Thursday, July 27, 2006

Well we started this jazz compilation exercise 3 months back and still no end in sight. These are my penultimate 10 picks. I hope to post my last 10 choices before the start of the film festival. Are we going to vote on the top 25 at some point?

McCoy Tyner - Song for My Lady (1972)
Phil Woods - Rights of Swing (1960)
Archie Shepp & Mal Waldron - Left Alone Revisited (2002)
Bill Evans - Explorations (1961)
John Coltrane - Africa / Brass (1961)
Andrew Hill - Passing Ships (1969)
Charles Lloyd & Billy Higgins - Which Way is East (2004)
Clifford Brown & Max Roach - At Basin Street (1956)
Sonny Rollins - Tenor Madness (1956)
Thelonious Monk - Complete Columbia Solo Recordings (1962-68)
Actually Marc I too have some very mainstream faves from the 70s amongst others:

Joe Jackson - Look Sharp
Van Halen - Van Halen
Cheap Trick - Dream Police
Supertramp - Breakfast in America
Pink Floyd - The Wall
ABBA - Arrival, Voulez-Vous, The Album
Blondie - Parallel Lines
The Police - Regatta de Blanc
ELO - A New World Record
The Cars - The Cars, Candy O
Chic - C'est Chic, Risque
Queen - Jazz
Heatwave - Central Heating
Klaatu - Klaatu

As you can see it wasn't all angular riffs and power pop.
Me thinks my list might look very different from yours Derek!

…top 31 albums from the 70’s that are, or at one time where very significant to ME, in no particular order.

Marvin Gaye: What's Going On
The Eagles : Hotel California
Pink Floyd : Dark Side of the Moon
Boston : Boston
Peter Frampton : Frampton Comes Alive
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks
Van Morrison: Moondance
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Born to Run
Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors
Saturday Night Fever
The Clash: London Calling
Elvis Costello : this Years Model
Pink Floyd: The Wall
Blondie: Parallel Lines
Supertramp: Breakfast in America
The Cars: The Cars
Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life
George Harrison: All Things Must Pass
Joe Jackson: Look Sharp
David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggie Stardust
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Cosmo’s Factory
Dire Straits: Dire Straits
Supertramp: Crime of the Century
Cheap Trick: At Budokan
Neil Young: Harvest
Ramones: Rocket to Russia
The Doors: Weird Scenes inside the Gold Mine
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Greetings From Asbury Park
Deep Purple: Machine Head

…pretty mainstream hunh!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I find the 70’s, as a decade, to be fascinating for it’s diversity. It is the decade in which (arguably) popular music grew in a way in which it never had before. It was the first decade in which a generation of baby boomers where growing up and the wave of the population segment started to take serious hold on the values of western culture. Until that point they had remained primarily counter cultural. It is true that in the 60’s, rock and roll lost it’s innocents in it’s experimentation with psychedelia et al. but in the 70’s it continued to explore new territories in the areas of glam rock, art rock, and produced some major conceptual works. It was a period in which country, folk, blues, r&b, soul and reggae continued to flourish. …say nothing for the roof being blowing off of music scene in the late 70’s.

It might be argued that it was in part an advance in technology, the FM radio, that helped to blow the pop music field wide open and give an audience to an ever increasingly diverse art form, or it might be argued that it was affluence and disposable income that allowed for a growingly diverse market.

No matter, it astounds me when I start to think about what the 70’s mean to me from a musical perspective. I must say that my list would include a lot of “classics” from the early 70’s. Looking back on the period and starting to hear some more obscure music from the era, I find it very interesting how the roots of music can be like a giant web. It draws snippets of influence from here and there and when you look at the cross pollination of genres you can unearth some really remarkable relationships.

I think that this cross pollination was stronger and moved faster in the 70’s than ever before and spawned the birth of punk, disco, new wave. It became increasingly easy for artists to be influence by other cultures or sub-cultures and music grew faster and more than it ever had before in a single decade. At the beginning of the 70’s the world became a smaller place.

I also find it interesting though, that when you look at the period of 1970 – 1980, admittedly quite arbitrary to define a period by a year that ends in 0 (agreed Mr Watson), it was culturally book-ended by the waning of the flour child and the birth of the “new music”, and that which happened in between was, although it produced some of rock’s greatest music, not as significant as what happened on either end of it.

…and yes Derek, I’d love a copy of your take on the 70’s
Stuart, you superficial bastard.

So, while I agree that the new wave / punk stuff may not align well with uni-concept views of the seventies as the disco era (gotta love the way time via memory plus art turns everything into mush), or the eighties as techno crap, I think it is far more emblazoned on my skull and heart than any of those Hollywood meets Dick Clark versions of those times. It just floats above it, and stands time far better. Remain at least somewhat mush-free if you will.

