Top 10 TV show intros

10. “How Soon is Now?” by Love Spit Love – Charmed

Nineties television in a nutshell: girl power, leather pants, witchcraft and a theme song from an epically forgotten one-hit wonder band, Charmed has got it all. I don’t think anyone actually hears this and thinks, “Wow, what a great song by Love Spit Love.” No, they think Charmed. And rightfully so.

9. “Greenback Boogie” by Ima Robot – Suits

Slick, suave and infectiously fun: words that can describe the Suits theme song and the show’s main man himself, Mr. Harvey Specter. “Greenback Boogie,” though light and fun, ultimately gets repetitive if you listen to the entire five minutes of it. Unfortunately, the same goes for the series: it can start to lose its charm and can become kind of monotonous. Sorry Suits fans.

8. “Dexter Main Title” by Rolfe Kent – Dexter

Like Dexter Morgan, the theme song to Showtime’s serial killer drama is cool, calm and creepy. It’s almost two full minutes of instrumentals played over sequences of Dexter getting ready in the morning. Set in Florida, the music is laced with playful Cuban and Latin influences, which offers a nice juxtaposition of the show’s dark content.

7. “Who Are You?,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “Baba O’Riley” by The Who – CSI:Crime Scene Investigation, CSI:Miami, CSI: New York

The Who have become synonymous with the CSI franchise. With all three shows using an iconic song from the British rock ’n’ roll vets, you suffer through David Caruso’s acting and cheesy one-liners just so you can chant alongside Roger Daltrey.

6. “Superhero” by Jane’s Addiction – Entourage

Lust, partying and just pure hedonistic pleasure: Entourage and its theme song are all about having a good time, and you get this impression from the very opening chords of “Superhero.” Regardless of how many times you’ve heard this song, you know you won’t fast forward through the opening credits of the Entourage boys rolling through Los Angeles in a 1965 black Lincoln Continental, it’s just that catchy.

5. “This Life” by Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers – Sons Of Anarchy

Much like the show itself, the Sons of Anarchy theme song starts off relatively low-key, then builds up into a cataclysm of emotional intensity. “This Life” is gritty southern guitar work at its best and does a stellar job at conveying the outlaw mentality of ‘us against them’ that is at the core of the series.

4. “Woke Up This Morning” by Alabama 3 – The Sopranos

Everything about this TV intro is cool. Tony Soprano makes riding through New Jersey seem a lot more exciting than it really probably is thanks Alabama 3’s hazy, cigar-fueled song about violence and life on the fringes.

3. “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” by Dj Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Before Will Smith was credited with being a serious actor for his work in Academy Award nominated films (let’s pretend Wild Wild West never happened), Will Smith was the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The theme song for this ‘90s gem is iconic despite its cheesiness and definitely deserves a spot on this list.

2. “California” by Phantom Planet – The O.C.

An instant classic and one-hit wonder, no member of generation Y can resist the siren call of The O.C.’s theme song. It’s sunny, it’s catchy and fills us with some good old fashion nostalgia.

1. “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts – Friends

Are you surprised? This gets the number one spot for obvious reasons. 1. We all know the words. 2. It makes us happy. 3. *clap clap clap clap*


Top 10 Most Memorable Super Bowl Halftime Show Performances

10.  Super Bowl XXXII (1998) (Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos)

Featuring: Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and The Four Tops

In a tribute to Motown Record’s 40th anniversary some of the finest R&B groups from the label performed a medley of their hits. Boyz II Men bridged the generational gap between the legendary Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and The Four Tops in this smooth and classy act.

9.  Super Bowl XLIII (2009) (Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals)

Featuring: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

“I want you to put the chicken fingers down and turn your television all the way up,” demanded Springsteen as he jumped into his four-song performance during the 2009 Super Bowl. Not only did The Boss nail his performance, he also nailed the cameraman with his crotch during an overzealous stage slide. God bless America!

8. Super Bowl XXXVI (2002) (St. Louis Rams vs. New England Patriots)

Featuring:  U2

U2 delivered a powerful and uplifting performance in tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. During the song “Where the Streets Have No Name,” all the names of the 9/11 victims scrolled up on a screen behind the band, who were mounted on a heart-shaped stage.

7. Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004) (Carolina Panthers vs. New England Patriots)

Featuring: Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (with P. Diddy, Kid Rock and Nelly)

This performance was memorable because it brought the term  “wardrobe malfunction” to the general public. At the end of their performance of “Rock Your Body,” Timberlake ripped off part of Jackson’s costume, exposing her right breast to millions of viewers. This incident caused a huge scandal with the FCC and was henceforth dubbed “Nipplegate.”

