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#427: To Bring You My Love by PJ Harvey

2.28.2011


To Bring You My Love by PJ Harvey (1995)

Favorite Track(s): "C'mon Billy" and "Send His Love to Me"

Thoughts: LOVE the album name and cover. Stellar.

Things I didn't know about PJ Harvey: 1) her style of music, 2) she's British, 3) all the instruments she can play, 4) so...most things, really.

We haven't had a lady (unless you count Gwen Stefani in No Doubt, which you can if you like) for 17 slots! The last one was Madonna, and you know how much I liked that. I'd like to say I liked this album more...but it just felt like something you'd have heard in some depressing club in the 90s where everyone's doing drugs. I was sort of reminded of Fiona Apple or Tori Amos, which is a good thing, but it's not a style of music I'm very familiar with or drawn to.

So. Did I enjoy listening to the album? Will I want to re-visit it again or recommend it to others? Did it belong on the list, especially this far up? I think the answer is a very disappointed 'no' for me on all counts.

#428: Here Come the Warm Jets by Brian Eno


Here Come the Warm Jets by Brian Eno (1974)

Favorite Track(s): "Needles in the Camel's Eye" and "Baby's On Fire" and "On Some Faraway Beach" and "Dead Finks Don't Talk" and "Some of Them Are Old"

Thoughts: I didn't know Brian Eno had been in Roxy Music! I also didn't know Roxy Music existed until I saw an episode of How I Met Your Mother featuring "Mother of Pearl." Oops! Feel free to judge me now. And for years I confused Brian Eno with former Beatles manager Brian Epstein. These things happen.

This album felt fairly experimental, but in the 'ah, that's interesting' way as opposed to the 'someone save me from this TALENTLESS WRETCH' way that we've sometimes come across on this list. I'M LOOKING AT YOU, PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. However, we've long since past the point on this list when 'gee, that was cool' music should be above 'I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AFTER HEARING THIS' music. So...I didn't not like it, I'm just perturbed at its place on the list.

The album name makes me think of hot tubs.

The way he sings "secret longing"--OMG

Remember when I did all those Favorite Michael Moments posts to help me get through the summer of '09? Those were fun. I miss doing them. Tonight I've been watching The Wiz on TV, which I adore. Did I ever do a post on The Wiz? I should someday. "Brand New Day" is one of my top 5 'Get Pumped' songs of all time.

Anyway, I had forgotten about this video, and I love it, even though it's much too short. It's Michael at a Disney Theme Park (I have a hard time telling them apart--I haven't been back to either since childhood), singing a mash-up of songs. His voice was so perfect in the early 80s.

I want Kj and/or Spiro to know that they have to recreate this and film it for me the next time they go! (They can probably definitely name which park he's at.)

"I would like them to be untouched by that particular sadness. But that's not the way the world works."

2.27.2011

Today while channel-surfing I came upon a Vh1 program called Bruce Springsteen: A Conversation with His Fans. A woman asked him to choose a character from all the songs on his recently released cuts from The Darkness on the Edge of Town album (The Promise) that he would like his children to understand.

"'Racing in the Street' sums up a lot for me. I would like them to be untouched by that particular sadness. But that's not the way the world works. [I want them] to have that understanding without the pain, but that is not possible. [I want them] to have the resilience...to be able to navigate their way through that kind of pain because that is what we all have to do."

#429: All Things Must Pass by George Harrison

2.25.2011


All Things Must Pass by George Harrison (1970)

Favorite Track(s): "I'd Have You Anytime" and "Wah-Wah" and "Isn't It A Pity" and "What Is Life" and "If Not For You" and "Behind That Locked Door" and "Let It Down" and "Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)" and "Awaiting On You All"

Thoughts: This album was much better than I thought it would be, and my expectations were already super high. Not a throwaway song on here.

It's always made me sad to think of George Harrison feeling like his song-writing was overshadowed by Lennon and McCartney when they were together. I'm ashamed to say that that growing up there were many Beatles songs by him that I thought were actually Lennon and McCartney because they seemed to good to be George's. :(

But when I first discovered The Beatles, George was my favorite. Such a beautiful face, and so quiet, but full of mischief.

Many songs on this album sound like they'd have fit perfectly onto a Beatles record. Every now and then while listening I thought I heard Ringo or John in background vocals. Fantastic album cover. I especially like the font and watercolor sky and purple boots.

