Is It?

Is Anyone Here Alive?” – Kill Hannah
Is That All?” – U2
Is There Anybody Out There?” – Pink Floyd
Is There Something I Should Know?” – Duran Duran
Isabella” – This Ascension
Island” – Iris
“Island In The Sun” (Y100 Sonic Session) – Weezer
The Isle of Dreaming” – Kate Price
Isobel” – Björk
Israel” – Siouxsie and the Banshees
It Could Be Sweet” – Portishead
It Generates” – Iris
“It Screams Disease” – Carfax Abbey
“It Shall Be No More” – Laura Powers
Ito Okashi” – Passengers
It’s A Fire” – Portishead
It’s Come To This” – Fuel
It’s Good To Be King” – Tom Petty
It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi
It’s No Good” – Depeche Mode
It’s Hurting For The First Time” – Wolfsheim
It’s Not Me” – Neuroticfish
It’s Oh So Quiet” – Björk
It’s Probably Me” – Sting
It’s The Law” – Social Distortion

Lots of synthpop and some Björk today.

Intercede – Invisible

Intercede Light” – Iris
Interceptor” – VNV Nation
Interior Lulu (Acoustic)” – Marillion
Interlude” – This Ascension
International Dateline” – Ladytron
Interstellar Overdrive” – Pink Floyd
Into a Darkened Room” – Inertia 8
Into the Fire (Extended Remix)” – Sarah McLachlan
Into the Heart” – U2
Into the Void” – Nine Inch Nails
Intolerance” – Tool
“Intro” – God Lives Underwater
Intro” – This Ascension
Intro” – VNV Nation
Introspectre” – Depeche Mode
Inverse” – Neuroticfish
Invisible” – Anthrax
Invisible Ink” – Marillion
The Invisible Man (Live)” – Marillion

Back in the crazy outlaw days of internet music, when Napster was still a thing and before piracy completely killed the music industry, I wwas busily downloading all of the music I owned and very little that I didn’t. Yes, I was pretty weird like that. I didn’t have a computer fast enough to rip the CDs that I owned, but I didn’t want to be constrained to single albums when I listened to music on my computer, so I went about finding it all online. Even when I did get stuff that I didn’t already own, I tended to not listen to it a lot. One day, as I was trolling around for music (it was largely disorganized and often of poor quality), I came across a file labeled “Depeche Mode/Nine Inch Nails/U2 – Into A Darkened Room.” Intrigued, I downloaded it. I was fairly certain it wasn’t a U2 song, as I’d never heard of it. Maybe it was some mythical live mash up with Bono, Trent Reznor and Dave Gahan all on stage?

Turns out, it was neither Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, nor U2. It took me years of searching, but I eventually found the name of the actual band: Sublevel 27. Of course, even as I looked for the video just now, I learned that it was recorded by Sublevel 27’s precursor, Inertia 8. Some people haven’t been willing to let go of the notion that it’s Depeche Mode, going as far to argue with the writer in the comments.  I’ve been listening to this song for years, and it’s kind of awesome. So how fortunate that it makes it into this week’s lineup with some Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and U2?

Happy

The Happiest Days of our Lives/Another Brick in the Wall Part II” – Pink Floyd
Happiness in Slavery” – Nine Inch Nails
Happiness in Slavery [Fixed]” – Nine Inch Nails
“Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Danny Saber Mix)” – U2
Happiness Is A Warm Gun (The Gun Mix)” – U2
Happiness Is The Road” – Marillion
Happy” – Natasha Bedingfield
Happy” – Stabbing Westward
“Happy” – God Lives Underwater
Happy Birthday” – The Birthday Massacre
“Happy Face” – Toadies
Happy House” – Siouxsie and the Banshees
Happy Jack” – The Who
Happy Nation” – Ace of Base
Happy Now” – Bon Jovi
Happy Now?” – No Doubt
Happy Phantom” – Tori Amos

Interestingly enough, the subject material is not universally upbeat.  The video for U2’s cover of “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” is probably one of their craziest videos, which is saying a lot because the era that it came out of was their “let’s make weird videos” era.

But the gem of this crop is “Happiness is the Road” by Marillion.  The second verse tends to play in my head when I’m feeling stuck or down:

I met this man In Utrecht Netherlands
He was a doctor of the body and the soul
He said to me: Man, there’s a book you have to read.
I feel your pain, it makes me cry
But these tears are yours – not mine.

You’re focussing on all of your bad yesterdays
The worry lines are getting deeper every day
And deep inside you, no surprise – there’s a crisis!
You might have been to blame
But you can’t go on this way
Must I watch and pray?

While you torture yourself with what’s behind you
Torture yourself with what awaits you
Dragging that guilt and regret inside you
Anxious of the goals that always evade you

Your mind will find a way to be unkind to you somehow
But all we really have is happening to us right now

Happiness ain’t at the end of the road, happiness is the road.  Sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

Goin’, Going, Gone.

Been that way all along
Goodbye, you can keep this suit of lights.