 6. Super Bowl XXXIX (2005) (Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

Featuring: Paul McCartney

Subsequent to the 2004 “wardrobe malfunction,” broadcasters were looking for something a little less controversial and safe. McCartney delivered a solid and engaging performance, proving that halftime shows aren’t just for pop acts. His finale of “Hey Jude” certainly got the crowd on their feet.

5. Super Bowl XXX (1996) (Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)

Featuring: Diana Ross

Bringing spectacle and glamour to Super Bowl XXX, Ms. Ross performed an impressively extensive medley of her hits. Always the diva, she brought her performance “higher and higher” as she rose on a golden mountain during “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and ascended in a helicopter during the climax of “Take Me Higher.”

4. Super Bowl XLVI (2012) (New York Giants vs. New England Patriots)

Featuring: Madonna (with Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green and LMFAO)

Madonna’s performance was rated as the most-watched halftime show in history, with upwards of 114 million viewers tuning in. Despite Madge’s entrance on a golden throne for her hit “Vogue,” M.I.A. was the one who ultimately stole the show by flipping off the camera, and confirming her status as a total badass.

3. Super Bowl XXVII (1993) (Buffalo Bills vs. Dallas Cowboys)

Featuring: Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was one of the first superstars to perform in a Super Bowl halftime show. The King of Pop was at the peak of his popularity in 1993 and wowed  viewers with a stellar performance of his hit singles, along with a choir of 3,500 children for a message of harmony with “We Are the World.”

2. Super Bowl XLVII (2013) (Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers)

Featuring: Beyoncé (with Destiny’s Child)

Beyoncé proved that girl power still exists in her fierce performance in 2013, which generated a record breaking 299,000 tweets per minute. In addition to performing her chart-topping singles, Queen Bey was joined on stage by her fellow Destiny’s Child bandmates, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, for a long-awaited reunion.

1. Super Bowl XLI (2007) (Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears)

Featuring: Prince

Despite the heavy rain drenching the stage, Prince tore up the halftime show with a stellar performance, full of improvisation and guitar solos, featuring his biggest hits and some surprising cover songs, including a funk rendition of the Foo Fighters’ “Best of You” and a spine chilling finale with “Purple Rain.”


Top 10 Most Controversial Music Videos

What makes a good music video? Blasphemy? Sex? Drugs? Violence? These featured artists weren’t afraid to stir up trouble and take some risks, though some of them probably shouldn’t have. Take some time to check out the uncensored music videos below — just make sure you’re not in public.


10. “I’m a Slave 4 U” – Britney Spears

This steamy video caused a stir among parents of young fans. It showed a sweat-drenched Britney writhing around sexily as her dancers surround her, breathing heavily. One of them even licks her. This solidified Britney’s transformation from girl-next-door to sex icon.


9. “Alejandro” – Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga caused a stir due to blasphemous imagery in this video, which portrayed Gaga dressed in a latex nun’s habit while swallowing a rosary, prompting Katy Perry to tweet  (though not mentioning Gaga’s name): “Using blasphemy as entertainment is as cheap as a comedian telling fart jokes.” Ouch.


8. “Monster” – Kanye West Feat. Jay Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj. and Bon Iver

Another artist known for bold statements, this Kanye West video was damned by critics for being both misogynistic and disturbing. People were outraged over the portrayal of dead and dismembered models. Kanye fought back, saying “it is an art piece and it shall be taken as such.”


7. “Dirrty” – Christina Aguilera feat. Redman

The name says it all: this video is “dirrty.” It has everything from mud wrestlers and “furries” to Thai sex-tourism posters and X-Tina in a bikini and assless chaps. After its release, music stations had to air a warning before playing it due to its extremely sexual content.


6. “Stan” – Eminem feat. Dido

This video is told through the letters of a crazed Eminem fan who gets increasingly upset when his idol doesn’t respond to him. It becomes clear that he has a scary obsession; he even goes so far as to tie up his pregnant girlfriend and put her in the trunk of his car, which he eventually drives off a bridge. A heavily-censored version of the video aired on music stations.


5. “Cocoon” – Björk

This video features a naked Björk dancing around with strings coming out of her nipples before wrapping herself in a cocoon. For Björk? Completely normal. For us? Too much. It was banned from airing on prime-time TV for obvious reasons.


4. “Born Free” – M.I.A.

Two words: Ginger genocide. People didn’t take too kindly to redheads being rounded up and killed, regardless of what message M.I.A was trying to send. Though many applauded the singer’s creative and unapologetic vision, the graphic subject matter lead to the nine-minute video being banned from YouTube.


3. “Justify My Love” – Madonna

This list could’ve easily been composed solely of Madonna videos: “Erotica,” “Like A Prayer,” “American Life,”  she’s definitely not afraid of controversy. Like several of her videos, this one was banned from airing on MTV due to its nudity and highly-sexual themes, including sadomasochism, voyeurism, and scenes of Madonna with another woman.


