Saturday, January 30, 2010

Episode 16

I had a late day at work and ended up sleeping through the time that I was supposed to help out a friend move. On the other hand I had the day all to my self and listened to what ever I felt like.

Radiohead - Hail To The Thief

This is not one of my favorite albums from this band. But, there are some really good songs on this album. I think that it is not one of my favorite albums because there are so many tracks on it. Just like Blur – 13, I thought to myself a couple of times, “Isn’t this over yet?” There are not many real loud parts on this album so it is still a joy to listen to. It just gets long after a while. 2 + 2 = 5 is my favorite track on the album. The funny thing is that it is the first track on the album. My second favorite track on the album is There There. This is the 9th track so it gives me something to look forward to after the first track. This is not an album that you should only get the 2 songs for. Like all Radiohead albums it is an album. It is fantastic in its own right. I just think that they have put out other albums that gel a little better than this one does.

Since the band did not renew their contract with Capitol they, Capitol, have re-released the first 6 albums in special edition packaging. For me all of these Capitol SE packages are pointless. I already have all the extras that are included except for the live tracks from Jools Holland. I don’t feel that interested in them as it is just paying Capitol for their possessions. The other bonus tracks are B-sides from some of the singles. Capitol also re-released a cross selection of EPs and singles in a vinyl 12” format. To me, if I were to start going after the singles and EPs in vinyl format it would be a chase for the original releases. That, my friends, is expensive. The last I checked the initial EP release of Drill (their first EP) was near $800 on the second market. And my friends think I was insane for getting that EP for $300 on CD. Look at how much more insane I could get people.

Sly and The Family Stone - Best Of

I got this album on vinyl last year. It was in nice packaging but it arrived a little beat up. There was also a scratch on the record that was plainly visible. I played and recorded the record anyway. I did not get any bad noises where the scratch was so I did not return it. After processing the album I realized that there was a lot of noise on the album. I would still not return the album because it plays great. It is just that the record noise translates to digital noise when playing back the digital recording that I did. Not that big of a deal I guess. They are still great songs. Everybody knows the songs that they did and it is just a greatest hits collection so I am not really going to talk on this one much. This collection was released in the beginning of 2009. It features their most popular tracks from Dance To The Music to Hot Fun In The Summertime. It is really a great collection of music from the band.

Sunny Day Real Estate – Diary

This was one of the first albums to be dubed Emo. It is a heavy emotional rock album. The group is not of that whiney sound that became the heart of Emo later in the genre. I remember hearing the singles from this album and wanting to get the album because of them but I never got around to getting it when it was new. It wasn’t until last year when I heard that they would be repressing the album on vinyl that I finally decided to buy a copy of the album. Then, after listening to it and a podcast of the band during a live show that I got from NPR, I really got that nostalgic feeling. These songs are a part of my past, days from my graduating high school. Most people would say this was from their hay days of high school. Well, I never had a hay day in school. I was a very emotional kid growing up hence the reason that I like Emo music.

I have also got some other music from that Emo scene and I may get to it later.

signing off

Friday, January 29, 2010

Episode 15

While doing laundry today I read some of the fantasy book that I have been working on for the past month. While I read I will usually listen to music. I have done this since I was in middle school. Reading and music have always gone together for me. Actually, music and many other thins seem to go well together, Surfing the net and playing video games for example. With the video games it has merged into one with the advent of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Although I enjoy playing and creating music with actual instruments these games are a lot of fun for the rock star in all of us.

Faith No More – Angel Dust

The lead singer for Faith No More, Mike Patton, has such and incredible elastic voice. He has the ability to go from a classical form to a heavy metal scream within the same piece of music. If there was a way to contain his vocal prowess and make it do your will it would blow your mind. The band as a whole has made some uber fantastic music with in the rap/rock genre but the band is more than just a genre. They are genre bending with the music that they have created. This album is the 4th album but the 3rd with Mike as the lead vocalist. I really liked the song Midlife Crisis and A Small victory along with the 2 covers on the album, Lionel Richie – Easy and the theme from Midnight Cowboy. There are others songs on this album that are really fantastic but it is set up as an album. I think that it should be listened as such.

Blur – 13

This album was a late part of the British mimic of the grunge movement that happened in America in the early 90s. I say that it was a late part because it was released in the late 90s. They were trying to remain in the spot light by using sounds from the grunge scene with a British twist. It was a definite change from their initial albums that were so polished and clean sounding in that early 90s brit pop sound. This album has some very fun songs and some heart felt songs as well. The first single off the album was tender, my favorite of the album too. It shows a softer side of the band with a choir singing the backups. I remember seeing this song performed live on some late night show. It was very good. As I continued to listen to the album I started to think, “When is this over?” That is not a good sign. It is not that the album is bad in any way. It is that the album is to long. When ever I thought that It would get into a song that I was totally into. Then when the song would be ending I would think that again.

