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TheFrontloader.com’s Top 5 Favorite Songs of 2010


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Seeing as it’s New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d list TheFrontloader.com’s Top 5 Favorite Songs of 2010. Please keep in mind that these are favorite songs… not the “best” ones because let’s face it, who can say what were the best songs of 2010?

I based these selections on how I was affected upon hearing them for the first time – maybe the lyrics hit home, maybe the production did me good, maybe it simply came down to a groove that I couldn’t get out of my head and body. Whatever the case, this was an easy list to come up with…

2010 was a great year for music… I’m only sorry I didn’t hear everything… but you know what we always say here… so much music, so little time…

And that’s the way it should always be.

5. Dead Confederate - SugarRun From the Gun – Dead Confederate

Dead Confederate‘s “Run From the Gun” is simply a cool-arse song that has such a dark, gritty feel to it that reminds me of old black & white or even sepia looking pictures of yore. Off their Sugar album, I remember playing this song over and over again until Dead Confederate themselves called me up and said, “Dude… STOP PLAYING THAT SONG!!!”

They then popped in The Cutting Crew‘s “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” and forced me to listen to it for three days straight. Little did they know that THAT particular song is one of my guilty pleasures… hahaa!!!! The joke was on them… SUCKERS!

They fell for one of the all-time classic blunders – the most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go against a Crazy Asian when Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” is on the line”! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…

You can read our review of Sugar here. Excellent album.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Run From the Gun (feat. Ben Wigler)

Dead Confederate on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

4. The Tallest Man on Earth - Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing BirdLike the Wheel – The Tallest Man on Earth

The Tallest Man on Earth is such a memorable name for an artist, isn’t it? I mean, it’s MUCH more memorable than, say… and I’m just making this up right now… Gay Witch Abortion, right?

RIGHT?

Man ALIVE… there really IS a band called Gay Witch Abortion!!!! Here’s their MySpace page!

You can’t make this stuff up, people.

Let’s see if I can do it again. I’m going to make up another band name and see if it actually exists… Hot Budapest.

Aw, crap… no band called Hot Budapest.

It’s not a bad name, though. DIBS!!!!!

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Like the Wheel

The Tallest Man on Earth on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

3. King of the BeachMy Morning Song (acoustic)- The Black Crowes

I don’t think I have to say much about this song. True, “My Morning Song” wasn’t written in 2010, but this acoustic recording was, so that means it counts and belongs on this list.

I loved the electrified version on The Black Crowes‘s The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion album… and this new arrangement from Croweology kicks just as much arse. It’s got the gospel mid section, the romping stomping piano, the groovalicious groove, and the slide guitar riff that even makes my MOM say, “That pretty cool.”

If you haven’t heard this version of the song yet, then you have GOT to hear it before it’s too late. Too late for what, you ask? Too late for YOU… because right now as you read this, someone is sneaking up behind you with a baseball bat and is about to smash the living daylights out of that spider that’s crawling up your head. Never mind that your head is going to be caved in… as long as that spider’s been taken care of, right?

So hit “play” NOW, MAN, NOW!!!!!!

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: My Morning Song (acoustic)

The Black Crowes on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

2. Strange Feelin’ in the Air – Ryan Bingham

Here’s another song with slide guitar. The only reason why Ryan Bingham‘s “Strange Feelin’ in the Air’ beats out The Black Crowes“My Morning Song” is because Buzz Lightyear said so. Don’t ask how that makes sense. It just does.

Speaking of Buzz Lightyear, did you ever notice how much he looks like Sarah Palin?

Don’t ask how that is, it just does.

Speaking of Sarah Palin, did you ever notice how much she looks like Buzz Lightyear?

And speaking of Buzz Lightyear, did you ever notice…

Man, I’m still bummed that The San Diego Chargers didn’t make the playoffs.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Strange Feelin’ in the Air

Ryan Bingham on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

1. All For You – Keith Urban

Keith Urban hit a home run with “All For You.” The first time I heard this song, I wept like a baby.

