Author Archives: keepsmealive
Sheer, unvarnished, brilliance.
I’m still on the hunt for Part 2/2.
Sure Shot (Album Version)
Son Of A Neckbone
Sure Shot (Nardone Mix)
You know Sabotage, and it’s a giant. Get It Together is a slinky groove and, while it’s definitely NSFW, it’s a ton of fun. This single is six tracks of Beasties fun.
I love these guys.
Sabotage (LP Version)
Get It Together (LP Version)(f. Q-Tip)
Get It Together (Buck-Wild Remix)
Dope Little Song
Get It Together (A.B.A. Remix)
“Phone is ringin’. Oh my god…”
The Beasties were back, licensed to Ill, and ready to Communicate with explosive genius. Do I even need to tell you about how huge this masterpiece is? Of course not.
One of my favourite music videos ever. Not just favourite Beastie Boys video, but of all music videos:
Another classic banger, oh man. I love this track.
So much attitude, so much power, so much skill.
This single is more like an EP. They just keep on giving.
So What’cha Want
The Skills To Pay The Bills (Original Version)
So What’Cha Want (Soul Assassin Remix Version)(f. Cypress Hill)
Groove Holmes (LP Version)
So What’Cha Want (Butt Naked Version)
Groove Holmes (Live Vs The Biz)
So What’Cha Want (All The Way Live Freestyle Version)
“Yeah, you can’t front on that…”
This single, for a fantastic track that I’m sure you know well, found a loving home here in my collection.
Pass The Mic (LP Version)
Dub The Mic (Instrumental)
Drunken Praying Mantis Style
Pass The Mic (Pt. 2, Skills To Pay The Bills)
“Be true to yourself and you will never fall…”
Here now, with two sonic behemoths in their arsenal, the Beasties craft their third massive joint. And it’s glorious. Continuing to defy expectations and limitations, the Beasties even throw some punk into the mix and prove they are here to stay.
For me, this was when I knew these guys were for real, that the snotty brilliance of Licensed To Ill wasn’t a one-off. So many great tracks here, and so many samples! It’s now a classic, of course. Just miles and miles away and above everything else.
Strap in for the next pile of posts, I’ve got what’cha what’cha what’cha want…
The first time I heard this blast of brilliance, it was coming from a neighbour kid’s tinny little boombox in his dusty old garage. I can’t say it was an immediate revelation, that my world changed and I never looked back. But I somehow knew that I was listening to an important album. Sadly, because I was a kid, I couldn’t have verbalized it at the time. And look at it now. And, well, look at me now. Ha!
* Kerry King of Slayer on guitar. Rubin was recording the Slayer album as well, just down the hall in the same studio…
This 1967 Hits set on LP does have Long, Tall Texan, Please Let Me Wonder, 409, Let Him Run Wild and Little Saint Nick mixed into the usual hits, so it’s a fun listen.
Like yesterday’s hits LP, this one from 1966 wasn’t required either, but I have a hard time saying no to classic collections on LP for $1. This one has Louie Louie, too.
This 1974 2LP wasn’t required, song-wise, in my collection, but it’s an LP hits set, covering 1963-1966. Sometimes you just wanna drop the needle on some old classics, you know? Interestingly (for those who love info like this), it contains album versions of Be True To Your School, Help Me Rhonda and Fun, Fun, Fun, rather than the hit-single versions.
Hitting 200 posting-days in a row (today) made me realize that, despite best intentions, I’ve been entirely remiss. All apologies, folks! I haven’t been Reading your wonderful blogs, and that’s pretty shitty of me, especially since you fine folks take the time to comment on mine.
Exponentially worse since I’m the one always touting Community around here, in the past being part of bringing folks together, participating in group series, posts and adventures, and being a bigger part of that Community than I have been in, well, ages. I’ve no real explanation for any of it, except that if you let it, life will fill in time with other things. For me, trapped in the house since March, I ought to be all caught up on all of your posts, but obviously Reading has fallen to the wayside.
So, I’ll read whatever’s at the top of the Reader each day, and then try to work backwards from there. It won’t be great swaths, and you may only see a Like on a post, perhaps not a comment for each, but you’ll at least know I’m out here and trying to get caught back up a wee bit.
See you soon!
