"Shoebox" by Barenaked Ladies
  Song of the Week

This week's song is one of the lesser known hits from a very well known band. That band being Barenaked Ladies which have sold over 5 million records in the US and have charted a number one hit in 1998 with "One Week." "Shoebox," released in 1995, is the first single off of their third studio album, Born on a Pirate Ship, which also features one of their most popular hits, "Old Apartment."

The single was also featured on the Friends Original TV Soundtrack, a album which of course features the famous theme song for the show, "I'll Be There for You" by The Rembrandts, but also such classics as "It's a Free World, Baby" by R.E.M and "I Go Blind" by Hootie and The Blowfish.

Barenaked Ladies is one of my favorite bands from the '90s so this song is just one of many that I thoroughly enjoy but this one tends to be toward the top of the list, mainly due to this line in the song, "Your so nineteen ninety / And It's nineteen ninety four." There is something about using a year as a term to describe someone that makes me laugh every time, especially when that year happens to be almost twenty years ago. It's a song that a lot of people can relate to as I am sure most people had a shoebox full of memories under thier bed when they were a kid and a song that is thoroughly fun to dance and sing along to as shown by the music video below.

The music video is better than the average music video, I have to admit, but it is pretty over the top. It features the band playing in the shoebox referenced in the song and tells the story of the teenage girl sneaking out of her parents house to go see a Barenaked Ladies concert with what appears to be the man of her dreams and the subsequent "fooling around" that ensues back at his apartment. This, of course, all turns out to be a dream at the end of the video. Classic.

According to the Wikipedia article on the song, the video was supposed to feature Lisa Kudrow and Matt Lablanc from Friends but "each pulled out nearly last minute, and had to be replaced with unknown actors." I'm not sure if those two actors would have made the video any better but it certainly would have made the video more popular. Anyway, they did a good job with the music video and at least look like they had a great time making it (see: Tyler Stewart tackling giant lipstick around the 1:30 mark).


"Corduroy" by Pearl Jam - Song of the Week

This next song was picked in part due to the fact that I heard Pearl Jam's newest single, "Just Breathe", which is their first single in a while where I stopped and thought, "Hey, this is pretty good." It's definetly different, and kinda has a country vibe to it, but very enjoyable nonetheless. It is definitely worth a listen.

That being said, on to this week's song, "Corduroy" by Pearl Jam. One of my favorites from the group, "Corduroy" is still played on select radio stations every now and then, despite the fact it was never released as a single. The eighth song of their third studio album, Vitalogy, "Corduroy" has that classic grunge sound that will have you mumbling along to the lyrics and stomping your feet to the beat. It has a very memorable opening and fairly unique in the fact that it has no repeating chorus or verses.

Lead singer, Eddie Vedder has this to say about the song,

"It is about a relationship but not between two people. It's more one person's relationship with a million people. In fact, that song's almost a little too obvious for me. That's why instead of a lyric sheet we put in an X-ray of my teeth from last January and they are all in very bad shape, which was analogous to my head at the time"

This song as well as several others on the album seem to be dealing with their new found fame and the resulting effects that it has had on their daily lives. Disregarding the lyrical content, "Corduroy" is just one of those songs that you can kick back and enjoy; a song that you don't need to think to much about in order to appreciate.

Usually at this point, I would explain the music video but since the song was never released as a single, there is no music video to discuss. Below is the song for you to enjoy.

“Clumsy″ by Our Lady Peace – Song of the Week

After about a six month hiatus, Rizzo Music is back and better than ever. Armed with the new Wordpress platform, www.rizzomusic.com is here to bring you more of your favorite 90s music.

This week's song, "Clumsy" by Our Lady Peace, was chosen in honor of Our Lady Peace's fairly new album, Burn Burn, that I have seen advertised heavily throughout imeem.com. The album was released July 21, 2009, their first album in about four years. Needless to say, it was a welcome return to a band that has topped the Rock Charts for the last decade and a half.

By now, you probably have heard the single, "All You Did Was Save My Life" and I can't say that it blew me out of the water, but it takes a step back in the right direction from the singles released in their previous album, Healthy in Paranoid Times, a album in which I found to be fairly disappointing at times.