Like a frikkin’ baby.

And I’m man enough to admit that.

Off his latest release, Get Closer, “All For You” could be written off as a cheesy pop-country love tune, but it’s a must-hear in my book. I haven’t had a song hit me like this in a long time… it brings up so many memories, reservations, fears, desires, and dreams for me… it makes me wonder where the hell I went wrong… and more importantly, it makes me wonder if I’m ever going to get it right.

Get Closer was released in September, and although it’s nothing to write home about, it does have some memorable moments. The album cover pretty much sums up the record.

I’m sorry, but I have to say this again… country music has become so formulaic and predictable… turn on country radio and there’s as much variety as a box of raisins… it’s almost like they’re not even trying anymore… and this album cover is a good example of just that. Of all the images in the world, THAT’S the one that was chosen to represent the record?

That doesn’t say much about the record, and if you could judge an album by the cover, then Get Closer is no different from any other country album out now except that Urban doesn’t have anything on his head.

But “All For You” slays me. Hands down, it’s my favorite song of 2010. I hope you find something in it that resonates within you as well.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: All For You

Keith Urban on: [Amazon] [iTunes>]

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Sight in Sound: Big Empty (live acoustic)

Sight in Sound: Find a photograph and put a soundtrack of one or multiple songs to it. All pictures were taken by Swapmeet Louie unless otherwise noted.

2010 is just about done. I hope you all had a great holiday season… for me, the holidays can be summed up with this picture. It was lonely, it was cold, and it was dark.

Now, before you say something like, “Gee, Swap… you’re just a ray of sunshine, aren’t you?” let me also say that 2011 is going to be a very important and thrilling year for me. My BSN program starts on the 10th, and although I’m nervous about it, I’m also as excited as a kid in a candy store.

I look forward to the time when my life finally finds stability. It’s been a long two years, and I’d like to thank all of my friends who have stood by me when they didn’t have to. I love you all and would probably be dead if it weren’t for you. Thank you and I promise it’ll all be worth it someday.

This site has given me more than I ever expected it to. It’s kept my mind on music, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Don’t worry, we’re going to keep TheFrontloader.com going… the posts are probably going to be more personal than before, but as before, we will continue to bring you music we think you’ll dig on.

We’ll stop when the music stops.

2011 is going to be one hell of a year. May you find peace, happiness, and more love than you can handle.

Happy New Year!

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Big Empty (MTV unplugged)

[Amazon] [iTunes]

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Tift Merritt Outtakes – “Novel” and “Nineteen”


I hope you are having or had a great Christmas! Right now it’s about 6:30 on Christmas Day here… it’s been a good day and I thought I’d come online to see what’s going on.

Little did I know that the wonderful Tift Merritt has made a couple of outtakes from her latest album, See You on the Moon, available just for the holidays.

“Novel” and “Nineteen” may be outtakes, but they’re definitely worth picking up and adding to your collection. The thing about being labeled an “outtake” doesn’t necessarily mean that the song is bad… it could simply mean that the song did not fit the vision of the album. Either that or the song got lost in some strange alternate dimension where apes rule the world because we humans did something weird to them.

Whatever the case, outtakes are always cool to find.

But music outtakes aren’t the same as television or film outtakes, which are mostly made up of bloopers. Speaking of bloopers, here’s one of the funniest blooper compilation videos I’ve ever seen, courtesy of the great Bill Dance:

If you’ve never seen this collection, you have GOT to hit “play.” Do it. My gift to you.

Tift Merritt already has some shows lined up for January of next year. Here are some show dates:

01-21-11 – Durham, NC @ Reynolds Industries Theater, Duke University
01-22-11 – Durham, NC @ Reynolds Industries Theater, Duke University
01-29-11 – Davis, CA @ Mondavi Center, UC Davis
01-30-11 – Davis, CA @ Mondavi Center, UC Davis
01-31-11 – San Francisco, CA @ Yoshi’s Jazz Club, San Francisco
02-03-11 – Tallahassee, FL @ Turner Auditorium at TCC, Florida State University

So what’dya git for Christmas? I got a rock.

