. I heard lots of complaints about M.I.A. from people near the back, but up front the sounds and sights elicited a punk electronica atmosphere. Of course she played the megahitPaper Planes.”  And she concluded with the noisy “Born Free” from her new loud album Maya. Also, we caught the end of a solid Muse show. Luckily, the science fiction rockers played “Starlight.”

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2010 – DAY TWO

ACL Preview – Austin City Limits Music Festival

The Fall (Amazon Exclusive)

After reviewing the lineup for the Austin City Limits Music Festival I am ready for an interesting three days of music. I must admit I am an Eagles fan. And I am hoping for the hits “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Take It Easy,” and “Hotel California.” The Eagles reached supergroup status long ago in Texas and obtained Rock and Hall Fame glory in 1998. In fact the entire album Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 was on constant rotation in our house. An evening with “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Already Gone” would be commonplace.

Hotel California

Don Henley and Joe Walsh by themselves should be future Rock and Roll hall fame inductees. And I am hoping for some solo gems like “Life’s Been Good,” “Rocky Mountain Way,” or even “The Boys Of Summer” and “The End Of The Innocence.” From southern rock  classics like “Seven Bridges Road” to soft rock standards “Desperado,” “One Of These Nights,” “The Best Of My Love,” and “Take It To The Limit” the Eagles have been an integral part of my life since early childhood. So I’ll have to disagree with The Dude on this one. The Eagles are worthy! And I am looking forward to “Witchy Woman” and another “Tequila Sunrise.”

Come Away With Me

Norah Jones should be a great show. Her newest album The Fall included the electrified “Chasing Pirates.” And her lush vocals on “Come Away With Me” and “Don’t Know Why” are now legendary. Jones is a talented pianist and her music will be a perfect fit for Austin. In this same easy-going musical vein, I am excited about seeing the talented singer Amos Lee perform sweet tunes like “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight.”

The Resistance

The Muse versus M.I.A. problem causes a little consternation for me. I am a sucker for dancehall, electronica, and Public Enemystyle beats with female emcees. So M.I.A. and her funky fresh posse are certain to bring chaos to Austin, Texas. At her last appearance at ACL, M.I.A. unleashed mayhem. The new album Maya offers some tasty singles to drop, including the feature track “Xxxo.”  And the crowd pleasers “Paper Planes” and “Galang” are always slamming. Yet I’m going to try and catch the end of MUSE because this science fiction infused rock band brings a wicked light show to accompany their monster jams. Take a listen to “Starlight,” “Uprising,” or “Knights Of Cydonia” for a taste of their sound.

Maya (Deluxe Version) [Explicit]

The Monsters Of Folk are my must-see band for the festival. The band includes M.Ward, Yim Yames aka Jim James from My Morning Jacket, and Conor Oberst and Mike Moogis from Bright Eyes. This modern-day supergroup has a country hippy sound reminiscent of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers. For example, check out the beautifully crafted “The Right Place.” And they have a couple of haunting stunners like the super hit “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.).” The Monsters Of Folk will have you tapping your toes and singing along to songs like “Say Please.”

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

I am also excited about seeing Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The National, Mayer Hawthorne, Vampire Weekend, and Broken Bells featuring Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins. Plus the great thing about ACL is a lineup full of Texas-based musical artists like Robert Earl Keen, Spoon, and Asleep at the Wheel. And finally, on a reggae note California stoners Slightly Stoopid and the American reggae band Rebelution add some good vibes to the lineup.

Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975

One Of These Nights

Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)

Broken Bells

ACL Preview – Austin City Limits Music Festival

The Best Albums of September 2010

Antifogmatic (Deluxe)
  1. The Punch BrothersAntifogmatic [Nonesuch 2010]
  2. Spragga BenzShotta Culture [Boom Tunes 2010]
  3. Gappy RanksPut The Stereo On [Greensleeves 2010]
  4. Ana Tijou1977 [Nacional Records 2010]
  5. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger Acoustic Sessions [2010]
  6. DubmatixSystem Shakedown [Renegade Media 2010]
  7. Quantic presenta Flowering Inferno Dog With A Rope [Tru Thoughts 2010]
  8. Taj Weekes & AdowaA Waterlogged Soul Kitchen [Jatta Records 2010]
  9. Robert PlantBand of Joy [New Rounder 2010]
  10. Lil Jon & The East Side BoyzCrunk Rock [Universal 2010]
  11. Mavis Staples (and Jeff Tweedy) You Are Not Alone [Anti/Epitaph 2010]
  12. Justin Townes EarleHarlem River Blues [Bloodshot Records 2010]
  13. Richie StephensReggae Revolution [Pot of Gold/VP Records 2010]
  14. Paul WallHeart Of A Champion [Swishahouse 2010]
  15. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lannegan Come Undone [Vanguard 2010]
  16. Tom Petty & the HeartbreakersMojo [Reprise 2010]
  17. Sarah BlaskoAs Day Follows Night [Universal 2010]
  18. Various ArtistsDear New Orleans [ATC Benefits 2010]
  19. Jerry Lee Lewis Mean Old Man [Shangri-La Roots 2010]
  20. Lady Saw My Way [Toasting Music 2010]
  21. Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah DogsGod Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise [RCA Records 2010]
  22. Max StallingHome to You [Blind Nello Records 2010]
  23. Ryan Bingham Junky Star [Lost Highway Records 2010]
  24. Grupo FantasmaEl Existential [Nat Geo Music 2010]
  25. James Levy Verses [Township Records 2010]
  26. Danny Malone Verses [Township Records 2010]
  27. AtmosphereTo All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy: The Atmosphere EP’s [Rhymesayers 2010]
  28. Hope SandovalThrough The Devil Softly [Netwerk Records 2009]
  29. Bostich & FussibleBulevar 2000 [Nacional Records 2010]
  30. Sahara SmithMyth Of The Heart [Playing in Traffic Records 2010]
  31. Tom Schraeder Once Lace, Now Cotton[Township Records 2010]
  32. Ben Sollee & Daniel MartinDear Companion [Sub Pop Records 2010]
  33. The TrishasThey Call Us The Trishas [Fatty Four Records 2010]
  34. JamesThe Morning After The Night Before [Island/Def Jam 2010]
  35. Green River Ordinance The Morning Passengers EP – Acoustic Sessions [For Mona 2010]
  36. The GreenhornesGun For You [Greenhornes 2010]
  37. RobynBody Talk Pt. 2 [Interscope Records 2010]
  38. Jon Langford & Skull OrchardOld Devils [Bloodshot Records 2010]
  39. T-Model FordPee Wee Get My Gun [Fat Possum Records 2010]
  40. RuskoHold On [Mad Decent Records 2010]
  41. Street Sweeper Social Club – The Ghetto Blaster EP [Street Sweeper Social Club 2010]
  42. Natty King Trodding [Tad’s 2010]
  43. Black Milk Album Of The Year [Fat Beats Records 2010]
  44. Chezidek Herbalist [Tad’s 2010]

Put The Stereo On

System Shakedown

Dog With A Rope

Harlem River Blues [Explicit]

You Are Not Alone

Dear New Orleans [Explicit]

Junky Star

El Existential

Verses

Verses

Once Lace, Now Cotton

Pee Wee Get My Gun [Explicit]

The Best Albums of September 2010

Asleep at the Wheel and the Quebe Sisters go on A Ride with Bob

Today I took my parents and wife to see Asleep at the Wheel and the Quebe Sisters perform A Ride with Bob. Ray Benson, the tall and lanky long-haired guitarist, took us on a bus ride. We travelled the highway from Texas to Tulsa. We accompanied Benson and the mythical Bob Wills on a bus tour through Wills’s extraordinary life. On the road, the two icons of Texas music joked, sang, picked guitars, played fiddles, and recalled the history of the legendary western swing band Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

Asleep at the Wheel and the Quebe Sisters go on A Ride with Bob