Author Archives: keepsmealive

Sandra Boynton’s Frog Trouble

Y’all probably know Boynton’s kids books. The included CD here will impress the grown-ups as well, as it includes tracks by:

Dwight Yoakam, Fountains Of Wayne, Mark Lanegan, Kacey Musgraves, Ryan Adams, Ben Folds, Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Josh Turner, Darius Rucker, Linda Eder, and Fall Mountain Cowboys.

Fun times!

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Counting Crows – August And Everything After

Been ages since I spun this album, and I assumed it was gonna be too 1990s for 2019. Nope. Look past Mr. Jones and Round Here, there’s gold in these hills. Of course I still knew every word, every note. Shame it took me so long to come back here, as this was like meeting up with a long-lost friend.

Dave Bidini – Midnight Light

This book is a gem. Charting Bidini’s travels and adventures across far Canada’s north during a summer writing gig at the Yellowknifer, it’s also a lament for a dying form (newspapers), an ode to the northern way of life, and a volume chock full of true characters. Compulsive, recommended reading. Bidini is becoming our generation’s Pierre Berton.

Mid-Month

I’ve spent the past four days sick, meaning I’ve had plenty of time to sit and think. 

3 Net results: 

1) On January 15, the LP project is already too much. I’m calling a halt to it (and not because of that local robbery). It’s fun, but I should’ve seen that I just don’t have time for it. Thanks for understanding. 2) I’ve managed to keep caught up with your posts (mostly), but I still need to dig back further. 3) I’ll be brief barfing a lot of what I’m hearing/reading, to keep my hand in.

OK, as you were. Thanks for Reading.

He’s Goddamn Right

Shout-out to Andrew Robinson for this post. Sharing because he’s goddamn right.

This one was also fun:

Half-Time Band

Justin Timberlake’s half-time SuperBowl gig had nothing on this young lady’s performance:

 

The LP Project 10: A Perfect Circle – Thirteenth Step

For some reason, I haven’t even opened this 2LP set. Factory sealed freshness! Mmmm…

I mean, I’ve heard the album… I think perhaps I’ve owned the CD at one point and that’s how I heard it. Anyway, you know who they are, and you know this album. Carry on, as you were!

Trumpet Solos (At Work)

NB: I would like to begin this post by saying I’m pretty damn proud of myself for figuring out how to post links to Youtube videos that only contain the wee sections of the songs you’re meant to hear (not the whole song). What a time-saver. I am a tech wizard!

So.

I’ve been paying attention to the music at work, and noticing some pretty great solos in some of the songs. The world is full of great solo turns, of course, but these are just a few of those that have caught my ear as they emanate from the in-house system:

I ALWAYS CHEER FOR THE HORNS!

Blood Sweat & Tears – Spinning Wheel (possibly my favourite rock trumpet solo)

Petula Clark – Downtown (muted outro horn is very cool)

Beatles – Penny Lane

Temptations – Papa Was A Rolling Stone (the whole damn song is awesome, but this clip is an example of the horn in the song…)

Concerning

Given how (relatively) close to my house this happened, it makes me think the LP Project might be an ill-considered thing that should be stopped!

The LP Project 9: AC/DC – Who Made Who

Here’s what I said last time I covered this release: “A semi-weird little compilation of new stuff, old stuff, and one track from the even older stuff. I haven’t seen Maximum Overdrive in years, but I assume this collection of songs fits the show and that’s why they’re here. Rawk!”

This time around? Give me AC/DC, Stephen King and turn it the hell up. The rest is just details! Go!

Sax Solos (At Work)

NB: I would like to begin this post by saying I’m pretty damn proud of myself for figuring out how to post links to Youtube videos that only contain the wee sections of the songs you’re meant to hear (not the whole song). What a time-saver. I am a tech wizard!

So.

I’ve been paying attention to the music at work, and noticing some pretty great solos in some of the songs. The world is full of great solo turns, of course, but these are just a few of those that have caught my ear as they emanate from the in-house system:

 

Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar (RIP Bobby Keys)

Spandau Ballet – True (OMG everything about this is so painfully 80s)

Huey Lewis and the News – The Heart Of Rock ’N Roll (I had to include the “Johnny! Ow!”)

Billy Joel – New York State Of Mind (returning here after also appearing in the piano solo post! I do love this song)

 

The LP Project 8: AC/DC – For Those About To Rock

Imagine trying to follow-up Back In Black. I mean, jeez. Could anyone achieve anything so daunting? AC-frickin’/DC could! I’ve already covered this rock-solid beast TWICE in these pages, and would happily do it again.