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: Novel
Download: Nineteen

Tift Merritt on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

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MP3: The Band – “Christmas Must Be Here Tonight”


Tomorrow is Christmas! I’m relieved to say that I’ve finished all of my shopping, and I even found time to go fight crime as The Masked Lethal Weapon 5.

“Christmas Must Be Here Tonight” by The Band is a favorite of mine. I don’t remember when I first heard it, but it was probably during the time when I went crime fighting as The Masked Lethal Weapon 3. Yes, those were the days… when I didn’t have to use CGI to do all my fancy stunts and stuff. Now I outsource my jumps, leaps, fight sequences, and even vehicles to ILM. It works out well, though… I don’t get hurt as much and in many ways it’s more cost effective, but criminals are starting to get tired of how much I rely on CGI, and how I’m not paying as much attention to the storyline because of it… they keep telling me that CGI needs to support the story and not the other way around.

So anyway, if you haven’t heard “Christmas Must Be Here Tonight” yet, I’ve posted the original and an alternate version below in the Dig-It section. I prefer the original, but the alternate version is… interesting to use for comparison. I guess you can A/B them as “What to do to a song” and “What NOT to do to a song.”

A great line from the song: “How a little baby boy bring the people so much joy”

So much joy, indeed.

Have a blessed Christmas, everybody. I wish you all the most wonderful night, and always remember that it’s not just the gift that matters, but how much the friggin’ thing cost that matters.

How’s THAT for Christmas spirit?

Merry Christmas!

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: Christmas Must Be Here Tonight
Download: Christmas Must Be Here Tonight (alternate version)

The Band on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

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MP3: Joshua James – “Christmas in Prison”


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Joshua James sent out an email a few days ago with a link to download his version of John Prine‘s song, “Christmas in Prison”.

I’ve never been to prison and don’t plan on going EVER, so although I can’t relate to the title of the song, I can relate to the message.

And what is the message?

The message is DON’T GO TO PRISON.

At least that’s what I got out of it. I mean, how depressing is the thought of having “turkey and pistols carved out of wood,” or the image of “the search light in the big yard swings round with the gun?” Not too thrilling to me… nope.

But Joshua James has a killer voice and this version of “Christmas in Prison” is most excellent as well. I do love this time of year… artists spread the holiday cheer with song and pass it along to anyone who will listen. I’ve come across some beautiful renditions of some classic Christmas songs this year, so to all the artists – thank you from the top, middle, and bottom of my heart.

Keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll keep listening… and I promise to stay out of prison.

Merry Christmas!

Your Dig-It Downloada:

Download: Christmas in Prison (John Prine)
Download: Christmas in Prison (Joshua James)

Joshua James on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

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How Carl and Gwen Ruined My Jedi Training


It’s two days to Christmas… I guess that means the crazies come out of the woodwork.

Funny thing happened to me yesterday. The doorbell rang and whaddyaknow, a couple of people were standing there, trying to sell me religion. Now, for those of you that know and don’t know me already, I’m a God-fearing man… but that wasn’t good enough for these people. No, they asked if I knew the “REAL God,” and not just “some” God.

So I asked them, “REAL God? Do tell!”

That was a BIG mistake.

The guy (we’ll call him Carl) handed me some literature about the REAL meaning of Christmas. I said, “Wow, I am SO not interested, Carl!” but he insisted on giving me some literature.

“Dude… Carl… I really don’t want this,” I explained.

“Just take it and read it. It’ll give you a deeper insight on who you think God is.”

“Carl. You’re not listening. I DO NOT WANT THIS.”

