As we continue with the “celebrations” for our one-year anniversary, we decided to take a look back at some of our lists but supplement them with some new artists. Our lists ranged from the typical (e.g., “Great Collaborative Albums”) to the atypical (e.g., “Five Songs from the Squared Circle”). We did about 20, but for the sake of time, we’ve listed eight of our favourites. If you are a loyal reader, some of these lists may bring back fond memories. If you’re new to The Revue, then hopefully this will be a great read. Click on the titles of each category to get the original list.
One of our first lists was identifying give great collaborations. We didn’t want to focus on just singles since there are loads of those. Instead, we listed full-length efforts that required each artist to check their egos at the door and to work together. Among the five listed were Blackroc, The Company Band, The Divine Fits, Gayngs, and Monsters of Folk. In addition to these five, a memorable collaboration involved David Byrne and St. Vincent – one of the reigning kings in all of music and the queen of today’s art-rock. Love This Giant was critically acclaimed in 2012, blending the whimsical and aesthetic styles of the two New York residents. The video for “Who” below is the sonic and visual merger of these great artists.
To celebrate the new Muppets movie back in March, Ben listed five magical moments, which included their performances with OK Go, Kermit’s duet with Debbie Harry on “Rainbow Connection”, and playing “The Weight” with Jimmy Fallon on his last show before moving to The Tonight Show. In addition, The Muppets’ covers of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Wild Thing” made our list. Another great cover by The Muppets was The Beastie Boys’ “So Wha’tcha Want”. Check it out below.
If you didn’t already know, Rich is a huge wrestling fan. Coupled with his love for music, it was only fitting that he list five songs associated with the squared circle, including Weezer’s “El Scorcho”, Lambchop’s “Gone Tomorrow”, “Wrestlers” by Hot Chip, the iconic “Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix, and Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality”. In case you didn’t have enough wrestling music in your life, we add “Broken Out In Love/Live In Fear” by Mark Crozer and the Rels. This song is currently used for WWE character Bray Wyatt, leader of the cult-like Wyatt family. It’s not your typical wrestling theme song – it’s not hip hop, it’s not heavy metal, and you can’t dance to it. Mark Crozer gained some recognition from this song as well as touring with the Jesus and Mary Chain when they reunited in 2007. It’s a brooding indie rock track with a really distinctive bass line that fans of the Wyatt family clap along to, creating an eerie and quite creepy feel in the arena. Mark Crozer and the Rels performed the song in front of 70,000 people at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, watch that below!
When we did this list back in May, we had trouble narrowing down five great TV theme songs. We opted for Seinfeld, Firefly, The Jeffersons, Cheers, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. We now add The Simpsons! It is the theme song to one of the longest running shows in the history of television, and may be the most recognizable songs ever written. Danny Elfman, who has composed quite a bit of music, claims it’s his most popular work. It’s also been covered by Green Day, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and even Fall Out Boy.
There have been several instances when an actor decided to test her or his vocal chops. Some have had immense success while others haven’t fared as well. Last month, we listed five such turns, including Scarlett Johansson, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Pizza Underground, Joaquin Phoenix, and Eddie Murphy. The one actor that we regrettably left off was John C. Reilly. While people still associate him as Dewey Cox, the actor has a great baritone voice and he has stayed true to the classic folk tunes he and his friends, Becky Stark and Tom Brousseau, have covered.
In honour of his 14th studio album, we dedicated a list to Weird Al Jankovic, listing our five favourite songs of his. But as he’s been in the music business for nearly 30 years, it was tough to narrow down the list. We chose “Money for Nothing”, “Yoda”, “The Saga Begins”, “Fat”, and “Albuquerque”. One such track that we regretfully omitted was “Amish Paradise”, where Weird Al blends perfectly in to his surroundings.
Recently, we listed five songs covered by some well-known and legendary performers. Included on the list were: Jimi Hendrix covering Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”; The Who’s cover of Mose Allison’s “Young Man Blues”; Marvin Gaye’s “Don’t Do It” being covered by The Band; Talking Heads’ rendition of Al Green’s “Take Me to the River”; and the memorable Johnny Cash cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”. This time around, we add a Woody Guthrie cover by an indie supergroup, The New Multitudes, which consisted of Anders Parker, Jay Farrar, Jim James, and Will Johnson. In 2012, they released a lengthy album of unreleased Guthrie lyrics, and they put these words into their own music, including this beautiful take of “Fly High”.
This was probably the one list that we could have listed 100+ acts, but we chose five, focusing on smaller, indie bands that are slowly making a name for themselves. Among the artists and bands we selected included Reignwolf, Lambchop, The Districts, J. Roddy Walston and The Business, and Kim Churchill. The sixth member of this exclusive list is The Screaming Females, and Rich has long regretted not including them on the original list, assuming they wouldn’t fit the fan requirement. However, they did, and since they are, in Rich’s opinion one of the top live bands out there, big or small, Rich has set out to correct this miscarriage of justice! Rich constantly tells the story of the time lead singer Marissa Paternoster was crowd surfing while a fan ran onto the stage, then the bassist, Mike, handed the fan his bass and he went crowd surfing as well. Unpredictable but always awesome, The Screaming Females are definitely deserving of being on any “Best Live Acts” list.
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