I was familiar with many songs here, but not all. I have rocked out to "Wah-Wah" many a time. I put a cover version of "If Not For You" by Sandra McCracken & Derek Webb on every love song playlist I make (written by Dylan, of course). But there were so many new ones I enjoyed, and couldn't believe I hadn't been listening to for years...as you can see from my long list of favorite tracks. And the dueling guitar tracks at the end of the album between George and Eric Clapton are EPIC.

Today would have been George's 67th birthday.

#430: #1 Record by Big Star


#1 Record by Big Star (1972)

Favorite Track(s): "The Ballad of El Goodo" and "Thirteen" and "The India Song" and "Give Me Another Chance" and "Watch the Sunrise"

Thoughts: Oh, Big Star. You are a honey salve on my Nirvana-inflicted wounds.

The great saxophone on "Feel." The back-up vocals on "The Ballad of El Goodo." The cowbell on "In the Street." All 154 glorious seconds of "Thirteen." Honestly, in my top 20 songs of all time. Well, top 20 acoustic guitar songs. "India Song" reminded me of Simon & Garfunkel and a Wes Anderson movie.

Big Star, I love you always and forever.

It's ok to look outside, your love it will abide.

#431: In Utero by Nirvana

2.24.2011


In Utero by Nirvana (1993)

Favorite Track(s): "Scentless Apprentice" (I liked the guitar riff, nothing else) and "tourette's" (I liked the drums, and nothing else) and "All Apologies" (the only song I might want to ever hear again off this album)

Thoughts: (Pre-Listening) I wish I could say I couldn't be more excited to listen to this album. I'm not. I'm dreading it. The fact that it comes right before a Big Star album on the list is my only solace at this hour.

Grunge, as we've discussed when I had to listen to Pearl Jam, is not my thing. It seems like an awful combination of dark, whiny, angry, noisy, and incoherent. I think if it was ever going to work for me, it would have been when I was an angsty teenager (especially in the 90s), like with Catcher in the Rye. But since the band is considered by so many to be one of God's gifts to music, I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

(Post-Listening) I lasted less than 2 minutes on the first song before I had to take a break. Most of the songs sound dated to me. If I had listened to this music when it was released, perhaps it would take on at least a nostalgic meaning for me now, but otherwise it left me cold and disinterested. This is just not my bag. Hey, I tried!


#462 - #433: Personal Favorites

2.23.2011



I know I did 37 albums in the last 'best of' but that was too many. 30 is a much, much more manageable and sensible number. Also I just wanted to do another one of these already.

Here are my top 10 from the last 30 albums, the ones I recommend you check out if haven't already. Click on the link to see my favorite songs, thoughts, etc. You know the drill!

1) Elton John by Elton John
2) Tumbleweed Connection by Elton John

Hands down, the two best-crafted, surprising, most enjoyable to listen to, frequently mind-blowing albums I heard. Honestly, my ears were born anew again and again. Elton John, I loved you before, but now I'm a raging fanatic. (Be sure to look for who I believe is John Lennon in the audience of the video above!)

3) For Everyman by Jackson Browne
4) Third/Sister Lovers by Big Star
5) Golden Hits by The Drifters (It feels sort of unfair to the other artists to put a greatest hits album on here, but they were so head and shoulders above most everyone that I can't help it)
6) Getz/Gilberto by Stan Getz
7) Rum, Sodomy & the Lash by The Pogues
8) Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 by Sam Cooke (another greatest hits of sorts...sorry)
9) Sea Change by Beck
10) Love it to Death by Alice Cooper

Honorable mentions: Strictly Business by EPMD, In Color by Cheap Trick, Fly Like an Eagle by The Steve Miller Band, and Back in the USA by MC5

And in case you missed it, here are my favorites from #500 - #463.

#432: Sea Change by Beck


Sea Change by Beck (2002)

Favorite Track(s): "Paper Tiger" and "Lost Cause" and "It's All in Your Mind"

Thoughts: I think I expected this album to be a lot more new wave-y or electronic, but there was harmonica! And strings and piano and acoustic guitar!

The only Beck song I own is "Lost Cause." It's such a good song I'm surprised I never felt the need to buy the whole album. But now I do! Sooo good.