The Pixies – Doolittle

This is a classic alternative album. It was released before the Grunge movement hit hard. This album has a much cleaner sound than the predecessor, their first full length album, Surfer Rosa. This was mostly due to the new producer. The album still dealt with rough material that happens in this world we live in as did the first album but the music was a bit nicer to listen to. The 2 singles of the album are the real stand outs. They are Here Comes Your Man and Monkey Gone To Heaven. The album is interesting to listen to but is lyrically it makes you think about the world we live in.

The Polyphonic Spree – The Fragile Army

First off, this is a very large band. There are many members associated to this group. This was one of the albums that I purchased in 2007 in my splurge to get music. It is a good album but very bright. This is not by any means my favorite album but it is still a good album

Powerman 5000 – Tonight The Stars Revolt

I like to think of this album as space rock. There is lots of talk about stars and space all through out the album. There is also a few verbal snips from some b-movie sci-fi movies. The roomer is that the lead singer is the brother of Rob Zombie. I can not confirm this but there is one track where the lead singer has some similar vocal sounds to Mr. Zombie.

Pillar – Fireproof

They are a Christian band that focuses on the word and how it applies to peoples lives today. This is their second album. There were many versions of this album released. I wound up with the Special Edition release with a bonus DVD. The first single of the album was called Fireproof. It tells of how Christians are fireproof to the devil. He, the devil, may act in our lives but when we die we are God’s children and the devil has no claim on our lives.

The song I’m Further from myself hits me so hard. Every time I hear it reminds me of exactly who I am and where I should be if I am not already there. It is wholeheartedly and completely everything I want and everything I am all in one short piece of music. I am not sure that I can write any thing better to express how much this song means to me. I will add this much though. The acoustic version of this song is more rich and real than the studio version is.

The rest of the album is really fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone, Christian or not.

Decyfer Down – End Of Grey

This is another Christian group that has my heart. They sing about the word and use lines directly from the Bible that just pierce me straight through. With songs that talk about giving yourself up to God so that you can live a better life through him to songs that praise God for changing our lives so that we follow the light, God, instead of ourselves. There are also a couple songs that talk about turning away from god but realizing that you were wrong then coming back to a life of God and Christianity. If I want to think on who I am I turn to this album. It is that good.

I actually listened to this album a second time on the way home from work. It truly is that good.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Episode 14

Radiohead - Live Tracks (Personal playlist)

I have been collecting music from Radiohead for a very long time now. I started collecting their music when their first full length album was released back in 1993. That first album was actually a gift from a friend in high school. I have collected many singles for the b-side tracks on them. In this collecting process I have garnered many live and acoustic tracks. I have put all of these live and acoustic tracks into a playlist on my iTunes software. I think that there are almost 50 tracks collected in that playlist.

Billy Joel - КОНЦЕРТ

This is a live album recorded in 1987. This was a part of the tour for the album called The Bridge. Joel goes through all of his popular songs and adds to cover tunes at the end. One is Back In The U.S.S.R. by The Beatles and the other is The Times They Are A-Changin by Bob Dylan. The album is more than just the songs. There is included a little banter between the tracks as if it were recorded all in 1 take. I can not prove or disprove this but it is very cool. My copy of this is on vinyl. I completely forgot that the second track has a skip in it. I remember getting a copy of this album in middle school from a friend on cassette tape. I listened to that tape constantly. Although, not enough to wear it out.

Mink Deville - S/T

I got this album from my mother. The vocals at times reminded me of Lou Reed's vocals.

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

I was reading about the roots of indie music today. Along with The Velvet Underground first album, Pet Sounds was also sited as one of the roots of indie music of today. I never really got into The Beach Boys. My parents did not make a fuss about the band so much. I just recently got a different album called Endless summer. When I found that Capitol was going to repress Pet sounds I felt it was an album that I should have in my collection. I found out that these new Capitol pressings are from digital source. It is not bad but strange to think that a digital source has been put on a analog media. Anyway, it is a great album with lots of heart. It has not really been duplicated very well. It is a unique sound that really makes you feel good.

Signing off

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Episode 13

Yesterday I went over to my x-wives house to teach her sister how to play a song on the guitar. She wants to play a song from the band Staind called Tangled Up In You for her brothers wedding coming up in a year. She owns her own guitar but has never played it before. I taught her how to tune her guitar with a tuner. The lesson began with explaining the standard tuning on a guitar. In standard tuning on a guitar is the top string is an E and from there on down it goes A, D, G, B then E again. We then went on to learning the 3 chords for the song that she wanted to learn. The first chord was E major. It is an easy beginner’s chord. After she felt comfortable we moved on to the A major cord. This was also a good beginner’s chord. Then we moved on to the hard one, a B Major. I showed her a couple different fingerings for this chord. This was basically the end of the lesson. If she is really serious about playing this song I will probably get a call in a few weeks. If not, that is OK too.

