Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 13

Here is my 1976 play list:


Billy Joel

John Sebastian

K.C. and The Sunshine Band

Led Zeppelin

Leo Sayer


Peter Frampton


The Ramones

Steely Dan

Stevie Wonder

Thin Lizzy

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers



Welcome Back

Part 3


Endless Flight

Mothership Connection

Frampton Comes Alive!

Greatest Hits


Gold (Expanded Edition)

Definitive Collection


Greatest Hits


Prelude/Angry Young Man

Welcome Back

(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty

Hots On For Nowhere

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)

Show Me The Way

Somebody To Love

Blitzkrieg Bop

Green Earrings

I Wish


American Girl

The B-52’s – Cosmic Thing
This is one of the groups strongest records. It has the hit single Love Shack. This is the first record that the group did after their original guitarist died of AIDS related health problems. This album was released in 1989, while I was still in middle school. I remember the middle school having school dances in the gym. They had a DJ that played the music and there was also a video screen. I can only assume that he was playing video CDs or had popular collections on LD (that is Laser Disc for those that don’t know). This video was played at these dances frequently. I also remember seeing the video on MTV. I remember going to these dances for the fun of it. I may have had a girl friend but I think that there was more sitting on the benches or playing air guitar with friends than dancing with other girls. I think that the exception was when the slow songs were played. I remember “slow” dancing with girls on the slow songs for sure. I had no idea how to dance at all as these were my first experiences with school dances. Not that I have any better clue how to dance now. What I mean is that I have rhythm but do not know any dance steps to make myself look cool at all. I was a boy with raging hormones anyway. It was hard enough to try to control my sexual urges let alone learning how to dance to look cool at a school dance. I did have 5 years of floor gymnastics but that would not have gotten me very far at a school dance.

Anyway, this album is absolutely fantastic. It all flows together and envelopes you in a warm blanket of B-52’s goodness. I especially loved the guitars sound; Mosrite guitars have such a unique deep sound. Second was the bass guitar with its deep bass sound too. Well, that is if you take out Love Shack. That song sticks out like a sore thumb on this album. It is a great song but it is way to poppy for the mellow tracks on this album. I also remember watching the movie Earth Girls Are Easy. About half of this album is on the sound track for this movie. I own this movie now. Every time I watch the movie I want to listen to this album. The tracks on the album are so clean and laid back. It really makes it easy to learn the lyrics and sing along with the vocals. What I mean to say is that half of the lyrics are spoken/sung by Fred Schneider and the other half are sung by Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson. It is a combination that is truly spectacular. I remember getting this album and a sweater from an aunt on my father’s side for my birthday in 1999. She did not give me a new purchased copy but a copy recorded on a cassette from an original. I never told my aunt or any of my family but I always thought that this was the cheapest thing I had ever gotten in my life. It was a diminished sounding copy, typical of making a recording on a recordable cassette. I had to crank the volume on my boom box to even hear it. I listened to the tape every night for a long time even though it was a copy. I still loved the album even still. It was not until last year that I finally purchased the album on CD.

Better Than Ezra – Deluxe
I bought this album when it was new in 1993. I remember hearing the single, Good, on the radio before I bought the album. I thought the chord progression was very interesting and I really liked the sound of the bass guitar in the single. It had a rubber band sort of a sound. This single is part of the reason that I wanted to start playing the bass guitar. The songs seemed easy enough to follow and memorize. I have used this model ever since I started writing my own songs too. I was very impressed with myself that I had figured out how to play the bass line for the song. I was so impressed that I brought it to my friends, who I was in a band with, to show them. They liked the song but the drummer had made a proclamation before we started playing together that we would not be playing any covers together. He only wanted to our own creations as a group. I remember that the three of us would have arguments about what the band would be called. The guitarist couldn’t come up with a good name but the drummer and I wanted to call the group Moncel Craswell and The Electronic Mayhem or something like that. I wanted to call the group Electronic Mayhem after the Muppet rock band Electric Mayhem. It all fell through anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter. I have copies of all of our practices that we recorded just to have back up files on hand to learn what we have been practicing at the time.

Let’s get back to the album. The sound is a general southern sounding album. They did come from the south US of course. There were three singles from this album, the first being the song Good. The second single is called in the blood. This song has some great singing guitar parts on it. The lead singers’ voice has a nice smooth sound on it that I really like. I don’t remember this one being on the radio but it is good enough to have been. The third single off the album is a song called Rosealia. This is a song about a woman in an abusive relationship. This song is just a well crafted song. There is nothing really spectacular about the song except for the good craftsmanship musically speaking. This is just a really good alternative album from my high school era. It brings back good memories. Not just of playing music with my friends in the band but also of being a boy in high school and living my life during that time. All in all, it is a good album with good memories associated to it.

Björk – Vespertine
This album was released in 2001. This is another important album for me from that strange time in my life where every thing was dark. This album was a ray of light for me. It was released at the height of summer but the sounds that are used on the album remind me of winter. The lead off track,Hidden Place, reminds me of being in a mountain valley in the chill of winter where even light talking reverberates on the mountainous snow caps and you can see your breath freezing as you are talking and listening to the echoes bounce between the mountains. It is really a glorious thought and would be fantastic to hear and watch.

