Flashback! I haven’t written one of these for a looong time but they were a weekly staple in the early years of The Burning Ear. It doesn’t matter because they are all timeless gold!

«Flashback« Ozomatli – Super Bowl Sunday + NEW Album!

i’m your corporal, rather resourceful, rippin’ rappers from their dome piece to their torso

♫ Ozomatli – Super Bowl Sundae / 1998

Ozomatli’s debut LP s one of the best albums of the 90s. Hands down. These jams defined my musical landscape for the better part of 1998. Picking a favorite was near impossible so I went with the single (Song picks up around the 1:25 mark, stick with it). I know for a fact that not enough of you know this album so do yourself a favor and grab it used from Amazon for less than 3 dollars. Their follow-up was not nearly as captivating and aside from spinning “Vocal Artillery” a whole mess of times I lost touch with the band through the 2000s.

♫ Ozomatli – Vocal Artillery / Embrace The Chaos, 2001

Their 5th album, Fire Away, just came out and after hearing that first single “45” was a jam I decided it was a perfect time to get back in touch with these latin/rock/hip-hop/world-fusion/funk masters. “45” is indeed a jam and “Malagasy Shock” is outstanding as well. The album is definitely solid stuff but I guess I am a tough customer considering my affection for their debut and Chali 2na’s excellent rhyming.

♫ Ozomatli – 45 / Fire Away, 2010

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« Sparklehorse – Someday I Will Treat You Good + Dark Night Of The Soul w/ Danger Mouse & David Lynch

i left my baby on the side of the highway, she just couldn’t se things my way

♫ Sparklehorse – Someday I Will Treat You Good / 1995

By now most of you have heard about Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous shooting himself in the heart a few weeks ago. Beyond a free poster of the image at right on my wall in middle school I was never a big Sparklehorse fan. “Someday…” was always a jam but I just never got in further. Mark’s passing has brought forth a lot of heartfelt tributes and it;s clear that the man and his music touched a lot of people. His death also came on the heels of the announcement that his long-shelved Dark Night Of The Soul collaboration with Danger Mouse, David lynch and a roster of gust artists, was finally getting released through EMI.

♫ Dangermouse and Sparklehorse – Little Girl (featuring Julian Casablancas)

I have been loving Julian Casablancas’s contribution, “Little Girl,” for a month now and finally got ahold of the whole album. It’s interesting stuff but nothing is grabbing me like the drumming and guitar riffage on this jam. I’ve heard lots of positive review of the album and I’ll give it a few more listens (maybe). Anyone else who has sat on it longer have some thoughts?

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« The Offspring – Come Out And Play / Bad Habit

one guy’s wasted and the other’s a waste

♫ The Offspring – Come Out And Play / 1994

I’ll never forget the day I bought Smash. It was a the Warehouse Music that used to be on Westwood Blvd. in L.A. It was the first CD I ever bought and I’d like to pat myself on the back for kicking things off with such impeccable taste but the full truth is that I also bought Jerky Boys 2 that day. Oh well. Anyway, the point is that that Biffy Clyro album got me hankering for some good ol’ fashioned guitar rock and stumbling on Smash in my iTunes led me to crank it up as I made a big batch of granola yesterday. Holy shit. The surf-rock hook of “Come Out And Play” instantly brought me right back that summer of ’94 and before I knew it I was singing along to epic songs I hadn’t heard in at least 10 years. There is nothing quite like belting out “Something’s odd, feel like I’m God, you stupid dumb shit goddamn mother-fucker!” while chopping raw almonds (“Bad Habit,” below). But then again, there is nothing quite like this album, either. “Nitro”? “Self Esteem”? “Killboy Powerhead”? “What Happened To You”? Classic jams for miiiiiiles! I stayed with them through Americana but have lost touch since then. Let’s face it, “Pretty Fly For A White Guy,” is not their proudest moment and the single I heard a few years ago was kinda disappointing, too. If you have ever been a fan of these guys then their Wikipedia history is an interesting read. I’d also like to remind people that front-man Dexter Holland‘s hair looked like this when Smash came out. The 90s were different times, man. But seriously, moral of the story is that this is one of my favorite, and most formative, albums of my youth.