It was brought to my attention recently that I don’t write about God in some form on every album that I write about. In my opinion, God is a part of every song that is created because God has given the gift of music to each of these musicians in some way. As a matter of fact God has given each of us an artistic gift of come kind. Weather it be the gift of working with people or the gift of writing music or painting. It all comes from God no matter how you look at it.

The XX – XX

I really love this album. It is so simple yet complex at the same time. I called it minimalistic because the really interesting parts seem to drop off when the vocals are on. It places focus on the vocalist as opposed to the music. It is not a Christian album but for me it makes me think about being intimate in a personal relationship. I think this way about this album because the two vocalists are male and female and the vocals are quiet and whispered. Also, they are singing about things that I think a couple would do together.

The Dodos – Time to die

This group was a duo until this album. The two original artists in this band are a drummer and a guitarist. On this album they added a xylophonist. The album is really fantastic. The xylophonist adds so much depth to the group. There is also an effective use of polyrhythm. To me the album comes off as a wave or sound that envelopes the listener in a warm blanket.

Falling Up – Fangs!

They are a Christian group that falls in the genre of alternative rock. The music is very experimental but still heavily rock oriented. The lyrics are based on the idea that we as humans may mess things up in our lives but through grace God still loves us all. The sounds that are used on this album in come cases are very bouncy and in others are very smooth but over all it sounds warm and inviting in much the same way that God is written about in the bible.

Radiohead – The Bends

I haven’t listened to this album for a few years. I had completely forgotten about some of the music that was on this album. I remember when this album cam out. I was going to college for the first time and was listening to the radio on the way. It was an independent radio station catering to the alternative sound that was coming out during the mid 90s. This station is now defunct but I do have a replacement now. There are some super gems on this LP. These songs are completely new and fresh for the time that they were released.

Signing off

Friday, January 22, 2010

Episode 12

Graeme Edge Band – Paradise Ballroom

I got this album from my mothers’ collection. She gave me all of her records when she realized that I was getting into vinyl again. The actual cover of this album reads” Graeme Edge Band” on one line and in between the next line in small letters “Featuring” then on the actual next line it reads “Adrian Gurvitz – Paradise Ballroom” . It is kind of misleading, especially for a kid learning how to read. When I was little I thought that the title was the whole second line. The word “Featuring” is so small that I completely missed it. The background doesn’t make it any easier though. Graeme Edge is the drummer from The Moody Blues. He had a short solo career of 2 albums this is the second of those two. The album comes off as a soft rock album that was the style of the late 70s but with a bit of an edge to me. I was under the age of 5 when this album was released so I really couldn’t say other than what the history books tell me. I do like the album as it does have a sound that I really enjoy from that era.

Living Strings – Living Strings Play Henry Mancini

This is exactly what it seems. A string group that is playing the classic Mancini tracks. There are some great tracks on this LP including Baby Elephant Walk, Peter Gun Theme and Moon River. The only thing that I am disappointed with on this LP is that The Pink Panther Theme is not found here. The LP was released the same year as The Pink Panther Theme and this may be the reason that it was not included. Luckily I do have a copy of The Pink Panther Theme from another group. Any way, the album is good but there are probably better compilations out there of Henry Mancini’s work.

Cheech & Chong – Big Bambu

This is the second album released from the duo. Big Bambu is a brand of rolling papers made by the company Bambu. The album was made to look like the rolling paper and there was also a large sheet of rolling paper included in the album. Apparently, it is very hard to find the album with the rolling paper still in it. By chance my parents did not get into drugs and the paper is still in my copy of the LP. I don’t think that this album is as fun as the third album that I have previously talked about. The first track is just awful and a speaker wrecker to boot. It gets a little better after that but not much. The album is basically a sound recording of the skits they were doing on the road. There is nothing extra special to write home about on this one.

Billy Joel – Turnstiles

This is his 4th album and was released in 1976. This album was created after he left California to return to New York. This is plainly obvious with track names like Say Goodbye To Hollywood and New York State Of Mind. It is really a good album is a quasi themed album. I really love the track Prelude/Angry Young Man. Although he has crammed a lot of notes into this song it works. It gets under your skin and gets your juices flowing with the rapid succession of the notes in this song. There is a light use of synthesizers on this album. I am really fine with that as the synths that were used in the 70s are just not that good sounding. I am not saying that the sounds from the 80s are any better but they were used in a better way in my opinion.

Glenn Miller – The Best Of Glenn Miller Vol. III
(I can't actually find a good link to this album)

Glenn Miller is a famous big band jazz musician and composer from the 30s-40s. A quote from the back of the LP states his music was a part of, “an era in which America recaptured her spirit.” I completely agree. This music and the music of other artists of this time is just so invigorating to listen to. Glenn Millers is a sad case though. He was a part of the armed forces. He was on a plane that went down while he was serving. The plane was never found and neither was his body. There are some very famous tracks on this album. The first track for one is Little Brown Jug. I remember playing this song with the school jazz ensemble. I loved this track. Really, I love jazz, especially the big band stuff. I have some other stuff from him that I will get to later.