Goin’ Through The Motions” – Blue Öyster Cult
Going Mobile” – The Who
Going Strong” – The Business
Going Under” – Evanescence
Going Under” – Marillion
Going Under (Extended Version)” – Marillion
The Gold It’s in the…” – Pink Floyd
“Golden Glass” – Blind Faith and Envy
“Gole Laleh / She’s Got the Whole World in Her Hands” – Mahsa Vahdat
Golgotha Tenement Blues” – Machines of Loving Grace
Gone” – U2
Gone [New Mix]” – U2
Gone to California” – Pink

Gone is my one of my favorite U2 songs from Pop, but I actually prefer the new mix they did for the Best Of 1990-2000 album.  I didn’t really like Pop when it came out, because I thought it was such a radical departure.  It was only after I learned that some of the song titles actually appear hidden on the cover to Zooropa, and that it was just an extension of the experimentation that began with Achtung Baby, that I really gave it a solid listen.  There are some intense tracks on there – “Please,” one of their more pointed political songs, “If You Wear That Velvet Dress,” a sultry romancin’ tune, and “MOFO,” which is a much more complex examination of Bono’s relationship with his mother than a cursory glance at the title would reveal.

Of course, after all of that, I’m still going to be listening to a lot more BÖC today.

Don’t

Don’t Cry” – Guns N’ Roses
Don’t Cry [Alternate Lyrics]” – Guns N’ Roses
Don’t Damn Me” – Guns N’ Roses
Don’t Drink the Water” – Dave Matthews Band
Don’t Fade on Me” – Tom Petty
Don’t Fear The Reaper (Long Day’s Night)” – Blue Öyster Cult
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” – Blue Öyster Cult
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper (Demo)” – Blue Öyster Cult
“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper (Career of Evil)” – Blue Öyster Cult
Don’t Give Up on Us” – Sarah McLachlan
“Don’t Have to Explain Yourself” – Harper
Don’t Knock It” – Outlaw Pandas
Don’t Leave Home” – Dido
Don’t Leave Me Now” – Pink Floyd
Don’t Let Me Die Still Wondering” – Flogging Molly
Don’t Let Me Get Me” – Pink
Don’t Speak” – No Doubt
Don’t Stand So Close To Me ’86” – The Police
Don’t Stay” – Linkin Park
Don’t Stop” – Fleetwood Mac
Don’t Stop” – Madonna
Don’t Take My Car Out Tonight” – The Hooters
Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” – U2
Don’t Turn Around” – Ace of Base
Don’t Turn Your Back” – Blue Öyster Cult
Don’t Wanna Behave” – Dance Hall Crashers
Don’t You” – Candlebox

I’ve apparently got a lot of songs that start with Don’t.  Beyond the obvious Blue Öyster Cult, there’s three different G n’ R songs from the same album, another U2 cover, and even more BÖC.

Country-Control

Country-Control

Control” – The Birthday MassacreHaunted
Control” – Poe
Control” – Stabbing Westward
Control” – VNV Nation
Coraline” – Rasputina
Coraline” – Rose Berlin
Cork Hornpipe” – The Dubliners
Cornflake Girl” – Tapping the Vein
Cornflake Girl” – Tori Amos
Corporal Clegg” – Pink Floyd
Corpse (These Chains Are Way Too Long)” – Passengers
Could’ve Gone Mad” – Poe
Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums” – A Perfect Circle
Country Comforts” – Rod Stewart
Country Song” – Pink Floyd

Two great tracks from Poe in here.  Poe had two albums, Hello and Haunted, which were both beautiful pieces of work. She had some insanity with her record label, and has yet to record a third after 13 years.  It’s one of those situations where the first two were so good that I really want a third, but I’m afraid it might not be as good.

Haunted was a weird album that served as the musical companion to an even weirder book, House of Leaves, by Poe’s brother, Mark Z. Danielewski.  If you’ve never read it,  highly recommend getting the book and the album together.  Also, a tape measure.   You’ll definitely want a tape measure.

 

Circle – City

Circle – City

Circle” – Sarah McLachlan
Circle of Stone” – Laura Powers
Circling Overland” – VNV Nation
Circuit Breaker” – Röyksopp
Cirrus Minor” – Pink Floyd
Cities in Dust” – Siouxsie and the Banshees
Cities On Flame (ETI Live)” – Blue Öyster Cult
Cities On Flame” – Blue Öyster Cult
Cities On Flame With Rock & Roll” – Blue Öyster Cult
Cities On Flame With Rock & Roll (A Long Day’s Night)” – Blue Öyster Cult
City of Angels” – Gabriel Yared
City of Blinding Lights” – U2
“City of Blinding Lights (Communication)” – U2
City of Blinding Lights (U22)” – U2
City of Hate” – Toadies

I’ve only seen Blue Öyster Cult once, but they were a fun act.  I got the the chance to see Sarah McLachlan at the last Lilith Fair revival, and she played a 30 minute set that included two covers, one ensemble song with the other artists, and one song from a soundtrack that didn’t make it onto an album.  Parking in Camden cost more than the ticket to the show.  I would love to see her in a full concert setup though.  I’ve seen VNV Nation twice, and despite being a completely electronic band, they put on a very high energy show that’s a lot of fun.