The second song, Cocoon from the album reminds me of being in a snow fort with a friend during a sunny day where the sun shines through the roof of the fort so you can see the weak points in the roof. I remember during these times as a kid growing up the complete silence that is in the snow fort. The silent conversations that happen in these snow forts as a kid were exhilarating as well. I use to go out after my father was finished plowing the driveway and digging out as much snow as I could with out having the fort fall in on me in the late night hours. The only tool that I had was a big metal shovel to get the hole started. Then I would pound out the hole with my feet and shovel out the fallen snow with my hands. It usually was not until the next day that I could finish up the fort because you needed to see how thick the top was by seeing how much light the sun was shining through the top.

The third song, It’s Not Up To You, could have been a great single but it was not released as such. It has that same echo that is used in the first song off the album but does not feel as wintery.

The fourth song, Undo, was not a single either. The chorus struck me in a personal way. I was having a difficult time in my life. The chorus she sings reads as such: “It’s not meant to be a strife, it’s not meant to be a struggle up hill.” This is part of what I wanted life to be and she reminded me that I am the only one making my life hard. It was just so difficult to make a change at that time in my life. It was still an important lyric that I understood but couldn’t change at the time.

The next song, Pagan Poetry, was a single. It featured a harp that was played beautify but the song itself did not mean much to me. The video was too risky to be played on MTV simply because it featured Björk at certain points completely nude. For the most part the video was a complete blur but there were those few seconds periodically that were focused. It did still have a chimey sound that still had the winter time sound to it too.

The beginning of the next song, Frosti, uses what seems like the sound of a grand music box. I have always thought of music boxes as a winter time item and something from my childhood. My sister always had one and at one time I even had one. Maybe it was that when we had them they were Christmas presents. This is a short song with no lyrics.

Aurora is a song that starts off with a single person walking through what sounds like snow. Obviously, with the title of the song it is reverencing the northern lights. Björk sings with a group of female backing singers that sound like angels in the back ground. She really captures in sound what looking at the northern lights in the middle of winter in an open field would be like. At least that is how I envisioned the song anyway. I have a tendency not to pay attention to the lyrics when the music is so beautiful. The song could be about something completely different and I would not know because the music is so pretty.

Crabcraft, is a song about dreaming that you are sick and in the dream your family make you some home remedies to help you get well. The song reminds me of being inside on a cold winter day and having a head cold. There is nothing that anybody can do for me but they try. They would make hot tea and chicken noodle soup in hopes that I would start to feel better. It was always good food for a cold and it did make me feel better but I still had the cold. I can remember sleeping under multiple blankets to keep me warm during day time hours too. This song reminds me of all of that and more.

Coldplay – Rush of Blood To The Head
This is the second album from the band. It was released in 2002. This was the peak of the darkest time of my life. I can remember driving home with this album blasting in my car. I can’t remember listening to it on the way home from work but for sure on the way home. I remember starting the car and starting the album. I would listen to all of the first track before leaving the lot. This is probably why I have a memory of the parking lot. That first track, Politik, has such simplicity and elegance adding to the memory as well.

The next song, In My Place, is just as good but a bit more wishy washy. I remember seeing the video for this song on MTV. Very plane, everything was white with shades of grey because of the shadows on the walls. It was just a white, oddly shaped room. This is why there were shadows causing the greys on white. The song itself is nice. I was going through a divorce/separation when this came out and I would cry because I felt like my wife was not willing to wait for me or to help me through my tough time. She wanted out and knowing this hurt very badly. I loved her and I tried to work out of the darkness that I was in but it would not be until years after the divorce that I felt that I was out of that hard time. She completely gave up on our lives together long before that.

The next song was a reminder to me that God is out there and is still watching over me and walking me through this hard time. It was a lead for me to seek him out. The song is all about showing one that there is no way to be better than anyone else. God just wants you to be as good as you can. This is exactly what brought a light, a small spark to my life to start searching out God. I realized that he was the only one who would have the answers. It took me a while to realize this through this song but it did finally dawn on me after some time.

The next song was a good single from the album. It was a request to start over in a relationship. I could only have wished for that with my wife at the time. The problem is that you can’t rewind your life to start over, you nave to live with your mistakes and move on. You can only learn from your mistakes and I had made a few big ones. I can only hope that I have learned from those past mistakes as I move forward with this new marriage. The biggest thing that I have learned from this time in my life is that life is hard but you have to make the best of it. Think out side of the box, as they say, in tough times to find the unseeable answer that works for everyone involved. I do my best to see every situation from multiple angles, not just my own.

The last single off this album is Clocks. A great song that is very easy to sing along with. Actually most of these songs are very easy to sing along to. It is a very good album. The only song off the album that I don’t really like is the title song. I have no interest in hearing the complaints on life and how not to live it. For the most part this is a great album that is fun to sing along with. This is one that I would recommend to any body in a tough spot that is not a religious person. There are Christian over tones but they are so vague in my opinion that anybody would not mind.

Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral
I remember when this album came out and the ridicule that I received for not knowing what Nine Inch Nails was but liking the first single off the album, Closer. I liked the single so much and to have been ridiculed that I liked a single blindly really made me think about the music that I listened to and weather I knew the background to any of the music that I listened to. I guess this was sort of a push in the direction that I have been continually been moving down. I started getting into the history of the musicians that I listened to and finding out what their back catalogs are. In many cases I started buying the back catalogs of my favorite artists. I remember the instance of this accusation too. It was in the only art class that I took in high school. I had mentioned to someone that I liked the song and one of the regular art geeks in the school said that I had no right to like the band based on the one song. I told him that I could like any band and or song that I wanted and he couldn’t control that. That sort of shut him up. The thought did stick with me though.

The first track starts out with a sound clip from the movie THX 1138. It is from the scene where the male lead is watching the “TV”. I did not know this until I watched the movie this year on the Netflix download. I happened to look away when this scene came on the screen. I had listened to The Downward Spiral so much that I instantly recognized the sound clip. I thought that it was so cool that Trent Rezner was up on his movies and was so into where techno music was going that he put that clip into the beginning of the track.

The first single was March of The Pigs. The song goes through a series of distorted sounds then to peaceful quiet parts. It is an interesting song. I don’t remember this being the first single though. I remember seeing the video after hearing the second single. This is why I thought that this was the second single. The second single is Closer. This song got to me because, in my opinion, talks directly about how I felt about the girl that I was dating. All that I wanted was to have sex with her. It was purely animalistic emotion and I did not have the urge to do so as I could let out my desire through this song. It was really an amazing thing that this song was released on the radio at all considering the chorus to the song. There was a third single from this album but was not quite as popular as Closer or even March of The Pigs. This was the single called Hurt. The song was never officially released as a single but there was a video released for the song. It featured decaying animals and plant life. I remember seeing this on MTV. The song was later covered by Johnny Cash. He rewrote some of the lyrics to fit his style. It is a very good rendition of the song. I think that it was actually more heartfelt than Rezners’ version.

I remember going to the concert at the target center for this concert. I believe that I sat in the lower area of the balcony across from the stage. The one thing that I remember from the concert was the closing song, Hurt, with a huge fabric screen playing the video. Trent sang the song perfectly in time with the video. The other thing that I remember about that concert was that he was having troubles with his keyboards. They were not functioning to his expectation and he got so pissed that he was jumping on the keyboards. It was really disappointing to see a musician treat his instruments with such abandon. I could understand his anger at the same time though. I think this was one of the best concerts that I had been to in my life. That is next to the Jonsi concert last year.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 12

The next mix tape is for 1975. Here is my list.


Bay City Rollers


David Bowie

Fog Hat

K.C. and The Sunshine Band

Led Zeppelin


Steely Dan


Bay City Rollers

Chicago IX - Chicago's Greatest Hits

Young Americans

Fool For The City

K.C. and The Sunshine Band

Physical Graphiti

Classic Queen

Katy Lied


Saturday Night

Saturday In The Park


Slow Ride

That's The Way (I Like It)


Bohemian Rhapsody

Chain Lightning

April March – Chrominance Decoder
This is the US version of the Japanese only release of the album Superbanyair. I chose to review this album over the Japanese version because there are more songs on the US release. I own both versions because you could not get the US version until 2 years after the japanese version was released. I found out about the Japanese version of this album from my friend who purchased the album when I purchased the Japanese release for Eggstone – In San Diego. We made this purchase directly from a vendor in Japan. It was the first and only purchase that I was able to make directly from Japan. When our two CDs came in from Japan we each took turns listening to our CDs on my friends stereo (at the time his stereo was a lot nicer than mine). I had no idea what was going to be on the disc since I had never heard anything from this person before. The time that we had sharing this music with each other was a special moment for the both of us. I can remember sitting next to him in his tiny office taking turns listening to our new CDs. I later bought Chrominance Decoder some time after it was released. I really liked the album but always had it in my mind that I wanted to get Superbanyair. I later found it at a discounted price and still new in the shrink wrap through Amazon.

April March, actual name Elinor Blake, was an animator for the cartoon Ren & Stimpy. She later turned to making pop music with a heavy influence from the early 60s French pop sound. This album features songs sung in both French and English. Some of the songs are duplicated on the album. One version sung in English and one sung in French. This is also the reason for having nineteen songs on the CD. The paired up songs are never set up back to back on the CD so that you don’t get board with the music. The lineup was carefully thought out for that reason. I don’t understand French so I couldn’t say for sure if the lyrics for the English songs that pair up with the French songs are exactly converted. The English lyrics may be just something that she wanted to write and sing. I would need to confer with someone that spoke French to be sure.