“After reading this, I think you’ll have some questions that need answering…”

“CARL. If you give this to me, I’m going to throw it away IMMEDIATELY.”

“… that I’d be happy to help you with. My cousin here (we’ll call her Gwen) and I will come back in a couple of weeks. Will that be enough…”

“Man ALIVE, Carl! I don’t want this! Gwen, you hear me, right? Gwen?”

“… time for you to read through it? Great!”

“F**k it. Give me the f**ing thing,” I finally said.

So I took it, thanked them both for knocking on my door, shut the door, and tossed the literature into the trash.

Before you crucify me, let me just say that it is extremely annoying when people try to sell you religion by telling you how you’re idea of God is wrong and theirs is right. I don’t even care if you happen to BE right… you’re guaranteed to fail because you interrupted my Jedi training. Yoda does NOT like to be interrupted.

This incident reminded me of a hilarious video a fellow God-fearing friend once emailed to me. I really wish those door-to-door religion salespeople could see this… gives an interesting perspective on their whole operation:

Please understand that I don’t know whether Carl and Gwen were Mormons because I didn’t bother to ask or read their pamphlets, so if that video offended you because you’re a Mormon, then I’m sorry.

Funny video, though, huh?

I don’t know what I’m going to do when Carl and Gwen return. Maybe I should tear up their pamphlets and then just give it back to them in a bag… I wonder if that will help them get the point?

How do you handle door-to-door religion salespeople?

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New Bright Eyes – “Shell Games”

It’s good to get a new track from Bright Eyes. Mr. Conor Oberst, the head honcho behind the band, has been a busy man… he took some time off from Bright Eyes to work on other projects like, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band and Monsters of Folk, but the cows have got to come home and now he’s set to release a new album in 2011 with Bright Eyes.

Check out the album cover there on the right… don’t touch it, though! It looks like it’s on fire!!!!

The People’s Key is set to drop on February 15th on Saddle Creek. This is the first album for Bright Eyes since 2007, a year that will live in infamy.

Yes, the iPhone was introduced to the public that year.

And the world was hasn’t been quite the same since.

I still don’t have an iPhone because I’m one of those people who are still waiting for it to come out on Verizon. Every year I tell myself, “Self? This is the year!” and it just doesn’t happen. Now I hear that it’s supposed to happen in 2011, but I’m not holding my breath.

Anyhow, getting back to The People’s Key, here’s the tracklisting:

1 Firewall
2 Shell Games
3 Jejune Stars
4 Approximate Sunlight
5 Haile Selassie
6 A Machine Spiritual (In the People’s Key)
7 Triple Spiral
8 Beginner’s Mind
9 Ladder Song
10 One for You, One for Me

You can download the new song, “Shell Games,” with this snazzy link thingy:

Or, if you like, take a listen to the song below in the Dig-It section and THEN download the song for free with that snazzy link thingy.

Either way, be sure to check out the song. And if you REALLY like what you hear, you can pre-order the album here.

Your Dig-It But Sorry Can’t Download:

Shell Games – by Bright Eyes
[gplayer href=”http://www.mediafire.com/file/dxu6f1eau1352k7/02%20Shell%20Games.mp3″]Shell Games[/gplayer]

Bright Eyes on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

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MP3s: Silver Swans – “Holidays” and “Secrets (Letting Up Despite Great Faults Remix)”

I’m slowly getting into the holiday spirit, and seeing as it’s just three days to Christmas, I picked a pretty good time to let the spirit seep into my soul. I suppose all this free holiday music helps, like this new track from Silver Swans.

For those of you that recall, we wrote about Silver Swans (a duo consisting of songwriter Ann Yu of LoveLikeFire and DJ Producer Jon Waters) back in October. Their track, “Secrets,” satisfied my then-dream-state, and after hearing this holiday track, appropriately titled “Holidays,” I can safely say that this group is becoming my go-to for dream-state music.

Wow. Three days until Christmas. Let’s just sit back and allow that to soak in for a second.