My father-in-law gave me a 2 year subscription to a Hi-Fi magazine called Stereophile for Christmas. I got my first issue a couple days ago. I am only 25 pages into the mag but I really like the thing so far. It is different when you just page through a magazine to pass the time but when you actually sit down to read one it is really interesting. I use to get the Sound&Vision magazine in the late 90s. I really liked that one too but at about the 00s they changed format and started focusing on just the video aspect of the A/V world. What I am getting at is that I am happy to have a magazine that writes about the stuff I want to read. Thanks Dad.

Signing off

Episode 11

Ratatat - LP3

Ratatat are usually classified as a electronic band. To my eyes they may use electronic sounds but for the most part they use electric guitars with effects used in not average ways. They incorporate interesting rhythms that are not used in normal rock situations. There are no vocals in any of their music. It is refreshing to hear an instrument take the lead as opposed to a vocalist. I enjoy the way that everything is pieced together on this album. This is the same on other tracks that I have heard from their other albums as well. It gets really good for me when they harmonize the instruments in the lead. They also take a page from The Beatles with the use of reversed background music. Just like The Beatles, it works so well with the music when they use this technique. For the most part is it just artistic music and not for everyone. The group is not overly electronic or rock but seem to be in that electronic retro 80s/current indie style music. I did manage to find this one new on vinyl for a cheap price through an independent record store called The Vinyl Collective located in CO.

The Vinyl Collective are a great record company that deals in everything it seems. I have gotten some very cool limited colored vinyl from this company. I have also gotten some great bargains from them too. They have always been very good to me. I believe that their shipping rate on everything is 3 bucks all the time. They always use the appropriate packaging when shipping, i.e. record boxes for records, CD boxes for CDs, etc.

The Police - Ghost In The Machine

I am not a fan of Stings solo work but the police as a band are fantastic. They had a knack for bringing ska beats into a rocks environment along with jazz and punk sounds. It really made people happy to listen to the band. This was their first album to feature mostly piano and synthesizer work. The most recognizable track on this album is Everything She Does Is Magic. There were three other singles that were released from this album but this is the most recognizable. I found this album cheap used. This album has been declared 3 X Platinum by the RIAA so that must mean something. The album is really quite dark but there are rays of light that shine through. For example, the first single that I mentioned.

It is a short one today but,

Signing off

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Episode 10

Radiohead - Kid A

This album is my favorite album from the band. It is their fourth album released. Most people will say that this was a electronic record. In reality it is an album that used some electronic instruments but still incorporated the usual suspects, i.e. drums, guitar, bass guitar. There is heavy use of ambient sound and electromechanical keyboards (Rhodes or Wurlitzer). It is a very moody album for sure. Some people do not have the ability to listen to this album because of the high pitch sounds that are used in the back grounds of many of the songs. This album means so much to me as it was released during a critical time in my life. It was a very dark time of my life and this album was the log floating in the river that I clung to with every ounce of my being. There was never an official single put out for this album but some would say that Ideoteque would be the closest thing to a single. There was a video that was released on the web for the song. If you were interested you could probably find it on YouTube. I can’t really put my finger on a favorite track because it all just runs together so smoothly. Just as a side note, there are 2 different versions of Morning Bell. This fast version found on Kid A and a slower version found on Amnesiac. I will talk about the latter on a later episode. I own all of the regular releases on CD, Deluxe edition and vinyl. I can talk more on that later though.

Weezer - Rattitude

This is Weezer's latest album released in 2009. I was not a huge fan of the previous album, Weezer (The Red Album). I don't really have a reason for this other than there was a general high pitch squee in most of the tracks. This album on the other hand was very funny lyrically to me. It is also quite experimental for the band. They explore electronic sounds, rapping and some Indian sounds too. The album itself is not super exciting. The first track is exciting though, this is also the first single from the album. It is very Buddy Hollyesque. Buddy Holly is one of the singles from their first album Weezer (The Blue Album). The rest of the album takes it down a notch. The stand out tracks for me are the track 1 (If your wondering if I want you to) I want you to, track 3 The Girl Got Hot, track 4 Can't stop Partying and track 9 In The Mall. I like these tracks mainly because of the word play not the music. The music on this album is good but not great. It is still a lot of fun either way. One last note on this album, I downloaded the album instead of purchasing the CD. I got the album from Amazon and received a bonus track not found on the regular CD release. That bonus track is nothing to write home about and is the reason that it was left of the regular CD release of this album. On the other hand it is nice to get free stuff too.

Ben Folds - Supersunnyspeedgraphic: The LP

To me Ben Folds and his previous band Ben Folds 5 are taking a page from Billy Joel and Elton John. This album is basically a culmination of his 3 internet only EPs plus a couple extra tracks. This is some of his most up beat music ever created. The funniest point in this album is the down tempo cover of Bitches Ain’t Shit. This was originally a rap single performed by Dr. Dre. There are a few covers and a few really great gems here. My stand out tracks are track 4 There’s Always Someone Cooler Than you, track 8 Rent A Cop and track 11 Dog.