Blur – M.O.R single (CD/7’)
This single comes from the self titled release from 1997. The acronym stands for “middle of the road”. The group pulled from the experiment that David Bowie and Brian Eno did on the album Lodger for the songs Boys Keep Swinging and Fantastic Voyage. They used the same chord progression on these songs in this experiment. Blur liked the idea and used the same chord progression that these songs used. Consequently, the group were forced to give partial credit for the song to both David Bowie and Brian Eno after legal intervention.

This is not my favorite song off the album but I came across the 7” at a record store. It was one of my first 7” records that I came across when I was starting to get into music a little heavier. I also had some money at the time and it was a band that I really liked. The 7” was a pretty swirl of white and orange. The color of the vinyl looked really nice with the cover. The cover is a cloudy orange sunset/rise with a single jet screaming across the picture. The jet has a huge smoke plume coming out the back to help it stand out on the picture.

The B-side on the 7” (UK single) , Swallows In The Heatwave, is a interesting song. I remember it as a nice song that is slow and reminds me of the cover of the album but in reality the vocals are distorted (on purpose) and don’t do the song justice. If the vocals would have been clean the song would have been so much better. It sill has a late summer sunset feel but it could have been so much better. I think this eluded the group because they have a tendency to do B-sides as joke tracks.

The CD (US single) single has a couple of live tracks and a different B-side than the 7”. The B-side on the CD is Bustin’ + Dronin’. This song is also very distorted but coming in at a slower pace it really fits the song. It is as it says a droning song.

The funny thing about the title track on the singles is that they are two different mixes. The two songs are labels with the same title but they are mixed slightly different. This could be because they are on two different mediums or it could be that they are mixed differently to appeal to the two very different cultures of the US and the UK.

The Dodos – No Color
I listened to this album first on NPR’s first listen. I just recently purchased it on vinyl; it was released on March fifteenth. I really like this group and have since the track that was used on the lime beer commercial. The vibraphone is not as present on this album as it was on the previous album. I think there is only one track where the instrument stands out on this album. Neko Case gets backing vocals on the album too. Except for the two points mentioned the album is really just drums, guitar and vocals from the two primary guys who make up the group. I think that it is a good album but there was so much more depth on the previous album with the addition of the vibraphone. The guy that played the vibes on the last album is not credited as a part of the band on this album either. He does get credit for the song that he is a part of on the album though. This group reminds me of the early Black Keys work where they felt that they did not need more instruments and were happy with their sound. Where The Black Keys are concerned they learned that depth is a good thing through the now famed producer Danger Mouse. The Dodos, sadly, have not yet learned that lesson. This does not make this album any less spectacular. It is a great album but it could be a lot better with some added depth.

Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion
This is the second album from Pat Benatar, released in 1980. The hits from this album and the reason that I bought the album are Hit Me With Your Best Shot and later Hell Is For Children. Hell Is For Children was actually never released as a single. It was released as the B-side for Love Is A Battle Field and got some air play on radio stations that way. This is probably how I heard the song. Hell Is For Children was actually inspired by a few articles in the New York Times about child abuse in America. The album also had the single You Better Run. This song has some fame as the second video to ever be played on MTV. The first being the video for Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles. I remember this song vaguely from the chorus but it did not stick with me over the years as a song to remember. I remember Hell Is For Children better than this song.

The Who – Face Dances
I remember the single from this album, You Better You Bet, from the radio station that my father listened to. This album was released in 1981. It is the first album to be released after Keith Moon’s death. Kenney Jones replaced Moon with this album. I remember hearing the aforementioned single on the radio in the garage as my father worked and I watched him work on cars. This single was also one of the first videos to air on MTV. There were not any other singles released from this album that I am aware of. The album has some good songs on it that could have been singles in my opinion. I am sure that, with the state of rock at the time the group was afraid to be considered light rock and did not release anything else. There were also problems with the guitarist, Pete Townshend, and drug addiction. This was actually a surprise considering his stance on drugs in the past.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 11

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Higher Than The Stars 7”
Well something that I missed in my POBPAH roundup. I looked further at the information on the Slumberland web site and saw that there was an additional remix of Higher Than The Stars. It was only found on the 7” for the single. I just about lost my mind when I found this out. My first thought was that the guy that sent me the email should have recommended me this single since I was obviously buying every thing that they had in stock from the band. My second thought was that was selfish of me to think that someone else should do my research for me. My third thought was that I should have done the research more completely so that I would have known all that there was to know about the releases from the band. Either way I spent another six bucks to get it with shipping. Holy cows am I happy that I got that single. The remix is awesome. The record came on clear vinyl in a paper sleeve with the clear 7” bag. When I first played the record I thought that there was something wrong with the pressing. The song starts out with a distortion sound that underlies the opening of the song. I thought that it was on accident but the whole remix has this sound under it just floating under the surface of the song. I think that you get use to it after the song kicks in. The sound is too controlled to not be on purpose as well. The drums are programmed and it is easy to tell but as far as remixes go the rest of the song seems to be untouched. I know it seems to be a little ridiculous to spend six bucks to get a remix of a song that I already have but it is a collection of music from a group that I have fell in love with. I have not fell in love with the group as much as the sound that they have created. It is a mix to me of the late 80s/early 90s shoegazer sound with the early/mid 90s alternative movement. If I were to get more specific it would be maybe a mix of My Bloody Valentine and The Smashing Pumpkins, both groups that I loved during different times of my life and would have never thought of combining the two groups sounds.