♫ The Offspring – Bad Habit / 1994

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« Placebo – Pure Morning (plus The Bitter End and For What It’s Worth)

our thoughts compressed which makes us blessed and makes for stormy weather

♫ Placebo – Pure Morning / 1998

Ahhh yes, that voice. Some love it and some can’t stand it. I guess I’m somewhere in the middle as Brian Molko’s voice isn’t my favorite but I can hang when the music is right. Placebo’s breakout single, “Pure Morning,” is definitely not my favorite track of theirs but is definitely memorable for it’s overt drug references that I remember my young self being surprised to hear on the radio. Placebo have been working steadily since then, releasing 4 albums since 1998’s Without You I’m Nothing.

♫ Placebo – The Bitter End / Sleeping With Ghosts, 2003

I haven’t followed them too closely but a couple years ago a buddy turned me on to 2003’s “The Bitter End” which quickly became a favorite and even landed on an early TBE mix. This propulsive rock jam is like aural adrenaline for me.

♫ Placebo – For What It’s Worth / Battle For The Sun, 2009

Last summer Placebo released their 6th LP, Battle For The Sun, which I didn’t listen to until recently but is a damn solid album. Horn-tinged foot tapper “For What It’s Worth” is my first favorite but “The Never-Ending Why,” “Breathe Underwater,” and the title track are all up there as well. If you were ever a Placebo fan and didn’t catch Battle, or if you like what you hear here, then I think you might enjoy it.

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« Blur – Girls And Boys

always should be someone you really love

♫ Blur – Girls And Boys / 1994

It may be a day late but Blur’s 1994 classic “Girls And Boys” is the perfect Valentines jam. If anything, the last 16 years has only made love more “paranoid” and sexual identity lines more blurred, leaving Damon Albarn a sort of romantic prophet. Or maybe he is just a pop star with a knack for it. Whatever. The musical back-bone of The Gorillaz reunited Blur last year and apparently Brits are head over heels for the whole thing. Growing up Stateside I never got into Blur but am vaguely aware of their enormity across the pond as well as some feud with Oasis, if I remember correctly. I wouldn’t mind a schooling in the comments, but if not there is always Wikipedia. But that can wait, I’m too busy enjoying this sweet jam at the moment.

Band’s website /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« Adam Sandler – Ode To My Car

eleven times a day i hear ‘hey, watch it asshole’

♫ Adam Sandler – Ode To My Car / 1996

The title of Sandler’s sophomore comedy album is more pertinent these days than it was in 1996. The once hilarious comedian made a bee-line off the funny-wagon shortly after this album’s release and it’s generally been tough times watching anything of his since Big Daddy. It’s too bad he lost touch with his comedy. Or maybe it’s just too bad I grew up. Either way, Punch Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, and last year’s misunderstood Funny People, are great examples of the talent that lies beneath the potty humor and baby voices. Anyway, back to his comedy albums. Sandler’s mix of sketch and song served him very well on his first two albums. Both are “classic” albums in my 14 year old eyes and “Ode To My Car” has always been my favorite song off either.

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« They Might Be Giants – Dr. Worm

i think i’m getting good, but i can handle criticism

♫ They Might Be Giants – Dr. Worm / 1998

It was They Might Be Giants recent appearance on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me that reminded me about this 1998 jam that tells the tale of a real worm who is a fake doctor but trying to be a better drummer. Doesn’t get much better that this. Rabbi Vole straight murders that bass solo! TMBG have like a zillion albums under their belt and I am one of the least qualified people to wax historical on them. I tried getting into them around this time but found their library both intimidating and a bit hit-or-miss. Severe Tire Damage, their mostly-live album, was always a solid collection of tracks and is my uninformed recommendation as an introduction to the band. Unless you are small child, in which case I would point you towards one of their recent “for-kids” albums that I have heard about. They are on the road now and playing both kids and adult shows. Fun for the whole family.

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap

«Flashback« Eels – Novocaine For The Soul / In My Dreams + Little Bird

this paint by numbers life is fucking with my head

♫ Eels – Novocaine For The Soul / 1996

Oh E, you great bearded weirdo. Your ’96 classic is still your best in my book but that hasn’t stopped you from cranking out music since then. 2 albums in the past year alone! Whatever your knowledge base of Eels, E, his beard, or his music, here are a couple jams for you. Although his music is always pleasant, if not beautiful, it’s a bit to snoooze inducing for my general tastes. However, I did fall for “In My Dreams” from last years wherewolf (via his beard) inspired Hombre Lobo. “Little Bird” is the first single from the recently released End Times which sees E recording and producing every sound in his own basement. And yes, that solitude does come across in the music. Let’s leave it at that and just let you just listen.

♫ Eels – In My Dreams / From Hombre Lobo, 2009

♫ Eels – Little Bird / From End Times, 2010

Bury your face in MySpace /// Buy cheap