Spoon - Transference

I listened to a Podcast from All Songs Considered where the interviewer/host of the show talked with 2 of the 4 members of the group and there was a few tracks played from the album. From what I have heard, and I have heard the whole album at least once through. it is very fun but not as polished as the last album (Ga, Ga, Ga, Ga, Ga). There are some really cool sounds used in the album. Apparently half of the album is just demos that were prettied up a bit. This is a very different approach to me.

Since my birthday is coming up I though that I would mention a few albums that are either coming out or have been already released, actually there are 4 of them. I really want to get the new Vampire Weekend – Contra, Spoon – Transference on vinyl and OK Go – Of The Blue Color Of The Sky and Hot Chip – One Life Stand on CD. I just saw that the Vampire Weekend LP is now 12.99. WooHoo!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Episode 9

Billy Joel - Inocent Man

I recorded this album today and realized that there were many singles that I really like a lot on this album.

From Wikipedia, “An Innocent Man is the ninth album by American singer/songwriter Billy Joel, released in 1983. It became one of his best-charted albums since Glass Houses, going directly to #2 in the UK. It featured three Billboard Top 10 hit singles: "Tell Her About It", which reached #1, "Uptown Girl", which peaked at #3 and "An Innocent Man", which peaked at #10. Four other singles were released from the album: "The Longest Time" (number 14), "Leave a Tender Moment Alone" (number 27), "Keeping the Faith" (number 18) and "This Night".”

Sorry, I got a bit lazy there. In general the album is easy to listen to. The album has a lot of great sounds that are not synthesized. This isn’t the album from him that I absolutely love but it is up there next to it.

Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant/Fleet Foxes

Today, my copy of the Fleet Foxes EP/LP came in the mail. I was very excited. Well apparently I was under the misconception that the track Mykonos was on both the EP and the S/T album. I was wrong. It is only on the EP. I am glad that I found a copy of the album that came bundled with the EP. I would have been very confused otherwise. Both pieces of music (EP & LP) have some very great songs but there are also some that just don’t seem to fit or the group seemed to be stretching the harmonies too far. I would almost want to skip some of the songs. But, I felt this way the first time that I listened to Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest. I hope that I will grow to love the Fleet Foxes as much as Grizzly Bear.

The Escape Club – Wild Wild West

This is a band from the late 80s with a smidge of country for effect. They had a major hit single in the title track, Wild Wild West. I remember watching the video for this song at school dances. I fell in love with the song and purchased the album on cassette tape. I remember going on walks with this tape playing in my walkman. It will always remind me of a time in spring when all the snow is melted but all the dirt that was in the snow is all over the ground. The album itself is not spectacular but easily singable. There is only the one single that made it to the radio for this band. I know that they did record one other album after this one but it did not do anything on the radio.

Hard & Phirm – Rodeohead (song)

I was pleasantly surprised while listening to Wil Wheaton’s RFB today. The comedy/musical group Hard & Phirm wrote a song called Rodeohead. The song is a medley of Radiohead songs done in a country or bluegrass style of music. It was kind of funny to hear my absolutely favorite bands music done in such a way.

That is all for the day

Signing off

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Episode 8

I did not really don any thing in music today other than listen to the latest episode of Sound Opinions. I wanted to hear their review of the new album by Spoon - Transference. The song that they played off the album was track 10 Got Nuffin'. You can get the single from the Spoon website. The single was actually released in 2009. Sound Opinions also reviewed a few other albums but I don't have enough interest in them to write about them here. If you are interested in seeing what albums Sound Opinions has reviewed you can go here.

It is not much but it is all I have for today.

Signing off.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Episode 7

I have decided to go with Episode numbers since I see that I am posting just about regularly.

My x-wife and x-sister-in-law have requested my help to teach them a song by Staind. They really like the song and want to use it to play for their brothers wedding in a year. I am not a fan of the song but luckily the song only uses 3 chords. E major, A major and B major in various combination's. The real creative part is to try to figure out something for my x-wife to play since her sister wants to play the basic chord progression. I think this will be a fun and easy project for a couple of beginner guitarists. They will come over to learn the song next Saturday.

Man or Astro-Man? - Experiment Zero

The band was a surf rock group who used experimental sounds with obscure sci-fi sounds and movie dialog clips. In other words, not your usual surf rock group by any means. They were closely related to Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MST3K). The album it self is interesting. It is filled with great surf rock with interspersed with strange sounds and dialog clips from little known sci-fi B-movies. If you like surf rock and are looking for more You may want to check these guys out. They take the idea of surf rock in a completely different direction but for some this could be a good thing. The first album I would recommend would be their last to date, A Spectrum of Finite Scale (I will get to this album later).