2. “Smack My B*tch Up” – The Prodigy

This first-person perspective video portrays someone’s wild night out , which consists of snorting cocaine, visiting a strip club, drunk driving, and having sex with a stripper. At the end of the video, the protagonist is finally revealed: it’s a woman. Surprise! It was banned from TV in most countries, but due to massive demand, finally found its way onto late-night music shows.


1. (s)AINT – Marilyn Manson

Where to start with this video. Full-frontal nudity, oral sex, bondage, drug use —  Manson snorts cocaine off a Bible and uses a rosary to shoot heroin —  masturbation, self-harm, the list goes on. Marilyn Manson is known to be shocking, but this might go too far.


Top 10 albums of 2013

1. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Arcade Fire’s follow-up album to their Grammy-award winning album, The Suburbs, is dark yet surprisingly danceable. The band knows how to take risks and challenge themselves all while keeping with their signature style. Reflektor is Arcade Fire’s most musically complex effort to date.

2. HAIM- Days Are Gone

The debut album from the California sister-trio is the perfect mix of nostalgia and modernity. It’s refreshingly bold yet familiar, boasting influences from Stevie Nicks and Wilson Philips. Days Are Gone is melodic and a real treat for any ’90s child.

3. Cecile McLorin Salvant – WomanChild

Pulling inspiration from jazz legends like Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald, Salvant offers something fresh and original all while steeped in tradition. Her technical ability, tempo and charisma displayed in WomanChild are evidence that she is far from a novelty act, but a true original in a re-emerging genre.

4. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

With their third album, Vampire Weekend have finally shed their ivy-league peppiness and demonstrated their full potential. Modern Vampires of the City is their most concise work and displays a sense of confidence and playful sophistication that was lacking from their previous albums.

5. Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Random Access Memories was well worth the eight years since the last studio album from French electronic duo, Daft Punk. Boasting a mix of dance, electronic, soul and disco, the lead single, “Get Lucky,” was in heavy rotation all summer.

6. James Blake – Overgrown

With his sophomore release, James Blake is stepping out of his electronic shell and revealing his humanity. Overgrown showcases a raw and soulful side to the minimalist post-dubstep sweetheart. With several tracks produced by Brian Eno and a strong focus on songwriting and melody, Blake’s sophomore release is experimental yet accessible.

7. Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe

In between writing songs for Sky Ferreira, Solange and Britney Spears, the Essex born street punk turned Brooklyn hipster recorded his sophomore album. With a clear influence from early ‘90s Prince, new wave, dance and R&B, Cupid Deluxe was inspired by the alienation and heartbreak of the New York underground LGBT community.

8. Emilíana Torrini – Tookah

Tookah showcases the essence of who Emilíana Torrini wants to be as an artist. Atmospheric synthesizers soar over her folky indie pop melodies to create a richly layered, evocative experience.

9. M.I.A. – Matangi

Initially reworked because it was deemed “too positive,” the fourth studio album from the outspoken English-Sri Lankan is creative and playful. The songs are chaotic and fly by at a brisk pace, creating the sense of excitement and exoticism that we’ve come to expect from M.I.A..

10. Jon Hopkins – Immunity

Having previously worked with Coldplay, Imogen Heap and Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins certainly knows a thing or two about versatility. With his fourth studio album, we are immersed in Hopkins’ intriguing fusion of modern classical, techno and ambient musical styles. Immunity is both energetic and contemplative.


Top 10 One-Hit Wonders from the ‘90s/2000s

Grab your Walkmans, crack open that old yearbook and prepare for a not so glamorous trip down memory lane. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the finest list of nostalgia-fueled one-hit wonders from the ‘90s and 2000s. Whether you were five or 15 when these tracks came out, we’re sure you will recognize these hits, whether you’d like to remember them or not.

10.  “I’m Too Sexy” – Right said Fred (1992)

We kick off the list with the all-time favourite British pop group of, well, no one ever. This track got so many bad ratings it placed 19th on Blender’s 50 Worst Songs Ever list. The over zealous narcissistic track must have been doing something right though; it held second place in the UK charts for six weeks.

9. “Baby Got Back” – Sir Mix-a-lot (1992)

Moving swiftly from the all time worst to one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time according to VH1, we give you everyone’s favourite “big butts” song. This track was the second best selling song after Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in 1992. You other brothers can’t deny, that you’ve definitely sang this one well into present day. Classic.

8. “Whoomp! (There It Is)” – Tag Team (1993)

This next one stuck at number two on the US charts for seven weeks. Even after it disappeared off the charts, it became the go-to sporting event theme chant, featured in one too many football movies after its release. The Miami group Tag Team is definitely worth remembering.