#433: Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt

2.22.2011


Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt (1995)

Favorite Track(s): "Spiderwebs" and "Don't Speak" and "You Can Do It"

Thoughts: Wikipedia classifies No Doubt as 'third wave ska.' I never really thought of them as ska...but maybe that's because they stayed so relevant and popular, unlike most ska music? Is that rude? Oh, well. They are ska.

I remember this album coming out, I remember how cool Gwen Stefani was (and I suppose still is, to some extent, though I despise her sampling of show tunes for her songs even though it would make sense for me to like them), and I remember my friend Dan going to see the tour for this album and that everyone was throwing oranges, which had to have sucked for the Memorial Coliseum.

Anywho, iconic, amazing album cover. There are handfuls of great songs on this album, but many felt repetitive, and maybe could have been left on the cutting room floor. Or I just needed to give them more than one listen, which could be the case as well.

#434: Boys Don't Cry by The Cure


Boys Don't Cry by The Cure (1980)

Favorite Track(s): "Boys Don't Cry" and "10:15 Saturday Night"

Thoughts: I always thought The Cure were crazy because of their hair and guyliner and that I didn't want anything to do with their music. And then I realized they were the people singing and playing "Just Like Heaven" and "Friday I'm In Love", only to realize I already liked them!

This particular album was very likeable. I do prefer Petula Clark's "Don't Sleep in the Subway" to their "Subway Song", but then that's just me (worst song on the ablum, in my opinion). Overall, good stuff, didn't mind listening to it.

Song of the day.



"Long Black Veil" by Johnny Cash and Joni Mitchell. Go ahead and die of chills.

#435: Live At the Harlem Square Club, 1963 by Sam Cooke


Live At the Harlem Square Club, 1963 by Sam Cooke (1985)

Favorite Track(s): "Cupid" and "Medley: It's All Right/For Sentimental Reasons" and "Twistin' the Night Away" and "Having A Party"

Thoughts: To quote the duck from a Kate Beaton comic, "Aw, yiss." Sam Cooke is the shiiiiiiiiit (if I add in a bunch of extra letters does it still count as a curse word? Oh, well.)

His advice to the men in the audience before the medley was LOADS better than B.B. King's.

The man's voice has this gorgeous grit in it, but he always sounds so sweet and sincere. Plus, he wrote a very generous portion of the American Songbook. Fantastic, fun album.

#436: Criminal Minded by Boogie Down Productions


Criminal Minded by Boogie Down Productions (1987)

Favorite Track(s): "South Bronx" and "Dope Beat"

Thoughts: I love the name 'DJ Scott La Rock.' I just like saying it! Also, I liked how the song "The Bridge is Over" referenced (not sampled) "Still Rock and Roll to Me" by Billy Joel, because...he is awesome.

Other than that, this album was solid, but not mind-blowing for me. I probably won't revisit it, or even try to get a hold of any of the songs. If you're into old school hip-hop, this is right up your alley! (But then you've probably known about them and this album for ages already.)

#437: Rum, Sodomy & the Lash by The Pogues

2.16.2011


Rum, Sodomy & the Lash by The Pogues (1985)

Favorite Track(s): "I'm A Man You Don't Meet Every Day" and "Sally MacLennane" and "Dirty Old Town" and "Billy's Bones" and "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda"

Thoughts: Thank you, Jesus, for The Pogues. For their presence on this list, and then also just in general.

A+ for album art and name. This band is such a fantastic combo of foul language, spirited singing, beautiful musicality, and brilliant lyrics. Wikipedia classified them as folk-punk, which might be the kind of punk I should always listen to.

While it's not on this album, if you haven't given a good listen to "Fairytale of New York" before, DO IT. I hope I get to see it sung at karaoke someday!

#438: Suicide by Suicide


(I would like to preface this post by saying I am in a rotten, horrible mood, and have decided to take it on this particular band/album. All apologies to fans of Suicide, I'm sure they're lovely once you get to know them. Profanity ahead.)


Suicide
by Suicide (1977 or 1980 because these jerks thought they'd self-title their debut AND second album. AUUUGH I WANT THEM OFF THE LIST.)

Favorite Track(s): Ha, ha, ha, ha! THERE WERE NONE.