Lost Ocean - Could This Be Love

Lost Ocean are a Christian pop group that sounds slightly like Coldplay. They have put their second album out as a self release. I really like the band since their first EP. They have clean lyrics but about half of their music is about religion the other half is usually about how to live your life and relationships. The music itself is inspiring to me let alone the lyrics. They are positive in their outlook on life and show good ways to live life. Their music is also easy to sing along with making it not very difficult to stop listening to. This album in particular has 14 tracks but the album is so good that when you get to the last track it seems like it took only 5 minutes to get through the end because it is so enjoyable. Musically the band is very gifted. You will not get bored with repeated loops of music. My stand out tracks are 1 Lately I Can't Fly, 2 Good Morning, 5 Every Word She Said, 9 Dance To This Heart Beat and 13 You Are All I Need. This was a limited run CD but you can download the album from Amazon or Itunes. I can not give this band higher praises. If I had a scale it would be over the top. Hmm, a scale. Maybe I will make one of those or copy one from someone for the next post.

Archie Bell & The Drells - Tighten Up

They are a fantastic old skool R&B group that started in the late 60s. The album is from 1968. They were based in Houston TX. I found out about this group from a close friend. The track that I listened to was the title track for the album. There are so many little nuances in this song that it is great for critical listening. The song itself is just so much fun to listen to. I did not know it until I purchased the album but there is a second part to the song that is just as good as the first part. The album goes on to cover a few classics and a few originals. Over all the album is a decent album. But, the first two tracks, Tighten Up and Tighten Up Part 2 are top notch. The album has been repressed recently and is very cheap. You can also download or get it on CD.

The Black Ghosts - The Black Ghosts

The Black Ghosts are a United Kingdom-based electronic music duo composed of Theo Keating and Simon William Lord. The two met through the internet. The album is a cross between electronic and synth-pop. It is a very smooth album with some hard hitting beats and bass lines. I enjoyed the album and picked it up in the first week that it was released. The song Full Moon off the album was included in the soundtrack for the film Twilight. There is also a remix of the song included in the delux version of the soundtrack. Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz fame guest stars on the track Repetition Kills You. This was the first song that I heard from the band. I am somewhat of a fan of Albarn's work and This track is the reason that I picked up the album. I really like the album and recommend it to anyone who is into the new crop of electronic artists.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Unexpected listen

I cleared out the area by my instrument amps today so that I could do some sound practice today. I took out my Fender American Deluxe 5 string bass. I tuned it up and plugged in to my Ampeg SVT-CL amp. This thing is so loud I had to turn it down to 2. I also had to turn down the bass on both the guitar and the amp to get the sound that I was looking for. I am trying to get some tweeks down for the Nostalgia 90 song. I am having a lot of fun with this track.

Dead Can Dance - Serpent's Egg
Dead Can Dance - Into the Labyrinth
Dead Can Dance - Memento: The Very Best of Dead Can Dance

All 3 of these albums were listened to today one after the other. It is always a surprise to listen to what my father-in-law is excited about. They are an ambient rock band from Australia. To be honest I was not that impressed with the music but I was also preoccupied helping my sister-in-law with her iTunes. It was interesting and there were a couple tracks that stood out from the others. Those tracks were on the very best of album but they were on the end of the disc. I couldn't recommend this band to anyone unless they were into art rock or progressive rock. To me they lie on the edges of these genres. I think that track 10 (Yulunga) and 11 (Song of the Sibyl) from the very best of album stood out the most on all 3 albums.


I did watch Saturday Night Live also tonight. I saw The Ting Tings play their two songs. The first was That's Not My Name and the second was Shut Up And Let Me Go. I was very excited that it was just the two of them. They are a two person band. The reason that I was so excited was that they did not use session players to fill out their sound. They just used their pre-created track for the original recording with the exception of the drums and vocals. The vocals were performed by the both of them, the drummer on backup vocals and the lead singer. The drummer also did a fantastic job with his drums. The songs were not sparce but they were very good.

Signing off


I did not play any music today. This was strange because I wanted to but just did not. What I did do was practice the bass line to a song that I have been working on. I am calling it Nostalgia 90. I decided on this name because the song reminds me of a song that I had heard in the early to mid 90s. It is not a cover but does defiantly use a sound from the song a bit reworked. I have been using my Hoffner bass for the song but I am also still trying to get the bridge set up properly on the guitar so it sounds a bit sharper than it should. In general I like where the song is going. It still needs work and I am not yet ready to record it either. I think that I have a rhythm part worked out on a guitar too. I am very excited to work on this song. I don't think that it is going to go on the current album that I am working on though. I think that I have enough track for that album already. I think that this song and on other that i have the basics recorded for will go on a different album as they don't fit the one that I am trying to finish up.

I have about 10 records that I have ready to record before I get back to writing and recording my own music. I am very excited to get back to my music but I want to finish one thing before I start working on another. It is really just a stopping point with the records than an "I am finished" with the records.