According to WP, I’ve posted 200 days in a row since I started that Skip 5 silliness ages ago. And still the quarantine sails on…
Paired, like a fine wine, with yesterday’s The Sounds Of Summer compilation, this 28-track compilation fills in the rest of what a casual listener would need from this band’s long career. It contains various new and original stereo mixes of the songs, and it’s proof that this band could, at the very least, write a catchy tune!
This 30-song compilation, combined with (spoiler alert) tomorrow’s disc, might be all the casual fan needs of the Beach Boys. It’s sunny and warm and fun, and nostalgic as hell.
I grew up on the Beach Boys, played on my Mom’s jukebox.
This is a classic album, thought to be an early musical concept album, which I love for all the reasons you’d imagine. Some of the stuff, like the push-pull of God Only Knows is, to me, exhausting, and there are moments of lyrical immaturity (don’t flame me, just an opinion). But there isn’t a track here that doesn’t grab your attention completely one way or the other.
Talk about a perfect match: that sweet, sweet swing and those sweet, sweet voices, my goodness. Having been on a Basie kick these past few days, I feel great!
Here’s the whole album:
Recorded June 20-22, 1966, this LP is 11 tracks of beauty. How could it not be, the man oozed swing from every pore and every move, with gorgeous arrangements, sensibility and, let’s face it, perfection everywhere. Hyperbole? Not even close.
Players: Count Basie (piano), Freddie Greene (guitar), George Duvivier (bass), Eddie Shaughnessy (drums), Roy Eldridge (trumpet), Al Grey and Billy Byers (trombones), and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (tenor sax).
Here’s the full album:
It’s been unseasonably warm here, recently. Reports of snow elsewhere (sorry, James!) clash with our past few days at over 20C.
Now, we know this is too good to last. All the leaves have fallen from the trees, and we have the snow tires on the cars, and we know the winter is coming. I know a lot of people grumble about the winter but, me, I love it too. It’s all good.
So, when we get a last gasp of lovely weather here in November, there’s only one thing left to do – go to the beach! On Sunday, we took the kids over to Southampton for a walk along the beach, with Chantry Island lighthouse just offshore, and it was great to just get (probably) this year’s last warm look at the place before it all ices over.
Every year we solemnly observe the sacrifices and hardships endured during past conflicts. Without diminishing any other year, this year (the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII) feels somehow that bit more poignant, more powerful, and more in need of these reminders. We must remember that, no matter how divisive the times, we are in this together, as one. Never again.
For casual fans who know One O’Clock Jump, and Jumpin’ At The Woodside, etc, this 1980 Pablo Records LP (2310-852) brings you a handful of probably new-to-you tracks that are still straight-up hits. It earns its name as a pure lesson in swing!
So much sweetness.
Side A: Tree Frog/Swee’ Pea/Ticker/Flirt
Side B: Blues For Alfy/Billie’s Bounce/Festival Blues
…With Members Of The Count Basie Orchestra, Maxwell Davis Conducting, B.B. King, Guest Vocalist.
NB: I made it so you can click on these images to make them bigger, read the liner notes, etc. Enjoy!
Oh yes, this 1959 Crown Records LP (CST 143) is a sweet thing indeed.
You get: on Side A: Everyday I Have The Blues (f. B.B. King), Red Bank Boogie, Jumpin’ At The Woodside, Every Tub. And on side B: April In Paris, Basie Boogie, John’s Idea, and One O’Clock Jump. Man, I love young B.B. vocals!
I grew up on stuff like this, and it punches many happy buttons for me. Best of all, despite the LP sleeve on this copy being in slightly rough shape, the thick vinyl itself is intact, and a beautiful, clear, deep red (as you can see in the pictures, above). Delicious!
Oh my goodness, such glory. You can’t hit Play fast enough! All 8 tracks attached to this one video. Enjoy them all! Let the majesty wash over you as you remember a different time…
This compilation of unreleased and alternate take songs, from the Madcap Laughs and Barrett sessions, was approved by Syd himself for release. My 1993 re-issue contains 6 bonus tracks (almost 20 minutes of extra music). A cool companion to his two albums.
His second (and final) album of new material, Barrett is an interesting extension, I think, to Madcap Laughs. My mind just packages them together. It’s a deep dive, but listening is worth it.
