Day 34: The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music

The staff of the College Football America Yearbook is on the road every weekend of the college football season, shooting games and gathering information for the following year’s book. That means a lot of driving and listening to a lot of music.

Earlier this year our College Football America Yearbook publisher Kendall Webb and our director of editorial content Chuck Cox put together ‘The Coronavirus Countdown – 100 Days of Great Music.’ Each of them sat down and compiled a list of 100 great albums. Their goal was not to select the ‘100 greatest albums of all time.’ It was simply to select 100 great albums to write about as they passed the time during quarantine and shelter-at-home orders.

This 2020 college football season will be unprecedented in so many ways. It’s very likely none of us will be on the road for games because, like most people, we’re trying to stay healthy. And we hope you are too.

So, for the next 100 days, we’re going to publish their countdown here at CollegeFootballAmericaPR.com (the list was originally published on Webb’s personal site, kendallwebb.net). Consider it the ultimate playlist for the ultimate college road trip — music for every taste, from every genre and from every decade of the modern era of music. When the staff of the College Football America Yearbook is back on the road, you can bet these will be some of the tunes we’re listening to.

And, if you missed the previous installments of our series, just click here to head to the Coronavirus Countdown — 100 Days of Great Music home page.

Here’s Day 34

With an early ’80s heavy metal record on the agenda along with a modern rock pick from just four years ago, we were searching for an indie rock selection to fit kind of in the middle.

The Shins’ debut record “Oh, Inverted World” from 2001 is as good a place to go as any. The record represents a bit of a turning point for indie rock with The Shins showing their brethren that it’s okay to dig beyond the surface and get in touch with your feelings. They may do it in a typically flippant indie rock fashion — “Caring Is Creepy,” for example — but the casual indifference exhibited by many of their peers is missing here. We love a lot of college rock (Kendall even featured Camper Van Beethoven’s silliness a few weeks ago), but this album represents the evolution of indie rock as a serious art form and a worthy sub-genre of the wider world of rock music.

– Chuck Cox and Kendall Webb

CHUCK’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Mötley Crüe

Shout At The Devil

Why I Love It

Hand to God, the first time I ever heard of Mötley Crüe was when I saw a small photo of the band in my mom’s Cosmopolitan magazine. They quickly became near and dear to my heart. Everything about this album spoke to me as I embarked on my high school years. Mötley Crüe looked and sounded like nobody else. The imagery of the band in the music videos on MTV made me love the music even more. Looking back, it was pretty cheesy. But that doesn’t take away from the greatness of this album. The songs have a different energy to them than songs on most hard rock albums. This one was way ahead of its time. I listen to it from start to finish every time.

Album Highlights

“Looks That Kill,” “Too Young to Fall in Love” and “Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid”

Kendall on Chuck’s Album of the Day

This was Mötley Crüe’s second album, and to get a full appreciation for it, I went back and listened to their first album (Too Fast For Love) before giving this a spin. While their debut sounds more basic and maybe more representative of where they were coming from, the second album definitely represents a leap forward while still eschewing the excess polish that came with some of their later albums. And, hey, you’ve got to respect a metal band that includes an instrumental and a Beatles cover (Helter Skelter) on the same album.

KENDALL’S ALBUM OF THE DAY

Frightened Rabbit

Painting Of A Panic Attack (2016)

Why I Love It

This was a tough pick for me. Frightened Rabbit’s sophomore album — 2008’s The Midnight Organ Fight — may still be the band’s definitive document.

But “Painting Of A Panic Attack” is the sound of a band reaching its full potential. Unfortunately, the album was also a desperate plea for help from front man Scott Hutchison with songs like “Death Dream,” “I Wish I Was Sober,” “Woke Up Hurting” and “Die Like A Rich Boy” giving insight into his fragile state of mind.

Unfortunately, Hutchison never got the help he needed, and ended up taking his own life in May of 2018. That puts “Painting Of A Panic Attack” in a new context as much of it comes across like a personal diary if not the prelude to a suicide note. It’s a beautiful, tragic final document of a talented singer-songwriter wrestling his own demons in the open for all his fans to see.

Album Highlights

“Death Dream,” “Get Out” and “I Wish I Was Sober”

Chuck on Kendall’s Album of the Day

Kendall introduced me to Frightened Rabbit. I became a fan and saw the band live a few times before this album came out. As much as I love its previous work, I also believe this is the band’s masterpiece. It ended up being the last album with lead singer Scott Hutchison, who committed suicide. I honestly get a tear in my eye now when I listen to “Die Like a Rich Boy.” This is a perfect record that is never far from my rotation.

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