My choices of shouldabeens would be in a similar vein to Derek's, with perhaps a little more pop in my punk / new-wave mix:

I would start without about half of Derek's bands (esp. Gang of Four, Undertones, T/Heads yadda....) then add

The Records - Starry Eyes
Joe Jackson - Sunday Papers
Dave Edmunds - Girls Talk
Graham Parker and the Runour - Local Girls
Devo - Mongoloid (oh right, Derek had this one)
Brahm Tchaikovsky - Girl of My Dreams
Fabulous Poodles - Mirror Stars
Boomtown Rats - Someone's Looking at You
Television - See No Evil
The Damned - Neat Neat Neat

there are others.
Put me down for a lesson and a disc as well, please. Though I'm familiar with some of those tracks and bands, I was kind of into Pat Benatar and Supertramp at that time; to be fair, I was 8 at the time and most of my musical discoveries came courtesy of K-tel compilations. Would love to accquaint myself with some of these artists. Plus, I don't have a copy of 'Adolescent Sex' and kind of need to hear it again.
clearly we have next years dinner party theme.....the roots of punk, punk and early new wave the 1977 to 1982 theme party......this stuff is a little like the lost generation in that when people think of the 70's they are (arguably) more likely to think of studio 54 disco or singer songwritter stuff then the clash and when people think of eights stuff they are (arguably) more likely to think of madonna and they cure and depeche mode then say ....the jam ...
I am sure to be pilloried here but I think you take my point (that being derek is a loser)
admittedly my knowledge of this stuff is not deep and I could do with a lesson or 2 in it...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

This one's easy as the discs are at this point pretty much a done deal. If it was up solely to me I would probably ignore almost everything pre-1979 and bombard your asses with nothing but punk, new wave and early electronica. Sadly it's not up to me despite my assigned role as DJ. So to paraphrase senor Bowie I am the DJ but I ain't what I play.

The list that would make at least one full CD's worth of music for me. If any of you would like a copy of this to play as a cure for Sunday's hangover put in your request now.

Gary Numan - Down in the Park
Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough
B52s - Dance this Mess Around
Undertones - Teenage Kicks (and many more besides)
Genesis - Ripples
Devo - Jocko Homo
Squeeze - Up the Junction
Buzzcocks - Orgasm Addict
Talking Heads - I Zimbra
David Bowie - Jean Genie
Headboys - The Shape of Things to Come
The Jam - To Be Someone
Stiff Little Fingers - Alternative Ulster
Joan Armatrading - Love and Affection
Ultravox - Hiroshima Mon Amour
Japan - Adolescent Sex
The Slits - I Heard it Through the Grapevine
The Stranglers - Duchess
Roxy Music - Virginia Plain
Simple Minds - Changeling
Gang of Four - I Found that Essence Rare
Human League - Empire State Human
Mi-Sex - Computer Games
Hello darkness my old friends....

Okay, how about this, then: come up with the '70s songs you'd most like to hear on Saturday night at Stuart and Yvette's dinner party but suspect Derek will, either deliberately (maliciously?) or accidentally (ignorantly?) leave off the 5+ discs he's compiling for the purpose.

Derek, you can come up with a list that contains both and we'll have to guess which ones will or won't make the cut. Sound like fun? More fun than the value-concert proposition?

Friday, July 21, 2006

even more incredible than the fact that they are asking $200 a ticket is the fact that people are willing to shell out that kind of money for these tired retreads. considering that for $15, one can see richard buckner, a musician who actually creates new music with a unique voice and style, and it quickly clear that a who concert does not offer much in the way of value. and just howmany farewell tours is this now for the who? 5 and counting? why not just set up shop in las vegas with a group of french canadian contortionists?

i'd suggest that we come up with lists of the top 5 over-the-hill musicians/bands that overcharge for the quality of show they continue to deliver but this seems too much like shooting fish in a barrel. i mean, without even taking my hands away from the keyboard i come up with the rolling stones, the eagles, barbara streisand, celine dion, and elton john and surely there are many others that will immediately come to mind.

instead, i propose you come up with your list of your top 5 'best value' concerts. those which cost you very little but delivered much in the way of entertainment and musical pleasure. it doesn't have to be the cheapest concert you ever attended, just the one where you felt you really got your money's worth. game?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Likely skint from having blown a pile of cash on that Kurt Browning extravaganza you may want to try and scrape together a few more pennies to see one of the best bands on the planet (if it was 1976 at any rate).

That's right the band who just never knows when to quit and keep reminding us to "not get fooled again" are back to try and pull the wool over your eyes one more time. The Who at the ACC in December (a mere 5 months away, can you say cash grab boys and girls) and floor seats going for a mere $202 plus $14.50 in service charges. With Daltrey at 62 and Townshend at 61 which "generation" would they be talking about exactly?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How many tickets do each of you want for this?