The The – Live In New York (Yeah, It’s A Bootleg)
*I can't find a file to set a link for this CD*
I don’t know any thing about this band except for this album. I got this album as a freebee from what was in the early 90s a store/movie rental place called Tidal Wave. They seemed to get in the coolest and rarest music. I would haunt the place after school. I found out from a friend that they had gotten a box of promotional material for some band. I went down to the store and talked to the guys to see what the deal was. I found out that the group named The The was coming out with a new album and they had done a live gig at some Sony studio for some lucky fans. To support the upcoming album they put out this live CD. I listened to it quite a bit after getting it. I really liked the sound that the group put out on this disc. I never seemed to be interested in the group itself though. I recently heard a studio copy of one of the songs and thought that I recognized the song but it didn’t sound right. I later realized that I recognized the song from this album. I also realized that the bands studio work I had no interest in. The sound of this live album kicked the studio album to the curb. I thought that this was interesting since I usually preferred the studio sound to a live album. I guess that it goes to show that if you get use to a live sound that this is what you end up liking to hear. This is also similar to the LP VS. CD debate that everyone seems to have issue with. If you grew up listening to LPs and switched to CD then the sound of the CD will be jarring until you get use t the sound of the CD. Then when you go back to an LP the LP will sound incredibly warm and natural to your ear.

OK Go – Oh No
I bought this album near the night of the huge storm that went through the city in the summer of 2005. I remember that the power went out where I was living. I also remember listening to this album. I can’t remember how I listened to it if there was no power though. I may have had a portable player at the time. If I did it would have been the Sony portable player because I did not have a portable CD player at the time. I remember feeling the apartment sway with the winds that were blowing. I was living on the third floor at the time. I found out the next day that there were 80+ mile an hour straight line winds and that there were trees uprooted all over the area that I was living. I was amazed that the apartment complex that I was living in did not just get uprooted and me swept up along with it. I am still here and still writing anyway.

The CD was interestingly packaged. The cellophane wrapper was black with a clear ok go (in lower case like I typed here) on the cover. I had to keep this wrapper as it was unique for any CD of its time. I carefully unsealed the wrapper from two sides to keep it in fair condition. I still have it on the CD to this day. The album comes off with a dark tone to my ears. If you take the album apart and listen to the tracks by them selves you could probably better understand which ones are the darker tracks. It was really the videos that made this album so popular. The group became known for their videos after the video for Here It Goes Again became viral on youtube and the MTV Video Music Awards where they performed the “treadmill” video live on the show. I am a proud music snob when I say that I have been into the group since their first album. There is a “deluxe” edition of the album that includes a DVD of the various videos that the group has released for this album but I have not yet picked it up. I have not gotten it for two reasons. One, I already have all of the music on the album and cant justify buying it again at this point. Two, I can watch most of the content on the DVD for free on youtube.

Pizzicato 5 - combinasion SPACIALE ep
This is a remix EP that came out after the release of The Sound Of Music. The songs on this EP are not found on The Sound Of Music though. The group has a large back catalog of releases that are only found in Japan. These remixes must be from those releases. There are some great tunes on this EP of six songs. The group is or at least was considered J-pop at the time. This may have changed since that time I am not really sure.

I remember still living with my parents when I was listening to this album in heavy rotation. I was working for a printing company and had recently graduated from a two year college with an associates degree. My parents were living about an hour outside of the city. I had also just purchased my first vehicle. It was a Jeep Cherokee. One night I was on my way back from work home to my parents place. I was listening to this CD and eating from a bag of Skittles. I happened to get a bloody nose on the drive. I had a mouth full of the sugary treats and a bloody nose with the stereo blasting driving a little above the speed limit on the freeway. I see two cops put their lights on behind me. I got so nervous. After pulling over and informing the guy of my situation he gave me a minute to calm down. He then informed me that who ever owned the car before me had a record and that I should contact the bank that had the loan information that they should put my name on the vehicle if I did not want this to happen again. I quickly called the next day and had a talk with my bank on the reasons to the paper work through as soon as possible.

Weezer – Pinkerton
One of the greatest albums to come out of the 90s music scene in my opinion. Because of legal problems the album was a sleeper. I loved the first album. I bought this album after hearing the first single. I loved the sound off that single and based on the credit of the first album purchased this one too. It was brilliant. I complete different direction for the band. Unfortunately, most people did not like it, including Rolling Stone mag. They said that it was one of the worst albums of 1996. I did not know any of this since I did not read any of the music magazines at the time and still don’t. They have never helped me pick out music and never will. The album took a darker turn than their first album did and that suited me well. I was never a happy person in that clumsy time of young adult thinking to adult thinking abilities. Rivers has a clear singing voice and this album I was able to memorize most of the lyrics and could sing along with the songs. This allowed me to identify more with what the lyrics were trying to say. I am not sure that this was a good idea since the lyrics are so dark and dealing with mental anguish and pain. The music was still very good though.

