Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rolling Stone 100 Best Songs of the 2000s

when we were crazy

First came the albums, now it's time to browse & stream the 100 Best Songs of the Naughties according to Rolling Stone. With an interesting sign o' the times: all tracks chosen by RS journalists (in 2011) are available on Spotify. Order is by countdown: from #100 to #1 (with an evil spoiler of the song-king in the image above...).


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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Music of Life on Mars (UK tv series, updated)

Sigh... I know Sam, she's yours. 

Some years before discovering the almighty power of Breaking Bad, I fell in love with the UK tv series Life on Mars (and with actress Liz White). Even if she did not return my deep sentiment, I spotified the music of the series. Now, almost three years later, I updated that playlist. No big changes: just some new songs from the international DVD version (I found them thanks to Life On Mars Wikia) and a couple of tracks from bands recently added on Spotify (the most famous one: One of These Days by Pink Floyd). It already was a quite strong classic rock mixtape from the Seventies. Now it's a little stronger.


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Monday, October 28, 2013

Top 20 Lou Reed songs (crowdsourced)

... just another Lou Reed Spotify playlist.

It's based on twenty charts and "essential lists" from ABC NewsBest Ever, The Guardian, iTunes Italy (most popular songs), (most heard songs in the last 6 months), MirrorMusic VFPopMatters, Rolling Stone, SalonSputnikMusic, Spotify (most popular songs), StereogumThe Good, The Bad and the Unknown, TimeTop10, Ultimate Classic Rock, Whatculture!, Yahoo! Voices.

The mathematical rules are:
Charts --> 10 points for #1 song, 9 points for #2...
Uncharted lists --> 5 points for each song...

Songs are all from Lou Reed solo albums (live included), while all pictures are taken from Lou Reed official Facebook page.

Enjoy a walk on that nice side.



1. Satellite of Love (from "Transformer", 1972)
124 points

2. Perfect Day (from "Transformer", 1972)
122 points

3. Walk on the Wild Side (from "Transformer", 1972)
120 points

4. Intro/Sweet Jane (from "Rock'n'Roll Animal", 1974)
73 points

5. Vicious (from "Transformer, 1972")
56 points

6. Street Hassle (from "Street Hassle", 1978)
54 points

7. Coney Island Baby (from "Coney Island Baby", 1975)
43 points

8. Dirty Blvd. (from "New York", 1989)
36 points

9. Heroin (from "Rock'n'Roll Animal", 1974)
32 points

10. Caroline Says (II) (from "Berlin", 1973)
19 points

11. Wild Child (from "Lou Reed", 1972)
18 points

12. Make Up (from "Transformer", 1972)
16 points

13. Paranoia Key of E (from "Ecstasy", 2000)
15 points

14. Rock'n'Roll (from "Rock'n'Roll Animal, 1974)
15 points

15. Sad Song (from "Berlin", 1973)
14 points

16. Andy's Chest (from "Transformer, 1972)
13 points

17. Metal Machine Music pt.1 (from "Metal Machine Music", 1975)
12 points

18. I Love You, Suzanne (from "New Sensations, 1984)
11 points

19. Waves of Fear (from "The Blue Mask", 1982)
10 points

20. Sword of Damocles - Externally (from "Magic and Loss", 1992)
9 points

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Friday, October 25, 2013

There's Something About Mark - A collection of Mark Lanegan collaborations

Even if I'm a very tough, wrinkled & heartless sealkiller, some songs can still make me cry. A celestial cry. Like when you watch at the sky and find there are really angels playing music and drinking beer up there. Or when you take a long and deep breath and feel the chilly mountain air suddenly stopping your heart and saving your lungs. That's what happens every time I listen to Mark Lanegan and Soulsavers' version of Gene Clark's Some Misunderstandings. Always. Everywhere. Even if the sky is dark and the mountains are far on the horizon. 

From this recurring epiphany, came the need to pay a little tribute to Mr. Lanegan. 

Focusing not on Screaming Trees albums, not on the solo records, not on his "regular" collaboration with Isobel Campbell. 

This playlist is based on the more extemporaneous collaborations: the songs he recorded with Mad Season (desperate, junkie, passionate, dark side of grunge), Twilight Singers, Martina Topley-Bird, Soulsavers and - very recently - Queens of the Stone Age and Moby. 

