Some REM Tracks that Rock.....so hard!

          Before they bored the world with their devolution into adult-contempo mope-folk-balladry in the mid-1990's, Athens Georgia's REM were a band that refreshed what rock music could sound like.  Their first 15 years as a band saw them expand on a sonic vocabulary that took the then out-of-date pastoral sounds of the Byrds and similar acts and created a new brand of rock music. They were the original "college rock" band, called that by music press people who did not understand what to make of them.  Many of their songs were straight-ahead, powerful rockers, contrary to their image as a folksy, country-music act.  These songs were what first drew me into REM, allowing me to explore the rest of their music, and deepening my love for their classic albums.

          Here are some of the most ROCKING REM SONGS EVER!

REM - I Believe
(This song from the amazing LP "Life's Rich Pageant" starts off with a funny little Banjo line, a musical joke to distract from the hard-hitting song that follows.  "Change is what I believe in.")


REM - Pretty Persuasion
(This is my favorite REM track, and to this day, after listening to it hundreds of times, I have no idea what Stipe is singing for about 3/4 of the track.  No matter.  This is so GREAT.)

REM - Get Up
(From the album "Green," which was at the time their most "rockinest" album, comes this roarer.)

REM - Radio Free Europe 
(Off of their first full-length, Murmur, this one always makes me turn it up LOUD)

REM - Auctioneer (Another Engine) 
 (This one builds and builds and is so awesome)


REM - Driver 8
(I love songs about trains and REM sang a lot of songs about trains) 

REM - Begin the Begin
(The album Life's Rich Pageant begins with the best 1-2 punch of any REM album.  First, this track, which starts off with a heavy groove and builds, and then the next track, which rocks me out every time)


REM - These Days
(I love this song.  I LOVE THIS SONG.)

REM - Strange
(This is a cover of a song from Wire's LP, Pink Flag.  I did not know this until I heard Pink Flag a decade later.  Turns out many 80's college rock and alternative bands covered Wire songs, cuz Wire is the greatest.)


REM - Turn You Inside Out
(Another gem from Green, this one rocks....so hard.)  


Ten More Hip Hop BANGERS for your Ears!

It has been a while since I put up a new list of ten hip hop tracks that have been melting my melon, man. There was a bit of a lull there in the tail end of 2017, and I had to go back and check out tracks I had missed through the year. Here we go.

FUTURE - Fresh Air

TY DOLLA $IGN - Don't Judge Me (feat. Future & Sway Lee)

MIGUEL - Skywalker





FUTURE - Mask Off


FUTURE - Feed Me Dope


Ten More Delicious Hip Hop Tracks for my Ears

Man, there is nothing better at the end of the day than blasting some amazing new tunes as you drive home from work. That long commute really benefits from some bangers. Here are ten more to make your commute worth it. Some are new, some are older, but all are awesome.

Big Boi - Chocolate

Travis Scott - Butterfly Effect

Rich Homie Quan - Heart Cold

Kadiata - The Surface

Lil' Yachty - X Men

2 Chainz - OG Kush Diet

Post Malone - Congratulations (Future Re-mix)

iLoveMakonnen - Love

Luke James - Drip

Rae Sremmurd - Perplexing Pegasus

Young Thug - Check


Top Ten Baby Dayliner tracks

"Baby Dayliner, another hit baby..." 

Baby Dayliner, the sobriquet of one Ethan Marunas, has been an RXTT favorite ever since the good ladies of the Alley Theatre Costume Shop introduced my ex-wife to his first album, High Heart & Low Estate, which was brought back from NYC by one Andrea Lauer, designer extraordinaire.  I loved the tunes and would play his records at our weekly poker nights.  It has been over a decade since Baby Dayliner's last album release, Critics Pass Away.  He is back soon with a new 4-song EP titled You Push I'll Go.  Awesome.

In tribute to my main man Baby Dayliner, here are my ten favorite Baby Dayliner tracks.


BABY DAYLINER - Silent Places

 BABY DAYLINER - The Triumph of Sarah's Past

BABY DAYLINER - The Way You Look Tonight

BABY DAYLINER - Through These Hills


 BABY DAYLINER - Party Scenes

BABY DAYLINER - Critics Pass Away

BABY DAYLINER - Hoodlums In The Hit Parade

BABY DAYLINER - Shah With That


RXTT's Top Ten Neil Young Tracks

I do not remember when it was that I actually started to like Neil Young's music. As a youngster I thought everyone associated with his early era, the folk rockers, the Crosby Stills and Nashies of the musical world,  were so fucking boring.  I needed to hear chaos and aggression and most of all energy.  Around my sophomore year in college my friend Barnaby Struve (former VP at Three Floyds Brewery, and currently working at Stigberget in Gothenburg, Sweden) left me in his room chillin' with Neil Young's Harvest Moon playing.  Around the time Neil started singing about a lonely night spent with his dog I was swept up.  I could not believe it.  Since then I have explored Neil Young's records and found so much skronk, so much distorted, angry rock n roll, in equal parts to his soft and wise and funny folk and country tunes. I love hearing the man play guitar. He brings it all Live.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Cortez The Killer (Live 2001)

Neil Young - Like a Hurricane (Live 1982)

Neil Young - Harvest Moon (Live 2010)

Neil Young - The Needle & The Damage Done (Live 1971)