Not a big post but it is something.

Signing off

Friday, January 15, 2010

Not to interested in listening at home today

I did not really listen to any music at home. Instead I listened to music at work today. I listened to a couple of podcasts first but they were not music related.

One was a podcast of my favorite church, Substance Church. The pod cast was about fasting. The church has started a 21 day fast. It was not expecting it so I will probably not take part in it for the whole 21 days and I am not sure what I will fast. Music was the first thing that popped in my mind but I can’t really stop listening to the world around me. So I will need to think about it.

The other was Wil Wheaton’s Radio Free Burrito (RFB). He talks about some of the geekiest stuff but it is fun to listen to him ramble on about his life. Not that my life isn’t spectacular but is helpful in some way to know that I am not alone in my quest for happiness.

On to the music.

The Who – Who’s Next

It is a great album that brings me back to my child hood when my father would listen to the local rock radio channel. I was not a fan of this type of music between the early ages of 3-5 but now that I have come back to it some 30 years later I can look back and remember being that young in my fathers presence because of this music. The singles off this album are what triggers this nostalgic feeling. I think that a lot of the albums that I have been buying lately from the 70s are mainly for nostalgic reasons really. Listening to the whole album though is a bit different. It brings it out of the nostalgic and into new territory for me. The album is very exciting in the beginning with the use of that delayed keyboard. As the album moves on it becomes more of a straight up rock album and slows down a bit in the middle. It then starts to pick up again and the last song is really rocking with the use of that delayed keyboard again. By the end of the album one is just left really high on life. Just fantastic!

Radiohead – In Rainbows-From The Basement (I don't know how to set a link for an iTunes album, I do know that it is still avalable for $7.99)

This is a live video recording of the band soon after the release of In Rainbows at Hospital Studio in London's Covent Garden for the producer of the band (Nigel Godrich). This live video album can only be downloadded from iTunes that I am aware of. It culminates the recordings of In Rainbows and disc 2 of In Rainbows. It also does not include every track that was recorded during this session. I am sure that one could find the full performance on a torrent if you are into that sort of thing. It was aired in the US on VH1 a few times when it was reliesed. Disc 2 of In Rainbows was for a while only avalable in the limited disc box from In Rainbows. You can now download disc 2 from the bands web site. The video was filmed in a dark room with a rich red floor and curtain. It is a very intamate setting. To me the live versions of these songs are much more rich than the actual recordings. It is very interesting to compare the songs from the album to the songs that are found on this live video album.

Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadaus Phoenix

They are an electronic indie group from France. The album is fun but in a relaxing down sort of way. This is a typical style for most indie groups it seems of the late 00s. A couple of tracks have been used in some television commercials. This makes it really fun for me because I can close my eyes and enjoy the music instead of watching the commercial. There is no real high or low point in this album. It is just fun but relaxing music for me. It was over faster than I expected though. I don’t think that I would say that this is an album that is a must have for everyone but if you are out of things that interest you and electronica interests you maybe then check it out.

Velvet Underground – Loaded

This is such a fantastic album to me. I am not even sure when I have heard most of the tracks on this album. When I got the repressing on vinyl last year I was so surprised that I recognized so many tracks. The first track is the exact opposite of The Beatles song called Here Comes The Sun emotionally anyway. The two songs are very similar musically. Then there is the track Sweet Jane. This was an easy one to say that I have heard because it was covered in the 90s by The Cowboy Junkies. I was not a fan of that cover version but when I heard the song in its original recording I just melted. The song Rock & Roll is such a fantastic upbeat song. It just makes me happy to listen to it. The rest of the album is really a fantastic ride. It kind of slumps a bit after the middle and picks it up again except for the last song. Oh, Sweet Nuthin’ is just a supper smooth jam track that is a perfect exit for the album.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More info on Yes - 90125 in my life

More on the Yes – 90125 album.

The reason that I bought this album is that over thanks giving I was at my aunt’s house. I started going through her record collection. To be honest there was nothing that I was interested in. I then started going through her 45 singles. She has hundreds of them. Out of all of them the only thing that really brought memories was the single for Owner Of A Lonely Heart from the aforementioned Yes album. I totally remember watching the video that went with the song on MTV. Like I already said, I love that song. The video that goes with the song is so cool and weird at the same time. Well, a month or so after visiting with the family I looked up the album on Amazon. Low and behold Amazon had a repressing of the whole album for a reasonable price, for vinyl anyway. So I ordered it along with The XX and Fleet Foxes.

I have already talked about The XX so I won’t go there again for a while. Well I take that back. I realized that the vinyl copy that I bought has a bonus track on it that did not come with the down load file, realizing that I copied the track today but have not cut out the track for iTunes yet, maybe later (I did get that track into iTunes, not much effort at all).