Unlike, most of the songs on Healthy in Paranoid Times, "Clumsy", off of their album of the same name, is a song that has an undeniable likeness. Released in 1998, "Clumsy" has been their biggest hit on the Modern Rock Charts, peaking at #5. While packed with rather dark lyrics, the song itself is formed with a change of pace rhythm that keeps you coming back for more. It starts out with a memorable repetition of four simple notes on the piano, before breaking into the first verse. The song really embodies the sound of Our Lady Peace and shows why they have been so popular for so long.

According to the Wikipedia page on "Clumsy" (no citation) guitarist Mike Turner and vocalist Raine Maida have said this about the song,

Clumsy is about making decisions. There is a connection between the song Clumsy and it being the title of the album. The lyric; 'I'll be waving my hand/watching you drown/ watching you scream' is about seeing something, but not seeing it for what it really is. You may decide to help... or to just wave back."

A little food for thought. Something the band hasn't shied away from in their lyrics.

"Clumsy" is just a taste of what the band has to offer and most of their stuff from the 90s is rock solid. Their album, Happiness is not a Fish That You Can Catch, still remains to be one of my favorite rock albums from the 90s.

The music video has that classic 90s rock vibe to it. Also a little dark, like the lyrics but if you like to see your favorite band play with a strobe light going and see a ordinary spilt glass of water fill up a room, then this is the video for you.

Check it out below and be sure to check in next week for another classic 90s song of the week.

Music Video for "Absolutely Still" by Better Than Ezra Released!

The new music video for Better Than Ezra's first single off of Paper Empire was released today and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. I might even go as far to say that I liked the music video more than the s, although they do compliment themselves very well. The stop motion animation fits perfectly for the song and it is well directed.

I don't have much more to say other than enjoy it. You can read my review of Paper Empire or my post on "Absolutely Still" if you are up for further reading. Enjoy it.

Better Than Ezra - Paper Empire Album Review

Armed with new drummer, Michael Jerome, and long time bassist, Tom Drummond, lead singer Kevin Griffin is getting set to release Better Than Ezra's seventh studio album. The new album, entitled Paper Empire, will be available to the public on May 12th, 2009. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on it early. I am excited to share with Better Than Ezra and 90's music fans alike, what is in store this time from the boys from New Orleans.

The album kicks off with a song many of you may be familiar with, "Absolutely Still". The first single off of Paper Empire, "Absolutely Still", was released a few weeks ago and according to Kevin, the music video has already been recorded and they even have a few behind the scenes pictures of the shoot on their myspace page. It continues to grow on me every time I listen to it. The second track, "All In", is definitely a concert song. I can picture Ezralites singing along to this one at the next concert. My favorite line is "The moral to the story / There really isn't one / The bottom of the line / Is to have a bit of fun."

"Black Light", the fourth track, is one of the more up-tempo songs. This song really shows their mastery of the kick it up and the break it down and the transition between the two. Next up is "Fit", which fell a little flat on my ears. Not bad but not great. Maybe my least favorite on the new album. The fifth track, "Hell No!", will definitely get your attention. I predict that it will be another concert favorite and while the chorus doesn't have much substance with lines like, "Hell no y'all! We ain't gonna sit down / Hell no y'all! Gonna shake this mother to the ground / Hell no y'all! We ain't gonna back down", it's one of my favorites. They slow it down a bit with "Hey Love", a song that was featured on Kevin's facebook page for a while. "Hey Love" is my favorite song on the album so far and a great "love" song. "I Just Knew" is easily the slowest song on the album. Perhaps the slowest, most acoustic sounding song ever from Better Than Ezra. Similar to "Fit", its not bad but its not my favorite either.

Better Than Ezra Logo

"Just One Day" proposes a simple question, "What would you do? / What would you say? / If everyone you loved came back for just one day." A simple song about healing and moving on. "The Loveless" is a song that was up on Kevin's myspace page for a while. It's a mellow song that I could see a TV show picking up for a theme song. Its got that kinda vibe. "Nightclubbing" is a lot like "Juicy" from Before the Robots but in my opinion a lot better. If you liked "Juicy", you definitely will like this one. Most of Better Than Ezra's songs would cause a riot of disgruntled partons at a nightclub but this one might actually pass the grade on the dance floor.