Neil Young - On The Beach (Live 1999)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Cinnamon Girl (Live 1991)

Neil Young - The Loner (Live 2002)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) (Live 1991)

Neil Young - Ambulance Blues (Live 1998)

Neil Young - Cowgirl In The Sand (Live 1971)



Ten Hip Hop Tracks I've been Bangin' on the commute

I am a  resident of Houston, TX (AKA Screwston, H-town, Da H, Space City, Hou-stoned, etc.) and because of this I have the curse of a long commute in to work.  Most Houstonians do, and it is not an exageration to say that many people have commutes that are an hour or more.  Quite a few people I work with drove 3 hours a day just going to and returning from work.  This allows for a large number of talk radio stations, especially sports talk, but that gets tiring after a while.  I use this time to blast music from my car.  This is a collection of ten hip hop tracks I have been blasting lately.  Some are very new, and a few are old tracks I am re-exploring.  Enjoy.

Travis Scott (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - Goosebumps

Digable Planets - Black Ego

Future - Codeine Crazy

Rae Sremmurd - Swang

Future - Good Dope

Young Thug, Travis Scott - Pick Up The Phone

Rich Homie Quan - Word of Mouth

Future - Rent Money

De La Soul - Breakadawn

The Roots - Act Too (Love of My Life)


Bands that Michael Cavazos introduced me to

Bands that Michael Cavazos introduced me to

1.       Polvo – I had seen the stickers and decals with the word “Polvo” on them on cars parked outside the old Sound Exchange location in Houston TX.  I never knew what they were.  No one I knew mentioned them in conversation.  One day, I got word from Michael that he had made a mix tape of 90 minutes worth of choice Polvo material.  He said he thought I would love it because they did not tune their guitars on purpose.  He came over and we hit play and the fucking awesome noisy riff of “Fractured (Like Chandeliers)” came into my brain, and never left.   I played that mix tape endlessly in my car, and Polvo became one of my favorite bands ever.

2.       Operation Ivy – All I can remember of when Michael introduced me to OpIvy, as the hip kids used to call them, is sitting in the back of a car loaded with Instigators, flying down Highway 59, and blasting these hyper fast songs with freaky syncopated ska beats.  It felt new, like when I first heard Minor Threat.  I dug the shit out of it and soon bought my own copy of their music.

3.       Superchunk – Fuck Superchunk. Ha!

4.       Fugazi – I had heard just one Fugazi album prior to seeing that Michael was the sickest, most intense, most devout Fugazi fan, and through him I began to dig into their catalog.  Man, am I glad I did.  Fugazi is amazing stuff.  13 Songs and Repeater are two of my all-time favorite albums.  Michael and I went to see Fugazi perform and it was bad-ass.  On that night, we coined the term “couch rock” to describe the opening act, Explosions in the Sky, who are better enjoyed sitting on cushy sofa while enjoying intoxicants at home.

5.       Le Tigre – Michael and I both share an obsession with Kathleen Hannah of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre fame.  Jean Instigator and his ladies at the time would always be blasting Bikini Kill, and Michael started playing Le Tigre videos which hooked me.  

6.       The Metroschifter – Kentucky’s own Metroschifter.  Michael bought their Strawberries EP because the cover was awesomely designed.  He is wont to do such things.  I remember listening to it with him and thinking this was some good shit!  I went out and got it myself, and several other Metroschifter albums.  

7.       Sebadoh – Michael knew I was a huge Dinosaur Jr. fanatic, loving their slack ways, and J. Mascis’ sleepy, don’t-really-care drawl.  He was a big fan of the band that Lou Barlow created after being booted from Dinosaur.  Because of this I ended up exploring all of Sebadoh’s music, and thank Mario I did, because the shit is so GREAT.  We have had the chance to see Sebadoh live several times and it always rules.

8.       Drive Like Jehu – Sometimes Michael likes the perfectly produced, immaculately recorded tunes (see the Built to Spill below) and sometimes he likes to blast off!  Drive Like Jehu blasts OFF!  Man, what a weird, disjointed, eminently amazing band!  Michael would praise their LP’s and how bad-ass they were and I had to get me some!  Their self-titled debut and their 2nd LP, Yank Crime, are masterpieces of jagged aggressive noise rock.  That’s what I love!

9.       Built to Spill – beautiful melodies, complex, inter-weaving guitar lines, expert songwriting and amazing musical craft, all wrapped up in the package of a college rock band.  This stuff makes Michael cry from his snake-eye he loves it so much!  I had heard mention of Built to Spill and seen their records reviewed in the magazines, but never got into them until Michael made me a mix-tape containing the choice nugs.  I feel deep into it, and have enjoyed the shit out of BTS ever since.  We went to see them live in concert and it was an amazing thing.  So many guitars!!!  What a bad-ass band.

10.   Slint – This was one of those bands I had heard mention of, like some sort of legend or myth in the indie rock underground, but could never find any of their music (pre-Youtube days) to sample it.  I would hunt it down at record stores to no avail, until Michael lent me the soundtrack to that shitty dull movie “Kids”, which ended on a Slint song, “Good Morning Captain.”  I played that song over and over again, getting more and more sucked into its weirdness and bleak guitar sounds.  It was AWESOME.  I soon found Spiderland and proceeded to fully immerse myself in Slint.  There was no going back.