Category Archives: The Music Alley

You Need to Watch ABC’s “Rising Star” Just for this Kid’s Voice

There are a ton of benefits to having a girlfriend/fiance/wife. I won’t spend time listing them all out, but bare with me as I elaborate slightly on one of these. You end up watching TV shows that otherwise would never own a single second on your screen/DVR ever. That’s right folks, I’m referring to REALITY TV.

OK yeah, I’m now “forced” into watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette (ok ok, it’s now a guilty pleasure. OMG WHO IS ANDI GONNA GIVE A ROSE TO?!!?!?).

Last night, with our HBO shows done for the season, we flipped to the season premiere of ABC’s “Rising Star.” The show itself a knock-0ff of American Idol/Sing-off/The Voice/America’s Got Talent is mostly “meehhhh;” pretty mediocre (eventually the Hollywood heads will come up with something new). The twist is the the contestants sing a “live audition” in front of a black wall and the audience votes Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down via the Rising Star App. If the contestant reaches 70% approval from the votes on the App, the wall is lifted and they play in front of a live audience, including judges Brad Paisley, Ke$sha (so qualified) and Ludacris. They’re reactions and critique are mostly unoriginal, uninspiring and quite frankly pretty annoying (I’m pointing directly at you Luda). “I just didn’t feel it” is not going to help someone who was just ballsy enough to sing in front of millions of people.

“But Tommy, this sounds so bad. You’re already at 221 words and you’ve yet to make a point.”

Well, Bareback Faithful, I had to drag you through the darkness in order to show you the light. Jesse Kinch. The kid looks like a modern day Spicoli, but when he starts singing, chills and awe ensue. Raw talent and finally bringing something new to the table.

Though the show is mostly pretty garbage, I’ll be tuning in just to make sure this kid wins it.

I ❤ Reality TV,

Tommy “The Situation” Cooksey

This just feels good. I think you’ll agree


Sometimes I come across a song or a group that I can’t help but move to; whether I’m in my car, in my room or at my desk in the office (I got a weird look from a co-worker because of my desk drumming and head bobbing while writing this).

Thanks to my brother, I was introduced to The 1975 who are an indie/synth/pop band from our funny talking relatives across the pond. From song 1-16 this album has a vibe that will keep you non-stop grooving (is that still a thing?) with your girl/guy for your whole “dinner night in.” Yes, you should still DATE your significant other.

Here’s “The City by The 1975, and here are the lyrics….since they’re British and I had to look them up to understand what they were actually singing about.

Fall is in the air. Love is in the air. It’s time put away the lack of clothes and lack of inhibitions from the summer and curl up next to someone you really like.

Yes, I was an Emo-Kid in high school,

Tommy “not sorry I’m a lover” Cooksey

5 (not so) Discretely Sexy Songs You Need to Have on your Playlist

Fall is now upon us. Along with pumpkin beer and football, now is the time of year you can cuddle up close with the fairer sex without feeling like you’re going to overheat and suffocate. Side note: Ladies, I don’t know what it is, but whatever temperature we guys are in bed, you are guaranteed to be about 25 degrees hotter or colder. Somehow your feet are like icicles and your body is the sun.

Now that I have that out of the way, since you’ll be snuggling up close on the couch, under the same blanket, you’ll need the right music to set the mood. Below are 5 songs who’s sound/lyrics/both are not so discrete and are all kinds of sexy.

1. The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather – “One love, two mouths. One love, one house No shirt, no blouse. Just us.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. As is evident by the >6 million views, this isn’t a new song. But if you don’t know, now you know.

2. Royal Teeth – Wild – “We feel young at heart. I believe that I can make you scream. I believe that I can make you scream for me.” Young love is dumb love. And also amazing. Isn’t that what we all want? A simple kinda love?

3. The Weeknd – Twenty Eight – Quite frankly, any song of his could be on a playlist. He is absolute, raw talent and the beats are so damn sexy.

4. Say Anything – Wow! I can get sexual too – The video is shameless spoofing every rap video ever made, but the lyrics carry all the weight. One of my all-time favorite songs. It just feels good (that’s what she said).

5. Dear Hunter – Red Hands – This song starts slow and caring, then catapults into energetic guitar riffs with “take off your sweater, your shoes, your shirt and get to work.” Then it climaxes around 4 minutes and calms down at 5:30 for pillow talk….err…I mean the outro. And that was an analogy.

I’m too sexy for this blog,

Tommy “Setting the Mood” Cooksey

The Music Alley: Songs with “Love” in the Title – My Top 5

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Make sure you Instgram a picture of the flowers you got along with the cards and candy. A piece of advice I received from a professional photographer, turn your camera (phone) at a 45 degree angle to make a boring picture more appealing to others.

I thought it would be a fun activity today to post 5 of my favorite songs that have the word “love” in the title. Obviously there are hundreds (thousands?) of songs with this word in the title, but 1. I don’t have that kinda time and 2. I’d like you to post your faves in the comments section below.