The mine is deep and rich, some tunnels hard to reach. Some collaborations are hidden in the albums credits. Some are not available on Spotify. As guiding light, I used this Wikipedia list. And I made two playlists. There's Something About Mark is based on my personal tastes: 16 tracks, about 86 minutes, no more than 3 songs for each album, a tracklist ordered by feeling. Mark Lanegan Collaborations is the deluxe edition, with all the collaborations I found (34 tracks, almost 3 hours), in chronological order.


(16 tracks, 1h26')

(34 tracks, 2h50')

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nuggets - Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (full series: I-V)

Spotify archive is a living organism: going up and down like the tide, following the cycles of the moon (and of licensing agreements). Year by year, songs are added or taken away from the service and sometimes these changes are quite significant for Spotirama playlists. This is one of those times. In a positive way.

When I first made playlists based on the first two of Elektra/Rhino's Nuggets compilation albums, dozens of tracks were missing. Today things have really improved: I found more than sixty songs previously missing. That means playlists are closer to the original boxsets. Besides, I made three new playlists, completing the Nuggets saga. And - on the very bottom of this post - you will find a mammoth playlist, too: a collection of more than 314 songs from all the series. 

Ready to start a psychedelic party in your garage?

(90 songs, 28 missing, 3h58')

New songs added in this update (28):
Dirty Water (Standells)
Public Execution (Mouse and the Traps)
Talk Talk (Music Machine)
Journey To Tyme (Kenny & The Kasuals)
Sweet Young Thing (The Chocolate Watchband)
7 and 7 Is (Love)
Going All The Way (The Squires)
The Little Black Egg (The Nightcrawlers)
Strychnine (The Sonics)
Little Girl (Syndicate of Sound)
(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet (The Blues Magoos)
Shape of Things To Come (Max Frost and the Troopers)
Beg, Borrow & Steal (The Rare Breed/Ohio Express)
Run, Run, Run (The Gestures)
Knock Knock (The Humane Society)
Primitive (The Groupies)
You Must Be a Witch (The Lollipop Shoppe)
Maid of Sugar, Maid of Space (Mouse and the Traps)
You Ain't Tuff (The Uniques)
Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White (Standells)
Double Yellow Line (Music Machine)
Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-In) (The Chocolate Watchband)
(Would I Still Be) Her Big Man (The Brigands)
Out Of Our Tree (The Wailers)
Complication (The Monks)
Mr. Pharmacist (The Other Half)
Mindrocker (Fenwyck)
Love's Gone Bad (The Underdogs)

(67 songs, 28 missing, 3h17')

New songs added in this update (36):
Sorry (The Easybeats)
How Is The Air Up There (The La De Da's)
Garden of My Mind (The Mickey Finn)
Take a Heart (The Sorrows)
All Night Stand (The Thoughts)
War or Hands of Time (The Masters Apprentices)
It's a Sin To Go Away (We All Together)
A Dream For Julie (Kaleidoscope)
Children of the Sun (The Misunderstood)
Save My Soul (Wimple Winch)
Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad (Caleb)
Daddy Buy Me a Girl (Golden Earrings)
Gone Is the Sad Man (Timebox)
Reflections of Charles Brown (Rupert's People)
That's the Way It's Got To Be (The Poets)
You Said (The Primitives)
Friday on My Mind (The Easybeats)
Gaby (The Boots)
Circles (Instant Party) (Les Fleur de Lys)
Get Down From The Tree (The Matadors)
Changing the Colours of Life (The Chijuas)
Who Dat? (The Jury)
Path Through the Forest (The Factory)
Love, Hate, Revenge (Episode Six)
The Train To Disaster (The Voice)
Sad (The Australian Playboys)
I Wish I Was Five (Scrugg)
Glendora (The Downliners Sect)
Why Don't You Smile Now (The Downliners Sect)
The Bitter Thoughts of Little Jane (Tymon)
Vacuum Cleaner (Tintern Abbey)
My Life (Thor's Hammer)
Bad Little Woman (The Wheels)
But You Never Do It Babe (The Boots)
Flight From Ashiya (Kaleidoscope)
When the Alarm Clock Rings (The Blossom Toes)

(57 songs, 43 missing, 3h5')

(52 songs, 25 missing, 2h56')

(48 songs, 53 missing, 2h9')

The Nuggets Mammoth
(all five playlists in one: 314 tracks, about 15 hours)