I’ll admit trepidation about the next couple of posts. Why would I try typing anything about anyone or anything releated to Pink Floyd? This ground is very, very well-covered already, and folks have very definite opinions on every note and second of their history. Who am I to even try, at this point?
Ah well, into the breach…
This is his first solo record after leaving Pink Floyd, from 1970, and (as you can imagine) it’s a wild ride. Somewhere between Floyd, the Beatles, and every 60s garage rock band you’ve heard, and I love it a bunch.
But you’ll probably have your own thoughts, and fair play.
Most reviews about this one said the sound mix was so bad… listening again for this post, they’re right. The songs are there, and I get the aesthetic that was, perhaps, the vision, but pushing everything that hard without acknowledging that listeners need to be able to listen to it is a disservice to this monumental band. Still, I’m a completist, so I’ll keep it, but it could have been so much more.
It becomes apparent that, over this course of albums thus far, Baroness has simply been releasing one long greatest hits collection in multiple album form.
This one’s another slow build, but SO worth sticking with it!
This band just never misses. Slightly more accessible than previous records, here’s a double album, because surely one at a time isn’t enough… Glorious.
For the longest time, I was dismissive about John Mayer. He’s a discount Dave Matthews. He’s not the heir to B.B. King, despite what some have said. He’s not a guitar g-d, he’s a suburban white kid from CT who writes radio-ready pop love music and got famous.
Given time and exposure, I then ran a deeper gamut on how I felt about John Mayer. I’ve disliked him, been indifferent, and enjoyed him.
Poor guy, I’m sure he cares.
I have only posted about him three times in the whole history of this blog (est. 2006), at the end of 2017, so I must have been circling him around then…
HERE, on 2017-11-18, I made a post about where I was with his stuff at the time. I did enjoy that Someday I’ll Fly documentary, though…
HERE, on 2017-12-12, I reviewed Room For Squares (his first LP). I liked it well enough, and seemed to tell myself I’d dig deeper. Of course, it took me a while to get around to doing that.
HERE, on 2017-12-31, I actually included his album, The Search For Everything, in my Best of 2017 post. Somehow, I never reviewed it for the site, though. Great work, past-self!
TODAY, though, I know I’ve done my research. I’ve now heard all of his studio albums enough times to see my earlier criticisms dissipate. And I’ve watched enough live performances on YouTube to genuinely be very impressed.
Perhaps by now, here in 2020, I’ve matured in the past three years since my last post about him, mellowed like the entry level fine wine that I am. Maybe it just wasn’t for me back then, but it is now. That can happen, and it’s great when it does because discovering new-to-me music never gets old.
I have learned, too, that you need to not pay attention to some of the stuff that happened after he exploded into fame, separate the man’s experiences and media attention from the music as much as you can manage it, given its self-reflective lyrics, and just let the tunes stand on their own.
Whatever the case, I now know that if you listen closely, these are very smart, tuneful, earworm songs. Put the good headphones on, and you’ll discover the intricacies of his excellent guitar work, and his superb tone. Refuse to let it become background noise and you’ll actually come away quite impressed, overall. You’ll catch yourself humming his melodies days later.
Yes, there are tracks that don’t stand out, but every artist has those, especially compared to the hits (and he’s had many). But Mayer’s deep cuts are also worth a listen, because maybe on one day a song won’t resonate but then, on another, that same track hits you like a truck and you want it on repeat.
Yes, some of his radio hits are over-played and it’s easy to be sick of them yet, still, within the context of the albums, they fit into the overall picture and are a welcome part of this complete breakfast.
Yes, there are albums that I like better than others, but again, maybe later they’ll speak to me differently and the lights will go on.
Yes, his work is like listening to a well-curated, precisely-crafted ongoing diary project, open and honest and true.
You know something? I think I’m all the way there, now.
So, officially, here in November of 2020, I am now a pretty unshakeable John Mayer fan. It took me a good long while to get here, and I was pretty derisive about some of the claims about him when I got started with this. But, as I stated above, given time and repeat listens, at some point I actually got it. It clicked, and I get it now. I apologize, John. It was me, not you.
I’ve posted this before, but I think this documentary is excellent and you should watch it.