Remember today; embrace love of all kind. Oh and don’t be a dick (I think those apply for every day, but try a little harder today).

1. Ace Enders and a Million Different People – Bring Back Love. Ace has written just about every song in his history of song-writing about love. But this one has a special place in my heart. I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy it as well.

2. John Legend – I Love, You Love.  Ok, look, I really like John Legend. The dude has an silky smooth voice, talented pianist (hehe) and has one of the cleanest cut beards known to man. But some of his songs just get to repetitive and I find it hard to get through. I Love, You Love is not like that. Enjoy.

3. Boyz II Men – I’ll Make Love to You. 23 Million Youtube views CAN’T be wrong, and the script and soft lighting of the video are SO 90’s  and quasi-porn. And the costume changes, could they possibly make anymore in a 4:19 video?Irrelevant. This song has been baby-making music since 1994 and hasn’t lost steam since then. So “pour some wine, light the fire” and listen. (Editor’s note: There is a incriminating video of me singing this song on a friend’s phone. I hope that phone gets dropped in the toilet.)

4. The Monotones – Book of Love. I’m a sucker for doo-wop, soda fountain 50-60’s music. I’d like to think of these guys as kind of a pre-Boyz II Men power group with their dancing and spot on harmonies.

5. The Beatles – All You Need is Love. How could The Beatles not make this list? Rock n’ Roll was founded on love and broken hearts. These guys are the birth of modern Rock n’ Roll (and probably experimenting with drugs) and the cry “All You Need is Love” has been shouted for generations!

I hope everyone has an awesome Valentine’s Day and let us know your favorite “love” in the title songs in the comments!


The Music Alley – Twenty One Pilots

In the spirit of The Grammy’s I felt inspired to share some new tunes with you all. (I’m about to stand on my soapbox) It’s really awesome seeing truly talented musicians and song writers like Fun., Mumford & Sons and others being recognized in the national spotlight for ACTUALLY writing and performing their own music (drops mic, walks off).

Tonight I’m coming to you with something that has a little different flavor. I might be a little late to the game on this one, but based on a poll of my friends who have never heard of them, I’ll just assume this will be new to you as well.

The band Twenty One Pilots is a 2-man group out of Columbus, OH. I’ve tried to nail down a genre to fit these guys in, but every time I settle on something, the next song comes on and I totally scrap my previous thoughts. This album is a microcosm of my iPod with its bipolar tendencies and total disregard for keeping a structure.

Every time I listen to the album (for 5 straight days last week), I feel like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol as I’m taking on a journey to my musical tastes past, present and future. It’s equal parts The Killers, HelloGoodbye, Flobots and them some stuff that I don’t think I’ve experienced before.

Ease your way into the album with Guns For Hands:

Then get a little weird with Ode to Sleep:

I’d suggest following up with Screen (the piano at the beginning leaves me singing a Kanye song):

Finally end it with House of Gold if you’re feeling sentimental:

Long live good music,


Image: {}

The Music Alley: No that’s not Woody Harrelson in The Lumineers.

Last night The Lumineers, whom Dusty and I saw in early 2012 in front of 200 people (slightly bragging), were the featured band on Saturday Night Live. It’s pretty awesome to see a super talented music group, like The Lumineers, who self-released their debut album in April 2012 spring board from anonymity into the national spotlight.

As a result of their SNL debut, the masses begin to ask similar questions about the group like I asked when I first listened to them (if you recall, I predicted their explosion in a post on March 28th). Questions like, is that Woody Harrelson in a fedora and suspenders with a white t-shirt playing a tambourine? Today I noticed a major uptick in traffic on our site and found that there were 150+ searches for some rendition of “Is Woody Harrelson in the Lumineers?” I’m guessing due to last nights SNL debut.

For everyone searching, it isn’t inconceivable to think that Woody (who seems to pop up in the most random movies as random characters) but the answer is no, it isn’t Woody Harrelson in The Lumineers. His incredibly close doppelganger is actually Jeremiah Fraites from New Jersey and as far as I know is in no way kin to our favorite weirdo, Woody. Although, when I look at pictures of them side by side, damn it’s hard for me to even believe my own words that it’s not him.


Not Woody.

Now that we got that out of the way, in the spirit of of sharing new music with you, if you haven’t purchased their album yet (wait, you haven’t? Oh let me guess, you spent your last $7 on the Creed greatest hits album) here’s your chance, go get the album. Below is the encore song they played on SNL last night which I’m assuming they’ll put out as their next single to follow up on the smash-hit “Ho Hey.” My favorite line from the song speaks moves me no matter how many times I read/hear it, “It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all. The opposite of love is indifference.” Have a listen, your ears will thank me.


Images: {Dawgs Saloon; Philly Burbs}