The 10 Funkiest Chicken Songs Ever Recorded

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Merle Travis likes his chickens fryin' size when they're hangin' around his pen.
Lonesome Onry and Mean was hanging with some folks the other night when Rufus Thomas' classic Memphis dance tune "Do the Funky Chicken" came on the jukebox. The owner happened to be standing near the volume control and cranked it; the energy level in the place went off the meter, smiles broke out, swaying commenced and two women got up and danced.

While the chicken has been described as funky, that's probably the only cool cred it has going for it. It doesn't have the majesty of the bald eagle, the historical significance or stature of the turkey, the literary significance of the raven, or the fear factor of the falcon, but there sure are a lot of mostly goofy songs about the world's go-to edible bird.


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Iggy Pop's 10 Best Guest Vocal Appearances

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Marc Brubaker
Iggy & The Stooges at 2013 Free Press Summer Fest
I'm one of those people who grew up thinking David Bowie was a genius from beyond the realm of human evolution, but the older I get the more I tend to believe that Iggy Pop is the true wizard within the Big Three of Glam. Though he's never going to be accused of having the greatest range in the world, that voice is simply one of a kind and can cut through the air like thunder. There's just something in the way Iggy sings that has such incredible depths and balls to it.

And that's why today we celebrate the times he's lent that incredible set of pipes to other artists.


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Six Must-Play Songs About Halloween

Categories: Lists

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Heather Franks via Flickr
It's the time of year when lots of people are putting together a playlist of songs for Halloween and Halloween parties, and plenty of spooky tunes to choose from. But rather than just throw on a bunch of novelty songs like "Monster Mash," it might be more fun to try to find tunes that are played less often.

For some reason, even though Halloween is gaining on Christmas in popularity, there are a ton of Christmas songs, and not so many paying tribute to the darker holiday. Yet we can always hope for more.


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The Top 40 Charting Hard-Rock Songs: Part 1

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Sam Howzit via Flickr
Coming at at No. 40 on our countdown, it's the boys from the San Francisco Bay Area, Night Ranger.
Numbers. The applications to which they are used in various fields can yield results ranging from the trivial to the catastrophic if not interpreted properly. If you are involved with numbers at NASA or the military, lives could hang in the balance if something is miscalculated or misrepresented.

The misuse of numbers in the music industry isn't going to cost anyone his or her life. While music has been one of my biggest passions, I do have another guilty obsession: I'm also a baseball junkie, and if there's one field where trivial calculations influence decisions based on overinflated misinterpretations it's baseball. A perfect example of this is the 'W,' the pitcher's win: a pitcher can throw a terrible game and still get the win, and a pitcher can have an excellent game and still get a loss. For those who don't follow the sport, how a pitcher gets the win is not the point here, but the relevance is. Many around baseball (unfairly) still regard that 'W' as what determines a pitcher's worth during a season.

For those not in the know, the music industry had a number that, just like the 'W,' it relied on it for more than 50 years called the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Now, why is this one misleading as opposed to the other Billboard charts? Well, those charts tend to put the participants on an even field. There are charts exclusively for genres, such as country and Christian, and even the Top Albums chart tends to be mostly fair because it's open to all albums being sold.


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Amazon's Funniest One-Star Classic Album Reviews

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Photo by Nathan Rupert via Flickr
As a music writer, it can be beneficial to seek out other music reviews to see what people are thinking, aficionados and trolls alike. Let's look at Amazon, a popular site where I admit I've spent a bit of money and time. You can find anything here, down to your most basic grocery-shopping needs.

As with all other comment sections, really, Amazon's consumer reviews can be deafening. These critics have opinions that they absolutely have to defend, or else they just want attention. Others just get really excited sharing their naysaying opinions, and sites like Amazon provide a wide audience. Today we thought we'd help widen some of these reviewers' audiences (hopefully alongside our own) with a top-notch, annotated selection of Amazon's one-star album reviewers.


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What's on the Musical Menu at These New Houston Spots

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Photo by Billy Hathorn via Wikimedia Commons
Last Chance Saloon at Frontier City, Oklahoma, 1959
Just three months into 2014, Houston already has a fair amount of newly opened restaurants and bars that host live music. Seeing that the Greater Houston area is large, diverse, ever-changing and all kinds of grand, we all could have probably guessed that. It's still early in the year, but here's what's already come along so far.

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Texas Women Keep State Respectable in 2014 Pazz & Jop Poll

Categories: Lists

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To paraphrase Hank Williams Jr., thank God for Texas women.

Houston native Beyonce, whose surprise eponymous album was released after many writers had already turned in their 2013 best-of list, and Lindale's Kacey Musgraves -- whose Same Trailer Different Park was a thoughtful and tuneful counterpoint to the bro-country spewing out of Nashville like so much F-150 exhaust -- both landed in the Top 10 albums list of the 2014 Pazz & Jop Poll, a nationwide survey of more than 450 music critics sponsored by our sister paper the Village Voice and announced Wednesday morning.

That's the good news.


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10 Albums From 2013 You Should Have Heard

Categories: Lists

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Photo courtesy of Lance Cowan Media
Terry Allen
Terry Allen, Bottom of the World
You can yack on all day about Kevin Fowler, Josh Abbott or some other artless, vacant, party-popular, Texas good-ole-boy bands, but the old salts know that Terry Allen's music is that real Texas deal. On his first new material in 14 years, Allen touches all the bases with wit, depth, verve, and insight. Allen's songs quietly punch like a heavyweight. WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

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Justin Timberlake's Top 10 Collaborations

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www.livenation.com
Justin Timberlake, the former *NSYNC member, Mouseketeer, and Mr. Britney Spears, will grace H-Town with this dreamy blue eyes and Jacksonesque dance moves as he hits the Toyota Center stage tomorrow. Although JT has always been a star, shining bright as the de facto leader of the world's most popular boy band of the late '90s and early '00s, which carried him into a successful career as a solo artist, the last year has provided a new direction for the Memphis, Tenn. native.

No longer is he the goofy-haired kid singing happy-go-lucky pop hits for the tweens. His image is all mature, sexy, and naughty, dapper with his suit and tie and grownup blonde coif. Yet Justin is still at his best when paired up with an equally cool rapper, singer, producer, or group. Timberlake has seemingly been featured on more tracks with others than most of his contemporaries, almost keeping pace with OutKast's Andre 3000. We present to you the Timberlake Top 10 List of Collaborations & Duets:


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The Seven Scariest Houston Rap Songs

Categories: After Dark, Lists

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Rappers are scary. Some of them live in Houston. With Scary Season (aka Halloween) around the corner, we decided to visit some of the most spooktacular rap songs Houston has ever produced.

No Halloween party is complete without these seven Houston rap songs.


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