AC/DC, we salute you!

Piano Solos (At Work)

NB: I would like to begin this post by saying I’m pretty damn proud of myself for figuring out how to post links to Youtube videos that only contain the wee sections of the songs you’re meant to hear (not the whole song). What a time-saver. I am a tech wizard!

So.

I’ve been paying attention to the music at work, and noticing some pretty great solos in some of the songs. The world is full of great solo turns, of course, but these are just a few of those that have caught my ear as they emanate from the in-house system:

Fine Young Cannibals – Good Thing (possibly my favourite piano solo in a pop song EVER – thank you, Jools Holland!)

Billy Joel – New York State Of Mind (intro)

Aretha Franklin – Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (so damn good, here’s the whole damn song. Did you know that Aretha, through overdubbing, played both the piano and the organ on this track herself? SHE RULES)

Gloria Estefan – Conga

The LP Project 7: AC/DC – Fly On The Wall

Along with (previous album) Flick Of The Switch (The LP Project 5), this one was fairly unloved when it dropped. Why? I dunno, I thought it was another hot blast of AC/DC goodness. These albums likely suffer by comparison to Back in Black, and I get that, but c’mon. When I covered this album (on a cassette copy SO HOT) I had made note of some sound quality ssues (which may have been my cassette copy’s fault), but I said, in summation, “Freaking great, this album’s a goddamn barroom brawl.”

In counterpoint, Wiki shared these reviews from its time of release:

In the original Rolling Stone review of the album, Tim Holmes wrote, “You’d never guess how sexist and politically incorrect all this is if you didn’t read the lyric sheet, because you sure can’t make out a single word coming out of the dentist’s-drill glottis of Brian Johnson (except maybe the song titles, which tend to be repeated like mantras). Angus Young is also in great form, playing the dumbest, most irresistibly repetitive chords in the lexicon.” AllMusic: “Fly on the Wall continues AC/DC’s descent into cookie-cutter mediocrity, with the leering humor of past glories seeming forced and uninspired, and the music remaining somewhat underdeveloped and directionless.” In his 1994 Bon Scott memoir Highway to Hell, author Clinton Walker calls the album a “disaster”.

And then, there was People magazine: US gossip magazine People picked the LP as best album of 1985.

Guitar Solos (At Work)

NB: I would like to begin this post by saying I’m pretty damn proud of myself for figuring out how to post links to Youtube videos that only contain the wee sections of the songs you’re meant to hear (not the whole song). What a time-saver. I am a tech wizard!

So.

I’ve been paying attention to the music at work, and noticing some pretty great solos in some of the songs. The world is full of great solo turns, of course, but these are just a few of those that have caught my ear as they emanate from the in-house system:

The Knack – My Sharona

Richie Valens – La Bamba

Michael Jackson – Beat It (Eddie Van Halen)

Bryan Adams – Cuts Like A Knife (Keith Scott)

Eagles – Hotel California (the ending dual guitar battle, of course):

The LP Project 6: AC/DC – If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)

From the track listing to the huge sound to the stabbing murder on the front cover, do I even need to tell you how huge and exciting this live set is? Of course I don’t! If you play this one in the car, you will drive too fast. Guaranteed.

 

The LP Project 5: AC/DC – Flick Of The Switch

This seems to be one of the lesser-talked about, lesser-liked* AC/DC albums, and I don’t know why. I love it! There’s a part of me that really digs the rough and ready sound. Maybe folks were just disappointed it wasn’t Back In Black all over again (see below), but at this point they were 9 albums in and still doing what AC/DC did best. This one gets a vote from me, anyway!

 

* “In his original Rolling Stone review, David Fricke noted, “Produced by the band, Flick of the Switch isn’t quite the monster blowout that 1980’s Back in Black was, and the Youngs’ retooling of old riffs for new hits also teeters on self-plagiarism at times.” Steve Huey of AllMusic observes, “As perhaps indicated by the record’s idiotic original title, the utterly generic I Like to Rock, AC/DC seemed to be running out of ideas at an alarming rate, and their record sales began to reflect that fact.” Malcolm Young later said of the LP, “It was thrown together real quick. I wouldn’t say it’s a great album…” (Wiki)

Singalongs

We have piped-in music at work, there’s no escaping it as it is pumped through the whole building. I believe I’ve ranted about it before.

One other dimension to hearing this sort of music all day is that my co-workers sing along. Yes. Back in the production room, while they’re working away, a bunch of small-town women sing along (very badly) to a myriad of songs. They laugh together at how bad they sound, and even camp it up to try to cover for how bad it actually sounds, but it doesn’t stop them from doing it. Every time they hear a song.