This band’s huge sound captivates me every time. You probaby have this band’s albums already but, if you don’t, you should get them!
This one’s a slow build, but it’s totally worth it!
This split EP is awesome. I love all of the songs here, from both bands!
Excellent 19-track compilation of hits, just as the title (taken, of course, from the song Box Set, on Gordon) indicates. I’m a bigger fan than this, but it’s a good overview for beginners, and has all the songs a passing fan might want from the period (probably).
There are some cool inclusions, like Lovers In A Dangerous Time (previously only found on a Bruce Cockburn tribute album), Get In Line (from the King Of The Hill TV show), and two new songs: It’s Me (The Wizard Of Magic Land), and Thanks That Was Fun.
73 minutes of BNL awesome sauce!
The Barenaked Ladies carried on, and made this good record. It’s the first one that didn’t hit me fully, at the time or now. Probably my tastes changed, because there’s a ton of solid stuff here! So it’s not you, BNL, it’s me ha!
I own two copies of this album.
First is the Special Limited Edition Version, which contains two bonus tracks, She’s On Time and Long Way Back Home. Cool.
I also own the regular CD, but it’s special because it’s signed by the band. I got it at HMV on release day, the first however-many people to buy it got a signed copy. Sadly, I did not get to meet the band to get these autographs.
Come to think of it, the closest I’ve ever come to meeting any of them, in all these years, was that time in Taranna at ComicCon with James, when Ed Robertson walked past (I didn’t see him), and James said “hey, do you know who that is?” and I looked up the street and saw Ed walking way from us, towards the building’s entrance. Too far for me to chase after him and, really, how geeky would that be. Anyway.
Maybe my take on this differs from yours, but I maintain that this album is third in a trilogy of absolutely essential BNL albums (with Gordon and Maybe You Should Drive). It’s brilliant, top to bottom. After this, for me, they weren’t quite whole-album great anymore, more like singles and good songs but not holding together as a record.
Aw, that’s not fair. Of course the other records are good, way better than I could ever do, and they maintained their sound, but somehow this is about where I got off the train of loving the whole record top to bottom. Fair play.
Check out Break Your Heart, and listen for him to lose it… fun!
Superb follow-up to Gordon. I knew plenty of people who were disappointed with the album overall, saying they wished the group had made another Gordon. Me, I thought this was really, really good. Intelligent, still witty but with more grown-up approaches, and with excellent song structures and melodies.
A big part of our high school experience, formative music. These guys were, back in the day, some of the best stuff happening in Canada at the time. Goofy, funny, yet real and with heart. Also tight as hell and off-the-charts creative. Also smart as hell.
This album, their first, is one that I know top to bottom, by heart. Every note, every word. I own two copies, both the Canadian and the American release. The only difference is the cover art.
This was their self-recorded basement demo tape, and it drew a ton of attention to them. And deservedly so.
It’s only 5 tracks: Be My Yoko Ono, Brian Wilson, Blame It On Me, If I Had $1000000, and a cool cover of Fight The Power.*
But writing “only” doesn’t do it justice. Each of those tracks is a monster, just sheer brilliance in songwriting and/or execution. The early 90s was a fertile time for this group to explode, and explode they did.
Yep, I own 6 copies of this. Every time I see one I buy it. It’s a rescue mission.
* I got this track on the Coneheads soundtrack CD, but there seems to be some question of whether it’s the same version as found here on the Yellow Tape. Does anyone know for sure?
I reach for the albums proper first, but sometimes you just want a nice mix. And yes, this is redundancy in the collection. Do I care? I can grab this one and it’ll do the trick every damn time.
Also, I think this is the end of what’s here for the Band, at the moment. I know the holes in the collection, and I intend to fill them!
A discount bin CD, it’s a collection of live tracks taken from Rock Of Ages. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that… except I want the complete Rock Of Ages, naturally, but anyway.
Do I need to own this LP? Not really, I have the songs elsewhere.
But do I need to own this Of course!
I do not own Volume 2, though, so my eyes are peeled…
Also, I couldn’t find a YouTube video with the actual cover art (left), but no matter.
So much beauty!
Come for the Motörhead. Stay for the Rollins.
That boxed set looks amazing!