I’ve seen U2 a total of five times in concert: Elevation tour 2001 at the First Union Center, Vertigo Tour 2005 at the Izod Center and Wachovia Center, U2 360 2009 at Giants Stadium and 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field.  The last two were the worst and best of those shows, respectively, but a “bad” U2 show is still a U2 show and it still blows your mind.

Here’s a shot I took at the last one:

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Blue

I don’t have as many songs starting with ‘Blue’ as I do ‘Black,’ but I do have more songs with ‘Blue’ in the title.  A lot of Pink Floyd in there, too.

I couldn’t find a video version of Bullet the Blue Sky from Rattle & Hum, but it’s one of my favorite versions, and possibly my second favorite clip from the movie (the best being Sunday Bloody Sunday, one of the most powerful and charged U2 performances.)

Some of my band favorites are on this list: “Blue Dress” by Depeche Mode, “Chasing Blue Sky” by Queensrÿche, “Post Blue” by Placebo.  This list does show my age, though, with some great 90s stuff scattered about.

We’ll start the list off with three creepy videos, two (predictably) from Tool, and one from The Birthday Massacre.

Blue” – A Perfect Circle
(Also, second bonus creeptacular Tool video.)
Blue” – The Birthday Massacre
Blue” – Sarah McLachlan
Blue American” – Placebo
Blue Cyberia” – This Ascension
Blue Dress” – Depeche Mode
Blue Light” – David Gilmour
Blue Monday” – Orgy
The Blue Nun” – Beastie Boys
Blue Train” – Page & Plant

 

Behind Blue Eyes” – The Who
Bitter Suite/Brief Encounter/Lost Weekend/Blue Angel” – Marillion
Bullet the Blue Sky (Live from Slane Castle)” – U2
Bullet the Blue Sky (The Joshua Tree)” – U2
“Bullet the Blue Sky (Rattle & Hum)” – U2
Caribbean Blue” – Enya
Chasing Blue Sky” – Queensrÿche
A Different Kind of Blue” – Passengers
Eon Blue Apocalypse” – Tool
Golgotha Tenement Blues” – Machines of Loving Grace
Goodbye Blue Sky” – Pink Floyd
Jugband Blues” – Pink Floyd
Lonesome Johnny Blues” – Cracker
More Blues” – Pink Floyd
Out of the Blue” – David Gilmour
Perfect Blue Buildings” – Counting Crows
Post Blue” – Placebo
Razor Blues” – Tapping the Vein
Roadhouse Blues” – Blue Öyster Cult
Shotgun Blues” – Guns N’ Roses
“True Blue” – Rod Stewart
Your Blue Room” – Passengers

Gazing at a sea of stars: Astronomy to Ave Maris Stella

A long list, but chock full of good stuff.  Pink Floyd always seems to find their way into these lists, this time with like fifteen solid hours of music in two songs.  OK, maybe not fifteen, but close well over 40 minutes.

Starting with my first “hard rock”/prog rock love, Blue Öyster Cult, through Floyd and Marillion, and even hitting some Barry Manilow before finishing with This Ascension, who were a gothic/ethereal outfit from San Francisco who I was introduced to by the same person that got me hooked on BÖC.  1991’s Light and Shade is my favorite of their albums

Astronomy” – Blue Öyster Cult
Astronomy” (from A Long Day’s Night) – Blue Öyster Cult
Astronomy Domine” (Piper at the Gates of Dawn) – Pink Floyd
Astronomy Domine” (Ummagumma) – Pink Floyd
Astronomy Domine” (Pulse) – Pink Floyd
“Asylum Satellite #1” – Marillion
Asylum Satellite #1” (Live) – Marillion
“At All” – Gary Billings
At The Heart Of It All” – Nine Inch Nails
ATF Theme” – Toadies
Atlantic City” – Bruce Springsteen
Atom Heart Mother” – Pink Floyd
Atomic Punk” – Van Halen
Attack” – System of a Down
ATWA” – System of a Down
August Rain” – This Ascension
Auld Lang Syne” – Ann Wilson
Avaze Shoushtari” – Masha Vahdat
“Ave Maria” – Luciano Pavarotti
Ave Maria” – Barry Manilow
Ave Maris Stella” – This Ascension

Again to Alive

Special occasions aside, I figured I’d start close to the beginning of the alphabet.  Some gems in here!  I’ve seen Tapping the Vein live about 60 times, back when they were still playing the Philly scene.

I had all of the singles from Achtung Baby on tape, and wore them out playing them over and over for months.  Alex Descends Into Hell was one of the sleeper b-sides, not quite connected to anything else, but definitely in the experimental vein of the album.

And finally, I’ve linked to my favorite remix of Alejandro, just for my wife.

Again” – Tapping the Vein
Agent Orange” – Tori Amos
Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love” – Van Halen
Air” – Ben Folds Five
Airships” – VNV Nation
“Al Jorn Triana” – Estampie
Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast” – Pink Floyd
Alchemy Mondays” – Voltaire
Alejandro” – Lady Gaga
Alex Descends Into Hell For A Bottle Of Milk / Korova #1” – U2
Alex Kidd” – This Ascension
Alive” – Pearl Jam