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.

July 30, 2010

B.o.B - Magic /ft. Rivers Cuomo of Weezer

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

Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo had been quite active recently in the pop and hip-hop world. He has submitted a song for Adam Lambert, and he is featured on B.o.B’s latest single as well as Kevin Rudolf’s album track, “Must Be Dreamin’”. B.o.B is on a roll with his singles as his first two hits have hit top 10. “Magic” is seeing a slow climb on the charts.

Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - Little Girl /ft. Julian Casablancas of The Strokes

Album: Dark Night Of The Soul

I’ve never heard of Sparklehorse until this record in which he worked with the Gnarls Barkley’s Danger Mouse. Sparklehorse is an indie rock band with vocalist, Mark Linkous, who had just killed himself this spring (at age of 47). This album had been recorded over a year ago, but due to legal dispute, took a while to release. Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse invite numerous famous vocalists from popular bands such as The Flaming Lips, The Cardigans and Iggy Pop, as well as Julian Casablancas of The Strokes.

Flo Rida - Club Can't Handle Me /ft. David Guetta

Album: Step Up 3D Soundtrack

When I first heard this song on the radio, the opening beat made me think of “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas. Well, what do you know. It’s produced by the same French DJ, David Guetta. Although this won’t turn into a mega hit, it is a decent club track that should get people on the dance floor.

Gyptian - Hold You (Hold Yuh)

Album: Hold You

Could this be the biggest reggae hit of the summer 2010? So far it’s looking like it. Even super hot Nicki Minaj has recorded remix version for this track. Although most of people have never heard of him until this track, Gyptian has been a popular artist on the Jamaican charts, even nominated for Best New Entertainer at the 2006 International Reggae Awards.

Jeff Beck - I Put A Spell On You /ft. Joss Stone

Album: Emotion & Commotion

Jeff Beck is a legendary guitarist from The Yardbirds. Since then he has worked on multiple projects, including working with Rod Stewart on the single, “People Get Ready” which was a big hit in 1985. Many of his tracks are instrumental only, but on his latest album, he has recruited a few of famous vocalists, including Joss Stone, who sings this cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic (also made famous by Nina Simone.

Korn - Oildale (Leave Me Alone)

Album: Korn III: Remember Who You Are

For Korn’s ninth album, they recruited the producer Ross Robinson, who worked on their first two albums. Korn tries to bring their older style by not using layering. The music video for this song is a bit creepy, but fits the song. I initially thought this song was about the oil trouble in the gulf, but Oildale is a city in California where the lead singer Jonathan Davis is from.

Mike Posner - Cooler Than Me

Album: 31 Minutes To Takeoff

Michigan native, Mike Posner was still a student at Duke University when he started recording mix tapes, which led to bidding war between labels. His debut album, 31 Minutes to Takeoff will be released in mid August, but he is determined to graduate from Duke, instead of dropping out to pursue full time in music. There is bound to be Justin Timberlake comparison with his music (and looks). The first single “Cooler Than Me” has already reached top 10.

Ozzy Osbourne - Let Me Hear You Scream

Album: Scream

When Ozzy’s wife Sharon was promoting this album, she specifically targeted sports audience. How much more appropriate could this song get for a sporting event? Bottom of the 9th inning, and you can hear the stadium ringing, “Let me hear you screaaaam!!”. It paid off as this song has been sitting in the rock chart for several weeks now.

Sheryl Crow - Summer Day

Album: 100 Miles From Memphis

Sheryl Crow’s seventh album, 100 Miles From Memphis is a very soulful album. You might be surprised, but Sheryl Crow has never had a number 1 album. This latest release came out as #3 (following Eminem and Rick Ross). Crow’s latest album includes tracks which features artists such as Keith Richards, Justin Timberlake and Citizen Cope, as well as cover of Michael Jackson’s “I Want You Back”.

We Are Scientists - Rules Don't Stop

Album: Barbara

American indie band, We Are Scientists have been around since the early 2000s, but they have always been more popular in UK than in their native country. “Rules Don’t Stop Me” is the lead single from their fifth album, and it is currently available for free mp3 download from Amazon MP3

July 18, 2010

3OH!3 - My First Kiss /ft. Kesha

Album: Streets Of Gold

Boulder, Colorado duo, 3OH!3 (“303” is an area code in Boulder) has enjoyed quite a success in the past few years with hits like “Don’t Trust Me” and “Starsrukk”. Their third album, Streets of Gold already has a top 10 single with “My First Kiss” featuring Ke$ha.

Ed Kowalczyk - Grace

Album: Alive

If you listened to rock music in the 90s, you would recognize songs like, “I Alone” and “Lightning Crashes” by a band called Live. Chris Daughtry was one of them, and he has mentioned a couple of times on American Idol that Live was one of his favorite bands of all time. Their popularity has declined since then, and the lead singer, Ed Kowalczyk is now releasing a solo album. On one of the tracks, Chris Daughtry actually lends a hand in songwriting (track titled “Drink (Everlasting Love)).

Eminem - Love The Way You Lie /ft. Rihanna

Album: Recovery

Could we now say that Eminem is officially back? His latest album, Recovery sold over 740,000 copies in its first week, and has been #1 for three weeks in a row (and projected to be four). The first single, “Not Afraid” became a #1 hit, and the second single, “Love the Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna is sitting at #2 position, probably going to take the #1 position soon. Big credit to the UK producer Alex da Kid, who produced this track as well as “Airplanes” by B.o.B.

