The post does not deserve 1 entry. It deserves 19739847832648723874610 more.
BETTER THAN EZRA
Louisiana definitely has more than swamps, moonshine and great Creole food to offer… Do you remember these boys? Post-grunge was slowly on the rise in the late 1990s and they’ve been riding the chocolate train all the way to candy mountain ever since. It took them quite awhile to get a hang of it though. For years they’ve been playing for frat houses, local bars and house parties but as soon as 1995 hit, the year was gold. Platinum status record, baby!
Still, they do know how to make you swoon under the stars, don’t they? Pun intended. With songs as dreamy (teenage dream-y, that is) as these, you won’t fall short on applause if you cover them on prom night.
Must-Listens: “At The Stars”, “Desperately Wanting”, “Good”, “King of New Orleans”, “In The Blood”, “Rosealia”, “Under You”, “Rewind”
Kicking off the jam (jam rock) with these boys! It was such a treat to hear something as refreshing as them, and all the way from New York too. Made for the big city with the big streets. Plug them in your walkman and catch yourself literally walking for hours nonstop. So few bands resonating the same sound as them made it big, but the Spin Doctors hoarded up all the airtime and pushed everyone else off the charts with their groovy licks and infectious pop melodies. Even as I write this, I can’t figure out whether they took their unique flavor from failed experiments on funk or blues. Hello, Grammy and AMA nominations… we were expecting you!
Must-Listens: “Two Princes”, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”, “How Could You Want Him”, “What Time Is It”, “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues”, “Mary Jane”, “You Let Your Heart Go Too Fast”, “Margarita” (2005)
THE VERVE PIPE
Well, this is another band that superglued one particular song into all our systems. You know that I know that you know what I’m talking about.
That’s besides the point though. You may not remember them as a grunge band (post-grunge, sure), but in their earlier recordings there is that evident Seattle sound again. Then all of a sudden they shift gear and go all pop-oriented mainstream-kissed cool and easy on us. What’s the deal? Still, it worked out great for them! I wouldn’t go out on a limb to call them entirely life changing but most songs in the album Villains(1996) nourished my soul especially on those days where I landed in CAPITAL B.S.-VILLE. Which was technically most days.
Must-Listens: “The Freshmen”, “Photograph”, “Cup Of Tea”, “Hero”, “Spoonful of Sugar”, “Villains”
One of the greatest heartbreaks in my history of heartbreaks. Live… dead. 2009… I was told Ed, Patrick and the 2 Chads would stop making music and I busted out all the tapes, mixtapes and cds I had of them and whimpered for a month (in my head). These guys taught me the real meaning of passion, obsession, and yes… being a-live. If you say that I’m a very very very sad person because of this, then fine. Go for it. Don’t expect your kneecaps in the right place afterwards.
If you say U2, I say LIVE! It’s no wonder these guys have been repeatedly compared to the Irish matadors of all things rock because of their powerful and unworldly songwriting which I cannot even begin to describe. It just reaches deep into the core (which you might forget you had) and squeezes out every last bit of intense emotion out of it. Hereby lies their charm. Hands down.
I shouldn’t even begin spelling out their rabid fanbase, copies sold, awards and chart topping numbers… because you already know that.
Must-Listens: Everything on the Throwing Copper (1994) album + everything else
It’s U.K.’s turn to shine! MTV created this weighing scale of coolness for my ears. It took me a while to digest a whole new different sound which could be summed up in the words “Traditional British Rock” and Stereophonics delivered real well. Finally busting through European charts with “Local Boy In The Photograph” (1997), they didn’t look back as each single got better and better. Honest music always gets you somewhere. And it’s up on the clouds.
Must-Listens: “The Bartender and the Thief”, “Pick A Part That’s New”, “A Thousand Trees”, “I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio”, “Hurry Up And Wait”, “Local Boy In The Photograph”, “Just Looking”, “Traffic”, “Is Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today?”, “Maybe”
G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE
The epitome of laidback, friendly, playful, good-natured and… summery. Garrett Dutton and the rest of the gang found the “special sauce” for the meal that is LOVE. Pardon the puns, couldn’t help myself.
They may not have been as well received as the rest but G. Love and Special Sauce rests well in the minds of all who worship the sunshine. Often regarded as shabby and casual blues, looping it for an entire afternoon by the waves would make people wonder if you were jacked on some the good stuff. *wink*
Must-Listens: “Milk & Cereal”, “Stepping Stone”, “Dreamin’”, “Rodeo Clowns”, “Baby’s Got Sauce”, “Kiss And Tell”
THIRD EYE BLIND
Grab your backpack, a couple of good friends, pop an album in your car stereo and get ready for a roadtrip! Did I say pop? Yes, I did. Pop? Pop. Pop! Okay, as “alternative” these guys can seem to be, there is always a thin line between that and the easy breezy braincandy digestibility factor to them. So what? You will always find yourself knowing the words to their songs even after 10++ years.