You don’t need me to tell you anything about this one, right? Right.
I have, here, two original LP copies of this 3LP set, but not a CD set. Hm.
Anyway. Pure classic.
I don’t envy anyone who had the nigh-on impossible task of choosing such a short track list for an LP like this. Still, every song on here shines like a light.
I couldn’t find a YouTube video with this cover art (left), but you know this one. You probably already own it. As you were!
I don’t own Islands before this, or High On The Hog or Jubilation after it. So Jericho, their 8th studio album, is the last studio album of the Band I own, at the moment, and it’s on cassette! I intend to correct these oversiiiiights.
Released 17 years after their ‘farewell concert,’ Jericho is the first record featuring a new line-up (Jim Weider, Randy Ciarlante and Richard Bell joined Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko). There were also 14 other guest musicians on the album, including Champion Jack Dupree, Colin Linden and Steve Jordan (among many others).
Much was made of Robbie Robertson not being on the record, but I like it. I think it proves they did just fine without him, too.
They even covered Springsteen:
All apologies now for a long post. If you stick it out til the end, you’re a true champ.
I quit coffee a week ago, and did suffer some low grade headaches and energy lulls, but now I’m fine. My daily energy has evened out all day, and my stomach isn’t feeling acidic either. All good.
Full disclosure: I can’t remember the last time I had a pop/soda either, I don’t drink juice (especially not bottled and processed stuff), and I’ve given up green tea (caffeine there too). Just water for me, and it’s fine.
So. This post stems from a conversation that was part of Mike’s recent live stream about new releases. I went on a wee tangent about exercise.
I’m a pretty active guy, always have been (I like to think). As a kid, I played a ton of hockey, and did a lot of outdoor stuff as my hometown was so small. We rode our bikes everywhere. In high school, I switched to basketball, but played pretty much every day, even just in the driveway. At university and college, I still went to the gym somewhat, and rode a bike everywhere, and walked a ton. I had a weight bench for a while.
I was the skinny kid, but eventually grew to be 6’2” (188cm) while remaining rail thin. We walked everywhere. In our 30s, we got a car and started driving everywhere. Then we had babies and, with full-time jobs, and while we still walked most days, other priorities took over. Of course, around this time your body starts to slow down too (metabolism, etc). Now that the kids are older and I’m in my mid-40s, we do more active things again, but after a lifetime of bad eating haits (since there were no repercussions in my youth), naturally I put on weight.
I’ve made stabs, over these years, to regain some of my old form (though I wouldn’t want to be quite so skinny as I was at, say, 18). But I figure I could lose some pounds, especially off the middle (and there’s a relatable sentence for most, I’m sure).
For those interested, here’s my daily (morning) workout. For equipment, all I have here is walking poles, an exercise bike, dumbbells, a bar with plate weights, and a flat bench. Nothing fancy. So, starting at 04:00:
3km fasted brisk walk (with nordic walking poles) every day, no matter the weather
30 min exercise bike (with 10lb dumbbell shoulder raises, bicep curls, tricep work while I pedal)
Weights (bar 12lbs, wts 2×10 = 32lbs) in 3 sets of 10 (or 25 for bench press) each: deadlift (30), bent row (30), shoulder press (30), squat (30), calf raises (30), bicep curls (30), bench press (75)
200 incline (staircase) pushups (4 sets of 50) with pushup handles to appease my pre-arthritic wrists
200 crunch situps
I just stay at it, with rest breaks between, and it’s done no problem. You’ll notice none of this is heavy weight. Not even close. I don’t want to be bulky muscle guy. This is just maintenance work, and an effort to shed some weight.
I started out with just the walk. I love the wee hours of early morning, there’s nothing moving out there at 04:00 except me and the skunks and raccoons, maybe the occasional cat or rabbit here and there. A few times I’ve heard coyotes howling in the distance, but I’ve never seen one. I suppose there’s a small risk of bears, if one got confused and wandered into town (it happens often enough). I maybe see one car go by during the whole 3km walk. I don’t mind being up early, so long as I’m not too late to bed. I get about 6 hours sleep each night and I’m good.