Thoughts: (Pre-listening) Oh, Suicide. You did NOT want to be a band I listened to on this list today. I'm in need of band I can respect and let take me to Musical Comfortville. But I've never heard of you. And I effing hate your band name. Wikipedia said you got it from a comic called Satan's Suicide. Then why didn't you name the band SATAN'S SUICIDE? Asshats. Just naming your band 'suicide' is rude, immature, and a lame attempt to be edgy/dark/cynical. I hate your music already AND I HAVEN'T EVEN STARTED LISTENING TO IT YET. Be prepared for a world of hurt, you rat bastards.

(Post-listening): As stated above, these guys thought it would be a good idea to name their first two separate albums Suicide. I listened to the first one, because I didn't care enough to find out which one the Rolling Stone votes had gone to.

I expected more yelling, but instead it's electronic sounds with a whiny guy's voice talk-singing over it. In the song "Girl" he sounds like he's jerking off. "Frankie Teardrop" is one of the most disturbing songs I've ever heard AND over 10 minutes long. If the vocalist (I don't even want to know his name) isn't moaning, he's screaming. Every other song sounds the same. I'm disappointed and cranky with this album, this band, and the list for putting it this far up.

#439: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

2.15.2011



Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
by Devo (1978)

Favorite Track(s): "Mongoloid" and "Jocko Homo"

Thoughts: I'm surprised this album came out in the 70s, as I always thought of Devo as an 80s band. And they are considered new wave, which I'd never known to classify them as. Mostly because I couldn't really tell you what new wave is even if you asked me. 'You know, that punk...rock...electric...stuff...from the 80s?"

Anyway, I did like this album, but didn't love it. I kept wanting to listen to something a little more lush and musical-feeling. Half the time I couldn't understand the lyrics, and the songs grew old quickly for me. Which is why I'm a bit frustrated to find this album this far up the list.

#440: In Color by Cheap Trick


In Color by Cheap Trick (1977)

Favorite Track(s): "Downed" and "I Want You to Want Me"

Thoughts: I always used to sort of dismissed Cheap Trick. I don't know why. Maybe because 'cheap' was in their name? Regardless, it's a shame, because they're awesome. Classic rock at some of its best!

#441: The World Is a Ghetto by War

2.14.2011


The World is a Ghetto by War (1972)

Favorite Track(s): "Where Was You At"

Thoughts: Love the album cover!

This record is only 6 tracks long. 3 of them are over 8 minutes long, but still. Anyway, I did like it. Very funky, mostly instrumental. I learned via youtube commenters (who are of the highest repute) that "Four-Cornered Room" is fantastic for smoking marijuana to. So there you go.

It is now almost a month 'til my birthday.

2.11.2011

I'm turning 26! Not too big of a deal. Less of a deal than 25, certainly. But what that means is doing my obligatory if-you-must-get-me-a-present-and-demand-it-be-something-I-want birthday wish list. If you don't want to get me anything, that's quite alright, and if you do, you're totally welcome to pick out whatever you like! This list is for the other people who don't fall into either one of those categories. I'm not sure said people exist, but just in case they do...

Before anything else, pop over to amazon.co.uk and register an account. It's possible you can use your regular account to log-in, but I honestly can't remember. If you choose to buy me any of these items, here's how: go to the vendors marketplace page for the item, and find a vendor that does international shipping (i.e. gzoop). Click 'Add to Basket' and follow the instructions. The pounds to dollar conversion should happen automatically by your bank. I do it all the time! (Or I used to before I went on my new budget.) I have a multi-region DVD player, so don't worry about that. If you were. Which you probably weren't.

If you don't feel like reading this list, you can just go straight to my wishlist!

1) Doctor Who - Series 1-4 - Complete [DVD] [2005]

This is the whole Russell T. Davies re-vamp, seasons 1-4, not including Specials, I believe. This packaging of it is only available via Amazon.co.uk. Another option would be just to buy a season in the U.S. DVDs, but they are pretty over-priced and I don't love the packaging as much, but I would still be very grateful and watch/lend them out a ton! The 3rd and cheapest option to show me some Doctor Who love is to buy one of the 3-episode volumes (the only one I already own is series 5, vol.1). This is all super clear, right? The bottom line: I WANT DOCTOR WHO ON DVD.

2) The Catherine Tate Show - Nan's Christmas Carol [DVD]



This one's pretty cheap! I adore The Catherine Tate Show (already own all 3 series), and I'm just missing this gem, which I've still never gotten to see all of.