7. “What Is Love” – Haddaway (1993)

Ranking second in the UK and in Germany and at number one for weeks on the international charts, this eurodance single is definitely a karaoke favorite. Featuring sampled vocals from Zero-G DataFile, safe to say most of us still have the tune stuck in our heads.

6. “Macarena” – Los Del Rio (1995)

This Spanish track was actually released in 1994, but did not receive recognition internationally until it broke onto the charts one year later. The song ranks number seven on Billboard’s All Time Top 100, and reasonably so: we all know the dance, no lying.

5. “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” – Eiffel 65 (1999)

From strange dances to strange Italian blue men, we bring you one of the most prominent songs of our generation’s youth. The song went as far to receive a Grammy for Best Dance Recording several years later in 2001.

4. “Thong Song” – Sisqo (1999)

Earning four Grammy nominations, the “Thong Song” remains one of the most controversial of its time. Encouraging thongs peeking over pants, Sisqo set the standard for thong pride. This song remained number 2 on Billboard’s Top 100 for that same year.

3. “Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley(2006)

This collaboration between Cee Lo Green and producer Danger Mouse rocked the charts internationally, almost topping the list at number two in 2006. After endless plays on the radio, the song disappeared just as quickly as the collaboration. Although both Cee Lo and Danger Mouse have stuck around,Gnarls Barkley is long gone.

2. “Here In Your Arms” – Hellogoodbye (2006)

Hellogoodbye was the epitome of cheesy pop in the mid 2000s. This synth based track was so popular it was later remixed by Daft Punk in a cover titled, “Digital Love”.

1.”This Is Why I’m Hot” – Mims (2007)

Topping the charts at number one on the US Billboard hot 100 is none other than rap one-hit wonder extraordinaire, Mims. This R&B track featured samples from artists like Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg (before he became Snoop Lion), and Mobb Deep. Soon after its release, it was remixed several different ways by other R&B artists.


Kings of Leon Top 10

Like old-time minstrel families crisscrossing the countryside to tell their stories, the Followills — brothers Caleb, Nathan, Jaredc, and cousin Matthew —  make up the Kings of Leon, traveling worldwide to share their music. Here are our picks for their finest songs.


10. “Family Tree”- Mechanical Bull


Kicking off with some old-school KOL bravado and rolling drums, this funky tune has a fresh backbeat and Motown feel. The song rumbles through a quiet/loud arrangement and explodes with an infectious chorus that will get you grooving along to this good ol’ Southern gospel hand-clapper. “Family Tree” is definitely a highlight on the album.


9.”Milk”– Aha Shake Heartbreak


You might find yourself pressing the ‘skip’ button on this one — but trust me, don’t. Slow to start, the basic guitar and drumbeat allow the lyrics to speak for themselves. Give this a listen on headphones to truly hear Caleb’s heartfelt vocals as he remembers a girl that was once his.

8.”Beautiful War”– Mechanical Bull


KOL has come a long way from their raunchy debut album Youth & Young Manhood. Written on the same weekend as hit-single “Use Somebody” back in 2008, this sultry down-beat song aches with sentiment and teaches us a lesson in love. Clocking in as the longest song on the album, Caleb definitely asserts his presence throughout. Get your lighters in the air for this future favourite.


7.”Back Down South”– Come Around Sundown


KOL takes us back to the simple days of family gatherings on this country-inspired tune. The lap steel guitar and violin give it that country twang, reminding us of their southern roots. Recorded in Nashville, “Back Down South,” embodies the laid back feel flowing through Come Around Sundown.

6.”Charmer” – Because Of The Times

The Kings have surely met their fair share of girls on the road — I mean come on, look

at them — but with the shrill of this tune one can only imagine how many times they’ve

had their asses handed to them. Everything from the paranoid bass line, frazzled

lyrics and Caleb’s high, piercing, schoolgirl yell makes this one of their most distinct songs.


5.”Closer” – Only By The Night


This haunting tale of a torn soul lets us know the depths of vocalist Caleb’s thoughts. While his voice is nothing short of powerful on this one, it’s his brother Jared’s chilling bass line that captivates you from the very beginning.


4.”Four Kicks”– Aha Shake Heartbreak


The gritty guitar licks remind us that these boys were born and raised in the south and know a thing or two about booze and brawls. Caleb and Nathan, the two eldest members of the four brother band, don’t fight often, but when they do, make sure to get the hell out of the way. In 2007, Nathan ruffled up some rooster feathers after a night out in Nashville that left Caleb with a dislocated shoulder. The song is a short two minute bar fight anthem that will pump you up and leave you bloody. If anyone ever confused KOL for the Hanson brothers, this song is sure to set them straight.


