About This Site

Each month I select 20 songs (10 songs twice a month) that I am either hooked on or am curious about. Most of the music I select are rock, hip-hop, R&B and pop songs.

My song selection comes from 20-30 CDs I get from various sources each month, as well as recommendations from iTunes and Amazon. I also check out the charts in US, UK and Japan.

May 31, 2010

The Black Keys - Tighten Up

Album: Brothers

I love The Black Keys. Their bluesy sound and the coolness they have to that music, which is probably supplied by the producer Danger Mouse (one half of Gnarls Barkley). The Black Keys, who hail from Akron, Ohio, have just released their sixth album, Brothers. The album cover doesn’t get any more simpler than that.

Bruno Mars - Count On Me

Album: It's Better If You Don't Understand

You might have heard or seen his name periodically recently thanks to B.o.B’s “Nothin’ On You” and Travie McCoy’s "Billionaire". He is featured on both of those top 40 hits, and he sounds great. With those two successful songs, he decided to release an EP album with just four songs. One of them, “Count On Me” has a laid back island feel to it. If you dig Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”, chances are, you’d like this one, too.

Cage The Elephant - In One Ear

Album: Cage The Elephant

I wish I had seen these guys live when they were in town. I liked their first single, “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” when I heard on the radio a year ago, but I never really looked into their album. “In One Ear” has been getting a lot of airplay on the rock radio station, and it’s the kind of song that would sound awesome in a live setting. I thought they might be an UK band, but they are originally from Kentucky (actually they moved to UK after finding more success there).

Christina Aguilera - Not Myself Tonight

Album: Bionic

A lot of people are now comparing the new Christina with Lady GaGa. Sure, the music video is kind of kinky and sexy in a weird way, like GaGa. And the music has the eletro-beat influence, which is also very much like Lady GaGa. Christina still puts on her signature vocal chops, but it lacks the catchiness of “Poker Face” or “Paparazzi.” On her latest album, she worked with a lot of electronic artists, so I’m looking forward to hearing her other songs.

David Guetta - Gettin' Over You /ft. Chris Willis, Fergie & LMFAO

Album: One Love

French house DJ, David Guetta’s mega hit album, One Love, containing songs like “Sexy Bitch” and “When Love Takes Over” has been out for almost a year now, but he recently released a deluxe version, containing this new mix of “Gettin' Over You” featuring Fergie and LMFAO. It’s a big hit on the dance chart right now.

The Dead Weather - Die By The Drop

Album: Sea Of Cowards

Jack White’s side project, The Dead Weather, recently released their second album, Sea of Cowards. It hadn’t even been a year since their release of their debut album, Horehound. The first single from the new album, “Die by the Drop” is hard and rocking with Alison Mosshart and Jack White singing back and forth. Now let’s all guess, which band will Jack White work with next – White Stripes? The Raconteurs? Or continue on with The Dead Weather?

Drake - Over

Album: Thank Me Later

If you are into hip-hop, you have been hearing Canadian rapper, Drake’s name this past year, no doubt. He is finally releasing his debut album, Thank Me Later in June. I don’t think there has been any artist that had this many hits before releasing a full album. He has already released several singles off of the album, but my favorite is “Over” which mixes 70s disco/funk sound with marching band.

Eminem - Not Afraid

Album: Recovery

Despite selling close to 2 million copies, Detroit rapper Eminem’s last year’s album, Relapse was considered a flop. He even raps about it on this track. That’s because he sold insane numbers of albums before that. His latest album is supposed to come out in June. Recently, the album cover and tracklist was announced. Surprisingly there is a track featuring Pink as well as Rihanna. That should be interesting. The first single, “Not Afraid” has already reached #1 spot on the countdown.

Stone Temple Pilots - Between The Lines

Album: Stone Temple Pilots

I grew up listening to Stone Temple Pilots in the 90s, and seeing them live two years ago was a real treat. And now they have a brand new album. It has been nine years since their last effort, Shangri-La Dee Da. The first single, “Between the Lines” is already a #1 rock hit in the US. I had a chance to listen to the whole album on Billboard.com, but I couldn’t really pick out any stand out radio friendly songs, except for this track.

Travie McCoy - Billionaire /ft. Bruno Mars

Album: Lazarus

Is it Travie or Travis McCoy? It seems like Gym Class Heroes frontman has decided to go solo, and is going by “Travie” instead of his real name “Travis.” Whatever his name is, his solo effort is not bad. For the first single, he recruits Bruno Mars to sing the catchy hook, “I wanna be a billionaire, so freakin’ bad” (different F-word for the explicit version, of course). There is no status on what would happen to Gym Class Heroes whether Travie will continue to trek as a solo artist or go back to the group.

May 15, 2010

B.o.B - Airplanes /ft. Hayley Williams of Paramore

Album: B.o.B Presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray

B.o.B came out of nowhere and he instantly became everyone’s favorite new rapper. His first single, “Nothin’ On You” became a #1 track in US, and the second single, “Airplanes” is also a top 5 success. On his album, he has a couple of surprising guest stars including Hayley Williams of Paramore for this particular track, and Rivers Cuomo of Weezer.

Bullet For My Valentine - The Last Fight

Album: Fever

UK heavy metal band, Bullet For My valentine has been slowly winning hard-core fans around the globe in the past five years. Their third album, Fever, was released last month, and the single, “The Last Fight” has reached #2 on the rock chart in the US, and the Japanese chart.