3) Gavin And Stacey - Series 1-3 And 2008 Christmas Special [DVD] [2007]



This show is fantastic. I still haven't been able to see the 3rd season yet. Only the first season is available on U.S. DVD, and my friend lent me the 2nd. This is the complete set, and I would love to have it! It's fairly cheap!

4) French & Saunders Series 1-6 Box Set (6 discs) [DVD]


French and Saunders! All of their series! Hilarious and wonderful and two of my most favorite comedians!

5) Roger And Val Have Just Got In - Series 1 [DVD] [2010]



And finally, here's a show I've never seen before, but it's Alfred Molina and Dawn French in a sitcom, so, you know, I need it.

Again, I'm happy to receive nothing or anything. But if you want some guidance (and are willing to do a little extra work by buying from amazon UK), here it is!

#442: Fly Like An Eagle by Steve Miller Band


Fly Like An Eagle by Steve Miller Band (1976)

Favorite Track(s): "Fly Like An Eagle" and "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Take the Money and Run" and "Rock'n Me"

Thoughts: I love the album cover. Awesome. To borrow a term from the kids today (or the people alive in the 60s), this album is one 'sick joint.' Funky, original, psychadelic, varied and sharp rock. Don't let potential associations with Space Jam keep you from listening to this album (speaking as someone who really enjoyed Space Jam)!

#443: Back in the USA by MC5


Back in the USA by MC5 (1970)

Favorite Track(s): "Tutti Frutti" and "Teenage Lust" and "Looking At You" and "High School" and "Back in the USA"

Thoughts: (Pre-listening) Alright, I have never heard of MC5. As we've discussed previously, this doesn't bode well for me liking the album or affirming its presence and ranking on the list. But they are a rock band, and I like rock, so their chances are better than most.

(Post-listening) Yay! I really liked it! That's the best thing about going through this list: finding new music to listen to! The songs on this album are catchy, well-crafted and embody the best elements of classic rock. I definitely recommend it!

#444: Music by Madonna


Music by Madonna (2000)

Favorite Track(s): "Don't Tell Me"

Thoughts: I've never been a big Madonna fan. I enjoy many of her songs, and her contribution to pop culture is obviously large, but I've never had a phase where I needed to devour all her music or watch all her movies or had to see her live.

I remember when this album came out. I was very angry about her cover of "American Pie." I was royally peeved that she cut out verses and made it into a pop song that generations of people would possibly hear for the first time from her, instead of Don McLean. (Apparently I have Rupert Everett to thank for that, because he was the one who convinced her to cover it for the soundtrack to their film The Next Best Thing. It does show up on Music as a bonus track, though.) When I saw that this album was on the list and this far up, you can imagine my displeasure. But the fact is, I didn't mind listening to this album, I enjoy some pop/dance music, but I do mind it being on this list, and this far up.

The lyrics were often generic and bland for me. "Impressive Instant" had a sound effect reminiscent of a cat throwing up a hairball. The only song I really enjoyed and found to be musically solid was "Don't Tell Me." "Music" is a good party/dance song, but was way over-played for me to like it anymore. "What It Feels Like a Girl" seems like a song I should like, but the intro is so fantastic, only to be followed up by a sub-par song that has its heart in the right place but doesn't really hit a home-run in message or mood for me. Sorry, Madge!

#445: Ritual de lo Habitual by Jane's Addiction

2.10.2011

Ritual de lo Habitual by Jane's Addiction (1990)

Favorite Track(s): "Obvious" (because there was some nice choir-like singing) and "Then She Did..." (because of the orchestrations)

Thoughts: (Pre-listening) Ah, my friends, we had such a good run there. Jackson Browne, Big Star, The Police, Stan Getz. I should be grateful to have so many solid albums and artists in a row. I knew that a band I had no interest in listening to would reappear soon, and here we are. I've heard of Jane's Addiction. To give an example of how much I know about alternative music, I was always under the impression that Perry Farrell left Jane's Addiction to form Stone Temple Pilots. Totally not true. He did create Lollapalooza, so that's cool. Dave Navarro, on the other hand, married Carmen Electra. The only cool thing about that is she was once on Baywatch. Anyway, this band might be incredible and I've been missing out all these years, but as per usual, I'm prepared to hate every second of each yelling, blaring, nonsensical song I hear. Let's see, shall we?