3.”Red Morning Light”– Youth & Young Manhood


We may not be strangers to KOL’s dirty lyrics commonly heard in Youth & Young Manhood, but their mother is. Unable to understand a word he’s saying throughout, much like a mouthful of marbles, Caleb purposely does this so his mother can’t understand the song’s salacious lyrics. The aggressive beat accompanied by Caleb’s high-pitched shrills epitomizes the bands earlier stuff and gets the crowd ready to rock.


2.”Cold Desert”– Only By The Night


Putting a spotlight on the sinning, searching and tortured faith in singer Caleb’s vocals, this song, despite never meaning to be on the record, is the track that closes nicely Only By The Night, an album fueled with anthemic rock ballads. The track was originally incomplete — with only the first verse written — but in a drunken stupor and a quick hit of the record button, an honest moment was captured. Most of the lyrics free-flowed off Caleb’s tongue — the most heart-wrenching “Jesus don’t love me” is a line that Caleb may not remember saying but will surely raise the hairs on your neck.


1.”Talihina Sky” – Youth & Young Manhood (Hidden Track)


This hidden gem can be found eight minutes into their LP “Holy Roller Novocaine.” Showing us a softer, more sentimental side to their usual head banging rock, the southern rockers literally step out of where they came from,foreshadowing their slower yet brilliant tracks heard on Come Around Sundown and Mechanical Bull.



Top 10: Best Kanye West Songs

1. Through The Wire – College Dropout

Ignore the fact that Kanye West sounds a little weird on the beat – the man wouldn’t let reconstructive jaw surgery bring him down. Kanye’s persistence and desire to rise to the top shines throughout the track. He recounts life before and after sustaining injuries in a car accident in 2002 with a jaw that was wired shut. He doesn’t cower, but instead rises to the occasion and looks more like a boxer claiming victory in a heavyweight fight.


2. Jesus Walks – College Dropout

Kanye burst through with a song that placed Christianity at its focal point and was one of his first songs to break into the public sphere. It wasn’t just a good song, it allowed listeners to ponder how Kanye was able to make such a successful song using Jesus Christ and religion as the subject matter.


3. Diamonds From Sierra Leone/Diamonds From Sierra Leone [Remix ft. Jay Z] – Late Registration

The imagery depicted from the opening line of the original song makes it arguably one of Kanye’s greatest. West takes the original and transforms it into a track that is equally as good. In the remix, Kanye goes political, addressing the conflict diamonds being mined in countries such as Sierra Leone.


4. Touch The Sky (ft. Lupe Fiasco) – Late Registration

Kanye’s bravado, and taste for expensive brands, is on full display in “Touch The Sky.” Swag level, awesome level, his ego, whatever level you would want to judge Kanye on, is looking to go over 9000. The song features a show-stopping verse from a young Lupe Fiasco and a slowed down Curtis Mayfield sample.


5. Can’t Tell Me Nothing – Graduation

Whether it’s through its visuals or its lyrics, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” was strikingly more brash and displayed more bravado from Kanye than on any of his previous material. The chorus itself, perhaps foreshadowing the paparazzi and haters, was a precursor to a more audacious Kanye West, setting the tone for the most boastful album in his catalogue, Graduation.


6. Stronger – Graduation

Graduation featured synths and electronic influences, which explains the outstanding meshing of Kanye West lyrics and Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” The booming drums from super producer Timbaland complete the electronic/hip-hop masterpiece.


7. Welcome to Heartbreak (ft. Kid Cudi) – 808’s & Heartbreak

808’s & Heartbreak delivered West at his most vulnerable, and his most imperfect. Despite the tracks dripping with Auto-Tune, the album is the first indication that there are in fact chinks in Kanye’s armour. Depression sets in on the track, as Kanye sounds empty and hollow while everyone else seems happier and on the verge of promising futures in contrast to Kanye’s grim reality, after the loss of his mother the previous year.


8. Gorgeous (ft. Kid Cudi & Raekwon) – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye goes after haters, among them the writers of South Park, critiques the issue of race in America, and of course, a boastful Kanye re-emerges from the rubble, caused by an avalanche of hate after the MTV VMA’s incident with Taylor Swift. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was his comeback from licking his wounds on 808’s & Heartbreak, and “Gorgeous” is the indicator that Kanye is ready to reclaim his extravagant and expensive throne.


9. Runaway (ft. Pusha T) – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

The beautiful thing about Kanye’s fifth studio album is that it emphasizes his braggadocio behavior, but also features his vulnerability, with remnants from 808’s & Heartbreak. Add that to rousing instrumentals, it’s a glossy, fancy piece of work that can be added to any museum. “Runaway”, which was the centerpiece of Kanye West’s short film of the same name, features piano and Kanye willing to admit that he is in fact, a jerk but in the classiest of ways.