Here’s a short list of songs they butchered over just the past couple of days. There are plenty more, too. I’m telling you, folks, it’s a fresh circle of hell.

Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline
Billy Joel – Piano Man
Lisa Loeb – Stay
Don McLean – American Pie (they only know a few of the words, and the chorus)
Joan Osbourne – One Of Us
Meghan Trainer – No
Eagles – Hotel California
B-52s – Love Shack

There are many, many more.

I know.

The LP Project 4: AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

AC/DC’s third album is like a bomb going off in your stereo. Bon Scott was The Man, and the guitar interplay here is pure genius. That primal sound is on full display, too. You know the one. Ach, surely I don’t need to go through the tracks or tell you anything about this one, really. You know it well already!

Also, I really don’t know why I own two copies on LP (I have a CD too)… Then again, why not, eh?

Party Cannon

I love their logo in this mix of pickup stix.

The LP Project 3: AC/DC – Back In Black

Perfection. Obviously.

RESULTS! Black Sabbath Poll: KMA Readers’ Choice Edition!

Only two records into it, and I’m already interrupting the LP Project. But there’s a good reason… you see…

All Apologies, Dear Readers, I got all excited about posting up a poll to determine your favourite Black Sabbath songs, waaaaay back on December 1, 2018! And then I never rounded up the results… hence the apologies.

So, let’s get to it! Most votes for any partcular song(s) was 8 votes, least was 0 (of course). I’d said we were looking 30 songs to make a set, so I’ll post those with the most votes (in order of votes received), and then below that I’ll post ALL of the results as they were received.

Ready? Of course you are. Go!

KMA READERS TOP 30 BLACK SABBATH SONGS:

War Pigs
Paranoid
Iron Man
Children Of The Grave
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Wasp/Behind The Wall Of Sleep/Bassically/N.I.B.
Electric Funeral
Sweet Leaf
Changes
Supernaut
Snowblind
Black Sabbath
The Wizard
Planet Caravan
Killing Yourself To Live
Heaven And Hell
After Forever (incl. The Elegy)
Into The Void
Neon Knights
The Mob Rules
God Is Dead?

Alright, that’s 21 tracks. Next batch of votes (below) takes us to 32 tracks, not 30, so remove 2 songs from the list above or the following few tracks (as you see fit) to make your 30! Or make it 32, that works too…

Wicked World
A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning
Lord Of This World
Sabbra Cadabra
Dirty Women
Never Say Die
Children Of The Sea
Lady Evil
The Sign Of The Southern Cross
I
End Of The Beginning

***

THOUGHTS:

I have to say, that’s an epic collection of tunes! Definitely 30 tracks anyone could call a fantastic Sabbath collection. For those in the know, there’ll likely be agreement (for the most part) with this list. For those not quite so immersed in the Sabbath world (yet!), this list would make a great primer of tunes to get you started! \m/  \m/

***

ALL THE VOTES, AS RECEIVED:

8 VOTES

War Pigs
Paranoid

7 VOTES

Iron Man
Children Of The Grave
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath

6 VOTES

Wasp/Behind The Wall Of Sleep/Bassically/N.I.B.
Electric Funeral
Sweet Leaf
Changes
Supernaut
Snowblind

5 VOTES

Black Sabbath
The Wizard
Planet Caravan
Killing Yourself To Live
Heaven And Hell

4 VOTES

After Forever (incl. The Elegy)
Into The Void
Neon Knights
The Mob Rules
God Is Dead?

3 VOTES

Wicked World
A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning
Lord Of This World
Sabbra Cadabra
Dirty Women
Never Say Die
Children Of The Sea
Lady Evil
The Sign Of The Southern Cross
I
End Of The Beginning

2 VOTES  

Hand Of Doom
Rat Salad
Wheels Of Confusion (incl. The Straightener)
Tomorrow’s Dream
St. Vitus Dance
Under The Sun (incl. Every Day Comes And Goes)
Hole In The Sky
Symptom Of The Universe
Rock ’n’ Roll Doctor
Turn Up The Night
Voodoo
Falling Off The Edge Of The World
Methademic

1 VOTE

Embryo
The Haunting
Orchid
Step Up
Solitude
Death Mask
FX
Cornucopia
Laguna Sunrise
A National Acrobat
Who Are You?
Looking For Today
Spiral Architect
Megalomania
The Thrill Of It All
Supertzar
Am I Going Insane (Radio)
Johnny Blade
Junior’s Eyes
Wishing Well
Die Young
Lonely Is The Word
Country Girl
Disturbing The Priest
Zero The Hero
The Shining
When Death Calls
Valhalla
TV Crimes
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
Kiss Of Death

0 VOTES

EVERYTHING ELSE!

