Archive for the ‘General Music’ Category

Bob’s Ode To The Past And Present

Monday, March 30th, 2020

He was around during the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam War, Oil crisis, Great Financial Crisis, and now Bob Dylan is thankfully very much around during the COVID-19 crisis. Not only that, he has released his first original song since 2020.

Murder Most Foul throws in a litany of cultural references is Dylan’s first original song, and his longest ever. Ostensibly about JFK’s assassination, that NPR has noted is “worth many repeated listens and will occupy any Dylanologist holed up at home”. One of the references is the Beach Boys own Carl Wilson.

There is a contrast between the soft musical background of piano and violins and Dylan’s harsh tone and words, which makes it partially an easy listen, and partially a difficult one. What is for sure is that it is the perfect song for these time of introspection and isolation.

Didn’t That Happen Before?

Saturday, March 14th, 2020

It’s another 50 year anniversary to celebrate today and the album is Déjà Vu, released just over 50 years ago on March 11, 1970. The hippie idealism in many of the songs may come from another age, especially with the current uncertainties, but the album remains a quality product from four great musicians. The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young dream was impacted by tension between the four members, but this album reflected the height of their musical unity and vision.

23 Songs For Today

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

1. Lightning In A Bottle- Carly Pearce
2. Love Has No Heart -Carly Pearce
3. Greener Grass -Carly Pearce
4. Crescent Noon -Carpenters
5. Big Mouth -A Girl Called Eddy
6. Charity Shop Window -A Girl Called Eddy
7. Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart -A Girl Called Eddy
8. Not That Sentimental Anymore -A Girl Called Eddy
9. Two Hearts -A Girl Called Eddy
10. Come To the Palisades! -A Girl Called Eddy
11. Life Thru The Same Lens -A Girl Called Eddy
12. Fading… -A Girl Called Eddy
13. The Brothers Williams Said -The Innocence Mission
14. Sun on the Square -The Innocence Mission
15. Dogwood -Jenny Lewis
16. Taffy -Jenny Lewis
17. OMG ILY -Madison Kozak
18. Nothing Is in Vain -MonaLisa Twins
19. A Little Crazy -Nicole Atkins
20.Neptune City -Nicole Atkins
21. Thank You Very Much -Saint Etienne
22. Tramway Song -Saint Etienne
23. Bad Habit -Sarah Darling

Been Around And Very Much Back

Saturday, January 25th, 2020

My first album review of the new decade is very likely to cover one of my favorite albums of the new ’20s. A Girl Called Eddy is back with her second full length album, more than 15 years after the first,  although she was very much part of 2018 collaboration with Mehdi Zannad on The Last Detail. The album starts with a poignant spoken “girl, where you been” on the title track, a brilliantly produced song showcasing all that is great about pop music. The video is also worth many repeated views.

What follows is another 10 brilliant pop songs that will grow on you, worm into your ears and the top of your playlists. While I am still digesting of all the brilliance a week after the release, Big Mouth, the poignant Charity Shop Window, Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart and Two Hearts are all clearly remarkable songs. Produced by Daniel Tashian , who produced Kacey Musgraves’ Grammy winning Golden Hour, the album exudes a classic pop sound which hearkens back to the best of Brian Wilson, Bacharach and Jimmy Webb. Musically, it’s a brilliant start to the new decade from a brilliant artist.

Goodbye To A Flame

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Internet access issues have delayed this post, but on Saturday, the sad news came in that Steve Fataar had passed away. An integral part of the Flames, who as a mixed-race South African group who defied apartheid became an important part of the white Californian Beach Boys, he was one who stayed at home in South Africa. While Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar joined the Beach Boys for a while and became internationally renowned musicians, Steve remained a vital part of the local music scene. Poignantly, he passed away just after performing a gig at his favorite spot. As a South African, the Flames and Beach Boys connection, is one of fascination and pride. Sadly, now, we have lost a part of that connection. As we say in South Africa, Hamba Kahle, Steve Fataar.

Hello 20s, Goodbye Neil

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

I’m late on both counts, but my first blogpost for the new decade is to both welcome the new decade as well say farewell to Neil Innes, who passed away two days before the end of the ’10s. Innes, known as the “seventh member” of Monty Python, one of the Rutles as well as part of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band, may not have been a household name, but was part of a lot of great music and comedy. What struck me from the various tributes was how nice a person he seemed to be. Another big loss from the last decade -but wishing all my readers a wonderful decade full of great music.


Saturday, December 21st, 2019

December is the month of remembrance and reflection for everyone, but especially Beach Boys fans. Today would have been Carl Wilson’s 73rd birthday, but sadly it is almost 22 years since he passed away. It’s also the month we remember Dennis Wilson’s birth and passing, as well as the tragic assassination of John Lennon. And maybe less famously, but no less poignantly, the tragic death of Kirsty MacColl, who died on December 18, 2000, far too early.

Two To Explore In 2020

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

The new decade will get off to a great musical start with the release of not one, but two new Explorers Club records out on February 2020. One is an eponymous album of originals, while the other is a covers record called To Sing And Be Born Again. You can pre-order them here  and get an advance track from each album.

Another Decade Ends In Turmoil

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

5o years ago, the 60s ended with uncertainty and foreboding, after a tumultuous 1969 with the Vietnam War and many other things unresolved. So it may be fitting that in the decade of peace and love, the last classic album of the decade was a dark record reflecting both discord in the world and in the band. Let It Bleed is by no means easy listening, but the Rolling Stones classic album begins and ends with two absolute classics. Gimme Shelter and You Can’t Always Get What You Want offer contrasting tempos, but both offer hope and solace during tough times. So happy 50th birthday , Let It Bleed!

23 Songs For Today

Friday, November 29th, 2019

1) Free and Wild -Alice Peacock
2) Party Of One -Brandi Carlile
3) Tokyo Kyoto -Cornelia Murr
4) Are You With Me? -Courtney Jaye
5)Carnival -Emily Cavanagh
6)Last To Leave -Emily Cavanagh
7)Been Around -A Girl Called Eddy
8) My Only Child -The Highwomen
9)Wheels of Laredo -The Highwomen
10) Highwomen -The Highwomen
11) Ready To Love Again Joanna Wallfisch
12) Ballet of Birds -Joanna Wallfisch
13) Killing Time -The Last Detail
14) Tomorrow Morning -Lola Kirke
15) Past Life -Maggie Rogers
16) This Could Take a Lifetime -Maria Taylor
17) Frederick Douglass -Rumer
18) Take Me As I Am-Rumer
19) Goodbye Girl- Rumer
20) London Fog- Sarah Darling
21) Fall Into Me- Sugarland
22) Good Morning Tokyo -Swan Dive
23) Wild Time -Weyes Blood