HOLY S**TBALLS!!!! IT’S THREE F***ING DAYS TO CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

Looks like everyone’s getting gift cards this year. How’s THAT for getting in the holiday spirit? *wink*

Hey, at least I can say that I directed people to some holiday music to download. Hmm… that’s not a bad angle to take when people open their presents full of nothing… the card can say:

Merry Christmas! Sorry there’s nothing in this box, but hey – at least I directed people to some holiday music to download!

And then I can leave a piece of paper with this link written on it!

NICE!!!!

Yeah, you’re lucky I’m not giving you a present.

Download “Holidays” and the “Letting Up Despite Great Faults Remix” of “Secrets” below.

Your Dig-It Downloads:

Download: Holidays
Download: Secrets (Letting Up Despite Great Faults Remix)

Silver Swans on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

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MP3: Pigbag – “Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag”


I’m a sucker for great band names. I can’t resist any band that starts their name with the word, “black,” and I HAVE to listen to any band named Pigbag. That’s got to be one of the best names EVER… Pigbag. How can you NOT take a listen?

Especially when they have a song called, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag.”

Pure. Awesomocitinessocity.

I said, PURE AWESOMOCITINESSOCITY!!!

In case you don’t know what that means… if something is labeled “pure awesomocitinessocity,” then that means they’re on the same level as Star Wars. ‘Nuff said.

“Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag” is actually an old song that was released back in 1981. It’s perhaps their most famous track, finding its way into English football games. When I say “football,” I mean soccer. I’ve come to discover that the name “soccer” is a play on the words, “association football.” I am curious to see how they got “soccer” from that, but hey – it’s a done deal and soccer it is.

This track is such a rush that I dare you to listen to it and NOT get a little tippy-tappy in your soul.

Pigbag just released a compilation album, Volume 1 (Dr Heckle & Mr Jive) that includes some of their hits. If you’re into “Papa’s Got a Brand new Pigbag,” then you should check out the album. It’ll do you good… I should know, because before listening to the track, I was about to watch Doogie Howser, MD.

Now I’m about to put on The Cutting Edge. THAT, my friends, is a step up.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag

Pigbag on: [Amazon] [iTunes]

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MP3: Beach House – “I Do Not Care For the Winter Sun”

Man alive… it has been quite a busy past few days for Ol’ Swap here. Now, I know what you’re thinking… you’re thinking, “Swap, there is no WAY you’re busier than Santa Claus at this time of the year!” That might be true in any other given year, but THIS year, I’M the BMOTFOTEITC (Busiest Man On The Face Of The Earth Including The Colon)…

Here’s just a taste of what I’ve been up to:

– Watching original sitcoms on TBS and NOT laughing
– Trying to figure out how the HELL the New York Giants lost to the Eagles last Sunday
– Counting exactly how many raindrops are falling on my head
– Holding myself back from making a Taco Bell run every 2 hours
– Watching original sitcoms on TBS and NOT laughing

Yes, I know that the TBS thing was on there twice, but those sitcoms are just THAT bad.

One other thing I’ve been up to is listening to Beach House‘s song, “I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun.” The title of this track is fitting, I suppose… but the real tragedy is that, for the past few days, there has been NO winter sun because of the rain. It’s been raining here in Southern California now for about 5 days straight. On day one I said, “It’s raining! Great! I don’t have to water the lawn!” On day two, I said, “Yes! It’s still raining! I don’t have to water the lawn even more!” On day three, I said, “Ok, it’s still raining… but I still don’t have to water the lawn. Cool.” On day four, I said, “What the F**K, man?”

It’s supposed to rain for two more days.

“I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun” is a rousing holiday song that will absolutely ROCK your ass off. Make sure you turn it up and get your head-bangin’ helmet on.

Your Dig-It Download:

Download: I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun

Beach House on: [Official Site] [MySpace] [Twitter] [Amazon] [iTunes]