10. New Slaves (ft. Frank Ocean) – Yeezus

Kanye’s sixth studio release Yeezus may go down as his most polarized album. On the one hand, you must applaud Kanye for daring to use dancehall and electronic sounds paired with lyrics that all but claim he’s the second coming of Christ. On the other, some of Kanye’s ideas are displaced and just don’t fit within the album. “New Slaves” is among the better songs off the album, and while the verses might not be the greatest, there’s no denying the shock value of the lyrics and Frank Ocean’s vocals at the end.



Top 10: Album Covers

10. The Ramones – The Ramones

Everything about The Ramones’ debut album cover screams ‘70s badass. From the black and white nature of the photograph to the leather jackets and tattered jeans, the four New York City punks unknowingly posed for what would later become one of the most recognized album covers ever.


9. War – U2

For their 1983 album War, the Irish rockers’ decided not to put a typical war image of a battlefield or of a soldier. Instead, the band opted for a close up shot of a child with a bloodied lip and angry expression. It’s a striking black and white image that reminds us that the victims of war extend further than just those involved on the battlefield.


8.Absolution – Muse

At first glance, we’re not really sure what’s happening on the album cover. We see a man staring up, surrounded by the shadows of outstretched human-like figures. We’re not really sure if the figures are descending down on Earth, or if they’re leaving it. All we know is that it’s creepy, and we kind of like it.


7. Appetite For Destruction – Guns ‘N’ Roses

Originally conceived as a tattoo, the ‘80s American rockers’ debut album cover features the five band members as cartoon skull versions of themselves over a cross. The first attempt at the artwork was deemed too controversial for record stores and was replaced by the current iconic image.



6. Is This It (International Version) – The Strokes

The cover art for the band’s debut album raised quite a few pulses. The cover flaunts a photograph of a black leather glove resting on a woman’s bare bottom and hip plastered against a white background. The risqué album cover was dropped in North America but is still available in parts of Europe.


5.Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd is no stranger to eye-catching album artwork. Wish You Were Here’s cover art is deeply ambiguous and slightly disturbing: the cover shows two suited men casually shaking hands in an apparently empty backstreet while one is engulfed in flames. It remains one of the most striking album covers in the band’s repertoire.


4. The White Album – The Beatles

Recognizable for its minimalist concept, the aptly named White Album follows the psychedelic nature of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with a beautifully basic white background. What the cover lacks in colour and detail, the music within more than makes up for it with two discs of pure Beatles magic.


3.Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

Preceding their extremely minimalistic cover for The White Album, the lads from Liverpool created one of their most eye-popping album covers. It shows the Fab Four clad in flamboyant military garb surrounded by cardboard cutouts of some of the most influential historical figures like Marlon Brando, Edgar Allen Poe, and humbly, the early ‘60s versions of themselves all in front of a floral arrangement in the form of the band’s name.


2. Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd one again graces this list with Dark Side Of The Moon. For their eighth studio album, the band displayed a prism set against a black background to create what is arguably one of the most classic images from the 70s and in rock ’n’ roll history.


1. Blood Sugar Sex Magik – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Perhaps the band’s greatest album and definitely their most striking album cover, Blood Sugar Sex Magik takes the number one spot. The cover depicts the guys as four black and white sketches with their tongues sticking out, their tongues stylistically transformed to resemble the thorny stems of a rose they all surround. The deep red roses are juxtaposed perfectly by the black and white nature of the rest of the artwork. Bravo boys.



