The 10 Best Girl-Power Songs Ever

Aretha-1016.jpg
Photo by Marc Brubaker
What you want?
Wanna know who's badass? Women.

Know what's equally badass? Girl-power anthems. And no, we're not talking about cheesy power ballads a la Christina Aguilera or Mariah Carey. We mean the songs that encourage women to feel proud of their badassery, while embracing what it is to be a chick. Songs that are unabashedly pro-woman and celebrate everything from roaring to being a rebel, and everything in between.

The thing is, women kick ass, and sometimes it's important to remember that little fact. Luckily, these ten songs will help you do so. After all, who runs the world? You know the answer.


More »

Jethro Tull Was a Great Band Before Aqualung

StandUp-0926.jpg
The cover of Jethro Tull's 1969 album Stand Up
The classic-rock world lost another of its members last month with the passing of Jethro Tull's original bass player, Glen Cornick. They, alongside Deep Purple and Judas Priest, are one of what I consider the last three bands unjustly omitted from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

For those familiar with early Tull images, Cornick was the animated member. He could be found on album covers and press photos with his glasses, long black hair and usually sporting a headband or a stylish derby. Known as a partier, he was asked to leave shortly before the recording of 1971's Aqualung album -- not necessarily as a result of his behavior, but because those ways didn't fit the with the other members' more subdued personalities.


More »

Before They Were Stars, They Were...Awful

sugarraymetal.jpg
YouTube
Let's talk about genre-jumpers, shall we? A number of successful artists have made the leap from one genre to another at some point in their careers. but it doesn't always pay off.

Take Darius Rucker, for example. The onetime Hootie and the Blowfish front man made the right choice by taking a leap of faith into country music, which pushed his previously stalled career into musical overdrive. Others didn't quite as well, like Snoop Dogg's attempted transition into the rasta version of himself, Snoop Lion. Fans just weren't ready to let go of "Lodi Dodi," even if it meant some sweet Rastafari influences.

However, the musicians below were smart enough to jump genres before breaking into the big leagues. Punk rockers morphed into hip-hop callers, and headbangers musicians into ballad crooners. These folks earned their big names by changing their tunes -- literally. And no, Katy Perry is not on this list, because it's about musicians.


More »

'90s Music Trends That Should Stay Dead

no_authority.jpg
By Angelica Leicht and Selena Dieringer

It turns out some musical trends that emerged in the '90s are not quite the fine wine you remember them to be. While that post-grunge or SoCal pop music a la Sugar Ray may have once seemed palatable, but you were young and your taste was, well, terrible.

But you should know better now. The Collective Souls of the world have been sitting up there on that shelf for too long now, and they've festered. They're ripe, the musical equivalent of Boone's Farm, and do not age well. These trends -- from post-grunge to anti-girl-power pop -- are bottles of rancid wine from the '90s, and you should resist dredging them up, even for nostalgia's sake.

It's been decades, and surely your taste buds have matured. Throw 'em out before you're tempted to sneak a taste, or it will be all vinegar.


More »

Casting Martin Scorsese's New Ramones Movie


ramonesdebut-0904.jpg
Good fellas: Ramones get the Scorsese treatment
Last weekend, word got out that an upcoming Ramones biopic would be helmed by one of America's greatest living filmmakers, Martin Scorsese. The movie would be one of several band-related projects slated for 2016, the 40th anniversary of the bruddas' debut album, Ramones.

Scorsese isn't that odd a choice to direct a film about the groundbreaking punk band. He's a New Yorker who loves music, and directed The Last Waltz and Shine a Light. He also knows what to do with a good story. Like The Wolf of Wall Street or Raging Bull, the tale of the Ramones is a fascinating one, filled with underdogs, victors, losers, users, lovers, betrayers and a litany of insecure gods.

More »

Seth Walker's 10 Favorite Texas Blues Tunes

SethWalker-ZackSmith-Aug27.jpg
Photo by Zack Smith
Seth Walker should be no stranger to Houston audiences from his many years as one of Austin's hardest-gigging musicians, whose relaxed but precise take on white-man's blues has built an impressive following in this part of the world. (The similarities between him and John Mayer are undeniable, but Walker is much better behaved.)

