Friday, April 30, 2021

A-Z Music Challenge




Chris (The Collector) had a recent post where he listed his favorite bands/musicians starting with every letter of the alphabet. He then challenged others to submit their picks, and I'm more than up for the challenge. In addition to picking an artist, for each letter I'm also going to pick lyrics of theirs that just sticks in my head, as well as list anyone I've heard perform live for each letter.

A - Audioslave 

Chris Cornell is one of my favorite lead singers, and when he teamed up with Tom Morello and other members of Rage Against The Machine, I was hooked. Each album is a solid work of rock and roll.

Lyric: "I am not your blowing wind, I am the lightning" - I Am The Highway
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Tori Amos

B - Barenaked Ladies

I've been a fan of BNL since their first album, and they've done nothing to dissuade my fandom. Their "Selfie Cam Jams" were some of the best Covid-related socially distancing music out there.
Lyric: "Like Kurosawa, I make mad films, 'kay, I don't make films, But if I did they'd have a Samurai" - One Week
Artists I've Heard Perform Live:  Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler

C - Jonathan Coulton

I'm betting most people haven't heard of him, but I heard him open up for another band listed later and have been a fan ever since. His songs are often catchy with a touch of dark humor.

Lyric: "All we want to do is eat your brains, we're not unreasonable, I mean no one's gonna eat your eyes" - RE: Your Brains
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Jonathan Coulton, Cheap Trick, Cavo, Jerry Cantrell

D - Deep Purple

One of my dad's favorite bands, they became one of mine as well.

Lyric: "She's got loving like quicksand, Only took one touch of her hand" - Hush
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Dave Matthews Band, Chris Daughtry, Days Of The New, Gavin DeGraw

E - Electric Light Orchestra

There wasn't a clear cut answer for me here, so I went with the musical genius of Jeff Lynne.
Lyrics: "Mr. Blue Sky please tell us why, You had to hide away for so long" - Mr. Blue Sky
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: none

F - Foo Fighters

Let's be honest people, did anyone really think the drummer would be the most talented member of Nirvana? This band has pumped out so much catchy rock anthems it was hard to pick a lyric.

Lyrics: "Send in your skeletons, Sing as their bones go marching in again" - The Pretender
Artists I've Heard Perform Live:  none 

G- Goo Goo Dolls

You may know The Goo Goo Dolls from their hits, but this Buffalo based group had more of a harder vibe before they hit it big. Don't let songs like "Iris" fool you, they can rock with the best of them.
Lyrics:  "We had a mountain, But took it for granted, We had a spaceship, But we couldn't land it" - Long Way Down 
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Goo Goo Dolls, Lee Greenwood, Grant Lee Buffalo

H - Harvey Danger

These one-hit wonders created one of my all-time favorite songs of the 90's.

Lyrics: "Hear the voices in my head, I swear to God it sounds like they're snoring" - Flagpole Sitta
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: none

I - Incubus

A very underrated band, I can't help but sing along to "Drive" when it comes on the radio.
Lyrics: "If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see, That all of us are heaven-sent, And there was never meant to be only one" - Meglomaniac
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Indigo Girls, Billy Idol

J - Jet

Another underrated rock band.
Lyrics: "Well it's one, two, three, take my hand and come with me, Because you look so fine that I really wanna make you mine" - Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Tom Jones

K - B.B. King

I have an appreciation of blues music, and B.B. is a big reason why.

Lyrics: "I gave you seven children, And now you wanna give them back" - How Blue Can You Get
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Lenny Kravitz, King Crimson

L - Led Zeplin

There's an unofficial rule in our house: When Led Zeplin is on, you don't change the station.
Lyrics:  "It was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair, But Gollum, and the evil one, Crept up and slipped away with her" - Ramble On
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Letters to Cleo, Lisa Loeb

M - Metallica

I have a confession: I prefer the band's more polished work from the Black album onward to their early thrash days. 

Lyrics: "So close, no matter how far, It couldn't be much more from the heart, Forever trusting who we are, And nothing else matters" - Nothing Else Matters
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Metallica, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sarah McLaughlin

N - No Doubt

When I was in college, I played music at the college's local radio station. I remember playing No Doubt before they hit it big, and I always felt lucky to claim I was a fan before "Tragic Kingdom". 

Lyrics: "Now it's gone too deep, You wake me in my sleep, My dreams become nightmares,
'Cause you're ringing in my ears." - Spiderwebs
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: none

O - Oasis

"(What's The Story) Morning Glory"  is one of those albums I can play on repeat and listen to multiple times in succession.
Lyrics: "All your dreams are made, When you're chained to the mirror like the razor blade" - What's the Story Morning Glory
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: none

P - Tom Petty

From the Heartbreakers to his solo work and even including the Traveling Wilburys, Petty has been a constant source of great tracks.
Lyrics: "And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down, Gonna stand my ground" - Won't Back Down
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: none

Q - Queensryche

I was determined not to default to the super-group Queen for this one.
Lyrics:  "Wide awake you face the day, Your dream is over, Or has it just begun?" - Silent Lucidity
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: none

R - Rusted Root

This band had a huge following in Western NY during my college days, and I've seen them multiple times. 
Lyrics: "All I want is food and creative love." - Food And Creative Love
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Rusted Root