Any way, on with the Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes, I was not really interested in the band for a long time. This is mainly because there was so much hype around the album for such a long time. It is also because I have a live concert of them from MPR where the lead singer has an awful cold and the sound was just awful because of it. There are 2 songs that I really love from them though. The 2 songs are, Mykonos and White Winter Hymnal. They are absolutely beautiful songs. I got my father-in-law the record and, before it was wrapped I inspected the album and found that it came with the preceding EP and a digital download for both the EP and the LP. I sort of got jealous. I looked up the album on Amazon and found that I could get the same combo pack for half the price that I just paid for it. How can you turn that down, I can’t anyway?

I listened to / recorded A few albums today.

I listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival - Creedence Gold. I also own More Creedence Gold. I owned the latter first. My mother gave me her collection a while ago and More Creedence gold was in that stack of records. When I found the first of the set I couldn’t put it down. I had to have the matching set, if you will.

I listened to David Bowie – Pinups. This is, to my knowledge, a cover album that Bowie did. All the songs are rearranged so that they don’t sound familiar. I am a Bowie fan but am not familiar with this album. While I was listening to the album I could kind of sense something familiar about each track but I could not put my finger on what the song originally sounded like. In that respect I think Bowie did a fantastic job of rearranging each song to be just his.

I also listened to Billy Joel – The Nylon Curtain. I am a big fan of Joel’s work up to Storm Front. There are only a couple of good tracks on this album but he has such a great list of songs in his repertoire that I really don’t mind that there are some stinkers on this album. Allen Town and Goodnight Saigon are truly good enough to sit through the whole album IMO.

On my way into work to day I listened to The Eagles of Death Metal – Heart On. It is not the greatest album but it is fun. This is an effort from Josh Momme of Queens of the Stone Age fame and Jesse Hughes. The vinyl for this album cam with a 45 single that is clear red. I thought this was cute and catered to the vinyl fans.

This was my day in music.

Signing off.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nothing spectacular but still,

Today I listened to The XX - XX. This album came with a digital download so I have already heard this album but the album sounds so fantastic that I could listen to it every day. It is also very unique and sparse. I would almost say that it is personal or a bedroom album. It is not sexy but it is something that you would listen to with your significant other.

I also was going to listen to Grizzly Bear - Horn Of Plenty. I did not get to it though. This album also came with a digital download though so I am not so hurt that I did not listen to it. There is good stuff on this album but all together it is not a great album.

I did listen to the Sound Opinions pod cast while at work today. Jim and Greg talked with Kid Sister primarily through the episode. She is a Chicago hip hop star. She is actually very good. What I was really concerned about was the review of the new Vampire Weekend album. I really like the first album and will probably get this new one. There is already two singles off this new album.

I have a Marty Robbins greatest hits album. I really like his music but it is difficult to find on vinyl. I tried to play this album on my latest turn table (last years birthday present) and found that there is a skip on the album. I don't remember there being a skip in the album so I was very disappointed. I will try to record it on my other player. I run my other player at a heavier weight on the cartridge than is recommended. I only do this for really beat up records. I hate to do this with this record but I really want this music in a portable format.

I have lots more stuff to talk about but that is all for today.

Signing off.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A beginning

This is my first blog. The point of writing this information is my enjoyment. If others find this interesting then yeah me.

This blog is going to be about music. More specifically, the music that I listen to and the music that I create. The music that I am converting from vinyl to MP3 and the music that I am playing through video games. I am looking forward to writing about all the music that I hear on a daily basis.

To start with, I am currently listening to Spoon - Transference before it is released through NPR's first listen. I like it but is is not as catchy as their previous releases to me.

Earlier today I listened to/recorded from vinyl to MP3 per side (the side files need to be cut up into tracks) the following albums:

Cheech & Chong - Los Cochinos

I listened to this album a lot when I was in high school (90-94). I am very excited to get this album converted to MP3 so I can listen to it on the go. I still have my Walkman cassette player but the iPod is so much more useful now.

Simple Minds - Once Upon A Time

I remember the single Alive And Kicking from the 80s. It is a really great song.

Eric Clapton - Slowhand

The singles from this album are fantastic. I got this album from my Father-in-law. He had two copies and gave me his second. There is nothing wrong with this vinyl copy especially after I cleaned it.

Joni Mitchell - Blue

I found this classic album for 4 bucks at my favorite used book store, Half Priced Books. I think that it is the original Reprise release too.

Yes - 90125

I love the first track off this album, Owner Of A Lonely Heart. This album was recently repressed on vinyl. I found it on Amazon for a reasonable price.

Derek And The Dominos - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs

This was a lucky find also at the used bookstore for 8 bucks. It is all great blues music but the real reason is to have a original copy of Layla.

I still need to cut up all of the tracks for each of these albums but this is what I listened to in music today.

I am also going to get back to my own music soon. I still have a few records to get through before I get back to that. I will talk about when I do some practicing for my music before I get back to the recording though. I will also put up links to the few songs that I have on line but later, at least not right now : )