Tag: Music

1974, Music

The Psychomodo (1974) by Cockney Rebel

I think I got this band confused with a pub rock band. I don’t really know how I did that, but I did. So, as you might imagine, I was in for a surprise.This is extra arty glam rock (or perhaps super glammy art rock, if you prefer) with a fair amount of quirk courtesy …

1969, Music

An Electric Storm (1969) by White Noise

This is one of those records that was pretty damn radical in 1969 but, 40 years later, sounds extremely dated, in part because some of the techniques used have either been replaced by better techniques or have been better incorporated into popular music. What is it? It’s electronic music – utilizing electronic instruments, electronic effects …

1969, Music

First Take (1969) by Roberta Flack

I know Roberta Flack from “Killing Me Softly” and that’s about it. I’m sure I’ve compared her with any number of other female soul/R&B singers throughout my life. I really don’t know anything about her. And so I wasn’t really prepared for this in any way, which is good because I didn’t have expectations.

1999, Music

Millennium (1999) by Backstreet Boys

I hated the Backstreet Boys as a teenager – they representative everything I thought was wrong with modern music because they didn’t write their own music, they didn’t play any instruments, they produced music that seemed like pablum, they were successful in part because of their looks, and they seemed to have no agency because …

1999, Music

Play (1999) by Moby

Every few years prior to the internet era – sometimes even every year – there would be an inexplicable hit record, which just sold so damn much without any sense, ahead of time, that the record would sell. Years later these records are often embarrassing. The classic record of the ’90s is Cracked Rear View …

1994, Music

Ill Communication (1994) by Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys confuse the hell out of me on this record, but that’s probably by design and likely what endears so many people to them. I have only heard a few of their other albums but this is the most traditionally “musical” of those, so it’s the one you’d think I’d like the most.

2018, Books, Non-Fiction

Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City (2018, Sam Anderson)

I didn’t know I wanted to read a book about Oklahoma City. (I bet you don’t think you need to read a book about Oklahoma City.) I’ve never been there. All I knew about it was that there is a basketball team there (stolen from Seattle), that the Flaming Lips are from there, that there …

1989, Music

The Stone Roses (1989)

Somehow in my mind I confused the Stone Roses with the Happy Mondays so my initial listen was kind of confusing. Anyway… I have read that this is the record that started Madchester/Baggy but listening to the first side of it it’s certainly hard to understand. You have to get to the second half before …

1989, Music

Street Fighting Years (1989) by Simple Minds

Simple Minds is one of those bands that put out an absolute ton of music but which I was only aware of due to their biggest hit. Until 2018 or 2019 I had never heard a single album of there’s. That one album sounded too much like U2 to me, but mostly because of Kerr. …

1989, Music

Disintegration (1989) by The Cure

“Disintegration is the best album ever!” says Kyle at the conclusion of “Mecha-Streisand” from the first season of South Park. I don’t know if I was even 17 yet when I first watched that episode and heard those words. I didn’t know much about the Cure, beyond the fact that Robert Smith could save the …

1989, Music

This Is the Day…This Is the Hour…This Is This! (1989) by Pop Will Eat Itself

One of the weirdest things to happen during the alternative era is that period of time when British rock bands started incorporating sampling into their music (and occasionally rap). The more of this music I stumble upon, the more I want to read a book about the whole scene because it’s kind of weird, right? …

1984, Music

Private Dancer (1984) by Tina Turner

For my entire album-listening life I’ve struggled with interpretative records (i.e. albums where every song is a cover or, at least, not written by the performer) which didn’t explicitly market themselves as covers record. I think I have struggled with this kind of music so much because of the music I listened to in my …

1984, Music

All Over the Place (1984) by The Bangles

So many of my impressions of ’80s bands with only a couple of hits have been formed by those hits, and so I often find myself encountering a band with strong preconceived notions and finding them just blasted apart by albums. I don’t know if I’m alone in thinking “Walk Like an Egyptian” is gimmicky …

1984, Music

Stay Hungry (1984) by Twisted Sister

My image of Twisted Sister was pretty much busted by their debut record. So much of what I thought was true about them seemed to not actually be true about them, at least on that first record. However, listening to this, I feel like the initial impression was maybe a little more correct than I …

1984, Music

Ocean Rain (1984) by Echo and the Bunnymen

It’s been a while since I’ve heard Porcupine and even longer since I’ve heard my favourite, Heaven Up Here, so I am having a hard time listening to this record and deciding whether my memory is bad or something else is going on.