***

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Thanks so much to everyone for your votes on this project! Sorry it took me a friggin’ month to get this information and these results to you. You know how it goes… Anyway, now we know!

SABBATH RULES!  \m/  \m/

Turn Around

Found this online and loved it.

The LP Project 2: A-Ha – Hunting High And Low

This is an all-timer for me. Not just because of nostalgia for this record, because that is a strong force for me, here. No, this one is an all-timer for all the reasons that any good and strong LPs survives this long. The songs, the presentation, the hits and the deep cuts. Sure, it sounds dated to its decade, but that’s just another facet of its power and beauty. I wouldn’t ever be without this one in my collection.

Never Forget

Saw this online, thought it was fun. Old schoolers unite!

The LP Project 1: 54-40 – Show Me

This 1987 LP is awesome. Hits One Day In Your Life and One Gun are here, but this platter is full of songs that could also have been, like Walk In Line, Standing In The Way, Come Here, Because Of You… hell, all of them. Pure CanCon classic. It’s just that damn good.

The 2019 LP Project

Greetings Dear Readers,

For 2019, I have two plans for these pages:

1: Clear up all the shite in the hopper, and clear out the wee list of shite post ideas I’ve had, here and there, for a long while. They’ll run out soon enough. This is on top of the stuff I wanna do in the background.

2: I’m gonna run through all of my LPs. 

LP is the year’s default, so if I cover a CD I’ll say so.

I’ll start at the top of the pile. In my organizational system, 0-9 comes before A-Z. You may do different, and that’s OK. Anyway, it won’t stay alphabetical, but that’s where I’ve begun.

Some I’ll have covered already, but this is a fresh spin for a new year, and nobody will remember what I said ages ago anyway, so it hardly matters.

No posting schedule (I always fall for that trap). Just when I get the things heard and the time to type them up.

I also want to grab one new LP per week and post about those too. We’ll see how that goes.

Lastly, I’m adding my own pics from my collection. Shelfies!

Alright, enough. This year, we’ll “spin, spin, spin the black circle!”

Happy New Year, Everyone!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

Hey folks, Aaron of the KMA here…

For the past few months, you may have noticed that my Reading and Commenting has been reduced to wee waves when I get a moment. Not nearly enough for me, as I want to read all your posts… And speaking of posts, I’ve cut mine down to those little brief barfs that quite probably don’t do justice to anything I’m hearing. 

So, why?

Life. Is. Busy. Because all the everything. You know how it goes, the never-ending cycle. I always seemed to manage time for this stuff before, but lately it’s all been kicking my ass.

We’ve also, recently, had three plumbing emergencies in a row, here at the house. So, much fun was had dealing with contractors and plumbers. Ugh. Most frightening, some of the water damage was just on the other side of the wall from the Man Cave. Oh no! But oh yes it’s true. Gah! And so began the immediate move of the collection to the next room over. But then we decided to re-paint both rooms as we went, so it’s all in flux, half done and half waiting to go, one wall at a time as we get time. Gah.

So. 2019.

I’m not much one for New Years’ Resolutions. In my experience they’re crap and no one sticks to them. Gyms, for example, are packed in January and back to normal volume by February. Etc. For me, it just has to be a clear decision to do something, made at the right time when it needed to be made, and then I’ll do it. So I actually made several decisions a long while back, and have been doing some of the things since October. I have slowly been setting myself up to get the rest underway since then (in the midst of all the other stuff life threw this way), and I’m simply going to use January 1 (today) as a start date because it’s neat and tidy. Baby steps. So…

2019 will be the year of the vinyl. In moving things around, I realized that I have so much goodness here. I know 1537 will approve. I know Bop said I need a new needle and I’m on it when I notice it needs it. So, as I work away on a million things, I will drop the needle. Cool. The brevity will likely continue. I might even get to hone it! Make an art of it… I will cover other stuff too, as I hear/read it, but LP is 2019’s default format. I can dig it.

I will (eventually) catch up on all your posts. By December even (haha) I should be all caught up. Also, the KMA has some background work that needs doing. If I have nothing else to do (haha) I’ll chip away at that. You won’t even notice it – few go back to the old stuff very often, anyway. But it’s bugged me a long while, and I’ll know it’s done, complete.

That’s enough, I’d say. It will take me all year, but who cares? Let’s give ‘er!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, DEAR CONSTANT READERS! We are gonna rock 2019, I just know it.

