Rocking Harder – 4/24

DJ Shadow – The Outsider (Intro)
Of Montreal – Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
Sufjan Stevens – Free Man in Paris
Laura Veirs – Don’t Lose Yourself
Modest Mouse – Missed the Boat
Weezer – Don’t Let Go
Fields – The Death
Annuals – Dry Clothes
Mew – 156
Arcade Fire – Rebellion (Lies)
Arctic Monkeys – A Certain Romance
Fall Out Boy – Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
PANIC! at the Disco – The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage
Foo Fighters – Breakout
The Format – Snails
Stars – Your Ex-Lover is Dead
The Postal Service – Clark Gable
Mates of State – Ha Ha
Matisyahu – King Without a Crown (live)
Beck – Think I’m in Love
Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds
Belle and Sebastian – I’m a Cuckoo
Peter Bjorn and John – Young Folks
YACHT – See a Penny (Pick it Up)
The Shins – Caring is Creepy
Sufjan Stevens – What Goes On
The Almost – Amazing Because It Is

Filling in for Alice – 4/23

Feist – I Feel it All
Nine Inch Nails – The Beginning of The End
Reel Big Fish – Where Have You Been?
She’s Your Sister – Doll
Daphne Loves Derby – Marching Band Intro / There’s Our Hero Shot
The Shins – So Says I
The Johnbenders – Nine Pound Hammer
Mink – Talk to Me
Blacktop Mourning – Halfway to Midnight
Hellogoodbye – Here (In Your Arms)
Foo Fighters – Next Year
The Fratellis – Henrietta
The Narrator – Sure Jew
AFI – Miss Murder
Politicks – In a Jar She Hides Her Laughs
The Battle Royale – Oh, Martha
Small Leaks Sink Ships – Sackcloth in Ashes
Patti Smith – White Rabbit
The White Stripes – Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
Mando Diao – Long Before Rock n’ Roll
Switchfoot – Oh! Gravity
Tyler Read – Michael Jackson
The Killers – Bones
+44 – When Your Heart Stops Beating
Of Montreal – Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
The Almost – Amazing Because It Is
Big City Rock – Shelter
Walker Kong – Belmont, 1973
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Jolene
Mew – She Came Home For Christmas
Klaxons – Two Receivers
Mew – The Zookeeper’s Boy

Rocking Harder – 4/17

DJ Shadow – The Outsider (Intro)
Coheed and Cambria – Welcome Home
Taking Back Sunday – Great Romances of the 20th Century
The Mars Volta – Inertiatic ESP
The Hives – The Hives – Introduce The Metric System in Time
AFI – Kill Caustic
The Darkness – Growing on Me
Tyler Read – The Killer
Modest Mouse – Missed the Boat
Arcade Fire – Keep the Car Running
The Shins – Red Rabbits
The Format – Snails
Of Montreal – Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
Klaxons – Golden Skans
!!! – Myth Takes
The Knife – Silent Shout
AFI – Love Like Winter
The Strokes – Reptilia
Modest Mouse – March Into The Sea
Alkaline Trio – Mercy Me
The White Stripes – Blue Orchid
The Almost – I Mostly Copy Other People
Wolfmother – Joker & The Thief
Coheed and Cambria – The Suffering
Taxpayer – When They Were Young
The Killers – When You Were Young
Foo Fighters – Best of You
Saves the Day – The Last Lie I Told
The Juliana Theory – Into The Dark
Radiohead – Karma Police
Andrew Bird – Tables and Chairs
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – One Tin Soldier
Sufjan Stevens – The Mistress Witch From McClure (Or, The Mind That Knows Itself)

Rocking Harder – 4/10

DJ Shadow – The Outsider (Intro)
The Killers – When You Were Young
Mother Mother – Polynesia
Modest Mouse – Missed the Boat
The Shins – Sealegs
Laura Veirs – Don’t Lose Yourself
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – One Tin Soldier
Hangnail – Run to the End of the Highway
The Hives – Hate to Say I Told You So
Alkaline Trio – The Poison
Arcade Fire – No Cars Go

Secret Saturday Night Show – 4/7

Laura Veirs – Saltbreakers
Kenna – Out of Control
Hellogoodbye – Touchdown Turnaround (Don’t Give Up On Me)
The Eames Era – NC-17
Ben Folds – In Between Days
We All Have Hooks For Hands – The Secret Life (Of Dolls and Doldrums)
The Shins – Turn On Me
ActionReaction – The Exit Poll, Amen
The Format – The First Single (Cause a Scene)
The Almost – I Mostly Copy Other People
The Slip – Even Rats
TV On The Radio – Wolf Like Me (live)
Bleach – We Are Tomorrow
Fountains of Wayne – New Routine
Chumbawamba – You Can (Mass Trespass, 1932)
Wreckless Eric – Whole Wide World
Hot Rod Circuit – Battleship
Reggie and the Full Effect – Get Well Soon
Will Stratton – Lost the Fear
Ela – Fortune
Muse – Knights of Cydonia
Keith Green – Easter Song

Justin Timberlake: The New “King of Pop”

