Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lindsey Buckingham - Trouble

I was a big Fleetwood Mac since I was a child, mostly due to the ubiquity of Rumours in our house. If there had been a favorite album of mine as a young boy, this was probably it. I obsessed over that copy of ours (which I still have, although it's virtually unplayable due to the scratches on the vinyl). Tusk (which I loved and still even more than Rumours) followed by the Live album after that. But I was hungry for more Fleetwood Mac and in 1981, Lindsey Buckingham released his first solo album Law and Order. My mother, on a work trip to the Australia, brought it back for me (I dutifully wrote down names of albums in her little black notebook to bring back whenever she went abroad).

Although I loved a couple of tracks, I was somewhat underwhelmed by Law and Order as a whole, puzzled more by the sound of it than the songs themselves. They had a slight '50s vibe, combined with what I thought was 'new wave' with sprinkled bits of the Beach Boys. But there was one song, which totally matched the magic of Fleetwood Mac, "Trouble," and in fact if Fleetwood Mac had released it at the time, it would have been a massive hit. It's no accident that Mick Fleetwood played on it, although it turns out that Buckingham merely looped a 4-second loop of Fleetwood playing through the whole song. It's the kind of 3-minute slice of sheer pop heaven that I've always loved to find in music. The transcendence of Abba, the Beatles, Big Star, 10cc, the Beach Boys, all wrapped in Top 40 sheen. So lovely, so beautiful. And like most of Fleetwood Mac, it still pulls me heart strings as much as it did in 1981.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Favorite Albums of 2017

My favorite albums of 2017, mostly without commentary. Lot of good music last year and far too much to keep up with -- so much so that this is by definition a selective list. But my listening preferences have generally gravitated towards a lot of electronic music, a bit of indie rock, and that's about it. Nothing too surprising or cutting edge. That being said, instead of ranking all the 25 entries in alphabetical order (which I usually do), I'll do most of them in alphabetical order, with the top 6 in terms of my favorites. So here's the top six:

6. Nine Inch Nails - Add Violence (EP)
5. kara-Lis Coverdale - Grafts (EP)
4. Jlin - Black Origami
3. The National - Sleep Well Beast
2. Sudan Archives - Sudan Archives (EP)
1. Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins

The remaining 17:

1. Arca - Arca
2. Arcade Fire - Everything Now
3. Beck - Colors
4. Bedouine - Bedouine
5. Eluvium - Shuffle Drones (EP)
6. Fever Ray - Plunge
7. Four Tet - New Energy
8. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lucifer Towers
9. Chris Mars - Note To Self
10. Lauren Halo - Dust
11. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream
12. METZ - Strange Peace
13. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun
14. Slowdive - Slowdive
15. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Kid
16. Tinariwen - Elwan
17. The xx - I See You

New Stuff by '60s Hippies That I Liked:
- Robert Plant - Carry Fire
- Roger Waters - Is This The Life We Really Want? 

Best Dad Rock Reissues
- The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
- Fleetwood Mac - Tango In The Night
- John Hassell - Dream Theory in Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two
- Prince & The Revolution - Purple Rain Deluxe 
- The Verve - Urban Hymns

Not Sure What Category To Put In
- The Replacements - For Sale: Live at Maxwell's 1986
- Neil Young - Hitchhiker

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Favorite Movies 2017

Favorites, All Good Movies

In case you're interested, my 2016 picks are here.

Favorite Movies in 2017

1. Spiderman: Homecoming (Dir: Jon Watts)
2. Logan (Dir: James Mangold)
3. Blade Runner 2049 (Dir: Denis Villeneuve)
4. The Big Sick (Dir: Michael Showalter)
5. Thor: Ragnarok (Dir: Taika Waititi)
6. Call Me By Your Name (Dir: Luca Guadagnino)
7. It (Dir: Andy Muschietti)
8. Lady Bird (Dir: Greta Gerwig) 
9. The Shape Of Water (Dir: Guillermo del Toro)
10. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Dir: Rian Johnson)

10. I, Tonya (Dir: Craig Gillespie)
11. Wonder Woman (Dir: Patty Jenkins)
12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Dir: James Gunn)
13. T2: Trainspotting (Dir: Danny Boyle)
14. War For the Planet of the Apes (Dir: Matt Reeves)
15. The Lego Batman Movie (Dir: Chris McKay)
16. Battle Of The Sexes (Dir: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)
17. The Disaster Artist (Dir: James Franco)

Monday, January 01, 2018

Morbid Reminders 2017

Walter Becker, 67
   yeah, genius

Chuck Berry, 90
   no one talks about his lyrics but wow

Glen Campbell, 81
   I was a kid, my parents had this album, it was beautiful

Fred Cole, 69
   long live Dead Moon

Chris Cornell, 52
   the best voice?

Holger Czukay, 79
   Can, sampling, and Movies (1979)

Jonathan Demme, 73
   Stop Making Sense

Fats Domino, 89
   "Detroit City Blues," also wow what a discography

Gordon Downie, 53
   Tragically Hip

Al Jarreau, 76
   a forgotten song by him, "All"

Grant Hart, 56
   what to say, Hart > Mould

Allan Holdsworth, 70
   jazz fusion on I.O.U.

Tommy Keene, 59
   Boston power pop

Jaki Liebezeit, 78
   another Can casualty, and the 4th best drummer who ever lived?

David Peel, 73
   yes, I know him through Lennon

Tom Petty, 66
   the only song you need to know from him; ok, maybe not the only song

Maggie Roche, 65
   The Roches!

Clyde Stubblefield, 73
   the 3rd best drummer who ever lived, sampled forever????

Monday, July 03, 2017

From the heartland....

John [Cougar] Mellencamp - "Between A Laugh And A Tear"

From the album Scarecrow (1985), the transition album between John Cougar and John Mellencamp. An effective and sometimes moving slice of Springsteenesque classic rock, stripped down to guitars, bass, and drum. Backing vocals by Rickie Lee Jones

A bonus track: "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963" by Rickie Lee Jones from her self-titled debut (1979).