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Rolling Stone 100 Best Albums of the 2000s

A couple of years ago, guys at Rolling Stone compiled their own top 100 album list of the noughties. Last week that chart appeared on my social networks, shared and commented by some friends. So I spotified it. 97 albums are available on Spotify: I haven't found Gillian Welch's Time the Revelator (#64), Danger Mouse mash up The Grey Album (#58) and Radiohead's In Rainbows (#30). Sufjan Stevens' Illinoise is only available in some countries: not mine, unfortunately, but I put it on the playlist. Sigur Ros' Ágætis Byrjun is actually from 1999 (icelandic release), but in most of the world markets was released in the new millennium. 

I made two lists, with albums ordered by countdown from #50 to #1: one is for the tasters (3 songs each album), one for the completists (full albums: about 80 hours of music). Even if I don't share RS enthusiasm for some artists (Kings of Leon and Kanye West, for example), I listened to it the whole weekend and I think it's a good (somehow mainstream rock oriented) soundtrack of the decade. 




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Thursday, October 10, 2013

LAWeekly's Top 20 Emo Albums in History

Even if the toaster is burning, they're happy for #1 in LA Weekly chart

According to LA Weekly, these are the Top 20* emo albums in history.
Who am I (quite ignorant in the matter, indeed) to argue?

Scream & stream!

* Actually, the playlist collects 16 albums: I haven't found Jawbreaker's Dear You (#20), Quicksand's Manic Compression (#17), Cap'n Jazz's Shmap'n Shmazz (#16) and Jimmy Eat World's Clarity (#12)

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Radiohead's OK Computer Reimagined

Some days ago, tryin' to reorganize the messy catalogue of Spotirama playlists, I got into one of those several series I started with big enthusiasm and followed with not the same amount of persistence (and with even less global success). The series was horribly named Re-Record Club (inspired by Beck's Record Club) and basically made with cover versions of entire albums, track by track. 

Actually I just made three of them: one good (Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, complete, with covers by Jeff Tweedy, Lloyd Cole, Cassandra Wilson, Jeff Buckley, Joan Baez and - new entry - Neko Case) and the other two very poor and partial (Inxs' Kick and Pink Floyd's The Wall, so poor that I don't dare to link them here). Bonus, something I'm rather proud of and I keep periodically linking: The Beatles Covers Project, a collection of covers of all albums (and singles, b-sides...) by Beatles. 

Lookin' at those juvenile efforts, and listenin' to Blood on the Tracks covers, I decided to add a new chapter to the unfortunate series. I changed the name: "reimagined". And I picked Radiohead's Ok Computer. A sentimental choice, because it's one of my all-time favourite albums. And a pragmatical one, because of the high number of covers available on Spotify. 

I'm not a pioneer, I know. Six years ago, Stereogum pushed some artists to really re-record the Radiohead album, resulting in the nice OKX: A Tribute to OK Computer. And on Spotify you can find a couple of complete tributes. Anyway, I'm quite satisfied with the result. The original idea was to look for VIP covers (made by well-known artists). In progress, listening to the many tracks available, the project gradually went underground. If you want some more infos about the making of, you can find them below the playlist.  


P.S. Yes, Spotify and Thom Yorke are not close friends. Peacemaking mode on. 

The story of this playlist
(AKA why I sacrificed Amanda Palmer and Regina Spektor 
for an all-male a cappella group and trois hommes from Corse)

1. Airbag (Diagrams)

In my humble opinion, an extraordinary beginning. As falsely acoustic & dreamy as the original one was truly distorted & noisy, courtesy of Tunng's Sam Genders.

2. Paranoid Android (El Ten Eleven)

Paranoid Android got me problems. Many covers are available, but this is such a difficult and monumental song. Better deconstructing and encapsulating it in two postrocky minutes. As Los Angeles El Ten Eleven did.

3. Subterranean Homesick Alien (The Ooks of Hazzard)

I'm deeply sorry, folks, but this is the Internet. You cannot have a playlist without at least one ukulele song.

4. Exit Music (For A Film) (Garden Level)

That's the exact moment where underground swallowed overground. Originally I had picked Amanda Palmer's cover. Then, cleaning the "OK Computer Covers on Spotify" working playlist, I got trapped with this slow and dramatic rendition by "the University of Puget Sound's one and only all-male a cappella group". I really got trapped. It was like listening to a dark Greek chorus commenting the last scene of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo+Juliet. Amanda, I still love you.