"Turn Up The Bright Lights" is the kind of track that sucks you in from the beginning. Easily my favorite from the album. Its a song about enjoying the city and someone special. The last song on the album, "Wounded", truly encapsulates what this whole album is about. Kevin Griffin was quoted as saying, "There's a really precarious nature to everything that you hold dear in your life," when referring to the album title, Paper Empire. He really gets down to the heart of the matter in this song and it's a good way to end the album.

At a little under 48 minutes long, Paper Empire's twelve tracks have a lot to offer. Highlights include: "Hell No!", "Hey Love", "Nightclubbing", and "Turn Up The Bright Lights". It's a very strong effort and I have few complaints. It is hard to rank it with their other albums, having only listened to it for a few hours but I can see it falling somewhere in the middle.

Rating: Four out of Five stars; a solid album.

If you are like me and want a cool collectors item, you can head over to BetterThanEzra.com and pre-order the album. They will send you a signed copy of the album.

Better Than Ezra will be on the road all summer promoting the new album so be sure to head over to their myspace page to see if their heading to a city near you.

That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed the review.

Song #89: "Man on the Moon" by R.E.M.

The next song on the countdown of the Top 100 Songs of the '90s is from a band that needs no introduction. R.E.M. is one of the most popular alternative rock bands ever and while they peaked in terms of popularity around 1994, they have been a force in the rock music scene pretty much since their breakout hit in 1987,"The One I Love". From 1987 to 1996 they released six albums, all of which were certified platinum in the United States. Although they never reached the coveted #1 ranking on Billboard's Hot 100, they came very close in 1991 with "Losing My Religion" and their highest position to date at #4. They have an astonishing twelve Top 10 songs on the Mainstream Rock Charts and ten Top 10 songs on the Modern Rock Charts.

"Man on the Moon" was the second single released off of their critically acclaimed eighth studio album, Automatic For The People, in 1992. The song mixes in references to Sir Issac Newton, Charles Darwin and Moses, with the main topic being the late-great entertainer Andy Kaufman. The song inspired the name for the 1999 film "Man on the Moon", a biopic of Andy Kaufman, and was used in promotion of the film.

The song best can be summed up with the famous double negative line, "If you believe there's nothing up their sleeve, then nothing is cool." It's a great song because of its thought provoking lyrics and its timeless sound and deserves a its rightful place on the countdown.

The music video for "Man on the Moon" is also one of my personal favorites. It has all the important elements for a great music video: its filmed in black and white, it has the lead singer walking aimlessly in the desert, extras in a bar lip syncing the lyrics, and of course random images of lightning. All kidding aside, the music video fit well with the song and gets the job done quite nicely. Check it out!

Interested in other songs from the countdown? Check out the other Top Songs of the 1990s.

"1979" by The Smashing Pumpkins - Song of the Week

For this week's song, I thought I would highlight a great song that truly is 90's music at its finest. Although The Smashing Pumpkins were an alternative rock radio staple in the mid '90s, they only reached #1 once on Billboard's Modern and Mainstream rock charts. They did so in 1996 with "1979" off of their third studio album, a 2 disc release, entitled Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Released in late 1995,Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, sold over nine million copies and to date is The Smashing Pumpkins most successful album in terms of sales.

This album is basically stacked with good songs and scored 6 Top 10 singles on the Modern Rock Charts which included, "Bullet with Butterfly Wings", "Muzzle", "Zero", "Thirty-Three", and one of my personal favorites "Tonight, Tonight". The album sparked their first of nine Grammy nominations and their first win for "Best Hard Rock Performance" for their single "Bullet With Butterfly Wings".

With all of the great songs on this album, "1979" out shines them all. "Tonight, Tonight" may have the better music video, and "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" may be more disturbing, but 1979 encapsulates everything that was great about 90s music: mainly teenage angst, solid drums, words that you cannot understand, and most importantly a creepy bald Billy Corgan. The song is just simply phenomenal. While most of you already know this, I thought I would give it the time and recognition it deserves.

The music video is centered around general teenage mischief and good times. There are instances of crowd surfing, teepeeing, night swimming with your clothes on, bowling at your local gas station with glass bottles and my personal favorite, rolling down a hill in a huge tractor tire, which kicks off the video. You can watch it below.