(Post-listening) First, thanks for album cover. Real nice. Second, this album wasn't audibly obnoxious as much as it was just boring. Probably because this isn't my kind of music, but maybe also because it's overrated? I don't know. I'm probably just too big a square or something. I didn't mind a lot of the guitar work, though. So well done, Dave Navarro. You aren't just that guy who randomly shows up on One Tree Hill.


#446: Getz/Gilberto by Stan Getz


Getz/Gilberto by Stan Getz (1964)

Favorite Track(s): "The Girl from Ipanema" and "Pra machucar meu coração"

Thoughts: Pure delight. I started appreciating more classic jazz when I discovered KPLU 88.5 in 2005. I still strongly dislike smooth jazz, but classic always feels perfect for city-living. Put this album on in the evening as you peruse the latest New Yorker with your glass of wine, a cat curled up at your feet.

#447: Synchronicity by The Police


Synchronicity by The Police (1983)

Favorite Tracks: "Every Breath You Take" and "King of Pain" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger"

Thoughts: Ah, The Police. Hey, Police! Lovely. Well, Sting is lovely. Have you heard Andy Summer's song "Mother"? DON'T. No wonder Sting went solo...

I don't have much else to say...this morning has been nuts and I don't think I gave the album much attention.

#448: Third/Sister Lovers by Big Star

2.09.2011


Third/Sister Lovers by Big Star (1978)

Favorite Tracks: "Stroke It Noel" and "For You" and "Nighttime" and "Blue Moon" and "Femme Fatale" and "O, Dana" and "Nature Boy"

Thoughts: I only learned about Big Star within the last few years, after being introduced to the song "Thirteen" on a blog I followed. I was obsessed with it for months. I then learned that the theme song to That 70s Show is by Big Star (though I guess it's sung by Cheap Trick?).

The string arrangements on this album are effing divine. The lyrics are fresh and surprising and memorable. Alex Chilton's voice is both soothing and vulnerable. The choir on "Thank You Friends" reminds me of recent Sufjan Stevens. I want the song "Blue Moon" to be my boyfriend. Can you tell I liked the album? I DID.

Side note: Is it just me, or is the album cover way too 80s or even 90s to be 70s? Maybe this isn't the original cover art?

(Second side note: there are a whole lot of different releases and re-issues of this record, but I went with the 1978 vinyl track listing, even though the band wanted a different one. I'm controversial like that! But then I went back and listened to all the other tracks as 'bonuses', because the album was so damn good!)

#449: For Everyman by Jackson Browne

For Everyman by Jackson Browne (1973)

Favorite Track(s): "Our Lady of the Well" and "I Thought I Was A Child" and "The Times You've Come"

Thoughts: Here is an instance where someone is a damn good song-writer, and possibly not that good of a person. This is something I need to remember for when we get to Eminem's albums. All. Freaking. 3 OF THEM. Yes, he has 3 albums on this list! I'm trying to be open-minded about it. And failing.

Anyway, Jackson Browne. Apparently, allegedly, supposedly...there was an incident in which he participated in domestic partner abuse with then girlfriend Daryl Hannah. She never pressed charges, the police were called by Jackson because they had broken up and she was apparently taking his things. Joni Mitchell wrote a song that sounded like it could very well be about Browne, but now denies it's about him ("Not to Blame"). But we can't really know, so I continue to listen to his music. Do I admire the man? Not especially. He seems like a pretentious prick without the allegations. But he has a gift. Usually my solution would be to listen only to cover versions of his songs. Genius, yeah? But his album is on this list. And so, I listened to it.

First, I do like the album cover. Second, some of the people who sing/play on this album with him are the best: Bonnie Raitt ("The Times You've Come"), Joni Mitchell (pre-the-incident), Elton John (on "Red Neck Friend" and you can tell), Glenn Frey, David Crosby, and Don Henley. So I bet you can guess what my 'thirdly' is...

This album was incredibly good. I could have used a little less slide and steel guitar, but otherwise, just superb, sublime, timeless folk rock. Nico's version of "These Days" is still better, which makes sense since Jackson wrote it for her, but her's is so haunting and melancholy, his seems flat and over-produced. Nico's just feels like the city, and the song seems to fit that mood and setting better than the country, where Jackson places it musically. I mean, if you'd never heard Nico's version, you'd think his was great, but it can't really compare in my book.

