Archive for the ‘General Music’ Category

23 Songs For Today

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

1) I’M NOT DOWN (The Clash)
2) THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (The Clash)
3) IF MUSIC COULD TALK (The Clash)
4) COULDN’T CALL IT UNEXPECTED NO. 4 (Elvis Costello)
5) MONDAY (The Jam)
6) SET THE HOUSE ABLAZE (Jam)
7) ASIMBONANGA (Johnny Clegg)
8) LATE TO THE PARTY (Kacey Musgraves)
9) FINE (Kacey Musgraves)
10) ALONE AGAIN OR (Love)
11)A HOUSE IS NOT A MOTEL (Love)
12) THE RED TELEPHONE (Love)
13) WONDER PEOPLE (I DO WONDER) (Love)
14) ORANGE SKIES (Love)
15) SHE LOOKS GOOD (Bryan MacLean)
16) LITTLE WING (Neil Young)
17) LONG LONG ROAD (Paul Weller)
18) THE CRANES ARE BACK (Paul Weller)
19) THE IMPOSSIBLE IDEA (Paul Weller)
20) MY EVER CHANGING MOODS (Style Council)
21) HEADSTART FOR HAPPINESS (Style Council)
22) PARTY CHAMBERS(Style Council)
23) COME ON, FEEL THE ILLIONOISE (Sufjan Stevens)

Forever Young, Much More Than 64

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

McCartney on stage playing guitar and singing. It’s hard to think of the chirpiest, seemingly forever young Beatle as a man who turned 75 today. We are certainly thankful he is still with us, touring the world and coming up with new music. Loving Paul may not come with the “hipness” of John or even George, but this is someone who has come up with some of the greatest songs ever, and who was part of a 50 year old album that has re-topped the charts. Very best birthday wishes, Paul.

A Poignant Adios

Friday, June 16th, 2017

GlenCampbellAdios.jpg Glen Campbell’s slow decline due to Alzheimer’s is in many ways as sad as those pop and rock stars who check out too early. At least fans have been able to say goodbye to him in person during his farewell concerts, and there have been a number of farewell records. Adios, released last Friday, is a fitting final goodbye – recorded after the final concerts, and including songs that Campbell had always loved and never recorded.

Fittingly, one-third of the album included songs written by the masterful Jimmy Webb -all from Webb’s 1993 Suspending Disbelief album. There is a fairly fun cover of Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice ,It’s All Right, and heavyweights Vince Gill and Willie Nelson lend a hand. Overall, it’s a professional and poignant testament to Campbell’s talent and legacy.

Getting Out Of London

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Home Counties With album and compilation titles like So Tough, Good Humor and You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone, it’s not hard to see where Saint Etienne’s musical allegiance lies -even if sometimes they may seem more focused on the dancefloor than our beloved Brian Wilson.

They have also focused a lot on their beloved London, but for their latest record, they move just a little bit further afield to the Home Counties, the mix of rural areas and dormitory towns around the English capital, which also the title of their new album. As with much of Saint Etienne’s music, there is an element of nostalgia, but possibly for a past that never was.

As with much of their music, this is classic pop for the dancefloor. They have gifted us with 19 tracks and basically a double-album’s worth of music, but the immediate highlights for me include Whyteleafe and the atmospheric Sweet Arcadia. After more madness in London last night, What Kind Of World seems particularly poignant, asking “what kind of world is it we’re living in” and suggesting “let’s find another planet.” That may be a bit tricky, but for now Home Counties is a good substitute to escape to.

Yes They’re Back. No Ti Amo

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Image result for lucky soul no ti amo This blog has had a lot of love for Lucky Soul and seven years has been too long to wait for new music from them. But they are back, and you can read what has happened to them, and how they are responding to the very different world of 2017 (and pre-order their new album).  Meanwhile, they have released their first single, the reflective disco stormer No Ti Amo to remind us why we missed them so much. Like their best songs, you can dance to it at the party, bop along to it in the car and reflect on it at home.

Happy 50th!