TURN IT ON AND TURN IT UP.

Aaron’s Best Of 2018

I’ve been busy lately, and so I’ve lost track of stuff… so I have probably missed a few things from this year – LPs especially. If I’ve forgotten anything, I do apologize. Let me know in the comments!

Also, in counting things up as I can see it so far, I bought 18 new releases this year, and was given/sent 8, for a total of 26. Not bad!

Also, as with every year, some of the stuff on this list I haven’t even reviewed yet… odd, since I’ve heard them, I know, I know…

Notwithstanding all of this, here we go!

***

AARON’S BEST ALBUM OF 2018:

Sloan – 12

Yup. 12 years after their win in my inaugural annual Best Of (2006 Never Hear The End Of It), and 4 years after their 2014 Commonwealth tie with Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems, the mighty Sloan returns to the top of the heap! This makes them the second-winningest band in my Best Of series (Leonard has 4 wins to Sloan’s 3).

I took a long hard look at the pile of greatness I heard from this year’s new releases, and Sloan was the one I’ve played the most, and loved the most. 12 tracks on their 12th album, songwriting credit equally divided 3-each for all four members. Unimpeachable Sloan power, harmony and beauty. Hell yes.

SLOOO-OOOAANNN!!!

 

ALL THE OTHER KICK-ASS 2018 MAJOR LABEL GOODNESS (In No Particular Order) (16):

Voices – Frightened
Trews – Civilianaires
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard
Sleep – The Sciences
Rivers Of Nihil – Where Owls Know My Name
Library Steps – Rap Dad, Real Dad
Leon Bridges – Good Thing
Killer Boogie – Acid Cream
Judas Priest – Firepower
Jack White – Boarding House Reach
Guided By Voices – Space Gun
Guided By Voices – Ogre’s Trumpet
Greg Keelor – Last Winter
Eminem – Kamikaze
David Byrne – American Utopia
Bruce Dickinson – Scream For Me Sarajevo: Music From The Motion Picture

 

ALL THE KICK-ASS 2018 INDIE (SENT/GIVEN TO US) GOODNESS:

Amherst Drive – For Freedom And Democracy
Cruel Bloom – Death Culture
Jeniffer Doll – With Everything
Manipulant – What Good Are The Stars?
Manipulant – Perspective
Max The Axe – Status Electric

Thank you so much to all of these artists for making sure their tunes got into our ears!

 

BEST RE-ISSUE OF 2018 (TIE):

John Coltrane – Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (2cd)
Guns ’N Roses – Appetite For Destruction (Deluxe)

 

PREVIOUS YEARS’ WINNERS:

2017 Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter (Deluxe Edition)
2016  Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker / Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (tie)
2015  Iron Maiden – The Book Of Souls
2014  Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems / Sloan – Commonwealth (tie)
2013  Black Sabbath – 13
2012  Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
2011  Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At The Lincoln Center
2010  Jack Johnson – To The Sea
2009  Leonard Cohen – Live In London
2008  Metallica – Death Magnetic
2007  Carolyn Mark – Nothing Is Free / Immaculate Machine – Fables (tie)
2006  Sloan – Never Hear The End Of It

 

STUFF STILL TO GET:

There are a whole whack of albums I’d love to get, of course. Neko Case’s Hell-On, Jeff Tweedy’s Warm, Sigh’s Heir To Despair, that Thom Yorke Suspira thingy… and then there’s a pile of stuff from all of your year-end lists that I wanna hear, too… the list goes on and on and on…

 

THANKS FOR READING:

Thanks so much for Reading! Without this Community and all of you beautiful Constant Readers, we’d just be typing away and sending this stuff unloved and unnoticed into the ether. You are what keeps us alive!

See you in 2019…

Max The Axe – Status Electric

HUGE thanks to Brother Mike Lebrain Ladano for making sure a copy of this slab of rawk found its way into my hands!

Speaking of Mike, you gotta go read HIS REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM. Go go go!

And what did I think of it? It fuckin’ rocked! This is full-on, unabashed, real rockin’. The influences are many, all metal and rock bands (and punk too). I’ll leave you to discover them on your own when you get this for yourself, which I know you will.

The feel is what slays me every time I jam this album. It feels like I’ve discovered some late-70s rock band from KISS’ label, some unheard gem brought into the future to invigorate and educate us all on how it’s supposed to be done. Even better for us all, it’s new music from this year, so this album stands as indicator that the spirit of rock is very, very alive and very, very well in the here and the now.

It has power. It has groove. It has balls. It’s tons of fun, track after track.

As they say in Gods On The Radio, “you gotta turn it up LOUDER!!!” Amen, brothers. A-fuckin’-men!

