Tag: Music

1988, Music

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) by Public Enemy

Though I have no one coming on the podcast to help me with this record, I made a promise to listeners and myself that I would try not to ignore major hip hop releases, even if I feel like an imposter when I try to talk about music I have no context for. So, here …

1983, Music

Texas Flood (1983) by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

When I was first becoming a really serious music fan, Stevie Ray Vaughan was just one of the guitar greats. It was just assumed but it was hard to really question it. If you talked to more knowledgeable (inevitably male) music fans about which guitarists to listen to, SRV was always on the list. I …

1978, Music

Real Life (1978) by Magazine

As an album recorded by a band featuring the former lead singer of one of the original British punk bands, but manifestly not playing punk rock, I think there’s a temptation to say this record could be the original post-punk record. (It literally is “post punk” in that sense.) That in itself would make this …

1978, Music

The Cars (1978)

The Cars’ debut album marks the point where, for better or worse, New Wave goes commercial. Basically very previous (American) New Wave album was too arty, too quirky, too herky jerky to connect with the average listener. But Ocasek and company found how to merge New Wave with that basic American need for big dumb …

Music

Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) by Bruce Springsteen

Sometimes I feel like I go on and on about how I think Springsteen is overrated. At least a little of that is because I feel like I have to compensate for all the rock critics who told people Springsteen “saved rock and roll music from disco” or whatever the fuck. But part of that …

1978, Music

Peter Gabriel [Scratch] (1978)

Because of the nature of the collaboration – my favourite guitarist, Robert Fripp, produced this record – I had sort of viewed this record as the holy grail of early Peter Gabriel records, in spite of the lukewarm reviews. I had just assumed that, whenever I got to it, I would discover this incredible mixture …

1993, Music

janet. (1993) by Janet Jackson

As I say all the damn time, coming at an artist backwards is a bad idea. And yet here I am doing it again. This is only the second Janet Jackson album I’ve ever heard, but the first one I heard was the sequel to this one. The problem for me is that the sequel …

1993, Music

Symphony or Damn (1993) by Terence Trent D’Arby

Somehow I managed to grown up when D’Arby was releasing music and completely avoid him. We listened to an Oldies station primarily, so we didn’t hear him there. And I swear I never saw any of his videos. (If I did, I didn’t see them enough to remember them.) So all I knew was the …

2013, Books, Music, Non-Fiction

Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion (2013) by Robert Gordon

This book tells the story of Stax Records, but it isn’t just a the story of Stax the record label, as it also places the story in the context of Memphis and the civil rights movement, and there are some very interesting parallels between the rise and fall of Stax and other American businesses.

1973, Music

Felona e Sorona (1973) by Le Orme

I don’t understand Italian, and I didn’t realize there was an English version – and I don’t really want to listen to that – so whatever this grand concept is, I don’t really know or care. Sometimes it’s better to listen to “High Concept” rock music in another language, that way you’re not confronted with …

1973, Music

Shotgun Willie (1973) by Willie Nelson

The evolution of country music has been, needless to say, very different from the evolution of pop rock music. That evolution, which began later, and which is still very much ongoing, is something I am only partially familiar with, and it is an evolution that is often measured in very slight deviations and innovations, compared …

1973, Music

Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) by Budgie

My memory of Budgie’s self-titled debut album is that it is fast; Budgie play faster than just about any of the original metal bands (with the exception of Deep Purple on occasion). And so, putting everything else aside, that record is important as it points towards the New Wave of British Heavy Metal well over …

1973, Music

Fresh (1973) by Sly and the Family Stone

I don’t know enough about the history of Sly and the Family Stone to know whether or not There’s a Riot Goin’ On was something sustainable on an emotional level – I suspect it wasn’t – or a commercial level. But this record feels like a major step… not back, exactly, but to the side, …

1973, Music

A White Sport Coat and Pink Crustacean (1973)

I gave a listen to Down to Earth recently, as I figured that I should give the infamous Jimmy Buffett a listen for the podcast, given his longevity, his popularity and his notoriety. But I read that he had essentially disowned that album – it is a pretty conventional singer-songwriter album that does not give …

1968, Music

It’s All About (1968) by Spooky Tooth

This is one of those records I thought about listening to a decade and a half ago and I’m just getting to it now. That’s often a recipe for disappointment as my tastes in my mid 30s are definitely not what they were in my early 20s.

1968, Music

Os Mutantes (1968)

Like so much popular music from countries other than the US and the UK, there is a tendency to overrate Os Mutantes’ debut simply because it is not American or British. I’m not sure this record would be considered so seminal had it been made by an American or British band singing in English. I’ll …

1968, Music

Randy Newman Creates Something New (1968)

For someone with my oft-stated supposed ability to tolerate weird, unconventional voices, I sure seem to struggle with them lately. On first listen to this record, I thought about dropping it, as I wasn’t sure I could deal with the 1968 iteration of Randy Newman’s legendarily unconventional voice.

1998, Music

Leitmotif (1998) by dredg

Apparently these guys were Nu Metal once upon a time. You can sometimes hear that in the vocals – without actually knowing anything about Linkin Park, I’d say I hear a similarity in the way this guy sings – but on the whole the idea that this was a Nu Metal band on their EPs …

1998, Music

Angels with Dirty Faces (1998) by Tricky

Note: For reasons I can only guess at, the version of this record I streamed on Google Play was missing the first two tracks but I didn’t notice until my final listen. Oops! (Maybe this is the google equivalent of when you were ripping a CD and the ripping program didn’t communicate with your disc …

1998, Music

Where Blood and Fire Bring Rest (1998) by Zao

The 1990s metalcore I’ve heard to date has been mostly from the hardcore punk side of things. But though the implication on RYM and on wikipedia is that this is from the hardcore punk side of things, to me it sounds considerably more from the metal side of things. Maybe that’s just due to the …

1998, Music

Consumed (1998) by Plastikman

I do not listen to a lot of electronic music though at this point in my life I am listening to far, far more than I ever have before. This recent experience is giving me at least some context when I listen to other stuff but I regularly find myself listening to a record released …

1998, Music

A Thousand Leaves (1998) by Sonic Youth

The first track makes me think of their early music, even though I haven’t heard anything earlier than their earlier than their fourth album, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. But anyway the opening makes it sound like they’ve gone more experimental. (Actually a few tracks do.)

1998, Music

Version 2.0 (1998) by Garbage

Though I feel like Garbage songs were everywhere when I was in High School, I honestly don’t remember too many of them. (A couple here are sort of ringing some bells, I guess.) So I was genuinely surprised when I listened to the record and then I decided the title must have something to do …

1998, Music

Cruelty and the Beast (1998) by Cradle of Filth

I usually have no problem with weird voices. Sure, there’s the odd one that rubs me the wrong way but, more often than not, I can ignore or even enjoy a weird voice when I hear it if I like everything else about the music (and especially if that voice is talented).