The only solid memory that I have of any of this music is hearing the single, El Scorcho, on the radio for the first time. I was not really a big fan of the song but it was different from everything that was out there on the radio at the time. It seemed to me that the band took the time to make the music interesting and different from everything else that was out there. This may have been something that was perceived from my point of hearing but the album still stands out to me as a brilliant piece of work. It may not stand out above all of the things that I am currently listening to but it is still unique enough to smack me in the face and make me want to bang my head to songs like El Scorcho and The Good Life that is for sure.

All right, that is all I have for now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 10

Eggstone – In San Diego
This is a great early 90s album that I did not find out about until the late 90s. I found out about the group on their second album Somersault. I loved the second album so much I looked for more from the group. When I started looking for this album I realized that it was old enough and there were not many printed as it was a group that not many knew about. I started looking at Japanese imports then. It took a bit but I found a copy for 40 bucks sealed. It was the only copy that I had seen so I bought it. My wife, at the time, complained that I had spent too much money on the disc. She obviously did not and does not understand how much music meant to me. This is one of the greatest albums on the planet to me. At one point I tried to get her to understand this. One evening in the winter I laid out a blanket on the floor in front of the entertainment center with the lights out so we could sit and listen to the album and talk. She was very uncomfortable with this but she at least tried to listen to the music. She did not understand why this appealed to me. For me it is simple, underground pop music done exquisitely. For me these three albums are more fun than any music found on the top 40 stations still today. She has always been into the alternative rock music. She still likes it today. She would tell me that I had blinders on for all the music that is out there. I think she has it backwards. I have a wide range of music that I like. At the time that she said this she was into the new country sound. I never liked new country. I did like the stuff Garth Brooks was putting out at the time though. I think that this was the basis for her claim. Very narrow minded on her part seeing as I like music from so many different genres of music with a large collection of music. I listened to this album recently and did not realize how much I listened to the album. I could sing along with just about all the songs. I really thought that this album was one that I just got because I wanted more from the group but did not listen to it much. Was I wrong about that. It was like going back to that moment that I just mentioned, laying on that blanket in the dimming light trying to explain to my x-wife that this music that I am going to play is really fun and happy pop music. Hearing her say that I don’t really care about the music but I will give it a listen for you was very disheartening for me. I guess it showed that she cared for me but not for the music I like. This is very difficult for me because I like music so much. My current wife has a better understanding of this but there is still a lot of things that I like that she will never get. It doesn’t help that as I have gotten older I have found more music that I like making it more difficult for anybody to like everything that I like.

David Bowie – Station To Station
I found a used copy of this a couple of days ago. It was yet another of those moments where you don’t think you will find anything but when you do it is so unexpected that your knees almost give out and you have a sudden intake of breath out of complete surprise. My wife was with me when I found this record and had a sudden flash of concern but then realized that I had found a diamond in the rough and she started to laugh at me for my reaction. This is David Bowie’s tenth release. It was released on the heals of the film that he was a part of called The Man Who Fell To Earth. The cover of the album is actually a still from the movie. The album features the character that Bowie created called the thin white duke. The album features music styles from the genres Krautrock and funk. Although the album is only six tracks the album as a whole is one of his strongest. The big single off this album is Golden Years. It features Bowie singing with a very smooth vocal that reminds me of my mother carrying me in the sunlight. Maybe this is a subconscious memory that I have that is triggered by this song. I also remember the title track to the album. I don’t think that the whole track would have been played on the radio; it is over ten minuets long. I do think that there was a radio edit of the track that has been played though. I remember the lyrics, “It’s the return of the thin white duke.” from the song as it played. This album was recently repressed in a big box set for $175. I couldn't justify spending that much money for an original six track album. I could spend six bucks on an original pressing though.

Dinosaur Jr. – With Out A Sound
This was a band that I passed on when the album was new back in 1994. Although the single was very good there was only one single that hit radio from the album. I recently picked up this album used and in good condition from a local store. It is a rare LP since it was released in the mid 90s. I started thinking about the single again since playing the Rock Band game. It is a playable track from the game. So when I came across the album on vinyl I couldn’t say no. I remember watching the video when it came out on MTV. It featured the lead singer playing a game of golf through a city instead of on a golf course. An interesting idea really but it would make it more difficult considering one would need to dodge all the cars and other glass items that are in a city. It would also be difficult getting from the roads to the hole that was located at the top of a skyscraper. After listening to the rest of the album I find it interesting but depressing. I read up on the album a little and found that all of the songs were written after the lead singer’s father had passed away. It is still a good album but unless you are interested in downer music this one may be a pass.