ALL HAIL MAX THE AXE!  \m/  \m/

Styx – The Mission

Huge THANKS to brother Mike Lebrain for sending me this kickin’ Styx album! 

I like Styx. We grew up listening to the Dennis DeYoung stuff, of course, but I also grew up listening to A LOT of Gowan, so hearing Gowan perform with the other vocalists and the band Styx is the best of two worlds for me.

Overall, this concept album (about a mission to Mars in 2033 – prog rock in 2017! ) can be summed up by the word EPIC. The songs are huge, the production is huge, and you can just tell that a lot of thought and care went into every moment.

I loved Gone Gone Gone. I could play that full-tilt song anytime, anywhere. Hot damn. Hundred Million Miles From Home rocks and swings at the same time, Radio Silence is a full-on big rock mid-tempo beauty, The Greater Good is a beautiful huge ballad… ah hell, I don’t need to mention every song. Lemme sum it up like this: It’s a Styx album. It rocks, it’s beautiful, it’s powerful, it’s solid throughout. It stands on incredibly strong songs, cool ideas, and excellent music. 

Damn, this thing is fantastic. Two thumbs way, way up.

Thanks heaps, brother Mike!

Glueleg – Heroic Doses

Guelph’s Glueleg dropped this (their second and most successful) record in 1995 and it took over the stereos of a lot of folks I knew. The big songs were the title track, Come With Me, and Mister Pink. 

For those who didn’t indulge in this band like we did back in the day, what did they sound like? Grunge, rap-rock, metal, Primus, and all with a horn section. Yes! I always cheer for the horns. 

Get yourself some Heroic Doses and crank it the hell up. Playing this now in 2018 was still freakin’ great, I loved it all over again.

 

 

Cool Story: We went to a 3-day festival (in the summer of 1996) called Edenfest, and Glueleg played the first day! I remember enjoying them quite a bit. We probably heard quite a few of these tracks at that show, as this would have been the most current album. Cool beans.

Wilco – Schmilco

So it turns out that my post about the Lee Ranaldo/Dave Dyent album was the end of the Taranna December round-up! I’ve gone back and put a wee note on the post but most people don’t go back (can’t blame you), so I’m telling you here! Anyway, I’m back to covering whatever I hear as usual now.

Ah, Wilco. Can they do no wrong? This 2016 follow-up to Star Wars, their 10th album, has a name that is a nod to Harry Nilsson’s Nilsson Schilsson (cool). The interwubs says Jeff Tweedy tells stories of himself, his family, and his history on this album. I’m good with that.

Acoustic guitar-driven, more folk than indie rock, this album is feel-good Wilco awesome. There were two singles, the challenging Locator, and the Neil Young-ish If I Ever Was A Child, though they also released Someone To Lose in the run-up to release. It’s a great late-night or road trip record, get you some!

Christmas 2018

It’s always fun to round up the loot that found it’s way to me via the generosity of my loving family and friends. Here’s a look at the music/media-related stuff:

 

Blu-Ray / 2CD Set, and 2 magazines: The Rolling Stones – Voodoo Lounge Uncut (including 10 never-seen performances and 5 bonus tracks from New Jersey)!! Right on. I was super-excited about this one ‘cos I saw this tour in Taranna! Also, my sister said she was told that this was the last copy in London, so it must’ve been popular! And the magazines are an awesome tie-in too: The Rolling Stone Collectors’ 50th Anniversary Mick Jagger issue, and Music Spotlight’s Collectors’ Complete Story Of The Bad Boys Of Rock. Yessss!

A Couple Of Brilliant Books: The Beastie Boys Book (‘cos it’s what-cha want), and David McPherson’s The Legendary Horseshow Tavern, a sweet looking history of the historic landmark venue. Both are gonna be awesome!

From my KMA Brother James THANK YOU JAAAAAMES! came two glorious LPs: the Rheostatics Brave New Waves Sessions on limited blue vinyl! And Hawksley Workman’s gorgeous (Last Night We Were) The Delicious Wolves! So. Awesome.

And finally, some Blu-Rays (now that we have a TV!): Spaceballs (because hilarious), Festival Express (because how cool was that?!?!), Blade Runner: The Final Cut (because classic), and Blade Runner 2049 (because further to the story!).

Merry Christmas, indeed!

