Rush - “The Spirit of Radio” (Rush in Rio, 2003)
Rush has always been an amazing live band, and this DVD/CD combo helps solidify the fact that the band was as good as ever in the early 2000s. The Rio crowds are crazy fanatical about their music, and this entire concert is a lot of fun.
Coheed and Cambria - “The Velourium Camper I: Faint of Hearts” (In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, 2003)
Comic book rock from the very talented and creative mind of Claudio Sanchez. I just wish all of their stuff was as catchy as this. Heck, I wish the second half of this song was as catchy as the first half. “Koo koo k’choo!”
Dinosaur Jr. - “Goin’ Blind” (KISS My Ass, 1994)
Admirable kover of this klassic KISS kut. Ahem. I didn’t really know what to think of this album when it first came out, especially since it was so closely controlled by Gene and Paul. But then again, what in the KISS circus isn’t?! This is definitely one of the better tracks from this collection that stylistically is all over the map.
The Wildhearts - “Top of the World” (The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed, 2003)
Ginger should be the most sought-after songwriting partner in the world. At the very least, he and The Wildhearts should be a much, much bigger deal than they are. Catchy, well-written songs, great melodies, and crunchy riffs.
Mutual Admiration Society - “Think About your Troubles” (Live at The Bowl at Lime Kiln, 8/17/2004)
I’ve never really cared for this Harry Nilsson cover, but I love the combination of Glen Phillips and Nickel Creek. They recorded and completed their debut album in 3 days, but it took 3.5 years to get it released due to record company shenanigans. The recorded versions of their songs are good, but this collective really shines in a live environment.