Beck, Belle & Sebastian, Benny Goodman, Betty Wright & The Roots

First up, a very Happy Birthday to my lovely gorgeous wife!

Next up, an admission: I knew I had to shut off the Killer Be Killed CD, difficult as that was to do, so I could have some music I could write about for today! So, we cleaned up the house to some of this, then I spent some time culling through boxes of old crap for disposal, during which I heard the rest! Oh, and it still hasn’t stopped snowing.

Beck – Odelay

The timing here is great, given the recent Beck conversation over on Geoff’s excellent 1001albumsintenyears site. Over the years, I have owned a few Beck records, all earlier stuff. At a certain point I drifted away from his music, probably just my tastes changing. I found this copy of Odelay for $2 in our thrift shop, snagged it for nostalgia, and was still pretty impressed by it now, in 2015. It’s certainly of its time, not sure how it would go over if it was a new album right now, but I’m glad it’s here. Lots of strong songs, funky ideas. Neat!

Belle & Sebastian – The Boy With The Arab Strap

I truly don’t know how this CD ended up in my collection. To be honest, I don’t tend to listen to this kind of music very often. It certainly is a busy record, lots of instruments in tight arrangements. The songs are very light and airy, very pop. The songs are stories, and I love the accents. But there’s an edge to the stuff here, so don’t let the sweet confection of it fool you.

Benny Goodman – Swing-Sation: Benny Goodman

I’m a swing fan from childhood, grew up hearing the big band stuff at my grandparents’ place. It’s in my blood, and I’ve said many times I was born in the wrong era, missing this music I love, but then those were war years so lucky me I wasn’t anyway! Benny Goodman, of course, was one of the big stars of that era. I don’t usually like the clarinet, but this sort of music is the one place it works (to my ears). And this being a compilation, all the hits are here, like Stompin’ At The Savoy, One O’Clock Jump, Sing, Sing, Sing, and 11 others. For me, this is bliss!

Betty Wright & The Roots – Betty Wright: The Movie

I love The Roots, and pairing them with Betty Wright is a genius idea. This is funky, soulful music, and Wright’s voice is gorgeous. Another key here is that The Roots play all the instruments – this isn’t manufactured and knob-twiddled R&B like alot of the crap out there, no sir, this is the real deal. All of the current divas should be using this as a textbook on how good R&B can still be made now, in the tech age. This is a really great CD. Throw it on and find yourself pulled deep into it and loving every minute!

15 thoughts on “Beck, Belle & Sebastian, Benny Goodman, Betty Wright & The Roots

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yes! One Foot In The Grave! The cool thing about his career, at this point, is there’s likely something for everyone. Odelay was just one of those albums that was everywhere. Actually, it may be burnout on the stuff, since ot got so much play. But I still found it quite listenable through today’s lens – in fact, I’m quite a different man than I was twenty years ago, in some ways, so it was fun to rediscover it. But if he ain’t your bag, that’s cool too. I could see how it’d be an acquired taste for a rocker!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mikeladano says:

        Yes it was definitely an aquired taste for me. But there was also a huge burn out factor due to the store of course. I remember being surprised it was selling. It was really out there! That is a good thing, of course, artistically, but not always commercially!


        1. keepsmealive says:

          There’s a Rollins track called LA Money Train, something like that, and it’s this groove with him just ranting (of course), and he goes off on what, I always assumed, was Beck (and people like him). He never says the name, I just figured, you know? Oh Rollins.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. stephen1001 says:

    Aww shucks for the shout-out!

    Agreed that Odelay is definitely of its time – as the mid-90s might be my favourite era of music, that could not be less of a problem for me!

    I’ve been told to explore the boy with the arab strap (falling neatly under the cateogry of ‘sad bastard’ music, right up my alley) and your description of confection with an edge appeals to me.

    Happy day Mrs. KMA!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Hey man, credit where credit is due!

      A good chunk of my collection is 90s too, I guess because that was when I started buying music in bulk. 😉

      The B&S was a very interesting listen for me. Like I say, not usually on my radar, but I can see how a certain segment of the music listening population would embrace this type of thing whole-heartedly. Let me know how you get on with it, if you ever get their stuff!

      My lovely wife says Thanks!


  2. J. says:

    Hurrah! for Odelay – still as fresh today as it was all them years ago! For $2 I dare say I’d have bought a second copy! … I listen to it fairly regularly, but as much as I love it I can’t see myself ever replacing my CD unless they reissue it on vinyl for the 20th anniversary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Yeah I hadn’t heard it in ages and it was amazing how much was still right there in my brain. They probably will re-issue it. They seem to be reissuing most things, these days.


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