Lee Ranaldo with Dave Dyent – New Life After Fire (for Tom Thompson)

Another Taranna December grab…

 

I already covered this odd duck RIGHT HERE, BACK IN 2010. I’d sold it off at some point, figuring I was never gonna listen to it again. But when I saw it again in the wild (a rare occurrence, as it was a limited edition), the collector part of my brain took over and I grabbed it up just because. Now, I’m sure I had reasons, like ‘hey it’s the Sonic Youth guy and that’s cool, ‘and ‘hey it’s likely only a few copies are out there, better rescue this one,’ and ‘when am I ever gonna see this again?’ etc etc. Completely forgetting, of course, that I had one and sold it. Sigh. Such is how my collector brain works.

Anyway, played it again. I pretty much agree with my past self (see link, above). Onward!

 

UPDATE: Turns out, this is the last of the Taranna December stuff. Thanks for Reading!

Beastie Boys – Tour Shot!

Another Taranna December score…

This Japan-only* tour EP was a no-brainer to grab. It’s Beasties, and it’s 1994, and it all kicks ass. You knew that already.

Tracks:

1 Sure Shot
2 Sure Shot (Large Professor Mix)
3 Mullet Head
4 Sure Shot (Prunes Mix)
5 The Vibes
6 Sure Shot (Nardone Mix)
7 Sabotage (Live)
8 Sabrosa (Live)
9 Sure Shot (Live)

The booklet is in Japanese and English. I did not get the obi strip, but since this is a used item, I didn’t expect one.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Dear KMA Readers,

‘Tis that time of year again already! From James and Aaron at the KMA, Merry Merry and Happy Happy!

7 Worlds Collide – The Sun Came Out

Another Taranna December score…

 

This is a project for Neil Finn for the benefit of Oxfam. This 2cd set is a companion to the 7 Worlds Collide live album, and is chock full of names you know:

Johnny Marr, Jeff Tweedy, Saron Finn, Neil Finn, Ed O’Brien, Liam Finn, Don McGlashan, KT Tunstall, Bic Runga, Phil Selway, Glenn Richards, Glenn Kotche, Lisa Germano, Tim Finn, John Stirrat, Pat Sansone, Elroy Finn, and Sebastian Steinberg. 

I bought it for the Wilco and radiohead members, and because it contains many Finns, but the whole set is beautiful. There was also a film made of the live performances. 

Yessir it’s a keeper.

Warlocks – Heavy Deavy Skull Lover

Another Taranna December score…

 

Bought this one on spec for the album title, the track listing titles*, and the splendid cover art. I mean, come on. How could I leave it!?

I read that, for this album, they pared down the line up from eight to four players, which (reportedly) sped up their usually long recording process down to a matter of weeks. Having never heard their other work, all I can say is this move created beauty, and a dichotomous album. It’s stoner-rock music done right, yes, it’s drone and buzz and yet still focussed and full of power. It also has many moments that feel more shoegaze, like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth met up to jam… You want a psychedelic jam session that vascilates between heavy crashing and sweet pop droning, occasionally in the same tune? Get you some Heavy Deavy Skull Lover! An odd listen, but ultimately rewarding. Future spins will reveal layers, I know it.

 

* Track listing:
1″The Valley of Death”
2″Moving Mountains”
3″So Paranoid”
4″Slip Beneath”
5″Zombie Like Lovers”
6″Dreamless Days”
7″Interlude in Reverse”
8″Death, I Hear You Walking”

Iggy Pop – Preliminaires

Another Taranna December score…

Inspired by reading Michel Houellebecq’s La Possibilité d’une ile, Iggy headed to the studio. As I discovered online, he hilariously (of course) summed it up:

“Unlike his previous works, the album is less rock-oriented and was said by Pop to be a “quieter album with some jazz overtones” with its sound influenced by New Orleans jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton. Pop also admitted that the album is his response to being “sick of listening to idiot thugs with guitars banging out crappy music”.”

There’s an old French jazz standard (Les feuilles mortes), an Antonio Carlos Jobim standard (How Insensitive), and a ton of other cool stuff. Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) did the artwork. Rolling Stone called it “definitely the weirdest record of the punk godfather’s career.”

Weird? Absolutely. But that’s Iggy. I friggin’ loved it. This was one of the highlights of my Taranna scores!

Rome OMPS

A Taranna December score…

 

Inspired by music from spaghetti westerns, this effort by composer Daniele Luppi and Danger Mouse is bloody fantastic. I read that it was recorded using vintage equipment (cool), and reunited the choir used by Alessandro Alessandroni on the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (cool). One track here, Black, was used in the final episode of Breaking Bad’s fourth season (cool). Throw in vocals from Jack White and Norah Jones and you’ve got a thrilling, atmospheric, fascinating and highly enjoyable album.