Must-Listens: “Semi-Charmed Life”, “How’s It Gonna Be”, “Jumper”, “Graduate” and more recent ones “Blinded (When I See You)”, “Never Let You Go”, “Deep Inside Of You”
FAITH NO MORE
I gotta be honest with you. First impressions = parody band. 2nd impression = gay. 3rd impression = F***! These guys are EPIC! That’s an understatement too. Seeing now that the boys… I mean men… have become one of the most influential rock influences of the late 80s and early 90s, I am totally confident with my taste in moo-zac. Their clever blend of elements from funk, rap, hip-hop, heavy metal, punk and even progressive rock earned them a top spot in the list of great musical influences of hard hitting mainstream alternative metal in this day and age. I dare say Nu Metal too. Don’t hit me, please.
Their road to glory was as rough as anybody else’s. You can listen to all the polishing, experimenting and evolving going on with their consecutive albums. Sometimes rap fought with the metal… other times the composition wasn’t as cohesive… there was drama within the band too which reflected in the inconsistency of their sound. But they got it right after awhile. They got tight. Real tight. And plenty sexy.
Must-Listens: “Midlife Crisis”, “Epic”, “Ashes to Ashes”, “Easy” (A Lionel Richie cover), “Stripsearch”, “A Small Victory”, “Digging the Grave”, “I Started A Joke” (yeah, the one which gave me those 1st few impressions… which turns out pretty damn good after a few more hits of the play button), “Richochet”, “Everything’s Ruined”, “Last Cup of Sorrow”
They may be named after a flower, but delicate they are not. After enjoying a short burst of popularity back in 1999 with extensive radio play courtesy of a couple of their hits, they died out on 2004 after Unwind (2001) failed to keep followers. I have to come clean that they were beginning to sound like every other band. February Son (1999) was beautiful.
Rumor has it though that they have rebanded and are currently working on a new album. Mary, mary, quite contrary how will this garden grow?
Must-Listens: “Boys Don’t Cry”, “I Walk Alone”, “Why I’m Here”, “Are You There?” (2001), “Halo” (2001), “Runaway Train” (2003)
From Oleander to Wallflowers… Pun intended. Fall head over heels with the tender, melancholic and sentimental Wallflowers. (Your girlfriend/girl friend/female best friend would surely swoon, I tell ya.) Expect blues-folk inspired strums from the son of rock legend Bob Dylan himself. Following huge success with Bringing Down the Horse (1997), later albums couldn’t cut it and kept hidden from the limelight. Even then, these guys remain good as gold in the cd racks of many for years to come.
Must-Listens: “One Headlight”, “Three Marlenas”, “6th Avenue Heartache”, “The Difference”, “Heroes”, “Closer To You”, “Into The Mystic” (2003?)
OUR LADY PEACE
They may sound like your usual post-grunge mega superstars (notice my use of double awesome HUGE synonyms right there?), but vocalist Raine’s stylistic crooning adds that matchless surrealism in their music. Falsetto’s cheesiness has elevated to a whole new delicious level. This, coupled with the band’s melodic structure, has the effect of swimming in water without the water. Albums Naveed (1994) and Clumsy (1997) are the ways to go. Spiritual Machines (2001) is also very much noteworthy for a listen. Thank you, Canada!
Must-Listens: “Naveed”, “Superman’s Dead”, “Clumsy”, “Starseed”, “4AM”, “Supersatellite”, “Hope”, “One Man Army”, recent ones such as “Life”, “Somewhere Out There”, “Innocent”
Now this is THE band we are crossing our fingers for this May 10, 2011 in the Philippines. Ever heard of someone scream out “They are the mold in which my musical taste for rock music has percolated and evolved in! They are the essence of my growing up years!” Oh yeah. Totally. And according to Jake, he wouldn’t hope for a Paul Gilbert Guitar Clinic before the concert anymore— because he’ll climb up the stage and snatch it from our “guitar hero’s” fingers. I highly doubt he’d manage to snap out of the atmosphere of searing blues/funk-inspired riffs, passionate vocal work, and overall nostalgic power ballads without having a nosebleed. We love Mr. Big.
Jake: Gilbert is influential to a whole barrage of guitar players out there, amateur and not. It’s because of his unique style… and of course, he has the tendency to pick many notes instead of relying on legato for fast passages. I wanna see Richie Kotzen too, though. This is so hard!!! Who’s playing for us now???
Belle: *hyperventilate* If Eric isn’t singing for this tour either… we need to give back them tickets. (And teepee their bus with poopy teepee or whatever.)
Must-Listens: “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind”, “Just Take My Heart”, “Wild World” (cover), “Goin’ Where The Wind Blows”, “Superfantastic”, “Stay Together”, “Promise Her The Moon”, “To Be With You”, “Ain’t Seen Love Like That”, “Take Cover”, “Addicted To That Rush”
To BE CONTINUED!… (Watch out for Pt. 3!)
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the images used and will take them out if necessary as they fall under the discretion of their respective owners. Peace!