Top 10 Summer Album Releases

10. Yeezus – Kanye West
Influenced by industrial, new-wave, and Chicago house music, Kanye West’s polarizing sixth studio album, Yeezus, is abrasive, misogynistic and lyrically superficial, but also ambitious in its stripped-down production and originality.
9. Apocalypse – Thundercat (Jul 9, 2013)
The sophomore release from bassist and Flying Lotus collaborator Stephen Bruner is not easy to categorize. A fusion of hip-hop, electronic, soul and jazz, Apocalypse proves that it’s more than just the sum of its parts. The album is full of in fectious bass lines and soulful melodies, showcasing Bruner’s talent, both as a songwriter and a producer.
8. About Farewell – Alela Diane
Alela Diane’s divorce from her husband was the influence behind this fourth full-length release. A sobering account of how love’s flame can fizzle out as quickly as it once blazed, About Farewell is more than just a breakup album; it is achingly honest and raw, all the while maintaining sentimentality.
7. Ceremony – Anna von Hausswolff
Swedish singer-songwriter Anna von Hausswolff’s sophomore release is a sonically immense and atmospheric album. As rich and majestic as the pipe organs and synthesizers she employs, the album demands your attention with its striking confidence and cinematic arrangements. With prevalent lyrical themes of death and loss, Ceremony won’t likely be the soundtrack to your summer beach parties.
6. The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars
The Civil Wars’ follow-up to their 2012 Grammy award-winning album Barton Hollow may have been paved with discord, but Joy Williams and John Paul White’s personal differences have led to the creation of their darkest and most intense album to date.
5. Random Access Memories – Daft Punk
Random Access Memories was well worth the eight years since the last studio album from French electronic duo, Daft Punk. Boasting a mix of dance, electronic, soul and disco influences, many would agree the lead single “Get Lucky” is a serious contender for the summer’s biggest anthem.
4. Body Music – AlunaGeorge (Jul 29, 2013)
Body Music is the debut album from London-based electro-soul duo Aluna Francis and producer George Reid. The mix of Aluna’s sugar sweet vocal style and George’s garage and dubstep influenced production has crafted a sophisticated urban pop album that sounds fresh, all the while feeling nostalgic.
3. Impersonator – Majical Cloudz
After releasing several EPs and being featured on Grimes’ 2012 album,Visions, Montreal-based producers Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto, also know as Majical Cloudz, have finally released their debut album. Impersonator demonstrates synth-pop at its most restrained, offering an emotionally cathartic experience that is as haunting as it is complex.
2. Pushin’ Against a Stone – Valerie June
June defines her sound as “organic moonshine music”, and on the Tennessee country singer’s fourth full-length album we couldn’t agree more. Pushin’ Against a Stone was produced by Kevin Augunas and The Black Keys’ frontman, Dan Auerbach, which explains the album’s clarity and pop sensibility.
1. WomanChild – Cécile McLorin Salvant
Pulling inspiration from jazz legends like Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald, Savant offers something fresh and original yet steeped in tradition. The technical ability, tempo and charisma displayed in WomanChild are evidence that she is far from a novelty act, but rather a true original in a re-emerging genre.


Top 10 Songs by The Strokes

10. “Someday”

The band gets nostalgic on this one. “Someday” provides the perfect soundtrack for that unforgettable summer day and embodies that signature Strokes sound we all know and love.


9. “Evening Sun”

Arguably one of their most romantic songs. Julian Casablancas’ sexy raspy vocals stand out in this rare Strokes ballad.


8. “Take it or Leave It”

Things get rowdy in the Is This It closer. Fabrizio Moretti pounds away at the drums, the rest of the boys wail on their guitars while Casablancas rocks the mic, leaving us all hopped up on musical magic.


7. “I’ll Try Anything Once”

Released as a demo, “I’ll Try Anything Once” is good enough to make it onto any record. Its raw, grainy sound and honest lyrics can melt even the hardest of hearts.


6. “Heart in a Cage”

For many, The Strokes are at their best when Casablancas is belting out his deepest vocals. This single off First Impressions of Earth hooks us with its aggressive opening riff and has us hypnotized all the way through.


5. “Life is Simple in the Moonlight”

This dreamy track off Angles brings back Casablancas’ signature muffled vocals but with a haunting new backdrop, making “Life is Simple in the Moonlight” arguably the most memorable track on the record.


4. “The Modern Age”

With pounding drums, face-melting guitar riffs and Casablancas’ semi-inaudible vocals, “The Modern Age” stands out in an album full of great tracks.


3. “You Only Live Once”

The original (and greatest) YOLO. This fun, upbeat track just screams good times. It showcases the band’s youthful energy while exploring new creative territory. The album itself received mixed reviews, but to die-hard Strokers it doesn’t really matter because, well…YOLO.


2. “Trying Your Luck”

This little gem off their first album was never released as a single, but was definitely more than worthy. Casablancas’ song writing skills are matched perfectly with guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.’s solo halfway through the track. This song is almost TOO good.


1. “Reptilia”

From the mesmerizing opening chords to the closing ones, “Reptilia” is pure Strokes genius. The song showcases each of the members’ talent in one intense banging track that makes us want to move, jump and scream our lungs out.


TOP TEN: Rock Guitarists

1. Jimmy Page: This guy. His brain and finger dexterity must have been tweaked by aliens. If you watch Led Zeppelin’s live performance in “The Song Remains the Same,” you’ll want to chop of your fingers and burn your guitar because this guy puts everyone to shame. Blessed with freakishly long fingers and arms, Page has written some of the greatest songs, riffs and solos.


2. Jimi Hendrix: He doesn’t really need any explanation. He’s a god among men. His wawa and reverb blues-based jungle songs are the underground beats of every generation to come, I predict.