#450: John Prine by John Prine

2.07.2011

John Prine by John Prine (1971)

Favorite Track(s): "Angel From Montgomery" (only mentioned because his writing it allowed Bonnie Raitt to sing it far superior-ly)

Thoughts: IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT JOHN DENVER IS NOT, I repeat, NOT ON THIS LIST. And that makes me full of senseless, boiling rage. Because John Denver is one of my saints, ok?

Did John Prine make me want to fall in love with a mountain, or serenade a creek, or share my life story with the trees? No. Did I imagine what medley of the songs I wanted for my dream fake-wedding to Gok Wan? No. Am I going to start a church with theology based off the lyrics from the album? No. THOSE ARE THINGS THAT ONLY JOHN DENVER MAKES ME FEEL/DO/WANT. Probably because John Prine writes lovely lyrics like these from "Pretty Good":

Molly went to Arkansas, she got raped by Dobbin's dog
Well, she was doing good till she went in the woods

And got pinned up against a log

Pretty good, not bad, she can't complain

Cause actually all them dogs is just about the same


Ugh.



#451: Strictly Business by EPMD


Strictly Business by EPMD (1988)

Favorite Track(s): "Strictly Business" and "You Gots to Chill" and "The Steve Martin" and "Get Off the Bandwagon"

Thoughts: This may be hip-hop sacrilege, but I had never heard of EPMD. If you are as ignorant as I am, it might interest you to know that the group is East Coast, made up of emcees Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith (the name stands for Erick & Parrish Making Dollars), and their music is considered to be from the Golden Age of hip-hop.

Fortunately I was in the mood to listen to some rap, so I really enjoyed this album. It is classic hip-hop, and the content (at least what I paid attention to) wasn't offensive or hard to digest. Most of the samples used are fun ("Jungle Boogie" and "I Shot the Sheriff" to name a few) and the rhymes are fantastic. 'This ain't a blast from the past / it's a boomer from the future.' I mean, they have a song called "The Steve Martin." What's not to love? Highly recommended!

#452: Love It To Death by Alice Cooper


Love It To Death by Alice Cooper (1971)

Favorite Track(s): "Caught In A Dream" and "I'm Eighteen" and "Long Way to Go" and "Black Juju"

Thoughts: This album was released 40 years ago last month, and it totally holds up. 1971 was such a good year for music.

One of my favorite parts of the album: the intro to "Black Juju." The song itself kind of reminded me of The Doors. I definitely recommend the whole album, though.

I used the censored version of the cover art, but here's the original one with his thumb sticking out if you're PERVERTED interested.

#453: How Will the Wolf Survive? by Los Lobos


How Will the Wolf Survive? by Los Lobos (1984)

Favorite Track(s): "Matter of Time" and "Lil' King of Everything"

Thoughts: (Pre-listening) I have a confession: sometimes I get Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys confused. Which is to say, I have no idea what I'm about to hear. Is it rock? Country? Hispanic? No clue. I've heard of this band, but not sure I'll be able to recognize any of their music. But that's not important. What IS important, is that it be daaaaaamn good to be at #453, okay?

(Post-listening) Apparently Los Lobos are an American Chicano rock band. The album was alright--good for what it is, but I won't be revisiting it any time soon. One of the weirdest things was how many of their songs on YouTube had the lyrics paired with images of anime characters. Anime and Los Lobos don't immediately go together in my mind, but whatever works! I would say I'm mad this album made it it so high on the list, but I feel like it's music I can respect even if it's not my style, so I won't get too haughty about it.

#454: Here, My Dear by Marvin Gaye

2.03.2011


Here, My Dear by Marvin Gaye (1978)

Favorite Track(s): "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You" and "Everybody Needs Love" and "A Funky Space Reincarnation"

Thoughts: Elton and now Marvin Gaye? Today is a day I'm glad I'm listening to this list.

Here, My Dear was written during his messy divorce to his first wife. It was controversial and considered bizarre by many critics, and not considered a commercial success.

Something that cracked me up was at the beginning of the song "Time to Get it Together" when the music starts, and Marvin exclaims, "Jesus said time would heal all wounds!" Now I don't read the Bible much anymore, but I'm fairly certain Jesus never said that. But how can we know?