With James Brown’s passing on Christmas Day, I started thinking about the royal family of pop music. When he passed, Brown took two of the all-time great nicknames to rock and roll heaven with him: “The Godfather of Soul” and “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.”
There is one more title, however, that still could hold some relevance in today’s pop-culture landscape: King of Pop. Sometime after the release of his 1987 album “Bad,” Michael Jackson hit the height of his stardom. According to Jackson, his friend Elizabeth Taylor conceived the nickname in 1989 when presenting him at an awards show. And King of Pop Jackson was: The “Bad” world tour averaged roughly 36,000 fans at each concert. Five songs from the album became number one singles. The “Bad” music video was directed by acclaimed film director Martin Scorsese. VH1.com recalls that Jackson “possessed of all the tools to dominate the charts seemingly at will: an instantly identifiable voice, eye-popping dance moves, stunning musical versatility, and loads of sheer star power.”
Since 1989, however, Jackson’s career has taken a dizzying nosedive. His 2001 album “Invincible” was a commercial bust. He held his infant son over a balcony in Berlin, and was charged with child molestation (again). After being acquitted in June 2005, Jackson moved from his Neverland ranch to the island nation of Bahrain. He has made three public appearances since: two at award ceremonies, and one at James Brown’s funeral.
Although Jackson is still a fascinating character, he has become largely irrelevant. The King of Pop should be more than a perpetual punching bag for no-talent comedians. That’s why Jackson has only one choice: to publicly hand his title over to Justin Timberlake.
Don’t laugh; Timberlake is closer to Jackson than you may think. First of all, he has all the tools that VH1.com ascribed to Jackson. Not since Jackson has there been a solo artist with the ultimate clout that Timberlake now wields. Secondly, his pop chart dominance has become a given, beginning with ’N SYNC’s unrivaled heartbreakery from 1998 to 2001.
His debut solo effort, 2002’s “Justified,” sold more than 3,000,000 units. His new album, 2006’s “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” sold more than 684,000 units in the first week alone. “FutureSex/LoveSounds” has also hit the number one position on charts in nine countries, including England, Canada, Estonia, and the Philippines. As of press time, Timberlake’s first 22 concerts on the FutureSex/LoveShow world tour were sold out.
When the FutureSex/LoveShows are over, Timberlake should initiate an event that takes place during the last week of July: The King of Pop Show 2007. Invite Jackson and all of his friends: Elizabeth Taylor, Macaulay Culkin, Bubbles the chimp, the whole nine yards.
The show would start with an all-star cast of Jackson fans. I know Usher won’t be left out if there’s a chance that he could show off his dance moves. Get Carlos Santana and Slash to have a guitar duel while Shakira belts out “Beat It.” Bring Paul McCartney out to perform “The Girl is Mine” with Brian McKnight.
Then when the first set is over, that’s when Timberlake comes out. But don’t let him just run out there; make him perform “Billie Jean” in the same outfit that MJ wore on “Motown 25” in 1983. Keep the choreography the same, and the crowd will freak. Then, Timberlake performs a set that contains some of his songs and some of Jackson’s. He could start with “Senorita” and “Rock Your Body,” but don’t forget about “The Way You Make Me Feel.” He could even bring that pretty girlfriend of his up on stage.
That right there would be enough for a Michael Jackson tribute, but Timberlake isn’t finished yet. He sings “You Are Not Alone” as Jackson himself comes onto the stage wearing a sash that says “King of Pop.” The house would erupt, and then it would be Jackson’s turn to shine.
Jackson has proven that he can still dance, and he could let the world know that although he’s handing over King of Pop, he’s not going down quietly. He could open with his most recent radio hit, “You Rock My World,” and then go into a frenzy. “Cry Me a River” would take on a whole new meaning with Jackson behind the microphone. Bring back “Bad” and “Thriller.” Bring out the Black Eyed Peas to perform “Where is The Love?,” with Jackson singing Timberlake’s chorus.
After the song, Jackson begins walking off stage and the background music starts back up. But wait! What’s this? Timberlake pulls him back on stage for a performance of “Smooth Criminal” that would make the guys from Alien Ant Farm wet themselves. They combine for “Man in the Mirror” and a sexier-than-ever version of “SexyBack,” and then a teary-eyed Jackson presents the “King of Pop” sash to Timberlake. Finally, bring in a children’s choir and conclude the evening with a duet version of “We Are The World.”
There would be no downside to this event. Timberlake gets the title he deserves, and Jackson earns some much-needed positive publicity before finishing his next album, currently slated for a fall 2007 release. Jackson’s most rabid fans may rebel, but they can be comforted by the fact that Jackson willingly gave up his title to the new, true King of Pop.
This would also be Jackson’s chance to finally change his image. He could be resurrected with a new album, a grittier persona and renewed confidence. Jackson would arise from his own ashes like the mythical phoenix, and he could finally moonwalk into the sunset with his head held high.

Rocking Harder – 4/3

DJ Shadow – The Outsider (Intro)
!!! – Myth Takes
Franz Ferdinand – Michael
PANIC! at the Disco – Time to Dance
U.S.E. – IT IS ON!
Modest Mouse – Missed the Boat
Peter Bjorn and John – Young Folks
The Shins – Phantom Limb
Rocktopus – Saturday Night
Andrew WK – It’s Time to Party
Animal Collective – Grass
Small Leaks Sink Ships – Sackcloth in Ashes
The Format – Dog Problems
Annuals – Brother
AFI – Summer Shudder
The Mars Volta – Inertiatic ESP
Arcade Fire – No Cars Go
The Killers – When You Were Young
Modest Mouse – Invisible
Vroom – Sorry Excuse
Weezer – My Name is Jonas
Sufjan Stevens – No Man’s Land
Belle and Sebastian – Piazza, New York Catcher
Brand New – I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light
Brave Saint Saturn – Space Robot Five
Formal – Stay
The Thermals – A Pillar of Salt
Oasis – Morning Glory
The Knife – Silent Shout