I will leave you with some food for thought:

"We feel the pull in the land of a thousand guilts
And poured cement, lamented and assured
To the lights and towns below
Faster than the speed of sound
Faster than we thought we'd go
Beneath the sound of hope"

That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

"Absolutely Still" by Better Than Ezra - Song Of The Week

This week we celebrate the new single from the boys from New Orleans. "Absolutely Still" by Better Than Ezra is a first taste of their new album entitled Paper Empire. Paper Empire, which is due out May 12th 2009, is their seventh studio album and puts a close to the nearly 4 year drought in between albums. Their last studio album, Before The Robots, is one of my favorite albums of the last ten years and a review of the album can be found here. I will be sure to get a review of the new album up as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Along with the news of the new album and the release of the new single, came the announcement that long time drummer, Travis Aaron McNabb, was leaving the band to continue his gig with the country duo Sugarland. Sugarland, who picked up two Grammys this year, needed a drummer for their live performances and Travis has been filling that void for about a year and a half and is now taking on a permanent role. Filling the void on the other end is new Better Than Ezra drummer Michael Jerome (pictured above-right). I haven't heard him play yet but both lead singer Kevin Griffin and Bassist Tom Drummond are fans of his drumming skills and have faith that he will be the replacement that the need.

As for the song itself, "Absolutely Still", its pretty much classic Better Than Ezra. I wouldn't rate it as my all time favorite Better Than Ezra song, but its pretty good. It only has about 12,000 plays on their myspace page and doesn't seem to be getting much press but I expect it to pick up some steam when they release Paper Empire.

They have released 20+ tour dates already in an effort to promote the new album and hopefully will add some more as the summer approaches.

That's about it for now. Enjoy the new one from Better Than Ezra.

Third Eye Blind Launches New Website - Live Chat With The Band

After shifting operations from 3eb.com to their official myspace page for the release of their new EP, Red Star, it was unclear when and if we would see a new official website. That all changed a few days ago when www.thirdeyeblind.com was officially revealed to the public: a completely fan friendly website. This is a major upgrade from 3eb.com and has everything you would want in a band's website. The new site's best features include: lyrics and commentary on the new songs from the Red Star EP, individual blogs from 3 of the band members, and blogging capabilities for fans as well as a fan forum. It has only been a few days since the site was launched and already 882 fans have registered as members.

This news is just one event in a string of initiatives to connect with the fans that have stuck with them through the thick and the thin. There were some very long stretches with no news from the band and now it seems Stephan Jenkins is specifically going out of the way to connect with his fans in ways that was never before possible. He is very much in tune to how technology has impacted the landscape of the internet and has taken these new opportunities to reconnect with fans. You can hear his thoughts on this internet revolution here: Stephan Jenkins on Music and Technology. He seems very passionate about all of these new opportunities and has proved it through the indaba.com contests and his new twitter account among other things.

The big news from the launch of the new website is that they will be hosting a Live Q&A tonight for fans to come and ask all the lingering questions that have been unanswered in the six years since their last full-length album. I am going to try to get a couple questions in tonight and will be sure to post an update if I get a question answered.

Get excited 3eb fans!

"Time" by Hootie & The Blowfish - Song Of The Week

This week's song celebrates one of the most iconic bands of the '90s, Hootie and The Blowfish. "Time" is one of 5 singles off the extremely popular Cracked Rear View album that was released in 1994. This album sold a remarkable 16 million copies, currently ranked 15th on the United States best selling albums of all time. "Time" is just one of many hits that Hootie and The Blowfish enjoyed in the '90s, but one of my personal favorites due to its great lyrics.

The Chorus:

Time is wasting
Time is walking
You ain't no friend of mine
I don't know where I'm goin'
I think I'm out of my mind
Thinking about time
And if I die tomorrow, yeah
Just lay me down in sleep

I think almost anyone can relate to these lyrics. Very rarely is time on your side and this song drives home that point quite nicely. I felt that it would fit well this week as the uncertainty of the economy rolls on as well as the bitter cold winter.

While front man Darius Rucker continues to promote his solo career, Hootie and The Blowfish has taken a back seat. They are still together as a band though and have a few shows lined up in the next few months. While it is unclear when and if a new album will be out any time soon, it should be noted how rigorously they have toured for the last decade. It doesn't look like they will give up playing shows around the country any time soon.

The music video for "Time" shows them doing what they do best, performing in front of a huge crowd.

That's it for this week. If you have an idea for a future Song of the Week, make a comment below.

Thanks for listening.