Anywho, this is a classic, top-notch album. I was grooving in my seat.

#455: Tumbleweed Connection by Elton John


Tumbleweed Connection by Elton John (1970)

Favorite Track(s): "Come Down in Time" and "My Father's Gun" and "Where to Now St. Peter?" and "Love Song" and "Burn Down the Mission"

Thoughts: I love an album that gives me the chills with its awesomeness. Tumbleweed Connection is one of those albums. I mean, some of these songs would be heavenly with just Elton at the piano, but instead they are chock-full of gorgeous orchestrations and horns and the music just feels like tidal wave of sweet sound washing over you.

Listen to the piano on "Burn Down the Mission." LISTEN TO IT (2:05). I mean...come on. The man's an effing genius and this album and Elton John should be higher on this list.

#456: The Blueprint by Jay-Z

2.02.2011


The Blueprint by Jay-Z (2001)

Favorite Track(s): "The Takeover" and "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" and "Song Cry"

Thoughts: So this album was released on a label called Rock-A-Fella, which was founded by Jay-Z. At first when I saw it I literally thought: "OMG IS THAT A THROWBACK REFERENCE TO ROCK-A-PELLA, THE ACAPELLA GROUP FROM WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SAN DIEGO? I suddenly respect Jay-Z more than anyone else in the world." And then I realized he was probably referencing John D. Rockefeller. And I had a sad.

Anyway...Kanye West produced a lot of this album, and it's evident. This is another album where I don't care for a large amount of the content, but if I just ignore the meaning of the lyrics, it's fantastic! Though, after listening to it I requested the albums for the artists whose songs he sampled--rather than his--from my library.

#457: Golden Hits by The Drifters


The Drifters' Golden Hits by The Drifters (1968)

Favorite Track(s): "This Magic Moment" and "Save the Last Dance for Me" and "Up On the Roof" and "On Broadway" and "Under the Boardwalk" and "Saturday Night at the Movies"

Thoughts: God lives in Ben E. King's vocal chords (though he doesn't do all the singing on this album). Reminds me of listening to the Oldies station on the radio in my parents' cars. Doo-Wop and R&B at its very best!

This won the internet (and my heart) forever and ever.

DO NOT WATCH if you haven't seen ALL of seasons 2-4 of the re-vamp of Doctor Who. Seriously. Like, I didn't want to share it because I was so worried of spoilers for people who haven't seen it yet. THAT MEANS YOU, JANELLE.

Oh man, this makes me bawl like a baby.




If you haven't seen seasons 1-4 of Doctor Who (2005), WHY THE HELL NOT? I will watch them with you!

#458: Live Through This by Hole

2.01.2011

Live Through This by Hole (1994)

Favorite Track(s): "Doll Parts" and "Softer, Softest", I suppose

Thoughts: (Pre-listening) Guys, I know you expect me to be all, 'wooo-another-lady!' about this but of all the ladies in music, did Courtney Love have to show up on this list? I fully admit I have never listened to a Hole song in my life (that I know of), so there's a lot of pre-judgement going on here, but for the love. (Get it?) I have zero desire to listen to this right now. ZERO. And as I have stated previously, I believe that this music will in no way match the goodness that we've already found lower on the list, which will be enraging. I've also become concerned that neither John Denver, nor Kenny Loggins will be showing up on the list (it may not be true! Maybe they will!), and if this album turns out to be as annoying as I'm prepared for it to be, there will be blood. I've decided to keep a barely-open mind. I like the cover art, so there's a start.

(Post-listening) So I guess the movie Jennifer's Body was referencing the Hole song? Do I care? No, no I do not.

#459: Love and Theft by Bob Dylan


Love and Theft by Bob Dylan (2001)

Favorite Song(s): "Mississippi"

Thoughts: Well, if we're going to try to top Elton John, we might as well do it with Bob Dylan.

I feel like I heard Dylan interviewed about this album on NPR, but I might be totally imagining it, or it was a different album.

Anyway, I'd never heard Love and Theft before, as I am mostly familiar with his earlier stuff. As often is the case with this list, this album is full of music I respect, but don't particularly enjoy. But Bob Dylan gets to do whatever he wants.

It was just fairly country-rockabilly, and I guess I wasn't in the mood.