Even with one video post earlier today – including the link to a hidden track with more videos – what would a Sunday be without some very random information about some equally random music that my iTunes has chosen on, erm, random? So here it is, the Sunday Randomocity. Get inspired to check your music collection for these songs, other songs by these bands or, if you never heard of them before and don’t any music by them, go check them out for the first time.
- Boom Box by Institute off the album Distort Yourself (2005)
This one you easily might have missed. For example, if you blinked in 2005. After all, Institute wasn’t active all that long, and in the short run they only produced one album. But had Institute taken off more, there may not have been a Bush reunion a few years after this follow-up project had already folded again, since the four-piece band consisted of Bush’s Gavin Rossdale and Chris Traynor (plus Cache Tolman on bass and on Charlie Walker drums). So maybe it was for the better that there wasn’t a sophomore album and possibly more. At the same time, Distort Yourself wasn’t bad at all. Again, they consisted of half the Bush line-up. It would have been strange if they suddenly sucked completely. So while this band is history and their first and last album didn’t perform all that well, it is worth checking out.
- My Love by Pixie Lott off the album Turn It Up (2009)
The description “unnecessary pop” may be a little harsh, but if you first discovered young Pixie Lott through the covers she made – Aplogize by OneRepublic and Use Somebody by Kings Of Leon – her own material might disappoint you. It’s listenable for the most part. But does it deliver the same quality as those fantastic covers? Not if you ask me. And while her debut can be considered a success, the performance of her second album, Young Foolish Happy (2011), already dropped considerably. It’s hardly ever a good sign when a singer is more entertaining on a comedy panel show – like, I don’t know, Never Mind The Buzzcocks – than on their latest album. Shame really, since the raw talent is clearly there. Maybe London-born Lott just needs a new songwriter to collaborate with. Or hone her own skills, for which there luckily still is plenty of time.
- So Long Jimmy by James Blunt off the album Back To Bedlam (2004)
Talking about being more entertaining on “the other NMTB” than on their last album. Well, see, I said it’s “hardly ever a good sign”. Not “never”. Consider James Blunt an exception from the rule, because – both as guest and host – he was so entertaining on the show that you can safely say he performed better there than on this albums … and it still doesn’t mean the records were bad. But even if you really don’t like Blunt’s style of music, you have do give him that he seems a rather nice and funny fellow. Anyone self-deprecating enough to call their Twitter moniker @DirtyLilBlunt can’t be that bad, right?
- By Myself by The Vitamin String Quartet off the album In the Chamber with Linkin Park (2003)
Granted, this very track (off Linkin Park’s debut Hybrid Theory) really isn’t the best example for how good the arrangements of The Vitamin String Quartet – sometimes referred to as The Tallywood String Quartet – can be. A much better example from their Linkin Park tribute record would be In The End. But then, that’s an important point, too. The string tributes to (more or less) modern rock and pop acts are hit and miss. With literally dozens of tributes, for bands ranging from 3 Doors Down to The Beach Boys, from Nirvana to Elton John, and from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Björk, there should be something in there for everyone. Even if they are not all golden, some of these string versions are really good. Hey, I even listen to their version of Coldplay’s Clocks. And that’s saying something.
- One Day Remains by Alter Bridge off the album One Day Remains (2004)
There is no Alter Bridge tribute by The Vitamin String Quartet. Yet. But there is one with 13 Creed track, simply titled The String Quartet Tribute to Creed (2004). In case you don’t know: Alter Bridge is Creed. Except with Myles Kennedy replacing Scott Stapp. And the way it looks right now, there first will be a new Creed album (think early 2012) – after all, the reunion album, Full Circle, performed well enough in 2009 – and then a new Alter Bridge record (2013). Which is probably bad news for Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall and Scott Phillips – since that lead to quite a grueling back-to-back touring schedule – but good news for rock fans.
(Listening to while finishing this blog entry: One Day Remains by Alter Bridge)