Listen to LOST IN MY WORLD by Los Dug Dug's.
This one starts off quiet for a fair amount of time, but you've gotta stick with it, because it ends up being a very engaging, interesting pop song. The exotic flavor of their Mexican accents helps it along, but it's not a novelty--far from it. This band had talent.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Listen to SUDDENLY by The Bee Gees.
Odessa-era Bee Gees. You really can't emphasize enough how interesting a career the Bee Gees had. Been listening to Andy Gibb a little on Blip.fm, and it's just amazing that the same group that did Shadow Dancing did this track, much less Massachusetts or what have you.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Listen to L'ONDE AMÈRE by Guy Chambers & Sophie Hunter.
Outsourcing today to Wikipedia:
Guy Chambers (born January 12, 1963 in London) is an English songwriter and record producer best known for his long partnership with Robbie Williams.
The Isis Project, a French language album written with lyricist Keren Ann and vocalist Sophie Hunter is Chambers's own personal project, written as an 18th birthday present for his daughter Isis while she was four at the time. The track "L’onde Amere" also features on Keren Ann's album Nolita, released by Sleeper Music in 2005.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Listen to MRA by Hugh Masekela.
So....I think there's a chance that we might get a chance Mr. Masekela next week. Small chance, but it could happen. Pretty cool, eh? Plus, it gives me an excuse to post this song that's been sitting around in my drafts for months now.
Listen to WHAT A DAY FOR ME by Harumi.
If you want obscure, though, try this bit of Japanese psychedelia:
Recorded by Tom Wilson (who else?) for Verve in 1967 and 1968 in New York, this set originally appeared on a double LP (which has been reissued on both vinyl and CD by Fallout). This is one of the wildest and most unbelievably ambitious recordings to come from the psychedelic era. Harumi (a mystery man who recorded one more album before vanishing into the ether) could write pop songs and sing them. He also sounds like he did a lot of acid.
Posted by bill at 4:53 PM
Monday, April 20, 2009
Listen to WOT'S UH THE DEAL by Pink Floyd.
Rare Pink Floyd, stoner heaven. This is from the "Obscured By Clouds." Hard to believe that this is sandwiched between the masterpieces of "Meddle" and "Dark Side." Cos this ain't no masterpiece. However, it is one of the last times the Floyd did a spaced out folky track without all the later "paranoia" and "big ideas," which is a relief.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Listen to WAKING FOR WINTER by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.
I could listen to Gorky's all day, so when I went for a track of there's to play, I decided to look for when I don't listen to as much. Which was a pleasure and a joy. I settled on Waking for Winter, a pleasant and joyful little ditty with a typically odd interlude.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Listen to THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN US by Suede.
I laugh when I think back to how much time we spent on albums like this. Can Suede produce a masterpiece without Brett Butler? Were they the first Britpop band? Is Brett Anderson a legit songwriter?
Still, good tune, this.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Listen to SAY GOODNIGHT TO THE LADY by The Pernice Brothers.
Another group that holds to their aesthetic. I don't have the critical energy to define just what it is the Pernice Brothers are about (pick up a back issue of the Big Takeover for that, right Philip?). But it's almost captured by this chorus: "We were happy / we were sad."
I would change it to "We sound happy / but we are sad." Fixed.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Well, not really. In fact, the blog seems to be ticking along nicely lately, plus I might have just discovered a new, fun, easy outlet, but still, there's no question that over the last several months I've disengaged from music in a way I never have previously. Some of it is clearly contingent (work has been busy), some of it is the previously-mentioned slow computer, some of it is just being preoccupied with other hobbies, but some of it may be that dreaded calcification of musical influences and references and ...passion that seems to come naturally to lots of people. As an illustration, I've kept track of my new-songs-by-quarter for years now, and the first quarter of 2009 was unprecedentedly meager:
First quarter of 2004 (1Q04): 380 new songs imported into iTunes
1Q05: 824 new songs
1Q06: 857 new songs
1Q07: 684 new songs
1Q08: 1,717 new songs
1Q09: 176 new songs
That number for 2008 is a little skewed--I downloaded a ton of Beatles covers, more to have than to listen to, but the drop off is still dramatic. On the other hand, most normal people can't digest 3,600 new songs a year--that's nearly ten tunes a day--so maybe I should just spend a year or two with what I've already got!
Posted by bill at 11:04 PM
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Listen to SHAKE THE DISEASE by Depeche Mode.
One of the first tapes I ever owned. We were coming off a few years of being embargoed from popular music, and this tape struck me as being pretty wild and risque at the time.
Later, I thought I'd be embarrassed by both of those first two sentences.
But not really, though, amirite? "Catching Up" is a solid comp. I've been listening to it some lately, and it holds up. As for the wild and risque part, well, some allowances have to be made for when you're 12, but the songs ain't popcorn, despite what the Joy Division fans would say. Plus, you have to admit that Depeche Mode held firm to their semi-goth, pseudo-sadoreligious* aesthetic, even when they were out of fashion. Credit where credit is due.
* what blog posts are for: to make up fittingly nonsense words.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Listen to AVIGNON by Pinback.
I've had Pinback on here before, a few years ago. IIRC, I was slightly dismissive of the band. Well, the name is pretty dumb, but they're full of tunes. I'm sharing Avignon, but it could be a dozen different ones worth hearing, in my opinion. Pleasant and nice.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Listen to YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE by Johnny Cash.
I didn't see that coming. Sorry fellas!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Listen to FULL CIRCLE SONG by Gene Clark.
Oren gave me a copy of "Musicophilia" by Oliver Sacks a few weeks ago. I highly recommend it. I'll steal a blurb so I don't have to describe it:
"Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain" examines the extreme effects of music on the human brain and how lives can be utterly transformed by the simplest of harmonies. With clinical studies covering the tragic (individuals afflicted by an inability to connect with any melody) and triumphant (Alzheimer's patients who find order and comfort through music), Sacks provides an erudite look at the notion that humans are truly a "musical species."
The consistently interesting thing about the book is how there are musical parts of the brain that can keep working when every other part of the brain doesn't, like the Parkinson's patients who can't will themselves to move but can get around freely when they hear a song.
Sacks also discusses how people can retain songs over a lifetime and recall them fully and completely under certain circumstances, even when they're senile. Not really surprising, but I do have a minor anecdote. The other day, I was riding the subway, listening to a different song, when all of a sudden the Full Circle Song started playing in my head. And it was so overwhelmingly moving, I can hardly tell you. I had to go home that night and find it on iTunes so I could listen to it a few times in a row. Strange, because I had only listened to it maybe three times in three years (and have never had the Byrds reunion album it's on also), and hadn't really identified it as a favorite -- I didn't even know I knew the melody. But I have now.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Listen to OVER & OVER by Fleetwood Mac.
Opening track of "Tusk," which I am continually amazed has become one of my favorite albums in the last few years. I even like Mick Fleetwood's dorky drum flourishes on this song. (Actually, he's so restrained that his dorky flourishes in the last thirty seconds really make a satisfying payoff. Well constructed.)
Also, Happy Birthday Mom!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Listen to HALF A WORLD AWAY by REM.
I'm decidedly not a fan of REM. But I try to not be dogmatic about these things, and this track started showing up on my iPhone a few months ago, and I kept listening to it. In fact, I like this song a lot.
It certainly reminds me of being a teenager -- everybody had this record, whether they were just hearing REM for the first time or they thought the band had finally sold out. But I wouldn't be still playing it just for nostalgia -- it's a good tune, a good album track.