Archive for the ‘General Music’ Category

An Important Trip To The Country

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Today another important album turns 50 – Sweetheart Of The Rodeo was a commercial failure with a mixed critical reception, but is now regarded as the first country-rock album and a major milestone in the ever-expanding palate of pop and rock in 1968.

The Sweetheart Of The Rodeo Byrds were a very different group to the band that popularized folk rock and took Mr. Tambourine Man to number one. Only Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman remained from the original band, while the iconic Gram Parsons was an important addition to the band.

The two Dylan songs were a link to the past, but these were two unheard Dylan songs from the Basement Tapes sessions, done in traditional country style alongside two Parsons originals plus seven older and newer country standards. While Dylan’s You Ain’t Going Nowhere and Parsons Hickory Wind are probably the standouts, especially in terms of the original music, it is the overall countrified sound across all the songs that makes the album an important listen throughout.

On release, the album managed to alienate both rock fans, who didn’t like the traditional country and possibly even the traditional values espoused by The Christian Life and some other songs, as well as country fans who didn’t like the idea of the long-haired hippies doing their music. 50 years later, the union of rock and country has inspired many an artist, and showed us that building bridges across differences is a lot better than building walls.

 

Reflections

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

It’s a time for reflection – as the world mourns the great loss of Aretha Franklin, at a personal level, the 15th August marked the 10th anniversary of the passing of my mother.

On Thursday night, Brian played a show in Berlin, a city that I visited recently. While not conventionally attractive like many European cities, it is a place of reflection, where the greatest evil of the last century was centered, but also of hope and rising above a past. It looks like Brian’s show was well-attended and successful as this review attests. (in German, but can easily be translated online).

23 Songs For Today

Friday, July 27th, 2018
  1. Passing By -The Beach Boys
  2.  Diamond Head -The Beach Boys
  3. I Went To Sleep The Beach Boys
  4. Friends -The Beach Boys
  5. Anything At All -Crosby, Stills & Nash
  6. Lady Stardust -David Bowie
  7. Ziggy Stardust -David Bowie
  8. Might As Well Be Dumbo -The High Llamas
  9. There Is Always Something There To Remind Me -The Housemartins
  10. When It Was Done -Hugo Montenegro
  11. Tired Of Waiting For You -The Kinks
  12. Dosed -Red Hot Chili Peppers
  13. Can’t Stop -Red Hot Chili Peppers
  14. Million Miles of Water -Red Hot Chili Peppers
  15. Hard To Concentrate -Red Hot Chili Peppers
  16. Ride Away -Roy Orbison
  17. Hips Dont Lie-  Shakira (ft Wyclef Jean)
  18. (It Ain’t Necessarily) Byrd Avenue -Spanky & Our Gang
  19. California Suite -The Beach Boys & Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  20. Power Lines -The Magic Numbers
  21. The Hustle -Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
  22. Leave Me Be -The Zombies
  23. Nothing’s Changed -The Zombies

Brief Dispatches

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

This blog wishes Elvis Costello well after his recent cancer diagnosis and surgery. The singer recently cancelled the rest of his tour dates to recuperate from surgery. Here’s to a 100% recovery and lot of good vibrations going Elvis’s way.

Coming back to tour after surgery  in just over a week is Brian Wilson. His next date is on the 15th July, in British Colombia.

 

23 Songs For Today

Saturday, June 30th, 2018
  1. The Morning After -Ashley Monroe
  2. I’ll Still Love You (When Every Song Is Sung) – Cilla Black
  3. I Don’t Want To – Deana Carter
  4. I Could Never Say Goodbye – Enya
  5. Native Land -Everything But The Girl
  6. Accidently Kelly Street -Frente!
  7. Tomorrow On The Runway -The Innocence Mission
  8. Happy & Sad -Kacey Musgraves
  9. Rainbow -Kacey Musgraves
  10. Nothing At All -Kasey Chambers
  11. Call Off The Search -Katie Melua
  12. Blue -Lucinda Williams
  13. Shiver -Natalie Imbruglia
  14. Sleep All Summer -Neko Case
  15. If I Turn Away -October Project
  16. Native New Yorker -Odyssey
  17. Manhattan -Saint Etienne
  18. You’re In A Bad Way -Saint Etienne
  19. My Heart Can’t Tell You No -Sara Evans
  20. It Don’t Matter Now (Missing You) -Sarah Darling
  21. Leader Of The Pack -The Shangri-Las
  22. If You Could Only Be Me – Spanky & Our Gang
  23. Earthbound/Epilogue -The 5th Dimension

When I’m 76 Part 2

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

 

Today, we celebrate the 76th birthday of the Mozart of pop ‘n rock, Brian Wilson. We are thankful for his immeasurable contribution to melody, harmony, music and culture and wish him a day of peace and joy with his family – with his music featuring high on the charts, there is much is celebrate.

Meanwhile, the birthday boy of two days ago has announced the release of his latest solo album. No doubt, he will also be flying up the chart soon.

When I’m 76

Monday, June 18th, 2018

It’s that time of year as the days reach their longest in the north, and the shortest in the south, that the Gemini twins of song celebrate their birthdays two days apart. It’s Sir Paul’s turn first, so very best birthday to Paul McCartney and thanks for a very full time of great music.

Taking The Midland Line

Friday, May 25th, 2018

I’ve recently covered some great country pop albums by the ladies, so now it’s the turn of the gentlemen. On the recommendation of Jason Brewer of the Explorer’s Club, I explored Midland’s debut album On The Rocks, and I’m impressed. Ostensibly neo-traditionalist country, it is full of catchy and melodic songs that transcend the country genre and move into great pop music.  There are a lot of really strong songs here, but Drinkin’ Problem, Burn Out and Electric Rodeo are some of the standouts.

Pet Sounds 50 ..And 2

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Since I last posted, we’ve had Pet Sounds 52nd birthday, taking place while Brian Wilson is still touring the album’s 50th birthday. Here is what I wrote about the greatest album in the universe on it’s golden anniversary. There’s been a wedding that some of you have heard about, and in much more obscure but highly welcome news….after 14 years, a new album from A Girl Called Eddy.

23 Songs For Today

Monday, May 14th, 2018

1.  Hard On A Heart-  Ashley Monroe
2.  The Power of Three -Belle and Sebastian
3.  Best Friend -Belle and Sebastian
4.  Bare Feet -Caroline Jones
5. Love Of The Loved -Cilla Black
6, Anniversary Song -Cowboy Junkies
7. Twice As Worth It -Deana Carter
8. So I Could Find My Way -Enya
9. Another Bridge -Everything But The Girl
10. The Lakes of Canada -The Innocence Mission
11. Dirty Computer- Janelle Monáe (feat. Brian Wilson)
12. Space Cowboy -Kacey Musgraves
13. Golden Hour -Kacey Musgraves
14. Out of Reach -Karnataka
15. A Million Tears -Kasey Chambers
16. The Closest Thing To Crazy -Katie Melua
17. I Envy The Wind -Lucinda Williams
18. If I Could -October Project
19. Terribly Sorry -Saint Etienne
20. Fascination -Saint Etienne
21. Montmartre -Sarah Darling
22. Since You’ve Gone -Spanky & Our Gang
23. Walk Your Feet In The Sunshine -The 5th Dimension