Last year he relocated to New Orleans after a spell in Nashville and, with Oliver Wood of the Wood Brothers producing, cut Sky Still Blue, a stylish collection of new songs that seamlessly weaves the Crescent City's innate funkiness into Walker's well-appointed cocktail-lounge R&B. We were looking for a different way to give his gig at the Mucky Duck tonight some love, so we convinced Walker to send us his ten favorite Lone Star blues songs for a Texas twist on Throwback Thursday.

Pay attention -- this guy knows his stuff.


More »

Five Insult Songs That Predate Getting "Dissed"

insult560.jpg
Photo by K Rupp/Flickr Commons
Some people find insults coarse, base and a sorry excuse for invective from the intellectually feeble. I call those people "bloggers who read the comments section."

But seriously, a good insult is a work of art. If you don't believe me, well, "I do desire we be better strangers," (Shakespeare). You're clearly "one of the numerous and varied legion of dullards, of half-animated abortions..." (Dostoevsky). Apparently, "If your brains were dynamite, there wouldn't be enough to blow your hat off" (Vonnegut).

In music, no one has mastered the insult better than the cunning linguists of rap. They've elevated the barb beyond art and into an all-new Webster's-approved synonym -- "diss." I'd pit today's best rap artists against Billy Shakes or MC Fyodor any day in an insult battle. If you disagree, well, go do something "with no Vaseline, just a match and a little bit of gasoline," (Ice Cube).


More »

Day of Joy: Remembering Houston's First Outdoor Music Fest

dayofjoy560.jpg
Photos courtesy of Vicki Welch Ayo
Day of Joy band Ginger Valley
"It was definitely a labor of love. It cost me $5,000, I'll put it that way; and, looking back on it, I'm not sure I didn't get my money's worth." -- Jim Tucker

We're living in the festival era of popular music. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 200 major music festivals annually. Some, like Bonnaroo and Coachella, have transcended from mere concerts to cogs in the modern zeitgeist.

In Houston, we're doing our part, with Free Press Summer Fest and new additions like last weekend's Whatever Fest. Our grassroots music community doesn't need benevolent corporate sponsors to do its thing, either. Practically every weekend, some group is resourcefully staging a festival, like last month's Grace Note, this month's Melt Fest or next month's Untapped Festival.

Does Houston have a good fest history? The short answer is yes. And, if you're the right age, you might think back -- way back -- to a time before the long-running Westheimer Street Festival and the Houston International Festival to recall a singular offering dubbed Day of Joy. The ambitious event was held at the long-gone Almeda Speedway and brought local and national acts together to perform for gathered masses under Houston's blistering summer sun.


More »

The '70s' Seven Sexiest Soft-Rock Songs

olivia560.jpg
Photo by Travis Hornung/Flickr Commons
Let's get physical.
This list is not just for the couples who perk up anytime the Cialis commercial airs. It's not only for the cubs who do their homework and will try to impress the cougars with their 1970s music knowledge.

Oh, the list is for them; but not only for them. It's for everyone. Everyone that thinks their partner could use a musical nudge towards the boudoir.

Sure, there are more recent songs to choose from, tunes by acts known for the panty-drop, but where's the ingenuity in that? Besides, how far removed from Bread and America are Coldplay and Ed Sheeran? Same thing, really.


More »

The 10 Best Country Songs of the '90s

Untitled-1.jpg
Remember when there was no such thing as "bro-country" or "hick-hop?" We do, and it was a little time called the '90s. That was basically the best decade ever for country music. Garth Brooks was at his best, and artists like George Strait and Clint Black were killing it with every single move.

Oh, and let's not forget the ladies. Shania Twain, anybody? How about Martina McBride or the Dixie Chicks? And good ol' Faith Hill was just getting geared up. Basically, we'd pay some serious dolla-dolla bills, y'all, if it meant we could get the big names of the '90s country scene to start being awesome again. But since we're not magicians, or billionaires even, we'll have to settle for a Top 10 list of their best songs instead.


More »
Loading...