Friday, May 26th, 2017

The Beatles, holding marching band instruments and wearing colourful uniforms, stand near a grave covered with flowers that spell "Beatles". Standing behind the band are several dozen famous people. Today (at  least as far as the UK is concerned) is the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band - probably the best known album release of all time, and one that remains very close to the top of critical polls, aside from some staggering commercial success. There are a lot of what-ifs had SMiLE been released a few months earlier as originally planned, but today is about celebrating the record that expanded what rock music could do, and reflected the joys, hopes and fears of the summer of love. 50 years later, we could certainly do with another summer of love, joy and compassion.

The Revolution We Need

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Image result for a kind revolution Paul Weller’s record-making career now spans 40 years, and while there is a fair musical distance from 1977s In The City to Weller’s latest record, most of his work is connected by power, melodicism and also a desire to progress and not be constrained by the previous record..this is the person who broke up his band at the height of their success to “progress” his music.

Weller’s albums in the since 2008 have received quite a bit of acclaim for being willing to experiment and move beyond the “mod” rock boundaries. Weller has also been known to be quite political, especially in his Style Council, but his new revolution of his latest record moves the revolution from the political to the personal -to the radical idea that one may have to change oneself.

So his latest record, with a title reflecting that the world could do with a lot more kindness, sets out this new world mood as well his ongoing musical progression. It’s a bit more gospel-ly, a bit more melodic, even a little more hearkening back to the Style Council, but it is also testament to Weller’s ongoing drive for quality, meaning and good music. There are 10 solid tracks, with the picks being Long Long Road, The Cranes Are Back and The Impossible Idea which all move the album to an almost transcendental level with a mixture of hope and self-reflection.

Goodbye Mr. Berry

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Chuck Berry 1957.jpg While Chuck Berry was certainly a rock and roll survivor, his recent passing reminds us that nothing is forever, and that the roots of rock and roll are now a number of generations away. It is also fair to say that without him, there may well not have been the Beatles, Beach Boys or even Dylan in form that gave him worldwide acclaim. The Beatles covered his songs; Brian Wilson used on one of his melodies as a basis for the hit that set the Beach Boys off. While others may have made rock and roll into art, Chuck Berry gave it the original backbeat. And for that, we say thank you and goodbye to the one of the main pioneers.

23 Songs For Today

Monday, March 13th, 2017

1. Train Tracks for Wheezy -  A Little Orchestra and Haiku Salut
2.Let’s Live Before We Die -   The Beach Boys
3. Why – The Beach Boys
4. Bobby Left Me –    Brian Wilson
5. Kahuna Sunset -   Buffalo Springfield
6. Falcon Lake (Ash On The Floor) –    Buffalo Springfield
7. What Makes You Stay – Deana Carter
8. Here You Come Again-    Dolly Parton
9. All Our Dreams Are Coming True-    Gene Page
10. Christmas Makes Me Cry-    Kacey Musgraves
11. Present Without a Bow –    Kacey Musgraves
12. Perfect World-    Katie Melua
13. All-Night Vigil ( Nunc Dimittis)    -Katie Melua
14. Two Bare Feet    -Katie Melua
15. Walking Down Madison    -Kirsty MacColl
16. Soho Square  -  Kirsty MacColl
17. In Amsterdam   – Paul Weller
18. Discover A Lovelier You    -Pernice Brothers
19. Alpine Crossing   – Swing Out Sister
20. Caipirinha    -Swing Out Sister
21. I’m in Love    -Teenage Fanclub
22. The First Sight    -Teenage Fanclub
23. Will You Be Staying After Sunday    -The Peppermint Rainbow

Just When We Need Paddy

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Breaking his extended silence … Paddy McAloon. Regular readers of the blog will know that the music of Prefab Sprout and Paddy McAloon is very much up there as one of my favorite artists. As Paddy has suffered both sight and hearing problems, any music from him is a special gift, and the unexpected 2013 album Crimson/Red could have been seen as a swansong. But he is back with a Youtube video , and even if it is a one-off, the subject matter could hardly be more relevant in the strange post-2016 world. There is also a great write-up on the song and it’s  background on the Guardian.