5. Let Down (Mitchel Sigman)

Probably, this is my favourite song of Radiohead album. With Electioneering and Lucky, it's the less covered, too. But this Mitchel Sigman version (taken from an electronic tribute to Radiohead) works perfectly, like the sound of a (paranoid) android dreaming of electric sheep.

6. Karma Police (Flunk)

A lot of covers, mostly very resounding of the original. This one, recorded by a trio from Oslo, Norway, in the aptly titled album This Is What You Get, definitely it is not.

7. Fitter Happier (Vitamin String Quartet)

A little, simple, string interlude.

8. Electioneering (Easy Star All-Stars feat. Morgan Heritage)

The Lords of Reggae Tribute Albums, they could not miss from this collection. Jamaicaning the angular riffs of one of the most stinging tunes of Radiohead's opus.

9. Climbing Up the Walls (Kate Rogers)

One of the easiest choices, one of the songs I love the most, one of the reasons I'm writing all these boring lines. Do you remember the dogs of war desperately shouting in Radiohead song? Here they don't shout, they are shut up by the raw unplugged guitar&voice of Canadian Kate Rogers.

10. No Surprises (Bande à Part)

One of the hardest choices, maybe the hardest, of this playlist. My first pick was another one: the amazing cover by Regina Spektor. But then, it happened the underground revolution (see above, at Exit Music chapter). And amongst Regina's and all the other heartfelt, slow and sad versions, it emerged this strange, fast, beer-pubish, somehow happy cover played by a band from Corse, France. Yes, surprise: I never thought that one day I would have linked the adjective "happy" to No Surprises...

11. Lucky (Warren Haynes)

You cannot imagine how hard is to find a "real" cover of Radiohead's Lucky on Spotify. There are gazillions of songs titled Lucky. Warren live-at-Bonnaroo won over a dub instrumental and a just-for-kids cover.

12. The Tourist (Sarah Jarosz)

In my humble opinion, an extraordinary end. Almost a perfect mirror of Diagrams' Airbag. Slow. Acoustic. With drunken violins sayin' goodbye.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

King Britt's Sonic Journey Into Afrofuturism (on Spotify)

Don't blame me, blame Janelle Monáe.
Or better, blame US reviewers of Janelle Monáe's new album The Electric Lady (great!) who obsessively used the term afrofuturism, inevitably pushing me to search some other musical afrofuturistic horizons.

And I found 'em. Thanks of Pennsylvania producer King Britt, who some months ago compiled this gorgeus mix for the website OkayAfrica. There, you can still listen to it in all his original and complete Soundcloud flavour. Here you have a Spotify résumé: shorter, nonethless quite exciting for its mixture of old jazzy extravaganza (Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Sun Ra), modern hybrid sounds (Flying Lotus, Common, Madlib) and little glimpses from the nextworld (Shabazz Palaces).

Whatever it is, whatever it will be, may the afrofuturism be with you.


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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Complete Breaking Bad Spotify Songbook (Seasons 1-5)

(image from this great site)

As everybody knows, Breaking Bad tv series has come to an end. Now the big personal question is: "Will I manage to survive the Evil Lord of Spoilers and quietly finish to watch the series, without accidentally falling on plot revelations?" (yeah, I woke up late and I'm still wandering through season 4). Maybe I should turn off the Internet and go living in a cave. Instead, I kind of musically autospoilered myself: here you can find a big playlist that collects all songs from the series (all that I found on Spotify), from season 1 to season 5, including Dave Porter's original soundtracks. And I created single playlists, too, for each season and Porter albums. 

There are many good sources on the Web. I think Breaking Bad wiki is the most accurate and I used it to make the playlists, ordering the songs in chronological order (Dave Porter tracks, too: I put them exactly in the episodes they were played in; I have only few doubts on these ones: Smoking Jesse's Pot, Vent, Follicles and 308 Negra Arroyo Lane. Maybe some superfan can help me, telling me in which episode they are played).

Enjoy, bitch.

Original soundtracks by Dave Porter + Songs played in all episodes
(168 tracks)

(29 tracks)

(27 tracks)

(31 tracks)

(37 tracks)

(45 tracks)

(40 tracks)

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