Tag: Music

1975, Music

Unrequited (1975) by Loudon Wainwright III

When I heard the first song followed by the second song – a ridiculous faux reggae number – I was pretty much done with this record. I thought “Why bother with a record by a guy whose kids are arguably now more famous than him?” I think it was “Kick in the Head” which changed …

1975, Music

Desperate Straights (1975) by Slapp Happy and Henry Cow

Slapp Happy is one of those bands I read about a lot and then listened to and was kind of disappointed by. But then I guess I mustered some enthusiasm because my review of another album of theirs is positive. Henry Cow, on the other hand, I used to absolutely love. It’s an odd match, …

1975, Music

High Voltage (1975) by AC/DC

Sometimes debut albums show a fully formed band and listening to them its easy to imagine the band going on to be very successful. (That’s especially easy with the benefit of hindsight, of course.) But sometimes debut albums are more confusing, even or especially with hindsight. And such is the case with AC/DC’s true debut, …

1970, Music

Sweet Baby James (1970) by James Taylor

I don’t like James Taylor. But I’m not sure I knew that before listening to this album. I don’t think I’d ventured much of an opinion about him before, because he never seemed very interesting to me. I have a friend who likes him, and I think tried to get me into him at one …

1970, Music

Shazam (1970) by The Move

This is a bonkers record which, had I discovered it when I was in my late teens or early 20s, I might be telling you is one of the great unknown masterpieces of the early ’70s. However, time has dulled my tolerance for the “anything goes” approach of this band, especially given how scattershot the …

1970, Music

Black Sabbath (1970)

There are people who will tell you this is the first heavy metal album of all time. And I understand why they say that, especially with the benefit of hindsight. I respectfully disagree with that particular claim and I think I have pretty valid reasons for doing so, but that doesn’t take away from both …

1965, Music

People Get Ready (1965) by The Impressions

Of all the various soul scenes, I must say I’m pretty unfamiliar with Chicago. I don’t know to what extent its distinct from other scenes beyond what I hear on this record, because I think this is my first ever (’60s) Chicago Soul record. (My wordpress tags argue otherwise, but I can’t remember what that …

1973, 1975, Music

Pathways to Unknown Worlds (1975) by Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra

Sun Ra was one of the first jazz artists I was aware of (outside of the absolutely most famous ones like Louis Armstrong). And I resolved that I would become a fan, I guess because of how weird he seemed. Well, that never happened and, decades later, this is only my second Ra album. It …

1959, Music

Jazz Portraits: Mingus in Wonderland (1959)

I’m listening to this as part of a compilation which focuses primarily on Mingus’ earlier work in the mid 1950s and I have no idea why this particular live album was included, as it is from a while later both chronologically and artistically. (Licensing is always the answer to these kinds of questions.) At this …

1955, Music

Jazzical Moods, Vol. 1 (1955) by Charles Mingus

This is a 10-inch album from back when those were still a thing. The compilation I have doesn’t include its sequel (Vol. 2), which has been combined with it on an LP in 1957, though I think that LP dropped a couple tracks from both and its sequel. (I mention this because I believe it …

1956, Music

Pithecanthropus Erectus (1956) by Charles Mingus

According to everything I’ve read, the is the first studio album where the Charles Mingus every knows and loves first emerged. He had been a leader on a number of releases prior to it but it’s this record, and particularly its title track, where his unique fusion of music from bop (and earlier) with musical …

1955, 1956, Music

Mingus at the Bohemia (1956)

I miswrote when I stated that The Charles Mingus Quintet & Max Roach was the first of the two parts of this concert released. It is sequenced first on the compilation I am listening to, but it was this record that was released first (years earlier) as far as I can tell. Perhaps that’s one …

1968, Movies

Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach (1968, Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub)

I’ve spent much of my adult life cultivating an interest in movies made before I was born and so I have a high tolerance, for someone my age, for the slower rhythms of past films. (I have watched so many old movies in part because i really want to know where things come from, but …

1957, Music

The Clown (1957) by Charles Mingus

This record is, for some, probably the most controversial of Mingus’ prime, for its infamous title track, a piece which contains spoken narration by Jean Shepherd. And it’s the one piece I’m not entirely sure what to do with so I’ll try to leave it for last.