Buster Poindexter – Buster Poindexter S/T
I loved the single off this album. As a kid I remember having a small boom box that had two cassette decks in it. I would listen to the radio in my room and record songs that I liked to the cassette. I probably have the single from this album, Hot, Hot, Hot, recorded at least ten times on one tape along with a few other songs that I really liked from the years around 1987. I listened to the album fro the first time thinking that this guy is so weird. I later found that he is the lead singer for the punk group The New York Dolls. This did not explain much to me. I think that he is even weirder than before realizing this. Buster Poindexter is not his real name but it is very catchy to hear the name. It is for sure one that, upon hearing, I would never forget. I still call people this when I am annoyed with them. The album is nothing spectacular to me but I am happy that I have it and would not give it up. I hope that means something to someone else besides me. The single of awesome the rest of the album is good.

The Jam – All Mod Cons
This is a group that I grew up knowing nothing about. I am sure that I have heard singles from the group on the radio but they meant nothing to me. A couple of years ago I picked up a book that had some great pictures and stories about the group along with a full discography from them. I should say that it is more of a trackography since the five CDs did not have the tracks in release order. There are a lot of b-sides included with this set. I had to separate the tracks into a quasi album listing so I could figure out when they came from at the very least. It is good music but not that impressionable on me.

I am currently in the process of adding a NAS to the network so that the hard drive crash that happened last fall doesn't happen again. This is the reason for the lack of a 1975 mix tape. I will try to get it up in the next post.

That is all for now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 9

Here is my 1974 play list:


The Beach Boys

Billy Joel


David Bowie

Kool & The Gang

Ohio Players


Steely Dan

Stevie Wonder



Endless Summer

Streetlife Serenade


Diamond Dogs

Light Of Worlds


Greatest Hits

Pretzel Logic

Definitive Collection

Crime Of The Century


Fun, Fun, Fun

The Entertainer

Hanky Panky

Rebel Rebel

Summer Madness


Killer Queen

Rikki Don't Lose That Number

Boogie On Reggae Woman

Bloody Well Right

Led Zeppelin – III
I am happy to say that I found a copy of this album this weekend. This completes my collection of their music for me. The copy that I found looked spotless when I found it. The outer sleeve is a little beat up but I care about the music more than the quality of the package. The first side is crystal clear. The second side has a few pops and scuffs that are not visible with the naked eye. You can defiantly hear them though. The sleeve wheel is in good condition too. That was one thing that I was concerned about. It is a unique cover with a riveted wheel that has graphics printed on it. There are die cut holes on the cover so you can see the graphics on the wheel through the holes. Very cool cover that I like a lot. I am not sure if this cover is on the CD or if it is just a static picture. The album itself is very acoustic/country/blue grass in sound. There is really only one song that I recognize from my youth on this album. That song is Immigrant Song, the first song on the album. I don’t have a specific memory tied to this song or this album but I do remember hearing this song on the classic rock station that my dad listened to. I also recognized the opening to the song Tangerine as it is used on one of the openings to the Sound Opinions pod cast.

David Bowie – Hunky Dory
Again, I found a copy of this album last weekend. I love most of Bowie’s earlier works from the 70s to the mid 80. I am only missing a few albums from this time period right now. This album is a little bit of the lighter side of Bowie, musically speaking. It is nice and relaxing. There is still driving music on this album but it is not the hard rock or the synth rock that most people know from him. The opening track, Changes, is what carried this album through sales and the reason that I wanted this album in the first place. The song talks about the changes that an artist goes through as he or she becomes more popular. We have seen this with artists like Bowie, Madana and more recently Lady Gaga too. I think that this song was picked up for a commercial in the late 80s or earliy90s and this is where the song really had an impression on me. The other single off the album is Life On Mars? It is not a song that I remember hearing as a kid. I can only assume that it was not as big of a hit for that reason. The copy that I picked up is a repressing from 72, the album was released in 70. This record is really flimsy and I only want to listen to it the one time that I record it. It is a very light weight record. I think that the outer sleeve is heavier than the record. My mother liked David Bowie but not enough to buy an album from him. He, Bowie, has female sensibility and this is why my mother liked him. I got to hear his music as a boy because of this and thought his music was cool.

Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac S/T
This is the album that was released before Rumours. Rumours had more popularity but this self titled album has stronger singles on it in my opinion. I found this one used, of course, at a Half Priced Books nearby. The cover and the record are in great shape. I remember hearing Rhiannon, and Over My Head on the radio as a kid. I think this was during the time when soft rock was really hitting the scene. As a kid this music made me feel sick. Not that I was going to actually physically vomit but more like when a person gets to much sun in one day. I can remember my mom driving up to my aunt’s place an hour away with this music on. There was nothing to do for the hour drive as I was not into reading and there were not any hand held video game consoles yet. All that you could do was sleep in the car with the sun pounding down at you through the car windows. There was no air conditioning in mom’s cars ever. There was in the “family” cars in the future though. Later, in the early to mid 90s the group called The Smashing Pumpkins did a cover of the song Landslide. I knew that it was a cover but I couldn’t remember what the bands name was that did the original. I had to find out who it was before I was bested by one of my school mates. At least that was how I thought while I was in high school. I was always after the newest music and the latest info on said music. It gave me pride to know the small details about music that I liked. If I did not like an artist I could ignore it and count it as something I did not care about. I think that it kind of pissed people off that I could just write off some band that I did not care about though. Anyway, once I found out that Fleetwood Mac did the original version of Landslide I thought that I would like to own that album some day. I did not know that someday was about 15 plus years away though. But I have it now and am happy to have the album too.

Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model
I am not a real big fan of Elvis Costello’s music but he has made some great singles in his career as a musician. The best singles that he has put out, in my opinion, are from his first three albums. This album is his second release. This album is his first with The Attractions although it is not labeled as such. The first single off the album is Pump It Up. It is a great song that I remember hearing on the radio. It has punk roots in my opinion. It was released in 1978 so this would seem to be expected for the time. The other single that was released from this album was actually only included on the US release of the album. The song is called Radio Radio. The song is really a protest song about the commercialization of radio brodcasts and the power wielded by the recording studios and radio companies who decided what songs were heard over the airwaves, especially the more politically explicit side of punk rock. (as read on Wikipedia:

David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World
I picked this one up last weekend as well. All three, The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory and the Led Zeppelin album were from the same person. At least they all had the same hand writing and name on them (Lyn). This person took good care of all three albums. This album, as with the other Bowie album, is very light weight and flimsy. There are a few singles off this album but I don’t recognize either of them. This doesn’t mean the album isn’t good, far from it. His early brilliance from Space Oddity spills over on to this album as well. This is also a good lead into Ziggy Stardust even though Hunky Dory is the following album. For me, this is a good album it is lacking in the grooves that make you want to get up and dance though. There is also the title track that has been covered by the likes of Nirvana, most well known for the version that was recorded for the MTV unplugged session. This cover is on par with the original studio version in my opinion.

That is all I have for now.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vol. 2, Episode 8

Short but sweet. I am also going to skip the mix tape on this one.

George Michael – Faith (part two)
I found this album last year for cheap. It is a record that was released in the fall of 1987. I purchased this record with my own money as a kid. My parents did not limit my purchases where music was concerned. The only limitation, it was more of a plea than a limitation, was that I not listen to heavy metal music. At the time the only “metal’ music that was out was the stuff from the hair bands and the stuff from Iron Maiden or Metallica. I had no interest in any of that stuff and I still don’t to this day. I respect the heavy metal music of that era but I have zero interest in owning any of it except for the random record from the likes of say Judas Priest early albums. Anyway, this George Michael album is the only one that I had any interest in. I remember saving my money to get this one. I listened to it every night for a very long time. I had the whole album memorized. When I listened to the album again on vinyl it was like taking a trip back in time to my early middle school years. It is fun to remember those times. As I mentioned in my first review of this one there were two tracks that were not included on the vinyl pressing of this album. So, I popped in the tape that I have still got of the recording and copied those last two tracks. Wow, that cassette tape sounded just as good or better than that vinyl pressing that I have. I was very impressed with the sound of that tape. I did not think that a tape could sound that good. I guess having good equipment really helps the sound quality of any source media.

Robert Palmer – Heavy Nova
I bought this album just because of the single that I recognized, Simply Irresistible. I remember that my father really liked this single. I also remember this single being played in the summer of 1989 when it got a lot of popularity. I usually went camping with my family in the summer time every weekend and two weeks every summer. It was a really great time. My father loved having music on. He would have preferred to have the oldies station on but because of my sister and myself we would usually have what ever the top 40 station was on so we could hear “new” music. This song was played a lot during that summer. I recall hearing my father either quote the song or singing along with the song at times. I also remember seeing the video that goes along with the song. It was just Robert singing with a group of girls dressed in the same colors, black and white I believe, with red lipstick. The girls were supposed to be the band and had instruments to “play” as well. There is another single that was over shadowed for the most part. It is called Early In The Morning. This song is actually a cover of a song that The Gap Band originally did in 1982. This song was not exactly a sleeper but also did not get as much air time as Simply Irresistible. I would like to get the previous album to this one as there are some great singles on that one also.

The Doobie Brothers – The Captain and Me
I originally picked this up from my uncle-in-law. I got this and a few others from him. I have actually had a stack of records from him for the past two years. He gave them to me because they got wet and had a lot of mold on them. My father-in-law said that he would give me some new outer sleeves to put them in. I have yet to see any replacement sleeves and the records are probably junk now from sitting out side for two summers and two winters. I can’t have them in the apartment potentially getting us sick from the mold on the record and cardboard. When I found a different copy at a used record store I quickly snatched it up along with a few other records from the group. I will get to those other albums in a later post. This album is nothing spectacular honestly. The couple of single on it are great but the rest of the album is OK. The reason that I bought the album other than as a replacement for the junk one was for the singles Long Train Runnin’ and China Grove. Both are great mid 70s rock tracks. This is all about that nostalgic feeling for me. It helps me remember parts of my life. I know that this album was released before I was born but This music was played so much on the “oldies” station that my dad listened to while I grew up as a kid. He would have this channel booming in the garage while he worked on cars. He ran a body mechanics business out of our three and a half car garage. It is no wonder that he is losing his hearing now.

That is all I have for now.