G. Love & Special Sauce – Yeah, It’s That Easy

A Taranna December find…

 

This one took me back, as I used to own it back in the day. I knew every track, and was thrilled to be reminded that the title track used bits of Femi Kuti’s No Agreement (Part 2) and that Dr. John makes an appearance. Y’all know the music of G. Love, his sound, his easy brilliance, and the song Stepping Stones, found here, was probably an entry point for most of us. Superb record. 

Solomon Burke – Make Do With What You Got

A Taranna December find…

 

I do love me some Solomon Burke, and these later albums are so damn good. This 2005 effort was nominated for a Grammy (it’s that good!), and contains songs written by luminaries such as Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Van Morrison, Jagger/Richards, Dr. John, and Hank Williams, among others from Motown (and a Burke original). It’s just so damn soulful, and his voice is huge. Hell yeah.

Soundgarden – Superunknown

 

So I was just sitting here last night, finally with a few moments to get caught up on the mountain of Reading I want/need to do on all your blogs. For tunes accompaniment it just popped into my head that I hadn’t heard Superunknown in a while. I fired up the whizzbanger and away the album went, for probably the zillionth time in my life. I knew every note, every move, and what was coming next, of course, and this listen-through only further cemented the album into my brain. When I am old, I won’t remember important things, but I’ll remember lyrics and guitar lines and drum fills from this album. The only hard part was the last track, Like Suicide (RIP Chris), but you knew that already.

As a whole album, though? GLORIOUS.

Iron & Wine – Woman King

Another Taranna December score…

 

I do like the work of Mr. Beam’s Iron & Wine. As the net says, there are some Bible notes here, a spiritual female figure, themes and archetypes, a gorgeous swirl of instruments to stitch it all together… It’s contemporary, but it has that timeless feel. A couple more songs and this would be a perfect album. As it stands, this 6-song EP is varied, complete, and brilliant.

Robin D.G. Kelley – Thelonious Monk: The Life And Times Of An American Original

Never has there been another artist like Monk and, in its 624 pages, this book captures all the history, stories, players, family, events… everything you could ever want to know (and more), with intelligence, clarity, empathy, and a completeness bordering on obsessive.

Hands-down one of the very best music biographies I have read. Ever.

***

Perhaps that blurb on Amazon tells you more:

The first full biography of legendary jazz musician Thelonious Monk, written by a brilliant historian, with full access to the family’s archives and with dozens of interviews. Now updated with an afterword for Monk’s 2017 centennial.

Thelonious Monk is the critically acclaimed, gripping saga of an artist’s struggle to “make it” without compromising his musical vision. It is a story that, like its subject, reflects the tidal ebbs and flows of American history in the twentieth century. To his fans, he was the ultimate hipster; to his detractors, he was temperamental, eccentric, taciturn, or childlike. His angular melodies and dissonant harmonies shook the jazz world to its foundations, ushering in the birth of “bebop” and establishing Monk as one of America’s greatest com­posers. Elegantly written and rich with humor and pathos, Thelonious Monk is the definitive work on modern jazz’s most original composer.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway

One last Chilis score from Taranna December…

Holy moly the Chilis are 11 albums in, at this point, and still killing it. I dunno if folks are as into it anymore, but I am! Singles were Dark Necessities, Go Robot, Sick Love*, and Goodbye Angels. They’ve found their sound for this point in their career, and they’re nailing it time and again. As far as I’m concerned, these guys can just keep making records and I’ll keep listening. That would be grand!

 

* Elton John performs on this song, as he and Bernie Taupin helped write it. What a world!

Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

Another Taranna December grab…

I’m gonna sound like a fan-boy, writing up about these Chilis albums but let’s face it, that’s what I am. Singles were The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie, Monarchy Of Roses, Look Around, and Brendan’s Death Song. The deep cuts are full of tastiness too. And yeah, this one has Josh Klinghoffer instead of Frusciante, but it’s just different because of it, not bad! In fact, it’s pretty goddamn great.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – By The Way

Another Taranna December score…

I don’t know why I didn’t already own this one. I do love me some Chilis, and anything with John Frusciante on it is a-OK with me! So many big songs here, like the title track, Zephyr Song, Can’t Stop, Dosed and Universally Speaking (OK, that was just a list of the singles) but there’s so much else amazing music besides. Yup, I dug it. Tons.

Wilco – Kicking Television: Live In Chicago

A Taranna December find…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recorded over four nights, May 4-7, 2005 at The Vic Theatre in Chicago, this set is not just a collection of live Wilco songs. It’s a feel, a groove. It feels like it should last forever, so glad they captured this.

Stellar work.

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