1955, 1963

The Charles Mingus Quartet + Max Roach (1955, 1963)

Even though it was the dominant form of how we listened to music for decades, it’s interesting to think about how much LPs affected the way people enjoyed music. Limited to 44 ish minutes, artists had to either curate their recordings and performances, or released more than one LP, the latter of which was just …

1957, Music

Mingus Three aka Trio (1957) by Charles Mingus, Hampton Hawes, Danny Richmond

If you asked me to name my favourite jazz musician, the first person I would probably name, before equivocating, would be Charles Mingus. And yet I’ve heard so little of his discography, really, with my listening focused pretty much entirely on what people would call his prime. Until I listened to this record, I’m not …

1997, Music

Devotion + Doubt (1997) by Richard Buckner

I stumbled upon this because of my father. He gave it to me and I had no idea what it was. He didn’t really explain either. By the cover I think I mistakenly thought it either was “classical” initially – I must have read “Bruckner” rather than Buckner – and then I think I thought …

2000, Music

Voodoo (2000) by D’Angelo

I heard so much about this album that I was bound to be disappointed. I had read really positive reviews but also multiple friends of mine told me it was a great album and at least one of these people was not an R&B connoisseur. (Meaning I should take his opinion even more seriously.)

2000, Music

Razorblade Romance (2000) by HIM

To the extent the I know HIM I hate HIM. In 2011 I listened to Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights and Love Metal, panning both of them and giving the former a rare 3/10. (Music has to be bad for me to go that low.) The ensuing years seem to have mellowed me somewhat or …

1995, Music

Leftism (1995) by Leftfield

My knowledge of electronic music is confined primarily to the very early days of the genre, with a few (mostly ambient) records since. My knowledge of dance music is even more limited. My knowledge of House – specifically the niceties involved in defining the different subgenres of House – is basically non-existent. So I have …

1995, Music

The Great Annihilator (1995) by Swans

I am still far from a Swans expert – though I have seen them in concert! – but I feel compelled to echo the comments of others about how this record feels either like “more accessible Swans” or some kind of hybrid of their ’80s sound with a more traditional approach to songwriting (at least …

1995, Music

Do You Want More?!!!??! (1995) by The Roots

A friend of mine in university always used to tell me that, whenever I gave hip hop a try, I should start with The Roots. He thought they would be more appealing to me. That was many years ago and, since then the Roots became a household name thanks to Jimmy Fallon. So they’ve gone …

1995, Music

Throwing Muses: University (1995)

There is so much alternative rock. I guess is true of any genre that was counted among the most popular in the world at a given time, but it feels like this is especially true of alternative. It’s as if, after Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Soundgarden showed it was viable, every single alternative rock …

1995, Music

The Rapture (1995) by Siouxsie and the Banshees

This is my first ’90s Banshees album and I must say I was a little reticent to give it a listen, for two reasons. For one thing, though I feel like their ’80s records have dated rather well for ’80s music, I must say I was worried that this record would sound pretty damn ’80s. …

1990, Music

Flood (1990) by They Might Be Giants

I was pretty overwhelmed by Lincoln and not necessarily in a good way. I had heard so much about the band but didn’t really know anything. On Lincoln they came across to me as a sort of poor mans’ Camper Van Beethoven, which probably not fair for many reasons. But I feel very differently about …

1990, Music

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (1990) by The Sundays

Why do I know The Sundays’ biggest hit? I was 8 when it came out and absolutely not listening to contemporary radio. My only guess is that the video got played a lot on Canada’s music video channel when I was older. Because I’ve definitely heard this song, and I can’t come up with any …

1985, Music

Stella (1985) by Yello

What the hell do I do with this? If you’re my age, or within 10 years of me either way, I suspect, you’ve seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And if you haven’t seen it, you’ve likely seen another movie “Oh Yeah” was in. Wikipedia tells me it’s an “’80s cliche” at this point, so I …