Colbie Caillat - I Never Told You

Album: Breakthrough

I’m usually not a fan of slow sappy music, but this song, similar to Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now”, somehow sounded good to my ears. Maybe I like a super simple sappy song. This song was produced by Kara Dioguardi, currently famous for being a judge on American Idol.

The Dirty Heads - Lay Me Down /ft. Rome

Album: Any Port In A Storm

This song, featuring Rome from Sublime w/Rome sounds a lot like a Sublime song. Recently Sublime acquired a new singer named Rome, and after a legal battle with the family members of the now deceased former lead singer, they have officially named their band, Sublime w/Rome. They are currently touring, playing old Sublime songs, and hope to record some new songs soon. Meanwhile, it’s a good promotion that this song, featuring Rome has been playing well on the radios.

Godsmack - Cryin' Like A Bitch!!

Album: The Oracle

I haven’t really listened to much of Godsmack since the year 2000’s “Awake.” Godsmack managed to reach #1 with their fifth album, titled The Oracle, which marks their third consecutive #1 album release. The latest single, “Cryin’ Like A Bitch!!” is climbing up on rock charts right now.

Gogol Bordello - My Companjera

Album: Trans-Continental Hustle

What is gypsy punk music? When you listen to Gogol Bordello, you know right away what that is. I really love their funky style of music, and have always wanted to see them live, but I keep missing them. Check out some of their live performances on YouTube. Their shows look like so much fun. Gogol Bordello’s new album, Trans-Continental Hustle is also a lot of fun.

Keane - Stop For A Minute /ft. K'naan

Album: Night Train

UK piano rock group, Keane hasn’t had a huge US success since 2004 when “Somewhere Only We Know” and “Everybody’s Changing” were huge hits. This month, they released an EP titled Night Train, including this single, “Stop For a Minute” featuring Somali-Canadian rapper, K’naan (his song “Wavin’ Flag” is the official FIFA Worldcup 2010 song).

Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley - Strong Will Continue

Album: Distant Relatives

So far I’ve only heard two singles off of this monster collaboration between Nas and Damian Marley, and I dig them both. “Strong Will Continue” and “As We Enter” both mix hip-hop and reggae really well. And this collaboration happened for the good cause to build more schools in Africa, thus the theme for the whole album carries messages about poverty and ancestry.

Toni Braxton - Make My Heart

Album: Pulse

A lot of people called this Toni Braxton’s “comeback album.” I felt like I heard that phrases a lot in the past year, similar for Whitney Houston and Monica. I do like the sampling of this danceable track, but so far none of the songs I’ve heard from the album makes me think that she can take over the charts like she did in the 90s.

Weezer - I'm Your Daddy

Album: Raditude

Weezer’s front man Rivers Cuomo has been branching out a lot recently. Not only did he have Lil Wayne rap on one of Weezer’s songs, but he started writing songs for other people including B.o.B and Adam Lambert. Their new single, “I’m Your Daddy” even contains some electro-dance beat.

Sasquatch Festival 2010 (Sat)

Sasquatch festival is back again this year. Compared to previous years, the lineup celebrates more indie music. I won’t be attending this year, as I wasn’t that impressed with the lineup, but for those who are going, maybe this guide can help you a bit.
Saturday, May 29th lineup is headlined by jam band, My Morning Jacket. I was disappointed that Wale was pulled out of the lineup at last minute. Deadmau5’s performance well into the late night could be an interesting treat. My “must-see” recommendation for Saturday lineup is UK folk rock band, Mumford & Sons.

Mumford & Sons - The Cave

Album: Sigh No More

Out of all the good lineup on Saturday, Mumford & Sons are probably my favorite. This UK folk band grabbed my heart with their first single, “Little Lion Man” and with their cover of Vampire Weekend’s “Cousins” recently, I am now a huge fan. I wish that I can see them at a smaller venue, but seeing them during the day at the Gorge might be a lot of fun as well.

Nada Surf - Weightless

Album: Lucky

In the past several years, Nada Surf have become a rock festival band. Every year, they seem to be performing on the festival circuit. That must be paying off as “Popular,” their 1996 major hit is no longer their most downloaded song on iTunes. They are supposed to be releasing a new album this summer.

Deadmau5 - Hi Friend! /ft. MC Flipside

Album: For Lack Of A Better Name

Daft Punk became a household name in the electro-dance genre ten years ago. I can’t really think of anyone else that has turned as huge as Daft Punk on an international level, but Deadmau5 could be next. The Canadian electro house producer is on a right track, as he had just won Juno Award (Canadian version of the Grammys) for Best Dance album.

The National – Sorrow

Album: High Violet

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of The National. I can tell that they make good music, but I tend to get bored and sleepy with their music. I should mention that they have recently released their fifth album, titled High Violet, which received my praises from music critics worldwide.

Vampire Weekend - Giving Up The Gun

Album: Contra

Vampire Weekend has proven that they are going to be around for a while by releasing a solid second album. Their first single from Contra, “Cousins” got a decent airplay (and a kickass cover by Mumford & Sons – could there be collaboration between these two bands at Sasquatch?). The second single, “Giving Up the Gun” isn’t as catchy, but the video is a lot of fun with lots of guest stars such as hiphop star Rza and Lil Jon as well as Joe Jonas and Jake Gyllenhaal.

My Morning Jacket - I'm Amazed

Album: Evil Urges

I’ve read and heard the name, My Morning Jacket and its lead singer Jim James a lot, but I’ve actually never really listened to any of their music before. Considering that they are supposed to be closing the night, they must have quite a following. I think I will start out by their most famous single thus far, “I’m Amazed” and slowly get to know them better. I like what I hear so far.