1979, Music

Discovery (1979) by Electric Light Orchestra

I don’t know ELO much at all, though I know a lot of Jeff Lynne’s work as a producer (which I hate). I first read about the band in the first music book I ever owned, but I never got around to listening to them in part because when I first consciously encountered their singles …

1974, Music

Kimono My House (1974) by Sparks

Sparks is one of those bands with such a big cult following that you inevitably encounter someone who loves them. I have, at some point, but it wasn’t a friend, just people on the internet. Reading a lot about a band always gives one impressions, and those impressions are often wrong. So it was with …

1974, Music

Winter in America (1974) by Gil Scott-Heron, Brian Jackson

I knew one thing about Gil Scott-Heron, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” And I don’t know it well. So I came into this expecting a record of spoken word with few expectations about the music backing the poetry. All I basically knew is that this guy was regarded by some as the first MC.

1974, Music

Unrest (1974) by Henry Cow

One of the most appealing things for me Henry Cow is how utterly uncategorizable they are. Though regularly lumped in with the Canterbury Scene, it’s basically impossible to compare them to any of those bands, or really any prog rock band. This isn’t prog rock. I sometimes don’t know what it is, but it has …

1969, Music

The Young Mods’ Forgotten Story (1969) by The Impressions

Despite his fame, I don’t know Cutis Mayfield’s music very well and I don’t know the Impressions at all. I have only ever heard Mayfield’s most famous record and this is my first ever Impressions record. The little I know of Mayfield is that his music is slicker than I like my soul.

1969, Music

Stand! (1969) by Sly and the Family Stone

I think my biggest problem with all the early Family Stone albums I’ve heard is a lack of consistent material. Because, otherwise, they’re a truly great band with a unique sound fusion and sound, full of truly capable musicians. But on the previous records, nearly all the songs outside of the singles felt lazy (or …

2018, Books, Music, Non-Fiction

Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back) (2018) by Jeff Tweedy

At one point in my life Wilco were among my favourite bands, very close to being my favourite. I saw them in 2009 or 2010 and it was perhaps the best concert I’d ever seen to that point. (Live recordings!) I have all their albums but their debut, I have their concert film, I have …

1999, Music

Implode (1999) by Front Line Assembly

I just finished listening to KMFDM’s Adios, another band that operates on the spectrum between industrial music and electronica. (Though apparently these guys have existed longer, which is funny because I had never heard of them but had heard plenty about KMFDM.) As is often the case when I listen to two vaguely similar records …

1999, Music

The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (1999) by Ben Folds Five

For most of my adult life I’ve been only vaguely aware of Ben Folds and his band. I think he had a hit or two I heard of and many years ago I managed to listen to their reunion album but it apparently made no impression on me. Despite sort of bemoaning the death of …

1999, Music

Snuffbox Immanence (1999) by Ghost

I got made fun of so much for liking prog rock when I was in my late teens and early 20s, in part because, for the people I knew, prog rock was horribly old and uncool and, moreover, my friends didn’t actually know what they were talking about usually, mistaking “prog rock” for Styx and …

1999, Music

Mule Variations (1999) by Tom Waits

At this point, anyone who has followed Waits since his left-turn in the early 1980s knows what to expect from a Waits album. Aside from from production choices, most Waits albums of the last 35 years have sounded rather similar to each other, with everything in his own inimitable style, and the only major difference …

1994, Music

The Lion King Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1994) by Elton John, Tim Rice, Hans Zimmer et al.

I don’t normally review soundtracks. But occasionally the anniversary of a soundtrack comes up, when the soundtrack was so big, and so culturally relevant to a generation, that to ignore it would be against the purpose of my podcast. So here I am. This one has a lot of baggage.