Kylie Minogue - All The Lovers

Album: Aphrodite

It’s been three years since her last album, X (which was her 10th album), and her 11th album, All The Lovers, debuted at number one in UK. The album was actually released during the same week as her debut album, Kylie, was released 22 years ago. That makes Kylie Minogue 42 years old. That also makes Minogue the only female artist to have a number one album in four consecutive decades (80s, 90s, 00s and 10s).

M.I.A. - Xxxo

Album: MAYA

After having a mega-hit with “Paper Planes” two years ago, she has been busy. She has given birth to her baby, worked on a song for Christina Aguilera’s new album, and recorded her third album, titled MAYA. Her multi-cultural background (growing up in Sri Lanka, India, England) shows in her music. The single, “Xxxo” is slightly more mainstream sounding than her past songs (she admits to it as well), but it stays in my head.

New Politics - Yeah Yeah Yeah

Album: New Politics

I was surprised to learn that these guys are from Denmark. But when I thought about it the first band that came to mind when I heard this song was The Hives (though they are from Sweden, not Denmark). New Politics is a new rock band that is currently touring around small clubs in the US. Right now, this song is available for a free mp3 download from Amazon MP3. Or you can get the live version of this song for free by going to their official homepage.

Scissor Sisters - Fire With Fire

Album: Night Work

Scissor Sisters are yet to experience the breakthrough success in the US, but this latest single from their third album, Night Work, has already enjoyed top 20 successes in multiple countries including UK and Japan. They are actually an American band.

Taio Cruz - Dynamite

Album: Rokstarr

Following his successful single, “Break Your Heart” featuring Ludacris, UK newcomer, Taio Cruz is back on US top 10 with “Dynamite.” I’m not quite sure why this song is a hit yet, but maybe I just need to listen to it some more. I’m not quite sure why the song, “Dirty Picture” featuring Ke$ha wasn’t selected as the second single in the US (it was in big hit in UK), but I would guess that should be coming out in near future. Although, Rokstarr is Taio’s debut album in the US, he has already released an album in UK titled, Departure, back in 2008.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - I Should Have Known It

Album: Mojo

I haven’t really listened to Tom Petty, other than hearing their songs at bars on jukebox like, “Free Fallin’” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.” I remember seeing them perform half time at Super Bowl in 2008, but I didn’t think much of them then either. Their latest album, Mojo, is the first album in eight years, and debuted at #2 album chart. I’m digging their first single, “I Should Have Known It”. It has a rocking guitar solo.

Weezer - Represent

Album: Represent (Single)

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Who knew that Weezer frontman, Rivers Cuomo was such a soccer fan. He claims that his father was Italian American and he grew up watching and playing soccer most of his life. Even during tours, he tries to squeeze in a game here and there. To show his appreciation for the sport, he recorded unofficial US soccer team anthem. It sounds quite a bit different from their usual recording with 80s anthem style keyboard (think “Final Countdown”). But it’s catchy and I kind of like it.

July 17, 2010

Fuji Rock Festival 2010 (Fri)

The first day of the Fuji Rock has a lot for everyone, starting with a Japanese singing sensation, Superfly. UK rockbands like Ash and The Cribs will also put on a show. One thing to watch out for is that Foo Fighter drummer Taylor Hawkins will be on the Field of Heaven stage with his side project band. Considering that Foo’s leader Dave Grohl will be performing as Them Crooked Vultures later in the night, there might be some Foo Fighters performance. Below are some of the bands I look forward to seeing. Bands that are not mentioned below, but are worth seeing on Friday are Miike Snow, Ash, !!!, The Cribs, Dirty Projectors, Mutemath and Rusko.

Broken Bells - October

Album: Broken Bells

I’m surprised that Broken Bells are playing so early in the day (at 4:40pm on Red Marquee stage). They consist of The Shin’s lead singer James Mercer and Gnarls Barkley’s non-singing half, Danger Mouse. I really like their debut album which includes the single, “The High Road.”

The XX - Crystalised

Album: XX

To be honest, their music kind of puts me to sleep. I’m not sure if their live show will be just as slow and boring, or they will bring something else to the stage. The XX comes from UK, and what makes them sound interesting is the male and female vocals. They will be on the Red Marquee stage from 6:20pm.

Them Crooked Vultures - Mind Eraser, No Chaser

Album: Them Crooked Vultures

I’m surprised that they don’t get the headliner slot, but based on the record sales, Muse might have an upperhand over this super group. Them Crooked Vultures consists of Josh Homme (lead singer of Queens of the Stone Age), John Paul Jones (bassist of Led Zeppelin), and Dave Grohl (former drummer of Nirvana and current singer of Foo Fighters). Their self titled debut album was one of the best rock albums to come out last year. Check them out on the Green Stage from 7:20pm.

Corinne Bailey Rae - Closer

Album: The Sea

After a hard rock performance of Them Crooked Vultures, checking out British singer, Corinne Bailey Rae at the White Stage might be a good idea. She is most famous for her hit single, “Put Your Records On” from 2006 from her debut album. Since then her husband had died, which caused delay on her follow up album. The second album was just recently released, including this jazz single, “Closer.”

Broken Social Scene - World Sick

Album: Forgiveness Rock Record

Before you head out to Green Stage to check out Muse close the show, it might be good to check out Broken Social Scene at Red Marquee. They are sort of a supergroup from Canada, where members can range from a few to massive. Sometimes you might see Feist taking the vocal role, or Emily Haines of Metric singing. One thing is certain that their live shows are worth seeing. Catch them from 8:30.

Muse - Resistance

Album: The Resistance

Muse has had quite a following in Japan and their native country of England for several years now. But now that they are an international superstar, they will take the stage to prove to everyone that they deserve this recognition. Speaking of which, last year, they were voted as the Best Live Act in the World Today from the British music magazine, Q.