The Top 10 Power Ballads of All Time

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Photo by Helge Øverås via Wikimedia Commons
If we're being completely honest, power ballads are responsible for some of the most resonant music-listening experiences in the entire world. They're a beautiful blend of sentiment and obviousness, a band willfully becoming emotionally available. Everybody makes fun of the power ballad, because sometimes it's hard to admit we gave over our souls so easily. We've all made fun of a lot of the songs on this list, but we've also had private, don't-look-at-me emotional moments with each of them. This is the foundational argument against anyone who maintains that pop music makes evil people; this is proof to any aliens that the human race is not beyond salvation.

This is the top ten power ballads of all time.

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The 10 Best Rock & Roll Pinball Tables

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Internet Pinball Database
I am a devoted video-game fan and a constant cheerleader for them to be considered art, but honestly I would give up most of the compelling stories and high-definition graphics in the world for simple pinball machines. They're crafted and mechanical, and when built with a loving hand they can turn almost anything into a game of skill while simultaneously paying homage.

They're like themed slot machines, but with less crying...usually.

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10 Reasons 1994 Was the Best Year for Music

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Courtesy of the label
By Art Tavana

Was 1994 the best year for pop music in history? Quite possibly.

Sure, some of it was terrible, but overall it was amazing: Nordic black metal, Britpop, pop punk, trip hop, and the best R&B of the '90s. (Boyz II Men was peaking). Hip-hop's Golden Age was winding down, but a new, arguably more compelling era for the genre was beginning, with the debut works from Nas and Biggie Smalls. Green Day would establish pop punk as a force for years to come, while across the pond Oasis and Blur were stirring the pot. Hole, meanwhile, unleashed a powerful post-feminist statement. It was also the year Beck gave slackers a good name.

But that's just part of the story. Here are 10 reasons why 1994 was the best year for music, ever.

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10 Country Artists You Should Be Listening To

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Photo courtesy of ATO Records
Caitlin Rose
This blog recently ran down the "Ten Biggest Douchebags in Country Music." That's all well and good, but it only tells half the story -- country is far from a moribund, cheesed-out genre. 

In fact, there are countless up-and-coming country craftsmen and women who are worthy of your attention. So if you're wearing out your lone Johnny Cash record, you're doing it wrong. Here are ten of 2014's top outlaws.

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Weird Al's Ten Best Forgotten Parodies

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Photo by Jason Wolter
It's hard to remember sometimes that "Weird Al" Yankovic has been honing his craft for more than 30 years now, bringing us masterful parodies of pop music for so long that he's outlived many of his onetime subjects. He has a new album called Mandatory Fun and is in the midst of releasing eight music videos in eight days on YouTube.

Since we're in the middle of another Weird Al year, it seems appropriate to look back on his massive back catalog and remember some of the best parodies that may not have stuck in the public's consciousness in the way "Eat It" or "Amish Paradise" did.

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The Ten Best Songs By Awful Musicians

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Stopped clocks are right twice a day. Geoffrey Arend is married to Christina Hendricks. Performance artists get federal funding. Canada is south of Detroit. People wear Google Glass and think they look awesome. Some things you just can't explain, like how really shitty bands occasionally luck into recording splendid songs. To wit, here are the ten greatest songs ever recorded by not-so-great musicians:


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The Six Craziest Music Items at St. Louis Resale Shops

Categories: LOLZ, List-O-Rama

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Allison Babka
These are on two-for-one special.

Did you put on a party hat and celebrate the United States' birthday all weekend? Sure you did -- we caught you lathering up strangers at your foam parties and proudly sporting your sequined hats at Fair Saint Louis. And you know what? It's your constitutional right (we think?) to fete the red, white and blue any way you see fit -- especially if it involves setting things on fire and consuming mass quantities of cheap beer.

Those are all great activities to celebrate the U. S. of A., but we at RFT Music did one better -- we searched for the weirdest music memorabilia St. Louis that thrift, consignment, antique and resale shops had to offer. Yes, we happily spent dozens of cents on some gently used goods (We're thrilled with the $3 vinyl "Do They Know It's Christmas?" single we took home!) while laughing our asses off at the relics of Mom's closet. It's the American Way, people! So as a late birthday present to this great country, we present the six best music-related items that still need loving homes.

See also: Electric Flurry Shoots Foam, Not Fireworks (Slideshow)


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The Ten Biggest Douchebags In Country Music

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Courtesy of the label
Mainstream country music gets an unfair rap as being universally over-polished and formulaic, a notion that artists like Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church obliterate every time they strap on their guitars. But there's a granule of truth to the stereotype, and a particularly damaging subgenre -- known as "bro-country" -- is lending it far too much credibility right now.

See also: The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever

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Six Glee Performances that Make Us Want to See Alex Newell at PrideFest

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YouTube
Diamonds are Alex Newell's best friend.

It's Pride weekend! With thousands of participants and endless entertainment, PrideFest in St. Louis is known nationally as one of the best, and we're anticipating that this year's affair around Soldiers Memorial will raise the bar even higher. Get the full schedule of activities for June 28 and 29 here.

The St. Louis region has much to celebrate during PrideFest 2014. Mayor Francis Slay married four gay couples to push marriage equality into Missouri's spotlight. The city's first queer talk show, "The Gayborhood," debuted on KXFN 1380 AM. The Rams drafted Michael Sam, making him the first openly gay player in the NFL (He's apparently a great DJ, too.) Our neighbors in Illinois can enjoy same-sex marriage. There have been obstacles, certainly, but it's exciting to see the rainbow flag being flown loud and proud around here.

See also: A Rainbow of Songs in Celebration of PrideFest

So when Pride headliner and Glee actor Alex Newell takes the stage Saturday at 8:50 p.m., we'll be hand-jiving right along with him. As "Wade/Unique" on Glee, Newell has pushed transgender issues into mainstream TV's spotlight. We love Unique's character progression, but the real reason we watch Glee, of course, is for the musical numbers. So to prepare for PrideFest, we've rounded up six of Newell's best Glee songs that give us the hippy, hippy shakes.

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Six Obscure James Taylor Facts to Prepare You For His St. Louis Concert

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Paul Keleher, via Wikipedia Commons
James Taylor
It seems likely that, back in 1968 when James Taylor signed to Apple records for his first album as an aspiring singer-songwriter, he would have happily -- willfully -- consented to an interview with any publication that would have him. Ah, what good old days those must have been, because 2014 finds Taylor -- who is performing at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Tuesday, June 24 -- bigger than his britches and not interested in doing interviews. What a shame that fame should make him so inaccessible. To be fair, maybe there is something else that prevents him from taking interviews, like the surprising, inherent shyness that Taylor shows in television interviews?

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