Dave's Faves 2004

1. American Idiot – Green Day / American Idiot

Green Day grows up (a little). This is the best CD of 2004. It has everything a rock and roll recording needs: humor, anger and slashing guitars.

2. Up the Bracket – The Libertines / Up the Bracket

Believe it or not, I found out about this band in the New Yorker's list of best bands of 2003. It was produced by Mick Jones of the Clash.

3. Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet / Get Born

I know, this song was played a million times on the radio. My son, Tony, resisted this CD because it was over played, but then he downloaded "My Sharona". I told him Jet is The Knack of the 00's. In any event, I first heard this song while flipping channels and I ended up on MTV2. I couldn't resist. The rest of the CD sounds like a 70s throw back (including crappy power ballads).

4. Stone Crazy – Beautiful People / If 60s Were 90s

I got this CD from Doug Andrus last December. It's all samples of Hendrix remixed into a 90s hippie style. Weird, yet interesting.

5. Musicology – Prince / Musicology

Mr. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had the best concert of 2004 - even the best of the century. We had second row seats for his second concert here, and it was totally fantastic. The Time was the warmup act. This CD is his most commercial in years, but packed full of funk.

6. Fresh Off The Boat – Nelly Furtado / Folklore

I love the insistent rhythm guitar on this one. You should buy this CD.

7. It Takes You There – Rickie Lee Jones / The Evening of My Best Day

Santa brought this for me last Christmas. Rickie has gotten back to good songwriting after experimenting with hip hop and standards. This CD ended up on my stereo and in my car quite a bit

8. Is This All There Is? – Los Lobos / The Ride

featuring Little Willie G

This is a CD of some remakes and new songs with a bunch of guest artists. There's a nice version of "Matter of Time" by Elvis Costello. I saw Los Lobos at the State Fair this year at the Bandshell, and it was a great time. David Hidalgo was eating cheese curds before the show, and they played a bunch of their 80s songs. They were having such a good time that they played "La Bamba", which I've never seen them do before.

9. Walkin' in the Shadow of Life – The Neville Brothers / Walkin' in the Shadow of Life

A very funky recording by the Nevilles. A perennial favorite.

10. Au Contraire, Mon Frere – C.J. Chenier / The Big Squeeze

This is off of one of four tapes I got from Alligator Records for two bucks each (Luther Allison and Charlie Musselwhite are the other artists). C.J. is a fun act that I saw on a slow night at First Avenue a couple of years ago. Very danceable. Just a little bit of French to counteract the Spanish tunes from the past couple of years.

11. It's My Life, Baby – Johnny Winter / Crucial Slide Guitar Blues

I got three more of the Crucial Blues series from Alligator this year - Slide Guitar, Chicago and Live. Johnny, of course, is a Fave of Dave from way back. I used to wake up to Johnny Winter And's version of Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On at St. Olaf. It's a miracle he's still alive (and kickin').

12. Walking On – Steve Winwood / About Time

My kids gave me this for Christmas last year, and I had low expectations, but it hit my CD player quite a bit. Steve seems to have given up trying to make hit records, and is just playing what he likes. This CD almost has a jam band feel, but lots of interesting rhythms.

13. Powerless (Say What You Want) – Nelly Furtado / Folklore

I first heard this CD on the Target Music Network. You know - those videos that play on the TVs in Target's electronics department. The music had a very catchy beat, so I picked it up and was very pleased.

14. Wreck of the Carlos Rey – Los Lobos / The Ride

featuring Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson's guitar and voice mix perfectly with David Hidalgo. I'd like to see the two of them do some extended recording and a concert or two.

15. Always – U2 / 7

U2 finally makes it to Dave's Faves. They haven't quite been up to their 80s standards as far as I'm concerned, but this one is pretty good. It's a bunch of remixed stuff that I picked up in Target's bargain bin for $2. There's a great techno version of Beautiful Day on it. I do have the new one (Atomic Bomb), and my Fave on that is Vertigo so far, but right now it's a damn IPod commercial. I'll wait until next year.

16. Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance – Prince / Musicology

This may be PG13 Prince, but I know what the funky beat is all about. Diane and I had a great time dancing to this in a cool cabin by Ely.

17. Letterbomb – Green Day / American Idiot

Let's go out with a roar. I almost put the Jesus of Suburbia suite here, but I'll give you the pleasure of discovering it when you buy the CD. And yes, Green Day does suites.