Plus, a kinder relfection on Syd Barett.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

thats for the heads up on barrett kyle, I had missed that info somehow...Being a huge Floyd fan for many years, Ive never quite got the drift of the fascination of this guy....Being a geezer now I shall have to revist him...dead guys generate all the interest of course
Hey, too bad about Syd B. Though, wasn't he dead already? Who knew? Perhaps we can have a listen to Arnold Layne and See Emily Play in memorium on Thursday.

Re Sufjan, as a big fan of his, and specifically, of the Illinoise record, I can still see many of the points that AllMusicGuy is making, and I don't entirely disagree. One does fight annoyance about the completeness and coyness of it all, and the "songs" (the eight or ten complete verse/chorus numbers on the record) do all share similar arrangements and styles, but hey, to deny the ambition, and comparative success, of the overall project, not to mention the individual genius of many of the songs and extra-songic musical moments, is simply to be cantankerous and difficult. And that's part of a music critic's job description, so I get that too. Now he just needs to convince me of the brilliance of some other who, Arctic Monkeys?

I've looked him up, and he has opened the door to personal attacks by publishing on the AllMusic site a bio and desert island list. Which is pretty great actually.

Re Thursday - My address is 66 Arundel Avenue, one block east of Chester (subway station)
Perhaps we can also invite's Stephen Thomas Erlewine, whose timely (in light of today's Sufjan Stevens' release yesterday's group email fluttterings) piece is just wrong.

Also, sad news (is there every any happy news about him?) about original Floyd vocalist Syd Barrett, who recently passed away.
Hilarious. Nice little ditty too, very un-YLT like. I'll clear some furniture for the big scrap Thursday.

See y'all at 8 bells or therafter, I will be providing some snacks for the wrestlers (and the rest of you too I guess). We will be experimenting with volume to see what the kids can withstand.
as a response, let me refer you to the title of the upcoming yo la tengo album.

best album title of all-time nominee.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Nice to see I have some backing even if it is sort of half assed. Unlike the French however I would at least know where to place my noggin and it wouldn't be in the middle of Kyle's sternum despite the obvious height differential that is comparable to that of Zidane and Materazzi. Perhaps I can get to Brian's early and at the very least persuade Oliver to kneel down behind Kyle to get me off to that Scottish advantage that I would so desparately need.
all kidding aside I would surely love to see derek and kyle duking it will certanly lively thigs up, Ill start the bidding....Ill put 5 bucks down on Derek , but only because the scots fight a clean match Kyle all the way...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Okay okay! Since I'm such an affable guy who wouldn't want to permanently jeopardize future nights of shit-faced revelry, here's what I'll do: I'll listen to the disc at least once a day for the next 7 days. I'll listen under a variety of conditions--running, walking to work, taking the streetcar, sitting in the backyard, and driving. And I'll let you know my verdict at the cd club. And if I still don't like it, well, I'll try to take my comeuppance with dignity (minimal tears).

Aside from that, any of the nominees for the Polaris that stand out for any of you?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Kyle I just spent a really good 5 or 6 hours drinking my face to off with you and then I come home and am confronted with this blog. How anyone can possibly say that the BSS disc gets worse from about track 3 onwards is absolutely out of their mind. Track 2 is Ibi Dreams of Pavement, track 3 is 7/4 (Shoreline), track 4 is a brief 1 minute interlude and track 5 is Major Label Debut which over a 12 minute span might be some of the best fucking music ever put to vinyl/cd. Believe it or not of all the 28 days or so of music I have on my iPod this is the music I chose to listen to on my way home tonight and as always it was magic. If you cannot dig this record then perhaps we should duke it out at Brian's on the 13th. I think Brian feels likewise so as a tag team I need a backup. Marc or Stuart are you ready to rumble?
Okay, here are my next ten jazz postings...oh wait, I'm not doing that. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I don't think I've listened to enough jazz or enough varieties of jazz to attempt a definitive, albeit highly idiosyncratic, top 50 list. But that's just me. What the hell happened to the rest of you?

Speaking of list-making and the inherent problems of coming to an agreed upon 'best' list, I'm not sure if you're aware of something called the Polaris Prize. Several months back I complained about the unbelievably piss-poor quality of the Juno nominees. Seems that this Polaris award is an answer to my plea that awards be given out to artists with actual, um, talent:

Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene
Cadence Weapon - Breaking Kayfabe
The Deadly Snakes - Porcella
Final Fantasy - He Poos Clouds
Sarah Harmer - I'm a Mountain
K'Naan - The Dusty Foot Philosopher
Malajube - Trompe L'oeil
Metric - Live it Out
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary

Haven't heard Cadence, Malajube, or K'Naan, and the BSS disc somehow gets worse for me on each listen (starting at about track 3) but overall it's a solid list. I'll bring the Deadly Snakes disc to Brian's next week to see what y'all think of it. And anyone living or working in the downtown core will certainly get a kick out of the title of this track by Final Fantasy.