3. David Gilmore: Instead of celebrating like a rockstar after a Pink Floyd show, Gilmore could be found in his room playing guitar. He’s got to be one of the best minds alive and his musical genius oozes from his riffs. His solo on “Money” is so simple that you can hum it, but so powerful that it’ll stay lodged in your memory forever.


4. Keith Richards: He may not play the most luxurious solos, but this rolling-stoner has come up with some of the most timeless feel-good riffs. His playing is like a sheep dog herding the other instruments around, and his garage band spank sound suits summer, sun and beer.


5. Eric Clapton: He’s got a bit of everything in his playing: catchy riffs, fairly interesting solo-techniques, great phrasing and he sings too.


6. Stevie Ray Vaughan: You can feel the love in his music. Vaughan’s heavy guitar-based songs played with his sparkling Stratocaster sound are awesome.


7. John Frusciante: Everyone knows the guy behind most of the greatest Red Hot Chili Pepper’s songs. He would practice for 12 hours a day for a good portion of his life and it totally paid off. He’s just tremendous and his work within the Chili Peppers is surreal. You go, Frusciante!


8. Jack White: He gets the medal for the most innovative and fun to listen to solos. He’s got his own odd style that’s so distinctly Jack White. Most of the time he’s compensating for a lack of bass within his bands, all the while providing kickass vocals. Bonus: he’s alive and not dying of old age!


9. The studio guitar players Steely Dan hired: Steely Dan would audition a bunch of guys to come up with a solo for their new songs and some of the talent they brought in was phenomenal. The guitar solos on “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and “Peg” are incredibly interesting — the songs wouldn’t be the same without them. So thanks, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Jay Graydon.


10. Duane Allman: he’s not quite as well known, but man can this guy solo. He understands the art like none other and in the Allman Brothers’ songs he incorporates hints of southern musical drawl. His soloing makes you happy, especially in “Blue Sky” by the Allman Brothers.



Top 10 themes from iconic video games

10. Pacman

You’re a miniature yellow blob trying to get by in a dark maze of black and blue. All you wanna do is eat, eat, eat but you got creepy monsters chasing after you! The goofy interlude stands as an out-cue for an adventure that will make you run for your life!


9. Street Fighter

Choose your character and go mash those buttons hard with fury. Kick, punch, hit. Pull off a 1-2 combo. Multiple rounds, sudden death, free for all. FIGHT! Each “fighter” has its own theme track and the music used in every battle brings that irresistible adrenaline rush.


8. Wipeout

A neo-futuristic environment of lights, concrete buildings and steel tracks donned with gorgeously designed race pods. The succulent trance music will hit you, too. The WipEout series has a hidden musical treasure you can’t afford to miss, mixing aesthetics with trippy music.



7. Tetris

There goes one block, another block, and one more falling down on you. Align and turn them into never ending straight lines. The entertaining yet mind-boggling (and at times annoying) 8-bit tune that accompanies is the Soviet’s best export: the widely respected puzzle-game, Tetris.



6. Sonic the Hedgehog

When you‘re the world’s fastest hedgehog, what do you do when your worst enemy is on a mission to take over the world? The Sonic Adventure series on the Sega Dreamcast platform was known to carry rock music during gameplay and it was something that fans mourned when the platform folded in the early ‘00s.



5. Assassin’s Creed

When you suddenly get kidnapped unknowingly, technology brings you to a world a thousand years back. You’re on a mission to hunt people in order to regain your ancestor’s tainted honour. The mysterious and eerie music amplifies the intensity of the gameplay found in Assassin’s Creed, Montreal’s pride and glory.


4. Super Mario

You have a simple mission — walk outside, collect some stars and get some mushrooms. Oh, and don’t forget to save Princess Peach while keeping your day job as a plumber. The folks who made the game in the early ‘80s made your adventure easy for you. Don’t forget to thank them.



3. Final Fantasy

One-on-one duel. You’ve got no time to waste. May the best fighter win and may you revel in the iconic melody that celebrates the sweet taste of victory. Remixed for decades, the encounter between you and your enemy invokes the iconic battle theme for the long-running role-playing game series, Final Fantasy.



2. The Legend of Zelda

You’re a blonde-haired kid on a quest. Walking in dungeons, fighting monsters and solving puzzles to save the world and, Princess Zelda, of course. The music is what hardcore players call the anthem of video games, composed by legendary game musician Koji Kondo. Remember the N64 Ocarina of Time? There you go.


1. Pokemon

You walk in tall grass. You encounter a wild creature. You have six pocket-sized monsters on you. Which one will you choose to save you? The battle theme in Pokemon, since its inception in 1995, might as well represent the core essence and joie-de-vivre of the entire Pokemon game series — the battle that every trainer encounters, and the accomplishment in savouring victory.


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