S - Stone Temple Pilots

This letter was the hardest to narrow down, as there were just too many great groups out there. In the end I went with the always enjoyable STP.
Lyrics: "Does anybody know how the story really goes? Or do we all just hum along?" - Big Bang Baby
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Smashing Pumpkins, Saigon Kick, Southern Culture On the Skids, Sponge

T - They Might be Giants

My favorite band, this was the easiest choice. I've seen them in concert 5 times.
Lyrics: "Everybody dies frustrated and sad, and that is beautiful" - Don't Let's Start
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: They Might Be Giants, Theory of A Deadman

U - Ugly Kid Joe

I don't really care for U2 - they're ok, they just don't do it for me. That left me with another one hit wonder from back in the day.
Lyrics:  "Surprise, Surprise, I'm comin' at ya' live, I sure as hell ain't Mickey Mouse, I'm a killer in disguise" - Madman
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: none

V - Veruca Salt

Nina Gordon and Louise Post are rock goddesses, and hearing them sing in person was the closest I'll ever get to two hot women fighting over me. 
Lyrics: "Way to go, way to flip off everyone, I steal your thunder then I try to bolt" - Volcano Girls
Artist I've Heard Perform Live: Veruca Salt, Violent Femmes

W - Weezer

I'm excited to hear their latest album when it comes out next month.
Lyrics: "What's with these homies dissin' my girl? Why do they gotta front?" - Buddy Holly
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: none


Everyone seems to be having trouble with this one. I'll admit, I'm not familiar with the band. They only earn favorite status because  They Might Be Giants wrote a song called "XTC Vs. Adam Ant". If XTC is good enough for them, they're good enough for me.

Lyrics: "XTC versus Adam Ant, I can't tell you why, Even the singer from Bow Wow Wow, Can't make up her mind" - XTC Vs Adam Ant (They Might Be Giants)
Artists I've Heard Perform Live:  none

Y - Weird Al Yankovic

I remember staying up late as a kid hoping to catch "Eat It" on a show called Friday Night Videos. He was the last artist I got to see in concert before Covid-19 shut everything down.
Lyrics: "Mashed potatoes can be your friend" - Dare To Be Stupid
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: Weird Al Yankovic

Z - Frank Zappa

Another artist I can attribute my fandom from my father, Zappa is on his own level of musical genius.
Lyrics: "The beat goes on and I'm so wrong" - Dancing Fool
Artists I've Heard Perform Live: none
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my choices, and we'll be back next time with our regularly scheduled sports card related content!


  1. I forgot about Incubus! And to think I used Imagine Dragons because I couldn't think of another "I."

    I didn't mention Tom Petty, Blues Traveler, or Rusted Root, but I like them all too. And I was a huge TMBG fan when I was in high school.

  2. You've been to a lot of concerts.

  3. I saw foo fighters live about 15 years ago and they rocked. Weezer opened and they were great, too. I enjoyed listening to bnl and tmbg as well. Finally, if you like goo goo dolls, check out the replacements.

  4. I like that you added some additional info to your list with the lyrics and the bands you've seen live as opposed to just "also considered" acts.

    Foo Fighters are more disliked than they should be. I like them but I only own their first two albums. Same for U2; I'm fine with anyone not picking them for "U" as long as their choice isn't Carrie Underwood. Ugly Kid Joe is a blast from the past, lol.

    Jet should have been bigger, or earlier. I've only heard their hits but they're awesome hits.

  5. I like Jonathan Coulton. "Re: Your Brains" is really classic. He also is part of the NPR game show Ask Me Another.

    I've only see TMBG twice, so you beat me there. I definitely encourage you to check out XTC.

  6. Another '90s kid who doesn't care for U2. We didn't do a good job raising you guys.

    I didn't have a problem with X! I just listed X! The band has been great for a long time. ... I did have Veruca Salt as an honorable mention. But I've been listening to them lately and I don't think I like them as much as I used to.

    As the only other card blogger who experienced the Goo Goo Dolls before they hit it big, I agree they used to be totally different. However, I've still never liked them much.

  7. XTC are awesome. "Generals and Majors" and "Making Plans for Nigel" are a great place to start.

    I take issue with calling Ugly Kid Joe a one hit wonder! I remember both "Everything About You" and their cover of "Cats in the Cradle" getting plenty of airplay back in the day.

    But yeah, nice list! Only band from your list I've seen live is Weezer.. including a cool "secret show" back between Pinkerton and the Green Album.

  8. A. It was nice to recognize a lot of the artists on your list. Many of the lists I've seen contain a high percentage of people I've never heard of... or heard their music.

    B. Metallica & They Might Be Giants are the only two groups we had in common on our lists.

    C. Wowza. You've been to a lot of concerts. That's awesome!

    D. Had no idea that Weird Al Yankovic had concerts. Interesting.

  9. Before I deleted my half-completed entry, I had Chris Cornell for C, which was just gonna be a cheat to cover all of his work. You have a couple of my least favorite bands of all-time in here, but at least we can agree on Zeppelin and Metallica (and Chris Cornell).

  10. Brilliant list. I was a college radio DJ when Tragic Kingdom dropped.

    The halcyon days of No Doubt being a ska band...