Archive for the ‘ music ’ Category

required listening: the good, the bad and the ugly soundtrack


is there an album that makes you feel more like a badass than this album?  the answer is no.  i had surgery a month ago and was laid up for almost a week.  during my couch stint, i revisited the man with no name trilogy and it made me realize what an unbelievable composer ennio morricone is.

my first exposure to the good, the bad and the ugly was in 8th grade when one of our close family friends let me watch it with him.  he was a couple of years older than me and i thought he was the coolest dude ever i.e. whatever he liked i liked.  i asked for the soundtrack for my birthday and my parents delivered.

you don’t have to have to see the movie to appreciate the film score.  you’ve probably heard most of it in the hipster coffee shop you frequent on weekdays.  you know what i’m talking about.  it’s that music mixed with gunfire, whistling and yodeling that stops and makes you wish you were riding to work on a horse – guns at your side – instead of your toyota prius.  you can’t miss it.  it’s one of a kind and should be in your collection.


you may have missed: the exploding hearts

guitarromantic2 copy

i remember the phone call like it was yesterday.  a friend of mine called me back in 2003 and said, “dude, you’ve gotta check out this band the exploding hearts.  you’re going to love them.  they’re right up your alley.”  he described them as sounding like the clash.  i f**king love the clash, so i drove to tower records during my lunch break and bought guitar romantic.  he wasn’t wrong.  i love everything about this album: the cover art, the attitude, the melodies, the jangling guitars.  it was the record i’d been waiting for since i first discovered punk rock in 8th grade.  the best part was that at this point in time they were my little secret.  the internet was in its infancy stages as far as discovering new music was concerned i.e. i still relied on word of mouth for new bands in the early 2000s.  i was going to spend the next several weeks telling everybody about the exploding hearts, but 3 months later their budding career came to an end when their bus ran off the road, flipped over and killed 3 out of 4 members of the band.  that was the end of the exploding hearts.  i go back to guitar romantic every couple of months.  it’s a short record – 10 songs that average about 2.5 minutes each.  you can listen to it over and over and hear things you missed on the last listen.  it’s a classic and one you should have in your library.


the last of the ramones


i woke up this morning with an alert on my phone that tommy ramone, the first drummer for the ramones, passed away last night.  he was 65.  it’s hard to believe that all four original members of the ramones are now gone.

i discovered the ramones in 1995 after ¡adios amigos! came out.  i ordered it from the columbia house record club not knowing a thing about these guys.  i was hooked instantly.  from there, i bought ramones mania (a greatest hits compilation) and followed that up with the ramones, leave home and rocket to russia.  tommy only played on the first three records which are also their best.

the ramones created a sound and a style that will forever be imitated by kids in garages that like to play their music loud and fast.  thank you for contribution to rock and roll and to my life.  you will be missed.

The Ramones

buy this album: metamodern sounds in country music


hello again.  you might not remember me.  i used to write here all the time and then suddenly stopped.  i hope you didn’t think the worst.  anyways, i’m back and i’ll be 100% back in a couple of weeks.  i wanted to go ahead and recommend an album for you to purchase: sturgill simpson’s metamodern sounds in country music.  you’re probably thinking to yourself, “he hasn’t written anything in a month and a half and this is what he comes back with?”  solid point, but this album is that f’ing good.  it’s not bro country or that other kind of cunt-try you’ve heard on your local radio station.  this is throw-back, balls-out, outlaw country.  you know the kind of country your dad used to tell you about over a couple of pbrs.  go download it, crack open a cold one and thank me later.

yeezus indian headress t-shirt


i bought this t-shirt.  this is not a joke.  i think it’s f**king awesome.  it reminded me of the grateful dead x wes lang t-shirt that i neglected to buy last year.  leave it to kanye to create something so next level that it almost completely contradicts his personal brand (or does it? i can’t keep up).

i missed his show in nashville the other night.  it looked amazing from what i saw on instagram.  i hope i can catch it in another city, but if that doesn’t happen, at least i’ll have this badass indian headress t-shirt (that’s funny on so many levels).  you can get your very own here if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

legends of summer style


i went to the legends of summer show last night in chicago.  it was amazing.  seeing jay-z in concert was a bucket list item for me.    he’s a legend.  i’ll be the first to admit that it took several appearances on snl for me to warm up to justin timberlake.  his association with the early 2000’s boy band movement should have relegated him to music purgatory, but the dude climbed out of it just fine.  he killed it last night; he’s a true entertainer.  consider me a fan.

one thing i took away from the show was jt’s summer concert look.  i’m not saying you or i could pull off this look (because we’re not famous entertainers that sell out stadiums), but it’s definitely worth noting.  to open the show, timberlake wore a white short sleeve shirt buttoned all the way to the top and a fitted pair of black shorts that hit right above the knees.  he topped it off with a black tribly hat and a custom pair of air jordans (that he later gave away via instagram).  the shirt and shorts were tailored perfectly – which got me thinking: the more i try to understand what style is the more i realize it’s all about the fit.  and you don’t have to be jt or jay z to get that right.  guys, make sure your clothes fit.

it was truly a memorable evening.  i hope you get a chance to catch one of the remaining shows.  i’m already trying to figure out how i can score tickets to see jt when he comes to nashville in a couple of months.


neil barrett shirt (in case you were curious)

warm weather music

it’s most likely hot outside wherever are, so you probably need some warm weather tunes to keep you cool (double entendre? yeah, i think so). when the weather heats up, i have four go-to albums. they’re perfect for a long drive, trip to the beach, bbq or whatever. the following albums need to be #onrepeat on your stereo during the summer:


bob marley: songs of freedom box set (disc 1 only): you’re probably thinking, “what a cop out. everyone puts on bob marley when the weather gets warm.” stop right there. this is not your run-of-mill carnival cruise line kind of bob marley. disc 1 is the early, early bob marley and the wailers. it’s the music rooted in american r&b and soul, and it’s fantastic. towards the end of the disc 1, you hear the makings of ska and reggae, but your safe from “three little birds” and “no woman no cry” until later in the box set.


dick dale and his del-tones: surfer’s choice: surf music starts with dick dale. he literally invented the sound with the help of his good buddy, leo fender of fender guitars. dale wanted his music to reflect the sounds he heard in his mind while surfing. i would say he succeeded and that’s evident on his 1962 debut album, surfer’s choice. if you’ve seen pulp fiction (shame on you if you haven’t), you’ll recognize “miserlou” from the opening credits. it’s the one with the slick, reverb-heavy guitar that slaps you right in your jaw. the rest of surfer’s choice is a lot like it i.e. perfect for a day at the beach or riding some waves.


stan getz and joao gilberto: getz / gilberto: this is the album that bought bossa nova to the masses in the 1960’s. i honestly couldn’t tell you what the hell bossa nova is, but that doesn’t matter. this album is like drinking the world’s best mojito on a hot day. it opens with a little number you might have heard of called “the girl from ipanema.” the 7 tracks that follow are just as good. put it on when you’re having a few friends over for a cookout or your trying to impress the girl in the apartment down the hall by appearing “well cultured.”


soul jazz records presents tropicali: this is where things get weird. tropicali is a genre of music that came out of the 60’s that blended rock, bossa nova (there it is again), soul, and a bunch of other sounds and rhythms to create a whole new movement. (quick heads up: it sounds like there might have been some drugs involved in the making of this music.) i don’t think the movement lasted very long, but this compilation captures some of the best tunes from this experimental period. be sure to check out gil gilberto’s “bat macumba”, os mutantes “a minha menina”, and caetano veloso’s “irene.” it’s trippy. don’t say i didn’t warn you.


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