You might think I’m crazy, up so early, and outside moving. But I choose it, because it’s the only time I can get time to myself all day. My lovely wife is up early (she leaves for work before 07:00), so I need to be back before she goes, and the kids aren’t long in waking after she leaves. They take over the whole day and don’t pass out until about 21:00 these days. I’m in bed by 22:00 or so, so the early morning is about the only space I get to quietly think my own thoughts. Of course I don’t say this begrudgingly. I love my family and want to be with them, I just also respect my need for my own mental space, so 04:00 affords me that.
I tried running for a while. After a month or so, I realized it’s not really me. All deference to those who love it. I’ll stick to the walks.
Anyway, the pushup handles came first, the weights were added later, and then the bike came last. Overall, I think it’s a decent way to spend time in the morning, and I feel great.
The other side of the coin is diet, hand in hand with the workouts. I generally avoid fast food for the nasty that it is, even avoiding the ubiquitous Tim’s donut shop, a quintessential Canadian place to go – except during a roadtrip (for the washroom break too), but of course this year we haven’t gone anywhere.
You already know I just drink water, these days, nothing else. I walk fasted, then I have an apple afterwards. Then a banana after the bike, but otherwise nothing until lunch, which is usually not much either. Maybe some carrots, low-salt swiss cheese, a few unsalted wee rice crackers. My one main meal is dinner, and even then I try to be mindful, keep the carbs quite low and the meat unprocessed. Some nights, I have two Oreos for dessert, because my son loves them and so we share them. Otherwise, it’s all just normal healthy stuff. I try not to eat after dinner either, so my caloric intake isn’t likely all that high.
I read somewhere that 1lb of body fat is equal to about 3500 calories. So by this metric, to shed one pound of weight, you’d reduce daily caloric intake by 500 daily (500×7=3500) for the week. I feel like I’m below whatever caloric number would recommended for me at my age, anyway. So, add in the exercise, and it’s a good bet pounds will drop off eventually. Let’s go!
I’ve read about intermittent fasting, but I need to do a lot more research about it before trying anything, and right now I kind of feel like I’m on a fairly decent path anyway. We’ll see.
The big things I’ve learned (from experience):
Daily maintenance (for a lifetime) is key. Drop the weight and then keep it off. You don’t drop the weight and then stop exercising, and you can’t really go back to “just this once” allowing yourself extra treats – that’s a quick, slippery slope. Sustainable weight loss and maintenance is a long, permanent game. Anyone who says they know rapid methods is probably selling something.
We think we need to eat more than we do.
Never let more than two days pass without exercise. One day off between is fine, but never two. The longer you go between workouts, the harder it is to go back.
Try not to call it “losing weight.” Saying you “lost weight” sounds to me like it’s simply lost and therefore can be found again. No, the idea here is get rid of it and keep it gone. I try to say eliminate, shed, drop, etc.
That’s just me. You mileage may vary, and I’m not saying you have to do anything. But for anyone who’s ever thought about feeling better, sleeping better, having consistent energy and just generally conquering your day instead of letting it conquer you, maybe some of what I wrote (above) can help inspire. Keep it simple, start small, and let the gains you see inspire you to keep going, maybe even do a bit more. Remember, it’s a long game, and all you’ve got is time. It’s up to you how you spend it.
The Band’s sixth album has lots of great songs and memorable melodies. Once again, I am glad to have a solid LP copy here, it feels like the only way to play this stuff…
By this, their fifth album, The Band wasn’t getting along so well, and they could only muster up a bunch of covers of old R&B tunes they used to play. Sad, but still some great tunes on this LP copy I have here!
Carrying on with the Band on LP in the collection, this being their fourth album. Van Morrison’s on this record too! Anyway, it’s the Band. Great stuff.
The LP copy I have here of this, their third studio album, is a mainstay in my collection.
Get you some.
I already posted this album yesterday, in that budget 2-fer set I have.
We all know it’s a friggin’ classic.
However, I also have these other copies of it, which are fun:
First up is a 24-bit remastered DVD-audio copy, housed in one of those outsized plastic cases. This plays in a DVD-logo player in four ways: Advanced Resolution Surround, Advanced Resolution Stereo, DTS 5.1 Surround Sound, and DVD-Video Compatible Dolby Digital 5.1. It does not work in a regular CD player.
And, of course, I have an old original LP copy. Because CLASSIC.